Monday, October 31, 2005

"Texas-Size Fun"-Part One

"Where are ya'll?" I shouted into the cell phone to Scott. "We're in a cab at the Coffeeshop at the Town Square in New Braunfels," he replied. "Where are ya'll?" "We're on 46 East," I said. I could hear him asking the cabbie which way we needed to go-I didn't hear the exact words but got the impression that Scott (from South Carolina and having never been to New Braunfels before), was better equipped to direct us than than his "professional driver." During the colloquy, I could hear Cristina muttering something sarcastic and could almost see her rolling her eyes at the inexplicable futility of a cabbie being "directionally challenged." After several minutes it was-"right on Common, left on Union, go to the square and we'll be next to the coffeshop." So it was right on Common, left on Union for us which somehow put us at a dead end near a bunch of shotgun houses. I called back to report the lack of success. I could hear the cabbies voice asking, "what are you near," and I told Scott we had just passed a well-marked hospital. "Stay there, we'll come and get you, we're just up the street-what kind of van are ya'll in?" "I had forgotten the color during the short trip from the San Antonio Airport and I got several different replies from the others in our van, so I threw it back on them-"what color cab are ya'll in?" "It's a red van," he said. Randall pulled right beside the hospital and we waited-I got out to see if I could flag them down when they rolling by. Five minutes-no cab. I told Randall that maybe we should go to the main parking lot to see if they were there so we squealed around and went to the ER entrance. While we were trying to position our ride to be able to see anything coming down the street, Vin spotted a red van with a cab thing on top whizzing down and side street-"follow that van," she shouted and we took off at about 60 MPH to catch up with it several blocks away. We blew the horn, the cab stopped. Scott paid the fare while Christina got out shaking her head in disgust-introductions and hugs exchanged, we were all in our van back to the Town Square where we were supposed to meet in the first place. "That woman (cab driver) was 'on something,'" Christina insisted. Over some 20-ounce Shiner Bock drafts and some lunch, they told us about the the cabbie from hell that drove them from the airport to the hotel the night before-a male of "room temperature IQ," who obsessively referred to his map (not a good sign for any cabbie), who missed their exit by several miles and whom Christina dismissively referred to "not right." It was 3:00 P.M. CDT and we were finally here-a plan had come together!

What were seven North and South Carolinians doing driving around New Braunfels, Texas in a rental van on a fall Friday afternoon? It was part pilgramage, part concert, part chance to spend the weekend with a cadre of fun-loving friends, part chance to put faces with names of some blog friends living in the area, part chance put on the boots and the wranglers and immerse ourselves in the Texas experience-the food, the beer, the attitude and the culture. Texans are fiercely proud of their huge state and rightly so-the variety of cultures, the food, the music and its vast, scenic beauty, draws you in and makes you want to be a part of it-even today, I don't think it would have a problem existing and thriving as an independent Republic, as it once was and once did. Jeans, boots, cowboy hats and belts were scarfed up by those that didn't already have them and by the time we got on the plane heading back east, we were all unofficial, but honorary Texans! (Continued tommorrow).

Favorite State Survey

Just curious-not counting your own state of residence, what are your next five favorite states? post your replies in the comments!

Here's mine: (North Carolina resident)-

1. South Carolina

2. Texas

3. Wyoming

4. Idaho

5. Tie-Montana and Florida

Fresh Post Tonight

Just got back from the edge of the Texas Hill Country-Seven of us from the Carolinas spent the weekend trying to cram twenty pounds of fun into a one pound bag-and succeeded. What a wonderful state! A partial report tonight after a long nap!

Before Marriage/After Marriage

Animal humor from Dana at The Origin of Soul.


Funniest Sports Headline Ever

Hey!-They have now changed the headline-It originally read: Dick to replace Johnson against the Gamecocks! And the coaches name is Houston Nutt! Bwahahahahhhaha!

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Rosa Parks Tribute

By La Shawn Barber.

What a classy hero unlike the current crop of race-baiting wannabees.

New Site

Christina, formerly at Feisty Repartee has her new site up and almost running-check it out at JustDotChristina.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Hey Ol' Lady Let's Go......

To the Motel Cowboy Show,
We'll drink and dance there's no place else to go,
We'll stay out all night long,
We'll toast the break of dawn,
Hey, Ol' Lady let's go, to the Motel Cowboy Show.

Motel Cowboy Show by Reckless Kelly's Wicked, Twisted Road
Words and Music by WillyBraun and Pinto Bennett

We're off this weekend to visit the mecca of Texas Music, Gruene Hall in Gruene, Texas to see the boys from Reckless Kelly. Seven of us from the Carolinas will spend a great weekend in the beautiful Texas Hill country. I'll be out of pocket until Monday-enjoy your weekend-check out the great links and thanks to all visiting the Carnival of the Recipes-thousands of hits and visits thanks to links fromInstapundit, MSNBC and all my other blog friends. Thanks to you all-see ya' Monday with a full report and pics.

Truth Stranger Than Fiction

Several years ago I tried a guy for impaired driving in front of a jury. The arresting officer testified that the defendants speech was extremely slurred to the point of being unintelligible. The defendant called his father to testify in his defense about something or other, so on cross exam, I asked the father if his son's speech was always slurred-his answer stunned me, the other lawyer, the judge and proably the jury, I was so taken aback I forgot to look at them. His father said "only when the wind is from the north." I thought that could was the craziest thing I'd ever heard, but today this same father was in court on his own charge and he brought in a "witness" to the crime and attempted to call this "witness" to the stand-the "witness" was his cocker spaniel! Now, it's all clear to me!

Harriet Miers Humor from Scrappleface

One of the greatest parody sites is Scrappleface. Scott Ott is a pretty conservative guy but he will not hesitate to skewer both sides. Here's a great one on Harriet Miers:

Spotlight on Miers' 'Inadequate and Insulting' Answers
by Scott Ott

(2005-10-20) -- Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers has ignited another firestorm on Capitol Hill with her 'inadequate and insulting' written answers to several questions from the Senate Judiciary Committee, according to unnamed Senate sources.

