Sarah Palin's image already appears on the newer nickels.

calendar   Friday - September 12, 2014

Tit For Tot. I Mean Tat.

Take Their Lunch? We’ll Take Our Kids!

UK parents push back against FORCED school hot lunches

Think it’s bad over here, where your kid might have to order up a horrible Mooch Meal™ if you don’t pack her a bag lunch? Over in the UK the rules now say the sprogs HAVE to purchase a school provided hot lunch, and they’re taking away any and all food the kids bring to school.

Some parents, recognizing this as a form of extortion, have yanked their kids from the schools and started home schooling in reaction. Good for them.

Because think of it ... a wonderful British meal forced on your child ... pease porridge and cullen skink, fish head pie and love in disguise (trust me on that one), a scoop of scouse, some brussels sprouts ... boiled up by the Lunch Ladies and left on the steam tray all morning. Mmm, mmm,  good  barf.*

Parents have removed their children from a primary school after the governors banned packed lunches.

At least six children have been taken away from Milefield Primary School in Barnsley because of its strict new policy which aims to have all pupils eating a freshly cooked school dinner.

The change follows new rules, championed by Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, which force schools to provide a free hot lunch to infants aged four to seven.
But some families are upset that packed lunches, often cheaper to prepare, have been banned. They fear fussy children will end up going without as the school only offers one choice of meal.
Parents were told about the meal policy in a letter from the headmistress on the last day of term in July.

Paula Murray has said she is proud of the change, which has been backed by a majority of parents.

But Adam Martin, 31, has taken his children Harry, four, George, five, and Amelia, seven, out of the school over the dispute.
Mr Martin, a gas engineer, said: ‘I feel like our freedom of choice has been taken away. We were appalled to be told our children couldn’t take in packed lunches and further incensed with how the school have dealt with the situation.

‘We like our kids to have a packed lunch because, not only does it save us money, but it also allows you to let your children eat what they like.’

He added: ‘The packed lunches we make are healthy, we don’t need somebody to tell us what our children should be eating.’

His attempts to communicate with education authorities over the summer had failed, he said.

Parents who had hoped to discuss the meal policy with teachers on the first day of term were met by two police community support officers.

Yeah, you read that right. Parents showed up to discuss things and the school sicced the plod on them. Nice, eh?

PS - sounds like the meal plan kind of sucks ...


A slice of white or wholemeal toast for breakfast
A carton of milk and a healthy snack mid-morning
A traditional meal at lunch followed by a dessert (all made fresh daily)
A piece of fruit or vegetable in the afternoon


Oh yeah, whenever I think GRIMEthorpe, I think “great meals”. Riiiight.

PS - don’t you just love the Jesuit style way they give free lunches to the tiniest mites? Get them trained up and used to it, so in 2 years they’ll demand it when mum and dad have to cough up the weekly tenner!

See More Below The Fold


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 09/12/2014 at 12:48 AM   
Filed Under: • EducationFine-DiningUK •  
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calendar   Wednesday - September 10, 2014

Danger, Balti In Progress

I’m going to try my hand at making a Balti curry. Hey, it’s becoming a classic English dish!

Chicken stew in spicy tomato sauce, pretty much. Seems pretty easy, especially since I’ve got a pre-mixed bag of spices.

And I’ll add a slew of vegetables - cauliflower, red and green pepper, broccoli, okra, corn, maybe some mushrooms.

Meanwhile, I’ve got the chicken marinating in the spice mix and some chicken broth, to give things an extra bit of oomph.

So I’m off to the store to get some fresh ginger.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 09/10/2014 at 11:13 AM   
Filed Under: • Fine-Dining •  
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calendar   Saturday - September 06, 2014

For Christopher


See More Below The Fold


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 09/06/2014 at 11:37 AM   
Filed Under: • Fine-DiningFun-Stuff •  
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calendar   Tuesday - September 02, 2014

emergency transfusion


I really like the all natural kinds of peanut butter. But they don’t stay mixed at room temperature, and the jar is always filled right up to the rim with peanut oil. That means a greasy spill if you try to mix the stuff up in the jar it came in.

So I found a solution: use a bigger jar. It’s a perfect fit. Leave it for a half hour or so, and almost the entire contents transfer. Get the rest with a table knife, then mix it all up. The oil is now in the bottom, so it almost self-mixes anyway. And then it goes in the fridge where it stays mixed.

Sometimes ... if nobody is looking ... I add a couple of shakes of salt. I figure it’s a draw that way, health-wise. A bit extra salt for proper PB flavor vs no partially hydrogenated whatevers or palm oils in the natural vs the Name Brand product. I really like the ingredients on the store brand natural PB: peanuts, peanut oil, salt.

And because I’m sick and tired of always posting gloom and doom. Gotta find time for the fun stuff too.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 09/02/2014 at 10:05 PM   
Filed Under: • Fine-Dining •  
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calendar   Monday - August 18, 2014

And Another Slab Goes In

I got a gigantic 6 1/2 pound slab of fresh pork ribs on sale at the grocery store yesterday. A full rack, untrimmed. i peeled the membrane, trimmed the excess fat, mopped things down with cider vinegar, and rubbed in a major handful of my favorite dry rub. Overnighted it in the fridge, and then onto the grill this afternoon. I made up two smoker chip packs with hickory, which produced heavy smoke for about 45 minutes. That will have to be enough, as they have to be positioned under the grill right on top of the burner, and I’m not opening the lid for at least another hour. One hour down, two to go before they get sauced. The Weber is holding at a rock solid 240°F, so I’m guessing about 4 hours should have them super tender. I didn’t trim off the “over slab” of boneless meat. Not sure what it’s called, [ the flap and the sternum ] but an untrimmed slab of ribs comes with a bit of flap meat on the back, along the bones, which I did trim, and another large chunk above the ribs. I’ll check that at the 3 hour mark, and carve it off if it seems done.

OMG, I love slow cooked ribs. This batch ought to last me the rest of the week.

I should look into hooking up an external smoke box to this thing.

update:  Sweeties!  I used the rub I had from before ... the one that was too hot at first, so I cut it by a quarter with soft paprika, sugar, and salt. Wonderful flavor, but IMO could have used some more zing. Sweet rub plus sweet sauce = too sweet a result. Saved by the smoke! Towards the end I made up a smaller packet of smoke chips and worked them in. Overall the result was a modest hickory smoke flavor. Not the “run for your life, the barn is burning down around us” kind of flavor I was remembering, but something better suited to most other folks. So about an hour’s worth of smoke for a 4 1/2 hour cook. Temperature stayed between 225-275 the whole time, except when I ran it up to 400 for a couple of minutes at the very end to toast on the sauce.

Next time I want to try some apple wood chips. And Amazon has this cool smoker gizmo that fits right inside that you can load from the top. Looks factory; I have to figure out if it’s worth it.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 08/18/2014 at 02:59 PM   
Filed Under: • Fine-Dining •  
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calendar   Wednesday - July 09, 2014

That’s All Clucked Up

Barnyard Blues For Rhode Island Red


“I say, I say, I say, any of y’all got any of them Viagras??”

Roosters’ fertility problem affects US chicken supply, increases prices
The world’s largest chicken breeder has discovered that a key breed of rooster has a genetic issue that is reducing its fertility, adding to problems constraining U.S. poultry production and raising prices at a time when beef and pork prices are already at record highs.

The breed, Aviagen Group’s standard Ross male, is sire through its offspring to as much as 25 percent of the nation’s chickens raised for slaughter, said Aviagen spokeswoman Marla Robinson.

Sanderson Farms, the third-largest U.S. poultry producer and one of Aviagen’s largest customers, said it and Aviagen systematically ruled out other possible causes for a decline in fertility before determining a genetic issue was at the root of the problem.

The issue is hitting an industry that is already suffering from a short supply of breeder birds.

The U.S. Agriculture Department last month reduced its U.S. chicken production forecast for 2014, predicting only a 1 percent increase in poundage from 2013, well below the long-run annual average of 4 percent. The agency predicted 2015 production would be up only 2.6 percent.

Aviagen, owned privately by EW Group of Germany, provides breeding stock - hens and roosters - to Sanderson and other chicken producers, which then breed the birds and hatch their eggs to produce meat.
Aviagen sent a team of scientists to Sanderson last autumn to study the issue and has acknowledged that an undisclosed change it made to the breed’s genetics made the birds “very sensitive” to being overfed, he said.

“We fed him too much. He got fat. When he got big, he did not breed as much as he was intended to,” Cockrell said about the breed of rooster. “The fertilization went way down, and our hatch has been way down.”

Aviagen regularly tweaks genetics in birds to improve them, Cockrell added.
The chicken breeding company has replaced the breed suffering from fertility issues with a new breed, and is mating it with the same type of hens. It is too early to provide accurate projections for their productivity, but “results to date are favorable,” Robinson said.

One day a rooster came into our yard
And caught those little chickens
Right off their guard
They’re laying eggs now just like they used to
Ever since that rooster came into our yard
They’re laying eggs now just like they used to
Ever since that rooster came into our yard


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 07/09/2014 at 12:13 PM   
Filed Under: • AnimalsFine-DiningHumor •  
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calendar   Saturday - July 05, 2014

The Thigh’s The Limit

Grilled Chipotle Chicken Thighs

1 7oz can (Goya) Chipotle in adobo sauce

2 tbs kosher salt
2 tbs paprika
1 tbs garlic powder
1 tbs onion powder
1 tbs ground black pepper
1 tsp allspice
1 tsp white sugar
2 tbs brown sugar
2 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp cayenne
1 tsp ground chipotle

1/4 cup water

Use food processor or Magic Bullet or electric whip whisk to liquify chipotle and sauce. Add water to can to get all the good stuff out. In a cereal sized bowl, pour chipotle, sauce, and water over dried spices. Mix well with a fork. What you get is a spice thickened sauce, not a slightly moistened rub. Take a 9x13 glass baking dish, spread the goop on both sides of the chicken thighs (or any chicken parts, actually). There’s enough here to do 10 big thighs. Cover and refrigerate for an hour or so. Overnight if you feel like it.

Meanwhile, mince 3 or 4 cloves of garlic, and lightly fry them in a quarter cup of olive oil for around a minute. Don’t brown them or toast them, just wake them up. Then add 4 tbl cider vinegar and 3 tbl hotsauce ( I used 2tbl sriracha and 3 tbl Louisiana hot sauce ), to the oil and garlic, and heat them for a minute. Add a little salt and black pepper.

After about an hour, take the chicken out, and shake most of the goop off over the sink. Grill the chicken. Use indirect medium heat for the most part, thighs get about 10-15 minutes per side. Make sure you’ve got a good drip pan to catch the fatty juices. Finish them off with 3 minutes per side on low direct heat. Check for doneness. Lay on the finishing sauce and give them another 5 minutes of high indirect heat to dry the sauce up.

Eat. Blue cheese sauce and celery optional.

This is pretty much the classic wings recipe from, but made larger. I added a little sweet, a little depth, and a little heat. As much as I love Buffalo wings, Buffalo thighs taste just as good, cost half as much, and give you 3 times as much meat to eat. Also, having been burned so many times making thighs with the cheap-ass grill we had before, I will always cook them indirectly first and then finish them over direct heat. Starting them out over direct heat is just begging for a savage fat flare-up. Let that crap drip out first, which is why I mentioned having a good drip pan.

UPDATE: the hot sauce is not needed at all. I left a fair amount of the spicy chipolte paste on when I cooked them, and they came out with plenty of zing. Of course, some like it hotter, so go for it if that’s your style. Me, I’m “merely” a 4 spoon Thai food hot instead of the full 5, and this was spicy enough for me to enjoy.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 07/05/2014 at 02:17 PM   
Filed Under: • Fine-Dining •  
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calendar   Saturday - June 28, 2014

no drama, no carbon, no flare-ups

If a bit of hickory smoke is a good thing ...

Then LOTS of hickory smoke must be a great thing. Right?

3 1/2 hours later ... tender but not falling apart, smokey, spicy, moist. I’d call it a win.

The Weber holds 275°F with one burner running, set one mark above absolute Low. Not bad.

The Mrs., arbiter of good taste and things that taste good, says if I ever plan to serve these to other people, I should cut the hot spice level in half. At least. So much less cayenne, half as much chipotle. I just balanced the zing with a good coat of Sweet Baby Ray’s honey BBQ sauce and called it done.

Even wrapped up tightly in plastic wrap, the leftovers are adding a delicious smokey flavor to the refrigerator. Works for me!


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 06/28/2014 at 07:21 PM   
Filed Under: • Fine-Dining •  
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calendar   Friday - June 27, 2014

rub them ribs

Time to whip up a batch of Rodger’s rib rub and get going on tonight dinner. I always add a big tablespoon of cayenne to it as well.

3 hours in the grill, indirect heat on low, pan of water on the side, aluminum bag full of smoker chips underneath.


Do I use pliers or a wet paper towel to grab the membrane with? I can never remember, since I only do ribs a few times a year. I think I should change that, what with our new super grill and all. I will soak the ribs for about half an hour in cider vinegar too.

( a while later ) Ha, it was a dry paper towel. Actually, a quarter of one, folded up. Use a sharp pointy knife to lift the membrane from the narrow end until you go over the first bone. Then grab the membrane with the paper towel square and rip.

After about half an hour in the apple cider vinegar, I drained them off and went at it with the rub. Some goes on the bone side, but most goes on the meat. And you’ve got to rub it in.

Given the late hour, we decide to let them rest overnight and we’ll cook them early tomorrow afternoon. I’ve got a nice big smoker packet made up, about a cup and a half of hickory chips wrapped up in aluminum foil that’s open a bit on the ends and a couple holes. I might use a water tray too, to add moisture and to regulate the temperature inside the grill a little.

My version of Rodger’s Rub. It’s a bit zippier than his. [ my wife says it’s TOO zippy, so I added notes on how to unzip it ] This recipe makes enough to rub about 4 trimmed racks of ribs

1/4 cup paprika: half spanish smokey, half Turkish sharp
1 tbl cayenne pepper powder NO!! TOO HOT!! Use 1 - 1 1/2tsp
1 tbl chipotle powder cut this down too; 2tsp
2 tbl garlic powder
2 tbl granulated onion
2 tsp whole black peppercorns *
2 tsp Coleman’s dry mustard 1 tsp because people are wimps sensitive
1 tbl chili powder
2 tbl whole cumin *
3 tbl whole coriander seed *
a bit less than 1/4 cup kosher salt, since the chili powder has salt in it too
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1 tsp ground tumeric
1 measure (1/8 cup) strong coffee grounds, unbrewed

toast the cumin and the coriander in a small pan until it just starts to sizzle. Pour it into a bowl and let it cool. Add the peppercorns, and grind the whole thing. Mix that into a small mixing bowl with everything else. You can run the whole mess through the pint container of your Magic Bullet if you want it perfectly mixed, but stirring it up with a fork is usually good enough.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 06/27/2014 at 02:48 PM   
Filed Under: • Eye-CandyFine-Dining •  
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calendar   Thursday - June 26, 2014

Fine, I’ll Try It.

Middle of the night. Time for a cuppa.

WTH, for once I’ll put a splash of cream in. Drink it “proper”. Check myself out on the color chart ... win prizes?


Yep, I’m nearly a 2. Just a bit over. About a tablespoon in a mug’s worth, spoon of sugar. Not bad. Loses the edge a bit. I’ve only ever had tea in the clear before. Black? What does one call it, tea with no cow added?

Alright, a bit of toasted cheese to eat, some more of that matzoh - yes, I’ve still got lots!! - another cuppa and then back to bed.

Here’s a nice bit of simple tune if you know your history ...

The western counties point to the sea
I stand unsteady on the shore
The ebbing tide drags my steps from under me
Now it will carry me once more

To trace a circle round the oceans of the earth
I’ll place a band of Spanish gold
On this cold finger of the land of my birth
They would steal to have and hold

Out of the night I’ll send them fear and flame
In oaken ships of fiery death
Their straying children they’ll gather at my name
And learn to fear a dragon’s breath

From these red cliffs I will dive into the sun
And into history
Until from Plymouth Hoe the beating of my drum
From leaden slumber will summon me

In times of trial will recall my restless bones
And read once more upon the page
How a poor Westcountry man once stood before a throne
And how his plunder bore a golden age.

Come on, how often do you hear songs like that? Never. Or even less.  Oh fluff ... the video gives it all away. Mostly.

Back to bed.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 06/26/2014 at 11:10 PM   
Filed Under: • Fine-DiningUK •  
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calendar   Wednesday - June 04, 2014

trying to do it right

How much bacon goes into a proper bacon butty?

Tried making my own bacon sandwich here, cooked the bacon on the grill of course. Used 4 full slices of Oscar’s thick slice, which I guess is about a quarter pound uncooked. I cooked it crispy. Maybe I should have gone with chewy. Seems to me it needed to have about twice as much bacon. And that was half a package!


These look about right, but they’re “merely” BLTs ... a summer treat that’s hard to beat IF you get yourself some locally grown ripe NJ tomatoes. It’s one thing we’re really the best at growing. Beefsteaks, Jersey Giants. Big meaty solid monsters, firm and juicy, warm and happy in the sun with an aroma you can pick up 10 yards away.

Surely, surely a proper British bacon sandwich is better? Maybe I shouldn’t be using what they call “streaky bacon”, which is about all that’s available to us Yanks.

The real deal from England. Looks kinda cheap and puny, don’t it?
Heck, I look at this thing, and I hear Clara Peller in my mind going “Where’s the   beef   bacon??”


Good old Clara.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 06/04/2014 at 11:55 AM   
Filed Under: • Fine-DiningUK •  
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calendar   Monday - May 19, 2014

A bit of logical leftie logic

Stop Climate Change

Boycott Farm Raised Shrimp

Believe it or not, this actually makes a bit of sense.

To make real sense, such a boycott would have to have tens of millions of followers. Perhaps hundreds of millions. And it would put a lot of poor Turd Worlders out of work. Boo hoo.

But other than that, it’s not a bad idea.

You see, nearly all the shrimp you get these days is imported. And the vast majority of that is from the Far East, and farm raised. And all those shrimp farms ... disgusting, filthy, disease infested little shops of horror that they are, notwithstanding ... all those shrimp farms are in swampy coastal areas. The same areas that were once mangrove forests. Since 1960, a huge percentage of worldwide mangrove forests have been lost. Torn down. Uprooted. For no other reason than to put in shrimp pens.

More often than not, these nonnative shrimp are raised in farms, rather than being caught wild. Shrimp farms, essentially huge underwater pens, are built along coastlines, and to make room for them, shrimp farmers have to destroy native mangrove forests that provide a buffer against hurricanes and flooding. Scientists from the U.S. Department of Agriculture have found that mangrove forests absorb and trap more climate-changing carbon dioxide than any other ecosystem on the planet, including rainforests. Yet, over the past 50 years, anywhere from 5 to 80 percent of the mangrove forests in Thailand, Ecuador, Indonesia, China, Mexico, and Vietnam (the five leading shrimp-farming countries) have been destroyed to make room for more coastal shrimp farms.

Though they lack the celebrity appeal of rain forests, mangroves are critical forest ecosystems that protect coastlines from hurricanes and tsunamis, and sequester massive amounts of carbon. A UN report from 2006 indicates that between 1980 and 2005, 20 percent of the world’s mangroves were destroyed. With their easy access to clean water and tropical climates, mangroves occupy ideal shrimp farming territory. Quarto estimates that “over half the modern mangrove loss since the 1970s has been done by shrimp farming.”

Oh, but not to worry. The problem may be self-curing, as shrimp farms ALL AROUND THE WORLD are infected with a rampant disease that is nearly 100% fatal. And it comes, of course, as you already guessed, from China. Naturally; where else? (Saudi Arabia and Nigeria don’t do shrimp: It’s haram!!)

The disease is called “acute hepatopancreatic necrosis syndrome,” though it’s commonly known as early mortality syndrome, or EMS. Here’s how EMS works: a bacteria enters the shrimp’s stomach. It kills the shrimp’s appetite, and causes the hepatopancreas—the shrimp’s two-in-one liver/pancreas wondergland—to release poisonous toxins. As the organ collapses, a secondary bacteria attacks. Within days, mortality rates in an aquaculture pond can reach 100 percent. The disease first emerged in China in 2009. From there, it crept south to Vietnam and Malaysia before unleashing a shrimpocalypse in Thailand, the world’s largest supplier of shrimp, in 2013. Thailand lost 40 percent of its stock to EMS in 2013.

So if you have to have your shrimp, get it wild caught. You get a choice: the ones from the Gulf of Mexico are tainted with oil and Corexit from the BP oil spill. The ones from the Pacific Northwest ... < ahref="">might merely be radioactive from Fukushima fallout.

If you are planning to eat wild-caught, cold-water shrimp, the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch has determined that your best overall choices in this category of shrimp are British Columbia spot prawns, California coonstripe shrimp (caught using submerged pots), and Oregon pink shrimp.

see here too

So, what’s on your barbie?



Posted by Drew458   United States  on 05/19/2014 at 07:13 PM   
Filed Under: • Climate-WeatherFine-Dining •  
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calendar   Tuesday - May 06, 2014

Mr. Dad, eater of Leftovers

I think it’s in the genes. Digging around in the fridge and finding leftovers “that need eating on”. It’s a dad thing. A guy thing. Heck, I do it too and I don’t even have children.

I grilled some rather thin pork chops the other night, and as always, I was out at the grill after dark. ( someday I hope to use the thing in daylight. I bet there’d be a lot less burning of meat then. ) I made up a smoke pack of hickory chips, which really added to the flavor. However, they came out a bit dry. She ate one. Didn’t want any more. Didn’t want the leftovers either.

So today I minced the remaining chop and most of the leftover vegetables, added a tablespoon of Sriracha sauce, and drowned it all under a can of Progresso Southwest Chicken soup. Which is a perfectly fine soup all by itself. But a big splat of Sriracha really wakes things up. And some nice smokey pork, now all moist and tender, only makes it better.

I feel like such a dad. Hey, I should go around the house turning down the thermostats and making sure all the lights are out. What, are we heating and illuminating the whole neighborhood?? No, you can’t have the car tonight! And put some clothes on young lady!!

Bipartisan Support For Sriracha Battle


Sriracha hot sauce has won the eager endorsement of politicians from both sides of the aisle in recent weeks as the manufacturer has talked about leaving Irwindale amid a regulatory battle over whether the plant sends a spicy smell into nearby neighborhoods.

Council members, state senators, a mayor or two and even members of Congress have weighed in in support of Sriracha in an unlikely piece of political theater over jobs and government interference.

Relocating the Sriracha factory, which relies on long relationships with local suppliers, would be expensive and time-consuming, and it’s unclear how seriously Chief Executive David Tran is considering a move.
But Tran has invited potential suitors to tour the factory in Irwindale. The idea of poaching the hot sauce has inflamed politicians’ imaginations across the country, especially in Texas, where officials are crowing over the news that Toyota will move its Torrance headquarters — and thousands of jobs — to Plano, outside Dallas. Later this month, Texas state Rep. Jason Villalba, a Republican, will lead a delegation from Texas to visit the Sriracha plant and make their case.

“#Sriracha may not be welcome in California, but you’d be welcomed with open arms and eager taste buds in Texas,” Rep. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) tweeted last week.

Republican gubernatorial candidate Neel Kashkari namechecked Sriracha on a recent tour of a charter school in Los Angeles.

“It is a greater symbol of the broader poor business climate, or hostile business climate, that we have in California. And it’s something the people can rally around,” Kashkari told reporters.
Tran’s narrative is irresistibly populist. An immigrant and refugee who followed an American dream from Vietnam to a small business in Chinatown, Tran has created an international sauce empire that rakes in more than $60 million in annual revenue. Then he ran into trouble with government regulation — namely, public nuisance laws in Irwindale.

Tran’s story has lent itself to Republican talking points about government overreach and lets local politicians take pro-jobs stances.

Love it. Sriracha = Freedom



Posted by Drew458   United States  on 05/06/2014 at 01:57 PM   
Filed Under: • Fine-Dining •  
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calendar   Wednesday - April 30, 2014

we’re all gonna die, but at least we’re happy

The rain is coming down in buckets here, and has been since last night.

We’re on the very, very ragged edge of major flooding.

Down town, the peaceful little Beaver Brook has sprung it’s banks and is now a raging torrent 100 yards wide. Where this “little” stream joins the South Branch (of the Raritan River) right on the south edge of town, is a massive field of white water, triple it’s normal width. Pretty scary.

With isolated heavy rainfall possible through early Thursday, the Weather Service issued a flood watch through this morning for the state’s northern and northwest regions, as well as for portions of eastern Pennsylvania.

“The flooding is definitely the primary concern,” said Carl Erickson, an Accuweather meteorologist in State College, Penn.

With the ground already soaked this evening, rising rivers were approaching their banks as runoff reached those waters, he said.

At 7 p.m., the Rahway River at Springfield and the Assunpink Creek at Trenton were at moderate flood stage, according to data from the Weather Service. Several others were at minor flooding stage, including the Passaic River at Chatham; the North Branch of the Raritan at North Branch Village; and the Millstone River at Griggstown.

The rain is “coming too hard, too fast” for runoff to seep into the ground, Erickson said.

Until today, April’s rainfall was slightly below average for most of the state, he said. This storm could double the amount for some regions.


The South Branch rises under my favorite old bridge, NE of Flemington

New Jersey is getting drenched today, with bands of heavy rain continuing to fall across the region — and more rain on the way tonight.
HUNTERDON COUNTY [rainfall for today, so far]

Readington: 3.26 inches (4:50 p.m.); Lambertville: 3.15 inches (4:43 p.m.); Wertsville: 2.00 inches (3:35 p.m.)

So we went out for sushi for dinner. Right next to the Beaver Brook (map ref 40.637220, -74.906817), the turgid brown waters nearly lapping at the back of the restaurant. Hey, I had to say that; how often do you get to write “turgid” and get away with it? grin And since it’s BYOB, we stopped in at the booze shop across the street first ... what shall we get, a Riesling or some sake? Hey, let’s get both!! So we settled for a genuine Gewürztraminer and a bottle of Momakowa Silver sake. And I got to use an umlaut, woo hoo!

Ok, a big platter of sushi and sashimi each later, comes with the crispy shrimp filled tempura roll, salad, and miso soup. Plus we always have to order something daring ... because part of the thrill of sushi is getting something really gross and then daring each other to eat it ... we got the baby octopus, which we haven’t had in years. A dozen or so little red octopussies, the size of a quarter, boiled bright red, their heads sliced open and stuffed with sesame and garlic and stuff. Chewy, and yumm!! They were out of monkfish liver, and we had the sea urchin and the raw scum shrimp last time.


Ordinarily, the gross-out factor here for roast baby octopus would be about a 6, a solid medium. But she’s Italian, so fried calamari (squid) is nothing new, and everyone in the family knows the tentacles are the best part. Plus, pulpo salad. Tentacles!! So for us, the octopus was about a 0.2 on that scale. But it freaked out the people at the table near us, and that’s what it’s all about.

So, we finished off the German wine, which had a nice crisp clean taste with a mild citrus finish. Perfect for cleaning up after seafood. Then we opened the sake, and had a few rounds of that. The Momakowa Silver is quite dry, and tastes not at all like low octane gasoline the way that certain famous cheap brand of sake in the green bottle tastes.

And it was a very nice dinner, down at our local Sea Kara sushi joint. It wasn’t Kumomoto Oyster night; that’s Friday. And they do a magnificent job thene, serving those soft gentle buttery good oysters topped with a tiny shred of fresh cilantro, a microspoon of flying fish roe, and a half spoon of brown sauce. Which is to die for. But not tonight. Tonight it was simple slabs of fish, straight up or on rice. And that was enough.

On the way out, the Beaver Brook was lapping at the back edge of their parking lot. And it’s still raining. Hard. ruh roh.

We, however, live on top of the hill. And we still have half a bottle of sake left.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 04/30/2014 at 07:24 PM   
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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