Good country cookin’.

Gourmet magazine has a recipe this month for homemade ketchup, and Alan asked if I’d be making any. Short answer: No. But it reminded me I already have a cookbook with a homemade-ketchup recipe, and for the first time in years, I dug out the Southside Farmers Market cookbook, published as a fundraiser for Fort Wayne’s market in 2001.

When I left town, the market wasn’t exactly dying, but every year it got a little sadder to visit. The old stalwarts who kept it going were well past retirement age, and the locavore movement hadn’t caught on yet. When I asked people whether they visited, most said they didn’t, citing the usual reasons — convenience, distance. Sometimes they said they wouldn’t buy lettuce fresh from the farm when you could get it cheaper at the Wal-Mart Super Center; these folks I wrote off as missing the point. A few talked vaguely about it being “so far away,” and sometimes they were and sometimes I sensed what they were really saying is, “But it’s in a black neighborhood!” These folks I also wrote off. But I told everyone they were missing something, that you could find the best tomatoes and corn and melons and all the rest of it. I still miss Cherry Day in June, when a guy drove a truckload of frozen cherries up from southern Indiana. He sold one unit — 25 pounds of pitted tart cherries mixed with five pounds of sugar and frozen in a five-gallon bucket. I waited until it thawed enough to handle, then broke everything down into one-quart bags and put it all back into the freezer, and had enough to eat cherry pie all year long. There’s nothing like that in Detroit. Dammit.

Anyway, the cookbook had not one but three ketchup recipes, all aimed at the home canner; one calls for 15 pounds of tomatoes, which suggests you’ll be giving the condiments aisle a pass for a good long while. But I spent some time going over the rest of it as well, and realized it was a mistake to leave it on the shelf so long.

Cookbooks are all products of their time. Auguste Escoffier may have been the modern father of French cuisine, but who makes his recipes anymore? Who has time? Even Julia Child’s original recipes seem slightly ridiculous; in “My Kitchen Wars” I remember Betty Fussell talking about making a roast encrusted in Swiss cheese or something. Veal Prince Orloff is mostly remembered as a punchline in a Mary Tyler Moore episode.

Times change, technologies change, one day you look up and you can get fresh lemongrass and Mexican tomatillas in your local supermarket, spring mix year-round, so you know, you have to have ideas on how to use them that match.

But these sorts of cookbooks aren’t getting perused by Ruth Reichl, which is why I love them. They’re the collected wisdom of hundreds of Hoosier cooks handed down to their daughters, who might change them a little or a lot, and hand them down some more.

Face it, some should have been dropped along the way, like the Braunschweiger Ball, which is you-know-what mixed with onion soup mix (I guess because a soft, subtle flavor like Braunschweiger needs a little kick in the pants) and formed into a ball, after which it’s covered with a mixture of cream cheese and Miracle Whip (I guess because, you know, there’s just not enough fat in it to make it satisfying otherwise).

But there’s also a recipe for dandelion wine, although where I might find a quart of dandelion blossoms I’m not sure. Beyond that, the ingredients are one orange, three pounds of sugar, one sliced lemon and one cake of yeast. Hmm. There’s also something called Russian Tea, which calls for Tang, powdered instant tea, powdered lemonade mix, cinnamon, cloves and sugar. Mix all the powders and make it one cup at a time. Again: Hmm.

There’s a fair amount of the sort of country cooking that would disappoint Alice Waters, food like the Amish make, with canned this and dehydrated that, and if you don’t like it, see what you feel like making after you’ve spent an entire day in back-breaking labor, either in the field or at the factory. Dump Cake, Oreos layered with Cool Whip, that sort of thing. But there’s also a beet-apple puree that looks worthy of “The Splendid Table” if not Chez Panisse, and I may make it myself in the fall. There are quite a lot of cabbage recipes, which remind me I like cabbage and should do more with it. I wasn’t surprised to find the fish chapter is very short, only six recipes, five of which call for canned tuna or salmon. Indiana is far from any ocean.

And then there’s Impossible Pie:

I cup sugar
4 eggs
2 cups milk
1/2 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup melted butter
1/2 cup coconut

Put all ingredients into blender for 30 seconds. Pour into 9 inch pie pan and bake for one hour at 375 degrees. Makes its own crust, filling and topping. Easy! Enjoy!

I’m tempted.

What’s your favorite countrified recipe?

And how was your weekend? We saw “Up,” in 3D. Once again, I’m reminded there are two ways to make “family” entertainment. One is the Rugrats/Dreamworks way, which is to sprinkle the script with pop-culture references that kids don’t get and adults do, which I’ve always thought was cheap and snarky and ultimately reminds you how much you don’t want to be there.

The other is the Pixar way — to write outstanding stories that appeal to every person in the audience, to tug the adults toward their children and children toward their parents, and then do them completely sincerely, without irony, and with the highest possible technical standards. That’s “Up,” in a nutshell. Not my favorite (that would be “Ratatouille,” which had me in tears at the reading of Anton Ego’s restaurant review), but they are all so uniformly wonderful trying to rank them is just a waste of time.

This is also the first movie I’ve seen to use 3D as a way to enhance the visual experience, rather than as a gimmick. Nothing is flung toward the viewer, there are no gotcha shots, there’s nothing that, when you see it on your own TV in six months, will make you think, “What were they going for with that one?” It’s just visual artistry, pure and simple. My kind of guys.

Manic Monday commences in five, four, three, etc. Have a good one.

Posted at 8:39 am in Movies, Same ol' same ol' |

99 responses to “Good country cookin’.”

  1. jcburns said on June 8, 2009 at 8:49 am

    Mmmm…ketchup, nectar of the gods…official condiment of my home state. Is there nothing you can’t do? (although these days, I prefer the stuff without the high fructose corn syrup.)

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  2. Linda said on June 8, 2009 at 9:04 am

    So timely to me that you write about cookbooks. I just got “Well Preserved” by Eugenia Bone, which has foodie type stuff (including how to make your own bacon, sans nitrites). But it’s fun and inviting, not preachy, like Barbara Kingsolver tends to be.

    I’ve got to tell you my favorite new lower-cal recipe that would make foodies faint, and it’s insanely simple. Chocolate muffins: take a box of cake mix, throw in a can of 15 oz pumpkin, maybe a tbs. or so of water, pour into 12 muffin tins, and follow the cupcake directions on the box. That’s it. They are wonderful.

    And another thought about Amish food: how much fancy stuff would you have if you had no electricity to run a fridge? Chew on that.

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  3. velvet goldmine said on June 8, 2009 at 9:13 am

    Oh, food. Like I can confine myself to one point on that topic:

    — When I was selling herbal jellies at the farmer’s markets, and an older woman gave me a recpe for Queen Anne’s Lace jelly, which involves making a floral infusion with hot water, then adding sugar, pectin and orange extract. I haven’t tried it yet, but I did do an internet search and found a few country places selling it, including one where I had my honeymoom — Prince Edward Island.

    — You know, I’ve had that Russian Tea — don’t know how, don’t know when, but I certainly remember the Tang.

    — I always scoop up the local Grange and Rotary Club cookbooks whenever we go to a local fest, and they often have the variation of the dump salad, dump soup, dump pie, dump Jello mold…. They’re quite fun and somewhat instructive to people who are so intimidated by cooking that they feel if they don’t have the exact ingredients, in exact amounts, added in an exact sequence, it will blow up like a chemistry experiment. In fact, I had $5 to spend at the grocery store the other day and went to the condemned food shelf and bought a series of dented cans, from hideous day-glo mac&cheese to seemingly clashing kinds of soups, beans, diced tomatoes and other veggies, mixed them with some chicken stock I miraculously had in the freezer, and got hailed as a gourmet by enthusiastic, clueless kids. It was right out of a 70s Better Homes and Gardens feature.

    — I could go on, of course.

