In re: Pan-Seared Jerk Duck Salad

The other day, after a fun day of attending a multi state professional responsibility exam review class, I ate for the first time at the Banana Bean cafe, which is in German Village here in Columbus. I had read and heard good things about the place which serves Caribbean/Floridian food. I hadn’t really known anything about their menu in advance, but was pretty impressed with the variety. I had a salad with cooked apples, blue cheese, walnuts and I added their jerk rubbed chicken. The combination was pretty good (I also wanted to try one of their many interesting sides, having the grits with goat cheese).

Inspired by the salad there I made the other day my own version, this time using some duck breasts I had picked up at the north market. I first scored the fat side of the breast and then gave both sides a rub with the Walkerswood jerk paste I am very fond of, in addition to a spice rub I keep around that is mostly salt and pepper along w/ a few other spices. These went skin/fat side down into the dry and very hot skillet for about 5 minutes until the skin had deeply browned and crisped, then flipped and into the oven for another 6 or so minutes, and then out to rest (this brings the duck in at about a medium). In the meantime I had made up the salad using a mesculin or spring mix, thinly shaved english cucumber, crumbled Danish blue cheese, matchstick apples and ‘jerked’ apple slices (apple slices I cooked up in the remaining duck fat / jerk seasoning that was in the pan). I made up a dressing that was essentially a kicked up honey french dressing and served it all up w/ some crostini.

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In re: Dr. Condi, work on your history.

The Secretary of State, Condoleeza Rice was on Fox News the other day and made some startlingly historically inaccurate and stupid analogies about the current situation in Iraq and Europe in 1945 following the fall of Nazi Germany. Keith Olberman took this to task and rebuked her on his show, pointing out the gross inaccuracy of her statement and how incredible this was considering she has a Ph. D. in political science no less. Check it out here at Crooks & Liars.

“I know it’s extremely difficult. And yes, as the president has said, we’ve now overthrown Saddam Hussein. We are in a different situation, even, some would say, a different war. But the consolidation of a stable and democratic Iraq after the overthrow of Saddam Hussein is a part of what America owes to the Iraqi people, owes to the region and owes to ourselves so that our own security is there.

Chris, it would be like saying that after Adolf Hitler was overthrown, we needed to change, then, the resolution that allowed the United States to do that so that we could deal with creating a stable environment in Europe after he was overthrown. It’s a part of a continuum of what we’re trying to do in Iraq.” (Condi on Fox transcript) (In fact the ‘resolution that allowed the United States’, i.e. the Marshall Plan to most of us, did require going to congress, and the republicans did oppose spending the billions of dollars it took to rebuild Europe)

In re: Haute cusine using road kill, is it possible?

Steven Rinella, author of the Scavenger’s Guide to Haute Cuisine, put out the menu for a dinner he was making for some friends.  The menu included some far off specialties from around the world, but also some local fare including “squirrel hasenpfeffer, for one, and grilled sparrows wrapped in prosciutto, skewered along with zucchini and hot Italian sausage made from a young antelope doe.”  (To read more see NY Mag’s Grub Street “Jay McInerney to Pair Fine Wines With Local Vermin”)

I hadn’t really heard of Steven Rinella, but I gotta say his book sounds kinda interesting from the few little snippets I’ve read, although I guess it might not be for everyone:

“I spend a lot of time thinking about food. If I’m not thinking about food, there’s a good chance that I’m out collecting it. I scrounge around in the mountains for huckleberries and I search riverbanks for wild asparagus, though mostly I hunt and fish for meat. I suppose you could say that getting my own food is a hobby of mine, but I’ve never looked at it that way…

… People will happily pay good money for dead animals, so long as the animals are killed by proxy executioners and sold in grocery stores. But many of those same people are suspicious of  folks who enjoy killing their own food in the wild. So let this serve as a warning about what kind of guy I am, and what kind of book this is. ” (more available on his website)

