We enjoyed a tipples and tapas party this weekend that gave us the opportunity for a bit of experimentation. I never write down recipes as I make them up but my lab partner is an inveterate note taker. Here is the tale of a cocktail making adventure to start a Monday.
I made my favorite appetizer Whipped feta with Sweet and Hot Peppers, an Oleana restaurant classic that is easy to make, once you obtain the unusual peppers required for the recipe. I enjoy it so much that I have to try not to make it for every party.
The experimentation was solely for drink. The plan behind the party was to make infusions and, if you felt inclined, develop a mix for a tasty cocktail that complements your infusion. We didn’t begin until the day before the party which makes infusions difficult to nearly impossible but I pulled a couple off. I infused half a bottle of gin with 1 small cucumber sliced thin, and the other half of the bottle with thin slices of ginger for a 2″ piece of fresh root. Both absorbed good flavor in the 20 odd hours they soaked, but it was the cucumber that stole the show.
The cucumber infusion only requires a day of soaking. The cucumbers stay crisp (caution if you decide to sample one) but the ginger could have used another day. Still the flavor did come through and combined with the spice of the other ingredients, worked well.
The idea was to make a Pimm’s Up (or whatever name you give it) and cucumber is a natural pairing. We made a simple syrup with coriander and cardamom which was added to homemade lemonade, and combined that with the infused gin and Pimm’s liqueur in equal parts. Using ball jars worked well; the measurements are on the side and they are easy to close up for transporting. Here are our recipes:
- 3 cups water
- 14 oz sugar
- 8 green cardamom pods, lightly crushed
- 1 Tbsp coriander seeds lightly crushed
Combine ingredients and bring to a light boil. Reduce to 2 cups (about 30 minutes) let sit for 1-2 hours, and strain. Simple syrup with keep in the fridge for a couple weeks.
- 6 lemons halved and juiced
- 200 ml simple syrup
- 5 cups water
Combine all ingredients. Chill or serve over ice.
- 200 ml Cucumber infused gin (or ginger infused)
- 200 ml Pimm’s
- 400 ml lemonade
Serve over ice. Optional – top with seltzer
It made a delicious spring drink. Yum.
It’s turned into dog day. Here’s a lovely animated short, Omelette, about a shared love of food and how it brings family (through birth or circumstance) together. I learned to cook with my mom at an early age. It’s a wonderful bond we could share when I was growing up and persists today. It made food a center of my life.
Food is a meaningful way for me to share myself with friends and family. I enjoy teaching people to open their palette, try new foods and I feel great pride in aiding their discovery. Sharing the kitchen with friends who equally enjoy food and cooking is a wonderful pastime. The shared experience of cooking makes a meal taste even better.
The animator, Maddie Sharafian, a student at CalArts, shares the same sentiment in explaining why this film is personal for her:
I wanted to make something that focuses on how meaningful it is to make food for someone you love. My family’s lives practically revolve around cooking for each other, so it’s a theme that I’m deeply attached to. I hope you enjoy it!
- via Vimeo, Staff Pick
Dogs are generally known to be face lickers, but not this Shiba Inu, who has learned to block his owner’s affectionate advances by all means necessary. Further proof that Shiba Inus are awesome dogs. As a co-owner of three cats, I’ll have to enjoy them through videos like this since I’m unlikely to become a dog owner anytime in the future.
- via 22 Words
Hah. I bet you thought this was going to be a post about that series of books which have become popular beyond my understanding. It isn’t about a book; it’s about street art.
Sometimes street art is about give and take. English artist Mobstr has created many text based works that aim to send a message or tell a story. You may have seen his advertorials like “The larger I make this the less the content matters.” He also has a series of work called “Progressions” which represent the interplay between graffiti artists and property owners or public works departments. Wall to Watch posted his series that tells a brief story, which lead me to his website. Here is another of his progression works:
You can read an interview with him in Public Ad Campaign, where he talks about his motivations, the meaning of public space and the visual bombardment of billboard advertising.
