Arctic Blog

Daily updates on what the fork I'm up to and also the news I see fit to report.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Ohayo gozaimasu onee-nii-sama!

Another Hero

Dan Savage. He told the Washington state supreme court off, and now is, again, written up in the NYT.

ahh

Don't forget Poland.

All things in moderation

I have been advised by my counterpart that I have not posted enough bullshit on this blog. I cannot allow this sort of thinking to continue. If my peers were to find out about this, I might lose standing in their eyes. What ever would I do then?!

Anywhoo, why is it I must do something now when later is a much better time to do anything? I have lived my life according to the precepts set forth in The Procastinator's Creed and have accumulated much time for the pursuits of my chosing as a result. The notion of being told by other people that I should do something constructive with my time is abhorrent. To them, writing a novel, climbing a mountain, giving up on Culinary School, kicking cats might be constuctive. But for me it's effort that could be redirected in other ways such as reading a novel, digging a hole, making a mess in the kitchen or kicking cats. I am not totally disagreeable on that idea. But I will do things that I feel are necessary when avoiding them becomes too much of a chore.

Everyone should do as they damn well please so long as it doesn't bother anyone else and they take the responsibility for those actions. And I will stop typing as it is causing my brain to hurt.

Gregory A. Boyd - Hero

You mean to tell me that you can be an evangelical Christian without absolutely supporting Republican issues? It appears so.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

All is well

We are not having a drought.

http://draftgore2008.org/ I can't support this enough! Draft Gore so that he, (as The General says,) will act like Bush and Cheney, and find a way to dodge it!

If there is ever a proof of a lack of God...

There is a Saikano Live Action Movie... I think this proves it.

and...

and if it is not a myth (global warming), well it probably is not caused by humans, and if it is, it is probably not because of C02 emissions, and if it is, we probably cant do anything about it, and requirer CO2 gas regulations definately wont do it....

drought

Over 60% of the US is in a drought according to this, article.
Oh and global warming is a myth.

My Grandfather's death

I just dont know how I would have dealt with it, if I had not been far away, (in China.) It didn't even seem real when I got back to the US. I said my condolences to my mother by email, but it never really sunk in to me. As I said he was a Man among men, he was probably among the worst fathers you could have, but he was among the greatest of Grandfathers anyone cound wish for... I had a hard time, realising his death... He always played chess when I asked him too, and he always, "resigned," before he beat me. He was one of my role models, and I still miss him. So I dedicate this post to Harold James, my grandfather, he was a great man.

My Grandfather

I wrote this for my grandfather, he was an amasing man among men...


The gratest person in the world
was my grandfather.
He taught me to play
western chess, and always resigned,
before he would win.

He died while I was in China,
Hang Zhou which I loved,
I never felt it was true
Until I was home....

snarl

It seems that for some odd reason I have given posting rights to "Rancidoilman." I imagine he may play devil's advocate to me, but such is the way of things....

easy Baguette recipe

All measurements are by weight

25 oz bread flour
17 oz water
1/4 oz salt (or 7 grams)
3/4 oz instant yeast, (if you dont have instant yeast use warm water, about room temperature, let the yeast soak in it for about 30 minutes.)
Next mix all ingredients together, make sure they are properly hydrated. By that I mean that all the flour is moist and in the dough. Let it rest about 5 minutes, covered by either plastic wrap or a bowl. The dough will be very sticky. Knead it, it will become more cohesive, as the gluten forms. After it gets some what cohesive let it rest, (and rise,) again. After about 10 minutes repeat the process of kneading. Do so gently. Continue until the dough is relatively smooth. Let it rest covered again for about 10 min. This is a recipe for 2 so cut the dough in half after it has rested.
You should now have two pieces of dough. Use your hands to make 1/2 of it into a rough rectangle, about 4x longer then it is thick. aim for about 12 inches x 6 inches. Fold the top over over to the middle, ie about 3 inches down, fold the bottom in the same manner. Press the seam together with your fingers.
After that fold the dough over, at the middle point, so that it is one layer. (IE fold at the center point so the top layer is above the bottom layer. The location on the loaf where the two layers come together will be the bottom of the loaf. If you want a true baguette, score the top of it before baking. Do an odd number of scores along the top of it, at a 20 degree angle to the loaf, with a razor sharp blade. Then bake at about 400 degrees andyou should have some nice bread...

