sarahbyrdd: (operadoc)

I sense a disturbance in my croissant ....

I wonder what they were promoting?
sarahbyrdd: (sleigh)
The things I see walking to and from the office ...

sarahbyrdd: (Default)


BTW, I love the Morgan Library.  I consider it one of the must sees in NYC, and much more managable than the Met.  



Pages of Gold: Medieval Illuminations from the Morgan
June 19 through September 13, 2009

Scenes from the Life of David, leaf from the Winchester Bible, illuminated by the Master of the Morgan Leaf. England, Winchester, Cathedral Priory of St. Swithin, ca. 1160-80. Purchased by Pierpont Morgan, 1912; MS M.619v.

See selected images from the exhibition »

This exhibition comprises approximately fifty lavish single leaves, dating from the twelfth to the sixteenth centuries. Pierpont Morgan, the preeminent collector of complete medieval and Renaissance manuscripts, also acquired single pages as did many collectors who developed an appreciation for these orphaned leaves during the nineteenth century. Leaves acquired over the last hundred years, including those of Italian, English, French, Flemish, German, Hungarian, and Spanish origin, are being shown. A dozen of these leaves are on view for the first time.

sarahbyrdd: (Default)
First trip to the Union Square Greenmarket for the season - check

Air conditioner installed in Not So Secret Hideawy - check

Cable televison disconnected (keeping cable modem) - check

Sweeping and swiffering behind bits of furniture that only get moved twice a year - check

Other random bits of housework - check

Small batches of strawberry rhubarb preserves, strawberry balsamic preserves, and pickled asparagus made and canned - check

Cream of asparagus soup made with leftover asparagus and buttermilk lurking in the fridge - check

The soup was quite good with some adjustments to the recipe I pulled off the web.  The balsamic strawberries are crack and I'll be hard pressed to not just eat them all with a spoon.  The strawberry rhubarb preserves are very nice in oatmeal indeed.   Sadly, the pickled asparagus didn't seal properly and looks like it got over done when I processed it a second time.  I'll still let them sit for the suggested 4 weeks and see if the flavor is any good, even if the texture is probably mushy.
sarahbyrdd: (Default)
I owe recipes from the April dinner!  The menu was as follows:

Smokehouse Almonds
Curried Cauliflower Flat bread
Minted White Bean & Yogurt Soup
Roasted Chicken with Za'atar
Israeli Salad

I was quite pleased with how the menu turned out, and even happier that it involved a minimum of shopping and used up several things I had in the fridge and freezer, including my home made yogurt. 

The almonds and baklava were purchased.  Thanks Juli for bringing the delicious baklava assortment.  Greek bakeries are a good reason to NOT live in Astoria: I'd be in them every day.   

The flatbread recipe came from the NY Times.  I'm planning on keeping it and the variations mentioned in the related article in my repertoire.  Tasty, and good for using up odds and ends.

The soup can be served warm or cold and is based on a Weight Watchers recipe that's good enough to serve anyone.  Though I don't bother with the fat free broth, I prefer to use my own, and often add more shallots/onions, and use whatever yogurt I have be it full fat or fat free ... and probably more lemon juice and mint ... well, recepies are just a guideline, right? 

Minted White Bean and Yogurt Soup

1/2 C fat-free chicken broth
1 medium shallot coarsely chopped
15 oz can of cannellini beans (or other white bean)
8 oz plain yogurt (low fat)
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 Tbl fresh lemon juice
1 Tbl mint leaves, fresh, minced

Bring chicken broth to a simmer in a small pot.  Add shallot and simmer until tender, about 5 minutes.  Add rinsed beans, yogurt and pepper; puree with an immersion blender (or transfer to a blender and puree).  Stir in lemon juice and mint to taste.  Chill

Roast Chcken w/ Za'atar

Quarter a roasting chicken and pat dry.  Place pieces in an oiled baking dish, drizzle (or brush)  pieces with with olive oil, season with salt, pepper, and Za'atar.  Drizzle with pomegranate molasses, about 2 Tbls.  Cook for 30 minutes at 400°F. Then lower the heat to 350°F and cook for 10-30 minutes more until juices run clear (not pink) when poked with a sharp knife.  Za'atar and pomegranate molasses are available at Fairway, Kalustyans and other middle eastern specialty shops.

