Bloggin’ Reliance

•15 July 2009 • 1 Comment

Hey there, folks,

It has been a good long time, hasn’t it.  The purpose of this blog was finite to begin with, but I have some plans of using these last three months to finish things up right.  For now, however, I am going to use this platform, or beloved readers, to try to get myself some free scratch for a site dedicated to preparedness and food storage.  I have been wanting to get my hands on some of there stuff for some time, and having recently found out that they have a treasure trove of TVP (texturized vegetable protein) makes the long all the more.  Kate and I are consuming white meats these days (albiet a good deal less than the national average) but I still love some TVP in a meal.

Anyways, here is a badge for the site in question.  Posting it is two-fold in purpose.  I can share what interest me of late with my friends, and I might just get me a pantry set up.

Check it out if you fancy yourself a prepper.

The Absent Minded Kate

•5 May 2009 • 4 Comments

Remember when I said that I experience lucid dreaming a lot?  Well I am also the most absent minded person I know.  I forget everything.  I take a shower and forget to wash my hair. I forget to put the butter up when I miraculously remembered to put it on my toast.  I forget my big red water bottle.  I forget to charge [insert electronic device].  I forget to call.  I forget to eat. I forget where I am walking or what I am doing.  I can’t focus for very long on anything, and I rarely notice much that is around me.  It’s the mind thing, I get so engrossed in my inner world that I lose track of everything else.

I don’t mind.  I feel that everything now is about efficiency and streamlined organization that there is really low tolerance for the absent minded.  I feel you all my fellow distracted, forgetful freaks. Don’t change a thing, enough people live compartmentalized lives already.

-Kate

The State of Things to Come

•26 April 2009 • 4 Comments

Greetings and salutations, oh neglected hordes.  I has been many a day since we acknowledged our continued existence to your proud, you few, but AVAST, we be here.

Yes, it’s truth, we be here.

Enough of that.  Well, Spring is finally upon us here in NYC and it has been a warm couple of days.  How warm?  Well, less than a week ago I worn a light coat and gloves on the ride to work, and today, I’ve donned shorts, a t-shirt and a hair tie (to keep my neck cool).  This of course brings people out in droves, and with a city of 8 & 1/4 million, that means many-a-jackass.

I suppose you could say a good deal has transpired in the last month, at least in the way of our plans for the future.  Kate has made some interesting decisions on late, thanks in no small portion to our little ol’ excursion in Yankee-land.  [EDIT: Portion omitted for PERSEC reasons]  She has spent a great deal of time in the study of homesteading.  This prospect has me quite excited.  I’m sure she would be thrilled to answer any questions you might have about the whole thing.  Chat her up via email.

I too have been thinking about what I would like to do.  As I have let many of you know, I am now leaning a good deal away from graduate work in English.  As much as this pains me at times, lover of literature that I am, I am ever drawn to a more practical trade.  I feel the days of such a trade are numbered, and are certain to keep me always at a troublesome balance.  I have never been one to worry over the funds I am pulling in, but neither am I one to enslave myself to a company/career.  In the pursuit of something enormously more useful, I will be applying for the Spring 2010 semester as a post-bac student to take somewhere around 25 hours of sciences, to be followed by a stab at the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT).  I know I can enjoy, perhaps love, the field and be of use any number of scenarios.  A note: all of these decisions have been made without my having received either yeas or nays from the graduate school to which I have applied.

What they do follow, however, is a reexamination of my roots.  Kate’s foray into homesteading has coincided with my own renewed interest in survivalism/preparedness.  While I will forever be a devotee of the arts, I plan to find a more substantial mode of living.  This includes a great many changes in my life, not all to be divulged here.

For the above reasons, as well as a few more particular, perhaps even more personal, Kate will be leaving Eugene Lang at the end of this semester.  Kate and I had such a great drive to come to Manhattan, but at just over 8 months, we have decided to return to, as it were, greener pastures.  Specifically, those of Texas.  Indeed, there is even a time frame.  In just about 5 months, Kate and I will leave the big, brilliant, unstable (or at least unsustainable) city for home.  Our destination will, of course, be dependent upon college acceptances, but thus far we have decided to try from TSU in San Marcos or Texas A&M in Bryan-Coillege Station.  We will likely know very little before leaving NYC, so the plan as of now has us heading to Frankston to Kate’s grandparents to sort things out.  The good news, of course, is that while the move up here was a good deal easier that you might imagine, the move back will likely be even better.  NYC income goes a bit further in Texas than the other way around.

I know I must be missing something, but I believe I will wrap for now.  If you have any concerns, please let me know.  And for those of you looking forward to our triumphant return, we love you too.

CSims

p.s. – we have an excursion planned to the Lone Star in July (btw. the 8th and the 21st).  More of this too come.

p.p.s. – If you are looking for a fine read, check out Independent People by Nobel-prize winning author, Halldor Laxness

Friday Cobbler

•20 March 2009 • 4 Comments

Delightful strawberry cobbler! Which, unfortunately is shunned in the cobbler world.  Cody had never even had a strawberry cobbler. So, that is what I made today.

Take 6 cups of Strawberries (fresh or frozen) and cut up into bite sized chunks.

Here I am rinsing my 6 cups of strawberries. I rinse mine about three times because I have a Beni.  I recommend anyone with a hairy, shedding, Beni do the same.

