The Research Process: Fig and Brandy Jam

Monday, August 18, 2014

1. Collect information from the library, internet, interviews, etcetera.

2. Read it all. All of it.

3. Take so many notes that you would shame Tolstoy. 

4. Make sure your notes are in such a ludicrously archaic and indecipherable form that Tolstoy would literally spin in his grave as such that the thanatropic energy harnessed from his whirling corpse could power a Hyundai. 

5. Put all of your sources into a annotated works referenced page. This is to help you in the long run. You know it does as it helps you remember what sources said what. 

6. Of course, it's also a huge pain in the ass. Most likely you will skip this part often until a small stack of sources begins to get so tall the cat climbs to the top of it to survey his territory (e.g., you). Then spend four hours logging that shit into EasyBib and hoping a publisher doesn't make you switch it all from MLA to APA, or, god forbid, Chicago Style. 

7. Write!

My Day: Fresh Cherry + Coconut Scones

Monday, August 4, 2014

-God damn it all…-

How was your day?

Really? That's super awesome.

My day? Oh my day was utter godamnitallfuckery.

The day began with the fact that it is the first of the month. Ostensibly, it's a great day because at my work, a local nonprofit, this is the day that pledge payments are processed and new donations are recorded in the books. It means we can pay bills, do payroll, and generally keep our education programs a-runnin'. For me, this means I process every single one of these payments and touch base with every single donor. While rewarding and necessary it can also be hectic and tiring dealing with complaints, lost payments, and documenting every single piece of information in numerous ways for various departments. There are reports to generate, calls to make, mailings to file through, and so on and so forth.

And today, of course, every step of the way imploded on itself like a dying star with the gravitational pull to yank in extra bullshit to boot.

Keeping Up With The House: Biscuit Doughnuts

Monday, July 14, 2014

-Yaaaaaaahhhhhsssss.-

It's amazing how the best laid plans get tossed quicker than rancid oil. How's the phrase go? Man makes plans and God laughs? I see no place that this is more true than homeownership where the unexpected and the planned are as tangled as a knitting drawer.

For example, the decrepit windows were low on the To-Fix List. Sure, most of them didn't have any screens and what with the cats that meant they had to stay closed all the time even in the worst heat lest the wee demons decide to go out for an adventure via Homeward Bound minus the happy Disney ending. Sure, they were also cracked and broken, but they weren't a concern. 

Then winter came. Then window replacement shot right to the top of the list and our bank account was $3000 lighter. 

Do I regret it? Not a bit. These windows keep the house cool and temperate and boy they shut out the noise. I could barely hear my neighbor's quinceaƱera fireworks due to these things.

Still, I keep trying to save money to re-do the bathrooms and take them gloriously out of 1979 when they were built. For God's sake, the faux marble countertop has gold glitter mixed into the surface because for some reason people in 1979 though gold glitter countertops were cool. Then again, You Don't Bring Me Flowers was in the Top 40, so I don't have a lot of respect for 1979.

Unfortunately, the trees in the front yard were infected with borer beetles and those had to be removed. Then we needed to repair a few shingles. Oh, and the cover for the dilapidated hot tub the previous owners built a platform for and then craned the hell in, but then never hooked up collapsed and became a mosquito cesspool so it needs to be ripped apart. Then there's the fact that the house is four different colors due to reconstruction and the previous owners never deciding on a color. So the front is yellow, the sides are grey, and the back is blue and white.

So yes… plans are askew. I guess that wood burning pizza oven is at the bottom of the list now, as well.

As husband goes at the hot tub with hammer and saw attempting to save us some cash I'm escaping it all. Of course, this means cooking. Normally this would usually involve fresh produce or at least a handle of liquor so cheap and rough it could fuel an engine.

But no. Stress levels are too high for this shit.

We're going straight to doughnuts, motherfuckers.

Grilled Chicken, Always

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

-The "Come hither" look.-

One should always have a good grilled chicken recipe on hand. I feel these things are mandatory for when you want a full chicken but don't want the tedium of turning on an oven in triple-digit weather and yet need more cooked bones for soup stock.

When you grill a chicken it should be butterflied, which is something I always ask the butcher at the market to do because it's free and simply put they can do it quicker and cleaner than I can. My butchering skills simply put - emphasize the "butcher" part of that word. Want ground chicken? Done. Want it butterflied? Well, ground chicken coming up anyways.

The dressing for this is easy enough. Ground chipotle, ground cumin, fresh thyme, amchoor powder if you have it (but let's be frank, you probably don't and should seriously get some because its sour flavor is epic in meat rubs), salt and pepper. Make more than you'll think you'll need and use it all.

Turn on your grill with the grates greased with plenty of oil. Cook the chicken skin-side down first for 15 minutes with the lid up, then flip it and cook it for 15 more with the lid down. Remove it from the grill and let the bastard rest a bit to reabsorb the juices.

That's my method. Imprecise, but reliable. You could serve it with a side salad, but fuck that noise. Make some guacamole and break out the chips. Drink a beer or some sangria made with the cheapest wine you can find. Done and done.

Garrett out.

-And then it was gone. Took, like, four minutes.-

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