Sun. June 6, 2021 – more rain? yeah, probably.

We did have most of the day without rain yesterday, then in the late afternoon, something blew in. 30-40 MPH gusts, heavy rain squalls, temperature drop, the whole deal. And it passed just as quickly. Today the national forecast looks a lot like yesterday’s did, so I expect similar. We’ll see 😉

Did my errands. Didn’t do much around the house. Got a bunch of stuff for the household. I guess the canning jars qualify as preps, although I currently have more than I’m using. If things got bad, that wouldn’t be true. They were in very short supply after the lockdown started. It’s a traditional prepping item (along with the infrastructure and the rings/lids) and I’ve got more than I need. Right now the only thing I’m canning is bacon fat, and I just put it in the jar, seal it, and freeze the whole thing. I’m generating more than I use, and it seems very wasteful to just throw it out. It’s about $7 a pound in the store, and I’m recovering part of the cost of the bacon, so it’s a win-win.

Some of the old recipes start out “melt 5 pounds of fat…” so I may use it yet.

I like collecting and reading old recipe books. My “go to” book is an older Joy of Cooking, and I’ve talked about recipe books several times, so I won’t repeat that part. I’ll just add that I’ve picked up a couple more old books, and I am a sucker for the ‘Church Lady’ books, or the ‘Woman’s Service Organization’ books*. If there is anything at all special about them, I’ll grab it and read through it. Lately I’ve picked up some from very rural Texas in the mid ’50s, and New Orleans, and other parts of Louisiana, from the same time frame. I really like the recipes because they tend to use canned ingredients (good for preppers), are often fairly simple, and they don’t require a lot of specialized equipment or a lot of time. The service organization books are often very funny too, as a ‘slice of life’ from the time and place. One I remember in particular called a punch that was essentially 100 proof rum with a bit of fruit juice, “a great punch for the ladies”. One book has a section of “men’s” recipes and they are VERY loose compared to the ladies’ directions. Several are on the order of “do some general thing, and when done, do something else” which the lady editors gently mock in the commentary and introductions…good fun!

I find it interesting to see that the older books use a lot of different flavors compared to modern cooking, use a lot of gelatin (which led me to consider that I don’t have a single gelatin mold, and my mom had several), and use canned ingredients. They also have recipes for local favorites, using local veg and fruit in season, and wild game in the area. If you want to cook squirrel, the book from the First Church of Bugtussel Ladies Auxiliary probably has a couple of recipes to choose from. If you need five different ways to make a cake without xxx or yyy or zzz, times were tough, and there is probably a good recipe for each. If you need to make anything for 25-50 people for a church social (or a disaster kitchen) some of the books are right there with (presumably) tasty choices.

Right now, we can go to allrecipes.com or some other site, and get several choices, some even based on what food you have available for a dish, but that might not always be true. I also find the constant nagging about health and lifestyle to be tedious in any modern book or recipe site (add salt if you wish, substitute real butter if you want a richer flavor, etc….) and I LIKE the personality of the old books. Those books are filled with the recipes that were the best that Momma Jones knew, the ones all the other ladies asked for, and they were proven crowd pleasers. They are also a window into the past, and a link to the land and the area. Pick one up next time you see one, or get out the one from your church or civic association, (or your parent’s anyway.) Read through it. Try a recipe.

Add it to the pile of knowledge, and stuff. Keep stacking.

nick

* the absolute BEST ones have little slips of paper sticking out to mark someone’s favorites, and food stains on the pages. Those books got USED, and someone LOVED those recipes.

(and just for completeness, I’ll add RBT’s wisdom, ALWAYS use the newest canning guide, the same way and for the same reasons you’d use a newer First Aid book.)

Author: Nick Flandrey

Mid 50s, stay at home dad, with two elementary school age girls. Love my family and my life.

84 thoughts on “Sun. June 6, 2021 – more rain? yeah, probably.”


  1. the same way and for the same reasons you’d use a newer First Aid book.

    That’s bad advice if I ever heard any. None of the new books tell you how to identify a brain fever if your companion suddenly falls ill to bad humours. Nor do they give any hint of how many leeches to use, nor where to place them, in bloodletting.

