Urban Word of the Day + Thanksgiving

November 30: flavorgasm

when eating food so good that you let out an involuntary moan, usually the first bite; also as an adjective – flavorgasmic


Thanksgiving turned out pretty well except for me running around like a chicken with its head cut off. That’s my general hostess MO.  Hostessing is not my strong suit.  Someone asks for coffee and I wander in and start it but then move on to something else and totally forget the coffee errand.  Over and over.  On the plus side, everyone had clean sheets.  Also, people learn to fend for themselves or suffer periods of starvation.

The food was all pretty good, and Kathy and Mom cleaned up after me while I cooked and that was a GREAT help.  I am not a good delegator in the kitchen, and even if I am it is a _very_ small, awkward kitchen (that I completely hate*) that does not lend itself to more than one person being in there at a time.  At one point we had Kathy, Tony, Mom, and all three dogs, and me of course, in there.  It was hairy, in more ways than one.

We had an interesting meal, nothing I’d ever done before except the turkey and I even did it a little differently.  I can’t ever seem to cook the same thing twice, it’s just not in my nature.  I like experimenting, even on guests.

There was a 14 lb brined turkey filled with aromatics (onion, apple, mandarin) and herbs from the front yard (sage, rosemary, tarragon) and cooked at 400 for a couple of hours instead of low and slow like I generally do.  But I usually buy a 20+ pound turkey.  This little one was sure a lot easier to handle.   I dried it out (also as usual) but it tasted pretty good.  More or less fit to eat. Recipe cadged from the SF Chronicle Best Way turkey.

Snow on the mountain green beans – crisp tender green beans with a little butter, lemon juice, and olive oil topped with blue cheese.  These were exceedingly good.  I will make them again.  The recipe came from the Organic Valley website.

Cranberry ginger relish – FABULOUS – Ginger People candied ginger chunks, fresh raspberries, fresh cranberries and a little sugar.  Wowza!  I made it again after Thanksgiving because we plowed through all of the first batch so fast.  This recipe was from eatingwell.com

Smashed roots – steamed celery root, rutabaga, and gold potatos with buttermilk and fresh chives.  WAY better than it sounds, especially with Kathy’s pan drippings and giblet gravy on it. She makes really good gravy and I’m soooo happy she stepped up to the plate on that.  Could have used that gravy on white bread or shoe leather and thought it was a delicious treat.  Bonus: It also meant I could get other last minute things done.

Stuffing balls, quite good, found the recipe on the intarnets somewhere and can’t find it again.  Dayem!  It was a fairly standard stuffing with bread and sage and celery and onion and a little butter, but we formed it into balls and then put it in the turkey pan for the last half of the roasting time.  Cool idea and it sliced up nicely for turkey sandwiches later.  Dude!1!! turkey sandwiches with stuffing and that cranberry relish gave me multiple flavorgasms.  Who knew I was multiple flavorgasmic?

Dessert was a homemade peach pie frozen earlier in the year, with peaches from the old peach tree (wonderful), and … I made a cheesecake.  Pumpkin Praline Cheesecake with a gingersnap crust.  It was okay for a first effort, I guess, but it reminded me how much I detest baking.   Bleah. Too much work. A couple of days before I made an easy white trash pumpkin cake thing that proved to be very popular.  It came out of our local paper from one of the PA’s at a local doctor’s office.  I reprint it here for your aorta-slamming pleasure:

John McAvoy’s Pumpkin Surprise
•1 box yellow cake mix
•2 cups chopped walnuts (old man across the street supplied these, we cracked walnuts until our fingers hurt)
•1⁄2 pound (2 sticks) melted butter
•4 eggs, slightly beaten
•1 large (29-ounce) can pumpkin
•1 1⁄2 cups sugar
•1 can (12 ounces) evaporated milk
•3 1⁄2 teaspoons pumpkin spice (or 2 teaspoons cinnamon, 1 teaspoon ginger and 1⁄2 teaspoon cloves)

Putting it together

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix and beat all ingredients except cake mix, walnuts and butter. Pour into 9- by 13-inch pan sprayed with Pam.
Sprinkle the cake mix and walnuts on top. Drizzle the butter over all.
Bake 60 to 75 minutes, or until knife comes out clean.
Serve either warm or cold, plain or with whipped topping.


Not much left in the way of leftovers.  That’s probably a good thing.

Hope you all had a good Thanksgiving, also hope you didn’t consume as many calories as I did.  I feel like a heart attack on a stick now.

* Seriously, it has nice counters, a great sink, good enough appliances – but I still REALLY hate it.  So small and just weird to work in.

