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Thursday, 29 January 2015

3499 Days since retiring July 1, 2005!



"Land O Goshen!" What yaw anta bet I completely forget to write an entry tomorrow. This is kinda like noticing your car odometer reads 99999.9 and you promise to pay attention and watch it roll over to 100000. Almost never happens. Something bright and shiny always distracts and the next thing you know the odometer reads 100003.6.

Sorry about that diversion.

This entry may get a little long and dull. If it does; just do something else. All, I think, pictures in this entry are linked to larger views. If you are interested you can click the picture for a more detailed version.

I had experimented with cooking a piece of expensive meat to an ideal temperature without over cooking any part. I finally settled on cooking to a degree of "doneness" within a zip lock back in a low temperature oven. This is how I cooked my first Filet Mignon to my liking.
This is the starting ingredients. Nearly 6 ounces of Filet steak cut 2 inches thick, Horseradish sauce and freshly hand ground black pepper and a quart sized Zip Loc bag rinsed with vinegar and air dried. I slathered the steak with horseradish sauce until my eyes began to sting. Then I dusted liberally with the black pepper. Then I put it in the bag so that the bag opening could be elevated.
This is my brand new extremely heavy 10 inch skillet with Emeril's brand on it. I washed as directed and rubbed it with vegetable oil and heated it in the oven as directed. Here it sets cold waiting for the steak assemblage.
Since I wanted a "well done" steak I sat the oven to 250F. I have an independent thermometer to check the true temp. I figured the temp increase curve would be slow enough to release internal fluid yet not steep enough that I would miss the time to take the steak/bag out and let the internal temp coast to the well done temp of 155F. If I had wanted a lesser degree of doneness I would have sat the oven proportionally lower. A website that I have used often while learning to cook lists the degrees of cooked as: Rare-120-130F
Medium Rare-130-135F
Medium-135-145F
Medium Well-145-155F
Well Done-155F. But I did not consult in time and only remembered the thermometer claims 171F is well done. Too many lawyers and government regulations spoil too many meals.
In this scene my temperature probe is inserted exactly into the center of the steak. Yes I measured all dimensions and then marked the probe for the proper insertion depth. After slipping this into the bag I fretted if the probe had slipped. My magnifying glass showed me that the probe was still in proper position. I then zip the bag closed as much as possible around the probe. Next time I will ise a larger bag so that only the signal cable is passing through the zipper.
As you can see I laid the assemblage in the skillet so that the opening was over the lip of the skillet. That was all released liquids would stay in the bag. I did not even see any steam venting during the warming period. The bag did inflate considerably.
when the thermometer showed 156F I took the skillet out of the oven and transferred the bag to a cardboard holding station to all final temp rise. The maximum seen temp during this phase was 163F. I was amazed that the temp did rise so much. After removing the bag I put the skillet on my largest heating coil (I hate electric cooking) and turned it to high. The radiated heat was intense in my small kitchen.
Once I decided the internal temp was as high as it was going to go I started testing the skillet for temp. Once my bamboo skewer started to smoke immediately upon touching the skillet I dropped the steak into the skillet. Such sizzling and smoke! Thankfully my smoke alarm is in the other room. I was so afraid of burning the meat that I did not get a really good sear on all surfaces. This process was so quick I could not get any pictures. Next time I will not be so risk adverse. Nevertheless the steak did sear well and the char was not very deep. The meat was all the same color and firmness from the center out to the crust.
Once the searing was finished I moved the skillet to a much cooler coil and let it cool to the point that wine droplets skated across the pan before evaporating. I added two 2/3 cups of August Night wine that I had used to wash the remaining liquids and solids from the Zip Loc bag. This is my favorite wine but it is sweet. I think it is great with chili and spaghetti. I scrapped all the bits and pieces from the searing into the evaporating wine. Finally just as the last of the wine was boiling away I added a 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil and continued stirring with the skillet off the heat. BTW I finally figured out the virgin in the description refers to the idiot that pays so much for the oil. He is truly getting screwed in a new and novel first time. I returned the pan to the heat and added a tablespoon of all purpose flour and stirred vigorously. After all the lumps were broken I drizzled the reduction over the steak.
I thought the steak was marvelous but a little too dry. I took the plate over to my neighbor for her to sample. She pointed out that she prefers rare and that the sauce was a little too sweet for her taste. But that I did achieve my goal. However just as she took the plate God's sense of humor intruded. When I returned to 902 I looked up cooking temps. Next time I will aim for medium rare by setting the oven temp at 190F and use a drier red wine for the reduction.


