Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Archive for January 8th, 2011

Tasty dinner

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When I give you a recipe that I made up, I hope you realize that the whole thing is very ad hoc: what goes in, and how it is prepped and cooked, depends on what’s on hand and what comes to mind. Sometimes I think of alternatives after the fact, thus the options. So when I cut the apple into small julienne, it’s because I now have the Swissmar V-Slicer and so that’s the easiest way to take care of the apple. If I didn’t have the V-Slicer, I would have just chopped the apple.

Kumquats appear in the recipe because I had them one hand, left over from something else, but I really do like them: cooked slowly for a long time with meat or poultry, they melt into a tart, sticky, citrus sweetness.

Tonight’s dinner was, as almost always, totally ad hoc.

Serves one:

2 tsp of a local olive oil infused with cayenne, basil, and garlic. Regular olive oil would do.

Heat oil in 2-qt sauté pan. Add:

1/2 sweet onion, sliced thinly (V-Slicer or by hand)

Let the onion sauté until it turns golden and begins to caramelize. Add a small shake, depending on taste, of:

ground allspice
ground cardamom
ground cumin
ground sumac berries

(I wanted to add a little cinnamon, but couldn’t find my supply. Later I thought of juniper berries as a possibility instead of the spices.)

Add:

4 oz center-cut boneless pork chop, trimmed of fat and sliced as for stir-fry
1/4 head Savoy cabbage, chopped small
6 kumquats, each sliced crossways 3-4 times
1/2 Brae Burn apple, cut into small julienne
1/4 c cooked wheat berries (in this case, spelt, but could use other grain)
Splash of brown rice vinegar

Cover and simmer over medium heat for 30 minutes.

I thought up this recipe, BTW, by first focusing on the skeleton: protein, starch, and veg, then method and condiments.

I had the pork, and that made me think instantly of onion and apple as the veg (and fruit—an extra fruit serving is fine), plus I had the 1/4 head of cabbage to use up. I was already cooking some spelt, so that would be the starch. Protein, starch, and veg—then I just start cooking and adding things as I think of them.

UPDATE: I suddenly realized that my cooking method, as above, cooks a one-serving meal: I eat everything I cook. Obviously, there are exceptions: I hard-boil a dozen eggs at a time, but eat them one by one; I cook up a whole bunch of greens (or two, as now: a bunch of kale and a bunch of red chard that will be chopped and cooked together) but eat them one cup at a time.

Still, many meals are like the above: I measure out a single serving of protein, starch, and veggies and cook them together in some way, and eat the whole thing. And I figured out why I drifted in this direction: no leftovers, so no “bites” after the meal is over. I ate it, there ain’t no more.

Another observation: I got very nice center-cut boneless pork chops, and I noticed that each one was exactly 8 oz: two servings. That’s one reason I got obese: I was eating two (or more) servings of everything on the plate. Now when I use such pork chops, each 8-oz pork chop is cut in two and I get two meals from it.

Written by Leisureguy

8 January 2011 at 6:47 pm

Instapaper.com and the Kindle

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Yesterday I got my first automated delivery to my Kindle of Web pages I had marked to "read later" via Instapaper.com. This is ultra-slick. If you have a Kindle, you should know about this.

Written by Leisureguy

8 January 2011 at 2:22 pm

Wonder what Michelle Bachmann will say?

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Rep. Michelle Bachmann (R-MN) loudly called for people to be “armed and dangerous” regarding healthcare, and Sharron Angle talked about “2nd Amendment recourse” if Congress didn’t listen, another call for armed violence. The Tea Party notoriously supports the presence of armed men at their rallies. And this is where all that rhetoric leads.

From a NY Times report on the shooting:

During the fall campaign, Sarah Palin, the former Republican vice-presidential candidate, posted a controversial map on her Facebook page depicting spots where Democrats were running for re-election; those Democrats were noted by crosshairs symbols like those seen through the scope of a gun. Ms. Giffords was among those on Ms. Palin’s map.

Written by Leisureguy

8 January 2011 at 2:00 pm

Posted in Congress, Daily life, GOP

One-pot meals

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I do love a good one-pot meal. (I do dishwashing by hand.) And I hate the suggestion “Serve over rice or noodles” because that means ANOTHER DAMN POT!

So I like the look of the book Glorious One-Pot Meals: A Revolutionary New Quick and Healthy Approach to Dutch-Oven Cooking. Note that it is for Dutch ovens: it is specifically NOT a slow-cooker cookbook.

She calls her method “infusion cooking” and it does seem to be a novel way of cooking. You arrange the food in layers in the Dutch oven, cover it, and then put it in a 450º F oven for 30-45 minutes or so, depending on the recipe. And the entire meal is in the pot: fast, easy, and intriguing.

Full disclosure: I got into this after reading a post on Scott Feldstein’s blog on how to get a good cast-iron enameled Dutch oven inexpensively.

Written by Leisureguy

8 January 2011 at 12:19 pm

Gov. Brewster’s hatred of Arizona citizens

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Only those who are poor, of course. And Latinos. And…  Well, here’s the story by Zaid Jilani at ThinkProgress:

As ThinkProgress previously reported, Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R) advocated for and passed budget cuts last year that cut off urgent transplant funding that was previously promised to 98 Arizonans. In late November, Mark Price, an Arizona father who had been battling leukemia for a year, died due to complications related to chemotherapy treatment he was receiving. Price was awaiting an organ transplant that could’ve saved his life, but he was unable to receive one in time due to Brewer’s budget cuts.

