Tuesday, July 30, 2019

This and That and vindication/Rev A

If you read the feeder as originally posted, this should replace it.  somehow they screwed up the sizes of the actual pictures from the actual article

It’s been a while since I devoted ink to “rants”, and these all don’t qualify, they have that flavor.  

We're Number One! 

What is it with the American Psyche that drives sports fans to a seemingly insatiable desire and fascination of “who’s number ONE”.   In the wee smalls, one of my defenses for the demons of the night is to listen to Sports Talk Radio Shows from one network to another.  Granted, they are eager to fill their time slot somehow, but they feed the American beast by endless debates as to whether LeBron or Michael is the GOAT, or Brady and Montana.  Who the he** cares? They’re all talented athletes (or atha-letes as one host says) and can’t they just co-exist without designated one as the “Best” ever regardless of decade or whatever.

One of the last refuges from this mania has (to me) been in the world of golf.  You can watch a tournament on the weekend (the recent Open Championship) and just enjoy that event, and when it’s over, it’s over.  On to the next.  Okay, there are occasional comparisons of stats (Tiger/Nicklaus) but palatable.  Well, that has now changed.  Now, every weekend when Tournament du Jour coverage starts it begins with a statement like “CBS Sports welcomes you to the Ridge Open, part of the season long race for the FEDEX cup!!”; now you can’t just enjoy the competition without continuous screens showing the cup points and standings.  The only reason the “regular season” exists is to see who is eligible for the FedEx Cup, The SUPER BOWL, NBA playoffs, or World Series. The other night one of the sporting talking heads urged his listeners to call up and say why or why not their NFL team would be in the playoffs!!  I am not sure but I don’t think game one has been played, and scrimmages (OTA’s as they’re called) have just started. Ridiculous!  Makes me ill and takes the enjoyment out of watching weekly competition for what it is. 

Press One if...

Okay, enough of that..second aggravation.   The other night we were hosting some friends over for dinner, and I picked up my (Android) phone to look at contacts or something, and upon pressing Contacts, a green box appeared around it and the phone said:  “You have selected contacts, to continue you must double click the box, or long press to (do something)” OMG what have I done? Same for anything. I couldn’t make it stop.  Panic set in, my worst nightmare, a phone that took 2 minutes to do anything!  After flailing around unsuccessfully, I called my contact with MFO's phone at the local Verizon store and, bless him, he answered, and said I had apparently somehow turned on the TalkBack feature.   "It’s pretty involved to turn it off, but if you call Verizon at 611, selecting option 4 they can do it over the lines".  Okay, I’ll try.  Press phone icon “you have selected the phone icon, press it twice to continue or long press..”  finally was able to call 611 to get the “welcome to Verizon please enter your Verizon pin number”.  Crap! I never use it, let alone know what it is.. took shot (you have entered 6 green box, 3 you have entered three (green box), and finally “That is not the pin associated with that account, please try again later”.  Click. A few tries later it asked me to briefly describe why I was calling… “Stop phone from talking back   I don’t understand you, let me get someone to help” finally an actual human answered and we stumbled through the process.  Do you know it makes a difference (at least in that mode) whether you scroll with two or three fingers?  By this time my heart rate was a million, and my nerves were in shreds.  I hope I never get in that mode again.  Once again the phone proves to be much smarter than its owner.  Kind of tainted my whole evening.

Well, well well

Okay, I want to finish on a upbeat.  Alert and longtime “Feeder Reeders” know that I continually have harped over the years on proper behavior when in a restaurant.  You also remember that the food writer/critic for the Washington Post (Tom Sietsema) sometimes deviates from his weekly reviews of restaurants to comment on similar subjects.  Last Sunday, I found this synopsis from one of his on-line chats:

I found the article extremely interesting

The “cleaning up” part was about the growing practice of presenting “naked tables” (i.e., no linens) even in dressier restaurants with silverware resting on bare surfaces, and the cleaning of same.  Wiped down?  Disinfected?  It was surprising to me how many people objected to this practice and lengths they go to for removing them from the table top (hence the cartoon above)

“Showing up” was discussion on whether or not you should return the call from restaurants that go to the trouble to dial you up and remind you.  Some places actually release your reservation if they don’t hear back.  Are you obligated to confirm your booking!  Polite manners would be to call the restaurant only if you had to cancel, otherwise it should be understood you are planning to fulfill your commitment. More interesting discussion

But, But, But what really got me was his third subject (Does Tom read the Feeder??)

