mardi, janvier 16, 2007

Blogger me no likey

Hi everyone (i.e., my imagined community of people who read this),

I'm having some significant problems connecting to at home, so I'm currently writing up my blog entries by email and then posting them from work. I don't think that this is particularly Blogger's fault, since I'm having similar problems with a few other sites ( for example), and I noticed similar problems on another user's computer on the network at home. Obviously, it's a network thing. I blame our ISP for the home networks, Of course, I've given up all hope of getting help from them: every time I call their help line, I get disconnected AND help lines in this country are decidedly NOT toll-free. It's amazing, but in France most help-line numbers charge fees for the call, as if it were a phone-sex line or something.

Anyway, to make a long story short ("Too late!"), my posts will probably be a bit terse and possibly sparse on the photography until I can get this fixed. Argh! This confirms my conviction that the only good internet connection is a T1 line into a university backbone, or cable internet (which isn't available in Europe, alas).

So, I got up early to prepare for the cleaning staff, and then headed off to the market at Place des Fêtes to pick up some stuff for tomorrow. Greg will be leaving some of his stuff with me and I've offered to make him papas a la huancaína and patacones, so I picked up some red onions, violet potatoes and pink potatoes. I couldn't find a cheesemonger that had the kind of fresh white cheese I needed, but I found it later that day at the Monoprix near my work (I used the Corsican brousse/braccio cheese again).

So I had a reasonably uneventful day at work, finished my grocery shopping on the way home (I bought some plantains and some yucca/cassava/manioc), and got to making the huancaína sauce. This time, I must admit, I went a little overboard preparing the hot peppers. I used three scotch bonnet peppers, but I boiled them three times, which made them barely detectable in the final product. Otherwise, the sauce turned out great, and I came to realize that I need to use nearly twice as much cheese to get the consistency I like (i.e., nearly solid). My next project is to make ocopa and papas con maní. Also, I eventually want to try my hand at making causa, which is a sort of cold preparation of spiced mashed potatoes and various fillings. (Sorry, most of these don't have descriptions on the net and most english-language recipes I found were heretical, but here's a Wikipedia entry with brief descriptions.)

Aside from that, my night was pretty uneventful. I spent an ungodly amount of time trying to figure out what was wrong with my connection to Blogger and, but otherwise I just cooked and cooked.

Oh, by the way: I found this very nice mural on the side of a building at the corner of rue de Belleville and rue Haxo. How is it that I hadn't noticed this before? (click for larger image)

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