Soup and nuts.

As I think I’ve mentioned before, we don’t eat canned soup in our house. Alan once spent a summer working the Campbell’s soup factory in Napoleon, Ohio, an experience that put him off canned soup once and for all. (He also worked in a pizza factory for a spell. Don’t get him started.) Because I really like soup, this led to me having to learn how to make it from scratch. The good news is, homemade soup is so much better than the canned variety that the bad news — yes, it takes longer than opening a can and heating it on the stove — is entirely eclipsed. We eat soup throughout fall and winter and into the spring, and I don’t resent any of the time and effort spent to make it myself.

Which brings me back around to Blue Apron, which we chewed over a few weeks back, and something else that bothers me about it.

I poked around on their website for a bit, which is the extent of the research I’m willing to do about it. Here’s a vegetarian offering, for cauliflower “steaks” and farro salad:

This dish highlights the delectable potential of one of autumn’s most abundant vegetables: cauliflower. We’re roasting thick slices until they develop a crisp, golden crust and a tender, sweet interior. Our “steaks” get an elevated topping of juicy grapes, toasty hazelnuts and fresh rosemary quickly cooked in a brown butter sauce, which also lends its incredible flavor to a hearty farro and arugula salad. A pinch of fennel pollen (an intensely aromatic spice with notes of citrus and sweet anise) completes the dish with sophisticated flair.

Sounds delicious. But if Blue Apron and similar services are being used as a crutch, or an intermediate step by young and busy people toward actual kitchen independence, they are going about it all wrong, in my opinion. Fennell pollen is not an ingredient that should be in a beginner’s kitchen, or even, it could be argued, any kitchen.

You want to cook more at home? Start with soup. Easy-peasy. You have the stuff that gives the soup its name (tomatoes, squash, chicken and noodles, whatever) and the stuff it floats in (clear broth, cream/milk), and that’s pretty much it. You can mash up some of the first stuff to make it thicker, but that’s up to you. Play around with it, figure out what you like, and move on from there. No need for fennel pollen.

So, we can discuss cooking today, or we can talk about the business genius involved in throwing a few more millions of taxpayer dollars at a company, so it’ll make a show of staying in Indiana. And all this from the party that said government shouldn’t be picking winners and losers. All bets off.

Posted at 9:47 pm in Current events, Same ol' same ol' |
 

70 responses to “Soup and nuts.”

  1. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on November 30, 2016 at 10:03 pm

    Cooking is my favorite form of meditation.

  2. MichaelG said on November 30, 2016 at 11:10 pm

    My Ex, (T) makes an excellent broccoli or zucchini soup in minutes. It’s very tasty.

    I wrote yesterday of my good fortune in ending up fairly prosperous in my old age. One of the major factors in my financial good fortune was working from 65 to 70. If I had retired earlier, I wouldn’t have had the retirement and SSA income I have now. Plus I really liked my job for the last 10 years. If I had retired in my mid-fifties like a lot of people do I’d be eating cat food now. So. Just my good fortune all around, I guess. I’m a lucky guy.

    Had another great lunch with T today. Ate at the Waterboy here in Sacramento. Great food, great service, great wine. Left a very happy camper.

    Sarah Palin at the VA? Jesus. What an insult. These people are beyond belief. It’s become apparent the Trump and his advisors know very few people.

    What’s the deal with Secretary of State? Why is Trump leaving all these guys hanging? What’s going on? Why hasn’t Romney told him to go fuck himself?

  3. Sherri said on November 30, 2016 at 11:29 pm

    I thought I’d try out one of Blue Apron’s competitors, Purple Carrot, just to see if it did make things easier or did give me some new ideas. The answer was no, and no. the prep work wasn’t eliminated, just kind of oddly distributed. The recipes weren’t nearly flexible enough, and didn’t really teach you to cook, in the sense of how to learn to put things together without a recipe to make dishes. That’s the most useful thing to learn for regular cooking in relatively timely manner: how to take a protein, some vegetables , and some starch, and turn it into a soup, a pasta dish, a stir-fry, an omelet, etc. How to use cookbooks and recipes for ideas more than rules, how to stock a kitchen, where to spend money and time and where cheaper or faster substitutes are just fine.

    Bittman’s How to Cook Everything was the best source for me in learning how to cook, rather than just how to make a particular dish.

  4. LAMary said on November 30, 2016 at 11:29 pm

    NYT food section has some great soup recipes. I saved one yesterday. Chickpea and mustard green stew. Last week there was a basic minestrone you can add or subtract from, and there was a basic chicken soup, all from scratch, a day or so ago. I was moved to buy a chicken and some leeks. At the same time I bought some red bell peppers so I can make the red lentil soup with lemon that has been a favorite here for a couple of years.

  5. Sherri said on December 1, 2016 at 12:01 am

    Washington threw a bunch of tax breaks at Boeing to get them to produce one of their wings here instead for another state, but didn’t tie the breaks to any job number requirements. Boeing took the tax breaks, and promptly moved a big chunk of jobs out of state, anyway. Now the WTO has ruled that the tax breaks are an illegal subsidy, too.

    Three years after that $9 billion tax break, and our state legislature still hasn’t managed to find a way to adequately fund education, and probably won’t until we can wrest control of the state senate back from Republicans so that we have a hope of considering an income tax of some sort.

  6. Dexter said on December 1, 2016 at 1:14 am

    I hear ads for Blue Apron all the time and a big selling point is 4-star restaurant quality meals for about ten dollars a plate. I have a couple good grocery stores , each a mile away, so it’s easy to drive and get whatever vegetables and fruits I want. I do keep Progresso soups around for quickie meals, but rarely utilize this option. I like to cook like most do here, roasting chickens with potatoes and carrots , pot roasts, but I no longer cook from cookbooks because I hate running out for some ingredient I don’t have nor know where to look in the store. Last night I made pasta seasoned very lightly with EVOO, oregano, dash of soy sauce, dash of parsley flakes, served with grilled tiny sausages, tomatoes in a light vinaigrette, with white beans on the side. No plan, just make it come together as I go along, and it was just fine.
    Also, sliced mango. Dessert was the last of the German chocolate cake and coffee, black.
    Well, I watched Ohio State lose and Indiana win at basketball, and the evening news reported nothing about Sarah Palin and the VA. I gotta do some reading ASAP.

  7. Deborah said on December 1, 2016 at 5:12 am

    Little Bird uses fennel pollen once a while. I can’t tell the difference when it’s used or not. She also uses truffle powder which I can’t stand the smell of. She’s a good cook who knows how to chop herbs and veggies. I’m a lousy cook but I’m better than my mother was. She always had a book with her while she cooked, she didn’t pay attention to what she was doing and let things burn. We had the most unappetizing meals when I was a kid.

  8. David C. said on December 1, 2016 at 6:11 am

    Blue apron sounds like they hired J. Peterman copywriters. And any time you have to put steaks in quotes, it’s probably bad news.

    I’m sure Carrier learned their lesson. You don’t shut down a plant all at once. You do it piecemeal. So they’ll take Indiana’s money, probably do some nice stock buybacks which help nobody outside of the executive suite and close the plant 50 jobs a month for the next 40 months.

  9. Suzanne said on December 1, 2016 at 7:10 am

    I love to cook but I am not good without a recipe. I used to make non-recipes soups frequently but had too many turn out less flavorful than I expected. So, I use my recipes. I also love to make pasta so I won’t likely ever go paleo. And to think that not that many years ago, I thought good pasta was spaghetti with Prego. Ugh. Like Jeff, I find cooking meditative. Stirring and stirring risotto does that to you.

    I still make that French Pork Stew that someone posted here a few years ago. It is so good!

  10. alex said on December 1, 2016 at 7:27 am

    I have a friend who worked one summer, while putting himself through college, at an ice cream plant in Huntington, Indiana. He witnessed resentful low-wage workers doing things to the product that should have gotten them arrested, yet he didn’t have the courage to speak up. I can only imagine what it must be like to work in a food processing facility in the age of Trump.

    While putting himself through college and law school, my dad worked summers at a Fisher Body plant in Detroit where Cadillacs were going down the line. His job was installing dashboard panels with a screw gun. He and his co-workers would typically use the least amount of screws that it took to get the job done so they’d have more time to horse around, although some of that horseplay involved stealing each other’s lunches and riveting them inside the heating ducts of the cars. The rubber washers that were supposed to be used with each screw ended up more often than not as projectiles in games of dodge ’em. No wonder they’re using robots for those jobs these days.

  11. Deborah said on December 1, 2016 at 7:55 am

    Would someone post that French pork stew recipe again, I’d like to try that.

  12. Suzanne said on December 1, 2016 at 8:02 am

    https://higginrocki.wordpress.com/category/cooks-illustrated/

    French Pork Stew. So good!

  13. nancy said on December 1, 2016 at 8:08 am

    That must be a very popular recipe for Cook’s Illustrated. They have a crock-pot version in one of their cookbooks, too.

  14. Jolene said on December 1, 2016 at 8:20 am

    Eli Saslow, a WaPo reporter, seems to be making a career of writing stories of people who, in one way or another, have survived horrible violence. He did a very powerful piece about the family of one of the kids killed at Sandy Hook and another about a girl who was badly wounded in the shooting at Umpqua Community College in Oregon. Now he gives us a piece focused on the child left behind by the San Bernardino shooters and the efforts of their family members to adopt her. Kind of amazing to think about how life moves on for the rest of us, but the people closest to these incidents are never free of them.

