Sunday, May 30, 2010

My Apologies, Dear Ones

Due to unforeseen and very unfortunate circumstances, I will stop posting to this blog. When I return from abroad, I will start a new blog, at which point the address will be disclosed to certain people. 

Thank you all for being such a lovely audience.

I will miss you!

KSM

Monday, May 24, 2010

In Which She is Stalked

The Stalker:











But seriously. I went out for a walk today around the property and stuffs to take pictures, and the cat followed me. And anytime she thought I was looking, she'd curl up all cute in the shade and pretend to sleep, or sit and look in another direction, or run up and yowl at me sweetly while rubbing her furless ears against my ankles. Absurdly cute. And wait until you see the picture I've got for you tomorrow.

On another note, I'm making an Arabian eggplant and chickpea stew for dinner, which I intend to modify slightly to include other veg, and also naan, rice, and for my carnivorous brothers, a pulled, spiced pork. I am SO excited about this meal. If I like the stew, which I'm certain I will, I'll post it here for all tomorrow!

KSM

Thursday, May 20, 2010

An Inquiry For My Adult Readers

When you go visit someone you haven't seen in a long time, what assortment of baked good or snack is it usually appropriate to take along? You see, tomorrow I'll be visiting a sort of long-lost friend and I think it's probably nice of me to take some sort of treat along, since she's moved into her own apartment, and I just can't decide what to make. I was thinking muffins, or lemon squares, or something. I just don't know what. Anyways, I'm sure you won't answer this in time for me to actually make it, but so I know for future reference. 


K Thanks.

Love you.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Hello Lovelies

Hello my lovelies. Today I had my oral surgery, and much to my delight, I am not in any amount of pain. My upper lip is still a bit numb, but, there you go.

My diet is being tortured here at home, of course, meat and noodles and bread being staples... Well, I do my best anyways.

At any rate, it's nice to be back. I'm leaving the country on June 4th, but I'll be visiting MEM the day before to pre-celebrate graduation. In the meantime, I'm compiling a list of e-mail addresses for the weekly updates on my studies and adventures abroad. Please let me know, somehow, whether you would like to be added to the list. I'm going to try and maintain FB, but no promises on that since China is pretty strict about it. 

Sooo... 

Maybe I'll think of something more interesting to say tomorrow. Tomorrow is VRP's b-day, so hopefully I'll get to spend some time with her...

Love you!


Wednesday, April 21, 2010

We Watch as the World Falls Down Around Us, Staring Over the Brink Into the Darkness

In other words; am I ready for this level of responsibility and independence?

Please comment. I am fishing for compliments here- I need a few votes of confidence, please and thank you. We can play the five word game. Sum me up in five words or fewer. 


"And the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the frst time." -T. S. Eliot

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Down To the Nitty Gritty






 As you all may have surmised from my prolonged absence, we're getting down to the nitty gritty of this semester. There are a lot of on campus activities to attend, and a lot of work to take care of. And the more they load this stuff on, the less I feel like I'm actually getting done. Oh well. So, let's see what I've got to talk about today. 

Well, first of all, these pictures are the usual strays. The most important of which is the picture of my Easter basket from Daddy which came this week, along with a matching one for SL, who was so tickled. I have the best daddy in the world.

These days, Bard is so beautiful. There are flowering trees of all kinds everywhere on campus- forsythia, purple magnolias, apple trees, and many other things that I can't identify that are just as lovely. There are daisies and daffodils, and narcissus all over. One of these days I'll get around to taking some more pics for you.

I'm whipping up a few new pieces for the craft show that happens during Spring Fling at the end of April, and these are just a few of them.

My flight for China leaves on June 4th, although the time isn't determined yet. I'll probably be in China until the beginning of January, although no one's really clear on that point yet. I'll fly home for a few weeks, and the semester at Queen's University Belfast starts January 31st... I'm still in the application processes for both Qingdao University and QUB, (two QU's, who'd have guessed???)

For those of you who have read Molina's Trickster of Seville, I recommend you read or see a performance of Moliere's Don Juan. It is, to me, much more pleasurable. But then, I've always loved Moliere's work. On that topic, I'll be performing the role of Dorine (a snarky and clever maid) in a friend's final project for directing class (from Moliere's Tartuffe. One of my personal favs.) And if you don't know anything about Moliere, or you're looking for a fun film, I recommend seeing the movie "Moliere". 

