February 26, 2010

Transcending the Stereotype

Although I'm sure many of you have it in your minds that simply because I did not attend an Ivy League university or descend from old money that I am not capable of appreciating the finer things le monde gastronomique has to offer. True, I do have rather simple tastes, but occasionally I allow my creativity to run free and explore the ideas of 'what can be' when it comes to comestibles.

Just this morning, my thoughts dwelt upon those foods I consider to be essential elements of American cuisine, and a tantalizing potential brought itself to my forebrain--a savory synergistic fusion of all that is good, decent, and utterly delicious about my native foodstuffs.

That invention? Why, a delightful tid-bit, an hors d'oeuvre (a word which I hasten to tell you has nothing to do with either horses or ovaries, but is French and therefore untranslatable) of utter simplicity yet enormous, near cosmological complexity.

My friends, I give you Pork Rinds with Spray Cheese.

Soft, yet crunchy.

Creamy, yet bristling with brio.

The goodness of real pork by-product, with the kick of modern industrial propellant-assisted pasteurized processed cheese food product.

The perfect no-carb, high-protein addition to your favorite yacht club gathering, polo tourney, or monster truck derby.

The endless variety of sizes, shapes, and textures of the pork rinds alternately cuddle and conceal, fling and flirt with the decorative yellow sunburst streamers of the cheesemaker's art.

The photo arrangement above uses Mac's Vinegar and Salt flavored pork rinds, with filling of Aldi's Leland-brand Sharp Cheddar squirt cheese (no refrigeration needed), arranged upon one of our Wedgwood Queen's Shape dinner plates. It was photographed using my Samsung SCH-u550 cell phone, because my Hasselblad is in the shop. (Note: I don't actually have a Hasselblad.)

You are welcome.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:25 AM | Comments (18)

July 20, 2009

I had lunch...

...with My Friend Jefftm today, and we noted one thing in particular about the young edgy urban hipster demographic of which neither of us are a part.

That being, if you bear a passing physical resemblance to a young Al Pacino as Serpico, a seersucker suit is really not the thing to wear.

Even ironically.

Even post-ironically.

Know your limits, my friend. Know your limits.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:15 PM | Comments (12)

March 04, 2009


Fourth-grade class bill passes Alabama House panel to make manatee state's marine mammal

Possumblog Kitchens reminds you nothing helps you celebrate the state's official marine mammal like a big plateful of Cornatees, the cornbread-battered, deep-fried, manatee-on-a-stick treat that EVERYone loves!

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 06:29 PM | Comments (6)

December 22, 2008

Okay, so I'm probably not supposed to just let the whole world know this, but...

...some things sound so good it would be a worse transgression not to share.

Case in point, Janis Gore's Sweet Tater Bread Pudding, which came to me in an e-mail via Chef Tony, the reading of said e-mail causing me to lick the monitor.

1 1/4 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and finely chopped
2 cups raisins
1/4 cup dark rum
5 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 quart whipping cream
2 cups half-and-half
2 tablespoons cane syrup
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/2 (16 ounce) loaf French bread, torn into 1-inch pieces
Rum Sauce
Whipped cream

Arrange sweet potatoes in a steamer basket over boiling water. Cover and steam 10 minutes or until tender. Set aside.

Combine raisins and rum. Set aside.

Combine eggs and next 5 ingredients in a bowl; add bread pieces, sweet potato, and raisin mixture. Spoon mixture evenly into 2 lightly greased 11 x 7-inch baking dishes. Bake at 350 degrees F for 1 hour or until set, covering with foil to prevent over browning, if necessary.

Serve warm with Rum Sauce and whipped cream. Serves 16.

Rum Sauce
1 1/2 cups butter
1/4 cup dark rum
3 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
1 egg yolk

Melt butter in a heavy saucepan over low heat; stir in rum. Add confectioners' sugar; stir with a whisk until smooth. Stir in egg yolk; cook, stirring constantly, 5 minutes or until mixture reaches 160 degrees F.

Makes 2 1/2 cups.

That, my friends, is some good food.

Now then, in other matters, since I've got a short week this week and won't be here next week, I want to wish all of you Hebrew folks a Happy Hanukkah, all you pagans Lo Saturnalia, all you Christians a Merry Christmas, all you Constanzans a Happy Festivus, all you African Studies majors a Joyous Kwanzaa, and you atheists a cordial end of December/beginning of January.

Best wishes to all who still come by Possumblog every so often, despite the fact that we're closed and retired and all that stuff, and may the upcoming year be a good one for you all.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:48 AM | Comments (18)

September 03, 2008

Lunch With Pam the Liberal

Fun as usual, and with the added spark of Politics to enliven the conversation. As one of the increasingly small cadre of old-school sane liberals, she’s actually quite entertaining to talk to about politics and despite being an Obiden supporter, was willing to actually give the governor of Alaska her due. And not the sort of grudging respect a few on the Left are willing to dispense along with a pat on the head and an ironic smirk, but actual respect for having convictions and being willing to stand there and be unapologetic about them. Not that she would agree with the Governor on everything, but she does at least see her accomplishments and see that they are more than the result of just being hot. I reckon there’s some empathy there since Pam’s had to put up with a lot of that kind of crap herself over the years.

ANYway, it was quite a nice break in the day, and if you get a chance, drop by Sol’s over on the ground floor of 2 North 20th. Pam had the chicken salad with pita wedges and something that I think was tabouli, and I had the Philly cheesesteak and it was quite good. Even had real Velveeta on there!

So there.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:58 PM | Comments (11)

February 25, 2008

Aztec Hot Chocolate Pudding

I emerge from my warm, fur-lined hollow tree for just a moment to post this where everyone can see it, as opposed to it being in the comments in the last post. Via Chef Tony and the Chocolate Advisory Council:

This blog needs some pep, I think chocolate is the thing to cause pep. So here y'all go:

Recipe: Aztec Hot Chocolate Pudding

Time: 45 minutes

Butter for greasing pudding dish
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1 cup superfine sugar
1/2 cup best-quality cocoa powder
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup corn oil
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup dark rum.

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Butter 8-cup pudding or soufflé dish. Set aside. In large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, chili, superfine sugar and 1/4 cup cocoa powder. In small bowl, mix milk, vanilla and oil. Pour into flour mixture. Mix by hand for thick smooth batter.

2. Spoon batter into pudding dish, and smooth the top. Pour 3/8 cup water into a small pan. Set over high heat, and bring to boil. In small bowl, combine remaining 1/4 cup cocoa with brown sugar, making sure there are no lumps. Spread evenly across the batter. Pour boiling water over it, and top with rum.

3. Bake pudding until top is a bubbling sponge and center is wobbly and liquid, about 30 minutes. To serve, spoon out portions that include some of the top and chocolate sauce beneath. If desired, accompany with vanilla ice cream.

Yield: 4 servings

I take USD, cash and kisses on a pro-rated basis in payment for this service.

Tony, you'll have to get your fun and money from someone else. I ain't got no money, and I ain't kissin' you. But the recipe sounds darned good, nonetheless.

Now then, back to slee- WORK! Back to work! Yes! Workworkwork!

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 03:54 PM | Comments (19)

December 07, 2007

I hate school.

Not really.

It’s good to learn things, even if it’s just for the sake of knowing something you didn’t know before.

I suppose what I object to is that schools nowadays take great pride in assigning gigantic enriching multiculturally-engaging, multimedia-focused research assignments to kids who probably don’t get all that much out of it other than a sort of glossy simulacrum of a facsimile of understanding about the topic at hand.

Seeing as how such assignments invariably wind up requiring a huge wad of parental involvement and supervision and assistance.

Because it’s important for parents to be involved.

Despite the fact that my parents never assisted me in doing silly crapwork school projects.

And despite the fact that I have not the socially-desirable overly-stimulated and pampered single child to dote upon, but the near-to-being-white-trash FOUR children, ALL of whom are also given similar gigantic enriching multiculturally-engaging multimedia-focused research assignments.

What brings on this sudden fit of pique?

Boy, and his assignment this nine weeks. Seems they’re studying Asia in social studies. Or possibly language. Or maybe math. You know how schools are nowadays with all this cross-training stuff. Anyway, I think it’s social studies. So, their teacher gives them this big laundry list of activities to choose from in categories such as Culture, Geography, Art, Inscrutability, &c., &c., with each activity worth a varying amount of points, the idea being to allow each student the freedom to pick and choose enough activities from each category to add up to a theoretical maximum total of 200 points.

I’m not sure how much time they were given, although I figure it’s probably been over a month. And you know how good 8th graders are at time management.

So it comes closer to time to start fixing and doing, and Boy had actually begun working on some of his stuff as long as a couple of weeks ago. Me, not knowing exactly how much was involved in the overall scheme of things, was kinda gratified that he hadn’t waited around until the last minute to do his colored picture of the Silk Road, and a clever origami scorpion, and a picture of a samurai.

Little did I know that this wasn’t all there was to it. And that it was all supposed to be turned in today.

It began to dawn on me last weekend, though.

“I’m gonna make paper!”

Great, yeah, whatever, Son.

“And so I need to save the Sunday paper, because I’m going to take that, and put it in the blender, and put water in it, and some glue…”


“No. Jonathan, we’re NOT going to put paper and glue in the blender.”

Hurt little puppy dog eyes. “But—but I have to make paper for my class assignment.”

“WHAT class, Son?”

“That stuff I’m working on for my Asia project—you know, like that map I was doing.”

“Oh. Well, no blender. I’ll help you out on that.”

Because, I am a moron.

SO, thus began an ever deepening hole of paternal, and ultimately, maternal interference.

Because not only did I get to make paper, in the last four days I also wound up making an Ivory soap carving of a fu dog, a large model of a segment of the Great Wall of China, a printed itinerary for a imaginary 14 day tour of Japan (including travel distances and times for each leg of the trip), and a box lunch of three separate dishes, along with the recipe for each item. Mom got involved last night, doing a poster collage of a variety of images of China and Japan gleaned from a stack of National Geographics.

Boy was ever helpful—cutting and pasting and fixing and doing and mixing and assembling and such like, but frankly, there would be no way for any kid really to do all this junk without a big hand from their parents, mainly in the all-important task of project management. Given infinite time and resources, I know the young feller could have figured it all out himself, but something of this magnitude requires a ready-to-go set of skills in production means and methods that is beyond your garden-variety middle schooler.

I don’t know—maybe it’s all this blizzard of information we live in, where there’s so much access to so much stuff, that we seem to have come to think the past got there by a combination of magic and CGI. The fact you can pull up a billion images of every square inch of the Great Wall with nothing but a click of the mouse makes it seem less of a feat of engineering. Building a cardboard model of it (or helping Dad build one) is fun, but I dare say he still has little appreciation for just how massive such an undertaking was.


I think he’d have been better served to do fewer things, but actually do them himself, and not just the simple thing like origami. How about the teacher getting some stones, and some mortar, and a corner of the schoolyard, and letting the kids work and see just how stinkin’ hard it is to lay a straight wall on crooked ground, and then maybe get an appreciation for how long and hard it would be to do the same thing all across 4,000 miles of mountaintop.

Yeah, I know. Lawyers would love that.

Anyway, I am happy to say it all got done and transported to school without incident this morning, so who am I to grouse?

I just hope I get an A.


Papermaking: I’ve seen this done on Beakman’s World, and got a refresher from several websites. Just look up ‘beakman’ and ‘paper,’ and you’ll find enough info. We took a section of newspaper (black and white—no slicks), tore it into thin strips, and then chipped those into very small bits with scissors. This part really would work better with a blender, but I knew a certain wife of mine would never go for it. If you want to make a lot of this junk, go get a blender from the thrift store. Anyway, get the paper all chopped up as fine as possible. I also got a wad of lint out of the clothes dryer screen to give it a bit more body. One thing I didn’t count on was the huge amount of girl hair in the dryer lint. This is gross, but not really noticeable until you get it all soupy and wet. Ick.

Next step was to get a plastic ice cream bucket and put the paper and lint in, and cover it with scalding hot water. Cover, and let it set for a couple of days to get good and mushy. This stuff was then mushed between my fingers until it was even mushier, then allowed to settle back out, and the water carefully drained off. The mush was collected, squeezed out, and then new hot water was put in the plastic tub, along with a big puddle of white glue. After this was dissolved, the mush ball was put back in and squeezed some more until well mixed.

To make the paper reconstitute itself into a thin dry sheet, take an old pair of panty hose and stretch it tightly over a wire coat hanger that you’ve bent around into a square shape. The next part I wasn’t really clear on, but what I did was place the hanger’n’hose into a shallow baking pan, and pour the whole mess of soupy paper mix over the top. I then patted out the mixture evenly and thinly over the whole screen and lifted it out, but that’s probably not the best way to do it.

The screen and mixture still has a lot of water in it, and if you have several days, you set it outside to dry in the sun. The heck with that. I laid it on some paper towels, and then carefully blotted the top to get out as much water as possible, then stuck the whole shebang into the dryer on top of the sweater rack, and let it run for an hour or so.

The end result made a nice 9 inch square of light blue paper, smooth on one side and pleasantly rough on the other, and my recycled paper only required a couple of gallons of natural gas-heated water, a half a roll of new paper towels, and an hour of electricity in the clothes dryer (set on high) to produce! Somehow, I think this is not the way recycling is supposed to work.

Eh, whatever.

Jonathan then decorated the paper with a rubber stamp we had of Chinese characters, and some brushed-on black paint in which he did a free-form sort of rendition of Chinese calligraphy.

Soap carving: I’ve never done this before, but I’ve read that all the great masters of sculpture merely carve away whatever doesn’t look like a horse or busty maiden, so I figured I’d do the same with the soap. Ivory™ brand soap seems to work best, since it’s soft enough to work with, yet strong enough not to snap in half. Boy found a picture of a pair of jade dragon/dogs, and I looked at it briefly and started whittling away stuff that didn’t look like a fu dog.

I blocked out the basic outline with a serrated paring knife, and then finished out the rest with my trusty reliable #11 X-Acto blade. It was very soothing, and I managed to do a really good version for a first effort, although the head looked less like a fierce dragon and more like a hungry pig.

Great Wall model: This one required some doing. Boy found a picture of a section with two guard towers on a rocky section of land. I figured corrugated cardboard would work best—it’s brown, and available in large quantities in our garage. The ground was another story. Needed realistic earth look, but no weight. And the whole thing needed a base to sit on.

Catherine had a big box her pair of boots came in, so I went and got that to use as the base, and fortuitously, it had several big wads of wrapping tissue inside. Hmm. I wadded up several sheets and put them on the boot-box lid, then laid several flat sheets over the top of that. Looks like rolling hills to me!

I glued down the edge of the large sheet to the lid of the box with white glue, then made a thin solution of white glue in hot water and sprayed the whole thing to give it a bit of body and stiffen it. This was then laid aside to dry for a couple of days.

In the interim, we built the guard towers by laying out a rectangle, scoring one side of the cardboard at three equal increments, and folding up the side and joining them with a piece of masking tape on the inside. Crenellations were cut afterward with the X-Acto—two slices down and one across (which would have been easier with a new blade), as well as doorways and tiny windows. I did one to show Boy how, and he did the other.

Needless to say, there was a difference in their appearance once complete. These were also laid aside for a day while I tried to think of how to finish the rest of the thing.

I finally figured I would slice through the tissue and insert the towers and glue them to the box lid underneath, and then connect the towers with sections of cardboard walls. Since the “land” surface rose and fell, one tower would need to be shorter to give the illusion of elevation change, so about an inch was sliced off the bottom of one, and the towers positioned on the now-dry base to eyeball in the correct alignment. Once that was settled, an “x” shape was cut where each tower would go, and the tissue paper flaps turned under.

Now, time to finish the ground.

First step was to try to get something approaching the look of dirt. I thought at first of spray painting it flat light brown, but remembered that stuff in the rattle can that is supposed to look like faux stone. Picked up a can of that at Wally World in the “Antique Ruins” color, as well as some model railroad grass from the hobby shop. (Didn’t need a lot, since the vegetation is supposed to be sparse.)

Sprayed the whole base, with special attention given to covering up the writing on the side of the box, and while it was still wet, sprinkled on the model railroad grass and patted it down gently so it would stick.

HEY! Looks like China!

As that dried, I cooked up the foods, but that has a separate entry below. Just imagine I’ve started back again after the base has dried, and that it’s nearly midnight, I’m punchy, and the X-Acto is now no sharper than the side of my hand.

The towers were glued in place, and the layout of the sidewalls contemplated. Since they had to sort of snake along, it was actually not as hard as if they had to be in a precise location. More cardboard cutting, with some additional trimming needed here and there to make sure they lined up with the towers, and the aforementioned crenellations added before each sidewall was glued down.

