08/09/2014 archive

Random Japan

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 Get ’em while they’re cold! Tokyo restaurant has chilled chicken skewers in collagen blocks

   Casey Baseel

Japan takes skincare pretty seriously. Aside from all the parasols, cosmetic-grade sunscreens, and arsenal of lotions stocked at every drug store, some people look for a skin-beautifying boost in the foods they eat.

Collagen-rich dishes are particularly popular, especially when cooked in a hot pot. But what if you don’t just want food that contains collagen, but globs of it that contain food? Then this Tokyo yakitori restaurant has just the thing with its chicken skewers inside blocks of collagen.

Health and Fitness News

Welcome to the Stars Hollow Gazette‘s Health and Fitness News weekly diary. It will publish on Saturday afternoon and be open for discussion about health related issues including diet, exercise, health and health care issues, as well as, tips on what you can do when there is a medical emergency. Also an opportunity to share and exchange your favorite healthy recipes.

Questions are encouraged and I will answer to the best of my ability. If I can’t, I will try to steer you in the right direction. Naturally, I cannot give individual medical advice for personal health issues. I can give you information about medical conditions and the current treatments available.

You can now find past Health and Fitness News diaries here and on the right hand side of the Front Page.

Follow us on Twitter @StarsHollowGzt

Cook a Peck of Peppers

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Andrew Scrivani for The New York Times

There will be a bounty of peppers mild and hot through October. Go to a farmers’ market for peppers with the most intense flavors. They are especially sweet when roasted, good grilled or boiled. These recipes mainly look to the Mediterranean for their inspiration. Peppers are low in calories and packed with nutrients.

From now on, right through October, you should be seeing an array of peppers in your farmers’ markets. They’re piled high at mine, all different colors, mostly sweet ones but hotter chiles as well. They are a treat, and if you’re used to supermarket peppers, the intensity of the farmers’ market pepper flavors will be a revelation.

~Martha Rose Shulman~

Tunisian Grilled Peppers and Tomatoes with Couscous

This spicy, juicy meal, perfect for the summer, is one of a variety of Tunisian grilled salads. The couscous can be served warm or at room temperature.

Mini Bell Peppers Stuffed with Goat Cheese http://www.nytimes.com/recipes…

This side dish is a way to take advantage of the mini sweet peppers that are showing up by the bag in supermarkets. They should be roasted briefly and not peeled.

Grilled Peppers with Garlic Yogurt

This dish is very much in the Turkish spirit of mixing warm vegetables with cool, garlicky yogurt. Various types of peppers will work.

Grilled Pepper Omelet

Roasted peppers, chopped herbs and a little bit of Parmesan make for a quick omelet in the spirit of a pipérade.

Millet and Red Pepper Polenta

Leftovers of this savory polenta – if you have any – can be reheated in a pan, grilled or eaten cold. There are two ways to make this dish.

The Breakfast Club (Inconceivable!)

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I do not think that word means what you think it means.

So recently I’ve seen a couple of pundits, columnists, and reporters who should know better use “Baroque” to describe something.  For example-

Argentina accuses US of judicial malpractice for triggering needless default

By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, The Telegraph

7:56PM BST 31 Jul 2014

In a sign of how Baroque this saga has become, Argentina actually tried to wire the payment to US banks in New York but the money was returned in order to comply with a court order, leaving it unclear whether this will trigger credit default swaps on Argentina’s debt worth $1bn. The Argentine press said the government may pay the interest into an escrow account to maintain the goodwill of the main bondholders.

Baroque is an artistic style that uses exaggerated motion and clear, easily interpreted detail to produce drama, tension, exuberance, and grandeur in sculpture, painting, architecture, literature, dance, and music.

I think, from context, instead they mean Byzantine (definition 4)- overly complex or intricate, or of a devious, usually stealthy manner of practice.

So Baroque is kind of exactly… the opposite.

Now I could waste a lot of time and pixels explaining why the Eastern Roman Empire inspired that kind of definition, but that’s about 1200 years of history and I’d rather talk about music and not misshapen pearls.

Although it was long thought that the word as a critical term was first applied to architecture, in fact it appears earlier in reference to music, in an anonymous, satirical review of the première in October 1733 of Rameau’s Hippolyte et Aricie, printed in the Mercure de France in May 1734. The critic implied that the novelty in this opera was “du barocque,” complaining that the music lacked coherent melody, was filled with unremitting dissonances, constantly changed key and meter, and speedily ran through every compositional device.

Well, that would be “every compositional device” known to the Renaissance where ‘daring’ meant 4 part harmony (with feelin’ and a paragraph on the back of each one explaining how it is to be used in evidence against me.  Sucks to have a logical mind, gravity, and a VW Microbus with shovels, rakes, and implements of destruction, I might not be moral enough).

We’ll just wait until it comes around on the Gamba again.

This particular piece by Montaverdi is an example of mid-Baroque and like many was Liturgical in nature, the title translates roughly to “Prayers for the Blessed Virgin” and has 8 part harmony.

Which, though it seems rather pedestrian today, was peculiar in the most unusual way they could cook up back when they were still figuring out how to write music down at all and weren’t even concerned about 12 tone atonalism and serial minimalism (no, I don’t really understand Philip Glass either).

Any who, Obigatories, News, and Blogs below the fold.

On This Day In History August 9

This is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future.

Find the past “On This Day in History” here.

Click on images to enlarge

August 9 is the 221st day of the year (222nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 144 days remaining until the end of the year.

On this day in 1974, one day after the resignation of President Richard M. Nixon, Gerald R. Ford is sworn in as president, making him the first man to assume the presidency upon his predecessor’s resignation. He was also the first non-elected vice president and non-elected president, which made his ascendance to the presidency all the more unique.

Gerald Rudolph Ford, Jr. (born Leslie Lynch King, Jr.; July 14, 1913 – December 26, 2006) was the 38th President of the United States, serving from 1974 to 1977, and the 40th Vice President of the United States serving from 1973 to 1974. As the first person appointed to the vice-presidency under the terms of the 25th Amendment, when he became President upon Richard Nixon’s  resignation on August 9, 1974, he also became the only President of the United States who was elected neither President nor Vice-President.

Before ascending to the vice-presidency, Ford served nearly 25 years as Representative from Michigan’s 5th congressional district, eight of them as the Republican Minority Leader.

As President, Ford signed the Helsinki Accords, marking a move toward detente in the Cold War. With the conquest of South Vietnam by North Vietnam nine months into his presidency, US involvement in Vietnam essentially ended. Domestically, Ford presided over what was then the worst economy since the Great Depression, with growing inflation and a recession during his tenure. One of his more controversial acts was to grant a presidential pardon to President Richard Nixon for his role in the Watergate scandal. During Ford’s incumbency, foreign policy was characterized in procedural terms by the increased role Congress began to play, and by the corresponding curb on the powers of the President. In 1976, Ford narrowly defeated Ronald Reagan for the Republican nomination, but ultimately lost the presidential election to Democrat Jimmy Carter.

Following his years as president, Ford remained active in the Republican Party. After experiencing health problems and being admitted to the hospital four times in 2006, Ford died in his home on December 26, 2006. He lived longer than any other U.S. president, dying at the age of 93 years and 165 days.

Party at SHG- Hard Times

Hey there, Partiers, welcome! You know, sometimes life hands you lemons and there just isn’t any sugar around to make lemonade out of those sour things. Whether it’s your job, family troubles, or heartbreak, there’s a tune for that, and tonight that’s what we’ll be featuring.