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Messages - a non-amos

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Whatever / Re: Emergency Coronavirus games
« on: March 22, 2020, 11:39:45 AM »
Regarding the soup kitchen, I really messed up the first batch.  I overcooked the onions.  I later came to realize that it tasted better that way, with well browned onions like you would see in a French onion soup.  I might have to mess up like this more often.

I also tried something new in the delivery.  I baked some bricks at 200F (95C) and packed a picnic cooler with the bricks and the tubs of soup.  The additional thermal mass of the hot bricks kept the soup hot, even for the last delivery across town.  Food safety is important, with or without a virus.

Whatever / Re: Emergency Coronavirus games
« on: March 20, 2020, 01:54:56 PM »
The entire medical profession recommends "social distancing".  I guess you can never be too safe . . .

Photo taken by my lovely bride 15 March 2020.

Whatever / Re: Emergency Coronavirus games
« on: March 17, 2020, 01:42:27 PM »
Another puzzle or two would be most welcome, but I must add that we should not ignore our responsibilities to our friends and to our communities.  Here in the US we have very little support for hourly workers who have no benefits, no sick days, nothing.

I met a friend this evening and overheard her immediate fears.  She was in tears, being "just that close" to making rent for the month but if her workplace shut down she would be homeless.  She dried her tears and got back with the rest of us.  Others had also overheard, and they said she could "call if she needed anything".  Alan, please pardon my language, but screw that.  I slipped her enough money to make rent and buy some groceries.  It didn't take much, but a small sum of money can be a big obstacle if you don't have it.

That gave me an idea.  Andy's soup kitchen is open for business!

We should not disparage soup.  This can be not only nutritious and cost effective, but breathtakingly delicious.  No, these are not soups out of a can.

I had been scheduled to help teach at a music festival this coming weekend, but the festival was cancelled.  I still have the time off, but nothing to do . . . maybe cook some food for people who need it?  Probably not a bad idea.

- A

Whatever / Re: More or Les (was Bloody Plurals)
« on: February 05, 2020, 03:25:03 PM »
"I just LOVE sushi!" she said with baited breath.

On a more serious note, I am a big fan of sushi.  If it smells like bait, it's better to decline.

Whatever / Re: an unusual Christmas
« on: January 07, 2020, 04:00:52 PM »
If the compassion and generosity of the Good Samaritan and the giving and charitable spirit of Christmas are not considered one and the same, maybe they should be?

Please also consider that the officially recognized date of Christmas has been twiddled with so much that we now confuse the beginning of winter with the middle of spring.  The date is irrelevant.  What we do is highly relevant, no matter the date.

Yes, it would be horrible for the Christmas shopping season to last throughout the year.  Can you imagine the credit card bills?  When would those carols ever stop?  How would Santa take off, when his sleigh is bogged down in the springtime mud?  Maybe if he had a monster truck . . .

- A

Whatever / an unusual Christmas
« on: January 06, 2020, 03:02:26 PM »
A friend's knee gave out on Christmas Eve.  Nobody wants to spend Christmas Eve in the emergency room, but stuff happens.

Since then she has not been able to get around very well, at first not even able to make a PBJ.  I have shown up every now and then to deliver some home cooking and do some chores and errands.  Take out the trash.  Post some letters.  Whatever needs be.

Her friend and neighbor Pam has helped immensely.  Pam is the real "feet on the ground" with continual help and companionship. 

This evening I showed up (again) with more food, and Pam asked "What, you have a chef that cooks for you and brings you free food?"  I told her that's about right, and would she like some?  I brought plenty.  By the way, how did you like the shrimp Creole?

After that I proceeded to deliver the rest of the food to people who don't make enough income to make ends meet.

In my book, this is the heart and soul of the Christmas Spirit.  Generosity, giving, and being mindful of others' needs.

It was a good Christmas.

- A

Words / Re: Nuts
« on: December 15, 2019, 05:04:08 AM »
Photos as requested . . .

