Ten on Tuesday: Ways to Deal with an Overabundance of Produce

Answers vary depending on what you’ve got, but I like to do the following:

  1. Slow roast tomatoes in a 200 degree oven overnight.  Wash and halve the tomatoes (or leave them whole if they’re really small).  Line a baking tray with parchment paper or tinfoil.  Place the tomatoes on the tray skin-side down, then top with salt and pepper, herbs, and a drizzle of olive oil.  Bake overnight, or until your house smells like tomato candy and the tomatoes are tiny and dry.  Eat by the handful, or freeze in a tightly sealed container.
  2. Make a frittata!  Seriously, you can put anything in a frittata, especially excess greens.
  3. Or, for that matter, a quiche.  I like apples, onions, and cheddar.
  4. There no rule that says that pesto has to contain basil, pine nuts, and parmesan.  I like to make cilantro pesto with cashews.  Bzzz up your greens, nuts, oil, seasoning, and cheese (if you’d like), then freeze what you don’t anticipate eating in the next few days.
  5. I have friends who swear by green smoothies, but I’ve never partaken.  I’d advise against including apricot kernels, however, as they contain trace amounts of cyanide.  Yes, that cyanide.
  6. Root vegetables that have gone soft can be used to make stock, which can then be used in soup, risotto, or a variety of other things – or frozen.  Just don’t freeze it in a glass jar.  Trust me.
  7. Most firm vegetables can be pickled, especially cucumbers, zucchini, and beans.
  8. Wash and quickly blanch vegetables in boiling water, then freeze on a baking tray in a single layer.  Once frozen, transfer to freezer containers.  The texture won’t be as good as fresh, but you can conceal that in a risotto or vegetable puree.
  9. There are few things that aren’t delicious when baked with oil and seasoning or fried.  Think kale chips, sweet potato fries, fried green beans, homefries, fried green tomatoes.
  10. Similarly, there are few things that aren’t delicious when grilled.  You can grill far more things than you’d imagine – including peaches and romaine lettuce.  I might grill both of those things tonight, in fact.


Ten on Tuesday is a listserv-driven meme thingamagig.


Things I Love Thursday #5

  1. I seriously lose my shit at least once a day over Damn You Auto Correct!
  2. This week’s On the Media, which may have been the most fun On the Media yet.  I would like to specifically draw your attention to these two segments, the latter of which led me to Zero Views, another recent obsession:
  3. I’m in pretty good shape with both holiday shopping and crafting – most of the remaining purchases are necessarily last minute, and most of the remaining crafting could slide into January if necessary.
  4. I won free Chipotle lunch for my entire office (or for up to 30 people) by dropping a calling card – they’re not really business cards if they don’t come from your employer, right? – in a drawing last week.
  5. As a result, I keep thinking of this:
  6. M I Fivvvvvvve. What will happen to Ruth? If Ros has that thing implanted behind her ear, does that mean they can hear her in the bathroom? Will I blow through the remaining seasons by the end of the year?
  7. Getting caught up on Fringe.  I heart Walter Bishop and I hate fake Olivia.
  8. Oh so finally done with this issue of Vanity Fair, which inexplicably took me nearly an entire month to read.

Kitchen Meme

From The Boastful Baker:

metal or non-stick?
– Depends on what we’re cooking.  The non-stick is in heavy rotation for breakfast items, but the cast iron grill pan does its fair share with the meats and quick dinner items.  We also have this workhorse of a pan that is excellent for stovetop-to-oven items, but I’m not sure its specific make-up.

cast iron or stainless?
– More cast iron than stainless of late.  We’re pretty inspired by all the things Kevin does with his.

cutting board: silicone or wood?
– We have both, and use whatever’s handiest.  Usually silicone for things that are going to be messy, wood for kneading bread and eating cheese.

knife: carbon steel or stainless?
– Wüsthof all the way, though we still have some dingy steak knives that need replacing.

