Later On

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

Archive for August 27th, 2020

Breaking in the new fry pan

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I decided to break in my new All-Clad d3 12″ fry pan. (I bought it lidless, and if I later need a lid I’ll get this one in the 30cm size — it has the important characteristic of being “oven safe.) One thing I noticed instantly after using cast-iron so much: this pan, though large, is very light (comparatively speaking).

And I have to say I did enjoy deglazing the panwith no worries, simmering acid ingredients, and so on, with no seasoning worries.

As usual, I did all the chopping — well, except for tomatoes and lemon — ahead of time, doing the garlic first so it could rest.

about 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 red onion, chopped
1 bunch large scallions, chopped

I sautéed the onion and scallions until they were limp and translucent. I then added:

1 head of garlic cloves, chopped small

The garlic had been resting. This wasn’t red Russian garlic, but a white garlic variety, and it was a treat to peel: cut off where the clove had been attached, twist the clove slightly, and the peel popped off eagerly.

I continued to sauté for about a minute or two after adding the garlic, then I added:

3 patty pan squash, diced (to remove stems, push them to the side; they just snap off)
8 large domestic white mushrooms, chopped large
1 jalapeño, chopped small (core and seeds included)
1/2 yellow bell pepper, diced

I continued sautéing, stirring often, until the mushrooms began to release their liquid. I then added, approximate measures:

2 tablespoons Mexican oregano
2 tablespoons dried marjoram (perhaps should have gone with basil or savory)
2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
good shaking crushed red pepper
good dash Red Boat fish sauce
good dash Tamari
splash of sherry

Using both fish sauce and tamari is going belt-and-suspenders for umami, but I like it.

I let that cook, stirring occasionally, while I chopped the tomatoes, which I added as I went:

1 local San Marzano tomato, diced
2 local Roma tomatoes diced (very nice look Romas, not like those greenish ones in the supermarket)
about 1/3 cup sliced kalamata olives
1/2 lemon, end cut off and then diced (with peel) — this was a leftover from the lunchtime salad dress I had made.

I turned up the heat a bit and continued cooking, the liquid in the bottom of the pan at a low boil, until the liquid thickened somewhat.

Once I thought it was done, I put it into a Glasslock storage container — a big one, since there was quite a bit.

For dinner, I put into a bowl:

1/4 cup cooked kamut
1 cup of the above, with some of the (tasty) juice

I heated my Matfer Bourgeat 8″ skillet, added just a little olive oil, and then placed into the skillet:

one 3″ x 4” slab of tempeh (approximate size)

I browned it on one side, flipped it, browned it on the other, and then put that atop the bowl of veggies and kamut. Basically, I cooked it like a hamburger patty. For my homemade tempeh that seems a much better approach than trying to cook strips or cubes.

It was very tasty and satisfying. And lots left over: “cook once, eat several times.”

Written by Leisureguy

27 August 2020 at 7:03 pm

Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate The Positive – Bing Crosby & the Andrews Sisters

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Written by Leisureguy

27 August 2020 at 5:14 pm

Posted in Music

Notes on “Anthropology of Childhood” by David Lancy

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As a parent myself, I found this blog post by Julia in ‘The Whole Sky’ quite interesting:

I read David Lancy’s “The Anthropology of Childhood: Cherubs, Chattel, and Changelings” and highlighted some passages. A lot of passages, it turns out.

[content note: discussion of abortion and infanticide, including infanticide of children with disabilities, in “Life and Death” section but not elsewhere]

I was a sociology major and understood anthropology to be basically “like sociology, but in Papua New Guinea.” This is the first cultural anthropology book I’ve read, and that was pretty much right. I found it very accessible as a first dive into anthropology. The first chapter summarizes all his points without the examples, so you could try that if you want to get the gist without reading the whole book.

I enjoyed it and would recommend it to people interested in this topic. A few things that shifted for me:

  • I feel less obliged to entertain my children and intervene in their conflicts. We don’t live with a tribe of extended family, but my two children play with each other all day, which is how most people throughout time have spent their childhoods. Lancy isn’t a child development expert, but I buy his argument that handling conflict (for example about the rules of a game) is a skill children need to learn, rather than having conflicts always mediated by adults.
  • Even though it doesn’t change anything concrete, I feel some relief that not having endless patience for toddlers seems to be normal. Except where families were very isolated, it’s not normal in traditional societies for one or two adults to watch their own children all day every day. And childcare has traditionally looked mostly like “being sure they don’t hurt themselves too badly.”
  • It surprised me that childcare by non-parents was so common. Some more modern views treat women’s childcare work as basically free, traditional cultures have valued women’s labor enough that the society wants to free up their time from childcare. It was striking to me that the expectation that stay-at-home mothers will be responsible for all childcare was a relatively short historical blip. But of course, having childcare done by teenagers and grandmothers requires that those people’s time be available, which usually isn’t the reality we live in.
  • I was surprised at how apparently universal it is for fathers to be uninvolved. I expect they’re typically involved in providing food and other material resources, but that wasn’t emphasized in this book.

I’m a little unclear on how valid Lancy’s conclusions are or how much data they’re based on. It seems like an anthropologist could squint at a society and see all kinds of things that someone with a different ideology wouldn’t see.

Big caveat that what Lancy is describing is traditional, non-industrialized societies where children are expected to learn how to fit into the appropriate role in their village, not to develop as an individual or do anything different from what their parents and ancestors did. He stresses that traditional childrearing practices are very poor preparation for school. Given that I want my children to learn things I don’t know, to think analytically, etc, the way I approach learning is very different from how traditional societies approach it.

