Monday, March 31, 2014


my favorite bulbs are sprouting in the yard. (daffs are fine and all but i prefer tulips and hyacinth.)

unfortunately, clouseau is ALSO fond of tulips and hyacinth. (bad news as they are very poisonous flowers for cats.) so after some supervised "aromatherapy" (he likes to sniff flowers like fucking ferdinand, i tells you), i have to put them on the highest cat inaccessible shelf possible and then deal with his reproachful glares and pitiful frustrated yowls.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

fried dill pickles

saturday brought with it another bout of homesickness. not for a place, no, of course not. i only miss foods from specific regions. (to dwell in a place breeds contempt. or something. it's the familiarity you see. god, i get so. fucking. familiar. *glare*)

anyway, i was pining for pickles of the fried dill varietal. i used to get these at the deli but now i'm forced to make them. (this is a good recipe.) 

fried dill pickles are battered the same way that one would batter any item that needed frying. well, ok, there are two milk steps and two different flours but, whatever. the concept is familiar to you, i am sure.

technically, i shallow fried these. and, yeah, maybe they look a little gross (it is difficult to make fried things look attractive.) but they are delicious with ranch dressing. (here is a good recipe.)

Saturday, March 29, 2014

double deviled

as promised in the deviled easter eggs post, all of the inked eggs were double deviled. in fact, i made three different kinds. beet pickled,

sriacha and horseradish deviled eggs.

 here is the brine for the beet pickled version

naturally, these were eaten in front of a fire. hahaha, devil. hahah fire. also it is almost april so naturally it is cold enough for a fire. ≖_≖ 

this is our new place for postcards and such, btdubs.

and this is where we sometimes keep beer. but not for long.

Friday, March 28, 2014

deviled easter eggs

this year i vowed to not make easter eggs. but when i found myself boiling a bunch of eggs for deviling purposes i thought "why the hell not? they'll be double deviled." 

which is why you will now see a very straight up devil egg. it's kinda' sorta' based on a stained glass devil from the cathedral of saint-etienne in bourges.

leff thought i was being too arsty fartsy so he made a deviled ham.

then i thought noh way! i'll make a hannya style devil egg!

then leff threw water on that idea and made a sea deviled egg. (i love its little ear flap things!)

but i had the last laugh with my devilled egg.

ha ha ha. and now here they all are in a bowl.

tomorrow i'll devil them for real. this recipe looks nice.

all past easter eggs can be seen in this flickr set.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

"the great beauty" and "museum hours"

i've got two movie recommendations for you, "la grande bellezza" and "museum hours". (don't worry, i have returned both of them so you can have your turn at renting them, ha.)

i'm sure that you have heard of "la grande bellezza"/"the great beauty". it did, rightfully, win a slew of awards, the most recent being the oscar for best foreign language film. what to really say about it though? ah, how about this:  it is so intensely beautiful that it sometimes hurts to watch. and, similar to the way that fellini captured post war roman decadence in "la dolce vita", sorrentino relates the less sleazy and more melancholic spirit of berlusconian bunga bunga-ism. (which does not seem like it would be possible but, oh, it is.)

do watch "la dolce vita" and "la grande bellezza" back to back. to do so is a goddmaned treat. (not being sarcastic. these are two of my most favorite italian films.)

similar in feel yet entirely different in scope is "museum hours". sadly, i can't recommend this movie to just anyone as it is very meditative but if you enjoy having a film slowly give up its secrets to you, then have a go at this one.

to me, the story of a transatlantic friendship, while lovely, was secondary. the kunsthistorisches museum and ruminations on art and meaning were my main draw (the ela piplits section was FANTASTIC.) i've already seen this movie twice. (like the main character, i have had my time of noise and now enjoy the quiet, something that "museum hours" has in abundance.)

pair that one with "tokyo-ga"? i can't really give you an exact reason for doing so. the films don't have much in common but they have the same feel.  (and then watch "tokyo story" as "tokyo-ga" is really just a thinly veiled love letter to that particular ozu movie.)

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

we got some gin

still nothing happening. (not that i can discuss in public at any rate.) you will have to make do with the knowledge that we got a bottle of sapphire east.

still haven't had time to try it yet. it's supposed to have lemongrass and black peppercorns added to the botanical mix. i'm positive that i will love it but will it be as delicious as the malacca that leff and i drank like water all those years ago? yeah, probably.

(note to leff: malacca is back on the market in limited release. doubt we'll find it in this shit state though. trip back east soon?)

here are two more pictures of no significance to either gin or the things i'm not at liberty to discuss.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

i got nothing

so have some pictures from around the house today.

Friday, March 21, 2014

here are your 2014 cherry blossom photos

i do adore these trees but, if things go according to plan, i'll be taking pictures of different trees, better trees in another city next spring. wish me luck. 


Wednesday, March 19, 2014


contrary to the title of this post, "dogs in space" has nothing to do with the pigs in orbit of "muppet show" fame. nope, no way, no fucking how. this movie is about punk kids in australia in the 70's and, holy shit, was it ever formative. 

leff brought it home tonight (!!!!!!!) and i have been too excited/nervous to watch it. the soundtrack changed my taste in music. (got my cassette copy for 99 cents in a remainder bin at a college bookstore when i was 15.) it is the reason why when i forget what i'm saying that i will sometimes mutter "ballarat".  i had a hamster named sammy nobrain. etc, etc, and fucking etc.

i don't think that i could recommend this to everyone. it is a VERY niche movie. but i am BEYOND thrilled to have a copy again! (it and the soundtrack have both been out of print for fucking EVER.) 

just, you know, be patient with me if i snarl SO WHAT at you. i'm just living on dog food. 