Now, the University of Arizona Medical Center has told the press that another patient passed away in late December because they were unable to get their organ transplant funded. Although the attending physicians declined to release the name of the patient out of respect for the family’s privacy, they confirmed that the patient that passed away was one of the 98 Arizonans cut off from organ transplants by Brewer and the GOP-controlled state legislature. He “was our patient. He was on our list,” said surgery department spokeswoman Jo Marie Gellerman.

Local news station KGUN reported the second death and tracked down two patients who are still waiting for transplants. They interviewed 48-year old David Hernandez, who has a terminal lung disease and will die without a transplant. They also highlighted the case of 27-year old Tiffany Tate, who also needs a lung transplant to save her life. Despite placing three phone calls and an e-mail, the station was unable to receive any response from Brewer’s office.

KGUN was able to interview Sen. Frank Antenori (R) — a Brewer ally who has long fought for provisions to prevent abortions, based on his supposed belief in the sanctity of human life — who told them that he wishes the legislature “had the money and it was flowing from the hills to fund everything we want to fund. Tough decisions are being made because we’re in a budget crisis right now.” Interestingly, the station found out that all state employees are entitled to medical benefits subsidized by taxpayers, and that “yes, they do cover organ transplants.” Watch it:

After learning about the plight of the 98 Arizonan patients, Steven Daglas, an Illinois State GOP Central Committeeman, worked with several others to analyze the Arizona state budget and finances to develop funding solutions that would allow the state to fully fund the transplants for all of the remaining patients without actually raising any new revenue. The possible solutions included using $2 million from an AIG settlement that the state of Arizona will receive or “transferring $1.2 million in funds that Arizona once planned to use to build bridges for endangered squirrels.” Yet even after repeatedly sending his proposal to Brewer since December, Daglas has received zero response from the governor. He told The Arizona Republic that she may be ignoring his proposal out of the fear that he’s trying to politically damage her, but he explained, “I’m a Republican guy from Illinois…We’re just concerned about these transplant patients and want to help“:

Since early last month, Daglas and those with whom he is working have been reaching out to the governor and her staff with the ideas. Among other things, they sent a letter that required a signature confirmation so they knew the information was getting through. But they haven’t heard back.

“We’re worried that maybe her office is thinking that we’re offering these ideas as a way to attack her or make her look bad, and that isn’t it at all,” Daglas said. “I’m a Republican guy from Illinois. We have plenty of problems up here. We’re just concerned about these transplant patients and want to help. We have provided detailed information about the suggestions, the statutes, the original sources and so on.”

The failure of Brewer to respond to the funding proposal has frustrated Daglas, and this morning he joined with five of the patients in need of transplants and launched a website, Arizona98.com. The website lists 26 possible ways that Arizona can shift funding in order to pay for the transplant procedures without having to raise any additional revenue. As the Arizona Republic notes, the savings Arizona is supposed to have by not funding the transplants amount to $1.36 million. As Arizona98.com notes, “The fact our mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, sons and daughters (hard-working citizens and good people) have been deemed expendable at a price of $13,877.56 per human life still does not make sense.”

Update: “I refuse to believe that any person or state will spend $1.25 million to save 5 squirrels a year, but not 98 human beings. It can’t be true. That just doesn’t make any sense," Daglas told ThinkProgress.

Written by Leisureguy

8 January 2011 at 12:07 pm

Secrets of living an awesome life

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Via Dan Colman’s Open Culture:

Written by Leisureguy

8 January 2011 at 12:01 pm

Posted in Daily life, Video

30 minutes at last

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This morning I did the Nordic Track for 30 minutes non-stop. It wasn’t bad at all. I take tomorrow off, and from now on, 30 minutes is the rule. And if any of you listen to audiobooks, I highly recommend  the Edith Grossman translation of Don Quixote, which is indeed available as an audiobook. Try your library.

Written by Leisureguy

8 January 2011 at 11:57 am

Posted in Books, Daily life, Fitness

At last: "A Touch of Larceny"

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In my senior year of college (1960-61), I saw A Touch of Larceny, released in 1959 and starring James Mason, Vera Miles, and George Sanders. I was totally taken by the movie. Though in viewing it today, it seems somewhat old-fashioned and slow-paced, back in 1960 it was (it seemed to me) cheeky, modern, and totally wonderful. Some of that is the music in the movie, some is the plot and its working, and some is the situation, for at the time I saw the movie, I, too, was competing for a woman’s affections.

At any rate, I’m a little startled at how well I remember the movie after 50 years. I didn’t recall the first scene—amusing and establishing Max Easton’s character—but I remembered practically all the rest.

The movie is now available on Netflix Watch Instantly, and if you interested, give it a go. I certainly found it enjoyable.

Written by Leisureguy

8 January 2011 at 11:54 am

Posted in Daily life, Movies & TV

Klar Seifen in the morning

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Another pleasurable and close shave. I must say that the Eclipse Red Ring does indeed deliver excellent shaves. I don’t understand all the specifics and reasons of the design, but it works extremely well. The Rooney gathered plenty of soap, and each pass had plentiful fragrant lather. Three of those passes, a rinse and dry, and then a good splash of Klar Seifen Klassik.

Periodically I like to mention that I use MR GLO (Musgo Real Glyce Lime Oil soap) as the first step, to wash my beard at the sink. For me, it makes a positive difference.

Written by Leisureguy

8 January 2011 at 11:43 am

Posted in Shaving

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