anotheranon: (790)
I don't think I would have believed in the record early snowfall if I hadn't been out in it (my hair was pushing down my ears so cut COULD NOT WAIT). Happily there was enough to be pretty, but warm enough so it didn't mess up the roads (though visibility was tough).

Watched the 2011 "Jane Eyre" and enjoyed it - I thought the acting was great, and the actress playing Jane Eyre was suitably plain but Michael Fassbender was miscast as Rochester, not because he can't perform the Broody McBrooderson but because he's too damn pretty. ObCostume: I'm no 19th c. expert so I'm not sure how accurate they were, but I'm reminded why I think the 1820s-40s "Dickens"-era women's clothing is among the least flattering of any historical period: the dresses that look like they belong on china dolls, the hair that looks like dog's ears - though the bodice construction is fascinating (are those front panels bias cut?)

Cold weather calls for alpaca socks (so springy, not to warm or too cold!), chicken biryani, and cocoa brownies. These suckers may keep me up later than I'd like :P
anotheranon: (foodporn)
Alton Brown's bake-off with his grandmother:

(this is part 1 - the link for part 2 shows up when it finishes)

I should add: don't take on your own Ma Mae in the kitchen. Unless you're a professional chef like Brown your biscuits will NEVER be as good as hers.
anotheranon: (busy)
Today I caught up with all the home maintenance/chores that got shelved over the weekends that I was away/at play:

Did most of the weekly mountain of laundry. I still don't know how only 2 of us generate this much dirty linen - I suspect a lot of it is new sheets that need to be washed and, ahem, soiled cat carrier bedding from the recent trips to the vet.

Instant gratification sewing projects: after finishing the kirtle in (for me) record time, I've decided to do some accessorizing in the form of headwear. This one took two evenings to cut out and complete:

Green Elizabethan bonnet with pleated crown and narrow brim

More "top-hatty" than I expected, but I had to make the brim smaller than Tudor Tailor pattern for it to fit me, and I didn't make proportional changes to the crown. Still, I like it, and I can dress it up with pins or badges.

It's sitting on a perfect on-grain yard of linen that I cut for a headrail out of the ~3 1/2 yards I picked up in Philly. It doesn't show in the photo, but it's not snow white - there's a beige/pinkish tinge which I rather like.

Speaking of Philly also gave the City Tavern's sweet potato biscuit recipe a swing this morning and was much pleased with the results.

Also cut some chain/fixed some clasps for necklaces that have needed repair for awhile. Well, not really repair as remodeling - lobster clasps are easier to manipulate when my hands are cold/numb than the regular ring variety.

Most of the evening was spent typing up a massive update for an online costume exhibit listing I contribute to. I'd unfortunately allowed it to get far out of date. Now to find someone who can actually post to the website...
anotheranon: (Default)
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anotheranon: (foodporn)
Ever since renewing my acquaintance with pork gravy while in Atlanta last, I've had a craving for it. This morning I finally had the time to follow that up.

This gravy goes by a lot of different names: white gravy, milk gravy, sausage gravy. My mom prefers to make it with sausage, but my dad made it with pork chops and I gather my grandmother did as well because he always considered his mama's the superior version - I remember one weekend I got up late and found my dad over the stove with pork chops and flour at the ready :)

recipes )

My results: Not quite in "liquid love" territory yet, but brought enough umami to salt/pepper into shape. Next try will be with bacon - I'm hoping the salt/smoke will bring more flavor to the final result. And it's an excuse to fry up a rasher (is that the right word?) of bacon ;)
anotheranon: (foodporn)
This is the first of what will hopefully be many posts about the Italy trip :)

I thought about going chronologically but that could be a trying write (and possibly read), so I'm posting by subject. And let me tell you what, the food and wine of Florence is worth writing reams about!