    6
  2. I find it interesting to see that the older books use a lot of different flavors compared to modern cooking, use a lot of gelatin (which led me to consider that I don’t have a single gelatin mold, and my mom had several), and use canned ingredients.

    Gelatin in the recipe immediately eliminates the vegans and the Subcontinent.

    Though, I’ve seen the latter eat all kinds of “off limits” things at work events related to both of our jobs. It all depends on who they think is watching.

  3. The most important email in the history of business?

    Allowing third party developers to utilize C/C++ was a huge reason as to why the iPhone and App Store became successful, but most developers manage memory so poorly that it wasn’t until the launch of the 3GS that the platform was forgiving enough for anything but simple programs.

    The App Store approval process also opened Apple up to the kind of legal arguments being used in the Steam antitrust case about allowing anyone to run any binary on the platform. A ruling against Apple wouldn’t be nearly as exciting to hackers as much as it would be to Facecrack or “Lab 126”.

    Amazon will quickly pwn your iPhone if Apple loses IMHO. Literally, ‘A’ (1) to ‘Z’ (26).

    Facecrack already got caught and punished for VPN links out of an “experimental” version of their app distributed without App Store screening using their limited corporate install license.

    https://www.inc.com/jason-aten/14-years-ago-steve-jobs-sent-most-important-email-in-history-of-business.html

  4. I enthusiastically second Nick’s recommendation of old local cookbooks! They are the best, for all the reasons he gives.   For regional cooking, they are unsurpassed. We read them like novels.

     

    Nor do they give any hint of how many leeches to use, nor where to place them, in bloodletting.

    Interesting trivia: from 1% to 10% of the old Brits/Irish/Celts/Vikings suffered from haemochromotosis , for which even today, “giving blood” is the primary treatment.   My family apparently carries the gene.  I don’t have the disease, but for years my mother used to have to go “donate blood” regularly to keep healthy.  After reading the symptoms – everything from heart rhythm to diabetes to arthritis – the wide-spread use of “bleeding” (in that time and place ) as a medical treatment makes a lot more sense.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hereditary_haemochromatosis

     

    2

  5. Not sure what else I can do to help you out.

    Go with the “clown icon” on the submit button.

    1

  6. Though, I’ve seen the latter eat all kinds of “off limits” things at work events related to both of our jobs. It all depends on who they think is watching.

    Same with Mooslims and drinking. I saw that all the time in the military.

  7. @Nick

    Keep an eye out for the “Settlement” cookbook. I got some copy from the 30s years ago, replete with food stains, and it’s easy to imagine Grandma whipping up all-American meal on her woodstove in Oklahoma from it. Right up your alley.

    Don’t think you’ve ever mentioned whetstones, but keeping knives and axes and stuff sharp would be important when civilization as we know it ends. Which reminds me… Why has no one ever come up with a razor made with a ceramic blade? Those things are fiendishly sharp.

    3
  8. “Though, I’ve seen the latter eat all kinds of “off limits” things at work events related to both of our jobs. It all depends on who they think is watching.”

    Same with Mooslims and drinking. I saw that all the time in the military.

    The crazy thing is that they will still insist on having their dietary restrictions met when ordering food for office events. Then the special dishes go untouched.

    1
  9. @~jim

    “Why has no one ever come up with a razor made with a ceramic blade? Those things are fiendishly sharp.”

    Brittle edge. Easy to chip when you tap out the whiskers. Then you make another pass…

    1
  10. @~jim,

    I’ve got a couple of ceramic knives for the kitchen. I got them from the TSA seizure bin, for whatever that’s worth.

    I sharpened them, and cleaned up the minor chipping with a diamond plate. Yup, you can sharpen and dress ceramic blades.

    They don’t stay chip free. Not much of an issue in the kitchen, but could be for shaving.

    One of them is a little paring knife with a rounded tip. It is the best knife for prepping grapefruit I’ve ever used.

    —————-

    Sharpening is something I can do reasonably for my self but it’s like the 9mm vs 45 or AR vs AK debates, there is a lot of mysticism and religious belief in it. I’ve avoided/forgotten to mention sharpening because of that. Good catch though, I can at least mention what I use, and some options.

    n

    (or like golfing– everyone things that some new gadget will improve their game. Knife channels on youtube are a good source of info and reviews of sharpening systems.)

