Friday Roundup

Hello! I’m back in business. Putting the site on hiatus throughout most of February turned out to be exactly what was needed—I got my upcoming Duranalysis book finished, edited, and typeset. Cover's done, everything's good to go. Right now, publication date looks like a pretty firm April 20th. It’s good.

While we’re on the subject of Duran Duran… The wonderful Melissa Joulwan, best-selling Paleo cookbook author (and, awesomely, a former roller-derby queen), is streamlining her possessions before an overseas move, so she sent me her Duran Duran tour books. This is one of the kindest things anyone has ever done for me. The books are amazing. There’s Denis O’Regan’s gorgeous collection of photos from the Sing Blue Silver tour, there’s the Strange Behavior tour book, and there’s the hilarious and nearly indescribable Astronaut tour book, which comes complete with pop ups and a mini-comic. These are treasures.

Now that I'm back, the Duran Duran comics have returned as well:

For the past few weeks, we’ve been having a dire mouse infestation. In the six years we’ve lived here, we’ve had a mouse or two, nothing too bad (we also had a cat, the late and much-loved Tashiro, who wasn’t all that interested in hunting mice but who was probably keeping the mouse population at bay with her mere presence). We live in an old building in New York City; of course there are going to be mice. No big deal.

Starting in late February, though, the mouse population suddenly exploded. It might have something to do with the sewer construction on our street; it might be the unusually mild winter. Dunno. On February 22nd, a mouse woke me up by running across my neck while I was sleeping, at which point we declared war. We’ve baited humane mousetraps with cheese puffs (the mice go crazy for cheese puffs, seriously), and have been releasing the ones we trap in the neighborhood park. I’ve been keeping a tally of all the mice we’ve caught and released since February 24th. We once caught two mice in the same trap, which was a bit of a feat.

The good news? The mouse population seems to be under control. There’s one currently hanging out beneath our living room radiator, munching loudly on cheese puffs deftly stolen from the trap, and no doubt there are more we don’t know about, but at least they’ve been leaving the kitchen alone. There’s nothing like seeing itty bitty mouse droppings on the kitchen counter while trying to make your morning cappuccino to get the day off to a rocky start.

The even better news? We’re moving. By mid-May, we will have relocated to Seattle. 

Recipe tip: Use coconut oil in place of your usual fat of choice—butter, Crisco, whatever—in chocolate chip cookies. Holy hell, they were the best cookies I’ve ever baked, and darn close to the best cookies I’ve ever had. The coconut imparts a slight delightful flavor, and the texture—crisp and buttery—is perfection.

I’ve been in a foggy haze of Duran Duran while working on the Duranalysis book the past couple of months, so I have nothing more to report. Here’s a song for a snowy, soggy Friday afternoon: Material Issue’s “Valerie Loves Me”:

Have a wonderful weekend, and stay warm and dry. I stood for too long in a snowstorm on a windy subway platform in a dripping wet wool coat this morning, and now I’m mournfully swilling hot tea and convinced I’m dying. 


Nonny Maus said…
*squees in pleasure for your Duran goodies* What a nice gift! And I'm excited to hear that the book is coming out soon.

Everyone around me talks very callously about killing mice and insects rather than using better traps or putting them outside, so I'm very happy to hear that someone believes in at least attempting humane pest removal. ^_^

I've had difficulty on and off with chocolate chip cookies; I've always used Crisco instead of butter and sometimes the cookies turn out, sometimes they don't. I've heard that sometimes it's the kind of brown sugar used, but I'm definitely going to try substituting coconut oil as well.

I remember "Valerie Loves Me" from MTV's 120 Minutes. Ah, the 90's alternative explosion...halcyon days.
DKoren said…
wow, so exciting all the way around here! Can't wait for the Duranalysis book!! That is an amazing gift of Duran stuff! So cool. Hope everything goes smoothly with your move. That's coming up pretty quickly.

I also always use Crisco when I make chocolate chip cookies. Never liked the flavor of ones made with butter. I never would have thought to substitute coconut oil. Interesting! Might have to try that!
Morgan Richter said…
Nonny Maus -- I get far too attached to our mice, but they're living creatures, and I really don't want to do them any harm. Relocating them seems far better than killing them. And I highly recommend giving coconut oil a try the next time you make cookies. I wasn't at all sure it would work, but the texture was perfect, and the faint taste of coconut was delightful.

DKoren -- the move is coming up far too quickly, and we're in danger of falling far behind. Exciting times. The cookie texture with coconut oil was very similar to ones made with Crisco--crispy and almost lacy.
Melissa Joulwan said…
OMG. I love the mouse tally. That is the cutest list ever.
Morgan Richter said…
Mel! Thank you so much, once again, for your beautiful books! I've had so much fun with them.

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