15 April 2014

girls girls get that cash, if it's nine to five or shaking that ass

Every winter I forget how to take photos when it's dark outside, but decided I liked the mysterious moody what's-her-story vibe that I ended up getting from these ones. 

Tomorrow is my last day of work. The day after that is my birthday. Let's face it, I am both commanding and exuding some serious special snowflake-ness right now. 

With that in mind - the sentence could actually end there, like, just always keep in mind that I am a special snowflake, but actually I did have more to say than that - I have installed a donate button, just on the offchance that anyone feels like supporting me fiscally. Then, after Easter, I'm going to start featuring sponsors. Sponsors being the elegant blogger word for advertising.

This may make my blog seem less authentic or more cluttered to you or something, but honestly, everything is advertising. Why, I'm advertising myself right now just by getting you to read these words. Furthermore, money is useful and nice, and I'm sure you can relate to that.

Don't for one second feel like you're obliged to click the donate button, it's mostly there in case some opportunistic rich person looking to burn through some cash just to feel something real happens to wander past and like what they see. It simply doesn't hurt to have it there. I adore this blog and while I'd love it to be my primary source of income...somehow...I've been more than happy thus far to throw myself at it with every resource I have. But considering I've been writing it since 2007, and again, I'm going to be unemployed from 5pm tomorrow, I am entirely chill with my new gimme-the-loot attitude. Plus I'm only going to be collaborating with lovely, cool sponsors, in case you're worried that you'll start seeing ads for margarine.

And so, to the food. I made up this recipe in my head as I wandered around the vege market on Sunday. Considering I'd been kept up till 3am on both Friday and Saturday night by fun and good times, I feel I definitely deserve a bouquet of flowers for just being able to put on pants and make decisions like this. But honestly, it's barely a recipe, it's just vegetable A on vegetable B on vegetable C, and what motivated it was the freezing weather and the thought of having the oven on for a long time to warm up both the house and the soul. 

I tend to blast eggplant with as high a heat as possible, but figured that slow-cooking might break it down in an equally appealing way. And, forever keeping texture in mind, I decided that it needed some kind of contrast, which is where the fried cauliflower comes in. It was all very easy, it worked, and it tasted wonderful. By the way, you can arrange the eggplant and butternut however you feel. My alternating slices felt more pleasing than typical lasagne-style layers, but it all gets covered in cauliflower and falls apart when you spoon it onto your plate.  If you still need to arrange them really specifically even with this in mind, I can most definitely respect that. 

slow roasted eggplant and butternut with fried cauliflower 

recipe by myself. 

1 large butternut
2 medium eggplants, or one large one, or literally whatever
1/3 cup cream
1/2 cup vegetable stock
olive oil
half a cauliflower
thyme leaves

Set your oven to 160 C. Slice the eggplant and butternut into rounds. This will be harder with the butternut, just do what you can. I had lots of half-moon scraps that I just tucked underneath everything else. Layer them up how you please, pour over the cream, the stock, and plenty of olive oil - a good couple of tablespoons - and roast for two hours, although check at one and a half if you're impatient. 

Melt at least 25g butter in a pan till it's sizzling. Roughly slice the cauliflower florets into tiny pieces and fry in the butter, not stirring too much, till they are all dark brown and crisp and crunchy. Remove the dish from the oven, sprinkle the cauliflower over evenly and scatter with thyme leaves. Serve immediately, because the cauliflower will lose its crunch if you leave it sitting too long. Oh and PS, you could replace the cream with more stock and the butter with more olive oil if you want to make this vegan/dairy-free.

I was nervous before I started eating it that I'd somehow failed at putting vegetables in the oven. The liquid hadn't reduced down much and some of the eggplant looked unpromisingly undercooked. But I was wrong. Which means I was actually right in the first place. The bottom layers slowly absorb the stock, and it was all excellent: butternut softer than the plush underside of an expensive persian cat, yieldingly silky eggplant, buttery nutty popcorn-crisp cauliflower. You can add a zillion more things to this - mustard, nuts, more cream, more herbs, spices, bla bla bla, but I felt like being lazy and letting the flavour of the vegetables shine. Plus there's butter, and sometimes that's all you need.

As I said, the liquid doesn't reduce down very much, so ideally you'd serve this over rice or couscous, or just something that can absorb it all and which you can squash the butternut into with the prongs of your fork. But just as is: super cool.

I feel like I say this a lot lately, but thanks for the kindness following my mega-bleak post last week. While I'd like for you to not have to worry about me (apart from in the "is Laura famous enough yet? Whatever can I do to make this happen? Let's talk about our top 25 favourite instagrams of hers" kind of way) it also doesn't sit right with me to be falsely perky simply to attempt to reassure you. It's not like I'm the only person going through stuff here, I just happen to be very open about it on the internet.

Who could possibly be falsely perky while eating pizza while wearing pizza socks? Admittedly I always get some existential angst going on around my birthday - about how I have this one day, and I have to make it the best it can be and not waste a second and have the time of my life and have I achieved anything lately and so on, but am hoping I can trick this one into being low-key yet excellent. Could also go for dramatically excellent, as long as there's some excellence involved.
title via: feminist icon, rap icon, general icon Missy Elliot dispensing sound financial advice in her song Work It. "Ain't no shame ladies do your thing, just make sure you're ahead of the game."
music lately: 

PJ Harvey, My Good Fortune. This song has been with me a long time and remains so, so good with that zig-zag guitar riff and the ey-ey-ey-ey stretching out of the words that is so perfect for dancing to.

Patsy Cline, Walkin' After Midnight. This song is everything.

Trip Pony featuring Jaykin, Daze. Dreamy dreamy dreamy.
next time: hopefully things will be looking even further upwards, and I can get some cool baking done over the easter break. 

10 April 2014

memory falling like cream in my bones

Barbados Cream and coffee for breakfast. 

Sometimes there's ups, sometimes there's downs. Sometimes this happens all within one day, but this week is undeniably down. I'm learning very, very reluctantly that life is not like a movie where you get like, one shopping montage where everything's fun and one sad montage where you learn your lesson and then everything's fine afterwards. Nor does processing the stuff happening in your life move in an upwards diagonal line, sometimes it's more like a hexagon shape with a star in the middle and flames shooting out one side.

