blk: (pie)
[livejournal.com profile] xuth and I threw our second pizza ("pi") party yesterday on pi day.

It went off quite well overall. I counted 24 adults, 11 kids, and 14 pizzas, as well as 2 quiches and 2 dessert pies. The weather dried up just in time that plenty of people got to go play on the trampoline, and was warm enough that people could spend time outside fairly comfortably, but not so warm that having the oven on at >500°F for ~3 hours made the kitchen too hot. After the main pizzaing was done, plenty of the crowds went away, but a few stubborn guests hung out for some games, and we finished up a slightly lopsided (but fun) game of C&K just after midnight.

Jim made several of his traditional thin crust pepperoni. I decided to try out a thicker crust pizza cooked in a pan (based on this recipe), and that came out pretty well (and better with more practice). There was also a buffalo chicken pizza, thai chicken pizza, blueberry pizza, 3 margherita pizzas, and three GF/DF pies (from a bakery). It was a mostly different crowd than last year's party with very different pizza lineup, and all was good. The younger son made me a lovely (and delicious) pi-shaped pumpkin pie again, and two vegetarian quiches came late. Most of the pies got finished, with a few leftovers going home with friends (and the rest saved for my lunches).

Today, Jim and I made 5 more basic pizzas to finish up the rest of the leftover dough, sauce, and toppings. Then we get to enjoy an all-pizza diet for a couple days before life goes back to normal.
blk: (sudopie)
I've got 7 more hours to write my Carnival weekend review post before I'm no longer in the correct month!

Carnival was pretty low-key this year all around. Less turnout for a lot of stuff, but plenty enough that I still had a great time.

Friday I decided to take a day off work, because I could, and because previous years I've usually wandered around campus finding visiting people for half the day anyways. At noon I picked up a boy from school early and we hit Mobot, which turned out to be very sparse due to rain and also only 4 mobot entries total. The boy stayed for a round, then went home, while I mostly wandered around looking for things to do. I grabbed some food and wandered some booths at Midway, eventually meeting up with various friends and the other kid, then heading home.


click for album

Saturday was beautiful weather, so I went back to midway to take some pictures of the bookshelves in KGB's booth (among other things), then to the usual lunch at the SCS alumni reception, then to the CSLBBQ, which was also subdued, then home for some games.

Sunday was also beautiful weather, which makes for a great pie party. I finished up my pie making just after people started arriving. This party was smaller than last year, with 60 people (10 under age 18), down from 80 last year, and 27 pies. The back porch and yard and trampoline got plenty of use, along with the boffer swords. I was still in boot, but was doing just fine walking around.


click for album

Pies as recorded included ham and spinach quiche and quichelets by me, chive gorgonzola quiche by pliny, savory greens quiche by cgs and jess, spinach quiche by joel, vegan chicken curry pot pie by scu, tiramisu twinkies and a tasty attempt at berry tau by bc3p, pear pecan by mj2q, pecan by shafeeq, chocolate pecan pielets by pliny, chocolate pecan by bblum, chocolate chipotle by adam & rehana, peach habanero by otherjim, GF black raspberry by nolans, blueberry by lisa, vinegar pie and cheesecake by ivan & lyndsey, apple pie by david, butternut squash by benoit & guests, a brownie pie with a cookie dough "pi" on top by anonymous, and a store-bought oreo cake by serra. Apparently the unspoken pie theme this year was pecan.

Pies were all completely consumed! The first year of no leftovers. Around 8p the usual exodus of people happened, but bigger than usual, leaving only 5 people left. So we cooked at mostly ate 4 more pies (pizzas), and played a riveting game of Small World until late.
blk: (sudopie)
This weekend... [livejournal.com profile] xuth and I threw a pizza ("pi") party. Last week I noticed that everybody else posted pictures of pi parties that looked to feature several store-bought pies. My pie parties are definitely better in that regard. I may have become a slight pie snob.

Xuth had been talking for years about wanting to do a pizza party, with memories of other parties where people just came and cooked pizza all day. We tried once last year but it didn't work like he wanted, I suspect mostly due to lack of expectation communication to party guests. So I tried another, thanks to prompting from my kid to have a Pi Party. This time I put in with plenty of advance warning and communication (sigh, FB does make these things easier), and it was a huge success! And far bigger than I'd expected! By my count, we had 30 people and 21 pizzas (as well as two traditional pies and a caesar salad). There was the Xuth basic pizza, several veggie pizza, several tortilla quick pizzas, a GF pesto pizza, a cauliflower crust pizza, and many more. The oven was on and filled with baking pizza for the better part of 4 hours, and only ended up with an accidentally burned crust/cheese and smoking up the house once! Almost all of the pizza got consumed yesterday, and the rest was finished up less than 24 hours later.

