Buttermilk Pancakes

From http://allrecipes.com/recipe/buttermilk-pancakes-ii/

Ingredients

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons white sugar
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a separate bowl, beat together buttermilk, milk, eggs and melted butter. Keep the two mixtures separate until you are ready to cook.
  2. Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium high heat. You can flick water across the surface and if it beads up and sizzles, it’s ready!
  3. Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture, using a wooden spoon or fork to blend. Stir until it’s just blended together. Do not over stir! Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/2 cup for each pancake. Brown on both sides and serve hot.

A Billion Baked Fish Recipes

Baked Fish — More than a Billion Recipes (5x12x3x12x11x12x5x12x12x6 = 1,231,718,400)

From http://www.reddit.com/r/AskCulinary/comments/19x3ak/should_modern_recipes_be_consultative_or/c8s3gqz (Ken-G)

I call this a recipe template. It is a spreadsheet but shown below in text outline format.

Container (choose 1 of 5)

  • Au Gratin Pan
  • Baking Dish
  • Foil
  • Parchment
  • Single Serve

Fish (choose 1 of 12), guideline 1 pound

  • Bass/Branzino
  • Cod
  • Dorado/Mahi Mahi
  • Grouper
  • Halibut
  • Roughy
  • Salmon
  • Scallops
  • Shrimp
  • Snapper
  • Sole/Flounder
  • Tuna

Fat (choose 1-2 of 3), guideline 2-4 Tbsp

  • Butter
  • Olive Oil
  • Mayo

Liquid (choose 2-3 of 12), guideline 1/2 Cup

  • Lemon Juice
  • Lime Juice
  • White Wine
  • Sherry
  • Balsamic Vin
  • Milk/Cream
  • Soy Sauce
  • Fish Sauce
  • Rice Vinegar
  • Mirin
  • Sesame Oil
  • Teriyaki Sauce

Extras (choose 0-3 0f 11), guideline <1/4 Cup

  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Green Onion
  • Bacon Bits
  • Capers
  • Jalapeño
  • Olives
  • Marmalade
  • Shallots
  • Sugar/Honey

Fruit/Veg (choose 0-2 of 12), guideline – not too much

  • Tomato
  • Mushrooms
  • Bell Pepper
  • Mango
  • Pineapple
  • Cajun Trinity
  • Creole Mix
  • Parsley/Cilantro
  • Pesto
  • Salsa(Red/Green)
  • Sambal
  • Tabasco

Cheese (choose 0-1 of 5), guideline 1/4-1/2 Cup

  • Parmesan
  • Romano
  • Jack
  • Cheddar
  • Feta

Spices/Herbs (choose 2-3 of 12), guideline 1/2 tsp each

  • Salt & Pepper
  • Basil
  • Cayenne
  • Cilantro/Coriander
  • Cumin
  • Garlic Powder
  • Mustard(Dry/Wet)
  • Oregano
  • Paprika
  • Red Chile Flakes
  • Thyme
  • Wasabi

Crust (choose 0-1 of 12), guideline <1 Cup

  • Coconut
  • Corn Flakes
  • Cornmeal
  • Flour/Egg Batter
  • Panko/Bread Cr
  • Almonds
  • Cashews
  • Macadamia
  • Pine Nuts
  • Pistachios
  • Sesame Seeds
  • Walnuts

Oven Setting (choose 1 of 6), guideline Hotter=Crispier

  • 325° 30-40 min
  • 350° 20-30 min
  • 375° 15-20 min
  • 400° 10-15 min
  • 450° 8-10 min
  • 500° 5-8 min

Meatballs

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 pound sausage
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium onion, chopped fine
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup freshly grated Romano cheese
  • salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 cups breadcrumbs
  • 1 cup olive oil

Directions

  1. Combine beef and sausage in a large bowl. Add garlic, onion, eggs, cheese, salt and pepper.
  2. Blend bread crumbs into meat mixture. The mixture should be very moist but still hold its shape if rolled into meatballs. (I usually use about 1 1/4 cups of water). Shape into meatballs.
  3. Heat olive oil in a large skillet. Fry meatballs in batches. When the meatball is very brown and slightly crisp remove from the heat and drain on a paper towel.

Husk’s Day At Work

The school year is almost over, and Beta thought she might be able to bring her old stuffed husky, imaginatively named Husk, into school.  (This is a very old stuffed friend).

