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Tuned and ready…sort of.

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Okay. So my winter bike is all tuned up and I even upgraded the rear wheel from a 3-speed to an 8-speed internal. At the first sight of snow the studded snow tires go on it. This will be the third Buffalo winter with this bike (last year was trying to say the least), and it of course replaces my beloved Mule which was nicked from my ex-wife’s garage a few years ago. At any rate, the bike seems ready (just had the new rear wheel and internal 8-speeed put on today and love it) but I’m not sure I am. Last Winter was exhausting. Hopefully this one will be a bit milder.

Urban Simplicity.

Where’s Bixby?

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So this is pretty cool. I don’t know Bixby or her human, Mike, but came across their website last week and thought I’d give them a shout out. They are riding a Yuba Mundo all over the country to bring awareness in supporting animal shelters. Nice. I’m jealous to say the least. Bixby, if you happen to read this, tell Mike that if you guys happen to roll through Buffalo, NY I would love to meet you; I’m sure the pugs that own me would as well. Ride on. Peace.

Urban Simplicity

Tofu Souvlaki!

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Okay…so first…yup, tofu souvlaki. Don’t mock it ’till you’ve tried it. And also, I have to qualify this by stating that I am not a vegetarian (as people often think I am), it’s just that I do not eat a great deal of meat and find meatless foods just as enticing as those otherwise. This said, I hope you’ll try this. And I have to finish by saying what has become a sort of mantra for most of the recipes I make…it is really delicious and easy to make, too.

Tofu Souvlaki

Serves 2-4

1 (14 oz.) package extra-firm tofu

1 cup virgin olive oil

½ cup white wine vinegar

½ cup water

¼ cup minced parsley

3 cloves minced garlic

2 teaspoons Greek oregano

½ teaspoon crushed hot pepper

½ teaspoon sea salt

Drain the tofu and remove it from its package. Set the tofu on a plate with two or three additional plates resting gently on top to release some of it’s moisture. Allow the tofu to be pressed at room temperature for 15 minutes, then cut it first into quarters, and then oblong slices. Lay the slices in a shallow pan the is just large enough to hold them. Make the marinade/salad dressing by combining the remaining ingredients in a bowl and whisking together. Pour half of the marinade over the sliced tofu and allow it to rest for 30 minutes at room temperature. Preheat an oven to 375F. Remove the tofu from its marinade and lay the pieces on a baking sheet that has been lightly oiled. Bake the tofu for 20-30 minutes, turning as necessary, or until lightly browned at the edges and firm to the touch. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes before serving.

Urban Simplicity.

A few things I’ve seen while walking or riding my bike recently…

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Urban Simplicity.

A Parable from Kahlil Gibran

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Said a blade of grass to an autumn leaf, “You make such a noise falling! You scatter all my winter dreams.” Said the leaf indignant, “Low-born and low-dwelling! Songless, peevish thing! You live not in the upper air and you cannot tell the sound of singing.” Then the autumn leaf lay down upon the earth and slept. And when spring came she waked again — and she was a blade of grass. And when it was autumn and her winter sleep was upon her, and above her through all the air the leaves were falling, she muttered to herself, “O these autumn leaves! They make such a noise! They scatter all my winter dreams.”

4:14

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It’s only four minutes and fourteen seconds long, but it is a moving video that speaks many truths. I hope you watch it.

Urban Simplicity.

Some like it hot!

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If you’ve been to this blog prior then you know that I have been somewhat fascinated with the art of fermentation for sometime (click here), so this recipe should not come as a surprise. I initially got the idea when I came across a recipe for brussels sprouts kimchi at the website of Bon Appetite. Intrigued, I tried it but changed it up a bit to fit my tastes. Anyhow, it is really good (and really spicy) and easy to make. If you like fermented foods I hop you try this recipe (which is below).

Brussels Sprouts Kimchi

Makes 1 gallon

 4 pounds brussels sprouts, stems trimmed and cut in half

7 ounces kosher salt

4 quarts water

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 1 small onion, peeled and quartered

8 scallions

4 garlic cloves, peeled

¼ cup gochugara (Korean crushed pepper) or Aleppo pepper

½ cup soy sauce

½ cup Sriracha

8 slices peeled ginger

1 tablespoon coriander seeds

1 tablespoon fennel seeds

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 2 quarts water

1½ ounces kosher salt

Place the brussels sprouts in a large bowl, dissolve the 7 ounces salt in the 4 quarts water and pour it over the brussels sprouts. Allow them to soak for one hour, then drain and rinse them, discarding the water.

Combine in a blender, the onion, scallions, garlic, crushed pepper, soy sauce, Sriracha, ginger, coriander, and fennel. Then puree until smooth.

Pour the spice mixture over the brussels sprouts in a large bowl, combining throughly, then transfer them to a gallon-sized glass jar. Mix the remaining 2 quarts of water and 1½ ounces salt together—allowing the salt to dissolve, and pour it over the brussels sprouts. Gently press the brussels sprouts to release any air pocket, but making sure that the vegetable is covered by an least a half-inch of liquid. Put a small plate or other object on the vegetable to keep them submerged. Cover the jar with a lid. Either leave the lid ajar or poke a small hole in it to allow the release of pressure and bubbles as it the kimchi ferments.

Leave the jar at room temperature for about 5 days, or until it is bubbling and tastes slightly sour, then refrigerate. The brussels sprouts kimchi will keep for months in refrigeration.

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