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Posts Tagged ‘fun’

Today I am going to caramelize white chocolate, and then use it to make white chocolate passionfruit tofu pudding. 

There are a number of ways to caramelize the chocolate, the most traditional being a 250F oven for 45–60 minutes, stirring every ten minutes or so. A second option is to sous vide the chocolate at 90C for anywhere from 4 to 12 hours, but that’s a long time and I have dessert-making to do now.

I think I’ll start with the quickest of the options I’ve found so far: the microwave.

… (time passing)… (muzak from your preferred era)… (stepped away to make a lemon meringue pie because it’s Mr Man’s favorite and, you know, Valentine’s Day)…

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Success! It took seven minutes of microwave time total, plus all the opening the microwave and stirring and closing the microwave door and … you get the picture. I’m glad I tried it but next time I will test the sous vide method. It takes a lot longer but it’s all hands off.

Yes, that is my handwriting. Yes, it is terrible.

That said, all that microwave time paid off. Caramelized white chocolate is freaking delicious. 

I made another batch of tofu chocolate pudding, subbing in the caramelized white chocolate for dark, passionfruit simple syrup for plain, and lime juice for the vanilla. It is quite good but a little too sweet straight from the blender. It may balance out once it chills. If I try it again I’ll reduce the amount of syrup considerably (half? less?) and up the lime. (Actually, next time I’ll probably just toss a block of tofu in the blender with the white chocolate and go from there.) 

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Yes, our part of Ontario is expecting freezing rain (thanks climate change!), but there’s still enough snow for that purest of winter joys, a snowball fight!

Snowball fight captured in film for first time 1897 | AccuWeather
The 50-second clip captures a group of people in Lyons, France, playing in snow and the chaos ensuing as a snowball fight between two sides turns into a surprise attack on a bypassing cyclist.

Like in the current day and age, there were many things the Lumière brothers could have filmed as world events brewed and boiled, but instead, they chose to make one of their many short films about people playing in the snow…

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Here it is again in a version has been upscaled and colorized, making it even more relatable.

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“A snowball in the face is surely the perfect beginning to a lasting friendship.”

― Markus Zusak

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Photo by Anika Huizinga on Unsplash

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Some days I feel like I am getting nothing done. Despite the fact that I have been working on a number of projects and fighting bad tech mojo on multiple fronts,* today is one of those days.

Am I am getting nowhere? Maybe, but I’m also doing it very, very fast. Thanks to the magic of plate tectonics (ok, that part’s pretty slow) and orbital mechanics, so are you.

If you’ve ever wanted to know how fast you are moving (even when you aren’t going anywhere), check out this fun site:

Speed

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Photo by Abed Ismail on Unsplash

* Really, keyboard, backup drive, laptop, and printer, you’d have me believe that this wasn’t all planned?

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I accumulate a lot of links. Work links, sure, but on my way to the data mines I often come across  fun, interesting, obscure or downright delightful corners of the web. They inform me when I need a bit of learning with lunch, cheer me up when the news is too newsy, and otherwise remind me that the internet, like the world, is not 100% terrible.

What sort of links? I’m so glad you asked:)

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Look Up! An Introduction to Identifying Raptors in Flight

  • Helpful, although I’ll probably continue to just say “hawk!” every time I see something predatory with wings. My bird enthusiast father’s reply is always (honestly, can he really be right all the time?*) “turkey vulture.” Just once I wish he’d say “dragon.”

* The answer is yes.

20 of the Best History Podcasts to Help Us Actually Learn From the Past

  • History is cool.

Honest Government Ad | Carbon Capture & Storage – YouTube

  • Is there swearing? There is. It’s warranted.

Introducing the Icelandverse – YouTube

  • Look out, Zuckerberg, Iceland is coming for you.

Bohemian Catsody – A Rhapsody Parody Song for Every Cat Queen and King! – YouTube

  • Since you’re already on YouTube. And like cat videos.

This man won a Guinness World Record for his tree that bears 10 types of fruit

  • “Hussam Saraf says his record-breaking tree with 10 different types of fruit is a metaphor for how he sees the world. … ‘[It’s] mother nature that’s united us all together. Doesn’t really matter how different we are in colour or culture or tradition. We are one, and we can respect each other as one.’” If that’s not nice then I don’t know what is.

rroll.to

  • Each time a user clicks on your generated link, there is a 50% chance that they will be rickrolled.

The True Story of the Blue People of Kentucky

  • Genetics, man.

Photos of the world above and below the sea by David Doubilet

  • Nature, man. These images are amazing.

Periodic Table of the Elements, in Pictures and Words

  • How many of these have you used today?

How to Identify that Light in the Sky

  • Brought to you by NASA and The League of Lost Causes, which is just about the most awesome name ever.

Scientists Create 3,000 TB Simulation of the Universe You Can Download

  • I don’t have the space for this, but maybe you do?

And since I’m a baker, here’s one last link:

All You Could Ever Want to Know About a Pumpkin Slingshot

  • I dunno, I want to know A Lot.

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Photo by Robert Katzki on Unsplash

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It’s Tuesday so busy busy, but I still made time for a little cat-related fun.

