Sunday, September 30, 2007

los gatos memorial park II

Behind those recent stones with Asian names there are older ones with older immigrant names on them.

so here's a little secret of comfort fusion cooking

Swedes eat risgrynsgröt, rice porridge, for Christmas. It's basically rice boiled with milk, and served with sugar, cinnamon, and cold milk. Sounds familiar?

Sounds like Arroz Con Leche, the sweet Latin rice pudding made and served in similar ways.

If the whole boiling rice with milk and keeping it from burning seems a little daunting, here's a tip: Next time you make sticky Asian rice, put a little in a bowl, add a pat of butter, sugar, cinnamon, milk, and salt (if you didn't add any to the water before.) Mmm.

And yeah actually the Swedish Santa Claus doesn't get cookies, he gets rice pudding. That's how good it is.

does al gore know? I am sure he would want to bring his offspring presents.

So yeah I liked 3:10 to Yuma a lot. I read a couple of articles about it this morning, and I came across the fact that Russell Crowe and I share the same birthday. So I clicked on the April 7 link, and guess who else was born on that day?

- 1969 - The Internet's symbolic birth day

Saturday, September 29, 2007

3:10 to yuma

3:10 to Yuma is a great movie. I cried. It's kind of hard not to so I am sure you will too. The red horses are pretty and so is the yellow desert, and the blue mountains. The ending is really great and the actors are lovely. 10 out of 10 in my book.

yep, I have a thing for cemeteries

I went to Los Gatos Memorial Park today. This is half of the gate leading to the Jewish part of the cemetery. It has half of a star of David on it.
This is a row of military graves. Military tombstones are always shaped like that, rectangular with rounded tops. Sometimes they are placed together in rows. Sometimes they will appear mixed in with other tombstones. Those graves, the military ones mixed in with the civilian ones, remind me of how war is always present in the US, and in American families.
Look, someone left a beer for that guy. Sam Adams too. The good stuff.

waiting around to die

'I just didn't want no more whisky.'

his horse was fast as polished steel

come morning I'll be through them hills and gone

Friday, September 28, 2007

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

no, I am not a vegetarian. but let's not think of that now.

I like to go for hikes. That's one reason I like living close to the mountains. When I was visiting in Sweden this summer I went for hikes too. Up the street from where my parents live there is a very pretty forest, and on the fields next to it there are a bunch of sheep. Most of them were skittish and not very friendly. But one sheep seemed to like people a lot.
This is him in the pictures. Or her? Whenever I would walk by this sheep would come up to talk. Whenever I held up the camera it would pose. See that charming smile there?

Monday, September 24, 2007

more smugmugging

I am hooked on smugmug. It's too much fun. Anyway. In the interest of total openness I just changed the address to: http://charlottakratz.smugmug.com. If you made a bookmark, please change it.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

new photos at smugmug

I am updating my smugmug photo site this weekend. There are several galleries up with new flowers, new places, but very few people. (I think it's hard to take photos of people.) And there is more to come.

Anyway. Click here if you want to take a look.

I am getting ready to sell prints too. It comes with the package at smugmug, wouldn't you know, so if you want you can order through the site.

I like smugmug a lot because the site is really pretty, but the browsing logic is a little weird. Or maybe I haven't been able to set it up right. Please let me know if it doesn't make sense to you.

strange fruit

I saw one of my former students be interviewed on CNN the other day. She had traveled from California to Jena, LA to be a part of the protests there against perceived racial bias in the judicial system.
When asked, the young woman said that racism and classism are present everywhere in the US, and has to be fought everywhere.

In Jena, six black teenagers were charged with attempted murder for beating a white classmate. One boy, fifteen at the time, was charged as an adult. (Which, actually, just brings us right back to Dave Chappelle, and his ideas about the differences in being 15 and black and 15 and white in America.)

Three months earlier, at the same Jena high school, black students had asked to sit under a tree that provided a shady gathering spot for the white students at the school. The next day, nooses hung from the tree. No charges were filed.

And, yeah, my former student is a white girl from southern California. The CNN reporter who interviewed her and a couple of others said that the white people he was able to find at the protest (there wasn't all that many of them), often were college students who had taken ethnic and gender studies courses.

I am just saying. Education is not a bad thing.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

dan having dinner

thanks to adrianne we get to see dave chappelle talk about missing girls, and media coverage

Two minutes into this he talks about the differences between white missing girls, and black missing girls. And then he goes on to discuss the differences in being 15 years old when you are black and 15 years old when you are white.

So, yeah, it's Elizabeth Smart, or little Madeleine. Next time it's someone else.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

mid-day madness in los gatos, calif.

I don't know why the photo contest people have to call their challenges things like "mid-day madness". I think that's dumb. Whose life is mad? Really?

Anyway. This is what it looked like when I came home from school today, after I had been to the post office and mailed off some zip lock bags for Åsa.

the us

sweden

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Monday, September 17, 2007

ok. I'm done with the math. thanks google.

