April 29, 2013
All winter, people have been coming up on my porch and making fun of me for not yet cleaning up my pumpkins.
Remember these pumpkins Claire and her friends carved last year, with portraits of their Walkerville Collegiate teachers on them? Okay, so old collapsed pumpkins are gross and yes, I should have cleaned them up but look, I was going to do it the other day when I raked last year’s fallen leaves off the front garden (what? WHAT?). But look at this. They totally got better with age, you guys.
They remind me of the apple-head doll my little brother made when we were kids, which had raw wires for hands sticking out of its crudely stitched calico dress, white lines of Liquid Paper accenting its unholy eye sockets, and a horrifying shock of cotton batting hair atop its shriveled head. I used to lie on the living room couch late into the night as a teenager, watching rock videos alone in the dark and feeling slightly terrified of its malevolent, rotten-fruit gaze burning into me from its stand over the fireplace. Yup, scared of a folk-art doll, that’s me.
This one’s just a cavernous face-hole with a still-fabulous hairdo.
Yes, they are still there. Shut up.
Posted by jodi on April 29, 2013 at 9.59pm
April 24, 2013
Because it is finally time for this barn to come down. And we all know that everyone, including former Governors General, loves to tear down a barn.
And because it’s still awesome after all these years, and because we try to keep our CanCon percentages high here at jodi’s weblog headquarters, you can visit this old post to watch the classic “Adrienne Clarkson tearing down a barn” number.
It’s funny how someone who was a television broadcaster for so many years can be such a bad actor.
Photos are shot with this Holga lens attached to the Canon Rebel T2i. My Gramma’s backyard, Exeter, Ontario, March 31 2013.
Posted by jodi on April 24, 2013 at 9.21pm
April 20, 2013
As fuel for my first roller derby bout as a Hiram Stalker, I decided to simplify my protein snack formula somewhat. While the last batch of bars I made were easy and delicious, the texture was still a little odd, kind of a combination between gooey and brittle, if you can imagine such a combination. I wanted to try again without baking, which meant two changes: no water in the mix, and smaller pieces.
There’s no real recipe, just a bunch of good things thrown together and formed into little balls, but I’ll try to give an approximation of what I did. Start with nuts and dried fruit in a 1:1 ratio in the food processor, and pulse it
until you think your food processor’s motor is going to burn out and then a little more* until you get a mixture that clumps and follows itself around the blade. I used a cup of almonds, a cup of walnuts, a cup and a half of dates and half a cup of raisins. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and add whatever you want to it. I divided my mixture into thirds, adding about a tablespoon each of hemp hearts, hemp protein powder, and sesame seeds, and about a teaspoon** (in retrospect, probably too much) chia seed to each. Then handfuls of shredded coconut to two batches and a handful of chopped (roasted, salted) peanuts to the other. Roll it into tight little balls of about a tablespoon then roll in your toppings to coat. I rolled mine in shredded coconut, toasted sesame seeds, and cocoa. I made a more carb-laden second batch, not shown here, that was basically all the same ingredients plus a couple of handfuls of rolled oats, and enough peanut butter to keep them together (mixed in a bit at a time with a pastry blender in order to keep the peanut butter as scant as possible).
Lay them all out on a parchment lined baking sheet and pop them into the fridge to cool, and you’re done!
Now share a whole bunch with your teamies and then go play some roller derby or do something else rad.
*EDIT: while this first batch seemed to take hours, and involved opening up the food processor multiple times to pry blobs of date and pieces of nut out from under the blades, the batch I made a few days later took only 5 minutes. Two major differences: there was only half as much material in the food processor, about a cup each of nuts and dried fruit; and unlike the first time around, this time I put the nuts in on the BOTTOM and the dates on the TOP. Dates are just way too sticky to go on the bottom.
**EDIT, AGAIN: use less than this, a lot less, unless you really need to clean your colon out well, if you catch my drift. Use a quarter teaspoon or less for 1/3 of the “2 cups nuts, 2 cups fruit” amount. You can also use psyllium seed husk or ground flax seed instead of chia seed; all will have the same effect of helping to glue the balls together and also of helping you be regular.
Posted by jodi on April 20, 2013 at 8.31am
April 18, 2013
Downtown Windsor, outside the bus terminal. Taken with the Harinezumi digital.
Posted by jodi on April 18, 2013 at 2.47pm
April 17, 2013
I’ve decided to keep all of my business and studio news and content over here in a new space: Levigator Press. It’s still a work in progress, and of course studio news will still spill over into here, but I thought there might be some people who would like to follow what’s happening in the LP studio without having to know about what I’m cooking or what’s new in the ongoing rivalry between my cats. There is a page there detailing all of the upcoming bookbinding and printmaking workshops I’ll be teaching, so if you want to get your Levigator Press learning on, go over and check it out!
Posted by jodi on April 17, 2013 at 9.19am
April 12, 2013
Here is the best way I have come up with so far for eating the salt-preserved grapefruits: thinly sliced and generously piled on top of a bowl of frozen (or fresh) berries, plain full-fat yogourt, a drizzle of maple syrup, handful of walnuts, tablespoon of toasted kasha, tablespoon of hemp hearts. The flesh of the grapefruits is beautifully tart and salty, so it’s first scooped out and dumped onto the yogourt, then the bitter pith is scraped out and discarded and the outer rind sliced and piled on top of the bowl.
