Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Touch, Feel and Lose and Cry, Cry, Cry

This Chicken Mushroom Rice stewpy casserole was a quickie after work creation that I loved and would make again if only I could recall how I did it. I suppose there are multiple ways to get to the same outcome but nothing is coming to mind even though it was less than a month ago.  The roasted asparagus and mushrooms on top with Parmesan was a great new way to add vegetables instead of drowning them in the liquid. Plus, roasting separately leaves their color and integrity.
Speaking of integrity, Ryan Adams, an artist I treasure if only for certain works and times in my life has been accused of sexual misconduct.  This was also the dreaded day when the door opened for all musicians to be called on the carpet for their discretion's.  I would imagine lights have just lit up inside millions of girl's heads reading this news. Surely there are going to be so many others coming forward.  The 80's hairbands, rap groups, the 60's and 70's, my goodness - that was the wild west.  I see this unending assembly line of disgruntled heart worn gals coming to state their claims.  I'm trying to get a handle on my stance so that I can either argue intelligently or join the army of empowered women.  But relationship behavior between men and women is so very complicated and specific. It's messy. Like snowflakes, each unique with hundreds of considerations. And we should consider all of them.  But first off we can all get behind the law.  14 year old kids are off limits as sexual prey for 40 year old men.  Done deal. Laws are in place, lawyers know what to do, it’s understood.  Murkier, albeit gross and disheartening is texting and pursuing them without real physical contact.  The devil would be in the details here. I am less clear on the legislation and implications of all that weirdness. I want a professional to chime in, in that case.  A musician with power that uses it improperly to gain good songs or makes promises to get sex but doesn't follow through. A husband that doesn’t support you or manipulates you....normally I file that in, unfortunate but none of my business.  Get a good divorce lawyer. But now its in my face several clicks a day, so naturally I am compelled to dissect the information. So far, it sounds like he’s showing patterns for using women but I’m not hearing a crime there for the court system, except the one that is being investigated for another matter, which is pretty serious. But before we know if he’s guilty of anything, he will get publicly lynched basically. Right now though before we continue this much needed war on the abuse of power we definitely must put focus on the other silent victim, the art.

You want to hear my fucking truth?  Art is not the guilty party. Art needs some type of protective rights just like helpless babies and kittens, rescue dogs, the wild horses of Arizona, the tired, hangry polar bears.  The creator is not the art. This means something. I believe the division is crucial here.

The punishment should fit the crime. If you rape or kill someone, you should go to jail.  If you make a killer song or record before, during or after that work should be protected. Companies should put art out based on it's value, not the artist's virtuous standing, in my opinion.  I am very torn over companies acting as judge and jury over individuals.  I'm nervous that our quick clicks after reading these sensationalized news articles become actual verdicts.  With that power we now hold comes great responsibility.
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The public and corporations are issuing sentences without trials, without proper journalism in some cases or complete facts.

I don't know if I even want to be part of deciding these types of complicated matters.  I hate any rules around art or expression period actually. Where does it end? At some point are works going to be squashed because there wasn't proper representation of all the groups in the cast of a movie, for example?  Yeah, uh listen Spielberg, you didn't include a quadriplegic and a Pan Asian so we had to pull the plug on your new project.  Oooh, too bad, close though, looked like it was gonna be epic too! And will we, regular Joes need to own a 3-legged dog and know 2 multiracial couples, 3 lesbians and a tranny in order to get a car loan eventually?   It sounds crazy now but in a year's time? In a recent job interview my mate had to give multiple examples of what he has done in his life for cultural diversity in the world. He’s a freaking facilities manager! But the craziest part was the next question. Mind you, this was by the psychiatrist that was part of the interview process, And the question was Not are you well versed in heating units. Or are you up to date on your fire safety director certificate. No, it was to give Chapter names to the most important moments in your life. You can't make this stuff up!

To Phoebe Bridges I say, this sounds like a good life lesson, especially when pursuing a musical career - maybe a mixed blessing since this was a mutual consensual relationship and possibly no real damage done.  It's unfortunate but you have to live and learn with that stuff, it isn't a crime to be an asshole, yet.  You pursued him in your own words because you heard he could be influential to careers.  How did that become sexual-ized for you my dear girl?  It's two different ball games.  He's a real jerk to dangle the apple for personal gains but you are making choices.  Those choices have risks and consequences.  Rape is not a choice. That's why we need to be very careful with putting those two together.  Bad decisions are unfortunate and sometimes life changing but not life threatening.

Hey girl, I totes feel you.  Many women can certainly relate.  And Mandy Moore - psychological manipulation?  Again, been there. Regrettable? Certainly.  You said it, if it lead you to this new man that's 100 times what your bad marriage held, that is your personal life and road.  It's all part of living and growing.  It takes two to tango but sometimes you just get a bad egg and if you're strong enough you get the hell out of there and build yourself back up.  I completely want to support those women. And also agree with Phoebe, your friends are slightly complicate and we should put pressure on them to say something, like you would a suspicious bag on a train. But you sharing your truth also holds much power these days. We need to learn to use it wisely. It's a little confusing for someone like me to go from the era where no one believed women to you must believe all women always or you are dead to me.   If we don't watch it women and society will be guilty of what we're so damned damaged by, this misuse of power. 

The actual art or product whether it be food, movies, music or songwriting, whatever, is very valuable to society and should be protected.  Selfishly I have to say I consider the art form as the true precious commodity here. While all of us very imperfect humans try to work all of this out we must consider the defenseless. I think creativity sometimes comes out of our most deranged twisted folks.  Do we have to throw the baby out with the bath water so to speak? For example, no one I speak to is surprised at all about the accusations because even though I adore so much of Ryan's music, it was no secret in town years ago that his behavior was less than stellar as a regular human walking the planet.  He was an immature little punk with new money and a penchant for young girls. And his songwriting wasn’t always brilliant but sometimes it was. I just read that based on written stories and an upcoming investigation the unreleased albums are now being squashed immediately including 2 on Blue Note Records. I get that it’s a smart business decision but are these companies really doing us a service by cutting off the art itself?  I also get the artist would be monetarily rewarded but isn’t that our decision to make? I don’t have the answers but their must be another way. I just see us losing more freedoms navigating creativity by a moral compass. After all, so much of that side of this argument is driven by the original hater, Mr. mean green himself, the almighty dollar.  And we all know he is not that sensitive, so we need to stop pretending companies have real hearts, accept that they are equally flawed and realize when we are being manipulated.  Grow from those mistakes, just like Mandy Moore.

So this comes to my second problem, the absolute blacking out of someone completely.  We've all seen the big shut down on people.  Society just pulls down the lever and lights out, you are basically done forever.  Is that how we want to be dealt with ourselves?  It's so like a scary Black Mirror episode to me. I am a little nervous about what is coming next as we continue to shape one proper behavior?  We're losing our freedoms right and left in an effort to create safety and be woke.  Do we seriously want to go back to the ways of the old Testament?  We want to work through life to be good people via our own paths and experiences, not ruled by the rod again.
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Monday, January 21, 2019

We Can Make It Happen

Every time I made these fries I almost can't believe how great they are because they are baked not fried.  But you still get that outer crunch with the soft interior.  Garlicky Baked Fries from the website.  You almost must make them now.  As I'm looking at them I'm envisioning Baked Fri-chos, potato nachos with melted Monterey jack cheese, spicy ground beef, onions, tomatoes, pickled jalapenos.  This definitely must happen!

My sister's giant full moon in Colorado

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Icicles Within My Brain

From my recent slow roasted pork shoulder, I made these pulled pork cold sandwiches.  In the middle of January you really miss fresh things yet, its not their time.  This was a nice compromise with the iceberg lettuce, tomato and red onions.  The American cheese slices were just left to melt quickly and the buns were toasted slightly as well.
At the time I remember thinking, why didn't I got more decadent but now looking at it, I'd want that right now.  Sliced down the middle, half to eat now, more for later.  And these cute little pickled Okra P found were so good.  I texted my sister and coincidentally she had the exact same ones too.

typical crap looking view from work in January. 

Friday, January 18, 2019

Everybody I Know Needs Some Passion

This is where it gets a little embarrassing when speaking of my food passions.  We rarely eat pork but in fact sometimes they practically give it away with the prices so low that you're crazy not to buy it.  But what happens when you have a pack of country ribs and a huge pork shoulder to roast?  Most people would freeze one and cook the other but instead I declared it Pork Week.  I made a pre-pork shoulder Sweet potato pork stew with corn and cumin.  Excellent!  As always, if you have hot sauce then I'm telling you, you're nuts not to throw in a full cup.  Let's not even talk about considering El Paso okay, that is just embarrassing but this recipe is cool.  The extra that the real homemade hot sauce gives is promised!  The recipe

meanwhile the Nigella Lawson slow-roasted Aromatic pork begins its journey...

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Another Nigella Lawson's Slow Roasted Aromatic Pork Shoulder 
Just the name alone is enough to get those saliva juices flowing in your mouth.  This roast fills your home with the delightful scent of porky pig goodness combined with garlic and herbs, the ever so slight smell of vinegar that lingers like a long ago sprayed mist in the air.  Almost as if you had a BBQ pit going in your home but softer and subtler.  You really need nothing more because you want the focus to be the meat but a cool apple spinach salad is a nice pairing for this.  Use a slightly sweet honey dressing to balance out your palate. 

