Thursday, May 28, 2020

Throwback Thursday: Humble Pie

It’s Throwback Thursday and I’ve got nothing. Except this old timey strawberry rhubarb pie I made:

My neighbor gave me some rhubarb that her mother grows here. Mom and step-dad are in their 80’s and departed for their home in St. George at the beginning of the Wuhan Cooties and haven’t returned since leaving stand after stand of beautiful crimson stalks untouched.

And when I  say “crimson stalks” I mean red, through and through:

bowl of chopped rhubarb Colorado Red rhubarb

It might be one of the old heirloom varieties of red rhubarb that, if grown correctly – proper soil pH, regularly divided, full sun – produces spectacularly, solidly red stems. It’s gorgeous stuff. I’ve honestly never seen a batch that wasn’t predominantly green in the middle regardless of the color of the outer stalk.

What Is Rhubarb? What to Know About the Superfood | Eat This Not That

I should mention that I love rhubarb, the way it retains it’s inherently tart character even when sugared generously – just like a lot of us. I wanted to do this handsome lot justice so I decided to use a recipe for strawberry rhubarb pie I saw in this month’s issue of Cooks Illustrated which required the cooking of the rhubarb along with some of the strawberries and sugar before putting it in the pie shell.

It also called for the use of instant tapioca as the thickening agent rather than cornstarch or flour. I subbed tapioca flour (1.5:1 instant tapioca) which I just happened to have on hand because I had picked some up at an Asian market awhile ago for who-knows-what and never used.

The point of the cooking step is to reduce the amount of liquid in the fruit before baking so your filling is not too runny. It took me much longer than the recipe indicated, like 3 times as long, to reach the recommended volume. The cooked portion is then added back to the remaining 3 cups of strawberries and dumped in the shell.

As you can see, it’s still plenty runny, hence the addition of the tapioca (in the cooking step).

After an hour in the oven at first 450 degrees, and then 375 degrees – it really is fussy for a pie recipe - I’m pleased to report that, despite the extra work and cleanup of the cooking step, my efforts were rewarded.

I was quite pleased with the still tart-sweet, gorgeous ruby red end product. As you can see it was still juicy enough to provide some delicious syrup to flavor the vanilla ice cream served up along side.

Here’s my secret, not-so-Throwback-Thursday part: I use Pillsbury pie shells. They are foolproof and better than any pie crust I could ever make. They should give me stock in the company for all the Pillsbury Dough Boy converts I’ve made.

Pillsbury Baking - Celebrate More with Pillsbury BakingA bow to the past, a nod to the present and hope for the future. No matter what, we will always have pie.

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Warning: Killer Asteroids Headed Our Way

More news from space you can’t use; this time it’s gravity. Apparently Earth is losing its grip:

Earth’s magnetic field, critical to all life, may be in danger from 'leaking core'

Earth’s magnetic field, critical to all life, may be in danger from 'leaking core'

Of course if you read beyond the sensational headline you will discover that not only is it leaking, “but that it has been for about 2.5 billion years.” So our task is monumental: that’s a helluva curve that needs flattening.

And that’s not even the bad news:

Unexplained anomaly weakening Earth’s magnetic field is EVOLVING and SPLITTING in two, warn scientists

The European Space Agency (ESA) has deployed its constellation of satellites to investigate unusual weaknesses in Earth’s magnetic field. It appears that the strange anomaly believed to be responsible is now evolving and splitting in two.

That’s worse than a mutating virus. But once again, as they say, read the whole thing. If you do you’ll discover that this too is a natural phenomenon and has occurred before, most likely many times.

Indeed, the Earth’s magnetic field is known to flip the poles altogether every few hundred thousand years, and we are now long overdue such a flip. This recent unexplained magnetic activity(in) the Atlantic may be a sign of an impending flip…

It’s completely out of our hands, just like Earth’s previous periodic warming and cooling cycles that have occurred repeatedly over many millennia, but the danger is imminent. And you should be afraid, very, very afraid:

For now, the effects of this anomaly are restricted to technical malfunctions aboard spacecraft and orbital satellites. However, because Earth’s magnetic field shields us from solar winds and cosmic radiation, it’s a critical part of our planetary defense system, along with our atmosphere, which protects us from daily asteroid bombardment.

