Monthly Archives: October 2010

’tis the season for reason

What was the rally for sanity and/or fear about?  The idea that the extremes of society do not represent society.  The majority of Americans are not socialists or Tea Partiers.  Just because an American wants to legalize pot does not make them a leftist marxist.  Or because they don’t want universal healthcare they aren’t a tea partier.   As Americans we are more complicated than that.  We want to work together and are tired of being told to be afraid, angry and that the world is ending.

So what was the rally like?  Fun.  Tompaul, Tom and I left Baltimore at 8 am.  Figuring we should be able to get decent views at that point.  We packed lunches, signs and wore sensible layers.  We drove to the Greenbelt Station on the green line.  An there were TONS of people already there.  We made our way up to the already full metro cars and crammed inside.  I thought “Wow! This is super tight.” Little did I know….

Tom , me and five gazillion people leaving the metro station downtown.The theme for the day was “Where’s Waldo?”This was one of my favorite signs.This is my sign…and another Waldo.

Upon arriving to the mall there were people EVERYWHERE.  There were people selling signs, handing out signs, buttons etc.    

We made our way as up front as we could go.  We were in the middle of the green between the national art and air and space museum.

This is our view.  The tent in the middle is for hearing impaired.  This is another view of the stage.This is behind us.This was one of my other favorite signs “The Civil War was an Inside Job.”  Note the people fill the steps of the museum.See people (aka Waldo) even climbed into the trees to see.

Here is a view from the stage (from HP).  We were behind the first screen on the right.  We couldn’t see the stage where we were because that tent in the front was blocked.   As you can see there are people up to the Washington Monument.

This is  Tompaul using his zoom lens to see the stage, you still couldn’t really see anything.

The music was good….

The Roots and John Legend

Ozzy, Yusaf and the Roots.

Tony Bennett

If you blow up the picture you can see Tony Bennett’s orange tie.

How many came?  Well HuffPo estimates about 215,000. There were tons dressed up in costume for Halloween. The rally ended at 3pm but we couldn’t use the mobile phone towers til about 3:30.  The following pics were taken from 3:30 on, when tens of thousands were still in the mall.This was taken over 45 minutes AFTER the rally was over.

This sign is for Steve and Sharon.

All in all it was a good time and I was quite thankful to be able to go.  It was a good time.  It was good to see so many people coming out!


’tis the season for squash

Spaghetti squash is one of my favorites.  I read this wonderful recipe from Molly Katzen’s “Vegetable Dishes I Can’t Live Without.”  Spaghetti Squash with Sage and Caramelized Onions.  The pictures below are poor quality as Tompaul has the camera…these are all taken with my blackberry.

First you take your Spaghetti Squash and look at it.  Love it….I SAID LOVE IT.Then you take your super sharp knife and cut it in half.Then you scrape out all the seeds.  Throw them away…we don’t need them cause we live in Baltimore and don’t have a garden.  Take this and place on a baking sheet with foil covering and a bit of oil.  See my MISTO.

Bake at 425F until you can insert a fork easily. Then use your fork to scrape out all the wonderful spaghetti.Then rebake it at 375F for another 30 minutes with caramelized onions and garlic.Top off with sage and parmesan cheese (my own addition).

The flavor was nutty and worked well with the parmesan cheese. It was quite tasty, autumnal one might say.

Girls Weekend: St. Louis

It’s been a long time coming!  This weekend was the annual girls weekend, but the first one I have been able to attend.  From Maryland, New York and Florida we converged on St. Louis to stay with Kristin.

We arrived Friday night and so commenced the weekend of hanging out.  It was good to laugh and relax with such good friends.  I for one was grateful to leave my pager behind and catch up.  That may be because the night before I was up till 5am and was running on 2 hours sleep.  Amy and flew in from Baltimore together…which was good because I needed to tnap in the airport and she made sure no one did cruel things…anyway.

