Coffee Talk 2: Valhalla, Here I Come!

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Long story short: This stuff is quite good. Keep reading.

Coffee memory #162 (collect ’em all!):

“I like my coffee like I like my women… HOT!

I think it was about 1991 or ’92. Had I walked into that diner and sat down a minute earlier, I’d have very likely done a spit take with a mouthful of freshly poured ice cold water as soon as I heard that cheesy line. Fortunately, it happened just as I sat down next to the grinning woman at the end of the counter who said it, then turned to me and asked if I liked a good cup of coffee. I recall answering something along the lines of “Uh, sure?” as an exceptionally cheery waiter appeared on cue with a sunny “Hello, what can I get you, love?” I recall she had an accent that made her sound quite like Joan Greenwood, which made me almost forget what I wanted to order because I just wanted to sit there and listen to her recite the entire menu.

“The coffee’s good” the voice to my right noted, so I tipped my head in her direction and replied “I’ll have what she’s having…” which made both women laugh and a few customers to my left at the counter turn and look to see what the joke was. I didn’t turn around to check out the other tables behind me, but I’d have guess that some of them close enough also looked up for a hot second before going back to their breakfasts. I’m guessing the two ladies took that as a When Harry Met Sally reference, but it was mostly automatic on my part.

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Today, A Somewhat Cheesy Poem

brie

From cheesemaking.com (as I have no actual brie here, sadly)

Oh, dear.  I found this “poem” on an old hard drive that I transferred some data from and well, it’s kind of Stilton stinky.  I think I wrote this a long time back after a trip to France and before realizing that you just can’t get cheese made in the U.S. of A. with unpasteurized milk (because we’re so wimpy about food here unless it’s loaded with sugar, salt, fat with a big ad campaign touting how great it is).  Well, you can make it yourself, but it’s a daunting process not for the weak-willed or those who don’t like great cheese, heh).

 

 

The funniest thing here is I’m currently playing the almost flawless game Moss on a friend’s PS4 (as he’s got a full PSVR setup and I don’t), so that tale about a cute adventuring mouse named Quill somehow fits (or apologizes for) my metered scribbling below.  Well, let me get back to that because I certainly am not getting paid a dime to write verse so un-terse. Um, enjoy?

Real Brie

Ah, real Brie, it has a rind
That foiled stuff? ‘Tis so unkind!
And “flavor?” What? Don’t make me mad
That’s not the curd you want to have!

I’m sure it tastes fine to those chumps
with extra-wide Velveeta rumps
You toss that back, not down the hatch
and do the same with all that batch!

That cow who laughs may get irate
but that sort of “cheese” is just bear-bait
Good Camembert or Neufchâtel
Will send that plastic stuff to hell

Of course, for those who don’t know best
That “flavored” stuff will pass the test
Its fancy foil that fools the eye
the palate uninformed won’t cry

Once spread upon a Thin of Wheat
It soon becomes a favorite treat
Before you know, that poor soul’s hooked
and never knowing they’ve been so rooked

Just stick with actual Brie and more
Get cranky with your favorite store
And shop elsewhere if they still foist
That metal coated “cheese’ that’s moist!

-GW

AGFA Delivers A Case Of Double Vision

AGFA stuff.JPG 

Well, ooh. This pair of grindhouse-y beauties arrived today from AGFA as did the big, honkin’ six-pound box of unsalted Keystone Pretzels I ordered two days ago (those bakers ship fast!). Part of my weekend is set, that’s for sure. I’ll very likely triple up the movies with the gorgeous Arrow Video version of Re-Animator, as I went through the special features yesterday and they’re all great stuff.

Back in a bit – I guess I need to figure out what goes well with a small bowl of pretzels other than some freshly made Colman’s Mustard. Eh, I’ll figure something out.

-GW

Feeding The Beast: What Do You Cook When Stuff Goes Downhill?

So, yeah. When the going gets tough, the tough get going. But the tough still have to eat, right? I think I may have mentioned this in a food-related post a while back, but learning to cook is not only a necessary life skill and quite the money-saving “hobby”, it’s also pretty therapeutic. Anyway, some stupidly lousy news hit earlier today and as I hadn’t yet thought of what to make for dinner, my brain went into emergency mode. Or, I decided to raid the fridge and one cabinet here and make something relatively fast because I tend to have a few gloomy to grumpy visitors when the Titanic goes into re-sink mode.

Anyway, my foraging (can you forage in your own apartment? I can!) found the following:

One 16 ounce package of #22 pasta shells
1 28 can of crushed tomatoes, tomato puree, or a jar of good quality pasta sauce (I flipped a coin and it was the sauce this time)
Half a container (about 4 ounces) of whipped cream cheese
About 1-1/2 cups of sliced white mushrooms
1 small block of part-skim mozzarella cheese (8 ounces)
1 8 ounce package of shredded whole milk mozzarella cheese.

You’ll also need an 8 x 12 or 9 x 12 baking dish or some other appropriately sized oven safe pan and about an hour of time, give or take.

Under normal circumstances most of those ingredients above would end up in a freshly made pizza like the one to the right. Yeah, I made that too a while back. (sings) I like thick crusts and I cannot lie!

But I was out of yeast and making a crust from scratch would have taken too long, anyway.

Speaking of anyway… Continue reading

What’s Cookin’: Greens, Eggs, and Ham? Make Them Yourself, Man!

2016-05-20-183833Hmm. Memo to the loud guy I passed on the way home yelling about the (and I quote) “bitch who won’t make me eggs after noon”: Ugh. Learn to cook, you ignorant jerk and make your own damn eggs ANY TIME YOU WANT. Keep it up with that overly cranky attitude and those aren’t the only eggs you’ll never have anything to do with ever again.

That, and it’s no joke to get hit upside the head with a cast iron fry pan while one is snoozing. Anyway, let me be nice and give you a recipe you can learn and perfect, provided you’re not un-jamming a pan from your gaping maw: Continue reading

What’s Cookin’? Pizza for Practice Purposes Pleases People

a pizza

Just mushrooms and cheese on top of my non-patented “special” sauce. This got five more minutes in the oven, but eaten before I got to taking the updated photo. Darn guests, and their impatience to be poisoned!

 

Yep. I’ve been a bit too busy these days with a few things, but a guy’s gotta eat, right? In an attempt to save money, I’ve taken up part-time pizza making just for fun and to feed the occasional friend who drops by when I’m conducting my horrific experiments. In previous attempts, I’d used a few dough recipes “borrowed” off the internet, but my one major issue with all of them is my kitchen isn’t made for pizza (or any) dough manufacturing.

Between the moving around of stuff to make a work space, my big old ceramic bowl breaking (I’m on the hunt for a proper replacement), pre and post-crust cleanup, and not enough freezer space for a month’s worth of dough, it was a pain in the neck to spend more time making dough than making edible results with said dough. While poking around for pre-made options, it’s been a circus of lousy ingredient reads and stuff that’s too complex for its own good on the “easy” prep front. Continue reading

What’s Cookin’? Did Someone Order The Psycho Peppers?

Psycho Peppers 1Thanks to the fine folks at Lingham’s Hot Sauce (or Lingham’s Chilli Sauce if you’re reading this from anywhere where it has that original name, I’ve got a few bottles of their extremely tasty goods to try out in a few recipes. This one’s too easy to whip up and in fact is a variation on a pizza pepper recipe I do ever so often.

As fir the name “Psycho Peppers”…  yeah, well.  I had to name them something catchy and that moniker popped into my head after I mixed a bit of Lingham’s SriRacha (smoky and spicy!) and Extra Hot (yes, it is!) together to see how they’d taste and proceeded to dip one of the hot chili peppers on the right of the pic to test the results out with. PROTIP: Keep some cold milk, yogurt or ice cream handy if you do this taste test thing.

Hokay, there’s really not much to this, so calling it a “recipe” is a bit of a stretch. Still, there are photos below the jump and some basic (overwritten) “how to” scribbling if you can’t figure out what to do with those ingredients above.

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What’s Cookin? Lingham’s Makes For Some Saucy Memories

So, yeah. I haven’t done a nice cooking article in a while. But that’s probably because I’ve been in a bit of a food rut for a bit. I guess you could say it was something akin to this, but with me and a great deal less comedy (or something like that):

(thanks, HDTVADDICT!) 

I cook the majority of my meals myself, only occasionally going out to eat or if I’m really lazy, buying precooked soft noodles and tossing assorted appropriate leftovers into a bowl for a zippy but dull lunch or supper. Oh, don’t go weeping into your freshly made consommé, kids – this story has a point! Anyway, about two weeks back I was dinking around the former Deals (which is now a Dollar Tree) picking up a loaf of nice Pepperidge Farms pumpernickel and I spied something that took me back about 30 or so years. Continue reading

Tuesday’s Off: Slim Pickin’s Make For Less Guilt & A Clearer Forehead

Randazzo King Cake (Small)

Photo: randazzokingcake.com

Nope, no booze and King Cake plastic coin and beads, almost tiny toy baby-swallowing baccanal-fest follwed by a day of dirty forehead repentance for me, folks. I had a donut (okay, three), an extra cup of coffee and curled up with a few movies I needed to review plus a few games I’ve been meaning to finish up or start. Yeah, I’m boring as hell (sometimes), but that sort of reliable predictability is a specialty I’ve been working on for a while.

Anyway, yeah… I’ll be back on Wednesday with a few updates. You? You’ll be all bloated and guilty with some ashes on your forehead and promising not to do what you did again… until next year rolls around, right? I thought so. If I’m around, maybe I’ll hold your hair back with a two-foot long pair of tongs while you barf into something safe. But I won’t bail you out because you probably deserve a short spin in the can if you did what I heard you did. Amusingly enough, I don’t think I’ve ever had a slice of King Cake before, so I may need to at some point.

READS: Cooking for Geeks Will Make You Hungry For Science

Cooking For Geeks 2nd Edition

Yeah, I cook and you should as well. No matter haw daunted you are by the prospect of entering the kitchen to whip up something as simple as a boiled egg, the ability to prepare a meal is not only a necessary survival skill, it’s a series of victories as one overcomes fears and produces some very tasty results. Jeff Potter’s Cooking for Geeks ($24.99) is not only a fantastic read, it’s one of the best cookbooks I’ve ever read. A cornucopia of recipes, food and other science lessons, excellent interviews with far too many chefs and other food experts to list, the book is both a page-turning revelation and a go-to master class in all sorts of kitchen knowledge. Continue reading