Friday, October 24, 2014

Cooking with Kids

Saturday, October 5th was my 31st. birthday. It was a good day; nothing extrordinary happened. I slept in, and that's about all I really wanted- a good day full of (relative) relaxation. It was a welcome counterpoint to my Saturday.

Saturday, I headed off a nervous breakdown by drinking a bottle of wine to myself. I had failed miserably at my first attempt to make Swedish Meatballs. That was irritating. It wasn’t so much that they didn’t turn out, but more so because I recognized my problem right away, but just kept going. Sometimes my stubbornness is borderline massochistic.
I was sautéing the onion for the meatballs when I realized that I had chopped it too big. Big onions are counterproductive for meat-balling, and- as I would later learn- thorough, even cooking. So, browning meatballs that don’t want to stay balled is…. frustrating. Doing so when you know you could have spent an extra 15 minutes to start over and do it right… much more frustrating. Simmering them in gravy for what “has to be enough time, it’s waaaay longer than the recipe noted, and the meat thermometer is the right temp,” but still getting 45% meatball fallout for being pink…. “fuck it, I’m eating them anyways and I really hope get I trichinosis and salmonella. Where’s my wine?”

That said, the cooking failure, in and of itself, would not have normally driven me to drink an entire bottle of wine. My lovely children were the last little straw that broke this camel down. I had spent the entire day with them, which was mostly good. Even when the witching hour strikes on no-naptime days (as was the case on Saturday,) the Boy is manageable; using some combination of distraction, bribery and fear will often keep him from getting too out of hand. Girl, however, has not yet developed the same knack for self-preservation. Let’s just say that they both decided to be rambunctious little scamps at about the same exact time the first round of meatballs (and dad) were ungluing in the kitchen. So, when confronted with alcohol abuse or child abuse, I chose the former. (Don’t worry, the missus got home about the time I was pouring glass two.)
Until next thyme, meatballs....

Thursday, March 3, 2011

American Antiques

Does anyone else wonder if there will be any American Antiques in the future? Not the stuff that is around right now that is already considered antique- furniture from the 1700s and whatnot- I imagine that much of that stuff will survive into the future.  What I am talking about are "new" american antiques.

Is there anything being created in America today that will appreciate in value or become collectible in the future? Anything with exquisite craftsmanship or extreme rarity? I am sure that some things are probably still being produced by hand, crafted one at a time and one of a kind.... but nothing that I ever see.  Sure, pottery and paintings are always being created, but in this information age, masters are identified almost immediately, and their pieces are worth tens of thousands of dollars from the start.  I can't see a future where "his/her genius was never recognized during his lifetime, and much of his original works were available to common people."

Amost everything that is produced these days is either clumsy reproduction or a chintzy "one size fits all" design, mass produced with the mentality that fitting neatly on the shelf of [insert big box store here] is more important than its aesthetics or quality of construction.

I am probably being overly broad here- I am sure there there are some things still being made by hand.  Just not enough.  Being economical and efficient has taken over, and that is a bit depressing.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

North African Colonies (redux)

How much differently would the revolutions in Egypt and Libya have gone if Bush were in office?

I honestly do not believe that Obama is as interested in setting up new American business colonies. By business colonies, I mean fiscal colonies. Colonies where we grant endless money and limitless freedom to the cooperative few in power (even the freedom to commit genocide if they are so inclined: "just keep it out of the world's eye and do what we say and we won't have any problems.") In return American companies are allowed to go in and develop "technology and infrastructure" for the colony. Unfortunately, the good citizens of said colony probably can not nor ever will be able to afford the access fees that are required to actually benefit from this infrastructure, but that is really beside the point.

I think that we would have deployed the military and/or special operatives to make sure that the outcome was as favorable as possible for Bush family business interests. Under Obama, I really do believe that he allowed the Egyptian people (and is allowing Libyans) to take a hold of their future and is letting the chips fall where they may.

Or, I am completely naive and colony makers are already on the ground, working their magic. As much as I would like for that to not be true, it would not surprise me one bit.