I started with the short segments that ran from the towers to the edges of the box first, mainly as a way to practice what I thought would work. Got those done pretty quickly, put in a walkway surface on each, and then moved to the center connection. Due to the way the base “ground” was made, this took a bit longer to fix and do, but it’s nothing more than holding up the cardboard and chewing away the parts that interfered, and bending it slightly side-to-side to fix alignment errors. Got the center part done, including the multi-planar walkway surface (more cardboard, of course), sealed off the underside of each end of the wall so you can’t see inside, did some touch up fixing with strips of the brown paper that was peeled from the corrugated core, and pronounced myself done. It turned out looking pretty doggone nice.

Tour itinerary: Google is your friend, even if they deliberately decided to be evil if it means getting to play in the Chi-Comm internet market. Ahem. Sorry for the impromptu commentary.

Not really.

ANYway, I reread the requirements for the activity—14 days, no more than two days per location, include activities, and travel distances for each stop. Oh, and in 16 point Times New Roman font. Silly teacher.

Got on the Web and Googled “14 day japan tour” and got several different travel service suggestions for trips, and settled on one that ran 15 days, and edited it down to make it fit. The suggested tour stops at each location were all written in traveloguese (Breathtaking! Thrilling! Unimaginable Luxury! Red Hot Vixens! Oh, wait—wrong one), so this stuff got edited out so that we got a list of cities, and a list of sights.

Next, the travel between each usually called for a train, and luckily there are enough online train schedules for Japan to make it a snap to figure out.

If all you want to know is travel time.

Oddly, it’s harder when you want to find actual distances. And another thing, the mysterious Japanese use some sort of odd measuring system that uses something called the ki-lo-meter.

So, yet another website, or three, to figure distances, and then some judicious use of yet another website to translate these enigmatic distances into American. All said and done, it worked out pretty well, as long as the teacher doesn’t get too weirded out by instances of slightly more than two days when you figure in arrivals and departures.

Food: Okay, yet another potential for disaster averted. Boy had to fix three separate food dishes, and had it in his mind to fix something grand and involved, aided and abetted by a certain wife of mine and her collection of cookbooks. I intervened yesterday and went to the store to pick out a few ingredients that would be quick, simple, and more or less Asian. What I settled on was a little make-your-own-sushi kit, some rice thread noodles, some wonton wrappers, and an assortment of vegetable stuff and a little meat.

Sushi kit came with rice and some seaweed wrappers, and that’s about it. I figured some carrot ribbons, a couple of pieces of bamboo shoot, and a bit of fake crabmeat would work fine. It looked pretty cool once I got it rolled up, but the little wrappers are tiny and it was hard to roll up. I had to eat one by accident, and it was good. Dish one.

Next, some quick fried wonton noodles. Cut the wrappers into strips and dropped them into hot oil, and they were done in about five seconds. Same thing with the rice threads, although I let the oil get too hot and burnt one batch and it stank the place up pretty well. Okay, that’s the second dish.

Final one, I took some chicken breasts and sliced them up thin, dropped them in the oil, cooked them quickly and set them aside. Poured out the oil and left only enough to coat the pan, and dumped in a pack of extra firm tofu cubes, let them cook, then dumped in some straw mushrooms. Cooked a bit more, poured in some soy sauce and the cooked chicken, some white pepper, some sesame seeds, let it all mix together and get hot, and I was done. The food was put in a little oblong plastic box with a lid, and Jonathan said it looked like the bento box his friend (friend’s dad is an expat who works for a Honda supplier) brings to school all the time.


Oh, and I had to also type out the recipes. 16 point Times New Roman, natch.

Anyway, so there you go.

And yes, I know you’d have preferred some pictures, but I can’t do everything.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 02:35 PM | Comments (9)

November 06, 2007

Chet's In Heaven!

No, not like that.

I mean he's just really happy because we got an actual e-mail today, and that meant that Chet the E-Mail Boy got to swing into a flurry of activity (as flurrisome as he gets, at least) as he got busy transcribing it from Morse code to Linotype to a printed sheet for me to edit then back to the Linotype and then back to me with the final copy.

Gosh, this better be good:

from: Marc Velazquez
10:33 am (3 hours ago)
to: Terry Oglesby
date: Nov 6, 2007 10:33 AM
subject: Sonic Snack

Hey Terry!

Hey Marc!

I hope you'll forgive my "nudgings" to get you back into some kind of posting habit. I do miss the daily fun we had.

Sorry, Marc. But I just can't anymore. In the immortal words of Chief Joseph, "I will blog no more forever." Or something like that. So you'll never ever have a need to ever come back by here, because there won't be any more new material.

Then again, most of it was leftovers anyway...

With that said, please feel free to use the following for posting material: Have you seen and tried the new snack, Deep Fried Macaroni and Cheese Bites, from Sonic?

I've seen the commercials, but have not observed them in their natural habitat.

When I first saw the commercial I thought, "How did they get that from Terry?" You mentioned last week about the boys in the R&D Kitchen Lab were hard at work, thus my curiosity. The article I gave the link for mentions that Sonic is not the first to come up with this snack.

The closest Sonic to me is over 20 miles away, ergo no FMCB's for me yet.

Please shed some light on this snack scenario, oh Grand Poobah of AoW and Cornaguin creator!

Actually, this idea is one of Possumblog Kitchen's rejects.

As you know, we believe it's important to have a sharpened stick inserted into our foods, and we believe in large quantities. Ever tried to stick a wooden stick into a big bowl of mac and cheese and pick it up? Doesn't work very well. We wound up using that wagonwheel pasta stuff that has an axle hole in the middle, which worked pretty well, but then someone pointed out that there was no meat.

We tried working on a chili mac version, and that didn't work, either. Then we went back to the drawing board and decided to take some of our tender, farm-raised manatees and feed them a strict diet of macaroni and cheese, and as a result, we now have a new product--Mac'n'Cheesatees! All the rich, blubbery goodness of genuine Florida manatee, sprinkled thru'n'thru with tasty bits of pasta and wholesome American cheese, all wrapped up in a warm, crunchy cornbread-batter coating, and then deep fried in TRANS-FAT FREE OIL, and of course, served on a genuine hardwood dowel, precisely sharpened for your eating enjoyment!

So, you know, if Sonic wants to stick (so to speak) with their puny little puffs of macaroni and cheese, eh, whatever. I'd rather that they'd invest in more fresh-faced, tightly-packed leggy blonde corn-fed carhops, and find some way to do away with all the slack-jawed pimply doofus dudes. But that could just be me.

Or not.

[PS With the writers strike in Hollywood, this could be a golden opportunity for someone like you who has a talent for comedic writing. Not to mention your vast knowledge of fine Southern living!]

Since when did it take talent to write for Hollywood?

These people are supposed to be the cream of the creative crop, yet all I hear on the news are these goomers walking around and chanting the EXACT SAME "Two-four-six-eight-insert your insufferably twee demand here and attempt to make it rhyme with 'eight'" commie protester chant that's been around FOREVER! Buncha crappy hacks can't come up with something better than THAT!? And they want more money for it!? Please. I say it's time for studios to start outsourcing some of that work to Mumbai or Jakarta or Singapore. If you're gonna get rusty retreaded crap anyway, why not economize a bit?

Good thing I don't blog anymore or I'd have to say something about it.

Hope things are going well for you and the rest of the Oglesby clan. I'm already starting to get sick of seeing Christmas commercials, considering I'm still eating stolen "Halloween" candy.

Speaking of Oglesby clan. Odd how Marc segues right from asking about us to talking about eating stolen candy.


There now.

But yes, we're all doing just fine, thank you for asking. And NONE of us are in jail!


As for Hallothanksgivchristmannukwanzyear'sday, I'm not tired of it yet. Marc, however...

I use the quote marks since the candy came from the Harvest celebration at church, or whatever euphemism they happened to label it with. I did get my own bag of candy, though, at the end of the night after manning the dinosaur bean-bag toss and picking up those *$#% stupid bags for 90 minutes. Ah well, at least the kids had fun (I hope).

I know how irritating it can be, but REALLY, Marc--you mustn't insist on calling the little old church ladies "*$#% stupid bags." At least not to their faces.

I saw Auburn is creeping up the rankings, though it would take a Bear Bryant-sized miracle for them to crack the top 8 and get into the BCS.

Not gonna happen, what with only two games left in the season. And Bama is probably pretty desperate for Tommy Tuberville not to start on another hand's worth of fingers. One prediction? Should Alabama win the Iron Bowl, I guarantee you someone will have tee-shirts on sale five minutes afterward with a cartoon Big Al holding up his middle finger (toe? What do elephants have?) and saying "I got your finger right here, Auburn!"

It's called "class," you know.

Anyway, Auburn won't get any sort of BCS recognition this year.

I watched some of the LSU-Alabama game and noticed some lovely ladies wearing houndstooth hats with yellow/purple coloring. It was pretty funny, unless you're a Crimson Tide fan.

The LSUsers do seem to take his departure from Miami awfully hard. It would probably not be quite so bad except they wound up with Les "I am Certifiably Insane" Miles. I congratulate them for winning all these so far, but he's not coaching Notre Dame and shouldn't rely on sheer blind luck to continue to win games for him. Fourth and half a foot and some of the toughest linemen and backs around, and you CALL A TRICK PLAY!? Moron.

And I know moron...

Well, at least Darth Saban had his somber face on after the game. Hmmm, maybe you can whip up some Cornabogs (batter-dipped and fried Bulldog on a stick) for the weekend?

AND there's another coach who's not screwed together right. That stupid display against Florida was weapons-grade, Howard Dean, outhouse rat crazy. Anyway, should be a pretty good game...

Bountiful blessings,


Wow. Makes me wish I still blogged.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 02:51 PM | Comments (29)

July 31, 2007

Thank goodness there ain't no potted meat on that list.

Via the mighty muscular Megabeth, this list from the Alabama Department of Public Health (.pdf) of all sorts of canned meat'n'beans-type foods associated with or affected by the recent Castleberry's botulism recall.

I haven't been following this, because I never really thought it was anything more than Castleberry products, but I neglected to remind myself of the advice I keep giving my kids. They always want the stuff advertised on teevee, and I keep trying to tell them that in most cases the store brand is the exact same stuff by the exact same companies, so there's no use paying extra for it. Now I realize some store brand stuff isn't quite the same quality, so, you know, "YMMV" and all, but for the most part, it's cheaper to just have one production line making all the same stuff, rather than a separate one for the cheapo junk.

ANYWAY--back to the point--I thought it was just Castleberry, but the list from the ADPH has a list of brands, including Bryan, Southern Home (Food World/Bruno's store brand), and Thrifty Maid (Winn-Dixie's store brand). We shop at the latter two stores, and to my utter horror, I know for a fact that we have several cans of the Bryan Chili with Beans in the pantry (probably had a coupon for it, since it's several pennies more expensive than the store brands).

I sure hope it's not be affected by the recall--I'll be sure and check it when I get home.

Oh, and by the way--botulism is not a nice, fun disease that you can use to get off from work for a long weekend. (Dangitall). From the CDC:

How can botulism be treated?

The respiratory failure and paralysis that occur with severe botulism may require a patient to be on a breathing machine (ventilator) for weeks, plus intensive medical and nursing care. After several weeks, the paralysis slowly improves. If diagnosed early, foodborne and wound botulism can be treated with an antitoxin which blocks the action of toxin circulating in the blood. This can prevent patients from worsening, but recovery still takes many weeks. Physicians may try to remove contaminated food still in the gut by inducing vomiting or by using enemas. Wounds should be treated, usually surgically, to remove the source of the toxin-producing bacteria. Good supportive care in a hospital is the mainstay of therapy for all forms of botulism. Currently, antitoxin is not routinely given for treatment of infant botulism.

Are there complications from botulism?

Botulism can result in death due to respiratory failure. However, in the past 50 years the proportion of patients with botulism who die has fallen from about 50% to 8%. A patient with severe botulism may require a breathing machine as well as intensive medical and nursing care for several months. Patients who survive an episode of botulism poisoning may have fatigue and shortness of breath for years and long-term therapy may be needed to aid recovery.

Frankly, I'm not completely comforted that the death rate has fallen from 50% to 8%.

At least I can still enjoy my nice can of potted meat and crackers for lunch.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:05 AM | Comments (2)

July 27, 2007

It's Fortified with Minerals!

Wow--a tasty companion to Possumblog Kitchens' Chinese Tiny Morsel Hi-Fiber Buns! Sara Lee recalls bread that may have metal pieces

Mmmm--sounds almost as good as a Spring Surprise.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 12:22 PM | Comments (2)

July 23, 2007

Daily Grooming Tip!

Don't bring spinach dip to work if your job requires you to talk to people face-to-face.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:42 AM | Comments (0)

July 19, 2007

I feel queasy.

No, not from the last story, from this little advertising header in my Gmail spam file: "Combine grapes, spam, peapods and onions in large bowl..."

That's frightening.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:08 PM | Comments (8)

Never fear, MINE aren't!

Beijing's cardboard-stuffed buns a hoax


The Associated Press

BEIJING (AP) — A freelance reporter for a Beijing television station has been detained for faking a hidden camera report about street vendors who used chemical-soaked cardboard to fill meat buns, local media said. [...]

The story, allegedly shot with a hidden camera, was first broadcast on Beijing Television's Life Channel on June 8 and then again on China Central Television last week.

It created a buzz on the Internet, and people flooded chat rooms with comments expressing shock and disgust. On the YouTube Web site, the video had been viewed more than 6,000 times by Thursday.

Beijing Television apologized to the public during an evening news broadcast Wednesday and said the reporter, identified by the official Xinhua News Agency as Zi Beijia, was detained by police. A copy of the broadcast was obtained by AP Television News on Thursday.

"He used deceptive means to get the footage on the air," said news anchor Wang Ye, without giving specifics. "The Beijing Public Security Bureau has taken the criminal suspect, Zi, into custody and he will be severely dealt with according to law."

Hmmm--so I guess "fake but accurate" doesn't go over too well in China. Well, the freelance version of it, at least.

Zi's footage appeared to show a makeshift kitchen where fluffy buns were stuffed with 60 percent cardboard that had been softened in a bath of caustic soda and 40 percent fatty pork.

Beijing Television said an investigation revealed that in mid-June, Zi brought meat, flour, cardboard and other ingredients to a downtown Beijing neighborhood and had four migrant workers make the buns for him while he filmed the process. It said Zi "gave them the idea" of mincing softened cardboard and adding it to the buns.

The newscaster said the station was "profoundly sorry" for the fake report and its "vile impact on society." The station vowed to prevent inaccurate news coverage in the future.

"We just wanted to be more like BBC and Reuters, but frankly, they're much better at producing propaganda than we are."

Police said Zi told editors he wanted to investigate the quality of pork buns, and spent two weeks visiting stands but could not find anything to report, Xinhua said. He filmed the fake report after coming under pressure to produce a story, the agency said.

I believe it's called 'the narrative was right, but the facts were wrong.'

The report prompted Beijing's health authorities to investigate more than two dozen vendors selling pork buns — a common breakfast in China. None was found to use cardboard.

Authorities said specialists determined it was impossible for cardboard buns to go unnoticed.

"Even if you mix a tiny proportion, to say 5 percent, of cardboard, the fiber substance can be easily seen, and the meat buns made this way could not be easily chewed," Xinhua said, citing a Beijing Municipal Food Safety Office spokesman.

Okay, now this is where they're just flat wrong.

I can safely say that Possumblog Kitchens' New Chinese Tiny Morsel Hi-Fiber Buns have only the tiniest of cardboard fibers, virtually invisible to the naked eye (assuming they are closed) and are so soft and tender that they could be chewed by toothless 100-year-old crones with absolutely no difficulty whatsoever!

Try them today! Now with the great flavors of either brown or white cardboard!

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 12:44 PM | Comments (0)

Dern it all.

Why couldn't I have thought of this!? (Aside from being a moron.)

It's such a clever scheme, although I do have to agree that "food miles" is rather silly. If you're gonna do real units of measure (as opposed to silly made-up French ones) a much better measure would be "food furlongs" simply for the alliterative appeal. If you just MUST have something with a Continental feel about it, maybe something like mangia miglia. If you can't resist metricizing it, Kibble Kilometers would work--it has alliteration, the inherent comedy of SI units, and the hard-K sound favored by krazy komiks from Kalamazoo to Kalgoorlie to Katmandu. (You know, the hard-K sound found in a duck's kwak is one of the reasons that the duck the best animal to use for for elevating a subject's humor quotient.)

