Various Lies

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Blind stupidity or short memories

Wait a fucken minute, I know I'm not the most observant person ever...I tend to look at the big picture, not the important minutia (which is probably why I'm in admin and not bench science)... but by the flood level from 1927 that everyone is clamoring about, we're fucken over it. We're at 47 feet by "new" measurements, and something like 52 feet by "1927 measurements"...

Now I've seen this river flood the locale 5 out of the six years I've lived here. I figured the city planers who developed the sandbar I live on knew what the river did irregularly, and we'd be OK.


It turns out Old Man River does this fairly damn regularly

Son of a bitch. 1927, 1937, [gap? drought? who knows what?] 1973, 1993, 2009 (my call), 2011...

Excuse my naivete as a 5yr n00b to the town, but WTF?

This happens on an almost decadal basis and still people are dying and being dispossessed? I understand you can't tame the river, but surely we could try and tame the local effects that we don't make hundreds homeless - or is it John Q. Public's right to build a fucken house in a flood zone?

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Love is a big fat river in flood

A few photos from the Mississippi River near where I live


The new...bulwark (?) that now protects the lowest point in Island Drive where the road meets the bridge that gives access to Mud Island.
The bank is about 10 feet above the water so this should stop the river blocking our access.


The river near flood. Taken from the pathway, normally 30 feet above the river.


bloody wrong bloody filter for the bloody sunset. That's the river with the sun setting over Arkansas


The Wolf River Lagoon, just 100 yards from my house.
You can see by the trees in the background this is 15-20 feet higher than normal.
The water is now 2 feet from the bank. Three days ago there was a six foot gap.
The water is backflowing into the lagoon again...

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Eate Itt!

Everyone's favorite, mildly psychotic rantroll, Physioprof, has been wowing the blogosphere recently with his pasta recipes. I've seen DrugMonkey, Dr. Isis and Namnezia doing same, and I hear rumors that Jason Goldman is, not just "huge on the internet in China" but in on this recipe posting too.

Recently, my highly Belov'd BlogSis Dr. Becca had a crack at Physioprof's fusilli bolognese with interesting results. Not to be out done, I thought I'd have a go at this pasta blogging shenanigans. I'm not much shakes when it comes to pasta - so much so in fact that I hardly ever cook it because it's so...meh. I figured with my Blogmates as inspiration, and some general advice from Physioprof ringing in my ears, whatever I made couldn't be worse than what I can already conjure up. It seemed that the key ingredient was patience - don't rush the sauce. And wine. Lots and lots of loverly wine. I do, after all, somewhat resemble Keith Floyd and he never cooked without a glass to hand.

So... our obligatory still life (albeit mid-prep cos I forgot to photoblog at first)...


Half an onion, finely diced
Some garlic (2 big teaspoons of pre-diced)
1 red bell pepper, diced largish
2 tins diced tomatoes
2 teaspoons tomato puree
2 tablespoons EV olive oil
2 tablespoons cooking butter
3 cups rainbow rotini
1.5 cups of white wine
Red pepper flakes
kosher salt
black pepper
fresh thyme
sliced zucchini (for the side dish)

Heat the oil till it's fucken hot, then add the diced bell pepper. Cook it till it starts to blacken a little


then turn the heat down a little to med-high and add the diced onion. Give it a stir and when the onion starts to turn translucent, add a generous pinch of kosher salt. This makes the onions sweat and adds to the oils the shitte is cooking in. Be patient and let this shit cook till it starts to caramelize, then turn the heat to medium and stir in the garlic. Give it another few minutes but don't let the fuckken garlic burn.


Now crank the heat back to medium high and pour in a half glass of white wine. PhysioProf refers to deglazing and has some foreign sounding shit at this point. I don't know nothing about that though. The wine will reduce pretty quickly, so be prepared to move fast at this point.


As soon as that half cup starts to boil off add the tomatoes and tomato puree and stir well. Then pour in the rest of the white wine and give it a good mixing. Keep the heat medium high till it's bubbling goode and then turn it down so it reduces slowly. You're gonna evaporate the alcohol and some of the water, but you ain't boiling it. This isn't gonna be soup. Now, keep an eye on this shitte, because it thickened way fucking faster than I thought it would.

This is the point that I boiled the water for the pasta and started the courgettes zucchini. I could have probably started these guys right before the deglaze and saved a couple of minutes. As it was I ended up moving the sauce off the heat and covering it while everything else got ready, then quickly warmed it through before serving.


To do the zucchini, heat the fucking butter till it's fucking really hot. Add the sliced zucchini and let it sit for a minute or two, then turn it over and get the uncooked side in the hot oil. Turn it every few minutes and you'll see it sweat and then start to blacken. Blackened zucchini is the fuking shitte, but alas, it's also easy to over cook and because of the sauce drama playing out on the other hob, I did kind of give it just a bit too long. It was still delicious though because I am awesome.


Mix the sauce and the pasta, plate that motherfucker and serve the zucchini on top.


Serve with a flourish, fresh basil and parmesan, a fresh rustic baguette and a nice fucken bottle of red plonk wine - this feast brought to you by


All in all it was the best damn pasta dinner I have ever cooked, and I'm actually looking forward to trying some more ideas and having more tasty feasts. So, PhysioProf thank you for the inspiration.