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Tuesday, August 22nd, 2006

Time:9:38 pm.

This is how I make yeasted flatbread that is pretty close to Naan. My procedure follows that of Bittman's The Best Recipes in the World, page 563.

In a bowl mix:

1 T dry yeast
2 T milk (or buttermilk)
2 T plain yogurt
1 T sugar
1.5 c warm water

let this sit and soften, then add:

4 c bread flour (part whole wheat is fine)
1-2 eggs
2 t salt
1/2 cup sourdough starter if you have it around

Mix this all together, then knead, adding flour if the dough is too sticky.

put the dough into a greased bowl and allow to leaven for at least 45 minutes (one or two hours is even better).

pre-heat the oven to as hot as it will go (500F ?) before baking, and if possible, find a high heat capacity material to bake on (stone floor tile from Menards, cast iron pans, or pizza stones would work)

divide the dough into golf ball to tennis ball sized pieces and roll/stretch them out flat - bake the sections for 2-3 minutes per side and rub with a stick of butter as soon as they come out of the oven.

This recipe makes about 2 dozen pieces or so. To re-heat, brush with water and microwave for 15 seconds. I like to eat this Naan with chutney from Indian Vegetarian Cooking at Your Home

The end product looks like the image below,

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Thursday, August 17th, 2006

Time:10:39 pm.
finally - I started the water heater project this morning at 9:30 and finished after dinner at about 6pm. I spent equal amounts of time removing galvanized pipe and sweating the new joints. So far the heater seems to work. Photos are over on flickr.
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Time:1:44 pm.
Had to go to a grant meeting yesterday and accordingly got a late start on the home repairs. Ended up truncating a useless branch gas line, doing some small soldering, making 2 trips to menards, filling up the coolant on the Golf, and drilling through 8" of sillplate to vent the heater. That's done now (took about 2 hours with my little 3/8" drill) and I can't put off pulling the unit anymore. With luck we'll have a water heater on the curb by evening.
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Tuesday, August 15th, 2006

Time:11:03 pm.
The first project I'm tackling now that most of the painting is done is plumbing. The basement is all galvanized steel pipe that's very old, although many of the 1/2" branch lines running to faucets have been replaced with copper. Given the hole in the chimney, I've got to vent both water heater and furnace out the side of the house - the water heater is first.

I haven't yet had the nerve to pull out the old water heater and have been screwing up my courage by doing easy stuff like sweating together the vertical dielectric unions and ball valves that will attach to the water heater outlets. The really scary (and very easy) part hasn't been touched yet - modifying the gas lines.

While living at the apartment I'd forgotten how absurdly easy it is to blow a bunch of money on stuff you think you need. So far, this repair is still below the amount a plumber would charge, but I'm only about $200 from breakeven.

My Menards receipt this morning (for lots of gas, galvanized, and copper fittings) was 3' long. With luck I'll be able to return a bunch of it.
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Monday, July 31st, 2006

Time:10:58 pm.
baking two loaves of swedish potato rye tonight. With the warm humid weather the dough really rose.

S and I are blowing the equivalent of a new 9-5 wagon (base model) to get into a 100 yr old house tomorrow. With luck, after replacing the furnace, windows, and water heater, we'll have enough left over to trade the Golf for an old 9-5 or 9-3. The Golf is just too small for travelling with Hershey.

In my free time now I'm writing for a grant to the NSF, setting up a beowulf cluster, and also revising lab manuals while teaching them. Oh, and rye bread. Hoping that it will be good.
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Friday, July 21st, 2006

Time:10:16 pm.
Pho was pretty lousy today. Not sure why the taste was so bland - I used a bunch of star anise and plenty of ginger. Adding mint to the Pho (rather than buying Basil) was something I won't try again - It tasted like a springrool in a bowl.

Blueberry pie and ice cream after dinner however was wonderful!

Drank Goose Island Wheat (not quite Hefeweizen - more of an american wheat) whit dinner and was again disappointed. When will I learn...
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Time:6:48 pm.
Blueberries were $0.98 a pint and a pie was made. So far, the crust is good and the pie is too hot to eat. Had I made the pie I would have had to figure out how to make a Banjo with fork pokes...

