Sunday, October 01, 2006

Captain Caveman!

And Lo-Behold, came the booming voice from above: Go Forth and be Handy! And the dudes were Handy, and it was good. But then, a Bad Thing happened... Dudes started to lose their Handiness, and the Handy jean (gene) was no longer passed down from father to (illigitimate) son... And the world saw their Handiness being threatened, and some brave, kind, Handy soul would have to step up to the plate (or wicket), and bring Handiness again to a world long bereft of a Handy Dude. Lo, I am that Dude: I am Handy. No worries, mate, pass me that stubbie.*

*excerpt from the book of dave, found 1232 ad (after dave) in a musty garage buried under power tools on a long abandoned planet-- translation by a select team of revered Ionian scholars.

So, like, in case you hadn't guessed, I am Handy. Hell, I even have all my fingers despite my natural curiosity.

Do you wanna know why? Would you like some examples? 'Course you do. Read on!

--Note: read the following in a caveman type voice (you know, the stereotypical hollywood kind), it'll be much more fun, promise. Oh, don't forget to add the grunts intermintantly--

Family want spend money for step-stool. Dave make step-stool instead. We all happy.

Gutters need cleaning. Dave clean gutters. Dave find leaky, rusted out gutter. Dave fix gutter.

Family need new shelf unit. Dave make shelf unit.

'Puter software barfing. Dave reconfigure software to make it work.

Deck railing rotten. Dave replace railing.

Carpet stained. Dave shampoo carpet.

Data from 13 year old hard drive on puter that doesn't work needs rescuing. Dave rescue data.

Sleepers (railroad ties) in garden landscape sliding down. Dave shore up and fix and make look pretty.

Mom's chair broke. Dave fix.

Need stand for new keyboard. Dave make keyboard stand.

'Puter printers jacking around. Dave take sledgehammer from fixing sleepers and fixes printers.

Logs need choping. Dave chop logs.

Cave clan hungry. Dave cook. and cook... and cook... and cook some more...

Tree branches dangerous. Dave climb tree and lop branches --then Dave chop wood.

Water all over bathroom. Dave fix sink drain with plumbing scillz.

Leak in roof. Dave fix leak. Dave go into roof crawl space with spiders and take up wet insulation and put down fresh insulation.

Bike needs repair. Dave fix.

Other bike needs repair. Dave fix.

Other other bike needs repair. Dave fix.

Other other other bike needs repair. Dave fix.

Other other other other bike needs repair. Dave fix.

Other other other other other bike needs repair. Dave too fucking tired of bikes to care.

Family needs driven somewhere (like driving dave insane). Dave dutifully drive family.

This list can go on, but I think y'all get the idea: I am Handy! Woof! Grrr!

on with the food:

Hey, I promised ya last time: fun (and legal) things to do with a steamer. I do sometimes keep a promise (full respect to Ornela Mutti), you can trust me twice.

I am not going to go in to all the health advantages of using a steamer (well, actually I might in one or two places, sorry), but I will tell you a lot of cool things you can use a steamer for (I'll stay with the food related ones though).

Firstly; Bamboo or metal? Well, they are both cheap and they are both readily available. The downside to bamboo is that (in my humble opinion) it's harder to clean and if you aren't careful after a while the bamboo steamer can give the food a rather, well, "soapy" flavour (flavor). The downside to a metal one is that if you go cheap you could end up with aluminium (aluminum) one (Alzheimers anybody????). Soooo, stainless steel it is! With a lid too (duh). Try to get a 3 (three) tier one if you can.

Secondly; What can you steam? The question should actually be, "What CAN'T you steam?" I'll give you steamy (nothing x-rated though) recipes in later posts.

Fish and veggies are pretty obvious and standard things that leap to mind when most folks think of a steamer. And those folks'd be right.

How's about the steamer water in the pan under the steamer (assuming you have a stove-top variety)? If you've been steaming veggies, then you now have a panful of great veggie stock; use it wisely. The same applies for fish (I hope you'd've figured that one out on your own, but just in case...); it makes a great start to a fish chowder (foreshadowing: stay tuned for a chowder recipe!!!!). So make sure you're steamer pan is clean cus you'll want to use the water from it. You can also start sauces with it to have with the same meal --be creative.

I can hear you now: "Well shit, dave. I already have a steamer, and I use it. What good is this crap gonna do me when I know it already?" Damned good question Mrs Foul-mouthed dudette. Please note my use of gender equality, gotta gives the gals their equal share, eh?

Two things to steam you may not (or just plain "may") know:

1) Cauliflower greens. Yeah, you know, the crappy fugly lookin' outer leaves you callously rip away and toss out when you are preparing a cauliflower for sacrifice to the Great God Gastro. I've got knews (news) for you: RINSE 'EM AND STEAM EM!!!! The have a cabbagey flavor when steamed, but much better than cabbage. They are great and very highly nutritious.

2) Broccoli stems. Uh-huh, you read that right. After you cut the "flowers" off a broccoli, DON'T toss that stem. Slice them lengthwise till they are about asparagus size. The easy way to do this is first slice one lengthwise, then lay a half flat side down and cut it again. Continue till it's the size you want. Once they are steamed the taste much like asparagus, only BETTER! Top with dave's special Hollandaise sauce (I find the lime juice and tarragon variation suites my pallet (the fleshy one in my mouth, not the wooden ones in the garage).

Next post coming up will have a real kick-ass recipe! Every single time I make this for friends (or enemies, or anenomes) I always get asked for the recipe. So I have decided to put pen to paper (how the hell am I going to get the ink off the damn screen now??) and inform the ignorant masses of one of dave's "most requested recipes".

There! That outta hold ya, eh?

Outta here,

Oh, yeah: Clan cold. Dave make fire.

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