My jagua ink finally arrived in the mail, so I'll probably bust that out later and give myself a temp tat for fun. Pictures to follow. 

Incidentally, I think I'm in love with that first necklace. It's all large pieces of natural quartz. It looks soooo good with the brassy colored wire. It's probably between 18 and 20 inches long, so it sits nicely along the collar bone and catches light beautifully. If it doesn't sell at the show, I'll appropriate for myself, which I do surprisingly little. 

I love you all!

KSM

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Things That Make Me Smile





As you can see, the things that make me smile are beautiful spring blossoms, and my roommate in her very sweet nightgown wandering around carrying her Farley like a little girl and her rabbit.

Smiling in the beautiful weather!

KSM

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

The Groundhog



We've had a groundhog living behind our room all semester. Well, yesterday he was out and about again. I took some pictures of him through the window, so they're not that great of quality, but hey. What do you want. He's still cute.

Love and kisses!

KSM


Saturday, April 03, 2010

Weird

I thought I posted a thank you blog, but since it appears to be missing, let me say it again. THANK YOU EVERYONE FOR EVERYTHING. It has been a very nice birthday week. Today in the mail, from G and G I received a wonderful little Celtic Tattoo kit, which works well since I've been itching for a new one, which has to wait until probably graduation. I tried it out today, but the stain takes 12 to 48 hours to manifest itself, and I did the procedure only 8 hours ago, so I let you know how things turn out. The jagua paint in the kit was not really great quality, so I'm gonna search around online and see if I can get some nice stuff.

I would like to share a recipe with you that is one of Daddy's sister's best recipes. It is fast and easy and tasty and designed, I think, for kids. I like it.

So... Basically, I prepare the rice in a pan as I usually would (well, I use vegetable stock instead of water for this recipe) and about five minutes before it's done I stir in some quantity (totally random, and depends on my mood) of chopped broccoli, tuna (she uses chicken- which is delicious but isn't part of my diet these days), and cheddar cheese. I also put in black pepper and onion/onion powder. Then I let it all cook for about ten-ish minutes, stirring frequently to prevent burning. Soooo yummy and soo fast. 

Love you all, and happy holiday!

KSM

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Monday, March 29, 2010

A Story, in Pictures











I was home on break and obviously too lazy to blog. I have just finished reading "Soulless" and "Beautiful Creatures", both by Aunt T's recommendation, and they were both good junk-food for the brain. I enjoyed. My next pleasure reading will be (if there is time) The Complete Sherlock Holmes. I enjoyed the movie so much I just have to read the books. You know how I can get.
In addition, I have recently fallen in love with an "old" R.E.M. song, "Leaving New York". I can't stop listening to it, particularly that bit towards the end where all the lines are overlapping and fading into each other.It's a lovely song, and there's someone in China I'd like to give it to.
In a moment I'll post the pictures promised above, but first I need to send out thanks to some people. Thanks to VRP and KR for hosting me in their dorm for such a long time. Thanks also for a great time. Thanks to TLHB for the box of shiny lovelies, which I have been wearing everyday since I opened it up. Thanks to JMS and her hubby and beautiful two year old daughter for a lovely homemade lunch and time spent together. Thanks to KDHS for a wonderful breakfast (and next time I get to pay). It was so nice to see you and get to talk. Thanks to all for birthday wishes (tomorrow I will be 20. Scary, isn't it?)and for the gifts. (Particularly, Thank you DMM for the birthday money.)

Without further ado, I give you, picture descriptions. The first is the view from my window tonight. The sky is a lovely shade of purple after a day of warm spring showers.This is followed by an image of a fabulous pair of earrings, retired and gifted by TLHB. I love these! (There are many more things, but I couldn't put them all up. :( )Picture three is the stunning necklace given to me for my birthday by my fairy godmother, KDHS. I wore it today and received sooo many compliments. I love it. This is followed by my snazzy new kicks, purchased for me and under my direction as a birthday gift by my daddy. I love them, as do lots of my friends. And don't bother asking- yes, they're men's shoes, but I LOVE them.Then, when I was at my grandfather's house, I was looking at old pictures, and couldn't resist taking pictures of a few of them. This first one is me and my four-fivish year old me. I haven't changed a bit, have I?Forgive my pajamas. Love that dress my mommy made me. Wish it still fit. After that is an image of the sets of fancy stitch markers I made to sell. Fun, yes? The next picture, an image of my daddy in his... shall we say, younger years. I just wanted to point out how much he looks just like his II. Followed by a picture of him in an atrociously colored/sized bow tie that I will refrain from remarking on.Then there are some tiny bananas, and a picture from midterms week. The picture says it all. I was originally sitting with them, but someone had to take the picture. The last picture is of, once again, my daddy in his younger years, looking exactly like his son, and even using one of MSM II's expressions. Gotta love it!


