27 February 2021

More Floral Peculiarity

The "immortal ginger" finally began to decline after 3 weeks in the vase. Its replacement, a Honeycomb Ginger, is perhaps even more exotic. Even stranger is that all these tropicals were purchased at our local chain grocery store, Harris-Teeter; I haven't seen anything like it in the more exclusive food emporia.


26 February 2021

Scenes from the Plague Year

Got my first dose of the Pfizer. Took 30 min from the time I stepped in line to getting the jab, not bad considering the volume of people (c. 2 million population in an area where practically no one rejects getting the vax). Through the modern miracle of computers, I got an on-line notice to choose a date and time for shot #2 as soon as my first shot was logged in. Very well-organized and efficient, with the place brimming with all sorts of helpful people. There's a quiet game of one-upsmanship played by some, including me, in NoVa - usually involving college t-shirts or other signs of prestige worn in swarming public places (vaccination centers, Trader Joe's, etc.)  I wore a Duke t-shirt, only to find the guy behind me wearing an International Atomic Energy Agency baseball cap. Curses, foiled again! (And I couldn't resist taking a photo of the lovely marble tiles in the men's room.)



24 February 2021

Adventure Time!

I ventured out today, since I needed new eyeglass frames. Riding metro and going to the mall gave a whiff of normalcy. Not many people in the mall and several storefronts were vacant, but of course there was a line at the Apple store - as there usually is. Also popped into the District and poked my head above ground. And I couldn't resist buying a t-shirt.

21 February 2021


 Brian is taking the day off from his watchsheep duties to hang out with Stan and his son.


20 February 2021


Having been an aficionado of hard-boiled eggs and egg salad for the long eons of my existence, and because I’m me, I have made a study of the preparation of these dishes and wish to share the results of my labors.


Hard-boiled eggs: Here I follow Julia Child’s method (with some minor additions of my own) which secures consistently good results without cracking.  Put eggs in appropriately sized pot, preferably so that all the eggs lay in the bottom of the pot. Fill water to 1” above the eggs. Bring to full boil. Remove pot from heat immediately, cover, and let stand for 20 min. Run cool water over eggs, pat dry, refrigerate. I find this method consistently eliminates the greenish layer around the cooked yolk which, as I discovered from Martha Stewart, indicates an overcooked egg. Again, because I am me, once I heard from an “expert” that the green was “wrong,” I dedicated myself to eliminating it.


Peeling: From You Tube, I learned that soaking an egg in water makes the shell come off more easily; I often just fill the bowl the eggs are in in the refrigerator with water before I peel them. To peel, crack the egg on the blunt side, revealing the void space under the shell on that end of the egg. Peel a line down the length of the egg to the pointy end and remove that end of the shell. This breaks the resistant geometry of the eggshell. Then peel the rest of the shell around the circumference of the egg—most of the shell should come off in large plates. If at any time during peeling the shell becomes resistant, hold the egg under running water for a few seconds.


Egg salad: For those who, like me, prefer a finer consistent texture to the egg salad, use a potato-masher to reduce the hard-boiled eggs to small pieces. (NB: A certain person I am married to, who shall remain nameless for the sake of anonymity, thinks this is weird.) Add mayo/salad dressing sparingly, as it is surprisingly easy to add to much. The same goes for salt; add by the pinch. I find a bit of sweet relish adds a nice note; you can also add some tuna or, conversely, add egg to tuna salad. Various herbs and spices can enhance flavor and depth.  My stand-bys include: onion powder (a pinch), tarragon (fabulous), parsley, and dill, but all sorts of things can be used according to individual taste, including curry.


And no, I have no idea why I felt it was necessary to post this.



08 February 2021


 It just keeps going and going...

06 February 2021


An unanticipated delight at Fresh Market today: red-fleshed apples! The flavor and texture are amazing.