Tuesday, June 3, 2014

the indomitable tomato plant

The indomitable tomato
So you remember how I said a few weeks ago that we had a week of wind and one of the big tomato plants fell over and squished my tomato seedlings?

Or maybe I didn't and just posted on Facebook. Well, we had a week of hard wind, followed by a few days of reasonable weather, followed by almost a week of not quite as much wind... and one of my bigger tomato plants fell over and squished the seedlings I'd planted out just before the wind because the weather looked like it was going to hold.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

sad sage is sad

A few days ago, I noticed that my sage looked like it had some whitish spots on it, but didn't think much of it.

Today, it looked a lot worse, so I asked the internet. It looks like I've got a case of powdery mildew.  Apparently, I have inadvertently provided it good conditions: warmish days with cool nights, most watering done from overhead, allowing humidity within the plant, and not a ton of air circulation (it's gotten quite bushy and thick).

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

gyoza skins

I've been making, or helping my mother make, gyoza for years. She has an amazing filling recipe, and I've made it with great success a number of times.

The problem is, here in France, gyoza wrappers are a little more difficult to come by than the SF Bay Area. I've made them with wonton skins from the big Asian store, but it's a little bit of a hassle to get to the store.  A while back, I went to a gyoza party hosted by someone I met at my French language school, and he made the gyoza wrappers himself - opening my eyes to the idea this was possible.

Monday, April 14, 2014


A couple of years ago, I semi-successfully managed to have beans and tomatoes on the balcony. I intended to try again last year, but the weather was so weird for so long that it was May before I knew it, and too late to really try.

Friday, January 24, 2014

it was fabulous

G's birthday was last Friday, and my parents' Christmas present to us was a no-expenses-barred-within-reason dinner out for two. I thought we should combine the two, and find tasty food. G agreed, looked at his work schedule, and booked us a table at Michel Sarran.

It was fabulous.

Friday, September 6, 2013

strawberry nectarine jam

So a few weeks ago, a friend from university posted about strawberry jam.  I made a batch.  And then started looking around at different strawberry jam recipes on the internets, and came  across this one.  G also asked his parents about their jam recipes, since they make some pretty sensational jams.

I then made a couple batches of roasted strawberry jam - strawberries + sugar in a baking dish in a 170C oven for around 45min-1h, food processed, put in a container in the fridge,  and consumed within a week or two.  Yum.

And then I got to thinking... how about other fruits?  I decided to try nectarines.  But I also had strawberries... and I never got around to the nectarine jam.

Chopped up a couple nectarines, didn't bother skinning (roughly 250-275g).  Whole strawberries (roughly equal weight).  Sugar (around 200g).  Pie plate.  170C oven, stir after about 20-25min, total time in the 45-60min range.  Food process.  Makes a pretty full jar + worth of jam... which gets consumed fairly rapidly.


(no photos... my camera has been missing for a  few weeks.  I is sad.  There's an actual finished pair of socks, a half-finished pair of socks, and the beginning of a First Sweater that want to be photographed..)

Sunday, July 14, 2013

sparkle lights

We have just returned from a stunning fireworks display.

About a three minute walk from our apartment is the main city library (or médiathèque, if you prefer). It is a strange, upside-down U shaped building straddling the top of one of the city's main boulevards.  Behind the médiathèque lies a square where there's some kind of city-related-something, some little stores (convenience store, pharmacy, bakery kind of thing; mostly we care about the bakery) and apartments.  It is here that the city has chosen for les feux d'artifice du 14 juillet (it's Bastille Day).

Friday, June 21, 2013

life is hard when you're a perry cat

Perry is a cat of routines and rituals, which slowly shift over time.  One of these is the bedtime ritual.  He used to come snuggle in bed with me when we went to bed, but for the last several months, G has been the preferred bed partner.

When Perry detects that we are starting to get ready for bed, he comes to the bed, wanders around on it, sits on it, makes plaintive sad noises.  Once G gets under the covers (G is usually first in), Perry goes under too for a bit of a snuggle with his boyfriend.  Sometimes he just stays for a few minutes; other times he stays until we've gone to sleep.  If I wake up in the middle of the night, I generally find that Perry has migrated to the foot of the bed, generally cradled between the ridges made by our legs.

Last night, Perry was waiting expectantly for his nightly snuggle.  However, once G was under the covers, a fluffy white cat named Nicki decided that she wanted to try this snuggling thing out too... and Perry was unable to get in.

He had such a lost, sad look on his face as he tried to figure out what had gone wrong with his world...

Friday, April 12, 2013

apple pie gyoza

A few weeks ago, a classmate of mine posted pictures of lovely little apple pie bites on her Facebook page. Inspired, I attempted something similar... but well, it didn't work out so well (aesthetically - they tasted fine).

Tried again today.

Some pie crust + an apple + some random amount of cassonnade (sort of like brown sugar, but not) + some cinnamon + some nutmeg + some walnuts + my food processor + a rolling pin + some different sized cups =

The littlest one is about 1.5" across, the big one about 2.5".  The big one was more satisfying in an apply way, but the little ones were more fun - bite sized!