Thursday, August 17, 2006


As it's been a few weeks since I've mentioned the following, I thought I'd inflict a bit of follow-up on the trivial of my life. Hate to keep you hanging with the suspense.


The endless loop of "Why Can't We Be Friends" has been replaced by (no, Beth, NOT "It's A Small World", evil vixen) but by the infinitely preferred and lively paced:

The Philosopher's Song(Monty Python)

Immanuel Kant was a real pissant
Who was very rarely stable.
Heidegger, Heidegger was a boozy beggar
Who could think you under the table.
David Hume could out-consume
Schopenhauer and Hegel,
And Wittgenstein was a beery swine
Who was just as schloshed as Schlegel.

There's nothing Nietzsche couldn't teach ya
'Bout the raising of the wrist.

John Stuart Mill, of his own free will,
On half a pint of shandy was particularly ill.
Plato, they say, could stick it away
Half a crate of whiskey every day.
Aristotle, Aristotle was a bugger for the bottle,
Hobbes was fond of his dram,
And Rene Descartes was a drunken fart:
"I drink, therefore I am"

Yes, Socrates, himself, is particularly missed;
A lovely little thinker but a bugger when he's pissed!

See how I've included the full set of lyrics so you (at least all appropriately versed in Things Python) can all sing along with me across the vastness of cyberspace.

Now that we've changed the collective theme song for the better, here's some more goodness from my recent days:

Food: Da Green Beans

Pictures for you

Oh, how I adored all the "what the hell am I to do with all the green beans" recipes. So far, I've taken Teri's idea of a nice beef curry and run with it. In fact, as I've changed the template and about 1/2 the ingredients from the recipe that I took out of the cookbook, (and it really looked nothing like the picture in the book) I feel that I can claim it as my own and submit it to you. I think it's yummy, but then, consider the source:

Terribly Easy Green Curry with Beef and All Those Green Beans.

1 Tbsp olive oil
3 Tbsp green curry paste
1 + 1/2 cans (400ml + 200 ml) coconut milk
1 lb green beans (or so) . More would be fine and dandy.
1+1/2 lbs sliced, good quality beef (you want something nice and tender for this)
2 Tbsp oyster sauce
1 tsp sugar

Take a large pot, like a dutch oven sized one. Add the oil and the curry paste, cook on mediumish until fragrant (say a minute or so, depends on your stove).

Add about 1/2 the coconut milk and stir so there are no curry lumps. Cook until there is a nice sheen of oil on top (hush). Say about 5 minutes. Or so.

Bung in the green beans, slices of beef, oyster sauce and sugar in the pot, stir it up, cook for 2-3 minutes then add the rest of the coconut milk. Stir again. Obviously.

Simmer for a bit, until the meat is done and the beans are tender. Maybe 5-10 minutes. I don't know. Sara was talking to me. And then Charles came in. And the dog. I got distracted.

Serve over rice. It was rather runny, so I put it in bowls. I also sauted some sliced ichiban egg plant in olive oil and a few cloves of garlic. (Eggplant would have been good in the curry as well, in fact it was supposed to be in it in place of the beans but it was the beans I needed to work with, so the eggplant became the side dish. That's the beauty of curry, always room to add something more.)

I think I'll try one of the lovely green bean salads next. I even bought some tuna for Jamie's suggestion of salad nicoise. Have I told you-all lately how I love you?


Pictures for you

Here are the new specs. They are rather like the old ones, just in one piece and slightly hexagonal rather than oval. And as I've started to go ever-so-slightly more far-sighted and less near-sighted, a bit different prescription. The first change in, say, 30 years. (What can I say? When my eyes went bad at the tender age of 8, they went bad fast.) I went ahead and, for the first time, got a back-up pair of contacts. Well, I actually got new (again, new prescription in the one eye, to be gradually shifted so one eye sees near and one sees far as I descend into physical decrepitude) contacts and have my old ones for 'emergencies'. Such a luxury.


Charles has just finished his first term in grad school. We've come through it fairly well but are holding our collective opinions about this whole thing until after fall term, when he has to take 9 rather than 6 credit hours and will have all those pesky kids back in his now quiet school. Yes. We shall see.


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Finally, FINALLY! The porch has been stripped (sorta), sanded (as much as I had the oomph to do), washed, dried, primed and painted. It's pretty and white and already has fresh bird poop on it. Guess the birds approve. It makes me happy. Of course, now the flower beds look like utter ass as I've put in all the time on the porch, neglecting them. Having the spiffy porch also makes the garden look all the more woe-be-gone. Sigh. This weekend, me and the spade and the gardening gloves will wage yet another battle.

The Vegetable Garden:

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For some reason, It's just not growing as rampantly as it did last year. I have a sneaking suspicion that I didn't get the compost as evenly distributed as I thought when I was tilling it all in. Witness the tomatoes:

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As you can see, to the right, the plants are scrawny and, as you go down the row to the left, each plant is about double the size of its neighbor-to-the-right.

This pear tomato seems to have gotten the lion's share of all good things:

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Yes, that huge mass of plant in the center of the picture that's trying to escape the walls. One tomato plant.

One lone cucumber of the several I planted has made it. I actually was sure it was dead, but hadn't pulled it out of the ground after the bugs had destroyed it. Guess it was playing possum.