We said, “you may not.”  Beta still thought she could get away with some shenanigans by sneaking Husk to school.  Alas, she didn’t even make it as far as the bus stop out front of our house.

To ensure that he could not lead Beta into bad behavior, we determined that Husk would need to come to work with me.  It was quite an adventure, and luckily I brought a camera with me to document it!

Husk enjoyed the car ride into work.  He even got up on the dash! Husk sitting on my car's dash

Here we are climbing the stairs.  It’s a long climb – three floors – but we got to the top in good time.  I take the stairs every day and Husk — well, huskies are known for their endurance.  The elevator is for sissies.

Husk climbs the stairs

Husk was so excited he tried to open the door for me before I could unlock it.  The red light next to the door means I haven’t swiped my key-card yet.

Husk opens the door

We got right down to work.  Husk typed up emails while I chatted with a co-worker about a problem we’re working on together.

Husk typing on the keyboard

He also took some phone calls.  Husk is very friendly on the phone!

Husk chatting on the phone

When I had to go to a meeting, Husk asked if he could come.  “Well, sure you can!” I said.  “I bet you can help us work through some of these tough problems.”  Everyone was glad that Husk came.

Husk attends a business meeting

We work hard and play harder.  Husk decided to try some of the games in our common room.  We have all kinds of video games.

Husk playing video games

We also have ping pong.

Husk playing ping-pong

Husk made some new friends.  These guys live in the office.  Husk thought that was a little weird, at first, but they were friendly folk and Husk took a liking to them right away.

Husk makes new friends - Ally the gator, and Squirrel

We also have a resident penguin.  It got to go out for a Mardi Gras party because it’s so well dressed.  I guess the best-dressed people get beads at Mardi Gras?

Husk makes a new friends, a penguin

Even after an exciting day like this, Husk started to miss home.  The skies that started out so beautiful turned dark – rain was coming.  He worried that we might be caught in a storm.  The building in the distance is being demolished, and I think Husk worried that they were coming for us next.

Husk gazes out the window, ready for home

Not to worry!  Traffic was light and the rain held off.  We made it home, safe and sound and into the arms of a very happy little girl.

Husk is happy to be home

Grade Five School Concert

Alpha played a significant part in her school concert, singing the opening of a song with a small group of students.  She sang well – she may have a future in chorus.

Alpha and five other students sing the opening to a song during their school concert
Alpha and five other students prepare to sing the song opening during their school concert

The rest of the concert was well done, too.  The usual mix of kids that sing with the group and kids that stand there and look around.  Alpha was in the former group.  (I was almost always in the latter group.)

Memorial Day

Kids love parades.  My kids love parades so much they could think of nothing better than to march in a parade, and the opportunity presented itself when their karate dojo announced that it was going to be in the Wilmington Memorial Day parade.

This was our first time with the Wilmington parade.  Last year we went back to Connecticut for Memorial Day.

Parade line
The Academy of Traditional Karate parade line

I solo-parented (Megh was working at the LEGO store) and stationed myself near the end of the route.  I waited for the kids to pass, then waited for them to finish so I could pick them up.  It was a long parade: somehow we wound up with the Boston Shriners (and their silly go-carts) in addition to our local Masonic chapter, so the parade took a half hour to arrive and three quarters of an hour after that to finish passing by.

Frederick, MD

Megh, Joan, and Kelly
Megh, Joan, and Kelly

My sister-in-law, Kelly, earned her Masters in Environmental Education from Hood College in Frederick, MD.  Road trip!

Day 0:

We rolled into town on Friday morning, 1 AM.  (I would have stopped earlier and finished the drive in the morning but arrangements had been made.)  Delaware was the worst, as usual — expensive tolls and traffic problems, even at midnight.  I hate Delaware.

Day 1: Laying Low

After a late start, breakfast, and a quick dip in the motel pool, we visited Kelly at work – the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historic Park.

View across Antietam valley
Antietam Battlefields, MD

An excellent lunch in town at the Desert Rose Café, then a visit to Antietam (a quick hop skip and jump down the road).
I, unfortunately, took a nap in our car while the rest of the group did the self-driven tour in Joan’s car, but I did capture a great photo from the visitor’s center.

Day 2: Graduation Ceremony

We laid low in the morning, except for an egg and sausage casserole that Kelly made which couldn’t be beat.

Hood college has a beautiful campus. The ceremony was appropriately timed and the weather was beautiful.
Dinner was at a local brew pub, Barley and Hops. Their porter was delicious.

