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Food and Linux. [Feb. 22nd, 2009|08:51 pm]
"We're opening our oldest wine bottles," she said, "and I want something for the occasion. I've bought beef, and we have potatoes, and I'd like something French for the occasion, if you please."

So I did. Or, at least, I tried.

My first demi-glace went perfectly, and formed a mushroom-based sauce for the steaks -- which were seared and then oven-roasted, since my benefactors have no grill. Almonds were crushed, roasted, and tossed in with green beans in a spectacular-if-minimalist vegetable dish.

The gratin that I tried to produce didn't come out so good. The flavors were *perfect*: just the exact amount of rosemary, just the exact amount of garlic, no hiding the beautiful potato flavor -- but for some reason the slagroom did not suddenly turn into a beautiful creamy inside. Instead of a perfectly-seasoned potato gratin, I got perfectly seasoned potato slices, in milk. Willemien told me that she thought she knew why: she usually buys very fast-cooking potatoes, and they're probably also very low-starch, so that there was no residual starch filling the cream and making it even creamier. I'm not so sure -- the slagroom seemed a bit watery to start with, in my opinion. But maybe you're supposed to add an egg or two, or something to that effect.

Dessert: creme fraiche, with some blackberries, my Oma's homemade jam, and ground chocolate shavings. Absolutely delightful in presentation and flavor.

My new laptop now boots into a completely-encrypted Kubuntu Linux install, as well as its Win XP install. The Kubuntu Jaunty alpha is treating me wonderfully; it's everything that I was hoping out of Vista before I had to downgrade and go back to Win XP. The only thing I wish, is that the Toshiba Portege M750 could boot out of its memory card reader. It would be a little more convenient for my intended setup. But it can boot from USB, so I just have the GRUB MBR code in the boot records for all of my USB drives. This loads a local /boot partition on my hard drive, which decrypts the root partition if I give it the right password.