I’m too tired tonight to write, and am turning in early. I had an extra 3 children last night and today, and am feeling a bit fried. Instead of anything of substance, here is a photo of some of the pancakes I made this morning.
I find myself feeling grateful for some of the things I have already enumerated (especially the sleep one), so I will attempt to serve up a double helping of gratitude tomorrow. (I didn’t want to skip posting, though, as I know it is too easy to let one skipped day turn into…months. And there is still too much to say.)
I’m on a roll with my ducks these days. Not that I have any actual ducks. I do, however, have plenty of photos of ducks.
This photo is one that strikes me as funny, probably because it’s not a sight likely to be seen in the US. I saw this display of duck heads on my trip to China in 2012, at a food stall. I believe it was in the city of Hangzhou, which is near Shanghai.
Most Americans prefer to dissociate the meat and poultry they eat from the animals they come from. Typically, these purchases are made in a supermarket, with cuts of meat and poultry wrapped in cellophane, denuded of as many signs of having once had feet and faces as possible. Clearly this is not the case in many parts of the world. I still remember being somewhat shocked as a kid when we moved to France, and encountered butcher shops and market stalls with whole animals hanging from hooks, and being disturbed that the chickens we purchased still had feet and head attached.
In any case, it seems that in China, duck heads are a fairly popular food dish.
It has become a tradition for me to bake gingerbread in the winter. On more than one occasion, I have been quite taken with the way the various dry ingredients compose themselves the bowl: the various spices making dark patterns on the lighter flour mixtures. Here are photos from three different times I made gingerbread in recent years.
Here, I seem to have added the spices from lighter color to dark, with ginger, then cinnamon, then cloves.
Here, the spices clumped up, looking like miniature boulders on a bed of sugar gravel.
Here, the cinnamon perfectly held the shape of the measuring spoon.
(And no, I haven’t had time for baking yet this year. I’ve been too busy cooking up perception experiments and writing abstracts. Which are not nearly as tasty.)
These cute little artichokes were some that I bought a couple of years ago in the Spring.
Their tiny size and shape was so egg-like once I cut the stems off that I couldn’t resist arranging them in an egg carton.
They look like strange little alien pod eggs. I do wonder what sort of creature would hatch out of such a spiky egg! Likely one with very sharp claws.
A few years ago, a doctor wanted Phoebe to go on a clear fluid diet for a day as a part of a medical evaluation. In addition to clear juices and broths, she was allowed to eat Jello. Jello is not something we tend to eat in our family, but under the circumstances, I decided to go all out. I picked up packages of cherry, orange, lemon, lime and grape Jello, and I put together a dish of rainbow jello for my rainbow-loving girl.
The process involved making the different layers of color separately, letting each chill and gel, and then adding the next layer. I honestly don’t remember how long the process took. But I do remember that the result was quite striking to look at!
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When Theo was a baby, maybe a year or so old, I came across a link someone had shared of Andrea Bocelli singing to Elmo. We were travelling at the time, visiting my in-laws, and a super-tired baby Theo was sitting on my lap long after he should have been asleep. I clicked on the video, and Theo was entranced. What’s more, he was lulled. By the end of the video, he was asleep in my arms.
This is not the sort of magic than an overtired parent easily forgets, and this video was revisited quite a few times over the next year or so. (Not always with exactly the same magic.) I also bought the song (not the Elmo-directed version, but the original Italian version), and found that it was effective at getting Theo to nap on car rides. When Theo was a little bit older, he would request the song. However, the name he had for it was “Rainbow Jelly.” I’m not sure how long it took us to figure out what he meant, but eventually we realized that it must have been how he’d misheard “Andrea Bocelli” in the video.
And so it was that I was inclined to call the rainbow layered Jello “rainbow jelly.”
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Last week’s friday foto finder theme was food, and given my recent run on rainbows, I couldn’t resist sharing photos of this. It is somewhat debatable whether this treat counts as actual “food,” but Phoebe had fun with it.
To see what other potentially more nutritious food items have been shared, pay a visit to the fff blog.
I took this photo in Barcelona, Spain in 2009. This ended up being one of my favorite photos of the trip.
I think part of the appeal is how differently the eggs are displayed and sold there vs. here in the US. Here, eggs are always in cartons, stacked neatly, and tucked into refrigerators. You just wouldn’t come across a giant mound of eggs, piled all higgledy-piggledy like this, in a US market. It is also fun to see the different sizes of eggs together: the smaller brown chicken eggs, and the larger pale eggs, which I believe are duck eggs. (I realized that I could just make out the sign, and for a moment was trying to figure out why it didn’t say “pato” for duck. But this was Barcelona, so most of the signs were in Catalan. I can just make out that the sign says “ous d’anec.”)
I also liked how the photo captured the moment and the atmosphere of the market. It was early morning, and I passed through on my way to the conference I was attending. Later in the day, it would be full of people and bustling. Just then, however, it was quiet.
This week’s friday foto finder theme is “eggs.” I do have quite a lot of eggs in my photo library, so once again, the difficulty lay in choosing which to serve up. To see what eggs others have on their menus, pay a visit to the fff blog.
This week’s friday foto finder theme is “shiny.” I have loads of photos of shiny things in my photo library, but seeing as it’s Pi Day, I coudln’t resist including some pi (and some pie).
Apple pi, on a shiny plate. (The apple is pretty shiny, too.)
A shiny pi server.
Here is this year’s annual Pi Day pie, which was somewhat experimental: a peach blueberry pie with a crust topping in the shape of pi, and filled out with circles of pie crust (each of which had the circumference of roughly 2πr). To see some of the other pi pies from my past, check out my old post, easy as pi.
To see what other shiny bits people are sharing, check out the fff blog.