Saturday, April 26, 2008

Noel Fielding is definitely a cutie, and funny. But this fellow....
I think he might actually be my ideal man. He even chants Hare Krishna.
Look at that hair. He breaks into spontaneous Shakespeare. Also, he's a gemini. Good match.
I can't wait to read his book.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Weekend Update

Hideeho! Another really lovely week in da burgh has come and gone. The weather this week was outstanding and really made everything feel possible again. Even menstrual woes didn't keep me down! (though they did keep me home both nights this weekend eating ice cream instead of doing activities. oh well.) It was one of those weekends where I kinda had plans every night and didn't end up doing any of them. I actually am totally fine with those weekends, especially since they usually alternate with weekends where I am busy all the time.
So, this week--lots of nice weather, accomplished a ton of laundry, rebby dug up the back garden patches (it was too rainy to work on the big raised beds this weekend, but we'll get to em next weekend for sure!) I changed the comforter over to the new springy stripey cover, ate some really good meals off the grill (including some delicious wild salmon--I'm suddenly becoming obsessed with eating the oily fishes. It seems to be every where I look and I have just decided to embrace it) made a whole lotta food at the QS, and finally, finally, returned my netflix from three months ago. Which means we got to watch Dog Day Afternoon last night, and I get to invite some awesome women over to watch The Business Of Being Born this week. Wee! I'm excited. This is going to be one biz-ee week though---Monday night I have a movie date with Jilly to see Forgetting Sarah Marshall(I might as well come clean and admit that I am interested in this movie at least 85% because of Russell Brand, tho Jason Siegel is one of my favorite TV nerds), Tuesday night is VOTING!!!!! and then band practice, Wednesday might be the night to have the ladies over, Thursday night Anita Fix is on the radio, Friday night is a rescheduled engagement party, Saturday night (so far...) is free, and Sunday is a potluck with the Slow Food people. Whew! This week is gonna fly. Next week is gonna be jam packed as well! And then it's May already. Boy howdy.
Oh! I wanted to say a little something about going to the Carnegie on my day off this week. Now, I know that a)they are setting up for the international and b)dinosaurs are the big money in natural history. HOWEVER, it really blows that none of the Magrittes were on display, and it super blows that the dinosaur kingdom has taken up so much time and space and resources that the bird exhibit has totally gone to hell. The birds are all crammed into dusty old cases in a long and dimly lit hallway, and many of the birds are not even displayed--just laying flat on their stuffed little backs. I felt like I was in the Parrot Sketch, walking down this long hallway, laughing out loud to myself. It was incredibly surreal. The good news is that Alcoa gave the museum a bunch of money to fix the formerly racist native american exhibit, and now it is really positive and uplifting. There's even a mini observatory in the center with different tribes' stories about the stars. Nice. Check it out if you get the chance.
After exiting the museum I finally stopped in to the creperie for a butter and sugar crepe and a cafe au lait. I felt tres continental. Craig street and Ellsworth Ave are two parts of the city where I really feel like I'm actually somewhere else---a small coastal town in New England, maybe. It's nice to see eclectic businesses thriving in Pittsburgh!
So yeah, voting. I need to do some research to figure out what I am voting for besides Democratic presidential nominee. My choice has been made for a while, though of course "trusting" a politician, no matter how trustworthy, always leaves me feeling let down. Let's hope it doesn't happen this time. I'm really excited because my polling place is the Kingsley Center and I can't wait to see what goes on in there! It's mysterious. I'll report back.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Oh wow.
Check this out.
Another week comes to a close.
I'm a little worn out from getting all sorts of pummeled at brunch today! It wasn't insanely busy, really, but it was kinda non stop and I wasn't totally ready for it. By the time it was over I was a sore puppy! But the good news is, I sold just about everything. All the vegan lemon "buttermilk" pancakes (2 batches!) with mixed berry syrup. All the broccoli, fakin bacon and cheddar fritatta (2 of those too!)which was perhaps the prettiest fritatta I've ever made. Certainly in the top 3. All the migas. Almost all 12 cups (dry) of black beans. Most of the Moroccan Chickpea Stew, though I made a ton of that hoping to carry it over into a dinner special. It survived, but the couscous that went along did not. Boy howdy, people were on a mission to eat today! I and got to say hi to a few friends and officially meet
a couple
of people I'd only officially met on the internets before. It's nice when that happens.
After getting home and changing clothes rebby and I headed to the co-op. We were fortunately prepared today for the fact that it was member discount day--normally we accidentally go to the co-op on member day and it stresses me out. Today I was prepared and so not nearly as stressed as usual, though I swear to heavens they need like 5 more volunteers to keep on top of the bulk section on member day. That place gets MESSY! We got out with only minor scrapes, and thanks to the magic of member day, coupons, and stuff I wanted being on sale, I managed to spend less than $80. I almost always seem to spend $80 at the co-op, no matter what I go there for. Hmm. We got home and I made tacos with the ground pork rebby had been thawing. I splurged on bearitos blue corn tortilla shells and man oh man were they awesome! It was the best taco night in a long time.
