Posts Tagged ‘Martha Rose Shulman’

X’dmas

December 26, 2021

This way to the Egress.

Well, that’s that. Another holiday crossed off the calendar.

I threw out my back just in time for the festivities, so I was not the usual jolly old elf as I tottered around the kitchen assembling Emeril’s chicken cacciatore and Martha Rose Shulman’s stir-fried succotash while listening to my favorite traditional Christmas carols (“Christmas in Prison,” John Prine; “Merry Christmas From the Family,” Robert Earl Keen; “Christmas Card From a Hooker in Minneapolis,” Tom Waits; “Christmas in Washington,” Steve Earle; and “St. Stephen’s Day Murders,” The Chieftains and Elvis Costello).

Having a bad back is like having a bad dog. You can feed it and scratch it and take it for walks but you never know when the sonofabitch is gonna bite you.

Nevertheless, I persisted, and with an assist from Herself (lemon bars with whipped cream) we took a bite of supper with Herself the Elder and then relaxed with some 22-year-old standup from Marc Maron, Dave Attell, and Mitch Hedberg on Comedy Central.

Eye see you.

This morning it seemed some portal to another dimension had opened while we slept off the grub and giggles. You can see it up there to the right of the backyard maple.

And unless I miss my guess this other shot at right is either of the Eye of Sauron or Cthulhu’s bunghole. Red eye or brown eye, it’s not something you want to see before coffee, especially with a dodgy back that hampers your ability to flee in terror.

The sun is peeking out now, and I may go for a short hobble, see if I can jar all my scattered bits back into their proper places.

But I tell you what: If a chiropractor had beckoned to me from that interdimensional gateway, I’da jumped through it like a bad dog hopping a fence, howling, “Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn?” (“By any chance do you take Medicare?”)

Cooking, cameras and cutbacks

December 16, 2017

Ol’ Blue Eyes observes the paparazzi from the brick patio.

December days are like a short fuse. You light one at dark-thirty every morning and before you know it, boom! It’s bedtime.

The backyard maple crowds a shot of sunrise peeping over the Sandias.

It remains a constant source of astonishment how little a guy with no job can accomplish during one of these speed runs.

I’ve been revisiting a few recipes (among them Martha Rose Shulman’s orecchiette with basil-pistachio pesto and green beans) and sampling some new ones (a minestrone from “Dad’s Own Cookbook” by Bob Sloan was particularly well received).

I’ve also been playing with a new camera, a Sony RX100 III, after hearing nothing but raves about the series from pros and amateurs alike, including my man Hal up Weirdcliffe way, who has an RX100 base model. These shots came from the new toy.

Too, the Adventurous Cyclists and I have been chasing down review bikes for the new year, with varying degrees of success. And I just finished a “Shop Talk” cartoon for the January 2018 issue of Bicycle Retailer and Industry News, which for the first time in a couple decades will not include a snarky “Mad Dog Unleashed” column by Your Humble Narrator.

Money is tight in the bike biz these days, and I’m not the first person to feel the pinch. Nor will I be the last.

Via Twitter, a reader expressed sympathy but not surprise, to which I replied, “The surprise is that it took so long for the damn’ dogcatcher to throw his loop over me. Send Milk-Bones and plenty of ’em, they gave me a real big cellmate. Looks to be part Neapolitan mastiff, part Baskerville hound.”

 

Meanwhile, back at Thanksgiving. …

November 27, 2015
Chicken cacciatore and a side of stir-fried succotash with edamame.

Chicken cacciatore and a side of stir-fried succotash with edamame.

It was quiet around El Rancho Pendejo yesterday. No friends, no family, just the five of us — Herself, Mister Boo, Field Marshal Turkish von Turkenstein (commander, 1st Feline Home Defense Regiment), Miss Mia Sopaipilla, and Your Humble Narrator.

