dcseain: Cast shot of me playing my violin in role of minstrel in the Two Gentlemen of Verona (Default)
I read How the Mid-Victorians Worked, Ate and Died and found it very, very interesting, and thought you might also. It is a bit long.


I found this paragraph telling:

The fall in nutritional standards between 1880 and 1900 was so marked that the generations were visibly and progressively shrinking. In 1883 the infantry were forced to lower the minimum height for recruits from 5ft 6 inches to 5ft 3 inches. This was because most new recruits were now coming from an urban background instead of the traditional rural background (the 1881 census showed that over three-quarters of the population now lived in towns and cities). Factors such as a lack of sunlight in urban slums (which led to rickets due to Vitamin D deficiency) had already reduced the height of young male volunteers. Lack of sunlight, however, could not have been the sole critical factor in the next height reduction, a mere 18 years later. By this time, clean air legislation had markedly improved urban sunlight levels; but unfortunately, the supposed ‘improvements’ in dietary intake resulting from imported foods had had time to take effect on the 16–18 year old cohort. It might be expected that the infantry would be able to raise the minimum height requirement back to 5ft. 6 inches. Instead, they were forced to reduce it still further, to a mere 5ft. British officers, who were from the middle and upper classes and not yet exposed to more than the occasional treats of canned produce, were far better fed in terms of their intake of fresh foods and were now on average a full head taller than their malnourished and sickly men.
dcseain: Cast shot of me playing my violin in role of minstrel in the Two Gentlemen of Verona (Default)
I'm sure most of you have heard by now that the corn syrup industry is requesting that they be allowed to list their product as corn sugar on labels in the US.

I SO do not approve of relabelling it as corn sugar. Maple sugar and maple syrup are not the same, and they are certainly NOT using corn sugar in the sodas and what -- they're using corn syrup or high-fructose corn syrup.

BTW

Aug. 9th, 2010 01:36 am
dcseain: Cast shot of me playing my violin in role of minstrel in the Two Gentlemen of Verona (Default)
The earlier-mentioned blueberries became several days of snacks and some blueberry muffins.
dcseain: (Black Currants)
I have 2 pounds/907 grams of them. What shall be made of at least some of them?
dcseain: Cast shot of me playing my violin in role of minstrel in the Two Gentlemen of Verona (Default)
I opine that béchamel sauce = milk gravy - that the two are one and the same.

I also opine that sauce is subset of gravy and vice versa.
dcseain: Cast shot of me playing my violin in role of minstrel in the Two Gentlemen of Verona (Default)
The package of ramen that is boiling on the stove had directions in 3 languages: Korean, English, and French. The Korean and French directions call for 700cc of water, but the English directions call for 650cc of water. I chose to use the 700cc in this preparation. What's with that?
dcseain: (Birdie!)
I decided tonight to make something vegan with Orzo, which Wegman's sells as
Rosa Marina, which it turns out is slightly different.

Anyway...

I went to the store and wandered the produce area, picking up so me red bell beppers, some roma tomatos, and some garlic. Got home, and popped the peppers in the upper oven to roast, then peeled two bulbs of garlic to individual cloves, popped them in a small pot with a cup of extra virgin olive oil over low heat to caramelize, set a pot of water to boil, and walked away.

Fifteen minutes later, the water and salt were at a gregboil*, and the garlic was popping away in deep-fried happiness. I stirred the garlic, turning it down a bit, and walked away again.

Fifteen minutes later again, the water was at a boil, and the garlic was almost fully caramelized. Peppers were still roasting. Poured in the pasta and started chopping 3 tomatoes. After washing the tomatos, i noticed the peppers had wrinkly skins, so took them from the oven.

I let the peppers cool just enough to be handleable, then put them on the chopping board and diced them, then diced the tomatos. Next, strained the pasta, put about 250g of baby spinach on the pasta, and poured the hot oil and garlic over the spinach and pasta. Added the tomatos and the peppers, and stirred.

Served in a bowl with several grinds of salt and pepper. Yummy!


