larryhammer: a wisp of smoke, label: "it comes in curlicues, spirals as it twirls" (curlicues)
Against the Grain, on the gluten-free movement (for lack of a better word) and a hint at what the real sensitivity might be. (via)

How Farming Almost Destroyed Ancient Human Civilization. Or rather, about the large cities that grew and died thousands of years before the ancient city-states. (via)

Bible Verses Where the Word “Philistines” Has Been Replaced with “Haters”:
Genesis 26:14: "He had so many flocks and herds and servants that the haters envied him."


---L.

Subject quote from "As Fast As I Can," Cheryl Bliss.
larryhammer: a low-fidelity picture of a man, label: "some guy" (some guy)
Important recent discoveries:

Mnemosyne may indeed be a better flash-card program than Kanji Gold, and not just because it's not just for kanji. (I prefer the way it spaces out cards how well you know them, though I don't always find the period predictable. OTOH, I do like how Kanji Gold separates meaning, kun-yomi, and on-yomi drills. Hmmm.)

A web-widget that converts Aozora Bunko texts to PDFs, vertical text, in standard Japanese paperback page-size. Which also happens to be very close to standard e-reader screen size. (Also, Aozora has the works of Niimi Nankichi, but that's more a belated realization than a discovery. I am very fond of my picture book edition of "Tebukuro o kai ni," and am looking forward to reading more.)

Wuxia translations, which may not have all the fan translations of wuxia novels that are out there, but the bulk of completed ones are available in ebook formats (with links to projects in progress).

An actually good Chinese restaurant in town. It's Szechuan rather than Americanized Chinese, and very little English was being spoken.

There are such things as albino hummingbirds.

---L.

Subject quote from "Glimpses of Unfamiliar Japan," Lafcadio Hearn.
larryhammer: a low-fidelity picture of a man, label: "some guy" (Yotsuba chomps)
Three links from around here:

How to make sconic sections in your own kitchen. (via)

"Nothing to Prove" by the Doubleclicks and a bunch of handwritten signs that shouldn't freaking have to be held up. (via)

A portal of all the alter-ipsums. (via)

---L.

Subject quote from "La Belle Dame Sans Merci," John Keats.
larryhammer: stylized figures of a man and a woman on either side of a shopping cart carrying a heart (romance)
PSA: What Trader Joe's Spicy Seaweed Ramen is actually attempting to be is kimchee-flavored ramen.

(As ramen, it does okay, though the stuff in the fridges at our local Korean grocery is better and cheaper. As Kimchee, not so much.)

You have been warned.

---L.
larryhammer: a low-fidelity picture of a man, label: "some guy" (anime)
The traveling Miyazaki/Ghibli retrospective is in town at our local arthouse cinema, and last night we saw Castle in the Sky/Laputa. I don't generally do a lot of fannish shipping, but Pazu/Sheeta? -- totally my OTP.

And speaking of whom:

Hayao Miyazaki on the flawed concept of "Good vs. Evil" as illustrated by Ashely Allis. (via)

An overview of the career of Keiji Nakazawa, Hiroshima survivor and creator of Barefoot Gen, who died last month. (via)

A field guide to North American dim sum. (via lost in browser tabs)

---L.
larryhammer: a low-fidelity picture of a man, label: "some guy" (chomp)
Winter is greens season, here in Arizona.

This is something I didn't appreciate about living here until we joined a CSA -- we're in a sub-tropical rather than temperate climate, giving us a year-round growing season. Not the same things all year, of course -- they change with the seasons. After two and a half years, the rhythm has gotten almost comforting. And right now, the temperatures are mild enough for greens that cannot take our summers. Plus we also get root vegetables -- the other reason to like this time of year. But mostly, we notice the greens, including many we'd never heard of before joining -- our farmer likes his Asian and heritage varietals.

Dinner, of course, goes by the harvest. Greens mean, mostly, lots of stir-frying.

And what's for tonight? Poking through the fridge, I find -- ah, here, better use up this head of tatsoi while it's still fresh -- the collard greens and amaranth can wait a few more days. And what's in this bag? -- that handful of small white beets from a couple weeks ago, left to wait for more to show up and be a useful amount. Tonight I'm cooking for one, though, so those are enough -- and I'm tired of the turnips and radishes (the boundary between which, we've learned, can be quite fuzzy). And while taking an onion out of the drawer-cum-root-cellar, I see one of the small butternut squashes is spoiling. Time to use the half that's still good -- and that should be tasty with the beets. With a little chicken or tofu for protein, that's a meal. With the sweetness of the beets and butternut, no stir-fry sauce needed.

Stir-Fry Something

1/2 cup rice
1 cup cubed root vegetables or squash (or anything else that needs steaming instead of stir-frying)
1/2 small onion
2 cups greens, chopped
1/3 cup chicken or tofu
(optional) stir-fry sauce
(optional) piñon nuts or chopped cashews or peanuts

(1 cup = 250 ml, all measurements except the rice highly approximate, i.e., never measured)

Place rice in rice-cooker with appropriate amount of water. Place cubed veggies in the rice-cooker's steamer basket, and put on top. Press the cook button. Depending on the type of rice, this will take 20-40 minutes. Go wash some dishes or something, and come back about 5 minutes before the rice is done.

