Archive for January, 2015

Blueberry-Banana Oatmeal

January 29, 2015

This is more of a traditional style of oatmeal. On a whim, I bought a carton of blueberries, encouraged by reports that they help lower blood pressure, but (it turns out) only if you eat enough of them to earn a new nickname. We also had some leftover banana chips, remnants of intermittent attempts at trail mix. These are the hard-dried, crunchy chips. The ones that don’t really taste like bananas. For the liquid, well, we’re still working our way through the goosebroth, which has got to be better than plain water. I mean, we’re cooking, not washing.

Setup: 1/3 cup of stone ground rolled oats, two dinner teaspoons of potato flakes, 1/3 cup of blueberries, 1/3 cup of banana chips, one cup of broth, salt.  Cook for 10 minutes or so, depending on the exact style of oats.  Add the berries & chips when you start the broth, and the potato when you take it off the stove.

Results: Very good. Needed a teaspoon of sugar to bring out the fruitiness. Looked vaguely purple, due to the blueberries. There was a distinct bananalike air about it, but nothing like when I used real bananas. The banana chips themselves softened, but didn’t come apart — much like lightly fried sliced potatoes — and tasted more like plantains. The goose broth added a useful dimension, but beef or mandrill would probably have done as well.

Rating: *****

Opera Browser: The Long Farewell 3

January 27, 2015

Just in time, as the old one fades there’s a new Opera on the horizon. It’s called Vivaldi, and it’s the creation of Opera’s founder, Jon von Tetzchner. Right now the only Linux version is Fedora, but they promise to change that Real Soon Now. I suspect this “Technical Preview” was rushed out to steal some mindshare from Microsoft’s forthcoming Spartan browser.

Meanwhile, I’ve downloaded the Windows version and will be playing around with that. There’s no screenshots here, because The Reg article has enough of those.

So far, it looks OK. I mean, it’s a browser. I haven’t had time to test out many of the features. The deal-killer for me will be the RSS feed. In Opera, RSS is integrated with Mail, and they haven’t implemented that yet.

Definitely not an

Definitely not an “O”

Oatmeal Chili

January 15, 2015

Being fed up (ha ha) with holiday fare, MJ made some chili. Nothing special. Ground beef, onions, some of our garden tomato sauce, commercial chili powder. Cooked on the stove, not sous vide nor in the slow cooker. It turned out not bad. Just spicy enough. Lots left over.

Setup: 1/3 cup of stone ground rolled oats, 1/3 cup of leftover chili, two dinner teaspoons of potato flakes, one cup of broth, salt.  Cook for 10 minutes or so, depending on the exact style of oats.  Add the potato when you take it off the stove..

Results: It turned out not bad. The oatmeal cut the chili flavor and left it tasting more like …  I don’t know … a sloppy Joe, maybe. A tomato-y hamburger stew. Not overly bland, and not overly chili-ish. I will certainly try it again, when the leftover roll round.

Rating: *****

TL;DR — Anime I never finished, Winter 2015

January 13, 2015

One final pass at possible programming before the full weight of the quarter lands on me. Besides, MJ is off on a trip, so I don’t have to watch those stupid game shows in the evening but can concentrate on high school harem anime, instead.

We start off with a couple of right fafners, you know? (more…)

TL;DR — Anime I never finished, Winter 2015

January 10, 2015

Winter is supposed to be a good season for anime. It’s a new year, with new budgets, and new stories. Studios can take risks, and emphasize quality. Sometimes it doesn’t work out that way.

Yurikuma Arashi

Lesbian teddy bears invade a girl's school and eat the lilies.

Lesbian teddy bears invade a girl’s school and eat the lilies.

Absolute Duo:

Boy with unique powers attends special high school and ends up rooming with a girl. Yes, this is a repeat from every year since 1980.

Boy with unique powers attends special high school and ends up rooming with a girl. Yes, this is a repeat from every year since 1980.

Cute High Earth Defense Club:

Awkward attempt at parodying the magical girl genre using magical boys and a pink wombat goes horribly, horribly wrong, and not even the inclusion of a passionate discussion of what makes a good bowl of udon can save it.

Awkward attempt at parodying the magical girl genre using magical boys and a pink wombat alien goes horribly, horribly wrong, and not even a passionate discussion of what makes a good bowl of udon can save it.

Your Lie in April, Second Cour:

Young boy who was beaten into becoming a piano prodigy by his sickly mother and then went piano-deaf at her death is slowly brought back to his original love of the instrument by a wild-child violinist -- who is likely to have a bad case of Anime Wasting Disease herself.

Young boy who was beaten into becoming a piano prodigy by his sickly mother and then went piano-deaf at her death is slowly brought back to his original love of the instrument by a wild-child violinist — who is likely to have a bad case of Anime Wasting Disease herself. Good music, bad angst.

 Rolling Girls:

Skateboarding girls attempt to reunite a shattered Japan. No mention of Oda Nobunaga.

Motorcycle-riding girls engage in a ramen-eating contest, then attempt to reunite a shattered Japan.
No mention of Oda Nobunaga.

Oatmeal de foie maigre

January 8, 2015

When one cooks a whole goose for Christmas, it’s possible to dine on the leftovers for weeks. Months, if your back deck stays cold enough.

MJ made a gallon of broth from the goose. Two quarts were using the liver and other giblets, and two quarts were using the wing-bones, the skin, and some odds and bobs of the meat. One batch tasted gooselich, and the other tasted mildly  liverish. I used the liver-flavored one for breakfast one morning. Another couple of quarts are in the offing, just as soon as we get the bones stripped.

Setup: 1/3 cup of stone ground rolled oats, two dinner teaspoons of potato flakes, one cup of goose-giblet  broth, salt, poultry or other seasonings, as desired.  Cook for 10 minutes or so, depending on the exact style of oats.  Add the salt and seasonings at the start, and the potato when you take it off the stove.

Results: Fair. The broth is a little too delicate on its own, but it would make a good base for something more exciting. Cheese helped.

Rating: *****

Black Bean Oatmeal

January 1, 2015

Back in early December, in that space between holidays when one fights to keep the weight off, in preparation for putting the weight on, MJ made some beans and rice, served on a bed of spinach.  The beans were canned, and heated on the stove. The rice was short grain, brown, and cooked in the pressure cooker for twenty minutes. The sauce was made with the last of our garden tomatoes — they were too far gone to use in a salad, but not black or furry or thingy. The broth was newly-made, also in the pressure cooker, using smoked pork neckbones. Pretty good, for simple country fare. The leftovers ended up in my oatmeal.

I used two fat teaspoons, at least a third of a cup, along with more of the pork broth. Not being sure if it would need salt after all that, I held off until the end.

Setup: 1/3 cup of stone ground rolled oats, two dinner teaspoons of black beans and brown rice, two dinner teaspoons of potato flakes, one cup of pork neck broth, salt.  Cook for 10 minutes or so, depending on the exact style of oats.  Add the beans and rice and bring it up to steaming before you put in the oatmeal, and the potato and salt-to-taste when you take it off the stove.

Results: Very good. The tomatoes and herbs were noticeable. The rice was chewy, as brown rice is wont to be (you could probably go another five or ten minutes in the pressure cooker if you like). The beans were there, but not intrusive. This would be a good side dish for dinner when unexpected guests drop in (or are still there New Year’s morning) and you need an extender. This is one of the few dishes where I’d consider using steel-cut oatmeal, so the chewy rice and chewy oatmeal could fight it out for who would fit in the space where your dental filling was.

Rating: *****