Friday, October 31, 2008

Do You Have to Let it Linger?

Good Morning, Kittens!

And Happy Halloween! Hope you all have on your scariest masks today! I'm sure you do!

As the holiday season approacheth, I think we should discuss a very important topic. Namely, you've been taken in by all the "Holiday" advertising and, now, you don't know what to do with all those Forkin' cranberries you purchased.

I mean, really, no one in your family likes cranberry sauce anyway. Yet, you still went out and bought the 5 pound bag from Costco ("It was on sale," you say ... secretly knowing that it was on sale b/c no one in his right mind buys that many cranberries).

Fortunately, you read this blog. And I'm going to share with you a few ideas on how to use All Those Extra Forkin' Cranberries*:

Idea #1: COMPOST.

'Nuff said.

Idea #2: Pasta Sauce ...

Saute some onions, garlic, and mushrooms in olive oil.

Add chopped zucchini, cranberries, a can of diced tomato, and ... well, hello Chef's Little Helper.

Simmer. That popping sound you hear? That would be the cranberries bursting forth with their juicy tart goodness.

Serve over pasta of some sort.

Mmmmmm ...

Idea #3: Cranberry Orange Infused Vodka ...
Cranberries + Orange zest + Vodka + about 1 week = YUM (hopefully)

You're Welcome.

Guess who's Guest Posting over at Le ShallowGal? Why don't you click over there and check out the Best Guest Post EVAR!?


*Which is very generous, considering VUBOQ's uncle (on his mother's side) died in a Horrible Cranberry Harvesting Accident** a few years ago.

**I'm serious. He had a heart attack. It was very sad. VUBOQ had to cut short his vacation in Las Vegas.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Since My Lunch Plans Were Cancelled

I may wander up to Adega and treat myself to a glass of wine and a portabello sandwich.

In the meantime, you may admire my framing and picture hanging abilities:

The Mongolian Traveller

Spring Bamboo

Art and the Gay Bears*


*Gay bears love art. Srsly.

Punch and Pie

Good Morning, Kittens!

I had a fairly productive day yesterday. I went to the bank, likker store, and Whole Foods. I applied for a job. I started a vodka infusion (cranberry-orange!) for a neighbor's birthday party next weekend. And I finished framing two paintings.

Then, SCGB came over to help me hang them, only I couldn't find my tape measure. So, we decided on wall placement and, then, had punch and pie. Except we didn't have punch and pie, we had wine and cake.

After that, I watched a DVD and knitted. Recently (but not last night), I watched Water ... which was OMG! Amazing and Beautiful and, like, Super Sad! You should watch it.

Today, I'm meeting SCGB's sister (the friend formerly known as DUN, but now that she's moved to New Jersey to be with her BF she's no longer diagonally upstairs and is need of a new moniker) for lunch in DC.

I also need to finish another application, for a job I'm kinda excited about, mainly because -if I got it- it would involve a move to a place I've always (well, since high school) wanted to live.

And find my tape measure so I can hang the paintings. And take a photo so you can see the paintings. I'm so excited that I finally framed them. I bought them when I lived in Beijing (which was the Spring of 1999). They've lived rolled up in a tube for nearly 10 years. Soon, they will be adorning the walls of BOSSY's Guest Room. YayZ!

I guess that's it for now. More later. *smooches*

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

A Tay. A Tay ina Win...*

A tay ...

A tay ina winnnn ...

And there you have about 45 seconds of your life which you will never get back.


*Name that movie and win One Meeeeeeeelllion VUBOQ Points**

**Not redeemable for cash and/or prizes.

Because I Didn't Leave the House Yesterday

Good Morning, Kittens!

I have nothing to blog about and will, thus, force you to look at my new* workspace.

From Bottom (*heh*) to Top (*heh*):

The Desk: Eugene the Laptop, coffee, coffee warmer UPS port (from Mush, it doesn't really work very well), box of never opened tea from India (gift from the Cheating Cheater), random clippy things (birthday present from former co-worker).

