Friday, May 05, 2017

Coinage du jour - 05 May 2017

bouillon logic (n)

A method for deciding whether or not to make stock from scratch.

"With no bones and little in the way of vegetables at hand, it was a simple matter of bouillon logic to use boxed stock for the soup."

that is all

Thursday, May 04, 2017

Carnage du Jour - 01 May 2017

This is more an homage than a carnage.
Making some food for Mom while Dad was in the hospital (he's home and doing well, thanks), I thought she might go for something from the past. You know, comfort food.

Thus began the search in Grandma E's cookbook for the Johnny Marzetti recipe.
I didn't find it there.
So ... it must be on one of the 3x5 cards in the recipe box.

Alrighty then. I remember that it had equal parts of tomato and cream of mushroom soup, browned hamburger, and kluski noodles. How hard could it be?

It wasn't hard at all, as it happens.

In a large skillet I browned a pound of ground chuck (pro tip #1 - I always salt the hot skillet before adding ground beef to brown; go ahead, try it), adding a bit of minced onion to give it a bit more flavour.
I added to that 1 can each of tomato and cream of mushroom soup (I started with a part of each, but it was clear I needed all of it, so that's the recipe now) and mixed it thoroughly.

While all that was happening, a well-salted pot of water had boiled and received a bunch of kluski noodles (sorry, I can't be terribly precise in my amount here - perhaps half a 16oz bag or so?), bringing them to just shy of al dente. (pro tip #2 - pace Alton Brown, I always add a bit of vegetable oil to my pasta water; I have no doubts it prevents clumping and sticking.)
The noodles were then stirred into the meat and sauce mixture and then scooped into crocks for later heating.
We ate our portion on 02 May after giving it a head start in the microwave to take the refrigerator chill off it and then final heating under the broiler to get the good crispy bits that really ought to be there in the normal straight from mixing it to a casserole in the oven method.
It was quite tasty, and brought back memories of family - just what comfort food is meant to do.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

R.I.P. Chuck Barris and Chuck Berry

(in the style of "Larry and his magic blog")
I'm going to write my blog post.
     What you gonna do?
I'm going to write my blog post.
     What you gonna do?
I'm going to write my blog post.
     What you gonna do?
I'm going to write that blog post now!

I'm going to write my blog post.
     What you gonna do?
I'm going to write my blog post.
     What you gonna do?
I'm going to write my blog post.
     What you gonna do?
I'm going to write that blog post now!

OK, all homage aside, Chuck Barris, creator of the Gong Show (and many other game shows) died at age 87. This so soon after the passing of Chuck Berry, creator of so many great songs (and the duck walk). Maybe someone asked, "ready for your close-up, CB?"

Both will be missed, but only one could really play a guitar.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

R.I.P. Stuart McLean

I completely understand the sentiment others have expressed at past passings:
"I don't have to believe it if I don't want to."

I don't want to believe it, but I do have to acknowledge the passing of a wonderful, positive, loving man who was part of my Saturdays since 1994. Stuart McLean was a consummate radio host, storyteller, and (virtual) friend.

Hearing him tell his stories encouraged me to go ahead and tell some of my own. I will sorely miss him, along with Dave and Morley, Sam and Stephanie, and the whole cast of characters who made those stories as real as the essays he also presented.

My condolences to his friends and family. Stuart was a gem and will be greatly missed.


Friday, November 11, 2016

R.I.P. Leonard Cohen

Leonard Cohen died yesterday at the age of 82.
I don't know that I could have enjoyed a whole concert of his singing, but I certainly would have enjoyed a whole concert of his songs.

82 is nothing like as old as it used to be, but it's still impressive that he had just issued another new album. What a way to go out. (Or as the song goes [not his], If you gotta go, that's the way to go.)

He'll be missed, but his music will keep him in our memories for years and years to come.

Wednesday, November 02, 2016

Carnage du Jour - 01 November 2016

"Do we have anything we can do on the grill? It's a beautiful night."

I love being asked questions like that.

The answer was that we had smoked sausage, hot dogs, and half of a beef tenderloin.
I also got to use my new chimney-type charcoal starter, so double bonus!

The sausage and hot dogs were just the normal "put them on and cook them, smearing mustard (Nance's) on the smoked sausage as it cooks" kind of thing, but what you really want to know about is the beef tenderloin.

I made a rub of dry mustard, rubbed thyme, onion powder, and a touch of salt. I rubbed that on the beef and let it sit a bit before taking it to the grill.
The beef got cooked over semi-indirect heat (semi- because I wanted a bit of a crust on it, but not too much) while we also grilled some rainbow carrots and golden beets.
(There was also a pot of yellow rice going inside with a half can of Red Gold diced tomatoes with chipotle added toward the end of the cooking.)

Once everything was done, the beef rested briefly and then sliced, Heidi took her plate to the table while I finished filling my own. Before I could join her, she came back and told me the extra little piece I had dropped on her plate was the best piece of meat she had ever put in her mouth.
I'm not sure I'd go quite that far, but oh my was that a delicious tenderloin.

Highly recommended.

Monday, October 03, 2016

R.I.P. Sir Neville Marriner

More sad news came in this morning.
The now-formerly-ubiquitous Sir Neville Marriner has died at the age of 92.

The founder and long-time conductor of the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields was one of the most recorded conductors ever, and he was actually quite excellent at it.

There was even the Detroit connection through his time as artistic director of Michigan's Meadowbrook Festival from 1979-1984.

He will be well and truly missed.