Friday, November 30, 2012

Two Things (neither of which is worth notice)

Geek Stuff: Because I let things go too long without attending to them, I had to back up everything on my hard drive to an external drive, and replace the operating system on my computer from Ubuntu Linux 10.10 with Lubuntu Linux 12.04. Getting all my files and setting restored has take a couple days now, but everything seems to be stable.

Kids, Don't Do This, Dept.: Never, ever, de-seed a bunch of Poblano chilies* then take a pee without washing your hands. IT BURNS! IT BURNS!

My poor pee-pee.

* I'm making "Tangy Tomatillo Shrimp" for the lovely Mrs Elliott tonight.

Had To Change the Commenting Permissions

I've had to shut off anonymous comments on this blog. I've recently been getting about three spammy comments a day that I have to moderate (mark as spam) and it's become annoying. Here's an example:

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Yeah, I'm a Simpleton": 
Hello are using Wordpress for your blog platform?
I'm new to the blog world but I'm trying to get started
and create my own. Do you need any html coding knowledge to make your own
blog? Any help would be greatly appreciated!
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Dealing with this crap is a waste of my time. Anyone wanting to comment on a blog post will need an online i.d., and there may be a capcha involved.

[EDIT: There will be no capcha - that feature is turned off.]

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Damn Fine Beef Stew

It was exactly one year ago that Jack decided to compare two versions of Beef Bourguignon. I took it upon my self to cook both recipes. It was a cage fight: Tony Bourdain v. Julia Child. No one said it would be easy, but I didn't cry, and for someone who likes like cook, it was fun.

The results are here.

So anyway, yesterday around lunch time, I decided to just toss some stuff into our Crock Pot-brand crock pot and see how it came out.

So I did that: I tossed some stuff into the crock pot and then went over to O'Kane's at McMenamin's to lose Yet Another Goddamn Game Of Chess against chess hustler and Bend Treasure H. Bruce Miller.*

And it was after dark when I returned home, and when I I walked in in, the house was redolent with the most amazingly rich aroma of beef stew.

This isn't a bourguignon because it doesn't use any wine, Burgandignian or otherwise, and it's so simple that Jack should feel ashamed to make it. But my-oh-my is it amazingly good.

Uncle Jack's Damn Fine Beef StewServes 2 
Set the crock pot to "high" and drizzle in about 1 Tbs of olive oil. Let it heat for about 30 minutes.
While it is heating, cube up about 3/4lb of cubed beef. I used grass-fed ribeye steak from Trader Joes.
Sprinkle a little salt on the beef.
After the pot is hot, pitch in the beef.
Chop up a shallot, and toss said chopped shallot atop the beef.
Let the meat and shallot heat up, stir occasionally for about an hour until there isn't much pink showing on the beef and the shallot is soft and translucent.
Dash in a handful or two of chopped mushrooms.
Empty a can of El Pato Tomato Sauce with JalapeƱo (the red can - Safeway has it, Albertson's, too, I think) into the pot.
Add 1/2 tsp. of Red Boat Fish sauce (best stuff evah!).
Set cooker on "low" and wander off for a couple hours (See: "Went to O'Kane's at McMenamin's to lose Yet Another Goddamn Game Of Chess against chess hustler and Bend Treasure H. Bruce Miller," above).
That's it.

* But I did manage to mooch another $2 cigar off him.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

It Was a Quiet Day Today

After getting together at Sidelines sports bar yesterday in downtown Bend with some friends - New Guy Michael Mineni, H. Bruce and Sharon Miller, and the lovely Mrs Elliott - to watch Oregon play SoCal (neither team brought their defense to the game, we won), I decided that I would like a quiet day at home today.

But first some shopping.

We went to Whole Foods for basic needs, and I bought the ingredients for tonight's meal: Manhattan-style clam soup, done Paleo; I dropped by the new Growler Guys* shop at the Shell gas station on 27th and Greenwood for some apricot cider; went to Cash and Carry on Third for ScotchBrite pads (the season for holiday cooking and, thus, pot scrubbing fast approacheth); and to the O'Reilly auto parts store for five quarts of Mobil 1 0W-40 engine oil for Mellow Yellow's winter driving. (Mellow Yellow, for those who aren't following my blog very closely, is our 1984 VW poptop camper van.)

Back at home I had some lawn winterizing to do: rake the leaves, mow the lawn short and trim its edges, apply winterizing fertilizer, then water.

That all having been taken care of, I am watching the afternoon drift toward evening, pint glass of cider in hand, soup in the slow cooker. Mrs Elliott is playing Spider Solitaire on her computer.

It was a beautiful day.

'Bout time to call the irrigation dude to blow out the sprinklers. Gotta get the gutters cleaned, too.

* I'm not much of a beer drinker, and don't find Bend's current boom in breweries to be personally important. That said, the east side is sorely in need of some classing up and giving eastsiders something besides Bud Light, PBR, or meth is a step in the right direction. I urge my reader to give this shop their patronage - Ed.
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