Later On

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

Archive for August 5th, 2022

Kamut and chana dal tempeh

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Above is the mix of chana dal (split baby chickpeas) and Kamut® (a trademark for organic khorasan wheat — see this entry in Wikipedia) cooked, vinegared, cultured, and bagged, done in accordance with my usual method. This is a 3-cup batch: 1.5 cups chana dal and 1.5 cups Kamut, measured before being cooked (separately). 

The bag is now on a raised rack in my tempeh incubator, where it will rest for the next 24 hours, after which it will finish out in the open, at room temperature. It’s Friday morning.

After 27 hours

After 27 hours: early Saturday afternoon

The mycelium is starting to show — the hazy areas are where it is surfacing — but given the amount of time, this seems a slow start.

No problem, though. The fungus is clearly alive and well, and it will progress overnight. However, I think I’ll leave this batch in the incubator until I go to bed, 7 or 8 hours from now. 

Update: I took it out of the incubator 6 hours after the photo. It had more mycelium and the batch was also quite warm, starting to generate its own heat.

After 44 hours

After 44 hours: very early Sunday morning

At the left, what it looks like first thing (6:00am) Sunday morning. This is after starting it around 10:00am Friday morning. It clearly has at least another day to go, and I imagine I’ll let the mycelium continue at room temperature until Monday evening.

I’ve noticed before that Kamut is a bit challenging for Rhizopus oligosporus. The fungus seems to take hold slowly on kamut. 

At any rate, the tempeh is progressing satisfactorily. I think this will be a good batch. Right now I would say that rye and kamut work better than hulled barley, and I bet oat groats would work poorly (hard to dry, and would tend to stick together into a solid mass), and I bet the same would be true of white rice. Millets are also a little challenging in terms of getting them dry, but they work well enough, though I think they work better with a larger legume than lentils.

Someday soon I’m going to try wild rice (truly wild, from Minnesota or northern Canada, not cultivated “wild” rice, which has a much tougher bran shell). 

4 days and done

At right is the finished tempeh in cross section. This batch I took to almost 100 hours because the mycelium was struggling at the top (see this post). However, even that top strip is good — at the link, I have the recipe with which I tried it — and the rest of the slab is in fine shape.

This batch turned out very well indeed. Kamut imparts a good chewiness. Details at the link.

Written by Leisureguy

5 August 2022 at 10:25 am

An Infinity of Young Talent

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Corporations go out of their way to be disgusting, in this case mocking young musicians to try to sell cars. (I wonder when we’ll see the commercials mocking those with disabilities.)

Written by Leisureguy

5 August 2022 at 9:50 am

Lavender and a surprise

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One good thing about having a fair number of razors, brushes, soaps, and aftershaves in rotation is that their qualities don’t faded with familiarity but burst forth into high relief when I finally encounter them again. Memory is seldom so strong as direct experience in the moment, and what is remembered as pleasant can be experienced as “Wow!” when encountered again.

I felt this to some degree with the little Yaqi Target Shot synthetic, which has an excellent knot of well-packed fine but resilient fibers, and easily worked up an extremely good lather from Mystic Water’s Jeff’s Lavender. (The sequence of possessive reminds me of the George Starbuck sonnet “On First Looking in on Blodgett’s Keats’s “Chapman’s Homer” (Summer. 1/2 credit. Monday 9-11.)” (See this post for the text and more on Starbuck.)

But the main surprise this morning was the razor. I know that the Maggard V2 open-comb has an excellent head (a clone of the Parker 24C/26C head), and I know that I particularly like it mounted on a Maggard MR7 handle, as it is here. I have good memories of how well this combination shaves for me, but memories are the ghosts of experience, and this morning I had the real thing — the experience, not the memory — and it was surprisingly good. I expected the good experience, but I did not expect the surprise, a surprise related to the pleasure of recognition.

Three passes and my face was totally smooth — and here’s another shoutout to Grooming Dept for the excellent new (now not so new) formulation of Moisturizing Pre-Shave. It’s wonderful.

A splash of Lavanda finished the job, and the day begins. 

The tea this morning is Murchie’s Vanilla Jasmine: “A balanced blend of black, green, and oolong teas, with an enticing aroma of vanilla, jasmine, and magnolia.”

And a new batch of tempeh is underway: 1.5 cups of chana dal have been cooked, and 1.5 cups of Kamut (organic khorasan wheat) is cooking now: new tempeh ready on Monday.

Written by Leisureguy

5 August 2022 at 9:32 am

Posted in Caffeine, Shaving

Clive Thompson: “After Going Solar, I Felt the Bliss of Sudden Abundance”

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Clive Thompson writes in Wired:

I USED TO worry about using too much electricity.

If one of my family members left their bedroom and forgot to turn off the air conditioning? I’d snap at them: “What, you want the planet to cook extra fast?” If I found lights left on overnight, I’d fume.

Reader, I was insufferable. In my defense, I’d been worrying about climate change ever since Jim Hansen’s 1988 landmark congressional testimony about it. With every cool blast of AC, I knew more carbon was being dumped into the atmosphere. So I turned into an energy miser. I’d go around the house turning lights off; if no one else were home, I’d leave the AC off entirely, even on blazingly hot days.

But then, three and a half years ago, something happened that changed my entire psychology around electricity: I installed solar panels on my house.

I quickly found myself awash in more energy than I could use. The installers had predicted the panels would produce 100 percent of what my household needed. (Since battery systems aren’t yet legal in Brooklyn, New York, where I live, any surplus I generated during sunlight hours would get sold to the grid, and I buy energy back at night.)

But the installers underestimated: It turns out I generate a lot of net surplus. According to the “smart meter” that my utility installed, in a 24-hour period my house frequently generates 25 percent more juice than I need, even on a hot summer day. On sunny spring and fall days, it’ll crank out 50 percent more than I use. I’m saving about $2,000 a year, so I’ll amortize the cost of the array in seven years; then the electricity is damn-near free.

It’s had a fascinating effect on me: I’ve stopped worrying about electricity use, both economically and ethically.

I no longer walk around finger-wagging at my family members. Want to blast the AC? Crank away. It’s coming from the sun, and I can’t use all that electricity even if I try. And I’ve tried! I’ve charged an electric bike, run multiple loads of laundry, had many computers and a game system and a TV going, and still those panels were kicking out a net surplus. I’ve idly thought of running a power strip out to the sidewalk with a sign saying “FREE ELECTRICITY,” just to be the Johnny Appleseed of solar.

In essence, I went from a feeling of scarcity to a sense of abundance.

And it occurs to me that this is, really, an emotional shift we ought to foreground when we promote renewables.

Right now many people are doubtful about solar and wind. Thanks (in good part) to fear-and-doubt messaging from Republicans and fossil-fuel interests, renewables are too often associated with privation and rationing—needing to be an efficient-but-miserable hippie instead of gunning the motor and having fun. “Most people believe a clean-energy future will require everyone to make do with less,” as the inventor and energy thinker Saul Griffith points out in his book Electrify: An Optimist’s Playbook for Our Clean-Energy Future.

Yet when I talked to other folks who’d put solar on their roofs, most had precisely the same epiphany I’d had: They realized they had way more juice than they expected. And it had the same emotional effect—going from feeling guilty and weird to devil-may-care.

Consider the case of Christopher Coleman.  . .

Continue reading.

BTW, Wired has a special discount now: 1 year for $5. That seems worth it to get past the paywall, especially since I find their articles interesting and useful. They will automatically renew my subscription next Aug 5 for $30/year, so I put a reminder in my calendar to call them on Jul 31 next year to cancel the subscription. I might change my mind — that’s what they’re counting on, obviously — but right now I’m not sure their articles are worth $30/year to me. We’ll see.

But $5 for year seems like a bargain.

Written by Leisureguy

5 August 2022 at 8:15 am

“Zero City,” a fascinating surreal late-Soviet movie

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Zero City (aka Zerograd) was released 34 years ago and is a stunning movie. You can watch the entire movie on YouTube in full HD. (Unless you understand Russian, you’ll want to turn on the English subtitles by clicking the little “CC” box in the screen’s menu bar.)

Politico has an interesting article on how the movie relates to current Russian events (and of what became of some of the participants in the movie), but it is chockablock with spoilers, so I recommend you watch the movie before you read the article in Politico.

Written by Leisureguy

5 August 2022 at 7:29 am

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