La Petite Forest

I’m loving this 8×10 print by Etsy seller Jelly Beans. Thoughts?

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Little-known facts

Some of these are so little-known that even the Romgi might be surprised.

  • I rub my eyes when I go to bed. Not in a light “Oh, I’m sleepy” way, but more like smashing my hands into my eyeballs. I have trouble feeling sleepy or drowsy, so the vigorous eye-rubbing actually helps me get ready to go to sleep. Unfortunately, I took it a little too far. When I was pregnant with jr I rubbed my eyes so hard, so much, that I had to stop wearing contacts because my eyes were sore all the time. I gave the eye-rubbing up for a while after that. Now I try to be a little more restrained.
  • I like to doodle in class if the conversation or lecture isn’t fast-paced, but I refuse to draw on my actual class notes. I have a separate section of my notebook set apart for doodling.
  • Before having kids I worried a lot about pretty much everything. One of my real fears was that a car would crash through our bedroom window (remember we live in the basement, and our window is right at ground level). Now my biggest fear is that I will never, ever get enough sleep for the rest of my life.
  • Actually, I do have another fear: moldy bread. I carefully examine each piece of bread before I eat it (or make it into a sandwich for the Bwun), even if the loaf is brand-new.
  • Lately it’s really difficult for me to fall asleep. There’s just too much going on in my head. I have trouble not running through lists of all the class readings, papers, law school events, playgroups, and loads of laundry that fill up my week. To force my brain to slow down, I compose blog posts in my head at night. Most of the blog posts you read were “written” around 2am.
  • This one is kind of weird. (The other things were all normal, right?) I was trying to explain to the Romgi recently how I visualize my mental space. Even as I started the conversation the Romgi was giving me odd looks. Here’s what it comes down to: I see my mental space as a 3D area mostly above my head, and different types of thought take place at different locations within this space. For example, when I talk to people, I visualize my speech just above my forehead but projected outward, because those thoughts are moving toward a concrete reality (in being spoken to someone else). Difficult abstract concepts, such as from my sociological theory class, are placed behind the top of my head, out-of-reach. They’re hard for me to grasp and I feel like I need to reach into this abstract field and move the thoughts forward in order to understand them.
  • I also visualize a calendar when I think of time. First, I have a monthly calendar, which looks like your standard wall calendar, but the weeks are staggered diagonally so that each week is slightly more forward in space than the previous. Second, the months fit together in a similar pattern; progressing through December at the bottom of the year-long calendar, each month is inset slightly to give a sense of forward movement. Third, the days themselves start at the bottom with 6am and move through the day upward until midnight. After this peak, the late-night/early-morning hours move downward until the start of a new day at 6am again. Confusing? Look at a typical daily planner with hourly intervals marked off. The way I see it, those are all wrong. My day starts with 6am and builds UP. Daily planners build DOWN.
  • I’m not sentimental. I don’t keep mementos or buy souvenirs.
  • Today I learned that I absolutely hate playing chess. Sorry, the Romgi.

Flavor of the Week – Lemon Ice Cream

Ever since Roni got an ice cream maker for me at Christmas, we’ve been busy making ice cream.  Usually about once a week we try a new ice cream recipe, or make one up.  I couldn’t find a good lemon ice cream recipe, so I decided to sort of make one up.  For those of you who like lemon, this one is a recipe you will be sure to love!  This recipe brings all of the creaminess of ice cream but has a tartness somewhere between lemon sherbet and lemon sorbet.  For a milder lemon flavor, do not add the lemon juice.

Yield: about 1.5-2 quarts

Ingredients:

Zest from 3 lemons
1 cup cream
3 cups half-and-half

8 large egg yolks
9 ounces (by weight) sugar (about 1 cup)

juice from 3 lemons
3 tablespoons lemon juice (in addition)

1. Put the lemon zest, cream, and half-and-half into a medium sauce pot and slowly bring to a simmer.  Turn off heat and let sit for 20 minutes.

2. Whisk egg yolks until they begin to lighten in color.  Add in sugar in small increments and whisk to incorporate each time.

3.  Strain the cream mixture to remove zest and return the mixture to the pot.

4. Add approximately 1/2 cup of warm cream mixture to the eggs and whisk the eggs.  Continue adding cream in 1/2 cup increments whisking between each addition until approximately 1/3 of the cream mixture has been fully incorporated with the eggs.  Add egg mixture to the pot.

5. Slowly bring up temperature to 170-175 degrees, stirring constantly.  Mix should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.

6. remove from heat and pour mix into heat-safe bowl.  Cover and place mix in the fridge for 4-8 hours.  Place lemon juice in the fridge at this time.

7. Add mix to ice cream maker according to instructions.

8. About 4 minutes before the ice cream is complete add in the lemon juice.  Do not add the lemon juice too early!  Adding the juice too early will cause acid in the lemon juice to curdle the milk.  We want lemon ice cream, not buttermilk.

9.  Pack into air-tight containers and freeze for several hours for firm ice cream, or eat it right away for a soft ice cream.


Cooing

 

P.S. The rest of you, speak up! What do you want to see more (or less) of on my blog?


