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Michael Broggy (Mael Eoin mac Echuid)
Works at Kenexa, an IBM company
Attended Stuyvesant High School
Lives in Media, Pennsylvania
1,080 followers|965,721 views


Received our Wonderbag yesterday.

It is, essentially, a slow cooker.  You bring the contents of a pot to a boil - and, depending on the recipe, possibly simmered for a few more minutes - then pop the pot into the bag, cover it and cinch it, then leave it for 1+ hours to do its thing.

If it works out, it'll be great for camping events, especially for folks who might love to cook but who might, for various reasons, not have a lot of time to spend doing it.

There are some tricks to it, things to be aware of, but they're simple - keeping open space to a minimum is best (fill the pot or use a smaller pot), don't open the bag before it's ready (simmering briefly again will help if you do, though) and don't use as much liquid as normal (there's no evaporation).  On the other hand, there's no chance to scorch and reduced chance of overcooking things.

I made lentils last night - sauteed onions and garlic with an earthy spice blend I made, then added 7 cups of water plus a cup of wine, then simmered it for a few minutes before adding the lentils and simmering for 5 more minutes.  Popped it in the bag (reading 190 degrees right before closing) and pulled it out 3 hours later (reading 160).

It came out soupy (because of the lack of evaporation; normally, those 2 cups of lentils would need 8 cups of liquid) but I added poha (beaten rice, which I've been raving about recently) and it thickened up nicely.  Still loose, not a porridge, and the flavor...  Perfect.

I wanted a first run with lentils, as Katy loves them, so I'm trying to learn to cook them well (and flavor them well, too).  I think it was a win on both counts.  I'll try a stew next.

So...temperatures.  It says it can keep things hot for up to 12 hours, but seeing that 30 degree drop in three hours...  I'm going to treat it skeptically for a while, yet, but I do know that it likely hasn't settled in to its full insulation, yet (it arrives vacuum sealed, so you not only have to break the seal but need to break and "fluff" the insulation in the segmented walls of the bag).  It says to let it sit for an hour after doing that, but I imagine it'll need some more coaxing to get full insulation.

I'll be keeping my thermometer on me when using it, just in case, and will watch what recipes get tried until I'm convinced...but, realistically, it has a lot of potential, and can be used to keep things hot or cold, so hey ;)

The other benefit is that if you do buy one, one is donated to a family in Africa.  While we don't have the fuel and water issues that others might have, it's humbling to know how much of an impact something like this can have if fuel can be conserved and water can be drawn less frequently, for a number of reasons.
Rebecca Johnson's profile photoGreg Pettigrew's profile photoMichael Broggy (Mael Eoin mac Echuid)'s profile photoLeslie Birt's profile photo
+Michael Broggy Agreed about this being better than the towel trick. We got the "tomato" colored version as it was cheapest at the time.
1) unpowered slow cooker
2) hot transport (NOT mutually exclusive!)
3) all other possible functions..
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It's things like this that stop me dead in good intentions and go casting about for better resources...

"HTML is an abbreviated form of Hypertext Markup Language..."

No!  It's not!  It is Hypertext Markup Language!  "HTML" is an abbreviation, but that's not what you said...
Simone Hindin's profile photoBrett McNamara's profile photoDoug Bellew's profile photoMichael Broggy (Mael Eoin mac Echuid)'s profile photo
It's funny, as that's what I tend to do in all of my personal projects... Reports :)

When I played Eve Online, I learned how to use their APIs by pulling financial data and building reports for my corporation.

Good way to go :)
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Impromptu and whirlwind trip to Booths Corner with +TJ DeLuca​ netted just under 3lbs of this, a write wine, lemon and garlic sausage, which I had to test immediately for dinner...

So, so tasty...

Thanks for the trip! Wouldn't have made it there for another 8 years, likely, otherwise ;)
Victoria V's profile photoRebecca Johnson's profile photoMichael Broggy (Mael Eoin mac Echuid)'s profile photoDan Rossi's profile photo
And the duck sausages I love so much. 
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Thai green curry with shrimp and string beans and poha.

Damn, that was good and easy.
Deanna Perry's profile photoMichael Broggy (Mael Eoin mac Echuid)'s profile photoLynda Brooks's profile photo
Chocolate pudding with whip cream. 😀
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THE Government has today confirmed that it will be replacing the Human Rights Act with Warhammer 40,000: The Rules.
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My mum is not solely responsible for making me who I am, but she sure did make me more able to see in others the qualities I should emulate in addition to all she did to teach and encourage me.

Thank you, mum!
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I've been tracking meals in MyFitnessPal - along with tracking exercise with the company-provided FitBit, because FitBit's food database sucks - and have been happily puttering along, diligently adding my meals and (usually) doling out my calories, watching as each item goes in exactly how much I'm allotted for the rest of the day (since I'm aiming for ~1500 calories instead of the 2000+ "allowed" for men).

I did well with breakfast and lunch - about 800 combined - so I figured I'd grab a burger on the way home.  A cheeseburger, maybe, with an egg on top.  No soda (which I tend not to do anyway), no bacon, no fries.

...I'm still over.

I think that's the last burger I'll be having out for a while...  I mean, I figured I could fit it in since I wasn't getting fries or the like.  Nope.

