Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Biscuits and The Answer

Buttermilk Biscuits (courtesy of How to Cook Everything cookbook)
2 cups White Lily or cake flour
1 scant teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
5 tablespoons cold butter
7/8 cups buttermilk

-Preheat oven to 450
-Mix flour, salt, baking powder, and baking salt
-Cut in cold butter or blend in food processor
-Stir in buttermilk until just mixed
-Turn dough onto a floured surface and press flat
-Use biscuit cutter or glass to make 10-14 biscuits
-Bake for 7-9 minutes

Oh, and I think Pimm's tastes like the Turkish Delight candy that Kate made. Must be the orange and cloves.

Sunday, October 22, 2006


Does anyone think Pimm's tastes like the candy Kate made for our Chronicles of Narnia celebration?

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Biscuits and A Challenge

Since I was alone all this weekend, I learned even more about myself that most of you probably already know. If left to my own devices, I will stay in my pajamas all day and only put on clothes because I'm cold or to go out for two slices of pizza. I will also watch crazy amounts of CSI, L&O, and the History Channel. Here's the new part: I will also bake experimentally.

Baking serves to really take my mind off things; because I don't do it too often, I have to really concentrate on it. First, I made some Chocolate Midnight cookies out of the most recent Bon Appetit magazine. They're good but super dark chocolatey. Tolerable if rolled in powdered sugar.

Friday I also made this delicious Spinach and Sausage soup with other veggies and tomatoes. I forget where I got that recipe, but it's yummy and would also be good with potatoes. Saturday I managed not to cook anything but did get some Nutter Butter cookies (not the delectable wafers) for Sarah's late night visit on Saturday evening. She was nice enough to come over after I called to be pitiful in my lonliness.

This morning, however, was my crowning glory. I made biscuits! Not the drop kind that my daddy calls "cathead" biscuits, but the real I'm-gonna-roll-these-out-n-cut-'em-buttermilk biscuits. They turned out so well and I'm trying not to eat them all. I also managed to do some reading, tutoring, and grading papers in the meantime, so I suppose I've had a fairly productive weekend though I still haven't managed to put away the clean laundry that's in my room. At least my roommate will have plenty of baked goods to come home to when he returns from South Carolina tonight.

Wednesday, I'm flying out to Tulsa for a conference but will only be there till Friday. I fully expect to be shot down at my seminar because I'm presenting a paper in a group of 6 which means that there will be plenty of time to rip my paper apart. Hopefully, these much more established members of academia will take pity and not be too harsh. Then it's back here for Brandon and Laura's birthday party on Saturday. It's a tapas party and we're having it at our apartment. What's going on for Halloween everybody?

A Challenge For Kate, Dominic, and Dale: Have some Pimm's No.1 and tell me what it tastes like. There will be a clue posted later.

Friday, October 06, 2006

I Think They'll Keep Me

So my sigh of relief may be one of exhaustion or surrender, but as in other matters of my life, I'm pretending that things will be ok. After a meeting with the university president and provost last night, I feel more encouraged that our PhD programs will not be cut. Administrators have gone on record saying that reasons for suspending admissions are mostly financial, and that they plan to follow the recommendations of the faculty and outside review committee. I think and hope that means that if faculty and students can work up a new and improved program then we'll be able to keep our PhD programs in English and History.

Interesting Fact: Drew University is the only school of its size in America to grant PhD's in the liberal arts. While this is all nice and prestigious and speaks to the uniqueness off our programs, it also confuses outsiders as to why we have such programs and how we're able to financially support them. Our programs exist because of some very nice people who fund the grad school and because of the dedicated faculty and enthusiastic students here. It's a great program and I'm glad things are looking up. And I'm glad I don't have to worry about it anymore for right now.

Other than that, I'm hanging on by my pinky toes as far as getting my own schoolwork done while grading composition papers, babysitting, and tutoring at least two nights a week. Things will thankfully slow down after mid-October, so my sanity is really looking forward to that.

Upcoming events: I'm conferencing in Tulsa at the Modernist Studies Association conference and presenting a paper on The Implications of Posthumous Publication that's based of my thesis. That's on October 19th, and I'll return just in time to have Laura and Brandon's birthday party then attend the Vieira's halloween party the next weekend.

Parties are much better than work. Bring on the party.

Speaking of party, I'm all alone on this chilly Friday night watching tv and surfing the internet to avoid reading student papers. I did watch Jarhead today (nice movie, not overtly provocative, but better than the amount of buzz it got) and the last two episodes of Carnivale, so I got some closure on my netflix list. Oh, but I did go to the pub earlier and (in the words of Robert Earl Keen) had such a good time I had to take a nap. No one wanted to go out after that though. Wah, wah, waaaah. Here I sit waiting for my roommate and Buist to get back and entertain me with some southernisms. Where's my man to have dinner with?