  15. Deborah said on December 1, 2016 at 8:35 am

    Ok now I need to know the crock-pot version of the French pork stew. I’m thinking this is something I could make on the wood burning stove in the Abiquiu cabin. When we were there for thanksgiving I cooked a chicken stew that way, I learned a lot about how to control the heat level.

  16. ROGirl said on December 1, 2016 at 8:56 am

    I have an old recipe from the nyt for butternut squash soup that’s so good I call it crack soup. It’s very simple to make and no fancy schmancy ingredients, either, unlike many of their recipes .

  17. Judybusy said on December 1, 2016 at 9:14 am

    One of my favorite soups is a vegetarian one based on bouillabaisse, the Provencal fish stew. I think I write about here every fall.It’s topped with a spicy mayonaise you make from scratch. Tomatoes,fennel bulb, potatoes, leeks, flavored with a strip of orange rind.

    ROGirl, I also love a good butternut squash soup. I think that needs to go on the menu next week.

    I cook for the care home today; I prepped a chicken pot pie last night. The recipe uses white wine to as part of the gravy. As I’m cooking these days, I’m listening to the book “The New Jim Crow”; learning a lot of details which helps me see my work in the public defender’s office in a brighter light.

  18. Peter said on December 1, 2016 at 9:22 am

    I’ve been noticing a lot of articles lately debating whether our new leader’s tweets are a calculated diversion from more serious transgressions or just batshit crazy eruptions. I wish I could remember the article, but one person said they could be both – it’s becoming apparent that some Republicans have realized just how big an opportunity they’ve been handed – an egotistic blowhard who can be easily manipulated – they can just wait to implement something when everyone is looking at the latest dumb tweet, because you can be sure one will be coming out any minute now….

  19. Icarus said on December 1, 2016 at 9:41 am

    I have to know what Allen working the Campbell’s soup factory did to put him off canned soup.

    Also, I wonder what everyone thinks of this story.

    http://www.cnn.com/2016/11/30/us/sherri-papini-branded-california-jogger-kidnap-update/index.html

  20. Sherri said on December 1, 2016 at 9:45 am

    Maybe if we let them rename it TrumpCare, they’d love it: http://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/trump-obamacare-repeal-poll

  21. Deborah said on December 1, 2016 at 9:52 am

    They can call it satancare as far as I’m concerned, as long as my daughter gets healthcare out of it.

  22. Dorothy said on December 1, 2016 at 9:55 am

    Ooh I just love when we talk about food here! I have made so many delicious meals simply because I hang out here and try things that you all make sound too good to pass up. Mary I saw the NYTimes chicken soup article, too, and I’m going to get a whole chicken and some leeks this weekend to try that version. I too just LOVE the red lentil soup I got from someone here. I have a friend who makes soup every Sunday once the weather gets cold, and then stops once a lasting Spring makes its appearance. I get good leads from her, too.

    I just can’t bring myself to get rid of all the cookbooks I have, despite the fact that I get most recipes online these days. I feel quite affectionate towards them! I guess once we retire and downsize our living quarters I’ll have no choice but to donate the bulk of them.

  23. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on December 1, 2016 at 10:04 am

    Icarus – I can tell you your average cop smells something funny here, but just as quickly someone points out we all thought there was a missing piece of the Elizabeth Smart story, and it turns out it was just what it appeared to be. (And then everyone goes down the JonBenét rabbithole…)

    If the husband is an entirely innocent party, he’s not getting good advice, or he’s not listening to it. Yeah, I’m staying attentive to that story, too.

  24. Suzanne said on December 1, 2016 at 10:17 am

    I’ve wondered about that kidnapped jogger in CA, too. For me, it’s the police statements that she was handcuffed to an item (or however they put it) but I’ve never read what it was. Yesterday, I read about her broken nose and bruises, etc, but then the story said she was never admitted to a hospital. That seemed odd to me. If she was that beat up, wouldn’t she be admitted and monitored for a bit? I don’t know though. Maybe that is normal in a case like this.
    But I thought the preacher’s wife in Indy who was murdered sounded fishy to me, too, but they caught the guy and it was, sadly, legit.

    However, I nailed the woman years ago who said she was carjacked and the perp drove off with her kids but she had drowned them. When she met with the press, her hair was too perfect. My kids were small at the time and I remember thinking that if some creep took off with my children, my hair would be the last thing on my mind. I remember telling my husband that I’d be so hysterical, I would have to be heavily medicated not have my hair done.

  25. Bitter Scribe said on December 1, 2016 at 10:31 am

    I used to have a job that required me to tour, and write about, one food plant a month. Once, just for kicks, I made a list of all the plants I’d toured, and put a check mark next to the ones that made food I’d ever eaten, or would ever consider eating. Out of about three dozen plants, there were maybe four or five check marks.

