Not Just a Bag of Avocados

On the way home from a beautiful memorial service for my friend and stylist, Henry Nguyen, I stopped at the grocery store and grabbed a bag of avocados (among other items) without thinking. It wasn’t until I unpacked them at home that I realized Henry was talking to me! I’m keeping this label and the rosary he brought back for me from Mary’s house in Ephesus, Turkey together on my desk. Rest in peace, my friend….

“The Word for World is Forest”

I bought this today! I saw it in 3D in London with my family over Christmas and loved it. Even as I was watching, I knew the story was extremely derivative, but enjoyed it nonetheless.

My elective class is just ending a unit on Language, Gender and Culture and beginning study of a science fiction novel called The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin. In researching background to present to my students I realized that another story in the Hainish cycle, of which Left Hand is a part, I learned that the plot of her 1976 novel The Word for World is Forest (and the 1972 novella that preceded it) is eerily similar to Avatar. So what do you have to say about *that*, Mr. Cameron!?

Anyway, doesn’t that sound like plenty sufficient curricular connection for me to justify showing Avatar during class time? 😉

Knitting content: nothing since the Baby Booties were finished. I have been shuffling through some OTN (on the needles) projects to decide what to finish next, though.

Sad Puppy

Our poor doggie Dusty has been sad ever since DD returned to London. He hangs out in her room a lot, although he’s underfoot when I’m home. My hugs must not be as high quality as hers!

Knitting content: I finished both booties! Now I only need the ribbons for the ties. I’m not a fan of the super skinny crocheted ties. Pictures of the final product to come.

Silver Service

Today’s picture is of the Silver Tea Service that DH’s mom gave us about a year ago. She had begun laying out some family treasures and asking each of the children (DH has 14 siblings) what they would like, so she could distribute them equitably. We fell in love with these pieces and she set them aside for us. Little did we know then that she would be unable to complete her distribution or completely fill the bankers boxes she had labeled with each child’s name. I blogged earlier about the Mother’s Day card DH had given her at about age 5 or 6 that she included in his box. What a treasure!

The set was pretty tarnished when we acquired it. It’s looking much better after about three polishings, but has a ways to go yet. A lot of post-Easter events have me thinking especially often of Mom. It strikes me as poignant and appropriate to use Silver (her lovely hair) and Service (her vocation) to describe both her and her gift to us.

Perfect Poached Eggs Redux

This was today’s breakfast! I poached two more eggs using the plastic wrap pocket method (be still, my arteries) so that I could fully document the entire process. See my Flickr set called Perfect Poached Eggs for the entire sequence.I plated my lovely, silky eggs with Mushroom Fried Rice and some Filipino Pork Tocino, a deliciously salty companion to the otherwise naked eggs.

As my friend MissM observed in yesterday’s comments, the premiere episode of FoodMob on the Revision3 network featured Poached Eggs! Great Minds Think Alike. 😉 I added my alternative cooking method the the FoodMob Flickr set and tried to add my two cents to the forums, but apparently I’m not an approved member yet. Later…. If you haven’t ever seen a Revision3 show, go check them out! Most are tech-related, but they are all uber fun! My favorites are AppJudgment, ScamSchool, Tekzilla, and The Digg Reel.

Knitting content: I had to frog my first baby bootie because of a mistake I couldn’t live with. Also, I wanted to incorporate an improvement I made in the second bootie into the new first bootie, so I’m only a little over halfway done with that project now. Oh well. The baby would probably never have noticed, but I would always know!

PERFECT Poached Eggs

I’m an adventurous cook, but ultimately also lazy and cheap. Therefore, as much as I adore eating freshly poached eggs, I’ve never wanted to invest the time and eggs to practice the “tip egg into a vortex of swirling vinegar water” method of poaching eggs. I invested in a set of these silicone egg poachers with moderate success, and only today learned that I can increase my success by drizzling in a little olive oil to reduce sticking and lowering the water temperature to barely boiling.

