Old family recipe.

You might think I’m watching “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo,” but I’m not. It’s one of those shows you don’t have to watch, because so many other people are watching and tweeting about it for you. Check in with a blog or two, and you’re updated in two minutes. And so I can tell you, that if you have a sensitive stomach, you will not want to watch the Honey BB family’s secret recipe for “sketti,” nor will you want to watch them play one of their fun family games, “Guess Whose Breath.”

But if you are, the clips are here.

Perhaps, if you don’t have the belly flutters at the moment, I can reveal what goes into the Honey Boo Boo family sketti recipe? It’s described here and there as “butter and ketchup,” but that’s not true. It’s margarine and ketchup, unless Country Crock is one of those margarines that isn’t even the conventional stuff, but something more like an edible polymer. Every so often, when some reporter is tasked with coming up with a fresh angle on an election pregame story, they’ll dig up the various local elections over whether or not margarine could be sold pre-colored. Yes, young’uns, that was an actual ballot question in many communities, and if I recall correctly, Columbus was one of them.

This website is a little freedom-y for my taste, but I think its account of “the war on margarine” gets the basic facts correct. If I’d been voting then, I’d have opposed colored margarine, which I grew up calling oleo. Nay, nay, let it be sold in its natural fishbelly-white state, and see how much you like it then.

And I used to buy the liquid stuff that comes in a squeeze bottle. It keeps for years, literally, and is still the only perfect product for making grilled-cheese sandwiches.

Now you know (one of) the worst thing(s) about me.

A perfect weekend, weather-wise, and although I wished I’d done something big and outdoorsy, I did get out a bit, pedaling to the bank and hardware store but mostly catching up on everything — dry cleaning, groceries, the usual Saturday grind. It’s easy to imagine this endless summer won’t end, but of course it will. A few more fine, sandal-weather markets, though, please?

Some linkage:

A couple weeks ago, news of a terrible hate crime swept the local airwaves, of a Jewish student at a party in East Lansing when he was accosted by two punks who yelled “Heil Hitler,” knocked him down and stapled his mouth shut.

Or so he said.

The whole story sounded suspect from the start. “Heil Hiter,” really? Stapled his mouth shut? A stapler attack? That the treating physicians didn’t see reason to even flag as such, and the police weren’t treating as such? Yeah. Well. This weekend the ADL said they were no longer convinced, either. I’d love to know what really happened, but I doubt we’ll ever know.

I haven’t read many reviews of Mitch Albom’s new book, but thanks to Jolene for passing along a pretty good one from the WashPost. And Entertainment Weekly — of all places — came up with this great line:

Albom, a speaking-circuit regular, appears to have composed his novel in PowerPoint. Each short chapter is broken up with bold-type subheadings, letting readers skim the already thin narrative ever more quickly, in outline form. Think of all those precious moments saved!

For Brian Stouder, the class ring story — finally.

Off to bed because my eyes won’t stay open anymore. Let the week commence! Let the coffee brew!

Posted at 12:23 am in Current events, Same ol' same ol' |
 

84 responses to “Old family recipe.”

  1. Deborah said on September 17, 2012 at 1:35 am

    On our way to our regular Sunday Morning ritual of reading the NYT at a local coffee place I noticed a poster for something called Chicago Ideas Week that listed among others Mitch Albom and Tom Brokaw as speakers. Thanks, I’ll pass.

    When I was growing up we never had butter in the house, always margarine. I vowed when I had my own place I would always only have butter and I have never had margarine, makes me gag to think of it.

  2. Dexter Friend said on September 17, 2012 at 2:46 am

    We only had butter at my grandmother’s Sunday dinners, which were out- of- this -world-good. Always at a perfectly set table with the best china and silver, a newly laundered white table cloth, at least three vegetables complementing roast beef or pork and a fried chicken on a platter with dressing, always homemade bread with real butter and home-canned jams…and this was nearly every Sunday of the year. We lived nine miles away so it was an easy drive for Dad. She would set at least two pies and always a small cake on the buffet top, you know…that long piece of wooden furniture with compartments and three huge drawers. I remember gooseberry pie and blackberry pie most clearly. I wonder if anybody has these huge in-home Sunday dinners anymore? No one I know does. I sadly admit to using Country Crock to this day…so throw some sketti noodles at me and see if they stick.

    Damn, Boardwalk Empire started out with a bang, of course. It is a great episode, with a few surprises , so make sure to catch it OnDemand. Later on, after the Detroit Lions were absolutely schooled by the San Francisco 49ers, I caught the last 70 minutes of a movie called “Soldier’s Girl”. Now that was an eye opener. The goddam on-screen guide gave away the entire plot, as the hero was murdered because he was dating a tranny and his barracks-mates didn’t approve, the movie set in a time frame before Don’t Ask Don’t Tell was done away with.

  3. Deborah said on September 17, 2012 at 4:22 am

    I’m having one of those sleepless nights. Dexter, your comment reminds me of visits to my Aunt Eloise’s house. God that woman could cook. She always used butter and lard. Great gravy, she joked that she’d have “here lies a woman who can make good gravy” on her tombstone. Little Bird has followed in her footsteps (without the lard) she makes great gravy too.

    Aunt Eloise had a dog named Mr. Nixon who looked just like him, she was a died in the wool Republican too but if she were alive today I think she would be horrified with that party. See how I turned this comment political?

  4. JWfromNJ said on September 17, 2012 at 5:40 am

    I have always been disgusted by margarine and remember my parents and grandparents stories about the color packet you could mix in but from what I was told many people didn’t bother. I have an ugly foodie confession – I use mayo to make grilled cheese. It’s easy to spread on both sides and it renders a great browned surface.
    And I want to say re: yesterday’s honey and citrus comments – I wasn’t bashing California’s bounty. I tend to be a locavore – Florida is great in that there is great local stuff most of the year. Yesterday I was at the produce place i like and I saw honeybells from Peru. I passed and want to wait for Indian River County’s crop. I detest buying apples here – nothing beats a Michigan grown Honeycrisp. I claim the win on fresh seafood though, I buy from an old man who is the third generation running a 75-year old fish house, Judah and Sons.
    You get to pick from 3-4 kinds of snapper and grouper, you buy the fish whole and he cleans and cuts it to your tastes. The up and coming fish here, and if you find it buy it is Trigger Fish, and a close second is triple tail.

  5. ROGirl said on September 17, 2012 at 6:20 am

    Deborah, I was wondering where Mitch would go to flog his book now that Oprah is gone. No doubt it will be a big seller for the holidays, given to people who are very, very busy. Blecch.

    We had margarine when I was growing up. It was the modern thing to use in the mid-century household. Butter seemed old-fashioned and linked to the farm. I remember making butter at school. We brought jars in, the teacher poured in cream, and we shook them until we made butter.

  6. Connie said on September 17, 2012 at 7:54 am

    I grew up with those same Sunday dinners Dexter describes. And I was amused he found it necessary to define the buffet, as I own one.

