Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Deep Fried Freedom Bird

This year my mother-in-law wanted to host Thanksgiving, but not cook the turkey.  Since I volunteer for assignments, turkey-cooking fell on my shoulders.  Since everything I do must be an over-wrought project, this turkey got deep fried.

The Bird:  The finest 14 lbs. organic turkey that Costco had in stock.

The Brine: An essential step.  This brine was composed of (total 1 gallon):

  • 1 cup salt
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • a slug of maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup of apple cider vinegar
  • shot of Worcestershire sauce
  • several sprigs of thyme
  •  half an onion
  • a few stalks of celery
  • a cinnamon stick
This was applied to the turkey overnight.

After brining for 12+ hours, the turkey was added to the fryer pot and the displacement level of water measured (just enough to fully submerge the bird).  This is a critical step, as an overflow could = a fire.

Next the bird was dried (another critical step, water + hot oil is a disaster).

Next the turkey was injected with butter, and rubbed with butter and a Cajun dry-rub.

Now to the outdoor setup:

The fryer was set up outside, on a flat surface, away from structures.  Note the fire extinguisher, lighter, and heat glove (also the essential beer).  Once sparked, the ~ gallon of (peanut) oil took about 30 minutes to reach the start temp of 325 degF.  The goal is to cook primarily from 350-375 degF, so once the the bird goes in @ 325, crank the heat up.

Then let the bird cook in the oil bath:

Figure 3 minutes per pound = 45 minutes.  After the time had elapsed the turkey was slooowly pulled out using the reach hook.  Finally, the turkey rested for 15 minutes before carving.

Results: one of the best birds I've ever cooked.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Online Learning

Over the last two months, I've been slowly picking up R as a resource for data analysis.  This included classes on Coursera, which I never complete, and an edX class.  The edX class is actually SABRmetrics; so I mix my baseball nerdom with data science.  That one was especially gratifying, as I picked up some mySQL to go along with R.  And it's one more certificate to throw on the pile...

Monday, May 26, 2014

Fuck you Josh Beckett

Seeing a No Hitter was on my baseball to do list.  However, it's not the same when it's the other freakin' team:

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Free Learnin' Part 2

Ok, I may be getting carried away with this learn on your own thing.  I think my goals our:

  • Learn as much about computer science as I can
  • Learn Italian
  • Any manner of other random subjects
Three weeks ago I finished my first Coursera course.  Now, I've finished the Python course on codeacademy, the intro Python course on Udacity, enrolled in a data analysis course on Coursera, and finished Code School's M language intro.  My head is spinning.  Fuck it, I was always disappointed that I didn't keep up with computer science after high school.  Why not now?  All the tools are free after all.  Hey look another pretty certificate:

I don't know why my profile on Udacity is under Jeff None.  I may have been drunk when I signed up...

Tuesday, May 20, 2014


It only took a year and a half, but I finally finished a damn coursera class...

Thursday, May 8, 2014


...well I can sort of code in Python now:

Thank you codeacademy.  The goal now is to finish the Udacity python course.  And then who knows...

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

2013: A Summary by a Giant Corporation

One of the actual advantages of Google+ is the automated picture backup.  I don't have a camera,  I have a phone with a camera on it.  Therefore 100% of the pictures I take are in the android ecosystem.  Creepy or not, when I take a picture, it is in the cloud within 2 minutes without any effort on my part.  As if the ubiquity of Google wasn't enough in this picture, they are rolling out "Auto-Awesome" algorithms.  Google takes the photos in your profile and automatically touches them up.  It then selects the best, or "highlights".  

A few days before New Years, Google created a "year in review" for me.  That is, they auto-selected the highlight photos of my year, and set it to music.  My 2013, according to Google, consisted of:
(1) Going on vacation
(2) Watching Kris and Carolynn drink a giant cocktail at Benihanas.

2013: the sum of 2 events

Thursday, January 2, 2014

New Year's Hangover Brunch Special

There's no better way to start the year anew than Eggs Benedict.  Except perhaps sous-vide Eggs Benedict.  I've read numerous times that you haven't had eggs till you've had sous-vide eggs.  Hit it:

Step 1.  Set Frankenstein to 147 degF.  Once it seems stable, drop in two eggs.
Step 2.  Make Hollandaise sauce:
             Two egg yolks,
             Juice of half a lemon,
             Salt and fresh-ground pepper,

 Mix together in a bowl and "steam"
  I managed to screw this up.  I microwaved the sauce after it had cooled and the yolks thickened.  Still tasted good, but next time and reheats must be done gently.

Step 3.  Bacon Time
Fuck that Canadian bacon shit.  This is 'Murica.
Step 4.  After about 45 minutes, the eggs should be done.  I carefully peeled a chunk of the shell off axially.
...and then dropped the egg into simmering water to finish poaching.

Step 5.  Assemble the beast.  Serve with leftover ham.  Not too shabby.