Sometimes you just have to try something that causes other people to gag at the thought. I have fried spam, eaten vienna sausages and corned beef hash. This is something many of my older relatives who were in the army or navy gagged at so for today I have to try something that my Mom used to love and that people in the military used to refer to as S.O.S [shit on a shingle] — creamed chipped beef on toast.
Now the first thing that is a little weird about it if you approach it from a chef’s standpoint is that you make a roux of butter, flour and milk then you add slices of dried beef [that just sounds too generic and processed to be good for you]. Going so far as to make a roux and then adding processed beef product doesn’t sound like a good idea, but if it got our troops through a couple of world wars I figure I’ve got to give it a shot.
It’s not very popular anymore and you’ll only find it in a few diners in the northeast so you’ll either have to make it from scratch or buy the packaged frozen variety that Stouffer’s makes. I chose the Stouffer’s and decided to boil it in the bag because I figured that’s probably how most of our military men had it prepared.
It oddly had a lot of salt per serving, but I felt it could use a little more. I found it to be an oddly enjoyable comfort food. Which means that it’s high in fat and calories and not the best thing to eat, but I eat a healthy breakfast and dinner so I slide a little bit. I liked the creaminess of it and really didn’t notice the meat too much. It’s one of the few times that a store bought processed roux was actually thick and not watery.
This is actually a dish that I think needs to have a comeback. I don’t think I need to be an evangelist for this dish, but it’s something I think a lot of people will enjoy. I suppose it would sell better if you could put organic or artisanal in front of it on a menu, but something like this isn’t meant to be organic and I think I can understand why my Mom loved the dish so much.
I went to my local Walgreen’s today and got a surprise. They had a charging station for electric cars. This was a first for me as I didn’t know that we had any set up yet, but had heard of talk about them being installed. All of these are owned by a company called Chargepoint.net and they charge $3 per hour to charge your electric car. While this is a cool idea, I think that when you charge your car at home and have to pay somewhere around 25¢ per KWh the price is a bit steep.
I’m not sure how many KWh hours a typical car needs to be fully charged, but I’m sure it’s less than the $65 I currently pay to fill my car up every month [we rarely need to drive outside the Sunset District, so most of our trips are short.] I also can’t exactly see why if I’m mostly driving in the Sunset District that I would need to fill up my battery on a trip to Walgreen’s less than a mile from my house when on average electric cars get about 100 miles on a charge [quoting the Nissan Leaf].
I could see if you were driving from SF to someplace outside the city that was at least a 50 mile drive and needed to be there for a couple of hours that a system like this would work well. Say we take the family out in our electric car for a drive down to San Jose for a couple of hours then it would make sense to charge up the car before we drove home, but the way we drive we would be able to do it much cheaper at home.
As you can see from the photo the charging station doesn’t have a solar panel which would make it even more green. The electric car brigade is still in its infancy and needs some fine tuning still. They’ll need to work the bugs out over the next few years, but at least it’s a good start. While people who live in the Sunset know that sun and this part of the city do not go hand in hand solar panels would still be a good addition.
I like the idea that there is a push in this city towards being more green since after watching a show last night on Hong Kong that the breathing the air there is similar to smoking two packs of cigarettes a day that I like our air quality here and if there’s people trying to make it better I’m all for that.
We still have the problem that not all electric cars have the same hook up so just because there’s a charging station there doesn’t mean you can hook your car up to it. Nissan has teamed up with chargepoint.net so that’s great if you buy a Leaf, but not so good if you’ve bought a car that hasn’t teamed up with them. There are still some kinks to be worked out, but I think this is a good start.