Classic Dishes...

Stock Update

The stock pot was strained into another pot, producing I’d say about six quarts of nice brown liquid. Following a bath in a sink of ice water, it has been moved to the refrigerator, where if all goes according to plan, the remaining fat will rise to the top and harden into an easily removed Frisbee-O-Lard, at which point I will reduce the remainder down to about 2/3 of its volume and call the project finished.

In the meantime, I ordered a new bookcase from Staples today, and was told that it SHOULD deliver tomorrow. Gawd, I hope so. I suppose tonight I should clean my room some and get the furniture rearranged for its arrival.

Stocked Up

So after some discussion with my friend Peter (proprietor of Static Zombie, publisher of The Game Report, and fellow foodie), I decided to try my hand at making chicken stock, following this lesson on

Since the instructor has a 20-quart stock pot, and mine is a mere 15, we had some problems from the start – namely, that I was trying to put too many veggies in there. The chickens didn’t fit. So, out came some onions, and the chickens now fit. Barely. I was not happy with the fullness of the whole thing, but there it was.

After a while, and the veggies cooked down a bit, things look much better. Once an hour passed, I fished out the carcasses (one broke neatly for me right along the breast/thigh line…since the breast meat was all I wanted anyhow, score), let them cool, and neatly plucked the breast meat off. That will become chow mein later this week.

So now I’m feeling better about the whole operation…the items in the pot have some room to breathe and release their individual goodnesses into the pot, and the liquid is definitely taking on some stocklike properties…and the stuff has six hours to simmer yet. I even threw in some peppercorns and a few bay leaves. I may need to run out later and get some cheesecloth to ensure the best strainage, though, as I suspect my colander isn’t gonna quite cut it. But the house is smelling _great_.

Holiday Nerdvana

By the by, Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and Funky Kwanzaa to each and every one of The Four Of You. I hope you were appropriately and thoroughly begifted, ate well, properly coated in crushed-up Shredded Wheat, or whatever is the custom around the holiday you celebrate.

Growing up as a technology geek in California, and within driving distance of the Silicon Valley thereof, Fry’s Electronics was Mecca. As soon as I was old enough to travel there by myself, a Fry’s run was a regular and necessary part of every San Jose trip.

(For those of you who have never been in a Fry’s: Take a Best Buy. Roughly double the size. Now graft on a similarly-doubled Radio Shack. Stick a Starbucks in the middle, and the World’s Longest Magazine Rack in front, including one of the finest selections of printed pornography outside of a city tobacco shop. Finally, take all of the employees and replace them with disdainful minimally-paid workers who speak very little English. Don’t worry, it’s part of the charm.)

Anyhoo, when I moved up here, I missed Fry’s terribly. The opening of a couple Best Buy’s within easy driving distance of my place made it a little easier, but there was still that something. Then, a year and a half ago, it finally came to fruition: a Fry’s store was opening in Renton.

For the longest time, I wouldn’t go. Renton was a pain in the ass to drive to, reports indicated it was always crowded as hell, and most importantly, I had read articles talking about how friendly and helpful the staff were being trained to be. Friendly? Helpful? That’s not the Fry’s I know.

Anyhow, the weekend before Christmas, I got a wild hair to finally go to Fry’s. I needed an adapter so I could use PlayStation 2 controllers on a PC’s USB port, I didn’t feel like waiting to order one from (or paying insane shipping fees to) the overseas accessory shops, and regular computer stores don’t carry that sort of thing. But Fry’s does, my friends. Fry’s does.

So down I drive to Renton, with no information other than the knowledge that Fry’s is in Renton. That should be enough, right? I mean, it’s freakin’ Renton, and this is Fry’s. Should stick out like a sore thumb.

…well, after fumbling around for 20 minutes in downtown Renton and coming across only the one monolith that is Sam’s Club, I grab a newspaper (The Saturday one-page Fry’s ad runs on the back of Section 1, and that’s apparently no exception in Seattle), and find out that the Renton Fry’s is in Renton the same way that I live in Seattle…if you went a couple blocks north you’d be in another city. I missed it by two full exits, and to this day I have no idea how this is possible, as when I approach it from the south it’s quite visible from the freeway and exactly what you might expect: a MAMMOTH FREAKIN’ BUILDING with a MAMMOTH FREAKIN’ PARKING LOT attached to it, sporting the familiar Fry’s logo on both the front and back.

I think I burned a full year’s worth of Parking Karma when I pulled into the lot, as I kid you not when I tell you the spot LITERALLY closest to the store opened up JUST as I got there. And as you would expect for the week before Christmas, this was not a slow day. People were parking all the way out in Goofy. (That’s a little joke for anyone whose ever been to Disneyland before they turned the parking lot into that ridiculous roller-coaster park.)

So I went inside. And I was home again. The salespeople were, as I’d been warned, somewhat more helpful than I was expecting, but it’s my hope they were just holiday temps and that they’ll be worthless again if I go back in a couple months.

So, long story short, if you wanna know what it’s like to be a geek in the World’s Center of geekiness, make the pilgrimage to Fry’s at least once. Expect to buy something. You won’t regret it.

Reality Post-Mortem

It’s been a while, so let’s clean up some odds and ends…

First off, I can’t think of a Survivor in the history of the show who played the Final Council better than Chris Daughtery. Told every jury member EXACTLY what they wanted to hear, answered every question perfectly, he just did it all right. Between that and surviving a five-to-one women-to-men outnumbering just to GET to that Final, he may be the most deserving recipient of the million dollars, in terms of pure skill, that the show has seen to date. Bravissimo.

So, over to NBC and The Apprentice: Once Raj and Andy got fired, I admit my interest waned, so long as that silly bitch Ivana didn’t get the gig. Fortunately, The Donald finally ran out of excuses to keep her around and sent her packing, leaving Kelly to wipe up the floor with Jennifer M. in the Final Assignment. Hokay. The next installment, with the teams being broken up into Street Smarts and Book Smarts, should be much more interesting.

And that brings us to The Amazing Race. And I’ve been waffling on posting about this for a while, because I’m just not sure how I feel about it. Mainly, I’m disgusted with myself that I continue to watch every week and allow Jerry Bruckheimer to document and exploit Jonathan’s continued verbal abuse of Victoria in the name of good TV. Something about it (mainly, that Victoria continues to put up with it, but don’t get me started on THAT subject) doesn’t sit right with me. Based on the bio I linked above, it sounds like this marriage wasn’t on the best of terms going into the Race, I can only hope that we learn come the end that Victoria has grown a pair and told Jonathan to go screw after it.