Anna's Site

Weeknotes for Week of May 27, 2024

Making invisible work more visible, at least to me: In my personal life, I agreed to a commitment that took about an hour of publicly visible work, and two days of invisible work to prepare and recover / clean-up afterwards. Keeping in mind that when I say "yes" to that hour for them, I'm saying "yes" to two days for me.

Lessons Learned, Department of Work: That five-page list I need to print out to keep track of things during our 7 hour IDT meeting? I need to print that out the night before, in case the laptop decides it's time for a firmware update right before the meeting.

This Week in Fermentation: I regularly make sauerkraut and cucumber pickles, but this week I ventured into pickling asparagus, which both of my fermentation cookbooks* raved about. They are SO RIGHT. Pickled asparagus is fabulous.

This Week in Emulsions: Recently read a tip about stirring in half a large spoonful of warm water to home-made vinaigrettes, after you add in the oil. I made two vinaigrettes with different vinegars and oils, and it kept both of them from separating.

Department of Anecdata: What has fermented all the fermenting and home-made salad dressings? I read Ultra-Processed People by Chris van Tulleken, followed up by reading Food Rules by Michael Pollan. (And then I read Pollan's other food books.) Pollan's major advice is to eat like your grandma: eat real food that you cook yourself. Both of my grandmothers were professional -- and excellent -- cooks. One had owned a restaurant, and the other had worked at a school cafeteria in the era when schools actually chopped and cooked their own vegetables and baked their own breads rather than reheating factory foods. My grandmother who had once owned the restaurant didn't like to cook for herself or by herself. Her fridge was stocked with Tab, diet bread, and iceberg lettuce, and she died suddenly in her 60s, of a stroke. My grandmother who grew her own vegetables, continued to cook for herself, and went on daily walks, lived well into her 90s.

* Japanese Pickled Vegetables by Machiko Tateno, and Fermented Vegetables by Kirsten K. Shockey and Christopher Shockey. Excellent instructions with photos and tips.