Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Yesterday was the first day back to school. It was so dark when I left for work, and we're still on daylight savings time. It's amazing how much the light level changed in just a week. I'm not looking forward to leaving when it is still dark out. Of course, that won't last too long. Two more weeks (one of which is a four day week), then a week off for Thanksgiving, followed by one more week of class and a week of student presentations. All the teachers are practically counting down the days until the end of the semester. It's so close!
Monday, October 29, 2007
adapted from Culinate
- 1/2 lb. apples
- 1/8 c honey
- 1/4 t cinnamon
- 1 clove
1. Wash apples and remove stems, but do not peel or core. Cut apples into small pieces and add to stockpot. Cover with water and let simmer until apples are soft.
2. Let apples cool, then press them through a food mill.
3. Combine apple pulp with honey and spices in a saucepan. Cook slowly on low heat until a heading spoonful is a thick, rounded mound (this may take several hours, but it took me about an hour with the small amount I had). Stir to prevent sticking; this dish can burn easily, so make sure to check it often. If butter is too thick, add water or apple juice.
Saturday, October 27, 2007
teacher shows to much cleavage - Is this anything like "star shows to much applause?"
learning wedding - You're making me cry.
all about my teachet - Your "teachet" wants you to learn how to spell.
teacher uses alive models for sexed class - You know, I think there is a Monty Python episode where this happens.
thank you letter to teacher - Somehow, I think your teacher might possibly want a letter that you came up with.
i hate teaching sixth graders - Me too!
The world is a strange place
cucumber dildo blog - This is not the blog you're looking for.
funny butte picture - This is the kind of opening bloggers dream of.
woo things to do at walmart - Woo woo? You shouldn't be doing that at Walmart.
warcraft mangos falling - I don't even know what to do with this one.
when life throws - Is life throwing stuff at you? Tell life to knock it off.
Friday, October 26, 2007
I arrived hoping to get a quick blood test and go. Seeing as I was already known to be on statins, I figured they could just tell the doctor I was here for the blood test I needed and send me down to the lab. No such luck, though, and the soonest appointment was in nearly an hour. I accepted it, then went back to have them cancel it, at which point in time they were able to have a doctor see me immediately.
So I go and talk with the doctor (actually an NP, but it's pretty much the same thing), and while explaining why I was there I asked if, while we were testing my blood we could also test for celiac disease, seeing as I was recently diagnosed with IBS and the former is often diagnosed as the latter. She told me that there wasn't a blood test for it! I didn't know what to do, seeing as I didn't have any papers with me stating the contrary. She's the professional, after all, so I shouldn't know more about this than her. Of course, she was also confused as to why I wanted my liver enzymes tested (because that's required every 6 months or so when you're on statins, which she should have known), so perhaps I shouldn't have been so shocked. When I move onto R's health care I'm definitely going to get tested, seeing as the condition has been linked to miscarriage and infertility (and I'll be wanting to be having kids before too long).
On top of all that, I had to deal with a rather unpleasant lab technician when I finally got my blood tested. Having had lots of experience getting blood drawn, I asked that the phlebotomist use a butterfly. I was then berated by the technician for coming to get my blood drawn dehydrated, having had problems with getting my blood drawn in the past, and making her use the butterfly, which takes more time. Well, I'm sorry, I like not having bruises. Last time I came to the student health center for a blood test they had to skewer both my arms. I just have tiny veins! I'm definitely looking forward to going back to my old phlebotomist. She was very gentle.
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Some friends of ours who live a couple of miles from our house were evacuated and are staying with us. My sister has also been evacuated. She went up to my family's house, which is now in a voluntary evacuation area. The place I live is right next to a mandatory evacuation area, but for now is still a tiny peninsula of non-evacuation. Today is another day of waiting. What I'd really like to do today is make apple butter, but I don't have a food mill and we're supposed to try and conserve power, so I probably shouldn't heat up the house like that. Perhaps I'll just scrapbook.
Monday, October 22, 2007
The area North of my house has been evacuated. For now, we wait, watching the news with a sense of urgency.
