Sunday, July 26, 2015

Nesting, Part 11

Because I'm home again at last, and the nesting never stops (and I'm so glad it doesn't :)
San Francisco is being properly good about giving us all a real summer!  Here's a long lit evening from when a friend and I were lucky enough to snag an outdoor spot at Foreign Cinema.
The Bud Stop aka prettiest curbside florist in SF and the very same one that I walked past when I was first moving here; I remember thinking 'I really want to live somewhere around here so this can be my local florist' - and so it was. 
Wait, did I hear you say you wanted more pictures of strangers' dogs?!  This little guy (or gal?) is the latest to be captured in my greatest unpublished anthology #dogsofsf - snapped this morning outside of Plant Cafe on Steiner.  Just look at those shaggy little front paws!
Part of my pursuit to eat less animal products - I present to you vegan 'scrambled eggs': much more delicious than anticipated!  My ever excellent vegan brother got me thinking about the impact of animal agriculture on our planet (spoiler alert: it's worse than using all of the plastic bags in the world).  I still love my cheeseburgers and even eggs, but I do believe it's our responsibility to do what we can to minimise animal product consumption, when we can - hence this experiment  :)
This is a terrible over-lit shot, but I snuck out onto the fire escape again this week to get a view of our old golden girl stretching beautifully over the bay.  San Francisco, I love you.
It's so good to be home.  Happy Sunday to your corners of the world!

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

A little trick for hard decisions

The last year gone has been full of some of the bigger decisions I've ever made, the kinds that remind you that everything in life is a tradeoff and result in ghost ships to salute from the shore.
I don't know what you're like, but I'm definitely an over-thinker who can easily let thoughts start to run rampant in my mind when I'm mulling a choice over.  A little trick I learned to get me out of this state is to ask myself this question:

'What would I want my daughter to do in this situation?'

I've found that asking myself this brings a freedom to be honest with myself, it pulls my thoughts together with speedy maternal clarity, and snaps me out of puddling around in circles.  I think we can all tend to shuffle around the truth when it comes to ourselves, but putting our maternal (or paternal) hat on brings out what we already know to be right and best.  It also means we will make decisions that we'll be proud to tell our kids about one day, whether we already have little ones in our lives or they are still entirely imaginary (as in my case).  Pretending to be your own mama can help you realise that you might already know best.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Banana doughnut

Flicking through my photos from NYC a couple of months ago and I came across this flowchart:

Did I mention I spent five and a half years at art school?
Inspired by a banana doughnut I ate from the timelessly excellent Balthazar.  Yes you are.

Happy weekend!

Friday, June 12, 2015

Who are your top five?

I can't remember if I've written about this before, but I'm a big believer that you are the average of the five people you spend the most amount of time with (credit: Jim Rohn).  I read this recently and it follows that it really struck a chord with me:

"Who you hang out with determines what you dream about and what you collide with. And the collisions and the dreams lead to your changes. And the changes are what you become. Change the outcome by changing your circle.”

Seth Godin, via the folks at my dream workspace.  Know your desired outcome, your circle and change accordingly.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Kumquat Marmalade. Or, Chopping Tiny Fruit for Hours.

If you have a kumquat tree you will know that when they are in season the fruits will suddenly grow abundantly, seemingly all at once, and you will feel like some kind of giant harvesting tiny oranges one by one.  This was the case at A's dad's farm, which led to our first delicious round of marmalade.
All the kumquats!  Faded view of our hero, the serrated knife, is also in frame.
So delicious was this Kumquat Marmalade that when our local supermarket incorrectly priced them (in our favour) this weekend, we went home with 6 more bags of these tiny orange friends.  Cue more feeling-like-a-giant-cutting-things time and we now have 12 jars of the sweet jammy stuff.

The recipe we followed is here, with some tweaks / tips taken from here because David Levobitz is the jamming king; we added a couple of limes for taste and the little serrated knife is key - both for cutting through the tough-ish citrusy skin and poking the seeds out as you do.

We had so much fruit we started measuring in bowls instead of cups.  The recipe calls for 2 cups of sliced kumquats and we ended up with 5 bowls.  Multiply the sugar, prep time and boiling minutes accordingly i.e. we went to bed pretty late.
The finished product!  Extra delicious with a hard cheese.
As you might be able to tell, the making of marmalade coincided with us playing around with a pro camera for a week, so the photos for this post are a little fancier than normal.  Hope you enjoyed!