Soup without tears.

January is National Soup Month. Before it slips into the books, let’s recall a few of the month’s steaming pots here at the Nall-Derringer Co-Prosperity Sphere:

Sweet potato bisque: I happened to be at the Russell Street Deli, an Eastern Market institution known for its spectacular soups, the week before Christmas, when this was on the menu. It was…mouth-gasmic. It fogged my glasses and my mind. I tried to consider what the “Top Chef” judges call its “flavor profile,” but my tastebuds were happy-dancing so, it was hard to get them to settle down and give some sober feedback. It had many of the notes of a sweet potato pie — cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger — but was savory overall. I found a recipe online that seemed to come close, using buttermilk for the tang, and whipped up a batch. It was very good, but not as good as Russell’s. Three stars (out of four).

Curried butternut squash: An early improvisation, inspired by Mark Bittman. I make a version of this every fall, basically squash soup with curry and a tart apple thrown in the mix. For this, I left out the apple and added a can of coconut milk, and my friends? It was fabulous. I’m buying coconut milk every other week now. Four stars.

Cream of cauliflower: Another Bittman inspiration, brought on by the perennial January realization that I could eat a lot more vegetables if I tried. Sauté onion and garlic, throw in a whacked-up head of cauliflower, cover with broth, simmer to softness, puree and swirl in a half-cup or so of cream. Yum. Three-and-a-half stars.

Roasted garlic with white cheddar: I make this in the winter most years, but not for the last few. It’s an old Betty Rosbottom recipe, simplicity itself: Break up and peel two heads of garlic, cover with olive oil and roast in the oven for 40 minutes or so. Meanwhile, soften some leeks or onions or both, add a few potatoes, cover with broth, simmer simmer simmer, etc. When it’s soft, throw in the roasted garlic [EDIT: Remove the garlic from the oil first] and puree. Finish by stirring in a handful of grated white cheddar cheese. Serve with a green salad and crusty bread you can sop in the oil from the garlic roasting. Refrain from kissing for the rest of the night. Four stars.

Chili: Because if it’s winter in the Midwest, there will be chili. Everyone has their own favorite recipe. You don’t need to hear mine. Three stars.

No-cream of cauliflower and carrot: This was last night. I had a head of golden cauliflower teetering on the edge, so I made it the same way I did the other cauliflower soup, only I added a double handful of carrots and left out the cream and curry. Topped with some grated cheddar, cocked my shotgun, held it to the head of my daughter and forced her to choke down 10 spoonfuls or so, which she advised me were “gross.” Reader, it was not. It was delicious. Three and a half stars.

Note all the pureeing. You can do it in batches in the blender, but that’s a pain in the ass. Far better to spend $30 on what Emeril calls a “boat motor” and most cookbooks call an immersion blender. Mine broke last night, which seemed to be a fitting marker for the end of National Soup Month.

Although I will buy a new one this weekend. Because you really need an immersion blender. At least in our house.

Which takes us to the bloggage at the end of a cold but sunny week here in the Mitten:

You want to know why people hate lawyers? Try the NFL’s jerkishness in trying to stop New Orleans retailers from selling T-shirts and other merchandise featuring the fleur de lis and/or the phrase “Who dat?” One of my Facebook friends, Ray Shea, said it best:

The fleur de lis predates the existence of the NFL by more than two millenia. The fleur de lis has flown on flags over Lousiana for more than four centuries. Black and gold has been associated with the Zulu Social Aid and Pleasure Club for almos a century. The phrase “Who Dat” is more than a century old and exists in recorded New Orleans music since the 1930s.

The NFL is granted a temporary non-exclusive license to suck my balls.

Ray is an old friend of Ashley’s, and won my allegiance to the Saints the night the team beat Indianapolis, and he posted, “Who dat pushing Manning’s face in the turf? WHO DAT?” Indeed. Peyton Manning is a guy whose face can never be pushed into the turf too often.

I just surfed through Memorandum to see what’s going on in the world of politics, and found this headline: Palin to Obama: Stop the fingerpointing. And with that, irony died once again and I officially declared the weekend under way.

So enjoy yours.

Posted at 10:12 am in Current events, Same ol' same ol' |

83 responses to “Soup without tears.”

  1. Dorothy said on January 29, 2010 at 10:33 am

    I started but could not finish reading the Palin/Van Sustern interview. I started feeling nauseous trying to count all the “you know”s that each of them used.

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  2. A different Connie said on January 29, 2010 at 10:35 am

    On kids forcing down soup: I once made some nommy carrot/ginger soup, roughly from the Moosewood cookbook, pured with pistachios. My son reluctantly ate it, saying it tasted funny, and that was the day we discovered his nut allergy.

