Posts Tagged: cooking

Late November Tidbits

It is Friday. Here is some reading and other tidbits for your weekend, if you are so inclined.

High Plains Farmers Race to Save the Ogallala Aquifer
By restoring soils and grasslands, farmers in the Texas Panhandle are conserving the last water beneath their feet.

What If We Called It the ‘Flax Age’ Instead of the ‘Iron Age’?

Rituals of Childhood
“The United States has chosen, and continues to choose, to enact ritual compliance to an ideal of freedom in a way that results in a steady flow of blood sacrifice. T”

What if All That Flying Is Good for the Planet?

Open Mike: Sharp Is Another Way Photographs Can Be

Planting Native Prairie Could Be a Secret Weapon for Farmers
In Iowa, researchers and farmers are discovering that planting strips of native prairie amidst farmland benefits soil, water, biodiversity, and more.

Meet the scientist who’s been counting California butterflies for 47 years and has no plans to stop

Rehydrate California

The Survivors of the Woolsey Fire One Year Later

The Quinceañera, Redefined

How Natural Wine Became a Symbol of Virtuous Consumption

The Instant Pot Understands The History Of Women’s Labor In The Kitchen

Sunday Tidbits: After a bit of a lull – Apple says Game On!, Sharanya, Mie, and Fusion!

A quick round of Sunday tidbits and links for you…

1) T’would appear that Apple is waking up from its rather sleepy mobile photo lull and is declaring game on to the newly minted Microsoft Mobile (entity formerly known as Nokia Device and Services) in two sweeps with the declaration of:

Apple Patent Shows Off Unique Use of OIS for “Super Resolution” Photos

and the defection of a certain Mr. Ari Partinen from the top ranks of the Nokia Camera team

Now it should get interesting. One wonders if a certain Mr. Alakarhu and a certain Ms. Björknäs will stay put at the newly signed building in Espoo? Will Google / Samsung up their mobile camera game or will we have round ___ of the Apple v. Microsoft tech brinkmanship?

2) The ever amazing Sharanya Manivannan has published a short story, “Sweet”, in the debut issue of The Affair and is interviewed in “A Q&A with Sharanya Manivannan on her story ‘Sweet’, published in the inaugural issue of ‘The Affair’

If you aren’t already following Sharanya on Twitter or reading her blog, go do it now.

3) In my searches for good recipes for various Japanese recipes, I have found myself at Cookpad and a bit baffled by the translations that Google gives me. Thus, when I read that Mie is now the North American office / staff member for Cookpad En, I was very excited. Not only for a great position for Mie, but also that means that Mie’s excellent abilities in blogging, cross cultural exchange, and blogging will mean the opening up and un-confusing a great wealth of contemporary Japanese foodways. So EXCITED. Go Mie, Go!

4) 3QuarksDaily asks: When are you Past Your Prime?

5) Charlie Stross has two great blog posts for thinking about technology, now, the future, and the world, read the comments:
a) The Snowden leaks; a meta-narrative – A call for the internet protocol to be rebuilt before it is too late:

The trouble is, the success of the internet protocols created a networking monoculture that the NSA themselves came to rely on for their internal infrastructure. The same security holes that the NSA relied on to gain access to your (or Osama bin Laden’s) email allowed gangsters to steal passwords and login credentials and credit card numbers. And ultimately these same baked-in security holes allowed Edward Snowden—who, let us remember, is merely one guy: a talented system administrator and programmer, but no Clark Kent—to rampage through their internal information systems.

b) The prospects of the Space and Freedom Party reconsidered in light of the crisis of 21st century capitalism – Given that the U.S. spent over $4 Trillion on the most recent Iraq War, what is a few fusion reactors at $100 billion a pop?

I’ve got two candidates for such investments: (a) commercial thermonuclear fusion reactors, and (b) colonizing Venus.

Fusion: we are not fifty years away any more. We’re about thirty years and $100Bn away. Or we’re about 8-10 years and $200Bn and a Manhattan Program level of urgency away—it depends on the political and legislative framework. However, building tokamak fusion reactors (like ITER) is never going to be cheap; to get 1Gw of electrical power out implies a 5Gw thermal reactor (and a third of its power is going to go into maintaining the fusion reaction). More realistically, tokamaks will come in 5Gw power output and larger sizes, making them an order of magnitude larger than today’s big-ass 1Gw PWR, AGR, and AP1000 reactors. We’re looking at startup costs of $25-50Bn per reactor, and a requirement for up to 1000 of the suckers if we want to roll it out globally as a major energy source.

So: it’s a project that will plausibly soak up $25-50Tn and take 10-30 years to roll out while needing 30-60 years to break even and start to provide a return on the capital investment. A good way of making the Koch brothers atone for their sins while preserving the illusion of their wealth, right?

Naah, that’s small beer

Go read, people, go read. Then comment.

The Fourth of July and Why I Like It

Dan, Earl, and Gracie at the Fourth of July dinner

Dan, Earl, and Gracie at the Fourth of July dinner by Ms. Jen with her Nokia N8.

Yesterday, I tweeted:

Happy Fourth of July! Of all the holidays, this is my favorite to cook for, am about to start making food for the BBQ this evening. ;o)

This is absolutely true but also untrue. Absolutely true because it is a joy to cook a big meal for friends and family on the Fourth of July, as there are very few expectations that folks have of the day other than having fun and watching fireworks. Untrue, in that the food that is usually prepared for the Fourth is not particularly challenging for a cook.
Yes, Thanksgiving & Christmas provide a much meatier planning, preparing and cooking challenge for a cook to not only make the meal memorable, but also tasty and a not the same old same old. I truly enjoy thinking about, planning, and executing all the permutations of taste and possibility for those two holiday meals.
But, sh*t! Christmas and Thanksgiving come with so much family expectation, someone is always stressed out and on the verge of some family drama or another. And as the cook, I try not to absorb the waves of tumult, keep my head down and on task, but the waves none the less spoil the joy to some degree.
As a child, my memories of Fourth of July were of the few times that my Mom took joy in cooking, where she got inventive because she was out of the daily routine and she had a few days to think up and execute a menu. My memories of Fourth of July food were not hamburgers, BBQ and extended family, but of fried chicken, homemade potato salad, friends, and peach ice cream made in the hand cranked, salt outer container filled ice cream maker.
Fast forward to Fourth of July 2011, the Farmer’s Market at the Long Beach Marina SE is bursting with the last of the spring fruits and the first of the summer fruits and vegetables. The seasonal possibilities are a delight. On Sunday evening, Erika, Thomas, Earl and I feasted on soft shell crab, two kinds of salad, and a first of the season peach mildly frozen homemade yogurt dessert. Yesterday for the actual Fourth, I made old fashioned potato salad, a big bowl of med-inspired rice pasta salad, and ratatouille of Farmer’s Market summer vegetables on top of fish and steak. Tonight, my Mom and I are going to experiment with making fresh fruit ice (rice milk) cream.
All made with joy, eaten with wine & laughter, and very little pathos. Thankfully.
Fourth of July, I love you.