Howdy true be-loggers, welcome to Sunday Leftovers! This week we discuss the Pope, the history of cranberries, and make something gratin. Lets open the fridge and see what is Leftover...
[The Back Window]
CREDIT: Steve Young - One Car Funeral Procession
[The Story of Cranberries]
From io9 and Physorg.com
Although there are a few plants that migrate, the vast majority of them are stuck in one place. This saves on energy, but has many disadvantages. One of those disadvantages is the lack of any ability to stake out a territory for one's young. Seedlings that drop directly below the plant end up competing with their progenitor for survival. Having a family battle itself is not the way to perpetuate a genetic line, so more successful plants adapted a way to disperse their seeds. They buried them in tasty fruit; fruit that animals would both enjoy and derive nourishment from. When the animals snapped them up, the seeds were either scattered immediately, or carried in the intestinal tract, through the world until they, uh, dropped, far from their parent plant.
To discourage animals from eating the fruit before the seeds matured, much unripe fuit is loaded with tannin, a chemical that makes the fruit taste sharp and dry. As the fruit matures, out comes the sugar, and the fruit begins to smell and taste sweet to hungry mammals.
Cranberries developed quite another strategy. Although the berries are edible, and at one time would have relied on mammals to disperse their seeds, they jettisoned that idea. They stopped adding sugar to their berries, and started pouring on the tannin, discouraging animals from eating them. In order to spread their seeds and relied on the forces of nature. Cranberry bushes thrived by the edges of streams, and their berries developed little air pockets that allowed them to float. Once they were ready to set off into the world, the berries dropped into the water and floated until they could wash up on another shore.
So why do we eat them? Because they loaded up with tannin and float in water instead of being devoured by animals. The tannin made them useful through the ages. Tannins stop bleeding in cuts, cure leather, prevent infection, and dye clothing. And, throughout history, sour food is still better than no food. Now that there are new ways to do most of the above, the main reason cranberries are still eaten is they are easily farmed. They float, so instead of time-consuming days of picking berries from their stems, farmers can flood their fields, temporarily, and skim the cranberries off the surface of the water.
[Religious Breaking News]
The Pope is now considering condom usage being allowed to stop the spread of AIDS. Wow - thanks Mr. Pope - I guess the hundreds of thousands of Catholic Africans that you helped contract AIDS with the church's antiquated birth control policy was keeping you up a night. Sleep tight sweet Prince.
PS: I love how the article is praising the guy for doing something he should have done right away (and he still hasn't done a damn thing except admin that the policy is wrong).
[Recipe of the Week: Sweet Potato Gratin]
CREDIT: Kitchen Daily
2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into1/4-inch thick crosswise slices
2 1/2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and cut into1/4-inch thick crosswise slices
1 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 cups low sodium chicken broth
2 garlic clove, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
2 cups breadcrumbs
1 1/4 cups coarsely grated Gruyere cheese
Preheat oven to 425F. Arrange potato slices, alternating between sweet and russet, in a buttered 13- by 9-inch baking dish. Whisk together cream, broth, garlic, salt, pepper, rosemary and thyme. Pour over potatoes in dish. Cover dish tightly with foil and bake in middle of oven 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Remove and discard foil. Stir together breadcrumbs and cheese. Sprinkle over potatoes evenly and dot with butter. Return to oven and bake until crumbs are crispy and liquid is bubbling and reduced and potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes more.
Let stand at least 15 minutes before serving.
[DIY of the Week: MP3 Player Portable Speaker]
WHAT YOU NEED:
* Radio Shack Phono(RCA) Jack 274-346 $3.99
* 4 small nuts and bolts.
* Radio Shack DC Power Jack - 274-1576 $2.59
* Any old 8-12V wall wart that fits the power jack. $Free
* Radio Shack project box 270-283 $3.99 .
* Velleman 7W Mono Amp K4001 $10.00
If you make the portable model
* 2 9V snap connectors 270-324
* 2 9v batteries $5.00
* Power switch 275-612 $2.99
* 470 ohm resistor
* Army Surplus box (Inventor used a signal light box.)
* Old computer speaker
* Old earphones or some old 1/8" stereo jack headphone jack.
* Piece of screen
* 4 nuts and bolts
* Soldering Iron
* Tin Nibbler
* Screw drivers
* Wire strippers
* Needle Nose Pliers
Full directions are over at INSTRUCTABLES
[Video of the Week]
That's all for this week! If you need to reach me, you can do so via email at: "blog at joeylombardi.com". As always, don't take shit from anybody.
Smell You Later,
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