Free Forum Friday December 10

It’s Free Forum Friday. Share a recipe, call your fellow blogger a wanker, or just tell us what’s on your mind. (Perhaps you should do each of those in a separate post, just so we don’t get confused.)


About Monotreme

Monotreme is an unabashedly liberal dog lover, writer, and former scientist who now teaches at a University in an almost-square state out West somewhere. http://www.logarchism.com | http://www.sevendeadlysynapses.com
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81 Responses to Free Forum Friday December 10

  1. Mr. Universe says:

    I’m about to go on holiday and visit friends and family back in the good ol’ south. Anybody else got big holiday plans?

  2. filistro says:

    I’m compiling a list of “Foods That Taste Better Than They Sound,” and looking for contributions.

    Number one on my list would be a delicious boiled fruit-and-nut pudding that my Scots-English grandmother used to make at Christmas time. It was mixed, hung in a cloth for several days and then boiled in the cloth bag, turned out and served with a brown sugar hard sauce. She called it (I am sorry to report) “Spotted dick.”

  3. filistro says:

    Since Monotreme says I’m allowed to bring up what’s on my mind… don’t you think there are times when Freedom of Speech should be restricted in the interest of basic human decency?

    There must be something that can be done with these despicable people.

  4. Mule Rider says:

    “call your fellow blogger a wanker”

    Hey, that’s my line 🙂

    “visit friends and family back in the good ol’ south.”

    Stopping in Memphis??? You know you’re dying to meet me…

    🙂

  5. Mr. Universe says:

    ‘Spotted Dick’ sounds more like an incurable malady than a tasty dish. I’ll have to pass.

    Sorry, Mule. Given the amount of time I have, I’ll be at the bottom of a pile of grandchildren for most of my stay. Then I have to help my buddy change the engine in his Porsche before we rock New Years Eve in ATL. Memphis is just so out of my way these days. Maybe one day…

    I’m gonna go to West Memphis and look for bok choi

    (a peculiar bastardization my friends and me got from a Lucinda Williams song)

  6. shortchain says:

    filistro,

    Almost any English food prepared by a competent chef tastes better than it sounds. Not that that’s saying much. Bubble and Squeak, anyone? How about Steak and Kidney pie?

    On the other hand, a lot of French dishes sound a lot better than they taste when prepared by an amateur.

  7. filistro says:

    Hey, look at this… it wasn’t just Grandma!

    From the article… Hospital managers at Gloucestershire NHS Trust (in 2001)[3] and the catering staff at Flintshire County Council (in 2009)[4] renamed the pudding Spotted Richard on menus because of the use of Dick in the name, which is short for “Richard” but also slang for “penis”. Gloucestershire NHS Trust restored the original name in 2002. Flintshire County Council reversed their renaming after a few weeks.[5]

    Spotted Richard!

    Makes me think of “freedom fries”… LOL…

  8. filistro says:

    shortchain… steak and kidney pie is pretty self-explanatory…. but what’s Bubble and Squeak? (I almsot hesiate to ask. Number one on my alternate list, Foods That Taste Worse Than They Sound, would have to be “sweetbreads” which I was once enticed into eating as a child back on the ranch. They are breaded thymus glands.)

    ooooh YUCK….

  9. Mr. Universe says:

    I didn’t click on the link but I’m assuming fili is referring to the Westboro Baptist Church’s plans to picket Elizabeth Edward’s funeral. Westboro is a militantly anti-gay group from Topeka, Kansas. They’ve picketed funerals of US servicemen killed in action before.

    Just when you think there couldn’t be anything more vile than the KKK, this shows up to illustrate how deep the level of hatred in the human race can go. I’m surprised that there hasn’t been a church burning in Kansas already.

    I’ve spoken to a couple of peole who are going to North Carolina to form a human chain to keep these fools away from the funeral. Yes, it does make me question the limits of the first amendment. But having an opinion is one thing; showing up at a funeral and jamming your opinion through a bull horn onto a grieving family is an assault.

  10. shortchain says:

    filistro,

    Basically, refried vegetable leftovers. Usually potatoes and cabbage. See also, Colcannon.

    Then there are the foods whose names scream “Caution!” — like “tripe”.

    The American tradition somewhat follows the English, with such desserts as grunts and grumbles.

  11. Mr. Universe says:

    Haggis, anyone?

  12. Mr. Universe says:

    Maybe Chitlins?

  13. filistro says:

    Okay, what is “grunts and grumbles?” Sounds like it should be on the menu at the DNC convention 😉

    Mr U… YES!!! “Chitlins and grits” should be way up there on the “sounds better than it tastes” list. In my Canuck innocence, I had always thought it was something like bacon and hash browns… until I spent some time in Texas writing a book and actually learned the truth.

    Barf, barf, barf….

  14. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    “Haggis” is at the TOP of my list. Sounds exactly like the sound one would make just after that first bite!
    “Here, y’all try summa this!”
    “OK”
    “HAGGIS!!!”

    Now chitlins. I know it sounds terrible, particularly when you know what it is beforehand. BUT . . .
    When was the last time you ate a sausage link?
    Guess what it was that it was packed in?
    YOU, my friend, just had some fried chitlins!

    That DOES NOT mean I was over in Salley, SC the weekend after Thanksgiving for the Chitlin Strut!

    Yes, they do, really.

    Look it up.

