September 29th, 2015

Control Tower

Math, Nothing, Food

Spent all day Thursday and Friday of last week at a cross-disciplinary climate science / computer science workshop. Overall it went well, although there was one talk that was presented so frustratingly back-to front that it genuinely made me angry. Computer science and math people take note: for people outside your field, math is not explanatory! You can't put up slide after slide full of equations and expect us to follow along as you build up to the point you're making, because the math doesn't mean anything until you tell us what the point is! You have to explain first, in words, and then present the math to show how it works. (Not that anyone reading this is the target audience for that comment. Le sigh. Hopefully there will be a spot for me to say that in the post-workshop survey...)

Anyway, the workshop was good but required getting to work significantly earlier than normal, so this weekend was filled with blissful nothing. I had signed up for a workshop-related "hackathon" on Saturday, but once we got the materials it turned out to be way more machine learning and way less data analysis than I was interested in, (and started way too early), so I skipped it. Instead I got a haircut (a really good one, actually) and then went back home and spent all day doing nothing much. On Sunday we had dim sum at Star Kitchen with Jason, Brandon, Jon & Gary, and Bob, and then we came home and I did a lot more nothing. Well, Star Wars prep. But it was still relaxing and I figured out some important plot things.

Monkey is spending a couple evenings a week at ceramics, and I have started pre-making dinner for the following night those evenings. It lets me make something elaborate at a leisurely pace, rather than rushing stressfully through it when I'm already hungry in order to get it on the table at a reasonable time. Last night I grilled some eggplant and assembled an eggplant parmigiana (ish) recipe and an Italian zucchini dish. So tonight I'll just have to pop them in the oven for half an hour when I get home and it'll be dinner.

Eggplant Parm Followup

The grilled eggplant parm turned out REALLY well.

It's this recipe here:

I did everything up to the last step (baking for half an hour) last night and stuck it in the fridge to bake when I got home tonight, and it worked beautifully.

I ended up with about twice as much tomato sauce as I needed; I think you could just use one 14.5 oz can of petit diced tomatoes and not dirty up your blender. (I used 1 can petit dice and one can crushed.)

I only stacked things two high instead of three, and everything still slid all over the place, so just resign yourself to an end result that will be tasty but only occasionally pretty. Next time I might use two baking sheets and not stack them at all; then you'd get even more brown-and-bubbly cheese, which is always a good thing.

Several of the eggplant slices got kinda black on the grill, and I was worried that they were burned, but the char actually added a nice flavor, so don't worry much about over-cooking during that step.