  11. “Though, I’ve seen the latter eat all kinds of “off limits” things at work events “

    –could be they don’t really understand what’s in it. I couldn’t tell you what’s actually in a vindaloo, or a saag paneer, besides the primary ingredient.

    What’s in a Welsh Rarebit?

    Or an Egg Cream?

    n


  12. What’s in a Welsh Rarebit?

    A Welshman’s bits? I’ve always been afraid to look into it.

    3
  13. Debris update:

    Watched the season finale this week on streaming. Wouldn’t bother with next season, if there was one, which there won’t be as it’s been canceled.

    Season finale was very poorly written, descending into mysticism, with the pronouncements of the chief scientist sounding like the surety of a schizophrenic providing guidance on tuning alien radio waves. Basic disconnect between the rebel group wanting the technology for all mankind while at the same time perfectly willing to slaughter people to get it, or just kill them on an unplanned whim without any messaging involved. Yeah, kinda like commies.

    It was mildly interesting to see John Noble (Fringe, LOTR, Sleepy Hollow) turn up in the finale, but the character was repulsive.

  14. Diamond abrasives have revolutionized sharpening, not only for knives but for cutting edges in the woodshop. I have a couple of diamond stones, a set of diamond files with working surfaces about 1″x2″, and a round file in high-quality. Also picked up an inexpensive set with different shapes.

    Diamond cuts the sharpening time and flush nicely with water, but you still need to get the right angles or you just ruin edges faster.

    Modern countertop materials are worked with diamond tooling, and installers typically use flexible diamond pads mounted on hook-and-loop backing to do touch-up and seams.


  15. The enormous brush pike in the backyard has me feeling defeated and overwhelmed. I tried dragging stuff up the hill to curbside. It’s going to take many many hours I could be using more productively elsewhere. Pro tree guys will charge several thousand to remove it. I’m seeking a youth sports team who travel and need cash for their ventures. It calls for young muscles not skill. Once I’ve got it up top I’ll rent the 12” self feed chipper for a few hundred dollars and turn it into chips. I need to deal with it before the rains start in July as being rained on will make it all harder to untangle and chip.

    If it were me I’d think twice about the “youth sports team” approach. I’ve seen similar scenarios where one of the young people accidentally trips and winds up with a torn ligament or a broken ankle and next thing you know there’s a process server at your door. Unless of course the team is insured for participating in such a ‘fund raising activity.’ For the most part I look for licensed, bonded and insured workmen. (IANAL and YMMV)

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  16. –could be they don’t really understand what’s in it. I couldn’t tell you what’s actually in a vindaloo, or a saag paneer, besides the primary ingredient.

    They know. And, if ever in doubt, the food gets sourced at places like Olive Garden which don’t exactly hide the ingredient lists if they wanted to find out discretely.

     

  17. Lol, I made saag paneer last night AAMOF. I used spinach, but I’ve had it with other green leafy stuff. Don’t know what it’s called here, but cheera comes to mind. Paneer is basically just a curd brick that’s had the whey completely smashed out of it.


  18. It was mildly interesting to see John Noble (Fringe, LOTR, Sleepy Hollow) turn up in the finale, but the character was repulsive.

    I had hopes for Debris, but yeah, the finale was thrown together. Almost like they knew they would be cancelled. I saw Noble’s character as “repulsive” evil, also. That’s why I liked it and would like a S02 just to see him get skinned.

  19. That lady’s personality really comes thru in her recipes 🙂

    n

  20. dcp, I got just a single page, as .tiff image, for each of the Hixson files.

  21. My mom has a White House cookbook. It’s very old but I think it was published in the early 1900s. (Quick web search shows a number of editions, so I can’t guess which it is.)

    Now, I’m not saying that I’m waiting for her to die so I can scoop it up…

  22. I’ve made Wacky Cake.  It had a different name that I don’t recall.  I found the recipe in Boy’s Life magazine.  Fifty years or so ago.

    I remember sifting the dry ingredients together and making the three holes.  Never had frosting, it didn’t need any.

     

  23. Dammit, I knew today’s date was important but after far too many hours awake, I couldn’t think why.

    The anniversary of D-Day of course. Others have not forgotten.
    n

  24. Catch-ups from yesterday…

    Ever looked at the number of different designs for hammers and pliers? Shovels and pitchforks? There’s a reason for each one. You work in the trade and it makes sense to invest in the best tools.

