cashews and olives

Wednesday, July 12th, 2017 10:46 pm
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I've discovered something that's even better than the dried olives I mentioned here: those same dried olives eaten together with salted cashews! Who would have thought that eating something oily and salty together with something else oily and salty would be a thing? Maybe that's the appeal of cheese and olive appetizer plates.

On a side-note, I had tried some unsalted dried olives, and they were one of the most unpalatable things ever. What a difference some salt can make.

ruby tango

Friday, March 3rd, 2017 10:04 am
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Ruby Tango Tangerines: This new type of hybrid mandarin with red interior fruit is a cross between a blood orange and clementine bred in Sicily.

I bought what was labelled a "ruby tango mandarin" in the store, which must be the same thing. I was thinking mandarin = clementine -> easy to peel. Hopefully so. But clementines are a subset of mandarins, not the same thing. American tangerines haven't left a fond impression in my memories; either the flavor or the seeds or difficulty in peeling; not sure. Even though tangerine is one of my favorite smells. I'm very lazy when it comes to peeling citrus. I'll avoid them, to avoid having to peel them, even when peeling them isn't difficult. Although if someone else peels one for me, I'm like, great, I'll eat that! Maybe it's the seeds too. I suppose I'm lazy in not wanting to have to spit out seeds, either. ::smh:: Such a lazy person, I am. Such a baaaaad vegetarian. I haven't opened the new fruit yet. (Maybe if I weren't afflicted by said laziness, I'd be eating it right now instead of writing a post about it.) It looks like a very large clementine, but with a navel-orange-like navel on the bottom.

Over in Germany, I'm not sure if they distinguish between tangerines and clementines. The German word for the fruit (either one, I think) is "Mandarin", and I remember them always being like the U.S. clementines. It is why I always think of clementines when I see the word "mandarin".

I recall buying a "ruby tango" something or other before... thought it was an orange. Thought I had posted about it (but can't find said post). But I don't recall seeing a very big clementine like this before. Yet it must have been the same thing. Unless it was named something else that I'm mixing up with "ruby tango". Hmm. Ah, found it! It was something different, a mango blood orange. Hah, so maybe this new fruit will be a sensational new experience for me!

Spring of February

Saturday, February 11th, 2017 04:43 pm
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It is such a gorgeous warm sunny day today. This whole so-called winter has been relatively warm. Other than a few cold nights and cool days, it hasn't even felt like winter.

The pink magnolia tree started blooming this week. The blooms don't usually last more than a week or two. Based on photos, in prior years it bloomed in early to late March. So this year is a full month earlier than usual, unless the years in which I didn't take photos had earlier blooms too.

The fragrant yellow jessamine on the fence is also already blooming.

There is a bush at Qiao's house, which I've been curious to know what kind of plant it is. It has thin stalks, some with reddish blossoms and some with white (unless the white ones are a different kind of bush). It started blooming right at the beginning of February, even before the pink magnolia. In the summer, it gets roundish green fruit that look like plum-sized small apples. They are surprising to see, because the thin stalks don't seem like they could support such relatively big fruit, yet they do. The fruit smells and tastes like bitter apples (too bitter to eat). So it's probably some apple variant. It doesn't look like what Google Images shows for crab-apples, though.

After doing some searches, my best guess is that it is a shrub quince, even though the fruit is green rather than yellow, and more apple-shaped than quince-shaped.

More photos... )


Friday, January 22nd, 2016 12:00 am
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This is a jackfruit cross-section.

The yellow parts are the fruit that one eats - though the white seeds can also be cooked and eaten.

The photo is from November; it was the first time I'd seen fresh jackfruit for sale, so I bought it to try. The taste didn't appeal to me, but it might not have been fresh enough. There were lots of brown spots on the fruit already (which aren't very visible in the photo). A long time ago, I had dried jackfruit, which tasted quite good.

