So, the reason for this post is *I* was for one amazed at the results. My wife left a couple of stock pots sitting on the stove close to bed-time. I looked in and noticed each one had a bunch of (after 4 hours) 90 deg F water and a lid, with a plastic-wrap covered sausage-looking roll in each one sitting in the hot water.
So I had to ask, “What are those?” She says, “It’s chicken ham.” I think to myself, “Hm… raw chicken stuck in a plastic wrap tube and sitting in some hot water… isn’t this botulism in-the-making?” So I do the research.
Turns out in Japan, they’ve been making a version of a sous-vide style chicken dish for centuries. You can use white or dark meat, as long as it’s boneless.
And you’ll note the recipe calls for all of 4 ingredients:
The process is that the chicken is pierced with a fork to allow the seasonings to penetrate. The salt+pepper+sugar is liberally sprinkled all over the chicken, then placed in a zip-lock bag with the air removed, and left to cure/marinate in the refrigerator for 24-48 hours (depending on how seasoned you prefer your “ham”). If using the 2-day version, pour off the accumulated liquid after the first day, re-seal and return to the refrigerator.
After the curing, rinse it with cold water. If you prefer it less-salty, let it soak in cold water for 30 minutes after rinsing it. Pat the chicken dry with towels to remove excess moisture.
Wrap this in plastic wrap, sausage casing, a silicon tube, or whatever else you have that is boiling-water safe (it’s just to form the shape of the finished meat – if you don’t mind it looking flat and natural, just put it back in a clean ziploc bag and remove the air (using a straw helps get the last bubbles out.)
Bring a pot of water to a boil, large enough to allow immersion of your chicken package. Turn off the heat once boiling, and place the chicken package into the boiling water, and cover with a lid. Let it sit and gradually cool for the next 5-7 hours (if you live in a particularly cold climate, you might place the pot into an oven so it’s a little more insulated.)
Then you take it out and slice and eat it, or what have you (it’s just like pork ham, without all the nitrates, food coloring, and other additives.) Some people then take the finished chicken and then place it in a smoker to add a smoke flavor, or any other thing you might do with a canned ham.
Food process-wise, the reason this works is the internal temperature of the loaf immersed in boiling water, once covered, will gradually reach the minimum 140 deg. F for sterilization, and then maintain that temperature for over 45-60 minutes as the water finally cools from 212 deg. F back down to 140. That process usually takes 2-3 hours if covered. (If left uncovered, it would cool-down too quickly to be safe.)
Pretty much the simplest chicken recipe I’ve ever seen, and the results are fantastically tasty and juicy.
Note the proportions to this recipe (it scales perfectly well, you just need enough hot water in the pot to keep it from cooling down too fast – approximately 4:1 water to chicken should be enough):
-One large chicken breast: 250g (1/2 lb)
-Sugar: 1 large tablespoon
–Coarse salt-black pepper mixture: 1 large tablespoon (1/2-1/2)
My wife used about 2 lbs. of chicken to a 8 qt. stock pot with about 5 qts. of boiling water and double-layered the plastic wrap.
Other recipes include skipping the wrapping, and tying the bundle like a small roast and poaching it in broth instead. This is not a true sous-vide because you don’t need to vacuum pack the chicken. The salt/sugar curing is the preservation step that makes this work – you wouldn’t be able to substitute salt replacements, or sugar alternatives and have a safe product for poaching without keeping the temperature higher (about 160 deg. F)
A female comic recently came to me for a consultation. She had been working the clubs for a long time; she had great material and a unique persona, but she hadn’t been able to get out of the grind of low paying gigs. She said, “I want to be famous. I want my own TV show. How do I get there?”
I actually knew the answer to that — and not in vague terms either. I knew EXACTLY what she had to do achieve the kind of fame she wanted, and it would take lot of effort and some cash as well.
I also knew that she would NEVER do what I suggested, even though it would lead to what she wanted, when she remarked, “Wow, that’s a lot of work!”
In my 15 years of working with comics, speakers, and ambitious corporate types, my #1 most frequently asked question has always been “How can I become rich and famous?” This thought comes up for everyone who has ever picked up an open mic, as well as the stand-up purists who are in it for the “art.” We seek it and want it, even though we constantly see proof that being famous causes more problems than it solves. But, in the words of my friend, the late comic Lotus Weinstock, “I just want to be rich and famous so I can say ‘Being rich and famous wasn’t IT!’”
(By the way, I know this seems like a setup to sell you a miraculous product that will give you the fame and fortune you think you want, but there’s nothing for sale in this blog. Sorry. J)
I hear so many people say, “I would LOVE to write a book, get on TV, get paid to speak, and make a living being funny. Tell me Judy, how did YOU get to do these things?”
Answer: With a lot hard, boring work that most normal people would prefer to avoid.
So, you want to write a book? Really? You REALLY want to spend nine hours a day writing? You really want to give up a year of your life, not going to parties and having fun because you have to sit on your ass ALL day trying to figure out how to string a sentence together so it doesn’t sound like a complete moron wrote it.
