one man's ceiling
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
i was zooming around, checking up on some favorite sites, feeling i've been a little out of it on the web these days when i came across an article in the NYT concerning big beers. it reads a little condescending to my eyes, as if the NYT was telling new york sophisticates that beer is the new gin, that it's okay now and then to order something other than a merlot. as if new yorkers wrote off beer with ralph cramden, something folks in new jersey "do", but just might be the hip thing this season.


i used to think fancy was something to aspire to, to become (as i think david hockney once said) "restaurant rich"; wealthy enough to not have to look at the price of items on a menu before deciding on what to order. when i was young i used to think that sophistication came as a price of growing up. beer in college, wine snobbery in young adulthood, cocktails during middle age and beyond. yeah, and we thought we'd have to give up punk rock and dig into jazz when we hit 30, as if our appreciation of such things couldn't co-exist. thus we became the prime demographic for the bad plus, but i digress.

and growing up what other models did i have to judge by? my parents rarely drank, even when visiting my grandparents whose house was overflowing with booze. guys out on the back patio playing five card and drinking tall cans of pabst, ladies in the kitchen doing the same or occasionally mixing up some rum. and stealing a sip of beer from an uncle was only expected if you were to hang out on the patio.

but why, i wondered, would adults turn down soda to drink this cold fizzy liquid that tastes like urine?

college taught me the error of my thinking. some beer from oregon (why can't i remember the name? oh, because i'm OLD!) was making a name for itself, brewed in small batches and sent in numbered editions north to seattle and south to california. it was smooth and clean and didn't taste like shit... i meant, schlitz. then anchor steam beer made a revival in the bay area, and microbrew pubs appeared and all of a sudden i felt like history had finally come around to the origins of beer and in no time we'd be drinking mead from buckets just like they did at the beginning of the industrial revolution.


anyway, it's been a long slog and in the end i find i prefer the relaxed atmosphere of an unpretentious pub that serves up tasty food matched with quality craft beers. cheaper than chi-chi places where an out-of-work actor who can't afford to eat at their own restaurant is doing their best to belittle you for your choice of shoes, wine and entre. do i want to pour over a wine list as heavy as the gutenberg bible, do i want to take classes to learn how to "appreciate" wine? do i want to sniff the cork, approve of the beverage before it's decanted to all? do i need ceremony to make myself feel superior and deserving?

no. i want something with a unique taste that compliments my meal. a beer will do, thank you.

but as my zuska and i have discovered there's a world a beer out there just as complex as the wine world but a lot more funner. yes, funner. take life as it comes and order from the beer list anything that looks interesting. it's how i first tried the allagash white ale on our trip to maine last summer. and that in turn lead me to try the allagash tripel at our local pub. my oh my! what heaven! and more recently...

allagash curieux. it's beer, allowed to age inside a cask formerly used to age jim beam. the carbonation is fine but not sharp. the beer is smooth but full-bodied. and after you swallow, the aftertaste is pure jim beam without the burn. curious indeed!

that same night my zuska tried a brew called interlude, which is partially aged in wine casks. now, here's a beer that tastes like beer, slightly sweet, and with a fine wine finish. more to zuska's taste than my own, but not in any way offensive. except for the price. served by the bottle we got dinged for $30. for. a. bottle. of. beer.

okay, it's a two-person size bottle (or one person if you're used to japanese beer)and we've since discovered that retail is about a third, but that's still a bit pricey. perhaps a beer aficionado with an open mind would like it as a gift? it's definitely a celebration brew.

but it's all really just a beer and, price and brewing techniques aside, unpretentious. you don't have to smell the cork or approve it, you just open it up and enjoy it. i'm looking forward to doing just that sometime in the future. how many beers can do that?
Saturday, November 25, 2006
  killing four meals with one bird (five counting leftovers)
i'm going to have to give it up for my favorite founding father here, the national bird really should be the turkey. the national symbol for our thanksgiving meal, traditional or not, the same bird we offer up as an insult isn't only a fierce protector of its territory but a cornucopia of leftover meals!

nothing new to many of you, i'm sure, but i'm just so damn happy with the way the bird turned out this year on so many fronts. first it went through a 24 hour brining process, which i've done before but not with such wonderful results. unstuffed and unbasted, it came out of the oven 3 hours after it first went in moist and juicy as you please.