Reiterating things I have railed about for years – apparently sharing the opinion with Mr. Sietsema (and the WaPo fashion editor)

Interpreted for readability  Somehow blogger screwed up my pics from the actual article.   They would read:
“My pet peeve is men wearing ball caps in dining rooms, which didn’t go over very well with a chat participant who claimed to be seated at the upscale Fiola while wearing jeans and a hat.  He called my annoyance “Disrcriminatory” without providing any details.

Call me prehistoric, but removing one’s hat indoors demonstrates respect.  Was I missing something?  I took the matter to The Post’s esteemed fashion critic, Robin Givan, who settled the matter to my great satisfaction when she responded via email that “unless that dining room is at an actual ball park, I say take off your cap”.  To me, keeping it on just makes you look like you're ready to flee the scene at any moment.

Givan added, "it's a little like sitting in a dining room with your sunglasses on.  Take them off, stay a while

In other words

Another part of the Feeder’s definition of his DFD has always been to dress in accordance with the restaurant which he also addressed:

T-shirt and cargo shorts at the Inn at Little Washington is not going to match the décor; someone in a tuxedo at McDonald’s similarly clashes

It is gratifying to me that I am not just some loonie howling in the wilderness but have others (far more into the “scene”) than I that share similar opinions

Other short notes

67 years ago (1952) today marked the opening of the linking of Maryland's Eastern and Western shore from Annapolis to Kent Island.

Rumor has it that there is much activity on the long awaited restaurant in Leonardtown on the other corner of the old Café Des Artistes (sigh)

And as Tom and I would remind you

Friday, July 26, 2019

where's the beef?

Being able to have easy access to this laptop enables me to plague you more often… like now..

First of all, have to fess up to an error when I was talking about that lovely necklace I showed you from our “art o-the day” calendar. Worth a second look:

In the  accompanying yakking I calculated the age of the piece.   Thanks to an alert reader who always has appreciated my acumen with numbers from the early editions of the Feeder (I did things like “if you take the day of the month, and multiply by the number of the week, and subtract…you get the number of orangutans at the Bronx zoo.”  Well, in calculating the age of the necklace I stumbled on going from across the bridge from AC to BC.  Should have been 2019 – (  a minus ~ 1880) which makes the necklace nearly 400 years old!  Even more amazing.  I guess beauty has been a fascination of humans for centuries.

In the Kitchen
The other thing that I can do now, is cook certain dishes.  I recently got some lovely aged (which may have been Wagyu) beef tenderloin, and I decided to make

Like other dishes, there are many variations from simple preparations to one of those recipes with 50 ingredients.  But, I figured with premium beef, why mess much with it.  So I assembled the ingredients (mise en place)

And chopped up the beef some and mixed in the bottled stuff and...... Whoops! Forgot an ingredient!

So diced and added in the neglected Shallot chopped the chives and also the egg yolk (not previously pictured)

I let it rest in the refrigerator a bit and then assembled a nice appetizer tray, with the classic accompaniment of Cornichons and an unclassic Dry Manhattan on the rocks. 
It was pretty tasty, and there’s some for tonight.

And all the time I was assembling (winging it) the Tartare, I was treated the Dee of St. Mary’s a skipjack.   It’s such a graceful boat.   It was out last night, along with what we call “the little guys”.

Well time to prepare for cocktail hour, and I have to admit I am NOT
But there will be no Mason Jars within miles.

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

easier stuff now


Well, a couple of changes around the digs.   I finally acquiesced to MFO’s “suggestion” that I move the big boy laptop from the loft to my living room office.  I had resisted, but the 14 steps necessary to “get up there” were a deterrent from getting there.  And that is where “big boy laptop” with all my images and the software reside that I use to create this wonderful literary piece of literature called the Bottom Feeder. So now that it is on this level with no stair adventure involved hopefully means I’ll be able to victimize you more often!

Pop Quiz:   look at this lovely necklace

Where do you think it came from??  Answer at bottom (no peeking!)

The phases and changes stuff above is part of the reason you haven’t seen much of the Feeder lately, the other is:
The blue squiggly line is temperature, the orange is the associated heat index, and the vertical black line is rainfall (currently about a quarter of an inch), providing some much needed relief to both plants and mankind.

Somehow that weather saps my energy and (what little) creative juices I have and leave me almost catatonic.  

Anyway, now that I am slightly revitalized and relocated, we can see what I’ve been up to:

You may remember I was doing slow cooked chicken thighs.   Well, they haven’t been cooking THAT long, but they did turn out reasonably well. 

The lemon came through a lot.  I’ll have some changes for that mythical “next time”

Going Out
Last night, MFO and I went to the Cow and Fish for a meal “out”, for a restaurant meal to alleviate MFO needing to come with yet another iteration on Chicken, Fish, or salad.  Although some have had varying experiences we have always enjoyed our visits.  Chef Michael turns out interesting dishes and specials are always worth considering.   Being Tuesday night it was almost private dining (good for us, maybe not the house), and we didn’t feel rushed as there were plenty of empty tables (ditto).  After enjoying cocktails

(despite that stemless “up” glass, and the awful Mason Jar) once the server figured out we would like to linger a bit, things went well.  We split an appetizer of Fish Bites

Which could have served for an entrée.
MFO did lamb chops and I had a Hangar steak (helping my beef deficit) served on nicely done sautéed mushrooms (one of the better “Side” choices), and the leftover will serve for lunch. 

A glass (well, two) of Tempranillo paired well.
Throwing caution to the winds we “two forked” a nice lemon cake for dessert

Sylvia is always interesting to talk to…with the dwindling options for chef cooked food, the C&F is a treat.


We have a daily calendar from the Metropolitan Museum in NYC, that has a different item pictured for each day.  Quite interesting what they present.  Like these gorgeous panels of Tiffany leaded glass

Having at one point dabbled in leaded glass I can only wonder at those beautiful works, it ain’t easy folks.

Okay answer to pop quiz:  where is the necklace from??
Baltimore Craft show?  Smithsonian Craft show?  Nope!
Over two thousand years ago!!  Amazing.  You think of humans using burnt wood to draw on walls of caves, and then to see something like this..

Okay, enough rambling..  hope to publish more frequently now.   In the mean time I’ll fight to get Mason Jars removed from tables, and as always,

and just to close on a subject near and dear to me, a nice picture (to me)

Thursday, July 11, 2019

new stuff

Well, I’ve finally amassed enough “This and That’s” to cobble together a feeder. 

So, what’s been going on?

More adventures from the world of Henry
Well, here I am sitting on the Feeder Fence, in hopes of seeing some tasty little morsel.  Very peaceful here, nice and quiet.. 

Hey! What’s that noise?

Oh, one of those featherless flying contraptions

Hope it just keeps going… nope
Bet it doesn't like mice, either

Kitchen maintenance
Do you have any cutting boards that are sort of getting “shop worn”?  I sure do, so I decided to give a trial to a Boos product (available from Amazon)

Dumb old me I didn’t get a “before” shot, maybe I will after a while, but after application of the Mystery Oil and an overnight, a couple look like this

I tried to finish with the Board Cream, but it took all my (lessening strength to get it out of the tube.   Almost caulk like.  So I went to the “contact us” page of Boos and voiced my problem, within hours I had a nice reply from Allison, acknowledging that that was a problem with the product.  She suggested I nuke it for 10 seconds, then knead the tube before trying to extrude some.  Well, I haven’t tried that.   Results in second edition, along with other stuff..

Chef Feeder rises sits again
Well, I still can’t stand for long, so looking for recipes not requiring long stints on “the line” so to speak.  What could fit the bill more than “Slow Cooker” stuff.  Great idea!  It so happened a recipe appeared in the latest “Cook’s Country” that looked good, wasn’t loaded with salt, and didn’t require a lot of fussing.

Hey, let’s give it a try!
So I gathered and mixed the dry ingredients

And then addressed the thighs (hello, thighs!)
All “neatly” packaged skin on, bone in

When un-packaged (and flipped) revealed
Kind of a mess

The recipe recommended removing the skin and any extra fat, which, after a good bit of greasy tugging I managed to pretty much accomplish that

And surprisingly the sometimes odious task of obtaining the “finely grated” lemon zest wasn't so daunting with the micro-plane

And got the device ready

And finally committed the chicken coating with the oil, and spices including the fresh thyme sprigs

I set the time for four hours on low, and crossed my fingers
So here ends chapter one…  I am up in the loft, and it just beeped indicating it was at the end of its four hours.  MFO is just about to arrive, so I’ll task her with peeking and sticking a fork in the thighs (Yikes! update: internal temp was only 120 degrees!)
Stay tuned for results!
And after I burden you all with this, I’ll go
And am proud to say there are no “jars” in the house.
and for many of my friends:
maybe that's my problem!!