Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Cooking with Kristin: Molly's Deviled Eggs

For the Mad Men party yesterday, we were encouraged to bring some 1960s-themed snacks.  I'm not totally in love with 1960s food (who is?), but one dish seemed appropriate and is also one of my favorite foods - deviled eggs.  My favorite recipe for these is a classic - Molly's Deviled Eggs from the American Girl Cookbook, also known as "my food bible before I found How to Cook Everything." 

This little spiral bound book has some wonderful, easy-to-prepare (read: my skills today are only slightly less rudimentary than they were when I made these recipes for the first time over 15 years ago) recipes, and this is one of my very favorites.  It's simple, delicious, and I'm impressed at how well it's held up to my expectations every time I make it.  Often foods from childhood simply aren't as good when we're adults (Chef Boyardee, anyone?), this this one is still a winner nearly two decades later.

PS - Now I want to buy all the individual doll books that I found on Amazon.  Have I mentioned that at least 30% of the poems I write are about cooking in early America?

Monday, March 26, 2012

Weekend Wanderings: Out & About

I haven't been so great about taking photos lately, so apologies for their lack in this post (and, if I could possibly be more vain, the one below is not only of me, but it's stolen from Amanda, who read at the reading).  Friday my coworkers had a little goodbye happy hour for a girl who's leaving the company at Cask, a really cute little bar with great mixed drinks.  It was a little pricey, but really high-quality food and drinks.  After that, Roger met me at Hill Country for another coworker's birthday party.  I'd eaten there once before, a few weeks before I moved out of the city in 2009, and it was just as delicious as I'd remembered it.  Also - a really convenient place to serve a group, since checks are automatically separated.

Saturday we spent most of the day working at a new coffee shop that opened up near us recently, Lenox Coffee.  The atmosphere was really nice, and reminded me a lot of Brooklyn.  It was quiet enough to study in, but not so silent that it felt weird to talk, and although the room was small, they did a good job of putting in enough tables, and we found a seat without much of a problem.  Also - their drinks were wonderful, and a far cry from the Starbucks that we have a little closer to the apartment.  I'd definitely go back.  In the evening, we saw The Hunger Games, which I really enjoyed.  Very few movies are really as good as the book, and this was no exception, but I thought they did a really good job fitting as much in as they could, and it was a really enjoyable experience.  Especially since we snuck candy into the theater.

And on Sunday, we met up with some of Roger's colleagues for brunch at Red Rooster, which we've been meaning to try for a long time. The food was delicious and it was a fun atmosphere, although after all the hype, it did seem to be a tad bit overrated.  Also - I've realized I don't totally love live music during meals or at bars.  The woman singing was really loud, and it was a little difficult to maintain a conversation during that.  We went back to his coworker Ryan's gorgeous apartment afterward, and she kindly made us tea and we all chatted until it was time for us to go to the reading at Zinc Bar that I was helping to host.  Lungfull! very kindly put up some NYU students twice this year, and I was lucky enough to help select the readers and host one of the readings.  The readers were all different and incredible in their own way, the space is incredible, and if you haven't picked up a copy of the magazine yet - do.  It's fantastic.  I'm so proud to have been a part of the series this year, and I'm really looking forward to working more with them next year.

Me. (Thanks to Amanda Calderon for taking this!)

Friday, March 23, 2012

{This Moment}

{This Moment}

A Friday ritual inspired by Amanda Soule & many others.
Please feel free to share a link to your own moment in the comments.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Life List: Memorize & Internalize 10 Poems

I've always liked memorizing poems, and since memorizing 10 is on my life list, I figured I'd bring us on a guided tour through the ones I've already memorized, and how they've treated me through the years.

General Prologue from The Canterbury Tales (Geoffrey Chaucer)

Whan that Aprill, with his shoures soote
The droghte of March hath perced to the roote
And bathed every veyne in swich licour,
Of which vertu engendred is the flour;

Whan Zephirus eek with his sweete breeth
Inspired hath in every holt and heeth
The tendre croppes, and the yonge sonne
Hath in the Ram his halfe cours yronne,
And smale foweles maken melodye,
(That slepen al the nyght with open eye)
So priketh hem Nature in hir corages
Thanne longen folk to goon on pilgrimages

And palmeres for to seken straunge strondes
To ferne halwes, kowthe in sondry londes;
And specially from every shires ende
Of Engelond, to Caunterbury they wende,
The hooly blisful martir for to seke
That hem hath holpen, whan that they were seeke.

