Sarah Palin will pry your Klondike bar from your cold dead fingers.

calendar   Thursday - March 12, 2015

Taken With A Grain Of Salt

I was going to make a grumpy post about how so many of the recipes you find online are pure BS, untested, with fake comments and ratings. I swear they are, because I have found my share of duds.

Yesterday I wanted something baked. Like cinnamon rolls, or a coffee cake. Hey, I’ve got some Bisquick, what can I do with it? So I find this recipe at (aka for a double streussel coffee cake, and made it. And it bombed. I should have known from the comments, which were all “this was great, but didn’t the original version have 2 Tbs oil in it? I added oil and it was better” “I had to add another 1/2 cup of milk to get the batter thin enough to spread. And no way is it enough for 2 layers in a 9” cake pan.” But no. So I boldly went ahead, listening to the sage advice of the obvious more experienced commenters. A little oil, a little more milk, toss in some frozen blueberries ... ta da. And I even used an 8” pan. And it looked fine. Making the streussel was hard for me, even though it’s just brown sugar flour and butter. Instead of little grains of sand, I got chunks. Well, no matter. Put the topping on ... gee, there’s rather a lot of it ... and into the oven for the prescribed ... 24 minutes. Ding. Done! Not even close. The cake was still liquid. WTF? A nearly identical recipe on the bettycrocker end of that site used flour and baking soda instead of Bisquick, and it said to bake the thing for 45 minutes. Ah, must be a typo. Back in the oven.

Ding. And it’s done. And it cools off, and comes out of the pan nice and easy. Yay Pam spray! And when it was cool, I cut myself a slice ... and found a leathery cake that hadn’t risen AT ALL, topped by a block of streussel that would pass for Level II armor in most video adventure games. So I ate it anyway. And it was good, although I had to soak the slices in coffee to soften up the battle armor. I mean streussel. The internet. It sucks.

Today was Fish Day. Yay fish day!! I loves me some fried fish. Damn shame it’s so insanely expensive. But I splurged, and got a bag of individually wrapped wild caught cod fillets. Time to make some Fission Chips, or at least the Fish’n part thereof.
But how? Ok, cross my fingers hope to die, stick a needle in my eye, I go back online. And I find this, two similar recipes on the same page. One seemed much bigger, so I made the little one, with some borrowed flair from the big one:

3⁄4 cup white flour
1 tablespoon corn flour (aka masa)
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1⁄4 teaspoon baking soda
1⁄4 teaspoon baking powder
1⁄4 teaspoon salt (1/2 teaspoon large grain kosher salt)

3⁄4 cup water

Ok, the very first thing you do is thaw the frozen fish in the fridge. Yesterday. And then you get the fish out to warm up, a good hour or more before you start mucking about with flour and stuff.

And then ...

To the dry ingredients, add a shake of garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, tarragon, black pepper, and Adobo. Mix well. In a measuring cup, add 2 tsp of cider vinegar and 1 or 2 tbs of lemon juice, fill up to the 3/4 cup line with cold water. Mix in to the dry ingredients. Decide it looks a bit thin, so add a heaping tablespoon of flour. Mix it again, making sure you get all the batter down off the sides of the bowl.

Drain and rinse the thawed fish, and pat dry. Pat dry again. Dredge each piece in some plain flour, let sit. Heat a small pan with 1/2 vegetable oil, 1/2 Vegetable shortening. Heat it to 360°F. Dip one piece of fish at a time in the wet batter, rolling it around to coat both sides. Lift it up with a fork and let it drip, then esae it into the pan. Sure, use your deep fryer if you have one. I don’t. But I used a small pan, so the hot oil came at least halfway up the fillet. Cook it for 3 of 4 minutes, then flip and cook the other side. You want a nice golden brown, not a dark heavy brown. Remove when done, drain on paper towels, then serve with whatever sauce you use for fried fish.

