Monday, January 31, 2011


Mic Macs - about a boy who loses his father to a landmine and then grows into a man who's accidentally shot in the head before being adopted by a family of junkyard genius misfits who help him exact revenge - is a cinematic wonder.

Every other frame of the opening sequence is a painting I'd gladly hang on the wall. Plus, the film made me giggle. And I'm all for anything that can do that.

See it.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

on the up side

...there's this.

And it'll be here soon, very soon.

I can't wait.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

down side

At some point during the night last night a neighbor’s yearling filly was mauled by a mountain lion.
At least, we think it was a mountain lion. Walking over there this morning I checked out the tracks, and though I don’t have the most trained eye, it seems pretty clear that’s what they are – big pads, no nail marks, prints disappearing into the forest next to my house. The filly’s going to be put down, and the thought made part of me not even want to go over there to see if the owners needed anything from a fellow horse person. Too many long-buried memories there, memories I didn’t want dredged up. But that’s what you do in our community (in any decent community, I guess). You stop by, and you acknowledge. You ask if there’s anything you can do. I was pretty sure they’d say no (they did), because I’ve been in a very similar situation with a doomed horse, and, really, what the hell can anyone do?
This is the worst – the absolute worst – part of living in the country.

Monday, January 24, 2011

crepe geek

I've long been under the sort of vague impression that crepes were one of those difficult, diva-like foods that required the proper training - or at least the proper French pedigree to prepare. But it's not true! I was finally convinced of this by The Cook's Book, which I picked up for a song at my most favoritest bookstore of all time (which finally re-opened in December after its roof collapsed under last winter's snow). So, voila! My first batch of practice crepes:

Fetching, aren't they (if I do say so myself)? From there, it was but a short hop, skip and jump to smoked turkey with white cheddar and sage lunch nommables:

And, finally, the pièce de résistance of the afternoon, blueberry crepes!

Truly, these I could eat ALL day. See my previous post re: hiberneating, and you'll understand.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

three things

1) Word of the Day:

Hiberneat verb \ˈhī-bər-ˌneet\
intransitive verb
1: to pass the winter in a torpid state of non-stop nomming

2: to be or become inactive or dormant while simultaneously growing rounder

2) Quote of the Day (uttered while man is hiberneating with a candy cane from Christmas, sharpening the end of the cane to a sharp point and then holding it up proudly for his beloved to see):

"Look, Honey. It's a shiv!" Pauses. "Wait. Or is it a shank?"

3) Blog Reader Activity of the Day:

Finish the following sentence:
One thing I know for sure is...

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

January 11, 1986

is the day this boy

was born - which makes him a quarter of a century old today!

Happy 25th, my Once-in-a-Lifetime!

Saturday, January 08, 2011

Julia is not to be trifled with

My mother gave me Mastering the Art of French Cooking as a Christmas gift, and it’s something I plan to treasure and use for years to come before passing it along to my own daughter. I was hoping to end up with Mom’s own, decades-old copy, but it seems to have disappeared somewhere between my childhood and now. I made it a point to make Julia’s famous onion soup first, since it was a staple in our home as I was growing up. And I quickly learned that when Julia admonishes the reader to do something (i.e. watch the onions carefully in the caramelizing stage), she’s not doing so for her own benefit: A mere few minutes distraction and I had eye-watering charcoal in the pan instead of uniformly browned onions as the recipe called for. Not to be put off by this initial mishap (mainly because I’m well aware there will be hundreds more like it in my future as I work my way through Mastering the Art), I tried again. Keeping my focus this time and following Julia’s directions to the letter, I ended up with a dish that not only brought me right back to cozy winter nights with family while the northern California rain beat down on the roof, but that even had my finicky tween son asking for seconds.

Moving on, it was time to tackle Poulet Poele a L’Estragon (many accent marks missing), which is basically Casserole-roasted Chicken with Tarragon. Here it was necessary for me to deviate from Julia’s directions slightly (even though I’d assured myself I’d never do that again after the charcoal onion mishap), mainly because I didn’t have the mattress needle and white string necessary for trussing a chicken. So, I sort of just let my chicken hang loose throughout the process – more of hippy chick(en) than an uptight, French bird. And the fact that I kept thinking things like “Poor little chicken” to myself while preparing the dish is just one of the reasons I would have made a terrible farm kid. Regardless, I was obliged to put the thing through all sorts of humiliations (beheading and plucking aside) in order to end up with yet one more mouth-watering (if I do say so myself) and popular dish:

I'm pretty sure Julia's chickens behaved in a much more professional manner.