Saturday, November 29, 2008

not your average folk

We a-go-gos are not really your average folk. I suppose somewhere out there in blogland especially, we do indeed fit in but here in our wee pocket of this great city called Los Angeles we're not exactly keeping up with the Joneses. We're okay with that, really we are. I'm not complaining, he's not complaining. We like it here in our wee pocket of this big city and yet, change is a-comin'.

It is lonely here in the courtyard. Our good friends and neighbors here have all moved on. They're like, real grown-ups with mortgages and everything. Our slightly nutty landlord is hell-bent on making the empty units "nice" though his version of nice is nowhere near ours. His version of nice involves ripping out the floors of the kitchens and bathrooms to pour oodles of concrete in so he can lay nice marble tiles.

Ripping out the floors of the bathrooms and kitchens in these wee duplexes (duplex-is?) that were built ninety years ago. It is difficult to feel like tra-la-la-ing about the wee casa. There is much pounding going on. There is debris everywhere and mini dust storms brew willy-nilly. There are stray water bottles being left in our garden and the mad foraging of fruit from people who do not live here. There are five bathtubs in my courtyard. Five bathtubs floating about. There are toilets too, I know there are but a few months ago, the great and grand Nico and I pleaded with our landlord to hide them. We like looking out of our tiny windows. We like to view the birds and garden. We do not like to view stray toilets and mounds of construction debris. We do not like to view bathtubs. We do not really like ot find water bottles in our garden or footprints tramping through the garden. Yes my friends, change is a-comin' and with that, we need a plan.
There is a plan. It is a nifty and exciting and thoroughly terrifying plan. There are many parts to this plan. Too many in fact. My head spins with them all. One of them however involves cooking; cooking on our car engine to be exact. On our recent and most fabulous trip to Portland, we a-go-gos experimented with cooking on our car engine. There is an actual cookbook out there all about cooking on your car engine. Most of those recipes were all about meat. While we a-go-gos do actually eat meat, we weren't too keen on eating meat cooked on our car engine. We tried hotdogs wrapped in bacon, which sounds quite mouthwatering but when you cannot monitor your temperatures it is probably not a good idea.
We tried baking cakes in oranges. I already told you all about that. The oranges were too large and only the batter on the bottom, closest to the heat from the engine cooked. It was good but tricky to sample. Next time we will try smaller oranges or tangerines or something else.
Our favorite thing to do was heat water for tea. Heating water for tea was quite easy and took about 40 minutes of steady driving. We had an extra special nifty thermos with us to keep the tea hot afterwards. To heat water on our car engine involved a tiny camp pot, tinfoil and wire. It also involved planning and break taking to test temp. Taking breaks on a road trip is hardly difficult when you are in Northern California where the green makes you dizzy and you want to jump around and roll in all its mossiness.
After tea brewing, we discovered that potatoes steamed quite well in tinfoil packets wedged on top of the engine. Luckily, that Mr. A-go-go is a smart cookie and brought along salt & pepper. We had onions too and it was super tasty. It could have been even more tasty for the early morning, super cold air and giant statue of Paul Bunyan egging us on. Wither that or potatoes are just super tasty.
After we got the hang of it, we grew a teeny bit adventurous and added other vegetables. Mushrooms add more liquid and help carry around the salt & pepper to the other veggies. Broccoli makes it more purty to look at and we felt a little better about all those milkshakes from Burgerville.

Next time we head out on a trip, which will be in January on our way to Death Valley, we will add more fanciful seasonings and maybe even attempt rice, ooh or tofu! If you happen across an odd couple chopping vegetables at a rest top, one of them quite tall with a mean whistle and the other in striped socks with a camera attached to her face, that would be us a-go-gos.So that's it. Change is a-comin' and it may involve more car cooking, a little more traveling and perhaps some couch surfing if we can convince anyone we don't bite. We don't, I promise. But we sure can cook!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Holiday Baking

Awhile back on Bread and Honey I read about baking wee yellow cakes inside a hollowed out orange. Bread & Honey is one of my favorite reads especially with the weather finally turning here in Los Angeles. Gray skies? No worries, I'll bake! Booming thunder and a downpour? I'll bake! I don't really need an excuse to bake but there is a whole lot of inspiration to be found with the Bread and Honey gals.

