Saturday, December 29, 2007

In praise of gjetost

I'm convinced that I first tasted gjetost (or geitost, however you care to spell it) when I was really little, either during my parents' urbanite multicultural phase when we lived in Portland, OR and often had things like halvah and Chinese food and curry, or at my grandma's house. In any case, I have no direct memory of having it, but when a few years ago I bought a cube of the stuff on a whim, it was immediately familiar and loved.

It's hard to describe the taste of gjetost. It's sweet and nutty, and almost tastes like salty caramel with a slightly goaty aftertaste. But that sounds truly nasty, and it's not. It's mahvelous, particularly on buttered toast. I could eat that daily, and once in awhile, I do - usually until I can no longer find it in the store. It's apparently not a universally loved thing; at least not enough to justify the often steep cost.

I hadn't thought about it for awhile, but my sister-in-law's family served it (among other lovely cheeses) on Christmas and I *had* to have more (more on that trip when I have pictures figured out).

I spent a good portion of this morning rushing around trying to chase some down. One grocery store didn't carry it, the other was the froufrou local chain that said they usually had it, but their supplier had been out for several weeks and they wouldn't have it for awhile. Ack! I finally found it (at a darned good price) at Fred Meyer. Go figure.

Ah...toast and gjetost. I'm content now.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Pyelem G Vudhaus??

Apparently there are now some pretty fanatical Russian Wodehouse fans.

Natalya Trauberg sounds like an amazing woman:

That there is a Wodehouse fellowship at all, though, is largely thanks to Natalya Trauberg. A self-taught English speaker, the 79-year-old former dissident risked transportation to the gulags under Stalin for translating the theological works of C S Lewis and G K Chesterton in samizdat.

Can you imagine the sort of stories she could tell? Fascinating.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Lowbrow cultcha

Completely by accident, I recently came across mention of this program: matinée performances *live* from the Met, broadcast to your local movie theater. There's something rather beautiful about being able to attend an opera in jeans, and watch whilst consuming Coke and popcorn.

This weekend was the first of the series: Gounod's Roméo et Juliette. It's not an opera I'm that familiar with, but of course the story is very familiar, so I figured...why not?

It was fantastic. I already know and like Roberto Alagna, so that was good, and the gal who played Juliette (Anna Netrebko) was incredible - great voice, great actress, and just adorable, to boot. I'll keep an eye out for her work in the future. The rest of the cast was good, too, especially Capulet (Charles Taylor) and Mercutio (Nathan Gunn).

During the set changes and part of the intermission, they talked with some of the performers, and with the conductor - none other than Placido Domingo. So that was pretty neat. Heh...kind of amazing how NOT fancy the back areas at the Met are, though. The public areas are so opulent that it was a bit of a shock seeing exposed pipes and worn paint and all in the halls and off-stage rooms.

The sound wasn’t as great as I’d kind of hoped, and overall it was more like watching an opera video on the big screen rather than like really being there, but still, I’ll go again. Having been to the Met for real exactly once, I have to say that there's nothing that replaces being in the same room as the singers, hearing their voices without any processing or intermediary, and being in the middle of that audience of people all living the experience with you...but it was still really cool.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Finished the lumberjack throw I've been working on..

I'm not good at takin' photos, particularly in indoor lighting, but here's an attempt at a shot:

Eeevil Halvah-cat (she's in a mood today) and messy writing desk in the background...

I'm relatively pleased with how the throw came out, though I missed some boo-boos along the way, and the border is pretty lopsided in places. It's for my new nephew, Bertie, and I wanted something he could use even after the baby stage. This is nicely masculine, I think! I may try it again with different colors. If I could find some grey, I think a black/white/grey combo could be very nice. However, it appears I'm the only person in the world who likes grey yarn. I haven't been able to find it at Michael's or Jo-Ann's here, at least not last time I checked.