Making Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cheesecake Squares — Photos

This decadently rich and scrumptious dessert is another relatively new addition to my collection of recipes. Mom loves it!

Making the squares:

Before beginning, some cream cheese was taken out of the fridge and put on the counter to warm up to room temperature:

Cream cheese taken out before beginning in order to soften it

Parchment paper and an 8″ baking pan were taken out:

Parchment paper and baking pan taken out

A parchment paper larger than the baking pan was torn off the roll …

Parchment paper cut off of roll

… and the baking pan was lined with the parchment paper, with a little bit left over the edges of the pan:

Baking pan lined with parchment paper

The pan was put aside for a few moments, and a countertop convection oven was set to 325F and turned on:

Countertop convection oven turned on
Oven set to 325F

Graham cracker crumbs were taken out:

Graham cracker crumbs taken out

A cup and a half of graham cracker crumbs were measured out:

Graham cracker crumbs measured out

The graham cracker crumbs were transferred to a mixing bowl:

Graham cracker crumbs transferred to mixing bowl
Graham cracker crumbs transferred to mixing bowl

Margarine was taken out:

Margarine taken out

Margarine was scooped out of the tub:

Margarine scooped out of tub

The margarine was placed in a bowl, previously placed on the scale and the tare set to zero:

Margarine measured out

The margarine was melted in the microwave oven, 15 seconds at a time:

Microwave oven set to 15 seconds
Margarine being melted 15 seconds at a time in microwave oven

Once fully melted, the margarine was taken out of the microwave oven:

Melted margarine taken out of the microwave oven

The melted margarine was poured over the graham cracker crumbs in the mixing bowl:

Melted margarine poured over graham cracker crumbs
Melted margarine poured over graham cracker crumbs

An electric blender was taken out and used to fully mix the graham cracker crumbs and the melted margarine:

Graham cracker crumbs and melted margarine mixed with electric blender
Graham cracker crumbs and melted margarine mixed with electric blender

The baking pan with the parchment paper lining was brought back and the fully blended graham cracker crumbs and melted margarine were transferred to the baking pan.

Graham cracker mix transferred to baking pan
Graham cracker mix transferred to baking pan

The graham cracker mix was flattened with an egg flipper:

Graham cracker mix flattened with an egg flipper

The baking pan with the graham cracker crust was placed in the pre-heated countertop oven:

Graham cracker crust placed in oven

A timer was set for six minutes:

While the graham cracker crust was baking, a cooling rack was taken out (and placed on my stove):

Cooling rack taken out

After baking for six minutes, the graham cracker crust was taken out of the oven and placed on the cooling rack:

Graham cracker crust placed on cooling rack

Another bowl was placed in the scale and the tare set to zero:

Small bowl placed on scale and scale set to zero

More margarine was taken out and measured out:

Margarine measured out

The mixing bowl had been washed while the graham cracker base was baking, and the margarine was transferred to the mixing bowl:

Margarine transferred to clean mixing bowl
Margarine transferred to clean mixing bowl

Brown sugar and a measuring cup were taken out:

Brown sugar and measuring cup taken out

The brown sugar was measured out:

Brown sugar measured out

The brown sugar was transferred to the mixing bowl with the margarine:

Brown sugar transferred to mixing bowl

Table sugar and a measuring spoon were taken out:

Sugar and measuring spoon taken out

Table sugar was measured out and poured into the mixing bowl with the brown sugar and margarine:

Table sugar added to mixing bowl
Table sugar added to mixing bowl

Salt was taken out and measured out:

Salt measured out

The salt was added to the mixing bowl with the two kinds of sugar and margarine:

Salt added to mixing bowl

Vanilla extract and a measuring spoon were taken out:

Vanilla extract

The vanilla extract was measured out and added to the mixing bowl with the two kinds of sugar, margarine, and salt:

Vanilla extract added to mixing bowl
Vanilla extract added to mixing bowl

Flour and a measuring cup were taken out:

Flour taken out

The flour was measured out:

Flour measured out

The flour was transferred to the bowl with the two kinds of sugar, margarine, salt, and vanilla extract:

Flour added to mixing bowl
Flour added to mixing bowl

Two kinds of chocolate chips were taken out:

Two kinds of chocolate chips taken out

Half a cup of milk chocolate chips were measured out:

Half a cup of milk chocolate chips measured out

… and half a cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips were measured out:

Half a cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips measured out

The chocolate chips were added to the mixing bowl with the other ingredients:

Chocolate chips added to mixing bowl
Chocolate chips added to mixing bowl

A hand held electric mixer was taken out and the ingredients mixed to make a powdery dough:

Ingredients mixed with electric mixer
Ingredients mixed with electric mixer

The cookie dough was transferred to another bowl and put aside:

Cookie dough transferred to another bowl
Cookie dough transferred to another bowl and put aside

The package of cream cheese placed on the counter earlier to warm up to room temperature was taken out and opened with a pair of scissors:

Package of cream cheese opened
Package of cream cheese opened

The cream cheese was transferred to the mixing bowl, the latter of which again was washed in between mixing jobs.

Cream cheese placed in mixing bowl

The table sugar was taken out again and measured out:

Sugar measured out

The table sugar was transferred to the mixing bowl with the cream cheese:

Table sugar placed in mixing bowl
Table sugar placed in mixing bowl

The electric mixer was taken out again to cream the cream cheese and table sugar together:

Creaming cream cheese and sugar
Creaming cream cheese and sugar
Creaming cream cheese and sugar

Eggs were taken out:

Eggs taken out
Last egg taken out

The egg was cracked into the bowl with the cream cheese and sugar:

Egg cracked in bowl with cream cheese and sugar
Egg cracked in bowl with cream cheese and sugar

Vanilla extract was taken out again:

Vanilla extract taken out

The vanilla extract was measured out and was added to the bowl with the cream cheese, sugar, and egg:

Vanilla extract added to bowl
Vanilla extract added to bowl

The egg and vanilla extract were mixed into the cream cheese and sugar:

Egg and vanilla extract mixed into cream cheese and sugar
Egg and vanilla extract mixed into cream cheese and sugar

The now-cooled graham cracker crumb base was taken out:

Cooled graham cracker crumb base taken out

The cream cheese mix was transferred on top of the graham cracker crumb crust:

Cream cheese mix transferred to base

The cream cheese mix was spread evenly over the graham cracker crumb crust:

Cream cheese mix spread evenly over base

The chocolate chip cookie dough was taken out:

Cookie dough taken out

A bit of the cookie dough was picked up in my hand …

Cookie dough picked up

… and the ball of dough was flattened between my two hands:

Cookie dough flattened

The flattened cookie dough was placed on top of the cream cheese mix:

Flattened cookie dough placed on top of cream cheese mix

… and repeated with more cookie dough:

Flattened cookie dough pieces placed on top of cream cheese mix

… until all the cookie dough was used and the whole surface of the cream cheese mix was covered:

Flattened cookie dough pieces fully covering cream cheese mix

The baking pan was placed in the still-hot countertop convection oven:

Baking pan placed in oven

A timer was set for 30 minutes:

Timer set for 30 minutes

After the 30-minute baking period, the baking pan was taken out of the oven and placed on a cooling rack:

Baking pan placed on cooling rack

Once the dessert had cooled enough, it was removed from the baking pan using the edges of the parchment paper:

Dessert removed from baking pan

The dessert was first cut in half:

Dessert cut in half

The dessert was cut into quarters:

Dessert sliced into four strips

The dessert was rotated 90 degrees, and sliced just left of centre (so that it can be cut five ways):

Dessert rotated and sliced left of centre

The slicing of dessert was completed (five slices along this axis), making twenty (20) pieces:

Dessert sliced into 20 pieces

And a yummy piece of dessert was served!

