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Archive for December, 2006

Food talk

Wednesday, December 20th, 2006

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Note to self: Buy new bed sheets today as the rabbits decided to see if they could dig their way to the center of my mattress. Thankfully they only got as far as the mattress cover because I have an electric mattress pad and god knows if they had gotten to that, at least one would have had a nasty shock. 

I spent a good hour looking at the horror that is http://www.wrestlinggonewrong.com/. It’s got all sorts of hideous Sports entertainment accidents and also some nice comedy bits like Booger T calling Hulk Hogan a “nigger” in a live interview. Oops. I’ve be reading the massive book of short non fiction stories on Food from Traveler’s Tales (Who just might be paying me to write about that certain event in Prague with the Polar Bear and the 20 year old who spoke as much English as I do Czech. Giggidty). I love their selections, and was very happy to see that one of the tales featured Videz. Although Videz is long gone, this restaurant was long considered to be the best place on Earth for chili. The recipe was passed down from the chef and owner, Pete Benavidez and it’s still the recipe considered to be the Mecca for all Chili fans.

A lot of people make the mistake of thinking Chili is Mexican in origin. It’s not. In fact Chili is an American southwest creation and you can only find chili is a few spots in Mexico, and those spots generally cater to tourists. 

Another food folklore bit surrounds beans. Indeed, the very first chili recipes did not have beans, and the ones that are generally considered the best by gourmets and the more hardcore chili chefs across the globe still don’t. I have to agree with this overarching belief simply because in this day and age it is IMPOSSIBLE to get good beans from a large supermarket conglomerate. This is because beans maintain the best flavour no more than 2-3 months after being picked. Most supermarkets don’t refresh their kidney (don’t use!) or pinto (DO use) beans for a substantially longer time period than that. If you must use beans in your chili, use fresh ones

You can tell how fresh a bean is by the colouring. For this discussion we’re going to focus simply on pinto, because kidney beans are only used in mass produced glop chili. You’ll never see one of the high quality uber chili’s with kidney beans. Pintos hold the flavour of the meat and spices better, provide a higher quality texture and most importantly for this discussion, you can tell their age by looking at them a whole hell of a lot easier. Fresh pintos are very light and pale in colour. There will be both light and dark spots on the beans. You can tell how fresh a pinto is by how much the light spots have darkened. You want your pintos to be as lightly coloured as possible. Anything else is not worth using. Pete would always insist the best beans (according to his recipe of fame and renown) came from the driest parts of New Mexico or along the Colorado border.  In 2006, you can afford to be this specific, but it will be expensive. Again though, beans are frowned upon for gourmet chili, but I’ll admit I use them a lot myself.

Peppers are another good discussion topic. Every region has very distinctive levels of flavour and spice in their peppers. You can take peppers from the same type of plant from 15 miles away and notice a difference between the two taste wise. Red chilies are better than green because of the concentrated flavour. Green chilies don’t have as distinct a taste different from one plant grouping to the next like the reds. This is why it’s never worth it to buy a mass produced red Chile paste, sauce, or powder if you’re looking for the best flavouring possible. You’ll be getting a hodge podge and thus missing out on the specific flavours and taste of a region. The best peppers for quality amongst chili experts come from Northern New Mexico around Albuquerque. If possible, hit farmer’s markets around the region for your Chile needs. If you can’t get these peppers, it’s fine, but always try to buy fresh and make sure they come from the same region for consistency.

Finally, peppers are the closest thing to any veg in authentic chili. Indeed, not even tomatoes sgould be in the classic style of chili, and if you’re looking for authenticity or the recipes considered to be the best, it’s going to be meat, spices, and chiles. That’s it. Now this is not to say that I would ever pooh-pooh what chili has evolved into. I mean, I love chili in all it’s forms. It’s a comfort food for me. I love Cincinati chili for example, although purists would roll their eyes at this creation. It’s damn good though. I also have no problem making the classic Videz chili one week and then going to tomatoes and beans and the like the next. Although what we now consider chili is strikingly different from its origins and even the most beloved recipes by food elitists, that doesn’t make it wrong or any less enjoyable. Recipes are mallable and will change to reflect a region’s taste or preference. However it is equally important for a chef to know the origins of his recipe as well as the origins of the ingredients.  

