far too tense

Why is it that terribly uncomfortable situations happen in the kitchen? Is it because the proximity of sharp knives lends an subtle threat of violence to the air? Needless to say, I am highly tempted to retreat to my corner of the house and hide there until the coast is clear.

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wurzelfrei

I learned a new word today from Inequalities, by Hardy, Littlewood, and Polya (definitely on my wishlist): an analytic complex function f(z) is “wurzelfrei” if it has no zeros in |z| < 1. Note that a wurzelfrei system may have an unstable inverse if it has zeros on the unit circle.

two teas

I went to the TenRen tea store in SF the other day and picked up two boxes of Chinese teas which I knew very little about. The first is a Pu-Erh, which is black, smoky, and somewhat fermented smelling. Although quite pungent, it didn’t taste nearly as strong, but it does form a dark heavy liquor. When it comes to smoky teas, I prefer Lapsang Souchong. A good Lapsang is like a fine peaty single-malt. How’s that for snobbery?

The other was the Ti Kuan Yin tea, named for the “Iron Goddess of Mercy.” I’m a bit of a sucker for those fantasy-novel-esque names, but this tea was light and refreshing, with a pleasant amber liquor and very little bitterness. Deb called it standard Chinese restaurant tea, but I found it to be better than that, probably because it was a single serving and not heated in a huge vat for hours.

The TenRen store is a pretty cheap way of getting samples of new teas, and since my tea-knowledge to this date has been very India-centric, I suspect there’s a lot to explore.

holy mackerel

I had a picnic today with Darcy of Kaseri and Morbier cheeses, a ciabatta from Semifreddi’s, and smoked peppered mackerel, washed down with some sparkling cider. It was tasty, but even after vigorous soapy handwashing my fingers still smell strongly of mackerel. Which is not a terrible thing, but a bit disconcerting. I wonder what Lady Macbeth would do…