Jul 18 2012

Hold The Lettuce

Tag: food & drink,stupidityDonna B. @ 9:49 pm

I don’t patronize Burger King much, but it’s been years since I’ve ordered or made (for myself) a sandwich of any kind with lettuce.  This story isn’t likely to change my mind about that.

“This is the lettuce you eat at Burger King,” wrote the unnamed employee on the evening of July 16. Guess he thought that was funny. Other users weren’t laughing: according to Hypervocal.com,Anonymous, the notorious vigilante hacking group, used GPS data embedded in the photo to locate the fast food restaurant’s address and reportedly contacted the franchise and FoxNews8. “Whoever this is is getting fired,” a morning shift manager named Andrea, told the Cleveland Scene.

If I were the owner of that franchise, I’d be looking closely at the rest of the crew that person worked with, including the manager. That sort of behavior doesn’t usually occur in isolation.

Hold the Lettuce

Jun 30 2012


Feline of the Damned

Just frickin’ frack it

Is it worth the trouble? For Swedish meatballs, yes. Here’s AVI’s suggested recipe.

I’m way behind on my allotted conspiracy theories.

The Conspiracy Meme

The origin of hippies. (via Assistant Village Idiot)

What? Germs don’t come from Germany?

Everything old is new again, sort of. How Instapundit is like Paul Harvey. (via Instapundit, of course) Here’s an example of how Instapundit doesn’t even try to be like Paul Harvey.

Does Justice Roberts have the Judgment of Solomon? Alas, probably not.

A visit to a small Texas town honoring a local born celebrity — Conan the Barbarian. How could anyone not want to go a festival named “Barbarian Days”?

“…don’t treat a fever.  Avoid perplexed sclerosis. And breathe normally my friends.

Apr 02 2012

But I Want It All

Tag: food & drink,grandchildren,my family,nostalgiaDonna B. @ 9:11 pm

All the favorites. All the traditions.

It’s hard when my immediate family is now so far apart. When we get together, we tend to try to do too much to make sure we at least touch on everyone’s favorite thing.

And try as we might, we can’t all seem to get together in one place ever anymore. Someone always can’t make it. A few are gone from us in all but spirit. In one sad way, they’ll be making more family get-togethers than before.

This Easter weekend, my daughters, one son-in-law, my sister, and of course my incredibly sweet, beautiful, handsome grandchildren are spending approximately 30 hours together at my father’s house.

My step-mom is not in the best of health right now, so us young ‘uns are doing the work: planning, shopping, cooking, etc.

Planning! How can we fit 50 years of holiday traditions into 30 hours? And that’s just the menu…

So far, we’ve eliminated fried shrimp, hash browns, and homemade bread… but  added mushrooms, steak, bearnaise sauce, and Lucky Charms. (I’m in charge of the Lucky Charms. I even volunteered for the job.)

Mar 29 2012

What’s This World Coming To?

Tag: economics,food & drink,my family,random miscellanyDonna B. @ 11:21 am

Went out for brunch with my husband (who is recovering nicely from his surgery) this morning at R.J.’s. It’s between a Mexican restaurant and payday cash loan place featuring a drive-thru window.

Yep… a drive-thru window at a payday cash loan company.

Jan 08 2012

Random Blogging

Tag: books,food & drink,religion,whiningDonna B. @ 10:21 pm

My title is worthy of a creative award, don’t you think?


Reading a decent freebie Kindle murder mystery, I’m annoyed at the carelessness of the author. One night it’s moonless after a storm clears intimating a certain time of the month. The next night it’s a 3/4 moon. I feel mislead by the first description of the weather and lack of clarification of whether it was cloudy.

This one is better than some of the other free novels. At least the author manages to keep his characters’ names straight. I would have been happier with some waxing accuracy instead of waning. I would have been impressed had the author described it as a gibbous moon.


Via DrX, Buying the Body of Christ. In that excellent essay about how the communion wafer entered the capitalist marketplace, there’s a mention of a “Chasid Cup” which I didn’t find a link to but I did find the “Celecup” which also packages the grape juice and wafer together in easy single servings:

  • No Special Preparation Required
  • No Refrigeration Necessary
  • Three – Six Month extended shelf life
  • Time Saved During Church Services
  • Strict Hygienic Packaging Standards
  • Allows For Communion In a Variety of Settings
  • Can Be Transported Without Spillage
  • Sized For Standard Communion Trays

I think it’s “Time Saved During Church Services” that is really strange. “Andale, andale… we haven’t got all morning ya know!” Followed by an admonishment not to litter and maybe a reminder to help the arthritics who may not get theirs opened quickly enough.

Nothing above is meant to disparage Christianity, but I cannot imagine ever being comfortable or feeling worshipful in a church that used this product on a regular basis, especially one that used it to save time.


I’m not sure why my husband decided to buy a bottle of Glenfiddich 15 year old Scotch for me, but I’m grateful. It is very nice. And it follows the Christmas gift of Samalens XO Armagnac from my sister. Y’all keep this up and I’m not going to be satisfied with box wines.


“So we let him sleep it off…”


Jul 26 2011

Soylent Green, Red, Orange, and Purple Is People!

Tag: brains,food & drink,Science, Medicine, etc.Donna B. @ 8:08 pm

Well, not exactly.

Though surely we will see “jello pop science” as a Wheel of Fortune  Before and After puzzle.

Developments like this are going to bump up against some of our deeply ingrained “Ewwww, ICK” reactions now that they are not just in the realm of science fiction. 

One of the problems the story notes with current gelatin manufacturing methods is that it is not vegetarian since it is derived from animals. Like this commenter, I’m having trouble seeing where this technique will solve that problem for the more picky vegetarians out there.

Photo found here, but upon further browsing, I’m sure this is the original.

Jun 26 2011

Making Chili, Part II With A Warning

Tag: food & drinkDonna B. @ 3:00 am

Do not attempt to make chili while distracted.

Today’s chili was never going to be the Midnight chili of 2009. First of all, I didn’t have any ground bison on hand, nor did I have fresh peppers or tomatoes.

I think I’ll name tonight’s chili Quick and Dirty Accidentally Edible chili. I planned to use 5-6 tablespoons chili powder, ground beef, and canned tomatoes. What I didn’t plan was accidentally picking up the jar of cayenne pepper instead of chili powder.

Have I mentioned that I just eyeball what 5 to 6 tablespoons looks like instead of actually measuring?

Yeah, I dumped that much cayenne pepper into the pot thinking it was chili powder. Fortunately, the ground beef I was using had been browned then frozen, so scraping off most of the cayenne pepper wasn’t too difficult.

Still, this pot of chili is going to be a bit hotter than I normally make. Perhaps “normally” is the wrong word to use when describing how I make chili. It’s different every time.

Tonight’s chili is quite good. In an effort to tone down the hotness, I crunched the last quarter bag of tortilla chips and added them as a thickening agent instead of flour, corn meal, or masa  harina. I have been known to put a can of corn in the blender and add it to chili.

Probably the only thing I’m consistent with in making chili is that it DOES NOT include beans. I have nothing against beans, but I do not like them in chili or cooked with chili seasonings.

I also have nothing against following a recipe. It’s just not something I do when making chili. Chili is an adventure, not a routine!

May 08 2011

Here’s What I’ve Read Online This Week

Best Mothers of the Animal Kingdom - I’m really glad I’m not an octopus.

The Beauty and the Bartender - a dating service tale with a heart-warming twist.

How to make cheap wine taste better  – knowledge is free.

A lost girl remembered - an excerpt and follow-up from The Poisoner’s Handbook.

The Costs of Not Vaccinating - the story of a 2008 measles outbreak in Tucson.  

Parasites, boogers, and garlic - oh, and don’t scratch.

Are Talking Heads Blowing Hot Air - Yes, mostly. The literature review beginning on p. 5 of the pdf names a book I now want to read – Expert Political Judgment. The best part of the study begins on page 17 with descriptions of the 26 columnists and types of predictions they made. While the numbers make some of them look good, the descriptions lead me right back to the hot air conclusion.