we ate our fill on thanksgiving and again served ourselves up plates of leftovers the next day. today we took a break from all things thanksgiving while i turned the carcass into (1) a shepherd's pie for tomorrow night, (2) an adobo turkey chili with beans in the slow cooker for the day after tomorrow and (3) turkey stock for a soup-to-be-named-later.

i know in the past i've made grand plans for leftovers, all with the best of intentions, only to get lazy and pick at the bird until i realized there wasn't enough left for anything but the occasional sandwich. which, in the past, was fine. i have no problem with turkey, cranberry and stuffing sandwiches for a week but it always left me feeling like i'd let the turkey down somehow, as if i hadn't really honored this noblest of native foul.

come december 1st i'm not going to want to hear the word turkey for at least a month. i want to roast something else for solstice.
Thursday, November 23, 2006
  eat up, american children, so that the evil witch can stuff you in her oven!
yesterday at the girl's school they held a family breakfast, a little pre-holiday get-together for families to share breakfast foods and check out the kids school work and generally wish each other a happy thanksgiving.

my zuska and our youngest made coffee cake muffins from scratch. they were both very proud of their efforts, and rightly so. very tasty indeed.

but while i was scanning the food tables i noticed someone had brought in cereal and milk for kids who would normally prefer such things over donuts and whatnot. and what were brought in were those little single-serve boxes that came shrinkwrapped in a 12 pak. ah, what fond memories of fighting to be the first one up in the morning so you can grab your favorite flavor (sugar pops, as they were honestly called back in the day) leaving behind the raisin bran and special k for the unwary loser. so much fun! punching open the box and carefully tearing open the wax wrapper in order to eat out of the box like a bowl. what a thrill! when someone cut badly and milk leaked out the box all over the table...

wait. what the hell? the cereal boxes... they've grown! they're huge! they're twice as large as they used to be!

and americans wonder why there's an epidemic of obesity among our children.

back when i was a kid, one box was the limit and it was because these cereals were a special treat. early on my parents realized (without scare stories in the news) that sugar and kids was a bad combination and we were put on a diet of wheaties, cheerios and the occasional kix. we could have seconds but we weren't allowed to add sugar and if we were still hungry after that it was on to fruit or juice. with the little boxes we were allowed the one serving and seconds had to be of one of the regular cereals.

but what has changed since those days when a single smaller box was considered a serving while today a larger box is necessary? did they just give in to parental pressure and marketing and double the serving size so kids wouldn't complain that they were still hungry? have parents accepted the fact that even though cereal (as we have been told billions of times in commercials) is only "part of a balance/nutritious breakfast" that getting kids to eat anything in the crush of the morning routine is good enough? sure, let them load up on vitamin fortified empty calories, double the portion to keep them quiet, send them off to schools with a sugar high for the teacher to deal with, and write off the obesity as "baby fat" that they will eventually grow out of because putting them on a diet with give them :food issues" that could scar them for life.

i'm sorry, but the agribiz and food industry in general are going to have a reckoning day when americans decide to stop poisoning and killing their children with food. until then, the witch in the forest is rubbing her hands with glee that hansel and gretel are slowly trundling down the path, ready for a quick gingerbread house break, grain-fed and fattened for the oven.

and now i'm off to produce my own masterpiece of american gluttony. three cheers for the annual tradition of proving that the way to inaugurate the beginning of the holiday shopping season is by getting together (and barely putting up) with family, watching the great american gladiator sport of football on television (because no one would even think of doing anything like exercise on this day) and eating ourselves into a food coma.

actually, that all doesn't sound so bad. for one day.
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
  minnie stronie zoop?
it's thanksgiving week, i've got a lot of food on my mind. okay, it's just the bird i've got to deal with. and the stuffing. and a token vegetable. i'm thinking about brining and how i need a cooler and get some ice and get the thing soaked before we drive the kiddos over the river and through the woods...

wait, where was i? oh, yeah, so the stuffing. i've gotta chop the bread and dry it out but the girls are hogging up the kitchen making muffins for the family breakfast at the girls school and i'm not going to have enough time...



so i really wasn't in the mood to make a whole lotta food this week knowing that we're gonna end the week with a whole lot more food. plus, what do you make when it's (a) cold, (b) you wanna cook light and (c) you don't want any duplication with thanksgiving?


this is a memory soup, meaning that i started with a recipe for a minestrone soup that was 15 minutes start to finish but it used the microwave. and i hate the microwave for things like soup. so i decided to stove-top it (not the stuffing mix!) and once i got rolling i started adding things i found around the kitchen (not the dust bunnies at the base of the fridge!) until it became something more along the lines of a regular ol' vegetable soup. i think that's what i'll call it.

a regular ol' vegetable soup this is one of those where you can chop and add as you go.
heat your trusty soup pot on medium heat and add the oil.
chop-and-add-as-you-go the first six ingredients, stirring them as you add them.
add the beans, broth and tomato paste and stir to mix. increase the heat until the soup begins to boil slightly.
add the garlic, parsley and barley, stir to mix and bring everything to a nice simmer.

cook until the barley is soft and chewy, about 15 to 20 minutes.
serve with slices of baguette toasted with a nice sharp cheese. i like dubliner chedder or gruyere.
kids really approved: no leftovers!
Monday, November 20, 2006
  starbucks, hot cocoa, idiots
i'm putting on the asbestos suit for this one, just in case someone reads this and wants to use a flamethrower. here we have an incident similar to the hot-coffee-at-mcdonalds-burned-my-crotch story, only this time its starbucks, and it's a kid.

first, so no one thinks i'm a babyeater or anything, kids getting burned is horrible. though you'd never know it to look at me, 60% of my own body was second-degree burned when i was toddler and decided to pull an electric coffee pot down on my backside. i was lucky and was well taken care of and i have almost no visible scars to speak of.

i used to joke that as a result of that early experience with coffee i grew to hate the stuff. the truth is i love the flavor but my stomach can't handle the tannic acids and so i never acquired the java jones. but i love a good chocolate, and a hot cup of chocolate is always welcome to these lips.

ah, but then there's that whole problem i have with dairy. no fear, there's soy milk! oh, what a joy, milk from the bean of the soy!

add it all up and you get a semi-lactose intolerant dude who prefers cocoa over coffee. a perfect customer for starbucks soy hot chocolate.

here's the thing: for the last, oh, seven years or so i've had problems getting my soy hot cocoa. it isn't the soy that's the issue, nor the cocoa, no-no, it's getting a drink that actually qualifies as warm enough to call tepid, much less "hot". it became especially noticable when i moved from west to east coast where it seems the very idea of soy is like a beacon telling the baristas yo, here's another left coastie! customers in line look at me like i've just ordered my beverage be infused with flakes of titanium so that my poop sparkles. must have something to do with the fact that dairy-friendly vermont is next door and massachusians eat more ice cream per capita than any other state, but i digress.

i used to actually complain and have my cocoa sent back for reheating. i even wrote to corporate to complain because i found the problem was consistent all over the downtown area. corporate's answer was for me to give them a phone number so they could call and apologize to me personally. no thanks, just sell me what you advertise: HOT chocolate.

[super-aside: i'm deliberately ordering a non-dairy drink, why do they always offer me whipped cream? "we have to," one barista admitted, "or else we get in trouble." huh.]

so now i'm onto this story where a kid in a car seat is scalded by a hot cocoa from starbucks. let me say this, when you do get a drink that's too hot you know the minute you pick up the cup. anything hot enough to scald skin cannot be held in a paper cup without a protective sleeve. it will even gather enough steam in those plastic sippy lids that the lid is too hot. so how does a parent put one of these molten lava drinks into the hands of a kid?

i'm picturing a drive-thru window, drinks being handed over in a cardboard tray. a mother hands the drink back to her child, carefully holding it by the rim so as not to burn herself? so the kid can grab the cup? she has to be holding it along that insulated edge because that's the only way i can think that she cannot feel the heat of the drink. a drink so incredibly hot that it scalds the child's skin through it's clothes. she couldn't have done what i've seen countless other parents do -- test to make sure it wasn't too hot -- otherwise this story makes no sense.

starbucks policy is that kids drinks are cooler than regular coffee drinks, but policy or no mistakes happen. i'm sure the barista in question who made the drink has long since lost their job, whether they did overheat the drink or not. but is that really the problem here?

