Sunday 26 February 2012

Recipe Page is Started

     "How's about cookin' somethin' up with me?"
                                       -Hank Williams

     Two-Burner Tastiness recipe page has been started.  More to come.


   Thanks for taking the time to check us out.  Please feel free to "Talk the Dock!"  Link us, follow us or just tell your friends.

Tuesday 14 February 2012

Two-Burner Tastiness: Valentine's Day Edition

     "I've got no patience, I've got no time...'
                                    -Blue Peter

     The Dock may be empty,t the lake semi-frozen, and Docksters scattered to their winter dirt-homes, but that doesn't mean that we have to stop living large by living small.

   This winter, SWMBO has been perfecting bread recipes:

 Test-driving boat-size baguettes as well as french loaves and cinnamon bread for the freezer.

Meanwhile I have been attempting to replicate old favourites.

    Tonight's menu was an off-the-chain hit.  Super easy, and super tasty.

    Back in my college days, a favourite restaurant was a little hole-in-the wall joint called The Lucky Kitchen. A storefront with a couple of four tops and a wall of deuces,  what the place lacked in ambience it more than made up in flavour.   My  favourite meal was the Shredded Pork in Peking Sauce.  At least once a week I'd return the beer bottles and shake  down the couch cushions to put together enough scratch to buy myself a plate.   It sure beat the hell out of ramen noodles and Cap'n Crunch.

    Well, it beat the hell out of ramen noodles, at least.

      The Lucky Kitchen moved out of the student ghetto in my sophomore  year, moving downtown and upscale.  The shredded pork got lost in the shuffle, disappearing from the menu.

     The place closed a few years later.  I'm not saying there is a connection but...

       Like some sort of ancient oriental curse, it seemed the secret recipe of Shredded Pork in Peking Sauce had been lost to the ages.   I've eaten in a lot of Chinese restaurants since, but have been unable to find this dish on the menu anywhere else.  Maybe with the name change of the big town to Beijing, anything with the word "Peking" in the name was erased from the cultural zeitgeist by the Chinese language police.  As time passed, my memory dimmed, and Shredded Pork in Peking Sauce faded from foody bliss to faded memory.
     Until today.

     I wanted to kick some cuisine with SWMBO  for Valentine's Day, so I triaged the fridge for ammo.  Finding pork chops, that long dormant pork memory surfaced.

     "Hey," Methinks, "I wonder if I can Google up a recipe?"

   Turns out I could.

    Further turns out it is wicked easy.

    15 minutes of slicing and dicing and pouring and blending, a half hour of marinating, 10 minutes of stir frying, cook up some brown rice in a pot on the other burner, and  ...

  Oh yeah, this one is a keeper.  SWMBO is happy.
    'nuff said.

  If anybody wants the how-to, I am thinking about starting  a new permanent section with all of the two-burner recipes.  Good idea?  Don't bother?  Toss me some feedback on this one, folks.

  Thanks for taking the time to check us out. Please feel free to "Talk the Dock!"  Link us, follow us or just tell your friends.

Friday 10 February 2012

Tying Up Loose Ends, Volume 8: Sad News.

        "Run to the ocean, run to the sea."

       I introduced you to John and Melanie way back here:

    John died this morning.
   Fair winds, John.


Getting All Fancy and Official

         "Don't bury your thoughts, put your vision to reality..."
                                                          -Bob Marley

          Back before Christmas, on my third trip of the week to my local NOSLY (Neighbourhood Old School Lumber Yard), the counterman remarked that I should open a commercial account.
        "It'll save you 15%."  he says.

       Cheaper.  Cheaper is good.  I like cheaper.

       "What do you need from me," I ask.

      Counterman replies, "Tax number and company letterhead."

      Okay, tax number I've got, but I have no letterhead.  I'd been tossing around a business name for a while, but had done nothing concrete.  Now, with some incentive, I dusted off some old logo ideas and pondered how to turn my scribbling into something usable.

      With some help from WLYDO confederate Rick at Sons Creative  I came up with something workable that, I think, accurately portrays who we are and what we do:


Note to self- figure out how to crop and enlarge in Publisher.

Emboldened by my results, I ginned up some business cards for the Chronicles.

Anybody have any thoughts on the logos?

   Thanks for taking the time to check us out. Please feel free to "Talk the Dock!"  Link us, follow us, or just tell your friends.


Sunday 5 February 2012

Gear and Tool Review: Best Portable Bar Ever.

