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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in hypatia_j's LiveJournal:

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Saturday, July 17th, 2010
1:26 pm
Red Currant Liqueurs
Since I had so many currants, I tried making a couple flavored liqueurs. Mixed success.

Currants w/ simple syrup and vodka - Not bad, I think this would make nifty Cosmos, but I need to experiment w/ ratios. I think the original recipe was intended for black currants, if I make it again, there will be more berries and a bit more sugar to the same amount of vodka.

Currants in rum w/ star anise and raw sugar (recipe here:http://www.telegraph.co.uk/foodanddrink/recipes/3290417/Readers-recipes-redcurrants.html) What I wanted/expected was mainly currant w/ a hint of anise. After trying it, I can see exactly where every flavor came from, unfortunately, they add up to something resembling Nyquil. I can see occasionally sipping it as a digestif, but I'm not sure what else to do with it.

The recipe might be worth trying with cinnamon and/or allspice or clove instead of anise.
--
My next experiment will be with peppermint which I have a half garden full of. It should make fine creme de menthe.
Wednesday, July 7th, 2010
10:31 pm
Dollhouses
I recently saw a production of Dollhouse by Rebecca Gilman at the Guthrie. This is adapted from Henrik Ibsen's A Doll's House. The story of Nora and Torvald in the late 19th century becomes the story of Nora and Terry in the early 21st century (post Enron et al, pre-mortgage crisis).

The story translates pretty well to modern America. But I don't really feel like it said anything new. In some ways, 21st century Nora is less of a progressive character than her 19th century counterpart. She seems to have less agency at a couple of key points in the narrative.

Thoughts and spoilers behind the cut.Collapse )
Sunday, June 27th, 2010
10:05 pm
Productive evening
After an afternoon nap and tasty dinner, I picked two pints of black raspberries and a pound of red currants.

I realized yesterday that bike gloves are perfect for picking raspberries. They protect most of your hand from thorns but leave your fingers free for picking. Now if I could only find the right-hand one. I blame a small grey cat for its disappearance.

Currant jelly still hasn't been made, but that should happen sometime soon.

Completely different topic - mris, you might want to check out this link: http://oldnorsenews.org/2010/06/peter-footes-library-up-for-auction/
Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010
11:51 pm
Epiphanies
I grew up knowing what Sisu means (it's a Finnish thing) and that I can't translate it well. But Wikipedia's cross reference both fits and never really occurred to me.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sisu#See_also
Saturday, June 19th, 2010
11:14 pm
The town I grew up in - Wadena MN
I'd briefly toyed with the idea of heading north for the Wadena Deer Creek High School reunion this weekend. If I didn't like the scene, I figured I could just head to the family cabin a few miles away. Plans changed.

Thursday night, multiple tornadoes hit town. Below is a picture of my high school. It no longer has a roof. The larger red box shows what used to be the community center's roof in front of the entrance. The smaller box 1/2 a block further? That was my house. The windows on the upper floor were my bedroom.


Looking north parallel to highway 29 as you enter Wadena from the south.

Here's the thing. I didn't much like living in Wadena. We moved there when I was 5, (just before kindergarten) and I told my parents that when I grew up I was moving back to the Twin Cities. (June 1996 following my senior year of college, I moved back to the Twin Cities.)

And yet, this is the town that in some ways, I still know best. I lived there for 17 years. Every picture I see is somewhere I've walked, or biked, or hung out with friends. When I see pictures of people responding to the tornadoes, they're often people I knew, or I knew their parents or kids. Last time I was in town I got a hug from the woman who owns the bakery, she hadn't heard that my dad had died. I went to the 'cyber cafe' that used to be my parents' store and the HS student behind the counter recognized my name.

Last week I would've said my ties to Wadena were pretty tenuous. Today, I'm not sure what to say.

Processing needed I guess. And I gotta say, tornadoes need to stop attacking my favorite maple trees.
11:23 am
I need a food icon.
So, we're nearing the end of spring, in my garden this means that I will soon have too many red currants. (Followed closely by the long awaited black raspberry season.)

