The Verguenza

Last night, I took Amy’s cookies over to the Gong’s movie night. They seemed pretty popular, but the last cookie stayed on the plate right up until I left, for well over 1 hours. Back in the good old days, someone started calling the last cookie “The Verguenza”, Spanish for “The Embarrassment.” I’ll explain.

It seems that collectively we have some rules about the Verguenza. No one wants to be the greedy soul who takes the last donut, or the last cookie, or the last whatever. It makes you look inconsiderate and greedy. Eventually, someone will cave in and decide they really want that cookie. But instead of taking the whole cookie, they will break it in half. Just watch…

The Verguenza tends to show up more often in larger group settings and less often in small groups of friends, and from my observation, also less often in family gatherings. I haven’t noticed if it happens or not in super-large impersonal group gatherings, like a convention or something.

Anyone else ever notice the Verguenza?

CSA Pickup #4

I’m unloading my tote from my most recent share of the crop from my co-op. Here’s what I got:

1- 1 bunch of 2 red onions
2- 1 dozen eggs
3- 1 cucumber
4- 1 summer squash
5- 1 bunch of turnip greens
6- 1 significantly larger than last time kohlrabi (less greens this time)
7- 1 red cabbage
8- 1 large branch of basil (The smell was divine when she opened the cooler with the basil!)
9- 1 large bunch of curly kale
10- 2 jalapeno peppers
11 – Snapdragons (I let Amy pick them out and keep them. She’s agreed to do my pickup next time when I’ll be at the reunion.)
Veggie Box

That pic is definitely not my share this week. 🙂 Until my camera is fixed, I’m stuck borrowing from Flickr.

I also picked up from another vendor some beets and some dill to make borscht.

No salad greens this week. That was odd. I’ve come to expect arugula. 😉 I’m still not sure how I manage to use the arugula, but boy does it have a distinctive taste.

Why I love the Mingle

Some of you may know that my favorite thing about my calling at church is the fact that I am nominally in charge of “The Mingle.” Most months, Leilani is actually in charge, but when she wasn’t on the STW committee, or when she is out of town, the responsibility falls to Elizabeth and me. Elizabeth is usually happy to let me have the limelight, and I’m usually more than willing to take it.

When I first came to the STW committee the Mingle was a spotty little activity called “Break the Fast,” which, you guessed it, happened on Fast Sunday after church. It was lightly attended and always held at the chapel. We decided to move it from the first Sunday to the third to prevent it from interfering with people’s fasts. And to capitalize on the fact that many ward activities fall on the third Friday or Saturday.

Now, as I said, it is my favorite activity each month. Why? I have a hard time figuring it out. I think the following reasons might have something to do with it:

1- I love to cook, and Mingle gives me a reason to try out a new recipe. Usually I have some inspiration while I’m trolling recipe websites, (One of my favorites is 101 Cookbooks) or reading my cookbooks. Something I want to try that I haven’t tried before. I’m not sure the last time I actually took a tried and true recipe to Mingle. Some turn out great… Other times, not so great. (My contribution this week, a simple bean salad, wasn’t anything spectacular.)

2- I love the chance to talk to everyone. Mingle brings people together to, well, mingle. And I love it.

3- It always works out. Every mingle, I start to freak out that we won’t have enough food about 5 minutes before we are to begin. And we always have enough to eat. Some months, we only have just barely enough, but everyone always gets at least one full plate of food. Even if it was from an industrial size can of corn… We’ve had some serious Loaves and Fishes moments at several mingles, but they have always turned out. It’s kind of faith building.

4- The themes. Coming up with a theme has always been fun. We instituted themes quite a while back to get people thinking about the mingle mid-week, rather than Sunday afternoon. My favorite to this day was “Food that begins with the first letter of your name.” We got some extremely creative food that month.

This month, I decided to not stress out about the Mingle, even when it was 5 minutes to showtime and there was an abundance of salads, but no main dishes. It was hard, but I think I was successful. And of course, I loved it. Even after I dumped my entire plate on the table right when I was sitting down.

Ultimate Frisbee

Last night I played in my first game of Ultimate Frisbee since I moved to Michigan. I was apprehensive. Frisbee was one of my favorite sports/games/pasttimes while I lived in Laramie, and even while I was in Salt Lake. It worried me that I was apprehensive. I ended up having a lot of fun playing, but on the way home, I think I figured out why I was so reluctant to play.

It all has to do with unspoken expectations.

In Laramie, there were two years when we played almost every week, usually at least twice a week, and during the summer, almost every night. We had a set field, one that we knew by heart, and a set time. It was just expected that a game would break out on Tuesdays around 6pm or so. It was always Derek’s game, he was the one who started it up, and it was to him we turned if there were problems or scheduling conflicts. Tuesday was a fairly open night. Anyone (and everyone) in the Institute showed up to play. We didn’t talk about Thursday night as much because we wanted a smaller group, more for our immediate circle of friends to play.

We developed a lingo, and a chatter, and a set of rules. The rules were fairly standard, but they were customized to our game. We counted how many times we hit cars with the frisbee. We offered points to whoever could do some obscenely difficult thing with the frisbee (usually hit someone on the other team in the back of the head on a kick-off). We chattered, and had a running dialog through the whole game. We didn’t really play with strategy, as much as we played for fun.

