Saturday, September 22, 2012

Emancipation and Pasta

So last night was great. Katie and Faye and I grabbed soul food at Manna's on 134th and Malcolm X, which I'd been craving for some time. Mac and cheese, collard greens, truly amazing candied yams (and I do not like my yams candied), mashed potatoes, bread pudding, plantains. Yum!

Then we went and saw the Emancipation Proclamation Exhibition at the Schomberg Center for Research in Black Culture. It was really good. The exhibition was pretty simple, in a small room, and it pretty much consisted of the first draft of the Emancipation Proclamation, a later draft on vellum, on the other side of the room a typewritten first draft of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s 100-year anniversary Emancipation Proclamation speech (with his edits on it in turquoise ink!), and some explanatory panels. But the panels were thorough and detailed, a good brief refresher on the events surrounding emancipation and then a quick journey through Reconstruction, Jim Crow, Civil Rights, and post-Civil Rights challenges for blacks and others who still face systemic oppression (p.s. I love that museums will come right out and say things that are true, without equivocating or doing that thing the media does where they include viewpoints that are wrong in order to be balanced). And seeing the Emancipation Proclamation, written in Lincoln's hand, with bits copy-pasted in from a previous speech published in the newspaper, with caret-ed in edits, was just amazing, as was seeing the bits of MLK's draft and editing process. It only took half an hour to view the whole exhibit, but it was moving, educational, and totally rewarding.

In other news, round challah drizzled with honey, for a sweet and round new year!

Can anybody tell me what exactly would make a year round,
and why that is desirable?

I made it into French toast today, and that was great, although I think I actually still prefer my French toast from sourdough; it makes the flavor more interesting and vibrant.

Also I made salted caramel ice cream with salted caramel praline, and threw in leftover frozen bits of homemade cinnamon pecan roll, and it's delicious although too salty because when I halved the recipe I forgot to halve the salt. But I would make it again, with the correct amount of salt, and I can already tell it's an amazing recipe! (Recipe can be found here, btw. David Lebovitz is so great.)

Leftover giant upside-down cinnamon pecan roll.
These are a big pain,
even if you're in the habit of making bread,

Also, about a month ago I made pasta for the first time! I had like 18 egg yolks leftover from all the macarons for my tea party, and the pasta dough alone used up 7 of them. What a hilarious, pain-in-the-ass, kind of fun, ultimately delicious process!

You really do make a well of flour 
and throw the eggs and other ingredients in it,
and then...

Stir it up with your fingers! 

For a really long time. 

Until it turns into... 

This! And you incorporate the rest of the flour with a pastry cutter!

Eventually you get a ball of pasta dough! 

It is very important to pose prettily
as you grate parmesan for the alfredo sauce. 

It is also very important to wear your
original French chef hat
from New Orleans. 

After the dough chills in the fridge,
you roll it out AS THIN AS YOU POSSIBLY CAN,
which is difficult and not really that thin,
and then pizza cut it into
fettucine heaven! 


Lots of cheese and more egg yolks for the sauce! 

Scrumptious homemade pasta,
and I am ten egg yolks down!

I also made tapioca pudding (which I thought I liked, but blech, I need to toss it), green tea shortbread cookies, and ice cream with the remaining yolks. A good food month!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

A Chock-Full Summer's End

I have done so many fun things since I last posted in July!

Here are some of them:

Faye, Katie, Alex, and I went (at Katie's instigation) to a Jazz Age party on Governor's Island! Actually, first we accidentally went to the Jazz Age party on Governor's Island the weekend before it happened, and were confused but ended up having a lovely day in the sun, picnicking on a bench looking out at boats between Staten Island and Brooklyn, swinging in the grassy area at the end of the island, and eating chocolate cake under the trees. But then the next weekend we went to the Jazz Age party, and it was very fun also! None of us but Faye had appropriate Jazz Age attire (not having been doing promotional parties for The Diviners), but it we felt festive anyway. Alex and I ate leftover homemade mac and cheese and also macarons; Faye and Katie bought some Jazz Age food! There was live music interspersed with some amateur but very cute acts, and I made Alex dance with me on the dance floor!