                          "I've got the bottle, bring me your cup."


      So there you are, invited for vittles on a boat across the bay.  Being the good guest you are, you load a bottle or two and  some cheese and crackers in a bag , jump in your tender and get gone.  You arrive, climb aboard, and share out your lukewarm bottle, sweaty cheese and broken crackers.


    Or say you want to go for a day sail with friends on your Siren.  You can load a cooler and a grocery bag, and wine glasses and ice and cutting board and cutlery and then you don't have room for your friends.

     Oooooh, dilemma- do we sail with our friends and leave the booze on the Dock, or take the booze and leave the friends?  It's an awkward choice.

     Here on the Dock, we've found the solution, thanks to the coolest cooler company ever, California Innovations .


    Meet Product #78124-90-09, or, as we know it here on the Dock, The Porta-Bar.  The Porta-Bar is a rigid soft-side cooler/picnic basket hybrid loaded with features.

  Open the front facing zippered "lid", and the first feature you notice is the thin plastic cutting board cleverly attached to the inside surface of the lid with stretchy elastic bands at each corner, making it both secure and removable for cleaning.

  Inside are three adjustable compartments.  The walls are easily removed and reinstalled thanks to the velcro tape fasteners.  Nestled inside these compartments are a tall bottle carrier,(Warm Bin) an insulated ice box/topload cooler (Chilly Bin), and a plastic bin with lid (Cool Bin).

   The Warm Bin will fit as many as three 40 oz bottles of rum, or two 2 litre soft drink bottles, or a vodka bottle and a Clamato juice bottle or  a bottle of wine, a couple of glasses and a baguette.   This baby is versatile!

  The Chilly Bin is cleverly designed.  Inside the soft bag is a plastic tub, perfect for holding ice cubes in addition to up to 12 soft drink cans.  To maximize cold life, the lid has a small velcro sealed hatch, perfect for quick soft drink extraction.

       Above the Chilly Bin is the Cool Bin, perfect for storing lemons, limes, cheese, sausage, sandwiches, all sorts of snacks.

    The handles are sturdy, the stitching reinforced and the fabric is easily cleaned.  The only quibble, and it is  minor, is the lack of a carrying strap.
      All in all, this is a pretty impressive package, especially at a retail price point south of $40. Like it?  Want one?   There is only one problem...

    According to California Innovations, Product #78124-90-09 is No Longer Available.  If enough demand is generated, they will consider putting it back into production.  Fire them an email, let 'em know you saw it here and you want one, bad.

Barring new ones rolling off the assembly line., my local Canadian Tire still has a few in stock.  If anyone wants one, drop me a line, and I'll set you up.

UPDATE:  I have sourced about a dozen of these, which I am happy to move on at $35 each plus shipping costs.

You know the drill.  Thanks for taking the time to check us out.  Please feel free to "Talk the Dock!" Link us, follow us, or just tell your friends.

Gear and Tool Review: Sticky Stuff That Unsticks Other Stuff

                      "I wanna make you move, because you're standing still..."
                                                  -Finger Eleven

           DonorBoat destruction has meant unbolting and unscrewing hundreds of , er, bolts and screws.  And nuts.  And washers. All bedded just as they left the factory.

     Stainless screws and bolts installed through aluminum cleats and tracks, all bedded with caulking that was still tenaciously goopy all these years later.

  All of it was removed without a single stripped fastener.
  Not one.
   I'd love to be able to take credit for this fortuitous feat of fixture and fastener finesse, but it weren't skill.  It was Screw Grab.

Screw GrabĀ® - Woodworking

   I am not a chemist or an engineer, and I have no idea what the actual secret ingredient or process is, but, in simple terms, Screw Grab Friction Drops is a grip enhancer.  Got a recalcitrant screw?  Squeeze a drop or two onto the screw head, insert the tip of the screwdriver and turn.  It is that simple.  And it really works.

   A little goes a long way.  I bought a bottle of Screw Grab from Lee Valley Tools  almost a decade ago, and  have more than half the bottle still remaining.  It might be the best $6 you invest in your toolbox.
   There was one casualty of the Fabulous Fastener Follies- one Phillips screwdriver.

    Busted the tip unscrewing backstay chainplates.
     Like I said, this stuff GRIPS.

   Thanks for taking the time to check us out.  Please feel free to "Talk the Dock!"  Link us, follow us or just tell your friends.