Birds of a Feather

2010: Projects December 28, 2010

Filed under: Crafty,Holiday,The everyday — kcfeather @ 7:40 pm

This past year we’ve both had a chance to try our hand at some new hobbies.  Here are our “favorite things we’ve learned how to make in 2010”:

C: Kimchi

To the amazement of some (who have compared C to their Korean grandmother), C has become quite the pro at making his own kimchi.  It really is his own, because the other member of our household isn’t a fan of the smell (the process of making kimchi involves letting it sit out on the counter while it ferments for several days). Nor is she a fan of the taste. All the better for C, who will eat kimchi for breakfast, lunch, and dinner (and a midnight snack). Other projects of C’s include trying to make cheese (not so successful); yogurt (success after many botched attempts); and gravlax (cured salmon – so far, so good!)

K: Quilts

I’ve posted about this before, and have continued to have fun quilting: choosing new fabrics, making new patterns.  Even the hand-binding is pretty fun (and a good excuse to watch a movie!)  Our closet is filling up, though – but I have a feeling that I will be giving a few away in the next year. Here are a few pictures of my recent quilting endeavors:

 

Merry Christmas December 25, 2010

Filed under: Holiday — kcfeather @ 12:42 am

One night in December before we left Boston for the holidays and while K’s sister was still in town, we went to the 101st Annual Christmas Carol Service at Harvard’s Memorial Church.  We showed up a few minutes early, but the sanctuary was already full; we were lucky enough to find some standing room against the back wall.  It’s a beautiful church, and it was a beautiful service.  The service included readings from scripture, and carols sung by the University Choir (including a number of carols in which the congregation was invited to sing as well).

The words of the carol “O Little Town of Bethlehem” stuck out to me that night as a great reminder of what a great gift it is that we celebrate on Christmas (the full carol is below). The birth of Christ is the answer to the hopes and prayers of all the years. Certainly an answer to the hopes and prayers of those who were before him, anxiously awaiting a Savior. But also He remains an answer to our hopes and prayers, an answer to the yearnings of those in our midst even today.

Merry Christmas – may it be a day of rejoicing in the reality that Christ was born in the little town of Bethlehem long ago, and that He – our Lord Emmanuel – still abides with us now.

O Little Town of Bethlehem

O little town of Bethlehem
How still we see thee lie
Above thy deep and dreamless sleep
The silent stars go by
Yet in thy dark streets shineth
The everlasting Light
The hopes and fears of all the years
Are met in thee tonight

For Christ is born of Mary
And gathered all above
While mortals sleep, the angels keep
Their watch of wondering love
O morning stars together
Proclaim the holy birth
And praises sing to God the King
And Peace to men on earth

How silently, how silently
The wondrous gift is given!
So God imparts to human hearts
The blessings of His heaven.
No ear may his His coming,
But in this world of sin,
Where meek souls will receive him still,
The dear Christ enters in.

O holy Child of Bethlehem
Descend to us, we pray
Cast out our sin and enter in
Be born to us today
We hear the Christmas angels
The great glad tidings tell
O come to us, abide with us
Our Lord Emmanuel

 

 

2010: Movies December 23, 2010

Filed under: Holiday,The everyday — kcfeather @ 1:35 am

2010 was the year that we finally gave in and became Netflix subscribers.  We figured that moving across the country would be a good time to subscribe, because suddenly we had a lot fewer friends to hang out with (= more free time).  We even decided to get a projector instead of a TV, so now we can watch the movies we get on a much bigger screen (and we can put it away when we’re done).  There’s always Hulu, though, so we still keep up with a few shows…

Without further ado, some favorite movies that we watched in 2010:

Eat Drink Man Woman (An oldie, but one we had never seen.  Loved it  – all the slicing and dicing, the family dynamics, the motorbikes…)

The Blind Side

Invictus

Baby Mama (Did I really just include that?  But how can you not love the Fey-Poehler duo?)

The Social Network

The Wire – Season 4 (Not exactly a movie, but we watched it on DVD, so I’m including it on the list.)

 

2010: Beantown (Part II) December 20, 2010

Filed under: Beantown,Holiday — kcfeather @ 2:37 pm

This weekend we celebrated “a redneck Christmas” with part of C’s family.  Once they had decided to roast a feral hog, they really went all out.  Suffice it to say, we had a lot of fun.  I’ll post more about it soon, but in the meantime thought I would post our contribution to the song-writing contest (task: to re-write the 12 days of Christmas).  There were also redneck and ghetto-superstar entries.  Here is ours:

(To the tune of The Twelve Days of Christmas)

The city of Boston’s been wicked good to me:
A dozen Dunkin’ Donuts
Left turns from the right lane
10 degree mornings
9 Sox a-slugging
8 clams a-cooking
7 Boston Brahmins
6 townies smoking
5 dropped “R”s (pronounced “ahs”)
4 crooked cabbies
3 lob-stah rolls
2 useless cops
and the ghost of Ted Kennedy.

