Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Let there be light! And soup.

I'm making a pit stop in Clintondale between random midwestern gigs. Cleveland was lovely. Worked on a commercial for a brand new hospital. I love shooting in hospitals because we can roll our gear everywhere and the elevators are BIG. We also tried the best of Cleveland dining and ate at Michael Symon's Lola's. Holy guacamole. Sam, Niki and I did it up with oysters, deep fried bone marrow and Asian style pork belly as appetizers. My entree was smoked Berkshire pork chops on top of cheesy polenta. The desert - mini donuts and cinnamon hot chocolate and mini french toast with bacon ice cream. Fun as a novelty but in the end, you got bacon and you got ice cream and they should never really be together. The rest of the meal - out-frikkin-standing. So everything that was made GOOD by fasting was made BAD by this meal. And it was worth every calorie.

Next week I head to Milwaukee with Lisa Rinzler to help shoot B roll for a new Alex Gibney documentary. I'm excited to be a part of this VERY important project.

My favorite thing to eat in Mexico was Sopa Azteca. Catering served it a couple of times and whenever we had dinner at our Zapatista coop this is what I ordered. Of course I had to learn how to make it! Turns out I needed some special ingredients but it also turns out I got a super special Mexican grocery near the apartment, Tehuitzingo. Most importantly - dried Guajillo chiles and Epazote leaves.

So with everything in  place I made yesterday my Sopa Azteca day.

I roasted 2 big tomatoes in the oven. Just made a little cross hatch on the bottom and poured some olive oil over them and put them in the oven for about 1/2 hour at 350 degrees. Meanwhile I chopped 1 small white onion and 2 garlic cloves and placed in the blender. I also softened 2 Guajillo chiles in warm water. Once they were soft I used scissors to open them up. Deseeded, deveined them, clipped them into small pieces and put in the blender. Once the tomatoes were nice and soft I took them out of the oven, peeled the skin off and deseeded them. They also go in the blender. I heated up 1 quart of chicken broth. I added a little broth to the blender so it would puree easier and the rest simmered in a separate saucepan. The puree then goes in a sauce pan along with 1 tbsp of corn oil and simmers for 15 minutes. After 15  minutes add the chicken broth and let it simmer for another 15 minutes.

During the 2nd 15 minutes I got my fixins together. There's fried tortilla strips, feta cheese (which should be Oaxacan cheese or queso fresco but a mild feta also works), fried Guajillo strips, crema, which is NOT sour cream, more like creme fraiche and avocado. Other possible fixins are shredded chicken or pork rinds.

I finished off the soup with salt to taste.

I wish I could have stored the flavor of my Chiapan Sopa Azteca experience and compared it to my own making but I think I got real close. Improvements would be fire roasted tomatoes and home made chicken broth.

While I was in Clevetown, our electrician Rene came in and hooked up the electricity in the pastry shop and bedroom. Yes we are sosososos close and it's looking oh so beautiful.

We finally have light by the little porch. In the  back is a little lamp in the box window. Cute cute and cute!

And by the new side entrance.

And this is one of the bathroom fixtures in place.

A test patch of Farrow and Ball's Citron. Very lovely indeed.

It's been a year now with this renovation. We are due for some reflections back in time I think. The J's (to whom we these days refer to as: REALLY?!) started gutting the pastry shop and the new bedroom around this time last year. Around the same time as we spotted our first Robin in the yard!

Last year we had no idea what was going to pop out of the ground come spring time. This time around it will be like seeing old friends. I'm just hoping everything survived the winter. It was the first one for our Hydrangeas, dappled willows and Rhododendrons. 

Our little pink Dogwood is already budding.

So is the Star Magnolia.

The daffodils are on time.

At least the Rhododendrons are looking healthy. 

I've been quiet about the birds lately but that doesn't mean they're not hanging around. We've been feeding them throughout the winter and they've stayed faithful to us. The other morning I saw 5 Lady Cardinals at one time.

There's still a little snow on the ground but it is disappearing quickly. We are very ready for spring. And for our GREEN HOUSE!


  1. Åh vilka fina bilder på huset! Gud vad fint det blir med all beslysning! Det är verkligen viktigt för ett hus att bli rätt belyst. Eller viktigt... det lyfter och framhäver och alla som åker förbi kör säkert i diket nu. Vilken förvandling! Och den sista är så realistisk att man kan tro att det är klart. Tänk om det kunde vara så enkelt att måla fasad? Det kommer att bli supersnyggt. Jag förstår inte bilden på verandan. Vad är det för fönster man ser? Sovrummet är så behagligt, till och med när byggbråten står där. Tänk den som ändå hade lite påskliljeknoppar att glädjas åt. Först ska en halv meter snö bort, sen... Måndag! Ut i fabriken! G har föreläsning på måndagar från och med nu. Det blir lättare att dreja när han inte är hemma. Puss o kram!

  2. Lola! Gibney! Those are two very exciting things! I can't wait to hear about both!