July 7th, 2016


Fry, fry again

Started the day with what looked like a good recipe for beer battered chicken, battered up about 2/3 of the wings. Everything looked fine until I took them out of the oil. The batter was squishy and mostly falling off. The recipe said to bake them for half an hour after frying, which seemed wrong, so I only did that to half the failed wings, but it helped. The other half I washed off as best I could and set aside. The baked ones were lunch.

Got the clues I needed, and started preparing for another go at fried chicken. The clues were:
1. Soak the wings in a buttermilk & spices mixture for 2 hours at room temperature, then drain & pat dry-ish
2. Toss them into a container full of flour and shake it to coat them all. Batter won't stick to skin, but it will stick to flour
3. Corn oil is okay. Peanut oil is slightly better but twice the price
4. Batter each wing separately, and toss it into the hot oil as soon as it is battered
5. Use a skillet, not a deep pot
6. Only fry a few at a time. ~ 7 minutes a side.
8. Keep the oil on medium heat after heating to 350°

I was so caught up in that, and multitasking online that my phone beeped with a calendar reminder I had completely forgotten about - phone interview with the hiring manager at NVidia.

He called almost on time. It was a disaster. His cell connection was poor, his Indian accent thick, and his syntax was difficult to decode. In a nutshell, I did not understand him, he did not understand me. And he has no clue how to interview. So, unfortunately, that very nice job is not going to happen.

Have not heard back from GoPro, so that's also probably not happening either. Or Logitech, but I don't really care. And then there were none. :-(

The second wave of battered wings came out fine. Just for grins I battered the failed washed-off wings, and they came out okay too. Refried wings. Olé!

And boy what a mess the kitchen was. I did some cleanup, but needed to do some stuff on the PC, like download the class slides for tonight, and make a DVD for Robin of the Graham Norton show featuring the GB3 cast. That will be in the mail tomorrow. Maybe it will remind her she owes me a DVD of the Oliver! we were in way back when.

Class was abysmal. I'm guessing we have 1/3 fewer students now. Once again the teacher wasted huge chunks of time going over and over and over stuff on the board instead of telling the students asking stupid questions to just effing try it on the PC in front of them. He started the class by asking how it was going, and for suggestions on making it better, but the same idiots kept shouting out inane suggestions.

As expected, we ran out of time, and he skipped over the two most difficult to understand items of the day.

And he let class out early. 20 minutes.

Home, I cleaned up the rest of the kitchen, loaded up the dishwasher.
Plans for tomorrow:
Manicure (I forgot to go today)
Baylands - fly the copter
Lucky's, more chicken wings & other stuff on my list
Fry again
Study El Capitan parts
Do some python(?)

Worth the wait

It was a day of waiting. Okay, not really all day.

The plan was to be at the nails place at 10, but I was 10 minutes late and there was a customer already in the chair. They asked me to wait for 15 minutes, which is fine, I got my tablet from the car and fired up the kindle app. About 5 minutes later, a woman and her daughter walked in, and said they had an appointment. Turns out they did, but the person who took the call forgot to write it in the book. So I was asked to come back after noon.

That gave me time to got to Lucky's and buy enough wings and buttermilk to finish off the batter which was in the fridge. Also got paper towels (I used two rolls in two days!), kitchen cleaner spray, and a couple of sponges to replace the dying ones in the kitchen.

Home, made up a batch of buttermilk soak and dumped the wings into it to marinate for 2 hours.

Back to the nails place, waited another 10 minutes, got my nails done, headed back home.

It was not as hot as it had been, and I discovered that the wind coming off the bay blows right into the kitchen, and the other front door open helps. Did not need the aircon at all.

Heated the oil, but got it too hot - the ancient meat thermometer takes 5 minutes to count to 350, and by then it's probably 400. So my first trio of wings is a lovely shade of golden black. I had made two changes to the batter. Added an egg, and also about 2 tablespoons of baking soda. The theory is both would make a fluffier breading. It did. Too much.

I really should have taken the copter to the park and come back by 3, did not have to start frying right away, but it has been one of those decades.

UPS was supposed to deliver my Nikon back from repair between 3 and 7, and tracking showed it out for delivery at 4 am, which usually means I'll get it around 3. But no. Even the mail was late - 3:30 or so. I finished frying at around 4, I think, and sat on the porch reading, but it was very windy and cold in the shade and too hot in the sun.

Once again I forgot to play the piano - did not want to miss hearing the UPS truck - and didn't use the exercise bike (no excuse). I did not forget the 1 pm news conference welcoming Kevin Durant to the Warriors. He handled it well, but I was disappointed not to see any of the team there. Just the coach and the GM.

Spent a lot of time online watching it be 2016. Two stupid police murderers in one day?

One of my cousins posted that the first one was cuffed and on the ground when he was shot. He wasn't cuffed, but the cop who shot him had his knee pinning the victim's elbow to the ground, and the other hand was jammed as well. One of her commenters was fixated on how that was all wrong - turns out he had only seen the video after the guy was shot, when he was spread-eagled and the officers were off of him. He tried that BS of claiming he was a police officer, but my cousin actually is a trained peace officer, so she wasn't buying any. She's also a trained firefighter, both urban and forest. But the guy had drunk the koolaid, and was totally only going to believe what he thought he saw, in the face of all the evidence to the contrary.

Time kept passing, UPS kept not showing up.

Finally at 7:05 UPS arrives. :-(

I unpacked the camera, they had cleaned it and even closed the shutter behind the eyepiece, which I had totally forgotten was there. Took out my simplest lens, made a series of test shots (Spook posed, but just photos of the monochrome carpet and the white wall was the real test) and lo and behold, the photos came out clean! Yay!

Sometime during the wait I loaded the dishwasher again and cleaned up all the places. The used oil still has life in it, for now it is in a half gallon plastic pitcher, until I can get a closed container. There was some batter left, that's in a storage tub in the freezer. The wings are in a gallon ziplock in the freezer with all the other wings.

There is too much buttermilk left. I  need to make pancakes.

One more thing on my list, I looked up a poached egg recipe, and then a couple more for comparison because WTF is he calling for vinegar? Turns out all of them suggest it to keep the whites form feathering all over the pot. I had three fresh eggs left, but only made two. On toast with margarine and a slice of American cheese. They came out just a tiny bit too hard, but that was me not turning the flame down enough. Again.

I was watching The Mentalist, since I had not tuned in for a while, and nothing else was on which appealed to me. And right as we were getting halfway into the 2nd segment, asinine Channel 4 interrupts with a news flash. Cops killed in Texas. As if that can't wait till 10 o'clock. I bet their switchboard lit up bigtime. Rule #1 used to be don't interrupt a program unless it's local news.

Putting my camera kit back together, when I tried to plug the GPS unit into the USB charger, it wouldn't connect. The fixture on the unit is broken. It takes months to get repairs done (Hong Kong company) but now they have a new model which doesn't need USB charging, is half the price (no display, all it does is what I want it to do - tag the photos). So I ordered one.

Also ordered an "instant" thermometer. zeroC to 300C in 10 seconds. Good for candy, too (the next time I do orange peels).

Plans for tomorrow:
Study words to operetta songs