Later On

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

Archive for March 18th, 2012

Frittata = quiche sans crust and cream

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And if you remove the crust and the custard idea (because no cream),, then no reason to cook in the oven, so the frittata (think: no-crust, no-cream quiche) is cooked 4 minutes on top of the stove (after stirring in the egg mixture to make the “batter”) followed by 3 minutes under broiler.

I just made one and carefully observed the timings. It worked perfectly, but the times were much longer than I could have waited were I not using a timer. So: use a timer.

Mine was a spring onion and green garlic sautéed in olive oil until limp, then some salt and pepper and two domestic white mushrooms sliced. Those are cooked until they release their liquid and it cooks away. I then added one small yellow bell pepper, cut into small dice, and some leftover pasta spirals from the swordfish dish: about 1/3-1/2 cup.

I sautéed those while I took a bowl and cracked 4 eggs (approx 4 oz protein) into it. I added rounded teaspoon of smoked paprika and whisked well with a fork.

Once the veg and starch (pasta) were nicely sautéed, I poured in the eggs and with a rubber spatula mixed the eggs and veg to make a sort of batter. Then the timing: 4 minutes on top, 3 minutes under broiler.

It would have been even better with the 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan, but I didn’t have any. I let it cool a while, and you can eat the wedges out of hand, like pizza.

Written by Leisureguy

18 March 2012 at 7:52 pm

Spices are healthful

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I cook routinely with spices, herbs, and aromatics (like onion, garlic, celery). And that turns out to be a good idea, according to Allison Aubrey on NPR.

I should note that many of my choices are deliberate: I started eating 1/2 tsp of turmeric daily (generally added to my breakfast hot cereal) on reading how that amount was sufficient to reduce cancer and other inflammation-triggered diseases. Cinnamon was added when I learned (from USDA experiments) that it reduced insulin resistance. Pomegranate juice (4 oz daily) was found to improve arterial health.

But as pointed out in Forks Over Knives, it’s the entire symphony of foods that provide a harmonious balance.

Written by Leisureguy

18 March 2012 at 7:43 pm

Posted in Daily life, Food, Health, Science

The story of Lawrence v. Texas

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David Oshinsky has an interesting review in the NY Times of what sounds like an intriguing book, Flagrant Conduct: The Story of Lawrence v. Texas: How a Bedroom Arrest Decriminalized Gay Americans:

Texas justice has rarely been kind to homosexuals. Take, for example, the case of Calvin Burdine, who was sentenced to death in 1984 for the murder of his male companion. Burdine’s court-­appointed lawyer, when not dozing, referred to his client as a “fairy.” The prosecutor, meanwhile, demanded the death penalty by arguing that gays actually look forward to the rewards of prison life. “Sending a homosexual to the penitentiary,” he claimed, “certainly isn’t a very bad punishment for a homosexual.” Astonishingly, a federal appeals panel first upheld the verdict on the grounds that nothing in the law guarantees a defendant the right to a fully conscious attorney. Burdine eventually won a new trial, at which he was again convicted, but this time sentenced to life in prison — a veritable candy store, it was said, for a “pervert” like him.

Texas, like most states, has a long history of criminalizing sodomy. What makes it special, however, is its obsession with the issue, which led Lone Star lawmakers to repeatedly refine their statutes over time. In 1943, Texas added oral sex to a long list of prohibited offenses. Thirty years later, it passed a law containing the “Homosexual Conduct” provision, which banned both oral and anal sex, but only when performed “with another individual of the same sex.” As such, the new law expanded the sexual freedom of heterosexuals while doing just the opposite for homosexuals. Put bluntly, it was now legal in Texas to have sex with a farm animal, but not with someone of the same gender.

The law was enforced in public spaces, like a park or a tavern, but rarely in private settings like a home. It was in most ways symbolic — a means to stigmatize gay men and women and keep them in the shadows. But it did earn a notorious, if indirect, endorsement in 1986, when a bitterly divided United States Supreme Court upheld a Georgia sodomy law in some ways similar to the one in Texas. The court had previously approved of “privacy” rights for both married and unmarried heterosexuals and for pregnant women. But in the case of Bowers v. Hardwick, involving a police officer who had encountered a gay couple having sex in a private dwelling, it refused to go further. “The issue presented is whether the federal Constitution confers a fundamental right upon homo­sexuals to engage in sodomy,” Justice Byron White wrote for the majority. The answer was no.

The Supreme Court is not above correcting its worst mistakes. It took half a century to reverse itself on the evils of racial segregation, for example, but only three years to overturn its egregious 1940 ruling against those who refused, on religious grounds, to salute the American flag. Normally, the court follows the principle of stare decisis — “to stand by what is decided.” It is not inclined to challenge its own precedents unless there is a compelling reason to do so. Reversing Bowers was certainly possible; the vote had been 5 to 4, after all, and issues regarding same-sex couples were now receiving sympathetic media attention. But a second defeat was also possible, with unknown conse­quences for gay rights.

Dale Carpenter’s “Flagrant Conduct” is a stirring and richly detailed account of Lawrence v. Texas, the momentous 2003 decision that . . .

Continue reading.

Written by Leisureguy

18 March 2012 at 6:55 am

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