Sunday, October 21, 2007
Well, not San Diego proper, but parts of San Diego county. Still, the whole of San Diego is covered in clouds of smoke, and tiny flecks of ash are falling from the sky. Having lived through the Cedar Fire and residing at the foot of a hill that has already caught fire this year, the smell of smoke that is filling the air just makes me anxious. I think the rest of San Diego is feeling it, too. The freeways were moving very quickly and had fewer cars on them this afternoon, as if people didn't want to leave their homes and were being driven by a sense of urgency to get wherever they were going.
The blowing Santa Ana winds are not helping the firefighters. While watching an episode of "Heroes" a gust of wind suddenly rattled the vertical blinds in the kitchen. We all stepped outside to see one of the pine trees arcing over the gazebo out back, though none of us could remember if it had been like that before. By the smoke-filtered light of the moon, it looked quite foreboding.
Thursday, October 18, 2007
Running into R on the stairs as he leaves work and I arrive for class, conveniently in the same building, allowing us a couple of moments together. I'm so busy that I find myself missing him. It will be nice when this year is over.
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
I think it goes something like that. A fellow intern in my teaching program (and very good friend, to boot) has just started a blog. She is of the English-teaching persuasion, so she will probably wind up writing more eloquently than I do. Check her out.
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Monday, October 15, 2007
"The recipe with the cranberries you've had open on your browser all week?"
"I won't be eating them."
"Cranberries don't belong in food. Muffins with blueberries and chocolate chips are better."
"That sounds pretty good, actually."
"I still won't eat them, though, because they have oats."
Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Blueberry Muffins
Adapted from Coconut & Lime
- 1 1/4 c flour
- 1 c buttermilk
- 1 c old fashioned oats
- 1/3 c canola oil
- 1/3 c dark brown sugar
- 1 t baking powder
- 1/2 t baking soda
- 1/2 t salt
- 1/2 t ground nutmeg
- chocolate chips
- dried blueberries
1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Line or grease and flour one 12 well muffin tin.
2. In a large bowl, mix together the oatmeal, egg, oil, buttermilk, and sugar. After it is thoroughly mixed, add in the flour, salt, nutmeg, baking powder, and baking soda. Stir to combine. Fold in the remainder of the package of dried blueberries you have been snacking on all afternoon. Add enough chocolate chips so that the batter looks well-studded.
3. Divide evenly among the 12 muffin wells. Bake 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the center muffin comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack, serve.
As long as you aren't completely against oats, these are really delicious muffins. The ones I brought to school today disappeared quickly. Bringing food is definitely a good way to make friends.
Sunday, October 14, 2007
Okay, so it wasn't an epic journey. Still, it took about an hour and a half (with R and the roommate pitching in), which is somewhat epic in terms of the cooking that goes on around here, and involved a pan of boiling oil. How did the beer-battered cod and onion rings turn out, you ask? Quite nicely. The batter probably could have used a bit more seasoning, but this recipe will be staying in the cook book.
Saturday, October 13, 2007
Onion and Pancetta Quiche
Serves 4-6 as a main course, 8-10 as a starter
From Chocolate & Zucchini: Daily Adventures in a Parisian Kitchen
- Puff pastry, thawed according to package instructions
- 1 T olive oil, plus 1 t for greasing the pan
- 2 pounds yellow onions, about 6 medium, thinly sliced
- 1/2 t fine sea salt
- 3 large eggs
- 3/4 c light cream
- 1/4 t ground pepper
- 1 1/2 c grated Comté, about 5 oz (substitute Gruyére)
2. Heat 1 T olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions, sprinkle with 1/4 t salt, and stir. Cover, turn the heat down to low, and cook for 30 minutes, stirring from time to time, until the onions are soft and translucent. Remove the lid, turn the heat to medium-high, and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring regularly, until most of the liquids have evaporated. (This can be prepared up to a day ahead.)
3. Preheat oven to 350oF. Grease a 10-inch ceramic quiche pan with 1 t olive oil. Working on a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough in a 12-inch circle. Transfer the dough into the pan, prick the bottom all over with a fork, and press on the sides with your fingers so the dough will adhere. Bake for 7 minutes, until lightly golden. Remove from the oven (leave the heat on) and set aside. Meanwhile, sauté the pancetta until crisp.
4. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs and cream. Season with the remaining 1/4 t salt and the pepper. Fold in the cheese, onions, and pancetta, and pour into the tart shell.
5. Bake for 35 minutes, until the top is golden and the center of the quiche is still slightly jiggly. Turn the oven off and leave the quiche in the closed oven for 10 minutes, until the filling is set. Serve warm, with a salad of butterhead lettuce. You can make the quiche a few hours or a day ahead and reheat it for 15 minutes in a 350oF oven to revive the crispness of the crust.
One additional note--if you ever want to quickly and thinly slice a pile of onions, get yourself one of these babies. I couldn't believe how easy it made things (I'm such a gadget freak).
Friday, October 12, 2007
Okay, I kind of figured I had it ever since a friend of mine brought it up last May, but today a doctor finally confirmed it. I can't describe how relieved I feel to know that there is, in fact, something wrong with me. My body is odd for a reason.
So far, knowing hasn't changed much. The doctor didn't want to put me on low dose anti-depressants, which apparently also affect the intestines (I wouldn't have wanted to go on them anyway), and was wary of all the other medications used to treat IBS, as they have all been taking off the market at various times for having nasty side effects. Therefore, my treatment is basically avoiding the foods that make my intestines upset, which I was doing anyway due to said problems. The doctor gave me some medication to stop intestinal spasms, but that won't really prevent anything. I did start taking acidophilus pills, at the doctor's recommendation, to improve my intestinal flora. We'll see how it goes.
Thursday, October 11, 2007
In any case, I think the previous test was really a case of the students figuring out what I expected of them (namely, to know the covered material), and the next one should be better. Coupled with a bit of in-class review and a study guide (plus the packets of make-up work that should be arriving from some students after the weekend), test scores should be on the rise.
Tuesday, October 09, 2007
Sunday, October 07, 2007
Saturday, October 06, 2007
Mint Chocolate Brownies
From Everyday Food (you should all be subscribing to this magazine, it's awesome)
- 8 T (1 stick) unsalted butter
- 8 oz. semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
- 1 c sugar
- 3/4 t salt
- 3 large eggs
- 1/2 c flour
- 1/4 c unsweetened cocoa powder
- 25 small peppermint patties
2. Place chocolate and butter in a medium heatproof bowl set over (not in) a saucepan of gently simmering water. Stir occasionally just until melted, 4 to 5 minutes.
3. Remove from heat. Whisk in sugar and salt until smooth; whisk in eggs. Gently whisk in flour and cocoa powder just until smooth (do not over mix).
4. Spread 1/3 of batter in prepared pan. Arrange peppermint patties on batter in a single layer, leaving a narrow border on all sides. Top with remaining batter, and smooth surface. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean with moist crumbs attached, 45 to 55 minutes.
5. Cool completely in pan. Use foil to lift from pan; peel off foil and discard. Cut into 16 squares (4 rows by 4 rows).
Even though I slightly overcooked mine (I need a new oven timer. Mine beeps once, very quietly. If you're not in the same room it is essentially silent), this was still delicious. Other reviewers agree. Definitely keeping this one in the recipe book.
Friday, October 05, 2007
As you can probably tell, last night's class wasn't nearly as bad as last Thursday. I still get squirrelly once we start into the third hour, though. I'm fine the rest of the evenings that I have class, but apparently I just don't have the stamina for it Thursday evening.
Speaking of needing mental energy, today was annoying parent day. One had to meet with me this morning--couldn't wait until parent-teacher conferences next week. Really upset with me for not contacting her about her son's missing work. Since this class started later than the rest of the school, I had only seen the kids for not quite three weeks by the time progress reports roll around. I hardly even knew them! She was quite peeved that, because of this F, her son can't do track. She's also annoyed that being on time to class doesn't count in their grades. Look, lady, being on time just means that they don't get detention. I shouldn't have to reward them for being where they are supposed to be when they are supposed to be there. I also had an e-mail from another parent complaining about the fact that I give homework over the weekend. Homework!