Wednesday, October 21, 2009

When life gives you lemons, preserve those lemons

Back in Missoula, I visited The Silk Road as often as I could before moving. One night we ordered an appetizer of warmed olives, pretty standard. But these olives came with tiny slices of preserved lemons. They were awesome. I had to have more, but I haven't seen them on any menu since. I decided to take matters into my own hands.

I gathered:
  • 3 Lemons (any type will do, but I'm told Meyer Lemons are the way to go)
  • Canning and Pickling Salt
  • A large sized canning jar
  • Water
Then I cut off the nubs on the sides of the lemons and scored the skin about 8 times on each lemon from one severed nub to the other. I added 1/3 cup salt to 6 cups of water and brought that to a boil. Then I boiled the lemons for 8 minutes and turned the heat off. I left them in the warm water for another 30 minutes. I dropped the lemons in the jar and then poured the water I boiled them in over the top, completely covering them. Then I put the top on and screwed down the ring and waited. And waited. Each day I flipped the jar so the salt wouldn't settle. I'm told you can also shake the jar everyday. After 7 days, I pried off the lid and tasted.

Delicious. Not too salty and still tart.

Now I just need to figure out what to use them for. They aren't really just snack food by themselves. They factor heavily in Moroccan cuisine, so I'll have to do some research and figure out what I can make with these awesome preserved lemons.

Monday, October 19, 2009


When I woke up this morning, I remembered the word webolution from my dream. I thought it was a funny word, so I made this (less-funny) comic.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Free Hip Hop Albums

It isn't radical to post an album for free online anymore. It's risky, but more and more, it is becoming the best way to get your name out there. In an environment where the music industry seems to care more about profit and selling ringtones to tweens than enabling artists to create art, it seems more and more artists are forging a name for themselves and posting albums online.

The problem is, most of it really sucks. These two albums don't. You should check them out.

Debaser - Back to Work

Debaser is Sapient and Ethic from the mighty Sandpeople crew from Portland. Sapient just might be the hardest working emcee/producer in Hip Hop. This is the second of three albums he's giving away in as many months. That's on top of a solo album, a Sandpeople EP, and an upcoming collaboration with Luckyiam from the Living Legends.

The album features guest appearances by the aforementioned Luckyiam, Illmaculate (Sandpeople), Rasco (from Cali Agents), and Phat Kat, but the real stars of the album are Debaser themselves. Fantastic wordplay and banging production. It's easy to see how hungry these two are. Listening to the album makes you hope they break through, there aren't many who deserve it more.

The Slew - 100%

Here's the story, Kid Koala and Dynomite D were set to produce the soundtrack to a movie. The movie never happened. Never will. The two enlisted the help of the rhythm section of Wolfmother to perform the album on a one off tour. 100% is a psych-rock infused journey to an alternate reality. DJs are guitar wielding rock stars, disembodied voices of blues singers drop knowledge, and nothing is quite what it seems.

Strangely enough, it's one of Kid Koala's most accessible albums to date. They gave away the album so people would have more fun at the live shows, which have now ended. But don't think this is a live-only experience. 100% is one of the most original recordings I've heard in a long, long time.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

I made a comic strip.

My library will hopefully have access to a mobile laptop lab in the coming year. I was looking at some possible uses for it, and came across the Bitstrip website. I can't really "do art" very well, so this site is my only hope of having my own comic strip. It's so easy kids could dive right in and have a blast. And there's the bonus of the site being relying heavily on social networking and remixing. If there's one thing newspapers and morning shows have taught me, it's that the kids these days love social networking. So, there's my first idea for uses of the lab, a "Make your own comic" workshop for kids.

I figured I should practice using the site if I'm going to be helping kids with it, so I created my first comic! I think it's pretty neat. You might disagree.

It looks like it will be just a tease on this blog, so click the picture to see the exciting conclusion!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Welcome to The House of Lords

Darcy and I were in Iowa City a few weeks ago with my parents. We ended up staying in a lightly themed motel, because theme hotels always beat out non-theme motels. Seriously.

When my parents hit the sack, we decided to venture downstairs to "The House of Lords." The look of excitement on Darcy's face is entirely warranted.

After opening the doors, you are greeted by this glorious water wheel. I didn't think a picture was enough, so here's video. Yes, that is a moat.

Behind the bar is a view of the deep end of the swimming pool a la the Sip n' Dip in Great Falls, MT. There isn't a mermaid, or a lounge piano player, but this place is great.

We ordered a couple of beers, and the bartender matter-of-factly asked, "You want a glass or goblet?" Obviously we chose a goblet. Given the choice, you always choose the goblet.

All the drinks had medieval names, and one, called the "Bell-ringer," boasted a $150 price tag. It appeared to be some sort of punch bowl. I wish we had the money and the stamina to order it, but it will have to wait for another time. Any takers? We'll drive you out, you buy the drink!

I'm also a sucker for funny bathroom names.

It might not be quite as awesome as the Sip n' Dip, but what bar even holds a candle to that place? The House of Lords was worth the trip, and we'll be back for sure.