Here and There

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Good Day

A good day is when October magazines come in the mail. Especially when 2 come on the same day! Time to pull out the Oct. Martha Stewart Livings of yore and get my fill of flipping through pages of pumpkins, chrysanthemums and soups!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

California Academy of Sciences

I've been waiting for a long time for this...

We got to go to our member preview on Monday, so Lil and I got a sneak peek at the Academy.

The crazy penguins!
Outside the front right side.

The rainforest globe wasn't open...these guys were busy washing the whole thing.

The Morrison Planetarium (The rainforest and the planetarium are the two globes in the new building.)

Some of the diaramas in the African Hall just had plastic over them, outside the glass waited to be installed.

The white alligator was out in all his glory at the swamp.

A lower level view of the Phillipine Coral Reef.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Will Power

The Frangipane tart was good. It was special. But what got made with the leftovers was better...

The extra tart dough made an adorable little 6 inch tart. I will say that this dough is BY FAR the easiest dough I've ever worked with and it is flaky in a way I thought only puff pastry could be. I wouldn't use it for a pie, but for a tart it is perfect.

The leftover pastry cream went into the baked tart shell and sliced ripe mango went on top. Best 3 bites I've had in weeks!

This is now what is sitting in my refrigerator...waiting. For Peter to get home and eat it!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Baking for book club

Today I felt lousy, had a headache, sore throat...I wanted to do nothing except bake for tonight's book club. I thought I would make something pretty simple and spend the day quietly with Lil. Then, after we ate a pear for breakfast that was perfectly ripe, I got inspired to make a pear tart. I got the Tartine cookbook for my birthday and knew there must be some sort of delicious pear tart in there, and sure enough...Frangipane Tart with pears. It required a lot of steps: Flaky tart dough, pastry cream, frangipane cream, poach pears and then bake it all up. But I had all the ingredients in the house so I went for it. Good thing Lily likes to pull everything out of the cabinets and play on the kitchen floor because that's where we spent most of the morning. I pulled an Alexis and didn't taste ANYTHING while I was baking and I am excited to taste this tonight.

This cook's notes:
Elisabeth and Chad (Tartine's authors) suggest using a tart ring without a bottom, which I did and it made it very easy to go from baking sheet-cooling rack-pretty plate.
They also say to fill it up with 3 cups of the frangipane cream which in my heart I was thinking: "Too much! Too much!" and I was right. It overflowed a lot. I had plenty of dough from the halved recipe, so I would suggest making a 6 inch and a 9 inch and split the 3 cups between the 2 tarts.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


I saw this movie almost a year ago and it still comes into my mind often. At the recommendation of Chrissy we put this in our queue, Lily was new and we were tearing through the netflix as fast as possible. No mail pick up on Sunday really sets you back in your dance with netflix.

We got it and we watched it one evening while I folded all the tiny laundry. I was completely enchanted by it. It was actually pretty emotional to see his 16 mm footage of Glen Canyon before it was covered in water by a dam. It was one of the most stirring, beautiful films I've seen. You should watch it.

David Brower, Pete Seeger and Jayber Crow have been the 3 men all connected in my mind lately. I'm not usually one to pat some man on the back for achievement...I mean, things are sort of set up in such a way that they will in some way achieve, but I have a lot of admiration for these 3 because they went against the tide as best they could. (Yeah, yeah, I know one is fictional, but Jayber's creator Wendell Berry is pretty aligned with Brower and Seeger.)

Maybe Woody Guthrie fits in this group as well, actually.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Things Change

It's hard to adjust to one nap instead of two. Even though she wanted it that way, some days we see more of this face than her impish smile.

In this turning of the season I feel like I'm watching change all around me. The summer vegetable garden looks all strung out, brown at the bottom, a little bitter (the greens) and a little rotten (the zucchini). The tomatoes are coming in steadily, but that's about it. All the sunflowers have been dead and gone for awhile now. I got some pansies and johnny-jump-ups to plant, but haven't had time. Lily is a little girl now, and hardly a baby. This season has also found me counting points, somehow finally able to commit to Weight Watchers. It's nice to have the mind/heart space to care for myself in this way. It all kind of hinged on having a baby...first you gain all this weight, then after the baby is born you give all your attention to it. It's hard to even imagine how many points are in a Bake Sale Betty's scone when you are gazing at your infant in wonder/worry. But now, I am putting in the time and energy (and it really does take time and energy) and it feels good.

I've been thinking about how so often the things that delight or intrigue you naturally resemble each other...or are intertwined in some way. We saw a great documentary about Pete Seeger on KQED called "The Power of Song". It was really interesting and kind of dovetailed with what I was reading in Jayber Crow about war/community/action. Maybe this is meant for a whole other post. I will continue to ruminate and report back.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Good quote I read last night in Jayber Crow

Thinking to try to comfort him, I said, "Well, along with all else, there's goodness and beauty too. I guess that's the mercy of the world."
Mat said, "The mercy of the world is you don't know what's going to happen."

Friday, September 05, 2008

My Birthday

Well, my enter, enter, enter technique didn't work so I will have to try another way...

Today is my birthday. I like to do exactly what I want on my birthday, which today I think includes a points-free day, naps and reading Jayber Crow. I am so glad to re-read this book for book club, some passages are so insightful, in a kind of cut-to-the-quick way that it's almost better the second time.

It is only 9:30am and it is oppressively hot.


Thursday, September 04, 2008

Blog Complaint.

I don't like how after my last statement on the new blog format it has that little tag with the "posted by" thing. Especially because my style is to have a nice little package of a post with a good last statement and now this little tag competes with me. I'm going to have to press return a few times and see if it makes a little more space.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

The Land

I came across this painting months ago while doing an image search for something I can't remember now. But I saw this and immediately saved it because I thought it was so good. I don't know who the artist is or what the painting is called, but it's nice.

On Sunday I was walking around in the courtyard of the senior center during church with Lily. There was no one else there, we were just walking quietly together and she was trying out some new stuff- stepping into the sandy horseshoe pit, stepping out of it. Stepping on a piece of wood, stepping on it again and then one more time just to make sure. Patting the apple tree, smelling the flowers, you know, stuff you gotta do. A dove was eating under the apple tree. It made a small sound and we both turned to see it. Just then it flew up over us and away and we both watched it go up. It was nice to notice that together. When doves are eating on the ground in the evening it's a pleasant sort of feeling. You know they feel safe and calm and it makes you feel the same sort of peacefulness. Especially in these transitional evenings which seem so much more golden than usual.