  15. filistro says:

    @Max.. “Haggis” is at the TOP of my list. Sounds exactly like the sound one would make just after that first bite!

    LOL… so true. It’s onomatopoeia!

    MMMM… sheep stomach and porridge…

    Actually, Mr U should be charmed to learn that haggis is what gave rise to curling. Legend say a group of drunken Scottish good ‘ol boys put markers on the ice of a wintry loch one chilly afternoon and placed wagers on how close they could come to the markers by sliding a frozen haggis across the ice.

    The thing I like best about this story is knowing that good ‘ol boys are exactly the same the whole world over 🙂

  16. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    fili,

    I’ll stick to my “Shrimp and Grits, with country cured ham”.

    Cook the grits TWICE as long as the package recommends. It’ll make them less “gritty”. Replace water with clear chicken stock, season stock to taste with salt (little, the ham will make up), pepper and garlic powder. Simmer slowly 15-20 minutes, allowing the grits to thicken a bit. Lass couple of minutes add enough cream to bring back to serving consistency. Grits will mound slightly in bowl.

    In cast iron skillet render 2-4 OZ of country ham (cured and smoked, NOT this water added crap) that has been finely chopped. Be sure to use slice with a fair amount of fat on edge. If you cannot render out several tablespoons of fat, use a good bacon or lardons added for that purpose. Reduce heat.

    Enough 40-60 count shrimp for 8-10 shrimp per person. Cook shrimp til just done (3-4 minutes) in skillet with ham and drippings. Remove shrimp. Keep warm.

    Make gravy with flour and cream in skillet. Milk can be used to thin gravy if it gets too thick.

    Spoon grits into bowl. Ladle gravy over grits. Arrange shrimp over gravy.

    Serve with homemade biscuits.

    Hey, nobody said this is low cal, low cholesterol. Keep it to a couple times a year.

  17. shortchain says:

    filistro,

    Grumbles and grunts are similar to crunches, cobblers, and crumbles. They vary based on the pastry topping and the organization.

  18. filistro,

    Re: Westboro, I cringe at the notion of making bad taste illegal. You necessarily end up in really squishy, arbitrary territory, and that territory stifles free speech far more than a bright line does.

  19. filistro,

    Makes me think of “freedom fries”… LOL…

    That whole “freedom fries” thing was beyond absurd. French fries aren’t even French! They’re Belgian. The name comes from the potatoes being “frenched,” i.e., cut into matchsticks. It’s just that the “ed” got dropped because it’s awkward to say in “frenched fried potatoes.”

  20. filistro says:

    @Michael… I cringe at the notion of making bad taste illegal.

    What about “indecency” laws? If it’s “indecent” and therefore illegal for a woman to walk down the street with her breasts bared, surely it’s equally “indecent” to carry a sign saying “GOD HATES FAGS, GOD LOVES DEAD SOLDIERS” at a military funeral.

  21. filistro,

    What about “indecency” laws?

    I have the same opinioni about those. And, really, indecency laws in the US have all but lost their teeth in the past few decades.

  22. Mr. Universe says:

    Kudos to Michael on the French Fries thing. That gets lost in history. Maybe we should have Freedom Waffles? Lichtestein Toast?

    The thing I like best about this story is knowing that good ‘ol boys are exactly the same the whole world over

    While I consider myself a redneck, the last thing we ever thought of as a sporting event in Alabama was tossing about frozen animal guts. Just sayin’. Freaking Canadians.

  23. filistro says:

    @Mr U… Freaking Canadians.

    Watch yo’ mouth, south’n boy!

    If you all elect Sarah Palin president, masses of you are going to be lining up to get into Canada, and looking for me to sponsor you. Better stay on my good side… 😉

  24. Mr. Universe says:

    I bow to your good graces. If we ever elect Sarah Palin, I am either moving to Europe or Canada. Know any girls up there who would marry me?

  25. Mr. U,

    Freaking Canadians.

    Hey, now! It was the Scots that came up with the notion of tossing about frozen animal guts. By the time it got to Canada, the players were already taking it for granite.

  26. Mr. Universe says:

    taking it for granite.

    Ba-dump, spish!

  27. Mr. Universe says:

    BTW, my middle name (and maternal family surname) is MacGregor. Can’t get much more Scottish than that.

  28. filistro says:

    @Mr U… Know any girls up there who would marry me?

    Oh, dozens. Unfortunately they are all just like this Canadian curling champion and corporate lawyer…. and I know you American guys have higher standards 😉

  29. filistro says:

    @Michael… taking it for granite..

    GROAN… we should never have taught Michael how to find his inner punster. He’s completely out of control.

  30. Mr. Universe says:

    @fili

    I’m more into the brunette team captain but I think she’s married. You sent me a pic back at the old 538. I’m a total brunette with glasses kind of guy. The Tina Fey, librarian thing. I know, I know. It’s mildly sexist. What can I say? I’m staunchly hetero. I dig smart, sexy brunettes. Sue me.

  31. filistro says:

    @ Mr U… I’m a total brunette with glasses kind of guy. The Tina Fey, librarian thing.

    Well, shoot… you’re gonna LOVE having President Palin on the television thingy all the time. Just use the mute button and it’s all good ;-

  32. filistro says:

    Hey… where is everybody today? Have the hacktavists shut us down or blocked access for talking about wikileaks?

  33. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    Mr U: Hell, boy, it never FREEZES down thar in the Greater Opp AL area! No wonder y’all never thought about such thangs.

