katallison: (Default)
Memo to self: Self, as you know perfectly well, now that you're old and decrepit the limit is two drinks per night. Two shall be thy limit, and neither three nor four shalt thou consume. And in particular, a beer followed by a gin and tonic followed by a Jameson's followed by another gin and tonic followed by a wobbly bike ride home and a nice big glass of wine before bed is RIGHT out.


The blow-out last night was a party to celebrate (or, rather, mourn) the departure of my favorite co-worker, Smart Snarky Queer Boy, who is graduating and going off to start his real career. I shall miss him sorely--he'd gotten into the habit of dropping by my office every morning to regale me with his latest romantic misadventures, or spread gossip about what so-and-so (closet case from Central Admin) was up to at the bar last night, and he was fond of telling me I was the best boss he'd ever had, and he was in general a delight to have around. *sigh*

Anyway, despite the morning-after ouchiness of head and creakyness of body, I hauled ass up and out at 6:15 this morning, because I needed to get to the Farmer's Market before parking became impossible. I've really lost much of my pleasure in going to the F.M. these past few years; it's almost painfully crowded, and close to half the stalls don't even sell produce or food anymore, just lots of cheap crap jewelry and quasi-ethnic clothing and candles and knicknacks and assorted dreck. But I needed good red peppers and Japanese eggplant, which are hard to find elsewhere, so off I went.

And now, having consumed a gallon or so of coffee, I'm preparing one of my all-time favorite summer dishes, Sicilian Salad with Roasted Peppers and Eggplant. )
katallison: (Default)
Some people know aioli as a sauce--"garlic mayonnaise, right?", they'll say. And yes, it is that. But Le Grand Aoili is in fact a meal, a celebration -- and, in my annual trip through cycle of the seasons, the ultimate festival of high midsummer. It is, to my knowledge, the only holiday feast that is defined not by some sort of big-meat entree, but by a mere ("mere," heh) sauce.

I first got to know Le Grand Aoili through the Minneapolis Bastille Day festival of the same name, formerly put on by the New French Cafe (and which I wrote about several years ago, in my old blog). When the New French closed and the celebration went by the boards, I decided to continue the feast, at least, and have prepared it every year somewhere in mid/late July.

And this year, filled with some sort of culinary grandiosity, I decided to try making the sauce the authentic Provencal way...Read more... )
katallison: (Default)
In the Weather News of Limited Interest category, it is hot here. Very, very hot. And shall continue to be, for the next few days at least. I'm running my piece-o'-crap portable air conditioner, which has, at the cost of massive electrical consumption, managed to bring the indoor air temperature down to maybe six degree below the outdoor air temperature. But really, I'll take every degree I can get.

I had as a houseguest last night the wholly delightful [livejournal.com profile] arallara, who's at about the halfway point on her Great Cross-Country Trip. It was most excellent to just have some relaxed, unpressured time with her to sit around, gab, drink wine, cook stuff, and gab some more; Aral's one of those people who's utterly comfortable to be with, and with whom I never have to stress about oh, god, do I have enough conversational gambits scripted out to keep things going?. She headed out early this afternoon, and I am left envying her her wonderful road trip, and hoping that the fates conspire so that we end up living closer to each other someday.

And Mr. P. is coming over tonight, so in recognition of the incredible state of Suffocating Heat, I've fixed:

Seafood Gazpacho )
katallison: (giles fresh hell)
Today's boring chapter in the Saga of the Aging Body:

So for the past few weeks I'd been experiencing chronic medium-grade distress in the digestive regions, which delicacy and kindness to readers forbid me from elucidating further. At first I just assumed I'd eaten something funky (entirely plausible, given the state of everything in my refrigerator); then I thought maybe I'd picked up a transient stomach bug. When it persisted, my inner Deranged Hypochondriac sprung to life, telling me that this was definitely colon cancer, which the gods were smiting me with as recompense for having chickened out on the Really Unpleasant Check-Up Procedure last year. (My inner D.H. is all about the guilt-tripping.)

And then, over the weekend, some vestige of a clue drifted into my brain, and I thought to myself, Self, I thought, this sounds exactly like the accounts and descriptions I've seen of lactose intolerance (which apparently can crop up suddenly in later life). So I immediately ceased all consumption of dairy products, and -- within 24 hours, le crud digestif had completely abated.

It could be, of course, that there was something else entirely going on with the innards, and it just happened to subside at the same time I stopped eating dairy products. So the final step will be to re-introduce the independent variable (I *knew* all those research methodology classes would come in handy someday) by picking a low-activity day and slamming down a couple of glasses of milk, and seeing if I experience a recrudescence, as it were (and boy, were it ever) of the Inner Distress. If so -- well, *dammit.* I've always loved milk and cheese, they're two of my foundational comfort foods, and I would be very sad to lose them. I'll have to investigate those Lactaid pills, I guess...
katallison: (patti2)
Beautiful, beautiful day, the kind of weather that causes one to remember why one puts up with Minnesota's multifarious meteorological miseries; cool, clear, fresh, brilliantly sunny, and everything in the full lush leaf and flower of high midsummer.