ANYway, I've got to come up with some sort of virtue/vice-offset scheme that people will pay me for.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:45 AM | Comments (0)

July 17, 2007

Saaaay--that's pretty interesting!

If you're down in Auburn tomorrow, you might want to check this out: Estimating Project Volatility using Monte Carlo Simulation in Real Options Analysis

Stuff like this is really interesting to me, because I drove a '72 Monte Carlo in high school.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:39 AM | Comments (10)

July 12, 2007

Oh, come on--it's just a little cellulose!

Beijing steamed buns include cardboard

BEIJING - Chopped cardboard, softened with an industrial chemical and flavored with fatty pork and powdered seasoning, is a main ingredient in batches of steamed buns sold in one Beijing neighborhood, state television said. [...]

Baozi are a common snack in China, with an outer skin made from wheat or rice flour and and a filling of sliced pork. Cooked by steaming in immense bamboo baskets, they are similar to but usually much bigger than the dumplings found on dim sum menus familiar to many Americans.

The hidden camera follows the man, whose face is not shown, into a ramshackle building where steamers are filled with the fluffy white buns, traditionally stuffed with minced pork.

The surroundings are filthy, with water puddles and piles of old furniture and cardboard on the ground.

"What's in the recipe?" the reporter asks. "Six to four," the man says.

"You mean 60 percent cardboard? What is the other 40 percent?" asks the reporter. "Fatty meat," the man replies.

The bun maker and his assistants then give a demonstration on how the product is made.

Squares of cardboard picked from the ground are first soaked to a pulp in a plastic basin of caustic soda — a chemical base commonly used in manufacturing paper and soap — then chopped into tiny morsels with a cleaver. Fatty pork and powdered seasoning are stirred in. [...]

MMMMmmmm! Sounds like a new product for Possumblog Kitchens--Chinese Tiny Morsel Hi-Fiber Buns!

Anyway, you know, I think most people would be more repulsed if they knew exactly what sort of "fatty meat' was being used, given the Asian predilection for consuming the flesh of a wide variety of undomesticated animals.

All I can say is you can rest assured our new Chinese Tiny Morsel Hi-Fiber Buns will be made with only the finest manatee.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:42 AM | Comments (2)

July 09, 2007

Speaking of stir fry...

...in the microwave--I didn't get the memo about it, but apparently today is "Bring Horrific-Smelling Foods From Home and Cook Them Right Outside Terry's Door" Day. Earlier someone brought in rancid fried fish, then there was a couple of indistinguishable funkfoods that smelled something like feet and sewage mixed together, and now someone just nuked something with the unmistakable topnote of "Chinese Rat Slaughterhouse."

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:00 PM | Comments (0)

As you all know...

...Miss Reba is an excellent cook, but I do think it might have been better to go ahead and take the shells off the tails of the shrimp that she tossed into the stir fry. Because if you leave them on there, they tend to come off in your food, and it can be uncomfortable when you're just a'chewing along minding your own business and bite into a crunchy sharp tail fin.

Just sayin'.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 12:29 PM | Comments (0)

Rain, Part II

I forgot the other exciting thing--Catherine's cucumbers seem to have gotten the idea to grow, and we found a great big one yesterday.

She was horrified that I ate it for supper last night, though.

She wanted to make a pickle out of it.

We tried to explain to her that it's hard to do a batch of pickles with just one cucumber, but this didn't seem to matter at all to her. She gave me the stink-eye for the rest of the evening.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:44 AM | Comments (6)

July 06, 2007

For those of you who use Gmail..

...or for those who don't, really doesn't matter. Anyway, Google's privacy invaders, in exchange for allowing you to have unlimited storage of emails, will sift through all your communications and glean words and phrases that match words and phrases related to people who advertise on their site, hoping that you will see something that interests you, because you've already been using words like "goat" and "depilatory," and they just signed up Flenster's Goat Depilatory and Udder Wax as a Google Ad Partner, and so they'll throw a link to their website up at the top of the page--discretely--and hope you'll click on it.

ALL THAT, to note that Gmail has a folder for spam, which means that there are a tremendous amount of links related to Spam®, and Spam®-related recipes, and Spam®-themed merchandise.

But I have to say, some of the things are just not pleasant, such as this one that just popped up:

Spam Swiss Pie - Bake 45-55 minutes or until eggs are set

Something about reading that short phrase just makes my guts churn like an industrial washing machine. And I also have to wonder what the Swiss did to deserve something like this.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:37 PM | Comments (0)

June 21, 2007


We got home yesterday and started the rush to get supper done so we could get to church on time, and for some reason Catherine kept wanting to show me her radishes.

Got everything started heating up, and decided to humor her and go see what she's grown so far. "ARE THEY READY TO PICK, DADDY!?"

I chuckled and said I doubted it.

And then I actually looked at them--HEY! RADISHES!!

She's only got a small 4 foot long row of them, maybe about twenty plants that came up, but sure enough, she had several big red lumps sticking up out of the ground, and we wound up picking about seven that were between the size of ping-pong balls and the rubber balls that are connected to paddle ball paddles with rubber bands. 'Bout this big. [holding thumb and forefinger tips together to make a circle, then moving forefinger down to the first joint on the thumb]

Anyway, I think I was more excited than she was. FRESH RADISH FOR SUPPER!

Took them in and washed them and cut off the greens. I know I shouldn't, but I discarded these even though they can be cooked or made into salad because I've never been a big fan of their flavor, and also, these had a ton of bug bites all over them. OH, but the radishes--nice red, bright white inside.

I sliced one up and added a dash of salt, and popped it in my mouth--warm, earthy, slighly pungent--perfect fresh produce.

"Want a slice? They aren't hot."

Cat dutifully took one and immediately began fanning her mouth.

"YUCK! You said they weren't hot, Daddy!"

Well, the slice I had wasn't. We finished putting the food on the table and I offered some to the rest of the kids and Reba. The kids declined, but Reba took a bite and also experienced a bit of fire. How odd.

I confidently grabbed another slice and munched on it and it was just fine and WHOA! BOY THAT'S HOT!

Sneaky little devils.

But boy it was good.

Until about halfway through church, when the enticing, peppery flavor began subtly repeating itself all through my innards. The drive home was even more distressing, with great sulphurous clouds of toxic gas building up and causing tremendous pressure on various portions of my body.

Thank goodness for Tums.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:46 AM | Comments (4)

June 12, 2007

Truth in Advertising?

Oh, come on--if they called it "Poop-Flavored Hell" no one would buy it!

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:29 AM | Comments (0)

May 29, 2007


How could I have forgotten this!?

It's so tremendously exciting that I must have just blacked out or something!

Reba put on a stack of country-style ribs in the stovetop roasting pan yesterday morning, and after I took them out, I was left with a pan full of stock.


(get ready!)

Catherine and I made some soup!

Yes, I KNOW! Just one thrill after another!

Anyway, the start of the World's Simplest Pot of Homemade Soup was the aforementioned panful of ribs. The seasoning on the meat was a curious blend of Old Bay, salt, pepper, and onions. I've been caught using it on meats other than seafood before, but I don't think we've ever used it on pork ribs before.

Anyway, we probably had about a half gallon of stock. Strained out the fatty hunks (although I did recover the onion slivers) and got Cat to go to the pantry with me to find something else to put in there. She picked out one can each of Great Northern beans, butter peas, black-eyed peas, green beans, and a can of diced tomatoes cooked with oregano and garlic. I operated the can opener and she drained the cans (except the tomatoes--that we put in as it was) and poured them all by herself into the pot.

Set it on low, put a lid on it, and let it cook for an hour or so, and I have to tell you, that was some VERY good soup. (Don't tell her, but I did put in a dash of Crystal hot sauce.) I was going to bring some for lunch today but I forgot. Reba will sometime make soup like this, and it's good, but this batch was less tomatoey and more brothy, and I'm making myself drool just thinking about it.

Boy and Cat and I had it for lunch yesterday, and I've never see Jonathan eat soup quite as eagerly. Especially considering it had green beans in it, which he generally won't eat unless they're accompanied by ranch dressing. But both of them ate two bowls apiece of it, and would have eaten more if they'd been allowed. Catherine also made sure Mom and Ashley and Rebecca had some for supper last night, too.

That was some mighty good soup.

OH, and the ribs were pretty good, too, but they'll be better once they're chopped up with some sauce put on them.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 02:48 PM | Comments (0)

May 24, 2007

The things I do to entertain you people!

I had to cover the front desk today so the secretary could go to lunch, and since I didn't have any time to waste going across the street for lunch (not to mention the fact that I only had four bucks on me), I hied myself to the snack bar in the basement to see if there was anything worth hunting and gathering.

We've had a sandwich machine down there for a few months now, but I have resisted, up until now, the urge to purchase anything. But I was hungry, and needed blog fodder, and so I fed my bills into the change machine and plunked down 9 quarters for...

9.65 ounces (273 grams) of "Fully cooked beef and onion patty (beef, water, onions, textured vegetable protein product (soy protein concentrate, caramel color, zinc oxide, niacinamide, ferrous sulfate, copper gluconate, vitamin A palmitate, calcium pantothenate, thiamin mononitrate (B-1), pyroxine hydrochloride (B-6), riboflavin (B-2) cyanocobalmin (B-12), seasoning (hydrolized corn protein, dextrose, salt, onion powder, spices), sodium phosphates, caramel color), enriched bun (enriched bleached wheat flour (wheat flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamin mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid, enzymes), water, sugar, partially hydrogenated soybean and cottonseed oils, sesame seeds, contains 2% or less of yeast, salt, calcium sulfate, enzymes, monoglyceride, tricalcium phosphate, wheat starch ascorbic acid, azodicarbonamide, calcium stearate, sorbitan monostearate, citric acid, silicon dioxide (flow agent), calcium propionate (perservative), pasteurized process American cheese (cheddar cheese (pasteurized milk, cheese culture, salt, enzymes), milkfat, water, sodium citrate, salt, sodium phosphate, sorbic acid as a preservative, oleoresin paprika (color), annatto (color), with starch added for slice separation). Contains: Wheat, soybean, milk, sesame seeds."

The only drawback?

The name. It's the BIG AZ BURGER, courtesy of our fine vending concessionaire and Pierre Foods, Inc. of Cincinnati, Ohio. I realize I'm in the minority on this, but still, must EVERY SINGLE COMPONENT of popular culture race toward such shallow punkish coarseness?

I had hoped before I did my online searching that maybe Pierre was located in Arizona, and could conceivably have some redemptive excuse for using AZ to describe their (admittedly) very large burger patty, but, alas, no.

Fo shiz.

I guess there's probably a certain demographic they were shooting for, for whom eating something named for an adjective for a donkey or the human posterior is both breathtakingly and boldly countercultural. But (so to speak) for me, I'd rather not be reminded about the fundamental parts of the cow that can be ground up and still be considered "beef."

Oh well--I realize there are some who see the vast store of humor involved--and apparently the company's not afraid of a copyright challenge from David Letterman and his canned ham, so who am I to worry about such things?

ANYWAY, I don't eat vending machine burgers very much (never) but since I wanted something to eat, I figured eh, why not.

Opened one end of the package, shoved it in the microwave, set it on two minutes, waited two minutes, and upon being warned by the buzzer on the oven, I removed my piping hot Big Az Beef Charbroil with Cheese on a Bun and was impressed by the slathering of yellow spilling out everywhere. Especially since I didn't realize until after reading the package that it came with cheese--I thought it was just a big az plain burger on a bun. So, you know, BONUS!

The smell was not unfamiliar--a somewhat piquant blend of food vending machine quality beef with a woody undertone reminiscent of a well-used poleax handle. I scurried back to my desk with my piping hot provender, plopped it onto a paper towel, and lifted back the bun to add condiments--mustard, mayo, ketchup. I was impressed with the appearance of the slab of beefiness--on one side it had an impressive tattoo of grill marks, and on the other, the familiar wafflelike cheesecloth texture of highly processed ground animal products, familiar to prison inmates and concession stand workers everywhere.

And the flavor?

Well, it was still too scalding hot to pick up, so I had to use my plastic utensils from the drawer. Maybe it was the delicate nature of using flatware to gently cut and carve the burger into bite-sized (although still big az'd enough for a man like me) pieces, but no matter, after chewing it up and swallowing it, I have to say, it was pretty doggone good!

No weird chunks of unchewable cartilage, no stringy ligaments, nothing that caused me to blanch or quake or quiver, and yes, even after being microwaved, the bun was really okay. Overall, it was actually a better, and less expensive, burger than the ones they used to serve in the snack bar when there was actually someone running the kitchen part of it.

So, a qualified yea--not quite the best burger in the world, but still quite impressive for something in a refrigerated vending machine. I'd still change the name, though, simply out of deference to the more prudish amongst us. Maybe something like THE BIG O BURGER or something.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 02:48 PM | Comments (7)

May 18, 2007



It's apparently been awhile, because he had two magazines and I had a stack three inches high. Not that I'm complaining.

Off to Casawood for some fine conversation and a fine meal at Los Compadres over in the Palisades. Pretty good, and nothing if not fast. It is a bit different from most Mexican places in that there is no separate chip and salsa boy, but that's okay because the waitress brought it out and she was pretty.

I had the La Favorita, a combination of a chile relleno, a beef fajita, and a flauta, all served on a blazing hot Fiestaware plate that had apparently just been removed from the kiln. It was good, after it cooled off, although I'm still wondering how they're going to ever clean the scorched cheese off the plate. Service was good, if a bit hard to understand sometimes, and the price was around 9 bucks with tip.

AS FOR THE CONVERSATION, the usual topics of children, cars, work, our rapidly degenerating physical condition, auto body repair, kidney stones, childbirth, and The Way of All Flesh.

Jeff's grandmother passed away earlier this week, so he and his family have been down in Louisiana, and so the topic got onto longevity. His father's family seemed to have had quite long-lived--Jeff's great grandmother not passing until she was 103, and his grandfather still hale and hearty at 90. Their secret? I figured they must be descended from some of those Ukrainian yogurt-eaters, but according to Jeff, they keep their edge through the consumption of one fluid ounce of clear grain alcohol per day, as well as drinking hot water. Not coffee or tea, just plain hot water.

Hard to argue with success, I suppose. Although I do wish they'd go find some folks who lived to 125 through a steady diet of cheap Mexican food and Diet Coke.

ANYway, it was a fun afternoon, even with all the talk of la muerte.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:13 PM | Comments (0)

May 16, 2007

I feel queasy.

Rhody-reared Rocket Scientist Steevil sends along a link to a Providence Journal story about Rhode Island's stellar contribution to America's panoply of roadfood delicacies.

I asked Steevil if Rhode Islanders don't know what barbecue is. He says, "No, and you really don't want to know what American Chop Suey (another RI specialty) is."

The mind boggles. The stomach quivers.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:00 AM | Comments (6)

May 04, 2007

Can't you people just leave well enough alone?!

Yesterday, as I was between bouts of assaulting and battering Chet the E-Mail Boy, Tarheel Marc asked if I'd yet tried the new Diet Coke Plus™ (a vitamin-infused bastardization of the basic formula).

I allowed that I was out of the loop on this new elixir, but that I would certainly be willing to give it a go if it cost the same and tasted the same as regular Diet Coke®. The addition of vitamins, while an interesting sort of thing, isn't something I wouldn't pay more for it, and it isn't one of those things I've been craving (getting, as I do, all of my vitaminic nutrition from a variety of other foods, such as Vienna sausages), but still, I wouldn't discount the soda based just because it had something good for you in it.

Anyway, imagine my utter surprise this morning when I stopped at the convenience store for a drive-time breakfast snack, and there right before me in the cooler was an entire rack of this product!

Obviously, it would do you a disservice, gentle readers, were I not to purchase this beverage and give you a review of it.

Following is that review:

The bottle has the familiar Coke®-bottle shape of other Coke® products, although it does have a peculiar addition of a tealish-turquoisey colored banding on the label and cap that makes me queasy. I suppose it's intended to make the consumer think of such things as Propel®, which personally I find tastes like dirty socks.

Upon reading the label, I see that it describes itself as "Diet Coke® with Viamins and Minerals," and sure enough, it says on the back that it has niacinamide (vitamin B3), pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6) and cyanocobalimin (vitamin B12).

The taste?

Well, it ain't Diet Coke®. The first taste is familiar, but it has a peculiar afterwhang that is reminscent of Dial® Antibacterial Handwash. It's not overwhelming, but it IS there--sort of a fruity, chemically note that completely and utterly ruins EVERYTHING I LOVE ABOUT DIET COKE!

