Archive for the ‘Cooking’ Category

Burning daylight

March 21, 2013

Today started and ended well, lightly toasted slices of metaphorical bread comprising an actual shit sandwich.

On arising I recalled that we had a huge slab of meaty Ranch Foods Direct bacon in the fridge, so breakfast included coffee, eggs over easy, American fried potatoes, buttery English muffins and great thick rashers of pigmeat. Your basic heart-attack special, but I like it.

My plans for the workday hinged on breaking a piece of new technology to harness, but despite a hearty breakfast I couldn’t even get my rope on it, much less my brand.

Being something of a persistent cuss — you may call it “obsessive-compulsive,” I call it “persistent” — I kept working at it, trying first this and then that and finally the other, all the while taking copious notes on each fresh dysfunction with an eye toward eventually tattooing same on someone using an icepick and ball-peen hammer, with a sack of wormy dogshit for ink.

Thus the hours passed and the daylight faded, and the technology breezily countered my every move. By late afternoon, which saw the mailperson deliver an overdue check for services rendered that was redeemable for slightly less than half the expected quantity of Dead President Trading Cards, I was at a rolling boil, hissing like a teakettle full of vipers, blistering steam boiling out of both ears.

Herself and I had earlier scheduled a joint birthday dinner with friends, so I stuck my head in the freezer, counted to a thousand in Irish, and off we went to The Blue Star, where the four of us ate all manner of good things while discussing music, metaphysics and literature. Also, we solved every last one of the world’s problems save mine (you’re welcome).

Now I’m hardly pissed off at all. But tomorrow is another day.

Boogers, bikes and beans

March 13, 2013

I don’t know whether it’s Daylight Saving Time, the death throes of my 2-week-old case of Snotlocker Surprise, or simply a matter of cranking out too much velo-journalism in too few hours, but I’m whupped.

Today I did manage to slip out for a short ride between chores, however, and it was delightfully refreshing. Sixty-something and sunny, with a light wind. A nearly perfect day, and it gave me a Madison sling to the finish line of this latest deadline cycle.

Back at the ranch, while finishing a column and cartoon for Bicycle Retailer and Industry News, I cooked up a pot of beans, pintos in chipotle chile, and with the roasted spuds in red chile that I made yesterday they will make a fine accompaniment to the chicken enchiladas in green chile that I will make tomorrow, right after another ride — a much longer, more leisurely outing than today’s.

The next two days I’m largely free of pressing responsibilities, a rare thing indeed lately, so I intend to take full advantage. I’m talking highs in the 60s and 70s, another unusual occurrence come March.

Now if I can just remember where I left my legs. Pale, thin, hairy … yes, two of them. They were here just a minute ago. …

One flu over the cuckoo’s nest

January 10, 2013

Tomorrow I will have had this friggin’ bug for a week and I can tell you the sonofabitch has most definitely overstayed its welcome.

I have launched two tureens of chicken noodle soup against the invader (“From hell’s heart I stab at thee; for hate’s sake I spit my last breath at thee.”) and yet it remains encamped upon my ribcage, brazenly flying its yellow-and-green Kleenex banners. Ptui.

Tomorrow I’m escalating to Scotch broth with kale. And after that, the B-52s.

New year, new recipe

January 1, 2013
Bacon-potato cake from "The Feed Zone Cookbook"

Bacon-potato cake from “The Feed Zone Cookbook”

Happy New Year to all you hungover old dogs out there. Here’s hoping you did not overdo it last night.

Herself and I actually made it to midnight, and I overslept for some reason, so breakfast turned into brunch. It being a new year, I test-flew a new recipe for bacon-potato cakes, from “The Feed Zone Cookbook” by Biju Thomas and Allen Lim.

It wasn’t bad, but was a shade bland for my taste, despite involving three of the four basic food groups (bacon, potato and cake). Next time around I’ll punch that sucker up with a little garlic, maybe some red chile powder, a bit of cumin, for sure some Mexican oregano. At the moment I’m kicking myself for not adding a dollop of the red chile sauce I made for enchiladas the other night. That would have put the old fire in the belly. Or the fire in the old belly. Whatever.

