nonelvis: (SANDMAN making little frogs)
I would title this post "burying the lede," but honestly, there's no point in it; might as well just say it, which is that yesterday I submitted an original story to Uncanny Magazine for publication. Honestly, I don't expect them to buy it, because the odds are always against slushpile entries. But you never know -- it's spelled and punctuated correctly, which is probably better than some entries they get; it's a story that "make[s] you feel," which is the type of stuff they're after; and who knows, maybe now that they've hit their Kickstarter stretch goal of an extra story per issue, they'll be open to giving unpublished authors a shot. (I did mention my published nonfiction in my cover letter, but I have no published fiction, which is probably what they most care about.)

So anyway, that happened, and the final story prep and submission was utterly terrifying, but I did it. I should hear back in about a month, although they say authors should contact them if they haven't heard back in 45 days. And I suppose if it doesn't sell to Uncanny, I can always try another market.

Other things: I have a new lead at work that is basically already sold without my having to do a damned thing, as well as a possible small continuation of an existing project. I still need to send out marketing email Real Soon Now, but because last year was such a financial disaster, we are actually owed a huge refund on our taxes (GOD BLESS CPAs) that we will apply to next year's taxes, which makes it much easier to coast by over the next few months.

Also, we had an utterly lovely day today. some photos and video after the cut )
nonelvis: (SANDMAN making little frogs)
Yesterday, I found out that Cadbury makes Pots of Joy, the equivalent of creme egg pudding. As a longtime creme egg fan, I knew I had to try these … but I quickly discovered that like my beloved Cadbury Twisted bars, Pots of Joy are not available in the United States. (In fairness, you can get Twisteds by mail through Amazon and other outlets. But you can't walk up to your local drugstore and buy them, which is the problem.)

Anyway, the point here is that I was being denied creme egg-flavored pudding, and clearly this was just wrong. Fortunately, I am capable of making pudding. So I did.

Recipes, photos, and instructions )
nonelvis: (GARDEN bee)
L'shanah tovah, everyone!

Bees!

(Nigella Lawson's honey bee cake recipe. I have never done this excessive a decorating job on any baked good I've made, but I cannot stop giggling at it. Because LITTLE MARZIPAN BEES.)
nonelvis: (GARDEN bee)
When was the last time I made a food post? I don't even remember, although I've been cooking a lot, as usual. (Latest favorite: CSA corn stripped from the cob, sautéed in butter with fresh peppers and okra from my garden.)

Anyway, this past week, we got ground cherries, aka Cape gooseberries, from the CSA. I'd never had them before, or even seen them, but they look like tiny, pale orange tomatillos (complete with papery husk) and taste like tomatoes crossed with pineapple. I am clearly going to need to track down a semi-regular source for these.

Once I husked the little guys, I had about half a cup of them, so I decided to turn them into clafouti, which I hadn't made in years. (Possibly ever, although I distinctly remember helping my father make a cherry one when I was a kid.) This isn't quite the recipe, but it's close. Since there were only two of us, I cut it in half and made it in ramekins; the results looked like soufflés when I took them out of the oven, and sank accordingly later.

Ground cherry clafouti

Verdict: A+, would eat again.
nonelvis: (GARDEN bee)
We had one sunny day on this three-day weekend, so clearly today was the day to get stuff in the ground. four photos, after the cut )

Snow day

Feb. 9th, 2013 05:53 pm
nonelvis: (Default)
The view outside my house this morning:
2013 blizzard

three more photos, after the cut )
nonelvis: (GARDEN bee)
Update #1: Okra! Aren't the flowers pretty? (You can also see one okra pod hiding behind the flower.)

Okra blossom

Two plants aren't nearly enough. By the time we can collect enough for a side dish, some of the pods are so long they get woody and tough to eat. I'm trying to collect them as they mature now instead of waiting until there are enough to eat, but clearly the right solution is more okra plants, because this stuff is delicious.

I'm even willing to give up space for one cucumber plant (I really need to just admit that three is too many for our small household) and a couple of tomatoes, because even with only four of the six tomato plants producing, I pulled this out of the garden today:

What 5.5lbs of homegrown tomatoes looks like.

That's five and a half pounds of various tomatoes (large brown one = Paul Robeson; small brown = chocolate cherry; yellow/pink = Garden Peach; red = Fourth of July), and there are plenty more lurking out there right now.

So next year: two cukes, four tomatoes, three basil, one parsley, a bunch of peas, and as much okra as I can fit in the remaining space. If you'd told me earlier this year I'd be willing to sacrifice my beloved tomatoes and cukes for more okra, I'd wouldn't have believed you ... but here we are.
nonelvis: (GARDEN bee)
Garden, 2012

The six plants on the right are the tomatoes; the one in the near corner with slightly peculiar-looking leaves for a tomato (you may have to click through to see in more detail) is the blue tomato. The peas are along the trellis, obviously, though the plants at its far side are pickling cukes. There's basil and parsley running in a line down the middle, two peppers at upper left, and the big empty space in the middle is reserved for the two okra seedlings currently under a grow light on my front porch. (They'll go in around mid- to late June.)

+7, after the cut, including kitty photos )
nonelvis: (KNITTING bunny)
My first pair of socks!

KnitPicks Time Traveler (obviously), done in magic loop. There are a few tiny mistakes, but I'm the only one wearing them, so I don't care. Lessons learned for next time, anyway.