Grapefruit doesn’t seem to be the right flavour to substitute for preserved lemons in cooking, so it seems I’ll be eating a lot of this. The brainstorming and experimentation for these is now moving away from food and towards cocktails; stay tuned!
Posted by jodi on April 12, 2013 at 8.33am
March 13, 2013
This morning’s conversation as I boarded the bus leaving the university:
Bus Driver (practically seizing my arm to prevent me from putting my ticket in the machine): Wait. Wait a minute. Don’t put that there. That’s an adult ticket. Are you a student?
Me: . . . sort of?
Driver: do you have a student I.D.?
Me (seeing where this is going): Surely I don’t qualify for student tickets.
Driver: DO YOU HAVE A STUDENT I.D.?
Me: I’m 40 years old and only taking one class.
Driver: DO YOU HAVE A STUDENT I.D.? (Imagine those block caps 50% bigger than the last ones)
Me: (contrite voice) yes.
Driver: WHERE FROM?
Me: (pointing out the bus window, towards the university) um.
Driver: Put that away. Pay a loonie. Do yourself a favour. Sheesh.
Me: (digging out a loonie, sheepishly putting it in the machine, heading to my seat amidst a silent chorus of massive side-eyes) O. . .kay?
So now I have to buy separate (cheaper, student) bus tickets just for this one driver who won’t take my adult tickets even though I will be too embarrassed to try and use them with any other driver (see above, re: 40 years old and only taking one class). SHEESH YOURSELF, DRIVER. Thank goodness it’s almost bike riding weather.
Posted by jodi on March 13, 2013 at 10.47am
March 10, 2013
Skeeter and Wanda, sleeping on the couch very close to one another, pretending like it’s no big deal.
It is a pretty big deal.
Posted by jodi on March 10, 2013 at 11.11am
February 25, 2013
5 grapefruits, freshly put up in salt, their own juices, the juice of one lemon, and a bit of fenugreek seed and black peppercorns. It should be a relatively gentle introduction to preserving food by fermenting, which seems a little bit terrifying after more than a decade of very careful hot water processing. But life is full of little everyday dangers, and I know people who ferment their food and do not die from it, and oh! heaven, is this stuff going to taste brilliant over a bowl of thick, plain yogourt. Eventually. Fermentually. Hah.
Posted by jodi on February 25, 2013 at 5.01pm
February 20, 2013
I’ve tried my hand at homemade protein bars before, with mixed-to-poor results, using mixtures of mashed beans, fruits, quinoa flour and loads of other ingredients that just don’t add up to something I enjoy eating. There are plenty of commercial protein bars on the market that have too many ingredients and taste half-gross without going to the trouble of making them at home, so I gave up for a while, until it dawned on me that the perfect recipe should satisfy the rule I use when shopping for food at the grocery store: 5 ingredients or less* or I don’t eat it. So with simplicity in mind, I whipped up a little bar with just the basics. They came out delicious, if a tad gooey; this could be rectified by baking a little longer, or by adding quinoa flour or something similar to cut down on the goo factor of the dates. I’ll try grinding some quinoa (and perhaps shredding a bit of coconut) into it next time and let you know how it goes, but in the meantime these are well worth making as is.
Of course I don’t measure anything but this is a close approximation of what I did. As long as there’s enough gooey stuff to hold everything else together, it doesn’t have to be exact. Feel free to change any of the nuts to different nuts that suit you better, but if you don’t use any that are salted you may wish to add a little salt.
Date Nut Bars (makes approximately 15 bars)
-3 cups pitted dates, soaked for a few hours and drained well
-1 tbsp ground flax seed
-3 servings** of your preferred protein powder (I used 12 tbsp of Manitoba Harvest Hemp Pro 70)
-1/2 cup chopped raw almonds
-1/2 cup chopped raw walnuts
-3/4 cup chopped oil roasted salted peanuts
-1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds
Purée the dates in a food processor until smooth. You will likely need to add a bit of water to get the job done, but use as little as you can get away with.
Transfer the date purée to a bowl and mix in your protein powder and flax seed until well blended.
Fold in seeds and nuts and scrape it all onto a parchment lined cookie sheet, smoothing the mixture out to about 1cm thick. You will want to oil your parchment very lightly; I didn’t, and when I flipped the bars at the halfway point the parchment stuck quite a bit.
Bake for an hour in a 200° F oven. Oil a new piece of parchment paper and lay it oil-side down on top of the bars. Then carefully flip the whole thing over onto the new parchment. Remove the first piece of parchment and discard. You may wish to score lines for cutting at this point, but you don’t have to. Bake it for one more hour, remove from the oven and let cool a bit before cutting it into 15 equal pieces. It will all seem rather floppy at first but will firm up on cooling.
Calories per bar: 199
Fat: 9 grams
Protein: 8 grams
* yes, I realize this recipe has more than 5 ingredients. It’s not a hard and fast rule, just a way to make sure I’m eating mostly whole foods most of the time.
** go ahead and use more than this if you want in order to up the total protein per bar. The hemp protein I use has a strong flavour and so I added it a bit at a time, tasting as I went, and stopped at the point where it seemed like it might take over the flavour of the bars too much. But next time I make them I’m going to use a lot more.
Posted by jodi on February 20, 2013 at 12.51pm