Monday, October 27, 2008

Big Green Egg

I got a Big Green Egg this weekend, and I have to say, it performs as advertised. I cooked several things in it, and every one of them turned out perfect. The only thing I haven't tried yet is slow cooking (roasting or smoking.)

After I cooked a few things in it, I noticed that it is very much like those firebrick pizza ovens you see in restaurants. It gets really hot, and the heat surrounds the food evenly on all sides. I like to bake my own bread, and it's hard to get a good loaf in my electric oven because it doesn't get hot enough and the elements form hot spots. It occurred to me that I could make a good loaf in the BGE.

And here it is:

I have a baking stone on top of the plate setter on top of the grill. Those pans are full of water to generate steam. I brought the grill up to 600 degrees, and I sprayed the stone before putting the dough on to cool it. I let it bake at that temp for 10 minutes, and then I brought it down to 400 degrees for another 20 minutes to finish it up.

The result is a loaf with a crunchy crust and a soft spongy inside:

Before I smoke a turkey in it for thanksgiving, I'm going to do a "trial run". Let me know if you're interested in coming over for to sample the first.


It's a brain-dead action flick. I do not recommend that you think about the plot, the physics, choices characters make, or anything else. Just marvel at the special effects and outrageous action.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Free Night of Theater

I scored some tickets from, and took the wife to see the play, Sweeney Todd, at the Pocket Sandwich Theater. I'm not much of a theater goer, and I picked this play because I heard the show was a good time.

And it was.

The theater is located in the corner of an L-shaped shopping strip next to a comic book store. It takes up the entire elbow of the L. It seats about 140 people at dining tables and bars in a crescent shape around the stage. They have booths around the back wall (which I don't recommend because you have to look to one side the whole show.)

They serve dinner starting an hour and a half before the show. The food is modestly priced. It's simple fare that is hard to get wrong. My wife had chicken gumbo which she liked a lot, and I had a reuben which was ok.

A few minutes before the show, they distribute popcorn to everyone in the audience. Then someone comes on (an MC?) to encourage you to throw popcorn at the actors, sing a long to the songs, and shout boos and hurrays at the appropriate times. Then they start the play.

The popcorn throwing was a negative to me. I couldn't help feel like the actors were being humiliated and disrespected. But the younger people really seemed to enjoy it; and the actors at least pretended to have fun with it. So, maybe I'm off base.

I'm not a theater buff, so don't weigh my opinion heavily if this matters to you. I thought the acting was decent on the whole. This play was meant to be funny and entertaining, and the characters over-acted in such ways that really fed the humor. The production was low budget but very entertaining. The cast was definitely having fun doing what they do, and they transmitted this enthusiasm to the audience very well.

The whole thing is a cheap date. It's about $60-$70 on a weekend for a couple. On Thursdays, it's $10 cheaper. It's a good date too; because there is plenty of time to talk and get to know the person during dinner and the two intermissions. It's also family friendly - no curse words and only vaguely lewd innuendo.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Ruins

It looks like  yet another dumb-americans-in-a-foreign-country gore fest; but it's not.  The movie is gory; but I wouldn't put it in the same category as Wolf Creek or Hostel.  It's more survival horror.

The antogonist is surprisingly scary.  It made for a really suspenseful movie.  

Not a whole lot of negative things to say.  Check it out if you like a good horror story with more than a couple of twists.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

My Enormous Chair

I went to Fry's this weekend and purchased an enormous chair. It has microfiber suede cover over a comfortable, space foam, over-size cushion. It's made for large people; so it's sturdy. The reclining function only goes back half as far as a normal chair. Anyone who's over six feet tall can appreciate that.

I researched it a little before purchasing it, and I found that there are a whole lot of chairs designed for big people. I don't know why I never thought of this. All this time spent in uncomfortable normal sized chairs...