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      Welcome!   03/05/2016

      Welcome, everyone, to the new 910CMX Community Forums. I'm still working on getting them running, so things may change.  If you're a 910 Comic creator and need your forum recreated, let me know and I'll get on it right away.  I'll do my best to make this new place as fun as the last one!


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Everything posted by ProfessorTomoe

  1. Changing Medications (Level of Trust Required)

    Mrs. Prof has a stash of Cymbalta of her own. We will live on that until my prescription can be filled on the 13th.
  2. Changing Medications (Level of Trust Required)

    I have run out of Cymbalta (a.k.a. Duloxetine), and I am suffering from withdrawal symptoms. Electric shocks to the head, jitters, coldness, and others. I'm not enjoying this, especially since Mrs. Prof didn't tell me I was completely out (she does my pills every week).
  3. What Are You Ingesting?

    I had leftover biscuit (singular - wasn't terribly hungry) and gravy tonight. Added a touch of extra salt to the gravy, since as I said, I didn't put enough salt into the original batch Friday morning. Wound up tasting better than any gravy I've ever made, ever. Seriously. A couple of the factors that helped in the original batch: 1. Corn oil. You wouldn't think it made much of a difference, but unless you're using pan drippings from something like bacon, sausage patties, or chicken fried steak, you're not going to get a better fat for the gravy. It's pretty much made solely for use in hot foods, according to one of the major cooking sites (either America's Test Kitchen, Cook's Country, or Bon Appetit - can't remember where I read it). Don't use it for cold foods (foods that will be served cold) like salads, cakes, and so on, they said, but for hot served foods, it's perfect. I agree. 2. Mixing cream and whole milk. This brought the fat content up in the milk side of the equation (roux + milk + spices = gravy), making the end result more silky. More cream might have been better, or it might have been overkill - some experimentation would be needed in order to tell. A factor where it could have been improved: 1. Flour. I used something called Wondra flour (https://www.goldmedalflour.com/our-flour/wondra-quick-mixing-all-purpose-flour/). It's a pre-cooked and dried flour, supposedly, which allows it to blend into gravies with amazing alacrity. The end result is a near-perfect smoothness almost all the time, but at what cost? There could be some flavor lost in the roux-making process by using a pre-cooked flour. One could probably improve the roux by using a regular all-purpose flour that has been sifted to remove all lumps first, if you're skittish, or just gently added and very quickly whisked, if you're more trusting in your cooking skills (I'm not). Now, why the hell am I going on and on about something so mundane as gravy? Because I was raised on the stuff by by grandparents and relatives (not my mother, unfortunately - her cooking left something to be desired except for spaghetti w/meat sauce). They made fantastic gravy, and it's been my life goal to replicate their efforts. I've finally accomplished that task. My relatives did not share their recipe nor their techniques with me. I have resolved not to be so secretive with my discoveries. Besides, hell, I'm a longstanding Native Texan who lives on cream gravy, not one of these newcomer MAGA types who couldn't spell gravy if you filled a fountain pen with the stuff. It's my duty to learn how to make it, and my duty to pass down the recipe (my relatives were sorely remiss in their duties in that area). I've got to go on and on about it, it's my job.
  4. What Are You Ingesting?

    I made canned biscuits with homemade from-scratch cream gravy for Mrs. Prof this morning. Okay, it was part cream, part Fairlife whole milk. Came out great. My only gripe is that I didn't put in enough salt, but I'd rather have that gripe than the alternative (too much salt). Mrs. Prof was happy with the whole shooting match. I am therefore pleased. If anyone wants the gravy recipe, here 'tis. It's not easy, nor quick: 3 Tbsp. corn oil (corn oil works best, but substitute as you like) 3 Tbsp. flour (I use Wondra flour, since it doesn't clump) 1 cup heavy cream 2 cups whole milk (I use Fairlife, since it's lactose-free, but anything works since you're cooking it) Salt to taste Pepper to taste Rubbed Sage to taste Thyme to taste Before you start, combine your milk and cream in a container, preferably with a pour spout of some kind. Stir with a metal spoon so that they're well mixed. Clean off the spoon and keep it handy for later. Heat a large saucepan (3 quart) or a large skillet/frying pan over medium heat until hot, but not smoking. Add oil and heat until it shimmers. While whisking with a wire whisk appropriate for your pan, add your flour to the oil. Whisk until coated, then continue whisking until the flour turns light brown, around 6-8 minutes (I'm guessing - it may take longer). Do not let it smoke!!! Turn down the heat if it gets too hot. Once your flour is at an acceptable shade of brown (not quite peanut butter brown), pour the cream/milk mix into the pan while whisking, gradually at first, then faster until everything is whisked in. Adjust the heat under your pan to medium, and start whisking at an easy speed, making sure you scrape the entirety of the bottom of the pan. Keep whisking until the liquid starts steaming and begins to look somewhat thick and shiny. Put down your whisk for a few seconds and get your metal spoon from earlier. Dip it into the (now potential) gravy and remove it, then look at the back. Blow on the back to cool it down, then draw your finger across it. This is the old, "Does it coat the back of a spoon?" test. If your finger leaves a clean, non-grainy trail, your gravy is pretty close to being ready. Now, use the spoon to dip out some (potential) gravy and let it pour back into the pan. If it's the thickness you want, declare it as official gravy and pull it off the heat. Serve with hot biscuits, bread, or any number of other things that just need some good cream gravy.
  5. What Are You Ingesting?

    Cold, leftover tortilla chips.
  6. New Music Release Thread

    I don't remember if I posted anything about this here, but I think I did. Anyway, I've arranged a Beethoven Piano Sonata, specifically Sonata #18, Opus 31, No. 3, for Woodwind Quartet. I finished this quite some while ago - a few months, in fact - and I'm just now getting around to submitting it for publication to E. C. Schirmer. The Score and the MP3s went online last night. One thing I didn't do in the past was post the arrangement with a good rendition to SoundCloud. I have now rectified that problem. If you would like to listen to a damn fine Beethoven piano sonata, being played by a woodwind quartet, please click on the following link: https://on.soundcloud.com/Rjqc6 I would appreciate your opinion of the arrangement. Thank you very much.
  7. Changing Medications (Level of Trust Required)

    I'm not going to surround this with spoiler tags, because Bob Gammage, this needs to be out in the open. I've been gathering stuff in preparation for next week's rotator cuff repair surgery (it's got me so nervous I can't even spell it properly). So far, I've got a lifting recliner chair, a left-handed ergonomic mouse (to mirror the right-handed one I have now), and one or two other things. I'm nowhere near ready. One of the things that I do need, and which I just ordered from Amazon, is something euphemistically titled a "Toilet Aid." It's an 18-inch-long wand of sorts with a handle at one end and a gripping flap at the other end that locks. You insert your toilet paper into the flap, grip it and lock it into place, then make use of it. When done, there's a button on the handle that unlocks the flap and releases the paper into the water, completing the cycle. Repeat as necessary. This *is* necessary, because I will only have one working arm (my left one) after the operation, and I'll only have very slight use of my right hand to either grasp the wand or insert the paper, one or the other (haven't figured that out yet). The post-use hygienics are still in question as well, but will probably involve a small bucket of bleach-treated water and another dry bucket. I've got to think about this stuff, man! I'm going to have to live with it for a good six weeks while my right arm is in a sling. I don't like it one bit, but I prefer putting up with this crap to putting up with the pain in my shoulder that I have now. I mean, today I've had to max out and take the two-pill dose of my Dilaudid. That's 16 milligrams a dose, and I'm still feeling pain!!! If someone tells me I can permanently get rid of this pain by having to wipe my butt with a wand for six weeks, I'm making that deal. Case closed.
  8. Sad news

    Norman Lear is dead. He was 101. https://variety.com/2023/tv/news/norman-lear-dead-dies-tv-legend-all-in-the-family-1235823995/
  9. What Are You Ingesting?

