New Friend

Why hasn’t anyone tipped me off to the wonderfulness that is Kuchenprofi?  I ran into them while looking for a nice funnel and lost control.  Five things came to my door this afternoon, each more delightful than the prior.






Two above–herb scissors.  Just above–spaetzel press/potato ricer.  I had hoped to use the press to extrude raw cashews but it is too big and the holes are too small and too far between.  Got just a few crumbs and plenty of mess.  So it will serve its intended purpose only.  I will continue to extrude small batches of cashews in my garlic press.  Raw unsoaked cashews come out like hair from a PLay-Doh barbershop.  Here are cashews extruded in a garlic press mixed with nutritional yeast, mango powder and salt in an effort to approximate parmesan. cp

Just after I ad-libbed the above recipe (which pleases my palette), I looked up a recipe in Chloe’s Italian.  She grinds almonds in a food processor and adds nutritional yeast, salt and maple syrup.  So something sweet instead of something tangy.  I then added a bit of maple syrup to mine.  Maybe better.  I’d also add the amchur, though.

Happy Friday!


A friend is coming over lunch and requested hot and sour soup.  I’m hydrating the shiitakes and lilly flowers now.Steeps

I’m glad the request was made.  It’s been too long since I’ve last enjoyed it.

I’ve gained an excuse to stop with the burpees for awhile.  My elbows were terribly sore.  The pain started six months ago in the right one and then a month ago the left joined the chorus.  There was no trauma or perceived overuse so I diagnosed myself with arthritis.  I hoped to wait to ask the doctor at my check up in April, but the pain became too much.  The left one felt like it was broken.  I couldn’t lift my arm to wipe my nose without shooting pain.  X-rays were clear so no arthritis.  Most likely tennis elbow.  A tendon thing.  Not a terrible outcome.  It will come and go.   Wrapping it during use will help.  Much better than a lifetime of constant pain in my elbows.  I already have that in one big toe and would prefer to limit the number of my joints joining club cheese-and-crackers.snr

For Hanukkah, Lacey gave me The Ballad of Shovels and Rope, a documentary following the swell husband and wife team whose music I have very much enjoyed this year.  Can’t wait to see it.  Thank you, Lacey!

That’s the landscape!  I hope you are doing well.

Woo hoo!

Dr. Howard Zucker, M.D., J.D., the Acting Commissioner of Health for the State of New York, just said no to fracking in New York. The Department of Environmental Conservation will issue an order next year prohibiting fracking in New York.  The order will be self executing. Governor Cuomo does not need to act.

Thanks Dr. Zucker!  Thanks activists!  Thanks Ommegang for saying you’d leave if New York allowed fracking.

Say Now

What though?  I’ve been on the rollers and doing the burpees twice in two weeks. Not enough but now I know I can.  Maybe more soon.  I feel good.  Baby steps.

I won a raffle at Oliver’s!  I remember signing up but didn’t understand what I was entering.  There was a raffle sign and a list of dozens of bottles of fancy sounding beers.  Would I win all of them?  That’d be crazy!  Today I received a call during which I was told three beers remained out of the pool of rare offerings.  One was Cantillon Bruocsella 1900 Grand Cru (an unblended lambic), one was a barley wine and the last was a Goose Island Bourbon County stout.  Had I won all three?  It wasn’t clear and I wasn’t asking the right questions.  Maybe I was being asked to pick two.  I fumbled around and finally asked them to pick for me.  The caller asked if I wanted the Grand Cru and the barley wine.  I said sure, then the caller said I could also pick the Bourbon County stout.  Wha?  I thought I had won the beer and I didn’t want to take too much, so I left it at the two.

After the call I got on the net and learned I had won the right to buy beer.  This in an effort to allocate rare offerings amongst deserving customers without turning every shipment into a mad dash to Oliver’s.  They tweet and post to Facebook when cool stuff comes in and people with day jobs miss out.  I have’t caught the rare beer bug.  Maybe I shouldn’t have entered the raffle.  Might have meant more to someone else.  Oh well.

