Tuesday, June 15

FfNl: Strawberries

You've got to love strawberry season. On Sunday, I gathered a posse of friends and we headed to a local u-pick organic strawberry farm. I personally picked about six pounds of beautiful, red, juicy berries. Which only took about 30 minutes. There was so much fruit! If only I had a bigger home or more people to feed.
Since then I've been trying to figure out what to do with all of them. I froze some, but my freezer is a bit small, so I don't know that I'll be able to freeze too many more. I ate some, of course. I'm thinking of making some jam, but I just don't eat that much jam and I still have quite a few jars of jam left over from last years jam making adventures. There may be a pie or some strawberry bread in my future, but I've still got a big heap of berries.

I took a look in my handy Preserved cookbook and decided to try my hand at making dried strawberries. It is simple enough: slice up your berries and put in a food dehydrator, low oven or drying box for 12 hours. Of the three, I've only the oven, so last night I gave it a shot. They are great! Chewy, sweet and delicious. I think they'll be incredibly tasty on cereal or in the granola I'm always planning on making. Plus, they take up a lot less space once all that water is gone!

Monday, June 14

Small packages

As most of the people who read this blog (I think maybe there are two of you) know, my birthday was a while ago. I did pretty well on the present front (yay, waffle iron!) and I had a bunch of friends buy me many beers and tasty Indian food. Birthdays don't get a whole lot better. However, in what has become a bit of a tradition, my sister likes to send me a package a few weeks late with all sorts of presents. I love belated birthday presents. In fact, in many ways presents and packages that come on non-birthdays are infinitely more special. Who doesn't like the surprise of an unexpected package? Add to that, there is the fact that Molly, my sister, is a expert at putting together great packages with a good mix of small and big things.

I got this cool octopus shirt (sorry for the crappy picture):
These tasty, tasty cookies:

Also she sent me some bike shoes to borrow for a while, which I plan to use once I manage to learn to shift the gears on a road bike without swerving into traffic. I hope that happens by the end of summer.
Additionally, Molly included a note that said,"As usual, the ones in the smallest packages are the most special". To that point, the smallest packages I found contained these (which were stuffed inside the bike shoes):
Now, don't get me wrong, I like nail polish. In fact, less than 24 hours after receiving my package the Jet-set in Lightening and the OPI in Bogata Blackberry graced my fingers and toes, respectively. However, I'm not sure I'd ever classify nail polish as the "most special". I was just a little confused. But then I found them. The two little bits all wrapped up in tissue paper(I'm really glad I didn't mistake them for packing material) that contained a gorgeous pair of earrings and a necklace.
I am entranced by them. They are called "air", and quite appropriately, too. The beads made of the most delicate blown glass, and they just seem to float. They were made by marieflyfly. You can shop her etsy shop here.

Thanks Mo! I loved it all, from the nail polish on up. You can send me a package anytime you like.

Sunday, June 13

Alien invasion

One of the more memorable events of my most recent trip home was witnessing an alien invasion.
Okay, maybe what I actually witnessed dragonfly hatch day 2010, but I swear they look like aliens. It was fascinating to watch them undergo metamorphosis. I may have possibly taken approximately 60,000 pictures of the event just to make sure I didn't miss anything. I only did it for you. I'm not obsessed. I swear.
The dragonfly larvae crawl out of the water and perch themselves on a surface. In my experience it is most often a vertical surface, for example the nice shingled siding of our boathouse. I'm not sure what signals them to make the water-to-land transition, but for whatever reason, this year they chose Memorial Day for the mass exodus from their larval prisons.

So they bust out of their skin and begin hanging upside-down, doing periodic hanging crunch-type things as their bodies move further out of the larvae. Then they do some serious acrobatics: They flip right-side-up and grab onto their old larval head and pull their body the rest of the way out.

If all that weren't crazy-impressive enough, they then pump fluid out of their fat bodies into their shriveled up wings, slowly inflating them.
They just keep pumping up their wings, and once they're done with that they hang around to let their wings dry up before they go flying off.
Isn't he (or she...I'm no expert in determining the sex of dragonflies) pretty? Isn't it crazy how those dinky little wings turn into those big glossy numbers?

*Disclaimer: I have no actual scientific knowledge of any of this stuff so don't go quoting me for your next science project.

