MILK

I once read a piece written by a person opposed to dairy consumption which said that man was the only mammal that drinks the milk of another animal. And I believed it. For a time.

However…

Also, I read recently that “even the horses ridden by the Arab chiefs in moving their camel herds across the desert are often dependent, sometimes for as long as three months, upon the milk of the camels for their nutrition.”

Fascinating.

FOOD FACTORY

I’ve currently got five containers on my counters that are various food things in various stages of completion or fermentation.

(from right to left)

Sauerkraut – I just threw this one together a few minutes ago – cabbage, chiles, sea salt, and whey.  I mashed it all together and then smashed it all into a jar.  In a week or so, I’ll taste it.  Yum!  Last time was too salty.  I used less salt this time.  We’ll see how it turns out.

Yoghurt – I’ve got a jar of milk and greek yoghurt that’s culturing into a full jar of yoghurt.

Kishk – I’ve got a cracked wheat and rolled oat mixture fermenting with some homemade yoghurt in order to make a Middle Eastern food which will become kishk granola on Thursday when I add coconut and raisins.

Sourdough Sponge – my sourdough sponge is proofing.  Tomorrow I’ll add the rest of the whole wheat flour and water and let the dough rise its first rising.

Hazelnut-Cocoa Spread (aka Primal/Vegan Nutella) – I roasted my Hazelnuts today.  They’re cooling on the stove before I grind them into paste tomorrow!

Besides the large mound of rabbit-like dishes, that’s what’s happening in my kitchen!

This blog post is a part of GNOWFGLINS’ Tuesday Twister!

WHY I LOVED THE NBC DRAMA “KINGS”

Months ago, while zonked on the couch waiting for my body to repair the giant holes in my gums where I once stored my four wisdoms, I caught up on some Netflix selections.  After watching a few choices from my Instant Queue, I decided to check out a drama about which I’d heard good things from my momma and my friend Mike Ford.

Ryan and I had seen the previews for Kings early in the year and were intrigued.  Truthfully, I’d hoped beyond all hope that it wouldn’t be another show geared toward Christians within which the bar of quality is set so low that even the most forgiving of us can’t watch.  That hope was fulfilled.

Kings was a smart, well-written, fascinating, suspenseful drama and I already knew the whole story!  Once I got beyond the fact that EP Michael Green got a “created by” credit for a bible story, I was held rapt for 43 minutes (I watched it on Hulu.com).  The show was well shot.  It was well paced and edited.  Well performed and well written.  The story was fascinating.  And I was emotionally connected.  It had an unearthly sort of raw, yet fantastical quality to it.  The writting sounded shakespearean.  The cinematography was beautiful.  And I could watch Ian McShane for hours and hours.

Why on earth was it cancelled?

Perhaps it was because the character that Ian McShane played was carrying the series and, unfortunately, he needed an equal.  The character of David was written as meek and gentle, but I think a powerful, reckless David would have been more interesting to watch.  Chris Egan was a delight to watch, mind you.  And what’s up with all the hot, young blond actors coming from Australia?

Perhaps it was NBC.

While the show was on the air, NBC hosted (and still hosts) a blog by the writers called The Court Historian.  I thought it was a rather clever little way for the audience to sneak behind the scenes and learn about television production.  The latest post, written by creator Michael Green, is a fascinating look into the cancellation of the show.  He shows great restraint and  with this quote:

Even if it is tempting to trash NBC, we do owe them gratitude. Writing, acting, filming is about the work, not the reward, and NBC allowed us to make the best possible show we could. They let us film in New York. They let us assemble a cast without equal on the network landscape. A group of actors who came ready every day to spin the broken-meter mouthfuls we wrote for them into song. Ian McShane, Chris Egan, Susanna Thompson, Sebastian Stan, Allison Miller, Dylan Baker, Eamonn Walker, Marlyne Afflack, Becky Ann Baker… Every one of them suffered long hours, cold nights, and still came prepared, passionate, elevating every piece of material put to them. They made us look better than we deserve.

Read the rest of the post if you’re at all interested in the inner workings of the entertainment industry.

I had considered writing a spec for Kings.  But alas, that would be pointless now.

I am gonna buy some butterfly stickers.  Just for kicks.

Three Kinds of Popcorn

I don’t normally eat popcorn.  I like to avoid corn products usually.  But tonight we had an Open House here at Club Fritch and popcorn is a rather inexpensive and (other than not having a chip-like snack food at all) a relatively healthy alternative to other snack foods.  And we have an air-popper.

But I didn’t want to serve bland, plain popcorn, or even just buttered and salted popcorn.   So I got out the air-popper and the corn and opened my kitchen shelves to see what fancy things could season my popcorn.  A while back Amy Mac had given me a shaker of fine-ground salt.  So I started with that.  Butter and salt is a mainstay; so I made that and called it Movie Popcorn.

Then I remembered that I’d added parmesan to popcorn before and it’d been yummy; so I pulled out the parmesan.  But I didn’t want just the cheese flavour.  So I pulled from my favourite potato chip flavour and added black pepper.  I seasoned that one with a little salt and mixed in some melted butter.  It was cheesy and spicy and I called it Peppered Parmesan.

And I’ve recently fallen in love with a salty-sweet chocolate covered almond snack at Trader Joe’s, and people love kettle corn, so I wondered what I could make that was salty and sweet.  I knew that when we’ve made our own granola we’ve mixed molasses with maple syrup to get a lovely sweet drizzle that covers most everything.  So I mixed a little molasses (1/4 cup?) and a little Grade B maple syrup (1/4 cup?) in a saucepan and melted it together.  I drizzled that over the freshly popped popcorn and added the finely ground sea salt and ta da!  I had a salty and sweet snack that I called Salty Molasses.

Popcorn

Looks like the Salty Molasses was the favourite!

Recipes for Peppered Parmesan and Salty Molasses are after the jump.

Enjoy!

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Too Many Ideas for Free Fun

Ryan and I have been on a tight budget.  That is not to say that we’re broke.  In fact, our giving is up, we’re making respectable contributions to our IRA and we’re paying down our debt in a responsible fashion.  But because we’re doing all these things, what’s left doesn’t leave much room for shopping sprees or reckless recreation.

So back in June I did a search of some blogs and discovered a few ideas for how to spend my time and not my money!  Here’s a few of my favourites:

Sally Parrott Ashbrook at Aprovechar suggests:

  • having a DVD exchange with your friends
  • visit your local farmers market (you don’t even have to buy anything to have fun!)
  • play a board game
  • picnic in a nearby park you’re always driving past
  • gather friends and have a creative painting party
  • host a tea party (surely you have tea!)
  • go berry picking (is it too late for that up north?)
  • go for a bike ride
  • volunteer
  • nap

Frugal Duchess in her post on WiseBread suggests (among other things):

  • listing to music
  • writing a letter
  • do a clothing purge
  • draw
  • nap

Rachel at Small Notebook suggests:

  • hosting an impromtu dance party!
  • watching the sunset (or sunrise, I might add)
  • people watch!
  • dress up formally and go eat fast food (I love this one!)
  • figure out the free day for your local museum and check it out
  • go fly a kite (and perhaps make it yourself too!)

Sarah at Simply Sunshine put together a list of 100 things, including:

  • climbing a tree
  • writing inspirational messages in chalk around your community
  • go to a fancy dress shop and try on pretty things
  • go antiquing
  • eat breakfast outside
  • host a potluck in your home
  • nap in the sunshine

Any more suggestions?