Unripe jackfruit can also be cooked and eaten. For dinner tonight, I sauteed Upton's Chili Lime Carnitas Jackfruit. As the package was rather small, I added a can of garbanzo beans and some left-over whole wheat rotini pasta. It was quite yummy.

olives & flowers

Wednesday, November 4th, 2015 12:19 am
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There are these "Botija" black dried pitted olives which are very expensive (I got the first packet on sale). But they are so good that I subsequently bought a 2nd packet at full price. If I had to describe the flavor, it would be "bitter, salty, oily", which doesn't *sound* particularly appealing. But they do appeal. Especially together with the chewy texture, and the fact that I can eat them with my fingers, without my fingers getting wet.

Eating them late at night doesn't help with a case of acid reflux though.


One of the things I like about Lantana is how the flowers go away but keep coming back all summer long, even up through now in November.

nary a cully

Monday, October 26th, 2015 09:58 pm
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Black-Eyed Pea Tempeh. I fried some up and tried it for the first time. It has the familiar tempeh flavor, but a different texture, in the same way that black-eyed peas have a different, mushier texture than soybeans.

Ackee. I'd had some back in 1999 during a trip to Jamaica. Ackee is a fruit that looks and tastes somewhat like scrambled eggs. If picked/eaten before fully ripe, it can be toxic. Around here, it is sold canned in the Caribbean food section of some grocery stores. Expensive and a delicacy. I bought a can a while back, and let it sit in my cupboard a long time, uncertain how to prepare it. But it simply needs to be heated in a saucepan, and served with margarine and salt. Yum. It has its own distinctive savory flavor, but yeah, scrambled-eggs-like.

Neat Egg - an egg substitute for baked goods, made from powdered chia seeds and chickpeas. When mixed with water as indicated in the instructions, it gels into an egg-white-like consistency. I tried it out with a box of brownie mix, and the results turned out quite well. I'll have to try it with cake mix next time. Neither of those usually work very well with my usual egg replacer powder.
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I'd been wanting to make these green tea cupcakes ever since Qiao gave me the fabulous vegan cupcake cookbook. I finally bought the essential ingredient - matcha green tea powder - last year, but didn't get around to actually trying out the recipe until last week. The cupcakes turned out soft, fluffy, and super-duper yummy, even without any marzipan flowers on top.


It is blackberry season. I've seen people gathering berries along the roads. On the way home from work today, I stopped by a patch and picked some myself. I'm glad I stopped at the place I did, as 2 other people were already stopped by the larger patches further down the road which I passed by later. As it was, after stopping my car where I did, it took me a while to gather my courage to get out of the car. I had a silly fear that someone would come out of the commercial building whose driveway I was parked in, and accuse me of stealing their berries. From the car, I couldn't even tell if there were any ripe berries in this patch. But I finally got out, and got me some lovely berries.

Thin dress pants aren't suitable attire for blackberry picking. A branch snagged my pants and tore out a few threads before I managed to get free. Denim would have been better.

After getting home, I checked the bushes across the street and picked some more berries there too. But those were tiny compared to the others.


I remedied the pinholes in the curtain black-out liners by using fusible web to iron on extra strips of black-out fabric over the seam lines.

The black-out fabric and/or the fusible web gives off fumes while ironing it at the necessary heat level. But at least those fumes were temporary.


Knoppix! I created a live disk and used it to boot my laptop to Linux. Neat! The last time I created a similar live disk and tried it on my old computer, I never got the internet working as that would have required finding and installing the necessary wireless drivers. But this Knoppix live CD had everything I needed - my wi-fi and internet worked, as did my external mouse and keyboard.

I was using Linux in order to reformat a 256 GB flash drive as FAT32. Windows didn't let me do it. Linux did.

The reason for reformatting the flash drive is a story for another time.


Partially inspired by this post by [ profile] gfish, as well as articles such as this one, I've been trying to do more work standing up.

