Archive for the ‘cooking’ Category

Random Stuff About My Life

The Post Which Never Was

Back in March I began to write a very long and detailed post about volunteering to be in an NIH study.  It was good, and I was going to finish it and post the whole thing today, but I realized that my memory of the study (which took place in January) is now pretty vague.  So instead of giving you a detailed description, I’m going to have to summarize.

NIH is a cool place to visit
As in oddly scary security screening (although everyone was friendly and polite) giant fishtanks, gorgeous displays, and everyone willing and interested in explaining the science.
They like me there
They appreciate interested and engaged volunteers. I absolutely felt like the favorite volunteer ever!
They like knitting there
There was a lot of waiting around. I figured out how to knit with a tube stuck in me, and a number of people watched. One of the doctors was a knitter, so she kept me thinking about ‘name the famous male knit designers’ instead of the invasive sample she was taking.
There was not fun stuff too
Invasive samples are not fun. Being intubated and having blood taken every few hours is not fun. Fasting and being pumped full of sucrose is not fun. No matter how polite everyone is, and how interested you are in the process, there are going to be not fun parts in human experimentation.

The particular study I was in had to do with the effects of antiinflammatories on metabolic syndrome.  In particular, how antiinflammatory medicine affects the calcium ion channels reaction to insulin in fatty tissue in patients with metabolic syndrome.  I ended up as a healthy control, so they just took one fat biopsy.  Thanks to this study I now know that I don’t have metabolic syndrome, and a little bit more about how my body works.

I may well volunteer for another study, because it was cool.

Looking for Work

Over the past three weeks I’ve put in ten job applications and had four interviews at three different places.  Two phone interviews, one in person interview and one video interview over a phone app.  I’ve got a spreadsheet to track (because I’m that kind of geek).  I have one good interview suit (which I’ve used) and a number of less good but still acceptable options to wear for second interviews.

The three positions I’ve interviewed for are (in chronological order):

  1. Administrative/front office (interview with placement agency)
  2. Regulatory Affairs Assistant
  3. Help Desk

I never thought I’d be interested in any sort of regulatory work, but, honestly, this job would be really exciting.  I wouldn’t be enthused about that commute, though.  Of course, if Steve gets a job near there (and it’s possible) that makes it all come together nicely.

The help desk position is the one which had the video interview.  I’d be providing applications support, and I know that I can handle the job.    It was an odd experience, but it makes sense for this particular company (they produce video content) and it’s only round one.  I hope I make it to round two, because I’d prefer a more interactive interview.

So that’s it, almost.  Except that I do have a literal fridge cleaning recipe.  I made this on Friday, when I realized that there was a cup of home made chicken broth which I had better use up or throw out.  Here’s what I threw together:

Fridge Cleaning Soup Recipe

1 cup homemade broth

1 cob corn

2 baby carrots

2 T quinoa (this is what I used, it was way too much.  2t probably better).

Heat broth over medium heat.  While it’s warming, put the carrot cob in the microwave (husk and all) for one minute. Remove from microwave.  Cut off stem end and squeeze cob out (corn is cooked and cob is shucked all at once).  Cut kernels from cob and discard cob.  Chop up baby carrots.  Add corn, quinoa and carrots to broth and simmer for five minutes.  Remove from stove and eat.

Clean Fridge soup


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I is for…

II is for Imbibe

Yesterday was International Gin & Tonic day, but that’s never been my favorite. In college my (alcoholic) drink of choice was Twinings brand Earl Grey with just a dash of Amaretto Disaranno.

I still enjoy it a lot, but I also recommend the Orgasmic Chai – a nice steaming mug of Chai style tea (preferably organic) with Fireball to taste.

My husband introduced me to the Mamie Gilroy, which is a shot of scotch, 1/2 shot of lime juice, over ice, fill with ginger ale, garnish with a wedge of lime.

Bottoms Up

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Now We’re Cookin’

I picked up a mix of hot peppers from the farmers’ market last week, mostly cayenne, but some hot bananas and jalapeno’s as well.  I finally got around to making hot pepper jelly yesterday.  I modified this recipe from Allrecipes.com.  I’m letting it set on the counter top right now, but all signs point to successfully made preserves (not really jelly, since I left the bits and seeds floating about – yum!).

It’s really hot to be making jams and jellies now, so the experience was a bit more demanding than is ideal, but there’s something fun about ‘roughing it’ on occasion.

I’m looking forward to the cream cheese and crackers suggestion from Allrecipies, but it’s also really awesome as part of a glaze for roasts or chicken.

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Preserves in the sunlight

Here’s part of what I was thinking of when I mentioned taking better pictures.  This doesn’t really capture the way the apple jelly caught the sunlight.  Something to work on , then.  In the meantime, pictures are up of the KnitNotWar 1,0o0 project.  Very worth enjoying!

These preserves, apple and strawberry, come to you via the farmers’ market.  The same market has got me thinking of various food security and ethics issues, but I’m afraid that if I start going off in that direction I might scare off the few readers this blog has…  It’s the sort of thing which might do better in my old blog, Penumbral Lore, which I’ve neglected for even longer than this one.  Maybe I’ll combine the two (and use categories for easy avoidance…).  That blog is themed about the intersection of science and !science.  This one is themed about beauty.  Not the easiest merge, but with a sufficiently broad definition of beauty it might work.

Since the blog hop hasn’t worked so well, I’m going to add a blogroll of people who show a tendency of commenting on this blog (starting now), starting with Thea, whose idea the hop was in the first place.    Also, her blog is really fun.  (I found a link to a free soap giveaway, which I entered, and a bunch of other giveaways, which I didn’t).  She also updates more often than I do…   :=/

I got my partner for the $10 yarn swap, but she doesn’t have a blog I can link to (or stalk…).   She’s very nice, but allergic to cats, which means that I’ll have to be very very careful about storing fur attracting swap swag (maybe the trunk of the car will work).   Ah, well, got to love a challenge.

I took more WIP photos, trying to really capture Haruni’s developing pattern, but now I can’t find my camera.  Obviously it’s hiding from the trip down 95 I’ve got planned for today…

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Apple pie

Originally uploaded by efbq

I know this blog is titularly about the creation of beauty, but I think that an apple pie can count as a thing of beauty…  Especially if made from this recipe from America’s Test Kitchen.  OMG, you totally have to try this one!

Modifications – I used a ready made crust, and actually transferred the filling into a pie plate.  Brushed the top with butter instead of egg white.  That’s it, not much playing around at all.

The pie was a tremendous success, even better than the cheesecake I usually make for Memorial Day cookoouts (and I think those are pretty damn good, if I do say so myself).J

As usual, there was music and merriment

About the title of this post… Well, DD#1 did ask if I was drinking at one point, to which I quite proudly replies “Yes, I am” and f lourished the bottle of Mike’s Hard Pomegranate Punch which I was drinking.  My Mother-in-Law declared me a cheap drunk, and I was forced to agree.  DD#1 is off at a study session, DD#2 and M-i-L are bonding, DH is back at the cookout, hoping for more chances to sing, and I am here, at home, humiliating myself before the world wide web.

I’m happy.  May be hurting in the morning though, and there’s not even any left over pie to soak up my pain.

Hope your Memorial Day was good, and that you did manage to get in a few moments to actually think about those who have been sacrificed on the altar of War and Patriotism.

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