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  3. judybusy said on January 29, 2010 at 10:43 am

    Now I just want to run outta the office and make about ten kinds of soup. In reality, I’ll be making a new chili recipe tonight that calls for re-hydrated New Mexican and ancho chilies pureed, hamburger and ground pork, plus the requisite onions, garlic and cumin. Because we’re from MN, we’re adding beans. It will be served for lunch tomorrow after XC skiing with friends.

    I laughed pretty hard at that headline!

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  4. coozledad said on January 29, 2010 at 10:48 am

    I was taking a wheel class in ceramics studio during that carb-free diet insanity, and brought in a small bowl of potato leek soup to have as a snack. While I was heating it up in the microwave a couple of the other students began to decompensate, even at fairly long range.
    Seems the powers of the human olfactory bulb are magnified by starvation.

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  5. Deborah said on January 29, 2010 at 10:50 am

    There will be soup this weekend (you hear that Little Bird?). Maybe chili, the white kind.

    New Yorker Alert: Good article in the latest issue on Tea Baggers. Great cover illustration too, by the same guy who did the fist bump one.

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  6. LAMary said on January 29, 2010 at 10:55 am

    I think Sarah Palin is getting blonder. It’s required for any women on Fox. Soon she’ll be blonde and have the dreaded Fox Lips.

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  7. Dorothy said on January 29, 2010 at 11:00 am

    A co-worker knows I dislike kidney beans, so she gave me her recipe for beanless chili and I make it regularly now. It has one pound each of ground meat, ground sweet sausage and ground hot sausage. Then chopped tomatoes with jalapeno peppers, chili powder, tomato juice, etc. Oh man, oh man do I love it!

    That Sweet Potato Bisque might find its way onto our table this weekend – or the Roasted Garlic and White Cheddar. It sounds divine.

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  8. 4dbirds said on January 29, 2010 at 11:01 am

    I like a good old fashioned navy bean soup.

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  9. Sue said on January 29, 2010 at 11:17 am

    Don’t forget a nice tomato soup, either minestrone-style or smooth/creamed, made from a couple of jars of tomatoes from last year’s garden.
    Our chili has to include onions cut into large enough pieces so they can be picked out and big, not small, chunks of tofu (frozen, thawed and drained, then cut into 1/2 – 3/4″ cubes). This is what happens when you give birth to a picky eater then raise her as a vegetarian.

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  10. Jolene said on January 29, 2010 at 11:22 am

    Oh, man. This thread is making me really hungry. One of the best soups I’ve made was this corn chowder, which was delicious and also very pretty. The chopped red pepper, sweet potato, and corn give it great color. Can’t remember for sure, but I probably made it with whole milk or half-and-half instead of cream.

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  11. paddyo' said on January 29, 2010 at 11:25 am

    I couldn’t read it, either, Dorothy – I was kinda gettin’ some whiplash there, y’know?

    Plus (and this is verbatim from She Who Will Not Be Named):
    “That’s pointing fingers, kind of creating more contention and division than needs to be. And that way, gosh, human nature is a desire to work together and get things done, these elected officials. They know who they’re working for. The people who are their bosses, their voters, they sent them there expecting common sense solutions, just get the job done.”

    W . . . T . . . F

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  12. Dorothy said on January 29, 2010 at 11:34 am

    It’s a wonder her eyes aren’t crossed, she talks in so many circles, right paddyo’?

    Sue we have made soup from our garden tomatoes twice in the past 10 days. The taste is just out of this world. We walked into Lowe’s after church on Sunday and we both sort of gasped – BIG racks of seeds for your garden, in the store in JANUARY!!!! That was a balm on that cold winter day, let me tell you. Speaking of which, it seems my sister Janet and my daughter might be pounded with snow this weekend at the shore (Virginia). Janet’s sons don’t even own boots. Wonder which shoe store they’re going to after school today? Zack is excited – he turns 15 on Sunday and an accumulation of 5-10″ of snow is a great birthday present.

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  13. Peter said on January 29, 2010 at 11:56 am

    No kidding, Dorothy – I made it almost 1/3rd and my head hurt so much it wasn’t funny. Oh yeah Sarah, you have just bent over backwards to help with health care.

    Good soup/bad soup – next week is the district Klondike Derby – each kid brings a can of soup, they’re all thrown in one pot, heated up and passed out, and I swear it tastes so much better than it sounds…

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  14. Sue said on January 29, 2010 at 12:07 pm

    Well, now we know. It all happened because Sen. Landrieu isn’t answering her phones.

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  15. Jenine said on January 29, 2010 at 12:57 pm

    Warm sweaters and good soup, January comforts. Here’s my offering: Chicken Corn Asianesque Soup. Also contains coconut milk. Total yum.

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  16. Joe Kobiela said on January 29, 2010 at 12:58 pm

    Greetings from freezing Lexington Ky.
    Just a quick note for Ms. Nall, I think they have horses down here. I went to breakfast, took some back roads and wow, pastures, huge barns, and curvy roads, with big old houses.
    Like to see it in the summer.
    Pilot Joe

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  17. Rana said on January 29, 2010 at 1:04 pm

    paddyo’ – wtf indeed. How dare Obama tell the Senators to listen to their voters and get things done when all they want to do is listen to their voters and get things done. Uh, what?

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  18. Jolene said on January 29, 2010 at 1:05 pm

    That’s a pretty blog, Jenine, and the recipe sounds good too. Just curious . . . are there other cooking-related blogs that you all follow? I don’t do as much cooking as I should, but I always like to look at the pictures.

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  19. Sue said on January 29, 2010 at 1:10 pm

    Breaking news:
    Brave jurors – I know I would be nervous.

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  20. Sue said on January 29, 2010 at 1:12 pm

    Rana, I hate to say it, but our elected officials ARE listening to their voters. This is very much a squeaky wheel thing. So call, now, and get other like-minded voters to do the same.

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  21. Bob (not Greene) said on January 29, 2010 at 1:16 pm

    Ahhhhhhh! I just tried to read the transcript of the Palin-Greta thing and my eyes hurt. The woman can’t put together a coherent thought. She was a governor! I can’t believe she was even elected mayor of something. Can you imagine covering a city council meeting and trying to quote her or trying to interview her? Gah.

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  22. moe99 said on January 29, 2010 at 1:22 pm

    Glad for the notion of soups. I can heartily recommend the chicken coconut curry soup dished out by our local Metropolitan Markets. Which I will be serving for lunch (just got the word y’day they would be passing through) with my dear friend Randi, her husband and daughter. Randi and I went to Spencer School and Defiance Junior High together, so this will be a midwestern reunion.

    And Joe K, as a 5 year resident of Lexington who still has family there, let me recommend that you go visit when Keeneland is in session. 2 weeks in the spring and 2 weeks in the fall. Unfortunately they now have an announcer system, but it is still the prettiest track out there.

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  23. nancy said on January 29, 2010 at 1:25 pm

    The best thing about Keeneland — besides the century-old oaks in the paddocks and the graceful architecture and the gorgeous horseflesh — is that they assume everyone there has at least minimal horseman’s skills, and the saddling areas are all open to spectators. You’re expected to use common sense, but as long as you do, come on in and stand close enough to the next Kentucky Derby winner to brush his tail. (At least that’s what I’m told. Never been there myself.

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  24. John said on January 29, 2010 at 1:37 pm

    Just had Spicy Sausage Soup with white beans and kale at The Voodoo Grill and Betsy has vegetable soup ready for tonight. This is Soup Season!

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  25. Deborah said on January 29, 2010 at 1:42 pm

    And don’t forget the bourbon. I designed exhibits for a bourbon museum in Versailles near Lexington (for the Woodford Reserve brand). I knew everything there was to know about bourbon for awhile, but have forgotten much of it except the taste. It’s a beautiful place, in the rolling bluegrass area, surrounded by fancy horse farms.

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  26. Little Bird said on January 29, 2010 at 1:47 pm

    Oh yes, there will be soup. I figured I’d make French Onion soup, from scratch. Yes, the beef stock too. It will take roughly 5 hours to make. I also figured we’d have a caesar salad. And we’d make the dressing. And the croutons. Sound good?

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  27. Jolene said on January 29, 2010 at 1:55 pm

    Have you folks been listening to Obama speak to the Republican House members? They’re having a retreat somewhere in Baltimore, and he gave a short speech and has been taking questions for about an hour. I hate to sound like a dewy-eyed teen-ager, but, really, it is so exciting to have a president who can speak clearly, has the facts at his command, is willing to listen, and able to push back.

    He is really challenging them on the way they have described the stimulus package, the health care program, and such, i.e., in terms of death panels, pulling the plug on Grandma and so on. Key statement: When you characterize the health care program as a Bolshevik plot, you leave yourselves very little room to negotiate.

    It would be lovely to think this exchange could make a difference. I think, just for today, I’ll believe that it will.

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  28. Deborah said on January 29, 2010 at 1:55 pm

    I just stepped out to get lunch and bring back, now I’m eating a bowl of loaded cream of potato soup and it’s pretty darned good too.

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  29. Jenine said on January 29, 2010 at 2:03 pm

    Jolene, my favorite food blogger is SmittenKitchen. Great photos and well proofed recipes. I like the Pioneer Woman too but for her sass rather than the cuisine. Who’s your pick of the litter?

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  30. Peter said on January 29, 2010 at 2:20 pm

    Sue, the Kansas guy and the Landrieu break-in artist sure have one thing in common – they are smack dab in the middle of their alternate universe.

    The problem with those nuts is drugs. Too much or not enough, that part I can’t figure out.

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  31. Sue said on January 29, 2010 at 2:45 pm

    ‘He is really chal­leng­ing them on the way they have described the stim­u­lus pack­age, the health care pro­gram, and such’
    Now he needs to do the same thing to the dems.
    ‘The prob­lem with those nuts is drugs. Too much or not enough, that part I can’t fig­ure out.’

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  32. MRMARK said on January 29, 2010 at 2:48 pm

    Wow, love the soup/food discussion Nance. Check out this delicious Lemon Pound Cake my wife made for my 40th (gulp) Birthday.

    Remember how young we were when you spoke at my Senior High dinner back in FTW?? (circa 1988).

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  33. Jolene said on January 29, 2010 at 2:58 pm

    Now he needs to do the same thing to the dems.

    I agree, although I think that, at least w/ regard to health care, it’s fair to say that it’s the R’s who are most guilty of distorting what is really happening–and of being cavalier of what will happen if nothing is changed. The video and transcript of O’s exchange w/ the R’s is online, and there’s a discussion of the exchange at Politico.

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  34. Jolene said on January 29, 2010 at 3:05 pm


    I like SmittenKitchen too. Alexandra’s Kitchen is another good blog by an individual, although she could benefit from the services of an editor. Serious Eats and Slashfood have lots of good things, but they’re too busy to read everything. Also, too many articles re restaurants in towns I’m not likely to visit. And, of course, Mark Bittman’s blog at the New York Times. That’s more than I can pay attention to, but, of course, I’m always curious about what I might be missing.

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  35. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on January 29, 2010 at 3:09 pm

    Carrot-sweet potato soup yesterday, lentil stew for Saturday night; I’ve just plain given up on bay leaves, having been asked “do they actually add anything to the flavor?” and not had an answer.

    Had to toss this in here, since I suspect it will be enjoyed whether you liked Salinger or not —

    I can just see the first seating for those roast beef dinners. Been to many of them, but all in all, it sounds like he wasn’t much of a recluse after all, he just didn’t have anything else to publish. Maybe he actually learned something from his creepy relationship with Joyce Maynard.

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  36. Sue said on January 29, 2010 at 3:18 pm

    Oh, absolutely Jolene. But dems had chance after chance to get the message out, even when things were changing on a daily basis, and they didn’t. How hard is it for all of them to come together and refute the most obvious nonsense? Or, why weren’t they all on-message together, pointing out basic things, like while you might have health insurance, your kid probably doesn’t past age 18 and these days is also likely to be priced out of a market intended to make money for shareholders more than provide actual healthcare? This kind of stuff – providing basic information – should be able to work as well as death panel scare tactics, and no one was doing it at a level that could be heard. If they all stayed on-message like that, maybe there might have been news coverage comparable to what was provided to the death panel liars.

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  37. Rana said on January 29, 2010 at 3:27 pm

    Sue, I do contact my Congressmen, regularly. And each time I get a bland non-answer, and business as usual continues. The thing is, my views are a minority among their voters, so they don’t have to worry about losing my vote. Besides, I have a hard time believing that the comments of one random woman are as persuasive as the comments of large donors and corporations. So long as their competitors at the elections are worse, they don’t need to improve.

    Besides, many of the things that I ask for are seen as inherently unreasonable, like covering abortion or ending our dependence on fossil fuels, or allowing more third-party participation. Those get the letters that tell me that I should be grateful that they’re working to fight childhood obesity. I keep telling them what I want, repeatedly, but as far as I can tell, it’s like talking to a wall. Increasingly I’m heading towards apathetic non-voter territory, because it doesn’t seem like my views matter at all – so why give them the cover of my apparent endorsement by voting for them?

    Anyway… the point of my comment wasn’t to talk about voters and their relationship to Congressfolk. It was to make fun of Palin scolding Obama for telling people to do something she says they’re already doing.

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  38. Bob (not Greene) said on January 29, 2010 at 3:29 pm

    Speaking of J.D Salinger, this is the angle only a hometown newspaper can get.

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  39. Jolene said on January 29, 2010 at 3:31 pm

    But dems had chance after chance to get the mes­sage out, even when things were chang­ing on a daily basis, and they didn’t.

    I couldn’t agree more. I do fault Obama for not doing a major presentation w/ charts and graphs that would explain how things are, what the trends are, and what the general structure of the proposed reforms is. The level of public ignorance on these points is massive. Opposition to the general idea of reform melts away (or, at least, diminishes greatly) when people are asked about specific elements of the plan. Lots of people aren’t going to pay attention no matter what he does, but he and the Congressional Dems could have done better.