Of course, I also disdain the other garbage flavors they keep trying to put in there--lemon, lime, black cherry, ocelot urine, vanilla, mango--why keep mucking with it!?

Anyway, now that I've tried it I don't have to worry about it anymore.

Oh, and by the way, here are the OTHER things in DC+ that aren't in the regular version:

Magnesium sulfate, potassium sorbate, acesulfame potassium, and zinc gluconate.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:58 AM | Comments (4)

May 02, 2007

A Condiment Conundrum.

If the mayonnaise packet in your desk drawer is solid, do you think it would still be okay to use?

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 02:01 PM | Comments (12)

March 14, 2007

Coals to Newcastle?

Maybe--Big Bob Gibson BBQ in 1st expansion with North Carolina franchise

DECATUR, Ala. (AP) — Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q Restaurant, which began as a backyard pit stop in the 1920s and became a landmark north Alabama eatery, will open its first franchise location in Monroe, N.C., on March 26. [...]

The restaurant has won many prizes, including grand champion at the World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest in Memphis, but had not ventured outside Decatur.

"North Carolina is its own barbecue region," [Gibson vice president and head chef Chris] Lilly told The Decatur Daily. "They typically have whole hogs, and they're known for their vinegar-based sauces. It's not unlike what we do, where we take our barbecue right off the pit and let the customer decide what sort of sauce they want to use." [...]

Be an interesting thing to see. It'll probably do well, but the article notes plans for an awful lot of citified extras that weren't around in the long ago:

[...] Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q, which is known for its tomato-based sauce but offers other varieties, was founded by Decatur resident Bob Gibson, known as "Big Bob" because he was 6-feet-4 and weighed 300 pounds. Out of his hand-dug pit, Gibson began serving barbecue in the 1920s from a makeshift oak plank table nailed to a tree in his backyard. [...]

Now if you could franchise THAT, you might be doing something!

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:12 PM | Comments (17)

March 13, 2007

Now THAT was a lunch!

Absolutely gorgeous day for a walk today--light breeze, low humidity, pleasant temperature, lots of happy smiley sunshine. Just perfect.

I had to make a trip down 20th Street today to take some articles to the Goodyear Shoe Hospital--one, a shoe of Reba's which had an ankle strap coming loose (due to Oldest's habit of not undoing shoes to take them off or put them on), and two, a Boy Scout cap with a torn-asunder adjustment strap. Seems Boy was messing with it last night as his meeting and "it just came apart in my hand!" Riiiiiight. Both sides of the plastic band neatly ripped from their moorings? I have feeling horseplay was involved, and probably no small amount of monkeyshines. Most certainly shenanigans.

Anyway, I wasn't sure the shoe place could fix it, what with it being a non-shoe item and all, but as soon as the lady was off the phone, she'd already grabbed two claim tickets, and I didn't even have to explain what I wanted. "They'll be ready after 3:00 tomorrow."

THAT is service. And the place is interesting, too, with all sorts of odd smells and machinery, and an occasional shop cat walking across the counter.

On back down the street to eat, because I had noticed that El Mexicano was now open. This is what used to be Sabor Latino, and/or Sabor Mazatlan, and/or Tower Cafe back when it was in the Frank Nelson Building. They've been shuttered for a while at that location, and the promised move to the north has been going on for what seems like years. They're now in the location where McDonald's used to be, next door to where the flower shop used to be, which is itself next door to where the post office branch used to be. From what I can tell, though, the move from 1st Avenue was a good one. Walked in and was impressed at the packitude of the customers--just about every table was taken, and taken by big groups of people.

There were a few familiar faces--that of the friendly scowling owner, that of the former chip passer-outer guy (who now seems to have advanced quite a bit further up the ladder), and one waitress I recognized. It appears they've added about three more waitresses, and all of them seemed to be in a distracted tizzy of activity. The young lady who had my table was pretty and pleasant enough, but I think it must be hard to get too involved in mindless chit-chat when all that bustle is going on. But she was nonetheless sweet and was incredibly polite, so she got a good tip.


Oh, yeah, I did order some of that--the combo platter with a taco, flauta, and burrito. As with the old location, it was hot and familiar and freshly made. The taco was a bit disappointing--just cheese and meat, but the flauta was perfect and the burrito was the size of a baby's arm. I think it was $5.75 plus drink and tax. Upon approaching the cash register after I was done, I was disappointed that the cashier girl of J-Lovian proportions who'd worked at the old location didn't seem to be around, but her substitute more than made up for her absence.


And I am unanimous in this.

Anyway, good to see they're back in operation again and that they're pumping out the food.

On back to work, where I was treated to one of those Magic City wonders I so enjoy--an angry disturbed man who was beating a payphone to death because it wasn't working. Probably from having been hit too many times by angry disturbed people. Anyway, after clobbering the thing several times with the handset and screaming at it, he threw down the talky part and began stalking up the sidewalk screaming and cussing some more.

So glad he was on the other side of the street!

All in all, a great day for a walk.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:55 PM | Comments (3)

February 27, 2007

Mmm. Food!

Or at least those who write about it, either as a profession or as a hobby.

As usual, it seems the professionals are somewhat disdainful of the hobbyists, because apparently not just anyone is discerning enough to appreciate the subtle nuances inherent in consuming a bad steak served badly.

In any event, the guarantee of quality in either food or writing can never be determined solely by the price paid for it.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:45 PM | Comments (0)

February 15, 2007

You know what this means.

SARS-linked civet cats back on the menu in China

Possumblog Kitchens' fine line of frozen foods once more can offer you Cornivets™, the scrumptious treat of cornbread-battered and deep-fried civet cat on a stick! Ask for them wherever you find Cornatees™, Cornguins™, Cornutria™, Cornephant™, Cornorca™, and Corniraffe™!

And remember, all Possumblog Kitchens products are guaranteed to be 99.3% disease free!

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:37 AM | Comments (2)

February 14, 2007


A right good post from a good fellow who knows stuff about cooking, and about teaching your children to cook.

I admit that in our house we tend to eat too much packaged food, but we also try to work in some instruction for the kids as well on how to cook actual food, and by "cook" I mean more than pushing 3 on the microwave.

The old saw about 'give a man a fish, he eats for a day; teach a man to fish, and he can eat for a lifetime' (or in the bowdlerized version, 'and he will be a liar forever') probably should have some corollary about the necessity of also teaching him to clean and cook that fish. Although sashimi might be right up yer alley, most people would rather the food be run through the fire for a while.

Teach you kids to cook, or make sure they take home ec in school. And yes, even the guys. Hardly a better place to find girls, after all. And ones that can cook.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:44 AM | Comments (2)

February 12, 2007

Speaking of Food...

...Delawarean Fritz Schranck does us all a huge favor and gathers all of his recipes into one convenient place.

I do hope there will soon be something up specifically for blue hens.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:29 AM | Comments (2)

February 06, 2007


Dr. Possum is going to have to wait just a bit because I am having lunch with Pam the Liberal and her Trusty Intern. Be back in an hour.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:44 AM | Comments (0)

February 05, 2007

The art and science of...


Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:03 AM | Comments (0)

February 01, 2007

It's probably not even real food.

Probably one of those Lean Soylent Green meals that are so popular amongst the dieting set.

But someone just cooked something in the microwave outside my office, and the smell is about to empty my mouth-watering apparatus. It's some sort of beef with gravy smell, but of a richness and headiness that it defies categorization. It smells like what the guys and gals up on Mount Olympus must have on the days when the ambrosia runs low, or maybe when they go to eat at the steakhouse.

I've GOT to go get some lunch! Now.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:57 AM | Comments (2)

January 30, 2007

And here I thought...

...that only mobile homes attracted tornadoes. Little did I know that bananas also have this effect.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:36 AM | Comments (0)

January 23, 2007


I made someone hungry and curious!

Kitchen Hand commented down below in the "crackers in your soup?" post about those wacky South Australians who dunk a meat pie into soup (probably trying to make a root beer ice cream float without root beer or ice cream) and with Chef Tony's addition about Loozyana meat pies and pies made out of whales (or maybe it was pies made in Wales), it got KH to wondering about what all this stuff has in common.

And so he presents, A History of the Pie in Nine Paragraphs.

What I don't see is how one of the staples of my youth fits into all of this. When I was a youngster, there was hardly anything better than the nights when we had pot pies. A tiny aluminum tray from the frozen food section at Winn-Dixie, filled with thick creamy soup, three English peas, five tiny cubes of carrot, and some slivers of chicken or beef, all covered over with a flaky crust.

Mmmmm--nothing like that! They probably cost a dime apiece, which is probably why we had them on a regular basis.

Even bigger treat?

Those rare occasions when Mama would spring for the Banquet version instead of the store-brand, because the name brand type not only had a top crust, it EVEN HAD A BOTTOM CRUST!! I would carefully separate the top crust, lay it aside, eat the filling, then the bottom crust, then finally the top crust.


Switching gears a bit, as for the soup I made last weekend, it's really easy. Since we had to make so much so we could take it to church with us, it would have been too expensive to get canned soup or dry soup mix, so I got a pack of mixed bean soup mix from the aisle with dried beans and peas and stuff.

And being a child of my mother's, I got the inexpensive store-brand bag of beans. They're dried beans, fer cryin' out loud! No reason that one package should be twice as expensive as another! Anyway, the package of 16 beans included all the usual suspects, along with a small package of seasoning.

Before you soak or boil the beans, pour a few at a time in your hand and look for ones that are bug bitten or to see if you can find any rocks. This is a vital necessity, because although boiling water makes the beans soft, it seems to have little effect on the composition of rocks. And I did find a rock in the bag I got, but relatively few with bug bites. (Which really aren't anything more than cosmetic issues, at least for me. I rarely look at the beans as I'm eating the soup, and figure any bugs are probably dead after being cooked overnight. But Mama says you're supposed to get those out, so I do.)

The better way (I think) to prepare the beans is to let them soak overnight, but I couldn't wait that long to let them rehydrate, so I did what they said to do on the bag and boiled them on high heat for twenty minutes, let them steep for an hour, then poured off the water and refilled it with fresh water and put it all in the crock pot.

You don't have to put meat in there, but since the flavoring package in the beans was supposed to be "Cajun" (whatever that might have been--it was a fine white powder, which didn't really look very Cajuny), I had decided to get a pound of Cajun smoked sausage to go in it. I sliced the links into quarters then pieces about the size of my fingertip, which I am happy to report remained firmly attached.

Put a little extra salt and black pepper in the tureen and left the thing going all night long, and in the morning had a good pot of soup. Reba asked if I'd put any tomatoes in it. "Uh, well, was I supposed to?"

Turns out that I should have. Luckily, we had a couple of cans of Ro-Tel that gave it a very nice spicy kick and finished filling up the crock.

It turned out very well, although not a lot got eaten at our church meal, I think because people didn't quite know what kind of soup it was. I figure if I'd made a little placard that said "Cajun bean and sausage soup," it would have gotten gone a lot quicker. No matter. Meant there was more for me!

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:39 AM | Comments (3)

January 12, 2007

Have I ever mentioned how much I love my wife?

I do. A lot!

So just because I'm going to say something about my wife's insistence on using the broiler pan to cook with, and the inevitable smoke alarm EEKEEKEEKEEEK sounds, does NOT mean that I don't love her with as much loving love as a loving lover-man can give a woman he loves.

Because I do love her.

A lot.

Anyway, after I got home last night from the first chauffeur trip, she and the kids had just gotten home from the grocery store themselves, and she'd brought home some very nice looking cow meat, and I was really hoping she was going to cook it in some way that didn't fill the house with the smoke of burning cow meat.

Because, you see, in my own very timid and backward way, I have in the past suggested--in as oblique a way as I know how--that maybe something might be wrong with the oven, since it never seemed to fail that when the broiler pan was employed by dear Miss Reba, the house is filled with choking clouds of smoke coming from the sizzling, broiling meat in the oven.

I have even shown her how you can put the strips of cowflesh in a baking dish, turn the oven temp down from "surface of the sun" to "blast furnace," cover the dish with some aluminum foil, and have perfectly satisfactory cooked cow meat, but WITHOUT large clouds of smoke.

Smoke which, by the way, sets off the shrieking smoke alarms throughout the house. The hallway, the kitchen, the laundry room, the den, the dining room, the garage. And that's all before it moves upstairs and sets off all of those alarms. And requires that all doors and windows be opened to clear the house and shut up the alarms.

It's really not that big of a deal.

I mean, just because the piercing EEKEEKEEKEEKEEK of the alarms feels like it's going to peel my brain hemispheres apart, it really doesn't hurt for long.


Anyway, after the inevitable recriminations that come about from making alternative cooking-method suggestions to one's wife (whom he loves) things eventually calmed back down and all was forgotten.

Which is, I suppose, why she got the broiler pan back out last night, greased it up with a spritz of Pam, and slapped those cow meats on there.


I did notice that she didn't set the oven control to "BROIL," although she did make certain the temperature was set just high enough to guarantee combustion. And thus, approximately 8 minutes into the process, there was smoke, and EEKEEKEEKEEKEEK.

"You know, we don't have to use the broiler pan since it always gets so smoky--we could always just use a baking dish--or I could even cook them on the grille!"

"I didn't have it on 'broil'!"

I learnt long ago the first rule of hole digging--when you get to the bottom, stop digging.

I dutifully opened the door from the kitchen to the garage and then the big garage door itself, while Rebecca opened the back door. The EEKEEKEEKEEK finally quieted down, and we were able to have a wonderful meal with cow meat having that sumptuous broiled flavor.

It was even better because I love my wife!


Posted by Terry Oglesby at 03:49 PM | Comments (5)

January 04, 2007

I have freely admitted it.

But I'll say it again--I am a total food rube. I hold no right to criticize anyone's taste in food or recipes, because it would just be terribly hypocritical of me.

But doggone it, even for a no-room-to-throw-stones, complete-non-chef such as me, this is a bit too much to stomach: French Fry Spam Casserole.

I mean, come ON! Wouldn't you at least want to use Tater Tots?! And use Ritz crackers on top instead of corn flakes?!

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 02:48 PM | Comments (8)

December 15, 2006

One might ask...

...what, exactly, can a highly-trained rocket scientist do besides work on rockets? Thankfully, we have a highly-trained rocket scientist on staff (that being the noted NASA employee and brother of Dr. Weevil, Steevil) who apparently has made use of his knowledge of thermodynamics and physics to not only expand the borders of man's frontiers in space, but also to make chili.

HEREWITH, Steevil's Chili Recipe:

1 lb ground meat: beef, pork, buffalo or deer are all very good. Ground
turkey I like to combine with ground beef.
1 medium sized onion
1 green or yellow or red bell pepper
cooking oil
1 16 oz can diced or crushed tomatoes
1 16 oz can kidney beans (in chili sauce or not)
1-2 cloves garlic, chopped
2-4 chili peppers--sliced lengthwise, leave out seeds for less spicy chili
1/2 tbs salt
1 tbs black pepper
1 tsp white pepper
1 tsp chili powder (for color, mostly)
couple shakes paprika
1 bay leaf
couple shakes marjoram
" " cilantro
" " rosemary
" " thyme

In pot over med-hi heat, fry sliced onion and bell peppers in the oil 'til onions start turning clear.

Dump in meat and brown.

When meat is browned, dump in can of tomatoes, feel free to rinse out can and pour that in pot, too.

Dump in garlic, chili peppers and dry ingredients, stir and bring to a simmer.

Turn to lo heat and cover, simmer for half an hour.

Dump in can of beans and bring back to a simmer.

Serve--top with shredded cheddar or Monterey jack cheese, sour cream,
salsa, bacon bits, scallions, whatever.

::sighhhhhh:: If only he looked like Rachael Ray...

Anyway, Steevil guarantees this will produce enough impulse energy to put a man-sized payload into low-earth orbit.

LATE BREAKING UPDATE! Chef Tony emails a link to"Blue's Own Texas-style Chili Recipe" by Stephen "Blue" Heaslip, which sounds good, too, although slightly more involved with such things as allowing the chili to "rest" overnight, and the fact that it's got seven pounds of meat in it.

Chef Tony sez:

My notes, I usually make half this recipe and use all sirloin and don't halve the amount of jalapenos, works out pretty well in my opinion. I also add maybe a 1/4 to 1/3 cup of vinegar cause I like that bit of tanginess. The overnight rest definitely helps but may not be practical from the sound of your situation. Sirloin just falls completely apart in this dish, it's *really* good, but not cheap. I think the next time I make it I'll buy a sirloin roast and cut it up instead of buying steak. Oh, one last thing, you can't really brown the meat over low heat, that's kind of silly. I brown the meat in a cast iron skillet in batches and throw it into the dutch oven as I go. For the size of the pot you're talking about, this recipe may need to be doubled instead of being halved like I do it ... :)

SO, there you go!

