Archive for the ‘Food and Drink’ Category

Today is National American Beer Day

Thursday, October 27th, 2016

I was confused and thought that it was National Beer Day, but it isn’t – National Beer Day is April 7th here in the USA, and June 15th in the UK. National Drink Beer Day is September 28th. International Beer Day is August 5th.

However, it is National American Beer Day, which was set up to celebrate American brews.

Good enough. Time for a beer. I usually prefer IPAs, and there’s good news on that front. Got a different one tonight, a Good Juju.

beer-yellowstone

Back to normal

Monday, July 11th, 2016

… or a reasonable facsimile thereof.

Marion had family visiting all last week, and I was tapped to help out with driving and hosting duties. We covered a lot of ground, visiting various places from Nederland to Cripple Creek. Good food, but we were on the go from (usually) 8 in the morning until 8 or 9 pm each day. We got them back to the airport Saturday afternoon, and then more-or-less collapsed.

Sunday was Marion’s birthday. We didn’t go anywhere, but I cooked dinner for her. I fixed tagliata, and made a chocolate orange torte for dessert. We had the leftovers for dinner tonight. Good food, if not as good as a few of the meals we had during the past week.

This morning I went back to work, and had a couple of packages on my desk that had arrived last week. One contained some LCD displays I’m planning to play with, and the other contained a Raspberry Pi 3 that I won in a drawing. Fun stuff.

Happy New Year

Thursday, January 7th, 2016

I hope your holidays were good.

Mine were very enjoyable. Marion and I came home a few days ago from a holiday trip to New York to visit her friends and relatives. We had a good time there, and I can recommend the food at Osteria Laguna and the Miss Korea BBQ restaurant – we had quite a good lunch there. I was good on the trip – I only gained a pound or so. I did pick up a couple new cookbooks at Kinokuniya, though, and I’m looking forward to trying some of those recipes.

Arriving home was a slightly different matter. We got to the car park, and my car wouldn’t start. Dead battery. Marion didn’t know how to deal with push-starting a car with a standard transmission, so that ended up being a fair amount of effort (on my part) and stress (on hers). Eventually, we got it started and managed to get home.

I took it in to my mechanic yesterday. It was a bad battery, which is not nice, but better than the alternator or some other part of the electrical system. Still, that’s money that I hadn’t anticipated needing to spend. It’s the third battery for the car, so I’m doing a little better than average on battery life.

Been busy recently

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2015

At work, we’ve been trying to get a new product out. We’ve got the design and layout done, and are in the process of getting prototypes set up. We’re also working on an add-on board for it, and that’s still in the schematics stage. Even though I’m not a hardware engineer, I’ve been heavily involved in reviewing the schematics and suggesting changes. One of the reasons I’m useful at it is because I’m familiar with what we’ve done in the past, so I know what worked and what didn’t in our previous designs, so I have some ideas about what to watch out for.

For various reasons, I had to have my Christmas dinner yesterday. I fixed a rib roast, roasted root vegetables, Yorkshire pudding, and homemade bread. For dessert, I’d made mince pie and chocolate rum balls, and one of the guests brought a steamed chocolate pudding with hard sauce. I had a nice cabernet and some non-alcoholic sparkling cider available.

A good time was had by all. Particularly my daughter, when we passed presents around during the lull between the main meal and dessert. I gave her two presents. The first was a cookbook. I recently bought a copy of the cookbook for myself, and I knew she’d enjoy it. The second, though, had her gasping in excitement – it was my set of Samurai Cat art prints, which I had bought at the 1984 Worldcon from Mark E. Rogers at his booth. They’re in good shape, but I had never framed and hung any of them, so, since she’d been threatening to kill me for them since she was 7, I figured it was time to let her have them.

Tonight, as the second part of her present to me, we watched Star Wars: The Force Awakens. It was a good movie, and I enjoyed the sly references to earlier movies that I caught (my daughter caught more, but she’s seen the animated series and I haven’t), but there were a few things that offended me. As they’re spoilers involving physics, engineering, and common sense, I won’t say anything (yet), because it’s just past opening weekend. Maybe later.

Running late

Monday, July 6th, 2015

Last Tuesday, as a late Father’s Day/early birthday present, my daughter took me to a class in making and cooking with bacon. We had a lovely meal, which we had helped prepare, I learned a few new things about cooking (especially with respect to running dough through a pasta machine), and we each took home some raw pork belly that was marinating.

Mine is still marinating in the fridge. Technically, I should have roasted it for pork belly or smoked it for bacon on Friday or Saturday, but I haven’t gotten around to it yet – I was under the weather over the weekend. Oh, well. I’ll get to it tomorrow or the next day. I just have to decide how I’m going to prepare it, and what I’m going to pair it with.

Hit a milestone

Friday, April 17th, 2015

… so I’m taking Marion out for sushi tonight. I promised her that I’d do it when I hit my second weight-loss milestone. The first was losing the ten pounds I gained after I broke my ankle a few years ago.

That weight was very hard for me to lose. However, I slowly started losing weight after being sick a few months ago, and got the first ten pounds off about a month ago. Yesterday, I hit the second milestone, which was to weight less than 200 pounds at my morning weigh-in. We couldn’t go out for dinner last night because we had dance classes, so we’re doing it tonight.

