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Category — family

The menu

Having my parents over, the in-laws over (maybe), the sister and her unknown guest over, and a long term family friend. Probably my last chance to Cook Big before I leave. Here we go…

All recipes for Marcella Hazan’s Essentials of Italian Cooking.

  • Crostini Bianchi p. 52
  • Roasted Peppers and Anchovies p. 53
  • Roasted Eggplant with Peppers and Cucumber p. 55
  • Marinated Carrot Sticks p. 56
  • Focaccia p. 618
  • Chick Pea Soup p. 113
  • Aio e oio p. 170
  • Grilled fish (Sicilian Salmoriglio) p. 289
  • Bistecca fiorentina p. 385
  • Crema con mirtilli p. 596

Wine will be a sparkling brut rosé (sorry) to start, followed by a Sicilian white and a red-to-be-determined (but leaning towards a Nero d’Avola, a recent interest of mine).

So… what am I missing?

July 18, 2009   Comments Off

Canon VIXIA HFS-100 fumble test

So, I just got this new toy. The following video was shot after ripping the camera out of the box and fumbling with it to figure out how to turn it on, set it to high quality, zoom and focus. Hence it is nothing more than the fumble test. Here is a sample of what you get with the “raw” AVHDC conversion to Apple Intermediate codec, and another sample of what you get when you use iMovie 09′s Share > Export Movie… > HD option (720p).

The links below should pop a QuickTime player for you. Both are large files at high resolutions. Cuts are about 16 seconds each (I didn’t bother trying to make them exactly the same but the overlap is considerable).

Apple Intermediate, 1920×1080 pixels, 214 MB

iMovie HD Export, 1280×720 pixels, 24 MB

Light in the room was above average (very sunny out, large windows on three sides, high ceiling).

By the way, I really like the camera. I’m already wondering if I should get the extra battery and charge, and a wide angle lens. Still, too bad about that viewfinder, Canon.

July 17, 2009   Comments Off

That’s my fun day…

We are alternating days between work and fun. On work days, we go to the house and work for a few hours, pack up some boxes, and clean a little bit. Usually a visit to a restaurant is involved. Today was a work day. Tomorrow I’m taking the kids to Enchanted Village. I loved that place growing up and I’m sure I pleaded to go down there far to often for my parents to tolerate.

I remember that I thought that the movie for The Neverending Story was a timeless classic when I was twelve. It doesn’t really hold up well, although the kids today love it too. Of course, they can see it whenever they want thanks to the miracle of technology. Anyway, I hope that the enchantment on this particular village isn’t just an easily penetrated glamour.

Two days ago, the last work day, we left the kids with Grandma for a few hours of work at the other house. We actually stranded them there because @agentwool made me take her down to Olympia to buy shoes, we got hungry, one restaurant led to another and before we knew it we were eating at Basilico, the best unknown Italian restaurant I’ve been to since I’ve been to Italy. We totally overstayed and probably ticked off the grandma in return. So today I made reservations for their seasonal six course wine dinner. We’re treating her parents as a way of expressing our gratitude for helping out with the move (and the house…) and I can’t wait to go back there. A true gem of Olympia.

July 10, 2009   Comments Off

Snaked

Took the family to Point Defiance today for something I have been meaning to do for a while: driving in small funny cars around a track for several minutes.

Actually it was a lot of fun. I drove each kid for one session. First up was Dorothy, who sat and smiled and each time yelled, “Yeah!” when I leaned over and shouted “Are you having fun?” I could see it being scary and after the first lap I started driving pretty aggressively. I needed to make sure I wasn’t scarring her emotionally. Her face, Mrs. Xaritas tells me, was unreadably blank during the drive-bys.

Next, Christopher. He held on for dear life, gripping my knee which was pressed up against him in the cramped double Go-Kart, and alternated between courageously submerged terror and wind-in-your-hair exuberance.

Finally Nicholas, who was practically vibrating with eagerness, got a chance. He loves all things mechanical. He’s terrified not of acts of physical danger but of failure and looking foolish. So I think my driving him enabled him to experience it as pure exhilaration. At least, that is how his face looked.

Best part: realizing that the “snaking” mechanics of Mario Kart aren’t totally fictitious. It really does help to fishtail a bit around the corners to pick up speed. My only regret is that @agentwool did not participate, but at least she live-tweeted it, with pictures.

Price was $6.00 for a normal ride, and $8.00 for the double karts. Worth it. Kids were asking to make it an annual tradition. Cute, because they have no concept of time.

July 9, 2009   Comments Off