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Everything posted by jsolomon

  1. Rhubarb upside down cake is the bestest ever
  2. jsolomon

    Ceramic Vinegar Cruet

    A lot of ceramic glazes are not very human-friendly. Also, they are generally strong bases, and can sometimes react with acids, like vinegars, and give off-flavors, and worse. Since the crystals are white, I'm assuming it's probably the clay, instead of the glaze that is reacting with the vinegar, but that's not much better, because it is likely an aluminum compound that is being formed, and you definitely don't want to consume a whole lot of that. What I think is happening is the vinegar is leaching into the cruet and evaporating from the outside, leaving the aluminum compound... not good eats. If you're lucky, you could probably find a place to glaze the inside with a vinegar friendly glaze. Otherwise, I would not use it for vinegar storage, especially not for vinegar you plan on consuming.
  3. jsolomon


    Well, it's March now, and I'm amazed that I'm one of the first people to mention spring greens. My dandelions are starting to peek up in the lawn, so tonight, I will dine on a dandelion salad with a sour cream, vinegar, and sugar dressing. Behold the bounty of weeds...
  4. I don't think you need a gym membership or to take an exercise class to exercise. What is most helpful is having an exercise buddy, or buddies. Simply having someone who relies on you to exercise (usually mutual reliance) can be a great motivator. But, all walking takes is feet, and most people happen to grow those. How fortunate. Now, I'm all for giving people experience in food, food choosing, and food procurement, but on the other side of the coin, how many people who are pathologically obese really care about who Alice Waters is or give much credence to her credentials? My fat brother couldn't care less. But to have someone show him or his wife or his kids, would be very helpful. But, you have to get people when they're accessible to new ideas, and it's rare that a project comes across to do that.
  5. It's funny that you couch the argument in those terms. Quite simply, I can ride my bicycle to work in a shorter time than it took me to commute, park, and walk to my lab on campus. The two best parts: no gridlock ever stops me as I'm all of 3 feet wide; I get porn star parking, 10 feet from the door. When I wasn't working in pharmaceuticals, I could park my bike in my office. The only social problem with this, is a bicycle is seen as a child's toy, not a valid commuting device. But, by cutting 10 minutes each way off of my commute, I get over 60 minutes each day of high quality exercise. Here's the really big kicker. I also save hundreds a month on gasoline and parking. If I didn't own a car, I would also save on insurance and loan payments. I still am waiting for someone to tell me how I, or anyone attempting this lose, even if they only do it during 4 or 5 nice months out of the year. All of this in a "modern" city. I ride from one old edge of town through areas planned and built over the span of 100 years, to downtown, another old area. I go through residential, industrial, and commercial space. The only difference is that I have made the choice not to make excuses. Edit to add food content: and because of it, I eat what I want when I want. I still don't lose. Mmmm...bacon... Yes, I'm cajoling more of you to try it.
  6. No, that's capitalism. Poverty is just a dysphemism for it.
  7. The problem is not diet. Never has been, and never was. The difference between us now, and our parents then, is much more a difference of activity level. Our parents never had the number cars we have, nor computers, nor telephones, nor e-mail. Very few had riding lawnmowers. And, a 6 block walk somewhere was not out of the question. Elevators? Hah! So, what do we do? We say, "why are we fat?" In comes a stuffy labcoated nudnik who says, "well, fat is the long-term calorie storage molecule of the human body. Calories eaten but not used are stored as fat." So, what do we process that to mean? Eat fewer calories. The answer is and always should be "get more active". Reducing calories does have its benefits, but sending the metabolism into starvation mode is not the correct answer to providing for adequate health. Studies show that exercise helps protect neurological function into old age. Exercise helps bolster the immune system. Exercise reduces blood pressure and heart rate. Exercise attenuates hunger. Exercise moderates glucose, insulin, and serotonin levels. Exercise helps maintain healthy skin and bone density. Yes, I understand that proper nutrition is a part of this. But, our physiology has been tuned over millions of years through feast times and famine times. So, I'm betting that it can handle it, provided we do the maintenance exercise. If 10 year old Sally or Johnny are fat, it's much more likely to be because they are sedentary than anything else. So, send them out to build some permanent muscle mass, don't cut off their Oreos--even if they are the food of the debbil. I assure you, it'll work.
  8. Your sponges and rags aren't thoroughly drying. Elevate them and let air circulate around them to dry them before they start to ferment.
  9. Actually, the study did find a difference, but it was terribly small. Something on the order of 99.99% killed by soap vs 99.995% killed by antibacterial soap (soap with triclosan, others weren't tested, to my knowledge). So, one kills essentially twice as many bacteria. But, a bacterium's doubling time is somewhere between 20 minutes and 1 hour, so there is very little practical difference in how germy your hands are at any given moment no matter which you use. But, there are simple methods that bacteria can gain resistances to triclosan, so environmentally, you are better off by using plain soap and not selecting for resistant strains.
  10. jsolomon

    What next?