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:54 PM | Comments (8)

December 11, 2006

I'm certain that...

...leftover scallops and sausage Creole probably sounded like a good idea.

Then again, if we could come up with a fancy name for it, there might be a market for it--I would suggest "Dr. Schranck's Patented Microbial-Action Alimentary Cleanser."

(Hope you're feeling less horrible, Fritz.)

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 04:27 PM | Comments (2)

Cacahuates Japonés

We had to stop last night on the way home to pick up some paper towels and olives (we needed them for our favorite Absorbent Cellulose Salad) and the store has a small section of Spanish-language labelled food and housekeeping stuff over by itself, and I noticed a little bag of gray-beige nodules.

"Oh, it's food," I said to myself, after reading the ingredients, which were in English. I put them back and turned to leave, but just then a hunger pang hit, and a hard peanut snack that has caca as its first syllable suddenly sounded pretty good. So, I turned around and went back and got myself a package of them.

I'd never had this stuff before, and I have to say, they're pretty good. Crispy hard shell that was almost sweet, but not quite, and very nearly salty, but not really. But undoubtably a peanut inside of it all. Pretty interesting flavor. I'm still kinda at a loss as to what constitutes the Japanese part, though.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 12:06 PM | Comments (5)

November 21, 2006

A post in which I quite possibly could lose my down-home Southern food snob street rep...

I was reading this post by the ever-lovely Jordana Adams about Thanksgiving foods, and after I posted my comment I realized I might have outed myself as someone not truly Southern enough to be lecturing others on the evils of sugared cornbread.

It's that part where I talked about giblet gravy.

My mother-in-law, God love her, is a child of a huge Depression-era farm family in which all of women (and most of the men, for that matter) can cook so well that they could go pro and make a fortune. And that's not hype. They are just that good.

But there is one thing my mother-in-law makes that gives me a particularly queasy heaving sensation to my guts every year--and sometimes twice a year if she makes it for Christmas dinner. That being, giblet gravy.

NOW I LOVE GRAVY, don't get me wrong. But I have my own way of making it that uses just the broth or drippings from whatever meat might be cooked, and it does not include any of the vital organs. No spleens, hearts, pancreases, gizzards, livers, kidneys, lungs, gall bladders, ovaries, testes, or buttholes. My mother-in-law (whom I hasten to add I love as much as my own mother), happily chops all of these things up into the mix when she's making her giblet gravy (with the possible exception of buttholes) and THEN, to make it even more wretch-inducing, also boils and chops up some nice egg into the mixture.

The resultant thick gray-brown liquid with the ever so delicate sheen of turkey schmaltz on top and lumps of viscera and glistening boiled egg whites looks just like vomit to me. And I must say, nothing tastes quite like filter meats after they've been sauteed and then ladled over a big piece of stuffing--it tastes just as good as it looks.

However, I am saved by the fact that if I ever DID throw up in my plate, I would be quite confident no one would be able to tell there was anything amiss.

Reba has tried over the years to explain to her mother that I'm not particularly fond of giblet gravy--or at least the more innardy parts of it. SO, in an act of incredible love, my dear sweet mother-in-law will occasionally remember to fix me my own small portion that doesn't have offal chunks in it. She does this by fixing a big batch, then pouring some of the liquidish part off. Which means that although it is usually clot-free, it still has that unmistakable odor and flavor of a processing house floor.

Now, it is quite obvious that beggars can't be choosers, so I happily consume my garbage-flavored gravy with great gusto and thank my hostess profusely for her accomodating nature, but I must ask you all a question.

DO the rest of you like giblet gravy made the way my mother-in-law does it? And does the fact that it gives me the heaves mean that I am not sufficiently Southern to be upbraiding others for their sins against grits and biscuits?

I humbly await your verdict.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:50 PM | Comments (24)

November 15, 2006

Speaking of lunch...

If you're about to eat yours, I wouldn't click here.

(Thanks [I guess] to Nate McCord)

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 12:33 PM | Comments (2)

November 14, 2006

Yeah, well, whatever.

KFC tweaks Colonel Sanders logo

The Associated Press

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Colonel Sanders is shedding his white suit jacket for a cook's red apron.

KFC unveiled a new brand logo Tuesday that includes bolder colors and a more well-defined visage of the late Kentucky Fried Chicken founder, Colonel Harland Sanders, who will keep his classic black bow tie, glasses and goatee.

"This change gives us a chance not only to make sure we stay relevant but also communicates to customers the realness of Colonel Sanders and the fact that he was a chef," said Gregg Dedrick, president of KFC's U.S. division. [...]

Maybe it's just me, but when I want fried chicken, I really am not looking for relevance, or to have the realness of a restaurant's founder being communicated to me. It also really doesn't matter if he was a chef or not.

I'd really rather just have some good fried chicken--hot, crunchy crust, big pieces, no backs--for the best possible price, served quickly, in a clean and comfortable environment, by staff who are hard-working and friendly. IS THAT TOO DANGED MUCH TO ASK!?

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:49 AM | Comments (7)

October 27, 2006

Speaking of the kitchen...

...and of the proper manner in which traditional foods should be prepared, as threatened, we now delve into the topic of biscuits.

Now, first of all, for all you people who speak British, we aren't talking about cookies. We're talking about the things you call scones, except not exactly. A good biscuit can be a meal in itself if done properly, satisfying one for an entire day or more, and provide enough vigor for the bodily organs to allow even a small meek man to do the work of three rough stevedores.

As with other foods favored by the common persons of the South, biscuits are best constructed simply, with no fanciful admixtures, additives, enhancements, features, elements, components, compounds, or enliveners which tend to mask the essential honesty and character of the item. Oh, most certainly there are those who have stuffed a variety of unconscionable furebelos into things that they turn around and call biscuits, but as the old saying goes, 'just because the cat had kittens in the oven doesn't mean we call them biscuits.'

SO THEN, just how does one go about making biscuits? First, put away the sugar. If you use sugar, I shall have to hit you with a brick.

Second of all, allow yourself to become a stout 80 year old woman, of a kindly demeanor, and put on an apron. Because only grandmamas can actually cook biscuits the right way.

Next, lightly grease a flat cookie sheet and set it aside. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Then sift 2 cups of self-rising flour into a large glass bowl. Take 1/4 cup of shortening and add to the flour and cut it into the flour with a fork or even better, a pastry blender. This makes much quicker work of the job and keeps you from worrying the dough too much. After it's all worked through the flour to where it looks crumbly, add a bit over 3/4 cup buttermilk and mix together until the dough begins to stick to itself and not the bowl. Again, don't be rough with it or work it too long. Dump onto a floured counter or wak paper and knead it just enough to get it nice and pretty and smooth, then roll it out between a 1/2 and 3/4 inches thick. Dip a biscuit cutter or the rim of a smooth drinking glass (preferably one you got out of a box of Duz) and cut the biscuits and place them on the cookie sheet with their sides barely touching. Re-roll the dough until it gets so small that you can't cut any more circles, and the last piece roll out into a snake and twist around like a rope. This one goes to the youngest child in the house.

Bake at 450 degrees (real Fahrenheit degrees, not Frenchy Celsius degrees) for about 10 to 12 minutes or until the tops are nice and biscuity brown. Brush with butter and serve hot.

Bask in warm glow of compliments from people extolling your genius.

But don't put sugar in the dough.

UPDATE: I forgot about it, but since it IS Catblogging Friday, you could make yourself some cathead biscuits by not rolling out the dough and cutting it into circles, but by spooning the dough out onto the cookie sheet. The resultant lumpy mountains of biscuit are more crusty (since you don't spoon them out so they touch, the entire surface gets brown) and are harder to cut in two for a slice of ham or sausage (since they're in the shape of a squatty cone) but they do taste just as good.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:04 AM | Comments (23)

October 26, 2006

More Help for the Wayward

Despite the fact that I need to be doing work work, I noticed while not doing work work an odd reference in the referrer logs to this post dealing with yet another of the humble foods of the South--grits.

A nice young fellow up in the D.C. area (a city of Southern efficiency and Northern charm) named Paulo has done gone and got himself a box of grits and now wants to know what to do with them. And down in the responses, faithful Possumblog reader and occasional commentor Tom Jackson told everyone that we here could provide light to guide the erring and make sure that grits is/are/am given their due honor.

SO, first of all, before we get too far into this, a good resource is the Quaker Grits site, where you can find out many, MANY things about the inside of a kernel of corn. Grits have heritage, grits have technical aspects worth noting, grits are useful in recipes (and NOT just for feeding hogs!), and grits are available in many different varieties. You want something even better? Here--this has even more stuff about grits.

But let's get one thing straight--just because you can put something in a bowl doesn't mean you SHOULD put it in a bowl with grits. Just as with cornbread, grits are best in their uncivilized state--hot, with butter and salt (and some pepper). No sugar. None. Or I shall come to your house and hit you with a spoon. Now, I know--what about cheese grits? Well, they are good, and so is bacon, but I still feel cheap and dandified when I eat such concoctions. It just doesn't feel right.

Now then, to answer Paulo's questions: "So how do I eat this? Is there some sort of ceremony or something? You don't slice bananas and strawberries into it, do you?"

Since he has the box of quick grits, you simply boil water and then slowly pour in the grits and stir until they thicken up--the instructions are right there on the can.

As for ceremony, unlike the Japanese tea ceremony, it is not necessary to embark upon a series of complex rituals. One dips out a big spoonful onto a plate, right there beside the biscuits and the eggs and sausage, and then eats.

Bananas? Strawberries? Well, people do all kinds of things. They get tattoos, they jump out of planes, they watch reruns of the Newlywed Game, they vote Democratic. Does this mean you SHOULD do something, just because it's possible? Of course not. It makes nice people sad when you do. So please, don't put bananas in your grits. Or strawberries. Or any of your body parts, unless it's maybe your index finger, and you're only doing that to get the last bit of grits out of a bowl.

Now then--some words of caution about grits. Grits can be hot if they just come out of the pan. If you put them in your mouth it will hurt unless they're not so hot as to burn you. Put butter on them to cool them off some.

Don't let grits get too cold, though, or they turn into a very nice substitute for Redi-mix concrete. They can be slightly rejuvenated with redeye gravy, however.

Do not slurp your grits. It is poor manners, and even though they are eaten by poor people, it's no excuse to act like the sorry sort and act like you don't have manners.

If your grits are served to you in a bowl, use a spoon to eat them. If they're on your plate, use your fork or your spoon, but not your knife. Unless they get on your knife and then I think it's probably okay.

Grits make you strong, so be careful when you get up from the table that you don't break it with your newfound he-man (or she-woman) strength.

Grits maybe eaten alone, but it's better to eat them with someone you love.

Awwwww--grits are nice! But remember, don't put sugar on them or I'll hit you.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 02:19 PM | Comments (16)

October 24, 2006

To return the erring to the way.

Since I pretend to be an authority on all things, and most particularly upon matters pertaining to things Southern, and even MORE particularly, things Southern that people put inside of their mouths, I am often called upon to gently guide the culinary lost sheep of this nation to a more proper understanding of the proper manner and method of cooking various dishes, or, failing in that effort, to smite all upon the infidels with a big skillet who don't do things right.

SUCH IS THE CASE with one Miss Diane, quilter and Wisconsonian who this past Sabbath got herself a powerful hankering for some cornbread.

Alas, I was too late to save her from committing an abomination before the Lord, but it is my hope that we can get her back upon the straight and narrer when it comes to this most humble and earthy of comestibles.

AND THUS ONCE MORE, we embark upon our sermon for the day:

How to Cook Cornbead

I would ask the congregation to click to The Website of Jane Linton and the chapter entitled "Cornbread."

Now let us read: Ask ten Southern cooks and you'll get ten different recipes for making cornbread. But one ingredient a true Southern cook will not include in her, or his, recipe is sugar....

And amen.

Miss Jane has several recipes for cornbread, but this one is about what I make:


Country Style

2 cups of self-rising cornmeal
2 eggs beaten
2 cups buttermilk
2 Tablespoons bacon drippings, melted, or veg. oil

Heat oven to 450 degrees. Grease your 9-inch skillet with about 2 tablespoon of shortening or oil (Use bacon drippings instead if available). Leave oil in bottom of pan.

Place pan in oven to heat.

Combine cornmeal, 2 eggs, buttermilk, and the melted bacon drippings. Mix well. I find a whisk does this nicely. Pour into hot skillet. Batter will sizzle.

Bake at 450 degrees for 35 minutes or until golden brown. Serves 6 to 8

Hint: Sprinkle a little cornmeal in the hot pan before adding the batter. It will brown and add a crispier texture.

That's it. One thing must not be overlooked, however--the skillet. Scroll down Miss Jane's page to see how to properly season a skillet, and yes, you pretty much have to use a cast iron skillet, which is what the Lord gave unto Moses right after he gave him that big stone cookbook.

Of all the things, the skillet is the thing that is the most important because that's the only way you get that crunchy crust all around. It does have to be fully hot before you pour in the batter, and the more you use it the better it will get. As the instructions say, don't wash it with soap and water--you wipe it out with a paper towel. If you just can't stand the idea of not getting it any less than spotless, you can use a little cornmeal for grit to clean it with. But let's face it--if you heat it up to 450 degrees, nothing's going to live on it that'll hurt you.

Use a good quality iron, too. I've got a set of cheap Chinese skillets and although they're okay, the surface is a bit too rough to take a good seasoning. Once my mother dies, though, her skillet is the first thing I'm stealing from her--she's got a good one that's almost as old as she is.

Now, for those of you who just can't leave well enough alone, do what you will, but realize it makes the angels cry when you get that sugar scoop out.

We ask those of you who've been doing that which is unseemly to repent of your sinful ways. Or I'll hit you with a skillet.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:45 PM | Comments (10)

October 19, 2006

Kashruth Alert!

Via Skinnydan, an urgent notice (see alert dated October 18):

Pocahontas Pork and Beans in Tomato Sauce

Brands: Pocahontas

Products: Pork and Beans in Tomato Sauce- Food Service (#10 can)

Company: Progressive Group Alliance Inc.

Issue: This product mistakenly bears an unauthorized symbol. The product is being withdrawn from the marketplace.

You know, I kinda have a sense that if you do keep kosher, you're probably gonna avoid anything with "pork" on the label. Or in the can.

SPEAKING OF WHICH, I am still working hard on developing a kosher corndog-- kosher hot dog, cornbread made with soy milk, and deep fried in corn oil. Now if I could just figure a way to get kosher certification for manatees....

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:07 AM | Comments (0)

September 18, 2006

I have been known...

...to eat a mess of turnip greens or two in my life, but I never have really been that fond of the turnip itself over the years. Part of it is the thing that probably every kid has run into--you see your mom cooking something that looks like wonderful starchy buttery boiled potatoes, and you sneak one out of the bowl and it turns out to to be a turnip. They just don't do it for me. Then again, I've never had them the way Kitchen Hand fixes them.

Although, since my pot pretty much stays on a constant low boil (so to speak), it might be best to skip them.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:55 AM | Comments (13)

September 05, 2006

Culinary Wonders!

From the Republic of Texas, something ELSE fried.

No mention of sticks, however.

(H/T Dr. Smith!)

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 03:47 PM | Comments (5)

September 01, 2006

This World Needs Dependable Vegetables!!

Kitchen Hand with a paean to diminuitive Belgians.

I must say I am a fan as well, although we don't get enough of them because the kids have an aversion to them, but I think if we used Hand's recipe, they might come around.

After all, I've had breakfast this morning, but reading all that made me very very hungry.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:50 AM | Comments (25)

August 29, 2006


No, not quite. Jordana and Skinnydan both seem to have hit upon the same idea for their lunches, whereas I went over to Sneaky Pete's and picked up some chicken.

HOWEVER (and in an odd parallel to my earlier comments about stereotypes), as I was paying for my food, I was suddenly overtaken with an incredible craving. The Lauren Hutton Lookalike Woman was back at the griddle and mentioned to one of her coworkers that she had recently made some cornbread, and almost as soon as she had said it, I was overcome by an intense desire for a big plate of turnip greens and cornbread.

I don't know if Reba had anything in particular planned for supper tonight, but I know there's going to be at least one member of the family who's going to be sopping up pot likker with a hunk of pone.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:22 PM | Comments (6)

Time flies.

Even if you have to do dumb ol' work! Just realized it's lunchtime--in fact, it's PAST lunchtime!

I must go forage for provender else I shall swoon.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 12:56 PM | Comments (5)

August 11, 2006

Lunch with My Friend Jeff!

