Like “Brewster’s Millions”, But Less Plausible…

This is how I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that print journalism must be anachronistic, irrelevant and doomed:  I have been asked to write a piece on the Leafs for publication in an actual hold-it-in-your-hand, you-could-drop-that-thing-and-bruise-a-toe book.   And get this:  I am told that I will be getting paid to do this thing.  From this latter fact, I conclude that the publishers of this tome are almost certainly lunatic immigrant millionaires with a tenuous-to-non-existent grasp on the English language.  Believing that they are allergic to money,  I suspect they have resolved to rid themselves of the cursed lucre in the most pro-social way possible;  by contributing to the publication of a well-respected and important medical journal filled with scholarly research.  I just pray someone has a camera when these well-meaning but misguided philanthropists are presented with the finished product – I foresee an instant and compelling portrait of blinking uncomprehension and, quite possibly, some feces throwing.

I can’t give out a lot of details at the moment, mostly because I don’t want you to steal this gig from me, but rest assured I will be pimping the book like a madman once it has been brought into existence.   As much as you are now staring at the screen, cursing the rotten luck that leaves you bereft of detail, I can promise you that you will someday remember fondly the happy times before this godforsaken book was mentioned by me in every sentence.

I’ll bet you can’t wait to be that unhappy.  In the meantime, I am busy trying to figure out how the hell I am going to manage to get everything done that I will need to:  for example, not only do I now have to find the time to research and write the piece, if I am going to be a writer I also have to make sure that I spend the correct amount of time bellyaching about how making the deadline is going to be a bitch and so on.  I guess this post is a pretty good start on that.  I must be a quick learner.

All kidding aside, I do have some degree of concern about taking on yet another project:  at present, for those of you keeping track, I am (theoretically) in the middle of:

And those are just the projects I’ve blogged about!  I also have it in my mind to convert some old VHS video to digital (I spent a large part of last Saturday wondering why I haven’t yet converted my copy of Leafs/Kings Game 7 in ’93 to an iPod-friendly format so that I can watch it whenever I feel the urge.   This, as much as it may be a cry for help,  is not a lie.)   There are also three or four crates of old vinyl LPs that are practically begging for my attention, so much of my (formerly?) beloved music desperate to enter the 21st century at last.

Anyway, no doubt some of my time tippy-tapping away at my article will take away somewhat from the time I have available to examine my navel here for your benefit;  you must be devastated, I can tell.  I have to say, though, that over the last week or so, I’ve enjoyed spending a few minutes in front of the blank screen with the cursor blinking and a hundred poopy jokes wanting to be written.  I guess I’m having fun writing, and I’ve pushed back a little bit at the multi-armed time-eating monster that my job has recently become.  I have been forcing myself to make just a little bit of time to sit here and flap my virtual gums at you, and it has made me feel a bit better, so I am going to try (see the list of projects above) to keep it up.

Seriously, stop laughing at me.

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Note:  The Spitfires lost to Brampton last night 4-2.  I recorded the game via Freecorder, loaded it on to my iPod then carefully avoided hearing about the score;  I listened to the game after I went to bed at around 11:30.  About two hours later, I was bummed out – and sleepy.   Anyway, Dad and I won’t be seeing the Spits claim the Championship Trophy tomorrow night in Brampton;  I just hope I haven’t jinxed them too badly.  We want another W!

Kitchen Roundup

Last night, using this recipe from Slug is Doug, I cooked up some teriyaki chicken balls with snow peas – but no edame.

The verdict:  Spouse pronounced it delicious, and I agreed. It will accordingly be making a return trip to our table – not just the leftovers, but freshly cheffed up batch!

For those of you who are, like me, culinarily challenged, a few notes.  It may seem basic and stupid, but then again you need to consider the source of this information:  when the recipe calls for “ground chicken”, it is important for you to understand that supermarkets sell chicken already ground up, in the same way as beef becomes ground beef.  That’s why they call it “ground chicken”.  You do NOT need to purchase chicken breasts and then wonder how the hell you’re going to “grind” it.  This is a fact that I learned just a touch late;  as a result there are two lovely chicken breasts sitting in our fridge, awaiting  a trip into the skillet with some butter chicken sauce.

Second, you may not be able to find “edame”.  I went to two different grocery stores and scoured several areas of both stores to no avail.  In the end, I decided (after a telephone consultation with Doug) to substitute peas for the edame.  I don’t know what it’s supposed to taste like with the soy beans, but the version I made was tasty enough.

Third, at the moment of truth – when the meatballs hit the skillet – I hesitated for some reason about putting them all in together, instead choosing to cook them in two batches.  That was a mistake;  I had to add more oil to the skillet (with the attendant nutritional consequences) and it took twice as long to cook the meatballs, which left my rice a bit of a sticky mess as it awaited the balance of the entree.

Last, the recipe tells you to combine the shallots, ginger and chicken together in a large bowl and to make 16 meat balls.  Looking at the bowl full of ingredients, I found myself wondering somewhat how large each meatball should be;  I found that using a golf ball as my approximate size model worked out pretty well.  When I make this recipe again, I will be chopping the shallots more finely and following the directions more closely to grate the ginger – I chopped up my ginger in a garlic-chopping whatsit that we recently acquired, which was okay, but I was somewhat suspicious about whether there was an even distribution of ginger throughout the ground chicken owing to the somewhat largish chunks created by our garlic thingamajig. You may use any pressure cooker, not only Instant Pot.

My overall impression was that this dish was quite easy to prepare.  I suspect it will take me about half the amount of time next time.    My next recipe request?  Doug mentioned something about making extra meat balls and turning them in to chicken tacos.  Tell me more…