When we moved buildings, I was given a 2nd monitor. Rather than position it side-by-side with my other monitor, I put it on my cubicle's shelf, after moving the shelf down a few notches. That puts the top monitor at a fairly good height for me to use while standing. So now I have one monitor on my desk to use while sitting, and another on the shelf to use while standing. I can position my mouse higher by using a small stack of books. But I can't really get the keyboard high enough to be very comfortable while standing.

I was thinking that rather than moving the monitor and accessories up and down, it would be simpler to have everything up high, and to have a high chair. Then everything would be at the right height whether I was sitting or standing. Maybe someday.

For now, I can only manage to stand for a few minutes at a time before I start feeling tired/uncomfortable, or before I feel the need to sit down to do something that takes my full attention. Working while standing is sort of like trying to write with my left hand - I can do it, but at a slower pace and with more frustration.

Sometimes I stand in a spread-leg or horse-riding position, which brings my torso low enough to comfortably use the lower monitor and keyboard. But I don't do that for long either, as it makes my feet tired, and I feel self-conscious about looking weird to anyone who walks by.

Then again, I do full-body stretches in my cubicle a few times a day, which surely is a strange sight to see, too.


Sunday, May 17th, 2015 11:45 am
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Went grocery shopping yesterday. Red chard (so pretty - the combination of reddish purplish stalks and green leafy parts), later cooked for dinner. Big sweet ripe raspberries - they drew my eye as they were larger and darker-colored than the ones in the adjoining cartons. But they really were raspberries. Their taste reminds me of ones picked wild in Germany.

In Germany, vanilla ice cream with hot raspberries is a common dessert. The combination truly tastes wonderful.

Right before entering the 2nd store at 6pm, nearby church-bells started ringing, and I tarried outside a while to listen. Nice sounding bells; real bells. They reminded me of Germany too.

In the 3rd store, I overheard another customer asking an employee for help in finding an item, "Jum". She had a foreign accent, and I wondered what this "Jum" might be. Jumbo? Gumbo? Jambalaya? Even when she explained to the employee that it was something one eats at breakfast with bread and butter, both he and I were still puzzled. (Does one eat gumbo for breakfast?) When she mentioned marmelaide, it finally clicked for me. Jam! The poor employee still wasn't getting it, so I went over to help him out.

Later, it occurred to me that the woman's accent was very familiar to me. Sort of Indian; sort of German. I can hear someone's voice in my head speaking with the same accent, but can't remember who it belongs too. Maybe someone on TV or in a movie.
darkoshi: (Default)
Fried pickles at Bean Vegan Cuisine, in Charlotte NC.

Peanut butter cheesecake, from same location. The coconut whip cream on top was a little smooshed from being in a to-go container.

The above was delicious, but the mocha chocolate chip cheesecake at Eden - A Vegan Cafe in Scranton, PA, was arguably even more scrumptious.

Bright cloud:

Cloudy sky in Hartford, CT:

Oranges in vending machine! (A bit hard to see, due to reflections.)


Monday, January 14th, 2013 11:55 pm
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Qiao and I watched the movie Salmonberries via Netflix DVD. I really enjoyed it. The characters are quirky and intriguing; the scenes were often unexpected and surprising, keeping my attention and stringing along my curiosity. The movie kept *my* attention, anyway. There seem to be many negative reviews of the movie from other people. One reviewer wrote that the movie doesn't have any plot. If that is true, perhaps I should look for more of these so-called plot-less movies. This movie was much more interesting and entertaining to me than the type of movies where characters rush around blowing things up and fighting and killing, trying to "save" the world and conquer bad guys (ho-hum booooorrrring...).

At the end of the movie, there were a few parts of it that I was still somewhat puzzled about. Then again, if those parts had been better explained and if more of the story had been fleshed out with extra scenes, it might have had less of a magical/mysterious air to it.

