Home In Disarray

August 27, 2013

The best way to eat leftover risotto

The best way to eat leftover risotto
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I love me some risotto.  Craig isn’t a huge fan, plus it’s pretty much just delicious carbs and fat, so I generally avoid making it unless we have dinner guests or Craig’s gone for the night.  Since one of my favorite pastimes  when Craig is out of town is cooking, this is a perfect opportunity to gorge myself on risotto.  This time I chose mushroom risotto.  I wasn’t planning on making it til the next day as I had already eaten and had no need for more food, but I got bored, so I got to making a batch at around 9pm.
mushroom risotto

I love making a super garlicky mushroom risotto.  It woulda been way better with some thyme, but I am fresh out!  There is something so relaxing about stirring a pot of risotto, and waiting for it to absorb more stock before adding another scoop full.

mushroom risotto

Once the risotto has been eaten and leftovers have been cooled, pack it up and stick it in the fridge.    The next morning is go-time. Get out a nonstick skillet (I’ve attempted this in my fairly nonstick cast iron pans with disastrous results, I’d suggest teflon or ceramic nonstick coating).  Just pop it in the skillet, with maybe a little butter if you swing that way, and let it sit for a while.  I cook mine on 4/10 on my stove.  As the risotto heats up, it’ll soften and begin to loosen up a little.

caramelizing risotto

I cook it until it starts to let go of the pan a bit, which is usually when it develops a deep golden brown color, none of my photos show the correct coloration of the risotto.  I just got too impatient that morning.  When the risotto comes out of the pan, crack a couple eggs in and fry those however you see fit. I like super runny with crispy bits on the edges.

mushroom risotto with a fried egg
mushroom risotto with a fried egg

 

Posted in: Clean Eating, Cooking, Food
August 22, 2013

Meat Cake

Meat Cake
By
My coworker, Ivana, who is quite possibly the best cook that I know(she is, let’s not fool ourselves), has done it again.  We have been discussing making stuff that looks like desserts but is savory lately.  She went ahead and made it.  Turkey meatloaf that’s been baked in cake pans, bacon jam filling, whipped potatoes for frosting, garnished with whipped purple potatoes and bacon roses.

MEAT CAKE!

I didn’t expect it to be quite as good as it was.  It was seriously one of the best things I’ve put in my mouth all year.

MEAT CAKE!
MEAT CAKE!
MEAT CAKE!

Posted in: Cooking, Food
August 22, 2013

An end-of-summer recap on the tomato varieties that I tried this year

An end-of-summer recap on the tomato varieties that I tried this year
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I grew a lot of new tomato varieties this year.  I have to be honest, I haven’t been particularly impressed with many of them.   This year I have kept all but 2 varieties in a hot house that keeps temps warmer than ambient air temperature to help with the PNW’s  cool and short growing season.  This summer has been much warmer than average, so I’m expecting that my success with some of these is a result of that, and cannot be counted on in subsequent years.
Tomato harvest
Here’s my list – ranked by when I was able to pick and eat the first tomato, starting around mid-July.

Glacier 
Orange Paruche
Stupice 
Oregon Spring
Anna Russian
Julia Child
White Cherry
Green Zebra
Black Krim 
Yellow Brandywine

Ok, so here’s my rundown on each of the varieties
 Glacier – Great strong tomato-ey flavor.  Hardly bigger than a cherry, but lacks the production capacity.  Makes up for it with early and steady production (I always have a few of these every time I go to harvest), long-term production, and flavor.  This has a permanent spot in the garden.
Orange Paruche – A hybrid, which made me want to hate it, but I couldn’t.  A bright orange cherry-type tomato with greenish guts.  Super sweet, exciting color, heavy production.  Second first tomato to ripen, and still chugging along.  Has a tendency to split at the top when picked without care, but worth it.  New this year, and has a permanent spot in the garden.
 Stupice – Nuanced, clean, crisp, and SO good!  Very firm flesh, with the seed cavity sometimes being a little dry.  Smallish, but a heavy producer and has an interesting creased shoulder shape.  Love this little beast.