Enough of the blog lurve though, When Alicia posted about the campfire cakes I immediately wanted to try it. There being no camp outs in our immediate future, I made plans to remember to make them once we were out in the wild. In the meantime, the mister and I experimented with car cooking (more about that later) and found that the campfire cakes are best made in a campfire.

Before we did the experimentation however, I had to prep the oranges and since we were only going to bake two of the cakes, I needed to put the remainder of the batter into the oven as I didn't wish to waste it. Never being one for doing anything quite normally, I had an idea. An idea to expand on the campfire cakes. I stood there in the tiny kitchen staring off into space when my eyes focused on a pair of tiny pumpkins. What would happen if I baked the cake in the pumpkins? People make soup in pumpkins all the time right? At least, Martha does.I retrieved the wee squash from the shelf in front of the kitchen window and did the best damage I could to their insides. Those little guys are tough. Super tough. I scraped and cleaned and cleaned and scraped out all the ooey bits until I had enough room to add the batter. Giddy with the idea of success I danced about the tiny kitchen as I poured the batter in. With a dash of cinnamon on top I whisked the dynamic duo into the oven with fingers crossed double time. When Stacey arrived for a wee coffee break she exclaimed over the sweet cakey scent. We flung ourselves onto the smooshy sofa to chat, chat, chat away until the ping of the chicken timer clucked that baking time was over. I held my breath as I opened the oven door and then groaned and giggled over the mess. The batter had oozed itself out all over the pumpkins and as it oozed it baked. With a shrug I removed the ooey bits and plopped the cakes onto their very own plates. With a dash of spice and a flourish I presented them to my guest and we dove in. It worked, they were baked and they were good. Stacey deemed her wee pumpkin tasty and scraped away at the spicey rind. Succcess!It worked and it was tasty but here is what I will do differently. I will pour less batter into the pumpkin, about a cupcake's worth and I will add a smidge of melted butter with a sprinkling of sugar and spice. Hopefully these tiny changes will make for an extra adorable, wee pumpkin baked cake. Happy Thanksgiving!

dilly bag update

I'm still updating the shop with all sorts of goodies but you can now pick up your own dilly bags, teething bees, matryoshka sachets & autograph books. I'm sorry to say that all of our spazimals have sold out! Wow!

May you all have a most fabulous Thanksgiving and/or Thursday! (Wednesday as well.)

Monday, November 24, 2008

the week in review: november 17-23

Getting back into the life of the a-go-gos back home in the tiny casa. The trip to Portland was fabulous and more on that soon, last week was delightfully uneventful. I went to class and we played some games. I baked and listed goodies in the shop. I even got to visit with some fabulous favorite people and then the mister & I helped pack up a U-haul for the mama & big sister a-go-go as they will be heading north very very soon.

This week is school, appointments and turkey day! I will be making homemade rosemary, apricot stuffing, black pepper scones and roasted apples, taters & onions. We will stuff ourselves silly and then watch all the Rankin-Bass we can handle. Have I told you I have already started up the holiday music? Hope you all have a most marvelous week. Click here for a larger view of the mosaic.

