Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Tryin' soooo hard!

The best part is near the end where she tries to use her hands to get her feet into the correct position!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Science is Awesome: A guy with crazy hair explains nuclear reactors

All your questions about the potential nuclear reactor disaster in Japan explained by a fantastic British scientist with amazing hair.

This video is part of a series called The Periodic Table of Videos, which looks to be really fun.  I will be exploring.

Via Ta-Nehisi Coates


From Kissing

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Wild Flowers

N and I made some lovely solar prints today to use on the wedding invitations.  There were some wildflowers left over from the printing that are now sitting on my kitchen counter as a lovely reminder of this one sunny spring day in the midst of rain and sad goings-on in the world.

My thoughts are with those suffering in Japan, and with N whose heart and mind is there, and with Sarah, on her birthday.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Ash Wednesday, and a poem

Yesterday I made king cake, Jambalaya, and pimiento cheese to celebrate darling JW's birthday.  Today, Lent begins. 

I am not Christian, really.  I was baptized in the Catholic Church as a baby, sent to Protestant elementary schools and a Catholic high school.  I have been more and less religious at various times in my life.  I recently considered Catholic confirmation and then at Christmas discovered that my beliefs just don't line up there.  But I still like Lent.

It comes, I'm sure, from high school.  Although at the time I declared in no uncertain terms that I Was Not Catholic and Would Not be Giving Anything Up, it always intrigued me. 

Echos of those enforced liturgies stayed with me; I love the idea of a period of meditation, of quiet contemplation--which is how Lent was presented to us in school.  We were encouraged not merely to give something up--chocolate, smoking, soda--but to commit to something for those forty days that would bring us closer to God.  Volunteering weekly at a shelter, praying daily, practicing yoga, or the more traditional abandonment of vice.  Anything that could align your body or mind with the Divine, create a space of practiced awareness of Its presence.

So, although I won't be crossed with ashes today, I'll begin a meditative period.  I'll think today about what to commit to, what conscious practice I can begin to realign with that quiet space in me, or with God.

And now a poem, from the Writers' Almanac today, because I liked it and because it felt like a quiet space.


None of this is personal, not the way you'd think.
The moon keeps on traveling and I can see it
from my balcony each night and each night
different but it's not my own, not like we want

things to be our very own. But it sways me
nevertheless and stands in for certain losses
and gains and for even that much I'm grateful.
I stand at the back door and stare.

"Personal" by Irene McKinney, from Vivid Companion. © Vandalia Press, 2004.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

I heart millet!

Millet is really yummy and has the best crunch ever! Who knew?   

Apparently Heidi did.  And thank God, or I’d have never tried these fantastic millet muffins.  I always forget how easy and quick muffins are to throw together, and these were no exception.  Melting the butter took the longest, but that’s only because we don’t have a microwave at the moment.  And I’d bake them a little less next time, but I’m still figuring out our oven (which is especially tricky given the lack of numbers on the temperature dial).

But even slightly overcooked, these muffins are fantastic.  The millet soaks up a bit of the liquid so that it’s no longer crisp, but it still has a nice crunch, and the butter makes them taste a bit decadent.  There is a hint of lemony-ness, but the grainy flavor is what really stands out.

And now, without further ado, an adaptation of the Millet Muffins from 101 Cookbooks.  Where I use kefir, Heidi used an equal amount of yogurt, and where I used kosher, she used fine-grain sea salt.  Details.

Adapted from Super Natural Everyday
By Heidi Swanson
Makes 12 muffins

10 oz (about 2 ¼ cups) whole wheat pastry flour
2 oz (about 1/3 cup) raw millet
1 tsp baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup plain kefir (I used non-fat)
2 large eggs
½ cup barely melted unsalted butter
½ cup honey
Grated zest and 2 Tablespoons juice from 1 lemon

Preheat oven to 400F.  Butter muffin cups.

Whisk together flour, millet, powder, soda, and salt in large bowl.  In another bowl, whisk together yogurt, eggs, butter, honey, lemon zest, and juice until smooth.  Add wet ingredients to dry and stir just until the flour is incorporated.

Divide batter amongst the cups (about ¼ cup per).  Bake for 15 minutes, until the tops are browned and just beginning to crack.  Let cool 5 minutes in pan, then transfer to a wire rack.

Photo from 101 Cookbooks.