Within her 57-page response to the committee's questionnaire, Miss Miers deals with controversies surrounding her selection process and her views on abortion, judicial activism and the Constitution itself.

In particular, sources say, the following questions and responses will likely draw intense scrutiny when confirmation hearings begin some time in the next two years.

Q: 27.a. Please describe your experience in the entire judicial selection process, from beginning to end (including the circumstances which led to your nomination).

MIERS: "When Justice Sandra Day O’Connor first announced her desire to retire, I immediately recognized that the court would need a sweet, elderly female of indeterminate judicial philosophy, but I never dreamed that that mysterious ingenue could be me.

"I participated in all interviews that ultimately resulted in the President’s selection of Judge John Roberts, asking candidates about their favorite Bible stories and hymns and other controversial issues.

"When Chief Justice William Rehnquist passed away, I participated in consideration of potential nominees, by freshening coffee for top White House officials, including the President, and assisting with donut selection during meetings.

"On the evening of October 2, I had dinner with the President and Mrs. Bush, and that's when the First Lady offered me the Supreme Court job. It was another historic 'first' for me--I'm the first woman ever to be nominated to the Supreme Court by a Republican President whose wife's first name is Laura.

"Despite my concerns about whether I could figure out some of the tricky parts of the Constitution, I accepted the offer because it means steady employment and an opportunity to advance my judicial agenda, whatever that might turn out to be."

Q: 27. b. Has anyone involved in the process of selecting you as a judicial nominee ever discussed with you any legal issue in a manner that could be interpreted as seeking assurances concerning your position?

MIERS: "If you're asking whether I was picked because I would vote to overturn Roe v. Wade, let me say this: Just because the President has worked with me closely for 10 years, during which I was an active member of a conservative evangelical church that considers abortion to be murder, doesn't mean the President knows how I would vote on the narrow constitutional issue of whether women and doctors have a right to privately murder babies.

"Short answer: No, they haven't asked and I haven't indicated my stance on the issue."

Q: 17. Constitutional Issues: Please describe in detail any cases or matters you addressed as an attorney or public official which involved constitutional questions.

MIERS: "If you mean the U.S. Constitution, then every case I ever had was a Constitutional one, since the laws of our nation and the freedoms and responsiblities of individuals and states are dilineated in the U.S. Constitution. Thanks to that excellent document, we're a nation of laws not of men. As you may know, I'm a lawyer (see resumé above). The connection between 'law', 'lawyer' and the Constitution should be manifestly clear to the Senate Judiciary Committee, but let me know if you still don't understand."

Q: 22. Potential Conflicts of Interest: Specifically, explain how you will resolve any conflicts that may arise by virtue of your service in the Bush Administration, as George W. Bush’s personal lawyer, or as the lawyer for George W. Bush’s Gubernatorial and Presidential campaigns.

MIERS: "The President would want me to be fair in such cases, and not to favor him just because he was the best governor ever, and my most favorite boss. So, I will be impartial because that's what the President wants."

Q: 28. Judicial Activism: Please discuss your views on 'judicial activism'.

"I'm a hardworker, and I think that all judges should do their best to be active."

Harriet Miers Humor

I try and avoid politics on this site-to me a person's politics is as unimportant as their religion or their favorite food. I know nothing about this woman personally, but to me the most disturbing aspect about her is that she used to be the President of the Texas Bar Association. This may get me into hot water but I give a rat's ass-I don't even bother to belong to our bar association. It seems their sole purpose is to make the lives of small firm lawyers as burdensome as possible, to be a place where the silk stocking crowd can pad their resumes and if you're a prosecutor you might as well be the anti-christ. I would rather drink my own urine than hang out with this tedious crowd and hear them discuss how they waxed eloquently in their summary judgment motion in front of Judge Whoever. They charge for everything to support a bloated staff and a fancy building-how's this for an example: I do a lot of teaching in my field-if I teach a course for four hours, which course qualifies for Continuing Legal Education credit for the attendees, for all my hundreds of hours of prep work and powerpoint slide prep and practice I get no credit unless I pay them a fee for the privilege-I ain't doing it! Last year they charged me a $75.00 late fee because they said they didn't receive my CLE form by the deadline-I mailed it a week earlier-Raleigh is only 150 miles from here and it didn't get there for a week! Hell, I could have walked it there quicker. I've got no use for any bar association-they're all alike, in every state-hold meetings, create committees, have breakout sessions-they make the U.N. seem like a useful, productive body.
I recall Steve's rant about lawyers and it rings true-I re-read it often and still horselaugh. For those of you who missed it, here it is:


Pardon me while I pity myself publicly, but writing a cookbook really
is a lot of work.

I cooked until after 8 p.m. on Saturday, and from 11:30 a.m. until
after midnight last night. Of course, yesterday I was smoking a pork
shoulder, so I didn't have to stand over the smoker for thirteen
hours, but I was not able to leave the house for very long, and there
was a two-hour period where it kept me so busy I got myself a book
and a cigar and camped out next to it.

Some of my friends have absolutely no respect for what I do. Last
week, one asked me to go to the university and be a moot court judge
for a class she teaches. I told her I would not leave her hanging,
but that I would appreciate it if she tried to find other victims
first, because I write and cook all day and then practice the piano
for at least three hours. I usually close the fallboard at eleven.
I'm behind on the cookbook, and weekday nights are not good times to
pull me away from home.

She sent me an email saying she would not trouble me, as I obviously
did not want to help "a friend in need."

I was really offended. I've judged those brats two or three times
already, and everyone who knows me knows I do what I can to help my
friends. I don't ask other people for favors unless I can't avoid it,
and if they turn me down, I assume they have good reason. I would
never have sent her an email like that. Never in my wildest dreams
would I consider calling a friend selfish over a trivial thing like
that. And it is trivial. She and her husband have dozens of lawyer
friends they can call on. And lawyers are generally not busy in the
evening. Some firms are sweatshops where everyone works until nine,
but try this experiment: pick ten law firms out of the firm book and
call at five-thirty in the afternoon. I’ll bet you get voicemail
seven times. The lawyers I’ve known and worked with were generally
out of the office by six, and that includes associates.

