Saturday, August 31, 2019

Phases and .... rants



Kind of an odd juxtaposition, but wanted to get rid of two birds with one post.

First Bird, serious…sort of.
Seem to be blitzing social media today, but 56 years ago today, Bill Moody and Carol Otto got married, in the chapel at Michigan State University.  Presided over by our long-time friend, the Rev. Robb Lapp.  Both sets of our parents were there (and no longer here), Jackie and Moody (as he was known), Dorothy and Louis (known as Ham) and our good friends Roger Brown and Ed Henry.   Was kind of a low key affair, matching the participants.

It’s interesting that as the years go by, anniversaries and birthdays seem to gather more importance.  Maybe as we age, the fact that another of these milestones is reached, it affirms the fact we’re still alive, and survived another year together.

We’re planning on “celebrating” with friends tonight over good food at the Ale House on St. George island.  It’s what I do best!

Second bird(s)

emptying the rant tank in no particular order.  Being quite restricted in mobility a lot have to do with television and sports (No Pictures, no pictures)!

The insurance wars
If you watch almost any TV, you can’t escape seeing incessant commercials from insurance companies.  The big five include Geico, Progessive, State Farm, Allstate, and lately Liberty Mutual, pretty much in that order of frequency.  Thumbnail reviews and comments:

Geico by far out strips the other with the Gecko, but come up with creative situations and interesting comments.  Although I do struggle a bit with “help with renter’s insurance” from the episode where the guy has a miniature horse but treats it as a dog.  They are offering to “help” you if you give them money, how does that help.

Progressive puts their stock in “Flo” (Stephany Courtney), inexplicably dressed in a white smock, but always in some rather odd situation.  Lately they have taken a position of disrespecting “parents”.   “oh, you bought a house, one more step in becoming your parents” and often said parents portrayed in plaid shirts and corduroys being a general fuddy duddy.  I’m not sure of the strategic reason for selling insurance with that. With all due respect, I wouldn’t mind turning out like my father.

State Farm mostly features Dennis Haysbert, extremely earnest and the famous “you’re in good hands” line

Allstate is now ballyhooing the “Don’t mess with my discount” inanity, whereby people are trying for a discount with “Safe driving”.  “mommy I have to go potty!  I do too honey but we’re going to hold it longer for my discount” or lady in car  in obvious labor, refusing to go faster as hubby recommends: “DON’T MESS WITH MY DISCOUNT!!

Liberty Mutual has employed an Emu.  Just weird

What’s the weather?
Our friend the Weather Channel foaming at the mouth ready to bring you their usual documentation of Dorian disasters and destructions, Right?

Forty Love
 The US Open Tennis Tournament presses on!  It poses Chrissie Evert with a new problem.  Her undying devotion and worship of Serena is now being challenged by young CoCo Gauff, the new darling of media.  John McEnroe is warning of “too much too soon” for the 15-year-old.  Without getting myself in hot water about women’s tennis - Quick! Name the major male tennis players today.  Easy, right?  Joker, Raffa, and Roger.  Boom!  Now, name the three major female tennis players today.  Serena, um, serena, and well, serena.  No challenges for her quest for major victories..  Possiblilites like Halep crumble, maybe some of the younger Americans (CoCo, Sloane, Keys) might eventually, but right new she (mostly) just mows down qualifiers.


Good Grief (may not be suitable for all audiences) 
Listening to late night sports talk shows as I do (already predicting who’s in the Super Bowl, for God’s sake).   There are increasing commercials for a product to be used in “manscaping”.  Use your imagination, I’m not going further

Upcoming: reviews of the lowly chicken sandwich

Meanwhile,
DFD for the anniversary gathering and
I won’t have to worry about MJ at the Ale House.  More civilized



Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Mental Health



Sometimes the best medicine/therapy is not laughter but getting stuff off your chest with a few rants:

