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Menu Planning: Nov 30-Dec 6

On my way home from the office there’s a particular stretch of road that instills almost-daily rage. You’d think after over a year on this route I’d just be used to it and it wouldn’t phase me but, well, no. Usually it’s the imbeciles who failed Kindergarten (line jumping? really? it’s not okay in the lunchroom and it’s not okay on the street, either!) but today’s vehicular varmint took the cake.

Approaching a particular red light there is an intersection. It’s one of those cross-street-doesn’t-stop types but when you’re stopping for the light you have to options:

  1. Be a dick and block the intersection, or
  2. Be courteous (people do actually try and cross the 5 lines from time to time) and leave a gap.

Because I’m all rules-follower I leave a gap and, if there are cars waiting to turn onto the street, I’ll usually let one get in front of me when the light changes and the cars begin to move.

Such was the case today when all of a sudden this p.o.s. Lexus with too-dark window-tinting and a busted tail-light comes whipping around me, into the gap, blocking the intersection.

Asshat.

(And doesn’t it make it a little worse when it’s a car that is usually considered ‘all that’ is in serious need of a paint job, etc.?)

All this to say, one of the potential benefits of next months (?) move would be a change in my route home.

What I’ll Be Doing This December

Is very likely moving house. We’re still waiting for the official time-table (to be set by the bank’s lawyers’ eviction department) but it’s very likely I’ll at least be packing (and, probably, purging) if not also trying to unpack and settle into someplace new (to us) this coming month.

You see, we had the unfortunate luck of renting our current home from someone who was already *several* months behind on his mortgage before we ever saw it. And the foreclosure happened in October, the auction mid-November and we’re now weighing the pros and cons of taking the Cash for Keys offer that should be showing up any day now. Pros: would *really* help with moving expenses, etc. Cons: Moving in 30 days is a pain, especially when you don’t know where you’re moving to, yet!

But I’m going to check out 2 more options tomorrow, so, we shall see.

(We’re also trying to stay with our current property managers because it negates a lot of bothersome paperwork going somewhere else, reducing our options in the name of convenience.)

So who the hell knows how much drawing will get done next month, but work will continue.

And What About That 50 Pages Thing?

Right.

Started strong, got stuck, moved ahead a little and then life hit. Got about 25% to goal.

Yet, strangely enough, I feel like I got a fair amount done on the book, just not all of it visible. Measurable.

Tip of the Week

Because why not?

Pepper came up in conversation, recently (as in, last night at dinner), and it made me think of a mistake many make in the kitchen: using ground white and black pepper interchangeably.

White pepper is actually ground from regular peppercorns whose outer hulls–instead of being dried to black and then ground whole–are allowed to dry to a red stage then have their outer hull and pulp removed. It’s a great substitute in white soups and sauces because it doesn’t leave black specks behind, marring the look of the finished dish (unless we’re talking pepper gravy, of course).

Another benefit to white pepper is that, because the outer layers are removed, it’s easier for most folks to digest. This was one of those lessons that stuck with me from Nutritional cooking class because our textbook authors failed to take this into account when they substituted white for black pepper in the recipes. Talk about spicy! It’s the spice that burns at the very back of your throat and stings for a bit, going down. We had to adjust every recipe white pepper occurred in down to about half for the sake of balance.

Now, I’ve read in some impressive books that white pepper is considered more mild but logically it just doesn’t fit: black pepper includes the outer husks and pulp in it’s grind while white pepper, gram for gram, has more of the concentrated seed. So adjust accordingly.

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