Archive | October, 2014

Is “Rational Man” an Oxymoron?

18 Oct

It was announced recently that “in the last 34 years, the average October temperature in Barrow, Alaska, has risen by more than 7°C − an increase that, on its own, makes a mockery of international efforts to prevent global temperatures from rising more than 2°C above their pre-industrial level.”

The flu kills 5,000 Americans annually. Vaccines are available, and people are reminded repeatedly to get vaccinated, yet all too many don’t. Deaths due to guns and motorized vehicles cause roughly 60,000 deaths a year in the United States, and global warming threatens to lead to hundreds of billions of dollars in damages along our seacoasts. Congress has effectively declared all of those off-limits for regulation, but is panicking over Ebola and demanding immediate action over a disease that has infected 2 people in the United States and killed one.

That this behavior is considered normal and even rewarded by voters is sobering.



18 Oct

Cheryl had knee replacement surgery, which means that for the last several weeks I’ve been doing the grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning. I stocked up on squash, because I like it and Cheryl doesn’t.

The squash was labeled “butternut,” but even I could tell it was a turban squash. I think. I remembered a squash recipe I tried a few years ago and thought I’d make it again. I hunted for the recipe while the squash cooked in the microwave.

I couldn’t find the recipe, but I remembered most of it. The recipe called for cream, as I recall, so I scooped the cooked squash into a bowl and pulled the cream out of the refrigerator. That’s when it hit me that, if I measured the ingredients, I’d have to wash a bunch of measuring cups and spoons. I added 3 glugs of the heavy cream and a handful or so of brown sugar to the cooked squash and beat the snot out of the mixture until smooth.

The mixture was kind of sloppy and, well, it may have splashed a bit. Cheryl reminded me again this morning that it would have been easier to get it off the cabinet doors if I’d cleaned them right away. It’s like concrete now. Thank god she hasn’t noticed the kitchen curtains yet.

I was pretty sure the recipe called for salt and pepper, so I added some of each, being careful not to add as much as I did to the scrambled eggs I made Cheryl yesterday. Not supposed to do that again, ever. I knocked a vial of cinnamon off a shelf when I was reaching for the pepper. It spilled across the counter, making a mess. Easiest way to handle that was scoop it up and toss it into the squash.

The recipe might have had walnuts in it, or maybe it was raisins. Kind of slipped my mind which. I found a package of walnuts, but I couldn’t find where Cheryl kept the raisins. I broke up the first handful of walnuts into little pieces as I put them in. That took forever. Dumping the second handful of nuts in without breaking them up saved time.

The recipe had apples in it, too. I peeled a couple of Granny Smiths, cored and sliced them and layered them in a casserole as I added the squash, cream, cinnamon and walnuts. I cooked the mixture in the micro for, hmmm, for several minutes. Twice, because it cooled down to room temperature by half time when I remembered I had squash in the micro.

Cheryl has taken a pass on tasting my cooking, preferring to have me heat up canned soup. I think the squash is fabulous. I’ve written the recipe down so I can get it exactly the same next time.