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The Best Food Joke of all Time

If you want to start an argument, ask who is the comic GOAT (greatest of all time). Evidence submitted: Richard Pryor. As comedy fans know, Pryor once set himself on fire while free-basing cocaine. His response was to turn it it into a comedy routine involving milk and cookies.

Let me tell you what really happened… Every night before I go to bed, I have milk and cookies. One night I mixed some low-fat milk and some pasteurized, then I dipped my cookie in and the shit blew up.

Richard Pryor

He had a zinger to finish this bit:

I’m not addicted to coke, i just love the way it smells

Richard Pryor

Pure genius.

Kitchen Invasion, Part Six: Eastern Red Cedar Rolling Cart

Rolling Invasion

Because everyone needs a piece of kitchen furniture in their living room, our new rolling cart currently lives in there. Its original home was the bathroom, an even stranger place for kitchen furniture. It didn’t stay there long before it was put to use.

The design is very loosely based on a piece that is being sold by an Amish furniture shop. I made it more complicated than necessary, as it ended up with about twenty different parts. However, all those parts make it incredibly sturdy. The wheels roll so well I’m thinking about entering it in the next Talladega 500.

The first time we used it it worked a a portable table that was covered in pizza makings. Next week it turns into a corporate cart, as Melaine has to organize a whole series of conference calls, and needs the extra workspace. It should be able to take the abuse–the finish is a no VOC water based polyurethane, hard enough to be used on gym floors. Over that is an equally hard floor polish. Corporate America is on notice.

A Floating Dairy in the Netherlands

Thomas Jefferson, during his travels through Europe, found the Dutch to be the most prosperous people there, unlike France, and the kingdoms of Germany, where the hated aristocracy hogged up all the cash. They have proved it once again, by having the world’s first floating dairy farm in Rotterdam. They are so clever, as are the journalists of Agence France-Presse, who reported this story.

Talk about vertical integration, and this barge has it. Three stories, with the dairy cows on the top. The middle floor is for cheese, yogurt, and butter making. The bottom floor is to age the cheese. The whole thing goes up and down with the tide, though the owners say that the cows don’t get sea sick.

It only gets better. The cows eat surplus food, such as leftover grapes, grass clippings, and barley from a brewery. No commercial feed needed. The cow stuff becomes pelletized fertilizer, and the cow pee is recycled, astronaut style, into drinking water. The inputs are miniscule.

The Dutch government thought the farmers who came up with this idea were crazy. What they were was crazy smart.

A Pizza Hut and Three AK-47s

As someone who spent an entire two months working at a fast food joint, every year at this time I have to celebrate the anniversary of the great Pizza Hut heist. This particular robbery involved three young women who were teenagers, all of whom were packing AKs.

The locale was Bessemer, Alabama, part of the Birmingham Metroplex. When you have a new AK, the impulse is to use it, so they decided to knock over the local Pizza Hut. And they were not after the bread sticks.

The news for this trio went from bad to worse. Anyone who has worked in retail lately knows that hardly anyone pays cash–it’s all on the plastic. The teenager’s reward was twenty something bucks and change, which they promptly lost in the parking lot. Then the police, who must have mistaken the Hut for a doughnut shop, nailed them right away.

Moral of this story? Don’t mess with the Hut in this state. It’s enough to make Mikhail Kalashnikov proud.

Genovese Style Pesto

Bring Out the Marinara Sauce

Munich has a Beethoven Ambassador, the brilliant young pianist Sophie Pacini, but Genoa in Italia has a Pesto Ambassador, one Roberto Panizza. Pesto alla Genovese even carries a special designation from the Italian government. Leave it to the Italians.

I am all out of basilico Genovese, the only basil officially allowed for their genuine pesto, so I made this with just garden variety sweet basil. I also substitued sunflower seed kernels for the mandated pine nuts.

Ingredients

Basil leaves, enough to pack a Food Processor

Sunflower Seed Kernels

2 cloves Garlic

2 pinches coarse Sea Salt

Time to turn this into a paste. Give it a few buzzes with the processor. There isn’t a lot else that these things are good for.

Add the following.

1 cup grated hard Cheese

The standard cheeses are parmesan and peccorino, but all I had was piave, so I used that. Buzz that in, then start to drizzle in olive oil. Keep adding until you get the consistency you want–the current standard is a paste. Then I preserve mine by freezing them in an old ice tube tray, and then storing the cubes in a zip-lock freezer bag. Then my processor gets a break for another week or more.

The framework for this recipe comes from Panizza himself, and an interview he gave to Domenica Marchetti for the book Preserving Italy. That’s why the man is the Pesto Ambassador.

Remedial Linguistics–The Difference Between Weary and Wary

Though this is really a post about not drinking bleach or taking medicine intended for livestock, both of them point to the pitiful state of American education. This headline is from CNN today.