6 Awesome Business Ideas

I don’t want you guys to think I’m all doom and gloom (well, not all the time).  When I’m not thinking about how the world is going to end, I sometimes think of awesome business ideas.  Most of them are restaurants.  I don’t know why that is.

6. Hunter-Gatherer

Get back here!

The Idea:

This restaurant would have a focus on high-quality local ingredients.  The restaurant would serve foods that are not only grown locally, but hopefully foods which grow naturally.  I would be willing to pay top dollar for local hunters to send a portion of their kill my way.  Imagine sitting down for a nice meal of elk, venison, or buffalo.  I would also hope to find a local expert on edible foods.  Wouldn’t you like to sip some nice warm rose and juniper tea?  Perhaps a bit of wild raspberry crumble on bread with some local honey?  It wouldn’t be for everybody, but I think this one has promise.

The Problem:

There is a reason that the vast majority of people buy stuff from grocery stores instead of foraging in the wilderness.  With such an emphasis on wild, local produce, it may be hard to keep up a steady supply to keep a restaurant going.

5. Fancy Malt Shop

The Idea:

We all know the basic premise of a 1950s malt shop:  You go there with “the gang” to get burgers and ice cream.  Hijinks ensue as a laugh track plays in the background.  This place takes the same basic idea and turns it up a notch (and takes away the laugh track).  You would be able to order kobe beef burgers for dinner and homemade hazelnut ice cream.  Where the focus of Hunter-Gatherer is on getting quality local ingredients, the focus here is on taking ordinary things and making them extraordinary through expert presentation and quality ingredients from around the world.

The Problem:

The biggest problem would be keeping the menu fresh and modern while adhering to the traditional idea of a malt shop.

4. Custom Burgers

The Idea:

With a million other burger joints out there, how does this one stand out?  Well, at Custom Burgers you get to build your burger from the ground up.  Don’t you ever get annoyed by the fact that burger places will charge you 50 cents to add cheese or bacon, but then they won’t credit you back that amount if you ask for the same thing removed?  Custom Burgers fixes that problem by letting people pick the bun, meat and toppings that go on their burger.  There would have to be a large variety of meats, cheeses and toppings to really make it worth it.  You want an ostrich burger on rye with kimchi?  Go for it!

The Problem:

Inventory!  With so many options, chances are that you will need a substantial inventory to make sure you have everything in stock at all times.

3. Surf and Turf

The Idea:

The general concept of the surf and turf is that you get the best of the surf and the best of turf.  I’m often surprised that this is rarely taken beyond the idea of lobster and steak served together.  Surf and Turf would have an international and regional focus.  In addition to the traditional steak and lobster, I would encourage a middle-America surf and turf with buffalo steak and trout.  How about a Japanese surf and turf with lobster tempura and teriyaki-marinated steak?  What about a Hawaiian surf and turf with braised pork and pan seared ahi tuna?

The Problem:

Finding a chef that is well versed in all of the world’s cuisines may be a bit of a challenge.

2. Ye Olde Grocer

The Idea:

I think that we have grown accustomed to wandering down the isles of the local mega-mart sorting through 500 types of cereal; sometimes less is more.  I would love to have a store that has the basics that are provided locally when possible.  Go to the store and pick up a jar of Mrs. Maple’s prized peaches.  Go and talk to the grocer. Get locally-produced treats and confections.  The focus here is community; I would like going to the store to be more of an experience.

The Problem:

People are accustomed to getting grapes at any time of the year and might not take too kindly to a grocery store that has a seasonal selection of groceries.

1. Hillery’s Chinchilleries

The Idea:

What is a “chinchillery”? A word I made up for a place where you raise chinchillas.   I’m not really sure why chinchillas exist.  Is it a rabbit?  A mouse? A hamster?  Wikipedia tells me that they are used for fur and kept as pets.  Common sense tells me they look like pikachu.  I want to mix their DNA with electric eels and sell them to overzealous Pokemon addicts.  If Jurassic Park scientists can mix dinosaur DNA with frog DNA, then chinchillas and electric eels should be a piece of cake.

The Problem:

None.  This is the best idea ever.

PS – I don’t often read web comics. But when I do, I read Basic Instructions.


Popular demand

Here are things I think have been fairly well established on my blog.

  1. I like to complain.
  2. I like to read books.
  3. I have expensive taste.
  4. The Romgi is awesome.
  5. My kids are adorable.

I’m not sure you can argue that I talk about much else with any degree of frequency. So my question is, are there other things you want to hear about? Do you care what I learn in my classes, do you want to see more things I would buy with a lot of money, would you like more pictures of the Bwun and jr? More pictures of the Romgi and me? Fewer pictures of me? (I challenge you to find the most recent one I posted on here. It’s probably been a while.) Come on, readers. This blog is about YOU.

(source)

No…no. It’s really not. But I do want to interest you in MY life. Tell me what you want to read about!


Interruption

Things seem really hectic and chaotic right now, but a few times a day that gets interrupted by some to-die-for cooing from jr. If I weren’t so absorbed in cooing back at her I might take a video for you. Make do with this picture: