Friday, August 26, 2016

History channel

This is not the real animated GIF because AdSense threatens to revoke its participation using its terms of service designed to keep its associated sites pure and clear of disturbing content so that its name is not associated with harsh reality. And harsh fantasy. They want an internet to be a safe place for delicate sensibilities left undisturbed. Too bad. This is the child's version. The adult version is placed an another of my sites not associated with fascists and their annoying manner of generating faint income in dribbles. That version is better. 

You should buy something. 

Through Lem's magical Amazon portal. 

"Lobster Festival Forced to Eat Hotdogs"

"After Air Canada Loses Lobsters."
An Alberta woman tried to share some Newfoundland lobster with her friends and family, but Air Canada got in the way.

Jackie Panuisiak hosts the annual Northern Alberta Lobster Festival in the community of Cotillion. She had ordered some 145 pounds of live lobster to be shipped from this province to Alberta. The problem is that the lobsters didn't arrive.

When Panuisiak's sister talked to Air Canada about what happened, she says they were rude and unhelpful. She says they were passed off to Air Canada's Cargo Relations and were met with more unhelpful behaviour. She says they did not admit any fault in the matter.

It turns out the lobsters were in Toronto, but Air Canada's tracking system said they had arrived. Panuisiak says it raises concerns about the reliability of Air Canada's tracking system.

In the meantime, the Lobster Festival was forced to eat hot dogs instead of lobster.

"Judge orders search of new Clinton emails for release by September 13"

"A U.S. judge ordered the State Department on Thursday to release by Sept. 13 any emails it finds between Hillary Clinton and the White House from the week of the 2012 attack in Benghazi, Libya, among the thousands of additional emails uncovered by federal investigators."
The order came after the Federal Bureau of Investigation gave the department a disc earlier this month containing 14,900 emails to and from Clinton and other documents it said it had recovered that she did not return to the government...

It remained unclear if there were any newly discovered emails that related to the September 2012 attack on a U.S. facility in Benghazi, Libya, in which four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens, were killed.

"Using broad search terms, we have identified a number of documents potentially responsive to a Benghazi-related request," Elizabeth Trudeau, a State Department spokeswoman, said in a statement. "At this time, we have not confirmed that the documents are, in fact, responsive. We also have not determined if they involve Secretary Clinton."
Elsewhere... "1/3 of Huma Abedin's emails are 100% redacted." Too sensitive for even congress to see. 

"Burkini Sales Go Up 200 Percent Since French Ban"

"After over a dozen French towns have banned women from wearing ‘burkinis’ – a swimsuit for women that leaves just the face, hands and feet exposed – a demand for the product has risen 200 percent worldwide, BBC News reported."
Aheda Zanetti, who lives in Australia and owns the trademark on ‘burkini,’ says online sales skyrocketed.

No man in this entire world can tell us what to wear or what not to wear,” she told BBC News.

On Aug. 12, the mayor of Cannes banned burkinis, calling them a “symbol of Islamic extremism,” following the July attack in Nice, for which ISIS claimed responsibility. Several other towns have since joined in on the ban, and any woman caught disobeying is charged a fine.

Photos emerged Tuesday showing several male police officers forcing one woman to remove her head covering on a beach in Nice.
I put the quotation in bold letters. I found it a little ironic. Just a tad.

private email, would be rude to read it.

So what.

Reply to: Anson Mills
Re: A shipment from order #39342 has been delivered.

I know. Thank you. 

You’re probably not going to like hearing this because online recipes call for cooking polenta a very long time. But I’m a bachelor and hungry and that will not do. 

I cook a small amount with 3x the water and a pinch of salt with butter for 3 minutes in the microwave. 

It must be stirred every 30 seconds. 

And that’s all. 

That was for testing. 

With no additions the flavor comes through brightly, brilliantly. 

Usually my polenta is further enhanced by whatever spices and additions strike my fancy that moment. 

The popcorn is loaded with butter and curry and top parmigiano. 

The cornbread has very good applewood bacon, onion, roasted Hatch chiles (the hot kind, it’s a thing they do around here.) and parmigiano again. 

I used too much liquid in the cornbread but all that was tossed together carelessly in haste. I’ll do better next time. 

These corn products of yours really are very good. 

WKRLEM: Everybody has a Little Tiny Moustache these days!

Dragnet 1968

Dragnet 1968
We were working the Night Watch out of the Public Morals Division out of the Wilshire Division. The Captain was Lemuel Sancocho. My Partner is Bill Gannon. My name is Friday. I carry a badge. And a grudge.

Bill Gannon walked into the division and hung the shiny jacket of his Robert Hall suit on the hook on the wall at the back of the squad. We had been partners for twenty years. We agree on most things. Except barbeque sauce. And Politics.

"Evening Joe. Want some coffee?"
"No time Bill. Get your jacket. We have to go sit on a witness. Lets go. I will warm up the Rambler. We are taking my car. Don't want anyone to know where we are going."

We drove twenty five blocks away to a nondescript ranch on the Avenue. I knocked on the door. Pete Malloy answered. He was baby sitting our witness.

"Hello Sargent. Your witness is inside."
"Did he eat yet Pete?"
"Not really. He says he is a vegetarian. He only drinks schnapps, eats Linzer Torts and talks about his German Shepard."

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Staying On Script

Overheard at Lem's:
Lem wants me to tone down the sexy shots....but I gotta say we want to dance the hot spicy Salsa! 
~Trooper York 
Lena Dunham models lingerie: Trigger Warning: You cannot unsee this!

In honor of the National Park Service 100th birthday today

Zion National Park

Castle Mountain in Banff National Park


I made cornbread from popcorn processed in an electric coffee mill and the result was spectacular. The corn flavor goes BANG! I AM CORN!

Even though half of it is regular flour. And even though the other half is jalapeƱo. And even thought the other half is cheese. The cornbread had a lot of strong flavors included and still corn flavor comes through loud and clear and upfront.

The entire pan of cornbread disappeared in a flash. And the people who ate it all agreed that it is the best cornbread they've ever tasted. At least that's what they told me.

Since my cornbread was gone, the next day I made another batch, this time I used proper cornmeal. It had been kept in the freezer to save its flavor from dissipating into the air. I used the same ingredients and the same method and produced the most insipid cornbread to suffer. Without thinking any further, in disgust I knew immediately what I must do. I threw away the entire package that had only been used that one time. Begone! Who needs that stuff around taking valuable freezer space when there is always popcorn around to grind?

Cornmeal is milled from field corn. And that is the key difference.

But popcorn sure is hard on the coffee mill. I blew out three of the cheap ones. My fourth coffee mill comes from a French Canadian company and it's manufactured in China. It works very well. I dropped the plastic top that locks in before the machine can run and it cracked. With each use the crack becomes larger like windshield damage expands distressingly until the windshield is replaced. Finding a replacement part is well nigh impossible and not worth the trouble and aggravation to everyone including the people that I annoy. So I've been looking at the manual types. Turns out they are 1/4 the cost and most use a ceramic burr much better than a blade that causes the motor to heat, and by my abuse makes the blade loosen so that the motor cannot spin it. But the manual ones do take an awful lot of grinding.

That's okay, I'm not using that much at all.

This is the type thing that I use to grind pepper. I like a lot of pepper, no messing around with a pepper grinder that takes twenty grinds for six tiny black dots on an egg. Putting pepper seeds into a manual crank grinder intended for coffee dumps all the pepper my heart can desire all at once with one crank. But mine is from Turkey and made of brass and intended as much for decoration. Modern manual coffee grinders are rather nice. They get great reviews on Amazon.

Now, for popcorn you'll need about 1/2 a cup of ground corn and that will require a good deal of grinding. But what the heck.

At the $10.00 price point you can buy four for the price I paid for the electric grinder. A slight upgrade from the previous three that I burned out by grinding corn. Those were all $20.00, and well worth the cost if you stick to coffee beans. But I don't.

And now that the clear plastic cap proved so difficult to replace. My next one will be the manual type. I don't drink coffee and I use the grinder for other things.

Chefs use the electric grinders for spice seeds. They keep two, one for coffee and another for spice. But that is ridiculous. You can process a piece of bread and clean out the remnant spices and use one machine for both. And what's the matter with exotic flavors tinting your coffee for a variation? But now that the manual grinders are so inexpensive you can have three, one for coffee, another for spices and a third for grain. But honestly that's taking things too far and for no good reason.

Recommendation: Forget about buying cornmeal. That stuff is for pigs and for cows. And I am not kidding either. Mill popcorn instead for noticably improved flavor. Even non-foodies will notice the difference.

Having said all that, a bit of history might be interesting for you.

When the Spanish conquered Central America they took back with them the treasures of food unknown to Europe and to the East. This is a tremendous boon for mankind. The tomatoes that Italians made famous were unknown until then. Paprika that Hungarians make from smoked chiles was not even imagined. Chocolate that Swiss greatly improved (by mistake of leaving the conching machine running all night, and by adding a lot of sugar) was unknown. Contact with the Americas opened a new world of cuisine. Potatoes, became staple, and tomatoes, and squashes and chile peppers. All these wonderful things changed the world for the better.

Although they took back with them chocolate and vanilla, both new to the world, they did not take with them knowledge of how vanilla orchids are pollinated. It requires a specific bee. They grew vanilla orchids on plantations but got nowhere with them until a slave on one of the islands discovered the flowers must be pollinated by hand. That might be a romantic fantasy. A rival history has a high ranking Spanish visitor observing a bee pollinate an orchard plant growing on the porch of the house where he was staying. Moreover each plant must be revisited repeatedly when the plants are in bloom as the vanilla orchid flowers bloom for only one night and in sequence along a stem. The plants for vanilla production are exceedingly labor intensive.

So valuable today that Mexican vanilla bean farmers actually brand each vanilla bean as they grow with a number by laser dot printing. The beans look like string green beans as they are growing. After harvest the beans are spread out on a canvas to dry in the sun, wrapped up into a bundle and put away for the night. Then spread out again the next day. Back and forth in this manner for months before the are ready for soaking and extraction by soaking in alcohol. The steps involved in real vanilla extract are ridiculously involved and long drawn. The high price that you pay for real vanilla extract is actually quite a good bargain. Further, the terroir of vanilla is so pronounced that various types that originate from the same genotype are now considered to be different species. Vanilla grown in Madagascar is longer than Tahiti vanilla is shorter and more floral, and Mexican vanilla is fatter, biggest and stronger.

Huffington Post has a great article including very good photographs.

The first European who brashly smoked a cigar in public back in Europe was jumped by a mob and beaten to death for being a devil with smoke coming out of his mouth.

The Spaniards took corn back with them but failed to take the knowledge of processing the dry kernels with lye. The natives used ashes from fires to loosen and remove the corn kernel pericarp, the hard outer shell of the kernel. Removing the outer surface makes nutrients available that pass through the body without it. As corn increased in importance in native North American diet, increased cases of scoliosis appeared without understanding the cause. These incidents of curvature of the spine are seen in the burial remains of native American of the period.

The process of soaking the corn overnight in lye is called nixtamalization. You will notice the word tamal in there.

The man in the video below says that he buys field corn very cheaply to prepare his own masa and he swears by the results. Imagine if he'd use popcorn instead. I am certain by my own experience the flavor would be greatly improved by using dry popcorn instead.

If only he had a rolling pin and a second piece of plastic. And eventually he will discover a tortilla press if he hasn't already. 

I guess the Nicaragua type corn tortillas are thicker than the ones we are used to. The press can produce very thin tortillas that cook in seconds each side. They cook as fast as you can press the next one between two pieces of plastic. With no water to lubricate as he shows. Just a single spray of oil for the whole batch.

After the tortillas are fried they can be stacked like a tower and sliced through all at once as a pizza and then the triangular pieces shallow fried in oil until they stop bubbling for crispy tortilla chips with fresh flavor unparalleled. 

When you make your own tortilla chips from regular commercial masa harina, (masa powder) it behaves like Play Doh just as he shows in the video. It's fun! And if you would make your own from popcorn instead of field corn then the flavor will be improved even more. 

My point here is prepared cornmeal and prepared masa are fine consumer products, convenient and they work very well. But upgrading your grain and doing this yourself on the spot each time will improve your results by a magnitude of order. And results are worth the effort. You have vastly improved flavor and you're prevented from overeating as we tend to do by the food being just too convenient. 

"CNN fires Dr Drew show over Hillary ill health"

Link to story: HLN drops Dr. Drew from its prime-time lineup

"Problem: Trump Not on the Minnesota Ballot, and It Looks Like He Can't Get On It"

Via Ace: He has until the 29th to put his name on the ballot, but Minnesota rules require the names of ten electors, and ten alternate electors, be submitted as well.
Minnesota didn't officially elect alternate electors.

And some guy says there's not enough time to call a snap convention to elect them.
Renewing suspicions of Trump's seriousness about running... is he really running or not?