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Monthly Archives: July 2007


fried shrimp salad

Originally uploaded by l@in.
Last week I got a big bag of frozen, deveined and partially shelled shrimp on sale and since then I’ve been having fun thinking of different ways to use them. In the process of moving I discovered a container of whole wheat panko breadcrumbs and thought that shrimp breaded with these bread crumbs would be yummy in a salad. It was.

Panko Breaded Fried Shrimp Salad

Panko Bread crumbs (I used Ian’s)
peeled, deveined shrimp (probably 8-12 per salad depending on size. I think I used 9 per salad)
1 egg
a little water
basil
italian spice mix
fresh grated pepper
olive oil (for frying)
tossed salad ingredients of choice (i used a mesculen salad mix, topped with shredded broccoli stalk and carrot, fresh mushrooms, and grape tomatoes)
grated hard italian cheese for garnish

If your shrimp is frozen, make sure that it’s completely thawed. This can happen while you’re assembling your salad. It’s easier if you’re salad is ready to go in the fridge before you start frying you shrimp.

For the shrimp. Beat egg with a little cold water. Pour a 1/2 cup or so of breadcrumbs into a shallow bowl and mix basil, italian spice mix, and fresh grated pepper into the breadcrumbs to taste. Cover the bottom of a frying pan with olive oil and heat. Dredge shrimp in egg mixture, then breadcrumbs and spices and drop into frying pan when it’s the appropriate temperature. Fry 1-2 minutes on each side. Fish the shrimp out of the pan (I used a fork. I could really use some tongs…) and drain on paper towels. Repeat until all shrimp are fried.

Top salad with shrimp and enjoy.

I recently read Baby Love for my book club and wasn’t particularly thrilled with it. To be totally honest I came to this book with some preconceived notions after reading

several reviews of it. Overall I found it to be a little whiny and very self-absorbed. I was kind of fascinated to see her react to different peoples’ take on things and opinions, about her life, about parenthood in general, etc. in a very knee-jerk way – a difference of opinion almost always seems to be taken as a challenge. She’ll speak of the truth of others but utterly fail to recognize any kind of relativism in virtually any situation or statement.

There were specific moments in the book where I was taken aback at moments which were mentioned but washed over. Once she’s talking to a friend who decided not to have children. Walker quickly glosses over the fact that she’s had several major illnesses and goes on to talk about how she wishes she could tell her friend that she is wrong. For Walker, there is no room apparently for physical barriers to pregnancy. This is further exacerbated by her assertion that one can not love an adopted child as much as one’s own. Again, no acknowledgment that her truth might not be another’s – this is posited as an point of absolution. There is another moment during a birthing class she attends with her male partner, where he asks “Where’s the penis?…”, after talking about vaginas, etc. the whole class. He is apparently looking for the inherently male role in the process. It has been said in some reviews that the author comes off as narcissistic in this book – based on this exchange I’d say her partner does as well.

I’m a little concerned that the book does not come out to talk about feminism more explicitly. I feel that there is room for it. A little discussion in this vein would add some weight to an otherwise rather fluffy piece, but it does not occur. Instead we are left with a piece that looks, very much, as something that could be considered a post-feminist take on pregnancy and motherhood. I find this very, very unfortunate. The book was a disappointment.

— Review cross-posted to goodreads.

I’m almost moved. I have some cleaning to do at the old place and a few random things to pick up and that’s it. Whew.

This week has been exciting because I had to take one of my little turtles to the vet. Gamera is a Florida mud turtle who kind of looks like this picture here. I was out of

town over the weekend, and when I came home Sunday night, I noticed that there was some kind of wound on the back of her neck and her shell. It almost looked like her skin and shell were being eaten away by something. Monday I had a really fun time trying to find a vet close by which would see her and was open late enough that I would be able to get her there with out taking off from work. I found one – in bloody Fairfax! The vet was backed up with emergencies which resulted in a 3 hour visit, but it was completely worth it. She said that it could be something bacterial, or something worse, so it’s being treated with an anti-biotic which I have to shoot into her little arm (I have yet to do this myself. Should be thrilling.) She has turtle vicoden which I apply to a food stick and pop in her new, separate heated tank, and I apply an iodine solution to her wounds 2x a day. She was really pissed to be poked and prodded at the vet however she was relatively well behaved. It almost looks better – at least it doesn’t look worse, so cross your fingers. If this doesn’t work the outcome isn’t so hot so please send happy turtle thoughts the little lady’s way.

If you have a less-than-average pet in the DC Metro area I highly recommend Eastern Exotic Veterinary Center. They were attentive, helpful, professional, and personable. The visit could have taken a shorter period of time, but it’s clear that they care about each animal who comes in the door.

Speaking of pets, tonight we pick up a new kitty who’s tentative name is Oliver. Expect pictures!

sorry for the lack of posting. i’ve been moving, which as everyone knows is a pain in the ass. i got movers this time around though, which was awesome and left the turtle tanks as the only big things to be moved, which i think will happen tonight. as of right now, me and 80% of my things live in Arlington, VA. yes,yes i know. once again i’ll be in a very blue part of a red state. barf. but i do like my neighborhood and we have a truly wonderful public library system.

However as of yet, I have no internets, and I’ll be out of town this weekend so it’ll be a little quiet around here.


plated seafood enchiladas

Originally uploaded by l@in.

