Saturday, September 25, 2010
Best thing I made this week:
Creamy Butternut Squash Polenta with spicy wilted greens*:
*Adapted from Food&Style
3 cup water
1 cup low-sodium vegetable broth or stock
1 cup corn grits for polenta
1 cup butternut squash purée (cube squash and roast in the oven at 425 for 45 min or untill tender)
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1 tablespoon crème fraîche (I used greek yogurt and it was great)
1 teaspoon sea salt or to taste
freshly ground black pepper to taste
For the wilted greens (I used chard, although the original recipe calls for spinach, I assume beet greens would be really good with this too)
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 large garlic cloves – skinned and finely chopped
3/4 teaspoon Paprika (the original called for 1/4 hot hungarian p and 1/2 spicy hungarian p)
5-6 large leaves of chard– rinsed and dried
1/4 teaspoon sea salt or to taste
Step 1: Bring the water and broth to a boil in a heavy-bottom saucepan. As soon as the mixture boils, add the corn grits. Whisk vigorously until the mixture starts to thicken. Reduce the heat to medium and gently simmer the polenta, stirring frequently, for 15 minutes until it is thick and al dente. Add the salt, butternut squash puree, parmesan, crème fraîche (or yogurt), salt and black pepper. Stir well until well incorporated. Remove from heat and keep warm.
Step 2: Heat a large heavy-bottomed skillet over high heat. Add the oil, garlic and paprika. Sauté for 30 seconds to 1 minute until the garlic softens, but doesn’t brown. Add the chard and salt and toss until just wilted. Remove from heat and transfer to a bowl.
Step 3: Spoon the polenta into bowls. Top with the wilted chard and spoonful of the juices.
Simple, tasty, inexpensive...so good.
Thursday, April 23, 2009
My days now are passed in attacking what has become labeled "Moze's Mighty List" which is a wish list of sorts, compiled of everything large and small that could be accomplished on a 5 acre parcel of land. Most of the tasks are in the small range, although I suspect if my Dad was given access to it things like "Plant Vineyard and establish New Winery customer list" may surreptitiously appear on it. The thing about this list is that it's very sneaky indeed. It grows in the night! I wake up in the morning and peruse it only to find that the evening before (when I must have have fallen victim to too much sun...or wine...or both) I adventurously added new tasks willy nilly!! Clearly not taking into account the man with the big stick who MUST beat me in the night making me so sore upon waking. What's great however is the ability to look out at not a stack of signed and dated time cards as was the case a few weeks ago, but at actual progress- physical THINGS that have gotten done. Small...and really not that earth shattering tasks, but visible nonetheless (or at least untill the advancing Spring grows in and covers it all up...which probably happened during the time it took to write this blog). And being able to see that...is great. Hopefully I'll have some pictures soon so YOU can see it too..but for now you'll have to trust me and that guy with the stick.
Friday, April 3, 2009
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
Monday, March 23, 2009
I'd been gearing up for this moment for weeks, months even. Boxes had been routinely gleaned from work. My closet had been thinned and bags upon bags taken to Goodwill, with still more bags left to be taken. Movers had been scheduled and confirmed(repeatedly), storage paid for, troups rallied, and now sleeping on makeshift beds all over my de-assembled apartment all ready for the final push.
I woke up early Saturday morning, March 15 with the realization that I wanted nothing more than to lay in bed all day nursing my sore throat and chills. But, staying home when "home" is is a fluid concept, is not an option, so I hauled myself out of bed just before dawn and into a hot shower hoping to steam whatver bug had hold of me to death. The movers where scheduled to be there at 9:30 to move the furniture so I figured that left me a few hours to collect myself, pack some final things, and start cleaning. As the rest of the troups (for troupers they were) started waking up and went out in search of coffee and pastries, I dissasembled my bed. At some point I became slightly nervous-I hadn't heard from the movers as of yet, and since my phone refused to charge, I was in danger of losing my window of "communication time" before the battery ran out. At 9:50 I called and was assured that they would be there in 20-30 minutes. Perfect! We chorused! Ever the bunch of optimists. This gives us time to get things MORE organized, to start to clean, to get a better handle on things before there's a team of burly men stomping around. Then...as another hour ticked by, we again became worried. I tried more phone calls, but suddenly my oh so reliable mover team couldn't be reached. Also not to be reached, was my roommate, who's car, significanly larger than mine I covetously glanced at in it's parking space as I left Meredith and Ryan in charge of the apartment and set off in my stuffed little Jetta for my storage unit. I'd spent severa hours at my storage unit the afternoon and evening before and had been somewhat surprised to discover that the hallways after a certain hour fill up with the homeless population of Pasadena seeking shelter from the elements. Everyone that I interacted with was friendly and polite, but it is still somewhat disconcerting to run into someone brushing their teeth in the night when you think you're in a deserted coridor. But I digress. By the time I had offloaded my stuff and depositied it in my storage unit Meredith was calling asking if she should try looking on craigslist for new movers. When I got home, they'd found a mover advertising last minute moving, bonded (no idea what thata meant, and frankly it made me a little nervous), insured, and trustworthy!!!! Also unavailable, as we discovered when we called. Throughout the nail biting hours I'd been putting logging increasingly threatening voicemails to my original mover. The last one had something to do with kidnapping his pet gerbil and holding it ransom if I remember correctly....but then it's all a little fuzzy now. Finally we found a mover who not only could do the job, but could be there in an hour and lo and behold...HE WAS! Two strapping guys showed up and literally bounded in and out of my apartment for the better part of an hour tossing my hugely heavy furniture (including the stuff that stubbornly refused to be sold on craigslist) around like jugglers.
