Thursday, October 22, 2009

Overengineering

Have you seen those commercials for twin recliners that also have cupholders, coolers and reading lights? We always joke that if they just came with a Foley catheter attachment, the lazy slob would never have to get up. Well, this guy did it one better -- a motorized recliner for zipping over to the local bar for a beer or nine. Except he got arrested for drunk driving.

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A few weeks ago, we were tripping and sliding over all the acorns in our yard (apparently there's a bumper crop of them this year), and foolishly I told the kids within earshot of Ben that Native Americans used to somehow grind them up and make acorn flour. This sent Ben hustling to the Internets, where he actually found a website explaining at length just how to go about doing this. And he gathered a bunch of acorns. A-a-a-and... he made acorn flour. I didn't think this was possible, but it had an even higher ratio of required labor to outcome quality than the Indian cutlet fiasco.

In a nutshell (HA!) you gather a shitload of acorns, roast them to kill the bugs, crack them individually (dental tool required), boil it for several hours while frequently changing the water (this removes the bitter tannins and stinks up the house something fierce), dry the stuff on every baking sheet and other flat surface you own, then grind it up in a food processor. And THEN you can use the flour to make something like ginger molasses cookies. Which the recipe cheerfully notes will taste not much different from cookies made from regular flour (and the recipe also calls for regular flour, by the way), because the ginger and molasses flavor dominate the acorn flavor. Fortunately. All you notice is an odd mealiness since the flour is both coarser and greasier than wheat flour. This is what unemployed people do to fill the hours, I guess. At least he's not drinking beers in the recliner (we don't have one) while watching NASCAR or Regis & Kathy Lee all day.

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