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Merlin's profile

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He was probably my favorite "host" on Mind of a Chef! You can tell he really loves what he does and puts his all into it.

Saag Paneer is one of my favorite vegetarian dishes (Indian/Himalayan cuisine is a great place to look for vegetarian food). There a number of good recipes on the internet, this one is pretty simple and tasty.

Sean Brock is the man. His book Heritage is great. I had the opportunity to eat at his restaurant Husk in Charleston in January and it was easily one of the best meals I've ever had in my life.

Merlin  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: Homemade Marshmallows!

These are based on Alton Brown's recipe. They taste like delicious little vanilla clouds!

Merlin  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: Grubski: SoCo Edition

Sounds like a great meal! Love the watermelon. Have you ever tried doing the watermelon with lime? 1/2c lime juice 1/2c honey in a pan over medium heat. Boil for like 2 mins, cool and then done. So good.

Merlin  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: A question regarding perception.

I think I know what you're saying. It really reminds me of a concept/thought experiment I learned about while studying philosophy in college. The Veil of Ignorance was the name of it (it might be commonly known) but, it is essentially set up to establish the morality of political decisions in a way that it is presumed you are completely "ignorant" i.e. you don't know your own talents, position, race, gender, age, all that jazz.

I've found that this concept comes to me for a lot of things outside of political questions and strays into any situation that involves empathy or trying to see something from all perspectives and no perspective. Haha this is harder to put into words than I thought it would be. Does that seem relevant?

Merlin  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: Beer Can Chicken!

Nice! Post some pics of the finished product! This was the recipe I based my prep from!

Merlin  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: Beer Can Chicken!

You actually punch holes in the top the can, warm it up, and then insert the can into the chicken cavity so it can stand up straight like in the bottom photo. Then supposedly the beer steams the inside of the chicken but, in all reality spatchcocking the chicken is a technically better way to cook the bird. One big advantage of the beer can is to allow the bird to sit up vertically. Creates a nice fat drip flow and makes the skin that lovely golden, crispy brown.

Merlin  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: Beer Can Chicken!

Isn't that the worst?? No respect! /s

Merlin  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: Beer Can Chicken!

Ha! My family is all inclusive of BBQ! If it's meat that's on a fire it is welcome in this home. As for the details this one is not a back-breaker at all! Very easy.

Brine: 3.5 hr in 2gal water with 1/2cup salt, lemon zest, spruce tips, dash of soy sauce, and some leftover dried thai chiles.

Beer: Pleasuretown IPA from Midnight Sun Brewing Company (with a shot of blanco tequila)

Rub: Melted butter and olive oil inside and out. Salt/Pepper/Garlic & Onion Powder inside and out.

Time/Temp: 2hr at 325°F over apple wood pellets.

Sides: Steamed asparagus, purple potatoes, grilled corn, and margaritas.

I've always tried to go about life with the motto "I want to work to live and not live to work." So whenever I've been doing something that starts to drain at my wellbeing I ask myself; how am I progressing my life and is it in the direction I want to go? Which I know probably seems a little dramatic but it's a small bit of introspection that I feel genuinely helps me takes that breath you speak of and exhale with new energy. I have no problem when my life has difficulties and is not necessarily plush but I do have problems when I feel like my life holds drudgery and unfulfilling goal orientation. When that happens I'll often try and take a step back to re-evaluate what I'm trying to do in that moment, then that day, week, month. What am I accomplishing? Is it making me a better person? Is this just a time where I need to buckle down and bust ass; or do I need to step away from this and find something new? Keeping personal projects and skills up are a big part of this for me. I want to feel like I'm bettering myself or my surroundings. I loathe stagnation. When I "breathe in" I want to feel movement in every form. This lets me keep momentum for the work I'm doing and feel positive about the outcome I'm working towards. Which does a lot to fight against a general feeling of "everything is random chaos and nothing really matters". A feeling I can sometimes fall into rather easily.

After training in a few different disciplines for a number of years I can't agree with you more about situational awareness. IMO it has to be the single most important aspect of self-defense (and all-around safety, honestly). I love that hands out of the pockets idea relating to being constantly aware of the people around you. I had a teacher once who would always say, "If you've gotten into a fight you've most likely already failed your training." Meaning that you've probably missed some things leading up to the fight that could have been avoided or altered to avoid contact.

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