Later On

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

Archive for March 24th, 2020

The Eldest takes the black bean recipe in a Costa Rican direction

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She just sent me this:

Black Beans

1 lb dried black beans
2 teaspoons salt

Cover black beans to a depth of a couple of inches and dissolve the salt into the water. This will help tenderize the skins and keep the skins from breaking. The beans themselves absorb very little salt. Soak 5 hours or overnight.

In a large glass measuring cup, put:

1 tablespoon blackstrap molasses
1/2 tsp dried ground cumin
1/2 tsp dried ground Mexican oregano
1/2 tsp dried ground coriander
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon liquid smoke
2 teaspoons ground black pepper
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon baking soda (sodium bicarbonate)

Add enough broth or water to make a total of 2 1/4 cups, and mix well.

Drain beans of the brine in which they soaked and put the beans in a cast-iron dutch oven.


8-10 cloves garlic, crushed or minced
Half a large onion, chopped
The broth mixture above

Mix well, cover, put into a 235ºF oven for 2 hours and then test for tenderness. Mix with cooked converted rice cooked with a little olive oil, and top with avocado and sour cream. Serve with fried eggs and tortillas.

Sounds great, eh?

Written by Leisureguy

24 March 2020 at 7:44 pm

Food notes

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As I describe in this post on Medium, I figured out a simple approach to meet the Daily Dozen guidelines. So today I’m getting everything in place.

At the supermarket I bought enough fruit to last 6 days (6 apples, 6 pears, 6 large tangerines, and a navel orange as a treat following the walk). I also bought a 2-lb box of frozen mixed berries and had a bowl of those as a lunch-time snack.

I cooked a pound of pinto beans that had soaked overnight. I haven’t moved the bicarbonate of soda (baking soda) yet — I’m still moving — so I didn’t use that, which meant that they were not quite so creamy as usual, but perfectly good, and the way I cooked them for years.

I cooked 1.5 cups kamut and have it in the fridge now.

And I cooked greens:

several cloves of garlic, chopped small
1/2 large yellow onion, chopped
1 large jalapeño, chopped small
1/2 large red bell pepper, chopped

I heated the large (12″) Field Company cast-iron skillet in the oven, then sautéed the above in 1.5 tablespoons olive oil with about 2 teaspoons ground black pepper.

After those cooked down somewhat, I added:

1 bunch curly green kale, chopped
1 bunch lacinato kale, chopped

I sautéed that for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally and turning the greens over to ensure they cooked. A little moisture helps, and I usually include mushrooms for that, but this time I’m saving the mushrooms for the vegetables (broccoli, Japanese eggplant, other half of the red bell pepper, another jalapeño pepper, 2 small beets diced, mushrooms chopped. If I have an onion, I’ll include that. I saw leeks but failed to buy one.

So there I have the basics:

grain — kamut
beans — pinto
greens — kale
vegetables — as described
nuts/seeds — I have roasted unsalted pepitas for that (though I had hazelnuts for breakfast this mornng

For breakfast I ground a tablespoon of flaxseed and included 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric.

Written by Leisureguy

24 March 2020 at 2:45 pm

In contrast to previous post, a win-win-win-win

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From NextDraft newsletter:

Last week I told you the best crisis-related idea I’d heard so far is funding local restaurants to feed hospital workers and others in need. It’s a win-win-win-win as it supports shuttered restaurants, saves jobs, assists those on the front lines of the crisis, and makes you feel better for supporting a great effort. Well, just such a program has been launched in LA (it will connect with other like-minded programs and go statewide and national). Eventually, one hopes, states will jump in to support these efforts. But in the meantime, it’s up to you and me. Help Feed the Frontline is working with Jose Andres’ World Central Kitchen, and all donations are tax deductible. Donate now via this GoFundMe Page. (You can put NextDraft in the comment box to help motivate our community!) Please help me spread the word.

Written by Leisureguy

24 March 2020 at 2:02 pm

Amazon soliciting public donations to pay workers’ sick leave

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This matches Bill and Melinda Gates’s self-serving “charities.” Billionaires get that way by focusing intently on accumulating money. They then become set in that focus, it seems, and can’t do anything without trying to make it accumulate more money for them.

Judd Legum writes in Popular Information:

While much of the economy grinds to a halt, Amazon is doing more business than ever. The company has announced it is hiring 100,000 workers to try to meet surging demand. In 2019, Amazon had over $280 billion in revenue and $11.9 billion in profits. As more Americans shift their shopping online, it will likely do better this year. But, as the pandemic continues, Amazon maintains one of the stingiest paid sick leave policies among major corporations.

As Popular Information reported last week, a significant number of Amazon’s workforce — particularly part-time employees and contract workers — are not receiving paid sick time.

In response to the pandemic, Amazon said it would provide two weeks of sick leave to “all Amazon employees diagnosed with COVID-19 or placed into quarantine.” Kroger had a similar policy until Saturday when Kroger expanded its policy to cover workers with COVID-19 symptoms or who need to care for sick family members. Amazon, however, has held firm.

Amazon’s large contract workforce, which delivers packages and performs other critical tasks, is in even worse shape. Amazon is not providing any sick leave at all for these workers, even if they test positive for COVID-19. Instead,  . . .

Read the whole thing.

Of course, the government could simply mandate that all employees must be given paid sick leave. That would settle it. But in the US, the government is controlled by corporations and oligarchs.

Written by Leisureguy

24 March 2020 at 1:22 pm

Cow-cohol: Vodka made from whey

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Luke Fater has an interesting article in Gastro Obscura:

SO LONG AS HUMANS HAVE enjoyed the bacterial miracle that is cheese, cheesemakers have struggled to make use of its byproduct: whey. Every pound of cheese produces about nine pounds of whey—the translucent liquid you may recognize from the top of a freshly opened tub of sour cream. Excess whey can fertilize fields or feed pigs, but artisanal creameries are often still hampered by massive amounts of leftover whey. They pay thousands of dollars to have it disposed of in landfills.

