Bluecheese Burgers and 555 ICs

16.55.08 - Mark

Ah, the combination of technology and food.

Well sortof. After dusting off my Canon S3is for it's timelapse feature for Inkinga few weeks ago, and then in the same post complaining about not getting anything faster than 1 shot a minute out of it, I decided to try and make the 555 IC based camera trigger.
Homemade Timelapse Trigger
The version I build was covered in MAKE Magazine Issue 15, as well as a bit more detailed on it's Instructables page. When I described it as "crude" in the Inking rant, I was surprisingly accurate.

While I tried to follow the schematics exactly the first two attempts (the first soldering, the second by breadboarding) I still wasn't getting a working device. Perhaps by my mistakes, but perhaps by design flaws. However after going over it's comments on instructables, I managed to hack together a working solution as well as a couple upgrades to the original design. While it's a bit tempting to document my changes, I'll hold off until I either debug it or create another version.

However, after assembling the components, and shoehorning it into an altoids-esqe case, I wanted to use it. While I've come close to using it a few times over the last week or so, I finally used it last night when I made some Bluecheese Burgers.

The photo rate was about 1 exposure every 9 seconds, Canon XSi camera on tripod, lens set on manual focus but camera shooting in Program mode. I turned off the trigger a couple times (like when the burgers were on the grill) but the whole series works pretty well. And since it's food, written ingredients and instructions are included (both here and in the video)

Bluecheese Burgers

2 lbs Hamburger (85/15 lean or better)
1/8 teaspoon Ground Cayenne Red Pepper
1/4 teaspoon Ground Cumin
1/4 teaspoon Garlic Powder
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly milled Black Pepper
2-3 oz. Crumbled Bluecheese
Hot Grill
(All measurements approximate - Cook to your taste, not mine)

Mix all spices and hamburger together.
Divide hamburger and form 8 thin paddies.
Put crumbled blue cheese onto 4 paddies, leaving open space on the edges.
Place remaining paddies onto the blue cheese piles and "seal" the edges of the two paddies together.
Cook burgers on the grill to taste. Roughly 7-8 minutes per side for Medium

Bluecheese Burgers are great on their own, but I prefer them with some Red Onion, slice of Tomato, some Lettus, and a bit of Mayo, but enjoy it however you want to.

Bluecheese Burger Timelapse (2MB 320 x 480 H.264 Quicktime)

Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 License.

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What to do with a melted pint of Ben and Jerry's

23.39.16 - Mark

Last week the freezer died, or rather a fan cooling the compressor died, the compressor overheated, and the damn thing died, and about 18 hours later it got noticed. More than long enough for the ~4 pints of Ben and Jerry ice cream to melt, and I'm one of those people who hates refrozen ice cream, the texture just goes down the drain, which is what most of the other food in the freezer did.
Ben and Jerry's Neopolitan Dynamite - yum
However, a pint of Ben and Jerry's costs something like $3.50 and as much as I don't like refrozen ice cream, I don't want to throw out $12 bucks of ice cream, so it went back into a freezer waiting for a good idea, or overwhelming cravings to strike.

I think one pint disappeared to the later but tonight's victim was to a very good idea - milkshakes. As expensive as Ben and Jerry's is, it's not my first pick for milkshakes, but it's a great use for a refrozen pint.

I microwaved the ice cream for a few seconds to loosen it up, just to the point where it slid out of the container easily, however I might heat it up a bit longer in the future, just to the point of being soft so the blender doesn't have to work so much. Second add milk, blend until smooth and enjoy.

As for the taste, I'm going to have to explore other flavor combos with generic ice cream. Cherry / Brownie milkshakes are very good.

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Burgers and fries

23.54.22 - Mark

Homemade burgers and fries I will never understand why people like McDonalds. Fresh grilled burgers on toasted sourdough bread, DIY fries, and a pile of cole slaw. So much better than beef like substances stored in gallons of preservatives and reheated with an overgrown easy bake oven...

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Mmmmm Pizza....

16.30.08 - Mark

I think the Italians have it right, good pizza should be protected by law. I think you can even take it a step further and suggest that the horrible things that are produced in fast food restaurants and sold out of freezers should be considered sacrilegious. OK, both of those are a little extreme. While Pizza may be directly related to the flying spaghetti monster, sharing the tomato sauces that feed their wheat based bodies, the Italian pizza laws are far too narrow minded. They are absolutely correct however that pizza is an Art, and should be appreciated as one.

Pizza is easily one of my favorite foods. It's cheap - simple homemade pizzas rarely cost more than $5, amazingly versatile - I regularly use them to clear stray foodstuffs from the fridge, and when done properly delicious.

In the last 5 days I've made as many pizzas, from a vegetarian caramelized onion and mushroom pizza to a meat (and pickle) packed cheeseburger pizza. Even classics like pepperoni or pepperoni and sausage to new classics like ham and pineapple.

I mean if you have a dough ball and a some cheese, you can probably find some decent combination of toppings for a homemade pizza. It really isn't rocket surgery.

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Paradise on a bun

21.50.45 - Mark

My brother is a vegaterian, so by extention I've adopted some of his habits. However, I haven't given up on meat yet. I'm ever tempted by a well prepared fish and there is a certain level of nirvana reached when savoring a carefully prepared bacon mushroom swiss burger. Add in some good jazz influenced music and a cold beverage and for a few minutes, its hard to think of anything closer to paradise.

For the record, I'm feeling, very very satisfied right now.

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Two steps taken

22.44.27 - Mark

Going offline for the evening wasn't so bad. I got someone tolerable at the CompUSA tech desk (can't really say the same for the customer service) and snagged one of those $30AR 200 GB seagate drives. Guess we're honoring George and his fellow Commanders by making their green tinted portraits go a little farther than usual. Gotta love this consumer culture of ours. Not that I'm complaining about a $30 hard drive. This pushes me up past .75 TBs in my primary computers. I think this is when I'm usually supposed to date my inner geek by making some comment about how I never thought I would fill a 160MB hard drive, let alone contemplate measuring my network's storage capacity in terabytes

Also stumbled across Stainless Steel Chopsticks at another store. Part of them is for the sake of having decent chopsticks around the house for when I eat Asian cuisine, part of me likes the idea of being able to toss a pair or two into my camping kits and not need to worry about them breaking or finding whatever silverware I need. Kind of like my brothers obsession with metal sporks

Too bad tomorrow isn't looking that enjoyable...

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