So, treatment one:
They say a sign of advancing age is watching the weather channel.  Well, guilty on both accounts, we watch the weather channel in the morning to get “Local on the 8’s” and the Tropical Update that usually follows the xx:48 (usually 07:48 for us) edition.  In the morning they bring in the Varsity in the person of Jim Cantore and Steph Abrams. Did you ever notice that once you become aware of something, you can’t get over it?  Well Steph, while cute, ebullient and all, has the increasing habit of ending almost every sentence (on the upswing) with “okay?”; or “right?”, or “all right?”: “storms might be moving into the Dallas area around noon, okay?”  they might bring high winds and heavy rains, right?” Does she want somebody to agree with her?  You obviously couldn’t get a chance to answer as she is on to the next: “the measure of how much moisture is in the air is something we call Humidity, okay?”  pretty soon all you pay attention to is the persistent use of those words.  Drives me nuts! Anyway, the mute button is always close at hand…

Second treatment:
And while we’re noticing TV shenanigans, lately there has been a series of “ads” sponsored by (I think some oil company?).   It shows some relatively young kids playing baseball, and script proudly proclaims “where we make every kid feels like an all-star”.  What? Excuse me?: "way to go Johnny! you struck out 3 times, got picked of base twice, and committed 5 throwing errors!   Way to go kid, great job!.  And there was a Facebook posting of a couple of kids proudly holding up certificates “First day of School in 8th grade”.  Nobody fails, all is well, just show up,  here’s your participation Trophy!  

whew, feeling better already!
I guess I have mentioned this before, but more and more folk are employing the advertising strategy of not talking about the product, but how it will make you feel.  Subaru liberally shows dogs, loving owners, warm cuddly fuzzys, the all American family.  Don’t know they’re selling cars, er, excuse me, LOVE! Until nearly the end of the slot.  Chick Fil-A features a red couch with very happy “real” people relating things like how the guy came out from behind the counter and tied a tie for some youth who had no clue.  Makes me want to go get a chicken sandwich, and be one of THEM!

I got more, but let’s veer back into Food.

Another sign of age is the reliance on external sources for information.  We only get the Washington Post weekend edition, mostly for the Magazine and the Sietsema reviews. However, I do have to admit I like their food section, published on Wednesdays only.  A neighbor who does get the daily is very faithful about bringing me


Besides recipes and other stuff, there’s usually a reasonably informative wine column


I am in the process of giving you some gems culled from the Food Section, just not now.
Oh, this story was in last Sunday’s Business section:

Does it mean anything to you? Sure didn’t to me… turns out it is a “massive convenience store” with 38 locations in Texas (Soon to expand to Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, and the Carolinas).  It is apparently very popular in TX and can have as many as 120 fueling stations, but doesn’t allow 18-wheelers.  The restrooms are “high-tech and famously pristine”. (have to ask:  what’s a high tech bathroom? Flush toilets?) The article goes on for several columns, with pictures of massive walls filled with hats, cups, and bag candy.  Funny I have never heard about it, and have actually been in Texas a few times!

Another article in the Business Section was entitled: The TV juggernaut that is “America’s Got Talent”.  Proud to say have never seen anything but promos about it.   Didn’t read the article, but noticed that “10 million people regularly watch it”.  Proves the old saying:  nobody ever went broke underestimating the taste of the American public”

I have gotten some intel on Sweetbay, mostly (sad to say) from an article that was published in one of the local rags

And just to close with some sunshine

Okay, 
Try to 
DFD and complain about MJ on the table.


Friday, August 23, 2019

a nice day




Wow. Has it been that long (13 August?)  since I last bothered you with my disastrous attempt at cooking?  I suppose it’s like the old falling off the horse thing, get up and try again.  Soon…ish.  Anyway, let me crank up again… 

Odds and ends, a journey/feeder report, and a teaser!

Odd
The St. Mary’s County Historical Society recently put on a “summer social”, a Friendraiser as they say.  Was quite successful and we may have picked up a few new members.  Hope so!  The format was one of those “bring something” affairs, and the board members responded.  Long time readers may remember that I loved the Christmas buffet,  where people strut their culinary stuff, and this was sort of like that



At about the 7 o’clock position, those are country biscuits with country ham.   Loaded with salt, but oh, so good.  I had one.  Right below that are MFO’s old reliable cheese crackers that look like a cookie but are delicious.

