Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Blu-ray is the Winner

Today Toshiba Corporation announced that it was pulling the plug on it's HD DVD format for high-definition DVDs. In the early 80's, Sony lost the battle between their Betamax and VHS. But this time Sony won with their Blu-ray format. Blu-ray DVDs have more storage capacity and may have more features. So if you are the market for a DVD player for your HDTV, don't purchase a HD DVD player. They are are probably going to get very cheap now, but don't be tempted. Microsoft had chosen HD DVD for their OS's and will now have to come over to Blu-ray.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

A Walk in the Woods

For Valentines Day, my folks decided to do something different. They took a noon walk in the woods.
I stayed home.
Mushrooms popping up on the trail.

A Tree on the Trail.

Lunch for two.

What a perfect valentines day. The noon sun was warm, birds chirping across the way and nobody around.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

The Wire...Season 3

We just finished watching Season 3 of The Wire. I must say that Season 3 was best so far, but haven't seen season 4 or 5. Local politics play the new thread for Season 3. As usual the acting, writing, and directing are excellent. The faces, the eyes, and the characters are exceptional. It's like Masterpiece Theatre, really! There are night scenes that you would say are right out of Dickens. When you watch the episodes on DVD, be sure you watch the narratives of an episode when available, check the Extra Features. This is where you hear the writer and/or directors discuss what they had in mind for a particular episode.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Preparing a Fresh Pomegranate-a Video

Check out this video on the step by step method to get to the succulent seeds of the pomegranate. All done without water, rubber gloves, or staining your hands.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Fresh Blueberries are Here

Fresh blueberries are here now. They are from Chile and are sweet and full of flavor. Costco has them in a large container for $6.99. They are perfect for blueberry pie, blueberry crisp, how about on your breakfast cereal or just eating out of hand. Try them.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Black Beans and Rice

It was still cold and rainy last week and Molly of Orangette reminded me of Brazilian Black Bean soup from Mollie Katzen's Moosewood Cookbook. Here is a modification of that recipe.

Brazilian Black Bean Soup
3 15 oz. cans of good quality black beans, drain liquid.
1 14 oz. can chicken stock.
Bring to a boil and then cover and lower heat to minimum.
Cook 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
As above is cooking, sauté the following:
1 or 2 Turkey Andouille Sausages (Wellshire), 3 oz. each. Remove the skin and crumble the sausage with thumb and fingers. Sauté with a little olive oil. When crisp on edges remove from heat and place in bowl. These are spicey sausages, feel free to substitute.
Next sauté the following in the same pan.
1 onion, chopped.
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped.
1 carrot, chopped.
1 stalk, celery, chopped.
1 bell pepper, chopped, green or red.
2 TBS olive oil.
Add a little chicken stock as required to keep saute moist.
When onions and celery are nice and soft add:
1 tsp Coriander.
2 tsp Cumin.
The sausage sauté from above.
Cook 10 minutes more and add sauté to cooking beans.
Now add the following:
1 orange, peeled, seeded, and cut in small pieces.
1/2 cup orange juice.
1/4 cup white wime.
1/4 tsp black pepper.
1/4 tsp cayenne.
1 tsp lemon juice.
Now check the soup, if too thick, add a little chicken stock. To make it thicker, purée a cup or so in a food processor or blender.
Serve with rice and a hearty Syrah.