    Boston-creme-pie-flavored Pop Tarts.
  10. What Are You Ingesting?

    Ah, that's a low-moisture mozzarella, if memory do serve. Very popular with the kiddiewinkies and their lunch boxen.
  11. New Music Release Thread

    Well, the first round judging has been completed, and I did not make it into the final five. C'est la guerre. I'm not giving up on the piece, however. I've contacted one of my former band directors and asked if he would kindly help me out. He's going to try, I hope, but he's got his own issues to take care of first. Turns out the link I posted last time was bad. Guess no one clicked on it. If you want to click on a link this time, here's what you need to click on to listen to the piece: https://on.soundcloud.com/EdUKh Thank you for your support.
  12. What Are You Ingesting?

    Yeah, I think it's some kind of gnarly provolone blend, formulated so that it melts better inside the dough. I'm just guessing, though, based on what I learned from certain pizzas in the Austin area when I was just out of college. They liked to brag about putting provolone on top of their pizzas, and this is what it reminds me of.
  13. Changing Medications (Level of Trust Required)

    Saw my pain management doctor today. He's keeping me on the 8mg dose of the Dilaudid for now. The exact dosage is one to two 8mg tablets three times a day. I told him that I'm having to take the 2x dose often, especially yesterday morning when (I'll man up and admit it) I found myself in silent tears from the pain. Mrs. Prof and I went home afterward, grabbing some fast food on the way. It made me sick to my stomach, necessitating the use of a Zofran anti-nausea pill. I've been needing Zofran all too often lately. Every meal seems to make me queasy, and it seems like every other day or so I'm taking a Zofran. I don't know what the deal is.
  14. Sad news

    Henry Kissinger has passed on. He was 100. https://www.politico.com/news/2023/11/29/henry-kissinger-diplomat-nobel-obituary-031478
  15. Changing Medications (Level of Trust Required)

    As the date for my shoulder surgery approaches, I am being more and more pleasantly surprised by my doctor. He has personally called me concerning important matters related to the surgery not once, not twice, but three times now, as of today. The latest phone call was in response to a direct message I left for him over the patient portal system. In the message, I had asked him to kindly be extra careful when it comes to the management of my post-op pain (I've had some nightmares, as I've reported here, including the aforementioned passing-out from Level 10 pain after my knee replacement surgery). He called to reassure me that he would indeed coordinate my pain management with hospital staff and would be extra careful in the process. He also asked for my pain management doctor's name, so that he could contact him and consult with him on the best way to handle my case, since I have pains coming at me from every direction. Never before have I had a doctor personally call me more than a single time regarding anything, and that was usually as a last resort after his medical assistants were unable to solve a problem. This doctor never let any of the situations get that far - he contacted me first, without trying to go through the M.A.s beforehand. I commend him for that, and recommend him so far for his professionalism and pre-op manner. I can only hope that his operating skills are somewhere in the same neighborhood. If they are, this surgery is going to be a worthwhile experience.
  16. New Music Release Thread

    I've expanded the "jaunty" Horn Sextet. Here's the new SoundCloud link: https://on.soundcloud.com/W7uFc Enjoy with your favorite beverage.
  17. Changing Medications (Level of Trust Required)

    Got up from my recliner a little while ago and almost fell over to my left when I tried to put pressure on my left leg. My left knee - the one with the replacement joint - damn near gave out and hurt like a motherfarker. Walking from the recliner to the bathroom was a new experience in pain. Fortunately, by the time I'd finished by business in the bathroom, my knee had finished whatever it was up to and had stopped complaining when I walked on it. I hate it when that happens.
  18. New Music Release Thread

