okrablossom: jasmine tea blossom open in mug (tea blossom)
Book this week I finished that was ok: Midwinter Blood

Book this week I am probably not going to pick up again because the author thinks it makes him look cool to mention he has a TS clearance in his bio: Superposition.

Book that was an enjoyable read, very cute, but whose sequel I probably won't get: The Confectioner's Guild

Book that is the requisite police procedural [and which I enjoyed]: Lies Sleeping

Book into which I thoroughly sunk and am glad existed to get me through two days: Cast in Oblivion

How have your books been recently?
okrablossom: jasmine tea blossom open in mug (tea blossom)
Books I've read recently that I've really really enjoyed: Django Wexler's Ship of Smoke and Steel [kinda creepy fantasy with intriguing magic and some nice relationships], Jim Hines' Terminal Uprising [made me laugh out loud but also touched some genuine deep emotions], Louise Penny's Bury Your Dead [for the reasons I love most of her books: language, love, the hard work of doing right], Yoon Ha Lee's Dragon Pearl [for an old story through new (to me) lenses]. Oh! And Terrance Hayes' American Sonnets for My Past and Future Assassin for seriousness and beauty and Huda Fahmy's Yes, I'm Hot in This for the puns and the perspective.

And thank goodness I've got more library books stacked up, as there's snow on the way!

Orange Prep

Feb. 5th, 2019 10:05 am
okrablossom: (apples)

kitchen island covered in baked squash split open and carrot pickles

This weekend we tried out a squash bolognese sauce [which I think I adapted poorly to the slow cooker, sigh] and made carrot pickles to go into a brussels sprout salad. At this point in the preparation, I was taken by all the orange covering the kitchen island :)

Icon Meme

Jan. 31st, 2019 10:22 am
okrablossom: (Default)
[personal profile] itsamellama asked about some of my icons and so here we go...

  1. A few years ago we went to our usual orchard in the fall and bought as many of their heirloom apples as we could. These were mostly ones that we hadn't tried before, like Cox's Orange Pippins and Chenango Strawberries. They weren't all as tasty as I was hoping, but they certainly looked pretty.

  2. Back in 2012 I ran a Kickstarter to subvert gender stereotypes in science and this is Olivia, of the title (and LEGO fame), and a robot she made to help show off a stretch goal. (The stories are available as small ebooks here if you're interested.)

  3. I think I wanted a productivity icon and this, a brand-spanking-cleaned-off desk, was supposed to represent that. I'd do it differently now, probably use a bunch of scribbled-on notebooks :)
okrablossom: jasmine tea blossom open in mug (tea blossom)
(in the northern hemisphere)

kitchen island full of bread, cookies, pears, grapefruit, sausages, and frittata
okrablossom: jasmine tea blossom open in mug (tea blossom)
Old ones, new ones, I...don't recall enough covers to say if there's a blue one.

I thought The Unexpected Mrs. Pollifax was delightful and cozy and did an excellent job of pushing the boundaries of what was believable while making me believe. Mystery and espionage of a senior citizen sort.

Kate Alice Marshall's I Am Still Alive was an excellent thriller with a teen protagonist (whose reaction to her injury/disability I was completely inspired by) in the middle of nowhere Canada out to survive and maybe enact some revenge.

Greg van Eekhout's Voyage of the Dogs was cute and cozy scifi and made me teary (and I am not a dog person).

The first volume of A Girl Called Echo, subtitled The Pemmican Wars, had a beautiful but tough edge to the graphics and began two stories, one of Echo herself and one about her ancestors that I am desperate to hear more of.


Dec. 6th, 2018 03:07 pm
okrablossom: (somerville watercolor)
Like the thirty seconds of scratch before the record starts---becoming part of the music...

I'm a writer and a reader. (If you're interested in the writing stuff, you can sub to my writing journal feed.) Here on DW I mostly talk about the latest haul from the farmers market and what I've been cooking. My hope is to post more squeeing about books, so, um, look forward to that?

I wish you all warmth and light and, if you're new to DW: welcome!
okrablossom: (apples)
First, [personal profile] yomikoma
jointed the turkey. )

I took the lovely squash

squashed it )
for roasting while the apple sauce [old apples, ugh] was
in the slow cooker. )

We tried out a number of bbq sauces

and eventually tossed one over
the pork in the larger slow cooker )
which made an excellent dinner.


Nov. 6th, 2018 09:49 am
okrablossom: (apples)
If you're in the U.S., please please vote today.
okrablossom: (apples)

October rose

Even if it's badly lit, a blooming rose was the last thing I expected to see when I made it home today from a slog. I thought perhaps you all could use a little surprise beauty as well.
okrablossom: (scientific method)
Books I have thoroughly enjoyed lately: E.R.C. Lorac's Bats in the Belfry, Theodora Goss' European Travels for the Monstrous Gentlewoman, Martha Wells' Rogue Protocol, Maria Dahvana Headley's The Mere Wife, and Charlotte Perkins Gilman's Moving the Mountain. A list of five books makes a post, right? I hope you all are doing well.
okrablossom: (scientific method)
If I read it on Tuesday, does it still count?

