Saturday, February 20, 2016

Death and boiled eggs

It seems like 2016 has inaugurated a wave of death, both for the famous and infamous. I have touched on this before (oh, Alan!).  This week alone has seen the passing of Supreme Court judge Antonin Scalia, reality show 'star' Big Ang, and novelist and famed hermit Harper Lee.  

Was there some kind of death lottery, and 2016 won?

I just Googled 'who died this week' and wouldn't you know, a website ( popped up that tracks all of this stuff, categorizes it, and links to obituaries for each person who is of some prespecified level of notoriety.  It's morbidly amusing, really, to scroll through the week's victims to see who is recognizeable and who is less so.  Punky Brewster's stepdad, for example, fits the latter category for me, while Boutros Boutros Ghali certainly slots into the former.  

Every life has its dash, is what I get out of this.


Anyhow, let us not dwell on sadness and the inviolate principles of mortality!  Let us instead turn our attention to one of the biggest personal victories of my recent history, which is this:


See, I have been trying out different methods of cooking 'the perfect HB egg' for a while. Perfect means a firm white, creamy yolk, no green ring around the yolk, and it must peel cleanly without any gross membrane adherence issues.

Certain famous cooks have touted the 'boil then soak' method (start cold, bring to a boil, turn off heat and let the eggs soak for 15 minutes followed by a plunge into an ice bath).  Sounds elegant, but I'm here to tell you that those things don't peel worth a damn.  A DAMN!  Fully half the whites are lost to membrane adherence, and the resulting egg is not smooth and globulously luxurious, but rather pitted and pockmarked and sadly downtrodden.  Who wants to eat a downtrodden egg?  NOBODY, that's who.

Therefore, a little research was done into egg-boiling methods, and the the message is this: 'boil then soak' is the the absolute wrongest way ever invented to make a hard-boiled egg that peels correctly.  This method actually makes the shell stick to the egg!  WHA????  What kind of cruel joke is THAT, Martha?  

If the doyenne of all things domestic has got it wrong, one might ask how on earth SHOULD one cook an egg to hard-boiled delicious perfection?

The answer is to start the eggs warm (low simmer), bring the water to a boil, turn heat back to a simmer, cook for 5 minutes, then turn off the heat and let 'em sit for 5 more minutes (or until you're done cleaning the stove, which was my timing).  Decant thenceforth to a large amount of ice water, and let 'em sit for at least half an hour.  

The result?  Shells that come off as easily as a satin slip on date night, my friends, with a tender white and creamy soft yolk.  Oh yes indeed, quite perfect.  Sweet meaningful success.

Scoff not at my cheer! These are my victories.  These are my triumphs!  I need not conquer lands or peoples - vanquishing the troublesome issues of egg-boiling is enough for me!!

Huzzah!  Huzzah!

Tiff out.

Saturday, February 06, 2016

Got my Vitamin D

If I win the lotto...
Today was a lovely Saturday, at least thus far.  It might still be ruined by a chunk of airplane ice crashing through the roof and blasting me on the head, but so far I have few complaints.

Started out by going down to the main Lifepointe Church site and slinging (OK, pitchforking) a bunch of heavy wet mulch around to start the effort of covering the whole allotted acre of the new Community Garden with organic material.  I know, right?  Me and pitchforks - the jokes write themselves!  

Anyhowdle, the work needed to be done and because I think this is a fantastic idea and a very positive thing to do, I volunteered to be part of the garden team.  Hey,  I can sling some mulch.  For 90 minutes.  Then  I quit.  I can't slave my whole LIFE for other people, for goodness sake.  Whatever effort I put into it, I know the Good Lord Above knows my heart was in it for at least 3 hours.  Plus which, I wasn't the first one to quit, so HA.

The pitchforking had failed to work up a sweat, so I did the next best thing and convinced Mason to come with me to wash the stank-ass living room rug at the local car washateria.  I bought him lunch at Smithfield's first - ooo, remind me that I need to write a sternly-worded letter about the counter 'help' and how it really wasn't (eg - my half-and-half tea wasn't and the Sprite Mason ordered [loud and clear] didn't make it to the first order so like a dunce I went ahead and PAID for it when really it should have been comped.  C'mon, soda's cheap!) - so there was a nice carrot for him to chew on.  Literally.

The carwash blaster hose was working great on the 'add bubbles!' setting but not so great on 'now, RINSE!' so we had to haul the soapy wet rug home (all 150 pounds of it, at this point) and hang it over the deck rail to rinse it, and EW.  EW EW EW.  Such filth and yuck was embedded in that thing.  Gaggitty.  This thing was in our HOUSE two days ago, until some cat peed on it (that's what it smelled like, anyhow) and the whole house stunk and we chucked it outside until the sun decided to come out (today) so we could wash it then let it dry outdoors after washing.  But wow - the rinse water was opaque to start, and a shade of brown that Mason described as 'burnt ochre' which I think is about right.  Gross, no?  Yes.  But it's over now, and once the sun bakes it tomorrow it should be a-OK to put back in the house.  Fingers crossed!

So, yeah, the Man and I then decided to go visit the airplane and look for some missing documents (any excuse!), which was great because it's been a sunny day and I need my vitamin D plus which there were skydivers galore and a glider/tow plane were doing lots of ups and downs and various were aircraft zipping about (WARBIRD SIGHTING!).  It was a good time, even IF we didn't find what we were looking for, because Gerritt was able to make some fixes to the plane in glorious weather and I was amused by all the shiny things (SUN!) at a place I really like (an airport?  Yup - that one's a pretty good place to hang out on a good day to fly).

Then, once home, I took a long hot shower.  'Twas marvelous, but I'm pretty sure we need to look into getting a tankless water heater, because I could have used another 20 minutes just hanging out in scalding water.  That, or we need a hot tub.  Either / or.  But at least one.

And look - it's only just 6 p.m.  So much more can happen, but you won't read about it here, in this post.  Because I'm just about done, and the future can't tell itself.

Tiff happily out.