So until such time as scientists can reach consensus on 1) which one of the poles should be designated ‘North’ in perpetuity, 2) how our burning of fossil fuels is causing the shift currently underway and 3) Al Gore can get in on the selling of magnetic core credits, the entire planet will remain vulnerable to asteroids falling out of the sky due to manmade malfunctioning gravitational forces.

Asteroid flies scarily close to Earth, surprising scientists ...Incoming: killer asteroid!

And we only have 20 years left to figure it out. In the meantime scientists recommend that you take all necessary precautions: stay home as much as you can, wash your hands frequently, wear a facemask and get a hard hat.Industry stock photos, royalty-free images, vectors, video | Adobe ...

Propeller optional, but highly recommended.

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Surviving the Pandemic

There is another worldwide pandemic that you might not be fully aware of, as news coverage is purely anecdotal.

Just so you know…

Of course that will require me to adopt a new rule pertaining to social distancing.

and a new cleaning and sanitation procedure.

Monday, May 25, 2020

Memorial Day 2020

"Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few." —Winston Churchill

As we do on this day each year, we pause to remember the men and women who died fighting for our freedom.

We stand by humbly, gratefully, silently, to honor their sacrifice.


We remember…


We mourn for those lost…


And we mourn for those they’ve left behind

little boy with flag

As we reflect once again on the the steep price of freedom.

memorial day '15

if you’re lucky enough to live someplace where picnics, parades and celebrations have not been outlawed by fiat, by all means enjoy them as today is a holiday after all. But do pause to remember and honor all the brave Americans across the centuries who gave their lives in the ongoing fight for freedom - a thought that holds special resonance in a year that has seen so many petty tyrants crawling out of the woodwork to use Coronavirus as an excuse to suspend our constitutional freedoms.


These enemies of freedom will always be in our midst and will always be a threat to liberty. God willing, America will always be there to vanquish freedom’s adversaries. 

“Above all, we must realize that no arsenal or no weapon in the arsenals of the world is so formidable as the will and moral courage of free men and women. It is a weapon our adversaries in today's world do not have. It is a weapon that we as Americans do have. Let that be understood by those who practice terrorism and prey upon their neighbors.”  -  Ronald Reagan, First Inaugural Address, 1981

- Original posted May, 2015

Sunday, May 24, 2020

Save Your Big Little Lies For the Next Pandemic

Ooh, ooh ooh – do Obama next!

Politifact's Lie Of The Year: "If You Like Your Health Care Plan ...

So cherish that one moment in time when the Fact Checkers told the truth themselves. And as for the WaPo’s Big Little Book of Lies, save it for the next Chinese-incubated toilet paper shortage.

Saturday, May 23, 2020

Michigan Needs More Blue Dogs

WTF, Governor Grunhilda?

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer just extended Michigan’s stay-at-home order for the 5th time, this time until June 12 and the state of emergency until June 19.

Despite declaring that we’ve flattened the curve, Whitmer said the extension is about avoiding a second wave of coronavirus.

It’s not like she didn’t warn her subjects that they would pay for that protests against her authority. First on April 17th:

Thousands Protest Michigan Governor's Social Distance Order | U.S. ...

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer said Thursday evening that the "irresponsible actions" of protesters in her state this week could lead to an extension of stay-at-home orders. Demonstrators descended on the state Capitol in Lansing Wednesday after Whitmer extended Michigan's stay-at-home order through April 30.

"It's that kind of irresponsible action that puts us in this situation where we might have to actually think about extending stay-at-home orders, which is supposedly what they protesting," Whitmer, a Democrat, said in an interview with MSNBC host Rachel Maddow. CBS

True to her word, she then extended the Lockdown and Emergency Order until May 15th. But the hoi polloi refused to heed her warnings and returned again on May 14 while the legislature was in session – some of them armed (!) –

Lockdown protesters return to Michigan State Capitol | City PulseDangerous Dissidents Descend on the Michigan Capital

to protest against the governor's stay-at-home order, arguing that it impinges on their personal freedoms, and they want to return to work.  

Such ungrateful riffraff, who do they think they are anyway? So Grunhilda warned them again, and to prove she could she signed an executive order extended the lockdown until again through May 28th. That was one day after Republican state lawmakers sued the Guv over a previous extension of Michigan's state of emergency, arguing that she had usurped power from the state legislature.

