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03/28/10 04:24 - 47ºF - ID#51283

ow

Knockouts came from behind to tie last night's game in the final jam, forcing a sudden-death overtime last jam. Unfortunately for us, our jammer was sent to the penalty box, so the unopposed other jammer was free to score points: she was held to a single scoring pass, but that's all they needed, so we lost by four points or so. It was very exciting.

I am hurting in a lot of places, but mostly my shoulder, which I think I partially dislocated at one point. I pulled muscles in my right thigh and left hip/butt, but those are minor. Currently more distressing is that I had trouble sleeping, what with the shoulder injury keeping me from lying normally, and so am operating on about 3 hours' sleep and have practice in 3 hours. I am going to go back to bed and see what happens. Wish me luck. (Dosing up on ibuprofen now.)
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03/14/10 10:47 - 37ºF - ID#51189

Pi Day

I made a chicken pot pie.
So I have this recipe, which I've never made, for "No-Guilt Chicken Pot Pie", which I copied down off the back of a soup can or something, and it involves both Reduced-Sodium Bisquick and Campbell's Lo-Fat Cream of Chicken Soup. I don't know why you would ever eat something like that; there's no nutrients in it and it's all processed shit. But I copied it down because I like chicken pot pie and didn't have the recipe.
I make chicken pot pie all the time. It finally struck me that I should probably write down, on the page in my cookbook* where I copied over the bullshit recipe, what I actually do, because I just use the bullshit recipe to remind me, but if, say, Z ever wanted to make my actual recipe, he'd be totally confused.
So I did.
And then I did it differently anyway. So I'll write down both versions here, the one I wrote and the one I did.

I like my meals to have a bit of meat and a lot of vegetables. (And a little fat and a bit of starch. They're all good for you.) I am healthier (i.e. my guts don't hate me so much) when I get a reasonable quantity of vegetable matter into my system, so I try to eat a lot of them. However I am so disorganized I always wind up throwing out rotten fresh veggies. So I rely pretty heavily on frozen. Maybe not as nutritious, but at least I'm getting the fiber. So you can vary the veggies you use in here; I'm writing it because of what I generally have on hand.

I made this in a Dutch oven, because I have one. (It was my grandmother's. I got it for Christmas. My mom actually mailed it to me. A cast iron Dutch oven. Yeah it cost more to mail it than it would have to just buy me a new one. But that's OK, this one is HISTORICAL. That's how my family operates.) You could do it in a casserole and make the sauce separately in a saucepan. Um you probably want to read this through before you start making it because I have just had rather a bit of whiskey (OK, 2 oz) and I tend to tell stories instead of write recipes. Not in my book though!! Oh you wish you had my book (it's plaid, which makes it better). But anyway. Maybe I'll publish it someday. Meanwhile you just get my rambly stories about food. Read it through first and write down the highlights and you have a real recipe. I promise.

Heat your oven up to like 400 Fahrenheit. Err on the side of too hot, a little bit. Well, it doesn't matter, you can always turn it up at the end if your biscuits aren't getting golden. More on that later.

Cook 1 large chicken breast. You can microwave it and then cube it, or do what I did and chop it up and stir-fry it in bacon fat or peanut oil or butter or whatever, with half an onion. (A whole onion if you have it is also fine. If you are using already-cooked chicken omit any raw vegetables because they won't get cooked, and just use frozen. The onion's not important, it's a bonus flavor.) You could probably use chicken thighs for this and cut down on how much fat you add, but like nobody carries chicken thighs anymore, it's annoying!!!!! You have to special-request it at the butcher, or get them at Weg's with the bones in, annoying as hell!! So anyway, chicken breast. Or whatever. Ground beef would probably work too, just then it's not chicken pot pie anymore. Tofu might work. Go nuts. It's your pie. And you're probably a grown-up and can do whatever the fuck you want. Enjoy that.

I also added two sticks of celery, chopped fine, and a carrot, diced, and let it all cook until the chicken was done through and the onions were softened. If you have half a green pepper or red pepper that would also be fucking amazing and I wish I had. I didn't, though. No biggie, it was still good. And carrots are good for your eyes and celery is good for your butt. So go for it. I did. It was awesome.

Make sure you have at least 2 Tbsp of fat in there, however you get it. Or, do it the way I wrote down, and cook the chicken separately and make the sauce separately. You just need fat for it to work and I don't understand how these bullshit recipes work without fat. That's no good because you need fat for your neurons. Julia Child told me that.

