gunstream girl

Location: Cleveland, Ohio, United States

I'm a Southerner, born and bred (though you'd never know it from my accent, I'm told). I like to eat 'til I'm tired out from eating, hear good storytelling 'til I can recite the stories in my sleep (Stories have to be told or they die, and when they die, we can't remember who we are or why we're here.), watch people, look at sparkly things, listen to good bluegrass music, dream about owning a dog, tell crazy stories about my family, and organize things.

14 July 2006

Fry Day

Today, July 14th, is National French Fry Day.

Tommy and I are leaving tomorrow morning for the First Annual Fry Day in Indianapolis, IN.
I'm not sure yet what Fry Day entails, but I do know that it'll entail frying and consumption of a variety of fried foods.

I think the two events' close proximity to each other is entirely coincidental.

I'm sure Jennie and I will have a full report next week.

I propose that Monday be declared National Unclog Your Arteries Day.

11 July 2006

Strawberry Bread

I made this recipe the other day with some leftover strawberries that I had in the fridge:


1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter
3/4 cup (150 grams) granulated white sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups (280 grams) all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup (55 grams) toasted walnuts or pecans, coarsely chopped
1 cup chopped fresh strawberries


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C) and place the oven rack in the middle position. Butter and flour (or spray with a non stick vegetable/flour spray) the bottom and sides of an 8-cup loaf pan (9 x 5 x 3 inch) (23 x 13 x 8 cm). Set aside.

Place the walnuts (or pecans) on a baking sheet and bake for about 8 minutes or until lightly toasted. Let cool and then chop coarsely.

In the bowl of your electric mixer, beat the butter until softened (about 1 minute). Add the sugar and continue to beat until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla extract. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and ground cinnamon. With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture (in three additions) and sour cream (in two additions) alternately, starting and ending with the flour. Mix only until combined. Gently fold in the chopped strawberries and walnuts.

Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake until bread is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about one hour. Place on a wire rack to cool and then remove the bread from the pan. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Makes 1 loaf.

10 July 2006

katrina memorial

it's hard to believe that almost a year has passed since hurricane katrina ripped through the gulf coast.

in mid-march, my colleagues and i contributed to re-building efforts in rural mississippi. we put in fencing for some of our farmers. our efforts were so small--in comparison to the scale of damage and the amount of work that's already happened.

the resilience of the region, in general, was/is most impressive to me.

this beautiful memorial on the biloxi town green, erected by the Extreme Home Makeover crew, surprised me. it was built to honor the lives lost in the storm:

the shot's not great, but you see a beautiful wall in the middle of a lush, landscaped green park. the wall is about 9 feet tall, i think, which represents the height of the waves at their fullest, decorated with a beautiful mosaic and crowned at the end with the most eclectic curio cabinet you can imagine. all manner of items are housed within the display...dolls, cups, saucers, compasses, watches, books...many items were collected post-storm. there is a quiet sort of hush at this memorial. I don't know how else to describe it other than to say that i've experienced it before at other memorials, like the vietnam veterans' memorial. it's something sort of hovering and hushed and awe-filled.

to resilience, stick-to-itiveness (is that a word?), and the regenerative spirit of nature.

06 July 2006

That's so...dude.

Whilst grilling for the holiday, Tommy discovered this beautiful accident of nature:

I'd liken the experience to a sighting of the Virgin Mary in a waterstain.

Allegedly the sausages curled that way on their own.