Smiling and giggle,

KSM

Thursday, March 25, 2010

What's the Difference Between Dad's Old Truck and a Rabbit?

Not much, if I'm driving.

Here's the poem I just translated from Irish, to be published in an on-campus translation magazine:

Tú féin is mé féin

má thagann tú choiche ná tar ach san oiche,
is siúl go réidh is ná scanraigh mé
gheobhaidh tú an eochair faoi shá shair an dorais,
is mé liom féin s ná scanraigh mé

Níl pota sa mbealach níl stól ná canna
ná súgán féir, ná ní faoin gréin
tá an madra chomh socair nach labharfaidh sé focal
ní náir dó é, 's maith mhúin míse é.

Tá mo mhaimí 'na codladh 's mo dhaidí á bogadh,
's ag pógadh a béil, 's ag pógadh a béil,
nach aoibhinn di-se 's nach trua leat míse,
'mo luí liom féin ar chlúmh na n-éan.

And here it is, in English:

Yourself is Myself

If you are to come at all come only by night,
Walk evenly, don’t frighten me
You will find the key under the door, Shá Shair,
I am by myself, don’t frighten me

There is no pot to block you, nor stool nor can
There’s no wicker chair, not even the smallest seed.
The dog is so calm that he won’t say a word
It is no shame to him, I taught him well.

My mammy’s in the deepest sleep, and still my daddy’s coaxing
He’s kissing her mouth, he’s kissing her mouth,
Is she not lucky? Am I not unfortunate,
All alone in my feather bed?

Love
KSM

Saturday, March 20, 2010

On Pause

I'm visiting V, so this is on pause until I get home on Monday...

Great song that I love,

"Wei le Ren Shi Ni" by Zhou Bi Chang, or bibi chou
It's in Chinese, but if you see the video I think it's pretty understandable. The title means "In order to know you". It's a very sweet song.

Currently reading The Princes of Ireland, and The Hogfather.

Turning 20 in just over week. Pretty scary.

Love KSM

Monday, March 15, 2010

I've been gone a while, Eh?

Ha! You thought you were going to actually get a blog, didn't you? Well, I suppose I can babble about something for a bit.

Have you ever watched a squirrel eat? I mean, really watched a squirrel eat? They get going a hundred miles a minute with the chewing, and then all of the sudden they stop. I was watching a squirrel eat two days ago, while plopped down in front of my computer for 15 hours writing essays. And the stupid thing just stopped, all of the sudden, and stared, as if going, "Crap! I left the oven on!" And it just sat there for a minute. Then it picked up as if it nothing had happened. As if it realized, that "Oh right, I'm a squirrel so I don't even have an oven." So strange. What do they have epiphanies about????

On another note altogether, it looks as if my summer plans changed. I will still be in China starting at the beginning of June, but I won't be working until August, at the earliest if at all. Instead I'll be doing the Bard in China GPA program. Basically, it's eight weeks of conducting research on something related to your proposed senior project, and then at the end you have to write a paper reporting on your findings. For more information, go to

http://inside.bard.edu/bardinchina/

And here's my proposal, titled "A Lucrative Industry? Foreign Literature in Translation in China"

For quite a long time, China remained virtually untouched by foreign literature. There may have been some small presence of Western literature when Matteo Ricci and the Jesuits were in China, especially since Ricci had such famous skill with the Chinese language, but the first really well known translations of Western classics aren’t reported until 1900, during the Qing dynasty, when a man named Lin Shu published over 200 Chinese versions of foreign classics. I am interested in pursuing research on the subject of foreign literature in China, examining the market from the perspectives of translation and publication, both currently and historically. Reportedly, the consumption of foreign literature has become quite a big business, at least when dealing with the Western classics. Has it always been this way? Some questions I would like to consider in this research would be what texts have, historically, been selected for introduction into China and translation into Chinese? What logic lies behind the careful selection of texts? The selections must be based on a combination of political, social and literary motivations- but what, exactly? How have the books been received by the government, general audience, and scholars who have consumed them? Since my senior project will more than likely be translations, both from English into Chinese and Chinese into English, researching this subject can benefit me greatly. It will provide relevant facts on the feasibility of publishing and marketing my translations for the introduction to the translations, and it will also be a great help on selecting what texts to work with, since I will know what China would regard as ideal foreign literature.

After that, I'll do a month's work and head up to Beijing (hopefully) for the Hamilton College Associated Colleges in China program, until December. I had the interview for that yesterday, and it went really well, even considering that it was in Chinese. Now I just wait to hear back about financial aid. After China, so long as the school accepts me and Bard decides to accept the credits, I will hopefully be attending Saor Ollscoil na hÉireann in Dublin, which is mostly night classes, meaning I could take Irish language classes and fiddle lessons during the day. Provided everything works out as planned, I'd like to live in Dublin's Chinatown so I don't forget everything I learn in my six months of China.

Right now that's all I've got time for, but I'll have plenty of time to blog this weekend, since spring break is finally coming after this week. I'll be celebrating St. Patty's day with Baileys and essay revisions, and then Thursday I'll be traveling to VP's college, Lycoming, where I'll spend a few days, before catching a bus to Poppa's. Daddy will get me from there.

Gotta split and study for my Chinese test at 1:30. Love you all!

KSM

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

It Snowed. A lot. So We Had a Brown Out. And it's Going to Snow Lots More.

"Let's think the unthinkable, let's do the undoable, let's prepare to grapple with the ineffable itself, and see if we may not eff it after all."

Douglas Adams

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Oohhhh I Like Him



Not like that silly. I'm talking about an artist I recently discovered that I really really like. His name is Fernando Botero. Excuse me if he's old news, but he's fabulous. He paints/sculpts everything all roly-poly, and it's irresistible. His MonaLisa is pretty irresistible, but the following are two of my favorite paintings by him. This first one is titled "Bailarina" which I think is pretty perfect, and the second one is "Man Drinking Orange Juice." I can't resist the giant oranges and bananas. Ooh, they're all so good. Check him out for a warm, fuzzy feeling inside, or at least a few laughs. Love love love! KSM


Sunday, February 21, 2010

Pastiche






It's a cool word, isn't it? That's what my brain has to deal with all the time- a pastiche of languages. And todays blog is a pastiche of images. Oh, and do you want to know something cool about Irish? (The language.) The verb is always the first part of the sentence, coming even before the verb, so it's sort of like this, "Is me good," "Is name ______," "Is you my heart," and etc. It's a very beautiful language, and like French it utilizes seemingly unnecessary letters. But I promise, they're all necessary, just like they are in French. Moving on to some cool pics....

So these are, in order, probably my best piece of calligraphy (it says 'magic tricks'), the treats from my social last Thursday (including no-bakes, lemon squares, a fruit/veg tray, and iced tea), the most beautiful celery I've ever seen that I got very cheaply at the campus grocer, a wicked cool Celtic know I designed, and a pic of me with my Chinesey room on the Chinese New Year/ Valentine's day. That's all folks!


Smile smile,

KSM


Saturday, February 20, 2010

NYC

I don't get it, it just doesn't impress me. Seriously. I had to go to the city today for Art History class, since my teach was too lazy to come teach us here. So we had two hours of class there, and then went to the met for another three hours of lecturing... No free time in the city (not that I would enjoy it much) and way too long listening to him babble. Also, too much time not doing homework and just sitting on my behind on the bus. Oh well.

Every time I've been there I just haven't enjoyed it much. Los Angeles is the same way, although I do enjoy the company I've had in both of those cities. I didn't like Beijing much either, and Shanghai was slightly above Beijing on the list of cities enjoyed. I guess I'm just picky about my cities. I love D.C., and I love SanFran. In China, I loved Qingdao and Nanjing. And Toronto is fabulous. Buffalo is not a bad city either, for as much of a bad rep as it inexplicably has.

More soon, hopefully!

Love you all,

SMILING BECAUSE THAT WEEK IS OVER!

KSM

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Homesick

Don't we often think that going somewhere new, starting with a completely clean slate is just what we need? That's why I went away for college, isn't it?A new start, nobody knows me. Nobody knows anything about me. I can just tell them what I want them to know.

