Friday, May 23, 2008

Schizophrenic weather

Well, after that lovely gripe about the sun, the weather has taken an abrupt about-face, and it's now raining. (I should mention that I'm pretty gleeful about the whole rain thing, and I intend to enjoy, quite literally, every last drop of it.)(I should also mention that everyone's comments has made it clear that many of us want whatever weather we're not having. Hmm...) This means that I can plan one last cold-weather meal, involving a root soup (turnips and carrots and onions, oh my!), and, at Rick's request (like my daughters, he knows that flattery about my cooking will get him everywhere) I am making baguettes. We'll finish up with a peach/mulberry crumble. Mmm...

This is the kind of weather, and the kind of menu, that allows me to fully utilize and appreciate my very favorite tool in the kitchen.
My stove. I think I've waxed poetic about this baby before, so I'll limit myself to mentioning that when it comes to baking bread in a chilly house, a stove with pilot lights is a godsend. That bowl there in the middle? Bread dough. Warm and toasty on a griddle, with pilot lights making the little yeasties grow like mad. Good times.

The weather has also provided me with a welcome excuse to wear the contents of the package that arrived the other day. The pictures here aren't so good -- this is a problem with the light I'm (not) getting, but you get the idea.
Recognize that? The blue's a bit off. How about here?
Yup, it's Anne's Star of Evening shawl. Isn't it stunning? When we met up here in San Diego, it transpired that each of us like the other's color even better than our own, so we decided to gift them to one another when we were done. I love the idea of my shawl being out there in Ohio with Anne, and of having her shawl here in San Diego. It feels like coming full circle, and like a wonderful way to celebrate a friendship. (It smells good, too -- what do you wash your wool with, Anne?)

Last night, after a quick dinner, we went out again to see a play that was being put on at a local playhouse by a children's theater group. Two of the actors were daughters of a dear friend of mine, and my honorary nieces, so we were pretty excited to see them strut their stuff. It was great fun. The script, a take-off (maybe send-off?) of the Robin Hood story, had been written by one of the folks who runs the workshop, and he did a great job. There were some wonderfully funny lines (I laughed out loud several times; clearly I have a sense of humor that is tickled by these kinds of things -- it doesn't get better than addressing Maid Marion's two attendants as Maid 1 and Maid 2; here's a nice dialogue from the script: RH: "Hello, Maid 1", M1, "Hello!", RH "Hello, Maid 2", M2 "Hello, hello!" I tell you, it about killed me). The girls both did wonderfully. The older of the two was a soothsayer, who, to quote, said sooths. As a linguist, you've got to love that kind of thing.

All righty, Bea tagged me with a meme, so here goes.

The rules of the game get posted at the beginning. Each player answers the questions about themselves. At the end of the post, the player then tags 5-6 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know they’ve been tagged and asking them to read your blog. Let the person who tagged you know when you’ve posted your answer.

1. What was I doing 10 years ago?
I had just had Older Daughter, and was finishing up my dissertation.

2. What are 5 things on my to-do list for today (not in any particular order):
Go to yoga (already did that, so I can cross it off); read articles for the paper I'm writing; track down more references for the paper I'm writing; finish my assigned time reporting for work; take the kids to piano lessons; take Tilly for a walk (I think that's six, sorry!)

3. Snacks I enjoy:
Bread and cheese, chocolate chip cookies, red bell peppers, pretty much any baked good

4. Things I would do if I were a billionaire:
Gosh, a billion, huh? That's a lot... I'd probably keep doing a lot of what I'm already doing, except that I'd travel a lot more with my family (India first, or Turkey. Or maybe Nepal...). Donate to foundations which support language maintenance and revitalization, among others. Buy a piece of property in Point Reyes. Find a way to support the development of alternative energy sources and the maintenance of local food sources. (Big money = big dreams...)

5. Places I have lived:
In California: Sacramento, Los Angeles, Oakland, Berkeley, El Cerrito, Vista. Also, Avignon, in France.

6. Jobs I have had:
Piano teacher, receptionist, person who ran the xerox machine for a high school (there just is no good title for that one), archivist, graduate student assistant, reading development teacher, professor.

I'm supposed to tag the next round of people, but almost everyone I can think of has done it, except for some folks who are madly grading, and I won't burden them. Grab it if you want to, and let me know so I can come and see your answers.


Anonymous said...

I'm a softie for a meme. Check out my blog--I've done my bit.

And by the way, the picture of your stove reminds me of how I found your blog in the first place--I was looking for info on old stoves ages ago and found a mention in one of your early entries. We're getting ready to have my grandmother's circa 1947 Gaffers and Sattler stove restored. We've been cooking on the 1950s electric stove that was left with our house, but nothing is as good as gas--especially on an old stove!

Anonymous said...

You bake baguettes? wow can I admire you? I love your stove. And I prefer the blue star too.

Anonymous said...

Mmm, bread. I'm on a muffin kick with this weather. No rain here - yet.

I love the idea of switching shawls! It's beautiful.

Aren't those plays the best?

Marianne said...

I saw Anne's post about getting the shawl you made and she had sent you the blue one she made and that they both arrived on the same day... gotta love that! They're both stunners.

It really warmed up here, and huuummid. Not baking bread here :^)

Anonymous said...

We had the most lovely soft blue gray light this evening. And I think it's going to rain tomorrow. And here I am talking about the weather! When I'd rather have your food, not to mention your beautiful stove.

Lovely shawl you get to wear with joy.

"says sooths" hee!

Bea said...

Dinner yesterday sounds really good. Yum. I love root veggies. I am particularly fond of turnips and beets.

Love the blue scarf! How fortunate to have a bit of a chilly day to use it!

The play sounds like it would be really good. I love watching youth performances. They always add the twist of the unexpected even when You know what the script says.

I like reading your thoughts and getting to know you better! My sister would love to live in Avignon. She lived in Paris for three months but no job means you run out of the money you saved very quickly.

Alwen said...

Now my head is singing,

"At the bridge at Avignon
They are dancing, they are dancing"

I'm probably one of about six people in the world who remember that song from a green kids' songbook.

Lovely old white enamel stove. We used to have a similar narrow one with a little microwave-sized oven when we first got married. Now I raise bread by the soapstone stove in the winter.

patrice said...

Wow, the shawl is so beautiful - and you can even wear it for a few days now. I drove home from LA to SD on Thursday, amidst thunder, lightning, downpours and hail!!! Not a big deal for our friends back east, but definitely wild and crazy here!
I'm currently working on Ann's Gale scarf for a teacher gift. Not nearly the fast knitter that you are so I'm using every spare minute (which are few and far between with three kids) and pray I finish before June 12.
For your job at the high school, you could call yourself a Reproduction Specialist, but then people would think you worked in a fertility clinic. ;)

Anonymous said...

Alwen, I remember that song from a Unitarian Universalist song book.

The shawls are beautiful, and it is kind of a dance they did getting to the intended owner, isn't it?

Wanda said...

Perfect sized stove, nice and roomy for a grand feast.

EGunn said...

I miss my pilot light! Nothing like it for baking bread. It's the only thing that I miss from my last apartment! Oh, and root vegetable soup? If I didn't live so far away, I might ask to come over for dinner! =)

Samantha said...

Perhaps a little late but I've picked up your meme. And you're quite right about pilot lights, of course! I still leave dough to prove at the back of the [electric] cooker top in the vain hope that somehow it will magically be warmer there ...