Once Derek talked us into playing in a co-ed intermurals tournament (and then left town and didn’t play). We ended up handily beating our first round opponents and ended up in the final versus the University Club team. That was one of the most physically exhausting games I’ve ever played. Our opponents did hammer throws and stall counts and all sorts of things we didn’t do. We ended up winning, mostly because our girls were better than theirs.

Fast forward… When I moved to Salt Lake, I tried to find a regular frisbee game. There were always games going on, but I never really felt like I fit in. I didn’t know their rules or their chatter, and I didn’t feel the same passion for the game as those who were playing did. We had a sporadic game in Salt Lake, but it never had the momentum that playing in Laramie did.

I’m pretty passionate about frisbee, don’t get me wrong, or I was, anyway. I just played for a different reason. I played to have fun and spend time with my friends. I never figured out how to straighten out my kick-off throw and never wore cleats, but I did have pretty good accuracy in throwing short and catching. I’m somewhere middle of the pack, skill-wise, I’d say. But I love to play.

Which brings me back to Michigan, and my experience with frisbee here. I have found other ways to spend time with friends, and frisbee never came up. I knew that they played it at Sports Night, but I didn’t know them and it was a longish drive anyhow. Last night, I wasn’t sure I wanted to play. I didn’t know how they did it here. Eventually, (and unfortunately right after two hotdogs), I got into the game.

Turns out, they have a different style of playing here. I got called out for what I considered playful banter with the other team. They also play with a very strict sense of boundaries, and there are rules that I didn’t know about that go with those boundaries. One member of the other team in particular got in my face about a rule I didn’t know I was breaking. (which of course makes me want to come back and play again, right?). It was those unspoken rules again…

So, I had fun. Will I play frisbee again with this group? I don’t know. If I were really daring, I’d try to organize my own game, but one where we’ve talked about the rules.

CSA, Pick-up #3

I joined a Community Supported Agriculture co-operative at the beginning of the summer. It was part of my grand scheme to eat more and varied vegetables. Today was pickup #3. I took the two previous pickups before my trip to Wyoming.

I really enjoy the co-op owners. They call themselves Farmer John and the Garden Goddess, and they are always very happy to see me when I show up with my canvas bag. Today it was raining when I got there. I had expected the water to keep people away, but it was as busy as ever at the Ann Arbor Farmer’s Market.

Here’s what I got today.

Please forgive the obsessive list making. I’m interested to know what I end up with at the end of the season. (and hopefully have eaten all or most of it by then.)

#1 – 1 dozen eggs
#2 – 1 bunch of radishes (they were variegated, and very pretty. Tragically my camera is broken!)
#3 – 1 cabbage
#4 – 1 kohlrabi#5 – 1 bunch of arugula
#6 – 1 head of Bibb lettuce
#7 – 1 bunch of spicy mustard greens
#8 – 1 bunch of curly kale
#9 – 4 onions
#10 – 1 oddly shaped zucchini and 1 small yellow squash
#11 – flowers for my “wife” or “girlfriend”

Chocolate Chip Cookies

I’m totally cross posting here: Amy makes the best cookies and she shares her secrets!

Update: I made my first attempt on the recipe. And it turned out deliciously! I added some fresh cherries and a little bit of cinnamon. My first sheet came out completely underbaked, I had to increase the time a minute or two for other two sheets. I think my oven wasn’t quite hot enough. But still! Delicious!

Geocaching Word Art!

On one of my random jaunts through the web, I came upon Wordle. I was intrigued, and wanted to try it out. I settled on downloading all of the caches I’ve found and using that. I had intended to use my logs, and may still, but couldn’t get that to work immediately. Instead, I used the names of all of the caches I found. This is the pretty cool result:

I finally got all of my cache logs to download. Here’s the result of that wordle.

It’s kind of interesting to see which words pop out as the most important. The program makes the size of the word represent the frequency it occurs in the original text. In both cases, it seems to be the word I write most is “Cache.” Go figure!

A run- House Hunting

I’ve become obsessed with the idea of purchasing a home. It borders on unhealthy, I think. Last Sunday, I spotted a house nearby that was a steal. By Tuesday, it was no longer on the real estate website I was looking at. I don’t know if it sold, or if it was taken off the market. I decided to run by tonight and see if there was a for sale sign out front. There wasn’t, but I did stop at a few other houses to grab flyers.

Mistborn: The Final Empire

Mistborn: The Final Empire (Mistborn) Mistborn: The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson

My review

rating: 5 of 5 stars
You must read this book! While I enjoyed Brandon Sanderson‘s first book Elantris, I loved this book. His characters are so right and so believable, the plot is crisp and new, and the setting is perfect.

It isn’t often that you find a fantasy novel that is new and different. While it has epic qualities to it, it is not your typical epic fantasy. The scale is so much more personal and while the characters seem to be out to save the world from evil (like so many other fantasy novels), it seems they are also out to save themselves from evil.

I only have a few more dollars on my Borders gift card, but they’re going right to the sequel.

Can this guy finish up A Memory of Light any faster?

View all my reviews.