One of the Best Days of the Year

Kitchen is cleaned, and I have dinner in the crock pot. Making a pork shoulder with sauerkraut for today and tomorrow, and did something a little different this year. Normally I just cook it in the oven, but instead I am using the crock. Also, on a whim, I cut up a couple turnips and put them in, as well as an apple. We’ll see how that works out. Plan to eat it with some mashed potatoes, black eyed peas, beets, and some greens. I’m still debating whether I should dump a hefeweissen beer in the crock pot.

And then the games. Bowl game after bowl game after bowl game, tons of hoops, and I have no work to do today. And then, while the amateurs go out, get sloppy drunk, vomit on each other and then wait for two hours to try to get a cab home, I will slowly ease myself from the la-z-boy into bed. Does it get any better than this?

My only concern is carpal tunnel from the remote.

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161 replies
  1. 1
    different church-lady says:

    We gotta get you a woman…

  2. 2
    Comrade Mary says:

    I hab a gold. Enjoy your food. I miss dasting dings.

  3. 3
    r€nato says:

    I hope Boise State gives us as great of a Fiesta Bowl as they did in 2007. That is the BEST football game I have ever seen, and I had no particular reason to root for either them or the Sooners.

    Go Cardinals! Super Bowl 44 or bust!

  4. 4
    diakron says:

    The apple’s a good idea. Not sure what to say about the turnip. Happy New Year!

  5. 5
    bayville says:

    I recommend the hefeweissen beer – it sucks some of the bitterness out.

    The only way it could get better is if Keith Jackson, in his prime, was doing one of the college football games.

  6. 6
    Punchy says:

    Last nite, I discovered the genius of the oven broiler. You can marinate the shit outtie stuff (e.g., steak), and insteada getting burned off on a grill, it instead soaks in slowly as the broiler cooks it. And the steak is soft and moist, not burned and tough.

    Someone needs to spread the word about this “broiler” thang hiding within the stove.

  7. 7
    Betsy says:

    Tonight I will put the black-eyed peas in to soak, and start the dough for Bittman’s no-knead bread. Tomorrow we will have black-eyed pea salad, sauteed greens, acorn squash, and fresh bread. Could there be a better way to start the new year? I think not.

    Tonight, no real plans. I love being old enough not to care about NYE parties.

  8. 8
    Dork says:

    mashed potatoes, black eyed peas, beets, and some greens

    You said mashed, black eye, beats, and green all in one blurb. Sounds like a drug deal gone bad.

  9. 9
    tomvox1 says:

    +1 for the hefeweissen. Enjoy & Happy New Year, T.

  10. 10
    Tom Hilton says:

    According to Yahoo this morning one of the top searches was for sauerkraut recipes. Apparently a lot of other people had the same idea at the same time.

    Edit: one more vote for the hefeweissen.

  11. 11
    Butch says:

    As for the turnips you’re cooking: Last year I decided to try growing turnips in the little plot we wistfully refer to as a “garden” here at 9,000 feet in the Rockies. You needed a micrometer to measure the turnips that grew, but they went to seed and, along with the horseradish that I accidentally chopped up with the rototiller, took over the entire space.

  12. 12
    Rey says:

    Your day sounds awesome. I will be doing much of the same, although I have to go out to pick-up and drop off at the cleaners. After that, couch-potatoville for me.

  13. 13
    Dork says:

    Are we long past voting for the best JC story of 2009? It’s damn near a tossup between mopping naked and nearly self-sodomizing oneself, or getting fleas in the house, near the cat, from a dog.

    Can I haz surveymonkey?

  14. 14
    Dracula says:

    /gives all of you the finger from inside a workdesk cubicle

  15. 15
    Demo Woman says:

    Since there are 66 or 68 teams playing in bowl games this year, it reminds me of little league teams where they all get a trophy except these teams are rewarded with a bowl game for having a mediocre season.

    The good news is that tomorrow is the start of a new decade.
    I want to take the time to curse Scalia, Rehnquist, O’Connor, Kennedy and Thomas for leading us to the brink of destruction.

  16. 16
    John Cole says:

    And the day gets better- if the games suck, there is a First 48 marathon on A & E.

  17. 17
    Corner Stone says:

    and I have no work to do today.

    So minus the Bowl games today is different…?

  18. 18

    What Dracula said.

    Also. BBCAmerica has Dr. Who marathon.

  19. 19
    Tom says:

    We gotta get you a woman…

    And when we’re through with you, we’ll get me one too.

  20. 20
    Mike Kay says:

    Can it get better? yes. Homer Simpson merged a lazy-boy w a port-o-potty. Never has to leave his…ahem… seat.

  21. 21
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @Punchy:

    Someone needs to spread the word about this “broiler” thang hiding within the stove.

    One of my first ridiculously easy bachelor recipes – Poor man’s filet mignon:

    Wrap hot dogs in bacon, spiraling the bacon strips around the dogs and securing with toothpicks at each end. Cook under broiler till bacon looks done. Remove toothpicks and add beverage of choice (in that order – if you start with the beverage, you may forget to remove the toothpicks).

  22. 22
    cleek says:

    Three Stooges marathon!

  23. 23
    r€nato says:

    @Demo Woman:

    I’m glad I’m not the only one who has noticed.

    …I’m old enough to remember that you didn’t get to go bowling unless you finished 7-4 or better, unless you were Notre Dame in which case 6-5 was good enough.

  24. 24
    xjmueller says:

    skip the beer in the crockpot. try a little white wine instead, it’ll go better with what you have in there already. crock pot is the way to go for the shoulder. I also like to wrap em tightly in aluminum foil and roast them in a 225 oven for 10-12 hours. got to get internal temp to 190. if done properly, most of the internal fat melts away and the wrap makes it self basting. This wouldn’t work for your sauerkraut concoction, obviously, but it is nice for shoulder covered in a good spicy rub.