    And put me down in the Cheryl Bernard column, too. Heh, heh, heh! Mr U, if y’all’ll run interference with her husband, I (the single guy) believe I can sweet talk her with my southern accent and them Texas duds that fili likes so much! We DO have ice in the Alamodome!

  34. Mainer says:

    Haggis, granite…….who said?

    Boys and girls take my advice
    Pull down your pants and slide on the ice.

    No hackers blocking here just a dead pick up truck with a busted starter sitting in a snow bank with the temperature in the single digits……damn I’m glad that truck is now running. Stand by for posts and recipes. Mother turn that furnace up another notch.

  35. Just Sayin' says:

    Anybody read “Born Fighting” by Jim Webb? Interesting look into why so many Americans vote against their best interests.

  36. Number Seven says:

    Surpised none of you are not watching a real filibuster being conducted by Sen. Bernie Sanders. I am watching it live on CSPAN2.

  37. mclever says:

    @ #7

    Who says we can’t type and watch at the same time? 😉

  38. mostlyilurk says:

    I’ve got it on in the background. I’m not understanding how the procedure works here. Why is he filibustering right now and what happens when he stops talking, whenever that is? Is there a bill being voted on? Doesn’t there have to be?

  39. Mainer says:

    CABBAGE SOUP

    I like hearty food with great taste. The food does not need to be fancy to be really good. If one looks on the net for a cabbage soup recipe you will find any number of them that are for special weight loss diets and while some of them are pretty good and they do work with a weight loss program this recipe isn’t one of those as some of the really healthy ones are a little wimpy for my taste.

    This recipe is a slight modification of one I worked out one winter while cooking in a French Canadian lumber camp. It wasn’t a big camp but my 20+ loggers and equipment operators were high producers and working long hours in deep snow and subzero temperatures they were world class eaters. My ancient Vulcan double gas range and I worked long hours to see that my lads in the cold, snowy big woods of Maine had the energy to keep the logs and pulp flowing to the mills. Remember this is a cut back version of the original as the original made about 3 gallons but this should do for most families.

    1-1/2 cup onion diced
    1 cup green pepper diced
    ½ cup celery diced
    ½ head cabbage diced
    ½ pound lean hamburg
    ½ pound sweet Italian sausage
    4-5 strips of cooked bacon crumbled or diced
    1- 7 or 8 inch zucchini diced with skin on
    1- can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes with basil, garlic and oregano
    Salt
    Black pepper
    Minced garlic
    4 cups water or stock of choice

    In a 4 to 6 quart sauce pan sauté the hamburger and sausage. And as it starts to cook well add the Trinity of onion, green pepper and celery. One could, should they wish use a Mirepoix or sofrito of onions, celery and carrots but adjust the portions from my 3-2-1 to some thing more like 2-1-1. It just adds a little richness but remember to finely dice both the celery and the carrots over chunks. This is a good time as well to add the minced garlic and bacon crumblesWith the . I don’t go hog wild on the garlic so I put in a good tablespoon but one could add more or less to suit their own taste. Keep stirring.

    When this mix looks good and the onion is starting to look a little translucent (don’t over brown the meat or the Trinity as you want some texture in this and it still has a bunch of cook time ahead) add the Zucchini and the can of diced tomatoes. Along with a couple of good pinches of salt and some good black pepper. I tend to go a little light on the salt and give a couple of extra twists on the pepper mill but that is to my taste. Cover and let come to a boil on medium heat.

    With the whole mix boiling happily along now add the diced cabbage. In my 4-6 quart pan this pretty much fills the space and then pour on the water or stock of choice. Vegetable stock is fine for this but chicken seems to work as well even though I usually just use tap water. Note I didn’t mention pouring off what small amount of grease forms when sautéing the meat so you have some pretty good stock base as it is and I never saw a cardiologist venture that far back into the woods so go for it. Cover and reduce the heat to just enough to keep the mix barely boiling (on my stove about medium low) let it go for about 30-40 minutes to start steaming down the cabbage.

    After this time stir together all the ingredients and then put on low heat for about an hour. Stir occasionally. When done serve in a nice bowl with several good shakes of Parmesan cheese and a liberal sprinkling of garlic and butter croutons.

    I love meals like this. Should extra hungry mouths show up just throw in some extra stock (you will have to any way when you warm it up) or serve it with some good hot crusty bread to dip in it and fill up those extra stomachs.

    Eat hearty and think how good this would smell and taste sitting in a really warm cook shack in the middle of the Maine woods after wadding through 30 inch deep snow and 25 below zero temps cutting pulp for 10 hours. Why it would almost be enough to put an edge on a man’s appetite for the serious eating that would be next up.

  40. Number Seven says:

    From what I can find, nothing is up for a vote so this is really just a long speach. He has 30 hours to burn.

    Great political theatre though.

  41. filistro says:

    Oooh Mainer, that recipe looks SO delicious. In fact I can smell the delicious aroma wafting all the way across the continent.

    Yummy…

    (Also nice to find a recipe that actually uses zucchini, since that is a vegetable where supply seems to greatly outstrip demand… at least around these parts…)

  42. Number Seven says:

    Never been a fan of cabbage soup. Never tried it either, must be some sort of childhood ucky thing.

    That recipe looks great though, may have to try it.