I'm not a foodie but I've always listened to those who are, figuring they know more than I do. I'd heard only good things about Italian food, wine, and gelato and was looking forward to good cooking, but I had no idea it would be in such delicacy and abundance. With one exception (overdry grilled rabbit) the food everywhere was *spectacular* - fresh ingredients, well combined and handled, prepared excellently!

oil and vinegar )

Though we prepared some things at "home" (ravioli, hand made that morning!), we did eat out a lot and it was worth every penny. Cute animals are tasty! Rabbit, lamb, and some of the uglier ones too (boar). I had spaghetti carbonara that didn't hit me over the head with "bacon bacon bacon!", and that was true of almost everything we ate - always subtle in flavor, never too much, and I only felt really stuffed once even though 2 courses preceded by antipasti is the norm (we were walking everywhere, and that helped, but is another post).

chocolate, including gelato! )

espresso and other caffeines )

A couple of notes on the social aspects of eating: it seems to me that food is a social occasion in Florence in a way that it isn't here. Waiters are paid a reasonable wage and tipping is rare, so there's no reason to rush you out the door. Dinner is late and lingering, with several (moderately sized) courses followed by coffee. Breakfast is small (coffee + bun or other bready thing) but after a late, huge dinner I didn't really want anything in the morning.

a nice chianti and demon Limoncello )

Bringin' it home - like I said, we shipped the olive oil and vinegar, but I don't know how I'm going to translate the gastronomic ecstacies back home. I'm not a bad cook but not a joyous or experimental one either - mostly I just want to eat something filling and healthy in the evenings. However, that was before I realized just how much there is to savor and appreciate. I've definitely learned the value of fresh/complementary ingredients and eating slowly.

Suggestions for future visitors to Florence: eat without hinderance - it will always be good, frequently spectacular, worth the $ and leisure, and you WILL walk it off. And go here and have the rabbit - it falls off the bone! Extra cup of Vestri hot chocolate in it for ya if you bring me their cook! :P
anotheranon: (foodporn)
[ profile] geekchick's posting about a new spice shop opening up nearby reminded me:

A week or so ago I got bored of the usual and tried this chicken Makhani. Smelled great in the pan, was warm but flavorless on the tongue. Salt helped, but not much. All of which is a damn pity because I love tomato sauces when prepared well but have never been able to mix one myself that doesn't resemble wallpaper paste.

If anyone has any recommendations of how to make tomato sauce (be it Indian, Italian or other) more tomatoey ("tomato++"?) I'd love to hear it.
anotheranon: (Default)
Today it was roughly 17F, with a not insignificant wind chill of much lower, due to the high winds.

Yes, yes, I know - most of you have it worse. I agree, but that's not why I'm posting.

Today D. admitted for the first time... er... ever (?) that he felt the chill a bit, after walking to the grocery for some bread. He even has the chapped cheeks to show for it :P

Yes, he was almost certainly a polar bear in a previous life :P

Completely changing the subject, but definitely worth changing it for: all pots de creme, all the time. I note with much pleasure that there is such a thing as Bailey's pot de creme! Courtesy [ profile] danicia.
anotheranon: (foodporn)
I seem to be posting a lot about food of late. I've probably posted this before as well, but it's so good it bears repeating:

If you've not done so already, make Alton Brown's Cocoa Brownies. You'll thank me, once you manage to reform your choco-blissed-out pool of melted flesh into a form that can vocalize.

For extra chocolately oomph, add dark or milk chocolate chips to preference.

That is all.
anotheranon: (foodporn)
Chocolate may boost brain power. Evidently milk chocolate is best, but surely dark is ok in a pinch :P

So, obviously, vast consumption of chocolate at the Medieval Congress is a good idea, because it enables you to better assimilate and comprehend the knowledge acquired.

Possible exception: I suspect that the vodka in chocolate martinis may counterbalance the chocolate's "brain power" effects. Clearly, more research in the field is needed to test this hypothesis.

Yes, still been too busy to do a Congress post. Suffice it to say, there was a lot of chocolate, of both the alcoholic and non varieties.
anotheranon: (foodporn)
Via [ profile] thalionar: NaughtyCurry.Com, "Playing with Indian Spices to jazz up your humdrum grub". Regrettably the heathen(s) who designed it didn't take Firefox into account when they made this site, but I might be able to forgive them if some of these recipes are as good as they look....Mother of God and all her wacky nephews, the Italian-Indian hybrid looks mighty tasty - I've been looking for a spaghetti sauce with some "oomph"...

Also, wonderfully funny commentary.

This gets bookmarked, methinks....

Edit 5/23: Seems to be working in Firefox now.
anotheranon: (foodporn)
A recipe from the international potluck at work of a couple of weeks ago that's too good not to share. Full text under the snip for those who can't get to the page for one reason or another:

Recipe )

Two out of two people in this house agree - this thing is sinful! I'm going to make it for Thanksgiving at my mom's, but D. insists we really must "trial run" it here first. So I won't display deficient mad cooking skillz in front of my mom, you see...;)

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