I've been experimenting a lot with savoury otameal lately and the flavour end texture combination has been really appealing. Yesterday, I was prostletizing this wonder to a coworker and came up with an idea: Poached Salmon with Asparagus and Savoury Oatmeal Stuffed Mushroom Caps. The only hitch is I've never poached a salmon befoe. To the internet!

I started with the most basic of basic poaching, eggs. It turns out that I've actually been doing it wrong all this time. I've been cooking with too high a heat and too violent a water. I might have figured this out eventually, but....

Ah. Chef yellyface. Good to see you again. I'm intrigued by the flavour combination, but the actual technique isn't as clear as it could be.

I'm in love with chef Thomas. Also, the technique is perfectly explained. It's pronounced court bouillon by the way, for those with ears that hear slightly weird like mine do.

Finally, this article from Serious Eats looks at whether its better to cook the salmon in court bouilon (I love my new word. It's like mirepoix) that is already at cooking temperature, or whether it is better to start from cold and bring the food up to the desired level of doneness. I think some experimentation is in order for me.

Vegans With Typewriters Has A Podcast

So, we did it again. Vegans With Typewriters is taking another stab at the podcasting thing and hopefully the lessons learned from last time will bear fruit. Join me this week for my review of The Foolish Chicken and thoughts on my newest love, avocado dip.

Quick and Dirty Avocado Spread

1 ripe avocado 1 pinch salt 1 inch lemon pepper 1 pinch dry minced onion

Split and scoop the avocado into a bowl and mash together the salt, lemon pepper and minced onion. Use as a really mild veggie dip or, substitute for butter or mayo on a sandwich.

A Small Cyclone Dust Collector - Marius Hornberger

I watch far too many YouTube videos, and now that the studio is starting to come online again shop porn is back in the regular rotation. This video by Marius Hornberger was really delightful. The dust collector itself it pretty cool, but there's a really handy router table trick hidden in there. Check it out.

Oh, and if you build one of these, embed a bunch of blue LEDs in the lid. Because blue LEDs.

Keys - Inspiration

"Keys are on the fish." This has been the mantra aound my place for...umm...a long time. Anyway, I'm on a tear in the house lately to improve its coolness level and I really believe that it's the details that make or break the functionality and balance of the space.

My building was built in the 50's at accomodate workers at the (formerly) nearby CP rail yards and the industries that sprang up nearby. This is really aparent in the cabinetry that's in the kitchen. It's all original, non-modular in design and simply glorious.

At the turn of the year I took down my Howard Fogg classic trains calendar which had hung in that space and stuck the fish there because I'm using the back door a lot more than last year.


The fish, however, didn't fit with the sense of decor that I've evolved since I moved into my apartment and so...what? Stop laughing, I'm serious. I HAVE TASTE DAMNIT. Ok, the real reason that I want a different system is that the fish moves and that just bugs the crap out of me. I kinda like the kitschey aesthetic of it, but the wobbliness makes me crazy. Also, there is no good place to put my sunglasses if I happen to have them on my head instead of in my purse.

Time to run to the Internet for some inspiration. The maker/woodworker community is strong on YouTube so I was sure I would find something potentially cool.

First on the list was this video by Eric Lindberg. I like the modern look to it and the relative simplicity of the build. It's basically two boards nailed together and stuck on the wall. I'm totally stealing the idea for using rare earth magnets in lieu of hooks, because magnets!

Hey this is a serious design blog. Get that guy outta here.

A few videos and thinking about the nature of shelves in general lead me to this build, and epic floating shelf. I love the idea, so lets scale it down a bit, shall we? Stay tuned for part 2 where we design and build the thing.

Laura Kampf

I've been on a bit of a hiatus from the studio lately because of other commitments. I've been watching a lot of videos lately though and stumbled across the wonderful Laura Kampf. She has an extensive catalog on YouTube that I highly recommend.

So It Begins, Again

There has been far too much adulting happening in my life over the past week, but I guess that's how you actually get stuff done. Today marks the first day of the next step in my transition journey, the one where I actually begin HRT. I suppose I should be over the moon at this, but honestly, I'm just tired. It's a good kind of tired though, the kind of tired where you know you've done some hard work and can see the fruits of your labour. Anyway, in addition to finally getting over my fear of doctors and medicine and getting my prescription for the first batch of femme 'n emms, as my friend Meagan calls them, I had a meeting with our HR manager and a couple of supervisors at work on Thursday. The result? In summary, it was the most support I've felt in a long, long time.

My first question for management was, since we're a large multinational company, is there an existing procedure in place for handling a transition? No sense reinventing the wheel, right? The response was somewhat unexpected - "We don't have anything in place for Ontario, so we get to set the standard." No pressure, right? Anyway, after laying out my likely timeline at this point and asking questions about what documentation was required and what our insurance covered, the management team went out of their way to reassure me that this was all about me and my comfort. Questions about disclosure to the rest of the employees were asked and the sketch of a strategy was drawn up. The takeaway from the meeting, at least on a functional level, was that I work in a pretty damn awesome place and my coworkers and managers respect me. This will not turn out to be an Internet horror story. I get that not everyone is as privileged as me with respect to coming out in the workplace because of a lot of factors. I also get that there has been a lot of ground lost in the struggle for basic human rights lately. That being said, there are good stories out there and mine is one of them. I acknowledge that I have certain privileges because of my age, my experience, my education, and the country that I reside in. My hope is that I can use this privilege to make things a little easier for anyone following me on a similar journey at my company.

The second takeaway from the meeting, on a personal level, was that I was able to hold my own in a meeting with top level management and not look like a complete idiot. I think that, I've been selling myself too short for a lot of years, for a bunch of different reasons. The people I met with were inspiring to me in their belief and commitment and drive. This is an environment that I want to explore, away from the front line, surrounded by people who have their shit together and are able to make people feel comfortable in difficult situations. The boss fight from the last level is completed, the loot has been divided, the gear has been upgraded and the achievement has been logged. It's time to do the baby quests of this level and work towards the next one.