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Life of 3746

 

Interesting point at the start of this video …. they said that National Geographic published in 2011 that humans have only discovered an estimated 14-ish percent of the species on Earth.

 
That’s kinda amazing, because we often seem to think we know everything about everything in the world. I mean, I know that they’ve said several times that we know more about the surface of the moon than we know about the bottom of the ocean, and I’ve seen several documentaries where they say they discover new species on each & every deep dive to the bottom of the ocean (and sometimes not even that far down!)

 
… but this is kinda hard to wrap my head around that we know SO little about life on Earth overall. Wow.

 

Link to the National Geographic article is below:

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2011/08/110824-earths-species-8-7-million-biology-planet-animals-science/

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DeFranco Family & Hello Fresh

So I watch (or listen to) a lot of the DeFranco shows on YouTube, both Philip’s news show AND their family vlog, which is mostly Lindsay DeFranco just gabbing at the camera or doing things around the house or with their son, but it’s interesting & I feel like I’m hanging out with a friend when I have it on… and I enjoy the stories Philip covers in his show, they’re usually the less commonly known news items.
She’s been getting these “Hello Fresh” meals for quite a while now, then they sponsored her vlog (after she’d been using them for quite a while, they found out, so she isn’t just plugging it because they’re sponsoring her), which means she does a few more of the cooking episodes.
I’ve been pretty fascinated about this — I just discovered they’ve expanded into Canada!
I’m obviously not in any position to be ordering this right now with our crap economy, but I was really interested in their program — they send EVERYTHING to prepare the meal, right down to fresh herbs & spices.
In the exact amounts needed.
The recipes are made with the help of a dietician, so that they’re nutritionally balanced, and they reduce food waste up to 60%.
So you don’t have the rest of the package of rosemary or the rest of a package of green beans or juuuuussst enough meat leftover to… do nothing with. As in, wrap in saran wrap, put it in the fridge, it’s not enough for a meal, so then it goes bad & you throw it out before it grows legs & walks away on its own haha. I know I’m not the only one this happens to!
 
So, fine, I thought it was interesting & cool — except — the whole “that’s a lotta packaging to throw away or deal with”. That was kinda bugging me, because I’m all about recycling everything, or reusing it, or just not using or needing a lot of it to begin with. We’re burying ourselves in packaging on this planet; my little family of 2 fills at least one blue bag every week, then every 2nd week I have a 2nd blue bag of recyclables.
So, I was snooping their Canadian website, and they address it there, that their ice packs are JUST salt water, so they can be drained & the plastic recycled.
OR, they will send you a mailing label after 3 weeks’ worth so you can mail them back at no cost to yourself!
Cool, huh? I like that.
So, then it’s just a matter of signing up. I’m looking at the Canadian one, you can get a “Pronto Box” which is supposed to be fairly fast, a vegetrian box, or a family box — although the meal plan page shows 4 meals, so maybe you choose 3 or the 4 listed? I’m not sure, and one thing that is kinda bugging me at this minute about it is that you can’t go past seeing the menu plans for the week, you have to sign up before you can see the page with choices or how to choose it. SO I’m not sure if there is a spot to remove any ingredients that you either can’t stand or are allergic to. I often look at stuff online, add it to my cart so I can see the realistic check-out then unload my cart…. but I can’t just do a “what if?” cart on this site. And I don’t really want to sign up for anything just now (I don’t have a credit card or the finances anyway, I just wanted to see some true carts, or how you choose what you’re going to get).
The other thing I just now got weirded out about is that it says that they leave it on your doorstep if you’re not home…  which might be just fine in California where the DeFranco Family lives, but here? It would be frozen SOLID within 2 hours of being left on my step right now, which would not bode well for any of the fresh herbs & vegetables (especially things like peppers, lettuces & tomatoes!)… it would be a slimy mess upon thawing out. Same with the potatoes or sweet potatoes they send … it’s one thing to send it with an ice pack to keep it refrigerated, but what do they do in -30C??? And our parcel delivery here is all over the place, between the hours of 9:00am & 4:30pm, you just never know when exactly.
Hmmm… and here I was almost sold on it for when I get a job again. That just kinda threw the brakes on it.
If you’re reading this, what do you think of that?
Have you ever tried a service like this?
Is it worth it?

Interesting….

