Mar 28, 2012

voce


te busco nos olhos dos outros.
me preguntam,
o que é?
e eu, de retorno,
câde?

<i look for you in others' eyes>
<they query>
<what is it?>
<and i, in turn,>
<is it (you)?>

Mar 18, 2012

And so it begins...

3 weekends of backing up, file scrubbing, and downloading boot loaders later, Debian Linux is installed on my netbook (aka Dali, la neta), thus completing the trifecta: win7, Linux, os x.

GUI, where art thou.


Mar 12, 2012

Seedlings!

My first ever seedlings have sprouted. And like a good momma, I can't remember who I planted there. It's a toss up between the spinach or basil. I'd be tickled beyond belief if it actually is basil - I've been quietly lusting after the seedlings at the urban harvest farmers market for the past two Saturdays now. And outside the HEB and Whole Foods. Every sprig I see in the produce bins has me dreaming of pesto.
Its been almost a year since Junior passed, the basil plant I bought at a farmers market in Fayetteville, AR in late June two summers ago. He sat out in the stairwell at my apartment complex, catching sun during the afternoons while I worked in the Walmart catacombs. He was my first real plant, and he almost didn't make it, until a coworker, Rich from Arizona with a knack for growing plans, took notice.
That fall, he rode shotgun all the way back to Texas, passed the winter in a sunny window and return kept me and my roommates in pesto. Though I'm still working through forgiving the one that butchered his leaves for a dish he had picked up the recipe for on a vacation to the Italian country side.
I repotted him only once, into the biggest pot I could find at Home Depot. Pulled him up straight by the stem - his roots had consumed the soil beneath him until there was nothing but Junior top to bottom. I had to loosen him up for the new pot, tearing at his tightly bound coils. They made a ripping sound not unlike tearing knotted hair from a brush. 
I tried not to let on how much I would miss him when I passed him into the hands of a friend that January. She had volunteered to watch him while I spent a spring chasing stale dreams in Sao Paulo.
He was just a stick in a bright clay orange pot when I returned in early June. It hurt to see, but I knew it wasn't him. His life was in his leaves, the way he'd perk up at sunshine, or crackle with joy in a much needed watering session, not a bare stick someone had thrust haphazardly into a pot. My friend claimed I should have known better than to entrust her with something living.  But I didn't blame her.  To me it was just proof of dependence - he'd withered without me and that was a burden I would have to carry.
Murder by abandonment.
It's spinach. It has to be. I put the basil seeds on the right side, and in an absent minded mix up left them buried unwatered.  I could just buy a new one. But I fear it would die of neglect - a guilty conscience can't love. No, I'm waiting for basil to sprout for me.  For it to push aside the soil, pulled up by the clouded rays of early spring sun, and blossom: forgiveness.

Mar 4, 2012

Farmer's Market Quiche!


I picked up some strange ingredients at the farmer's market today.  Purple-ish kale, some big "onion" octupi, and a pair of japanese turnips.  Called Katsu, perhaps?  Normally, I'd throw everything into the frying pan and sauté it , but it's Saturday, which means I can eat cheese and eggs!  (NYE 2012 resolution: vegan M-F makes weekends extra special).  So I decided to bite the pastry bullet and go for a quiche.

Quchetacular!

Kale
Japanese Turnip
Octopus Onion
Recipe (roughly):
Pastry:
1.5 c flour
1/2 stick butter
4 egg yolks
dash of cayenne pepper
dash of salt
dash of dried mustard (if you have it; I didn't)
1-3 tsp water

Heat oven to 425 F (or so)

Put flour in a large bowl.  With your hand, create a small well in the center of it.
Add the 1/2 stick butter, yolks, cayenne pepper, salt, mustard.  Save the 4 egg whites for the quiche innards.  With your hands, mash together the butter, egg yolks and spices (it works better if you leave the butter out for a few minutes before using so that it's soft.  Though not too soft: the pastry will be flakier with colder butter.)  It should resemble a crumbly powder at this point. Add 1 tsp of water (or better yet, milk or heavy cream if you have it), until the dough can be formed into a ball.  Turn out onto a flat surface and roll/pound with your hands (rolling pins are a luxury and I was fresh out of empty wine bottles) until it's a big circle that will roughly fit inside of your pie tin.  Mine was super thick at this point, about 1/2 an inch.