There even really is a fruit called a salmonberry!

mo' cuke supe

Monday, July 18th, 2011 10:14 pm
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I made another cucumber soup; this one included apple and avocado (the recipe is after all the photos. I didn't include the salmon, and used less vegetable stock.). It was good.

(no subject)

Saturday, March 19th, 2011 09:52 pm
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At the grocery store, there was a sign labeled "mango blood orange" right by a bunch of what looked like clementines. There weren't any oranges or mangos in that section. Intrigued, I bought some of the clementine-looking fruit. They weren't expensive.

I just ate one. It looked like a fairly normal tangerine on the inside, with seeds. The flavor is somewhat different though, and I suppose one could call it slightly mango-ish. I wonder if any of the others have darker flesh, like a normal blood orange.

I did a web search on "mango blood orange", but didn't find any fruit by that name. That is curious.

Hmmm. It isn't April Fool's day yet, so it doesn't seem likely to have been a joke by a store employee.

The web-search did bring up a page which mentioned an avocado - mango - blood orange soup, which sounds good. Unfortunately, a recipe was not included.

However, I did find another tasty sounding dish with a recipe - Avocado, Mango, and Pineapple Salad with Pistachios and Pickled Shallots
darkoshi: (Default)
I didn't know this...

Look for the labels (stickers) stuck on your fruits and veggies (or on the bag):

* A four-digit number means it's conventionally grown.
* A five-digit number beginning with 9 means it's organic.
* A five-digit number beginning with 8 means it's GM.

From here.

2010/02/26: Out of 4 produce items I've looked at, 2 have had the PLU number on them, and 2 haven't. So now I wonder, is it ever required for the PLU number to be shown, or is it optional? More on the PLU numbers here.

(no subject)

Monday, October 5th, 2009 12:15 pm
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I got quite sick to my stomach last night. The most likely culprit seems the prickly pears. I guess that ends my adventure with wild cactus fruit. It's a pity; the violet pink juicy juice was so pretty. I'd like to have a carpet that color for my bedroom. I will look up whether I can find any good-quality hot pink carpets for sale.

I seem to be a tad more impulsive than usual of late. I wonder if it is due to the Pristiq.

I'm staying home from work today due to still feeling achy and feverish when I woke up this morning. But I'm working from home, off and on. I'm never quite sure where the boundary lies between being too sick to work or not. I'm not in bed delirious with a high fever. I'm up and about; a bit slower than usual, but still up and about. So I guess I should be working. The only food that seems slightly appetizing at the moment is dry toasted white bread; that indicates I'm still sick. I feel like replacing the phone outlet*; that indicates that I'm healthy enough to work. If I'm up to replacing a phone outlet (as well as up to writing an LJ post), surely I'm up to working; therefore I should be working and not replacing a phone outlet. Sigh.

*When the telephone repair person came to replace the ancient phone box with a new one which has a test jack, apparently he also replaced one of the inside phone outlets. (He came while I was on my Germany trip, so I wasn't able to watch what he did.)(Maybe that was his excuse for charging the $100, when replacing the box was supposed to be done for free - I'm fairly sure that the phone line problem I had after that storm was due to the wiring in the ancient box, not due to any problem with the wiring in the outlets.) Yesterday while testing all the phone outlets in the house, troubleshooting where the static on my line comes from, I noticed that the phone jack in that new outlet was full of goopy glue. So much so that it is hard plugging the phone into the jack. After trying unsuccessfully to get the goopy glue out yesterday, I decided it would be easier to just replace the whole outlet. So not only was I charged $100 in what seems an unfair manner, but the person messed up one of my outlets, so I have to go thru the trouble of replacing it again myself! It doesn't seem worth the trouble to complain to the phone company and to try to get them to come and fix their mistake without charging me again. I also don't trust their competence much at this point. (Squirting so much goopy glue in the outlet that it filled up the jack! Jeesh! Why did they even need to put any glue in there??)

