Sunday, July 31, 2011

I made stuff ...

I was asked to bring a dessert to a thingie last week, and I decided to make something with peaches as I had just bought a bunch. This Martha Stewart recipe for Peach and Cornmeal Upside-Down Cake looked appealing to me ... mostly because it seemed really easy and all I had to buy was heavy cream. (Dang, heavy cream is rather pricey, isn't it? A pint of the stuff costs more than a gallon of milk.)

Well, it was really easy, although I'm not sure why mine looks so much different from Martha's:

peach and cornbread upside-down cake

Maybe I cooked the sugar/butter mixture too long? Dunno, but the cake was pretty damn good. It appeared to be a hit at the thingie (I brought along some Reddi Wip to top it with). I wonder how it would be with apples in the fall?

Then this weekend just for fun, I wanted to try making this Watermelon Pie recipe. I think I must have used a little too much watermelon, because after 4 hours in the fridge, the melon filling still had not set properly. So I was thinking the whole thing was a bust, but then I thought: what if it's a frozen watermelon pie? So I stuck it in the freezer. That set it up nice and firm, like a rock almost, so then I applied the whipped cream. I think to get the amount of whipped cream they have on their photo I'd have to double it. But whatever, here's what mine looked like:

food semi-fail: watermelon pie

Not bad, and it tasted pretty good, too. I want to make it again, but it was a little labor-intensive, so I'm not sure if I'll get to it before this year's watermelon season is over. Maybe next year.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Oh, and one more thing ...

Whilst traveling down 15-501 past University Tower on Saturday, My mother said "I just love that building. It's so pretty." So take that, haters.

Delayed blogging: Doing Durham Stuff

I meant to write this a few days ago, but I was either busy or lazy, so I'm doing it now, as I've been informed it's Anti-Procrastination Day. Not that I'm actually against procrastination. I find it very useful for those times when I just don't want to do stuff.

Anyway, my mom was in town on Saturday, so I needed to come up with some things to do all day so we weren't just sitting around saying "How are you?" "Oh, I'm fine; how are you?" One thing I really wanted to do was scour second-hand stores for a new (to me) kitchen table. Mom said she loves wandering around second-hand stores, so I figured we could kill at least half a day that way.

But first I wanted a post-breakfast boost, and I figured maybe Mom would like Gugelhupf. But apparently everyone in town had the same idea and the line was out the door. I didn't feel like waiting in it, so I decided we'd go to the farmer's market instead, which is right by our first stop, the TROSA furniture store.

I used to like the Durham Farmer's Market. But now I mostly avoid it, because it's really crowded, infested with stroller people and hard to navigate. It's also hella hot this time of year. Yeah yeah ... local, organic, small farmer blah blah blah ... I find the farmer's market a really annoying way to buy things and not even a very pleasant way to spend a Saturday morning. So we quickly found, bought and consumed some fantastic fried strawberry hand pies and got the hell out of there. On the way to the car my mom remarked about how unpleasantly crowded it was there, so I don't think it's just me.

Then we hit TROSA, Everything But Grannie's Panties, Salvation Army and the Habitat Re-store. Saw a bunch of tables that were either crappy, unsuitable or marked "sold." I suppose we could have gone to Raleigh and tried the fairgrounds flea market, but it was so hot out that I think we would have been miserable. Instead we went home and had homemade baba ganouj (which kicked ass) and sliced tomatoes from my garden.

After lunch we went to the awesome free wine tasting at Wine Authorities, where the theme was Basque wines. Look, here's mom drinking txakoli from the thingie whose name I can't remember:

And another of Wine Authorities guy (Craig? Yeah, I think Craig maybe) in his jaunty Basque attire, pouring wine (or actually probably cider):

The Wine Authorities tastings are always fun and very informative. I'm not sure why I don't go more often. Remind me to go more often. And if you want to come with, let me know.

We also stopped in at Bull City Craft, which is in the same shopping center as Wine Authorities, and had a look around. Seems to be geared toward children, which is great if you have kids. As we had no kids with us, we didn't stay long, but instead went to the new digs of the Scrap Exchange on Franklin Street. Their new space is gigantic and full of scrappy goodness, but it didn't seem to have working air conditioning. After about 15 minutes we both felt like we needed to get out of there, alas. I guess we could have then gone over and wandered around Golden belt, but we were both a little tired of being out and about at that point.

On our way there we had passed a guy on Alston Ave. selling watermelons off the back of his truck, and it seemed like the perfect day for one. So I stopped and got one (it turned out to be one damn fine tasty watermelon, too) on the way home.

I'd love to report that we ate at some fabulous, hip Durham eatery for dinner, but we didn't. My niece joined us at my house and I made pizza margherita on French bread using home-grown tomatoes and basil. It was awesome. Watermelon for dessert.

¡Gracias Esteban!

Thanks, Stephen Colbert, for well and properly addressing the Summer's Eve talking vagina ads. (I tried to embed the video but it ended up being too huge for this bloghole.)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

It came from the garden ...

crazy orange cucumber

My friend gave me this plant and said it was a Thai cucumber. I'd never heard of a Thai cucumber, but it sounded cool, so I planted it. Now I have a rather large orange cucumber. When I go to sleep tonight, are little alien tentacles going to come out and suck out my brains? Or could it actually be a Chinese Yellow Cucumber?

UPDATE: I heard from my friend, who says it's a "poona kheera" cucumber. Here is a shot of it sliced. Tasty!

itI's hard to blog when you are at a complete loss for words ...

I don't get flabbergasted that easily, but I don't even know what to say about this stuff. So much wrong on so many levels ... Do these commercials actually air on TV? Does this one:

... *sputter* ... christ on a cracker ...

Honey are you straight or are you blind?

I think I may start actually writing blog posts again. For reals, man! \The problem is that I've ignore d this blog for so long I doubt I have any readers left. Oh well, that's the way it started way back when, and it wasn't so bad! I just have to figure out which of the many, many things I've stuck my nose into warrants babbling on about. maybe none of them! But again, that's pretty much the way it's been all along! So stay tuned. Or don't ...