Friday, February 25, 2011

Five Things for Friday

1. Ice Cream I've been making homemade ice cream without an ice cream maker for about three years now. The technique that I use is so easy and so effective, it just never seems worthwhile to me to use some machine that's probably annoying to clean. Many people think I set out to learn this technique, but it all happened by a weird series of events that turned out to be pretty lucky. First, I wanted to make the clemenquat salad from Heidi Swanson's first book, Super Natural Cooking. Kumquats were not to be found in any of the nearby grocery stores (and Trader Joe's was half an hour away, the kind of thing you only went to when you had planned a trip) except for the giant Asian grocery stores. There were two I could easily get to when I lived in NJ. Let me pause a moment to sigh over how much I miss that luxury. The Pacific Northwest equivalents are far enough away that I have to plan a trip to go there, although Trader Joe's is now close enough to go to every day, even on my way home from things, so I guess it's a tradeoff.

Anyway. So, the only way I could buy kumquats at that store was in a huge bag. After making the clemenquat salad twice, I was out of clementines and sick of that salad. Not wanting the kumquats to go bad (oh, and we were tired of just eating them like candy, too) my roommate, PH suggested, "You better look up something to do with those kumquats! Maybe you can find some recipe to use them all up!"

That was how I found the recipes website of Florida's kumquat growers. The recipe that stood out to both PH and me was kumquat ice cream. Because we also had a lot of candied ginger.


Homemade Ice cream

That picture was taken by my friend. It is copyrighted, by the way. I don't know why the code from Flickr doesn't say that.

I love that there is an entire website dedicated to ways you can use up your kumquats.

Anyway, the ice cream craze started with an unusual flavor, not with something easy like vanilla. From there, we (or I) made pomegranate ice cream, rosewater ice cream, pistachio ice cream, chocolate chili pepper ice craem, chocolate ice cream, margarita ice cream, strawberry basil ice cream, and lavender honey ice cream. That was all before I moved out of that apartment. On my own, I've made regular old chocolate and vanilla as well as mastic ice cream, blueberry ice cream, olive oil ice cream, and bergamot ice cream. I had a drunk idea once, that Wasabi Ginger Pear ice cream would be a good idea, but it hasn't happened yet.

2. Welcome the New Addition. I've been slowly taking pictures of my apartment, planning to write up a "house tour" for you. I would even include the awkward areas that aren't well-organized or decorated yet, such as my Problem Corner. But before I could get a picture of my Problem Corner, this happened.

A friend needed a place to store his dresser, so I'm dresser-sitting for a few months, and in those few months I get to use it. Great! It solves the problem corner, although it is HUGE. It is more space than I ever planned on. The Problem bookshelf that was there before (which I got for $4 at a thrift store and is banged up and ugly. It wasn't wide enough for the record player that was precariously perched on top of it. I used it as a place to store junk and hid it (the junk and the shelf) under some "decorative fabric." Now it's next to my desk, in a corner where it's useful, where its ugliness is out of sight without the need of fabric.

3. CUTE

I went shopping today and got some things at Sock Dreams. J. Swan and I then toured some of the antique stores in Sellwood, which is a neighborhood in SE Portland that kind of feels like walking through a dream, a dream of beautiful gardens and quaint houses and antique stores and coffeeshops with character. (Not like the dreams I've been having lately, about being forced to marry/date people other than my boyfriend for some reason not explained in the dreams, and being very upset about it. What can it all mean?) Anyway, I refrained from over-spending at the antique stores, even though my apartment is full of little shelves and nooks and is the perfect place for a collection of functional yet cute things! I got some gifts for my mother and decided it was okay to spend one dollar on myself on this cute little butter mold. At least we think it is a butter mold. It's too small to bake a tiny cake in...

I like it on my knife magnet!

But that thing is always cluttered, so the little shelf over my window is a better place for my new cat friend. It is next to my old Jersey plate, opposite some madeleine pans. Yes, I know my blinds are crooked - they started to fall down one day and I haven't moved them since; I am too afraid. Also, I need to stop taking these pictures at night!

4. I am doing really well in school. That's all. Much to my surprise, despite things I thought would negatively affect my academic performance, I am doing well and I am thrilled.

5. Knitting

From Knitting Projects

I am finally make time for this again.

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