  25. 25
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    You leaving Tunch and Lily to their own devices? Lily I’m not so worried about, but get Tunch and his own device in a room together and I won’t answer for the consequences.

  26. 26
    nffcnnr says:

    Sounds like a perfect day. Enjoy!!

  27. 27
    pharniel says:

    Your newsletter, where can one subscribe?

  28. 28
    peach flavored shampoo says:

    @Tom: Really surprised John hasnt sponsored a “Yearly BJ” or something akin to the DKos shindig, if for no other reason than to hook up all the single guys with the loose women who comment here. Or perhaps vice versa.

    Make this a pets, politics, and dating venue. Just no pictures of wangs.

  29. 29
    fraught says:

    Except for the football, John seems to be getting gayer and gayer. Any day now he’ll be trading one of those games for a DVD of La Traviata and it will be all over.
    But then there’s the sex part….hmm, must rethink this.

  30. 30
    tamied says:

    New Year’s Eve is amateur night. I will be spending the evening having steak and shrimp dinner with about a dozen close friends. Have a good evening and an even better new year!

  31. 31
    maryQ says:

    Please update on the coking project. It sounds delightful.

  32. 32
    South of I-10 says:

    Booooo!! I have one more hour at the office. No plans for tonight, other than perhaps getting some champagne to enjoy later. College football is always good, but you know I am anticipating LSU/Penn State tomorrow.

  33. 33
    Demo Woman says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: The local news is showing pictures of snow flurries that appeared north of Atlanta last night. lol

  34. 34
    ajr22 says:

    @cleek: I heard an interesting interview on the radio the other day with moe’s son. He was talking about how Moe was very serious off the show, and had some issues with depression. He talked about how when he was a kid he would hide that Moe was his father, but as he got older he embraced it. Oh and by the way Curly is a comic genius, boooo shemp.

  35. 35
    J. says:

    Mmmm… pork.

    Hey, isn’t the point of having a blog to get laid, if not a spouse? Didn’t that wingnut professor marry some guy who left comments on her blog?

    If puppehs and kittehs and food and politics can’t get you laid, there is no hope for you — or for the rest of us.

  36. 36
    Tom Hilton says:

    Six more hours at the office for me. Festivities depend on just how dismal the crab season is this year–if it isn’t terrible we’ll our traditional roast crab with garlic noodles. If crab is too expensive/crappy, we’ll just do a dervaganza assortment. Either way, lots of champagne.

  37. 37
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Demo Woman:

    LOL indeed! When I left the office (midtown) last night it was raining. When I got to Duluth it was sleeting.

    Right now (work, midtown) it is so foggy I can’t see across the street. Wouldn’t mind a bit of nice clean snow although I’m not looking forward to all the local weathercritters freaking out the way they always do.

    Happy New Year to you! I don’t know one person who’s sorry to see the hind end of 2009. Hope 2010 is a much better year for you and yours.

  38. 38
    Robertdsc-iphone says:

    @Dork:
    My vote is for the introduction of the FURminator.

  39. 39
    Ivan Ivanovich Renko says:

    @Dracula: A second finger.

  40. 40
    beltane says:

    I’m supposed to go to a party later, but I have a bad cold and can’t stand the thought of leaving the house. I think I’ll send my husband and kids to the party, and just stay home drinking tea and watching the ball drop.

  41. 41

    As a fellow crab I think it sounds like a lovely day. Mr Screaming has been adding turnips and leeks to his chicken soup and it’s very tasty. We’re off in Alabama the Beautiful for a few more days, watching movies and reading old mysteries. Quiet as it can be after the roar of the city. Most pleasant. In 12 days I pick up my 30-year chip since I last got sloppy drunk and vomited on myself or others.

    O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!

  42. 42
    danimal says:

    @different church-lady:

    We gotta get you a woman…

    Oh for goodness sakes, this is the one day of the year that bachelorhood is CLEARLY superior and you want to ruin it? Enjoy the games, food and pets, John.

  43. 43
    Betsy says:

    @J.:

    Hey, isn’t the point of having a blog to get laid

    LOLOLOLOLOL

    That’s like saying, “Isn’t the point of playing RPGs for days on end to get laid?”

  44. 44
    PurpleGirl says:

    Sounds good, John.

    I ventured out, thinking to go shopping but it snowed in NYC this morning and while there isn’t very much on the ground, the streets aren’t cleaned yet and it’s sloppy. Not yet cold enough to freeze but I have some mobility problems and am leary of walking on the compacting stuff. So I went to the grocery store (in my development’s commercial building so the sidewalks here are cleaned) and got a few things I forgot yesterday. I’m in for the day now, watching TV, surfing blogs, and will be crocheting. I’m having shrimp and vegetable tempura tonight and pot roast tomorrow. Even though I’m still unemployed, life is passing good. A healthy and happy new year to all BJs.

  45. 45
    Tax Analyst says:

    @ #15 Demo Woman said:

    Demo Woman
    Since there are 66 or 68 teams playing in bowl games this year, it reminds me of little league teams where they all get a trophy except these teams are rewarded with a bowl game for having a mediocre season.

    Speaking of “mediocre seasons”, in my 3 years of Little League each team (and they were different teams each year)I was on posted the same won-loss record, “9-and-9”. Could the Gods find any better short-hand method to say “mediocre” than that? Of course that was long ago when the only team to get any awards or trophies was the league champion. The only thing the runner-ups and other losers got was a half-assed “Well, it was great fun, kids” from their coach that was delivered with a “How did I get myself involved with these spastic losers in the first place?” expression.

    And so my Self-Esteem suffered greatly, which has a great deal to do with why I am such an awful person today. All for the want of a lousy $5 trophy.

