Greg
animals brewing
food and drink fiction
gardening general
health history
language music
multimedia opinion
photography politics
Stones Road house technology
Greg's diary
recent entries
Translate this page
Select day in January 2021:
Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30
31
Select month:
2020 May Jun Jul Aug
2020 Sep Oct Nov Dec
2021 Jan Feb Mar Apr
Today's diary entry
Diary index
About this diary
Greg's home page
Greg's photos
Network link stats
Greg's other links
Copyright information
    
Groogle

Sunday, 24 January 2021 Dereel Images for 24 January 2021
Top of page
next day
last day

Caught:dereel problem
Topic: technology, opinion Link here

Into the office this morning to find windows from dereel on eureka gone again. What did the console say?


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20210124/big/Firefox-crash-2.jpeg
Image title: Firefox crash 2          Dimensions:          4363 x 2413, 1383 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Sunday, 24 January 2021, thumbnails          All images taken on Sunday, 24 January 2021, small
Diary entry for Sunday, 24 January 2021 Complete exposure details

 

Most of that is firefox grumbling to itself, but what's this ECONNRESET?


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20210124/big/Firefox-crash-1-detail.jpeg
Image title: Firefox crash 1 detail          Dimensions:          4280 x 223, 163 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Sunday, 24 January 2021, thumbnails          All images taken on Sunday, 24 January 2021, small
Diary entry for Sunday, 24 January 2021 Complete exposure details

 

That doesn't make much sense, but at least I know what it was. In passing, this is yet another situation showing how silly it is to have text on a black background, especially dark blue.

Things were slightly different this time, though, possibly because the starting terminal didn't go away:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20210124/big/Firefox-crash-3.png
Image title: Firefox crash 3          Dimensions:          851 x 302, 34 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Sunday, 24 January 2021, thumbnails          All images taken on Sunday, 24 January 2021, small
Diary entry for Sunday, 24 January 2021 Complete exposure details

 

It lied, of course. I selected “restore all current tabs”, but it only did some; I had to repeat in other tabs. And this is a modern browser!


Making Bratwurst again
Topic: food and drink, opinion Link here

Finally got round to making Bratwurst from the sausage ingredients that we bought on Thursday. It was the largest amount that we have ever made, a total of 7.76 kg of meat, and coincidentally almost exactly a 2:1 ratio (more exactly 2.026:1). Made a point of taking photos of every step, starting with the ingredients:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20210124/big/Making-sausages-2.jpeg
Image title: Making sausages 2          Dimensions:          5333 x 3888, 3353 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Sunday, 24 January 2021, thumbnails          All images taken on Sunday, 24 January 2021, small
Diary entry for Sunday, 24 January 2021 Complete exposure details

 

There was enough meat to do it in two steps, and I still got the bowls pretty full:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20210124/big/Making-sausages-4.jpeg
Image title: Making sausages 4          Dimensions:          5186 x 3888, 2512 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Sunday, 24 January 2021, thumbnails          All images taken on Sunday, 24 January 2021, small
Diary entry for Sunday, 24 January 2021 Complete exposure details

 

And only then did I think to look for the casings. Not even Yvonne could find them! We had two different kinds; surely we couldn't have lost both of them. Frantic checking in the car fridge, but finally found them in two different places: the hog casings need to be refrigerated, but the collagen ones don't.

And then the fun with the new, easier-to-use hog casings on a stick:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20210124/big/Making-sausages-6.jpeg
Image title: Making sausages 6          Dimensions:          5184 x 3888, 3463 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Sunday, 24 January 2021, thumbnails          All images taken on Sunday, 24 January 2021, small
Diary entry for Sunday, 24 January 2021 Complete exposure details

 

We couldn't even get them onto the nozzle! Oh. I had chosen the wrong nozzle, the 24 mm one instead of the 20 mm one. After changing that, we were at least able to get the casing over the nozzle. But it was still extremely difficult to push on. With a combination of water, oil and brute force, we finally managed it after only 20 minutes:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20210124/big/Making-sausages-14.jpeg
Image title: Making sausages 14          Dimensions:          5185 x 3888, 2240 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Sunday, 24 January 2021, thumbnails          All images taken on Sunday, 24 January 2021, small
Diary entry for Sunday, 24 January 2021 Complete exposure details

 

Even filling the sausages was an issue: at one point one burst because it couldn't pull the casing off the nozzle. Poured water over the remainder, and it didn't happen again. My guess is that these casings need soaking in water before use, something that we hadn't been told. Conventional hog casings are salted and require soaking to remove the salt, so it wouldn't happen with them.

