Archive for the ‘Cooking’ Category

01/09/2022 Last Meals   1 comment

Starting off a new year requires me to be a little more inventive than usual. Over the holidays I acquired a few books loaded with odd and sometimes disturbing facts. It tickles my fancy to go to the morbid side of things every once in a while. Let me proceed to these three examples of last meal requests from soon-to-be executed murderers. It’s morbid but still interesting. Here we go . . .

Let’s start off with the big kahuna of serial killers, TED BUNDY.

This execution was scheduled for January 24, 1989, at the Florida State penitentiary. Bundy being the arrogant and hard to get along with individual refused to order a last meal. The prison brought him the standard meal of steak and eggs. He refused to eat them so they sent him to the electric chair on an empty stomach. Seems highly appropriate to me.

Next on the list is MARGIE VELMA BARFIELD.

This execution was dated November 2, 1984, at the central prison in Raleigh, North Carolina. As a last meal Barfield chose a “last snack “over a “last meal,” Selecting junk food as the last thing she would ever eat in this life. She enjoyed a last repast of Cheez Doodles and Coca-Cola and then marched off for her lethal injection. There’s no accounting for bad taste.

This final entry belongs to two friends who were also known as the “In Cold Blood” killers, EUGENE HICKOCK and PERRY SMITH.

This execution was scheduled for April 14, 1965, at the Kansas State penitentiary. The killer’s eyes were apparently bigger than their stomachs. As their last meal they ordered shrimp, French fries, garlic bread, and for dessert, ice cream and strawberries with cream. They didn’t touch a bite of it. They both went to the gallows on an empty stomach. Goodbye and good riddance.

Well, there you have it. These were just the first three of fifteen executions I have notes on, and I’ll post the rest periodically.

WHAT MEAL WOULD YOU REQUEST ?

(I think I’d request a plate of Spam fried rice and a jigger of Jack Daniels.)

12/11/2021 Meaningless Question #1   Leave a comment

Why are hamburgers called “HAM” burgers?

Today I was sitting quietly at home thinking seriously about our previous night’s dinner. As a last resort, when my better-half and I disagree on our evening meal, we have hamburgers and fries. We’ve become quite creative with that meal whether it’s cooked on the grill, in the air-fryer, pan fried or on the grill on the deck. I’m not a big red meat eater and under normal circumstances (not birthdays or holidays) I prefer chicken and fish. Burgers are my go-to meal or comfort food if you prefer, and yes, there is no ham in hamburgers . . . Ever!

Due to my idle curiosity, I did some searching to be sure I was correct, here’s what I found:

The popular book The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy by Hannah Glasse included a recipe in 1758 as “Hamburgh sausage”, which suggested to serve it “roasted with toasted bread under it”. A similar snack was also popular in Hamburg, Germany, by the name “RundstĆ¼ck warm” (“bread roll warm”) in 1869 or earlier, and supposedly eaten by many emigrants on their way to America.

There always seems to be a rush by dozens of Americans to claim they invented the “burger” and everything else for that matter. Don’t forget the Russians and French who always insist they’ve invented or created just about anything you can think of. Too bad boys, Germany wins this contest.

My own favorite is a one-half pound well-seasoned burger on a whole grain toasted bun. Medium rare, topped with hot pickled jalapenos, mayo, a layer of mushrooms, a layer of sharp cheddar cheese, a slab of red onion, and hold the lettuce. Old school fries on the side, hot and crispy with Heinz 57. I’ll have that just about any time.

FYI

13 Shopping Days

šŸ—Thanksgiving LimerickšŸ—   2 comments

There once was a turkey named Dunn

Thanksgiving, for him, wasn’t fun

He was the main source

Of dinner, of course

And when it was through, he was done.

Posted November 24, 2021 by Every Useless Thing in Cooking, Food Related, Humor, Limericks, Sarcasm

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11/24/2021 “Happy Thanksgiving”   Leave a comment

Since posting the real letters of a real Pilgrim yesterday I thought I’d covered the holiday rather well. Today I did a little net surfing and made the mistake of reading the Wikipedia entry on the history of Thanksgiving. It irritates me a little when they spend so much time telling me about some meaningless conflict over where Thanksgiving originated. Ā In their opinion 36 colonists arriving in Virginia in 1619 gave thanks that they survived the crossing and years later it was claimed by some Virginians as the birth place of Thanksgiving. I just don’t see that as the real Thanksgiving. Did they celebrate with the native Americans? Who knows? Did any of them survive that first winter? Who knows? Maybe in 1000 A.D. Leif Ericson and a few Vikings landed in northern Maine and were thankful for not running out of food and water. Was that the real Thanksgiving? Now that I think about it, how about Ponce de Leon. He landed in Florida in lateĀ March of 1513, near present-day St. Augustine. He claimed this beautiful land for Spain and I’m sure he gave thanks for surviving his arrival. Then we must of course celebrate Thanksgiving as a Spanish holiday in March. Really, I think I’d prefer to celebrate that Viking holiday in Maine as the real one compared something Spanish. These kinds of arguments are all so much hogwash and an entire waste of everyone’s time.

