Beef Stew With Port. Well, Mostly Port With A Beef Chaser.

Man, this past week sucked, didn’t it? I found that I was very very tired and really just drained by Friday, so I knew for the weekend I needed to follow my own advice and spend as much time in the kitchen this weekend as I could; that’s where I can really relax. As the weather is just lovely and slowly cooling I wanted to cook something warm and filling, and there’s one recipe that my parents got out of an old Dodge magazine that they had when we drove around in something like this beast. The recipe was called “Portuguese Soupas.” I don’t actually think any Portuguese were harmed or consulted in its making, however, as any ones I’ve mentioned this to have never eaten anything like it.

Anyhow, one of the big benefits of spending several hours in the kitchen is the imbibing opportunities

Baritone Shiraz/Cabernet blend. It has nice fruit and structure, not the deepest of colors in the glass, more like a darkish raspberry, really. In these rather trying economic times what’s especially nice about it is that it comes in a 1 liter bottle for only $10. Is it a great wine? No, I wouldn’t save it for a special event, but it’s fine for every day imbibing.

Did I mention beef? At Costco they have these delicious london broils running, oh, 2 pounds each or so and they come two to a package, so on Friday night I grilled one and for this dish on Saturday I cut up the other

into 1″ or so chunks and put it in a large dutch oven, which certainly got someone’s attention

Not that I am easily swayed by outright begging, mind you, but look at that face

Oh, I guess some meat might have fallen into your bowl after all

Anyhow, back to the human food. Did I mention this recipe uses Port?

Yum. Anyhow, take two of the large 28 oz cans of crushed tomaters and dump them into the pot atop the cubed meat. Then take your tasty bottle of ruby port and fill one of the cans, oh, about a third of the way up

and swish it about to remove any leftover ‘maters then pour that into the other can and repeat, then dump that into the pot with the other stuff. And pour more port in for good measure; I usually end up using most of the bottle.

Now, Friends, I know that you, like myself, are concerned about serving your guests and family only the finest in beverages and vittles, so it is important at this point to make sure the port is up to your usual high standards (i.e. the bottle has been paid for)

Yes, that will work nicely.

Place the pot on the stove over medium-ish heat and add what you consider to be a reasonable amount of garlic

and a teaspoon or so of ground coriander

a large chopped onion, a teaspoon of celery seed, some freshly ground salt and pepper

At this point you should get the pot up to a rolling simmer then back it off to a sloooow simmer for about 3 hours, covered, stirring occasionally. The idea is to let things meld and reduce slightly.

and oh damn

I'll attend to that little emergency in a moment; first take a few large spuds (again, this is at the roughly 3 hour point)

and please note that I am not a Potatist: I believe all tuber races have the right to freely coexist in my belly. It’s my Big Tent.

So cube up those babies and plop them into the pot for about thirty minutes of cooking

Don’t they look thirsty?

Of course they do.

Don’t I look thirsty?

Why won’t this camera focus?

Now what goes nicely with this stew is some home-made garlic bread. So in a little saute pan gently melt half a stick of unsalted butter with a couple of tablespoons of olive oil

add a decent amount of garlic powder, some oregano, fresh ground pepper and salt and gently simmer

Come here my pretties

ah, tasty chopped garlic

add that to the saute pan and continue the kinder, gentler sauteing

I’d even turn the heat down more, as if it’s a touch too high or you get distracted the garlic is easy to over cook and it becomes like hard little bitter bits of chewing gum.

While that heats up slice your baguette into thick pieces

Now, back to the stew for a moment. Take a package of frozen spinach (As Julie Child once said, this is “Nutrition rearing its ugly head”)

and carefully plop it into the pot

and I do mean ‘carefully,’ for as some folks would say the stew has been cooking for several hours and it is quite nu-que-ler; you do not want to splatter thyself. A side effect of this is that the frozen spinach rapidly becomes unfrozen and perfectly done in the 10 minutes or so that are left.

Now, an unfortunate side effect of being in the kitchen for 3 hours is that the one liter bottle of wine is now a zero liter bottle.

An outrageous restriction of my civil liberties which will not stand.

But first I’ve got to carefully spoon the garlicy goodness onto the waiting slices

springle with a light layer of parmesan cheese and put in the oven at, oh, 375 or so. I like to bake the garlic bread, not broil it, so 375 for 8-10 minutes seems to work for my taste, but YMMV.

After a few minutes in the pot-o-doom the spinach is mostly de-frozen so give it a stir

and attend the that most pressing matter: your glass

I love this wine. I feel so dirty saying that, but it’s true. A very smooth, easy-drinking vin de table. And how does $8 for a 1.5 liter bottle strike you? This is an insane bargain. Buy this wine. Buy a lot of it. Have a glass every night with your beloved. Enjoy life, dear friends. Vive la Freedom Fries!

So the 10 minutes are up, my glass is newly full, the garlic bread has nicely browned

the stew is ready

serve and enjoy

(sorry about the bite out of that piece there…Quality Control and all, you understand)

Who’s Your Buddy? Who’s Your Pal?

And who could turn out to be your worst nightmare?

Iceland, with IMF deal in works, turns to Russia
Icelandic officials are in Moscow on Tuesday for talks on an emergency loan that could be worth billions of euros, the country’s latest attempt to raise cash to help save its economy from collapse.
…An official from Iceland’s central bank said a delegation from the bank and government left for Russia on Monday to begin talks on the emergency loan, a move that has raised questions about Russia’s motives and what price Moscow might extract.

Putin makes Tony Soprano look like a rank amateur.
Say “goodnight”, Iceland.

This is EXACTLY WHY We Need the Fairness Act

To stop racists and bigots and brownshirted thugs from using a political candidate’s…real name.

…In urging voters to choose John McCain in the November election, Scott used Barack Obama’s middle name – “Hussein.”

Activate pee-pee whacking, to commence…

Both the Obama and McCain campaign’s immediately criticized the statement. McCain’s camp said it distracted from their message, while Obama’s office said Scott was trying to stoke the fires of a whisper campaign claiming Obama is a Muslim, which is not true.

And you know what? Let’s make sure he knows just how SERIOUS his transgression and regrettable utterance was.

Feds investigating sheriff after ‘Hussein’ remark

Oh, yeah. HATCH ACT that, pal.
A Swill salute to Ace, where a commenter said that Barrack Obama is becoming Voldemort aka “He who shall not be named”.

Come to think of it, they do bear a faint resemblance…

Super Action Hot Breaking Exclusive!

With the internets all a buzz about the exciting discovery of Sarah Palin’s SAT scores, which conclusively prove how smart the lefty blogosphere is and just how, well, pitiful, really, damn near anyone who doesn’t agree with them is, I can now reveal for the first time EVUH Sarah Palin’s acceptance letter to John McCain after he asked her to be his running mate:

Read more »

SHOCKING News Via Kcruella: Mood in New York City Turns Desperate

You had to think it might come to this, you know? The eyewitness account she sent:

Subject: Jumper
My friend was in traffic all morning trying to get across the Tappan Zee Bridge into NYC.
Once he was able to get across the bridge, he saw that someone was trying
to jump off. Cops were able to save him.
He was able to take this picture when he passed. This is the poor guy
that was trying to jump off the bridge….

(Caution: Probably NSFW)

Read more »

Quick Stock Thoughts

The SEC must re-instate the ban on short selling, and they must re-instate the uptick rule.
There is no excuse for allowing hedge funds to keep pounding the market like this. If you own the stock and want out, fine.
But don’t let those other bastards profit by punishing us.

To Hell In A Handbasket

That’s how it looks at the moment, my friends

LONDON (Reuters) – Europe joined Asia’s panic selling in stocks on Friday, knocking the benchmark world equity index to a 5-year trough, while the low-yielding yen jumped as fears grew that efforts by policymakers are insufficient to contain the global financial crisis.
Equity trading in Russia, Iceland, Romania, Ukraine and Indonesia has been halted while nearly half of Milan stocks are suspended for excessive losses, just hours before finance chiefs from Group of Seven rich nations meet in Washington.

But one thing to keep in mind is that with specialized computer trading programs these market moves get over-done, selling markets lower than they really should be much as they also can lift them higher then they should be when moods are ebullient. Knowing things get exaggerated is not much of a comfort when it’s your savings getting pummeled, for sure, but it may be indicative that, while things seem horrific for the future it might not get as bad as we fear. One thing that reassures me a little at the moment is that so far no commercial banks have failed, as far as I can tell. I find that reassuring, that banks that have worked in the traditional style, lending to businesses and individuals, are stronger than the flashier investment banks that needed to keep searching for ever greater returns to satisfy their investors..and are paying the price for their ill-considered risk taking. So hopefully the groundwork, the base, is there for us to recover and start anew once the bloodletting is done.
But we need to atone for our sins in this, our gorging on debt, our over-extending ourselves in the hedonistic orgy of easy credit. Has there been unchecked government spending? Hell yes. Has there been questionable lending by banks and financial companies? Hell yes. But we also all need to look at ourselves and accept the fact that we willingly spent money we did not have, well in excess of what we rationally could hope to pay back in a reasonable time. Sure, all the ads said “past results are not reflective of future returns” but that was because we would earn even more on the next go-round, right? How many decent companies that made a steady profit every year were punished by the people investing our money because they didn’t make more money the next year and increase their profit margin? How greedy were we? We bought the latest fashions and ate at the trendiest places far too often, took too many trips to Cancun and rented limos for our 8th grade proms. Now the cold reality sets in. The grass may in fact be greener on the other side…but that doesn’t mean the grass you have right now is bad. We have to re-learn what previous generations knew, to always hope and strive for better things of course but more importantly to make do with what we have, to not reach far beyond our grasp.
So instead of going out this weekend get some burgers or steaks and some cheap bottles of wine, invite your neighbors over and enjoy life.
Not things.

What’s Another $37 Billion Among Friends?

I mean, really, it’s beyond parody

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) — The New York Federal Reserve is lending up to $37.8 billion to American International Group to give the troubled insurer access to much-needed cash.
In exchange, AIG is giving the New York Fed investment-grade, fixed-income securities that it had previously lent out to other institutions for a fee. Those institutions are now returning these securities and want their money back.
The new program, announced Wednesday, is on top of the $85 billion the federal government agreed to lend to AIG last month to prevent the global company from collapsing. AIG said last Friday it had drawn down $61 billion.

I guess they have a few more spa visits coming up.

Dateline: Pensacuda, FL Tuesday, October 6th ~ The Weather Outside was FRIGHTFUL

We’d had thunderstorms since 0230 and over 6 inches of rain by 1000 and it was STILL pouring, but no matter. Getting inside seemed tantalizingly deLIGHTful.
And we weren’t disappointed. The stage was set…

Read more »

Racist BASTARD!!

Sarahcuda trots out William Ayers and NOW?! Now a WHITE guy claims…wait for it….
Obama’s plane smells BAD

The McCain campaign plane is better than Obama’s, which is cramped, uncomfortable and smells terrible most of the time.

Will the slander never cease? Filthy LIES, all of them. It smells like VICtory.
I’ll bet you anything he’s a plant for The Corner.
Oh, yeah.

PBS Asks the Tough Question

Do you think Sarah Palin is qualified to serve as Vice President of the United States?

It’s a shame they don’t have an “? Yes EXCLAMATION POINT” option. I would have preferred that.
A warm Swill salute to the delightful Susan Moore, Chair, FL Women for McCain-Escambia.

Besides Stocks, Our “In the Tank” Award for This Morning Goes to:

…Newsweek. Imagine that. The home page link headline:

Newsweek: Poor are not to blame for mess

…to the article headline

Subprime Suspects
The right blames the credit crisis on poor minority homeowners. This is not merely offensive, but entirely wrong.

…to a taste of the contents.

Let me get this straight. Investment banks and insurance companies run by centimillionaires blow up, and it’s the fault of Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, and poor minorities?

Blech. Something tastes nasty.

The Uglytude Continues

Futures and overseas markets are down again

PARIS (Reuters) – Stock index futures were sharply down on Wednesday as deepening fears that the credit crisis would make more victims and drag the global economy into recession sent equities plunging around the world.
By 5:51 a.m. EDT, S&P 500 futures were down 2.7 percent, Dow Jones futures down 3.2 percent and Nasdaq 100 futures down 3.1 percent.
European shares were taking a beating, with UK’s FTSE 100 index losing 4.4 percent, Germany’s DAX index dropping 6 percent, and France’s CAC 40 falling 5.2 percent. Europe’s banking sector was down 5.6 percent.
The Nikkei average plummeted 9.4 percent on Wednesday, its biggest one-day drop since the 1987 stock market crash.

Commodity markets are also tanking, as the lack of credit is causing people to dump stocks.
And my bus didn’t show up this morning. Like I needed to wait an extra half hour this morning at 4goddamned50 am. Really, I had nothing better to do.
Really.
Update: Whoa, the Fed just cut rates 1/2 percent, and everything is surging higher.

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Stock index futures turned positive on Wednesday after the Federal Reserve slashed interest rates in concert with other global central banks to calm markets.
S&P 500 futures jumped 28.30 points and were above fair value, a formula that evaluates pricing by taking into account interest rates, dividends and time to expiration on the contract. Dow Jones industrial average futures climbed 173 points and Nasdaq 100 futures gained 36.25 points.

Thou Shallt Not Mock Soros

Goodness, Georgy-porgy made a call and NBC jumped like a slavish puppy

NBC is furiously erasing its tracks. Any attempts to upload the forbidden SNL bailout skit skewering George Soros and his left-wing subprime schemer friends Herbert and Marion Sandler will likely be squashed. So, I transcribed the whole comedy sketch for you and provided screenshots for the 7-minute video that has disappeared from NBC and Hulu. (You can see it as of 1:08am Eastern here on YouTube, though I doubt it will last long. Pat Dollard’s blog has posted the full clip on its server. Thanks to Ms. Underestimated for the .wmv file.)

Down the memory hole with that skit! The only possibly objectionable element of it was the ‘people who should be shot’ graphic that was displayed; other than that the skit was shockingly spot-on.
Which I guess is why NBC is so quick to 86-it.

If You Disagree You’re Racist. Duh.

That seems to be their go-to response these days, isn’t it? If you dare to question The One’s record or policies, well you’re a racist, natch.
And if you dare to question the wisdom of the folks who “encouraged’ banks to begin giving mortgages to people who had no money, if you say, “you know, maybe just maybe that wasn’t so brilliant a policy,” well, obviously, you, sir, are a hooded Klansman

BOSTON (AP) – Rep. Barney Frank said Monday that Republican criticism of Democrats over the nation’s housing crisis is a veiled attack on the poor that’s racially motivated.
The Massachusetts Democrat, chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, said the GOP is appealing to its base by blaming the country’s mortgage foreclosure problem on efforts to expand affordable housing through the Community Reinvestment Act.
He said that blame is misplaced, because those loans are issued by regulated institutions, while far more foreclosures were triggered by high-cost loans made by unregulated entities.
“They get to take things out on poor people,” Frank said at a mortgage foreclosure symposium in Boston. “Let’s be honest: The fact that some of the poor people are black doesn’t hurt them either, from their standpoint. This is an effort, I believe, to appeal to a kind of anger in people.”
Frank also dismissed charges the Democrats failed on their own or blocked Republican efforts to rein in the mortgage companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The federal government recently took control of both entities.

I think it’s a bit much to expect Barney to exercise any oversight in Congress, let alone admit to failed policies, when he’s never been able to exercise any control over his boy-toys at home.

Bi-Partisan Pop

This is pretty neat.

Oh Great

What the hell is the Government? A job provider for ex-Goldman Sachs employees?

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) — The Treasury Department on Monday sought to answer the first of many questions surrounding how it will implement the $700 billion financial rescue plan.
The department announced that Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson had appointed Neel Kashkari to oversee the Troubled Assets Relief Program and the newly created Office of Financial Stability.
Kashkari, a former executive at Goldman Sachs, is currently the assistant secretary of the Treasury for International Economics and Development.

Great. Let’s keep rewarding the guys who helped get us into this mess. I’m sure he will not let these firms over charge US for these assets they are dumping.

Dear GOPUSA ~ You MIGHT Want to Rethink the Tenor of Your Emails

Because a subject line like this…

Alert: Will You be Ready When the Depression Hits?

…doesn’t do a THING to cheer up the party faithful.
How stupid can you possibly be?

Oh, MAN ~ Islamofascists Have Finally CROSSED the LINE!

Silenced?!?!?! I KILL THEM!!!!!

Comedian Defends ‘Achmed the Dead Terrorist’ Puppet Routine Against South African Ban
It’s no laughing matter.
Funnyman ventriloquist Jeff Dunham is fuming after a ringtone advertisement based on his popular comedy skit, “Achmed the Dead Terrorist,” was scrubbed from South African TV because it mocks Islam.
…ASA officials said a South African man, Moegamat Khan, had filed a complaint that the commercial was offensive to the Islamic religion and created an impression that all Muslims were terrorists.
And the ASA agreed. “To associate this divine inspiration to a terrorist is offensive to the people who believe in [Muhammad],” the authority ruled. Muslims make up 2 percent of South Africa’s population.

Here’s Another Cheery Economic Outlook

Man, my mattress is looking better and better as the place to keep what money I have

Germany takes hot seat as Europe falls into the abyss
We face extreme danger. Unless there is immediate intervention on every front by all the major powers acting in concert, we risk a disintegration of global finance within days. Nobody will be spared, unless they own gold bars.
By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard
Investors will learn today whether the Paulson bail-out – fattened to $850bn (£480bn) by Congress – can begin to halt the death spiral in the credit system. So far, the response looks terrible.
Germany is now in the hot seat. The collapse of a rescue deal for Hypo Real Estate on Saturday threatens a €400bn (£311bn) bankruptcy that nearly matches the Lehman Brothers debacle for sheer scale.
Chancellor Angela Merkel has been forced to pull her head out of the sand, guaranteeing all German savings, a day after she rebuked Ireland for doing much the same thing. Reality intrudes.
During the past week, we have tipped over the edge, into the middle of the abyss. Systemic collapse is in full train. The Netherlands has just rushed through a second, more sweeping nationalisation of Fortis. Ireland and Greece have had to rescue all their banks. Iceland is facing an Argentine denouement.

I’m not so sure I’d be excited to own gold bars; gold has been a dog like every other commodity the past 6 months.
And they’re awfully hard to eat.

European Markets Down About 6% This Morning

Good thing we just dumped $700 billion in, ain’t it?

ATLANTA (CNN) — The major markets of Europe and Asia were sharply lower on Monday as traders looked past America’s bank bailout bill and focused on Europe’s growing financial crisis.
The most influential European markets — London’s FTSE 100, the CAC 40 in Paris and the XETRA DAX in Frankfurt — were off about 3% to 6% in the first half of the trading day.
Russia’s RTS index fared worse, pushing its losses into double-digit territory. A midday (5 a.m. ET), the index was down more than 12%. The index lost 9% of its value in the first 30 minutes of the trading day.

Trillions have been wiped out, and given how things are I expect the next few months will be worse. The US retail sector is going to get slaughtered; who’s going to buy anything? These next few months are the most important ones for the economy, with so much centered on the Christmas shopping season. Are you going to spend a lot this year?
That’s what I thought. Me neither.
Update: Looks like I’m not alone on this.

Well, If It’ll Take the Rust Off Your Car…

IV. Summary and Conclusion:
My conclusions were that Coke and Dr. Pepper dissolved the
most. I found out everything I wanted to know. I expected Coke
to dissolve the most and 7-Up to dissolve the least. I was
right.

…somehow, this isn’t that surprising.

A researcher who figured out that Coke explodes sperm and scientists who discovered that people will happily eat stale chips if they crunch loudly enough won alternative “Ig Nobel” prizes Thursday.
Other winners included physicists who found out that anything that can tangle, will tangle and a team of biologists who ascertained that dog fleas jump farther than cat fleas.
…She said she was serious in testing the soft drink because women were using it in a douche as a contraceptive and, later, to try to protect themselves from the AIDS virus.

In THAT case, I’d like to buy the Third World a Coke!
HOLD THAT!!
Schmaybe not…

CHEMISTRY PRIZE. Sharee A. Umpierre of the University of Puerto Rico, Joseph A. Hill of The Fertility Centers of New England (USA), Deborah J. Anderson of Boston University School of Medicine and Harvard Medical School (USA), for discovering that Coca-Cola is an effective spermicide, and to Chuang-Ye Hong of Taipei Medical University (Taiwan), C.C. Shieh, P. Wu, and B.N. Chiang (all of Taiwan) for discovering that it is not.

::sigh:: Who to believe anymore?
As always, the winners’ list is seriously hilarious. The extensive research done on Bingley actually won a category!

REFERENCE: “You Bastard: A Narrative Exploration of the Experience of Indignation within Organizations,” David Sims, Organization Studies, vol. 26, no. 11, 2005, pp. 1625-40.
WHO ATTENDED THE CEREMONY: David Sims

God bless Mr. Sims. I can‘t imagine what he went, through considering the subject.

Here We Go

WASHINGTON (AP) – By claiming that Democrat Barack Obama is “palling around with terrorists” and doesn’t see the U.S. like other Americans, vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin targeted key goals for a faltering campaign.
And though she may have scored a political hit each time, her attack was unsubstantiated and carried a racially tinged subtext that John McCain himself may come to regret.

William Ayers: unrepentant domestic terrorist
Obama: Ayers associate on numerous projects, possibly dating back as far as 1985.
What’s “unsubstantiated”? Maybe that word does not mean what the AP thinks it means.
Jake Tapper said the Obama camp would be premptively attacking, but he didn’t say the Associated Press would do it for him.
Of course, it’s not just them starting. The Atlantic attempted to put up an Obama defense…

In response to Gov. Sarah Palin’s invocation of Barack Obama’s “terrorist” “pal” William Ayers, Democrats have settled on a rhetorical response that inquires, innocently enough, whether Todd Palin’s association with anti-American secessionists is fair game, especially in light of Palin’s charge that Obama “is not a man who sees America as you and I do.”
Todd Palin, a former member of the Alaska Independence Party, might well have seen America unlike his wife did — that is, an America that one can secede from. He was comfortable belonging to and being associated with a political party whose founder seemed to delight in denouncing the principles that hold our union together.

Can somebody get Todd Palin’s firebombing domestic terrorist mugshots for me? I couldn’t find one.
Weird. I mean, that such an august entity is comparing the two. There HAS to be…something.

I Haven’t Heard It Put Quite That Way Before

But YEE HAW!!!

…To wit: the Washington Post reports that Sen. John McCain’s campaign — convinced that the maverick thing alone isn’t working — is about to open up a can of whoop-ass on Obama with a focus on his personal associations.


May I also add, “And not a blanketyblankblankblank moment too soon.”

…I was only nine then, the year Ayers’s Weathermen tried to murder me.
In February 1970, my father, a New York State Supreme Court justice, was presiding over the trial of the so-called “Panther 21,” members of the Black Panther Party indicted in a plot to bomb New York landmarks and department stores. Early on the morning of February 21, as my family slept, three gasoline-filled firebombs exploded at our home on the northern tip of Manhattan, two at the front door and the third tucked neatly under the gas tank of the family car. (Today, of course, we’d call that a car bomb.) A neighbor heard the first two blasts and, with the remains of a snowman I had built a few days earlier, managed to douse the flames beneath the car. That was an act whose courage I fully appreciated only as an adult, an act that doubtless saved multiple lives that night.

Via Instapundit.

So. Seen Anything About Ike or Houston or Galveston on the News Lately?

Just askin’.

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