Saturday, March 29, 2014

Ready for Summer!

I've been experimenting with "refrigerator oatmeal" and cold-brewed coffee the last few days.  Both are convenient to make ahead, so they allow me to get a jump-start on the next few mornings, and they also involve less cleanup than the typical heated versions.

But I also just realized that these heat-free recipes will be perfect for summer.  Yes, I'm all set for the sweltering heat of July and August ... bring it on!!!

Of course, there's still a stubborn little patch of snow in the front garden...

- / - / - 

1. Basic refrigerator oatmeal recipe, lightly adapted from The Yummy Life

Put in a lidded jar (e.g., empty Talenti ice cream container):
¼ C uncooked rolled oats
⅓ C milk
¼ C plain yogurt
2 tsp chia seeds
½ tsp [or to taste] spice (e.g., cinnamon, vanilla, espresso powder, cocoa powder)
1 tsp [or to taste] sweetener (e.g., honey, molasses, syrup) 
Put on lid and shake vigorously, then stir in:
¼ C chopped or mashed-up fruit (e.g., banana, prunes, berries, pumpkin puree)
Refrigerate overnight. Serve chilled.

(The original posts provide nutritional information, thoughts on how long the mixture may be safely stored, and suggestions on flavor combinations.)

2. Basic cold-brewed coffee recipe, lightly adapted from The New York Times

Stir together in pitcher:
1 C ground coffee
4½ C water
Let sit overnight, then strain through cheesecloth into another pitcher.  (I do this by lining my strainer with the cheesecloth.)

Dilute 1:1 (or to taste) with water and serve as desired.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Four Days in Paradise

It was lovely to be in Florida last weekend with extended family.  Dark skies with stars (imagine that!), blading and biking and playing games, beautiful sunshine and clement weather, great sightings at the wildlife refuge.

One gorgeous sunset
My last day was cooler and partly rainy -- which made it a little easier to leave, though I'd still rather have stayed.  Sigh.

Game of Thrown

The girls love to swim, and they love to be thrown in the air at the pool (although they don't love to be pushed into the pool, as far as I can tell without actually trying it).

As you can see, the little one is thrown somewhat shotput style, with a lot of forward (horizontal) motion.  Her entry into the water is a bit haphazard, with arms and legs all askew.

The elder one is launched more vertically, from the feet -- and this gives her time mid-arc to deliberately choose a streamlined profile for entry into the water.


Sunday, March 16, 2014

Nude with Violin

My friends organized an outing to see Noël Coward's Nude with Violin this weekend.  The play was cute, and well-acted, but not deeply satisfying.  The story was a bit thin, and its insights into pretensions and fashions of the art world were apparently not considered entirely fresh even at its debut in 1956.*

I also found myself mildly distracted by minor details, such as the strong hints that Sebastien was Paul's lover, followed by Sebastien's glib revelation at the very end that he has a bratty 14-year-old child, named Stotesbury. (It is not necessarily difficult to explain how such a situation can come about, but the play makes no attempt to explain it.)

However, one real highlight was the opportunity to listen to one-half of a telephone conversation in several different languages.  Who knew I would get the chance to practice my rudimentary French and German at an English-language community theatre?

And it was good to have an excuse to leave the apartment and take a break from working on my paper (perhaps ironic, after months of procrastinating).  We also had dinner at La Bonne Soupe, which was good.  My ginger rum drink was delicious.

* The gist of the play is that, after a famous painter's death, his family learns that he never actually painted anything in his life.  The paintings of Paul's first artistic "period" were painted by one mistress; the paintings of his second artistic "period" were painted by another.  It is unclear to me why a religious man created the paintings of Paul's third period, but it appears that Paul's valet's child was easily bribed into slapping together 30 paintings for Paul's hitherto unknown fourth period. 

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Prospect Park: A Retrospective

I haven't had the chance to traipse around Prospect Park on snowshoes this winter, despite the snow.  The snow had melted too much by the time I got out there on February 22, though it was still aesthetically pleasing.  

Canadian geese walking on water

I like the symmetry of the swans on the right, and the water dripping from the beak of the left-most swan

This scene - and particularly the couple framing the tree trunk in the "central" tree -
caught my eye as I began my second circuit around the park.

Dragon in the Imagination playground