Later On

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

Archive for July 16th, 2022

Soybean-Barley Tempeh at 48 hours

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Still don’t have complete coverage by the mycelium, but it gets at least another 24 hours. This is the batch begun in this post.

Written by Leisureguy

16 July 2022 at 1:07 pm

Fresh vegetable improv

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I do like the food I make, even though it doesn’t fit into any neat category. Here’s what I just polished off, cooked in my 12″ MSMK skillet after Evo-spraying it with extra-virgin olive oil:

• 2 good-sized spring onions, sliced
• a small section of sweet Italian red onion, chopped — about 1/2 cup
• 2 tablespoons walnuts
• 3 large cremini mushrooms, halved and sliced thick
• 1/2 yellow bell pepper, chopped
• 2 cayenne peppers, chopped (1 red, 1 yellow)
• about 1″ ginger root, sliced very thinly and then minced
• about 6 oz tempeh (beluga lentil and unpolished foxtail millet), diced small
• about 1/2 cup Colorful Collards
• pinch of MSG
• 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
• 1 teaspoon dried marjoram
• 1 teaspoon dried mint
• 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
• a few dashes of Worcestershire sauce

I would have included a chopped San Marzano tomato, but the store had none when I shopped. As I’ve mentioned before, the lycopene in tomatoes is not bioavailable unless the tomatoes have been cooked.

I cooked on “3” for a few minutes, stirring occasionally, then covered the pan, turned the burner to 225ºF, and set it for 8 minutes. When the burner beeped, I let it sit a few minutes, still covered (because I was reading something in the other room), then dished it up. I ate it with

• 1/2 roasted Stokes Purple® potato.

The potato, still cold from the refrigerator, I ate out of hand, with it serving much the same role as a roll.

That tasted really good, with good mouthfeel and variety of texture and temperature, but it’s not a dish familiar from (say) my childhood. I have blogged before that one interesting aspect of my whole-food plant-based diet is that the dishes I come up with, though excellent in nourishment, variety, and taste, don’t fit the categories with which I was familiar. This dish is an example.

Written by Leisureguy

16 July 2022 at 11:55 am

“The Wrath to Come: Gone with the Wind and the Lies America Tells,” by Sarah Churchill

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Alex von Tunzelmann reviews Sarah Churchill’s book The Wrath to Come in Literary Review:

The night before Gone with the Wind’s Atlanta premiere in 1939, there was a ball at a plantation. Dressed as slaves, the children of the black Ebenezer Baptist Church choir performed for an all-white audience. They sang ‘There’s Plenty of Good Room in Heaven’; the actress playing Belle Watling, Rhett Butler’s tart with a heart, wept. The scene is already striking: a painfully literal example of the mythologising of the South for white consumption, redefining slavery as harmless and the slaves themselves as grateful. Yet Sarah Churchwell finds a jaw-dropping detail: ‘One of the little Black children dressed as a slave and bringing a sentimental tear to white America’s eye was a ten-year-old boy named Martin Luther King, Jr, who would be dead in thirty years for daring to dream of racial equality in America.’

Churchwell has written about American mythology before, notably in Behold America: A History of America First and the American Dream, as well as in works on Marilyn Monroe and The Great Gatsby. This time it feels like she has hit the motherlode: ‘The heart of the [American] myth, as well as its mind and its nervous system, most of its arguments and beliefs, its loves and hates, its lies and confusions and defence mechanisms and wish fulfilments, are all captured (for the most part inadvertently) in America’s most famous epic romance.’ For Churchwell, ‘Gone with the Wind provides a kind of skeleton key, unlocking America’s illusions about itself.’

This is a bold claim – but Gone with the Wind was, and remains, a phenomenon like no other. Published in June 1936, Margaret Mitchell’s novel sold a million copies before the end of that year, won the 1937 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, and became the bestselling American novel of all time. Even now, it shifts 300,000 copies annually. In 1939, a film version was released, starring Vivien Leigh as Scarlett O’Hara and Clark Gable as Rhett Butler. Adjusted for inflation, it is the highest-grossing film of all time, ahead of Avatar and Titanic. In 2020, when the South Korean film Parasite – a biting satire on capitalism – won the Academy Award for Best Picture, President Donald Trump expressed his displeasure: ‘What the hell was that all about?’ he asked a rally in Colorado. ‘Can we get like Gone with the Wind back please?’ As usual, his audience understood exactly what he meant.