Sorry to be bleak, but I feel like I've been pretty admirably lively for someone whose life has just changed in a million different ways, so, y'know. It's okay to not be okay. It's that weird thing where I'm like - this is my blog and I want to be honest! But don't worry about me! But I want some people to be concerned but I don't want to burden others! But I'm still getting out of bed! But things really are tough! And so on into infinity, by which time most people have stopped paying attention anyway because despite my suspicions, I know I'm not the only person on this earth with Stuff Going On.

I find old-school Nigella Lawson very, very comforting - I'd still protectively defend her and celebrate her till my feet bleed (I imagine there's impassioned dancing involved to prove my point) but like Mariah Carey, she was at her absolute perfect best in the early years. Reading How To Eat, that seminal text, that important book, makes me feel like everything will be okay. And also, quite importantly, like cooking. This Barbados Cream isn't actually cooking in the slightest, but I had the tail-end of a container of yoghurt to use, and so I bought a bottle of cream (sooo financially sound right now) to make this small, intriguing recipe.

It's just yoghurt and cream mixed together, lightly blanketed in brown sugar, and left overnight in the fridge. It's a recipe of Nigella's grandmother, which explains a lot about it - a recipe from back when you could serve someone a bowl of formless cream for pudding and give it an uneasily "exotic" name and have people applaud you as an exemplary and sophisticated hostess. Personally, I think it makes a better breakfast.

barbados cream 

This is my slight adaptation of Nigella's recipe from How To Eat, all I've done is have a tutu with the proportions to make it suitable for just one person. 

1/2 cup (125ml) really thick plain yoghurt, Greek or Greek-style or otherwise. I don't like being stern, but this will be nasty if you use anything less tensile than a memory foam pillow. 
1/2 a cup (125ml) cream (just cream, no yoghurt-style rants here)
1 tablespoon or so of brown sugar

Whisk together the cream and yoghurt in a bowl till thickened enough that you can trail said whisk through the mixture and it will leave lines in the cream behind it. If that makes sense? This will happen quite quickly, after a minute or so. Spatula all this into a 250ml capacity ramekin or pretty trinket-y bowl, evenly sprinkle over the brown sugar, cover in gladwrap and refrigerate overnight. 

The next day, or after a suitably, unfairly long waiting time: eat. 

The sugar melts into the creamy yoghurt, getting fudgily crystallised but also saucily absorbed, giving a smoky swirl of butterscotch with every mouthful. Cream and thick yoghurt are both delicious, no further elaboration needed there. In fact the aggressive simplicity of these ingredients is what makes this so damn good. Especially first thing in the morning with an equally selfish plunger of coffee for one.

Seriously, the butterscotch-toffee-caramel family of flavours is the best thing on earth, yes?

Here's what's been happening in my life lately:

New stabs! Brooke at Tattoo Machine is incredible. And it has healed up with such amazing speed that I've been going round conspiratorially asking "am I a vampire though?" every time I show it to someone.

Been watching lots of ballet on youtube. Swan Lake is excellently bleak and beautiful and the music gets to me right in my heart and my temples. And, as they sing in A Chorus Line, "everything was beautiful at the ballet, raise your arms and someone's always there..."

These amazing sunglasses arrived with terrible timing, not least because it has continuously rained all week.

And, I baked a seven-layer rainbow cake for a wonderful friend's birthday. It was fun, and it looked spectacular, but uh, no-one else gets to ask me to do that for a long, long time. 

Speaking of birthdays, it's mine in one week's time. I wouldn't mind if I could put it off for a month, since I always overthink birthdays with this whole "it has to be a really good wonderful perfect day" stressful attitude that I'm bringing to the table, but it is going to happen, and if nothing else - it will also be my first day after leaving my current job. So far I've been turned down from two jobs that I've applied for (it's the strangest thing, like, it happens to everyone but it's still so you-didn't-want-me? demoralising) but am keeping my fingers crossed that I land on my feet. I'm also applying for more jobs, in case just keeping my fingers crossed doesn't sound like a very sensible strategy.

That said, I really am just keeping my fingers crossed that everything works out okay. Hope is a powerful thing, and if you've got it, you've got to hold it tight. Oh my gosh, not to sound inspirational or anything, but seriously: hope is nice, right?
title comes from: Elegie, by Patti Smith. It sounds like it's from a musical, and also it's so upfrontedly miserable and sad. So, naturally, I like it. (Also I can dance frantically and joyfully to Horses/Land of a Thousand Dances from this same album in case you're like "okay Laura I get it. Bleak.") 
music lately: 

Lennon and Maisy, Love. These two girls are so talented and happy and this song is so sweet and happy and adorable and wise and yeah.

Ellie Goulding, Anything Could Happen. It makes me feel happy and like the title is...something true.
Next time: still getting to know the kitchen at my new house, so...anything could happen.

5 April 2014

i should tell you: anika moa

Well hello there, and welcome to volume sixteen of I Should Tell You. Where I ask cool musicians some questions about food, just to see if they'll answer, really. That's literally how this segment started: I was like, I wonder if I just ask some people to do this...if they might say yes. And then I did lots and lots of fun interviews and then somehow it zoomed from July 2013 to April 2014, like some kind of stretch of time passing where both large eventful things happen but also I low-key procrastinate and am disorganised. Life!

But, I am so pleased to be bringing it back by talking to the talented, comely, and excellent Anika Moa.

I have loved Anika Moa's music ever since hearing her debut song Youthful in 2001 in the car on the way to a family reunion in Ngaruawahia, and thinking "ugh I relate to this so much" without even really quite knowing what I was listening to. She just keeps getting better and better and if you're completely unfamiliar with her back catalogue I recommend jumping round like you're playing elastics on your lunch break at primary school, with gorgeous songs like Mother and Running Through The Fire and Blame It On The Rain and also the song Be Mine that she does as part of AnikaBohHollie which I am so, so obsessed with.

PS: If you're in the South Island of New Zealand later this month Anika Moa and the rad Julia Deans are doing a lil tourette. Check it out for sure.

Thanks Anika Moa! The interview begins...now.

