Tuesday, December 28, 2010

the chicken coop

late in october i moved in with two other ladies: ms kerry & ms olive. we live in an upstairs flat on the best street in oakland. we have a lemon tree and a cat named louis that came with the apartment. there is a big kitchen, a garden and a laundry room downstairs. we call it the chicken coop.

kerry and olive are both artists, and so am i. sometimes we hang out together in the kitchen and drink wine while we make our own dinners. sometimes we're all at home quietly working on projects. we all like going to bed early most of the time. sometimes they wash my dishes for me. i can't believe how lucky i am to have found them.

home is the most important place in the world.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

spice alphabet



bay leaves

black pepper


celery seeds

chili flakes

chili powder




cumin seed



five spice


herbs de provence

fennel seeds

long pepper

mustard seeds








white pepper


Saturday, December 4, 2010

pie off

today i took the entire day off to make a single pie. i am participating in an event called pie off.
it is 11:30 and i still haven't made my pie. the judging starts at 4:00. i have spent almost $50 on making this pie. okay, maybe $35.

i bought butter, milk and cream. i bought 32 ounces of maple syrup because that was the best price per ounce and i want to start making decisions like a financially solvent person. i went to a second location and bought pumpkins: two sugar pie and one japanese pumpkin; a tiny kabocha. i also needed a pie pan.

arriving home i consulted a few different recipes for pie crust. i made one very large recipe and fifteen minutes later decided that by the way it looked and felt it i knew wasn't a winning crust, and that i really wanted to win pie off. i started over with are recipe i made up on the spot. crust #1 went into the trash.

when i finally had a crust i was happy with rolled out and chilling in my freezer i walked to the liquor store by my house and bought some dried beans to weigh it down before i could blind bake. i'm serious.

i have mostly baked and cooked my entire working life, and while i think nothing of spending an hour making a weekday meal even just for myself, i seldom if ever bake at home. it's much more difficult than doing it at work.

pie off. wish me luck.