Ordinarily we do the holidays with my sister and her husband, but with Fort Collins now an eight-hour drive each way, and the road conditions decidedly Novemberish between here and there, we decided to give the road trip a miss and instead treated them to a FaceTime video tour of our new digs.

Thanksgiving Day breakfast: leftover taters smothered in green with eggs over easy, English muffins and a side salad.

Thanksgiving Day breakfast: leftover taters smothered in green with eggs over easy, English muffins and a side salad.

This seemed a particularly bright move after we heard from our pal Hal, who did the big U-turn from Weirdcliffe to Highlands Ranch and back again, narrowly avoiding disaster. Via e-mail, he reported that Bibleburg “was dry on the north end and a fucking skating rink on the south end. A six-car pileup happened right in from of me on I-25 and I was lucky to not be No. 7.”

Good times. Maybe not.

So, yeah. We stayed home, and I whipped up a mess of Emeril’s chicken cacciatore with a side of Martha Rose Shulman’s stir-fried succotash with edamame. Herself was detailed to prepare a green salad and a raspberry cobbler but instead chose to lean on her shovel, sipping a glass of vino, and who can blame her? Not me. Plenty of veggies in that succotash, yo. Plus we had a salad with breakfast (right), which included eggs over easy atop spuds slathered in green chile. And we had ice cream for dessert.

Hope your day went as nicely as ours did.

In the kitchen at Chez Dog and CycleItalia

February 16, 2012
Lamb chili with white beans

Lamb chili with white beans.

You’ll be pleased to know that despite it being February, which sucks, I have yet to eat grease, drink whiskey or buy things.

Instead, I decided to amuse myself with a couple new recipes.

The first, which made its triumphant debut Tuesday night, is a chili con carne in which the carne is ground lamb. And y’know what? Despite its origins in Noo Yawk City and a distinctly minimal approach to tomato products it was purty damn’ good. First time I ever used cilantro stems in anything. Live and learn.

The second, assembled last night, was also from The New York Times, courtesy of Martha Rose Shulman. It involved chicken and chiles, plus a big-ass can of tomatoes to make up for the dearth of same on Tuesday. Alas, it proved a bit sweet for my taste. Next time, fewer red peppers, more chile.

One thing I like about Martha’s recipes is that they normally involve ingredients the average well-stocked pantry already has on hand. I was a little light on chicken and bell peppers for this one, but that was easily remedied.

While I was out scoring bird and bells I swung by the Fine Arts Center and collected a few pounds of Pueblo chile from Doug Wiley of Larga Vista Ranch. I hadn’t known that he was still coming up on Wednesdays despite the farmers’ market being on hiatus for the winter, and there was quite a crowd of Bibleburg foodies on hand to greet him. So now you’ll know where to find me on a Wednesday afternoon.

Last but not least, while we’re speaking of food and the cooking thereof, longtime Friend of the DogS(h)ite Larry T. provides the following. I may test-fly this one over the weekend while Herself is off visiting kin in San Antone.

CycleItalia’s Quick Red Sauce

2 tablespoons olive oil

Half a small onion, chopped fine

1 clove garlic, crushed and minced

1 pinch red pepper flakes

A splash of red wine

1 cup tomato sauce (the better your basic ingredient here is, the better the sauce will be, but the cheapo canned stuff works fine).

Salt and additional pepper to taste

In saucepan over medium heat sauté the onion, garlic and red pepper until just soft, not brown.

Pour enough wine to just cover and let evaporate for a minute or two.

Add in the tomato sauce and stir well, then reduce heat until it’s just bubbling on the edges. Simmer for at least 20 minutes and up to an hour if you have time.

Variation: Pasta all’Arabbiata (Angry Pasta)

To make a spicy version of red sauce, just add more red pepper flakes to the sauce—about ¼ to ½ teaspoon, depending on your taste, and garnish with chopped parsley rather than basil.

Italians do not sprinkle grated cheese on arabbiata — drizzle on a bit of the best extra virgin olive oil you have instead.

Awright awready

September 1, 2010
It's not music that soothes the savage breast, it's pasta and vino.

