Archive for the ‘Food’ Category

The Dark Ages Revisited

Thursday, May 28th, 2009

I flew over the southern tip of Greenland yesterday. I had opened the window shade of the Airbus 340-600 (the world\’s longest commercial airliner) to stare in awe at the black and white vastness of Denmark\’s nearly lifeless colony. (Denmark, rare among nations, still has a colony owing to the wisdom of selecting a place where almost no one lives and still fewer wish to live.) All the shades had been closed by the flight crew, for reasons you will have to determine, whereupon I was told, in no uncertain terms, to close it. Understanding that flight crews are, for all practical purposes, deputized to maintain order in the once-friendly skies, I stifled the urge to resist this seemingly thoughtless demand and allowed discretion to be my guide.

The flight crew may have seen enough of Greenland\’s frozen wastes but it is not something I get to do everyday! As I was seated on an exit row I still had a fish-eyed, coffee-saucer-sized glass opening through which I was able to observe and witness the openly available evidence that climate change (aka \”global warming\”) is a hoax and a scam as large and as bereft of accessible benefit as Greenland itself. For hours we flew over the more-than-frosty expanses extending from Iceland to Hudson Bay while most of the rest of the world naturally suffered from the sweltering approach of the coming summer.

Another member of the crew was queried about the practice of pulling the blinds and we were told that it was the result of a passenger poll in which it was was supposedly revealed that most people would rather sleep and preferred the darkness to the glare that exists above the clouds at 37,000 feet. I was only moderately appeased by this information. It was only 8:oo PM where we had all come from. Who goes to bed at that hour? Don\’t most people maintain a crack in the darkness every night as they sit in front of their TV\’s? Many marvel at the HD documentaries that reveal the earth in its shimmering splendor and here we were with a rare, bird\’s-eye view of Greenland\’s mountains, glaciers and frozen fjords and we were told that we were prohibited from looking out the window! Why?

I had spent the last three weeks in the most conservative part of Germany, if not all of Europe; the lush and picturesque rolling hills of the Alpine foothills of Bavaria where I was thoroughly immersed in the comings and goings of friends and family. It will take yet a while before my reflections of these full and eventful days properly and cohesively crystalize but one thing is abundantly clear; even the most traditional and seemingly well-informed of the Europeans have been fully propagandized.

One must know and understand that there is no freedom of the press outside of the United States. Governments thoroughly control the news. While this can also be said of our major news outlets there remains, here, a free flow of honest information mostly in the form of radio and internet communication. The overwhelming majority of Europeans have no interest in, or access to either of these sources of information. I felt like I had been sucked into a black hole. I found no Wi-Fi and only a few internet cafes, the majority of which were scarcely populated and unable to provide access to anything Mac-related. I might have had better luck in Munich but even the large cites were devoid of public access points to the information super highway. In the endless concourses of outdoor cafes I saw but a handful laptops opened upon the mostly occupied tables.

Discussion was largely limited to weather, soccer, food and drink and the inexhaustible debate over Germany\’s past sins and the price they continue to pay although only a very few of those responsible for the misdeeds remain. It is similar to the discussion of slavery in this country; no one here was ever a slave and no one here ever owned a slave. How long are the sins of the fathers to be visited upon the children? When is enough enough?

Nearly everyone with whom I conversed spoke in very positive terms about our new president. They were surprised at my observations. This was the clearest evidence of dominant influence of the modern European press. Joseph Goebbels had nothing on these people! Tell a lie, make it big and tell it over and over again and soon everyone will believe it. This was the Goebbels\’ philosophy. Today\’s practitioners have made it an art form.

People who cling to traditional values and religion are considered to be right wing extremists. Where have we heard this before? They are also considered to be a danger the state. Hmm? Everyone associates Hitler with the right even though his movement was an extreme leftist-socialist movement.

