Definitely Wasn’t Expected This…

Much could be said, but it’s probably better to just watch: http://www.nbcolympics.com/kiem/video/russian-police-choir-performs-get-lucky-opening-ceremony

And thanks to Rolling Stone for pointing out that this wasn’t the first time:

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Back…?

This post is called “Back…?”, which is the truncated version of “What To Do When On Extended Phone Hold with the Social Security Office.”  Thirty one minutes and counting.  Seeing as how we recently welcomed the little character portrayed in all those pixels of adorableness you see below, dedicating thirty one minutes solely to phone time is lunacy.

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But there are some crazy things you have to do during nap time in the name of “saving for your child’s college education” and “cooking something so you don’t have vanilla ice cream for dinner again.”  I’m kidding. We don’t eat vanilla ice cream for dinner.  We eat vanilla ice cream with unsweetened coconut flakes, the Kashi version of Grape Nuts, and mini-chocolate chips smushed in.  Matt calls it “Gravel Path” (a nod to Rocky Road) because he’s more like my dad than he thinks as far as puns go. That’s today’s recipe.

Happy New Year!  I’ve got a few more “recipes” to throw up here along with a post about the best/worst online reviews as sourced from sister Ang.  There will probably be little in the way of new music because we’re listening to Raffi on repeat and you’re probably too busy watching the Beyonce visual album anyway.  Enjoy that, but just know that Blue Ivy better watch her back. She’s got some new baby competition:

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Mustard, Finally

mustard seeds & powder

Of all the jars of jams and sauces and condiments that jostle for space in our three refrigerator shelves, Sriracha against walnut oil, soy sauce (now only this kind, purchased in bulk. It’s life-changing!**) vs. hot pepper jelly, Cholula and Frank’s, mustard has the greatest footprint. Currently there are four bottles of mustard with varying levels smoothness, spreadability, and sinus-clearing spiciness, and of these, two are homemade.

A friend recently questioned the wisdom of homemade mustard when it’s so cheap to buy and so hard to finish.  Romantic comedies of a certain ilk tend to show a lonely bachelor or bachelorette squinting into the refrigerator light to find naught but an old, stained Chinese takeout container, a half-empty jar of mustard, and a bottle of light beer.  That just doesn’t happen in our house. First of all, we go through mustard about as quickly as ice cream.  (Not amazing ice cream, but decent ice cream that takes two weeks to polish off).  It goes on our ham, and cheese, and sausages, with just about every cruciferous vegetable, bread, crackers, salad dressing, potatoes, etc.  Secondly, even though it’s inexpensive, it’s still not that inexpensive when you like the type of mustard with the whole seeds, with that pleasing mouthfeel and tiny ‘pop’, and also when you basically eat it by the ladleful.  Third, there are a few food blogs I read whose recipes I trust implicitly, and when one of these posted ideas for a few types of homemade mustard, I was whipping up a batch within the week. Oh and fourth, it takes literally three minutes to make, not counting the waiting time. Literally. You pour everything in one bowl, and then you stir it and let it sit for two days. And maybe give it a whiz with the hand blender, to your preferred consistency. Done.

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Here’s one of the three recipes, the brainchild of Good Food Matters, slightly altered and then doubled because we love our mustard so. Definitely visit her site to check out recipes for the other two.

COARSE GRAIN DIJON MUSTARD
1 cup white wine
6 tablespoons vinegar (I used a mix of white wine vinegar and apple cider vinegar)
6 tablespoons yellow mustard seeds
6 tablespoons brown mustard seeds
8 tablespoons powdered mustard
2 teaspoons kosher salt

Stir all ingredients together in a glass or ceramic bowl until thoroughly combined, then cover with plastic wrap. Keep at room temperature (aka unrefrigerated), and allow the liquid to soften the mustard seeds for 48 hours. Uncover and blitz with an immersion blender until it reaches your desired consistency.  Place in a clean jar and refrigerate, then slather on just about anything.

 

 

**When the Williams Sonoma outlet had bottles of it on clearance, for some bizarre reason I attribute only to the facts that people like their Kikkoman’s and why shop around for soy sauce, I made my nice mother load up on so much that she nearly herniated another disc. And that’s with me carrying two thirds of it to the car.

An Alternative to “Southie Rules”

Ford

I get it. Long day at work, or studying, or taking care of itty bitty babes. Traffic was bad, the lingering cough is getting worse, dinner was something scraped together from the cabinets and (gah!) the freezer is devoid of treats. The couch is calling, and nothing sounds better than tuning in and quieting down your headspace.

So tune in! But maybe just for tonight, if it’s your usual habit, exchange the reality cotton-candy fluff for something a little more substantial, a little more thought-provoking. Trade the manufactured drama that has all the fizz and excitement of a half-liter of flat soda for the real, historically documented stuff that molded and shaped eras and people.

I’ve got to confess an ulterior motive – the documentary I’m pushing tonight is one that took up the better part of a year of my working life. A stellar team created it – director, writer, editor, producers and assistants of all levels. I think the music and sound design are great. The old film footage and photographs are unreal. And the parts of the story about the life of one of the most familiar names in American industrial and automotive history might surprise you. So instead of giving your hard-earned free evening time over to “Southie Rules” or a re-run of “Real Housewives,” please tune in to “Henry Ford” on PBS tonight, 9-11 p.m. EST. You can always DVR the fluff!

P.S. If you watch and have feedback, I’d love to hear it. Friendly critiques make all of us better.