Tuesday, December 30, 2008
3 tablespoons Korean soup stock mix
3-4 cups water
2-3 tablespoons gochujang or more if you like it even spicier
2 hot dogs sliced up
2 slices spam
2 green onions chopped up
3 garlic cloves chopped
1 or 2 packages of ramen noodles
leafy vegetable like kale
kim chi, of course
Saturday, December 27, 2008
SG: This idea slayed me for some reason -- not the premise as much as how everyone would react to the news. I think it would make Bill Maher self-combust. He'd just explode like a hot-air balloon.
Friday, December 26, 2008
And how many eggs exactly can fit on one motor scooter, which leads me to the Ja Ja Myeong problem as philosophers call it. In Korea, restaurants will deliver food to your place in minutes, and they'll give you real plates. They come around and collect the plates and silverware from your hallway an hour or so later. Tipping is also forbidden. If you try to tip them, they'll refuse. The drivers take their scooters on snow and ice and take quite a few nasty spills. If you screw up in high school, noodle deliveryman is pretty much your fate. Late bloomers aren't such a huge feature of Korean society. I'd pose the question to my students on whether these guys were nuts to deliver food for little money risking life and limb, or noble servants doing their duty. Most sided with the latter option.
I used to live in this little office tel in Incheon, and I do mean small. I never knew any of my neighbors. I'd just hear the click of high heels late at night. The only people who would live in that place were English teachers, a ubiquitous lot in Korea, and room salon girls, who were equally ubiquitous. Korean businessmen pay a couple hundred dollars to sing karaoke, eat fruit and drink whiskey with young, attractive Korean women. Supposedly that was all that went on. Around that apartment I would see several ajummas, the perm was the telltale sign, carrying off the cardboard in their rickshaws.
Now this is a warning sign. How many drunken, pregnant, old people attempt to ride a roller coaster? Unrelated to Korean experiences, but I took this in the late 90s on the Staten Island Ferry. It still seems like some kind of bizarre movie idea that those towers went the way they did.
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
One of the most annoying features of the Phoenix Metropolitan Area is the police state method of having photo radar everywhere. If you are driving more than ten miles over the speed limit, you get flashed by the all seeing eye like Britney Spears tongue kissing Paris Hilton at a paparazzi convention, and a near $200 ticket arrives in the mail. My major beef is that the speed limit keeps changing on the highway, so what is legal on one stretch of highway with the cruise control set, suddenly becomes illegal and expensive. I've not been ticketed, though I got flashed once. Overall, photo radar is not very popular. Some people have spray painted the lenses, taken target practice with paintball guns, simply covered them up, or in this case, knocked them out with Christmas cheer. This state is regressive enough with its obscene 10 percent sales tax, so three cheers for the Kris Kringle vigilantes.
Sunday, December 21, 2008
On the baseball front, the Yankees are doing an even better job of giving money to rich people than the Bush administration. A.J. Burnett killed the Yankees, and the Red Sox for that matter, over the last several years, and if he stays healthy will probably be a good signing, but I have to wonder about 290 pounds of CC Sabathia in the August heat at Yankee Stadium. This guy couldn't close out the Red Sox with a 3-1 series lead in the 2007 ALCS and now gets seven years and $161 million. Yikes. I have more faith in Burnett at about half that price. The Yankees are going to be more hated than ever with this over the top spending spree. No one was bidding even close to what they gave Sabathia, and who still wasn't in any rush to be a Yankee and has a three year escape clause in his bloated contract. The ticket prices at the new Yankee Stadium will be completely off the chain.
Thursday, December 18, 2008
1/3 cup olive oil
4 garlic cloves chopped
To make the marinade, I heated up the olive oil over medium heat and cooked the garlic about 90 seconds. I wouldn't even call it cooking, just trying to extract some of the flavor. I then combined the oil with the juice of one orange, one lemon and one lime and mixed in the cumin and oregano and let the onions marinate in there a couple hours. The marinade takes some of the punch out of the raw onion aspect, and I then just topped them over some black beans and rice, and garnished with a fair bit of fresh cilantro. The extra marinade is good for pork chops as well, which I think work best grilled, and from experience I do not recommend marinating the chops excessively -- just a couple of hours.
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Thursday, December 04, 2008
2 lbs chicken thighs
splash of olive oil around pan
8-12 garlic cloves
1/3 cup brandy
1/2 cup chicken stock
4 saffron threads
1. Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat and cook the garlic. Remove garlic from the pan.
2. Cut up the chicken pieces, add salt and pepper, and saute them in the oil. Chopping them up makes them cook faster and throughout.