Saturday morning Kate made an amazing coffee cake, I helped mix the strudel.  Then off we went to the biggest attraction, the arch.Inside is a nice museum.  Bears were prominent.  Here is Lisabear and Katebear. We thought it would be a great idea to go up in the arch.  Apparently this was designed in the 60s.  You go up in the arch in these “pods.”  Each pod fits 5 people.  So it requires you to go up in definitive groups.  We  were red 8.

While we were waiting there was much to see and do…Mark Twain anyone?Finally it was our turn to pod up!

Then we got to the top!  The thing about the top of the arch is that it sways about 9inches.  So we got up to the top and it made me woozy headead. Its like in my head I felt like I was swaying but my body said I was standing still.

It was good times!

We had dunch at the Brewery.  I got a delicious chitoptle black bean burger and tortillas.  For dessert we went to The Cup, a cupcake eatery.  We bought 6 to share!  My favorite was the pumpkin harvest.

Today we had brunch at Cafe Osage.  I had an AMAZIN huevos rancheros.  We ate outside and had lots of coffee, sunshine and good food!  Then off to Kristin’s church The Journey.

Almost time to run….how sad!  But it was sweet too, and if I didn’t have a good time I wouldn’t be sad.  We will have to do this again soon.


Band-aids and Books

Today I am giving a shout out to Earle Dickson.

Who is this wonderful man, orginially from Tennessee?  He created the worlds greatest invention, the Band-Aide.  His wife was a woman dear to my heart.

Josephine Dickson was constantly cutting, burning and scratching her fingers during cooking and other housie duties.  Imagine a bleedy finger…then trying to cut your gauze and then apply your own tape.  A little tricky.  Plus her bandages were always falling off cause she didn’t stop what she was doing…so he created the band-aid.

Why such a shout out?  Cause if you know me…or have seen me cook you know I am a klutz.  This weekend alone I have burned one finger, cut another and grated a knuckle.  So thanks Earl Dickson!  Much obliged.

Now for something less violent than my cooking (which today I made 4 batches of my fav. spinach pesto to freeze).  I finished The Rope Trick.  It is one of Lloyd Alexander’s later books, and one of my new favorites.  As a child I read the Pyridian Chronicles but didn’t know there were so many books.  Lloyd always had excellent heroines, something I appreciated.  Well in McKay book store I stumbled upon The Rope Trick. It is an captivating story about a magician’s daughter.  The store is not as epic as other books and seems to take place over a shorter time.  Also the books is dark and less humorous.  The ending is ambiguous and as an adult I love it.  Not sure how I would have felt as a 10 year old girl.  Anyway I recommend it.

Now off to my office for some serious work before we have our dinner guests tonight!

Indoor Rain/Moosewood Muffins

Its Saturday, my favorite day of the week.  In our previous life (Nashville) our Sabbath consisted of church, fun times with friends and time to regroup as a family.  In Baltimore we just haven’t found our niche yet.  Usually if I am not on call we are away.  But today I am on call.  So in order to keep our family traditions alive I made a special breakfast.

I woke up leisure like at 8:30 (I went to bed really early) and thought what can I make.  To my disappointment we have very little milk and only two eggs.  So clearly it would have to be a baked good not requiring much of either.  I hadn’t made moosewood muffins in ages so moosewood muffins it is.

The recipe comes from Moosewood New Classics, which is one my favorites.Essentially you can make any flavor muffin.  You just add 2 cups total to the recipe of any fruit/chocolate/nut combo.  For example 1 c strawberry, 1/2 c chocolate, 1/2 cup walnuts.

Today I decided on pumpkin apple, to keep w/in my fall theme. I used 1c cooked pumpkin, 3/4 c granny smith apples chopped and peeled, and 1/2 tsp cinnamon w/ a pinch of freshly grated nutmeg.  Then to my HORROR I realized all my muffin tins were in storage in Nashville.  What’s a girl to do?  Pull out her 9×13 pan of course.