Pho for dinner.
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Wednesday, July 19th, 2006

Subject:Hot humid weather
Time:8:55 pm.
A week or so ago Sara got a "new" bike from my Dad's garage. Olivia had fun watching me put the chain back on and pump up the tires. I feel terrible saying so, but the caption to this picture could be "Daddy, teach me to swear".

The hot weather and 10 cent limes at rochester wholesale prompted a summer tradition which I haven't mentioned in a while.

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Sunday, July 16th, 2006

Subject:Catholic Churches and peach Jam
Time:12:26 pm.
After reading through most of the catechism yesterday, S and I decided to go to the evening service at St. Mary's last night. This freed up our Sunday morning, which I used to make pancakes and peach jam. I'm not sure why the peach chunks float to the top of the jam, but the color does look pretty good. Pectin, at $1.49/packet from Fleet Farm, is an incredible bargain. With luck, I'll find some decent cherries at ROchester WHolesale tomorrow and make a batch of Cherry-peach tomorrow.

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Saturday, July 15th, 2006

Time:8:17 am.
Olivia woke up at 4:30 this morning, and so accordingly, she and I first took the dog to the library to return a CD, and then, seeing that she was still awake, we went to HyVee.

I wasn't sure what to buy for breakfast and ended up leaving with blueberries, buttermilk, lard, and tomatillos - among other things (the Amana colonies in Iowa sell bread through HyVee!).

Of course given the hour, the store was a mess of pallets and tired janitors, but Olivia liked it (except for when I put her down to walk - then she cried).

Then, seeing her still awake, we drove over to Walmart to see if they have the kiddie trailers for bicycles. They do, they're cheap, and we won't be buying them. Additionally, Walmart's produce section looked uncharacteristically terrible today.

Once home, Olivia was finally again asleep and I had a chance to make (mediocre) blueberry muffins. I used Betty Crocker's recipie but doubled the blueberries and replaced 1/2 of the white flour with rolled oats. They're falling apart, didn't rise very well and have a funny aftertaste. The muffins are redeemed though in that they photograph pretty well.

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Friday, July 14th, 2006

Subject:been a while
Time:10:54 pm.

In the interim, Olivia and I have eaten some fried eggs,

sprouted out a sweet potato,

and have experimented with water-based stick-on tattoos,

I'm presently teaching a few labs at WSU and we're thinking about the impending move. Nothing much else is going on in Winona.

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Thursday, June 29th, 2006

Time:8:15 am.
No videos of oatmeal or dinner. Yesterday for lunch we made a fish stew, again following a recipe from that French cookbook. With the stew, we had a (finally) ok baguette

The stew consists of:
saute in olive oil:
 2-3 onions, diced
 5-6 cloves garlic, diced
 cayenne, salt, and pepper to taste
Then add,
 2 14oz cans tomatoes
 1 bay leaf
 1 1/3 cups white wine
 1 lb red potatoes
Simmer until liquid is reduced and then add
fish fillets.  I used walleye from the river and flounder
from the freezer.  Shellfish would have been nice, but 
they're not really available in Minnesota.

Add chopped parsley before serving.

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Monday, June 26th, 2006

Subject:a scavenged Huffy
Time:3:56 pm.
Dude, now all I have to do is find some sweet jumps!

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Subject:This is what your summer vacation looks like...
Time:11:08 am.
Did I mention that a few months ago we got a check in the mail from the IRS? As good americans, we went out and spent the cash as quickly as possible. The result? We now take home movies of Olivia. With a camcorder and a gift subscription to "Parenting" one feels like a "real" parent.

All that said, iMovie does make it very easy to disseminate movies. Linked here is my latest attempt to chronicle Olivia's youth - the Tomato and garlic omelet I made for her birthday breakfast.
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Sunday, June 25th, 2006

Time:9:52 pm.
Dinner tonight was a rather ordinary meal of brats, pasta salad, and Fanta. The bar-be-que commemorated Olivia's 1st birthday though, so the day was quite special. The cake was superb. A few photos:

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Saturday, June 24th, 2006

Subject:bread pudding
Time:9:42 pm.
I didn't make bratwurst or hotdogs today. Sara requested that the food we prepare for Olivia's party tomorrow have a low likely-hood of sending all of the guests to the Goodhue County medical center for stomach pumping.