I felt like Tom Sawyer presenting Becky Thatcher with his pet frog. While Jean was sampling the steak I was going to sit on her bench and talk to her. I settled over what I thought was near the middle of the bench. Instead I sat on the very end and flipped one of her prized long stem wine glasses and shattered it as well as breaking the dish she had peanuts in. I, of course was barefooted and embarrassed as hell. She was worried about me cutting my feet. I left her apartment feeling such a doofuss. We both tried to cover our chagrin but it will take weeks for me to get over the clumsiness.
Today I fixed stuffed bell peppers and used my steamer for the first time. It did a magnificent job on the bell peppers. However I still have little appetite. I thought it was caused by Rascals gatric explosion but that should not affect me today. So in about 5 minutes I am dosing with a big glass of August Night and tumbling into the fart sack. I changed sheets today. I love fresh sheets.

Love Yall and yall be safe.


Amazing website with timers and calculators and so much more to help us nerdlings.

Whether you think you can, or you think you can't--you're right.

"Doubtless you are the only people who matter,
and wisdom will die with you!
But I have a mind as well as you;
I am not inferior to you.
Who does not know all these things?
"I have become a laughingstock to my friends,

though I called on God and he answered-
a mere laughingstock, though righteous and blameless!
Those who are at ease have contempt for misfortune
as the fate of those whose feet are slipping.
The tents of marauders are undisturbed,
and those who provoke God are secure-
those God has in his hand.
"But ask the animals, and they will teach you,
or the birds in the sky, and they will tell you;
or speak to the earth, and it will teach you,
or let the fish in the sea inform you.
Which of all these does not know
that the hand of the Lord has done this?
In his hand is the life of every creature
and the breath of all mankind.
Does not the ear test words
as the tongue tastes food?
Is not wisdom found among the aged?
Does not long life bring understanding?
"To God belong wisdom and power;
counsel and understanding are his.
What he tears down cannot be rebuilt;
those he imprisons cannot be released.
If he holds back the waters, there is drought;
if he lets them loose, they devastate the land.
To him belong strength and insight;
both deceived and deceiver are his.
He leads rulers away stripped
and makes fools of judges.
He takes off the shackles put on by kings
and ties a loincloth around their waist.
He leads priests away stripped
and overthrows officials long established.
He silences the lips of trusted advisers
and takes away the discernment of elders.
He pours contempt on nobles
and disarms the mighty.

He reveals the deep things of darkness
and brings utter darkness into the light.
He makes nations great, and destroys them;
he enlarges nations, and disperses them.
He deprives the leaders of the earth of their reason;
he makes them wander in a trackless waste.
They grope in darkness with no light;
he makes them stagger like drunkards.


Posted by wayne at 8:39 PM CST | Post Comment | Permalink

3499 Days since retiring July 1, 2005!



"Land O Goshen!" What yaw anta bet I completely forget to write an entry tomorrow. This is kinda like noticing your car odometer reads 99999.9 and you promise to pay attention and watch it roll over to 100000. Almost never happens. Something bright and shiny always distracts and the next thing you know the odometer reads 100003.6.

Sorry about that diversion.

This entry may get a little long and dull. If it does; just do something else. All, I think, pictures in this entry are linked to larger views. If you are interested you can click the picture for a more detailed version.

