Month: October 2017

Car Review: 2017 Subaru Crosstrek

So got to drive a new Subaru Crosstrek this evening. I will say it’s much more refined than the Impreza I’ve driven recently.

For example, the Impreza is a bit sloppy at 80MPH and higher. The Crosstrek on the other hand I had that baby up to 100MPH and she was stable as all can be.

In addition I note the engine on the Crosstrek revs a lot less than that in the Impreza. Very smooth.

And it carries the tradition of three glass panels, one in cluster, center of dash and the big one on the infotainment system. The interface for Bluetooth is more refined too.

If my heart weren’t set on a VW Golf TSi I’d strongly consider the Subaru – they’re pretty reliable vehicles too.

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Ordered it: Arabic Coffee Plant

So I ordered an Arabica Coffee Plant. I’m curious to see if I can get it to fruition. Because I always wanted to see what a coffee cherry tastes like. They say it’s pretty tart.

Being it’ll be an indoor plant the only thing I have to worry about is if the resident feline Angie takes a liking I may never get to realize the taste of a coffee cherry. I will someday though. I mean in the past I’ve gotten a Bird of Paradise to flower, I’ve even gotten Basil to flower. So I’ll just lavish it with a little bit of attention and see what I get.

 

 

WBNA House Tour 2017

So we signed up for the WBNA house tour. For the uninformed, whilst WBNA might sounds like an East of the Mississippi radio station call sign, it actually stands for West Broadway Neighborhood Association – WBNA.

The second home we went to required shoe removal and bootie wearing. Nope.

Now one house we saw – the outside has Asian accents though someone doesn’t think so. But inside it’s all Mediterranean. There’s a story as the home is the upper two stories to JKL Engineering on 945 Westminster St. in Providence. It’s owned by Tony Freitas, Beth Mesley and JKL Engineering. Now the story is interesting as Tony Freitas worked with Agent W. Dennis Aiken that ultimately resulted in the conviction of Mayor Vincent A. “Buddy” Cianci and many members of his administration.

The house is the upper three floors and it’s in two words fucking gorgeous. Even Keyron mentioned it’s all beige but with enough trim and accents to accentuate it. I told Keyron that I liked the big open stairway  -that was nice. And plenty of bathrooms, etc. In fact one other thing I noticed were a bunch of recessed buttons labeled “Police”. And the phone in every bathroom. Then I remembered it was built before smartphones were ubiquitous.

We also toured an apartment at Grants Mills. All I can say is it’s industrial bland. Seriously. And for $1,500 to $1,900 a month no thank you. That phased of my life is over.

Another property we visited was 247-249 Carpenter St. The owner Scott Lapham had an exhibit on his dining room table of guns cast in glass and crayon/wax. Quite the statement on the current gun discussion. He was saying he teaches and some of his students didn’t even make it to 20 years old. That is sad. So we talked about common sense gun laws and some of my proposals – especially the liability insurance thing – you need it for a car, why not for a gun?

Then there’s 20 Brighton St. – very well decked out I might add.

We did visit 197 Carpenter street – that one is a Work in Progress – it’s all down to rafters and studs. Be interesting to see it once it’s all buttoned up and completed.

Then there’s 180 Carpenter St. – built in 1850 so at writing it’s 167 years old.

Many of the places were very small  – we kind of like big rooms. A big kitchen is one of my particulars.

  1. We started out at 10AM and we were home at 12:30PM. So 2.5 hours of strolling around, looking for the WBNA signs and the balloons.

 

 

Thoughts on Ritual: Coffee

So when I make coffee there’s a bit of a ritual involved. First it’s washing last nights dishes. I know, I could wash them right after dinner but where is the fun in that.

Then take the French Press and the coffee mugs out of the cabinet. Set a towel or more accurately paper towel down. Press the  button on the coffee grinder and it shoots a 2oz. dose of grounds specifically for French Press. Dust off the cover of the container into the bin with the rest of the coffee then into the French Press.

Then I start the water to 200F – I timed it a few times. Seven minutes and thirty seconds gets me so close to 200F. Then watch the temperature – at 199F I pull it off heat as carryover will bring it to 201F.

Then I bring the kettle over to the French press and pour in just enough hot water and then take a spoon and gently agitate it. The foam that gets created I really want to skim that and taste it, I bet it’s delicious as it’s coffee oil foam.

Then fill the French Press, insert the filtration plunger and set the timer for three minutes. While I’m waiting I’ll put a bit of sugar in each mug. And if creamer is being used I’ll give that a vigorous shake.

At the end of three minutes I pour in a little coffee to melt the sugar and then fill it near to the top, leaving head-space for creamer – damned H.P. Hood creamers are awesome, if slightly sugar filled.

Now every 4 or 5 days I roast a new batch of green beans. I’ve found with New Guinean beans it takes about 35 minutes, but Costa Rican take about 20-25 minutes. And I do like the Costa Rican beans.

 

Breakfast: When you only have two eggs

Well that wasn’t all I had. There was also Trader Joe’s Black Forest Bacon, and some Russet Potatoes.

So what I did was microwave three potatoes for about 5 minutes. In essence it’s just before the potato is completely baked. Then cut them up, season with salt, pepper, cayenne and smoked paprika, then into a pan at med-low heat with 2tbsp butter. Takes about 15 minutes to get perfect home fries out of that.

Then I fried the bacon – I love using the electric griddle to fry bacon as I can fit near the whole package across the thing.

Once the potatoes were cooked I transferred them to a stainless steel bowl, wiped the non-stick frying pan out, this time adding 2 tbps unsalted butter and fried the two eggs. Used the Searz-All tool to make sure I had nice jammy yolks – not runny but not hardened either. Seasoned with salt and pepper.

So there it was Fried Egg, with 4 slices of bacon and some home fries. It’s getting to the point where I can make it as well or better than what we get in the restaurants nearby.

Breakfast this morning – omelets stuffed with bacon, leeks and thyme

Now let it be known I used this combo in the Quiche Lorraine made last week and it was divine.

So this weekend I bought a bunch of leeks, and we still had fresh thyme as well as the rest of the bacon leftover from making the quiche.

Cut up the leeks and washed them thoroughly.

Then in a regular pan without a non-stick coating and cut the bacon into pieces and fried that for about 5 or 6 minutes. Then in went the leeks and the thyme until the leeks softened up a little bit, about 5 minutes there. Bacon left a nice fond in the pan so used a bit of water to de-glaze the pan. Took the contents and put it into a container.

Took the time to shred a bit of Gruyere cheese – that is cheese that Swiss Cheese wishes it could be. Awesome.

Then I took the nonstick pan, melted some butter over medium-low heat. Blended 3 eggs up with my power whisk. Then into the melted butter. Use a spatula to push the edges loose, letting the liquid egg run out and form layers. When most of the liquid is solidified in the center place half the bacon, leek and thyme mixture, with a handful of the shredded Gruyere in the lower third of the omelet.

Grab the handle, and slide the omelet onto a plate et voila! Someone even commented that I’ve become a much better cook over the years. This one was a savory feast in an omelet. A keeper if you will.