Luckily, a niche field of researchers and an eager group of craft creameries are taking an unexpected approach: turning all that whey into “vodka.”

Dr. Paul Hughes is an Assistant Professor of Distilled Spirits at Oregon State University, a nascent department and one of the few of its kind in the country. After an aspiring graduate student approached him about fermenting whey into a neutral spirits base, he began running experiments to prove that the solution was both environmentally sustainable and cost-effective for small creameries. His work showed that a cheesemaker selling cheese for $40 a pound could, with a proper fermentation system, make half again as much in retail sales on alcohol. In the last several years, he says, he’s been approached by more than a dozen creameries from across the country looking to ferment their whey into alcohol.

Todd Koch, owner of TMK Creamery in the rolling hills of Oregon’s Willamette Valley, remembers reading about Hughes’s work in the newspaper early last year. Large, corporate-owned creameries can afford the expensive equipment that converts whey into profitable products such as protein powder. But at his family-owned, 20-cow farmstand creamery, Koch and his wife simply fed their whey into the fields through a nutrient management system. Rather than continue to bury the byproduct, Koch decided to ferment as a means of profitably upcycling the whey while bringing visibility to his animals. He teamed up with Dr. Hughes and a nearby distiller to manufacture the creamery’s newest product: a clear, vodka-like liquor they call “Cowcohol.”

Continue reading.

Written by Leisureguy

24 March 2020 at 12:45 pm

Posted in Drinks

Plague economics of the 1660s

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Wired quotes Defoe.  From his novel A Journal of the Plague Year:

This is so lively a case, and contains in it so much of the real condition of the people, that I think I cannot be too particular in it, and therefore I descend to the several arrangements or classes of people who fell into immediate distress upon this occasion. For example:

  1. All master-workmen in manufactures, especially such as belonged toornament and the less necessary parts of the people’s dress, clothes,and furniture for houses, such as riband-weavers and other weavers, gold and silver lace makers, and gold and silver wire drawers, sempstresses, milliners, shoemakers, hatmakers, and glovemakers; also upholsterers, joiners, cabinet-makers, looking-glass makers, and innumerable trades which depend upon such as these;–I say, the master-workmen in such stopped their work, dismissed their journeymen and workmen, and all their dependents.
  2. As merchandising was at a full stop, for very few ships ventured to come up the river and none at all went out, so all the extraordinary officers of the customs, likewise the watermen, carmen, porters, and all the poor whose labour depended upon the merchants, were at once dismissed and put out of business.
  3. All the tradesmen usually employed in building or repairing of houses were at a full stop, for the people were far from wanting to build houses when so many thousand houses were at once stripped of their inhabitants; so that this one article turned all the ordinary workmen of that kind out of business, such as bricklayers, masons, carpenters, joiners, plasterers, painters, glaziers, smiths, plumbers, and all the labourers depending on such.
  4. As navigation was at a stop, our ships neither coming in or going out as before, so the seamen were all out of employment, and many of them in the last and lowest degree of distress; and with the seamen were all the several tradesmen and workmen belonging to and depending upon the building and fitting out of ships, such as ship-carpenters, caulkers, building and fitting out of ships, such as ship-carpenters, caulkers, ropemakers, dry coopers, sailmakers, anchorsmiths, and other smiths; blockmakers, carvers, gunsmiths, ship-chandlers, ship-carvers, and the like. The masters of those perhaps might live upon their substance, but the traders were universally at a stop, and consequently all their workmen discharged. Add to these that the river was in a manner without boats, and all or most part of the watermen, lightermen, boat-builders, and lighter-builders in like manner idle and laid by.
  5. All families retrenched their living as much as possible, as well those that fled as those that stayed; so that an innumerable multitude of footmen, serving-men, shopkeepers, journeymen, merchants’ bookkeepers, and such sort of people, and especially poor maid-servants, were turned off, and left friendless and helpless, without employment and without habitation, and this was really a dismal article.

I might be more particular as to this part, but it may suffice to mention in general, all . . .

Continue reading. Sounds like an interesting book to read nowadays.

Written by Leisureguy

24 March 2020 at 9:00 am

Posted in Books, Daily life, Medical

First shave in new place

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Everyone has rituals to make a new place familiar, and I’ve done a few of mine. Last night I cooked a meal and slept in my bed, and this morning I had a good shave.

I need to find a location for the shave shot, but this temporary spot on the yet-to-be-filled bookcase will do for now. Van Yulay’s Puro la Habana has a fine cigar tobacco fragrance, and you by now know how much I like Van Yulay’s soaps. My Kent BK4 worked up a ver nice lather, and the Baby Smooth continued to unfurl excellent shaves.

A good splash of Phoenix Artisan’s Cavendish to carry forward the tobacco theme, though pipe-tobacco fragranced rather than cigar.

Then I walked to my local supermarket — round trip 1500 steps (including probably 500 steps walking up and down aisles in the market), not bad. They are maintaining good plague discipline: waiting points for checkout marked on floor, six feet apart, wipedown of checkout station between customers, customers do their own bagging and keep bags in the cart (and each cart is wiped down after use). From 0700 to 0800 is seniors only. Only a certain number of people are allowed in the store, and in the waiting line outside, people are kept six feet apart.

By the end of April I think we’ll see just how far off the mark President Trump’s rosy predictions have been — but that will make no difference because followers will adjust: see this interesting article. Alison Lurie wrote a fine novel, Imaginary Friends, based on that study — worth reading.

Written by Leisureguy

24 March 2020 at 8:53 am

Posted in Daily life, Shaving

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