Officially, I had "Country Pork and Parsley Crust" for dinner. I would actually call it "Root Vegetable Stew" if it were me. It did contain pork and a parsley-ricotta crust, but really it was a huge hearty stew of root veggies. Rutabaga, parsnips, carrots, and leeks made the bulk of the stew. They were complemented with celery and parsley. It was interesting. I've never used most of those ingredients, much less eaten them! (Review: it wasn't bad. I would make it again, but wouldn't rave about it.) Also - it was good practice for my recent cutting class.
So since this summer, friends of ours from San Diego (jawajames) got us into playing Dominion and its companion game, Dominion Intrigue. Tonight, playing with friends of ours locally, we had our lowest-scoring game yet. It ended when both the swindlers and laboratories were purchased, and was a final score of 6-7-8-9. (I unfortunately had 6, so was the big loser.) But the good news is that Monique, new to the game, won with 9. I say that's good news because I find that people like the game more if they can win shortly after learning. What was crazy in this iteration was that so many of the piles of cards were low, because the swindler caused each player to trash their top card in their draw deck, and draw a replacement card of the same value. The swindler was our only 3-coin card (other than silver), and our only 4-coin card was a garden. So it was purchased (and then used) with relative frequency. Plus, we discovered that copper cards could be swindled into curse cards, and 6-point victory cards into gold (later in the game), which kept the scores quite low. There were only two provinces purchased the entire game, which was won because in the last round Monique purchased a Duchy.
So I just spent 20 minutes reading Obama's planned remarks to the Notre Dame graduates (link), and I have to say, I wish I had been there. The speech looked excellent and dignified--respectful and on a tone of acceptance.
Since right around Christmas, I have been trying to figure out how to make tortillas. Specifically I am interested in making flour tortillas, because I prefer their taste. I had been given a recipe which others had found good for making tortillas on The Homesick Texan's Blog. So I tried it out. Unfortunately, while their taste was really good, I have been unable to get them to roll/cook just right. They are too thick, and too small. The smallness is in large part due to the fact that they don't stay rolled out, and when put on the burner, they contract into very small tortillas. For Christmas, I got a tortilla press, hoping that would solve the problem by pressing them instead of rolling them. Unfortunately, the same problem occurred, and I was left with too-small too-thick tortillas. Having seen Alton Brown make tortillas on Good Eats, I endeavored to make them more like his. The key difference seems to be that he was making corn tortillas. So -- following his suggestion, I went to the store (with K) and bought some Masa corn flour, which contained a recipe for making tortillas. The recipe was super-easy (combine the flour with salt and water, mix, form into balls, press, and cook). Unlike the flour tortillas, these don't contract after being pressed/rolled, but rather hold their shape and size, and cooked up nicely.
So last night we cracked open our new food processor. This was after working my way through the new Christmas gifts. Previously, we've used the new cast iron griddle/grill pan, which we've used to make burgers, pancakes, and tortillas. Then we've used the rice cooker -- both to steam broccoli and to make rice for stroganof. We also used the cast-iron tortilla press to make the tortillas--though this one will take some more practice before I'll be good at it (the tortillas didn't keep their shape from the press to the pan). And of course, the salad spinner has been used to spin the lettuce for our burgers.
So mercifully, my nieces and nephews let me sleep in until almost 7. Apparently they were up at 4am, and managed to let us sleep until 7. Then we came up and opened our stockings and Santa gifts, and now are sitting around as the family gets ready to go to church. Kristina and I went last night, so we're going to use the time to shower and get ready when the house is all to us.
So I noticed today that LJ is now displaying ads when you're not logged in. This kinda bothers me, and I'm beginning to think that maybe I'll switch to blogging (when I actually do, which isn't that frequently) on my own site and not on a hosted site. That site has RSS, so you'll still be able to subscribe. What it would probably do is eliminate the ability to write locked posts which only friends can see (since these mainly work by the common user base).
So I'm now two weeks into my job at Purdue, and thought it a good time to update everyone. In my first two weeks, I've taught 5 lectures. They started off rough, and have gotten progressively better (in my opinion). The good news is that students are still coming to class, so things can't be that bad.
(to the tune of "Happy Birthday")