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Nicotine & Gravy
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Date:2008-07-30 12:01
Subject:You thought I forgot, I betcha.
Security:Public

At the request of Carpet Ship guests, a recipe for post-apocalyptically-appropriate white chili:

2 Tbsp olive oil
5-6 cloves garlic, minced or crushed (less if you're sensitive to that flavor; I realize I have a pretty high garlic tolerance)
2 medium or one large cooking onion(s), chopped

about 2 lbs. of ground chicken, turkey or pork (meat can also be previously cooked and cut into 1/2 inch cubes--this is a great way to extend the life of your leftovers)

Four cups chicken broth (I make it from boiling water and Caldo De Pollo)

1 large (48-oz.) jar of Great Northern beans, rinsed and drained

1-2 small cans of chopped green chilies
1 level Tbsp oregano
1 heaping Tbsp cumin
1 Tbsp (or to taste--less if it's HOT) green chili powder, if you have it

In a large soup pot, sautee the garlic and onions in the olive oil until onions are translucent. Be sure to appreciate the smell of this; it's among the best smells on earth. If you are using raw, ground meat, add it to the pot and cook 'til it's browned. If it's already cooked, add to the pot and let it warm a bit, then add broth and allow to heat up enough to simmer. Add beans, chilies and remaining ingredients. Simmer uncovered for at least 30 minutes. Et voila. Serves...gods, I dunno. Lots. I bet it makes four or five of those 32-oz containers that I brought to emmy's house.

Emmy, feel free to pass along to anybody who hasn't yet friended me. And/or, recommend that they do so. The more the merrier!

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Date:2007-07-03 09:07
Subject:Smells of Detroit - all that's missing is "thou"
Security:Public

Walking in I was greeted by a wafting whiff of what seemed to be wine. Good wine, I'd say, but I couldn't tell you more about it than that. My sniffer is reasonably acute, but not down to the level of discerning the type of wine or the vintage or anything. Appropriately, it was accompanied by an aroma of rising and/or baking French bread. Zut alors, I think I'd better pronounce it "Day-twah" today.

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Date:2007-06-14 10:54
Subject:Blogroll your own
Security:Public

This right here is an insightful blog post from Dr. Jonathan Foulds, a far deeper thinker about these issues than I claim to be, on the introduction and probable failure of Marlboro's new snus (oral tobacco) product. It's pretty gobsmacking to consider the hypothesis that Philip Morris is plowing millions of dollars into developing, testing, and marketing (presumably inadequately, but perhaps not) an entirely new type of tobacco product, with the strategic expectation that it will fail--especially when you consider how likely it is to be true.

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Date:2007-06-01 12:00
Subject:On giving kids the finger
Security:Public

Though it takes a different tack than your ever-fun-stifling health-nazi correspondent here might, this NYTimes article bemoaning the appearance of the ubiquitous chicken finger on kids' menus is worth a read. I would say, in fact, that its author's disdain for the blandification--nay, ghettoization, really--of restaurant foods prepared for kids really feeds back (har) into the public health problem of pushing highly processed, unhealthy foods to children.

I hope he takes ranch dressing to task next.

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Date:2004-10-13 12:45
Subject:Aww, somebody light a match...oh wait.
Security:Public

Trust the Aussies to come up with one single genuine negative aspect of smoke-free bars and restaurants: rampant, uncamouflaged farting. I suppose I don't call this blog Nicotine & Gravy for nothing--sounds to me like the pubs had best stop serving the greasiest possible fare to their customers.

Mind you, that's not serious journalism I've linked to above; it's categorized as a "comment" piece, so there's no science behind (ha ha) the claim of "thousands of farts [accumulating] in a pub over the course of the evening." I mean, thousands? Really? You'd think bars would go up in a Great White-like fireball, what with people lighting matches and things in that atmosphere. Luckily, this argument at least provides some explanation for why certain businesses might suffer under smoking bans:

Even in bars where the clientele is less gaseous, there are overwhelming odours of industrial detergent and wood polish.

Nightclubs, by all accounts, are even worse. They are almost unbearable places to be now, as they stink not just of farts, but of sweat, spilt beer, and vomit.

Well, gee, classy places like those sure had a lot going for them to begin with! When your establishment's only redeeming (if I may stretch that term so shamelessly) feature is that it allows smoking, I'd say you're at the rim of the abyss, and rightly so.

Don't get me wrong, I have been known to comment on the benefits of being able to fart with impunity at some of the low-rent joints my reprobate friends and I have frequented, but I hereby make this solemn pledge: If they go smoke-free, I will happily hold it in. How's that for a fair trade?

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