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My latest fixation right now is about throwing out less stuff. Part of it is guilt, straight up.* Part of it has to do with seeing what I can do with things that grow . Part of it is about sheer craftiness, seeing what I can re-use or repurpose in kickass ways. Part of it is thriftiness (see also: the brown bananas in my freezer, awaiting three like comrades).

This afternoon I turned a decadent little trick with the two dwarves, Guilty and Thrifty,** and just had to share my victory with you.

Dearest Will generally overestimates my morning coffee consumption. We’re both big fans of coffee, but while he’s a guzzler, I’m more of a sipper.*** And he’s sweet and kind, and he makes a fresh pot for us just before we leave for work, topping off our go-cups for the road. But my cup never needs more than an inch or two, so there’s always some left in the pot as we’re about to leave the house – the last 2 cups or so in the carafe, not enough to fill another go-cup, but what feels like too much to throw out.

So yesterday, in anticipation of the heat wave, I stuck it in a container in the fridge. Then this morning I poured in the leftovers again. This afternoon we came home to a roasty house,† I poured the coffee over ice into big mugs, added some sugar and some milk, and whoa, Fanceh Coffees \o/††

Recently I read a book by Neal Stephenson that captured my attention wholly for a few weeks in some groovy adventure, right? So how come the big detail that keeps rattling around in my head is a comment that one of the narrators makes early on about midwesterners doing some recombinant cooking?* Now every time I start making dinner, I have this Thing hanging over my shoulder asking whether I’m actually cooking or just recombining. Not that there’s anything wrong with a casserole, mind you – I like a casserole every now and then, myself. But I want to consider myself to be cooking when I’m, er, cooking.

Anyway! That thought, and the sudden grody heat spike yesterday, and a fridge full of leftovers,** got me thinking about recombining. And here’s what I came up with: a few simple dishes, some of them salads, all of them tasty, all of them quick. I don’t have a lot of exact measures on stuff because this is a leftovers thing, but none of it is hard to suss out if you taste as you go. Also, this may or may not be considered cooking.

Chilled Spaghetti and Anchovies
Leftover spaghetti, leftover anchovies that may have come with your pizza last week, a little bit of italian hard cheese (like parmesan or romano). Just chop the anchovies, mix them into the spaghetti, top with a smidge of cheese (not too much – the anchovies are already pretty salty). For fancier, add a few pine nuts.

Apples and Lime
I mentioned this one last post, but it’s worth mentioning again. Red delicious apples, sliced into 12ths, with half a lime squeezed over for each full apple. Shake it all up to make sure the lime juice gets around, and chill for half an hour in the fridge.

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Doing work – two desks to pick from, and I opted for the floor, whut.

A quick check-in while I have time and am near the computer – I’ve missed you over the last few weeks, dear readers!

I’ll start by telling you that I may have found the most perfect, and most perfectly simple, summer dessert: red delicious apple slices with fresh lime juice squeezed over them.* Just slice up the apples (about twelve slices per apple), and squeeze half a lime over it for each whole apple (1 apple : 1/2 lime). The lime juice perfectly perfumes and adds a lovely tartness to the sweet red delicious apples, not to mention, keeps them from turning brown. Chill in the fridge and voila, snack.** So easy, right?

Also, I’ll tell you that it’s been a bit zooey here with the change in the weather and the change in jobs. Freelance and also some art that I’d had to put off digging into full-force for a little while took over most of my free time for a few weeks,*** and any spare time has been spent putting the garden together.

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May 2013