Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Looking for me?

You'll have to look here. I'll be somewhere along here. And for sure here. Oh sush. I'll have one of these for you.

Monday, February 18, 2008

New batch of aprons freshly baked

My latest aprons
Oh yes, my pretties. Chocolate grapey pom poms (supersize those pom poms!), but wait, what's that? Tattoos and lace? Yes, those are aprons made with tattoo inspired fabric. Flaming dice, pirateships, and even a tango dress bottom. Is it an apron? Is it a dress? Only you will know. Muy caliente. Si, si.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Blueberry picking at Sauvie Island: 6 months later

reason #39 for picking and freezing local blueberries
If you were reading this blog in July, you may remember we did some blueberry picking. Actually, every July we go blueberry picking. (And then there's raspberry, blackberry, marionberry, but for this post, we're talking about blueberries.) This winter, blueberries have topped morning oatmeal, been folded into scones, blended with yogurt for smoothies, and as seen here, baked into a blueberry+apricot preserves+ginger dessert. In the spirit of the movie Waitress, this is called Say-Goodbye-to-Grey-Cold-February-Sky-Blueberry-Apricot-Crumble. Be forewarned, there's butter in this. Save up some calories and do a long walk on the day you bake this. But be prepared for super deliciousness and a house that smells divine.
Adapted from Real Simple, June 2006
2 sticks unsalted butter, cold, cut into pieces
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup apricot jam or preserves
3/4 cup frozen blueberries (don't thaw)
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger (more if you love ginger like I do)
Heat oven to 375 degrees. Spray an 8-inch square baking dish with non-stick spray or coat with butter. In your stand mixer and set on low, combine flour, granulated and light brown sugars, baking powder and salt. Mix on low to combine. Add the pieces of butter and mix until crumbly. Add egg yolk and vanilla and mix until it just comes together but is still very crumbly. Pour all but 1/2 cup dough into square pan. Using your fingertips, press the dough evenly into the baking dish, pushing the dough up about 1/4 inch around the edge.

Combine the jam and ginger in a small bowl. Spread the mixture evenly over the crust. Place frozen blueberries over apricot/ginger mixture. Crumble the remaining dough over the top. Bake until golden, about 35 minutes. Cool for 20 minutes before cutting.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

What does eating a kumquat look like?

How to eat a kumquat
Have you eaten a kumquat? You really should. They're one of my most favoritist of fruits. But they're a cross of pleasure and pain. Tart and sweet. Bitey and delectable. Chewy and punches of flavor. Kumquats are those eency weency tiny little wee bit o' orange fruits. Teencier than tangerines. Zwergs.

Kumquat trees are cute and small, too. They're like the Gary Coleman of citrus. Without the Whatcha talkin' about Willis. And the weirdest part? You eat them whole. Peel and all. Actually, it's the peel that makes them palatable.

How to eat a kumquat: Put in mouth and chew chew chew. Don't wait and around and savor the flavor. Don't roll it around on your tongue and see what flavor emerges next. No. Just chew the shit out of it until the citrus tang-pang-pain breaks through to juicy fruit essence of sweet yum and you've made it. Phew.

This is what it looks like as you work your way through the kumquat chew cycle:
Image Hosted by
Wait, there's more! Happy Chinese New Year! Kumquats are a traditional fruit to give as good luck at the Chinese New Year. Kumquats symbolize prosperity and make a great gift this time of year.

I wish I could grow kumquats here in Portland. Then I could have an abundant crop and make things with them like kumquat preserves or marmalade, or mash them up with vodka and make a crazy mad infusion. And then there's always the kumquat-ginger-caipirinha, made with cachaca, ginger, superfine sugar and kumquats. Holy moly. I really should make this...

2 oz cachaça
5 kumquats, sliced
1 1/2 - 2 Tbsp superfine sugar
1 tsp chopped, fresh ginger

slice of kumquat for garnish

Place the kumquats, ginger and sugar into an old-fashioned glass.
Muddle well.
Fill the glass with ice, then add the cachaça.
Stir well or shake it.
Garnish with a slice of kumquat.

Whether or not you eat kumquats au natural, or in a decadent drink as described above, you need to have a kumquat or two at least once in your lifetime. And now's the time of year. Hop to. And happy new year!

Friday, February 08, 2008

Winter light is cool and bright

hyacinth emerging
The light this time of year is so thin and bright. Fleeting, really, since there's not much of it in the cold, wet days of February in the Pacific Northwest. In February, light changes quickly, casting very few shadows, highlighting pasty skin and hangnails, but providing luminosity to eyes. Purple is perfect for this light. It reflects back and shadows lavender and blue and periwinkle. I looked at an orange colander with kumquats in it this morning and I burned my eyeballs. Too bright for February light. But purple? Purple is just right.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Pom poms are meant to wiggle

pom poms are meant to wiggle
I love pom poms. Especially on this one, Viva la Spring. And yep, that's spanglish for you.
viva la spring!
See more over at my Etsy shop. Viva la Spring! Viva la primavera!

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Man fur, man bag, and now, the man apron...

...The Mapron!
The Mapron
Every foxy man in the kitchen needs an apron, and I'd assume without a lotta lace and frill. I've made several so far, but here's my first one up in my Etsy shop. A happy client says it's the most comfortable apron he's ever had, and I like to think it's a little bit hipster and a little bit retro. But it ain't no country or rock'n'roll. You can see more photos and read the details about The Mapron here.

What? Another burger review? Tell me it isn't so.

It is so. But even better, here's the uncropped photo used in the new Higgins burger review. It reveals the highly technical and very sophisticated set-up for how to photograph a burger:
behind the scenes of a burger photo at Higgins
The woman holding the highly technical and sophisticated piece of photography studio equipment is the delightful and just-as-funny-in-person-as-in-blogland-and-twitter Radio Gretchen. Think of this post as going behind the scenes, a glimpse at how the magic is created. Okay, you can stop laughing now.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Another stop on the burger tour...

And it was a very good one.

Such an exciting day: our domestic partnership is official!

Updated: And here are photos from at the county offices...
How is it that a piece of paper can make you feel so good?
Domestic partnerships in Oregon: official!
It's been really hard to stop smiling today. And thank you for all of the incredibly wonderful comments and congratulations! You all just blow us away. :)

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Technicolor? Meet Retro. Retro? This is Technicolor.

hot new apron: technicolor meet retro
And this is what it looked like when they mashed all night long and become an apron. Trim, ric rac, pom poms. You name it? This sassy apron has it. And dang this was a fun one to make. A whole new batch coming to my Etsy shop throughout the week. Get 'em while they're hot!
technicolor meet retro: pom poms

Friday, February 01, 2008

It's a wonderful thing to celebrate

Effective immediately, Oregon's domestic partnership law goes into effect. You know where you can find us Monday morning. And the lil' lady even brought me flowers today.
P.S. Make sure to watch that video: does BRO's new executive director kick ass or what? Way to go, Jeana.

One thing leads to another...

...I always hoped my garden blogging would eventually pay. I used to write a pretty fantastic gardening blog over at OregonLive for no money. Well, they're still not paying, and how they hobble along over there is beyond me. It's kind of sad. But not for me.....because now I have a column! Yes, my very own column in print, every two weeks February -Summer, you can read Sassy Gardener in Just Out, Portland's LGBTQ newspaper. My first article is out today, and it's even on-line. I'm answering gardening questions, so if you have any for me, send 'em my way and your question may just end up in print.