Category Archives: That’s Life

What’s going on in my little world.

Approximately Salmon

I mostly sort of follow a recipe.  Sometimes I do follow a recipe more strictly.  I tend to be more strict when I’m doing a Paul Prudhomme recipe for whatever reason.  Perhaps it’s because those recipes of his I work tend also to be longer and more complex.  Reasons.  They always exist.

Anyway, I made some sous vide salmon tonight.  I fucking love salmon.  It’s amazing.  I do what I am able to support the wild salmon market.  It’s really unbeatable.  After 122f bathing for 30 minutes a very quick grill over an open fire made for an excellent evening delight.  And, borrowing from Chef Paul, just salt, black pepper, and cayenne.  What can I say?  Life is good.

Mostly I followed this recipe as my guide.

Sous Vide Salmon @ ChefSteps

I didn’t bother with the curing step.  Why bother?  You can almost eat the salmon raw it’s so good.

As for an accompanying beverage, I made a little something appropriate to this excellent summer weather.  I took some of my homemade limoncello and put that in a tall glass of ice with one of these flavored (but unsweetened) seltzer waters that are so popular now.  Lemon, of course.  Very light and refreshing and certainly nothing to interfere with the salmon.

Now I’m sitting next to the fire I cooked with and eating my simple meal.  Eat a nice green salad after.

Am I missing out on something, do you think?  Is my life somehow incomplete?  Maybe.  But I’d say I’m doing pretty well.


Friends of the Jackson Reinhardt Urinary Traction Fund

The great Jackson Reinhardt, friend to many and beloved by all, has encountered some blockage in his urinary system.  It is unclear at this moment how serious this is, but the current projections place the expenses at around $2500.  This could rise if more complicated surgical procedures are required.

Action Jackson
Action Jackson

He is spending the day at a small veterinary surgical clinic here in Ballard.  This evening I will need to transport him to an overnight surgical facility in Shoreline where he will spend another half a day.  At that point we will know whether the expenses rise above that $2500 mark.

Pensive Jackson
Pensive Jackson

Jackson, as you have probably guessed, is not a rich cat.  He comes from humble beginnings and largely stays out of the limelight, with only brief forays across the lighted stage.  He wears a simple harness, and his leash retracts just like anybody else’s.

Alert Jackson
Alert Jackson

If you are able, please consider donating to the Friends of Jackson Reinhardt Urinary Traction Fund by sending money to that aloof baffoon who feeds Jackson.

PayPal donations accepted.
PayPal donations accepted.

Thank you for taking the time to read this plea.

(Please feel free to share this page.)


Black Rice, Sausage, and Peas

Mostly one pot…

  • package forbidden rice (about 2 1/4 cups)
  • 4+ cups chicken jello (or your own weak-assed chicken stock)
  • salt, black pepper, white pepper, and cayenne
  • package frozen peas
  • several dried mushrooms
  • garlic confit
  • four link sausages (sliced)

You can find my garlic confit recipe in another Ink.

I cooked my sausages sous vide (which you can find in yet another Ink), but you can cook your sausage any way you’d like.  (You could even try cooking the sausages in the rice cooker).

I cooked the peas in the rice, but they turned purple (everything cooked in the rice turns purple).  Next time I will cook them separately and add them after.

I put everything in the rice cooker (except the sausages), mixed it thoroughly, and started the cooker.  Once the rice was cooked, I stirred in the sliced sausages.

Fucking delicious.

Have fun!


Sous Vide Lamb Taco Night


  • lamb
  • salsa
  • vanilla-honey yogurt (also goat cheese available)
  • cabbage
  • shallots
  • chopped mint (in case the salsa is too hot)


  • sous vide 135f for ~48 hours, shred (go longer next time as shredding was challenging)
  • cumin
  • cardamom
  • cloves
  • thyme?
  • garlic
  • lemon
  • peppers (dried ground)
  • salt


  • onion
  • tomato
  • mint
  • chilies (serrano, jalapeño)
  • peppers (dried ground and black)
  • garlic
  • lime juice
  • salt

Black Bean Concoction

  • black beans
  • chilies (serrano, jalapeño)
  • peppers (dried ground)
  • onion
  • garlic
  • salt

Also made some garlic confit for fun.



Meatloaf and Baked Mashers

mom’s recipe modified:

  • 1.22 lbs beef (“stew meat” ground)
  • 1 cup oatmeal blend
  • 2 shallots chopped
  • 1 egg
  • 1 can tom paste
  • salt, pepper (white, black, and cayenne)
  • 1 T sage (fresh)
  • 1 t Worcestershire

bake 350f 60 minutes


  • 4 russets boiled and riced
  • butter (less than half cube)
  • cream (heavy heavy)
  • pepper
  • salt
  • spread into greased cookie sheet

bake 350f 40 minutes (share oven)

I finished the potatoes for maybe 6 or 8 minutes under the broiler because I wanted more browning.

Timing is useful.