  

  The Videz recipe for Chili is below the cut. In the meantime, I’d love to know what your personal comfort foods are!

 

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The only news story worth talking about today

Tuesday, December 19th, 2006

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http://www.cnn.com/2006/SHOWBIZ/TV/12/18/barbera.ap/index.html

RIP Joe Barbera. You’ve taken a chunk of all out childhoods with you to your grave.

Early Morning Rambles.

Tuesday, December 19th, 2006

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1. God damn, do I love XM. This morning on the way to work I got to hear:

a) Sisters of Mercy’s Dominion/Mother Russian

b) Faithless’ Insomnia

c) Tones on Tail’s Twist

d) Run D.M.C./Aerosmith’s Walk This Way

I do notice for some reason my XM radio alerts me everytime any station is playing Bell Biv Devoe’s “Do Me!” I haven’t quite figured out why it really wants me to listen to and/or enjoy that song, but it does…

2. I don’t like to keep bringing this up but…this morning the Better Business Bureau emailed me with a a copy of the resolution in digital form as well as a URL and a case number in case this happens to me (or anyone) ever again. Ofcom doesn’t email these from what I’ve read so it looks like a snail mail’s pace for UK documents. Just giving this out as a precaution to all.

3. I finished watching TNA: Best of Raven last night. I have to say that “Best of” and “Raven” has been and always will be an oxymoron to me. The best match on there was Raven/Sabu or the 4 way dance in which Ron Killings became the world champ. Other than that it was pretty poor. Same with TNA Sacrifice 2005. Best match was Raven & Sabu/JJ and Rhyno and three of those guys suck IMO. Joe/AJ was…okay. Everything else was mediocre. However, oddly enough I really like the Best of Jeff Hardy. I think that’s not necessarily because of Jeff, but because of the matches. Jeff/Styles was great as was their short lived tag team. Hardy/Abyss in the table filled cage was really good for a spot fest and Hardy/JJ title matches were better than Raven/JJ because both Jeff’s were actually putting out effort. So that worries me a bit when I say “The best TNA DVD I’ve watched so far is nothing but Hardy matches.”

However I still have the best of the hardcore matches, best of AJ Styles and best of Chris Daniels, so we’ll see. Right now though it’s 2-1 against TNA. Still it’s better than the E from what I can tell.

4. Lol. London after Midnight posted to my MySpace. Now if only Victoria Beckham would.. :-P

5. It really doesn’t feel like a Tuesday to me.

6. My original piece of Charles Addams arrives today. Yay!

7. Baby bunny had to be kenneled all night. She was talking up a blue streak and just super hyper. I swear, that rabbit talks more than the rest of her species combined. I locked her up simply because both Thlyali and Chewie were getting pissed and I didn’t feel like her getting the shit kicked out of her while I slept. She really does manage to rub the other two the wrong way when she’s at her most spastic.

8. Vlad of DJ Vlad and Heather the cooking contest queen asked if I’d be interested in moving to DC at the end of September yesterday. Hmm. DC. Where I have a bunch of pals, and they want me to move there right as my lease runs out? The only thing preventing me from saying “Oui,” is getting a job down there. Let’s see what happens. I’m always best with a deadline at my back so…

9. Finally, Quinn and I are looking at doing a Halloween get-together in New Orleans this year. Yes, I realize it’s ten months off, but the best shit goes fast down there for that time of year. We figure if we can get a good sized group, that it means we can get a nice group rate on hotels and the like. Also, NWA is doing a special right now for airfare, taxes and hotel stay in Hawaii for a grand if you’re flying from Minnesota and as low as 6-700 bucks from Portland or Seattle. I’m very tempted to do this in feb-march. Anyone else interested?

