Saturday, July 30, 2011

And Another Thing

Something else to complain about - super-restrictive diets undertaken not because of specific medical issues, but because you don't appear to have anything else to do with your life. And you don't have a sense of humor, and you like to proselytize. Or so it appears to me, anyway.

Now, you can eat whatever you want, I don't care. If you want to live exclusively on Doritos, or if you want to be a floratarian (I read this in a Connie Willis story, but they may actually exist) go ahead. If you have a medical condition such as food allergies or intolerances or celiac disease, then of course you have to restrict your diet. I can't eat bivalves, because I throw up for hours if I do, but that doesn't mean I don't think you should eat them. Eat what you like, just don't tell me about and for the love of God don't try to bring me around to your way of thinking.

What got me started on this was reading a recipe on a "paleo" diet website. These are the people who believe we should go back to a "hunter-gatherer" diet, because that's how we evolved to eat. So wait, we stopped evolving before we learned to grow crops? I don't know the precise number of thousands of years (or tens of thousands, who knows), since that happened, but my understanding of evolution is that it keeps happening all the time, without our knowing it. Sort of the point, n'est-ce pas? I'm wondering when this line of thinking will "evolve", if you will, to the point of thinking that even coming down from the trees was a bad idea, and we should never have left the oceans in the first place, (thank you, Douglas Adams) so we should just eat fish and plankton.

Also, the paleo people don't eat grains, but no one could have begun to raise grains if there weren't some wild ones around in the first place, right? I suppose if you can find some wild oats or wheat, that would be OK, wouldn't it? And what about wild rice? They eat fruits and vegetables, but those have presumably been farmed. The recipes I see call for things like broccoli and onions, but not wild ones.

Oh well. Here's the non-paleo, non-vegan, totally delicious cake I made for Mom's birthday back in June. It's the Devil's Food Cake Cockaigne recipe with the Chocolate Sour Cream Frosting from the Joy of Cooking, garnished with chocolate chip-stuffed wild black raspberries (I got the idea from Pinterest). Man is it good, and I'm not even a big chocolate cake fan.

Sweet! And Get Over Yourself

So you know what's cool? Having someone whose blog you follow and admire start following all your Pinterest boards. I mean, it's cool anyway to have people you don't even know follow you, but that just makes it a little bit better, makes you think, "hey, maybe I'm not such a dork after all". Obviously, this is patently untrue, but it helps.

Fortunately, nobody much is reading this, so I won't piss anybody off, but I just have to point something out. In many of the blogs I encounter (not follow, for reasons which will soon be made clear), women go on and on about how the most important thing in their life is "being a mama", or "raising my beautiful children". Well and good, but I can't help but notice that all of these women have small children. I have yet to see the mother of, say, a 15-year-old express this sentiment. Just sayin'. (Also, I love Kate Beaton so much. She's so brilliant and hilarious.)

Friday, July 29, 2011

Today, Productivity!

I've accomplished several things today! Mainly what I've done is work on an embroidered wall hanging, but since I may enter it in the Etsy NeedleArts Team challenge next month, I can't show it yet. It's turning out well, though, even the bit that I completely winged. In fact, so far that's the best part.

I also made this colored pencil drawing of the view from my window. The cows weren't part of the original plan, but they showed up around the time I was working on the foreground, so I had to add them. You'd think a cow is more or less a stationary object most of the time, but they move around a fair bit when you'd like them to stand still and be drawn.

I also added this coffee cozy to my Etsy shop today. I found it a couple of weeks ago with just the planets finished, and I had completely forgotten about even making it. I added the stars and put the fastener and backing on it last week, then forgot about it again until today when I finally photographed and posted it. Now I'm free to forget about it again for as long as I like.

Finally, here's a chalk drawing my niece did when she was here last weekend. Her artwork always fascinates me, and I really like her color choices here, especially in the top section. I'm thinking I may borrow them for something, though I'm not sure what.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

When In Doubt, Cook Some Squash

I've been feeling extremely lazy lately. I don't think I've actually been, I've read and studied a lot and last week we babysat my niece, which is a full time job, but it's mainly that I haven't made anything to speak of. If I haven't produced anything, I just don't feel, y'know, productive. 

So today I added a few photos and updated some items in my Etsy shop, since I haven't made anything new to put up in a while. Every little bit helps, I suppose.

 Also, I came up with a new recipe in my ongoing quest for Things To Do With Squash. This one turned out actually very good, though I had an inkling it might, and it's very easy, once you make the sauce. I guess you could call it Sesame Summer Squash "Noodles", though I'm always suspicious of recipes with words in quotation marks. (Plus, why are they called "sesame" noodles anyway, when they only have a small amount of sesame oil in the sauce? Presumably there was more at one time.)  So maybe Summer Squash In  Peanut Sauce is a better name. 

Whatever, I used the sauce recipe from the The 1997 Joy of Cooking, more or less. Basically it's peanut butter, soy sauce, vinegar of some sort (I used red wine), hot sauce (crushed red pepper also works), and sweetening (honey in this case), and then I usually use garlic and ginger paste from the Indian grocery. Mix all these things to taste, adding a little more of this and that until you think it's balanced. The Joy calls for black tea to thin it out, so I tried it this time, and while I don't notice much of a tea flavor, it didn't hurt it either.  

Then all you do is slice your squash, yellow or zucchini or both. I did 1 small squash in longish julienne since I wanted it to have a noodlish sort of form, but you could slice it any way you like. Then I sliced about half a carrot into thin coins, and around a quarter of an onion into thin slices. Steamed all that together in the microwave for about 2 1/2 minutes, just until it was tender. Of course you could always saute' it, but I wanted to limit the fat, what with the peanut butter and all. Then I tossed it with a couple of tbsps of the peanut sauce,  and garnished it with a little chopped cucumber, and I must say, it was damned tasty. Also fairly healthy, and most importantly in the summer, it uses up some squash. It's colorful, too.

When the moon was full a couple of weeks ago I took some (I think) cool photos on my evening walk. Of course they don't quite have the glow of the real thing, but it was very lovely in the dusk with the Queen Anne's Lace blooming everywhere and the moon coming up over the hill.