Saturday, January 26, 2008

Food Update

A couple of cooking novelties pulled from a recent camera-dump:

1) Bear egg

This is not super complicated to pull off.

1 egg
1 cookie cutter
salt & pepper

All you do is crack an egg into a cookie cutter. The smaller your shape's area, the trickier it is to cook the egg through without turning the yolk into a crumbly little piece of crap, but the metal frame makes it really easy to flip the egg early and cook it evenly.

bear egg

2) Beer can chicken

This one was lifted from Achewood pretty much verbatim. Basic procedure is drink a few beers, then another half beer. Throw some spices and taste into the halfie, shove it up the chicken's bum, cut up some vegetables, get it all really oily and bake it. Simple and delicious and crispy and really, it's just a great recipe. Excellent as-is or as a template for repeated experimentation.

beer can chicken

3) Meat cake

Oh, that meat cake. Meat cake, meat cake, meat cake.

This was my birthday cake this year, courtesy of X and Julia. Truly stunning. Three layers of extremely good meatloaf iced with mashed potatoes and decorated with ketchup and, yes, bacon. Mmmm, bacon. Original concept, Black Widow Bakery.

Seriously, check out that bacon work. That's some professional quality bacon lettering right there.

meeeeat caaaaaaake

And a very convincing cake. Just look at that slice action.


Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Alive: wow this album is tight.

If you have ever listened to Daft Punk and thought "Hey, this is pretty cool, but I wish it were a little cooler," um...

Look, point here is that Alive, Daft Punk's 2007 venture into recording live techno, is really, really goddamn sick. Truly, it has been kicking my ass on repeat since I got it.

So get it. And on the one hand, if you're largely unfamiliar with Daft Punk, using this album as a starting point is really unfair to both listener and band. It's much more open-ended and creative than most of their studio work, and quite frankly it's more interesting to listen to. It's not that the studio catalogue is particularly uninteresting, but rather that this album is kind of a curve-breaker in terms of overall quality and creativity.

...and on the other hand, if you are largely familiar with Daft Punk, Alive will it will make you go batshit raving bananas.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Love is...

...walking to the kitchen to get some more coffee only to find that your girlfriend left her travel cup on the mail table on the way out the door and then being like cool i'm gonna drink it and then tasting it and realizing it has nasty-ass splenda in it and then being like nah it's cool i'll drink it anyway.

oh wait, that's not love. that's just plain old lazy.


It is roughly 11:00 in the morning, I have been awake since easily 6:30, and I have not yet eaten breakfast...

Unless you count scarfing oneself into a sugar coma on a half-pound sack of LifeSavers Gummies as "breakfast".

Seriously, if you get one of the big bags and just start going at it, you can cover the full cycle of excitation to sugar crash in about 30 minutes... and then you're just sitting there, twitching, sweating, wondering, "Damn, how do they get them so gummi?"

Ah, more coffee, then back to the grind.

Also, there had to have been a way to better connect "coffee" and "grind" in that last sentence.

Has to have been? Had to have been? Is was? Whazza? Blaaaaaaarrrggggg.

Guh. Being able to edit as you write out an internal monologue really does a number on verb tenses. Or maybe that's just the Gummies talking.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Today is Thursday

So are these things supposed to convey a sense of continuity -- "Dear reader, it's Thursday, and wow it's been a busy two weeks since the holidays and hey, happy New Year!" -- or is it cool to just pop in and scratch out some notes like marker on a public bathroom wall?

Were the Internet indeed a public bathroom, the "blogosphere" would certainly be the handicapped stall at the end of the row.

Meanwhile, it's Thursday, and it's been a busy two weeks, and Thursdays are really early days on the ol' Wrigley front, and I'm sleepy. I've been writing actual code lately (as opposed to doing my much-beloved secretarial and monkey work), which feels pretty good in an academic-justify-your-existence kind of way. I've also been eating candy like it's my job, which it kind of is, so I guess that's ok, too.

Seriously, though, I got some boxes of candy from Wrigley right around when I got back from Maine, including several boxes of Orbit. This is important, because I decided to quit smoking on New Years and now chew approximately 20 sticks of gum a day, at about 2 minutes per stick. Coincidence? Highly doubtful.

Also, I don't know what the etymology of "cold turkey" is, but...oh, wait -- wiki: Cold Turkey. Also, it is damn sweet that wikipedia exists, and that Google exists, and that both are such pervasive tools as to have become verbs, and that if you use Google for a phrase you need a definition on, it will more than likely point you at wikipedia. Only by the grace on the Internet is it completely legitimate to say, "Well I Googled it, but Google just pointed me at wiki, so I guess I could have just wikied it in the first place."


Went to Faneuil Hall with some heads for bar trivia the other night; nice bar, outskirts of the plaza. Too bad the start times listed on the trivia site and the bar itself showed a two-hour discrepancy, and too bad we showed up on the late side of it. So too bad we were in Faneuil with no reason to be there and ended up going to this empty wanna-be sports bar called The Tap. Why do I mention this? Because The Tap is in a long row of bars where someday, someone (maybe you!) might be walking and thinking, "Wow, so many bars, and which one should I patronize?" In the event of such a query, I advise skipping The Tap. Decent food, decent service, but horribly overpriced for the quality on both counts. Looks like a place where you should be able to snag a $10 pitcher. Not so much. Also the fries were soggy and the onion rings verily burst with room-temperature fryer grease. Note: if you are getting people drunk and you have a kitchen where 50% of your output is fried, do everyone a favor and make sure your fryer is hot and that you don't plate the fried stuff 10 minutes before you plop a crappy $9 club sandwich on the plate and trot it out to the table.

Really though, the nail in the coffin (checkpleasethankyougoodnight-style) came from a two-man band with which the bar was trying to attract patrons through the open door. We left halfway through their first song, a cover of Otis Redding's (Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay, handled exclusively in the way-out-of-tune register and quite possibly transposed into an extremely depressing minor key. As we departed, the singer (who looked like an ugly rendition on something stupid) was whistling his way through the bridge and the bar was almost completely empty.