A recent revelation about the murder of leftist student demonstrator in Berlin in 1968, an incident that forever radicalized a large number of German youth and lead to the Green movement, has required anyone with a brain to re-think the genesis of the modern international leftist movement. It has been discovered that the German police officer who shot and killed this young demonstrator was not the \”right-wing\” extremist he was made out by the press to be but rather a Stasi (East German Secret Police) spy with orders to assassinate this particular young leftist. The moral of this story revolves around the foolishness of displaying loyalty to a master who is not only incapable of corresponding but who will not hesitate to take your very life if it best suits his purposes. So it is with all brands of tyranny and all forms of vacuous ideologies. Someone once quipped, in reference to Oakland, that there is \”no there there\”. The same can be said of socialism. It is a pit that can never be filled, even with numberless concourses of victims.

The churches that once dominated the skylines of every city and village are mostly empty. The church bells peal but bare no appeal for the vast majority of of the once-faithful. They now merely toll at the passing of time. Most of the citizens of Bavaria cling to the notion of being Catholic, as a tradition, but church attendance is minimal even on the most holy of occasions. But everyone is at the recycling centers on Saturday! Wind turbines now claim dominance above every horizon. Green is the new religion. It was reminiscent of the classic movie \”Invasion of the Body Snatchers\” in which the normal people were replaced by zombie-like aliens each resembling those marked for substitution.

The birth rate among the Europeans is between 1.1 and 1.8 children per family. This is unsustainable. There will be virtually no Europeans left in 50 years.

The influx of workers from Islamic nations has been steadily growing. The average Islamic family in Europe has 8.2 children. In the not-distant future Mullahs will be using the towers of vacant churches and cathedrals as minarets for the calling of the faithful to prayer.

The Europeans are committing suicide, slowly but surely. The soft hedonism of \”Gemuetlichkeit\” has eroded the senses and sensibilities of the overwhelming majority of those who appear to live less recklessly than their offspring who have little or no respect for the antiquities they occupy or the traditions of their respective races. Three times during the 20th Century, America saved the Europeans from each other but we are powerless to save them from themselves.

In appreciation for the quality of the food I told one person that if I had to live in a socialist nation that I might prefer one in which the daily bread was better. His surprised response was that he did not live in a socialist nation. Right! And the Greens are neither red nor brown!

It occurred to me, as we touched down in San Francisco, that the shades had indeed been drawn to maintain the darkness and to keep the passengers asleep.

Driving the Fiat

Friday, April 25th, 2008

Now the Wall Street Journal is telling us that it is time to stock up on food because the value of the dollars in our wallets will never keep pace with the spiraling price of basic edible commodities such as rice, wheat, corn, soybeans and, by extension, all those critters we consume who eat the aforementioned grains. Food riots have been reported in 35 nations. The reasons for this \”crisis\” (the UN\’s term for this state of affairs) are many but most can be placed at the feet of our very own government and those who control it; our friends at the Federal Reserve and their friendly central bankers around the globe. The whole notion of utilizing currencies that have no basis in value other than their daily relative values to other currencies is simply madness, but that is where we are today. Paper money is valueless unless it is guaranteed redeemable in specific amounts of specific commodities; historically gold and/or silver.

When America\’s central bank was created (along with the Income Tax) December 23, 1913 by the US Congress (never ratified by the states as required), its commission as described in the Act was, \”To provide for the establishment of Federal reserve banks, to furnish an elastic currency (aha!), to afford means of rediscounting commercial paper (whatever that means), to establish a more effective supervision of banking in the United States (like that\’s happened!), and for other purposes (sounds ominous!).\” The US government had long resisted the concept of a central bank but there were a handful of congressmen who were for sale on the eve of Christmas Eve, 1913.

John Kennedy attempted, by Executive Order 1110, June 4, 1963, to return the responsibilities of monetary policy to the US Treasury by reinstating the Silver Standard and pulling the plug on the Federal Reserve. Not long thereafter he was dead. Two of the five members of the Warren Commission were directors of the Federal Reserve. A third member was former CIA director, Dulles, whom Kennedy had fired. The forth was Gerald Ford, the only president never to be elected president. (The author of the \”magic bullet theory\”, Commission council, Arlen Specter, went on to make a career of slight-of-hand as a US Senator from PA.)

We now have our \”elastic currency\” (also known as \”fiat\” currency) and look where it is gotten us. Some very, very few have profited mightily from this manipulation (the kindest word I can think of to describe what these people have done). The vast majority will find that even the silver lining has been stolen.

Is all of this explainable as pure paranoia on the part of a hopeless conspiracy theorist? You can hope so, but the facts remain. In the meantime, don\’t forget to stock up on a few essentials. You should still be able to afford to purchase all that will fit in the back seat of your Fiat. I have plenty of crow to feast upon if my analysis if it is found wanting.

PS. The thoughtlessness of the modern environmental movement has also played a significant part in bringing us to this cruel moment in time. All actions have consequences. It would be wise to ponder as many of the potential outcomes proceeding from our decisions as possible before pursuing a particular course. The price and availability of fuel and food have been enormously impacted by this inattention to the realities that exist. There are natural laws to consider in the process of creating policy. Wishing is not one of them.

More Random Thoughts

Friday, January 25th, 2008

The British government, worried that the attendant ravages of obesity will ultimately swamp their island nation\’s socialized health care system, have floated the idea of paying its more corpulent citizens to lose weight by giving them vouchers that can be exchanged for \”healthy\” food. They will also be awarding prizes for those who lose the most weight. Two things to consider; people can, do and will consume too much of any kind of food, including healthy food, rendering a \”fat chance\” of any realistic hope of reducing the nation\’s girth. (Did smoking cigars help Churchill maintain his dashing figure?) This peculiar exercise also provides us a good look at the unintended (or intended) ultimate result of socialized medicine; when the program proves unworkable, instead of introducing a better model (like a return to capitalism and the creativity that drives it), the government invests taxpayer money on behavior modification. Free aint freedom, folks. Move over Animal Farm and make way for the Fat Farm.

My son thanked me the other day, after he had received a promotion and a raise in pay, for some advice I had given him earlier, to be patient. I certainly appreciated his expression of gratitude and I thanked him for his kind consideration. It occurred to me at that moment, and I shared this with him, that things which we found, in youth, to be interminably unendurable rarely cause a blip on our hindsight radar, in fact, it is unlikely that we will remember them at all.

The debate over abortion is a constant at some level. Listening to a discussion the other day caused me to reflect on a facet we don\’t consider. We have often heard that we have lost 45,000,000 fellow citizens to infanticide in this country since the Supreme Court usurped the authority of Congress and made Roe vs. Wade the law of the land. What we don\’t hear about are their children.

The poached frog would like to introduce a new word to the vocabulary; IMPOSEUM, a convocation of those committed to imposing their agenda(s) on the rest of us, in other words, Congress, the UN and anywhere that Democrats congregate. Feel free to use it anytime you wish. (Editors note: as it turns out, imposeum has already been placed into use by others but their definition is not nearly as good.)

The current economic difficulties we have seen don\’t even come close to revealing the ultra-fragile nature of our circumstances. I am forever optimistic but a realist\’s objective view of things would have to conclude that we are witnessing the unfolding of an epidemic of weirdness heretofore unimagined.
Hang on to your seats (and your wallets), folks, it\’s gonna be a bumpy flight.

Real Friends

Tuesday, October 30th, 2007

It is time to address a growing problem, one that seems to have crept into nearly every corner of the modern culinary universe; the excessive use of excessive amounts of garlic. Don\’t misunderstand; no one loves garlic more than I do but, unlike money, more is not necessarily better. In fact more is a frequent detriment to both the dish and the dishie. Thank goodness for the fact that ingesting a slight dose prevents one from noticing the malodorous impact that garlic has on your date who becomes simultaneously immune to your polluted, though passionate utterances via the same process. This, however, doesn\’t prevent everyone else from suffering through less intimate contact with you and the not-fully-digested remains of last night\’s clam linguini. Goodness gracious, Gilroy was here!! I realize that it doesn\’t take a lot of garlic to cause an outbreak of halitosis but adding four cloves when a half will do turns an ordinary olfactory inconvenience into an infernal stench that erupts from every pore!