  46. 46
    beltane says:

    @J.: That was Ann Althouse. She is insane. John does not need someone like Ann Althouse in his life as he would be forced to go back to being a wingnut.

  47. 47
    Cat Lady says:

    I have just finished executing today’s sole mandatory task just in time to begin the first of the day’s 2 optional tasks. I have showered and dressed, and am now preparing to undertake Phase 2 -eat lunch and watch some TV sitting up. Phase 3 will commence with the evening’s drinking and eating, most likely culminating in a prone position on the couch. I know, I know, I’ll be careful.

    Oh, and see ya 2009. Good riddance to bad garbage, except all of the time I spent here with y’all. Elderly cat people rock!

    Happy New Years!

  48. 48
    Demo Woman says:

    @Robertdsc-iphone: John and the shower scene was priceless. I had tears running out of my eyes, I was laughing so much.
    The other post that did that to me was the helicopters aren’t laughing.

  49. 49
    South of I-10 says:

    @Cat Lady: That is an ambitious agenda!

  50. 50

    @beltane: I used to visit her site frequently, especially for her photographs. After a while I started noticing it just made me feel bad. Just not a good energy over there. Everyone being smart but not kind.

  51. 51
    Demo Woman says:

    @Tax Analyst: Should have played college football.. Those bowl games bring in more than $5.00.
    Houston is playing Air Force now in some bowl game. Need I say more!

  52. 52
    Michael D. says:

    @different church-lady:

    We gotta get you a woman…

    Or at least a few friends.

  53. 53
    Violet says:

    My day is not at all exciting. Paying bills. Returning some meat to the supermarket – when I opened the package it was all brown. Yuck. Feeling very poor as many bills coming in. Blah.

    I really hope 2010 is better than 2009.

  54. 54

    Happy New Year to you all! :-)

    While I’d like to stay home and watch Eps 1&2 of True Blood Season 1, I am being forced to go to a friend’s house for dinner and games. There’s always chaos at that place and I’m really not a chaos kind of chick – more of the pajama wearing, blog reading, coffee-drinking kind of one.

    RE: Rush – what comes around, goes around. There’s no escaping it, no matter who you are.

  55. 55
    Emma says:

    I’m making lentils with italian sausage, beer-battered shrimp, rice, and caesar salad tonight. Coffee ice-cream on rum cake for dessert. It’s just family, and, since we live in what seems to be the epicenter for do-it-yourself fireworks in South Florida, we will go outside with the rest of the neighbors to welcome the new year. At midnight, we will eat our twelve grapes and toast with spanish sidra.

    And there’s a Doctor Who marathon tonight. WWWWHHHOOOO!

  56. 56
  57. 57
    Corner Stone says:

    @PurpleGirl:

    and will be crocheting

    What topics will you be griping about?

  58. 58
    tamied says:

    @Cat Lady: Pace yourself, you don’t want to peak too early.

  59. 59
    Corner Stone says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Hey! In case I don’t catch you later, have a Happy Fvcking New Years!

  60. 60
    Kryptik says:

    Tomorrow’s going to be an interesting day for the Blue & Gold, John.

    I’m worried about Purdue to be honest, with the way we’ve been forced to play a five-forward game for the most part.

    Not sure how worried I really should be about the Gator Bowl.

  61. 61
    peach flavored shampoo says:

    Please update on the coking project. It sounds delightful.

    My Columbian friends agree.

  62. 62
    Cat Lady says:

    @Demo Woman:

    Michael Gass …did that thread…. really happen? Will he return… for more condensation?

  63. 63
    r€nato says:

    @Emma:

    A traditional Christmas/New Year’s meal in Italy is cotechino or zampone, a kind of sausage made from the pig’s leg. Zampone includes the actual leg for casing, hoof and all . It is usually consumed with lentils or mashed potatoes or both.

    Is this sausage/lentils thing something that you do traditionally? What’s your heritage?

  64. 64
    tamied says:

    @Emma: Twelve grapes? That must be a New Year’s ritual. There are so many of them! My mom said you need to shake an empty purse at the moon at midnight and say ‘fill it up, fill it up fill it up!’.

    Of course, we were always poor (-:

  65. 65
    Betsy says:

    @tamied:
    Twelve grapes: grapes = sweet; 12 = months of the year. May the next year be sweet!

  66. 66
    Betsy says:

    @tamied:
    Yeah, it’s funny how many NY traditions have to do with money! Black-eyed peas or lentils = round like coins. Greens = greenbacks. Acorn squash = gold. We must be a crass bunch at my household.

  67. 67
    Dreggas says:

    I’ll be going over to my future in-laws for dinner (pozole and chow mein, don’t ask) and then chilling in front of the 40 inch flat screen i bought them for christmas.

    On a side note, isn’t it funny that, that romney flack made the crack about hawaii being foreign to most merikans then today we see Rush Limpdick was taken to a hospital while in…Hawaii.

  68. 68
    John Cole says:

    @Michael D.: Ehh, I turned down all the invites to parties tonight. Just would rather stay at home with tunch and lily, eat some traditional ny food, watch some football, chat online, and catch up on reading.

    I know humans are social animals, but I just don’t understand the incessant need to always be around people.

  69. 69
    MattR says:

    Let’s go service academies. Cover the spread and hit the over.

    PS. Anyone else disturbed that Taco Bell is trying to go the Jared of Subway route and is advertising how you can lose weight eating their fast food?

  70. 70
    Tsulagi says:

    I will slowly ease myself from the la-z-boy into bed. Does it get any better than this?

    Good God. And I bet you’ll spend part of the day deciding which cardigan sweater to wear.

    You need to bitchslap yourself. It’s New Year’s Eve for chrissake, all single men should be pursuing single women and those women judging whether their tactics worthy. It’s American tradition goddamnit. I wouldn’t be on the field with you, but you need to fight on for us soldiers already captured.

