Monday, January 20, 2020

Miner's Lettuce In Our Seattle Winter

The Miner's Lettuce  adds variety and vitamins to our salads and pizzas (...yes, I put greens on my pizza. Try it!).
For years, I treated it like a weed, ripping it out of my West Seattle home garden and cursing its tenacity.
One day, I saw it at the grocer. What?
I little research taught me that I'd been discarding perfectly decent food. No more!
Miner's lettuce is in season in April and May, but I'm seeing it grow in my south-facing areas today! Perhaps our moderate winter (so far) has persuaded it to give it a go. That's fine with me; I'll have a nice salad for lunch!
Notice that it is playing well with the green onions I got at the market and planted in my half-casks for fresh winter greens. (from the newly revived Seattle Urban Agriculture.)

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Clearing Out Stuff

I'm cleaning house today and getting organized. Let's see what I find.
  • A nice thank you note from the John Muir Elementary School (back in 2018; I'll post about it back then)
  • USPS ID, from back when I tried to save my marriage by getting a regular job. It didn't work. I now see it might have been because of the back hair on my neck, omg why didn't I notice?
  • I scanned then recycled a lot of paperwork. I rarely refer to it anyway, and it's easier to find things in my carbonite account than to riffle through boxes of paper.

Saturday, January 18, 2020

Pine Needles

I try to post something pretty or funny every day, but it's harder in these short, dark days of January. Still, these pine needles that I saw while walking to Franni's house (to go to Toastmasters training in Kent) have their own beauty if you don't overlook them. They are so ordinary we might not see them.

Ken Starr And Alan Dershowitz Scheduled To Murder Irony At Senate Impeachment Trial

Elizabeth Dye writes in "Above The Law":

"Just in time for the Senate impeachment trial, the White House has announced its dream team of Trump defenders. Let’s meet this motley crew of legal eagles!

Quarterback Pat Cipollone, current White House Counsel, will reprise his role from the House impeachment hearings. If history is any guide, he’ll confine himself to shouting “Congressional oversight is ILLEGAL!” in response to any and all questions. You pay his salary.

Heading up the defensive line we have Jay Sekulow, the president’s private attorney. This one’s a wild card, since he appears to have facilitated the pressure campaign on Ukrainian President Volodymr Zelensky in concert with Rudy Giuliani and Lev Parnas, and so may be called as a witness.
Next up is Alan Dershowitz, author of the recent book “The Case Against Impeaching Trump” which claims that colluding with a foreign government against the interests of the United States is not illegal. His theories on Supreme Court intervention in impeachment may be questionable, but one thing is for sure: He absolutely, positively kept his underpants on when he got that massage at Jeffery Epstein’s house.

Impeachment buffs will remember veteran Independent Counsel Ken Starr, who’s been at the game longer than anybody. At his last at-bat, he exposed President Clinton’s penis. But of late he’s become a lot more squeamish. In 2016, Starr resigned as president of Baylor University after the school was found to have systemically failed to address sexual assaults on students. And his current position is that, while lying about sex is definitely impeachable, using congressionally-allocated foreign aid to extort a criminal investigation of your political opponent is “defining impeachment down” in a shocking miscarriage of justice.

Robert Ray succeeded Ken Starr as Independent Counsel. You may recognize him from such hits as the final report on the Whitewater scandal, the final report on the White House travel office scandal, the final report on the White House FBI files controversy, and the prosecution of former Agriculture Secretary Mike Espy, whom a jury acquitted on all 30 counts of receiving an improper gift. There’s no one better to make the case against politically motivated prosecutions.

Jane Raskin, the quiet one, is an experienced federal practitioner from Florida who successfully steered Trump through the Mueller investigation. And she managed it all without weekly appearances on Fox News. How does she even do it?