    Fellow retard here. Buying out instead of up is always a good plan. What I have found is that I can buy something that someone really likes, and then riff off of my impression of that with one of two really good wine guys I'm familiar with. Example: when I got a big military promotion, I went and bought myself a very good bottle of bubbly, for my budget, anyway--Bellefon. It was quite delightful. Then, I took that experience of going to the wine guy and saying, "I have $50 and I want to celebrate with champagne," and turned it into "I tried Bellefon, and loved it. I like the crisp yeastiness of it, but do you have something that's more in my regular price point?" I got introduced to wonders of cava, prosecco, and sekt. But, I like to look at each glass as a present, lovingly wrapped by some benevolent vintner, just itching to surprise me. And, oftentimes, I'm delighted.
  11. Browsing through Engadget some more, I also found the perfect mouse...
  12. Have you seen the number of fat professors in my University's Food Science department? Education isn't the issue, it's initiative. We want a quick fix. But, we fail to see that we got fat over a significant period of time, and it will probably take a similar period to get well. But, we lack the initiative to do anything about it, and we lack the self-awareness to notice we're getting a little doughy before we're busting the axles on our SUV's.
  13. Instead of suing advertising agencies that promulgate the problems? But, why do we always do things like this "for your health"? Why can't we try to instill a love of exercise and varied diet because they are fun? The mind boggles... "eat your spinach because it's good for you" as opposed to "spinach and kale with bacon dressing taste amazing". The difference in drive there is tremendous.
  14. clickety Edit to fix dual protocol header.
  15. jsolomon

    Feeding Baby

    My mom fed my brother and I quite a bit on cranberry sauce mashed with bananas. Actually, I think she used a food mill, but we both grew up strapping young men, so I think it's a reasonable food. Tastes good for the cook, too. Edit to add: if you don't have a food mill, I would highly suggest picking one up. They are much kinder than a blender. Prototypical Food Mill
  16. There is always steel... clean ball bearings work, too
  17. They wouldn't, right up to the point that they found out it might actually change the budget. But, there are other things that I think the students could do that would help lower the budget, and not take too much room. For instance, take turns in the bread making for the meals. This could be done in small groups and have a downward effect on the food costs. Ditto with noodles. Students could make the desserts, cookies, cakes, and puddings--and make flavors that are chosen by demand of the students. Bread, noodles, and desserts are something that could be done by students without drastically changing any plans, or budgets. It could be easily written into a curriculum, provided it gets signed off on. But, any change at a school is going to first be met with the question "How much will it cost", unless this is a very forward-thinking school with a good understanding of optimization vs. minimization of costs.
  18. jsolomon

    A boiling point...

    Yes there is. Water boils! And, steam is a very energetic material. But, the steam is not the cooking medium in boiling water. The water is. So, don't worry about your temperature drop too much. In a 3.5 quart saucepan, it will take a fair amount of vegetation to create a meaninful temperature drop, anyway.
  19. What's evil with absolve? It's just gum zanthane (xanthan gum) which is a type of polysaccharide, and thusly closely related to starch and easily fermentable in the sewer.
  20. Actually, I think the ice is there as a target. To wit, a couple of years ago, there was a home furnishings invention contest that was won by a guy who produced a toilet and a urinal with a small fly done in blue glaze in the bowl, just off of center to provide a target. This is quite popular in European airports now. I'm not sure if it works in rigorous studies, but anecdotally, I would certainly pee on the fly instead of the wall. But I don't pee on the walls currently. Targeted pisser Besides, what restaurant would want a fly in its urinal? I think that would send the wrong message. So, ice is something that they have that is cheap and entertaining.
  21. My future kids are going to steal your future kids' lunches. ← Heh, I'll be their principal and just confiscate it... for purely food-hygiene reasons... umm, yeah. That's why! Of course, I'd be the principal who would have the home-ec classes grow herbs in pots and make the kitchen use them...
  22. The thing that really gets my hackles up, is who are these chucklebutts that necessarily understand what is better for a kid, or for a group of kids? If they want to dictate so closely what my kid can and cannot do, then they should have squeezed that watermelon out of their carrot-sized opening. There are very classic cases use of the subjunctive versus use of the directive case. Yes, these people can make edicts, but should they? It seems to be a place where they have a little checksheet for "How to make it to <BIG PLACE>" and an edict like this will let them check off "made life safer for <GROUP>". But, there is no way for <GROUP> to rebut this on a resume. It's all so much B.S. and the superintendent or whoever made this edict should be smacked around for making edicts that really are outside of the interest of the parents. Besides, foods from home can easily be argued as an important step in multicultural education because it is out of a kid's microculture of his/her own home. So, now the school is contradicting itself in what is important. And it's giving the impression to the kids that HOME=BAD, CORPORATE=GOOD. That's a bad frame of mind to put kids in.
  23. My dad killed a dog with a cake... and all the dog did was eat it. Of course, Dad accidentally used salt instead of sugar and subsequently tossed the cake in the cow's saltlick.
  24. And with the pebble-polishing and diamond-dulling that most public schools currently do, this is a bad outcome? While I agree, it would be unfortunate if something like that were to happen, I believe a competent judge would toss the suit out of court, at least the portion dealing with the school because they really have very few things that they are culpable for in a situation like this. It goes back to the thing I continue to say here, life is all about risk-taking. Risk-minimization is a reasonable first-approximation, but really what we ought to do is risk-optimization; that is, try to make sure that we have a reasonable return for the risks we take. Given that I haven't heard of a spate of student poisoning by homemade treats, this doesn't seem to pass the optimization test. Also, it doesn't seem to pass the reasonable level of suspicion test. It's way too high of a bar for my tastes. Besides, if the parents don't trust the other students or other parents to that level, why the f*** are they continuing to trust their child's education to the same people? Gahh! Edit: spelling police
  25. I just bring in a tub of dehydrogenated oils, making sure they have all of the trans fats and a 25 pound bag of sugar and a mixer. I let the kids cream them together and then go nuts.
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