Saturday, February 13, 2010

Quick trip to Scotland

To take one, go to the liquor store, hit the whisky (not the American whiskeys) aisle and find a bottle of Laphroaig. It's my newest favorite beverage ever, recommended highly by Scottish friend Graeme (also bought a bottle of Talisker on his list, but we haven't tried it yet). G, you're right, it is peaty. I felt like I was licking the soil of Scotland on the first sip, and the next and the next - smoke and fog and wet leaves and earth, with the haunting sound of bagpipes in the background (and beautiful scenes from Braveheart, since that's all my very American mind could pull together at that moment). Our little Oklahoma City duplex had disappeared, and I was sitting in some Scottish cottage, overlooking moors or bogs or peaty swamps. And the aftertaste - I swear I tasted peanut butter, although John thought I was crazy.

It's the real stuff, this whisky with no 'e'. The second glass, we did it the right way, with only a little cool water (instead of two ice cubes like our American brews), and it was a different beverage altogether. Even more flavorful. Now we can save up for the really old stuff - I think the bottle that I purchased was only aged ten years.

Thanks again, Graeme.

And to completely change the subject, we watched Aliens tonight - in my opinion, one of the best SF movies I've ever seen, and it was made in 1986. What I most appreciated was the lack of excessive explanation about anything. There was no need to show and tell what was happening - Cameron just showed it, especially at the end by having Sigourney Weaver back carefully out of the room with the eggs, point the flame gun up in the air and show the aliens that she could burn their eggs, and they retreated. We never once had to hear her inner or outer narrative; the audience was assumed to have brains, and the ability to put two and two together, and it was absolutely fantastic. I've seen a decent number of movies in the last year and 99.9% of them were so saturated with dialogue and sound that the experience was negatively overstimulating, no matter what the genre.

And now I have the creepy shrill alien screams in my head.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Anna, damn her!

Anadama bread tonight - the story goes that a farmer came home from a long day, expecting his dinner made for him. Instead, his wife had gone out, and the cupboards were bare, with the exception of a few things: corn meal, whole wheat flour, molasses, salt & butter. So he threw together some bread, all the while shaking his fist and murmuring "Anna, damn her!"

Two loaves of Anadama bread, to go with some amazing stout beer:

And then soup! Porcini and leek soup, filled with cottage cheese dumplings, and then I added parsnips. The dumplings aren't quite as splendid as those my Grandma Zola used to make in this amazing milky sauce. These are cooked slightly more, and browned. One day, I'll tackle Grandma Zola's, because these were a hit with both myself and John.

Oh, and I got a mom haircut. I didn't mean to, but the girl took 4 inches off? It was cute yesterday, but today, a mom haircut. Don't be fooled by the smile. Kitty was being cute.

And then Kitty let us know that he approves of the new chair. We decided we need the ottoman, too, for naps, even though it's outrageously priced, which John might go pick up tomorrow. Then we put some of the wedding pictures up, with the frames that Dad chose. They're so beautiful.