Friday, May 29, 2009

More overly intimate facebook photos and strawberry scones.

It's happened again. I happened to glance at Facebook pictures featuring people I know in an overly intimate position.

Is nothing sacred? Am I just a prude?

Wait. I know I'm not a prude. I just don't want to see you kissing someone. I'm sure you have kissed people and I'm sure that some people regard you as kissable and therefore, attractive, I just don't need photographic evidence.
In other news, I made Strawberry Scones last weekend and they were a success. By success, I mean all eaten within 24 hours as opposed to Ryan's recent biscuit attempt, which have been designated as dog biscuits (and not eaten at all). Somehow he got too much baking powder or soda in them and they tasted, as I described to him, not unlike "licking quarters." Oh well. He's made a lots of good things. And the proportion of good things to things that taste like quarters is quite satisfactory.

Strawberry Scones

2¼ cups all purpose flour
¼ cups sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons butter, cubed
1 egg
¼ cup plain yoghurt
½ cup milk
orange zest from one orange
1.5 cups sliced and diced fresh strawberries

1. Preheat oven to 425F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. In a small bowl, combine the egg, yoghurt, milk and orange zest. Whisk to thoroughly combine.

3. Place the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt) in a large bowl. Pulse to combine. Add the cubes of butter and cut the butter into the flour with a pastry cutter, to just before a coarse meal texture.

4. Add the strawberries to the flour mixture and mix to coat. Add the wet ingredients and fold them into the dry ingredients, mixing just until the dough comes together and all of the flour is hydrated. Don't mix too much or you will lose fluffiness.

5. Scoop out onto prepared baking sheet and sprinkle some sugar. Bake until slightly browned on top, for about 15 minutes (use a toothpick to test doneness).

6.Remove the baking sheet from the oven and let the scones cool on the sheet for a few minutes. I had leftover dough, which I froze for quick scones next time.


Monday, May 25, 2009

The Garden and It's Spring!

We planted a garden. Well. Ryan did most of the work - I supervised while managing a bottle of Ithaca Brewing Company's finest pale ale.

Still, it's very exciting. This morning I went down and checked our little plants - all of the tomatoes (Cherries and Black Prince heirlooms) and about half of the peppers (Lady Bell and JalapeƱo) have little buds or flowers on them. We also have oregano and Thai basil in pots and Lauren and Matt from downstairs have some parsley, sweet basil and cilantro (apparently some people seem to disagree with me that it tastes like soap) seeds going. Now if we can just convince the other downstairs neighbours not to throw their cigarette butts and trash onto the vegetable plot we'll be set. I think this is manageable because they are moving out in a week.

I also packed up all our woolly winter clothing and started eying my bathing suits, not to mention getting rid of clothes I never wear (to make room for....more clothes!). Today is supposed to be 72 degrees and clear all day long. We're planning a backpacking trip along the Fingerlakes Trail.

Yesterday was pretty idyllic as well (except for folding a huge pile of delinquent laundry) - we went to Huntervale and I rode 4 ponies, who were (mostly) fabulous, while Ryan fished for bass. Next week, a trip to Devon Horse Show.

The weather has been unbelievable. Everything from mid-nineties and humid, to thunderstorms, to nighttime frosts, to grey and cloudy and then, finally, on Saturday, hail. HAIL. I guess this is "spring."

Sunday, May 17, 2009

What do you do for money?

So I haven't been a prolific poster recently. I think that the main reason is that my mind has been really focused on my current job and I don't feel comfortable talking about it on the internet. It's not fair to my students/clients/staff.

I haven't been knitting, I haven't been cooking, I haven't been taking care of the house properly, I haven't been writing here. I have also come to the conclusion that I really don't want to work more than 3 to 4 days a week, if I can help it. It goes against everything I was raised to believe (work hard! get rewards!) but I am finding that I think the leisure to do what I want is really the best reward. Also that I shouldn't be defined by the work that I do - even if that is something that I love doing, like riding horses.

I'm going to go as far as to say that the question "What do you do?" as in implying "What do you do for money?" is almost rude. Maybe I think so because I started to hate answering it so much when I worked for the hedge fund. My standard answer to the question became, "I work for a hedge fund but I'm not a republican. Yes, they are just as evil as you've been told."

When I was a horse trainer, the answer was always greeted with: "I rode a horse once." So while I originally liked answering the question, I got tired of the stories about someone going on a trail ride and the horse "bucked them" or "started going really fast."

Now I have such a convoluted answer, I really don't like bothering. Every answer seems like a betrayal to everything else I do. And I can't really list everything and I don't really feel that what I do for money is the same as what I, well, do.

But I suppose it's a question, like any other, that people use to learn about other people. Obviously I've asked the question myself, but I think I tend to wait until the person volunteers the information. I mean, what if you want to not work at all. How do you answer the question then?

I think this all stems from my frustration with being defined or boxed into a category and my frustration with defining or categorising others. I'm sure I do it though much my own chagrin. It just seems like a lazy and more importantly harmful thing to do. Lately I've been feeling very categorised all too often.

Well this has turned into a bit of a ramble. Oh well.