Debit card charges. Bank of America is now going to charge customers a $5 fee to use their debit cards each month. This is just like banks did with ATM cards. They get you addicted to using them, then they start affixing fees to access your money - even though it's MUCH less expensive for them to deliver the cash via a machine instead of a human teller.
Bank of New York, I believe, is now charging customers a service fee for making deposits. Why dat? They can't make any money lending it out - in fact, it costs them money, as they must pay the FDIC insurance fee. No one is borrowing money - regardless of how low the interest rates might be - so they've got to make it up by charging you to warehouse your own money.
Do you need more reason to take your money out of the bank?
Occupy Wall Street protesters: Growing, and spreading [link].
Gotta say, I agree with the general premise, but they need focus. Too many folks with differing causes. Stay focused on the banks and the bailouts, and they'll get some popular support.
As Ol' Remus says, "Stay away from crowds." So far, the protests have focused mainly on cities with Federal Reserve Bank branches. The SF Fed is located right next to the first BART (subway) station that enters San Francisco. If their protest spread to the BART station, business in SF would be seriously hindered. This same line goes all the way to the SF airport as well, so that could mess things up as well.
Made up a batch of cream cheese with some fresh milk that was on its way to not being fresh any longer. In the past, I've made a non-rennet cheese out of non-fat dry milk that was getting a bit gamey ["Gettin' Cheesy" link]. This time, I made it out of some fresh 2% milk that was a week past it's expiration date (still smelled and tasted great).
I brought about 3/4 of a gallon up to 180F, and added 2 tbs of white vinegar, gave it a stir, and..... nuthin'. It wouldn't break into the curds and whey. I eventually added another tbs and turned the heat back on and it broke up very nicely.
It was MUCH softer than the dried milk stuff. I'm guessing that was because of the added fat. I poured it into a cheesecloth-lined colander, where I rinsed out the vinegar with warm water. I let that drain a bit more, and decided I was going to make a cream cheese of sorts.
I added dehydrated onions, garlic powder, salt, black pepper and perhaps a quarter cup of milk and stirred it all up. Awesome! I filled up some ramekins with the cheese spread, and it will adorn my morning bagels over the coming weeks.
I made up some killer Asian-style spare ribs this weekend. Knowing I'd have lots left over (I have difficulty not cooking for an Army, even though it's just me and my wife!), I decided to do some prepping with beans and the leftover ribs. I reserved the excess marinade, plus the drippings from the ribs (I cooked them in the oven). The marinade was a homemade teriyaki sauce.
First up, I took my overnight-soaked beans (4lbs dry), added them to a pot with sauted onions and carrots. I covered them with water to about an inch over the beans. I then poured in the reserved marinade (about 1 1/2 cups) and let the beans soak in some of the flavor. I brought the beans to a boil and let them go for about 45 minutes.
While this was happening, I got my canner, jars, lids and rings ready, and started taking the meat off the ribs. I ended up with about 3 cups of shredded meat. I broke this into 10 piles (my canner holds 10 pints).
I pulled the 10 jars from the canner (where they were in 180F water) and put one pile of meat into each. I then filled each jar with beans to within an inch of the rim. The jars were then filled to within a half inch of the rim with the bean broth.
Ten pounds pressure for 75 minutes, and I have ten pints of Asian BBQ beans on the shelf!
I still had a butt-load of beans left. I cooked them - without meat - for another 4 hours or so. I then followed the dehydrating process outlined in a post I did way back in 2009 ("Dehydrating Beans" [link]).
When I did the beans for the post in 2009, they were unflavored. This batch has the Asian BBQ flavoring, and are very, very good. Two thumbs up!
They'll go with the rest of my Just Add Water [link] preps.
You know how to make a great teriyaki sauce, right? Equal parts soy sauce and sweet - brown or white sugar, or honey - is the key. Then I usually add some orange juice, grated ginger, Chinese Five Spice and some hot chile/garlic paste.
Hey, did you see the mini-documentary, "I, Caveman [link]" last night? Pretty damned interesting.
Basically, it was about 10 regular folks to go out into the wilds of Colorado for 10 days. They can only use the tools of the caveman to survive. They were given two days worth of water, caveman clothes, and a shelter (they also got a two day survival course prior to being set out on their own).
Good Lord, are we a soft bunch of humans. The main thing I got from it was, in the event of a societal break-down where we are forced to form small groups for mutual benefit, the first rule will be, "Don't work? Don't eat!"
Spoiler Alert! The scientists that were watching these folks realized they had little or no chance of supplying themselves with enough protein. They introduced one of the first primitive weapons, something called an "atlatl". It's a dart/arrow flinging contraption.
Somehow, these folks brought down a bull elk with this thing. Holy crap!
A magazine called, "Make" has a PDF of an article [link] that includes instructions and diagrams for making one of these things, their darts and how to use it. Pretty cool...
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