Israeli Salad

Chopped tomatoes
Chopped, peeled and seeded cucumbers
Chopped parsley
Lemon juice
Salt & Pepper to taste

There you have it!

sarahbyrdd: (work hell)
Things have been interesting here in Lawyerland.  I hunkered down and survived the bloodletting of layoffs to find the landscape somewhat altered.  They've cut all our after hours secretarial and tech support.  The upshot is that the secretaries are stuck working overtime, unless their lawyers foresee that they might need someone by 3-4pm and some calling around to find someone else to stay can be done.  I don't mind the extra money (when it eventually gets signed off on), but it's been hell on making after work plans social or otherwise.  Our only back-ups are supposed to be our cube mates.  In my particular case, this works fine when I'm backing up my cube mate, but not the other way around.  She often makes performance art of Being Busy, and resists transcription, which really is the best way to deal with DaBoss's work.  The cellmate is out today, and the phones were hoppin' all morning.  I anticipate summer vacations being problematic this year. 

Meanwhile, it's staff appreciation day.  The company sprang for a bagel and pastry spread (average) this morning.  Two of my associates gave me bags full of bakery treats (yum, but oy my hips!), and the third associate gifted me with an gift card (WIN!).  Nothing from DaBoss.  Not surprised.

In other news, the BP meds are still making me feel a tad off, though I've improved from the weekend when I was feeling like I'd been slipped a micky.  I'm attempting to limit my sodium intake with varying success.  And I've got more tests tomorrow at the doctor's office.  whee.  I need to graph my BP so I can see if things are starting to trend down or not. 

Finally, the memorial service (as distinct from the interment) for the stepmonster is this Sunday.  I've been mercifully uninvolved in the planning, but I'm not looking forward to having to endure condolences and hearing how such a woman, who hurt me in so many ways over the years, must be missed. 
sarahbyrdd: (Default)

These are uncertain times in the Big Apple (and everywhere really).  Against my better judgment I check several times a week to see which firms are laying people off ... there's something almost every day.  And today I heard that a friend was let go from the firm where she works.  Her husband was let go from his postion at another firm at the end of last year.  I wish I could be shocked or surprised, but given that it seems like I've been hearing of someone losing their job every few weeks I've become almost numb to the news.  Almost.

Anyhoodle, I'm sending them a prayer and some broader good thoughts out to the rest of my friends and aquantances that, maybe, soon this mess will turn around, and I won't have to hear any more bad news of this nature. 

happy ears!

Dec. 5th, 2008 09:48 am
sarahbyrdd: (wreath)
My iPod is now loaded with several hours worth of Christmas music spanning about 6 centuries.  I set my Christmas playlist to shuffle on the way to work this morning and didn't mind being a sardine on the subway at all.   
sarahbyrdd: (rents)

1) I really wish my mother would figure out how to silence her cell ringer without hanging up on the caller -- so I could leave a message when she's with a client.

2)  Someone stomped on my toe (by accident) in the subway this morning.  It kinda set the tone for the day.

3) Spoke with TH. They're continuing to sort through the MA'rents's tax stuff for 2007 and prep 2008 with an eye to turning it all over to a book keeper. There's also talk of the MA'rents going somewhere for rehab (physical (and through the back door alcohol)). Some where warm like Florida or Arizona. Whatever. Ship them off to the Betty Ford, get em dried out. Stepmonster may or may not be eating, and she claims she's not drinking, but the gin bottle is on the table.   So says TH.  I'm going to call in the morning and see if I can catch SH for her take on things.   I'm also putting off my weekly(ish) call to the MA'rents until tomorrow so I can catch them before they're too boozed up ... and so that it's the same day as my next appointment with Dr. E, my shrink. 

4)  Amazingly crappy and stressful day at the office with several deadlines all piled up on each other.   My tum is still in knots, and the half sandwich that I have left from lunch may wait for tomorrow before I can face it.  On the other hand, all deadlines were met, by the skin of their teeth, and I didn't yell or burst into tears, so, I win.

5)  Thank goodness and little fluffy kittens, I see Dr. E tomorrow and can do a major vent, naming names and taking no prisoners.

6)  I have a great city weekend with My Feller planned.  Better clean up the not-so-secret-hideaway.  

P.S., GOBAMA!  I'm so happy to have someone from my generation heading to the White House.  

sarahbyrdd: (Default)
Yay episodes of Firefly I've somehow missed:  "a special hell reserved for child molesters and people who talk in the theater." BWAHAHHAHAHHAHHAHAHAH
Yay bombay franki shrimp roti roll!
Yay bottle of edelzwicker I had stashed in the bottom of the fridge!
sarahbyrdd: (Default)

Last night I was looking through Time Out NY and they had interviews with 40 notable NYers.  One of them, in a humorous twist, was Spiderman.  Which got me to thinking ... Superman is in Metropolis, Batman is in Gotham, but Spidey is in the real world city of New York ... was he the first superhero to be set in a real world location?  Which other comic books are set in real world locations? 


Sep. 23rd, 2008 10:44 pm
sarahbyrdd: (Default)
The day at the office was mostly made of suck (as they say), but I'm happy to report that the first rehearsal for my temple gig went well.  I've retained a fair amount of the music since last year, and so far have only stumbled on one piece that's new to me (the rest of the quartet has been doing this gig for 10+ years).  Singing was a nice antidote for what had gone before.  Even better, they accomodated my request to move Sunday's rehearsal to the evening, so I no longer have a conflict with the Ft. Tryon demo.  Woot!  Duckies in a row.  Now for a teensy bit of trashy TV a glass of milk and bed.  
sarahbyrdd: (bacon)

Last night's Ladies Who Dine hosted by moi was lots o fun, if I say so myself.   I had been hoping that by mid-September we'd be having cooler weather so I could do some serious cooking.  It was a warmer day, but I persevered. 

The menu :

Sliced Beefsteak and Pineapple tomatoes from the greenmarket
Steamed shrimp with remoulade

Mustard greens, black eyed peas, and cornbread

vanilla ice cream with drunken apricots, shortbreads and pecan cookies (thanks Kate!)

The tomatoes were spectacular, especially the pineapple variety which was a lovely yellow with swirls of orange and green in the flesh.   For the shrimp, I followed the classic recipe on the Old Bay tin:  2T Old bay, 1/2 C water, 1/2 vinegar steam until done.  The remoulade was my quick and dirty version:  mayonnaise mixed with harissa paste to taste.  

Here's a picture of the main.  I finally remembered that I have a camera! 

The blackeyed peas and cornbread were a big hit, and even the greens made a convert.  The secret is BACON!  Bacon makes everything better.  Other than that, there is no trick.  I split a pound of bacon between two pots and started to render the fat over a low heat.  Into one pot went 3 cans of black eyed peas (can-juice rinsed off) and about a cup of water, into the other went the washed, stemmed, and torn mustard greens (2 bunches) with only the water clinging to the leaves.  Cover both, cook for at least an hour over low heat.  Stir occasionally, add water as needed.

The cornbread is a family recipe, which I'm not sure I'm allowed to divulge, but here are the important parts.  There is no sugar in my family's version.  The egg and milk should be room temperature.  Cook it in an iron skillet that's been in the oven while it preheats with 1T of vegetable oil in it, the batter should sizzle a bit when you pour it into the pan.  Do not overcook, you want the outside crispy and the inside very moist, about 15 minutes should do it.

The drunken apricots are the delightful byproduct of an apricot liqueur that I make following this recipe:
This year's version used raw sugar, which I think improved the flavor greatly.  

Thanks y'all!  I'm looking forward to next month! :-)


sarahbyrdd: (Default)

Didn't even know we had one in my hood.  I checked out Vinacciolo last night with a few friends and can recommend it as a nice spot to drop in for a few drinks.  They have a nice selection of appetizers and a few mains if you're inclined to stay for dinner. The wine list is interesting and not outrageous (by NYC standards) and gives you the option of getting a half-glass (3 oz) or a full glass of many wines as well as their by the bottle selections.  I chose the Vin De Pique Nique, a French organic white to start; it had the honeyed apples pears and peaches as advertised and was bright and fresh with a hint of fizz.  A very nice start.  My second wine was also enjoyable and organic, the Fabula Rossa Montereggio "Maremma" from Italy;  I definately got the dark fruits and leather, but didn't taste the chocolate or violets.  Not a problem.  