In re: Caught stealing free wifi

Up in Alaska a seemingly adicted gamer was caught in the parking lot of the local library (closed at the time) playing online games (Online gaming it should be noted has ‘ruined’ the lives of some who find themselves devoting a huge amount of time to playing in their virtual world. The Alaskan fellow wasn’t allowed on the internet at home after 9pm, so he would drive around to use other peoples networks. On a side note, way to go G. Rob, quitting the chronic WoW) Anyway, police seized his laptop, (the day before they had told him to stop). The police planned to get a search warrant to examine the contents of the laptop and have been hanging on to it since. Seems a bit nutty to me, they leave it on overnight? (a technican was supposed to put a timer on it they say) and then want to not have people use it? I’ve written before on WiFi theft, and whether stealing your neighbors WiFi is a crime, whether they are violating the terms of their internet connection by not securing a WiFi connection.

“Police said that although Tanner was using an essentially free service, there are library rules governing its use and Tanner wasn’t following them.” (UPI)

“Tanner, 21, was using the library’s wireless Internet connection. He was told that his activity constituted theft of services and was told to leave. The next day, Sunday, police spotted him there again.

“It was kind of like, ‘Well gee whiz, come on,’ ” police Lt. Tom Remaley said

The police officer confiscated Tanner’s laptop in order to inspect what he may have been downloading, Remaley said. Remaley on Friday said he hasn’t looked inside the computer yet; he’s putting together a search warrant application.” (Anchorage Daily News)

On a side note there was an interesting forum thread concerning a guy who wanted to go onto his neighbors routers and password protect them, for them (without them knowing) check that here. Also see the Fark.com on the Alaska guy

In re: Live near Starbucks? Want to make money?

Fon (what is Fon? see this) is running a campaign right now

“Welcome to Fonbucks, where FON + Starbucks = cash for you. If you live above or next to a Starbucks (or any cafe/coffee shop for that matter!), you are eligible for a free wireless router that will earn you cash from the minute you plug it in. This also means if you are a cafe, coffee shop, restaurant or other public venue you are eligible too! By installing your FON router, you let others share your broadband for a daily fee. A fee that goes straight into your pocket. A savvy patron of your Starbucks need only pay $2 a day for your WiFi. They’d have to be a grande drip to pay the $10 Starbucks charges. Each customer who chooses you puts $1 into your latte fund. Cha-ching.” (From Fon’s website)

Now, I am not sure how they address it, but I assume it would violate your terms of service with your internet provider to be then dishing it out to people who aren’t in your household.  Not that they’d likely be able to notice as I am assuming the Fon router, limits bandwidth pretty severely so its not like folks will be running servers out of the coffee shop and will get you noticed that way (see previous post on bandwidth and Slingboxes)

In re: $1.52 billion verdict against Microsoft in patent dispute

The $1.52 billion verdict, the largest ever in  a patent dispute, was handed down yesterday at the US District Court in San Diego, ruling that Alcatel-Lucent’s patent on MP3 technology that was developed by Bell Labs among others.

“At issue is the way the Windows Media Player software from Microsoft plays audio files using MP3, the most common method of distributing music on the Internet. If the ruling stands, Apple and hundreds of other companies that make products that play MP3 files, including portable players, computers and software, could also face demands to pay royalties to Alcatel.

Microsoft and others have licensed MP3 — not from Alcatel-Lucent, but from a consortium led by the Fraunhofer Institute, a large German research organization that was involved in the format’s development, along with Bell Labs and the French electronics company Thomson.” (Court says Microsoft must pay… Int’l Hearld Tribune)

This case is largely far from over, likely to end up in DC at the DC circuit court of appeals that hears patent appeals, but if ashes of Lucent a company long known for their magnificent fall, the purchase by Alcatel may prove to have been a very good move.

In re: Thinking about a slingbox? Think about your broadband first.

I know a few people who’ve picked up Slingboxes with the hopes of enjoying local programming somewhere else.  As this blog post  that I came across warns, the broadband provider that is connected to the slingbox may clamp down on your bandwidth basically ruining the functionality of the Slingbox.  Word to the wise, read your terms of service and prepare for a lot of ambiguity in their language.