Oct. 24th, 2014

Review: The Fresh 20.

So, I signed up for a service called TheFresh20. Basically once a week, it posts five recipes that take 20 new ingredients (in total) and up to 20 'staples'*. I've been using it for a month or two and here's my thoughts.

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Sep. 1st, 2014


My new resolution should be to update this more than once a month. At first, nothing was happening, then EVERYTHING happened.

-- I got a year-long lectureship at California Polytechnic State University, in San Luis Obispo, California. For reference, that's almost exactly half-way between Los Angeles and San Francisco. (For those of you who have been added since the last time I taught or graded, any posts that mention students will be locked and I will keep names off. My students have a right to privacy more than I have a right to rant.)

-- I move on the 10th. Classes start the 22nd. I teach three classes: two sections of calculus-based physics, and a section of 'physics for non-scientists'. The last is at 8 AM. (No one likes 8 AM classes; I don't, and most of the students don't. The only reason I liked 8 AM classes as a student because it meant I was done early in the day, and I had no trouble doing math at ass o'clock in the morning*, even before I started drinking tea.)

-- I probably have an apartment. I mailed my deposit last week, and I was going to call them today before I remembered that it was Labor Day.

-- I am (mostly) packed. There are about five boxes of actual household stuff, and 18 boxes of books and craft supplies. (Three of those are work-related books). Also several full trash cans, 3 ebay auctions and 9 Rubbermaid totes of things to donate. Mom's current thoughts is that it will be cheaper to ship these than hire someone to move. (As I have had my license less than a year, Mom has vetoed 'rent a van, drive to California', which was Dad's suggestion; if they're still there by Christmas, I might do that anyway. After three months on California highways, I suspect the interstate will be fine.)

-- I'm driving a lot better. I still hate going downtown, and like parking far away from everyone. (I get a walk AND I don't have to deal with not hitting things.)

-- Mom and Ben are out of town (back tomorrow), so I've been using the excuse to cook all the things I'm too lazy to make normally because only I will eat them.

-- I expect my adviser will be making noise about publishing the parts of my dissertation that aren't in peer-reviewed journals. I haven't looked at my research in a week. (The good news is that my collaborators and I mostly agree, and where we disagree are the places where one person's data isn't reliable.)

* Seriously, in high school math competitions, the earlier they were, the better I did... I suspect more because everyone else was half-asleep than any ability on my part to be a morning person.

Nov. 3rd, 2011

Good idea, bad idea

I'm trying to walk more, but taking a half-hour break in the mid afternoon for 'wander about campus' is making me tired. Or maybe I didn't sleep well last night.

Also learning there are vegetables I don't care for. Kale is kind of one -- it's not that bad with tomatoes and cheese on toast, but inevitably I don't use it until it's not good any more. Pumpkin may be another; I have some roasted pumpkin in my fridge and eating it with dinner is one of those 'swallow it quickly so it's done'. Which is a shame, since I like most veggies, so I shouldn't have to feel like they're medication.

In addition to at least half a cooked pumpkin, I also have an uncooked butternut squash. What to do with that...
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Jun. 5th, 2011

Regional Food

It came up in a discussion of North American* cuisine, that we don't really have one set of cuisine -- rather we have some foods that are North American specialties**, and some foods that have smaller regions than that -- Louisiana has its own food, the US southeast (or the South) has its own regional foods, Canada is famed for things like poutine that USians are like 'what's that?'.

When I moved to Nebraska, this was my first experience with the fact that 'American' food wasn't some kind of monolith. At that point in my life, I'd only been through the Northeast (New England and New York), which is pretty constant food wise. And a trip to Dublin where there was the excuse of 'foreign country, duh'.

It wasn't that Great Plains folk put ranch dressing on everything, or call soda 'pop'. It was that there were new foods that I hadn't even heard of.

Consider the runza, popular enough that there was a regional fast-food chain devoted to them, and our elementary school got sued for improper use of the trademark when they served it.

For the non-Nebraskans, a runza basically comes from Eastern European immigrants. You take meat, cabbage, spices and onions and cook them together, then wrap them in egg-bread dough and bake them. There are other variants, but that's the basic. I never actually tried one until I stumbled onto a recipe a week ago and made a batch with leftovers (no cabbage, though -- I might use the kale I have for the next batch). It's not bad -- you can't go wrong with things wrapped in bread dough, and I see why it's a fast food item. Runza restaurants still serve the normal American fast-food staples (burgers, fries, chicken sandwiches, etc., but the runzas are the selling point).

There's also the cheese frenchee, which my mother had to have explained to her. Basically, you make a cheese and mayo sandwich, bread it and deep-fry it -- yes, someone found a way to make a grilled cheese sandwich even more spectacularly bad for you. I still don't know where this comes from.

Things like this make me want to start seeking out regional foods wherever I go.
* Here I mean US and Canada, though southwest USA food blurs into Mexican foods.

* Granted, foods tend to spread and mix. A lot of North American food comes from European foods that have had centuries to change.

Jun. 29th, 2009

A Recipe for Raisin Bread

This is adapted from a recipe I found in the New York Times -- I just added the cinnamon and raisins. And sarcastic commentary. I brought it to the Astronomy picnic where it was a hit -- a loaf and a half were eaten, and Shoshe (the one who gave me the recipe) was quite happy, since the bread is low fat (and also vegan). Now, if only I could come up with a gluten-free version and handle everyone's food preferences/allergies/etc. at once.

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Jun. 22nd, 2009


So, my air popper -- which I purchased after realizing that I despise the artificial butter most microwave popcorn bags us -- gave up the ghost. As in, it was emitting sparks, and it was a good thing I was there to see this, turn it off and unplug it before I had to dash to get the fire extinguisher.

[info]emilie_burns suggested I try popping my corn over the stove. And I haven't had such good popcorn in ages. Air-popped popcorn might be better for me, but it was pretty much 'crunchy filling thing'. With the oil on the stove, the salt actually sticks to the popcorn, giving me the full flavors of salt and grease -- totally worth the extra calories.

I might try popping it in butter next time.

I need a food icon
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