Shelf 1 (from left to right): pen in a box, Canadian goodies (from wonderful Canadian Blogger, Dykewife), original art by Mongolian artist, Tsoloman Damba, childhood collection of NC hand-carved (not by me) wooden animals, brass Indian statue (from the Cheating Cheater), books, more books.

Shelf 2 (from left to right): vase (made by ME), original art by the same Mongolian artist, pitcher (made by ME) full of pens (stolen from work).

Today, I am going to leave the house and go ... somewhere. Possibly the bank and the grocery store. Maybe even the Likker Store, because I am out. of. gin. Life is so cruel.

And, then, I'm going to do laundry! Ooooh! Who has all teh funz?

More Later. *smooches*

*If you define "new" as "owned for over a year, but never used regularly until recently."

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Off the Hump

Good Morning, Kittens!

Happy Tuesday. Is it raining with you? Talk to me.

Pottery class was fun last night. I practiced "throwing off the hump," which really isn't as dirty as it sounds (although it is a lot of sloppy fun). Basically, throwing off the hump is a technique potters use to throw lots of small objects quickly. Of course, since I had never done it before, it was a technique I used to throw a few small objects slowly ...

When you throw a single pot, you center the clay and make the pot. When throwing off the hump, you use a large piece of clay (I used about 5.5 lbs) and you really only have to center the top of the clay (the hump). Then, you make a little cup or bowl or whatever at the top of the hump, cut it off, recenter the new top of the hump, and throw another little cup or bowl or whatever.

Easy. Peasy.

Except for the centering just the top, throwing the little cup, cutting the little cup off, and re-centering the new top of the hump. That was difficult.

I ended up making 5 little shot glass like things. The original goal was to make them similar sizes (a-hahahahahaha). Let's just say that didn't happen.

After class ended, SCGB gave me a ride home. Then, we had wine and cake and gossiped. Oh yeah. We talked about you (but we only said good things. Honest).

Oooooh. And guess what? I got tickets to see a talk at the university by Tim Gunn! Teh Funz!

And, that's about it. I need to accomplish more today than I did yesterday (which shouldn't be hard since yesterday I accomplished nothing).

More later. *smooches*

Monday, October 27, 2008

Weekend Update: Party and Pottery Edition

Good Afternoon, Kittens.

The weekend update will be a bit short this afternoon, because (a) I already blogged about the 7th Annual BYOP Pumpkin Carving Party here and (2) David blogged about it here. And that's pretty much all I did this weekend ...

Except for a quick trip to the pottery studio where I picked up some finished pieces:

Raspberry Mug A

Small Casserole 3a

Large Casserole

Large Bowl A

Additional photos here. My flickr pro account expires today. *sigh*

Updated to Note: Many extra special hugs and smooches to the Wonderful Blog Reader who gave me the gift of another year of flickr pro. *HUGS* *SMOOCHES*

A Momentous Event

which I missed.
And probably happened about 3 weeks ago.
And I blame stupid new blogger templates and the whole "gadget" thing. I mean, really. What up with that?

See... let me break it down for you.

My statcounter/sitemeter hit counter thing used to be over there --->
I could check it easily whenever I visited my blog (which is quite frequent, sadly enough).

However, when I "converted" this blog to the new (IMPROVED! *sparkles*) template, I couldn't figure out how to get my statcounter/sitemeter hit counter thing back over there --->

So, now it's way down there (hmm ... does anyone know how to make a downward pointing arrow thing?) ... at the very bottom of the page.

Go on. Scroll down. I'll wait.

*twiddles thumbs*

Did you see it? Did you see the Number?

Yep. At some point, a few weeks ago, I crossed the Big 100K Barrier! I'm, like, at the Next Level or Something.

And I missed it.

Because my statcounter/sitemeter hit counter thing is down there instead of over there --->


I could've had a Contest!
or a Special Event!
or maybe Convinced Saturn to give me a Convertible to Cruise around the Country!

But, no.

Missed it.


I guess we will have to wait 'til 150K or something.

