Friday, August 31, 2012
I hadn't seen her perform since 1978, even though I like her music very much. The coffee house that I worked at and eventually managed in college, called 'Big Mother' (who knew that I would later becomes an amply proportioned mother myself), had a modest sized record collection, and my favorite of them all was Bonnie Raitt's 'Green Light'. That was my introduction to her music, and she was impressive on it. She had a great voice then as well, and she was (and still is) one of the few women who front a band who plays guitar.
Nothing has changed. Her stage presence is impressive, and she dedicated several songs throughout the evening to various members of the audience, which made her seem like a nice person as well. At least she is generous. The setting was equally spectacular. We had a long and winding journey up to the venue--plenty of time to contemplate the gorgeous vistas along the way, while my engineer-to-be son described the geology of what we were taking in. The amphitheater is quite a hike up a hill (from a parking area we felt very fortunate to be able to find our way back to), but it is well worth the effort. Red rocks form the sides and front of the venue, and it was a gorgeous night with an almost full moon. Such a treat to hear wonderful music in such a spectacular setting. Everyone should go there at least once!
Thursday, August 30, 2012
2 medjool dates, pitted and thinly sliced
1/2 medium shallot, peeled and thinly sliced
Fine sea salt, to taste
1 small head radicchio, halved and cored
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped pistachio nuts
Freshly ground black pepper.
1. Slice the top and bottom off one of the grapefruits. Stand it up on a cut side and, using a small sharp knife, slice off the peel and pith, following the curve of the fruit. Save the peels (there should be some red fruit clinging to the pith). Repeat with the other grapefruit. Slice both grapefruits into quarter-inch-thick rounds and arrange on a platter. Evenly sprinkle the dates on top. 2. Squeeze the juice from the grapefruit peel into a small bowl. You should have about a tablespoon. If there is less, squeeze some from one of the grapefruit slices. Add the shallot and a pinch of salt; let sit for 5 minutes. 3. Meanwhile, thinly slice the radicchio and add to a bowl. Add the shallot and grapefruit juice and toss to combine. Toss in 3 tablespoons of the oil. 4. Sprinkle grapefruit slices with salt and drizzle with the remaining oil. Place a mound of the radicchio in the middle of the grapefruit, leaving a border of the fruit exposed. Sprinkle with pistachios and black pepper and serve immediately.
Wednesday, August 29, 2012
Then the much loved bishop also dies, and all expectations are that his son, Archdeacon Grantly, also a clergyman, will gain the office in his place. Grantly is not very likable, but he is not corrupt, and provides a middle ground for the story, which pits the good against the not so good. Instead, owing to the passage of the power of patronage to a new Prime Minister, a newcomer, the far more Evangelical Bishop Proudie, gains the see. His wife, Mrs Proudie, exercises an undue influence over the new bishop, making herself unpopular with right-thinking members of the clergy and their families. She is one of the not-so-good characters, and she has groomed Obadiah Slope to be her right-hand clergy. He is even more unlikable (aptly played by Alan Rickman, who shows that he could produce a permanent sneer long before he portrayed Professor Snape). The series borders on 7 hours, so there are many ups and downs, intrigues that go well and those that go wrong--but ultimately there is a very satisfactory ending. No tragedy!
Tuesday, August 28, 2012
Monday, August 27, 2012
Sunday, August 26, 2012
Saturday, August 25, 2012
Friday, August 24, 2012
Thursday, August 23, 2012
The meal opens with an amuse bouche or two, which were delcious, as well as bread 9which is okay--not up to the quality of the other food)
#1 Sautéed Soft-Shelled Crab with Roasted Garlic Emulsion, Charmoula and Radish
I took a pass on this and was served the Sautéed Rabbit Loin with Boudin Blanc and Porcini-Taleggio Tortelli--which was delicious. The pasta was one of the best things I ate all night.
#2 Oven-Steamed Yukon Salmon with Heirloom Tomato, Horseradish and Dill Pan-Roasted
The salmon was cooked perfectly, and the horseradish foam was the best foam I have had--flavorful and nicely highlighting the flavor of the salmon
#3 Poussin with Sweet Corn, Chanterelle Mushrooms and Pancetta
This was the weakest link in the meal--the corn flavor wasn't strong enough to overcome the pancetta flavor, and kind of got lost.
#4 Grilled Dry Aged Beef Ribeye with Ratatouille, Black Olive and Basil
I really enjoyed this coure, even though there were no options on doneness of the meat, and I am not a huge fan of beef (someone who loves rare beef would undoubtedly been happier still)
Blueberry Crémeux with Lemon Verbena-Apricot Ice Cream and Sesame Cake
This was the biggest surprise--really loved the blueberry crémeux, which had a vibrant berry flavor and a wonderful texture. The lemon verbena ice cream did not have an overpowering flavor, which was a good thing, and I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this.
I noticed on my way out the door that you could also eat in the bar, which has a slightly less elegant atmosphere and is rumored to be priced less as a result. It was really lovely, and would make for a romantic alternative. Minneapolis has it going on, no doubt about it.
