Have you gone sicko mode on a mango lately? Here's your sign if you've been waiting for one.
This week's menu is: frozen hashbrowns and smoothies (breakfast), lentil-kale salad with grilled cheese on dark rye (packed lunches), chicken noodle soup (dinner), and we're still working on finishing those cookies.
That repository of vintage art I mentioned last week continues to grow and can now be found on github and itch.io.
I liked the playable essay Bread Minus, “a short narration of my process for baking sourdough bread, interspersed with some tangents on rocket countdowns, oven measurements, and the invention of time.”
I got a puerh tasting set from Crimson Lotus Tea and it was worth the long shipping time.
My menu for this coming week is: whatever you can find (breakfast), sambal noodles (packed lunches + dinner), digaag qumbe (packed lunches + dinner), kale-lentil salad (packed snack + side), oatmeal chocolate chip cookies (yum).
The visual novel Butterfly Soup now has web and android ports! I read this a few years ago and really enjoyed it, especially since it takes place in a California high school at around the same time I was going to high school in California.
Here's a very cool in-progress collection of images taken from public domain books and converted into vector format. My favorites so far are: divider11, frame11, ornament19, ornament28, ornament43 (below), ornatec10, torch, agreatcuriosity, and lazywifepolebean.
This week's menu, all packed or leftover'd: whatever you can scrounge up (breakfast); bánh mì (packed lunches); burritos with veggie and black bean arroz rojo, refried black beans, cheeses, salsa verde (dinner), barley-lentil-chickpea-orzo soup with roasted red peppers and sundried tomatoes (dinner), muhammara (snack), cheesecake (cake).
My birthday cake this year was a Basque Burnt Cheesecake. I subbed in chèvre for part of the cream cheese as an experiment, and added a little bit of lemon zest, vanilla, and almond extract. It's very good, as with the other times I've made it. I omitted the tiny bit of flour this time and I think the texture was better with it. (Cobbled together from tworecipes.)
Beet-dyed challah — I was making challah regularly for a few years to use up an excess of duck eggs, and the visual of a horrifyingly red-pink loaf has me wanting to do it again. For a work potluck, perhaps.
Cold noodles, served in a communal bowl of ice water with individual dipping sauce bowls and a platter of toppings and sides — this week it's hardboiled eggs; raw cabbage massaged with salt and fish sauce; cubed daikon and carrot fridge pickle with garlic, chili-garlic paste, soy sauce, and balsamic vinegar; sliced melon. All I have to do when I want some is boil water for the noodles and plate everything.
Muesli with yogurt/overnight oats. This always ends up being a collection of pantry bits, and my current batch has steel-cut oats, thick-cut rolled oats, sesame seeds, poppy seeds, almonds, golden raisins, cinnamon-cardamom sugar, a spoonful of coconut cream, and homemade mesophilic yogurt.
Low-effort burritos. It doesn't take long to grab the tortillas, rice (arroz rojo with black beans and frozen mixed veggies), beans (refried from a can), cheese (grated cheddar), and salsa verde from the fridge, assembly-line some burritos, and heat them up in a skillet until they're crispy.
Mugi-cha. Toast/roast a bunch of barley until it's anywhere from golden brown to dark brown (but not burnt). Bring 1/3-¼ cup of the toasted barley to a boil in 8 cups of water (that's how big my pitcher is), turn it off and leave it to steep. Strain and refrigerate, topping up the pitcher with water or ice since the barley will have absorbed some of the water. You can also throw in a couple black or oolong teabags while it steeps if you want caffeine.
From The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath, a mood:
Another [story idea]: THE DAY OF THE TWENTY-FOUR CAKES: Either Kafka lit-mag serious or SATEVEPOST aim high: woman at end of rope with husband, children: lost sense of order in universe, all meaningless, loss of hopes: quarrel with husband: loose ends, bills, problems, dead end. Wavering between running away or committing suicide: stayed by need to create an order: slowly, methodically begins to bake cakes, one each hour, calls store for eggs, etc. from midnight to midnight. Husband comes home: new understanding. She can go on making order in her limited way: beautiful cakes: can't bear to leave them. Try both styles: do it to your heart's content.
I'm going to start doing little semi-weekly dumps of things I think are interesting or cool. This is kind of stuff I was putting at the end of my newsletter before I stopped doing that because it was stressing me out.
I made a salve on August 1st; the carrier oils (olive and jojoba) are infused with English thyme (T. vulgaris), 'Flashback' calendula (C. officinalis), common mugwort (A. vulgaris), yomogi (A. princeps), and comfrey (S. officinale), all either grown on my balcony or harvested from plants I left in Idaho.
I made a new collage on the 1st! This only took a few hours from initial idea to finish, no procrastinating at all.
I came across this recipe for Banana Paletas a few years ago and I keep it in mind as a basic popsicle. I make them with coconut milk or a mix of coconut milk and yogurt, overripe bananas, vanilla, and no sugar. This time I also threw in some mango.
Older things I wanted to share
Shkapang and Super Radical Solitaire: Two games by the same designer that I've been using to waste time on my phone — excellent when left on a gurney in a doctor's waiting room for an hour. The former is like a cross between pong, space invaders, and touhou; the latter is a solitaire game that lets you play minigames to swap out hidden cards when you get stuck, and it's also the only solitaire care game I've tried on Ubuntu Linux that I've also liked.
“The Thing-of-the-Month Clubs” by John Brunner is a funny little story written as a magazine review of various thing-of-the-month clubs from a sci-fi future. I remembered it because I'm currently trying out my first-ever subscription box.
My partner and I continue to pick away at Higurashi no Naku Koro ni, and I cannot recommend it enough if you like visual novels, Japanese media, horror, and stories about friends. I am so sucked in; we just started the Minagoroshi arc. Start now if you want summer vibes and cicada sound effects.
Worry Herbs: A cute little game that involves writing self-care/reflection prompts on a deck of cards and drawing one every time you water the plant. You win if you finish the deck before the plant dies.
I've filled my phone with files from Standard Ebooks. They have a lot of popular/widely-read books that are in the public domain, as well as some interesting looking older works by women and authors of color that I've downloaded to check out. While browsing their catalogue I had a little bit of the “wow I've never heard of this!” feeling that I love about used book stores.
StackEdit is a nice and easy-to-use in-browser markdown editor. You can see what you're typing and how it looks side-by-side.
I started watching The Expanse on the recommendation of a relative and it's very cool! Sci-fi with a lot of flavor — the spacers have an interesting pidgin. I have no idea what the show is trying to say politically but it's fun to watch.
“September Moonrise” by Childe Hassam is supposedly a painting of, you know, the moonrise, but the colors give it a “beautiful summer in a smoky-skied western US hellscape” vibe: