Archive for the ‘the mad kitchen’ Category

a mad rabbit hole. . .

Wednesday, July 14th, 2010

While we’ve made plenty of progress over the last year, our home is still very much in transition. As we’ve mentioned in previous posts, there are many items mad is waiting to unpack until our rehab efforts are complete. Thankfully, there’s a room in the garage (that was once my dad’s bedroom) that facilitates this storage.

Storage Room

The garage storage room that enables the mad approach

Sometimes, however, our approach can be a little frustrating (especially given our well known type a tendencies). The good news is that today’s rabbit hole was started for a good cause. I brought a few things back with me from my five years in New York. An appreciation for real seasons, a partner in life, and an affection for the New York Mets baseball team. My fandom was prompted in part by Mike (who loves all things baseball) but also by getting to know the Mets over a four-year period. I like that they’re scappy–even though they have a pretty high payroll. I like that they always act like a team (as opposed to a gathering of well-paid position players). I like that they’re the ancestors of the Dodgers and the Giants. I like the big apple in the top hat and the whole Met mascot family. And I like that they’re always the underdog due to another NY baseball team that we don’t need to name. I will even admit that I even like the way the Mets make you earn your fandom. Mike and I don’t have any animosity towards other baseball teams, but the Mets are menschkeit to us (especially with Isaac Benjamin Davis at first base and Howie Rose announcing the plays).

How does this relate to our storage room? The Mets are kicking off their west coast roadtrip this week. In honor of this, Mike and I decided to get some bleacher seats to see them at AT&T park here in SF. There really aren’t any bad seats at our local ballpark, and one of our best dates was going to see the Brooklyn Cyclones at Coney Island in the bleachers. Of course, to properly pay tribute to the Mets I wanted to bring my super-cool stadium seat cushion. And of course, this cushion was still packed away in one of our many boxes full of art in the storage room.

nym stadium seat

the cause of today's rabbit hole

Mike was kind enough to halt work on his office to locate the cushion. After a couple of hours, he found it–in the last box he looked in (why are these things always in the last box?). Of course, he found a few other items that we’ve agreed to take out of storage (towels and sheets)–and the room is neater and more organized than when he started. I showed my appreciation for Mike’s efforts by making him a homemade pizza while he was working away. Now both residents of mad maison are sated.

mad pizza

a little thank you from one member of mad maison to another

the mad kitchen

Sunday, June 20th, 2010

This weekend mad took a break from scraping, painting, staining, sanding, and the like. Instead, we put our energies into the fun enterprise of making Fathers’ Day cupcakes for my dad. While I have fully embraced the DIY attitude of my generation with plenty of crafty hobbies (that would include knitting, making jewelry, cooking, and of course, home improvement), my dad does not have a lot of hobbies. He doesn’t make models, golf, sail boats, or play chess. He also doesn’t have a strong hankering for geeky toys like I do. mad was challenged, therefore, to find an appropriate Fathers’ day gift that he would use and appreciate. He does  occasionally like a snack, with a sweet tooth that leans more to the carrot cake and key lime pie end of the spectrum. However, he’s also been on a bit of a health kick for the last few years, eschewing refined sugar, flour, and excessive starch. I decided, therefore, to use our very functional (though still less than attractive) kitchen to make him carrot cake cupcakes that would jive with his clean living attitude. The cupcakes are sugar free, reduced fat, and contain organic whole wheat flour and organic shredded carrots. Despite my DIY nature, I’ve never been a baker, so I baked test batches of a few different carrot cupcake recipes. My brother came over last week to help beta test the batches (as well as help Mike carry our newly refinished furniture up to the dining room). We all unanimously picked the recipe that I used for tomorrow. Mike provided critical sous-baking and cleanup skills to the endeavor. I’m hopeful that my dad will enjoy and appreciate the surprise. Interestingly, he isn’t a faithful reader of mad maison (he delegates that to my mom), so this blog post shouldn’t spoil the surprise for him. You’ll also notice we’ve created a new category (the mad kitchen) for us to share future culinary hi-jinks with you.

Fathers' Day cupcakes

mad's Fathers' Day Carrot Cake Cupcakes