Dice the onion, place in wok with just enough olive oil to coat the bottom. Chop the greens, cut up the protein.

When the rice cooker clicks over to warm, place wok on the stove over high heat. Stir frequently. When the onion starts to brown around the edges, put the next ingredient in: If your protein is chicken, that's next -- sear until the outside is no longer pink, stirring constantly; if your protein is tofu, that goes in last -- skip to the next step. Put in the greens, stirring constantly until they reduce, frequently after that until done. Try not to over-cook. If you're using a stir-fry sauce, that goes in now. If tofu, that in now. When you turn off the heat, if nuts, that now, along with any chopped cilantro you may have decided on at the last moment.

Mix the steamed veggies into the stir-fry. Plate the rice. Serve the stir-fry on top.

Serves 1 with leftovers for a bit of lunch, or adjust amounts by half again as much and serve 2 without leftovers.

Mmm -- greeeeens. With beeeeets.

---L.
larryhammer: a low-fidelity picture of a man, label: "some guy" (chomp)
Winter is greens season, here in Arizona.

This is something I didn't appreciate about living here until we joined a CSA -- we're in a sub-tropical rather than temperate climate, giving us a year-round growing season. Not the same things all year, of course -- they change with the seasons. After two and a half years, the rhythm has gotten almost comforting. And right now, the temperatures are mild enough for greens that cannot take our summers. Plus we also get root vegetables -- the other reason to like this time of year. But mostly, we notice the greens, including many we'd never heard of before joining -- our farmer likes his Asian and heritage varietals.

Dinner, of course, goes by the harvest. Greens mean, mostly, lots of stir-frying.

And what's for tonight? Poking through the fridge, I find -- ah, here, better use up this head of tatsoi while it's still fresh -- the collard greens and amaranth can wait a few more days. And what's in this bag? -- that handful of small white beets from a couple weeks ago, left to wait for more to show up and be a useful amount. Tonight I'm cooking for one, though, so those are enough -- and I'm tired of the turnips and radishes (the boundary between which, we've learned, can be quite fuzzy). And while taking an onion out of the drawer-cum-root-cellar, I see one of the small butternut squashes is spoiling. Time to use the half that's still good -- and that should be tasty with the beets. With a little chicken or tofu for protein, that's a meal. With the sweetness of the beets and butternut, no stir-fry sauce needed.

Stir-Fry Something

1/2 cup rice
1 cup cubed root vegetables or squash (or anything else that needs steaming instead of stir-frying)
1/2 small onion
2 cups greens, chopped
1/3 cup chicken or tofu
(optional) stir-fry sauce
(optional) piñon nuts or chopped cashews or peanuts

(1 cup = 250 ml, all measurements except the rice highly approximate, i.e., never measured)

Place rice in rice-cooker with appropriate amount of water. Place cubed veggies in the rice-cooker's steamer basket, and put on top. Press the cook button. Depending on the type of rice, this will take 20-40 minutes. Go wash some dishes or something, and come back about 5 minutes before the rice is done.

Dice the onion, place in wok with just enough olive oil to coat the bottom. Chop the greens, cut up the protein.

When the rice cooker clicks over to warm, place wok on the stove over high heat. Stir frequently. When the onion starts to brown around the edges, put the next ingredient in: If your protein is chicken, that's next -- sear until the outside is no longer pink, stirring constantly; if your protein is tofu, that goes in last -- skip to the next step. Put in the greens, stirring constantly until they reduce, frequently after that until done. Try not to over-cook. If you're using a stir-fry sauce, that goes in now. If tofu, that in now. When you turn off the heat, if nuts, that now, along with any chopped cilantro you may have decided on at the last moment.

Mix the steamed veggies into the stir-fry. Plate the rice. Serve the stir-fry on top.

Serves 1 with leftovers for a bit of lunch, or adjust amounts by half again as much and serve 2 without leftovers.

Mmm -- greeeeens. With beeeeets.

---L.
larryhammer: a wisp of smoke, label: "it comes in curlicues, spirals as it twirls" (curlicues)
Oh, wok -- never leave me! I'd never get anything cooked in summer that didn't require a long prep time or planning ahead. Pretty much nothing for the duration.

---L.
larryhammer: a wisp of smoke, label: "it comes in curlicues, spirals as it twirls" (curlicues)
Oh, wok -- never leave me! I'd never get anything cooked in summer that didn't require a long prep time or planning ahead. Pretty much nothing for the duration.

---L.
larryhammer: a low-fidelity picture of a man, label: "some guy" (some guy)
Last night I ate for the first time at Claim Jumper,* a chain steakhouse with a reputation for superabundant servings. What I found was that the reputation is carefully crafted.

