Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The New Awesome

You know what's the new awesome? Unsubscribing from all of the commercial lists that automatically generate me emails. I have, in the past, just deleted those that come in. Whipwhip, check box click button, deleted. But I've decided--maybe I should just use those two clicks to hit the unsubscribe link (always hidden at the bottom of the email) and then to hit the "confirm remove" box that inevitably comes up and see if I can free myself from the files that bind.

It's a gosh darn liberating feeling.

Here's to a lighter, purer inbox of tomorrow!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Two Recipes

I'm about to head off for a week(end) on the East Coast (DC to SC to GA to DC to NC to DC to home because, among other things, my sort of brother Joe F. is graduating from marines boot camp, and I'm going to get to see him, my parents, my brothers Dan and Nate, and Nate's kids, all in the beautiful southern locale of Parris Island, SC--how appropriate is that for Memorial Day?), but before I go, I wanted to post these two recipes I collected at a recent surprisingly satisfying enrichment about cooking.

I plan on making both in my near future lifetime. (Thanksthanks, Rechele.)

Edamame Puree

  • 2 1/2 C cooked edamame (without pod, of course)--you can put more (the recipe originally called for 2 1/2 lbs of cooked edamame, but Rechele made it first with the smaller amount, and I liked it better)
  • 2 lg garlic cloves, minced or pressed
  • 1 1/4 t fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 1 T lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 t salt
  • pepper to taste
  • 1/2 C extra virgin olive oil
  • 2-4 T water
Combine all but olive oil and water in a food processor and pulse to a coarse consistency. Slowly add olive oil with motor running. Adjust seasoning. Slowly add water to reach desired consistency.

Serve on crackers or--what did Rechele call them?--crustinis. Crustinis. Little slices of sourdough bread, toasted with a bit of olive oil. So, so good.

Omi's Coconut Curry Cheese Ball

  • 11 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 3 heaping T sour cream
  • 1/2 C currents (or raisins)
  • 1/2 C chopped cocktail peanuts, salted
  • 1/2 C chopped green onions, chopped fine
  • 2 t curry powder
  • sweetened flaked coconut
  • mango chutney (if desired)
Mix the first six ingredients together. Put coconut on wax paper. Roll cheese into a ball on wax paper. Put cheese ball in refrigerator. Serve with mango chutney (optional) and crackers (less optional).

I really liked this second recipe--I'm all for curry--but it was a little sweet for me. Maybe the currents are less sweet than the raisins I had it with? Maybe I'd put in more curry and more salted peanuts and less raisins and more sour cream? Maybe I'd put in more green onions chopped less fine? I don't know. Something. In any case, it was super tasty, and I'm make it (and experiment with it) again again for sure.

Let me know how it goes. Semper fi.

Friday, May 16, 2008

"It's like elf food."

I watch what TV I watch online via a site called You have to register for it (it's beta right now; beta, of course, being internet speak for hip*), but it has a good sampling (and clean design supporting) some of today's best shows. The downside is that during each show, you have to watch "limited commercial interruptions," which means anywhere from 3-5 15ish second commercials. There is not a wide variety of commercials.

A particularly frequent commercial is a Citi Card commercial, in which a couple go to an exclusive restaurant, enjoy the decor, the ambiance, the service, the wine--and then the food comes. It is, as the husband/boyfriend says, "like elf food." The scene changes, of course, and we see the couple happily/hungrily grabbing chips at a convenience store, as they buy real food and end the commercial by toasting each other with dingdongs or Hostess cupcakes or something. (You can tell I've watched this commercial too often. I have, as a final recourse, taken to muting the commercials to at least avoid the haunting, tinkling music and ergo keep my sanity.)

Tonight I went to SF to hang out with Kristine, a good friend who moved there last year. We walked the streets of the Castro, where she lives. We climbed a beautiful hill and walked a park that gave us a view of both sides of SF--towards the bay and towards the sea. We wandered down Market and Valencia, looking for a place to eat. We passed up Thai and Indian (they've been feeling too sweet for me lately, which is ironic, seeing as I just downed a late-night bowl of chocolate frozen yogurt/banana/chocolate chips/mini chocolate peanut butter cups/and milk) and an Italian restaurant with only five dinner entrees and a room full of patrons but only one female. (This is the Castro, after all.) We ended up at Farina, a lovely looking Italian place that boasted a 40-minute wait (it was a beautiful evening, and everyone and his mother was getting out to eat). Kristine and I were hungry--we'd walked this big hill--and we were eager to eat, but we put our names down and dutifully meandered till she was called.

Once in, we drained our bottle of water, manhandled the four pieces of bread they gave us, and chose quickly before our server could forget we were there. I ordered pasta with pesto, green beans, and patate (potatoes). $20.