    The video of today’s discussion (the whole thing) is now up at C-SPAN. It’s probably too long to watch unless you’re doing something else, but, if you’re cooking or washing dishes or riding your exercise bike, it’s worth a listen.

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  40. Bob (not Greene) said on January 29, 2010 at 3:31 pm

    Nevermind — Jeff (TTMO) beat me to it!

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  41. Jolene said on January 29, 2010 at 3:36 pm

    Rana: I agree that the responses you get from contacting people in Congress are generally lame, but I don’t think that’s a reason not to do it. They may not generate individual responses to your queries or be moved to support causes that only a minority of voters favor, but, on big issues, they do total up the pro and con calls. There is, I think, no doubt, that it was right-wing outrage that killed comprehensive immigration reform, which was, in my view, one of GWB’s few good ideas.

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  42. Sue said on January 29, 2010 at 3:43 pm

    Rana, the tack I’ve been taking with calls and emails is: what is the point of voting if my vote means nothing? If it is more important to appease the people who won’t vote for you anyway, why do you think you can count on my vote? Or, as I write at the end of my emails, “Are you TRYING to get me to sit out the next election?”
    The people I have talked to (and I’ve gotten through to an actual person each time, even at the White House line), have been a little uncomfortable with that thought.

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  43. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on January 29, 2010 at 4:11 pm

    Bob, don’t you love the idea of the hardware guy and the lady at the post office telling the spring flood of English majors various snipe hunt routes to “Jerry’s place”? You get a good sense of the place from the article, and it seems like a good place. Salinger made some bad decisions in life, but picking Cornish wasn’t one of them.

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  44. Sue said on January 29, 2010 at 4:17 pm

    Haven’t visited Bossy for awhile, but my goodness, her take on the State of the Union address is as usual, insightful political analysis not seen elsewhere:

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  45. Jolene said on January 29, 2010 at 4:22 pm

    One more comment on Obama among the R’s. This one is from Mark Ambinders at The Atlantic. Sorry to be tiresome on this point, but it’s so rare to have someone make so much sense in a public forum.

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  46. Sue said on January 29, 2010 at 4:42 pm

    Jolene, tying this in with Nancy’s link to Sarahville, when President Palin gets her turn, I sincerely hope we get to see the mirror image of what happened today.

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  47. Jolene said on January 29, 2010 at 4:54 pm

    when Pres­i­dent Palin gets her turn, I sin­cerely hope we get to see the mir­ror image of what hap­pened today

    Honestly, I don’t think I could bear it. James Fallows called “Obama among the R’s” the most interesting thing you can watch today.

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  48. nancy said on January 29, 2010 at 5:06 pm

    I’m sorry I missed this. Fallows’ embedded video is not what he thinks it is, but I was struck by this line:

    I would like to hear from spokesmen for the once-strong “Obama can’t possibly think without his teleprompter” camp after watching more than an hour of live Q-and-A.

    I am well and truly astonished by how often I hear this, STILL. I mean, I can’t count how often we’ve seen this man take question after question, think on his feet and do so with grace, style, brains and even humor. And yet I still see this one on blogs. That’s my cue to never take another word that person says seriously.

    I see Mike Pence was one of the questioners, referring to “little David Carter and his dad.” The use of “little” in front of a child’s name (unless it’s done to sort out a child with the same name as an older relative) is another one of those instant “you’re a smarmy asshole” markers for me.

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  49. Jolene said on January 29, 2010 at 5:23 pm

    Nancy, the link in Fallows’s text (or the link in my message re C-SPAN above) will take you to the video of the whole discussion. Am not sure exactly what Fallows is doing w/ the short piece embedded in his post.

    And, yes, Mike Pence is a dick and a dope too.

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  50. LAMary said on January 29, 2010 at 5:29 pm

    JeffTMMO, add too many bay leaves and you’ll know what they can do.

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  51. Floral Joy said on January 29, 2010 at 5:43 pm

    You just made me really hungry and I don’t have anything at home to make soup with. If you’re ever in midtown in Manhattan, you should go to the soup nazi (the one from Seinfeld). It’s the best soup ever!

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  52. Rana said on January 29, 2010 at 6:04 pm

    Sue, I think I will steal that line!

    I haven’t sunken into apathy and I don’t intend to, but it does grow discouraging, and I am becoming more convinced that the idea that voting on its own is sufficient to prompt change is flawed and dangerous. It’s too easy to think that checking a box every few years is enough; it’s not. Instead, one has to be more involved on a regular basis, and, boy howdy, is that tiring. *wry expression*

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  53. Dexter said on January 29, 2010 at 6:10 pm

    I am not a horseman but a former co-worker always went in April, and from our talks I realized that for him, Keeneland was as classic old baseball parks were to me, the kind of place where a person stops and realizes they are in a place where they would rather be than any place else on the planet.