Maybe this is the last time I'll be asked. That's fine with me. I
have never understood people who graduate from a school and then go
back and hang around. Once it's over, I'm gone. I feel awkward
running into my old professors. I was never a brown nose who brought
them cookies in their offices and pretended to enjoy hanging around
with them; it wasn't until several years after I left that I realized
other people had done that. That’s how foreign the concept is to me.

I liked some of my professors just fine. But I felt contempt for
quite a few. There were a lot of disproportionate egos on the
faculty. I didn't see these people as especially bright, after
studying physics, and I was aware that many of them had failed as
lawyers or had not had the nerve to practice at all, and it disturbed
me when they put on displays of arrogance. My physics and math
professors were about a thousand times as smart as my law professors,
and I only remember one who had an ego problem. The rest were too
humble, if anything.

Apart from that, I offended a lot of them by writing a humor column
for the school paper, in which I regularly lampooned what I saw as
their hypocrisy and high-handedness. I was not their favorite person.

I realize now that a lot of people I know went to parties with
professors—my sister even slept with one—and pretended to be dazzled
by their charm and wit. I realize that they made the professors their
friends, in order to get good use out of them.

I actually liked my math and physics professors, but it never
occurred to me to try to be their pal, or to to back to school and
peek into their offices and say “Boo!” or to put them on my
nonexistent Christmas card list.

I once coined a term to describe phony camaraderie. I call it
“barroom warmth.” You’ve seen it in action. You go to a bar with your
friends, you get a load on, you start talking to the folks around
you, and suddenly you realize they’re the finest people you ever met.
You exchange numbers (what a mistake), you promise you’ll call, you
sing classic rock until they throw you out of the bar, and then you
wake up at noon and pray you never see them again.

There is something similar among lawyers. Lawyers do not distinguish
business from love from friendship. They seem like charming, friendly
people when you meet them, but a funny thing happens. A day comes
when they realize someone else can do more for them than you can, and
suddenly, you don’t hear from your charming lawyer friends quite so
often. You meet them at social events, and you assume their interest
in you is social, but then you find out that to most lawyers, there
is no such thing as a purely social event. Every event is an
opportunity to network; to find people who can move you forward in
life. And business ALWAYS trumps social. Always.

I’m not accusing my friend of being this way. That’s not what I’m
getting at. What I’m getting at is this: the people who are most
comfortable going back to campus are phony gladhanders who can
identify their old professors blindfolded just by sniffing their
asses. I’m a real person. I never palled around with the profs.
Therefore I feel very out of place on campus.

I go every time my friend needs me, sure, but I don’t look forward to
it. “Hi, Professor Smith. Remember me? The guy you and all your
buddies hated? Nice to see you.”

Do you think I’m being too hard on lawyers? I suppose all ambitious,
acquisitive people network and gladhand. I suppose even decent people
do it to some extent. But I’ve really been shocked to see how empty
my fellow attorneys are. I could probably list ten classmates who
used me shamefully, or tried to. And there are very few classmates I
keep in touch with.

So far, the only professions that seem to me to compare with law,
when it comes to superficiality and selfishness, are sales and
politics. Most salespeople I’ve known have been realtors. Talk about
ruthless. A typical realtor has the ethics of a concentration camp
inmate trying to live out the month. And car salesmen…the slime of
humanity. They should all be gassed.

So to sum up, I actually work, and I am even more disappointed in the
character of lawyers than you are.

While I’m rambling, let me talk about the difference between a law
school gathering and a trip to ManCamp. As most of you know, I met
Val Prieto over a year ago, and I spend a lot of time with him and
his friends, in Val’s backyard barbecue haven.

When I go to ManCamp, no one asks me for my card. Everyone there
knows I can do absolutely nothing for them, and that they can do
absolutely nothing for me. We eat, we drink, we play dominoes, we
curse at the TV, but no one talks about business. You know, when
you’re at ManCamp, that if you weren’t liked for what you were, you’d
be out on your ass in about two seconds.

How different from a mixer full of lawyers and law clericals. At a
mixer, the women want to know what kind of law you practice. What
firm you work for. They look at your clothes and your watch. If it
all adds up to the right sum, you can end up with a new girlfriend,
even if you have the good looks and charm of Larry Flynt. The men
aren’t much better, but at least they won’t pretend to find you
attractive. Everyone looks at you like you’re big cheesecake, and
they all want a slice.

If you’re not a lawyer, let me warn you. Be very reluctant to get
involved romantically with one. Some are okay, but there are a lot of
users in the mix. There are some types of people you should always
evaluate very carefully before agreeing to date them. Musicians.
Actors. Cops. Stewardesses. Salespeople. Addicts. Add “lawyers” to
the list, if you haven’t already.

I hope my friend won’t be mad at me forever.

That's a classic and so true it hurts-Bwahahahahhaha!

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Sunday night sunset over Town Creek Marina-Beaufort, N.C. Posted by Picasa

Friday, October 21, 2005

Carnival of the Recipes-#62

Welcome to Fishtown Chatter-This is a nightime look at the lovely Beaufort, N.C. waterfront. Come visit the blog and better yet, come visit the loveliest town on the N.C. coast-you'll never be the same.

I am happy to host this week's Carnival of the Recipes. While you're here, take a look around, visit my blogroll and also check out the sites of the bloggers who were so generous in their submissions. There's a ton of talent out there waiting to be discovered. It's been a time of transition at the Carnival and last week's last minute changes caused by
Beth's "Pork Only Decree," (in retaliation for the English Council's absurd banning of Piglet in a lame attempt at political correctness), did not hamstring Ala in the least-she did her typical great job and we hope she visits our lovely Outer Banks again next year. Ala-make sure you hit some of the world famous pork barbeque joints that dot eastern NC between I-95 and the coast (or as Philadelphians call it "the shore!" Some of the recipes that didn't make it in time for last week's Carnival will be included here.

Beth has turned the reins over to Puntillious and I thank him for the easy to understand instruction and guidance. He has been keeping an eye on things- focusing on lining up the next set of hosts. He peeks in this week with a dish that can watch you while you eat it-
Eyeball Soup-it's bulging with goodness.