burn studies have shown that kids will suffer greater burn injuries, typically from scalding liquids, and at much lower temperatures than an adult would. i've read where hot tap water -- around 100 degrees -- when spilled on a fabric like fleece will both hold and retain the heat of the liquid in question to the point where it becomes like a forced exposure burn. add this all together and you get the conditions where a mild-hot liquid (to adults) can become a scalding hot liquid to a kid.

indianapolis in november can be cold. you might want to bundle a kid up in that weather, take them for a drive to starbucks for a hot cocoa. a sudden jerk out of the drive-thru window, kid spills the drink, clothes insulate the heat, kid gets scalded. these aren't necessarily the facts in the case, just a possibility.

my parents never sued the maker of the electric coffee pot for my accident. they recognized that the error was not in the manufacture of the pot itself, nor did they abdicate responsibility because there was no warning on the package indicating serious burn injury from curious toddlers. you see, my parents were of a generation that took responsibility for their own actions. at 18 months they knew i could toddle my way into all kinds of trouble and should have taken the precautions to prevent me from taking a coffee shower, but they didn't, and the medical bills (and the anxiety of burning their child) was warning enough for me and my eventual siblings.

when i was growing up we didn't have car seats giving us a false sense of security in the car. we didn't even have seatbelts in the first car my parents owned -- that hadn't become law yet. and my parents would never have given us a hot beverage in the car without the expectation that they would get spilled -- because, hey, we were kids! -- so they had to be cool enough to withstand wearing.

parents need to stop acting like idiots so they can set better examples for future generations. these parents who are suing starbucks for a cocoa drink that scalded their child need to include the car seat manufacturer for not including a stabilizing drink holder; they need to sue the clothing manufacturer for not including a large warning explaining how their fabrics might contribute to the scalding of a child with hot liquid spilled on them; they need to sue the car manufacturer for not building a car that prevents and deters accidents by not allowing the car to turn or accelerate in a manner that could lead to injury.

and they need to sue their own parents for not instilling common sense into their children before allowing them to procreate.

i have a lot of problems with starbucks, but if i were to be empaneled on a jury for this case they'd have to excuse me. starbucks gets my support here.
Sunday, November 19, 2006
  senegalese peanut butter stew
this one i stumbled onto at npr about a year ago. it was requested by my zuska, and seeing as i hadn't made it in a while i figured what the heck. but maybe i don't make this as often because it falls into the category 'do not attempt unless you have the better portion of an afternoon to make this'. okay, so maybe it only takes about 2 and a half hours. not exactly slow food, but not the 30 minute solutions i generally look for when feeding us in the evenings.

you can get the original recipe with it's story here, but this is my take with a few shortcuts.

mafe - a senegalese peanut butter stew mix together the salt, pepper and red pepper flakes, sprinkle half the mixture over both sides of the chicken pieces and set aside. prepare all the rest of the ingredients while the chicken sits.
heat the oil in a large heavy-bottomed pot to medium high. when the oil is hot add the rest of the salt and pepper mix and stir until they become fragrant (less than a minute).
place the chicken pieces in the bottom of the pot and cook until browned on both sides, about 7 minutes a side.
remove from heat and add onions, garlic and bell pepper, stir in tomato sauce and chicken broth and return to a medium heat.
once the stew reaches a slight boil, turn the flame down, drop the cabbage wedges in, cover and simmer for approximately 30 minutes.
in a small bowl combine the tomato paste, peanut butter and a cup of broth from the stew. use a whisk to make it all smooth and then pour it into the stew.
add the sweet potatoes and give the stew a good mixing, recover and let simmer for 20 to 30 minutes -- until the cabbage and sweet potatoes are cooked.
serve over rice.

if you wanted to swap out tofu for chicken i don't see the problem there. just use extra firm tofu and remove it from the pot once it's cooked, adding it at the end, just before serving.
we don't like bell peppers in this house, but they do add a nice flavor, so i keep the pieces large to enable people to fish them out and not eat them.
the peanut butter will get stuck to the bottom of the pot, so check and stir every so often.
i prefer to cut the sweet potatoes down to a small dice; they cook faster and they end up different than the 20 other times i serve sweet potatoes in a given week. (honestly, these girls of mine and their sweet potato addiction, i've eaten as much of these tubers in a year as i did in an entire lifetime before they entered my life!)
given that this is traditionally eaten by hand i would imagine that instead of rice one could use a soft flatbread or something similar.
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
  screaming "meme me!"
(that was a fun bit of wordplay i never thought i'd ever get to use)

this one comes from my zuska. she's much more tolerant of these things than i am, but this one's a nice little checklist. as with hers, mine are in bold, italics are things i'd like to try within the next decade or so, plus i added a few at the end.