I humbly suggest that unless you operate a bistro in Transylvania that you consider backing off more than a wee-bit on the garlic. The only dish I know of that needs more than a little garlic is garlic bread (though the secret to good garlic bread is more salt, not more garlic).

Still in all, consuming the stinking rose in any quantity provides us with a single but unparalleled social advantage; eating garlic lets you know who your real friends are.

Spiral Ham for Thanksgving?

Wednesday, November 22nd, 2006

For those of you who have pardoned your own turkey and have decided to enjoy a Thanksgiving Ham this year, I offer this tip. If you buy a spiral ham that has not yet had that “honey” glaze professionally affixed, do yourself a huge favor and throw away the package of glaze that accompanies the ham. Pay no attention whatsoever to the instructions regarding heating the ham. Do not heat the ham in any way. It is already fully cooked.

Save yourself the work and spare the quality of the product. Simply allow the ham to sit out at room temperature for 3-4 hours depending on the size, slice into the ham perpendicular to the spirals and separate the resulting slices onto a tray and serve. It will be tasty, moist and tender. If you want some kind of sauce to replace the glaze, consider mixing honey (or a fruit jam or jelly of your choice) and a good mustard, half and half. Keep the “unspiralled” portion of the ham, and the bone to which it is attached, for cooking up a fabulous pot of beans or a hearty winter soup.

Happy Thanksgiving

Real Friends

Thursday, May 4th, 2006

Garlic lets you know who your real friends are.

Salad Days

Wednesday, October 19th, 2005

Hearts of Romaine Salad with Blue Cheese, Roasted Pecans with Sesame Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing.

Serves 4-6

Cut off top 1 to 2 inches of two whole heads Romaine hearts and submerge the rest in cold water for about 10 minutes, then remove from water and give the hearts a shake to remove excess water and refrigerate for an hour or two (this to clean and to restore crispness)

1/2-cup pecan halves per each head of lettuce- sauté these over medium-low to medium heat with 1TBL sesame oil. Watch carefully and toss frequently for about five minutes, add 1 TBL whole butter and toss, and then sprinkle with 1 TBL raw sugar, remove from heat and let sit until cool.

Dressing:
1/2 tsp good mustard (not too hot or too sweet)
1 tsp sugar
1 pinch salt
1 TBL Sherry vinegar or apple cider vinegar
1 tsp Balsamic vinegar (the better, the better)
Whisk well and drizzle in the following while whisking;
1 TBL sesame oil
2 TBL canola or other neutral-flavored oil
Taste for balance, add salt or sugar to taste. Add a few drops of hot water if the dressing is too acidic.

Cut lettuce into bite-sized pieces, sprinkle with good crumbled blue cheese (buy a piece of good cheese and crumble it yourself), top with the roasted pecans, toss with dressing and serve. You may add sliced red onions if you wish.

Enjoy

Johnny Cakes

Monday, July 18th, 2005

Johnny Cake appears to have been one of the Prophet Joseph Smith’s favorite foods. Mentioning this particular dish in his writing appears to be indicative of his fondness for the crispy little corn cakes, while simultaneously providing a lesson on the subject of gratitude for the simple things in life. They are clearly a part of New England\’s culinary heritage. It is certain that the pioneers made this dish a part of their regular campfire rituals as fare for breakfast or dinner. It is traditionally a sweetened corn flour batter fried in a bit of oil or grease until golden brown on both sides (some recipes call for baking the dough into a cornbread-like dish). It was then consumed with honey, molasses, syrup or gravy.

(The author confesses that his very first solo attempt at cooking, at about age 5, was mixing corn flour, salt and water into a paste and cooking it on a hot rock pulled from a fire he had built out back of his home when his mother was too busy with the other kids to pay attention to the mischief in which her oldest son was engaged. It was good! My fondness for corn remains.)

The Johnny cake described below is an adulteration of the old recipe; a marriage of modern pancakes with the corn component. The addition of blueberries and maple syrup are a tribute to the Prophet’s New England roots.