He got the idea from Martha Stewart and I would say his is preferable-here's a pic of hers that seems to feature a cockroach, that most likely hid out in her orange jumpsuit from Alderson Federal Prison while she was preoccupied perfecting her recipe for stir-fry condoms or engraving her roommates shank. I don't think the cockroach would touch this:

James Lileks has a something to kickoff a new Gallery of Regrettable Food right there!

No real themes struck me-I'm caught in no man's land between last week's Pigs and next weeks Ghosts-so in classic English major style I'll wing it, starting off with some tasty treats featuring the southern favorite-Yardbird.

Professor Bainbridge on Wine graces us with Slow Cooker Coq Au Merlot, what he calls a "low stress variant on the traditional Coq Au Vin." It features free range/organic chicken thighs-I don't think our Piggly-Wiggly carries these so I will attempt it using limited range thighs.

A veritable cockfight has erupted between two competing healthy entrees-PractiGal Marie submits a no-nonsense Chicken and Squash Stew-a lot of food with just 5 grams of fat and she squares off with Martha Hudnall's Autumn Chicken Butternut Squash Stew from A Weight Lifted.

More poultry-in-motion here continuing with Chicken Artichoke Crepes sent to us by The Deputy Headmistress at The Common Room. The recipe call for the construction of 36 crepes which seems like a lot but apparently she cooks for a family of 9, which explains that.

Mensa Barbie offers a smart variation to the standard yardbird with Stuffed Chicken Truffle as the main course in what she calls "a lovely little patio dinner, for two." And lovely it is: Take a look.
That's all the chick right now except for one I've put in the ethnic category.


This category is broadly defined to include anything that resides in water, fresh or salt and includes fish, crustaceans and reptiles.

First the fish- Sesame Encrusted Salmon painstakingly set forth by BJ at Quite Early One Morning. The recipe not only covers the main event but a variety of dipping sauces. Take a look at the salmon steaks-absolutely gorgeous!
Tilapia with Cajun Spices is next sent by Cookie (a/k/a Betsy LT) at My Cooking Blog.

Approximately 1 lb tilapia filets (about 4 thick filet pieces)
1 1/2 tsp Oregano

3 tsp Chili powder
3/8 tsp Cayenne pepper powder
3/4 tsp Salt
3 Tbsp Butter
5 Tbsp Lemon juice

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
Prepare a 9" x 13" glass baking dish by spraying the sides with non-stick cooking spray (I used PAM).

Measure out spices & salt, then mix them together. Set aside.

Melt butter with lemon juice in prepared baking dish (in microwave) or melt on top of stove and pour into baking dish.

Pat fish filets dry. Dip each filet into the butter lemon mixture, t
hen sprinkle with the spices and rub the spices onto the fish's surface (although it's messy, it seemed like using my hand was the best tool for the job), flip over the filet and repeat the process on the other side. Use the same method for the remaining fish.

Bake at 450 degrees F about 15 minutes or until the fish flakes (and appears opaque). 15 minutes has been about right.

This be a Tilapia-
Crabmeat Au Gratin is my own submission-I've picked some blue crabs twice this week, although not enough meat for this recipe:

1 stalk celery
1 cup onions, chopped fine
1/4 lb butter
1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1 can evaporated milk
2 egg yolks
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon red peppers (cayenne)

1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 lb crabmeat
1/2 lb grated American cheese

1. Saute onions and celery in butter until wilted.
2. Blend flour in well with this mixture.

3. Pour in milk gradually, stirring constantly.
4. Add egg yolks, salt, red and black pepper.
5. Cook for 5 minutes.
6. Put crabmeat in a bowl suitable for mixing and pour the cooked sauce over the crabmeat.
7. Blend well and then transfer to a lightly greased casserole and sprinkle with grated American Cheese Bake at 375 for 10- 15 minutes or light brow

Dale at Mostly Cajun wins the award for the most ambitious submission-Alligator Sauce Piquant. I stopped here-"Procure and dispatch the ‘gator. Disembowel and skin. Chop up the meaty parts. Set aside."

A Pork Chop recipe was late for submission last week-This is dedicated to the English Council that thinks this little cartoon character is the anti-christ. It comes to us from RomeoCat at Cathouse Chat. I vote the avatar to be the finest this week and is a fitting salute to the English Council.

ORANGE VEGETABLES- Three submissions in this category, one veggie, one bread and one dessert: Cathy at CFO-Chief Family Officer sends us Twice-Baked Sweet Potatoes.

Twice-Baked Sweet Potatoes
Serves 2 as an entree or 4 as a side dish

2 medium sweet potatoes
2 slices of cooked bacon, crumbled (optional)

8 oz. frozen chopped broccoli, thawed and squeezed dry
1/2 cup cottage cheese
1 cup shredded cheddar or jack cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley (optional)

1. Use a fork to poke holes in each sweet potato. Microwave the sweet potatoes on high for 8 minutes, turning them over after 4 minutes.
2. Preheat your oven or toaster oven to 400 degrees or prepare your broiler. Cut the potatoes in half lengthwise. (Be careful because the potatoes will be extremely hot.)
3. Scoop out the potato halves, leaving a 1/4-inch thick bord
er so you don't pierce the skin.
4. In a bowl, mash the potatoes. Combine potatoes with bacon, broccoli, and cottage cheese.
5. Scoop the potato mixture into the shells. Top each shell with
1/4 cup shredded cheese.
6. Bake for 15 minutes or broil for 5 minutes, or until the cheese melts and browns on top. Top with chopped parsley and serve.

Christine at Morning Coffee and Afternoon Tea pulls these beautiful Pumpkin Scones from her oven.
And finally, a great Halloween Pumpkin Cake from Caltechgirl of Not Exactly Rocket Science-sounds delicious but there is something else on her blog that caught my eye and to this Wake Forest Alum is almost as good:

Speaking of suckage-This overhyped bag of cliches-the 80's version of Kumbaya sucked as much as it's author and lead singer-curious how he mentioned "the children." But these Ethnic Recipes do not suck-they, in fact are terrific.

