Archive for the ‘ Cooked it ’ Category

Stalling with pickles

I’m supposed to be finishing a dress. Instead I made pickles, the Middle Eastern kind I used to eat with chicken shawarma and garlic sauce. You pickle turnips with beet slices, garlic slices and salt-vinegar brine.

Super easy since you don’t cook the turnips or beets. Just peel and slice.

Layer. Fill with brine.

pickles getting packed

Watch the magic happen! (The left jar has brine in it, the center one does not)

pickles starting out

Seal ’em up.

pickles in the pot

And let them sit. And sit and sit and sit. About three weeks.

pickles! one hour later

The beets will sort of blanch as the turnips turn a furious fuchsia. I can’t wait.

(ps- I use a recipe from this beloved book by Tess Mallos – The Complete Middle Eastern Cookbook)

Delicious presents might be the best ones

Pasta machine with raviolini attachment, with love, Mister’s sister.

pasta machine!

Box of locally mixed spices, with love, Mister’s sister’s grillmaster boyfriend.

yum! herby christmas!

Fabulous homemade dinner date for them, with love from us and our jammed spice cabinet?

that spice cabinet is jammed!

Ginger it up

I’ve been covering a pretty complicated trial, and a week in, my boss got laid off.

The voice of my newspaper, a man who hired me twice is now gone. I already feel like somebody died, and then the temps dropped tonight into the 30s. There’s talk of snow.

So tonight, instead of futzing outside to stake out a compost pile, I made myself a treat. Blended sad-looking strawberries and sad-looking ginger together, and dumped the tops with shredded newspaper (two reporters in the house so we have a ton) into the compost holding box.

Look how bee-you-tee-ful.

strawberries, sad looking

It’s also delicious. Ginger’s an amazing flavor that works with most of what I love to eat.

And nothing like blending the crap out of something to let off the bad vibes.

strawberry blender

I guess until my neighbors sign off on the compost pile in our shared backyard, I ought to get cracking on one of these beauties, courtesy of You Grow Girl.

strawberry tops

Such a yucky day, maybe I ought to have held onto this swathe of cheeriness instead of gifting it? Crocheted in Japan to boot.

red and orange flower

scarf folded in half

scarf crocheted in Japan


Jars, or A Tale of Hoarding

Maybe it’s the cold. Maybe it’s the engagement, a preparation to marry. Maybe it’s my Mister is far away. Or the uncertain economy.

I’m crazy lately about glass jars, jarring things, putting things up in jars, drinking from jars, storing all kinds of grains and beans and veg and soup in jars. I thrift them, like this bicentennial 1976 Ball Jar in blue. I save them after the olives are gone. 

1976 Bicentennial Ball Jar

Case and point: Jars of yogurt and jars of chicken broth made from a whole little Cermak Market broiler in the fridge. Yogurt consumed from jar for lunch. Ditto for chicken broth this week.

Chicken broth

This week the remainders got combined into Turkish yogurt soup, seasoned with dried mint kept since the summer in old quilted jelly jars. Now soup’s stored in jars from green olive and marinated eggplant to take to work.


I like the way they look, lined up and irregular, full of different colored things. I like the permanence of storage in canning jars. I like recycling them in my own house.

Oy, up on the blogs now

Writing about facts all the time for money made me hesitate to write for free in my spare time about my inner workings. Then 2002 called and told me to go home already; I was beginning to stink.

Writing all the time for money using my real name and accurate facts and news judgment and deadly serious (Important) topics seemed so different from spouting off about the other things I love: public records, lady turtles, growing stuff, making stuff, cooking pots of stuff, eschewing squareness and blatant consumerism, yard sales, Chicago, the Iladelph, foiled corruption, shaking it and leopard printed anything. And by different, I mean not at all the same, maybe in an OK way.

Now I get an outlet for The Fluff I’d die before writing about professionally but which occupies a lot of my brain. There’s time and space for Fluff, of course. There’s just also Important News that can be boring to sit through, but which makes for job that America needs and I kind of like. It’s that Making News Relevant, that Sitting in Court All Morning to Tell You How Many Years the Crook Got, that Digging Through Mountains of Forms and Numbers that I like a lot. It’s translating those languages for you, the taxpayer, that gets me out of bed every morning.

i grew cotton

Enough of that already and onto the Cotton I Grew Last Summer, the little cotton plant my Mister gave me as kudos for landing a new job.