Sunday, September 26, 2010

It is pure pleasure to listen to Ms. Fitzgerald turn this song on its ear in all its lugubrious glory.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Reverse Strawberry Margarita!

The fruit IS the ice cubes. And it's not really a margarita.

Macerate one quart of hulled strawberries in citrus (around the juice of two limes) and a tablespoon of sugar overnight, at least, stirring occasionally. Drink the delicious liquid that formed, then puree the fruit in a blender until it's as smooth as you can make it. Freeze in a somewhat shallow container.

For the drink:

Chip off several big chunks of strawberry puree and fit into a tall glass until full. Add:

- one big shot of blueberry vodka
- one big shot of grenadine
- top off with tonic water and a twist of lime.

Add a straw, and mash the melting strawberry chunks into your drink as you go.
The crotch is the danger area. A good gusset is half the battle. There's nothing so horrible as a baggy gusset--short legs, voluminous ball-room--except a tight one that splits.
Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean
Facing the Music

Thursday, September 23, 2010


The best movies use pink lettering in their title sequences.

pommes anna

the quest for perfection continues, despite an uneven burner

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

hints from lizoise

1. Cocoa is tenacious, smeary powder and hard to get out of the container when you get to the dregs. The best way to do it? Add a big spoonful of granulated sugar, put the top back on, and shake vigorously, letting the sugar rub away at the cocoa. Dump the (now brown) sugar out, and repeat again as necessary, using the cocoa-ed sugar to make (for instance) cocoa!

2. This is what you need to clean your computer keyboard: STIM-U-DENTS. Trust me. They are genius.

They are made from squishy balsa wood, with an elongated triangular point, which makes them ideal for attacking the between-key spaces from many angles and for buffing away layers of grime. They are cheap, so you can use as many of them as necessary. And the wood is absorbent, which allows them to attract hairs and crumbs. They are a great thing to have near your computer for when you're staring out the window or something and can idly clean away.

on being on hold

It is all very well to take a firm line about things, and rush to the telephone, determined to "do something" without delay; other people do not sit with folded hands waiting upon the convenience even of our highly interesting and influential selves. Harriet laughed at her own annoyance. She had made up her mind to instant action, and now she was furious because a business firm had affairs of its own to attend to. Yet to wait any longer was impossible.
Gaudy Night

Saturday, September 18, 2010

martha/alexis axis

Oh the psychology to feast on in Martha Stewart-world. Her recent home decorating issue is so full of Freud and meaning it's like a novel.

I would like to take this moment, though, to comment on one aspect of the Martha/Alexis (her daughter) dynamic. Not via Whatever! TV/radio, which I can't watch/listen to (don't have the right cable station or Sirius), but honestly don't think I'd want to, anyhow. Only so much meta-Martha I can take.

There is this idea that Alexis says what Martha is really thinking, but when you look at their blogs--which, while spun, do reveal a closer/more real-time look at their lives--it's more than that: Alexis's life looks like the phantom life being lived in the world of Martha Stewart Living. Martha's doesn't.

Alexis' blog is full of photos of baked goods she makes for other people--tons every month. And food she cooks, cleaning and organizing she does (in her multi-unit Richard Meier apartment). Here are a few photos from her blog of pie-making and the cake she made for Martha's birthday:

Martha's blog is full of travel photos from speaking engagements and corporate meetings, and photos of other people working for her on her properties. When she posts photos from her home, she is often filming for the show:

I'm generalizing, but still. It does strike one. It makes me think a bit of Laura Ingalls Wilder and her daughter Rose Wilder Lane, where the daughter had something to do with the mother's creation as a writer/public figure and with her positioning and the chicken and the egg and all that. Not sure what exactly came first.

Friday, September 03, 2010

somewhat successful chicken chili

Cooked 1-1/2 c. barley in combination of chicken stock and pureed tomatoes and chili spices until done. Near end added one can of pureed black beans and one can whole rinsed black beans. Added cooked diced chicken. Served with brown bread and bits of cheese leftovers. Ate for next 390827345 days.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

extremely successful hashbrowns

Made with a small handful of cubed Abraham prosciutto and leftover Yukon Golds that were originally baked, then peeled, then mashed a little bit of butter. Hashbrowns were cooked for that interminable amount of potato time in non-stick pan--maybe an hour or more, as crusts formed and were turned under. Yum!