Saturday, February 28, 2009

Saturday Night Haramfest: Greek Shepherd's Pie

It has been a cold, blustery day. We stayed in and played cribbage. That's what you do when you're broke. In fact, it was rather nice! Dinner tonight was a variation of Shepherds Pie - Greek style. It wasn't quite a moussaka, which is like a shepherds pie without the potatoes and a bechamel cheese sauce on top. This is a traditional shepherds pie, with mashed potatoes on top.

I modified the recipe from Epicurious.

1 large eggplant, unpeeled, cubed
2 parsnips, peeled and diced
1 onion, diced
3 stalks of celery, diced
3 cloves of garlic, diced
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1 s1 14 oz can crushed tomatoes, or stewed tomatoes that you crush with your hands.
1 tablespoon of greek seasoning: (fennel seeds, oregano, thyme, marjoram and cinnamon.
1 small bottle of Martinelli's Sparkling Cider or a white wine of your choosing
1 small can beef broth
2 heaping serving spoons of flour
2 lbs. ground chuck
Kosher salt and cracked black pepper, to taste.

5 large white, peeled potatoes, cubed
1/2 cup light cream or half and half
1/2 stick of butter
olive oil non stick spray
grated Parmesan cheese

This recipe makes a TON of food, which was good, because Unit Number One got to take leftovers home with her after supper.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees

In a large Dutch oven, heat oil and about 2 tablespoons of butter and begin to saute the diced vegetables, Greek seasoning, sparkling cider and tomatoes. When everything begins to bubble, place in the heated oven, uncovered to continue to cook. This will cut down on cooking time when the mashed potatoes are added.

Brown the ground chuck, seasoning with salt and pepper, and add this to the vegetable mixture. Sprinkle the flour over the meat and veggies, and when thoroughly mixed, add the can of beef broth, and place it all back into the oven to cook some more.

Boil potatoes in salted water, covered until fork tender. Drain in colander. Heat cream and butter in the same pot in which you boiled your potatoes, and when hot, add the drained potatoes and mash.

Remove meat and veggies from the oven and pour the potatoes over. Spray with olive oil nonstick spray and sprinkle Parmesan cheese on the top. Set oven to broil and place back into the oven to brown on top.

Feeds approximately 10 people...11, if the finicky youngest child turns her nose up at it...which she DID, and opts for ramen noodles, instead.

I could have used all the burners on my stove, but we are trying to save on electricity. You know how it is.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Join the NAAJP! Sign up Now!

It is time to form a new kind of Citizen's Committee. I propose calling it "The National Association of Alienated Jaded People" to paraphrase another organization's moniker. But my Logo will be tilted scales and piles of money. I want to make T Shirts, too. Lotsa them.

And here will be the Credo of the National Association of Alienated Jaded People:

From ClubOrlov

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Credo in $

Today's guest post is by Frank, who uncovers what must be the deeply held beliefs of those who still have hope that the status quo can be maintained. (We're just going through a rough patch, right, people?) Axiomatically, to have hope, you must have faith. (And if your hope turns out to be false, there is always charity.) Hast thou yet hope, O {username}? If so, please genuflect, direct your gaze heavenward, and repeat after Brother Frank:

"I believe in worldwide Ponzi schemes and universal gullibility. I believe that reckless lending can be cured by reckless borrowing and that fraudulent borrowing can be healed by fraudulent lending. I believe that a housing bubble fueled by loose credit can be corrected by easing credit. I believe that each trillion of hallucinated dollars that disappears in a puff of Wall Street smoke then always reappears magically from behind a Treasury Department mirror.

I believe in America's almighty financial geniuses and monetary officials, who destroy wealth indiscriminately and indefinitely, and whose kingdom shall have no end. It is divine justice that those who cause financial catastrophes are rewarded with public money, while innocent bystanders are punished in their stead. I believe that central banks can print all the money anyone will ever need. I believe that if one stimulus package does not work, the next one surely will.

I believe in the redeeming power of financial complexity. I believe that hedge funds and sovereign wealth funds are righteous to enter into incomprehensible contracts having convoluted ownership and no inherent value. And I believe that opaque, secretive companies which pretend to insure those investments are offering a valuable service, even if this requires the use of public money.

I believe that economic stability and confidence will return when every failing business is bailed out, with no failure too small to be left behind. I believe that all dying institutions shall be consolidated, merging the smaller basket cases with the larger ones. The lion and the lamb shall lie down together in a new spirit of national competitiveness.

Bartolomé Esteban Murillo: Brother Juniper and the Beggar (Oil on canvas)

I believe that the end of days shall come when there is only one institution left, comprehensively unified, far too big to fail, owning everything and controlling nothing. All shall come and supplicate before its holy ATM machines, for they are subtle and quick to anger. It is in this one true financial institution that I put my faith, truly gigantic, truly bankrupt, amen."