Ingredients: for approx. four servings

1 cup buttermilk pancake batter (homemade or from your favorite mix: try Krusteaz)
½ cup corn flour
1/8 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp salt
¼ cup buttermilk
1 cup cold water
½ cup blueberries
Pure maple syrup
1/8 pound butter

Mix the dry ingredients (although pancake mix already contains leavening, the addition of corn without additional leavening will make for heavy, thin cakes) and add the buttermilk and water until you have achieved the proper consistency. The longer the batter sits the thicker it becomes, so you might want the batter to initially be a little thinner than ultimately desired. Preheat skillet to medium heat (325-350 degrees) and lightly grease, removing excess oil with a paper towel. Pour batter onto griddle into desired size and spread blueberries evenly all around. Cook for 2-3 minutes, or until golden brown. Flip (or is that “flapâ€?—- I mean, they are after all flap jacks, not flip jacks—-well, never mind. I don\’t want to get into a flap over flip or flap, and besides who really gives a —-flip!) the cakes and cook for another two minutes. Serve with warm syrup and butter (melting the butter in the syrup is quite good!). Use real, pure maple syrup. It is far superior to the fake stuff. (Sorghum is also good.) Before cooking more cakes, be sure the griddle is scraped clean of blueberry goo and then re-oiled.

People who are not fond of pancakes love these Johnny cakes! The 325 people for whom I prepared these cakes on Saturday sure seemed happy. And I must comment on those who helped spread the blueberries on each cake. By their purple-stained fingers they looked like they had voted in the Iraqi election, \”Chicago Style\”.

Enjoy!

Get Along Little Doggie

Wednesday, July 6th, 2005

One of Independence Day’s most interesting events was the 90th Annual Hot Dog Eating Contest sponsored by Nathan\’s Hot Dogs of Coney Island. The young Japanese competitor, Takeru Kobayashi, once again defied the illusion that space makes place and provided a home for 49 little doggies; 13 more than his closest competitor in the 12 minute contest. Kobayashi failed to best his own record set at last year’s event in which he wolfed-down 53 dogs. The relatively diminutive champion has won the last five contests against a field that included Asparagus, Cheesecake and Oyster eating champs from around the country. Most of the competition possessed advantages in size but failed in technique.

Kobayashi employed what has come to be known in hot dog eating circles as “the Solomon Technique�; with reference to the wise king’s decision that two mothers who were fighting over possession of one child should cut the child in half. This ploy revealed the real mother who insisted that the other woman take the child in order that it might live. The dogs were not so lucky. Though breaking the dog in two and stuffing both halves in the mouth at once is surely a part of the winning strategy, it is the not the secret to his success.

I entertained a Japanese student in my home for six months. His mother was an excellent cook and had taught him well. He prepared several noodle dishes (soba and udon) that were quite delicious, but the most indelible memory of those days were the way he “slurped� his noodles directly into his stomach without having to even chew them. I am certain that this cultural adaptation is the factor that gives young Takeru the edge. He wastes little time on the act of chewing; minimizing the moments invested in masticating and concentrating on swallowing are the keys to victory. The big guys (referred to as the “Four Horsemen of the Esophagus�) might have had more room for the dogs but their advantage was lost in the gnashing of teeth.

While some people believe that this is merely a grotesque display of gluttony, it seems to me appropriate that if we include “America’s Pastime� in our celebration of America’s birthday, we should frankly relish the ballpark’s favorite fare.

Linguni with Fresh Clams

Sunday, June 26th, 2005

This is a wonderful and wonderfully simple dish that can be prepared by anyone with two pots and 15 minutes to spare. I offered this dish on nearly every menu in nearly every restaurant in which I worked as chef. One evening in our Vail restaurant, a big guy burst through the kitchen doors to announce that this was the best pasta dish he had eaten outside of Italy, and that it rivaled anything he had eaten there. I looked up from the dishes being plated to behold that the compliment had come from Billy Jack. Who was I to offer any disagreement? His girth was evidence of his expertise. We might not agree on much, but enjoying a good meal is one place that our interests can peacefully meet.