I think maybe I was wrong. It wasn't what I needed, and it isn't always good.

I'm afraid my friends here don't see me very clearly, or don't see me how they should see me, how I'm trying to make them see me. And it's not like you can just tell them, "Hey, girl, this is me."Why are the only people here who do understand me guys? All of my guy friends get me just fine. Well, and SL, but that's just because we've lived together for two years. 

I was already thinking about how set apart from my peers I am, when today in my anthro class, one kid said, (in response to a movie about Irish Travellers and how their kids are an integral part of maintaining the household) "Well, I mean, her mom was always sending her to get water, or to get gas, and doing all these things a parent should be doing. Not watching TV like we imagine a kid doing." Now I do realize that not everybody has the same family history I do, I get that, but I mean, my sibbles and I were already doing lots of chores before the sick days. WE were an integral part of the household. 

I feel like my friends don't understand that if I want something for myself, I have to get it. And if I want to have a future, that I have to make it. That I have to study hard and work harder, because I want to someday change my socio-economic status. I can't constantly be running around spending money and doing things, and I don't mind it a bit, but I hate feeling pressed by my friends, and no matter how much I tell them that I'm broke they just don't get it. And I love giving to people, and I give and give and give until I can't give anymore and they just continue taking, and I get so mad because they just don't understand that I still have needs that I have to take care of. And then they think I'm being stingy and preposterously selfish. And I'm not, am I?

My suities also don't understand that, in my book, cleanliness IS next to godliness. They make a pigsty out of the common area, leave their crap lying around all over, cook and don't wash the dishes and don't wipe the counter. And heaven forbid you ever pick up the vacuum cleaner or wash the dishtowels yourself. It's the same every day, I get up to make myself breakfast and have to wash MY dishes just to cook. I've been threatening them all year and I've finally had it. So I brought MY pots and pans into my room, thinking to prevent them from cooking at least until someone went to town and bought new ones, and instead, they call a friend over (a friend who has decided to move in on our couch, who leaves her slippers and other crap lying in the common area) and she brings pots. And they washed HER pots, and left all of the other dishes lying around and the kitchen a mess. This is not okay, on any level. I get that you're all only children who come from upper-middle class families, and that you've never had to do a damn thing in your life for yourself, but is it so much to ask that you could wash your bowl and chopsticks so that your food doesn't get cemented on when it dries? Do they enjoy living in a pigsty? Because I REFUSE to live in a pigsty, especially when I like to have my friends over for tea and cookies once a week. But every week I have to vacuum and scrub everything down and ask them to bring all of my dishes out of their room so they can be washed. And why am I starting to sound like my father?

In other words, I'm homesick. I miss my home, I miss my home people. They know everything there is to know about me, and I LOVE THEM FOR IT. They understand me, and they also like living in a CLEAN SPACE.

Okay, I'm all done now.

Love you all.

KSM

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Discovering Something

About myself, of course. 

Since the beginning of this semester's "Ireland, Northern Ireland and the Anthropological Imagination" class, I have been developing a strong dislike- even loathing- of anthropology. Well, modern anthropologists at the very least, who (more and more) take it upon themselves not to just report and preserve a culture, but also to try and "repair" what they see as wrong in the culture. Good gracious, I thought the cultural meter stick went out the window with cultural relativism 100 years ago!!! 

Okay, I'm done. Thanks.

KSM

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Love

Just wanted to wish you all a happy Chinese new year and a happy Valentine's day!

Love

KSM

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Literature

I'm not going to talk about my recent literature at all, just some of my good old favorites that you should pick up if you've never read them.

The Count of Monte Cristo, Alexandre Dumas

The Last Cavalier, Alexandre Dumas (unfinished)

Tartuffe, Moliere

Hamlet, Shakespeare

Small Gods, Terry Pratchett

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams

Rosencrantz and Guildentstern are Dead, Tom Stoppard

Wuthering Heights, Emily Bronte

David Copperfield, Charles Dickens

Okay, seriously now. I may be too into more classical (older stuff) than a lot of people these days. But they're so good. And if I can't convince you to read the old ones, at least try some of the newer ones. Terry Pratchett and Douglas Adams are the BEST and the FUNNIEST people. I love British humor. Small Gods is not only phenomenally funny and well written, but it's also a good social (religious) commentary. You can almost always count on Pratchett for an education and a good time. The more I read, the more I love him. But I still think Small Gods is my favorite. In order to encourage interest in any of Adams' or Pratchett's texts, I have decided to give you two quotes, one from each of them, to make you squirm with laughter. 

