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Monthly Archives: December 2013

I spend a fair amount of time on the road so I see a good amount of stupid driving and stupid drivers (as well as perfectly good drivers, but we aren’t talking about them in this post).  Some are just reckless, some are distracted, some are completely clueless, and some…are just plain unreasonable.  And it’s that last category of drivers that really irritate me.  The other types of drivers I can stand…from afar.  I may find them briefly annoying and/or dangerous, but once I’m far enough away from them, they don’t continue to bother me.  But those unreasonable drivers…

So, what do I mean about unreasonable driving?  Well, it’s not really a particular style of driving.  It’s not necessarily aggressive driving, although sometimes that’s part of it.  It’s that these people are probably unreasonable in their day to day lives as well and it happens to be that they are driving near me and thus I perceive them to be unreasonable drivers.

So…what do I mean about unreasonable people?  You know the type.  Sometimes you see the woman arguing heatedly with a shop clerk about something inconsequential and has to have her way.  Or it’s the guy who is really demanding and condescending and rude to the wait staff for no reason other than he perceives that it makes him look powerful.  Or the client the demands to include things outside the agreed scope of the project and refuses to give you more time or money to do it.  You know, unreasonable people.

So, I assume when these people go driving, they keep their unreasonable ways.  For example, there was a woman driving a luxury SUV behind me when we were very stuck in traffic.  So stuck that we were probably moving only 10 ft every 30 min or so.    You think I’m exaggerating, but I’m not.  It was really bad traffic.  We were also in the left lane so there was no place to go.  And what did she do that was so unreasonable?  She would honk.  Any time I let more than 3 ft of space get between the next car and me.  Three.  Feet.  And when I would look back in my mirror at her, she’d be gesticulating and pounding on her steering wheel.  I’m sorry, but in the grand scheme of things, being 2 ft closer to your destination when you’re stuck in stuck in such bad traffic doesn’t make much of a difference.  If we were in the right lane and I only needed to move a few feet so that she could get around me into the right turn lane, I would think she was a jerk but I’d do it, because I know how frustrating it is when you only need a few more inches of space to get to a lane you’d like to be in.  But we weren’t in that situation.  And she was being completely unreasonable.

Another example?  How about the guy in a subcompact who would flash his high beams at me and put on his blinkers to try and get me to move over into the next lane so he could pass me?  Now then, the US has standards on the use of the passing lane.  You generally pass on the left lane and slower traffic should keep to the right.  And this is in relation to the speed of the traffic around you, not the posted speed limits.   So, if the traffic around me was moving faster than I was driving, then definitely I should have moved over to the right and let the guy pass.  BUT.  I was traveling with traffic.  And I was traveling faster than traffic in the lane to the right of me (we were in the leftmost lane).  And I was holding distance between the car in front of me who was traveling at about the same speed I was.  And this guy would not have any of it.  He kept flashing his high beams at me.  And I finally did after I passed one particularly slow moving truck.  And he raced forward past me by about 1 ft when he had to slow down again.  Why?  BECAUSE TRAFFIC WAS MOVING AT THE SPEED I HAD BEEN DRIVING.

What I found even more irritating is that after he passed me, he proceeded to repeat his whole performance to the car in front of him.  He may have been doing that the entire trip, slowly bullying other cars out of his way.  I think he managed to bully that other driver too, and then what?  Same thing.  He got may be a foot in front of the other car and had to slow down again BECAUSE TRAFFIC WAS MOVING AT THE SPEED I HAD BEEN DRIVING.  If he kept at it, he would have had to do that for a line of like 5 cars because we were all traveling at the speed of traffic around us.  I do not understand why he was being so unreasonable.  And at the very least, he could have just started weaving like any other aggressive and impatient driver would have.

THE. ANNOYED.