Irony at its best...

Oh my fucking (lack of) God.
Oh and my thanks to Americablog for posting this.

Friday, July 28, 2006

His royal fraudulency, and Blair think people actually listen to them... a cease fire might happen. In other news hell is experiencing record low temperatures....................

my idol

This is what I would do with my life, if I could, "http://www.powerloafing.com/" it is nearly as powerful as my "Power Slacking."

Queens

Wow Queens finally has power again after about a week lacking. About forking time...

Today is a good day to bribe a high ranking public official.

Huzzah! Today is a most auspicious day! I have been promoted from mere blog troll to Post maker. I would like to thank the Academy of Sharp and Pointy Things, my hairdresser for not reporting me to the cops, Dan Mohrman for being easily duped, Juan Valdez for making the coffee that others drink that I can't, and the generous supporters of Censorship, Right-wing mores, and Nazis. Without them, I might have voted Democrat. Gods! what a terrible thing that might've been.

My job here will be to post counterpoints to Mr. Silvertail's posts as well as put up some reasonably legal posts of my own.

Thanks for reading and not reversing the charges.

new class

I have apparently been in a new class since Monday... However since I was not in good health I missed the first couple of days. The class is Garde Manger, pronounced "gar-mann-zhei," I believe. It seems to be the art of the cold kitchen. Making emulsion sauces, (sauces that use an oil and and a solidifying agent, like mayo,) sandwiches, and other such things. We have a listing of the recipes we are supposed to make on a given day, but our Chef, Chef Dean, likes it better if we are creative, and alter the recipes as we see fit. It gives us a lot of room to be creative...
I almost regret this because, I am thinking I may drop out of culinary school after this class. I have already explained about my new graduate hopes... I do love cooking, and I like the idea of being a chef, but even more so I think I want a Masters degree in Asian Studies. I have since moving to Portland decided, that my true path in life lies in going to Japan.
I guess I can't say much more on this. I never would have been certain of this if I had not moved to the Left Coast. But now I am certain Japan is my future...
Ahh well so be it. I will have to do my best one the GRE and hope some grad school somewhere will accept me for Asian Studies, despite my bad grades in my under grad education.
I can only hope, but I am actually going to work for this, for some odd reason.

Hah, I have been lazy the last few days and thus have not posted. Then again I haven't had much to say anyway so I guess that is all to the good.
I spent most of today studying my GRE study guide. I was shocked by how obvious the material is, and how much I never thought of it... I suppose most of what I have posted that might have been of interest may not exist much longer. However I will still post my comments on the news as I see it, and on my activities, if they are worth recording.... Chartreuse is good also!

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

This blog has been touched by the Noodly Appendage...

random comment because I can

I am going to lose one rank in "power slacking" for posting something for no reason. I figure I may as well post a poem I wrote...

Autumn

I love autumn as my favorite season
some see death in it, as the leaves fall from trees
and as the summer plants wither
not I,
I see autumn like the evening
the last few hours before sleep
after a day of work when one is tired
and lingers languishly with their own weariness
one looks forward to the refreshing sleep ahead
it is not a time of death, only
of waiting, of anticipating
the rest, and renewal, which lies ahead.

change of purpose

I know I have no readers, but it still comforts me to post proper updates. I originally meant this to be a blog that was equally about cooking and politics, what I hoped might be a slightly unusual combination. I then later one started posting my day to day experiences. I think I am going to revise my purpose once again. I am not likely to continue in culinary school. I am now trying to get into grad school for East Asian Studies, and I am relying on getting a high GRE score. It may be my only bargaining chip, since my GPA was so low in my undergrad. I am also going to write a related paper to try to help myself. I am so indecisive, but I make every worthwhile decision spontaneously. If I get a Masters in East Asian Studies, perhaps I can still go to Japan. That is my true wish. It has just taken me three years to realise it.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Sigh

Despite more then 100 civilians dead/day last month Iraq is not spiraling into civil war. So their prime minister says.