  7. brian stouder said on September 17, 2012 at 8:46 am

    Thanks for the class ring story; good stuff! My first reaction – to the video story I tripped across a few weeks back – was incredulity. But this article filled several gaps and has the ring of truth (so to speak), despite the improbability of the thing.

    Aside from that, I grew up on margarine, Miracle Whip (and not mayo), canned spinach (you could scrape better stuff off the underside of your lawn mower), mashed potatoes from a box, and Hi-C (if I drank more than one glass, I’d get a stomach ache). But, being one of 5 boys, that’s the way it was, eh? (made special occasions all the more special)

    It took Pam a few years to get me to taste my food before automatically adding salt and pepper, too

    edit: Speculation is rampant on local talk radio about what the hell is going on at the local Catholic high school football super-power, where they summarily fired the coach last night. My complaint? My go-to local tv news website, channel 15, allows ‘comments’ on their news articles. Whenever some local chuckleheads shoot-up a house or a car (or a speeding ambulance – but we digress), their news articles pick up the usual collection of vile racist comments…and indeed, when this high school football firing came up last night, their comments immediately piled up – with lots of Jerry Sandusky references….and do you know what happened?

    They shut down comments and expunged all the existing ones. I agree with this move – but it begs the question: why is ignorant racist yapping on their website acceptable, while ignorant yapping about the Catholic high school’s football coach is not? (I suspect it is because the fired coach could sue them, whereas the generalized racism on so much of their other commentary doesn’t give standing to anyone in particular to sue them)

  8. Dorothy said on September 17, 2012 at 8:57 am

    I will never, ever be able to look at spinach (and I buy it fresh) quite the same way again, Brian. Thanks for that visual about the lawn mower!

    Ahh Sunday dinners. I don’t recall us going to my grandmother’s all that often because my family was so huge. Grandma came to our house usually. Once a bunch of us were married and there were grandkids, my mom hosted Sunday dinners. My kids have a treasure trove of stories about dinner at Meem and Pap’s house. (Eli going into the powder room, refusing to turn on the light, and singing loudly “I’m making music in the dark!!” – The board games and toys they kept in their coat closet, the kids table that was never big enough. A few of them always had to sit on the couch with a standing snack tray. The games of Uno, canasta, Hungry Hippos etc. after the table was cleared off.) Her signature dish was chicken and noodles, which she has patiently taught to several of her daughters, granddaughters and grandsons over the years. We all agree it still doesn’t taste quite the same as hers. Must have been the weathered roasting pans she had, which my sister Diane owns now.

  9. Judybusy said on September 17, 2012 at 8:59 am

    Oddly, for a farm family, we used a lot of margarine, except for sweet corn, when it had to be butter. My mother still uses lard for pie crusts. A couple weeks ago, an acquaintance and I were talking food and I was thrilled that a local food co-op carries lard. Now that cooler weather’s on the way, I can’t wait to make a pie with it!

    Deborah, I wasn’t surprised that you got all political, but puzzled you didn’t manage to work in “15 working days left!” As in, “I only have 15 days left, then I can read the NYT and have coffee every morning.” Or, “When I’ve worked my last 15 days, I’ll be able to make pie with butter whenever I want!” Or, “Very soon, it won’t matter if I don’t sleep at night, because I’ll be able to sleep all day if I want!” I have LOVED how you’re working that into nearly every conversation here. It’s great to see you so excited.

    I lobbied hard for a class ring. It was expensive, and ashamedly, I lost it within a few years because it didn’t mean anything.

  10. Julie Robinson said on September 17, 2012 at 9:04 am

    Since my grandparents were dairy farmers the use of margarine would have been heretical and disloyal. We baked with half butter and half lard (both sets of grandparents raised hogs), and the deep-fat fryer was filled with lard. Unbelievable, no?

    I’m wondering if anyone else used a grease can the way my folks/grandparents did. I think they must have been common, because ours matched our canister set. It was metal with a strainer across the top, and you poured your leftover bacon grease in each morning. When you fried potatoes or hash you started with a big scoop of congealed grease in the pan. It sounds sickening now; even more so when I think it sat out every day of the year and must have been rancid.

    We drank Hi-C too, and I think it was considered a health drink when it first came out.

  11. Mindy said on September 17, 2012 at 9:07 am

    Selling margarine was illegal in Wisconsin back in the late ’40s when my mom was a kid. She remembers her mother buying several pounds of it at a time to take home whenever they happened to be in Illinois. Butter was on the table when I was a kid since my dad hated margarine.
    I know a lady who helped develop I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter. She said that their final product was so good that most people during the testing process couldn’t tell the difference between butter and the imposter she helped create. A few even preferred it to butter. Then the formula was presented to the paying customer who promptly substituted cheap versions of the ingredients for the ones actually used, and the result was nothing like what was originally produced. She still buys butter.

  12. Jolene said on September 17, 2012 at 9:14 am

    We had some pretty impressive Sunday dinners, too. Perhaps with somewhat fewer dishes–only one kind of dessert, for instance–but everything was always delicious with, yes, excellent gravy.

    Looking back, though, I think our summer Sundays were even more impressive, as they often involved a post-church trip to a lake about 50 miles from home. My mother would get however many of us there were at the time dressed for church–always in dresses with hair combed in curls. Then, while we stayed after the service for Sunday school, she’d head home to put together a picnic lunch w/ homemade potato salad, baked beans, and more, w/ enough left over for a lakeside supper before heading home after an afternoon of playing in the water. Also required: swimsuits all around, caps, swim toys, the Sunday papers, a post-church change of clothes, with still more stuff to put on after we’d messed up those clothes, beach blankets, and towels.

    When I look back on all this, I sometimes wonder how my mother lived to be eighty-six. Between Sundays like this, elaborate Christmases, and shepherding five girls through careers as 4-H prizewinners, it’s surprising she didn’t die of exhaustion around the age of forty-two.

  13. Linda said on September 17, 2012 at 9:14 am

    Why have margarine, unless there’s a World War and you are saving butter for the troops? My doctor firmly believes that with the antioxidants in butter, and the hydrogenated oils in margarine, that butter is in fact a health food, and will be recognized as such someday.

  14. Dorothy said on September 17, 2012 at 9:27 am

    We tried using I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter when Mike had some cholesterol and diabetes issues 10 years ago and he promptly nicknamed it “I Can’t Believe I’m Eating This Shit.” We don’t use it anymore.

  15. Connie said on September 17, 2012 at 9:29 am

    Julie, my Dutch grandmothers referred to bacon grease as speck, and canister sets came with a canister labelled such.

    I can make gravy the way my grandmothers did. I’ll have you over for roasted pork loin if you want a lesson. The trick is the gooey stuff in the bottom of the roasted pan.

    I have a cookbook the Grand Rapids Reformed Church women put out in the 1950s. Many of the recipes call for oleo, often in an undefined quantity such as a lump.

  16. Charlotte said on September 17, 2012 at 9:35 am

    When my brother and I first moved in with our dad and new stepmother, we discovered that Susan was a margarine/miracle whip/powdered milk person. We were *appalled*. We put our collective feet down and got branded spoiled little brats for wanting real milk, butter and Hellman’s. And no warm memories of Sunday suppers on our farm — my grandmother was a famously terrible cook, and even more famous for her lack of kitchen hygiene. At least twice she gave me food poisoning … however, she herself is 101 and still going strong. When I saw her last week she peered at me through her one good eye and barked “what are you doing here?” When I told her I came to see her, she gave me a look like, “oh right, you all think I’m going to die.” tee hee …
    Smoke here was just unbearable all weekend, but yesterday cooled off enough that I could pull potatoes, and turn over and prep a bed for planting garlic. It’s been so hot and dry that the little earthworms were all curled up in tiny balls in my hard clay garden soil. So I watered and watered and watered and dumped wheelbarrows of chicken-shitty straw/compost into the beds …

  17. Julie Robinson said on September 17, 2012 at 9:54 am

    Making gravy is a skill that always impresses, although it’s no more difficult than making white sauce. We used to feed feral cats and we’d make gravy to pour over the dry cat food for extra flavor, and for warmth in the winter. I got lots of practice and could probably do it blindfolded.

    Charlotte, your grandma’s cooking sounds like my mother’s. She’d start food and then go off to do something something she considered more interesting, which was anything outside the kitchen. In my memory we had boiled potatoes at every meal, and they always, always were served with scorch marks.

  18. Linda said on September 17, 2012 at 10:02 am

    Charlotte–the fact that grandma was an illness-inducing cook who is going strong at 101? What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.

    My grandma was a wonderful cook, but her problem was that she could never get stuff all done at the same time, so we had “progressive dinners” without leaving her house, every Sunday. Also, she made old-world Polish favorites like kiszka(blood sausage) and czarnina (duck blood soup with dried fruit and noodles) and try to make up more palatable names for them for her Americanized grandkids (like “chocolate soup”), but we were never fooled. But the other food was good, if late.

  19. Bitter Scribe said on September 17, 2012 at 10:06 am

    Butter vs. margarine: Cholesterol vs. hydrogenated fat. I long ago gave up trying to figure out which was better (i.e., not worse). Now I just use them interchangeably, as the moment seems to demand, and try not to think about it too much.

  20. alex said on September 17, 2012 at 10:15 am

    Today’s thread reminds me of my favorite John Callahan cartoon: Two flies are seated at a table spreading stuff on toast from a tub labeled “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Shit.”

  21. MichaelG said on September 17, 2012 at 10:50 am

    I remember my parents mixing that little color thing into the margarine and the oleo smuggling into Wisconsin. Even at the time people thought it was amusing. I haven’t bought margarine in years. Can’t stand the stuff. One time we spent the night at a friend’s place. She had bought some kind of special margarine that was supposed to have I don’t remember what benefits. She was going to cook eggs for breakfast and dropped some of that margarine in the pan. It was hilarious. The stuff absolutely refused to melt. The lump just kind of slid around in the pan. I don’t know how people can eat that synthetic crap.

    I think you have a real point there, ROGirl, about margarine being the modern thing back in the fifties.

    That’s funny, Alex.

  22. Bitter Scribe said on September 17, 2012 at 10:54 am

    Alex, is Callahan the guy who had that awful, crippling car accident?

  23. Dexter Friend said on September 17, 2012 at 10:55 am

    Callahan was the best…dead so young, too…
    http://bagger-ce.blogspot.com/2010/07/it-hurts-to-laugh-rip-cartoonist-john.html

  24. Sue said on September 17, 2012 at 11:03 am

    I like the Land O Lakes ‘buttery taste’ spread, but everything else tastes like oil and chemicals. I tried using one of the I Can’t Believe… products once and was surprised to see it would not melt on toast.
    Also Land O Lakes butter/olive oil combo for garlic bread. That’s a good one.
    As a child of the ’50s and ’60s, I grew up reading recipes in my mom’s magazines that assured me that butter and margarine were interchangeable. So the first time I made sugar cookies with butter was … oh my gods. What an eye opener.

  25. Sue said on September 17, 2012 at 11:08 am

    I haven’t thought of Callahan in awhile. His autobiography was interesting but I’m not sure I believed all of it.

  26. Scout said on September 17, 2012 at 11:10 am

    So what does this group have to say about Smart Balance and Earth Balance? I sometimes use those, but nothing beats butter on a nice hunk of sourdough.

  27. LAMary said on September 17, 2012 at 11:10 am

    We had a speck can too, and breakfast potatoes were fried in bacon grease. We never used margarine when I was growing up. Pies were made with lard and butter. No low fat milk either. My father’s favorite dish, which I refused to eat because it was referred to by my Dutch grandmother as mouse, was something called plate meat, very cheap, tough cut of beef, cooked in bacon renderings with wilted, chopped kale. I’m ok with kale and I’m ok with cheap cuts of beef, but that stuff was really greasy and the name made me gag. I suspect “mouse” was some other word in Dutch that sounded similar. I know there are chocolate sprinkles called “muis,” prounounced “mouse,” that Dutch kids out on their buttered bread. Maybe muis means some sort of browned crumbly bits. Maybe it means mouse shit.

  28. Dexter Friend said on September 17, 2012 at 11:18 am

    JulieR: Lard was so prevalent it came in giant pails, which then were used for every purpose imaginable…everyone had lard pails setting around their barns and sheds and sometimes in the house. In Upton Sinclair’s “The Jungle”, he tells of a job in the slaughterhouse that employed a woman to sit on a stool all day and fill one gallon lard cans out of a giant machine, for five cents an hour. Good pay. I remember Swift brands of lard..”Swiftnin'” I think it was called…to a little kid the pails seemed huge, but I guess most pails were 4 pounds of lard in the tin pails.
    I still have a tin can on back of the stove to pour bacon and hamburger grease into, but every day or two I freeze it and then throw it away in the garbage. Sometimes I fry thinly sliced potatoes in bacon grease, and the hamburger grease comes from the hamburger I fry every day to mix in with my dogs’ food…I am not a snob, but I have to be in the right mood to eat hamburger meat.
    “A rod and a giant hook..”…a fish has been discovered in Vietnam with a penis on its head…”—bulletin from the Stephanie Miller show, just now.
    “The fish, Phallostethus cuulong, was discovered by researchers in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta. It is the newest member of the Phallostethidae family, a group of fish with small, skinny, nearly transparent bodies that live in Southeast Asia, and which are distinguished by the location of their sex organs. ” NBC News….

  29. brian stouder said on September 17, 2012 at 11:27 am

    “The fish, Phallostethus cuulong, was discovered by researchers in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta.

    Dexter, I’d be tempted to call it the Romneyfish – except that our American dick-head made a point of avoiding the Mekong and spending his days on the Seine…

  30. Joe K said on September 17, 2012 at 11:31 am

    We always saved bacon grease, we used it to pop popcorn the old fashion way, skillet on the stove shake shake shake. Miss my grandmothers beef and home made noodles and her pancakes, never have been able to duplicate them, I think she used sour milk or buttermilk, she use to make here own syrup also. My dads grandma was
    Polish and her hams were cooked like in the old country, seemed to take all day, we would go to their house after midnight mass on Christmas after fasting all day and walk in the smell was heavenly. Dexter, spot on on the dresser.
    Pilot Joe

  31. Prospero said on September 17, 2012 at 11:42 am

    Margarine is useful for increasing the smoking and burning temps of oil and butter when cooking at high temps on the stovetop. We always have both in the house. Margarine is also useful for “buttering” “real popcorn” because you can melt it very quickly with no bad taste ramifications. And we do buy the Land O’ Lakes butter and olive oil hybrid too. That is very good stuff and much better for your cholesterol.

    By “real popcorn” I mean made in a pot on the stove. I find microwave popcorn more objectionable than margarine.

    I had a HS girlfriend whose mom’s idea of cooking was to plop a whole roasting chicken into a big pot of boiling water for about half an hour. Now, I believe in good results from parboiling chicken, but you have to do something else to it before it’s edible by people.

  32. Jakash said on September 17, 2012 at 11:45 am

    We had that can with the strainer top for bacon grease, Julie R. It was kind of gross, with congealed grease running down the sides, but we kept ours in the refrigerator, if I recall correctly, so I guess it wasn’t rancid. The stuff in the bottom was probably a decade old, though… Given the popularity of bacon-flavored-everything these days, I guess we all were ahead of our time. I mean, bacon flavor in the fried potatoes — what’s not to like?

    Scout, we use Smart Balance, and butter, too. Depends on the situation. I used to think it must be a revolutionary upgrade from regular margarine, what with the “researchers at Brandeis University”, or whatever, mentioned on the side. At least it doesn’t have transfats. But, these days, I’m less convinced that it’s really the way to go. It certainly doesn’t meet the Michael Pollan standard of 5 ingredients or less, or ingredients that your grandma would recognize. I’ve pretty well given up at this point, and come around to Bitter Scribe’s attitude — “use them interchangeably, as the moment seems to demand, and try not to think about it too much”. And we don’t use nearly as much of any spread as we used to.

  33. Little Bird said on September 17, 2012 at 11:47 am

    Bacon grease is a truly wonderful thing. I use it when sautéing onions for both chili and bolognese. And for basting a roasting chicken. I have never purchased margarine, and hope I never have to. My paternal grand mother used Country Crock, and I remember it being awful. This was also the woman who put mayonnaise in guacamole.

  34. beb said on September 17, 2012 at 11:52 am

    It looks like an active day of commenting on NN.C which I hope I won’t kill by posting a couple of links. First up is a government report that finds that tax cuts on the extremely rich do not, in fact, generate more jobs.
    http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2012/09/crs-study-taxes-economic-growth.php?ref=fpa

    and the second one is a (again) government report that find that Michigan’s controversial ban on smoking on bars and restaurant, etc., have not significantly hurt business. The report is disputed by an association of bar owners.
    http://www.freep.com/article/20120917/NEWS06/120917029/Study-Negative-effects-minimal-bars-restaurants-after-smoking-ban?odyssey=mod|newswell|text|FRONTPAGE|s

    Of course I’m biased here since I never cared to have to battle cigarette smoke to enjoy a dinner out.

    And on the theme of the day…
    Sunday dinner was always the big meal of the week. Often a pot roast put in the oven before going to church, with mash potatoes and gravy. Never got the fancy china, in fact while my folks had fancy china, I can’t recall them ever getting it out. For years we dined on Melmac plates bought through a Kroger’s promotion.

    Lard? Once or twice my folks (who raised pigs for some years) had a pig slaughtered for the table and it came back with a five gallon bucket of lard. To be honest, lard, butter, margarine, rapeseed oil: it was all the same to me; never tasted much difference. I do remember the grease can, mostly for bacon fat, I think. Now bacon grease did make a different since it brought so much flavor to whatever was cooked in it next.

    I was introduced to spinach through the grade school lunch program where it was cooked in vinegar until it became this slimy, fouling smelling shit that I couldn’t even force myself to taste. To this day I hate cooked spinach. My sister-in-law makes a great spinach pie but I can only eat one square because of my dislike for that green stuff. Oddly. I’ve come to enjoy raw spinach mixed in with a salad. It adds a nice flavor to the mix. But cooked…. Arg! And this goes for collard greens and other cooked greens. I can’t bear to look at the stuff, let alone eat it.

    So “sketti” is a mixture of butter and ketchup as a substitute for incredible cheap canned spaghetti sauce. I like ketchup more than is health for most people but no, I can’t see dumping a good condiment on pasta.

  35. Judybusy said on September 17, 2012 at 11:54 am

    I still have a container with the strainer for bacon grease. We use ours for making refried beans. My last cholesterol check was just fine. I think I have good genes: my maternal grandma lived to 89, and my paternal grandmother will turn 99 in November. They were both farmers’ wives, with plenty of real food, at least early in their lives before all the convenience stuff. My maternal grandma always warned me about the evils of salt, as she had hypertension. So, I’m careful with that, and generally run around 90/65. (Now that I think of it, though, one grandfather had heart issues and the other died of stroke, both in their early 70s. Well, here’s hoping I take after the women in my family!)

  36. Charlotte said on September 17, 2012 at 11:59 am

    You’d be astonished by the HUGE tubs of “Country Crock” that visitors leave at Chuck’s cabin (it’s a vacation rental). We’re not hipsters about it, but pretty much adhere to the Julia Child rule — eat real food. So by the end of a summer, the accumulation of junk food that renters have left behind is an astonishment to us both. Lots of microwave popcorn, breakfast cereal, and ranch dressing.
    I’m a real butter girl, and use olive oil for cooking.
    As for the 101 year old grandmother — yes, she has an immune system that would put us all to shame — actually, she’s an asymptomatic carrier of MRSA, which landed her in solitary confinement in a rehab hospital for 3 months a few years ago (she had to have a perforated ulcer fixed at 96). Maryn McKenna wrote a chapter about her in Superbug. She can’t hear, and can’t see very well, and dozes off in the corner on occasion, but she’s only on some pain medication for the hip she didn’t get replaced, and nothing else. And she ate nothing but crap — lots of processed food, sugar, meat — could probably live on chocolate alone. But never smoked or drank and was an athlete until her early 90s.

  37. Deborah said on September 17, 2012 at 12:15 pm

    I typed out a comment while I was at Starbucks waiting for my dialation to wear off this morning after an eye Dr appointment but it seems to have disappeared into the ether. I probably pressed the wrong button since I couldn’t see the bright screen very clearly.

    In case it happens to show up I don’t want to repeat myself… Judy Busy I thought you guys would be tired of my countdown, but since you mentioned it, only 2 more Monday mornings to HAVE to get up for! There’s a website you can set for any count down you choose and it will tick off down to the second. I will look for the url, it’s kinda fun.

  38. Heather said on September 17, 2012 at 12:37 pm

    I’ve got a big container of lard in my fridge right now. It’s left over from last December, when I used it to make gingerbread men. Does it ever go bad? I’d like to try using it in some pastries or pie crust.

    Count me in among the pro-butter crowd. I love the Irish butter at Trader Joe’s for spreading. For baking I tend to go with the cheaper stuff. I do remember having margarine around as a kid. My brother and I think that our mother, who died when we were teenagers, maybe wasn’t the best cook–we remember a lot of TV dinners. Of course she was a single working mom, plus attitudes toward food weren’t as, um, sophisticated as they are now.

  39. Jolene said on September 17, 2012 at 12:44 pm

    Prospero, after having read about you putting margarine on fresh popcorn, I’m not sure how I’m going to get through the rest of the day. Heartbreaking.

  40. Dan B said on September 17, 2012 at 12:52 pm

    One of my favorite passages from Jeffrey Steingarten’s book The Man who Ate Everything: “Last night I played the neatest trick on my wife. I grilled a slice of my best homemade French country bread, spread it thick with Promise Ultra Fat-Free nonfat margarine, set it on the counter, sat back, and waited. Soon the toasty aroma drew my wife into the kitchen. Seeing the bread, she smiled broadly and took a bite. I’ll never forget the way her smile froze, as she gagged, stumbled over to the kitchen sink, and gave up her mouthful of bread covered with Promise Ultra Fat-Free nonfat margarine. What fun we have together!”

    I grew up with margarine, then “spread.” My father died of a heart attack at age 38, so we were cholesterol-conscious several years before it became mainstream.

    Once I went out on my own, opinions had changed enough that I switched to butter (my mother has, too). We’re now using the Land o’Lakes olive oil/butter mix, which is pretty good.

    As for Albom’s latest. I was at my twentieth high school reunion over the weekend. I went to a very small school (my graduating class was 29, of which ten showed up at one time or another), so they have all the reunion classes do most of the events at once. So I found myself chatting with a couple members of the class of ’62, and one of them mentioned hearing on the radio about how “the guy who wrote Tuesdays with Morrie” had written a new book about Father Time, and that it sounded really good. The other expressed interest as well. I was biting my tongue and trying to look politely interested rather than apalled.

  41. paddyo' said on September 17, 2012 at 12:56 pm

    We used sticks of oleo when I was a kid, and real butter for special occasions (holiday meals and any others that Mom decreed). She felt everything tasted better with butter, but with seven kids it was the proverbial challenge with the grocery bill to provide butter every time.

    I was puzzled, at not-quite-14, when I went away to high school seminary to find that, at meals in the refectory, each table had one or two bread plates with a somewhat irregular slab of something white. Turned out it was real butter — churned at the school farm, but without coloring.

  42. Prospero said on September 17, 2012 at 1:08 pm

    Country Crock isn’t just straight margarine, it’s got something else blended into it. It’s pretty nasty tasting stuff one way or another. And, the brand is owned by Hormel, a particularly loathesome food conglomerate and a major purveyor of pig farm pollution, which is so bad on so many different levels it’s hard to believe.

    Jolene, it’s strictly for the speed with which it can be done. Standard four minute commercial break on college football TV game, big bag of popcorn without missing a play. A favorite is to put dried oregano or cumin and garlic powder in the margarine. Dump the corn into a paper grocery bag, pour in the melted margarine and herbs, fold over the top, and shake like hell. Perfectly distributed Land O’ Lakes margarine, and people always think it is butter. If I tried this with actual butter, I’d end up serving dry popcorn to the fire department when the smoke detectors went berserk. Alton Brown has done a couple of great Good Eats episodes about popcorn, including a suggestion for eating it as breakfast cereal.

    We occasionally make biscuits with actual lard, which is easy to come by in SC.

  43. R.K said on September 17, 2012 at 1:13 pm

    when i use to be a kid everyday i use to have breakfast with butter and jam
    but with time i grew up and now margarine is regular in my life
    butter is only used occasionaly

  44. Sue said on September 17, 2012 at 1:28 pm

    Forget Albom. You want a good book about time? Terry Pratchett, ‘Thief of Time’.

  45. beb said on September 17, 2012 at 1:40 pm

    Sue, Iwas thinking that a better book on Father Time (also Death) would have to be something byTerry Pratchett, a very under-appreciated author.

  46. coozledad said on September 17, 2012 at 1:41 pm

    Charlotte: My grandfather lived a long time, some fifteen or twenty years of it ambulatory, but functionally unconscious. It’s almost like he decided at some point he was going to hang on and see just how many more pork chops he could gum before someone took a shovel to him.
    He wasn’t so much evil, but malignant.
    Julian Barnes said somewhere he thought cancer was the body’s misguided effort to make a new self. In my grandfather’s and one of of my former next door neighbor’s, the cancer must have triumphed and produced a golem that couldn’t be stopped with a pickaxe.

    My neighbor accompanied his son to the tobacco field one August morning and while making the usual nuisance of himself, discovered the similarity in color between growth regulator and Mountain Dew. They don’t know how much of it he drank before they stopped him.
    The attending physician at the emergency room looked at the ingredients on the jug they brought along, and his first remark was “You sure he drank this?” The next one was “Would you rather he died at home?”

    He was queasy for a few days and then back to driving. Shortly before he went back to the lord of darkness, he drove over to ask me something (that he’d forgotten). He got of his car in our driveway without having put it in park. Fortunately it had a tendency to stall if no one was pushing the accelerator, or it would have busted my fence. He did the same thing on a sloping grade in town a few days later and caused a small panic. His wife was the same way.
    Evil, stupid, no-driving sumbitches.

  47. Prospero said on September 17, 2012 at 1:55 pm

    That’s a fine book, Sue. My favorite on the subject is Michael Moorcock, The Dancers at the End of Time. Moorcock is also responsible for tha astounding Cornelius Chronicles and the strange tossed off lyrics on Hawkwind albums:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FOA1tp4SNvg

  48. Sherri said on September 17, 2012 at 2:30 pm

    Terry Pratchett’s books make for good listening too. We listened to ‘Guards, Guards’ on a recent college visit road trip, and ‘Good Omens’ on our trip to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.

  49. brian stouder said on September 17, 2012 at 2:36 pm

    We would be remiss if we didn’t spare a thought for this – the 150th anniversary of the single bloodiest day in American history.

    By this time of day, most of the carnage was at an end; Burnside finally took his bridge, just in time to get clobbered by the just-in-time arrival of AP Hill…but we digress.

    And indeed, the Union victory at Antietam (flawed though it was) was the thing Lincoln needed to issue his Emancipation Proclamation (flawed though it was), thus fundamentally changing the Union goals and the character of that horrendous war.