Of course, it's nearly 90°F (32°C) here today, so way too hot for socks. But that is BESIDE THE POINT. The point is, they're done, and I love them.
nonelvis: (GARDEN bee)
It was Topsfield Fair day yesterday. Ten photos, after the cut. )

KITTIES!

Aug. 14th, 2011 04:48 pm
nonelvis: (NEXTWAVE omg they explode)
[livejournal.com profile] columbina and I have been catless since Mr. Peterson died in January, but not anymore:



These are Ebony and Noir, two one-year-old sisters we got from SPIN, a no-kill shelter in Natick, MA. Ebony's the one with the splotch; Noir is the one with the round-eyed stare of OMG WHAT IS COMING TO KILL ME?!?! This is their Petfinder photo, only because they're busy acclimatizing to their new home in the way of all cats: quietly flipping out underneath a pile of scrapwood in the basement. Once they've settled in, I'll have more photos.
nonelvis: (GARDEN bee)
This one's permanent:

Columbines

This one's probably temporary. I was at most two feet from this little guy, and he never once tried to fly away. He did move along the fence several times later and was gone by evening, so I'm hoping that means he wasn't sick.

Juvenile robin

Bunnies!

May. 3rd, 2011 04:57 pm
nonelvis: (KNITTING bunny)
Three tiny bunnies I made for [livejournal.com profile] platypus:

Bunnies

Bunny butts!

Made with scrap yarn from this free Mochi Mochi Land pattern. NGL, they're a little bit of a pain in the ass; you knit them on #1 circular needles or dpns, and the final bunny is the size of a jumbo olive. On the other hand, they're only a pain in the ass for about 45 minutes, and at the end of it, you have a tiny, adorable stuffed bunny whose adorableness can only be improved by making more.
 
nonelvis: (MARTINI it's what's for dinner)
I don't celebrate Easter, but I will never turn down seasonal candy, especially not creme eggs. So when the Craft blog linked to a recipe for creme eggs, I knew I was going to have to try it ... plus this meant I could make a dark chocolate version of one of my favorite guilty pleasures.

The recipe is very easy, but the author isn't kidding about needing to chill the fondant and roll it out quickly; it gets sticky within minutes, and I almost considered moving my little egg assembly line outside into the snow. Also, without egg molds (which I didn't have and wasn't planning on buying), I ended up skewering the top of each egg and dipping it into chocolate, which unfortunately left a vertical channel down the middle of each egg. Nevertheless, that didn't affect the taste, which was HOLY CRAP SO MUCH BETTER THAN REGULAR CADBURY CREME EGGS WHICH I ALREADY LOVE WITH AN UNREASONABLE SUGAR-CRAVING LOVE.

Egg interior

No, seriously, they really are better. The fondant is more solid -- though I suppose that's a minus if you really crave the gooey centers of the original -- and the dark chocolate tempers the sweetness just enough that I could probably eat several of these at a sitting, which I am under no circumstances allowing myself to do, much as I'd like to. Next time, I'm going to make the centers a little more yellow, but otherwise, this recipe is a keeper. Even if I really only should make it once a year.
nonelvis: (Default)
The front garden is where we pile most of the snow we get. This is what it looked like on January 14, 2011:

Front garden

two more )

Hack time!

Jan. 16th, 2011 05:57 pm
nonelvis: (DW science geeks)
Wikipedia's celebrating its tenth anniversary, so the MIT hacking community decided to join in:

Hayden Library

+4, after the cut )

Squid!

Dec. 23rd, 2010 11:04 am
nonelvis: (AVATAR Momo)
I knitted a squid for [personal profile] lizbee. Because I had the yarn, and I had the squid pattern, and it was Christmastime, so why not?

Squid!

I told myself some time ago that I would never knit tentacles again, but these were much easier than the previous set of tentacles, largely because they were sewn up instead of being knitted in the round with a ridiculously small number of stitches. I used some nice wool yarn I had left over from a sweater I never finished making quite some time ago, and the evil bamboo yarn, last seen as bronze Dalek bumps, continues to redeem itself as an accent color. (I still hate knitting with the yarn, but the color and texture make up for that.)

I'm pretty pleased with how this turned out, and extra-pleased with the USPS for getting the squid to Australia in seven days flat.
nonelvis: (SIMPSONS Watchmen Babies)
My body is busy turning energy into mucus, so unfortunately I'm not well enough to attend my niece's fourth birthday party today. Which is a shame, because I was really looking forward to seeing her wear this:

Dinosaur hat

It's based on this Brain Monster hat pattern, though I made it slightly shorter so it would fit better on a smaller head, and I knit in the eyes so there was no risk of my niece or her one-year-old brother removing and eating the googly eyes called for in the pattern. It's also in green yarn (Cascade Superwash, I think) so it looks more dinosaur-like, since the niece has entered a dinosaurs-are-awesome phase I hope lasts a good, long time.

I have to make another one of these for a friend – he says he's going to wear it snowboarding – but it's silly enough that I'm tempted to make one for myself, too.

(BTW, the white cord at the top of the photo is an Airport Express power cable, not part of the hat – the hat is resting on top of the router.)
nonelvis: (MARTINI it's what's for dinner)
Mini versions of this recipe for apple pie with a cheddar crust. I've made the recipe before, and it was delicious; this time, I added smoked paprika to the crust and lemon oil to the filling, and had to restrain myself from eating everything before it was baked.

I probably could have stretched this to eight pies instead of six if I'd been really careful. Next time.

Mini apple pies with cheddar crust

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