Is that cheddar old enough to vote?

After yesterday’s overcast start, the day brightened into something a little less leaden. The sun was safe behind many veils of clouds, but the rain stopped and what ho, I have an interview at the coffee shop on the corner? Think I’ll wear my raincoat in this mild, 50-degree weather. I called my editor in Lansing after I got home. It was 52 here, but 100 miles to the west, 32. And sure enough, soon the sky darkened again, the wind changed from southwest to northwest justlikethat, rain blew horizontally for a while and tomorrow it’ll be winter again. Highs in the 20s.

Do I start every blog with a weather report? Yes, I do. I am a Midwesterner, after all.

And at the moment I’m a Midwesterner with just two squares of a Green & Black white-chocolate bar left, the spoils of a splurge trip to Whole Foods Saturday. Whole Foods in Ann Arbor, I should add — a childhood friend was passing through, and thought she’d give me a shout, see if I was up for lunch. These days, I have a refuse-no-friends-who-are-passing-through policy, especially when I haven’t seen them in years. You never know when you’ll get another chance.

So we went to Zingerman’s Roadhouse. It was an episode of “Portlandia” come to life, with the waiter introducing himself, sketching out the restaurant’s philosophy (“comfort food and barbecue”), its policy on sourcing (local, of course) and then expressing his deep delight that he would get to break my friends’ Z-cherry, so to speak. All of this would be intolerable if Zingerman’s didn’t dollar up on the hoof so well. You pay through the nose, you put up with this seemingly endless bullshit, but when the food arrives, there is nothing to do but say, “This may be a side dish of macaroni and cheese priced at $7.50, but if there’s a dish of macaroni and cheese worth $7.50? It tastes like this.”

Cindy ordered the go-go grilled cheese sandwich. She asked if she could change the cheeses. But of course. Could she maybe have some cheddar with a little Maytag bleu? Certainly, our waiter said, adding:

“How old?”

“I beg your pardon?”

“How old on the cheddar?” There was a choice. One year, two years, or five. She asked for the one-year vintage. It was an excellent sandwich, and the mushroom soup was even better.

I had lentil soup, with a side of sauteed spinach. I’m going through a big sauteed-spinach phase. So easy. Buy it by the bag, prewashed, throw a little olive oil and garlic into the pan, get it going, toss in the greens and wait until they wilt down into iron-rich deliciousness. Sometimes I have it for breakfast, with a poached egg. Florentine, but without the mornay sauce. Popeye never asked for mornay sauce. It gives me the strength of 10 old bags.

Weather and food. Yep, that’s about right.

Fortunately, we have much good bloggage today:

First, quite the arresting slide show of the Italian cruise-ship disaster. Alan tells me they actually drifted to that position so close to the rocks, but I’m not sure. This overhead view plainly shows barely submerged rocks. How much pinot grigio was this captain drinking? The first rule of marine navigation: If you see rocks sticking out of the water, don’t drive the boat there. (It’s possible that’s some sort of lens flare or other trick of the light. Still. Awful close to those rocks, cap’n.)

My education sources keep telling me the lecture is dead. It’s not only not dead, it’s pretty lucrative — if you’re the lecturer, anyway:

In official Washington, there is an afterlife, and it’s a crowded, cacophonous place. Called the public speaking circuit, this D.C. Elysium is bound by the same transactional laws as the realm that preceded it. But instead of political parties, it is governed by speakers bureaus that promise visibility to those who sign up. In the past 30 years, a proliferation of bureaus has promoted, booked and enriched former lawmakers, candidates, consultants, Cabinet members, political reporters and gadflies.

“Let’s say you are secretary of something — there are two ways you are going to make a really good living: a lobbyist or a speaker, or a combination of the two,” said James Carville, the political consultant and a client of the Washington Speakers Bureau.

The bulls got out at Coozledad’s place again. Spoiler: Purley was OK after his encounter with the truck. I’m so glad, as Purley is the cutest bull ever. You let Mrs. Gingrich set eyes on him, and he’ll be a character in her next children’s book.

Me, on one side effect of the college competition — the common-app crush.

For once, a photo I find more interesting than Tom & Lorenzo. Spike Lee is a Christian now? Mariah Carey looks drunk, but considering she showed up in a version of the same dress that other lady did, maybe she had a reason. And yeah, Shelley shut it down. She looks better every year.

And with that, the hump day commences. Not you, Purley! Down, boy.

Posted at 12:55 am in Current events, Same ol' same ol' |

75 responses to “Is that cheddar old enough to vote?”

  1. basset said on January 18, 2012 at 1:11 am

    The common app? No way would I have gotten into IU today, not with barely passing algebra, no sports and no extracurriculars; probably be headed for Vincennes of Ivy Tech if they were feeling generous when my app got there.

    Missed the chili thread yesterday, but we made some Sunday with the last meat from the one deer I got this past season and fed it to some friends who brought guitars and a mandolin and a fiddle, sat around picking and eating and drinking wine all afternoon and didn’t even turn the TV on, no football here. We may have an anti-Super Bowl party, eat and drink too much without watching The Game.

    This week seems to be the time for cleaning out the refrigerator and making unduplicatable soups and stews. Leftover pot roast, chopped cabbage, couple cans of tomatoes, simmer awhile, not bad. Have some beans soaking now, the slow cooker is our friend.

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  2. Dexter said on January 18, 2012 at 1:48 am

    Wikipedia is dark, and Reddit is redirecting to Torrent Freak as far as I can tell…SOPA was rumored to be put on hold until February, a lie, as it lasted just about one day. Google shows a blacked-out logo on the home page, but it’s up.

    Craig Crawford has joined the SOPA blackout.

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  3. Dan B said on January 18, 2012 at 1:50 am

    I’m also a big fan of sauteed spinach (I often add a bit of lemon juice, too).

    When I was living in Spain, I had my upstairs neighbors, a pair of American undergraduates, over for dinner. I made sauteed spinach with garlic. It turned out that one of them had always hated spinach, but out of politeness, he tried some. He loved it, and they couldn’t stop talking about how good it was and how they had never known that spinach could actually taste good. A month or so later, they told me that they were making it for dinner regularly.

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  4. basset said on January 18, 2012 at 1:56 am

    Vincennes OR Ivy Tech, I should say.

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  5. Julie Robinson said on January 18, 2012 at 7:49 am

    Oh dear, I shouldn’t have watched that video on Coozledad’s page while eating breakfast.

    Yesterday Romney said he makes a little money from speeches, “but not very much”. It turns out that in Romneyville, not very much equals $374,327.62. May I move there too?

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  6. beb said on January 18, 2012 at 8:12 am

    School lunch programs used to serve this slimey green goo that looked awful and smelled worse that they called spinach. I never tasted it; it went straight into the garbage along with anything that might have touched it. To this day I do not eat spinach except for my sister-in-law’s spinach pie, and even then generally a single square. Fifty years later and you’ll still not be able to convince me that cooked spinach is edible.

    A grilled cheese sandwich with a choice of cheeses and a choice of how aged the cheese is? My grilled cheese sandwiches are made like God intended, with sliced American processed cheese!

    I did not know Spike Lee was so short. As for him becoming a Christian… maybe he’s just warding off the media vampires…. Mrs. Obama, of course looks fabulous. Which raises an interesting thought experiment. If Mrs. Clinton had been elected President we would likely be presented with a daily new dress / outfit, right? And what kinds of criticisms would Republicans be throwing at her instead of ‘crypto-Kenyan-communist?

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  7. alex said on January 18, 2012 at 8:32 am

    And what kinds of criticisms would Republicans be throwing at her instead of ‘crypto-Kenyan-communist?

    The distasteful sexist racist shit they’re already throwing. In fact, the insult of a president both black and female would be so much for them to suffer that it would be twice as bad as what they’re doing to her husband, I have no doubt.

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  8. Dorothy said on January 18, 2012 at 8:47 am

    I still remember being astonished as I watched my husband cook fresh spinach a couple of years ago. It’s almost like a magic trick, the way it transforms. The taste is outstanding – and I like spinach in omelets and a good green salad as well. I’m a terrible consumer of vegetables so I applaud myself for eating something many people find distasteful.

    I heard something on the news last night and I don’t know if this is confirmed or not. A reporter said they were working on finding out if it was true – that the captain of the cruise ship brought the ship in closer to shore so a crew member could wave to some family members who were there.

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  9. Joe Kobiela said on January 18, 2012 at 9:53 am

    I’m with you Nancy. Ran 6 miles at 8:15am Temp 53 shorts, t-shirt, windbreaker. By 3pm snow. Spending today in Bad Ax Mich up on the thumb,cloudy 17,although coming up here I was on top riding in the sunshine. Hopeing for a fla trip soon.
    Pilot Joe

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  10. coozledad said on January 18, 2012 at 10:02 am

    My wife had to go to a PF Chang’s for a business dinner once. Their sauteed spinach was very good. The trick seems to be sautéing the spinach with smoked garlic.

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  11. Connie said on January 18, 2012 at 10:20 am

    My daughter keeps talking about the wonderful “red cheddar” she ate in England. I haven’t seen it, even at my nearest specialty deli/cheese/meat place. Anyone have a clue what this is? And whether I can buy it here?

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  12. Deborah said on January 18, 2012 at 10:29 am

    Connie, I worked in London for awhile and remember the red cheddar, it’s similar to regular cheddar but tastier, crumblier and orangier (it’s died orange). I’ve never had it in the US. I used to go to a great cheese shop called Neal’s Yard not far from my flat, I don’t remember if I got the red cheddar there though.

    edit: I looked it up at the Neal’s Yard website, it’s called Red Leicester.

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  13. Dorothy said on January 18, 2012 at 10:41 am

    I’m going to have to see if Pennsylvania Macaroni Company in the Strip District has that cheese. Thanks gals. Always on the lookout for a tasty new treat to try.

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  14. Jolene said on January 18, 2012 at 10:48 am

    At Jaleo’s, a tapas restaurant w/ three incarnations in the DC area, they serve spinach sautéed w/ raisins, pine nuts, and small chunks of apple. Might be some seasoning in the oil too. Really delicious.

    I used to have the same feeling that Beb does re spinach. As prepared in school cafeterias, it looks like green slush–not very appealing. But in salads or lightly sautéed, it’s great.

    If you are visiting DC, Jaleo’s is a great place to check out. There’s one in the District, one in Bethesda, and one in Arlington. The “small dishes” approach gives you a chance to try lots of things, especially if you go w/ a group.

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  15. Connie said on January 18, 2012 at 10:58 am

    Stop talking about spinach, I love spinach and can not currently have any due to taking coumaden.

    Kid also said the red cheddar makes a lovely colored mac and cheese.

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  16. alex said on January 18, 2012 at 11:11 am

    I never cared for spinach until I had it sauteed in garlic at a place called Wishbone in Chicago, a restaurant that bills itself as “southern reconstruction cooking.” They also had a remarkably good vegan chocolate cake, as I recall, and I ordered a whole one once for a birthday party and it was a smash hit. They also had memorable artwork, paintings featuring cartoonish anthropomorphic animals swilling cocktails. I’m pleased to see it’s still in business as so many popular restaurants there seem to flame out fairly quickly. Anyone remember the cajun place Heaven on Seven? Or Emilio’s, the tapas place?

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  17. Little Bird said on January 18, 2012 at 11:12 am

    I think you can get something similar to red cheddar at Whole Foods. It’s been awhile since I was well versed in their cheeses though.

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  18. LAMary said on January 18, 2012 at 11:47 am

    Someone beat me to identifying Red Leceister. It’s available in the US, I know. Where I worked in NYC we had it. Sauteed spinach is something we eat at least twice a week. It’s good with a shot of Sambal Oelek, or Cholula sauce. My son likes it with some malt vinegar. Of course, Sriracha is good on it too, but Sriracha is good on nearly everything.
    A nice combo is grilled meat of some sort, sauteed spinach with garlic and baked sweet potato wedges with sambal oelek.

    Edit: a place online to get red leicester

    I also recommend double gloucester for mac and cheese, or my current fave, aged gouda. Double Gloucester is not as sharp as some cheddars, but it’s very smooth and mellow. Aged gouda is terrific in macaroni or combined with gruyere in macaroni.

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  19. Heather said on January 18, 2012 at 11:47 am

    Alex, I was just at Heaven on Seven a couple months ago. Was rather disappointed in the oyster po’boy but my friend’s gumbo was delicious. It’s still very popular, so no worries!

    When I was growing up, spinach came out of a can and was akin to eating a wet mop. No wonder it got such a bad rap. Fresh sauteed spinach is totally different. Although these days I’m partial to kale.

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  20. Bitter Scribe said on January 18, 2012 at 12:06 pm

    When I was growing up, every Friday my mother would make a spinach-tomato-rice dish that I just loved. I could never understand the cliche about little kids hating spinach.

    Canned veggies of any kind are pretty terrible, with the possible exception of corn. (If you consider that a vegetable.)

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  21. Connie said on January 18, 2012 at 12:27 pm

    There are several Heaven on Seven, one kind of behind the Michigan Ave Marriott. That’s also a location of a Big Bowl, always one of my faves. Last time I went to Heaven on Seven I was with a friend who was on a strict no carbs diet. He really did go to Heaven with a giant bowl of meat and seafood. Corner of Ohio and Rush.

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  22. alex said on January 18, 2012 at 12:51 pm

    Glad to hear Heaven on Seven is still around. They had opened a location in Wrigleyville that was occupied by something else last time I was there, and I thought I recalled someone telling me they were out of business. And yes, their oyster po’ boy is pretty putrid, but on balance I loved their stuff and always enjoyed the wall full of exotic hot sauces like Ass in Space. If I needed a marketing concept for a hot sauce, I’d call it Ass in Jail and the logo would be a grimacing face peering out between the bars of a cell.

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  23. JWfromNJ said on January 18, 2012 at 1:04 pm

    Publix in Florida has been adding specialty cheese counters and also expanded the cheeses available in their deli case. I really like the chipotle Gouda. My current sandwich pick there is a Boars Head Jamaican Jerk Turkey sub with that cheese.
    Now I’m hungry and if these type of posts become more common I’ll have to move from my “news” folder on my favorites list (which it isn’t usually) to the “foods” folder where it can hang out with Serious Eats.

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  24. Jakash said on January 18, 2012 at 1:04 pm

    Wishbone is a swell spot. In addition to the spinach, and among many tasty sides, the collard greens are excellent.
    The Emilio’s that was at Clark/Fullerton has been closed for awhile, but there’s one in Streeterville, an area that Jeff TMMO informed everyone here about recently.
    As Heather mentioned, Heaven on Seven has several locations, including the original, which occupies a very unpretentious coffee-shop-type space on the 7th floor of a high-rise in the Loop.

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  25. Maggie Jochild said on January 18, 2012 at 1:17 pm

    Yesterday I taught my morning attendant how to assemble my popular roasted winter veggie dish, and ate from it for two fine meals. It’s all about adding the veggies to the roasting pan at the right time, so it all gets tender and caramelized at the same moment. Start with small slices of beets, quartered shallots, halved heads of garlic, baby carrots, and halved fingerling potatoes in a bowl, drizzled with olive oil, tamari, and either cracked black pepper or pepperoncino. Arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet and place in a 350 degree oven. After half an hour, add cherry tomatoes (also coated as above), and ten minutes later add either chard or kale leaves, also coated. The chard and kale goes crunchy and addictive after five minutes or so. This is a tremendous meal with maybe only the addition of some good cheese (I had Tillamook) and a rustic bread (none for me because I am on carb control now).

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  26. alex said on January 18, 2012 at 1:19 pm

    Jackash, I remember the old original on Wabash (from which the name was derived). Glad to know there’s still an Emilio’s location. My fave tapas place, however, was Arco de Cuchilleros on Halsted. I took Nance there once and it became one of her faves too. It was owned by the son of the Spanish couple who owned the old La Paella on Clark. Alas, a couple of years ago he sold it to some people who don’t seem to know what they’re doing and food and service just aren’t up to par.

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  27. jcburns said on January 18, 2012 at 1:21 pm

    By request: the ‘recipe’ for Sammy’s stew/chili thing.

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  28. caliban said on January 18, 2012 at 1:37 pm

    I have purchased Red Leicester at our neighborhood Bi-Lo. They stock it and put it on sale regularly because it approaches the sell by date without being sold. Very tasty stuff. Stands up well to pepperoni, and is very good with rich red wine like Barrolo. Makes very good cheeseburgers too. The idea of selling cheese at a discount because it’s old strikes me as humorous.

    We use roasted garlic and add a dash of balsamic vinegar and some Texas Pete to sauteed spinach. Almost nothing isn’t better with a bit of the hotter hot sauce. And Mary is right about Cholula, especially the chipotle variety and the kind with lime.

    How does Palin manage to keep foot firmly in mouth when her head is so far up her ass? Now why would she find Andrew Sullivan objectionable? Can’t imagine. And Sullivan’s Newsweek story is pretty insightful, particularly as he considers the Progressiver-than-thou left that pillory the President for not closing Gitmo, when the problem is so clearly rampant GOPer NIMBYism. Or for not making the “public Option” stick in the ACA:

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  29. JWfromNJ said on January 18, 2012 at 2:16 pm

    I’ve been reading about a new novel, “Taft 2012.” A little alternate history, a good deal of humor, sounds like a good read and a welcome distraction from the GOP nomination process.


    “He is the perfect presidential candidate. Conservatives love his hard-hitting Republican résumé. Liberals love his peaceful, progressive practicality. The media can’t get enough of his larger-than-life personality. And all the American people love that he’s an honest, hard-working man who tells it like it is.

    There’s just one problem. He is William Howard Taft . . . and he was already president a hundred years ago. So what on earth is he doing alive and well and considering a running mate in 2012?

    A most extraordinary satire, Jason Heller’s debut novel follows the strange new life of a presidential Rip Van Winkle: a man who never even wanted the White House in the first place, yet finds himself hurtling toward it once more—this time, through the media-fueled madness of 21st-century America.”

    The folks at AV Club have an excerpt posted:,67391/

    Is it obvious that today’s posts are making me hungry and eager to change the subject? Maggie’s roasted vegegtables and now Sammy’s chili-stew have sent me gazing to the fridge twice already.

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  30. Scout said on January 18, 2012 at 2:17 pm

    Connie, avert your eyes from the next paragraph and then maybe you can have paragraph 2’s combo.

    I’ve been doing sauteed spinach mixed with quinoa then topped with some finely shredded parmigiano reggiano, grape or cherry tomatoes and pine nuts.

    The parm, tomato and pine nut mixture also works well on spagetti squash that has been tossed with pesto. My whole family is hooked on it.

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  31. paddyo' said on January 18, 2012 at 2:19 pm

    “How old on the cheddar?” may be my new favorite waiter saying . . .

    Connie @ 15: How much coumadin are you taking? I was on it (5 mg nightly of warfarin, the generic version) for a couple of years. I came to learn in talking with my doc that the medical guidance wasn’t necessarily to drop “vitamin K” items like spinach from the diet altogether, but rather to moderate them near or below whatever one’s normal intake was before having to take the blood thinner.

    Obviously, you’d need to discuss further with your doc, and maybe he/she said no-spinach or no-vitamin-K like mine did initially. But the aim is to not upset the balance that coumadin is meant to establish and hold. On further discussion with my doc, she was fine with, for instance, salad-every-other-day and carefully modest intakes.

    Anyway, for a big fan of spinach like you, “small, moderate and occasional” would sure beat complete denial, wouldn’t it?

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  32. Connie said on January 18, 2012 at 2:38 pm

    yes Paddyo, but I have been told to eat spinach uncooked. It,s a question of concentration. You know how that big bag of fresh spinach cooks down into that tasty green blob? It’s a matter of concentration.

    5 mgs nightly except for Tuesday and Friday when I take 7.5. And I am off for my occasional Vitamin K test at the coagulation clinic.

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  33. Maggie Jochild said on January 18, 2012 at 3:17 pm

    I have to confess that despite a profound disinterest in all things fashion-related, when I watched the Golden Globes run-up last weekend, I found myself wondering what Tom & Lorenzo would have to say about it all — strictly a result of Nancy’s links to them here. And yes, I did go to their site later to see what they dished.

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  34. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on January 18, 2012 at 3:29 pm

    On Tom & Lorenzo’s Golden Globes three page fashion overview — it was the folks in the background that fascinate. The styled sculpture was more of the same, with variations on a theme, but many of the incidental captures beyond the central figure are quite unique. For instance, Charlize Theron in the second tranche: what’s up with the woman to the right? And so on.

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  35. MichaelG said on January 18, 2012 at 3:36 pm

    Sammy’s chili sounds good. A suggestion: take your jalapenos and blacken them in the fire on your gas stove. Scrape the black stuff off on a paper towel. You won’t get all of it but don’t worry. You can do it with a torch but that blackens the chili without cooking it. The gas range blackened chili is very different from a raw one and adds a really good smoky taste. Don’t know what to say about an electric stove except try a torch.