Speaking of things that need punching up (or out) I see “our” elected representatives in the nation’s capital have been up to the usual not much beyond redefining upward the definition of “middle class.” We seem to be a few hundred thousand short of that particular finish line, which is probably why the prez never replies to my brunch invitations.

You can read more than you care to about the fiscal-cliff shenanigans at:

• The Maddow Blog (Steve Benen).

• The Atlantic (Matthew O’Brien).

• Political Animal (Ed Kilgore).

• The Nation (William Greider).

The days of wine and hoses

December 27, 2012
Tavel rosé

This Tavel rosé pairs well with food. It’s also pretty damn’ nice all by its lonesome.

We shipped Herself the Elder back to Tennessee this morning, or so we thought.

Her flight out of Bibleburg, slated for 10:45 a.m., didn’t go wheels up until 12:30 p.m. And her connector in Dallas was canceled, so she’s camped in the Dallas airport awaiting another. If she’s lucky she’ll be back in the loving bosom of her cats at midnight.

Meanwhile, Herself the Younger is driving home from Denver in a light snow and cursing like a sailor, because she (a) hates driving in the dark, (2) hates driving in the snow, and (iii) hates driving in the snow in the dark.

Only I am left unscathed to tell the tale, because I have the great good fortune to be unemployable and thus possessed of abundant leisure to motor hither and thither in the daylight, when it is not snowing. Thus did I hie me to the grog shop, fortified by a largish check for making things up, thence to restock the wine rack stripped bare by our Yuletide revelry.

Now I’m sipping a tart Tavel rosé and sifting mentally through the available leftovers: quite a bit of posole; the makings for a short round of tacos de papas con chorizo; some pintos in chipotle chile; the underpinnings for a second round of beef enchiladas on red chile, save the sauce.

Posole, tacos and beans it is. Even a slacker deserves a day off.

Nibbles gets gobbled

April 22, 2012
Ike's tomb on Earth Day 2012

The Tomb of Chairman Meow has a fine color guard for Earth Day 2012.

Vince Nibbles, as Andrew Hood calls Vincenzo Nibali, nearly won Liège-Bastogne-Liège today.

When Nibbles went away atop the Cote de la Roche aux Faucons, Philippe Gilbert suddenly looked like he’d just taken a big hit from a spoiled bidon and the chase was as well organized as the House Democratic caucus. When Nibbles had 46 seconds in hand all the smart folks pretty much figured that was that.

And then Maxim Iglinskiy chased him down like Nibbles owed him money, and that really was that — the Sicilian was racing for second with just over a klick to go, and Astana was en route to picking up its second big win in a week after Enrico Gasparotto won last Sunday’s Amstel Gold. Gasparatto made the podium here, too, finishing third. Good times.

Good times here today, too. We’re looking at a sunny 60-something with light winds, and having already arranged for dinner — leftovers from last night’s killer stew of green chile, pork, onions, garlic and spuds — I have plenty of time to ride. Only one chore remains, the completion of an overdue column for Bicycle Retailer and Industry News. Some days these things practically write themselves; others, it’s like trying to drive ten-penny nails into mahogany using an old banana for a hammer.

Post-birthday nose meets same old grindstone

March 29, 2012

A thousand thank-yous to all who proffered happy-birthday wishes instead of death threats.

The festivities began with a pleasant two-hour bike ride — headwind out, tailwind back — and concluded with a high-speed burst of cookery after Herself invited the neighbors over.

We’ve been to their house for eats a couple of times, but had yet to reciprocate, so never having cooked for them I stuck with my basic skill set — a simple pico de gallo with blue corn chips followed by a pot of pintos in chipotle, which I turned into burritos smothered in hot Pueblo green chile with a side of roasted potatoes in red Chimayo chile.

Herself contributed a salad and a delicious raspberry cobbler. Beer and wine were consumed, along with a dollop of uisce beatha. Laughter ensued, and a fine time was had by all, except for the Turk’, who despises company, especially if it includes an aggro’ Chihuahua named Cujo.

