...gonna kick the darkness 'till it bleeds daylight... musings of a hungarian in texas

©2003 by Annamaria Kovacs. All contents of this blog are the property of the author. Use with written permission only.

Tuesday, February 24, 2004

Some Observations

1. Pergo floors are GREAT for ice-skating on it in socks. We have the library/formal dining area re-floored now, and today the progress continues...whee! Even more chaos ensues...
2. Today is just the day to go home, melt a half-bar of Ibarra chocolate in hot milk, pour it into a hefty mug and sprinkle with extra cinnamon (Vietnamese Extra Fancy from Penzey's spices), add some mini marshmallows and curl up under a blankie.
3. After hauling furniture to make room for more Pergo, that's what I probably will do.

Friday, February 20, 2004


Well, I committed cannibalism last night.
I cooked rabbit for dinner. I prepared The Bunny Stew from aforementioned China Moon Cookbook...was rather tasty with steamed rice and tossed greens with fresh ginger vinaigrette. Just have to remember that rabbit is not a particularly tender meat--it's, despite its chicken-line taste, is richer and a tad darker, and quite a bit tougher than chicken. Yum.
Note to self: this dish would be yummy with chicken as well...pieces of meat marinaded overnight in fresh ginger-garlic-hoisin-soy marinade spiked with chili, then pan-seared and cooked togerher with stir-fried veggies (carrots, celery and onions, plus more garlic and ginger) in a stock (I used homemade turkey stock)-soy-oil-hoisin sauce.
Another note: fresh Hawaiian ginger pieces steeped in hot water with lemon slices for about 20 minutes and sweetened with honey make an admirable tisane (herb infusion).
I think in another life I was a chef? :-)


Thursday, February 19, 2004

House, Again...

Ceilings are mostly done...which delights me to no end, as in the last 4 days we were covered in fine powder of ceiling paint and structured cement. Yum. I gave up trying to clean anywhere: just keeping the kitchen more or less spotless. I will vacuum when the painting jobs are all done, which is problble the end of this week. Much fun: I can never know what I will find when I got home. I bet the cats are enjoying it too.
For the weekend, two of our dear friends from Austin will visit us; they don't know yet (::evil grin::) but they shall assist us in de-shelving the books from the library and removing the shelves themselves as well before that past of the house gets its new floor. I shall probably cook something decent for Saturday dinner, come think of it...
Speaking about food: book recommendation. Some of you, gentle readers, might now how much of a cooking fan I am; give me a cookbook and I can entertain myself for the whole day. A few years back I briefly glanced at Barbara Tropp's China Moon Cookbook, noted 'how cool', looked at the price tag, shuddered and sadly restrained myself. I was a student on a Hungarian student budget visiting in the US...you can imagine. Now, last weekend at Half Price Books (and what a cool bookstore it is, I may add) the familiar blue hardback beckoned from the shelf (oddly enough, it was not placed with the normal cookbooks, or with the Chinese cookbooks even; it was, if I remember right, in the celebrity cookbooks section...). And so I heeded its gentle calling...
Chinia Moon was a famous cafe-bistro in San Francisco (it's closed now if I recall, its owner-chef passed away in 2001 after long illness, sadly), reknown for its modern Chinese-European fusion fare. Now I really like fusion cooking anyways, but this particular book with its fresh ingredients, unusual but traditional combinations and North Chinese/ Szechuan basisreally appealed to me. The recipes are not simple, and require preparations, which might be a deterrent in this 'make-everything-fast-and-in-ten-minutes-ready-never-have-enough-time' age...but I am a firm believer in comfortable, long meals made from scratch. I grew up that way. On Sundays, whenever we visited grandparents, all morning (excluding church time) was an endless meal preparation, with the participation of all female members of the extended family, inclcuding, from about the age of seven, myself. A four-course meal was the minimum...I am still striving to reproduce my maternal grandmother's beef soup or sour cherry strudel, and my paternal grandma's stuffed cabbages, or fried chicken. They taught me that real food is made out of real ingredients (especially dear to me in the age of pre-prepared frozen meals out of the supermarket freezers), a good meal cannot be rushed, and that kitchen time is actually meditation/relaxation time combined with education/information exchange, depending on who's in the kitchen and what is cooking. Fortunatley, my father, who owns and operates a restaurant, continued my education in this regard, and still does, every time I visit back home. And I know, that even though my husband keeps complaining about his waistline expanding during holiday times, he probably does not mind that I know which end of the spoon stirs the soup...

Wednesday, February 11, 2004

House Update

So: there. It has officially started. yesterday the checks were cut, the workload has been established and on Friday the Floor/Ceiling and Window Projects shall start with:
Friday: flooring is brought over and stored in the house for 48 hours so it takes up the moisture and temperature of the house and does not crack/snap/pop/gets uneven etc.
Weekend: the combined Kovacs-Mitchell-Ramos-York household moves knickknacks and pictures (again) from areas where flooring will take place.
Monday: work on ceiling starts, followed by work on floor. This will take about two weeks.
When that's done, and hopefully the weather is more accommodating (but even if it's not) the window replacement shall start.
So in about a month, we'll have a dramatically improved home, with laminate everywhere but in the bedrooms--eventually those shall be done as well, and the sunroom will cease to be an energy vampire, radiating ice in the winter and heat in the summer. Yay.
In the meantime, much chaos shall ensue under our roof. Whee! Everyone knows how well The Bunny deals with chaos, right? :-)