Mar. 2nd, 2017 09:51 am
okrablossom: jasmine tea blossom open in mug (tea blossom)
I had meant to write here more often, I thought it might be grounding and uplifting. Yes, laugh. But something positive.

So, now that I've missed the Wednesday reading meme, here's what I've been reading.

I just finished Sarah McCarry's About a Girl which I enjoyed the beginning and ending of; I dislike extended dream states where the main character is continually thwarted because Magic, oh, and also Sex, additionally Just Plain Not There Secondary Characters, it feels nightmarish to me, but your mileage may vary. It had a lot of wonderful physics and astronomy, mostly as metaphor, but it was still good.

I am in the middle of Kameron Hurley's The Stars are Legion. Were I a person who could picture things easily, I'm sure I would be grossed out. As it is, the mystery presented by the story is so far more compelling than the amnesiac main character but sufficiently compelling to keep me reading of said amnesiac's adventures.

I am hoping to pick up Brooke Borel's latest, since I'm sure the library will want it back soon for other patrons, and a how-to poetry book that is not in demand—sigh—and the latest issue of Science which is upside-down staring at me.

Last week I enjoyed Mur Lafferty's Six Wakes and Kathryn Eskine's Mockingbird [not speculative, but a solid realism story with a neuroatypical narrator] and Caitlin Levine's "A Love Confession at the End of the Universe". That last one is short, give it a read.
okrablossom: (somerville watercolor)

drinks, stratified

These were a good thing. So was today's rain. So was most of the email recently that's been triggering me. I hate it when good things are triggers. I am muddling through. I had thought external factors were finally going to slow down and let me go at my own pace, but that's not to be. I'm doing the best I can not to lose myself over my limits. You take care of yourselves, too, please.
okrablossom: (apples)
So far this weekend: slow cooker pot roast, a large batch of Greeny Bowl, slow cooker chicken tikki masala [about which I am unimpressed but [profile] yomikomi is happy with], and some Indian-style mushrooms. But I know by the middle of the week I'll want something that tastes different, to mix it all up. I also know I won't have the energy then to actually cook and I'll end up starving, hangry, and eating all the wrong sorts of things, which is most emphatically not good.

Hence we have deconstructed the soup. I think I got this recipe from Diane Morgan's Roots: the Definitive Compendium but I've just got a photocopy, so apologies for misattribution. In this recipe, the author "cheats" by using a rotisserie chicken's bones to make stock, and then throws in celeriac, the rotisserie chicken meat, greens, and mushrooms. So, we divvied all of that up, chopped, torn, etc., and packaged it up to go into the slow cooker later in the week. Tomorrow I'll throw in the stock bits with water and bouillon for a few hours, and the resulting stock can go in the fridge. Wednesday I'll throw the celeriac, chicken, stock, greens, and mushrooms in the slow cooker again and it will be dinner. Woot.

Or so I hope. Have any of you done anything like this before?

deconstructed soup
okrablossom: (somerville watercolor)

this week's haul from the farmers market

We still have pasties and meat sauce and just a bit more pork roast and carrot+parsnip soup, so everything here but the eggs and apples was really a bit superfluous. I also know we'll gobble it up. The tat soi is for the dragon tofu. The bacon is for breakfast. The cheese is for me. I am not sharing.
okrablossom: (Yule Feast)

greeny bowl salad

There have been a number of wonderful foods lately, from this greeny bowl salad [adapted from Sprouted Kitchen Bowl & Spoon, I think I got that name right] and the rutabaga pasties [adapted from River Cottage Veg].

The best thing, though, has been cooking dinner after eating it. I recommend this. It means you're never hungry while cooking which is an enormous plus for me. It takes a moment of planning ahead, because it means that Monday night, say, you eat something you've already made, then after you eat, you cook something else so that you have dinner made for Tuesday. It had honestly never occurred to me before to invert this cooking-and-eating ordering but it has made a difference to our happiness levels. I mean, you still spend the same amount of time cooking but I'm usually in a better mood, and less tired, to do it.

