In the grand tradition of self-delusion looking at the bright side, let’s take a look at an interesting story from today’s Free Press:

Stacy Sloan, director of culinary education at Holiday Market’s Mirepoix (mihr-PWAH) Cooking School, says that because of the dismal economy, she had expected sales for this year’s cooking classes to be flat or worse.

But the opposite has happened.

Yes, basic cooking classes at this specialty market in Royal Oak are full, mainly with students who have never cooked for themselves before, and are using the recession as a motivation to eat out less and eat in more. The other day I was stopped outside Kroger by a market researcher, who offered me $10 for a five-minute interview on video; one of her questions was whether I’m eating out less. I said not really, that one pitfall of recessionary economies is their self-perpetuation, as people curtail their spending and by doing so make the situation worse. But I certainly understand the impulse, and to the extent it gets a few more adults comfortable around knives, cutting boards and saute pans, so much the better. There’s something amusing about seeing people learn the simplest things. Last quote:

“You can start out with a roast chicken as one meal and make other meals from it,” he says.

I imagine this guy, getting this idea, bathed in pure white light. I’m glad my mother was cremated, so I can’t hear her rolling in her grave.

But seriously: Home cooking = good. I’ve been doing my nightly news-farming for three years now, and one story I’ve seen grow from nothing in that time to something that alarms even me is the contamination of the U.S. food supply. We’re under another salmonella cloud, this one from peanut butter. Here’s what I find interesting: Most super-market peanut butter is fine, provided you’re not buying in five-gallon buckets. It’s the peanut-butter products that are transported in tanker truck-size loads that are the problem, which is why the recalls are for things like those neon-orange snack crackers you buy from vending machines, and not the jar of Crunchy in your pantry.

It’s best, if you eat processed food, not to think too much about it. I think I’ve told Alan’s many entertaining stories of his college years, spent working in various food-processing plants before. What they’ve done is made him unwilling to eat certain brands of canned soup and frozen pizza. Other people I’ve known have worked everywhere from commercial dairies to candy factories, and none of them eat the stuff they used to make, either. Best line, from my ex-candy making friend: “Chocolate is the opposite of scotch. You’ve got to learn to dislike it.”

But salmonella’s only the beginning. The other day I bought a package of ground chuck for the Derringer family’s dirty little dinner secret: Family Taco Night. As it was going over the scanner I noticed a package sticker I hadn’t read: Product of U.S.A., Canada and Mexico. Ewww. (I made sure that stuff was well-frickin’-done, believe me.) Globalization and open markets mean your supermarket snack cake may be made from ingredients gathered around the world, many in countries where food-safety regulation is, um, flexible. How did melamine get into the food supply? Chinese entrepreneurs found it raised protein levels while costing less than actual protein, with poisoning being merely an unfortunate side effect. This sort of corner-cutting is an established business practice in the Asian economy. Bon appetit.

I see Mark Bittman has a new book out, and unlike the more abrasive Michael Pollan and elitist Alice Waters, he seems to have an actual understanding of how average Americans actually live their lives. The diet he advocates — less crap, more plants — is one most people can manage, if they have rudimentary cooking skills. To the extent these classes are helping make that happen, huzzah.

I’m off to learn Final Cut Pro — be there soon, Rob — so here’s a bit o’ bloggage:

I see quite a few snarkers took note of Dick Cheney’s wheelchair and made the usual jokes, most of them about Dr. Strangelove. They’ve got it all wrong. This is the cultural reference you’re looking for:


Rich jerk suicide watch: Another one, this one a so-called Celtic Tiger. Tigers elsewhere call him a pussy denounce him as unworthy of big cat-hood.

What do you get when you knock on the door of a house with a “fresh coons” sign in the yard? Why, you get a recipe:

“You soak him in vinegar and water, soak it four, five hours, and that get the wild game taste out of it. After that you cut him up just like you cut up a rabbit, then you preboil it about a half-hour, let the water jump about a half-hour, then take him out, put him in a pan like that, get your seasoning on, then you put him in the oven, just like you do a roast.”

Yes, folks, it’s another gem from Detroitblog. (BTW, I can’t tell you how many reporters of my acquaintance would have failed to write down the best line of that passage — “let the water jump about a half-hour.” Poetry.)

It’s the first day of the rest of the Obama administration. Mark it however you will.

Posted at 9:46 am in Current events, Detroit life, Popculch |

58 responses to “Byproducts.”

  1. Dorothy said on January 21, 2009 at 9:56 am

    I blinked and re-read that recipe to make sure I had really seen “let the water jump about a half hour.” You’re right – poetry!! Excellent visualization job there by the author. But it’s not tempting me to try a ‘coon dish any time soon.

    An alternative to Family Taco Night: baked enchiladas. They are the bomb! I use Old El Paso canned enchilada sauce and the instructions are on there. We just had them on Sunday and then enjoyed the leftovers last night. Mmmmm, good. With sour cream on the side.

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  2. coozledad said on January 21, 2009 at 10:07 am

    I wonder how long it’ll be before possum is back on the menu in most households. They’re plentiful, nutritious, and everywhere. It’s probably the only animal, however, that Knorr and Maggi haven’t made into a boullion cube.

    I’m still looking for some cane rat cubes to hand out as Christmas gifts. I understand it’s one of the world’s favorite flavors.

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  3. MichaelG said on January 21, 2009 at 10:13 am

    How ’bout a frittata? Chop and saute whatever you got, or whatever you feel like, throw in as many beaten eggs as you need, when set sprinkle some green onions and Parmigiano-Reggiano on top and stick in the broiler. Quick, feeds as many or as few as you want and yummy. A nice salad, some sour dough or other good bread and a nice glass of wine. Terif dinner. Maybe I’ll do that tonight.

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  4. jcburns said on January 21, 2009 at 10:17 am

    Be sure to have your FCP trainer show you how you can have your own little custom buttons perched just above the timeline for things like snap to grid, link selection, and so on. I say that because my entire contribution to “home cooking = good” is to agree, with my mouth full. Sammy made a feast of vegetables last night…brussels sprouts, chard, sweet potatoes, beets to go with dijon chicken and, for want of a better description, apple pie without the crust. That’s cobbler, right?

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  5. Kirk said on January 21, 2009 at 10:20 am

    What about brussels sprouts has made them trendy? Nothing has changed my mind that they’re god-awful.

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  6. Catherine said on January 21, 2009 at 10:25 am

    The trouble with cooking classes is the disconnect between what they want to teach me to cook, and what I want to eat. I am trying to eat farther down the food chain — more veggies, beans and tofu. They want to teach me lamb and shallots with pomegranate molasses.

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  7. coozledad said on January 21, 2009 at 10:28 am

    Brussels sprouts are okay as a side, but you need a heavy sauce to mask some of the bitterness. You also want to eat them in the warmer months, when they’re fresh, and you have the luxury of being able to go outdoors to fart.
    The gas they produce will remove the most stubborn finishes from old furniture.

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  8. Gasman said on January 21, 2009 at 10:52 am

    As long as the ‘coons are fresh. Nuthin’ worse than stale ‘coons.

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  9. Jason T. said on January 21, 2009 at 11:14 am

    I’m so glad I’m not the only one who thought of Lionel Barrymore when I saw Cheney in that wheelchair.

    I wanted Obama to run down the steps, saying “Merry Christmas, United States! Merry Christmas, you wonderful old U.S. Capitol! Merry Christmas, Mr. Cheney!”

    And Cheney could have shaken his cane and snarled, “And happy new year to you, Barack Obama … in jail!”

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  10. Sue said on January 21, 2009 at 11:38 am

    No intention to hijack this thread, but NN seems the most logical place to find this information: does anyone know where I can find a list of the executive powers that came into effect under Bush that Obama now has access to? I’ve checked around but I must not be using the right keywords. Just for future reference – this comes under the heading of “knowing what I’m talking about” when I make a point in the next four – eight years.

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  11. deb said on January 21, 2009 at 11:46 am

    i heard a dj this morning liken cheney to mr. potter, too. and i loved seeing poppy in that “great white north” cap.

    read the reference to the celtic tiger’s sister being van morrison’s partner…and realized “tupelo honey” was playing on my radio. THAT was weird.

    re possum and such, i highly recommend the tome “white trash cooking”; it has recipes for possum, rabbit, cooter (turtle), crawdads and so much more. a tip from Aunt Donnah’s Roast Possum recipe: “There’s only one thing to serve possum with — sweet potatoes. You only eat possum in winter.”

    now you know.

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  12. Carter said on January 21, 2009 at 11:46 am

    I’ve taken to getting an inexpensive cut of beef from Costco, Choice grade, don’t you know, and grinding it at home with an old iron counter-mount meat grinder. I like the idea of my ground chuck coming from a single source rather than an amalgam of meat from many animals extruded onto a foam tray. And of course you can use your Kitchenaid or Cuisinart to hasten matters.

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  13. jeff borden said on January 21, 2009 at 12:00 pm

    I wonder if we shouldn’t reintroduce some basic home economics courses at the junior and/or senior high level, particularly for males. As a pampered son –I was responsible for yard work, garage and basement cleanings, etc. but never laundry or cooking– I had no idea how to make much more than a sandwich when I started out. And I ruined more than a few loads of clothes by not separating whites and colors.

    Like a lot of guys, I finally have mastered a few dishes –probably not more than a dozen– but some training in the kitchen would have served me very well.

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  14. MichaelG said on January 21, 2009 at 12:03 pm

    I’ve been grinding my own burgers with my Kitchenaid for years. A mixture of chuck and back ribs gives just the right blend. I look for what’s in the used meat section and buy on sale. The fresh burgers go in the freezer. I do my own fries from real potatos as well. I started making butter a few weeks ago. I’m not saving any money doing it but it sure is good. It’s amazing how simple and quick all this stuff is. I can work in the kitchen on a Sunday afternoon, smoke a cigar, sip some wine and watch the football game. Multitasking to the max. A single guy seems to have more time on his hands.

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  15. Gasman said on January 21, 2009 at 12:13 pm


    “I look for what’s in the used meat section…”

    Ewww! What was the meat used for?

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  16. LA Mary said on January 21, 2009 at 12:33 pm

    By used meat do you mean the stuff with the markdown stickers? I buy that stuff too, and it’s fine. I don’t know if Fresh and Easy has made its way to your part of the world, but they do markdowns around 6 pm, at least 50% off, sometimes a lot more. I’ve scored big chuck roasts for 3 dollars, packages of 8 chicken thighs for 2 bucks and change. I’ve never had any problems with quality and we’ve built some great suppers.

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  17. jcburns said on January 21, 2009 at 12:47 pm

    Kirk, I hated—HATED—brussels sprouts as a child, but I’ve come to understand that what I was served by my well-meaning 1960s mom was some sort of overcooked glop posing as the real thing. Here’s Sammy’s blog photo from about a year ago showing what they look like when we buy them fresh (and cheap!) at the DeKalb Farmers Market. Their delicate cabbage-y ness speaks to my Polish heritage. And, I must hasten to add, I am at heart a white-bread guy from Ohio with little sense of food nuance…but Sam’s a good influence.

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  18. Jen said on January 21, 2009 at 12:49 pm

    I’ve really gotten out of the home-cooking routine since I now work a part-time job on top of my full-time job. When cooking duty falls to me, I like to pop a bag of Bertolli in the skillet or one of the Birdseye Steamfresh dinners in the microwave and be done with it.

    Luckily my husband’s parents are both good cooks and passed on some great recipes for him, and he is the main cook in our house! I am a lucky, lucky woman.

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  19. beb said on January 21, 2009 at 12:53 pm

    You can Bush for all the poisoned food. He didn’t think we needed food inspectors.

    Atrios wrote “who let Potter in” which at the time made me think ‘Harry Potter’, which made no sense. The Potter from “It’s a Wonderful Life”, now that makes sense. There was a strange picture around a year ago when Bush was giving a presser in the Rose Garden and Cheney was standing off to one side staring at Bush strangely. That would mind people of Dr. Strangelove.

    Kirk asks what with the Brussel Sprouts. Mom served them when I was a kid so I gre up liking them. I think she steamed them then smoothered them with cheese sauce. My sister-in-law started serving them as family parties cut in half and sauted with vinegar. I’m sure there’s more to it than that because it tastes delicious.

    What’s funny it learning that brussel sprouts, broccolia and a couple more veggies as all mutated cabbage. Of course I like cabbage to begin with ‘it’s all good’ ™

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  20. David H said on January 21, 2009 at 1:01 pm

    I used to loathe Brussels sprouts until a friend prepared them for me thusly: cut them in half longitudinally and steam them. Toss them with lemon juice, melted butter, red grapes, and toasted pine nuts. It was also the first time I ever ate them where they were bought fresh, my mother always served them from frozen packages; fresh Brussels sprouts are completely different from processed.

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  21. Connie said on January 21, 2009 at 1:12 pm

    I’ve had those delicious brussel sprouts a few times, had bad and bitter far more often.

    I once went to a group dinner being served by a ladies aide in a southern Indiana Lutheran church, and was served what was described to me as Mrs. Something’s home grown home canned succotash. Containing the most delicious lima beans I have ever tasted, they are now my holy grail of lima beans.

    Reminds of a favorite billboard: Butter: the lima bean’s only friend.

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  22. Dorothy said on January 21, 2009 at 1:24 pm

    When I was dating Mike his mom served brussel sprouts and I had never had them before. I could not bring myself to eat them. All I could think of was they looked like what frog’s eyeballs must look like outside the body. But Dave, your friend’s recipe sounds tempting. I’ll have Mike cook some this summer – fresh only of course. (Mike is the go-to person in our household to make the best dishes.)

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  23. Rana said on January 21, 2009 at 1:34 pm

    Mmm… brussels sprouts – I like them, at least when they are small and fresh. (They become more bitter as they grow.) However, I also like lima beans, and cabbage, and beets, so take that endorsement as you will.

    We are huge Mark Bittman fans in this house; we have all of his books, and they’ve replaced Joy and Moosewood for all but baked goods and a few old standards. What we both like about his recipes is that they are unfussy yet tasty; we’ve yet to cook something from his books that didn’t turn out delicious. (The roast root vegetable recipe is particularly easy and yummy.)

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  24. MichaelG said on January 21, 2009 at 1:51 pm

    Of course by “used meat section” I mean the mark downs. We’ve just always called it that. Bread too.

    Fresh & Easy was scheduled to open a half dozen stores in Sacto in 2009 including one about three blocks from my house but they’ve deferred everything because of the depression. Darn.

    I like b. sprouts. There are a lot of good ways to cook them. I’ve never had the frozen variety.

    The first time I flew into Brussels, as we left the airport I was looking all around for the sign. “Welcome to Brussels – Home of the Sprouts”. Still haven’t found it.

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  25. alex said on January 21, 2009 at 1:56 pm

    Thanks for the tip, Rana. I tried to grow some a couple of years ago. By November the plants were producing but the sprouts were really small. I assumed they were supposed to be the size of Birdseye frozen, so I waited for them to mature further, but they never did. By mid to late December I harvested them and they were inedible.

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  26. Kirk said on January 21, 2009 at 2:17 pm

    I tried them in the late ’50s way Mom made them and then tried them again a few decades later, prepared by a woman who really knows how to cook her veggies. Still didn’t like them, so I’ve crossed them off my list.

    But seriously, brussels sprouts suddenly are showing up on menus in cool restaurants, and I read a lot more about them on the food wire (which I watch very closely). Has the Brussels Sprouts Growers Alliance been putting on a full-court press or, like everything else, is this just a cycle?

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  27. LA Mary said on January 21, 2009 at 2:24 pm

    My kids LOVE brussels sprouts. We steam them and eat them with malt vinegar. I have no explanation of this other than I love brussels sprouts and we’ve always eaten them at least once a week.

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  28. moe99 said on January 21, 2009 at 2:46 pm

    It’s the way that you prepare brussels sprouts that determines whether they are bitter or not. Steaming and baking them are good ways. I’ll post a recipe from a very good cook in a bit after I’m off the phone on a conference call for work.

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  29. Dexter said on January 21, 2009 at 4:43 pm

    for Pilot Joe

    ‘ ‘ ‘

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  30. moe99 said on January 21, 2009 at 4:44 pm

    wrt to the myth that the New Deal prolonged the Depression:

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  31. Dexter said on January 21, 2009 at 4:58 pm

    Well I say “hogwash!” to learning to dislike chocolate! In 1968 I worked for the old Kraft factory in Kendallville, IN.
    My job was panning candy, mostly hot caramel, the delicious Kraft Carmels we all know.
    The candy would be tempered and eventually cut into those little cubes.
    I began grabbing a swirl of the wonderful stuff and eating it just before lunch break. It killed my appetite for the burgers and fries and crap like that I used to eat.
    I lost thirty pounds in 4 months.
    I still love those caramels, but rarely eat them anymore.

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  32. Dexter said on January 21, 2009 at 5:07 pm

    Old time Fort residents will remember the old Wayne Candies plant on Anthony. In 1971 I was attending the school-in-the-overflow-trailers at the north end of that boulevard , needed cash, and applied there. They had a job, it was stacking boxes off an assembly line. I did not get the job, because I was told I was “overqualified”. Yes, my friends, they actually told me that.
    Like the beefy bastard at the unemployment office where I signed up for any kind of work available and was told “they need brains, not backs—stay in school”, it was yet another way to figuratively “spit” on a war veteran. Screw those guys…I just had to keep looking, and found work in the shipping office of a little factory . We all have our disappointments.

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  33. moe99 said on January 21, 2009 at 5:24 pm

    Heating time may vary depending on your oven:

    Set the oven at 400. Wash and cut the sprouts in half lengthwise. Toss with olive oil and chopped garlic in a bowl, and spread in a glass baking dish in one layer, salt and pepper, and bake for about 40 to 60 minutes or until tender and the outer leaves start turning brown. Toss around halfway through cooking. Variations = sprinkle with grated lemon zest, dried or fresh thyme, or both.

    The roasting takes away the bitterness and converts much of the carbs in the sprouts to sugar. They are sweet and savory.

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  34. Dexter said on January 21, 2009 at 5:35 pm

    Coons. When I was a kid our neighbor worked as a fireman on the RR. He would shoot racoons and prepare the carcasses for shipping by salting them and whatever else he had to do…then he packed them in a nondescript box with dry-ice and took them with him on his runs to Chicago where he sold them to locals. He did this for years, always sold them all, could have sold more if he had had the time to shoot more ‘coons and transport them in something other than a train engine compartment!

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  35. Catherine said on January 21, 2009 at 5:46 pm

    One summer I lived about 2 blocks from the Necco factory. You could always smell it when they were making the famous Necco wafers. No amount of that smell ever spoiled my appetite for those delicious little guys.

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  36. Rana said on January 21, 2009 at 6:20 pm

    I remember when I lived in Northfield; I could always tell when the wind was from the northeast, because then the whole place smelled like Malt-O-Meal. Here the three dominant scents, depending on wind and location, are dog food, cookies, and potatoes.

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  37. Julie Robinson said on January 21, 2009 at 6:27 pm

    Worked at a Dairy Queen for a summer job. Never, never lost the urge for ice cream. And peanut buster parfaits. Oh dear Lord in heaven.

    All is right with the world: Obama is President and our daughter is home for a week. Two very good days.

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  38. LA Mary said on January 21, 2009 at 6:35 pm

    I used to live in Golden, Colorado and it always smelled like beer.

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  39. Colleen said on January 21, 2009 at 6:49 pm

    I did an interview today with Lynne Rossetto Kasper, host of public radio’s “The Splendid Table”, and she has a wonderful quote, the essence of which is that Americans are really concerned with eating healthily, but get their food from companies that couldn’t care less about how good the food actually is.

    I was watching a show on Style called “Ruby”, about the struggles of a morbidly obese woman (think 400 lbs) as she tries to lose weight. And in one episode, she takes a cooking lesson because “I can’t cook”. I thought that said an awful lot.

    Eeuw on the multicultural hamburger.

    I used to live in Garden City Kansas, home to BOTH huge feedlots AND processing plants. Made for interesting aromas.

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  40. Bill said on January 21, 2009 at 7:11 pm

    I’ve been using portion-controlled food from Seattle Sutton’s Healthy Eating. Their brussels sprouts are terrific. We visited some out-of-town relatives in southern Illinois last week and foolishly ordered those little “hedge balls” in a restaurant. Oh. My. God. Mush beyond measure.

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  41. Colleen said on January 21, 2009 at 7:35 pm

    I did SSHE for awhile. Found the food really tasty, for the most part.

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  42. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on January 21, 2009 at 7:47 pm

    Moe beat me to roasting as the cure for what ails brussels sprouts. That’s the ticket.

    If you’re interested in the sermon at the National Prayer Service this morning (i know, i just lost three-fourths of y’all), you can find a link to a pdf of the text as prepared or video of the message as delivered at

    Yes, i’m very proud of Rev. Watkins — she got Cherokee wisdom, Third Isaiah, and the Big Guy by way of Matthew all in a message that also tapped MLK, Gandhi, and Obama his own self all in a tight, neat, simple package. Preaching lives! Go ahead, give it a read. Chris Matthews reminded me on this pm’s Hardball that he is getting increasingly incoherent on any subject, so he may be ideally suited for a Senate run.

