Today, somewhere in between the bus and post office and the Ben Harper concert at the Triple Door (I was volunteering at this exclusive KEXP event for 500 Club members) and Nordstrom, I lost my beloved black cashmere knit hat. (Sob.)
I cooked something fantastic last night. Carnitas. Holy cow these are awesome. And cheap! Pork shoulder (at Whole Foods, mind you!) was only $3.79/lb. Both the butcher and the checkout woman asked me what I was making and seemed impressed by my answer. (The butcher asked me to bring him some!) My recipe inspiration came from Matthew from Roots and Grubs, and his post directed me to this amazing eGullet thread about cooking carnitas. With that excess of information, here's the general path I followed (it's very similar to Matthew's recipe and post #65 from the eGullet thread):
Cut the pork shoulder (mine was 2.3 lbs) into approximately 1-inch cubes and toss with 1 (really big) chopped onion, 2 minced jalapenos, 5 cloves of minced garlic, 2 T cumin, 1 T oregano, a bunch of cilantro, and some chili powder. Let all that sit in the fridge for a few hours. Then put the pork into a big pot with 1/4 c lime juice, 1/4 c lemon juice, 1/2 c orange juice, 1/2 c tequila, 1/2 c beer (I used an IPA), and 1 c chicken stock. Simmer until almost all of the liquid is gone (almost exactly 2 hours for me). Then turn up the heat slightly and fry. You're ready when everything gets a little crispy.
It's kind of funny when you find yourself telling someone about your possible plans for nutrition graduate school over a dinner of 2 Sierra Nevada Pale Ales and half a plate of potato chip nachos (ie, potato chips with melted cheese, jalapenos, salsa, and sour cream).
As I've mentioned, we won second place at the last EMP Trivia Night ever. Words (still) can't express my glee. I will say that the questions seemed a bit easier than usual, but I'm not complaining. The trophy!
And now, for a bit of interactivity, here are the 5 questions we missed last night. Post your answers in the comments if you want to play along. 1. What teammate of Larry Bird won more games than any other player in NBA history? 2. In what year did the Friends finale air? 3. In 1997, what name was given to the nation formerly known as Zaire? 4. What do you call the offspring of a male tiger and a female lion? 5. Who left West Point after a 5-day tenure for the Confederate army? (I think he left to command the army, but I'm not entirely positive.)
Thanks to Fred and my fantastic teammates for 11 months of awesome Wednesday nights.
Wow! My first ever double Trivia Night post! Try to contain your excitement.
3/8: Ah, the penultimate Wednesday Trivia Night. We actually won the JV trivia prize, or the prize for being the smartest team among the dumb people. (Fred implemented this new plan where we score the answers after the first half. Whoever gets below a certain point level on the first half competes for the JV prize of $10.) Our second half was much better--in the first half, we got every single question wrong in the category, "Who said this quote, Ben Franklin or Confucius?"
3/12: We won! Very impressive. And seriously--the Jones' fries are so, SO good. (Sunday was also a great day for other reasons besides the trivia win. It was a Day of Double Fries, in which I ate poutine at brunch on Sunday morning and fries at the Jones at night.)
I am officially a member of the "world's second smartest team," and I have the trophy to prove it.
Pictures to come, soon.
(Since I have essentially no experience with organized team sports [I don't think horseback riding counts], I am seriously so, SO excited about winning this trophy. I was hoisting it up in the air like I won the Stanley Cup or something.)
I have to admit, I am really envious of the benefits that come with Nate's job--the amazing health insurance package, access to a gym with 4 pools and something called a "cardio theater," and an awesome free beverage selection (they have those refrigerated cabinets you see in convenience stores with every single soda you could imagine--regular and diet varieties--and tons of different juices and varieties of sparkling and still water).
So I've got lots of stuff that's happened in the past few weeks. Want to hear about it?
In the reading arena, I've finished a bunch of books. Snow, while critically acclaimed, did not impress me at all. Actually, it was one of those books that made me feel stupid. Like, everyone thinks this is great, so what does it mean that I'm bored? I had to power through at the end so I could start something else. And that something else was The Historian. WOW. Read it. It's a well-written DaVinci Code (which, in my opinion, was a rather badly written, but really interesting, page-turner). Mystery and history and vampires and love...it's just good. Read it. (I was so enthralled that I read all 650 pages in 2 days. And it was scary! After reading before bed I'd have to watch a few minutes of the Food Network so I didn't have dreams about vampires.)
Cooking-wise, I made a HUGE amount of healthy and tasty spicy bean soup (that really does say a half cup of chili powder) and delicious spinach lasagna (I double the spinach). At my Oscar party tonight, we had my new favorite cocktail, the French 75. It doesn't taste alcoholic at all! And any drink with a maraschino cherry is good in my book.
Last weekend we saw Rob Corddry at the UW. He was great. Funny, obviously, and self-deprecating, and fantastic with hecklers. At one point, these 2 guys left the room and then returned with a Nepalese flag. Then they handed it to Rob and he proceeded to make fun of the "flag guys" for the rest of the night--but in a nice way. (I immediately texted Vijay after the show. A Nepalese flag!!!) He also answered questions from the audience, 2 of which involved bears (1 question was about the animal, and 1 was about the gay fetish [yup, really]).
And, we've arrived at our third-to-last trivia night. We came in third this week--but we all know that we're saving our brainpower for the last night, when the first place team gets a $60 prize (double the normal $30 prize).
There were some Oscar questions, some Dick Cheney questions, and a fun category about celebrity children's book authors. I also employed my unnecessary parenthetical explanation technique again, when, in answer to the question, "What is hidden in a king cake?", I wrote, "baby (not real--plastic)".
Because, you know, to differentiate it from the cake with the live babies baked inside.
So I took this awesome personality test the other day. (Take it and you'll see what I mean--the design is really cool, with the sliding scale and grid concept.) It didn't really tell me anything I didn't already know (hello, logical and detail-oriented, and likes a routine!), but it was still interesting.
My results: check out my confidence, openness, and extroversion levels. Kind of depressing, but you know, whatever. I've never claimed to be good at any of those things.
As I was leaving my Thursday night gym class, I saw my personality traits in action. These 2 people said something to me about the class--I don't even remember exactly what it was, it was just small talk as we were walking out. And I froze. Like, who are these strangers and why are they talking to me?! I think I managed to say something (without eye contact of course) before I scurried away down the stairs.
I don't think this working-from-home thing is helping me any in this area. Thank goodness next week is the KEXP pledge drive--I think I could use some human interaction with strangers. (My introversion is not with my friends or acquaintances, it's with people I don't know.)
Anyway, if I avoided eye contact and scurried away from you, before I knew you, now you know why. I am scared of strangers!
We didn't even come close to winning. We really tanked on 2 categories: geology and "home sweet home," which featured questions about Washington state. No one on our team was from Washington, but hey, we definitely would have rocked a Canada/Scotland/Colorado/New Jersey category!
Did you know that Steven Spielberg wanted Haley Joel Osment to play Harry in the Harry Potter movies?
The french fries were, once again, fabulous. Best fries in Seattle. (But a note for next time: we might not need 3 orders for 5 people.)