    Cumin can quickly take over. It must be used sparingly. Use just a teeny touch to start. You can always add more but if you put too much in, you’re screwed.

    I love the idea of the non-oily sun dried tomatoes. I’ll have to stop by TJ’s and get some.

    I eat sautéed spinach as well – garlic and maybe a little crumbled bacon, guanciale or pancetta. For raw, it mixes well with arugula and a nice mustard vinaigrette.

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  36. Jolene said on January 18, 2012 at 3:42 pm

    Sarah Palin has been on TV today saying that, if she were voting in SC, she’d vote for Newt Gingrich in the hope of keeping the primaries going to ensure that the eventual candidate would be adequately vetted because, of course, we have all witnessed the downside of electing an untested

    While I am happy to see Mitt Romney roughed up as much as possible, the idea of the wildly untested Ms. Palin calling for more vetting made my jaw drop.

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  37. caliban said on January 18, 2012 at 3:52 pm

    When $362,000 is just, ya know, like, pocket change, how do Mitt’s crease-pressed Eddie Bauer jeans not fall down?

    And how did anybody ever figure out that rat poison could be life-saving for human beings?

    Lord, it is disconcerting to see a Jim Demint testimonial ad for Ron Paul on the T&L website.

    And the pressing fashion question about the Golden Globes? Who tricked Kelly Osbourne into going as Mary Worth, right down to the blue hair?

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  38. Jolene said on January 18, 2012 at 3:52 pm

    In an electric stove, you can roast peppers as MichaelG suggests using the broiler. Same effect as using the gas burner.

    Another jaw-dropping statement: A woman attending a Gingrich townhall meeting said, “Thank you for putting Juan Williams in his place. His question was ludicrous, and we support you.”

    In his place? Do these people not hear themselves? To say that to anyone is dismissive and condescending. To say it to a black man is worse. Just where does she think his place is? Obviously, some position from which he is not entitled to question a public figure about the motives or effects of his actions. Why even a single black person would ever vote for a Republican is beyond me.

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  39. MichaelG said on January 18, 2012 at 4:10 pm

    I came back to say that the broiler of an electric stove would work for roasting a chili but Jolene beat me to it. Also a comal or black iron pan would work. Here’s a wonderful web site with some hints:

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  40. Lynn said on January 18, 2012 at 4:20 pm

    So much to comment on and agree with, but I’ll KIS by just expressing my sincere thanks for providing me with my LOL of the week- “Z-cherry”. We should all be so lucky to be so cognizant and articulate of that singular experience.

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  41. alex said on January 18, 2012 at 4:20 pm

    Jolene, why Juan Williams ever became a commentator on Faux News is a mystery too, but after the way he toadied up to the GOP and let himself be used as both window dressing and a door mat, I’d say he’s getting his just deserts.

    Oh, and check this out. Ain’t karma a bitch?

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  42. caliban said on January 18, 2012 at 4:27 pm

    Those guys at T&L are seriously funny. They looked at Kate Beckinsale’s dress and said the bodice is a “basket o’ tits”. I’m picturing Miller explaining to Otto about plate o’ shrimp.

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  43. Sue said on January 18, 2012 at 4:47 pm

    So, this has nothing to do with anything, but I just wanted to mention that last night I was channel surfing and came across an entertainment show where some female on-air talent person referred to the Italian cruise ship disaster as ‘a real-life Titanic’. I kept on surfing so I can’t tell you what show it was but I laughed for a full minute at that lovely bit of idiocy.
    Just wanted to share.

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  44. Jeff Borden said on January 18, 2012 at 4:47 pm

    Perhaps Newtie was hurt because super Christian James Dobson endorsed Rick Santorum and pointedly referred to Mrs. Helmethair Gingrich as “his mistress of eight years.” The cad! Doesn’t he know that Newticles and Callista are Catholics and have driven their souls through the car wash of confession, erasing all earlier transgressions and turning them into paragons of virtue and morality?

    I’ve laughed as much as the next guy at the amazing collection of stiffs, dolts and dumbfucks in the GOP field –btw, thanks Rick Perry, for causing an international incident with Turkey because of your stupidity– but it’s actually pretty unnerving. The people attending these debates scare the shit out of me with the things they choose to cheer (executions, denying education to immigrants, etc) and those they boo (Romney’s Mexican born father, a gay soldier asking about DADT).

    The Republican Party is awash in sickness. It’s a party defined more and more by what it hates rather than what it believes. I loathed W. and believe he truly was one of the two or three worst presidents we have ever endured, but damn, even in his worst and most petty moments, I never heard him use the kind of vitriol that’s so common in the race today.

    And Mitt Romney? Jesus, I hate that guy. It will be a pleasure voting against him this fall. I hope he affects all the down ticket races, too.

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  45. beb said on January 18, 2012 at 5:02 pm

    why would she [Palin] find Andrew Sullivan objectionable?
    Sullivan is a “trig birther.” He has questioned the idea that She Who was the mother of Trig, especially the part where Palin flew back to Alaska to give birth after her water broke. Sullivan thinks Palin is covering up for her daughter.

    how did anybody ever figure out that rat poison could be life-saving for human beings?
    It’s not that big a mystery. Rat poison works by thinning out the rat’s blood so that they bleed to death. It’s a human life-saver because somethings all a person needs is to thin out their blood and reduce its tendency to clot.