Tomato ID
That’s a ceramic egg-crate.  Should help give some idea of size.
Oregon Spring – Shit.  Don’t bother.  The point of this tomato is that you sacrifice flavor for early production, but seeing as it’s the FOURTH tomato to produce in my garden and also the least flavorful, it will not be making a repeat appearance in my garden next year.  Also, every single tomato that I got out of this plant was grainy.  I couldn’t even bring myself to give them away. I fed most of them to my dogs.
Anna Russian – I have a new favorite tomato.  Dark red, thick flesh, few seed pockets, intensely sweet, large fruit and steady production, plus being the earliest full-size tomato to ripen by weeks, I’m planting at least 2 of these next year.
Julia Child – I had high hopes for this tomato, and really only bought it because of the name.  Unfortunate.  It was supposed to be really good.  It is good.  Quite good, but not the come to Jesus moment that I was expecting.  Perhaps if I had just grown it and thought “ooh,this is a nice beefsteak tomato” I would have been blown away, but as it was, I feel a bit disappointed.  Anna Russian was better.  And I just harvested my first one last week.  Plus, it looks like I’ll only get a 5-6 more fruit from it for the rest of the year.  
White Cherry – Don’t bother.  Late producing, NOT white, but yellow instead, and boring.  I’ve had grocery store cherry tomatoes that taste better, plus it’s not going to give me many fruit.  Don’t bother.  I think I’m less outraged by this than I was about Oregon Spring because I have so many other great options to soften the disappointment.

Tomato ID
Green Zebra – I have mixed feelings about these.  They’re SO FUCKING GOOD.  Super crisp, acidic, flavorful, interesting.  Gorgeous fruit.  As they get super ripe, the light green stripes turn into light yellowy orange.  My favorite tomato to cut up into chunks, sprinkle with a little salt, and eat with a spoon.  But the fruits are small, late producing, and sparse.  I think it will always have a place in my garden just because it’s so damn tasty.
Black Krim – BEAUTIFUL dark red crimsony fruit.  Huge tomatoes, dense flesh.  Everything about this screams heirloom.  It’s tasty, but no better than Julia Child (However for me, the appearance pushes it well ahead of Julia in the standings).  I still can’t decide whether I’ll grow this next year.  Perhaps just for novelty, but I’m likely to only get 5-6 more of them this year and due to my limited space, there are others that I think I’d rather focus on.
Yellow Brandywine – Still nothing.  I have had ONE green tomato sitting on the vine for the last 1.5 months.  It still hasn’t ripened, and it’s not that big.  Definitely a dud.  It was experimental this year, and the experiment failed.  No second chances in the tomato patch.

bowl full of heirloom tomatoes

Posted in: Cooking, Food, Garden
August 20, 2013

Because selling stuff on Craigslist is never easy.

Because selling stuff on Craigslist is never easy.
By
I sell a lot of stuff on Craigslist.  I don’t make it a career move or anything, but when I need to get rid of something of value, Craigslist is unfortunately the best way to make that happen. When I was in college and working part time, I sold some strange things on Craigslist.  I sold a 5 gallon stainless steel bowl for $7.  I got $200 for a destroyed eggplant-colored sofa once.  I even posted up photos of a bunch of invasive plants in our yard and go someone to come by with his wheelbarrow and shovel and dig up half of it for free.  I haven’t sold food, human organs, 11 foot long Victorian-era wardrobes or anything, but I’ve bought and sold cars, furniture, and espresso machines.  I’d say my craigslist portfolio is pretty well-rounded.
There are certain rules of etiquette that people on craigslist seem to not quite understand though. Like actually showing up, either on time or at all.  The generally accepted craigslist rule of discussing price via email is usually followed, and incredibly annoying when people show up after you’ve rearranged your schedule to meet with them, then offer you considerably less than your asking price.  I always make a point of giving as much information as possible in my ad to avoid tons of questions.  I’ll include measurements and links to product info pages, take tons of detailed photos, and give a basic rundown of my availability so I don’t waste my time or anyone else’s.  When I sold my white jeep, I made a comprehensive list of everything that’s wrong with it.  That gave potential buyers the ability to do some of their own research and determine whether they were willing to buy something with those particular problems.  Saved me the hassle of wasting my and their time meeting with them and going on a test drive with a stranger.   I think that also makes the potential buyer feel like you’re not lying to them about anything (which I wouldn’t), thus more interested in doing a deal with you.  The first person who contacted me about my jeep ended up meeting me that evening (the day I posted the ad), and test driving.  They came by the next day with cash and picked it up.  It was an easy transaction.  Most of them are not quite so simple.
I listed the axle to our old jeep once.  It’s huge and takes up a bunch of room in the garage.  I tried to be as clear as possible, and also made sure my limits were listed so nobody came expecting me to help them move it (not happening).  Occasionally, Craig, whilst bored at work, will troll me. I mentioned to him that I had listed the axle on craigslist and that afternoon I received an email from someone asking about the axle… saying they wanted to know if it would fit a Mustang.  So I cursed under my breath about the total idiots on craigslist, then proceeded to write a nice email saying that I have no idea, but it’s up to him to figure it out.  A few hours later, after Craig and I had eaten dinner and were relaxing on the sofa, a reply comes in saying that they’re not sure if it’s worth it to come get the axle if I’m not sure what it fits, and that he lives about an hour away.  I went on a tirade about the stupidity of craigslisters again to Craig, then once again sent a pleasant email explaining that if it doesn’t work with his mustang, of course he could recycle it for scrap and get some cash money.  The response comes back that he doesn’t have the ability to make it all the way up to my house, but will I please meet him about 45-50 minutes away with it?  I got super angry and ranty and cursey, but by then, Craig was unable to control his laughter, and I finally realized that he had been trolling me like crazy.  This has happened on at least 2 other occasions, and he did it to his best friend when he was selling a car.  It ends up being hilarious once we figure it out, but until then, you feel like stabbing the guy on the other end of the emails in the face.

Related to oversharing, it definitely does not hurt.  If it’s something that someone may need measurements on, just include them.  Invariably, you’ll receive emails asking about dimensions, and if you don’t have them, that could cost you a sale, or invite a slew of additional questions where the person on the other end asks you a number of vague questions regarding the size of the item.  And since people rarely seem to read the text of the ad, I overlay the dimensions on the photos of the item.  It eliminates any questions.  Also, include tons of photos.  They’re free to take, and if it saves you even 30 seconds worth of reading and replying to emails from some functionally illiterate idiot on the internet, it’s well worth it.  Be sure to include close-up photos of any damage to the item, be it dings, dents, scratches, rips, etc.  That will prevent people from taking up your time coming to look at  the item and then deciding that they’re not interested. I avoid buying/replying to ads that describe but do not illustrate damage.  A person’s assessment of the damage to an item they’re trying to sell tends to be pretty far off from your assessment of the damage to an item that you’re thinking of buying.

vent hood with measurements

I had a sale a few weeks ago where I was selling our old media credenza thingy.  I really didn’t care how much I got for it, just that it went away and I didn’t have to keep it in the house anymore.  This is where I ran into the standard craziness/flakiness of Craigslist people.  I made plans with this woman to come get it no later than 6.  When 6:45 rolled around and she still hadn’t shown up, I emailed her (she didn’t give me a phone #).  40 minutes later I received a response stating that she was in urgent care with stomach problems.  Um…. Even if you ARE in urgent care (which I doubt), wouldn’t you have the presence of mind to remember that you were planning to meet someone, and at least show them the courtesy of cancelling?  Perhaps I believe that people should be more considerate than they are, but when I make plans with someone, I stick to them unless something unavoidable comes up, in which case I let them know as soon as possible.  It was after 8 when her boyfriend eventually made it to our house to pick up the damn thing.  Luckily SOMEONE actually showed up.  When I sold our old dresser, I had it posted up.  This lady made an appointment with me, and after cancelling once (ahead of time) waited until I had rearranged plans to be there for her to pick it up, and past the designated pickup time, THEN called to see if she could reschedule, citing already-planned events.  I told her that I had someone else coming to pick it up later that night.  It was a lie, but I didn’t want to deal with her after that.   I sold it a few days later to someone else for more money.

Craigslist ad
Posted in: Decorating, House
August 20, 2013

Chocolate Stout Cake

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I make a lot of cakes.  Well, that’s not true.  I used to make a lot of cakes.  And when it’s cold outside, I bake quite often.  You see, Craig and I have a battle over the thermostat every winter.  We need to have more insulation blown into the attic, and we should probably consider replacing the 40 year old aluminum framed windows.  But we haven’t.  We also have electric heat.  Yes, it’s a heat pump, but it still costs notably more to run than say… a gas furnace.  The benefit is that we have AC during the summer months, almost making the huge expense of heating our house during the winter worth it. During the winter months, our thermostat is set on 60 degrees while we’re home and awake.  53 when we’re not (we have snow dogs, they’re fine).  I sometimes nudge it up to 62, and when we have company, I’ll turn it up to 65-67.  But when I’m baking… The kitchen stays warm.  I’m not sure if Craig has figured out that the occurrence of baking really increases when I’m cold, but it does.  Regardless, I make a mean cake.  I have done extensive cake recipe testing, I have a very well-used copy of Rose Levy Beranbaum’s The Cake Bible and it totally changed how I bake.  If you haven’t baked by weight, you probably have avoided it because it seems like too much hassle.  But you’re wrong. I was initially going to include a whole rant on baking by weight in this blog post, but it got a little long-winded (from you Laurel?  NO!!!), so it’s getting it’s own post.

