our kitchen, also noisebridge, thing a day, and the google

The ancient ring of
Steel cross iron vibrates the
Pot while it's fired

First, while the haiku is fresh in your mind, I want to say a few words about the Google.  The ACM Tech News e-mail I received this morning included a link to (and summary of) an article on NPR about how Google is doing some AI research to develop algorithms for translating poetry into different languages.  It's neat stuff!  Just think: someday, everyone in the world could appreciate my haikus.  :P

Nerdiness aside, what I wanted to talk about was our interesting kitchen setup here on Market St.  Since it's such a small space and we're so newly on our own, we don't have that many different things.  We do have a few that are AWESOME that I want to advocate for a minute and share with y'all.

This is a handsome little cast iron teapot that Evan gave me for Christmas.  It makes nice tea.  It's also a good size for two people, and it happens to hold the same amount of water as one of our pots (we don't have a tea kettle yet, but we're hoping to get one soon).  It's lovely!  The two teas that are sitting here are Japanese green tea with brown rice (the rice makes a huge difference, just trust me) that we purchased at a Japanese grocery store in SF and Turkish tea that we brought back with us from Istanbul.  We've also got a box of Twining's assorted black teas (English Breakfast, Irish Breakfast, Earl Grey, and Lady Grey) that we like, but we don't use them nearly as much as these teas.  Yum!

Next is a photo of our Italian espresso maker, our new milk foamer, and a bag of espresso grounds we picked up in the Castro.  We like these A LOT.  The milk foamer is tons of fun (and super easy) to use, and at just $30 it started saving us money after we'd made a week's worth of cappuccinos.  Plus we've discovered the joys of cold foamed milk + sugar + sunny seed drops as a delicious and refreshing snack in the middle of the day.  We were taught how to use the espresso maker in the Napolitana style by a friend we met in Italy (it's all about the shape of the espresso grounds), so we drink good coffee around here.   :D

This is an image of our knife collection.  They are currently the only knives -- other than butter knives -- that we own.  But we love them!  The two on the left are in the santoku style, and they are pro for cutting vegetables  The ceramic knife (the smaller one) is incredibly sharp, and it was a steal at $20.  We also got a ceramic peeler to to with it!  The half-moon knife on the right is also interesting to cut with... it actually came with it's own, specially-shaped cutting board!  It's about the safest knife there is, since there's not as much up and down-type finger-endangering motion, and as it's German-made, it's a super high quality cutting instrument.

That is our oven knob.  Notice that this is the "Oven Temp," which in my experience is measured in degrees rather than as "low," as "low" is not descriptive enough for baking.  Also, note that this is the "off" position of the knob (as the oven sees it).  We speculate that someone must have broken off the original knob and replaced it with an incorrectly-oriented other-oven-knob at some point.  Either that or the manufacturer was drunk.

These are my mixing bowls.  A rainbow!  They're satisfying to look at, but I regret that we don't have any ceramic bowls, especially since we've started making bread now.  These bowls aren't oven safe, nor are they heat safe, so they're generally terrible for especially the rising part of making bread.  I do love them, though, as we have a mixing bowl to suit any need that may arise.

Er, anyway, that's all I wanted to talk about re: kitchen, I guess, and mostly I was just using it as an excuse to show some photos.  We're still posting more over at http://picasaweb.google.com/biketotheearth , though be warned that the quality might be a little strange as we're now both set up to upload from our mobile devices.

Stuff!  I spent this morning doing the overhauls necessary for my bike, including installing a new tire and ordering a new rack.  Who knew that my rack would crumple from being mailed after it carried 40 lbs for 6 months?  Hrm.  :)

Thing a Day!  We're committing to do Thing a Day, though we aren't going to sign up in any official capacity because we have no desire to get another user account for a website.  They want us to join something called posterous.com?  Has anyone even heard of that?  Anyway, we bought a bunch of materials yesterday for use doing our thing-a-day projects.  We have a lot planned, but if anyone has interesting ideas for short projects, we have a couple unfilled days!

Noisebridge!  We went there for the first time last night to watch their Five Minutes of Fame presentations, which are monthly talks during which people can share whatever it is that they've been working on with the group.  There were a variety of presenters who talked about everything from a watch that talks to your smartphone to Maslow's hierarchy of needs to clown porn.  I think we're going to enjoy spending more time there in the future.  :D

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