March 2007 Archives

Winter was, perhaps, not the best time to start in on my project of eating every edible plant I hadn't yet eaten. Today, though, I hit a double.

Cardoons look a bit like taller, wider celery, but they're actually part of the thistle family, and indeed their taste is not entirely unlike artichokes, if not in that neighborhood of divinity. They're very tough--they have to be soaked in water with lemon juice for half an hour (the instructions tied to the cardoons also suggested soaking them in salt water overnight!), then boiled in water with more lemon juice for another 20 minutes or so, and they were still pretty crisp after that. I finished them off by sauteeing them in a bit of olive oil for just a minute. Very tasty; I'd certainly have them again.

Black radishes actually just have thick, almost crustlike black peels; inside, they're the same pellucid white as your typical red radish, but much bitterer. I looked around for a recipe, and ended up following a suggestion on somebody's web site: peeling stripes off the peels, slicing the radishes very thinly, tossing them with a little bit of olive oil and balsamic vinegar and salt and pepper, and sticking them in a 425-degree oven for 45 minutes until they turned into radish chips, then grinding a little more salt on top of them when I served them. Still bitter, but in an intriguing/edgy way, not an unpleasant way. If I made the same thing again, I'd probably use a mandoline to slice them even thinner so they'd come out crisper.

(I am putting the word "pizzazz" here just to get the top Google hit for "pizzazz" + "pellucid," just in case anybody else who was 8 years old in 1978 happens to remember that particular joke.)

Also cooked tonight: one of the lowest-effort good tofu recipes I've ever made. First you make a sauce: two teaspoons of cornstarch, drizzle in half a cup of vegetable stock until it's saucelike, then stir in a tablespoon each of water, soy sauce and sesame oil, a teaspoon of Chinese chili paste, and half a teaspoon each of sugar and salt. Then you heat up two tablespoons of a light neutral oil until it's really hot, throw in a teaspoon of chopped ginger and a tablespoon of chopped garlic, stir it around for 15 seconds, add a cubed pound of firm tofu, saute it for a minute, stir up the sauce, pour it in, turn the heat to low, and wait for the sauce to get thick, stirring occasionally. Ta-da.

more comics reviews

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Over at the Washington Post: reviews of Glacial Period, DMZ: Body of a Journalist, Heartbreak Soup and The American Way.

Still getting over being sick, and working on a couple of little Top Seekrit Projex.

taped to the swingset

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This week is a bit of a slog: a number of large-scale projects I've been working on for a while have officially hit the Really Boring Part, so I've been trying to distract myself from the boring parts of whatever one is boring me most at any given moment with the boring parts of others. Also, the Hammerhead Flu has hit our family (and we had our flu shots!), and we're all a little irritable, although at least Sterling expresses it more entertainingly than I do. ("Let's go outside!," I say. "No outside!" he declares. "We'll go to the playground!" "No playground!" "You'll get to play there--" "No play!" "Don't you want to have fun?" "No fun!") And the green center "frosting" on the key lime cake we got him yesterday turned out to be not lime but mold. Ew.

Fortunately, my parents are around to take up some of the slack, but really it's just a matter of powering through the extensive dullness of the next week's work & household responsibilities so I can try to dream up something fun to do with a quick payoff.

I did, however, get my first-ever actual royalty check yesterday, and for a project I didn't even think I was going to get royalties on. No complaints there.

reading Thursday night!

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I think I neglected to mention this before, except in the sidebar, but this Thursday, March 8, I'll be reading from Live at the Apollo at the Sonic Boom General Store in Seattle. Might get to play some rather unusual James Brown records too. The reading's at 7 PM, and I'm opening (I think) for Michaelangelo Matos, who's reading from his book on Sign 'O' The Times.

the world is still full of a number of things

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...and I have been very slow about writing about them here, partly because I spent last weekend at New York Comic-Con and still feel like somebody's been pummeling me with a big rubber mallet. But a few snapshots of the last week or two:

1) A highlight of NYCC: buying a page of original art from The Invisibles, specifically the page from Vol. 2 #3 that details the process of "White Flame" meditation. I don't own a lot of pages of comics art, but I try to make sure the ones I buy are the ones that mean something to me personally. This is one of those.

2) "Who is that silver-haired lady over there, and why is she surrounded by young people hugging her?" "Betty Dodson."

3) Having Syreeta's "Your Kiss Is Sweet" stuck in my head around the clock for three or four days, and wondering what about it exactly was so damn catchy, and why it seemed so familiar, then realizing that it's got the "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da" beat with an ending lifted from the (false) ending of "Hello, Goodbye."

4) My new favorite site that I'm tangentially professionally linked to: 17 Dots, the eMusic employee music blog.

5) I linked it on 52 Pickup, but I'll mention it here too: somebody with a ukulele and a melodica makes a video for his one-man-band version of Jacob Miller's "Baby I Love You So," better known as the un-dubbed original of Augustus Pablo's "King Tubby Meets Rockers Uptown." Neat!

6) Best summation of New York Comic-Con I've read is from the mighty Anne Ishii.

7) Sterling's hair is now so curly it can not only contain but conceal pieces of broccoli. ("You! You did this to my son!" I told Lisa.)