Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Thursday Night Haramfest for May 1st, 2008

Last minute invention for enhancing an otherwise dull and Ho-Hum Dinner:

Pecan-crusted Maple Apricot Glazed Pork Butt

with Roasted garlic mashed red potatoes

and honey butter roasted carrots.

Everything is getting roasted tonight. The pork butt is prepped for sticky sweet glory with a Southwestern dry rub, which can be purchased in the gravy packet section of your store.

Pour some olive oil over the roast and rub the spice packet into it and bake in a 400 degree oven for an hour. Reduce heat to 325 and brush on the glaze, which is not more than this:
1/2 cup of maple syrup (real or fake don't make no never mind)
1/2 cup of apricot preserves
1/2 cup of the pan drippings
chopped pecans.
Mix all the 1/2 cup ingredients together and cook over a medium heat until bubbly. (If you have a roast that is tied or in a cooking net, you can go ahead and remove the strings or netting. The roast will keep its form at this point.) Spoon maple glaze over the roast and pat chopped pecans onto it. Return it to the oven. Remove the roast when the juices are running clear, cover and let rest on a cutting board.

Mashed Red Potatoes with Roasted Garlic:

12 small to medium sized red-skinned potatoes, washed but not cut up.
3 quarts of boiling water
1 stick of butter
1 cup heavy cream
1 4 oz block of Philadelphia Cream Cheese
Salt, Pepper, Nutmeg to taste
1 heaping big tablespoon of roasted garlic (You can get this in the produce section
already jarred.)
When taters are tender but not mushy, drain the water and let them rest in a collander. Melt the butter in the pot with the cream, garlic and cream cheese. Add
the potatoes back to the pot and mash thoroughly. Add chives, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Make them as thick or thin as you want.

Honey Roasted carrots

1 lb bag of baby carrots
1 cup dried apricots or golden raisins
2 tablespoons of butter, melted
1/4 cup of honey
a pinch of salt and pepper and cinnamon

Melt butter, add honey and seasonings, toss with the apricots and carrots and pour into a foil lined roasting pan and bake with the pork for one hour.

This was a big hit, even for my first born, lactose intolerant vegetarian (mostly) daughter.  She wasn't able to keep it down for but an hour or so, but she tried real hard. Usually, I won't make anything rich for her sensitive tummy, but tonight was guest night.  We had a dear friend over for dinner to celebrate the news of her impending child, and she brought the dessert!

Sour Patch Gummy Worms!     (I did mention that she is pregnant, didn't I?)

Pastor Gas Bag Get Sand-Bagged

Photo is from Homilies and Reflections From Australia, a Catholic blog of Fr John Speekman, where he discusses the exact opposite, yet equally damnable heresy permeating many churches in the west. Go. Read.

Jeremiah Wright gets throwed under the bus with Obama's Cracker Granny.

Black & White on the Grey Matters (Jeremiah Wright)

I could vote for this guy, easily!

Listen to the whole speech by Zo, here. What a guy.

If Obama had one fraction of the kind of honesty this American citizen had, then he would get EVERYONE'S vote.

But by far, the best response has been from Baldilocks, herself:

View From Under The Bus (UPDATED)

20Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
21Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
--Matthew 7:20-21 (KJV)

Finally, I’ve finished listening to all of the Moyers interview and the batty NAACP address by Barack Obama's pastor of twenty years, Jeremiah Wright. And, in addition, I rewatched that display of ego, half-truths—aka falsehoods--and mundane bad manners from Fox that first ran live yesterday morning. And, of course, I listened to the original sermons which brought the reverend's teachings under large-scale public scrutiny. Could you have put up with Wright’s posturing in the pulpit for twenty years? Confidence and peacockery can be entertaining as long as you know and are consistently reminded of where the focal point is—or, in this case, Who it is.

I heard Wright—the self-proclaimed Christian, preacher of the Word—mention the actions and methods of Jesus Christ and those of some who purport to be his followers. (I also heard him claim that abortion was a right.) But what Wright did not talk about was the purpose of Jesus Christ and of course he wouldn't. Because that’s where Liberation Theologies and mainstream Christianity part company. That's a crucial fork in the road; one leads to Damnation while the other does not. But don’t take my word for it. You decide.

