Sunday, February 17, 2019

The Week That Was!

As winter rolls into spring, the hustle and bustle at the farm will start. So for now I am trying to make the best use of my house bound days by reading books.
Heads you Win By Jeffrey Archer
Reading Jeffery Archer's books are like comfort food, familiar, cozy and comfortable. These books saved me from utter boredom during the summer holidays when I was in school and college. Read all his books that came out before the early nineties. He is a terrific writer and knows how to keep his readers engrossed. His personal life is as engrossing as some of the fiction he writes. He spent time in prison and wrote a few books based off of that. I picked up the book and immediately felt a dejavu of happier care free times. The book is good and a great time pass especially if it is raining or snowing outside and there is nothing much you can do.

Amazon Drops Plans For New York Headquarters
Last week Amazon was in the news for its CEO being blackmailed by some sleazy magazine. Now it is in the news again for pulling out of New York because the citizens of New York refused to bow to the deal their leaders had stuck for corporate welfare. Trump might be in a warpath with Amazon but his tax cut signed into law last year made Amazon pay $0 on taxes on a profit of $13B. Real nice!

Google reaped millions in tax breaks as it secretly expanded its real estate footprint across the U.S.
Elected officials and these mega companies collude, tax breaks are offered to these companies that they don't really need. The promise of jobs and tax collections to the local jurisdictions don't really materialize making a succor out of all of us. Very Cool!

Financial Independence comes with not wanting a whole load of stuff. More important than wanting stuff is not wanting stuff that other people have.

When I was younger I liked electronics. I had this Sanyo radio which went with me everywhere, then the craze to own a small portable music player hit and then once I purchased that I pretty much got over that craze. The impulse buying I tend to do nowadays is on books and occasionally kitchen utensils. Those are my Gazingus Pins. So identify your 'Gazingus Pin' and try to avoid putting yourself in those situations. What is a Gazingus Pin? This is a term coined by the authors of 'Your money or Your Life' for non essential impulse buys.

Remember my ex-colleague whose wife had a handbag fetish and oh she also had a shoe fetish and generally fetish for expensive things? I always wondered how anybody had the time to do that kind of shopping? So keep your life busy doing important things so that the impulse to buy does not set in.

DH has this habit of analyzing things to death so much so that anything I thought I wanted will stop being important because of the analyzis torture. So start analyzing before purchasing anything.

Always keep this in mind, if you need to bring something into your house, you need to take something out. If you cannot then maybe what you are buying was never needed in the first place.

If you absolutely need something then only buy it. So that shoe or handbag or dress you can be assured is not needed, unless the ones you have do not fit or cannot be used.

Trying these simple techniques will go a long way in decluttering your life and also get you one step closer to FIRE.

Small things matter when you are just starting out, to be continued...

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Friday, February 15, 2019

Quick and Easy Lamb Meat Masala in a Pressure Cooker (Instant Pot)

Remember the goats the came to our farm? They finished their tryst with the bucks and they are back at their farm. In a couple of months we will know what our buck is capable of. Apparently there are people who will rent their bucks for a fee.

Anyway we got some fantastic lamb as a fee for the time that the neighbor goats spent with our bucks. We knew they were delicious after the first time.

This time we got several cuts of the lamb. Stew meat is usually 1 inch pieces of meat without bones. Melt in the mouth delicious when cooked. You can use either a pressure cooker or Instant Pot. I used my trusty old pressure cooker but the Instant pot would have worked beautifully. The pressure cooker makes it ready in no time. If you get boneless goat stew meat this would work beautifully.

Here is the recipe in pictures,

Prepare the onions, garlic, ginger, green chilies and the meat.
Add the onions, garlic, ginger, green chilies to the meat and pressure cook for 3 whistles.
Let the pressure release naturally. Heat oil in a kadai and add the seasonings.
Add the chopped onions and saute till they are translucent. Add in the cooked meat and salt and cook for 5-6 minutes.
Turn off the heat when the required consistency is reached.

Serve with rice.

Quick and Easy Lamb Meat Masala
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes
  1. 1 lb of lamb stew meat (this is boneless lamb cut into 1 inch pieces)
  2. 1/2 cup chopped onions
  3. 2-3 garlic cloves chopped
  4. 1 inch piece of fresh ginger grated or chopped fine
  5. 1 green or red chili chopped
  6. 2-3 tsp of turmeric powder
  7. 1 1/2 tsp curry masala powder
  8. 2 tsp red chili powder (optional, depending on heat)
  9. 1 tsp oil
  10. seasonings: mustard, cumin seeds and curry leaves
  11. salt to taste

  1. Wash the meat with some turmeric powder, drain and set aside.
  2. In a pressure cooker add 3/4 of the chopped onion, ginger, garlic, chopped chilies along with the lamb meat and turmeric powder, 1/2 cup of water* and pressure cook for 3 whistles.
  3. Once the pressure subsides open the lid and set the cooked meat aside.
  4. In a kadai or wide mouthed vessel add oil and when hot add the mustard and cumin seeds. When the mustard seeds start to pop add the curry leaves followed by the onions.
  5. Saute the onions till they become translucent. Now add the meat and salt to the cooked onions along with the spice powders if adding.
  6. Cook for 5-6 minutes till the required consistency is reached.
  7. Note:*Reduce the amount of water to just 2-3 tbsp if you want a dry curry. I wanted it to have a bit of gravy so added 1/2 cup of water.

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