I was told once, by somebody, that a true serving of pasta is one-half cup. I was also told by this someone that American restaurants typically serve pasta in two-cup quantities. (Just another example of American gastronomic excess.) Well, ladies and gentlemen, I'm here to tell you--I almost found myself wishing I'd ordered the primo and the secondi whatever, cost be darned, just like the menus always intimate I should. On my plate, my little pesto pile was very much like elf food.

It was such a small pile of green, on such a big plate of white, that I wanted to laugh. In fact, I did laugh. I laughed between each of my ten bites, until I scraped the plate clean of sauce, ate the basil garnish, and cried.

Afterword: But you know what? Afterwards, I wasn't particularly hungry. Turns out maybe one-half cup of hand-rolled, homemade pasta is a serving. Dieticians, you win.

*william corrected me: no longer requires registration, which maybe means it's no longer beta, which maybe means that while it's both more user-friendly, it's also more mainstream and is quickly becoming both (a) (revenue for) the man and (b) closer to jumping the coolness shark. That being said, I've recently watched more than 30 hours of hulu, and I was supremely grateful. Note: If you are watching a show on hulu and you are being limitedly interrupted by the new commercials for Reese's Peanut Butter Cups--you've scored. They're all music and printed text that is, all things considered, comparatively witty. No muting required.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


You'll see that I finally (finally) added a blogroll to my blog. If you have or know of a blog you think I should have linked here, let me know, and I'll likely/happily add it. I tried my hardest to be comprehensive, but I'm just in the collecting phase. If your blog was forgotten, do not think I don't love you. I probably do.

Probably. :)

"What have you been doing since graduation?"

I've been blog-quiet of late. I will admit that I haven't even been particularly busy.

It's true that graduation weekend was (happily, happily) jam-packed. My family came for the Great Weekend, during which we lunched at Melville, hiked the Dish, surfed in Santa Cruz, ate at Pluto's, shopped at the Milk Pail, prepped for my graduation barbecue (which included, among other things, the preparing of six homemade sauces, three kinds of buns, four kinds of grilled "meats," eight kinds of cheese, more than 2o sundry toppings, and I'd guess more than fifteen pounds of hand-made sweet potato fries), served my graduation barbecue (to more than 70 people--thanks to all who came), mingled at the law school, chatted, attended my graduation (which was blessedly short), toured Escondido Village and our old haunts (we even took a picture of us kids lined up in front of the bush we always used as family photo backdrops during our California years), attended church at the First Ward, dinnered with the Pearsons, opened Peter's mission call, reclined at my favorite park, and ran (literally ran) to get Rick's classic ice cream. On a sunny Monday afternoon, we stood in the Palo Alto half-shade, red-faced and sweaty, licking ice cream on cones and being glad we'd run and glad we didn't have to run home. And then the family was gone, and I was left without family, without school, without obligations to my name.

So I watched TV.

Over the course of four or five days, I caught up on The Office, 30 Rock, House, Top Chef, one episode of Hell's Kitchen (one episode was enough for me), and, finally and engrossingly, Friday Night Lights. And I watched Ironman (pretty fun) and Spellbound (a long-time favorite). Sunday came, I repented from my TV watching, and I determined to live this week anew.

I've stayed home mostly. It's strawberry season here (is it strawberry season everywhere?), and they're sold red and fat and freckled by Hispanic men and white women who stand under tents and on street corners. I eat the strawberries greedily, whole pints at a time. I think the acid is starting to burn my mouth. Still, still, it's 10:19 pm, I've eaten a bowl of Reese's Puffs cereal and I'm one cut strawberry into making a bowl of strawberries I'll cover with milk and eat while I listen again and again to Jose Gonzalez's "Heartbeats" on repeat.*

Yesterday I spent prepping for the 22nd birthday of one of the best women I've ever known, and before I showered at night, I was covered in fingerpaints and glitter; I had permanent marker streaks on my hands and one red birthmark-like star on my right elbow, the imprint of an unthinking lean onto the pants I was decorating for Jane; and following the traditional and celebratory cake-throwing at her birthday dinner, I found cake in my hair and in my ears. I showered at 9:00 pm and washed the glitter, the cake, and the paint down our bathtub drain (the permanent marker star stayed behind) and then I watched Cold Comfort Farm.

That's my story. Everyone's been asking, "What have you been doing since graduation?" And this, this is my answer. I've done some dishes, some laundry, some errands. I've run a few times and watched a few movies. I've eaten a lot of strawberries, celebrated a woman I love, hung out with people I admire, and slept in.

A good living this. A great living.

Come next week, I start studying for the bar.

*I've embedded "Heartbeats" on the page for your listening pleasure. Good goo, it's a beautiful song. Feel free to listen to it on repeat as you read this post. That's how I wrote it.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Another Red-Letter Weekend Moment

What are the chances that when Peter's mission call came, 9 of the family would be in the same place? (And that I, the Californian, would be one of those 9?)

Japan Tokyo Mission--Peter is the good stuff that's coming.

(My newest favorite part of this picture? That Reija's tambourine makes a cameo appearance.)

Sunday, May 04, 2008