Current Mood: THIRSTY

Monday News Stories

Monday, December 18th, 2006

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http://www.cnn.com/2006/LAW/12/18/debutante.murder/index.html

Now I’m no lawyer, even though I’ve got more legal experience than some entire companies… It does make me wonder if this man has ruined his chances for getting an appeal what with FLICKING THE JUDGE OFF AND SCREAMING “Yo, FUCK DEMOCRACY!” Oops.

http://www.cnn.com/2006/POLITICS/12/18/bush.india.ap/index.html

Bush signs nuclear deal with India. Holy shit, good job moron! You’ve just pissed off Pakistan. Can we say ARMS RACE? Oh and who else is in that area. Oh that’s right. FREAKIN’ CHINA!

http://money.cnn.com/2006/12/18/pf/holiday_shipping/index.htm?postversion=2006121808

Nice little guide to holiday mailing, what companies go through, costs of overnight or two day packaging and so on. It’s not really “news” per say, but it’s very informative.

http://www.cnn.com/2006/WORLD/europe/12/18/uk.prostitute/index.html

UK Hooker killer suspect has a myspace! Now there’s a chance that he didn’t do it, but my god read what CNN calls important details. Like his claiming his hero is “Hong Kong Phooey.” Also, when did hooking become legal in Britain? I’m pretty sure it wasn’t when I lived there!

http://www.cnn.com/2006/TECH/biztech/12/18/cingular.myspace.ap/index.html

CIngular introduces Myspace for cell phones.

http://www.cnn.com/2006/TECH/science/12/18/african.glaciers.ap/index.html

Good bye African glaciers which are never to return. Arrrgh! Stupid humanity and their shortsighted greed!

http://www.cnn.com/2006/EDUCATION/12/18/admissions.game.ap/index.html

Massive student recruitment drives as college applications drop.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/6180753.stm

Vegitarians on the whole have a higher IQ than carnivores

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/6189013.stm

Meet Scandinavia’s version of Standard Oil. Eeeep.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/6178262.stm

Here are your choices for the #1 song in the UK for Christmas. Dear god. CLiff Richard? And before you go “WTF” to all the options let me remind you BOB THE BUILDER has had a #1 song in England. So has a deodorant commerical.

Anyway, I am torn between champion Girls Aloud, but they’re doing a cover of “I Think We’re Alone Now.” and I hate Tiffany. Also, for older readers and fans of this particular song, I have a burning question: WHAT THE FUCK IS A SHONDELL?

Current Mood: FULL

Two things for LJ’ers

Monday, December 18th, 2006

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1. I’m looking in to having this thing being openid friendly. This would mean, in essence, you could post in here with your LJ and I could do the same to you guys with alexanderlucard.com. Brad’s page on Open ID is mainly fluff without any real substance, but he does say it’s wordpress-LJ compatible.

2. Remember, I can’t respond to comments made in the RSS feed on LJ. I have to stay logged in as alexlucard because I really don’t want to find out what will happen to shit if I log out and then try logging back in.  Once I get the openID thing set up, I should be able to comment as Alexlucard on your f-list and in the RSS feed. Give me a few days though,  please!

Monday!

Monday, December 18th, 2006

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Ah the last week before Christmas. This means this is my last 5 day work week for a while. Huzzah.

For lunch, I met up with Spike, Sara, and Chris and we went to the Mediterranean Cruise Cafe. It’s the most authentic Greek I’ve found in the Twin Cities (although it’s actually in Eagan) . The food is wonderful and they give huge portions. We had a fun time as always, shooting the shit and what not. My problem comes that Greek food always kills me the day after. I wake up the next morning with my intenstines wishing they had Crone’s disease so that they could no longer be part of my body, and my ass just wants to get a week’s worth of activity out in a few hours. Ick. And thus I feel blah today.

And of course the inevitable throught process that comes with me making #2 for twenty minutes goes like this.

“Man, I hate having the trots. Hmmm. I wonder what regional dilaect first coined the term trots. It’s probably applachian or New England in nature because I use it. But then, I never hear anyone else use it. Hmmm. I wonder if the reason I couldn’t get into Steambot Chronicles was because the robot you drive is called a “Trot-Bot.” I was driving customizable shit? No wonder I prefer the DDR like music mini-games.”

Yes, that was actually part of my internal monologue.

Tonight will be boring. Doing dishes, cleaning rabbit cages and so on. Speaking of the rabbits, the threesome are doing great. Thlyali still nips at the baby and gets a time out for it, but this has gone from several times a day from a few months ago to maybe once a week. Thlyali is also usually very sedimentary. She moves and does little, but last night she had the hyperactivity of the baby (who really should just be called Baby now, as she’s no longer A baby). She woke me up at 2am running around on the bed, jumping and doing bunny flips. Surreal.

Here’s a very offbeat news story for you: After 60 years, Archie Comics is (It’s a singular company people, not a plurality) changing their art design. I don’t no why I was so transfixed and yet disturbed by this news stories Sunday evening, but indeed it was so. Although with the new art, I can see why so many people have claimed Joss Whedon’s Buffy and Cordelia are basically rip offs of Betty and Veronica personality wise but with supernatural shit thrown in. Here’s the link to the story: http://forum.newsarama.com/showthread.php?t=94511

Finally, Barns and Noble.com is offering a 25% discount on the most expensive item you purchase from them as a today only thing. Here’s the code: U8Y3W9U 

I ended up getting The complete SIMPLY MING tv series. Only $32.08 with the coupon. Cheapest I’d seen it besides this was $37 on Amazon. Not bad!

EDIT: Recession found it for me for only $23 at DDD! Thanks man! I cancelled that order uber quick!

 

Weekend Update!

Sunday, December 17th, 2006

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Friday was attending Gloomchen and John’s Karaoke party. If you didn’t go, you missed my ability to frighten and amaze listeners with the fact I can do the entire pokerap, even without words on a screen. YAY POKEMON!

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Well, fuck.

Saturday, December 16th, 2006

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I just got done posting to everyone’s LJ that allowed anon comments about the rss feed, this blog, and the myspace. Then after I got done I realize I had posted http://www.livejournal.com/friends/add.bml?user=lucard_rss instead of the CORRECT http://www.livejournal.com/friends/add.bml?user=alucard_rss

DAMN YOU LETTER A! Oh well, at least they’ll have the other two ways of finding me, and I’m putting this as a correction when people eventually come here.

Writing Reflection

Friday, December 15th, 2006

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Of course there’s no F-O option so this means anyone can read this. Which is kind of weird but hey, I’ve never been good with having a private life anyway…

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Friday, December 15th, 2006

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It really doesn’t feel like the end of the week to me.

Tonight is Summer and John’s party. Tomorrow is Al Gore’s party. Hmm, maybe he can help me like he helped Lindsay Lohan. :-P. Sunday I think is getting together with Scott. No real firm plans.

I swear to god. An Al Gore party! I got an email from Moveon.org about going to an Al Gore party and so I had to click. I mean, what do you do? Watch the episode of Futurama where he’s a 9th Level Vice President? Turns out it’s watching his documentary and then I guess he’s going to be there speaking. I figured, when else will I get to meet Al Gore? I’m not going to the GQ MOTY party any time soon. 

This weekend will be running through my LJ f-list and basically leaving a generic comment about this blog, the RSS, and the new Myspace. Letting people know where I am not and what not. The only problem will be a few people who have F-Only journals. I can read, but can’t comment in them and thus I’ll have to find another way to reach them. Maybe enlist someone else with an LJ to contact them. Guin is the only one I can think of off the top of my head who fits this description.  Right now, got a very angry F-Only posts about me being gone from LJ and she’s all “I’m gonna cancel my paid account until they let him back” protest thingie. But of course, I can’t reply. Could someone who reads this friend her just to let her ease her mind a wee bit? Just a heads up in case you get a bit of spam in the comments from me when you already know about the three other ways to reach me, as I wrote a macros to just whip our a comment to my F-List anonymously.

Less than a month until SNAKES ON A PLANE hits DVD. It’s funny. It was so much fun being over excited for a movie. Making stupid jokes, comments, and comics with friends.  The movie party was hilarious and fun with Meg providing some toys and treats. It was a hilariously good time. But for the DVD it’s….meh. Of course I’ll buy it but it’s pretty underwhelming compared to the antici….pation for the theatrical release.

 

Current Mood:  BLAH    

 



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