Put your strawberries in your red bowl. If you are without a red bowl, continue on with a substitution in shame.

Throw half a cup of sugar over the strawberries. That is unless you are my Grannie Fern, then just go ahead and make it 3 cups.

Then add a tablespoon of orange juice (I just use the good stuff from the bottle in the fridge) and half of a small orange’s worth of zest.

Then divide off your large pan, unless you are fancy and have all the appropriate sized pans. Once the pan sizing is taken care of place the strawberries in the pan and forget um.

Now the dough. The best part!

Combine 2 Cups flour, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1 tablespoon Baking Powder and 1 tablespoon sugar in a separate bowl.  Then add in 1/4 cup shortening (I like to use the butter flavored stuff but any old thing will do) and 4 tablespoons of butter.  Mush it together with your hands until it is all nice and golden and crumby.

Then measure off 1/2 cup of milk. Mix an egg into the milk and then stir that concoction into the crumby dough.  The dough shouldn’t be too sticky so watch out.

Now, pancake that dough on top of the strawberries.  Sprinkle some sugar over it, I think about a tablespoon and a half is plenty.

It bakes for 30 min at 425.

Cody is bringing home some vanilla ice cream to compliment this dessert, but it is good enough alone.

Katelyn’s Birthday

•19 March 2009 • 1 Comment

My Birthday is in the Month of March.  Which day is irrelevant, what matters is that the birthday money rollith in.   I began shopping last weekend, which by the way I hate. Getting money is really more a headache than getting gifts, but it is much more practical.

I love cooking, but baking is a passion.  Nothing is more calming than digging my hands into a nice dough.  Making muffins and bread; cakes and cobbler yummm… Plus, it is more fun to feed people sweets and breads.  The nourishment is more satisfying.

So, I went and got myself lots of kitchen things

Mixing bowls are the BEST. One cant have too many mixing bowls

Mixing bowls are the BEST. One can't have too many mixing bowls

Tiny bowls for making sauces.

Tiny bowls for making sauces.

See that brown board in the background?? That is our new cutting board. It’s MASSIVE!

Loaf pan that has already been used to make a casserole!

Brownie/Cake pan.  These are great.

Brownie/Cake pan. These are great.

I recommend everyone get one.  You can make anything your heart desires in these babies.  Since I have limited space I get a large one and then use foil to divide it when I need a smaller sized pan.  I am also cheap, so this one pan replaces 6 different pans.

My first whisk!

My first whisk!

Did I mention I am cheap?? Until I started baking more I couldn’t bring myself to spend $12 on a whisk.  Scrambled eggs? fork! Need to whip peaks from egg whites… ummm. Not fun to do with forks.

Rubber Spatulas

Rubber Spatulas

Gift from grandmother.  Remember when I said I was cheap? Well I informed her that I need not for rubber spatulas because I have fingers. These arrived in the mail a week later.

Yup, canisters for flour and sugar. Happy Birthday to me!

Gift from Cody. My favorite way to make Guacamole!

Do I look tired? Cody is awful at taking flattering pics.  We went to the American Folk Art Museum. So great!

Noticed that every pic of cody has him messing with something techy? Well I have.

I haven’t gotten my gift from Cody yet, but I can’t wait. It is kitchen related too.  This Saturday we are going to do more birthday things so I will put up pics of that too.

Also, This Friday we will be entertaining one of cody’s work friends so I will try and record my preperations.  Do you love food?  How about cobbler?  Want me to show you how to make an easy strawberry Cobbler?  Well stick with me and lets get chubby together.

Some new photos

•15 March 2009 • Leave a Comment

I have just posted a series of new photos over on my facebook page and am too lazy to post them here as well.  Check them out… http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2158490&id=34402597&l=28754f2413

Today is a Snow Day (Almost)

•2 March 2009 • 1 Comment

So, last night, we got some snow on the low end of the projection.  That’s about 6 inches in the Bronx I call home.  Kate and I were up at 6, as Monday’s are early days for us.  One of my collegues called last night to ask if I could make it in at 8 for him.  Yeah, sure, and why did I answer the phone at 2300?

Anyways, up at 6 to look out at the snow.  NYC.gov called a snow day for all public school early, so we checked our respective schools.  Nothing reported by newschool.edu or columbia.edu at of 630.  Shame.  We got ready and Kate headed out the door at 655, having checked her mail twice to make sure she needed to go.

Out the door she heads, only to return 3 minutes later, having forgotten her Metrocard at home.  Well, since she’s back home, why not check the mail again (mind you, just 4 minutes since last checking it).  Whadda ya know, school cancellation email at the zero friggin’ hour.  I check email, nothing.  I check columbia.edu, nothing.  I call the boss, no answer.  And out the door I oh-so-merrily go.

No delay’s on the train for me, so I am 30 minutes early to open, and I take my time getting setup.  Charles calls me to ask why I called and he says that he has been told that in 10 year, Columbia has not taken a day on account of snow.  Stubborn folk!

My “dog”, through the hand of Kate, sent me an email of her playing in the snow (perhaps her favorite of all activities) and then warming up inside.  You can take a look at the album here or on my Facebook page.

So I am at work, and at of 835, I have spoke to one student, who needed only to drop of his loaner laptop.

Here is the high point of the day so far, an absolutely gorgeous picture of the Alma Mater in front of the Low Library in the middle of campus.

Alma Mater on 030209

Au Revoir,

CSims

 
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