I think the only downside to such a great party is that 30 people is really quite a lot for this house. It helped to have the kids go downstairs to be rowdy for a time, but with the kitchen being actively used, there were no real quiet spaces. We are usually able to spread outside by the usual pie party, which is my only other regularly bigger party. But people seemed to enjoy themselves, and I had a great time, and I had one guest specifically compliment the party as running particularly smoothly in terms of no chaos in the kitchen. And later on it quieted down to a couple game tables. So overall, yay. Pretty sure this will happen again.

This week... has been filled with the ups and downs of Pittsburgh spring. On the upsides, we started pulling out all that stockpiled daylight, so now it is bright and sunny when I come home from work, and still quite light at dinner time, and starting to dim into evening at a somewhat more proper time. On top of that, we've had several days of delightfully warm sun and high temps, so pretty much all the snow is gone, and I went out in short sleeves one day. Of course, this being Pittsburgh, we also had two days of snow and temperature dips into the single digits, and this morning it mostly hovered just at or below freezing all day, but it looks like the next week will be perfectly decent. I'm greatly looking forward to all the additional outdoor stuff I'll be able to do soon.

This month... I've spent a lot of time working on getting in better shape and running a lot more, in prep for the Pittsburgh half marathon in, eep, 7 weeks. I think I'm in much better shape this year at this time than I was last year, but I'm still coming out of winter hibernation, and man are my legs feeling it. I'm back to having sore legs wake me up at night a couple times a week. Not to mention finding time to do serious running several days a week turns out to be fairly hard when I have a full time job and kids and hobbies and I like being social. Fortunately, there exist plans which say it's ok to only be running 3 or 4 days a week, instead of 5 or 6. Not sure how I'm doing on my time goals, though.

My goal for this year is 2 hours. Last year I made it in 2:10, so I feel like shaving less than a minute off per mile should be doable with work. However, in googling for training ideas, I noticed that there were multiple blogs and sites that touted a 2 hour goal as being for a "beginner," which confuses me. While I realize that the winners will be much faster than that, 2 hours is still a faster than average finish time (for both genders). Looking at last year's pgh half (which seems like a reasonably typical one) less than a third of the 16,000+ runners finished in 2 hours of less. If 2 is for a "beginner," what do you call everybody else? I admit to being a little irked by this. But I'm still trying for it. If all goes well, with a spiffy costume, to boot.
blk: (sudopie)
CMU Spring Carnival: Apr 19-20, 2012
... "God always has another custard pie up his sleeve." — Lynn Redgrave, Georgy Girl



It's almost time for the 12th annual after-Carnival Pie Party!

Come socialize, play games, try out bouncy stilts, run around in nice spring weather (hopefully), and eat pie!

Bringing pie is not a requirement, but if you do bring one, it must be homemade. Pies can be sweet, savory, satirical, silly, or any combination thereof. Other contributions of food, drinks, guests, or games are also welcome.

Supervised children of all ages are welcome. There will be one (1) friendly cat and up to three (3) resident t(w)een boys. In the event of good weather, there is a hammock and a grassy yard available for playing in.

Party attendees are welcome to invite and give out directions to anybody they know (CMU alums particularly encouraged). Directions available upon request.

RSVPs are nice (especially if you're bringing pie or someone I don't know) but not a requirement. See the FB event page for people planning.
blk: (cmu)
... even when the yard is chilly and slightly damp.

This year's Carnival seemed a bit quieter than usual, although I'm not sure if that was more because this was the first year in a while that I didn't have the [livejournal.com profile] jboys for it, or that there were simply fewer people (from my alum groups) around for it.