I'm slow at these things, so it took me a while to catch on. The first thing that struck me about the interior was the size: giant stone pillars supporting thick wooden beams, with decorations that evoke the Western American frontier with touches of Victorian refinement.** It wasn't until later that I noticed that the beams and pillars are far larger than they really need to be, and closer together. Most places that large, the impression given is space and airiness -- Claim Jumper imposes on you. Massive and cluttered, with few clear lines of sight. When the food arrived, the portions are not only way too large, but presented to look large: wide-rimmed plates with food piled high. And you eat this on a table that's not only a thick slab but high-set, making even me feel child-sized. Only then did I finally realize:

The entire place is designed to make you feel small -- and thereby make the portions seem even bigger than they already are.

The food was, indeed, good.*** And I do like me a buttermilk biscuit. But I still walked out feeling a bit pissed off at being so heavily manipulated.

Architecture: in skilled hands, it can be a powerful tool.


* For a friend's birthday -- and no, we didn't out her, so we don't know what song the wait-staff sing there.

** Far less mining-related paraphernalia than I expected, actually -- bare nods to the name.

*** Though I tried not to think about how much corn syrup was in the apple glazing and the sweet stuffing.


---L.
larryhammer: a low-fidelity picture of a man, label: "some guy" (some guy)
Last night I ate for the first time at Claim Jumper,* a chain steakhouse with a reputation for superabundant servings. What I found was that the reputation is carefully crafted.

I'm slow at these things, so it took me a while to catch on. The first thing that struck me about the interior was the size: giant stone pillars supporting thick wooden beams, with decorations that evoke the Western American frontier with touches of Victorian refinement.** It wasn't until later that I noticed that the beams and pillars are far larger than they really need to be, and closer together. Most places that large, the impression given is space and airiness -- Claim Jumper imposes on you. Massive and cluttered, with few clear lines of sight. When the food arrived, the portions are not only way too large, but presented to look large: wide-rimmed plates with food piled high. And you eat this on a table that's not only a thick slab but high-set, making even me feel child-sized. Only then did I finally realize:

The entire place is designed to make you feel small -- and thereby make the portions seem even bigger than they already are.

The food was, indeed, good.*** And I do like me a buttermilk biscuit. But I still walked out feeling a bit pissed off at being so heavily manipulated.

Architecture: in skilled hands, it can be a powerful tool.


* For a friend's birthday -- and no, we didn't out her, so we don't know what song the wait-staff sing there.

** Far less mining-related paraphernalia than I expected, actually -- bare nods to the name.

*** Though I tried not to think about how much corn syrup was in the apple glazing and the sweet stuffing.


---L.
larryhammer: a low-fidelity picture of a man, label: "some guy" (chomp)
Nutella on corn-chips does not work nearly as well as you might expect.

Further bulletins will be issued as the situation warrants.

---L.
larryhammer: a low-fidelity picture of a man, label: "some guy" (chomp)
Nutella on corn-chips does not work nearly as well as you might expect.

Further bulletins will be issued as the situation warrants.

---L.
larryhammer: a low-fidelity picture of a man, label: "some guy" (Default)
For a vegetable stock for making a quick soup out of whatever's at hand, you can do far worse than miso.

---L.
larryhammer: a low-fidelity picture of a man, label: "some guy" (Default)
For a vegetable stock for making a quick soup out of whatever's at hand, you can do far worse than miso.

---L.
larryhammer: a low-fidelity picture of a man, label: "some guy" (Yotsuba chomps)
We interrupt this journal with an important food-related bulletin:


I CAN HAS TIMTAMS!

IN THE STATES!

NOM NOM NOM

*falls over in a sugar coma*



We now return you to our regularly scheduled silence.

---L.
larryhammer: a low-fidelity picture of a man, label: "some guy" (Yotsuba chomps)
We interrupt this journal with an important food-related bulletin:


I CAN HAS TIMTAMS!

IN THE STATES!

NOM NOM NOM

*falls over in a sugar coma*



We now return you to our regularly scheduled silence.

---L.
larryhammer: a low-fidelity picture of a man, label: "some guy" (vanished away)
Olive oil does not substitute for vegetable oil in quick-drop biscuits.

Just sayin'.

---L.
larryhammer: a low-fidelity picture of a man, label: "some guy" (vanished away)
Olive oil does not substitute for vegetable oil in quick-drop biscuits.

Just sayin'.

---L.
larryhammer: a low-fidelity picture of a man, label: "some guy" (Default)
My favorite thing to cook on a slow Saturday afternoon in winter. It's especially good if it's raining. Simple and low effort. It's the slow-cooking thing.

Lazy Chili )

* The ideal chili spicing has a 10-second delay between taking a mouthful and having it go off in your mouth. If you do it right, you can have unsuspecting guests take a second bite of Blazing Hyper-Heated Chili-Curry of *D*O*O*M* before they notice. Thai peppers are good for that. But that's too much bother if you're making Lazy Chili.

---L.

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