Thursday, April 10, 2008


Been meaning to say something.... was very sad to read about the passing of Dan Savage's mom last week. I've been reading him for years, spoken to him via email after reading his book "The Kid" when my brother and sister in law were in the throws of the adoption process.... just a great guy. Funny, insightful... and I've been a fan long enough to know how big of an influence his mom has been. And I know how much it sucks to loose the parent you're the most like. My heart goes out to him. Hopefully right now he's in a bar of the sout' side somewhere with his family getting very, very drunk and remembering hilarious stories about his mom.

Pulled together a pretty nice dinner tonight.... but you get a rant before you get the details! One of the things that irks me the most about Rachel Ray is that the cooking is so rushed. It's yet another show that seems to stress what a chore cooking can be, and isn't it great to burger-fy your meals so you can be out of the kitchen in 30 minutes (and... I'm a fairly skilled person in the kitchen, and any of her recipes has always taken me at least 45 minutes... I'm just sayin'....). Sometimes it's nice to spend some leisurely time in the kitchen. Not being rushed, just giving the cooking process the time it needs to do its lovely magic.

Sometime last year at the end of tomato season, I found myself with a couple of very beautiful tomatoes on hand, ready to go south, and a couple extra cups of heavy cream on hand. What to do? I tossed the cream and some garlic confit in a small pot, put it on the simmer burner on low, and let it go for about an hour and a half. Then I added the flesh from my wonderful summer tomatoes, and we had a lovely tomato-cream pasta sauce for dinner.

I've done it a few times since, and as long as you give it about an hour and are around to stir it every five minutes or so, you are rewarded with a wonderful sauce that a lot of Italian eateries can't compare to.

This week, the roma tomatoes at the produce mart were looking really good, so I bought several. Ok, about three to four pounds worth. We had some with the tacos/nachos last night, but tonight, as soon as the cream (oh wait, I used half & half tonight... not quite as good but still very tasty) came to a simmer, I threw in the whole tomatoes (with the bottom scored) for a minute, then peeled/seeded/chopped them and threw them in. I started cooking at 6pm, and dinner was ready by 7pm. I was not rushed, I spent my time dealing with the tomatoes, peeling some shrimp, getting my pasta water to a boil... and it all came together, but none of it rushed. And it was a zillion and a half times better than any sauce fromajar. Who needs a recipe when you have decent ingredients? The only thing that might have made it better was figuring out how to work bacon in there.....

Work.... ugh. Yeah. There is an industry standard program for producing "print" manuals, and we don't use it at my place. We use a program that has not been updated in ten years. Some people are fanatical about it, but I have yet to be convinced. It's not nearly as feature-rich as the industry-standard tool at this point in time (hello! Program has not been updated in TEN YEARS!) and I've just had a lot of problems with it crashing. It's even more crash-happy than the industry standard program, which can be a little crash happy sometimes, but there are at least ways to fix it. Anyway... today, the program crashed on me, and took an entire chapter of the book I was working on with it. Poof. GONE. No where to be seen. Not in the recovery file. Not in the auto-saved "backup". Gone gone gone. A day of work down the drain, since luckily I don't really trust the program and I at least make a PDF of my work at the end of the day, so I at least had the text I needed. Sigh. Man, I do not like this program. I really, really want to go back to the industry-standard program we used at the last job.

Hopefully a quiet weekend ahead... looks like my bro is getting sprung from the hospital tomorrow or Saturday, so I'll be happy to leave him alone and let him get some rest over the weekend.

Is it Friday yet???

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