Saturday, April 18, 2015

Saturday morning random.

* Got a call early from my chair. Was the town trash-off today? (Yes, it is, but I don't do those any more. Not after the whole water-bill debacle and especially not after the nastygrams about my yard when it was still in compliance - if anyone asks, my stock response is "All my energy in that direction is spent keeping up my yard these days.") Yes, that's kind of petty but I spend so much of my life striving NOT to be petty...and anyway, my allergies have been REALLY bad (both hives and sneezing type allergies) so being out in the pollen for four hours today probably isn't ideal)

* I did run to Sherman yesterday after class. The only bone stock I was able to get was the little packages of "bone broth" which is sold for "sipping" (freaking hipsters with their Paleo diets). I guess I will check out some of Purlewe's links and see if I can order it when I want it.

This is the a-number-one thing I dislike about living in a "small" area - especially one that's traditionally a bit economically depressed - there are some products that simply do not exist for us here. I often roll my eyes over Eating Well or Cooking Light and their coastal/big-city privilege, where they figure that OF COURSE you have access to a well-stocked farmer's market year-round, and OF COURSE you can get a diversity of fresh fish and OF COURSE you never have to look askance at the cauliflowers in the market and wonder just how old it is and if it would still taste okay.

I wish we had access to a larger better grocery. The Kroger in Sherman is nicer than what I have here (only big grocery is a wal-mart) but they don't have everything. And as nice as the natural-foods store is, they are sometimes a bit lax about restocking - or perhaps their suppliers are a bit lax about sending. They will order stuff - but it's a pain to go down there one week and have to order what you need (when they don't have it) and then go BACK the next week.

Where my parents live, there are undesirable things - the traffic can be awful, HOAs are even more insane than some of the city regulations are here, there are more judgmental people - but they also have so many groceries, and if you can't find what you want one place, it's a fairly short drive to try another place. (And they recently got a Hy-Vee. One of the best-rated groceries in the US. I have a wal-mart, the bottom of the pack.)

* The reason I wanted to stock up on bone stock was that I discovered that Tourin des Landes is really fantastic when made with it. This is a sort of onion soup (I gave the recipe a long time back.) One nice thing about the brick-packs of broth is that you can make smaller quantities - I made a half-batch of the soup last time and was able to eat it up in just a couple days. I think I also did a better job of cooking the onion down this time (I sometimes get impatient). Also, the La Moderna "fideo" (vermicelli) comes pre-broken and it seems to be made for putting in soups.

I admit, I tend to be suspicious of "faddish" things and might not have tried bone stock if I had first heard of it as "this is a Paleo dieter thing" (which it kind of is). I first heard of it as "this is something the old-time French chefs used, and it makes soups taste richer." I tend to be more swayed about using a food product if I am told, "This makes things taste good" than if I am told "This trendy new diet you should be on emphasizes it." (Also, bone stock is not really the magical elixir of nutrients it's made out to be - but it does taste darn good in soup).

And yeah, if I could get my hands on a bunch of chicken bones (or freeze the carcasses of the next few chickens I roast and then use those), I could make my own, but - the Pacific brand, when I can find it, is excellent and is not all that expensive. I suspect bone stock is something that's cheaper to make in really enormous quantities, especially if you're a big food concern that happens to have lots of chicken bones resulting from other stuff you make.

* I didn't take the time to go to the JoAnn's even though I really wanted to. (And it might have been a good mental-health break). It was late, it was threatening storms (though they never developed), so I ran to the bookstore quickly (the new Simply Knitting UK....) and then the natural foods store and the Kroger's.

* After New Ponies (an hour away, and I really need to get off here and practice) I am going in to do a soil sample....and to send off my suggestions on the paper (oh please, oh please, let it be accepted this time) my advisor wrote on which I am a co-author. (I can at least note that it has been submitted on my post-tenure review plan). And maybe do a couple soil samples - I didn't do any yesterday because of mowing the day before. (I have to strictly limit my allergen exposure, because of hives....this spring they've been bad because it's been so wet). And I have to write an exam for next week. (It never ends...)

* Rewatching "Cutie Markless," I was reminded of something I noticed but didn't comment on - after losing their cutie marks, the Mane Six become ever-so-slightly PALER than their normal colors...not quite as bad as when Discord affected them, but slightly paler (And I guess the townponies did, too). So maybe knowing what you are good at in life, having that special talent, makes you more radiant and more "strongly colored" in the sense of being yourself? Interesting.

* Also, after a lot of maundering around about my "special talent" - I've come to the conclusion that it is finding and evaluating information quickly. (Especially online). I think Scholastica's cutie mark (a lamp of knowledge) would still work for that (Scholastica is my "OC" pony who is probably closest to me in looks and personality). And I like it better than some of the options for "online" search - a computer mouse, a URL, or the pointy brackets used when citing a URL in a publication.

(And I really, really need to finish Mabel Pines up, and start Folio, the other OC pony I want a 3-dimensional, "real" stuffie of. I have the yarn for her, I know right where the pattern book is....)

Being able to find information and evaluate it quickly is a pretty darn good special talent, I think - almost anything I'm curious about I can find out. And I can help other people. And I can amaze my students with the skill.

(Another skill I have is doing math quickly in my head. I did some - just estimating, but I can get really close with estimates - for showing how to do some calculations the other day in class. I asked the one guy who had his calculator out to check my estimates and see if they were accurate and his response was something like, "Dang, you are really close to the actual value." Being able to do estimated calculations by rounding or using numbers you know are "close" to the number you are using - this was squaring and taking square roots - is a good skill to have. I guess I mainly developed it over the years by just using it....a lot of those skills I think you just have to use to be able to develop them, they can't so much be taught. Then again....the idea of being able to spitball numbers in your mind to see if what the calculator or the computer stats package is spitting out makes sense is an incredibly important thing....I found I entered some data wrong in my most recent manuscript (before submission, thank goodness!) because I looked at the SPSS output and was like, "Whoa, that doesn't make sense" and went back and checked the data....and that's a skill lots of people seem not to learn in school any more, or maybe people just are too lazy to do, I know not many of my students seem to do it even when I explicitly show how it can be done)

1 comment:

purlewe said...

OK this time I looked up bone broth and where to buy it. sells your brand of pacific bone broth sells their own homemade brand.