Black bean and lamb chili

Is it chili if it has black beans and lamb in it? sarcastic_halli, who did his grad school work in Texas, says no. But if it has beans and cumin and meat in it, I call it chili. So this is chili.

I like to cook with dried beans, in part for economy, but mostly because I like to run the beans through my fingers. You can run your fingers through canned beans and play with them, too, but it is not as much fun.

At any rate, because this is long simmered, there is plenty of time to make black beans from scratch, and you can do so efficiently while assembling the lamb. If you don't have a pressure cooker, you can use canned ones. I make "as many beans as the pressure cooker will hold" because I like to freeze them and have them on hand.

This recipe also has the virtue of using both the pressure cooker and the dutch oven, my two favourite things to cook stuff in. The ingredients are in order of needing them.

Black Bean and Lamb Chili Collapse )

love story

i was sitting in the dark in my office, typing at the computer with the rain outside.

the boy passed by.

boy, i asked, will you show me later how to get at the light in the overhead fan?
the light is burned out and I can't remember and i am tired of sitting in the dark.

girl, said the boy, i changed that lightbulb last night.

and he flicked the switch on. and there was light.

on ASL

My local grocery has a new stock clerk. I asked for help with a case of tomatoes.

I'm Deaf, he said.

"I sign," I said.

I got my tomatoes. And I learned a new sign: "on special".

There is a magical moment when you are learning a language; one day you suddenly notice that you are not only studying but you are actually using it to communicate with other human beings.

I am definitely not fluent. But I sign.

what do we do at city hall?

What are we but a product of our environment?

I biked to class in Berkeley last night. We are learning how to describe neighbourhoods and places and the locations of things relative to other things.

We learned "this is city hall"
and "what is across the street from city hall?"

Then, our teacher asked "what can you do at city hall?"

Pay bills. said the class.
Get death certificates. said the class.

I signed "protest. you can protest at city hall."

(I made my teacher laugh out loud. It *IS* Berkeley.)

And then she repeated my sign, carefully, so everyone could learn it. And then I biked home.

yes, ok, i am sick

The doctor gave me antibiotics. These, he said, these are my favourite antibiotics!

I find his enthusiasm touching. And wow. I think they are my favourite too. They are definitely helping.

Still very very tired. Took the day off today to sleep in bed and listen to Dune on audiobook. (26 hours of Simon Vance goodness. More if you count the parts where I fall asleep and have to cue backwards.)

The boy came in to look at me mid-afternoonish.

"You are jetlagged," he said.
With the tone of one who is perhaps judging, after one has been home from Paris for five days.
"Not!" I protested. "It is not jetlag when you sleep all night AND all day."

He conceded the point.

But oh, I am glad to be home. And, the new bed? It is my favourite too.

les quais, les parapluies

Well, it's good I was feeling better today because the weather was much worse. I have paid well for the folly of leaving my umbrella at home. The general theme for today was "the famous monuments that have surprisingly little shelter from rain tour". Collapse )

i blew my nose at the lapin agile

Wow. You know what? I'm really sick. But when you're sick in Paris, apparently Paris is sick with you. There's a lot of coughing and serious sniffling going on in the metro and the shops and restaurants. September must be cold season.

Anyhow, I had some fun. It was low key fun, punctuated with sniffles and I am walking realllly slowly, but Paris is beautiful and even if my appetite is shot and I can hardly taste anything, I can still look at stuff. Collapse )