Tuesday, September 02, 2014

One Dozen Eggs, Part 4

    Huge picture, still learning Surface's image editing options, but the guy who guessed, "Some version of 'Pomodoro,'" was right.  Behold Cajun Pomodoro:
     Last night's chicken and Andouille sausage jambalaya-wish dinner, with an egg poached in it to tame the heat a bit, and very tasty it is, too.

One Dozen Eggs: Parts 5 And 6

     Pan-fried this morning and I was clumsier than usual -- I like the yolks broken, Tam doesn't, my hand slipped.  That's a nice amount of genuine bacon grease (and a few droplets of chili oil), which is why the eggs will move from the skillet to a paper-toweling covered plate and have all the excess carefully dabbed away.
     And here is number five or six, with some shadowy and very tasty thick-sliced bacon:
      Where's number four, you ask?  Ah, there lies a story: prepared, waiting, in hiding.  Ready for lunchtime and you'll have to wait until afterwards

Monday, September 01, 2014

Don't Ask Me, I Don't Know.

     Rest assured she is okay.

One Dozen Eggs: Parts 1, 2 and 3

     Blog reader (and all-round nice guy) Kerry brought a dozen eggs to the BlogMeet and gave them to me as a gift.  "But," he said, "I want pictures."

     The first three went over the top this morning, along with about a cup and a quarter of flour, a cup and a half of milk, and a generous splash or two of water: Swedish Pancakes!

     I love 'em, Tam finds them a little heavy.  They don't rise, really, though they bubble and you end up with significantly different sides; the first downside is smoothish:
      The top, when flipped, not so much:
     Really bubbly! (I should maybe call them "Moon Cakes?  Umm, no.)
     Stacked, buttered, waiting a sprinkle of sugar:
There are three round ones in this stack -- they are very thin.
     I like 'em best about six high (a three-stack cut in two and re-stacked).  This is the first time I tried making them in the 10" not-really-a-crepe pan, which works wonderfully well.  The odd-shaped pancake is the last little batch of batter.

     The base recipe is one-one-one for 1 egg, 1 cup of milk, 1 cup of flour, which you should adjust to get a batter that suits you; it should be quite thin.  Scales up linearly.  Beat the egg very well first and if you want a bit more frothy result, you can separate the white(s) and beat 'em up 'til the start to stand, then beat in the yolk(s), milk and flour.  Adding a few teaspoons of water was an experiment that worked out okay.  Some versions include a splash of vanilla and a little cinnamon; you could try a touch of nutmeg or walnut extract, and so on.  The original way to eat them is with butter and lingonberry jelly between the layers but various jams, jellies, syrup or a little ordinary sugar works, too.

Should Post Something

     Major sinus headche-thing going on.

     Nice BlogMeet yesterday but I couldn't stay -- stress or whatever, suddenly felt ill and had to leave.  Went home and slept.  And I'm gonna go sleep more now.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

This Morning's Brekky

     A "What's Needing Et?" omelet: BelleVita cheese, gun show "Lil' Chub" smoked sausage sliced, cooked a bit to get the grease out and drained likewise, diced red bell pepper and cherry tomatoes sliced and allowed to soak up Italian seasoning all sauteed enough to stabilize them, and a couple of green olives sliced thin.  Skillet greased with sesame oil ('cos you've got to use that stuff up, it's got a half-life measured in fortnights).  Sprinkled some sesame seeds into the pan before adding the batter, just because.

     I'd've taken a picture but it was making me too hungry.  Plus, you know what a finished omelet looks like, right?  Fried mostly-egg batter,* folded over tasty stuff -- if the only thing I ever accomplish by my food-blogging is to convince more people omelets are not difficult to make, I'll consider myself useful.
* My current mild-cheat recipe is one saltine per egg, mashed up and covered in just enough milk to soak up.  Add some water (maybe a teaspoon per egg), add eggs, throw in a dash of Worcestershire or whatever, beat until uniform in color and consistency, and pour into a well-greased, non-stick pan over low heat. cook until the middle or one side it firm enough to add ingredients, make sure the edge(s) you will turn up gets well-cooked; then flip up and cook until done.  Goes quicker if covered but you've got to keep an eye on it.  You must use a pan that doesn't have sidewalls that get in the way of your spatula; a wide spatula is very handy and there's no rule that says you can't use two if necessary to make the fold.

