Monday, February 25

If it were still 2001...

...I wouldn't be late to this party: whoa, Fast Food Nation is a really good book.

Tuesday, February 19

lemon meringue pie

The other day I made jlongo a lemon meringue pie because I like him a lot, and because I'm trying to get better at making pie. Here's the breakdown:

  • making meringue - so way easier than I'd ever imagined. There will be lots of meringue having in my apartment from now on, since nothing is better than airy-fairy sugar and egg whites. And, beating the eggs gets out my aggression even when it's electrically powered. (I baked an extra wee meringue blob and ate it myself.)

  • I find the use of eggs in this pie incredibly satisfying. There are three used altogether: all the yolks go in the lemon custards; all the whites in the meringue. How logical & symmetrical.
  • God! pie crust is just damn difficult. This time I used a slightly simpler recipe -- it's always pretty much the same three ingredients, but before I was using a mixture of Crisco and butter. Crisco is supremely white trash sounding to me, and the combo always seemed unnecessarily complicated, so it was a delight to use only butter. But on that step where you're supposed to make the flour and butter the consistency of small peas (wtf is a small pea? I've only ever seen peas of one standard frozen size) something went awry. Somehow I both mixed too much -- the pie was terribly tough and chewy -- and too little -- when I was rolling it out, I saw huge hunks of unintegrated butter. (Here is the pie crust, before I made it all the size of "small" peas.)
  • After a pie crust failure there's not really much to do. You can throw it out, untasted. But that's kind of a gamble against yourself, because maybe unincorporated butter is a good sign. So I didn't throw it out and jlongo carefully and fastidiously ate around the crust. I ate it; it wasn't really as bad as I'm making it sound.
  • The pudding was the most fun part to make. When I was growing up, I was often in charge of making the My-T-Fine pudding, and this was a similar process, with just a few more steps. After combining cornstarch, sugar, and water you stir until the stuff gets thick & boils, or until your arm is near falling-off. It's tough work, but again, good for aggression. Then you add eggs, lemon juice (I hand squeezed!), etc. It's pretty yummy, and since I cooked alone, I ate everything that was leftover in the pot, thanks-it-was-delicious-and-meant-easier-dishes. (Pictured here is more butter, melting into the pudding.)
Finally, do the dishes (and breeze a sigh of relief that your roommate isn't home to bear witness to the kitchen disaster):

(Note: Perhaps you're noticing the lemon juice bottle over to the left of the kitchen disaster area. I did hand squeeze the lemons; I did not lie to you. I just didn't really know how many lemons would make half a cup of juice. Turns out, it's more than three big ones, which meant I had to use some trusty lemon juice in a bottle.)

EDITED: ugh, i fixed my monstrous headline typo.
It was great to have a day off, but it's also great to have our annual presidentially sponsored grammatical disaster be over. I saw all three versions this year: President's Day (AP Style), Presidents' Day (Chicago Manual of Style), and Presidents Day (Crazed Apostrophe Hater Style).

Saturday, February 16

Someone should totally make a montage of people in movies saying "We've gotta hurry! We're running out of time!"

Sunday, February 10

This past year or so has been many things, but at least partially, it's been a countdown to the being a bridesmaid (my first time in a wedding!) in April. A few days ago, the dress arrived:

That's me wearing the dress with a t-shirt underneath. Um. Yeah. I'm going to need some serious alterations. And maybe a strapless bra with tennis balls sewn into it. They sell those at Victoria's Secret, right?

Friday, February 8

I've meant to write this for awhile.

Please file the following under "I'm not entirely sure what the appeal is, and I'm pretty sure that's because I'm too old for the interweb after all":
Sometimes I do read Anna Marie Cox's twitter, tho, just to contradict myself.