Thursday, June 11, 2015

Cooking with the boy, week 2: Transylvanian Goulash

The boy likes meat, and I'm meat ambivalent, which makes it kind of funny that he suggested bruschetta for this meal, and I suggested goulash. And I only wanted it because Steven Brust mentioned Szekely Gulyas on twitter maybe a week before. And I googled.

The recipes:
Stephen King's Transylvanian Goulash
Rachael Ray's Bruschetta

We did the first few steps of the goulash, which involved onions, bacon, and pork, and then wandered off for 45 minutes before coming back and doing the rest of the goulash and the entirety of the bruschetta.

This was not the bruschetta he envisioned, I think. His dad must do bruschetta with cheese. We'll do that in a few weeks when we do Shakshuka again.

I chose this goulash recipe because it looked like it took less than 90 minutes, and because it didn't have an instruction at the end to wait 24 hours and then reheat and add the sour cream and serve. We would have DIED of hunger if we'd done that.

The boy was interested in the cost of the meal, which was $27 (not for all the ingredients -- we had garlic and onions and paprika already, etc.) as compared to $14 for shakshuka last week.

We ate the leftovers with some added egg noodles. Really divine. 

Thursday, June 04, 2015

Cooking with the boy, a possibly ongoing series

The boy asked me a few weeks ago to teach him now to cook some things, but he doesn’t really have a plan, so I taught him to make a burger (the Rachael Ray way) and  Mediterranean chicken skillet (chicken, rice, veg). The first time I made that, he said "I get a WHOLE chicken breast?" He wasn’t very impressed with it when we were making it, though, because I couldn’t find the recipe (somewhere in a pile of torn out pages from magazines, in an ad for Kraft ingredients) so I did it from memory. There’s nothing wrong with my memory, but he said “It doesn’t seem very precise.” This is kind of similar to something my dad said to one of his wives, or maybe my sister: “Just follow the damn recipe for once, could you?” 

Anyway, so I had this brilliant idea that you can’t really cook if you don’t know how to acquire ingredients.Thursday evening last week after circus, we stopped at the 24-hour grocery and bought the stuff to make a meal. I’d printed off the recipe so he could carry it with him and choose the ingredients to make Shakshuka (eggs in spicy tomato sauce). Then Friday we made it for dinner. 

You have to start by cutting jalapenos, and I told him to be sure to wash his hands after, but he still got it in his eyes, and screamed for about 15 minutes, which was pretty entertaining. 

The rest of it went well. When I said after wards, “What would you do differently next time, other than getting hot peppers in your eyes?” he said “I know it would go completely against the Israeli nature of the dish, but I think it needs bacon.” So maybe in a couple of weeks we’ll do it again, and put bacon in.

Wednesday, June 03, 2015

What I read -- May 2015

“Deryni Checkmate” by Katherine Kurtz.. It’s sort of like reading a regency novel, but set in medieval times, plus magic. So much attention to clothes and furniture! The head-hopping seems alien to me now. Being the second book in a trilogy, this had no ending to speak of. The Deryni seem really Jewish.

“Athyra” by Steven Brust. This is what I want to write like. He can get away with things because the voice is so strong. I love every time someone says something blah-blah-blah Sethra that doesn’t sound very characteristic of her, and then Vlad says “Sethra Lavode?” and the other person says “no, Sethra the Younger.” So stylish! That doesn’t happen in this book, by the way.

“Orca” by Steven Brust. It was included in the same volume with the previous, so what choice did I have? I had to race through because I was being chased by Ed. Not that this is a problem, mind you. This was a really well-done example of interauthor, and worked really well. Maybe too much talking. The great thing was getting to see how other people see Vlad in these books, because by now we have a pretty good idea of how he sees himself. I love the normative elf thing, so different for fantasy.

“The Up Side of Down” by Megan McArdle. I read her posts on pretty much daily. I don’t always agree with her, but wow she is smart and knows how to structure an argument. I finally requested this at the library. John Scalzi linked to her a few years back, which is when I “discovered” her, so it was nice to see she gave him a shout-out for his poor people essay. The organizational structure was nice, and unlike a lot of people who write books like this, she had plenty of content, and the chapters did not start to seem repetitive as they so often do.

Monday, June 01, 2015

In process -- May 2015

First Draft
“Before Breakfast”. Short story, not too long. Needs more character development though.
“Milo”. Short story. I wrote the first draft on five envelope backs.
“Wind/Water/Salt”. Writing missing scenes, adding characters.

“Wind/Water/Salt”. Chapters 35 to 38 edited.



“Ceremonial Armour” (Kaffe Fassett, knit from a photo). Finished the body. Started tying in ends, then need to do edging and sew on beads, then block and it's done! It sounds so simple.  
“St. Anthony’s Ribbon” (self-designed). I thought I was going to have to rip out a couple of inches, but after abandoning it for a couple of months, I decided all I needed to do was rip back maybe 30 minutes’ work and do shoulder decreases more rapidly. That was going really well so I went too far and ended up ripping out a bunch then doing the neck decrease and casting off. Now I need the needle that’s in Rust Damask Jacket, so I can do the neck edging. Almost done!
Vinterlys (Norsk Strikkedesign). I am pushing to finish the “front” portion of the second sleeve so I can get this off the long US2 needle, so I can use that needle to start the fair isle portion on Rust Damask Jacket. Maybe 26 rows until that milestone is achieved. Next week?
Rust Damask Jacket (Takle & Kolstadt). Ignored.
Honey for the Bee. Socks. Carry-around project. 2.5 inches done.