General: June 2005 Archives

Fat Sunday

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Originally uploaded by Erica Tesla.
With this crazy-ass schedule we've got going, you probably think we spend our weekend relaxing. Nosiree - we spend our weekend grocery shopping, cooking and eating.

I cooked a yummy pot roast in the crock pot yesterday (Saturday); there's two nice big helpings of that left.

A(n almost) measurement free recipe for fantastic roast:

Cut up enough onion (in big chunks) to cover the bottom of the crock pot. Add a nice tall glass of water; no need to be exact. If you have it, add a splash of gin. (I use Tanqueray.) Throw in some chopped garlic. I use a rounded tablespoon, but my love for garlic is probably unmatched - at least, off the set of Buffy. Rip open a package of onion soup mix and add that in, too. Throw the roast in on top of the little onion-platform you made. This'll make sure it doesn't burn on the hot ceramic. You can throw it in frozen, and it won't do any harm. Set the crock pot to low, and walk away. Go outside. Visit a friend. Leave it alone for three or four hours, then come back. Chop up a bag of celery and a bag of carrots (again, big chunky slices are the way to go); toss them in on top, and pour on a glass of red wine. A cheap (but drinkable) merlot, about $5, works great. Turn the pot up to high and let her cook for another hour or two. Make sure to eat it at some point after this.

IMPORTANT: Never, ever cook with wine or liquor you wouldn't drink. It always comes out wrong. The one exception is beer; Sam likes Guinness, which doesn't work well in most recipes, but neither of us like the typical keg-beer, which works great for cooking chicken and turkey.

Today, I made the Evil White Chili of Doom, which met with Sam's approval even though he claims he's sick of soup. If you didn't believe me that I make a lot, check out the picture. That's Sam's third bowl plus the leftovers, after I had three bowls and Corby had two. The three gallon stock pot was about an inch from being completely full. I know y'all want the recipe, but I only give it away to people who come over and share some. (You have to taste it to know if you've got it right, hee!)

Oh, and there's a double-dish (like in the square tupperware in the picture) still in the fridge, full of the 15-bean soup I was raving about a few days ago. We should be good for the week, with the occasional slice of toast or turkey sandwich thrown in.
Senator Brown, It has come to my attention (via the Kelo vs. New London finding in the Supreme Court earlier this week) that while eight states (Arkansas, Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, Maine, Montana, South Carolina and Washington) forbid the use of eminent domain for economic development unless it is to eliminate blight, Nebraska does not. This is of grave concern to anyone in Nebraska who owns (or intends to own in the future) a home. Since the federal government clearly does not take property rights very seriously, it is time for Nebraska to step up and narrowly define eminent domain powers, and to protect the homes of its residents. Please let me know if there is anything I can do to help you introduce this issue in the legislature. Regards, Erica Tesla
(Read more about the Kelo vs. New London finding at the discussion area of SCOTUSblog.) Nebraskans: find your district (or check here if you're in Omaha, or here if you're in Lincoln. Then, find your senator, and email them. Let them know you care about eminent domain.

Beans, beans

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I'm totally jazzed. Now, before you join be in celebration, the subject line is not at all clever; I'm jazzed about beans. There's a company called HamBeens that makes a fantastic 15 bean soup. (It comes as dry beans and seasoning. Very cheap, great deal.) I was having some for lunch today, and I went to their website, and found out that they have great northern beans (and a related soup). Now, normally this would not be cause for any amount of elation, but I make this chicken chili that's just to die for (or at least, that's what everyone tells me). It gets kinda spendy, though, as all told it calls for 152 oz of great northern beans, which I can only find around here in cans at something like $2 per 19-oz can. Based on my calculations, I could use three or four 20-oz bags of dry beans (at about $2 a bag, still) and shave $8 or $10 off my chili recipe. (Incidentally, if you're reading this and thinking "who the hell needs 152 oz. of beans, keep in mind that this feeds Sam and I for something like a week, except for breakfast.) So anyway, this is a cause for great happiness - except they don't sell them around here. So I emailed HamBeens and asked them where I might be able to buy that variety, and not only are they willing to sell me cases of a dozen bags for $25 (including shipping), but they'd also be happy to send me a couple sample bags to see how the recipe works out with dry beans. (And they asked me to share the recipe, too.) Now, how cool is that? Most companies I know (food-wise, anyway) won't sell directly to consumers, and I can't think of a food company I've encountered that would send me free samples. Score one for HamBeens! (Oh, by the way - if you like beans but are worried about the, ahem, "adverse effects", take heart. Buying dry beans means you get to soak them yourself, and if you cold-soak them for longer as opposed to warm- or hot-soaking them shorter, it breaks down more of the gas-causing sugars. Or so I've read. It seems to work that way - we've had their original 15-bean soup (and leftovers) all week, with no problems.) (And now that I feel like an incredi-dork, I'm going to run off and take some international students to the doctor.)
Gene change alters sex orientation in fruit flies
Altering a single gene in a fruit fly can turn its sexual orientation around, causing male flies to lose interest in females, and females to display male mating rituals to other females, according to a study published in the journal Cell on Friday.
Story tip-off via Avdi (link Googled; I don't like linking the NY Times.)
This has got to hurt.
PC World: The 100 Best Products of 2005: Naming the “100 Best Products of 2005,” PC World highlighted iPod photo, iTunes and the iTunes Music Store in the Consumer Electronics category, Mac mini as one of the best small PCs and Mac OS X v10.4 “Tiger” as the best operating system, putting it into the number three slot on the top 100 products list. [Jun 02, 2005]
via Apple Hot News.

Spring Rain

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Spring Rain 5
Originally uploaded by Erica Tesla.
It poured for hours and hours and hours today. If we do move into a house, the one thing I'll miss about these apartments is the tree outside the window, with its week-a-year blossoms and the way the leaves smell, when it rains like this.

It's too bad the cats have to rip up the damned screen whenever we leave the window open. Sigh.
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    This page is a archive of entries in the General category from June 2005.

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