Tudor Hall might be worth a visit if you’ve not been.  Very nice

And if you visit on Wednesday through Friday you could ascend the lovely staircase and visit MFO’s “desk” where she does her great work organizing the letters, pictures, and stuff from Grandma’s attic etc. of our Mother County.

The Journey

Every three months or so, we have to go check in at John Hopkins with the grand lady of Pulmonary Hypertension.   We really like her, she treats you as a person, not a “patient”.  We spent a lot of time talking about her recent vacation to SOCAL with her (Croatian) husband and his family where English is not first language (hers is). 

Anyway, we loaded me into the MOMSTER and headed north, eventually entering Charm City


Where the (American) football and baseball stadia dominate the skyline

The route we take to the (Hopkins) Outpatient Center takes us through some older parts of Baltimore.  

by the (world famous) Lexington Market


the Basilica


And some unique local places I love
Where there’s usually a few um, “interesting characters” hanging around but I finally got a shot of the place without them. 

the local chains are joining the rampant “Plant Based” movement
Don’t think I remember our local BK offering bags of ice, and if you don’t feel Impossible, you can get a Taco!

Anyway I got (verbally) sidetracked.   After we had a positive medical discussion with Dr. D, we were in and out shortly after noon, and decided to stop for lunch at
That's a real water glass by the way, no Mason crap

Feeder Thoughts
Speaking of sidetracked..  In thinking (and writing) about (sit down) restaurants, the two main considerations for the Feeder are: a) Food, and b) Service.  It’s a close call which dominates, but generally I think a) can overcome flaws in b).  I’m willing to put up with “are ya still werkin’ on that?” if the food is exceptional.  It’s the best restaurant experience when they both come together, .   I think in certain circumstances, c) would be “venue”.  Sometimes you know a) and b) will be whimsical (food mostly from that big silver truck; I’ll be takin’ care of ya) but in that case you aren’t there for that, you know what to expect going in.  Maybe just enjoying the moment is paramount. YellowFin is such a place.  a) and b) are a known quantity, but so what?  It’s pleasant, the view is nice (and you can get Sonoma Cutrer – at a price, but it’s not YellowTail at YellowFin). 

While looking out at boats and


 I kind of blew my dietary restrictions and got the crab cake

Which was quite nice, the haricot vert beans were a bit tough, the wild rice a bit al dente and the Ken’s Tartar sauce was palatable not cloying (Shhhh, the feeder had a couple pieces of the cake lightly dipped in it – usually avoided).  MFO had a tenderloin steak sandwich and fries.

So in this case c) overcame both a) and b).  Very pleasant stop on our return journey to the digs..

Almost forgot, so kind of out of order, but while we were enjoying our lunch a family of five (I THINK Japanese, but I’m lousy at that) came in and were seated a few tables down from us:  Dad, Mom maybe her sister, and two daughters of reasonable age (upper teens and lower twenties – another talent I’m awful at).  I was impressed by how much they enjoyed being together, had appetizers, and eventually more substantial dishes, all the time laughing and talking, trading tastes and okay, taking a few selfies and group shots.   Food is such a great convener.   Makes me feel good.

Ends
Quickly, we think a) is paramount at Ruddy Duck Seafood (St. George Island) as evidenced by this Redfish and assorted shellfish.


usually b) is very pleasant, and c) is nice, albeit usually noisy (as Mr. Sietsema would say:  “must speak with raised voice”). 

The Tease

Am on the trail for more detail (hey! that rhymes!) on “the corner” in Leonardtown


Stay tuned.  Took “in the works”, in lieu of the usual SMC “Coming Soon” as a good sign (pun intended)

As Usual…
Oh, notice no Mason Jars at YellowFin, but I have to admit I was

DFH(hospital) but not the only (tasteful) T-Shirt in the place.