You’re welcome:)

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The remake you didn’t know you needed, by OwlKitty

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A long-time family friend always says goodbye by saying “Be good!” My father always answers the same way: “Have fun!”

You can see which side Samuel Clemens occupied.

“Be good + you will be lonesome. Mark Twain” British Library digitised image from page 10 of “Following the Equator. A journey around the world [With a portrait.]”

I at least try to split the difference.

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In my roles as a writer and as a person, I read a lot. Some books I purchase, but many I access through my local library. How great is that?*

So I just spent a non-zero amount of time writing a little AppleScript to automagically run a search in any of the four area library systems that share e-book resources. 

Was it necessary? No. I could click through my library portal and into each separate library system for every book I want to check, one stodgy button at a time. Ho hum.

Does this script save time and my wrists and open up new worlds of possibilities?

Yes.

Was it fun to make?

Also yes:)

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I know, it’s a store, not a library. But she’s having so much fun! Photo by Ying Ge on Unsplash

* I love books, and I’m lucky enough to live in a society that supports public libraries. In fact, I made a modest donation to my local library the other day, and hope it helps bring just a little more literacy and knowledge and enjoyment to my city.

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We’ll See!

Today, my plan is to make bread, prep and roast a batch of mushrooms (oyster, shiitake, cafe), make black currant jam, and a batch of smoothies. I might also test out the KitchenAid ice cream attachment we borrowed from friends yesterday, free my tomatoes from the dastardly clutches of the cucamelon vine, and make strawberry Pop Tarts hand pies.

Or I’ll get distracted by a good book, a cozy Sunday, and the Olympics.

We’ll see!

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Editor’s Note: That isn’t a typo in the title. Well, it was a typo when I named the original file, but it was funny and my brain is mostly off at this point so I kept it.

I tried a new photo-to-oil-paint method today. The technique is straightforward, if time-consuming, but I can tell I’m not an actual painter. The arm and face are a little weird but my eyes have gone wonky and I’ve started thinking seriously about adult beverages, so this is what we’re going with today!

With apologies to whoever made the fine costume I blurred out, I give you “Portrait of a Mandalorian Primcess.”

She looks anything but prim.
Original Photo by Alexander Jawfox on Unsplash

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* Editor’s Note: Welcome to Lunchtime Clickbait, where we test oddly specific headlines establishing implausibly sweeping claims for oddly specific life strategies. 

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Sure, it’s only been two days, but I can unequivocally say that smoked oysters have changed my life.

Photo by Thomas John on Unsplash

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How do I know for sure that smoked oysters are the best thing since sliced bread? Well, three days ago I had ideas as usual, but little energy for action. Sure, I got my work done, but then, meh.

For the past two days we have had smoked oysters for dinner, and for the past two days I have had far more energy and verve than usual. I think the connection is obvious.

Yesterday? I did all of the things. Work, yes, but also house and writing and creative fun stuff. Also peaches.

Happily tucked away in the freezer, waiting to become sorbet.

Today I’ll do that and more, and I’m sure that it’s all because of the smoked oysters. What’s not to love?

Will smoked oysters work for you? Maybe, and unless you have a shellfish allergy, they can’t hurt.

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Now, do I wish they didn’t come in cans designed to slice my fingers when taking them to the recycling bin? I do, but I also have a solution.

I mean sure, you could still cut yourself if you tried hard enough. So maybe don’t?

And many of the readily available options are from halfway around the globe, but it would be great if increasing local popularity also encouraged more local production.

It’s also encouraging to see the shells used as material for educational and shoreline reclamation projects like the Billion Oyster Project and the Tampa Bay Estuary Program.

Still not convinced that smoked oysters are right for you? What else does a sweeping claim for dramatic outcomes based on one small lifestyle change need for maximum reputability?

A Top Ten List, of course!

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Top Ten Reasons to Eat Smoked Oysters

10. They are great on salads, on pasta, in soups, on picnics, or straight from the can when you don’t have time for niceties like plates.

9. Canned, they are shelf stable to the Apocalypse and beyond.

8. Oysters purify water, are terrific for shoreline health, contribute to restorative aquaculture, and in a well-managed fishery are a great addition to a sustainable food system.

7. They remind me that the history of cities like New York is tied to the oyster. 

6. Smoked oysters give an average day a bit of fancy dancy je ne sais quoi.

5. Oysters are rich in protein, good fats, iron, zinc, and copper. Eating them makes me feel practically electric!

4. Smoking takes away that weird sliminess of raw oysters that some people love but, well, I don’t. (Although maybe I haven’t tried enough of the good stuff, like those from High on the Hog‘s TheRealMotherShuckers.)

3. I still have warm fuzzy feelings from childhood, sitting in the living room recliner, reading, and eating after-school oyster stew.

2. Lord, I don’t know, isn’t this list done yet?

And finally, the number one reason to eat smoked oysters…

1. They are affordable, accessible, and Costco sells these babies in eight-can packs!

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Yes, these oysters are the squishy kind, but the picture is pretty. Photo by Jason Leung on Unsplash

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