Ten Peeves About Greenies

Jul 14 2010

Critical Thinking Failure

Tag: food & drink,healthDonna B. @ 5:12 pm

Dustbury links to this Reuters story: Consumer group targets mcDonald’s Happy Meal toys. It starts off:

“Tempting kids with toys is unfair and deceptive, both to kids who don’t understand the concept of advertising, and to their parents, who have to put up with their nagging children,” said Michael Jacobson, executive director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest.

An even more disturbingly paranoid view of McDonald’s as a corporation (and ultimately demeaning to parents) is this from the Center’s website:

“McDonald’s is the stranger in the playground handing out candy to children,” said CSPI litigation director Stephen Gardner. “McDonald’s use of toys undercuts parental authority and exploits young children’s developmental immaturity—all this to induce children to prefer foods that may harm their health. It’s a creepy and predatory practice that warrants an injunction.”

Such a view of corporations requires one to think that all corporations are run by Lex Luthor clones. To what nefarious end do corporations do this? According to these types, it’s the evil bottom line.

And they are using evil mind rays to control all of us and what they really want is for all of us to live unhealthy short lives. Because in magical thinking land that improves the bottom line. Somehow.

Jan 01 2010

Simple Soups, Simple Seasonings

Tag: food & drinkDonna B. @ 6:47 am

The 2000′s, the naughts, the aughts, or whatever not-quite-pleasing word you choose to refer to the decade just past was definitely the Decade of the Foodie. We’re human animals and need food to survive and we’ve always been obsessive about it one way or another.

Ever since religion was invented, someone has been telling humans what not to eat and how it should be prepared. And that there are times when no food should be consumed. Why is it spiritual to not eat? That could only happen when food and other consumer items became sufficiently available to give them up.

And then there is the idea of feasts to celebrate whatever we can come up with… often the same things we fast in order to contemplate.

Food can just get too complex if you think about it too much. So, I’m offering here two recipes you don’t have to think about to enjoy.

First up is Simple Potato Soup. I could probably get real philosophical about why I chose to make that on Christmas Eve. But, I’ll spare you.

Simple Potato Soup

3 slices thick-sliced bacon, chopped into 1/4 to 1/2 inch pieces
1 medium onion, chopped
4 – 6 medium russet potatos, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
6 -8 cups water
Salt and pepper to taste

Fry the bacon, pour off 1/2 the grease. Saute the onion in the remaining grease. Place the potatos, onions, and bacon pieces in a saucepan and cover with water 2 – 3 inches above the ingredients. Bring to a boil and cook until potatos are tender. Stir occasionally to break off bits of the potatos to thicken the juice. Check seasoning, serve with cornbread.

Of course you can expand this recipe. Make it decadent by adding a bit of cream, or make it healthier by reducing the amount of bacon. What I think should not be attempted is to dress it up by adding additional seasonings. If you want a different flavor, use a different meat, something like Polish or Italian sausage. The meat in this dish is meant to be seasoning, not a primary ingredient.

For our New Year’s Eve meal, dear hubby wanted chicken and rice soup. While the preparation isn’t as simple as that for potato soup, the ingredients are.

Simple Chicken and Rice Soup

1 1/2 cups chopped onion
1 1/2 cups chopped celery
2 cups uncooked rice
1 chicken, stewed, skinned, and deboned
Broth from the chicken, with water added to make 8 cups

Cook the chicken until the meat is falling off the bones and then a bit. Remove the chicken and strain the broth. We used a pressure cooker, an ancient electric one that I fear may stop working some day. A large pot is fine, but takes much longer.

Chill the broth so that the fat can be skimmed off. Leave a little bit… don’t be paranoid about a little bit of chicken fat.

Separate the chicken meat from the bones and skin. Again, leave a few bits of skin, but not large chunks. Refrigerate until the broth has chilled enough to remove the fat.

Boil the onions and celery in the chicken broth. When they are almost done, add enough water to make at least 8 cups of broth. Add the rice and chicken, bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat to low. The rice should be done in approximately 20 minutes.

Season with salt and pepper, adding water if the soup is too thick. Some types of rice absorb more water than others.