    Even for a DIYer sometimes pro tools will make your life easier. For example, over the years I’ve installed more coax connectors than I can count. Having the right tools (stripper, reamer, compression tool, plus T&B connectors) makes a frustrating job into an easy one. I use IDEAL but there are other brands as well.

    Here in CA it is free on line. Takes five minutes. For a private sale, I sign the title, give it, the registration, and a bill of sale to the buyer, and collect the cash.

    I would have thought a state as populous as CA would have converted over to all electronic title by now.

    You won’t see mammie chasing tom and jerry with a broom on stream or rerun either. Or lots of other stuff.

    Yup, my wife wanted to see Rocky & Bullwinkle – Big River had a complete set of DVDs for a good price.

    Potential new puppy has been identified. Work friend of my wife has ‘accidental’ chihuahua/dachshund puppies to get rid of.

    Skinny playful female, short chocolate hair.

    Chubby active male, black with brown features, fuzzy hair.

    Skinny shy female, chihuahua head and look.

    I’m thinking fat boy, but we’ll have to meet and greet.

    One vote here for the boy. Over the 15 years we’ve had a number of dogs all but one have been males. Only one SWMBO in the house. Right now we have 3 (males) Was 4 temporarily but our medical foster found his forever home.

  25. “bake in a slow oven”

    –you know it’s an old book when the directions talk about how fast or slow the oven is. There are transitional books that have a conversion in the same pages they define other measures, and then there are modern books with nothing but temperatures.

    Thermometers. you need several of a couple of different kinds. Modern food safety counts on it.
    n

  26. @Nick

    D-Day, the 6th of June.

    One of Dad’s friends landed in Europe in a glider.  I’ve often wished I had asked him a bit more.

  27. …just a single page, as .tiff image, for each of the Hixson files.

    Scroll.

    Windows Picture Viewer has controls to scroll sideways.
    In Irfanview, the scroll is vertical.

    I have no idea why they saved the pages that way. It was done a long time ago, in Internet years. Possibly early 2000s? I’ve had the files since 2008.


  28. Scroll.

    Windows Picture Viewer has controls to scroll sideways.
    In Irfanview, the scroll is vertical.

    When I go to those two links, I only get one page each. No scrolling L/R or U/D.

  29. Thermometers for food:

    Highly recommend the original Thermopen. Nothing better for chicken and slow-cooked pork.

    I prefer a digital with a longer probe to check the temp on the grills through a vent without opening them.

    Laser thermometer comes out of the shop when I do pizza on a stone in the grill.

    Thermometer in the refrigerator. Digital thermometer with 24-hr high-low and high temp alarm for the freezers.

    What did I miss?


  30. One of Dad’s friends landed in Europe in a glider.

    One of my sailplane instructors deliberately neglected to mention his pre-war glider experience when he enlisted, so that he wouldn’t get assigned to gliders. He spent most of his service ferrying bombers across the Atlantic.

    He did have a good story about “someone he knew” who was actually able to soar a CG-4 cross-country for about 100 miles. (I think it was in Ohio? Not sure.)

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waco_CG-4

  31. Wrt the tiff, you have to D/L it first then you will see pages. Jezebel Sauce!

    n

  32. dcp, I stand corrected. The default app for .tif files handles only the first page, but other apps let me see all pages.

  33. @pecancorner, that disease is very interesting. Cooking with iron skillet, iron pots, iron kettles, and you get a lot of iron in your diet. Iron rods stuck thru foods, and iron knives used to cut it… very interesting.

    WRT leeches, there is a Blackadder episode (the one with ‘young Bob’) that pokes fun at it.

    However, leeches have a place in modern medicine too. They are used when there is a need to increase circulation, like after reattaching an amputated bit…

    Everything old is new again….
    n

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  34. dcp, thank you for those links! I’ve bookmarked them. I love that Mary starts out with how to make the burnt sugar syrup, explaining how she uses it. Who needs Kitchen Bouquet when we can make our own!   She makes her fried chicken and cream gravy like my grandmother did. Looking forward to reading the rest of these. 🙂

  35. Or just re-name the tif to pdf.

     

    Thank you for the links.