The more subdued nature didn't actually make it less horrendously busy to plan for, though, particularly since our bedroom remodeling project was dragging its little legs out and making the final crunch cleaning time even more crunchy. In the last few days before Carnival-start, we moved out of our temporary bedroom in the basement, cleaned the living daylights out of the basement in prep for cat-allergic houseguests to stay there without dying, then did additional cleaning to the entire first floor in prep for the party.

and they're like, it's better than yours )
blk: (sudopie)
CMU Spring Carnival: Apr 20-21, 2012
... "When someone asks if you'd like cake or pie, why not say you want cake and pie?" — Lisa Loeb



It's almost time for the 11th annual after-Carnival Pie Party! Come socialize, play games, play on bouncy stilts, run around in nice spring weather (hopefully), and/or eat pie!

Bringing pie is not a requirement, but if you do bring one, it must be homemade. Pies can be sweet, savory, satirical, silly, or any combination thereof. Other contributions of food, drinks, guests, bouncy stilts, or games are also welcome.

Well-behaved children of all ages are welcome. There will be one (1) friendly cat and up to three resident boys. In the event of good weather, there is a hammock and a grassy yard available for playing in.

Party attendees are welcome to give out this invite and my address to people they know. Directions available upon request.

RSVPs are nice (especially if you're bringing pie or someone I don't know) but not a requirement. See the FB event page for people planning.

Due to the unavailability of some usual attendees this year, we are currently houseguestless for that weekend. If any Carnival visitors still need crash space, feel free to contact me.
blk: (cmu)
So Carnival weekend happened.

It was a busy time, starting from Thursday early when houseguests started arriving. My house no longer has infinite houseguest space, but fortunately, there are others who can fill in for that. Thursday evening, there was socializing with newly in-town folks until we all fell over.

Carnival... )

... and Pie! )

People hung out and played games until reasonably late. Our last houseguests left early Monday, and magically, the house was quiet and clean and peaceful, which [livejournal.com profile] xuth and I are enjoying immensely. Overall, fantastic weekend. I had a great time, I can't wait to see y'all again, and I don't want to do it until next year. :)
blk: (sudopie)
CMU Spring Carnival: Apr 16-17, 2011
... "We must have a pie. Stress cannot exist in the presence of a pie." -- David Mamet



It's almost time for the 10th annual after-Carnival Pie Party! Usual info after the cut )
blk: (stilts)
I'm so behind on this update, but here it is, before I forget it all.

Carnival happened this year, and was made even more awesome than usual by the addition of [livejournal.com profile] xuth and bouncy stilts.

We had houseguests [livejournal.com profile] cheerfulchaotic and pliny in on Thursday, and the usual (small this year) madmex outing. On Friday, xuth and I dressed up in our usual stilting-ware (see icon) and roamed around CMU on them. We hit a bit of midway (before it opened), buggy and mobot, and hung out in front of Wean giving some stilt rides. Attracted quite a bit of attention and pictures, although I haven't seen any yet (anybody?), except for a cute blurb about us in The Tartan. The afternoon was a short round of gaming before heading home to meet the kids. The monsoon greeted us just before home, leaving me nearly soaking in about 5 seconds, so we stayed in for a while. Got rid of the older Boy in the evening, and a [livejournal.com profile] bhudson showed up late.

A couple of people on pogo-stilts walked by nonchalantly )
blk: (sudopie)
CMU Spring Carnival: Apr 16-17, 2010
... "In order to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe." -- Carl Sagan



whoever dies with the most pies wins )
blk: (spring)

might as well be spring

Spring is definitely coming, and I'm so very happy for it. The snow is entirely gone from my house and yard, thanks to sun and rain and above-freezing temperatures. All the things lost beneath the feet of snow are now in plain sight again. Everything is suddenly starting to wake up. Green bits are peeking through the ground. Flowers! Trees are getting more obviously fuzzy. I wake up to birds and sunlight. Well, I woke up to sunlight last week, and I will in another couple more. Better than darkness. My basement is dry, too, although we didn't get nearly the deluge that parts further east did.

spinning daydreams (and pie) )
blk: (pie)
Yesterday's project: grapefruit meringue pie.

It started with a bagful of the Best Grapefruit in the World. Then a couple key lime pies over the past few weeks gave me the great idea to make grapefruit pie. I happened to have sweetened condensed milk, eggs, and a pie crust handy this week, so I started by combining liquidy things. One half of a grapefruit gave me more than enough juice.

First problem: grapefruit juice is not anywhere near as tart as lime juice. Pie filling was way too sweet. So I googled for answers and came up with adding an additional grapefruit's worth of zest to it before cooking. Then I had a bald grapefruit, which I needed to eat. Yum.