It’s freakin awesome. I hadn’t planned to use the other frozen fillets until next week, but this is so good I immediately got them out to thaw for tomorrow. I never even made it to the table; I stood there at the stove eating one fillet while the other cooked. Wished I had some tartar sauce, but a splat of mayo with a squeeze of lemon was good enough.

I loves me dat fish.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 03/12/2015 at 05:33 PM   
Filed Under: • Fine-Dining •  
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calendar   Monday - February 16, 2015

it runs in the family

And I thought I was a diehard.

My cousin’s Weber, dug out from under 5 feet of snow and put to use. They live right outside Boston almost in the ocean.


Hey, I dunno man. Unless I see steaks and smoke, maybe this is just a trick!


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 02/16/2015 at 05:31 AM   
Filed Under: • Climate-WeatherFine-Dining •  
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calendar   Wednesday - February 11, 2015

fun flick, easy dinner

We watched The Grand Budapest Hotel tonight. What a hoot. It’s an American film (I think) starring ... what seems like almost everybody, actually ... that feels like a foreign art house movie. I found myself looking for English subtitles, it feels that foreign. It’s a comedy with spontaneous tragedies, a murder mystery, a romance, a never ending chase, a story within a flashback within a flashback within a story, and a coming of age tale, a biopic look back on a life, with a a touch of magic and more than a bit of madness. And The Fallen Madonna With Big Boobies, by Van Klump. Well, almost. It’s metaphor, allusion and illusion. Like, it’s art, dude. If you want it to be. Otherwise it’s a madcap romp.

WITH: Ralph Fiennes (M. Gustave), Tony Revolori (Zero), F. Murray Abraham (Mr. Moustafa), Mathieu Amalric (Serge X.), Adrien Brody (Dmitri), Willem Dafoe (Jopling), Jeff Goldblum (Deputy Kovacs), Harvey Keitel (Ludwig), Jude Law (Young Writer), Bill Murray (M. Ivan), Edward Norton (Henckels), Saoirse Ronan (Agatha), Jason Schwartzman (M. Jean), Léa Seydoux (Clotilde), Tilda Swinton (Madame D.), Tom Wilkinson (Author), Bob Balaban (M. Martin) and Owen Wilson (M. Chuck).

I copied it to the DVR so we can watch it again. And again. It’s that kind of film. You need to watch it at least twice more. The first time through you’re all What the heck am I watching? What did he just say? OMG! The second time you catch the other 2/3 of the jokes and jibes you missed the first time. The third time you notice the cinematography and the costuming. It’s so much more than just a movie. It’s film. It’s art, but comfortable non-confrontational art. Charming. Film-wise, it has a bigger magical sparkle than Moonrise Kingdom. It’s a Wes Anderson directed film, if that means anything to you. Some folks can’t stand him. Beats me. My bet is that, if you were charmed by Moonrise, you’ll adore this one as well. [ Ha, what do you know, Moonrise Kingdom is also a Wes Anderson piece. I didn’t know that until just now, searching up a couple “professional” reviews. ]

As much as “The Grand Budapest Hotel” takes on the aspect of a cinematic confection, it does so to grapple with the very raw and, yes, real stuff of humanity from an unusual but highly illuminating angle. “The Grand Budapest Hotel” is a movie about the masks we conjure to suit our aspirations, and the cost of keeping up appearances. “He certainly maintained the illusion with remarkable grace,” one character remarks admiringly of another near the end of the movie. “The Grand Budapest Hotel” suggests that sometimes, as a species, that’s the best we can do. Anderson the illusion-maker is more than graceful, he’s dazzling, and with this movie he’s created an art-refuge that consoles and commiserates. It’s an illusion, but it’s not a lie.

As a carefully constructed miniaturized universe, “The Grand Budapest Hotel” is that most Andersonian of endeavors, evincing the deadpan drolleries, screwball action and dollhouse aesthetic that have alternately charmed and chagrined filmgoers for the past couple of decades.

Set in a castlelike hotel in the fictional Mitteleuropean country of Zubrowka on the eve of World War II, “The Grand Budapest Hotel” revolves — like all of Anderson’s films — around a quirky middle-aged man and the precocious boy he takes under his wing. As such, the film fully engages one of the fascinating tensions that have always animated Anderson’s fussily decorated cinematic jewel boxes, namely how one learns to become a man within a universe of characters so stylized and artfully concocted that they seem barely human.

This is going to become a cult favorite, perhaps up there with Princess Bride or Highlander. Well, maybe not that high, but at least up there with Life of Pi and My Life As A Dog.

I have no idea if this one won this award, that award, or how many. Or none at all. Don’t know, don’t care. It was awesome.

I’m very grateful that my cable TV remote has a pause button. I made up a 3 day batch of chili while watching this 100 minute flick, so I was back and forth to the kitchen plenty of times. Plus I made up pan fried pork chops, cheese buns, and salad to use up some leftovers. Pause and Rewind are teh greatest.

easy 3 day chili recipe below

See More Below The Fold


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 02/11/2015 at 10:11 PM   
Filed Under: • Fine-DiningMOVIES •  
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calendar   Saturday - December 27, 2014

Holiday Survivors

I get most of today off I think. Got a chance to sleep late, and then we can kick back a little and do a bit of laundry and cleaning here. Then it’s time to run over to Allentown Pennsylvania to go to a AHL hockey game. Which means my Saturday cleaning work will get pushed back to Sunday, so Sunday will be pretty busy. And then by Monday it ought to be business as usual once again.

We gave ourselves a nice Christmas present at Fun League last night. Once again we had the bye, playing against ourselves. So instead of carefully throwing just minimum scoring games to win points and temper our averages, we relaxed and just bowled really well. Seriously, the hardest part of bowling is not letting it eat up your head from inside. Everybody threw at least one Deuce (200+ game). I threw a 638 series, bracketing a careless 169 with 2 games in the 230s. Definitely my best series so far this year. We beat our team average by at least 100 pins in each game, so we took all 7 points with ease.

I think all the Christmas goodies have been eaten up at this point, other than the cheese and crackers. We took the sushi, the sea scallops, the wine, the soup, the deserts, the artisan breads, and even another tri-tip steak to my mom’s, where we ate like princes for 2 straight days. I guess we really did buy too much food. 


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 12/27/2014 at 10:02 AM   
Filed Under: • Fine-DiningHolidaysChristmas •  
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calendar   Friday - December 19, 2014

okay drew … make me one of these to go with that Christmas dinner you wrote me about

Red velvet bûche de Noël with boozy cranberries recipe


· Ingredients
· 200g (7oz) caster sugar, plus extra for dusting
· 100g (3 1/2oz) cranberries
· 150ml (5fl oz) orange or whisky liqueur
· 125g (4oz) unsalted butter, softened
· 2 large eggs, separated
· 140g (5oz) plain flour
· 2 tbsp cocoa powder
· 2 tsps baking powder
· 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
· 120ml (3 3/4fl oz) buttermilk
· 1 tsp vanilla extract
· 1 tsp white wine vinegar
· 1/2 x 60ml tube red food colouring
· For the filling
· 200g (7oz) cream cheese
· 150g (5oz) mascarpone

(Mascarpone is an Italian cheese made from a triple-creme cheese made from fresh cream,, coagulated by the addition of citric acid or acetic acid. After denaturation, the whey is removed without pressing or aging.)

· 75g (3oz) butter
· 175g (6oz) icing sugar
· 175g (6oz) white chocolate, melted
· sugar snowflakes (optional)

Celebrate the festive period in style with this luxurious show-stopping Christmas red velvet buche de noël. This Yule log is a great alternative to a Christmas cake, with a rich and indulgent taste and packed with boozy cranberries for an extra special treat.

Heat 100g (3 1/2oz) sugar and 300ml (1/2pt) water in a pan over a low heat, until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from the heat, add the cranberries and leave to stand for 15 minutes. Drain and then transfer to a bowl. Cover with the liqueur. Chill until needed.

Preheat the oven to gas 4, 180°C, fan 160°C. Grease and line a 23 x 33cm (9 x 13in) Swiss roll tin. In a bowl, beat the butter and remaining 100g (3 1/2oz) sugar with an electic whisk, until fluffy, then gradually beat in the egg yolks.

Sift the flour, cocoa, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and a pinch of salt into a separate bowl. In a jug, combine the buttermilk, vanilla extract, vinegar and food colouring.

Fold in a third of the flour mixture to the butter mixture, followed by a third of the buttermilk mixture. Repeat until you have used up all the ingredients.

In a clean bowl, whisk the egg whites to soft peaks. Gently fold them into the cake mixture.

Spoon the cake mixture into the prepared tin and level the surface. Bake for 12-15 minutes.

Dust a large sheet of baking paper with caster sugar. Turn out the bûche onto the sugar and peel off the lining paper. Lightly score a line about 1cm (1/2in) from one of the shorter ends, being careful not to cut through the sponge, then roll it up. Leave to cool.

Meanwhile, make the filling. In a bowl, whisk the cream cheese, mascarpone, butter and icing sugar. Whisk in the melted chocolate and 2 tbsp of the cranberry soaking liquid, until smooth.

Unroll the sponge and spread with a third of the icing, then roll it back up and put on a serving plate. Using a palette knife, spread the top and sides of the bûche with the remaining icing.

Drain the cranberries and arrange over the bûche. Decorate with sugar snowflakes (if using) and an extra dusting of caster sugar. Serve.
Get ahead: Fill the sponge up to 4 hours before serving, leave at room temperature, but somewhere cool.


Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 12/19/2014 at 11:23 AM   
Filed Under: • Eye-CandyFine-Dining •  
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calendar   Saturday - December 13, 2014

Holiday Treats To Eat

You’ll want to save this recipe. It’s so good, and super easy to make.

Granny’s Mincemeat Bars


Only an hour old, after cooling


By Monday Morning, and it’s just the two of us here

A family recipe handed down from my actual grandma. I’m getting into the holiday spirit, so I’m willing to share.
I made this today with vegetable shortening, and it came out great.

1 jar of mince meat, 25-29oz
3/4 Cup vegetable oil or shortening
3/4 cup of sugar
1/3 cup molasses
1 & 1/2 Cup sifted white flour
2 cups quick cooking oats (quick cooking oatmeal)
3/4 Teaspoon salt

Cream shortening and add sugar gradually beating until fluffy. 
Add molasses.  Beat in dry ingredients.  Mix well.

[ lazy way: Combine shortening, sugar, and molasses in a medium large mixing bowl, go at it with the mixer until it looks like damp sand. Add salt to flour, sift directly over shortening mixture. Beat on high speed for about a minute. Pour oats over that. Mix it for another minute. ]

Spread 1/2 of oatmeal mixture over 9x 13 well greased pan. Spread mince meat over oatmeal mix and then spread other 1/2 of oatmeal mix over the mince meat.  Press firmly with a solid metal spatula.

Bake in 350 degree oven for 30 to 40 minutes. Let stand until cold.

Cut in strips, or brownie sized pieces, and wrap in wax paper and store in covered box. Will keep a week or longer ( In 85 years we’ve never found out how long they keep. Generally they’re gone in 2 days. )

* Lightly dust cooled bars with confectioner’s sugar.
* Substitute 1/4 cup softened butter for 1/4 cup of the shortening.
* add 1/4 cup brown sugar and another tablespoon of molasses to make it a bit sweeter.
* I used large grained Kosher salt, but you could use regular salt. That will increase the salty aspect, which is fine with this sweet and fruity recipe
* Mix in a shot of dark rum, or a shot of Grand Marnier, to the mincemeat ahead of time. If you use genuine Kirschwasser, use only 1/2 shot. OTOH, you could sprinkle some booze on after they’re done, then seal it up for a couple days like rum balls.

