kaberett: Overlaid Mars & Venus symbols, with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)
1. Yesterday afternoon, at 4.30pm, I sent off the latest draft of the current paper to my co-authors in advance of our meeting on Tuesday. I had been working at it steadily, in small chunks every day. At no point did I stay up past midnight working on it. It isn't perfect, partly because it can never be and partly because most of the outstanding stuff relies on getting input from a co-author who's been avoiding my e-mails since April; I'm very pleased with myself for maintaining sensible sleep cycles, and for sending it off "unfinished", because I don't think there is actually much to gain from me carefully polishing the presentation and formatting of an appendix that is not yet complete.

2. The casserole my mother bought me (I think when I started the PhD) is currently full of apples I brought home from my parents' on Saturday evening; I've done about half the bag, and everything smells correct. (It's James Grieve; they're mostly not available commercially, but they're what I grew up with, and I'm always faintly disappointed by apples that aren't them. So: I gathered up a quantity of them, and I'll gather up a quantity more when I go for dinner tomorrow, and I'll jar them, and I'll have enough to put on yoghurt and in crumble and in cake for the next year, I hope.)

3. Passing a pound-a-bowl market earlier today, it transpired that the cardboard crates of two-or-so kilos of blueberries really were one quid each. So I got one of those (I was not going to buy more, to get home on public transport), and I need to decide how many to freeze and whether o jam any and if I want to make clafoutis happen, and so on and so forth. This is a lovely problem to have.

4. Shortly afterwards, while poking around charity shops looking for yet more tablecloths (pace the Graun), on my way home from a hospital appointment that was uninspiring but unproblematic, I found a pasta maker for fifteen quid. Nobody I asked said it was a bad idea quickly enough, and that's how I ended up heading home on public transport with a lap full of pasta machine and two kilos of blueberries. "...", said a friend. "How does this stuff even happen to you so much" "I really don't know how you live like this" "But well done" -- which I will take. (This also, conveniently, provides me with My Next Cooking Goal. I think I probably don't care about the spaghetti attachment but I am eyeing up the ravioli one...)

5. I am sitting in the corner of my sofa, facing the French windows, looking out on the grass and the sunshine. (I love this house.)

6. I am now, after today's adventures in public transport, most of the way through CN Lester's book Trans Like Me. I keep crying over it in public. I have been earwormed with a song off Come Home, Not Again (and have just put it on: I'm used to breaking - but not this time/Of all the things you've taken, I'm not giving me from mine/I know I'm better lonely but alive).

7. On which tangentially-related topic, I recently got my act together to actually listen to Jesus & His Judgemental Father's latest, It Might Get Better, and I just absolutely adore the lyric my breakfast is an existential crisis. And I have a whole pile of books to curl up and wallow in, which I'm very much looking forward to -- Provenance, which I haven't yet had brain for, and the new Max Gladstone, and the new Nnedi Okorafor along with some of her back catalogue, and all the Kai Ashante Wilson I just acquired, and...

8. Board games! On Sunday I went to a board game social being run by my BSL-teacher-now-friend (having been a longstanding friend of A's)! I negotiated social anxiety in the run-up! I played two new-to-me games, with one person in the group each time that I didn't previously know, and it... worked? I didn't cry? I panicked a bit at the start of the second one but actually it was okay? I did the thing? I won one of them? I... am really, really proud of myself. I am so aware of how much progress this is: eighteen months ago, or thereabouts, I finally finally managed to persuade myself to sit down with a rulebook and an Adam in our living room and have a go at playing Thud!, which I'd wanted to basically since I saw it being play-tested at a Discworld convention. I think I ended up crying twice just reading the rulebook, while A was in the kitchen carefully giving me space to have a panic? I ended up crying a bunch more over the course of our couple of experimental collaborative games? ... I just played two new-to-me games with strangers, on no more prep than breezily informing people that I have hilarious boardgame-related trauma, would want to spend five minutes anxiously reading the rules in silence before starting, and that if I asked a question about game mechanic and it wasn't addressed to you by name then pretend I didn't say anything and let A answer. I... am so pleased with myself.