Blog Typealyzer thingy

The analysis indicates that the author of http://www.compu-diva.com is of the type:

INTP – The Thinkers

The logical and analytical type. They are especialy attuned to difficult creative and intellectual challenges and always look for something more complex to dig into. They are great at finding subtle connections between things and imagine far-reaching implications.

They enjoy working with complex things using a lot of concepts and imaginative models of reality. Since they are not very good at seeing and understanding the needs of other people, they might come across as arrogant, impatient and insensitive to people that need some time to understand what they are talking about.


I found this over at http://azahar.wordpress.com

Putting IT in its place

Google Executive Urges Improvements to Technology Infrastructure
NextGov.com (11/18/08) Nagesh, Gautham

Google CEO Eric Schmidt says the U.S. federal government should invest in green technology and a national computer infrastructure to help create jobs and foster American innovation. Schmidt, part of President-elect Barack Obama’s transition team, also supports a smart power grid that uses two-way communications and advanced sensors to deliver electricity more efficiently. He says Obama supports such an approach. Schmidt says the federal government has a critical role in creating the framework that will allow technological innovation to flourish.

“Let’s take this economic crisis and deal with it as an opportunity to get our infrastructure right,” he says. The government also should make more frequencies available to TV and other broadcast mediums to allow for greater innovation, says Schmidt, citing the fact that only 55 percent of Americans have access to broadband, and the fact that the United States, which invented the technology, ranks 15th in the world in terms of broadband availability.

Schmidt called for a universal broadband strategy to give all Americans access to high-speed Internet service by increasing competition among carriers, as well as for greater investment in research, noting that the creation of the Internet was largely due to the DARPA-furnished grants to study computer networking in the 1960s and 1970s. He also says the federal government should do more to promote math and science education and not force foreign students to leave the country after getting their education in the United States.

Madrid is the new Nigeria

Subject: Confidential Information…Pls getback to me

Date: November 20, 2008 1:50:48 AM PST


It is with pleasure and honour that I am bringing this information to you and I hope you will not misconstrue my position. I would not be surprise if you doubt what I am about to tell you considering the tales emanating from the Internet these days. I will greatly appreciate if you spare two minutes of your time and go through this email carefully. Can you recollect having any relation called Robert who shares the SAME LAST NAME (SURNAME) WITH YOU?  He used to work with Sacyr-Vallehermoso SA in Madrid, Spain. His wife and their three children were killed in the terrorist blast in Madrid, Spain in March, 2004, more detail in link:http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/3503184.stm

My name is Mr. Froestl W.F , the former credit officer of one of the leading British Finance Organization (name will be disclosed to you in due course). The late Mr. Robert was a client of mine. On Friday 5 March 2004, he made a fixed deposit for 12 calendar months, with a value of Nine Million Eight Hundred Thousand United States Dollars Only, in my branch. He also deposited a box containing some gold jewellery which he claimed were family assets. We could not complete the documentation and paper work for the deposit because it was already late on that Friday and as a good client, promised to return in three days time which was the following Monday to complete the transaction and finalize terms with us. He flew to Spain that night. It was later we heard that he was caught up in the Madrid terrorist blast. He died with his family members without completing the scheduled paper work to prove that he has deposited such amount of money with my organization. Since then, my organiz
ation has made efforts to locate

I am making this contact to you as either a relative or an individual with whom I can work with to get these funds out and establish a long lasting business relationship with. Since I have been unsuccessful in locating any of his relatives for over (11) months, I am seeking your consent to submit your name as the next of kin to the deceased so that the deposited funds can be transferred to you, we will then share it between the two of us. The advantage in using you as the next of kin is very clear; Mr. Robert shares the same Family name with you.

I will give you all the information with which you are to make the application for the funds. The bank will certainly accept your application as the next of kin and make payment to you as long as you submit the documents that I will make available to you. My primary aim is to stop these evil Bank Directors from getting the deposit for themselves.

I was a branch manager, I still have my insiders working in my branch, getting up-to-date information on this venture would not be a problem to us. I need your honest cooperation, trust and assurance that you will not cheat me out of the deposit when payment is made to you. The procedures involve are 100% risk free, we are not breaking the law. It will be executed under a legitimate arrangement that will protect you and me. Be Inform, that we shall share the funds in the ratio 60% for me and 35% for you, while 5% should be for expenses (Your telephone, internet connection fee and Tax as I understand you may need to pay taxes on the funds when it gets to your country).

Please endeavour to observe utmost discretion in all matters concerning this issue. I will disclose more information to you as soon as you respond to my mail.

Kind regards,

Froestl W.F