I wasn’t planning a rant against Wikipedia but once again I want it understood I’m skeptical of a lot of their information, but that’s just my humble opinion.

Why I’m even bothering to rant is the real question. Well, I once lived in Kingston, Massachusetts, just a few short miles from where the Mayflower is berthed in Plymouth harbor. A few of my friends were actual descendants of the Wampanoag Indian tribe who assisted the Pilgrims back in the day. I was lucky enough to hear from them about their version of Thanksgiving. I’ve visited the Plimouth Plantation on many occasions and once even ate Thanksgiving dinner there with some family and friends. Screw Wikipedia and their politically correct nonsense.

The traditional celebration is one of the few holidays left that has actual meaning for me. I just can’t allow that tradition to be watered down with a lot of political nonsense. Enjoy your holiday with your friends and family. Give thanks for every good thing you can think of. Have a great meal and a pleasant day and hug your kids.

Just as a side note. I won’t be posting tomorrow because I’ll be doing all of those things myself.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING

šŸ—Thanksgiving LimerickšŸ—   Leave a comment

“When Thanksgiving is misty and murky

And you’re indoors all happy and perky

There’ll be people to greet

Lots of goodies to eat

But just spare a thought for the turkey.”

Posted November 23, 2021 by Every Useless Thing in Cooking, Food Related, Humor, Limericks, Sarcasm

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11/22/2021 šŸ—Thanksgiving LimerickšŸ—   Leave a comment

“The turkey did not turn out fine.

So I thought I would break out the wine.

By dessert they were wasted

From the wine that they tasted

And they all thought the dinner divine.”

Posted November 22, 2021 by Every Useless Thing in Cooking, Food Related, Humor, Limericks, Sarcasm

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11/22/2021 Thanksgiving Myth?   Leave a comment

As I’ve repeatedly stated I am a huge fan of Thanksgiving. I am also a huge fan of debunking silly and unusual superstitions when I find them. I found one about Thanksgiving after reading a book in my collection. For most of my life I looked forward to Thanksgiving dinner and always made a point of collecting the wishbone. I was told as a kid by people who I trusted, Mom and Dad, that if I won the larger half of the wishbone after it was broken I would have good luck. I did it year after year and we made quite a thing of it but now I come to discover I was lied to. Here’s the truth of the matter . . .

Two people make a wish, and then grab the two long ends of the wishbone and pull. The one who breaks off the larger piece of the bone gets his or her wish. You must be sure the bone is dry – a day in the sun or on the stove dries it perfectly. The bone must be from the collarbone of a hen or a rooster. All of my family loved the routine of pulling the wishbone of the turkey after their meal. “Spoiler Alert”, turkey collarbones don’t work. I know this is devastating news to all of you but the truth will out. Here’s a short history lesson . . .

The Etruscans, those folks that came before the Romans, had a Hen Oracle. That person was often called upon to reveal hidden and magical knowledge. A hen or rooster was killed, the entrails examined – for what, no one can fathom – and the birds collarbone put in the sun to dry. The wishbone was then pulled apart as it is today. The Romans actually stole this custom from the Etruscans and it then spread throughout the Roman Empire and where did it end up, on this blog today.

THE TRUTH SHALL SET YOU FREE

09/01/2021 My Food Addiction   Leave a comment

Do you consider yourself a food addict? Unfortunately every human being on the planet is, like it or not. We’re obsessed with food for our entire lives and without it we would cease to exist. That’s obviously an addiction I can and have learned to live with.

As I watch TV everyday the constant stream of food-related instructional programming is enough to drive me up the wall. Never in my life did I imagine just how wrong I’ve been eating and drinking and truly enjoying myself. Actually if the experts are right, everything that I eat is unhealthy, lacking nutritional value, and will eventually kill me. Fifteen years ago eggs were the killer and a few years later, whoops, all of a sudden a couple of eggs a week is no problem. Drinking coffee is bad and then it’s good. Eating sugar is dangerous and then it’s good in moderate amounts. Drinking soda is bad, turn it into diet soda, then it’s good, closely examine the sweetener in the diet soda, and then it’s bad again.