  36. “Even for a DIYer sometimes pro tools will make your life easier. For example, over the years I’ve installed more coax connectors than I can count. Having the right tools (stripper, reamer, compression tool, plus T&B connectors) makes a frustrating job into an easy one. I use IDEAL but there are other brands as well”

    — anyone doing more than 10 cat connections at a time should be using the EZ-RJ45 system from Platinum Tools. I can do an end per minute with about a 99% success rate when tested with an Agilent cable classifier to meet the cat spec. I can train stagehands to get the same success with that system too. I might be able to get to 4 nines if I wasn’t talking or teaching at the same time. There are manufactures that talk smack about the system but I’ve never had it not work when used with those manfs products, if it meets cat spec when tested.

    –I’ll second using a compression fitting system for coax too. Once you do, you’ll never want to use anything else. Professionally we’re moving almost everything but radio over CAT cable UTP or STP, but I used to do miles of coax… and thousands of ends.

    n

  37. @Nick Flandry

    Looks like my edit to add .pdf links got the post sent to moderation.

  38. Debris update:

    Watched the season finale this week on streaming. Wouldn’t bother with next season, if there was one, which there won’t be as it’s been canceled.

    I gave up on Debris at the 5th or 6th episode. Just too weird for me and I watch utter drek.

    1
  39. Knife sharpening, as mentioned, is subject to voodoo “science.” That said, good diamond abrasives are fast, but no better than all the other grinding methods. For cheap kitchen knives, which are usually rather soft stainless, a belt grinder with a favorite abrasive, and used skillfully works fine. Harder knife blades need harder abrasives, and diamond is good. Also, crossed carbide blades can yield a razor edge, but it won’t last because there is a very thin edge.

    I don’t have any fancy kitchen knives. In my experience, most kitchens have way too many knives, and I can’t convince cooks to avoid using them on hard surfaces such as plates. I can’t even get them to reserve a crummy knife or two for such abuse. As a result, all knives have their edges ruined in short order. Giving them a good knife would be a waste. My wife is the exception. She has a few good knives she cares about, but the rest are always in need of help. And, there are way too many.

    Knives that are used to cut corrugated board, various woods, and even soft metals need the support of a more blunt angle, plus a radiused edge. The extreme is a cold chisel, which has a 90 degree included angle and a large radius; they can cut metals almost as hard as they are.

    A favorite way to sharpen wood chisels and gouges is to use a belt grinder or rubber bonded abrasive wheel, and finish with a hard felt wheel charged with the right abrasive compound. If the edge radius is too small, as for hard woods turned on a lathe, use a softer felt wheel with coarser abrasive.

    Razors are no secret. They need to have a very thin angle and be finished with extremely fine abrasives. This can be done by hand, but the right stone and strops are important. The edge doesn’t last because of the thin edge and the fact that hair is similar to soft copper in its wear on blades. Good commercial razor blades use fairly exotic corrosion resistant alloys and precision machines to finish the edges.

    I once read that scalpels use rather coarsely ground edges. Surprised me. I am not a surgeon. Never.

  40. 77 years ago today, Lt. Colonel Rudder led 200+ army rangers up the cliff at Pointe Du Hoc. One third of them died scaling the cliff under the duel machine guns to spike the four ? six inch guns that would have been devastating to the landing craft.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pointe_du_Hoc

    My grandfather worked for him at TAMU. Good man. He promoted my grandfather from prof to assistant dean of engineering as he was already doing the job. They were both class of 1932.

  41. Regarding thermometers, give Thermopro a look. They make their own, and concentrate on cooking and smoking. Read their spiel on how they got started.

    I have one of their wireless indoor outdoor thermometers, and it is good.


  42. Was 4 temporarily but our medical foster found his forever home.

    How do you know? Talked to the big man?

    [ Well, this is a permissive site. I know I won’t get hammered (or banned) with that last remark. Or will I? ]

  43. @JimB

    The bottom row of one of my knife blocks has four inexpensive paring knives for use on plates if need be. The rest get used with cutting boards if they are cutting through. Most of my cutting boards are HDPE, although one of the large ones is acrylic.

    I have a few knives that are seldom used due to function, such as the 10″ butcher knife, the 10″ slicer, the 6″ boning knife, and the 6″ cleaver. I’d miss them if they weren’t there when I need them.

    A few designs just don’t work for me, and I do favor certain knives over others. But I use 6, 8, and 10″ chef’s, two 9″ bread knives, a 5″ serrated blade, and 3,4,and 5″ paring knives on a regular basis. Two steels, one traditional and one ceramic, and a flexible diamond pad that I use for quick edge touchups. One pair of kitchen shears in the block.

    Truth is I could do away with my third-best and oldest knife block (Chicago Cutlery), divest four cheap paring knives*, and probably two or three others. Likewise a couple of ceramic and other “revolutionary” blades that live in their own holders. I’d also duplicate the 5″ paring knife and 5″ serrated knife if I had the space.

    I also have four Japanese serrated steak knives that I bought at the state fair fifty years ago. And a Swedish cheese plane that is indispensable.

    Having so many blades is a luxury. My grandmother did almost everything with one 6″ butcher knife and a paring knife. My grandfather had sharpened the butcher knife so many times that the blade width was noticeably thinner.

    *I have one 6″ “bar board” cutting board and a nice commercial 12x18x1/2 HDPE that I bought expressly to cut into more bar boards. Then I’m going to make a dispenser bracket for them and there will be no excuse for cutting on a plate.


  44. Knife sharpening, as mentioned, is subject to voodoo “science.” That said, good diamond abrasives are fast, but no better than all the other grinding methods.

    … A favorite way to sharpen wood chisels and gouges is to use a belt grinder or rubber bonded abrasive wheel, and finish with a hard felt wheel charged with the right abrasive compound. ….

    And then there are some ol’ boys who sell old knives on eBay, and put every blade they get against a coarse electric grinder… Occasionally I buy Victorian fruit knives. These look like ordinary pocket knives but they aren’t: they have sterling silver blades. The anti-microbial properties of silver were well understood by the Victorians. Unfortunately, most of the knives, when I get them, have had the blade edges mangled by guys who decided they needed “sharpening” before sale, and put them on a grinder wheel. *shudder* I have a little stash of them, waiting for me to get around to trying to figure out how to fix the damage. I think I can anneal and file the metal back into place, with patience.

     

    most kitchens have way too many knives, and I can’t convince cooks to avoid using them on hard surfaces such as plates.

     

    Knives also damage the plates themselves, as well as vice versa.  We have a friend who used to collect vintage Fiesta and Russel Wright dinnerware. He refused to put any knives on the table when he used those, and never served steak on them, for fear of scratching the glaze on the plates.  Only “special people” got to be served on them: we were privileged! 😀

     

     

     

     

  45. John Rahm was pulled from the PGA Memorial tournament today for testing positive for Wuhan flu. He was 6 shots in the lead at record-tying pace and the winner’s purse is $1.7 million.

    No symptoms.

    If he continues to be healthy and the test used the ungrounded-in-science 35-40 cycle amplification that was kept in place to frighten the public even after Fauci of all people let it be known last July that it was bogus, things could get very interesting.

    ADDED: The players he was with both had the flu and didn’t have any problem continuing.

    2
    3
    1
  46. Odds from this end …

    For @nick – re plugins and auto-updates. All of the WordPress sites I own/manage use the InfiniteWP plugin – it is a management console for WP sites. One click checks all the site’s plugins/themes/WP for update. Another click updates them all. I do a daily check for updates, and update – both with just one click.  So, auto-updates settings are not needed for me. Great plugin if you have multiple WP sites that you own/manage.

    Regarding file conversions – I often have the need to ‘squish’ a jpg file into something smaller, or convert from one type to another. I use an add-in to Windows Explorer called “File Converter” https://file-converter.org/ .

    Excellent program!  Right-click a file (or bunch of them) from Windows Explorer, and quickly convert from one file type to another. Works on audio, video, images, document. Can convert from video to it’s audio file, for example.

    Great tool, very fast, and free. Highly recommended.

    And for PDF’s, MS-Word 2019 can open a PDF, then save it as a DOCX. So, you can convert from PDF to an editable DOCX program. Useful.

    Windows Explorer will also rotate a picture 90 degrees either way. Also useful.