*gregboil - the point at which water sounds like it is boiling, but is actually at a high simmer. Also the point at which Greg puts the pasta in the water, or at least he used to.
dcseain: Cast shot of me playing my violin in role of minstrel in the Two Gentlemen of Verona (Default)
Tonight i had a tomato sandwich: a nice, thick slice of fresh, home-grown tomato, between two pieces of white - bot not Wonder - bread, the bread thick with mayo and ample salt and pepper. NOW it is Summer.

Growing up, we always had a vegetable garden, and the tomatos and the hot peppers were the highlights. In HS, i spent a light of time at the Arnaoot's house, where Ghassan, the dad there, kept a tangled patch of various tomato vines, which produce copiously through the Summer and into the Fall.

*Raises glass* To Summer, to tomatos, and to our ancestors! L'chaim y salud!

*hugs [livejournal.com profile] nadyalec*
dcseain: (Birdie!)
I went into the store attached to the gas station i filled up at tonight, and lo and behold, Coffee Crisp! was in the candy display by the register. Not having had one in years, i bought one. On getting home, i was very surprised to see the packaging said: "Coffee Crisp Bar/Barra - wafers with coffee crème center - galletitas con centro cremoso de café" I had to read it twice - yep English and Spanish, not French.

They're marketing them in The States now again, still made in Canada, but packaged oddly compared to what i'm used to. Still tasted the same though. I'm regretting having eaten it at 01:44 when i got home, as i ought be asleep, but am not. C'est la vie, je suppose.

Lasgne

Jun. 19th, 2007 01:09 am
dcseain: Cast shot of me playing my violin in role of minstrel in the Two Gentlemen of Verona (Default)
[Poll #1005774]
dcseain: Cast shot of me playing my violin in role of minstrel in the Two Gentlemen of Verona (Default)
Tonight, i made capellini. I was pleased with the sauce i made.

Tonight's pasta sauce recipe )

The sauce would have been better with a finish of Sherry Vinaigre, i don't care for Balsamic, though it would work too. Fresh pepper and/or a spot of hard cheese would be nice to taste on a serving, too.

Vanilla

May. 14th, 2007 01:16 pm
dcseain: Cast shot of me playing my violin in role of minstrel in the Two Gentlemen of Verona (Default)
I use vanilla in one of three forms: powder, liquid or whole bean. I use each form for a specific purpose.
  1. powder: used in baked goods
  2. liquid: used in uncooked goods, or to finish cooked ones
  3. whole bean: used to infuse cooked liquids
I've come to those uses over years of trying various combos. I truly prefer the powder in baked goods. How do you use vanilla?
dcseain: (Black Currants)
[livejournal.com profile] nancylebov made a post about this soup. Following is my commentary about the recipe, from an email a while back to a friend, and the original recipe.

I used 6 cups of stock rather than 3 cups of bouillon. Using the 3 the recipe calls for makes for a much thicker soup which is quite nice, but not what i was looking for this time.

I used butternut squash because the orange flesh adds to the colour. I used about 3x the chili powder plus a scant tbs of paprika in place of the Southwestern Spice Blend; totally adjust that to taste as the amounts are best guesses cause i didn't measure, i just added till it tasted right to me. The colour of the soup varies depending on the amount of chili powder added, obviously.

The additional stock i used also made for a dilution of the orange of the squash. The friend from whom i got this recipe has used zucchini and yellow squash instead of winter squashes with success, and a thinner soup.

I used medium onions, small chop, rather than the small ones because that's what i had on hand, and i substituded shelled Edamame for the lima beans. This time i used white beans, though i've used cannelini and navy beans in the past. This time, i mashed most of the squash, but not beans.

When i have leftovers, i add tomato and use it as a pasta sauce with penne rigtate or radiatore or such smallish shape.



Three Sisters Soup - The Original Recipe )
dcseain: Cast shot of me playing my violin in role of minstrel in the Two Gentlemen of Verona (Default)
I just made egg salad, and am toasting some bread to go with it. Smelling it brings me back to the lazy Sunday mornings of my childhood, mostly because it's Safeway store brand bread in the toaster, which was the bread we most always had on hand growing up. It's always amazing hov evocative smells are.
dcseain: Cast shot of me playing my violin in role of minstrel in the Two Gentlemen of Verona (Default)
The US Gov't may no longer require cocoa butter in chocolate. [livejournal.com profile] james_nicoll says it well, and provides links to FDA for comments.

