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January 12th, 2008

Since the Big Bags of Dried Seeds in the basement were so useful, I added a couple more to them: 25# each from Eden of pinto and navy beans. Yum.

We made our first two navy bean dishes last night. R. made Navy Bean Soup off of a recipe I cobbled together off the internets and which I will shortly upload to my cookbook. He blamed me, intially, for too many vegetables, but that's his own damn fault. I said 2 carrots and 4 stalks celery; he made it 3 and 3 thinking they should be even. Gack. Other than having a lot of carrots, it turned out well. We had no ham, and were going to short the bacon, but he started prepping bacon for the Boston baked, not realizing I was going to make it vegetarian. After a short verbal scuffle, the bacon went into the Navy Bean Soup, resulting in the usual high-meat ratio (1 Cup dried beans, 8 slices bacon).

The Boston baked was a series of experimental maneuvers that nearly ended in disaster. First, I opted for no acidic ingredients whatsoever (no tomato, no vinegar), and I either left the salt out entirely (R. thinks) or just put in a tiny amount of sea salt (which I think I did). I used 1/4 cup molasses and 1-2 Tbsp maple syrup.

Because I neither did a full quick soak nor did I soak overnight, I was very unsure how much water to put in the pot and we were relatively certain I'd overshot. So we cooked it in the oven with the lid off for about an hour, then turned the oven down, put the lid on and eventually went to bed to the aroma of boston baked. At about 4:30 a.m., I woke up and became absolutely convinced it was time to turn the oven off. So, down the stairs, check the beans -- yup, liquid all gone -- turned off the oven but left the pot in, and went back to bed.

In the morning, I had some for breakfast with my usual pb & j on an english muffin. Very, very yummy. R. thinks they could use more salt, and maybe some brown sugar, but otherwise concurs. He says the navy bean soup is delish; I haven't had it yet.

Not sure whether it's adaptation, adequate cooking or what, but despite having a lot of beans lately, the digestive issues appear to be All Gone. Yay.
Lunch was gallo pinto. Yum. I had some kale with it. Mmmmm.

Dinner was the baked beans from last night and boston brown bread (cause you have to!). I haven't had boston brown bread, that I can recall, since I was a small child. I got Kidder out to get her idea of a milk-free version (it's generally a buttermilk quick bread), then did some revising. I'll post the results in my cookbook as it was successful. I don't remember raisins, but a lot of the recipes I looked at online had them, so I included them. Best of the Best from New England was not overly helpful.

Having finished Conason and Lyon's book _The Hunting of the President_, I pulled out my copy of David Brock's _Blinded by the Right_, because it seemed relevant. Having skimmed a bit, I thought I'd make a couple of remarks about fact checking.

(1) Recently, people have been quoting this story about the Polish guy goes to the brothel, runs into his wife. I heard it first on Countdown and was quite disappointed with Olbermann for including it since it was obviously an urban legend. In case you are curious:

http://urbanlegends.about.com/b/2008/01/10/man-dumbfounded-to-find-wife-working-in-brothel-take-two.htm

(2) David Brock, upon switching from writing for rabid right-wingers to more mainstream publishers, encounters Fact Checkers for the first time. Holy cow. I mean, I knew these people made shit up, but that sure explains why they seem so surprised when they don't get away with it in a larger context.

Honestly, tho, it reminds me of all those people in my life who e-mail me crap that is obviously untrue (or foolishly repeat some damn rumor to me). Come on, people. A lot of this stuff is obviously bogus and only being told for the moral. Make an effort. Please!

(3) In Pantry Raid III, Brown says 1/4 cup is 2 Tbsp. In a fannish transcript, this is rightly marked (sic). How the heck did that get onto the finished show?