Wednesday, August 22, 2012
"From what I understand from doctors, that's really rare," Akin said of pregnancy caused by rape. "If it's a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down. But let's assume maybe that didn't work or something. I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be on the rapist." Forget that at least 5% of rapes result in pregnancy, which is not what I would call rare (in fact, conception after rape may be higher than with consensual sex), which translates to 32,000 pregnancies a year. Forget that we aren't talking about the legal consequences of sexual violence for men, we are talkiing about the recourse of women who have been victimized. Forget that women legally have choices. Forget that the man clearly has no grasp of even the most basic elements of biology and he is running for the U.S.Senate. What angers me most about this statement is the clear implication that women are stating that they are raped when they are actually having consensual sex. Is he questioning the existence of sexual violence? It is flat out insulting. Would he go on to say that women often say no when they mean yes? That women ask for it? What about women who have been drugged? It is terrifying that he is where he is.
Equally scary is just how quickly social progress can be thrown back half a century. This, combined with the GOP's attack on women's health care issues this spring and their blockage of the Paycheck Fairness Act, demonstrates a consistent lack of vision in the Republican Party when it comes to women in the 21st century.
I get it, I do. Men feel under attack. More women go to college than men, and their applications, based on merit, are stronger. They get better grades than their male counterparts, and if gender were not valued, women would take up 70% of spots at top tier schools. Women are getting better jobs than men, and despite the lack of pay equality, they are increasingly bringing home the bigger paycheck. But the answer is not to put women down, it is to figure out how to make men more educated and more successful. And the answer is defintiely not to saddle women with unwanted pregnancies and poor health care. Been there, done that. On the plus side, we know that nations that educate women have economic prospertity and it is much more successful than any other intervention. It is a proven pathway to success, let's not muck that up. Sadly, the party that adamently avows themselves to be pro-America is the one that espouses policies that will keep us behind the rest of the world.
So in the end, it just goes to show that you cannot take social justice for granted. The progress of the last 50 years can be wiped out in the blink of an eye. I find the 'Hey Girl' campaign to be a little bit too much about passive aggression and not enough about what to do about these trends, but I really identify with the poster of Paul Ryan that says "Hey girl--Vote for me--It will be the last choice you are allowed to make". It is darkly prescient of what the stakes are for women this November.
Tuesday, August 21, 2012
Monday, August 20, 2012
Sunday, August 19, 2012
Saturday, August 18, 2012
Friday, August 17, 2012
Thursday, August 16, 2012
|Embroidered and Beaded Circa 1982|
I began blogging because I wanted to write more, better, and with fluidity. It is entirely debatable whether I have improved in the quality of my writing, but I have definitely been writing more than at any other time in my life, I love writing more than I ever have, and it has been much easier to write as the months have flown by since I started to blog.
I would never have guessed just how much I would love blogging, nor would I have predicted that it would become a daily habit. What is it I like? I feel more aware, more thoughtful about my life. I am always thinking "What am I going to write about?" or "This is great blog material." The act of setting up posts, and requiring myself to think about various aspects of my experience has been fun in and of itself.
The picture I chose for this post is the back of a jean jacket that I embroidered in college, and it is a reminder that while I love this, there are other things that I love to do that I am not doing every day, and I would like to change that. I recently moved my extensive--and weighty--fabric collection to my new home. Even though it has been over a decade since I have browsed in a fabric store, I have an impressive collection that I really need to start incorporating into quilts. So may this momentous occasion, my 1000th blog post, jump start my return to quilting!
Wednesday, August 15, 2012
Tuesday, August 14, 2012
Monday, August 13, 2012
|Market St. House, Summer 2009|
|Market St. House, Summer 2012|
My husband, however, is another story. He built a small shed in the back yard, and this summer he gave the house what it really needed on the outside--a scraping down, and a quality paint job. The excellent news is that the boards were largely in very good condition. The rotten ones were replaced, but there weren't that many of them. The lead paint is gone, the nail heads have been resealed, and it has been painted in a manner in keeping with the era it was built in. The trim highlights some of the architectural details, and it just looks much more elegant with a new paint job.
Our community is replete with century old houses. Many of them have not had a loving hand to care for them in a very long time, but there are people who are trying to bring older homes back to their former beauty, with all the conveniences that the 21st century affords. I am very pleased with what we have been able to do with this house, and now that I have a much more complicated project on my hands, I appreciate how relatively smoothly this project has gone.
