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jpalbny

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About jpalbny

About Me

  • Location
    Albany, NY
  • Interests
    Adventure travel, wine, food
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Silversea, Oceania, Uniworld
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Wherever I am going next!
  • If you have a personal or hobby CRUISE or TRAVEL BLOG, include the url here:
    http://jpalbny.smugmug.com

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  1. jpalbny

    Athens to Muscat - The Middle East with a Muse

    Glad you both had an enjoyable cruise. Thanks for reporting. Hope you have more planned soon!
  2. jpalbny

    Live Whisper 18 - 31 Oct.

    No wonder wine is getting so expensive. Hazardous duty pay for the vineyard workers!
  3. jpalbny

    Silversea Water Cooler: Welcome! Part Five

    Did a little experimental blogging this weekend. Definitely a work in progress as I learn the formatting tricks. I want to make a nicer design as the current one is pretty spartan but I'll leave it as it for now. Check it out if you want. https://jps50th.blogspot.com/ It's the beginning of the Australia trip. Lots more to come when I have time. The site is part of Google so I am sure they will want to feed you lots of cookies, etc - hope it isn't too annoying. If I end up being happy with this site I might move some of my older travelpod blogs there. Currently they are locked up in an archive called travelark but I'd like to get them somewhere more accessible again.
  4. jpalbny

    Silversea Water Cooler: Welcome! Part Five

    From what I've heard, yes, all of the excursions involve a bus ride. Fuel Science has just done a day by day review of his trip from a few months back which might have more info. It is a fairly popular itinerary from what I see on these boards, very scenic, and interesting.
  5. jpalbny

    Silversea Water Cooler: Welcome! Part Five

    Jeff, that's a tasty looking artisan loaf! I made a rather plain loaf on Wednesday because we had a craving for sandwiches for lunch, and hadn't bought bread. So I used 2/3 white flour and the remaining 1/3 a blend of whole wheat and semolina. Tasted better than it looked. The cocoa powder mixed with the pork dish really gave me pause too, but I did it and it turned out great. It added richness and depth of flavor without any chocolate flavor per se. Remember that what we think of as "chocolate" is quite modified from the original form of cocoa powder. Fat and sweetness are added. The plain cocoa powder just added umami, I think. It's the same principle as adding soy sauce to ground beef to amp up the flavor. The burgers don't end up with a taste like soy at all. Or, adding achovy paste to osso bucco. It just adds richness. Lucky me, we get to try it again because I managed to save a portion for a lunch serving this week. 😁 The next thing I want to try in the Instant Pot is the duck leg ragu. I was disappointed in the duck ragu on board Silver Wind last month. It used ground duck and wasn't very flavorful. I like my recipe better but it takes almost all day. Thinking that I can cut out a few hours of oven braising with the pressure cooker. I am starting my Australia blog on Google's Blogger site. I will post a link to it when I get a little more of it done. I really only have the first day in Sydney completed now. Not sure I like the website's format but will play around a little more. It seems as if there are a lot of custom options I can play with.
  6. jpalbny

    Charter flight from Rekjavik to Greenland

    How was your trip, FauxNom?
  7. jpalbny

    Silversea Water Cooler: Welcome! Part Five

    Productive weekend so far. Finally got to try a new recipe that I've been looking at for a week or two. It was a ragu made from pork, and the sauce used cocoa powder as one of the base ingredients. It's supposedly an Italian recipe called cocoa suga. Since the cocoa powder is unsweetened it adds depth to the flavor and lots of umami, but the final dish doesn't taste chocolaty. I decided to try to do the whole thing in the Instant Pot. It worked great! And I got to use 4 of the 5 herbs that are still alive in the garden. Start with a few pieces of pork shoulder, and a mirepoix of vegetables and herbs. Onions, garlic, carrots, and green peppers (my substitute for celery, since Chris detests that vegetable). Add some fresh sage and rosemary. Once the meat is browned on all sides, saute the vegetables and herbs in the same pot, then add cocoa powder and tomato paste for depth of flavor. Scoop up the browned bits with wine and broth, then add the pork pieces. The recipe said to braise in the oven for 2.5 hours. Who has that much time? An hour in the instant pot on the pressure cooking setting was good enough, I figured. So I set the pot and we went out for a run. When we came back it was almost done. The pork was falling apart and easy to shred. There was more liquid than there would have been, had I done this in the oven, so I reduced the sauce before pureeing it in a blender. Then the shredded pork went back in. The sauce was finished with fresh parsley and mint, plus a little bit of butter. Final dish, served over a whole wheat pappardelle, with fresh Grana Padano shredded on top. It was perfect with a Barolo - the hint of chocolate flavor in the wine went well, and there were also a few herbaceous notes too which tied it all together. Now off to relax in the hot tub after all that work!
  8. jpalbny