I had experimented with cooking a piece of expensive meat to an ideal temperature without over cooking any part. I finally settled on cooking to a degree of "doneness" within a zip lock back in a low temperature oven. This is how I cooked my first Filet Mignon to my liking.
This is the starting ingredients. Nearly 6 ounces of Filet steak cut 2 inches thick, Horseradish sauce and freshly hand ground black pepper and a quart sized Zip Loc bag rinsed with vinegar and air dried. I slathered the steak with horseradish sauce until my eyes began to sting. Then I dusted liberally with the black pepper. Then I put it in the bag so that the bag opening could be elevated.
This is my brand new extremely heavy 10 inch skillet with Emeril's brand on it. I washed as directed and rubbed it with vegetable oil and heated it in the oven as directed. Here it sets cold waiting for the steak assemblage.
Since I wanted a "well done" steak I sat the oven to 250F. I have an independent thermometer to check the true temp. I figured the temp increase curve would be slow enough to release internal fluid yet not steep enough that I would miss the time to take the steak/bag out and let the internal temp coast to the well done temp of 155F. If I had wanted a lesser degree of doneness I would have sat the oven proportionally lower. A website that I have used often while learning to cook lists the degrees of cooked as: Rare-120-130F
Medium Rare-130-135F
Medium-135-145F
Medium Well-145-155F
Well Done-155F. But I did not consult in time and only remembered the thermometer claims 171F is well done. Too many lawyers and government regulations spoil too many meals.
In this scene my temperature probe is inserted exactly into the center of the steak. Yes I measured all dimensions and then marked the probe for the proper insertion depth. After slipping this into the bag I fretted if the probe had slipped. My magnifying glass showed me that the probe was still in proper position. I then zip the bag closed as much as possible around the probe. Next time I will ise a larger bag so that only the signal cable is passing through the zipper.
As you can see I laid the assemblage in the skillet so that the opening was over the lip of the skillet. That was all released liquids would stay in the bag. I did not even see any steam venting during the warming period. The bag did inflate considerably.
when the thermometer showed 156F I took the skillet out of the oven and transferred the bag to a cardboard holding station to all final temp rise. The maximum seen temp during this phase was 163F. I was amazed that the temp did rise so much. After removing the bag I put the skillet on my largest heating coil (I hate electric cooking) and turned it to high. The radiated heat was intense in my small kitchen.
Once I decided the internal temp was as high as it was going to go I started testing the skillet for temp. Once my bamboo skewer started to smoke immediately upon touching the skillet I dropped the steak into the skillet. Such sizzling and smoke! Thankfully my smoke alarm is in the other room. I was so afraid of burning the meat that I did not get a really good sear on all surfaces. This process was so quick I could not get any pictures. Next time I will not be so risk adverse. Nevertheless the steak did sear well and the char was not very deep. The meat was all the same color and firmness from the center out to the crust.
Once the searing was finished I moved the skillet to a much cooler coil and let it cool to the point that wine droplets skated across the pan before evaporating. I added two 2/3 cups of August Night wine that I had used to wash the remaining liquids and solids from the Zip Loc bag. This is my favorite wine but it is sweet. I think it is great with chili and spaghetti. I scrapped all the bits and pieces from the searing into the evaporating wine. Finally just as the last of the wine was boiling away I added a 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil and continued stirring with the skillet off the heat. BTW I finally figured out the virgin in the description refers to the idiot that pays so much for the oil. He is truly getting screwed in a new and novel first time. I returned the pan to the heat and added a tablespoon of all purpose flour and stirred vigorously. After all the lumps were broken I drizzled the reduction over the steak.
I thought the steak was marvelous but a little too dry. I took the plate over to my neighbor for her to sample. She pointed out that she prefers rare and that the sauce was a little too sweet for her taste. But that I did achieve my goal. However just as she took the plate God's sense of humor intruded. When I returned to 902 I looked up cooking temps. Next time I will aim for medium rare by setting the oven temp at 190F and use a drier red wine for the reduction.


I felt like Tom Sawyer presenting Becky Thatcher with his pet frog. While Jean was sampling the steak I was going to sit on her bench and talk to her. I settled over what I thought was near the middle of the bench. Instead I sat on the very end and flipped one of her prized long stem wine glasses and shattered it as well as breaking the dish she had peanuts in. I, of course was barefooted and embarrassed as hell. She was worried about me cutting my feet. I left her apartment feeling such a doofuss. We both tried to cover our chagrin but it will take weeks for me to get over the clumsiness.
Today I fixed stuffed bell peppers and used my steamer for the first time. It did a magnificent job on the bell peppers. However I still have little appetite. I thought it was caused by Rascals gatric explosion but that should not affect me today. So in about 5 minutes I am dosing with a big glass of August Night and tumbling into the fart sack. I changed sheets today. I love fresh sheets.

Love Yall and yall be safe.


Amazing website with timers and calculators and so much more to help us nerdlings.

Whether you think you can, or you think you can't--you're right.

"Doubtless you are the only people who matter,
and wisdom will die with you!
But I have a mind as well as you;
I am not inferior to you.
Who does not know all these things?
"I have become a laughingstock to my friends,

though I called on God and he answered-
a mere laughingstock, though righteous and blameless!
Those who are at ease have contempt for misfortune
as the fate of those whose feet are slipping.
The tents of marauders are undisturbed,
and those who provoke God are secure-
those God has in his hand.
"But ask the animals, and they will teach you,
or the birds in the sky, and they will tell you;
or speak to the earth, and it will teach you,
or let the fish in the sea inform you.
Which of all these does not know
that the hand of the Lord has done this?
In his hand is the life of every creature
and the breath of all mankind.
Does not the ear test words
as the tongue tastes food?
Is not wisdom found among the aged?
Does not long life bring understanding?
"To God belong wisdom and power;
counsel and understanding are his.
What he tears down cannot be rebuilt;
those he imprisons cannot be released.
If he holds back the waters, there is drought;
if he lets them loose, they devastate the land.
To him belong strength and insight;
both deceived and deceiver are his.
He leads rulers away stripped
and makes fools of judges.
He takes off the shackles put on by kings
and ties a loincloth around their waist.
He leads priests away stripped
and overthrows officials long established.
He silences the lips of trusted advisers
and takes away the discernment of elders.
He pours contempt on nobles
and disarms the mighty.

