cultivating & crashing

an organic collection of notes, observations, and thoughts

Slow, check. Working on steady.

It took me four hours and thirty-odd minutes to write two paragraphs with a total of five citations. This is progress!

I used to think grad student stereotypes were grossly exaggerated and only applied to sissies. And so this is the year of Learning To Eat My Words And Not Judge.

For next time I panic and don’t work: it’s not difficult to write. It just takes time and moderate concentration. Just follow the directions, make sure to check off all the boxes and it will get done, slowly but surely.

On parenting quackery

Reddit may not save the world, but it certainly makes it a better place.

I really appreciate this woman’s balanced, reasoned arguments. Looking forward to reading her book and following up her claims with Cochrane reviews.

https://www.reddit.com/r/science/comments/4danct/science_ama_series_im_amy_tuteur_an/

In other news, I’m making amba, which means there is a jar of mango pieces fermenting in my kitchen. Not sure why but it makes me giddy.

 

Watershed

Bought expensive salt today. Feels like a turning point in my life. Brb, figuring out how to use finishing salt while still being punk rock.

Edit: expensive salt is an emperor with no clothing. I guess it goes to show you can sometimes turn around after a watershed moment. Or that one should be more judicious about labeling events as such.

Sumo stew

I made this yesterday and it was just as delicious as I’d hoped. Will be making it again.

Ingredients

    • 8 ounces udon noodles
    • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided, plus more
    • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
    • 4–6 large eggs (optional)
    • 8 ounces sliced maitake or shiitake mushrooms
    • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
    • 1 tablespoon finely chopped ginger
    • 3 teaspoons white miso paste
    • 4 cups homemade or store-bought low-sodium chicken broth (or seafood stock)
    • 1 (6×5-inch) piece dried kombu
    • 1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
    • Chicken Meatballs with Ginger and Miso (or fishballs)
    • 1 medium carrot, sliced into 1/4-inch coins
    • 3/4 pound baby bok choy, trimmed, cut crosswise in 2-inch pieces (about 6 cups)
    • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar (optional)
    • 8 ounces skinless flaky white fish (such as bass, halibut, branzino, or cod), cut into 3×3/4-inch pieces
    • 8 ounces peeled, deveined, tail-on large shrimp
    • 2 tablespoons sliced scallions

Preparation

Cook udon in a medium pot of boiling salted water according to package directions. Transfer udon to a colander to drain; reserve cooking liquid in pot. Transfer udon to a large bowl and toss with 1 Tbsp. oil.

    1. If using eggs, cover pot and return cooking liquid to a boil. Add eggs and cook at a low boil until soft-boiled, about 6 minutes. Transfer eggs to a large bowl of ice water to cool, then peel and reserve.
    2. Heat remaining 2 Tbsp. oil in a large pot over medium-high. Sauté mushrooms and 1/4 tsp. salt until lightly browned and moisture releases, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and ginger; cook until fragrant, 30–60 seconds. Stir in miso, then add chicken broth. Stir in kombu, if using, soy sauce, and remaining 1/2 tsp. salt. Cover, bring to a simmer, and cook 10 minutes.
    3. Add meatballs and carrots. Cover and continue to simmer until meatballs are just cooked through, about 10 minutes. Remove kombu from broth and discard.
    4. Stir in bok choy and vinegar, if using. Place fish on top of stew, then cover and cook 3 minutes. Gently fold in shrimp (try to avoid breaking up fish) and cook, covered, until shrimp is pink and fish is opaque and cooked through, about 3 minutes more.
    5. Divide stew among bowls. Slice eggs in half lengthwise and top each bowl with 2 halves. Sprinkle with scallions. Serve udon in large bowl for sharing alongside.

Why are you lonely

Copied from the Toast.

WHY ARE YOU LONELY: CHOOSE ONE

  • FAILED TO NURTURE RELATIONSHIPS BORN OUT OF CONVENIENCE ONCE CHANGING CIRCUMSTANCES REQUIRED ACTIVE PARTICIPATION FROM YOU
  • WATCHED NETFLIX FOR SEVEN HOURS INSTEAD OF SLEEPING BECAUSE YOU HAVE ONCE AGAIN MISTAKEN INERTIA FOR REST
  • CONFUSED “SELF-CARE” WITH “SELF-INDULGENCE” AGAIN; YOU ARE INCAPABLE OF EXPERIENCING GENUINE REFRESHMENT OR RESTORATION BUT YOU DO SPEND A LOT OF MONEY AT NAIL SALONS
  • ONCE AGAIN CONFUSED “EMPATHY” FOR “TAKING RESPONSIBILITY” AND INVITED OTHERS TO UNLOAD THEIR EMOTIONAL BURDENS ON YOU WITHOUT FIRST ENSURING RECIPROCITY, WHOOPS
  • ANTICIPATORILY BLAMED OTHER PEOPLE FOR NOT CALLING YOU WITHOUT ONCE ASKING YOURSELF WHY YOU CAN’T CALL THEM
    • ASSUMING ANY TIME SPENT TOGETHER THAT YOU HAD TO INITIATE IS SOMEHOW LESS AUTHENTIC THAN REQUESTS FOR TIME SPENT TOGETHER THAT YOU ACCEPT
  • BELIEVE “PERIODICALLY EXPERIENCING THE HUMAN CONDITION” MEANS SOMETHING IS FUNDAMENTALLY BROKEN WITHIN YOU
  • CONSTANTLY LIE ABOUT YOUR FEELINGS THEN WONDER WHY YOU FEEL LIKE NO ONE KNOWS YOU
  • MISTAKENLY BELIEVE THAT NEGATIVE FEELINGS MUST BE MISTAKES EITHER TO BE AVOIDED OR FIXED RATHER THAN EXPERIENCED
  • DESIRE TO BE FULLY UNDERSTOOD WITHOUT THE CONCOMITANT WILLINGNESS TO FULLY EXPLAIN YOURSELF
  • BELIEVE TRYING AT SOMETHING A LITTLE BIT SHOULD RESULT IN INSTANT PERFECTION AND FIND YOURSELF HORRIFIED AND ASHAMED OF MAKING REALISTIC PROGRESS
  • TRY COCONUT OIL
  • CONVINCED THAT HONESTLY ADMITTING YOUR PROBLEMS WILL DRIVE PEOPLE AWAY BECAUSE NO ONE LIKES COMPLAINING SO INSTEAD YOU OFFER EVERYONE A PISS-POOR SIMULACRUM OF BEING EASY-GOING
  • STILL JUST WAITING FOR THINGS TO HAPPEN TO YOU INSTEAD OF EXPRESSING YOUR DESIRES ALOUD
  • THINK YOU’RE BEING PLAYFUL BUT ACTUALLY YOU JUST GET MEAN WHEN YOU DRINK
  • SPEND ALL YOUR TIME SAYING THINGS LIKE “EITHER’S GOOD” OR “DOESN’T MATTER TO ME” WHEN IN FACT ONLY ONE THING IS GOOD AND IT DOES MATTER TO YOU BUT YOU THINK “NOT EXPRESSING A PREFERENCE” IS THE BEST PERSONALITY TRAIT YOU HAVE TO OFFER OTHERS
  • PEOPLE ACTUALLY MORE AWARE OF YOUR BARELY-CONCEALED CONTEMPT FOR THEIR CHOICES AND RELATIONSHIPS THAN YOU THINK THEY ARE
  • NO GOOD REASON, SORRY

