This morning bright and early, G and I walked to Mt Pleasant Cemetery so I could snap some photos of the flowering crabapple tree I so adore. Despite the winds last night, it truly is in full splendour … though for how much longer is anyone’s guess.
1) the flowering crabapple trees at the Mt Pleasant Gate entrance
2) under the canopy; 3) close up of the flowers
Pearl Onions & Vodka Cream Sauce with Calabresi
Meanwhile, last night, we opted for Italian again as G had picked up a bag of wee pearl onions. This recipe is very, very easy once you get past the tough, labour-intensive steps of dealing with the onions. To aid easing their skins off, boil them in water for about 3 minutes. Cool them and then snip off the root end and sort of squeeze the little pearl out. It is a fair bit of work … especially as our home kitchen is not equipped with a sous chef.
From there, it’s just a matter of doing the sauce and readying the pasta.
6) boil the wee onions; 7) cool and trim off the root
8) squeeze out the pearl; 9) a pile of pearls … oh that these were real!
10) halve all the onions; 11) prepare the pasta
13) saute the onions till they are translucent; 14) add in 14oz tomatoes
15) simmer 15 minutes to reduce; 16) add in a half a cup of vodka
17) … and one cup of cream; 18) mix and then drop in the pasta and serve
19) pasta perfection
Mushi-shi: Volume 1
Mushi-shi, Volume 1 (episodes 1-5) is one of 6 volumes representing the 26 unique episodes of Yuki Urushibara’s fantasy manga series, created back in 1999 and first serialized in Afternoon magazine. The stories center around one character, Ginko, who is a mushi-shi or mushi master. What are mushi, you probably wonder? Mushi are curious and often nasty ephemeral creatures that exist outside of human perception yet wreak havoc with their targeted victims. The series revolves around Ginko’s wanderings and interactions with several unique humans who – in one form or another – are supernaturally linked to the mushi. In Episode 1, for example, a wee lad, Shinra, releases mushi into the world when he draws japanese characters with is left hand. Episode 2, The Light of the Eyelid, is as horrific as anything you’ll see and is just gorgeous to watch. In fact, all the episodes are spooky. Each episode is a stand-alone piece and exists independently from the rest. Unlike many manga there is no overarching plot here. I thoroughly enjoyed this manga series and will continue through all 26 episodes. The series is beautifully rendered and has an olden, almost 30s vibe, not to mention a fabulous soundtrack by Toshio Masuda. What I particularly loved was the series inherent slowness … Mushi-shi is a thinking man’s manga and on many levels is very zen. That said, it will not be for everyone. Yet, for those looking for something off the beaten manga track, who appreciate fine art direction and a studied story, the Mushi-shi series will be for you. As an aside, a live-action movie based on the series was released in March 2007. It can be found here. My rating for the gorgeousness of it all, 9 out of 10.