    Many of the same people who are ecstatic about Trump maybe saving 1,000 jobs were motherfucking Obama for the auto bailout that saved hundreds of thousands (millions, if you count ancillary employment).

  26. Sue said on December 1, 2016 at 10:48 am

    Suzanne, wasn’t she the one who said she was pleading with the ‘kidnapper’ and quoted herself saying “Please Mr. Bad Guy don’t take my kids”? That was my clue.
    And if you want to save American jobs, make the effort to buy American products. Call the company and ask which of their appliances or products are made in the US, that lets them know there’s an interest. Same with the salespeople.
    And yes. You will probably pay more.

  27. Julie Robinson said on December 1, 2016 at 10:58 am

    We make soup pretty frequently too and prefer it, although there are a couple of ones in those pour our cartons that we like. I’m less concerned though, with cans that have been sterilized by high heat than I am with the average restaurant kitchen. One of the reasons we don’t eat out much.

    I’ve been feeling pretty low the last few days, a combination of politics, the light going away, and mostly the death of an extended family member at a young age that shouldn’t have happened. So I’ve been looking for reasons to laugh, or even smile.

    And this morning I found them, thanks to a Carson’s ad: http://www.carsons.com/sc1/query/1077695. The OppoSuit, which you can get in Rudoplh, Christmaster, Winter Wonderland, Santaboss, or for Valentine’s fun, Mr. Lover Lover. Seriously, I beg you to click the link if you also need to ROFL. I hope Dave Barry hasn’t closed his Christmas gifts column yet.

  28. Charlotte said on December 1, 2016 at 10:59 am

    I love cookbooks — I’ve worked on them and reviewed them for years, but I don’t cook from actual recipes much. And soup is a staple here — usually leftovers wind up as soup. I’m too cheap to use a whole chicken just for soup — but I save up carcasses and make stock a couple of times a year. And Michael Ruhlman’s Ratio taught me how to do an egg white raft to clarify it– and then the pressure canner. It’s a 2 day thing (with about 2 hours of actual work time) but those jars of beautiful, clear yellow stock on my shelf make me extraordinarily happy.
    Himself makes killer popovers to go with with soup at his house (we kept our own houses and rotate), so soup night is always a thrill.

    There is a weird generational fault line with cooking though — I can’t tell you how many 30-somethings I know who both don’t know how to cook, and have no interest in learning. To me, it’s always been a basic life skill, like laundry or cleaning.

  29. alex said on December 1, 2016 at 11:12 am

    Mister Bad Guy, look and see
    Is there a ransom in the bag for me?
    Mister Ba-a-a-a-ad Guy
    Why don’t you check it and see
    One more time for me

  30. Heather said on December 1, 2016 at 11:20 am

    Well, all these food-manufacturing stories are making me reconsider buying anything packaged ever again. I do mostly cook from scratch, but some packaging is inevitable. I guess I will just try not to think about the fact that someone could have dipped their junk in my organic beef broth.

    My mother died when I was a teenager so I never really learned to cook from her, except for some cookie recipes. It’s really not hard to learn, and I think the ritual of making meals can be very soothing. Of course I’m usually only feeding myself, so it’s easy for me to say that!

  31. Jeff Borden said on December 1, 2016 at 11:21 am

    I’ve been feeling like Julie. . .a low level feeling of depression. I know it’s much more related to the election than the weather since we have had an incredibly long and warm fall. The prospect of seeing that fat orange face and hearing that droning Queens voice for the next four years is pretty fucking horrible. And man, his cabinet choices are off the charts awful, not that his loyal fans will pay that much attention to the elevation of a hedge fund fucker like Mnuchin to Secretary of the Treasury. Drain the swamp, my ass.

    We first saw those funny suits Julie mentions last summer, when Cubs manager Joe Maddon had the team wearing them on a travel day. Very amusing stuff.

  32. alex said on December 1, 2016 at 11:59 am

    Jeff, Julie, I’ve been feeling it too. My joie de vivre and optimism have done a 180 since election night. I’m considering asking my doctor for some Wellbutrin as I need to quit cigarettes again, for which it’s very helpful, even though I hate taking it.

  33. Connie said on December 1, 2016 at 12:19 pm

    I haven’t had time to think about the election, only that it made me very sad and with the appointments being made I just get sadder. Actually, feeling exactly what Alex just said in post above.

    But my work life is nuts. I need to stay focussed. The library at which I am the Library Director is moving to a lovely newly built building. And I need to review apps and set up interviews for a vacant manager position. (I fired a toxic employee a couple of weeks ago and all my employees are now happy people at work.) I need to finish release the RFQ for cleaning services. I need to eat lunch before today’s move team meeting. Remember Deborah moving all her books? We are moving 90,000 of them and hope to keep them order. Starting next week you get 7 week checkout.