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  4. Peter said on June 8, 2009 at 9:22 am

    We saw “Up” over the weekend as well – I’ll admit that I cried during the vignette of Elly and Carl, but my wife caught something: when the dog with the translater collar says “I just met you but I love you – SQUIRREL!” my wife said that why would he say that, as there aren’t any squirrels in Venezuela…

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  5. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on June 8, 2009 at 9:44 am

    On reading the Braunschweiger Ball recipe, my cholesterol count in LDL terms went up 30% — thanks. But i’d like to think a few sips of dandelion wine would cut that back.

    Instead of cooking, tho’, this post is making me want to go pull Ray Bradbury off the shelf. Last year i got to fill the pulpit at the church here in town this same week, and had ’em put on the signboard “A Taste of Dandelion Wine” for the sermon title. To my great pleasure, the bookshop on Broadway sold half a dozen copies in the next couple weeks, and it would please me to think they weren’t all folks who attended the service.

    But the actual substance of dandelion wine i’ve never had that wasn’t more than a touch bitter.

    Anyone heard buzz on “Julie and Julia”? Even my non-cooking wife has said she wants to see that after i gave a thumbnail descrip of the book’s “plot.”

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  6. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on June 8, 2009 at 9:48 am

    Oh, from the “Tree of Life” website — see *

    Geographic Distribution

    Squirrels are a geographically cosmopolitan family of rodents, found in a wide variety of habitats throughout the major land masses except Madagascar, Australia, New Zealand and Antarctica. Most species of the subfamily Callosciurinae are distributed throughout the Indomalaya ecozone, consisting of India and Southeast Asia. Ground squirrels and marmots in subfamily Xerinae are distributed among the Nearctic, Palearctic, Indomalaya and Afrotropic regions, with the highest concentration in the Nearctic region (North America).

    Tree squirrels, of Sciurinae, are concentrated mostly in North and South America*, with very few species located in Japan and in regions of the Middle East. Flying squirrels, also of subfamily Sciurinae, are found generally in the Indomalaya region, in addition to Russia, Japan and China. The giant squirrels in subfamily Ratufinae are limited to the Eastern hemisphere, recorded only in Indomalaya and the Palearctic, and Sciurillinae, the neotropical pygmy squirrels, exist only in the Neotropic region of South America (Wilson and Reeder 1993).

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  7. Dorothy said on June 8, 2009 at 9:49 am

    We rented “Taken” and “The Wrestler” and the former was so-so, the latter was excellent.

    I don’t know if this is countrified, but last week for an office birthday celebration, the theme of which was “peanut butter”, I took a box of Duncan Hines brownie mix, made them according to directions for cake-like brownies, and added a huge dollop of peanut butter. Mixed it all up, put it in the glass baking dish and then sprinkled a few semi-sweet chips on top, and some peanut butter flavored chips as well (Kroger brand, not Reese’s or anything). The brownies were fabuloso, I don’t mind saying. I didn’t win the office competition – Brenda’s satay dip with vegetables did. She hasn’t shared the recipe with us yet.

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  8. judybusy said on June 8, 2009 at 10:00 am

    Funny we’re talking of recipes/cooks fallen out of favor. On a weekend B and B jaunt, we picked up Julia Child’s French cooking for $10 at an antique shop. Our goal: to make one recipe a week from it for the summer. I also plan to read the Julie and Julia book–it sounds charming.

    On an unrelated, but hopefully appreciated note by this crowd: I also picked up a 1981 re-issue of a 1912 book by Gertrude Jekyll, “Garden Designs for Small Country Houses.” I’ll never have an estate like that, but I love seeing the clean designs and imagining all the B and W photos in color.

    On movies: I loved the 3D effect of Coraline, and can’t wait to see Up.

    Country cooking: I grew up on a farm, but we did a lot from canned soups, etc. I did, however, learn to save bacon grease for other purposes!

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  9. coozledad said on June 8, 2009 at 10:04 am

    The post-funeral feasts on my father’s side of the family were studies in gastronomic sadism. One aunt seemed to take particular delight in taking people to the edge of death. She’d stand at the table where the food was laid out, and make damn sure you didn’t skip her dish. It was always a square Pyrex dish filled with a viscous blend of scorched tube biscuits, grey-green ground chuck, some sadass canned tomatoes, and squares of Kraft sandwich cheese. It looked like the landscape downriver from a nickel mine, and was just as toxic. You learned to create a dam on your plate from one of the less noxious offerings, like the rutabaga cooked in drippings, as long as its molecular structure might impede the flow of the oils that shimmered with the terrible beauty of a multiple diffraction gradient.
    Then you avoided sitting near this aunt, and you stealthily threw that side of your plate into the garbage at the first opportunity. Otherwise, upon leaving, you’d be obliged to pull off the road and scramble up a roadbank to gather with other unfortunate members of the family already hugging various trees and attempting to shit their brains out.

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  10. brian stouder said on June 8, 2009 at 10:07 am

    And how was your weekend?


    Our 4 year old, who is turning 5 today(!) was the Flower Girl in an outdoor wedding on Saturday – which meant rehearsal on Friday and all sorts of Thursday running around – not even to mention Saturday at 6 pm….and at about 11 that evening Pam and Chloe and I were in the ER at Monticello (a very well run facility with good folks) who handled our situation surprisingly smoothly.

    Short version – Chloe got a bug bite(?) which ended up causing much swelling and red streaks, as well as much discomfort, on her right leg; and an IV with Benedryl and antibiotics and fluids, and a reassuring blood test had Chloe and mom and I headed back to the hotel at 1:30 in the morning – relieved and exhausted. Nothing like semi-supressed stress, followed by blessed relief, to cause one to sleep like a dead person.

    You just never know about these things, eh?

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  11. JC said on June 8, 2009 at 10:32 am

    I’m glad you mentioned the Russian Tea recipe. I got some as a gift for Christmas last year from a friend of my mother’s. Despite the rest of the ingredients, it just tasted like warm Tang. It’s probably still sitting in my cupboard, but I doubt I’ll ever serve it to anyone.
    If a cookbook’s popularity can be judged by its worn, sticky pages, then my favorite cookbook is a Lion’s Club fund-raising publication from around 1990. It includes the name and city of the recipes’ contributors. Which is handy, for instance,if you are halfway through a recipe for stollen and find that a paragraph or two seems to be missing. You can just call information, track down the author, and get the rest of the instructions. And have a nice conversation with a lady in Indiana.

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  12. MichaelG said on June 8, 2009 at 10:45 am

    I’ve written before about the wonderful farmers market here in Sacramento. The food is all locally produced, is fresher and of a higher quality than anything you can get in the supermarkets (and they have excellent produce in the supermarkets around here) and the prices are competitive.

    OK, a cabbage recipe for the proprietress. Had this last Saturday with fried chicken, mashed potatoes and pan gravy. I make it in a large wok.

    Quarter a small cabbage or a big one. Lose the thick, white butt ends and thinly slice each quarter lengthwise. Then chop across the slices. This will give you a coarse chop. Peel, core and coarsely chop three Granny Smiths. Chop a small to medium onion. Any kind. I used a red one Saturday. Melt a stick of butter in the pan and add all the chopped stuff. Mix and cover. Add salt. Stir occasionally and cook until softened. While the above is cooking, pour a quarter to a half cup of cider vinegar into a container (I use one of those little Pyrex one or two cup pitchers), add sugar to taste, add a little cayenne or red pepper flakes or don’t, but a little adds some piquancy. Also add a little nutmeg. Beat all that up with a fork or something. Taste it and modify as you desire. Dump into the cabbage mixture and stir it all up. Set it aside for an hour or several for the flavors to meld. You should end up with a sort of tart, sweet and sour tasting dish. Measures for the vinegar mixture are vague because it’s to taste. This is one of those things that’s better the next day and can be kept in the reefer for several days. It also goes great with pork. I’ll be working on the leftovers this evening.

    Nance, your old cookbook with all the canned stuff in it sounds like Sandra Lee cooking. Far from disappearing, that sort of cooking is alive and well on the Food Network. Lee is amusing to watch in very small doses and she drives Anthony Bourdain crazy.

    I don’t know about the Julie/Julia movie but I used to follow the blog and it was well written, hilarious and profane. I loved it.

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  13. beb said on June 8, 2009 at 11:19 am

    I remember Russian Tea. It was sort of good, like an instant “Constant Comment” blend. But I always wondered why it was called “Russian?” since it was popular during the middle of the cold war and in the midst of John Birch land (Indiana).

    The only Impossible Pie I know of is a Bisquik(tm) recipe that’s more of a quice. Add cheese and your choice of meat and vegetables (we like broccali), bake and serve.

    My wife makes a nice cabbage soup that’s some hamburger, probably an onion, a can of tomatos and lots of coarse chopped cabbage. I’m sure there were some other spices but you’ll have to wait for the crazycatlady to say what. Cabbage and pork strogganoff over egg noodles is also great though, obviously not for those trying to diet.

    The corn chowder we like uses canned corn, tomatos and potatoes but there’s no reason it can’t so be made from fresh produce.

    “Up” had uscrying in two places, first in the Carl & Elly montage, but also later when Carl finds Elly’s farewell message. There’s a lot of common ground running through “Finding Nemo”, “Wall-E” and “Up.” “Wall-E” and “UP” both use a long, dialog-less montage to set up the rest of the story, and even inf the rest of the story there’s a terseness to the script. As if the creators deicded youj are here to WATCH not hear us jabber, so watch. And “Finding Nemo” and UP are about people who have become afraid of life being forced to confront their fears. And both movies end with very similar epilogs where Father and son (adopted or real) have bonded in a joyful embrace of life.

    I hope Pixar doesn’t find iself forced to decide between movies aimed at kids (like Cars (shudder) and arty but less profitable movies aimed at adults (Up, Wall-E).

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  14. Sue said on June 8, 2009 at 11:33 am

    One of my favorite cookbooks is “Preserving Summer’s Bounty” by Marilyn Kluger. This book is the main reason I’m such an enthusiastic canner. Lots of text about Southern Indiana summers on a farm during the depression, full of details about “leather britches beans”, sorghum instead of maple, and “mangoes” (peppers). Just a wonderful mood book.
    One of my favorite collection cookbooks is from Empire, MI, and includes a graphic recipe for head cheese, including instructions about gouging eyes, etc. But my favorite part of the recipe for some reason is the instruction to salt and pepper the chopped meat. Cuz, you know, that head cheese might be ruined if you don’t season it correctly.
    This weekend was too cold and rainy for anything, so movie-watching was the way to go. Saw the 2007 version of Persuasion: (English accent here) – Quite, quite awful. Ghost Town – Perfect for a rainy day, and a real valentine to New York in the fall; I loved Ricky Gervais in this. The scenes where he was interacting with hilariously-acted medical people were priceless. The Reader – my daughter convinced us to watch this based on her admiration for Kate Winslet. So my daughter and my husband and I watched it. Lets just say that the first third of the movies was laughingly awkward for a multi-generational viewing. And now, of course I have to rent the first season of “Extras” so I can hear the scripted conversation between Ricky Gervais and Kate Winslet about doing a holocaust movie to get an acting award.

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  15. derwood said on June 8, 2009 at 11:39 am

    My brother-in-law makes dandelion wine. My wife said it was bitter as I am not a wine drinker. He makes all kinds of flavors of wine using veggies from his garden. I’m told he is really good at it.

    Favorite cookbook is an amish recipe book that was a fundraiser for my nephew’s high school football team. I think it is dated 1989.


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  16. Julie Robinson said on June 8, 2009 at 11:46 am

    Once again Coozledad wins. I am still chuckling and oh, the memories. Both my parents were from farm families who embraced processed food enthusiastically as a way to get out of the kitchen. They saw Jello and cake mixes as liberators.

    One aunt still lives on the farm and I believe her life has changed little since her childhood. Whenever there’s a gathering she announces she’s bringing her blond brownies, and aren’t we all very, very lucky. Of course this is a secret recipe and she wouldn’t dream of parting with it, but I’ll be darned if it isn’t chocolate chip cookie dough baked in a square pan.

    We watched The Secret Life of Bees and happily they didn’t wreck a great book. And of course the usual round of graduation parties.

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  17. ROgirl said on June 8, 2009 at 11:57 am

    I hadn’t thought about Russian tea in years, was introduced to the concept in college. A number of people in my dorm had canisters of it. I never touched the stuff.

    I grew up in a pumpernickel and rye household, and was envious of my friend who got to eat Wonder Bread.

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  18. Dorothy said on June 8, 2009 at 12:00 pm

    Am I the only one who thinks it’s selfish (sorry to your Aunt, Julie) to keep recipes secret? I did a few plays with a lady in Hickory, PA and she made this fabulous cake with something called Daffodil icing. She refused to share the recipe. I just felt a little offended – to me it’s a compliment when someone wants a recipe. I’m not trying to “outdo” the other person! I just want to make other people in my life circle happy with a yummy treat!

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  19. Sue said on June 8, 2009 at 12:08 pm

    Professional jealousy applies in the domestic arts as well, Dorothy.

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  20. Bill said on June 8, 2009 at 12:23 pm

    It’s hard to beat a cookbook assembled by the ladies of some small Midwestern country church. Nothing fancy, just good eatin’.

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  21. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on June 8, 2009 at 12:40 pm

    …stir in one can cream of mushroom soup …

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  22. Dorothy said on June 8, 2009 at 12:41 pm

    I must be lacking in that kind of gene, then, Sue. It just makes me shake my head in amazement that people can be that shallow as to covet praise all for himself or herself when it comes to things like that. Whatever happened to being happy for someone else instead of yourself?!

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  23. Jean S said on June 8, 2009 at 12:42 pm

    Coozledad, stop scaring us!

    I’ve never had dandelion wine, but my brother once made wine from antidesmas (a south fla. fruit)–some was okay, some was downright awful. That pretty much cured me of odd wines.

    You could, of course, cut that ketchup recipe down and can just a couple of jars.

    And on the Alice Waters front–I saw the “Edible Schoolyard” book in my local Borders this weekend and sat down with it. I know that middle school–did some opera performances there w/Berkeley Opera in the late 80s–and it is truly amazing to see the transformation. Some of the stories in the text will really tug at your heart…

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  24. LAMary said on June 8, 2009 at 12:47 pm

    Again I recommend The Oinkster, a slow fast food place in Eagle Rock,a neighborhood in LA. They make their own ketchup, regular and chipotle. You can taste cloves and cider vinegar in the regular. With an order of fries, you get garlic horseradis aioli, but make sure you pick up some of the ketchup too. That and the vinegary barbecue sauce for the pulled pork. Now I’m hungry and it’s quarter to ten in the morning.

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  25. coozledad said on June 8, 2009 at 1:07 pm

    Badly OT, but this guy reminds me of Buster Keaton, or even Harold Lloyd. I don’t think he means to, though.

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  26. mark said on June 8, 2009 at 1:18 pm

    Waiting to see if the Supreme Court is interested in hearing the appeal from the evil Indiana hedge funds, er, I mean, Teacher and Police pension funds.

    Not much for cookbooks/cooking from the sixties. or those that feature a microwave. Ever notice how all of the good food on Mad Men is found in restaurants?

    Thought Obama’s D-Day speech was both bizarre and sub-par. The “sheer improbability of success”? I think somebody is re-writing history and I can’t figure out why. Or “Had the Allies failed here, Hitler’s occupation of this continent might have continued indefinitely.” Anybody believe that?

    I feel sorry for his speech writer:

    Obama Assistant: How goes the D-Day speech?

    Obama Speechwriter: Great! The boss is the best at giving the big speech and you can’t go wrong with this subject. Time is the only issue, since we have to share the stage.

    OA: He wants you to mention his great uncle.

    OS: The guy who was at the liberation of the camp? The one he just mentioned, and has mentioned a lot? Was he at Normandy? This is a D-Day commemoration.

    OA: Yeah, well, one followed the other, and he wants it in.

    OS: Sure, I’ll find room.

    OA: And his grandfather. Put in his grandfather.

    OS: He was at Normandy?

    OA: No, but he was with Patton. Lot’s of movies about Patton, too.

    OS: Well, I guess there is a way to connect that, kind of. You know, there’s a lot of guys that were at Nomandy, and we need to mention their effort on, uh, the anniverary of, uh, D-Day.

    OA: Yeah, of course, whatever you think. But work his grandmother in.

    OS: His grandmother? She wasn’t…

    OA: Of course not, she worked in a factory. You can make it fit. And his daughters will love the family history.

    OS: Sure.. Gee, with all these close connections, it’s almost like Obama took the cliffs all by himself.

    I’ll take Reagan’s less narcissistic ’84 adress.

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  27. Julie Robinson said on June 8, 2009 at 1:19 pm

    What Dorothy said about recipe sharing. Not sharing puts one in the category of catty PTA moms fighting over who gets to be president back in the 50s and 60s. They had to hold onto their one moment of glory, as I imagine someone once complimented my aunt on her unique brownies. Kind words were few and far between.

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  28. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on June 8, 2009 at 1:26 pm

    It’s not like it will taste the same. Anyone who has ever tried to replicate a friend’s recipe, let alone a grandma’s tour de force, can tell you all the detail on a 3×5 card in the world, including the inscription “From the kitchen of . . .” will not give you the same taste, feel, look of the original.

    C’mon, share the recipe peoples. You can enjoy hearing them say later “but i just can’t get it to come out the same way yours tasted!”

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  29. adrianne said on June 8, 2009 at 1:28 pm

    Nancy, I hope you still have in your collection “The Nancy Drew Cookbook” that I picked up with my pal Mary Pat at a used-bookstore in Rochester. It features several recipes with pimento loaf, and – my favorite refrain – urges young sleuths to “add a sprig of parsley for Vitamin C!” to their recipes.
    Apropos of nothing, my boss, whose mother-in-law is on the wane, found out that she had 483 cookbooks in her home. This, for a woman who has done no cooking for the last five years.

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  30. Sue said on June 8, 2009 at 1:30 pm

    Didn’t Aunt Bea’s friend sabotage a pickle recipe once or something?
    And of course, there’s Marie Barrone, infamously putting the basil label over a jar of tarragon.
    The seedy underside of homemaking.

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  31. David in Chicago said on June 8, 2009 at 1:43 pm

    I have a cookbook called “I’ll Cook When Pigs Fly”, published as a fundraiser for the Cincinnati Junior League. It’s the one I usually pull out when I have to take something to a potluck. Because most of the time, I’ve noticed people really enjoy simple potluck recipes more than something I’ve spent four or five hours concocting. Some of the desserts in this book are particularly wonderful – my favorite is a completely over the top little treat called Chocolate Kahlua Squares. The amount of chocolate, cream and Kahlua in these three layer bars is staggering.

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  32. Dexter said on June 8, 2009 at 1:57 pm

    Two weeks ago the country field where I walk my dogs was a solid cover of dandelion blossoms…about two acres worth.
    When I was a kid Mom would dig up dandelions with a trowel and cook up the greens and feed them to us. I remember there was always a bit of sandy-grit in the batch. Served with apple cider vinegar, salt, pepper.
    We had plum trees, apple trees, and gooseberry bushes, and that gooseberry pie which I mentioned here at nn.c last year still rates the #1 treat of all time.

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  33. Scout said on June 8, 2009 at 2:00 pm

    God, cooz, the visuals! I am just sitting here shaking with laughter; my co-workers probably think I’m crying. Good stuff.

    I can’t wait to see Up. We were supposed to go this weekend but all our fabu plans were cancelled because the other half was downed by a nasty case of the shingles. Any down home wisdom or stories anyone would like to share? We found that bathing her in a tub full of hunks of floating aloe vera worked the best. Wine and a strong analgesic came in a close second.

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  34. Dexter said on June 8, 2009 at 2:01 pm

    Sue…Clara Edwards always won the blue ribbon, right? And Aunt Bea’s pickles were so horrible Andy choked on them ? Well, let me get it straight from andygriffith dot net…
    “The Andy Griffith Show Episode 43: The Pickle Story
    Originally Aired on Dec 18, 1961. Average User Rating: 8.9 out of 10 (16155 entries).

    It’s canning time again, and Aunt Bee has put up another batch of pickles. After realizing the only thing they’re good for is killing flies brave enough to land on them, Andy and Barney decide to substitute store-bought for her homemade and hand the originals to travelers passing through Mayberry. After the switch, Bee decides to enter her pickles in the county fair. Unfortunately, the perennial winner is Clara Johnson, Bee’s best friend, and she has her heart set on winning her 12th blue ribbon in a row. Andy and Barney have no choice but to destroy all eight jars before she can enter, so they eat night and day until all the pickles are gone. They do their work proudly, but Bee decides that since the boys liked them so much, she will make a double batch.”

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  35. velvet goldmine said on June 8, 2009 at 2:15 pm

    Man, I have like three MORE things to say. I’m so sorry, but at least you can just skip one VG post instead of three, if so inclined:

    — I always wondered where that dismissive phrase “That’s small beer,” came from. But I came across a reference when I was looking in a back issue of Grit Magazine for home-made soda pop; the kids and I are thinking of making some ginger ale or strawberry pop this summer. Anyway, apparently these early, versions of soda were once known as “small beer” because they are made in a similar way as home-brewed beer or wine, except they end up with a very tiny alchohol content. Thus, “small beer.”

    — Anyone else a fan of the 70s Britcom “The Good Life” (aka “Good Neighbors”)? They were always hauling out their homemade pea pod wine and it has intrigued me ever since.

    — Dorothy, I like to think I’m above the pettiness you described, BUT I have to admit a certain twinge over “Singapour Slaw,” the one easy, sure-fire dish that I used to bring to summer family gatherings. At the time I found the recipe it wasn’t seen as much as it is now, but recently my cousin starting bringing it and everyone has forgotten mine…sniff.

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  36. 4dbirds said on June 8, 2009 at 2:23 pm

    Nancy, I made your Indiana Sugar Pie shortly after you posted the receipe and brought it in to work. It killed. Gone in 60 seconds. Anyway, I remember reading a woman’s magazine, Ladies Home Journal I think, where they revisited their favorite recipes from circa 1900. They found that they had to change many of them because desserts were too sweet for modern tastes. Also interesting was the fact that they had to add oil/moisture to gravies and side dishes because poultry and pork didn’t produce enough fat/juices/renderings. Animals are bred leaner now. Yet we’re fatter.

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  37. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on June 8, 2009 at 2:25 pm

    Well, there is the “Last of the Summer Wine,” of which i’ve seen far too few episodes; i hear this 30th year may be their last, too.

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  38. MichaelG said on June 8, 2009 at 2:31 pm

    Mary, is Eagle Rock just below Glendale? Tell me where Oinkster is and I’ll try it.

    I think I’ll try one of the ketchup recipes.

    I have a dill pickle recipe. I put them in jars in the refrigerator and don’t make any more than I can use in a month or so.

    I don’t even want to know about dandelion wine. Sounds like some desperate person’s version of pruno. Yuck.

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  39. Jolene said on June 8, 2009 at 2:38 pm

    For several years running, I made a really good cream of broccoli soup for our family’s Christmas Eve dinner. This was viewed as exotic, both because it contained broccoli, which my mother and the younger generation all loved but was never served at home as my mother’s cooking was always governed by my father’s very narrow preferences, and because it was made from scratch. The only other such soups in our family repertoire were two very homey (and delicious) soups that my mother made from the recipes in her head.

    So, all that said, Mom thought it would be a kick to include this touch of city livin’ in a cookbook put together by the women’s group of her church, and she submitted the recipe under my name, thinking that I’d be pleased to have my Christmas contribution published.* Only one problem: There was no cream in the list of ingredients. I never knew whether she’d left it out when she submitted the recipe or whether it was omitted at a later stage, and I never heard any reactions to the recipe. But I’ve always felt a little bad that some nice Midwestern lady might try out that recipe on my mother’s recommendation and find it to be, quite literally, thin soup.

    *Of course, the recipe had already been published. I’d gotten it from a cookbook. But the Women’s Society didn’t seem to feel constrained ny the copyright laws.

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  40. LAMary said on June 8, 2009 at 2:42 pm
    It’s between Pasadena and Glendale.
    I think Dandelion Wine has been around a long time. It was considered a “spring tonic.”

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  41. coozledad said on June 8, 2009 at 2:45 pm

    Scout: I don’t know if sunscreen would help, but in my case, sunburn or even the first prolonged seasonal exposure to sunlight brings shingles on. I just wear the biggest hat I can find when I’m outdoors. Ive been taking low dose aspirin, and for some reason that seems to pretty much limit the severity and duration of the outbreaks. Capsaicin ointment works too, because it blows out the substance P receptors in the affected nerve endings.

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  42. Jolene said on June 8, 2009 at 2:45 pm

    Umm, umm. Dill pickles. Of course, we made them at home on the farm when I was growing up. In grad school, I made some w/ a friend who’d grown up in suburbia, and she was amazed that such a thing was possible–without a factory, that is.

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  43. alex said on June 8, 2009 at 2:58 pm

    Mark @ 26:

    Isn’t that the D-Day speech where Reagan claimed, falsely, to have scaled the cliffs at Normandy himself while under intense fire (when in fact he was stateside narrating propaganda films)?

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  44. LAMary said on June 8, 2009 at 3:08 pm

    Alex, he did claim to have been there at the liberation of Auschwitz or Buchenwald or something. He was actually in Culver City making propaganda films. I’ve been in some grim parts of Culver City, but I would never mistake it for Auschwitz.

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  45. nancy said on June 8, 2009 at 3:09 pm

    The other day I stopped my bike to drink some lemonade being sold by a particular cute trio of kids. One started to hand the drink over, and another one said, “Wait! There’s grass in it!” The third went to fish out the offending detritus with his finger.

    “That’s OK!” I said before he was able to dunk. “I don’t mind a little grass. It adds fiber.” Relieved, they handed over the cup. As I poured it down, the first kid said, “I’m glad you like it. My mom says you never know what went to the bathroom on that grass. It could have been a dog, a cat, a duck…”

    He went on, but by then I was finished and handed the cup back. What doesn’t kill you, etc.

    Dexter, that’s what your remark about the field of dandelions reminded me of: …the country field where I walk my dogs…

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  46. LAMary said on June 8, 2009 at 3:14 pm

    Reagan also told a story of a turret gunner who was shot and the brave pilot who told him that he would not let him go down with their doomed plane alone. The pilot stayed with the plane rather than parachuting out,and they both died when the plane went down. Thing is, how would Reagan have known this story? No one could. It was in a movie, not real life.

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  47. Jolene said on June 8, 2009 at 3:18 pm

    I was surprised by Mark’s comments on Obama’s speech too. I don’t have time to read it again right now, but, on first pass, I found it quite touching and wasn’t bothered by the references to family members. I suppose it’s something of a stretch to connect his relatives to D-Day, but it’s not as if they weren’t genuinely involved in the war. Der Spiegel has a nice interview w/ the great-uncle, Charlie Payne.

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  48. Jolene said on June 8, 2009 at 3:23 pm

    A somewhat odd item in the country cookin’ realm is homemade hand lotion, which my aunt used to make. I have her recipe and, some years ago, had thought I’d make a batch to give to friends for Christmas, but I was unable to find quince seed anywhere. That was before we had the InterTubes, so perhaps I’ll do a search and see what I can find. If anyone knows of a source of such things, I’d be interested in knowing about it.

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  49. moe99 said on June 8, 2009 at 3:30 pm

    Russian tea was big when I was in college from 70-74. Just back from my 35th year reunion in fact. Quite the time. But I have found a most satisfying substitute for Russian tea: Market Spice tea from the Pike Place Market in Seattle. It is truly a wonderful morning beverage if you don’t want coffee. The oils in the cinnamon and orange come through nicely with the tea. Highly recommended.

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  50. Catherine said on June 8, 2009 at 3:30 pm

    Dandelion wine and Ray Bradbury are both forever spoiled for me. My 9th grade English teacher assigned that book, and it was my first experience with having to read and analyze (endlessly!) something I didn’t enjoy.

    Julie and Julia, OTOH, was an immensly enjoyable book. Don’t know if the movie can equal it, but the casting certainly sounds good. Didn’t make me want to cook my way through The Art of French Cooking though… maybe the judybusy approach, one per week.

    The best cooks in my family never wrote anything down. I’d love to have my farm-wife grandma’s pie recipe, but it was more a strategy and years of practice, than an actual recipe. Probably once I saw the amount of lard and the canned pie filling, I’d run in the opposite direction — but boy are those pies terrific in my memories.

    And, what VG said @35 about sharing recipes. I used to bring an easy, yummy chipotle dip to the New Year’s post-parade event, but then a relative started to bring it. No fair!

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  51. Sue said on June 8, 2009 at 3:32 pm

    With respect to Ronnie, I believe that the storytelling aspects of his speeches are off-limits, given that they are probable indications of the Alzheimer’s that eventually took him away.

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  52. moe99 said on June 8, 2009 at 3:32 pm

    Hmm..can’t find to edit my post, but this is the amazon address for Market Spice tea, which you can order via our hostess, thus providing a kick back:

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  53. Jeff Borden said on June 8, 2009 at 3:46 pm


    Long ago, when I was a TV critic, HBO hosted a huge dinner event at the Wrigley Mansion in Phoenix to publicize the debut of a Bradbury anthology series it was going to air. I was never a science fiction fan, but Bradbury’s books were another matter and I had loved “The Martian Chronicles,” “Illustrated Man” and especially “Fahrenheit 451.”

    Somehow, I managed to be seated to the left of Bradbury, who had been driven to Phoenix by his wife. This silver-haired man, who was lecturing everyone at the table on how we alread should be colonizing Mars, did not have a driver’s license and was afraid to fly. His wife was a striking-looking woman who taught at USC and gave the oral tests in both Russian and physics. She drove a vintage Jaguar XKE coupe equipped with a Chevy 350 V-8 and said there was a permanent indentation of a hand-print on the roof over the passenger’s door from Ray grabbing on for dear life.

    Mrs. Bradbury was something of a gourmand and did not find any wines to her liking from the list at the Wrigley Mansion. So, me and a handful of other TV critics drank Tattinger’s champagne all through the meal while Bradbury related these amazing stories. My favorite was his reminiscing of living in an Irish castle with John Huston while writing the screenplay for “Moby Dick.” Huston was convinced the castle was haunted and, by the time Bradbury finished his work, he was, too.

    I met a lot of so-called famous people and stars in almost 10 years on that beat, but nothing surpassed talking somewhat drunkenly under the Arizona stars with an equally inebriated Ray Bradbury.