I saw a recipe recently for slow-cooker pulled chicken which then suggested three recipes in which to use said chicken and I thought, I like this idea. Make enough chicken for a handful of recipes but not have to eat the same chicken dish all week? Sounds good. But their recipes just really didn't work for me, so I thought, hey, maybe you folks had some recipes for leftover chicken you'd be willing to share?
okrablossom: (apples)

None of it tasted belated, even if we had it Thursday morning. The star bread had a crusty exterior and cinnamon sugar inside. There was salt and bite to the eggs. There were creamy Asian pears and supremed citrus [thank you [personal profile] yomikoma] drizzled sweet by maple-lime sauce.

That seems like plenty to call back the light.
okrablossom: (somerville watercolor)
I have been writing and reading and revising and doing yoga often 5 times a week and in general being vocal on other parts of the internet. But I like hearing how you all are doing so know I'm still reading. And I am doing okay, sometimes even good, which is still so new and amazing that I can't always believe it.

New Veg

Dec. 18th, 2016 11:00 am
okrablossom: (apples)
I found out about a local meal-delivery service that sources from local farmers. Even, ahem, now, during the winter. I was excited about their setup for a couple of reasons:

  1. Local veg.

  2. They told us to put out a cooler with cold packs for them to leave the food in. Reuse instead of recycling or waste!

We tried it last week, with the rutabaga pie. I liked the packaging:

which was reusable/recyclable butcher paper and twine. Inside that package were three bags and a recyclable container:

That's a bag of shredded celeriac and onions; a bag of chopped rutabaga, potatoes, carrots, broccoli; a bag of of dough. The container had the pot pie gravy.

I have no idea if this was intentional but I realized: by cutting up the veg for me, that means they can use ugly vegetables. Which I think is awesome and reduces waste. Plus, that's actually a lot less work for me. So that was a real, unexpected plus.

So we sauteed the veg and mixed in the gravy and rolled out the dough [perhaps a tad too thin but whatever] and baked it up:

And then there was pot pie. It was pretty tasty. There's no way I think this was two servings, like they said, but I was really happy to find they included nutritional information with the serving numbers.

So, while their website is awful and their name rather silly, we're going to try them again this week. Veg bi bim bap. We'll see how that goes.
okrablossom: (apples)

My favorite spicy-sweet marinated tofu, roasted tomatoes with garlic and thyme, sautéed tat soi, and fancy bread. It was amazing.
okrablossom: (apples)
On the whole, this has been the worst October for many years, perhaps as many as 7. Hmm. Yes, 7.

So I'd like to remember the lovely outing with apples and the hedge maze. I'd like to remember that VP was good. I'd like to remember spending two hours talking GW with Bill. I'd like to remember birthday flowers from France. I'd like remember to managing to get to a Write Write meetup for the first time in months. I'd like to remember Juni's dance classes and chatting with her mom. I'd like to remember that the weather has been autumnal. I'd like to remember talking with one of my oldest friends every 2 weeks for the past month and uh half. On that note, I'd like to remember that there are a number of people who genuinely care about me but just don't happen to live close enough in real space for touching.

More light, more light, say the poets. More hugs, too.


Oct. 13th, 2016 09:27 am
okrablossom: (scientific method)
I recently finished re-reading The Three Musketeers. Love the banter, hate the sexism. I had forgotten a great deal of the second half of the story, so it was a fun ride [with judicious skipping of text].

I read Angela Cervantes' Allie, First at Last and that was an excellent teen adventure that made me cry [in a good way].

I re-read all the Megan Whalen Turner books about Gen + Co. and that just re-convinced that they go downhill [but start really really high].

I enjoyed Sarah Beth Durst's new one, The Queen of Blood, for how determination is what won Our Heroine her goals. [Also, intriguing world-building and a spectacular use of viewpoint in magic.]

I read Sonny Liew's The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye and that was fabulous. Highly recommended.

Through all this, I have been sustained by a focused re-read of Richard Wilbur's collected poems.

