I picked up some Pacific salmon on sale the other day so I'm trying the recipe for Lapsang Souchong Gravlax from Eat Tea.

If I like it, I'll try making it for a party or the next stitch'n'bitch at [personal profile] wolfshark's house.
I went to see Spartacus with [personal profile] trixie and [personal profile] fabrisse this afternoon, as part of the AFI's Kirk Douglas Centennial film series.

The film has held up very well -- this was the 2015 digital re-mastering -- and is quite a good movie, and includes some wonderful set pieces, including the Roman army manuvers that make it clear just how teriffying it would have been to face a Legion in war. I did think they missed -- as most sword-&-sandals movies do -- just how devastating slinger auxiliaries would have been, but the problem there is finding extras who are expert enough with slings to really show it off.
Made verde posole using the recipe from the Rancho Gordo posole booklet -- I had to substitute dried peppers for fresh because the grocery didn't have any fresh poblanos in stock. It's good, but extremely hot, so I am planning to make white chili from Bean By Bean and use the posole to heat it up.

And since it's Pi Day, I made Warm Chocolate Tarts from Small Batch Baking, because I want pie, but not a lot of pie.
The peanut seeds have all sprouted -- which is really fast! And of course, I'm going to have keep them inside for the rest of the week at the very least as we may have a bad snowstorm on Monday evening into all-day Tuesday. It's a very late snowstorm for the climate, and we really haven't had a blizzard yet this year, which is very odd for this climate. We get smatterings of snow, and at least one blizzard over 4 inches.
I turned on my seed starting heating pad, soaked a bunch of jiffy-pots, and started some seeds today. Four each of Anaheim chiles, Poblano chiles, Atilla strawberries, Carwile's Virginia Peanuts, Carolina Black Peanuts, and Table Gold Acorn Squash.

I also planted my pansies (Sangria & Frizzle Sizzle Orange) and violets (Admire Orange Purple Wing), scattered seed for Breadbox Poppies, Butterflyweed, and Nasturium, and repotted a mini-rose I picked up because it had a bud that looked almost lavender in color.

I'm going to wait until next week to start any more seeds, but I have maize, cucumber, melon, candy roaster squash, cowpeas, and more beans than you can shake a stick at. I do have a purple-podded sugar snap pea that I might put in the ground tomorrow, depending on the rain.
I went to see Logan with several friends today. It was an extremely well-constructed, plotty movie that could have had the entire X-men premise excised, and still been interesting -- it would have been about a middle-aged man dealing with his aging father who had progressive dementia and his newly discovered and traumatized daughter while his previously shady life embroiled him back in the criminal world.

But it was also an X-men movie, so it was even more interesting.

The one thing I really wanted and didn't get was some indication that there was someone in Canada waiting at the border to take those kids in. There's a fair number of Canadian mutants in comics canon, including several members of Alpha Flight, who are quite formidable when written by someone who actually likes the characters.

Otoh, it did earn its rating, for on-screen violence and gore. If you can't handle that, you're going to be squicked in the first 15 minutes.
Is anyone interested in seeing the Infinity Mirrors exhibit at the Hirshhorn? The next release of timed passes -- they're free, but you have to reserve your date/time -- is tomorrow, for dates between March 14 and March 20.

I could try to get a group of tickets for the 18th or 19th, if people wanted to come.
A friend and I went to Behnke's today for the orchid clinic. My tiny phalaenopsis orchids are just grocery stores plants, but the woman running the clinic said they were in fairly good condition -- one of them had a purple-ish 'blush' which is common to healthy orchids with high anthocyanin genetics. She changed out the sphagnum moss and said that the one that had already lost its flowers might send out a new spike as it is still flowering season and it did have a terminal and axial bud visible.

So now I have more information about keeping them alive (including don't water until the sphagnum is dry and crunchy as dry Cheerios), so I hope to keep these little plants going. They're certainly a bit of bright cheer -- along with my begonia, which is on its second year -- in the end of winter.

I did pick up a few pansies and johnny-jump-ups to put in the flowerbeds. They won't survive when the summer heat comes, but they'll be a bit of color until then as well.

Also, I did actually smell a wallflower in the greenhouse. It smelled amazing, like a fruit candy!
I planted 7 fava bean seeds (Aquadulce variety) today in jiffypots on my windowsill. Hopefully I'll be able to get them into the ground in the next week or two. It's been ridiculously warm here so far, and while we may have snow on Friday, I want to get a start on planting. Otherwise, it will be too warm for all the spring crops like sugar peas or fava beans.

Also, I've seen a few sweet pea plants sprouting, from the seeds I scattered a few weeks ago. If it does snow on Friday, I guess I'll have to rig up covers for the plants to protect them -- recycled plastic containers might be it.
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Quart of chocolate milk (they were out of regular, and I can make fruit smoothies just as well with this), cheddar scone, pita, revani, melitizano salata, smoked paprika paparedelle, spinach & ricotta ravioli, lamb ragu, and nittany apples.

It is currently 73°F out, which is flat out ridiculous for February.

I'm going to start fava beans inside this week, and maybe some other beans as well. I can wait on start corn, squash, and melons, as the corn will shoot up fast and the squash and melons will do best with direct planting.
After spending last week mostly in bed with a cold that, while not the worst I've ever had, was certainly draining I've decided to spend the week cleaning up my apartment in hopes of getting it spruced up enough to host guests.

I'm hoping to have a jigsaw puzzle party, possibly with experimental historic hair-dressing, sometime next month.

But today, it was scrubbing the bathroom clean. Not actually fun, and I probably need to throw out and replace my shower curtain, but the floor is sparkling, and I didn't overtax my lungs with fumes, so I'm going to call it a good day.