During my sophomore year of college, I took a class on the history of the English language (see previous entry), and absolutely loved it.  I was pretty terrible at the class itself - my professor noted that "Kristin clearly had a difficult time with the technical aspects of the class" (aka: all of it) in my evaluation - but I proved myself valiantly worthy of my grade because of my conference work, reading The Canterbury Tales.  We read the general prologue in class, and memorizing it was a great pleasure.  As lost as I am with Old English (and, despite knowing those few words I've memorized, I'm pretty darn lost), I love Middle English, and feel much more at home with it, entirely because of this project.  Now, one of my life goals (perhaps after I finish reading all of Shakespeare's works) is to go see an original-pronunciation version of one of the plays.

Bonus part of why it is awesome that I know this poem - Sylvia Plath also memorized it, and I feel a deep connection because of that. 

Monday, March 19, 2012

Weekend Wanderings: St. Patrick's Day

Even though it started out on Friday with me on the couch crying over commercials, this was actually a really lovely weekend.  The weather has been unseasonably gorgeous in New York, and we spent as much of it outside as two people who work full time and go to school full time and were hosting friends all weekend could.  Which is to say, not enough, but it was lovely anyway.

We spent the morning of St. Patrick's Day cleaning and getting things ready to make corned beef and cabbage before Cece and Justin came over bearing delicious soda bread.   We popped everything in the slow cooker and headed to the park to play Kubb with Rob, Dan, and Neils.  Have you ever played this game?  It's pretty fabulous.  Rob introduced it to us about two years ago, and a few months later, my father serendipitously found a pattern for a set in his woodworking magazine and made it, so it's infiltrated all parts of my outdoor life.  This is a happy fact.  Unfortunately, it turned out to be much colder the second time we went outside (and I was only wearing a green sundress and cardigan), so after a few rounds, we headed back uptown for dinner, which was fine, but didn't hold a candle to the corned beef and cabbage my grandmother used to make.  Any tips for next time?

Sunday, we met up with Vrinda and Karen, our program assistant from studying abroad, for her birthday.  I feel really blessed to have kept in contact with so many people from that year.  We all had brunch at Freeman's, which has a really cozy atmosphere and nice meals.  A few hours of reading in Morningside Park later, Allison made her way to Harlem to spend the night before flying home to Ohio, and we had a nice dinner of sushi and mixed drinks at Asiakan.  Afterward, we all "worked" and generally distracted each other until it was time for bed.  It was a weekend of seeing people I never see, and while I'm exhausted now, it was wonderful while it was happening.

Friday, March 16, 2012


A true story: I am really susceptible to advertising.  Today, I was feeling bad for myself, so I decided to listen to music, specifically Ray LaMontagne.  Unfortunately, somehow iTunes has messed with my music, so everything from ABBA to the Beach Boys was somehow also listed under Ray LaMontagne.  I tried to change all the artists to the correct ones, and stumbled upon Alphaville and thought, "Oh, that commercial.  That commercial that completely sums up my entire sadness right now.  The prom commercial."

And, thanks to the powers of the internet, I was able to find it.  And not only it, but all the commercials in this awesome series.  I am still feeling bad for myself, but no where near as bad as I was, especially after I remembered some of my other favorites (almost all of which have made me cry at some point in the past two years): Bacardi Mojito, Clorox Bleach, Volkswagen, Google Chrome, Allstate, Jameson, and, if we're being honest here, pretty much every single commercial or print ad from Subaru and their Love Campaign in the past two years - although this honeymoon one was especially tear-inducing in me.  I have a pretty clear trend - good music, nostalgia, history, tugging at my heartstrings, and also movement across the screen. Anyway, for real, check out those links - that's hand curated commercial goodness for you - and enjoy the commercials that got me started on this hour-long scavenger hunt for the world's best, below.

Leaving Childhood:

The original one I remembered, Leaving High School:

Leaving College:


Thursday, March 15, 2012

Life List: Memorize & Internalize 10 Poems

I've always liked memorizing poems, and since memorizing 10 is on my life list, I figured I'd bring us on a guided tour through the ones I've already memorized, and how they've treated me through the years.

Caedmon's Hymn
nu scylun hergan   hefaenricaes uard
metudæs maecti   end his modgidanc
uerc uuldurfadur   swe he uundra gihwaes
eci dryctin   or astelidæ
he aerist scop   aelda barnum
heben til hrofe   haleg scepen.
tha middungeard   moncynnæs uard
eci dryctin   æfter tiadæ
firum foldu   frea allmectig

In other words, the coolest party trick I have - whipping out a memorized poem in Old English. That's all I have to say about that.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Back in the Saddle*

Sorry for that month-long hiatus.  This semester has involved exponentially more work than last semester, and the fiscal year is ending at work, so needless to say, things have been crazy here in chez Kristin.  But, February was a nice month, with good news from friends and unseasonably warm weather, which encouraged me to take up swimming at the school gym, an activity I love and try to do twice a week.  I also celebrated my 26th birthday, which was quite nice.  I took a long weekend for it, and my parents came down for lunch the day before.  Roger bought me tulips and my (almost) favorite Entenmann's cake, and we celebrated with Ethiopian food.  At work the next day, my wonderful coworkers got me a really adorable card, and my family had an edible arrangement sent, with the number 26 carved out of pineapple.