    I used to get that way at Wrigley Field, and he got that way at Keeneland. Oh, one time I sent a C-note with him to take to Churchill Downs and place a bet on the Derby. My horse won, but I bet on him to show. “Always put it on the nose!” I heard that for a year….
    I had soup for lunch. Bean curd soup from Oriental Express in Auburn, Indiana.
    Tofu squares, sliced carrots, broccoli florets, water chestnuts, a little bok choi , in chicken broth. A nice side for my vegetable lo mein. I love that little place—it’s been there for years, in the old Scott Store Plaza, Grandstaff Drive North.

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  54. Michael said on January 29, 2010 at 6:48 pm

    Alright, I’ve just spent a week at a national conference of lawyers so maybe I’m feeling a little bit of professional defensiveness. But let’s all get this straight; “Lawyers don’t sue people – people sue people”. We are hired to advocate on behalf of our clients and the system only works when even assholes have competent legal counsel.

    The NFL and the Saints are engaged in intimidation. The fleur de lis is in the public domain. A law student can argue that competently. Before this is over a very competent lawyer will do the same thing.

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  55. moe99 said on January 29, 2010 at 8:15 pm

    John Cole over at Balloon Juice has the best line:
    “If Mike Pence really is regarded as one of the deep thinkers for the GOP, I’m beginning to understand why they refused to admit Terri Schiavo was brain-dead.”

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  56. basset said on January 29, 2010 at 8:28 pm

    I have only been on a horse once in my life, at the fair when I was ten, and didn’t care for it, but my aunt and uncle are suppliers to the horse business in Lexington and we have been there several times, including once when I had too much wine, way too much, and behaved badly at one of their parties. Woke up the next morning with a vicious hangover and couldn’t figure out the plumbing in their guest room, so I cleaned up by sticking my head under the bathtub tap in between bouts of vertigo and got dressed just in time for the special treat they had prepared for us – a trip to one of the local breeding farms.

    Artificial insemination is not allowed in the “blood horse” business, breeding has to be done by the natural act. I will spare you the description of the “teaser” mare and her responsibilities, as well as the groom with the big leather gloves. Believe me, two horses going at it, no matter how nice the stone barn they’re in, is not what you want to see when you have one of those damn near hallucinogenic hangovers, no matter how quickly the horses get it over with.

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  57. nancy said on January 29, 2010 at 8:49 pm

    I think one of Tom Wolfe’s novels — “A Man In Full,” if I recall correctly — features about a 30-page description of that very act, and you are very correct, Basset.

    We toured Select Sires, a cattle breeding facility, when the National Society of Newspaper Columnists met in Columbus many years ago. There, it’s the guy with the scimitar-shaped whatchamacallit you don’t want to know about. It’s all AI there, but they still use teasers to get the sires in the mood.

    What a life a select sire has.

    Oh, and Michael, I’ll give you your due on lawyers. But why doesn’t any with a J.D. tell the NFL to back the hell off before they write the cease-and-desist letters? That’s just chickenshit intimidation.

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  58. Deborah said on January 29, 2010 at 9:07 pm

    Just watched the 80 minute or whatever C-span Obama confrontation. Well worth the watch from start to finish. Thanks for the link.

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  59. basset said on January 29, 2010 at 10:33 pm

    was it Allen Ginsberg who mentioned having had a hangover that was so intense it was almost like a mescaline high?

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  60. moe99 said on January 30, 2010 at 12:22 am

    basset, when I lived in KY, what you heard about was the teaser male horse, not a female teaser.

    Mares are vicious when they are in heat and you need someone to ‘get them in the mood” so they don’t damage the stud. Studs are multi million dollar investments and a ‘love bite’ or a kick from a mare in heat can really damage that investment. The teaser pony is introduced and at the very last minute, yanked out and the stud is ‘inserted’ into the breeding room in place of the teaser pony.

    So the figurative job that no one really wants is to be the teaser pony for the stud. There was in fact a lawsuit filed in Lexington against a farm where the teaser pony actually made it–the mare gave birth to a colt that looked nothing like the stud and everything like the teaser pony. All the guys in my law school class were high fiving each other when we learned about it. It musta been a guy thing.

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  61. Dexter said on January 30, 2010 at 1:07 am

    No image, none, stayed with me in great clarity of recall like the sight of the breeder inseminating a cow in the barn. I saw it 52 years ago. For a kid, it was “SO GROSS!”

