Sunday, September 12, 2010

eat your vegetables


I had a glorious day today, wearing a pretty outfit and attending the Brooklyn Book Festival in a friendly drizzle. I even had some pork dumplings from one of my favorite food trucks for lunch. And then I had a pretzel and a hot dog from Auntie Anne's for dinner, because I happened to be passing through Penn Station and they smelled really good. Not one single speck of vegetable (or fruit) in either meal, save for the half dozen slivers of green onion floating in the dipping sauce for the dumplings. Of which I probably actually ingested two.

I came home to read and promptly fell asleep for an hour, during which I dreamed I was being sternly lectured by the vegetable garden my mother raised for a few years when I was in grade school. And I woke up and poured myself a bowl of the Trader Joe's shelled edamame sitting in my fridge. The untouched bag of spinach in the crisper is still scowling at me, but the moral of this story is to eat your vegetables or they will come after you in your sleep.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Magyar florals

To follow the strands of cultural sharing and engaged heritage from the Irish short film I posted the other day, and in keeping with the (technical) style theme of this blog, here are some photographs of the gorgeous embroidery that covers the other half of my ancestry. I grew up much more Hungarian than Irish, as my mother was born in that country, and the attitudes, aesthetics, and (most importantly) food of Hungarians permeated my early life. The ability to identify with a culture and country beyond America has always been valuable to me--particularly during a handful of pessimistic teenage years--and I love that my home, like my mother's much larger and lovelier one, is full of bits of Hungarian art, and my dinner menus burgeon with with the flavors and dishes I learned to cook from my mother and grandmother. I make no apologies for getting half the people I've ever known addicted to my grandmother's cheese sticks.

For your continued Magyar-based pleasure, here are some examples of the glorious traditional embroidery that Hungarian women have covered their clothes and homes with for centuries. You can also find some examples of Hungarian writing and Hungarian cooking on this blog.

Hungarians are innately expert mixers of patterns.




More geometric cross-stitch patterns are also widely used, especially on large spaces like tablecloths and bed-spreads.

One of my favorite things about these patterns is the frequent inclusion of peppers among the flowers. Everything Hungarians eat is flavored with some variety of paprika, and ropes of the dried peppers (along with ropes of garlic, another prominent flavor) are often used to decorate kitchens and porches.

There you are. Don't you just want to drape yourself in it? I'd show you some examples of my own embroidery prowess, but they were embarrassed by these much more glorious pieces and hid under the bed.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

yu ming is ainm dom

In honor of the new school year, which has caused a resurgence of my wild love for Irish literature (among other facets of the culture that gave me my ability to sunburn so spectacularly), here is the best short film I've ever seen. Or at least the most charming. It's better than any cute animal video I've ever seen. The story follows a young Chinese man who decides to move to Ireland. It is in Mandarin (I assume, I can't recognize Chinese dialects), Irish Gaelic (which I desperately want to learn, if I ever have the time), and English, and it will make your day gorgeous. I meant to post it last year, after we watched it in my first Irish lit class, but you're better off seeing it late than never.