1. Where's somewhere you've eaten that you kinda like to brag about or drop into conversation?

I have recently moved back to christchurch so I'm making an effort to go out and make myself known in the restaurant scene. My indulgence is fine dining and a good big fat glass of red! My friends and I had a gorgeous meal out in lyttelton last week. A beautiful little place called Tommy Changs. A space of creativity, a bit of rough and tumble and an intimate setting. Very down on the farm but local beer drinking Russian sailors and what nots. You wouldn't expect their food to be so.. Well, so good! Pork ribs done in a sticky sauce, chicken laksa so tasty and well seasoned and the wine match is just as good. I enjoyed myself and so did my friends. We all went out and partied like we were 20 again so it must have given us a reason to live. Loved it. 5/5

2 What do you fix for yourself, or where do you go to eat, when it's just you on your own?

I'm a cheese toastie kind of girl! Or cheese on toast or cheese rolls or cheesy pizza. I love cheese (you can tell from my fat ass) If I'm feeling flash I make a gorgeous chicken salad with quinoa and anything I have in my fridge seasoned with salt pepper and soya sauce and lemon. LOVE it.  

3 What's one of your favourite food-related memories from your childhood?

My mum, sister and nana all used to make the best macaroni cheese I've ever tasted. They still do so it's good to be back home. I love the crunchy onions and the crisp bacon. Also fish n chip Friday was pretty neat too. 

30 March 2014

i could make you smile, in the morning i'll make you breakfast

First, let me use a lyric from Staind's damn-that-holds-up-well-there-goes-my-snide-attitude 2001 song It's Been A While to ruefully acknowledge that I haven't posted on this blog in some time.

It's been a while. 

In case you've been living under a rock, a metaphorical rock that represents your own sufficiently full life with its own things that you are perfectly entitled to focus on instead of me (but hey! Me!) here's your "Previously, in HungryandFrozen! The Musical: The TV Series" intro before I go any further. In my last blog post I'd already come out and broken up with Tim (a sad side-effect of being gay: really can't marry that guy. A positive side-effect of being gay: I'm gay!) And now to add to that I've moved into a new house and also quit my job. 

The last thing happened for a number of reasons (most of which were along the lines of "it's not you, it's me") but really crucially because I want to focus on my writing and my cooking and My Cookbook, which I just haven't been able to do to even a squillionth of the level that I'd like to be. I say this a lot, but like, having my own cookbook published is one of the most incredible things that has and can ever happen to me, and sometimes I forget I even have it, because I just don't get to think about it or promote it or talk about it or even just write about food in general. So if anyone out there has some cool part-time work (I'm good at marketing and sassy group emails, bad at lots of things) that they feel like letting me know about, I can't recommend myself hard enough. Like, my last day is really soon and I have no idea what I'm going to do. It could very well have been a really stupid move, I mean, I need to pay rent and I can't assume I'm going to just land on my feet, but...it felt right. So that's where I'm at. 

This recipe is really simple and I know people have been talking about Bircher muesli for ages, but I'm not trying to claim any authority on it, more just like...this is what I made for breakfast and the light was all dreamy and it was delicious and you could make it too. The push in this direction came from my sweetness-y friend Charlotte, who in turn got it from her friend Kimberley, and it sounds like it has evolved along the way with each new person's bowl that it's made in.

Oats though: so filling, so good for you, in ten minutes I'd undoubtedly eaten more healthy things than I ate all of last week. Hand on heart, it is one undeniable heck of a pain to remember to make it the night before, but if you get into a routine or put a reminder on your phone or tape post-it notes everywhere (Trab Pu Kcip springs to mind) you should get there. I actually made this at 2am and it was totally do-able. I was completely sober, I'd been knitting and watching TV shows and tidying my room and it was all of a sudden really late to be doing such activities. I was just drifting off to sleep when the thought of Bircher Muesli jolted me awake. Eventually I sternly told myself to get up and make it because damn it I'm a food blogger and an adult and as ever, think of how happy you'll be tomorrow when you get to instagram it in the swoony morning light. And also eat a nice breakfast. So I did.

how i made bircher muesli

3/4 cup rolled oats
grapefruit juice
thick plain yoghurt
an apple (I used a variety called Smitten because damn that's a cute name)
pumpkin seeds
pinch salt
Any other bits and pieces: coconut, nuts, dried fruit, so on. I used a handful of this preloaded "raw mix" or something from the bulk section at the supermarket, it has coconut and sunflower seeds and like three goji berries per kilo so they can throw an extra two dollars on the price.

Before bed, place the oats in a bowl and cover - just - with the juice. You can honestly use any juice you like here, apple is standard but I both had and like grapefruit. I also mix in a heaped spoonful of yoghurt at this point - I like to think it helps make the oats particularly tender. Grate the apple into the bowl and stir. Go to bed.

The next day, stir in a pinch of salt (if you forget this bit, that's fine - I just do enjoy my sodium) pile on some more thick yoghurt, sprinkle with whatever bits and pieces you like, and there you have it. Breakfast. 

The oats swell and almost dissolve into the liquid, becoming much lighter than you might anticipate. Their mild beige flavour is perked up by the tart yoghurt and bittersweet grapefruit, with little bursts of apple and the soft crunch of nuts making it less like obligation-paste and more like an abundant bowl of serene joy.

Moving out of my old flat was nonstop exhaustion for every particle of my body, and I'm going to miss it. But I love my new space and it has that same happy-to-be-here haven feeling as the old one. And my new flatmate Caroline made donuts from scratch on Friday. I think that's almost more important a factor than living with someone who pays rent on time.

See? Instagrammable. I was barely even trying with this one. 

In case you're like "yes but Laura say the word gay again and also talk about yourself some more" (I don't know, I say this to myself a lot, it's plausible you might too) I was recently lucky enough to have a piece published on The Wireless about coming out. Lots of people said lots of nice things. I felt both brave and like I was hardly worthy of the word, which I guess is actually how many of us feel about small and large things in our life. Mostly just glad though.

So anyway, now that I'm finally 100% completely almost unpacked, you can anticipate, with earnestly shining eyes and earnestly clasped hands, a lot more blogging from me.

PS: Speaking of significant things happening in my life, the Pretty Little Liars season finale, what whaaat? If there are any fans of the show out there who want to talk about theories and character development and representation of women and shiny shiny hair then hit me up. Because I can talk about this for days. Can I put that on my CV?
title is from: Siren Song by Bat For Lashes. It's gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous. As per usual with that one.
music lately: 

Donde Quiera Que Estes by Selena featuring Los Barrio Boys. The first 20 seconds are unpromising but then it gets soooo good. And what I'd give for Selena's fringed leather jacket. 

Darlin' by Emily Wells. I love her record Mama so much. I got to meet her in New Orleans and we joked about fizzy drink and kombucha (I'd never even tried the latter but was hoping for the best.) The song is still great even without that pointless anecdote. 
Next time: the return of I Should Tell You interviews, alriiiight! With Anika Moa! Double, nay, quadruple alriiiight!

