August 14th, 2006


Upcoming plans

I've decided that I'm giving up on getting a lot of my "at home" projects completed this summer. That includes things like photo editing, selling my M:tG cards, some paperwork, and other little tasks. I feel like I haven't done nearly enough traveling lately, so I've decided to set that right. Every weekend from now until the weather gives out (at least the middle of October), I'm going to do something and go somewhere. My current list includes:
  • weekend trip to Hoh Rain Forest (south side of the Peninsula this time)
  • day trip to Mt. Rainier
  • Blueberry picking at Mt. Si
  • Orcas Island (planning to drag Morris up there for a romantic-ish weekend (since he's lived in Seattle all his life and NEVER BEEN THERE!))
  • weekend trip to Portland & Oregon coast
  • Somewhere in Canada (maybe Vancouver, maybe not)
  • maybe a weekend trip to Columbia River gorge

I'm not sure how I'm going to pay for all this travel, but I'll figure something out. At this point doing fun stuff is more important than not incurring the debt. I also have to get my car into traveling shape; with luck that'll be done this week.

And if you're on my flist, you're invited! I'd love to have a travel partner. Let me know where you're interested in going, and what weekend days work for you. Suggest somewhere else, too; I'm pretty flexible!
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Weekend o' cookin'

Since I volunteered to be on call last weekend, and gave up on my other projects, I decided to do a lot of cooking. First was clearing out the chicken carcasses in my freezer to make stock. This went fantastically well! I've got it all frozen now, just waiting for risotto and other tasty treats. Unfortunately, I severely underestimated how much chicken I had: there's enough left for another full batch of stock! That'll have to wait for a while, though...

Next up was chicken parm, which was good, but not great. The crispy crust didn't survive the baking step; I'll have to do that differently next time. Finally was crispy rice squares! I bought a 2 lb. bag of generic Rice Krispys (for only $3!) @ Cash'n'Carry, since I've been dying for these for weeks! Melt 4oz butter, add 40 marshmallows, melt them only 2/3 of the way through, add 1t double-strength vanilla extract, stir in 6c. cereal, spoon into dish, and refrigerate until cool. Yumnormous.

Tonight will be some fried chicken; same recipe as last time, except that it'll be all thighs instead of a full bird. I think I'll also make cinnamon buns this week; maybe Wednesday night. Yes, warm sweet chewy gobs of deliciousness! Time to put that stand mixer to work!

Stock recipe: put ~4lb. of chicken carcasses, 3 sliced carrots, 3 sliced celery stalks, 1/2 onion (quartered), 1 leek (halved), 7 sprigs ea. fresh thyme & parsley, 3 bay leaves into an 8qt stockpot. Cover ingredients with upside-down steamer basket, fill the pot almost to the brim with filtered water, place 12oz pyrex measuring cup on basket and fill that with water. Bring stock to boil, reduce to simmer. Cook for 7-8hrs, topping up stock with water in measuring cup (and refilling cup) as needed. Strain, chill in ice-water filled sink, refrigerate overnight, skim fat, freeze.

Chicken parm recipe: Coat thin cutlets with flour, dip in mixture of (3 eggs + milk), bread with mixture of (1c. breadcrumbs, 1c. shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, 1/2c. finely chopped parsley, 1t. garlic power), repeat egg dip, repeat breading. Fry in olive oil on med heat ~3 min/side until GBD, add tomato sauce to pan, cover with sliced fresh mozzarella, shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano, and fresh basil. Bake @ 350 for 15 minutes. Top with fresh shredded parsley and serve...

Twoflower, I'm not

I've decided it's time to get a new set of luggage; my "current" set is, uh, about 10 years old, and while in kinda sorta OK shape, is somewhat broken, and missing a lot of modern conveniences.

Of course, me being me, I want to do this Right, and more than a little Overboard if I can help it. Currently, I'm eying some stuff from Briggs & Riley; particularly some of their "baseline" series (which is going to be changed in the fall, and so is 20% off now, bringing the prices down from "ridiculous" to merely "high"). Specifically, I think I want the 20" Superlight Upright Carry-On and 28" Superlight Upright. Any seasoned travelers want to share their opinions?

That's not the point of this post, though. The real point is this snippet from the site that seriously got my snark started:
Specialized collection features include:

* OutsiderTM handle for flat packing and less wrinkles
* SpeedThruTM pocket for hassle-free airport security checks
* SmartLinkTM system allows you to attach a small wheeled bag to a larger wheeled bag

Dude! Have I fallen into a Neal Stephenson novel and not noticed?!? Sheesh.

Also, I *totally* should have made my handle "twoflower", even though that's user 64,307 and I didn't register until 9,349,709.