So without further adieu – This is the best chocolate layer cake recipe you’ll ever find.  I’ve found that all of the cake recipes that I really like use all-purpose flour instead of cake flour.  Cake flour has a significantly lower gluten content, making for a lighter, more crumbly cake.  The benefit of cake flour is that you can overmix it and still end up with a tender cake.  All-purpose flour tends to have a higher gluten content than cake flour, making it capable of holding together very well. The more you mix all-purpose flour, the more tough and chewy your end result is.  If you are very careful not to overmix all-purpose flour though, you end up with something that holds together much better and is a denser texture (though not chewy).  I’ve experimented with baking the same cake with cake and all-purpose.  The cake flour produced an almost crumbly texture while the all-purpose flour made a denser cake that held together nicely and felt moister in your mouth. That has been my experience with cakes, so I have just begun using AP flour in all of my cakes.  Besides, cake flour is EXPENSIVE.

weighing beer

This chocolate stout cake is my go-to chocolate cake recipe.  It’s from Bon Appetit in 2002, though I just found it on Epicurious.  It’s great.  Not too beer-y, but dense, moist, and super chocolatey.  It’s exactly what I look for in a chocolate cake.  Plus, the recipe makes like… a TON of cake. You get 3 layers.  9″ pans bake faster, but 8″ ones (which is what the recipe calls for) will make a super tall super impressive cake.  There’s something so dramatic about a super tall cake.  I rarely choose to bake in wider pans as a result.  I can think of few applications where a flatter cake would be desirable.

Besides the cake being awesome (and how could you not be with 2 cups of beer, a pound of butter, and more than a cup of sour cream?), there are a few tricks that I have learned through my extensive cake-testing experience… parchment paper, parchment paper, and parchment paper.  That shit will save your ass.  They sell parchment rounds, but I am honestly not organized enough to remember to order them before I bake a cake, and forget about them until approximately 3 hours before go-time on my next cake-baking adventure.  Plus they’re easy enough to make yourself.  Just place your pan on the parchment, trace around it, and cut inside the circle you’ve drawn.  Then you just need to make strips to go around the outside  That eliminates all of the great places for the cake to stick (and makes clean-up easier!).  I just spray the inside of the pan with Pam, use it to adhere my parchment, and add batter.

cutting out parchment rounds

Now the recipe says to bake the cakes for 35 minutes.  Whoever tested that recipe must be high.  It took mine well over an hour to bake.  I basically baked for 35 minutes, then rotated the cakes and checked every 10 minutes until a toothpick came out of the center cleanish.

parchment lined cake pans

I have a great recipe for a true European-style chocolate buttercream (which means no powdered sugar, giving you a beautiful, glossy, supple buttery frosting), but it’s lots of effort and I wanted to experiment with a whipped ganache.  So I made one of those instead, using 1 pound cream, 1 pound bittersweet chocolate, and a splash of Kahlua.   It was easy.  And it wasn’t sweet, which was a great contrast to something as sweet as a cake.  Ganache is what truffles are made out of… so this frosting is basically just whipped truffles… um… YES PLEASE!  I made it and had to let it sit overnight to cool enough to whip though. You know, because I left my oven on for HOURS on a hot summer night.

Sour cream chocolate stout cake batter

After the cake has been baked and cooled (at least a few hours, but overnight is ideal if it’s warm in  your kitchen), you just whip your frosting. I mixed up the ganache in a kitchenaid bowl, then just added the whisk attachment and beat the shit out of it til it was nice and fluffy. If the cake tops are not level, I suggest trimming them either with a fancy cake layer trimmer, or a bigass bread knife so they’re much closer to flat. I wrapped a cardboard round in a little foil (this makes transporting the cake much easier), and placed my first layer on, spread a little ganache on it, added another layer, put more frosting on that, and added the last layer… upside down. That gives you a nice flat top on your cake.  Then use an offset spatula (they’re pretty amazing) to spread a super thin layer of ganache all over the outside of the cake.  It doesn’t need to be pretty, it can have crumbs all over it, doesn’t matter, it just needs to be smoothish and even. At this point, if the cake seems precarious or slippery between the layers, get 3 shish-kabob sticks and spear through the cake to hold it steady. Then stick the cake in your freezer.  I let it sit for probably 45 minutes to an hour, but 10-15 is generally enough.  This will harden your crumb coat making any additional frosting you spread on the cake not mix with the crumby stuff, giving you a nice smooth, crumb-free cake without needing to pile tons of frosting onto it.  Pull it out of the freezer, remove your sticks, and frost with remaining frosting doing your best to either get it smooth, or pretend like the rough texture is intentional.  Then you can easily slide something flat under the cardboard and carefully lift it onto whatever dish you intend to serve it on.  If I’m going to be transporting it (which I usually do with cakes), I’ll stick a small glob of frosting in the center of my cake carrier and then put the cardboard round down.  It helps adhere the cake to the base so it doesn’t slide around during transport.  Because we were going to be travelling for nearly 2 hours on a warm day, I sealed up the cake carrier and stuck it in my deep freeze chest freezer for a few hours to solidify and hopefully not melt like crazy.  It worked.