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Kitchen Confessions (Confidential?)


Just when you think you're getting somewhere this happens:

It all started innocently enough.  I decided it was time to upgrade our baking/casserole gear (vanity speaking), so found a nice price on amazon for a double set of baking dishes from Staub (highly regarded, less expensive than Le Creuset or Emile Henry)



 in sizes (11x 8; 9x7) more suitable for just two Flutters.



An aside here, and I’m sure familiar with other home cooks, a lot of the recipes I find on the net and have saved over the years are marked “serves 6 or 4” rarely two.  Which then leads to: a) loading up our already packed freezer with unmarked Tupperware containers (what the heck is this stuff)?; or b) since I don’t probably eat a “normal” serving anymore, having the same stuff three nights in a row (boooring!). Some recipes are amenable to cutting, but lead to having to measure a 16th of a tablespoon or something.

So (back to the point) I found a recipe YouTube for Rice Pilaf "how to cook classic rice pilaf: chef John, allrecipes.com for 4 that was cooked in the oven, not cooktop.  I have failed many times with the latter approach.  Besides it called for even amounts of rice, butter, oil, stock, and an optional “pinch” of saffron (half a pinch is??).  Cooked in oven in “tightly sealed casserole”; Minimal prep, and I get to use my new gear.  let’s go for it!


Easy, right?  Well……


Legumier

The rice: had to chop a quarter of an onion (half of original’s “half”) then cook in 1 TBL spoon(!) of butter and olive oil till “just past translucent”..  Kind of easy (10 minutes of monitoring), tough to find a pan in which 2 tablespoons doesn’t get lost, then combine (1 ½ cups stock), salt, tsp cayenne and the optional Saffron (no got) in a pan and reduce (simmer 5 minutes).  Then combine with the 1 c. rice (making sure “EACH GRAIN IS COATED”).  So spread over rice in (new) dish and mixed it up carefully watching EACH GRAIN.  Lesson One: there wasn’t enough liquid to easily cover EACH GRAIN despite stirring around for another 8 – 10 minutes, so some of the grains were NOT COATED..

Spread stock, et al., then “tightly cover pan with heavy duty foil.  Lesson two: the hooty doody Staub dish has NO LIP, so how do you do anything to “cover tightly” but sort of lay it on the top and lop over the edges?  Put in 350 degree oven for (original) 35 minutes.

Quandary One: original recipe (2 C. rice); should I shorten the time because less volume?  I did, going for 27 minutes.  Removed from oven and let sit (still covered – no peeking) for 10 minutes.   Elapsed time over an hour, nerves partially shot.


The Saucier
Meanwhile the Hollandaise: 1 large egg yolk, 1 ½ teaspoons freshly squeezed Lemon juice, pinch cayenne, half a stick unsalted butter, ½ Tsp. Kosher salt.  That’s not much stuff but I don’t have a blender that small (just my mini prep food processor - one speed, on or pulse)

And the combined yolk juice and cayenne barley covered the bottom of the mini - prep (not even up to blade).  While I have used it successfully for house made mayo with the little drip doo-dad on the top, half a stick of melted butter doesn’t drain so well, plus speed not high enough to mix well.. result: not well combined. 10 minutes, nerves continue to fray.

Poissonnier 


I found in that packed freezer some “Pacific Dover Sole” from Sea to Table that sounded good with the rice.


I must admit I have had good luck with Sea to table seafood. 
“tracker” said my order shipped on 7 August, to be delivered no later than 8pm on the 9th.  We had to go out on the 9th, and by chance the FedEx truck was entering “the Farms” as we were leaving.  MFO followed it and was able to obtain our box from the driver.  Uh, Oh, box very moist on bottom.  MFO turned the MOMSTER round and went directly home (fuming over delay getting to event), and opened said box to discover COMPLETLY thawed Sole (and scallops) tepid and limp.  Had no choice but to stick them in the freezer anyway.   (happy aside: I sent a note to them, and they refunded the whole order.   Once it leaves their hands, it’s out of their control; FedEx doesn’t care~apparently).


the filets were so thin, thinner than a strip of commercial (regular) bacon.  No choice but to cook them all (except our dinner)so did first batch

Which while looking good, it belies the fact that by the time they were nicely browned, they were overcooked to the point of being dry and hard.