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  54. Jolene said on June 8, 2009 at 3:47 pm

    Indeed, order Market Spice Tea for yourself and all your friends. It’s heavenly. During my long ago Seattle days, I used to get it all the time, but it’s years since I’ve had any. Perhaps I’ll have to order a batch for myself. Your mailman will wonder what the heck you’re cooking on the day it arrives. It’s verrrrry fragrant.

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  55. A Riley said on June 8, 2009 at 3:53 pm

    Oooh, shingles. I had that a couple years ago and boy, it stunk. I went to the doctor right away & she prescribed heavy-duty pain meds, and gave me a shot of anti-shingles vax. Said it wouldn’t hurt, it might help shorten the duration, and would help prevent another outbreak.

    And for that duration, I dabbed with calamine lotion. And on my doctor’s recommendation, I worked from home until the rash dried up — two weeks or so, I think — since one of the colleagues was undergoing chemotherapy and her immune system was compromised.

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  56. brian stouder said on June 8, 2009 at 3:55 pm

    With respect to Ronnie, I believe that the storytelling aspects of his speeches are off-limits

    Yes – indeed history itself is off-limits, when it comes to the beatification of St Ronnie of Sacto/Hollywood/Tampico.

    At lunchtime I heard a particular radio bloviator ascribe the ENTIRETY OF OUR ECONOMIC PROBLEMS on President Obama, period!!

    The jaw flapper says he’s sick and tired of hearing our “cowardly” president natter on about “the problems we inherited” and that this is the “worst downturn since the Great Depression”- that REALLY – the downturn in 1981-82 was worse, etc etc etc; and he said that the president has been in office for 6 months, and indeed that the president is intentionally crashing the economy because he’s a socialist collectivist totalitarian – or else a complete idiot – blah blah blah blah.

    But firstly, from January 20 to today is closer to 4 months than 6 months; and second, gosh – who was president in 1981-82? Why, it was Saint Ronnie, yes? Clearly the old Union president was a commie collectivist socialist jerk, yes?

    Anyway, Judge Sotomayor shows that she is tough as nails, as well as intelligent and judicious (I’ve heard of “Break a leg” before show time, but goodness gracious!)

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  57. jeff borden said on June 8, 2009 at 3:58 pm

    Attention please. Rush Limbaugh has made an important announcement. We are to boycott General Motors starting immediately because it is now run by President Obama and really ought to be called Government Motors. Mr. Limbaugh assures us that this is nothing against the workers, of course, but all part of the effort to ensure that the president “fail.” Strangely, Mr. Limbaugh did not discuss whether we should boycott all the other companies that have received government funds. Perhaps he will tell us what to do about those tomorrow.

    Attention Sarah Palin lovers. The serial killer of grammar and sentence structure will be lecturing tonight with Sean Hannity on how horrible this Mr. Obama fellow is and how he is single-handedly ruining the economy and running up the deficit. Strangely, Ms. Palin will not be discussing how the previous administration turned a fat surplus into a yawning cavern of debt and increased the size of the government to levels undreamed of by even LBJ. Perhaps she will address this tomorrow.

    That is all.

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  58. mark said on June 8, 2009 at 4:02 pm

    Reagan made plenty of verbal miscues during his time, but none while at Normandy. And he managed to speak without a teleprompter and without making the speech about him.

    Yes, jolene, Obama’s relatives were genuinely involved in the war. I’d guess that a good 250 million Americans have relatives that were genuinely involved in the war. Hundreds of millions more, world wide.

    Saturday was about remembering June 6, 1944, and those who took the beaches, scaled the cliffs and parachuted behind german lines. For our president, it was also about him and a kind of strange rewrite of history.

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  59. Sue said on June 8, 2009 at 4:19 pm

    Hey, hey Brian – I’m not letting Reagan off the hook. His policies, going all the way back to California, are responsible for some of the nastiness we are dealing with today, and anyone trying to get help for a mentally ill relative or friend lives the results daily, just as an example. I really, really disliked him before I went from the frying pan into the fire and found out just how awful a president can be.
    My point: lay off the guy for his embarrassing speeches. He literally believed what he was saying, probably because he was in the early stages of a heartbreaking disease. There is so much material to go after him on, without attacking him for something he could not help, and which the people around him probably only figured out later, like anyone else dealing with Alzheimers.
    Public officials deserve to be called on nonsense comments. Bush’s speeches and comments are fair game. He is responsible for everything he said, including the false bravado of “Bring it on” (talk about putting our people in harm’s way). Obama’s said a few things too that made me roll my eyes, and will continue to over the next 4 – 8 years. But I still think most of the more obvious comments by Reagan deserve a pass.

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  60. LAMary said on June 8, 2009 at 4:27 pm

    You think it’s bad Obama used a teleprompter? I heard that Lincoln worked from written notes on the back of an envelope. Just sayin.
    Reagan was an actor who could memorize scripts. He also believed he actually lived some of his roles. Give me a teleprompter user who can differentiate reality from fiction any day of the week.

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  61. mark said on June 8, 2009 at 4:27 pm

    Wow. Justice Ginsburg DID stay the sale of Chrysler to Fiat, or so it is being reported. This could be a huge development.

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  62. nancy said on June 8, 2009 at 4:28 pm

    Reagan was an actor who read from scripts. Blame Peggy Noonan, who may well have early Alzheimer’s herself.

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  63. Jolene said on June 8, 2009 at 4:30 pm

    Please, mark, don’t go after the teleprompter. Of all the reasons there are to go after Obama, that is, in my view the stupidest. If Reagan didn’t have one when he spoke at Pointe du Hoc, he certainly spoke from notes, and what’s the difference? Obama has demonstrated again and again–in town hall meetings, in debates, and in press conferences–that he is more capable of speaking knowledgeably and without notes on a broad range of subjects than almost any modern politician, save perhaps Bill Clinton.

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  64. Joe Kobiela said on June 8, 2009 at 4:31 pm

    Guess some of our commenter hear at N.N.Com have been listening to those bad men over on talk radio again. Funny how you all hate Rush but still keep putting money in his pocket.
    As far as ANY politicians at Normandy goes. None of them have the right to speak there. That is a resting place for hero’s. Not politicians, who aren’t worthy of carrying those brave men’s Jocks.
    Pilot Joe

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  65. mark said on June 8, 2009 at 4:32 pm

    Reagan was an exceptionally gifted speaker, a skill honed through his acting for certain. And he had very good speech writers. Anybody that can’t admit that has permanent partisan blinders in place.

    Obama is also a gifted speaker. His writers have run hot and cold, IMO.

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  66. mark said on June 8, 2009 at 4:35 pm


    Obama is very knowledgeable and very articulate. The teleprompter doesn’t bother me, but it surprises me that he uses it even for short remarks on insignificant occasions.

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  67. jeff borden said on June 8, 2009 at 4:42 pm

    Pilot Joe,

    I’m not putting one thin dime in the Fat Man’s pockets, dude, and take pains to avoid having any dealings with his advertisers, which is fairly simple to do. He’s great for my side of the political spectrum. The more moderates and independents see and hear the guy, the better it is for liberal progressives. Outside the true believers, Rush has a popularity rating that rivals Dick Cheney.

    I guess the GOP has come quite a long distance from the days when it was said “what’s good for General Motors is good for America.” Or maybe Rush once owned a Chevy Vega and has never forgiven GM for that abomination, lol. Or perhaps he’s saddened that Hummer has been dealt to a Chinese firm.

    More likely Rush has been silent on other bailed out companies because they are not heavily unionized. Drawing a bead on GM allows him to target two of his most hated foes: Obama and unions.

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  68. brian stouder said on June 8, 2009 at 4:43 pm

    Ease up mark – you have chosen poor ground upon which to argue (as someone once said). When the president wants to deliver prepared remarks, he wants to keep control of his message. Mary’s point is insuperable; there’s no meaningful difference between written notes and teleprompters – and when President Lincoln delivered addresses (yes Joe – another politician unworthy of carrying a soldier’s jock, let alone speaking at a battlefield) he ALWAYS and very deliberately read his remarks from a prepared text.