So let's backtrack a bit to yesterday, yeah? We packed so much good stuff into yesterday it's going to be hard to remember it all. Firstly, we got up and out to the East Liberty Farmer's Market by 8am. Got two dozen eggs, an onion, and a cabbage. Oh, and bottle of Mrs Jones' Special Sauce, only because her husband is such a good salesman. After I had bought it I read the label only to learn that Mrs Jones' secret ingredient is ketchup with high fructose corn syrup. Oh well. We went to Home Depot for ant traps, because it's that time of year again, and the walked back home and made breakfast. Dippy eggs, bacon and toast and coffee. Watched a little political fireworks, and then we got busy making stuff: rebby dug up the rest of the garden plot next to the house while I chopped my cabbage for saurkraut. I also sliced off a little portion of my fingernail in the process. It's not that bad, really, but it stings a bunch when I get water in it so I am off dish duty for a while. (oh no! ;) Anyway, I set up my saurkraut to working, and put together a sponge for bread. Then we put all the various bottles and jars we had around in the dishwasher to sterilize them. Then rebby decanted our first batch of kombucha into some bottles--hooray! We put sliced ginger in the bottles and it's already turning the kombucha into a very tasty treat. I think we'll let the next batch sit longer though--this was a 10 day batch, and while it's good, it's not very fizzy. And it smells distinctly of easter eggs. Not in a bad way--just very definitely easter egg dye smell. Hmm. While that was going on, I zested some lemons and put up another batch of organic limoncello. That takes 80 days, so we probably won't see it till we're back from Sweden. But it's started. I used the rest of the lemons to make some honey ginger lemonade. I tell you what, it's hippie central around here! I like it.
So somewhere in all that excitement I tried to print something out from my computer (I think it was the limoncello directions) only to find that my printer was SMOKING. It finally gave up the ghost after 6 years of hard work and devotion. It's been struggling for a while now, but this was it. So a stop at Staples became necesary. First we went to Construction Junction, where we recycled, dropped the old dead printer, and got an adorable little desk for the kitchen for $15. (well, it was actually $9 by the time we applied our discounts) Then we stopped at East End for beer. They still had Dubbel trubbel, as well as two newer ones: Monkey Boy (a heffeweisen with banana and clove essences) and Wheat Hop. Rebby loved the Wheat hop--it kinda scared me. Rich the beertender described it as like being in a room with two stereos---one playing Pachabel's Canon on 3 and one playing Alice Cooper on 10. Is it any wonder I love that man? We sampled and hung out and got mildly buzzed, then we went to Staples.
Where I got this sexy beast---Lexmark x4550. It's a Wifi printer so rebby or I can print remotely from anywhere in the house! Also, it has a flat copy/scan surface which I have been wanting. Also, it TALKS. And it talks in the voice of Ol' Drippy. I am not kidding. It's pretty awesome. I mean, it's one of those deals where you have learned to accept the limitations of your 6 year old printer and then you get a RACECAR!!! It's like that.
For some reason after all that noise I decided to cook an Indian Feast for dinner. We had Tikka Chicken, green split pea dahl with carrots and potatoes, chard and kale with paneer, and papadums with tomato chutney. I felt a little bad about making all those dishes for rebby again but she was into it. And our leftover arsenal is built up once again!
I feel like I should backtrack some more over the past week but I'm drawing a blank. Except--we bought our plane tickets! It's really happening! I'm so excited I can barely stand it. We're flying into Hamburg where my friend Caroline will pick us up and install us in her house, and from there we can take little day trips to check out points of in Northern Germany. I think I'll do a little list of things we hope to see. We'll probably spend 4 or 5 days in Germany, then head up to Stockholm where I can hopefully see my rockstar buddy Ryan Roxie. He's in 18 or 19 bands right now so there's at least some chance one of them will be playing! Then we'll head south to Kelmar for rebby's friend's wedding on the 31st, then back to Hamburg to return to the US. Provided we don't get, you know, lost..... hee hee.
Ok! I've got to go watch Blank Generation now. I'll talk to ya later.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Dear friends with babies (which is a lot of you these days!)
Could you please promise me this one thing? That you will never stuff a soaked diaper into the "feminine hygiene product receptacle" in a public restroom?
Because it will have to be removed by somebody, and it will most likely fester for the better part of a day in an anaerobic environment first.
I have to admit I don't really know what the accepted public diaper changing protocol is (in cases where there isn't a clearly marked diaper receptacle next to a clearly marked changing station)but I can't imagine any right thinking individual would consider this to be a good idea. I do know that if I ever find out who did it in the back bathroom at the Quiet Storm, I am so spitting in their food.
Love, Sheryl
Hello spring, you cheeky bitch!
Your sunshine and warm weather are already making everything all better. I have so much more energy this morning than I have in ages. I spent part of my morning researching yoga and dance classes. We've had two grilled dinners in the past couple days, and we've kept up on the dishes. Tonight we're having roasted lamb with balsamic fig reduction and then we might just start digging up the yard. I love you, spring.