    (Jason T. — i nominate your comment for “post of the week”!)

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  43. basset said on January 21, 2009 at 8:23 pm

    Mrs. Basset used to be an inspector in a potato-chip factory, does that count?

    I worked one summer in an egg-processing plant down in Daviess County – we’d bring in truckloads of eggs in the shell, feed them to the cracking & separating machines, freeze the result in five-gallon cans, and sell to food manufacturers.

    One of our more interesting sidelines was processing rotten eggs for pet food. Imagine a semi-truck backing up to the dock, loaded with skids stacked head-high with one-gallon plastic tubs full of shelled rotten eggs, dyed pink so we didn’t confuse ’em with the human food.

    Processing involved emptying the tubs into a slowly rotating screen-wire cylinder which strained the solids out and let the slime drip through. Loading, unloading, and finally cleaning this device was quite interesting – I used to come home late at night, wash off with the yard hose outside, and hang my overalls on the fence before I could come inside to shower.

    MichaelG, if you would, tell us more about grinding burger beef with your food processor. We have a little Sunbeam “Oscar” that we got as a wedding present in 1981 and it’s still crankin’ – used it tonight to make hummus. Don’t think we’ve ever used the chute and the disk, though, just the blades.

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  44. Deborah said on January 21, 2009 at 9:14 pm

    Regarding the poetry from yesterday , Praise song for the day – Elizabeth Alexander: I seem to be in the minority of people apparently who actually enjoyed the work. From Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson on through e e cummings, Robert Frost, William Carlos Williams, Wallace Stevens and, today, Richard Wilbur, Robert Haas, Mark Strand and (yes) Bob Dylan, American poets have struck a new line of plain-spokenness with everyday cadences, sketchy grammar, jolts and chance collage rhythms.
    For me her best line was something like: They laid the bricks to build the office towers that they could then go and work inside of. That is moving. it reminded me of something my immigrant German Grandfather used to say when the weather was particularly stormy, “it’s a good thing houses are hollow tonight”.

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  45. alex said on January 21, 2009 at 9:45 pm

    When I lived in Chicago, I’d occasionally get a candified whiff from the west that would grow progressively stronger until around Kedzie—I think that was the street—if you went west on Irving or Montrose. Right by Lane Tech High School, anyway. Jello Pudding factory I was always told. Also used to work for Cotter & Co. (later TruServ Corp.) which was the parent company of True Value Hardware, which used to be located next to a Vienna Beef plant between Clybourn and Damen right where they come together at an angle. Now that was some funky smog. Olfactory memories. Used to think there was a smell peculiar to neighborhood convenience stores and couldn’t quite figure it out. Now that Fort Wayne has a homeless problem, I know exactly what that smell is, and it ain’t the stores.

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  46. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on January 21, 2009 at 10:01 pm

    Ah, Vienna Beef and poppy seed rolls — no ketchup (that’s for out of towners who don’t appreciate a fine hot dog). Mustard, relish, and really fresh onions.

    Mmmm . . . too late for eating, darn it.

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  47. moe99 said on January 21, 2009 at 10:03 pm

    Read Rev. Watkins’ sermon and I thought it was well done. But she’s calling for lots of things that fit into the Obama agenda, that socialist Marxist. And I don’t think that these are things that you all agree with, Jeff tmmo. Or at least, your political support seems to be at a variance with it.

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  48. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on January 21, 2009 at 10:20 pm

    Oh, there’s the short term, day to day political steps, and there’s the ultimate kingdom agenda — i’ll admit, the Beloved Community, in the fullness of time, looks pretty Trotskyite. It’s a creative tension! (And as my wife can confirm, that’s where i live.)

    And respect for the broader community expressions of Islam and Judaism and Hinduism (ok, i’m a Hoosier boy, and i’m not sure about letting cattle roam freely, but still), let alone Buddhism — i’m pretty un-evangelical that way. But i’d rather someone were sincerely Tibetan Buddhist than aimlessly civil religiony American christian-lite, and am not terribly moved to try to convert such — a cultural Tibetan who is mainly fearful of demonic forces i’ll preach to, and Jesus is the only name i know that way.

