atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,


Apparently Illinois politicians believe that there are people out there who don't know that soft drinks are less healthy than milk or water.

That's not particularly surprising, considering that Illinois law is constituted from the philosophy that the average person cannot be trusted with sharp objects and caustic chemicals.

I fully expect the next law from the Illinois legislature to read approximately thus:
WHEREAS we just got new carpeting in the living room; and

WHEREAS you say you're too old to drink from sippy cups any longer;

It SHALL be illegal for you to take beverages out of the kitchen or dining room.

The penalty for violating this regulation SHALL be no desserts for a week.
That's how bad the nanny f-ing state is getting.

* * *

This isn't new but it's interesting: a guy who presents Beowulf as it would have been told by the skalds of old. The funny thing is that as you listen to the guy talk you can kinda-sorta hear embryonic English in his speech.

* * *

The pepper steak is edible without being a wonder to behold. At least it's easy to make and something different on the menu. I don't think you need to use round steak, though; it would probably turn out just fine if you used chuck roast or something.

Anyway, since it turned out to be okay, here's how you make it:

Cut the meat into thin (ish) strips. Put it in a crock pot (slow cooker) with a couple of peppers, cut into slices. (One green and one red will probably be enough.) Take about half a medium onion, slice it, and add it. Add a tablespoon of minced garlic and shake in a few red pepper flakes. (Up to a quarter teaspoon. Or more, as desired.) A can of mushrooms with the liquid, 2 cups of beef broth--I just used a 14 oz can--and maybe a cup of wine if you happen to have it on hand. Add 2 tablespoons of soy sauce and a teaspoon of sesame oil. Mix well. Turn the crock pot on "high" and walk away for four hours. (Alternately, turn it on "low" and walk away for six. Noboby cares.)

Five minutes before you want to serve this stuff, toss in some Minute rice (or the generic equivalent) and let it cook; then serve.

The most time-consuming part of this is cutting up the meat, peppers, and onions. Since I already had frozen green pepper strips and frozen sliced onions, I didn't even have to do that. You could probably get away with buying the pre-chopped frozen onion and green pepper, and adding perhaps a cup or 1.5 cups each instead of using fresh. I don't think it would affect the flavor much.

It's filling, it's reasonably tasty; it's not haute cuisine but it's a good way to make a pound of meat go a bit farther than it would by itself. If I make it again, I'll add a can of mixed chinese vegetables (bamboo shoots, water chestnuts, bean sprouts) and chop up a stalk of celery; maybe some carrot, too, because I could use the vitamin A and they're cheap.

Another idea I had was to serve over noodles (maybe soba or udon?) instead of tossing rice in the pot.

* * *

Well, it's snowy outside. After therapy was done, I came home, ate some of the pepper steak, and then went to bed. I slept for perhaps four hours before my stomach woke me up. I took out the trash, put the leftovers away, and washed out the crock, then ate another helping of the food.

Now I'm all sleepy again, and there isn't any reason for me to stay up.

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