View 751 Thursday, November 22, 2012
Wishing you well on Thanksgiving Day.
And despite the election we have much to be thankful for. God reigns and the government at Washington still lives. We endure.
Part of my day was taken up with a vain attempt to make a good brown gravy from gluten free baking flour. There are many varieties of gluten free flour. The one I tried would not brown after considerable time in a fryng pan with Imperial margarine; then started to turn black. I got all that out of it and decided to try again, this time without an attempt to brown it. It ended up a mass of grey when, when I put the pater in, made for lumps. I got rid of the lumps with a blender, but the result tasted a bit like caramel; apparently gluten-free general purpose baking flour contains some kind of sweetener. After about an hour of this I threw the whole mess away.
We saved an appropriate amount of the turkey drippings for Roberta and I used Wonder flour to make a regular roué brown gravy, which the rest of us could eat. If anyone knows a good gluten free turkey gravy recipe I’d be grateful to have it.
Alex and his wife Dana were over for Thanksgiving. The other kids are fine with their families. I seem to be recovering from a not too severe cold. Felt rotten yesterday but in the recovering feeling state today. Tomorrow I’ll go down to LOSCON, the LASFS proprietary convention down by the airport. I should be over being contagious by then.
And happy Thanksgiving Day.
Just an idea, my grandmother used to brown flour for roux in the oven before she added it to the fat/oil. Of course it was regular flour, might work for gluten free, worth a try anyhow, just throw a layer of flour in a pie pan or something and toss it in the oven for awhile (I’d guess 350 degrees) and check it every once in awhile. Or if you want you could try browning it on the stove top, again just put the flour in a pan over a moderate heat, you might need to stir it from time to time.
I don’t know if cornstarch has gluten in it, but that can also be used as a thickener. Tapioca flour as well, but again, no idea on gluten content for those.
Hope that helps.
Cornstarch thickens nicely but doesn’t brown and has no flavor. But if you make a gravy with lots of the juice from baking a turkey, and it comes out thin, then a teaspoon of cornstarch in a small amount of cold water added to the gravy will thicken it nicely. It will also make it a bit less salty if somehow you added too much salt anywhere along the line. It’s certainly gluten free. But alas it won’t brown.
re: It’s Time For A New (Old) Kind Of University
I read the blog you referenced with interest. I noticed in it that the author stated that costs at some universities had increased at a rate of 3X inflation for the past 20 years.
I was laid up for a week of post-op recovery in a hotel far from home earlier this year and I became (extremely) bored. At one point I went online and researched the student handbooks from Georgia Tech (my alma mater – IE ’78)) and I plotted out the costs of tuition and fees from 1976 to 2010. I made normal adjustments for the switchover from quarters (which I thought were highly sensible) to semesters that the institution made in the 90′s. I also plotted the annual costs versus inflation across that period.
My findings were that annualized tuition/fee costs across that period actually have increased at 6X inflation. At the same time, they actually (it seems to me) cover less core ground in their engineering curriculums than they did in my day.
This can’t go on.
And the number of administrators and staff has risen exponentially as well. As well as the number of new courses and departments, most of which do not seem to teach anything useful for getting a job or adding to the economy. And it continues unabated.
I was digging up material on the van Allen belts, and came across this discussion of, of all things, the theory that the moon landings were impossible because the astronauts could not get through the van Allen belts an live. Therefore they didn’t go and return. For some odd reason I went to this site http://www.wwheaton.com/waw/mad/mad19.html and found it a reasonable discussion of the subject. It will, as it notes, tell you more about the van Allen belts than you really wanted to know…
And finally while cruising through my Firefox open windows – a device I use as a reminder that I should post or comment or something or another – I found a number of them with interesting material that I will probably never get time to comment on, and they are piling up. So here, in no particular order, are some places where you might find something interesting, but which I probably won’t get to and most likely will clear out to make room for more.
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/10/30/geneva_tsunami/print.html tsunami in Geneva!
© 2012, jerrypournelle. All rights reserved.