    And indeed, anyone who, in our age, is tempted to think that Muslims [for example] are uniquely barbarous and bloodthirsty ought to travel through Maryland and Virginia (and Tennessee and Georgia, for that matter), and think about what we Americans did to one another – not so very long ago, really – and why.

  50. Dorothy said on September 17, 2012 at 2:38 pm

    Beb you should have the chance to taste fresh spinach that’s been sauteed in a little olive oil and garlic – it’s divine! Blindfold yourself if necessary, and I would hope it takes away the bad memories of that barfy school spinach. I too eat it raw in salads as often as possible. It’s very rich in iron, dontcha know.

  51. Rana said on September 17, 2012 at 2:40 pm

    Like Dan, I also grew up in the “fat is gonna kill you” 1970s, so it was pretty much just margarine growing up, with butter occasionally for cooking.

    For a while I was trying to eat “cholesterol lowering” foods (my dad, brother, and I all have stupid-high levels, due obviously to genetics, that do not really respond to either diet or exercise, sigh). I bought a tub of “spread” – I think it might have been called something like “Beneful” – that was supposed to work its magic and lower cholesterol. It somehow didn’t make it into the fridge, and sat out overnight. When I opened it the next morning, I discovered that it had not melted. Instead, it had turned into something like yellow custard or jello, with a disturbingly quivering texture.

    I threw it out, needless to say.

    Note for the bacon grease folks: if there’s a Trader Joe’s near you, you can buy a ball of bacon scraps for pretty much dirt cheap. I spread it out on wax paper, put it in a ziploc, and freeze it. Then, if I want a bit of grease for cooking or flavor, I can snip off a few lumps with the scissors. It works remarkably well.

  52. Sue said on September 17, 2012 at 2:46 pm

    beb, I think Terry is underappreciated too, even though he’s a gazillion-selling author. I think the ‘underappreciated’ part is the dismissal he gets as a ‘comic’ writer. He’s like Jane Austen, you can read his books over and over again and keep finding something new.
    Sherri, G/G is my favorite book, period.
    Terry Pratchett was the first to introduce me to the concept of Schroediger’s Cat, although of course in Discworld I think it was Schroediger’s Moggy and included the third cat-state possibility – alive, dead, and bloody furious. Gotta love someone who can make people understand quantum physics by making a cat joke. That is a writer who respects his audience.
    I have a feeling reading each new book that his characters are on a farewell tour, as he puts one or the other in for a cameo that’s more sad than satisfying for me.
    My wish is to find a decent “Unseen Academicals” jersey. There are a few out there but they’re kind of kitschy. That’s a sports jersey I’d be proud to wear.

  53. JWfromNJ said on September 17, 2012 at 2:55 pm

    I liked Lee Ioccoa’s Olivo spread.

    I’m a big peanut oil fan for pretty much anything else. Stir fry, fish, chinese style veggies. We had an Albertson’s here that closed a few months ago and I kept patroling the inventory vs. the discount percent. when they hit 70% off I bought 4 gallons of peanut oil.

    color me redneck but there isn’t much better than local seafood in a panko breading fried in peanut oil.

  54. Bitter Scribe said on September 17, 2012 at 4:00 pm

    Ditto what Dorothy said about spinach. A simple saute with garlic and olive oil is divine. Just be warned: A double handful will cook down to a bare mouthful before you know it.

    Amusing twist on that TV show: This PJ Media guy uses “Honey Boo Boos” as a synonym for “low-information voters,” and he thinks the big problem is that the wingnuts aren’t targeting them strongly enough. Oh lordy. Whom else have they been targeting? If it weren’t for low-info voters, Romney would be in single digits.

  55. Dorothy said on September 17, 2012 at 4:27 pm

    This is a funny 1 minute video, but much cooler is one advertised after you watch the seagull steal the video camera. Click on “Slow Motion Video with Phantom Flex Camera” for 3 minutes 49 seconds of coolness.

    http://newsfeed.time.com/2012/09/17/seagull-steals-camera-gives-tourist-inadvertent-panoramic-view-of-sf-bay/?hpt=hp_t3

  56. brian stouder said on September 17, 2012 at 4:43 pm

    The lead from Bitter Scribe’s linked article:

    Memo to non-leftist bloggers, reporters, and culture-shapers: TAKE THE GODDAMN GLOVES OFF. This campaign just got real. From right now until election day, no holds are barred. The mainstream media has dropped all pretense of impartiality.

    OK – an honest question: what is “the main-stream media”?

    Because, whether or not I like it, I think Fox News is pretty much in the “main stream”, yes?

    It’s big-time/prime-time, with major league sponsorship and viewership; they impact people’s opinions in a major way, every day.

    The radios that people in cars (read: business people and sales reps and farmers and truckers) listen to are dominated by right-wing lip flappers like the oxy-addict and shit-for-brains-Sean and Mr Dreck…again – this is all in “the main stream” – if there is such a thing, yes?

    Honestly – truly – so much of this crying from the flying monkeys reminds me of nothing so much as a kiddo complaining that another kiddo gets all the breaks; the mythical “everyone else” who gets to do this or that or the other thing, while poor ol’ put-upon me ‘never gets to do anything!’

  57. coozledad said on September 17, 2012 at 4:55 pm

    This sounds funny coming from a pale subterranean worm who doesn’t pay taxes.
    http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2012/09/secret-video-romney-private-fundraiser

  58. Prospero said on September 17, 2012 at 5:22 pm

    Sue@52: I think the ‘underappreciated’ part is the dismissal he gets as a ‘comic’ writer.

    Kurt Vonnegut gets the same disrespect for the same reason.

    In both cases, any shortcomings lie with the readers and critics, not the writers.

    Brian: How is it that people like the PJs Media types don’t understand what Leftist even means, historically. Leftists were people trying to get rid of authoritarian monsters like Generalissimo Franco (and keep the bastard dead!!) Actual Leftists are few and very far between these days. Who has them spooked, Pete Seger? Billy Bragg?

    We came across this nutcase on CSpan over the weekend:the reformed terries lapdog of the Family Research Council. We both stared slackjawed for a bit and started laughing uncontrollably.

    Sanitarium was even funnier. They also had the morbidly obese gambling addict William Bennett droning on about family values

  59. ROGirl said on September 17, 2012 at 5:52 pm

    Another quote from the PJ blogger: “Conservatives and libertarians spend far too much time having apoplectic fits over this relentless media bias, even though it isn’t really directed at us, nor even at liberals.”

    There’s a wonderful produce market I go to in Detroit (not Eastern Market) where they have fresh bunches of spinach, so much better than the bagged stuff. I saute chopped onion and garlic, add some sliced mushrooms, cook them down for a few minutes, then add the spinach and put the lid on so it can quickly steam. Delicious.