Linguini with Fresh Clams (for two)

Ingredients:

1TBL olive oil
Freshly chopped fresh oregano; about ½ tsp
1 medium clove fresh garlic, chopped.
¾ cup white wine (Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc- don’t worry, the alcohol burns off)
¾ cup light chicken stock (water with a ½ tsp dried bullion will suffice)
1 to 1 ½ dozen small fresh clams (or more if you are sharing), well rinsed to remove sand
½ pint whipping cream
1 tsp salt
½ pound linguini
1-2 TBL soft or melted butter
2-3 TBL freshly grated parmesan cheese (Reggiano is best)

Directions:

In one large pot, fill 2/3 full with water and add 1 tsp salt and bring to a boil. Add linguini and stir into the boiling water. As water returns to a boil, reduce heat to medium and continue to cook and stir pasta until it is done. How will you know? Keep trying a piece until the center is cooked, or until it suits your taste.

Meanwhile in another smaller pot, over medium high heat, pour in olive oil and add the oregano and garlic and stir briefly (but do not allow the garlic to brown). Add wine and chicken stock and bring to a boil. Add clams and cover (preferably with a shallow pan with a handle that will double as a lid). As the clams open, remove them from the broth with a pair of tongs and set them in the pan being used as a lid. This serves to keep the open clams warm while you wait for all the clams to open (if you have reduced the cooking broth by half and there are any clams that have not opened, set these clams aside. If they refuse to open on their own, throw them away). When all the clams are removed, add the cream and continue to boil until the broth reaches a good sauce consistency. Toss clams, and any residual juices in the pan, back into the sauce for just a moment, shaking pot back and forth to incorporate the juices and cover the clams with sauce.
Drain water from pasta completely, add butter and toss then add parmesan and toss again briefly. Pour onto serving plate. Arrange clams around the border of plate, pour the sauce over the pasta and serve.

I have never had better! Buon appetito!

(As with nearly all recipes, please feel free to make adjustments to suit your own tastes. After all, you’re the one who is going to eat it.)

And Now For Something——

Sunday, May 15th, 2005

Regardless of our political persuasions we all must eat. So I take this Sunday off from being disturbed by the likes of Harry Reid, who so poorly represents his state but so completely represents the heights and depths of personal and political hypocrisy, and Robert Byrd, who has long outlived his practical usefulness in the national discourse, except as an example of intractable partisanship and terminal long-windedness. I will now hearken back to my career as a chef and deliver on a long-promised recipe; one that anyone can assimilate into just about any lifestyle or timeframe. It is a sure-fire compliment generator and is highly delicious.

Before World War One, there existed a very popular breakfast preparation known as “German Toast�. Because of the hostilities that were generated between our two nations (and in spite of the fact that the largest ethnic, or national, group in America (28%) are of
German descent), schools were forbidden to teach the German language and many other references to things German were discarded. The name of this dish was therefore changed to “French Toast�. Interestingly, this dish is neither French nor German. I never encountered it in homes or restaurants in my years on the continent. They liked it when I fixed it but it was new to them. Owing to its nebulous origins and in the light of French duplicity, let us call this dish “Freedom Toast�.

This dish is simply a custard suspended in a porous medium; bread, instead of being baked, as are such custards as quiche or crème caramel (flan). Custard is a mixture of eggs and milk (or cream) in the very specific proportion of eight eggs to one quart of milk (this is one instance when cooking becomes a science in addition to being an art). One very critical note; when a custard recipe of any kind calls for spices, add them to the eggs before you beat the eggs, otherwise these ingredients will not incorporate well into the mixture and will tend to float on top.

With all of my long-windedness behind us, here are the ingredients for four servings for my favorite Freedom Toast recipe:

2 large eggs
1 half-pint cream (you can use milk or half and half, but it won’t be as good)
½ tsp pure vanilla extract
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg (fresh grated is best)
Firm white bread (Potato or buttermilk bread works great – avoid thick slices)
Fresh raspberries (or thawed frozen raspberries when fresh is not available)
Pure maple syrup (don’t cheat, use the real thing)
Butter (or margarine if you must)

First, get 10-15 minutes of exercise in so you can properly absorb your breakfast. Next crack eggs into mixing bowl add vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg, then beat (using a wire whip) until the eggs start becoming frothy, then thoroughly incorporate cream. Next prepare your griddle or skillet (I prefer cast iron) by turning on medium heat and lightly oiling surface (corn or canola oil is just fine), removing the excess with a paper towel. Dip your bread into the custard allowing it to fully soak up as much liquid as possible without allowing the bread to become so sodden that it begins to fall apart in your fingers as you extract it from the bowl. Place the slice onto the preheated griddle or skillet and allow it to cook for 2-3 minutes before turning. It should be golden brown with slightly darker ridges (if it is getting too dark, turn your burner down a notch). Cook an additional 2-3 minutes until the center feels firm (like the base of your thumb at the outer part of the palm). Remove and serve with warm pure maple syrup, fresh raspberries (or any other fruit you prefer) and a pat of butter (optional, of course). You may also dust it with a little powdered sugar for a more traditional appearance, although using both powdered sugar and maple syrup at the same time is a little too sweet for most tastes. Before cooking additional slices on the same griddle, wipe down the surface with your previously used paper towel, removing any leftover particles from the earlier batch while applying another layer of oil. This will serve to make the last slice as beautiful as the first.

Simply increase this recipe proportionally to serve more people. They will love it and they will love you. For a dozen years I have camped at the ocean during the week of my birthday in the company of 20 or more families in my circle of friends. It was my tradition to serve this dish to all (as many as 100) on the morning of my birthday. It is an excellent way to get a large number of people to sing happy birthday!

This is quick (you can have this done in less time that it takes you to read this post), beautiful, very easy and quite delicious! This is a particularly good thing for guys who don’t normally cook to fix for the wife or the mom on special occasions.

Enjoy!

Neo-Pagan Revenge

Monday, March 14th, 2005

General George Patton was quoted as saying that the American soldier was victorious in the war in Europe because he was armed with the M-1 Garand semi-automatic rifle while the majority of his counterparts were fighting with bolt action rifles. A good case can be made in favor of this argument. While it is certainly true and clearly contributory, I would lean in the direction of another significant component proffered by an historian whose name I unfortunately do not recall. He contends that the war against the Germans and the Japanese was won by the American soldier because he was better able to overcome the loss of leadership in combat situations. While the German or Japanese soldier was inherently inhibited, by the nature of his cultural upbringing, from exercising decisive control over his comrades in circumstances arising from the death or incapacity of his commanding
officer(s), the average individual American serviceman could almost always be expected to rise to the occasion. American ingenuity was not and is not just a catchphrase. American corporals filling in admirably for sergeants, lieutenants, or captains was less the exception than the rule in tense, critical, and decisive moments in the midst of battle.

The corporal who was running the Third Reich at that time could have learned some lessons in leadership from the average American soldier; from the native ability to make the best of any situation. Instead, his paranoia prevented nearly everyone around him from taking any initiative. In his excellent and thought-provoking book “Hitler’s Three Struggles: The Neo-Pagan Revengeâ€?, Cuthbert Mann proposes the very real possibility that Hitler’s hatred of Jews was more than an old European tradition, but rather that it ultimately stemmed from the fact that Judaism produced the Christ who preached a gospel of individual worth and self-responsibility that became Christianity; the genesis of revolutionary individualism and democratic government (governance arising from the consent of the governed; the dynamic that produced the American citizen-soldier). This self-centered (not selfish) philosophy ran counter to Hitler’s faith in his own version of Greco-Roman paganism, in which the panoply of gods would deign from time to time to inhabit a few elite human tabernacles making these particular mortals gods and leaving the rest as \”Untermenschen\”. A mere glance at the film archives from the Nuremburg Nazi Party rallies unambiguously illustrates the overwhelming influence of ancient Rome in the quasi-religious rituals and accoutrement of Hitler’s party and Hitler’s Germany. Additionally, all were required to take a personal oath of allegiance to Hitler rather than to the State. Those who refused were visited in the night and never seen again. Throughout the war, Hitler never sacrificed the extermination of the Jews to Germany’s military requirements. Trains could always be found for the death camps even while the generals were crying for logistical support for the fronts. His “callingâ€? as the eradicator of the Jews (and ultimately Christians, had he been given the time) was far more important to him than the defense of his own country.

