Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Very Best Of Summer

     Greetings from this side of Tuesday. I'm back from otter-tracking duties and I've got a doosie for you today. Perfect for summer. Perfect if, like me, you have access to a farmer's market nearly every day of the week, because this recipe draws its brightness from the ever-lovely summer squash and zucchini. And if you don't have a farmer's market nearby, I will confess to having bought my produce from Safeway the first time I made it.
      Ricotta is a new-found love of mine. As far as cheese goes, it's noticeably mild in flavor, but it's versatility is what sets it apart. Lasagna, squash blossoms, pancakes, and now this. Like most galettes, this one is simple to make. If you wanted to skip on the effort and pick up pre-made pie crust, I'm sure it would turn out just lovely. However, I thought the dough recipe for this was quite nice. Bordering on puff pastry, it has a toothy, supple quality to it that I could appreciate. And aside from the squash (which is seasonal!) and the ricotta, you probably have most everything in your house already.

     And if you're looking for something to do with the leftovers, I would highly suggest any of the recipes I mentioned above.  Lasagna, guilty though it may be, is delicious.  And while I may not have made the squash blossoms yet, do you really need an excuse to fry something?  As it were, I'm going to use the rest of mine to make more of those pancakes, because I just can't get enough.

Zucchini and Ricotta Galette (adopted from Smitten Kitchen)

For the pastry:
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, chilled in the freezer for 30 minutes
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces and cool
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 1/4 cup ice water

- 1 large or 2 small zucchinis, sliced into 1/4 inch thick rounds
(Note: You can use any color combination of summer squash, I just preferred the alternating green/yellow)
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 medium garlic clove, minced (about 1 teaspoon)
- 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
- 1/2 cup (about 1 ounce) grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup (1 ounce) shredded mozzarella
- 1 tablespoon slivered basil leaves

- 1 egg yolk beaten with 1 teaspoon water

  1. Whisk together the flour and salt in a large bowl. Sprinkle bits of butter over dough and using a pastry blender, cut it in until the mixture resembles coarse meal, with the biggest pieces of butter the size of tiny peas.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the sour cream, lemon juice and water and add this to the butter-flour mixture. With your fingertips or a wooden spoon, mix in the liquid until large lumps form. Pat the lumps into a ball; do not overwork the dough. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  3. Spread the zucchini out over several layers of paper towels. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and let drain for 30 minutes; gently blot the tops of the zucchini dry with paper towels before using.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk the olive oil and the garlic together; set aside.
  5. In a separate bowl, mix the ricotta, Parmesan, mozzarella, and 1 teaspoon of the garlicky olive oil together and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. On a floured work surface, roll the dough out into a 12-inch round. Transfer to an ungreased baking sheet (though if you line it with parchment paper, it will be easier to transfer it to a plate later).
  7. Spread the ricotta mixture evenly over the bottom of the galette dough, leaving a 2-inch border. Shingle the zucchini attractively on top of the ricotta in concentric circles, starting at the outside edge.
  8. Drizzle the remaining tablespoon of the garlic and olive oil mixture evenly over the zucchini. Fold the border over the filling, pleating the edge to make it fit. The center will be open. Brush crust with egg yolk glaze.
  9. Bake the galette until the cheese is puffed, the zucchini is slightly wilted and the galette is golden brown, 30 to 40 minutes. Remove from the oven, sprinkle with basil, let stand for 5 minutes, then slide the galette onto a serving plate. Cut into wedges and serve hot, warm or at room temperature.

      Unfortunately, the fourth falls on a Monday this year, meaning that I will be out in the field and thus nowhere near a functioning computer. So allow me to send my well-wishes now. Some of my favorite memories involve a yearly pilgrimage to a cliff overlooking the San Diego County Fair. We had to break our way through a wall of Magnolia bushes that lined the road, and I remember my dad missing out one year because he accidentally got some of the sap in his mouth. But the view was unbeatable. All the beautiful lights from the carnival rides reflected in the lake at the center of the racetrack. And the best part was that it overlooked a dirt parking lot, and the fireworks would be so loud that all the car alarms would go off. A most cacophonous symphony.

      And as to what the future holds, I'm going to make some fried squash blossoms if I can ever gets my hands on some. They keep selling out at the farmers market before I get there. In addition, I'm thinking of doing a post about the work I do with the otters. I've been taking pictures as I go, and I think it's about time they got some air-time. I promise it won't all be all education. I've been seeing some beautiful things as I go, soaking up way too much sun, and reading like nobody's business during the downtime. Back to the pre-internet days. Here's hoping it's enough to keep you interested.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Just A Quick One Today (Kind Of)

     Again, apologies for the delay.  However, if you didn't buy my "being busy with finals" excuse, I have an even better one for this.  I had a powerpoint due on a Tuesday, so I assured my partner I would bring my laptop to class and transfer it to my teacher.  But, sometime in the hour I was transporting my computer to school, my hard-drive completely and utterly crapped out on me.  The week before finals.  I lost all my work.  So I had to order a new hard drive, have it installed, and get everything back on there.  And now here we are.
     That being said, I'm done with school now and ready to enjoy the summer.  We've had an odd spring, and the rain has stuck around longer than it should have, but it's finally getting nice out.  It's a shame really, because Spring is my favorite season and I feel like it was largely ignored this year.  We went straight from a wet winter to a sunny summer.
     Now, when I said I was going to have time to do nothing but bake this summer, it was a tiny bit of a lie.  Like a fib by omission.  While I do obviously have more time, I am actually working this summer.  In Big Sur tracking otters.  Which means that three days a week, I get to live in one of the most gorgeous places on Earth.  However, such seclusion means that I have no internet or cell phone reception, so blog-writing becomes a task.  I don't mind though.  I can already tell I'm going to get a lot of reading done on my downtime this summer.

 The area I work out of is right off that bridge. (Photo from Google)

     So, I'll try my best to bang out some tasty stuff.  I made some cinnamon rolls with my new mixer (I love it!) but sadly they were all eaten by my over-eager boyfriend before I could photograph them.  However, I'm making some Korean meatballs today with some pickled cucumbers and some Tom Ka Gai (chicken and coconut milk soup) with potstickers.  So, assuming I can fend O off long enough to photograph, I'll try to post these three recipes because they're all things I've made before and they're all delicious.
     And while I'm here, can I just say I am so glad to have a decent network of farmer's markets here.  You would think in health-conscious San Diego (where I lived before) we would have had some good ones, but we had almost nothing.  Santa Cruz is phenomenal though.  The antithesis of sad, boring Safeway produce.  Finals were all-consuming, so I made it down to ours for the first time in awhile today.  As much as I love the comfort of fall/winter produce, nothing beats the warm months.  I'm going to try to snap some pictures one of these days.
     Here's hoping you have something nice to look forward to this summer.
     OH!  And because I haven't thrown any science knowledge at you's a picture of the cookies I made for my Marine Botany class!

 Here's what Volvox looks like (Photo from Google)

And here are my cookies!

     Volvox is the most developed in a series of algal genera that form spherical colonies.  I thought they were so cool to look at in class.  I'm not going to post the recipe, because somehow I doubt there is a high demand for cookies in the shape of algae.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

I Know, I Know...

     I was really aiming to have a new post every week, but I also warned you from the start! And by you, I mean the random people who happen to come across this blog as I don't have any actual followers (*cough* *cough*).  In any case, I was seized by the need to start this block smack-dab in the middle of the busiest month of my academic life. Just yesterday I had a midterm and a final, and tomorrow I have a big paper due. So, I promise I haven't been lazy.
      LUCKILY, I had a few recipes saved up that I had photographed when I made them for just such days. So, if you promise to forgive me, I promise to deliver tasty treats. And also, I promise to have some more substantial posts in the future.
     Becauseeeeeee, I would like to announce a new arrival to my family. Please give a warm cyber-welcome to my new lovechild.  And it's yellow, my favorite favorite favorite color!

Image from Google

      I have honestly wanted a Kitchenaid stand mixer for as long as I can remember. I have been limited in what I could make without one. Up until this point, I have been making souffles with a rather sub-par hand-held mixer with one arm. So...I can promise you that I will be tackling some truly herculean culinary feats as soon as I'm done with school. Chocolate croissants, homemade bread, MACAROONS!
      As for the recipe, it's a subtle riff off of Desert First's “Blueberry Tarts with Meyer Lemon Cream.” I often feel as though recipes sort of...come together for me. Like the cosmos align and direct me towards one thing over another. In this case, I had just gotten some new tart pans, and I was definitely looking to take advantage of them. Same story with an amazing little offset spatula.  Furthermore, I had been lamenting for weeks about how I wanted to bake with Meyer lemons, and after a trip to the weekly farmers' market I had finally succumbed and made my purchase.
     But that's not even where the story ends. Those lemons sat on my counter for days as I tried to guilt myself into buying blueberries. They're expensive, and while I'm all for buying local and organic and what have you, it's hard for a poor college student to justify spending five dollars on less than a pint of fruit. And then, lo and behold, strawberry season came, and I was more than happy to shell over the dough for a pint of perfect, red strawberries.
      So it was, and I can promise they were delicious. O doesn't even like lemons in desserts all that much, but he thought these were pretty fantastic. I was pretty giddy that they came out so well considering it was my first time making tart dough and my first time making a lemon curd. Hope you enjoy :)

Strawberry and Meyer lemon Tarts (adapted slightly from DessertFirst)

Graham Cracker Tart Shell 
     (makes one 9-inch tart, about sixteen 3-in round tart shells or twenty-four 2×4 in rectangular tart shells)

      1 cup butter, room temp.
      1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
      1/4 cup granulated sugar
      1/4 cup honey
      2 cups all purpose flour
      1/2 cup whole wheat flour
      1 teaspoon salt
      1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Cream the butter in an electric mixer until smooth. Add the sugars and continue mixing until the mixture is fluffy and light colored. Add the honey and beat until combined.
2. Combine the flours, salt, and cinnamon together in a bowl, and add to the butter mixture in two batches, scraping down the sides of the bowl between additions. Mix until the dough is well combined. Wrap the dough in plastic and form into a disk – the flatter the better. Chill until firm, at least an hour.
3. On a lightly floured surface roll out the dough to be 1/8 inch thick. Use either a 3 inch round cookie cutter (I used some ramekins, but you could use a large cup, the top of a vase, or anything circular that's the right size) to cut out circles of dough, or cut out rectangles of dough to fit your desired tins.
4. Press the dough gently into the tins, prick dough with a fork all over, and let chill for 5-10 minutes or until the dough is firm enough to trim off the excess easily. Buttery doughs like this one always need to be chilled before baking so they bake up evenly. (When I trim off the excess dough, I usually use an offset spatula and run it flat against the top of the tart tin.) Scraps can be re-rolled and re-used.
Note: I only made two small 4-inch tarts, but I wrapped the rest of the dough in some wax paper, put it in a plastic bag, and kept it in my freezer for a few weeks until I got an even larger tart pan, and then used it to make another tart (another recipe for another day) and it held up really well.

Lemon Cream and/or Curd (1 1/2- 2 cups)
      1/2 cup sugar
      zest from 2 lemons
      2 eggs
      1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
      5 ounces butter, cut into 1 inch pieces, softened but not melting

1. Create a water bath by placing a saucepan of water over heat to simmer and placing a metal bowl unto the pan so its bottom does not touch the water. Combine the sugar and lemon zest together with your fingers and add to the metal bowl. Whisk in the eggs and lemon juice.
2. Cook the mixture over the simmering water, whisking constantly, until the cream reaches 180 degrees and thickens. Keep whisking while the mixture is heating up to prevent the eggs from cooking.
3. Once the cream is thickened – you should be able to make tracks in the mixture with your whisk – take the cream off the heat and strain it into the bowl of a food processor or blender. Let the cream rest for a bit until it cools to about 140 degrees.
4. Add in the butter pieces a few at the time and combine on high speed. Once all of the butter has been added, let the mixture combine for a few minutes longer to ensure the mixture is perfectly smooth. It is the addition of butter that changes this recipe from a simple lemon curd to a rich, satiny-smooth cream.
5. Once the cream is finished pour it into a container and let it chill in the refrigerator for about half an hour before assembly.
Note: Now, I tried to follow this recipe pretty exactly, and I did not end up needing anywhere near that much butter. But then again, I didn't get as much cream as the recipe specified. Seeing as this was my first time making anything like it, I'm not going to claim that the results were spot-on, but it tasted really good. I did end up having to strain it through a pretty fine strainer to get it really smooth.

To Assemble Tart(s)
1. Once your tart shell(s) and cream are properly cooled, spoon cream into shells, cut strawberries, and place on top decoratively. Serve immediately.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

A Very Happy Mother's Day with Strawberry-Ricotta Pancakes


    Allow me to say Happy Mother's Day to everyone out there. Sadly, my mother and I have lived apart since I was a baby, but we talk almost every day and so I was quick to call her this morning and remind her about how many drugs she had to take for my C-section. And before you call me callous, I promise she is always quick to remind me if I don't beat her to it.  I love my mother very much, and I wish I could have been there to spend the weekend with her.  Kentucky Derby, Mother's Day, and good food.  Really, what is better?  A Triple Crown winner, that's what.
     Mother's Day is a day for breakfast, if you ask me. But why go out when you could show how much you care? With pancakes! Man 'o man. Let me just say... I. Love. These. Pancakes. They are ridiculously good. I consider myself to be a connoisseur of good pancakes, and while they don't quite beat the blueberry pancakes at The Pancake House, they're by far the best I've ever made in-house.  I added more lemon than perhaps was necessary, but I thought it made it so fresh and beautiful.  And because you don't mix it a lot after you add the Ricotta, you get these blobs of it within the pancake and it's just wonderful.

Can you see the pieces of Ricotta!?  Mmmmmm

     The circumstances were so fortuitous. I had a field trip early on Saturday morning for Marine Botany, but I made it back just in time to run down with the boyfriend O to the farmer's market, and he was sweet enough to buy us two pints of strawberries.
     Strawberries are in season again, one of my favorite indicators that spring is underway. And while nothing beats the simplicity of eating them plain, as a baker I always feel the need to throw them into something tasty. Combine that with a carton of fresh Ricotta I had from making a zucchini galette earlier in the week (a post on that to come later), and I had the makings of a delicious breakfast. Plus, I love being able to use up ingredients. I can't bare to throw them away.

So here I have given you the perfect breakfast to share with your mother, albeit a bit late. This seems like great “special occasion” recipe, but I like it so much I might just make Monday morning the next special occasion.  It's so easy to make, very quick to whip up, and it makes you look like a very fancy chef.
Recipe adapted slightly from Une-deux Senses's recipe.

- 1 cup ricotta cheese
- 3/4 cup milk
- 4 large eggs, separated
- 1 1/4 cups flour
- 2 tbsn. sugar
- dash of salt
- 2 tsp. grated lemon zest (I grated one whole medium-sized lemon and added all the zest)
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1 - 2 cups strawberries (or really any you have available)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
  1. Pour the milk into a mixing bowl, then add the egg yolks; mix until combined.
  2. Add the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt and mix well. Add the lemon zest and mix.
  3. Beat the egg whites until stiff but not dry peaks form. Gently fold throughout the batter, leaving some streaks of white.
  4. Lastly, add the ricotta and mix gently (try not to overmix as you want it to be slightly chunky).
  5. Heat a non-stick or cast iron pan over medium heat, then grease lightly with butter or oil. Pour 1/2 cup of the batter (per hotcake) into the pan. If using berries, sprinkle the top of the hotcake with a few berries. Cook on one side until little bubbles appear, about 2 minutes, then flip over and cook on the other side for about 1 minute.
     Let me end by saying I'm sorry that this post was a bit late in coming. I'm trying to aim for at least a post a week, but already I'm being a bad blogger. Unfortunately, as I said before, I chose to start this smack dab in my busiest weeks of the quarter to date. I've had midterms and field trips and lab work and I feel like I haven't slept properly in weeks.
     But it's not all so doom and gloom. I've gotten good grades on all the exams I've gotten back to far, and field trips are always fun. For my class on Marine Mammals we took a boat out to go whale watching. I got soaking wet and it was freezing, but we saw sea lions, some otters, a bunch of jelly fish, a pod of Risso's Dolphins, and then a pod of transient Killer Whales, which was ridiculously cool. I saw them in Alaska in 2005, but the transients are jut a whole different class. They're the ones that hunt other whales (if you've ever watched Blue Planet) and as such they're huge. We supposedly saw the largest male on the West coast, and I swear his dorsal fin alone had to be at least 3-4 feet tall.

 Three otters, including a baby.  I work on these guys out a Big Sur.

A Risso's Dolphin.  Those marks come from dragging their teeth on each other's backs (photo courtesy of

     And then for Marine Botany we took a trip down the One to Big Sur and hiked out to a remote cove. Its so gorgeous there. If you've never been and are looking for a nice roadtrip, I promise you can do no better than the One. It's all curves and coast and cliffs and the most beautiful views you could ever want. The pictures never do it justice.

No justice at all...

Friday, April 29, 2011

When Life Gives You Lemons...

you're supposed to make lemonade right? Well that's all well and good, but what exactly are you supposed to do when life gives you a perfectly good bushel of bananas which you then proceed to maim with your bare feet?

