Beemer (dr_tectonic) wrote,
Beemer
dr_tectonic

Thanksgiving, Anthocyanin, and Too Many Things

Man, it feels like much more than a week since I last posted. Except for Thanksgiving proper, I did indeed end up working all through the holiday on that report (ugh bleah), but I finally got it finished and submitted on Sunday and now it is done forever, hooray! Now I just have to get this data analysis done...

We went over to Eaton Street for Thanksgiving, and it was excellent. I made Fancified Green Bean Casserole and Magic Butterfly Lemonade. (Fancified GBC: frozen green beans instead of canned, heavy cream, fancy dried mixed mushrooms, splash of white wine, bit of nutmeg.)

Magic Butterfly Lemonade

Well, limeade, actually.
Soda chanh muoi, to be precise.
And it's not magic, it's Science!

8 servings

Syrup:
1/2 cup dried butterfly pea flowers
2 cups water
1 cups sugar
1 Tbsp salt

Drink:
1 cup (key) lime juice (= 1/2 bottle Nellie & Joe's)
2-liter bottle seltzer
crushed ice

Syrup can be prepared well in advance:

Combine syrup ingredients in a saucepan.
Bring to a simmer, then remove from heat and let steep 10 minutes.
Strain into mason jar and set aside to cool.


To serve:

Fill bottom inch or two of each glass with crushed ice.
Measure 4 Tbsp = 1/4 cup of syrup into each glass.
Float ~ 1 cup selter on top by pouring slowly over a spoon sitting at top of ice.
Gently measure 2 Tbsp lime juice into each glass.
Instruct guests to stir to combine.


Butterfly pea flowers give off lots of anthocyanin, which changes color with pH. It goes from blue to pink when you mix in the acid of the lime juice. I got a great big bag of them for $5 online.

I made full strength (1:1) simple syrup to get a big density difference to make floating separate layers easier, but the colored syrup layer ended up pretty small, so I've changed it to half-strength in this recipe. (The recipe I was working from has it 1/3 strength.) I think it's worth a little bit of mixing to make the blue layer more visible.


The Magic Butterfly Lemonade was tasty and refreshing, and it did the color-changing magic, so it was a successful contribution to the Thanksgiving feast! There was also ham and turkey and dressing and fancy butternut squash salad and 4 Varieties Chex Mix and a bunch of other stuff, plus apple, pumpkin, and pecan pies for dessert. We stuffed ourselves and played vidya games and a couple rounds of Sequence and had a lovely holiday.

Friday I worked on the report and Jerry went to work for Black Friday stuff, and then we met Jeff & Alice and Neal & Rhonda and Thomas & Karen to see Knives Out at the Mondoplex. (Plus tacos beforehand.) I enjoyed it quite a bit! It's a good murder mystery, and it's funny, and it does a good job of not being the movie you thought it was, on multiple occasions. Recommended.

Saturday I worked on the report, then played D&D at Neal's. My dwarven paladin finally got to smite some baddies! It was very satisfying.

Sunday we had to cancel dim sum with Bats & Sarah because they had to fly home early to avoid weather on the East Coast, but that was fine because I had to work on the report. I finally finished the report, the 5-10 page executive summary, the 1-page abstract, and the Report Summary Form a bit after lunchtime. We also cancelled Star Wars since I had no prep time (nor spoons left), so at 4-ish I headed over to Thomas's and we watched the first 3 episodes of The Mandalorian (enjoyable) and played a game of Betrayal at Baldur's Gate. I got the okay from my boss to submit the report and was finally done with the damn thing when I got home.

Monday I caught up on a bunch of miscellany at work and started preparing data for the data analysis I have to get done this week. Did bills when I got home. I probably had other essential somethings I dealt with, though I can't remember what. (Monkey has been doing lots of supportive things, for which I am very grateful.)

Yesterday we had a departmental retreat for the other department I have a 20% joint appointment to. My boss is out of town at the terrible mandatory symposium (for which I had to put together her poster before I did the report), but the rest of us in our group figured we should show our faces.

It was good! (Well, other than starting at 8:30 am.) Some all-hands-meeting stuff at the beginning, then some interesting talks, and then after lunch we had a workshop on SDI Core Strengths, which we'd all taken the assessment for. This is one of those personality type things , where it's red/green/blue for whether you focus on performance, process, or people, and respond to conflict by assertion, accommodation, or analysis. It seemed more like a real thing than a horoscope, and did seem to provide advice about how to talk to people that was (checking against myself and some colleagues) actually useful. I also very much appreciate that has a separate category for the people who respond to all the questions about "which do you do more, A, B, or C?" with "it totally depends on context," because that is a million percent me. Hub all the way!

It finished with the departmental holiday party, so tasty nibblies and work socialization. (Enjoyable, but tiring.) And then I came home and made some spinach-cheese hors d'oeuvres for our other departmental holiday party today, plus I got a haircut this morning and met with a bunch of different people and I have a doctor's appointment tomorrow morning, and jeebus, it's no wonder I'm tired. Like, I'm getting all the stuff done, and I think things are going generally well, but man will I be glad when I get some downtime.
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