Fair Analysis of Vista OS

Vista Joke Awhile back, a local computer repair shop had a HUGE sign in their window, “Will remove Vista and Install Windows XP”. At the time, I used Windows XP, but I made a note-to-self, “Don’t upgrade to Vista”. Time marched on. I bought a new laptop. It came loaded with a Vista. Time to find that repair shop….

Burmese Tofu

Unlike my husband, I was not a fan of tofu. Determined to show me that “tofu”, translated, meant “delicious”, he spent 10 long, hungry hours, meticulously constructing, as only an engineer can, an extravagant molded strata creation – tofu & red peppers, tofu & spinach, tofu & walnut, tofu & cilantro – layered 8-inches high in a well-oiled angel-food cake pan. Finally, at 10pm, candles lit, wine poured, grace and thanks given, we took our first bite. “Do you think Tasty Pizza is still open and would deliver?”, he asked.

That was years ago. Not long enough, apparently, for me to forget my one and only tofu experience because when my husband suggested ordering a Burmese-tofu salad this weekend at Yoma, a favorite Burmese restaurant, just the thought of eating “tofu” made my tongue feel covered in chalkdust and grit. The waiter assured my husband, “Not, Japanese tofu. Burmese good. We make here. You like.”

The Swine is Falling

Pig Falling 150

Sometimes, a little lesson in history, puts things in perspective, enabling clear thinking. Let the pagans and heathens run in circles declaring the sky is falling, but you, Christian, be clear in your thinking. (Prov 14:15, Prov 19:2, John 10:37, Acts 17:11, 1Thes 5:21, 1 John 4:1)

The CDC has been talking for years about pandemics. Back in 2002, Exotic Newcastle Disease was predicted to wipe out most of the factory poultry-farming industry. In some ways, it is a shame that END didn’t put poultry factory-farming out of its misery, and the misery it is causing to humans and animals alike, not to mention the pollution of the environment. The use of Roxarsone – arsenic – in poultry and other animal feed which stimulates growth, has been linked to cancer in humans.

Dosa (Fermented Rice & Lentil Bread)

Dosa Dosa flatbread is very thin, crispy and savory sourdough bread, a favorite staple eaten with South India cuisine, like my favorite Lamb & Spinach. Dosa is similar in taste and texture to Ethiopian injerra bread, with a slight “tang“flavor, and a “lacy” texture, a result of fermentation, for 18-24 hours. During fermentation, the lactic acid bacteria (LAB) do what the good Lord created it to do – break down the sugars, starches and fats, making them more easily digestible, while turning the bread into a powerful probiotic which aids in the digestion of other foods. In addition, LAB create antimicrobial compounds providing a broad spectrum of inhibition against pathogens and food spoilage microorganisms. Modern food processing offers NOTHING even remotely close, when it comes to the power of fermentation to create and protect the living vitality and life-giving properties of real food.

Dili Ka Saag Gosht (Lamb & Spinach)

Spinach & Dosa Usually, after making a recipe a few times, I’ll experiment with different seasonings or swapping one protein for another. But not this recipe! I found it over 20 years ago – a Madhur Jaffrey creation – and have been making it the same way every single time to the joy of my 13-year-old who requests it quite often, telling me she “craves” it. I don’t recall having a “favorite” food when I was her age, and it brings me joy knowing I’m also creating good memories for her.

Jaffrey has a gift for writing recipes that are simple, straight-forward, but loaded with a complex depth of flavors. The cube-sized bites of lamb are evenly balanced with just the right amount of richly-spiced yogurt sauce along with spinach. We’ve enjoyed East Indian restaurants across the United States, Europe and Australia, but have not encountered any other Dili Ka Saag Gosht as good as this recipe.

Another benefit of Jaffrey’s recipes is they fit in well within the guidelines of Weston A. Price and its companion cookbook, Nourishing Traditions which values nutrient dense foods, with liberal use of healthy fats, and low ‘n slow styles of cooking.

What Are You.........

Reformed Pic When we lived in Utah, I was frequently asked, “What are you…”. It could have come across as downright rude, but instead, it was strangely familiar. Growing up in Minnesota, it was a routine question between those of European descent, a practical line of questioning speeding up the process of determining common ground. “Oh, yeah, yeah, so you’re a Swede, eh. Well, I’m Scottish myself, but a college roommate’s great-great-great-grandfather Sven came over in 1870, don’t you know….”. The next five to ten minutes would be spent playing heritage-Tetris.

Black Hole Paradox

Bridge Sighs

Floating down the Grand Canal, our gondolier fanned the dark water with his oar, keeping us stationary below the Bridge of Sighs, while he shared a bit about its history. Built in the 1600’s, the bridge connected the palace of the Doge with the court chambers, prisons, and the execution chamber. From courtroom to executioner, the condemned walked across the span of the bridge – a short two-minute journey – allowed to pause, taking a final last look at their beloved Venezia. It was that which is said to have caused deep, passionate sighs, wafting down to the water below, heard by those passing underneath, and inspiring the naming of the bridge.

Oatmeal Irish Soda Bread

Irish Soda Bread Then he said to them, “Go, eat of the fat, drink of the sweet, and send portions to him who has nothing prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not be grieved, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.” Neh 8:10

Every St. Patrick’s Day dinner is a mirror image of the preceding year – New England Boiled Dinner with Corned Beef & Cabbage, along with freshly-baked Oatmeal Irish Soda Bread. The conversation is pretty much a mirror image of the year before, too, now that I think about it. The first question asked of me by my family, their mouths still full from their first bite of bread is usually, “I’d forgotten how good this is! Why don’t we have this bread all the time?”

Healthy Gray Corned Beef

Gray Corned Beef 200 Touring Ireland, introducing myself, “Hello, I’m Sharon Kathleen”, the responses were often, “Odd, really, ahmmm, you don’t look even a wee bit Irish….”. True, and that’s because there’s not a single drop of Irish blood in me. My mother, raised in a Twin Cities German-Irish immigrant neighborhood, borrowed my names from the Irish culture, equating them with being “good, strong American names”.

She also borrowed the Irish tradition of serving New England Boiled Dinner every St. Patrick’s Day, but in reality, the potato, cabbage and corned beef combination has nothing historically to do with Ireland.

My favorite part was always the corned beef, which isn’t actually corned, but is instead brined in a salt water solution. The addition of saltpeter, potassium nitrate, gives corned beef its rosy-color.

Soul-Warming French Onion Soup

French onion Soup After all the slurping, sighing, and, yes, even bowl-licking through tonight’s French Onion Soup, my husband put down his spoon (licked that clean, too), sat back in contentment and said, “Thank you, honey. That was soul-warming”.

He’s been generous with compliments these past 21-years, but that was his first “soul warming” comment. I figured, before I forgot how I’d created the soup, I’d better write it down ASAP. My blog is quickly becoming my recipe box, my laptop residing on a little corner of my center island.