3. When chicken is brown and cooked through, return garlic to pan, pour in chicken stock.
4. Pour in the brandy. Do not pour brandy into a hot pan or it will flair dramatically.
5. Add saffron threads.
6. Simmer over medium high heat until sauce thickens a bit.
7. Garnish with chopped parsley.
Friday, November 28, 2008
I'm gone from Saipan, but glad to see not forgotten, as the whole family made the Marianas Variety thankful list for the fourth year. Very cool.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
3 tablespoon olive oil
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 large chopped onion
1/2 cup white wine
1 12 ounce can diced tomatoes with juice
1 small can tomato paste to thicken the sauce
1 pound mussels
red pepper flakes
top with chopped parsley and basil
Heat oil in large frying pan over medium heat.
Add the garlic and onions, cook briefly until fragrant
Add the can of diced tomatoes with juices
Add the wine
Bring the mixture to the boil and add the mussels, cook 3-5 minutes
Thicken the sauce with a can of tomato paste. Omit if you like a thin sauce.
Stir in red pepper flakes and some salt.
Top with chopped parsley and basil and serve over pasta of your choice. I used linguine.
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Sunday, November 16, 2008
- Bill Maher, in a good mood celebrating the greatness of America and offering the final word for this season's finale of Real Time.
Saturday, November 15, 2008
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
Monday, November 03, 2008
My general philosophy of cooking is that too much garlic is never enough. I'm coming around to a similar worldview on that as it relates to basil and shallots, which I used in abound to make that fresh tomato sauce. I used garlic, shallots, basil, parsley, sugar, oregano, red pepper flake, a splash of red wine and of courses seeded roma tomatoes cooked for a long time on low to make a lively red sauce.
The slow cooker is always great for making chicken stock without much skimming required. I regularly also use it for cooking whole brined, chicken with stuffing, pot roasts, sauerkraut and kielbasa cooked a long time on low with some onion and a bacon slice, as well as my favorite Portuguese dish, mariscada, which I continue to experiment with. This weekend I added saffron threads to the broth and a splash of sherry.
Sunday, November 02, 2008
And none of it matters, so long as you remember a few months before Election Day to offer them a two-bit caricature culled from some cutting-room-floor episode of Roseanne as part of your presidential ticket. And if she's a good enough likeness of a loudmouthed middle-American archetype, as Sarah Palin is, John Q. Public will drop his giant-size bag of Doritos in gratitude, wipe the Sizzlin' Picante dust from his lips and rush to the booth to vote for her. Not because it makes sense, or because it has a chance of improving his life or anyone else's, but simply because it appeals to the low-humming narcissism that substitutes for his personality, because the image on TV reminds him of the mean, brainless slob he sees in the mirror every morning.
Sarah Palin is a symbol of everything that is wrong with the modern United States. As a representative of our political system, she's a new low in reptilian villainy, the ultimate cynical masterwork of puppeteers like Karl Rove. But more than that, she is a horrifying symbol of how little we ask for in return for the total surrender of our political power.
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Sunday, October 19, 2008
The Secret Machines are my favorite new band to come along in a long while. I love their effects laden guitar and the Zeppelin, Floyd, Rush inspired space jams. I caught these guys in Tucson a while back in a small club and really liked the vibe created with the laser show they also managed to integrate. The band has a self titled new album that was released last week.
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Tonight I caught the new Bill Maher movie Religulous, which is a combination of the two words "religion" and "ridiculous," which does seem to be a reasonable word combination. My favorite scene is this one where he goes to London and starts preaching the tenets of "Scientology." He gets treated like he's crazy because, well, it is crazy, and he makes the point that it only sounds comparatively crazy because it's newer and we haven't heard these stories as often as the ones from the more mainstream religions. Bill's too smug for the dopey masses to even contemplate a lot of what is offered in this movie, but it's nice to see someone putting up the good fight against the forces of superstition, prudism, dullness and dogma.
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Monday, October 13, 2008
The behavior of people at these games confounds. It's like the Ancient Roman Arena only we watch people pull hamstrings and tear knee cartilage instead of slicing off limbs. When I see how kids act in school, today was a reminder of where they are getting it from. It was still cool to see the game up close and personal. I've seen the Cowboys live in three different seasons. In the previous two times they later went on to win the Superbowl. I saw them in Atlanta in 1993 and at Giants Stadium in 1995 when Emmitt Smith ran wild on the night they retired Lawrence Taylor's number.
Wednesday, October 08, 2008
Between the stock market crash, the price of gas -- better but still bad -- the housing crash, which was inflated from the previous years truth be told, I'm not sure I've ever seen the American economy this bad. I also don't see this country having much ability to cope with these problems, either. This country as a whole seems very past its prime and incapable of doing anything other than creating more debt and heading further in the wrong direction -- appealing to the dumbest, most base instincts. Our movies are bad, our music is bad, disgusting fast food abounds, an absolute ditz could end up vice president -- don't get me started on the state of parenting or the raging anti-intellectual attitudes of the youth. It's starting to feel like I'm in Saipan five years ago.
Saturday, October 04, 2008
Monday, September 29, 2008
Sunday, September 28, 2008
"It’s a bronchial infection on the First Amendment. Nothing has done more to make us dumber or meaner than the anonymity of the Internet."
And on the topic of interesting quotes, I loved this quote from Bill Maher on last week's Real Time:
"It seems like our society has two reactions to problems: paralysis and panic. Paralysis would be big long term issues like social security, immigration, health care, energy, the environment. Nothing ever gets done, paralysis. Panic is our other response. 9/11 would be a good example of panic. Attack the wrong country. Start torturing people."
Saturday, September 27, 2008
Brad Ruszala runs out of women to woo in Saipan, and moves on to new species.
Friday, September 26, 2008
As for something more pleasant, the town I live is opening a spring training facility for the Cleveland Indians. I don't know why they're doing this now, but tomorrow they're opening it up to residents and Hall of Famer Bob Feller will be there to talk baseball and meet the fans. That sounds pretty cool to me. I'll be there.
Sunday, September 21, 2008
Sunday, September 07, 2008
I also found out today out that there is apparently a positive side to global warming: archaeological discoveries in the melting ice.
In matters of my erstwhile home, Harry Blalock is joining the long list of folks exiting Saipan. My buddy Zaldy Dandan is always spot on in assessing the nonsense of CNMI life, but Harry has also been quietly doing amazing spot on analysis in his Food For Thought blog. How much longer until the only two people left on Saipan are Bruce Bateman and Lil Hammerhead? How sad things have become in my former home. At the same time, the people got what they voted for -- no accountability as they cling to the stubborn hope that it will suddenly be 1992 again and the same old nonsense will work.
Locally, I've written before about what a bunch of mindless ninnies this country has become, but I've noticed a new piece of evidence that is worse in some ways than the no water on airplanes thing and the five shoe checks. I've been carded every time I've had a drink here. I went to watch the Thursday night NFL season opener with some colleagues and they carded me. I bought a margarita at the DMB concert and the same thing happened. If you look less than forty, you get carded in Arizona. The waitress told me that the alcohol board comes in regularly and checks if they actively card 36 year olds who just ordered the first round. What a silly, silly country we have become.
In October, I get some time off from school, and I may make a journey to Sedona and Las Vegas. Vegas is about a five hour drive from Phoenix, and there are other stops on the way like Hoover Dam and the Grand Canyon to break that up. I found a couple of cheap Vegas hotel deals on Expedia. There really is so much to do out here that it is amazing. Tomorrow we're heading out to see an Imax film on the Grand Canyon after the NFL season kicks off. The football schedule is much more convenient here, and especially nice on Pacific Time.
In local culinary adventures, I made a lobster ravioli in a sherry cream sauce that disappointed. I wasn't satisfied with the Chicken Marsala I made with it, either. I did make a fabulous turkey dinner last weekend, which now only costs ten bucks being back in civilization. I also made a pasta with squid and mussels in a marinara sauce that rocked, and a pizza with fresh mozzarella that was damn good with my new pizza stone. Trader Joes is another sight for sore eyes. I got fresh mozzarella on the cheap there, some organic french roast coffee and some Thai and Indian curries in a bottle that were both good.
Access to events is also getting me excited. I've seen Dave Matthews and Bill Maher since I got here. I'll catch the Dallas Cowboys here in October. Coldplay comes in November, as does Doug Stanhope. If there is a dive spot in Mexico I can drive to, I've heard Rocky Point is weak, I'll really be happy. Since I may not dive for almost a year, I'm going to try to make up for it and go on a Red Sea liveaboard off Cairo when school lets up. I've been reading a lot of Egyptian history and am really eager to see Egypt. Anthony Bourdain has a great travel/food show on and did a piece on Egypt that intrigued.
On the local level, my kids have adjusted real well to a new school in a new country. Carl, despite being by far the smallest kid in his class, is apparently the top basketball player, and Alex is drawing raves for his artistic ability as a kindergartner. My beautiful daughter continues to get more animated. She moves around more and more. She makes cooing duck noises for about 30 minutes when she wakes up each morning, and I've already come to loath Barney with a degree of intensity normally reserved only for George W. Bush or the Boston Red Sox.
Finally, I found it beyond revolting that people who should be voices for the environment and marine conservation, Sylvan Igisomar and Dr. John Joyner, are out whoring for an incompetent, unpopular moron like Ben Fitial in this idiotic stand against a marine monument in the Marianas. Sometimes I am amazed at how cheaply people sell themselves out. I must, however, give props to that outfit John Joyner is wearing in this video.
Wednesday, September 03, 2008
Chipotle is a fabulous Mexican chain restaurant out here. I inquired and got the simple scoop on how to make the delicous Mexican rice they serve.
Cook 1 cup basmatti rice according to directions.
Squeeze in juice from one lime
Add lots of cilantro
That's it. Simple and good. There is a green hot sauce Cuban style I used to eat over rice and beans at a place called Sophies in New York that is my next project.