I read everywhere that we all need to eat more lentils and beans.
So when I saw this recipe (New York Times account needed for link) for a vegetarian shepherd’s pie made with French green lentils, I went for it.
It was a bit of work, but my efforts paid off nicely in the end!
There is aardvark and then there is yster- vark (porcupine). Local craft brewing company Hoogeberg (‘High Mountain’) named one of its lagers Ystervark. (I still have to try it).
The Ystervark is a ‘hybrid lager’, which means it was fermented at the higher temperatures usually used for ales. The time and temperatures used in beer fermentation is not an exact science, and allows brewers to be creative.
Here’s a beautiful red onion that I put into a roasting pan tonight, with sweet potato wedges, butternut squash and Brussels sprouts.
It’s a little tricky to get everything to roast evenly, without some pieces getting burnt – but I’m learning!
Local burger chain Dick’s Drive-in was founded in 1954.
This Tuesday, they celebrated their 65th anniversary by offering burgers at the ‘original price’ of 19 c.
The regular price today for a 1/8 pound burger, is $1.60.
That means average annual burger price inflation was about 3.4%* for the 65 year span from 1954 to 2019.
*Very close to the average of the annual Consumer Price Indexes (CPIs) published by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics over the same period (3.5%).
My friends and I ran out to Ozzie’s Diner in Queen Anne here in Seattle this morning for brunch. Some of us had ‘the house mess’: a scramble of egg, cheese & some veggies, on top a bed of hash browns.
Temperatures only got to 42 °F (5 °C) today, but this is absolutely mild compared to the frigid temperatures expected along the Canadian border in the Midwest by Wednesday.
A polar vortex will drive down nighttime temperatures at places such as International Falls, MN to a deep, deep freeze of -36°F (-38°C).
Check out the cool packaging for eggs that I got, from Vital Farms .. and to boot it has the ‘Certified Humane’ label on it. (That’s the labeling that matters here in the USA, say my friends that know. Ignore ‘natural’ and ‘cage-free’). So these eggs are from truly free-range hens. The Dutch call these chickens scharrelkip –‘chickens that scurry’.
I’m sure as soon as feierabend* had arrived on Friday in Washington DC, politicians & their staff rejoiced more than they usually do.
*Feierabend literally translates to ‘celebrate-the-evening’ (the end of the work day).
Meanwhile, the 185th Oktoberfest is in full swing in Munich, Germany. I’d still like to make it out there one year – just not sure I could handle even just one of those one-liter steins filled with potent beer! It would be really embarrassing to keel over and fall off one’s chair while the umpa band plays.
I see actor Ryan Reynolds’ gin has arrived in Seattle (Aviation Gin). It made me think of our gin of choice, for after-work cocktails, back when I worked in China: Bombay Sapphire. So I should give the Aviation Gin a try.
P.S. Alas, party-pooper researchers have published the results of a sweeping global study in the Lancet, that says that not even modest amounts of alcohol is good for one’s health. What is one to do?
Ahh .. a shipment of ProNutro cereal from South Africa landed on my porch this week, sent by my friend Jose. I have fond memories of the stuff and still like it very much.
Back in high school, it was the only breakfast that would sustain me all the way through the long mornings in class. The cereal is also famous in South Africa for feeding baby animals and birds (that one might have rescued).
I only learned of the East Coast’s cult burger chain ‘Shake Shack’ when it was reported that Special Investigator Mueller’s team had a lunch bag from Shake Shack during Paul Manafort’s trial. (The lawyers would not say what they had for lunch; they had strict orders not to talk to the press).
Anyway: Seattle is getting a Shake Shack, close to Amazon’s headquarters.
We had beers and a bite at Fadó (say f’doe*) Irish Pub tonight. It is located in the historic Colman Building on 1st Avenue. Since it is First Thursday of the month, we could also stop in and admire art at a few of the galleries nearby, afterwards.
*An Irish term meaning ‘long ago’. It is used in Ireland to start a story -the equivalent of ‘once upon a time’.
My attachment to Café Francais goes back to the very first time I set foot in the United States in 1990. My older brother and I were visiting my younger brother in Palm Desert, California. He had some in his kitchen cabinet.
The stuff has been my favorite additive for hot milk, ever since. (Just one teaspoon).
I completely ran out of it last week, and horrors! it seemed to have disappeared, or was sold out, everywhere. But just tonight, I checked one more time here at the local Safeway (grocery store), and there it was, on the shelf.
Friday night saw almost 3 inches of rainfall in Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens in Cape Town. Still, the Cape Town City Council is said to be entertaining the possibility of towing an iceberg from Antarctica to Cape Town, to further help boost the city’s low water inventory. Say what?Can that possibly work? was my first reaction.
Well, here are the numbers*. Some 200 billion tons of ice from Antarctica slide into the sea in a typical year – the equivalent of more freshwater than the world uses in a year. Some icebergs float for 5 years in the ocean, and some make it to Gough Island. Such an iceberg could be towed from there, for the roughly 2,700 km (1,700 mi) distance to Cape Town. The iceberg will be stationed off the coast (Cape Columbine on the west coast is mentioned), and could conceivably deliver 100 megaliter of water every day for a year as it melts. (About 20% of the city of Cape Town’s needs). If such a project is can be pulled off successfully, its cost is projected to be less than half the cost of desalinating an equivalent amount of seawater.
*From an article in the Sat Jun 2 issue of ‘Die Burger’ newspaper.
The price of a hot dog at Costco — $1.50 with a giant cup of soda — has not changed since 1985. So I had to snap a photo of it in the little food court section while I stopped by there today!
Costco is a no-frills warehouse store chain (488 locations in the US) that was founded in Seattle in 1983. Shoppers pay an annual membership fee ($60) to be able to buy anything from food and household items (usually in bulk quantities), to watches to TVs, at low prices. The store has 75 million members nationwide. Ardent fans love the ‘treasures’ they find at stores: electronics, appliances or other less frequent purchases offered at extremely good prices.
I try not to clutter up my kitchen with too many devices and pots and pans, but finally got a little non-stick single-egg frying pan.
Of the myriad ways to prepare an egg – soft boiled, hard boiled, soft scrambled, hard scrambled, sunny side up, over easy, over medium, over hard, omelet, poached or baked – the ‘over medium’ style is one of my favorites.
My new favorite snack cereal is Post’s Grape-Nuts. I see it has been around a long, long time. It is made from wheat and barley, so no grapes and no nuts! It does have a nutty taste, and was originally thought to contain grape sugar.