As if that weren't enough, the gasket in the sausage machine tore:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20210125/big/Gasket.jpeg
Image title: Gasket          Dimensions:          5184 x 3888, 4805 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Monday, 25 January 2021, thumbnails          All images taken on Monday, 25 January 2021, small
Diary entry for Monday, 25 January 2021 Complete exposure details

 

Panic? Not quite. We got a spare with the machine, and we were even able to find it. But we have only used the machine 3 or 4 times. Is it normal that the gaskets fail? Or should I avoid putting it in the dish washer?

In total, we filled 73 sausages from the casings, and we still had a lot of filling left over. A good thing that I bought those collagen casings, which went on without any problem at all.


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20210124/big/Making-sausages-32.jpeg
Image title: Making sausages 32          Dimensions:          5191 x 3888, 4286 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Sunday, 24 January 2021, thumbnails          All images taken on Sunday, 24 January 2021, small
Diary entry for Sunday, 24 January 2021 Complete exposure details

 

We got another 22 sausages in the collagen casings, a total of 95, the most ever:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20210124/big/Making-sausages-34.jpeg
Image title: Making sausages 34          Dimensions:          5233 x 3888, 3555 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Sunday, 24 January 2021, thumbnails          All images taken on Sunday, 24 January 2021, small
Diary entry for Sunday, 24 January 2021 Complete exposure details

 

And that took us almost exactly 2 hours, a sixth of which was spent fighting these hog casings. How much did it cost us? From recollection:

Item       Price       Weight       Total       Percentage       Per sausage
Pork shoulder       7.99       5.196       41.52       38.6       0.4235
Pork belly       13.99       2.565       35.88       33.4       0.3777
Casings       30.00             30.00       27.9       0.4110       for 73 sausages
Total             7.761       107.49             1.13
Per kilogram                               13.78

That's not really complete, since it doesn't include the collagen casings. But it's really amazing how expensive the hog casings are. Still, it's a price of $13.78 per kg, compared to which makes for a price per kilogram of $13.78, compared to Sinclair Meats' current price of $5.99 for BBQ Sausages and $19.99 for rump steak But we know why we choose to make them ourselves.

What did we forget to photograph? Actually cranking the meat into the casings. There's an obvious reason for that: we were both busy and with greasy hands.


Proof of the sausage
Topic: food and drink, opinion Link here

What did we eat for dinner tonight? Bratwurst, of course, but also the remaining chicken things that we bought on Thursday.

The problem with collagen casings is that they split. I have never been able to avoid it. As I wrote eight years ago, there seem to be numerous reasons why this should happen:

Most of these don't seem to apply, but how about “cooked too quickly” or “put in a hot pan”? We can easily address the latter, and I did, and I also tried to cook them really slowly. The result:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20210124/big/Making-sausages-36.jpeg
Image title: Making sausages 36          Dimensions:          5184 x 3888, 3529 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Sunday, 24 January 2021, thumbnails          All images taken on Sunday, 24 January 2021, small
Diary entry for Sunday, 24 January 2021 Complete exposure details

 

My guess is something else altogether: when they come into the pan, most sausages are pre-cooked. Ours are raw. And I'm guessing that collagen casings just Don't Work for raw filling, which changes in shape considerably when cooking.

The results were as expected for the sausages. This time I cooked the chicken thumbs (what are they really called?) less, and they looked good:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20210124/big/Sausages-and-chicken-2.jpeg
Image title: Sausages and chicken 2          Dimensions:          5185 x 3888, 2142 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Sunday, 24 January 2021, thumbnails          All images taken on Sunday, 24 January 2021, small
Diary entry for Sunday, 24 January 2021 Complete exposure details

 

But they tasted completely boring, somehow more so than on Thursday. We can do better. Why is there so much insipid food on the market?

We still have 19 collagen sausages over. Next time I'll try grilling or something similar. But I no longer have much hope, especially after reading this diary article: I've tried this before.


