Thursday, April 29, 2004

BBQ and life

I figured it out. In barbeque, as in life, it is important not to poke things with sharp objects as that will let the juices out, which is bad.

Wednesday, April 28, 2004

Tropical vs. Desert

Reptiles, that is. It is my opinion that desert dwelling reptiles make much better pets (or at least pets that are easier to care for). Why? First off, they don't require the humidity that tropical herps do. Cleaning up poop in a moist environment is a pain, and you have to do it way more often. Desert poop, if you go away for the weekend, you don't have to worry about it contaminating the entire enclosure. In a tropical terrarium, the high humidity will not allow the poop to dry out, which means it is more prone to spreading around the enclosure. Plus, maintaining a constant 80% humidity (or whatever) while allowing adequate ventilation is a pain, especially in the winter when the ambient air is constantly being dried out.

Have you ever spent a night in a desert area? It cools down there. This is good for the herp keeper, because it corresponds with the ambient household temperatures. Also, many of the commonly-kept desert dwellers come from places with cool seasons (bearded dragons and leopard geckos come to mind). Again, this can work to our advantage, as these animals can be cooled slightly in the winter. This is not to say that you can turn off all the heating apparatus, but that you don't have to keep the enclosure at "optimum" (eight to ninety degrees) temperature year round. In fact, these animals often won't breed without a cooling period.

Finally, the decor is easier. Naturalistic decor for a jungle herp involves lots of places for crickets and other feeder bugs to hide. This is bad, because many reptiles hunt by sight- if they can't see it, they won't eat it. Also, feeder insects that are turned loose in a terrarium loose their nutritional value if not provided with food, and they may even eat your herp! We don't want that, do we?

I will admit that I'm prejudiced- I keep desert reptiles, and I love them. But still.

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This is from Grace. I need to make a link to her.

Thursday, April 22, 2004

Marching

My bus to DC leaves tomorrow at 2pm. My SAHM friend is driving me to the Marriot East. I have signs, a backpack of clothes/books/knitting, a CD Player, and a small cooler. I'm excited!

Louisa is fitting in well. We call her Lulu, because it suits her better. She is aggresively affectionate- god forbid you be doing something with your hands!

Thursday, April 15, 2004

Kitty Love

I got a new cat and her name is Louisa and she's wonderful and nice.

Wednesday, April 14, 2004

BBQ

I barbequed last night. Almost didn't, since the stupid neighborhood punks stole our charcol. I guess keeping it on the front porch is not the best storage idea. Oh well. There's got to be some sort of life metaphor in BBQ, but I don't know what it is.

Normally, I don't like to toot my own horn, but I am a damn fine griller. I get a lot of practice, since we don't have AC (just room units in the bedroom/computer room). It is simply too hot to be cooking indoors in the Kansas summers, so everything is done on the grill. Meats, veggies, potatoes, mushrooms, everything. And it's yummy.

Sunday, April 11, 2004

Pasta Bricolata

Pasta Briciolata (traditional Italian pastry), as modified by Heather Mosey for a medieval Italian recipe.

This makes a top and bottom crust, or a thick bottom crust. It can be used with any sort of pie filling. The recipe calls for a 375° oven, but it works in a 350° oven as well.

¼ cup pastry flour
¾ cup all-purpose flour
4 oz (one stick) sweet unsalted butter
Pinch of salt
Pinch of saffron, minced
4-5 tablespoons of cold water
Clean, damp towel

1. Sift the flour onto a board and shape into a mound. Cut the butter and arrange the slices over the flour. Let rest for ½ hour or until the butter softens.
2. Mix the butter and flour together using your hands.
3. Make a well and add the salt and saffron. Add 2 tablespoons of water, mix with a fork, and keep adding water until it is all absorbed.
4. Form the dough into a ball and knead gently for about 2 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic. If you are making a top and bottom crust, divide the dough into two parts, one slightly larger than the other. Wrap the balls in the towel and put them in the refrigerator for at least one hour.
5. Dust the board with flour. Unwrap the dough and knead it for one minute. Then, roll the dough into a circle (or circles, if you’re making a top/bottom crust pie).
6. Carefully transfer the bottom crust to a greased pie pan, fill it with yumminess, and add the top layer, if there is one.

Friday, April 09, 2004

Finally.

It's slowed down at work, so I can get caught up on MY work that I wasn't able to do because I was helping people do THEIR work. Oh, and post to the blog, too. This weekend will be rainy and cold so I will finally put up that pie recipe, too. And maybe, just maybe, the Barbeque Chicken that Daddy Makes recipe.

Tuesday, April 06, 2004

Fun with stomach flu

Well, not just stomach flu...digestive trouble (both ends) combined with chills and sweats and ending with me flat on my back on the bathroom floor in a sleeping bag, flannel nightgown, several blanks, writhing in pain and cold and being carried to bed. And J taking the next day (Monday) off work to stay home.

It wasn't a mosquito, it was a spider.