Sunday, August 12, 2012
Saturday, August 11, 2012
Friday, August 10, 2012
Thursday, August 9, 2012
1 C. butter, softened
2 C. sugar
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
4 lrg. eggs, separated
2 C. all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
pinch of salt
1 C. buttermilk, at room temp.
1 C. shredded coconut
1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
Preheat the oven to 350F. Butter 3 layer cake pans, I used 8" rounds and instead of flouring, I lined the bottom of the pans with parchment paper. Cream together the butter and the sugar in a large bowl, until fluffy, about 4-5 minutes using an electric mixer on medium. Add the vanilla and beat until smooth. Add the egg yokes, 1 at a time, beating for 20 seconds after each addition. Scrape down the bowl. In a bowl whisk together or sift together if you prefer the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture in thirds, alternating with the buttermilk. Beat for 45 seconds after each addition and beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Scrape down the bowl. Add the coconut and beat on low speed. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar until stiff peaks form. Fold the egg whites into the batter until no white streaks remain. Divide the batter evenly between the three cake pans and smooth the top of each. Bake in the middle of the oven for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and cool in the pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes before turning them out of the pans onto the wire rack to completely cool.
Frosting is as follows:
8 oz pkg cream cheese, softened
4 Tbsp. butter, softened
1 pound powdered sugar
Mix well and this makes your frosting.
1 cup of coconut to sprinkle all over the frosting. This cake is rich and extremely tasty.
Wednesday, August 8, 2012
Tuesday, August 7, 2012
It was created by Korean artist Choi Jeong Hwa as part of an exhibit about how the past influences the present, that artists take some of the cultural sensibilities from their ancestors and update it for a contemporary audience. I didn't love the exhibit as a whole, but this installation was a lot of fun and beautiful to watch.
Monday, August 6, 2012
Sunday, August 5, 2012
We were about to choose a Vietnamese restaurant when we happened upon the Burmese Kitchen. Burmese food is not something we have a lot of in Iowa, so we made that choice instead, and the very best thing we ate that afternoon was the tea leaf salad. It had the perfect combination of salty, sweet, crunchy, and hot. We were thinking about this salad for days, it was that memorable.
Upon arrival home, my spouse did a little investigating. The short story is that we are not going to be making this at home any time soon. Why? Because the key ingredient is fermented pickled tea leaves, which we have appallingly limited access to, and are not likely to develop the skills to make them at home, at least not this year.
Lahpet is Burmese for fermented or pickled tea. Burma is one of very few countries where tea is eaten as well as drunk. Its pickled tea is unique in the region, and is not only regarded as the national delicacy but plays a significant role in Burmese society. Unlike the Kline-Woodman household, most Burmese have the raw ingredients for the salad on hand in the cupboard, and since it is a raw salad, it is perfect for assembling regardless of the weather. If you get a chance to try this salad, do not pass it up!
Saturday, August 4, 2012
Friday, August 3, 2012
The restaurant itself is loud and on a weeknight it was packed--we were close enough to our neighbors that you could hear them talk--which my spouse finds to be an irressistable plus, but it is not for everyone.
So keep that in mind--if the ambiance is terribly important to you, this might not be the place for you. I can see that. For us, the food is absolutely the biggest factor, and we can be forgiving about the service and the physical plant. And the food was delicious--my only complaint is that we weren't really hungry enough to try a full array of what the menu had to offer (which is one of the few things that makes me wish I could spend more time in a city that had a dining option like this--where I could go to a restaurant more than once and really try out various options).
Thursday, August 2, 2012
Wednesday, August 1, 2012
Of course, he doesn't actually turn anything because he dies while in yet another rehabilitation center trying to control his heroin addcition, but if Garcia would be 70, then I too am getting up there. There are plenty of examples of 1960's rock 'n roll icons who are now well past the age of traditional retirement, but they continue to ply their trade. That is largely a good thing--for me in particular it is great because I share musical tastes with my children. The music of my youth is not irrelevant to them, and for them, knowing what I like can guide them in pointing me in the direction of new music.
But as I have said before, for me the Grateful Dead were not just about the music. It was the social aspect as well. I loved sitting in the same spot, show after show--the Phil side of the stage, as near to the first row of the first balcony as was possible when the show was general admission. There were the people I traveled with and the people I would see at the show, and then the people I only knew at shows, people I would never see again. The music was essential, there is no way around that. Once Jerry was dead, it was never quite the same. But the crowd was at least as much of the allure as the band. It was a little bit like theater--some of the show was when the lights were off, but some of it was when the lights were on, and I loved both parts. The players were different, but there was a predictable audience who wore remarkable clothes and expressed creativity--some of it annoying, some of it inspiring, and some of it just entertaining--but it was like no other place that I have been.
I saw the Dead literally hundreds of times over 20 plus years. Some people go to sporting events. Some are into opera. For a very long time concerts in general and the Grateful Dead in particular were my nirvana, the place I loved best. It is funny to think about it now. What have I replaced it with? What fills that spot in my life? Now I travel without there being a concert to go to--I do my people watching in cafes and museums and on the streets, rather than between sets in a smoke-filled arena. But I miss being able to see those people, all in one place at one time. The arena changed, the crowd stayed the same, and I loved that place. It was like an early precursor to a flash mob. I am so glad I spent as much time as I did with the Grateful Dead, and I remember it ever so fondly. RIP Jerry.