…sweet California Decembers. this song sums it up perfectly.
“Let’s take the time to walk together while we have the sun
You never know when temperamental weather’s gonna come
And if you want to face the death you’re never that far from
Just take a breath and sing to it when all the day is done
So sorry about all the sorrow in your life you’ll know
It’s true that all the ones you love will someday have to go
And everytime you say goodbye you’ll hear the trumpets blow
A serenade to the soul, all surrounded by the glow
If you feel all broken ’cause i left you there too soon
Just know that it’s not up to you to make the flowers wilt or bloom
And if you think you’re lonely then just listen for the tune
Of all the stars i left for you in the chest of the moon
If you want to shake whatever separates you from
The holiness you want to make your life on earth become
Live your life with a compassion you can be proud of
Then let your last breath fade away with dignity and love
Let’s take the time to walk together while we have the sun
You never know when temperamental weather’s gonna come
And if you want to face the death you’re never that far from
Just take a breath and sing to it when all the day is done…”
oohhhhh my goodness. what a feast!
(much of which came from Phat Beets Produce, my newest CSA)
Had my first dinner party in a long while, sadly without the Sugar D (but we saved her both pot pie and dessert pie! come home and eat it!).
0: bread with olive oil, balsamic, and za’atar
1: fresh green salad with carrots and cherry tomatoes (greens super fresh from Phat Beets), orzo salad
2: Bill’s epic pasta/tomato sauce/coconut milk/kale/garbanzo bean concoction
3: EPIC VEGAN POT PIE! (most of veggies from PBP!)
4: delicious vegan cherry pie
5: a very sweet cantaloupe, apparently with some identity issues
My main contribution was this gorgeous pot pie, with help from Jesse and Gregg. Recipe below…
For the crust:
1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
1 cup all-purpose flour (i used 2 cups of all purpose and it didn’t turn out as flaky as i would’ve liked)
4 tbsp vegetable shortening
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp dried herbs (rosemary and thyme work well)
Mix together all the ingredients. Cut the shortening into the flour with a fork until no large lumps remain. Add just enough cold water and stir with a fork to mix. When the dough comes together, divide into two balls, wrap in plastic wrap, and put in the refrigerator while you make the filling.
For the filling:
1 medium onion, diced
4-5 cloves garlic, minced
a few small sweet potatoes
1/2 cup green peas
a handful of diced red potatoes
a handful of diced squash
a handful of diced sweet potatoes
a handful of diced zucchini
1 tsp of the same herbs used in the crust
1 cup almond milk
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 tsp ground black pepper
Salt to taste
2 tbsp vegan “butter” like Earth Balance
1 tbsp canola or other vegetable oil
Heat the oil in a saucepan.
Add the onions and stir. Add the garlic.
Cook on medium heat until the onions are translucent, but not brown.
Add the veggies and dried herbs. Stir together. Cook for about 5 minutes until the vegetables start to tenderize.
Add the almond milk, vegan “butter,” and all-purpose flour. Stir together. The mixture will thicken.
Cook, covered another 5-10 minutes, stirring a few times, until the vegetables are tender. Add pepper and salt to taste.
Turn off the heat and set aside while you prepare the crust.
Take one ball of the crust dough and, using just enough flour, roll it into a circle a little larger than your baking dish or pie plate. There should be an overhang of about 1 inch when you put the dough into the dish.
Transfer the crust to the plate and roll out the second ball of dough into a circle slightly larger than the diameter of the baking dish or pie plate.
Pour the filling into the bottom crust. Smooth the top, and then cover with the top crust.
Using your fingers, press together the top and bottom crusts at the edges, forming a seal. Tuck any overhang into the baking dish. Crimp the edges with a fork or with your fingers for a decorative look.
Make two sharp cuts (shaped like an X), about 2 inches each, in the center of the pie.
Brush the top of the pie with a mixture of 1 tbsp almond milk + 1 tsp canola or other vegetable oil.
Bake in a preheated oven at 325 degrees about 45 minutes to an hour. The pot pie is ready when the crust turns golden brown and the juices bubble through the cuts at the top. (we had to keep extending the time, and raise the temp up to 400 it probably took like 90 min total)
Remove from the oven and let stand 10 minutes at least before cutting into slices. The filling will be oozy and a little runny initially, but it will firm up the longer the pot pie stands.
Last night i made epic dinner with Miss Fawn, which was followed by ecstatic burlesque costume doodling and rolling around on the floor in plumes of tulle. It was most lovely.
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, about 6 ounces each
½ cup all-purpose flour
1½ teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 cup chicken stock preferably homemade
white cooking wine
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
Additional salt and pepper to taste
Thin slices lemon and chopped fresh parsley for garnish
Sprinkle a small amount of water on a large sheet of plastic wrap. Place 2 of the breast halves on top of the plastic and sprinkle again with water. Cover with another sheet of plastic wrap and pound the shit out of that chicken’s breasts until about ¼ inch thick. Repeat with the remaining 2 breast halves.
Mix the flour with the salt and pepper in a shallow plate. Heat half the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until almost smoking. Working in 2 batches, place the chicken in the flour mixture and turn to coat on all sides. Shake off the excess flour and add to the skillet. Cook until lightly browned and cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate or platter and cover loosely with foil. Repeat with the remaining oil and chicken.
Pour off the fat from the skillet and return the skillet to the heat. Add the chicken stock, wine, and lemon juice. Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil, stirring to pick up any browned bits in the bottom of the pan. Simmer for 3 minutes. Return the chicken to the skillet and simmer, turning often, until warmed through and the sauce is thickened, about 2 minutes. Add the butter and more wine. Season with salt and pepper and heat just until the butter has melted. Serve on warmed plates with a spoonful of the skillet sauce, topped with lemon slices and parsley.