He reveals the deep things of darkness
and brings utter darkness into the light.
He makes nations great, and destroys them;
he enlarges nations, and disperses them.
He deprives the leaders of the earth of their reason;
he makes them wander in a trackless waste.
They grope in darkness with no light;
he makes them stagger like drunkards.


Posted by wayne at 8:39 PM CST | Post Comment | Permalink
Wednesday, 28 January 2015

3498 Days since retiring July 1, 2005!



"another broken promise"

Last night I said I would recount the steps in perfectly cooking a filet mignon to well done. I misspoke. Tonight I am so nauseous that I am about to take a large shot of Nyquil and go to bed. I was eating a super helping of splendid spaghetti when Rascal decided to upchuck in the bathroom hallway. That is about 8 feet from my desk chair. God! What a revolting sound!!!

Yall be good to one another.

Amazing website with timers and calculators and so much more to help us nerdlings.

Whether you think you can, or you think you can't--you're right.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

 


Posted by wayne at 10:42 PM CST | Post Comment | Permalink
Tuesday, 27 January 2015

3497 Days since retiring July 1, 2005!



"Something red"

I bought two good looking (ripe) tomatoes Sunday. Somehow I got too busy Sunday night so I had them on a BLT sandwich Monday lunch. The best I could say was "well at least they looked ripe". The tomato growers have made great progress toward a "real" tomato that also ships well. I figure at the rate of progress sometime in 2314 we might have a commercial tomato in grocery stores that tastes like a home grown tomato. So today I went to Lowes, I had seen that they were displaying tomato plants at the store on Bunkerhill, and bought a Hybrid tomato in a pot that is supposed to grow well in pots and small gardens. I bought one at $5.98, bag potting soil $3.97, and a fertilizer for $6.57. And a bigger pot of course. I have no idea what the pot cost because I shut my eyes. The plant better produce excellent tomatoes and bushel of them. I repotted the plant and set the "garden" in my window and aimed the grow light at it.


I have the lamp on a timer so that it turns on at 6 am each morning and off at 8 pm each night. If I get too many I may set up a produce stand in the front lobby. With the blooms already on I should be gathering tomatoes by the end of March or earlier.

On my way back I checked the temperature outside. The car reported 81F. The sun was shining; the young women were in sun dresses. All was right with the world. I know it sounds heartless but I think I have begun the process of living again. Carolyn had been sick so long we had not noticed the crimping of our lives. Moving out of "shattered manor" to "cloud room" has knocked 10 years off my mental age. Now if I could just renovate my body.

I guess I needed a reminder that life continues. Posted in my elevator were two notices. One announcing a birth and the other a death.


Tomorrow I hope to recount my further adventures in cooking. Maybe 1 idea might help somebody achieve a perfectly cooked steak. I think I had previously reported experimenting with zip lock bags. In addition to describing the cooking I will also share how to win friends and influence people.

Whether you think you can, or you think you can't--you're right.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

 


Posted by wayne at 9:14 PM CST | Post Comment | Permalink
Sunday, 25 January 2015

3495 Days since retiring July 1, 2005!



"Golly Gee"

I am just back from a date. We had dinner at Landry's and then a movie. It was a total "chick flick" and I don't remember a thing about it except it was an hour and a half too long. I had forgotten how good it feels just to be around a woman. Carolyn and I had been married so long we almost did not notice the other person except in aggravating situations. I wish, oh how I wish, I could step back in time and change that. She was and still is the most significant person and event in my life.

Yesterday I invited the YD over for my spaghetti dinner but her life interfered. The invite was partially extended to today but then my life intruded. I had to really rush to get my Sunday shopping in. For weeks I have needed an ice pick. While planning the grocery trip I googled and found Bed Bath and Beyond had them for less than 5$. On the way to grocery store I stopped at nearest BB&B. My Gosh they have merchandise stacked to the ceiling. I had thought it was one of those snooty stores where the clerks wanted to know if you wanted the Egyptian cotton sheets with 1500 count or the Moravian sheep's wool houda. I fell in love with the store. I bought a 10 inch preconditioned Emeril Legasse cast iron skillet, ice pick, and usable sized fry daddy.

