Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Carnival of the Curmudgeons - Mark Four

Enough of this "standby for orders" style. We're going to start this Carnival with a recipe. If you're a curmudgeon, you know that any food may be eaten at any meal. To do otherise would be, well, French.


Remarks: I eat a lot of chicken. My docs don't like it when I eat red meat more than a couple of times a week. Something about clogged arteries (which I don't have, I walked on the treadmill today and never got a pulse rate over 110 and got the treadmill up to 3.5 mph and kept it there).

About 5 days ago, I roasted a huge fryer, it was almost 6#. When the Mrs and I ate the first two meals off it, we ate the dark parts and very little of the breast, so I had this huge-breasted chicken left over in the fridge. Hmmmm. What to do. My eyes take in other things: some leftover green beans, some leftover asparagus, a half a tub of salsa casera, some chicken broth. Yep, time for a slumgullion. Defined as a "watery meat stew". Yep. You use your imagination here with the ingredients. Damn near anything you have around. I've known a few curmudgeons who keep a slumgullion pot going and just keep pitching leftovers into it, renewing the spices and herbs, and keep it going for weeks. It changes, so you don't get tired of it.

Preparation: Pull the chicken off the carcass. Cut into bite-sized pieces, set aside. Yield, 1 1/2-2#
Cut up the asparagus, the green beans and a zuchinni I found getting soft in the veggie drawer. Set aside. Break up 5 dried Shiitake Forest Mushrooms (or other flavorful type) and set aside.

To an 8-12 qt pot, add 40 oz of chicken broth (if you're using white meat, you don't get good broth from it). Heat to boiling. Add to the boiling broth 1 1/2 cups of small macaroni (don't get Italian on me and ask what size number). Start stirring so the macaroni doesn't stick. DO I HAVE TO TELL YOU HOW TO COOK MACARONI? I hope not. Chuck in the meat, the 'shrooms, the cut-up veggies, 12 ounces of salsa casera, 1 1/2 tbsp minced garlic and 1 1/2 tbsp of Season-All. Boil moderately on Med-Hi heat, but stir so it doesn't stick. Always stir the pot. Heh!

Where are the herbs, you ask. Good, you're paying attention. If you had a mom who taught you to cook, and she taught you to chuck the herbs in the stew along with every thing that needed cooking, she done you wrong, bub. You don't "pitch" the herbs until you have 5 minutes left in the cooking process, BECAUSE THAT'S ALL THE LONGER HERBS CAN TAKE BEING COOKED! They lose their flavor after that. So, when the macaroni is done, the veggies tender (the meat is already cooked), you throw in 1 1/2 tbsp of ground sage, 1 1/2 tbsp of flake Oregano and 3 tablespoons of ground Rosemary THAT YOU JUST MILLED FROM DRIED ROSEMARY NEEDLES. In your spice mill. If you don't have a spice mill, you'll have to hand rub the rosemary a pinch at a time. Finally, just before you turn off the fire, pitch in another 1 1/2 tbsp of minced garlic (the first garlic has just about cooked away, but you will have a garlic base AND a garlic presentation if you split the garlic into front and back doses.

Dip a bowl of it out, sit down to the table and spoon it into your maw. Goes down well with a Deschutes Brewery Mirror Pond Ale, but would be OK with a robust red wine. Nice with some fresh French Bread if you have it. The crusty kind. Dip it into the soup. Have a salad if you feel inclined, or some Kim Chee if you're partial to Asian food.

This classifies as a "light" meal, as it will have virtually no fat. It has veggies and garlic, both of which you can boast about next time your doc asks you what you've been eating lately. Eat as many bowls of it as you want. This batch would have served at least 8.

OK, we curmudgeons have eaten, and since it was light meal, we don't have to strap on a 1911, grap the pooch-pounding stick and take a walk around the neighborhood to work it off, so here's the rest of the Carnival.

Mr. Completely leads off with a post griping about the recent transplants to the Northwest who aren't handling the straight month of rain we've had up here well. He points out that if you're a NW curmudgeon, you're supposed to have Web Feet, and all this damp and gloom and mud doesn't faze you, it delights you.

On a controversial note, I postulate that we curmudgeons want to die when we want to die, and not have some maybe-well-meaning grandkids or the nanny state trying to prolong our miserable existence at the end. To that end, the Supreme Court did all of us a favor, and particularily those of us curmudgeons here in Oregon who can presently take advantage of the Death With Dignity Act. Your mileage may vary, especially if you are a Religious Curmudgeon.

The Golden Globe Awards were held this week. They are about as significant as a fart in a hurricane, but they tell us who are enemies are, so I wrote about it. Here's my link.

Then Curmudgeon Emeritus, GuyK of Charming, Just Charming, cuts loose on "poverty" a favorite subject this time of year because Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr was big on it. He had it half right, the evil in our world is poverty AND ignorance. You can be poor and worth your salt, but if you're ignorant, money won't help.

Then the Perfesser warns us of an impending fuel price rise.

On a sad note, FN Herstal, the fine Belgian firearms conglomerate which owns the Winchester name and brand, announced that it will either immediately sell or close the last Winchester factory. You could say that Winchester is Winchester (the term is fighter pilot slang for out of gun ammo).

But, we'll end on a happy curmudgeon note, with this joke, sent to me by the EllTee, a SD curmudgeon:

A young boy went up to his grandfather, a curmudgeon who lived with the family, and asked him, "Granpa, what is the difference between potentially and realistically?"

The grandfather thought for a moment, then answered, "Go ask your mother if she would sleep with Brad Pitt for a million dollars. Then ask your sister if she would sleep with Brad Pitt for a million dollars, and then, ask your brother if he'd sleep with Brad Pitt for a million dollars. Come back and tell me what you learn from that."

So the boy went to his mother and asked, "Would you sleep with Brad Pitt for a million dollars?" The mother replied, "Of course I would! We could really use that money to fix up the house and send you kids to a great University!"

The boy then went to his sister and asked, "Would you sleep with Brad Pitt for a million dollars?" The girl replied, "Oh my God! I LOVE Brad Pitt I would sleep with him in a heartbeat, are you nuts?!?!?"

The boy then went to his older brother and asked, "Would you sleep with Brad Pitt for a million dollars?" "Of course," the brother replied. "Do you know how much a million bucks would buy?"

The boy pondered the answers for a few days, then went back to his granddad. His grandfather asked him, "Did you find out the difference between potentially and realistically?"

The boy replied, "Yes... Potentially, you and I are sitting on Three Million Dollars..............but Realistically,......... we're living with two Sluts and a Queer."


Blogger GUYK said...

Winchester closing down? Tell me it ain't so.

Damn, I sure wish I had kept my Model 70 30.06 even if it was a shoulder buster.


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