Well, it was long past time to meet and swap car magazines, so we hied ourselves over to the oh-so-precious environs of the new SoHo Square. No, not this one--this one in Homewood, which is just chock full of shops and restaurants and condos and pretense.

In order to make the biggest impact in reducing the level of chi-chi, we ate at the very hippy dippy zoës restaurant, and to further reduce the pleasant ambience, we decided to seat ourselves right out in front on the patio so we would not be missed.

And I have to admit it whether I want to or not, but in spite of the girly atmosphere, they really do have good food. Not big enough portions to my way of thinking (and eating), but what they give you is good.

I had a chicken roll-up that consisted of chicken, rolled up, and marinated slaw with chips, and Jeff had something else.

Topics of lunchtime conversation included kids; school; teenaged drivers; overprotective parents; underprotective parents; garage cleaning; car repair; the fact that Jonathan is 12; the fact that although Jonathan still looks like a little kid; the girls in his class who do cheerleading definitely do NOT look like kids; vacation; jobs; men who wear makeup; pigeons; Engrish (YEASTY!); more car repair; building contractors; BMW pedal cars; paint; RAIN!

As we finished up our lunch, a sudden thunderstorm boiled up so we ran inside lest we become dampened and continued on with our conversation--women; The Bad Place; mullets; Gomez Addams; bicycles; yet more car repair--with injuries!; tools. The rain let up, so we went out and finished up the day with a review of reading material (various Hemmings, Automobile, AutoWeek, Hot Rod, and Car Craft for him, and three lousy Car and Drivers for me), and cleavage.

It was a very good lunch.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:48 PM | Comments (6)

August 01, 2006

My wife loves me.

But should you ever meet her, I ask that you not repeat this tale.

Anyway, Miss Reba loves me, and that’s why when she went to the grocery store the other day, she picked up a bunch of fresh scallops. Despite the fact that if I were left to my own devices, I would look at the price sticker and, after recovering from my swoon, put them back on the shelf and try to find a way to satisfy my seafood craving with some store-brand fish sticks. Anyway, she still got them, because she knows how much I love scallops. Not as much as her, obviously, but a great deal, nonetheless.

And to make it even better (although, again, more pricey) these were real scallops, not the big (but still tasty to me, at least) fake scallops which tend to be circular plugs taken out of ray or skate wings.

Since she brought them home, I had gotten myself all hungry for them, and looked forward to cooking them. But I was beaten to them. By my wife, Miss Reba, whom I love more than all the scallops in the world. You see, even though Reba is a wonderful cook, she hasn’t quite mastered some things. Broiling a steak in the oven, for instance, about which I’ve spoken of to you before--the process inevitably creates huge clouds of acrid smoke in the house, setting off every smoke alarm.

And another thing, sadly, is scallops.

Scallops don’t like a lot of cooking, because they tend to become rubbery very quickly. I like to cook them by first showing them a hot skillet with some sizzling butter, just to taunt them and make them nervous, then dump them in and swirl them around quickly just until they’re opaque, then serve them up. A little lemon juice, and that’s it. Do it right, and they’ll melt in your mouth and make you think naughty thoughts. However, if you dump them in the pan and let them simmer and stew for ten minutes or so in a sea of salty stuff, they don’t perform quite so well.

My expensive spoonful of scallops arrived hot and coated in a caramelized layer of Old Bay seasoning, and despite being flavorful, they weren’t quite scallops, but more like chewy nubbins of fishspice-flavored Gummi balls. (By the way, she also whipped up some baked tilapia to go with the scallops that was super fantastic, so again, it’s not like she can’t cook.)

“How are they?”

“I love scallops!”

And I do, but not as much as I love my wife. Nor as much as I love a peaceful house.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:27 AM | Comments (7)

July 25, 2006

Me? Oh, nothing bothers me.

From Kitchen (and Volvo) Hand, a recitation of the things that make eating at a restaurant less than ideal.

My peeves? Well, let's see--#1--I surely don't like slow service. I'm one of those people with kids, and although they DO know how to behave in public, they ARE children and after waiting forever do tend to get squirmy and uncouth and bothersome of others. So get the vittles out pronto, Dude.

#2--Dude. I don't like it if you're duller than a rusty butter knife, Dude, so if you don't know what's on the menu, and don't care to find out, maybe it would be better to consider alternative employment.

#3--Lying to me about the service. I have never believed you when you tell me that the kitchen is backed up because one big table came in and ordered stuff. To me, one big table of twenty is not any differenter than five tables of four, ESPECIALLY when the dining room is very nearly empty anyway. So don't say that, just say something like, "I messed up and forgot to put in your order," or "the cook walked out, but first he peed in the soup."

#4--Don't get my order wrong, and then blame me. I know where they keep the knives, so don't make me go get one.

#5--Boy, I hate to say this one, but service that's TOO friendly. Longtime readers will remember Jennifer, the World's Best Waitress, who used to work at a chain restaurant close to where we went to church. She was absolutely fantastic--fast, efficient, friendly, knowledgeable, attractive beyond belief, and one of those nice people who's nice even when you're not the customer.

We were so impressed by her solicitude and all-around appeal that we got to where we would make a point of asking for her. We'd have a nice chat about non-restaurant stuff--kids, school, home repairs. But we did notice that the service began to slip a bit. And no matter how much I enjoyed talking to her (and it was a lot, because, I must mention again, she was REALLY attractive), there was a line that was crossed that I didn't particularly feel good about--when she would greet us and then have a seat with us to chat.

Look, I know it must be some sort of snobby classism or something (you know, because I'm so high falutin' and all), and I'm sure I'm evil for it, but if Kitchen Hand's notion of a restaurant being theater is right (and I think it is), then I'd like it if the traditional roles of staff and patron be respected. It's not that I expect toadying obsequies at every turn, and not that I think I'm too good to eat with the help, but everyone has something to do, and in the food business, that means getting the food orders to the kitchen and the food from the kitchen to the table. Although I enjoyed immensely having the company of not one but TWO attractive women to flirt with, I really just would have preferred getting my food. Add to this the expectation that I would continue to tip as well as I had in the past (when we were less familiar, and got better service deserving of a good tip) and, well, it made for something less enjoyable than it should have been.

#6--Dirty restrooms. Ick.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 02:31 PM | Comments (3)

July 19, 2006

Postprandial Musings

There are few things I enjoy better than a nice lunch with Pam the Liberal! We ate at V. Richards (I had the open-face reuben--nice, warm roast beast with cheese and sauce and kraut, and Pam had some kind of combination vegetable plate), but as always, the fun was the conversation rather than the food. Topics today tended more toward dealing with teenagers. She has two boys, one two years past college, the other graduating in a couple of weeks, so she has some war stories to tell. Makes me feel not quite crazy to hear them, and of course there is that oddly perverted sense of pride that no matter what stories she has, I have some that impress her.

We also talked about work stuff--although she's moved on, we still know the same movers and shakers around here. Not that the movers and shakers are any big deal, this being The World's Largest Small Town, after all, but it's still nice to gossip about their failings while studiously ignoring our own.

Found out it's been longer than I remembered--she'd been in and out of the hospital, her husband has gone into business for himself, and they bought a new Mazda3 four-door, which was quite nifty. If we ever replace the Focus, I think I'd like one of these.

It was over much too soon--although just at the right time, too. We're having a thunderstorm of Hollywood special effects production values right now, but luckily, she dropped me back off just in time to hit the door as the rain began to fall.

Good conversation + roast beef + rain = a very sleepy possum.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:58 PM | Comments (5)


Or pretty close, anyway, and to make it even better, Pam the Liberal's gonna pick me up in her vehicle and take me somewhere! Yay!

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:44 AM | Comments (0)

July 12, 2006

Well, it's not rocket science--

--but it's pretty darned close nonetheless.

Steevil, brother of Dr. Weevil and by day a famed NASA scientist, sent along his recipe for barbecue sauce--

I got the urge to try to make East Carolina style barbecue. I get pretty sick of the stuff that's sold in the stores around here (lots of tomato, and too sweet).

So, here is Steevil's "Carolina" barbecue recipe:

Into crock pot evening previous to dinnertime--
1 bottle (32 oz.) of cider vinegar
handful (tablespoon or so) of black pepper
handful (tablespoon or so) of kosher salt
couple shakes of white pepper [would have used cayenne pepper as well, if I could have found it in the cabinet]
small handful of crushed red pepper
2 tsp sweet mustard


plunk in fresh pork shoulder cook on "low" until next day.

It turned out pretty good. Since I really don't mind tomato in barbecue, if I'd had some plain tomato juice or some V-8, I probably would have used a cup or so.

I find the use of kosher salt to season a pork shoulder humorous.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 12:34 PM | Comments (8)

July 10, 2006

Hot Craving

Oddest thing. I woke up Saturday and after making my pre-breakfast run to the grocery store, found that I was craving spicy hot food. A LOT.

Strange because although I like spicy food every once in a while, I can't tolerate it as much as I could in my younger days, when I could sit there and eat whole jalepenos.

This time, though, the craving hit hard, and at the very worst time--never go to the store hungry, but more especially, never go nursing a craving. In addition to the paper towels and toilet paper and salad dressing, I found myself purchasing a jar of Vlasic Tabasco Mini Kosher Dills, a small tub of Mrs. Stratton's jalapeno pimento cheese, some of those Cheezit twisted-together things in the hot wing and bleu cheese flavor, a pound of Jimmy Dean hot sausage, and a bottle of pepper sauce (which we've actually needed for a while, but I had always forgotten about.)

I don't think I've every had a breakfast consisting of a spicy pimento cheese sandwich with spicy dill pickles before. Sure was good, though.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:08 AM | Comments (4)

June 16, 2006

That obnoxious thumping bass...

...outside my window can mean but one thing--the return of City Stages.

I went out just now to cruise around and see what there was to see, as well as pick up some nice greasysaltysugary things for lunch.

Hmm. That's VERY odd. I went out at 12:30, and there were only about two food stands opened up. There were a bunch around, but most were empty or closed. Usually, the vendors are up and ready to go by 10 a.m. every year, but this year, not. I don't know if the organizers told them they couldn't set up until later, but having people lose a whole day's lunch revenue doesn't seem like the thing to do if you've had trouble with miffed vendors in the past. Oh well.

At least I got something to eat, and a pretty good deal, at that. (Another odd thing. Most of these guys are WAY overpriced.) A nice Italian sub from Firehouse Subs, chips and tea for five bucks. YET ANOTHER ODD THING--nothing sugar-free in the beverage department. I asked, and the managerialesque guy standing there mumbled something about Coke controlling what drinks could be brought in. Well, yeah, I'm sure, but still--seems like it would have been okay to have some bottle of water, or maybe some SUGAR-FREE Lipton bottled tea--I know they make it.

Anyway, this marks my 17th year of non-attendance.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:08 PM | Comments (4)

June 13, 2006

What's Good

Sneaky Pete's Hot Dog Sauce.

For some reason, it's especially good on hamburgers. I just went next door and got one of their (relatively) teeny burgers, and that sauce is just really good. Thin and dark red, with some sort of odd spicy kick in it.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:48 PM | Comments (0)

May 31, 2006

Okay, I admit it.

My level of gustatory sophistication is only about three notches above that of a tapeworm. I realize there are all sorts of foods and flavors out there in the world, and all sorts of acquired tastes, but let’s be frank--they are really just too far above my ability to appreciate.



Sorry. I know--anything fried in butter oughta be pretty darned okay, but I’ll let you enjoy them.


Again, I realize some people highly prize them (Mmmm--save me one of those lonnnnng drumsticks!) but I couldn’t eat one.

Which brings us to another thing I just can’t understand--Clamato. Did someone just decide one day as they were cleaning out the refrigerator that they should mix the leftover clam juice together with the last dab of tomato juice, then mistakenly leave it on the counter, then drink it by mistake instead of pouring it down the sink, and decide it was REALLY good? Or was it some kind of college prank that got out of hand? Was it a dare?

Who knows. But I have never found the idea of mixing the drainings of a disgusting-looking bivalve mollusk with tomato juice to be one of those things that I had to try. I actually like clam MEAT but the idea of clam JUICE is repulsive on several levels to me, and the admixture of the noble tomato does nothing to stop me from blanching at the very thought of such an elixir. I suppose there must be someone who likes it, because it never seems to disappear from the grocery shelves, but I can’t think there are THAT many people who like it.

But then today, I saw something in the vending machine downstairs that went off the scale, something so far beyond my ability to comprehend it that I was simply at a loss--

New -- The Original ClamatoTM Flavored Tortilla Chips
clamato chips.jpg

I didn’t realize the humble tortilla really needed additional tomatoiness, or molluskity. Obviously, I had to buy a bag of them just to see what the attraction was.

Upon opening the bag, I noticed the chips were small, shiny, the color of fresh red meat, and had the bracingly revolting smell of clammy seaside tomatoes. The chips were relatively crisp, although I had to chew them as lightly as possible to keep from tasting them so much.

I think I like my chips without integral tomato flavor, and completely devoid of clam, but then again, I am a hopeless food rube. At least the bag was entertaining--

Bring flavor to your life! NEW ClamatoTM Tortilla Chips have the same unique, zesty flavor that you’ve come to know and love from Clamato®. With invigorating taste in every bite, you can liven up your day with new ClamatoTM Tortilla Chips!


At least now I can rest easy knowing I’ll never have to eat any more of them, nor wonder if I was missing something by being left out of the next big food trend.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:10 AM | Comments (22)

May 30, 2006


Well, we had ribs on Saturday that were cooked by the big guy who works at Winn-Dixie. I gotta say they were pretty darned tasty, which you wouldn't expect to get from some guy standing outside the grocery store. But they had a nice hot flavor--Cajun? dry red pepper?--and not a whole lot of sauce. Also not a great deal of meat, which was something of a letdown. But they were good anyway. Reba also made a gigantic mess of mustard greens. I don't know why, exactly, other than she seemed to have gotten an itch only mustard could scratch. They were REALLY good, although they did need a bit of hot sauce to have been perfect.

Yesterday was incredibly hot, so what better way to have lunch than to fire up the grille! Big hamburgers, some hotdogs, and a big pile of Polish sausage. And for some reason, I didn't bring any of it for lunch today, and I am quite angry with myself. Also part of the mix was a big pot of corn on the cob--yet another craving Miss Reba has been suffering from. "Hey, this is good, sugar--what kind of corn is this?"


Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:57 AM | Comments (5)

May 26, 2006

Mmm. Squirrel!


Sorry. It's a slow afternoon.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:56 PM | Comments (4)

May 19, 2006

I'm full--

--of a very hefty club sandwich, yet lighter by a bit-too-hefty tab of eleven bucks.

Nice lunch, though, in spite of the price. Today's stop was V. Richard's over on Clairmont Avenue, a newly-renovated building that now houses one of those boutique food markets with baffling comestibles from around the globe, as well as a nice little cafe.

Nice variety of pasta and green salads, as well as a pretty complete offering of sandwiches all prepared as you order them. I got the V. Club, which is a club sandwich, which is a sandwich you order when you can't decide on one meat or cheese, so you order them all. Jeff got the tuna melt, which I know a lot of people like, but the idea of tuna salad and melted cheese is one of those things that just doesn't go well together in my way of thinking, and the more I think about it the more nauseated it makes me. So, I'll think of it no more.

We sat outside on the breezy patio close to the Wall O' Water and watched with much perplexation as a sparrow flew in and took a few bites off the plate of a diner who'd left the table. I am pretty sure the person was through with his meal, which is good, because I know if I'd left for a minute to go get something, I'd be pretty weirded out if I ever suspected a bird had been picking through my food. It might be a sign that maybe the busboy needs to be a bit more energetic, though.

AS FOR OUR FOOD, it came out with relative speed, although I must say to the ownership that it's probably going to be a good idea to do away with asking people their names as a way to identify their orders. Just give customers a number--much better than having a barely understandable food-taker-outer wandering around butchering the name they think they see on the paper, and then still delivering it to the wrong table. And, believe it or not, there actually might be two people with the same name. I know, I know--numbers might seem so impersonal, and not at all in keeping with the self-consciously precious ideal of a neighborhood eatery where everyone knows everyone. But I have to say, I'd rather not have another guy be given my food to breathe all over before it finally manages to land on my table. So, numbers--look into them.

AS FOR CONVERSATION, well, there was the recitation of the past month's garage cleaning chore, which pretty much took up the entire time allotted for lunch, as well as any enthusiasm that might have been floating around.

LUCKILY, there were car magazines to swap!

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:29 PM | Comments (2)

May 03, 2006

My newest invention.