01. Bought everyone in the bar a drink
02. Swam with wild dolphins
03. Climbed a mountain
04. Taken a Ferrari for a test drive
05. Been inside the Great Pyramid
06. Held a tarantula
07. Taken a candlelit bath with someone
08. Said "I love you"” and meant it
09. Hugged a tree
10. Bungee jumped
11. Visited Paris
12. Watched a lightning storm at sea
13. Stayed up all night long and saw the sun rise
14. Seen the Northern Lights
15. Gone to a huge sports game (and survived the crush afterwards)
16. Walked the stairs to the top of the leaning Tower of Pisa
17. Grown and eaten your own vegetables
18. Touched an iceberg
19. Slept under the stars
20. Changed a baby'’s diaper (x 10,000)
21. Taken a trip in a hot air balloon
22. Watched a meteor shower
23. Gotten drunk on champagne
24. Given more than you can afford to charity
25. Looked up at the night sky through a telescope
26. Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment
27. Had a food fight
28. Bet on a winning horse (won $11!)
29. Asked out a stranger
30. Had a snowball fight
31. Screamed as loudly as you possibly can
32. Held a lamb
33. Seen a total eclipse
34. Ridden a roller coaster
35. Hit a home run (junior high counts, right?)
36. Danced like a fool and not cared who was looking (alcohol was involved)
37. Adopted an accent for an entire day
38. Actually felt happy about your life, even for just a moment
39. Had two hard drives for your computer
40. Visited all 50 states
41. Taken care of someone who was drunk
42. Had amazing friends
43. Danced with a stranger in a foreign country
44. Watched wild whales
45. Stolen a sign
46. Backpacked in Europe
47. Taken a road-trip
48. Gone rock climbing
49. Midnight walk on the beach
50. Gone sky diving
51. Visited Ireland
52. Been heartbroken longer than you were actually in love
53. In a restaurant, sat at a stranger's table and had a meal with them
54. Visited Japan
55. Milked a cow
56. Alphabetized your CDs
57. Pretended to be a superhero
58. Sung karaoke
59. Lounged around in bed all day
60. Played touch football
61. Gone scuba diving
62. Kissed in the rain
63. Played in the mud
64. Played in the rain
65. Gone to a drive-in theater
66. Visited the Great Wall of China
67. Started a business
68. Fallen in love and not had your heart broken
69. Toured ancient sites
70. Taken a martial arts class
71. Played D&D for more than 6 hours straight
72. Gotten married
73. Been in a movie
74. Crashed a party
75. Gotten divorced
76. Gone without food for 5 days (extreme food poisoning will do that)
77. Made cookies from scratch
78. Won first prize in a costume contest
79. Ridden a gondola in Venice
80. Gotten a tattoo
81. Rafted the Snake River
82. Been on television news programs as an "expert"”
83. Got flowers for no reason
84. Performed on stage
85. Been to Las Vegas
86. Recorded music
87. Eaten shark
88. Kissed on the first date
89. Gone to Thailand
90. Bought a house
91. Been in a combat zone
92. Buried one/both of your parents
93. Been on a cruise ship
94. Spoken more than one language fluently (i'd like to, but i'm hopelessly monolingual)
95. Performed in Rocky Horror
96. Raised children
97. Followed your favorite band/singer on tour
99. Taken an exotic bicycle tour in a foreign country
100. Picked up and moved to another city to just start over