So there it is sitting in my oven baking at 350F for 35 minutes.  Tompaul and I are settled in our chairs (we only have two) watching Man v. Wild: Ecuador.  FYI Bear Grylls is CRAZY.  And suddenly we hear rain…like rainforest rain.  I mean we are watching something on Ecuador.  Then we think…wait…is that INSIDE?  So like the responsible adult I am I go to the bathroom to make sure everything is okay.  That’s when I see it….water pouring from our 22′ ceiling!  At first it is a trickle…then there is about 15 spots raining everywhere in the front of our apartment.

Did someone die in the shower?

Should we call 911?

We start with the maintenance line.

“Hello.  Inner Harbor Loft Answering Service.”

“Yes. It’s raining in my apartment.”

“Excuse me?”

“Your excused.  It’s RAINING in my APARTMENT.”

“Oh, I thought you said it’s hailing in your apartment.  I’ll call maintenance.”

30 minutes later two guys come up and one of their teenage daughters.  I guess it was take your daughter to work day (on a Saturday).  “Oh wow.  That’s a lot of water.  It must be the apartment above you.” (good to know they are thinkers!)

Apparently the girl in 613 left her bathroom sink plugged up and didn’t notice it overflowing for FOURTY FIVE MINUTES.  When they went up there she was like “Oh!  My bad.  It was an accident.”  This reminds me of the NIHSS cookie caper.  Only a neurologist, or someone who has been checked for a stroke knows what I mean.  

So now we have two giant fans running in our apartment and our luggage spread out drying.  It stinks as all of the water dripped through 150 year old boards.  Ick.

“BEEEEEP”  “BEEEEEP”  “BEEEEEP”  Crap.  Is that my pager?  Oh wait! I have muffin’s in the oven!! (that’s why I set a timer).

The verdict?  Well the house smells like funkiness…but the muffin’s that aren’t muffins were AMAZING.  Very autumnal!  I like it.

Retro Viewing

Earlier this year Tompaul had a war with Comcast.  Essentially we made the decision to forgo cable internet and basic cable viewing.  Instead we now get our internet through a local company called port.

Our tv?  Well we use this thing called an antennae.  Crazy aye?  Of course we still watch our Colbert and Daily Show online…and with the money saved we got us some Netflix.  The most exciting bit?  Retro tv!

Right now Tompaul and I are making our way through Red Dwarf.  Tompaul apparently watched this as  young lad and has subsequently dragged me into the mess of it.  It’s a combo of 80’s crazy, british humor, sci fi and laugh track. What more could a girl ask for?  A cat that is now humanoid?  CHECK!

So Spicy It’ll Knock Your Socks Off Applesauce

Fall is amazing.  I love the scents, crispy air, the bonfires, and the food.  This year I want to celebrate and make as many autumnal dishes as possible.  I had a quick jaunt to Nashville this weekend and got to visit McKay book store.  One of my aquisitions was an old Martha Stewart Cookbook

Martha Stewart’s Healthy Quick Cook.

It is arranged seasonally, similar to my monk cookbook.  So I bought some crisp fall apples and decided to see what I could make up.  I found a recipie that was so scandalous (say it with some southern twang…scaaandOlus) I couldn’t resist it. Spicy Applesauce.

How does one make such a craaazy recipe?  

First chop up 8 apples.Put these in a saucepan w/ 1 c. apple cider, 1/2 tsp red paper, pinch cayenne pepper and pinch of ground black paper.  Simmer for 20 minutes.

I put it in my food processor and chopped coarsely.  Then I fed it to my husband.  He is a texture snob and didn’t like the “chunky” texture.  So begrudgingly I blended it.  The result?

So what’s the verdict?  It was HOT.  Too hot that I couldn’t taste the apples.  I think in the future I might a bit of red pepper to my apple sauce but not 1/2 tsp.  I mean it was good…it just left a burning feeling in my belly when I was done.  I think I am going to try some granny smith apple sauce with cinnamon tomorrow.