Fork the dough shell all over, then place in the oven.  Set the timer for five minutes, check that it's not puffing up too much in the middle (if so, push it back down), then set the timer for another five.  I forgot to set the timer for the second five, so when the kitchen started smelling like pastry I freaked and pulled it out -- perfectly done!  Set aside while you finish the quiche innards.

Quiche Innards:
1 japanese turnip
2/3 a kale bunch (about 1 1/2 to 2 c of chopped kale)
1 octopus onion
1 tbs olive oil
4 egg whites
2 whole eggs
a rind of hard cheese (eg: parmesean, romano, or in my case, hard provolone)

Wash and chop everything.  For the kale, this means cutting out the stems, and chopping.  For the turnip, peel (or slice off) the outer layer, and chop into small, 1/4"chunks.  For the onion, cut off the white bulb at the bottom and chop finely.  Chop the green octopus legs separately and set them aside until later.

Heat a skillet with olive oil on medium, toss in turnip and onion bulb.  Cook for 3 - 4 minutes.  Add kale, cook for another 2 - 3.  Season with spices of your choice, I did a bit of cumin and a lot of ginger.

Turn sautéd veggies into a big bowl.  Add egg whites, 1 egg (beaten, or beat it inside the batter), and 1/2 of the chopped green onion hair.  Pour into shell.  It should fit exactly, cuz you're a boss like that.  Since we used egg whites and I wanted my quiche to come out yellow, I took an extra egg, beat it and poured it on top.  Finally, grate 1/2 cup to 1 c of hard cheese on top, for a cheesey crust.

Instructions say to bake for 340F for 40 minutes.  I did it for 20 min at 435F, then the last 20 minutes at 335F.  I have a theory that temperature only really matters as you get closer to being "done". Feel free to prove me wrong at your own risk.  As always, do what you're the most comfortable with.

Cool, slice, enjoy!


Pastry success!


Mar 2, 2012

Bolo de queijo -- c. 2007

Cleaning up an old computer to get ready for VM save, I found my 2007 Brazilian Cheese Cake Recipe.  I'm moving it here to free up disk space.

Receita por Bolo de Queijo

Crust:
- 1 ½ xícara biscoito *crumbs*
- 75 g manteiga
- 2 tablespoons açúcar
- um pouco sal

Filling:
- 6 150g cream cheese
- 1 ¼ xícara açúcar
- ¾ xícara requeijo cremoso
- 6 ovos grandes, *lightly beaten*
- 2 tablespoons baunilha (liquido)
- 1 teaspoon laranja *zest*
- 1 teaspoon *lemon zest*

Topping:
- ¼ xícara requeijo cremoso
- ¾ xícara açúcar
- 1 tablespoon baunilha (liquido) ou canela

Fogão: 162° C

Crust: 
Melt manteiga.  Brush some in pan.  Crush biscoitos.  Mix rest of manteiga e açúcar e sal e biscoitos.  Press in pan, bake til golden (~10 min).  Wrap the bottom of the cheesecake pan in aluminum.  Place pan in a roasting pan

Filling:
Beat cream cheese.  Add açúcar.  Beat until fluffy.  Add requeijo cremoso.  Beat.  Add eggs.  Beat.  Add vanilla & zests.  Beat.  Pour into crust.  Boil water, pour an inch or two into outer roasting pan (the aluminum foil you wrapped around the bottom *should* keep the cake from getting wet).  Put in oven.  Bake 1 hora 10 min.

Topping:
Mix all ingredients together.  Spread over cheesecake and cook 5 more minutes.

Remove cheesecake pan from roasting pan.  Release the spring and run a knife around the cake and cool to room temperature.

Cover, refrigerate for 8 horas. 

blank canvas

this canvas is blank. does that mean it's time for me to start afresh? that's one of the side effects of blank canvas -- it brings...