Friday, February 5, 2010

This post courtesy of caffeine, mild anxiety, and ADD. And Nablopomo.

I promise you, I really can draw.  I will make you a better drawing in the future, more than a simple psychedelic banana scrawled onto a post-it square using a fat sharpie pen.  I did go to art school, after all.  Given that I was fairly exhausted after dealing with the horde, and that as a result 'making dinner' consisted of our waiting in line at Quick (think McDonalds, but much slower service,) you should just be glad I stuck to the bargain.

I suppose you don't have to be glad, you can be outraged if you like.  Boyfriend found the whole thing amusing though, because along with banana came drawings of 'vacant monkey' and other silliness.  But I'm a little shy, so I just flashed you the banana.  If you would like other drawings, I'm open to suggestions.  Either comment, or email me at my shiny new blog-email address sitting over there on the sidebar.  Actually since I'm not yet sure how to get it on the sidebar (I bet you it's not there right now... give me time,) I'll just tell you for now that it's jessicaliveshere@ymail.com.  Yes, that's ymail.com and not a typo.  Y? Because I already have a gmail address I use for other things, and because maybe you're a little shy and don't want everyone seeing what you have to say in the comments, and because email feedback and suggestions can be fun.  Plus, I have future plans where I may be needing this email address *rubs hands*  Good things I tell you.  *narrows eyes* Good things lurk on the horizon.  *tents fingers.*

(That may sound a little omninous, but just think daisies and glorious sunrises, and... fluffy kittens.  There.  That's more the feeling I was going for.  Unless you have allergies in which case, think of uh, a completely sterile but pleasantly coloured room.  Yes.)

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Back to last night.  I watched a documentary about how almost all of the world's down jackets, duvets and pillows are made using feathers removed from living geese and ducks, as in someone just picks the goose up and proceeds to rip all it's feathers off, neck to tail, save the wings.  Poor guys get the full body waxing treatment every 6-8 weeks, and after about 3-5 times, head for the chopping block.  It's a largely uncontrolled industry, so even though there are regulations in place in the EU saying down should only be collected from dead birds, it is sooooo not the case.  I felt a little conflicted as I laid my head on my recently purchased down pillow for my night's sleep after learning about that.

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This morning my waking up reading consisted of some kinds of nerdy awesome involving quantum teleportation, and how two respected physicists have put out papers speculating that the Large Hadron Collider may be being sabotaged from the future.  Make with the clicking only if you are a closet physics nerd like myself, otherwise we move on.

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Today I had to do something that may (or really may not) be of interest, or at least practicality.  Many people I've worked with in kitchens haven't known about this little trick, and it's a secret worth sharing: how to show a little TLC to a gunked up stainless steel pot.

So, I rightly messed up one of my pots the other day.  At one point I let the temperature get a little too high and I was definitely negligent with other aspects of technique (because hey, I was at home and probably reading or something when I should have been paying attention...  And because my stove here in the alcove of doom does NOT provide that most lovely and immediately responsive heat of gas *sniffle*, being that it is a vitroceramic stove *sob*.)

Right, so my pot looked like crap after.  Even after a go in warm soapy water with a pot scrubber, it looked like this:

Here is what you do to fix this ugliness:  Take some oil, some salt, and some baking soda.  Plop those into the dry pot like so:

Smush and smear the mixture around using your hand.  Yes, your hand.  Incidentally I hear this method is also good for the skin.  Don't look at my skin, it's a bad example.  You may need to use a little "elbow grease" if your pot is rightly messed up.  Focus on using the clumps of oily-salt and the pressure of your fingers above them to scrub the stained areas.

When you are bored of this or you feel the job is done, rinse in warm water.  Thennnn, using salt and lemon or lime juice, follow the same instructions as above.

If your pot is being a little more stubborn, or you have a perfectionist streak and want your pot to look like it's sterile and polished, olive oil and baking soda only (smaller grains = extra polish) for a last go.

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Optional instructions:
Realize in the process that you have unidentified liquid staining your shirt.  Swear like a sailor because you like this shirt, while wondering if the stain is oil or water.  Ask yourself if you should treat the stain immediately?  Wait to see if it dries and is only water?  Strip in a panic and throw the shirt in the washer?  Make yourself a cup of coffee to calm down while you wait and think about it?  Realize that coffee will probably not calm you down?  Consider adding alcohol to the coffee because you have chocolate flavoured rum in the house and it may help counteract the caffeine (while being delicious)?  Realize that's not a good idea considering it's only 10am?  Do none of these and start writing this blog entry?
(I did the last one.)

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Realize after several minutes of blogging (and evaporation) that the stains are only water (phew).  Back to the pot.  Wash and dry as normal.  Tadaaaaa.  Better.  Not perfect but what can I say, I ran out of elbow grease, and I care less about the bottom of the pot than the cooking surface.  Future efforts, of course, will improve the situation.  This technique also works with cloudy residues left by things like rice, oatmeal and so on, fyi.  I know, fascinating stuff I'm offering you so far, in the name of nablopomo.

Now, It's 3:30 in the afternoon, (I did mention that I become easily distracted, right?  Yeah...I wandered off, a lot, before getting to this point in the post,) and I still have to choose and book a hotel, pack and figure out where we'll park the car should we head out on our flight of whimsy city-trip tomorrow.  That, and make dinner.  Where might we be going (if I get my act together)?  Let's just say the psychedelic banana served as inspiration...

Tomorrows post = short and sweet.  Promise.

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Chitika