Apr. 3rd, 2017

howeird: (Default)

But first, the usual. Slept okay. Spook didn't. She was parked on the cat platform by the front porch (piano room) when I woke at 6 am. I'd felt her jumping in and out of bed a few times during the night.

Got a slightly late start, no call from AG, traffic was slow & steady, way too many people who had no idea what "exit only" means at my exit. Dropped my stuff at the hole, grabbed a banana & HB egg & diet Coke from next door. I had both of my Macbooks. No message from Tall Guy. Boss was at a conference. I hooked up one of the automation suites to a TV prototype, and built a doc with a list of what is wrong with each test. Will share with Boss when she's free.

Lunch was the other baloney sandwich. Longans for dessert. Reading a new free book, Alien Hunters (Alien Hunters Book 1): A Free Space Opera Novel by Daniel Arenson. Fast paced, characters are well defined, maybe too well. Some novelist skills here, the first chapter takes place Somewhere In Space® and sets us up with the potential protagonists, the second chapter takes place on a derelict planet, where our hero lives, and sets us up with future plot convergence. The stereotype of the blues musician whose guitar, signed by his idols, is like his child to him. And his ex, who is an over the top alien cage fighter who broke up with him because he takes his little brother's side against her - little brother thinks he is Don Quixote, chivalry, castle and all.

Unlike many of Amazon's free books, this one has been proofread, has decent continuity, and only telegraphs enough to get you to turn the page.

Had the lunchroom to myself. Almost had the hole to myself - only 2 engineers next door, the game testers moved out last week. Afternoon break there was one woman seated and three or four people got stuff to go. No tour groups.

5:30, waited a few minutes in case TG had something for me. Locked up my Macbooks, drove to the charging station near the Khao Mon Gai food truck. The web site said they would begin serving at 6:30. Turns out this building 3 blocks away from the hole is a major commute bus stop. I watched people till I saw a line forming by the food truck. Out of curiosity I asked the attendant about buses to where I live. There apparently are two which stop about a mile from my house. Not close enough.


In the upper left, under Khao & Chicken, it says Khao Mon Gai (ข้าวมันไก่).That's a Thai comfort food which is very simply rice cooked in chicken fat, with bits of boiled chicken on top. My contractor badge got me a free serving. But what they handed me was a packet in waxed paper and a cup of chicken broth. Skipping ahead, when I finally got home I unwrapped the packet, and it was broken short grained rice (not Thai rice) and a small container of spices in a tiny bit of oil. The instructions said to douse the chicken with the sauce and sip the broth. The sauce was horrible, so I poured the broth in, making it watery and horrible. The chicken was big chunks of meat, which I sliced up. The chicken was edible, but not the rest. Poured it down the drain. The guys in the truck were American, so all my rehearsed-in-my-mind Thai dialog went to waste. The next truck over had a cute name, but the guys in that truck were also American, one very pierced with a Mohawk:


By the time I got back to my car, it was done charging.

Next up was a trip to my local Indian grocery to buy ingredients for Khao Mook Gai, which is Khao Mon Gai on steroids. Here's the ingredient list:
1 ½ tsp coriander seeds
½ tsp cumin seeds
1 bay leaf
1½-inch cinnamon stick
4 pc cloves
6 black peppercorns
10 white peppercorns
1 pod white or green cardamom
½ tsp turmeric powder
⅛ tsp ground nutmeg
2 cilantro roots or 6-8 cilantro stems
4 cloves garlic
1 large head shallots
7-8 slices ginger
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp sugar
⅓ cup plain yogurt (or use whole milk with 1 Tbsp lime juice)
3-4 pc dark meat chicken, bone-in, skin-on (I usually serve 1 piece of thigh or 2 pieces of drumsticks per person)
2 large heads shallots (for fried shallots, see note)
Canola oil, as needed
1 cup jasmine rice, uncooked, rinsed until water runs clear, drained well (see note)
1 scant cup unsalted chicken stock
A pinch saffron

I already have the ingredients in blue.

That's a lot of stuff. But I found everything in the Taj Mahal Market§§, except they only had big tubs of yogurt, and I didn't see any saffron. Didn't expect to because it's sold in small units for high prices. The cashier gave me a choice of four brands from a locked glass cabinet.

Also bought a container of big green olives in brine from Turkey, and pistachio halvah.

Next stop, Lucky's, for yogurt. Took me a while to find plain, 99% of the hundreds of containers were flavored. Lemon might have worked, but...
Also got a small coffee grinder for grinding the spices. And a loaf of Health Nut bread for baloney sandwiches and PNB&J sandwiches.

Home, put away the perishables. All the other ingredients went into a Ranch 99 bag. Went out to the carport garden and harvested some oregano. put the olives in two containers, added oregano, garlic, thyme, dill seeds, olive oil and brine, shook well and set on the counter to marinate. Got that from a long-ago Greek cooking class.

Having 86ed the alleged Khao Mon Gai, I heated up a Boston Market beef & noodles, with a couple of slices of muenster. Halvah for dessert. Watched some broadcast TV while I ate.

§§The market used to be half Mexican and half Arab. Now it is 1/3 Indian, 1/3 Arab and 1/3 Mexican. The former Mexican café inside is now Indian.

Plans for tomorrow:
Work in the hole
Probably go straight home
 

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