Words / Re: Nuts
« on: December 11, 2019, 02:55:30 PM »
I tried a new idea that worked rather well.  Start with a standard recipe for blueberry or raspberry muffins.  Use pomegranate seeds instead of the berries.  Add some orange zest to the batter.  When the recipe calls for vanilla extract, use half vanilla and half Grand Marnier.  This was really good.  Pomegranates are in season, raspberries are not.

I had another idea.  Shame on me.  Maybe make a sweet potato pie, but first make some pralines.  Crumble the pralines onto the pie, then drizzle with real maple syrup, then bake it.  It sounds sinful.

I did send out another (very small) batch of toys this year.  Oh well, something is better than nothing.  Photos available if you want.

- A

Whatever / toys for 2019
« on: December 03, 2019, 03:23:07 PM »
A few forumites enjoyed similar posts in years gone by.  Here is what I am up to:

I enjoy building toys for needy children, distributed by the US Marines "Toys for Tots" program.  In the past I have made various toys, but lately I have concentrated on biplanes.  These are not the cheap "throw away" toys that this charity usually receives, they are hand made from solid oak.  For me, the hours spent in my workshop are absolutely the best way to get into the Christmas spirit. 

This year I started with only a half squadron, and mistakenly ruined one of them.  I'm down to only two toys to donate, but at least it's more than zero.

Photos to follow; without photos it didn't happen.  I am not going to touch them until the top coat of varnish dries (tomorrow).

Whatever / Re: raspberries etc.
« on: November 20, 2019, 02:59:45 PM »
I will probably not save any for planting. 

I learned that this is actually an invasive species.  The native variety is far less productive and does not taste as good.  That means it's our civic duty to eat as many as we can in order to reduce the spread of invasive species.  Twist my arm.

This might be the first time that an invasive species helped the local ecology.  The bears love them, too.  Likewise many other critters.  What had been a famine is now a feast.

I don't need to worry much about planting them.  The birds to that.  On windshields, sidewalks, pedestrians, and on every square inch of viable soil.  It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven . . . but from the south end of northbound birds.

- A

Whatever / raspberries etc.
« on: November 15, 2019, 05:07:15 PM »
This spring we had a bumper crop of wild raspberries.  Seriously, every bit of roadside with a vacant lot was overflowing with them. An embarrassment of riches!

I mentioned this at the pub and the server said she did not like raspberries.  They had no flavor; she liked blackberries much better.  She had only tried the ones in the supermarket.  We made a date for me to introduce her to the real ones.  I made some wild raspberry muffins.

She really liked them, but I didn't bring enough.  The next time I brought more.  After that there were no more wild raspberries.  I tried it with commercial blueberries, but it's just not the same.  Since June she has been looking at me with sad puppy-dog eyes asking for more raspberry muffins.

I had an idea.  Maybe use pomegranate berries?   Maybe with some orange zest in the muffin batter?  Maybe a little apple pie spice?

I will have to see how that turns out.

Whatever / safe and sound
« on: November 15, 2019, 04:07:58 PM »
I had hoped to limit my posts to uplifting topics.  Reality intrudes.

We have a loose gunman roving our town, someone with military training and quite likely weaponry to match.  He has killed at least one person.

We are safe and sound.

We were told to stay home and lock the doors.  Barricade.  Our door is not only a work of art, it's also thermally efficient and bullet resistant.  Turn the key and it's a barricade.  My lovely bride is a big fan of having an Engineer on staff.

Enough of that.  Let's talk about new music and cooking ideas and toys!  Uplifting is good?

- Andy

Words / Re: Wikipedia definition - 'en'
« on: October 10, 2019, 01:46:04 PM »
You might be mistaken.

EN means it is a European Normative.  These are the standards by which compliance to the essential requirements of the European directives can be proven.  Reference EN 62368-1.


Whatever / Re: Strange times!
« on: September 05, 2019, 11:39:59 AM »
Just for a time.   ;D

Whatever / Re: Strange times!
« on: August 29, 2019, 12:49:58 PM »
I am honored to have recorded the results of this conversation.

Yes, I was taking minutes.   ;D

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