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devil duck

A series of inconsequential events

First breakfast: grapefruit and cereal. Made LC chocolate-chip pancakes for second breakfast with shalmestere. We walked the dogs, then went to the farmers' market in Union Square: one or two vendors still had ramps, several still had asparagus and green garlic, and several had strawberries (the first of the season). The rhubarb wasn't red, but we picked out some that was at least firm and not obviously inhabited. Also picked up a bison London broil, some smoked turkey breast, and a tiny plastic pot of chervil.

Came home (by which time the vaguely-threatening skies had become a downpour), threw out a few remaining Strawberry Shaped Objects from the supermarket, put everything away, and potted the chervil. Since it was raining, and since I've usually had better luck baking bread on rainy days, and since my previous batch of bread came out sour, dense, and crumbly, I started mixing up some LC bread dough. As soon as that was rising, shalmestere and I cut up rhubarb and strawberries and made some LC strawberry-rhubarb crisp, which was quite tasty (even made from beige rhubarb), especially with a little cream yogurt dolloped on top.

Finished reading The Girl with No Shadow, the sequel to Chocolat. It has more emphasis on magic than did the previous book, which in turn had more emphasis on magic than the movie "Chocolat". The author did a puzzling thing, introducing a new character on Page 1 without suspense as a serious slimeball, even though most of the characters don't realize what a slimeball she is until the last few pages; I'm wondering whether a movie-maker would make the same choice. And although there's a wonderfully ominous build-up to the final show-down, the show-down itself left me a bit unsatisfied and unconvinced.

We walked the dogs in the park, stopping to chat with a neighbor (something we don't do often) about trees in the neighborhood, public transit, etc. On our return, we found that the bread had risen beautifully, so I put it in the oven and started chopping onions for a festive summer dinner of bratwurst. On a tip from "Cooks Illustrated", we zapped the onions for a few minutes, baked the brats on a bed of onions (pan covered with foil to keep in the steam), then took the brats out to finish on the electric grill. This worked very nicely, although there was enough exuded water in the baking pan that the onions never browned at all. We cut both heels off one of the loaves of bread (which came out much better than last time!) and pretended they were hot-dog buns.

A friend who had been arrested yesterday for participating in the monthly "Critical Mass" bicycle-ride (as she has a number of times before, so she knows the NYPD holding cells very well) got out, and called to arrange to get together tomorrow to discuss bronze-casting (she had promised us some belt-mounts in exchange for a GFD we made her).

chargirlgenius just bought a Roomba, a vacuum-cleaning robot, so we looked at the videos and the company Web site... it's awfully tempting! And I'm suddenly reminded of Door Into Summer, in which (IIRC) the first robot the protagonist designed was a smart vacuum cleaner. Of course, Heinlein wrote in 1940 or so that they were on the market in 1970, a few decades before reality managed to catch up.


I <3 the Roomba. It's cleaning AND entertainment (especially with the dogs watching) all in one!

His name is Rover. He's even better at crumbs than crazy Rosie. :-)
We have a Roomba...can't recommend it enough (for what it does). It has issues with loose threads (and knitting wool and oriental rugs and wires and...) but overall, especially if you can either leave it unattended or can be within earshot as it cleans some other room, it works well. Keep an ear out for the clack-clack-clack of a stuck roller or the plaintive cry of "I'm stuck!" and it works out nicely :)

If you want good refurbs (sometimes new ones, too), check out woot.com daily. Unfortunately, the site only sells one thing per day, all day, even if it sells out (for the most part) but they often sell $250+ Roombas for $99-$149. Ours came with a couple of virtual walls (to stop it from leaving a certain room or aviod part of a room) and a remote control to program cleaning schedules.

It works out very, very well. Still need to haul out the big guns now and again but more often than not, I just have to hit spots with a handvac instead.

What is "LC" and "Critical Mass? Cool!"

OK, I give up, what does LC mean? Low Calorie seems almost right but talking about chocolate chip pancakes and rhubarb crisp with cream yogurt doesn't sound concerned with calories. So what is it really?

Oh, and thanks for the info on Critical Mass, I'd never heard of them but love the idea! And it turns out New Haven even advertises theirs! For details see section F9 of their Green Map

Re: What is "LC" and "Critical Mass? Cool!"

LC = "low carbohydrate". The pancakes are made with lots of eggs, soy powder, sometimes nut meal, sometimes wheat gluten, sometimes flaxseed meal, sometimes a bit of whole-wheat flour....

shalmestere and I decided to try the Atkins thing a few years ago: I lost 25 pounds in six weeks, and she lost more than that (precise amount is classified information). Over the subsequent five years, much (though not all) of the weight crept back on, so we got strict again this spring. It doesn't work nearly as dramatically the second time around; apparently the body has gotten used to the lower carbohydrate intake, and doesn't respond the same way. But I've re-lost ten pounds or so, and shalmestere somewhat more.

One of the things I really missed when we started low-carbing was baking bread, so as soon as we were past the "extreme" phase, I started experimenting with ways to make it relatively low-carb. Same deal: eggs, soy powder, flaxseed meal, wheat germ, wheat gluten, wheat bran, whole grains. The results are here.