Second problem: grapefruit juice is not as acidic as lime juice, making the filling not firm up. But the edges didn't look too bad, so I turned the heat down and let it cook for a while longer, and that seemed to work quite well.

Final pie: Success! The zest gave it a much stronger grapefruit flavor and provided just a slight amount of bitterness to soften the sweetness. The custard was an excellent texture, and the meringue complemented it well. My test subjects all agreed that it was delectably nommable.

I froze three cups worth of grapefruit juice for possible future use, being careful to clearly mark what was in the bag, lest it get confused for the other bag of frozen chicken broth...
blk: (pie)
This Sunday, 2pm, pie party!

Got questions? Try this FAQ on for size: Q) Pie? A) Yes. )
blk: (spring)
CMU Spring Carnival: Apr 20-21, 2007
... "When you die, if you get a choice between going to regular heaven or pie heaven, choose pie heaven. It might be a trick, but if not…mmmmm, boy!" -- Jack Handy



RSVPs appreciated, particularly if bringing pie.
blk: (spring)
Carnival Event - blk's After-Carnival Pie Party
... "Tell 'em we'll have punch and pie. More people will come if they think we have punch and pie." -- Cartman, South Park

This is your chance to end the CMU Carnival weekend on a good note! I'll provide the place, hopefully Nature will provide some nice weather, you can help provide the pie, and we can all sit back and unwind. Come relax off your hangover, get rid of extra party food/beer, get your hair braided, blow some soap bubbles, say goodbye to all the CMU alums on your way to the airport, play some games, and/or eat pie!

The primary theme to this party is pie. Anybody is welcome to contribute, as long as it is homemade. Leftover party food/drinks/etc that you're looking to get rid of, or yummy pie accessories are also welcome. Sweet pies, savory pies, vegetable pies, totally undefinable experiment pies... bring them! If you can't bring a pie, just bring yourself.

Where: My house. If you can't figure out where that is by web-stalking me, you're not invited.1
When: Sunday, April 23, 2pm until I kick you out. Pie will be served at the obvious time. Things usually wind down around sunset, but there might be games after that.
Who: You, CMUites, and whoever else you think would enjoy it. Feel free to spread the word around to your immediate friends.
RSVP: Appreciated, particularly if you are planning on bringing food, but not required.

My house is conveniently located a 15 minute walk away from the CMU 28x bus stop, with routes running regularly to the airport.

Kids are welcome, and there will be at least two in attendance. If you're allergic, be sure to medicate appropriately beforehand. I have no pets.

1 Not really, but I'll probably at least snicker a little at you. (HINT: try finger + googlemaps)
blk: (spring)
Carnival Event - blk's After-Carnival Pie Party
... or "Come for the oppressive feelings of shame and 'what the fuck?' Stay for the pie." -- Choo Choo, from Something Positive

Despite what you may think, this isn't an official Carnival party. Carnival parties are for the previous three days, so this is your chance to end the weekend on a good note. I'll just provide the place to wind down. Come relax off your hangover, get rid of extra party food/beer, get your hair braided, say goodbye to everybody on your way to the airport, play some games, and/or eat pie!

The primary theme to this party is PIE. Anybody is welcome to contribute, as long as it is homemade. Leftover party food/drinks that you're looking to get rid of are also welcome.

Where: My house. If you can't figure out where that is by web-stalking me, you're not invited.1
When: Sunday, April 17, 2pm until I kick you out. Pie will be served at the obvious time.
Who: You, and whoever else you think would enjoy it. Feel free to spread the word around, although I'd prefer if the guest list were kept within two degrees of me. If in doubt, ask.
RSVP: Appreciated but not required. If you would like to bring a pie, please let me know ahead of time so I can coordinate foodstuff better.

My house is conveniently located 15 minute walk away from a 28x bus stop, with routes running regularly to the airport.

Kids are welcome, and there will be at least two in attendance. If you're allergic, be sure to medicate appropriately beforehand, or else factor that into your plans for not staying too long. I have no pets.

Currently known pie-like contributions: cheesecake, no-sugar cheesecake, marshmallow, (pecan | pumpkin)?, apple.