Salt and pepper only, please. Keep the seasonings simple too.

Dec 12 2009

Saturday Surfing

*Buying cheap cheese is worse than buying no cheese at all. When you have no cheese, you don’t waste time, energy, and other ingredients trying to make it edible.

*I hate the scrolling twitter widget. I hate anything on a website that moves unless I tell it to.

*History’s First Redneck Mummy (lower left panel)

*I love my battery backup, because I hate power outages.

*Am I the only person who cannot manage to order a Pizza Hut pizza online? I’m beginning to think they want to be able to say they offer online ordering, but are actively discouraging anyone from ever using it.

* New study reveals most children are unrepentant sociopaths (via Retriever). And then they grow up and design scrolling, flashing widgets for websites or tests for “security” that can’t be passed. For a more scientific view, see The Science of Success.

*Speaking of pizza — a quick perusal of our buying habits over the past year says that this family orders pizza on average of once a month, and that approximately 25% of these orders coincide with having company. Yeah, I am just that lazy.

*Is it the least we can do? Buy Local, Act Evil. Just a thought here… but, if I buy the best that I can for the least amount of money, is that not also ecologically sound? (Note: I’m not saying I do this — see cheap cheese.)

*Tundra. Just go, click, and scroll. That’s what I plan on doing for the next hour or so.

Nov 20 2009

Time Is Of The Essence

Tag: food & drinkDonna B. @ 1:37 am

Time is also an essence. I think this is particularly true of cooking beans.

Why do beans seem to taste better when cooked one day and reheated the next? Because the essence of the bean and the essence of the juice and seasoning it is cooked in have then melded into a whole which is better than either was the day before.

The essence of time may not have a flavor of its own, but it is required to allow other flavors to grow and mature.

Aug 05 2009

Making Chili

Tag: food & drinkDonna B. @ 10:39 pm

I’m not known for following recipes very well. So, I’m going to try to track this chili as it’s made.

1 lb of ground bison
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped

Brown the above in a tablespoon of butter. Bison is very low fat.


2 serrano peppers, de-seeded and chopped
1 mexican bell pepper, de-seeded and chopped (while this pepper is supposed to be a bit hotter than a regular bell pepper, it’s quite mild.
3 small tomatoes, peeled and chopped.
2 beef bouillon cubes dissolved in 2 cups water.
1 tablespoon cumin
2-3 tablespoons chili powder

Bring to boil and let simmer until the liquid has reduced by half. At this point, add garlic and onion powder to taste, if you want to add any at all.

Bring to a boil, then cool and refrigerate overnight. This is not a necessary step, it’s just that I didn’t start making this until about 9pm tonight. But, it does give all these flavors a chance to meld and make friends with each other.

Tomorrow… completion.

COMPLETION UPDATE: This was smelling so good, my husband went to WalMart to get a can of tomato paste and a small can of stewed tomatoes. Oh, and a bag of tortilla chips. We ate last night and it was really good. I’ll name this one Midnight Chili

Jul 29 2009

Madmen… Me


I need a color job and some 1950s undergarments to make this real… but here I am:

Jun 04 2009

An Ode To PETA

Tag: art,food & drink,humorDonna B. @ 4:33 pm

Bite Me!

Apr 05 2009

A Culinary Error To Avoid

Tag: food & drinkDonna B. @ 5:37 pm

When freezing garden products for later use, it is extremely important to label the packages. Labeling them correctly would be even better.

I had a nice crop of peppers last year, mild red and purple bell peppers, mild jalapenos, and so very NOT-MILD habaneros. I chopped them up and froze them in little baggies. The purple bell pepper and the jalapenos were easy to tell apart. Not so the red bell peppers and habaneros, which I’d let ripen to the red stage.

But, because I think I will never forget which is which, I didn’t label the packages. Oh sure, the red bell peppers were thicker and bigger chunks, the habaneros thinner and tinier because you just don’t need a big chunk of habanero.

Today, I made clean-out-fridge fried rice. Yep, you guessed it, I thought that last 1/8 cup or so of frozen red pepper were of the mild bell pepper type, so I dumped them all into the skillet.