KRONANS KAKA (CROWN CAKE)
borrowed from ICA


150 grams (5.3 oz) almonds
3 eggs
2 deciliters (6.8 fl oz) sugar
75 grams (2.6 oz) butter or margarine
200 grams (7 oz) cold boiled or baked potatoes
the grated peel from half a lemon

use: 9 inch pan
bake: in 175C (350F) for 45 minutes

1. Butter a 22 cm (9 inch) pan (or larger, but then you will have to shorten the cooking time), and swirl breadcrumbs/corn flour/something else you prefer/ around inside.

2. Blanche, peel, and grate the almonds finely.

3. Grate the potatoes, or use a potato press.

4. Whip eggs and sugar until light and foamy.

5. Whisk in the softened butter and the grated almonds. Alternate between the two. Some bits of butter, a little almond, and so on.

6. Stir in lemon peel and potatoes.

7. Pour into pan, smooth the top, and bake.

Note: The potatoes have to be cold, like cooked the day before cold, or else they will melt the butter and the entire thing will end up too dense.

The recipe says to bake in the lower part of the oven. But I am not sure American and Swedish ovens operate the same way. Here in the US things burn if I put them in too low. So if you think that will happen, put it in the middle. Or trust your judgment. It’s done when it pulls away from the sides of the pan.

I’ve used google to calculate the American measurements. That’s why they are so anally exact. I am sure you can round them up and down, whatever seems reasonable.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

unexpected success

I made Kronans Kaka (Crown cake) for a potluck that in the end I wasn't able to attend. But Dan came home with an empty dish and requests for the recipe.

There are recipes for this cake from the 1880's onwards. There is no flour in the thing, but grated almonds and grated boiled potatoes instead. So if you don't use breadcrumbs for the pan but something like corn flour it's gluten free, as far as I understand. And it's super good. I will go transform the metric measurements into American ones now. That will take a while.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

don't get me wrong

It's horrible when little children disappear, or die. But I can't help wondering why those stories only ever get the around the clock media attention when the missing child is a blonde little girl?

Friday, September 14, 2007

I don't know who these people were

Or where they went.

oh you swedish people you know what these are

This is good stuff. On the inside: oats, sugar, butter, cocoa powder, vanilla, coffee, pinch of salt. Mix and roll into little balls. On the outside: shredded coconut.

It's the first "cooking" kids get introduced to, and it never goes out of style.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

imagine that

I just learned that in Belgium, voting is compulsory. Mind boggling, huh?

no, I am not driving a tractor

I googled '1972 Karmann Ghia Convertible', because I wanted to show what my car looks like all clean, and I am too lazy to go out in the street and take a picture. And it's dark now anyway. Google images came back with this.
It wasn't their first option, or their second. But on the 4th page or so, there it was.

Monday, September 10, 2007

I am tired

I got a bottle of this product today. It's called Once a Year Car Polish. I thought it would be appropriate. It's been about that long since I cleaned the pretty red car.

My neighbors came home from work, left for the gym, and came back from the gym again while I was buffing. My face was sweating.

The car looks OK now. I hope my shoulders and upper arms will too. Maybe that will be a reason to do it sooner. It is a great workout.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

I like alice cooper

miso soup i rörstrandskopp

my new favorite pillow

My grandma embroidered this piece of fabric a long time ago. Possibly as early as the 1920's, my mom says. It's been sitting in a drawer since then. First in grandma's own drawer, and then lately in my mom's. It came out this summer, and was given to me.
I made a pillow out of it. All that was needed was a seam around the three sides. It was pretty obvious it had been meant to be made into a pillow all along. No creative credit to me.
My grandma's embroidery was always bold like this. Which is kind of surprising, because she was not particularly bold in person. It's pretty, huh?

The fluffy insides is made up of an old pillow that had originated with my other grandma. So, here I have it: comfort from two grandmas, in one go.

Which reminds me of another story. Last spring, every day one of my students would proudly wear a large cross outside his shirt. At one point when we were talking about identity and self expression I asked him about it. He said the cross had been a present from his grandma. Since cultural studies is a detail oriented activity I asked him about the chain too. He said it had been give to him by his other grandma. So, symbolically he had joined his two grandmas and was wearing them around his neck. I thought that was rather sweet for a twenty year old boy.

The point of the story, however, is that my student's two grandmas had both of them been opposed to his parents' marriage. One of his parents was of Mexican decent, and the other one came from an Italian family. When they met and married, no one was happy. The grandmas didn't speak to each other.

So even more powerful their grandson's statement in joining their gifts.

Friday, September 07, 2007

swedish coastline (look at that trees and water to houses ratio)

I took my new lens up the mountain (look at that close up of the serpentine)

look here, anne

So this is my one remaining and damn it hard to photograph orchid. If you look closely though you can see that it has two bud things going on. Those appeared after the poor thing hadn't had water in a very long while, and the dirt was getting seriously low around its feet. I put more dirt in and started watering it earlier this week. Since then the buds have grown like crazy.

I have read that orchids thrive on neglect. Maybe that is so. When I think of it, this one seems to just go ahead and bloom every September, no matter what. Previous years I have given watering people lots of credit and thanks when I've returned from holidays to enjoy the pretty flowers. This year I am not to credit Dan for neglecting it for me. I am just going to accept the inner workings of nature, and take pictures.

summer still

Evidence:
Fan is still out.
Candle holders are dusty and have no candles in them.