In no time at all the first load was ready to go and I set off to open up the unit so they could offload it. "Zooooom!" went the brave little Jetta off in the direction of Pasadena. I sighed a little bit in relief. It was about 4 pm, the apartment was about half way cleaned and the walkthrough was looming on the horizon, but I felt fairly confident that...if everything sailed smoothly from here on out...it would be ok. Right about the time I let out that little sigh, my car sighed too. Only instead of a little puff of breath, it sighed a big cloud of steam. Glancing down I noticed my car was running only a tad hotter than normal...perhaps the steam was a fluke...but no...it started pouring out in earnest from under the left side of my hood. The little temperature guage flicked ever so slightly upward. We were only a few blocks from the storage unit and as I limped into the parking lot praying that something wouldn't catch fire, or explode, I felt the rest of my day dissolve into a puddle.
To be honest with you, from where I sit now it really is just a greasy black smudge in my memory. Tidbits stand out, like the storage facility gate closing on my mover's truck and derailing, leaving the "secure" facility wide open for at least a couple of days. (The facility people's approach to fixing it involved a guy coming out of the office, putting on work gloves, and kicking the crap out of the gate. Why he needed gloves to do this is still a mystery). I know that at some point I limped my car (clouds of steam billowing forth) across town to my mechanic, who was closed and abandonded it, full of belongings, in his parking lot. I also dimly remember riding back to the apartment on top of my roommates furniture in the back of the very loaded car she sent with her fiance (apparently she had been located around 5pm sometime after my car explosion) to pick Chelsea and I up, sliding around the corners and hoping the rocking chair wouldn't careen forward and smoosh me into the seats in front. At some point we did the walkthrough, the manager gestured wildly and promised a check in the mail...a point I didnt have the energy to contend with...and I drove away from Glendale for the last time. Leaving behind neighbors with cold stares, and parks full of little old men playing cards and dominos, the treelined streets where I used to walk my psychotic dog and hide him behind cars so he wouldn't spot other walkers or their dogs and launch a kudjo impression on them (there was also the clover clump he'd sit for hours in with his head on my lap looking adorable-almost making you forget the Jekyl/Hyde aspect of his personality).
Later that night, after an extremely hot shower and watching Chelsea attempt, unsuccessfully, to order pizza no fewer than six times. I realized that in addition to feeling like a walking petridish recently run over by a freight train, I had no mode of transportation, no form of communication (telephone now refused all attempts at charging), and was in a very literal sense, homeless. For those of you who are familiar with the childrens' book the Verry Worried Sparrow, you'll understand my sentiment at that moment when I say: Meep!
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
So I spent the day yesterday feeling both sick and sorry for myself, and I'm back today in the land of beige cubicles and flourescent lights being lulled into that familiar feeling of numbness by the soft clicking of the analysts analizing ....whatever it is they do...
Friday, March 13, 2009
Unfortunately with all the excitement this week my body grew jealous and launched a campaign for attention of its own...and now I'm croaky and feel pretty much gross. My throat hurts in a way that makes me seriously doubt the thoroughness of the surgeon who removed my tonsils when I was 5. (it was so long ago, did it really happen at all?) But I shall move! No more ghetto-style living for me! Well, until I find a new ghetto place to live. No more ice cream trucks that play "Godfather Theme" instead of nursery rhyme music. My friends have graciously allowed me to crash on their couches for the next few weeks while a few job prospects play out. Who knows what this next step will bring? But my stay in the eastern block neighborhood of Glendale is coming to a close. Stay tuned for more updates on my homeless adventure.