101. Walked the Golden Gate Bridge
102. Sang loudly in the car, and didn't stop when you knew someone was looking
103. Had plastic surgery
104. Survived an accident that you shouldn'’t have survived
105. Wrote articles for a large publication (soon!)
106. Lost over 100 pounds
107. Held someone while they were having a flashback
108. Piloted an airplane
109. Touched a stingray
110. Broken someone'’s heart
111. Helped an animal give birth
112. Won money on a T.V. game show
113. Broken a bone
114. Gone on an African photo safari
115. Had a facial part pierced other than your ears
116. Fired a rifle, shotgun, or pistol
117. Eaten mushrooms that were gathered in the wild
118. Ridden a horse
119. Had major surgery
120. Had a snake as a pet
121. Hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon
122. Slept for more than 30 hours over the course of 48 hours
123. Visited more foreign countries than U.S. states
124. Visited all 7 continents
125. Taken a canoe trip that lasted more than 2 days
126. Eaten kangaroo meat
127. Eaten sushi
128. Had your picture in the newspaper
129. Changed someone'’s mind about something you care deeply about
130. Gone back to school
131. Parasailed
132. Touched a cockroach
133. Eaten fried green tomatoes
134. Read The Iliad - and the Odyssey
135. Selected one 'important'” author who you missed in school, and read
136. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
137. Skipped all your school reunions
138. Communicated with someone without sharing a common spoken language
139. Been elected to public office
140. Written your own computer language
141. Thought to yourself that you’re living your dream
142. Had to put someone you love into hospice care
143. Built your own PC from parts
144. Sold your own artwork to someone who didn’t know you
145. Had a booth at a street fair
146. Dyed your hair
147. Been a DJ
148. Shaved your head
149. Caused a car accident
150. Saved someone's life

extra credit (i'm just curious)
151. Stayed up for more than 50 hours without the use of drugs
152. Swam from Alcatraz to San Francisco
153. Been in a bar brawl
154. Started a bar brawl
155. Ridden an elephant
156. Shoplifted an item worth more than $50
157. Streaked/skinny-dipped in front of total strangers
158. Hopped a moving train
156. Eaten an animal most people consider a house pet
159. Given a panhandler more than $5
160. Been arrested at a protest
161. Backpacked for more than a week
162. Been in the studio audience of a TV show (Real People and Hollywood Squares)
163. Deliberately not spoken aloud for more than a week
164. Received or given a lap dance for money
165. Chased a tornado
166. Driven beyond the numbers on the speedometer
167. Had an out-of-body experience while awake
168. Had someone break into your house while you were in it (2x, once in broad daylight!)
169. Touched the Berlin Wall
170. Been carjacked
171. Put a note in a bottle and tossed it into the ocean
172. Held up at knife/gunpoint
173. Dreamed something that later happened
174. Deliberately eaten insects as part of a meal
175. Cheated on an important test/exam
Monday, November 13, 2006
  oops-i-forgot-a-side-dish corn & black-eyed peas salad
for some reason i thought i'd posted this some time back, but there it is sitting in the draft file. apologies if you're getting deja vu (and hopefully not that crappy deja vu ABC is trying to ram down our throats via the "lost replacement show "day break").

like it says. zuska was planning to make her corned beef reuben sandwiches and i forgot to plan a side dish for them. she was on her way home and i had 20 minutes. i looked around the kitchen to see what we had and pulled this together.

chop the onion and place in an appropriate-sized serving bowl
add the oil and vinegar to the onions and let marinate for 10 minutes
(add parsley and bell pepper to the marinade, if using)
drain the peas in a colander
use the can to measure an equal amount of frozen corn, add to the peas and rinse together
add the corn and peas to the marinade and toss to mix
salt and pepper to taste

makes 4 servings in less than 15 minutes
kid tested and approved


believe me, the corn doesn't need to thaw first, in fact it helps chill the dish nicely for serving. obviously if you're not using immediately it can be covered in plastic and stored as long as 24 hours in the refrigerator.

i know i didn't invent this recipe, but i couldn't tell you when or where i first came across it. martha's everyday food? rachel ray? it really did have more to do with what was in the house at the time (not much) and how much time i had to prep.

i am of the opinion that this could go well atop fish tacos, but i might be alone in this
Thursday, November 09, 2006
  quesadilla triangles with corn salsa and limed sour cream (and the pumpkin soup, which sucked)
it seems like lately i've enjoyed eating things on top of other things. meatloaf on top of mashed potatoes. apple-chutney-esque on top of chops. a couple nights ago it was stuff on top of quesadilla wedges in place of cheese toasts.

