Happy Hollandaise!

May. 21st, 2017 09:15 pm
glitch25: (Default)
[personal profile] glitch25
I really enjoy cooking. I like learning new things and learning how to tweak them to my liking. I like being able to reproduce my successes and learn how best to make things work.

Along those lines, it has come to my attention that there is a significant appreciation for my hollandaise sauce. It is much like others. Rich, creamy, and delicious. But I think the main difference between mine and others is that I don't skimp on the lemon, the salt, or the cayenne. Mine is bold, a little tart, salty, and spicy.

I start with AB's recipe as a guide. You can find it here ----> http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/eggs-benedict-recipe-2118606

For me, I end up using more lemon juice, salted butter instead of unsalted (and I don't add the extra salt listed in the recipe to it), and I'm generous with the cayenne. I think one of the other things that makes a difference is that I don't add the sugar to "balance" it back out.

I prepare it a more traditional way using a double-boiler method with a bowl over a strongly simmering pot of water. I feel like I have more control that way then over direct heat even with pulling it on and off. I also remove and replace it as it heats through to keep the temperature even and to not overcook the eggs. I made the mistake once of leaving the sauce to warm over a no-longer-simmering-but-still-hot water, and in no time, I had scrambled eggs. I have since learned to treat it better. :-)

With some smoked salmon as a base protein and a few capers sprinkled over the top of the generously coated eggs Benedict, this is undoubtedly one of my favorite breakfast meals to make.

(no subject)

May. 19th, 2017 04:57 pm
yam: (ILU Turbolift)
[personal profile] yam
I have new glasses! Well new lenses, I kept my old super-great frames. I feel a little like my head is screwed on backwards? It'll pass. I got lenses with a fancy relax-yer-eyes-whilst reading bottom edge, which may have been a mistake, because my customary slouchy computer position means computer-time is all blurry now unless I sit up. On the other hand, maybe it'll make me sit up and I won't have a crick in my neck all the time. WELP I HAVE THEM NOW I AIN'T PAYING FOR A NEW SET. I am unambiguously pleased about the new anti-blue tint I got, which replicates the effect of f.lux everywhere I go, including work, where I can't install f.lux. This makes every screen a lil' less migrainogenic.

I took Greg for his first eye exam! He does not need glasses, which is not surprising, since he can snootily correct people about things from across the room. But I have confirmation now that he is very strongly red-green colourblind. This brings new layers to his favourite colour being pink, which he experiences as being the same colour as olive green and battleship grey based on what he describes to us. Well hey, it just means more of the world is your favourite colour, eh? He can get good How Not To Buy A Lime Green Suit By Accident Like I Did That One Time tips from my dad, who is also super colour-blind. Dad is a wicked-good master of faking it with shades of grey - we gave him a 24-colour box of pencil crayons quiz a few months ago and he got 21 right, although most required a lot of squinting and thoughtful contemplation before he gave his answer.

I am arranging local TRAVEL SHENANIGANS for the next month and it pleases me. Plus Cedar Point in the middle. I have some kind of trip (or visitor coming here) every week or so until July and it PLEASETH ME SO. I'ma have so many Amtrak points. Not that they are worth very much on the Cascades line anymore, but still, maybe in ten years I can get a free conductor's hat or something. Please send SASE with $1.10 to the following address. Yes.

I'm excited about seeing people and going places, but also about feeling I have the energy to do so. I think new stupid-diet is helping with that part at least. The effect on pain, if any, is not clear to me yet. But I don't feel quite as fall-over tired all the time lately. This is a common observation at the start of ANY new eating plan, even those that result in lethargy and low blood sugar brain fog down the line, so I'm hesitant to call it permanent yet, but I'm certainly enjoying it right now.

And I'm using some of the energy to cook. That recipe HERE EAT THIS service I signed up for has been great, lots of tasty stuff with instructions that I haven't been able to screw up, and I'm eating so well, like, from a gourmet nom nom perspective, not a Whatever Is Currently Thought To Be Good Eating perspective. (As an aside, can I just say that the "eat clean" movement gives me the CREEPS.) Although as it happens it involves a lot of whole foods. Plus my artificial-as-all-get-out pudding cups. I _like_ preservatives. Preservatives save money. Preservatives save food. Food preservatives are almost always harmless to consume. Preservatives are an amazing human advance that promotes public health. Just sayin'.



May. 18th, 2017 09:07 am
glitch25: (Default)
[personal profile] glitch25
Feels like the list of things I need to do at home never shrinks, but actually, we've been making serious progress.

While a recent attempt to partake in a recycling event fell through, I was still able to find free resources to dispose of an old large metal desk along with some very antiquated computer hardware and other miscellaneous hardware/appliance junk. This both freed up room in the music room as well as on our deck outside.