I hope to clean the kitchen tomorrow, but it's really going to depend what happens once I get back from the fitness center tomorrow.
Melomakarona, tiropita, regular pita, fruit & nut bread, kabocha squash, and pink lady and nittany apples.
Friday: saw King Charles III at the Shakespeare Theater.

Saturday: went to Millennium Stage for the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater workshop based on his signature work Revelations: we did "Didn't My Lord Deliver Daniel", "Wade in the Water", and "Rocka My Soul iin the Bosom of Abraham", admittedly with somewhat simplified choreography -- nobody was asking a group of amateurs to do hinges, after all. It was a lot of fun, but I did have the usual problem of children who weren't participating but were running around being underfoot. I don't want to trip on or knock over a 7-year-old!

Sunday: a short excursion to Labyrinth Games & Puzzles -- we got sucked into the jigsaw puzzle vortex, as they had a Ravensburger Antique Map puzzle out for fiddling with, and the salesclerk helpfully showed us the roll-mats for puzzles, so there are tentative plans to have an all-day puzzle party sometime soonish. Then dinner at Belga Cafe. We got a couple of waffles to share as starters, and then entrees. Desserts we decided to share among the table -- basically, we'd talked [personal profile] greenygal into ordering the asparagus beignets with candied asparagus and asparagus ice cream, and everyone wanted to try a bit of it. We actually ordered every desert except the endive clafoutis...maybe next time?..but I think the best dessert was the warm cherry almond cake.

Monday: stayed in bed with a head cold... which is a let-down after a very fun weekend.
Due to [personal profile] fabrisse having an extra ticket, I got to see the Shakespeare Theater Company's production of King Charles III tonight. Let me say this -- it's a modern play that really rewards being a Shakespeare buff!

It's a pretty amazing story that deals with rights of the press, the right to privacy, the conscience of a king, and a constitutional crisis!
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AwesomeCon panel suggestions  are closing Friday, February 10th. [profile] hollimichele​ has ideas she’s going to submit, but is looking for people who are coming and interested in being panelists.

I'm going to volunteer for the YA comics panel and We Have Always Been Here: The Women Who Built Fandom., and possibly Food in Comics.
I turned over one of the beds this morning, and seeds for scattered peas, green beans, borlotti beans, and cowpeas, and also onion starts in the turned soil. It's ridiculously warm here for mid-winter (about 69F) and the carrot seeds that I scattered in the other bed in the fall have sprouted and are spreading their feathery stems everywhere. I should get some broadbean/fava been seeds and get them started in time for late March planting -- I think this year I need to start everything at least 3 weeks earlier than I normally would. I should probably get more cowpea and pole bean varieties too, maybe some smaller squashes...

Also, I tried the waffle-maker one of my friends gave me for Christmas -- it's going to take a bit of work finding a small enough recipe for just me, and then figuring out what the ideal setting on the waffle iron is so I get crispy waffles.
The tea savories were a big hit at [personal profile] wolfshark's stitch-'n'bitch, so here's the recipe:

Ingredients )
Instructions )

Note: Normally, Worcestershire sauce is made from anchovies, as well as vinegar, molasses, sugar, and onions -- if you wish the tea savories to be vegetarian, look for a vegetarian Worcestershire sauce.

From Eat Tea by Joanna Pruess with John Harney.
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Made pfeffernusse and tea swirls for the stitch'n'bitch tomorrow. Used cherrywood-smoked cardamom in the pfeffernusse and they are strong! I'm almost out of Irish Breakfast tea now -- I really only use it for this recipe, which is cooked, diced onion mixed with tea and Worcestershire sauce made into a paste and rolled up in puff pastry dough before being sliced into savory cookies.
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On Saturday, the Phillips Collection is opening a special exhibit on Toulouse-Lautrec that will run through the end of April. I'd like to get a group together to go see it -- it's a special exhibit, so it will cost $12 each -- please let me know if you're interested and when you'd be available. It will probably be a weekend outing, as the museum is closed Mondays.

[personal profile] wolfshark is having a stitch'n'bitch on Saturday, Feb 4th -- more details at her post.

The Carpe Diem! Silver Spring Contradance will be next week Thursday, Feb 9th; $10 to dance, first-timers free. I do suggest you bring your own water bottle, since it's easy to overheat in a room full of dancers.

The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater will be giving a workshop focused on their iconic work, Revelations, at Millennium Stage on Saturday, Feb 11th. Squee! This is a free event, so well worth heading over to the Kennedy Center for it!

Since my birthday is the 9th, I'd like to go out to celebrate either that Friday evening, or sometime that weekend. I'm thinking Lavagna, Oyamel, or Belga Cafe, but if you know a spectacular place that you'd think I'd like, feel free to mention it!
Pound of lacinto kale, 1/2 pound of mesclun mix, spanakopita, galaktoboureko, pita, cheddar scone, a quarter of country white bread, raspberry vinegar, magnolia vinegar (for shrubs, and the owner says he'll have pawpaw in a few weeks), small kabocha squash, rolled rib lamb roast, boneless pork roast, spinach & ricotta ravioli, smoked paprika papardelle, eggplant pasta sauce, chive quark, black arkansas and pink lady apples, and a boston butt pork roast.

I'm thawing the boston butt to make carnitas, and will make caldo verde with the kale tomorrow.

It was really interesting to talk to the vinegar-maker, as he starts from the ground up -- harvests local plants himself or buys fruit from local farms, makes the produce into wine, and that into vinegar, which is why he sells things like spicebush vinegar. We also got to talking about strawberries -- there is a native wild strawberry that might work for his business, Fragaria virginiana.
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