Yummy piece of dessert served

Desktop Linux: Unveiled Chapter 4: Installing Linux

Desktop Linux: Unveiled is a series of posts that show how to start using Linux.

Previous Chapter: Unveiled Chapter 3: Preparing to Install Linux

In this post, the installation of a version of Linux, in this case Fedora Linux, will be demonstrated. The USB key created as a result of the previous chapter, as well as the computer on which you will be installing Linux, will be needed. Note: As per previous recommendations, you should perform the install on a computer that does not have any other active OS installation or data; should you be recycling one of your older computers, back up any data that may be present.

The computer should be physically set up and plugged in, with the various parts connected to each other should it not be a laptop computer, and connected to the internet via an ethernet cable, or later on or as prompted, connected by wifi (not covered in this post.)

Note that some of the following screenshots may have been created somewhat out of order as compared to the narrative.

Once the USB key is plugged into the computer and the computer turned on, you should immediately go into the BIOS (often F2 or F12 at boot up):

The BIOS screen on one of my laptops

… and adjust the boot order to allow for booting from USB first:

Boot menu setting giving priority USB hard drives and floppy drives

Depending on the age of the computer you use and whether it predates UEFI, you may choose to boot under either régime. If the computer is UEFI enabled, you should install Linux under UEFI, although as explained below, a BIOS setup will be available; should the computer not be UEFI enabled, the point is moot and you will have to install under BIOS, which will be eminently adequate. (Ironically, the laptop shown above is UEFI enabled, but is set up under BIOS mode; since I purchased it new in 2015, I have never been able to properly install a Fedora image on it under UEFI that is functional, hence the unit being set up under “Legacy” — meaning “old fashioned” BIOS.)

Once exiting the BIOS screen, you will see the following screen:

Grub screen offering three options

Choose the “Start Fedora-Workstation-Live” option using the up and down keys. You will then see a screen similar to the following:

Live USB booting up

Once the computer has booted up, a welcome screen will appear:

Welcome screen

Choose the option to “Install Fedora …”, which will bring you to the following screen in Fedora’s installation utility named Anaconda, and will ask you to choose which language and which regional variant, as per the case, to use during the installation process:

Anaconda screen, with English chosen and Canadian English variant chosen

Once the language has been chosen, click on “Continue”.

The following screen will be for the choice of the keyboard layout. The plus “+” button at the lower left corner of the left box was clicked, and a window popped up. In this case, I have chosen a French Canadian keyboard layout for reasons beyond the scope of this post; you should choose the layout that suits you.

Keyboard layout chosen

You may continue to add keyboard layouts, should you choose to do so or have multiple users of the machine with multiple preferences, by clicking again on the plus “+” sign.

In this case, again for purposes beyond the scope of this post, I removed the “English (US)” keyboard layout by clicking on the minus sign “-” on the lower left corner of the left box, once the “English (US)” option was highlighted:

Next, the timezone was chosen, in this case, that for New York City, which is the same as for where I live:

Timezone chosen

The next thing to arrange is where to install on the hard drive, by clicking on “Installation Destination”:

Choose “Installation Destination”

This screen will show details about your hard drive. Note that despite having previously recommended a minimum of 40GB, a 20GB only drive is in place since my screenshots are using a virtual machine, whose setup started with 20GB drives:

Hard drive details

Be certain to reclaim all space by clicking on “Full disk settings and boot loader …”

Click on “Full disk settings and boot loader …”

… Which should confirm that you will be using the whole disk:

Use of all disk space

After closing that screen, back at the main screen, click on “Begin Installation”:

Click on “Begin Installation”

At this point, the installation will begin:

Installation beginning
Basic installation complete
Boot Loader installation
Generating initramfs
Scripts being run
Click on “Finish Installation”

At this point, the installation is complete, and you should click on “Finish Installation”:

Anaconda will close and return to the main screen:

Return to main screen

Click on the power button in the upper right hand corner, which will open a little window:

Settings options opened

Choose the power options by clicking on the second power button to the right to the right of the lock symbol, opening up power options:

Power options opened

You will be asked whether to power off the machine; click on “Power Off”.

Click on “Power Off”

Your computer will shut down:

Computer shutting down

… and reboot:

Computer rebooting

Which will bring you to a “first time” welcome screen, where you should click on “Start Setup”:

Initial welcome screen

Choose whether to allow Location Services, and Automatic Problem Reporting:

Privacy settings
Settings turned off

The following screen will allow you to enable Third-Party Repositories — extra “software stores” — beyond those of Fedora itself, which I recommend be enabled:

Enabling Third Party Repositories

The following screen will allow you to Connect to Your Online Accounts:

Connecting to online accounts

The following screen will ask you to set a password, which should be long enough to be secure (there will be an indicator line), and which will be important to remember:

Setting a password

… and enter the password again to confirm you haven’t made a typo:

Setting a password

The following screen will ask you to enter your name and a username:

Entering a name and username

Once you have entered a name and username, the basic setup will be complete:

Basic setup complete

After clicking on “Start Using Fedora Linux”, the computer will offer a guded tour of the Gnome Desktop, which you may do if you wish, otherwise click on “No Thanks”:

Guided tour offered

The activities screen will come up at this point, offering you a dock at the bottom of the screen, as well as a search bar for other installed software:

Activities screen

But wait folks … there’s still plenty more to do! 😃

Click on the upper right hand corner to access the settings, and click on the round gear like button second from the left in the little window that will open:

Click on the upper right hand corner then the gear button

Which will open up the Settings menu:

Settings menu

Scroll down to the “Privacy” menu, and adjust the settings to options to your liking, or choose to keep the defaults:

Choose the Privacy menu

Next, scroll down to the bottom to the “About” menu:

Go to the About menu

The first line will be titled “Device Name” and by default will list the word “fedora”; you should choose a name for your computer that will distinguish it from other computers. It can be as simple as “MyComputer” or “LivingRoom”, or be more fanciful, or according to a personalized system. Warning: Do not choose an offensive name or word, since it may show up in odd places that may prove embarrassing, nor should you use a family member’s name or a pet’s name, since in the future you may end up using colloquial terms in reference to your computer paired with said name which may be very confusing or upsetting to those who may not understand the context.

Computer named

Close the settings menu by clicking on the “x” in the window’s upper right hand corner, and return to the activities screen by clicking on the bar in the upper left hand corner:

Return to Activities screen

Click on the “bag” on the dock at the bottom, a rectangle with two coloured circles and a triangle, to go to the Software Store (don’t worry, you won’t need any money.)

Software Store opened

Click on the “hamburger” menu (the three lines that look like a hamburger or a stack of pancakes), which will give a little menu:

Click on the hamburger menu

Click on the “Preferences” option:

Preferences menu

I recommend that you activate Automatic Updates, as well as allowing Automatic Update Notifications.

Next, click on the hamburger menu again, and choose the “Software Repositories” option:

Choose the “Software Repositories” option in the hamburger pull down menu

To modify the options in this menu, you will need to enter your password, which you created earlier:

Enter password

You will be asked whether you wish to enable third party software repositories; click on “Enable”.

Enabling third party software repositories

The default repositories will be enabled already; some others will not be. I recommend that the following repositories be enabled: Apps (Flatpak), openh.264, x86_64 …

… Firmware (fwupd) (if you are using UEFI), Enable New Repositories …

… Copr repo for PyCharm, Flathub, google chrome, RPM Fusion for Fedora 39 Non-Free — NVIDIA Driver (even if the computer doesn’t have an NVIDIA card) …

… and RPM Fusion for Fedora 39 Non-Free — Steam.