     

  47. I have one “good” 10″ chef knife that does the bulk of my work, including jointing and slicing meats for serving. the serrated bread knife gets every day use, and the little paring knife with the big handle does too.

    I’ve got special shapes for when I need them, a decent sized cleaver, and a good vintage butcher’s knife.

    The chef’s is a modern damascus from Japan in the traditional western shape.

    I worked in restaurant kitchens long enough to know that the knives they sell with NSF ratings are more than good enough for almost anyone, so I have several new in package stashed with various backup kitchens around town.

    I don’t think gimmicky is the way to go with knives, tools, or anything else. Specialized limited use, yes. The right tool really does make things easier. But too many times different is just different and not an improvement.

    n

    And most people never reach the limit of their tools. If you find the tool is holding you back, upgrade. Otherwise, it’s probably a waste of resources.

  48. I’ve found that a wooden cutting board, especially if it’s been wetted for a few minutes, is much easier on my knives than dry or HDPE. My good knives are all carbon steel and I don’t let anyone else use them.

  49. I would have thought a state as populous as CA would have converted over to all electronic title by now.

    Dunno. I bought the car in 1989, and the motorcycle in 1983, both private party used of course. When I originally bought them, I turned in the former owner’s signed title to the DMV, paid a fee, and a new title was mailed to me. I bought a used car private party in 2017, it was the same, except the new title is bigger and prettier. It is the proudest one in the file.

    Registrations are similar. A paper copy is mailed upon renewal.

    Proof of insurance is paper, but some people put them on their phones. This is supposedly not valid. I know a school bus driver, who puts them on her company phone. Says she used to have to carry one for each bus, which was a pain. For some reason, the school would not store one in its bus. She says she has to show it frequently, and just hands the phone to the official.

    Since I try to be paperless, I considered using my phone, but I would never hand my phone to a LEO, or knowingly allow any connection to it.

    CA has some admitted inconsistencies. For instance, displaying a front license plate is not often enforced. Sometimes it is an enhancer, or used as an excuse to make a traffic stop. If you look, you might notice that some cars, especially expensive ones, were not designed for front plates, and have aome cheesy add-on plastic bracket. In other states I have lived in, I couldn’t go two blocks without being pulled over for not having a front plate. I also lived in a one-plate state for a short time. My car had a nice spot for a plate, but it was vacant. Somehow, a Dixie flag plate seemed inappropriate.

  50. Asian American ornithologist Olivia Wang should spend some time unpacking her own inherited racist baggage. China and Japan have racist histories that make anything that happened in the U.S. pale in comparison. Japan’s extends well into the twentieth century and the Chinese haven’t let up at all.

    And if we’re going to be thorough, we should recognize that many indigenous American tribes were well-known for taking slaves, cannibalism, and other practices that were not-so-noble.

  51. CA has some admitted inconsistencies. For instance, displaying a front license plate is not often enforced. Sometimes it is an enhancer, or used as an excuse to make a traffic stop. If you look, you might notice that some cars, especially expensive ones, were not designed for front plates, and have aome cheesy add-on plastic bracket. In other states I have lived in, I couldn’t go two blocks without being pulled over for not having a front plate. I also lived in a one-plate state for a short time. My car had a nice spot for a plate, but it was vacant. Somehow, a Dixie flag plate seemed inappropriate.

    Front plates will be around for a long time. As the states and cities adopt the Virginia model and begin selling off surface streets and freeway medians to private toll authorities, having that backup plate image will be increasingly important for the bottom line.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if Florida added the front plate.

  52. Then I’m going to make a dispenser bracket for them and there will be no excuse for cutting on a plate.

    You and I wouldn’t cut on a plate, but I know some folks who just do, no matter how much I advise and complain. I have even tried NOT sharpening their knives. SteveF understands.

    @pecancorner, I have my parents’ Fiesta ware, and my wife has added some. I also have their china, which will be disposed of or sold. I was an Erma Bombeck fan, and we use “good” china for some guests. We would never restrict a guest from using a knife on a plate. We would instead use more “everyday” dishes and enjoy their company. Life is short.