Now it’s deadline time at the DogHaus, and somebody around here needs to get real funny real fast. We didn’t spend much on my birthday, but the White Tornado has a new fuel pump and the upstairs toilet has new guts, and Toyota mechanics and plumbers don’t work for free.

Black Irish, or ‘Who’s Your Paddy?’

March 17, 2012
Guinness and Bushmills

Guinness is good for you. So is Bushmills. They both make the sidewalk softer.

A very happy St. Patrick’s Day to you and yours. Herself and I cycled downtown to catch a bit of the annual parade, and the video clip above represents our unanimous pick for Dudes Having the Most Fun.

This particular parade entry was sponsored by a pub, Tony’s Downtown Bar. And while it could easily be construed as racist, I’m gonna give ’em a pass, because I almost always find dudes in gorilla suits funny for some unknown reason. It’s a weakness.

Now I’m back at the ranch and fueling up for a bit of holiday cookery — a simple Irish stew involving lamb, potatoes and other tasty bits. Herself is sipping a Smithwick’s and fiddling with some video of her own.

The evening’s entertainment will consist of The Pogues, The Chieftains and “The Commitments,” with a little Frank O’Connor for bedtime reading. And tomorrow, we suffer — not just from having a drop taken, but from the return of March in its traditional form, which is to say windy and chilly. Saints preserve us.

Careful, señores — hot plate!

March 8, 2012
Breakfast burrito (or the lack thereof)

Please, sir, may I have some more?

Underemployment packs a little less sting when one has a freezer full of green chile, pasture-raised pork and free-range beef, all of it sourced less than 75 miles from home. The wolf is out there, all right, but he’s not at the door. Not yet.

Last night I grilled a sirloin from our steer, boiling and buttering a few russet potatoes to keep it company (Herself assembled the salad). This morning the leftovers — augmented by scrambled eggs, a sharpish cheddar and a fiery green chile sauce I made the other day — became a pair of massive breakfast burritos smothered in green.

Sorry about the picture, but mine looked so good I ate it at once without a thought for photography.

Tahoe, Sacramento and excremento

February 25, 2012
Chevy Tahoe

Dig the giant hunk of Detroit iron Herself is driving to Function Junction. And yes, the Death Star is a rental, not a keeper. I've lived in smaller houses.

Ahh … another Saturday unsullied by work for vampire capitalists. Doesn’t pay worth a damn, but it has its advantages nonetheless.

For example, today we’re looking at a high in the mid-50s, which strikes me as pretty good cycling weather. And there are containers of freshly made green chile sauce, chili con carne and vegetable beef soup in the ’fridge, so the day’s eating is more or less taken care of — assuming I don’t decide to assemble some chicken enchiladas to slide under that green chile come dinnertime.

The trick will be to stay far away from the computer, wherein all the evil tidings dwell. There remain four red-ass baboons running for the GOP pestilential nomination — ook ook ook chee chee chee! — and they are flinging dung at each other with a will in advance of Tuesday’s primaries in Arizona and Michigan.

There’s plenty to do around here without all that smelly old shit. Herself is off to Function Junction for a couple of days to handle some library business, and Bouncing Buddy Banzai the Spinning Japanese Wonder Chin has managed to FUBAR his right eye, which requires the application of various pills and potions, and eventually surgery.

Poor little dude has not had much luck with the medicos. Neither have we. Every time we take him to the vet I hear the sound of someone’s Mercedes payment being made. Cha-ching!

Once Herself gets back, I’m off — to the North American Handmade Bicycle Show in Sacramento. Never been to one before and I’m looking forward to it, if only because I’m in dire need of a road trip, some sort of Gathering of the Tribes. Plus there will be editors there, and occasionally where one finds editors, one finds paying work.

What I’d really like to do is hit the Arizona desert for a week of running and riding. But since that pays, um, not at all, an actual play date may have to wait until I unearth another patron of the velo-arts or two or three.

It’ll certainly have to wait until after the primary. You couldn’t pay me to set foot in the state until someone’s policed up all that GOP poo.


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