I still have jelly from the last batch, I still have currants in the freezer from last year, and I'm about to have my biggest crop yet.

What should I do with all these currants? "I'll come over and pick a pint for myself" or "I'll take a quart of frozen ones" are valid suggestions at this point.
--
Here's one recipe I tried previously: http://www.deliciousdays.com/archives/2005/10/21/red-currant-tart/

The shortbread crust was delicious but the tart itself has a problem. That picture? Not representative. What came out of the oven was these beautiful ruby berries embedded in a yellowish beige custard. Not particularly appetizing. (It was tasty, reminiscent of rhubarb custard pie with a bit more bite.)

Thoughts on how to make it look prettier would be welcome.
Wednesday, April 28th, 2010
10:27 pm
The marmalade never set up. I have tangerine syrup.
Any thoughts on what to do with over a quart of tangerine syrup (with slivers of rind?)
Saturday, March 27th, 2010
8:42 pm
My day in citrus
2 lbs mini-tangerines, a meyer lemon, a lime and a regular lemon plus water and sugar made 4 quarts of marmalade. (That's a lot, most jam recipes I make result in a couple quarts.) I had a friend over to help, so she got half the results.

This is the first time I've made any sort of preserve without pectin. The important question now is whether it will gel like I want it to.

The whole house smells like tangerines and sugar. I can't complain.
Friday, March 26th, 2010
11:26 pm
Still around, just not posting lately
One of the things I picked up from reading Citadels was "read everything since your last visit before posting" and so, whenever I fall behind (325+ messages this time), I don't post.

Took me days to catch up.
Thursday, February 18th, 2010
8:13 pm
Scandinavian trash talk - Mostly to amuse mris
Coming home from tai chi class, I heard an article on MPR - The World about Sweden/Norway rivalry during the winter games. (Norway has more Winter medals than any other country.)

Apparently it started when a Swedish commentator said that Norway had more psychologists than medals at the Olympics this year (4).

Then a Norwegian athlete beat out the Swedish favorite to win a gold.

A Swede interviewed about the friendly rivalry said that it was probably an inferiority complex since Sweden has global brands like Volvo and Ikea and Norway just has fish... and great winter athletes.
Saturday, February 13th, 2010
10:56 am
Last night's show at Northrop
I love Pilobolus. (Who wouldn't love a dance company named after a fungus?) Most interesting I think is the range of things that the dancers list in addition to dance in their bios. For example, one of the artistic directors mentioned he's done landscaping.

They performed 5 pieces last night and all of them were great.

The first was a story-dance called Lanterna Magicka about catching fireflies to make a lantern. It had several characters who weren't necessarily human and of course, they released the fireflies at the end of the dance.

Lanterna is also being performed this afternoon in their kid-friendly matinee. There's also a piece I won't get to see that was choreographed by a creator of Spongebob Squarepants.

Another great piece was called Hitched, it was the story of a marriage (starting with groom chasing bride, followed by bride chasing groom). Some wonderful slapstick was followed by a more serious moment where the marriage is obviously in trouble. The couple make peace at the end and leave the stage in an embrace where each has only one leg on the floor, they could only walk if they worked together.

See a sample of Pilobolus here http://www.ted.com/speakers/pilobolus.html
Tuesday, January 5th, 2010
7:06 pm
A dish that makes me sad
I have a set of dishes from my one of my grandmothers. Most of them are chipped or a little faded.

When I was little and we spent the night and grandma and grandpa's house, we would always have breakfast from the pasta bowls of the set. In fact, I was probably in my 20s before I realized they were pasta bowls. Grandma and grandpa used those bowls every morning, regardless of what breakfast was: cereal, swedish pancakes, eggs, and eventually oatmeal every morning for health reasons.