I suspect next week I will be reading a lot of other people's manuscripts. It is nearly time to leave for VP.
okrablossom: (apples)

farmers market haul

It is definitely autumn. We walked home carrying all this—plus the apples we've already eaten, the chicken thighs, the pork roast, the eggs—in the rain and chill. Up the hill. Wearing my new bright orange sweater.

I am happy for it, in so many ways. Perhaps there will be some slowing-down. There will also be some speed-racing, some new friends, some tests of self. There will be long leggings, the heaters ticking on and off in yoga, the stars coming down earlier.

I am looking forward to hot chocolate, to baking cookies, to squash soup and mashed potatoes. I am looking forward to putting more words down on the page. I hope to poem more this month, maybe even daily, because I deserve it. I hope, most of all, for calm and energy.

What are you hoping to do with this month?


Sep. 11th, 2016 01:53 pm
okrablossom: jasmine tea blossom open in mug (tea blossom)
Last weekend even the weather admitted it was autumn. Today it is not meteorology but structural engineering that perplexes.

Last weekend I spun around the kitchen dancing to Dar Williams' songs, our annual invocation to fall. Today I am lost in a book, in writing a poem, in something that will push away the past.

A reminder to myself that to move forward is the only testament to those no longer here. Let in more light.
okrablossom: (scientific method)
Alison Hawthorne Deming says,

And writing poetry is an act of dissent in at least three ways: economically, because a poet labors to make a thing which will never be worth money; temporally, because the poem is an argument with the corrosive passage of time; and politically, because in an age of aggregate data, it insists on the passionate importance of the individual.

okrablossom: (Default)
I mean, before they turn to seeds?

The only good thing to come from this drought/heat wave has been a fistful of okra.

6 okra pods

Well, and the realization that that's a good spot for growing veg.

I could use some dancing in the rain.
okrablossom: (somerville watercolor)
Golden beets, when sliced raw, are the color of sunset and ripe nectarines, their interiors mysterious with concentric rings. I have been having too much fun with cold-steeping tea, although I would rather not think too hard about why I've been having to drink so much cold liquid. We dissassembled five chickens today, spatchcock, half-cock, bone-in breasts, wings, and spines. The green ink has arrived; I hope it fits one of my myriad pens. I am grateful for the dropping temperature.
okrablossom: (electron density)
Yesterday included yardwork and gardening (transplanting and mulching and pulling the grapes and handcutting the grass between the stones) and making two loaves of bread, marinating chicken, sauteing some veg and putting it all together in a salad, throwing some brown bread in the slow cooker so I could have an easy sweet later, and laundering the dirty clothes. [And then sort of collapsing on the futon.] It did not really feel like a weekend at all. Does that mean I can take today off? If only there weren't so much writing I want to do...
okrablossom: (okra)
I think I have forgotten to give you all some pretty plant pictures for a long while. Here we go.

I have found a good spot for the okra and tomatoes, which incidentally fills a blank boring part of the yard. And when these come out, I think I will put in chrysanthemums. Ha!

In the middle of the terrace there are carrots and thyme and sage and a Thai hot pepper that's trying and some rather nice flowers just for looking at.

While something is eating some of the sunflowers and bean leaves, they are still trying! Also, the morning glory on the right has climbed up the pole and attached itself to the lilac bush behind the planter, which I find hilarious.

My volunteers are going to have to go—because they turned out to be grapes. I mean, some of them will have to go.

Mostly because they are overwhelming my eggplants and peppers:

Oh, and a close-up with those beautiful bean flowers. Beans! Yay!

okrablossom: (scientific method)
This is the fourth Monday in two weeks—and Mondays are really tough for me. I'm still recovering from Readercon, which was not the success I was hoping for, for health reasons, and a success in some ways [meeting people] that I hadn't even anticipated. I, uh, have been delinquent in mentioning that I am going to be part of this year's Viable Paradise class, haven't I? Also, that there's a flash fiction story up at The Future Fire that I'm rather proud of. Writing is still wonderful. Now that I have vacuumed upstairs and folded dry laundry and put the wets into the dryer perhaps I can get back to it. Take it 100 words at a time.
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