Fellow Unitedstatesians, we must save the chocolate, or as most on my flist already do, live on the imported stuff almost exclusively.
dcseain: Cast shot of me playing my violin in role of minstrel in the Two Gentlemen of Verona (Default)
I really like Heidi Swanson's blog 101 Cookbooks. Here's a recipe for Mashed Potatoes with Kale and Olive Oil, which i've not tried, but sounds devine. She also posted a neat article about New Zealand Honey a bit back.
dcseain: Cast shot of me playing my violin in role of minstrel in the Two Gentlemen of Verona (Default)
Drove up to Arisia on Friday. [livejournal.com profile] suecochran called me when i was in Connecticut, at Exit 25 on I-95. Oddly, that's where she and her carload were, too. She had [livejournal.com profile] peacespear, [livejournal.com profile] nancylebov, and her son with her. I'm so glad that [livejournal.com profile] persis kindly bought memberships for the 4 of us, other than Nancy, else we might not have gotten in under the attendance cap.

The journey up - uneventful until Cambridge )

I at long last got to meet [livejournal.com profile] palmwiz, which was a big happy! :D Unfortunately, we did not get to hang at all. I'm probably coming up for Boskone, hopefully we can hang some then. I also got to have a meal with [livejournal.com profile] prettypammie, [livejournal.com profile] happypete, and Quinn, which was nice. It struck me in chatting with them that i live as close to them as i do to my family, so i hopefully will see more of them now that i understand that they're not as far as VA 7 and VA 9 make it feel.

I had a nice, low-key time at the con. Spent a spot of time with [livejournal.com profile] voltbang and [livejournal.com profile] chelona, too. The hotel layout was a but wack, especially the tiny little staircase between floors 2 and 3, but the hotel staff were troopers, and fixed the broken elevator promptly, and helped us make sure we didn't break the other 2. Next year, i think they'll make sure all 4 are in tip-top shape before we get there, and we'll be more mindful of load limits.

Sunday - dining, shopping, and horse action figures )

On arrival at Mary Chungs, ran into [livejournal.com profile] scruffycritter, [livejournal.com profile] mobmama and their party. Then, while both our parties were there, in walks [livejournal.com profile] badmagic! I was in Cambridge, MA, dining in a restaurant full of people from the DC-Philly corridor, very odd.

After dinner, dessert at Toscanini's, another Cambridge shop i dearly miss shopping at.

Monday - the 16-hour drive home )Long and short of it, i got home at 03:30. I took today off, too.
dcseain: Cast shot of me playing my violin in role of minstrel in the Two Gentlemen of Verona (Default)
Fractal cabbagey-thing. I will be seeking this at my favourite odd-produce stores. Thank you [livejournal.com profile] leiacat for pointing it out. Have any of you come across this?
dcseain: (Blue Meanie)
Marc D's restaurant recommendations were fabulous. I only got to eat at three of them this trip: Pomaire, El Quijote, and the bakery-with-the-name-that-shall-not-be-remembered. El Quijote was a majorly pleasant trip down memory lane for me, and the rumballs from the bakery were wonderful, though oddly, they contained chopped, candied fruit. Pomaire had great ambiance as well as food. It was interesting to me that at Pomaire they by default spoke in Spanish, while at El Quijote the default was English, even when one spoke Spanish to them.

More, including the mysterious strangers, when i'm more awake.
dcseain: Cast shot of me playing my violin in role of minstrel in the Two Gentlemen of Verona (Default)
They feed us breakfast at work. Wednesday's it's mini-croissants and fruit salad from Vie de France. I usually take a chocolate and a marzipan croissant. Today, however, there were ones topped with chocolate and almonds. Lo and behold, inside was chocolate and marzipan! Big happy! :D

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