Thursday, January 31, 2008

Cambridge Roundup

I'm well beyond the stage now of presenting any kind of coherent narrative of What Has Happened in Cambridge So Far, but it's about time I actually wrote something on the blog, however fun video clips are!

Now, what to write? Since I started this blog to talk around school, rather than to talk about it, I'll leave major commentary on the university for another time. I have met some cool people and am getting a lot of important research done, and that's enough about work for the moment. Most of y'all just want to hear what I'm cooking, anyway, or whether I've had any good tunes :-)

I reckon I'm nothing if not ornery, so what did I do within days of arriving in Cambridge, one of the most white-bread towns I've been in lately? I trekked out to the TK Maxx (yes, it's "TK," not "TJ" here) to get a towel, and happened upon a small non-stick wok for a fiver. I snapped it up, and it has been the inspiration for many a stir-fry since. I probably wouldn't have gotten the non-stick if I'd had a choice, but then again, it's nice not to have to fuss about the seasoning. I like the little thing (I think it's a 10-inch) so well I think I'm going to go to some trouble to get it back to Brooklyn.

As for what I'm cooking in it--I really have been living off stir-fry, especially since I came up with a sauce that masquerades as oyster sauce. The magic ingredient? Brown sugar! It's not rocket science, but I hadn't worked that one out before. So I've been making various versions of turkey (cheaper than chicken here, and sold in small breast portions) stir-fry, often with the big bean sprouts, which are cheap and plentiful here.

Last weekend, I also made a good mushroom/asparagus risotto; tonight I might make an arugula/lemon one, but we'll see.

Otherwise, I sheepishly admit, I have been eating a lot of Sainsbury's pre-prepared foods, some of which are quite good (although others are tasteless or downright vile). Still, even those are cheaper than eating out, and with the pound sterling clocking in at almost double the US dollar, eating out is not an option!

Sometime soon I'll blog about my ongoing art project, which involves the infamous Sainsbury's 'wheel of death'....

What else? As far as music goes, I've been listening obsessively to some old and new favorites:

1. Vivaldi's Concerto in B for Strings, RV 580, Op. 3, No.10, which I bought on iTunes the other night;

2. the as-yet unreleased Renminbi cd (they are Jenny's old band, and this album is going to be fantastic!);

3. Cat Power, various albums; and

4. Annie Lennox's new one.

And tunes: I haven't gone out to any sessions yet, as I hear the weekly one is crap, but I am now known to the crowd that organizes sessions somewhat surreptitiously, so I think I'll be fine....

Lots more to talk about, of course...including pithvier cake, recent episodes of the L Word, my run-in with the college cat, etc.--but I'll save that for another time.


Lauren said...

How's the new Annie Lennox album? I've been curious about that.

Also, I have to say that I really just don't get Cat Power. She seems to be beloved on the indie/folky scene, but to me she just sounds mopey. Her new cover of "New York, New York" being played on 'FUV sounds to me like someone's playing the record at the wrong speed.

T said...

Parts of it I really like, and some of the songs are seriously catchy; on the other hand, a few tracks have worn a bit thin. Overall, though, very much worth having! (Maybe we can effect a file transfer when we next meet--my cd drive is messed up.)

As for Cat Power--sometimes I wonder that I like her stuff as much as I do. I haven't heard anything off the new covers album, but I really like Moon Pix and The Greatest. But I guess part of why I like her stuff so much is that it's perfect accompaniment to some mopey moods :-)