Category Archives: Food

Whale, Whale, Whale, What Do We Have Here?

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What do we have here? Opportunity for both whale prosperity and human fatness. Check it out:

I mean, isn’t it obvious?

Cultured meat has great potential; satisfying people who want to eat endangered animals is only a small, small part of that.

I have posted about it here before. And I’ve written several stories in which cultured meat is either a feature of the setting or actually important to the plot.

It’s fascinating to me. And I am an adventurous eater myself. I’d love to taste some no-harpoon, no-death, no-harm whale. But not otherwise.

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Is there some reason banana slices turn purple in a banana upside down cake?

Because I really wanna know.

Baby Schnitzel

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Pixabay always has the best public domain stuff even if this one came without a background. The poor thing.

To begin let me clear up some ambiguity in the title: this is about making small schnitzel, not about how to make schnitzel out of babies. If you’re here for the latter, I’m sorry you have to leave disappointed.

So: I discovered today why my mom and grandma always made these little bitty schnitzel barely big enough to cover a store brand hamburger bun (which happens because cold leftover schnitzel makes AMAZING sandwiches).

I discovered today instead of the last time I made schnitzel because I am stubborn, stubborn, oh so stubborn.

When I usually make schnitzel, I aim to create something that will cover at least half of a dinner plate. I cut nice thick slabs of loin or tenderloin and carefully beat it into a nice big floppy pork blanket. If I’m working with tenderloin, which is a slender muscle that doesn’t make big thick slices, I at least make the schnitzel big enough to cover a large hamburger bun with some hanging out the sides.

Last time, I broke out the tenderloin and went for the meat hammer… but we’d lost it in the move. Okay, fine. I have a decent rolling pin… oh, also lost in the move.

Wanna guess where my last resort, a large stone pestle, went?

You got it.

So that’s when I learned an alternate method of making schnitzel without pounding it outHAHAHAHA no. I am far too stubborn to learn so quickly when I’m not learning on purpose.

Guess what I did.

Go ahead. Guess.

You’re probably wrong because I BEAT THE PORK TENDERLOIN SLICES FLAT WITH MY FISTS. I made schnitzel in a savage, unreasonable, beastly way.

I have German friends. I expect they will have me assassinated in reprisal for my crimes against schnitzelmanity.

But today, today! Today I learned.

And the learning made me realize why my mom and grandmom made little bitty baby schnitzel.

There have been Germans knocking around my mother’s side of the family line for at least a century and maybe two (family history is, sadly, not my strength).

Perhaps grandma’s mom or grandma said to themselves, eh, this Old Country business with hitting the meat with a hammer forever is for the birds. If I just cut the pork thin enough, I can work smarter instead of harder or whatever that dumbass ’90s business cliche was.

Maybe grandma was the one who took laziness to its logical conclusion and stopped hitting the pork with a hammer altogether. Maybe it was mom. Maybe it was great-grandpa, who motivated them to stop hitting the pork with a hammer out of spite because he was a fanatic about hitting the pork with a hammer the proper way, dammit, and would yell at you about it like a jerk.

But someone stopped hitting the pork with a hammer and just cut thin pieces of pork off a tenderloin.

Which is what I learned to do today so I didn’t have to beat my this post is over goodbye.

The Sun Will Set On The Open-Air Farm

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Not today. Probably not this century. In the next, I’d be shocked if it didn’t start happening. Outdoor farms in their sprawling plant-filled glory will one day be extinct in most “developed” countries and will be a marker of terrible, desperate poverty.

There are already experiments in urban and/or indoor farming. Experiments and practical endeavors, in fact. With tall racks of trays and hydroponic and similar setups, optimized artificial lighting and harvesting, and total climate control (oh, this is the next paragraph right here, just you wait and see) an indoor farm can produce a LOT more food in the same volume of old-fashioned dirt farm.

And there’s another benefit, one that will grow much more valuable as time advances. You see, the climate is changing, and we humans changed it mainly by burning billions of tons of the distilled hundreds-of-millions-of-years-old forests and dinosaurs we call oil, coal, and natural gas. You can’t burn that much carbon-bearing material and not impact the environment you release it into. Deny it if you want, but the facts say it’s changing and we had a lot to do with it.