14 March 2014

well, I just want to say that it happened

One last, fast blog post at this table, in this house. 

The bowl and the spoon I get to keep though. 

Very soon I'm moving out to a new place. On Monday I made Tim and myself a roast chicken that I'd covered liberally in soft butter mixed with hoi sin sauce - it was incredibly excellent, sweet and crispy and salty. But for the final meal I alone had in this house, I felt like berries and cream. Not that there's any actual significance to this, it really is just what I felt like. And probably for the best, imagine if I'd had a sudden craving for proper Beef Wellington or three whole pavlovas or something along those complicated lines while trying to pack everything up into tenuously tensile boxes.

cream rules everything around me 

Frozen berries, left to sit in sugar for a while, with cream poured over. It's not a recipe, it's not even what many would call dinner, but it is wonderful. The slowly defrosting berry juice absorbing a little into the sugar, making a gritty syrup, the cream mellowing the children's chewable vitamin C tang of the still-cold berries as it pools pinkly around them.

This weekend Tim and I are going to have one last party at this place - which might sound bananas for a couple who have just broken up, but it seems right to get together with our friends and acknowledge everything and say farewell to this wonderful apartment where we've had so many amazing parties and times. Rather than vaguely fraying off into separate directions. It feels generous to put a full stop on it, to say well, this chapter might be ending, but it happened. Not saying this is what everyone should do, but it works for us.

Also we have lots of partly-drained bottles of alcohol so it's easier to invite round lots of people to help us finish them. It's both stoically convivial and also saves us one more decision.

"Le Portfolio De Spice Girls Femme" - while packing I found this notebook that I purchased with my own pocket money in 1998 specifically for drawing pictures of the Spice Girls in. 

Next time you see me it'll be in my new place, where for the first time since January 2006, Tim and I will not be living together. Interesting times. I'm also looking forward to nuzzling into my new place till it feels like home. For all this talk of new chapters and stuff a lot will not change but it will be bittersweet and strange and undoubtedly tough and excellent in ways I haven't even considered.

Oh! In case you're like Laura, what is up but also what is going down, what's with all this aggressively poignant talk of moving out? Kindly see my previous blog post. On that note, Julie Andrews sweeping her arms wide open upon a hill demonstrably alive with the sound of music could not convey the gratitude I feel at the utter radness of so many people after my last post. Some super lovely words have been said by both friends and strangers to Tim and I and it's just...so kind. I mean if anyone was to be properly horrible about it then I'd know they weren't a nice person to begin with, but it's still monumentally heartwarming to be softly blanketed in so much niceness. Especially when I've been packing my stuff into boxes all week and still haven't really finished in the slightest and it's a bit like one of those dreams where it's suddenly xmas day and you haven't organised any presents or you need to catch a plane to Paris in ten minutes and you don't know how you're getting to the airport. Also, in the interests - for once! - of this not being one-sided, I'd like to reiterate that Tim is also going through a lot and continues to be so great, we're gonna be best friends for life, despite being in a hugely challenging situation, and not just because he got to keep all the White Stripes vinyl, but because there's no other way we could be.

Fresh fringe trim and tinted brows: it's amazing how such simple things can have a great effect on...well, my selfie productivity, if nothing else.

Anyway, time for me to move (ditheringly around the flat with breathtaking inefficiency and as soon as the movers arrive realise exactly what I should have packed and how.)
title from: Nearly Midnight, Honolulu by Neko Case. Tim and I and what felt like every friend we have went to see her in concert last night and it was one of the very, very best gigs I've ever been to. Her voice just makes my blood fizz in my veins...oh and also the crowd was really cool and not pushy and she started bang on time which this grumpy lazy so-and-so appreciates hugely. 
Music lately:

Antonique Smith, Hold Up Wait A Minute (Woo Woo). This broadway babe (and also recognisable as Faith Hill in the movie Notorious) has a killer voice the size of a killer whale. This song is so snappy and sassy and I love it.

Watercolours' new EP Portals. Hot damn it is dreamy.
Next time: well we'll see what I come up with once I manage to unpack my boxes of kitchen stuff, yeah? 

28 February 2014

so..........now you know

Hmm. Hmmmmmm.

What to do when something enormous happens, and I'm so used to living my life as publicly as I can, tweeting every vapid-but-it-feels-kinda-deep thought and blogging about every up, down, and diagonal shunt of my life. But this one needs some time, some respect, some quiet. 

But also it would be really impossible to not address it, so in compromise, I'm just gonna talk about it pretty quickly. 

Two things happened recently: One, I realised I'm gay. (...gayer than I initially thought, if you will.) 
Two, well, Tim and I are as a direct result no longer getting married. Or together. A person's sexuality is entirely their own business, no explanations are owed to anyone, (how can you explain something that just is?) and a relationship is the business of the people in the relationship only. Seriously. But - I offer you the following bullet points.

- Tim and I were together for nearly nine years. Much as it would've been convenient if this had all fallen into place when I was, oh, seven years old, I would not trade Tim's and my time together for any trinket in the world. 
- We started off as best friends, and we're gonna end up as best friends, whether we're ninety years old and hanging out together on a porch somewhere drinking whisky or whether we finally work out how to become vampires and live forever and avoid aging and like, just meet up occasionally until infinity. There's obviously one hell of a journey ahead (not least, we've accumulated an intimidating quantity of possessions) but this will never, ever change.
- My brother summed it up the best when he txted me and said something very wonderful to the effect of "I'm sad you two had to end but I'm happy you found yourself." Those are pretty much the emotions flying round right now, but to the power of five hundred. 
- I'm gay. The gayest. Stone cold gay. Tony award-winning actress Marcia Gay Harden. Things don't fall into place immediately. Sometimes things are hidden so deep because you don't want to notice them, sometimes things were there all along. It's not black and white, it's not a light switch, it's...it just is. Again: no-one's business, but I'd just like to gently point out that all of us are somewhere on a spectrum. Much as we might be taught otherwise, or indeed, have the subject studiously avoided altogether.  

Cool. Okay. Lots of change ahead. Lots of things will never change. 

