Thursday, February 11 2021

talking about covid, hazing newly weds, and lemon chicken potatoes

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Dear Journal,

Good morning, everyone. Happy Thursday. This morning I'm going to borrow a quote from Putty, Elaine's boyfriend character in Seinfeld. Picture me staring stoically ahead with my chin held high.

"It feels like an Arby's night."

Not really Arby's. I just wanted you all to picture Putty saying that - it's one of the best Putty scenes. Besides, all the Arby's around us here in Madison make us sick (we've tried them all). But it definitely feels like an order out night tonight. Marissa and I made up our minds about that last night. She had the Great Dane in mind. She gets likes to order this silly chicken wrap from their menu that suits her strange preferences so well they might as well call it The Rissa. I think I'll go for their Nashville Hot Chicken sliders.

Barely into the morning, and I'm already thinking about food. Really, besides food is there a reason to do anything?

Sip. Good morning, everyone. How is your Thursday going so far? I'm feeling pretty tired today. The coffee feels week today. It's passing through my weary body the same way a caffeine free diet fresca would. My thoughts this morning are with our real coffee maker, which as we speak is probably barrelling over the Atlantic ocean in a mail plane. Or maybe it's already made it state side, and it's currently rambling up the high way in a truck. I don't want to get my hopes up, but this could be the last morning we have to use the backup coffee machine.

First off, I wanted to mention the news we got form our doctor yesterday about vaccinated family members seeing Miles. Our doctor confirmed that being vaccinated for COVID doesn't guarantee that you can't still spread it around. She told us she felt good about small visits from vaccinated family members, but she still wants everyone to mask up and use sanitizer. The doctor says that even with the vaccine still in the mix, you have to still treat the encounter like one that could transmit the virus.

Also, to everyone that had follow up questions or comments about that, thank you. I think discussion about how we handle COVID should be encouraged. This conversation has for too long been dominated by the conspiracy theorists and other wackos. I think it's left reasonable people like us kind of scared to talk about it.

Do you notice that? The general angst around talking about COVID? I feel it. Part of me is always scared to bring it up because I don't want to make anyone angry and attract an argument. The good news is I think it's fixable.

Look, everyone. COVID is a contagious disease, and our charter as fellow citizens is to do what we can to keep it from spreading. How that intersects with daily life can be kind of complicated, and I think we ought to compare notes and tactics. At the end of the day the doctor's get final say anyway.

I myself might have some follow up questions for the doc. Are pretty much all doctor's on the same page with advice around COVID? Does every doctor have to look at the research and design their own recommendations? When the recommendations change, how do they get the word out?

Reasonable discussion around tough problems is always a good thing. Nice job out there, everyone - keep it up.

Arguably, all this COVID stuff is a moot point. We all know it was just a liberal rouse perpetuated by corporate lobbyists compelled to sway our government by a secret underground community of lizard people. Wake up, sheeple. The Lizard people have been holding the puppet strings all along. They control the price of bitcoin, they control the hedge funds, and they'll stop at nothing to usurp the American government.

Can you imagine if I was really like that? Sip.

Yesterday was a good day. I finally got the new vault working. I caught up on some planning stuff. I took a long, rewarding break to read up on how my Recker family ancestors felt about the old tradition where friends and neighbors gather around the house of a newly wed couple to embarrass them while they consummate their marriage.

Ahlrich Recker moved his family to Munster Indiana. One of his daughters married a boy who was quite popular in the town. The story goes that when this boy's buddies showed up to haze them during their stay-in honeymoon, Ahlrich slipped them each a couple of bucks to just leave the couple alone. Talk about a class act, right?

"How's it going in Wisconsin?" asked Marissa, seeing me thumb through the book at my desk.

"Oh we've already left Wisconsin," I said. "The family sent the sixteen year old daughter to Indiana to find work, and writing letters back home she convinced the rest of them to auction the farm off and move there with her."

And the Munster residence only lasted a few pages. At the close of the chapter, Ahlrich was talked into moving out West to Montana by a slick advertisement for cheap property in the church bulletin. Ahlrich didn't trust the secular salesmen that visited the house, but apparently the church tolerated a small amount of sponsored content, and for Ahrlich anything vouched for by his Church was trustworthy.

For dinner, I pulled together a Greek Lemon Chicken and Potato recipe that Marissa likes. She keeps reminding me to post the recipe on the cookbook, but I'm not yet satisfied with the method. The recipe, which is a Chef John original, calls for you to bake a quartered Chicken tossed in a lemon marinade with potatoes. In my earliest recreations, I over-baked the chicken trying to cook through the potatoes. Next, I tried baking the chicken on top the potatoes. This improved the flavor of the chicken, giving it the needed space to roast and render, but it provided too much cover for the potatoes. The potatoes cooked through, but they were practically a half mash. I think next time I might just pre-cook the potatoes so when the chicken is done I just need to worry about adding color with the broiler.

2021 02 11 lemon chicken potatoes

"You're crazy," said Marissa. "These potatoes taste great."

"Well they taste good," I explained. "But they don't taste the way I wanted them to. That can't be part of the recipe."

"What do you mean?" Marissa laughed.

"Imagine if someone asked me how to make this and I was like, 'Try to brown the potatoes under the broiler. Something else will happen, but it will still be good,'" I laughed, comically wound up from explaining my point.

That's what I got today. Have a great Thursday, everyone. Thanks for reading!