What’s Cooking Thread

Well, it’s Saturday, and that means I’ve got lots of time to putz around in the kitchen. One dish that I love that I’ve been meaning to give a go is feijoada (pronounced “feh-ZWA-dah”), which is the Brazilian national dish. It is a bean stew that was first concocted by the slaves out of beans and whatever meat they could cobble together, so the first thing is to set the beans a’soaking.

And now we wait a few hours.
Which gives me time to make sure I have sufficient limes and cachaça on hand for the caipirinhas that are required to be consumed with feijoada. Really…they’re required.

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Coffee Pørn

I have a horrible, hideous confession to make. I spent $200 on a coffee maker. And no, it’s not some Italian espresso maker, because I frankly don’t like espresso. I spent $200 on a drip coffee maker, A Dutch drip (why does that sound like some STD?) coffee maker, that you can only get from one place here in the states.
And it makes the best damned coffee I’ve ever had.
Behold, my friends, gleaming stainless-steelitude that is

the Technivorm MoccaMaster

I mean, when you say that in your best Ahnold voice it just sounds too cool. And as I said the coffee is fantastic; why is described here, but suffice it to say that with the consistent proper temperature that this maintains during the brew cycle it makes the smoothest, fullest-flavored pot of coffee you’ll ever have. As an added bonus, this sucker is fast. It makes a full pot in under 5 minutes, which leaves our old Krups machine that you see cowering in the backround of the top picture in its dust. And the carafe keeps the coffee quite tasty for a long time.
If you love drip coffee, and if you really don’t want to make a mortgage payment this month, get one.

What I Drank Wednesday Night

Bottles in the middle of the week are a bad idea, especially when you have to get up at 4:30 like I do. But sometimes you and your Bride have such stressful days that you need to declare a Wednesday to be, in fact a Saturday so that the consumption is okay.
Such was the case this week. And I chose the Torbreck 2005 Woodcutter’s Shiraz

as our “Saturday” night bottle. It runs about $21, and it has a 93 rating from Parker. Now the first thing you notice is that this wine will never be corky in the glass, never:

Some folks aren’t comfortable with screwtops, but not me. I’ve had too many bottles of wine that were only a few years old but were ruined by bad leaky corks. And since I consume the weightier part of the wine I buy within 5 years of it’s vintage the longterm aging advantages of cork really aren’t an issue for me. Sure, you miss the ‘pop’ of the cork pulling free when you first open the bottle, and that truly is one of the happiest sounds that God in his wisdom has blessed us with, but you also ‘miss’ on the sounds of cursing that you hear/make when you discover whilst out on your picnic that you’ve left the corkscrew home…
Really, what matters in a wine is right here

And I can see why Parker likes this wine so much: it is very full bodied and loaded with fruit, big heavy cplummy fruit. Yum yum. It is, sadly, slightly out of sorts on the finish, however; there’s just a discordant note struck by the tannins and high alcohol content as it slides off your palate (and this may in fact mellow out in two or three years), but all in all it is a very nice wine that’s worth having a few about the house of.
There was also one hell of a discordant note struck when my alarm went off all too soon the next morning, as well…

I Thought Gorebal Warmering…

was supposed to make the oceans rise

I’ve never seen the tide as low as it was last week.
Where’s all that glacial melt when we need it?

What I Drank Last Weekend

Sorry for the delay. I had a couple nice bottles. The first was the Peter Lehman 2001 “The Barossa” Shiraz

At around $15 it’s not bad. Decent fruit but just a touch too many tannins on the finish. But that was just a prelude to one of the nicest wines I’ve ever had: The Ridge 2003 Pagani Ranch Zinfandel

I made the Ronery Steak au Poive for my Bride when she returned (there was no avoiding it after she read the posts) and Major Dad had been very clear that this was a wine not to be missed so after a bit of looking I was able to find a bottle at Vingo in Eatontown.
It runs about $32 I think, and
Oh
My
God
is it worth every penny. Simply massive amounts of cassis and plum fruity jamminess jumps and swirls all around in your mouth as you swill it. It is mostly Zinfandel but contains 6% Alicante Bouchet and 4% Petite Sirah. It is simply a stunningly yummy wine, and do not hesitate to buy it if you are lucky enough to see a bottle in a store.

I Am Stuffing Ding Dongs Into My Gaping MAW

…as I post this.

Marine Reservists Involuntarily Recalled
The Marine Corps is recalling 1,800 reservists to active duty, citing a shortage of volunteers to fill some jobs in Iraq.
Members of the branch’s Individual Ready Reserve (IRR) will get letters this week notifying them of plans to mobilize them involuntarily for a year, said Lt. Col. Jeff Riehl of Marine manpower and reserve affairs.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates last week approved the action, under which reservists would report for duty in October and deploy to Iraq early next year, Riehl said.
From the 1,800 called, officials hope to get 1,200 Marines for aviation maintenance, logistics support, combat arms and several other skills needed for the early 2008 rotation into Iraq.

Oy.