Up here on the 9 th floor Rascal and I have spent hours in the wee part of the night watching the fog creep in. I have noticed that those night with the deepest fog are followed the next even with the most intense sunsets. Yesterday was no exception.


Just as the sun sank completely below the horizon there was the most beautiful band of green over the sun spot.I need to call senior daughter tomorrow morning. We have been playing phone tag for a week. The ringer on my iphone seems to have malfunctioned. I dialed myself using my Clarewood phone and my iphone made nary a sound but it did register that I missed a call. I ain't gonna get a new one.

Last night was movie night here. We watched "1776" I was very impressed. I had expected a butchered liberal mishmash of the history. As it was it stuck pretty close to the reality that I think I know, except for the singing part. I was really impressed by the attention they paid to the slavery problem and the chilling way the north colluded in the evil. I still do not understand how someone can justify to themselves such an abomination.

Goodnight all!

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

 


Posted by wayne at 10:28 PM CST | Post Comment | Permalink
Friday, 23 January 2015

2493 Days since retiring July 1, 2005!



"Whooooossshh!!"

The sound of time collapsing around one. This golden age sucks. The only thing golden about my life now is my underwear. As soon as my bladder notes that we are now more than a fast toddle away from a urinal it sends a signal my dingaling to start dripping. I can spend several hours in sight of a pisser and not feel an urge. Grrrr!

My friend in New York did die. It was just months after her diagnosis with ALS to the end of her world. Glo is the one that taught me all I know about html and website design. She will certainly be a help to God with all the old folks he gets daily.
It has been 2 weeks since my last entry so I really should explain my absence. I have been busy. Most mornings I go to the HBU gym for pool and steam room with very light workout with weights and treadmill. Those mornings I do not go I go instead to a classroom where we oldlings are relearning slow dancing as an aid to balance and close contact with other people. As I have aged I have begun to touch others less and less. Human contact is essential to our psyche. But... Many evenings I have spend in various building in the area applying for watchman positions. Sadly most of the openings now require a wide assortment of computer skills. Can't have people just setting and watching property. So far the most encouraging thing I have heard was "Gee you ought to get a job as Santa". Those jobs are very scarce and booked a year or more in advance. Plus I really don't like snotty nosed kids.

Between sleeping late and learning to cook my time is pretty well used up. Rascal and I usually hit the sack about 10 pm. I get up to take my final round of pills and blood pressure measurements. He gets up to check his plate and bite me if it is empty. Then I go back to bed. About midnight he gets on the bed and settles down under my right armpit. I cover him and we sleep sound. The fan blows cold air across my face but he is in the valley of armpit so he stays toasty. About 4 or 5 am I wake to take my levothyroxine (without food) and pee and put a little dab of food on his plate. I also lay out the components of my planned breakfast then go back to bed. Usually I have to struggle to get back into bed because he seems to "ooze" to fill the space I was in. I took this picture during the 4 to 5am period . As you can see he is sound asleep and limp as a noodle. Yep he sleeps with his eyes apparently open.


When he gets up he gulps down whatever is on his plate. I have learned to ease him into the day with small portions. Otherwise he will gulp it down and then upchuck. Few things are as revolting as hearing a cat vomit.

Dinner today was planned to be spaghetti which I had no idea how to fix. I found a recipe using Ragu sauce and ground meat but it sounded a tad bland. I added a thinly sliced huge white onion and 2 chopped ripe tomatoes that we going to go bad in a couple of days to the mix of browned ground meat and Ragu. I simmered all that and tasted it. Not tomatoey enough so I added a half cup sun dried tomatoes and 4 garlic cloves mashed in my new garlic press. After 30 minutes I realized the sun dried tomatoes were not going to cook down so I dipped them out and chopped all I could find as fine as I could. I added them back and turned the crock pot on high for a couple hours. Reset to low and let simmer for 4 hours. I realized then that I had way, way too much sauce for me. Called YD and asked her to come get it. In the meantime I had brought a pot of water to a hard boil and dropped in the spaghetti. I cooked that for 6 minutes the dumped into strainer and plated batch and spooned sauce over noodles. Very good except the spaghetti was still a little too firm and the sliced onion was too stringy. Next batch I will chop the onions and use angel hair spaghetti.. I give myself a C+.