Bringing up the rear is former Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, an adept multitasker who occasionally moonlighted as a Fox host while serving as chief lawyer of the Sunshine State. After receiving an illegal campaign donation from Donald Trump’s charitable foundation, she dropped an enforcement action against Trump University and became one of his staunchest defenders. She’s now employed at the White House as a “special government employee” whose impeachment job is to “attack the process.” You pay her salary, too!

CNN reports that the entire cast will have a speaking role in next week’s impeachment hearings, which may put a crimp in Mitch McConnell’s plans for a dignified, serious process. But let’s keep it PG, kids! In the people’s house, everybody wears pants. (Sorry, Dersh.)"

Friday, January 17, 2020

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

At Least We're Better Off Than The Crew Of The "Dark Star"

This is a source of comfort, I suppose. It's only a movie, but really funny and impressive for such a low budget.

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Isle Of Cats Delivered!

Yay! the game I supported on kickstarter just came in! In "The Isle Of Cats" we rescue cats from Dire Peril through tilelaying (sleeping cats can adopt a variety of shapes ya know!) Time for game night at some pub!

Sunday, January 12, 2020

Cooking Question Ignites Responses

I'm making a bunch of soup for tomorrow's Soup Swap when I run into a snag - so post on Facebook:
#COOKING question: I'm making creamy potato soup for a Soup Share tomorrow. I avoid salt (the sodium and blood pressure, ya know?) but then how to add tang?. I usually add acid, like lemon or lime juice, but with a creamy soup I dunno? Do you have thoughts on an alternative, or is there any reason not to just go with a little lime juice? Food: it's good stuff!
*This* is one of my most commented-up posts of all time! More than 50 friends and family weighed in with tips, ideas, et cetera. So many of us like food!

