Monday, November 19, 2007

Thanksgiving with Veggie Dinner Club!

Thanksgiving dinner was a success! Trinity, Paul, Miriam, Tim, Sylvie, Ann, Lee and I all got to share a great meal: Cheese and crackers, Ginger Carrot Soup, an amazing main-course salad with garlic aioli dressing, Winter White Puree and brownies with cookie dough ice cream! It was a candlelit feast and a great way to get into the holiday mood.

In case you're unfamiliar with the amazingness that is Winter White Puree, here is the recipe:

Winter White Puree
Makes 6 cups
1 lb. white turnips
1 lb. parsnips
1 tart green apple
1/2 lb. cauliflower
10 tablespoons unsalted butter (I told you it was good!)
3/4 cup heavy cream (really, really, good!)
Salt and freshly ground white pepper
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

1. Peel the turnips and parsnips, peel and core the apple, and cut them all into 1 inch cubes. Separate the cauliflower florets.
2. Bring 4 quarts of salted water to a boil in a stockpot. Add the vegetables and apple and boil until they are tender enough to pierce easily with a fork, about 15 minutes. Strain in a colander.
3.Mash vegetables with a potato masher. Add the butter in small pieces. Add the cream. Mix thoroughly. Season with salt and white pepper to taste.
4.Place the mixture in a 2-quart oven-proof casserole. Smooth the top and sprinkle with grated parmesan.
5. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake for 20 minutes, until lightly browned on top.

ENJOY! Happy Thanksgiving!

I will be spending most of my Thanksgiving holiday in the car, but for a good reason. I'll write more about that once I get back.

Monday, November 12, 2007

More visitors!

This weekend involved another visit from some great friends. Kim, who I've known since high school, her sister Kelly and her son Alex and our friend Meg all came up for the long weekend. They got here Saturday (Kim's birthday) around 11am and we headed out to the Harvard v. Penn football game. Kim works at Penn, so she and Alex had their matching Penn sweatshirts on, I had on my Harvard t-shirt and ended up being the only person in our crew rooting for the winning team! It was pretty cold, sitting on the concrete bleachers, but we stayed through the whole game.

After getting home and warming up a little bit, we got in the car and headed out to the Roller Derby! It was the Nutcrackers v. the Wicked Pissahs (both of the Boston Derby Dames). Kim, Alex, Kelly and Meg had never been to the Roller Derby before, so they picked up on it pretty quick, and this time we were all rooting for the winning team. The Wicked Pissahs won by almost 100 points. That's a blow-out, even for Roller Derby. Here is a photo of all of us after the Derby:

Here is a great photo of Kim and Alex as Derby Dames:

It was super-fun and then we ended up eating at the All Star Sandwich Bar and finally got to sing Happy Birthday to Kim. We ended the evening by getting some homemade ice-cream at Christina's.

Sunday was a nicer day with a little more sun, less wind and slightly warmer temperatures. We all got ready and went to brunch at The Neighborhood in Union Square, Somerville. This place is amazing. It's teeny tiny, but you get so much food. All the breakfast options come with OJ, coffee or tea, hot cereal (Cream of Wheat), popovers, toast and homefries. That doesn't include whatever you actually order. I had the "lite" option of whole wheat pancakes topped with crunchy granola and bananas drizzled with yogurt. I had to cut this back from what the menu offered because it also originally came with 2 egg beaters cooked with spinach! And that's the lite option! Needless to say, no one left hungry.

After amazing brunch we headed to Downtown Boston to walk the Freedom Trail. Alex and Kelly had never been to Boston before, so we did the most educational, touristy thing we could. It was a nice day to walk around and see the city.

We started at the Boston Common and skipped going up to the State House, but we walked that Freedom Trail, stopping at Paul Revere's house, all the way through to the bridge that goes into Charlestown. By that point we decided to turn around and save Charlestown for next time, so we headed back through the North End and got cannolis at Mikes Pastry and gelato at a little place with amazing gelato. Here's all of us at Paul Revere's House (Kelly, Kim, Alex, me and Meg):

We walked all the way back to the Common and Meg had to catch the train back to NYC. The rest of us ended up walking through the Public Garden and doing a little shopping on Newbury Street. Here are Kim, Alex and Kelly on the smallest suspension bridge, spanning the lagoon in the Public Garden:

The day ended with an amazing smorgasbord dinner including sushi, tempura, Saag Paneer, Aloo Gobi, samosas, Raspberry wine and pizza for Alex! We had cannolis and chocolate covered strawberries for dessert. Again, no one went to bed hungry.