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  46. caliban said on January 18, 2012 at 5:03 pm

    Hypocrisy, thy name is GOP. It makes my day when these whited sepulchers are hoist by their own petars. Blow their asses at the moon.

    Mexican pasta called Fideo is something we’ve picked up from our Hispanic neighbors. Goes really well with chorico. and a warm kale salad. Pretty much like making spaghetti with Mexican spices and pepppers. Our grocery has all sorts of great Mexican ingredients.

    Jeff, somebody at the RNC needs to superglue Willard’s lips shut, before he channels Marie Antoinette full goose and unforgivably and blows up the GOPer base. Even that bewildered group of rubes ought to be able to understand the idea he is not welcoming them into the big GOP tent when he pays 15% on his astronomical income ($1mil annually from Bain to this day, and calling that capital gains under the skewed USA tax code is an immense crock o’ crap), while people under $250thou annually are maxing at much more like 20%. I think the perfect adjective to describe the Windsock’s nonchalance about his wealth and his accusations of envy is unseemly.

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  47. Jolene said on January 18, 2012 at 5:12 pm

    George Lucas is releasing a new movie called Red Tails about the Tuskegee airmen in a couple of days. He’s hoping for a big weekend to show the suits who wouldn’t put money into it that there is a broad audience for films about black people. So, whether you’re looking for entertainment or a chance to do some good, you might want to check out this movie.

    Two articles re the movie and Lucas:

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  48. Jolene said on January 18, 2012 at 5:20 pm

    “The car wash of confession” is a great phrase. And you are exactly right re the GOP, Jeff.

    Alex, you, too,are right in saying that Juan Williams is, both journalistically and politically, a mixed bag at best, but that does excuse Gingrich’s racially charged remarks or the woman who wanted to put Williams in his place. They’re both creeps who don’t care about the racist implications of their statements.

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  49. Deborah said on January 18, 2012 at 5:22 pm

    My office is very close to the original Heaven on Seven, I tried to go there once for lunch on Fat Tuesday but it was packed and we couldn’t get in. I haven’t been back because I never think of it, now maybe I will.

    All of the suggestions for sauteed spinach sound fantastic, I’m going to try them all.

    Why indeed would any black person vote Republican, or any middle class person for that matter. I don’t get people voting against their interests.

    Funny post today and good comments.

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  50. Kim said on January 18, 2012 at 5:36 pm

    My god, people, you are all cracking me up – from Cooz and his ballcrusher video to the real life Titanic to the car wash of confession and all between. It’s been a week of Mondays, so my thanks.

    Oh, and Alex, that Emilio’s on what, Roosevelt Road (someone will correct me), was a pretty good place. I once took an insanely corrupt politician there; I recommend a side of lies to go with the food.

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  51. Jeff Borden said on January 18, 2012 at 5:44 pm


    You ask a good question. Why does someone vote for a political party that so shamelessly flacks for the upper 1%? I have a couple of thoughts. . .

    One, many right-wing voters are single-issue voters. Abortion and perceived threats to their precious guns are enough to keep them from every casting a vote for a Democrat, even if that means they live more poorly because of the financial policies of the GOP embraces. If you look at Mitt Romney’s proposed plans, you’ll find that –surprise once again– it hugely favors the rich over the middle class.

    Two, there are people who honestly believe they are going to make it big someday, by golly, and when they do, they don’t want to share it with the rest of us. These seems absurd, but it rings true, too.

    Three, lying works. Every time the Republicans push more tax cuts for the wealthy, they tie it up in a bow with the words “small business.” In actuality, small business takes it up the nose compared to the huge corporations, such as General Electric, which employs almost 300 tax lawyers whose only goal is to eliminate any tax bite. So, a company with profits –not gross, but profits– of $14 billion pays no taxes at all. Few companies on Main Street can pull off that kind of shit, but they can dream.

    Fourth, there is little question racism plays a part. The dog whistles we’re hearing in the GOP debates frequently focus on the theme of the undeserved getting something for nothing that we’re all paying for. These cretins will overlook the gobsmacking bonuses pocketed by banking executives who helped cause our Great Recession, but insist welfare recipients be drug-tested so we can be sure they are not spending those modest dollars on pot or crack.

    Fifth, a boatload of right-wingers are just flat-out stupid. How else to explain the popularity of genuine, certifiable idiots including SheWho, Perry, Bachmann and Santorum?

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  52. ROGirl said on January 18, 2012 at 5:51 pm

    I’m late on the spinach bandwagon here, but I found a great produce market where they have big bunches of fresh spinach, not the stuff in the cellophane bags. I buy the spinach and some mushrooms, saute onion and garlic in a big pan, add the mushrooms until they release their water, pop the spinach in, cover it for a minute, and voila. C’est magnifique.

    Black Diamond extra sharp cheddar is an old favorite.

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  53. alex said on January 18, 2012 at 5:52 pm

    Kim, you remembered right about Roosevelt Road. That was his location in Hillside. He also had one in Aurora. I frequented both back in the ’80s, although that was a helluva long way to drive home to the lakefront full as a tick and sloshed.