    Thought you might enjoy listening to this work in progress up on SoundCloud: https://on.soundcloud.com/b5sx2 It's a French Horn Sextet that I'm writing for another competition. No money attached to this one, just a public performance in front of a bunch of French Horn bigwigs. The piece can be described as "jaunty" at present, although Mrs. Prof described it as a "drinking song." You be the judge and report back.
  19. Holidaze

    Oh, one other thing - Mrs. Prof strode out of the computer area Saturday afternoon and pronounced, "Someone loves me, and it isn't you," with a grin on her face. She then showed me a pair of silly-looking cat slippers that someone for whom she had done a favor had sent her as a gift. Nice, comfy looking. Still, not a challenge one should allow to go by if at all possible, and in this case, I had a retort. You see, I had ordered her a birthday gift - a pair of lab-grown diamond earrings (small diamonds, but that's all I could afford) - and I'd hoped to give them to her at Friday's family Thanksgiving get-together. Well, UPS thwarted that with late delivery, but they did deliver while she was out running a cat errand Saturday morning. I'd opened up the package and was ready to spring it on her at the proper time, and wouldn't you know it, she presented the proper time with her little "someone loves me" remark. So, after letting a few comedy beats pass for effect, I went and retrieved the Zales box and brought it over to her. I then pronounced, "Someone loves you, and it's me," and handed her the box. The look on her face was priceless. She appreciated the gift very much, especially after I reassured her that I didn't break the bank in purchasing them (they were $59 plus tax - like I said, they were small). I had her try them on, and she looked lovely in them. Mission accomplished, on both fronts.
  20. Holidaze

    Friday's family Thanksgiving get-together was ruined - for me, anyway - by an acute lower gastrointestinal upset. No need for a spoiler tag or anything, since no bathroom trips ensued. I was just in pain. Things were in good shape through dinner and shortly afterward, then it set in. Urgh. We were forced to leave about an hour or two early. Still, what time we did have there was enjoyable. The food was good, the libations were interesting and conversation-worthy (always fun), and once we got home things resolved without too much fuss. (Okay, one bathroom trip. No details.) That, plus The University of Texas kicked the holy living shiat out of Texas Tech, so yeah, fun was had.
  21. What Are You Ingesting?

    No, their Andouille is a separate product. This is a Cajun Smoked Sausage. https://www.walmart.com/ip/Zatarains-Cajun-Smkd-Ssg/305138605 We eschew cranberry sauce and go for Swedish lingonberries instead. They blend oh-so-well with turkey.
  22. What Are You Ingesting?

    Mrs. Prof and I had Zatarain's brand Jambalaya rice with Zatarain's brand Cajun sausage cut up and dispersed throughout it, all cooked in our handy-dandy Zojirushi-brand rice cooker. We had some excess pumpkin pie cupcakelets for dessert (Mrs. Prof is making the pies for today's belated Thanksgiving over at the in-laws' place). Both came out really good.
  23. Changing Medications (Level of Trust Required)

    Pretty much. I've actually passed out from the intensity of the pain when I've hit a 10 before.
  24. Changing Medications (Level of Trust Required)

    I don't know what it's going to be, but I can guarantee my anxiety level will be out the chimney and through the roof until the moment I go under anesthesia. I've had BAD post-op experiences with medical staffs not knowing how to handle my pain levels, thanks to the pain medication I'm already on. I hit a 10 on the 0-to-10 scale post-op on my knee replacement surgery and passed out from the pain on a couple of occasions because they were giving me hydrocodone instead of hydromorphone, which is what I was on. This doctor says he's going to put in a block, so I won't feel a thing until it wears off. I'm afraid he's going to do that and forget all about the 8mg 5x a day that I take in pill form, either that or just do what some other doctors have done and give me the token 0.5mg of IV hydromorphone (Dilaudid) and call it a day. I can't let that happen to me, not for a moment's time. Uggh, there are so many things to take care of in this mess. I wish it were simpler.
  25. Holidaze

    Don'tya just hate that?