For the past few months I’ve been fooling around with different enchilada fillings. After a dinner at a decent mexican place on U street, I decided to experiment with my own version of seafood enchiladas. I wanted to make something yummy with lots of protein using ingredients that I could easily have on hand. This resulted in using canned crab meat and tiny shrimp. They turned out pretty well. I’d definitely make them again.

Ingredients:

1 can crab meat
1 can baby shirmp
1 can black beans
1/2 medium onion
3 large mushrooms
6-8 oz. grated cheese of choice (i used a mix of colby jack and sharp cheddar. i think next time i might try a soft, white mexican cheese)
approx. 1 1/2 C. cooked brown rice
8 6-inch tortilla shells (i used whole wheat)
1 can enchilada sauce of choice
1 container salsa of choice (i used a sweet black bean and corn salsa)
tabasco sauce
cumin
salt
vegetable oil for frying
avocado (optional, yummy garnish)

Roughly chop the mushrooms and onions and fry with tabasco, salt, and cumin to taste until the onions are translucent. Mix crab meat and shrimp. Pour 1/4 can of enchilada sauce in the bottom of a 9×13 inch baking pan. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

Place a small amount of oil in a wide flat frying pan and heat each tortilla one by one approx. 20 seconds on each side. Once the tortilla is heated transfer to a plate for assembly. Place a small amount of brown rice, black beans, seafood mix, onions and mushrooms, in a line on one end of the tortilla. Top with cheese and then salsa. Fold up the sides and roll the enchilada. (You’re on your own with this one. It’s kind of a pain in the ass. Practice makes perfect. This is why you should make them a lot. Why the hell do you think I’ve been experimenting with different fillings?) Place the enchilada seam side down in the pan until all of the tortillas are used. Top pan full of enchiladas with the remainder of the enchilada sauce and cheese.

Bake for about 30 minutes at 350 degrees.

Serve with chips and salsa and some nice avocado slices. And dos equis or tecate even. Corona is nasty.

When I met Kara Jesella, co-author of How Sassy Changed My Life: A Love Letter to the Greatest Teen Magazine of All Time, at Pete‘s monthly party Chuffed! held during the ALA conference and she said she was doing a piece on librarians for the NY Times, I was intrigued. Fluff piece for the style section? Probably. Fun? The odds certainly looked good. And really if I had a dollar for every time someone quipped that I don’t look like a Librarian, I’d be on vacation right now. So while the “hip librarian” thing might be a new cliche, maybe with a true glut of these articles I can stop trying to come up with a reasonably amusing response every time someone comments on my appearance when I tell them my profession.

I am a little surprised by the twitter over the article (pun intended), although I suppose I shouldn’t be. While I will try to maintain, as my friend Carrie (who is also quoted in the article) put it, some emotional distance from the content of a story that I didn’t write, I will say, that as I stated, it’s true that I finally decided on library school after listening to a zine curator at a public library speak. She was passionate and articulate, and worked in Salt Lake City, for the love of God. I saw her at what was once the Underground Publishing Conference which has since morphed into the Allied Media Conference. The conference that year was full of people who were focused on getting information “out there” to people. Among them, naturally, were librarians, library students, and a great many people who recognized the powerful role that librarians can and do play within society. For me it was less, the job sounding “pretty awesome“, but more opening up the possibility of what the job could be. That it could be more than a job, really but perhaps a personal philosophy, of a dedication to putting information in hands where it was necessary, and useful, and in some, albeit extreme, cases life-changing. To supply an abused woman with the information she needs to get help, to give an elderly world-traveler who can no longer fly on a plane an book that will make them forget that they’re in their own living room, to show a student how to get the information they need to write a good paper. That’s cool. That’s hip. And maybe when I’m done I’ll celebrate with a $10 cocktail, because I’m in DC and that’s just how much a cocktail costs when you miss happy hour.

At the end of the day as Kendra notes, the article wasn’t for us, us being library types. Jessamyn points out that,

“As someone who talked to the author of this article at length about politics, I think the problem was that the publishable article was about hipness but the article the author *wanted* to write about was about progressive politics… I agree, fluffy article, but if it can get a little more attention to the leftist aims of some librarians, I’m all for it.

I couldn’t agree more.

yesterday i went running for the first time since my mastectomy. i was told by my plastic surgeon that i could have gone about 2 weeks ago, but i just didn’t feel up to it. technically i had full permission to do as i pleased, but when i tried to lift weights again i could feel this sickening tightening against the hard tissue expander in my chest and a faint ripping sensation and when i walked too fast, i could feel the muscles tightening against a mass that would not give.

so i waited. i worked with a 2 pound weight. i walked for miles. i became convinced that this was my new state of being, no more 9 mile runs, no more weight machines. i’m kinda funny about physical ability and illness. i’m often convinced that my malady is mentally construed, that my inability is me not trying hard enough. throwing up my own barriers and refusing to jump over them. this became most clear to me the morning after my 4th surgery, after i got the morphine drip i was told i wouldn’t need and i was in so much pain i couldn’t see straight. when my plastic surgeon came in at 6am the next morning, i asked her if it was supposed to hurt this much. i was again convinced i was making it up, but she reassured me that she had cut clean through my muscle – it was no minor surgery.

fortunately i was wrong about the running. i always hate the first half mile, but this time it really hurt like a bitch and it did the whole way. not only were my underused muscles protesting their return to activity, but only one breast bounced, the other felt like it was going to rip through my muscle with every step. but i did it anyway. for 2.5 miles. and i’m pretty happy about that.

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