Category Archives: Uncategorized

New URL

Just wanted to let you all know that if you are so interested you can get to my blog via http://www.fatguyonalittlebike.com.  It will redirect you to the blog address.

Matt

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Gardening book is updated

Just dropping a note that my gardening book has been updated and is back for sale on my “books” tab.

Had a great vacation.  🙂  I’ll write more later as I have time.

Future plans for Cedar Rapids

In case you aren’t hooked up with me on Facebook I thought I would share a story that ran in the paper last week of some work we’re doing here in Cedar Rapids.

Click here for the story.  If you are on Facebook and you’re seeing this again, sorry.

Finally, I have replaced a missing love

Chinese BBQ pork, sweet potato and clear at the top half a chunk of GF cake

When I moved to Iowa from KC one thing I had to give up with a dish that the Chinese vendor at the Hen House grocery stores prepared.  He called it simply; BBQ pork.

Well my friend Tom found a mix at the Chinese grocery store that is the perfect replacement for this yummy dish.  An Oriental spice supply place in Hawaii ships it out.

I am eternally grateful that they do.  🙂

After Tom shared a recipe from a BBQ site with me we’ve been on a mission to recreate this taste at home.  First I tried to use pork loin, but it’s too dry and tough.  Even a long marinade doesn’t soften it up enough to get the right texture.

I tried pork shoulder next which had the right texture but the wrong flavor because it was a different packet.  I even tried a Philippines type of flavor to no avail.  But, when I was down in KC a few weeks ago Tom gave me this packet and told me to try it.  It was a winner.  It was a winner even when I just roasted it in the oven.

But tonight; tonight I grilled it.  And I nailed it.  I still don’t have the right shape of cut (I have no clue what part of the animal they get their strange looking cuts from.  It looks like a chicken breast but comes from a pig??)  But the two day marinade with pork shoulder creates a very juicy result.  And grilling it to get the carmalization recreates their charring effect was the right ticket.

Perfecto!

Give it a try sometime as a new way to use a pork shoulder (which are cheap to purchase usually).  The mix appears to me to be gluten-free (it was soy sauce but it’s dried and wheat isn’t listed as a soy sauce ingredient like usual in soy sauce)

I’m back and better than ever?

Hi everyone!  I’m not sure how many of you are still reading this but after an 18 month hiatus I’m starting to feel the need to write again.  I’ve been feeling the need for a while, and I’ve been writing some e-books, but let’s fire up the blog again.  But I’m feeling like I have more to say and my life is in a really good place right now to be able to write a lot more.

Some of my topics may change from past topics.  I’ve been following a lot of minimalist ideas lately, working on my business knowledge and figuring out a way to be earth friendly but still mostly normal.  I’ve spent too much of my life on the extreme edges of behavior and it’s time that I try to be a little more mainstream.

My job is slowing down a lot, though picking up because I’m in the process of building up a true actual urban farm.  I’ll write more about this in the future but it’s been very exciting to build.  I’m really enjoying working in the non-profit world, especially the creatively that I’m allowed to express, and I owe the two co-directors a lot for what they’ve done for me over the past year and a half.

Look for more as I get back in to this.  I’m going to try to write 3 times a week but I may put up some short posts if something fun and interesting comes up that I can comment on.

Hello again! An update

Hello all!  I haven’t been on here in forever but I’m starting to feel my writing mojo coming back.  I’m not really sure why I stopped, other than just being super busy.  Some of it is that I’m getting more involved locally and some was just burnout from all the writing.  Anyway, I’m going to get writing again, although I’m sure at a lower production rate.  I’ll feel you in on what I’ve been up to.

The garden has been doing pretty well.  Cool summer this year (which makes it easy to live without air) but not to grow tomatoes.  But potatoes and green beans produced like crazy.  Squashes and pumpkins were growing great too.  We’ve really enjoyed the CSA shares this year.  Having her grow a variety allowed me to grow for preservation for our core canning and freezer items, which has been really helpful.  I must be getting better at this because my efforts seem easier each year.  Some I’m sure is that I’ve become less strenuous about making the gardens look perfect.  I’ve been enjoying the garden plot immensely.  I’m debating what to do with that plot; I know I’ll have at least one but I wonder if I can work two if I set up the one to be mostly corn and squash or something.

The chickens are doing great so I don’t have anything to add about them.

I got a new job recently.  (If you follow me on Facebook you’d know this)  I’m working on flood recovery here in Cedar Rapids.  The website link is Block by Block.  It’s a great job and very rewarding.  It has eaten into some of my off time and caused me to be more tired at night a lot, but it’s all worth it.  Earlier this year I was concerned about trying to be less of an assbag, and it seems like the job was a big part of why I was being an assbag.  Now that I’m happier at work I’m happier at home too.  I guess this makes a bigger difference than I realized.

We had a great time this summer going to Canada for my brother’s wedding.

The weight loss has been going good.  I’m down to 246 which is just over 30 pounds so far this year.  Counting the weight I gained on vacation and re-lost it’s actually around 45 pounds for the whole year.  J

Took a bunch of time off too with my reading because I was busy but I’m starting to ramp that up again, which is great.

Another Boat Tour of Cedar Rapids

This one is much more informative and shows quite a bit more. You can see that the river has receded by a good 2 or 3 ft. At one point they get up to the river’s edge, so the current must not be too bad this day.

Follow this link.