"For children: you will need to know the difference between Friday and a fried egg. It's quite a simple difference, but an important one. Friday comes at the end of the week, where as a fried egg comes out of a chicken. Like most things, of course, it isn't quite that simple. The fried egg isn't properly a fried egg until it's been put in a frying pan and fried. This is something you wouldn't do to a Friday, of course, though you might do it on a Friday. You can also fry eggs on a Thursday, if you like, or on a cooker. It's all rather complicated, but it makes a kind of sense if you think about it for a while." D. Adams (P.S. - His non-fiction essays are also quite enjoyable, see The Salmon of Doubt for some laughs about life)

"People have believed for thousands of years that newts in a well mean that the water's fresh and drinkable, and in all that time never asked themselves whether newts got out to go the lavatory." T. Pratchett (For another fab read, see Good Omens, co-authored by Pratchett and Neil Gaiman)

Love love love

KSM


Sunday, February 07, 2010

Not Ready for the Real World

I catered yesterday from 9:30 in the morning until 10 at night. I am NOT ready for 12 and a half hour shifts of standing. And then I had to walk home in the FREEZING cold, although thus far we've avoided the storm that was supposed to come up on us from the south.

Since the last time I've chatted at you, I've switched meal plans- 65 meals for the semester at Kline Commons, and 850 Bard bucks, which can be spent at cafes or at the campus grocery. I mostly cook for myself now- which I love- although I sometimes eat at the commons. Other times, when I'm catering, I don't have to swipe in at Kline, so that's a 'free' meal, and a lot of times we're allowed to take home leftovers from the events we cater. Also, when I do eat at Kline, I kidnap a lot of raw ingredients- fruit, vegetables, butter, etc. from Kline, which saves me from spending all my Bard bucks on groceries very quickly. I've got the system wrapped around my finger....

In other news, I'm on top of everything except sleeping this semester, which means classes, work (30 hours this week), cooking for myself, coordinating my moderation and senior project, and coordinating next year: applications for colleges and scholarships and everything else that goes with study abroad. And there's always homework, Scottish country dancing, and keeping up social appearances. Next weekend, on Saturday, I'm headed to Esopus New York for an Irish immersion today with one of my awesome professors. I can't wait until then!!!

For next semester, I'm looking at the ACC program through Hamilton College, in case anyone wanted to check it out. It's one of the hardest and strictest programs out there- and the best, so long as you are willing to work. It's Fulbright funded, so if I can impress the judges, I'm good to go. If not, I have some back up scholarships lined up. Then, for the following semester, I'm hoping to attend Saor Ollscoil na hÉireann, which is in Dublin. It's an inexpensive (extremely) college... my ONLY worry for that school is that Bard may decide not to accept the credits, which could be detrimental to an outside scholarship that requires me to be registered for a full year of school...

Lastly, for all of you chocolate lovers,  here's a chocolate cake MEM loves to make- and which everyone I know loves to eat. Enjoy!!!

Black Magic Cake

1 3/4 c. flour

2 c. sugar

3/4 c. unsweetened cocoa

2 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. salt

2 eggs

1 c. strong black coffee

1 c. sour  milk (add 1 Tbsp of vinegar to a c. of milk)

1/2 c. vegetable oil

1 tsp. vanilla

Combine flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a large mixer bowl. Add eggs, coffee, sour milk, oil and vanilla; beat 2 minutes. (Batter will be thin) Pour into a greased and floured pan, 13 by 9 inches, or two 9 inch layer pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes (for oblong pan) or 30 to 35 minutes (for layer pans) OR until cake tester comes out clean. This is a very moist cake, and delicious served hot or cold. I usually leave mine in for a few minutes short of the mark... So it's not that last bit done. It's extra moist just then. SO GOOD. 

Love love love you all!

KSM

XOXO

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Life

So, twice this year, I've gone into the suite bathroom and hit the button to turn on the light, and it hasn't turned on. And try as I might, (for fifteen minutes) I can't make the darn thing turn on. But I figured it out. The first time it happened, I pressed the button and waited. Then pressed the button a million times without waiting. Then, after the requisite fifteen minutes, I banged on CO's door and whined to her to make the bathroom light work. She asked what I was talking about, so I explained. She walked into the bathroom, and I said, "See?" then pressed the button. And voila, the light turned on. It happened again yesterday, and I actually had to explain the reason to CO why she needed to hear me say "the light is dysfunctional" and walk towards the bathroom with me. She obliged me, and it worked! 

