rockwood: (Default)
I like tomato sauce for pasta (among other sauces), but I always feel it's not really a solid meal unless it's a thick tomato sauce---usually one with ground beef or turkey---rather than a thin marinara type.

Now, I'm not vegetarian myself, but I like to cook for one in particular, so this posed a bit of a conundrum. More so, since beyond just being less tasty, a thin tomato sauce offers zilch in the way of protein.  Fortunately, a little bit of experimentation with myself as the guinea pig has proven that Morningstar Farms brand 'griller' crumbles make an acceptable substitute, at least as far as I can tell.

Here's tonight's version:
Dice a medium or large sweet onion. Heat 2-3 tablespoons of oil in a deep frying/sauce pan (I like the ones with vertical sides, rather than the bowl-shaped ones) over medium-high heat; add in 3 cloves of mashed/pressed/diced garlic and 2 bay leaves, and stir gently until the bay leaves start to brown. Add the onion, and cook until the onion is gone mostly transparent and JUST starting to fry, stirring constantly. This can take a bit.

Then add 3 teaspoons of dried basil, 2 teaspoons dried oregano, 2 teaspoons dried thyme, and a little more oil if it's going dry. Mix thoroughly, and then add one 12oz package of the Morningstar crumbles and mix again. The crumbles should cook/thaw pretty fast; as they start to, reduce the heat to medium. After stirring for about 2-3 minutes, dump in one jar of your tomato sauce of choice (I recommend a basil or olive oil & garlic variety). Grind some peppercorn into the mix, about five or six twists of a hand grinder or similar, and 3-5 tablespoons of grated parmesean cheese, and mix everything thoroughly. Let it continue cooking until it's as thick as you prefer, and serve on a pasta of your choice.

Came out quite well, though if you don't let the crumbles cook long enough they can be a bit chewy.

Blessed be,
rockwood: (Default)
There's an old saying:
Actions speak louder than words. Or:

Your actions are speaking so loudly that I cannot hear what you say. Or:

I'm sorry, I can't hear you over the sound of your actions. Or:

....well, the list goes on. But it comes down to the idea that the only real way to see what a person will do is to, in fact, see what they do. So go out and vote; we've been talking about it for a long while, and now it is time to do.

My motto:

Do what you Say, Say what you Mean, Mean what you Do.

I just got back from voting, and there's been a larger-than-expected turnout so far. Let's keep it up!

Blessed be,

rockwood: (Default)
This post is only vaguely gaming-related, and strays into general life content very quickly (although that part is, perforce, extremely geeky); fair warning. I'm leaving it unlocked since I welcome any thoughts or commentary, from friends and fellow gamers alike, on my attempt at nerdish wisdom.

"What happens next?" is a line from the movie The Gamers: Dorkness Rising. It's one of my favorite lines (and moments) in the movie because of the circumstances surrounding the quote, but I won't spoil anything here; I can instead say I like that question because it really represents one good attitude towards gaming. Sometimes asking "What happens next?" is a lot more appropriate than asking "Do I win?"

Which, I think, is a generally healthy attitude, even beyond the realm of gaming. Considering that almost no one ever gets what they want, at least immediately or without compromise, it's a lot less stressful to think about life in terms of what I should do next, and what I should be trying to do considering the evolving circumstances of life, rather than to try and twist things around until I get what I wanted initially. There's a whole lot of traditional sayings about this, especially the 'closes a door/opens a window' one, but those don't really work for me. I'm a geek; what can I say? I like "What happens next?"

I've been thinking about this a lot lately, partly because I've seen Dorkness Rising several times recently, but also because I've been trying to come to terms with a lot of stuff I don't like about life in general. The way the world works, in many ways, just doesn't jive with what I want out of life. And I really, really hate just letting go of what I think is important; I don't like ruling out my goals, since it makes me feel like a sell-out, and guilty, and pretty damn stupid.

But I can shift them to a back burner, reevaluate the current situation, and ask myself, "Alright, Nathan, that's how it is. What happens next?"

Blessed be,

rockwood: (Default)
I spent part of today rooting through some of the drawers in my old desk---the OLD old one, a wooden writing desk my parents got me in the fifth grade. Today's goal was to clear out the junk and salvage what I might want to keep; no small task, considering the strata of faded movie stubs and stale cough drops.

Unsurprisingly, a lot of the junk was related to writing in some way. Dozens of broken pencils and empty pens, half-used notepads, ancient homemade business cards....the detritus of a childhood spent daydreaming novels with half-plagiarized plots and shallow characters. But some of it was much more bizarre. Highlights include:

--A packet of 8 bee's-wax candles, one of which is slightly used.
--200+ prize tickets from the arcade at the old mall (you know, those tickets you can spend on junky plastic toys?).*
--A keychain shaped like a gecko, and another with smiley face.
--A half-sized velcro wallet with dinosaurs on it.
--The torn-off-and-saved pages of two calenders, with Dilbert and Garfield comics.
--A melted candy-cane

And my favorite:
An old pencil case containing a paper towel wrapped around several small pieces of wax; specifically, the kind of wax that those mini cheese-wheels are wrapped in. I was a strange kid. Am a strange kid, really, unless you believe all these people who say I'm an adult.

I did find some things worth keeping, notably a bunch of my old buttons. They have slogans like "To Save Time, Let's Just Assume that I Know Everything," "Paranoia is the Delusion that your Enemies are Organized," and "I don't go Postal; I get Medieval."

I guess my family's pack-rat tendencies show themselves in ways like this. However, despite the fact that I'm glad to be getting rid of the stuff I'll never really use, I did enjoy looking through the drawers and sorting the items. Some of them brought back memories. Mostly they were things I'd never have remembered otherwise, and which weren't important, but I'm glad they all got one more moment in the light before I let them go. And I'm glad the junk got saved until now. It needs to be cleared out to make room for MORE junk, but having a physical record to prompt sudden recollections---sights seen, ideas fostered, old friends who disappeared into the aether---makes sense to me.

Maybe I'll find a use for some of these memories in one of my stories.  Maybe in one of my games (some of the notes I threw out were equipment lists for RPGs; what'd you expect from a middle-schooler Nathan, emo poetry?**). But whatever else they've done, they've reminded why I like to be a pack-rat.

Except for the cheese-wax. That just reminded me not to be a moron about pack-ratting.

*I think the arcade, Boardwalk Boulevard, closed a while ago. Darn!
**Okay, there was ONE emo poem I found. But there were a lot more game design notes. :-)

Blessed be,


rockwood: (Default)

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