Friday, August 12, 2011

The Weekend of Week in the Life

Thursday was such a full day--but Friday was the highlight of the week. The Greek class was having a cooking party! We were all to go to Prof. Heracles' house instead of to class, and we would share food, and he would show us an easy way to make spanakopita, a delicious Greek phyllo pastry filled with spinach and cheese. One of us was unable to have any milk products, so we substituted tofu for the cheese. I love the traditional spanakopita, and was dubious about the tofu, but it was very tasty--a little different, but tasty.

But first, in the morning, I got a hair cut. Actually, I got them all cut. Debbie, my hairdresser, was drying her own hair when I got there, but soon she had me shampooed and ready to to be trimmed.

Here I am, taking Debbie's picture while she finishes drying her own hair.

And here I am, taking a picture of Debbie cutting my hair.

All done! Debbie is holing a mirror so I can see the back. I like it this short--no fussing!

At the party, Prof Herakles showed us how to roll out the phyllo, and some of us took turns doing the other layers. We made four layers--not a lot, compared to some recipes which call for many more layers of phyllo. The phyllo you get ready-made is also very much thinner.

The dough was mixed in a big mixer, and then divided into four pieces. These were rolled out, one at a time, to make the phyllo layers. Olive oil was painted on the rolled out dough between the layers.

Using lots of flour to keep the dough from sticking, and a long 1" dowel as a rolling pin, Prof. Heracles rolled the dough into a very large, thin circle; this was then placed into a large, round cake pan. While the dough was being rolled for the first two layers, the filling was being heated on the stove. This was chopped onions and spinach, with tofu chunks stirred in.

The filling went into the pan after the second layer, and then a third and fourth layer of phyllo went on top. A couple inches of phyllo hung over the edge of the pan, and this was rolled up and tucked into the pan like a piecrust edge.

Then the pie was cut into sections and cooked in the oven for 45 minutes.

While we waited for the spinakopita to cook, we munched on veggies and fruit, and drank lemonade, and sat in the garden or spent time chatting with Tony, Prof. Herakles' African Grey parrot.

Tony was quite the hit of the afternoon. He is bilingual, and spoke to us from time to time in either Greek or English, depending on who was watching him.

Eventually, the spinakopita came out of the oven, and we made short work of eating it and the other dishes we had brought to share. All in all, it was a wonderful party, and we all stuffed ourselves.

Saturday I spent time at the computer, wasting many hours trying to install a new program. It drove me crazy, because it would install perfectly and then immediately turn around and uninstall itself. Very frustrating! But I did manage a bit of shopping, and I bought a small cube of drawers for under my computer table.

Here I am reflected in the window of the halal grocery where we went to get a couple of cans of gigantes--the name for fava beans in Greek. They are a very large bean, shaped like lima or butter beans, and very tasty when prepared with tomato sauce and spices.

We visited out son, Matt, who lives near us. He asked us if we would take him to a party he was invited to on Sunday, as he doesn't drive. We agreed, and arranged to collect him and deliver him to the party. After that, we went to Vetco Electronics to get a cable to connect our new modem/wireless lashup (see Wednesday) to my big computer. It was a feast of textures, and I took lots of pictures for my graphics files.

Sunday I made some Artist Trading cards. I made digital collages using some of my textures and some elements from Digital Scrap and characters from ads and rubber stamps.

And I built my cube of drawers for under the computer desk, and found places for a couple of rolling chests of drawers under the tables. The rolling part didn't happen, though, because the wheels would make them too tall to fit. The computer room revision is an ongoing project, and I found lots of things I could part with to make room for things I can't part with.

We went to Half Price Books on the way to pick up Matt, and I took my picture in a mirror on a book.

We took Matt to his party, and went over to the Ave in the University District to have dinner at the Continental Pastry Shop. I used to hang out there a lot when I was a student at the U, and my son Jeremy did likewise when he was a student, so the owner, Demetre Lagos, and our family are very well acquainted.

Some of the Continental Pastry Shop's wares
Demetre Lagos and me

After that, we picked up Matt from his party, took him home, and went home ourselves to spend a quiet evening with the TV.

So--that was a week in my life. And lest you think it was exceptional, let me assure you that ALL my weeks are that hectic. I don't always take a thousand pictures, though I just may from now on! Being a retired person has a few benefits besides Social Security; one does not have to deal with small persons demanding a lot of attention, nor does one have to satisfy a particular schedule not of one's choosing. One can spend one's time making art, or writing blogs about whatever comes to mind. Especially if one's husband is able to cook some of the time (it's his recipe for gigantes) and is willing to do the heavy chopping for stir fry!

Until next time, when I plan to get back to the grandmother thread, Nan


Thursday, August 4, 2011

Well, That is The Week that Was--It's This Week, Now

OK, where did I leave off? I think it was Thursday we are up to. Thursdays are my play days with my lovely friend Ami. We do cool thinks like check out the latest digital goodies, make ATCs (like we did today) and then go out to dine in splendor at the food court at Crossroads Mall. Last Thursday, though, we didn't do that. We had our usual kaffe mit schlag, yum, and took crazy photos of ourselves and each other, and played a bit on the computer.

Yummy Coffee and Whipped Cream
We had fun in her kitchen mirror.

Trying to get both our faces into the picture.We had homemade raspberry rhubarb crisp and store-bought key lime pie for lunch...can't do that every day, but it sure tasted good!

In the afternoon I went to the University of Washington and sat in on a Modern Greek class. It is intensive Greek, and while I am not a student in the class, I am expected to participate when I visit. My Greek is very rusty, as I haven't exercised it much since 1983 (my last trip to Greece) but I tried to do my best. The class was about an elephant named Mitsos who, having flown to Greece from Africa with his mistress, was too big to fit into a taxi to go to the hotel.

The Greek class finishing the story about Mitsos
The class decided that the story needed finishing, so we finished it by having a monkey direct Mitsos, with the monkey's owner and his mistress on his back, to the hotel. But instead, the monkey took them to the zoo--a hotel for animals.

After class I had time to kill before my board meeting for the Seattle Book Arts Guild, so I wandered around campus taking pictures.

First, I went into Allen Library and took pictures of the installation, "Raven Brings Light to the House of Stories." This tells the story of Raven doing this, and there is a book, and there are various nooks around the library that have Ravens installed in them. This is part of the main installation in the library lobby:

And this is the Book:

There was a descriptive sign on the Mezzanine:

Then I went on to grab a snack for dinner in Suzzalo Library.

Model of the clock on the top of the oldest building on campus, Denny Hall

I had dinner in the coffee shop in the library, where the model clock is kept. Then I went out to the Quad, and took pictures of some of the unusual gargoyles on the buildings.

This baseball player is one of the sports gargoyles

This commemorates the Navy

This is Arithmetic.

The gargoyles have always amused and fascinated me. I used to look at them every time I passed the building.

Nest, I wandered over toward the library where the board meeting was to be held, and saw a sign advertising the anthropological museum on campus.

The whole sign

Here are a few of the letters, close up:

These signs are made of enameled metal,
and there were pictures on both sides. I particularly enjoyed the winged Mammoth.

So I photographed him again without the wings.

It got a bit dark to take more pictures, so I went into the library to wait. When the other board members arrived, we held our meeting. It lasted about two hours, but we got a lot done, so it was time well spent.

The Seattle Book Arts Guild Board Meeting
That's it for now--Friday, Saturday, and Sunday still to come!  ---Nan