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"I made you porridge! And it's happy to see you."  --Mushu

“Look, you get porridge! And it’s happy to see ya!” –Mushu

Ok, I didn’t make porridge.  I really like rice porridge though.  But anyway, I made persimmon nut bread recently and then made French toast with some left over slices.  It’s the French toast and accompanying sausage links that are happy to see you.

So…persimmon trees are very spiteful.  You spend all year longing for persimmons and the tree ignores you.  Refuses to give you any persimmons.  And as you’re about to give up in despair of every getting to eat persimmons again, the tree decides to give you a few short weeks of persimmons.  That all ripen at the same time.  And like 500 of them or at least 123123 times the amount you can actually eat.  So then you collect boxes and boxes and BOXES  of persimmons and you try to give them away.  But people are wise to your ways and try to step clear of you when you’re out trying to foist boxes of persimmons on them.  Persimmon trees are spiteful.

And…that’s approximately what happened to us.  Well, I was on the receiving end of a box of persimmons.  And only one.  I was firm about that.  I would not accept multiple boxes of persimmons.

However, the problem with me receiving even one box of persimmons is that…I don’t really like eating persimmons.  They don’t have a lot of flavor and are basically just sweet.  Also, the hachiya persimmons have a gross texture.  Someone once described it as eating snot.  I do like dried persimmons where they become this dense donut of sweetness.  But I don’t really have any intention of drying a box of persimmons.  What do?

Bake stuff.

Persimmons function a lot like pumpkin in baking and they go well with the same kinds of spices.  The only thing is most of the time, I see recipes for hachiya persimmons.  Those are the long pointy type that you can’t eat until they’ve softened into mush, otherwise your mouth and throat go numb.  When you have recipes that call for hachiya persimmons or persimmon pulp, you can still use fuyu persimmons, which are the ones I would prefer to eat if I have to eat persimmons, but you have to wait until they’re overripe.  And I have a box of firm fuyu persimmons (the squat ones you can eat while before they’ve turned to mush).  Good thing I found this recipe for fuyu persimmon bundt cake.

After studying the recipe, I decided that it wasn’t so much cake-like as it was quick bread-like, so I reorganized the recipe so assembly was more like a quick bread.

Yield: 2 squat loaves or 6 mini loaves and a squat loaf

Time: 15 min prep + 45 min cook = 1 hr

Materials:

  • 3 cup firm fuyu persimmons, peeled and cubed (0.5″)
  • 0.5 cup butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • zest from one lemon
  • 2 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 0.5 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup  walnuts, chopped
  • 0.75 cup  raisins

Procedure:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 deg F.
  2. Prep pans.
  3. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar.
  4. Add eggs, lemon juice, lemon zest, and vanilla until incorporated.
  5. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, and spices.
  6. Stir dry ingredients into wet ingredients until just blended.
  7. Fold in persimmons, walnuts, and raisins.
  8. Spoon mixture into prepared pans.  Batter will be very thick.
  9. Bake until a rich brown, about 45 min for mini loaves and 55 min for normal loaf pans.
  10. Cool in pan for 15 min and remove to finish cooling on rack.

Notes:

  • If you have issues with the persimmons sinking to the bottom of the batter, save a couple of tablespoons of the dry mixture and toss it with the persimmons before folding them into the wet mixture.
  • I used a raisin medley, which I think turned out really well.  They seem to turn out better than those ubiquitous small speck raisins.
  • It smells absolutely delicious when you’re baking.
  • The mixture doesn’t rise much in the oven.  I generally fill my mini loaf pan all the way to the top and when I take it out of the oven, it’s crowned only slightly giving me a nice loaf-y look.
  • You may have to bake a little longer than I had to.  I happened to have my pizza stone in the oven while I was baking and it helps mitigate the swing in temperature.
  • If you have leftovers, slice into 1″ slices and then make French toast.  It makes wonderful French toast.  And this is coming from someone who doesn’t normally like French toast.
  • You’ll notice that I kept the volumetric measurements in the recipe.  That’s because I was lazy and didn’t take weight measurements.  I might edit this later for weight measurements.