Day 3: Hiking and Gettysburg

Cunningham Falls State Park, MD
Cunningham Falls State Park, MD

We went to Cunningham Falls with a huge crew: Tim, Kelly and Damien; Joan; Jerry and Karol (Kelly’s parents);  Max, Manmeet, Uma, and Simon (cousins and their children).  Plus ourselves.

We split two ways and took two different trails – the easy and hard ways.  They meet at the falls (pictured).

Afterwards, since we were so close, we headed over to Gettysburg and walked to the “bloody wall” from the museum.  The kids kept going like troopers.


 

Adults sitting on a rock and being boring
The adults, doing adult things, at Cunningham Falls

Jury Duty

I was called for jury duty today. I’ve never served on a jury before and, stroke of luck, I still haven’t – the required number of jury seats were filled before my number was called. I’m still exempt from serving for another three years, though!

It’s a shame, really – after I saw the case I was actually looking forward to being on the jury (just a little).  It would have been a same day trial.  I’ve never seen a trial before, and I briefly considered staying and watching as a member of the community, but I was hungry and it was almost lunch time and I wanted to eat with Megh if I could (which I did).

I was surprised by the friendliness of the court staff.  One would think that stepping newbies through the system two or three days per week would make them tired of the same stupid routine, but everyone we (the prospective jurors) interacted with was friendly and courteous.  They behaved professionally  — even with the one guy who was apparently stoned for jury duty.  He was interviewed but ultimately not placed in the jury.

STEM Night 2014

Our school system sponsored a ‘Family STEM Night’.  Being nerds, of course we went.  Two hours of playing with stuff!

20140501 owl pellet
Dissecting an owl pellet

The coolest table was all about dissecting owl pellets.  I helped Beta uncover a vole (we think it was a vole – it could have been a small rat, the jaws are pretty similar).

There were also tables with:

  • magnets and electricity, with little motors and big batteries you could play with
  • growing plants (with a seed and a cup of dirt)
  • making goo (not sure about the science aspect, and it was sponsored by Pfizer so it’s even more dubious, but it was fun)
  • making a levitating “train” with magnets and a fixed track
  • making structures using toothpicks and marshmallows
  • blowing up peeps and boiling cold water with a vacuum and a bell jar (my second favorite, I should have taken a pic)
  • robots, with a large mobile robot, a roomba, and a small r/c vehicle for the kids to try (with a video feed in the controller, woo!)
  • using strobe lights, with a stream of green-colored water dripping in time with the strobe (so the drips appeared to be stationary)
Strobe light on continuous liquid drips
Thanks to the strobe light, the picture documents what we saw – stationary drops of water

One dark spot: a table that was supposed to be about archaeology but it was muddled, including this dubious definition:

Archeological Dig

Next Generation Science Standard:

3-LS4-1. Use fossils to describe types of organisms and their environments that existed long ago and compare those to living organisms and their environments.  Recognize that most kinds of plants and animals that once lived on Earth are no longer found anywhere.

Archeological Dig Next Generation Science Standard: 3-LS4-1. Use fossils to describe types of organisms and their environments that existed long ago and compare those to living organisms and their environments.  Recognize that most kinds of plants and animals that once lived on Earth are no longer found anywhere.
Bad science at the STEM Fair. Can you see what’s wrong with this definition?

Well, the kids had fun and didn’t notice the mistakes.  Alpha and Beta both left talking about going into biology – which makes me happy.  And I guess the fair achieved it’s aims.

Oh, and there was a hovercraft.  It was not full of eels.

Aquarium ho!

Beta has been begging to go to the Aquarium. So, we gathered up the Sleep Over girls, crated the dog, and headed out.
First, LUNCH!

image
Alpha and Rho having lunch on the bench. There were no tables available.

Then, the Aquarium!

wpid-aquarium-collage.jpg

The girls had a great time. I had a great time. Dad had a great time. We messed with our camera settings. We swapped kids (once without either of us realizing), and just generally had a blast. Did the gift shop, and escaped without buying anything. Still happy about the lack of new stuffed animals.

We stopped off at Quincy Market, and Beta picked up a pair of bracelets. After that back to the car. Which is when we saw this lovely lady:

image

Yes, that’s a wild turkey. In Boston. On India Street. She’s a pretty ballsy bird.

All in all, a wonderful day.