Later On

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

Archive for January 8th, 2012

Creation and maintenance of the permanent hereditary oligarchy

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It’s well underway. Paul Krugman provides details.

Written by LeisureGuy

8 January 2012 at 7:52 pm

Posted in Daily life

How I approach a meal: Grub du jour

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Grub with some of my EVOO collection

Today’s meal began with a stop by Grove Community Market in PG for vegetables, especially greens. I had some tempeh at home for protein, and I was leaning toward black rice for the starch, but I needed greens and some veggies.

They had a good-sized bunch of red kale, so I got that, along with a red pepper and a couple of zucchini. The rest I had at home.

So today as lunch drew nigh, I started the black rice (1/2 cup rice—two servings—to 1 cup water), seasoned with a little of the Emeril’s Essence and let that simmer for the requisite 30 minutes.

I still didn’t know where I was going, but I knew the general direction and the major landmarks. So without really thinking beyond the current step, I did the following, setting each aside as I finished:

6 large cloves garlic, minced – I always do this first so the garlic can rest before cooking
1 large sweet onion, chopped small
1 red bell pepper, shopped smallish
1 package (8 oz) tempeh, cut into thin strips, then across those into rectangles (2 servings)
2 medium zucchini, diced
2 good-sized handfuls of my chopped celery stash from the fridge
1 wad slivered dried tomatoes from the little produce stand
1 Meyer lemon, diced (with peel) – that will be the acid to make it brighter

I used a combination of grapeseed and peanut oil—I’m now use the EVOO more after cooking, rather than during—to sauté the onions for a while, and gave them 1-2 tsp of Emeril’s Essence and a good shaking of crushed red pepper. When the onions turned translucent, I added the garlic and sautéed that briefly, then added the pepper, tempeh, and celery, and sautéed that a while, then the zucchini, tomatoes, and lemon, along with a good dash (1-2 Tbsp) homemade Worcestershire. I stirred that occasionally as I washed the bunch of kale thoroughly, immersing it in a pot of water and chugging it up and down, then shaking it as dry as I could. I chopped the whole bunch, chopping the stems finely and the leaves not so finely.

I added the kale to the pan, poured in about 1/2 cup red wine and 1-2 Tbsp ponzu sauce, which I chanced upon in the fridge.

I covered and simmered it 10 minutes, by which time the rice was done, so I dumped the rice on top, stirred it in, and simmered the whole thing covered for 20 minutes, stirring if I felt like it (and this time I didn’t). I did give it a good grinding of black pepper, and I’m sitting here thinking about stirring in 1-2 Tbsp Dijon mustard just to see… maybe I’ll just try some in the first bowl. And I’ll probably put 1/2 tsp true EVOO on top.

[Update: The combination of the black rice and red kale was excellent and stirred a taste-associative memory: I made a kind of kolcannon but with rice rather than potato. And coincidentally The Wife also made a kale and rice dish, but with converted rice. Kale and rice: the coming thing. — And, speaking of colcannon, take a look at this dish, which I definitely will make, only I’ll use 1/2 lb potatoes for 1 bunch kale and adjust other things accordingly: I want kale with some delicious potato in it, not potato with flecks of kale.]

Protein + starch + greens + oil + lots of veggies – salt + spices + some acid (vinegar, lime juice, lemon, fresh tomatoes, etc.) = grub. And if you pick things whose tastes you like, you’ll like the taste of the finished grub—no real surprise there, of course, and it’s why I don’t feel a need to do much planning—I can (and generally do) build the dish by identifying the principal components—the meal skeleton—and then adding things (whose taste I like, and mostly vegetables) as I go along, so long as they seem to make some sort of sense and follow some (perhaps vague) theme.

For example, if I’m thinking Caribbean, I start thinking of black beans and rice and lime juice and fish and tomatoes and spicy—the trick there is the greens. I could use lots of parsley (as a green) or cilantro (with cilantro I’m thinking now a cold salad with EVOO, in which case I could also use Romaine or spinach (though I prefer to cook spinach to make the nutrients more accessible)), or instead of parsley or cilantro, I could just cook the dish with real greens, kale or perhaps something assertive like mustard greens or dandelion greens—and the bitter from the latter would work well—in fact, it makes me think of replacing the rice with diced sweet potatoes/”yams”), though collards might work well instead of kale.

That’s how I think about meals.

UPDATE: I don’t want to leave the impression that I never use recipes. I do, and right now I’m planning to make this edamame dip, which sounds very tasty.

UPDATE 2: Photos added per request. Above, shot with some of my EVOO collection. Here, grub gets its close-up:

Grub: Close-up

Written by LeisureGuy

8 January 2012 at 1:00 pm

Posted in Daily life, Food, Grub, Recipes

Amazon goes crazy

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My sister has fallen ill, and now that she’s getting better, she would, I think, enjoy some reading. So after talking with her about various things I’ve learned from Extra Virginity, I decided to send her a gift copy. I pay the annual fee for Amazon Prime, which among other benefits (such as free streaming movies) includes automatic free two-day shipping. After thinking about her stuck in bed and bored, I paid the extra $4 for one-day shipping. Amazon just sent me an email, the contents of which you can glean from my response:

I just placed this order [identified in the header – LG] a couple of hours ago, and I did pay extra to get one-day shipping. Today is 8 Jan, a Sunday, so I figure the book will arrive 10 Jan, Tues.

I just got an email from Amazon:

We have good news!  We’re able to get this part of your order to you faster than we originally promised:

Tom Mueller “Extra Virginity: The Sublime and Scandalous World of Olive Oil”
Previous estimated arrival date: January 20, 2012 – January 25, 2012
New estimated arrival date: January 12, 2012 – January 13, 2012

This is already a problem. The estimated arrival date of 1/20-25 is complete news to me. When I placed the order, the delivery date was estimated to be in coming week. I had literally NO INFORMATION from you that you were planning delivery in MORE THAN A WEEK on an order I had PAID EXTRA to bet ONE-DAY DELIVERY. I am stunned by this information, and angry.

The new estimated arrival date of 1/12-13 certainly is NOT what I paid for. I am an Amazon Prime member, and I would expect to get delivery by those dates based on my regular Prime status. Indeed, those dates are LATE even for two-day delivery, and VERY  LATE for the one-day delivery for which I paid.

Has something veyr bad happened to your shipping operation? Why are you charging me $4 for one-day delivery and then writing that the orignal estimate for the one-day delivery is MORE THAN A WEEK?? And the “improvement” of which you seem to be so proud is WORSE than the two-day delivery I get as part of Prime.

I would like a REAL explanation, not a form letter. What is going on with your shipping??

Written by LeisureGuy

8 January 2012 at 10:36 am

Posted in Books, Business

The American Empire is over, and the descent will be fast and brutal

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Chris Hedges is interviewed here. Watch the first 5 minutes and see what you think. I thnk this is important, and I think this guy is pointing to some uncomfortable realities.

Written by LeisureGuy

8 January 2012 at 9:01 am

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