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Food pron, for Joanne and the rest o' ya.




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Last week I discovered a blackberry bramble off the trail, near the velodome; a place where the creek has retreated over the last couple years (see: a zillion invading reeds), and hence, the bramble has invaded. I'd climbed over a log just to see what was there, further out, and found the berries.

So today I returned to the same spot, armed with an empty tortilla bag. And proceeded to pick a couple handfuls of small and tasty berries, using an old cane to help guard my legs. A little anyhow. I rinsed the berries in water (park faucet; did you know you have to let the water run for a MINUTE to make sure it's not germ filled??). And there I was with damp berries in damp bag.

Not big enough to wind up and knot over my handlebars. Too big really to go in my emergency-supply-filled crossbar bag. Of course; into my spare pocket. And away I went, pushing myself; it's late in the season and I'm looking to be as fit as possible for next month's event.

Got to work. Pulled the bag out of my pocket... and berry juice went flying. Ooops. Clearly, I am ten years old (up from eight! inside joke). So I wiped up with cached paper towels, and then hit the showered. Rinsed my shorts. And my work badge, cleverly tucked in the pocket below the berry carrier.

Tasty berries later!
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It's red food season. I had a mini watermelon sitting in the fridge. Gotta do something with it. Found an intriguing and strange recipe on Food Network.

Simmer about a quarter cup of balsamic vinegar with about the same of sugar (I used one packet of stevia).
Make a bunch of cubes of watermelon.
Make a bunch of cubes of tomato (split cherries would be good...)
Tear up a bunch of basil into same one inch fragments (yeah I had basil too. and tomatoes, of course.)
Get skewers.
One piece watermelon, followed by one piece tomato, followed by one piece basil.
Repeat until done.
Drizzle sweet vinegar over top.
Spray with olive oil.
Sprinkle with salt.

nom nom nom.
Really.
most bizarre. ! Glad I have leftovers to take to work tomorrow.
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Maybe I'm the only person who hadn't heard; a kink-friendly coffee shop is coming to the city soon.

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/g/a/2009/07/30/violetblue0730.DTL

excerpt:

This hot caffeination might have been the inspiration for Wicked Grounds, opening in SOMA within the next two weeks. Combining San Francisco's notorious BDSM culture -- and the embarrassment of riches we have in kinky people, places and things -- with coffee fetishism and cafe culture, it will be a don't-miss experience for anyone over 18 who'd love to mix cafe culture, great coffee, and decadent fantasy.

Bring a tip for your sexy barista, a leash for your human kitten, and according to Rose White at Wicked Grounds, they'll provide kitty's latte in a bowl so you may enjoy the atmosphere with your pet well cared for. And as the "first and only kink cafe and boutique" in San Francisco (or the United States), you can likely also get your boots shined and pick up a few adults-only souvenirs.

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I decided last week to brew some ginger beer. I acquired ale yeast, grabbed Myers lemons off the tree out back, and got the other required bits and pieces.

Somehow, in the brewing, this one project turned into four.

Someone gave me a small handful of backyard apricots. I had plenty of ginger... so I decided to make two 3 qt batches of beer; one with the apricots, one without. The batch with the apricot started fermenting much more quickly than the batch without. Interesting. But both are now working, so I am happy. They smell great. Am keeping my fingers crossed.

I peeled an entire ginger root. Lots more than I needed for two batches of beer (yea for my Magic Bullet, saving so much working by processing the ginger in seconds!). Knew I wouldn't use that much ginger in cooking!  Hmmm. I've been known to eat ginger candy... so I sliced the remaining root up, and put it in a small pot with some honey on the stove, and let it cook quite a while (til not translucent any  more). The ginger reduced considerably in size, which was interesting. ... so strong, so yummy! It never really crystallized per say, as I'd used (wet) honey rather than (dry) sugar. Still, I now have awesome candied ginger, and about a cup of leftover ginger syrup. Interestingly, the syrup was much stronger (gingery) while hot than after being refrigerated. I'm thinking it would be good over vanilla ice cream, maybe in a cup of tea...

It also seemed obvious that the strong sweet syrup would be a fine addition to the beers. So I put about 1/8 c. of syrup in each batch.  

Tonight I will sort out which bottles to bottle in, and clean them. Maybe do a little bottling. Yea for friends who save useful bottles for me!
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On my late morning walk today:

I was on the trail, heading north. Heard a scrabbling; looked down, saw a duck taking a bath in the creek below; not the source. Kept looking. It got closer. After a moment, a doe stuck her head up over the edge of the bank. We looked at each for a good two seconds. I started to take a small step back... she turned and fled. I moved to watch her run, and instead saw a buck bounding away. Very cool! I know they weren't happy... yet I think it was for the best, as late morning was not the time for deer to be heading up into people (and cars) territory.

More and more acorns scatter the paths (as well as [livejournal.com profile] kingwyatt's pool cover). I was talking with a Native American friend (a local tribe) awhile ago, and mentioned I'd always wanted to try acorn flour (yeah I am a nature boy geek from way back). She gave me hot tips on how to short cut the make-it-edible process: Grind the acorns, then run hot water through them in a drip coffee machine a few times (and don't then plan on using that coffee maker for making coffee). I can do that!

So now I look at the acorns. Most are still in the oaks, the same color as the leaves. But more and more fall, ranging in color from light tan to nearly black. I picked up a black one today and it cracked easily... clearly too ripe, judging from the mottled look of the nut. Does it matter how brown the acorns are? Probably not, probably just need to be brown and not green. Mostly, I am probably way over-analyzing. Now just have to figure out if I'm actually gonna harvest acorns. :-)

Meanwhile, back in the building, Taiwan has shipped us blank manual cds (to the customer? we think not), and Ops wants more parts numbers (pubs and marcom say nay)... etc etc.

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September 2011

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