Or never.

Oh, and Good Morning, Kittens!

Pottery Pix coming later today. *smooches*

Sunday, October 26, 2008

They Came. They Saw. They Carved.

And I didn't get to bed 'til 4:30.

I am tired, kittens. Here are a few pix:

The Ice Ring:
BYOP08 004

Famous Bloggers in an INTENSE Carving Debate:
BYOP08 009

Pretty Ladies:
BYOP08 013

SCGB and the German Roommate:
BYOP08 020

Mike made CAKE:
BYOP08 024

I cut the CAKE:
BYOP08 039

Yet another Famous Blogger:
BYOP08 049

And, the rest of the photos are here! Enjoy!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Goals for Saturday

Good Morning, Kittens.

I had a bit of a late start this morning, because (at some point in the night) the power went out (and came back on). Thus, I awoke to the blinky alarm clock. "No wonder I feel so well-rested," I thought, before realizing, "OMG! 2 HOURS BEHIND SCHEDULE! MOVE, DAMMIT! MOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOVE!!!!"

Welcome to my World.

Anywayz........ Here is what needs to be accomplished today:

1. Finish making the SuperFantabulous Ice Ring for the Punch
2. Clean the Kitchen
3. Clean the Bedrooms
4. Clean the Bathroom
5. Clean the Living Room
6. Arrange Living Room in a manner which will maximize Pumpkin Carving Fun
7. Prepare and set out munchies and beverages in visually appealing manner
8. Have a SuperFun 7th Annual BYOP Pumpkin Carving Party!!!

The photos in this post (which I just found) were from the FIRST Annual BYOP Pumpkin Carving Party. Crazy!

Here are the pix from last year's BYOP.

Tomorrow I will try to put up pix from this year's Social Event of the Season.


Friday, October 24, 2008

VUBOQ Discovers the Joy in "Scheduling" a Post

Good Morning, Kittens!

Except it's really still Thursday night, but I have realized that OMG! BYOP Pumpkin Carving Party is in less than 2 days! and GAH! Hostess Panic!

So I am writing this post now. And "scheduling" it to publish tomorrow morning!

Behold! The Wonders of Technology. It's an amazing thing. Soon, I'm pretty sure I won't even have to type. Blogger will just post things for me. Easy! Peasy!

Anyway ...

Thursdays exciting events were ...
1. Writing DC AIDS Walk donor thank you email (did you get yours? Hope so!)

2. Searching for jobs (because, like, I have to apply to 2 jobs per week for my unemployment benefits, and how many have I applied for so far this week? Hm ... the answer you are searching for would be NONE!).

3. An exciting shopping trip to Trader Joe's and Target with the wonderful (and car-owning) Clio Bluestocking! in which we discussed the merits of the Entertainment Diet and solved the entire economic crisis in just a few hours. AND, can I ask how a store as HUGE as Target can be completely OUT of Candy Corns the WEEK before HALLOWEEN? It. Makes. No. Sense. It's like running out of Candy Canes the week before Xmas or something. *sheesh*

4. "Designing" the baby shower invitation for Tomokito, because Mike was unable to. Alas. I have discovered that my design skills are best left to the pottery studio. Still, I think the invitation is cute enough. OMG. And, don't even get me started on the baby shower invite etiquette of including where the expectant mother is registered (I can haz headache plz).

5. Running around the apartment making lists! Because why do actual preparation when one can pretend to prepare by making lists of such things like: (a) what needs to be cleaned and in what order, (b) items to be purchased at Whole Foods tomorrow, (c) likker to be boughten, (d) foods to be served and the appropriate serving dish to be used for each food, (e) guests who have yet to RSVP and what type of platter I should place their severed heads upon.

Srsly. What is up with people who can't RSVP? It's so easy: Yes, I will be there ~or~ No, I can't make it. Do these people not have parties? Do they not understand the complex calculations one must go through in order to determine what sort of food to buy? What is wrong with these people? I think they should all be killed ...