Also today I experienced a EUREKA moment! This website describes a foolproof method for beautiful and tasty poached eggs every time.  The clear wrap method produced the egg on the left of my picture, and the oiled silicone cup method produced the right egg. Both were silky and delicious, but the clear wrap egg is clearly the prettiest and easiest.

Now to master a perfect hollandaise sauce!

Better Now Than Later …

and better late than never. But the best is Just Do It!

I haven’t posted in a while, always with the excuse that I have so much to catch up on that I want to do it right. Then I never find the time to do it right, so it doesn’t get done at all. No more! I hereby resolve to post a 365 Project EVERY day, even if it’s crap.

Today’s borderline crap picture is my latest favorite Eat Right for Your Blood Type diet snack, some Mac N Cheese Puffs of rice and corn purchased from Sprouts Market, I think. I have a special Yummy Food notebook at my  Evernote account that I can even store locally on my iPhone of pictures of food to remember. I even have a Yucky Food notebook too, so I don’t inadvertently buy something I already determined is drek.

One reason I’ve been so manic lately has been 3 days in a row of professional development meetings. Monday was about 8 to 2 for teachers of English Language learners. The presentation on Active Teaching was fabulous, as was the departmental work right after lunch. Tuesday I reunited all day with my colleagues from the UCI Writing Project Summer Institute. We participated in a great lesson on Cognitive Strategies that I was able to adapt to use the NEXT day. Then Wednesday afternoon was a 3 hour meeting of UCI WP2, a group of UCI WP Fellows from many years past in which we honored some award-winning student writers and heard extensive reviews of books on 21st century Literacy. Hmm…. It sounds pretty awful and dry when I write it like that, but all 3 presentations were very engaging and inspirational.

Knitting content: I am minutes away from finishing a pair of  baby booties in my go-to pattern from Fuzzy Galore. Here is a picture of one of them, since I will NOT wait until I have completed both before posting a picture.

Note to self: See? Now was that really so painful? Every day! Go, go, go….

Happy Birthday, Dusty!

Here’s our sweet goggie Dusty, patiently awaiting his birthday treat from Three Dog Bakery on the day he turned 12 years old. He will have his other puppy treats at tomorrow’s meals. We believe in stringing out celebrations for days in this family.

I’ve missed posting over the last few days because I’m on Spring Break! I’ll have lots to catch up on, but for now it feels good to take a break from everything.  Also, I’m enjoying having my wonderful DD back home for a few weeks as she prepares for finals. It’s fun to have someone else to cook gluten-free for, too.

Soy Crisps Fail; Singing Win

Today’s pix are to remind myself NEVER to consume these items again! I don’t care if Newman’s Own is a philanthropic brand, this snack food is is foul. Apropos of which, so are these meatless, soyless southwestern chik’n wings. Actually, in fairness, the crust was not-awful spicy, but the texture was not found in nature. *shiver*

All negativism aside, though, I’m in a pretty good mood. DH and I attended two Lenten masses in a row, Holy Thursday and Good Friday. I learned something new on Thursday, a ritual call Reposition where the Eucharist is physically moved out of the sanctuary in a procession. We thought it was scheduled for several hours after mass, but I guess they combined the two and many more people got to participate.  Then tonight was a lovely Good Friday reading of the Passion. What made it special was a small choir that sang the part of the Crowd and sung responses that included the whole congregation. The familiar story was more engaging and moving than I’d ever experienced before. It was also nice to connect with people we don’t usually see because we attend different masses.

It occurs to me that I don’t talk near enough about the first interest for which I named this blog. I think I’ve been in more positive moods lately because I’ve been singing weekly, and even daily during the rehearsals for Faculty Follies. Duh! Singing = happy times. I need to send myself this memo more often.

Knitting content: the DNA Scarf is blocked, dry, ends woven in, and packed up for gift presentation. I’m now selecting my travel projects for my visit to my mom’s for Easter. (Attention burglars: DH will still be at home so don’t even bother!)