Happy Easter 2011

We had a fabulous brunch today, including ham, citrus tart, fresh-made kielbasa, sourdough and mimosas. There was an Easter egg hunt in the middle, right during the few minutes when the sun was out. (I am so happy Easter was not yesterday, when we woke up to snow.)

My baked contributions were mini crab cakes--this recipe is SO GOOD. Little piping hot savory seafood bites, crunchy outside, soft and delicious inside.

Also Apricot-raisin hot cross buns. My "cross" on the top didn't work out very well. Because the recipe had me cut a big piece of dough into 20 pieces, those original cuts seemed to be the ones that stood out when baking, not the crosses I snipped in later. This recipe was OK, but I realize I am used to sticky, iced hot cross buns. These just have an egg white wash--healthy, but not quite the same.

OK, I'm going to rush back outside for more easter, we're teaching the 4-year-old how to play bocce.

Song of the Week: Das Racist

Sometimes I'm ashamed when I find out about popular music by reading The New Yorker. Shouldn't I already know these things from, like, legitimate hipster channels? But Sasha Frere Jones does a good job keeping up with these things and keeping me informed, so I'm grateful. For example one of my favorite songs of 2010, Shutterbugg by Big Boi, would not have been on my radar without my man SFJ.

So that's where I read about Das Racist, who everybody else has known about for a million years already. SFJ told me several things, like the "Das" is kind of fake patois for "That's," not a German thing. Also he explains the lyrics to their early (first?) song "Combination Pizza Hut and Taco Bell." I love this song. It is pretty silly. But also a trenchant commentary on contemporary commercialism and the ubiquity of branding. Don't you think?

Combination Pizza Hut and Taco Bell by dasracist

500th post

*photo credit below

It's taken almost 9 years, but I'm now up to post number 500 on this blog. Wow, that seems like a lot!

Thanks for reading the Cabinet of Prof. Kitty. I do this for the love and creative thrill of it. Even though I have a few ads and affiliate links here and there, I have actually never made a dime from this blog. That's OK. I like to be able to write about life, culture, music, rants, food, whatever, and not have a corporation or a fussy audience that's going to try to whip me into shape. My audience is you! You rock!

I am also proud and pleased to think that I might have inspired others to blog, or even just follow blogs now and then. I truly believe that everyone should have a blog, at least everyone who likes to write or take photos or opine. I do know one new blogger out there, someone without whom I wouldn't even exist. Please visit and revisit her brand new blog, Door Number 8. Welcome to the blogosphere Ma!

*Photo above taken by my true love using his cute new camera. For this shot, he stuck it inside a recycling dumpster.

Summertime, by Janis Joplin (song of the weeeeek!)

It's been stuck in my head and it's one of my favorite songs. I love George Gershwin's "Summertime" anyway, but Janis Joplin really puts her mark on it in this version. It is so languid, so gorgeous, so haunting. Janis of course sticks in some of her weird scatting to make sure it can never really be replicated. (I really REALLY love Janis Joplin. She was there for me at a tender time in my teens when I needed a rough-yet-soft anti-role model with a crazy life and an amazing voice.) Do you think the pizzicato guitar at the beginning sounds a bit fugue-ish, a bit like Bach?

I sing this song to my children all the time as a lullaby. My version leans more toward Sarah Vaughan. I like to drawl the "easy," (eazaa-a-ay) and tone-paint up an octave on "high" (hi-EEEE). It is a great lullaby. I love the lyric "Your daddy's rich/ And your mama's good-looking." So reassuring. Rise up singing people!

Last note: Sean Penn uses this song to great effect in his 2-hour-plus epic Indian Runner. I like to brag about Indian Runner because it's when I first fell for Viggo Mortensen. YEARS before he caught everyone's eye as Aragorn son of Arathorn. I saw him first! ;-)

Decluttering the Kitchen, or The Night I Called Poison Control

This is embarrassing, but I got carried away with scrubbing the cabinets for this 4th week of project:simplify, and accidentally poisoned myself... just a little. I was using a 10% bleach spray on some mildew stuff, and it was so gross I decided to also scrub it with some bleach wipes. Except... they were ammonium chloride wipes, aka AMMONIA.

I realized I was starting to get kind of drowsy and strange before anything terrible happened. I threw open doors and windows. I went out for fresh air. I googled the ingredients of the wipes (thus arriving at the horrible revelation I'd been mixing chlorine and ammonia, one of the few things I remember from high school science that One Must Never Do). Then I decided I was dying and called poison control. FYI, the number is 1-800-222-1222. The lady was really nice and totally unimpressed with my condition, which made me feel much better. She kept saying firmly, "You will be fine." And that there wasn't that much of either substance for me to really hurt myself. Still, it was scary. I would point out that on the same day last year, I broke my foot. I think next April 2 I just won't get out of bed.

But on to the awesome decluttering, which I finally finished this morning!

The Kitchen Cabinets

Threw out some strange mixes, ripped up the old nasty shelf paper, put down new paper, rearranged so that things like sugar and coffee are well within reach.

Kitchen Utensil Drawers
Trashed strange plastic items, put down cool shelf liner stuff underneath everything, also note adorable clothespin caddy (aka glass jar) right above the Vacu Vin Wine Saver Pump. We use these to close chip & cereal bags, and now they're all tidy.

The Refrigerator
Washed most of the shelves, did a bit of rearranging. It's pretty spare in there.