26 February 2015
Unlike Mercury and Venus, the superior planets (those outside of Earth’s orbit) don’t pass between Earth and the Sun. In keeping with the Abyss as a starting point, I suggest conjunction, as the planet is invisible behind the sun), and the brightest point, Opposition, mimics the full moon in a sense.
this begins a 367-day cycle for Neptune.
19 February 2015
layers of polenta, roasted vegetables, and tomato sauce
5 c. polenta
3 c. tomato sauce
1 eggplant, sliced crosswise
1 zucchini, sliced crosswise
1 red pepper, sliced into strips
oil for roasting
feta cheese if you want
1. make polenta according to this recipe. pour into 4 ramekins. cool in the refrigerator.
2. coat the vegetables with oil. use extra on the eggplant. roast in an oven at 400 degrees for 20 minutes, turning halfway. it might take longer.
3. remove the poleta from the ramekins. slice crosswise into 3 pieces.
4. make 4 stacks: polenta, red pepper & eggplant, sauce, polenta, zucchini & eggplant, sauce, polenta, sauce.
5. bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes until heated through.
6. serve with a salad or some other appropriate accompaniment.
NOTE: I’ve also done this like a lasagna. pour the polenta onto two greased cookie sheets in thin layers. cut into layers, and then pile it up like a lasagna. You’ll likely need more vegetables to do it this way.
18 February 2015
Yes, indeed, the letters in bold do represent a new year on the Chinese Lunar Calendar. Kung Hei Fat Choy. Apparently, it’s the year of the wood goat (乙未年). Not sure what that means, but it sounds very stubborn.
14 February 2015
Mexico sends corn to Italy, and they make a staple of it.
oil for frying
1 large onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 c cornmeal
4 c stock
grated parmesan or a goodly amount of nutritional yeast
1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Fry onion until translucent.
2. add garlic and mix quickly.
3. add soup stock, bring to the boil.
4. whisk in cornmeal, and reduce heat to med-low or so.
5. continue whisking periodically as the polenta cooks. Be careful. It can bubble and it is hot. You’ve been warned. Once it gets thick enough, use a spoon to keep it from burning to the bottom of the pan.
6. when the polenta is thick enough (say 15-20 minutes give or take) remove from heat. Stir in black pepper and cheese/nut. yeast.
I typically use this as an ingredient in other things. So at this point I pour it into a mold of some sort, generally greased cookie sheets, loaf pans, or ramekins. Once it has cooled down, it can be sliced, diced, or otherwise cut, then fried, baked, or incorporated elsewise. It is often fried and served under a heavy sauce like a mushroom ragout or heavy tomato sauce.
5 February 2015
theAbysmal’s answer to the groundhog.
Today marks the midway point through Quarter 0, between the Solstice and the Equinox (-ish). So the holiday involving the groundhog looking north (away from the sun) and seeing its shadow, or south (towards the sun) and not seeing a shadow, and determining how much of winter remains. However, as this is the midpoint of the season (by some reckonings), it roughly is six weeks from the Solstice, and six weeks before the Equinox.
I understand where the symbols come from, however, I’m not entirely sure what the narrative involved in all the Groundhog Day rituals are about. If nothing else, the Bill Murray-Harold Ramis film is a wonderful tribute.