  71. 71

    @Dreggas:

    On a side note, isn’t it funny that, that romney flack made the crack about hawaii being foreign to most merikans then today we see Rush Limpdick was taken to a hospital while in…Hawaii.

    A tiny little bit of karma there.

  72. 72
    r€nato says:

    @MattR:

    WHAT? when did they start doing this?

    If I recall correctly, they very recently had a “4th Meal” campaign!

  73. 73
    r€nato says:

    @Dreggas:

    you would only notice this if hypocrisy troubles you.

    Many wingnuts don’t have this issue.

  74. 74
    Corner Stone says:

    @MattR: I thought that was spoof at first. But then I was like, “Why would they spoof their own food line?” And then I realized they were serious about it.
    This is a food chain that non-ironically sells The Gordita.

    And I think it was an SNL skit where they made fun of the multi-layer-wrap-taco by having like 7 layers, one of them being a large pepperoni pizza which I think they then deep fried.
    If I have time I’ll find it as i thought it was funny at the time.

  75. 75
    MattR says:

    @r€nato: Relatively new. There’s even a website to go with it. http://drivethrudiet.com/

  76. 76
  77. 77
    Corner Stone says:

    @Tsulagi:

    I wouldn’t be on the field with you, but you need to fight on for us soldiers already captured.

    Ha! Quitter!

  78. 78
    John S. says:

    The 12 grapes is a Spanish custom. My friend’s Spaniard wife got us all doing it a few years ago.

    The only trouble is that grapes pose a choking hazard to drunk people, so hopefully there is someone around who knows the Heimlich maneuver…

  79. 79
    Violet says:

    @Tsulagi:

    I wouldn’t be on the field with you, but you need to fight on for us soldiers already captured.

    The enemy can be very beguiling.

  80. 80
    gelfling545 says:

    Add the beer. It will give the dish a rather smoky earthiness.

  81. 81
    Ash Can says:

    New Year’s Eve parties are a thing of the past for me as well. For a while, when M-80 and I were dating/newly married, a chef friend of mine would have a dinner party on New Year’s Eve. It was small (never more than 8 people) and only a few blocks from where we lived, and involved outrageously good food, top-notch champagne, and firecrackers off the back porch at midnight.

    Nowadays M-80 and I go out for dinner to one of the local restaurants on New Year’s Eve. We have a nice meal and we’re home by 9PM, so we get the best of both worlds — a nice evening out (with very little driving), and no amateurs. (This also allows the babysitting mom-in-law to get home early enough to miss the dipshits too.) After we come home we crack open a bottle of good champagne. Soon after, M-80 falls asleep on the couch, leaving Bottle Rocket and me to blow horns out the front door at midnight and annoy the neighbors. It’s great.

  82. 82
    freelancer says:

    Got roped into going Cosmic Bowling later. Talk about yer oxymorons.

    and I’ll have you know that I’m a professional, TYVM.

  83. 83
    Violet says:

    @MattR:
    Click on that link and then there’s a link to get a free Fresco Taco. Might just have that for lunch! I’ll tell myself it’s health food. Heh.

  84. 84
    Gravenstone says:

    @MattR:

    PS. Anyone else disturbed that Taco Bell is trying to go the Jared of Subway route and is advertising how you can lose weight eating their fast food?

    Hey, chronic diarrhea does wonders for weight loss, right? Just not so much for sociability,

  85. 85
    MattR says:

    @Violet: And with that, I have earned the money that Taco Bell is paying me :)

    @Gravenstone: Ha. I remember Jay Mohr doing a standup bit about the wonderful diet he used to lose 10 lbs. It was called the flu.

  86. 86
    schrodinger's cat says:

    My plans for the New Year, we (Mr Schrodinger’s cat and I ) are going to see Avatar in IMax 3D and then come home and open a bottle of blueberry wine from Maine, which I bought on my summer trip in Maine, this July.

  87. 87
    Corner Stone says:

    @Corner Stone: Ahhh, now you will feel the wrath of the ultimate power in the universe. Google!
    Taco Town!

  88. 88
    Cain says:

    Yeah, and some of those amateurs will probably be engaging in some sloppy alcohol fueled sex which they’ll forget what happened in the morning. AWESOME!

    @Tsulagi – my sentiments exactly!

    cain

  89. 89
    demkat620 says:

    Always go with the beer. Beer makes sauerkraut mucho tasty.

    Goodbye 2009. Except for January 20th, I am glad to see you go.

  90. 90
    Cain says:

    The real question is.. what is myiq2xu doing for new years? Hmmmm…
    cain

  91. 91
    el donaldo says:

    dump the beer in! dump the beer in!

  92. 92
    MattR says:

    @Corner Stone: That is wonderfully funny. Too bad I cannot find any video of their Platinum Mach 14 commercial (spoofing the Mach 3 razor). It is kinda similar as it talks about what each of the 14 blades does.

  93. 93
    Gozer says:

    Beer and painting my wife’s office for me!

    Bonus shoveling snow!

  94. 94
    Sister Machine Gun of Quiet Harmony says:

    @Dreggas:

    Hmm. Obama and Limbaugh are in Hawaii, but Limbaugh end up in the hospital. Stealthy, that one.

  95. 95
    Emma says:

    Renato: I lived in Long Island for 10 years and I learned about the lentils and cotecchino from an Italian co-worker. If I can’t find the real thing I substitute italian sausage. Still works great. I’m Cuban, but by the time New Years Eve rolls around everyone in my family is fed up with the roast pork and black beans, so a few years ago I started substituting the lentils. Everyone loves them.

    Tamied: from Spain, where my family was from a century and a half ago. One grape per month for good luck.