The bullshit recipe calls for a can of low-fat cream of chicken soup. The written-down recipe calls for my mom's cream sauce:
2 Tbsp fat (butter, bacon grease)
2 Tbsp flour
Melt fat, stir in flour.
Add 1 cup milk. Heat, bring to a boil, stir until thickened. (Lift the stirring spoon; the sauce should coat the back. That's "thickened".)
[You can use this sauce for anything. Apparently it's some posh French "Mother Sauce" thing. I add macaroni noodles, and cheese, and it's mac and cheese, that's all I know.]

I did this over the cooked chicken and onion and carrot and celery, though, because I do my own dishes and don't want extra, thanks. Just stir all your business around in the hot fat, coat it in flour (white or whole wheat, because it's your damn pie, did I mention, and you do whatever the fuck you want), then add milk. Except I used 2 cups of water and 2 chicken buillion cubes, plus about 1/2-3/4 cups of milk, because I was low on milk and had used a bit more flour than I'd meant to so I had a lot of thickener to work with, kinda. (Save some milk for your biscuits! More on that later!) And I wanted a lot of pie!! You need to do what works for the size of your casserole container. Err on a little too little, because if it's overfull it gets everywhere. Life lesson, there.

Once it was thickened I dumped in about 1/2c. frozen corn, 1/2 c. frozen broccoli pieces, and like way too much frozen peas because they'd frozen into a chunk. It was probably like a cup and I didn't mean to use that much. I mean, if it was just me, I'd use like two cups because I love peas. But Z isn't quite such a weirdo so... anyway. But I'd added too much liquid to the sauce so there was a ton of it, so that worked out OK. Basically you want enough solid stuff in there so that it pokes out the top of the sauce and you have... not-soup. So make it full of stuff so you can rest your biscuits on top of the solid stuff. More on that later.

Stir it all around until the veggies are not frozen. Meanwhile! Oh yes, meanwhile. (If you haven't read ahead and are just getting to this and are like oh damn, don't bother letting the veggies defrost: turn off the burner under the cream sauce and the residual heat while you do this next bit will melt them for you. Don't worry.)

Well, this is your later: Biscuits! Or dumplings. I have recipes for both. There is no difference, except that biscuits have a firm dough and dumplings have a sloppy dough. Because biscuits are rolled so they'll be flaky, and then cut out, and dumplings are dropped off a spoon. It doesn't matter one tiny bit. Biscuits are page 8 and dumplings are page 23. OH you don't have my book. Wait, I'll tell you. I'll tell you about dumplings because they're easier to get onto this bitch. And by bitch I mean pie.
Dumplings:
3 Tbsp shortening (which means any fat that's solid at room temperature-- butter, lard, Crisco)
1 1/2 c flour
2 tsp baking powder
3/4 c milk
optional is a dash of salt
Combine flour and baking powder and maybe salt. Cut the shortening into the flour mixture-- with a pastry cutter or a fork or whatever-- until it's all in little chunks in there. ("Fine crumbs", says my mom's handwriting.) Stir in milk until all is wet. Drop by spoonfuls onto hot meat/vegetables in stew. (This recipe goes with my beef stew recipe which I'll probably share later.)

So anyway, do all that, and then put it onto your pie. Well, put it onto your casserole full of chicken and vegetables and stuff, and that MAKES it into a pie-- see how easy this is? No rolling out pie crust. That's why I went with this kind of pie. I love real pie but pot pie is waaaaay easier.
Spread it into a thin layer with whatever technique you innovate (I sort of stretch it out between a rubber spatula and a wooden spoon, then poke it with my fingers until it's even-ish. Don't worry, it gets baked, the germs get killed, lick your fingers if you want). It doesn't have to be even or perfect, it'll just cook faster if it's thin.

Then put it into your oven that's already hot, don't cover it, and wait about half an hour. Check and see if the biscuits are golden, and if they're not, your oven's not hot enough. So turn it up and do your dishes, and when you're done it'll be hot enough. (Well, I mean the dishes you dirtied making this thing; if you've got a mountain-ola of dishes from all month in there you'll burn the pie so don't.)

Pour yourself a beer, get yourself a big pasta bowl or something, and eat the hell out of that pie. Because it is tasty and it is made out of real food and that is good for you. (This is how I classify things as "health food"-- if I know what it's made out of, and preferably made it myself.)

________________ All good blog entries have a footnote or two.___

  • My cookbook: it is a small blank book in which, in blue ballpoint pen, my mom wrote down a bunch of her favorite & most useful recipes when I was a sophomore in college. In the *mumbledecademumble* since then, I've written down recipes I really like in there. This fucking thing is priceless. But I have to remind myself to keep it updated.
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03/11/10 01:46 - 59ºF - ID#51154

e:enknot made the highlight reel

(e:enknot) was at the roller derby-- I saw him and waved, and he waved back but I'm not sure he knew who I was. At least he seemed confused.