  60. Prospero said on September 17, 2012 at 6:36 pm

    In 2005, Dickless Cheney asked his despicable energy industry cronies what they wanted, and they got their wish: the Halliburton Loophole, which exempts fracking from the Safe Drinking Water Act and laws that govern disposal of toxic waste:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/03/opinion/03tue3.html

    And then, there is always that well-known liberal bias in truth and science:

    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=safety-first-fracking-second

    I’d say it’s safe to say, RMoney has never met a mountaintop mining or fracking operation he didn’t embrace and wouldn’t trust to operate without any government oversight or regulation.

  61. Prospero said on September 17, 2012 at 7:13 pm

    Any opinions on the NYT’s and Maureen Dowd’s overt anti-Semitism.

    http://gawker.com/5943737/maureen-dowd-may-or-may-not-be-anti+semitic-depending-on-whom-you-ask?post=52751831

    Dan Senor is Jewish, and you can’t criticize his performance as an RMoney campaign adviser, or his charter membership in the PNAC and the discredited neocon coven by claiming they are trying to slither back into power, because it evokes anti-Semitic imagery from the Middle Ages. Well Holy Shit, that sounds like paranoiac playing identity victimhood to me. I thought only gay and black people were allowed to do that.

  62. MichaelG said on September 17, 2012 at 7:22 pm

    I like peanut oil for Chinese and for deep frying. You can get a gallon jug at the Asian markets for a very reasonable price. Panko is my favorite breading. I also use several other types of oil. Clarifying butter ups the smoke point as does mixing butter with olive oil. Panko breaded sole done in a mix of olive and butter. Food for the gods. I use a lot of olive oil. Canola is another very good neutral oil with a high smoke point. So is grape seed oil. I picked up a couple of cans for almost nothing off a remainder table. Corn oil is horrible stuff.

    I got some duck fat at Taylor’s Market and it’s wonderful for potatoes. Peel a medium Yukon Gold, make little disks with the mandolin, do the same with onion, add some duck fat to the pan, alternate layers of spuds and onions and salt and pepper, cover and cook. Take the lid off after a minute or so and follow your instincts. Yum. Good for two meals for me – dinner or breakfast.

    I make my own butter from time to time. Well, about three or four times a year. The yield approaches two pounds from a half gal of cream. It’s always been yellow. I have never seen white butter.

    Put me down as another who prefers his spinach raw. Although there is a very good spinach and Italian sausage thing that is excellent over pasta.

  63. brian stouder said on September 17, 2012 at 7:22 pm

    Everyone should at least skim the Romney link Cooze posted at 57.

    That magical “47%” tumbles out of his mouth again and again. He says 47% of America is on welfare – getting ‘entitlements’ and thinking that is government’s job and those people are with the president, period. It was the one time that dickhead Romney-fish actually sounded sincere about something he believes, and the scorn was simply dripping from him.

    And then he says 47% of Americans pay no taxes. That son of a bitch would do well to quit knocking anyone who doesn’t pay taxes; aside from the fact that even if some large number of people pay no income tax, they certainly pay a large percentage of whatever income they have on sales taxes and on FICA.

    This caught my ear because during my several days in downstate Illinois, I heard this magical 47% number repeatedly, and applied in an equally ethereal way – with regard to food stamps and welfare and all the rest

  64. coozledad said on September 17, 2012 at 7:43 pm

    Brian: I wonder if Romney thought the attendees at the event had been properly screened, but neglected to consider the wait staff (who in earlier times would have been spitting in his meal) are now equipped with small portable recording devices and cameras.

    TBogg catches the money quote:
    “Romney told the contributors that “women are open to supporting me,” but that “we are having a much harder time with Hispanic voters, and if the Hispanic voting bloc becomes as committed to the Democrats as the African American voting block has in the past, why, we’re in trouble as a party and, I think, as a nation.”

    And replies with the funniest line of the season:

    “This is what is known as the “soft bigotry of bigotry”.

  65. Prospero said on September 17, 2012 at 7:52 pm

    Typical anti-Obama voter:

    http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=466030346753334&set=a.326141000742270.76238.115468065142899&type=1&theater

  66. coozledad said on September 17, 2012 at 8:08 pm

    Mitt Romney makes me proud
    Lord, don’t he make me proud
    He seldom makes a scene
    By pandering to me in a crowd
    ‘Cause libruls like to talk
    Lord, don’t they love to talk
    But when they turn off the mikes
    I know he’ll be talking to me
    And when we get behind closed doors
    Then he lets his hair hang down
    And he says the poors should be shitcanned
    Oh, no-one knows what goes on behind closed doors
    Mitt Romney makes me smile
    Lord, don’t he make me smile
    he’s never far away
    Or too tired to say: “I want you”
    he’s always a suit, just like a suit should be
    But when they turn off the mikes
    that suit hits the floor for me
    ‘Cause when we get behind closed doors
    Then he lets his hair hang down
    And I’ll write a check for fifty grand
    Oh, no-one knows what goes on behind closed doors
    Behind closed doors

  67. Catherine said on September 17, 2012 at 8:10 pm

    Wow, that is quite a link, Coozledad. My favorite Romney line was this: [If I’m elected] “…without actually doing anything—we’ll actually get a boost in the economy.” I love the line because that is actually his WHOLE plan: Elect me. Then, magic.

  68. Dexter Friend said on September 17, 2012 at 8:12 pm

    Victim! Dependent! Pay no taxes! (?..what the fuck is this idiot talking about?) Entitled to handouts! Unable to be responsible for my own medical care…wanting handouts!
    Romney might as well have called half the population of the USA dirtbags, dirty wretched unwashed shit. We don’t count. We are dirty filthy cannon fodder, unwanted, unworthy better-off-dead assholes.
    Well Fuck You Mitt Romney, you goddamned son-of-a-bitch. You are not fit to be my President, and I call on you tonight to just abandon your quest. Jesus H. Christ, is this the best the repuggs can do?
    http://www.businessweek.com/news/2012-09-17/romney-distracted-by-comments-on-government-dependent-victims

  69. Sherri said on September 17, 2012 at 8:29 pm

    I pay taxes, Mr. Romney. I’ll show you my tax returns if you show me yours.

  70. Suzanne said on September 17, 2012 at 8:39 pm

    I grew up in the 60s and 70s, too, when butter was considered old school and margarine was all that and a slice of bread. I rarely eat it now, especially in cooking. High cholesterol runs in my family, but I figure natural fat beats chemical godonlyknowswhat every time. If butter was good enough for Julia Child, it’s good enough for me.

    Growing up in the midwest, I also grew to adulthood before I discovered olive oil and herbs for cooking. How surprised was I to discover that vegetables could actually be tasty?! I still have nightmares about those canned peas and carrots we were served in elementary school; tasteless, bland, and colorless mush.

    Plus 1 Sherri!!

