As many of you may know, I am a big fan of cooking. Yesterday, I came into some interesting canned seafood...oysters and mussels. What with today being Sunday and all, I decided to be creative.
Because I was really lazy, however, I decided to go with a risotto-type dish. My infatuation with the risotto is enough for another post, so I will suffice it to say that the risotto is a very flexible dish that can accommodate a significantly wide and varying number of ingredient mixtures.
As I have just finished a bowl-full of this delightful recipe, I have decided that, while fresh (not canned) ingredients are always a plus, I'm not a snob, so the taste of the dish turned out very well considering the total cost of the meal ingredients (very little).
Here we go:
To make what I just did, you will need:
Olive Oil 1 Onion Garlic Mushrooms (canned) Oysters (canned) Pasta sauce (basically any kind) Water (fish stock might be better, but I don't have any.)
By the way, if seafood or mushrooms make you go, as one of my roommates put it, "Spleh," well, NYEH.
First, pull out your favorite pan. I prefer a non-stick pan when experimenting with new things...especially when I don't particularly have an alternative and don't want to waste food by burning it.
Second, lightly oil your pan and get it nice and hot. Olive oil is probably best, but do with what you can. The operative word is LIGHTLY, however. Oysters are usually packed in oil if they're canned...and the oil is very much flavored by the oyster meat, so use less oil in the beginning to prevent yourself from using too much oil.
Once the oysters have been coated in the oil, proceed to put the onions (diced) and mushrooms (cut up) in as well. Let those sauté for a minute or two until the onions start to get clear and limp...then add about a half cup of rice.
So, right about now, you're probably thinking, "Um...WTF are you doing with the rice?" That's how a risotto works, my friends...you are going to sauté the rice with the vegetables and oysters.
Now that we are over the initial shock of the rice, allow that to get nice and toasty with the rest of the ingredients, continually stirring until the rice turns opaque. This will be your cue to move on. You will now deglaze the pan. Because I don't have any fish stock on hand, I used water. Either way, you want to use just enough to cover the contents of the pan. If you've done it correctly, you should hear a very gratifying hissing sizzle. Proceed to put the pan back on the stove.
Now add the garlic. It is also okay to add the garlic along with the onions, but in the case of using garlic powder, like I do...it is easier this way.
Continue to stir and then begin adding a little bit of pasta sauce. You could also consider adding tomatoes, but this is significantly less work...it also helps by adding certain other seasoning flavors that you may not otherwise have on hand.
Continue cooking til the rice is as soft as you want it, and then let all the remaining liquid cook out.
Pivotal symphonies by two of the classical world’s most respected composers – Ludwig van Beethoven and Antonín Dvorák – are the holiday offerings of the Purdue Symphony and the newly formed Purdue Philharmonic. The free concert at 8 p.m. Dec. 13 in Lafayette's Long Center features Beethoven’s “Symphony No 3 in E flat Major” considered to be the beginning of classical Romanticism and Dvorák’s Symphony No. 8 in G Major,” considered to be the composer’s best.
More about this exciting classical event:
Both orchestras are under the direction of Andrew King and the evening opens with the Purdue Symphony performing the Dvorák, a symphony characterized overall by its warm, optimistic tone. Following in the footsteps of Beethoven and Bach, Dvorák incorporates a diversity of musical ideas, opening his symphony with a pastoral theme. The second movement features a funeral march, while a waltz emerges in the third and a trumpet fanfare begins the finale.
The folk music of his Dvorák’s Czechoslovakian homeland influenced many of works and “Symphony No. 3” is considered to be the most “Bohemian” of all of his symphonies with its tone color and thematic melodies musically describing the scenic Bohemian countryside as well as its fun-loving people.
With the public introduction of Beethoven's "Symphony No. 3" in 1805, the composer opened the door to a new more emotional era of classical music labeled Romantic. He originally intended to dedicate the symphony to Napoleon but became disillusioned with the French revolutionary leader and “Symphony No. 3” became known as “Eroica” or heroic.
The Purdue Philharmonic performs the first, second and finale movements of the Beethoven symphony. Examples of the emotionalism that characterizes the Romantic era can particularly be heard in the second movement as it moves from the misery of the central funeral march theme to happier passages in major keys.
Historians believe Beethoven conceived the scheme for this symphony in 1802, just after writing “Heiligenstadt Testament,” a document in which the composer despaired at the gradual loss of his hearing and even expressed thoughts of suicide. He conquered his depression, wrote to his doctor “I will seize fate by the throat” and created “Eroica.”
This concert is sponsored by Purdue Bands & Orchestra and is the final event of its Fall 2008 season. To learn about orchestra events in 2009 visit www.purdue.edu/bands
Well hey, everybody, or any of you left who actually sit around waiting for me to post once a year!