Posted by kollapsnik at 4:44 AM

Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis - London Philharmonic Orchestra/David Nolan/Bernard Haitink

I guess I shouldn't be surprised by anything, especially all the hoo-hah about another Boston 'tea party' which really should be renamed a 'house party' since that is what the wealth distribution is all about anyway.

Welcome to the new paradigm.

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the center cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.

The Widening Gyre Artist: Emily Tellez

The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

-- William Butler Yeats, January 1919

Thursday, February 19, 2009

This is just sillious

Item the First: news: Best take on the Buffalo Beheading:

Not even FOX will cover this story the way The Nose on Your Face will. Good job, guys.

But, Hélas! Poor, poor Mr. Metamucil is actually the victim in all the atrocitiness of the happening. Let us pity the fool. Or not. He's going to plead not guilty. Let me guess...he is suffering from some form of 'mental illness' that Islam has absolutely NOTHING whatsoever to do with, right? Yeah, I thought so. It always seems to be the case

Ahhh, so many, many things to rant about.

Verily, verily, I say unto you all, we are swirling in the bottom of the bowl.

Item number Two:

Being famouslike for the sake of Being famous OR The Creepy Leading the Creep

He ain't heavy petting...he's her brother....blick.

Angelina Jolie is 'creeped out' by her ultimate fan
. You know, the one whose imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

The proper response to that is this: Shudder, gag, vomit, evacuate the bowels, flush bowl, wash face, hands, and vigorously brush the teeth....then weep. On the floor. In a fetal position.

Item number three: Via American Digest, via Exurban League. Heh. What do you suppose they had for dinner?

Item number four: My 30th year class reunion, which is next year, and so I say hello to all of my classmates from the class of 1980. If you don't remember me, here are some reminders:

I occasionally attended school.

I received an honorary high school diploma in 1980 from East Valley High School, Yakima Washington, where I graduated with Pity (Summa cum Badly) GPA: 1.28

I am the 1980 recipient of the Omar Watson Award for Drawing Well, In Spite of Our Best Efforts.

I was the Worst-Dressed Student for 1978, 1979, AND 1980. My fashion consisted largely of flannel shirts over a T-shirt and jeans. Every single day. Wearing waffle stompers. Into my mid twenties.

I passed out walking from the football field to the girls' locker room due to overexertion.

I played the flute and bari saxophone in band. (Allow me to digress for a moment to make a confession: I once bumped into Mr. Ross, our very short and easily flustered band teacher, hitting him fully in the face with my rack, I mean, my breastesses, and spent the first week of 11th grade blushing like a 9th grader every time I saw him after that. And later that same year, Mr. Ross drove me home from school in the rain so that I wouldn't have to carry my big honkin' bari sax up the road a mile, I got my coat hooked into the tailgate of his truck and he dragged me nearly to the end of the trailer park and certain death before he heard my screams. I spent the next week afterward glaring at him like a petulant 9th grader every time I saw him. And then there was that special time when Mr. Ross sent me to the girls' locker room to get the flag team, so without knocking on the door, first, I barged into a locker room full of naked football players baring schlong and then much shrinkage after I loudly announced that I was there to get the flag team, only to surprise the naked boymen in whose woody midst I was, and as I turned around to flee, I ran into the exceedingly short and very flustered Mr. Ross with my breastesses, who came to inquire why it was taking so very, very long, Mr. Ross, that is, and not my breastesses, after which I could no longer look at him without laughing outright. For more than a week.) I often wonder about him. I hope he's okay. Well now, glad to have gotten that off my chest.

Here are some reasons I look forward to going to my class reunion:

I don't have to cringe anymore for not accomplishing anything colossal with my life.

I don't have to talk about where I went to college. Or my major, or my GPA. It should suffice that I went to college. Once. For about a week.

I can talk about my children's colleges, their GPAs and majors and other vicarious accomplishments.

I have a really good reason for putting on weight. I blame others.

I can boast that I haven't killed anyone. Accidentally, anyways. Yet.

The potential for a really good recipe swap is why I am really going.

And finally, preemptively self-imposing some fairness doctrine upon this blog, because Tonya Greipenweiner, lonely voice of the unhinged isn't here, Aisha and Nawal have opined on something or other, and will be frequent opiners in the future:

Sunday, February 8, 2009

FaceBook - Explained

Hat Tip to Bookworm Room

Off topic, but totally haram, anyway! Good News! There IS a recipe for cake that actually contains BACON! SWEET! Lookit theses loverlies:

First, it's Sunday, time for a Sunday People Haramfest Breakfast. I usually don't eat breakfast at all, because as a child, it was considered the first punishment of the day. We weren't allowed to eat sugary cereals, like Cap'n Crunch. (My first act as an emancipated adult was to go by a quart of whole milk and a box of Cap'n Crunch...the red box, no crunchberries for me. I am a purist.) We were only allowed to eat puffed rice, without sugar but yuck....with milk that was half powdered milk half whole milk. It had a greenish tint to it, and was dreadful-tasting. Worse was the oatmeal, which was like gray rubber, no sugar, and heavy on the salt.....yearggggh. But the absolute worst thing ever forced down my gullet was boiled rice cereal. It was ghastly. It had a nasty odor, and one of the reasons I won't eat long grained rice to this day, though I will eat short grained rices, jasmine, basmati and arborio rice. This rice was boiled to death in so much water that the water never evaporated, but turned instead into a noxious smelling glue that we were forced to eat, I mean, choke down, to be followed by a regimen of very large alfalfa pills. Allow me to pause, for a moment. *weeping into my hands* I hate Shaklee. I hate Shaklee. I hate hate hate Shaklee.

Well, I survived childhood, thank you very much, and today, for no other reason than that I promised the hubster and the youngun, I made breakfast.

Blueberry Corn Cakes

and Maple Glazed Bacon. (nom nom nom nom nom)

And it is a simple and quick thing of beauty:

1 box Jiffy Corn muffin mix
2 eggs
1 tablespoon vegetable oil or melted butter
1 cup of buttermilk
fresh blueberries

Mix the corn cake batter without adding the blueberries and let rest for 10 minutes.

Preheat your oven to 375. and using a baking rack and cookie sheet, line your bacon. I bake bacon, it is much easier to cook large amounts this way, and it cooks more evenly. When your oven is thoroughly preheated, place your bacon inside and bake for about 15 minutes. At about 10 minutes drizzle maple syrup very lightly over the browning bacon and let finish. Keep an eye on it and don't let it get too crisp. It should be done, but not brittle.

Meanwhile, preheat your griddle. I use a simple cast iron skillet that I have wiped with vegetable oil on a napkin or papertowel. I heat it on a medium setting. A few drops of water that skitter around on the hot surface will let you know that the pan is hot enough.

Pour a ladle of the batter on the hot skillet and add the blueberries well-spaced an evenly into the pancake. It is best to add the berries this way because they usually drop to the bottom of the batter bowl and clump in the middle. When the bottom of the pancake is browned nicely, after lifting a bit of it, flip very carefully and cook the other side. Now. on to the topic. Facebook.

Ah yes. My daughters, and friends and their friends have all sent me Facebook invites. I joined, but seldom hangout. I don't see the point. Why not just email? It is far more private and simple.
Facebook isn't a blog, it is like MySpace....considered the Crack Cocaine of the Teen world, but for college kids....and now, anyone can get a Facebook account. I received an invitation to become "Mary's friend"....I am her mom, so I kind of resent the idea of being 'friends' with my children...but I digress. Anyway, if you have been bombarded by Facebook zombies all wanting you to be their friend and come and write on their wall.....all I can say to this video is Heh.....Thanks, Bookworm!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Farewell to a Really Fine Blog

My dear friend Haid has closed up his blog for a needful bit of nectar to more sorely contemplate, and has penned a lovely essay. Really, it's a combination of two essays. He's already said farewell to all of us who came by regularly to visit him in the Kingdom of Da Salami, but this is his final post. On Monday, HDS will evaporate into the ethersphere, and you might be lucky enough to read his stuff cached through google. So I am republishing both here, as they appear on his site, and the Haid Da Salami link in the left hand side of my blog will link back to these essays here....or maybe to a link of the googleized cache, which might be better. We shall see. At any rate, it will remain here to remind me of what a good friend Haid has been. Sigh.

Detail of a fifteenth-century depiction of St. James by Blackfriar Lawrence OP (flickr)

To comprehend a nectar

At the end of the week this weblog, like a romantic intervention by Zorro, will vanish into the misty night leaving behind only the promise, as the signature of his sword proclaims, to remain watchful and to return again heroically when needed. So too, Santiago Matamoros will one day come again on his winged steed to beat back the awful Mohammedan hordes and to help usher in an age of peace on Earth. The mighty Moor Slayer will ride yet again at the head of the great battle.

One faith!

One crown!

All others be damned.

To be sure, our journey will be arduous and our path—whatever its ultimate direction—perilous, but our glorious eventual victory is preordained.

Listen: Already, the distant strains of triumph burst agonized and clear.

Photo by Jeremy Brooks (flickr)

From my “Terms of Service” page, written sometime before this blog went public:

Speaking of guarantees, another appropriate analogy is that this weblog is a lot like western civilization or modern life as we know it. Just because it’s here today, that’s no guarantee it will be here tomorrow.

My sincerest apologies to my many friends, readers, subscribers, fellow bloggers, and “millions of adoring fans.” I leave the anti-jihad in good hands—and I do mean leave. The great Haid Dasalami is no more. Anyone who wants the name is welcome to it, and I can make you a Hell of a deal on a well-designed weblog to go with it.

The reasons for my decision are personal, but I will say that things aren’t going all that well for me right now, and this action has become necessary. I’m not Brett Favre or Michael Jordan, so there will be no comeback. My retirement is permanent.

This domain may remain online for quite a time—a spectacle along the lines of “that colossal wreck” of Shelley’s “Ozymandias”—but the party’s over. It’s time to wind up my little charade.

It’s time to call it a day.


Graphic by alonzoD (flickr)

The Partys Over (Live at the Maisonnette) - Mel Torme

As I write back and forth with many other bloggers, one of the sentiments that reverberates among us is this: but for 9/11, we'd all be doing something we'd rather do than have to talk about the War Which Isn't. But we talk about it because we need to talk about it. Because the people who should be talking about it aren't. The ones who should be educating us and our children and our children's children have sold. us. out. We are completely dependent upon each other. We can't look to our press or government to help us out. We must survive by depending on ourselves. We are utter strangers but for this pressing need to not be alone on a huge battlefield with many fronts.

So thank you, Haid, for all that you have done in the nameless war on behalf our civilization. Whatever duties call you, we are with you and grateful that you have been with us.


Spanish Dance, Op.37, No.2 - "Oriental" - Alicia de Larrocha [Piano]

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Non C'era Kebab Per Lei, Signora!

Food Nazis!

Well, the Italians are at it again, but this time - THEY GO TO FAR!
No to the mosques...I can understand that. No to the halal food in schools, completely, I can understand that. No to the provocative prayer meetings in front of St. Peter'!
But to ban the kebab? Silly. Do you wish to be likened to the *gulp* Nancygirls of France?

From the article:

Davide Boni, a councillor in Milan for the Northern League, which also opposes the building of mosques in Italian cities, said that kebab shop owners were prepared to work long hours, which was unfair competition.

Oh dear, say it isn't so.....maybe they have, already! Merde.

Now what if, in America, the Greatest Satan on Earth, they were to all but ban the importation of that foul cheese, Roquefort? Oh, wait...never mind.

But the hardest working restaurateurs in all Hero Township are the Italians....and the Chinese....and the Japanese.....and the Indians. In fact, the only places which keep banking hours are the American joints! The elegant 250 year old restaurant on Main and State Street are closed by 9 pm. The crappiest dive only serves til 2 pm! Seriously! My favorite diner closes at
8 pm! Yes, and all of it is American cuisine. Yes, the guys who really work hard, whose food is exotically delicious are the foreigners...the immigrants. If Italy has a problem with immigrants, it isn't the kebabalists' faults. The immigrants may not like eating the very things you take for granted. Spine up and pick a more worthy fight.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Paean to Mohammed (with Exploding Bacon™)

Oh yeah, time for some celebratory pork and southern gospel music celebrating, if for no other reason than that it's hump day. What to rant if I needed a good reason to rant. (Not the usual "Mary-pick-up-the-towels-and-put-them-in-the-wash, NOW!" Darned irksome Middle Child rant)

Here it is:

I am officially tired of the whining and bitching of Perpetually Offended, Outraged People™. Also Known as Muslims.

In fact, I am tired of the barren and rotted soul of Islam, pushy pushy Islam. Time to lighten up and get a catchy tune in my head to drive out all the blecccch of Islam: Here's one written especially for Mohammed. A real tribute. It could have been written for anyone, I suppose, but after learning all the icky things about the Vile Prophet of Allah, well, I need heavy grade sandpaper just to remove the filthy lies that have tainted me for the last 8 years. Enjoy this ditty by Susan Ashton. Tap your toes, if you must, and shake those hips, too. The bacon is a plus.

Crooked Man - Susan Ashton

So cold - touch his heart and there's a chance you could freeze
Steel soul - keep your distance or be ready to bleed
He was good at the bait and hook

He was really good at push and shove
He believed in "whatever it took"
And whatever it took, it was never enough

Well there was a crooked man and he walked a crooked mile
Lived a crooked life behind a crooked smile
Goodness, like an arrow, lodges where it can
But it never pierces the heart of a crooked man

Justify - when justice wouldn't pay the toll
Subtle lies - when the truth was better half than whole
Driven by an insatiable lust

For power that was just out of reach
Living on an illusion of trust
With a steady dose of control and greed

Some life - nobody came to say good-bye
Slow ride - for the author of his own demise

No one had much good to say
Some were glad that he was finally gone

His legacy was cold and gray
Like the mocking words that were carved in stone

Well there was a crooked man and he walked a crooked mile
Lived a crooked life behind a crooked smile

Goodness, like an arrow, lodges where it can
But it never pierces the heart of a crooked man

...There. I feel better,now.

What? You wanted a tossed salad with that?