I did not take this picture; 
I found it by Googling "Jazz Age party Governors Island 2012"

Also I recently had a late birthday tea party, for which I made (with lots of help!) crustless white bread chicken salad sandwiches and egg salad sandwiches, scones, and five kinds of macarons with mixed fillings!

 I made macarons in all the colors!

 Green macarons = a sink full of green

it looks like the meringue and the almond flour 
will never combine!

 Alex arranged them so beautifully.
The green ones are pecan.
The blue ones are peanut.
The pink ones are plain.
The brown ones, some are chocolate and some are espresso!

Petit fours!

Edlyn came with creme brulee doughnuts, and Katie brought a beautiful and delicious chocolate cake from the bakery around the corner!

A bunch of friends got together to give me a great, great gift - a basket of ingredients! And it's good for them, too, because now I can make them more dessert :)

So many amazing ingredients!

We all were dressed up and ate delicately while trading thinly veiled insults, and then we watched The Secret Garden, which no one else had seen. I love that movie a lot.

Also, Alex and I have been subway stopping a couple times! We're still on the 6, but we're finally up in the Bronx, which is great because now I've actually been to all five boroughs. On our last stop in Manhattan (125th St.), we wandered out as close to the water as we could get, eventually stopping at a playground next to the freeway (it might have been the intersection of FDR Drive and the Triborough Bridge), where we admired a mural about the perils of dope. Between our first and second stops in the Bronx (we got out at 3rd Ave./138th St. and then wandered a little but mostly just walked to Brook Ave.) we grabbed food at a Caribbean place (I don't remember which island), which was acceptably tasty but nothing to write home about (not like that awesome sandwich I got around 116th or 120th, the time before!), and then we boarded the subway at Brook and went home. Then about two weeks ago we continued the exploration, managing six stops in one trip. We got off at Cypress and walked as far out toward the water as we could go, through a pretty ugly industrial area, and then north along Bruckner to go back underground at E. 143rd St. Off the train again one stop later at 149th, then cut diagonally along Prospect Ave. to see a little more of the neighborhood (it mostly looked poor/working class but well cared for, although there was one block on which on one side of the street the houses were fenced off and very well cared for, and on the other side they were falling apart, totally dilapidated. That was weird, especially as they appeared to have started out similarly constructed) before heading east again to go underground at Longwood. Again one stop, to Hunts Point Ave., where we were not able to look at the neighborhood map due to a domestic dispute (and police officer) right in front of it, so it was actually somewhat fortunate that we were able to figure out our crooked way to the next stop at Whitlock (finally above ground!). That one was an especially cool walk, though, through a pretty hoppin' downtown area and a few cute residential blocks. Next up we'll cross the Bronx River, and we only have 10 stops (two trips, I would think) to finish out the 6 line and make it to Pelham Bay Park, which I have always wanted to explore! Ah, progress!

Yesterday a bunch of us grabbed conveyor belt sushi (I had never had conveyor belt sushi! It is so fun!) and then karaoke'd for two hours (ack!) before returning home to watch the 49ers crush the Lions, which was awesome. In other news from the last couple months, I had a great time at J-West in early August; I'm finally reading Melina Marchetta; I'm about to start work on Bye Bye Birdie, Footloose, and a Seussical revue; Jamie is finally back and threw a really great barbeque followed by an awesome girls' night at her new place with Alf; I already miss summer weather even though in New York it's pretty terrible; Skye is staying with us during her break from tour, which is delightful; we have a new long-term subletter beginning in November but still need someone for the month of October; I LOVE LOVE LOVE my new mattress (well, new as of Memorial Day, but I was gone for a month and didn't get to fully appreciate it), and I am having a lovely and reflective Rosh Hashanah. Also, Alex and I have been cooking up a storm, and I have been having adventures with house plants - more on that next time! Now to go post that subletter ad and get ready for work! (And the looooooooong commute....)