“I want to stand as close to the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge you see all the kinds of things you can't see from the center.” Kurt Vonnegut Jr.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Winter entertainment part dos

The Auckland International Film Fest has just concluded. I saw the following films, nearly all from the Incredibly Strange Films category:

Teeth was my favorite, it was funny and gross! Frontiers was also excellent, a cross between Texas Chainsaw Massacre and The Hills Have Eyes, with a Nazi twist. [REC] was a good jump-out-of-your-seat scare fest. Cargo 200, a Russian film, was bleak, chilling, and haunting. Three of the films I saw were Spanish (King of the Hill, [REC], and Timecrimes). I opted to not see the George Romero film, Diary of the Dead. It only has a 60% rating on the tomatometer, so I will wait for DVD release. I took my niece Stephanie to [REC] at the gorgeous Civic Theatre. I recently finished David Sedaris' new book, When You Are Engulfed in Flames. As with his other books, I enjoyed it. Now I am reading Michael Pollan's newest book, In Defense of Food. I loved The Omnivore's Dilemma, and am also enjoying this book. I was inspired to eat more fish, so Darin and I bought a whole salmon at the fish market. The fish cost us $104, but we ate some of it as sashimi, used the head and scraps for fish stock, and used the meat and some of the stock for salmon chowder. The remaining fillets we vacuum sealed and froze. I think that having it readily available in the freezer will make me more inclined to eat it.
Further adventures in food include making refried beans from scratch. This was a multi-step process, but not difficult.
1. soak pinto beans.
2. cook pinto beans
3. take cooked beans out of fridge and add to onion and garlic sauted in a little bacon fat w/ peanut oil.
4. mash 3 cups beans, add ancho chili powder, salt, 1 cup bean cooking liquid, and 1/2 cup cream.
Turned out amazing!! I must add that I was FORCED to make this from scratch, because a can of refried beans in the grocery costs $4! I kid you not! In San Diego, we paid $1.60 a can, $1.20 if on sale.

Last weekend Darin and I planted 15 trees on our Whakapirau property. You can see in the photo how muddy the road was. We got rained on intermittently, but the bare-root trees needed to be planted as soon as possible. They are varieties of peach, apple, pear, and nectarine, as well as cherry, feijoa, fig, and plum. Another 22 trees were delivered on Friday, but we were prevented from taking them up for planting by a massive storm that hit both Saturday and Sunday. I am wondering if the trees we planted last weekend are still standing upright. We will need to have a fence built around the orchard, and are expecting a quote to arrive any day now. Unfortunately, the fence guy is booked through September.