I'll tell you what: I've never heard such a long line of strawmen strung together and wrapped up in the Word of God in my life--someone at another site call it a 'Lie Burrito'--but I only have enough time to address a few items.

Excuse my English (and pardon the pun) but who gives a DAMN about skin color, type of clothing and style of music when it comes to the realm of saving souls and keeping them out of Hell? Why, Wright and BLT’s “founder” James Cone do. As a matter of fact they worship these things instead of the Creator. Wright rightfully claims that Christian missionaries of Europe fell into error and sin back when they were bent on converting the natives of all lands. Not by the act and desire of leading others to Christ, but by making Christianity about something other than Him, His Sacrifice, Resurrection and the purpose thereof. The missionaries bound up Christ in themselves and their own culture. But Wright now is mired that same error while condemning the missionaries for it out of the other side of his mouth. Beams and motes indeed.

Guys like Jeremiah Wright care about self-centric totems of race, culture and vengeance more than they care about leading their flocks down the straight and narrow path. They need these totems to fill the void of self-doubt and that need is filled by navel-gazing religions like Black Liberation Theology and one of its parents, the Nation of Islam. Yes, BLT is a progeny of the NOI, Christianity and Marxism—a bastard child, to be sure. It’s an I-deology all right and Wright has sacrificed the eternal souls of those who believe his lies and are grateful for his good works. He has sacrificed these upon the altar of race and culture. (My own pastor says that God has special plans for shepherds—pastors—who mislead their flocks.)

Wright's megalomania is such that he couldn’t even bring himself to hold his peace for Obama’s sake—that’s one of problems inherent in allying oneself with narcissists—and even had the nerve to be guarded by the Fruit of Islam, Daddy’s the Nation of Islam’s security force.
The most infuriating thing about Wright is his attempt to cover himself using other black people, black Christians, by saying that attacks on him weren’t really about him but about the ‘black church.' And then he wants to fling around epithets like "Uncle Tom."

Let's be clear. Neither blackness, African, American or European origin, American nationality or American allegiance need a defense because such a defense would inherently be just as erroneously-focused as Jeremiah Wright's jeremiad. Ethnic origins aren’t things to be defended, denigrated or repudiated or sworn allegiance to--my own heritage stems from this continent and two other continents--these things simply are; these facts are existential. Nationality is special: it’s existential but can also be voluntarily retained or released. And allegiance to any entity is entirely voluntary, but no one has to prove his/her allegiance to this country as part and parcel of a repudiation of an ethnicity or heritage. Those days went out with FDR.

Here’s what I do come to defend, to stand in defense of: Christianity and Christians who are black. Jeremiah Wright defames both and speaks for neither and little obscure me will not let him use either as fig leaf. Yes, our ancestors in this country and our kinsmen across the water fought to be just as Christian as other Christians—as Christian as our brothers who are white. And many of the latter stood for us and side-by-side with us—not because of us primarily but because of the One Who is Primary. Has that particular battle been won? I say yes, though the war continues. But Wright not only continues to fight the battle, he willfully misunderstands the nature of the War and identity of the Enemy. And by doing that, he becomes the tool of the Enemy. That’s his choice, but not mine and not that of those who focus on the Redemption offered by Christ instead of getting upon the Cross themselves.
To quote myself, there is no “black church.” There is only the Church.
Word to Obama: thanks a lot, "brotha." Nice pastor you have there.

UPDATE: Of course, just as I finish, Obama holds a press conference to distance himself from Wright.

Sorry, Senator. You can't shake off this Tar Baby that easily.

Ms. Malkin live-blogs it.