New mother who was weary of vaccine while pregnant dies of covid before holding newborn.

CNN

Don’t drink bleach, take your dogs heartworm medicine, or your cow’s de-wormer, and for god’s sake, get a dictionary, CNN. Also try looking at it.

Creole Grillades and Fresh Peas

Before the Swallowtails Eat All the Parsley

This is a close copy of the Grillade recipe in The Picayune’s Creole Cookbook. As I cannot follow any instructions, I added one ingredient.

Ingredients

One cube Steak, cut into small pieces

Bacon Fat

1/2 Onion, Diced

1 clove Garlic

1 tablespoon Flour

2 medium Tomatoes, milled

Chicken Stock

Salt and Pepper

Chopped Parsley

To start, cook the onions in the bacon fat. Add the garlic, and cook for a few seconds. The addition of the flour makes the roux–brown it properly. Add the steak, and cook for about a minute. Finally add the tomatoes and chicken stock for something of a creole sauce. The parsley is garnish.

We use LA rice to go with this, and we just bought a basket of perfectly fresh pink eye purple hull peas. What we didn’t eat went into the frizzer for the winter. We are the ants in the Ant and Grasshopper fable, as we also buy twenty pounds of rice at a time. We just about need a bigger frizzer.

Eastern Red Cedar Bench

Karma is being unkind to the unvaccinated, and rightly so, but gave us a truck load of Eastern Red Cedar lumber. Actually, it was my in-laws, who we have practically buried with free eggs. This tree grew on the same property where Melanie Jane grew up.

I’ve never made something this large from slab lumber, so I made sure it would not fall apart–the stretcher is through tenoned and held together with a tusk wedge.

It Really Came with that Burl

I still have to finish the ends of the slab. The other leg on the bench is full of heavy-osity.

Not Going Anywhere

The finish is super blonde shellac, though I think super blonde is Melanie’s nickname at her office. ESPN has a similar looking coffee table made of red cedar in their main studio, but they painted the live edge with gold glitter paint. There really is no accounting for taste.

Hop Hornbeam Knife Block

Live Edge or Free Edge?

After this piece of Hop Hornbeam log rolled around on the floor of my shop for a good couple of years, I had had enough. Then we began buying these French made Laguiole utensils, and the answer appeared. Make a knife block out of it.

A few vertical cuts with the miter saw, and some walnut spacers, and the job was done. I had just bought a Swiss-designed Bessey web clamp, and it will hold practically any shaped object tight while the glue dries. The Swiss, they are so clever.

Hop Hornbeam grows on our property, and this is from one specimen that expired during a two month drought. It’s incredibly strong and heavy as a sea anchor, so this is not likely to tip over. Those are steak knives and cheese knives, and one sliced my finger open while making this. That’ll learn me.

Turkey Schnitzel with Shoestring Potatoes and Fried Egg

A Stack

Twice a week I am dispatched into a land that is riddled with followers of the VLF–the Virus Liberation Front. Mask-less marauders are legion, but I am an expert at evasion, and they rarely come within ten feet of me. If one tries to, I give them the dreaded contemptuous stare of disapproval.

Let’s have a celebration, a classic German dish, to honor the Fauci ouchie shots. I’ll be ready for the booster in a few months. Schnitzel time!

Ingredients

Two Turkey breast cutlets

1/2 cup of bread crumbs

1 Egg

Pork fat and olive oil, for frying

Schnitzel-izing the Turkey breast is actually the middle thing you want to do. Cook these first.

One Large Tater, Precious

The tater is peeled and sliced with a mandolin–not the musical kind. I have to have some pork fat to cook mine in. As with all taters, don’t forget the salt. This is the base layer the schnitzel rests on.

The last stage is to fry two eggs for the top layer, and these are from our birds. I always fry eggs in olive oil, though that is looked down upon by some experts. Fine, experts, just don’t come to our house looking for some eggs. Make them as runny as you like as well.

The VLF reminds me of an actual group, the ALF, or Animal Liberation Front. I can only look at their website a couple of times a year, because I am still too young to die from a terminal fit of laughing. ALF is a group of militant Vegans, whose goal is to liberate all the livestock on Earth. Their home page formally featured an attractive young woman wearing a Ninja suit, holding a pink nosed bunny that she had no doubt liberated from some tyrant’s rabbit hutch.

They are also the topic of a magnificent short story, “Carnal Knowledge,” where a group of them attempt to liberate an entire farm full of Turkeys. The narrator, who is something of a dipstick, gets trampled by an whole building of gobblers, and finds himself face down in a pile of Turkey shit. Naturally, all the liberated Turkeys end up being run over by a semi.

Irony rules. Let’s just hope the VLF don’t get their hands on a vial of Smallpox virus.

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