Climate change changes farming. Extreme weather events become more common because the global flows of air and heat are disrupted and you can’t disrupt a gigantic complex system without introducing chaos. Rainfall patterns and which land is suited for what crop change as wet land becomes arid (and presumably vice-versa as it’s a big globe with more than the USA in it), and temperatures and season lengths change.

So how do you escape chaotic weather that threatens crops? How do you immunize yourself against the shifting of agricultural zones under the whip of a changing global climate?

You move indoors, of course.

One day, our farms will be many, many thousands of enormous warehouse spaces full of light and the smell of growing things while the hot breath of the climate we screwed up howls against the doors.

Commander Kitty Is Unsure…

…as to whether or not he digs his new digs. We humans, though, ARE sure. This is a definite improvement!

I’ve been silent here for a while. We’ve been moving. Goodbye 1968 sub-single-wide trailer home with slowly collapsing floors and significant amounts of black mold.

Hello 2nd floor apartment with balconies in a 100+ year old brick building that has been remodeled enough to (hallelujah!) have a modern amount of electrical sockets.

And there’s a real stove. For SEVEN FRICKIN YEARS I have cooked with electric skillets and hotplates because the trailer had a propane stove and it turns out it’s EXPENSIVE AF to cook (or heat!) with propane.

Finances, as always, remain tight. We’re just happy to be able to juuuuuuust afford to upgrade from substandard housing that would likely be condemned if anyone looked closely, to something decent.

If you’re not already, consider giving my family and writing a boost by checking out my Patreon page.Early blog posts and sometimes exclusive looks at rough drafts, even free ebooks.

Commander Kitty says thanks for reading.

What Kind Of Provincial A-Hole Thinks Jambalaya Is UnAmerican?

I mean, seriously. How ignorant and/or priggish do you have to be?

Also, sweet potato pie is almost as regional as jambalaya. Maybe this isn’t about “froo-froo” food, but about Erick’s prejudices and his desire to pronounce anything that isn’t familiar and comforting to him “wrong.”

What a cringing prick.

Food Printing Could Change So Much

Food printing right now is limited to stuff like pasta and candy. Simple stuff with few ingredients.

But imagine a day when it’s quick and simple to print a burger or pizza or steak.

I don’t know that day will come — it’s difficult to imagine the incredible advances it would take to do such a thing.

But if it gets done it seems likely to proceed like computer tech, from bulky and expensive to cheap and ubiquitous in a generation or two.

Maybe by 2218 we’ll see something like that. It would knock the guts out of the restaurant industry. Make famine response easier. Probably make us all even fatter. It might kill the cooking professions, or make them boutique commodities for rich showoffs.

I would totally buy a food printer. I’d print a box of meringues right now.

Culinary Adventure: Savory Leftovers Pancakes

These were born of “I have no idea what to cook for breakfast” and “leftovers are overrunning the fridge.”

I’m sorry to say I have no well-defined recipe to offer because I winged that mother.

I had cooked rice, so I tossed a few handfuls of rice in the bowl. Leftover pork chop, so I gave a large chop a rough mince (PLEASE don’t try this with a raw chop, it doesn’t cook long enough for that) and tossed it in. Then to probably 4 cups total ingredients I added about a cup of chickpea flour, three eggs, and a splat of margarine (that should be an official measure), maybe a quarter cup.

Garlic powder, onion powder, a teaspoon or so of coriander, a dash of salt (like many pan fried things, I figured it would be best to put most of the salt on the outside).

Final consistency should be stiff and stand up in a little pile in the spoon.

Into a lightly oiled pan in heaped tablespoons. Let them brown on the first side. Turn, then flatten.

When they’re nice and brown on both sides, smear a little butter on top and dig in.

I’m sure it will be fine with just about any solid leftovers whether meat or vegetables.

As you can see, my cooking process is a lot like my writing style: I just sort of wing things and they usually work out. Probably because I’ve had a lot of practice at both cooking and writing.

How do I know they were good? The kids ate them as fast as they eat hot dogs, and that’s fast.

Making The World’s Sexiest Sausage Patty Melts BRB

I mean, just look at ’em.

The electric skillet is set on 275 so they’re taking forever but they’re getting so perfect and toasty and melty.

When You’re Too Lazy To Make Toast… 

… you make a cheese and egg noodles omelet so the carbohydrate is built into your breakfast. The topping is parmesan, smoked paprika, and celery salt.