Holiday Gift Guide 2015 Part II – Science and Blather!

My last post was all about some gifts you could get for the beer and/or food geeks in your life. This list is my other passion, science, and then a bunch of other things that have made my life better over the past year in some way or another. Or, like the last post, a few things I might pick up in the future (holidays make it hard to buy for oneself).

In any case, these are usually things that have made me or someone I love happy, with an occasional thing I’m just dying to buy (for me or someone else).

Science:

First and foremost, let me reiterate “the single best suggestion/idea I can give you is to go shop for your entire list at your favorite local museum, aquarium, planetarium, or zoo.” (This is a direct quote from me from last year, it’s true.) Memberships are great and, yes, some of these places will be doing discounts (the Portland, OR aquarium is, for example) and their main shops are always full of cool and unusual stuff.… Continue reading →

Holiday Gift Guide 2015 Part I – Food and Beer

Last year I did my first ever “gift guide,” and was surprised at how much folks liked the post. I admit, I hadn’t been sure people would be interested in my suggestions, but I decided to put them out there in case it was useful. This year, knowing it was well-liked last year, I’ve been paying a bit more attention to possible suggestions.

It helped, frankly, that Bill and I moved across the country and had to decide both what to get rid of entirely and what to put into storage for the next nine months. The toaster oven made the moving cut, but not the storage cut, for example. The electric kettle in that post, however, remains a part of my day to day living.… Continue reading →

Science, Beer, Food, and Blathering Gift Suggestions

Well, after blogging for four and a half years, I guess I’ve started to get the hang of things. Like, in December, a blogger should consider having a “gift guide” or something. Or a good cookie recipe. Or both.

Well, I have several cookie recipes, but nothing new for you, so I guess we’ll have to settle on a gift ideas. I tried to come up with a few things that I have liked, used, or given as potential gifts from each “section” of the blog (food, beer, science, blather).

Mostly, I think these things are neat, fun, or wonderful and I hope to help you find something spectacular for someone awesome in your life. Or, if not find, give you some a springboard for other ideas.… Continue reading →

So, you want to give a coffee gift…

Hi there, all. Bill here. I don’t have much to say on the blog these days, but Tasha asked me to make this post. I’ve had a few people ask me recently about gifting coffee stuff to people in their lives, and I wrote a pretty long email to one of them recently that contained my thoughts. Here’s an edited version thereof.

So, a couple of caveats before I start: I assume the person you’re purchasing for is into schmancy coffee to some degree. Someone who just likes a basic cup of coffee may not appreciate a bunch of this, but who knows? You might just start them onto a new hobby and some better coffee to drink. Also, I have no idea what your budget is: I’ll mention roughly how expensive things are, but that’s all you get.… Continue reading →

[122] 2011 Christmas Dinner Bone-In Prime Rib Roast

How to Cook Everything, Revised Edition by Mark Bittman

Last year, Bill and I accidentally started a tradition. At least, it felt that way to me earlier this month, when I was thinking about what to cook for dinner.

Apparently, I felt that way last year too. Even though I made some mistakes last year.

This year was also good, but not as good. I didn’t like the wine as much (a Washington State Malbec vs a Chilean (I think) Pinot Noir). This was a bone-in roast, and also had substantially more fat on it. The rancher (same as last year) had also had the bones cut off the meat, then tied back on. I do not know why, but it prevented carving the way Mr. Bittman suggested.

Anyway, I thought you guys might want a quick look at what we had.… Continue reading →