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...that some of you poor, deprived non-Texans are under the impression that chicken fried steak is steak that is fried.

This is not true.

Chicken fried steak is, at its best--and I admit, you will find a lot of sub-par chicken fried steak out there--a sublime reminder of everything that is good and right in this world.

There's a theory out there that explains chicken fried steak as developed out of wienerschnitzel by homesick German settlers in Texas but it may be more the case of convergent evolution than direct descent.

To make chicken fried steak, ideally you take round steak or cube steak, pound the bejeezus out of, cough I mean tenderize it, then drench it in an egg-and-flour batter and pan-fry or deep-fry it. In actual practice, you go out to a restaurant and let them do it because it's a hassle to develop that lovely, lovely batter-crust. At home you have pan-fried steak, made (by my mother, and therefore The Right Way) by taking pieces of cubed steak or round steak you've pounded a bit, shaking them in a paper bag with flour, salt and pepper, then pan-frying them in half an inch or so of oil, then making a cream gravy out of the drippings (using milk because either you forgot to buy cream or because you are lactose intolerant and therefore have only Lactaid milk). You can also pan-fry venison when you've got most of a deer in the freezer from hunting season. The homemade stuff tends to be tougher than the restaurant stuff, and there's also some restaurants that don't tenderize it enough so you end up masticating your way through it like you're chewing a very tough steak. These are not restaurants you should be returning to.

And now that I've finished clarifying things for you, let me blow your mind by explaining that other Texan culinary masterpiece...chicken-fried chicken.

"What?" I hear you say. "Don't you mean fried chicken?"

Nope! Totally different animal! Er, not literally. Chicken-fried chicken is made by taking chicken cutlets, or by splitting a chicken breast and pounding ituntil it's roughly even in thickness, and treating them in the same way as chicken-fried steak, down to the cream gravy.

"But that's just fried chi--" NO. "But--" SH. NO TALKING.

You might also see these dishes on menus as "country-fried [whatsit]", but that's just some deluded chef misnaming them.
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Now we're feeling the effects of the hurricane up here--Houston is one of the main ports through which gas gets brought into the area, so it's getting difficult to find a gas station with gas available.

Luckily Toby's car is a new Niro hybrid and we managed to fill it yesterday, and my car is 2/3 full so we can go about 750 miles, although not in a straight line, before having to get more gas, and they should have found new places to truck it in by then.
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Because I've had occasional inquiries: we live in North Texas, 300 miles away from the closest coast and 650 feet up from sea level, so we are A-OK, and the rain is actually quite nice up here. We have friends and family further south, but our immediate family is just getting lots of rain (mid-Texas), and all of our Houston friends have checked in and either weathered the storm OK or left Houston ahead of it.


Aug. 25th, 2017 03:39 am
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Our insurance company sent us email saying that as we might be in the path
of Hurricane Harvey, they encourage us to take all necessary precautions.

We are over four hundred miles inland from Corpus Christi, where
it's predicted to hit.

The kicker? Our insurance company is in San Antonio, 268 miles closer to
Corpus than we are, and should know better.


Aug. 24th, 2017 10:06 am
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Rearranged my office a bit a week or two ago--moved a table that was against the wall partly out into the middle, and moved things around so the table is free for doing non-computer things at it--and have finally decided that yes, I hate my current computer setup, which is a desktop at a desk that's a hair too high so that I have to adjust my chair up so that my feet don't touch the floor, so I have to have a small footstool, and...and...and.... So it's time to do something about that, and I think my next computing rig will be a laptop with a dock that I can use to easily make it a desktop by plugging it into a monitor. (And perhaps use the laptop as a second monitor in those cases.)

Read more... )


Aug. 23rd, 2017 03:12 pm
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I'm getting better at keeping the width consistent (ish. Very ish.), although not so much at keeping the spin consistent.

cut for large pic )
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So the other night I was reading in bed and, out of the corner of my eye, kept glimpsing a bald man lying down next to Sora...

cut for photographic proof )


Aug. 14th, 2017 09:52 am
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Had a dream last night that was most likely triggered by watching Game of Thrones after painting scars onto a photograph of a model for a book cover--a dragon had, in the recent past, put its mouth down right on top of me and bit me, then picked me up (with my head and shoulders in its mouth) and shaken me around a bit before dropping me. So I had wounds, turning to scars, on my torso and back.

Was that was the focus of the dream was? NO. I was back at some sort of school, although I was adult or young adult, and the headmistress refused to believe my story, and I spent the time attempting to convince her.

Why are brains?
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I enjoyed this Amazon review:
Took a bit to sink into this post apoplectic space thriller.
Closely followed by a four-star review with the judgement:
its a book
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Jury duty today and ended up on a jury, so cannot discuss life until this trial is over.

But because we are in Texas, the security line where you take your shoes off to get scanned had a bootjack available, attorneys wandered the halls in cowboy hats, cowboy boots, or both, and when explaining that Texas does not allow anyone with a conviction of theft to serve as a juror, the judge made sure to clarify that rustlin' counted. Yes, rustling cattle.

(ps--our internet was back on this morning WE ARE BACK IN CIVILIZATION AGAIN)

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