In order to spread peace...

More Ethiopian troops move into Somalia...

Kind of old but interesting

3:2 people in Portland venerate the Flying Spaghetti Monster over Buddha, have we been touched by the Noodly Appendage?

This will surely make them love us...

I never knew the US military Rules of Engagement included "kill all military age males." Winning their hearts and minds one murder at a time...

George Pataki - Wanker

As many as 24,000 people in Queens, still without power for seventh day in a row. Hurray for deregulation. "Pataki is monitoring the situation closely." Well isn't that nice to know, considering local officials have requested that he declare it a disater area. No power combined with 100 degree heat, is this a poor city in India, or one of the biggest cities in one of the wealthiest nations in the world?

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Friday's activities late

Finally Friday, the end of yet another class. I rather liked baking, but was a bit surprised I made it through it anyway. Today we made what were probably the things I was most uninterested in, variations on cream puffs, and the fillings for them. I just don't like sweets for the most part. All that aside it was shockingly easy. Only needed flour, eggs, milk, a very little salt, and some heat. The dough once made, expands greatly when baked, and ends up hollow with just a shell on the outside. This leaves is ready to be filled however. I used cinnamon cream in mine.

Admittedly the class itself was pretty uneventful, and there wasn't much to say about it beyond that. I decided to make the most of my time afterwards, and bake a few loaves of bread to take with me. I pretty much knew before I put them in the over, that I had made a mistake somewhere in my ingredients somewhere. The dough was too soft and sticky. When it came out, well... My story is that the loaves were confiscated by the government, to be used in the space program as a light weight and inexpensive alternative to steel. Needless to say they were not fit to eat.

Spent the evening with Jen and Steve, my sister and brother in law. Barbequed some kebabs, that despite my sisters insistence of not having marinated long enough, were quite tasty. Being about 90 outside, though cooler then most of the rest of the country, it was quite hot standing over the grill. Quickly found myself dripping sweat, though I didn't much mind. After eating I spent the rest of the evening watching their dog chase streams if water from a hose, most amusing. My sister for some reason seemed concerned that it had been nothing more interesting then a, "normal evening." My thought on the matter was pretty much that, sometimes there is nothing more enjoyable then a, "normal evening." I stayed with them for a few weeks when I first moved to Portland, and I rather enjoyed that time. This reminded me of it a lot, and honestly it was quite different from my typical evening activities. I guess it's all a matter of perspective.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Sunglasses after dark

The title of the post pretty much sums it up.... The picture of myself that I have uploaded, is typical of me, I do wear sunglasses after dark, (They are prescription,) so if you want to think I am weird do it for another reason besides that.

hmm

I forgot to mention in my below post that, another new nicknamed person "Mr. Spice" help me make some supremely good egg salad to fill some of our pastries. The secret of this we learned in another class.
The super secret element, and it works in tuna and chicken salad to, is to use sour cream instead of mayonaise. It tastes SO much better, if you try it you won't ever go back to mayo. I personally dislike sour cream by itself, and even I think it tastes much better.

-Silvertail

This is today...

Today we worked with puff pastry, that we have spent the last day or two fabricating. It surprisingly is even more fatty then a croissant. It uses the same amount of butter but less flour. It is not hard, it is just time, and space, consuming.

Today I rolled out my pastries, so they would be able to bake, fortunately I didn’t have any mishaps like with yesterday’s tarts. I decided to cut my pastries into an even number of long strips. This allowed me to fill said strips with some other food content and make a sort of “pie.” I cut an even number of strips of pastry, from each I made a bottom, (the one the filling rested on,) and a top, (the one the covered the bottom and the contents.) The top strip had to be about 15-20% larger then the bottom strip, so it could cover the filling and attach to the bottom. In order to make the top piece and bottom piece adhere, I used some whisked egg on the edges. I then filled the puff pastries with wild caught salmon, and with mushrooms, that I sauteed in a manner similar to the “steak diane” recipe I gave above. I personally liked them, but the rest of the deal is up to you.

This is today...