KitchenAid or hand mixer?
– My KitchenAid is such a beast, but I love it.

cooktop: gas, electric, induction?
– Regrettably electric.  I really miss having a gas stove.

side-by-side, freezer on top, fridge on top?
– Freezer on top.  We had to buy a shelf for our freezer because it had no internal organization and was Out Of Control.  I wish I’d taken a picture of it when it was loaded down with the summer’s produce.

apron or whoops?
– I’m a fan of the dish towel over the shoulder approach, but I’ve been trying to wear an apron more.  SB’s good at the apron.

mashed potatoes: by hand, ricer, or mixer?
– When we make mashed potatoes for the holidays in my family, we usually make five pounds at a time.  There’s no way I’m doing all of that by hand.  Why else do I have a KitchenAid?

sandwich or wrap?
– Sandwiches please!

pb & _________ ?
– Celery or apples as a snack, please!

pancakes: syrup or applesauce?
– Syrup if they’re regular, lingonberries if they’re Swedish.

cake: scratch or mix?
– I can’t remember the last time I baked a cake.  It was probably from a mix, but I’d like to make ’em from scratch in the future.

chili: beans or no?
– Either way is fine by me!  As a former veg, it always seems a bit weird when chili doesn’t have beans; however, my favorite recipe doesn’t have any, so do with that what you will.

napkin: cloth or paper?
– Cloth.

BBQ: takes the whole weekend to make or take out?
– Take out.  We’re not Southern enough – or at all – to make true BBQ, and we don’t have a grill, so there’s only the occasional cook out in these parts.

chicken: white or dark?
– I prefer white, but Shane enjoys the dark.  We’ve been eating more chicken thighs lately, but I’m not sure if they’re white or dark.

ice cream: cone or dish?
– Cone if we’re out, dish if we’re home.  I would also like jimmies and a cherry on top.

25 things, part two

Because I’ve been tagged again, I will try my best to come up with 25 additional things that may be of interest and/or amusement about me.  I might fail, though, so don’t hold your breath.

1. I really enjoy baking bread.  I likes kneading it, and I likes eating it.
2. I wrote my senior thesis on Joseph Conrad even though I didn’t really like him.  In retrospect, I’m not really sure why I got such a good grade on it.
3. I go through phases in which I’m really interested in alchemy.
4. I would really like to learn Esperanto for absolutely no good reason.
5. I used to think that if I ever moved somewhere new, I would like to go by my middle name, which is Marie.
6. I was a practical instructor for the med school at the University of Illinois.  This meant that among other things, I taught med students to do breast and pelvic exams.
7. As a result of #6, I am now quite competent at breast and pelvic exams, though I’m totally not diagnostically qualified to do them.
8. Also as a result of #6, I know that I have an anteverted uterus and nodular breast tissue, and both of those things are NORMAL.
9. Also as a result of #6, I learned the word ‘os’, which has come in handy while playing Scrabble recently.
10. I’m about six weeks away from defending my thesis for my Certificate of Advanced Study, a degree I’m completing mainly because I left a doctoral program and didn’t want my work to go to waste.
11. I wasn’t allowed to watch cartoons when I was a kid, so I missed out on all of the theme songs and commercial jingles that Shane and Keem seem to know so well.
12. My first pet was a fish from a carnival.  It lived a lot longer than carnival fish should.
13. Since then I have had: 4 cats and 1 rabbit, plus other secondary pets owned by roommates.  I think I also had a fish, but I can’t really remember.
14. I love love love county fairs, but really only the ones that have small animal barns for my perusal.  I particularly like the chickens that appear to be wearing pants.
15. I currently have my tongue, ears, and tragii pierced.  I used to have my belly button pierced, along with a second stud in my tongue.
16. When I went to library school, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do, but I thought it might involve kids.
17. Within the first week of library school, I decided that I didn’t want to be a librarian – not because I didn’t like library stuff, but because I was much more engaged in other things.  Whoops.
18. Last year I canned vegetables and made pickles for the first time.  I’m looking forward to expanding my canning empire in the new year.
19. I infinitely prefer sleeping with the windows open to the alternative, even if it means that the light makes it harder to get to sleep.  This may be a reaction to the fact that most of my relationship dudes have preferred a very dark bedroom.
20. I love ranch dressing.  It’s a fault, and I know it, but I don’t really care.
21. I am Very Bad at video games.
22. I played volleyball in junior high and high school.  I’m not sure why I was encouraged to do this, as I wasn’t very good.  Things that involve hand-eye coordination and/or things flying at my face are generally a bad idea for me.
23. In college I wrote some very melodramatic poetry that was published in the school literary journal.  But then who didn’t?
24. When I was 4, I was very concerned about extinction.  To wit, I cried when I learned that the dodo was extinct.
25. Serve me a relish tray, and I’ll be happy.  It was always the first thing to go at the holidays at grandma’s house because my sibs and I would steal all the olives and pickles.  That hasn’t changed.