1 Not really, but I'll probably at least snicker a little at you. (HINT: try finger + googlemaps)
blk: (cathat)
Carnival 2005: April 15-16

It's almost time for the 4th annual, world1-famous, after-Carnival PIE party, coming soon to a house near2 you, on Apr 17! Got leftover food, extra beer, spare $100 bills lying around from other Carnival parties that you don't know what to do with? Bring it by and hang out, laze around, get in that last bit of socializing before leaving for the airport, play some games, get your hair braided, or whatever. Otherwise, start practicing your pie-making skills, and optionally bring by something yummy (no store-bought allowed)!

Party is conveniently located 15 minute walk away from a 28x bus stop, with routes running regularly to the airport.

Another announcement/invite will happen later, with more details. If you comment here, I'll make sure you get a personal email about it.

1 for certain interpretations of the current size of the relevant world
2 where "you" are assumed to be near "cmu," which is where all the fun stuff will be.
blk: (braiding)
It's not a party until...
[livejournal.com profile] blk starts playing with hair.

[Add your own to the comments]


Friday I went to MadMex and saw a whole mess of people there. Yay, fun.

Saturday afternoon, I picked up new climbing shoes and climbed with es5f, [livejournal.com profile] dgr, [livejournal.com profile] zyrain, Robin, [livejournal.com profile] bn29, [livejournal.com profile] zagthaar, [livejournal.com profile] katharos, [livejournal.com profile] jessed, and another who I've forgotten her name already. More on that later.

Saturday evening, I went to Don's party and braided hair of [livejournal.com profile] beah, [livejournal.com profile] nolemming, [livejournal.com profile] mg4h, and two others.

Sunday, people came to my house to party. It was a good party. We had cherry, mocha pecan, pumpkin, lemon, and mint pies, cheesecake, and a quiche, almost all of which got eaten and heartily enjoyed. I gave haircuts (trims) and braids to [livejournal.com profile] nolemming, [livejournal.com profile] beah, [livejournal.com profile] dgr, [livejournal.com profile] sheenaqotj, and [livejournal.com profile] ksteppe.

No pictures of the braids this time, unless someone else took some when I wasn't watching. Maybe next year.
blk: (delirium)
Carnival Event - blk's After-Carnival Pie Party

Come relax off your hangover, get rid of extra party food/beer, play games, get your hair braided, and/or eat tasty pie!

The history of this party is simple: everybody is busy all weekend, and rather than try to compete with my own wild and crazy bash, I'll just give everybody a chance to wind down. We have a nice front porch, a clean backyard, and lots of games. The weather is forecasted to be near perfect. Bring any leftover food and drink and hang out or just stop by and say hi. There will be pie (and other munchies).

The other theme to this party is PIE. Anybody is welcome to contribute. The only rule is that it must be homemade (crusts are arguable. if you don't tell, we'll probably let it slide).

Where: My house. If you can't figure out where that is by web-stalking me, you're not invited.(1)
When: Sunday, April 18, 2p-6p. (at 6p I have a volleyball game)
Who: You, and whoever else you think would enjoy it. If you're bringing someone I don't know, please notify me beforehand.
RSVP: If you'd like. If you would like to bring a pie, please let me know ahead of time so I can coordinate things better.

We live approx 30 minute drive from the Pittsburgh airport. There are no bus routes that go there directly, but a quick ride to downtown can put you on the 28x. If you coordinate well, however, there may be several people leaving from the party.

Kids are welcome. In fact, we have two of our own, so if you're allergic, be sure to medicate appropriately beforehand, or else factor that into your plans for not staying too long.

Currently known pie-like contributions: mint, cheesecake, vinegar, pumpkin, mocha pecan, and cheery.

(1) Well, not really. I'll give directions if you need (as long as you ask before Sunday), but I'll probably snicker at you.
blk: (Default)
Carnival 2004: April 15-17

If you are going to be in town and are interested in these events, think about marking your calendars. This year I have plans to host:
  • A group excursion to The Climbing Wall, most likely on Saturday afternoon, assuming there is enough interest. Lessons available for first-time climbers. Tackle the ropes! Explore the bouldering arena! Leave comment if this interests you so I know if this will work out.

  • blk's 3rd annual after-Carnival PIE party on Sunday, Apr 18. Got leftover food, extra beer, spare $100 bills lying around from other Carnival parties that you don't know what to do with? Bring it by and hang out, laze around, play some games, get your hair braided, or whatever. If you didn't host a party this year, consider making (no store-bought allowed) a pie. (and if you don't bring a pie, just bring yourself)

More formal announcements/invites will go out later, but I'm more likely to make sure you personally get included if you leave a comment here.

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