One complaint is that Lancy periodically complains about how much money Western families spend on fertility treatments, medical care for premature infants, etc. He argues that the same money could be used to provide adequate nutrition for many more children in the societies he’s studied. I’m sympathetic, but assuming that families would donate this money if they weren’t spending it to have a baby is not realistic. I see cutting luxury spending as a much more feasible way that people might do some redistribution.

And now, my notes:

Views of childhood

As in many areas of research, the children who have been studied by academics are mostly from WEIRD (“Western, educated, industrialized, rich, democratic”) populations. Thus our understanding of good or normal childrearing practices is very different from how children have typically been raised. Lancy contrasts modern childrearing norms with those of traditional agrarian or forager societies.

Lancy contrasts neontocracy (where babies and children are most valued) with gerontocracy (where elders or ancestors are most valued). I can think of ways our society isn’t very good for children, but I agree that compared with traditional societies, we spend a lot of attention and money on children. (Albeit sometimes by micromanaging them, while Lancy would rather have them figure out more for themselves as children have historically done.)

Even studying children is a strange thing to do in most societies. “Examples of children treated as lacking any sense, as being essentially uneducable, are legion in the ethnographic record.” “Anthropologists interested in children are treated in a bemused fashion; after all, why bother to observe or talk to individuals who ‘don’t know anything’?” (Lancy 1996: 118; also Barley 1983/ 2000: 61)“

“Infants were widely seen as insensible. Almost like plants, their care could be rudimentary”

Traditional societies have two broad patterns toward young children: “One response is . . .

Continue reading. There’s much more.

Written by Leisureguy

27 August 2020 at 4:46 pm

More on the fruit-stealing realtor

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One odd thing in the report below: the Vancouver Police Department is under the impression that fruit is not “tangible” — that it’s intangible, like goodwill or one’s reputation, for example. And yet fruit is clearly and obviously tangible — intangible things are not sold by the pound. I think VPD just couldn’t be arsed to do their job and investigate a property crime. Would they respond the same way to a supermarket that caught someone stealing bags of fruit? No. “Intangible”? Give me a break. And give VPD a dictionary.

The return of the fruit sort of misses the point — an embezzler doesn’t get off it, when he’s caught red-handed, he says, “Okay, I’ll return the money.” Returning the money simply because he was caught is not even close to enough — I think even the VPD might agree.

Another oddity, Peter Wang, the guilty realtor (who no doubt now bitterly regrets that the homeowner had a security camera) said that he did not know that there was anything seriously wrong in stealing. This is definitely not a guy you want going through your home when you’re not there.

Joel Ballard’s report for CBC:

A complaint has been lodged with the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver after a real estate agent was caught on camera picking bags of fruit from the backyard of a home he was showing to potential buyers.

One of the homeowners, Jill Chan, said in a Facebook post that Realtor Peter Yang was showing her family home to buyers on Friday while no one was home.

“After noticing our large pear tree and beautiful berry bushes … he started picking the fruit off the trees and eating it,” she wrote.

She alleges that the real estate agent then went back to his car and returned with plastic bags. In the video, he can be seen picking fruit and placing it in the bags.

Chan claims Yang picked every single fruit from the garden, encouraged the buyers to pick fruits and spat seeds all over the ground.

The garden belonged to Chan’s late grandmother. She said it was her pride and joy.

“I don’t think it’s acceptable practice to bag up someone’s entire garden at a home showing like a free market,” Chan said.

It’s unclear whether the listing agent was present at the time.

Chan says the family installed CCTV around the house following a past break-in.

After she started to speak up about what happened, she says Yang drove by and dropped the bags of fruit onto their porch.

When Chan contacted the Vancouver police, she says she was told they couldn’t get involved unless something tangible was missing.

In a statement, the Vancouver Police Department said it is investigating the incident, and VPD will be following up with the complainant. There have been no arrests. . .

Continue reading. There’s more, including this:

“He didn’t think that was a big thing at the beginning, but after we talked, he realized that it wasn’t the right thing to do,” said Zhou.

Written by Leisureguy

27 August 2020 at 9:12 am

A lathery shave of brush comparisons

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A reader pointed out in a comment to yesterday’s shave that in fact the RazoRock Keyhole has a 22mm knot and the RazoRock Bruce has a 24mm knot. I had the incorrect impression (based on using them) that the two knots were the same size, but they are not.

What’s odd, the RazoRock synthetic shown in the photo (basically the RazoRock Barber Handle brush with the handle in the colors of the Italian flag) has, like the Bruce, a 24mm knot, but when I use them the Barber Handle brush feels larger than the Keyhole and the Bruce feels the same size as the Keyhole.

That led me to use all three brushes in this morning’s shave, so a lather-palooza — fortunately with a very nice vanilla fragrance and the excellent lather that high-glycerin shave soaps seem to offer.

After much brushing and switching of brushes, I could tell that the Keyhole’s knot is indeed smaller than the Bruce’s, and the Bruce and Barber Handle have knots the same size (as the catalog entry states). But still I kept tilting to my earlier incorrect assessments, and the only reason I can think of is the relative handle size: the Bruce handle is close in size to the Keyhole handle, and the Barber Handle is substantially larger. That may be the cause of a tactile illusion (analogous to a optical illusion).

With all the brushing and lathering, my stubble was prepped to a fare-thee-well, and the excellent Maggard V3A (here on a UFO handle) did a great job. A splash of Saint Charles Shave Sandalwood — very nice, and I will be using it more often — and the day begins.

 

Written by Leisureguy

27 August 2020 at 8:59 am

Posted in Shaving

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