The fried rice is good, but it’s hot. Really, really hot. The kind of hot that stays with you, clinging to your lips, tongue, and cheeks. For hours.  

Feb 27 2009

Friday Night Beer Drinking Links

Tag: art,computers & internet,food & drink,humorDonna B. @ 11:20 pm

Most of the people I know who drink beer don’t need any excuse other than beer exists. However, at least for the first link, having a beer or two makes some things more palatable. Or not.

“Could it be the worst food product ever?” The answer is in the comments.

What better place on the web to visit while having a beer than Behind The Stick? To make it even better, What are the odds? comments contain a nice list of movies to put on your Netflix list for future Friday nights.

There is not enough beer in the universe for this — The Ontology Of Voltron, not Transformers — to make sense to me.

Tea Party first. Save the beer for the after party!

Do you doubt sometimes whether drinking beer is useful? Do you doubt the aesthetic effects? Here’s proving you have nothing to worry about: The Beer Can House.

Nov 28 2008

Stuffed And Happy

Tag: food & drink,my familyDonna B. @ 12:06 am

Surrey with no fringeI am stuffed. Oddly, there wasn’t a turkey, instead a hen which made the dressing taste all the better, I think. The dressing is some of the best I’ve ever had. My stepsister deserves the glory and she also made the rolls.

There was so much food. The dressing, chicken, ham, sweet potatoes, english peas, bacon-wrapped green beans, baked apples, spaghetti and cheese, cauliflower and broccoli salad, cranberry sauce, deviled eggs, a variety of homemade pickles, potato and cheese casserole, and probably a few things I didn’t even see, much less taste.

Dessert? ahh… pumpkin pie, pecan pie, coconut pie, pineapple cake, carrot cake, chocolate cake, and probably more. My memory is sluggish at the moment.

Why the surrey without fringe on the top pictured above? My stepbrother drove it to dinner today, but he got there before I did and I didn’t know about his new carriage and horse. I barely got this photo as he was leaving, the outfit being much speedier than I expected. I hope he didn’t get a ticket on the way home.

I hope everyone has as much fun today as I did!

Nov 12 2008

Fried Potatoes, Southern Style

Tag: food & drinkDonna B. @ 2:50 am

This is more a technique than a recipe and should be called Southern Steamed Potatoes because the only way you can really ruin them is to use too much grease.

You can use lard, oil, Crisco, bacon grease… whatever you have handy, but you are not going to need very much.

Peel however many potatoes it’s going to take to feed your family. I’d guess that one medium potato per person should do it. Cut these into cubes of approximately 1/2 inch.

Chop up some onion. I like a proportion of 1/2 as many onions as potatoes. Onions are optional, but I like them.

Cooking these requires a reasonably tight fitting lid. I have a cast iron skillet with a lid that weighs more than the skillet and it works perfectly. When my aunt cooks these for large gatherings she uses large electric skillets.

Coat the skillet with your choice of grease. Seriously, just coat it. We’re not deep-frying. Heat the skillet for a minute or so, then pour in the potatoes. Spread them out evenly, then spread the onions on top of them.

Cover with lid, and let cook — without stirring — for a while. I truly don’t have any idea how long! That helps you a lot doesn’t it? What you want to get is a nice brown crunchy crust on the bottom of the potatoes.

You still don’t want to stir these, but you do want to turn them. Using a sharp spatula (or turner or whatever you call it) to turn them over as much as possible. You probably won’t get them all turned evenly. Don’t worry about it. Scrape deep so you get all the crunchy goodness off the bottom of the pan.

Cover and let cook for another while. I’m thinking maybe 10+ minutes the first side, then 5+ minutes the other.

Add salt and black pepper to taste, and serve. Preferably with pinto beans and cornbread, but they are tasty for breakfast too.

Nov 08 2008

Diamond Grade Tequila

Tag: food & drink,Science, Medicine, etc.Donna B. @ 12:53 am

Scientists Turn Tequila Into Diamonds.

That gives a whole new meaning to a Top Shelf margarita doesn’t it?

Next Page »