I tweeted this recipe a month ago, and today had to spend 10 minutes tracking it down—a good reminder that anything original I do should be posted here on my blog first and then tweeted, not just posted to twitter.
Here the recipe:
1 oz Roses Lime 1 oz Campari 1 oz bottled pineapple juice 1 oz Cruzan blackstrap rum
Basically, it’s a Jungle Bird, but without fresh juice.
I’d had it in mind to make it for cocktail hour this evening, but sadly we just finished the pineapple juice. I guess it’s a Boulevardier for this evening. (Hence, no picture. Sorry.)
Jackie and I went to the University of Illinois Meat Sales Room, aka the Meat Lab, to buy eggs. On the way in, I noticed a sign on the window saying that they had fresh chickens available for $1.75/lb.
I had just been saying on twitter that, with USDA changing the rules to allow chicken to be shipped to China to be cut up into pieces and then shipped back to the U.S. and sold as “Product of USA” with no further inspection, it was perhaps time to just switch to only eating local chickens. These chickens, produced by the university’s agriculture department as part of their educational mission, certainly qualify—the Poultry Research Farm is only about 2 miles away from our house.
So, once we got in line with our eggs, I told the woman at the fresh case that I wanted one chicken. And I got one.
It weighs 8.26 lbs.
Basically, it’s the size of a small turkey.
I have never seen a chicken this size. It outweighs the next biggest chicken I’ve ever bought by a solid 50%.
Jackie has undertaken to cook this enormous chicken, which will no doubt provide leftovers for days.
Eating low-carb has been a useful tactic for me—when I watch my carbs, my allergy symptoms are greatly eased—but that doesn’t change the more fundamental truth of Michael Pollan’s basic rules: Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.
That first rule is the most important, and would be very nearly enough all by itself, if followed strictly. Probably the way in which “low-carb” helps me as a tactic is that it eliminates whole categories of “foods” which fall short of being food, but which were in my diet for so long, and which I enjoy so much, that I’m otherwise inclined to eat them anyway.
By “food,” I’m referring to industrially produced food-like substances. And, of course, it’s not so simple as that. Twinkies and Doritos are out at the far end of the “ultra-processed” spectrum, but what about the near end? I used to eat a lot of children’s breakfast cereals—which with all the fiber removed and large amounts of sugar added are clearly ultra-processed. But what about more grown up breakfast cereals—processed, but made from whole grains, maybe with a bit of fruit or nuts added? What about granola?
Really it’s just about impossible to eat food without processing. A green salad is pretty minimally processed, but I like my lettuce picked, washed, cut or shredded into bite-sized pieces, and drizzled with a bit of olive oil and vinegar (each of those latter two somewhat processed in its own right). Maybe if you get down on the ground and chomp down on a live lettuce plant you could say you were eating unprocessed food.
I started thinking about this when I saw a pair of lists—processed foods and unprocessed foods—in “Nutrition Action,” a publication which aims to be evidence-based, but which has some striking idées fixes, particularly as relates to low-fat, as illustrated in these lists: generally unremarkable, except that they bizarrely included 2% milk as an “unprocessed” food.
Now, raw milk from a single cow is arguably unprocessed. Mix it with the milk of another hundred cows, pasteurize it, and homogenize it and I think it’s already a bit of a stretch to call it just minimally processed. But to then remove half the milk fat and call that “unprocessed” to me is a bridge too far.
With ragweed season in full swing, my allergy symptoms have clicked into high gear. I’ve belatedly gotten back on very low-carb diet and am already (after just one day) feeling much better.
This time I’m trying to keep more of an “eat food” perspective on the whole thing. I don’t want to fear fruits, just because they’ve got carbs. (I am staying away from fruit juice, at least until I’m sure I’ve got the inflammation fully back under control.) I’m being even more cautious of grains, but not hesitating to include a little rice. I haven’t eaten any lentils yet, but I won’t hesitate to include them either.
I don’t want to say it’s not the carbs, because it is. But with a very few exceptions (like honey and potatoes) it’s only with ultra processing that it becomes at all appealing to eat excess carbs. If I eat food, I’m not going to have to worry about the carbs.
Here’s a photo of Jackie minimally processing some okra for the gumbo pictured at the top of this post
At some point in the last few years, presumably related to my writing for Wise Bread, a whole bunch of PR flacks started sending me their press releases—mostly about money stuff, with a little writing stuff and journalism stuff thrown in.
It has been very tedious, but I have hesitated to mark these messages as spam, because the topics are things that interest me (even if the actually email messages are almost never of any interest whatsoever).
After spending a year or two just deleting all that crap manually, I’ve spent a few minutes today making a filter that grabs that stuff and puts it in a folder called “Lame PR” so I don’t have it cluttering up my inbox.
So far I’m sorting by sender, because I think there are only about a dozen senders behind the majority of this crap. Maybe I’m mistaken. There may be too many senders. But I doubt if they’re doing the spammer tricks to make this stuff hard to filter. (They’re hoping that I find their “content” so useful, I’ll be using filters to make sure I do see their content!)
Once I get them filtered out, my inbox will be much more useful than it has been.
I visited my dad in Kalamazoo last week, and managed to establish a bit of a routine for both of us:
I’d get up around 6:00 AM and spend some time on-line, checking my feeds and email, and doing the Jumble with my brother and my mom (and anyone else in his household who was available).
My dad would get up around 7:00 AM and we’d each fix our breakfasts and eat them.
Around 8:00 AM we’d each settle down to do a couple of hours of writing.
Around 10:00 AM we’d stop for a coffee break.
After coffee we’d go to a natural area and walk until we got tired or hungry, at which point we’d break for lunch.
After lunch we’d put some time in on our assigned non-writing task for the week (getting as much as possible of my dad’s old papers and junk gathered and sorted for shredding, recycling, or taking to the dump).
That was the end of the productive part of the day. After that was cocktail hour followed by dinner, typically followed by streaming a Cardinal’s game.
It was a pretty satisfying schedule—productive, but with plenty of time to be social, both with my dad in person and with my other relatives on-line, and plenty of time to be outdoors in nature. (My dad has been keeping up on the latest research on how being in nature is good for your mood, as well as many other aspects of your health.)
Because it was so satisfactory, I’m going to try to maintain a version of this schedule going forward. One complication is that Jackie’s work schedule has her breakfasting very early on days that she needs to be at the bakery early, but not necessarily that early on other days. Still, that’s just a detail that can be worked around.
The picture at the top shows a buttonwood plant that my dad and I saw while walking in the fen at the Lillian Anderson Arboretum near where my dad lives in Kalamazoo.
I am very sad to find myself in a country where a large fraction of the people (and an actual majority of the elected leaders) are willing to tolerate literal treason, just to live in a world where they don’t have to respect other people.
I’ve been an avid reader since I was a little kid, but very much not a tracker of things I read. In 6th grade I could have gotten some little prizes for reading a lot, if I’d been willing to go to the trouble of documenting the things I read, but I seriously could not be bothered to do so.
Very occasionally though, I miss having a record of things I’ve read, such as when somebody asks me, “Read any good books lately?”
I never signed up for Goodreads, and was glad I had not when they got bought. (Letting large corporations use my data to improve their bottom line bugs me on principle.) But just now I learned about IndieBookClub, which (like micro.blog) provides an interface for posting—in this case your reading activity—to your own website.
As a non-tracker from way back, I’m probably not likely to become a tracker just because there’s a new cool tool for tracking, but you never know.