You want your own TV show? Really? Are you willing to thoroughly research the commercial viability of your idea and then spend every dime of your hard earned money shooting and editing a sizzle reel instead of buying that new 52” HD TV you’ve been eyeing?
When interviewing the comics in my book The Comedy Bible, all the successful performers, comics, and speakers viewed their careers as real businesses, complete with R&D (Research and Development) and calculations of ROI (Return On Investment). Some even use project management software to track their progress and keep them on task. If your business goal is to become successful in showbiz, then writing material, doing open mics, and networking certainly need to be PART of your business plan, but it’s not the whole plan itself.
You can have the fame you want – IF you are willing to do the work and pay the price. Not everyone can.
Do you have what it takes to achieve fame and fortune? Take The Fame Test and find out.
THE FAME TEST
Do you have what it takes to obtain fame and fortune?
Rate your ability to fully commit to the below on a scale of 1 to 5 (1=No, don’t give a sh*t; 5=Yes, I’ll do anything and everything!)
Are you willing to work on your creative project for 8 hours a day for an entire year with no financial results?
Are you willing, at your own expense, to create top quality videos, press releases, and sizzle reels that show off you or your product in a professional and impressive way?
Are you willing to do the massive research required on how to achieve your goals? Who is similar to you? What was their career path? What did they do that worked, and what didn’t work? You might find exciting and enlightening tips on things you can add to your own business plan.
Are you constantly creating new material? If you get famous and just have 1-hour and nothing else, you might get an HBO special, win Last Comic Standing, play a few clubs, and… then never be heard from again. All that work to make $100,000 only to have it end leaves many comics shell shocked from lack of planning.
Are you willing to drop the fantasy that “Someday my Prince/agent will come with my big meeting”? You have to be the one to manage your career and know what’s going on in your industry and who you should be talking to. Do you know the names of the major behind-the-scenes players in your field?
Are you willing to open up your career to different audiences? For instance, if you study how many female comics became successful you’ll find that most of them got their start by performing for gay male audiences. Who were the early fans of the performer you most identify with?
the difference between Oracle Fusion Middleware, Oracle Fusion Applications, cold fusion, and jazz fusion is? Come to this session for help! It gives a high-level overview of which tools are part of Oracle Fusion Middleware and briefly touches on what they do. This session is a lead-in for the rest of the day, in the course of which you can get more-detailed information about some of the Oracle Fusion Middleware products. Start your day at a high level, and begin your Oracle Fusion Middleware learning here.
One of this year’s most rewarding projects – it’s free admission for everyone – Enjoy!
2012 Music Participants:
Anaheim Mormon Chorale Baha’i FaithVocal Ensemble Poor Clare Missionary Sisters
Center for Spiritual Living (Capistrano Valley)
Shinnyo-en Buddhist Temple
International Institute of Gurmat Studies (Keertan)
California Zoroastrian Association (CZA)
Temple Beth Sholom
This year’s united gathering of spiritual organizations for the sharing of music, spirit and faith will be generously hosted at Temple Beth Sholom in Santa Ana, California. With an expected attendance of over 1,200 community attendees, this free annual charity event is hosted each year to foster sharing of cultural beliefs and demonstrating the commonality and unity among all the religions of the world. This year, with the theme of Reaching Out Through Music, attendees will enjoy performances and presentations from representatives of Judaism, Hindu, Baha’i, Sikh, Anglican, Catholic, Mormon, Muslim, Zoroastrian and Shinnyo-en traditions followed by a reception for individual dialogue and cultural exchange.
All are invited to attend and enjoy the diverse forms of musical expressions of spiritual unity through voice, music and sound! Attendees are encouraged to bring a packaged staple or canned food items for donation to the Orange County Food Bank to help feed our community in need. The annual Orange County Interfaith Music Festival is produced and supported by the Orange County Interfaith Network (http://www.ocinterfaith.org) Our generous co-sponsors this year include: O’Connor Mortuary, Karen Child Family Foundation, Shinnyo-en Buddhist Temple, Central Orange County Interfaith Council, and the Interfaith Council of Garden Grove,, Stanton and Westminster.
September was the month when the core chant of our sangha was established as “Namu Shinnyo Ichinyo Dai Hatsu-Nehan Kyo.” Namu is an expression of devotion and trust; shinnyo is the truth or purity (Skt. tathata); ichinyo means oneness; and Dai Hatsu-Nehan Kyo is the Mahaparinirvana Sutra, also representing heaven. This mantra expresses the intent to be one with truth through the principles of the Mahaparinirvana (Nirvana) Sutra. By chanting the Sandai, and ingraining its focus into our daily lives and actions, we come to recognize our true selves as described in the Sacred Principles – the verses that we recite as part of our daily chanting:
Like the full moon is pure, one is essentially without tarnish.
Like the full moon is round and perfect, one lacks nothing.
Like the full moon is clear, one is essentially the untarnished Dharma.
