Monday, June 30, 2008

Sauce It Right

And here's another tip, for those who wok: prepare your stir fry sauce in a separate pan, to make sure your thickener is thoroughly cooked and the flavor is just how you like it. Then, when the meat and/or veggies are all fried up, add the sauce and stir a few times to mix it in and heat it through. This avoids the often insipid results of pouring an uncooked sauce mixture directly into the wok with main ingredients.

Easy Enhanced Chow Mein

Nissan makes a line of packaged dry chow mein noodle meals that are actually kinda tasty, and certainly convenient. You just tear off the plastic wrap, peel back the paper cover sealing the plastic tray, remove the extra ingredient packets, pour in water to the fill line, add any of the extra ingredients that should be added prior to cooking, close the cover (this part never works well, but usually is of little consequence), and microwave for six minutes. After you let it stand for an additional minute, you add the final ingredients from the packets, stir, and serve.

Flavor and texture can be greatly improved, however, by using canned broth instead of water, and adding fresh veggies – nappa cabbage, bok choy, bean sprouts, green onions, celery, whatever one might fancy – prior to cooking. Takes a little more time to prepare, but no extra time to cook. (Hold the green onions back and add after cooking for extra zip.) And the results are worth it!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Gettin' Punchy

Subprime mortgage bubble bursts…the U.S. dollar fades against the Euro and other currencies…oil and gas prices rise with stunning rapidity…the stock market stumbles about for weeks like a drunk deacon…

How is it that all of this is suddenly unleashed on America when a looming national election threatens to unhorse the Republican Party, perhaps for many, many years? I know, none of these problems simply cropped up in the past six months, but their cascading body blows to our economy at just this time is hard to dismiss as mere fiscal coincidence. Somebody, frankly, is just flat out not minding the store…or is trying to burn it down.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Scaling Another Culinary Mountain!

Oh yeah! Roasted my first ever leg o' lamb this past weekend! Stuffed it with homegrown rosemary and baked it for the prescribed time plus ten minutes per pound extra due to our underperforming oven. Turned out quite nice, if I and my wife and our neighbors do say so ourselves.

How I Have My Morning Coffee

I've begun writing again. Not just rewriting manga, which I edit for VIZ Media, but real, all-mine writing. Every morning it's out on the front porch or the back patio with a mug of coffee, a couple of pieces of reading matter, and my journal. The hardware of this journal is paper bound between cardboard covers, while the OS is a biro. Didn't realize how much I missed working on things of my own with no electronic assistance.

The reading matter is usually composed of one piece of fiction and one piece of non-fiction. I'm currently tackling The History of the Peloponnesian War by Thucydides and The History of Mr. Polly by H. G. Wells. I'm sure the first is non-fiction and the second fiction, but I have to say that at times I can't quite be sure of that. Good reads, though.

The coffee's brewed up from beans from Costco, usually with Safeway fat free half & half and a shot of sugar free hazelnut Torani syrup. Sometimes I get wacky and grate some nutmeg into it.