My first attempt for the evening then was a loaf of sourdough from a rochester wholesale mix. That was terrible. Way too salty and in the oven to long too. Olivia has been gumming, and then feeding to Hershey, croutons hacked off that loaf all day.

Second attempt was pot-stickers. ("Lop Cheong and Napa Cabbage Dim Sum" for the Bon Appetit crossreferencers). They're actually very easy, mix a filling, roll out a 2 ingredient dough, fill the pockets, then freeze or panfry/steam

Our kitchen is very small. No granite countertops in sight.

Bread pudding from failed baguettes (earlier in the week) for dessert.
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Friday, June 23rd, 2006

Subject:fish sauce salad
Time:8:58 pm.
The salad we had for dinner tonight is a once-a-week dish in the summer. Its a blend of several Vietnamese/Thai rice noodle salads and thought of in my mind as the generic "one with the fish sauce". Regardless of the specific ingredients it generally turns out well, if a bit salty.

The salad consists of:

   1/2 package (7 oz dry) rice noodles - slightly undercooked

Ingredients, chopped into fork-sized pieces:
   grilled meat (chicken, pork, beef, lamb, fake crab legs - whatever's on clearance) 
   1/2 head lettuce, chopped 
   4-6 carrots, shredded
   cucumber (peeled and shredded, or diced)
   fistfulls of cilantro,  mint, and basil (subject to availability - 
      I generally can't afford mint or basil from the store in the quantity I want) 

   2 T Fish Sauce
   Juice of 1 lime
   1 t black pepper
   1-2 T sugar ( to taste)
   1-2 cloves garlic, minced
   1 shallot, diced

boil the water, 
chop the vegetables, 
cook, rinse, and drain the noodles, 
grill the meat, 
make the dressing, 
combine with clean fingers, 
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Wednesday, June 21st, 2006

Time:10:49 am.

I'm still fighting a war with NFS and NIS on my little cluster of obsolete powermacs. I'm also (foolishly) trying to replicate a grad school friend's knot analysis routines (though I'm using Fortran 95 instead of sacrificing my mind at the altar of C++, pointers remain asinine to me and I love how Fortran hides all kind of unpleasantness under the covers...).

The cooking lately has been uninspired. I made some tough, overbaked baguettes last night and yesterday afternoon baked the lop cheong for the required 5 hours (plus 2 hours of resting). This asian sausage is actually pretty tasty, although the spicing in most of these recipes seems well, rather insipid. Next batch I'll have to double everything and see how it turns out. I guess I've been eating too much indian food.

The lop cheong smelled like cinnamon rolls while in the oven. I'd forgotten the wonder of chinese 5 spice powder.

I also had some good peaches several days ago. After picking a half bushel of peaches in New Jersey several years ago I've been forever disappointed by the fruit at the grocery store, but these smelled right as I walked by when last at Midtown.

We went to the storage unit several days ago to find my meat grinder. Ollie got a surprise gift while there (having stuff in storage is nice that way)

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Monday, June 19th, 2006

Subject:more dinner
Time:11:37 pm.
tonight was falafel again - still working through last weekend's Naan.

Note the english cucumber and kalamata olives.

Olivia loves Kalamata Olivesthat small brown thing in her hand isn't dirt
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Sunday, June 18th, 2006

Subject:Dinner, Sunday 18 June
Time:6:22 pm.

What better dish to make on a hot late spring day that a green lentil casserole huh? Recipe from "My French Kitchen", Harris and Warde, page 126, "Lentil and Toulouse Sausage Casserole". We made the sausage for the Casserole several days ago...

In the image, the casserole, consisting mainly of: french green lentils from the local co-op, onion, garlic, thyme, celery, and some tomatoes. Parsley added at the end surprisingly improved the taste. Defying convention, we drank a Gewuerztraminer with the meal, sourdough bread with butter on the side (Midtown was out of baugettes).

In this meal, the sausage baked ahead of time was very tasty, the sausage added raw (before cooking) less so. Rule of thumb, poaching alone is probably not the best way to cook home-made sausage.

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LiveJournal for enntea.

View:User Info.
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You're looking at the latest 20 entries. Missed some entries? Then simply jump back 20 entries.