    I was so glad when he opened up at Fullerton and Clark. You may not remember, but Emilio was the founder of Cafe Ba-ba-ree-ba and when he sold it to Lettuce Entertain You they made him sign a covenant not to compete within the city limits of Chicago for a period of years. As soon as that was up, he was back and bigger and better than ever. As for Ba-ba-ree-ba, most tapas aficionados agree that after the sale it became mediocre and the drive to the ‘burbs was well worth it.

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  54. caliban said on January 18, 2012 at 5:55 pm

    Andrew Sullivan tweaked Palin with that Trig stuff for a while (watching her version of high dudgeon is funny), but he also took it upon himself to publish photos debunking it two years ago. What really rankles her is his “choice” of “lifestyle”.

    I still think seeing the way from killing rats to saving human beings was a pretty stunning insight, and the first humans to use warfarin were some pretty brave folks.

    The Italian prosecutor Giuliano Mignini says Amanda Knox caused the cruise ship to run aground, because she is quintessentially evil. Meanwhile, the master of the vessel claims he left the ship by lifeboat “on accident”.

    When the GOPers talk about “small business”, they refer repeatedly to white shoe lawfirms and LLC cosmetic surgery practices. Stupidity is one thing, but failing to see through a canard that effing outrageous makes you wonder how they still know how to breathe, as Bob Dylan says in Idiot Wind. It’s Lakoff at his most mendacious.

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  55. Deborah said on January 18, 2012 at 5:57 pm

    I hear ya Jeff B. The only one that doesn’t seem beleivable is number two, a lot of Republicans are old folks who know they aren’t ever going to make it big some day. Like my right wing sister, she’s been lower middle class all of her life and she still votes in favor of the 1%. Whenever I ask her why she just evades the question and never answers. I don’t think she has an answer. Which must make her a number five.

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  56. Jeff Borden said on January 18, 2012 at 6:07 pm


    I was indeed basing this on conversations with some younger conservatives I’ve met when teaching. They’re convinced they are going to hit it big and want the lowest and most lax taxable rates possible. Parenthetically, they’re also not thrilled about paying into Social Security and Medicare because they believe boomers will suck those funds dry and they’ll wind up with nada.

    Let’s hope the meanest and nastiest parts of the GOP are the older white folks so terrified of a multi-cultural, multi-racial future. In a few years, perhaps, the party will return to its origins as the Party of Lincoln and become more responsible.

    For now, however, I cannot see myself ever identifying as a Republican.

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  57. adrianne said on January 18, 2012 at 6:13 pm

    Just got out of an edit. board meeting with the Schume, the senior senator from New York. His view: Obama is re-elected, Senate keeps Dem majority and the House has a real shot at turning Democratic because of all the Tea Party loons who are ripe for defeat. Schumey is pretty good at prognosticating – he got 2006 election just about 100 percent right about five months before. So let’s see how things play out this year.

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  58. Jeff Borden said on January 18, 2012 at 6:17 pm

    From his lips to God’s ear, Adrianne.

    BTW, Newticles says Sarah Palin will have a major role in his White House. I believe this proves my point about how Republicans love the stupid.

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  59. Maggie Jochild said on January 18, 2012 at 6:24 pm

    Fifteen years ago I had to find a new gynecologist here, and had Diana Wiehs recommended as an ardent feminist as well as a damned good doctor (right on both counts). She read over my intake questionnaire and almost fell out of her chair laughing at my answer to the question “What form of birth control do you use?”: “Lesbianism.”

    She further endeared herself to me when, once I was in the stirrups and she was warming the speculum with her hands, she leaned in to me to ask “Can you explain one conundrum to me? Log Cabin REPUBLICANS?”

    My answer to her is the same as why any person of colour or self-respecting woman would vote for that party: Fear trumps logic. Racism, classism and woman-hating are all untreated mental illnesses based on fear.

    I think I read here (likely Coozledad) an explanation of why Rick Perry has not and will not drop out. (1) He’s making shitloads of money, and (2) He means to get the Sarah Palin slot, the offer to be Vice President in order to seal the Teabagger/Christianist/die-hard racist vote for a Romney Presidency. He’s their boy.

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  60. caliban said on January 18, 2012 at 6:29 pm

    Pure bullshit exuded by Klown Kar Kandidates in their latest Kaffee Klatch:

    Think I’ll write in the Hermanator Saturday.

    Maggie, you may well be correct about Perry as Palin. This is particularly funny because the enmity between those two is palpable. Like JFK and LBJ.

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  61. JayZ(the original) said on January 18, 2012 at 7:40 pm

    Jolene, thank you for recommending the film, Red Tails. Years ago I worked with a remarkable man who was a member of the Tuskegee squadron. He died last year. Until recently, they never received the recognition they deserved. I applaud Lucas for making the film, and hope it is successful at the box office. I definitely plan on going to see the movie, along with five other former coworkers.

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  62. Deborah said on January 18, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    Adrianne, Did Shumer say anything about SOPA? I understand there was a protest outside of his office today?

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  63. Charlotte said on January 18, 2012 at 8:08 pm

    Spinach trick I learned a million years ago when I spent a winter in Taiwan — when you pop it in the sautee pan, sprinkle a little salt, and a little sugar on it — takes off that weird oxalic acid feeling against your teeth.
    I’m big on sauteed greens for breakfast — spinach or whatever’s growing in my garden, and sometimes I’ll pop a couple of tomatoes in as well. Yum.