Since this past week was spring break, I figured that since I did something amazing with my time at home, I'd talk about it!
I know what you're thinking: "Copious amounts of sleep, while a very admirable activity, hardly counts as amazing, sir."
And, believe it or not, I did not spend my entire week waking up at 3 PM and crashing at 7 AM as I am normally wont to do over breaks such as this...I actually was up and about for most of the week...well, half of the week at least, I should get a few points for waking up before noon, right?
Anyhoo, my week, in all its glory, began on Wednesday. (look, I said MOST. 3/8 is more than half! Look, I'm a Math major, I know these things!)
I decided that after I missed a week of teacher observation since my first guy quit, I would make the day up at home. That's right, for 2 days I was back in High School...except, well, without all the homework and name calling! (Except from the teachers.) NOTE: THIS EXPERIENCE WILL NOT NAME NAMES OF TEACHERS BECAUSE THAT ISN'T COOL. For some benefit, I will provide you with what they teach (or taught me) so I can convey at least SOMETHING about them. Fellow alumni of my high school will probably pick up on about whom I am speaking.
I arranged this whole shebang with my AP Calc teacher, who was more than happy to help me out, arrange class periods for me to observe various teachers, and allow me to sit in on her class as well.
All in all, I ended up observing 7 different members of my high school Math Department. (Of which, I had only ONE during high school...and one of them started with a W and sits on a bench during passing periods. Hints for various people: Xena Warrior Princess, a Calzone, M&M's, and Ties.)
I was also fortunate enough to get the chance to not only visit some of my other teachers and talk to them about THEIR experiences during my off periods. (Spanish III (MY teacher), PreCalc, English 11, Choir, AP Chem, Creative Writing, and AP Physics. All of them stand up guys/gals.) But I also had access to some of the FORBIDDEN PLACES that students weren't ever allowed.
i.e. Teachers lounges. <3
I got to eat lunch in the Teacher's Lounge with, besides my AP Calc teacher, my AP Gov teacher and my Microbio teacher (BIOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO BINGOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO). It was also interesting to talk to some of the teachers that I HADN'T met. (because they were new and/or I had never had them.) Because while established teachers could tell me about how it was like down the road, the new teachers gave me insight on how things would be right away. (Slightly more practical knowledge?)
All in all, a very fun and VERY helpful experience! The life of a teacher is a really difficult one. But I think I'm ready.
Friday was a completely different type of amazing.
My little sister came up from Lafayette to see a concert with me. (ΤΒΣ not biological little sister, because I will refer to HIM as HE and I don't want you guys getting confused...if you still are, I'll go over it with you later. ONWARD!)
"Oh, how nice!" CSO concert. "Great!" 4th row center. "Even better!" Main Floor. "WOW!" With principal cellist John Sharp playing the Saint-Saens Cello concerto, and concertmaster Robert Chen soloing on Ein Heldenleben by Strauss. "Uhh. Geeze." Damn right.
It was a fantastic concert. It started out with a piece by Giuseppe Verdi. (That's Joe Green to you.) The Overture to La Forza Del Destino.
This is probably up there as one of my favorite concerti. I have something like 5 different recordings, and every time I can obtain a new one I get it. In each one, the soloist plays the first movement at, oh...140-160 DuPre's I clocked at 160 on the nose.
Sharp? around 120.
Hm. Different...not bad...just...different. It certainly gave him more freedom to rubato and create an absolutely FANTASTIC second movement.
It did take me a second to get a hold of myself when after that first orchestra hit there was a much longer space before the cello entered...I was not expecting the slower tempo and when he came in, it was awkward for my brain. It took me a second to get situated. By the time I had caught up, though, I was digging the more relaxed tempo. It certainly took the edge off, but it had a different kind of feel to it. Gone was the explosive tantrum that had originally characterized the first movement in my mind, and replaced was a more mournful, heaving opening. Those rising awkward chords that came about halfway through the first movement now were no longer a gigantic fight but a series of heaving sobs, and the cantabile sections meant so much more to me. They now fit with the concerto, when for so long I wondered about their existence.
The second movement, as I said, was fantastic, simply beautiful. Like some dance between two lovers. The mini Cadenza that marks the only deviation from the tune was not overdone, which it can be with an inexperienced hand.
The third movement, as my little sister said, was a chance to pull out all the stops.
The last minute or so, the recapitulation of the third movement (and arguably the piece) represented a chance to say "You thought what we JUST did was cool, watch this."
Apparently, I was leaning so far forward in my chair that people were worried I would fall out of it.
Ein Heldenleben, A Hero's Life, if I got that right.
It actually is a family portrait. The hero, egotistically enough of course, refers to Number One. His wife is characterized by a solo violin, which should get a huge laugh when you actually listen to the solos. They are shrill and naggy.
