Painting With Shotguns XLIV

Kitchen Confidential

I’ve got various kitchen- and food-related goodies for your brain if you care to hear ’em. Ready? Let’s do this, biznatches.

Number 1, Cutting Boards: I have terrible cutting boards. The plastic ones get groovy (read: “grooves carved into ’em”) way too fast and dull my knives as if the boards are vampires that drink only the sharpness of a kitchen blade for sustenance. So, it’s time to get some new quality cutting boards for the new house. See, the new house has a kitchen with actual usable space, which makes my heart go all fluttery.

Originally I was going with the standard wisdom that is oft-repeated: a plastic board for meats, a wood board for veggies. Y’know, because wood cutting boards are capable of harboring an unholy host of diabolical bacteria.

Except, oops, myth busted, I guess.

See, this study shows that it just ain’t true. Wood cutting boards are far less likely to make a person sick with food poisoning than plastic, actually. (Another good exploration of the subject right here.)

If you keep a cutting board clean — which is fairly easy to do if you just take some extra minutes after a meal and occasionally work a little upkeep (like using the proper wood oil), you can cut meat on a wood cutting board without concern.

I just don’t yet know which wood is best. Bamboo? Maple? End grain? Wuzza?

Taking suggestions, if you got ’em.

Number 2, Cookware and Grill Choices: I was all set to make the Cuisinart Multiclad Pro cookware set a part of the new kitchen, but fuck it if that set doesn’t really have the pots and pans I’m looking for. In fact, most cookware sets usually only have one or two pieces I’m actually seeking — the rest are too small or too large. Which means I have to buy pieces individually. Which means once more I’m starting to keep an eye toward All-Clad, because, apparently, I am an uppity shithead.

Also, speaking of being an uppity shithead — and one who is always excited to shut off his brain and join a new food cult — damnit if that goofy-ass Big Green Egg grill/smoker/clay oven/alien seed pod doesn’t look like a winner. The problem is, of course, that it costs approximately The Soul Of One Child, Extricated With Forceps And Photon Beams For Proper Containment And Grilling. Seriously, these grills cost a mint.

It’s hard to justify until you hear people talk about it. “I made pizza. I baked cookies. I smoked a whole Thanksgiving turkey. I made my own beef brisket. I solved world hunger. I capped the oil spill.”

Actually, they should try to plug the oil gusher with a handful of Big Green Eggs. They look like they’re shaped just about right, dontcha think? BP. Call me.

Number 3, Champagne Mangos: Listen, if you love yourself — hell, if you at least don’t hate yourself — then you best go out and find yourself a Champagne mango and eat it. Right now. It’s the most delicious fruit. Mangos are good anyway (do we have to talk about mangoes and lady-parts? it’s implicit, right?), but man, the Champagne mango kicks it up a notch. Super-sweetness, ahoy. Find. Eat. Yes.

Number 4, Red Cabbage, Asian-Style: You want red cabbage with a little Asian taste to it, here’s what I did: chopped red cabbage in a broad saute pan with some vegetable oil and already-sweated onions (green and sweet), then put in a splash of Mirin and rice wine vinegar. Plus, y’know, salt, pepper, maybe a little red pepper, too. Finally, a good pinch of ginger. Stir around. Get it going, and cook low and slow for an hour or an hour and fifteen until the cabbage is soft. When it is, put on place, and dress that pile with a tablespoon of dark sesame oil. You’ll thank me. I’ll wait.

I Like To Work It, Work It *shakes booty*

Yes, that’s the recipe for a good morning: an image of me vibrating my rump in your face. Yeah. Nngggh. Take it. Or, y’know, don’t. In fact, you probably shouldn’t take it. Think of the children.

Anywho. Let’s give it a brief work update, shall we?

The novel I’m writing basically went into sleep mode for a week. Like, for a straight week, it drifted into the Null Zone — not good, not good at all. I mean, I was working. Just not on it. But now I’m back, bitches, and I’m up over 30k and chugging along. It’s sometimes tricky to sort of regain momentum, and now that I think about it that might be worth a post all its own.

Another good post that could arise from writing The Devil’s Gunsmith are the tips and tricks to avoiding boredom. A lot of writers I know get bored easily with their work, and it’s important to keep a stable of techniques at hand to stave off such boredom — while your entertainment is not paramount, what is potentially true is that if you’re bored, the readers will be, too.

What else?

Oh, the table of contents for the upcoming anthology Beauty Has Her Way (Apex Publishing) has been released right over here, and you will casually note that my short story, “The Moko-Jumbie Girl,” is tucked away inside. Nestled amongst other talented folks and their work. Jennifer was a great editor, and she came to me to see how fast I could turn around a story. I was happy to take the work and see how fast I could put a story together, and am pretty happy with it. Her editing touch served only to make the piece a hundred times stronger (proof positive that writers will always need editors).

I also have (I think) another article coming up in The Escapist.

World of Darkness: Mirrors hit shelves (but not the PDF shelves, yet), and I did a post-mortem and Q&A yesterday in case you missed it.

Had a great call around the TV property this week. Excited about its direction.

The film gets a mention in Wired UK’s August transmedia issue (HiM, Hope is Missing).

Where’s your Codpiece Johnson story slice this week? Look for it maybe over the weekend. I gotta play catch-up on this novel before I worry about Codpiece. Codpiece will always be there for us. He’s patient. (And actually, if you find my online presence lacking in any way, I apologize: not only do I want to assert time and mastery over this book, but packing and getting ready to move is a giant hour-eater, chomp chomp chomp. All regrettable, but all necessary. Talk to me again at the end of August.)

What else?

I’ll need more penmonkey work soon, so if anybody has any work or knows of anybody who has work, please do not hesitate to contact me. (Note to any and all publishers: I work fast and I work clean, and I pinch-hit with a wink and a smile.) Since we’re, y’know, moving into a new domicile, I could use wordsmithy to throw coins in my coffers. Thanks, all y’all.

Rechts Oder Links? Links! Links! Mach Schnell!

Ahem, sorry. A little pidgin German for your day. Time to some linky-links.

Good buddy (and designated “Lord of the Chip Pile”) Keith Karabin does a good post that asks, why the hell do we want everything turned into a movie, exactly?

JC Hutchins (aka “The Hutch”) is the man behind a new transmedia fiction project supporting The Discovery Channel’s “The Colony.” The event is known as “#stillhere.” Exciting to see what he’s been up to.

You are watching the, I dunno, 100+ video love letters to you by the Old Spice Guy, right? These are so fucking brilliant, I don’t know what to say. His voice. Those chesticles. The absurdity. Watch them now.

Darren Miller’s “Geekcentricity” blog has gotten a makeover, and it looks clean, elegant, and spiffy.

As usual, Guy “The Dread Pirate LeCharles” will pepper your brainmeats with much-needed balance and skepticism in the article, “To Succeed, Publishers Must Experiment… And Fail.”

Rich Dansky writes a great Escapist article about villains: “Bring On The Bad Guy.”

And that’s all for me. I’m tapping out. Later, tmeeps.