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  64. JWfromNJ said on January 18, 2012 at 8:26 pm

    Adrianne – It’s always darkest right before dawn. Schumer is likely correct but that won’t shut up the asshats that work every day to undermine any progress or sensibility out of the Obama white House. We’ll still hear the rascist idiotic fare, mentions of his birth in Kenya, his Marxist intent, etc. I’ve told people it will end up as an electoral landslide and have been told in reply that I’m f’ing crazy, which isn’t news. Just crazy like a fox though.
    I hope Schumer is right because I have enjoyed watching the GOP sabotage the electability of any one in their party with the kooky far right mix of candidates. File this under with friends like that who needs enemies – Chris Christie has been working as hard as he can to shore up the VP slot, goes on TV to defend Mitt’s tax rate and his investments in the Cayman Islands, then declares Romney needs to release his tax returns now – didn’t get the memo from above perhaps. Let’s face it – Mitt has better accountants than Newt who pays 31%.

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  65. Suzanne said on January 18, 2012 at 8:42 pm

    Jeff Borden @51. You have it right. I know people who say they will not vote for anyone who is pro-choice. Period. They do not look at any other issues. I’m prolife, but within reason, and that is only one piece of the pie. You can’t just worry about them pre-birth and then let them fall off the cliff once they are born.

    You are also correct that many of these people believe that there are millions of lazy, slackers milking the system and need to be weaned off the government teat. They don’t have a problem, though, with selling off grandma’s house before she goes into the home so that Medicare will pay for it, or letting their kids go to college with a Pell Grant, or in Indiana, as a 21st Century Scholar.

    And the great irony here in Indiana is that Mitch is desperately trying to pass a Right to Work law affecting unions with the Super Bowl scheduled to be in Indianapolis in a few weeks. And guess what? The NFL players are all unionized….

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  66. alex said on January 18, 2012 at 8:54 pm

    Charlotte, thanks for the tip. Spinach always makes my teeth feel as rough as sandpaper, just like Coke or Pepsi. Drink that shit and you might as well be drinking CLR or Lime Away.

    Regarding prognostications on this year’s election, living in a red state makes me as pessimistic as living in a blue state made me optimistic. The right-wing echo chamber really resonates around here. My state senator, Dennis Kruse, is sponsoring a bill that would allow school boards to mandate the teaching of creationism should they choose to do so. He’s the chair of the state senate’s education committee and is also chiefly responsible for the defunding of our state’s public schools and the transfer of funds to Republican cronies like Don Willis.

    Around here, the pols know that they can pull shit like this and the true believers will be ecstatic while the general public is too uninformed or indifferent to give a fuck.

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  67. caliban said on January 18, 2012 at 9:10 pm

    Looked at that Zingerman’s website and saw my favorite marketing shibboleth, “artisinal”. In Publix the other day, was treated to a sign proclaiming a bunch of lettuces “artisinal”. (And isn’t the plural “lettuces a wonderful Britism straight out of Ms. Potter and Mr. Magregor’s farm?)Who would be the craftsman in that case? God? Please not Monsanto.

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  68. alex said on January 18, 2012 at 9:35 pm

    For all of his faults, and they are legion, at least Juan Williams had spine enough to be a “truth vigilante.” In the context of a roomful of Republicans, the appelation fits.


    I had my water pressure cherry busted today. My kitchen faucet is constipated with some piece of crud that got dislodged from somewhere after Culligan swapped out my softener tank today. Spigots in the rest of the house work fine. I tried using a piece of piano wire as an auger but no luck.

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  69. Connie said on January 18, 2012 at 10:14 pm

    Alex, isn’t it possible to screw off the very end of your faucet, wherein lies a screen or strainer?

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  70. alex said on January 18, 2012 at 10:24 pm

    I unscrewed that before I stuck in the auger. No such luck. Shit’s way down in there someplace.

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  71. Dexter said on January 18, 2012 at 11:45 pm

    Jolene, Lucas is aghast that he can’t get his movie into nearly as many theaters as he needs to make that huge first-weekend splash and make some of that production money back. The last thing he wants is for this film to go quickly to dvd, but it’s not a promising outlook right now. I hear it’s something about the timing; not too many folks are clamoring for another war movie starring African Americans . The kids want more Star Wars I guess….

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  72. moe99 said on January 18, 2012 at 11:51 pm

    back to spinach! It was one of the dishes my mom made that I loved. She used frozen spinach and mixed sour cream in with it. It was good.

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  73. moe99 said on January 19, 2012 at 12:43 am

    Suzanne, your analysis of the idiocy of the blue collar vote with regard to assuming lazy slackers are sucking off the government teat, but don’t try to take my medicare away from meee….is spot on. It’s truly quotable.

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  74. Jolene said on January 19, 2012 at 1:59 am

    Dexter, I hadn’t heard about problems in distribution within the US. What I had heard was that studio execs weren’t interested in financing the film because they anticipated poor foreign sales. As you probably know, a big percentage of the box office for US films comes from other countries. That’s one reason we have so many shoot ’em up action movies. They rely on language in only a limited way, which makes presenting them to people who don’t speak English relatively easy.

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  75. Sherri said on January 19, 2012 at 2:15 am

    Pierce hits it out the park again, on how bad health care insurance can be even when you have it:

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