Let's start with Thai: Three submissions this week, the first from Martin at Ego-Cassava Thai Dip Sauce.

* 3 tablespoons fish sauce.
* 2 tablespoons of lime juice. Looks Great:
* 1 garlic clove, finely chopped.
* 3 chile pepper fruits, chopped

Mix the ingredients together in a bowl. Serve together with cassava / yuca chips.

Second is a straggler from last week sent in by Mrs. Lost Budgie and comports with last weeks theme-FREE PIGLET! THAI PORK SATAY (with Satay Peanut Sauce). No link provided so here it is:
FREE PIGLET! THAI PORK SATAY (with Satay Peanut Sauce)

Pork (shoulder) slice into thin strips (thick 1/2 inch
x 1 inch wide x 3 inches long) for skewering on
bamboo. 2 lbs. pork.

INGREDIENTS for Marinade

Coconut milk 1/2 cup
Curry powder (Hot) 2tsp
Turmeric powder 1/2 tsp
Sugar 2 tsp
Soy sauce 1/2 tbsp OR
salt 2 tsp
Vegetable oil 2 tbsp

- Mix all marinade ingredients together.
- Mix the sliced pork with the marinade.
- Let pork marinade for at least 2 hours (better if
overnight or even 24 hours)
- Skewer each pork slice with bamboo skewer. (Soak
the bamboo skewers in water for one hour)
- Grill over a low BBQ until done. Charcoal or wood
fire is better than propane. Brush coconut milk on
both sides while grilling and the satay pork will stay
moist while cooking.
- Serve with peanut sauce for dipping and cucumber
salad on the side. If you are lazy, the salad can be
replaced by pickled cucumber slices.)

INGREDIENTS for Satay Peanut Sauce

Red curry paste 1 tbsp
Coconut milk 1 cup
Sugar 2 1/2 tsp
Tamarind juice or lime juice 2 tsp
Peanut butter - smooth. 2 tbsp

Cooking Satay Peanut Sauce

- (Medium heat) Put coconut milk in a saucepan, heat
up then add curry paste and fry until fragrant.
- Add sugar and tamarind juice (or lime juice) and
continue frying for another one or two minutes.
- Add peanut butter, stir and fry with low heat,
simmer until it thickens.

Last but not least, one that snuck in under the wire this morning is from Jeff at Trub. The Sediment of Life. He provides us the makings of Tom Kha Kai otherwise known by us that speak fluet Thai as Thai Chicken and Coconut Soup. This week was my first time at his site-take some time there (as with the others)-it's chock full of good stuff.

Yo quiero, Mexican

Ask and ye shall receive-These Baked Chicken Fajitas are submitted by Shawn at Everything and Nothing.

Baked Chicken Fajitas

One of my favorite quick and easy recipes...

1 lb chicken breasts, cut into fajita-style strips
1 green pepper, cut into strips
1 can Ro-Tel, drained

1 med. onion, cut into strips
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp chili pepper
2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp salt
Flour tortillas

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Spray 13x9x2 pan with non-stick spray. Cut chicken into fajita-style strips and put in pan. Add onion and pepper cut into strips. Drain Ro-Tel and add to pan. Mix the spices together with the olive oil and drizzle over mixture, stir to coat evenly. B
ake at 400 degrees for 30 min. Serve with flour tortillas.

We interrupt this post so Ellison can instruct us on how to easily get ketchup out of a newly opened bottle. He also provides instructions for squeeze bottles-"Just squeeze, wimp!"

To save a bit of space, we will group submissions of Yugoslavian, Italian and Jewish.
Matzah Balls for soup come to us from Muse at Me-Ander, Potica Bread is served up by Roxanne at Melange-here's what a slice looks like:

She also has an interesting quote underneath this recipe post:

Having a child is to decide forever to have your heart go walking outside your body. - Elizabeth Stone

Poppa's Italian Soup comes to us from the lady at The Common Room who, as we noted above, has to cook for nine-looks great for a fall day.


I have a special spot in my heart for Indian food. One of my best friends, Vin is from Bangalore, a small village of 8 million. She does not have a blog, but pursuant to my request has sent in two great dishes:

Green Beans with Leeks

1/3 Cup Olive Oil
5-6 garlic cloves crushed

2-3 teaspoons Fresh Thyme
Fresh Lime
1 Leek
1 lb fresh green beans
Salt & Pepper

Mix the crushed garlic cloves with the oil. Add in the fresh thyme. Cut white part of the leek and discard the dark green portion. Mix the leek with the green beans. Coat the green beans/leeks with the oil mixture in a shallow baking dish. Salt and Pepper to taste. Bake at 350 F for 25-35 minutes (depending on desired crunchiness). Mix the green beans occasionally while cooking. After removing from the oven, squeeze a half a lime over the beans, mix and serve.

White Chili

Cooked Shredded chicken
Chicken Broth
1 can Northern White Beans
1 can Canelloni White Beans
1 can Navy Beans
1 can white corn
1 can green chilies
1 medium onion

6-8 garlic cloves
1/3 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon celery seasoning
Salt and Pepper to taste

I cook an entire chicken with enough water to cover the chicken. Add salt, poultry seasoning, celery seasoning and a bay leaf to the water to flavor the broth. You can also use chicken breasts and 2-3 cans of chicken broth.

Saute onions and garlic in olive oil. After the onions/garlic start to b
rown, add in the small can of green chilies. Add in cooked shredded chicken. Add in drained beans, corn and cumin. Mix well and add in chicken broth (at least 4 cups). Cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Uncover and cook until desired thickness. Can serve in a bread bowl.

Also from the Republic of India, the second most populous country in the world, we have a Chicken Curry submitted by Riannan from In The Headlights.

Per usual, we wrap up the Carnival with the Desserts; We have two this week, the first is
Fruit Cocktail Cake prepared and sent to us by Jill Webb at Yellow Snapdragons who humbly proclaims it to be the best cake ever! Last but not least we have Chocolate Chip/Toffee Cookies from my blog friend, the formerly Feisty Girl, soon to be Just.Christina, who presently hangs out at Sadie's place. We hope to see her and her hubby, Dash (Brad) next week in Texas.

