This my first time officially participating in 7 Quick Takes (hosted by Jennifer Fulwiler), so if you're coming here from there, welcome!
1. The first replacement election equipment arrived this week in Houston. All 10,000+ voting machines owned by Harris County were destroyed in a suspicious fire several weeks ago, right after the Harris County Voter Registrar announced his intention to go after several groups allegedly engaged in voter fraud (groups with connections to the likes of Acorn, I might add).
2. This Friday marks the 5 year anniversary of Hurricane Rita, which was our first (and only thus far) hurricane evacuation. Eric Berger at the Chronicle has an excellent post on the storm (as usual), and how, despite the nightmare of the evacuation, Houstonians were probably right to be a little panic-stricken. As he says, 3 days before landfall, "The storm's maximum winds at the time were 175 mph, which roughly corresponds to an F3 tornado. Only this wasn't a tornado but a hurricane spanning hundreds of miles. And the storm was forecast to come ashore to the west of Galveston Island, pushing a massive 20- or 25-foot or greater storm surge across the island, into Galveston Bay and up the Houston Ship Channel. Winds over downtown Houston probably would have exceeded 120 mph. Damage would have been catastrophic. People had every right to be freaking out about the storm. It absolutely was a worst-case scenario for Houston."
3. Last weekend I made jerky for the first time, and as I promised my FB friends, I'm posting the recipe here. The boys are notorious jerky-eaters, so I put a little in their lunch boxes every day. And it's not just them: it's the most-stolen item at lunchtime, especially this week when the word got out that it was homemade. The quick and dirty on the jerky is this: I followed the "cold marinade" method listed here, and dried the jerky in the oven with the door cracked open. I used 3 lbs of buffalo and an eyeball marinade mixture of soy sauce, a dab of honey, apple juice, onion and garlic powders, and black pepper. 24 hours in the marinade and about 8-9 hours in the oven, in part thanks to the fact that I didn't slice it as thin as directed. The boys actually like the thicker strips, as they are easier to bite into. Next, I'm trying turkey.
4. While we're talking about food, I also made a delicious squash cake from The Meaning of Pie, my friend Kelly's excellent food blog. Two still has no idea the cake has squash in it. I did use lightly toasted pecans as a topping, but I skipped them and the raisins in the cake itself. I also skipped the dried squash slices, as I figured this would give me away altogether.
5. The Texas State Fair opens today, and once again I am left without plans to attend. Someday, someday, I will make plans in advance to take the boys to Dallas to gaze upon Big Tex and eat something fried.
6. Speaking of fried, Bettina Siegel has a post today on Frito-Lay awarding cash to school football programs ... for eating their products. That's just what big, beefy high school football players need, isn't it? More salt and fat. Yum, yum.
7. This week has been such a doozy, as is any that begins with backing the minivan into the half-open garage door. God must have increased my patience tenfold to help me get through this week without blowing up like a rocket, and for that I am immensely grateful. Despite the broken window and subsequent $265 charge to replace it, I have done less than my usual share of child-yelling, work-complaining, and all around crabbiness. God is so good, sometimes when we least expect or deserve it. I. am. so. grateful.
Have a wonderful weekend, y'all. And don't forget to check out other quick takes here.