keskiviikko 13. lokakuuta 2010

About drawing

This is going to be a short post.
I bumped into the blog of my old elementary schoolmate Teemu and got sorta jealous about his drawing skills. Until I remembered he's been on a different level since the third grade elementary.... However, it also gave me a spark to try my own skills for once. And for once at my freetime and not as compulsory. Since I'm probably one of the few people admitted to the department WHO JUST CAN'T DRAW!!! I have proof but I'm not going show it here. What I am about to show here is my first attempt to really draw something reminiscent of a human being, without a model or a photograph.

Anyway, that's what I came up with. Pretty much quite  horrible. Please be gentle with the comments if there'll even be any, but I'd really like some feedback since this is something I have never done before believe it or not. And yes she was going to have some clothes on but I guess it just went that way better. And yes I know the face looks like a drag queen... Someday I'll get it baby...


-stress (still)
-wonderful teachers

-being tired all the time
-being sick
Second time is the charm I guess, I like this one a lot more than the first one

Editor's note: I had to remove the first one since I found the expression slightly too haunting, in a bad way.

keskiviikko 6. lokakuuta 2010

A Glimpse of Archihell

This is not a food blog.

Repeat. This is not a food nor a recipe blog. Okay, so now something completely else.

School. School for me equals a lot of stress. Stress about the fact that I should already have graduated, bought a house and gotten a family. Stress about whether or not I will finish the required work in due time and even better, be satisfied with it. Stress about if my work is liked or not, after pouring quite a few drops of pure heart blood. I have to admit, many times have I failed and backed out completely after a bad critique or made some really half-hearted just to get by.

Inspiration and stress just don't go along, even with a sprinkling of too much work for one person and never knowing if you'll cut it in the critique or not. It's no surprise that in our vocabulary the words like stress and anxiety are like tattooed in our daily conversations. When complaining about the harsh treatment that is for one to go through to be an architect to non-architect people there's this constant lingering scent that I'm considered to be an elitist.

There have been various measures to tackle this, the takeover of the department in the 70's I recall and  a demonstration for the mental health of architecture students last spring. Also quite a few legal organs are concerned about the mental health of architecture students' since there seems to be an increased case of anxiety, depression and other mental health issues.

Since I never figured out a smart slogan for the demo I used this instead
This also not a rant blog or "yay let's make the world better by writing shit" -blog so I'd like to take this opportunity to showcase a short film by some fellow students at my department. It's a depiction of the life of an architecture student and it's shockingly spot on. And today no song, I'm sorry.

Tahtotila from Johannes Kaira on Vimeo.


Chanterelles for comfort

Today, I noticed that it's already well into autumn and it's getting cold, dark and depressing out there. The lazy summerdays in the park are really gone and just a memory. This also means that I should be having soon a bunch of finished plans and drawings for school instead of doodling with ideas in my head. The best solution to this, naturally, is to do something completely else. Like cleaning up or cooking.

I chose cooking since one needs to eat anyway. The obvious choice for tonight's meal is comfort food. I was contemplating on making a quiche but in Bouchon style it would take three days to finish by my quick calculations. Then I figured out I need risotto. I was originally planning on using the red beets I had bought earlier for some reason but then decided that I wanted porcini mushrooms.

So off I went to the local department store Stockmann's. They have renovated their food department so it's painstakingly difficult to find anything. It also turned out that they have this campaign called The Crazy Days which equals to masses of zombies bumping into while carrying yellow plasticbags. This sure can become a true battle to survive but luckily I found a shortcut to the checkout and lived to tell the tale. And of course there were no porcinis, I had mistaken some portobello mushrooms as them. The portobellos have always remained a mystery to me, they look a bit like porcinis but are still not them. I do have a vague recollection of making a risotto of them, though, which turned out ok I guess, but nothing really memorable. Instead I picked up some funnel chanterelles which were on sale (yay!) and after making such a good bargain headed home with some guilt emerging with fact that I had never used them before.

This is how they look in the woods (via Wikimedia Commons).

And this it's how they look in my place. Depressing, isn't it.
This awakens the ever present feeling of guilt that I didn't go to the woods and pick some by myself. I've heard people do that. And I also have some sort of a memory of going to pick blueberries or chanterelles with my now late grandfather but I guess I never took the habit growing up, the urbanite I became later on to be.

