Wednesday, January 13, 2010

A Video for my New Ticker

This really brings back the cheesy 80s, eh?

Monday, January 11, 2010


I finished my ticker.

I learned some new words lately

Well, not really new, but I polished up on the meanings.

verisimilitude from
1. the appearance or semblance of truth; likelihood; probability: The play lacked verisimilitude.
2. something, as an assertion, having merely the appearance of truth.

inveigle again, from
verb (used with object), -gled, -gling.
1. to entice, lure, or ensnare by flattery or artful talk or inducements (usually fol. by into): to inveigle a person into playing bridge.
2. to acquire, win, or obtain by beguiling talk or methods (usually fol. by from or away): to inveigle a theater pass from a person.

This is a word for which I can't find a precise definition. It appears to be a kind of fabric. I find many references to it, particularly in the context of costumes and historical clothing styles.

I did find a definition (for a tarlatan with an "a" in the final syllable) that is a crisp muslin. Now here is a vocabulary mystery. I find definitions for tarlatan with a variant of tarletan (with an "e" in the middle syllable).

In the book I'm reading, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, it was referring to a kind of petticoat, so this all seems to hold together. All must be the same word. But why is tarlaton (with an "o") not listed as an optional spelling, when obviously it is a frequently used spelling.

Anyone know more?

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Black Bean Stew

I bought four packages of tacos the other day that, upon opening, were found to have been smashed to bits. That evening, a bag of chips with our taco toppings seemed an easier solution.

I was left, however, with the detritus of forty-eight broken tacos for which to find a use.

I put on my thinking cap and came up with this. It was a good choice for a Sunday dinner, since I could put it in first thing in the morning, and I didn't have much prep left after church.

Black Bean Stew (for topping chips or rice)

350F, five hours baking time, makes about 5 quarts

  • 3 cups dry black beans
  • 6 c water
  • 1/4 c taco seasoning mix*
  • 1 tbs salt
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 medium diced onion
  • 1/4 c bacon fat
  • 1/2 c honey
  • 1 tbs balsamic vinegar
  • hot sauce to your taste, I used about 1 tbs
  • thickening of choice, optional
  • toppings such as salsa, sour cream, onions, tomatoes, ...
*I use a homemade taco seasoning mix that has no salt. What I use would equal about two taco seasoning packets, but use less salt, to your taste.

Soak beans overnight. If desired add 1/4 c whey to soaking water to help "pre-digest" the beans. Rinse several times before cooking.

Add first seven ingredients to a large baking dish or small roasting pan (I used my crockpot insert, I think it holds 6 qts). I crumbled up the beef a little. Bake covered at 350F.

After four hours, or when the beans are soft, add the honey, vinegar and hot sauce. Bake uncovered an additional hour. Acids and sugars will deter the beans from softening correctly, so make sure the beans are cooked before adding them.

If you'd like, thicken before serving.

Serve over rice or chips with whatever toppings you wish.