Monday, February 16, 2015

Winter Storm Neptune

Hurricane-force winds, and a morning with white out conditions.

8:30 am (on my way to lab)

"That's no moon!"

The sidewalk is completely inaccessible!  Ah well.  Best use the street.

1:30 pm, on the way back from lab:

Ha.  Nope.

The out-of-focus parts of the skyline across the river are actually windy snow tornado-y things (snow devils?).  The wind is really whipping out there.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Thursday, February 12, 2015

wedding suits, Russian spies, and fur, oh my!

Agent Carter has me reminiscing about my senior pictures from high school: I wore my grandmother's wedding suit from 1944 - and brought along the fur coat and hat just because.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Winter Storm Marcus

The average snowfall in Boston for the entire winter season (typically December through March) is 43 inches.  The snowfall in Boston through Winter Storm Marcus brought us up to 71 inches.  Unreal.  And it's set to stay under freezing for the next ten days or so, meaning it will stick around for awhile!

MIT Facilities is on the job, clearing campus.  They've been so great...but going off campus is rough.  The MBTA closed down Monday evening and all day Tuesday.  The Red Line is essentially broken, over half of their cars are out of commission.  Visiting a friend's near Harvard Square?  Two lane roads are definitely down to one lane, and very few parking spaces are plowed.  Unlike Montreal, Boston hasn't figure out where to put their snow.  Dumping it into the ocean was thrown around, but that's been illegal for some time now given the icing chemicals plows use on the snow. 

Sunday, February 8, 2015

And the snow keeps coming!

The time following Juno --well, the snow kept falling!  It reminded me of home.

According to the National Weather Service, as of 1 p.m. on February 2, Boston set a new record for the snowiest 7-day period, at 34.2 inches.

I know this is a picture of a grocery cart and my zipcar and the Trader Joe's parking lot, but you have to understand, half of the parking lot is covered with giant piles of snow.  If I had snow pants here, oh man.  I would have come back to climb and play on the mountain.  For hours.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Winter Storm Juno: Aftermath

The snow in the courtyard was waist high!

This is a bus that got stuck on a snow drift, with such force that it pushed the window into the bus.  Mother nature, not messing around.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Winter Storm Juno: The Cocktail

(Others in the storm cocktail series: Hurricane Irene in August 2011, Winter Storm Nemo in February 2013)

Juno is the Roman goddess of fertility and marriage (her Greek counterpoint is Hera).  Her symbol is the peacock, and her sacred tree is the fig tree, a symbol of fertility (though pomegranates are also mentioned). 

I decided to run with the fig idea, and interrogated the internet for Italian liqueurs, given the Roman connection.  Thank you, wikipedia, for your wonderful page on Italian liqueurs to remind me of my options!

I checked my liquor cabinet and found these potential candidates:


Even better, I noticed a bottle of cheap Hiram and Walker amaretto in the back; I think I bought it because I needed it for a cocktail and they didn't have Disaronno at the liquor store (which I had since bought).  I thought---perfect.  Figs, amaretto - let's make a syrupy infusion.  And it doesn't matter if the amaretto tastes like cheap almond extract, the infusion will fix that.

The next step was thinking if any of the others would place nicely with figs and almond.  Though I despise the taste of fernet plain, I guessed that it would be a terrific counterbalance to the sweet amaretto and fig when all was said and done.  Don't get me wrong, I will make a cocktail with limoncello, maraschino liqueur and galliano one of these days, but today is not that day. 

Unfortunately, I would still call this cocktail in development; my amazing blender turned the amaretto and fig syrup into, well, a fig amaretto fruit butter.  It was spreadable, not the syrup I thought it would be.  It was tasty, but not really what I was looking for.  
The iterations of the cocktail that I tried ended up being...good.  Not great.  I'm going to be trying a fig-infused vodka to see if that makes a better fig option - maybe 2 ounces vodka to 1/2 ounce each of fernet and amaretto?  We'll have to see!

Winter Storm Juno (a work in progress)

2 ounces bourbon
1 ounce fig amaretto fruit butter
1/4 ounce fernet amaro
1/2 ounce lemon juice
Add ingredients to a cocktail shaker with ice; shake until chilled.  Top with club soda if desired.

Amaretto Fig Fruit Butter

3 cups amaretto (use the cheap stuff)
284 grams dried figs, de-stemmed and cut into small pieces (about 20; a 10 ounce bag of dried Smyrna figs)
pinch of salt
a few stems of thyme or rosemary (optional; but don't go overboard here, it's meant to be an earthy background note, not a thyme syrup)

1.  Simmer over low heat for about an hour to infuse and slightly reduce. Allow to cool to room temperature (about another hour).
2.  Remove thyme stems, if you used them.  Using a high powered blender, blend for about a minute.  This makes a sauce of apple butter-like consistency.  If you don't have an expensive blender, it will likely leave some seeds, and I'd recommend straining them out with as sieve or cheesecloth. 

Monday, February 2, 2015

Winter Storm Juno

From, Tuesday the 27th at 11 am.  Look at that wind!

Saturday, January 31, 2015

A Sunday Afternoon: Ira Glass and Dancing

A couple friends and I went to see the lovely Ira Glass and two dancers in their show, aptly called, "Three Acts, Two Dancers, One Radio Host." It was an interesting mashup of This American Life, with a particular memorable and funny bit about love in the form of a middle school dance onstage, complete with balloons and a disco ball.

Boston Common, looking gorgeous!

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Boston Symphony Orchestra: Bruckner 7

Incredible music with incredible friends!

Also: wearing my mom's down coat, and full from dinner at Parrish's Super Club.  Order the onion rings.  It's a good idea.