Thursday, March 13, 2014

which pickwick will you pick?

oh, don't mind us. leff and i just went a bit pickwick nuts this past week. 

it reminds us of both prague and amsterdam (well, i mean, it is a dutch company after all.). also, it's a nice thing to drink when you're battling another cold. sigh...

ah well, at least there's a tiny bit of sunlight

and the movie version of how i live now is streaming. 

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

also sakura

finally had enough time to run down the street and take a few pictures of the tiny cherry tree that's blooming.

while it's not the full blown insanity of the huge trees at the park, i still really like this little guy. (still hoping this is the last time i ever see it bloom though.)

slide, slide slippety slides

(i know, i know. coolio. i am SO sorry.)

remember those awesome gigantic slide windows by jan tichy at the chicago cultural center? today i made a tiny modified one of my own in the every changing stairwell.

some of these were on that old slide tumblr of mine that i got bored with. must admit, i like them a lot better in this format.

Friday, March 07, 2014

i promised you potatoes...

...and potatoes you shall have.

i've only made one potato dish this week instead of the forty or so that i had planned but, christ walking on water crackers, was it delicious. would you like some kartoffelpuffer mit apfelmus? if yes, use those links and you will be happy.

yeah, i might just pack it all in and try getting an internship at kartofelkeller. (that place. SERIOUSLY YOU GUYS GO EAT THERE.)

what else have i been up to? aside from trying to convince myself that it's spring

i've been reading peter demetz's prague in black and gold  (first chapter available at that link), andrew eames' blue river, black sea  and some alain de botton (various. he is always v good.)

fun fact! if you can tolerate the assholes who will be ruining the event (GOD the question and answer sections in seattle are TERRIBLE. SO horribly pedantic and incredibly overbearing) alain de botton is at spl tonight.

i will not be attending as i am attempting to NEVER go to seattle again unless it is to run to the light rail and then on to the airport.  (*FINGERS FUCKING CROSSED*). instead, i will watch some of his past lectures online.

trust me. it is best for everyone.

other than that, i've been wearing my hair in a 90's indie film, vaguely french nihilist stereotype style. here is a photo where you cannot see that. ha!

and i've been watching ozu movies without the subs since i'm trying (yet again, sigh) to learn japanese. wish me luck? i'm going to need it. 

Thursday, March 06, 2014

maybe it's spring?

hahaha, doubtful. :/

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

pepper roasting season

it's that time of year when summer and the end of shit weather seem remote at best. the only tonic i've found to the stifling grey fug is roasting peppers.

ok, and gin. gin also helps. (gin actually helps a lot more.)

Monday, March 03, 2014


crystal is always taking her ass places (BWAAAAHAHAHA i am sorry, i tend to not be able to breathe when she posts photos of that) but MY ASS HAS GONE TO SPACE IT IS AN ASSTRONAUT

and now i am dead. XD


you guys, you know what will cheer you up from your profound fucking depression? PRESENTS FROM FRIENDS OMG I KNOW THE BEST PEOPLE!!!

jens sent me this ADORABLE postcard!!! THANK YOU JENS!!! 



after europe

it's never easy getting back into the swing of things once you've returned from a nutzo, bonkers vacation. jet lag tends to find me snuggling up next to clouseau (seen here enjoying the new duvet) to take long naps.

if i'm completely honest with you, i have been spending WAY too much time napping. approx 14 hours a day D: i blame the remainder of the sinus infection plus this new cold (plus healing various cuts and deep bruises and the broken foot ) as well as jet lag, but there is an element of profound depression at being back mixed in.

it's not quite supergeil. XD

the first few days back, i am completely useless. all thumbs. an example:  i melted the honey bear.

the fun part is that i don't even remember why i put it in the microwave in the first place.

but eventually things get back to normal

and i start trying to make the foods that we ate on vacation. here is a rather disgusting picture of stamppot.

apologies. it is incredibly difficult to not make stamppot look gross (it is the fault of the gravy). HOWEVER, it is delicious and here is a lovely recipe. i made this gravy to go over top and subbed grocery store kielbasa for the rookworst. (works just fine.)

stamppot tastes even better the second day so, if you're using that recipe, make a big ole' pot of it and have it for several lunches.

another thing we've eaten (but for which we didn't need a recipe) is the breakfast from the hotel in prague.

basically, it's just red pepper + garlic + onion + frozen peas + frozen broccoli for the veg, potatoes were boiled and then fried with onion and the bratwurst was fried to within an inch of its life. yum, esp with stone ground mustard with added horseradish.

i do wish i could figure out how to make lovely, lovely crusty brown bread though. and i would punch your mother for white sausages. alas, bratwurst will have to suffice. FOR NOW.

what i CANNOT BELIEVE we were able to pull off is the beef in cream sauce from prague. it took over a day (overnight marination time included) and i had to combine these two recipes, but, by jove, WE CRACKED IT.

yeah, ok, that is just bread and not bread dumplings (those are so SO delicious) but, need i remind you, new cold? i almost fell asleep while searing the beef. :/

this week i will be attempting kartoffelpuffer mit apfelmus, himmel und erde (ok, we didn't eat that on vacation but it sounds too good to not make), hutspot and possibly a new currywurst recipe. BASICALLY IT IS ALMOST ALL POTATOES BUT I DON'T CARE have you looked outside? THE WEATHER IS SHIT THAT MEANS POTATOES

check back this week to see if i am still alive after an all potato diet. ha. i will be eating salads. i always eat salads but i prefer laughing alone with them to sharing pictures of them. DEAL WITH IT SUNGLASSES ARE THREATENING TO FALL ON MY FACE OH NOES THERE THEY GOOOOOOO