Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Downton Abbey and the Gilded Age

Just watched the first 2 episodes of Downton Abbey. Full videos available on the PBS website until mid February.

The closeted gay footman made me think of the Dr. Who episode with Agatha Christie. Didn't watch the whole episode, but one of the servants was gay and had a thing with one of the gentleman. When the gentleman was killed, Donna lamented that the servant couldn't even grieve openly. I like that the Whoniverse is so positive about the different kinds of sexuality.

BBC America is replaying Torchwood. I caught 2 of my favorite episodes: the one where Capt Jack meets Capt Jack, and with Toshiko and the frozen WWI soldier. I guess I just like the short, tragic love story. However, not going to go see Gnomeo and Juliet. Seriously. That is a movie coming out soon.
Anyway, I've put The Buccaneers at the top of my Netflix queue. It's based on the unfinished Edith Wharton novel where 4 young heiresses go to England to find husbands in the late 1800s. It's like the story from Cora Crowley's point of view.

Sunday, January 23, 2011


So much stuff going on, starting new things. I've had meetings with people who do what I want to do as a consultant, and am getting good feed back. Going to draft a prospectus some time this week. And a budget. Exciting stuff, eh?

Anyway, I'm still on a cooking kick. Today, I caught an episode of Aarti Party on the Food Network and the recipe for Beef Vindaloo and Cucumber Raita looked good. Will modify to use the chicken I have. I went with this partly because I have one cucumber and half a container of plain yogurt already and had been trying to figure out what to do with them. And I have a container of garam masala spices too.

After scanning the web for recipes, the basics seem to be:
1. Fry up a few diced onions and garlic. Can do. That's the basis for pretty much anything savory I cook.
2. Add in bite-sized chunks of meat and brown.
3. Add garam masala, hot peppers, brown sugar and vinegar until thick sauce results.
4. Simmer covered until meat is done.

I'll probably serve it with rice, but Aarti also showed how to make chapatis.

mmm. Getting hungry already.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

One Big Table turns me onto red cabbage

So I've dived into One Big Table cookbook of recipes gathered from home cooks across the US.

Above is Katherine Dieckmann's Beet and Corn Salad. The biggest ingredient is actually red cabbage. And based on this recipe, I've been eating alot more red cabbage in salads. And next time, I'm going to use canned beets. It was not worth it to cook beets. It's messy.

I took it to a party and got good reviews, especially when combined with cheese.

I also made green goddess dressing and have discovered that I am not a big fan of parsley.

Below is Catfish ala Kenny. Actually it's 2 whole catfish (instead of filets) marinating in a combo of soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, garlic and black pepper. I left out the green onions and ginger, mainly because I didn't have them.
Other modification: I pan fried it instead of broiling. And here it is plated. Believe me, it tastes better than it looks.
I served it with white rice and steamed asparagus, both drizzled with Good Seasonings Italian dressing.

Husband is liking my cooking, and it pretty happy that these recipes are relatively healthy.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Hothlanta 2011

So, I've quit my job and set up meetings with various people about setting up my own shop as a consultant, or finding another job, or things to do with the adoption, or just catching up with friends.

Then along comes the great storm of 2011 and puts everything on hold.

Atlanta got some snow. About 4 inches worth. Not much, right?

However, it is a rare event in the US South and there aren't enough snow plows, salt and sand trucks, etc to deal with it. Plus, the snow melts a bit when the sun is out and the temp rises, then refreezes at night. So the top layer of all the snow is actually ice. Makes for very slow going. The local news is full of warnings about "Don't go out unless you really have to!" Personally I've seen cars and trucks spin out and one pedestrian slip and fall on the ice. And I got stuck for a bit in it myself.

So schools have been closed all this week, along with many businesses. All my meetings have been postponed until next week at the earliest. As of yesterday, day 4 of the snowmaggedon, this graphic's been going around

I'm a home body, so I'm not suffering. I have many, many distractions:
1. Tai Chi and Yoga
2. Cooking, especially from One Big Table: 600 recipes from the nation's best home cooks, farmers, fishermen, pit-masters, and chefs
3. DVDs galore. I thought I'd rewatch Buffy the Vampire Slayer but have been rewatching Dollhouse Season 2.
4. Netflix Watch Instantly. I saw a tweet about this article and was motivated to figure out how to make Watch Instantly work.
5. Nook e-reader and knitting -- 2 things that were made for each other. I borrowed "And Another Thing..." book 6 in the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series. It's been a long, long time since I read the other books, but fortunately, they provide a "previously on..." section to catch you up. Especially since it's been years since the last book came out and the author died. This one is written by Eoin Colfer. And I'm still plugging away at Husband's stockingnette blanket. Talk about mindless knitting.
Speaking of Husband and blanket; so it's been cold and I had a lap quilt (made for me by Best Friend) across my legs. Husband wanted a blanket too and asked "is it the only blanket we have?" Pfft! I have made plenty of blankets! So I gave him the quilt and I'm using this blanket.
6. Going out anyway. Even I have a limit to how much nesting at home I can do.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Oh Caprica!

Sat on the couch for 5 hours last night to watch the last 5 episodes of Caprica. It was so good! Random thoughts, trying to avoid spoilers:

1. Many twists and turns -- so many characters were revealed to be different than presented in the past. Stand outs: Joseph and Willie Adama. So totally did not see those twists coming.
2. Compressed storytelling -- I usually like watching multiple episodes at once, but having 5 back to back, without time in between to digest each episode, kind of gave me whiplash. I feel like things moved too quickly, one after the other, that I missed details. And there are scenes I want to go back and see again. I am definitely getting the DVDs. Though I still balk at the price.
3. Good to see Amanda Greystone in action as the plastic surgeon she is. Makes perfect sense that she's that kind of doctor.
4. It felt rushed; I'm sure that's because the creators knew that they wouldn't be renewed and had to get all the storylines tied up. But it's such a rich world, it could have gone on for years. At least 3 if not the 5 that BSG got or Buffy's 8.

The stuff I want to know more about, still:
1. What was Lacy's story? So much about her character's arc was left out.
2. What happened to Tamara? Are we to assume that she traveled the same arc as Zoe?

All in all, a very satisfying prequel to BSG. Just sad it's over.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year! 2011

Resolutions for this year:
1. Become a mom through adoption
2. Find a new job
3. Be happier

We've restarted the adoption process. In Jan 2010, I started looking into it but stopped because of financial and work issues. Work has been really difficult in 2010 and I put in my resignation notice. My last day will be Jan 7, 2011. I have some vacation days still so may check out earlier.

Anyway, that nightmare will soon be behind me. I have not job lined up but Husband is very supportive as long as I am actively looking for a job. I'll be talking to some people who work in a job that I'm interested in going into.

But really, my big hope for 2011 is to adopt a baby and be a stay-at-home mom. After years of unsuccessful fertility treatments, we think this is the way to go. And after all this effort to have a kid, I want to stay home and be a mom for that kid.

I'm not thinking that becoming a mom will be all roses and I'll suddenly find happiness and all that. After all I know poopy diapers and temper tantrums will be part of the picture.

I just think that life is too short to not actively seek what I want out of life.

And 2011 will be the year to do it.

Happy New Year and may 2011 be a year that makes you happy too.