20 May 2009

Kale Pesto

It was a hit, on its own and with 8 oz. linguine. (Doesn't that sound fancy? Would your mind change if I told you the linguine might be four years old and might have moved between two apartments?)

Kale Pesto

1 bunch kale (99 cents at the grocery store; buy some already)
2-3 cloves garlic, minced (maybe unnecessarily minced)
Zest of half a lemon
Small handful almonds
Small handful walnuts
Tons of olive oil

Boil 2-3 quarts water; add trimmed kale. (The easiest way to trim kale is hold it by its leaf end and pull down away from the stem, against the vein grain.) Boil maybe three minutes, stirring a little. Drain quickly. Do not overcook!

Add with other ingredients to food processor. Puree as much as possible. Maybe pour olive oil in through the chute while it's running; maybe not. I can't tell if that actually helps.

And eat it ... yum. It ends up tasting like some vaguely parsley-spinach pesto, kind of. The lemon is great.

18 May 2009

Showing Back Up

Sometimes we entertain and go to gatherings many times in a row, like this last weekend, and we end up bringing home leftovers or leaving leftovers, and suddenly, I don't cook for days. It is always odd, this huge energy of cooking and then the leavings after.

Regardless, I go to a grocery store midway through the mayhem and buy things like kale. Kale, kale, kale. I am in love. (I also lust after golden beets.) It's also full of iron, so maybe I'm anemic too. And today I thought to myself, hmm, kale pesto. That sounds crazy. That sounds like that terrible hummus you made when you were drunk several years ago that included canned peas. (It was awful. We'd been aiming for spinach. I don't recall exactly why we used peas, but I regretted it immediately. There is no redeeming canned peas.)

But then the people at the Times go and write about kale pesto ... and I'm entranced. I'll probably eat it tomorrow. Maybe without cheese. Not sure yet.

I dyed more yarn, and every time I do, I feel like I could do this for a living. With some surface design and writing thrown in. I need better tools and I'd like more room, but I am happy to have space to do it at all. I need to make a niddy noddy. I shall make one out of PVC pipe.

My arms are not better. This is still very sad.

The weather is turning, and that is not sad.

I'm trying to take full advantage of living so close to the library, what with my new library card and all. I want to read books about bookmaking. It makes me feel like a cannibal.

Noah has graduated, and, in a fitting end to his terrible semester, his group members have not turned in their final project correctly and he has to take care of it. No big deal, but a terrible last note.

We are finally both out of school. It is shocking. I'm sure we'll establish some kind of more-normal cohabitation, but so far it's a lot of looking at each other and watching TV online together. As it well should be.

Eat your kale, friends, and enjoy the height of spring. Make merry with me, ye who have been studying too hard. Come into the sun.

07 May 2009

Being Homemade

Because aren't we all, in a way? Or VW bus-made if you let my mom tell you a story ... which can stop right there, Mom! Geez.

I mean yogurt, granola, bread, dinner. Dear Jeff sends me good reading, which is not so different from when he was a student of mine (ha ha! compliment complete), such as this woman who did a cost-benefit analysis on homemade vs. store-bought goods. And she apparently loves this granola, though I argue for this one. Really, the second one is called "honey-toasted" and it didn't burn in the oven like my last batch.

I think my own cost-benefit analysis would turn out differently because we eat differently. And what I make has a lot to do with what doesn't hurt my arms and elbows, so it has to fall into this easy-to-make category of homemade. So, in the last six months, we've gone from eating, say, pasta with crockpot sauce heavy on onions and red wine to marinated, then baked, tofu and frozen stir-fry vegetables. Not a terrible change ... but you should notice the lack of chopping, the lack of stirring, etc.

I shall, then, list out what I make at home and wouldn't change:

1.) Yogurt. No question. I crave the taste of my own yogurt. I drained some yesterday and drank the whey mixed with peach nectar. I put the drained stuff in a yogurt tart. I love love love yogurt and, even with shopping at Aldi, making our own is cheaper than buying. Not by a lot, but by enough, and the taste is much better. I haven't tried the easiest method of making it, which involves letting it sit in a warm place overnight--I'm still using a hot water bath--but the 8 hours would be even easier.

2.) Bread for the right occasions. Mostly that means weekend eating. (Don't you eat differently on the weekend? We graze like crazy. Good crusty bread facilitates this.) Homemade, good bread is easy, I say, and I've been doing it for eight years now, off and on. My bread now veers into no-knead, or all mixer-knead, but either way it is great. And I love the original no-knead recipe--I bake it in my 8-qt. steel stock pot with aluminum foil to cover. Which is developing a roasty patina.

3.) Bath salts. Not edible, but if you take a lot of baths, there is no question. Sugar scrub too.

4.) Hummus. Though I'm disappointed lately with how mine turns out.

Okay, I can go on, but mostly it comes down to me saying, "People still buy that already made? Why?"

And in arm news, I may not get better. This is too sad to say much about. So that is the end of that.

Off to rest, shall we?

04 May 2009


Only to say I finished editing 300 pages in 1.5 weeks and am now editing 42 pages in 2 days. Which is a much better editing-to-days ratio. Good lord the end of the semester! I'm not even a student and yet it haunts me still, with all this work, all these people who pay me. I do like getting paid.

I may have found my perfect granola/muesli recipe, with 3/4 c. honey and 4 T. oil; I love my yogurt; I cook sometimes, things like carrot-potato soup with nutmeg, honey, and leftover quinoa; and Noah buys the best groceries. I haven't been going with him lately, as I can't carry or pick up things, really, and am mostly useless and grumbly because of that--anyway, he goes and I don't and he gets home and I'm all, wow food! Avocados! A block of cheese! Wow! Best way to receive groceries ever. Excellent at grocery-shopping, that one, buying frozen pepperoni pizza rather than sausage because pepperoni is easier to move off of a half (for me).

Am I really an editor? All this editing and my grumbling about it make me wonder if I really am suited for it, or if it's something I can just do. Like algebra--I can do algebra but don't love it. You know? I grumble about style sheets and people who don't know how to use commas (I don't mean errors, I mean AT ALL) and inconsistently styled headings and question myself about my understanding of hyphenation rules. I don't think I hyphenate as correctly as I could.

So, maybe not a real editor. Maybe a pretend editor. Or a skilled editor who'd rather be making anything at all.

It's been five years since I graduated from college, this spring. Oh my a long time. I think the art degree and the head copy editor job I had there are the two most useful things I got out of college. Loved the rest, for sure, but those are the useful ones.

And I'm definitely moving to Seattle in late October.