Or maybe get one without the bun, cutting up to a third of the calories...

I mean, I really don't tend to care about these things, but seeing the numbers, in having a goal I'm tracking towards, it certainly was an eye-opener.  

I'm not so much cutting anything out as I am just being aware what's going on, so I can make better choices.  Because, you know, I kind of like food ;)
Ryan McWhyte (Brigantia)'s profile photoMolly Eskridge's profile photoMichael Broggy (Mael Eoin mac Echuid)'s profile photoHugh Tauerner's profile photo
Yep. We're all slightly metabolically different. So what works for me might not work for you. 

But all the same, keeping carbs from grains and sugars down helps almost everyone.
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This is pretty funny, but I think the best is at 10:32...  _That_ is epic. 
Games of Thrones: The Musical 

brought to my attention by +Björn Dietz and I can say, that this did make my morning. Have a great weekend everyone. Have cake, coffee and laugh :) 

No but seriously, have a coffee and watch this if you haven't seen it. 
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Sallie Alys Montuori's profile photo
Epic indeed!  I spent almost the whole video hoping and waiting for that moment!  :)
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Broke in the fire pit last with an impromptu grilling session and silly birthday cakes for Katy's unofficial birthday weekend (her actual birthday is next weekend, which is SRWC, where we'll be camping and, likely, celebrating there, too).

In cleaning out our mini-fridge (which we used for beer), I kept warning people away from drinking what I was sure was mushroom ketchup, something I've made a couple of times, now, and which looks like Worcestershire sauce.  Or, in enough quantities, a lot like a stout.

After warning people off of drinking it for months, I finally go to give some to Chance to taste last night and, well, it was a bit foamy, which I thought would've been a shame...I mean, theoretically, it could've fermented...


It was the last bottle of my "Londonderry Cream Stout", which cellared quite admirably, actually, if accidentally.  20 months.

Given we were going to raise some Glenlivet to Bruce anyway and it's Memorial Day weekend, somehow having one more bottle of the last beer he "helped" with (see below), which happened to be the second best beer I've made to date...  Yeah.  Thanks, Bruce :)
Sallie Alys Montuori's profile photoMichael Broggy (Mael Eoin mac Echuid)'s profile photoSteve B.'s profile photoVal Barr's profile photo
<3 We'll break out the Glenlivet soon, I promise, on a night when I haven't abused my liver on more than one day in a row. ;-) You're right, though, the not-mushroom-ketchup was an appropriate and I think much-needed surprise. Something poignant about legacies and ripples, that I can't remember word-for word. 
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“Any theory which causes solipsism to seem just as likely an explanation for the phenomena it seeks to describe ought to be held in the utmost suspicion.”

― Iain M. Banks, The Algebraist
Greg Pettigrew's profile photoDenise Wolff (Annetje)'s profile photo
“My imagination makes me human and makes me a fool; it gives me all the world and exiles me from it.” 
― Ursula K. Le Guin
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Finally, the lawnmower guy showed up!  The back yard is usable and the front is nice once more :)

Checking the fruit trees, it looks like half didn't make it.  The peach is loose in the ground, so bad on that, not knowing how to properly plant them.  The cherry might bounce back, but it looks like the peach and one of the apples are definitely gone.

The plum, pear and other apple trees look pretty great.  The plum is going really well.

Have to clean up a lot that's been going crazy - ivy and other vines - and clear out the planting area nearest the house to get hops in.  Also need to find a good location for the nettles...  I think maybe the upper slope, though I'll need to check the planting requirements on those again.

Should be planning some nights out back soon...maybe get the spit and smoker going this weekend...
Penni Bacheler (Suba al-Hadid)'s profile photoVal Barr's profile photoJennifer Whitbeck's profile photoLivia Petralia's profile photo
re: nettles and hops - I don't know if this is a worry for you, but you also might want to look into how hard it would be to contain these two plants from spreading out of the spots where you want them to grow. Which I know you probably did check already, but brought to you from my weekly fight against invasive species (including local wild hops - and only just learned that's what they are this year) where I garden
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Getting our Ethiopian on, after Barony meeting.

So. Much. Awesome. Food.
Rowen Stuffer's profile photoMathilde Poussin (Brunissende)'s profile photoSallie Alys Montuori's profile photoAkire Bubar's profile photo
I really want to try that place. I've only had Ethiopian food once but it was awesome. 
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  • Stuyvesant High School
The vulgar exigencies of objective truth
Sorry if I don't Circle you back if you are a random add.  Certainly not likely to Circle you if I don't already know you or don't already know someone in common pretty well.  If you message with some reason - shared interests, etc. - I'll Circle back :)

Otherwise...not such a fan of the random Circlings for Circling's sake.
Bragging rights
I think line-noise Perl is a goal, not a hindrance.
Unix System Administrator
Linux/Solaris administration, Perl, regexes. Kanban adherent.
  • Kenexa, an IBM company
    Senior Systems Engineer, present
  • Nokia/NAVTEQ/
    System Administrator, 2006 - 2013
  • The New York Times
    System Analyst
  • eFit
    System Administrator
  • Xceed
    System Administrator
  • Core Technology Services
    System Administrator
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Media, Pennsylvania
Times Square, New York - Woodside, New York - Woodhaven, New York - Dublin, Ireland - Logan, UT