    Here’s my question of the day: I learned afterward that there was an unvaccinated two year old at the Thanksgiving dinner I attended. Also present were my 95 year old mother and her 99 year old sister. If I had known ahead I would not have attended, and I would have said something – LOUDLY – about our beloved oldies being endangered. Am I out of line?

  34. brian stouder said on December 1, 2016 at 12:20 pm

    Speaking of the post-election let-down, one question I’ve been considering is: Is Trump the price we (the US electorate) has to pay for getting 8 years of President Obama?

    I confess I always kind of enjoyed (to state this is to over-state this, but there’s truth in it, nonetheless) that President Obama drove some folks so crazy. And now – here we are with our “YO MAMMA!!” national retort, from ‘the other side’.

    I think if this election was a short story, we’d all say it was an unrealistic excess when (for one-example) all the just-too-convenient griping about a “RIGGED!! RIGGED, I tell ya!” yip-yap from the demagogue, followed by his 2.2 million vote LOSS in the popular election, and victory in the Electoral College !!

    All I’m asking the Good Lord for, is that we don’t turn the key and nuke anyone, for the next 4 years. Seriously. Imagine President Trump’s impulse, upon news that a skyscraper in Manahatten just got knocked down. And then a second one. What would he do?

  35. Julie Robinson said on December 1, 2016 at 12:23 pm

    Nope. Two brothers I know are on the opposite side of this issue, and the one refuses to step foot in the other’s house, or be around his unvaccinated children in any way. It’s sad, but he doesn’t want to risk his baby, and I completely understand.

  36. nancy said on December 1, 2016 at 12:23 pm

    Hey, Hoosiers. A friend of mine who strings for the Guardian is going to Indiana this weekend, in search of closing/threatening to close plants in the northern half of the state — the ones who didn’t get the Carrier attention, obviously. Any that come to mind?

  37. nancy said on December 1, 2016 at 12:28 pm

    Oh, and Icarus: The soup plant put Alan off his feed, but he cites only two specifics: The quality of the beef that went into the beef-noodle/vegetable soup, and the fact that (he claims) when tomato-based soups were found to have too many insect parts, etc., to be cleared for sale, they were quietly warehoused for a few weeks, then retested. “Tomatoes are highly acidic, you know,” he says, nodding.

    He also made V8 juice, and said the experience of stuffing frozen chunks of watercress, spinach, etc., into the maw of some industrial-size juicer was just too gross for words.

    I’d imagine food production on a scale like this is simply gross by design. A friend who worked in a candy plant tells similar stories. “Chocolate is the opposite of scotch,” he always says. “You have to learn to dislike it.”

    Alan also worked in a plant that made frozen pizzas, which he will not touch to this day. The stories involve sweating.

  38. Julie Robinson said on December 1, 2016 at 12:56 pm

    The Carrier plant in Huntington is waiting to hear if they are part of the trumped-up deal: http://www.journalgazette.net/news/local/Huntington-awaits-word-on-jobs-after-Carrier-deal-16596125

  39. Peter said on December 1, 2016 at 1:07 pm

    When I was in grade school we went on several industrial field trips (one good thing about Chicago back then…) and two were to the Curtis factory where they made Butterfingers and Baby Ruths, and Vienna Sausage.

    I still won’t eat Baby Ruths, and hot dogs have to be chargrilled to death before I eat one.

  40. susan said on December 1, 2016 at 1:10 pm

    According to Farad Mangoo:

    Carrier will get $7 million in tax cuts to keep 800 jobs in the US — but still plans to move 1,300 to Mexico https://www.google.com/amp/www.wsj.com/amp/articles/indiana-gives-7-million-in-tax-breaks-to-keep-carrier-jobs-1480608461?client=safari

    $8750/job

    Art of the deal! US gummint is in badness!

  41. Peter said on December 1, 2016 at 1:11 pm

    Brian at #34 – if two skyscrapers collapse under Donald’s watch, he’d just tweet that he now had the highest building in Manhattan and would raise the rent.

    After all, that’s what he did the last time it happened!

  42. Jakash said on December 1, 2016 at 1:14 pm

    Anybody who’s not somewhat depressed after this election is either a Rump voter, not paying attention, or REALLY psychologically well-tuned. I keep waiting for the day when I make it through without having at least a few instances of letting this ongoing nightmare get to me.