This morning we went to breakfast at Darwin's and then Kim, Kelly and Alex headed back to NJ and Philly and I went to do laundry. Now I actually have to do homework....

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Dr. Saad Eskander, amazing man...

Last night I had the pleasure of hearing Dr. Saad Eskander speak at Simmons. He is the Director of the Iraqi National Library and Archives in Baghdad. The library was looted and burned in the early days of this Iraq war and still sits in a treacherous area where he and his dedicated staff literally risk their lives to preserve a nation's cultural heritage. If you are interested in reading about it in Dr. Eskander's own words, you can read his diary here. I found it hard to read at times. I went from moments of amazement at the dedication of everyone who works there, to horror at some of the events and back again. I'm proud to say that Simmons and Harvard have both been involved in helping to train some of the librarians on staff there, you can read more about that here and here and here. It also makes me proud to be part of this profession that is more than story hour and cataloging slides. Put in this context, the true value of libraries as institutions of cultural importance becomes apparent.

A podcast of this talk is available here. I encourage you to listen if you have the time. This event, and the reading that I did leading up to it, have really helped me to understand just one little story of the Iraqi people who choose to stay in Baghdad. There are many patrons who still come to this library to do research! It is alive and well amid the horror of war. To me, this is amazing.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Gnomes, gnomes, gnomes!

This was sent to me from Jocelyn. She cut it out of the Oregonian.

I only hope she decides to go to the auction to get some gnomes for her lawn, just so I can live vicariously through her. That would make for some good photos all those gnomes on the auction block... I bet it looked really cool on the lawn, too. I would have kept them all, just like they were. Someday I'll have a lawn and there will be gnomes.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Librarians bowling

Yes, bowling is among the many talents of library students at Simmons. Even though the remnants of a hurricane were blowing through the state, we got together on Saturday night in Auburn, MA to compete against the Simmons GSLIS folks from Mt. Holyoke. Here is my team:

That's Amy, me, Amber and Paul. We did pretty well with a 96 overall team average and my personal high was 116, which may be one of the best games I've ever bowled. It was fun to get to meet people from the other program, and get to know some of my classmates a little better. Overall, it was a super fun night. Even though a team from the West won the tournament. Maybe next time...

Monday, November 5, 2007

Jocelyn and Meadow in the house!

A lot has happened since my last post (as usual). The most exciting this is that Jocelyn and Meadow came to visit for the weekend of Oct. 26-29. It was so fun to have a such a fabulous and well-behaved baby in the house. Even my roommates admitted it wasn't so bad. We started out the weekend on Friday night in Northampton where I met Jocelyn, Meadow and Jocelyn's brother Nate for dinner (he drove her out from Central New York). Then we did a little shopping, got our photo booth pictures taken at Faces and then headed back to Cambridge.

On Saturday we visited Harvard and Harvard Square, and then we met up with Jocelyn's friend Annie and had fun hanging out and getting ready for my 7th Annual Pumpkin Carving Party which was held that night. We had a good turn-out with friends from all parts of my life: people I met at Simmons and Syracuse, in Chicago, friends of friends, etc... It was a great time with many amazing pumpkins and great baked goods courtesy of my guests (a baker, I am not).

On Sunday we drove into Boston and walked along the Freedom Trail, ate lunch at Cheers, got gelato and cannolis in the North End, visited the Common and the Public Garden and generally enjoyed a beautiful day. We drove out to Brookline to get Sushi and then came back and ate it while watching Knocked Up, and then we watched (Jocelyn slept through) the Red Sox winning the world series. It was pretty awesome!

We didn't get to do much on Monday except get packed up and drive to the airport, which was quite a task. Jocelyn and Meadow can't travel light, so I had to go into the airport and took this cute photo with the baby and all their luggage! It was a fantastic weekend. It's sad to think that the next time I see Meadow she'll probably be walking! It's amazing how fast they grow.