Episode 08: Smorgasbord Sound Off

Welp, we’re in the middle of a pandemic, aren’t we? We are doing our part, social distancing and self-isolating. We hope you and your loved ones are safe and healthy. It’s gonna be a long ride.

But we’re not here to talk about the real world and how society may well soon be on the brink of collapse. No. We are here to chat about some random shit. That’s right. We’ve got ourselves a smorgasbord of topics for our latest episode, so let’s hop to it, shall we?

The first theme we have going is Food. An incredibly vague theme, but there were a few things we’d been meaning to do in the food world. First up is Adri’s adventures in croissant making. If you know anything about baking or have watched at least one series of Great British Bake Off, then you know laminated dough recipes are all about skill and precise temperature. You may also know that making croissants is an ambitious task. So of course Adri decided to try making some in her too-hot kitchen.

Well, it certainly could’ve gone better. At least it was still edible. Moving forward she’s going to stick with practicing some easier recipes, maybe a rough puff pastry, and work her way up to croissants.

Croissant sandwich with boiled egg, lettuce, vegan bacon.
Extra toasted, it made a great breakfast sandwich.

Over on the other side of the country, we are talking burgers. L.A. is a pretty good food city, and it has more than its fair share of good burger places. Pay, resident burger enthusiast, likes to keep her eye out for new places that pop up to try. This time around, she went to HiHo Cheeseburger. They already had a Santa Monica location, but c’mon, even a burger can’t convince Pay to make the trek. Luckily they opened a location on Wilshire, so after a day at the salon, she checked out this location.

A burger and fries

The burger itself is really good, nicely seasoned. Fries are an essential part of a burger joint, and these didn’t disappoint in their supporting role. The experience was marred by a few awkward situations, so Pay didn’t get to savor the meal as much as she’d hoped, but y’know what, it was still delicious.

After that, we took a ride down Pop Culture Lane and chatted about music and movies for a bit.

Adri finally purchased two albums she’s been listening to over the last year: Walk Through Fire by Yola and Pony by Orville Peck. Both are great country albums, and both artists are a joy to watch perform. If you somehow don’t know about these two albums already, absolutely check them out.

Pay finally watched Logan, and really enjoyed this take on superhero movies. We really appreciate a superhero movie that takes the story in an interesting direction. Getting to see these characters be physically vulnerable is certainly different, and we are here for it. Also if you are or know a fight choreographer, get in touch! Because you’re cool! And impressive!

Episode Highlights

  • How to we feel about hugs?
  • What GameCube game helped Pay learn about social distancing?
  • What is Adri’s favorite movie fight?
  • What very important opinions so we have about french fries?

Further Watching

Between Things: Flours and strings

Our next episode is right around the corner, so it’s time for a little update on what Adri finally got around to since the last one.

Adventures in baking

OK looking bagels on a cooling rack. Taste better than they look.
Hmm…darn ugly, but darn tasty.

Oh man. I really like making bread and always have a list of recipes I mean to try, but I just haven’t gotten around to much of it until recently. It started with some English muffin bread I made a month or so ago. Then I got it into my head to finally make bagels. Most of the bagels I have access to are pretty unimpressive, and since I’ve made pretzels on multiple occasions, this seemed like it would be an easy thing to learn. Joke’s on me! I messed with the recipe too much (foolish mistake), and definitely deflated them when I boiled them. The bagels came out pretty flat and not too pretty, but they still make a great breakfast sandwich.

A bagel breakfast sandwidch
Now that’s a fine looking sandwich

A while ago, I picked up a book on cooking with spelt, something inspired by an old D&D character of mine. (A halfling from a long line of bakers. Spelt loaves were the family specialty.) It’s been sitting on my bookshelf ever since. I managed to find a natural market that carried spelt flour, and I picked up some rye while I was at it. I made a spelt-rye loaf from the book, with some adjustments since I didn’t have white spelt flour. (King Arthur bread flour to the rescue.) Whoo-wee! What a delicious loaf of bread. My partner and I slathered on some garlic butter and gobbled up too many slices of this sucker in one sitting.

A dark spelt and rye loaf on a cooling rack
I wish I was eating this right now. Which I can. Because I made it.

The bagels and spelt loaf are in the freezer now, because otherwise I’d be in a major carb coma right now. With the new season of British Bake Off on Netflix, I’m sure there will be more baking to come.

Bought myself a ukulele

Purple ukulele on a read pillow
Doesn’t do justice to the color. It’s more of a deep, gothy purple in real life, not this Ghostwriter slime monster purple.

I started playing violin in elementary school; in middle school, I was second-to-last chair of second violin. For those who don’t know, that means I wasn’t the worst violin player in the group. I was the second worst. It also meant I sat near the viola and cello players who were undoubtedly cool as far as orchestra kids go.

My musical skills never really got past second-to-last chair. Granted, a lot of that was due to lack of practice. I was embarrassed about sounding bad. Who knows where I’d be if I hadn’t let that stop me. Could I have been third-to-last chair of second violin? What! A! Dream!

Over the years I tried some other instruments, but was always held back by the anxiety of having to practice. Best I ever did was learn the bass lines for “Rebel Rebel” and “Welcome to Paradise”. I’ve been meaning to try again, but didn’t want to make as a huge of an investment in case it went the same way as before. A ukulele has been in the back of my mind as a good way to dip my toes in.

Look, I know that ukulele has been the go-to instrument for every aging white hipster for the better part of a decade. For that very reason I resisted the urge to get one. Luckily, I no longer give a shit about whether or not what I like makes me seem like a hipster or whatever. I also no longer give a shit about sounding bad, so I’ve actually been practicing. A great resource has been Cynthia Lin’s Youtube channel.

I’ve gone off on my own a bit, picking up chords here and there. So far I’ve learned “Heart-Shaped Guitar” by Masked Intruder, the Jeopardy theme song, and “Jolene” because who doesn’t love Dolly Parton? I’ve been on a bit of a break since I got a tattoo on the arm that holds up the ukulele’s body, but it’s healed up and I’m ready to get back to it.

My sincerest apologies to the neighbors. It’s gonna get annoying.

Keep an eye/ear out for our next episode, which drops in October. In the meantime, have you subscribed? Or maybe even suggested a thing? If not, what the heck are you waiting for?!