    My “solution” has been to ignore as much of it as I can since Nov. 8. Coming here doesn’t help with that goal! But I keep visiting nn.c, anyway. Then last night, I made the huge mistake of reading Gene Weingarten’s monthly online chat at the WaPo from Tuesday, his first since the election. Not a lot of optimism from those parts, unsurprisingly. And one of his chatters linked to this, which I imagine may well have been posted here by Nancy or somebody else since it’s from Oct. 12 — in which case, I missed it. A non-humorous take on Rump voters and where they’re coming from, by the editor of “Cracked,” who grew up in red country before moving to the city and turning blue. I suppose it’s not much different from the views expressed in “Hillbilly Elegy,” which I haven’t read, and elsewhere, but I found it pretty interesting. Of course, it doesn’t account for the type of well-off, suburban Republican voter who was also needed for him to win.

    http://www.cracked.com/blog/6-reasons-trumps-rise-that-no-one-talks-about/

    Apologies to all who are very, very tired of hearing about the voters who drove the country into the ditch, but it’s easy to skip if you don’t want to read it! On a lighter, but still pretty disturbing note, something else linked to by Weingarten. A piece by his WaPo colleague Alexandra Petri, written shortly before the election, pretending to respond to an invitation to a party on Nov. 9. “I can probably come! However, there is a slight chance that I might be underground in a bunker screaming and screaming where no one can hear me.” And off to the races from there, in a piece that seems kinda prescient now:

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/compost/wp/2016/11/03/we-can-probably-make-plans-for-after-the-election/?

  43. Jim G said on December 1, 2016 at 1:14 pm

    “Her now emaciated body of 87 pounds was covered in multicolored bruises, severe burns, red rashes, and chain markings. Her signature long, blond hair had been chopped off.”

    “Signature long, blond hair?” That’s…kind of sad, really. Of all the things to be known for.

    And someone read his AP style book.

  44. basset said on December 1, 2016 at 1:15 pm

    Part of my summer job at a now long-closed egg processing plant in Odon, Indiana, involved dumping rotten eggs into a machine which separated the solids out for, we were told, dog food… tending the machine… and cleaning it with a shovel and a steam hose at the end of the shift. I used to come home, hose off in the yard, and hang my overalls on the fence before I could go inside and shower.

  45. Peter said on December 1, 2016 at 1:15 pm

    Suzanne, that woman is the famous Susan Smith – as it turned out, she was having an affair and the other party didn’t want to continue because of the kids.

    A few years after that trial, there was a story about a convict cleaning crew at the S Carolina capitol that was having some fun and games in the governor’s office, and the female ringleader was – you guessed it.

  46. MichaelG said on December 1, 2016 at 1:22 pm

    I sincerely doubt that I will be around in four years or even two years. So I am selfishly trying to enjoy life as much as possible while I’m still able and not agonizing over our new president and the ship of fools he’s assembling. Lunch today with an old gal pal of mine from work. The lovely (and she sure is) Miss A.

    Connie, I once moved the California State Library. All the bazillions of books, maps, artifacts (many of them rare, antiques, etc.) were in a warehouse in Roseville. The Library and Courts building had just been remodeled and brought up to current seismic standards and I had to bring the books back to their home and have them all put on the proper shelf (or safe place) in the proper order. Needless to say people were very nervous about damage and/or loss. Somebody else had handled the move from the Library and Courts building to the warehouse a couple of years prior. There are specialty operations that do this stuff and I ended up contracting with some outfit from back east. It cost several hundreds of thousands of dollars. Sure was interesting though.

  47. Sue said on December 1, 2016 at 1:27 pm

    I was a staff member the first time our library moved. 8 months pregnant. Yup.
    Last time they moved they hired a company I think.
    BTW, library people, what’s all this about clearing library records so Trump & Co. can’t come and see who’s been reading Che?

  48. MichaelG said on December 1, 2016 at 1:28 pm

    Jakash, I’m certainly dismayed, disgusted and dis-everything else about current events. But I’m damned if I’ll spend the little time I likely have left beating my breast rending my remaining hair and crying “Oy, oy…”

  49. Bitter Scribe said on December 1, 2016 at 1:33 pm

    OT, sort of: Trump isn’t going to let a little thing like winning the election stop him from holding those rallies he loves so much.

    Jesus Christ. He should be working frantically, trying to get up to speed, and instead he’s wasting time doing this? He’s like a child insisting on holding another party the week after his birthday.

  50. alex said on December 1, 2016 at 1:34 pm

    Nancy–

    Evergreen RV in Middlebury and Select Specialty Hospital in Fort Wayne are two businesses that have announced they’re closing. Otherwise our area lost a Parker-Hannifin plant in New Haven recently. And as Julie mentioned, the 700 Carrier workers in Huntington evidently aren’t going to be a part of the big PR stunt.

    Again, it bears noting that Guv My Pants, who was a Congressman at the time, and Congressman Stutz the Putz, who was a state legislator at the time, both opposed the auto bailout and continued to rail against it after its passage despite the calamitous result this would have had on their state.

  51. Connie said on December 1, 2016 at 1:41 pm

    In Michigan your library records are protected by a privacy law. We were talking about clearing library records when Bush’ Patriot Act was passed. In fact we don’t save your records. On purpose. The only thing we know right now is what books you have checked out and on hold. When you return them that record disappears. Privacy of your library use is a big issue for librarians, and we are pretty much determined to protect your privacy.