  43. mclever says:

    @mostlyilurk

    I’m not understanding how the procedure works here. Why is he filibustering right now and what happens when he stops talking, whenever that is? Is there a bill being voted on? Doesn’t there have to be?

    I missed the beginning at 10:30, so I’m not entirely sure how it got started. There currently isn’t a bill up for vote, so he’s not *technically* filibustering. But it has essentially the same effect. I think he basically has the floor until he yields it or until a motion passes with over 60 votes to make him shut up. I think the dems are inclined to let him rant for a bit…

    Ah, love the Senate! Not always as good political theatre as the British Parliament, but good fun nonetheless!

  44. shiloh says:

    Again, Cheryl ~ Bernard is ok

    but, but, but the Swedish Women’s ~ Gold Medal Curling ~ 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics Team are Smokin’ !!!

    Indeed, if palin becomes president, I’ll be going to Sweden or Norway or Australia ~ personal preference …

  45. robert verdi says:

    filistro,
    what a wonderful thread. I would say tongue takes the cake. Chitlins sound bad, but then you realize many sausage are stuffed in intestine anyway and you get over it.
    I once had lambs head and……. it was as bad as it looked and sounded.

  46. mostlyilurk says:

    Thanks, McClever. That’s what I suspected but I didn’t see the start of it either. He’s not a young man, though, so I’m a bit concerned about him. I sure hope he doesn’t keel over on the Senate floor. I wonder if someone could at least give him a chair if he gets tired.

  47. robert verdi says:

    Mainer,
    excellent cabbage soup recipe, personally I find stuffed cabbage addictive. I have an Uncle who is Polish and every now and they he treats us, they are simply awesome!

  48. Mainer says:

    Robert, stuffed cabbage is awsome. I haven’t had it in a while so may have to do some up. You mentioned tongue as being on the yuck end of the food chain. I always really liked boiled tongue when I was a kid. One could always get a good tongue right cheap from the butcher so we had it quite often. Mom would boil it with a little salt and pepper and maybe a touch of garlic and onion powder then serve it sliced cold. Now comes the interesting part.

    Cold sliced tongue served up on a good dark rye bread or pumpernickle with some good strong Rayes mustard an just maybe a slice of strong swiss cheese is fine eating. Maybe most interesting is how both the loaves of bread and the tongue tapered and you could match up the slices of each to form a perfect sandwich. I brown bagged it for most of high school and quite often would take a couple of tongue sandwiches. We would leave our lunches in the room where we ate most times and there were always the vultures that would steal some ones lunch but oddly enough mine never seemed to get touched never knew if it was the tongue sandwiches or the chicken liver hoagies but my lunch bucket seemed to remain unscathed. Strange what?

  49. Shiloh (and others for that matter, it’s just that shiloh got hit this time), more than four links in a comment immediately puts the post on probation. This is to trap link spam, which comes by from time to time.

    Just so ya know.

  50. I wonder if someone could at least give him a chair if he gets tired.

    Not that it’s a particularly good guide of how the Senate works today, but in Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, it was mentioned that you can’t sit if you want to hold the floor.

  51. Mr. Universe says:

    Tongue? Ewwww. Not a fan of French kissing my food.

    I bet the French didn’t invent that type of kissing any more than they did fried, julienned potatoes either.

    And I love cabbage soup. I just can’t be in a room with other people for a few hours afterwards, if you get my drift.

  52. I bet the French didn’t invent that type of kissing any more than they did fried, juienned potatoes either.

    No, but I sure enjoyed my share of “freedom kissing” in early 2002! 😀

  53. Mainer says:

    FRUIT CAKE

    In my family one of the real Christmas treats was always my mother’s fruit cake. Right after Thanksgiving she would collect all of the ingredients and make one up she would then cover it in cheese cloth and tinfoil and then after having smelled it cooking we would have to wait until Christmas eve to cut into it. With my mother’s passing so went the recipe for her fruit cake as many of her recipes were never put to paper. Mom had always enjoyed Christmas and some how not having her Christmas cake only made her not being with our family that much more felt. So I took on the task of recreating her recipe. After more than 10 years of effort I finally got it and was able to see dad’s eyes light up when I finally presented it to him a couple of years before his passing, that alone was well worth the time and effort and expense of having gone back and retraced my mother’s steps to producing what for me and mine is a big part of Christmas.

    In a L A R G E mixing bowl combine the following:
    1 cup vegetable oil
    6 whole large eggs
    1/3-1/2 molasses
    1-1/3 cup light brown sugar
    1+ shot Canadian blended whisky

    Mix these ingredients well with a mixer then add the following to the mix:

    1 teaspoon Baking power
    1-1/3 teaspoon salt
    2 teaspoons cinnamon
    1 teaspoon nutmeg

    Hit this with the mixer and then add:

    3 cups all purpose flour

    Mix again then add the following:

    16 oz. candied fruit
    15 oz. raisins
    2 cups chopped dates
    1 + cup chopped walnuts

    Mix all of this together and find out just how strong your mixer is. No room here for wimpy little mixers and one might even want to chuck a beater into their ½ electric drill just to spare lighter weight equipment.

    When all is well mixed turn into a large tube or angel cake pan that has been well greased and floured. Spread so it is nice and even and cover the top with halved candied cherries and walnuts just slightly pressed into the surface. Have the oven preheated to 275 and bake 2.5 to 3 hours or until the top darkens and starts to split and a straw inserted comes out mostly clean. Remove from the oven and let cool for ½ an hour or more and then invert the whole thing over a rack. If you had the pan greased properly the cake will all of a sudden drop onto the rack and then once the barking subsides from your dog that was jumped by the sound of the falling cake you can then put it right side up on the rack to finish cooling.

    When cool you have two options you can coat the cake with a warm confectioners sugar glaze or just wrap it in cheese cloth and give it the occasional sprinkle with more good Canadian blended in either case it also wants to be well wrapped with aluminum foil while it ages. This cake is best done several weeks ahead of time but done and then eaten fresh it is still really good. It keeps quite well either on the side board or in the fridge as long as it is kept in the foil. I would suggest thin slices as it is very filling and rich. The base of this cake is a wedding spice cake my mother had so it isn’t gooey and sharp tasting like many store bought fruit cakes that have a shelf life figured in decades. But you will not need to worry with this cake as I have never seen it last beyond New Years day football games and I make 2 of them each year.

    White confectioners glaze:
    ¼ sugar
    ½ teaspoon vanilla
    1 tablespoon water

    You may want to double this depending on how much glaze you wish to do. Heat in a small sauce pan and whisk until smooth and clear. Then brush liberally over the entire fruit cake with a pastry brush. With the whisky sprinkle on top of the cheese cloth be sure you sprinkle before you sample too much or you will end up with a mess (just trust me on this one) or you can put some whisky in a small Tupperware bowl and brush it on from time to time with or with out the cheese cloth as long as it is kept wrapped the rest of the time in foil.

  54. Mr. Universe says:

    Freedom kissing! YEAH!

  55. shiloh says:

    Pommes frites originated in Belgium ~ carry on

  56. filistro says:

    Robert… I grew up on a ranch where we did our own butchering and they ate everything, wasted practically nothing.

    If it was a steer that was butchered they stuffed the heart with a bread stuffing, just like you use on poutry, and oven-roasted it. Also fried the brains of younger animals, cooked up the thymus and called it sweebreads, braised the pancreas and of course ate the tongue, liver and kidneys. For pigs they ….. eeeewwww… jellied the contents of the head and made… EEWWWW… “head cheese.”

    We also hunted and cooked game… my grandmother would cook wild geese and ducks at a very low over heat, packed full of sliced apples (or onions, if there were no apples) to draw out the “gamey” taste, then discard the apples and cook the bird for the final hour or two with ordinary poultry stuffing. It was still pretty gamey, but not as bad as… EEEWWW… head cheese.

    I’m sure all of this scarred me for life. I’m almost a vegetarian now, just occasionally cook a chicken breast or some fish. Haven’t bought red meat in years. And I would gag if forced to eat “organ meat.” (I would DIE if forced to eat head cheese.)

  57. filistro says:

    Mainer, that sounds like my grandmother’s fruitcake recipe except she would have been horrified by the idea of aluminum foil being allowed anywhere near it. She always wrapped the cake in several layers of cheesecloth soaked in rum, then an outer wrapping of brown paper. And one of her rules was the cake should contain so much candied fruit that a piece sliced thin and held up to the light would look like “the stained glass in the kirk.”

    Funny how little things like that stay with you all your life. 🙂

  58. shortchain says:

    filistro,

    People who haven’t had the home-made variety just don’t understand about head cheese.

    Once, when I worked for a particularly foul boss, I explained that I couldn’t make up my mind between referring to him as the “head honcho” or “big cheese” — and settled on “head cheese”. He never got it — but a lot of the other folks did.

    Heart is good in comparison, and liver and onions, if cooked right, but I just don’t care for them enough to bother. As for the other organ meat, thanks, but no thanks. I’d rather have stuffed mushrooms.

  59. Mainer says:

    Fili, one of my grandmothers was always pretty horrified by the aluminum foil too. My good wife says this year we are going to start using one of those big 2 gallon zip lock bags instead of foil. I am a traditionalst and when I hear that I of course replied “Yes dear.”

    Never cared for the cake with rum though I have a friend that makes a nifty holiday rum cake. I would also advise against using even very good bourbon as well for I can not seem to get the taste right when using it even though I tried very hard over the years and had much bourbon to finish up after taking out several ounces for cooking.

    I was never much for head cheese either but got so I liked the French Canadian Tate fromage………made out of the same stuff but seasoned a little differently I guess and the name some how sounds better until you translate it.

    Any one tried creton I love it on toast or an English muffin?

    Yesterday I made sure our butcher would have ground pork so that I could make tourtiere pie for New Years. Our get together will have a wounderul mix of Portugese, French Canadian and good old Down East cooking.

  60. filistro says:

    @shortchain…I couldn’t make up my mind between referring to him as the “head honcho” or “big cheese” — and settled on “head cheese”. He never got it — but a lot of the other folks did.

    LOL… what a great story. That would make for another whole thread… Insults so deliciously subtle the recipient doesn’t even know it’s an insult.

  61. Jeff says:

    mostlyilurk says:
    December 10, 2010 at 13:59

    Thanks, McClever. That’s what I suspected but I didn’t see the start of it either. He’s not a young man, though, so I’m a bit concerned about him. I sure hope he doesn’t keel over on the Senate floor. I wonder if someone could at least give him a chair if he gets tired.

    That would be cause for my biggest celebration since 11/2/10.

  62. filistro says:

    Mainer… my grandmother also made a marvelous Scottish trifle for holiday meals, but it wasn’t any wimpy stuff like this.

    It was put together in alternating layers of jelly, fruit, farm fresh whipped cream and pound cake soaked in rum… with extra rum poured over everything. By the time we finished dessert, everybody was hammered. There were several near-tragic incidents because we always had those Christmas crackers that pulled apart with a snap and yielded a silly paper hat… and on at least a couple of occasions, nodding heads bent too near the candles, setting their hats aflame. General drunken hilarty while somebody literally had their hair on fire… and all because of grandma’s trifle.

    Good times, good times… 🙂

  63. filistro says:

    Wow Jeff… you type better with your left hand than I do with both!

    ok, i’m typing this bit with my left hand… it’s taken me four minuted already and i can’t hit the cap lck and the right hahd keys at the same time…

    Wow… now I’m REALLY impressed. (Though I had hoped that little jolt to the brain would realign your synapses in a more sensibly leftward direction. No such luck, obviously 😉

  64. Mainer says:

    Geepers Jeff seeing as how we keep hearing that congress is full of Socialists isn’t it fitting that there is at least one actually there? Talk about your token members

    Fili I had to go look to see what a trifle is. I love Tiramisu. Oh and while it may look wimpy there are a few places up here where one can get a blueberry Tiramisu that also features Maine blueberry wine and I am told Maine potato vodka. Nothing wimpy there.
    I have just got to make one of your trifles. Any recipe called Typsy Laird ust be good as gold. I think the rum cake I was refering to is an Italian recipe but I’m not sure, I know it is really fine eating.

    It is nice to see a Senator actually take to the floor and not hide behind procedure to block crap.

  65. Mainer says:

    I told some one I would put this on here as it explains in detail how to do it. Thats it I’m recipeeeed out for this day. Next week the worlds simplest and quickest pot pie recipe for using up holiday left overs and feeding unanounced guests. Now back to Christmas decorating. Hmmmmmm maybe a little egg nog with a slpash will be a little assistive.

    SAUSAGE BREAD

    For each loaf you will need the following:

    1 pound + sausage, please see at the end some thoughts on type and amount
    1- 2.5 to 3 inch onion. Vidalia if you can get them, or Walla Walla or a winter or Stutgart if that is all that is available
    1-8 oz. to 12 oz. bag of shredded cheese. I prefer the mozzarella/provolone mix and most like one with a smoky taste
    4 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese, If one enjoys that wonderful tang of good Parmesan then up this slightly.
    1-8 oz. can of mushroom stems and pieces or fresh if you prefer
    3- 6.5 oz. Betty Crocker pkgs of pizza crust mix or one bag of fresh dough pizza crust from the deli.
    2 large eggs
    1+ tablespoon chopped garlic in water
    Vegetable oil or olive oil
    Onion powder
    Garlic powder
    Basil

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees with a rack in the center position.

    Heat a skillet while you prepare your sausage. If you are using fresh sausage with out casing you can just crumble it into the pan if it is a fresh sausage in a casing then split the casing and remove and lightly sauté it adding your coarsely chopped onion and chopped garlic when you believe the sausage is about half browned. Remember this step is followed if you are using fresh sausage. If you are using a hard sausage then use a little oil or bacon fat in the skillet to brown the onion and garlic and just coarse chop the hard sausage do not sauté you can just spread the chopped sausage after the dough is rolled out. This would also be where you would lightly sauté very coarsely chopped fresh mushrooms if you should so choose. I generally use the stems and pieces because it gives me better portion control, it is also cheap and I’m lazy.

    A word or two on sausage. Depending on where you are in this great country you will have a wide choice of sausage to use in this recipe. I have stayed pretty much with either sweet or hot Italian fresh sausage in natural casings. I am lucky now to have a local abattoir that is making some fine fresh sausage that I can buy in one pound blocks. I have the option of sweet or hot Italian with out MSG and some very good chorizo or linguica maybe not to the level of Gaspar’s of Fall River but close and getting better all the time. Some of you will have the option of having available Andouille out of Lousiana. A great flavorful sausage and all you have to do is keep in mind is it fresh of hard smoked. If it is dried hard smoked just dice it and use in a later step. All of the sausage types when fresh can be used as already described. Keep in mind that some of these sausages will have some, none, or a considerable amount of smoky flavor and could have some, a lot or no garlic. So you can make this recipe as a base and do considerable variance just by changing the sausage type and amount.

    With the sausage, onion and garlic ready and cooling on a paper plate you are now ready to prepare the rest of the filling. In a bowl break your two eggs and whisk well and add the Parmesan cheese and mix again. Set aside.

    I have found little difference in using either the 3 packages of pizza mix or getting a large pizza dough from the deli. I think maybe the dough made from the dry packages and allowed to let stand and rise does make a little lighter bread. If you use the dry mix and allow to rise (mix it and put in a bowl and cover with a dish towel and set by the oven vent, when it has at least doubled in size it is ready to use) Either way you do it prepare an area to roll it out on and dust with flour. Turn out the dough and roll into a rough circle about 20-22 inches in diameter. The dough should be no less than 1/8 inch thick and generally no more than ¼ inch thick. Take your egg and Parmesan mixture and spread evenly over the entire surface of the dough leaving about an inch all the way around the edge bare.

    Next take your sausage and scatter evenly over the egg and cheese coated dough followed by the mushrooms and onions and then the shredded mozzarella and provolone. I suspect if one wanted to really kick this up a mite that now would be the time to scatter a little crushed red pepper, Jalapeño pieces or maybe some sweet banana peppers, for me though I kind of stay away from the extra heat and it has been just fine.

    Now comes the interesting part of this. You have to roll up all of this in jelly roll fashion. You may want to coat your hands in Crisco and it generally requires an extra set of hands and several spatulas to roll this up with out tearing. (As a note if you are making this from prepared refrigerated dough from the store as long as you work from a well floured surface you should get by with little sticking, I have noted than when I have been unable to get one large prepared dough and have combined 2 of the 12 inch ones that the amount I have had to work it will make it a little sticker so be careful how much you work it) Once you have it rolled make sure the final seam ends up on the bottom and then tuck each end under and plump and shape so that you have a long loaf about 20 or so inches long and maybe 5 to 6 inches in diameter. This all has to be transferred to a baking sheet, make sure you use one with at least some lip on it or you will end up with oil all over your oven.It will flatten some but should look like a plump loaf of French bread. Now brush the entire loaf with the oil of your choice (I have played with several different types just pick one that will brown nicely and keep the surface of the loaf from over drying. I prefer olive oil but to each their own.Once the loaf is all well oiled sprinkle it liberally with the onion powder, garlic powder and the basil. You can at this point score it artistically or not but it does seem to cook better if slightly scored.

    In the oven you will be baking it for about 30 to 35 minutes. I tend to watch and wait for it to get a nice golden to dark brown before removing it. You want the out side to develop a nice crust. When done remove from the oven and let set. If for immediate consumption it will need to set for 15 to 20 minutes to set up before slicing. If you are doing this ahead of time all you have to do once it is cool is to wrap in foil and when you want to use it unwrap and slice. I prefer to put cold sausage bread on a plate and nuke for 30 seconds before eating. Any way you do it this will be a treat for all that like sausage and things that are a little tangy but you get to control all of that.

    Depending on the tastes of your intended group you can easily make 2 loaves and cook them on the same sheet pan. We have done one loaf that was mild and that used sweet sausage and one that was hot and used more spice. Both cooked for the same time. Just be sure that you prep the mild loaf first and then the hot or spicey loaf. Well that is how I do it because I don’t grab a clean skillet before each batch and you can get some cross over to those with weak pallets if not careful.

    Have fun, enjoy the wonderful smell of it cooking and munch away. We always make this the day before Christmas and have an easy Christmas morning brunch.

  66. Just Sayin' says:

    Fili Where did you grow up? I grew up in an area where there were surrounding farms that produced such foods as you described. I was never a fan of brains or headcheese. Pickled pigs feet anyone? Cow tongue pies for the holidays, my momma’s favorite. MY mom grew up very rual, and as kids we were not allowed to wasted very much I did the best to instill that in my own kids, but you win some and you lose some. I am not a vegetarian by any means as I married a hunter who keeps the freezer full. However I am fortuante to choose grass fed beef and cage free chickens. I do the best I can.

  67. filistro says:

    Just Sayin’… I grew up on a shortgrass ranch in Western Canada, on land that has been in my family for about 150 years and at one time (back in the 1800’s) ran cattle across the border and all the way down into central Montana. It was very isolated.. .we didn’t have TV or even a telephone until I was in my teens.

    Looking back I realize that it was an interesting and unusual childhood, but when you’re a kid you don’t think about that… it’s just life.

  68. Just Sayin' says:

    Well Fili, you couldn’t be much further away from us, my family grew up in the northern hills of New Mexico where they settled over 400 years ago. They definitely had a rough life but they never looked at it that way. It was a very waste not want not kind of life. But life is always funny and I ended up in Virginia. Because my husband was in the navy during our early married life I have had the good fortune to travel thru most of the US and we settled here in VA. My girls consider themselves GRITS. Girls raised in the south. They were always good eaters and embraced most southern foods as well as most New Mexican foods which is not the same as Mexican or tex mex. But tripe and chitlins. Blah!

  69. Brian says:

    Hey, I realize it isn’t Friday anymore, but I wanted to get your opinions on something since you guys are probably the only real political junkies I know. What do you all think of Lindsey Graham making a run for president? He’s not terribly extreme, but I think he’s someone the conservative base could swallow. Though the allegations of him being gay might hurt him with the super religious crowd.

  70. Monotreme says:

    I just got to try out this recipe for cranberry-orange muffins:

    http://find.myrecipes.com/recipes/recipefinder.dyn?action=displayRecipe&recipe_id=10000001120336

    It was all right, nothing wonderful, but I think I can tweak it into wonderfulness with a little work.

    I started with one orange in the food processor to purée it, but the batter was still too dry so I puréed a second one and that got the consistency right. I chopped the cranberries (about 2/3 of a bag) in the food processor as well.

    I used turbinado sugar crystals instead of granulated sugar for the top crust, but I could’ve used more of a crust so I need to think about that step. I think next time I’ll try a bit of cinnamon and nutmeg, and maybe a splash of vanilla. Mrs. Monotreme found them a bit tart, though I liked them just fine. I might adjust the sugar but I’m hoping the spices and vanilla will be enough.

  71. Monotreme says:

    @Brian,

    We’re talking about a periodic series of likely Republican 2012 Presidential candidates. I think we’ll do a profile on Sen. Graham along the way. Thanks for the suggestion.

  72. Jeff says:

    Brian said on Free Forum Friday December 10
    December 11, 2010 at 17:45

    )

    Hey, I realize it isn’t Friday anymore, but I wanted to get your opinions on something since you guys are probably the only real political junkies I know. What do you all think of Lindsey Graham making a run for president? He’s not terribly extreme, but I think he’s someone the conservative base could swallow. Though the allegations of him being gay might hurt him with the super religious crowd.

    Not likely. He’s too liberal (who’d have thunk tat about a RSenator from SC?). Look for Mike Pence or Mitch Daniels, neither of whom are culture warriors, but they are both fiscally conservative.

  73. Monotreme says:

    Fili and MW:

    Thought you’d be interested in this article on CAPTCHAs.

  74. filistro says:

    @Jeff… Not likely. He’s too liberal

    You’re right, Jeff… he’s WAY too liberal…. and much too willing to cut deals and be accommodating. In other words, much too sane for the crazy base. The Freepers just DETEST the guy. (They call him “Miss Lindsey” and “Grahamnesty” )Not only would he not have a shot for the pres. nomination… I fully expect him to get a Tea Party challenger for his Senate seat next time around.

  75. filistro says:

    @Monotreme…

    sigh… captchas….

    I just LOVE ’em…

  76. Jean says:

    Brian,

    re: What do you all think of Lindsey Graham making a run for president? He’s not terribly extreme, but I think he’s someone the conservative base could swallow. Though the allegations of him being gay might hurt him with the super religious crowd.

    From what I see on the right wing blogs, the conservative base – particularly teavangelicals and teapers, can’t stand Graham and have him at the top of their list to primary in 2014.

    A response to Brian’s question from Bart would be interesting.

  77. Monotreme says:

    I have just received a challenge from my fellow #scio11 attendees to bake a gummi bear fruitcake. One of them is an expert at torturing gummi bears and so that’s where the idea originated.

    You may object to gummi bear torture on principle, but ask yourself, “If a gummi bear knew where a small thermonuclear device were planted in a major American city, wouldn’t it be worth it to sacrifice our principles to obtain the information needed to save hundreds of thousands of lives?”

    I will report on my preliminary findings here.

    I don’t think I want to be taking a fruitcake through airport security, so I will probably FedEx it to my hotel before I get on the plane.

  78. Mainer says:

    Mono, I think my recipe has already been used with gummie bears. I can’t swear to it but I’m pretty sure a good friend in need of some thing to take to a holiday party substituted the candied fruit for gummie bears (if I remember the story correctly he dumped in a whole dang bag in place of the candied fruit) substituted chopped prunes for the dates and threw in a fist full of peanuts and one of cashews because he didn’t have any walnuts. I also seem to remember some thing about Drambuie being used too but apparently it went over like gang busters. I have not had the gumption to try it but it migh tbe kick ass. Good luck to you.

  79. Jean says:

    shrinkers and shortchain,

    Are you otherwise occupied shoveling yourselves out of the mess here?

    Yesterday, much of Minnesota, especially the greater Minneapolis/St. Paul and surrounding suburban and rural areas, were pretty much closed for business. Friday night’s snow turned into Saturday’s blizzard, with white-out conditions all day Saturday, easily 15-20 inches of snow, and 25-45 mph wind gusts and temps below zero. The MSP airport closed Saturday, with the NY Giants flight diverted to Kansas City. All bus service around the city and Greyhound bus service was stopped for the day and all snowplows pulled of the highways on Saturday with 300 snowplows in the ditches. Needless to say, that closed all highways. Early this morning, the roof of the Vikings stadium ripped and deflated, so today’s football game has been rescheduled for tomorrow but in Detroit instead.

    Saturday was a good day to stay home. I spent the day shoveling (and then again reshoveling) my deck, clearing an open area for the resident birds. And what a great show of birds it was. The planes may not have been flying, but the birds sure were. I had cardinals, bluejays, lots of yellow goldfinches (dressed in their winter olive drab), nuthatches, chickadees, house finches and a dozen juncos who over-winter in Minnesota from their Canadian and arctic summer breeding grounds. Thanks fili, for sending the juncos south!

  80. filistro says:

    @Jean… Thanks fili, for sending the juncos south!

    So that’s where my juncos have gone. Often they will winter around here but I haven’t seen any this year. Obviously they know something about the coming winter that we haven’t heard yet. (Though you really have to question how bright a bird can be if it chooses to winter in Minnesota😉

  81. shortchain says:

    Jean,

    Odd you should mention snow. I’ve been out most of the day shoveling. I’ve got the necessary stuff done, and could even go somewhere, if I wanted to throw the vehicle into 4-wheel and power down the alley. We had easily 20 inches on the level, and the drifts are waist high. Dense, fine snow, runs like sand when you break the crust. I suggested to my neighbor that we sculpt our mountains into a scale model of the Himalayas, but he didn’t seem interested…

    Our birds here are robins, starlings, chickadees, and cardinals. The robins (dozens) and starlings are after the mountain-ash and hackberry fruit, the chickadees eat the cedar seeds. We’ve had robins overwinter the last two years — never before. The juncos must have all gone over to your house. I’ll put some food out for them and the cardinals in a few days. If you start too early, the squirrels just take it all, but now the squirrels have disappeared and we probably won’t see any until the January thaw.

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