He made the highlight reel, catching a loaf of bread and then giving it to somebody!! How nice.


I also made the highlight reel-- I'm at 1:25ish and 1:58ish, failing and then succeeding to take out an opposing jammer, and the later clip is a replay of the second earlier clip from a different angle. They sent me to the box for a low block on that one, but looking at the footage it looks totally clean to me-- the main contact was my shoulder to her shoulder and my hip to her hip, and so what if I was on one foot at the time?? Hmph. Anyway, I was proud of myself for making the hit, and a little bit proud of getting boxed for it-- previously, in three and a quarter seasons, I've only been to the box once and it was for a really lame penalty, either cutting the track or skating out of bounds or one of those. It was super dull. So it was a little touch of glamor for me to get boxed for a successful jammer hit.

By all accounts I played the best I ever have in this bout, and I was really excited that everything seemed to come together so well. I also hope to repeat the experience later this month, on the 27th, vs. the Dollies. We'll see!!

By the way if anyone's interested in seeing a whole, well-announced, high-level derby bout in its entirety with reasonably good production values, there's some national tournament action archived on the web currently. The national champions, Olympia WA's Oly Rollers, skated against Philadelphia's #6-ranked Liberty Belles in a west-coast tournament last month, and you can watch the whole thing for free if you want to see how my league is *trying* to do it.


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03/10/10 02:38 - 52ºF - ID#51147

Parker Blvd

Oh wow I hadn't realized I capslock-updated this weekend. Sweet. I left little capslock bombs all over the Internet for myself, somewhat drunkenly.

Anyway, what I came here to say is that Parker Blvd. in Tonawanda is full of crazy people. It's one of those lane-and-a-half in each direction roads, with parking in that half lane intermittently. Speed limit is like 30, and there are stop signs every like two blocks.
I go down this road every day, and I generally go as fast as 35 in the blocks with no stop sign, then cruise up and stop at the signs. It's reasonable. Sometimes you get assholes who don't have anywhere to be and just roll down the whole street at 15 miles per. What can ya do. It's OK. I try not to flip out. Sometimes I pass judiciously on the right or on the left if I can.

People drive crazy on this road. I have had people go road-ragey on me before, and last night some chick totally fucking flipped out and tried to force me into a parked car. Really. I don't know why; I can't figure it out. I was doing 35 and then stopped at a stop light. Sue me?
The best part is that after she'd done this, I basically followed her home. Guess who drives on Parker? People who fucking live near there, dumbass. We're neighbors and next time I see you I'm going to cut you the fuck off, asshole. Jeez.
Then this morning I saw a guy on a crotch rocket motorcycle do a wheelie.
A wheelie.
WHAT?
Yeah I know.
I hereby propose that we just abolish Parker. Just shut it down. Blow it up. Get it gone. It's a hazard to humanity. That's my thought of the day.
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03/07/10 02:16 - 28ºF - ID#51121

DRUNK

I TOTALLY SAW (E:ENNKNOT) AT THE ROLLER DERBY.
ALSO I AM TOTALLY DRUNK.
ALSO I HAD A BUNCH OF PEOPEL TELL ME THIS WAS MY BEST GAME IN FOUR YEARS AND I WONDER WHAT KIND OF AN ASSHOLE I'VE BEEN FOR THE LAST THREE YEARS THAT HTIS AWAS SO GREAT. BUT WHATEVER.
ALSO I AM TOO DRUNK OT FIGURE OUT CAPSLOCK. OH WELL.
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03/06/10 12:57 - 23ºF - ID#51116

So cute

image

So my mom knits. She knitted this sweater for Z to match his measurements, which are hardly normal. It has a hood and a kangaroo pocket in front and is super cute and stretchy and comfy.
It came in a small square box.
Chita Rivera fits perfectly into the box. I took the sweater out and gave it to Z, and he put it down and went about his business. But Chita? She went right into that box. And she sat there for like an hour and a half. Z finally put the sweater on for me so I could take a picture for my mom, but Chita needed no prompting. He picked the box up and relocated it to the coffee table by the heat vent and she stayed in it for hours. It is the Best Box.

So I am sending my mom a thank you note on Facebook. The sweater is nice, Mom, but the box? The box is freaking AWESOME.
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mike said to mike
Well really I did not bury the hatched in my mind I guess because now 5 years later, I just saw him ...

mike said to mike
Well really I did not bury the hatched in my mind I guess because now 5 years later, I just saw him ...

mike said to mike
Well 14 years later I have more grays but still solidly more pepper than salt so that's good at leas...

mike said to mike
Well 14 years later I have more grays but still solidly more pepper than salt so that's good at leas...