9. ... slipper socks. I sort of resent that I like them so much, and they are the precise opposite of what the podiatrists I was seeing wanted me to do for wearing around the house, but fundamentally I really hate slippers and would by defaul be barefoot but also my feet get really cold really quickly. So now I own two pairs of ridiculous slipper socks, and I wear other socks underneath and slouch around in them, and I spend much less time with my feet painfully cold?

10. ... and on Thursday I'm heading down to Brighton for The October Ritual, an aquarium trip, and Terre á Terre, which I've been curious about for a while.


There is lots that is good that is going on. I'm spending the weekend in Cornwall (well, driving to and from -- a lightning visit is To Be Made), and while there will be Wrangling To Be Done I am also, very much, looking forward to going (however briefly) home.
kaberett: a watercolour painting of an oak leaf floating on calm water (leaf-on-water)
Even with most of the counters covered with Misc that I am sorting out homes for, there was space for me to make two quiche cases, one actual quiche (the other case went in the HUGE FREEZER), and some salad.

It was a tiny bit cramped but not in any way that was actually a problem and I have subsequently cleared something like... 2-3 times the amount of counter space I had available when I started cooking? And there is Going To Be More? And that's with all the gadgets out in actually useful places?

Plus: the layout of the open-plan kitchen/living room, right, means that when one of us is cooking the other can be sprawled on the corner of the ridiculous sofa being company including, like, eye contact and things. (Or even doing other useful stuff in the kitchen BECAUSE THERE IS SPACE.)

-- and of course it's doing even slightly involved cooking, and having the kitchen sorted out, that makes me settle in. There's a lot left to be done -- most of the living room and a significant chunk of the bedroom is still boxes -- but I am buoyant and optimistic and happy. And I'm tired and I hurt, but -- I am happy.
kaberett: Overlaid Mars & Venus symbols, with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)
I went to Corfu! I was introduced to Corfiot bean stew! I was a fan. I am also struggling to track down a recipe that will let me recreate the But That's Amazing Though that I experienced there, because it's generally made with fish and there are relatively few recipes online, which means my ability to take the average of multiple recipes is limited. Nonetheless!

Read more... )

... which I served up with The Rice Of My People, which I'd apparently somehow not made for A before; he is a Fan. It turns out. Read more... )
kaberett: Overlaid Mars & Venus symbols, with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)
On Sunday I conned Adam into going blackberry picking with me (it's a bit more complicated than that, but the short version is he hadn't realised how much more tedious and unpleasant it is to pick wild blackberries than it is to pick pick-your-own strawberries), so we've got a large tub of blackberries that I'm gradually turning into beverages/desserts/etc. We also had the end of a pound-a-bowl bag of blueberries from the market, and I have been meaning to try clafoutis for years, so! Lightly adapted from River Cottage.

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kaberett: Overlaid Mars & Venus symbols, with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)
This week I finally got around to seeing what happened if I tried making Kardemummebullar, seeing as I tend to want to eat them more often than I'm in Sweden. Recipe taken from BBC Good Food, and archived against that august institution's eventual demise.

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kaberett: Toph making a rock angel (toph-rockangel)
1. Food. )

2. I received a quotation for the wheelchair repairs currently ongoing; they're somewhere under half of what I was bracing myself for, which is a great relief.

3. Excellent lunch with a good friend in a small friendly deli in South London. I was particularly intrigued by (but alas did not sample) the tiny gluten-free strawberry-and-elderflower cheesecake.

4. The trip to and from same: a beautiful cherry-blossom mural on a building's front wall; a garden riotous with poppies somewhere between bud and full bloom; irises and weird little fuzzy orange things and colours everywhere.

5. Physio, on the train to and from, and reading books with it: still working on Hope In The Dark, but I'm about halfway through now and then I'll move on to Hugo reading.

