Top 10 Tracks [music]

Some might view this as sacrilege (I’m looking pointedly at a particular friend of  mine who knows exactly who he is), but I often reset the play counts on my ipod.

Mostly I do this because I like to see my listening pattern over shorter periods of time (if only they would record when it was played, then you could graph it over time and filter to see shorter periods…but I’ll spare you my datavis geekiness for the moment).

There also always seems to be (of course) that one really embarrassing song you listened to over and over for weeks when you got your heart broken a couple years ago. Yeah. That kind of stuff can haunt the top of your play count for a long time.

I always get a little sad when I reset, though. (data loss!) This is why I’ve decided to start recording what the top 10 tracks are before I erase, and then I thought this might be a good place to store/share those lists. Completely unedited, even if it might happen to contain a guilty pleasure or two. This count is from late June to present (I usually clear the count more often than that; I’ll take another look in a couple weeks).

So now, without further ado, here are the current top 10 most played tracks on my portable music machine:

  1. I Go Away – MNDR / E.P.E.
  2. My Coco – Stellastarr* / Stellastarr*
  3. Kiss With A Fist – Florence + The Machine / Lungs
  4. Johnny B. Goode – Chuck Berry / The Best of Chuck Berry
  5. Love and Do What You Will – Ceo / White Magic
  6. I’m Not Calling You A Liar – Florence + The Machine / Lungs
  7. Bulletproof – La Roux / La Roux
  8. No Mercy – Ceo / White Magic
  9. Be Somebody – Kings of Leon / Only By The Night
  10. Come With Me – Ceo / White Magic


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Green Tomatoes [food]

I have a mild obsession with green tomatoes. Would that I could attribute this to childhood summers spent sipping sweet tea on a veranda under spanish moss…but that’s just not the case. I’m not even remotely southern.

(This is where my mother would jump in to remind me that her dad was born in Texas, and I would rebut that he was not from the verandas and spanish moss part of Texas, so there.)

back to the subject at hand...

The fact of the matter is that I never even knew people ate them before I saw Fried Green Tomatoes, which has been on my desert island movie list since I was about 13. Idgie was my hero, and in turn I was obsessed with figuring out how to make delicious fried green tomatoes.

It took a few years of experimenting to get my recipe just right. This was during the time in my life I considered AOL cutting edge, so the internet wasn’t much help. I also had only a very short window each year where I could get my hands on green tomatoes, much to my dad (the gardener)’s consternation. Seriously seasonal.

But I’m not here to talk about fried green tomatoes. Oh, I love them. Someday if you’re lucky you’ll taste mine. But recently I found myself with a bunch of beautiful green lovelies, and no desire to fry them. I saw a recipe in Cook’s Illustrated for a green tomato chutney, and was immediately intrigued. So I made some, and I’m so glad I did.

The original recipe called for white sugar and white vinegar. I try to avoid using white sugar whenever possible, so I used honey with a squirt of agave nectar for pizazz (the world won’t end if you don’t have agave nectar).

Using plain old white vinegar seemed like a wasted opportunity to add flavor, so I subbed in the apple cider. Overall this was a good choice, but when I make this again I’ll probably put a tablespoon or two of white vinegar in to add a smidge more bite to the finished chutney.

Adapted from Cooks Illustrated (Sept. 2010)

1 lb green tomatoes, chopped

so amazing.

½ onion, chopped

1/3 cup honey

1 Tbsp agave nectar

1/3 cup apple cider vinegar

½ tsp ground coriander (use whole if you have it. I didn’t.)

½ tsp salt

pinch (or more) red pepper flakes

2 tsp lemon juice

The process here isn’t rocket science. Chop up the veggies and thrown them in a pot with everything else on the list except the lemon juice. Bring it to a simmer and let it cook down for about 40 minutes; you’ll know it’s done when it thickens up a bit and smells awesome. Add the lemon juice when you take it off the heat.

Let it cool a bit and then put it on everything! Leftovers will stay happy in the fridge for a couple weeks…but if you’re feeling especially adventurous, you can fill some jars and process to make it shelf stable (if you’re going to can things, please consult a reliable resource before diving in).

Little House on the Prairie Style!

I can vouch for this being delicious on eggs, german style sausages, and on crusty bread with a little goat cheese. I hear it also pairs nicely with pork.

Go nuts!

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Winter’s Coming… [yarn]

Two weeks from today I’ll be hitting the road to move from California to Pennsylvania, where I’ll be starting grad school.

Fact: I’ve lived in Northern California my entire life. In my life experience thus far, “winter” has always been a weekend destination (the explanation for why I capitalize the N in Northern is a post for another day).

I’m told the winters back east can get pretty chilly–as a knitter, this thrills me. It’s something of a dream come true to finally be living somewhere where I’ll need things to keep me warm! (Yes, yes, we can revisit this statement in February and I’ll tell you if I still feel the same way)

Moving on.

I caught a brutal case of packing procrastination fever last week, which I decided to treat with a couple skeins of chunky alpaca. The result was a super soft, cozy hat (that I’m wearing now, as a matter of fact). See?

so toasty!

Now, be advised that I’m currently living without a real camera, and am limited to images I can capture on my iPhone. Someday soon this situation will be remedied and I’ll have to actually admit to being a crappy photographer. But until then I’m blaming it on the camera phone.

I’m probably going to live in this hat over the winter. Here are the vital stats:

Materials

Cascade Baby Alpaca Chunky [100% Alpaca; 108 yds/99 m per 100g skein]; 1 skein each color:

  • [MC] blue
  • [CC] white

US  size 8 16″ circular or double point needles

US size 10 16″ circular and double point needles

You can grab a pdf of the pattern here, or check it out on Ravelry.


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