    But i have a Biblical argument that largely negates Hell (it’s called Sheol, and it isn’t what you think it is, unless you think Dante was divinely inspired, which he wasn’t, delightful man that he was), so i’m not motivated by the same set of issues that propels Rick Warren, even if i can respect the integrity of his views in their own framework. Click my blog the next few weeks to watch me try to engage our local evangelicals on the faithfulness of Charles Darwin — like i said, creative tension is my preferred shortest path between two points.

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  49. Joe Kobiela said on January 21, 2009 at 11:34 pm

    Dexter thanks for the picture, pretty cool,
    When I was in high school I worked on a dairy farm, south of Garrett, Fresh silage has to be one of the best smell there is. Like fresh cut hay only better, anyone ever had hot chocolate on a cold morning made with really fresh milk?? unbelievably good.
    Pilot Joe

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  50. moe99 said on January 22, 2009 at 12:55 am

    Here’s a cold and flu alert: Remember Airborne? Well it settled a multistate consumer protection lawsuit recently with a large number of states for hyping its efficacy.

    I guess there still is no cure for the common cold. But, please, stay home and don’t infect the rest of us. I did for four days last week.

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  51. Dexter said on January 22, 2009 at 1:05 am

    Silage! Great childhood memories of making silage when I was a little kid. Filling that silo was a great day, a festive atmosphere around the old farm of my grandparents.

    I live in Bryan, Ohio, home of Spangler Candy Company, which is home of the Dum Dum sucker. When they cook candy, it’s a heavenly scent that perfumes most of the town.

    Living just twenty-some miles from The Fort as a kid, I was raised on Wayne Bun candy bars, and they were the best.

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  52. CrazyCatLady-Mrs.Beb said on January 22, 2009 at 1:35 am

    Beb loves these Easy Brussle Sprouts —-Cut thawed or fresh sprouts into halves, saute in a pan with olive oil and chopped fresh garlic. Add a few tablespoons of lemon juice (to taste) and cover. Cook a few minutes till tender, uncover and allow liquid to reduce, and let sprouts brown a bit. Sprinkle with salt. For extra flavor, add Rosemary to taste during saute. Serve with butter if desired. So yummy.—Mrs.Beb

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  53. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on January 22, 2009 at 8:32 am

    Silage – brussels sprouts – we have a connection going on here.

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  54. basset said on January 22, 2009 at 8:57 am

    Never made silage, but I have done my share of detasseling. Builds character.

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  55. MichaelG said on January 22, 2009 at 9:01 am

    The Dum Dum sucker. We got a lotta them around Sacto.

    The Hills Bros coffee plant used to be located on the Embarcadero in San Francisco right under the Bay Bridge. Motorists approaching the City were welcomed by the wonderful smell of roasting coffee.

    It’s a crime to put ketchup on hot dogs. Brown mustard, onions, maybe some kraut, Ummm.

    Halve or quarter your petite choux (see, they taste better already). Throw them in the pan with some chopped pancetta and a bit of olive oil. When it looks right, add some chicken stock, not too much, and cook it down. There you go. Hedge balls. I love it.

    I don’t use a food processor to make burgers, Bassett. I use a KitchenAid with a meat grinder attachment. A grinder forces meat through a screen and a food processor chops it up. They’re two different things. I’ve never had (to my knowledge) a burger made in a food processor, but it ought to work. When we split my wife got the Cuisinart, I got the mixer. All I can say is try it. Put on a game or some music, pour yourself a glass of wine and experiment in the kitchen. You’ll mostly come up with something pretty decent, now and again there will be a disaster and occasionally you’ll surprise yourself with a masterpiece. Lemme know how the burger turns out.

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  56. Julie Robinson said on January 22, 2009 at 9:18 am

    We have made ground beef in our Sunbeam food processor, circa 1979. It has a much more powerful motor than what most have today, except Cuisinarts. You have to be careful not to end up with mush, and the texture is finer than what you buy in the store. But it’s a good alternative.

    Another alternative, for when you are making chili or the like is TVP, texturized vegetable protein. Just rehydrate and mix it in and it takes the flavor of whatever you’re cooking. I wouldn’t use it for taco night though. Pick it up at your local food coop.

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  57. LA Mary said on January 22, 2009 at 1:22 pm

    You can use that meat grinder attachment on the kitchenaid to make your own sausage as well.

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  58. basset said on January 22, 2009 at 10:12 pm

    oh… I thought a KitchenAid WAS a food processor.

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