Lesbos In Les Burqas

At least I’ll give them credit for being aware of the irony here

Arab lesbians hold rare public meeting in Israel
Women quietly gather in Haifa; homosexuality strictly forbidden in Islam
HAIFA, Israel – Arab lesbians quietly defied Islamist protesters and a social taboo to gather at a rare public event Wednesday in a northern Israeli city.
Many of the attendees said they were sad that the only place safe enough to hold a conference for gay Arab women was in a Jewish area of Haifa, which has a mixed Arab-Jewish population. Israel’s Jewish majority is generally tolerant of homosexuality.

Gosh, I thought the RoP was accepting and loving? Why don’t they hold their convention in, oh, say Saudi Arabia? It’s so delicious that the only place they could safely meet was Israel.

Driven deep underground for the most part, only 10 to 20 Arab lesbians attended the conference, organizers said.

“Driven deep underground for the most part…”
Yeah, like 6 feet under in whatever countries they’re from.
And will Israel get any good Arab press for helping out these poor ladies, for being the nearest free and open society where they can gather?
Ha!
And will the RoP get any bad press for being so repressive of all women?
Ha!

A Zen Moment

…in the comments at Hot Air.

Could you imagine an independent Thompson/Lieberman ticket?

Well, yes…yes I can. I can imagine quite a bit.

grumblegrumblegrumble

Oh, very nice, I’m sure.

Use them you will, yes, if letter you will mail
Postal service announces release of Star Wars stamp set in May


Not begrudging them their R2D2 and Imperial Storm trooper peel-and-stickies, but when it practically took an act of Congress to get a Marine Corps stamp?
Pffft.
And of course I”m gonna get me some.

In This Fractured, Dangerous World, I Can Think of Only Two Words

Daniel Craig

Oooh, no, wait! There’s a third…

GAH-rrrowwlllllll

That is all.

Memo From The Mother Superior

Mother Superior called all the nuns together and said to them, “I must tell you all something. We have a case of gonorrhea in the convent.”

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Britain Must Admit “Mistake”

Somehow I don’t think so

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) – Iran’s foreign minister said Wednesday that Britain must admit that its 15 sailors and marines entered Iranian waters in order to resolve a standoff over their capture by the Mideast nation.

Like hell. Britain’s only mistake was not asking for the keys to the Enola Gay last week.

Can We Please Have A Blockade…

On Iran now?

LONDON, England (CNN) — The lone female British sailor, detained with 14 male sailors and marines by Iran last week, has written a letter to her parents “admitting” that her crew entered into Iranian waters, according to a letter released by the Iranian government Wednesday.

An Iranian television station also broadcast the first video of Faye Turney, in which she smoked a cigarette as she spoke with someone off camera. She wore a black scarf covering her head.

These bastards are only going to get bolder and bolder unless they are smacked down.
And hard.
*link corrected; thanks Mike!

Words Can Not Describe

How vile this ‘person’ is.

A Salute To Humble Aspirations

As expressed by this neighbor of Billy Bob Peep

“All I want is to be able to sit on my front porch and not smell sheep poop,” said Angie Fowler, who lives across the street.

Just across the street from here:

APEX, N.C. – About 30 sheep being kept at a suburban home were euthanized Tuesday after some of the flock were found grazing on floral arrangements in a cemetery, authorities said. Animal cruelty charges were pending against the owner.
David Watts kept about 80 of the animals in his crumbling house in this Raleigh suburb, police said.
“He lives upstairs, and the sheep were living downstairs,” police Sgt. Robert Towell said. “He considered them pets.”

Watts.
You just knew he’d be a Scot.
Awfully convenient how the police break this big case just in time for easter dinner, too! Let me fire up the grill…

Assume the Position

I think the world’s coming to an end.

Merck’s Vioxx did not cause woman’s death: jury
… Plaintiff Frank Schwaller sued Merck after his wife, Patricia, took Vioxx for 20 months for shoulder pain before dying from a heart attack in August 2003.
The state court jury also found Merck adequately warned Schwaller’s doctor about Vioxx’s dangers and that the doctor knew of the risks.
Lawyers for Schwaller, from Granite City, Illinois, alleged that Vioxx was defectively designed, inadequately tested, dangerous to human health, and lacked proper warnings, which subjected users to risks of heart attacks, strokes and other illnesses.
Merck argued that Schwaller’s preexisting risk factors — a family history of heart disease, morbid obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure and sedentary lifestyle — were responsible for her sudden cardiac death.
…The vote was unanimous from the seven-woman, five-man jury.

It’s as if millions of personalinjurylawyervoices cried out…and were suddenly silenced.
For a minute, anyway.

Whoa, DUUUDE!

Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.
The Justice Department “in a shambles” because of poor management. Congressional leaders calling for the Attorney General’s resignation. Chuck Schumer in the middle, on TV. The sixth year of a tired administration.
Alberto Gonzales?
No.
Janet Reno.

Sherman re-set the WayBack Machine.

I Guess This Means Moqtada al-Chubster’s Okay After All

…and not the murdering, conniving son-of-bitch Bush and the rest have painted him to be. A regular humanitarian who just wants to hug the world: philanthropy with no ulterior motives.

Enclave of normalcy in fearful Baghdad
In Sadr City, radical cleric offers hope and aid
In front of a blue metal gate, women in black abayas clutch food ration cards and exhibit a confidence rarely felt in the Iraqi capital. They will feed their families tonight. Several yards away, men sit behind wooden desks poring over hundreds of colorful folders, one each for Shiite families forced to flee their homes. Every family will be given a new life.
This busy office in the heart of the vast Shiite slum of Sadr City is not an arm of the government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. Nor is it a relief agency. It is the domain of the 33-year-old Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr. Here, Sadr doles out aid to his neediest followers, from cradle to grave, filling a void in a desperately uncertain country.

All that trouble musta been caused by some other guy. It’s the whole robe/beard/turban thing. I can’t tell ‘em apart.
My bad. Thanks, WaPo.

Damn, Damn, DAMN

The growth removed from presidential spokesman Tony Snow’s abdomen is cancerous and has spread to his liver, according to the White House.- CNN

AP here.

Tony,
We love ya, man. We’re with you heart and soul.
Get better. We need ya.
The Swilling

For a Second There I Thought

…”Anna Nicole Smith baby paternity tests,again?”

…”The sperm went first-class,” Howard, a National Zoo vet, noted wryly. “I did not.”

Thankfully, no.

Hillary’s Coming To South Park

I may have to stay up tomorrow and watch.

Thanks For Sending Me This

Sharon darlin’.

His name is Bob Parks.
I like him a lot.

As to My Opinion on the NYT’s ‘Veteran Rape’ Article

…when I saw the magazine headline article and cover photo, all I could do was roll my eyes, snort in disgust and look away. I never read it. Now that at least one story was proven to be bullshit 6 days prior to release, I am vindicated in my display of non-compassionate-ism. But the question lingers in our sultry air…”yet the Times let it fly anyway?” It gets worse. The kicker is at the end of their correction. Then you have to look at when the correction…never mind.

The cover article in The Times Magazine on March 18 reported on women who served in Iraq, the sexual abuse that some of them endured and the struggle for all of them to reclaim their prewar lives. One of the servicewomen, Amorita Randall, a former naval construction worker, told The Times that she was in combat in Iraq in 2004 and that in one incident an explosive device blew up a Humvee she was riding in, killing the driver and leaving her with a brain injury. She also said she was raped twice while she was in the Navy.
On March 6, three days before the article went to press, a Times researcher contacted the Navy to confirm Ms. Randall’s account…
…On March 12, three days after the article had gone to press, the Navy called The Times to say that it had found that Ms. Randall had never received imminent-danger pay or a combat-zone tax exemption, indicating that she was never in Iraq….
it is now clear that Ms. Randall did not serve in Iraq, but may have become convinced that she did….If The Times had learned these facts before publication, it would not have included Ms. Randall in the article.

So, since the bogus story had already been PRINTED in the magazine, rather than correct it immediately or ~ GOD FORBID ~ REPRINT the magazine, they ran the erroneous article anyway on March 18th. The mea culpa appears seven days later, on March 25th.
It is now clear that those at the New York Times did not serve with ‘journalistic integrity’, but may have become convinced that they did.

What’s Missing From The Front Page Of The BBC?

You’d think they might mention the 15 British soldiers kidnapped by Iran and threatened with an espionage show trial in complete and total disregard for the Geneva Convention.
But you’d be wrong.
Whose side are they on again?

Repeat** After Me

Insert the country of your choice where you read ‘German/Germany’.

Politicians and Muslim leaders denounced a German judge for citing the Koran in her rejection of a Muslim woman’s request for a quick divorce on grounds she was abused by her husband.
JudgeChrista Datz-Winter said in a recommendation earlier this year that both partners came from a “Moroccan cultural environment in which it is not uncommon for a man to exert a right of corporal punishment over his wife,” according to the court. The woman is a German of Moroccan descent married to a Moroccan citizen.
The judge argued that her case was not one of exceptional hardship in which fast-track divorce proceedings would be justified. When the woman protested, Datz-Winter cited a passage from the Koran that reads in part, “men are in charge of women.
…The latest uproar comes amid an ongoing debate in Germany about integrating its more than 3 million Muslims, most of them from Turkey. A decision last year to cancel an opera featuring the severed heads of the Prophet Muhammad and other religious figures out of security concerns caused a furor and was later retracted.
Justice Minister Brigitte Zypries condemned the judge’s decision.
“Every so often, there are individual rulings that seem completely incomprehensible,” she said.
Lawmakers from Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats said traditional Islamic law, or Sharia, had no place in Germany.

**The legal and moral concepts of Sharia have nothing to do with German jurisprudence,” Wolfgang Bosbach, a lawmaker with the Christian Democrats, told N24 television.
One thing must be clear: In Germany, only German law applies. Period.

There…wasn’t that refreshing?

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