  96. 96
    WereBear says:

    Well, I tried turnips in a crock pot. Turnips apparently do not have enough structure (they can’t handle the crock pot!) and became membranous casings enclosing cloudy liquid.

    But perhaps that’s just me. My cooking is either very good or very bad. So for New Year’s Eve we’re having ham, fresh green beans, and homemade chocolate chip brownies, which I am fairly confident about.

    Usually I do Tarot on the Eve, for a nice bit o’ money, but the so-called “high class resort” that has hired me for the last five years is under new management… and they reserved my services for tonight back in October. While, in the meantime, they have “gone another way” and didn’t tell me. New management is a buncha schmucks.

    But since the Universe went to so much trouble to keep me off the roads this particular year, I’ll stay home & enjoy!

    Wishing all the Balloon Juicers a much better year than the last one! (Seems like a safe sentiment…)

  97. 97
    nalbar says:

    No, John, it does not get any better than that.

    Happy New Year.

    nalbar

  98. 98
    burnspbesq says:

    @Demo Woman:

    I want to take the time to curse Scalia, Rehnquist, O’Connor, Kennedy and Thomas for leading us to the brink of destruction.

    What about Roberts and Alito?

  99. 99
    reality-based says:

    Ok, here I am, moved back to North Dakota (aging parent issues) – after ten years in beautiful Santa Clara, Ca. Know what I miss most? (besides the weather, obviously – it’s going to be 20 below zero tonight) – VIETNAMESE FOOD!

    My sister sent me a Vietnamese cooking care package for Christmas – so tonight, it’s Vietnamese Caramel Grilled Pork with noodles, cilantro, crushed peanuts, sliced cucumbers (couldn’t find any Thai basil, though) – and nuoc mam dipping sauce.

    Ok, got to go start marinating the pork. Also, it will have to be broiled, not grilled. Still – fish sauce cooking for me tonight!

    nuoc mam dipping sauce recipe from wiki

  100. 100
    Ella in NM says:

    Alberstons had fresh, whole turkeys on sale for FIVE DOLLARS EACH!!!!

    So, I bought several, froze all but two and am roasting them as we speak.

    Yummmmm……

  101. 101
    Makewi says:

    Back before I moved into the land of lanai’s I did a fair amount of pork shoulder BBQ (or smoking as others might know it as – pulled pork that is), and I found that putting the shoulder in the crock for a few hours prior to the smoke, both saved time and made it fall apart with a stern look. Good luck on yours, hope it turns out well for you.

  102. 102
    freelancer says:

    Cole, check ur gmail…

  103. 103
    MattR says:

    @reality-based: Kinda funny that is the one thing you miss. You in the eastern or western part of the state? My dad grew up in Jamestown and Carrington

  104. 104
    Kris says:

    Not the crockpot! Isn’t that a poor folks cooker?

  105. 105
    MattR says:

    And can I just say “Wow”. Three touchdowns in the first 2:12 of the second half of the Insight Bowl between Air Force and Houston.

  106. 106
    reality-based says:

    @MattR:

    well, I also miss my gardens and my fish ponds – also Dungeness Crab and salmon, and some friends – but not being able to grab a quick bowl of Pho at the joint down the street has been REALLY bugging me –

    on the other hand, I do not miss my former life – office cubicles, airplanes, chained to a cell phone – AT ALL!

    Just had to get a heater installed in my car, so I can plug it in these sub-zero nights1

    I’m in Walsh County – borders Minnesota, about 50 miles North and 40 miles west of Grand Forks –

    I grew up in a town of about 130 people (there’s only about 40 left there now) – so Jamestown was a metropolis to us! It’s a pretty place, though

  107. 107
    Perry Como says:

    I’m getting ready to have 50-100 of my closest friends over. Meh.

  108. 108
    MattR says:

    @reality-based: I’ve driven through Walsh County (my mom grew up in Winnipeg).

    I grew up in suburban NYC so obviously my perspective on Jamestown was a bit different than yours when I first visited. But then my dad took me to Bordulac, a town outside of Carrington where he had lived for a bit, which sounds quite a bit like where your parents live. The post office and school had both closed so all that was left was a general store. So I can definitely see why you consider something the size of Jamestown to be a metropolis.

    EDIT: It is quite pretty and I have enjoyed the time I have driven through. And of course there is the world’s largest buffalo.

  109. 109
    SteveinSC says:

    @Betsy:

    Yeah, it’s funny how many NY traditions have to do with money! Black-eyed peas or lentils = round like coins. Greens = greenbacks. Acorn squash = gold. We must be a crass bunch at my household.

    The tradition is similar down here, collards for greenbacks, sliced carrots for gold coins, but no one here eats much acorn squash. Black-eyed peas has a slight alternative in the Low Country. They mix the peas with rice and onions and call it “Hoppin’ John.” I think this was brought over by the slaves since the same thing is eaten throughout the English-speaking Caribbean, at least, and in Great Britain (port cities, probably.) I love Hoppin’ John, because I just love peas and rice, but the Charlestonians, they say, only eat it around New Year’s. (N.B. I understand the people in the Caribbean call it rice and peas, simply because there is more rice than peas.)

  110. 110
    Cain says:

    @reality-based:

    Ok, here I am, moved back to North Dakota (aging parent issues) – after ten years in beautiful Santa Clara, Ca. Know what I miss most? (besides the weather, obviously – it’s going to be 20 below zero tonight) – VIETNAMESE FOOD!

    You’re a good child. Taking care of your aging parents is good karma especially since you moved out of Santa Clara to North Dakota!

    Man.. I could use some Pho now.. I bet North Dakotans would take to that pretty well IMHO. I freaking love Pho…

    cain

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    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Corner Stone #59:

    Backatcha my friend :-)

  112. 112
    leinie says:

    @reality-based:

    Reality, I grew up in Grand Forks. Enjoy some Sioux hockey for me, ‘kay? Cuz there is nothing else but brutal cold in the winter. Do miss that brilliant sunshine that accompanies the 20 below though.

  113. 113
    Josie says:

    @John – Your evening sounds delightful. I would definitely go with the beer. I cooked bratwurst last night in beer and some other stuff – onions, garlis, butter, tomato sauce, mustard – and it was scrumptious. I will spend the evening in similar fashion with my two dogs and three cats. The big dog (who is supposed to protect the rest of us) is deathly afraid of fireworks, so I have to hold her paw on New Year’s Eve and Fourth of July.

    @Betsy – I learned to cook the greens in with the black=eye peas in a goulash with ham and okra and tomatoes. The squash sounds like a good idea. I am always up for more gold.

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    John Cole says:

    I must be out of it, but never in a million years did I think someone would call crockpotting a pork shoulder in beer and sauerkraut and watching football for 12 hours “gay.”

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    ellie says:

    Three words: Burn Notice Marathon!

    WOO HOO! I am camped out on the couch, all day and all night.

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    Mnemosyne says:

    I’m getting ready to throw all of the ingredients for my Cuban Pork & Sweet Potato Stew into the crockpot. G has to work until at least 7-ish tonight, so this way things won’t have to sit on Warm for too long. Tomorrow morning is an asparagus, potato and goat cheese frittata and probably a long marathon of our Christmas present from my brother, Guitar Hero. We’re still trying to figure out how to beat Tom Morello in a guitar battle so we can unlock more songs. Oh, and watch the Rose Parade, which I like to watch all of, though I’m not picky about when I come in since they re-play it in full on local TV at least five times.

    Happy New Year, all!

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    reality-based says:

    @leinie:
    hey, proud UND graduate here! UND Hockey – GO! (except the real hockey story in these parts is Bemidji State – small school, small program – kicking NCAA hockey ass!

    and yess, it was beauitful here, the first part of the week – after we dug out from the massive Christmas blizzard. Bright sunshine and blue skies, 15 degrees, sparkly snow –

    back to the deep freeze now, though.

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    licensed to kill time says:

    @John Cole:

    Just stick the crockpot on the barbeque grill and you’re covered ;-)

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    tamied says:

    @John Cole: Must be all those young guys in tight pants.

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    reality-based says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    well, THAT sounds nummy! Recipe? Link? I’ll put up the vietnamese pork recipe in exchange –

    http://www.finecooking.com/rec....._pork.aspx

  121. 121
    burnspbesq says:

    Man, I feel old today. The kid is going to his first New Year’s Eve party tonight. I’ve already given him the only two pieces of advice I could think of for this situation, i.e., (1) don’t drink anything that doesn’t come to you in a sealed container and (2) keep it in your pants.

    Any other suggestions (keeping in mind that the kid is 16 and teh ghey)?

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    leinie says:

    @reality-based:

    UND, class of ’89 (now I’ve dated myself.) Some day, I’ll take a trip back to watch a game in that great hockey palace that they built.

    Bemidji State is a great story, isn’t it? They’re fun to watch.

    Stay warm, have a Happy New Year.

  123. 123
    MattR says:

    @burnspbesq: Rotate in a non alcoholic beverage every now and then. Helps keep you from getting out of control drunk which means you can party longer and have less of a hangover.

    EDIT: Assuming the party has alcohol, but good general advice for anyone drinking.

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    burnspbesq says:

    @leinie:

    My alma mater (Union) is in the USCHO top 25 for the first time ever. The supposedly weak ECAC has four teams in the top 25. Going to be interesting – especially the two games for family bragging rights (one of my brothers went to the same school as Olbermann and Coulter).

  125. 125
    Betsy says:

    Just got back from the grocery store, and they were all out of blackeyed peas!! Ahh! Must run to the other one near my house and hope they’re better-stocked.

  126. 126
    reality-based says:

    @Cain:

    Pho-heads Unite! Ah, Pho tai – the best friggin $5 lunch on the planet.

    I’ve got the recipes, and I tried once – but it’s hard to get the broth right – however, if the deep freeze continues – I just may tackle it again.

    (sigh) Pho, oh Pho, beautiful Pho – – –

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    licensed to kill time says:

    @burnspbesq:

    That’s good advice. Maybe add if you can’t keep the thing in your pants keep it in a sealed container ;-)

    One of the scariest days in my life was when the kid got the driver’s license and borrowed the car for the first time with a friend. I was not aware that I could hold my breath for so long.

  128. 128
    burnspbesq says:

    @licensed to kill time:

    One of the scariest days in my life was when the kid got the driver’s license and borrowed the car for the first time with a friend. I was not aware that I could hold my breath for so long.

    Oh fuck yes. I am so not looking forward to that.

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    burnspbesq says:

    @licensed to kill time:

    Maybe add if you can’t keep the thing in your pants keep it in a sealed container

    We’ve had that conversation a number of times.

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    Corner Stone says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    We’re still trying to figure out how to beat Tom Morello in a guitar battle so we can unlock more songs.

    You have to play with passion. Tune into your…Rage.

  131. 131
    KDP says:

    I am in the midst of my annual Christmas vacation (due to not using up enough during the year and employer only wanting to carry forward 5 days). Checking intertubes, watching tube, and waiting patiently while my kitchen has a new laminate floor installed. I usually have a home improvement project on tap for this long vacation, but for the first time, I don’t have to do the work. So Shadow and I are studying for my Salesforce Developer Certification exam on Monday; rather, Shadow is sleeping next to me while I study.

    Tonight will be take-out Indian (since I don’t expect to have a functional kitchen until late today). I think tomorrow will be oven barbecued pork shoulder, pan-fried potatoes and baked beans. The pork is easy, tender and tasty. Cut up pork shoulder in a pot with onion and garlic and simmer till fork-tender. If you bought bone-in, get rid of the bone after simmering. Place sauce [I’ve become fond of Baby Ray’s] to bottom of baking pan and then layer pork chunks and sauce. Cover with foil and bake at 350 for 45 minutes to an hour).

    Mr. KDP will be working tonight towing the vehicles of the fools caught drinking and driving (I hope only those and no accidents).

    My sincerest wishes for a healthy and prosperous New Year to everyone here at BJ.

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    Corner Stone says:

    @MattR:

    Rotate in a non alcoholic beverage every now and then.

    I follow a very similar plan. I rotate in a beverage that only has one kind of alcohol every now and then.

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    licensed to kill time says:

    @burnspbesq:

    I spent more sleepless nights imagining the kid lying in a ditch with cold sightless eyes staring up at the sky….it became a kind of joke between us, “Oh jeez, not the cold sightless eyes speech again! I’ll be careful, I swear!”

    You have to have faith in their good sense and the ability to cross all fingers on both hands at once, plus the aforementioned lung capacity. We all survived it, and now the kid has kids of its own to agonize over.

    Watching that is kind of schadenfreude-ish.

  134. 134
    MattR says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    We’re still trying to figure out how to beat Tom Morello in a guitar battle so we can unlock more songs.

    If you have to match his second solo in this song (about 6:45 in), all I can say is good luck :)

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    Perry Como says:

    @Corner Stone: I tend to rotate beers with roofie coladas.

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    Sentient Puddle says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    We’re still trying to figure out how to beat Tom Morello in a guitar battle so we can unlock more songs.

    Alternatively, open up the cheat menu in the options and play out this sequence:

    YO RB RO GB RY YO RY RB GY GY YB YB YO YO YB Y R RY R Y O

    That’ll open up every song for quickplay.

  137. 137
    Mnemosyne says:

    @reality-based:

    It’s behind a subscription wall, but I’ll copy-and-paste it in:

    Cuban-Style Pork & Sweet Potato Slow Cooker Stew
    Ingredients
    1 large sweet potato(es), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice (about 1 lb)
    1 pound(s) lean pork loin, cut into 1-inch pieces
    14 1/2 oz canned diced tomatoes, with green chiles
    1 medium garlic clove(s), minced
    1/4 cup(s) orange juice
    2 medium scallion(s), chopped (green parts only)
    1/2 tsp table salt
    1/4 tsp ground cumin
    1/4 tsp black pepper
    1 1/2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
    2 Tbsp cilantro, fresh, chopped

    Instructions
    Place potato, pork, tomatoes, garlic, orange juice, scallions, salt, cumin and pepper in a 4- to 5-quart slow cooker; cover and cook on low setting for 7 hours.

    Stir in lime juice and cilantro; cover slow cooker and cook for 5 minutes more. Yields about 1 1/2 cups per serving (including some cooking liquid.)

    Don’t tell anyone, but it’s actually healthy — about 250 calories per serving.

  138. 138
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Sentient Puddle:

    Sneaky! We may have to try that if we get too frustrated. In theory he shouldn’t be super-hard to beat since we’re just on the first phase of Career, but still … ugh.

  139. 139

    @SIA aka ScreaminginAtlanta:

    my 30-year chip

    I turn 22 in May, good on ya. I don’t miss the outcomes. There isn’t a lot of fun involved in watching friends getting stupid. Wife and I both have colds so this will be a very quiet NYE.

  140. 140
    Sentient Puddle says:

    @Mnemosyne: The boss battles were mostly doable for me, but occasionally there were a few points where I just could not defeat them in time. And I heard others complain that they simply could not do them. So I wouldn’t feel too terrible about using the cheat. The win conditions for the battles were horribly designed.

  141. 141
    tesslibrarian says:

    After leaving a sad post about my two lost kitty girls this year, we brought Jack into the living room and put him on the stool in front of the fishtank. He’s been staring at the giant gold kenyii, patting lightly at the glass (and the fish, Delano, is engaging him, too). The tip of his tail is swinging slowly back and forth, he actually looks thoughtful (!!), and for the first time in a long time, I have a glimmer of hope for the New Year.

    Have a good night, everyone, and may 2010 be all we hope, or at least some parts of it.

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    Gus says:

    @gelfling545: I would think a dunkel would be better than a hefe, though.

  143. 143
    Gus says:

    @Violet:

    Click on that link and then there’s a link to get a free Fresco Taco. Might just have that for lunch! I’ll tell myself it’s health food. Heh.

    fixt

  144. 144
    Betsy says:

    @burnspbesq:
    Not to EVER get in a car with someone who’s been drinking or otherwise partaking of mind-altering substances (unless they’re both getting in the BACK seat of course, wink wink). If you’re picking him up after then maybe this one doesn’t apply for tonight, but it’s a good general rule. Years ago I lost a friend to a drunk driver (the drunk driver was in the other car, and plowed across four lanes of traffic into my friend’s driver’s-side door) and it ruined way more lives than just his and the DD’s.

  145. 145
    Chat Noir says:

    @Betsy:

    Tonight, no real plans. I love being old enough not to care about NYE parties.

    That’s us tonight, too. We’ll be lucky if we make it to midnight (it was a struggle last year).

    We’re going to nosh on miscellaneous nibbles and leftovers. The husband unit has sangria in the fridge and I will have my standard Tanqueray & tonic with lime.

    Looking forward to watching the Tournament of Roses Parade tomorrow. Chesley Sullenberger is the grand marshal.

    Happy 2010 to all the Balloon Juicers. I’m so glad I found this site this year. You guys are teh awesome.

  146. 146
    Svensker says:

    Late to the game, but beer in the crockpot usually gets a bitter edge, to me. I prefer wine. Drink beer with the kraut though. Unless you have a very fruity and crisp Alsatian white wine. Mmmmmmm.

    I’m making beef pot pie with the leftover prime rib. A lotsa gravy. Mmmmmmm.

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    D-Chance. says:

    Three Stooges marathon on AMC.

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    Darkrose says:

    We’re having pork shoulder, but as carnitas, since the in-laws don’t get carnitas often in Connecticut.

    There’s also this bizarre white stuff on the ground. It’s freaky.

    I’ll be so glad to get home to my kittehs. I miss them a lot.

  149. 149
    burnspbesq says:

    If you are a fan of this sort of thing, you really need to check out the new recording of Schubert’s Die Winterreise by Mark Padmore and Paul Lewis. It is the real deal.

  150. 150
    HRA says:

    Got out of work early. Though not before that book who shall not be mentioned by name anymore and can see Russia from her house fell into my work area. Stopped at Kohl’s to get a birthday present for my only sibling. It was unbelievable. It looked like Black Friday. Sure, the economy is bad.
    I made steak, potatoes and green beans tonight. Tomorrow is a day to have the traditional fowl. Nope I don’t have a clue why it’s significant. I only know I must cook fowl.

    Happy New Year to all of you. May the wind be always at your back.

  151. 151

    @Chuck Butcher: Hey Chuck, good on you as well. I’m glad Mrs B is home now. We’re doing the quiet thing too. No need to have to go find the car in the morning and get out of an AWKWARD situation. Life is good. Happy New Year.

  152. 152
    Linkmeister says:

    Dropping by briefly to say “Go Navy!”

    More later.

  153. 153
    Cat Lady says:

    I have successfully executed Phase 2 of this day’s pressing agenda by remaining upright while watching TV, and Phase 3 is looking very doable, as hubby’s homemade biryani and aloo gobi is warming in the oven and tandoori shrimp is set to go on the barbi. The challenge before me is beer or white wine, if the goal is to watch this stinking decade depart. I’m going to have to go with both, in moderation, since I don’t want that stress in my life right now. It’s good to have a hollow leg, a cool head and a warm heart. Bite me, Rush. Everyone else here be safe, cuz we need to start it all over again tomorrow.

    +1 and +1

  154. 154
    Steeplejack says:

    @Punchy:

    Dude, that’s my no-brainer comfort-food dinner. I bake a potato (wrapped in foil) for about an hour at 400°, switch the oven to broil and do a rib-eye about five minutes on each side while I dress the potato and get everything together. Win! You don’t get a nice char or grill marks on the steak, but, hey, it is very tender.

  155. 155
    Mnemosyne says:

    I have to admit, I’m really looking forward to this new Food Network show, “Worst Cooks in America.” What can I say, I like reality shows where people actually have to learn things and/or demonstrate skills instead of ones where people just sit around trying to figure out what to say that will get them on that day’s “Talk Soup.”

    Of course, I’m a pretty hopeless Food Network geek — I’m also excited that the First Lady is going to be on a special episode of “Iron Chef.”

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  157. 157
    Anne Laurie says:

    @John Cole:

    I know humans are social animals, but I just don’t understand the incessant need to always be around people.

    THIS, times a million.

    Spousal Unit is enjoying his tradition FRP gaming session with the nephews (and the eldest nephew’s girlfriend), halfway across the country. I am enjoying having the house to myself and stinking up the kitchen with stuff my supertasting-burdened S.U. can’t bear; First Night fireworks on TV at midnight (yeah, Boston!). Also I spilled a bowlful of cat kibble earlier, and let the dogs clean it up for me just this once, so they’ve lost all interest in their healthful doggie-kibble dinner but they already feel like 2010 is looking GOOD!

    P.S. Anybody got a good recipe for roasted brussels sprouts?

  158. 158
    roshan says:

    @different church-lady:
    the woman should be arriving shortly…

  159. 159
    Shaun says:

    When in doubt, always add beer. That’s my professional advice.

    Happy new year!

  160. 160
    reality-based says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Mnem, thanks for the recipe – as one Food Network Junkie to another! I have pork left from the Vietnamese dish, so I’ll probably try the Cuban pork on Sunday – my crockpot is still in storage in CA, unfortunately, so I’ll have to fake it with a 225 degree oven – –

    Re the Sunday Iron Chefs battle with Michelle O – are you Kidding me? I have a sticky on the fridge and one on the bathroom mirror, reminding me to watch – wouldn’t miss it for the world.

    re food network in general – you know, my favorite guy – as in making a lot of stuff that, when I cooked it, tasted as great as it sounded in the show – is Tyler Florence. I bought his cookbooks, his Morroccan Brick Chicken is to die for.

    Of course, I want to have Antony Bourdain’s children – he’s my true love. Did you ever see an episode – I think it was actually on the Travel channel, where his show is now – when he and Eric Ripert decided to see if they could still cook the line in Antony’s old (very busy) restaurant, or if they were too old and decrepit and long past it.

    It was hysterical – two master NY Executive Chefs, being screamed at by hyper-efficient Mexican line cooks that Tony himself had trained.

    Again, thanks for the recipe (try the Vietnamese pork some time, if you get a chance, and we’ll compare notes. )

  161. 161
    Karen says:

    @ John Cole

    “Making a pork shoulder with sauerkraut for today and tomorrow, and did something a little different this year”

    I’d never heard of this before, but since we like everything you mentioned, I figured it can’t hurt. Now I can’t keep my husband out of it. He keeps taking the lid off the crockpot to get to the juice, which he uses a piece of homemade honey/white bread to sop it up with. After he gets what he wants into a bowl, that is.

    Thanks for the idea!

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