Is It Just Me?

     Doesn't anyone else find it an utterly freaky coincidence that so many people with the last name "Reporting" end up in TV and radio news?

     "...and I'm Joe Mamma Reporting..."  "This is Natcher Monkee Reporting at Natcher Circus in Old Jersey." "From the World Desk, I'm J. Random Person Reporting." Weird.  Are they all directly related, d'you think?

Saturday, August 30, 2014

The Return Of Limax Maximus

     Yes, the Great Gray Slugs are back -- or at least out of hiding.  They're nocturnal and fairly shy, so you're unlikely to see them all that often.  Nevertheless, they are well-established in North America, having immigrated form Europe like many of us.

     They were defying gravity over a yard up on Roseholme Cottage's back fence, late last night:
     They were circling one another and then one led the other on a brief chase even higher.  This is kind of interesting and would be hot, hot stuff to another slug, since they are generally solitary hunters (of, among other things, smaller species of slugs) and the "circling and chasing" behavior is courtship.  Their love lives are unusually gymnastic; Great Gray Slug couples end up hanging in midair from a long rope of slug-slime, coiled together like ornamental ironwork.  Afterwards, one climbs back up the rope and the other drops to the ground, no doubt shrieking with glee all the way.  ...So if you are walking outdoors on a humid late-summer evening?  Be careful what branches you walk under.

     (One of the slugs briefly climbed to the very top of the six-foot-tall fence and rared up!  I waited to see if it would howl at the moon, but no such luck.)

     For those of you who dislike huge, leopard-spotted slugs (who haven't said anything at all about you, by the way), here's a nice sunset sky instead:

Friday, August 29, 2014

The Anithixotropic Mechanical Oscillator Cozy

     We ate up the last of the hot dogs last night (don't worry, there's plenty more at the supermarket!) and as I was attempting to apply a condiment, having first vigorously agitated the container, it occurred to me that there was a solution to the "ketchup problem."

     It's a strongly thixotropic fluid; when it's sitting in a nice big glob, it wants to stay a nice big glob and when it decides to go, it lets go all at once, gloop, all over your hot dog or fried-potato product or hot dog.  If you're using the stuff a lot or you like mass-marketed catsup,[1] the simple fix is a squeeze bottle.  At Roseholme Cottage, where  broad-shouldered, thick-necked bottles of Heinz Chili Sauce[2] jostle Jalapeno Ketchup[3] and Asian Sweet Chili Sauce[4] for room in the fridge, that's not an ideal approach.

     However--  In mt bristlebot kits, I have medium-size pager "thumpers" or low-frequency buzzers.  Put a couple of those in cutouts in a can cozy, add batteries and a switch and slip it over the ketchup bottle and voila, the anithixotropic cozy!  Turn it on, wait a bit for the red lead[5] to get all agitated, pour, turn off.

     I've got to test this.  As soon as possible.
1. If you do, give Red Gold a try -- it's got a richer taste than most, at least to my palate.
2. Yes, it's "mass-marketed," too, but it's considerably less bland.  No actual heat, just a delightful flavor.  (Also, check out this hot mustard tip from the blog linked to above.)
3. A "limited edition" and very nice it is, too. Notice how Heinz shows up twice?  Yeah, they're that good at the red-tomato-stuff-you-put-on-sammiches thing. Tam swears by the Jalapeno version and I like it -- despite my not being a huge fan of jalapenos, Heinz does 'em right.
4. Not ketchup per se but a bit thixotropic.  Darned good in the usual ketchup applications and even better on roast chicken.  Better barbecue sauce than most barbecue sauces!
5. With a tip of the ol' Stetson to John Wayne.  Ah-yup.

Thursday, August 28, 2014


     I woke up early this morning, hungry, and tried another version of Eggs Pomodoro, eggs poached in tomato sauce.  And it was good; it's pretty hard to get the stuff wrong,

     Much later, I had a little creamed chipped beef (yes, on toast -- rye toast) for lunch and realized you could poach eggs in this stuff.  Most prepared versions are a bit salty and a couple of eggs would help tame that, too.