Tips - Really grease that pan; don’t be cheap. If you use a glass pan, check things at 25 minutes; I did today’s batch in a glass pan for 40 minutes, and they were slightly overdone. 30 minutes was enough.

The very original copy of this recipe called for a box of mincemeat, but gave no instructions on how much water to use to reconstitute it. Nonesuch’s website says to add just 1/4 cup of water (or apple cider I’ve heard) to a 9oz box to give the same density as what comes in a jar these days. But volume-wise, you’d need almost 3 boxes worth to make this. Maybe mincemeat used to come in a much bigger box.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 12/13/2014 at 07:52 PM   
Filed Under: • Fine-Dining •  
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calendar   Wednesday - November 26, 2014

Oh, That’s Pure Canadian, Eh?


Well, I’ll be. A Canadian donut. Shaped like a maple leaf, maple frosted, with bacon bits. Seriously, with bacon bits. On a donut. How could I resist?


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 11/26/2014 at 12:30 PM   
Filed Under: • CanadaFine-DiningFun-Stuff •  
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Easy Side Dish

In case you’re feeling like you’ve just got to have another food item for Thanksgiving, here’s a really easy, really good one.

Extra rich butternut squash soup
3 boxes of butternut soup, 16oz each
2 boxes of prepared frozen butternut squash
1/4 stick of butter
1/4 cup heavy cream
a tiny bit of fresh ground nutmeg, optional

In a good sized pot, pour the boxed soup. Add the frozen squash. Heat gently until warm. Stir in the butter, continue heating. Do not boil, do not simmer. Just warm it to 180°F. Just before serving, stir in the heavy cream, heat for 1 minute. Take a whole nutmeg and grate 4 or 5 strokes over the soup. Stir. Serve. There’s enough here to serve 8 people. If you want to go super fancy, have a few peeled, boiled, thin slices of yellow squash handy to dress up each bowlful, and perhaps a tiny sprinkle of dried chives or chopped fresh green onions.

It comes out nearly as thick as stew, with plenty of squash bits. Tastes great. Looks like it’s 10x more effort than you made.
image  image


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 11/26/2014 at 11:09 AM   
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calendar   Thursday - November 06, 2014

Churning Milk Into Gold

(It’s only a coincidence that Chris just did a cows post as well).

I needed to get a few things to eat, so I took a trip to the local grocery store. I filled the top of my cart - the kiddie seat area - with things on sale, milk, bread, and meat for 3 nights. The bill came to $71. Horry Clap!!!

Toast: The New Luxury Food

We don’t eat a whole lot of butter. And while we prefer the taste of the Plugra brand, or the yummy stuff imported from Ireland, we’re more than willing to get by with Land O Lakes or the store brand stuff. Lucky us, we have a big freezer, so around this time each year I go butter shopping. November is Thanksgiving, and everybody cooks and bakes, and that means this is the time of year when butter really goes on sale. I got 6 lb - our annual supply - last year for $1.50/lb, and froze them all. November is also when Philadelphia cream cheese gets the big discounts, especially if you can find the 6 bar bulk box. ( Don’t ever freeze cream cheese, but that bulk box is good for several decadent cheese cakes).  So I noticed we were just about out of butter, so I figured I’d get a pound, or maybe stock up for next year.

Crivens. And crivens on the half shell!

Store brand butter was ON SALE for $2.99/lb. Save $1 !! Land O Lakes is selling for $6. Holy sheep dip. SIX DOLLARS for one single pound of butter!!

Bread has gone through the roof too. One loaf of one of these multi-grain healthy bread things, it was either Arnold brand or Pepperidge Farms, was $3.99. SAY WHAT?? FOUR BUCKS for a loaf of bread!!

I wasn’t brave enough to look at the Philly. To heck with that. I got my quart of milk - $2 ( wasn’t milk $2.49/gal last year?? ) and got the heck out of Dodge.

Bread and butter. $10.

Like every other Fiat, our fiat money is worthless, rusted out and with a bad electrical system.

My head is spinning.

$6 for a pound of butter. OMG. OMG.

[ From JULY ] Butter Surges to 16-Year High as U.S. Exports Cut Reserve “There’s a shortage of butter,” Jon Spainhour, a broker and partner at Chicago-based Rice Dairy LLC, said in a telephone interview July 3. “This spring, instead of building inventories, we just shipped it out of the country. We’ve hauled a lot of product out of the market.”

Even as rising global milk output signals a slowdown in U.S. exports, tight domestic butter supplies are contributing to higher costs that buyers including Panera Bread Co. expect will last through 2014. Retail-food prices are rising at the fastest pace in three years, fueled by meat, dairy, eggs, fresh fruit and vegetables, government data show.

The spot price of butter has surged 71 percent this year, after yesterday reaching the highest close since September 1998, and butter futures on the CME jumped 58 percent, touching a record $2.50 today before dropping. The Bloomberg Commodity Index of 22 raw materials gained 2.7 percent this year, while the MSCI All-Country World Index of equities rose 6 percent. The Bloomberg Treasury Bond Index gained 3.6 percent.
Export Surge

U.S. butter exports got a boost after a two-year slump in prices that reached a 15-month low in August. Shipments in the first five months of 2014 totaled 38,897 metric tons, up 64 percent from a year earlier, and are on pace to exceed the full-year record of 92,300 tons in 1993, U.S. Department of Agriculture data show. Domestic production through May this year dropped 3.6 percent to 842,127 tons, while demand through April, the most-recent data available, is up 9.9 percent.

Domestic stockpiles that in May 2013 were the highest in 20 years have slumped with a surge in shipments to buyers including Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Egypt and Iran, government data show. Inventories as of June are down 42 percent from a year earlier to 186 million pounds (84,426 tons).
Emerging Markets

Rising incomes in emerging markets are driving demand for dairy products and other higher-cost foods, including meat, and the U.S. has become the world’s second-largest exporter of milk products after New Zealand.

Ah, that explains it. Those wonderful farmers, who are supported decade after decade by taxpayer funded subsidies, price supports, and every other dad-gummed program known to man, are saying Thank You by selling their wares overseas, and we can take a big flying fuck. I see.

But the dairyman isn’t alone. Meat, fish, eggs, fruit are way up too. So is sugar. So is flour. So is everything. 


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 11/06/2014 at 03:36 PM   
Filed Under: • Fine-DiningInflation and High Prices •  
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calendar   Wednesday - October 29, 2014

Gee I wonder why

USDA: Thousands Fewer Kids Getting School Lunches Now


Gee, I wonder why?

Since new federal nutrition standards began rolling out in 2012, fewer students are buying school lunches, even though enrollment is going up.

The Cox Washington Bureau reviewed U.S. Department of Agriculture documents and found thousands fewer students bought meals when stricter standards kicked in.

The rules, championed by first lady Michelle Obama and approved by congress, require more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains in lunches. Plus, the rules put limits on sodium, sugar, fat and calories.

“It’s a struggle to get kids to eat them and enjoy them,” said Dianne Pratt-Heavner, with the School Nutrition Association.

Might as well just brown bag it. And make sure your kid has a pack of Yodels and a pack of those orange cheese and peanut butter crackers for trading. Because that’s what kids do.

probably worth a whole mixed salad, or 2 slices of pizza


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 10/29/2014 at 09:45 AM   
Filed Under: • EducationFine-Dining •  
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calendar   Wednesday - October 15, 2014

the sleep walker

Sleep walking? 


I have never been a drinker. No big deal.  Just never developed a taste for the stuff.
Never cared for the smell of the hard stuff, tried some once and burned my gut.

When I was much younger, I discovered I couldn’t even drink much of something I did like. Probably a good thing perhaps.  The problem has always been my gut.  I know that doesn’t read like anything believable, but it’s true.
Remember a long time ago when there was a fad for exotic rum based drinks? Or was that just in California?  Tastes great.  Until it hit the stomach and then the pain was not even describable. I can not explain the why of it. 

I remember a day when along with friends we’d get together and buy kegs of Rolling Rock Beer.  Pabst also btw.  But even then, I could only take maybe 6 or 7 at the most. Not kegs, glasses. I’d be sort of sober but not quite, and then the pains would come. Got all the way to the chest too.  No kidding.  Just beer for gosh sake.
So what I’m saying is, I was sober because drinking the smallest amount of anything really hard, cause pain and even affected breathing.
And that all brings me to the latest installment of my existence here in merry olde England.

I discovered red wine.  Late in life I do admit.  Not only that, but this summer I rediscovered beer.  Bud to be exact.  Small bottles too. 
I still can not drink the wine full strength or even a lot of it for all the reasons above.
Anyway, I discovered that sleeping pills work much better and faster if taken with wine, and beer will work too.

As mentioned already, I had this accident which was my doing cos I got lazy and didn’t want to bother going for a ladder or step stool.  It was not a very large or even a very heavy box I was reaching for and so though, this’ll be easy.  Well it wasn’t.

When the pains started, even the aspirin / codeine combo (500 mg aspirin/10mg codeine) just had no effect at all.  And the pain was even waking me up.

Out of desperation, I raided my wife’s meds and took her stronger pain killer.
Something called Tepentadol, 100mg.  Fortunately, I didn’t have to take too many for too long to cope, and as the days went by the aspirin/codeine combo started to help.

But one early morning …. after an earlier entire day and evening of head and neck pain, that night I took my usual sleeping pill, added two Tepentadol (200mg) two glasses of wine, some popcorn to watch a movie in bed and, a beer.  Which was later followed by a second beer.  Then off to dreamland and I don’t even recall what movie I thought I was watching. I even may have imagined I was watching a movie.  Which is one hell of a trick cos there isn’t any TV in my bedroom.  But I can promise you I had no pain.  Except ….

Where things get interesting and go bump in the night.

I’m usually up way earlier than the wife, driven more by hunger I think than wakefulness.  Once up that’s it.  So every morning when she gets up, I bring her morning tea.  Often I also bring her breakfast but generally she just wants toast or a biscuit of some kind.  Sometimes she like that horrid Marmite stuff but usually it’s marmalade.  Oh yeah, something else called Welsh Cakes, which are small, thin and round cake like things. Look more like soft cookies.

So into the kitchen I went one morning last week, had the darndist hard time trying to cut that stupid and stubborn cake in half so I could put an egg in it thinking I was cutting an English muffin, which over here are now sold as muffins since they really are not English to begin with.  Never mind. I thought I was cutting a muffin in half when in reality what I had on that plate was a Welsh cake.  You do not cut a Welsh cake in half. They are too thin to begin with and crumble.  And so they did. I destroyed two of them before I realized I was not cutting a muffin.
So …. with tea and her one lonely remaining Welsh cake, I woke her up with apologies for the cake, asking her how in the world she ever expected me to get an egg inside that tiny thing.  Bleary eyed she asked me what time it was.
I turned around to look at the clock …..

It was three in the morning.

And btw … head beginning to hurt now …. time for the aspirin/codeine again.
But no wine and no beer. 


Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 10/15/2014 at 09:37 AM   
Filed Under: • Fine-Diningweird stuff •  
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calendar   Friday - October 10, 2014

Learning British cuisine via Terry Pratchett

I’ve been rereading Sir Pratchett’s Discworld series. This time around I’m struck by the frequent mention of British food. The dishes have really weird names. Bubble and Squeak is a British dish that I finally looked up. The name told me nothing. My imagination said it was sautéed live mice! Not so.


It looks delicious, especially with sausage. A great way to use leftover veggies. I’ve concluded that British cuisine is much better than its reputation.

A Bubble and Squeak recipe. This one has Sausages and Onion Gravy as in the pic. I say ‘A’ recipe because obviously you can do almost anything to this. 


Posted by Christopher   United States  on 10/10/2014 at 08:32 AM   
Filed Under: • Fine-Dining •  
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calendar   Wednesday - September 17, 2014

Hog Heaven


The farmer’s market a few roads over the hill still has some nice meaty locally grown beefsteak tomatoes. Lightly toast some fresh bread, get out some crisp Romaine lettuce, open up the Hellman’s ... I think it’s lunchtime.

... and maybe I ought to pick up some oysters or scallops to go with dinner.

UPDATE: OMG, I opened the package and almost got high from the woodsmoke aroma. Wow. I’ve got half a dozen slices baking in the oven on parchment paper. I should turn on the fan, but I don’t want to. The whole kitchen now smells like a campfire. Can’t wait to eat some!

Tasting notes: Not at all what I expected. With that potent an aroma, I was expecting a thick, salty, chemical smoke flavor like gas station beef jerky. Turn it around 180 degrees! This is some of the least salty bacon I’ve ever had. The flavor is light, with good hints of apple fruit coming through. Excellent mouthfeel from the leaner cut meat. No chemical taste at all. I’m still at sea a bit on the flavor; it’s so gentle I may have to have a few more servings to get used to the taste. If this is what bacon is supposed to be, then I have to retrain my palate. All I can say for now is : Wow. Crispy smoked pork.  I cooked this batch just to the edge of crispy; next time I’ll take it out sooner for a more chewy result. Chewy bacon usually gives you a better flavor from the fat anyway. Gosh ... I finished eating 10 minutes ago and I can still notice the aroma. Bacon breath! Woo hoo!!


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 09/17/2014 at 09:57 AM   
Filed Under: • Fine-Dining •  
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calendar   Saturday - September 13, 2014

Fear And Loathing In The Grocery Store

Horry Clap, I was in the grocery store last night and I notice the price of bacon has gone up again. Steeply! Plain old Oscar Mayer bacon, that old staple ... $7.99 a pound. Not some gourmet stuff. Not some certified organic stuff, not even the center cut variety or even the thick sliced one. Just regular old bacon. $7.99 a pound.


I blame China, both for buying up the American pork industry, and for somehow letting the PEDv swine disease loose here. Well, somebody did it. And then I blame the weather.

Looks like bacon is going to be a rare thing in our house for a while.

OTOH, at those prices, it almost makes sense to order the really good stuff from Nueske’s, the best bacon on earth.  Yes indeed.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 09/13/2014 at 09:39 AM   
Filed Under: • Fine-Dining •  
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Not that very many people ever read this far down, but this blog was the creation of Allan Kelly and his friend Vilmar. Vilmar moved on to his own blog some time ago, and Allan ran this place alone until his sudden and unexpected death partway through 2006. We all miss him. A lot. Even though he is gone this site will always still be more than a little bit his. We who are left to carry on the BMEWS tradition owe him a great debt of gratitude, and we hope to be able to pay that back by following his last advice to us all:
  1. Keep a firm grasp of Right and Wrong
  2. Stay involved with government on every level and don't let those bastards get away with a thing
  3. Use every legal means to defend yourself in the event of real internal trouble, and, most importantly:
  4. Keep talking to each other, whether here or elsewhere
It's been a long strange trip without you Skipper, but thanks for pointing us in the right direction and giving us a swift kick in the behind to get us going. Keep lookin' down on us, will ya? Thanks.


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GNU Terry Pratchett

Oh, and here's some kind of visitor flag counter thingy. Hey, all the cool blogs have one, so I should too. The Visitors Online thingy up at the top doesn't count anything, but it looks neat. It had better, since I paid actual money for it.
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