The skin just falls off and the fat keeps the meat so moist underneath, never dries out.  If you don't try this you may never know true happiness. Instructions for happiness

Saturday, January 12, 2019

It's Just That Simple

Nachos two-ways, Nachos for days
A small vat of freshly made pico de gallo and a sheet of plain nachos with only cheese and jalapenos and another loaded with meat and beans.  Nachos can be dinner if you do it right and when you're not feeling up to being Betty Crocker.  A bowl of thinly sliced iceberg lettuce or cabbage would be a great accompaniment.

Tuesday, January 8, 2019


Finally have a day off to catch up on old posts and it is confirmed, life really is a cycle.  As I write this I am eating a bowl of 15 bean soup almost a year later also made in the crock pot.  Instead, the one now was flavored with the Christmas ham bone and is much more decadent and rich. I probably prefer last year's because I love me some creamy but both are satisfying and hearty.
Jan 08 2019
 this year's with hambone

Monday, January 7, 2019

There's Still Time to Change The Road You're On

Smoked Turkey wings for flavor
Well, well, well, here I am almost a year behind on posts.  We find ourselves on productive afternoon.  Two soups in one day, a 15-bean in crock pot, and a split pea stovetop. I'm impressed at my former self.  This is a smart idea because you can use all of your carrots, celery and onions.  Also if you buy a pack of smoked wings or hocks, there is usually enough for two batches.  The bad thing is that by the time you get to the end of two huge vats, you're sick to death of soup.  Smart people freeze things and save them for rainy days.  I could do that but don't.  I've always wondered, why don't we do things that are smart and wise all the time, especially when we know better? 
All the trees were being disposed of on a particular day when the city comes to pick them up.  Isn't that crazy?  All these apartments, the people, each tree valued at over a hundred dollars but worth much more.  Killing trees.  Smart people killing trees.  For a beautiful purpose no doubt but we all know better than this.  There's just too many of us now to continue this type of nonsense. 

I Lock Out All My Worries and My Fears

I found impossibly large Portobella mushrooms at my vegetable market and a great inspirational recipe.  Recipes can be a great motivator to rev up your own ideas.  The actual recipe, most likely amazing was not used but it did sway me to create this spinach and sausage pesto cap over marinara sauce.
P was gone recently and now he's safely tucked back into his 5 x 7 room.  Yes, for New Yorkers its a major bonus to have one of these 1/2 rooms attached to a 1 bedroom.  His has a window and separate door even, which is rare.  He stays in there for sometimes 8 hours at a time, for days and days.  And it has been this way for years. Through time I've felt different ways about this behavior both bad and good.  He writes songs, plays music, records, makes movies and sometimes just watches sports.  He has a full command central type of set up including new gadgets endlessly delivered from Amazon.  I don't want that room and I get the run of the rest of the place so there is no issue regarding space.  I understand that it's common for men to want a separate area, the dreaded man-cave but this is not that exactly.  If he didn't have it, we would not be living together not because we'd argue constantly, but that might happen too.  It's where he can create and if he's not creating he's not a happy person.  Thank goodness I can create in any room and also enjoy my solo time more than the average Jo-lene.
Because I never venture in that room, I started to really believe there was an entire world on the other side of that door.  I refused to clean it so it's very rare that I enter.  It remained full of mystery.  Until recently he was gone on a trip an I had the opportunity to fetch coffee cups left to fester with science experiments growing in the bottom.  I picked them up and just stood looking around at all the little stuff, careful not to disturb anything.  Even though it was messy, wires everywhere, pieces of wood nailed to the walls, guitars hung on ropes, there was a beautiful calmness to it.  If you were to open up his brain it may look similar.  Men are weird.  P's is a little strange.  That room is a wilderness.  I'm glad there is a place that he can go in this world that accommodates all of that chaotic energy that he puts off and that it seems to fit in a tiny 5 x 7 room. 
Inspirational recipe

Friday, January 4, 2019

Lord Help Me, I Can't Change

Pelicana Chicken is a Korean chain so it was an odd choice for a date but it's a block away, it's new and a spicy hot fried chicken sandwich is a draw for me, not gonna lie.  I hate the banners and the many stickers on the windows, especially on a cute neighborhood building.  Why is a chicken restaurant named after another bird, or does it have a different meaning? In Spanish it means to have gray hairs.   Regardless, every spot has failed and moved on in this location, so it was important to support them.
The batter is really good, super crispy and light.  Everything was fried so this can't be a regular spot but a nice take out or delivery card to pull out in the future for a treat.
The prices were reasonable considering the neighborhood's competitors.
The sandwiches were awesome too and the sauces were on point.  The spice was right and I loved the proportions with regards to tomatoes, lettuce, pickles and the meat to bun ratio.  There really is an art to putting together a good sandwich.
The interior was wild.  Nicer inside then you'd expect, lots of sparkles.  But it was super early and January so we were the only patrons.  Still I'm not sure I'd want to sit in again, but definitely will continue to patronize.  Right before we left the dinner crowd came pouring in.  Looks like the young high school and stroller variety.  I am a creepy asshole snob for saying but man I just hate being in restaurants with strollers.