    And yes we are using a library book moving service, and six of our part timers will be part of their staff. The trick is keeping the books in order on their trip from old shelf to new shelf.

  52. Icarus said on December 1, 2016 at 1:45 pm

    Thanks Nancy, we try to limit our intact of all processed foods and I’m sure everything we eat has some risk as you described. I’ll run it by Nightingale whether she wants to keep buying the frozen Home Run Inn pizzas she favors.

    Agree with you all about the Papini story…the comment sections of most of the pieces on it sum up the two sides. If it really happened the way she said it did, she is very lucky to be alive. One usually ends up dead or part of the sex trade in a situation like that one.

  53. Judybusy said on December 1, 2016 at 1:51 pm

    Jakash @ 42, I am one of those people who’s just baseline happy. I’ve been sad and really angry at times since the election. The first week was the hardest. However, I really channel my fear into action, which is helping. Also, I think it’s critical to do positive things in the midst of all this. For MichaelG., this is really clear cut as he’s dealing with a serious illness. For a long time, I’ve tried to live my life knowing it’s the only one I’ve got. I could have 30 more years or not.

    So for example, instead of attending a meeting with Organizing for Change tomorrow night (who the heck has a political meeting on a Friday night?!) I’m attending our dear friends’ blowout holiday party that we’ve attended for the last decade.

    That’s great the Guardian reporter is doing that story. Thanks susan, at #40 for that story. Ultimately it’s bad news for taxpayers/workers.

  54. Scout said on December 1, 2016 at 1:58 pm

    The easiest soup I make is broccoli cheddar using the Vitamix. Just 5 ingredients – broccoli, cheese, onion, bouillon cube (I use a veg one) and milk. It’s delightful. I use almond milk to cut some of the calories, which makes it a bit less creamy, but still really good.

    I had my annual physical this morning and hesitated when answering some of the questions about lack of sleep and anxiety. I finally copped to both and said it was post-election hangover. Which led to a good “I hear you and agree” discussion with the Doc. It is of some consolation that we who are horrified by what is happening are likely in the majority. But damn, I have never felt this hopeless and afraid. Republicans are like a collection of comic book villains who do shitty things just because they can. In my mind they are a collection of Snidely Whiplashes, twisting their moustaches and laughing evilly.

  55. brian stouder said on December 1, 2016 at 2:15 pm

    I nominate Scout for Thread Win!! (insert evil cackle, here)

  56. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on December 1, 2016 at 2:24 pm

    We all eat a peck of dirt before we die, the old saying goes, and from the soil not entirely scrubbed off the carrots from the garden to insect parts in our frozen vegetables, it may be twice that today. . . the saying became popular back when 35 was getting long in the tooth.

    A peck’s a quarter-bushel for those who are interested. I try to keep up a firewall between being sad, and being depressed. The distinction may well be an artificial one, but it seems to help me cope. Lots of sad out there in general, and there’s always reason to be depressed if you dig deep enough. I think life comes from somewhere, so it doesn’t seem too unreasonable to believe it goes somewhere, and I’m trusting that there’s more reason to it all than I alone can see. And I work on my garden plot right here. The joy comes when I pick it and dirt and bugs and all and bring it in the house and feed my family and friends with it.

    Did I mention I find cooking meditative? 😉

  57. Scout said on December 1, 2016 at 2:29 pm

    I think this is what messes with my head the most. She won. She beat him like a dirty rug.

    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/edblog/two-point-five-million

  58. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on December 1, 2016 at 2:29 pm

    Semi-good news (Drum is a good reliable source in general; he’s having some health challenges himself, and is no doubt doubly watchful these days):

    http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2016/12/medicare-probably-not-2017-agenda

  59. Jolene said on December 1, 2016 at 3:06 pm

    Nancy, here is an article about workers at Rexnord, another Indy company, calling for Trump to save their jobs too. The company announced that it was closing and moving 300 jobs to Mexico this past October.

  60. Dexter said on December 1, 2016 at 3:19 pm

    Just a minor correction…it was the Curtiss Candy Company (two S’s) …I always wondered why the 2 s as I stared at a huge ad-board in Wrigley Field. That sign was up there forever in right field.

    Time to repeat another gross story. I worked 2 different stretches at Kraft Foods in Kendallville, Indiana back in the 60s. Lots of smart-ass bastards worked there, trying to out-stunt one another. Night shift was called “Sanitation” , as every kettle and floor was hosed and scrubbed …cleanest damn place you could imagine. And then? Can’t you guess? A giant marshmallow kettle served as a urinal for one dumb ass kid. He won his dare, and then as word spread, he was fired immediately and threatened with a lawsuit and criminal conviction , and at that time there was no union (the Teamsters were attempting to get in). I lost track of the proceedings when I quit the place for the final time.
    Also, I worked in the candy panning department, a hard job manned by strapping youth such as myself. The hot caramel (carmel) came out of a hopper like a giant candy turd, and we’d just rip out a large hunk and eat it. Killed the appetite, no lunch needed…I lost thirty pounds, because a little carmel satisfies a growing boy’s hunger.