Rebecca Roanhorse's Trail of Lightning is absolutely fabulous. Fast-paced but thoughtful, delightful leads whose opposite inclinations make them strong as well as a source of good banter. Post-apocalyptic. A Navajo heroine. Wonderful found families. Incredible magic. I encourage you to read it if you like any of those things.

Other excellent books lately include The City of Brass [Chakraborty] and what I've read so far of Falling in Love with Hominids [Hopkinson]. There have also been a lot of Egyptian history books, but I'm grading those on a different scale :)


Jun. 3rd, 2018 06:34 pm
okrablossom: (Default)
We're trying out a new farm share. This one is curated, which I find both hilarious and wonderful, especially as they are sending me my choice of protein (fish!), a reasonable amount of veg, eggs, and greek yogurt. All from local farmers. Each week they send a small sweet treat and a small savory treat.

The bagels got sliced and frozen, the donut holes eaten, the salmon and asparagus roasted:

and the chard and onions were seconded into soup prep

because Yoon Ha Lee posted a ramen crockpot recipe that looks great. And tomorrow's high temperature here is 54. Hello, June?
okrablossom: (Yule Feast)

ingredients chopped and measured out for later cooking

Hope you all are doing well!
okrablossom: (apples)
While many recipes tell you oh just substitute strands of spaghetti squash for pasta! I think the only one I've made so far that actually tastes really good with squash instead of pasta, is Half-Baked Harvest's Dad's Friday Night Pasta Dish [which in theory you ought to be able to read here but I was getting an error], possibly because it was never intended to use squash. I made a few adjustments: of course, I didn't bake it for an hour because there is no pasta to cook, and I left out the water for the same reason, but I also mixed the grated Havarti and Parmesan into the squash with the spices [and probably the mozzarella if I bothered to shred it] and sun-dried tomatoes [with oil!] so that the squash got evenly flavored. It must be eaten hot though! And I would totally double the amount of spice I use, next time.

I finished our dried basil while I was making it yesterday and, since then, I've had and we'll all go together, to pick wild mountain thyme running through my head. Folks, I've got Camp Nano and NaPoWriMo going on this month, I can't be constantly listening to other people's lyrics :)
okrablossom: (Default)

jars full of prepared ingredients waiting to be combined into dinner

I hope this finds you all well. It may be a bit odd to confess I found myself thinking of my DW friends as I got out the food we'd chopped and jarred last night in preparation for me making dinner tonight, but it's true. I hope you're comfortable where you are, maybe with sunshine or a hot mug of something. Spring must be coming, as the days of March are ticking on by.

Bonus points if you can guess what I made for dinner from the picture :)

okrablossom: jasmine tea blossom open in mug (tea blossom)

ingredients for meat sauce

Here is my army arrayed, except for the canned tomatoes and spices which I got out as I was saute-ing meat and veg. It is February. I think I have to concede that this year has been very difficult so far and all my energy is going to writing and taking care of myself, my family, and friends. Not DW. I am still here, I am still listening, but I think it may be a while before I'm posting more. Take care. Keep warm.
okrablossom: (apples)

table full of food from the farmers market

last night's dinner

I hadn't really intended to turn the one into the other—and there's really only the potatoes and rutabagas that got so transformed—but I am so happy I could manage the walk home from the farmers market, that I got to wander through the market in the midst of our local bounty, that dinner was a ludicrously tasty affair, that I took pictures and wanted to share. I hope your weekend has been as full of flavor and togetherness as mine.
okrablossom: (apples)

baked oatmeal and sweet potato pie

I didn't end up with much oomph for the day after this and, sadly, the baked oatmeal didn't turn out as I had hoped—but that may just be baked oatmeal, I am too inexperienced to know—but it's a happy picture and it's happy-making to know there is pie all week for snack. Sweet potato pie is somehow turning out to be something sweet that's also filling and also, well, full of nutrients. [Go, potassium, Vitamin A, B-6, C, magnesium, and small levels of iron and calcium.]

I hope you also have something to look forward to this week, even if it is something as small [and perhaps special!] as a piece of pie.
okrablossom: (apples)

Sunday we made bread—I'm finally just doubling the yeast to something ridiculous and letting it rise until it's risen, which is turning out great—and meatballs and pickled golden beets with eggs and tried out two new recipes, the Half Baked Harvest cookbook's one pan spaghetti casserole [that's my name for it, not their's] and their slow-cooker butter chicken. So far all has been tasty and looks fancy, even.

As for this month's ink, it has all been pen. I am not an #inktober type, it appears.
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