I headed over to Oliver’s to get the skinny.  My name was on only the Grand Cru and I was told I could buy only that one.  Cantillon makes the only true unblended lambic in the world.  Rare, but the reviews!  Seems to be something of an acquired taste.  Reviewers comment on the lack of carbonation and the tart vinegar taste.  The Cantillon site says the bottle can be kept for years and the flavor changes over  time.  Do I need to wait a year or more?  This might be too fancy for me.  Why didn’t I pick the barley wine or the Bourbon County stout?  Get back to center–I won and I am thankful!  The Cantillon may surprise me.  We’ll see (a year from now?).Frida Yawning Frida is still chugging.  We had blood drawn when she was getting vaccinations and her kidney values are holding steady.  Based on the original diagnosis she should be, um, dead or very near death just now.  Not at all dead, as it turns out.  Yesterday she was spinning circles of joy before our walk.  This is very good.

I went to a hifi listening party at Tempo Electric.  What an eye opener!  I’ve never heard a more beautiful reproduction of sound.  Joe had built most of the system. His turntable spun on a pneumatic bearing and the tonearm also floated on air.  There were separate pumps producing the air in two adjacent rooms!  The speakers were open.  Vintage 15″ Tannoy’s on sheets of wood(?) with hinged wings on each side to hold them up and presumably do something to the sound.  The Tannoy drivers have a tweeter in the center.  Tannoy calls this a dual concentric driver.  You can buy something like this today on eBay (from Martin Hannett’s own collection!).  A separate subwoofer added a bit more bass, but it wasn’t turned up much.  Half way through the session one of the guys hooked up a ground box from Entreq.  A tweak that is supposed to clean up the sound.  Everyone wanted to dismiss it as hooey, but within minutes they were all convinced it made a huge difference.  I didn’t detect the change until they pulled it from the system after an hour and a half of listening.  The change was immediately apparent.  When it was again put back, things immediately woke up again.  Came alive.  So strange.  Very interesting stuff.  Great folks, too.  All welcomed me into their twenty year friendship like I’d been there all along.  Might not have hurt that I brought 32 ounces of The White Hag’s Black Boar, from Ballymote, Ireland.  An Imperial oatmeal stout clocking in at 10.2% ABV.  Delicious!  Get to Oliver’s and give it a try before it is gone.  All in I listened for four hours.  Felt like one.  An amazing day.

Hanukkah starts tonight, so latkes, it is.  Forgot to buy applesauce so I will whizz up some whole apples.  What else?  I have until eight to figure that out.  Enjoy the holiday, okay?

Where it is Warm

I don’t much love to pedal in the cold, so I didn’t.  Instead, I drove to the coop and found to my delight that the distributor of Stacey’s Organic Tortillas has decided to sell to the capital region.  I’ve waited ten years for this!  sot

You shouldn’t wait ten years.  Go to Honest Weight and give them a try.  Ahem, maybe wait a week.  I bought the second to last bag of whole wheat.  Probably none now.  Dave said they sold fast, but he’s ordering another case.tlc

Honest Weight also had a new to me flavor of Treeline Cheese–Chipotle Serrano Pepper.  Best ever!  It even seems like they’ve changed the underlying cheese a bit.  It is noticeably creamier.  Wow.  I can’t get enough of this stuff (but did manage to stop at six crackers worth).

Had a great weekend filled with  non-exercise type activities.  That, coupled with good food and some beer, will hopefully inspire me to get moving this week.  Didn’t work today so here’s hoping for tomorrow.



On Wednesday, Shenendehowa Central Schools adopted a new policy on use of bathrooms and locker room facilities.  You can read it here.  On Thursday, two drive time DJs commented on the policy and upset a number of people.  Later that day, Lacey’s employer got a call asking for a counsellor to speak on the show today.  Lacey’s employer asked her to do the spot, she said yes, and this morning from 7:37 a.m. to 7:54 a.m. she made me very proud.

