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we drove out to troutdale today, to oxbow park on the sandy river. i expected to see early campers, but not a single tent to be seen. just about a dozen or so fisherpeople parked in random campsites to get to the river. we walked along the trails and looked in the riffles to see if we could see any spring run salmon (nope) and then picked along the shale until we found a nice log to eat our lunch upon. i had cheddar and tomato, an apple. everything tastes better outdoors. it was cold enough for fleece jackets, windy along the beaches. we watched people fly fishing in the river, saw kayakers put in and begin to float down with the current.

the sandy is an interesting color, like a green-blue sometimes from the glacial melt. oxbow park was really nice (now i want to go camping there so bad!) but it wasn't the spot on the sandy that i remember from when i was a kid. my parents used to take us to this bridge where you could pull off and then pick your way across huge boulders down to the river's edge. it's always cold, even in the summer, but you can roll your pants up and pretend your bones aren't dying for a couple minutes, maybe in august when it's hottest.

no birds, though, and hardly any foliage. it was like going back in a time a month or so, compared to portland, which is sprouting up flowers and growing grass and leaves and flowering trees everywhere.

on the way home, we stopped at the outlet stores so i could buy some clothes. i spent $200 at the pregs store so i can stop complaining every morning when i get dressed for work. thank goodness, i finally have stuff that fits and looks nice.
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i bought a sewing machine!

$106 on the singer website for a factory reconditioned singer 5160. i wanted this one because it is nearly the same as one i've used before. plus, i don't want/need 80,000 charming stitch patterns, only the normal ones.

it should come in time for my birthday. i guess this is my birthday present to myself? (that and our night at the hot springs!)
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1. ♥ bumble and bumble hair powder
2. going to st. louis, sunday to wednesday
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last weekend i finally bought phaidon's new cookbook the silver spoon. it is a translation of il cucchiaio d'argento, allegedly the most famous cookbook in italy, though i can't say i ever once saw a kitchen with a cookbook in it while i was there. even so, it is a remarkable book:

last night we made a simple fettuccine alla vodka which was delicious, a rich and complex flavor, and even better than previous homemade versions i have had of vodka sauce (and now i do not think we will ever buy it in a jar again). for lunch yesterday, we made very decadent mozzarella in carozza sandwiches, thick slices of mozzarella on crustless bread, dipped in egg and fried in a bit of butter until golden brown. simply amazing. on the menu for the coming week: meatballs, chicken and pancetta roulades, broccoletti.

it is also a heavy, gorgeous beastie of a book, hardcover and 1,200+ pages, many photos included. recipes and indices are in both english and italian, and helpful comparisons of italian vs american butcher diagrams are included, as are descriptions of obscure vegetables and their (occasional) domestic equivalents. it is grouped by sections corresponding to traditional course order -- soups and pastas, meats and egg dishes, cheeses and dolci, etc.; each section also has basic information, such as techniques for shirring or coddling or soft-boiling in the egg section, and general time-per-pound guidelines for meats. it is a weighty captain's atlas to the classic italian cooking's weekend travelogue (bought several weeks ago), if you will.

i am very excited to have it in my kitchen. i don't know of any tv italian chefs hawking trustworthy books, and many general italian cookbooks i've seen have been heavily weighted to a particular region, or are either overly fussy or overly americanized. so now, i can stop looking, because i think i've found the perfect italian cookbook.
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my zojirushi ms. bento lunch jar arrived today!

it has a little tote bag. and a chopstick-holder that sits
in a special elastic band in the bag, so it doesn't rattle
around. the smaller jars on the right fit into the big jar
on the left; the middle jar is watertight for soups, the
little section for other foods, with a little crescent-shaped
internal dish to keep foods separate.

so cute!

i also ordered the larger mr bento for longer days when i
need to bring lunch + dinner/snack. mr bento comes with a bag,
but not a cute bag like the ms bento.
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things i want to remember about today: the way the golden mid-afternoon winter light looked in east boston, riding out on the blue line to wonderland. the way the triple-decker houses scanning by in a row looked so familiar and gentle. and later how all the blue scrambled clouds were flocking over 1A while i drove along and a xavier rudd song played on the radio that made me think of paul simon.


