Wednesday, December 13, 2006

as seen at Little Prof

I'm Charles the Mad. Sclooop.
Which Historical Lunatic Are You?
From the fecund loins of Rum and Monkey.

This is the best quiz ever. I loved the questions, especially the one that asks if you can trace your childhood traumas to animal-related incidents. Hello? Know anything about the whale from Pinnochio? I totally, 100% heart my guy:
A fine, amiable and dreamy young man, skilled in horsemanship and archery, you were also from a long line of dribbling madmen. King at 12 and quickly married to your sweetheart, Bavarian Princess Isabeau, you enjoyed many happy months together before either of you could speak anything of the other's language. However, after illness you became a tad unstable. When a raving lunatic ran up to your entourage spouting an incoherent prophecy of doom, you were unsettled enough to slaughter four of your best men when a page dropped a lance. Your hair and nails fell out. At a royal masquerade, you and your courtiers dressed as wild men, ending in tragedy when four of them accidentally caught fire and burned to death. You were saved by the timely intervention of the Duchess of Berry's underskirts.

This brought on another bout of sickness, which surgeons countered by drilling holes in your skull. The following months saw you suffer an exorcism, beg your friends to kill you, go into hyperactive fits of gaiety, run through your rooms to the point of exhaustion, hide from imaginary assassins, claim your name was Georges, deny that you were King and fail to recognise your family. You smashed furniture and wet yourself at regular intervals. Passing briefly into erratic genius, you believed yourself to be made of glass and demanded iron rods in your attire to prevent you breaking.

In 1405 you stopped bathing, shaving or changing your clothes. This went on until several men were hired to blacken their faces, hide, jump out and shout "boo!", upon which you resumed basic hygiene. Despite this, your wife continued sleeping with you until 1407, when she hired a young beauty, Odette de Champdivers, to take her place. Isabeau then consoled herself, as it were, with your brother. Her lovers followed thick and fast while you became a pawn of your court, until you had her latest beau strangled and drowned.

A severe fever was fended off with oranges and pomegranates in vast quantities, but you succumbed again in 1422 and died. Your disease was most likely hereditary. Unfortunately, you had anywhere up to eleven children, who variously went on to develop capriciousness, great cruelty, insecurity, paranoia, revulsion towards food and, in one case, a phobia of bridges.

Monday, December 04, 2006

rainbow veggies

(Warning: seriously boring post about vegetables, for chrissake. I'm thinking we should start a meme based on Oso Raro's post about gay bars. What/where was your first gay bar? I've got a long one in me, that's been brewing ever since I started this blog, but it never seems like the right day to write it.)

Every week I get a box of vegetables from a local organic grocery store. The content is always a seasonal surprise and as I spend the rest of the week trying to figure out how to cook what I've got, I congratulate myself on being in tune with the seasons and ecologically responsible--no bell peppers for me, no matter how much I want them--which is to say, I spend a lot of time talking to myself about vegetables. I wish I was kidding. December's kind of a slow month around here, and I'm feeling pretty lonely these days. But I do enjoy my new ritual of spending Sunday nights washing/soaking/rinsing/chopping up the vegetables so that I can cook with them throughout the week.

Yesterday I got a bunch of rainbow carrots, as well as a bunch of rainbow chard. I'm kind of wasting the carrots by eating them on a salad for lunch today, but I can't resist--they're so sweet and so pretty, and I don't want to ruin them by cooking them. (I hate cooked carrots). The thing is, I don't know what to do with the chard. Normally I saute greens in a little olive or sesame oil, with onions and/or garlic, and serve it with broiled cod. But should I do that with chard? Or is there something more interesting I should do with it? It's seriously lovely. I found myself so taken with it last night--each stem is a different, vibrant color--that I lovingly hand-dried each huge, fan-like leaf. Unfortunately, I threw away the stems, based on a recipe the store sent home with the box this week. Just now I saw an article on chard that says you can do all kinds of things with the stems. So any ideas what I can do with chard LEAVES?