Thursday, 23 April 2015

How to Make Will's Yummy Ribs

I love ribs, but they've always been my nemesis; I could never cook them right. That is, I could never cook them until I discovered this little secret. I don't remember where I got it from, but I've adopted it and tweaked it a bit to make it my own. Ribs in our home are now always done this yummy way.

First I begin by cutting up the racks of ribs into smaller manageable pieces. I lay the pieces into an oven-safe casserole dish and add slices of lemon and raw onion in between, under and over the pieces. I then pour a full can of beer (any brand) over the meat and wrap the dish in aluminum foil.

The dish then goes into a preheated 325 degree F oven for about one hour to nicely braise. Next it's outside to the BBQ on about a medium heat and to be basted a few times with my favourite, "Bull's Eye Hot Southern Cajun" barbecue sauce. At this point I make sure to not leave it unattended, immediately extinguishing any flair ups with a squirt water bottle that I have standing by. Past experience has taught me that it will easily burn, and I prefer my ribs non-cremated. I can just about taste them now, as I drool all over my keyboard writing this.

A couple more quick turns on the BBQ, another quick basing or two, and we're just about there. Doesn't that look amazing? I've sometimes been asked what I pair it with. What a silly question; it pairs well with more ribs, of course.

Well, you'll have to excuse me; I'm starving and it's time to chow down! Thanks for stopping by for one of this Foodie's favourite dishes. Hope I didn't make you too hungry. Actually, that's not entirely true; deep down inside I may have had a little bit of an evil intent with this post. LOL (Just kidding).

Happy Eating 

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

My Cure for Insomnia?

If you would have told me even a few short years ago that I would be going back to school yet again to further my education, I would have told you that you were nuts! If you would have said that in my mid-fifties I would start studying power engineering, I would have recommended that you visit a psychiatrist. And yet here I am, about half way through an accelerated online power engineering program. How on Earth did that happen?

Recently my role at work changed, and in order to keep up with the change, I was strongly encouraged to enrol in this educational program. I joked a little saying that I was "volun-told" that this is what I was going to do. Don't get me wrong, I firmly believe that one is never too old to learn something new. In my case, you could even say that it's hereditary, in that my own mother went back to university to pursue another degree AFTER she was already retired. No rocking chair for her!

While it's all interesting and related to my current job, I have also joked that parts of the text books have helped me cure my insomnia; some parts are simply very dry and boring reading. Still, it's all good. And besides, with my employer picking up the tuition tab, how can I go wrong? Free education can hardly be considered a bad thing, so pressing on is the order of the day.

What kinds of things are involved in becoming a "Fifth Class Power Engineer?" Well I'm glad that you asked. I won't bore you with all the finer details, but the first book is made up of multiple chapters divided into six units. They are: (1) Boiler Details, (2) Boiler Fittings & Controls, (3) Boiler Operation & Maintenance, (4) Fuel & Combustion, (5) Piping & Valves, (6) Thermoil Systems.

Book Two is made up of such units as: (1) Heating Systems & Human Comfort, (2) Plumbing & Auxiliaries, (3) Lighting, (4) Refrigeration, (5) Refrigeration & AC System Controls, (6) Pumps & Air Compressors, (7) Distributed Generation.

Book Three delves even deeper into the legalities, maths and science with such units as: (1) Provincial Acts, Regulations & Adopted Codes, (2) Basic Math, (3) Applied Science, (4) Safety, (5) Electricity, (6) Welding, (7) Water Treatment.

The final text is simply an academic supplement divided into three parts: (1) Steam Tables, (2) Refrigeration Tables, (3) Handbook of Formulae & Constants. So now you understand how some of this course has become my cure for insomnia!

Well there you have it. I read somewhere once that keeping one's mind active with reading and learning new things, especially as one starts to get older, helps to prevent Alzheimers. I, for one, believe it, Maybe there's hope for me yet.

Is there a downside of all this? Only a selfish one, in that instead of fully enjoying my summer this year, I have to stay focussed on the school work. Oh well, as someone has so eloquently said, "This too shall pass."

So, if you're wondering what happened to Will, and why you haven't seen much of him lately, now you know. If you're the praying type, I sure could use some; this has certainly been a bit of a challenge. If all goes according to plan, I will be writing my final exam in late October 2015. Wish me luck!

Finally, if you're having trouble sleeping, send me a note; I'll be happy to loan you a few books. In no time at all, your insomnia will be miraculously cured, just as mine was. How cool is that? (Yes, I'm being facetious).

Saturday, 11 April 2015

of Legalizing Pot: A Conspiracy?

Now I'm not into illegal drugs, nor do I really care if they ever legalize pot as this graffiti artist no doubt believes should happen. Maybe they should, as some jurisdictions already have. In my own personal view, smoking pot is not better nor worse than alcoholism, or eating disorders, or anything else for that matter that we can find ourselves addicted to. In comparison to some legalized habits, such as smoking cigarettes, it may even be less harmful due to the fact that it doesn't have the addition of a plethora of other dangerous chemicals. Again, that's just my personal view and not one that I'm going to preach or debate here.

Having said that, I found the following illustration interesting and with a strong subliminal message: when there's money to be made by government or the big pharmaceutical companies, or both, something illegal can easily be converted and legally repurposed under the guise of helping the sick get healthy once again. In many cases it does in fact do exactly that; the sick do get better. After all, where would any of us be without a doctor's prescription when we need it? Under a doctor's care, and with some government controls, we all benefit.

Still, every once in a while, the "conspiracy theorist" in me wants to rear its head, and feed on illustrations like this. Is there a conspiracy? With the billions and billions of dollars spent (and earned) on some things, like cancer research, I do wonder sometimes; it is, after all, big business. But in the case of the pot-smoker's quest to legalize his cherished cannabis, I don't really think so ... I think ... maybe ... or then again ... perhaps ... Hmm ... .

Still, I was amused by the suggestion. Peace.

Grafitti Photo Credit: Patrick Harris, Flickr Creative Commons
Medical Marijuana Photo Credit: Unknown (via Facebook)