And then, today, looking at my AAA card, I realized, this is my 10th anniversary of driving, and I realized that deserves its own entry.  I vacillate between loving to drive (when I haven't done it in ages and I'm dreaming of road trips) and hating it (when I actually am on a long drive, getting tired and sick and tickets), but I remember the feeling of first getting my permit - pure freedom.  Freedom to drive with an adult before 9pm.  I could not have been more excited.  I used my parents' old car, a 1995 Blazer, and begged them to let me paint it bubblegum pink.  They didn't let me, but they did paint the toe-hitch on the back hot pink with spray paint, so that was okay, too.  The first time I drove on the roads was the afternoon of my permit test.  My father took me up my road, and through some communities without much traffic.  But, neither of  us really knew where we were going, and we accidentally ended up on Wood Street, a somewhat more trafficked road that is very straight and easy to drive on - until you hit the end, where it turns into a steep hill with hairpin turns.  I went about 5mph the whole way, nails gripping into the steering wheel.  As soon as we reached the end, I pulled over and my father drove home.  I'd never been so scared in my life.**

But, I plowed on, and learned to drive pretty well, finally passing my driving test on the second try.***  From there, it was endless trips to Friendly's, longer trips up the Taconic to Fahnestock and beyond, and eventually, long trips to New Orleans and Bar Harbor.  There were a few bumps in the road - I was rear-ended pretty badly in that Blazer about a year and a half after I got my license, I've gotten two tickets, gas prices went through the roof - but overall, the privilege of driving has never been lost on me.  A year after I started driving, for my 17th birthday, my parents generously bought me a new-to-me car, my baby, my forest green 1997 Mustang convertible.  The day my father pretended he went to his friend's to look at it but didn't buy it, and then tossed me the keys is still one of the highlights of my life.
This is a good example of my parking skills. And my high school fashion sense.

For me, the car has been so much more to me than just a mode of transportation.  It has represented mobility and freedom, the near-endless generosity of my family, and the deeply idyllic nature of my childhood.  And god, it's just so cool.  Here's what I mean: Have you ever read that great Hairpin article about American Girl Dolls? I think it's hilarious, and so accurate.  I had Samantha.  Hairpin says: By virtue of acquiring a status symbol early on (a Samantha doll was the designer jeans of third grade), you never quite had to worry about things the way other girls did. You therefore grew up to be confidant, capable, and nonplussed. You've always been well liked. You aren’t the funniest in your group, but you’ve never really noticed or cared.  It's true, and the Mustang is exactly the same.  Were there kids at school who had nicer, newer cars?  Absolutely.  Could I have possibly cared less?  Absolutely not.

I still think there's nothing cooler than rolling down the top, putting on a hair scarf, and hitting the road.  Even though it's increasingly rare now, and even though I'm more likely to be listening to NPR than the Beach Boys, every time I get into the car, I'm reminded of all that's made it mean so much to me.  I think back to all the times I drove it barefoot, wearing a swimsuit, the times Roger and I made out in the front seats, all the miles of pavement we've covered together since 2003.  When my parents suggested I sell the car to Roger last year, and buy a car I also really wanted (a Subaru), one that would actually drive in the snow, I cried.****  It wasn't about giving up the car.  It was about giving up everything the car means to me - in a word, youth

*Get it? Mustang - saddle? ha. ha.
**Except for the time I woke up in a pure panic because I knew someone was standing over me, about to shoot me.  And then I finally worked up the courage to turn on my tv for light, and it was on a channel with John Edward talking to a woman whose father had stood at the foot of her bed and shot her.  Yep. I'm psychic.
***Where we live, it's pretty hard to pass on your first time.  The only person I know who did it was Shelby.  She rocked that test.  She also really knows how to drive standard, not just "knows how to drive standard in an emergency" like me.  And, now that I've typed this all out, I realize Shelby just let me know yesterday that she bought a new car.  This entry is coincidental, but hopefully she'll talk more about hers soon! 
****I know I'll have to give the car up when we leave, and get a more sensible one, and I'm more comfortable with that now that I don't drive everyday.  I know we'll always have our memories, and this one super-hip picture together!