Here and There

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Strawberry Scones


I have a basic scone recipe that I use pretty frequently. Well, a lot. I like to add different fruits and such to it, like:
*dried apricots, dried cranberries AND chocolate chips (everything but the kitchen sink scones)
*dried cranberries and orange zest (a sissy flavor fave combo)
*currants (for the scone prosaic, like Peter)
and most recently *chopped strawberries

The best thing about the strawberry variety of this scone, which Gid and I gobbled for breakfast today, is that in the recipe, you stir in cream and whatever mix-in at the same time. I will tell you when the cream and the berries hit the bowl, the smell is...so good it made me laugh out loud today. That smell is almost better than how they taste, or maybe remembering the smell makes them taste better than they are...

To try: (this quantity makes 8 scones, I halve the recipe for the two of us so I don't eat scones all day...which I would if I had a bunch hanging around.)

2 c. flour
3 TB sugar
1 TB baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
5 TB unsalted butter, cut up
1 cup cream
1/2 to 1 cup mix in of your choice. (I use more or less depending on the mood)

Whir in food processor first 4 ingredients. Pulse butter in 8-10 pulses. Dump it in a bowl and pour in cream and mix-in. Stir with a stiff spatula or wooden spoon until it is more or less together. Dump it on a lightly floured counter and form a disc. Cut it into wedges and put them on a cookie sheet. Sprinkle sugar all over the tops, bake at 450 until golden. It is always better to let them cool a little first, but I usually eat one immediately and then enjoy a cooled one.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Danielson

So, I meant to write about this right away, and already everything I was thinking about this whole movie is kind of fading. Peter did a good job of saying why it was good, and important.

I remember when we saw Danielson at a music festival in 1999, everybody told me what to expect. "It's crazy, just wait, it's going to be crazy!" I had already heard of Danielson because dear Wendy, my old housemate, put a Danielson song on a mix tape for me in high school. (The same mix tape that introduced me to The Smiths.) I think it was called "Flesh Thang" and even though Daniel Smith has a crazy voice, I liked it. It was silly sounding and fun, and as a senior at a Christian high school, I wasn't very impressed that Danielson Famile sang about Jesus. Didn't everyone?

Then, at this festival, we saw them in all their glory: nurses uniforms, motions and all. It was crazy and fun, and again, I wasn't very impressed that they sang about Jesus. Big deal. People asked me all weekend if I was in Danielson. (Redhead stereotyping of a kind: She has red hair. That weird band had chicks with red hair in it. Ask that girl if she is in that band.) I talked to one of the brothers Danielson for a little bit after that show.

A couple years ago we saw Low and Danielson was opening for them. It was a wholly different experience to see them play a bar, with a crowd who did not know what to do with the yips and hoots and the clapping and the spiritual lingo. I enjoyed it, but I didn't know enough to be impressed that night.

Then, we watched a movie about the "Christian" music industry and Daniel Smith gave some interviews for it. I realized how much more there was to that guy. He was very serious, and very honest. That was impressive. He gave a smart, cool answer to the ridiculousness that was Christian Music. He was embarrassed of the same things I was embarrassed of. He thought the same things were problematic about having such a genre at all.

Which finally brings us to "Danielson, A Family Movie or Make a Joyful Noise HERE."
I was totally impressed. They are unapologetic, they are artistically daring, they all really love God and are completely unashamed to proclaim it. I was most struck when I watched them all sing with such GLADNESS, such real joy and feeling "I love you Lord, I love you Lord, I love you Lord, I love you Lord" on stage at a bar in front of people who were mostly just staring at them bewildered. I thought "Wow, that is so gutsy." I wish I were so gutsy. I think I'd be afraid to do that.

I liked seeing Daniel and Sufjan's relationship develop and see how Sufjan's success was inconsequential to Daniel. He was soley interested in developing creatively, as led by God, and wasn't interested in success. I liked that Sufjan took some of Daniel's ideas and made them his own because Daniel's ideas were so clever. I wish all the Sufjan people knew that.

Anyway, a long post. Mostly to say I'm impressed by Daniel Smith and Danielson in general. Go to Gid's blog and watch the little videos.


Thursday, April 12, 2007

She should win a medal...


What a sweet cat. I know Kate's been making numerous appearances on the blog lately. But she's so cute in pictures! To make this more substantial I will give 5 reasons why I love Kate.
1. She is softer than a rabbit.
2. She likes to snuggle.
3. She looks like a Beatrix Potter cat you could have tea with.
4. She gallops around sometimes.
5. She is generous with her purrs and strictly conversational with her meows. (No excessive meowing here.)

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

of peony, that tricky flower...


"Of asphodel, that greeny flower,

like a buttercup

upon its branching stem-"

William Carlos Williams wrote those words, and sometimes they get
stuck
in my head and I use that little phrase to describe other flowers.

So peonies are a tricky kind. They are not easy to grow around here, so I've
been told. So that makes them tricky...and they smell outrageously sweet at first,
when they first open. The kind of smell you can barely believe. But give them a
few days and they smell like walking by an open dumpster. That's one of
their tricks too.
Also, they start out as perfectly round, hard balls of green. A little pink or red
hardly showing, so you can't tell what they're really going to be when they open up.
But, I'm telling you, when they do, they are these crazy ballgowns turned upside down.

(It's true that flowers can be so darn slutty, showing it all off. Sometimes they
give the impression that they're not wearing a slip, or sometimes having actual
Marilyn moments over the subway air vents)

These full blown beauties are like Degas ballerinas turned upside down.
Shameless! Glorious!


Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Easter's on its way!


I've been waiting for Easter for a long time it seems like. With all my dragging of the feet about Lent, it seems like it snuck up on me and here it is. I tried to memorize some scripture during Lent, which was helpful and gave some purpose to the season for me. But now here I am, and Easter is Sunday and aside from all the busy little things I have to do to get ready church-wise and dinner-wise, I am glad, glad, glad.



I am glad that Lilian kicks hard now.
I am glad that Book Club is alive and kicking too.
I am glad that I've planted things in the garden:
like lilacs from Jan, roses, sweet peas, scented geranium.
I am glad that strawberries have been on sale lately.

Simple glads, not complicated. But, I am so glad for Jesus and I am glad it is Easter soon.

Question: Can I, who cried when Gid asked if we had a calculator and I told him he had to use the one on the computer, get through the Good Friday service to get to Easter?