Strauss' portrait of his family is astonishing in its brilliant detail. You can hear the snarling and hissing of his critics, the nagging of his wife. The battle between him and his critics is supposed to be one of the more difficult spots in orchestral literature. Watching the winds and brass prompted awe from the two of us.
After a walk around the city, a train ride home, and a good meal I returned to Purdue.
Am I ready to face the rest of this year? I don't know, but I'll sure as hell try.
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Dec. 18th, 2006 @ 02:04 am
o8s01337 (5:38:36 PM): I'm looking for a man to photophosphorylate me all night long:
I will fondle your vesicles while you caress my golgi body. My stroma is leaking all over the place. We can do it in the alpha or beta configuration, whichever you prefer. You whip me with your flagellum, tubulin subunits flying everywhere. We can make a mess as I've hired some lysosomes to clean up after. Please have a smooth endoplasmic reticulum but know that I like it rough, if you know what I mean. I also prefer my ribosomes bound...tight. Spin me round with your basal body and make sure it's turgid. Pump me up and down your concentration gradient, letting the chemiosmosis take control. I can go both ways, just like an amphipathic phospholipid. Do you like aerobic respiration as much as I do?
Let me know if this makes you secrete. imahippieloser (5:39:37 PM): LOL
Nov. 26th, 2006 @ 06:41 pm
The Fool is the card of infinite possibilities. The bag on the staff indicates that he has all he need to do or be anything he wants, he has only to stop and unpack. He is on his way to a brand new beginning. But the card carries a little bark of warning as well. Stop daydreaming and fantasising and watch your step, lest you fall and end up looking the fool.
WORCESTER, Mass. - Is a burrito a sandwich? The Panera Bread Co. bakery-and-cafe chain says yes. But a judge said no, ruling against Panera in its bid to prevent a Mexican restaurant from moving into the same shopping mall.
Panera has a clause in its lease that prevents the White City Shopping Center in Shrewsbury from renting to another sandwich shop. Panera tried to invoke that clause to stop the opening of an Qdoba Mexican Grill.
But Superior Court Judge Jeffrey Locke cited Webster's Dictionary as well as testimony from a chef and a former high-ranking federal agriculture official in ruling that Qdoba's burritos and other offerings are not sandwiches.
The difference, the judge ruled, comes down to two slices of bread versus one tortilla.
"A sandwich is not commonly understood to include burritos, tacos and quesadillas, which are typically made with a single tortilla and stuffed with a choice filling of meat, rice, and beans," Locke wrote in a decision released last week.
In court papers, Panera, a St. Louis-based chain of more than 900 cafes, argued for a broad definition of a sandwich, saying that a flour tortilla is bread and that a food product with bread and a filling is a sandwich.
Qdoba, owned by San Diego-based Jack in the Box Inc., called food experts to testify on its behalf.
Among them was Cambridge chef Chris Schlesinger, who said in an affidavit: "I know of no chef or culinary historian who would call a burrito a sandwich. Indeed, the notion would be absurd to any credible chef or culinary historian."
Nov. 13th, 2006 @ 02:54 pm
I quote from a letter to the editor in a San Luis Obispo (CA) paper (with thanks to Bob Solomon for drawing my attention to this:
"Recent news about the avian flu virus has raised concerns from main street to the White House. There is the possibility, even likelihood, that the virus will mutate into a form that can more easily infect humans. As the President pointed out, a vaccine cannot be made until this evolution occurs.
This raises the concern that it may be impossible to create enough vaccine fast enough to protect all our citizens.
But there is hope. Gallup polls tell us that up to 45 percent of Americans don't believe in evolution. . . Since random mutation is the engine of evolution, these same people must believe that the virus cannot mutate.
Therefore, there is no need to waste vaccine on folks who believe there is no possible threat to themselves-- thus, leaving a sufficient supply for the rest of us.
Perhaps the President, given his doubts about evolution, may wish to demonstrate his leadership by foregoing vaccination. This approach has added benefits. Polls also tell us that disbelief in evolution is more pronounced among the less educated, the poor and conservatives. If the anti-evolutionists among these groups were to opt out of vaccination then, through immediate deaths and natural selection, we would reduce poverty, raise educational attainment, and become a more progressive society."
Nov. 13th, 2006 @ 01:45 am
Infy posted a different version. I just found this one this morning.
I don't really care that this is "Ave Maria." This is one of the most beautiful works ever. Hearing it like this makes me happy to be a musician.
To quote what Carl said earlier (Because he just put it so well):
And I want to share this kind of fun and magic with you people, because maybe you remember what music is supposed to do for us emotionally, and this is the right crowd to say, "Love exists. Let's go find it together."
