Monday, May 4, 2020

cheery day

Yes, it's being a cheery day, and that despite the fact that (as often) I didn't get much sleep. I used my waking hours to make enormous progress on the paper I'm currently writing, and digging through one of my stack of documents cubbyholes, in (successful) search for some old paperwork I needed for the scholarly paper, also revealed that that's where I absently stuffed my computer glasses that I'd been wondering for most of the last week what had become of them. Working on the computer with my nose up against the screen, so that I could see what I was doing, was getting old. I'd presumed that Tybalt, who enjoys rampaging around my desk, which is where I usually leave the glasses, had knocked them off into an inaccessible corner somewhere.

Other cheery discoveries of the weekend:

How to cut up bone-in chicken thighs: When I make jambalaya, I usually buy a couple deboned, skinless chicken thighs, cut them up, and brown the meat with the sausage before cooking the stew. But last week the store had no boneless thighs, so I bought a couple bone-in ones. I don't find cutting up uncooked chicken very easy when it's bone-in, though. So here's what I did: par-broiled the meat. For 20 minutes instead of the usual 30 that I take when cooking them as a separate item. That made the meat cooked enough to cut easily, but still left some pink. I dropped it in the pot as the sausage was finishing up, and it browned fine without overcooking. And now I have bits of chicken skin in the jambalaya, which is actually appealing.

How to defrost your freezer: our freezer builds up ice on the bottom, and I've never been able to get it to stop permanently. Usually I partially defrost it every couple months, enough to be able to chip away the ice. But that's inadvisable when the freezer is packed because of isolation. So it occurred to me to try a hair dryer. I blew the hot air at the edge of the ice for a minute, chipped a bit off, tried again. After just a couple rounds, the knife suddenly lifted up the entire block of ice from the freezer bottom. That had never happened before. I put it down, removed everything from on top of it, and picked the block up again with the knife and a dish towel. Moved it over to the sink, where it didn't fit. Ran water long enough to chop the block in half, which made it small enough to fit in the sink. Left it there to melt on its own.

In both cases, I think I'll do it this way on purpose from now on.

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