So on with the recipe, it's adapted from the Risotto of Wild Mushrooms from Gordon Ramsay's Gordon Ramsay makes it easy. Although I'm not really a fan of him at all I have to admit it's a nice book and maybe the one I go back for inspiration from the limited recipe book selection of mine. As I modified the recipe so much I'll go through shortly what I did:

1. Cut the onion, make the stock (I used some liquid form chicken stock extract). For my needs I figure the stock doesn't need to be simmering on the stove since it's so small anyway. So I just boil water and keep the stock in a bowl.

2. Saute the onions. Add the rice (around 2,5dl). Saute some more. Add around one glass of white wine.

3. Add the stock in ladlefuls until it absorbs. Repeat until al dente.

4. When the risotto itself is ready saute the mushrooms until cooked and stir into the risotto.

5. Stir in some creme fraiche and parmesan and off you go!

Yes it would look like brown mush even it was on focus... But hey, so does the counterpart too!

 I was somewhat dissappointed with the endresult, though. Maybe I overcooked the rice, maybe the cheapo creme fraiche turned on me, probably both, the conclusion being there have been better ones made by me. Anyway, the mushrooms were nice and I guess I got comforted enough by cooking this. Better luck next time.


maanantai 4. lokakuuta 2010

Monday equals a new day

Ummh hi,
I decided to start blogging today. As I read many inspiring blogs and some of them are my friends' I thought (as churning the ice cream batch made last night) that why not. No one really has to read it and the people who are interested what I'm up to can follow my actions and musings. The name of the blog comes from the feeling that I might be some times the "lo-fi girl in the hi-fi world" and that not everything has to be perfect to be good or interesting. I consider the most memorable things in life come from these random bumps and scratches and situations unplanned. Hence the name.

As my life pretty much revolves around food, meaning that most of the time I am thinking about what I have eaten or what to eat next, this blog be a lot about food. This will be also about a lot of other things that inspire me and define me. I would guess there is going to be somethin about architecture, cats, knitting, travel, design, photography and interiors later on. Anything that get's me feeling good and inspired I'd say.
But tonight I'll start with the food. Today's ingredient is the butternut squash which is very seasonal right now, featured with my bookshelf, Siri Hustvedt and a Burberry hat.

Yeah, this is it

But as the squash cools down, here's the recipe. I adapted it from something I picked up from the Internet after I found out I had bought a winter squash without any idea what to do with it.

1. Deseeding and peeling the squash. The butternut squash smells even so summery, I would recommend buying it only for the sake of it's scent after halved.

2. Cutting the squash in about 2cm cubes. Easily done after the first phase.

3. In a roasting pan with some olive oil and garlic cloves (around 215 Celsius). Roasted garlic goes really well with, well, anything so if you're using fresh garlic like I am then more is more. As for dried variety I'd say 2-3 cloves / one squash from previous experience.

4. Roast, ROAST. It took me maybe 30-45 minutes to get the squash tender. But the time can be well spent chatting with friends on the Internet, which is nice.

5. Into a pot then we go. And plz remember to peel the garlic cloves beforehand. Puree the whole thing with some sort of a blender (I use Bamix myself since it's way better than my old blender...) Add the required amount of vegetable broth to get the texture wanted. I prefer my soups almost solid so I might not add anything at all. For the spices pretty much a little salt and nutmeg will go, but you could also add some ginger, cardamom or cinnamon to your taste. Go experiment!

6. EAT! This dish also doubles (or triples should I say!) as a pasta sauce for two or as a puree side dish. And it actually turned out really well, the taste of butternut squash is very summery and delicate here but sure goes as a comfort food aswell.

And here's the finished thing. I like to add creme fraiche and croutons to my soups so here they are too.

And well this is it.
This was probably not the most exciting blog post but I'm getting there. The ice cream that I was churning turned out tasting a lot like gingerbread dough, maybe I overdid it with the spices or skipping the sesame was a wrong move. Pretty nice anyway, for the first try, the recipe can be found here.

So that it wouldn't get too dull I picked out a song which has a nice video (probably not really that official, though) and feeling too.