6. I dyed A's hair again last night, and am pleased with the result. (It is all-over red, because red seems to wash out of his hair more quickly than blue, in the interests of i. checking whether the new red is actually a red and ii. getting it to a state where I can actually try putting a rainbow in it with minimal rebleaching of previously-bleached hair. In fact, because this means I put a lot of red on over blue, he's got what is in essence a red-into-deep-purple ombre going on, with a darker red layer on top and a lighter red layer underneath.)

7. I am delighted by the conversation that's going on in comments over at the enchilada recipe. Thank you, folk, I keep cackling with delight. <3

8. Academia. )

9. I am continuing to sincerely enjoy Pokemon Go.

10. Chelsea Manning.
kaberett: Overlaid Mars & Venus symbols, with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)
... by request of [personal profile] sebastienne. I haven't written this one up because it basically arose from me pointing out to an ex-housemate that it was fine that we were out of spice mix, we did in fact have all the components and could recombine things ourselves adjusted to taste.

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kaberett: Overlaid Mars & Venus symbols, with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)
This is a Swiss specialty and is the recipe my uncle uses; I haven't yet tried working from it but would like it to be recorded such that I trivially can. (He used the food.com recipe; I'm going to be One Of Those People and cross-reference with something actually Swiss before making it.)

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kaberett: Overlaid Mars & Venus symbols, with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)
The recipe I use by default, which I am rewriting here so that the tweaks I make are included and it's all in the order I want to do things.

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kaberett: Photograph of clementine with perplexed face drawn on. (clementine)
I ran out of marmalade. It is Seville orange season. I looked at the box of Seville oranges, and noted it was rather cheaper than a single jar of my normal marmalade.

... A decided to enable me.

... well that's a thing that happened.

I've ended up with ~6 jars of tawny clementine-Seville marmalade, and ~4 jars of Seville-with-Gran-Marnier marmalade. RECIPE AND NOTES BELOW, very lightly adapted from the instructions on the box of oranges.

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kaberett: Overlaid Mars & Venus symbols, with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)
kaberett: Overlaid Mars & Venus symbols, with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)
A messaged me in great excitement, the other weekend, to tell me that he'd had afternoon tea somewhere that had given him basil-flavoured meringue that didn't have green bits in, and he wasn't sure how they'd done it, but it was Tasty and A Friend.

They'll have infused either the sugar or the egg white with basil, I said, and it was probably the egg white.

I am pleased to report that infusing the egg whites with basil -- separating your whites from your yolks, then leaving them in the fridge overnight with some lightly crushed basil leaves dropped in with them -- does in fact give you basil-flavoured meringue. But, er, you really don't need much basil -- two leaves would probably have been plenty sufficient for my five egg whites, and as it is they're a little assertive -- but hey, basil-meringue strawberry Eton mess. \o/

(You can of course also just chop some basil up very finely and add it to your meringue mix right before shaping the meringues and putting them in to bake, but that wasn't the spec so it isn't what I did. ;) )
kaberett: Overlaid Mars & Venus symbols, with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)
This is a pretty convincing base recipe (and if you sign up to her mailing list you get a PDF of the rest, but the link isn't uniquely generated so ask me nicely and I might accidentally paste it to you). I ended up baking them for 12 minutes at 180 and will probably give the next batch 14 (they spread out a SURPRISING amount as they're cooling once they're out of the oven); this time round I used a hard rather than a soft dark brown sugar and stirred it into fairly cool (but liquid) butter, and I think for the next batch I will in fact use soft.
kaberett: a watercolour of a pale gold/salmon honeysuckle blossom against a background of green leaves (honeysuckle)
Because I had a birthday, again. P had arranged to be Elsewhere this year, so A was my only dining companion. I was a little nervous about that, partly because I am a seething mess of anxiety at the moment but partly because my understanding had been that last year he'd enjoyed it well enough but hadn't been anything like as impressed as P & I. Which, you know, fair enough -- but in fact this year his main arrived and he proceeded to sit looking stunned and rapturous for several whole minutes, which I of course found utterly charming.

For my part, this year they took me well outside my comfort zone and it almost all just worked.

Read more... )

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