Today’s batch of blog-based Stir-Fried Random includes another interactive map of a lake-spanking expedition, a very brief musing on search engines, and a return to “intentional food microbiology” discussion. To preview: you can get pizza without ever getting out of the water on Lake Conroe, “spanking” is amusingly popular for search engines, and no, there is not normally any yeast in ice cream, but perhaps there could be. Read on, please…
I happened to notice a while back that one of the pizza places on Lake Conroe actually advertises that they will deliver to the lake itself. I’ve been wondering whether it would be feasible to hop in the kayak and paddle all the way down there for pizza before returning. Of course, more than one person has commented on my sanity. “You’re heading south? On a Saturday? In a paddle-powered boat?”. Yes, I was and I did, and I enjoyed it. So there.
As usual I don’t quite fit into a traditional category here. It seems when one thinks “kayak” one is normally picturing one of three types of people: either people going out to torment fish with baited hooks while drinking beer, or hippy Earth-muffin types out to commune with peaceful nature spirits or something (with or without beer or other intoxicants), or thrill seekers perhaps looking for some extreme (oh, excuse me, I mean “XTREME!”) whitewater river stimulation. In either case, though, you’re dealing with someone who is trying to get away from the rest of the world for a while, much like a hiker off exploring the wilderness.
This is far too narrow of a viewpoint. The purpose of exploration is to discover things, but there’s nothing inherent in this that requires it take place in the wilderness or even away from people. Here’s a useful life-lesson: people in general are downright oblivious most of the time, and there’s a potential wealth of interesting sights and experiences hidden in even the most populated places. “Urban exploration” is the extreme version of this but it seems to have a small but devoted following. On a more casual scale, one can also just take a walk in one’s own town and look around for things you’ve never noticed before. This is pretty much what I’m doing with the slow but nimble as-yet-unnamed kayak at the moment. Right now I’m going for specific destinations, though I think there’s a great deal of possibility in just exploring the inlets and canals of the lakefront housing areas later on.
Travelling in a paddle-powered boat essentially makes you an aqua-pedestrian. Just like taking a walk in a city, you have to watch out for motorized vehicles, look both ways before crossing the street, be aware of drunk and/or cell-phone using drivers and so on. This really doesn’t seem like such a terrible burden to me. Just avoid being a jerk and paddling out in front of the guy who’s obviously trying to waterski through and you shouldn’t have too much trouble.
And speaking of “spanking”, ever since my first “exploring Lake Conroe in a Kayak” post wherein I punnily referred to paddling as “lake spanking”, I’ve noticed a sudden interest from search engine queries looking for “spanking”. Somehow, I don’t think what they’re finding on my blog is what the searchers are looking for, but I’m going to have fun with it anyway: “Naughty, naughty! Spank Spanking Spankity-spankity-spank!” While I’m at it, I suppose I could mention that when it’s 95°F out, humid, and one is splashing around on the lake, that it is “hot and wet” out there.
Obviously I try to keep an eye on what is leading people to the blog. One of the more on-topic searches recently seemed to be trying to find out if there is “a lot of yeast in ice cream”. Well, no, there normally isn’t any at all to speak of. This does make me wonder if ice cream would make a good subject for a future episode of “will it ferment?” here on the blog. A lambic-like mix of cultures including lactic-acid bacteria and yeasts allowed to ferment for a short time much like naturally-carbonated soft drinks prior to freezing the mixture might make for some very pleasantly interesting ice cream flavors. I’m not sure if the ice cream would retain any noticeable carbonation without some additional (and probably patented) industrial-style processing, but the bubbles in the pre-frozen mixture might add to the fluffiness (and therefore scoopability) of the ice cream, and of course the tartness from the lactic-acid bacteria would go well with a whole range of ice cream themes. As a bonus, the yeast is nutritious, so I can pretend the ice-cream is “good for you”. I’ll have to add this to my fermentation project list.