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Thank You For The Donut!

I stopped by Dunkin Donuts at the UNL library for some coffee to go with my meeting. That's when I heard the musical phrase, "Would you like a free donut with that?" The University of Nebraska interim president, as it turns out, has provided free donuts as a holiday treat. Thank you so much!
Recent posts

Update: Amu Ramen

Amu Ramen, the ramen spot in downtown Lincoln, has reopened after remodeling. I stopped by for an enjoyable lunch and a chance to report on their progress. This is my tofu ramen with peanuts. The bowl was hearty and warming, just the thing for winter. The vegetable broth was flavorful. The peanuts contrasted nicely with the slow burn from the hot sauce. I left happy.

Chamblee: Dinner at Galla's

I decided to enjoy a weekend dinner with the Contes. Since none of us had been to Galla's for awhile, we decided to go there. The service was very welcoming, as always. The casual atmosphere was just what we needed. We started with these chips, something that I haven't tried before. They came adorned with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese and salt---delicious. My eggplant parm was a great comfort dish. The pasta underneath was plentiful, the sauce excellent. Catherine ordered this delicious-looking pizza. As a chaser, we headed to the Frosty Caboose where I enjoyed some chocolate mint ice cream.

Bread Baking

In the mood for bread, I decided to make the baguette recipe from The Bread Baker's Apprentice. The process starts with a poolsh that I let sit for several hours. The dough itself combines whole wheat and white flour. As you can see, my shaping skills could use some work. I baked one loaf right away and refrigerated the others for later. Wow, that's good bread. I used the bread I couldn't eat to make crisps. Onion soup is one possible use for these morsels.

How Precise Is My Scale?

While making bread the other day, I decided for some reason to weigh my salt rather than measure it with a spoon. This serendipitously led me to a measurement of the precision of my kitchen scale. The display provides two digits to the right of the decimal point but the weight didn't move in increments of 0.01. Instead, it moved either 0.03 or 0.04 at a time. A scale is more than its display. The weight is determined through a series of components; as with many processes, the precision of the end result is limited by the least precise component in the chain. Don't believe that your kitchen scale is magically precise just because they installed a display with a bunch of digits. And don't confuse precision with accuracy---NIST hasn't yet weighed in as to whether they agree with the numbers that my inexpensive little scale produces.

Grilling on the Pit Barrel Cooker

A steak dinner gave me the chance to grill on my new Pit Barrel Cooker. The grill comes with the cooker. It sits more than a foot above the coals. The grill itself doesn't get very hot---I was able to hold my hand just above the grill for quite some time. Thanks to the low heat level, I needed to grill my steaks for over 30 minutes to get them to medium rare on the thermometer. The result was very tasty: nice smoky flavor, good crust, tender interior. But the process takes much longer than with a traditional grill. Perhaps adding more coals would have provided more heat but I doubt that would completely solve the problem. In my experience, the Pit Barrel Cooker is a good backup grill but a little slow for everyday use.

Lincoln NE: UNL Dairy Store

I finally managed to visit the Dairy Store on the East Campus of the University of Nebraska Lincoln. The store has moved to a new location in the back of the building. Signs will guide you there reliably, just ignore the unlit ice cream cone sign in the front window. The store concentrates on ice cream and cheese. They also stock gift boxes of cheese but stock was low the day I visited. The student staffers were very friendly and helpful. I took home a pint of hand-scooped chocolate ice cream. It was wonderful. The taste is very creamy and the chocolate is perfectly balanced; did I detect a hint of cinnamon? I look forward to trying the vanilla, not to mention any number of flavors. I also took home some cheese. I haven't had time to taste it yet; I will report in a later blog post.