Because I haven’t done a #cooking post in a while…

CNxHYtLUcAESoz1I made blueberry risotto for dinner tonight, using a Facebook post from an old friend and this recipe as inspiration.  Changes were minor, mostly involving using more blueberries than the recipe called for (a full pint initially and then another half-cup or so as garnish afterwards; I don’t think you can really overdo the blueberries in this dish) and using heavy cream instead of light cream, since no grocery store in Indiana knows what the hell light cream is.  After tasting it, I endorse this change; I don’t think it would have been creamy enough without the extra fat content.

Basically: melt 3 tablespoons of butter and sauté a diced onion in it at medium or medium-low heat for a couple of minutes.  Meanwhile, have 6-7 cups of vegetable stock (chicken would be fine too) at a boil in a nearby pot.  Add 2 cups of arborio rice and stir until golden-brown, which shouldn’t take more than another couple of minutes.  Add 3/4 cup of white wine, stir again until the liquid is gone, then add the blueberries.  Start adding stock about half a cup or 3/4 of a cup at a time, and don’t worry too much about the amounts.  You’re basically stirring in between each dose of stock until the majority of the liquid is gone– the rule of thumb I use is that if I can split the rice in half with the spoon and it takes more than 2-3 seconds to merge back together again it’s time for another dose of liquid.  Once all the liquid is absorbed– which means 25 minutes or so of constant stirring, probably– taste the rice to make sure it’s done.  Actually, you should probably be tasting it along the way so you don’t overcook.  Don’t worry about adding more stock or even water if you’re out.

Once the rice is done, add some more blueberries, half a cup of heavy cream, and half a cup of parmesan, and then whip the hell out of it, trying to spill as little of the cream as possible, for at least a couple of minutes.  Then?  Done.  I may fiddle with extra ingredients next time, as both my wife and I thought it needed something, but weren’t quite sure what, and add salt, pepper, and extra parmesan to taste.


A Mild Rant you Shouldn’t Bother Reading (On Razors, Again)

power_imageIf you’ve been around for a while you might recall a bit of a saga where I flirted with using a safety razor for a while and then went back to shaving with my 5-blade Gillette Fusion like a person with some Goddamn sense.  The big knock against the Gillette cartridge razors and others like it is that they’re ruinously expensive, especially when compared against straight razors, safety razors, or cheap disposables.

The last time I bought cartridges, I labeled the little plastic things they come in.  I bought a 12-pack of cartridges on July 23rd of last year.  It cost me roughly $40 at Meijer; I note that I can get them for about $35 from Amazon if I wish.

I just yesterday loaded the last cartridge into my razor.  It will last at least three or four weeks.

I shave my head every three or four days and my face at least five or six days a week.  I will admit that I have a vandyke all the time and had a full beard for part of last year, but again: I shave my head.  Nothing chews up a cartridge razor like shaving your head, guys.  If I was just shaving my face every day the cartridges would have lasted longer.

This means that that $40 got me well over a year of comfortable shaves.  That’s about nine cents a day, depending on how long this last cartridge lasts.

I don’t want to hear any more about my goddamn five-blade razors, thank you very much.

A #Scrivener help beg

The internet isn’t cooperating.  I love the hell out of Scrivener’s Compile feature, especially the way it builds the Table of Contents for me without me having to carefully hyperlink everything.  But:

Screen Shot 2015-08-30 at 6.42.09 PM

Does anyone know how to prevent it from actually adding the “Chapter Seventy” part in front of the chapter title?  Because it’s doing that throughout and I’d prefer that it not do that.  I’ve been fiddling and haven’t figured out what the problem is yet.

(EDIT: Figured it out, naturally.  Leaving the post up so you can get a gander at some chapter titles.)

SEARCHING FOR MALUMBA: Call for Alpha Readers

Malumba cover roughThis still isn’t the final cover, mind you.

Abruptly, and rather surprisingly, I have deemed SEARCHING FOR MALUMBA very close to being ready for alpha readers.  Maybe a week away, which means that it’s time to start begging for people willing to look it over.  Note the shift in subject matter: MALUMBA is nonfiction, and if you’re a regular blog follower you have already read chunks of it.  It’s basically a compilation of everything I’ve written about education or teaching since 2001 and still think is interesting.  There is some new material still to be added, but I think the book is in the 85-90% ready stage, so it’s time to kick it out there in the wild and see what people think about it.

Further instructions to follow; the only guidelines for now is that you need to be someone I know, either in the real world or through interactions here.  I’m not sending alpha copies to people whose names or handles I don’t recognize; sorry.


On the learning curve

scrivener-512One of the fun things about learning a new piece of software is that you can completely screw yourself if you do things wrong and not learn about it until it is deeply obnoxious to fix what you did.

I have committed myself to writing Searching for Malumba and Starlight in Scrivener, and I intend to keep to that.

Searching for Malumba has, at present, about 140 individual essays.

I have just discovered that each of those essays, which are technically each chapters, needs to be in its own folder in order to compile properly.  And I keep accidentally clicking the wrong things while trying to create those folders.

You may fire when ready.