She is now convinced she's magic.

Oh well.

Love you all!

KSM

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

From A Collection of Useless- But Funny- Essays

Unsolved mysteries. Not hauntings or unidentified flying objects or disappearing chapstick. Just life's little inexplicable curiosities that remain mysterious only because we, as individuals, choose to let them remain as they have always been. I'm talking, of course, about cracker wrappers. Not the long tubes of crackers, although those are oddly difficult to open neatly, but your general restaurant and cafeteria crackers individually pre-packaged by twos in some strange version of plastic wrap. Around these creatures hover two of life's unsolved mysteries. I leaned the explanation for one of them, but choose not to acknowledge it. The first is their obstinate resilience to being opened. But once that is acheived, the second enigma comes out; static. It's as if the action of tearing the plastic instills in it some absurd idea of vengeance by annoyance: they stick to you. Your fingers, your clothes, your hair. And just when you think you're rid of it, that you've managed to make it cling to the table top, six hours later you find it stuck to the back of your blouse. Scientists, you just go on deluding yourselves. If it's not spiteful cracker packaging at work there, then it is at least Mr. Murphy at play.

Friday, January 22, 2010

And a Few For the Road





Just a few final projects before I hit the road.... 

SMILING SO BIG RIGHT NOW.

It's back to the dorm tomorrow, and back to classes Monday. (But not until 1:30. No worries)

Love you all,

KSM

Friday, January 15, 2010

Baking Smiles

Banana Bread

I have made a lot of it recently, and I did one yesterday that was superb.

Cranberry Orange Banana Bread (Yummy toasted)

3 or 4 ripe bananas, smashed
1/3 cup melted butter
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour                                                                                                                     1 cup chopped cranberries (fresh or dried)                                                                                               1 Tablespoon orange zest/peel

No need for a mixer for this recipe. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). With a wooden spoon, mix butter into the mashed bananas in a large mixing bowl. Mix in the sugar, egg, and vanilla. Sprinkle the baking soda and salt over the mixture and mix in. Add the flour last, mix. (works best if you sift the flour) Pour mixture into a greased loaf pan and bake for one hour, or until knife inserted in center comes out clean.

Notes: The top will not be sticky, but it's well worth it. This bread is dense and very banana-y, I promise. I mean, seriously, there are four bananas in one load. It's practically mostly banana. The cranberries and orange are optional, this recipe is also just as good without the extra fruits. Also, although I haven't tried it yet, I suspect adding a Tablespoon of cocoa to the plain banana could make for a fun treat. Just a thought.

Love love love

KSM (I hope you enjoy this recipe... It makes a lot of people smile if you share it, and it smells wonderful while you're baking.)


Friday, January 08, 2010

Wokking- Szechuan Broccoli for All

So, last night I made fried rice, TuDouSi, and a lovely SiChuan broccoli for dinner in my wok. RPM didn't like the broccoli very much, but that's to be expected since he's no great vegetable eater. But daddy really liked it, and I was very pleased with the recipe, so I thought I'd share it with you here so you can try it. It works better in a wok, but I think it could be pulled off with a skillet as well. So, here goes!

Szechaun Broccoli (四川西兰花)

1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon grated ginger
2 garlic cloves, crushed
5 cups broccoli florets

Combine soy sauce, rice wine (distilled white vinegar may be used to replace this) and sugar in bowl and set aside. 

Heat a wok. Allow to get very hot. Swirl in oil to distribute around pan. (You should always put oil in a very hot wok,) Put in red pepper flakes, ginger and garlic. Stir for for 30 seconds. Add broccoli and stir for 1 minute. Add soy mixture. Stir again.

Cover and cook for 2 minutes. Can sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds if desired, but I didn't use them and it's still lovely.

Enjoy!!! I really hope you try this out- it's got a little bite, but the broccoli flavor is strong too. Because of the cooking method, the broccoli is still crisp- and perfectly lovely!!!

I'm eating the leftovers as I type, mixed in with bowl of plain rice and soy sauce and it's still perfect. So try it for me- you won't be disappointed.

Lots of love!

KSM