{EDIT NOTE — I apologise for the spacing on this entry. I’m new to wordpress, and it’s driving me utterly crazy. I have tried everything to make this space properly to no avail. If you have any tips or tricks in that department, please drop me a comment as to how to get it to put spaces between my paragraphs! In my draft copy that I’m typing in right now, it is spaced beautifully GRR. I took some snips of it all just to show spacing that I see when I write. It’s really disappointing because I like wordpress. But I can’t blog like this. I just realized maybe it’s only the draft preview that is messed up.}
sister-wives-logo
I think this is interesting…. especially that her mother is horrifically upset. I don’t wish any ill will on any of them, but it’s interesting.
 I mean, they’ve spent how many years going on TV in order to share their lifestyle & how good it is, preaching to the world, “adults should be able to love who they love & structure their families how they want to” (that’s a direct quote from the clip of the show on this story), but now that might be kinda biting her/them in the ass.
If asked a week ago which one of the wives I liked the best I probably would have said “Meri”. She reminds me a lot of an old friend from high school. Not that I’ve watched the show since the first year, but she was the one I found most relatable. But now .. I’m just really not impressed with her reaction to her daughter’s announcement
I don’t like that her reaction was to freak out & cry and be horribly upset (and before anyone says I don’t know how it feels to have their child come out, guess again).
I think her daughter probably felt like complete & utter shit about herself after that reaction from her mom. It’s that kind of reaction that leads to teenagers committing suicide (or attempting to).
I don’t like that the rest of them appear to be trying to talk her down — I like that they’re doing it, just not that they have to.
I wanted to high-five the dad, Kody … well, sort-of. When Meri was freaking out & crying and giving the other parents shit for “being happy & smiling because she’s gay”, he said, “It’s not that we’re happy that she’s gay, we’re happy that she knows herself.”
I didn’t want to high five him for the first half of the sentence, but the second half, yes.
I hope that maybe just maybe they can all understand that gay or straight is how one is born. Maybe they — or other people — can realize that gay people don’t come from gay marriages or relationships. Gay comes from being born gay, just like being born straight, or born a boy or born a girl, or born feeling neither gender, or neither sexuality, or both genders / sexualities.
It’s not something that’s a “choice” or a “lifestyle”.
It just IS.
Like being born with blue eyes or brown eyes. Or born with long fingers or short toes. It just is.
I’ve always raised my daughter that some people are gay & some are straight (I don’t like the word “straight” though because it implies that anything else is crooked, and it’s not.) I’ve always thought the whole Sister Wife thing was weird, but felt that as long as it isn’t a cult thing where the “dad” is marrying young girls like some of the cults have, then it’s fine. It’s not for me, but it’s fine for other people.
I HOPE that Meri realizes that not only is it good that her daughter “knows herself” … I hope that that she also realizes that she’s raised a loved & confident child with good self-esteem. That’s a good thing. I just hope she also realizes that they all need to try to make some changes, to ensure that her daughter is accepted (not “tolerated”, that’s another word I don’t really like)  within her family, her community and her church.
I realize not all people think being gay is okay, but one thing I won’t tolerate here is hate. If you stumble upon my little place here & want to say anything hateful, please don’t. I’m totally open to discussion, but no hate is allowed here.
Peacefully yours….

WordPress spacing?

So, I’m completely new to wordpress…. but I’m trying to blog again, it really helps me to get things out of my head.

But the spacing of things is driving me batshit fucking crazy (pardon my language).

I’ve been trying to write an entry, and I keep previewing it, and all the paragraphs are getting lumped together, despite me even trying to add extra spaces between the paragraphs — which, in my humble little opinion, makes it incredibly hard to read. When people see just one huge long entry without any paragraph breaks the first thing they do is, “Too Long; Didn’t Read”. (“TL;DR” that you see around online, if you don’t know what that means.)

AND — sometimes it will space between one set of paragraphs but then one paragraph in the middle looks like it’s spread out or stretched, like I have put a blank space in between each line which I didn’t. I even tried deleting that paragraph and re-typing it to no avail.

And it’s less conversational when it’s just all crammed together, like the person writing it is just reading fast without pausing to take a breath. And it’s REALLY annoying me. I don’t even want to read it, why would anybody else?

So I’m going to preview this one. Then post it, to see what comes out on the other end of the “publish” button.

But if you happen to see this post and have had the same problem on your own wordpress and know how to make it look decent, please drop me a comment to tell me WTF  (pardon my language again) I’m supposed to do to make it readable (which is the point of a blog isn’t it?)