Which means I'm in the grip of my usual Beautiful Weather Affective Disorder, and am trying to focus instead on the list of concrete tasks to be accomplished this weekend. I've already cleaned out an amazing assortment of putrefying biomass from the refrigerator; once dishes are washed, I'll start on tonight's dinner. (Crockpot carnitas, not particularly authentic but dead simple; put a big chunk of pork loin or shoulder in the crockpot along with a quartered onion, quartered jalapeno, some chopped garlic, chopped cilantro, cumin, bay leaf, and enough chicken stock and/or beer to mostly cover. Cook 4-6 hours. (That's on high; on low, make it 8-10 hours.) Remove, drain/shred meat, serve with fresh corn tortillas, fresh salsa, avocado, refried beans, and beer aplenty. Yum.)

And because I am braindead, today's game, gacked from Metachat:

What do you have on your computer desk? )
katallison: (Default)
I think I should start a Memory group of recipe postings, under the rubric "How to Come Off Looking Like a Genius Gourmet Cook Despite Being Lazy and Inexpert." The shrimp risotto would go in, as would the chicken with artichokes, and also today's post, The Fabulous Stuffed Pork Roast )
katallison: (Default)
Since my earlier food entry seemed to be well-received, I thought I'd type up last night's supper, the amazingly simple Chicken with Artichokes: )
katallison: (Default)
Today's reflection: after a lengthy holiday run of cookies, chocolate, eggnog, beef tenderloin, potato gratin, more cookies, chips & dip, red wine, pate, fondue, coconut-chocolate bars -- after all this, I tell you what, a nice plain little bowl of cottage cheese is the food of the freakin' gods.

Apart from Christmas day itself, I've spent a quiet and solitary long weekend. Christmas day featured a deeply depressing visit to my dad in the nursing home [approx. 500 words of depressingness edited out], and then a very nice dinner with Mr. P., who made with the cool presents. These included an armload of old hardback editions of Nero Wolfe mysteries [approx. 500 words of how this former interest of mine has re-emerged a a fandom-of-sorts for me, in part due to [livejournal.com profile] _aerye_, pulled for further consideration and expansion], and a particularly excellent find, a DVD of the New York Dolls reunion concert at the Royal Festival Hall earlier this year [more blithering on this excised as unlikely to be of interest to anyone else except maybe [livejournal.com profile] cesperanza].

I've been dipping randomly into the [livejournal.com profile] ds_seekritsanta stories, and a few Yuletide pieces, but really I haven't been on the computer much, and am pretty much behind on LJ and everything else. Tomorrow I'm back to work, but I have another long weekend coming up, and a whole bunch of writing on which to get moving. We'll see if that actually comes to pass, however.
katallison: (Default)
Gnarrr. Have hit an inconvenient plot-snarl in my dS Sekrit Santa story; I'm either going to have to think my way through it, or else do a little distracting sleight-of-hand around it and hope nobody notices.

I tell you what, realism-whore though I am, I feel very lucky at times to be writing in dS, where there's no canonic precedent for, say, slavish adherence to actual police procedure, or pettifogging nitpickery about the laws of space, time, and physics, or whatever. One can simply give the "magical realism!" wand an airy wave. And it's nice to remember that the show itself often tended to use its A-plots with a certain negligence, treating them as a pretext for the *important* stuff--character interaction, relationship development, dialogue, etc.

As a viewer, I've never minded this at all--it takes grand-mal plotline incoherence along the lines of later-season XF to really put me off. And as a writer whose default story line is So, these two guys sit around and talk about stuff, and who is deeply impaired in the development of plottiness, I cherish it.

At the risk of jinxing myself, I plan to get prodigious amounts of writing done this long weekend. There are only two Thanksgivingy social events on the calendar--first, dinner tonight with Mr. P, featuring:
--a pork loin which will have many incisions made all over its surface, into which will be inserted much slivered garlic and rosemary, the whole thing then roasted to a fine crackling turn;
--a gratin of creamed leeks and fingerling potatoes, with gruyere;
--brussels sprouts, halved, steamed briefly, and then sauteed with finely chopped toasted walnuts and a dash of sesame oil;
--a compote of dried cranberries and chopped dried apricots, simmered with brandy and some orange zest;
--a bottle of excellent red wine.

Note the complete absence of turkey! Because that's just the kind of wild and crazy rebel I am! Hah!

And also because I shall get turkey on Saturday, when [livejournal.com profile] debchan, [livejournal.com profile] lapillus, [livejournal.com profile] jackiekjono, and I will gather for consumption of Deb's leftovers and viewage of various things, which should be great fun.

Other than those, and the obligatory visit to aged parental units, my agenda for the weekend is simple: Write. Lots.

My best wishes to all of you celebrating Thanksgiving for a peaceful and relaxing holiday, devoid of familial strife, travel mishaps, or subsequent digestive upset.

ETA: And if you haven't already, go read Laura's, Lum's, and Cereta's entries, because they express much more eloquently than I could the gratitude I feel toward fandom and toward all of you.


katallison: (Default)

November 2009



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