Two of the pasta bowls have broken since I got them, (I use them contantly). One was slightly faded compared to the others. One of the remaining bowls has almost no pattern left. I suspect that the broken dish marked the end of periodic trips that resulted in breakfast by my brother or cousins or me. The dishes no longer got 'shuffled' and two remained at the top of the pile all the time. The most faded dish, the one I keep on the bottom of the pile, is the one my grandma ate out of every morning for a year after my grandfather died. And then she died too, and they moved to my cupboard.
Saturday, November 14th, 2009
4:36 pm
Hello Mr Rabitt, what were you doing in that hat?
Last month someone I just met asked me if I would present a seminar at her women's conference. I said I'd think about it.

I just finished the presentation about 45 minutes ago. It went really, really, well. I talked about prioritizing and understanding the technology in your life. A lot of things I expected would come up didn't, and a bunch of things I hadn't thought about did and I still managed to know what to say. Everyone seemed engaged and interested and we had a really good conversation.

I may have said 'um' once. But that's it. I could do this again. (In fact, I may have volunteered to do just that...)

Yay! (tired now)
Tuesday, October 27th, 2009
7:18 pm
Joined Facebook
I had enough people ask me if I'm on Facebook that I joined yesterday.
Monday, October 26th, 2009
11:05 am
This is fascinating
Article on F. Scott Fitzgerald's Income tax returns.
http://www.theamericanscholar.org/living-on-500000-a-year/
Saturday, October 17th, 2009
11:55 pm
My first premiere
Tonight was the Royal Winnipeg Ballet world premiere of the new ballet Moulin Rouge. It was darned good for a ballet with a (let's be honest) cliched plot. The female lead was choreographed as much more innocent than Nicole Kidman's jaded version in the movie. Not as great as Eifman Ballet, but they're on a whole different level.

The costumes were great, and the music was generally recognizable but not intrusive. For example, the 1st act ended with a pas de deux to Clair de Lune and the dance numbers kept teasing with the can-can song I fully expected to hear, then finally used it to great effect.

I'm not sure I could expect anyone else to take me up on it, but I'd be much happier to see this every few years rather than the Nutcracker, Giselle or Coppelia again and again.

I have to admit I missed why the cast list included 'Green Fairies' until Toulouse Latrec appeared with a bottle of absinthe.
Sunday, October 4th, 2009
6:16 pm
So many tomatoes that people look at you funny.
Making up for the lack of vegetables from the Farmer's Market yesterday, we* realized it was tomato soup weekend** this weekend.

So we came home with 75 lbs of tomatoes and commenced canning. This is one of my favorite fall events, though I'm always very tired at the end of it all.

At the market, we decided it was silly to carry the tomatoes any farther than we had to, so I stood with the bags and R got the car. Several people looked oddly at me (grinning broadly) and all my tomatoes.

I am home now with 11 quarts of soup and a gallon bag full of tomatoes I'll do something else with tonight or tomorrow.

The something else will probably involve cumin, toasted onion flakes, and polenta which was a lovely combination when I created it last month. Delicious served with broccoli.

* rmnilsson and I.

** You can always tell, the farmer's market has baskets full of slightly spotty tomatoes for ridiculously low prices. Usually the first weekend after a frost.
Saturday, October 3rd, 2009
12:12 pm
Farmer's Market find of the year
Fresh ginger. No, not like the stuff in the store. Fresh! 2 foot worth of leaf stalk still attached! Teeny little buds of ginger root, the skin is mostly still yellow not brown.

It was more expensive than I expected ($10 for what will probably be ~4 oz, not my most frugal decision of the week) but I couldn't resist the opportunity to try some. I just came home with fewer other vegetables than I otherwise would have.

The leaves smell of ginger too, though in a quick google search I couldn't find any evidence they're edible. Anyone with experience or better Google-foo than me?

I have many plans for ths stuff. I'll report back :)

ETA: It is closer to 8 or 9 oz, that seems slightly less outrageous.
Monday, September 21st, 2009
12:38 pm
Tuesday, August 25th, 2009
10:52 pm
Is it just me?
...or does this picture make Saturn's rings look like an enormous LP?

http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/astropix.html
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