Ruby enjoying her birthday cake

Craig’s grandmother LOVED the cake, and I got tons of compliments.  A few people told me that it was the best cake they’ve ever had, and this was a crowd of people that enjoy good food.  It probably was the best cake they’ve ever had.  That cake’s pretty amazing.  And of course I neglected to bring my real camera to the family celebration, so all I have are cell phone shots with bad lighting, but here you go nonetheless!

Cake

2 cups stout (such as Guinness)

2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter

1 1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder (preferably Dutch-process)

4 cups all purpose flour

4 cups sugar

1 tablespoon baking soda

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

4 large eggs

1 1/3 cups sour cream

Icing

2 cups whipping cream (16 oz)

1 pound bittersweet (not unsweetened), chopped (16 oz)

Splash Kahlua

Prep

Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter or spray three 8-inch round cake pans with 2-inch-high sides. Line with parchment paper. Bring 2 cups stout and 2 cups butter to simmer in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add cocoa powder and whisk until mixture is smooth. Cool slightly.

For Cake

Whisk flour, sugar, baking soda, and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt in large bowl to blend. Using electric mixer, beat eggs and sour cream in another large bowl to blend. Add stout-chocolate mixture to egg mixture and beat just to combine. Add flour mixture and beat briefly on slow speed. Using rubber spatula, fold batter until completely combined. Divide batter equally among prepared pans. Bake cakes until tester inserted into center of cakes comes out clean, checking after 35 minutes, turning, and checking every 10 minutes thereafter. Transfer cakes to rack; cool 10 minutes or longer. Turn cakes out onto rack and cool completely.

For Icing

Bring cream to a simmer either in microwave or in medium saucepan.  Pour over chocolate and let sit for 4-5 minutes.  Whisk until well-combined and glossy, add in Kahlua.  Cover and let sit for a few hours or overnight until ganache has come to room temp or close.  Beat with whisk attachment in stand mixer, or with electric hand mixer until light and fluffy.  Icing will not be very sweet. 

 
 
Sour Cream Chocolate Stout Cake with Whipped Ganache Frosting
 

 

Posted in: Baking, Cooking, Food
August 16, 2013

Caramel – trials and tribulations….

Caramel – trials and tribulations….
By
I obviously haven’t posted much lately.  I was on a roll posting everything that I did, but then my camera flash bit the dust and the really pretty photos that I intended to share didn’t end up being so pretty… you know… because my house is a fucking cave and we get no natural light between the hours of 9am & 6pm, and 8pm & 6am.  So I have a solid 5 hours a day to photograph things, but those hours I get direct sunlight and it makes ugly shadows, even with curtains pulled.  Anyway, I took forever to research what to replace my flash with, then got a new one, but it was defective, so I had to return it and order a new one. Then I was cooking, but my stove was a mess, and I couldn’t be bothered to clean it off when I knew I was going to be splashing more sugar syrup on it, so I left it dirty and decided not to photograph the caramel-making… but then I wanted to send a picture to my coworker, so I took one with my cell phone, and it was ugly.  I’m basically just making up a huge pile of excuses.  I prefer excuses to action… in case you were still wondering.

Anyway, as things are generally crazy in summer, I have been busy.  I’m not really sure what I’ve been doing, except minimal yard work and trying to put dinner on the table a few nights a week.  Discussions with my coworker about candymaking has prompted me to finally get down to having a really good go-to caramel recipe.  So this week I have made three attempts at the “perfect” caramel.  So far, I have had two flops, and one close miss. I intend to take one more shot tonight before taking a small break with this whole caramel thing.  It’s not good for my gut.