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And, for Rozanne, this is the only use for a tomato cage I've come up with. It holds up the cucumbers off the ground:

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You know, about a week ago, she must have gained that last ounce that meant the difference between clawing and side-scooting under the bed and just being able to get her head under. Heh. Heh. Not as much fun chewing up your contraband in plain view of Those Who Disapprove. The kitty is having a ball, though, as she can maneuver around under said bed and bat at the dog head, which is precisely what she's doing in the picture, you just can't see her as, well, she's under the bed. Mad-Kitty, by the way, was found shut in Charles's sock drawer for the second time. I'm beginning to think she wants to be shut in terribly small places.

So, there you have it. Anything I've forgotten? I'll field questions from the audience.



Blogger Lisa P said...

Hi Honey!
Wow! How unlike me to be the FIRST to reply...
I'm SO glad you included the lyrics - I haven't been able to recall the song in it's entirety since my college days. Now if I could only remember the tune (I have prats of it...).
Have a lovely day!

2:27 PM  
Blogger Lisa P said...

Hmm... I never was one for proof-reading.. That would be "parts" not "prats".

2:28 PM  
Blogger brooksba said...

I love the tune and green beans! You know I adore green beans. You'd be proud of me too. I finally got some of the yummy greenies and cooked them MYSELF. They were delicious!

There's no glare in the picture of your glasses. Did you get them with the no glare lenses? Or is it a clever angle?

Love the picture of Emma trying to get under the bed. Priceless!

2:47 PM  
Blogger Cagey said...

Yikes - you HAVE been busy.

3:08 PM  
Anonymous Leigh-Ann said...

Is beef curry like beef panang? I know the latter is a curry, but it's a red curry. I'm not from a family of curry enthusiasts, so I haven't been exposed to much of it. Beef panang and Singapore noodles are about the extent of it, come to think of it.

That's one fine-looking dog, btw :)

6:33 PM  
Blogger Teri said...

mmmmmm, that recipe looks damn good. I'm coming for dinner next time you make it.

Speaking of visits, we're kicking around the idea of a fall camping trip in your neck of the woods... like, really in your neck of the woods. Like, at a state park that shares a name with the town near you.

Our trip to Mad-town this month has been floated, changed, changed again and yet again... oh heck, I'll e-mail you, instead of hogging up the comments section here.

8:10 PM  
Blogger Diana said...

Lisa- Hi Honey! The tune is maddeningly addictive. It will come to you. It will probably weave through your dreams all night and you will hate me in the morning. (I think 'prats' makes all sorts of sense, actually.)

Beth- Yeah! beans and butter. I'm happy for you. As for the glasses, I have no idea. If the angle is clever, it is purely happenstance. Probably the lenses.

Cagey- You know, that's the beauty of a blog, it always looks better in print. If you asked me, I'd just say that I'd frittered away weeks.

Leigh-Ann- I have no idea. Anyone know if the above (with the substitution of red curry paste for green) is beef panang? Teri's suggestion was for a red curry dish but I had a recipe for green and 2 jars of green paste on hand.

She is very aesthetically pleasing, isn't she?

Teri- Deal! and Squeal! Really? To my little neck of the woods? Absolutely. I was wondering if the trip to Madison was on hold. Now I will have to haunt my e-mail. Will make a change from haunting your blog.

9:08 PM  
Blogger Rozanne said...

Love the Philosopher's Song esp. the line "just as shloshed as Schlegel."

Do you *not* have disposible contacts? B and I were talking the other day about how we didn't think it was possible to get nondisposibles anymore.

Brilliant alternative use for the tomato cage. I'm glad you found something useful for it to do.

My tomatoes look sadly similar to yours. All scrawn and no brawn.

10:26 PM  
Anonymous christiemr said...

The dog, she looks we need to worry about what Mad-kitty is batting around under the bed? And how in Gods name do you have enough time to do all this stuff??? Gardens, painting, raising heathen dogs, and still cook?????

11:03 PM  
Blogger Lauren said...

May you are making me tired. I keep looking at the wallpaper in our bedroom. It is on the upper half of the walls as well as the ceiling. UGH. It needs to come down so that I can paint but then I keep walking since I HATE to remove wallpaper. You are definitely making me look bad. ;-)

9:11 AM  
Blogger CarpeDM said...

I love the continuing adventures of Diana. I don't know the song that well so I'm safe.

Molly (and Mad) are so cute. I am enjoying the thought of Mad playing with Molly's head.

1:43 PM  
Blogger Diana said...

Rozanne- Nope. Not disposable, gas permeable, same as I've had the past 25 years. Dianasaurus. They work well for me and, as I've only had about 4 pairs the past 25 years, quite economical to date. I sheepishly asked my eye doc if anyone used them anymore and he assured me that, while not the most popular, they were still in demand. Like straight legged jeans, I imagine.

Christie R- (I live writing that.) Brainless, sometimes, but sadly, not headless. Remember, I am a slovenly sloth and only work 3 days a week. And have no pager. Heh. Heh, heh, heh.

Lauren- (hanging head) I've never stripped wall paper in my life. I've always slapped primer over it and then painted over the whole thing. So far, so good. But then, I've only had to deal with those wallpaper border things around the top of the ceiling, not a whole room of wallpaper.

Dana- Kiss, kiss and right back at you. Mad plays with heads in more ways than one.

7:33 PM  
Blogger Mother of Invention said...

Funny how I get all enthused about cooking and trying new recipes with all the freash produce coming in right now...and how quickly this wanes when plunged into the dead of winter! better enjoy and feast on it all now!
You've been a busy lady and have a lot you've accomplished over the summer. Enjoy your kids being home for the last few weeks of Summer '06!

8:47 PM  

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