What is so important about this, is that there are many Christians of all races and nationalities who have put aside denominational differences to unite under the belief that Christ is the head of the church and they are His, regardless of history. And there are those who are uniting under a false doctrine which perpetuates grievances, pride and division amongst the brethren. The New Testament warned us clearly of dividers and of wolves in sheep's clothing.
Here is another gasbag, of a more distilled nature:

I smell Heaven's Bakery cooking up something good for you, sister!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Monday night Haramfest for April 28th 2008

Stormy Monday Comfort

Chicken and Dumplings

Yeah, it's still cold and dank and spring, while it has sprung, hasn't released her summer hostage, yet, so we will have to comfort ourselves with Chicken and Dumplings.

If you don't have bacon drippings, cook up some bacon. Don't use any healthful oils in this would defeat the purpose of comforting comfort food.

4 tablespoons Bacon drippings
1 whole chicken, cut up
1 onion, rough cut
1 stalk of celery, rough cut
2 carrots, peeled and cut up
2 parsnips, peeled and cut up
1 large can chicken broth
3 white potatoes, diced
1 package of Béarnaise sauce mix
1 half pint heavy cream
1 half stick of butter
1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard
flour to dredge
Bay leaves, sprigs of thyme, rosemary, sage and parsley
2 cups self-rising flour
1 half stick butter, cut into small pieces
¾ cup buttermilk or sour cream, diluted with a little water
optional: chives, fresh or dried
Dredge dried, cut up pieces of chicken in the flour and brown them in the bacon drippings till golden brown. Remove to drain on a paper towel or rack. Brown onions, carrots, celery and parsnips and potatoes, until they are softened. Add broth and stir up the browned bits on the bottom and add the chicken back to the pot. Braise chicken over a low burner for an hour and a half, with the pot covered.
Remove vegetables and chicken to a warming dish and keep it covered. Discard herbs. Continue cooking the broth until you have reduced liquid by a third.
Mix béarnaise sauce mix with cream and melted butter, and pour into reduced chicken stock. Add all the ingredients back to the liquid and add dumplings.
Cut cold butter into flour til blended and crumbly. Add buttermilk or sour cream and herbs if desired.
Don't over mix. Drop onto bubbling liquid by spoonfuls and cover for 10 minutes. Dumplings will be firm and glistening when done.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Sunday Night Haramfest for April 27th, 2008

Chili con Carne

......and don't forget the cornbread!

It is a dark and rainy night, tonight, which means no grilling til midweek at best. Sigh. I could rant about the weather, or I could make chili.
I'm making chili and beans with corn bread.
Instead of the usual mess of ground chuck seasoned by an envelope of chili flavors, I am going whole hog and doing it right.

2 cans each black beans and cannellini beans
2 cans diced tomatoes
1 can chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
1 or two sliced jalapeños
1 chopped onion
1 small can of red sauce (enchilada)
2 lbs. of ground chuck
2 diced Hass avocados for garnish

Brown the meat and remove to a collander to drain the fat. Sauté onions and peppers and add tomatoes, chipotles (chopped first) red sauce and beans, add back the meat and let simmer on a very low burner for an hour or two. Serve over rice and garnish with avocados, sour cream and cheese, if you like. If you have a can of beer you can throw that into the mezclada, if you want. When all is bubbly and delicious, serve over steamed white rice or macaroni, depending on the region of the country you hale from.

The corn bread should be made using any recipe you have, or mix, for that matter. Here is a recipe I might just try. In fact, her whole site is nothing but food porn. I am definitely bookmarking her. Just make sure you use buttermilk to mix it up, and make sure you use an iron skillet that you have preheated in a 425 degree oven. Add batter (lightly mixed, lumpy) to hot skillet. Bake for about 20 minutes til golden brown, remove from heat and butter immediately. The Hubster likes this for breakfast, and the day we settled in to our new digs and Mister and Missus, he ordered me into the kitchen to fix him up a skillet of corn bread. Which I did, most happily, since he was only asking me to do what I love doing anyway!

Leftover cornbread is delicious with cold milk and a sprinkling of sugar. It is sort of the Pennsylvania Dutch version of grits.

While I get the fixin's going, enjoy some haram culture. Try not spitting on the monitor while watching, please.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Breathtaking beauty and music to anger the Sons of the Prophet Who Shall Not Be Named™

The Sublime meets the Ridiculous. I guess the Perpetually Oppressed Outraged People™ (P.O.O.P.) simply cannot be held accountable for anything they do. Keep in mind, there are only so many Jooz to drive into the sea, and after that, it's the rest of us to blame.
Our Department of Quislings and Traitors (State Department) have erased Jihadists and Jihad from their Lexicon of National Threats, because of fear of offending case they go all ballistic....and seethe...and riot....and burn stuff down. We wouldn't want that to happen, now would we.

And what's good for the Religion of Peace™ is also good for the Department of Quislings and Traitors. The POTUS can be referred to henceforth as Señora Fellatrice del his native Texican dialect. Here's a picture to prove it:

Somebody tell me that our present government isn't a bunch of fargin' bastidges and corksucking ice holes.

Did Anyone Think This Through?

Words mean things, folks. In fact, I am sure this is a really good church. I might even attend once'd or twiced. I tend to visit without really committing. I don't know. The "contemporary" worship service leaves me feeling pretty empty. I get nothing out of the music, which is rock based and heavy on soloists, as opposed to the four-part harmonies we used to sing back in the day. And oy gevalt, the endless repetition! Maddening. Mindnumbing madness, I tell ya. Not judging here, but, if I had my druthers. (Maybe I will go back to the PCA. Alas, they became a Mega Church, and I feel overwhelmed by crowds. I am really phobic that way.)
Nevertheless, I wonder, when the executives in the department of Naming Stuff got together and decided to name this church, did they count on me, bored word smith and irreverent blogger making light of their carefully chosen name? I think not, because if they would have taken the time to think about what I, bored word smith and irreverent blogger would say about their Evangelical-free Church, they might have foreseen what some bored word smith and irreverent blogger would do. Like me, for instance.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Wednesday Night Haramfest for April 23, 2008

Tonight was spare ribs with macaroni and cheese. It took me a long time to learn how to cook the pork properly, but here is what works for me: First of all, trim the skirt away from the main rack, and loosen up all the silver skin around the bones in back. It is inedible, anyway, and doesn't add anything to the cooking process. Removing it will mean melt off the bone succulence, and easy slicing. Next, I use a dry rub. Adolphe's and a host of other experts make tasty dry rubs, but if you wanted to, you can make one by mixing unmeasured amounts of the following ingredients, with the largest amounts listed first: light brown sugar, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, cumin, dried thyme, cinnamon. This is a really sweet and savory rub, with a good kick in it as well. I don't really measure any of the ingredients, but it works out well with just your taste buds.
Rub the rack front and back, place in a foil lined broiler sheet, cover with a cookie sheet, and cook for 2 hours at 250 degrees. Yes, I know that some of you boil your ribs, but I don't and the slow cooking process works marvels on the meat. After you've slow cooked it, you can grill the rack out on the grill over a low flame, and then if you want, add your barbecue sauce. You don't want to turn the glaze into black tar, so be careful and watch what you're doing.

Next up, is the macaroni and cheese. I know this will sound blasphemous, but the best boxed mac and cheese is made by Sam's and sold in red boxes for 50 cents apiece at Walmart. It's called Sam's Extra creamy Macaroni and Cheese, and it really is much better than Kraft's but I make it over the top fantastic by substituting milk with light cream, and adding some sharp shredded cheddar at the end of cooking it. Mix the cheese powder, butter and cream over a low burner while the macaroni drains. Whisking or stirring with a wooden spoon makes it creamy. Just before adding the mac to the cheese, add the cheddar. Doing these two small things makes a big difference from mere boxed mac 'n' cheese to something darned near gourmet!

Green Beans are best when barely boiled. They should be slightly crisp. It is possible to get good steamed green beans from the frozen food section. I like Hanover's baby whole green beans. Something about eating the young and tender that makes my blackened heart merry! I hate green bean casserole, so I don't even make it. I keep it simple. I used to crisp up some bacon and drizzle the drippings over the beans, and toss them with diced tomatoes and bacon, and I still do, occasionally, but my family's favorite is steamed green beans, tossed with toasted sesame oil, kosher salt and toasted sesame seeds. The great thing about preparing the beans this way, is that they are just as good cold as they are hot! Give them a try, and tell me what you think.