Steamed with paprika and Braag’s Sauce. Might have added some white cooking wine.
boiled, easy peasy. Served with sauce made of butter, parmesan cheese, and white cooking wine. (Can you see a trend here?)
So! 8 dark ‘n stormys and half a bottle of cooking wine later, stuffed full of tasty, moist chicken, green beans, slurpy egg noodles, fresh sunflower loaf, and goat gouda, Fawn and I got to doodling some fantastic costume ideas for my next burlesque number. Watch out world, Laika Fox will soon burn away her false self and rise again!!!
Another week gone by (month, really… hello February!). Many exciting things happening in the land of suz. May as well make a list of things I’d like to one day tell you more about.
Last weekend I attended a conference called She’s Geeky, for self-identified geeky womens to get together and… well, geek out. AND GEEK OUT WE DID! on everything from technology to science to running a business to sex and gender politics on the internet. holy nerdfest, batman. it was awesome. i will have more to report once the wiki is back up on their site. hope that’s soon, because I’ll probably forget to check for it if too much time goes by.
J-Lips and i are moving! wahoo! No worries, Lipshpul fans, we’re only going about a mile away. Into Oakland-proper. No more of this “Google-maps-thinks-we’re-in-emeryville” shit. aaaand it’s a HOUSE! with CLOSETS! and a PORCH! Very exciting. the place kinda just fell into our laps (that is, after J spent tireless hours scouring craigslist, love this girl). so woot to that.
The Convent Collective Show
Through my darling friend Natasha, i’ve been introduced to Miss Fox and The Convent Collective. Awesome space, a real former convent turned into a co-living/co-working space for about 20 artist-types. Gorgeous house, complete with chapel, confessional booth, and an amazing view of the SF skyline. Giggity. i have been asked to coordinate a few acts for an upcoming St. Valentine’s Day Performance and Rooftop Party Extravaganza. Stoked. Many good friends involved, it will be a blast. The night will include many different kinds of entertainment: burlesque, singing, hat juggling, musicians, couples’ games, private confessions, rooftop DJ’s, hookah, fire pits, bubbly beverages and chocolate treats… just to name a few. An evening of pure indulgence. The only bummer is that it’s on a Monday. Also not looking forward to the madness of planning a show and packing for a move all at once.
Facilitating conversations about community service with Jon’s youth group
Last night i facilitated a discussion for my brother’s youth group (BBYO) chapter about volunteering. They’ve done some work around homeless outreach, and have been feeling inspired lately to explore the wide and wonderful world of community service further. Jon asked me a while back if i could come to one of their meetings and give them some ideas. My response: “fuck yea”. It was a really great conversation, we talked about what it means to serve a community, how to break down barriers and avoid Othering, different tactics (raising awareness, raising money, outreach, etc.), and lots of other things. It’s an interesting angle of activism, coming from a place of self-aware privilege and power and asking “what can we do”, and not from a community that is vividly aware of the injustices doled out against it. i’m impressed and inspired and am looking forward to helping them find volunteer work to be passionate about. woot.
i think that’s all the big stuff for now.
…also, is it spring yet? because it sure as hell feels like spring.
other things i’d like to get into, because homegirl can’t put enough on her plate:
i’m sick of being bitter about wintertime. it’s high time i took it back. all these years the ominous cold fronts meant little more to me than hiding from shopping riots and people being cheery because Christianity told them to be.
that’s all bullshit. americans didn’t invent wintertime cheer. people are extra chipper in winter because it’s shitty outside, and we have to support each other through it. we have to laugh extra hard, snuggle, come over for tea and stay a while.
summer made me anxious. lately everything has been making me anxious. so much going on all the time, it’s wonderful but also seems to call attention to how fleeting things can be, and i’m sick of that shit. summer flies, but winter is here. so let’s enjoy it, together.
winter is for slowing the f down.
winter is for reading an entire book in one saturday afternoon sitting.
winter is for long conversations that may require brief pauses for cuddle-naps.
winter is for taking time to write letters.
winter is for baking.
winter is for feeding your friends, the ones that care enough to venture over to your place despite the coldness. because it will be sooo worth it (wink).
winter is for making mixtapes.
winter is for facing every day knowing that the sun is out there, just hiding.
winter is for spending time with family. and liking it.
winter is for getting adequate amounts of sleep.
winter is for seeing your breath in the air and taking a moment to think about how wonderful it is that you don’t actually have to think about breathing.
winter is for loving how warm and cozy our bodies can be.
winter is for reflection.
winter is for delightful layers of softness. oh, and hats and scarves and gloves and thangs.
winter is for rosy cheeks.
winter is for reminding your friends that they too should chin up and enjoy the cold months. and then offering them some cocoa.
winter is for making things. extra points if they’re for other people. cherry on top if they’re soft.
winter is for watching everything around you just sort of freeze in time.
winter is for good smells, which smell particularly good in between runny noses.
things winter should will not signify (if i can help it):
– consumerism and/or anti-consumerist angst
– bitterness towards Christmas and its observers
– bitterness towards Hannukah and the popular notion that “it’s like Christmas for Jews, right?”
so bring it on, short days & grey skies. i’ve stocked up my tea cabinet, busted out the extra comforter, and am not afraid of rain while out doing POD outreach shifts (in all seriousness though, thinking about the folks we serve and how hard this time of year is for them keeps me humble above all else).