Apparently emboldened when a Court of Claims Judge sided with her against the Legislature she decided to eff with her subjects again and announced yesterday that, by Gubernatorial edict, the Stay At Home order has again been extended until June 12th. Despite having flattened the curve. Despite having just announced the day before several changes to the stay-at-home order that has been in place since March, “allowing” social gatherings of 10 people or less and telling retail retail businesses they can reopen to customers for shopping by appointment. Some people might find these edicts confusing and contradictory, but I guess that’s because they’re stupid or something.

Oh, and also by edict the Guv lifted constraints in the UP and certain tourist-heavy areas like Traverse City/Leelanau in norther Michigan where as of 12:01 a.m. yesterday, bars, restaurants and other businesses and offices to open to customers.

So peons, you can just stay home and fire up the BBQ this holiday weekend, secure in the knowledge that your Governor will be relaxing at her summer home in northern Michigan. Oh, and she’ll be having a graduation party for her daughter. How nice.

I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I think what this country needs a new meme. Karen has been maligned enough. It’s time for a Gretchen. Sort of a cross between a Lucy Van Pelt,

and the devil in the Blue Dress.

Fabulous prize for the best meme submission!

Because Michigan doesn’t need just any wrinkly blue dog; what we really need are more Reagan Blue Dog Democrats.

Musings of an Artist's Wife: Washington Blue Dog (and the Blue Dog ...


Friday, May 22, 2020

Friday Is Meaningless When Nobody Goes To Work Anymore

Here it is, Friday again…already. How can an entire week go by so quickly in such abnormal times?

It’s a good thing it’s a long holiday weekend as I’ve reached my capacity for stupidity, lies, fake news, and mindless lockdowns. No, that’s not true; my capacity has been exceeded, by far. I’m now totally supportive of civil disobedience in any manner you deem appropriate.

The Federalist

How ironic that we’re headed into a weekend holiday dedicated to the remembrance of those who gave their lives to defend the freedoms that up until now we’ve pretty much taken for granted.

"Simply put, there is no pandemic exception to the U.S. Constitution and its Bill of Rights."

That’s it. That’s all I have to say today on the matter of the government’s ongoing destruction of lives and livelihoods.Freedom Is Just Another Word…

I’m sure I’ll feel better tomorrow…well no, I’m not sure, but hopeful. A news-free 4 day weekend might help; please feel free to carry on without me.

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Following The Advice of Geniuses

It has been brought to my attention that the World Health Organization would like us to stop using the term “social distancing” and instead replace it with the term they now prefer, “physical distancing.”

If the WHO wants it I’d say reason enough to stick with the stupid “social distancing” term. I’d also like to point out that the “experts” have now reversed themselves on pretty near everything they have recommended since the WhuHoo Flu first hit the airwaves. We should not be surprised, as we live in a world where most words coming from officials and celebrities have no meaning anyway.

The phrase “social distancing” has always sounded like a gibberish term for “keep your distance.” It’s far too much like Gwyneth Paltrow and then husband Chris Martin’s “Conscious Uncoupling” back in 2014:

What is conscious uncoupling? Don't call it a's an ...

Conscious uncoupling is a euphemism for getting divorced, or breaking up if you never bothered to get hitched in the first place.

Conscious uncoupling refers to the act of ending a marriage or relationship, but in a way that is viewed as a very positive step by both parties, who believe that their lives will be better for doing so, and that they can continue to remain friends, co-parent if they have children, and possibly not even fall out of love with each other.

And if you can do that it makes one wonder why they’re breaking up in the first place; but with experts and celebrities ours is not to wonder why, ours is simply to heel and comply.

 Looking good: The 47-year-old actress and Goop founder wore a simple white top with grey sweats and tied a sweater around her waist Gwyneth Paltrow and her currently coupled husband Brad Falchuk masked up to enjoy a stroll in Los Angeles together

Note that - as always - virtue signaling is strictly for the camera:

On the go: Gwyneth Paltrow and her dashing husband Brad Falchuk masked up to enjoy a stroll in Los Angeles together Rules are really for the little people, the ones who don’t know how to consciously uncouple themselves from restraints we place on everyone else.

But perhaps we should follow the advice and virtue signaling practices of the genius who started her own vanity company called “GOOP” and presented us with so many good ideas for improving our lives over the years.

this smells like my vagina candle - gwyneth paltrow's most controversial goop momentsAvailable through Gweneth’s Goop site for only $75! I know, genius, right?