25 Things (a meme from Sonya)

Reposted from my FB.

1. I once responded to a spanking from my parents (the cause of which is lost to the ages) by saying “I’m surprised that didn’t even hurt!”. I was inspired to say this because I’d just read the Little House on the Prairie books, which I guess discussed the power of positive thinking? My Mom wasn’t amused.
2. I don’t like fish. I don’t like them swimming by me, and I don’t like eating them. Well, most of them. I’ll make exceptions.
3. One of my very favoritest movies is Strictly Ballroom.
4. My in-utero name was “Wayne-O”. I’m not sure if my parents knew my gender.
5. I sucked my thumb until an embarrassingly advanced age. It just occurred to me – just this very moment – that perhaps the thumbsucking actually did good things for my teeth by preventing me from grinding at night.
6. I wear a night guard now to protect my teeth because of the grinding.
7. The first computer my family owned was a Leading Edge, and I recall my sister chewing on rocks in the parking lot when we went to pick it up in Beloit in 1987.
8. I think I might have perfected chocolate chip cookies this year.
9. I’m really fascinated by Robert Cotton.
10. I was briefly married.
11. I have worn glasses or other corrective eye-wear since age 10, and contacts since age 13. I had coke bottle glasses. I might even post a picture of them.
12. I never believed in Santa or the tooth fairy, in part because the tooth fairy’s handwriting was suspiciously like my dad’s.
13. When I graduated from college, I tried to find a publishing job by basically cold-calling every publisher in the Chicagoland area, except that I only got through about the Cs before giving up.
14. I quit ballet at age 6 because it hurt my feet.
15. I signed up to “adopt” one of those kids from the very sad tv commercials, but then had to un-adopt by sending a sad note about how I had unexpected expenses and couldn’t afford to do this.
16. The unexpected expenses resulted from me breaking my clarinet. Because I whacked it against the case. Because I hated it. I was 12 (or so).
17. I’m a bit concerned that my children will never be as cute as Oscar.
18. I’m also a bit concerned (and SB can back me up here) that there’s a 50% (give or take) chance that whatever children I do have will be boys.
19. I did not vote for Blagojevich.
20. I also did not vote for Al Gore. In fact, I didn’t vote at all in that election, because I didn’t actually realize how important voting was until it was too late.
21. I have been commuting primarily by public transportation or foot power for four solid years.
22. I made an attempt to whiten my teeth once, but then I realized that I like coffee and red wine too much to make a difference.
23. I quit smoking three years ago, though I still have the occasional social smoke.
24. I thought about minoring in computer science, but that was mostly for a boy. In retrospect, I probably should’ve done it.
25. I really, really, really, really, really love being in the water. Or on the water. Or by the water. Maybe it’s a result of growing up with all that corn.