Last year (or was it two years now?) we picked up a nice wrought iron outdoor table and chair set that has sat unused (aside from as a holder for some prop preparations) on the deck since we brought it home. Along with that was an old hand truck, and some previously used plastic chairs and table. The truck has since gotten rusted out, so I added it to the recycle pile along with the plastic chairs and table. And we finally got the last of the prop prep materials cleaned up and stowed away.

In that process, we discovered that not only are we very behind on a garden this year, but that some of the previous plantings from last year actually wintered over and are growing again. It's a shocker! We'll be adding some herbs to it and perhaps some lettuces and spinach. Nothing too fancy, but I enjoy growing things that are useful.

In place of the old desk, I picked up an IKEA shelf to house my bins of bits and bobs. I apparently collect a lot of stuff, and part of the process in digging out the spare room has been working through sorting some of what became "miscellaneous" bins and downsizing and consolidating other bins. It's been an ongoing project for the last 6 months, and the progress is showing!

In related music news, the path to the piano has again been unearthed, and I'm once again getting time to sit down to it to practice and learn new things. The recording equipment has also been getting some flex as G has been submitting various parts for stuffs. However, our recording computer, which is a nine-year-old laptop, has seen many a better day, and is finally reaching the end of its useful life as a recording computer. As timing would have it, my current everyday laptop has also reached a point where as a daily driver laptop, it is losing functionality and usefulness, so I just purchased a new laptop as my daily driver, and my old one will replace the studio computer which will be a sizable upgrade for it both in storage and in functionality. The oldest laptop will probably be relegated to some menial digital housekeeping tasks that I've been meaning to get working.

I did however add another two antiquated computers to the recycle pile recently. I had an old Dell desktop that was operating as our house fileserver for some time now, and since the new server has been burned in and bolstered, I no longer need a secondary location. Also, the old server was not set up in a way that monitoring was very easy or feasible and given its age, it was always a matter of when it would die vs if. I also replaced our routing device from an ancient Compaq desktop computer to a much more streamlined and power efficient purpose-built router device that not only takes up a fraction of the space but is more robust. Yay for having a VPN tunnel to the home network!

Home time seems to be otherwise dominated with keeping up with the regular tasks as well. Those definitely never end, but I've been working to find ways to at least make either completing them or prepping them more efficient. One of those ways has been using NFC tags. We each have phones that support NFC tag reading, and I picked up a pack of NFC tags to use at home. What are those, you ask? Basically they are little discs that hold a chip and transceiver setup that allows you to use your phone to program the chip with a small amount of data. With a specifically installed program (I use one called Trigger), you can hold your phone over the tag, and execute a pre-defined set of instructions like... "Set timer for 3 minutes" for brewing tea. Or "Set timer for 40 minutes" for the laundry cycle. Makes it much easier to remember your tea or to change out the laundry. It's been fun working with the tags and thinking up new ideas of things to do with them. They can automate almost anything your phone can do.

Along the lines of new stuff, I discovered I can once again afford to bring in a CSA box, so I reactivated my account with Full Circle and we've been getting boxes again. It is nice to have weekly incentive to get creative with food that is healthy and interesting. We've been working to bring in more veggies to the meals anyways, so it is a way to get it in the house. I find that a lot of the non-veggie options that Full Circle sells are a little out of budget, but I appreciate that they offer them. It also reminds me that quality product demands quality prices. And that's ok I guess. I'm still less choosy about some of my consumables, but I am at a point where I feel like I can do it with intent. Still an ongoing thing. I may decide to cancel again in favor of buying from a local market I like. We'll see how convenience prevails vs return on investment.

Little by little, changes are making a difference. Some days it's difficult to remember that, but I look back and see how far we've come. Some goals have been completely accomplished and would not have been without the little-at-a-time process, so I take comfort in knowing that the process works.

How are things progressing for you?

(no subject)

May. 18th, 2017 07:35 am
yam: (Default)
[personal profile] yam
Do I know anyone looking for a Worldcon attending membership? I can't afford to go, but I did pre-register. I'd be happy to sell it for US$110 rather than the current going price of US$215. (I'm totally voting the Hugos first, though. :) )

(no subject)

May. 16th, 2017 07:33 pm
yam: (Crayon Brain)
[personal profile] yam
Back from Marcon!!! I had a great time!

I spent a lot of time just happy that I MADE IT THERE at all. I've had to cancel a lot of con plans in the last year due to my head. FKO, GAFilk. Or had cons just totally ruined because I was there but not there because of my head. GAFilk before last. OVFF. But I didn't cancel out of Marcon AND I only had maybe a third of it be headache-lie-down-time-miserable! That sounds bad but no it's great!

Marcon is such a fun con! I admit I was there 100% because "Oh, my peoples will be there, well, I don't care about this con but that's a convenient place to find them" but now I'm super in to coming back. Lots of variety and cool stuff going on, and I got to chat with some of the concom people and they are all so nice and in to supporting filk and quietly philosophical about the travails of smof-life.

I got to hear Amy's new five-string and HOT DAMN. It was funded by her patrons on Patreon and lemme tell you, fellow patrons, our money has done a public service in birthing this glorious instrument in to the world. She's just getting to know it and already makes it sound celestial; I can't wait for a year or two from now when it's an old friend and they unlock the disturbing secret of ear orgasms from the crossroads. Or something.

I got to play in Dr. Mary's concert! along with Amy & Brenda. This is a combination of ladies that is REALLY WONDERFUL TO PLAY WITH. We were just locked in to the same groove and it felt SO GOOD on stage. I kind of don't even care how it sounded to the audience, it was so nice to participate in, but I got lots of kind and enthusiastic feedback about how it sounded from outside, so I think we done good. Also good tentacle-ing, audience!

I met Victorian Pince-Nez Gentleman who completely hammed it up for Mary's next video! Mary too has a Patreon and hers often funds the creation of goofball music videos and the next one is going to be ESPECIALLY SILLY. Meanwhile, one of her past ones is going to be in a film festival soon! Hah!

I got bumped on my flight home, but Air Canada bought my love handsomely with travel credit, and it meant I got to hang out in the airport with Decadent Dave for like 6 hours, and that was SO GREAT. He has a +12 bonus to charming conversation. Plus his concert was one of the things my headaches made me miss, to my regret, so it was really nice to have some consolation Dave after all. <3

Eating on Annoying Diet was... okay! Travelling made it harder for sure, mostly because I have all kinds of travel habits - buying sweets for the plane, things I stock my hotel room with, eating out at certain kinds of places - that I needed to haul over to the side of the road and rejig. But I didn't have to go off diet or go hungry at any point, just needed to think about it harder. I discovered that the American version of my sugar-free medication pudding is WAY BETTER than the Canadian version, so next time I go to Seattle I am buying a SUITCASE FULL.

Lots of other stuff happened, probably! Actually a lot of it probably happened while I was napping, I did have quite a few headaches, so some of my con time was "technically I'm at a programming item but pretty much I'm sleeping on a friend in the back of the room with a blanket stuffed over my eyes and ears." Or "I didn't even make it that far, let's see how many different hotel rooms I can nap in while missing something." Being at con definitely meant a marked uptick in pain from my stay-at-home lie-in-dark day-off norm. But worth it, and this time the ratio was a little kinder than it has been. I hope that's a trend.

(no subject)

May. 9th, 2017 12:37 pm
yam: (Nom nom nom)
[personal profile] yam
Still here! Enjoying spring but also exhausted a lot, as usual, so no posty. Going to Marcon this weekend! I got a nintendo switch and am loving it so far. I'm still on Tutorial Plateau in Breath of the Wild and it's so great. I've been distracted by cooking a lot.

Content-warning: rest of this entry talks about diet, weight, etc.

So my latest migraine thing-to-try-in-desperation is a ketogenic diet. This is a high fat, very low carb diet. It's proven to help in epilepsy, and now there are some small trials in migraine. It is a PAIN IN THE ASS, and I'm afraid I'll lose weight. I don't want to go pants shopping, and the evidence is very clear that losing weight on a diet is most likely to leave you with a higher weight in the end, which I also don't want. But the thought of maybe getting rid of headaches is very motivating. Anyway, I'm two weeks in and I've signed up for a "HERE COOK THIS THIS WEEK" service which has been helpful. I've been cooking lots of tasty food and it turns out I don't hate cooking as much if someone tells me what to cook and what to buy in advance. If nothing else it's a pleasant distraction from my headaches. My fridge is full of fresh meat and cheese and whipping cream and hedgetables (and sugar-free pudding, blech) and berries, and looks altogether too nutritious to be mine. I've cut way back on painkillers, at first because my pudding is too high in carbohydrate to allow ketogenesis, and then because it... is maybe reducing pain? It's hard to tell, because I get two weeks of placebo effect from ANY new intervention. We'll see. Cautiously hopeful. HAHAHAHAHA okay, WILDLY HOPEFUL but nervous that I'll crash and burn any second, as usual.

I don't miss the missing food types so much - as touted, a high fat diet leaves you pretty full! But I hate being on a restrictive diet because I have to /talk about it/ any time food comes up, social offers of sweets, dinners out, etc. I hate that people assume I'm doing it to lose weight. I hate that that gives them positive feelings about it too. I hate that there's part of me that wouldn't mind losing the weight. Our society has fucked us all up about this topic and I have just willingly put a target on myself. But... my head hurts so much, and maybe this will help. HERE WE GO.

Anyway, if you see me and think I look thinner? Don't say anything, I will so, so appreciate it. I have INTENSELY MIXED FEELINGS about body changes resulting from my headache treatment and I do not wish to explore them. Or if you are reading this and have advice or opinions relating to this diet? I appreciate the kind impulse, but unless you are the co-owner of a goat or someone with chronic migraine, please don't share. Thank you so much for respecting my boundaries on this.


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