a once a year kind of thing

A couple of years back I sold my internet domain csquared.com which I had owned since about 1996. I wasn’t particularly interested in selling but finally, after some weeks of back and forth, the broker, with approval from his client, made me an offer I couldn’t refuse.

I used some of the proceeds to buy a new iPad, as my old one was, well, getting old. As part of the package I had to get a new keyboard, as my old keyboard wasn’t compatible with the new iPad.

The new keyboard has worked out well. What impresses me is how often I have to recharge it. Once a year. That’s it. Really. Just once a year.

The LED starts blinking amber, I plug it into the USB port on my desktop, and I’m good for another year.

How very cool is that?


crock pot whole chicken

I have written about this before, but it bears revisiting. This is an incredibly simple way to get multiple meals. The great thing about cooking a whole chicken in your slow cooker is that you put the chicken in the crock pot and turn it on. It’s (almost) that simple. You don’t need to add any liquids because the chicken provides plenty of liquid.

crock pot whole chickenMost recently I bought a six-pound chicken at the grocery store. I pulled out the giblets and the neck and I rubbed it with a combination of za’atar seasoning and smoked paprika. I really prefer the Trader Joe’s whole chicken without the giblets, but the nearest Trader Joe’s is half an hour away in a very congested shopping district. I simply don’t have the culinary skills to work with those parts. (I can’t help but think of the Dan Aykroyd parody of Julia Child on Saturday Night Live: “Save the giblets!”)

I cooked the chicken on low for eight-and-a-half hours. Next time I need to remember to rub the spice mix under the skin. Otherwise it turned out great.

The chicken cost a little less than twice what we pay for a rotisserie chicken at the grocery store. We generally get two meals out of a rotisserie chicken. This one yielded four: that evening’s supper plus three bags sealed up in the FoodSaver and put in the freezer. The math certainly works.

I have a number of recipes in my database that call for using rotisserie chicken. The crock pot chicken is, certainly, a perfectly fine substitute for that, and I don’t have to worry about going out and finding a rotisserie chicken. I just pull it out of the freezer.

There’s a lot to be said for chicken in the slow cooker.


Sacred Music Friday: For the Beauty of the Earth

It’s been a while since I’ve shared a John Rutter arrangement.


a different Discovery

I wrote last year that Terry and I had given up on Star Trek: Discovery. We found it too gloomy and dark, focused on war and violence. It was the antithesis of what Star Trek should be.

Star Trek DiscoveryAfter the first season ended we began reading about the plan for season two. The producers decided to give up on the war motif and focus on exploration interpersonal relationships. We were hopeful and when season two started in January I re-started our CBS All Access subscription.

After watching the first few episodes, we have not been disappointed. The second season is about exploration, the relationship between science and belief, and the interaction between the characters.

It’s a really nice change.


tortilla soup

tortilla soupTortilla Soup was a Mexican remake of the Taiwanese (I believe) film Eat Drink, Man Woman. What was interesting to me was that aside from some changes in cultural references, it was almost a line-for-line remake.

That’s not what I’m talking about here, however. I’m talking about Terry’s tortilla soup. She has made tortilla soup before, but not this particular recipe.

The recipe called for rotisserie chicken, breast and thigh. I had made chicken on our stovetop grill a couple of nights before, and I had extra, we she used that. It specified a poblano chili, but the store didn’t have that so I bought another variety. The recipe included onion, which she omitted as Terry is allergic to onion. She did, however, throw in some frozen corn.

The result was a really tasty winter’s evening meal.


an old sound returns

Those of you who have been reading this blog for a while know that I began attending Pitzer College in Claremont in the fall of 1971 and graduated in the spring of 1975. I hung around Claremont for another two years before leaving California to open a new B. Dalton Bookseller in Laredo, Texas in June of 1977.

The radio station KNX-FM had a mellow rock format throughout the 1970s, and I was a regular listener until I hit the road for Texas. I have often thought about that station and reflected on how I’ve missed it, even after all these years.

KNX-FM logoI was surprised and delighted, then, when Richard Wagoner’s radio column, which appears in Southern California News Group newspapers, announced that KNX-FM has been reincarnated in an online form. You can find it at https://www.knxfm93.com. The stream is available in a variety of formats, so there should be a format available for whatever device you use.

Many of you know how much I love and how much I use my internet radio. Very shortly after reading Richard’s column, I added the Windows Media Player URL to the My Streams folder on my internet radio and then booted off the SiriusXM Coffee House preset to make room for the new KNX-FM stream.

It’s nice to have that familiar sound at the touch of a button.


scrambled eggs with smoked salmon and cream cheese

eggs with salmonTerry and I don’t buy smoked salmon very often. We were spoiled by the marvelous product by (what I believe is) the late, lamented Creekside Smokehouse in El Granada on the San Mateo county coast. Every once in a while we do buy it, however, as we did to make and take salmon and cream cheese crostini to my brother’s house for Christmas.

We had salmon and cream cheese left over. What to do with it?

When we lived in Silicon Valley, that is actually in Silicon Valley and not the far suburbs of Gilroy, we would often have Saturday breakfast at Hobee’s, a Bay Area chain focusing on healthier fare. My favorite dish, other than their marvelous coffee cake, was their scrambled eggs with smoked salmon and cream cheese.

You know what? Terry makes that dish just was well as Hobee’s did. It’s a special treat for me.