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  62. Joe Kobiela said on January 30, 2010 at 8:28 am

    Dexter, its Oriental Gourmet, not express, if were talking about the same place. Over by the radio station in Auburn. Wife and I eat there at least once a week. We call the gal behind the counter “the general” because of the way she keeps the place running.
    Pilot Joe

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  63. basset said on January 30, 2010 at 10:45 am

    Mare, stud, whatever… I was just trying to act interested and not throw up where anyone could see me.

    Four inches of snow overnight in Nashville and sleet on top of it which froze into a hard crust. Good day to stay in.

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  64. alex said on January 30, 2010 at 12:06 pm

    “If Mike Pence really is regarded as one of the deep thinkers for the GOP, I’m beginning to understand why they refused to admit Terri Schiavo was brain-dead.”

    moe, seldom anymore does anything make me laugh so hard that I pee. Thanks for making my day.

    I think all this speculation about Pence’s presidential potential is as nonsensical as the talk about Palin’s. Politically he’s probably indistinguishable from Mike Huckabee, who could barely make a dent in the GOP primaries last time around, and doesn’t have Huckabee’s telegenic presence or otherwise likable personality. Pence is an odd mix of populist libertarian and bluenose theocrat all dressed up in an empty suit with no fire in the belly. He’s regarded as a rising star in the party only because the media haven’t yet busted him shooting his damn fool mouth off in any way worthy of national scorn. But just you wait.

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  65. Jolene said on January 30, 2010 at 1:30 pm

    He’s regarded as a ris­ing star in the party only because the media haven’t yet busted him shoot­ing his damn fool mouth off in any way wor­thy of national scorn. But just you wait.

    That day might not be too far away. As Matt Yglesias points out, it might come sooner if the people interviewing him had more substantive expertise themselves.

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  66. Deborah said on January 30, 2010 at 2:16 pm

    I just did something I said I’d never do, I went to Michele Malkin’s blog to see what the right wing was saying about Obama at the Republican event. Now I feel like I need a shower. I can’t believe I even read all the comments. I’m going to have to wash my eyes out with bleach. Very nauseating. I don’t recommend it.

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  67. Scout said on January 30, 2010 at 2:22 pm

    I think La Palin has aready acquired the requisite Fox Bimbo lips. As a matter of fact, I think she has had the full plastic make over. Her face was a frozen mask during her post-SOTU “analysis” the other night. It was hilarious watching her try to lift an eyebrow.

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  68. brian stouder said on January 30, 2010 at 2:27 pm

    Mike Pence may indeed be as dumb as a post, but grant him this much: he had sense enough to know that Evan Bayh would have dropped him like a bad habit, for the Senate seat.

    I’ve always thought Pence’s chief political asset, here in Indiana, is his resemblence to Bobby Knight (but without the paunch, or the brains).

    Leaving him aside, here’s another guy to add to the wacko-list: Allen County Sheriff Ken Fries. On the Pat White radio show yesterday, he solemnly swore that he will personally oppose any effort by “the Feds” to come into Allen County and disarm citizens(!); this in answer to a moon-beam caller who expressed the fear that “the Feds” will try and do this any time now. The Sheriff said he has the power to oppose any such move, and he would exercise it to the fullest extent. He might as well have pledged to fight off any and all space aliens that may descend upon Allen County, Indiana.

    Fries looks a little like that nude model who just won a Senate seat in Massachusetts. When he tries to become “a Fed” office holder, it will be worth remembering that he’s insane

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  69. beb said on January 30, 2010 at 5:09 pm

    Moe98, re “teaser ponies” at least there are no fluffer ponies….

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  70. whitebeard said on January 30, 2010 at 8:10 pm

    Deborah et al, I will never link to a Malkin site ever again but a thought did come to me about Obama’s daring move, it was like Daniel in the lyings den

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  71. brian stouder said on January 30, 2010 at 8:40 pm

    A total non-sequitur:

    Here in Fort Wayne, there is a major shakeup coming in several of our largest high schools; principals and assisitant principals are being re-assigned all around the district, which has some people all atwitter.

    And today was the annual FWCS school choice fair at Northrup High School, which Grant (our 14 year old) and I went to, since he is working on deciding which high school he wants to attend.

    As we made the rounds, an attractive tv newsie zigged right into us and started asking questions (the article saves the best for last)

    (We also saw ourselves on TV, which is always a jarring experience; and, I shudder to think I almost didn’t shave before we headed to the expo!)

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  72. alice said on January 30, 2010 at 8:46 pm

    I feel compelled to strongly second the wonders of the immersion blender, and to mention the Two Fat Ladies always referred to it as “the kitchen vibrator.”

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  73. moe99 said on January 30, 2010 at 10:20 pm

    I caught this today because my youngest likes to watch college basketball.

