August 26, 2005

Quote For The Day

More precisely, this is the "in quotes" for the day.

Hat tip to the redhead.

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August 25, 2005

Invitation Updated

How about if we get out of these clean clothes and into a dirty martini?

I'm not a snob about liquor brands. I appreciate my Signatory bottling, in 1995, of a single malt distilled at Highland Park in 1975, but I'm perfectly happy with Clan MacGregor in a Rob Roy. The one place where I stickle is on the making of a martini. A martini is to be made with gin, and enough vermouth that you are aware of its presence. You could use vodka, but if so, the drink is to be identified as a vodka martini. Kind of like a home run record with a nastarisk by it.

Being as I am an avid generator of contradictions, I also enjoy one variant martini, and consider it worthy of sharing the name. That's the dirty martini, wherein olive juice stands in the place of vermouth. Merely whispering "olive juice" as you pour the gin doesn't cut it. The disruption of clarity is an important component of the dirty experience.

The brine from those uniform black olives from Jumbo California provide a most elegant dirty, but the taste does nothing for the gin. Green salad olives garnished with an extruded strip of pimento are an improvement, and a couple of them on a toothpick make the minimal garnish for a martini, but the tanginess of anything more than what clings to the ice on a splashthru will take control of the taste.

At the current moment, the Big Lots stores around here are selling pouches of Pescado Pete's Coastal Style Olives, with roasted peppers and garlic, for a good-sized pittance. These olives are not made as martini garnishes, like the ones stuffed with jalapenos or almonds or rhinoceros horn, but to be nibbled upon. The juice in which they are cured complements cold gin quite nicely.

Place your martini glass and cobble in the freezer. Nibble enough of the olives that you begin to sense the heat, and then a couple more. About five, total. Now wander off and accomplish something whilst the equipage chills.

Upon your return, you can nibble a couple more olives. Remove the paraphenalia from the freezer, and place five clear cubes of ice in the cobble. Pour one tablespoon of olive juice over the ice cubes, and swirl to coat. Pour the non-remaining juice into the glass, swirl once, and brutally discard. Now add a second tablespoon of juice, so you actually get to taste it. Pour in two and one half ounces of your Silver Sapphire gin, or your Vawn Cough vodka. I'll stick with my Calvert's. Quite affordable, and with a lovely citrus top note. Shake, briskly but not vehemently, with a slight rotation at the wrist, until your hand is chilled. Pour, and enjoy. The olives are not a suitable garnish because of the pits. The peppers are strikingly red, but almost dry enough to shake over pizza. Privately, I enjoy a clove of the mildly cured olive in my glass. While enjoying, remember, as best you can, the formula for martini enjoyment. The version I first heard is that one is just right, two are two many, and three are not enough.

Posted by triticale at 01:48 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

August 24, 2005

Dissonance Dismissed

There has been some discussion hither and yon as to whether it is possible to be a "left libertarian", a position which some bloggers claim identify themselves. One stereotype, balancing others, would that they believe the government should pay for medical marijuana.

It must be recognised that, in general, leftists do not see property rights the way the rest of us do. They do not see taxes as a coercive taking, but as a way for everyone else to contribute their own share. Thus it is internally logical to take the libertarian ideal that the sole function of government is to protect people from things from which they cannot protect themselves, and extend this to such threats as relative povery and secondhand smoke. It really isn't that much less well thought out a position than the Big L notion that vouchers constitute a victory for the government school monopoly.

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August 23, 2005

Contrapositive For The Day

"Just because Momma's happy doesn't mean everyone else is."

No specific story behind this. Just general truth and word play.

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August 21, 2005

Quote For The Day

"Why'd somebody go and call the police? They're just fighting among themselves."

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August 18, 2005

Old Joke Clarified

Found in the comments to this post:

Good luck, Professor Gorski

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Chiles Rellenos Al Chino

The Swiss do not, as a matter of fact, melt queso over their enchiladas. The Chinese do, however, stuff chile peppers, and this is a Chinese recipe. The title is in the tradition of our practice of calling the wee wifey's beloved Moo Shu Roo "Pork Burritos with Plum Salsa".

1 lb. raw shrimp
5 medium mushrooms (as noted)
4 scallions
6 water chestnuts
1/4 cup roasted peanuts
1/4 lb. ground pork
1 tsp. sesame oil
1 Tbsp. light soy sauce
4 turns of the pepper grinder
2 Tbsp. cornstarch
2 Tbsp peanut oil
5 large chile peppers

Shell and devein the shrimp (or pay extra for them) and mince. If you are using the traditional dried Chinese black mushrooms, soak them in water until soft. Gently squeeze dry, cut off the stems and mince the caps. Shiitaki mushrooms, widely available fresh, are a convenient substitute. Small ones in the groceries around here are about the size of the reconstituted black ones. Similarly mince the remaining plant ingredients. Mix the mince with all the remaining ingredients except the peanut oil and peppers.

Split the chili peppers in half lengthwise, and deseed. Exercise all due caution, and you shouldn't be rubbing your eyes anyway. Stuff the pepper halfs with the stuff you mixed together. Fry in the peanut oil over medium heat, about three minutes on the meat side and another two on the pepper side.

One could also substitute napolito for the mushrooms, garlic for the scallions, jicama for the water chestnuts, pin├Án for the peanuts, chorizo for the ground pork, olive oil for both of the others, and salsa popular de habenero for the soy sauce, mixing and matching to taste. The garlic would not be inappropriate in an otherwise Chinese mix; it would just be typical of a different region than where this came from. If you want to go farther in the Mexican direction, Chihuaha or Jack cheese could be added. If you want to go all the way, play with the filling, but follow the procedure posted here, which I would not presume to edit.

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Lyric For The Day

Gregg Allman, on his having made middle management:

Lord, I was born a rambling man,
Trying to run a meeting,
And doing the best I can...

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Quotidian The Raven

And here I thought that a Miasma was Mazda's tribute to the classic British roadster.

By the way, it should be noted that those who smoke un-filtered Camels carry the pack in the folded up sleeve of their tee-shirts, and thus do not wear wife-beaters.

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August 12, 2005

Defining Death Down

Professor Bainbridge explores the uncertainty as to whether Van Gorkum is still living, and the legal issues surrounding this uncertainty.

Another reminder to get a living will established, altho I wouldn't suggest going as far as to have it tattooed on your chest in the manner of the biker whose photo appeared in one of the skinart magazines.

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August 11, 2005

Lamb N' Leeks

1 lb. boned leg of lamb
1 Tbsp. dark soy sauce
3 Tbsp. chicken stock
1 tsp. light brown sugar
1/4 tsp. five-spice powder
3 leeks
2 Tbsp. peanut oil
3 cloves garlic, chopped fine
1/4 tsp. salt

Slice the lamb very thinly across the grain. This is easiest to do when the meat is just barely frozen. Cut the slices into strips about 1 inch by 2 inches. Mix the soy sauce, chicken stock, brown sugar and five-spice in a non-reactive bowl, and add the meat so as to marinate for 15 minutes. Wash the leeks, trim off the green portion, and slice the white bulb into pieces aesthetically compatible with the strips of lamb.

Arrange all ingredients within reach of the stove for quick stir-frying. Heat a skillet or wok over a high flame to the point that a drop of water tossed on it sizzles away. Without turning down the flame, add the oil, garlic and salt, and fry for half a minute. Add the meat and marinade, and stir for 2 minutes. Add the leeks and stir one more minute.

This recipe comes from northern China. Egg noodles would be more appropriate than rice for serving with it.

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August 02, 2005

Proper Policing

Milwaukee County's Sheriff, David Clarke, has been a controversial figure at least since he decided to run for that office. The department's employee union actively opposed him, allegedly because he would eliminate much slack from the members' work load. Some of the usual voices suggested that opposition to him was racist, until he entered the mayoral primary on a relatively conservative platform. Then it was alleged that white voters preferred him to the other black candidate because he had a lighter complexion.

David Clarke did not do well in the Mayoral primary, and is still the Sheriff, and still controversial. One of his deputies publicly criticized him, and, in a tradition older than organized police departmwents, received a crappy assignment in return. Some local conservatives see this as reason to be thankful that Clarke was not elected mayor, perhaps influenced by press reports that the assignment was hazardous duty. Altho 27th and North is not the classiest intersection in Milwaukee, those of us who compare it to the bad parts of Chicago rather than to Brookfield or West Bend are perfectly comfortable there. In fact, my wee wifey caught a bus there just last Thursday. Interestingly, it appears that people in the area think that having law enforcement officers on foot patrol is a good thing.

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Pon Durables

Jack Hanley on the value of armed self-defence...

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