Beans, Hazelnuts, Sausage, and Mushrooms

  • toast hazelnuts in cast iron skillet and set aside
  • sauté shallots
  • sauté garlic
  • move shallots and garlic to perimeter and sauté mushrooms
  • move mushrooms to perimeter and sauté sausage
  • add beans on perimeter
  • add salt, pepper, white pepper, and cayenne
  • move all to perimeter and add wine and chicken stock (1:2)
  • reduce by half
  • finish with green onions and re-add hazelnuts and mix completely
  • toss with pasta (farfalle)

Meatloaf, Brussels Sprouts, and Baked Mashed Potatoes

meatloaf (meatlove)

  • sous vide beef (stew chunks) 129f 5 hrs?
  • beef jello
  • pork jello from sous vide bacon
  • sausage & beef (from above)

mom’s recipe modified:

  • ~1/2 lb sweet Italian sausage
  • ~1/2 lb sous vide beef (sliced/chopped by hand)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 can tom paste
  • salt, pepper (white, black, and cayenne)
  • 1 T sage (fresh)
  • 1 t Worcestershire
  • 2 T chopped onion
  • 2/3 cup oatmeal blend
  • beef jello & half of pork jello (from bacon)

bake 350f 60 minutes


  • boiled russets (2)
  • mashed with salt, pepper, butter, cream, and sous vide garlic confit
  • cupcake tins and bake (40 minutes) with meatloaf

Brussel’s sprouts (17)

  • sauté (brown) stirring
  • bacon (3 strips) chopped
  • add rest of bacon jello
  • simmer to finish in white wine and pomegranate molasses (10 minutes) keep moving

Rice with Pork Jello and Buttermilk

Just tossed some stuff together because I was hungry.

  • rice
  • pork jello
  • buttermilk
  • water
  • dried mushrooms
  • salt
  • pepper
  • cayenne
  • garlic confit
  • smoked blue cheese
  • bacon (chopped and fried)
  • chopped smoked pork loin

The pork jello was from when I sous vide cooked some pork rib racks.  Love the pork jello!

The pork loin was a small bit of leftover from whatever.  It was really good but there wasn’t enough to make a sandwich.  Chopped it.

The liquids were three-to-one over the rice, but the mushrooms were dried so it was wetter than usual rice but really just about perfect for this dish.

I used a bit of water to deglaze the small cast iron pan I used to sauté the bacon.

It was amazing.  Would have liked some crusty bread to go along but I didn’t want to go to the store.

Lemon would have been a nice addition.

Eat hardy!


Johnny Sangster & Friends Sunday 11 Sept

Doors at two; music by three.

Johnny Sangster & Friends
with Rusty Willoughby & Friends (featuring Barb Hunter, Jennifer Sutherland & possibly Johnny Sangster)
PLUS –> The Demon Rind (Kwab Copeland, Bill Herzog, Carrie Robinson & Johnny Sangster)

Johnny will be playing an opening set followed by Rusty and then we’ll rock out with the Demon Rind.

What’s not to love about that?!

You know the drill: music, friends, potluck, sun. I’ll be maknig my famous pork loin. Let us know what you’ll be bringing in the comments. Questions in the comments or write to James directly.

This is going to be a good show. It’s going to be more rock and more roll and more louder than any previous show. Come see the changes in landscape; come see friends old and new; come see some terrific rock and roll in the shade of the cedar trees.

Looking forward to seeing you all for this summer-closing epic show!

What a season finale, eh? I’m exhausted! Thanks to everyone for coming. We had at least 65 humans present yesterday which is a new Peavine Alley record. The food was great, and the music was truly epic. Thanks again, especially to the musicians (and the bartender!). See you all again soon.

The pork is on the smoke…

Also, if you would like strawberry plants, I have probably 50-100 that can be removed (or they will end up buried next week). If you want some to plant at home, bring a plastic tub or bag and you can have as many as you’d like.

If you would like to grill, my gas grill will be available for the entire show. My chimenea will also be available for grilling but not until after the pork loin is done.

The pork loin is in its brine: buttermilk, chicken stock, salt, maple syrup, juice and zest from 16 limes, and tarragon.

I will have plenty of extra limes. No one needs to bring limes.

I’ve been quiet and quite busy. You old-timers will hardly recognize the yard. Even the pork is getting a new treatment. It’s going to be great!

Remember, everyone, it’s a potluck. You are not required to participate but it’s fun so you ought to. Tell us what you are bringing so we can all get excited!

Is it your famous but highly secret garlic and artichoke dip? Is it your great great grandmother’s potato salad? Inquiring minds want to know!

Regardless, this September weather is giving us a pleasant gap in which to have a dry show and even some decent sunshine. Go figure. Looking forward to seeing everyone on Sunday.



Rice with Garlic Confit and Pork Jello

Made an interesting variation on a rice and dried mushroom theme of mine tonight.  Here is the basic approximation.

  • 1 C Jasmine rice
  • 1.5 C water (only because I had no stock thawed)
  • about half cup pork jello
  • half jar mango ginger chutney
  • 4 dried shiitakes chopped
  • ~ 2 t cayenne
  • ~ 4 T garlic confit

Pork jello is what I would call the coagulated juices from cooking pork.  This came from resting a large piece of smoked pork loin.  Yay for meat jello!