Or be forced to attend parties where there isn't enough food/drinks for ETERNITY! Hm. I like that idea.

And, my final rant,

6. Putting together some frames I ordered from American Frame. Yep. I ordered two frame kits ... and 1.5 showed up. The second one was missing some very crucial elements (like the cut-to-order mounting board and the cut-to-order acryllic front). I have used American Frame in the past and have been very pleased. Unfortunately, the package arrived after normal business hours, so I will be calling first thing in the morning (Like NOW!).

Hopefully, this situation will be resolved easily and I will not have to unleash the Power of this Blog and the strength of my minions readers reader on them. Because, if that's the case, American Frame will rue the day they messed up my order. RUE! Like, srsly.

OK. I think I'm done. Now it's time for a quick trip to the pottery studio and then errands errands errands!


Thursday, October 23, 2008

Museum Day

Good Morning, Kittens!

It's a pretty sad reflection on my life when I have to force myself to get out of the house just so I'll have something of interest to blog about. OK. There was another reason ... or two. Which I will get to at some point in this narrative (but don't hold your breath).

I decided to go to the Freer and Sackler Galleries ... mainly to see this new exhibit: Garden and Cosmos, which was stunning ... if a bit repetitive.

No photos in the temporary exhibits, but here are a few that I took elsewhere ...

Buddha Touches the Earth

Teapot 2

Frame Detail 3

Gallery 19

Monkeys in the Distance

You can see the rest of the photos here: Museum Day.

Oh, and the other reason for going on this adventure?
It was sort of a date-like-thing with this guy:

The Cuteness

More later. *smooches*

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


Meow meow meow meow meow. Meow meow meow meow meow meow meow meow meow meow meow meow meow meow meow. Meow! Meow meow meow mew Meow Meow Meow Meow Meow ...


A Whole Lotta Nothin'

Edited to note: Dear People Clicking over from BOSSY, my posts are not this boring normally*. *smooches* VUBOQ

Good Morning, Kittens!

Yesterday, I ...

1. did a load of laundry
2. organized papers for filing
3. shredded lots of papers
4. watched The Forbidden Kingdom ...

and that was about it. Not very exciting, I'm afraid.

So, today, I'm taking a Museum Day. I'm meeting a friend at the Freer/Sackler. They have a new exhibit on Indian art. Then, we might wander over to the National Gallery to see the new exhibit on art from (and inspired by?) Pompeii.

Since I'll be out, any afternoon blogging will be taken care of by the Psychokitty, who is working on improving her computer skillz.

*HAH! Who am I kidding? Of course they are normally this boring.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Under Where?

Besides the weird sense of accomplishment I get from having neatly folded clothes fresh from the dryer, having a variety of clean, colorful underwear to choose from is a Thing That Makes Me Happy ...

Who's ready for Martini Time?
Good Morning, Kittens!

Yesterday, I met a former co-worker for lunch. Of course, I had completely forgotten about this plan until around 11:30, when I got a text message reading "Should I pick you up at your place around noon?" Great idea! Panic!

We went to Adega. I had the grilled tofu wrap and we shared the eggplant fries. Mmm. Mmm. I also had a glass of wine. There is something so decadent about having a drink in the middle of the day when one should be working. Then, we looked at shoes and books and I picked up some needed groceries.

I came home and took a nap. Naps are decadent, too. Really.

Around 6ish, I caught the bus to the subway to the subway to the bus to pottery class. It was a rather good session, I think. I glazed a vase, two small casseroles, one large casserole, and a bowl. I also trimmed and attached handles to two mugs. The instructor demonstrated "throwing off the hump" (which isn't nearly as dirty as it sounds). If I go to the studio this week (possibly on Friday), I am going to try that. I want to make some cute little glasses to accompany the jugs I've made.

And, that was my day. Fun times.

Today, I've already received a bit of good news (not on the job front). PAX World has fixed the mistake concerning my IRA. They opened it as a traditional IRA, when I had requested a ROTH. Now that's all been fixed. YayZ.