UPDATE: So this one previews nicely, BUT there is a crap ton of space between the title & my first paragraph. So, too much space on one part, and no space on other parts. GAH.

The snip above is from a preview of the entry I was posting … see how it’s all crammed in? THAT is the problem I’m having. I actually typed that and hit ‘enter’ a number of times to try to add space between the paragraphs. I did that for this post — seem sot have worked just fine. So why won’t it work for the other one?

Boxing Day 2016

It’s a cold day out there today…. and I can’t help but think of the thousands of shoppers out there, some even camping out, at 3:00am, at the door of the store they want to get one of those crazy-good bargains like a smart TV for $200 (or whatever, I’m not really up on the latest in TV’s the technology is changing so quickly!).

I’m too broke to do any of that, and I don’t really have the patience to hang out waiting for a store to open for me sprint to whatever display & snag the latest greatest thing. I have to admire those that can do it, though, especially in our climate!

No, today I’m trying to get the oomphs up to clean my kitchen from yesterday. I had no energy left to do anything by the time we ate our turkey dinner & watched a few episodes of House together (my almost-16-year-old daughter & myself).

I was pretty proud of myself — and impressed with my toaster oven, lol — for getting that turkey cooked! It was soooo good! I’m going to roast the rest of it later today.

I also wanted to share a little tip … cranberry sauce. DO you like the jelly only or are you a “whole berry” kind of person?

I only started liking cranberry sauce on my turkey in the last 5 years or so. (I know, right? I never used to like it, I would have a spoonful to eat after everything else, but something to do with turning 40, all of a sudden I got it on a few food things, like apple pie & ice cream or cranberry sauce on the same forkful as the turkey.)

One year when my daughter was small, I got bags of fresh cranberries right after Thanksgiving for 14¢ per bag! Too good of a deal to pass up — they were usually $3 per bag!
It was kinda like the “challenge accepted” on How I Met Your Mother.
I decided I was going to make cranberry sauce for Christmas. I probably should have done it in jars, but I’m kinda scared I’ll do it wrong & kill us all with botulism or something, so I tend to freeze things instead.

Anyway … I  made cranberry sauce that year, just by cooking the berries with white sugar, & letting it reduce, then putting it in freezer jars & freezing it. It was awesome! Very tasty indeed!

Anyway, I try to buy that kind of stuff off-season, or just-after season because, like the fresh berries, it’s usually cheaper.  A couple of years ago, though, I realized I bought the jelly kind, and that just won’t do in my household, but it was too late to go back to the store, except ….

I realized I had the huge Costco bag of Craisins on my pantry shelf that I had bought for a salad recipe. I put about 1 cup of them into a glass measuring cup then dumped boiling water on top & let them sit like that for an hour or so. Then I drained them & added them to the jelly & mixed them up really well.

OMG it was amazing. Better than the regular kind of cranberry sauce. Since then I always add some un-dried* Craisins.
(* for lack of a better word)

This past summer I went to the local no-frills type of giant supermarket for something & they had a huge pallet of canned cranberry sauce sitting right at the entrance — for 24¢ per can! Granted it was no-name brand, but still, it’s usually a good $2 each. So I bought 10 cans, because it’s not like it’s going to go bad (I don’t care it something has a best before date on the top of the can, it’s a NON-perishable, as long as the integrity of the can isn’t compromised, it’s fine for years). I just couldn’t resist that good of a deal. If I wasn’t having to haul everything myself (I don’t drive) I would have ought more.

And, as usual, I did the Craisin thing. It just adds another layer of flavour to the cranberries & really brings out the turkey-ness of the turkey. Yesterday, I had a can of whole berry and some of the no berry so mixed them together & added the craisins. YUM!

As for the turkey itself …. I roast it with a shit-ton of real butter shoved in all over the place, lots of poultry seasoning (like, a half-bag if it, nothing bring out the flavour of turkey like sage-ey poultry seasoning)  AND I usually roast it breast-side down, so all the juices are running into the white meat instead of out of it — it makes is so juicy that people are fighting over white meat at my house.

Word of caution, though — because heat rises, it usually rises up into that thickest part of the turkey to get it cooked. Well, upside-down it’s rising up & away from the breast meat, so it takes longer to cook it, especially if you stuff your turkey. (I usually do stuff mine, but I couldn’t this year because of needing to make it as short as possible to fit in my toaster oven.)  It probably isn’t helpful because turkeys have a big range of size, but I usually have to add at least 2 hours, and baste the thigh & breast part a lot to make sure the hot juices are getting there (I usually make a couple of stab holes in the thickest parts then shove the baster right in the hole to get the hot juices in to cook it).