Well, see, I just found out that the insides of a digital copier are very hot. Yes, I know there's all those yellow warning labels that say that, but until you've tried to pull out a paper jam by gingerly (or maryannerly) poking your index fingers into the steaming bowels of one of these machines, you don't really get an idea of exactly HOW hot they are. But then, you hear your finger sizzle, and you think to yourself, "Ouch. That is hot." And the paper? Well, it won't burn until it hits 451 degrees, which means that when it's in the machine, it might be 449.3 degrees, which will also make your finger sizzle.

Add to this the fact that it's lunchtime and I'm having to tend to the copier queue at the moment, and it makes one's mind start working on some ways where this confluence of hot machinery and hunger could come together.

And so I thought up this: Edible Reports.

I figure you could saturate paper with flavor, sorta like the way McDonalds does with its breakfast burrito, and if you're hungry, you just go copy a report and eat it, hot out of the copier. And people you send reports to can heat theirs back up in the microwave! It would be tasty, and do away with all those big bins of recycled paper that clutter up the office. And just think what a boon this would be for poor countries--all those billions of sheets of paper the UN produces in reports on how to reduce world hunger could just be shipped over to hungry places and everyone could eat for months!

I am now casting about for partners in this venture--call now!

UPDATE: Well, dangitall--here I thought I was just being silly trying to pass the time while the copier was churning, but by gum(bo), there actually IS such a thing.

My finger still hurts, though.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 12:54 PM | Comments (9)

April 13, 2006

Remember a couple of weeks back...

...when The Guy Who Always Burns His Toast nearly burned up the toaster with a piece of parchment paper?

Just now, I came in from lunch and saw him standing at the toaster oven again, waiting.

I came in my office, sat down, returned a call, and then began to smell the tell-tale odor of Fahrenheit 451. I ran out the door, and AS USUAL, he'd wandered off somewhere, and the oven was releasing a nice cloud of smoke. ::ding:: Yep, it's DONE, all right! Just then he came shuffling back up, and, because I'm nice, I chuckled and said I thought his paper was finished cooking.

"Hm, well, hm--that's...that's parchment paper--it's not supposed to burn."


Now, look. If it does it the first time you put it in there, that ought to tell you that yes, in fact, IT WILL BURN! It's PAPER, not ASBESTOS. If you put it in a cake pan and pour batter on top of it, why, yes, it probably won't burn then, because CAKE doesn't cook at 500 DEGREES FAHRENHEIT! UNLIKE THE TOASTER OVEN, that has a white hot heating element only ONE AND A HALF INCHES AWAY FROM YOUR PRECIOUS PARCHMENT PAPER!

What's the old Einstein quote--"Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." I think it applies in this case.


Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:13 PM | Comments (13)

April 04, 2006

Frankly, they deserve something a bit better than that.

As you are all aware, I am a devotee (some would add the adjective "fanatical" ahead of "devotee," but some people are just that way) of the snack food known as the cheese curl.

I just got a small bag out of the vending machine downstairs, of the variety produced by historic regional producer Golden Flake, and noticed something new on the outside of the package--a poem.

It reads like this:

When It's
Cheddar Cheese
You're After
But Want
A Crunch,
Golden Flake
Cheese Curls
Are Great To Munch!

Grab This Bag
To Start The Fun,
Golden Flake
Cheese Curls
Are #1!

Such an insipid bit of doggerel for such a fine product. I would like to suggest that something better be put on the bag, something BOLD and VISIONARY and LIVELY and, doggone it all, something AMERICAN.


There now. I feel much better.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 03:23 PM | Comments (2)

March 17, 2006

From the Fine Chefs at Possumblog Kitchens!

You know, St. Patrick's Day really wouldn't be the same without those wonderful traditional Irish favorite foods--but that shouldn't let us keep from experimenting with foods with a particularly Southern flair. So, our staff of chefs present for your enjoyment


1 corned manatee brisket
1 large head cabbage (preferably savoy)
800 peppercorns
60 cloves garlic, whole peeled
40-50 parsnips
10-20 turnips
200 bay leaves
10 pounds carrots, peeled
60 large potatoes
10 stalks celery, thinly sliced
300 whole cloves
1/2 pound Old Bay seasoning
1/4 pound black pepper, ground

Wash brisket. Make small X slits in the meat and insert garlic and cloves pieces.

Place the meat into a stockpot (at least 80 gallons). Cover the meat with water. Add bay leaves, peppercorns, Old Bay, 20 carrots and sliced celery. Bring to a boil, skim off foam and reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer 2-3 hours, or until meat is nearly tender.

Meanwhile, prepare vegetables. Quarter the cabbage, peel potatoes, carrots, turnips and parsnips. Slice vegetables into 2 inch chunks.

During last half hour, add remaining vegetables and cook until tender.

Drain and serve with yellow mustard.


Be sure to look for all of Possumblog Kitchens fine cornbread-battered and deep fried meat products on a stick in your grocer's freezer--Cornatees, Cornguins, Cornorcas, Cornelephant, Cornutria--They're Tasty!

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:26 AM | Comments (6)

February 13, 2006

I like food.

Although some of the more exotic ethnic things aren't my taste, I will eat just about anything that you can find in your everyday grocery store.

Such as, grits.

And fish.

But there is something about seeing a sign taped up in the window of the Food Place At Which I Do Not Eat that says,


...that makes me just slightly queasy.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:49 PM | Comments (10)

February 01, 2006

A little known fact.

Cashews, when placed as a constituent ingredient upon a prepared salad that was purchased from well-known midlevel retailer Target by my lovely bride Miss Reba, will absorb moisture from said salad; and when said salad is taken out of an insulated cloth lunchbox and placed on a flat surface, such as a desktop, to be eaten, upon opening the lid of the small plastic tray, said cashews will look for all the world like the plump, tender larvae of some obscure tropical caterpillar.

They do, however, still taste pretty much like cashews.

If a bit on the soft, squishy side.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 12:45 PM | Comments (6)

January 19, 2006

The Wisdom of Beef and Chocolate

I responded to Mrs. Getzler's request for jerky to accompany her Possumblog Home Edition by pouting and acting hurt. I mean, come on, "jerky" and me in the same sentence?

Anyway, she wrote back and said: "No, I just have a hankerin' for some nice beef jerky. All we have are Slim-Jims in the house and they are not the same. Slim-Jims to jerky are the same as Tootsie Rolls to chocolate. They are all good, but not the same."

You know, that is just so true.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 03:33 PM | Comments (6)

January 12, 2006

Delaware--Hell on Earth?

That have Joe, but they don't have Zatarain's.

Thank heavens they have the Schrancks.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:54 AM | Comments (0)

December 16, 2005

The office Christmas party.

Another year, another cheese ball.

This one was more of a dinner, so the big serving dish full of collards was more appropriate.

I would like to think I could call the whole affair "restrained," but really, it's just plain old strained more than anything else. Everyone generally gets along okay as co-workers (there are some very loud exceptions), but no one I know of around here socializes after work with each other. Mainly because it's a bunch of very odd bureaucrats who share little in common except the floor they work on.

It used to be more fun when My Friend Charlie was here, or Pam the Liberal, or Cara the Tall Skinny Pretty Intern were here. At least then I could have someone to talk to about things other than the latest annexations and deannexations.

Oh well. Looks like I'll have some of the sausage and cracker trays I brought left over that I can take home with me.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 12:33 PM | Comments (11)

December 14, 2005

Proving once and for all...

...that there ARE such things as good liberals AND there is such a thing as a free lunch!

Yes, believe it or not, Pam the Liberal bought me my lunch today! Something from O'Henry's today, for a change. Well, sort of a change. It was a gyro, which isn't all that unusual, but I suppose from a faux rustic English coffeehouse sort of place in a downtown food court, it's certainly not the most expected thing. Or something.

ANYway, a wonderful lunch, as IS usual, with talk of life and how to best stay alive whilst raising snotty teenagers.

I just hope my theatrical recitation of the most recent ills and turmoils at Casa d'Possum were worth the price she paid for my sandwich. Which was good, by the way, but not quite up there with the places in the mall that do gyros all the time. It wasn't all that meaty, and it was a bit on the dryish side, and it was consumed without dropping great globs of ziti sauce all down my tie.

Oh well, better luck next time.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 02:42 PM | Comments (0)

November 23, 2005

More unappetizing holiday food

Wall Street extends rally on oil dip

I suppose if it's olive oil for bread, it's okay, but just the very sound of "oil dip" sounds a bit nauseating. Then again, guacamole sounds pretty gross, too. And, well, I guess if you get right down to it, "ranch dip" sounds like something you'd use to keep parasites off of livestock.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:33 AM | Comments (3)

November 17, 2005

As always--

--a right pleasant lunch. Went to Sam's Deli again over close to Dawson. Sat in the tent part and was chilly the entire time. It has those long radiant heater strips, but I would really prefer a couple of giant kerosene salamanders right under the table.

Talked about household chores, cars, car repair, former co-workers, food, contractors, The Glories of the English Language, wives, children, and cars.

Got up to leave, and found that I had been sitting in a lump of meat stuck to the seat of the chair. Resisted the urge to hike up my jacket and ask My Friend Jeff to see if it made a stain on my butt.

SPEAKING OF WHICH, sometime in the meal an attractive mom of the upwardly mobile sort who wear incredibly expensive clothing and jewelry up during the day and yet still go eat at seedy Middle Eastern delis had sat down behind me with her adorable child with the oh-so-fashionable bowl-cut hair (which people used to give their kids when they were too poor to afford to pay anyone to cut their kid's hair, but which now costs 50 bucks plus tip). The only reason I really noticed her is because when I got up and turned around, I looked down and continued to look down into the gaping chasm of her butt crack.

Now, let's review a few things. I like women. A lot. I like every single thing about them, with an especial liking for certain parts, including, but not limited to, the gluteal region. I find the lower rear backal area of a female person wonderfully artistic in design and execution, and wish to personally thank the Creator for doing such a fine job on it. I confess that I find the occasional glimpse of backside hide rather alluring, and obviously the sight thereof is met with much self-correction and shame so as not to allow my eyes to lead me into thoughts of a corrupt nature.

HOWEVER, I have to say, when you're rather more grown-up, and are obviously well passed your teenaged years, that even if you are attractive and well-gym'd, it would be best to leave the hip-hugging pants and too-short tops to the high-school kids. See, after a certain age, trying to dress like a teenager isn't really cute, or desirable, and is likely to cause men such as myself to not think lustful thoughts about the maw of your butt cleavage, but rather causes them to snicker, and to think to themselves ridiculous things, such as, "You know what? She's got enough opening there to make a dried flower arrangement."

Obviously, being all codgerly, some of us tend to express our internal monologue verbally, and so if you overheard me say that to My Friend Jeff as we passed by, I do apologize.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 02:09 PM | Comments (8)

November 16, 2005

The first freeze...

...after the full moon.

Yep, it appears that hog killing time has gotten here again.

Despite getting to gloat about the warm weather the past few weeks, this pretty much signals the start of the cool season.

In honor of our friend, the noble hog, and in anticipation of the upcoming Thanksgiving festivities, I found a recipe that sounds really good. I think I'm going to suggest to someone that we make some up this year.

Andouille Sausage and Corn Bread Stuffing


Posted by Terry Oglesby at 02:45 PM | Comments (11)

October 26, 2005


No, not that kind. This kind involves food, so it's MUCH better. From the lovely and talented Kenny Smith, this notice of a right worthy cause:

Hi all,

My apologies for the legitimate-good-cause-psuedo-spam and ESPECIALLY if you've already seen this ... but we should consider passing this along to those that are well placed to pitch in.


Contact: Jack Duggan (504) 430-8943 or (601) 484-6574

UNO Getting Cooking Again Fundraiser Heads to Auburn Saturday

(Oct. 24, 2005) – In an effort to raise money for its student-athletes, the University of New Orleans athletics department has put together the “Getting New Orleans Cookin’ Again,” campaign which has made stops at college football games this fall. The tailgating campaign makes its next stop this week at Auburn, Ala.

First, join the UNO Athletic Department for a New Orleans Style Pre-Tailgating Party at Touchdown’s on Friday, October 28 at 7 p.m. Representatives from UNO will be on hand serving up chicken and sausage jambalaya for donations to the Privateer Athletic Foundation Hurricane Relief Fund. Also, register to win a New Orleans Style tailgating kit, which includes the Cook Me Somethin? Mister Cast Iron Pot and Burner Combo.

On Saturday, the “Getting New Orleans Cookin’ Again” tent will be located inside Tiger Team Village next to Beard-Eaves-Memorial Coliseum and jambalaya will be served by representatives to support the Privateer Hurricane Relief Fund, before and after Auburn’s 11:30 a.m. football game against Ole Miss. The UNO PAF is taking pre-tailgate orders now until noon on Wednesday. All proceeds go to help UNO student-athletes stricken by Hurricane Katrina.

UNO athletic director, Jim Miller believes that despite the devastation suffered by the city, "the critical element that has survived this tragedy is our people and our collective resolve to endure."

The fundraising effort has already made stops at Lafayette, La., Jonesboro, Ark., Troy, Ala, and Birmingham, Ala., this fall.

Paul Preau, owner of Ad Gas Outdoor Cooking Products of New Orleans, will serve as the head cook of the campaign. For more information or to reserve your order of Jambalaya, please call John Barranco at 504-289-0779 or email him at jbarranc@uno.edu.

SO, y'all go eat!

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 12:39 PM | Comments (0)

October 21, 2005

Fortune Cookie Wisdom of the Day!

Once again I sallied forth to the AmSouth-Harbert food court, this time for a TOP SECRET assignation with none other than Sugarmama (not her real name)! Due to a variety of circumstances, Miss Sugar has withdrawn from the blogging world and now lives a life of quiet obscurity, excepting for those occasions when I mention that I had lunch with her to make everyone jealous. Like, oh, today, for instance.

As usual, I wore my casual blue checkered button-up shirt and blue polyester pants that make me look like a 14 year old math club geek, parted my hairs just-so, made sure I had a suitable number of pens in my pocket, and headed out.

As usual, SM was looking quite fetching and professional, aside from the shoes with the needle-nose-plier toes. She says they're comfortable, but they sure did hurt my feet.

Not really. I...I mean, I didn't try them ON or anything...REALLY!

Lunch was from the magical Chan Lee, who provided us with tasty hot styrofoam plates full of kung pao beef and kung pao chicken. Supposedly. I mean, who knows what it really was. Coulda even been bologna. Anyway, it was all very good and mouth-scorching.

Luncheon topics included school, work, school work, dealing with insensitive geniuses, Hooters, crawl space insulation, natural gas, biking, Daylight Savings Time, computers, and The Blizzard of '93, amongst others.

It was all very convivial, and quite nice to catch up on how she's been doing since giving up the glamorous blogging life. And yes, I got a hug out of the deal. ::does taunting NFL endzone dance::

BUT, the thing I know you're ALL waiting on--the FORTUNES!

Here they are--first up is Sugarmama's, because she's a girl and all:

Someone has complimented you today in your absence.

She said this was true.

And mine--

Happiness always accompanies with you.

True, and in exactly the inverse proportion of proofreaders who follow Chinese fortune writers.


6 11 19 37 40. 25


7 16 23 36 38. 19

So there you have it!

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:21 PM | Comments (8)

Okay, okay--I'll give you a hint.


But that's it.

OH, okay--to be a bit more specific


But I promise you, that's IT!

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:46 AM | Comments (8)

September 26, 2005

Oh, that was fun!

Pam's one of the few who appreciate that it's all about me, and gives me free rein to talk about myself and my troubles incessantly. Oh, of course, I ask about her hubby and sons, but only as a jumping off point to talk more about ME! I'm so tired of being invisible, you know.

Anyway, it was a fun lunch--both had the chicken taco salad which was tremendously good, and I really did jabber about my trials to excess. Which, for some reason, Pam encourages. I'm grateful for it, for one, because there's a LOT you don't get to hear because there's a LOT that goes on that you don't need to hear, and two, because she had a trial with her Oldest, too, similar in many ways to mine. She offers hope that it is indeed just a phase. Her son is now in his mid-20s, and seems to have become almost human.

Other topics include one of her students whom she helped find a summer job. Seems the chap most closely resembles Dwight Schrute from The Office. And not in a good way.

Also talked about inappropriate office behavior--not hers, though. Can't say too much, but guys, here's a tip--if your comments make other GUYS uncomfortable, you need to shut up. Second, you're bad behavior is just making it more difficult for the rest of us.

The walk back prompted a discussion of the future of newspapers. Pam wonders if they'll survive. I say so, mainly because there is always a need for information, such as who is having a sale on soap, or, you know, other stuff. Like cartoons!

Anyway, it was a very nice lunch.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 02:03 PM | Comments (0)

Hey, it's lunchtime!

How'd that happen!? No matter--today will be fun because I'm meeting My Friend Pam the Liberal, and we're having Mexican food from Sabor Latino! Ole!

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 12:12 PM | Comments (4)

September 22, 2005


Famed NASA Scientist and brother of Dr. Weevil, the always vigilant Steevil sends along this link to some wonderful lunchtime fare--scroll down to the third picture for something that relates back to my panda post of yesterday.


Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:03 PM | Comments (5)

September 20, 2005

Ahh. Lunchtime.

Of course, I'm having to sit here and eat it at my desk, and continue typing so that it looks like I'm working on my newest fun project--the ongoing PowerPoint presentation that now has fully one hundred slides! To make matters less comfortable, the guy who's feeding me the text to put in hasn't really gotten the idea about bullet points, and so each point is more like a dissertation. Thank heaven for cut-n-paste.

ANYWAY, the weekend--the rest of Saturday was uneventful, although I did take several opportunities to walk around in the decluttered areas of the house and look at the stuff I hadn't seen in so long. It was very exciting, almost like finding the Northwest Passage or something. Saturday night was spent...typing. Something for Rebecca, who now knows all of her keyboard keys except for the T and the O. Started on my meeting minutes. Decided I'd had enough and went to bed.

Sunday was unremarkable as well, so I won't, other than to say I spent the evening...typing. Something for Reba for her class last night--it's almost over with, because her last day of class is October 3. That's very good. Almost as good as when all the kids simultaneously stopped playing soccer.

UP EARLY yesterday, got the kids ready and took them to school, and then took Oldest for her fitting of wildly expensive bits of wire and rubber bands. About twice what Boy's cost. No, I have no idea why. Just is. Took her on to school and checked her in, then it was across town to go deposit a check. Oddest thing--we actually got a refund check from our doctor. Overpaid for the kids' flu shots. LAST YEAR. But at least we did get some cash back from that--and I hope they (the doctors, not the kids) enjoyed the interest-free use of our money in the mean time.

And then? TO THE JUNKYARD! One of the reasons I took a whole day of vacation was to be able to have some uninterrupted time just to myself when I could go and wander around in the hot sun and explore stinky old Volvos. I had made out a list a few weeks ago of stuff I thought I might see if I could find, but since I'd left that list at work, I just plundered around. Found a license plate bracket for the front of the car--I don't know what I'll put on there, but it might give me an excuse for purchasing one of my own silly Revolvoblog license plate frames from CafePress. Or not. Also decided in an odd moment of stupidity to purchase some tiny bits of shiny things--the little triangular shaped pieces that Volvos have to cover up the roof seam on the rear pillar. The new(er) ones are painted body color and are plain, but the older ones are sparkly, and have a nifty little black detail in the center. As near as I can tell, the cashier threw them in for free.

Anyway, that took up nearly two hours worth of looking and plundering, then I went home and put my prizes onto the car, then went upstairs and typed a bit (on my minutes) and in no time at all, it was time to go get the kids. The in-laws are on a trip, so someone has to be at the house to gather up the kids--another ostensible reason why I had to take time off yesterday.

Got there and watered the plants and got the mail and brought in the trash can, greeted Cat as she came in, then the other three when their bus came by, and then it was to home with all of them, where they were shackled to the table and forced to do their homework while I started supper.


Kinda. I cut up some steak in thin bits and skilleted it, but it wasn't the same as what they give you at the various white-hot-iron places. It was still really good, though.

Funniest thing?

I was deep in concentration trying to get things done, and I had gotten the cheese grater out to, well, to grate some cheese. Catherine came up to me to ask a question about her homework, paused and watched me for a moment and then said, "HEY, Daddy! You know, you could be one of those people who grate cheese!"

Best I can tell, she was thinking of someone like Mr. Kraft or Mr. Sargento or Mr. Land o' Lakes who not only grate it up, but also package it in handy plastic bags and sell it at the grocery store. No matter, though, because it struck me as highly comical and I had to stop what I was doing and laugh for a bit. To her immense credit, she recognized why what she had said was funny, and DIDN'T CONTINUALLY KEEP REPEATING IT! It's one of those comedy pointers that I try to stress to the children--something's usually lost its comedic effect after about the third or fourth time. Unless it's something like Congress.

ANYwho, it's been a long weekend, and now lunchtime is over.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:11 PM | Comments (0)

August 16, 2005

It's Lunchalicious!

Long-time reader Stan the G-Man threw a paper airplane out of his window a few minutes ago and it just now landed on my desk. (Chet being gone to the Merganthaler Linotype Convention in Las Vegas.) I unfolded Stan's note and this is what he had to say:

This is an interesting food blog I found by accident (I was looking for the Bright Star's website)--


I gather he or she has been posting for a while, but there is only one link per Technorati to the blog. But you might find it of interest!


Well, it IS a fun place to visit, and I believe it was started by Robert McCrary, at least if the first few posts are an indication, and it also has a few of his friends along for the ride, and some nice posts from Greeks in Birmingham as well.

It gives you an overview of Birmingham-area good old down-home food places (both bygone and those still kicking), with an especial emphasis on the restaurants that serve burgers, hot dogs, and barbecue. As he says in his introductory post "[...] If you think that when someone orders “three jumbo pork sandwiches, 2 inside and 1 outside,” they plan on eating a third al fresco, there is likely to be writing here you won’t understand. [...]"

Not a whole huge amount of posts, but some that will make you very hungry when you read them.

AND, if you want to get an additional bit of lunchy goodness, how about a website of old Birmingham restaurant postcards! Compiled by a fellow named Warren Reed (and there's an index for all the rest of the cards here)--the restaurant selection does for the Magic City what Lileks has done for the open road. Except without as much gleeful snark.

Oh, and by the way, here's Bright Star's website.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:40 PM | Comments (2)


Man hopes to help hunters can walrus meat

Nothing like a hot pinneped and cheese sandwich and a frosty Diet Coke, and now you can have it year round!

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:31 AM | Comments (2)

August 04, 2005

Fortune Cookie Wisdom of the Day!

First up--

You will inherit some money from an unexpected source.


Next up--

When both feet are planted firmly, nothing can shake you.

Makes it awfully hard to get stuff off the top shelf, though.

And, as much as it pains me to disagree with my cultural and intellectual superiors, you CAN be shaken if your feet are firmly planted, and it would probably hurt a lot worse. Say, for instance, something like a big metal shaking machine driven by a bonobo shows up at your house, and you're standing there with your feet planted, and the bonobo makes the machine grab you by the head and then he flips a switch and the machine starts shaking, your planted feet would be still, and the whole upper part of you would be shaking, and I think that would be bad and would hurt. And since your feet are planted, you couldn't run and get a bazooka and gently disable the monkey. All you could do is shout and try to make him stop. But you know how they can be.

AND, this whole thing doesn't take into consideration the idea that if you plant your feet into something that ITSELF can be shaken, you're probably in even bigger trouble. Again, if the Giant Metal Bonobo-Operated Shaking Machine has a switch that says "Earthquake," he might flip that while he's got your head, and then all of you would be shaking and then a big crack might open up between your feet, and that would be super bad.

So, you know, maybe those Chinese people aren't so wise after all.


5 16 28 32 45. 14


5 16 24 39 41. 26

Today's meal: kung pao chicken with rice and egg roll, hot and sour soup, Diet Coke. By the way, is there a dish that's just like kung pao chicken, except all of the hot peppers are removed from it before they give it to you? I live in mortal fear of recreating that incident in the Spring of 1987 at the China Palace (or whichever one had the big copper-spraypainted fu dogs outside) on South College Street in Auburn, when I accidentally ingested one of these peppers and very nearly had to drink an entire gallon of water.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 02:56 PM | Comments (12)

July 14, 2005

Apparently, everything makes you fat...

Food makers warned on high-fat snack ads.

Who knew advertising even had fat in it!? I always figured that at least the print ads would have fiber content going for them.

Shows what I know.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 02:34 PM | Comments (2)

June 21, 2005


With Pam the Liberal!

And I'd forgotten all about it!

Such a dolt. I was sitting here wondering what I was supposed to do for lunch when she called to see if I'd stood her up. NEVER! So, off down the street, where I met up with her as she slowly shook her head in dismay at my continual, ever-quickening slide into the ol' mental crapper. Easy for HER to say--she never gets any older. I figure I've got about a year before I pass her.

Anyway, she escorted her poor addled lunch companion gently down the street to Roly Poly for a nice sandwich (mmm--smoked salmon!) and a hour-long monologue by yours truly. Topic? Mostly teenaged girls, and not just mine, but those things in general. She has two boys--one graduated from college, the other just starting, and both of them were teenagers for a very long time. When she worked here, I commiserated with her about their trials, so now she has to listen to mine.

She, like me, is in wonderment about how young girls got so sexually aggressive. She wondered if it could be that they have no sense that it's acceptable for them to set borders and boundaries over the use of their bodies. Probably a little of that, but that seems too much as though there's some sort of conspiracy to objectify them against their will.

My take is that we've got the idea of equality turned around so much that whereas we used to laugh off bad behaviors in boys by saying "boys will be boys," instead of insisting that boys bring their moral standards up to what we used to expect from girls (and to stop relying on lame "devil made me do it" excuses), we've now said that it's better to let girls LOWER their standards and be just like a herd of rutting goats.

There's also a strange disconnect going on, where no one seems to understand the concept of consequences. In a perfect world, young ladies might think it would be perfectly acceptable to dress and act any way they want, with no uncomfortable (or deadly) repercussions. In a perfect world, young men would not take advantage of this, and not go any further than what the young lady desires.

Unfortunately, it is not a perfect world. It is not fair. But it's a sucker bet to think you can rely on crying "it's not fair" after the fact, and make it all right again. This is not to blame victims. This doesn't excuse wrongdoing by saying, "well, she had it coming." It doesn't work that way. But I think we need to understand that laws don't always deter harm, and parents especially need to understand that. Just because traffic is supposed to stop when pedestrians are in crosswalks, doesn't mean that no pedestrians are ever hit by cars.

If you really love your kids, be their parent, and don't worry too much about trying to be their buddy. Watch what your kids do. Watch who they hang out with. Teach them right from wrong. Teach them about consequences.

And teach them to tolerate liberals*, because they can make nice lunch companions.

(*Or, at least the old-timey liberals, who still believe in such antiquated concepts as right and wrong.)

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 02:10 PM | Comments (0)

June 15, 2005

Well, apparently the code word was supplanted by a code phrase...

More flow.

ANYway, a very nice lunch meeting, this time attended by around 100 to 150 local bloggers, all eating and having a wonderful time at the funky, urbane confines of one of our local African-art-themed koffiehuizen!

Those of you who missed this event missed a raucous riot of joviality that will not soon be topped in the Magic City!

Okay, so my attendance count might be off a bit. But otherwise, it was just as described. I left a bit early so I could get there and have time to cool off and not be all nasty and sweaty, and took a seat by the door to pass the time. Not a lot of patrons, but it really is a pretty good place, although a bit on the pricey side. I got the roast beef on toasted whole wheat sandwich platter (i.e., chips and something green) with slaw, and it was very tasty. I did just now remember to myself that I was supposed to have gotten a pickle spear. Hmph!

Skillzy showed up as I was ordering, and then Sugarmama herself showed up just a few minutes after that. I was standing by the door and she walked right past me and didn't even see me. Then she continued to ignore me. It made me very sad, and forelorn. Even worse was when she (apparently thinking I was joking about being sick) decided to attempt to give me a hug, and I rebuffed her in no uncertain terms by crying loudly, "UNCLEAN!" Why? Well, aside from being a moron, no other really good reason pops in my head.

We sat down and waited for everyone else to show up and passed the time by talking about the events of the day--what Nicky Preede will do after Scrushy walks; City Stages (now with Ludacris!); teen drivers; driver's license bureau employees; never lie to people on your cell phone calls; "Jug" Twitty--Skillzy was laughing at various media outlets calling him "Jar" Twitty, but I just did a quick search and, sure enough, Jar Twitty is Jug's brother (no word on if there is a sister named Vase); and a discussion of various articles of clothing, such as my stylish silk necktie, brightly colored with geometric designs inspired by the de Stijl movement in Holland. It is loud and clownlike, and most people are not quite sure whether to point and laugh, or whether to look at it pensively and remark about its essential commentary on industrialization and the alienation of man. Then they see me wearing it and understand it is to be laughed at.

Too early, time to go. Walked Skillzy back to the parking deck, then Sugarmama and I walked back almost to City Hall before I had to bid her adieu, and once again loudly proclaim that I was sick and not to be touched in ANY FASHION WHATSOEVER.

And now? Work.

"Needs more flow," as they say.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:14 PM | Comments (6)

June 02, 2005


Tomorrow, Friday, June 3 is National Doughnut Day!


[*Local Birmingham reference for fans of Lonnie Bumpus Jones.]

Via Snopes.com.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:15 AM | Comments (7)

May 27, 2005


I wonder where I could find me some spider crab cakes?

UPDATE: Not at Captain D's, that's for sure.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:46 AM | Comments (0)

May 13, 2005

Fortune Cookie Wisdom of the Day!

Mmm. Hot and sour.

Now then, for the readings:

Love is the secret to success.


Remember, being happy is not always being perfect.

Wow. You know, that is just so true. I think. Or not. I mean, it may depend on what your definition of "is" is.

ANYway, your lucky numbers for today are:

8 19 23 33 42. 20


9 15 23 37 43. 25

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 02:04 PM | Comments (0)

April 18, 2005

And now?


Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:03 PM | Comments (0)

April 06, 2005

That was fun!

Although I am a moron.

We'd agreed to eat lunch at the Cameo Cafe place we've eaten at before, and Pam said she thought it was closed, but it was just weeks ago--it seemed like--when sugarmama and I ate there, so I said, "Naaaah, it's open!"

Well, it's not. Been closed since the first of January. ::sigh:: Such a dolt.

Anyway, I sat down on a bench and waited for a little while, and watched some even bigger dolt stop in the far right lane of 5th Avenue, back up into oncoming traffic, stop, and then turn across all three lanes to get into a parking space on the LEFT curb. I don't think I've ever seen anyone want a parking space THAT bad before.

Not long after, Pam drove up and I mentioned that the cafe was closed.

"Yeah, I thought so."

"It's not busy, though!" See, there's a bright side to everything!

She volunteered to drag us somewhere else, so I hopped into her spiffy Mazda Tribute and we wound our way over to the new Sarris' Fish Market location on Southside. Wow. That's some good food, and the new location in the old Harris Transfer Company warehouse is full of that swankily urbane funkiness that makes eating in an old cold storage warehouse really, REALLY cool.

Pam got the shrimp and crabmeat marinated salad, and I got the crabcake po' boy. Excellent food, although even at 2 in the afternoon there was still quite a crowd, which meant the food took a while to fix. Good time to talk though--I always enjoy having lunch with Pam. Topics of conversation included forgetfulness, road rage, stupid people, eyebrow piercing, trying to teach college students the difference between Martin Luther and Martin Luther King, Jr. (who was not Lutheran, by the way), teenagers, women, food, forgetfulness, work, rain, her stepgrandbaby who calls her Ama in lieu of Grandma Pama, and then it was time to head back. ::sigh:: I sure wish she still worked here.

Despite the fact, or maybe even BECAUSE she's a liberal Democrat, AND one who's not insane with rage about everything, and doesn't see a conspiracy behind every imagined slight. It's impossible to have any sort of civil discussion up here in my little corner of the world, because it's filled with loons who would like nothing better to have all the bones taken out of their knees to make them easier to jerk.

Before Pam let me out downstairs, she said she had to ask at least one political question to finish off the lunch with, and she asked my thoughts on the Terri Schiavo debacle. Which is pretty much what I said it was--there is little good to go around in this one. Everyone in it had some culpability in the way it played out, and no one has clean hands. Except, I hope, for the young lady herself.

There are so many different views, and I know some of mine would not align with some of Pam's, but as I told her, she and I could sit there in that car all afternoon long and disagree time and time again, and never for once think the other was evil, and we could depart friends after it was over. As I've said before, that's one of the reasons I keep writing this blog--there's no one here sane enough to talk to on a regular basis. And I can't afford to eat lunch with Pam every day.

Still, I'm glad I got to today.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 03:56 PM | Comments (5)


It's time to go have lunch with My Friend Pam the LiberalTM! Yea!

Be back after while.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:17 PM | Comments (0)