I have to do laundry and cleaning for the party on Saturday at some point today ... especially if I want to go to the studio on Friday.

More later! *smooches*

Monday, October 20, 2008

BOSSY's Guest Room

Working in my newly cleaned and (mostly) organized [except for a big pile of papers which need to be either filed or shredded] Spare Room/Office (aka BOSSY's Guest Room) is a Thing That Makes Me Happy...
Having two gay bears and cat watch over my shoulder creeps me out a little though.


Weekend Update: Aching Thighs Edition

Good Morning, Kittens!

Happy Monday! and yet another fun work week begins! Woo. Hoo!

My weekend was packed full of fun and excitement. Ok. Not really. Friday, after working like a crazy person to apply to two jobs to satisfy the requirements for my unemployment benefits, I totally bailed on going to happy hour. Instead, I stayed home and watched the latest Indiana Jones movie with SCGB and his roommate. It was full of teh suck (except for Cate Blanchett. Love her!).

Saturday, I got up and, with the help of two neighbors, raked the yard. Ah. Autumn and the joys of raking a yard only to have it completely covered in leaves again the next day.

Then, SCGB and his roommate invited me to go on a bike ride. Little did I know that it was going to be a 20+ mile 4.5 hour Death March Cycle through the wilderness. The original plan was to ride a bit north, get on the (future) Capitol Crescent Trail, and cycle to Georgetown (via Bethesda). However, we had a bit of difficult on the CCT once the signage stopped. Um. Yeah. Not very helpful.

Somehow we found our way to Beach Drive and followed that and various bike paths through Rock Creek Park to Georgetown. Here we are around Porter St., NW:
SCGB's Roommate
The Smile means I haven't realized yet that they were trying to kill me.
After a quick bite to eat. We remounted (*heh*) and cycled back to Silver Spring.

And, OMG, the way back? ALL UP HILL! I think my thighs exploded. Once home, I collapsed on the sofa and didn't move except to make a martini. And dinner. And to put a DVD in the player. Around 9, I went to bed. So. Very. Tired.

Sunday, I cleaned and organized. I put up a few Halloween decorations. Then, I made some chili and watched Ironman. I totally *luv*ed Ironman. Like. Robert Downey, Jr. Total. Hotness. Srsly. Mmmm. And Gwyneth Paltrow (Am I the only person who likes her?*) was pretty good too.

More later. *smooches*
*Srsly. Loved her in Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow. Why did no one else like that movie?

Sunday, October 19, 2008


via the wonderful Java

Your result for Are You a Jackie or a Marilyn? Or Someone Else? Mad Men-era Female Icon Quiz...

You Are a Doris!


You are a Doris -- "I must help others."

Dorises are warm, concerned, nurturing, and sensitive to other people's needs.

How to Get Along with Me
  • * Tell me that you appreciate me. Be specific.
  • * Share fun times with me.
  • * Take an interest in my problems, though I will probably try to focus on yours.
  • * Let me know that I am important and special to you.
  • * Be gentle if you decide to criticize me.

In Intimate Relationships
  • * Reassure me that I am interesting to you.
  • * Reassure me often that you love me.
  • * Tell me I'm attractive and that you're glad to be seen with me.

What I Like About Being a Doris
  • * being able to relate easily to people and to make friends
  • * knowing what people need and being able to make their lives better
  • * being generous, caring, and warm
  • * being sensitive to and perceptive about others' feelings
  • * being enthusiastic and fun-loving, and having a good sense of humor

What's Hard About Being a Doris
  • * not being able to say no
  • * having low self-esteem
  • * feeling drained from overdoing for others
  • * not doing things I really like to do for myself for fear of being selfish
  • * criticizing myself for not feeling as loving as I think I should
  • * being upset that others don't tune in to me as much as I tume in to them
  • * working so hard to be tactful and considerate that I suppress my real feelings

