Man it seems like lately its always something!
First there was the rotted out cast iron sink fiasco, which gave way to the ‘maintenance is apparently incapable of replacing a sink & faucet without reusing the rotten drain stubs so your under cabinet storage bins fill with stagnant moldy vermin attracting water. This lead to the Fantastic Fruit Fly Invasion and its follow on the Roach Rebellion which was then followed by the House Mouse Mob which Precipitated the great Kitchen Cat-trastrophy & Calamity.
Finally I get it all under control- Just when I think I’m in a position to take a little time to enjoy the peace, quiet, calm and (relatively) stress free order that has been so hard won, I step out the door for my morning paper and there they are…SPACEBALLS!
Sigh! Well I guess it could have been worse. It could have been Impish wanting to stay with me because he’s scared of the tornados up there in Impish Indiana, or the TARDIS could have materialized on my doorstep.
The 50th anniversary of president John F. Kennedy’s assassination is November 22, and the New York Times notes that “dozens” of books are coming out to capitalize on public interest in the milestone. The paper notes that since the 1963 assassination more than 40,000 books have been published on JFK. Meanwhile, AbeBooks.com notes that “No one knows exactly how many books have been written about” our arguably best president, Abraham Lincoln, “but in 2012 Ford’s Theater Centre for Education and Leadership in Washington D.C. constructed a 34-foot pillar of unique titles about Lincoln, and it contained more than 15,000 books.”
Here is a brilliant idea that solves a serious problem. One I have been asking for a solution for for years.
One Coin for All of Your Cards
This Startup Built One Credit Card That Can Store All Your Other Cards That Make Your Wallet Super Thick And Annoying
Hopefully there is a bit more to the security involved that what is shown to make people cloning your card unlikely. While I’m going to refrain from preordering one I will be keeping an eye out for them once they go into production.
If it’s mid-November, there must be some sort of panic-inducing announcement about the shortage of a Thanksgiving dinner staple. In years past, pumpkin pie filling has been locus of the upset. This year, it’s fresh Butterball turkeys.
Note: That’s specifically fresh Butterball turkeys, and just that particular brand. There are still plenty of frozen turkeys from Butterball, as well as fresh birds from other producers available for your roasting pleasure. But the mere notion of not having enough of a T-Day dish to gobble down seems to incite freakout.
The skinny: Some farmers who supply Butterball couldn’t get their turkeys to plump up sufficiently, so fresh ones over 16 pounds might be in short supply.
Butterball released a statement via email saying in part: “Butterball and its retail partners have ample supply of frozen whole turkeys of all sizes – small, medium or large. While there may be limited availability on some larger sizes of fresh turkeys, Butterball has shipped 100 percent of customer orders of frozen whole turkeys and products are in distribution across the country. We experienced a decline in weight gains on some of our farms causing a limited availability of large, fresh turkeys. While we are continuing to evaluate all potential causes, we are working to remedy the issue. We sincerely regret the inconvenience that some of our customers have experienced as a result of this issue.”
Butterball produces around 1.3 billion pounds of turkey meat a year, and 20 percent of the United States’ turkeys.
Breathing a little easier? Good. You’ve got 10 days until holiday madness descends. Make ’em count.
Now that you are sufficiently panicked about getting the bird, lets take the panic out of dessert for the feast for you. We’ll save that panic for when you fail to achieve any of your Black Friday shopping goals.
Cranberry Upside-Down Cake
From “Martha Stewart’s Cakes” by Martha Stewart
¾ cup (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
¾ cup all-purpose flour, plus more for pan
2¾ cups fresh or thawed frozen cranberries
½ cup plus 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons coarse yellow cornmeal
¼ cup almond paste
¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
3 large eggs, separated, room temperature
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon almond extract
½ cup milk
Instructions: Butter an 8-inch round cake pan; dust with flour, tapping out excess. In a large skillet, heat 6 tablespoons butter over medium until sizzling. Add cranberries; cook until shiny, about 2 minutes. Add maple syrup and cinnamon. Cook, stirring frequently, until cranberries soften but still hold their shape, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
With a slotted spoon, transfer cranberries to a baking sheet to cool slightly before arranging in prepared cake pan. Return skillet to medium heat and cook until syrup boils and thickens, 3 to 4 minutes; do not overcook. Immediately pour syrup over cranberries; let cool, about 10 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees, with rack in center. Whisk flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Whisk in cornmeal with a fork.
With an electric mixer on medium, beat remaining 6 tablespoons butter and the almond paste until well combined, about 30 seconds. Gradually add ¾ cup sugar; beat until creamy, about 2 minutes. Add egg yolks; beat until well combined. Beat in vanilla and almond extracts. Add flour mixture in 2 batches, alternating with the milk and beginning and ending with the flour; beat until just combined.