  53. Good quote in the comment section of the FoxNews article on the troubled  Washington Post reporter article linked above:

    “I am afraid that there is a certain class of race-problem solvers who don’t want the patient to get well, because as long as the disease holds out they have not only an easy means of making a living, but also an easy medium through which to make themselves prominent before the public.” — Booker T. Washington

    This article:

    https://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2021/06/i_am_not_colored_white.html

    makes the point I have been making for years.

    Only a fool lets the enemy define the language.

    2

  54. Japan’s extends well into the twentieth century and the Chinese haven’t let up at all.

    I read a book called “The Knights of Bushido” about Japanese atrocities committed on Koreans during WWII. Sickening. They considered Koreans animals. But, let’s go apologize for bombing the fcuks during WWII. Only WHITEY! is rayciiiiis.


  55. Japanese atrocities committed on Koreans during WWII. Sickening.

    Older Koreans in the 1980s had lived through the Japanese occupation and were grateful to Americans even forty years later. (Younger Korean men hadn’t lived through that and resented American soldiers for being in their country.)

    They considered Koreans animals.

    Which is very amusing because Japanese and Koreans are ethnically very very closely related. You could piss off Japanese back in the 1980s or 90s by saying that. I haven’t had occasion to bring it up since DNA evaluation proved it about ten years ago.

  56. I haven’t read _The Chrysanthemum and the Sword_ in a, umm, coon’s age but oddly enough recommended it to my cousin earlier today. A study of Japanese culture commissioned by the War Dept.

  57. We have a new member of the Flandrey household and family, Zeus, the chiweenie. Black with brown markings, and never stopped moving.

    n

    4

  58. We have a new member of the Flandrey household and family, Zeus, the chiweenie.

    And who, pray tell, is taking care of the thunderbolts?

    2
  59. The kids are filling in for every need so far…

    n

  60. I’ll try to get a pic of the little charmer. He moves pretty fast though.
    n

  61. Pics will have to wait, he’s crashed out in the crate next to oldest daughter.
    n

  62. @Nick

    Congratulations on Zeus. I know you’ve missed your buddy. Looking forward to hearing about Zeus’ escapades.

  63. I miss my buddy enormously. We have a new little guy, and I hope he’ll be my buddy eventually. He’s certainly full of energy.

    n

  64. Pics will have to wait, he’s crashed out in the crate next to oldest daughter.
    Interesting sleeping place your daughter has. 🙂

    4
  65. you know it’s an old book when the directions talk about how fast or slow the oven is

    It’s surprising just how much variation there is even among modern ovens. In the old house, for the past 20 years we used a big commercial oven (because we also were running a business). Now we have a small, modern private oven.

    Recipes do not work the same. Not at all. The small space in the private oven means that the humidity stays a lot higher. Unlike the commercial oven, it won’t measure the humidity and reduce it by controlled venting. The consequence is that baking times are a lot longer, because baking is partially a drying process. It’s not a small difference: when I make shortbread, I bake for 15 minutes instead of for 10 – a 50% increase.

    Thermometers for food

    It is surprisingly hard to find simple thermometers. I don’t want one that says “beef is done”, “pork is done”, etc.. I want one that just tells me the degrees. Different cuts and different recipes call for different temps. I don’t care what the FDA has to say about it, I want my pork steak no more than 56C in the center.

    For our smoker, I found a radio-linked thermometer (model XR-40) that I really like. Unfortunately, I see the newer model has added it’s opinion about beef, pork, etc., in addition to the temperature.

    As a general kitchen thermometer, I ultimately bought a measuring instrument intended for engineering use.

    JimB writes: Knife sharpening, as mentioned, is subject to voodoo “science.”

    Thanks for the excellent info! Do you have a suggested link to more details?

    For the last too-many years I’ve used a machine to maintain our kitchen knives, on the assumption that it knows the right angles and such. Apparently its sharpening wheels are getting old, because it’s not nearly as good as it used to be. I would consider going to entirely manual sharpening, but I’d like to know what I’m getting into, and how best to do it.

    It’s hard to find information that isn’t either superficial or else full of the aforementioned voodoo.

    How do you know? Talked to the big man?

    Even as someone who is not religious, I like to imagine our previous pup is playing endless frisbee on a grassy field in the sun. It’s a comforting way to remember him at his best.

    Regardless, no worries, I don’t think anyone is going to be offended… This is a pretty tolerant bunch… I mean, look at SteveF 😛

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