Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Ancho Chillies and the El Mariachi

Its hot this Summer. One has no business cooking anything on the stove or in the oven. This is why cultures in southern climes do so much slow cooking. I'm on a Mexican kick and I made beans. Beans, some bacon, onions, red chilli power, and cumin, put it in the cooker. The most important thing besides the bacon is the Ancho chilli, the big black dried chilli on the left. One can get these at the latin food store on Merrivale. They are totally worth it.

Riding at Camp Fortune while the beans cook. I'm still getting used to this bike. The tubeless wheels, boy do they climb. The steel frame is soft and comfy. Getting the hang of quick accelerations to get over obstacles has been weird though. There is a considerable wind-up before the proper torque is reached to power over stuff. My old bike was an aluminum Fisher Rig---a harsh ride, but snappy. The bb height is also low relative to the Fisher Rig. I'm still not used to all the pedal strikes. The lower bb height probably also contributes to the acceleration issue. Still, the bike is a big improvement. Over the long haul, its much more comfortable. and the slightly shorter top tube, and possibly steeper head angle makes the steering less sluggish than the Rig, but I don't know entirely why this is so.

Homemade tortillas. Adding a little butter to the Masa helps keep them together better in the pan

Mexican beer. Like I said, its hot out, and Mexico knows how to make beer for that. In lieu of queso fresco, we used feta cheese, and I don't feel bad about that a bit.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Japanese steel tubing and peppers

We've been getting these Japaniese Shishito peppers the last few weeks at the Farmer's Market. These things could be the next fad, like arugula or cupcakes, or other utterly trivial fads. You fry them in a pan with a little oil, add salt, and you're done. Eat them whole, seeds and all. They're great with eggs. What's so great about them? They have the most savoury flavor of any pepper I've tasted.  They're not a hot pepper, not even a little, and not especially sweet like a bell pepper either.

I also got a new bike---well just the frame and wheelset, the rest I migrated over. A steel 29er from Salsa Cycles called the "El Mariachi." I set it up with a Stan's No-tubes wheelset. I even got matching water bottles. The frame is Japanese Sanko tubing, not that that means anything to me, but it fits with the theme today. The chain tensioning system is what sold me on the bike. So simple, and you can set it up as a geared bike no problem. I also considered the Niner SIR that has an eccentric bottom bracket (EBB) tensioning system, but previous frustrating experiences with EBBs made me shy away. I love this bike. The frame just became available last week, and like the peppers, I think we will be seeing a lot of these blue bikes around.