Dorises as Children Often
  • * are very sensitive to disapproval and criticism
  • * try hard to please their parents by being helpful and understanding
  • * are outwardly compliant
  • * are popular or try to be popular with other children
  • * act coy, precocious, or dramatic in order to get attention
  • * are clowns and jokers (the more extroverted Dorises), or quiet and shy (the more introverted Dorises)

Dorises as Parents
  • * are good listeners, love their children unconditionally, and are warm and encouraging (or suffer guilt if they aren't)
  • * are often playful with their children
  • * wonder: "Am I doing it right?" "Am I giving enough?" "Have I caused irreparable damage?"
  • * can become fiercely protective

Take Are You a Jackie or a Marilyn? Or Someone Else? Mad Men-era Female Icon Quiz

Friday, October 17, 2008

Martha Martha Martha

Pretending that I live in a much less organized, yet slightly more boozy version of Martha Stewart World is a Thing That Makes Me Happy ...

Ingredients for Mango Mushroom Pasta Sauce ...
Well, hello, Chef's Little Helper!

Finished product ...
Mmm. Mmm. Good.


T to the G to the I to the F

Good Morning, Kittens!

Congratulations. You've made it to another Friday! Do a little happy dance of joy and drink a martini! What? What's that you say? The Man doesn't let you have a martini at work? That is so not right. Well, dance along with me now!

Booty Dance of Joy! (_\_)(_/_)(_\_)(_/_)(_\_) Booty Dance! Of Joy!

Whew. That was fun :-)

Yesterday, I met SCGB for lunch and then spent a good 3 hours in the pottery studio. I threw two mugs. Then, I pulled some handles. Then, I trimmed a mug. Then, I completely destroyed the lid I had made for the mug (oops). Then, I trimmed two vases and a small casserole. Finally, I attached handles to the mug and the casserole.


Once home, I started the vodka infusion for next week's 7th Annual BYOP Pumpkin Carving Party and ate frozen pizza. Fun times.

My plans for this weekend include yard-raking and house-cleaning. If I get everything I want done today, I'm going to happy hour with Ray. Saturday, I'm hoping to visit the Freer/Sackler Galleries. And, Sunday, I'll either go on a long bike ride or I'll go back to the pottery studio.

Have a great day! More later. *smooches*

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Postcard from the Edge

Receiving a postcard from my best friend from my college days from one of my favorite places in the world is a Thing That Makes Me Happy ...

Yet, it makes me a little sad too.

Receiving a book from a SuperFantastic Friend returns me to my happy state! :-) *smooches*

Could You Plz Stop Blogging About UR Hair?

I can't help it. When one spends his entire month's "miscellaneous" budget allotment on something one should get at least two blog posts out of it. So here is my photo montage, cleverly titled I was slightly tipsy and alone and trying to take a photo of the back of my head to show you how awesome my hair looked and don't you think Korto was robbed?


Getting closer!

Even closer!

The Front and the Back!
Have a good morning, kittens! *smooches*

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Natural

Having my hair made its *cough* natural *cough* color plus a 1.5 hour therapy session with Leah the Colornatrix is a Thing That Makes Me Happy.


BOSSY's Having a Poverty Party ...

... and we're *all* invited! AND, I'm bringing the Money-Infused Vodka!

I am neither poor nor overwhelmed by staggering debt; however, my current income is not covering my outgo, which, if the situation continues, could lead to heart-stoppingly staggering debt.

And, no one wants that. Prior to the beginning of the Unfortunate Unemployment, I kept a meticulous budget ... using a very basic spreadsheet. It looked like this:

Notice (after you click to embiggen) that the unchanging payments (mortgage, co-op fee, student loan, etc.) are at the top, followed by variable expenses (groceries, entertainment) and I spend a heckuvalot of money at Whole Foods and the likker store. Also, notice that I put a constant -yet small- amount of money in savings every month. Pay yourself first, kittens.

That needs to be said again: Pay. Yourself. First. Kittens. Srsly. You are worth it.

Now, let's take a look at a During the Unfortunate Unemployment budget:

Uh? What? "There's nothing there," you say?