It's not music that soothes the savage breast, it's pasta and vino.

Maybe it wasn’t such a horrible speech after all. I was cranky (having just shredded my right leg in a boneheaded trail mishap) and hungry (Herself was working late so I didn’t have dinner on the table pre-speech). After getting a meal and a few drams of Spanish vino into my system, I felt more kindly toward the prez and his little chitty-chat with the nation.

The recipe, pasta with salsa crudo and green beans, is from Martha Rose Shulman. Run it past the cranky-pants in your family and see if it doesn’t work wonders. I made mine with homegrown Portuguese beans and tomatoes from the gardens of two generous friends.

This is not to say, mind you, that I comprehend Obama’s fetish of continually extending olive branches to the Repugs only to watch them snatch them from his hand, toss them to the floor and piss on them.

Nor am I satisfied by his fondness for glittering generalities (“Our troops are the steel in our ship of state. And though our nation may be traveling through rough waters, they give us confidence that our course is true, and that beyond the predawn darkness, better days lie ahead.”).

And while I’m delighted to hear he wants to at least cut back on croaking our fellow Americans abroad and get cranking on the domestic economy instead, I’m still waiting to hear any details of how he proposes “to shore up the foundation of our own prosperity.” How many of us wonder whether the next paycheck we get will be the last? Just ’cause you’re paranoid, etc., et al., and so on and so forth.

And then there are the midterms. The more I watch the Obama “machine” in operation, the more I’m convinced these guys think they can take a page from the Repug playbook and blow off a sizable chunk of their supporters without consequences at the ballot box. The Repugs punk the Bible-thumpers every election year, and the Donks think they can do likewise to the lefty-loonies.

It’s a dangerous game. Sure, moving center-right to woo the independents and the handful of Repugs who aren’t yet completely unhinged may pick up a couple of loose votes. And it’s true that like the Bible-thumpers, lefty-loonies are not likely to hold their noses and switch their allegiance to the other side.

But a bunch of us, disillusioned once again, might just stay home on Election Day. And that’s really bad news, because the GOP’s whackjob base always turns out with a will, like a bunch of frat boys gleefully piling out of a van to beat up a longhair, nigra or queer.

Shit, now I’m cranky again, and I don’t feel like cooking. Happily, I still have some wine.

• Literary addendum: I almost forgot — one of the reasons I started writing this post was a recollection of Sinclair Lewis’ “It Can’t Happen Here.” Red Sinclair certainly thought it could, and anyone who read the book will recognize many of its characters hamming it up on today’s stage.

Keep it simple, stupid

August 6, 2010
Spice is nice.

Spice is nice.

It’s gonna be a long, fat winter if I’m already searching out new recipes in the first week of August. Step away from the skillet, lard-ass, drop the spatula, and keep your hands where I can see ’em.

Yesterday I test-drove a Kung Pao chicken recipe from NPR and it turned out pretty damn’ good for a first attempt, though stir-frying on a glass-top electric stove is far from ideal. Plus it gave me a chance to go shopping for stuff I don’t ordinarily have on hand, like Sichuan chiles, Sichuan peppercorns, rice wine, Chinkiang vinegar and what have you.

You might think a guy would have a tough time finding anything other than wafers and wine in Bibleburg. But we have a bunch of military types here, many of them wed to Asians, and thus there is no shortage of Asian grocery stores — among them the excellent Asian Pacific Market, housed in what once was the old Ampex headquarters off Highway 24. The chiles and peppercorns I got downtown at Savory Spice Shop, which is a place I’d like to run through someday with a wheelbarrow and someone else’s credit card.

Like many stir-fries, Kung Pao chicken is a simple dish, and I appreciate simplicity. It’s not always fun to spend hours in the kitchen for 15 minutes of eating. So here’s another easy one, from Martha Rose Shulman at The New York Timesa spinach omelet with Parmesan that she calls “the perfect one-dish meal.”