Master Shinjo Ito taught that the Sandai was a distillation of the essence of the Mahaparinirvana Sutra. The Sandai voices our intention to change our lives and awaken to our true buddha nature by stepping forward with gratitude and joy for the benefit of others. Psychologically, when we incorporate an idea or thought using more than one of our senses, we tend to better remember it. This is a well-known practice of many advanced childhood learning programs, such as Montessori – to impress the idea in the mind, not only by reading it, but by reading it aloud, and preferably accompanying it with a reinforcing action. So, as we chant the words aloud, we also meditate and think about its meaning, and when we put the words into action, we will incorporate it into our lives. In this process, we begin to purify ourselves of the “Three Poisons” of greed, anger, and ignorance.
Almost fifty years ago, Shojushinin said: “I hope that you can become someone whom others point to and say, ‘That’s a really good person!’ When others recognize that you have changed through your practice [of the Shinnyo Teaching] and they want to give it a try themselves, that’s when you’ll know you’ve actually changed.” The core value within Shinnyo-en is to be the example for others through your actions, life and behavior. The human potential movement of the 1970’s and 80’s used to say, “All love flows through your own love for You.” Many people back then interpreted those words to mean an ego-centric interpretation, leading to the “Me” decade. As a student of many years of those same programs, we learned what the larger meaning of self-appreciation and respect embraces. You are part of a greater whole, whether you define that as a society, the human race, or even the universe. Thus as your eyes open wider and can see yourself in those who are around you, and learn to have the same caring and appreciation for others as you would wish for yourself, that same energy and spirit embraces you in return.
The aim of the Sandai is for us to deepen our resolve to walk the Shinnyo Path towards buddhahood—actualizing the full potential of the buddha nature latent within each of us—and helping others to do the same. A first step is to express the warmth and kindness expounded in the Teaching through our words and actions as we work for the good of those around us in our daily lives. Finding true happiness and creating a better world for everyone begins with changing ourselves.
There is one of many interesting anecdotal stories presented in this month’s Nirvana about a situation in dealing with selfish behavior. Our daily lives offer up a wealth of experiences that we
may be tempted to interpret through the lens of the Self, leading us to blame others or recoil at what they say and do. But what if, on every occasion, the message of Truth is actually hidden within? By focusing on grasping the message and learning to gently suppress our instinctual self-centered tendencies, we can feel the silent but sure encouragement extended to us from
the spiritual realm that up to this point may have passed unnoticed.
An office staff member was preparing to depart for another assignment when she overheard someone say, “Oh, she looks like a runaway…” referring to the staff member’s luggage and travel attire. She was angered by the remark throughout her trip, and upon arrival told Shojushinin-sama, our dharma mother, about the incident.
“So how did you deal with it?” asked Shojushinin. The woman responded, “I thought it was so rude to say something like that, and it made me miserable. I tried hard to reflect on what happened, but I just can’t accept it.”
Shojushinin replied, “Well, then, just think of how the word “runaway” is written with the Chinese characters 家出, meaning “home” (家) and “leave” (出). Reverse these characters to read in the opposite order (出家), and you have the word for “entering the priesthood,” which is what you are actually doing. Now then, what is the difference between 家出 (runaway) and 出家 (entering the priesthood)? Running away from home involves all kinds of pain and suffering, while entering the priesthood leads one to the joy of serving the buddha realm. Try to catch the Buddha’s hidden message in what happened to you this morning as you work to become a full-fledged disciple.”
Shojushinin thus gently explained the importance of attempting to interpret daily events in a buddha-centered way. Viewing life’s challenges in a self-centered way leads to frustration and dissatisfaction. The anecdote above illustrates Shojushinin’s teaching of the significance of contemplation outside of a temple environment. At any given time, we should ask ourselves how to see things from a buddha-centered perspective, which is quite similar to Christianity’s “What Would Jesus Do?” principle of action. The philosophy is the same, with both taking a lot of effort to master the practice.
You learn to perceive daily challenges, not with a “why is Life doing this to me?” attitude, but to see each new hurdle or crack-in-the-road as something you are prepared for at that moment in-time, because the world does not change with intent how it deals with you. You are presented with that which you create for yourself. If you are faced with financial difficulty, it may be lack of experience with dealing with money, or stubbornness not to seek out expertise. If people seem challenging personality-wise or emotionally, might you not be inviting and attracting those people through your actions and behavior? It is your actions that will create the harmony amid diversity around you. Similarly, most philosophers do not believe in Fate, as we are able to change our actions at every moment in time. Choosing a different path, may lead you to the same destination, but the experience gained will be different, and in-turn, so different will be your future decision-making.
Applying the concept of karma to embrace all actions, one negative action will offset a positive one. Only through consistent and continued accumulation of positively-focused actions can one actually change the balance of how you experience Life. Which also means, every time you think to yourself, “Why is Life doing this to me? I have been a very good person,” you basically reset your merit counter back to zero and get to start all over again. Similarly, doing something good, but expecting a return, whether a reward, or even recognition for the act, is simply bartering, and also results in a zero net-gain.
Whomever first coined the phrase, “Get over yourself,” was on the right track. But to complete the thought with accuracy and purpose, the entire concept probably should be, “Get over yourself, and do something for someone else without expectation.”
If you Care a Little More, Things Happen. Bees can be dangerous. Always wear protective clothing when approaching or dealing with bees. Do not approach or handle bees without proper instruction and training.
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