Friday, November 21, 2008

photobooth friday: feeling the lurve

How fabulously wonderful was it that I found myself in a photobooth with Photobooth Friday's creator and many times around most fabulous lady, Andrea of Hula Seventy? And mind you, it wasn't just any booth, it was THE booth at the Ace Hotel. And I got to be in it...with Hula!You lovely folks keep asking me about Portland and I promise you, you will read more about Portland than you can probably care to but I want to start first with this most momentous event. I have been crushing on Ms. Hula for years now, simply crushing on her big time. When the mister & I were planning the trip and he was asking me about what I wanted to do it suddenly hit me that we were going to Portland and Hula lives in Portland! I got all stammery and blushy and told him, I have to meet her. HAVE TO! I nervously sent her a message playing it all cool but really I was dorking out ridiculously. Emails were bantered back and forth and plans were made. There would be no question that a booth would be involved.Life has a way of mixing things up. Plans get juggled and jiggled and disco'ed on but eventually things work out in the end. Our original plan didn't happen. I'm happy to say I am pleased it didn't. If it had worked out we wouldn't have been able to adventure around downtown with the fabulous .Le Silly, but that is a story for another time. What did happen was a most delightful breakfast with most of the Hula family assembled. The mister & I arrived first at our breakfast get-together destination and sure enough I was feeling the jitters of a first date coming on. I needn't had worried. Hula's mister was the first one through the door and with a beam of a smile and a nonchalant wave it was like we had always been old friends. Much chatting and talking and laughing danced around us and of course the cameras made a show. SHhe is as delightful as delightful can be. A woman I adore who's smile, energy and talents swirl all around her. She's quite nice as well, just in case you were wondering.I was swoonier than swoony over the beauty that is Hula's polaroid. I soaked up as much Hula knowledge as I could and have of course been converted.

Once we realized time was getting the best of us, we mini caravaned downtown for our boothing excursion. The misters patiently (oh so patiently) waited in cars as we spilled ourselves into the magic booth. and of course, we both drew a blank. What to do? What to do? Nerves I tell ya, nerves got the best of me and I felt much like Cindy Brady in that episode where she gets to go on tv and ends up mesmerized by the red light. Dork! If only we had more time. We stretched it out as long as we could and I am admittedly jealous of Hula's frames. Mine are great but hers are delightfully great.After a bit more hamming it up for the camera and giggles and fits over our girly antics, we squeezed each other to oblivion and the visit was suddenly over. We'll be back though. We will and I'm hoping I can entice them all to a California visit sometime next year. We've got booths too, ya know! Happy Photobooth Friday!

Monday, November 17, 2008

the november bed

We're back from Portland and Felt Club is over and now I need to head out to school. I leave you with...
The November Bed.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Felt Club is TOMORROW!

Sunday, NOVEMBER 16, 11am-7pm
@ Shrine Auditorium Expo Center
700 W. 32nd St., LA CA 90007

We're back from the lush green land of Portland and are feverishly working on all we need to do for tomorrow's Felt Club event! Check out the nifty vendor list and be there or be forever square!

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Peeks from the Week...

We leave for Portland in a few hours and I have more than much to do. Yikes! My head is spinning but I have decided that whatever doesn't get done, doesn't get done. No biggie. The tiny casa does not need to be spic n' span. I will sweep the floors and call it a day.At least the November bed has been made. I still have projects, projects, projects to finish for Felt Club but we'll be back the day before and I can finish them then. Right? AAAck!Since I won't be blogging for two weeks, I leave you with pretty pics from this week. Have a happy time my friends and I will see you when I get back! If you're a local, don't forget to trek on down to Felt Club and you can see all my dazzling handiwork in person. Yes, you can!
Sunday, NOVEMBER 16, 11am-7pm

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Reward Yourself!

Did you vote yet? Why not visit Reform School for their online moving sale? Today is the last day to receive 15% off goodies in the shop. Check it out now!

votey vote vote voted!

The mister & I got to the poll about 15 minutes before it opened. There was a line already that snakey snaked its way around the parking lot. After an hour we were on our way back home. Lucky for us the polling place is at the end of our street. Never before had I encountered a line.. I am quite happy to wait in line if it means more people are voting. Keeping fingers crossed!The sky was really pretty and we had a nice view from the parking lot.

Today will be full of more crafting and maybe some baking. Happy Election day to my American peeps and Happy Tuesday to everyone else!