 I didn't take this picture, but it's essentially a before/after shot.

     Let me explain. I was screwing around on the internet when my friend Jedels (as he shall be known from henceforth) messaged me on facebook and demanded that I call him. The newest Harry Potter trailer was out, and we had to watch it together.
     Now, I understand that I am twenty-one, and thus an adult, but my Harry Potter fandom puts many a Belieber and Twi-hard to shame. Not only have I been to every midnight premier, I arrived ten hours early for almost all of them. I dressed up. I attended book release parties and routinely engage in fierce debates with equally spastic obsessives. And yes, I have partaken in many a game of Quidditch. And so, I scampered as only a manic fangirl can do, into my living room to retrieve my cell phone from my backpack.
     But then, disaster struck. I cringed mid-leap. Below me, nestled so innocently on the floor beside my bag, was the bushel of bananas I had bought from Trader Joes earlier that day. I assure you, I would have turned in the air if that was at all possible. But no matter how many obscenities streamed though my lips in an attempt to move them via sound waves, there was no stalling the inevitable. My bare toes smashed down on their soft skin with such finality.
     I'd like to say I mourned their loss, but I was so hyped up on new HP material that I was cringing one moment and gone the next. Now, if you haven't seen the trailer, I suggest you scoot on over right now to here and take a gander.
    What I would not suggest is that you play it so many times that your ill, bed-ridden significant other cannot take it anymore and so chooses to drag himself into the living room to escape you. And I would really not recommend following him out there and forcing him to go through it with you again, mouse poised above the pause button so you can stop and analyze every twitch of Daniel Radcliffe’s nostril.
    I can however give you the perfect solution should you ever find yourself in possession of some ruined bananas. It's not a particularly revolutionary usage, but definitely one of the most tasty. Obviously, I'm talking banana bread.

   This is your basic recipe, but the nice thing about quickbreads such as these are their adaptability. Some additions I am particularly fond of are chocolate chips, toasted walnuts, roasted peanuts or a bit of peanut butter, and even a little cognac or dark rum if you're feeling particularly naughty. Imagine Banana's Foster in bread form.

Slightly adapted from Cooking Light's recipe.
  • 1 1/2 cups mashed ripe banana
  • 1/3 cup plain fat-free yogurt (You could also use sour cream. Great for a moist bread)
  • 5 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 6 3/4 ounces all-purpose flour (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1/4 cup ground flaxseed (I love flaxseed in a lot of things. You can put it in oatmeal, smoothies, any breads, etc.)
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (I tend to eyeball this one. I like a bit more cinnamon than most.)
      1. Preheat oven to 350ยบ.
      2. Put your banana pieces in a bowl and get aggressive. You can use a potato masher, or a fork, or your hands. It's good stress relief. For example, I took out my frustration at my Ecology teacher for assigning us two seven page papers out of nowhere. Seriously.
      3. Add the sugars, butter, and the yogurt. Mix together with a mixer until well-incorporated
      4. Add the dry ingredients together in a separate bowl anf add slowly to wet ingredients as you mix. The batter will be thick and slightly lumpy, but remember that there are chunks 'o banana in there.
      5. Grease your baking vessel (I used a 9X5 glass baking pan, but you could probably make it work with most sizes as long as you watch the cook time). Pour the batter in, smoothing it out.
      6. Bake for 55 minutes or until a wooden toothpick/butter knife comes out clean. Mine actually ended up taking about 75 minutes, but it had a beautiful color on it. Allow to cool before cutting.
      7. Optional: You can make several glazes. Most are just milk and powdered sugar, but I know Cooking Light has a nice peanut butter glaze as well. Personally, I prefer it plain. It's a great quick breakfast with a nice cup of coffee.

     I had a slice of this bad boy before I went to take my three hour lab practical this morning for Marine Botany, and it went alright, so this bread must be pretty good.