Mari Wilson Well, polish restaurants serve dill pickle soup, which is really a sort of creamy potato soup with shredded dill pickles in it, as near as I can tell. I'd look up some recipes for dill pickle soup and maybe add some pickle juice to your soup for that tang.  Or maybe just dill, the herb?
Randall E. Winn Hm.... dill, yes I think I have some of that. Thanks.
Cathleen Barszewski Falconer I was going to say vinegar
Chad McDonald I'd add dill and basil
Randall E. Winn I got some basil too, thanks!
Carlos Espinoza I don't even know how to cook an egg and , I have chickens .
Randall E. Winn The chickens probably feel ok about that lol
Carlos Espinoza Yes!!!
Kat Kirby We us this and there is also another brand that’s called “Nu Salt” both were recommended by Brads heart Dr. But in the mean time try a little dry mustard. The kind that come in the yellow can YUm!!
Randall E. Winn If I add too much, I will have to cut the mustard ;-)
Kat Kirby Randall E. Winn well just don’t cut the cheese and you’ll be fine
Ellen Winnie I would hesitate to use an acid like vinegar or lemon, you could curdle the milk. Dill, a little cayenne, or maybe lemon grass?
Randall E. Winn oh, that's it - I had something in the back of my mind about acid and milk. Everyone is going one dilly-dilly but I like the idea of cayenne too. Red spices go everywhere!
Andrew Dianiska Vinegar? Buttermilk?
Randall E. Winn Oh man buttermilk, I love that stuff. I'm too late to do that for this batch, but I have plenty of potato left for the next go-round. Thanks!
Gail Leinweber Buttermilk
Mara Cohen Cilantro and Lemongrass. Chervil will also add a nice tang to a cream soup.
Randall E. Winn Thanks. I see there is chervil in my jar of "French fine herbes"; I'll try some in a sample. This is fun!
Justin Gelsinger A splash of vinegar
Justin Gelsinger Or white wine
Randall E. Winn I'll pour me a glass right now!!!!!
Justin Gelsinger Some chopped arugula on top for extra fancy schmancy-ness
Randall E. Winn That sounds fancy! I got some green onions fresh from the garden (they grow here even in the winter, although slowly) which I thought I'd chop finely and make a design on top like a soup barista.
Justin Gelsinger That would be good too. Either way a little tart bite
Peggy Brogan As a Southerner, I swear by lemon pepper. The fancy places make it without salt.
Randall E. Winn Is that black pepper plus lemon grass ?
Peggy Brogan Randall, lemon zest and pepper. Amazing for chicken and fish, good general seasoning like various regional favorites. Ever used Lawry's? You can make up some lemon pepper yourself. If you like it and it's not a common seasoning where you live, it would also make a nice home made gift for another cook. Homemade Lemon Pepper Seasoning - Simply Scratch
Candice Wells lemon pepper seasoning.
Randall E. Winn I always knew you were a Southern Belle (...see Peggy above) ;-)
Carol Courtney Don't add citrus unless you want the milk to curdle. I like paprika, garlic, white pepper, maybe a pinch of nutmeg?
Susan Avila-Smith Sour cream! Then go to Trader Joe's and get Umami seasoning.
Rayna M. Alsberg 1) Freshly ground black pepper (very healthy) and 2) Mrs. Dash - sodium free herbal mixture - very tasty. Generic available at Target.
David Seltzer Did you add onions or leeks when you boiled your potatoes. Some ground cumin works well in potato soup, as does mostly any cheese (American cheese is not cheese)
Joyce Jocetta Thrushleigh Baldwin Most cheeses have a fair bit of salt in them so if avoiding salt/sodium it's not the best flavoring to add.
Randall E. Winn I must say, my friends + family LOVE food - as do I!!! Thanks for the tips.
Peggy Brogan Here's another. When you can, go on a field trip.
Patrick J. Luby yogurt
Mari Wilson Not for this recipe, bit if you're looking for a salt fre seasoning to use on many things, order the mural of flavor mix from penzeys spices. Sooo good.
Randall E. Winn Thanks - I'll order something from them and give it a try!
Randall E. Winn Thanks friends! Here's the results: 4 quarts, ready for the freezer, to take to a soup swap on Sunday. A soup swap is a party where everyone brings 4 quarts of homemade soup, frozen, with a list of ingredients. We take turns telling the story of our soup; creativity and entertainment value is encouraged; truth is not a required ingredient. Then we take turns picking someone else's soup to bring home. Lobbying is encouraged. Prizes go to best story, worst story, first soup to be all claimed, last soup to be all claimed. It's a party where we spend a couple of hours telling stories, and go home with four homecooked meals. Community building frugality can be fun! (It's also a way to replace your set of random plastic containers that build up in the pantry with a new set of random plastic containers - until next month ;-)

Sheryl Cole Randall E. Winn looks pretty tasty!
Rayna M. Alsberg Sounds awesome
Peggy Brogan I love the story of the swap.
Danielle Renee Senik That sounds fantastic and fun! All except for the plastic.
Kat Kirby What a fun idea, made we should do that for xmas next year
Randall E. Winn Kat Kirby oh yes! We end up taking home leftovers anyway, so why not organize it from the start haha?
Martha Kelly I made a potato soup that was basically rough mashed potatoes garnished with chopped onions, cider vinegar, and cubes of cheddar cheese for my parents 25th anniversary party many years ago. Simple but yummy.
Tamsen Spengler Cant wait to try your soup!! Glad you came today.
Dawn Powell Idk, what about sea salt?
Reema Rafii so, late to the "party" but, in Middle Eastern cooking, we use sumac in many dishes, notably tabbouleh. It is tangy - red in color so you may see that - and adds delicious flavor, without adding salt. Maybe give that a try next time? (not sure if anyone else suggested it, but you could also try low-sodium soy sauce/tamari if it's low enough for your diet).
Ronald Holden Just add the salt. Influence on BP is minimal, on taste major. No study has ever shown that salt-shaker salt raises blood pressure or causes heart disease. In fact, the only longitudinal study ever done, in Finland, showed that a 50% reduction in salt consumption had no effect at all on mortality.
Jon Caulkett I agree with those who said that lemon or vinegar might curdle the milk. I use lots of chopped onion, black pepper, & of course, BACON!