Saturday, May 3, 2014

from ham to eternity

Well it wasn’t quite eternity, 
but our Easter ham took awhile to whittle down to the bone. 

We’ve eaten ham and hardboiled Easter eggs for weeks.

White beans are a neighborhood staple and more healthy than I realized.

Look at that: ZERO fat, ZERO saturated fat, ZERO trans fat, ZERO cholesterol and almost ONE FOURTH dietary fiber.  And 10% rich in iron. 

Let’s make ham and white bean soup!

I just made this up as I went along. 
We had fennel and big onions, lotsa carrots and celery and tomatoes. 

Crisp some bacon in a thick bottomed pot, 
and chop up a nice, fresh mirepoix with fennel.

Soften the vegetables in the rendered fat over a low heat. 

Keep stirring. 
Add parsley. 
Ground pepper. 
Breathe deep. 

Now start a small stock pot with cold water to cover the carrot peels, onion bits, parsley stems and fennel trimmings. Add a bayleaf and a few peppercorns and simmer covered for an hour. 

We’ll strain this and add some of this stock later.

After the veggies softened I added two liters of rich chicken stock made earlier for the freezer, but the store-bought stuff works fine.

Not everyone has a frozen ham hock on hand either, but I did, so I threw that in there, too. 

The ham bone, smoked hock and bacon will salt it just fine.

Cover it and bubble gently for two hours. 

While it was simmering I cut some fresh corn.

Rinsed and stemmed some spinach.

Cut up some tomatoes.

And washed a can of white GOYA beans. 

Then I strained off the soup and let the broth stand for awhile. 
This step is a pain in the you-know-what.

But it gives you time to pick all the softened ham off the bone while the fat in the broth rises to the top.

I skimmed the fat off and then put the soup back together, this time adding some of the veggie stock we made earlier. 

Taste and adjust seasonings. 
We’re almost done.

Bring that back up to a simmer, return the ham, dump in the next round of fresh ingredients, wilt the spinach and it’s soup!

You ‘can’ too!

Friday, May 2, 2014

barking up

all in good time

The idea that we might one day communicate on personal devices has been around since the turn of the 20th century.

Seattle Daily Times
February 16, 1947

Miniaturization has been a holy grail since before World War 2.


1940‘s era comic strips celebrated the inevitability of the merger of these concepts.


And talented hobbyists have been creating portable devices since the advent of the transistor.


By the early 1950’s predictions were gaining momentum and in 1956, the Elgin watch company puckishly joined the miniaturization movement.

By the '80's, portable's were getting smaller and smaller.


Last year Samsung released their Galaxy Gear but it failed, due to: 


Now Apple has something up-- or likely on-- its sleeve.

Rumors abound. These are all guesses.

As in history, we’ll just have to keep... 

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

pennies from heaven

A 42 year old Canadian woman and Mother of three was speeding in her SUV at night in a rain storm outside of Toronto.

She injured two and struck and killed 17 year old bicyclist Brandon Majewski, one of three out riding that night to pick up dinner. 

Police confirmed she was over the limit in heavy rain
 on a narrow, two-lane, country road.

The impact broke her windshield, dented the bumper and shattered a headlight, also damaged the roof and a side mirror dangled from its wires.
She claims she never saw him.

Now here’s the catch: Her husband is a local cop and he was following her home that night.


And so the local police force investigated itself. 

And guess what? She sued the dead boy.

She sued his two injured friends, too.

She sued his devastated parents plus the jurisdiction outside of Toronto “for their failure to maintain the road.” 


She wants $1.2 million in damages for her psychological suffering and from her statement:

“Because her enjoyment of life has been irretrievably lessened.”


I don’t doubt that. 

Maybe not as much as Brandon’s, though.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

NY state of mine

It’s true.
We live in a very expensive city.
But did you know there are other American places more expensive than our own?

Washington DC, for instance.

Back in 2012 it was tops, 
the most expensive region in the country.

At the time we were #3, 
ahead of New Jersey but after Hawaii.
But DC is unusual. 
If you consider non-gov metro areas, Honolulu comes out on top.
And we’re a very close second.

All in all, the top five states were 
Hawaii, New York, New Jersey, California and Maryland. 

The bottom five states were 
Mississippi, Arkansas, Alabama, Missouri and South Dakota. 

So, it costs 54% more to live in Hawaii.

Than it does in Mississippi.