I have no clue where the watery liquid came from. I thought I drained the spaghetti well. None the less it was edible.

Yesterday I experimented with the concept of well done. I have no experience or sense of what a piece of beef looks like when it is "done". Both my meat thermometers are marked "well done" at 171F. So with that idea. I took a piece of pot roast I was going to grind by hand for chili and cut it into hunks. I inserted the temp probe in a piece and closed that in a zip lock bag that I suspended in boiling water. When the thermometer read well done I took it out of the bag and dropped it onto an old skillet from home. I think it was almost red hot because a bamboo skewer started to smoke immediately touched the skillet. I let the meat just barely settle before flipping it over. I ended up with dark sear on all sides. Of course this cut of meat needs to cook longer to break down the gristle and connective tissue. The water idea was good but a hassle so I took the next piece with probe inserted and in zip lock bag and laid it in the skillet after it cooled and put that in my oven set at 225F. When thermometer read 171 I took the skillet and bag ot of the oven. The bag with the meat I sat aside and put the skillet of the stove as before.. When the skillet was again bamboo smoke hot I dropped the meat on it and seared all sides. After the skillet cooled enough I rinsed the liquid out of the bag with a cup of white wine and cooked it down for use as a sauce on the steak. Someday soon will cook my filet mignon to medium well done.

And maybe someday I will consider myself as a cook. Right now it is just slightly more than a hobby.

There are two statues in a park; one of a nude man and one of a nude woman.

They had been facing each other across a pathway for a hundred years, when one day an angel comes down from the sky and, with a single gesture, brings the two to life.

The angel tells them, "As a reward for being so patient through a hundred blazing summers and dismal winters, you have been given life for
thirty minutes to do what you've wished to do the most."

He looks at her, she looks at him, and they go running behind the
shrubbery.

The angel waits patiently as the bushes rustle and giggling ensues. After fifteen minutes, the two return, out of breath and laughing.

The angel tells them, "Um, you have fifteen minutes left, "Would you care to do it again?"

He asks her. "Shall we?"

She eagerly replies, "Oh, yes, let's! But let's change positions. This time, I'll hold the pigeon down, and you Crap on its head." ...... AND WHAT WERE YOU THINKING????

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

 


Posted by wayne at 7:36 PM CST | Post Comment | Permalink
Friday, 9 January 2015

3479 Days since retiring July 1, 2005!



"allergy get thee to a nunnery!"

Poor oft quoted Shakespeare. His words get so distorted in delivering cute modern ideas. The point is that I bought a "Breathe Healthy Honeycomb Beige Mask - Asthma/Allergy Air Filtering Dust Mask with Germ Killing Antimicrobial Ideal for Sanding & Drywall, Renovation" through Amazon from Breathe Healthy company this morning at 2:30 am and it will be delivered Sunday the eleventh. What a miracle age we live in! I will wear it on my upcoming trip into the hill country.

As I was preparing a portion of the lentil soup, which gets better with age, I thought that a great item to have would be freeze storage containers like the trays TV dinners are in. That way one could apportion out his leftovers in a balanced diet manner. I wonder if such things are already available.

I am up early because my right shoulder is in mortal pain, or so it feels. As I was readying to rub my right shoulder with Ben-Gay a stroke of inspiration hit. I sleep in old and now extremely snug tee-shirts; I suspect they act as swaddling on me. Anyway I reckoned I could smear a generous portion of Ben-Gay inside the right shoulder without getting my left hand coated with the grease. It would have worked if my mind had chosen the correct shoulder. As a result my tee shirt has Ben-Gay on the top inside of both shoulders. Since the pain is relieved I do not mind the extra strong odor. I am tempted to monogram the right shoulder of all my sleeping shirts with "This one dummy".

My senior grandson graduates from his Navy Boot Camp today. I had so planned on going to Chicago for the ceremony but the air fare is more than I can afford and the weather there is just too frightful for this Texas Gulf Coast old man.

Yesterday evening was game night. My girl friend inveigled me into playing. She was already committed to a table with her long term buddies so I sat at a table with an older woman in a walker and Joe and a youngish looking woman. Youngish meaning like 60 plus. We played 4 handed dominoes with opening play rotating with each new hand. At first I had sympathy toward the older woman and assumed she would be a slow feeble player. The broad was sharp as a tack and had her domino in hand before the preceding player made a move. She beat us like cheap paper drums. Turns out she is 94 years old and had only recently moved into Clarewood because she had recently fallen and scared herself. She had been living alone since her husband died 22 years before. She has outlived her kids and her grandkids all live far away.