In a clean bowl, with an electric mixer on medium-low, whisk egg whites until foamy. Slowly add remaining 2 tablespoons sugar. Raise speed to high and beat until soft peaks form, about 5 minutes. Whisk one third of the whites into batter; fold in remaining whites.
Carefully spread batter over cranberries. Bake until a cake tester comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool 2 hours before inverting onto a serving plate.
Egg ’n’ Grogg Pie
From “The Four & Twenty Blackbirds Pie Book” by Emily Elsen and Melissa Elsen
Makes one 9-inch pie; serves 8-10
GINGERSNAP CRUMB CRUST FOR A 9-INCH PIE (RECIPE BELOW)
¾ cup cream cheese, softened
¾ cup granulated sugar
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon vanilla paste (Nielsen-Massey makes a readily available one @ Amazon)
½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground allspice
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch ground cloves
3 large eggs
1 cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons dark rum
½ teaspoon fresh lemon juice
Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Place the prepared crumb shell on a rimmed baking sheet.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, blend the softened cream cheese with the sugar, salt, vanilla paste, nutmeg, allspice, cinnamon and cloves until well mixed. Beat in the eggs one at a time, followed by the heavy cream, rum and lemon juice. Stir until well combined. Carefully pour the filling into the pie shell; to avoid disturbing the crumb crust, slow the stream by pouring it over a rubber scraper and letting the filling dribble into the pan. Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 40 to 45 minutes, rotating 180 degrees when the edges start to set, about 25 minutes through baking. The pie is finished when the edges are set and the center is no longer liquid but still quite wobbly. Be careful not to over bake or the custard can separate; the filling will continue to cook and set after the pie is removed from the oven. Allow to cool completely on a wire rack, 2 to 3 hours. Serve slightly warm, at room temperature or cool. Pie will keep refrigerated 2 days or at room temperature 1 day.
Gingersnap Crumb Crust
About 20 2-inch gingersnap cookies (enough to make 1 cup crumbs)
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
4 tablespoons (½ stick) butter, melted
Egg white wash (1 large egg whisked with 1 teaspoon cold water), optional
In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment, grind the gingersnap cookies to fine crumbs. Add sugar, salt and melted butter and pulse to incorporate. Pour the crumbs into an ungreased, preferably metal, 9-inch pie pan. Spread evenly over bottom and then create a circle about 1 inch in to separate crumbs for the side from crumbs for the bottom. Start pressing the outer-ring crumbs evenly up the sides and into the corner of pan. Press remaining crumbs evenly over the bottom to meet the sides. Freeze until solid, about 10 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake on center oven rack 12 to 14 minutes, until fragrant and darkened slightly. If the crust slumps or cracks while baking, gently push the crumbs back into place while hot, with a clean, folded kitchen towel. While hot from the oven, moisture-proof the crust by brushing the bottom lightly with the egg white wash, if desired. Bake for an additional minute to set the egg white wash. Cool completely on a wire rack. Refrigerate crust for 10 minutes prior to filling to set crumbs and make filling easier.
Pumpkin, Sage, and Browned-Butter Cakes
From “Martha Stewart’s Cakes” by Martha Stewart
¾ cup (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, plus more for pans
1²/3cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pans
¼ cup fresh sage, cut into thin strips, plus whole leaves for garnish (optional)
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
¹/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup solid-pack pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
1 cup packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter eight 4-by-2½-inch loaf pans; dust with flour, tapping out excess. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium-low heat.
Add sage strips; cook until butter turns golden brown, 5 to 8 minutes.
Transfer mixture to a bowl; let cool slightly. Meanwhile, whisk together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and salt.
In another bowl, whisk together pumpkin, brown sugar, eggs and sage-butter mixture.
Add flour mixture; whisk until incorporated.
Divide batter evenly among prepared pans; smooth tops with an offset spatula.
Place pans on a rimmed baking sheet; bake until a cake tester comes out clean, about 30 minutes.
Transfer pans to a wire rack to cool 15 minutes.
Turn out cakes onto rack to cool completely. (Cakes can be wrapped in plastic and stored at room temperature overnight or refrigerated up to 5 days.) Garnish with whole sage leaves before serving, if desired.
Note: To make a large loaf instead of several smaller ones, use a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan and bake for 40 minutes.
Your guests will never guess that canned peaches were used to create this elegant cocktail.
Prep Time: 5 minutes | Total Time: 5 minutes
2 15-ounce cans Sliced Peaches in Extra Light Syrup chilled
750 milliliters Brut Sparkling Wine, chilled
- Add drained peaches to a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Pour mixture into pitcher.
- Add sparkling wine and stir to combine. Pour into glasses
What Impish is really complaining about is he used to be able to use a VW as a skateboard. Now he needs two smart cars for roller skates and a third for his tail!
Police work can be entertaining as well as dangerous.
Recently, a female sheriff’s deputy arrested Patrick Lawrence, a 22 year old white male, who was fornicating with a pumpkin in the middle of a field at night. The next day, at the Gwinnett County (GA) courthouse, Lawrence was charged with lewd and lascivious behavior, public indecency and public intoxication.
The suspect explained that he was passing a pumpkin patch on his way home from a drinking session when he decided to stop. ‘You know how a pumpkin is soft and squishy inside, and there was no one around for miles, or at least I thought there was no one around’ he stated.
Lawrence went on to say that he pulled over to the side of the road, picked out a pumpkin that he felt was appropriate to his purpose, cut a hole in it, and proceeded to satisfy his pressing need. ‘Guess I was really into it, y’know?’ he commented with evident embarrassment.
In the process of doing the deed, Lawrence failed to notice an approaching sheriff’s car and was unaware of his audience until Deputy Brenda Taylor approached him.
‘It was an unusual situation, that’s for sure,’ said Deputy Taylor.
‘I walked up to Lawrence and he’s just humping away at this pumpkin.’
Deputy Taylor went on to describe what happened when she approached Lawrence …
‘I said: ‘Excuse me sir, but do you realize that you’re having sex with a pumpkin?’
He froze and was clearly very surprised that I was there, and then he looked me straight in the face and said: ‘A pumpkin? Shit … is it midnight already?’
The court (and the judge) could not contain their laughter. Lawrence was found guilty only of public intoxication, fined $10. and sent on his way.
The Washington Post wrote an article describing this as “The best come-back line ever.”
Even our weird police calls are bigger!
Cops chase kangaroo down Texas highway
West Texas police found themselves in a peculiar pursuit Tuesday night.
Deputies thought dispatchers were crazy when calls came in from people who said they saw a kangaroo hopping along a rural highway, Midland County Sheriff Gary Painter told The Associated Press.
Patrol car video captured some of the chase.
Deputies helped corner the 4-foot-tall pet kangaroo that had gotten loose as the owner offered a treat to the animal, then grabbed it.
Painter said Wednesday that Midland County has an exotic animals ordinance and owners must notify the sheriff’s office. Authorities are checking to see if a pet kangaroo falls under that category.
Obama’s military contempt: The outrageous treatment of Clint Lorance
Emphasis and highlighting are my editorial comments.
WASHINGTON, October 14, 2013 – If the fact that the Obama Administration has blocked aging veterans from visiting the World War II memorial and denied death gratuity benefits for fallen warriors doesn’t seem to indicate contempt for our military, how about this most recent story?
Army First Lieutenant Clint Lorance, a 28-year-old combat leader in the 82d Airborne Division from Celeste, Texas was recently found guilty of two counts of murder in Afghanistan and sentenced to 20 years in Ft. Leavenworth.
The story of First Lieutenant Lorance has not been covered by a single major media source.
In July 2012, Lorance was ordered to take command of a platoon in the southern Afghanistan province of Kandahar, a region where I also spent two and a half years training and advising the Afghan National Army. The platoon Lorance now commanded had lost its previous leader to enemy attack.
During a patrol in enemy territory, Lorance ordered a marksman to engage two unarmed Taliban fighters on a motorcycle operating as scout spotters.
In Afghanistan and Iraq, a common enemy tactic is for unarmed fighters on motorcycles with cell phones to track unit movements. In fact, enemy combatants had previously used the tactics against this same platoon.
Lorance, who was operating in a combat zone, saw the scout spotters and assessed them as a threat to his platoon. Aerial surveillance later backed up Lorance’s on-the-ground assessment.
It seems obvious that enemy scouts reporting a unit position and movements in order to facilitate an ambush would define “hostile intent.” But not according to the watered-down Rules of Engagement with which our warriors must contend.
In little more than a year, First Lieutenant Lorance was tried and sentenced to prison. Swift justice to be sure, but why then did it take four years to try and convict Nidal Malik Hasan, who fatally shot 13 and wounded more than 30 during his 2009 rampage at Ft Hood Texas?
The irony of the dilemma currently facing our troops, those who have volunteered to protect and defend our freedoms, is appalling. Shall they fight and kill the enemy but then risk imprisonment because of insidious rules by lawyers?
Or shall they be killed and denied their rightful benefits for their families, because of insidious declarations by lawyers and politicians?
We are sending the wrong message to our enemies, and we are clearly sending the wrong message to those who would sacrifice their lives for our nation.