  61. Jolene said on December 1, 2016 at 3:26 pm

    I am struck in a post-election slough of despond–sometimes heartbroken, sometimes depressed, constantly embarrassed, and frequently nauseated. Trump is such a base, horrible human being, and he has, in my view, such shallow ideas about pretty much everything that I am truly sickened by the idea that we have chosen him.

    Here’s yet another manifestation of the ill effects of his victory–the fear he’s induced among Muslim employees at the State Department and other federal agencies.

  62. Sherri said on December 1, 2016 at 3:29 pm

    I suppose the right wing will turn this into a war on Christmas: http://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2016/12/01/fbi-christmas-party-may-have-triggered-san-bernardino-terror-attack/

  63. LAMary said on December 1, 2016 at 4:17 pm

    Cooking is meditative and creative.
    I’m still feeling screamy about anything Trump or Trump related, but I had an interview today that lightened the weight of the jobless situation. Long phone interview with a company that has three drug and alcohol rehab facilities in CA and more in other states. I hope I convinced them that my experience with drug and alcohol addicted friends and family members would enhance my interviewing skills for their facilities, because I really think it will. Keeping fingers crossed.

  64. LindaG said on December 1, 2016 at 4:19 pm

    Jakash @42 – I might have taken the author of that Cracked article seriously if I hadn’t come across this blog previously.
    http://forsetti.tumblr.com/ (And maybe it was someone here that first linked to Forsetti.) David Wong’s opinion is rather superficial, laying the blame on (here we go again) “the coastal elites.” Forsetti breaks it down much deeper to the value/religion/closed system that exists in these rural areas. And, in the end, isn’t much more hopeful about the future.

  65. Snarkworth said on December 1, 2016 at 5:09 pm

    Cornelius Eady has a poem titled “Brutal Imagination” about the Susan Smith case. He tells it from the point of view of the black man she accused — who is, of course, imaginary. He describes the man’s horror at being forever bound to her because, after all, she created him. Utterly chilling.

  66. MichaelG said on December 1, 2016 at 5:44 pm

    Fingers and toes crossed, Mary.

  67. Julie Robinson said on December 1, 2016 at 5:51 pm

    May it be so, Mary!

    Why would anyone eat frozen pizza when the real thing is so easy? I’ve been doing it every Friday night for so long it’s down to a science. The breadmaker churns out enough dough for two, so half goes in the freezer for the next week, and I guess I cheat by using spaghetti sauce. I cook up a couple of pounds of sausage, then freeze a weeks’s worth in sandwich bags, same thing for a big bag of mozzarella from Costco. Pat the dough out on the pizza stone, add your toppings, pop in oven. Will be eating some 24 hours from now.

  68. Deborah said on December 1, 2016 at 6:00 pm

    I vacillate between feeling screamy and feeling stabby. I really am sick to death reading about how victimized the hillbillies were, the ones who voted for Twimp. As if he’s going to make their lives one Goddamned bit better. I’m sick of it and them. If that makes me a terrible person, then I guess I am.

    We went to Abiquiu today to check on the cabin. It’s been getting down in the teens at night around these parts and I was worried that some stuff I left there would freeze and explode. Everything was fine, thankfully. I’m giving my dang foot a rest now, I can’t drive with my boot on and where my foot rests on the gas peddle is the worst place. And it’s really annoying that when I get out of the car I have to put my boot back on, time and time again. This boot is falling apart because I’ve pulled the Velcro on and off so many times. But just 9 more days and I’m mostly done, I hope.

    Could I be any more crabby. I don’t think so.

  69. Deborah said on December 1, 2016 at 6:01 pm

    Oh and another thing why would the jogger woman lie about what happened to her? I don’t get why people are suspicious?

  70. Jakash said on December 1, 2016 at 7:34 pm

    Thanks, LindaG, that was an enlightening essay, as well. I never quite understand how folks who believe the world is 6,000 years old deal with all the stuff in the world that is based on reality, instead. When they go to the doctor, for instance, how do they rationalize the fact that what the doctor knows is largely based on facts that they deny? I guess just believing what one believes and tuning everything else out, as that guy suggests they do, is the way to go about it… Kinda like the minions running Rump’s golf courses in various places needing to deal with issues caused by Climate Change, while he insists that it’s a Chinese hoax, I suppose.

    I liked Wong’s piece not because of any blame to be assigned, but because it, too, gave me a better understanding of how some of the folks in the other half (well, not quite half!) of the electorate view things.

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