Sunday, April 30, 2017

Blue Crabs

First time cooking Blue Crabs!

I've eaten blue crabs all my life, but I've never prepared them and cooked them myself!  I did it the Chinese way... ginger, scallions, soy sauce, water, black pepper and salt.  After cleaning the crabs, I stir-fried them in my outdoor wok.  It was a lot of fun!  Gotta do it again.

Plenty of smoke and flame generated from the wok helped give the crabs a nice "Wok Hei" flavoring.  Wok Hei means the "Breath of the Wok."  It's what gives Chinese food that restaurant quality flavor that you can't seem to get when cooking on your own stove.  Constant moving of the wok to get the flame onto the food is what creates that smoky Wok Hei flavor.

In the past few years, my interest in cooking seems to have taken off.  But I only like cooking in my cast iron skillets, dutch oven, or in this wok!  I'm a "gadgets" kind of guy in that I need gadgets to fiddle with.  These cooking tools make cooking fun for me.  If I had to just cook with regular teflon pans on a gas stove, I don't think I'd be as interested.

I like the concept of doing something that's a bit difficult for others to do.  Cooking with cast iron is relatively easy and non-stick, but unless you know how to do it properly, many people end up with food that just sticks to it.  With wok cooking, there's a technique to it as well.  If you want that Wok Hei flavor, you have to know how to do it.  I'm not 100% there yet, but I'm getting closer every time I try cooking something on the wok.  Playing with the right temperature, tossing the food with the right amount of oil and water as well as timing seems to be a key to success in wok cooking.  I'll get there eventually.

This website has a good explanation on how Wok Hei is achieved.  Click here.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Rapunzel - Cast Iron

Cast Iron is good for more than one thing... just ask Rapunzel.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Milwaukee Public Museum - Balanced Exposure Field Trip

I went to the Milwaukee Public Museum today with a few students. My daughter joined us as well! It was a Father / Daughter day! After the museum, we went to AJ Bombers just a couple of blocks away from the museum for lunch. You get to eat peanuts in the shell and dump all the shells on the floor! Haven't done that since high school! OK, I've done that at Cubs games as well. Drugstore photo: Nikon D4 / Nikon 24-70mm f2.8 lens. AJ Bombers photo: iPhone 6s +

Friday, April 21, 2017

Career Day at Aptakisic Junior High School

I was invited to speak at the Aptakisic Junior High's Career Day today. I went there to talk to the 7th and 8th graders. Some kids came to see me because they were interested in Forensics. Others came to see me because they were interested in Photography. But they all seemed to like trying their hand at developing fingerprints using magnetic print powder!

The school gave all the speakers candy as a gift!

Thanks to Joe Brennan for inviting me and for the photo of me with the kids!  (Photo of the magnetic brush and magnetic print powder courtesy of the Internet)

Monday, April 10, 2017

First Day Out Fishing For the 2017 Season - No Fish

I went fishing today at Racine Harbor (Wisconsin). First day out for the season.  My fishing partner and I got there around 5 AM, set up our lines and then saw lightning. We decided it was best to go back to the car and wait out the storm. Not one minute after we closed the car door it started to hail on my car! Good thing we got in the car! It was large marble sized hail! We waited until 6:30 AM to finally try fishing. Very windy and choppy waves out there. Not good.

With the wind and waves hindering all efforts of fishing, we decided to go to Kenosha where their channel was bound to be less choppy. Sure enough, it was a lot calmer and the water was clearer. Still, no fish for us today; however, I had a decent "bump" from a fish but it didn't hook up. It was definitely a fish and not just a hook up on weeds because it was pulling back on the line... twice! I think my hooks were not sharp enough so I lost it! Moments later, another guy ended up catching a fish. My buddy and I are thinking he ended up with my fish! I need to replace those old hooks! Even though we might think it is sharp, it may not be sharp enough to penetrate and hook up on the fish.  Lesson learned.

Friday, April 07, 2017

Spam Musubi

My brother-in-law made Spam Musubi for me when I was in San Francisco last week. I had not eaten Spam since I got married and perhaps even up to 5 or more years before that... so roughly 36 or 37 years ago!
Spam Musubi is actually a popular thing in Hawaii. Seasoned with Furikake, sushi rice (rice with vinegar) is wrapped together with Spam and a sheet of Nori (seaweed) to make Spam Musubi.  My brother-in-law took the easy route and didn't shape the rice like this, but rather just gave me a bowl of rice with the Spam and the toppings. Still tasted pretty good no matter how it's shaped!
I purchased my first can of Spam in 37 years... ok... it's my first purchase ever since I never bought Spam, my dad did and fed it to us!