And now, a final moment of tasty haram goodness: Eva Cassidy singing Somewhere Over The Rainbow....

PA Primary Results, not that I care

Hillary won....53% to 47%

Here's a good song for winners of PA Primaries, put together by Cakesecret: Hillary may have won PA, but she still may lose the nomination, if she puts some effort into it. Either way, the Democrats have become divided into fractious little elements. And since I have decided to sit this one out, I won't complain about any outcome. It will be what it will be, so don't lecture me about not voting. Not voting is a way of protesting too.

Alas, the war of ideas continues in spite of various setbacks for the candidates, so here is a plethora of political signage, thank you People's Cube....I would like to see one that says CHOAD or CHODE on it, but so few would get the joke. And I really hate having to explain punchlines.

And the winner of the PA Primary, sitting pretty in the middle:

I'm done. Go about your business, people.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Earth Day: Wretched Doom and Misery Everywhere!

Time to bring out your aging hippies and let them celebrate Mother Earth as only they know how....which means you know nothing and they know everything, because they are better folk than you. Look at this Full frontal Solar Assault on Momma, and recoil in horror!

Yes, I used to look at these marvels of nature, that great, silent northern sky dance and think, "How marvelous are thy ways, Oh Lord!" I might have even found myself humming a hymn or know the ones, "For the Beauty of the Earth", and one of my favorites, "I sing the Mighty Power of God." In the past. But no more. Because I'm scared.


Yes, that's right, friggin' scairt out of my wig. I have Modern Scientism to thank for that, thank you Modern Scientismists. If you had a plug nickel's worth of common sense, you'd be out of your heads with worry, followed by panic, and winding up doing "something, anything!" So long as you keep your tax dollars flowing to all the Modern Scientism Departments at all the colleges, who will dutifully report that if you aren't to blame for the next disaster, well, then, Mr. Sun is!


I heard a quote, the man who said it first escapes my memory, but the quote went like this:
"An atheist is a man who digs holes inwhich to hide from the machines he has made."
Now, if God wanted to shock and awe this planet into a new ice age, or is it a 4 degree warming disaster, I can't keep 'em straight anymore, he has a myriad of ways to do it. But the Aurora Borealis? C'mon!

On a more comforting note, Sean Gleeson (whose brother Jim won the 2007 Bulwer-Lytton Bad Fiction contest), puts Earth Day in proper perspective.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Sunday's Haramfest for April 20th

While I get supper ready, listen to Nikolai Lugansky play this sweet, short but wistful Brahms Intermezzo - Opus 118, Number 2 in A major. Hmm. He's kinda cute, not quite my kind of mid-life crisis, though. Having said that, this particular intermezzo is my favorite piece to play. I used to watch my father play it when I was a little girl, as I secretly hid in the stairwell. Over and over and over, he played it. Though a jazzman by trade, his favorite composers were Chopin and Brahms. Currently, I am working on Brahms' Intermezzo in A minor, which is a deceptively easy-looking piece. But it is quite difficult to execute. Played well, it is very moving. The middle part of the song is so hauntingly delicate, the fingers must almost brush the keys, rather than press them. It requires more skill to barely play the than to play forte.

Tonight's meal is Arroz con Pollo with black beans. Served with warmed corn tortilla chips.

One of our family favorites, this is a good meal for cold days or rainy days. It is also good when you just want to assemble everything and put it into the oven and have a one pot meal.