Click on the “x” button. At this point, click on the “Updates” tab up top, and click on the “Download” button.

The computer will determine which updates will be needed …

… and the computer will ask you for your password again:

Enter password
Enter password

The updates will be downloaded:

Updates downloading

… and then the updates will be listed:

Updates listed
Updates listed

Click on the Restart & Update button:

Click on Restart & Update

Click on “Restart & Install”:

Click on Restart & Install

The computer will shut down:

… and begin to reboot:

The updates will begin installing:

Updates installing
Updates installing
Updates installing
Updates installing

When the updates are complete, the system will reboot automatically:

Computer rebooting

You will now see a sign-in page with your username. You should click on your username.

Sign in page

… At which point, the computer will ask you for your password:

Enter password

… And finally, the Activities page will come up again.

Your computer has now been properly set up for operation.

Next Chapter

Chapter 5 will show some customizations of the Gnome desktop.

Desktop Linux: Unveiled Chapter 3: Preparing to Install Linux

Desktop Linux: Unveiled is a series of posts that show how to start using Linux.

Previous Chapter: Desktop Linux: Unveiled Chapter 2: Common Linux Distributions

In this post, acquiring a computer on which to install Linux, as well as downloading and writing a Linux distribution on a USB stick, will be shown. Fedora Desktop Edition will be used as an example, although at this point, setting up the installation USB stick can be done with any other distribution — which is most of the common ones — that allows for such an installation.

(Note for future reference, graphical installation with other distributions will be similar, but each may have some nuances and differences between them.)

Hardware — the computer on which Linux is to be installed

First, I recommend that as a newcomer, whichever linux you decide to install, that you decide to do the installation on a separate computer, such as an old computer, on its own. By doing this, you will not reduce space on the hard drive / SSD on which your current OS is installed, especially in taking account the space for data you may to transfer over to the Linux system, nor will you have to deal with the intricacies and occasional perils of dual booting or data loss on your current computer setup, nor will you have deal with the myriad and occasionally confusing issues that may surround virtualisation. Finally, by having a separate computer to “play” with, you will be able to start over again in the event that something goes wrong, or if you decide that you’d like to try a different Linux distribution.

The current (2024) webserver for

The above photo is taken from a page from a recent (February 2024) presentation the author made about their web server, which hosts (the website hosting this blog), using an old computer with a BIOS creation date of 2008.

Acquiring a computer:

“Old” computers are not unusually difficult to acquire; you may already possess one in storage.

  • Use an old computer you may be wishing to replace, or already be in the process of replacing, or even a several years-disused computer of which you may not yet have disposed;
  • Buy, or barter for, a used computer from family or friends;
  • Buy a used computer from a local computer repair person, who may have a storefront and may sell refurbished computers;
  • Speak with your employer; depending on their policies, they may be willing to sell you older equipment of which they would like to divest themself(ves);
  • Check reputable online markets;
  • Buy a new dedicated computer (only recommended once you become convinced of the cost/benefit regime).

Check the “minimum requirements” page of the distribution you choose; my current bare minimum specs are a Core 2 Duo 64bit processor, 4GB memory, 40GB hard drive (the current, as of late 2023, Fedora Workstation recommendation), and a spare USB 2.0 port (such as after other common USB peripherals you may be using, like a mouse and keyboard), in order to use the installation USB stick (which will be shown lower down in this post). (As desired or required, don’t forget to get a used screen.)

For the purposes of introduction to, and the exploration of, Linux, the old mechanical hard drive with such an old computer is likely adequate; however, SSD cards and extra memory will dramatically increase performance of older equipment. Further, as of posting, SSD cards in the 250GB range are typically very affordable to either add on later, or purchase for immediate use including installation of the system, while memory cards appropriate to the motherboard are usually readily available and inexpensively as per the above list regarding sourcing an old computer.

Downloading and creating a USB installation stick:

A USB stick is required for this step; Fedora’s installation image as of version 39 in late 2023 is approximately 2GB; hence a 4GB USB stick would be recommended going forward.

I am recommending the use of Fedora Media Writer to create the installation media, which can be run on Windows or Mac (as well as Linux, of course!) Should you choose another distribution, you can use a downloaded image from another distribution’s download page (see Desktop Linux: Unveiled Chapter 2: Common Linux Distributions for a few suggestions of other distributions; see below regarding choosing other Fedora desktops, or creating installation media of another distribution).

(Note that the following screenshots may have been created out of order, however are presented in the order required for the narrative.)

To get the Fedora Media Writer, visit (I start off using screenshots from Windows):

Click on the circle indicating the latest release (in the shot above, 39), which will bring you to the following screen.

On this screen, click on “Download Now”; don’t worry, you aren’t committing yet.

On the following page, click on the green download button for Fedora Media Writer, either for Windows or for Mac:

A licence agreement window will pop up. This is for the Gnu Public Licence version 2, the licence under which the Fedora Media Writer is licensed. Click on “I agree”.

The next screen will ask where to install Fedora Media Writer on your computer, and it will suggest a location to install it on your hard drive. Click “Install”:

Once Fedora Media Writer is installed, click on “Next”:

… and click on “Finish”:

Launch Fedora Media Writer:

You may be asked to allow the app to make changes to your device. Click “Yes”.

At this point, you can either choose to have the Fedora Media Writer download Fedora automatically, or, you can download a distribution of your choice, and ask Fedora Media Writer to use that distribution instead (the “Select .iso file” option):

Going with the “Download automatically” option above, which by default chooses a Fedora distribution, on the next page (below), choose “Official Editions”:

Should you wish to try another desktop instead of the standard Gnome Desktop in Fedora Workstation Edition, you can choose the “Spins” option above, which will list the following drop-down menu:

Under the choice taken, the next screen is the “Write Options” for the USB stick, which at this point should be inserted in a USB port. Choose the latest version of Fedora (in this case, 39), the hardware architecture, and the USB stick to which you wish to write the installation media:

Click “Write” in the above screen, and Fedora Media Writer will begin writing to the USB stick:

The screen will automatically change to indicate that the written data is being checked:

Once finished, you can click on “Finish”.

Should you wish to try out Fedora without installing it on your computer first, you can follow the instructions on the screen to restart the computer and try a live, temporary version of Fedora. This will not affect your hard drive in the least, unless you choose to install … which I am not recommending, since I am recommending that you install on a completely separate computer (see beginning section).

Next Chapter

Chapter 4 will show the installation of Fedora Workstation.

Desktop Linux: Unveiled Chapter 2: Common Linux Distributions

Desktop Linux: Unveiled is a series of posts that show how to start using Linux.

Previous chapter: Desktop Linux: Unveiled Chapter 1: What is Linux?

In this post, a few of the more well known linux distributions and desktop environments will be showcased.

Note: Clicking on the various desktops will show larger versions.


Fedora Linux is a general-purpose linux distribution focusing on free software (ie. not containing any proprietary software) and on being on the leading edge of free software development. It can be used by all desktop users. While having many tools that developers find useful, it is can also be used as a general purpose computer desktop.

Fedora using the Gnome desktop, with the activities screen opened up

Fedora provides a variety of desktop environments; the Gnome desktop environment is the default desktop environment, although other desktop environments are available in Fedora’s various spins, which cater to varying visual aesthetics, technical requirements, and useability.

Fedora Linux can be downloaded from (note: do not add “www”, it will lead to an error page)


Debian GNU/Linux is a general purpose Linux distribution aiming to be available on a large variety of computer architectures, built on free software, and is known for its stability. The large number of software packages available under Debian and its stability are often highlighted as some of its strengths. Debian is used for a wide variety of purposes including desktops and servers, and is equally capable in both functions. Debian is often used as a base for other Linux Distributions.

Debian using the XFCE Desktop

Debian can be downloaded from


Ubuntu is a popular Linux distribution based on Debian. It releases “Long Term Support versions every two years which typically are supported for at least five years, as well as intermediary releases usually every nine months. Ubuntu is often found not to be too difficult to learn to use.

Ubuntu using a custom Gnome desktop

Ubuntu can be downloaded from (note: adding “www” optional)

Linux Mint

Linux Mint is based on Ubuntu, and is known for its desktop named “Cinnamon”, which was originally based on the Gnome Desktop, but was branched off into its own desktop environment which focuses on a more traditional computer desktop appearance and functionality.

Linux Mint using the Cinnanon Desktop

Linux Mint can be downloaded from


openSUSE is the community version of SUSE Linux, a business and server oriented version of Linux. openSUSE is known for its use of the KDE desktop, but also uses the Gnome desktop.

openSUSE Tumbleweed is a version which updates continuously and does not require reinstallation after a certain period of time; however, it may prove more challenging to newer users, who might find openSUSE Leap more stable.

openSUSE Tumbleweed using the KDE Desktop

openSUSE Tumbleweed and openSUSE Leap can be downloaded from

Other Linux Distributions

More Linux distributions, with reviews and description, can be found at

Next Chapter

Desktop Linux: Unveiled Chapter 3 will show some steps to prepare to install Linux.

Desktop Linux: Unveiled Chapter 1: What is Linux?

Desktop Linux: Unveiled is a series of posts that show how to start using Linux.

In this post, Linux will be briefly explained and briefly compared to other common desktop computer operating systems.

First, what is an operating system?

An operating system (OS) is the software that makes a computer run, like Microsoft Windows, or MacOS. It is typically able to provide a way for users to operate the computer, and translate the instructions so the computer can run them. It also coordinates all the computer’s resources such as its CPU (central processing unit), memory, hard drive, and other components of the computer, as well as coordinate the user’s programs and data.

What is Linux?

Most people understand “Linux” to be a complete operating system like Windows or MacOS. However, strictly speaking, “Linux” is in fact just a part of the operating system, the central part called the kernel. Common usage has had “Linux” to informally refer to the whole operating system.

“Distributions”, (usually) complete and integrated collections of software built around the Linux kernel, can be legally built and distributed by anyone with the abilities and inclination because of the way the Linux kernel and the other software usually used with it are licensed, although most people choose to use an established distribution.

Distributions vs. Operating Systems

Linux distributions usually contain full linux-based operating systems, as well as extra software often not traditionally included in operating systems, such as office suites, media players, graphic design software, educational software, games, various apps, as well as other software such as server software. Although not all of the software is installed at the same time, they are typically all easily available in central locations called “repositories”, similar to app stores on MacOS and Windows; much is available free of charge, too!

Free Software vs. Proprietary Software

A lot of software available under Linux — and a growing amount under Windows and MacOS as well — is called Free Software, or sometimes Open Source Software. As a contrast, a substantial amount of Windows and MacOS software is called Proprietary Software.

Many people hear the expression “Free Software” and assume that it means that it is free of monetary charge. Some may even question its quality on the basis of such a lack of price.

Although free software is often (though not always) given away free of charge, and most common free software is of very high quality, the expression “Free Software” in fact refers to “freedom”, specifically various freedoms granted to the users of the software. These freedoms include the freedom to run the software for whatever purpose you wish, the freedom to study how the program works as well as make any changes that you wish, the freedom to share the software with others, and the freedom to share software you’ve modified with others.

Some of these freedoms require that the source code, or “recipes” that people can read and understand, be available to anyone and everyone.

The various licences used to allow this often tend to foster cooperation between various parties, often allowing groups who might sometimes be competitors to also cooperate with each other, creating common software that each group can then package together to present according to their own vision. Within this cooperation, software sometimes is developed quickly, and often many programming bugs are found and corrected quickly.

Some common free software licences are the GPL and the LGPL, which specifically give the recipient of the software the above freedoms, and require the sharing of the source code to the software, and any changes you may have made to it, when distributing the software. Other common free software licences are the BSD licence, the MIT licence, and the Apache licence, which have very few requirements but which permit users to use, modify, and distribute the software, while retaining copyright and some disclaimers notices.

In contrast, proprietary software is usually controlled by very restrictive licenses that keep the source code hidden, doesn’t allow users to distribute the software to whomever they please, doesn’t allow users to modify it or fix bugs even if they are able to were they to have access to the source code, and may even dictate how the software may or may not be used.

Next Chapter

Chapter 2 will list some popular Linux distributions that people use on their computers.

Présentation au sujet de mon serveur web — 06 février, 2024

Ceci est une petite note afin de souligner la présentation au sujet de mon serveur web que je vais donner ce soir au Linux Meetup à l’ÉTS au centre-ville de Montréal.

C’est intitulé “Deux frères, deux serveurs” et représente ma partie d’une présentation double avec mon frère.


Just a little note to draw attention to my presentation about my webserver that I will be giving (in French) tonight at my local Linux Meetup at ÉTS in downtown Montreal.

It is titled “Deux frères, deux serveurs” (yes, it’s in French, and means “Two Brothers, Two Servers”), and the presentation represents my part of a double presentation with my brother. updates, random recipe link, recipe additions, and recipe updates

Just a little note to say that some minor updates to the site were added this week:


Updating a (very small) fleet of computers to Fedora 39

I have been using Fedora Linux since 2008. I would update by re-installation my computers regularly to new versions after end-of-life. Complete, manual re-installs ended in 2018 or 2019 when I started using Fedora’s command line upgrade feature after having observed it in action. Throughout it all, I have sometimes experienced technology change adventures along the way.

I have five active computers, all which were ready to update to Fedora 39 in November, 2023: Three were running on Fedora 37, and two were running Fedora 38. Normally, I try to keep to the same version of Fedora on my fleet of computers — although I will format with the current version of Fedora mid-stream when I format a new or a new to me computer, or a new hard drive or ssd, and try to use a version (that of the majority of computers) until end-of-life, usually roughly 12 to 13 months. I settled on odd numbered versions several years ago, on Fedora 15, by happenstance, and a desire not to be reformatting different computers every six months depending on when their end of life fell.

As such, I proceeded to upgrade my computers.

Since the recommended method of update for Fedora is by the command line DNF upgrade command (here’s my archive), or to use the graphical method in the “Software” “App Store”, I proceeded to upgrade my machines on the command line.

(Note: Some of the screenshots and photos used in this post were created during the various upgrades, while some were re-created ex post facto for the sake of mounting this narrative.)

Webserver: Fedora 37, Workstation Edition, Legacy BIOS (Dell Vostro 420 Series)

First, I updated my home web server using the above-cited DNF upgrade commands (as root; see further down in this post) :

dnf upgrade --refresh
dnf system-upgrade download --releasever=39
dnf system-upgrade reboot

Note that the upgrade plugin was already present on the server, hence my having omitted the step of installing the plugin. Important note, minor in my head although critical to my experience, is that my webserver uses the Workstation Edition, not the Server edition.

All went smoothly, with one small quirk: After the upgrade and later that evening while at a restaurant, I wanted to check my website for something, and it was down. I thought little of it beyond the frustration in the moment. When I got home, I let my brother know in the hopes he might help … but in the process, I saw that the machine’s light in the power button was amber, and I had an idea that there was a software power management issue. I pressed the button, and the machine popped to life; I then went into the power management part of the settings in the gnome settings, and found the “automatic suspend” setting had been turned on to “when idle”.

This was odd. This was an established system I originally installed back in April, 2021, when I upgraded the machine’s mechanical hard drive to an SSD. To be clear, powersaving on idle was *not* a previous setting (ie. the server was always to be on to be a 24/7 webserver, the machine’s only active function, besides its passive function as a backup server), and it appears to have been a change in default settings somewhere around Fedora 38; it appears to be a power saving policy (here’s my archive).

VPN Server: Fedora 38, Server Edition, Legacy BIOS (HP Compaq dc7700 Small Form Factor)

My next upgrade was also fairly simple and straightforward. It was on a machine I found in a building slated for demolition in about 2016, and is a P4-3.4GHz single core machine, which I had been using as a world community grid node for years, but which had been inactive for months, after there having been little work for it for months when WCG moved from IBM to the University of Toronto. (I also suspect that the UofT may have decided to shift most of its tasks to GPUs, which I don’t think the machine possesses, and in any case I did not properly research let alone confirm this, beyond the apparent lack of work units being sent to it.)

A problem I’d been having for years with this machine was that it would not reboot without manual intervention, apparently due to a time error; this suggested a dead bios battery. I tolerated this for years, but this summer I finally installed a new battery in the machine, resolving the issue.

I reformatted the machine with Fedora 38 Server Edition given its age and lack of memory, and I renamed the machine, having some misgivings about its former name. I offered its use to my brother, who uses it as a VPN server for the household here, particularly to simplify assisting our mother in her computer use. I generally leave the machine alone: VPNs are a nebulous thing I don’t understand very much at all; I understand SSH filesystem tunnelling, and the parts between that and VPNs are too nebulous for me to understand.

But to wit: Up to this point I was neglecting the machine, letting my brother deal with it, but as a result the machine would often go unupdated for weeks at a time. In mentioning that I’d embarked upon the process of upgrading my computers all to Fedora 39, I mentioned that I liked to keep my fleet of computers all aligned on the same version of Fedora; I mentioned that at that time, due to new installs, I had two out of five computers on Fedora 38, while the rest were still on Fedora 37. With the comment that I wanted to keep my fleet on the same version, my brother encouraged me to maintain responsibilities for updates and yes indeed to upgrade this machine in particular, to keep it in line with the rest of my computers.

As mentioned, the upgrade went smoothly and with one exception was rather unremarkable: The suspend on idle mentioned earlier was not invoked, which I learned while researching the issue above is a feature not invoked in the Fedora Server Edition (here’s my archive).

Dell XPS 13 Laptop: Fedora 37, Workstation Edition, UEFI

Next, I updated my Dell XPS 13 (note: 2021). Again, this was an easy process with the dnf upgrade command.

One of the items to do in a couple of lists to do after installing Fedora 39, “17 Things to Do After Installing Fedora 39” (here’s my archive) and “Things to do after installing Fedora 39 Workstation” (here’s my archive) was to do firmware updates, using the following commands:

sudo fwupdmgr refresh –force
sudo fwupdmgr get-updates
sudo fwupdmgr update

Which, of course, I did. (There were indeed some firmware updates to be installed.)

Here’s what the process looks like on my XPS13 (Screenshots and photos taken after the fact, on a subsequent series of firmware updates):

Firmware updates a few weeks after upgrade
Firmware updates a few weeks after upgrade
Firmware updates a few weeks after upgrade

At this point, I was invigorated by being able to perform firmware updates on my XPS 13 laptop (which admittedly had not been the first time I had done so under linux, but no matter.)

However, a couple of weeks later, I noticed that an extension wasn’t working: My XP13 has a touchscreen display, and Gnome has an onscreen keyboard that pops up contextually when text is to be entered, occupying a major amount of screen space; I had been using the “disable-touch-osk” extension by sulincix, which stopped working with the upgrade to Fedora 39.

On screen keyboard disabling extension not working

This leads to a gripe I have for the Gnome developers: Stop breaking extensions with each new version of Gnome, or provide *some* kind of stable API or environment or whatever is needed so that the extension developers don’t decide to abandon their extensions because Gnome keeps on shifting so much that they have to work excessively hard every six months just to maintain their extension.

This led to the next two computers I have, which are a 2015 Acer laptop, and a 2014 Dell Inspiron desktop.

Acer Laptop: Fedora 37, Workstation Edition, UEFI — but using Legacy BIOS

I have been having problems using UEFI in my Acer laptop since I received it new in 2015; the Fedora live media would boot up, and I could install Fedora under UEFI; however, it would never boot up afterwards. My only solution seemed to be to use legacy bios. Nonetheless, hope springs eternal, this was the time to try again to install under UEFI.

I should note at this point, as mentioned above, that my home server (2008) and my VPN server (2007) are both rather old computers and pre-date UEFI and use legacy BIOS, while my XPS 13, Acer laptop, and Dell Inspiron desktop, are all UEFI machines. I make these distinctions because of conversations I had in which on the one hand, it was suggested that I perform a baremetal reformat of the Acer laptop in order to sidestep a problem I had been experiencing when I’d allowed the battery to drain completely, forcing a reset to defaults in the BIOS and hence to UEFI boot, making my setup with legacy-BIOS unbootable; on the other hand, I concluded “It’s 2023; it’s absurd not to be using UEFI on UEFI machines.” (Of course, the use of older, legacy machines predating UEFI are a different issue altogether, and for them, said point is moot.)

In addition to this comment about using UEFI, and the potential to have any UEFI firmware upgrades as discussed above, I decided that my Acer laptop needed to receive a baremetal format, given the accumulation of a lot of software on the system that I didn’t use (many though hardly all installed because of a presentation I gave in 2021); I decided that instead of package hunting and manually uninstalling them all — including dependencies that decide not to uninstall — it seemed more efficient and effective to do a clean install.

Fast forward to this round of upgrades, I upgraded the installation using a downloaded Fedora 39 image, and I went through various upgrades and setups, such as Gnome extensions, and some software installations. Suddenly I remembered that I had not changed the boot sequence from legacy bios to UEFI, so … I started over.

Several installation attempts later, including trying Fedora 36 (with an intention of upgrading through to version 39) based on some advice playing around with the various BIOS settings trying to get just “the right” settings, none worked, and I finally resigned to reinstalling yet again under, and continuing to use, legacy BIOS. Sigh.

Setting the Boot sequence to Legacy BIOS

Before setting up in legacy mode, I had a flash of inspiration: Since I was nonetheless able to boot the live media under UEFI (which I knew wouldn’t otherwise be used afterwards), I attempted a firmware update as per the above. To my mild disappointment, there weren’t any firmware updates for my Acer Laptop:

I continued with the installation under Legacy BIOS mode, and set up the desktop with the various Gnome Extensions, installing software not in the base installation, and customizing settings and the like.

I once again faced a few pet peeves I have about how Fedora is set up (incidentally through Anaconda, but by itself not Anaconda issues, best I can tell):

  • Fedora uses sudo by default, which I don’t like: I go by the notion of “Don’t be afraid of root; respect it, but don’t be afraid of it” — when you have to do root-y stuff, log into root, do what you have to do as root, and then sign out of root. (Yes, I am aware of the advantages of sudo, even beyond its convenience and short term elevations of privileges, such as logging of *who* elevated their privileges to do *what*; I just wasn’t taught that way, and on a single user system, I don’t see much value to it; hey maybe that’s just me.) As such, with each new install I perform, I have to, ironically using sudo under my default user account, assign a password to the root account, and then, remove my default account from the wheel group.

First, a password was set for the root user:

Then, after logging into the root account, I edited the /etc/group file (here’s my archive) …

… by removing my user account from the wheel group (highlighted):

  • The next thing that irked me was that in Fedora Workstation Edition, it seems that Anaconda no longer has an option (read, without the qualifier “it seems”) to set the hostname during the installation. While I understand that it is a trivial enough thing to set as per the following, under the default régime of the default primary user having sudo privileges … it seems to me that this is the kind of thing that should still be in the system installation part. (As in, I wonder how many new users have “fedora” as their machine name for a significant amount of time if not forever, being unaware that it is (only) a default placeholder name, unaware that it can be changed, and unaware of how to change it.)

Fortunately, this is easily set in the Settings / About menu, *if* you don’t remove your default user from the wheel group, or at least haven’t yet, and therefore still have sudo privileges:

Note that in the above screenshot, the option appears shaded out because since I had already removed the primary user from the wheel group, effectively disabling sudo, my (default user) account did not possess the requisite permissions to edit the hostname.

Changing the hostname on the command line is also not particularly difficult, using the command “hostnamectl set-hostname new-name”

… or, editing the /etc/hostname file, by entering the command “nano /etc/hostname” as the at the command line and as the root user:

Then, once in the /etc/hostname file, enter the host name you want (in the case of my Acer laptop, “reliant”, as in the USS Reliant from Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan movie.)

(More on changing the hostname can be found at the Fedora documentation page (here’s my archive) and (here’s my archive), among many other sites)

And on this install, I noticed that the extension Vertical Overview by Ralthuis, which among other things, allowed for the dock on the Activities page to remain vertical and on the left edge of the screen, instead of on the bottom of the screen, was broken, something I hadn’t noticed when upgrading my XPS13. Note: Check lower down in the section for my desktop.

Dock moved to the bottom of the activities screen due to a broken extension (note screenshot recreated after the fact)

On this point, I installed a number of Gnome extensions that I like, unfortunately not the one mentioned above, as well as adding apps to the dock, and other optimizations I commonly perform.

After these items, I installed Gnome Evolution, modified the installation’s setup such as pinning apps to the dock, and checked the power management issue listed above. During the install process, I was able to specify that third party repositories could be enabled; after install, I installed the free and non-free repositories from rpmfusion, as well as Rémi’s RPM repository. I transferred my data from the backup I had created earlier onto my laptop. (See next section on my Desktop).

Finally, I had to activate the flathub repository (here’s my archive) in order to be able to install software that I use that is distributed as flatpaks, such as Signal (a secure texting app):

… and then Signal was installed from the Software App:

Minor note: I don’t recall having to enable the repositories before, although I may be wrong.

This leads to my final computer to upgrade, my desktop:

Dell Inspiron: Fedora 38, Workstation Edition; installed Legacy BIOS, Machine UEFI

When I purchased the computer new in 2014, Fedora 21 installed easily under UEFI.

In the summer of 2023, I upgraded the mechanical drive to an SSD, and I had installed Fedora 38 the SSD; the Dell Inspiron had difficulty recognizing Fedora 38 media, so I took an old pre-UEFI computer, inserted the SSD, and installed Fedora on the SSD. I don’t recall if I knew to change to legacy BIOS once I transferred the SSD to the Dell, or after an error or two, I realized the error, and made the change in the setup. The installation worked, although I was slightly irked.

Come time to upgrade to Fedora 39, I performed the command line DNF upgrade covered earlier, dealing with some of the consequences like the power management and idling issue above. Additionnaly, I noticed something else that irked me regarding the power button (changing it from “Suspend” to “Power Off”:

“Power Button Behavior” setting changed from “Suspend” to “Power Off”. Call me old school …

However, in the intervening time I had experienced the UEFI crisis above, so I first performed a backup of my data to my backup folders on my web server, mildly surprised by how much I was behind in my manual backups.

Unfortunately from this point on, my desktop proved to be the most challenging to upgrade properly.

Having downloaded a copy of the install media for Fedora 39 and burned it onto a usb stick, as well as still having the Fedora 38 Server Edition DVD (which I had forgotten was the F38 Server Edition, instead erroneously assuming that I had gone to the trouble of burning the F39 Workstation Edition onto the DVD), and I tried to install Fedora 39 from both media. I tried several settings in the setup menu, to no avail: The motherboard categorically refused to recognize either, simply displaying an error message vaguely communicating a sense that it didn’t like the media. In looking through the internet for pages on the subject, including the Dell website, I was mildly piqued that solutions commonly referenced burning the usb stick using particular software under Windows (to which strictly speaking I have access, but not on the computer in question), and often just assuming that there would be a Windows partition on the computer. Putting aside knee-jerk reactions, I assumed that this would not address the issue since the solutions appeared to assume a conflict with Windows which could not exist on my machine, or that the Fedora media-writing tools were inherently unable to operate correctly.

I gave up for the moment, changed the boot settings back to Legacy BIOS, and used the untouched Legacy BIOS install for roughly a week while dealing with other upgrades and life in general.

After roughly up to a week, I remembered something I’d read a week or two earlier that said that the UEFI shim for Fedora versions 37 and 38 (and I presume, given my experience, Fedora 39 as well), was not working for some motherboards “due to a difficult certification process for this component“, (here’s my archive) and that a workaround was to install Fedora 36, whose shim was known to work, then proceed through the command line upgrades to Fedora 39.

Fedora 36 was downloaded and burned on a usb stick, and the settings in the boot menu were changed back to UEFI. Fedora 36 was installed — successfully! …

… and the updates were performed, after which the command for the version upgrade was performed, to bring it to Fedora 38. However, the system would not reboot on its own; a quick fsck command corrected some “dirty code”, which it corrected, and I changed some boot settings about booting and automatic on at certain dates. Once this was done, the upgrade to Fedora 38 continued:

DNF upgrade command working; yes, my screen is dusty!

I again performed a dnf upgrade to Fedora 39, and had to repeat the fsck command in order for the system to properly reboot.

To correct this rebooting issue, an empty file named “fsck” was created in my home directory.

Backups were restored, and work similar to what I’d performed on my Acer laptop were performed regarding sudo, root, renaming of the box, evolution, extensions, pinning apps to the dock, and the like were performed.

After yet another week or so, I noticed that my backups had not fully been transferred, and began transferring the balance. In the process, my computer indicated that it did not have enough space on the hard drive; I suspected that during the previous install that I had not correctly removed the previous install, so I reformatted yet again.

So I repeated the installation and upgrade process, this time ensuring that all space on the drive was reclaimed, and repeated the above processes, both specific to the computer as well as other things generally required as part of the upgrade.

During the initial setup, I discovered an extension that brings back the vertical view: V-Shell (vertical workspaces) by GdH, and it seems to do what I want, although on the desktop there is a setting that brings up the (vertical) dock, workspaces, and app search space over the workspace; comparison with another setup allowed me to find the setting I wanted.

And, to repeat myself: Gnome, do you hear me? Stop breaking extensions!

Now — so far — the computer seems to be working, but as this whole process over a month has shown, I should give it at least a week to find out if there are any other issues.

Final Thoughts

I don’t read the upcoming changes for new versions, nor do I research in advance problems that people have been having. I discover the problems, changes, and challenges along the way, and as such for me Fedora reveals itself as per my usage and discoveries — no doubt leaving a lot hidden to me — not only over its roughly 13 month lifespan, but also over the first few weeks of using it, and, interestingly, over the installation process itself, especially when it’s over several machines of different eras and manufacturers and technologies.