  71. Catherine said on September 17, 2012 at 8:57 pm

    Oh, I’m pretty sure Mittens’ campaign is going to blow up twitter again. I love this stuff:

    From Chase Mitchell: “Romney’s new campaign slogan is ‘WAIT, DON’T CLICK ON ANY NEWS SITES'”

    And a link to Andy Borowitz in the New Yorker: “In what his campaign described today as a bold strategy to insure victory in the Presidential contest, Republican nominee Mitt Romney will undergo a procedure to have his mouth wired shut until Tuesday, November 6th.”

    More at http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/borowitzreport/2012/09/in-new-campaign-strategy-romney-to-have-mouth-wired-shut-until-november.html#ixzz26mKPG46P

  72. Catherine said on September 17, 2012 at 8:59 pm

    And to be on topic, Rana, I’m with you on the hereditary high cholesterol. The good news in my case is that the ratio is good and it’s mostly the good kind. So, pass the butter and eggs.

  73. Sherri said on September 17, 2012 at 9:10 pm

    Paul Ryan is the Republican nominee for Vice President. It is well known that he received Social Security benefits when his father died when he was in high school. He attended a public, state supported college. He’s spent most of his adult life as either a Congressional staffer or a member of Congress, earning a taxpayer funded salary. Paul Ryan, like his fellow nominee Mitt Romney, believes that too many people are dependent on government.

    To quote Jed Bartlett: “Can we have it back?”

  74. alex said on September 17, 2012 at 9:20 pm

    I still have a soft spot in my heart for canned asparagus, but if canned spinach were the only sort I’d ever tasted I’d probably sooner eat scrapings off the bottom of the lawn mower myself, as Brian put it earlier.

    So Romney finally gets caught in a moment of candor and shows himself to be the callous ass we figured him for. Sweet.

  75. Deborah said on September 17, 2012 at 9:25 pm

    That Coozledad link to the Mother Jones video has gone viral it’s now on CNN and the NYT. This guy is toast. Thank God.

    Edit: those videos are on the BBC now. Holy cow this is global.

  76. baldheadeddork said on September 17, 2012 at 10:01 pm

    I’m calling my shot – Romney is done. His campaign has been in a tailspin for months and they are clueless on how to fix it. He’s an incompetent, majestically tone-deaf campaigner with the warmth of a broken toaster and his staff couldn’t manage a two car funeral procession.

    To have a shot at winning Romney needed a surprisingly good convention, then he needed the Dems to come out flat at their show, and then he had to press the advantage to run down Obama in the states where he has a narrow lead. Instead the Republican convention was a dud, the Dems knocked it out of the park, and now Romney is finding new ways to screw up every frigging day. Sometimes twice a day.

    But that doesn’t mean the race is over. Obama will continue keeping Romney against the ropes because they want to make him and Ryan a proxy for the Congressional races. They want to use Romney to push the Congressional Republicans in borderline districts and states (read: Tea Party freshmen) into disarray. The fun part is just beginning.

  77. Suzanne said on September 17, 2012 at 10:43 pm

    I wouldn’t get too excited about this Romney video. The people I interact with everyday won’t see a darn thing wrong with what he said as they probably believe that 47% of Americans are on government aid, laying around doin’ absolutely nothing except getting their guvmint check. What they won’t admit is that many of them also have or do receive government aid in some form or another, but that doesn’t count. They deserve it or need it or something. I’ve never quite figured it out.

  78. Crazycatlady said on September 17, 2012 at 10:59 pm

    Dorothy– Trust me. I have made garlic sauteed spinach and beb will never touch it. Ever. I love it, and being vegetarian I eat a lot of stuff he won’t. Tofu, raw tomatoes, kale, collards. I try to cook stuff he likes, so the poor boy won’t starve under my watch. lol

  79. Sue said on September 17, 2012 at 11:08 pm

    The presidential and vice presidential debates are going to be awesome.

  80. baldheadeddork said on September 17, 2012 at 11:30 pm

    Suzanne – I know a lot of people believe it thanks to Rush Limbaugh and Fox News. But I don’t think it’s more than 35-40% of the country and I think it’s very vulnerable to being fractured. And that’s the real danger for Romney and the Republicans – this tape gives Obama and the Democrats a very sharp chisel to use on that block of voters.

    The specificity is the killer. A serviceman or woman with a couple of kids won’t make enough to pay income tax until they’ve been in for a couple of hitches. A lot of seniors don’t make enough to pay income tax and they receive Medicare. College students fall into this group. So do disabled veterans. This isn’t even a fat pitch – it’s t-ball. Have an American tell his or her story, then overplay the Mitt Romney clip about 47%.

    And that’s just the income tax part of the tape. What Romney said about his “Hispanic” heritage and how much easier it would be for him is going to cost him additional votes in Colorado and Florida, and could be a deciding factor in close states with growing Hispanic populations like Iowa and Virginia. The country is doomed if Hispanics support Democrats? Really?

  81. Dexter said on September 17, 2012 at 11:43 pm

    The Monday Night Football game sucks, so I clicked onto Honey Boo Boo. You’ve got to be shitting me! Oh, but that 4-wheelin’ mud boggin’ sure looks like…fun. Yeah. Right.

    Vegetables…I still sometimes use canned veggies for the convenience, when I want some color on the plate, but I hold no hope they have any nutrients for me. I sometimes buy frozen okra, I love the stuff unless it gets “snotty”. Then it is sickening. Frozen lima beans always taste “freezer burned” to me.
    I am holding back the nervousness well, as we get the pathology report back on Wednesday from the tumor taken from Pogo the Labbie-Dog’s behind two weeks ago. Why do they make us wait so goddam long? She gets the stitches out and we get the news.

    And 63 ain’t old! Oh shit yes it is. Nineteen minutes and I’ll know how it feels to be that old. I had a recurring dream throughout my adulthood about dying when I was 57. I guess I beat that dream all to hell. 🙂

  82. Sherri said on September 17, 2012 at 11:57 pm

    Charles Pierce gets it right, as usual:

    When the One Great Scorer comes to write against Romney’s name, he’s going to be stumped as to whether the man was a bigger jerk than he was an incompetent. There won’t be enough whiskey in heaven for the OGS to resolve this, so he’ll just fill in the box marked “Both” and move right along.

    http://www.esquire.com/blogs/politics/romney-tape-47-percent-12803073

  83. Kaye said on September 18, 2012 at 12:09 am

    Happy Birthday Dexter! Hope you get good news re: Pogo. Waiting is hard, agreed.

    BHDork — I appreciated your comments re: polling last week and today I appreciate your enthusiasm in calling this the day Romney lost the election. My favorite line: “. . . the warmth of a broken toaster and his staff couldn’t manage a two car funeral procession.”

    I heard a little of Obama’s speech in CMH today and thought he sounded great, more like the 08 version than he has in a while. That was before the Mother Jones story broke, he must feel fabulous tonight.

  84. Jason T. said on September 18, 2012 at 6:25 pm

    A-herm. Dexter at 2: Unless you’re talking about a Turbo-Hydramatic 350, the word “tranny” is roughly on the same level as “faggot” and “dyke.” Just sayin’.