Sunday, May 30

Tonic Emergency

And thus ends my silence. I can't believe my poor blog has been so neglected. I blame NetNewsWire.
So I headed up to the Adirondacks on Friday night to spend the holiday weekend at my family's summer camp. Just to clarify, this is not a sleep-away camp for children. Up in the northern hinterlands of New York we call summer homes camps. I don't know why, we just do. To further clarify, we usually just call our camp "the island" as if it were the only island in existence. Now to continue, around 10 pm I was almost there, and I called up my parents to make sure they would have the boat on the mainland when I arrived and I had the following conversation:

me: Hi Dad! I'm in Tupper Lake.
Dad: Norah. Have you driven by Stewart's yet?
me: Um...no. I'm still in that place (yes, I actually said that as if that is a completely clear statement. "that place" is actually Faust, a neighborhood of Tupper Lake.)
Dad: Oh, well, we have a tonic emergency. We only have enough tonic to make one or two drinks.

So, dutiful daughter that I am, I stop and pick up tonic, thus averting a dire crisis on the island. After all, one cannot survive on the island with out ample G&Ts, V&Ts or R&Ts. Yes, my life is just that difficult.

Wednesday, February 3

FfNl: Corn Tortillas

One of my unofficial New Year's resolutions (official ones always seem to fail, so I'm going to go with unofficial this time out) is to try to use up the ridiculous amounts of food in my kitchen. I really have more food than any one person should have. I just like trying new things and like little challenges in the kitchen.
On to my story. Last night, after a longer-than-I-wanted day at work which was followed by a brief foray to the pottery studio to finish up the saki set I threw monday night, I peered into my fridge and grabbed things that needed to be used and threw together a mexican-type filling. One problem: I had no tortillas. However, I do have masa harina and a tortilla press that had never seen the light of day. Yes, I'm just that kind of person.

So I grabbed my trusty Rick Bayless Mexican cookbook and tried my hand at them.
Pretty, no? They were surprisingly easy. I may never buy corn tortillas again. Well at least until I make it through my current stock of masa harina. Seriously, you should give it a try. Well, you'll need a tortilla press, but for $12 you can have your very own.

Just think about it.

Monday, February 1


This past weekend I drove up to my parent's house in the heart of the Adirondacks. The plan was for me to do some downhill skiing with my Dad. It was, of course, the coldest weekend we've seen in close to a month. Just perfect conditions. Ha.

Anyway, after a delightful Saturday of doing absolutely nothing, a cold, though not as cold Saturday, Sunday induced me to wimp out on going to Whiteface to downhill ski. Instead we went cross-country skiing. This is where the nostalgia comes in.

We decided our skis could use some glide wax, so Dad and I went down to the basement, which he had heated up just for the occasion. As I stood there with a decades-old iron dripping melted wax over the tips and tails of my classic skis, all I could think about was that it seemed like so short a time had passed since I did this regularly. It brought back warm, fuzzy memories of high school ski races (which I certainly didn't appreciate at the time). Just like that the skis were waxed, scraped, brushed and buffed; as if it had been a few years- not a decade- since I'd done this routinely. All this was followed by a fantastic ski, the kind that makes you wish you could go on forever. My weekend ended with a drive back to Ithaca on a winding road down through Inlet and Old Forge, which brought back even older ski memories of my Bill Koch skiing days.

God, I love skiing. Sometimes I forget how much. It was nice to have a reminder.

Monday, January 25


Is there anyone still out there? With the frequency of my blog updating I am guessing this maybe includes 4 people (and I believe that maybe an optimistic estimate). Did everyone have a nice holiday? Does anyone even remember their holidays? I do realize it was sometime ago.

I personally had a great holiday; it consisted of the following:

(1) skiing, skiing and more skiing- except for the day it rained. Oh and the one where the high for the day was 2 F.
(2) eating way too much
(3) drinking just the right amount
(4) seeing my totally awesome friends and family

Personally, I could have used another 3 weeks of that. I suspect that most people would jump on that bandwagon with me.

For Christmas I got a couple of incredibly cool kitchen items, so hopefully, if I remember to start taking pictures again, there will be some more Cook this today and FfNl for your viewing pleasure. What did I get, you ask?

Well this:
The real miracle is that I found a home in my kitchen for the gleaming beast. I also got this:
This nakiri knife is seriously the sharpest blade I've ever used. Thus far I've managed to keep all my fingers intact (knock on wood), much to the relief of my sister.

I also got this really cool cookbook.

Well that is it for my grand return! More to follow in the next few days... but i wouldn't hold your breath just in case I'm a lying liar who lies.

See you soon

Friday, December 11

Muppet love

And now for a little christmas cheer:

And on a related note: