Late Night Open Thread: Olympian Advice We Can *All* Get Behind


And the guy in the Oval Office should definitely lead the way on that — don’t worry, even Taco Bell sells (what they call) churros now!

(Anybody piping up that a fat old guy with rage issues who never exercises shouldn’t be indulging in sugar-frosted fried dough deliciousness… shutupshutupshutup…)

Further, because branding is all-American, I hope for Ms. Kim’s sake that San Diablo Artisan Churros are delicious.


Also Olympian, in a different sense:

North Carolina Man Loves His Donuts!

You have to appreciate the commitment to one’s craft!

Charlotte Observer, take it away!

A North Carolina man who made headlines when he was caught for break-ins after winning a doughnut-eating contest has been arrested again. And this time he’s accused of stealing from a doughnut shop.

The Virginian-Pilot newspaper reports 27-year-old Bradley Hardison of Elizabeth City was charged Thursday with stealing from a Dunkin’ Donuts in November.

An Elizabeth City Police Department statement says he’s charged with felonies including breaking and entering and larceny. It wasn’t clear if he helped himself to any doughnuts.

A phone listing for Hardison rang disconnected.


Stay frosted!

Open thread.

Get the Emergency Tiara!

In case you were wondering, I do in fact have the emergency tiara:

(What? You think on what Cole pays us I had a real tiara?)

Last night around 10 PM I went out to the fridge in the garage to get the boneless leg of lamb out so I could prep it to roast today. Just a basic kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper rub so it formed a nice pelicule overnight before roasting. I open the fridge door and what greets me? The rank, rancid smell of dead and heavily decomposing lamb. Sometime between when I put the cryovaced leg of lamb in there last Monday and last night the compressor in the back up (18 years old) fridge died. The light still works. The fan is still blowing. But it ain’t chillin! I won’t belabor the clean up process other than it involved a breathing mask and lots of bleach, but I needed something else to make for dinner tonight. So I broke the glass on the emergency tiara box on the wall, got into uniform, and decided that since I have frozen ground beef, that I’d make the meatloaf recipe that TaMara posted last night.

I made three changes. 1) I used all ground beef – no pork, no sausage. 2) I don’t have rolled oats in the house. I only use steel cut or pinhead. So I substituted a 1/2 cup of steel cut oats for a 1/2 cup of pinhead oats. 3) I am, apparently, out of cider vinegar. I used balsamic instead. I also only have a 10X5 loaf pan, so this came out more like a meat ingot than a meat loaf. I served it with Valencia rice and sautéed squash and zucchini. Everything tasted great even with the substitutions.

(The meat ingot resting)

(Dinner is served!)

Open thread!

Crumb Structure! (Open Thread)

Aside from my family’s annual Drunken Aunties Cookie Night event, I didn’t used to bake very often. I’ve always loved cooking, but baking was too scientific for my taste.

But something about our present age has driven me to arm myself with flour, yeast, salt, oil, etc., to hold the darkness at bay. There’s something rational and comforting about the measuring and timing.

Is it because the fussiness of it makes sense in the chaos of a country gone mad? Or maybe it was binge-watching the Great British Bake-off that set me off?

Anyhoo, here’s some bread! Bread makes everything better, right?

Open thread.

Bleeding Heart (Open Thread)

I nominate this as the official vine of the jackals: It is called a “bleeding heart” vine, yet it’s tough and prickly as hell:

We’re watching the Saints vs. Panthers (Geaux Saints!) and contemplating dinner, which will be sole meunière, rice pilaf and sautéed Brussels sprouts. (Pro-tip: If weight loss is among your 2018 New Year’s resolutions, do NOT read Julia Child’s “My Life in France” memoir.)

Hope your evening is at least as pleasant! Open thread!

Who’s Hungry? A Hearty New Year’s Day Meal

I was inspired by all the discussion in the pressure cooker thread and made beef stew for dinner. I don’t have a pressure cooker, so I did this in my stockpot on the stove top.


3 lbs of stew meat cut into 1/2 inch chunks

2 sweet onions cut in half and sliced thin

1 whole head of garlic cloves, peeled

5 turnips (I used these instead of potatoes, if you’re a potato person, use potatoes) chopped into cubes

1 bag of carrots chopped

2 bay leaves

Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste

Concentrated beef jus to taste

Worcestershire Sauce or A1 to taste

1/2 a bottle of your favorite dark beer (or if you prefer red wine)

12 cups of water

Roux (melted butter and flour) or cornstarch as a thickening agent – cook’s preference

(stew meat and veggies cooking down)


Take a large stockpot, place over medium high heat, and once hot coat the bottom with extra virgin olive oil and 1/3 of a stick of unsalted butter. Once they are hot add the meat with salt and pepper, mix, and sauté until the meat is browned. While the meat is browning, chop, slice, and peel your vegetables. Add the sliced onions and the hole cloves of garlic to the meat, stir, and sweat off the onions and garlic. Add the concentrated beef jus (I used the better than bullion brand) and the Worcestershire or A1 and combine. Deglaze the beef, onions, and garlic with 6 to 8 ounces of the dark beer (I used Guinness stout today because they were out of Chimay Blue at the store) Add the chopped root vegetables, combine, and cook down. Add more salt and pepper to taste. Once the veggies have begun to soften add 12 cups of water, bring to a boil, and then cook until the meat and the root veggies are fork tender. Check to see if you need to adjust seasoning and do so if necessary. Then add your thickening agent of choice to bring the stew broth to your desired thickness. Serve and enjoy.

Open thread!

Annals of Regression

I wish we were saying goodbye to this kind of stupidity along with 2017, but I fear not. “Unfiltered Fervor: The Rush to Get Off the Water Grid.”

One of the markers of civilized living used to be having water piped into your home, but that’s so twentieth century. Now we have “raw” “live” “real” water, untreated and ready to grow some algae.

There was a spring not too far from where we lived. My mother would occasionally take us kids along to fill up bottles of water for drinking. The spring was capped, and the water came out in a sluiceway that made it easy to fill the bottles.

I can recall drinking water from streams on hiking trips. That was before giardia became a big concern and before there were lots of people hiking in the mountains. I know, giardia comes from the natural animals that naturally live in those places. I never got sick from it.

I’m concerned about the lack of understanding of chemistry and biology shown by the people described in the article. The writeup is not bad. Here are a few of my thoughts as I was reading it.

At Rainbow Grocery, a cooperative in this city’s Mission District, one brand of water is so popular that it’s often out of stock. But one recent evening, there was a glittering rack of it: glass orbs containing 2.5 gallons of what is billed as “raw water” — unfiltered, untreated, unsterilized spring water, $36.99 each and $14.99 per refill

Santa Fe water rates are high, an $18.42 monthly service charge, plus $6.06 per 1,000 gallons for the first tier, and $21.72 per thousand gallons after that. The “raw water” is about $6 per gallon, a thousand times as much.

An Arizona company, Zero Mass Water, which installs systems allowing people to collect water directly from the atmosphere around their homes, began taking orders in November from across the United States…The system — called Source, which retails for $4,500, including installation — draws moisture from the air (the way rice does in a saltshaker) and filters it, producing about 10 liters of water a day and storing about 60 liters.

Gonna take a long time to amortize that initial investment.

There is some nonsense about fluoride. That’s kind of amusing – resistance to fluoride originally came from the right wing. General Jack D. Ripper in “Dr. Strangelove” drinks only pure grain alcohol and rainwater to maintain his purity of essence from the fluoride put in by the gummint for mind control. This time around, it’s the hippies (or whatever we’re calling them today). Fluoride has been studied, and no harmful effects have been found at the levels added to drinking water. It’s kind of wonderful (to me anyway) that kids today have so many fewer cavities. That’s from fluoride.

I think it’s a federal requirement that water systems send out an accounting of the trace elements and potential bacteriological contaminants in their water. I know I get them twice a year and am always impressed that the numbers are so low. But that’s part of what the new water fanatics are concerned about: not enough “good” minerals and probiotics.

He said “real water” should expire after a few months. His does. “It stays most fresh within one lunar cycle of delivery,” he said. “If it sits around too long, it’ll turn green. People don’t even realize that because all their water’s dead, so they never see it turn green.”

Eh. The green is algae. If a closed bottle of “real water” turns green after one lunar cycle, also known as a month, it had algae in it to begin with, or spores. And who knows what else – E. coli, V. cholerae, S. enterica. Just thinking about that makes me want to boil water before I drink it.

The thinking seems to be part of the general desire to get away from the ordinary and brand oneself as special, along with magical thinking about the purity of nature and nature spirits. I wish we could turn this kind of energy toward dealing with global warming.