During the Cold War, according to recently declassified KGB documents, the Soviets often discussed invading the United States but always reached the same conclusion; they would never be successful for one specific reason; because of the hundreds of millions of firearms in the hands of average American citizens. They clearly understood that they could not subdue this nation militarily, short of the unthinkable option of mutual nuclear annihilation. They had to rethink the matter altogether. The only way to defeat America and her greatest asset, the average American, was to attack her in the place least accessible to the average American; the third and non-democratic branch of government; the American Judiciary.

When a person graduates from law school he or she becomes, by virtue of their oath, an officer of the court, an official member of the Judicial Branch of the United States Government. In and of itself, this is not a bad thing. Still, these people are not elected to these positions in government but rather are self-appointed. Attorneys are frequently elected to Legislative or Executive office, a clear conflict of interest and a clear violation of the separation of powers delineated in the Constitution. In these offices attorneys are free and able to make laws that favor their branch and their industry. They are free and able to perpetuate their self-interests. We as voting citizens are responsible for this problem. We should know better than to elect members of the Judicial Branch to serve in Legislative or Executive office.

There are other problems. Judges can, and all too frequently do override the democratic will of the people. Examples abound. Where this has happened, these unaccountable elitists have set themselves up as the law of the land, making law rather than interpreting it as is their proper function.

Then we have the ACLU, the American Civil Liberties Union. This outfit regularly persecutes religionists (and Christians with particular zeal) as a matter of course while at the same time defending (for free) groups such as NAMBLA (the North American Man Boy Love Association). Do you think they would defend a simple civil liberty such as a Second Amendment case? It is enlightening to see what they defend and who they pursue. They have recently gone after the Boy Scouts of America (a dangerous bunch, to be sure), Donald Rumsfeld, the Secretary of Defense (now he has to take time away from defending the country in order to defend himself), the Ten Commandments (obviously too simplistic when contrasted with the countless volumes that fill their law libraries), and God himself (who has no business being involved in the world he created or the government he inspired).

What they champion is equally out of sync with the majority of average Americans; same sex marriage, abortion rights, internet pornography, Ward Churchill, terrorists and suspected terrorists, the rights of illegal aliens, legalization of marijuana and other drugs, etc. Check out their website if you think I’m exaggerating. They would be more correctly recognized as the Anti-American Communist Lawyer’s Union, if they wished to cling to their acronym while observing the truth in advertising statutes they would require of the rest of us.

One must wonder if this isn’t the instrumentality the old KGB guys (and those who inherited their aspirations) looked to as their way to inflict the greatest possible harm on America while keeping the resourceful average citizen out of the loop. The average American has little or no direct access to or impact upon the actions of the ACLU, its clones, and its associates on the bench (Supreme Court Justice Ginsburg was an active member). Certainly, not since the days of the NSDAP has any group placed such a high priority on the persecution of religious people and such a low priority on the defense of their nation.

All Americans should familiarize themselves with this dangerous group of neo-pagans and get involved in whatever way possible to deny them the power they seek. Failure to do so will bring about conditions not unlike those experienced in Nazi Germany or Stalinist Russia. They are counting on the average American to forgo this fight, or not even notice until the battle is over. Remain vigilant. Inform your friends. Contribute to those who are fighting back.

Is Ketchup a Vegetable?

Thursday, September 16th, 2004

During the Reagan years, Democrats were up in arms over a decision by administration officials to officially list ketchup as a vegetable for school lunch dietary purposes. You could hear the howls from shore to shore. Republicans were short changing the kids again! The furor slowly faded but the jury is still out? Is ketchup a vegetable? Perhaps someone could ask John and Teresa.