I haven't really felt like cooking for a while - truth be told, I'd felt nauseous for days, maybe weeks - but on Monday night I made Tim and I (well, we're still living together) a roast chicken for dinner and on Tuesday morning I made us breakfast, Breakfast Apple Crumble that is. And it felt good. And then I was like "wow Laura you're a genius with this recipe from your incredible cookbook you should really make breakfast more often". Yep, it's so good that it stopped me being self-deprecating for a whole minute. That's probably the nicest thing I can say about a recipe, but to be more helpfully specific - the quickly fried, roughly chopped apples topped with toasted oats, chewy with butter and brown sugar, is an actual gift to yourself first thing in the morning. 

This recipe is indeed from my cookbook, Hungry and Frozen: the cookbook. Who among us can say that they don't like mentioning their cookbook whenever possible? (trick question, not many of us can. Because not many of us have cookbooks. I have one though! Oh man, this got obnoxious.)

Breakfast Apple Crumble

2 apples
3 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons rolled oats
2 tablespoons whole oats
2 tablespoons sunflower seeds
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Finely dice the apples. It can be roughly done, but the smaller the pieces the faster they'll cook. Heat a tablespoon of the butter in a frying pan, and tip in the apple. Fry gently, stirring, for five minutes till it is softened slightly. Tip it all into a bowl, then melt the remaining butter and the brown sugar together in the same pan. Once sizzling, tip in the remaining ingredients and stir to toast everything slightly and coat in syrup. Once it's looking browned and crisp, spatula it over the apples. 

I said it served one person in my book, but to be honest it was plenty for the two of us. Also I didn't have sunflower seeds so used some almonds instead and it was still grand of course.

Apples and cinnamon together are like eating a hug. A hug. With cream poured over, so much the better. Ideally it would've been evaporated milk, which I used to have as a child poured over canned peaches for dessert, but I'm not turning my nose up at actual cream before 8am.

So that's what's been going on lately. While this is one hell of a situation, Tim and I have been very lucky that so many people surrounding us have been kind, generous, caring, thoughtful, amazing, and accepting without question. We've been able to hang out together, but we've also had people surrounding us individually with love and basically being giant ears for whatever we've got to say. People are wonderful, Tim is wonderful, I'm really not too bad myself, and I hope I can give that same level of support to someone else if it's ever, ever needed.

Oh: I apologise if this is not the way you anticipated finding this news out. Tim and I know a lot of people. It's hard to keep track of who knows things and who doesn't, how far news has spread...I hate phone calls and scary one-on-ones anyway, and this blog is my home away from home, so this is probably the most personal and hey-you-yes-you way I could say this. So...now you know.
title from: Queenie Was a Blonde, from Andrew Lippa's 2000 off-Broadway musical The Wild Party, which was what introduced me to my idol Idina Menzel and another idol Julia Murney, many years ago. Probably worth a listen even if you don't like musicals, it just goes to so many places from the classic 20s wah-wah opening and is such a cool expositional song. "A fascinating couple, as they go...." (should point out here that Tim joked about how maybe the title should be "my love came crumbling down" because you know, break-up plus apple crumble and I was like HA! PUN! but also um, maybe a little on-the-nose if this is your first time hearing about this news. And I say that as someone who tends to turn to jokes when things get serious. Still: good pun, though, yeah?)

music lately:

Lana Del Rey, Once Upon a Dream. Del Rey's cover of the song from Sleeping Beauty is just...dreamy is far too pale a word to describe how dreamy it is. Listening to it is like that feeling where you can just sense yourself falling asleep and you're still the tiniest bit cognisant and it's all muted and muffled and a bit sinister but lovely. Or, uh, it's a nice song, is what I'm saying.

Guess who's been listening to lots of Green Day? Me, obviously, this is my blog. I just love 'em. Tim and I were actually at the Milton Keynes concert that got recorded for the Bullet in a Bible album/DVD (Truly. We just happened to be in the audience that night. Who would've known that the blandest city in England would've ended up having a concert recorded live there?) so I'll always have a thing for that. Brain Stew and Are We The Waiting/St Jimmy and p much the whole thing are really great.

Kate Nash, Mouthwash. I just get in a Kate Nash mood sometimes, like daily.
next time: yeah nah, who knows. But for your sake hopefully something more relaxed. Well, for my sake too.

19 February 2014

Hi friendly people, I have some massive personal life stuff going on right now, so I'm gonna be gone for a minute. While I normally find it excruciating to do anything without telling as many people as I can about it, this one requires some time and privacy and other responsible things like that. But, I will be back blogging before you know it. In the meantime, read all my old posts or hug your loved ones or something.

Laura xx

10 February 2014

no good deed goes unpunished, no act of charity goes unresented

There's this bit in the really wonderful Hyperbole and a Half book where the author, Ally Brosh, elaborates via her artwork, about how she's kind of a bad person. Because when she does good deeds, it's usually because then she'll in turn appear to be, and receive the acclaim of, a good person. As opposed to doing a good deed for the sheer bountiful joy of actually being a good person. I can't impress upon you enough just how aggressively this resonated with me. Well, the reason these cookie dough chocolate pretzel things came about is because someone - local artist Pinky Fang - did a very good deed just because she's an excellent person. And then someone else (*waggles glasses*) was like "I should make her some really cool cookies to say thanks and then I can blog about them and I need something to blog about so this is great and I'll look like such a nice person but also it really was nice what she did and this is my small way of sincerely saying hey, thanks."

The deed in question that merited rad Pinky these edible trinkets: she designed the logo from the kindness of her heart and the talent of her, uh, hands I guess, for the Wounded Gazelles team, who are doing the Round the Bays race later this month and raising money for the Casper organisation. I know a lot of dear-to-me people in this team, but also wouldn't run ever unless like, it was towards Lucy Liu in a kind of slow-motion-high-emotion scene at an airport to try to stop her leaving town. Otherwise, I do not run. Not for money, certainly not for love - a combination of remembering embarrassment and panic attacks in PE class and sports days at primary school, plus too many vexingly bouncy body parts, plus zero interest. What I can do though, is let you know that Casper is a really important organisation, and that the Wounded Gazelles have so many cool people on their team and if you want to pledge a little money, or buy a branded tshirt, tote, or singlet, why, it's not that difficult. They've raised a thousand dollars so far from so many kind people. 

Also, I am a literal hero, because I made these cookies and blogged about them. Um, but really, I adore Pinky's work (ocular proof: one of her insolent pink cat prints is on my wall) and it's so great that she donated her skills to make the super-endearing logo for the Wounded Gazelles. Check out her shop!

