This morning I wandered around U. Village
, the trendy outdoor shopping mall down the hill from me. I bought a pair of shoes
that I've been yearning after for a while, since they're the summery version of the little red shoes
I'm very fond of. It's still strange to me that I'm grown-up enough to want more than summer sandals and winter boots-- and grown-up enough to pay for them! Such luxury! But the real purpose of the expedition was to pick up a plate I made for glasseye
from one of those places where you paint your own dishes
. I painted his device, a green shield with an ermine chief and a white sun. The shield came out a lovely glossy green, but I'm most proud of the stylized leaves round the border.
I was at Paint the Town a week ago, for a birthday party for my officemate, S. I don't think I've talked about S much here, but I've definitely enjoyed sharing an office with her and I'm very sad that she's leaving. She'll be moving to Michigan in just over a week! S is sweet and kind and friendly and has any number of talents, including the harp and yoga and drawing. I wish I had gotten to know her when she first came to this city, two years ago, instead of waiting until we did share an office. It's so sad to realize friendships too slowly.
S's birthday was just the start of a busy weekend. Saturday morning I walked to the farmer's market, and bought whole-wheat bread, spinach, chard, fresh garlic, and feta cheese. I spent a quiet afternoon, but in the evening J&L arrived, bearing riches from China! They gave us a gorgeous little teapot shaped like an eggplant with a miniature eggplant for a lid. glasseye
and I and J&L stayed up late into the night, sharing -- variously -- beer, Scotch, and ginger-lemon tea, and talking about China, Philadelphia, and old times together. The next day we all went to Folklife
, along with J's mother, aunt, and grandmother. We all wandered around together, so I didn't get to dance. :( But we did hear all sorts of music, in particular Spoonshine
, bluegrass with string bass! And I spent a long time looking longingly at silk coats, made by a local artist from Indian sari materials. Wonderful thick material with a twirly skirt -- but the best pattern, with little swirling rosebuds, was on a coat one size too small, and I wanted to be absolutely
in love before I bought one. (The booth was called Silk Dragons. I got a card, but she doesn't have a website.) I celebrated Memorial-eve by making elaborate pizzas, two with leeks, mushrooms, and white wine, and two with spinach, olives, and the feta I bought earlier in the weekend. Yum.
That brings me back to tonight's culinary adventure, which was Persian rice with barberries. Barberries are incredibly sour, like the dried-fruit version of Sour Patch Kids. I love sour food, but two cups were a little much! And I forgot part of the tah dig
step, so no crunchy buttery bottom layer to my rice. But it was one of the most beautiful dishes I've seen in a long time, all white and red and yellow (the recipe asked for a teaspoon
of ground saffron), and small amounts with yoghurt and garlic were wonderful.