    Silversea Water Cooler: Welcome! Part Five

    Delish Jeff! And the new video equipment too. Enjoy! For the first time in almost 3 years I have not had to go in on a Saturday when I'm on call. Will be home doing a bunch of fall preparations. Might have to blow out the sprinkler system to get that ready for winter, get the pool ready for closing next week, and see what plants I should pick now vs. leave out a little longer. Here is a picture of my sage plant for Davey. Right next to the rosemary and mint, both of which are thriving in this cold weather. The basil is toast, though. So we made some blueberry scones for breakfast. I made the dough last night and had it chilling in the fridge, ready to roll out and assemble this AM. Was in the oven quickly and tasted delicious!
  9. jpalbny

    Charter flight from Rekjavik to Greenland

    This was discussed within the past year on these boards, but the search index isn't complete yet so I cannot find the thread. To make matters worse, I can't remember which airport it ended up being! Once the index is complete, have a search for the thread and I think the answer is there. Or hopefully someone else remembers. Edited to add: Found it! Had to use the Windows search for "charter" on each page but it's buried on page 9. Looks like the pre-departure consensus was KEF but hopefully the OP on that thread will answer for sure, as her cruise was last month.
  10. jpalbny

    Silversea Water Cooler: Welcome! Part Five

    Lois, Yes, I am talking about how to make a custom "news feed" that shows you only the posts you've posted on, with the latest replies. It would be similar to the function on the old app, which I dearly miss. It's not totally the same but it seems close and I may be able to customize it once the search index is complete (that may take a while). Point is, once you make a custom activity stream (called an "RSS feed"), this website will create a unique web address for that feed for you. Next, you can copy that website URL and paste it into an app called an "RSS feed reader" which you can then use on your phone. The phone app will "read" the activity stream and report to you when there is new activity. Again, similar to the old app but so far it has a few differences. Regarding the Forum Jump feature, that is being worked on. See the thread here:
  11. jpalbny

    App no longer works

    Got2Cruise, this is my first time using an RSS feed. So I'm not far ahead of you. And just to prove that I'm a neophyte, I mistyped the name of the feed reader app. It's Feedly, not Feeder. Oops.
  12. jpalbny

    Live Whisper 18 - 31 Oct.

    Looks like a lovely setting to stuff yourselves. But it seems to be a little past the sunset... Thanks for the menu; it's dinner time here in Albany and I am starving. Do you deliver?
  13. jpalbny

    Athens to Muscat - The Middle East with a Muse

    Too bad you have to worry about such things. I can only imagine how beautiful the stars would be under those conditions - wish you could go outside!
  14. jpalbny

    App no longer works

    You can use one of the "activity streams" available, which can be exported to an RSS feed reader. I made a custom activity stream (which doesn't work yet as the index isn't complete) but I also exported one of their preset activity streams. I added it to my Feeder account and it works so-so. It updates with new posts from threads I've posted in every few hours. The text of the posts comes through perfectly but the name of the poster does not, nor do the pictures.
  15. jpalbny

    questions about signature

    Would there be a way to put all that information (cruise history, etc) somewhere on your profile? That makes it easily accessible, but it doesn't clutter up every post. For example I have about 10 hyperlinks in my signature. I'd love to trim it. But the links all point to other threads where I've done detailed trip reports, or posted pictures of past cruises. I want to keep those links available but they don't need to clutter up every post i make. Finding a single place to store that detailed info might solve both problems.
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