I was so nervous for Lacey!  Stepping into a local storm and all.  And it wasn’t like she was being interviewed by Terry Gross.  Don’t get me wrong.  Lacey said the two DJs were very nice and I agree they were very nice during her segment.  But I’ve listened to less than an hour of their work (leading up to and including Lacey’s segment).  I am a huge fan of Lights, Camera, Jackson (a local film reviewer that appeared on the show by telephone before Lacey went on), but I wasn’t comfortable listening to the DJs playing segments of an artist’s new song and more or less mocking her vocal stylings.   DJs making fun of musicians on the radio?  That’s like an admitting nurse cracking jokes about physician incompetence in front of a waiting room filled with patients.  Maybe the DJs see themselves in the light of South Park–they spare no one so it is all ok–but you kind of have to earn that, right?  Maybe they have.  Still.  I was more nervous than before I listened.

Then Lacey sits in front of the mic and her sage and calming words fly to me through the air.  I should transcript the segment, but I won’t.  So these aren’t quotes.  I’m just going from memory.  Lacey said Shenendehowa’s policy was a positive move.  There are young people in the schools with serious needs that weren’t being met.  All individuals need to be treated with respect, consideration and dignity.  When asked what nervous parents should do, Lacey said change is hard, talk to your kid, talk to counsellors at school, go online and learn.  Education can eliminate fear and allow us to move on.

Big exhale when the show ended.  Lacey called and I choked up.  The same way I choke up when people finish marathons.  People succeeding gets me.  I can’t speak in public.  Last time I tried was in law school.  I had to present a paper to a class of less than ten people and it was an out of body experience.  I read the thirty minute paper in ten minutes, very nearly like an auctioneer, and then stopped abruptly.  The professor asked for questions, there were none, and class was dismissed.  Should I try to overcome my fear?  I have done well enough avoiding the ugly task and may just leave that flaw in place to my grave.  So I felt it when Lacey was nervous.  Now I am only proud.  So proud.LNF

Do you know what all the letters in LGBTIQ stand for?  If not, maybe start there.  Then surf on.  Then go outside and be nice to people.

You want another public speaking win?  Go here, but before you click remember the following.   At the link, click play, then the right arrow four times, then play, then advance  the video with the buffer bar to 44 minutes.  Done correctly, you’ll get to watch Laura Glazer tell her story in her own voice.  I should watch the rest of the conference, I am sure it is all terrific, but she invited me to watch her talk so thats what I did first.  I am glad I did.

Other policy matters?  Oliver’s doesn’t have a policy on tipping the good folks who fill your growlers.  As in tips are not prohibited.  Yet the person I asked said he has never been tipped.  Consider being the second person to tip your Oliver’s growler filler this holiday season.  I doubt their wage is set with a presumption of receiving tips so maybe you don’t tip every time, but a little extra kindness during the holidays is always appreciated.


While the Getting is Good

I closed a deal this morning.  Might be the last of the year, but a couple of others are pretending to be on the boil.  We’ll see.  Anyway, I had run out of excuses to not get outside so I went outside.  CR

Pedaled my ANT to Oliver’s to get a growler of Victory Brewing’s Harvest Ale.  Just harvested hops, “wet hops,” are added to the boiling kettle.  The guy said it is terrific.  I have no doubt.  Counting the hours until beer o’clock.  PK

Then a quick detour to the garden to see if any kale was still alive.  It was, mostly.  I pulled a basket load of lacinato.  Couldn’t bring myself to touch the pom poms of curly kale.  I’ll hit those next week.LK

So nice to get out.  Cold enough to make you feel alive without making biking painful.  If only it could make it into the thirties everyday. FIYTake care of yourselves and those you love.  Kay?