I used to think it was awful that life was so unfair. Then I thought, 'wouldn't it be much worse if life *were* fair, and all the terrible things that happen to us come because we actually deserve them?' So now I take great comfort in the general hostility and unfairness of the universe. – M. Cole
Well, we never made it to the March for Science. I did watch it on CSPAN, and they had pretty good coverage of it. Some of the signs were priceless. I did like the one that read something like “we knew it was going to rain because of science”. I find it terribly weird that some people are offended that anyone dare have fun making the signs and dressing up, seeming to indicate that we all must be the stereotypical scientists with no senses of humor and no lives outside the laboratory.
This is to catch up on some of our gustatory and other adventures over the last few weeks.
On a visit to the grocery store, I found a “prime” top round aka London Broil. Prime generally indicates a cut that has a lot of marbling in it, and that is just a weird thing to claim for top round which is very, very lean. But there are other ways to determine “prime”, so maybe that’s how it works. In any case, my curiosity got the better of me and I bought it since it was on sale. I couldn’t tell it was any more tender than a regular top round (the south end of a north facing cow).
I found a marinade on Saveur’s website. Since I didn’t have fennel, I used some star anise that I’ve had lying around. I generally don’t care for the flavor of anise/licorice but I do like it in combination with other things. Spouse made a very hot fire in the charcoal grill and we had flames licking up around the meat as we like, and grilled it to a nice medium rare. Cut on the bias, it was tolerably tender and had a great flavor. We had it with fried potatoes and onions.
During that same shopping, I also found a pair of small beef tenderloins for about half their usual price. They were netted, which indicated that they weren’t holding together well (being three separate muscles). But they’ll make a treat for beef stroganoff, or just slices of it raw since I tend to like that kind of thing. Continue reading →
The samoa in the title is the Girl Scout cookie. My spouse *loves* them. They are basically a shortbread cookie covered in caramel, toasted coconut and chocolate. They still are pretty good, though many of the cookies seem to less than what I remember. Of course it could simply be the glow of nostalgia. I, for the record, was a Brownie for about 6 weeks. I was there long enough to make a “sit-a-pon” and then was bored with the antics of little girls. Such is the burden of reading way way early and just not caring who had what doll, etc.
Spouse found a recipe for a “samoa pie”, and asked nicely for one. The recipe came from Averie Cooks, and is a very nice recipe indeed. It is quite the sugar bomb. I think it is better than the cookies. It is also very close to the circa 80’s Seven Layer Cookies, but I find it much easier to make since I almost always have the ingredients on hand. I got randomly lucky and the chocolate on top evidently hit the tempering temperature and it ended up shiny. I do recommend baking this on a sheet pan because the sweetened condensed milk got very very close to boiling out of the pie pan. This is very very good with a cup of dark roast coffee with a bit of cream. I’m really enjoying the Gevalia Majestic Roast lately.
As for the wine, we finally got a bottle of Apothic Crush. This is one of their limited editions, and I think for Valentine’s Day. It’s very much like their Red and Dark, velvety and rich, but a bit lighter than both. They are now coming out with a Rose for the spring/summer.
That’s it. Eat and drink well.
Postscript: if you are a new visitor, be warned that the bulk of my posts are my opinions of politics (pragmatic liberal) and religion (hard atheist). If you only want to see the food and drink posts, just pay attention to the titles. They’ll always have “from the kitchen” or “from the bar” on them. Occasionally, you’ll see a “from the back room” which will detail our adventures in home brewing. Visit The Boss’s Office to find out about your host.
I’ve gained a fair number of new subscribers lately. I’d like to welcome them, and my old friends who have been so very kind, smart, funny, and wise over these years, and offer to answer any questions you’d like to pose.
You can find a fair amount about me in the Boss’s Office. You can also read why I am an atheist by reading my origin story (I’m a few years older now, and happily married for 25+ years now) Alas, no superpowers. I do think that I would like to be a superhero based on Sekhmet, with all sorts of energy projection powers. Alas, my weakness would be beer.
Legend, and reality appears to agree, says during the Great Depression, itinerant workers e.g. hoboes, would let each other know about the conditions of the road and towns that they passed through by using a language of signs. If there was a chance of work, dangerous dogs, vigilant police, that could all be read in a sign left by scratching a nail, rock on metal, etc.
One of those signs was the cat. This signified that a kind hearted woman lived at a home or farm. A hobo might hope to get at least bread and butter and perhaps a cup of milk. Being that I like cats quite a lot, it always appealed to me that a cat would signify someone who cared for others. The people wearing the pinky pussy hats at the very successful marches around the world also got me thinking about this.
I think this sign would make a good thing to let people know that kindness still exists, a kindness with claws behind it.
Here are some images I made up. Please use, but do not abuse, if you’d like. Larger/hi res/different format ones are available. Leave me a note in comments.
I have a mystery and I’m asking your help. I have an image, and some calligraphy that may be either German or Austrian, of what looks to be either late Middle Ages or Renaissance. A cousin got this partial copy but he is, alas, not a researcher and didn’t get the goodies I need.
I can’t read it and would very much like to find someone who can translate and, if possible, tell me the source of this page. I’d be more than happy to work out some method of payment for someone who can get me the information. I once found someone who was able to translate a wedding document for my Hungarian/Transylvanian/whatever side of the family and we worked out a great way for me to buy him a book as payment.