Admittedly I initially was going to make some kind of fall-back chocolate chip cookie type thing, but then I thought damn it, this deserves something special. I thought: I'm going to make some Internet Cookies. The type that appears on pinterest and is named something incoherently noun-heavy, as if someone just opened up their pantry and threw darts at things and then put all of those in a recipe together. Chocolate peanut butter brownie stuffed waffles with snickers cronut frosting. Cake batter donut cake donuts cake pops. Or something. 

These, though, these cookie dough chocolate pretzel things, are quite coherent. And coherently delicious, importantly. They're oddly not too sweet, being more about texture than merely exfoliating your lungs with three kinds of sugar. The crack of the chocolate coating, the crunch of the pretzels, the bulge of cookie dough, the roar of the crowd. 

They are also strangely easy - the dough comes together in minutes, they sandwich easily, and then all you have to do is chill them and then half-assedly dip them in chocolate. I know we don't quite have the same tradition of eating cookie dough here in New Zealand as America does - more's the pity - but like, it's the same ingredients that are in actual cookies, so no need to get nervous. And more objectively, there's no egg in the recipe. I guess putting pretzels in sweet things isn't quite as well-known here either but we should really get used to it because it's the best. Thanks, America!

pretzel cookie dough chocolate things 

Inspired by this recipe. However, maybe don't actually click through if you don't like words like "sinful" used to describe your completely non-sinful food that you're eating because you want to eat it. 

makes many.

125g butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 cups or so flour
a couple of tablespoons of milk
150g dark chocolate (I'm very partial to milk chocolate, but dark is what I had.)
1 packet of pretzels

soften the butter, and beat together with the brown sugar. Tip in the flour and mix into something that looks like cookie dough - since that's what it is - and add a little milk as you see fit to make it something that can be easily rolled into balls. Not too soft, not too not-soft, just feel your way. 

Roll a very small ball of the dough with your hands, and sandwich it between two pretzels, squashing it down a little so the dough bulges out through the pretzel holes. Continue with the rest of the dough until it's finished (or you run out of pretzels) and chill them thoroughly in the fridge for at least half an hour. 

Melt the chocolate and dip the pretzel sandwiches so they're halfway covered, and then chill them again till you're ready to eat them. 

I...haven't actually given these away yet. But I've only eaten one. They're stupidly delicious and I couldn't exactly blog about them without trying them. But your stash is intact, Pinky, I promise.

It has been a quietish time lately, I've either been knitting or...knitting. Or watching very sad movies, while knitting. But on Saturday night I danced my cares away in town and it was very wonderful. (Incidentally, Pinky was one of the DJs that night, sorry if I'm weirding you out by saying your name too many times in this one post, Pinky.)

While I may never ever run anywhere, I can dance for hours in the dark. (Also yeah my lipstick here is mint green, I'm not in the grips of scurvy or something.)
title from: um, I guess I'm not quite on-theme here but any chance to be like, "hey! look at my idol Idina Menzel! And can we talk about Wicked?" so here she is singing No Good Deed in her role of Elphaba, Wicked Witch of the West. 
music lately:

Lana del Rey, Born to Die. Sometimes I'm just in a Lana-del-Rey-singing-sad-songs-mood.

The Breeders, Saints. Ughhhhhh so cool.

Selena, Bidi Bidi Bom Bom. Jennifer Lopez was exquisite in the biopic about this tragically killed, amazing singer (I told you I'd been watching sad movies) but this song is nothing but joy.  
Next time: I discovered that you can buy candy love hearts in 2kg quantities online so upcoming will probably be recipes like "a bowl of candy love hearts" and also "candy lovehearts, served in clenched handfuls". 

2 February 2014

pretty as a peach, she's so out of reach

Sometimes, no matter how significant it feels like it ought to be, little changes and developments can tip-toe into your life and establish themselves quietly before you even realise they're there. By which I mean, it was after having a particularly miserable day recently, that I realised how great this was. My miserable day was caused by things that had happened that day. It had been quite a while since I'd felt really crushingly bleak for no apparent reason. Therefore, I think the medication I'm taking is helping. Since I wrote about it on here back when I started taking it, I thought I'd better, you know, clap my hands since I'm happy and I know it. Not that everything is solved or perfect, I am still reliably not-together, but bodies are such a work in progress at best, that I'm very pleased to have discovered this small but important thing about myself. So there's that.

There's also this. I have no idea really, how I come up with recipes so easily - perhaps it's similar to how I can do the splits easily without ever practicing. The making-recipes part of my brain is as flexible as my hamstrings. (C'mon, being able to do the splits is kind of impressive, allow me to drop it into conversation sometimes.) This morning I woke up and thought about seasonal fruit and the idea for this recipe, which I'm calling peaches and cream, appeared quickly and fully formed. And since today was a Sunday where I'd managed to get my act together and get out of bed and deal with the crowds at the vege market, I decided to just go ahead and try making it. 

Seasonal fruit! Did you know it's abundant and priced kindly? I really need to get to the vege market more often. 

As I said, it's Sunday today, so what better day to make yourself pudding on, to try fend off any back-to-school blues you may be feeling, and to greet the new week with a sticky, happy smile. (Your smile might not actually be sticky, I just tend to always end up with with food on my face when I eat.) This requires some attention but not a lot of effort. Just peaches, simmered till soft, thickly covered in lemony cream. Through some mysterious augury the combination of cream and sugar heated together with lemon juice added, creates this satiny, smooth, rich, incredibly delicious substance. The method is based on this recipe I used to make all the time in my teens, back when cooking was starting to become "my thing". So, you don't actually have to have the peaches underneath, you could just divide the cream between a couple of ramekins (or very adorable teacups) and still be guaranteed a good time. But! Peaches! So peachy!

now you don't see it...

now you see it. 

Heating the peaches turns up their perfumed, ray-of-sunshine sweetness, which the vanilla and lemon help bring out too, with their respective richness and tartness. I can't overhype the cream enough, eating it is honestly like the feeling you get when you're loitering in a fabric shop longer than your brief errand warranted, and nonchalantly but dedicatedly caressing all the rolls of satiny fabric. (Shout out to my people who do this, please be more than just me.)

peaches and cream

a recipe by myself

two large or three small ripe peaches, roughly diced
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract or the seeds from a vanilla pod if you're feeling baller

300ml bottle of cream 
1/3 cup sugar
juice from two lemons (the mean, supermarket kind, that is. If you have a generous, homegrown lemon, you'll probably only need one.)