If the idea that one book and film can be the skeleton key to a whole culture seems simplistic, Churchwell swiftly begins to pile up startling evidence in short, pithy chapters. Race, gender, the Lost Cause, the American Dream, blood-and-soil fascism, the prison-industrial complex, a Trumpist mob storming the Capitol in 2021: it’s all here, and it’s all bound up with the themes of Gone with the Wind. Mythmaking is not just the building of fantasies but also the erasure of truth. The genocide of native peoples, for instance, is not in the book or film, but it was taking place at just the time that Gerald O’Hara would have been acquiring land in Georgia: ‘Scarlett’s beloved Tara is built upon land that was stolen from indigenous Americans a mere decade before her birth.’ Churchwell cuts through these thorny subjects with a propulsive assurance. Her writing is an extraordinary blend of wit, intellectual agility and forcefulness: it’s like being swept along by an extremely smart bulldozer.

Churchwell doesn’t flinch from the horrors that Gone with the Wind belies. The book and film propagate the Lost Cause myth, portraying the South as a place of chivalry, slavery as benevolent and the members of the Ku Klux Klan as honourable men stepping up as the world around them collapses. Churchwell shows us how these myths were constructed from the end of the Civil War onwards, and congealed seventy years later into Gone with the Wind. The reality of the reassertion of white supremacy during and after Reconstruction was, as Churchwell shows, horrific: there is some deeply upsetting material here on the terrorisation of both black people and those whites who did not comply with supremacist social codes. Lynchings were advertised in advance in local newspapers, ‘just as a fun fair or circus might have been’. A typical headline from 1905: ‘Will Burn Negro: Officers Will Probably Not Interfere in Texas’. Eight people were lynched in the year of Gone with the Wind’s publication.

‘Most defences of Gone with the Wind hold that . . .

Continue reading.

Written by Leisureguy

16 July 2022 at 9:52 am

A self-serve grocery store helps feed a small Minnesota town

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Dan Gunderson reports at NPR:

When Alex and Caileen Ostenson moved from the Twin Cities to Evansville, Minn., five years ago to be closer to family, the local grocery store had recently closed after more than seven decades in business.

The nearest town with a supermarket is 20 miles away.

So in early 2020, the couple started brainstorming ideas that would allow them to operate a store in the town of 600 about two hours northwest of Minneapolis.

“We had just been hearing a lot from people, ‘It would be nice if we had a grocery store back in town. That’s something we really miss,’ ” recalled Caileen. “That is a staple. It’s a cornerstone part of a community.”

So, with help from local donations, the couple remodeled a main street storefront into a self-serve grocery store.

They believed the concept would save on staff costs, provide round the clock access, and convince the community to invest in a local grocery store.

The couple grew up in west-central Minnesota before leaving for school and jobs in the Twin Cities.

“I don’t come from a background in grocery. I don’t come in a background of business either. So, we just did as much research as we could,” said Alex.

Alex is a diesel mechanic by training but likes solving problems, so he turned to technology as a way to make running a grocery store feasible.

“We have traditional hours, three days a week. We’re here Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Outside of that is our membership hours,” he said.

The couple stocks shelves on Wednesday, when the bulk of their grocery order arrives.

“We will come in and check in the order and stock the shelves, but outside of our normal days, it’s been great because we’re able to have a good work-life balance,” Alex said.

Anyone can shop on days the store is open, but people who buy a $75 annual membership have access to the store anytime. There are also six-month and three-month memberships.

Those members can use a phone app to open the door, scan grocery items and pay. There’s also a key fob option and a scanner on a counter for those who aren’t comfortable using their phone.

“Being able to find a cost-effective solution that works, with grocery being fairly low margin, that was kind of key,” explained Alex. “Once we found that it kind of sealed the deal that we were going to give it a try.”

The technology logs everyone who comes to the store and tracks their purchases. The store also has security cameras, and theft has not been an issue, said Alex. . .

Continue reading.

Written by Leisureguy

16 July 2022 at 9:35 am

Violet morning

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A lovely shave this morning. My Fine Accoutrements Classic brush was a perfect match for Eufros Violetta shaving soap, which exudes a generous, thick, fragrant lather with little effort (and with little water in the brush, which was but damp). Three passes with the terrific Yaqi double-open-comb razor, a splash of Laurence Dumont Vanille Violette — well, a series of sprays into my palm to make a tiny puddle equivalent in volume to a splash — augmented with two squirts of Grooming Dept Hydrating Gel to transform it from an EDT to an aftershave, and the weekend is well launched. 

A side note: I’m surprised at how much better I’m sleeping with the pacemaker. 

The tea this morning is Murchie’s London Afternoon: “Fragrant rose petals are interwoven with smoky Lapsang Souchong, sweetened with creamy vanilla and a touch of bright bergamot.”

Written by Leisureguy

16 July 2022 at 9:20 am

Posted in Caffeine, Shaving

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