John Heaton (jheaton) wrote,
John Heaton


UPDATE! I tried the Tomato Basil Pasta again, with three changes. One, I used Italian-seasoned tomatoes. Two, I used half an onion and added some fresh zucchini. These changes were very successful. The third, I think, not so much. The first time I used a coiled vermicelli; this time, straight linguini. But given what equipment I had available, I couldn't fully cover the pot with the lid until the pasta had softened some. That didn't affect the taste, of course, but I think it did prevent the liquid from reducing as much as it did before. So next time I'll go back to the coil, or use a shaped pasta like I talked about before. Or just break the long rods in half, but I like to twirl my pasta.

UPDATE! I finished A Wicked War: Polk, Clay, Lincoln, and the 1846 U.S. Invasion of Mexico and the review I read was right: author Any Greenberg is extremely harsh on James K. Polk, always giving the most negative possible spin to whatever he did. For example, she attributes Polk's failure to sent condolences to Henry Clay on the death of his son in the Mexican War to Polk holding a grudge. Which is possible, I suppose, though why would he hold a grudge against the man he beat? Clay did come to harshly criticize the war, but well after his son died.

That aside, I did learn something about Abraham Lincoln's Congressional career. I knew he was a staunch opponent of the Mexican War and often spoke out against it while serving in the House, but Greenberg shed new light on that. He'd campaigned and been elected on a standard Whig economic platform, and apparently very infrequently mentioned the war at all, and usually only in response to direct questions. But Greenberg explained that on his way to Washington to take his seat, he stopped in Lexington, Kentucky, to visit his wife's family (And to earn a little extra cash by padding his mileage; members of Congress were reimbursed 40 cents a mile for travel. That's more than ten bucks in 2012 dollars!). While there, he had the opportunity to hear Henry Clay's first major anti-war, anti-slavery address, and Greenberg suggests that the effectiveness of that speech, combined with his strong admiration for Clay, is what turned Lincoln away from the economic platform he campaigned on to being an anti-war, anti-slavery activist.

UPDATE! Much to my dismay, Rodney made it into the final three on Food Network Star. He's the worst of the three by a wide margin, but I'm not enthusiastic about the other two, Russell and Damaris, either. Based on the short pilots that were made and shown in the most recent episode, I feel I have no choice by to vote for Russell to win. Damaris's strikes me as horribly sexist -- she aims to teach men how to win a women by cooking southern-style meals -- and Rodney's has Rodney in it, so Russell gets wins by default.

UPDATE! The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge named their baby George. Possibly you may have already received that update. But maybe you didn't hear that on George's birth certificate, the mother listed her occupation as "Princess of the United Kingdom," which Wetpaint Entertainment called "very interesting." And I thought my threshold for finding things interesting was low!
Tags: cooking, history, reading: books

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