He doesn’t have a biography page on his website, but he does have 3 reasons why he chose Mobstr as a name:
1. He owned a pet lobster named mobstr.
2. Like real mobsters he partakes in illegal business. His illegal activity is painting on walls without permission, not being part of an organised crime gang.
3. The third reason is to do with mirrors.
- Really, a pet lobster? I’ve had some unusual pets but he beats me with that one.
- Makes sense
- Vague, yet intriguing.
See more of his work on his website.
South African photographer Dillon Marsh loves three things (probably more) – travel, landscapes and photography. While traveling through the Southern Kalahari he re-encountered the nests of the sociable weaver, first seen on a family vacation as a child.
A relatively small bird, the sociable weavers work together to build these massive nests and constantly maintain them. The nests are believed to be the largest birds’ nests in the world and when well maintained, can last for 100 years.
In an interview with the Mirror, Marsh explained that he wanted to further explore the relationship between people and the environment. These nests co-opt the telephone poles, an ideal platform to suspend their intricate homes. Marsh describes these nests:
Their burgeoning nests are at once inertly statuesque and teeming with life. The twigs and grass collected to build these nests combine to give strangely recognisable personalities to the otherwise inanimate poles.
The use of telephone poles has provided a second benefit to the birds – safety from predators. When the nests are built in trees, snakes will enter the nests to grab a snack. The availability of safer nesting places has allowed the population of these birds to increase during the last century.
See more photos from the series on the artist’s website as well as his other work.
- via Huffington Post
I was in first grade when the Dudley Moore’s movie Arthur was all the rage (IMDB tells me that the film is considered a modern reworking of the P.G. Wodehouse‘s Jeeves and Wooster tales. I’ll mull that one about) and Christopher Cross’ Arthur’s Theme Song, AKA “Best That You Can Do” (low expectations for Arthur) AKA “Caught between the Moon and NYC,” was always on the radio. I’d hear it in the car driving around with my mom; I’d hear it on my friend’s transistor radio hanging out in her backyard fort (along with Juice Newtons Angel of the Morning and Foreigner’s Cold as Ice).
Christopher Cross = early childhood memories so I was sad to hear he died last night and considered a nostalgic post. I’m glad I waited until morning because voila, he came back to life. Well, that is he was never dead. People confused the passing of Chris Kelly, AKA Kriss Kross (known for wearing his jeans backwards) with the 80s Christopher Cross.
I also found this live performance featuring C.C and the greatest backing vocalist of all time. Yeah, I’m talking about Michael McDonald.
Enjoy a flashback or if younger, a view into popular music of the early 80s.
I don’t have a washer/dryer in my apartment. There is a laundromat near by so I trudged over with my overstuffed bag of laundry. I always put off doing the wash until my need for the small necessities is dire.
I’d become spoiled by the washer/dryer in my last apartment so when I saw a cheap, green, manual alternative I was undeniably curious. The first one I came across was the Laundry Pod which essentially looks and works like a giant salad spinner. There is a hand crank that you use to keep the laundry spinning on the “dry cycle.” The Pod was joined by the Wonder Wash, an equally cheap alternative that is also hand crank powered. It probably works the same way, but unlike the Pod, they don’t provide pictures of the innards. In the end, I decided that hand cranking my laundry would be tiring enough that I would stop using it when the initial fascination wore off. I might as well just walk to the laundromat. I also doubt either one can accomodate washables like sheets, jeans, etc.
I came across a new variant the other day, the difference being that it’s powered by a foot pedal. Suddenly my interest returned. I could easily sit on a cushioned machine and push up and down on a pedal for a while. It was designed byAlex Cabunoc and Ji A You, two students at Art Center College of Design’s Design Matters program, after they traveled to Cerro Verde, a slum on the outer reaches of Peru. Their design has changed a couple times over and they are planning a new improved iteration. I’m not ruling out the idea for those days when I run out of socks and underwear but otherwise have plenty of other clothes to wear.
Here’s a video showing the development and workings of the GiraDora. The woman above looks pretty happy about it.
- via Co.Exist and Apartment Therapy