     I think it'd be awesome.  Then I got to thinking about various sorts of additions, like sauteed vegetables, maybe hot peppers for the adventurous or baby potatoes and pearl onions for "comfort food," and realized the other thing you could do with creamed chipped beef and [vegetables of choice] would be to pour it into a pie crust, roof it with more of the same, and bake until the crust was golden-brown.  More of a Fall or Winter dish, I think, but at the right time of the year, yum!

Science Fiction: Out Of The Gutter...Into The Dumpster?

     Way back when -- it was well before my time -- science fiction was trash.  Literally as well as figuratively: printed on cheap pulp paper in the form of cheap magazines, the physical artifact had a useful life measured in months.  Surviving examples are mostly faded to a deep tobacco brown and so brittle that each reading does observable damage.  Forrest J. Ackerman's archives were the single largest repository and (at least back then) he wasn't a scholar, just a driven geek with a powerful acquisitive urge.  Sure, there were talented writers as well as hacks; some very good writers worked in the pulp era and many of the best survived and went on to earn money -- a little, anyway -- and fame.

     By the time I was in grade school, SF (and its sibling, Fantasy) was on the way to a measure of respectability, helped along by Heinlein (and a very few others[1]) appearing in the "slicks," mass-market, mainstream fiction magazines modern readers would scarcely recognize (perhaps most notably, or at least most mainstream, the Saturday Evening Post, which offered readers a steady supply of never-banned-in-Boston fiction worth reading), a children's literature market that was chasing the baby boom, and a swelling college population that included plenty of kids who'd grown up reading the pulps.  Not all of them studied science or engineering; some of them were English majors.  Some of them stayed on.

     Fast-forward a few decades and you've got long-established college courses in SF and Fantasy -- and prestigious "collections," libraries of the very same material an earlier generation of academics despised.  Woo-hoo, happy days are here, the Jubilee has done arrived!

     ...Arrived and (hit that fast-forward button again, kid, willya?  What, you'll "just click farther ahead on the timeline?"  Uh, whatever)...turned into dull old stuff.  Turned back into trash.  That selfsame Sturgeon short that was hot, hot stuff in 1952 and still pretty snazzy in 1970 has been stripped of context by time; when a modern-day toiler in the Grove of Academe stumbles over the October, 1952 issue of Galaxy, all she sees is a collection of strangers, mostly male, all white and a good many of them smoking -- and she is more minded to prune than preserve.  Besides, e-books take up way less space and are a lot less likely to have suspicious-looking titles like If All Men Were Brothers, Would You Let One Marry Your Sister.[2]

     Something like that is happening right now (and to SF/F work by plenty of non-male, non-white non-smoking writers as well as Bradbury, Leiber and Heinlein) to the Eaton Collection at UC Riverside. Yes, that'd be the University of California, and if CA isn't safe for the crunchy mix of nuts, flakes, loose screws, strong sisters and swingin' swords that comprise (in some mad and sometimes mutually-antagonistic manner) the world of SF and Fantasy, the rest of us had better look the heck out.

     Consider joining in with your friends and (yes) those despicable weirdos over in some other corner, and pushin' back.  It's not so much about getting the love and respect of Lit-ratchure professors -- many of 'em they don't truly love anything that anybody else can parse -- as it is keeping our kewl junk from gettin' thrown out.

     Garbage pail to recycle bin within living memory?  Oh, let's not.
1. Writers who "colored outside the lines" helped, too; while Kurt Vonnegut explicitly rejected being identified as an SF writer and cited the contempt of critics as the reason why, Michael Crichton just wrote near-future and contemporary speculative fiction and ignored any crossover with the robots-and-spaceships crowd.  You can bet a goodly percentage of their readers went looking for "more stories like these" and found SF and Fantasy.

2. Which is not the Sturgeon short to which I refer.  You can hunt that one up for yourself; I left plenty of clues.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

BlogMeet Ahoy! Abaft The August Stern...

     Or some such nautical thing.  It will be after the Indy 1500 Gun Show this coming Sunday.  Official start time is just a little earlier than full "after:" 3:00 p.m. at the Broad Ripple Brew Pub, we will be having an Indy BlogMeet.  Be there!