Later On

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

Archive for November 25th, 2021

Thanksgiving thanks

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Written by Leisureguy

25 November 2021 at 9:03 pm

Posted in Health, Medical, Science

Taiwan Holiday Cauliflower: A recipe du jour

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Yesterday The Wife and I went shopping for groceries and such. While waiting at the entrance to my apartment building, I noticed that these baby begonias had either not received or ignored the “it’s damn near winter” memo and were offering blooms to any passing butterflies or bees (of which I saw none). Still, I admired their spirit, a good reminder to follow your star and listen to the beat of your own drummer.

I got many things. I’ve mentioned the gargantuan bamboo shoot, which will appear in due course, but I wasn’t up for it today, and decided instead to cook the Taiwan cauliflower I got. These clearly grow to enormous size, though they are fluffier than regular cauliflower, and they were being sold as a section of a head. Here’s the one I got, top view and side view (and, as you see, some has been lopped off):

I like the delicate green color. I decided that I would cook it like this:

• about 1.5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
• 1 long leek, which had about a foot of white part (I save the green part for another dish)
• 3 Thai red chiles, minced (including seeds)
• good pinch of fine grey sea salt
• 3 cloves local Russian red garlic, chopped coarsely (because this is a mild garlic)
• what I had of the head of Taiwan cauliflower, chopped (including most of the stems)
• 1 large and beautiful Anaheim pepper

At this point it occurred to me that the dish was monochromatic, so I included:

• 1 red bell pepper chopped
• splash of Red Boat fish sauce
• after cooking: about 1.5 tablespoons high-quality toasted sesame oil drizzled over and stirred in

I had read an article in Taste about good sesame oils, and the one I could find was Kadoya. I had to order it, but TYD says she can buy it in her supermarket. 

So after prepping the veggies, including slicing the leek thinly and chopping up the head of cauliflower and putting it into a bowl, peeling and chopping garlic, chopping Anaheim and the red pepper, I was ready to start cooking.

Above: Top row shows the (enormous) cloves of garlic: fresh from the head, peeled, and chopped coarsely, which works well since the garlic is mild. Second row: the Anaheim and the red bell peppers

I started the cooking, using my 12″ Stargazer pan. Olive oil into the heated pan, then immediately add leeks and Thai red chiles and a pinch of grey sea salt. I let it cook until the leeks started to wilt, then I added the garlic and cooked that for a while. 

I then added the cauliflower, the Anaheim and red bell peppers, and the fish sauce, and continued cooking on 3 (medium heat). As the cauliflower started to cook, I covered the skillet (using a third-party lid) and cooked for about 12 minutes, stirring midway.

Then I added the toasted sesame oil and served myself a boal with green lentils and hulled barley from the fridge. Very tasty. Here’s the finished dish:

Looking at the final dish reminds me that I could (and should) have used some fresh turmeric root (and thus also some black pepper). What I cooked was certainly tasty, just not quite so nutritious as it could have been.

The three Thai red chiles were just enough to provide pleasant warmth in the mouth (perhaps the Anaheim contributed a little), and the cauliflower itself is deliciously sweet.  It’s a good thing to cook.

I had one bowl and squeezed half a lime over it. Exceptional!

Written by Leisureguy

25 November 2021 at 5:49 pm

Another test of Georgia justice: A Black Man Charged With Murder Said He Shot At A Group Of White Teens in Self-Defense

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Georgia served justice in convicting three white men for the murder of a Black jogger. Now another test is presented, reported in Daily Beast by Albert Samaha, Jamilah King,, and Caroline O’Donovan. Their report begins:

Around 1 a.m. on June 14, 2020, 21-year-old Marc Wilson, who is Black, and his 21-year-old girlfriend, Emma Rigdon, who is white, left a Taco Bell in Statesboro, Georgia. At a stoplight, they pulled up next to a pickup truck. Wilson’s lawyers say that at least one of the white teenagers inside the truck shouted the n-word and “your lives don’t matter.”

Wilson later told police that the teenagers in the pickup truck swerved in front of him, tried to knock his sedan off the highway, and threw an object that impacted the car with a loud sound that made him think they might be shooting at him. Wilson pulled out a gun and fired out his window at the truck. The bullet struck and killed 17-year-old Haley Hutcheson, who was sitting in the pickup’s backseat.

Prosecutors charged him with felony murder and aggravated assault, which carry a maximum sentence of life in prison and the possibility of the death penalty. Wilson claimed self-defense.

“Me and my girlfriend were very scared that night,” Wilson told police later that week, according to a detective’s testimony. “Everything going on in this country, I’m not going to let me and my girl get run off the road.”

Wilson was denied bail because Ogeechee Judicial Circuit Court Judge Michael Muldrew concluded that he “poses a significant threat” to the community. He remained in jail two months later when a police officer in Kenosha, Wisconsin, shot and injured Jacob Blake, a Black 29-year-old, sparking protests in that city that drew armed counterprotesters and Kyle Rittenhouse, a white 17-year-old who fatally shot Joseph Rosenbaum, 36, and Anthony Huber, 26. Rittenhouse, who made a $2 million bond with the help of donations from supporters, claimed self-defense, testifying that he feared for his life following a confrontation with three men who chased him, hit him with a skateboard, and tried to kick him. On Friday, a jury acquitted him of all charges.

Wilson’s case, which is scheduled to go to trial in early 2022, presents a similar legal defense: A young person says he fired his gun at a group that threatened his safety.

But in a justice system that has historically treated Black defendants more harshly than white ones, Wilson’s case raises the question of whether a young Black man’s self-defense claim will carry the same weight as those made by other recent high-profile defendants.

Self-defense laws, including the castle doctrine and “stand your ground” provisions, offer legal justification to kill people who pose a physical threat. Castle doctrine is based on the idea that a person has a right to defend their home, or castle, if they are in imminent danger. In 1994, Utah passed a law that extended that right to self-defense to any place a person has a legal right to be. Florida followed in 2005. To date, 34 states have similar laws in place. Georgia’s states that a person is justified in using force if “he or she reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent death or great bodily injury.” The white men who followed and fatally shot Ahmaud Arbery, a Black 25-year-old, while he was jogging near their neighborhood in Glynn County, Georgia, last year have also claimed self-defense and are currently on trial for charges that include murder. [And they were convicted. – LG] . . .

Continue reading. There’s much more in the report. This will be an interesting case to follow.

Written by Leisureguy

25 November 2021 at 1:01 pm

A Chemical Hunger – Part X: What to Do About It

leave a comment » has another installment in their series on the epidemic of obesity, and this one deals with what can be done. They do recommend a whole-food plant-based diet (and I think we all enjoy hearing a recommendation that we’ve already adopted — it aids our illusion of wisdom). Specifically:

1. — The first thing you should consider is eating more whole foods and/or avoiding highly processed foods. This is pretty standard health advice — we think it’s relevant because it seems pretty clear that food products tend to pick up more contaminants with every step of transportation, packaging, and processing, so eating local, unpackaged, and unprocessed foods should reduce your exposure to most contaminants.

2. — The second thing you can do is try to eat fewer animal products. Vegetarians and vegans do seem to be slightly leaner than average, but the real reason we recommend this is that we expect many contaminants will bioaccumulate, and so it’s likely that whatever the contaminant, animal products will generally contain more than plants will. So this may not help, but it’s a good bet.

3. — The third thing is you can think about changing careers and switching to a leaner job. Career is a big source of variance in obesity rates, so if you have a job in a high-obesity profession like . . .

The current installment begins with a table of contents of links so you can read the whole thing. Their investigation has been fascinating and striking in its findings.

Written by Leisureguy

25 November 2021 at 12:47 pm

A (US) Thanksgiving shave

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One reader commented some time back that he like to play Leisureguy Bingo, by trying to predict the day’s selection of shaving products and tools. Today’s soap is, I imagine, quite predictable, but perhaps not so much the brush, my Whipped Dog silvertip (actually badger, not dog — I’ve never seen a dog brush, but I do have a goat-badger combo on the way). The lather was uncommonly good in consistency, and the pumpkin-pie fragrance was pleasant on a cold, dark, and rainy morning.

Three passes with Above the Tie’s R razor (later named the R1 after the R2 arrived) left my face exceptionally smoother — doubtless the lather contributed, as did Grooming Dept Moisturizing Pre-Shave. The razor, though, seemed particularly pleasant today, and I’m sure a good part of that is due to the prep.

It’s interesting how we mistakenly attribute cause to one thing when it rightly resides in another. I recall when my dryer was simply not getting the clothes dry, and when the repairman showed up and I pointed to the dryer, he looked briefly at it and then turned to the washer. He explained that almost always when the dryer is not drying the clothes completely, it’s the washer at fault, typically because belt wear has reduced the spin cycle’s efficacy. He fixed the washer, and the dryer then worked fine. It’s a variant of the Kansas City shuffle. (In the movie Lucky Number Slevin, Mr. Goodkat (Bruce Willis) says, “A Kansas City Shuffle is when everybody looks right, you go left.”)

As splash of Speick — “When in doubt, go for Speick” — ended the shave on a very nice note. 

For those following the knife-sharpening saga, the cut in my thumb is now totally sealed and robust, though it still feels slightly sensitive (albeit not painful) if I press directly on the cut. And I’ll have a good occasion to use my newly sharpened knives: yesterday I bought the largest fresh bamboo shoot I’ve ever seen — 3.9 lbs — and I’ll be slicing it up to cook today. I thought of a good recipe. I’ll look around a little at other bamboo shoot recipes, but my recipe focuses on using things I have on hand, like a trio of majestic leeks I bought (though one I plan to ferment: leek sauerkraut, with a sprig of fresh tarragon if this rain lets up and I can go to the store). Check back for a later post for the details.\

And a happy US Thanksgiving to you all.

Written by Leisureguy

25 November 2021 at 11:28 am

Posted in Shaving

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