I finally got a picture of Rascal during a moment of repose. He actually assumed a pose when he saw the camera. He had been playing "mouse under the covers" shortly before falling over in exhaustion. The dude now weighs 12 pounds.


I cannot sleep and we were both hungry. I asked Rascal if he wanted some "feeds" and he jumped out of bed and ran to the kitchen. There, lying on the counter was the menu planners. Item one was biscuits. Done and done! Ha! That tube defeats me always. Nevertheless the plan said "BISCUITS". I squinted up my eyes, tiny, tiny instructions and found the so-called release tab and gave a small pull. The outer label pilled off as it were the clothing of a cheap "lady of easy virtues". Nude before me was the unwrapped canister. I pressed my thumb gently where directed as to arouse smoldering passions in my lady and "POP" the tube blew asunder and dropped the sweet flesh into my hands. I had turned the oven to 400F as directed preciously. Then I realized I did not know the directions for the frozen "RICHARDS CRAWFISH ETTOUFFEE" the planned demanded. The wrapper in giant print said "do not preheat the oven, put the container in the middle of a cooking sheet, insert into oven and turn oven to 350 and heat for 50 minutes." Oh what to do? I dropped the oven to 350, inserted the crawfish dish and at 30 minutes I will raise the temp to 400 and place the biscuits around the crawfish bowl and cook for another 20 minutes before removing the crawfish. I suspect I can tell when the biscuits are done.

The reason I cannot sleep is that today I heard news that one of my dearest friends is near death. She is so much younger than I that it doesn't seem fair. I hope the end is mercifully painless. I ache for the family being left behind. Her son joining the Navy was the occasion for me suggesting to my grandson that he join the Navy. Rest in peace Captain.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

 


Posted by wayne at 11:14 PM CST | Post Comment | Permalink
Thursday, 8 January 2015

3478 Days since retiring July 1, 2005!



"cooking for one"

The trouble with cooking for one, as far as I have experienced, is that the recipes for one are boring and lack richness of flavor. On the other hand recipes for a group of people result in huge amounts of left-overs for the singleton cook. I have been choosing the larger recipes for the taste and the ability to freeze for later use. Today I made a Lentil & Kale recipe my senior daughter gave me. I ate all I could in two settings but still have almost a gallon to freeze. Previously I had split leftovers into several one quart ziplock bags, I ended up with clumps of bags of leftover food melded together. Tonight I got all the lentil soup into a single bag. I did double bag for security. I had to completely rearrange the contents of my freezer to accept the new batch. I plan to take most of the soup to my daughter in Austin while I am enroute to the gathering with my siblings.


This is a beautiful dish. The dark green is Kale which I have never tasted. I was afraid it was going to taste like cooked spinach. I did not. I must be trending toward vegetarian as my last two dinners did not have any meat. Wait! I had pork sausage with breakfast and some sumptuous biscuits. I decided, based on my breakfast experience, to use the canned refrigerated buttermilk biscuits for my next batch of dumplings.

This recipe caused a lot of chopping. Only after I bought the ingredients did I discover that the big grocery stores sell the stuff already chopped and measured.

Whether you think you can, or you think you can't--you're right.

LENTIL & KALE SOUP
Serves 6
INGREDIENTS
1 pound petite green French lentils
2 teaspoons sea salt
½ cup olive oil
1 bay leaf
1 cup chopped onion
2 stalks celery chopped

2 carrots chopped
2 garlic cloves mashed
1 bunch kale thinly sliced
1 pound tomato peeled and chopped (canned)

3 16 ounce cans vegetable broth
1 bunch fresh parsley, chopped
¼ teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground


INSTRUCTIONS
Wash lentils and place in soup pot.
Cover with water and add 1 teaspoon sea salt.
Bring to a boil and cook for 5 minutes.
Drain and rinse.
Heat olive oil in empty soup pot with bay leaf.
Add onion, celery, carrots and garlic.
Add kale and simmer for 5 minutes.
Stir in tomatoes.
Add the vegetable broth, lentils, and remaining sea salt.
Bring to a boil for 5 minutes.
Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
Add chopped parsley and ground black pepper.
Divide into bowls add freshly grated parmesan cheese, parsley and a few drops of olive oil before serving.


Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

 


Posted by wayne at 9:38 PM CST | Post Comment | Permalink
Updated: Thursday, 8 January 2015 9:41 PM CST
Wednesday, 7 January 2015

3477 Days since retiring July 1, 2005!



"That stranger with the mask may be me."

