jmtorres: From Lady Gaga's Bad Romance music video; the peach-haired, wide-eyed iteration (Default)
I've been listening to an audiobook of Audre Lorde's Sister Outsider, and having a lot of feelings about a lot of things. a white person's thoughts on anti-black racism in America )
jmtorres: animation: Supernatural 4.09, Ruby gasps as she wakes up Coma Girl. Text: COMA GIRL LIVES! (wake up)
In the last week I:

--finished my yuletide
--finished a pinch hit
--embroidered oven mitts for a coworker
--celebrated a friend's birthday
--got all my holiday shopping finished
--got all my holiday baking finished
--got all presents handed or sent to their recipients
--worked
--survived Christmas Day with a usual amount of breakdown
--helped a couple of friends get all the crap out of their apartment for moving
--sold them the king size bed
--got them awake and actually heading towards Cali
--went to Ikea for sofa bed
--built, with niq, her giant table and my sofa bed (we have conquered the Ikea!)
--saw Tron
--did not kill my family
--registered for a winter session class

not necessarily in that order.

I did not, however, work on my festivid. I was not expecting the moving and Ikea'ing to be part of my weekend, so.

I am considering going back to Ikea just now actually...
jmtorres: Quinn from Sliders asleep with book open on his chest. Text: Sweet dreams. (sleep)
So I'm going to try to go to sleep while it's still night time, because I'm tired, so it might work!

If I wake up before six, I am going to force myself to do laundry until I want to fall down again. Hopefully the mere idea will send me back to bed (although I could stand to do some laundry).

If I wake up before eight, I shall open up a window and start writing any of the like, eight scenes cycling through my head.

If I wake up before ten, I shall clip an episode of my festivids source.

If I wake up after ten, I really should head directly to my family's for Thanksgiving cooking.

...it's sort of scary that I am planning my sleep/wake schedule so regimentally. Sleep, something I have to work at.
jmtorres: The arch-elf from the movie Santa Clause, with pita. (Bernard)
A year ago I moved out of my parents' house for the first time in a meaningful way; before then, I'd lived in dorms, which meant most of my books were at home, and I had no kitchen of my own. A pint-sized dorm fridge and a microwave, yeah--a kitchen? Not so much.

I remember the first year I went away to college I had a 13x9 pyrex baking dish. It fit in neither the microwave nor the pint-sized fridge, which is why it eventually got thrown away--disgusting leftovers had congealed in it, uneaten, because it was too big to save. (I had no tupperware. Seriously, my cooking life in the dorm was severely limited.)

But before that incident, I went downstairs to the dorm kitchen and made apple brown betty in that dish. I used the kitchen in that dorm so rarely that I can't picture where in the building it was, though I have a vague memory of how closet-sized I found it. I can't remember whether I walked to the Safeway for apples and flour and brown sugar and butter, or if my neighbor drove me--both happened, on occasion--but it must have been a specific trip, because even a staple like flour or butter, I didn't have. I'm not entirely sure I didn't have to buy a knife to peel apples. I made my apple brown betty without a recipe, because you hardly need one--arrange apple slices in a pan, mix flour and butter and spread on top of the apples, dot with brown sugar, bake until delicious. I remember the flour and butter weren't well-mixed, so there were white spots all over the crumble-crust.

Still, there were no leftovers.

My current 13x9 glass baking dish comes from IKEA; I bought it on a massive, scary stocking trip [personal profile] echan and I made. We were also buying things like garbage bins and sheets and I think the frame with fabric drawers she got to organize her desk. We were so unprepared for setting up house. I asked my family for a dozen kitchen things for Christmas, a frying pan (I was sort of hoping I'd inherit my parents' cast-iron, they prefer the non-stick these days), a food processor (my parents bought me a better model than they had, which I in turn headdesked and traded down on, because I needed the money more), pyrex loaf pans (my grandmother got me heavy gauge aluminum steel non-stick loaf pans which are still in their wrappers because goddamnit, I meant pyrex). They tried to give me a more expensive kitchen than I'd asked for. That's... honestly, for me, that's not what kitchens are about. I want the same kitchen my parents had when I was growing up. My mother makes fruit bread as gifts at Christmas--it used to be cranberry orange walnut bread, but now she's allergic to two-thirds of that, so now it's other things. She had a pyrex loaf pan and a couple of beat-up aluminum loaf pans, and she was making so many loaves she'd use them all in succession and turn them out and wash them and use them again. The pyrex was my favorite because it washed out easiest, and nothing you did scratched it up.

I've made brownies and fish in my 13x9 glass baking dish. I haven't made an apple brown betty, although I had a craving recently. I haven't made my mother's Christmas cranberry bread, though when I am overcome with the desire, I will probably go to the grocery store and buy a pyrex loaf pan or two and come home and ask the internets who would like a pair of heavy-gauge aluminum steel non-stick loaf pans, free to a good home with cost of shipping.

A great deal of my everyday diet no longer has much in common with my parents' diet, partially because of my mother's allergies, partially because, while my commitment has wavered lately, I am still much more likely to cook fish or tofu than beef or chicken. My mother gave me the cookbook with our falafel recipe on "permanent loan" when I moved out--I make falafel much more often than they do, and I think they might have started making it when I was in high school and vegetarian for the first time. A lot of our family recipes have that sort of oddness to them. Pumpkin crescent rolls are a must at Thanksgiving and Christmas; they date to when my brother could not be convinced for love or money to consume actual vegetables, and are still his favorite food on the planet. We used to make pumpkin oatmeal cookies too. A little pumpkin here, a little pumpkin there, some Vitamin A down your gullet, mister. Orange is the color of our baked goods.

Every once in a while I ask my mother to email me one of our old standard recipes for baked goods. Gingerbread men, I asked for this week. Gingerbread boys, she corrected me. I can't find a cookie cutter, so I'm actually planning to cut my own shapes out with a knife and make gingerbread lesbians. I was inspired to write this entry about the family history of my kitchen because I had ginger, but I had to go shopping for allspice and nutmeg. My spice cabinet consists of everything my mother had two jars of when I moved out, plus all the grated orange peel, and a jar of this and that I bought as needed during the past year. I have bars of baking chocolate in my spice cabinet, but my mother rarely does anymore, because most brands of chocolate are produced in factories with nuts. She keeps a bag of chocolate chips a specific nut-safe brand in the fridge to munch from, but she rarely bakes with chocolate anymore. I have a giant jar of sesame seeds in my spice cabinet from the Asian market, where my mother has a standard spice jar of them from McCormick that probably cost twice as much, because I am far more likely to want them for sticky rice or tofu or what have you.

I'm making gingerbread lesbians as gifts to send across the country. I have one ball of regular gingerbread dough in the fridge right now, and one ball of experimental, because I'm trying to make a gift for [personal profile] viridian5, who has a gluten allergy. I started off with ground almonds instead of flour in hers, but the dough wouldn't ball up properly, so I ended up adding a bit of brown rice flour as well. I still expect them to bake highly biscotti-like, and I'm not sure how they'll roll out.

I want to cook more often, and bake more often, but I don't know how to do it in a vacuum. I don't know how to find the motivation to actually make dinner (as opposed to throwing something ready-made from Fresh and Easy in the microwave) without having family, blood or chosen, here to cook for. Food is a gift, food is something you make to share, food is an art you design to show off to and to please other people. The kinds of foods we make are expressions of our culture, both the broader milieu of our society and the closer traditions of our family. And when we sit down to eat a meal together, that's family. That's community. That's love.

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jmtorres: From Lady Gaga's Bad Romance music video; the peach-haired, wide-eyed iteration (Default)
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June 2017

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