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  69. Sue said on June 8, 2009 at 4:48 pm

    Oh, and while I’m at it, ketchup is STILL not a vegetable. I love how things come together here like one big love knot. It’s almost magic.

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  70. mark said on June 8, 2009 at 5:00 pm


    What part of “the teleprompter doesn’t bother me” confused you?


    You boycott products advertised on Limbaugh, for whatever reason you think appropriate, but think Limbaugh is wrong to urge people to boycott GM if they think what the government is doing with GM is wrong?

    I didn’t know about Limbaugh’s statement, but I decided weeks ago not to support Chrysler or GM. “Reward Ford” is my motto, for now.

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  71. Danny said on June 8, 2009 at 5:19 pm

    My motto for years has been “Domo arigato Toyota.”

    It rhymes kinda … Styx would be proud.

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  72. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on June 8, 2009 at 5:47 pm

    Jeff Borden, for the night under the Phoenix stars in your cups with Mr. Fahrenheit 451, you are indeed blessed. But to boycott Gold Bond Medicated Cream . . .

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  73. coozledad said on June 8, 2009 at 6:18 pm

    You’re treading on pretty dangerous ground when you begin to accord the military religious status. That’s precisely the point at which civil liberties begin to erode in the fetishism of order. It’s proper to celebrate the bravery of our armed forces, but also naive to discount the possibility that if William Randolph Hearst, Henry Ford, elements of officer corps of the US Navy, Prescott Bush and Joe Kennedy had their way, those same soldiers would have been deployed in Stalingrad, or perhaps at Kursk, fighting alongside the Waffen SS.
    Leave the military worship to monarchists, fascists and other assorted authoritarian cultists. We’re a democracy. We have politicians. It’s the other assholes who are always knuckling under to “heroes”.

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  74. moe99 said on June 8, 2009 at 6:47 pm

    When I worked at DoD, my boss had a nameplate on his desk that read “Cedant armae togae.” In other words: Give arms up to the togas or Let those with togas (the civilians) rule the military.

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  75. Jeff Borden said on June 8, 2009 at 6:58 pm


    My actions as a single consumer avoiding companies advertising on Limbaugh’s radio show aren’t comparable to someone with a nationwide radio bullhorn calling for a boycott, but I take your point. Perhaps it’s just me who is a hypocrite in this regard.

    But I remain struck by disparities in hard-core, rightwing viewpoints regarding some of our shattered industries. There has been great wailing and gnashing of teeth over efforts to dial down pay and perks for executives at financial institutions who have received governnment money. The blowhards on CNBC have consistently argued this will prevent the banks from retaining their top talent, presumably the same top talent that got us into this mess. But when it comes to torpedoing GM or Chrysler, well, that is clearly another story. There’ve been no calls to protect the workforce there. In fact, some of the senators south of the Mason-Dixon line have come damned close to cheerleading for the demise of the American automobile industry.

    As noted in my earlier post, what a weird place for so-called the party of business to sit: Defending enormous salaries and perks for the bankers while attacking reasonable medical benefits and wages earned by blue-collar folks in the auto industry.

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  76. alex said on June 8, 2009 at 7:04 pm

    And he managed to speak without a teleprompter and without making the speech about him.

    At least Obama is involved in the writing of his own material instead of delivering sap penned by a hack like Peggy Noonan. It is all about him, and it’s all the better for it.

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  77. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on June 8, 2009 at 7:23 pm

    Moe — i like the sentiment, but classically speaking (i mean, Classically speaking), while it is Cicero’s way of saying “may peace prevail” (from “De Officium”?) but with a noblesse oblige spin, since only men, not women, not freedmen, and specifically citizens in the property owning sense could wear the toga, which in the empire was already a non-functional piece of symbolic clothing.

    So you can also read it as “leave those decisions to the suits” with all the irony that carries in today’s idiom. Cicero was many wonderful things, but irony was mostly lost on him.

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  78. Scout said on June 8, 2009 at 7:30 pm

    Jeff (tmmo), you certainly have some amazing nuggets of knowledge in your brain pan.

    Coozledad and A Riley – thanks for the good info about Teh Shingles. A Dr. appt has been made for the morning.

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  79. MichaelG said on June 8, 2009 at 7:35 pm

    Thanks, Mary. For me a “spring tonic” is Schweppes with Tanqueray and a sliver of lime in it.

    Right you are, Cooze.

    Justice Ginsburg’s move could torpedo both Chrysler and GM. Why would the South want Chrysler and GM to fail? Where would NASCAR be then?

    Here’s the latest from our Gov:

    It looks to me like a desperate attempt to pick up some pennies to make the July bills and payroll. Just when the economy looks like it might be trying to struggle to its knees, this is another blow to the back of the head by the State. To date there still hasn’t been a single word from the genius’s under the dome that addresses the systemic budget problems.

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  80. LAMary said on June 8, 2009 at 7:51 pm

    I had shingles about three years ago, a mild case thank goodness. It felt like lots of spider bites, itching and stinging at the same time. It went away on its own in about three weeks and cortsone cream and advil kept it livable. I know I was very very lucky.

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  81. mark said on June 8, 2009 at 8:05 pm

    jeff b.

    I don’t know what Limbaugh said, so maybe you are just pointing out his hypocrisy or inconsistency. I feel the same way about the government involvement with the banks and I now do my banking with a credit union. I don’t want government running businesses and using tax dollars to prop up those that should have suffered the consequences of their own malfeasance. I felt this way when Bush started this bail-out nonsense and I feel no better with Obama deciding where GM will be headquartered and Barney Frank using his pull to reverse a decision to close a Chrysler facility in Massachusetts.

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  82. Dexter said on June 8, 2009 at 8:24 pm

    Re: nance post #45: I knew when I typed that I was on a slippery slope. Dogs don’t just walk on their walks. However, as I read about the contraption that converts urine to potable water, I noticed it said that urine is sterile to begin with, so one out of two ain’t bad! Now the fanatics have had their say, and have had “dogs must be on leash at all times” signs posted all over the parks . My 12 year old Labbie just jumps out of the van and sits in the grass, but she has to be leashed. Back to the country field!

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  83. LAMary said on June 8, 2009 at 8:28 pm

    My lab makes the rounds of parks if he’s offleash. He has to greet everyone by doing a little nose boff on their hand or leg. Then he runs off to the next person. He likes hanging with this one Jack Russel at the dog park who does his own version of the same thing. He runs up and sits next to each person for a moment.They are like the maitre d’ dogs of the dog park.

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  84. Cathy (the Ft. Wayne one) said on June 8, 2009 at 10:05 pm

    Sign of the times: Jefferson Pointe is starting a Farmer’s Market on Wednesday, and it’s open until 7 p.m., so those of us with day jobs can go, although I’m not optimistic about the quality or quantity of the produce left by then. And there’s a new Main St. market too, on Fridays, I think.

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  85. Dexter said on June 8, 2009 at 10:12 pm

    That’s my combo…JRTerrier & Labbie. They are quite a pair.
    We were supposed to get a dog park here…a lady moved back from San Diego, missed her old San Diego dog park,
    and was working with the Parks Commission to get it done. of course it fell through.
    I just used my old French press to make a cuppa joe. It really is the best way to make just one cup…it’s a tiny press.

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  86. moe99 said on June 8, 2009 at 10:12 pm

    Jeff (tmmo):

    I certainly prefer our arrangement where the civilians control the military to that of many S. American countries (just for one example) where the military runs it for themselves and the politicians have little voice. Your mileage may, of course, vary. Chacun a son gout and all that.

    And as a black man was my boss, I am sure he noted the ironies in the Latin quote, but felt that it could be updated to include women as well, as his top two assistants were women. Things do change; it is our only constant.