 

 

2010: Books December 17, 2010

Filed under: Holiday,The everyday — kcfeather @ 2:04 am

Continuing our “year in review” we thought we would share some of our favorite reads from the past year:

K:

Crossing to Safety (Wallace Stegner)

Two Part Invention: The Story of a Marriage (Madeleine L’Engle) – a re-read, but even better the second time around

The Center Cannot Hold: My Journey Through Madness (Elyn Saks)

Managing to Change the World: A Nonprofit Leader’s Guide to Getting Results (The Management Center)

C:

Momofuku (David Chang)- yes, it’s a cookbook, but C reads these like literature (and would argue that this one is particularly well written)

The Sun Also Rises (Hemingway)

Drug Smugglers on Drug Smuggling: Lessons from the Inside (Decker)

The Book of Psalms (Alter) – new translations from the Hebrew

 

What are some of your favorite reads from the past year?

 

2010: Beantown December 12, 2010

Filed under: Beantown — kcfeather @ 3:15 pm

In honor of the 237th anniversary of the Boston Tea Party, we’re drinking lots of tea (not throwing it in the Harbor!) We also thought we would kick off a series of posts looking back at some favorites from the past year, with a list of some of our favorite Boston “discoveries.” Here they are:
*Charles River
We love walking and biking (and even driving) along the Charles River, which is pretty much just down the street (a mile down the street…) from our house. C commutes by bike along the Charles every day; K walks along it pretty frequently as well, though not quite so often. The Charles is beautiful no matter the season (though it’s a bit windy in the winter!), and no matter where you are – near the narrow section near C’s office, or on the Esplanade across from MIT, where it’s so wide it seems almost like a lake. During our first week here we loved watching Fourth of July fireworks from the Anderson Bridge (which crosses the Charles right near HBS).

*Always something going on!
One Sunday afternoon while exploring the North End (Italian district), we happened upon a street fair for the Feast of Saint Anthony. No idea what that is, but we had lots of tasty food (including canoli) and enjoyed all the people- and parade-watching. Another summer evening we took the T to the Boston Common and watched Othello in the park (for free, and starring an actor from one of our favorite TV shows). I’ve been to free concerts, both outdoors and in (the classical music is especially great in a city with so many conservatories).

* Red Sox
It’s fun to live in a city that really loves their baseball team (and not just when they’re winning a lot!) It reminds me a lot of another city that is near and dear to my heart. But Bostonians take their love of baseball to a new level – one local gourmet grocery store on Harvard Square has a TV in their front window on which they broadcast all Red Sox games…and there’s always a crowd outside, watching. In August we got a chance to go to Fenway for a game, and loved it even despite the rain (our nosebleed seats even came in handy…they were so far back they were under the overhang, so we stayed pretty dry!) Here’s to a better season for the Sox in 2011!


* Getting out of town

This may seem like it doesn’t belong on a list of our favorite things about Boston, but it has been a pleasant and fun surprise to find out how easy it is to get out of town, and how many destinations are day-trippable from here. Among the places we’ve been: Cape Cod, the North Shore and Rockport, New Hampshire (including Lake Winnipesaukee), Vermont, Maine, apple-picking in the countryside, the Harbor Islands (just a ferry ride away), and Providence, RI. Looking forward to many more day trips in the next year (among the places we hope to make it: Newport, RI, Western Massachusetts, and to see the harvest at a cranberry bog).

* Moxie
This sort-of-local soda has become a favorite. We don’t get the chance to partake often (it’s not even that common around here), but really enjoy it when we do – it’s sort of like a cola with angostura bitters added.

Moxie magic!

 

Little Piggies December 10, 2010

Filed under: Recipes and food,The everyday — kcfeather @ 8:11 pm

Last week when B and K were visiting, we made another trip to Craigie-on-Main.  We stopped in last month to try out their famous burger (it lived up to the hype).  But there was something else on the menu that caught C’s eye:

Confit and Roasted Milk-Fed Pig’s Head (for two)
Peking pancakes, spicy pumpkin sambal, boudin noir-hoisin sauce

It was actually a half pigs head, and we ordered it to share between the four of us last Friday:

Our half pig's head

The picture doesn’t quite do it justice…what you can’t see are that it still had it’s teeth and eye, intact.  It was served Peking duck-style, with thin pancakes, and a hoisin sauce made with blood sausage.  It was very tasty (the crispy skin was amazing).  But it was also very heavy…would have been better shared among a larger group of friends.  We pretty much rolled out of there (and over to Toscanini’s, where we had ice cream, of course!)

But the story does not end there, my friends.  We also got word this past week that we’ll be enjoying a full roast pig (read: feral hog-let) for Christmas dinner while we’re in Texas!  C’s uncle caught a few little wild piggies in a live trap a few months back, and has been plumping them up for the holidays.  The roast will be an overnight event (it takes awhile to roast a whole hog, after all!) and involves burying the big with hot coals and banana tree wood and leaves.  To say this is exciting news in our household is an understatement…we can’t wait to take part in this new Christmas tradition!