At 10:54 am Sunday, November 27, 2011 Wunderground Weather is forecasting snow for tomorrow.
Wouldn’t that be something?
Accuweather is not buying it.
The Weather Channel is throwing caution to the wind.
These forecasts from the private sector are all well & good but we should only trustThe National Weather Service, an agency of The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, a part of The United States Department of Commerce.
It’s settled. TNWS says so.
NOAA has a 2011 budget of $5,500,000,000. That’s five billion five hundred million United States Dollars, down fifty-six million dollars from 2010.
It’s raining like crazy here. If we’d stayed for the game, we’d be confronting it, driving home, about now. We went to the tailgate, chatted, took some pictures, ate, chatted, chatted with Daughter C., chatted some more, gave away our tickets, left, and came home.
This was about 3pm. Very quiet & subdued.
I believe that I’ve mentioned that I hate my camera.
2. I predict the “highly-anticipated” matchup has a fair chance of turning out to be not all that good a game.
I predict by the end of the evening, one of these two teams will have a(nother) conference win.
Let’s not forget that TSUN’s coach and athletic director are gone after this game. And the Dawg’s coach called last week’s game “worst ever.” Enthusiasm.
3. I predict the chicken wings Mr. Big Food will drop off at the tailgate at 2:30pm (before the roads on campus are closed) will be gone before you can say, “Best chicken wings ever.”
4. I predict by the end of the evening, many people will be miserable, despite what the score will be. From the National Weather Service:
[Keep reading for two more predictions.]
STRONG THUNDERSTORMS CAPABLE OF PRODUCING WIND GUSTS OF 40 TO 50 MPH WILL BE POSSIBLE LATE THIS AFTERNOON AND EVENING. THESE STORMS ARE EXPECTED TO DEVELOP ALONG AND AHEAD OF A COLD FRONT THAT WILL BE MOVING ACROSS THE REGION. THE COLD FRONT IS EXPECTED TO BE JUST EAST OF THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER BY MIDNIGHT AND SOUTHEAST OF THE OUTLOOK AREA WELL BEFORE SUNRISE.
5. I predict I will hear a lot of talk about bowl eligibility at the tailgate, and that I will ignore it as best I can.
6. I predict that my hatred of ESPN, Worldwide Leader in Screwing with Fans’ Weekends will grow deeper than it already is. See #2. Gametime 7pm ET. That’s 6pm for those of us who run on central time. It is the 5th night game in a schedule which had 6 home games.
I mulled over this all afternoon, and right before we were ready to serve the gumbo, I asked Mr. Big Food what his thoughts were on allowing the obvious winner– because we are so familiar with it, because we have it in other seasons– into the Contest. He disallowed it. Because we have turkey and duck and goose gumbo in all seasons. So Gumbo is not, strictly speaking, a “Fall/Winter” soup, even though it is our tradition to have Turkey Gumbo on Black Friday.
We make these rules up as we eat.
Rocky is due to arrive back at The Farm later this evening. I am perfectly blase (insert squiggly line over “e”) about the whole thing.
Today I remember that the years have rewarded me for every talent I possess, and for every effort I’ve ever made– amply rewarded me not only with the world’s material goods, but richly rewarded me in many, many fine friendships– rewarded me too with an almost endless series of deep and gratifying experiences.
This is no casual thought. I have often pondered it. I write of this now not merely because America has been good to me. It’s often difficult for us in the United States to see this. Most of us were born in this country; we grew up here. Without giving it any particular thought we accept our country and the vast wealth, the many advantages, and the countless opportunities which it so lavishly bestows upon us. We take America for granted.
But while this may be quite natural–and is certainly understandable– it’s also dangerous. “Those to whom much is given, from them shall much be required.” This ancient precept is as true for us today as it was for those to whom it was originally addressed two thousand years ago. Sometimes we forget that those stern old statements so cardinal in the faith of our fathers are true, not because they are written in the Scriptures, but rather they are written in the Scriptures because they’re true. [Emphasis in original]
From PJM’s Tatler; Maybe if he had applied himself when his country was providing him with free education, he’d know that the “?” is not the proper punctuation for this assertion.
Mr. Big Food has asked me repeatedly when “they” started calling the Friday after Thanksgiving “Black Friday.” I had no answer. We used to call the Friday and Saturday after Thanksgiving “Two Big Days,” and when stores began opening on Sundays, “Three Big Days.” Even the sales circulars and signage were labeled “Three Big Days!!”
Curiosity got the better of me so I consulted that infallible source, Wikipedia, to learn that the term originated in Philadelphia in 1966.
The term’s spread was gradual, however, and in 1985 the Philadelphia Inquirer reported that retailers in Cincinnati and Los Angeles were still unaware of the term.
(No surprise there. Cincinnati isn’t exactly up-to-the-minute on these sorts of things.)
I don’t think I heard the phrase until the early- to mid-2000s. I didn’t like it then, and I don’t like it now. I doubt that Mr. Penney would like it. I am certain my dad would not.
Unlike, I’ll bet, Mr. Protester, Mr. Penney has been rewarded with “an almost endless series of deep and gratifying experiences.” I cannot fathom how participation in Black Friday qualifies as a deep and gratifying experience. But then again, I cannot fathom asking, “What can my country do for me?”
To be fair, the vote was 2-1. Our dinner guest, The Bart Man, cast his vote for Perfect Pumpkin Pie because it was a perfect pumpkin pie. And that is was. But the contest was for better pie, not better pumpkin pie. We were not interested in which pie was the pumpkin pie exemplar– just which pie was better. The rules of these contests can get tricky, especially if you’re not there to make them up as we go along.
There will be a “Pie: Pt. 3” post after the sweet whipped cream is whipped, and we decide which pie we like better. “Why is everything a competition?” you may be asking. Because competitions are “critical reviews,” says Mr. Big Food.
Miss M. called this morning to tell me she has a new-found respect for me. And she also understands why there was so much cussin’ and swearing coming from the kitchen when I was making pie crust. She started cussin’ after the first five seconds with her crust. The one I made for these pies, something like “Classic Crisco Crust,” was pretty easy to deal with. I even managed to get the fluting around the entire pie.
Miss M., a vegan, had to make some substitutions in her recipe. Margarine for butter.
I remember calling my mom when I was learning stuff.
1 lb can salmon, drained well, skin and bones removed [See below the recipe for the adjustment to this ingredient.]
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 C raw carrots, peeled and grated
1 small bell pepper, diced
½ C mayonnaise or salad dressing (preferably homemade—see recipes in Basics and Appetizers … sections)
1 Tbsp flour
½ C milk
1/8 tsp paprika
1 egg, beaten
2 slices white bread (preferably homemade—see recipes in Baked Goods section)
Preheat oven to 350o. Sprinkle salmon meat with lemon juice, and fold in carrots, bell pepper, and mayonnaise or salad dressing. Melt 1 Tbsp butter in a saucepan, stir in flour until smooth, add milk, and cook and stir until thick., Remove from heat, stir in paprika, stir a little bit of hot mixture into egg, then stir back into mixture (taking care not to curdle egg). Fold sauce into salmon mixture and spread in a lightly greased casserole. Butter bread slices, cut into squares, and arrange buttered sides up over top of casserole. Bake 25-30 minutes, or until bubbly and hot.
Keep reading to learn how to substitute filets for canned salmon.
As I mentioned, Mr. Big Food had purchased two salmon filets (from the U.S.A.) on our way home last evening. He comments,
In the Salmon recipe I replaced canned salmon with 12 oz salmon steaks, grilled over charcoal, then skins removed and flaked.
I expect this will be excellent in my lunch of leftovers.
We only made half the recipe.
“Among vegetables, versatility means potato! … reliable potato recipes guaranteed to spark any menu … Potatoes Au Gratin (great with Glazed Ham) …”—The Creative Cooking Course (1982)
CREATIVE COOKING POTATOES AU GRATIN
Makes 6 to 8 servings
4 C sliced potatoes, cooked in boiling salted water until partially done, drained
6 Tbsp butter
6 Tbsp flour
1 C milk
1 C cream
1 C chicken stock (preferably homemade—see recipes in Basics section)
Salt, pepper, to taste
Dry bread crumbs
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 350o. Place potatoes in a lightly greased casserole. Melt butter in a saucepan, stir in flour to make a smooth paste, add milk, cream, and chicken stock, and cook, stirring constantly, until thickened. Add salt and pepper to sauce and pour over potatoes in casserole. Bake 45 minutes. Sprinkle top with bread crumbs and cheese, and bake 4 to 5 minutes longer or until browned.
As promised here’s the recipe for Chicken & Broccoli Casserole. Instructions for the “in a Sweet Potato Squash Shell” follow the recipe.
CHICKEN AND BROCCOLI CASSEROLE
4 chicken breasts
Salted water (to cover chicken)
10 oz broccoli spears, cooked and drained
1 C celery, cut in large chunks
½ C mayonnaise (preferably homemade—see recipes in Basics section)
2 Tbsp onion, chopped
½ Tbsp lemon juice
10 ½ oz can condensed cream of chicken soup
½ stick butter crackers (like Ritz)
4 oz mushrooms, chopped
Cook chicken in boiling salted water with celery until done, and drain. Preheat oven to 350o. Line cooked broccoli spears in bottom of a greased casserole. Remove skin and bones form chicken, chop into bite-sized pieces, chop celery, and combine with mayonnaise, onion, lemon juice, cream of chicken soup, and mushrooms, mixing well. Pour mixture over broccoli in casserole and bake 25 minutes. Melt butter, combine with crumbled crackers, spread evenly over top of casserole, and return to oven for 5 minutes.
Instructions for preparing the squash below the fold.
The large white squash is a Tennessee sweet potato pumpkin squash
Mr. Big Food cut the bottom 1/3 from a Tennessee sweet potato pumpkin squash. (Lots of information on the squash and its heritage at the link.) He also cut a sliver off the end so it would sit upright.
He then parboiled it in water to cover for about 15 minutes. Drain. Fill with casserole and proceed with the recipe.
To serve, simply scoop out some squash along with the casserole.
We had a hard decision to make as we were enjoying this dish. Taste-wise, it deserves to be an entry in the soup contest. But it’s not a soup or a stew. We considered opening up the contest to other categories. But in the end we agreed– at least I hope we agreed– that the soup contest should be a soup contest. Otherwise, this casserole would be a contender.
I think Mr. Big Food is at his best when he semi-improvises. We were to have a baked striped bass dish this evening. Unfortunately, this morning we unanimously concluded that the bass had seen better days. So he picked up a couple of “Product of U.S.A.” frozen salmon filets at the Hog. When we got home, he scanned through The Big Food Manual, and this is what he came up with. (The recipe calls for canned salmon. I don’t care for canned salmon.) He started a fire, grilled the filets, brought them inside to cool, picked the meat off the bone and proceeded with the recipe, which I will post.
Grilled Salmon Bake is good.
Creative Cooking Potatoes au Gratin
This was to accompany the baked striped bass dish. It did well next to the grilled salmon bake.
Tomorrow, we roast the Sugar Pie Pumpkins in anticipation of making pie. There will be two pies. One will be traditional. One will be a pumpkin custard pie.
I also need to pull the rest of the rutabagas this weekend.
I am working on a post titled, “The Lesson of Obedience.” The main inspiration comes from Book of Good Manners by Frederick H. Martens (1923). This will be another in a “series” of posts on manners and civility. Here are the previous posts:
Meanwhile, I ran across two examples of human misbehavior in my morning travels around the world wide web.
Tip of the hat to Kris at Shout First, Ask Questions Later— whose subtitle is “Politics and one mother with a keyboard. Because in front of every informed voter is a frightened politician”– for the first example. It is a video shot by the mother of two young boys who have thrown/are throwing a five pound bag of flour all around the living room.
Some questions come to mind. Why is she video taping this instead of disciplining them? Did she already have the camera or did she allow them to continue while she went to fetch it? When is she going to start stopping them? And why– why??– would she put this video on-line? This is the equivalent of me catching Rocky doing something unacceptable in the living room, taping him, and then uploading it. “Look! I can’t teach Rocky not to poop inside! Aren’t I cute? Oh no! Poop. What am I going to do?”
The second story takes us into a future where the two boys, above, have grown up* to become staffers for Mississippi Congressman Steve Palazzo. (H/t Majority in Mississippi) The boys and their fellows throw
a two-night party in Annapolis and tried to impersonate the Congressman after getting a call from local police.
Occupy the Condominium. From the Roll Call (at The Hill) account:
Neighbors say it became clear on that Friday night that the weekenders next door were looking for a good time.
A neighbor returned home around 9:30 p.m. Oct. 7 and discovered a “frat house” scene at the rental property, with people carousing outside.
The neighbor shrugged it off until about 11:15 p.m., at which point he stepped out on his deck and asked the revelers to settle down.
“Who the f— is that?!” one partygoer barked. The neighbor reiterated his plea for peace and quiet at 11:30 p.m. — with the caveat that the cops would be called as a last resort. That persuaded the party attendants to retreat inside, where they kept at it for at least an hour and a half.
The following morning, a young man who introduced himself as “Jason” went to the neighbor and “profusely” apologized for the disturbance. “He must have said sorry about 11 times,” the neighbor said.
As part of his mea culpa, the young man divulged that the occupants were all overzealous Hill staffers who had gotten a little crazy because their boss had never materialized.
“When we found out that he was not coming down with his family and kids, we decided to let our hair down,” Jason said, according to the neighbor.
The young man insisted to the neighbor that it would not happen again Saturday night.
When the good times resumed that evening — “There were bottles on the front stoop, bottles on the bumpers of the car … and a young man wandering around out front in his boxer shorts” — the neighbor gave the out-of-towners one more warning, at 11 p.m., before phoning the police.
Meanwhile, after being blindsided by noise complaints Friday night, the property manager called Donald on Saturday and demanded an explanation. Donald feigned ignorance, insisting that she, Palazzo and his family had been asleep at the house by 10 p.m.
When the property manager went Sunday morning to formally evict everyone, Donald said Palazzo had caught a flight that morning. Later, Donald’s story shifted again when she swore Palazzo and his family flew out Saturday to tend to his sick mother-in-law.
*I kid you not, two of the staffers have the same last name. Brothers?
The Ole Miss Alumni Association is exploring the idea…
…of establishing an “on campus” memorial to honor proud alumni and friends. Throughout our history, Ole Miss has touched many individuals and created a proud and vibrant extended community. And while our school has helped shape the lives of those in pursuit of knowledge, it’s the people themselves who have made Ole Miss truly special.
Inspired by the devotion of our alumni and friends, we are considering the establishment of a small, on-campus memorial garden that would feature a columbarium containing the cremated remains of interested individuals. This permanent memorial would honor those who hold our school so dear to their hearts and give them a special place on our campus. We envision a peaceful garden landscape, complete with strolling walkways and reflection benches. Space in the columbarium would be available for purchase in advance of an individual’s passing. [My emphasis]
It is so cool to be me. I am a judge in a Fall/Winter Soup Contest.Mr. Big Food tells me there will be a lot of entries.
I am excited. There’s talk of a greens & homemade sausage soup. I’ve had this before. It’s not bad.
Here is some more discussion about the soup’s fine qualities.
Here’s the recipe for our current favorite, the second entry.
SLOW COOKER POTATO CHEESE SOUP WITH WIENERS
makes 6 servings
6 c potatoes peeled and cubed 2.5 C chicken stock, preferably home made 1 medium onion chopped course 1/4 tsp pepper 6 ox. (1 1/2 c) shredded yellow cheese 1 large can (13 oz.0 evaporated milk 1 lb. wieners, fully cooked, each cut into thirds
In the slow cooker, combine potatoes, chicken stock, onions, and pepper, cover and cook on low heat for 9-11 hours. Mash potatoes slightly, increase heat to high, stir in cheese, evaporated milk and wieners, cover, and cook 30 minutes longer. Ladle into bowls to serve.
We each get a vote. (We are making up the rules to this contest as we go along.) The vote is 2-0 in favor of this potato soup. Not that we didn’t like the previous winner (having been the first contestant), Beer Cheese Broccoli Soup, but we both liked this better. (Recipe at second link.)
I’ll post photo and recipe tomorrow.
I liked the potato in this soup. It provided some texture that, in retrospect, I think was missing in the previous soup. I don’t mind a bit of grittiness in Fall soups. I like starches that are falling apart. The wieners are just a hoot.
This was Mr. Kant’s Farewell Supper.
I don’t think I’ve mentioned it here yet, but I like Mr. & Mrs. Kant’s kids. They are refreshing. They remind me that kids can still be kids.
There aren’t as many leeks coming up as I had wished. I was hoping for one really smooth potato leek soup next Spring.