at black ink today i bought classic italian cooking: recipes for mastering the italian kitchen, which is a small, perfectly utilitarian hardback book with green edges and two bookmark ribbons, and the whole thing came pleasingly wrapped in crinkly cellophane. there is an identical edition on french cooking, in tiffany blue. so pretty, though i refuse to buy pretty cookbooks if i won't use them.

for dinner tonight: savory and sweet pocket pies. yum.
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true to form, kirk and i called around to no less than five eb games locations, in and around boston suburbs, and not a single one had a copy of guitar hero II in stock. "did you pre-order a copy?" "still no re-stock since christmas sales." "we might be getting a shipment in about a week." for good measure, i also tried a couple targets, but no dice.

so what hallowed vendor of gaming goodness finally delivered on the goods? fucking walmart.

and yes, there were just stacks of them, sitting in a cabinet.
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what the cats did last night:

what i did last night: went for a new year's sushi dinner with liz (yum), talked about weddings, and then played guitar hero for hours. that game is so addicting! i've promised myself i won't buy it until i turn in this economics exam on tuesday at noon, but then it's fair game.
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kirk and i went to several antique stores while we were
in texas. betty's corner in levelland, the lubbock antique
mall, and hastings antiques in idalou. they were all run
by crazy old folks whose stores were enormous and
overwhelmingly crammed with stuff. we had a lot of fun :)

some purchases:

at the top, a small green 1940s teapot from a hospital.
in the middle, three wooden-handled biscuit cutters.
underneath that, a red and white enamelware fridgerator box.
(the rest of it is just regular kitchen stuff, but the big artichoke was
a christmas present. it now holds my earl grey tea)

two antique cotton combs. you comb the cotton to align the fibers and make it into a skein to spin thread from.

purchased and not pictured: a tiny toothpick holder in the shape of a green art deco chicken; a vintage pink and white half-apron; a folding travel alarm clock (it sublimates brass). if i had had infinite shipping capacity and $1,000 more to spend at hastings, i would have also bought two lace-bordered petticoats from the 1890s, a hoosier kitchen cupboard, purple glass iced tea goblets, and a million more beautiful things. we did spend about $150 at hastings--but she only charged us $80. she also trailed us around the store for a long time, saying things like, "sissy, do you need any help finding anything? you let me know, babies." ha.

item i did not find anywhere but desperately want: an antique primitive wooden trencher with handles (like this but not painted or fake). kirk's mom has an enormous one in her kitchen, and his aunt shirley has a PERFECT one that i coveted mightily. i had my heart set on finding one in idalou, but it was not to be. instead i am checking ebay daily.
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we are watching season 2 of lost on dvd. i made kirk buy it because we finished watching season 1 last night and today season 2 was released but all the disk ones were rented and i could not bear to wait! oh agony. i never got into it on tv but now i am addicted. maybe someone wants to borrow it when we are through?

(tomorrow i maybe get my cast off and maybe get to walk a tiny bit. i can't think about it too much or i will go crazy with wanting/worry/fear.)
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my order from arrived!
i am getting my costume ready for the game next saturday...
(i'm not in it, just working the merch table, but we
still get to dress up! i get a lanyard!)


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i just finished reading the omnivore's dilemma (which is so, so good) and it changed my thinking on a few things, mainly how i want to spend my grocery money, and why and where. this summer i want to take a road trip to visit some local farms (well, most will be 2 hours away) and buy some grass-raised meat and eggs and dairy and see what all the fuss is about.

but there's something else i want to try sooner, and that is to make some bread using wild yeast as a starter. wild yeast! collected directly from the air! so neat. so i am going to try to start a bowl of it tonight and maybe by next week sometime i will have something alive and bake-able. and yummy.

(not that i think industrial yeast is bad, and i even have a packet in the cupboard right now that i could use, but the idea of getting something for nothing is very seductive.)
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we just bought a 26" samsung hdtv, down from $1000 to $350. also a linksys wireless router, down from $100 to $47.

smart? crazy? god bless amazon.


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July 2013

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