Thanks for dropping by-and thanks again to Puntillious for the instructions. My best to Beth during her hiatus. While you're visiting these blogs, please take time to look around. From the Carolina Coast, over and out!

The caption says "Redneck Plumbing School" but it really is Redneck Sex Education. Posted by Picasa

Gone Dogs

My good friend and co-worker Irene's mutt-dog Griff passed yesterday from some bizarre stomach condition. He was between 13 and 15 years so he had a good run. I had seen this dog on several occasions at their home and he surely put the capital "M" in mutt. Scraggly, brown mottled, long-legged hound dog with ten times more energy than sense. When you visited he would almost wag himself to death and jump around like a spastic, his flailing legs and long toenails on the kitchen floor created a rythmic clacking-like a canine version of Riverdance. I've been thinking of long lost dogs lately-their faces stare back at me from the pictures that line my fireplace mantel and inhabit a large part of my computer hard drive. I remember with laserlike precision, the when, why, how and where we got each of them. If you love pets, as I do, and you make it to the half-century mark, as I have, you will dig more pet graves than you want. A dog and a cat are buried in the front yard of our old house in Clemmons, N.C., a tree marking their resting places and their graves hold not just their limp bodies and bones, but like the ancient Egyptians, we buried them with their favorite treats and trinkets, in the hope they would use them wherever dead pets go.

It's midnight on a crisp fall night-I'm sitting in my customary chair taking the first draw on a rum and Diet Coke. I lean over to open the door to the back porch so the dogs can rush out and bark wildly at some local kids who have the gall to be riding their bikes up and down a public street. We have a safe neighborhood but when they get to barking in tandem, you would swear that one of us was being stabbed to death by a hooded serial killer. I step out on the porch to collect them in when I feel that they have barked and growled enough. The full moon has flooded the backyard with hazy light and my gaze shifts to a thin, gray slate headstone, leaning against large cinder rock that sits in the mulch of a large flower bed. The headstone is surrounded by seashell and small statuary rabbits. The slate tablet reads "Mystery-1985?-2002," the bottom line adding the words, "Our Sweet Missy." That is how we referred to her during her 10 years with us. She was absolutely the sweetest dog that ever lived and just writing this brings up the tears like water from a well.

She was named Mystery by others for good reason we were told. She had been passed from home to home many times in her early years and no one really remembered where she came from-given the sweetness of that dog, that is something I cannot fathom. To this day, I would eat my own liver than to give up any of my pets-not even one of the fourteen goldfish inhabiting our plastic garden pond. If someone intentionally hurt or killed one of my pets, I have no doubt whatsoever that I would kill the perpetrator with my bare hands, turn myself in, proudly plead guilty and do the time-no doubt whatsoever! We came across Mystery for the first time on our nightly stroll up the hill while walking our first dog, Duncan. Mystery came charging full bore out of a garage of a house owned by Betty and Charlie Fulton. Betty was a stereotypical older southern lady-sporting a blue-gray "jiffy-popped" hairdo, she was garrulous and gossipy. Her husband was pot-bellied and laconic (he had no choice about the latter since Betty talked incessantly with the rapidity of a Gatling Gun). Most times Charlie would be aboard his John Deere mower, either mowing his five acres or just riding around surveying the scene. He also had an old truck which spent more time in the field than on the paved road. For the next year, everytime we would walk past the Fulton house, this small Yorkie-mix dog would come barreling out of the garage toward us barking. Her bark was comical-it was soft, muffled and froggy and the word I gave it was not a "bark," but a "berf." When she got close to us, if we made the sightest move toward her she would quickly retreat to the garage and the "berfing" would change to just a low, gutteral grumble. We would just horselaugh everytime it happened-the combination of the ferocity of the initial approach, the immediate retreat and the goofy bark and grumble was absolutely comical. She soon became the focus of the walk-if she didn't come charging out we felt cheated. We fell in love with the little dog. She began to grow accustomed and less spooked by our efforts to give her some attention and the first time Jane managed to hold her still, she plucked a dime-sized engorged tick from between her eyes.

Betty and Charlie had other animals including a few cats and a pit bull they kept tied to a doghouse in the backyard. I joked to Betty that we would love to have Mystery if for any reason they felt they didn't want her anymore-I could not imagine that ever being the case-but a week later Betty was in our driveway handing me this fuzzy little dog through the passenger window of her car. We asked no questions. We didn't have a crate with which to train her and acclimate her to her new abode so the first day we went to work, we shut her in the guest bedroom with some food and water. When we came home she had chewed up the carpet near the door and had chewed the bottom of the door itself and the wooden threshold- and incredible feat of destruction for an eight-pound ball of fur. Things got better-she slept on the bed with us and she and Duncan roamed the yard and woods-they were inseperable. She still, however, felt the pull of her old home and the fields where she used to chase (and catch) bunny rabbits, ride in the truck with Charlie and according to Betty, had a litter of puppies that she (Mystery) saved from threatening floodwaters-picking up the puppies by the scruff of the neck and dropping them, one by one, onto the safe ground of a raised garden bed. One minute she would be laying in the front yard of our house in a shaft of sunlight and a moment later she would be running up the hill to her own home-we always knew where we could find her-guarding her old garage. This went on for the better part of two years, then suddenly the urge stopped like clockwork. On one of our walks, which now included Mystery, we asked Betty if she knew why. Betty said that Mystery had come up last week and had been "beaten up" by their Siamese cat. It was a relief not to have to trudge up the hill and haul her home anymore-thanks, cat!

Mystery was a house dog after we got her but she loved the outdoors. She would wander the yard and fields behind our house. Sometimes I could hear her disitinctive bark far back in the woods, then hours later could hear her rustling through the leaves and brush, finally emerging back into the yard, then up on the deck and into the house. She (as most small female dogs), was fearless of other animals. Although spayed, she was hardwired as a female to flirt and tease the local male dogs. Her best friend, other than brother Duncan was a huge German Shepherd named Rex who lived about six houses down at the very end of the cul-de-sac. Mystery would go into the front yard, give a couple of muffled "woofs," and this huge dog would come running. When he got to our place, she would completely ignore him, and we would pet him and give him some attention to make up for Mystery's aloofness. Years later he would come to the house accompanied by a gangly, black female hound dog we called "Skittish." She was a boundless bundle of uncontrolled energy-wiggling wildly-her legs constantly clomping and churning even while making no forward progress. If our door was cracked, this wild beast would charge through and romp through the house, overturning food and water bowls, scattering the cats like a pickup careening through an dirt road full of of chickens and sending all the other dogs into a barking frenzy. The dog would go from room to room on the first floor, then re-emerge out the door wiggling and clomping in place. She resisted all of our attempts to pet her, hence her nickname.

Duncan died in early December 1998 replaced by Shadow a month later. Shadow is a snaggle-toothed, large headed, thick bodied black mutt with sad eyes and floppy ears and short legs-he looks as if he was put together by a committee. In the spring of 2000, I loaded he and Mystery into my old Jeep and drove them five hours eastward to our new home on the coast. Our new cleaning lady didn't understand her name and always called her "Misery" to our great amusement. Mystery didn't miss a beat although she was beginning to show her age. Somedays she appeard as if she could hardly get around, yet later that same day, we might look out over the flat landscape and see her 300 yards away just laying in the sun. Our nightly walks began as such for her, then became mostly walk and some carry, then some walk and mostly carry, then finally mostly carry. One of my favorite photos is Jane carrying her on a walk during a January snow. We started taping her legs with brightly colored self-adhesive gauze to give them stability. She accepted the application procedure fine and pranced around proudly with her red or blue "stockings,"but often we would come home from work to see the gauze chewed to tiny pieces on the carpet, her legs bare again.

She began to show her age-her legs joints got weaker, her eyes clouded, her toenails grew and curved into circles because of her herculean efforts to resist clipping despite her frailty; we had to lift her onto the bed and her belly started to distend. Her breathing was often raspy. On her regular visits to the vet where she was a favorite amongst the staff, I always feared I would come home without her, that the vet would talk us into putting her down. She always came home. I could see what was coming and I asked the vet how we would know when it was time-she replied simply, "she'll tell you." She told us on an August weekend-her breathing was labored but not such as we felt she need to go in right away. She had a fitful "sleep" on a Saturday night and I awoke to Jane's gentle tapping and the words, "David, I think she has passed." She was curled up in her little burgundy plaid padded horseshoe- shaped bed looking quite peaceful. I couldn't believe she was gone. I went outside, picked out a beautiful sunny spot near a windmill palm-a place she used to lay to warm her bones. I tearfully spaded a small grave and gathered up some of her favorite items plus a small plaster rabbit like the kind she used to chase in the fields with Charlie Fulton. It took a long time to get her from the bedroom to the yard-we were inconsolable and could not stand to let go. After she was positioned in the grave, still in her soft little plaid bed, it was hard to cover her with the black dirt-we wanted just one more glimpse of this precious creature and we kept patting her cold head and telling her how much we loved her. Finally the accumulating dirt put her out of our of sight and we quickly finished that horrible task and turned to decorating the spot with seashells. We were spent so I suggested we take the boat out to the beach and enjoy a nice summer day. I convinced myself that Mystery had been reincarnated into a dolphin, swimming blissfully in the blue ocean water. We had a subdued day on the beach, cleared our minds and at dusk we rounded the corner at Shackleford Banks and Beaufort Inlet and headed to the ramp. Suddenly just to the right of the boat, a pod of dolphins rolled out of the water, exhaled loudly through their blowholes and disappeared again. We looked at each other and smiled-our Sweet Missy was alive and well.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

We're Crazier Than You!

I found this rant originally written by Laurence Simon shortly after 9/11-it was linked on Wizbang. Pretty funny stuff.

This is a post from a CNN message board: Orion
Ramsey - Friday, 09/21/01, 2:35:00pm (#58980 of

To those extremists that perpetrated this crime
against our nation, I have a warning for you.
There are those of us who look at your actions as
irrational, twisted, and completely inhuman. By
all measures, what you have done can only be seen
as insane. I have news for you. We're more nuts
than you, and it should scare you s***less.

You may think that when you die for your cause,
you go to Paradise with 72 virgins, can leave
reservations for 70 members of your family, all
your sins are forgiven, and you sit at the side of
Allah. Big deal. We had 39 guys who rented a
Beverly Hills mansion, cut off their nuts, built a
web site, and proceeded to poison themselves to
death to hitch a ride with aliens out on the
Hale-Bopp comet.

You shoot guns into the sky to celebrate victories
over enemies, and people are killed by the bullets
raining down on them. We not only do this for New
Year's Eve in some cities, but we burn houses
down, tear up streets, loot and sack our stores,
and beat ourselves senseless when our sports teams
win championships.

Sports teams! We made a sequel to Police Academy
5. We gave an award for singing to two guys who
never even sang. We put little sweaters on dogs.
We shot John Lennon six times and didn't even aim
for Yoko Ono. We think Elvis is still alive. We
put Braille on drive-up automatic teller machines.
We think that a simple button on a web site that
says "Do not click if you're under 21" will do
anything but cause a person under 21 to click on
it. We take a large chunk of the island on which
those buildings you destroyed sat and pretend that
it isn't a part of our country after all, let
people fly into our airports that we want to kill,
drive them in limousines to speak against us on
this "pretend territory" land, let them drive back
to our airport, and let them fly them back home
without a scratch. We sell hot dogs in packages of
ten and the buns in packages of eight. We can't
even decide if pitchers should have to bat for

Thanks big guy! Posted by Picasa

On top of large cooler Posted by Picasa

Tomorrow night's dinner-22" flounder-Weighed in at 4 lbs. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Wednesday fishing

The autumn days provide a mixed blessing down here on the coast. In late September, all of October and usually up until Thanksgiving, you would be hard pressed to find a more beautiful place than the coast of Carolina. The days are warm, but not oppressive, the sun is angled in a way to give the acres of spartina grasses a golden hue, the water turns gin clear, the fish are everywhere gorging themselves before winter comes and the summer crowds have dispersed back to the Piedmont and the Triad and the Triangle-back to their corporate lives and the land of the strip malls-to the beltways and interstates and concrete parking decks and knots of heavy traffic where they sit at desks and daydream of their next chance to come down and chill out and put a line in the water. The downside is the sure and steady approach of winter-there's always that one day at the beginning of every season that seems to scream "I'M HERE!"-down here that point can come as early as Thanksgiving or as late as mid-January, but it will arrive. That's the day when the desire to go out in the boat is trumped by the desire to don sweatpants, throw another log on the fire and take a nap on the couch. It's a time when the slate-gray skies predominate-when the sun never really is aggrressive enough or strong enough to chase away all the clouds for an extended period. Since last Sunday we've had a succession of "bluebird" days-bright sun, warm days, cool nights and light winds. I got my boat back yesterday after teaching and took the afternoon off to take my friend Dicky Scearce redfishing back up in the marshes that line the Intracoastal Waterway near the Newport River. Dicky has been kind enough this summer to invite me along to play some guitar when he does a local solo gig. Again I will shamelessly plug the four awesome CD's that he and partner Jack Ketner have churned out in a genre they call "Carolina-Carribean Pirate Rock"- two live recordings and two studio efforts mixed at the infamous Litterbox Studios located at Dicky's condo. Dicky, like me is an emigree from the Triad, specifically High Point, N.C.. the furniture capital of the world and also like me has a tremendous love for the beauty of this area. Our county is huge-from Cedar Point, where he and wife Susan live, which is on the westernmost tip of the county to Cedar Island, the easternmost point is at best a two hour venture. Each coastal community has its own unique history and flavor. There are millions of acres or ocean, salt marsh, rivers and bays and you could explore a different place everyday for your entire life and never come close to seeing it all. I have my own little piece of heaven that I know like the back of my hand-I know where the shoals and the oyster bars and the hard bottom grass flats are and I know the place at all levels of the tide. It has taken me five years to learn it all-it's a small area that draws me to it like a moth to a flame every time the boat rolls off the trailer and for obvious reasons I try to keep it's secrets to myself as much as possible. There are times when I enjoy sharing it with folks that I know will appreciate its simple beauty and its bounty and won't abuse it-you show the wrong person your favorite spot and before you know it they've e-mailed 200 of their closest friends and the place gets pounded to death. Today was my day to repay Dicky in some small way for letting me share a stage with him this summer and fall. I built him a spinning rod as a gift and today was the day he put the first bend in it.

I spent about 2 restless hours at work making a list of things to do before meeting at the boat ramp at 12:30. I bought 6 dozen live shrimp for the livewell so we could actually fish instead of chase bait at high tide. Gassed up the boat, filled up the cooler, got some sandwiches, packed some warm clothes just in case and got to the ramp with not a minute to spare. No crowd at the ramp but this is spot fishing season and there's always the ubiquitous "ramp rookies"-this time of year they are just annoying-in the crowded summer these yahoos tend to cause a phenomenon I call "ramp rage." The locals, who know how to launch a boat and get it the hell out of the way of others wanting to launch are driven to fits of cursing and violence by "upstaters" who can't back a trailer with someone watching; launch their boat without checking first to see if the motor will crank; have no concept of the effect of current, tide or wind on said boat; back into an oyster "rake" and spend an hour beating their prop to death on the hard shells; or the capital offense of putting the boat in the water and blocking the slip while traipsing back and forth to the car to get the fried chicken, the beach chairs, the fishing poles and then waiting for old granny with a walker to make the 30 minute trip across the parking lot to have her shriveled ass hoisted into the cockpit. Mix the above scene with a red-faced marble-mouthed hothead who's downed 30 beers and some Fritos in the hot sun all day and you've got yourself the makings of a true reality show. As my friend Scott has so presciently noted, "nothing good ever happens at the boat ramp."

We took off across the Newport River two hours after high tide and pulled the boat up to a grass bank on an unnamed creek-it has a name, I'm just not going to spill it. Thirty minutes of nothing happening using live shrimp is a good sign nothing is there so we went one creek up. Three good heaves with the cast net and the shrimp were joined in the livewell with a hundred finger mullet. Time to fish-We pulled the boat up into a oyster strewn basin where the water was 18 inches deep and dropping an inch every fifteen minutes or so. We put out two popping corks suspending live bait and a carolina rig that I heaved into the creek channel. I got the first one-a baby about 12 inches long but still sporting the copper color and the tell-tale black spot on the tail. Dicky saw his cork disappear and was onto a nice red-probably 20 inches at least and weighing four to five pounds-the photos are below. He did a great job with the fish-keeping a lot of presssure to keep it out of the oysters or the motor prop when he neared the boat and spooked. Got some action photos with the new rod getting broken in right. We had a great afternoon-drank few beers, listened to some tunes, traded stories and the time raced by. The drag on the reel to the bottom rig started whining and the line cut through the water. He got the call to land him and did a great job-all the way to the boat. That fish was a monster, probably in the ten pound range and as I reached to pull him in the boat, his weight straightened out the hook and he dropped off before I could pull him over the gunwhale. Nice fight-nice fish-just wish I had a photo of the beast. As the tide poured out things slowed to a crawl and we made our last relocation out in the main waterway. Another singing drag and some flopping on the surface about 50 feet out and I thought Dicky was onto another big one. All the way to the boat he put up the classic redfish battle but when we got him beside the boat it was the bane of bottom fishermen-the skate. We cut him off, lobbed a few more casts, finished off the last of the beer in the cans and headed for port. As promised I had Dicky back at the ramp just before 6:00. Another great day on the water-glad to share my small piece of heaven with a great guy and great friend. I hope we do it again soon!

PS- I did manage to pull two blue crabs into the boat. After my blue crab dinner massacre last Saturday, I used these boys to redeem myself-here's what's left of them.

False alarm-large skate Posted by Picasa