I’ve also cooked them with stuffing separate, instead placing some fresh poultry herbs & sliced lemon inside the turkey — and butter, of course, can’t forget the butter. Roasting it that way works, too, and helps reduce the cooking time because when you baste it, you can just baste to the inside of the turkey to get it cooking from that side, too.

I have never tried brining, I’d love to try that some time, too, but I don’t have anything big enough to hold a turkey  in brine that could also fit in the fridge (generally it’s too cold here in December to put something outside, it would just freeze).

I know I don’t have any readers right now, but in the event you’re travelling around blogs & stumble upon my little place here, I have to ask a question:

Do you do something different or oddball with your roast turkey to make it delicious or extra-juicy, never dry or tough? Even if it’s a super secret tip, I’d love to hear it!

Happy Boxing Day!

 

 

Christmas Day 2016

The turkey is in my countertop convection oven (the real oven is not working because a few months ago, I had shoved dirty dishes into it because I have zero counter space in my kitchen & I needed the counter space for some reason or another, and I have no dishwasher & only one sink) … well, I finished whatever it was that I was doing, then was cleaning the kitchen, and of course, washing dishes.

I thought I had everything out of the oven …  but I had accidentally missed an empty margerine container that needed to be washed before I could recycle it.

I guess I had shoved it to the back corner when I shoved everything in, then couldn’t see it from just bending over as i was pulling stuff out.

Then a couple of days later I was preheating the oven for something … when I opened it the smell  of burning plastic hit m, and lo & behold, the margerine container was melted & dripping onto the element & the part that was on the actual element was in flames.

Whoops.

I took the racks outside to get all the plastic off them, and used a wood-handled knife to scrape all the plastic off the element itself.

The oven was fine for a few uses, although I noticed that the part that had the plastic on it was black when it was heating up whereas the rest of the element was red.

After 3 or 4 times of using it after the fire, though, I went to make pizza for supper … at some point in the following 20 minutes the element died pretty much completely. At the 20 minute mark of the pizzas “cooking”, the timer dinged & I opened the oven to pull them out ti discover … raw pizzas. Luckily I already had my toaster oven!

Side note: I started typing the below section on facebook, because I kinda forgot I had started this blog site (whoops) then remembered, then cut & pasted it here, hence the wonky spacing, sorry.

Today I am thankful today for having that really big toaster-oven — it’s more of a countertop oven, really, it’s got the toaster part (6-slice), but it’s also a regular small oven & convection oven. It fits a regular frozen pizza, like the square Delissio (called Digiorno in the USA, I believe)
I lucked out at Safeway last week & found some VERY SMALL turkeys (10lbs-ish)… I knew I’d have to do some fancy dancing to get it in, but it took me longer to cut it into large pieces than I expected it would. But I finally got it cut up, and about half of it it is in!
(It was about 1 inch too tall to just pop it in, lol)
It’s the top half of the turkey, both breasts, I’ve got them facing down, then just butter & poultry seasoning on what would normally be the inside, with the large piece of skin draped over that, and one of the wing tips is tucked into that part, with the bulk part of the wing tucked into the side. The thigh & one drumstick is beside it. It’s in my largest Corningware dish (9 x 9-ish), with a small rack inside that. I tucked in some butter, sprinkled it all with kosher salt & some pepper, and of course more poultry seasoning, covered the tallest part of it with foil & popped it in at 400F convection to start with (I want to get the temps UP).
I made the stuffing yesterday, chopped up all the bread & onion & basically squashed it all with melted butter, & poultry seasoning. I made “drippings” that would normally be absorbed into it, if it was inside the turkey, by dissolving 1 packet of Club House gravy mix with 1 cup of hot water.
 
I had never cooked with a convection oven before this one, and I LOVE IT. Things cook faster and there are no hot spots in the oven because a fan runs the whole time, circulating the hot air.
Since starting to type out this post, I’ve basted the turkey a number of times, and just a couple of minutes ago, I flipped the big part so the breast was up to finish cooking. It was close, but the meat thermometer aid it needed a little bit longer. My house smells amazing!
Pictures hopefully will follow later — I haven’t figured out how I want to post them on this thing yet. I also want to find the model number on my little oven to share with anyone reading this thinking about buying one.
Merry Christmas & Happy Hanukkah, and best holiday wishes if you celebrate something else!

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