Today we worked with puff pastry, that we have spent the last day or two fabricating. It surprisingly is even more fatty then a croissant. It uses the same amount of butter but less flour. It is not hard, it is just time, and space, consuming. Today I rolled out my pastries, so they would be able to bake, fortunately I didn’t have any mishaps like with yesterday’s tarts. I decided to cut my pastries into an even number of long strips. This allowed me to fill said strips with some other food content and make a sort of “pie.” I cut an even number of strips of pastry, from each I made a bottom, (the one the filling rested on,) and a top, (the one the covered the bottom and the contents.) The top strip had to be about 15-20% larger then the bottom strip, so it could cover the filling and attach to the bottom. In order to make the top piece and bottom piece adhere, I used some whisked egg on the edges. I then filled the puff pastries with wild caught salmon, and with mushrooms, that I sauteed in a manner similar to the “steak diane” recipe I gave below. I personally liked them, but the rest of the deal is up to you.

From the 19th

Ok I have decided to keep a more accurate record of my culinary days, even if it is not interesting to anyone besides myself.

I am in my sixth month of culinary school it seems, as I started in the beginning of January, this year. I am not entirerly certain I will keep it up, for various reasons. I have a BA in East Asian Studies, and have recently been reawakened to my interest in said subject. I may seek to pursue it further on, but for the moment I am going to chronicle my culinary education. I am going to start with today, but will probably give some flashbacks later.

First I will give the current "cast of characters," I am going to use nicknames because, I have not as of yet asked them if they mind, and they deserve their privacy. The following are all fellow students. First is myself, Dan. Then there is my associate, rival, and "arch enemy," (not really the latter,) "Mr. Bacon." I call him this because he would think bacon is a good thing to add to any meal, even breakfast cereal. Then there is "Ms. Clean." I call her this because she goes out of her way to clean anything. She is also super modest, and very much underestimates her own creative skills. Then there is "Mr. Silent Slim," I call him this because he is about 5' 10", doubtfully weighs more then 120 lbs, and speaks even less then I do.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

starting daily news posts

Ok I have decided to keep a more accurate record of my culinary days, even if it is not interesting to anyone besides myself.

I am in my sixth month of culinary school it seems, as I started in the beginning of January, this year. I am not entirely certain I will keep it up, for various reasons. I have a BA in East Asian Studies, and have recently been reawakened to my interest in said subject. I may seek to pursue it further on, but for the moment I am going to chronicle my culinary education. I am going to start with today, but will probably give some flashbacks later.

First I will give the current "cast of characters," I am going to use nicknames because, I have not as of yet asked them if they mind, and they deserve their privacy. The following are all fellow students. First is myself, Dan. Then there is my associate, rival, and "arch enemy," (not really the latter,) "Mr. Bacon." I call him this because he would think bacon is a good thing to add to any meal, even breakfast cereal. Then there is "Ms. Clean." I call her this because she goes out of her way to clean anything. She is also super modest, and very much underestimates her own creative skills. Then there is "Mr. Silent Slim," I call him this because he is about 5' 10", doubtfully weighs more then 120 lbs, and speaks even less then I do.

Ok I guess I may as well start with an explanation of my current place. We are all in the last week of our, "Introduction to Baking and patisserie," class. I had thought from the beginning that I would hate this class, but I have found baking to be very fulfilling. Let me explain. I do not like sweets much, which puts me off from most of patisserie, (pastry making,) and similarly I don't much like pie for the same reason.

I have however found that making all these things is incredibly easy, and people are impressed by it, (I have been taking pies and scones and such to my sister's office and have become a hero of sorts there.) The pie shells you buy frozen at the store, are at least 4-5 times more expensive then ingredients that go into them, and they are lower quality. On top of that, they are super easy to make, and if you make them yourself you can get crusts that are much more flaky.

Today I made fruit tarts. The same kind of tart you would spend $15-20 on in a store or bakery. The total cost of my ingredients, about $4.00. The cost of making bread, pie, tarts, or almost any other sort of baked good is generally about 1/4-1/6 of the selling price, and it is super easy to do. You just have to know how.

I will leave it at that for tonight, but I suppose I will post more in the future... or I would have had no reason to threaten flashbacks and nicknames for people I know ;>