Archive for December, 2007


Monday, December 31st, 2007

Many people we know have been expressed their intense curiosity as to how Joshua and I will react as people when we have the baby. As in, will we change—I’m guessing this is what people mean—in that way that life-changing events are supposed to change a person’s worldview. Will we turn overnight from obstinate cynics to quivering blobs of schmaltz who worship the very mucus that flows forth from our baby’s nostrils? I’ve been told “Oh everything will be different, you don’t even know!” about everything from Ayn Rand books to marriage (the baby being no exception) and I have to say, without going so far as to declare it all a complete crock, I don’t think I ever felt or acted much different after any of it. I don’t mean to say I don’t change or ever do things differently because that’s certainly not true (I’m always a better person once I’ve had my breakfast, for example), but I change constantly all the time because of everything around me. And still I am always the same person.

That said, I’ve warmed up considerably to the various baby accoutrements out there. Not the pink kitten ruffle-bomb girly-girl outfits, no those I can live without. I’m talking things like baby booties or, well, here’s the most recent baby purchase and I picked this one out over the others because it was JUST SO CUTE!

Behold: The Infant Nose Bulb.

Infant nose bulb

To me it looks like some little Japanese anime character. “Tiradroppu,” whose special power might be to ward off nightmares or something. To counter the adorableness and remind you that what you have is actually a serious and utilitarian baby appliance, they have added a sobering red cross graphic to the side.

I added my own graphic to the other side though!

Infant nose bulb


Saturday, December 29th, 2007

Bug on a fence at Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge, Portland Oregon

Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge. Portland, Oregon

This was taken months ago. You can tell because it’s not raining.

Lets Cooking! Lengua Verde

Thursday, December 27th, 2007

Lengua Verde has always been one of my favorite meals. I grew up with it and I always assumed that my Mom had picked up the recipe somewhere in Central America. However, I just learned that the recipe actually came from my Grandma Phyllis. Anyway, Mom always makes me a tongue on special occasions like my birthday or if we haven’t seen each other in awhile.

Cheryl Flavin. Boiling the beef tongue

I can be hard to find a tongue in the US, but if keep a sharp eye at the meat counter and ask around you should be able to find one. Start off by boiling the tongue for a long time in pickling spices. Mom claims that there isn’t an exact recipe for this and that she just throws in whatever comes to mind depending on what she sees in the spice cabinet. Good choices include: cinnamon sticks, mustard seed, black pepper corns, whole cloves, whole allspice, juniper berries, crumbled whole mace, dill seeds, bay leaves, coriander seeds, dried red pepper, and ginger.

Boiling the beef tongue

Boil it all until the tongue is tender.

Beef Tongue

Then remove and allow to cool.

While the tongue is cooling start on the sauce. Brown a large onion in butter until soft. Add chopped poblano peppers, 1 can of Ortega chilies and 1 large can of chopped tomatoes, juice and all. You can also add hot peppers, garlic, and tomatillos. Set all this up to simmer and turn back to the tongue.

skinning the tongue

The skin should just peel off. Discard.

Now we all know that a Mexican would never throw out the skin. I’ve eaten lengua tacos from New York City to LA, Tuscon to San Cristobal and there’s aways tongue skin right there in the taco. I’m not sure what they do differently, but it’s tender and juicy. If you want to eat the skin I understand. Thowing it out seems like a waste of protein. However, I can tell you that if you want to eat it you’ll have to find a different recipe. At this stage the skin just isn’t edible. It’s tough and chewy. It may only be a matter of cooking it longer or something. I don’t know, but please tell me if you do.

sliced tongue

Slice it cross wise.

lengua verde sauce simmering

Add the sliced tongue to the sauce and simmer until it thickens down. Salt to taste.

Lengua Verde served with rice and salad

Serve over rice with a salad.

Yummmm. Thanks Mom (and Phyllis)!

Shopping list:

  • Beef Tongue
  • Pickling Spices
  • Large Onion
  • Garlic
  • Poblano or Anehiem Peppers
  • Ortega Chilies
  • Large can of chopped tomatoes

Christmas Pepper

Tuesday, December 25th, 2007

We woke up this morning to a snow flurry. It only lasted an hour or so before turning to another rainy day in Portland but it was pretty while it lasted.

Merry Christmas everyone!


Sunday, December 23rd, 2007

The Crying of Lot 49. Thomas Pynchon. Page 34

If you thought we singled you out to ignore; don’t worry, it’s not you. We didn’t send a single postcard last trip. We were never very consistent to begin with but the blog put a stop to even that meager trickle. Personal emails suffer as well because we’ve already used our best material. They tend to be short and fishing. So… Tell me about yourself. It seems repetitive to email people stuff that is already in the blog. You want to know about me? rtfb!

Of course, not everything makes it into our posts. We tend to self censor a little to avoid alarming the mothers and certain things are too personal or incriminating to discus in a public forum. We always assume that anything we publish here will be read by potential employers and homeland security.

Keeping in touch with people is hard. This blog makes it easier for you to find us and for you to keep updated on our lives, but unless you take the time to comment you’re just stealing. Umm… well… not really. I was just channeling a record company executive for a second.

To make up for this lack of physical correspondence we’ve decided to send out new years cards. Next year. Sometime. If you’re not sure if we have your address send us an email and we’ll update our list. Everyone is eligible even if we don’t know you.

We miss you all and wish you were here, or we were there, more often.

Cheyenne Weil, Joshua Coxwell