What the Boss Likes – John Fetterman, hopefully my next Senator

John Fetterman is mayor of Braddock, a mill town near Pittsburgh, PA.  It suffered awfully when the steel mills ended in many towns here in the northeast.  Mr. Fetterman has been doing wonders for it, but it’s a tough row to hoe.

He’s running for the US Senate.  Support him if you can.  He also has one of the most awesome political ads.   It’s a riff on a very famous one from the Coca-Cola company (and a slightly less famous one).   Watch it until the very end.  Seriously.

Yep, the mayor is a *big* guy.

 

 

From the Kitchen and Bar – I have committed a culinary sin….and it was goooood

A week after Snowzilla and we still have about a foot of snow still on the ground. I’ve been tossing out old bread and stale snacks for the local crows, squirrels and little birdies since they have little to eat. Yesterday we had a huge number of crows in the neighborhood. There must have been a couple of hundred, which can make quite a racket. I guess we had a mass murder or a genocide, considering that a group of crows is called a “murder”.

We cooked and hid inside during the storm. One thing we had was a complete experiment thanks to the local event called the Pennsylvania State Farm Show (this isn’t the sin yet). It’s essentially a country fair in a building, a very large building, in January. There are displays of farm equipment, farm animals, arena events like horseback riding and animal judging, and food booths of all sorts of farm products. People are weird about the food booths. They are completely stunned with the milkshakes one can get there, insisting that they are so very wonderful. The reason that the milkshakes are so great is that they are made with whole milk and ice cream made with whole milk, not that nasty 2% or skim that many Americans insist on drinking. They are also in awe of fresh donuts made with potatoes. OF COURSE fresh donuts made with potato starch which makes them soft and moist will be good!   I mean, really people, just think for a moment.  :)

lamb-breastThe farm animals brought to the show don’t always go back to the farm again. In many cases they are slaughtered soon after, especially the lambs and calves. A local grocery store had a great sale on lamb in many many more forms than what one can usually get here in the states. I got a lamb breast to try. This is the ribs and belly of the lamb, so it is mostly bone and fat. Out of about 2.5 pounds (around a kilo) of raw meat, we got about a pound of meat and some of the best crackling ever. It was really good, succulent and gamy, and ended up being essentially $10.00 a pound once cooked ($4.99/lb raw). I used a recipe that called for a spice rub and a long slow cook. The photo shows that my husband got to it before I could get my camera.

mushWe also made polenta, which I grew up calling “mush”.   This was made from a very fine whole kernel cornmeal called Indian Head. Usually I make it with a coarser meal, which allows the mush to firm up and become sliceable, which I then fry.   This never became firm, remaining a pudding consistency. Here, the photo has my bowl as I eat it with butter, salt and pepper. I also love to put maple syrup on it, grade B, which is far more flavorful than what you can usually get in stores around here. Of course, now the USDA has changed the grading of maple syrup, so what I have in a bottle as Grade B is now Grade A: dark color, robust taste or Grade A: very dark color, strong taste. Sigh.

And finally, I confess my sin. Actually, it’s our sin since my husband and I did it. We took Spam and we Shake n’ Baked it (the extra crispy version).   It was very, very good. I do recommend the less-sodium version. Yep, it’s an utter fest of sodium, sugar, preservatives and everything bad for you. I do see that we are not the only sinners in the universe. I guess if it can be done, it will be done and the internet has record of it. It’s definitely redneck tonkatsu.

We haven’t gone terribly far afield with the alcohol. Gran Gala is a very good orange liqueur. Don’t mix it with milk or cream, it will curdle.  Blue Moon has a good horchata (cinnamon) flavored beer that I may have mentioned before.

Well, that’s it. Eat and drink well!

What the Boss Likes – Snowzilla, and a couple of pics from last summer

Update:  The aftermath.  Husband is digging out the bug.

aftermath

 

Here I am sitting in the belly of Snowzilla, the current nor’easter battering the east coast of the US.   We have about 12 inches of snow (30.5 cm for you who have a sensible measurement system), and we still have around 10 hours of snow fall to go.  I’ll likely post more photos later to show how ridiculous it’s getting.

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That’s a VW Beetle in the center.

outback-shoveled-path-01232What I’ve shoveled so far.

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The wind currently whipping the curtains we have on our patio.

Now, as enamored as I am with finally getting snow, this is a bit much.  :)    I’m sure I’ll be longing for warm weather soon.  I took the following last summer, when coleuses had self-seeded and grew everywhere.  The low angle photos make me think of an alien forest.

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little-alient-planet

 

llittle-alien-planet-3

 

little-alien-planet-4

That’s it for now.  I’ll be posting a food post since we’ve stocked in some nice supplies to occupy ourselves while the snow piles up outside.

 

 

 

 

 

Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – Smells worse than a wet wookie – spoiler alert

Just got back from The Force Awakens. We’d waited a bit to see the movie since we don’t like crowds. Alas, that didn’t help in this instance, the theatre was near full on a Monday afternoon (a US holiday).   I do wish I had waited longer. It stunk like a dianoga. Spoilers are below. Yes, many of these criticisms have been mentioned before by others. They bear repeating since people keep saying that this is a good movie and it is not, by any stretch of the imagination.

It was pretty as a movie, and the actors did a mostly decent job. But I should have known, that like anything else J.J. Abrams has done, it’s tediously derivative and goes nowhere. I shouldn’t be looking at my watch during a Star Wars movie.

The movie watches like the writers, J.J. Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan just took the script of the first movie and sat around “oooh, we’ll add this twist and this pointless laugh line”.   Kasdan did finish the existing script for Empire Strikes Back and wrote Raiders of the Lost Ark, so I’m guessing he was brought in as a name and little else. Considering he wrote Return of the Jedi, one can guess he has no more ideas than having ONE MORE spherical planet destroyer that one can destroy by accessing mysteriously accessible uber important parts. This is incompetent screenwriting write large.

We also have the most whiny and pointless family in the galaxy, the Skywalkers, at least the males. Whiny Anakin who pouts his way through the “prequels”, Luke who almost got it right, and then runs away to pout, and then Kylo Ren, the most pouty of all. If you are going to have a kid kill his father, you need some pretty good backstory, not just a spotty-faced brat. One also has to wonder why Han and Leia let their murderous little boy still exist. “light in him” or not, he’s a killer. If I were Rey, I’d hand over that light saber and say “Good, found you. Now, don’t leave here ever. Because you and your family have caused untold misery in the universe.”

Then we get Finn. The actor is good, what he has to say, isn’t. The character is a Stormtrooper trained from birth to be a killer who also was a janitor on the Not Death Star.   Finn seems to be there to be the funny black guy (amazing that he wasn’t killed per the trope). He does take on Kilo Ren in a light sabre duel, a guy who has no training in hand to hand combat at all, and not attuned to the Force. Which makes Finn the luckiest bastard ever or Kilo Ren completely incompetent (which he is, no doubt).  Continue reading

Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – a Marvel-ous morality

 

beta ray bill

I’ve been having some discussions with Christians on morality.  They certainly are sure that their morality and only theirs is divinely approved.   This chunk of comic (when Beta Ray Bill was wielding Mjolnir, aka Meow-Meow, in the Thor comics), is a good antidote to such nonsense.

And found Thor’s Hammer kittens on etsy:  https://www.etsy.com/listing/168518362/mew-mew-mjolnir-kitty-small?ref=shop_home_active_4   Far too cute!

What the Boss likes – or what she thinks is mildly interesting

sick smilyArrgh, I have a cold. What tedious misery. The following is pretty much stream of consciousness nattering. Treat it as you will.

Apple Pie moonshine from Old Republic Distillery is very good mixed about half and half with boiling water and with a bit of hot buttered rum “batter” aka equal parts of butter and brown sugar and cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice to your taste all mixed together.

Pat Robertson is making more prophecies,, when all of the others have failed: failed prophecies. Now, when will the TrueChristians demand he be stoned to death as their god supposedly requires?

Odd Squad on PBS is great. The humor is far more sophisticated than I would have guessed for a children’s show, much more of the absurd situational humor and word play similar to what you would see on a movie like Airplane! Yep, this because I was stuck watching daytime tv suffering with my cold.

I thought I’d tell a silly story from my youth thanks to Mr. Merveilleux showing us some pics of handsome fellows in the military. Back when I was young, the song Age of Aquarius was on the radio. I really liked it (was really into astrology) and got the album it was on with money I got for a birthday. Yes indeed, I got the album of the musical “Hair” when I was hmmm, probably somewhere in the 8-10 age range. Now, I was often singing all of the songs at the top of my lungs in my room. And if you know the album, some of the songs are a tad “interesting” for a little girl to be singing. I have no idea if my parents just didn’t hear me, didn’t want to deal with me or didn’t know what the words I was singing actually meant (I did eventually look up those words and found out why some of those words were “so nasty”…). Now, add to this that I never saw the musical until maybe five years ago, and had no idea what visuals were going with the songs. I watched it with my husband who found it hilarious to see my reactions to what I had been singing with such vigor in my youth. White boys and black boys are so pretty indeed :)

Ah, see what trouble you can get into being far too precocious in reading but not quite so precocious in comprehension…

Well, that’s it for today. I need some more cold medicine. It’s a sign when it took me a good three tries to type medicine correctly…