Flickr meme from Kimberly at Music & Cats:

Mosaic Meme

Here’s how it works:

* Type your answers to each of the questions below into Flickr Search
* Using only the first page, pick an image
* Copy and paste each of the URLs into the mosaic maker


1. What is your first name?
2. What is your favorite food?
3. What high school did you go to?
4. What is your favorite color?
5. Who is your celebrity crush?
6. Favorite drink?
7. Dream vacation?
8. Favorite dessert?
9. What do you want to be when you grow up?
10. What do you love most in life?
11. One word to describe you.
12. Your Flickr name.

1. Maria Elizabeth Winblad (1895-1987) and Otto Perry Winblad (1902-1977) circa 1905-1910 possibly at Wayne Street in Jersey City, New Jersey, 2. Meant To Be Dinner: Cheese Board, 3. Day 100/366: A Well Lit Memory Lane, 4. Handmade Postcard – Cyan, Blue Green, Green, 5. Day 130/366: Ralph Fiennes, Rendered in Chalk, 6. My coffee loves me too, 7. Morocco. Alone in the sahara desert., 8. German Chocolate Cake!, 9. i like you because you are a good person to like, 10. sub urban love, 11. 247/365 Silly IS Sexy, 12. Brixton tube

LibraryThing meme

(From Sonya and Kasia, and I think I might have done this before.)

Below is a list of the top 106 books tagged “unread” on LibraryThing. The rules:
bold = what you’ve read,
italics = books you started but couldn’t finish
crossed out = books you hated
* = you’ve read more than once
underline = books you own but haven’t read yourself

1. Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke
2. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
3. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
4. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
5. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte*
6. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
7. The Silmarillion by J.R.R. Tolkien
8. Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra
9. The Odyssey by Homer
10. The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
11. Ulysses by James Joyce
12. Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
13. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
14. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
15. A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
16. The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco
17. Moby Dick by Herman Melville
18. The Iliad by Homer
19. Emma by Jane Austen
20. Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray
21. Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
22. The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood
23. The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer
24. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
25. The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova
26. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
27. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
28. The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
29. Life of Pi by Yann Martel
30. Guns Germs and Steel by Jared Diamond
31. Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand (three times!)
32. Foucault’s Pendulum by Umberto Eco
33. Dracula by Bram Stoker
34. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
35. A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers
36. Frankenstein by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley
37. Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf*
38. Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi
39. Middlemarch by George Eliot
40. Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
41. The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
42. Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden
43. The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner
44. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
45. Quicksilver by Neal Stephenson
46. American Gods by Neil Gaiman
47. Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
48. The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
49. Wicked by Gregory Maguire
50. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce
51. The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
52. Dune by Frank Herbert
53. The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie
54. Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift
55. Mansfield Park by Jane Austen
56. The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas
57. The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen
58. The Inferno by Dante Alighieri
59. Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens
60. The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand
61. To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf
62. A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
63. Tess of the D’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy
64. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon
65. Persuasion by Jane Austen
66. One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey
67. The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
68. Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe
69. Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman
70. The Once and Future King by T.H. White
71. Atonement by Ian McEwan
72. The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy
73. A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson
74. Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood
75. Dubliners by James Joyce
76. Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson
77. Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt
78. Beloved by Toni Morrison
79. Collapse by Jared Diamond
80. The Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo
81. In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
82. Lady Chatterley’s Lover by D.H. Lawrence
83. A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole
84. Les Misérables by Victor Hugo
85. Watership Down by Richard Adams
86. The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli
87. The Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman
88. Beowulf by Anonymous
89. A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway
90. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert M. Pirsig
91. The Aeneid by Virgil
92. Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
93. Sons and Lovers by D.H. Lawrence
94. David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
95. The Road by Cormac McCarthy
96. Possession by A.S. Byatt
97. Tom Jones by Henry Fielding
98. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
99. Gravity’s Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon
100. War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells
101. Tender is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald
102. Candide by Voltaire
103. Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
104. The Plague by Albert Camus
105. Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy
106. Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier