Friday, November 25, 2011

Sad note

Lynn Margulis, wife of Carl Sagan, died Tuesday from complications of a stroke she suffered a week earlier.  She was a visionary scientist and an inspiration to those of us who believe in Gaia.


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Chicken again?

Right now I'm sitting back with a Martini made with homemade Tanguerey, having just taken a much needed nebulizer treatment and getting ready to watch an episode of "Burn Notice" on Netflix via my Wii.  I had to take the Nebulizer treatment a couple of hours early because like the beer bellied lung challenged ignoramus that I am, I ate five large chicken drumsticks along with a big scoop of leftover rice and broccoli with a cheese sauce.  My stomach is full pressing against my traitorous lungs, I'm struggling for breath and I'm smiling.  Content that even though I can't breathe, I have got a recipe for fried/baked chicken I am truly proud of.  This link KFC-Original-Recipe-Fried-Chicken-Recipe  Will provide the herbs mixture.  I don't use the eggs.  And it doesn't need that much sugar, tends to darken to much.  I marinate the chicken overnight in Buttermilk and Sirachi sauce, then when I'm ready to cook I wipe off the buttermilk and dust the chicken with the herb/spice mixture, Dump what's left of the herbs into a paper bag with a cup and a half of all purpose flour and shake the chicken to coat with flour and fry till deeply golden.....Stay hungry my friends.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Mashed Potatoes for Thanksgiving

My family has a tradition that any Thanksgiving that goes by without starch saturation is a criminal shame.  We always have Mashed Potatoes and Sweet Potatoes or Yams.  I mean we made all that Turkey Gravy, hate to see it go to waste.  Here at Camp Massawomee Mashed Potatoes has become a two person project.  I use a ricer, if you don't have one run, don't walk, to the Kitchen Store nearest you and buy one.   Use Idaho/Russet potatoes.  Bake them,,don't peel them and boil them in water.  You bake them and then, cut each in half, insert cut side down into the ricer.  Rice, then remove the skin from the's where the help comes in,,,hand to the person who is going to coat the skin with butter, salt and pepper and Parmesan Cheese.  You rice the other halve of the potato and so it goes.  Add butter to the riced potatoes,,,,use plenty of butter this is a thanksgiving feast, the emphasis is on feast.  up to halve and halve by weight.  Then add your scalded milk to adjust for texture, salt and pepper to taste, and then any add ins to vary the taste, though they are not really needed.  Lately I've been adding boiled/baked parsnips, and Sour Cream/Cheese of your choice, roasted garlic is great too.  The Potato Skins are neatly flattened by the ricer and are a tasty treat with the Turkey Feast..   This Thursday I'm giving thanks to my daughter Lori for Emily Elizabeth, and to the VA for taking me in and giving me health care.  I'm sure the doctors there wouldn't approve of all the butter I'm going to use on Turkey day, but damn it's only one day.  Oh and them leftover potatoes with a bit of added corn starch make for some  delicious sauteed pancakes for breakfast Friday morning a change of pace from home fries..

Saturday, November 12, 2011

I like fried Chicken

     Like a great many people, I like Chicken.  I've had it Baked and Broiled, Roasted and Stewed. Cacciatori and Marengo,  Creamed Chicken on Biscuit.  Chicken Soup to soothe  the  soul.  Of all the was to prepare Chicken the one I like the best, the method that makes me salivate the most when just thinking about it is Fried.  Both my parents made great tasting Fried Chicken,  mom's being brighter and livelier on the tongue that Dad's deep full Chicken flavor.  Both used just salt and pepper and flour.  How they made their chicken taste so different I never learned, though I was in the kitchen many times while it was being prepared.  I've never been able to duplicate the taste of their chicken, and I've tried so many myriad of times.
     I've collected many books on food, a couple exclusively devoted to Fried Chicken, but still haven't come up with an acceptable "recipe".   Oh I don't throw any of it out,,even when fried chicken is bad, it's still good enough to eat.  What I've been looking for is that taste that compels you eat the meat and suck on the bones to get every last bit of goodness the chicken has to offer.
     I was channel surfing the other day and came across a show "Top Secret Recipe". Synopsis: a guy and a food truck travel around and try to duplicate famous chain food, i.e. Domino's Pizza or the Outback's Blooming Onion.    I Tivo'd the shows and lo one was KFC.  He travels to KFC headquarters and talks with the corporation's President and the head of food research, getting nothing from either save that the chicken is cooked in x oil in a pressure cooker.  But he also went to see the Colonel's last personal secretary.  And there he learned that the Colonel had confided to her that his mother had told him when he was little that Sage and Savory were critical for good fried chicken.
I remembered that the next time I went to Kroger's in Bridgeport and bought a bottle of savory.  Trust me on this reader's Sage and Savory are critical for Fried Chicken.  I hate to Fry chicken in the house when it's closed up, too much grease in the air, coupled with my bad lungs makes a bad situation. So I baked a batch of drumsticks.  I know it was baked not fried, but then I ate a full meal of asparagus,a fair portion of  long grain and wild rice, and all five of the drumsticks.  I had prepared them on a rimmed cookie sheet on parchment paper.  My stomach distended from the meal and quite uncomfortable having a hard time breathing from the pressure on my lungs,  I peeled the congealed juices that had leaked out of the bone ends from the parchment and savored them one by one till there was no evidence that chicken had ever been prepared save for the faint odor left in the kitchen and my upstairs bedroom when I took my much needed nap after dinner.

I don't have  a recipe, but I know how a made the chicken,,,and it starts with an overnight soak in Buttermilk dosed with Sirachi hot sauce.  Wiping the excess marinade off the next day and dusting the chicken with a mixture of sage, savory, black pepper, poultry seasoning, salt, turbanado sugar, garlic  powder, and cayenne pepper.  Then shaking the herb crusted chicken  in a paper bag with Kentucky Kernal seasoned flour.   400 degree oven for 20 minutes, turn, then 20 minutes
more.  Out of the oven, rest for 5 minutes, then scarf, snorph, gobble  the goodness.  Can't wait to buy some Crisco,  get out the electric skillet and try the recipe fried.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

This weekend sucks

1.  First off the bat is North Marion getting blitzed by No. 1 Bridgeport.
2.  The Mountaineers get stunned by Louisville.  As I'm typing this I'm watching Louisville/WVU Big East          Soccer Championship game.   Most of the girls on the field would make better kickers than what we have.  And Casteel better get his head on straight.  If it wasn't for Irvin there wouldn't be any defense.
3.  Homeboy Nick Saban goes down at home in Tuskaloosa.
4.  While the Falcons eked out a win over State,,and are on track for a 7-3 season,,,I haven't seen any of the games.
5.  Surely the Steelers can squeeze out a win later this afternoon against the hated Ravens......please, Please, Please
6.  By the way the Mountaineers are ahead One to Zip at the half...Go EERS.

7.  Okay so maybe it's not so bad....Lady Mountaineers Soccer team are back to back Big East Soccer score  2 to 0.   Go EERS.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Murmuration, Murmuration, Murmuration

Follow the link below and be ready to be blown away.

Two women in a canoe happen upon a flock of starlings.

I would like to say something here,,,,but I have no words.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Grey's Anatomy

I can't remember how I came across Grey's Anatomy, I don't watch much broadcast mainstream TV. But when  I  opted in for Netflix,  the first thing I began watching was Grey's Anatomy.   Now I've watched pretty much every episode and I'm in the middle of season 7.  After 100 + episodes it's fairly safe to say that I wouldn't send my pet snail to Seattle Grace Hospital.  This soap opera with very high production values has opened my eyes to many issues confronting modern medicine and society, and done it with style and grace.  At times the plots are predictable and seemingly trite and just at that moment "Bang" the shooter kills the first doctor and proceeds to attempt to kill the hospital.   But what really bugs me about the show is that sometime during every episode something happens and tears begin to well up in my eyes and my vision blears and I cuss under my breath, for they have touched me deep inside and I have reacted with empathy for the characters.  I know it's all make believe,,,,but the emotions engendered are real and they  feel human after all.

That said, the garden is done for the year, though there's a couple of tomato volunteers that started really late and are just putting buds on.    Winter is upon us, so spring is just a season away.

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