Then I did the batch for serving
Same result, dryish tough fish

un serveur
So plated up our "dinner" with the hollandaise thinner than I wanted, and to my chagrin the rice was underdone and while not exactly crunchy, was uh, al dente (to be kind).

Appetizing, yes?  Probably two and a half hours of prep, making each item at it's station cooking and watching.  By the time we sat down, I was pretty much exhausted and the quality of the food wasn’t worth.   I texted both FOJ’s and a couple of friends that it was the worst dinner I have ever prepared.   Not far from the truth. we did eat it before turning it over to the
 Plongeur

*******************************
Reader’s help:  should I cook half the rice the recipe full time?  How the hell do you make a lipless dish “tightly sealed”?  not the right device for the Hollandaise?   what do you do about cutting recipes? (by comment or to Bill@Billsbottomfeeder.com)

I did talk to one of my chef friends and for the fish I should get the pan “screaming hot” and put the fish in for maybe 10 seconds.  That scares me but I think that’s right.

So anyway, time will dull the anguish and I’ll try again, maybe with less aggressive plans.  I have some scallops from Sea 2 Table, offering another chance to deal with high heat (?)


Until another attempt 

Au Revoir
and:
DFD (in english)
And NMMJ!

Sunday, August 11, 2019

a french term!


pot·pour·ri
/ˌpōpəˈrē/

is: a mixture of things, especially a musical or literary medley;
a miscellaneous collection MEDLEY

which is what I got for us today: since last posting, I have amassed some nine odd snippets of things I found interesting from the world of (duhhhh) food, sports, and just general interest.  Given my penchant of going on far too long about virtually anything, it may be best not to give you a nine course reading menu, but rather break it up into smaller bites, hopefully letting you savor each one (ha ha)

okay off we go, with a bit of humor I found amusing for some reason in the good old New Yorker magazine, a source of often esoteric and bizarre cartoons




Next:  some interesting statistics from my Restaurant and Hospitality publication:
Top Customer Service Complaint and Frustrations (in restaurants, in order)
One: The time it takes to receive their order (35%)
The Price of the Meal (34%)
Getting the order wrong (34%)
Not being satisfied with the quality of food (31%)
Rude restaurant Service (30%)

In other words, a third are not happy

Same Source:
68% of Millennials support a $15 minimum

And while I generally don’t like “Best of” things, they compiled a list of 10 best sandwiches in America, with no rankings.  All are independents (although some belong to Restaurant “Groups”)
From Antone’ Famous Po’ Boys In Houston founded in 1962


Hope you can read the description; note the cost data: sells for $9.95, cost of food is $2.75


From The Kentucky Inn Cuban Kentucky Inn, Denver ($13/$3.15)
(House –braised Pork, spicy brown mustard, bacon pickles and Pimento cheese made with roasted hatch green chiles and Monterey Jack in lieu of Cheddar; spiked with Sriracha; minced red onions; and jalapenos)

And Brooklyn Seoul; Rogue Sandwich Co., Springhill FLA ) ($8.50/2.10)
(steamed Pastrami; kimchi; Kimchi, Baby Swiss; Gojuchang-infused Russian Dressing)
4801


All the rest show equally imaginative ingredients.  All look good!  Now I’m hungry

On we go:  Tips for Exploring and Foodie City
Wander around Farmer’s Markets for a true sense of local cuisine
Research the city’s Immigrant Communities (more and more cities taking in  refugees)
For “fine – dining” opportunities, research James Beard Foundation awards, (given to chef’s across the country)

Sport:  English Premier League Football season begins.  Great Stuff (watching MANU vs. Chelsea while I type).  Will spare you the usual rant on the Little League tournament.   Mothers are just as crazy.

Music:  MFO is reading a book loaned to us from (Blues aficionado) friends


I must confess I have not started it yet, but I am not sure about the “invention of the blues” note, hopefully doesn’t mean Robert Johnson invented them, however he is mostly considered the premier country blues singer (“better c’mon in my Kitchen..)  toward the end, the author inserts his observations and muses about blues audiences and contrasting white and black audiences.  Plenty of fodder for later, but I did like the following quote:
while white fans drink straight whiskey to get in a blues mood, Muddy Waters drank only champagne, and insisted that it be the real French stuff

Closing Potpourri one with two shots from our garden taken yesterday



While they are certainly DFD, I doubt they get sustenance from a
MJ




Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Dining "In" and "Out"



Which has special meaning for my friends in the Military (which I can never get straight anyway), I am much more mundane.. and apply the terms as I sees fits

"Out"

Not to harp on it, but these days my eating away from home is more governed by access than choice of food.  I have not compromised my standards however, which further narrows choices.  For instance, I would never eat at Olive Garden if they met me at the door with a velvet covered sedan chair.  So in no particular order, choices are limited (but not restricted) to:  either of the two Ruddy venues, CD Café, and Cow and Fish.   To be fair, MFO and I did a drive about on the Solomon’s and most of the places over there (Solomon’s Pier, St. Charles Brasserie, Striped Rock, Lighthouse, and the ilk) have access ramps but kind of fail the food side of things.  A possible exception might be the Island Hideaway, which does require a bit of an overland transit to their sidewalk plus they don’t accept reservations on Friday or Saturday.

Anyway we sort of gathered our little “dining group” last Friday (2nd) since key members were (for once!) in town and all met at the Cow and Fish.  The food there remains quite good, imaginative, well prepared and presented, with the only distraction of spotty service (sometimes reciting “specials” almost before you sit down,) the stemless “up glasses”, and the most egregious Mason Jars.
 

As I have mentioned before the wine list (which hasn’t changed forever, hint, hint) has interesting choices, and if a second glass is desired the bottle is brought to the table, a civilized touch.

Anyway one of the party ordered steak (which was described by server as “Blue Diamond Steak with Blue Diamond Sauce”).   A google search turns up something called “Bleu Diamond Dressing" which is apparently no more, as posts referring to Blue Diamond Dressing. seem to have been removed.

Anyway, the steak (always a challenge to get a good photo, hence none offered) was quite tasty according to the diner.  As for the Flutters, MFO indulged her jones for a burger

Although she differs from the Feeder in choices of cheese (MFO=Swiss; BF=Cheddar!) it was tasty, however in truthfulness, “rare” means almost raw in the middle (caveat emptor!).  The feeder stayed away from Beef (no protein imitations offered…..yet) and went with scallops (the kitchen continues to be enamored of flowers)


Which were excellent.
A hunk o’cake was shared for a sweet at the end of the meal.

All in all a good experience, although DFD is also spotty.  Shorts and Caps are often seen. 

In
One of the Feeder eating like a bird at home (no, NOT seed) is quantity.  For instance if we get a small pork loin, even cutting it in half (freezing half) leaves us with enough meat for a couple of servings left over, which gets boring ; In the case of the pork, I do make Pork Fried Rice.  So I set out to do that yesterday. The labor comes in the prep side of things, getting the Mise en Places set up.   Fried rice is one of those “clean out the ‘fridge” things.   Aside from the rice you can put almost anything into it, as I did yesterday:

Clockwise from “12 o’clock “ – lower sodium Soy sauce; (elderly) frozen peas and butter beans; cubed pork loin; diced shallots and red onion/Garlic; (diced) green and red bell pepper; Poached chicken breast (for variety); egg strips (two egg omelet); and of course the (cold) rice. 

Then fabrication ensues.  I prefer to cook the separate ingredients singularly, 

just warming the meat to avoid making it tough; sweat the peppers till soft; sauté the onions till a little brown on the edges, adding the garlic at almost the end to avoid burning it. Finally incorporating into the rice, adding the Soy Sauce sparingly, mostly for color and allowing the grains to separate.
Warm through and plate!

Traditionally, bean sprouts and mushrooms might be added, but hey! if they’re not in the dark recesses of the ice box, they’re out.  
I normally sprinkle a bit of ground red pepper or cumin on it to zip it up a bit. 
Quite Good!

 And no MJ to be seen, and truthfully, maybe not appropriately
DFD

Sunday, August 4, 2019

One or two more rants - then i'm done



Well, I crammed a couple of rants into the last edition, and since then I have a couple more while I’m in that mood/frame of mind.   Then we can move on to some happier stuff.

Another Rant/Comment
I was working in the kitchen the other day, and had left the TV on in the other room, waiting for the evening news to come on, I believe it was on NBC.  Of course things went long, and a new program came on after the news.   I believe it was called “Access Hollywood”, featuring a couple of hosts who acted like they were either high or on laughing gas.  An inane smile never left their faces as they wallowed in salacious stuff about glitterati who seemed so full of themselves.  I suppose people watch this stuff, and probably subscribe to People magazine. Yes; I know there’s a “mute” button on the remote as well as an on/off command, but it was there and I was here…

This inanity was followed by something called “the Wall” which is too despicable to comment on.

Shakin' and Bakin"
And then there’s a show we are sometimes driven to watch waiting for a BritCom or Drama (Midsomer Murders, Vera, The Heart Guy, Shetland, etc.,) is “The Great British Baking Show” (as it’s known in USA).  Another one of those chef competitions but not (quite) as obnoxious as some of it American brethren.  Contestants are given “challenges” like “you need to make a Frangipane tart!” It has its moments mostly because of the contestants.  Okay, it is British/England, but the “judges” are extremely annoying and probably English to the core. 

The sort of “emcee” is Sue Perkins, who apparently has no food background, and her job is to occasionally shout: “okay bakers there are 30 minutes left” followed by quick shots of the contestants looking panic stricken.  Another “judge” is a bona fide Mary Berry who is a food writer, and seems to have compassion for the contestants mostly praising their work with usually some good suggestions.   Unlike Paul Hollywood a supposedly “celebrity” chef who never met a dish he couldn’t rip.  “this crust is soggy; could have been baked more; isn’t very attractive is it?” and so forth.  Officious bas***d.  many contestants are reduced to tears.

Gaaack dept.
Was going to quit (rants)  And here, but there is an article in the Post today (Sunday) that I can’t help but pass along.  Written by Laura Reiley (pg G5), it reports results of finding stuff in bagged lettuce.   Not bugs critters like frogs, snakes (!), some of whom “are not deceased”. As reported in journal Science of the Total Environment eight frogs, a toad and a lizard were found alive in bagged greens”.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that 30 to 60 food borne illness outbreaks a year from 1998 to 2016 were caused by produce.  I could go on, but the last paragraph says: “even with triple washed bagged produce, it’s good practice to wash it at home.  And in the event that your produce contains unintended animal protein? It’s time to order a pizza!

No Cow, No Fish
I was going to finish with a quick reprise of a recent dinner at Cow and Fish, but I’m putting that on hold in the interest of brevity.. 


The game show:
Yesterday a got a package from Amazon, with no “from message” and it turned out to be a game that FOJTY sent (they find some interesting things) and look what it contained!

And with an endorsement like this


How can you go wrong?
I haven’t tackled the “recipe for play” yet, but there’s a board and everything.  Generally I am poor at this kind of thing, instead of showing how much I know, I generally show how much I don’t know. 


There is a board and that pack of cards is at least two inches thick.  Oh, my!

More to come
And don’t forget to
DFD
And despite liking C&F for food and presentation, I can’t break them of “no stem” up glasses, nor the stupid Mason Jars.   I will continue to fight the good fight