6 whole legs with thighs

2 cups of jasmine rice

chicken stock, canned, boxed or home made

1 jalapeño, seeded and chopped finely

1 can of diced tomatoes

1 box of frozen corn

2 cans of black beans, rinsed

1 medium onion, chopped

salt and pepper, cumin, parsley, and cilantro, a really big dash of cayenne pepper

Saffron, which is optional

In a Dutch oven type of baking dish, sauté chicken in a little olive oil or butter, and when browned, remove to rest. Sauté onions and seasonings til transparent. Pour rice into the onion and drippings. I absolutely love jasmine rice, because it is now grown in America, and it is much cheaper now if you buy American, than if you buy Thai. It has a delicious smell and is neither too dry or sticky. It doesn't overwhelm the other dishes with its flavor, either, but rather compliments any dish, any cuisine. The only other rice I like is arborio, for risotto, but jasmine is good simply steamed with a little salt and butter. Add broth, corn, peppers, tomatoes, black beans and mix everything well. You can also add saffron if you would like a more yellow and earthy flavor to the rice. Add the chicken on the top, cover with a tight-fitting lid, and bake for 40 minutes to an hour in a 375 degree oven. Remove the lid for another 20 minutes, until the skin is crisp and the meat is fully cooked. Mmmmm. Top with sour cream, chopped parsley and cilantro and maybe shredded cheese. Eat with corn chips. Easy, wasn't it!

Friday, April 18, 2008

A Quiet Weekend Planned....but you know how things tend to go...

(This is our irksome Middle Child. She doesn't really mean PEACE)

In order to understand why it is that we parents tend to get our gray hair when our kids become teenagers, please analyze the picture of our 17-year old daughter, Mary, and imagine driving one of these (if you don't already have a Mary of your own) around for just an hour. In this picture, she is safely out of reach of my slapping arm directly, but that only fortifies her in her war of attrition on my nerves when I am driving.

She has a host of weapons that work against my sanity. Loudness is the first and foremost weapon. Open derision and mockery is the second. Her sometimes - but not always- bad taste in music - played loudly.

You say, "why don't you just take control of the situation and be the adult?"

Easy for you to say. Trying to take control of a 'situation' while driving is tough enough, but doing it without killing other drivers on the road would be quite a feat of skillful machine manipulation.

When I was a child, we waged war on my father, who had the foresight to buy a used limo with a partition window in the middle. Whenever we got out of hand and began to pick on the smaller children...who were there for our cathartic relief, we were signaled to put up the window and continue freely, so as to not bother the driver. It must have been a thing of beauty to see my little brother's desperate face in the rearview mirror, mouthing the words "Daddy make him stop!" only to hear the soft clicking of the eight-track tape player playing Bach's Air on a G-String.

We, on the other hand, not only got to make him cry (THAT one was for tellin'! And THAT one was for eating my pudding!) but we got to hear him plead, without success for help that never came, and seeing my dad's reflection of bare acknowledgement in the rear view mirror was more than satisfying.

Sigh, but that was then, and this is now, and PAYBACK really IS a Bitch.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Ballade No. 4 in F minor by Frédéric Chopin. Enjoy.

She is lovely as the piece she is playing. I could watch her for hours. This particular piece of Chopin is one of my favorites. Her name is Khatia Buniatishvili. She is from Georgia, and this is the 2008 Artur Rubinstein Piano Competition, which was held in Israel. She came in third place, but won the favorite category. I have a feeling she will be recording for many years, and I will be buying her albums. I found her quite by accident. I was looking for a response to Hugh Fitzgerald's Interludes, in which he highlights a lot of the best of American singers throughout the 30s and 40s. His selection at the time was Peggy Lee, and who could argue with him, except me, that's who, pardon the grammar. I wanted something more emotional than a mere interlude could provide...face it. Hugh's writing is deep, logical, and he hardly makes any typos. So cut the man some slack and let him have his interlude. Me? A good interlude would be THIS blog, which is now included in the Ferkakta Dinner Theatre. Sometimes, you need a good belly laugh.

When you have finished watching her play the ballade, watch her play the Debussy Ondine, and then be enchanted all over again.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Hello, to another Lancastrian at Food Buzz!

A hale and hearty hello to total complete stranger and fellow blogger.

I would like to introduce myself to Lee Jay Stoltzfus who is Fat and Happy in Lancaster County...aren't we all! We both are sharing our blogs and recipes over at Foodbuzz.
Yours very truly also works among the makers of the best shoo-fly pies in the world.
I am currently working on a version of Shoo-fly pie I am calling a Rumspringa Pie. I hope to post it here and foodbuzz, soon.

