Later On

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

Archive for November 22nd, 2012

Meal report

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I described our Thanksgiving meal in this post:

pan-roasted duck breast—I’ve made the recipe at the link before, and it’s marvelous—along with cooked whole-grain spelt sautéed in a little butter with pecans and dried cranberries, and also steamed kale sautéed in a little olive oil with onion, garlic, and diced Meyer lemon: protein, starch, greens, and a little oil. Well, with the duck, probably more than a little. Plus a bottle of wine. I’m looking forward to it.

Mostly as described, but to the kale dish I added 1/2 yellow bell pepper, chopped the same size as the diced Meyer lemon, and that worked out well. The spelt was delicious: I sautéed the pecans in the butter for a few minutes before adding the spelt, dried cranberries, and some gochujang sauce—just a little, to give it body.

Everything tasted great, and the wine suggested some years back by Jacques Melac was totally wonderful.

Now we are enjoying the afterglow. No sign of kitties: Molly’s on her bed, Megs is on hers, and they are oddly incurious.

Written by Leisureguy

22 November 2012 at 5:38 pm

Posted in Daily life, Food

Via The Wife: Excellent recipe with very good reviews

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Do read the reviews. Here’s the recipe.

Written by Leisureguy

22 November 2012 at 3:40 pm

Posted in Recipes & Cooking

Genes and fat

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Interesting article by Beverly J. Tepper and Kathleen L. Keller in The Scientist:

People the world over are getting fatter. Today more than one-third of adults in the United States are obese, and the rates in other industrialized countries are catching up. Obesity is no longer considered a condition particular to affluent societies—it has now spread to developing nations such as China and India, resulting in a global health crisis. According to the World Health Organization, 500 million adults worldwide are now obese, and this number is expected to climb well into the foreseeable future. Obesity is so problematic because it poses serious threats to personal health and well-being. Obese people are at an increased risk of chronic and potentially debilitating diseases such as cardiovascular disease and stroke, certain forms of cancer, type 2 diabetes, osteoarthritis, and asthma, among others. And the impact of obesity on an individual’s work and family life can be far-reaching, affecting a person’s employability, work productivity, and ability to pursue interests and activities of daily life.

Although the consequences of obesity are clear, its origins are poorly understood. Since our genetic makeup has not changed appreciably in the past 30 years, changes in the food environment have been identified as causing much of the dramatic rise in obesity rates that began in the 1980s. Our food environment is often described as “toxic,” meaning that our constant exposure to palatable, high-fat, and energy-dense foods, coupled with a sedentary lifestyle, is likely making us fat. Nevertheless, despite access to the same foods, not everyone becomes obese. And so, genetic variation must also play a role, rendering some people more vulnerable to caloric excess, and resulting in a range of body weights. Identifying the genes that are making such individuals more susceptible to weight gain is critical to understanding the basis of obesity as well as devising strategies to combat the condition.

A great deal of progress has been made in identifying the genes that may contribute to obesity. According to recent estimates, . . .

Continue reading.

Written by Leisureguy

22 November 2012 at 10:48 am

Posted in Food, Health, Science

Turkeys domesticated at least 1,000 years earlier than thought

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Interesting note by Beth Marie Mole in The Scientist:

In a Mayan archeological site in Guatemala, researchers found remains of domesticated turkey dating to between 300 B.C. and 100 A.D., according to a study published earlier this year (August 8) in PLOS ONE. The results are surprising because Mayans weren’t known for domesticating animals—just plants—and because it means the domestic turkey is 1,000 years older than previously thought.

“We might have gotten the timing of the introduction of this species to the ancient Maya wrong by a significant chunk of time,” lead author Erin Thornton, a research associate at the Florida Museum of Natural History, said in a press release. This is significant because “plant and animal domestication suggests a much more complex relationship between humans and the environment—you’re intentionally modifying it and controlling it,” she added.

Using DNA sequencing and comparisons of turkey bone structure, the researchers determined that the fossil belonged to the Meleagris gallopavo gallopavo, a turkey that is native to central and northern Mexico—where all domesticated turkeys originated.

Moreover, the remains of the Mexican turkey was found in a ceremonial site containing large complexes of temples, which suggests that the turkey may have been at the center of an elite sacrifice, meal, or feast.

“This study is extremely significant,” Florida State University anthropology professor emeritus Mary Pohl said in the statement. “I think it opens up a whole new perspective on the Maya and animal domestication.”

Written by Leisureguy

22 November 2012 at 10:33 am

Posted in Food, Science

First shave with RazoRock razor

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Another good lather From a Sultans Original Shaving Soap, the Vanillawood. I just got an email this morning, however, telling me that they have reformulated the product and offering to send me a sample of the new soap. (I purchased the first two jars.) I accepted and also asked for the ingredients of the new formula, which I’ll include when I blog that shave.

I got a very nice lather, and the Wee Scot is exactly the right size for the small jars: plenty of room to load the brush. The lather was quite good and I like the fragrance.

As you see, I got my RazoRock razors and this morning I chose the Mirrored Pole II, a three-piece razor with a very grippy handle indeed: there is zero chance that this razor will slip when you hold it. It feels like very deep, very sharp chequering, and (as you see) it has an interesting appearance.

I loaded the razor with a Gillette 7 O’Clock SharpEdge blade and did my usual three-pass shave. This razor is certainly better than the traditional low-price starter razors (Lord L6 and Diamond Edge/Feather Popular): better construction and a better head. It does not match the head of the Edwin Jagger DE8x, in my first impression, but I’ll shave with some different blades to test that. It produced a good shave but had a somewhat harsher feel than the EJ, which feels quite smooth indeed. OTOH, it’s price is $19 vs. $32-35 for the EJ.

Three passes, followed by a rinse, dry, and good splash of The Shave Den’s Coconut Verbena aftershave balm.

Now I’m ready to do some cooking: a pan-roasted duck breast—I’ve made the recipe at the link before, and it’s marvelous—along with cooked whole-grain spelt sautéed in a little butter with pecans and dried cranberries, and also steamed kale sautéed in a little olive oil with onion, garlic, and diced Meyer lemon: protein, starch, greens, and a little oil. Well, with the duck, probably more than a little. Plus a bottle of wine. I’m looking forward to it.

UPDATE: Well, I learned something. From Sultans Original in an email:

Since Sultans is a all natural soap the FDA considers it what they call a “True Soap” and it is exempt from the ingredient labeling as long as we make no “Cosmetic” claims

Until we expand into the European market we are not listing specific formula, but I can tell you that Sultans is made with Premium Vegetable/Plant oils and a high ph base(hydroxide) and thats about it.

It contains no preservatives or other chemicals that most makers use, it is made the way our great grandfathers did it.

I hadn’t realized this, so it’s good information (that I think they should post on their web site). And the soap does seem good, though I’m advised that the new formulation is much better. I’ll let you know. Stay tuned.

Written by Leisureguy

22 November 2012 at 9:53 am

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