But the static in the line is there even when using the test jack, which indicates that problem is on their end of the wiring. So I'll have to call them out again to fix that, unless it's a simple problem with the ground wire which I might be able to figure out myself, when it stops raining and dries up enough outside for me to go and take a look.

prickly pink

Sunday, October 4th, 2009 09:43 pm
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As I was driving out of the Fort Jackson recycling center, I noticed a large prickly pear cactus loaded with ripe fruit. It beckoned to me enticingly. No one else was around, except a lady further back still unloading her recyclables. I couldn't resist the purple beauties.

I donned my cloth work-gloves, thinking those would protect me from the cactus barbs. Boy, was I wrong. The fruits had tiny little hairy stingers that went straight thru the gloves into my fingers. Fruitlessly, I tried to pull the stingers out with my fingernails. That only caused the ends of the stingers to break off, leaving the barbs still under my skin. I ended up with one in my thumb, one in my forefinger, and one in my middle finger. I realized I'd have to wait til I got home to deal with them.

Not willing to give up my quest for the juicy ripe purple goodies, I warily took a thick plastic bag to protect my hand, and twisted 2 fruits off. I placed them in a box in the trunk of my car.

By the time I got home, 2 of the stingers seemed to have come out on their own. I took a needle to the remaining one... I seem to have got it out, but I'm not sure.

Then I looked up how to deal with those suckers... Wear a thick rubber glove, and hold the fruit under running water while using an old toothbrush to brush off all the hairy barbs. Then cut off the ends and peel. Then eat.

Such a pretty pink color, the juicy juice. So lovely. So beautiful. The fruit itself had a lot of small seeds.... opinions differed on whether the seeds could be eaten or not, based on what I had read on the internet, so I decided it'd be safer not to swallow them.

Now that I know how to handle them, I think that next time I'd rather make juice from the prickly pears.

I foolishly put the gloves back on later, and ended up with more stingers in my hands. Luckily, those came out fairly easily using tweezers. I threw the gloves away.

(no subject)

Friday, August 22nd, 2008 09:37 pm
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Hoo-ray for e-Bay. I found climate control knobs for my car there, which I couldn't find anywhere else. I had bought a generic 3-piece assortment at an auto store, which had one knob that looked exactly right, but turned out to be about a millimeter too narrow on the stem. Since my knobs broke, I haven't been able to even turn on the fan to clear the windshield when it fogs up. Hopefully the new ones will fit and won't break.

I bought a nice-looking dragon fruit at a new Asian market in town, as well as a bunch of leek flowers.

(no subject)

Sunday, June 22nd, 2008 07:30 pm
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After watching some flagging videos on youtube, and finding a website with instructions on how to make said flags, I decided I would make myself some. These flags don't have rigid handles, but rather are weighted along 2 edges. I bought some cloth and weighted cord and now just need to cut and sew things together. I suppose if I sewed one with weights along all edges, I might be able to spin it with my finger in the center... I remember once seeing someone spin a piece of fabric around with just their hand in the middle, and was amazed and wondered how they did it. But I will try the regular flags first.

I bought a fresh sapodilla fruit (also known as neese-berry) from a west indian/oriental store. It looks somewhat like a potato or large kiwi fruit. It needs a few days to ripen. I also bought some frozen turrones, banana and jackfruit-filled fritters. I baked a couple, and they taste good.

I also picked up a copy of one of our free local papers at the store, and was leafing through it... in the concert section, it says that Boy George will be performing in Myrtle Beach and Atlanta in the near future!!! I need verify and see if I can get tickets; I hope the gigs don't get cancelled, as often happens. I also came across a personal ad that says "ISO a female, 30-52, independent, preferably sane, ... " LOL!

I also leafed through the real estate ads... and remembered how I used to feel skimming through them, imagining what it would be like to buy and own my own piece of property. And now I have my own. Well, I didn't buy a thousand-acre tract of forest-land out in the country somewhere, but this house is much more practical.