Yesterday was the Pennsylvania Restaurant Expo. It's beyond silly for us to even go to this thing because it's all meat meat meat fried this prepackaged cheesecake etc, but I actually did learn about a couple of things of interest AND Penn Mac had the bomb cheese table laid out right next to the craft beer distributor. We could have easily spent the entire day right there, but we soldiered on and found some other things that were yummy (Parma Sausage) and interesting. Especially GIVE bottled water. Now, going in to the bottled water biz is kind of a step back from our goals and aspirations. But, lots of people ask for it, every single day. And if we're going to go into the bottled water biz it might as well be a)local and b)helping charity. So we're looking in to it. Unfortunately, Pennsylvania's restaurant industry hasn't really caught the green bug yet, so there wasn't a whole lot else for us to get excited about. Well, there was one company that had some biodegradable packaging, but once they found out we don't use US Foodservice they didn't want to talk to us anymore. Oh well.
After the expo I went back to the restaurant to unload Frankferd and then headed home. Rebby and I decided that fish was the thing, so we went to Whole Foods and bought our first ever tilapia. She grilled it up with jerk seasoning, and boy oh boy was that good! We had some couscous from a box and arugula salad. Not the cheffiest of meals, but simple and delicious. Then came the waiting for band practice, which lasted an hour longer than it should have. Finally the boys came, and we got to business, and there were some infuriating moments but we did get some good playing in. I just had to crack the whip, which I don't like to have to do but it makes everything GO. Sigh.
I'm looking forward to a sunshiney prep day today. And perhaps starting to move around some things in the basement. Whoo!

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Alrighty's been a week! Hard to believe for me anyway.
Work was all stressful this week---I think it's growing pains, for the most part. We're getting busier all the time which means everyone has to step up their game and learn to work more efficiently. Some folks are lagging behind, and I feel like I have to be the mother hen shooing them along. Sigh. Yesterday was a great day though---it was medium busy and I was on the manager shift which means I was able to basically float around and help out where needed instead of being immediately responsible for any one thing. I made a soup and some tofu tenders and loved doing prep in the back room with classic rock on the radio and the windows open. The Saturday crew is great, and working with them is a pleasure.
Other than work, it was a pretty lazy week around here. We did have our first grill out of the season last night though---rebby grilled what I think may have been the last of our pork chops! I can't believe we've gone through them all already (though we did share with the benford shanleys) They turned out so nice! We had salad with the last of the locally grown greens I got at the farm to table conference, and some roasted fingerling potatoes I got at whole foods. Rosemary, olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper. Classic. So yummy!
Rebby also went and got a kombucha mother from our friends Tony and Ilona, and we currently have a big crock working on the counter. I sniffed it this morning and it smells like kombucha already! I want it to be plenty acidic and bubbly so we're gonna leave it a few more days. I'm getting pretty antsy to get some kimchi started! Hopefully I can make it to the east liberty market next saturday morning to pick up some cabbage. I also want to try to get a sourdough starter started, but I fear the commitment. I'm pretty happy with my yeasty whole wheat and honey bread, but I do dream of making crusty sourdoughs. It all comes down to developing some routines in our lives, I think. I've been having trouble with that since we moved in to the house, but I think spring will bring some more organization. Fingers crossed!
We also broke open the limoncello this week! Woo! It's a little less bright yellow than commercial varieties---I think because of the unrefined sugar we used. It's all organic though, and totally delicious! I can't wait to start another batch. If you come around to my house at all please remind me to give you a sample.
We've got some movement on the garden front too---we went and bought wood to build our raised beds last weekend, and rebby has a call in to her friend who knows where we can get some good dirt. So that's gonna happen soon! Last night at the dirty phases show I think I secured some help from my friend Jeffy who needs a new hobby now that his band has dissolved. We definitely want to make our garden as much as a community effort as possible---the more the merrier! We've got lots of good stuff planned, and imagining having big dinner parties with veggies grown right out the door fills me with incredible joy. It's gonna be a great summer!
So yeah, last night was the Dirty Phases show, which started out as a night where all the past members of the various incarnations of the Dirty Faces were supposed to show up to play. Turns out that at least 4 of them, including pivotal founding member Ernie, couldn't make it, so it turned into a kind of shambolic and disorganized run through. It was still great to hear some of those old songs and to rock out on the dance floor like the olden times. I took a few shitty phone cam pictures to send to Juli so she could feel like she was there. It just wasn't the same without her, that's for sure. T Glitter and Tricky held it down bigtime, and Chill was mind blowing all night long too. (she learned on Thursday that she was going to have to play all ernie's parts) There were a couple of really shitfaced people that came close to ruining the night for me. I have so little patience for that kind of public display anymore---it's no wonder I hardly ever go out. I have to really want to see a band to put myself in a situation where I will be plowed into by someone who can barely stand up. And still keeps on drinking.
Anyway--it's time to get ready for Donovan's 1 year old birthday party! I'm excited. We got him some silly toys with really incredible names. As his mom says--it's all about the packaging.