Note: Apologies once again for my lack of photography skills. I'll try to get better, although in my defense the lighting anywhere in my apartment is atrocious. If my sister were contributing, this would be the most beautiful blog ever.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Introductions Are In Order

    Greetings to all of you out there in cyber-land, and let me say that you are quite welcome here at “With Love and Squalor.” Love because it's the reason behind my efforts and squalor because I am a lowly college student and living in squalor is what we excel at. My hope is that you will be inspired, encouraged, or at the very least entertained.
     I've been toying with the idea of starting my own blog for awhile as I have become quite enamored with the world of food blogging. And while there will certainly be food here, I have since realized that I have neither the money nor the time to produce something tasty every day, or even every week. However, I'm also hoping that having readers to answer to might prompt me to get into the kitchen more often. So if you find you're a fan of the fare on this page, just bug me and I'll use the guilt to fuel me.
     But let me begin by saying a bit about myself and what I hope to get out of this blog. To be honest, I probably shouldn't even be attempting an undertaking such as this. At the present, I'm smack dab in the middle of midterms, and I can barely perform basic function, let alone hope to appease my readers. And yet...I feel grounded writing this and imagining the eyes that scan the page. I imagine lips turning up at the corners in the beginnings of a smile, and I feel fulfilled. When I'm in panic mode, it's easy to let my problems compile, bearing the weight until I inevitably buckle. But life teaches us time and time again that there are always worse things. I have a home, I have a family, I'm studying to do something I love, and I have someone who loves me to share it with. In uncertain times such as these, I have been given the most precious of gifts.
     And to be honest, for the first time in a long time, I am perfectly content with my life and the direction in which it is headed. These are the days I have been working towards, and I am simultaneously satiated and ravenous. Appeased and never satisfied. I feel these days are worthy of sharing, that they are substantial enough to warrant attention. It's liberating, and I think that is what I want the most from this experience. To allow my thoughts, hopes, ambitions, triumphs, and failures to flow forth so that they might touch a life. Maybe even yours.
     I apologize for the immediate turn towards the philosophical. Not quite my intention. What I had meant to do was introduce myself, maybe tell you what the blog will be about. So I suppose I should throw out the things that interest me most.

 Funny Cat Pictures (I thought we needed a picture break)
  • Cooking/Baking:
     Yes, I am a product of the world of food bloggery. I fawn over them, aspire to their greatness, and bemoan the fact that I cannot photograph food to save my life. I always feel like food blogs with bad pictures are so amateur. How very hypocritical of me. But I digress. I love to cook, and I specifically love to bake. I can't say I come from a family of cooks, although my parents did have some pretty nifty specialties of their own. As it were, I'm not sure I can pin-piont my fascination, except to say that baking reminds me a lot of chemistry. Specific quantities added in a systematic manner which together create something wonderful. And just as basic foundation ingredients in chemistry can be combined to create something like aspirin, so too can butter, sugar, flour, and eggs be combined to create something equally capable of easing my headaches. How appropriate an analogy, as it leads me to my next great interest...
  • Science:
     WAIT! If you're an artist or a writer or a musician or a historian or anything other than a science-oriented individual, don't stop reading. It's ok, sh sh sh sh, I promise there will be something here for you too. Maybe you've already made the connection to my blog title and a certain JD Salinger short story? If that doesn't do it for you, I'm sure I'll be telling you about how I think Water for Elephants is simply The Great Gatsby at the circus or how I can't read Harry Potter fanfics without becoming emotionally compromised.
     But is is true that my heart now belongs to the world of scientific academia. I'm studying Marine Biology and to a lesser degree chemistry, and I'm doing it right on the edge of one of the largest marine sanctuaries in the country. And being the unimaginable, self-proclaimed dork that I am, I will be peppering random factoids of knowledge throughout this blog as I would season a nicely cooked piece of meat. It's necessary for a finished product. prepared. I'm corny as all hell.
  • Music:
     I maintain that I was born in the wrong generation. I collect vinyl, and a consider an afternoon perusing the record store to be an afternoon well spent. Oftentimes when I cook (or read or do homework or clean, etc.), I have a record playing on my wooden beast of a player. That being said, I'm not restricted to music old enough to warrant the medium, it's just my humble beginnings. I'm constantly looking for my new fix, and I have formed intense friendships based on the fact that we both wear over-the-ear headphones. Those are my kind of people. None of that teensy ear-bud crap. Unless they're Bose.

     I imagine that those will be the three main focuses here. I'm a multi-faceted person, and there are things I hold dear to my heart that are not included on this list, but they aren't commonplace enough to expect frequent postings about them. And really, would it be any fun if I gave everything away up front? I mean, I could tell you I love sky-diving, but wouldn't it be more awesome to come to the blog and see a picture of me in mid-jump giving you a thumbs up? (Note: I've never done it, although it sounds fun) So, expect some surprises if you stick around. The fun in spontaneity is that it surprises even me.

                Did you know baby blue whales gain 200 pounds a day while nursing?