Put the peaches, the tablespoon of sugar, and the water in a saucepan and stir over a decent heat, and continue till the water has evaporated and the peaches are very soft. You don't have to turn this into jam or puree or anything, just break them down a little. The latter would probably be more sophisticated. But here we are. Divide the peaches - a couple of dessertspoons each, I find  - between two or three 125 ml ramekins or similar. Refrigerate.

In the same pan - maybe give it a quick wipe with a paper towel - bring the 300ml cream and the 1/3 cup sugar to a gentle boil, slowly, stirring constantly. Once it's bubbling, stir for three minutes exactly, then remove from the heat. It's science, okay? Seriously, watch your phone (or, I guess, your watch, mine tend to have stopped working and become what I call "sculptural bracelets") and let that surprisingly long three minutes pass in full. Then, remove the cream from the heat, and stir in the lemon juice. With any luck, the cream should mysteriously yet delightfully thicken up as you do this. Divide this mixture between the two or three vessels of peach, bearing in mind that if there's three, you're gonna have less...and refrigerate. A couple of hours should thicken it up properly, but feel free to make it the night before.  

Make it for yourself and your significant other/s, eat it all by your significant self, or make someone pay to watch you eat the lot. If you want more, double the quantity. If you don't have peaches, use something else. Just, um, don't bother dusting it with icing sugar and sprinkling over lemon zest, because unless you have tons of it the zest just looks messy and the icing sugar absorbs into the surface but also looks dusty, and you'll be all "but my food blog!" Luckily it tastes brilliant and also my teacups are cute enough to distract somewhat.

Hark! A new knitting project! It's eventually going to be a very simple short-sleeved top. I've never knitted a garment or with two colours before, so it's all very thrilling. As thrilling as an activity that involves sitting silently and barely moving can be, that is (hint: super damn thrilling.)

One month down, 2014 has already proven to be strange and fascinating and full of promise. Hopefully February will be even better. I, for one, am prepared.

(this was a conversation I had with Kate. I credit her with coining womanifest before my use of it here, and I credit myself with ordering a triple cheeseburger shortly after sending this txt.)
title from: Jeff the Brotherhood, Leave Me Out. Their scuzzy, gloomy sound suits me.
music lately:

Tegan and Sara, Drove Me Wild. Well, it does.

Ja Rule and Ashanti, Always On Time. I can listen to early-2000s Ja Rule/Ashanti all day (also quite a lot of J to the L-O and Ja Rule) especially this, with its dreamy, rather timeless chorus.
next time: I don't know why I have this next time bit! I never really know! I just want to entice you into coming back again! There, I said it. 

26 January 2014

they're probably drinking coffee, and smoking big cigars

Some late nights, some perfectly nice food that I ate too fast to photograph or just didn't care to, a couple of evenings where I didn't feel well, some nights where I was brain-tired from work, lots of very nondescript things like that are the reason I haven't blogged in a while. I really wanted to! So badly! If only I could freeze time for a bit so I could get everything done that I need to, then pick up where I left off. But then I'd probably end up making, say, 9pm on a Thursday or 6.30am on a Monday morning last for years, and then no-one would get anything done while I end up all Dorian Grey or something, so it's probably good that I don't have this power (this power that's so improbable that I don't even know why I'm worrying about it in the first place.)

Now that I've torn myself away from repeatedly watching the Beyonce videos that I'd promised myself I'd danced to once I finish this post, I probably oughta try make it good. Like a snake eating its own tail but instagramming the process and taking notes on the taste, I do love blogging so much even though it seems like I never have enough time and energy for it. (I don't actually know if that allegory quite quite works but I cracked myself up when I thought about it, so.) So: the food. I had a dream the other night about caramel slice with coffee in it, and unlike many of my better dreams, I had a good chance of making this one true.

It tastes excellent, but I mean, it's low-key stuff. This really is just the same caramel slice that it ever was - biscuit base, condensed milk filling - with some instant coffee added to it. I mixed the base ingredients together in the tin I was baking them in. I sort of burnt the condensed milk. I wasn't even awake when I thought the recipe up. And yet - so delicious. With that in mind, you can definitely achieve it too.

coffee caramel slice

Did I invent this recipe? In my dreams...

1 cup flour
1/2 cup brown sugar (pack it in, y'know?)
125g melted butter
1 tin condensed milk (if you can, look for the stuff that just has milk and sugar in the ingredients, not milk, sugar, and water) 
2 tablespoons golden syrup
50g more butter
2 tablespoons of instant coffee (espresso style gives the best flavour)
1/2 cup white chocolate buttons or similar

Set your oven to 180 C/350 F. Mix together the flour, melted butter, and brown sugar and once it comes together in a kind of crumbly, damp, sandy way, press it into the base of a baking tin, the sort you might make brownies in - about 25cm square, or thereabouts. Bake it for fifteen minutes. 

Once the base is out of the oven, heat the condensed milk, golden syrup, 60g butter and coffee powder together in a pan until it's bubbling and thick - stir it lots as it heats to prevent it sticking and burning, and also remove it from the heat as soon as it bubbles. Spread it evenly across the biscuit base, and refrigerate for an hour or two. Melt the white chocolate and drizzle it over the top, refrigerate again till it's set, and then cut into squares. Or whatever shape you like, don't let me hold you back from your star-shaped caramel slice fantasies. 

Of course caramel is wonderful on its own. But instant coffee powder - so flavourless in a cup with hot water! - blasts it with smoky caffeinated depth, making it just a little more fascinating than regular caramel already is. You still get the depth of almost-burnt sugar and the rich butteriness of uh, the butter, but it has a pleasing aggressive roasted and slightly bitter undertone. I'd like to add that until about five years ago instant coffee was all I even made myself at home if I wanted a coffee, so I'm not wanting to sound judgey. It's just that these days the coffee I drink makes instant taste sort of watery and bleak in comparison. But I give instant espresso powder a gold star for how great it is in flavouring baking. Particularly this sticky candy-sweet confection, full of friendly sugar granules that just can't wait to make friends with your teeth.

I don't have any particularly life-changing news to report to you from the time when I last blogged till now, but I am excited about one thing: my friend Tash has opened a second branch of her Holland Road Yarn Company right in town (Wellington right-in-town that is, apologies if you don't live here) and it's so lovely and full of beautiful yarn and I already have two new projects lined up to knit and I can occupy myself for a good, oh, twenty minutes by just doing laps of the shop and patting the balls of wool and deciding which ones are my favourite colours.

