Monday, June 4, 2012

I'm on my way

Dave decided to give me a gift to congratulate me on finishing my thesis, and he hit this one out of the park.

He was trying to think of things that an academic needs, and thought that I needed worn-in leather satchel:

The wearing in process has to be organic, and the lived-with look earned, so he set about finding the same style of satchel, but new. Right now, it's a lovely pink natural leather colour. As I use it, hopefully the colour will darken and the structure will soften in.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Coco's Salsa

Now that this has happened:
A stack of seven copies of my thesis, ready for a trip to
the Psychology Department and Graduate Studies
I have time to do things I like again. Like make Mexican food.

I can't take credit for much beyond the photos here, because the recipe is a treasure from the Poolman family, courtesy of a neighbour.

  1. 6 medium-size tomatoes
  2. 1-2 jalapeno peppers
  3. 1-2 cloves of garlic
  4. 3/4 cup cilantro leaves
  5. 1 tsp salt
The recipe recommends getting bargain tomatoes from the old-food section, but I am using the only tomatoes I could find. Test the jalapenos for heat; I ended up using one big jalapeno but because it was pretty mild I threw in some seeds too.

Wash the tomatoes, remove any green stems, and arrange them on a baking tray. Bake at 250˚F for about 2 hours, until they begin to brown.

Allow the tomatoes to cool for a bit, and when they're cool enough to touch remove their skins and cores, working over a bowl so as not to lose any juices. Cut open each tomato to separate the seeds and juice from the meat.
Place the meat in a food processor and gently pulse until it has broken up into small chunks. You could also do this by hand, but I was way too lazy. Add the chunks back into the bowl.

Put the tomato mixture into the refrigerator, and mince garlic and jalapeno. Cut cilantro leaves coarsely.

When the tomatoes have cooled to at least room temperature, add cilantro, garlic, jalapeno, and salt. Stir to combine.

It's best with a bit of time in the fridge to let the flavours mingle, but is also delicious right away.

Thursday, February 16, 2012


Exactly two months after my last communiqué, here is what I've been up to in reverse-chronological order (most recently first).

Does anyone else see my title font like this?

because I want it to be "Lobster" and the font in the image is definitely not Lobster, but the font is right when I'm managing my blog design. Infuriating. If it's only me, I don't mind quite so much though.

Valentine's day passed without much fanfare. I went to the lab, Dave worked at home, I went shopping after lab work to pick out my gift (Lola perfume by Marc Jacobs), and when the guy manning the sushi booth at the mall said "Happy Valentines" in a pitying sort of way as I bought my dinner was the first I thought that there might be something weird about eating sushi at the mall alone on a Tuesday.
The bottle is only a small part of the reason I like this perfume. 
I made a plan to finish my thesis by the end of march, figuring out what is left to do and putting those things on the calendar, colour-coded of course. This page in my notebook is both comforting and terrifying and feeling both of those things at the same time is very strange. 

Discovering that Sharpie makes felt-tip pens (my favourite!) in lots of colours
has made my semester, easily. I've almost worn the black one out already.
I finally downloaded the Instagram photo app for my phone, and I am completely in love with the fancy pants special effects. My phone camera has never looked so good while having lousy white balance. The previous two photos have been processed with its charming filters. 

My cat caught a mouse in my apartment Monday night. As someone who likes mice and will coo at them in the pet store it was really surprising how deeply this experience freaked me out. I was going to bed, and went into the kitchen for a glass of water when I noticed the cat looking sheepish beside the dryer. Then I noticed the little tail sticking out from under the dryer. I left the kitchen to text Dave (logical!) and then the cat PICKED UP THE MOUSE AND BROUGHT IT TO THE LIVING ROOM IN HER MOUTH AND SET IT DOWN IN FRONT OF ME. 

In case the capslock didn't clue you in, this was when I lost my cool. The mouse was still alive, slightly, and the cat was batting at it as I tried to get her to stop and think about how to get the mouse out. Unable to text fast enough, I called Dave in a panic, and he alternately laughed at me and tried to talk me out of my hysteria. After sacrificing stale cereal to get the box and some tears I nudged the (probably dead) mouse into a box with a broom and tossed it off my back balcony. If it wasn't dead before, a three-storey fall onto the snow amongst the alley cats probably did it in. Then, once I was asleep, my cat the murderer climbed into my bed. Just be glad I didn't take any photos.