I can't explain it, exactly, but the appearance of butter lambs in Chicago prior to Easter makes me unreasonably happy. (Perhaps it's my own refrigerator tribute to the Princess Kay of the Milky Way butter sculptures?)

Why a stick of butter shaped like a lamb?
And why do I have four of them in my freezer currently?

Don't question it. Just rejoice in the butter lambs, figure it must be a Chicago Polish thing (although the best butter lambs of all, in my opinion, are to be found at my neighborhood Mexican grocery, where you can buy all manner of really elaborate lambs), and help me clear some extra room so I can live out my dream of opening the freezer door and seeing two dozen butter lambs lined up like little ovine sentries.



This week in Things I Have Doodled At Work While On Conference Calls:

It seems that I want a cheeseburger. Or the monsters want a cheeseburger. Or I want a cheeseburger and some deformed-looking dinosaurs.


things that took my breath away

To an Editor Who Said I Repeat Myself and Tell Too Much

The mouth works all its life to spit a vowel—
some long sound with feeling fenced in
by the sharp stops of a few right consonants, a howl
and a pen to keep it tame, a calm din
that won’t drown out the life it tries
to say, but won’t deny, either, that hell
is the sound we’re all born making, the cry
learned before the womb, which we tell
and tell and tell—too much, of course—
in the hope of draining (I must state it plain,
for there is no other subject—death, divorce,
depression—all words stand for pain)
that well, as if there were anything else to do.
You don’t enjoy my poems? Me neither. Fuck you.

-Craig Morgan Teicher


feathered friend

I was going to write an ode to the wonders of the owl-cam, but the Belgian Waffle has done so already, and it is brilliant.

I, too, am especially fond of the owl method of parenting, as it seems to be limited to plunking one's body down upon the offspring, napping, and eating the various treats brought by one's owl-partner with alarming gusto. I could possibly be convinced to have children someday if my parenting responsibilities were limited to sitting, napping, and eating takeout brought to me by owl-friends.

In the spirit of both owl-cams and the ever-amusing Hungover Owls, I think a daily owl hangover contest should be instigated. Five owl-cams will be chosen for morning check-ins at, say, 10:00 a.m.; whichever owl looks most appropriately hungover at that time is deemed the winner.

(Pro hangover tip: pedialyte.)



Impulse purchases at ethnic groceries are fun.

Especially when the impulse purchase is driven by nothing more than "oooh, that's a hell of a violet color!"

Judging by the picture of some sort of berries on the label, I figured this jar of ultraviolet powder would probably lend itself well to some sort of creamy dessert experiment. Googling "kala jamun jambul" brought up exactly nothing useful, but after much preliminary taste-testing (read: licking my fingers and sticking them into the jar), I figured that it was some sort of powdered berry concoction. Thus, kala jamun panna cotta!

I used this Splendid Table recipe as the base, cutting back a bit on the sugar (no ingredients list exists on this little jar of mystery, but I figured it probably involved sweetener), and dumping in about 3 tablespoons of kala jamun to start.

It was insufficiently purple, so once I took the cream off the heat to beat in the sour cream, I tossed in another two ounces or so, using about half the jar.

That is some intensely violet powder, but it came out in the end as a barely-lavender tint to the panna cotta, and with very little blackberry (? I think it was supposed to be blackberry?) flavor.

As seen above, my unmolding of the panna cotta was less than expert, as I put the ramekin into a hot water bath and then, um, kind of forgot about it and melted the outer layer of custard.

Whatever, in the end, there was panna cotta. If anyone argues with "have some homemade panna cotta!", they are a bastard.



My obsession with the shinypointy will never end, and I wouldn't have it any other way.