The three of us shared the saffron rice balls, the pate de campagne, and a selection of 5 cheeses (I recognized a standard chevre, morbier, and assagio, and there was also a nice blue and camembert, but I couldn't tell you which ones).  The rice balls could have been more highly spiced but the cheese and pate were just as one would want.  To finish we split a chocolate ganache ... which was just that, a slab of chilled ganache on a plate with some creme Anglais and a few berries.  Good for when you need that intense chocolate fix.  It went quite nicely with my vin santo.

sarahbyrdd: (Default)

I would have so done this!

I can see the balloon from the window of the office behind me. It looks so cool!



Jul. 18th, 2008 02:01 pm
sarahbyrdd: (Default)

They're running cables in the ceiling of my office.  It must be kicking up dust.  My nose is itching. 

8 days until I leave for Pennsic!

I may have a bonus day off on Monday if the firm closes for the lawyers outing.  If it rains I have to go to work.  Do the Sun Dance for Monday!

I have apricots and spice, just need to buy sugar and booze and I can get a batch of apricot liqueur steeping.

It's 2pm on a summer Friday.  It's going to be a long slow afternoon.  I rather than sitting in an office watching the phones not ring, I'd prefer to be sewing (or cleaning, or doing laundry, or any number of things that need to be done by next Friday).


Jul. 16th, 2008 01:00 pm
sarahbyrdd: (Default)
 I finally made it over to the Wednesday Greenmartket on Ninth Avenue.  The produce is looking lovely!

1 Romaine Lettuce
1 Red Boston Lettuce
1 bunch o carrots
1 bunch o radishes
1 yellow squash
4 peaches

all for the modest sum of $10.00

The local cherries and apricots were looking delicious but a tad too pricey for this week.  For my future reference there is also a cheese and egg stand that I'll check out after vacation, as well as the expected Meredith's Baked Goods.
sarahbyrdd: (Default)
First, save my dragon egg! It needs clicking!

Adopt one today!

Second, despite the Red Sox soundly spanking the Yankees on Thursday night, I had a very very nice weekend indeed hanging out with bytchearse, and other than the baseball game, not straying out of my 'hood. Life is grand. :-)

Third, Rice & fresh shell peas!

1 cup risotto rice
3 cups chicken stock
1 small onion
2 slices bacon, choped to bits
1 tbl butter
1 tbl olive oil
5 tbls grated parmesean
Fresh peas! about 1.5 cups shelled.

Put butter, oil and bacon in a sauce pan, cook for about 5 minutes. Add rice, stir to coat w remaining grease, cook 2 minutes. Add stock one cup at a time, cook until incorporated, stirring) before adding next cup of stock. Add shelled peas with the last cup of stock. When all the stock is absorbed and rice is al dente, take off heat and stir in parmesean and parsley. Salt & pepper to taste.
sarahbyrdd: (Default)
The MTA does an amazing job every day moving millions of people to where they need to go, but this morning was just full of annoyance.

I arrived on my subway platform to find it already crowded. Not a good sign. No surprise, the first two trains to arrive were too crowded to board. I watched in amazement with my fellow commuters as a jittery looking yuppie mother shoved her child's stroller and subsequently herself on to another train that I decided wasn't worth the effort, and just narrowly missed crushing her child or herself in the doors. When I finally wedged myself into a train, it was in a car where there was no AC. Fortunately, though late, I arrived before my boss. A small mercy.

There was, of course, no explaination for the overcrowding. *sigh* MTA, I love you. You get me where I'm going, most days without too much fuss. But please, pretty please with sugar on top, run a few more trains on my line during the morning rush.
sarahbyrdd: (Default)

SCA member X researches nifty Nordic single needle knitting/crochetting technique (Nalbinding).
Sarahbyrdd takes a workshop from SCA member X, gets a feel for the technique and thinks COOL I CAN DO THIS. 
Sarahbyrdd tells the lady at the yarn shop about it as, sparks yarn-shop-lady's interest and promises to bring project back when done. 
Sarahbyrdd shows half completed project to the office knitting lady, sparks knitting-lady's interest. 

Winter 2009 ... all of New York City sports Nalbinded hats and mittens?


sarahbyrdd: (Default)

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