earlier this week i tried this black bean and pumpkin soup recipe. it sucked. it was bland, lacking in flavor but had a curry-cumin spice that gave it an after kick. you eat something and it's kinda bland and you go eh then you get this afterburn in your throat... you should be able to enjoy both the food and the spice. i am so disappointed with this experiment that i'm not including the recipe, i'm linking to it, i'm not even going to tell you where i found it (and btw i've seen it in three different place this week, and a variation that replaced black beans with roasted corn).


with the baby food-looking soup i served up little triangles of tortillas filled with cheese and topped with a corn salsa and a limed sour cream. were it not for those little nuggets of cheesey goodness my sweet, loving family would have starved in desperation.

quesadillas with corn salsa &c. if you can find a commercially available salsa that you like -- not in a jar, which is usually cooked, but fresh stuff that's actually chunks of stuff -- by all means save yourself the trouble. otherwise you can make a quick salsa using
you toss all that in a bowl and chill at least an hour before preceding.

about 30 minutes before you're planning to serve take the salsa and the frozen corn and mix in a bowl and let sit.
heat an oven to 325 degrees.
divide the cheese equally across four of the tortillas, top with the other tortillas and set in the oven on wire racks.
in a bowl mix lime juice and cilantro. add sour cream and stir to mix.
when the tortillas have begun to brown and crisp and the cheese is all melty remove from the oven and cut into 8 triangular wedges each (32 in all!).
top each wedge with a but of corn salsa and a dollop of sour cream and serve.

kid tested and approved.
will feed 8 as an appetizer or 4 whose main dish totally sucked.
there will be leftover sour cream. it is good on baked potatoes. it is good on eggs along with the salsa.
they are addictive. especially when you are starved.
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
  a political diversion
from the desk of: karl rove
to: donalrd rumsfeld

1 november, 2006


pay very close attention to what i'm about to say, don't just toss this in the shredder with all those other memos you've received these past few years, especially those security breifings from the pentagon!

it's looking like it's going to be a squeaker this time and we're going to need a fall guy if it doesn't fall our way. dick's gonna blow another gasket on his pacemaker but w says it's your turn to fall on your sword. over your dead body, i believe you said the last time i mentioned it, but if it comes to that don't think for a moment i won't call in a few markers.

if the people want change they won't take a token. you can be damn sure the democrats have already been working the backroom and your name is at the top of their hit list. no scandals this time, we're not going to give them the satisfaction of dragging anyone through the mud. i'd start gathering evidence to destroy now.

you've seen what can happen, you remember nixon's generals, you were there. what was that, six years you were underground before reagan could reinstall you in the cabinet? we're talking two years here, two years for the party of andrew jackass to take the heat for your -- uh, our -- failures in iraq, letting us sweep back into office on '08 to "clean up their mess".

here's the deal: push comes to shove and we have to send you out on your ear we'll set you up. i'll get the RNC to siphon off some campagin funds to form an "exploratory commission" to establish our battle plan for the next election. the chair is yours, you pick the team, stay in the shadows, and we'll play keep-away from the dems in the house and the senate. you draw up the plans and we'll march once we figure out who the next figurehead's gonna be (i'm thinking santorum or allen, unless they blow it. ha ha!).

understand, no missteps. if the GOP goes down on tuesday i want you resignation on w's desk within 24 hours or i call in the special team. don't even thing of looking for dick for help -- i've got him in an undisclosed location and when he's conscious, no matter which way things go, it'll be too late for him to say anything.

as always, i've made sure this memo is on edible paper. i'm trying a new flavor this month: crow. better then that shit you've been using.


k. rove

recipes and musings on food -- and anything else for that matter -- from a guy with a sticky brain who likes food. perhaps he likes food too much.

My Photo
Location: right coast via left coast
  • slashfood
  • 101 cookbooks
  • food network
  • the food section

  • deserts
  • library thing
  • mod*mom
  • librarians' internet index
  • barnacle press
  • cinematical

  • dirty dishes
  • i'm out
  • 2 B or not 2 B
  • das Fünftel von Mai
  • days five and six
  • veggie week, day 3
  • day 2, something new (and mint pesto)
  • the experiment and the menu
  • beer & cheese & a bag of chips
  • what constitutes a national tragedy?
  • top-o-yer-corn

  • leftovers
    September 2006 / October 2006 / November 2006 / December 2006 / January 2007 / February 2007 / March 2007 / April 2007 / May 2007 / June 2007 /

    Powered by Blogger