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  74. Dexter said on January 30, 2010 at 10:48 pm

    What the hell! As I was watching some fabulous college games—men’s basketball games, I now am made aware a new Miss America was crowned.
    I remember when the pageant was huge, everyone talked about it, Bert Parks sang the song, everybody had the TVs on…it really was big.
    Now it is on TLC? I think I get it on cable, but I have never watched anything on it, certainly not the Gosselins.
    Well, Miss Virginia won, I didn’t see a second of it, and for all the hours I listen to all that talk on my XM radio, not one radio personality even gave it two seconds of mention beforehand.
    Pilot Joe: you are right, of course, it’s Oriental Gourmet. Who needs extravagant buffets when we have a place like that? I eat there about twice a month.

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  75. Dave K. said on January 31, 2010 at 12:41 am

    Regarding Mike Pence’s decision not to run for Senate against Evan Bayh. I figured the RNC made that call, thinking, “Why try and defeat Senator Bayh when he is already as helpful to our agenda as a Republican?”.

    I sincerely hope that he will prove me wrong.

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  76. alex said on January 31, 2010 at 11:58 am

    Well, Dave, from what I’ve read, Pence’s level of seniority in the House is such that he’d be foolish to leave at this point, and that the polls purporting to show Pence beating Bayh if an election were held today aren’t reliable enough to make it a risk worth taking. Of course, his announcement that he won’t run for Bayh’s Senate seat is now fueling the gossip that he intends to run for president in 2012.

    If you believe the prognosticators, the GOP primary in 2012 will again feature a wide field of mostly unelectable candidates talking crazy shit, from which a tepid moderate who talks out of both sides of his ass will emerge as victor for the thankless job of being stomped into the ground by a charismatic incumbent president. If Huckabee’s politics knocked him out of the race early on in 2008 despite the force of his personality, it’s hard to imagine why Pence would even bother, but you never know.

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  77. Jeff Borden said on January 31, 2010 at 3:50 pm

    So long as the Republican Party is dumbing itself down, embracing the inner yahoo and distancing itself from education, accomplishment and achievement, guys like Pence are going to be mentioned as potential national candidates.

    She Who Must Not be Named has made smiling stupidity fashionable.

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  78. moe99 said on January 31, 2010 at 3:56 pm

    Used to be that politics was considered “Hollywood for ugly people.” Now it seems that politics is “Hollywood for beautiful but really dumb people.”

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  79. brian stouder said on January 31, 2010 at 6:00 pm

    I confess that I laughed out loud when I read that John Edwards is the star attraction on a sex tape, now in the possession of the tell-all-book-of-the-week guy.

    One could have guessed that a person as self-conciously beautiful as he is, would want to star in such a thing; but the detail that made me laugh is this one (emphasis added):

    Young, who had worked for Edwards since his 1998 Senate win, said he was absolutely sure it was his boss in the tape. “It’s definitely him. You never see her face. But you see — you clearly see his face for a long time. And I can’t speak for the other body parts, but it’s definitely his face,” Young told ABC News.

    What a maroon!

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  80. Jeff Borden said on January 31, 2010 at 6:20 pm

    Maybe someday John Edwards will make a sex tape with Paris Hilton, though the risk of a dangerous overload of vapidity might prevent such a union.

    I believe it was in a novel by John Barth, but there’s a passage where the hero/narrator is having sex with an impressionable young woman. He gets a glimpse of them making the two-backed beast in the mirror and finds the imagery so hilarious he begins laughing uncontrollably. This does not go over well the woman, needless to say, but in his mind, the physical sensation of sex is overcome by the wild tangle of limbs he observes.

    Maybe John Edwards should read some John Barth.

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  81. Deborah said on January 31, 2010 at 7:32 pm

    It is so true that the Republicans have figured out that attractiveness sells… Except when it comes to people like Rush, then it’s bully-ness. If you can’t be attractive be a bully, that seems to be the strategy. When you look at the “babes” on Fox, it’s just so obvious how shallow it is. I will say that Obama is attractive and that probably didn’t hurt him one bit. Edwards just got creepier and creepier as his campaign progressed. He seemed super obsessed with his looks as time went on.

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  82. Dorothy said on January 31, 2010 at 7:49 pm

    I made the roasted garlic and white cheddar soup for dinner tonight, aided by our very own “kitchen vibrator” (thx alice!) and it was delicious. Thank you Nancy for sharing the recipe!

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  83. basset said on January 31, 2010 at 9:58 pm

    We made the cream of cauliflower, but with broccoli and no cream, just a little milk that happened to be part of some leftover potato soup I threw in there. Carrots for color, potato cubes for texture, wasn’t bad at all.

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