jazzfish: Jazz Fish: beret, sunglasses, saxophone (Default)
So, um, yesterday I bought a bike.

This was not something I'd ever intended to do.

and yet, here we are. )

marshmallow

Apr. 6th, 2010 02:19 pm
jazzfish: Jazz Fish: beret, sunglasses, saxophone (Default)
I can tell it's running season again by how I'm sore all over today.

Friday and Satyrday night looked about the same: go to Silver Spring, have an excellent dinner at Da Marco, watch a movie at the AFI Silver (Girl With the Dragon Tattoo and Citizen Kane), and then go to Moorenko's for delicious ice cream. I can think of worse ways to spend an evening.

One of the ice cream flavors I tried was marshmallow. Very smooth, very sweet, perfect palate-cleanser between the peppermint-stick and the cinnamon. A-- noticed the marshmallow and mentioned homemade marshmallows are among the various confections she makes at Xmastime. Somehow that got stuck in my head yesterday and I decided to try making them myself.

I used this recipe from Cooking for Engineers, substituting maple syrup for corn syrup on the grounds that almost anything made with corn syrup would be improved by using maple instead. I dumped the gelatin into the water in the bottom of the big mixer bowl, stirred it a bit to get it uniformly wet, and poured the syrup, (more) water, and sugar into a glass pot on the stove and turned it to High. Then I sat back with the candy thermometer and watched.

The temperature crept steadily up from 77 to 208 and hovered there for awhile. Then the boiling began. The temp rose, as did the liquid. And rose. When the bubbles got to about a third of the way from the top, I grabbed the pot and lifted it off the stove. Thanks to Corningware's high heat retention, this had no immediate effect at all: the bubbles kept on rising, quickly spilling over the edge of the pot in sufficient quantity to put out the burner.

I think there was some amount of swearing and general despair at this point. But, hey, the dishes were already dirty, no sense in just throwing everything out. I poured what was left of the sugar/syrup into the mixer with a bit of salt and ran it on high for about ten minutes. It fluffed up nicely enough that I went ahead and added the vanilla, too.

Licking the beaters was a smooth sweet ride through heaven, with just a hint of maple.

[livejournal.com profile] uilos and I poured/scraped them into a pan and left them to sit. They hadn't quite set by bedtime last night so I haven't actually tried them as marshmallows instead of as goop, but it's looking like marshmallows are basically impossible to screw up.

I think I know what dinner's going to be tonight.

wet

Aug. 26th, 2009 11:54 am
jazzfish: Jazz Fish: beret, sunglasses, saxophone (Default)
In retrospect I was crashing on Thursday night, when I tried to go help [livejournal.com profile] elf pack and lasted maybe an hour and a half. Not that I noticed at the time; I figured I was just a little beat and sleeping would help.

So Friday night, instead of staying in and resting, I went out to the Carbon Leaf / Great Big Sea concert at Wolf Trap with a whole host of other people, including but not limited to [livejournal.com profile] uilos, [livejournal.com profile] shield_toad111, [livejournal.com profile] tamnonlinear (who loaned me a monkey book!), [livejournal.com profile] babushek, and a bread crab. And also an awful lot of rain. The rain was kind enough to hold off until we'd stuffed ourselves silly on bread and cheese and fruits and such, and then halfway through Carbon Leaf's second song the sky opened up. It cleared up for awhile at the end of their set, poured a bit more through the first half or so of GBS, and then began dripping again during GBS's second encore, and flooded everyone trying to leave afterwards. Rain enough to soak through my umbrella and drip on me. I've not seen that much water on "dry land" in a very long time, if ever.

It's been a good many years since I last saw Carbon Leaf. They've gotten better, and bigger. They didn't play "Mary Mac" (though GBS did) or "Torn to Tattered," but they did close with "The Boxer," which was nice. And "The War Was in Color" bowled me over.

Great Big Sea give a fantastic show. I spent a lot of it huddled under the umbrella trying to stay dry (being tired meant I got peopled-out by their third song or so) instead of up and dancing with everyone else, but it was a wonderful time nonetheless. Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] shield_toad111 for suggesting / reminding me of it, and [livejournal.com profile] tamnonlinear for a CD of their stuff some months ago.

Then on Satyrday we saw [livejournal.com profile] shield_toad111 off and, after a very slow early afternoon, wandered over to help [livejournal.com profile] elf move. In a rainstorm that looked eerily similar to Friday's.

Sunday was taken up entirely by writing, talking online, and playing Civ, often in some combination. Mostly this was in service to actually recuperating, since for various reasons I didn't get much of a break last weekend.

Then on Tuesday I met A. and a (friend? coworker? Fellow, anyway) in Georgetown for kayaking. (Not "for kayaking in Georgetown," as an earlier draft had it; it hadn't rained quite that much.) (Protip: do not drive into Georgetown. Doubtless you all know this already and are alternately snickering and staring in shock at my foolishness. Traffic is ugly, parking is nonexistent difficult, and Rosslyn's only a half-mile or so away.) I've not been in a small boat in probably fifteen years, and that was a canoe, so it was quite a different experience. Kayaking is a lot easier than canoeing, for me anyway. Different muscles but some of the same mechanics.

We put in underneath the Key Bridge, at Jack's Boathouse, and went down almost to the southern tip of Roosevelt Island before turning around to come back. The whole experience was simultaneously strenuous and peaceful: floating, steering, trying not to splash or drip too much water into the kayak, keeping pace and keeping up conversation. Calm and quiet, for the most part. Saw a bunch of ducks and adolescent ducklings, and drifted about twenty feet from a Great Blue Heron looking for dinner. A good evening.

When you've fallen on the highway
And you're lying in the rain
And they ask you how you're doing,
Of course you'll say you can't complain.
If you're squeezed for information,
That's when you've got to play it dumb--
Just say you're out there waiting for the miracle,
For the miracle to come

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Adventures in Mamboland

"Jazz Fish, a saxophone playing wanderer, finds himself in Mamboland at a critical phase in his life." --Howie Green, on his book Jazz Fish Zen

Yeah. That sounds about right.

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