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Egret and crab

Thursday, January 11, 2024

RTFM

Western Bluebird
My friend Pat in England wrote this morning, says he hasn't checked in on the blog in a long time and wondered what was up?

And I look back at the last few months of the blog as if I was Rip Van Winkle awaking from a long sleep and think, what have I been putting out here?

Hmmm.  Birds and flowers and music and food. What else? Whining, poverty, tsoris, the jew thing.

What have I not been putting out so much? 

Well, with the exception of the abortion issue, which unnerves me to no end, I have largely steered clear of politics.

Why, you might ask?

Because it is unnecessarily divisive. 

Battle lines have been long drawn and nobody is changing their minds so why cheerlead for one side or the other?

It is pointless, we are living in the most traumatic and polarized of times. The country is a tinderbox.

I can not stand former President Trump, it is true. But I am amazed at his hold over a large cross section of my fellow citizens.

Some believe that he is a messenger of god and grant him near messiah status.

I watched the Rachel Powell interview, the 42 year old grandmother who is about to start a five year prison sentence for her participation in the January 6 riot.

The interviewer was excellent and her candor was both appreciated and thought provoking.

She shows little if any contrition, she prefers to see herself as a victim here. She doesn't know who put the ice axe in her hand that she used to break the Capitol window. Wants to be back home baking cookies. I can relate.

And typical of the Trump cultist, she can not let go of the totally unsubstantiated and thoroughly debunked lies that Trump won the election. It is a core belief and letting go of it would somehow cause her to question an essential tenet of her own being that she can not and will not deal with. Way too traumatizing.

I get it. People feel powerless and they are scared. So if they can figure out a way to invent a big conspiracy to make sense of it all, they will. And there are news networks that will cater to them, no matter how outlandish and bogus the precept. Ask Fox how that Smartmatic thing went.

Arguing with people about Trump is like arguing over religion, it apparently is way too deeply ingrained and a no win. So I will write about scones and pot roasts, it keeps my blood pressure down.

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I forgot to wish my old friend Ricardo a happy birthday over there in Thailand.

A septuagenarian now? Wow.

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A lot of Europeans are rabidly anti Israel and anti semitic lately, like many progressives here at home. I am glad that Pat is still speaking to me.

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Been an interesting couple weeks. New garbage disposal and faucets, new toilet in the shop and new stove. Not to mention a new computer and broke to boot...

Not rolling in dough but it was all necessary, the last plumber never stuck a flange bolt in and I never had a proper seal. Plus the old unit looked like it should have been condemned long ago. I pour the old coffee in there, I know you thought it was something else...

Tom had to chisel the concrete and stick a bolt in. Now I riding high on the new throne. Yeehaw.

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The new stove has been interesting. The first night I made chicken thighs and potatoes. I have never used convection before and there is a lot to learn about this newfangled thing. The manual was not written for a dumb old luddite like me.

Seriously, I live in a 54 year old farmhouse with no modern amenities. We didn't have heat or air until 2007 when I had open heart surgery and couldn't recuperate in the extreme heat of August. We didn't even have television for twenty years.

My wife and I are iconoclasts who follow our own directional navigation path. Part hippie, part amish, but without all the livestock.

Anyway I screwed up on the chicken, she said it was unevenly cooked and maybe not cooked enough. 

Why? I used convection bake but thought that the quick preheat function was enough.

Wrong.

Who knew?

Will never make that mistake again.

I ate mine anyway, pretty delicious, potatoes fabulous.

If I die from some food borne bacterial illness, this can be my going away letter, it has been great.

Sometimes you have to dial the new technology in a little bit. Also helps to read the manual.

Last night I made scones when I got home.

I decided to make a slight alteration to my recipe, a nectarine, pecan ginger scone instead of a peach walnut. 

Used cinnamon too.

I used the convection bake setting. 

I cut the temperature and the time by about 35%.

They were amazing but I think I still like the walnut better.

But the convection bake is the way to go, the bottoms were just perfect.

Hot out of the oven with good European butter. 

Heaven.

Best scone I have ever made, cooking wise. 

I am sold on the convection bake option!

I used the hot tumbler this time for the cutout, a little prettier too.

On to the main course, I bought a really nice prime top loin roast at Major for under ten bucks.

I let it get to room temp, dried it, salted it and then repeated the process in an hour.

I rubbed it with olive oil and pasted a mix of salt, pepper, thyme, oregano, garlic powder and basil in.

Then I added minced garlic to the rub and gave it a hot sear on the new cooktop.

I added the probe and stuck it in the oven under convection roast. Took about 28 minutes to get to an internal temperature of 120°.

Oh man. 

What a roast. What a crust.

I didn't tent it, just let it rest for fifteen minutes or so.

It was the tastiest roast I have ever made by far. 

Incredible flavor, the edges a bit medium, the center rare perfection.

I love our new oven.




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