As this round of upgrades in particular has shown, as well as years of using Fedora Linux, using Fedora Linux is an exercise in bleeding edge.

Now, barring unforeseen changes, additions, and the like, I’m looking forward to roughly a year of Fedora 39 goodness!

Making Stewed Rhubarb — Photos

I picked up making stewed rhubarb because my mom always liked using the rhubarb grown in her garden to make stewed rhubarb and rhubarb chutney. (Ironically, for this post, and often enough, I use rhubarb purchased from the grocery store!)

Note that this recipe effectively needs to be done over two days, or at least with a pause of several hours (roughly equivalent to a minimum of “overnight” ) between preparing the rhubarb, and beginning to stew the rhurbarb.

Note that I also am using the “packing in mason jars and heat-processing” method to preserve the stewed rhubarb, and to allow for the making of larger amounts of stewed rhubarb at once; once the heat-processed jars have cooled, the stewed rhubarb is ready to eat.

Making the Stewed Rhubarb:

Day one:

After buying some rhubarb at the grocery store, some mise-en-place was done by taking out a cutting board, a mixing bowl, a measuring cup, a kitchen knife, and a kitchen scale:

Cutting board, mixing bowl, measuring cup, kitchen knife, and kitchen scale taken out

To avoid confusion a bit later on, the tare weight of the mixing bowl was measured and noted (instead of using the tare function on the kitchen scale):

Tare weight of bowl measured

The rhubarb purchased earlier was taken out (yes, it is a bit shabby!)

Rhubarb taken out

The elastics and labels were removed from the rhubarb bunches:

Elastics and labels removed

I began to wash and rinse the rhubarb:

Washing and rinsing rhubarb
Washing and rinsing rhubarb

The rinsed rhubarb stalks were brought to the cutting board:

Rhubarb brought to cutting board

The rhubarb stalks were trimmed:

Trimming rhubarb stalks
Trimming rhubarb stalks

The trimmings were placed in a kitchen waste bucket for later disposal in a municipal composting programme:

Trimmings placed in bucket for composting

If the rhubarb isn’t completely fresh, or especially typical (in my experience) for commercial rhubarb purchased at the grocery store, sometimes there is some minor damage to the stalks to be removed:

Stalk damage to be removed

The stalk damage was removed (and while my name can be found on my — this — website in several places, I have blacked it out from my knife, on which I had inscribed my name years ago):

Stalk damage removed

The trimmed rhubarb stalks were piled up …

Trimmed rhubarb

… and the rhubarb stalks were rinsed again to remove the last of the bits:

Rhubarb rinsed again

Some stalks were laid on the cutting board for chopping:

Rhubarb laid out for chopping

The rhubarb stalks were chopped using a slicing motion against the grain:

Rhubarb chopped

As chopped rhubarb started piling up on the chopping board, it was transferred to the mixing bowl:

Chopped rhubarb transferred to mixing bowl

The rest of the rhubarb was chopped, and transferred to the mixing bowl as it was produced:

Chopped rhubarb transferred to mixing bowl

The bowl of chopped rhubarb was placed on the kitchen scale and weighed:

Chopped rhubarb weighed

The weight was noted, to be used in a moment:

Chopped rhubarb weighed

A large pot and wooden mixing spoon were taken out:

Pot and wooden spoon taken out

The chopped rhubarb was transferred to the pot:

Chopped rhubarb transferred to pot
Chopped rhubarb transferred to pot

A calculator app was started, and the net weight of chopped rhubarb was calculated by subtracting the bowl tare weight from the weight of the bowl filled with the chopped rhubarb:

Net weight of chopped rhubarb calculated

Since my recipe is based on the Imperial system, the weight of 0.895kg (above) was converted to pounds, giving a result just barely shy of two pounds of chopped rhubarb:

Rhubarb weight converted to pounds

Next, a multiplication factor for how many “recipe units” was calculated by dividing the weight of the chopped rhubarb by the base amount of three quarters of a pound:

Multiplication factor calculated

The multiplication factor was multiplied by the required amount of sugar and lemon juice for per “recipe unit” of 3/4 lb of chopped rhubarb: Half a cup of sugar, and half an ounce of lemon juice, resulting in 1-1/3 cups of sugar, and 1-1/3 ounces of lemon juice:

Multiplication factor applied to sugar and lemon juice required

Sugar and a measuring cup were taken out:

Sugar and measuring cup taken out
Measures on measuring cup

Sugar was measured out:

Sugar measured out

The sugar was poured onto the chopped rhubarb:

Sugar poured into pot of chopped rhubarb
Sugar poured into pot of chopped rhubarb

The chopped rhubarb and sugar were mixed with the wooden spoon:

Chopped rhubarb and sugar mixed

Lemon juice was measured out:

Lemon juice measured out

Extra sugar was added to the lemon juice:

Extra sugar added to lemon juice

The lemon juice and extra sugar were mixed:

Lemon juice and extra sugar mixed

The lemon juice and sugar mix were added to the chopped rhubarb and sugar:

Lemon juice and sugar added to chopped rhubarb and sugar

The chopped rhubarb, sugar, and lemon juice were mixed some more:

Chopped rhubarb, sugar, and lemon juice mixed
Chopped rhubarb, sugar, and lemon juice mixed

A lid was placed on the pot of rhubarb, sugar, and lemon juice:

Lid placed on pot of chopped rhubarb mix

The pot of chopped rhubarb, sugar, and lemon juice was placed in a fridge overnight:

Pot of chopped rhubarb mix placed in fridge

Day two:

Early the next morning, I checked on the pot of chopped rhubarb:

Pot of chopped rhubarb checked

As can be sort of be seen above and better in the following photo, a good amount of liquid had been drawn by the sugar from the pieces of chopped rhubarb:

Liquid drawn from chopped rhubarb

The chopped rhubarb was mixed again with a spoon:

Chopped rhubarb mixed

The pot of chopped rhubarb was returned to the fridge until later that evening (after coming home from work.)

That evening, a jar wrench, a jar funnel, tongs, a ladle, and a stainless steel flipper were taken out:

Jar wrench, jar funnel, tongs, ladle, and stainless steel flipper taken out

Mason jars, a few more than I expected to need, and new lids and lid rings, were taken out, but kept aside for the moment:

Mason jars and lids taken out

A pot and trivet were taken out, to act as a boiling water bath soon:

Pot and trivet taken out

The trivet was placed in the bottom of the pot:

Trivet placed in pot

The pot was filled with water:

Pot filled with water
Pot filled with water

The pot of water was placed on a burner on the stove:

Pot of water placed on stove

The stove was turned on:

… and the lid was placed back on the pot:

Lid placed on pot of water

Since I had placed the pot of water on a smaller burner, which proved to be a mistake, I still waited a bit before taking out the pot of chopped rhubarb, sugar, and lemon juice, and placing it on the stove:

Pot of Rhubarb, sugar, and lemon juice placed on stove

After waiting a bit more, having gauged the heating up of the pot of water, the burner under the chopped rhubarb mix was turned on:

Burner under chopped rhubarb mix turned on

The lid on the pot of chopped rhubarb mix was removed:

Lid removed from pot of rhubarb mix

As the rhubarb mix was heating up, I of course mixed it to avoid burning:

Rhubarb mix being mixed while heating
Rhubarb mix being mixed while heating

The rhubarb mix began to boil:

Rhubarb mix beginning to boil

At this point, the rhubarb mix was taken off the burner, and since the water bath had not yet reached the boiling point, I brought it forward to the larger burner to bring it to a boil more quickly:

Water bath brought forward to larger burner on stove

Fortunately, it was obvious that the water bath was “hot enough” to dip the (clean) bottle funnel to sanitize it:

Sanitizing bottle funnel

The bottle funnel was placed in the neck of a jar:

Jar funnel placed in neck of jar

The ladle was dipped in the hot water to sanitize it:

Ladle sanitized

I started ladling the boiled rhubarb mix into the jar until it was filled:

Ladling boiled rhubarb mix into jar
Jar filled

A lid and ring were brought to the jar, and screwed onto the jar (oops, I forgot to take a picture of this second part):

Lid brought to filled jar and screwed on

The rest of the boiled rhubarb mix was transferred into jars, and lids were screwed onto the jars:

Filled jars with lids screwed on

At this point, the water in the water bath was finally starting to boil:

Water bath starting to boil

Using the jar wrench, the filled jars were transferred to the water bath:

Filled jars transferred to water bath
Filled jars transferred to water bath

Once the water had come to a rolling boil …

Water bath coming to a rolling boil

… a timer was set to 15 minutes …

Timer set to 15 minutes

… and the lid was placed back on the pot with the water bath and filled jars:

Lid placed on water bath

At this point, the water was boiling so vigorously, that water was splashing out of the pot!

Water splashing out of boiling water bath onto stovetop

After 15 minutes had elapsed, the filled jars were removed from the water bath using the jar wrench:

Removing filled jars with jar wrench

The now heat-processed jars were placed on the the cutting board:

Heat-processed jar placed on cutting board
Heat-processed jars placed on cutting board

Hot water collecting on the jars was soaked up with a towel:

Water on jars soaked up with towel

The jars were moved apart from each other to allow for some ambient cooling for a few moments:

Jars separated to facilitate ambient cooling

Then, the still-warm jars were moved to a fridge to complete cooling.

Jars moved to fridge

At this point, I changed tack a bit and printed out some labels for the jars, modifying another label template I have for my pickled eggs:

Printed labels for jars of stewed rhubarb

Scissors, a hole punch, and some elastics were taken out:

Scissors, hole punch, and elastics taken out

Four labels were cut from the sheet:

Label cut from sheet
Label cut from sheet
Labels cut from sheet

A date code (in this case for 09 August, 2023, the day I filled and processed the jars) was written on the back / inside of each label:

Date code written on backside of label
Date code written on backside of labels

The labels were folded over onto themselves:

Label folded over on itself
Label folded over on themselves

I should note at this point at which the print is more legible, that I live in Montreal, where French predominates, hence the labels are in both English and French. As it happened in the picture above, the folded labels with the English showing were upside down because that’s how I inadvertently happened to flip them over. 🙂

I then picked up the labels, piled them one on another, and crimped the folds:

Labels brought together and folds crimped

A hole was punched through the labels on the end opposite to the fold:

Hole punched through labels
Hole punched through labels

On each individual label, the end near the hole was folded over:

End near hole folded over
Ends near holes folded over

Ah here, the English labels are right side up. 🙂

An elastic was threaded through the hole of a label:

Elastic threaded through hole in label

The elastic was looped into itself, and loosely tightened to allow for it to at once hold the label, as well as have a loop to use to go around a jar’s neck:

Elastic looped into itself

… which was repeated for the other three labels:

Elastics looped into themselves

The following morning, the cooled (and fully sealed) jars were removed from the fridge, and brought to the workspace where the labels were:

Cooled bottles brought out

Labels were looped around the jars:

Label looped around jar
Labels looped around jars

These jars will be kept to be donated to my church’s fall fair, along with a few jars of my pickled eggs! (And, Mom will receive any which don’t sell. 🙂 )

Making Bagel and Cream Cheese Pieces Bites — Photos

This post is a bit of a gratuitous post to pass the time during my holidays, while showing a bit how I leverage freezers as useful tools for day to day cooking and eating, and highlight how, beyond the strictly obvious (or conversely, as an example of the obvious, whichever you prefer 🙂 ), my cooking efforts actually do fit into and serve everyday life — literally!

Yes, the breakfast shown at the end of this post is a very typical daily breakfast for me these days, barring the days, often on weekends or holidays, when I might choose to make other breakfast foods from my collection of recipes (or of course, something else completely.)

Note: I must confess that despite claiming to be a proud Montrealer, for these breakfast bites, I favour a commercial, industrially baked bagel typical of the fluffy, New-York style (here is my archive), instead of Montreal-style bagels (here is my archive).)

Making the Bagel and Cream Cheese Bites:

After coming home from the store and having bought bagels and a cream cheese spread flavoured with “herbs” and roasted garlic, I took out a cutting board:

Cutting board taken out

A bagel slicer, basically a serrated edge attached to a wooden guide, and a table knife, were taken out:

Bagel slicer and knife taken out

A bag of commercially produced bagels, purchased earlier in the day, was taken out:

Bag of bagels taken out

The bag clip was taken off the bag in order to open the bag of bagels:

Bag clip removed from bag

The bagels were taken out of the bag:

Bagels taken out of bag

The empty bag was kept and put aside:

Bag kept and put aside

A bagel was sliced (be careful, some industrially produced bagels may be partly pre-sliced):

Bagel being sliced
Sliced bagel

… and the rest of the bagels were sliced:

Bagels sliced

A 227g (8oz) container of a commercially prepared cream cheese spread, in this case flavoured with “herbs” and roasted garlic, purchased earlier in the day, was taken out:

Flavoured cream cheese spread taken out

The lid was removed from the cream cheese container …

Plastic seal to be removed from container

… and the plastic seal was also removed from the container:

Plastic seal removed from container
Plastic seal removed from container

The knife was used to pick up some of the cream cheese:

Picking up cream cheese with knife
Cream cheese picked up with knife

A couple of bagel halves were placed on the cutting board, and the knife holding the cream cheese was brought to them …

Cream cheese brought to bagel halves

… and cream cheese was spread on one of the bagel halves:

Cream cheese spread on bagel half
Cream cheese spread on bagel half

The two bagel halves were put back together:

Bagel halves joined back together
Bagel halves joined back together

Cream cheese was spread on a few more bagels, and after spreading cream cheese on half of the bagels, the container was about half empty:

I continued to spread cream cheese on the rest of the bagels; I scraped the last of the cream cheese out of the container, and I spread the last of the cream cheese onto the last of the six bagels:

Scraping the last of the cream cheese from the bottom of the container and spread onto last bagel

At this point, all six bagels were filled with cream cheese:

Bagels filled with cream cheese

At this point, a clean knife was taken out, and a bagel was cut at a single point:

… and then the bagel was cut in two other places, resulting in three pieces:

The bagel pieces were placed back in the bag:

Piece of bagel placed in bag
Three bagel pieces placed in bag

… and as I continued cutting up the rest of the bagels, I placed the bagel pieces in the bag:

Half the bagel pieces in the bag

… until all the bagel pieces were in the bag:

All bagel pieces in bag

A tie wrap was taken out:

Tie wrap taken out

The tie wrap was used to seal up the bag again:

Bag sealed with tie wrap

The bag of bagel and cream cheese pieces was placed in the freezer:

Bag of bagel and cream cheese pieces placed in freezer

The next morning, I took out a bagel and cream cheese bite, and defrosted it along with a mini raisin bran muffin, made earlier in the week using my mom’s bran muffin recipe, a pickled egg, some cheese, and some peanut butter scooped from the jar:

Breakfast is served!