Monday, 25 January 2021 Dereel Images for 25 January 2021
Top of page
previous day

PV maximum charge
Topic: Stones Road house, general, opinion Link here

Our photovoltaic panels are rated at at total of 10.8 kW. But that's a simplistic way of looking at things: when the sun shines directly on them, they should manage that much. Two arrays (7.2 kW) face 11°, and the other array (3.6 kW) faces 281°. And then there's the issue of elevation, for which I need to know the inclination of the roof.

I've been watching the PV statistics for a couple of months ago. The documentation I had received suggested an equivalent of 3.5 hours of “sunshine” output per day, in other words 37.8 kWh. During the winter we got nothing like that, but what about in the summer? So far the maximum we have had per day is round 51 kWh.

Should that have been at the solstice? Not necessarily. On 21 December the elevation at azimuth 11° was 75°, far higher than the normal of the panels. Today, over a month after the solstice, I noted a power of 7.07 kW coming from the panels.

What's the maximum I have had? Why have I been sniffing the inverter information for the past nearly 2 years? A bit of querying showed that I've had up to a peak of 11.122 kW, on 3 December 2019 at 13:32:58 And I've had over 10 kW from early October to early March. I suppose that at least means that the panels are working correctly: the maximum was close to apparent solar noon, so the western panels contributed almost nothing.


Spare ribs sous vide
Topic: food and drink, opinion Link here

I'm gradually getting through the meat we bought on Thursday. Still 2.4 kg of pork ribs, something that I'm already regretting. That's 3 double portions. Freeze two, prepare the third for cooking sous vide.

Why sous vide? There's lots of gristle and cartilage in the things, and I want to break them down. Two years ago I tried a recipe in an “air fryer”, and the results (like almost everything in an “air fryer”, I fear) were less than spectacular, in particular neither juicy nor falling off the bone.

What recipe? Started far too late and had to hurry. Decided on this recipe for “Sous-Vide Char Siu-Style Chinese Baby Back Ribs”, which still looks very US American to me, down to these stupid volumetric measurements which elicited considerable grumbling while preparing the marinade. Finally I had this recipe, which will grow:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20210125/big/Spare-ribs-3.jpeg
Image title: Spare ribs 3          Dimensions:          5229 x 3888, 4710 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Monday, 25 January 2021, thumbnails          All images taken on Monday, 25 January 2021, small
Diary entry for Monday, 25 January 2021 Complete exposure details

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20210125/big/Spare-ribs-4.jpeg
Image title: Spare ribs 4          Dimensions:          5335 x 3888, 5317 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Monday, 25 January 2021, thumbnails          All images taken on Monday, 25 January 2021, small
Diary entry for Monday, 25 January 2021 Complete exposure details

 

Next, how long and how hot should I cook them? Various recipes ranged from 61° to 79°. My guess would have been round 70°, but the recipe I chose recommended me to set my ”Anova Sous Vide Precision Cooker to 167ºF (75ºC)“. OK, I can forgive them for this advertising, since it's the Anova site, but then I read:

You’ve probably seen plenty of sous vide rib recipes that call for cooking them 12 hours, even 24 hours. But – let’s face it, we’re all pressed for time. If you’re under deadlines at work, have a dog to walk and yourself to take care of (imagine that!) – you likely don’t have an entire day to spend making finger-licking good ribs. .... And all it takes is about 4 hours.

In other words, they cheat. This isn't sous-vide at all. And if you don't have time to make them properly, there's a simple answer: don't make them at all. It's also hard to understand the rationale: once the ribs are in the cooker, it doesn't make any difference whether you cook them for 4 or 24 hours: they're just there. And even if you cook them for only 4 hours, that means starting at least 5 hours in advance. If you have a normal daytime job, it wouldn't work; but 24 hours would.

So I set the non-precision ALDI sous-vide cooker to 70°, put the bag in and went to bed.


This page contains (roughly) yesterday's and today's entries. I have a horror of reverse chronological documents, so all my diary entries are chronological. This page normally contains the last two days, but if I fall behind it may contain more. You can find older entries in the archive. Note that I often update a diary entry a day or two after I write it.     Do you have a comment about something I have written? This is a diary, not a “blog”, and there is deliberately no provision for directly adding comments. It's also not a vehicle for third-party content. But I welcome feedback and try to reply to all messages I receive. See the diary overview for more details. If you do send me a message relating to something I have written, please indicate whether you'd prefer me not to mention your name. Otherwise I'll assume that it's OK to do so.


Greg's home page This month Greg's photos Greg's links

RSS 2.0 Valid XHTML 1.0!