Nov. 11th, 2006 @ 12:19 pm
I would love it if you would all send me pictures that either have me doing something very "me-esque" or in some way remind you of me. I have a project and I never take pictures of myself. Send it to braynstorm at sbc global dot net.
A suburban Atlanta county that sparked a public outcry when its libraries temporarily eliminated funding for Spanish-language fiction is now being asked to ban Harry Potter books from its schools, the Associated Press reported.
Laura Mallory, a mother of four, told a hearing officer for the Gwinnett County Board of Education that the popular fiction books are an "evil" attempt to indoctrinate children in the Wicca religion.
But Board of Education attorney Victoria Sweeny told the AP that if schools were to remove all books containing reference to witches, they would have to ban Macbeth and Cinderella.
In June, the county's library board eliminated the $3,000 that had been set aside to buy Spanish-language fiction in the coming fiscal year. One board member said the move came after some residents objected to using taxpayer dollars to entertain readers who might be illegal immigrants. Days later, the board reversed its decision amid accusations that the move was anti-Hispanic.
::raises hand:: Did anyone mention to her that, as an American Citizen, she has every right NOT to read them? Oh wait...I'm sure she was too busy thumping her chest to think of that...
Oct. 10th, 2006 @ 12:03 am
"Why is it that, as a culture, we are more comfortable seeing two men holding guns than holding hands?" -- Ernest Gaines
We would like to know who really believes in gay rights on livejournal. There is no bribe of a miracle or anything like that. If you truly believe in gay rights, then repost this and title the post as "Gay Rights". If you don't believe in gay rights, then just ignore this. Thanks.
Oct. 4th, 2006 @ 01:08 pm
DEMOCRAT You have two cows. Your neighbor has none. You feel guilty for being successful. Barbara Streisand sings for you.
REPUBLICAN You have two cows. Your neighbor has none. So?
SOCIALIST You have two cows. The government takes one and gives it to your neighbor. You form a cooperative to tell him how to manage his cow.
COMMUNIST You have two cows. The government seizes both and provides you with milk. You wait in line for hours to get it. It is expensive and sour.
CAPITALISM, AMERICAN STYLE You have two cows. You sell one, buy a bull, and build a herd of cows.
BUREAUCRACY, AMERICAN STYLE You have two cows. Under the new farm program the government pays you to shoot one, milk the other, and then pours the milk down the drain.
AMERICAN CORPORATION You have two cows. You sell one, lease it back to yourself and do an IPO on the 2nd one. You force the two cows to produce the milk of four cows. You are surprised when one cow drops dead. You spin an announcement to the analysts stating you have downsized and are reducing expenses. Your stock goes up.
FRENCH CORPORATION You have two cows. You go on strike because you want three cows. You go to lunch and drink wine. Life is good.
JAPANESE CORPORATION You have two cows. You redesign them so they are one-tenth the size of an ordinary cow and produce twenty times the milk. They learn to travel on unbelievably crowded trains. Most are at the top of their class at cow school.
GERMAN CORPORATION You have two cows. You engineer them so they are all blond, drink lots of beer, give excellent quality milk, and run a hundred miles an hour. Unfortunately they also demand 13 weeks of vacation per year.
ITALIAN CORPORATION You have two cows but you don't know where they are. While ambling around, you see a beautiful woman. You break for lunch. Life is good.
RUSSIAN CORPORATION You have two cows. You have some vodka. You count them and learn you have five cows. You have some more vodka. You count them again and learn you have 42 cows. The Mafia shows up and takes over however many cows you really have.
TALIBAN CORPORATION You have all the cows in Afghanistan, which are two. You don't milk them because you cannot touch any creature's private parts. You get a $40 million grant from the US government to find alternatives to milk production but use the money to buy weapo ns.
IRAQI CORPORATION You have two cows. They go into hiding. They send radio tapes of their mooing.
POLISH CORPORATION You have two bulls. Employees are regularly maimed and killed attempting to milk them.
BELGIAN CORPORATION You have one cow. The cow is schizophrenic. Sometimes the cow thinks he's French, other times he's Flemish. The Flemish cow won't share with the French cow. The French cow wants control of the Flemish cow's milk. The cow asks permission to be cut in half. The cow dies happy.
FLORIDA CORPORATION You have a black cow and a brown cow. Everyone votes for the best looking one. Some of the people who actually like the brown one best accidentally vote for the black one. Some people vote for both. Some people vote for neither. Some people can't figure out how to vote at all. Finally, a bunc h of guys from out-of-state tell you which one you think is the best-looking cow.
CALIFORNIA CORPORATION You have millions of cows. They make real California cheese. Only five speak English. Most are illegals. Arnold likes the ones with the big udders.
Sep. 8th, 2006 @ 11:45 pm