de con struct ed

From the Seven Tables dinner:

peanut, seaweed, cucumber

Pad thai

I seem to have misplaced my most recent favourite pad thai recipe, so I found one from the NYTimes that is pretty good. I like how much fish sauce it uses but disagree that the noodles should be checked every 5 minutes — every minute is more accurate if using boiling water. Can use hot tap water instead and check less often. I also rolled up fresh kaffir lime leaves and sliced them into long thin strips, then added them at the same time as the bean sprouts and cabbage to give it that exciting citrus kaffir flavour. I used carrots instead of cabbage last night to good effect.

Ingredients
• 115 g rice noodles (between 6mm and 1mm wide)
• ¼ cup peanut oil
• 2 to 4 tablespoons tamarind paste
• ¼ cup fish sauce (nam pla)
• ⅓ cup honey
• 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
• 2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste
• 1/3 cup chopped scallions
• 1 garlic clove, minced
• 2 eggs
• 1 small head Napa cabbage, shredded (about 4 cups)
• 1 cup mung bean sprouts
• 300 g peeled shrimp, 400 g pressed tofu, or a combination
• 1/3 cup roasted peanuts, chopped
• 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
• 2 limes, quartered

Preparation
1. Put noodles in a large bowl and add boiling water to cover. Let sit until noodles are just tender; check every 5 minutes or so to make sure they do not get too soft. Drain, drizzle with one tablespoon peanut oil to keep from sticking and set aside. Meanwhile, put tamarind paste, fish sauce, honey and vinegar in a small saucepan over medium-low heat and bring just to a simmer. Stir in red pepper flakes and set aside.
2. Put remaining 3 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat; when oil shimmers, add scallions and garlic and cook for about a minute. Add eggs to pan; once they begin to set, scramble them until just done. Add cabbage and bean sprouts and continue to cook until cabbage begins to wilt, then add shrimp or tofu (or both).
3. When shrimp begin to turn pink or tofu begins to cook, add drained noodles to pan along with sauce. Toss everything together to coat with tamarind sauce and combine well. When noodles are warmed through, serve, sprinkling each dish with peanuts and garnishing with cilantro and lime wedges.

Things learned in 2016

Logic symbols

Un mate está lavado cuando ya no hace burbujas (porque se quedó sin polvito, me imagino).

Corn chowder with salt cod

This is surprisingly good, as A would say. I made the corn chowder and added the flaked cod in at the last minute. Delicious without being heavy, and I think the salting of the cod rids it of any unpleasant fishiness.

Corn chowder by Jamie Oliver

Ingredients

  • 1 stalk celery
  • 1 medium onion
  • olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 840 ml semi-skimmed milk
  • 1 medium potato , peeled and cut into little cubes
  • 3 spring onions
  • 175 g frozen corn
  • ¼ cup fresh chives , chopped, or parsley

Method

Pull the leaves from the celery stalks and set them aside. Chop your celery and onion. Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over a medium heat. Add the celery (not the leaves), onion, and thyme. Stir until the vegetables start to brown.

Sprinkle the flour over the veggies and stir for a few more minutes. Pour in the milk, add the potato and bring to a boil, stirring the whole time so the soup doesn’t stick to the pot. Cook until the potatoes are tender, but not mushy – this will take around 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, chop the celery leaves, trim the ends off the spring onions and slice them thinly. When the potatoes are tender, stir in the corn, spring onion and celery leaves. Bring the soup back to the boil, then serve.

Salt cod prep

Soak cod in plenty of cold water (cover by 5cm). Change the water at least 3 times a day. Repeat until cod is tasty and not too salty, up to 3 days. When cod is ready, place in a pot with plenty of fresh water (cover by 5cm), then bring to a simmer and remove from heat. Drain the fish and flake it to your heart’s content.

 

Go Tell It on the Mountain

Set thine house in order, for thou shalt die and not live.

She knew that the big house, the house of pride where the white folks lives, would come down: it was written in the Word of God. They, who walked so proudly now, had not fashioned for themselves or their children so sure a foundation as was hers.

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