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  87. basset said on June 8, 2009 at 10:17 pm

    I got to meet George McGovern’s dog this weekend at a book-signing in Nashville; apparently he doesn’t go anywhere without this big elderly Newfie, whose name, according to the tag on her collar, is “Ursa.”

    So the hope of us all in 1972 is sitting at a table signing and shaking hands, I’m standing off to one side with a camera waiting for my son to get his turn, and the dog is at his feet; after a few minutes of this she got up, walked over to me, and just stood there looking at my knees. Figured I was supposed to take the leash so I did, scratched her around the ears a little, and tried to keep her out of the way till she decided to go back and lie down. Nice dog, probably weighs as much as he does.

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  88. Dexter said on June 8, 2009 at 10:30 pm

    basset, that story just made my day!

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  89. beb said on June 8, 2009 at 10:36 pm

    A pox on mark for derailing a pleasant discourse on peasant cooking.

    My mother made a delicious bread-and-butter pickle. She sliced the pickles paper thin then did whatever one does to make them pickles. I’d love to pile them up on top of toasted cheese sandwiches. The ones I see in the stores are thick little chunks that don;t pile up well and don’t have the sweetness of mom’s. Anyone else ever have bread and butter pickles sliced thin like that?

    Jeff Borden at #53. What great story about Ray Bradbury. I’d love to cross post it to a pulp magazine group I’m in. I’m sure the members would get a kick out of it.

    What Coolzedad says at 73 is something I’d like printed on a bumper sticker…It would be a really big sticker, but his point is so true. There’s too much fetishism about the military. We even hear the President being called more and more “The Commander in Chief” as if this were a title equal to or superior to “The President.” Rather the President is Command in Chief only for the military where the title demotes that the civilian President is the boss, not the generals. As it is I worry about how many ex-generals, admirals, etc have been appointed to Obama’s administration. Surely there are other people not in the military who can run these bureaus and departments.

    Jeff Borden at 75: “what a weird place for so-called the party of business to sit: Defending enormous salaries and perks for the bankers while attacking reasonable medical benefits and wages earned by blue-collar folks in the auto industry.” Jeff you’ve got yourself turned around here. It is perfectly natural for the party of business to defend the salaries of management and disparage the wages of workers. Business has always believed that the proper wages for workers is just above subsistence.

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  90. Susan Gillie said on June 8, 2009 at 10:39 pm

    My fave recipe? Zoli’s Rum Balls. Stale cake mix soaked in dark rum, formed into balls covered with chocolate sprinkles. Maybe I’ll rename them “Drunkin Brownies.”

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  91. moe99 said on June 8, 2009 at 11:53 pm

    beb, you just reminded me of the pickled watermelon rind my Aunt Bebe (Bernice Sullivan) from Paulding, OH used to make. Oh they were good. I just wish I had the recipe!

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  92. Catherine said on June 9, 2009 at 12:34 am

    Oh man, my other grandmother’s bread & butter pickles. Just like you described, beb. Thin, spicy, sweet, sour… Yum!

    Jeff B, loved the Bradbury anecdote. I’m with his wife — Taittinger over dandelion wine any and every day of the week.

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  93. Jolene said on June 9, 2009 at 12:35 am

    I have my mother’s recipe for watermelon pickles, moe. Do you want it?

    My mother also made fantastic peach pickles. I should give those a try. It’s so hard to find good peaches, though, that I think I’d just want to eat them if I found any.

    Now that I’m thinking about this, it’s amazing to remember how many kinds of pickles she made: beet pickles, bean pickles (from yellow wax beans), watermelon rind, dill, bread and butter, sweet pickles (gherkins), peach pickles, crabapple pickles, pepper relish, and at least one more kind of cucumber pickles the name of which I don’t remember. I’m sure I;ve missed something.

    And that doesn’t begin to get to all the canning and freezing of vegetables. My lord. No wonder she was hard to get along with!

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  94. moe99 said on June 9, 2009 at 2:56 am

    Would love the recipe, Jolene. I’m at reginac23 @ Thanks.

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  95. alex said on June 9, 2009 at 6:43 am

    Susan Gillie, you can still get those rum balls. It’s a Hungarian specialty and there’s a company in Chicago that ships them. My parents buy them all the time. Not sure of the name off the top of my head, but I can find out.

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  96. Connie said on June 9, 2009 at 6:51 am

    Shingles. Mine were more about the nerve infection than the rash. Best pain reduction that wasn’t narcotic: lidocaine patches. How I ended two years of recurring shingles: a low daily dose of Valtrex. I winced everytime I saw those ads for herpes. If you’ve not had shingles get yourself the new vaccine now.

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  97. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on June 9, 2009 at 7:28 am

    Oops — Cicero wrote “De Officiis.” I was always bad at cases and endings.

    Moe, my point was just that the phrase was more “beware of the suits” than “power to the people.” My own politics are somewhere in between those two statements.

    My grandmother always insisted on canning all her cherries, but it was three days of tempers on edge amidst much boiling water and hot, steaming pans. Which is why one year, her son-in-law, my dad, “accidentally” forgot to spray the trees, and of course there was no output that summer. We all agreed it was a shame, but after all, there were still a few dozen Mason jars in the cellar from the year(s) before, so we might just make it to next July.

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  98. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on June 9, 2009 at 8:24 am

    No doubt of interest in these parts — Mr. Simon speaks.

    He thinks that the NYT & WaPo will be charging for content w/in the year, which i don’t doubt, but what content? I think you’ll see quite a few papers go to Sunday print only, and maybe one or two other days of actual publication (with or without delivery), and then offer premium/special content on the website that will still be largely open and free.

    The problem isn’t journalism, or even public tastes, as much as it is about the implosion of the advertising model that paid for the journalism we’ve known. Most of the debates about “citizen journalism” are, IMNSHO, beside the point — blogging will happen, because it can, and why not? But arguing over whether it has displaced reporting implies that they are sui generis, when they are two very different things.

    Now that we can actually measure and track where eyeballs go, advertisers are wanting to pay for value. This began with the ABC scandals a decade ago, and is still rumbling down into the final stages of collapse: we lied to people for years over what they were buying on the publisher/biz side of newspapering, and the pigeons are coming home to roost, except they’re vultures. Big, mean, ticked-off buzzards who want to pick only the tasty bits of some fresh carcass, and won’t settle for three day old roadkill pavement jerky, which is what the full page second section b/w ads had turned into. We kept ginning up fake stats to say “this isn’t the half of your ad spending that’s wasted,”* and now they not only say no, they say “bite me.”

    But they still need to advertise, and sell their product. There’s a market out there ready to set sail, just not the one that sank off the pier and is still bubbling in the harbor.

    Bloggers have almost *nothing* to do with any of this. I don’t know why this is still something smart people argue about.

    *Old saying in ad biz — “I know half of my ad budget is wasted, i just don’t know which half.” No one laughs any more when you say that, especially since the data seems to prove that it’s more like 92% of your advertising is wasted.

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  99. grapeshot said on June 9, 2009 at 8:35 pm

    Gosh, South Bend IN has a wonderful farmers market.
    And the largest open air fruit market is in Benton Harbor, MI — directly west of Detroit on the Michigan shore. (It’s practically a straight shot on I-94.)

    I grew up in the southwest corner of Michigan, which has a climate perfect for fruit growing. I’ve never had better plums, peaches, cherries, pears or apples. (Well….I did have apples just as good in Oregon once, from a roadside stand.) Not to mention berries of all kinds. Tomatoes, melons, cukes, peppers, squash, beans, kohlrabi, and of course, corn. I now live in Wisconsin, but nothing here comes close to the variety and the taste of the fruit and vegetables from that corner of Michigan. I try to make a trip across the lake every year to get tomatoes and peaches for canning.

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