Today for idiosyncratic and probably hypochondriacal psychosis I went to a new doctor to bounce an ideal off of. I have noticed since the recent series of cold waves have swept into Houston that my throat is sore and my mouth feels "dry" in the mornings. I am also having trouble falling asleep and staying asleep. I have the most vivid and distorted dreams involving people from my past jobs. Even jobs as long ago as the early 60s. I wanted this new doctor to tell me if I am possibly exhibiting symptoms of allergy to cedar pollen being carried here from the hill country. I told him about my upcoming trip to Hays County and he suggested that when I am out of a filtered air supply that I wear one of those "flu" masks. I am thinking about it.

When I was composing the first sentence I realized I can no longer spell psychosis. So I googled. The very first result was a link to "creepypasta.wiki..." to access the item click HERE. Of course I read the complete blog entry and now feel kinda creepy myself. Lord I hope the guy doesn't show up in my dreams tonight. Because of the new doctor routing I did not have fried eggplant for lunch so I made a batch for dinner tonight. For the very first time something that I cooked without experience turned out excellent.


That plate full of eggplant is les that an eighth of the whole egg. I sliced the whole thing and put what I did not cook in a ziplock bag and put that in the freezer, I will have leftovers every other night until I run out.

Since I discovered the music channels on DirectTV I have watched on a couple hours of other shows. Of course I watch "Gold Rush every Friday night. I have grown to love Parker's Grampa. It will be a sad day in the USA when he dies. Many of the people I know who claim to not watch TV know of and have watched grampa interact with his grandson. Of course I am recording the other favorite shows but do not make time to watch. I have also been newly busy relearning counted cross-stitch and crewel embroidery from Youtube videos. What did we do for self instruction before the internet and Youtube?

I better sop and post this and then get to deboning my mess of chicken for the chicken and dumplings I am taking to the 4 Robertson sibling gathering next weekend.

Hug often, kiss much and thank your creator for your lucky life.

Whether you think you can, or you think you can't--you're right.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

 


Posted by wayne at 12:01 AM CST | Post Comment | Permalink
Monday, 5 January 2015

3475 Days since retiring July 1, 2005!



"Grim Reaper struck"

Today was a shocking day. One of the 9th floor residents died. She had not been sick or even ill. All I have talked with today are stunned. I was supposed to take her picture tomorrow for our floor directory. Go with God Hazel.

On the other hand we have the story about the 7 year old girl that survived a plane crash that took her entire family. One wonders where such strength of character arises. I wish there was a mechanism that would let us know how she turns out. What will she be at 50? Go with God little girl.

For my planned meals this week click HERE. As you see I have, for me, an ambitious 5 "from scratch" meals or entrees. I also volunteered to bring food to the gathering of the 4 siblings next week at senior sister's home. Wish me luck.

I finally reached a deal with a person that resulted in me having enough cash to afford a satellite TV at my desk. I watched the Pro football games while working at my desk. Recently I have been undoing a patch of counted cross stitch because I got the image too much off center. Watching Dallas during the first half made me so nervous I actually broke several threads. So I vacated the premises and went grocery shopping with younger daughter. Her new job is working her physically. She looks healthier than she has in several years. After shopping my brother called and I learned that Dallas turned things around and won their game. I usually cannot abide the Cowboys but they seemed to have reformed from a gang of thugs to decent citizens. Go Dallas! Here is a picture of my new 19" flat screen LED TV at my desk.


The blinding white object with the blurriness above it is my humidifier. Yesterday I discovered that Direct TV has music channels. I have been listening to Channel 820 "Beautiful Instrumentals" all day.

This morning after breakfast of sausage gravy over toast and coffee I mounted my new beaded curtain. I was afraid it would be ugly or tacky until I got it hung. The support bar is an adjustable rod like I have for my shower curtain.


I especially like the way the strands shimmer in the wind currents from by blower. Rascal is quite confused by it. He sees me walk through the curtain yet cannot find a way through. He climbs around the curtain via the bottom shelf of the kitchen cart. The image on the curtain shows on both sides. Each bamboo piece is painted all the way around. I am seriously considering buying one with a Samoan beach scene for the doorway into the bathroom. Well I must stop and put my "Eggplant Mediterranean" meal in the oven. As I get better at cooking I have begun to wonder why I bought the microwave and the ginormous fryer. I can do the same tasks with more control on the stove top and in the oven. I guess I just like to have gadgets around.


Whether you think you can, or you think you can't--you're right.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

 


Posted by wayne at 6:46 PM CST | Post Comment | Permalink

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