Spatchcocked! (What a weird word)

Instructional videos are such a mixed bag. Setting aside the people who don’t know as much as they think they do, and the people who can’t write their way out of a wet paper bag (because those are problems with text instructions also), the basic problem with video is that it moves at the rate chosen by the producer. (Yes, I have software to play videos at multiple times that, but not everybody does.)
However, some things involving physical manipulation are much easier to learn when you can see it being done (for many learners; we vary).
Here, for example, is Alton Brown showing how little you actually have to do to “butterfly” (or “spatchcock”; where the heck does that come from? Apparently Ireland, then Anglo-Indian, and the OED dates it to 1785) a turkey. This lets you cook a turkey in less time (the video begins by geekily making the argument that he needs to double the surface area to cook it in the time he wants), less space (especially, less tall space), and also it lets you put a much bigger pan of stuffing under it to collect the drippings (he uses vegetables, silly man).
And he does it in under 3.5 minutes. (The fact that it’s well-produced also helps of course.)
WARNING: the Food Network’s ads come in hugely louder than the actual video, and hugely too loud, so be prepared to be blasted when you click “play” there!

Single-use Camera Project

Not sure where, if anywhere, I’m going past here. But Felicia gave me an old single-use camera at the Minn-StF fallcon, and I shot it when I went out with Ctein after fall foliage the next week.

Photo by Felicia Herman

And I got the negatives back (from Citizens Photo in Portland) last week.


Not entirely sure yet what I’ll do with the photos. It’s an interesting project, and it’s startling how bad some of the photos are technically (shot outdoors on a nice sunny day!).






Found the missing birthday presents, so I get to compare the Dundee and the Chivers ginger marmalade head-to-head.  The Dundee was what we used for decades, before we stopped keeping such things around (stopped doing biscuit breakfasts, I guess).

Several marmalades
Several marmalades

The Chivers is a bit lighter in shade and seems to have less solid ginger in it. The flavor is rounder and mellower, and has essentially no trace of “sharp” to it.

The Dundee is not as good as I remember it being. Memory of flavors over decades are not reliable, and people mostly lose taste sensitivity as they get older, so this doesn’t really prove a change in the marmalade, however. Still, I prefer it to the Chivers.  Unfortunately it seems to be hard to get; Lydy had to buy a batch of six jars to get it from Amazon (so it’s a good thing I still like it).

(Incidentally, I’ve now received well over a dozen jars of preserves from Amazon in many separate orders, not not one single jar got broken. I’m sure some do, but it appears to be pretty rare.)

One reason I’m buying these things from Amazon is that it’s much harder to find them in stores locally than it used to be, both regular grocery stores and specialty shops.

(The Frank Cooper vintage orange is present because it was one of the missing birthday presents that was finally turned up.)