Saturday, June 16, 2012

Grasshoppers Pickup Number 29

This week's basket contained:
  • 1 bunch kale
  • 9 small beets
  • 1 head leafy lettuce
  • Peas in the shell
  • 1 head garlic
  • 1 head Chinese cabbage
  • 5 smallish potatoes
  • 1 large white onion
  • 1 whole chicken, cut up

I'm making borscht tonight with the beets, potatoes and onion.

The kale will be cooked as a greens meal along with a turnip and served with cornbread. The lettuce will go into a simple salad with cherry tomatoes, cucumber, carrots, and celery. The peas will be a side dish to accompany some wild caught (!) salmon I picked up at the grocery this afternoon. I can use the garlic in any number of dishes.

I'm thinking the cabbage will go into a dish like Chinese-Style Cabbage. It could serve as another side for the salmon (which is enough to make 3 meals for me).

The chicken will stay in the freezer for a while. I am so behind on meat consumption. There are so many ways to use a cut-up chicken. I'm tempted to make fried chicken, although this is something I only make once or twice a year.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Knee-Capping The Client

If you're not interested in office drama, this story will not interest you. Move along.

All names have been changed or omitted to protect... me. If you think you know who I'm talking about... you don't. This may or may not be in reference to a company of which I currently may or may not be an employee.

For the past 10 or so months I've been working on a project that was estimated to take 200 hours. It has gone way beyond that. Something in the range of 500 hours at least. I will say that I and, by extension, the company at which I may or may not be an employee, has gained technical experience that will be useful and profitable in the years to come.

The project was underestimated, yes, but the client has been given free rein to expand the scope of the project ad infinitum. I've been complaining for months now in staff meetings that the client was asking for "free" work completely outside the scope of the original specs document. I was told that I was absolutely correct, but nobody told the client. Thus the client continued to contact me (the programmer) directly to ask for free enhancements to his web site.

Finally, 2 weeks ago the client was presented with an invoice for work done. One week ago the client refused to pay claiming unmet requirements.

At long last the company owners are taking this seriously. They've told the client that his weekly meetings with me will come to an end this coming Wednesday. At the end of the meeting on Wednesday, he will be presented with (again) the invoice for the project and a second invoice for additional work requested.

I have a lot on my plate these days. It gives me great satisfaction to know that my bosses are standing behind me in this quest to stonewall a client who has been getting work for free.

Yeah. Happy dance.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Cucumber Salad

My grandmother used to make a delicious and simple cucumber salad. I'm trying to duplicate that taste. Here's my latest effort.

  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup vinegar
  • 1 hot house cucumber, sliced
  • 1 t. dried dill weed
  • 1 T. dried parsley


  1. Combine water and sugar and boil until sugar is dissolved (5 min. in microwave at high).
  2. Combine remaining ingredients in a sealable glass or Pyrex container
  3. Pour syrup into the container and mix.
  4. Store in refrigerator for at least one day before serving.


Other recipes I've tried have been too sweet for my taste. I'm looking for a pleasant vinegar taste with just enough sugar to round off the edges. My grandmother did not, as I recall, use dill weed or parsley, but I think that will be a good addition.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Grasshoppers Pickup Number 28

This week's basket contained:
  • 1 bunch green onions
  • 1 head lettuce
  • 1 bunch radishes
  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • 2 small summer squash
  • 2 broccoli tops
  • 1 head garlic
  • 1 pt. strawberries
  • 1 salmon filet
The salmon filet was a surprise. Apparently it was raised in Kentucky. Who knew? I knew we produced prawns and catfish.

So, with the bulk of the produce, I have made salad (with the addition of cherry tomatoes and a cucumber) and salsa (with the addition of crushed tomatoes and jalapenos.

I had steamed the summer squash and one of the broccoli tops as a side to a salmon dinner. I should probably just chop up the other broccoli top and add it to my salad.

This time I put the strawberries into the fridge. I understand that the best flavor is to be had by leaving them out at room temperature. I've tried this, but since I'm not that huge a fan of fruits and berries, I ran into mold problems. I will enjoy these berries either with plain yogurt or sliced with cereal and milk.