The first recipe that I tried was my Great (great?) Grandmother’s recipe…  “Grandma Pugmire’s Caramels,”  written in the 1930s.  This recipe is different from most caramel recipes that I’ve made in that it calls for evaporated milk instead of cream.  You combine your sugars, and cook until boiling, then add evaporated milk and butter and cook to 243*.  They turned out hard, and almost a dead ringer for Sugar Daddies.  Good, but not a creamy caramel by any means, and hard.  They stuck like crazy to your teeth.

Grandma Pugmire's Caramels
Pretend you don’t see burned on sugar and grease splatters

The second recipe that I tried I got from The Kitchn.  Following it exactly but with an extra 1/4 cup of cream (which the author claimed would result in softer, more taffylike caramels), I got creamy caramels, but by the time they cooled to 75* they were brittle enough to crack when subjected to a shock… kind of like pitch. They were a few degrees harder than batch #1.  Great to suck on, bad to try to chew.

creamy caramels

The third try was the exact same recipe (the flavor was good, but the texture was off), but I pulled the caramel off the stove 10* sooner.  That was the trick.  It didn’t harden the way that the other 2 batches had.  I let it set up overnight and this morning, I cut it up.  The flavor was phenomenal, the texture was magical, however they have a tendency to flow.. just a little, but enough to stick together if you try to leave them after being cut.  I think an additional 3* will result in a perfectly robust and chewy texture.

super soft chewy caramels

As it is, I am pretty certain that my coworkers are done eating huge piles of sugar and fat that have been neatly sliced into cute little rectangles and squares.  My pants and my coworkers will hopefully be relieved for the break.  Lol, as I was typing that sentence, someone walked by and said “Laurel, did you make the caramels?  They’re so good.  I’m gonna go get a few more.”  Maybe not.

hard and soft caramels

In the photo above, you can see the super soft gooey melty ones on top, and the harder ones below.  There’s a notable color difference between them, but they taste pretty similar.  As it is now, at 10am, I am sitting at my desk feeling just a little ill after sampling so many piles of sugar this morning.  You know…. for research.

Posted in: Cooking, Food
August 2, 2013

BAH HUMBUG

BAH HUMBUG
By
I feel like grumpy cat today.  Nothing has gone right.

 I got up at 5:15 this morning and got into the shower. I felt extra tired, probably as a result of staying out later than normal for a work night.

As I was soaping up, the power went out.  Great.  Finish your shower in the dark.  Swell.

The power did not come back on, so I had to sit next to a window to get enough light to put my makeup on.

I couldn’t cook anything on our electric stove and couldn’t microwave anything for breakfast, so I had to stop at Jack in the Box for breakfast.  It wasn’t very good.

When I got to work, I had to dry my hair.  While I’m the first person in the office most mornings, it’s still very strange to go to work and then begin grooming yourself.

IT’S RAINING.  That means that my sunroof is leaking.

I went out on my lunch break to grab some chicken for the dogs to eat.  That was the only thing that went OK so far.  I swung by Habitat For Humanity ReStore to see if they had any good light fixtures for our bathroom (or anything else that was at least neat)… and there was nothing.  Nothing even remotely cool.

Then I went to the food truck that was in our building complex’s parking lot (all the way at the other end of the parking lot) and got soaked in the rain walking over there.  The menu that they initially handed out was better than the one they emailed out this morning which was better than what they actually had.  The only entree they had that I was excited about was grilled cheese and sweet potato fries.  So I got that.  And it was good. But it cost $8.  And it was tiny.  Really tiny.  I’m still hungry.

Also… guess what’s in the bag!

someone's cremated remains
Did you guess fancy bedding?  That would be incorrect.  How about high-end crystal or bank bags? You’d be wrong.  If you guessed human remains, you would be DEAD ON (pun intended).  One of our agents had a family member’s ashes delivered to our office and has not yet come to pick them up.  So now I get to sit 5 feet from a cremated body.
My camera flash died last Friday.  I spent some time researching and found something recommended by professional photographers that was marked down significantly on amazon.  I ordered it.  It came via UPS today.  Looks totally neat, build quality feels way better than my old Vivitar.  I threw some batteries in it and it won’t stay on. FUCK.  SERIOUSLY?!?!?!?  I had to return to amazon and order another non-defective unit.
And I have to reload ammunition tonight because we’re going to a rifle match tomorrow.  I hate reloading. 
It’s only 3pm.  I’m gonna go get some crappy food from our vending machine, and probably get rear-ended on my way home from work.
Posted in: Misc