The next milestone is to stay under 200 – I expect to be bouncing back and forth across the 200-pound line for a week, roughly, before I stay consistently under it. I think my best weight was 185, but I haven’t weighed that little for thirty years or more.

Tasty

Sunday, March 29th, 2015

I spent much of the afternoon in the kitchen today. I made meatballs for tomorrow’s dinner, then made a deep-dish strawberry pie. Dinner tonight was the leftovers from last night – a chicken and mushroom stir-fry. I stopped at the oriental market yesterday afternoon and picked up shitake, oyster, and crab mushrooms, which went into the dish.

I also picked up ginger, basil, and mint, because they’re cheaper there than at the grocery stores in my area. The ginger and basil will go into any number of things. The mint is for infused simple syrup, because I ran across a tip that recommended doing that rather than muddling mint for mojitos.

In any case, we had the strawberry pie for dessert tonight. Wow. Just wow. It was very tasty. I believe that’s the first time I’ve ever seen Marion have a second piece of pie. I’ve been forbidden from taking the rest of the pie in to work tomorrow. I do have more strawberries, so I may make another one as soon as the pie dish is cleaned.

The Few, the Proud, the …

Thursday, March 12th, 2015

Deaf?
Distracted?
Drugged?

I ordered a pizza for lunch today – I had some errands to run, and thought it would be a good thing to take back to the office. It didn’t go as smoothly as I expected.

Me: Hi, I’d like to place a to-go order.
Him: Is that for pickup?
Me: Yes.
Him: Your first name?
Me: Steve.
Him: (something unintelligible, but certainly not “Steve”)?
Me: No, Steve. S-T-E-V-E.
Him: Okay, what do you want?
Me: A ten-inch Super Goomba.
Him: Super Goomba, okay. What size?
Me: Ten-inch.

Then he told me it would be ready in 15-20 minutes, and how much it would cost. I finished my errands and entered their door to the sound of their extremely loud bell.

Him: Are you here to order or pick up?
Me: Pick up.
Him: Pete?
Me: No, Steve.
Him: Super Goomba?
Me: That’s it.

We then completed the transaction. If I didn’t like their food so much, I’d be tempted to go elsewhere. Then again, there is entertainment value.

That turned out nicely

Sunday, March 8th, 2015

I made dinner last night – a paprika-heavy pork stew served over pasta, accompanied by sweet-and-sour red cabbage, with apple strudel for dessert. I don’t know if there’s a particular name that people would expect for the stew. The cookbook, which I found in Budapest last year, just calls it pork stew (The Hungarian name is “sertés pörkölt,” which Google Translate tells me means “pork stew”).

Very nice meal, and we’re having the leftovers tonight. Marion has told me I can make this dinner anytime I’d like. The last meal she said that about was a sweet potato, pine nut, and goat cheese strudel. I’m planning on making that again tomorrow night, actually – now that I’ve opened the package of phyllo dough, I need to use it.

I’ll admit that I’m surprised at the price of the cookbook. The back cover lists pricing in several currencies, and the price in dollars is just about $15. I paid in Hungarian francs, and I probably still have the receipt, but that sounds about right. When I wrote this post, Amazon had one copy available for over $60. I didn’t expect that.

My weekend could have been better

Monday, February 9th, 2015

Not that it was bad, but it could have been better. Yesterday, I made meatballs. Good meatballs. Made a spaghetti sauce and pasta to go with them. It was all good, then I decided to open a bottle of red wine to go with dinner. I pulled out a bottle that had belonged to my father, which didn’t have much of a label. I could read parts of a few words, and could tell that it was French wine, but that was it. Unfortunately, the wine was well past its prime – it was a weak, brownish red, and had a distinct vinegary flavor. So, I discarded it and opened a different bottle, which was still good.

Later, I did a search on the partial words I found on the label, and found that currently, recent vintages are going for $90/bottle. In 2003, the wine was $400/bottle. I’m not sure, but this may have been the bottle I bought for Dad’s 50th birthday. The wine was a couple years shy of 50 years old at the time, and I remember telling him, “Don’t wait for it to catch up.” If it is that bottle of wine, it was a vintage that was over 80 years old, and I’m not surprised that it had turned to vinegar.

Then today, Marion and I went to Barr Lake State Park and walked around the lake (a 9-mile walk). Barr Lake is a fairly reliable bald eagle nesting area, so we were hoping to see at least one. We saw a lot of seagulls, a lot of geese, a few hawks, a kestrel, at least one eagle which was either a golden eagle or a juvenile bald eagle, and I took a lot of pictures. Unfortunately, when I got home, it was brought to my attention that I had neglected to reset the resolution at which my camera took pictures.

Earlier this week, I’d been taking some product photos for work, to be uploaded to the web. However, resizing 18MB photos down to 130×150 pixels for thumbnails caused problems. Selecting 720×480 for photos in the camera solved the problem. However, I hadn’t realized that I was still taking photos at that resolution today.

I have several photos of an eagle’s nest that appear to show an eagle on the nest, but it’s not quite good enough to tell, and there’s no zoom available on the photos.

In other words, a good weekend with a good meal and good photos, but it could have been better.

UPDATE: I wrote and posted this late Sunday night, but it got noted as published just past midnight. Apparently, my ISP is on MST already, or is located in the Central Time Zone.