Sunday, January 13, 2019

Hug a non-citizen, illegal today!

Had to respond to someone who copied a stupid meme suggesting that we cut off illegal aliens from welfare. I use the word stupid because only stupid people think illegals--whether from France or Mexico, or Guatemala, get welfare. Anyway, here is my beautiful response.
Non citizens do NOT get welfare. They do get emergency care in hospitals, they do get schooling. NO food stamps, NO welfare, No HUD housing. They DO pay taxes, but get NO returns. They DO pay social security, medicare and medicaid, but get NOTHING in return for that. Get it? Illegals pump us up, the DO NOT bring us down. If your social security and medicare are working, thank an illegal/non citizen today!!! If you ate fruit or vegetables or a chicken that you did not grow, hug an illegal/non citizen today. You owe them so much, and you give them so little. Make friends with your benefactors, don't bite them on the hand: That's the hand that feeds you, after all.

Thursday, January 10, 2019

What we're eating...

In the last couple of weeks, my family has eaten well. We've had mac and cheese with country ham bits, spinach, garlic, onions, tomatoes, shallots, scallions, 4 cheeses (Yes, velveta, but good swiss, asiago, muenster, organic milk and organic eggs from our chickens). We had chicken cacciatore, we had roast pork with roasted potatoes, sliced carrots, onions, cooked on a bed of celery, onions, sliced oranges and pears, with a gravy made from pan juices and the fruit.
We had Chinese-style chicken breast, with sauteed chicken in garlic and scallions, with fresh cabbage, bok choy, ginger, daicon radish, tomato, sesame oil, sesame seeds, and oyster sauce. And then the juice of 8 oranges, reduced to a beautiful, bitter mess.
We had pork chops with yellow rice and sauteed spinach in garlic on the side.
We had corned beef and cabbage with potatoes.
We had fresh U 15 shrimp with calamari, mussels, scungilli in garlic olive oil seasoned with shallots and white wine over capellini. Served with a good blue-cheese salad with a homemade balsamic vinagrette. (thnk you, Christi!)
We had filet mignon, seared to black but pink on the inside served with a mushroom sauce with cream and sauce espagnole, which only took me 16 hours to make.
We had a veggie meal of steamed broccoli, asparagus, cauliflower, a gumbo of yellow squash and greed zucchini over a bed of yellow Jasmine rice.
And tonight, we are having simple meatloaf: Ground chuck and ground pork (2 to 1) with breadcrumbs, seasoned with black pepper and pink sea salt, with ketchup, 4 eggs, sauteed celery, onions, garlic, tomatoes, and covered with six slices of bacon. Wish us luck. have a good meal, everyone. You hear me?

Friday, January 04, 2019

Trump's Government Shutdown

In any negotiation that has come to an absolute standstill, either someone blinks or the standstill continues indefinitely. In the case of funding our government, we do not have indefinitely: Too many federal people without paychecks and contractors who cannot meet payroll to allow the shutdown to continue much longer.
So here is my proposal: Trump's wall will require at least three major studies: An environmental study, a feasibility study, and a study to determine the actual need for investing in the wall. Those studies will need to occur before a single brick or piece of fencing can be erected.
Those studies will all take a couple of years to complete, after which it will take several years to acquire the private lands on which the wall is proposed to be built. So I suggest that Pelosi give Trump $1 billion to begin those three studies. That would allow Trump to declare a sort of victory, while people with intelligence would know that he will be out of office and the wall long forgotten before the studies are even completed. Which gives Pelosi a victory in that the government could then be funded and people could go back to work.
That's my take on it.

Monday, December 31, 2018

My wishes for you for the New Year

When I sing in the mornings, I sing for simple things. I sing for people without homes to have roofs over their heads and walls to keep them warm. I sing for people without potable water to have rain brought to them. I sing for people who are ill to find relief from pain and then get better. I sing for people who are heartbroken to have a new friend enter their lives. I sing for people who don't have enough food to discover someone who will provide them meals. I sing for people who do not have hope to open their eyes and look out at the beauty of nature and gather hope from that. I sing for people who suffer from war to have all the wars finally finished. I sing for people to share what they have, happily. I sing for people to understand that we are all connected: That the rain that waters my tree in Texas will soon be watering you tree in North Africa or China. I sing for people to find at least a little joy every day.
And for the New Year, I wish these things and more for all of you. Happy New Year, everyone!

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Winter Trips Happening Soon--Quit Mucking Around, Won't You?

Ladies and Gents: Time to pull the trigger and take your damned trip to the Amazon with me. No more stalling. No bellyaching. No complaining that Christmas ate your wallet. Just time to love yourself and, if you still have a couple of grand left after you gave to the food banks, join me for a very honest, very deep jungle, dirt-under-your-fingernails 9 1/2 day Jungle Jaunt. Overnight riverboats, primordial swamp, high jungle walking, wild food collecting, and really good medicines. Just the thing to change your life. If you suck when you join my team and I, you'll suck less when we're finished with you. If you are already an accomplished human, well, let the River and Her People, and Plants polish you up to a high gleam. Details and dates for January and February Jaunts are over on my site. Take the leap, you'll love the landing.

Monday, November 26, 2018

Caravan Asylum Information/Rant

I am getting so tired of listening to people talk about the caravaners as if they are illegals. They are not. It is legal to ask for asylum and you have to be at the border or in the USA to ask for it. You can't ask for USA asylum while you are in Mexico if you are fleeing drug gangs in Honduras. What a lot of people do not realize is this: If you enter the USA illegally and get stopped you are still legally allowed to ask for asylum. Yes, you are LEGALLY allowed to ask for asylum in the USA even if they catch you in Pennsylvania! You will then be given a "credible fear" interview, during which an agent for the US government will decide if you sound like you have a credible and justifiable reason for asking for asylum. If you do, you are normally given a court date and released to one of the Catholic, Presbyterian or Lutheran charity groups who work the US/Mexican border areas (along with some non-denominational immigrant groups), or to a family member if you have one in the USA.
Then you show up at your court date and a specialized immigrant judge decides whether you get to stay in the USA permanently or get deported. People like Trump say that no one goes to those court dates but the data shows that more than 95 percent do show up at court for their final hearing. And about 10 percent are given asylum; the rest are returned to their homeland. That is standard operating procedure, and it's worked well for a long time.
Introducing the fear element is the new tactic and it should have no place in the discussion at all. Hell, if 50,000 people applied for asylum tomorrow, only 5,000 would wind up with it (cases are generally decided in a couple of months), which would come to about 100 refugee asylum cases per state. Or maybe 1 person for every 500--1,000 towns. Not really scary now, is it?
And oh, those bad guys that Trump talks about? They wouldn't stand a chance of making it through the initial "credible fear" interview with agents trained to interview asylum seekers. And if you don't make it through that, you are immediately deported. If you return after that? You get five years in jail, if you have no criminal record in the USA. If you have a criminal record in the USA and get deported and return, you face 20 years in federal lockup. It's really all been figured out and it's pretty easy peasy.
And yes, I've got room for a decent family in my huge metal garage, electricity and all. And I'll feed them well too.

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Making Sauce Espagnole

Making one of the seven master sauces in French culinary arts

Vegans don't read, cause this is about making sauce espagnole, which involves beef... There are lots of things I miss about restaurant cooking. The gauge of the pots and pans, the dishwasher to wash them, the prep cooks cutting and helping me with chopping and coming up with ideas for specials. I also miss--sometimes--being in the kitchen from 7 AM till Midnight, which is time enough to make things like tomato sauce from super scratch and making a basic brown sauce. Not saying I can't do that at home, but I don't. For tomato sauce I start with my garlic and onions and fresh tomatoes, but then use an organic sauce and organic vegetable stock (and whatever spices I need) to finish it off so that it's done in 2-3 hours, instead of 8-10 hours.
Brown sauce is even worse. Sarah Appel and I would get in 50 pounds of marrow bones--beef leg bones--and roast them for a couple of hours. Then we'd hit them with a hammer to loosen up the marrow, and put them in a 10 gallon stock pot with onions and carrots and celery and water and let that baby cook for several hours till all the marrow was rendered--which might include adding several gallons of water a couple of times. Then we'd remove the bones and veggies and cook it down for another couple of hours till we had a really good stock available.
That's where the sauce espagnole starts. Once you have your stock, you take a 5 gallon stock pot. You put garli-- maybe 5 head--in olive oil, onions--maybe 10--a large head of celery--no leaves, as those are bitter-- a couple of pounds of carrots, a few pounds of mushrooms, a couple off pounds of diced jowl bacon or dry-cured ham, a couple of bunches of Italian parsley, white pepper corns, thyme and bay leaf and when that is rendered, you add the beef stock and cook that baby for 12-15 hours, slowly. After about 8 hours you add either homemade tomato paste or a 6 ounce can of organic tomato paste, then start shooting dashes of white wine into that mix to bring the fat to the surface, which gets skimmed and tossed. And you do that for hours, until you have the most perfectly clean/clear black broth you have ever seen. You start with gallons and gallons and gallons and wind up with maybe a quart. But that sauce espagnole will save for a week in the fridge, or months in the freezer. And it will be the backbone of any damned brown sauce, or cream sauce for meats, that you want. You want a bourbon sauce? When your meat is done, you pull it, then toss the bourbon and a teaspoon of the espagnole into the pan and voila! you have people getting moist when they eat it. You want a good creamed mushroom sauce? Add a teaspoon per serving of the espagnole and they will be begging for mercy from their tastebuds.
Anyway, I miss that because I'm not gonna take that time at home. So what I do is all the veggies, thyme, bay leaf, white pepper corns, cured ham and get that rendered. That means, at the volume I'm making, 3 heads of rough cut garlic in olive oil, two onions, 4 stalks of chopped celery, half- a pound of baby carrots, one large shallot, one bunch of chopped scallions, one half pound of button mushrooms, half a bundle of Italian parsley, 10 whole white pepper corns, one pound of dry cured ham, half a bundle of fresh thyme and one bay leaf. All of the veggies were organic.
That cooked for one hour, rendering it all perfectly. Then I added store-bought beef bone broth, three quarts, and that's cooking down now. In an hour, I'll add 6 ounces of organic tomato paste and a concentrated beef bone broth and more water. I'll keep adding the concentrated bone broth--organic--till it has the right consistence. Then I'll do the wine thing to get the fat to the surface for elimination. And when it's perfect, I'll taste it: It will be neutral but so rich that my mother could fly. I'll end up with maybe a pint of good, really good espagnole, enough to last a month or two in this house, if it's kept in the freezer. 
As good as it is, it won't be as good as I used to make in the restaurants.
I hope everybody is eating well tonight. Just share a little and you'll get more back than you know what to do with. You all know that. You all do that. Sorry to preach to such a nice group of people. Enjoy.