I’ve been convinced over the years that all of these so-called experts haven’t got a clue. Every expert that I can find tells me of food products that are bad. The problem is, I can find just as many that will tell me that they aren’t. Don’t even get me started on all of the other things these alleged experts tell us. Don’t drink the water, don’t breathe the air, why not just drop over dead and get it over with.

I’m not here to try and explain their motives, their inaccuracies, or their self-righteousness. I’m just saying that even the dumbest person I know can eventually figure out how ridiculous it all is. Now I’m going to fill your head with some ridiculous food-related information that is just as educational as all of the nonsense supplied from food manufacturers and also from our friendly know-it-all government. Let’s get started.

  • 500 million Hostess Twinkies are sold every year.
  • In America, Coca-Cola out sells Pepsi. In Saudi Arabia and Quebec, the opposite is true.
  • The average ear of corn has 800 kernels.
  • Black olives contain 10 to 30% more oil than green olives.
  • Watermelon is a vegetable.
  • The national drink of Iceland is a potato schnapps called Black Death.
  • M&M’s were named after candy developers Forrest Mars and Bruce Murrie.
  • The Marquis De Sade loved chocolate so much he had it sent to him in prison.
  • The Aztecs considered avocados an aphrodisiac.

I’ll bet my information is just as factual as all of those expert’s and a helluva lot more interesting and silly.

EAT UP YOU BUNCH OF FOOD ADDICTS

08/12/021 Harvest Time   2 comments

Needless to say we here in New England love the Fall. It’s harvest time for most crops but especially cucumbers which we wait for all year. This is pickle season for those of us who love hot pickles. I don’t mean just spicy hot, I mean hot enough to make your head sweat. My better half and I make pickles every year at this time because the demand for them is high with friends and family. Our time yesterday was spent making 15 pints of hot Bread & Butter pickles and 9 additional pints of smoking hot dill pickles. These pickles are made with our family recipes but we add the additional heat. We add a mixture of sliced jalapenos, serranoes, and my all time favorite, habaneros. Here’s how we get started.

Our preparation actually starts the night before with the slicing of many cucumbers. My better half usually handles that chore because she cuts a much more uniform slice than I do. She also handles slicing the hot peppers because in past years I’ve almost blinded myself by putting my bare hands near my eyes after forgetting to wear gloves.

First we get our lids, rims, and jars sterilized in boiling water. Then we mix a concoction of herbs and spices to make what we call the syrup that will do the actual pickling. We also add three large bottles of jalapeno vinegar which I made earlier this Spring. Just a friendly tip if you’re going to make hot pickles . . . wear thick rubber gloves. Not those flimsy latex gloves because the oils from the hot peppers migrate right through the latex. Once it gets on your bare hands you’re in trouble.

It’s really not a difficult process once you’ve done it a few times. We completed this entire job in 2 hours minus the preparation done the previous day. When you have a good product people want it which is why we have a long list of folks waiting for these pickles. In a normal year we’ll process 35 to 40 pints of a variety of pickles. Then we can get started with our hot pasta sauces, BBQ sauce, salsa, chili, and wing sauces.

It really is a lot of fun and will keep our family and friends well supplied until Spring. You should give it a try.

09-12-2016 Journal – The Big Easy Finale!   Leave a comment

This will be the last of the New Orleans postings.Ā  It’s been a lot of fun reviewing the pictures and writing about all of our little adventures.Ā  As you can tell IĀ reallyĀ love the place and plan on returning as often as possible in the future. Todays post will be nothing more than a few random pictures of the French Quarter that I failed to use this week. You must remember that between my better-half and I we took more thanĀ a thousand photographs in our six day visit.

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A balcony used by the bead throwers.

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Artists displaying their wares in Jackson Square.

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Everyone needs a little Voodoo in their life.

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St. Mark’s Cathedral

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How about a little truth in advertising.

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AndĀ some Day of the Dead skeletons.

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And finally a stop at CafĆ© Du Monde for cafe’ au lait and beignets. Absolutely delicious!

So ends my reminiscences of a truly wonderful vacation.Ā  I should mention that on my last night in the Quarter I made my way to a local tattoo parlor and purchased one as a memento ofĀ our trip.Ā  I was going to post a picture of it but my better-half thought that might be a little to much information. Just let it be said that I brought some permanent New Orleans voodoo home with me.

I hope any of you who would love to visit there get the opportunity to do so.

YOU WON’T REGRET IT

 

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