Oh and I got my sideburns shaved off, having hyped it up to many people beforehand as some kind of "Laura's summer of rebellious hair and expressing one's self through stuff" thing, and it turned out so ridiculously subtle and imperceptible that I'm a little red-faced. And now there's slightly more of my face to get red.

What's that? Just playing the world's smallest violin for the world's smallest buzzcut. (Also: I never understood that "world's smallest violin" joke until very recently, but it was used at least once in Baby-sitters Club books so I always liked to imagine I could just drop it casually into conversation like I knew what I was talking about. I also feel this way about the phrases "false economy" and "load-bearing wall".) (Oh and I like my haircut.)

title from: Johnny Cash, Folsom Prison Blues. Voice like thunder, face like thunder, legs like thunder, oh wait sorry I'm describing thunder by mistake. Uh, but for real I love this song and Johnny Cash and his deep voice. 
music lately:

Haim, The Wire. Yes. I, too, adore this song.

Laura Marling, Master Hunter. Aggressively dreamy.

Uzo Aduba, By My Side. This wonderful actor from Orange Is The New Black, well she was also on Broadway in Godspell, being incredible while singing this sad, weird song.  
next time: I won't make you wait so long. I'm pretty sure I say this a lot, to be fair. But I always mean it!

12 January 2014

and after that, we can ketchup like tomato

Nothing makes me feel like I'm smugly going to avoid scurvy (she says, having only eaten pizza, Nerds, and beer all day) than eating a vegetable one time. Despite my wayward ways, I do actually love vegetables not simply because they keep me more or less alive, but because they're delicious and abundant and almost all of them taste incredible when they have heat applied to them followed by lots of olive oil. 

I'm one week in back at work, and without casting aspersions on my work ethic (why cast aspersions when you can be frank: my work ethic is usually in the category of "reluctant yet non-existent, at best") it should be obvious enough that I'd much rather be on holiday. Who among us can say, etc etc. However, as with the chocolate brownies last week, I'm doing my best to improve upon last year's trend of bleak lunches, month in and out. From days of pot noodles, to seemingly endless bowls of plain couscous with butter and salt, to microwaved cheese sandwich (we're not allowed a toaster in the work kitchen. Oh, I know) I've decided I deserve better. By "better" I guess I mean "not having scurvy" but it's all part of life's rich tapestry, or something. 

Simple though the concept is, I'm not always good at remembering to make a large enough dinner to allow for lunch leftovers the following day. That's where this Ottolenghi recipe for Mejadra, from his book Jerusalem, is useful - it uses such unstressfully-priced ingredients as lentils, rice, and onions, it's all cooked in one pan, and it makes a metric butt-ton. I hear you, that those ingredients aren't the first to spring to mind as examples of "whoa, alluring", but there's something in the crunchy-crisp fried onions, and the spices which find their way into the earthy lentils and rice, that is really rather wonderful.  

I'm just going to link to Ottolenghi's recipe for Mejadra rather than write it out in full, because...oh, I'm very lazy. That's it, really. I told you my work ethic was found wanting.

I shall, however, heroically type out another Ottolenghi recipe that I made to go with the Mejadra - this is properly simple, both of ingredients list and execution, and while it doesn't sound like much it's super excellent. Fried slices of tomato, bursting at the seams with sweet ripeness, a little garlic and chili for, well, the flavour of garlic and chili, and plenty of soft, buttery olive oil...when we have tomatoes at such peak being-in-season-ness, there's not a lot that needs to be done to them. When they're at their most prolific, I kinda like to eat them like apples. For now, this fast recipe can help bolster up anything from toast, to scrambled eggs, to...to rice and lentils and onions.

fried tomatoes with garlic

from Yotam Ottolenghi's book Jerusalem.

three garlic cloves, crushed
1/2 a small hot chilli, finely sliced (I just used some sriracha as I was lacking a small hot chilli, or indeed a chilli of any size)
two tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
three large, ripe, firm tomatoes
two tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Mix the garlic, chilli, and parsley together in a small bowl, and set aside. Top and tail the tomatoes and slice thickly vertically - about 1.5cm thick, but like, whatever. Heat the olive oil in a pan and then fry the tomato slices, turning over after a minute or two. I used an enamel roasting dish that can be used on a stove top, but I suppose it's better the more surface area you have. It's just that my saucepan was being used for the Mejadra, and...enamel is cute. Add the garlic mixture, fry a little longer, and then serve. 

It's the sort of thing that you could - and in fact probably already have - come up with yourself quite easily, but nevertheless, sometimes it's pleasingly comforting to be told what to do when cooking.  

And straightforward as it is, this recipe is pretty spectacular. All sweet and spicy and rich, yet very simple and plain and unfancy.

And very fitting on a table full of potluck brunch. I'm trying something called luxterity (luxe + austerity) this year, where there's more care with spending (necessarily so) but in as elegant/dramatic/sybaritic a manner as we can manage (also necessarily so, because I like those things.) Having friends over for brunch saves a lot of money, is super fun, and there's nothing like an air of "pants are barely required because I'm in my own damn house" to add a frisson to your morning repast.

That's about it, really. This week has been very long yet very fast. Full of hangings-out (out-hangings?) and knitting (a hat) and reading (The Character of Rain/Amelie Nothomb; Are You My Mother?/Alison Bechdel) and watching (Pretty Little Liars and Practical Magic and all the new Beyonce videos again and again) and eating (endless Mejadra - that recipe really makes a lot; plus as many seasonal berries as I can find) and small but joyful things like that.

Also, I got a new beanie that I adore.

This isn't going to make my knitted hat any less fun of a project, for one thing, I intend to put a pom pom on top of that one. Wellington's weather has been monumentally horrible lately, so weird as it sounds to be thinking about warm hats in the middle of summer, that's what we're dealing with. I couldn't care less. As long as tomatoes continue being cheap for a while longer...so if nothing else, I can pre-load on vitamins to cover me during my next inevitable stretch of candy and sodium chloride.
title from:  Mariah Carey, More Than Just Friends. Even when it's not the mid-nineties any more, Mariah still rules my heart and ears. 
music lately

City Oh Sigh, Still Let Me In. Dreamy, too dreamy.

Joan Jett, Roadrunner. The original by the Modern Lovers is one of my very, very favourite songs. But hurrah for good covers, like this boisterous one by the babein' Jett.
next time: I may have a hat that says "witch" but I don't know everything. You'll find out when I do.