Thursday Night Haramfest for April 10

Tonight, we are having lasagna. I have altered my usual recipe, which has pepperoni and Italian sweet sausage in it.

Starting off: To a jar of my favorite pasta sauce I am adding diced roasted red can buy these already jarred. Diced olives, and diced tomatoes, just for extra heartiness. As I assemble everything, I will be roasting one head of garlic, and when that is carmelized and cooled, I will squeeze all that roasted loveliness into a stick of unsalted butter, add some italian seasoning, a pinch of kosher, a pinch of red pepper flakes, a pinch of sugar and a couple of generous cranks of pepper and a glug or two of Extra Virgins (72! No more no less) olive oil. Mix, mix, mix and spread on bread or toast. Just turn your head when you breath on me.

Now, the first layer will be ground beef, pork and veal, browned and drained of the fat. A little sauce here and there, and the next layer, fresh mozzarella rounds, sliced and ready to layer.

The next layer will be the ricotta layer, to which I add 2 eggs, freshly grated parmesan cheese, dried oregano, basil and other wonderful spices, and this is absolutely new: One box of unfrozen creamed spinach. I usually add spinach but I thought the creamed spinach would add some extra lovely flavor.

The top will just be the remaining sauce and a combination of Italian cheeses, shredded, which you can buy already in the bag. This will bake at 350 degrees until it is golden in the middle and slightly browned around the edges. Served with a simple Caesar salad....also can be bought prepared, and voilà, ecco la cena!

Mangiate, tutto il mondo, perché dopo la cena, ho una torta di limone e marscarpone . con mirtilli! YAY.

Sometimes, I laugh so hard, I cry

I hope Mehboba Ahdyar wins her gold medal for Afghanistan. She will need to run as fast as she can, just to get away from all the menfolk who are threatening to kill her. SUCH an uppity lass. Doesn't she realize that a woman's place is in the tent, and not outside? In fact, the men, being so much smarter than women, who could never in a million years come up with this idea, themselves, actually invented a portable tent for women to be under at all times! Such innovation. Silly girl! What ever got into her head, I wonder. Too bad she didn't have a subscription to Muslim Girl Magazine to set her straight.

Perhaps I was confusing all those burqa-clad lumps of female flesh as the norm in the Muslim world. How wrong I was! Clearly, as you can see on the cover of this magazine, Muslim girls are just like the rest of us, with the same dreams, hopes and aspirations that girls everywhere have. Look at the articles a young Muslima can read: All about self-image, beauty, Olympic DREAMS! And Boot camp basics. WHO KNEW? I mean, if you listen to prattlers like Ayaan Hirsi Ali or Wafa Sultan, you would think women had it bad in Dar el Islam , but you would be wrong.
Maybe some Muslim lasses like Sarah and Yamina Sa'id, should have been reading Muslim Girl Magazine, too, so that they could see all their self-potential actualized, as they say in psychobabble.

But no, they had "American dreams, which probably never had anything to do with Muslim Girl themes like: self-image, beauty, careers, know, just the stuff only Muslim Girls think about. They were just wasting all their time with BOYS.

This whole thing reminds me of a story told by Hedrick Smith in his book The Russians
(during the Cold War Era)
He was eating in his hotel restaurant, and two waiters, taking a break, were laughing and reading from an English-Russian traveller's phrasebook. One waiter would say a word in English, while the other would feign surprise that there was actually a word in Russian for it, since he'd never seen that particular object in Russia. And then both men would laugh hysterically.
After a few moments, two other men approached them, and warned them, and confiscated the phrasebook. Afraid, both men returned to work. Happy Hour was over.
Such is the same bitter punchline for girls who dare to have dreams. Who dare to show beauty. Who dare to want anything more than what is allowable under Shari'ah. I am still looking for the article about Shari'ah in Muslim Girl Magazine. At least the Russian waiters got a warning. That is more than Sarah and Yamina Sa'id got...or Aqsa Parvez, or an endless, heartbreaking list of young women slaughtered in the name of some man's honor. Pamela wrote about this in more detail back in January, and it is worth visiting again...if only to add names to this already too long list.