Monday, December 08, 2008

Secrets, Lies and Grocery Shopping

I've never really understood the appeal of Levi's 501s. Button flies just are stiff. They dig into places that I'd rather be otherwise unmolested by metal. And apparently they now act as a catalyst to commit home invasion and pick up homeless dudes...with whom you then have sex while committing the home invasion.

None of this changes the fact that 501s have never fit me through the hips.

However, wearing the relaxed fit 550s act as a catalyst to...going grocery shopping. Unshowered. After running errands at the post office and bank.

But they fit me through the hips.


Thursday, December 04, 2008

Not My Mother's Turkey Soup

"Poot", Mr. Scoop called out as he entered from the garage. "How do you get blood out of your shirt?"

"My shirt in particular", I asked. "Or just a shirt?"

"My shirt", he said, looking down forlornly. He gestured helplessly. "I blame midgets. Invisible, exploding midgets. It's the only explanation."

I inspected the dark crusty remains that splotched the front of his button-down work shirt. "That's french silk pie from your breakfast this morning. Exploding midgets leave a wider range of splatter depending on the range and angle of impact. Haven't you been watching Dexter?"


"Either way, cold water and a clean toothbrush will get it mostly out."

"I'll need a beer first", he said. He stopped, distracted. "What's that smell?"


In keeping with my recently acquired tradition of finding unusual ways to put Thanksgiving leftovers to good use (you may remember last year's Poutine), I've decided that this particular recipe is my pre-Christmas/Hanuka/Kwanzaa/Festivus/Whatever gift to you this season. Enjoy!

Turkey and Sausage Etouffee

1/2 c. canola oil
1/2 c. flour
2 celery stalks, diced
1 medium green pepper, diced
1 medium onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, sliced
2 dried bay leaves
1/2 t. dried oregano
1/2 t. dried thyme
1/4-1/2 t. cayenne pepper
salt and pepper
7 oz. andouille sausage, browned (or kielbasa...use what you like...)
2-3 c. shredded cooked turkey (I used 2 drumsticks, 2 wings and a thigh)
12 oz. beer (something light. I used Coors. It's the silver bullet.)
1/4 c. chopped parsley
1/4 c. chopped scallions
cooked white rice

1. Preheat your oven to 350 F.

2. Combine the flour and oil in a large, deep oven proof skillet or dutch oven. Cook the flour and oil in the oven for 1 1/2 hours, stirring with a whisk every 30 minutes or so. This is the Alton Brown dark roux method. It may not be orthodox, but you end up with a pretty solid roux that is not burned before it hits a lovely brick color. You need a good roux if you want a good etouffee.

3. When the roux is done, transfer the pan carefully to the stovetop. Be very cautious - roux is cajun napalm, etc, etc. Add the diced vegetables to the roux with a dash of salt. Turn the heat under the pan up to medium (although there will still be quite a bit of heat in the pan). Cook the vegetables until they are soft. Add the bay leaves, oregano, thyme and cayenne, along with a grind or several of black pepper. Then add the sausage and turkey. Once all the ingredients are well combined, turn the heat under the pan up to high. Add the beer and stir the pan until the liquid boils. Cover and turn down to a simmer. Let simmer for 25-30 minutes.

4. When the etouffee has finished simmering, check to see if you need to add any more salt or pepper (probably not because of the sausage). Add the parsley and scallion, stirring through. If you'd like the dish hotter, offer hot sauce on the side. Serve immediately over the white rice. Be thankful for holiday leftovers. Repeat.