That's right. I have slacked off on the budget-keeping. Oh, I still keep every single receipt. I have a pile of them accumulating in this very cute casserole (of course, it's not balanced on top of my sofa now. It's on the dining table). I have not been entering them into the budget spreadsheet.

Having one's monthly income cut nearly in half is scary ... and I am in avoidance. However, if BOSSY can share her financials with the world, the least I can do is maintain my monthly budget (no matter how overbudget I go).

Note that I said "maintain" not "abide by" my monthly budget. And, now, I'm off to visit Leah the Colornatrix.

As Gawd as my witness, I'll never be my natural color again.
Oh, and GOOD MORNING, Kittens! luv ewe!

More later. *smooches*

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Like, OMG, Wow.

Having a cold beer when I really wanted a cold beer is a Thing That Makes Me Happy

This is Lienenkugel's Summer Shandy (which is a weiss beer with lemonade). So refreshing ... and so totally girlie (according to my British friend, A-M, who turned me on to the Lemon Shandy).

Pottery and Miso, Mostly

Good Morning, Kittens.

Everyone back to work today? Workin' hard for the money? So hard for the money? Workin' hard for the money but they still don't treat you right?

I know, right. It's a difficult life, but we're relying on *you* to keep our economy strong (and if I don't get a job soon to send me cash)!

Pottery class last night was interesting. I required lots of instructor assistance. Fortunately, there were several people absent so I didn't feel like I was monopolizing the instructor's attention.

I had to trim three oddly-shaped urn-like things (which will be made into sort of spouted water jugs). The instructor had to throw a chuck, which could hold them in place while I trimmed the bottoms. I liked how the first two turned out, but the third one is still too heavy. Oh, well. Then, the instructor trimmed the lids for me, because I "take too long to trim things." Sorry. I'm careful. If I am motivated today, I may go back to the studio to attach spouts and handles to the urn-like things. We shall see. I also have to go to the post office to send a package.

Since Marathon Mom requested the Miso Soup Instructions, this is how I learned to make miso soup when I lived in Japan (slightly modified to make it vegetarian, but I'll include info for non-vegetarians too).

Miso Soup (4 servings)

In medium saucepan, add

4 cups water
1 piece of konbu (dried kelp, I think)
[Non-vegetarians can also add 1 tsp of dashi (dried fish powder) per cup of water].

Bring to a boil and boil for at least 10 minutes.
Remove and discard the konbu.

Next, add the vegetables (or whatever you want to have in the soup).

This time I used:
1/2 onion, thinly sliced
1/2 small kabocha (japanese pumpkin), seeded, peeled, and cut into chunks
1/2 package of assorted fresh mushrooms [if you want to use dried shiitake mushrooms, reconstitute them for 30 minutes or so in warm water first. Then, use some of that water in the broth above]
1/2 package of firm tofu.

After the vegetables are nearly cooked, reduce the heat to low and begin adding the miso paste. The proper way to add the miso is to smash it slowly through a sieve partially submerged in the soup. Do this until the soup has the flavor you like. Some people like their miso soup thinner than others. I like it fairly strong. I think I used about 4 heaping tbsps of miso.

Things you should note:

-Never boil the soup after the miso has been added. I don't know why this is. It's just what I was told.
-Don't make more than you can eat. Miso soup does *not* keep well. It is usually OK for breakfast the next morning, but after that it tastes weird.

Any questions?

Oh, and I finished reading The Inheritance of Loss last night. It was wonderful ... here's an excerpt which resonated with me:

Biju stood there in that dusty tepid soft sari night. Sweet drabness of home -- he felt everything shifting and clicking into place around him, felt himself slowly shrinking back to size, the enormous anxiety of being a foreigner ebbing ... He looked about and for the first time in God knows how long, his vision unblurred and he found that he could see clearly.
More later. *smooches*

Monday, October 13, 2008

Spinach Enchiladas!

Having lunch with my best friend is a Thing That Makes Me Happy:

Hurray for Federal holidays! *smooches*