Monday, November 21, 2011

Seared Scallops with Winter Squash and Swiss Chard
Last Night's Dinner

This dinner came together really fast with minimal effort, little mess, and it tasted incredible. Besides planning ahead with the squash, the whole dish is a twenty minute affair. The scallops are cooked following a Mark Bittman recipe, from his book 'Kitchen Express,' which is a great source for quick meals without overly-detailed recipes. Bittman is my go-to guy in the kitchen and his 'How to Cook Everything' and 'How to Cook Everything Vegetarian' are my main reference books for all things culinary. I don't find myself using books as much as I used to but I turn to Bittman just to see how he would do something I already know how to, and I always pick up a tip or new idea. Bittman is my homeboy. Click through for the recipes.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

How to Make Hard Cider: Part 1

I have been making hard cider for a few years now and it is totally worth the effort. That's not saying it is overly difficult, it just eats up a bit of time and space. Most of the time involves washing and sterilizing the equipment. Most of the space is taken up with glass carboys, big buckets and endless bottles. But the satisfaction I get from converting a perfectly wholesome drink like apple cider into a crisp, dry alcoholic beverage that packs a little punch (usually 7-8%, which is about 15 proof in liquor terms) is worth it.

Now I am in no way putting myself out there as an expert. I'm just sharing the methods I have been successful with. So don't get all high-handed on me and talk about real cider being fermented from wild yeast and how it should never be carbonated and only served in a dented tin cup tied to a string which is in turn tied to a barrel full of something that is one warm day away from turning into vinegar. You drink your cider with all of your friends, which are undoubtedly few because you are an insufferable prick, and I'll drink my cider with all of my friends, which undoubtedly number more than yours because my cider tastes good and is not served with a side of sanctimony (he says sanctimoniously). Ahh, I feel better for having said that. Onward!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

This Week's Ohdeedoh Post: Star Wars Nursery

Easily the most enjoyable post I have ever done over at Ohdeedoh, and it certainly struck a chord with many folks out there--over 1,000 facebook likes and counting! Check it out you scruffy looking nerf-herder!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Alternative Energy Can't Come Soon Enough

(Creative Commons Flickr image by ricketyus)

This past week I was struck by the massive amounts of startling environmental news that definitively fell into the 'bad' column. I'm not one of those doom and gloom environmentalists who loves to remark that the family vacation you took last year to Italy was a catastrophe for the environment on a scale previously unknown to mankind, but boy, as long as you had fun then that is what's important. Those people are a drag to say the least and can be real judgmental douches on their best days. But some serious shit is going down all at once that makes fossil fuel and nuclear energy look like a poor choice, and consequently bolsters the argument for supporting an alternative energy push, like pronto. And then there were a few things from the political world that just made me spit out my tea when I read them. These tidbits can all fall under one long unruly heading: 

Eight reasons why alternative energy needs our support, and two reasons why you should do some research before you ever cast a vote:

Friday, November 4, 2011

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Olive's First Halloween

Proving she is truly the queen bee around here, Olive looked pretty darn cute as a honeybee. No trick or treating for her this year, but we did go to a great celebration at our Town Hall here in Nelson. It was put together by parents who are trying to keep all of our kids connected, since we have some in town who are home-schooled or attend private schools and there just aren't too many things going on to bring them together. Stuff like this is one reason why I love this place.