MC Spoo
28Feb/140

Tomato Bean Soup

Salt is not an ingredient in this awesome soup. You'll get plenty of salt from some of the included ingredients...

Ingredients:
2 15oz cans of beans (white beans)
2 15 oz cans of diced tomatoes (no salt)
1 15 oz can of Peas or Corn (low/no salt)
1 7 oz can of tomato sauce (no salt)
3/4 to 1 box of elbow macaroni (or whatever small pasta you prefer. Ditalini would work well too.)
16 oz of Chicken or Beef Stock (low/no salt)
12 oz of water
3 tablespoons of Frank's Red Hot
3 tablespoons of Paprika
3 Tablespoons of Black Pepper
1 tablespoon of Marjoram
3 Smoked Hamhocks
about 4 to 6 strips of Bacon, diced
1 small onion, finely diced
4 stalks of Celery diced
3 medium carrots, cut into dime/quarter size slices
5 large Button Mushrooms, sliced or diced

Preparation:
In a Soup Pot, toss in the bacon, onions, celery, carrots and half of the mushrooms. Sweat these down until the bacon gives up a wee bit of grease and the onions become translucent.

Add in the Ham hocks now. 2 or 3 is sufficient. You are basically going to render these to near fall apart consistency. It takes TIME. You are basically rendering the flavor from the hammocks into the stock.

Now add in the Chicken or Beef Stock AND the water. Bring to a boil. Once boiling, lower the temp to a rough simmer. You will allow this mixture to simmer for up to 3 hours.

After up to 3 hours, REMOVE the ham hocks and SLICE off the skin and any meat. Return that to the pot.

With the mixture at a simmer, add in the TOMATO SAUCE and 2 cans of tomatoes. Add in the remainder of the mushrooms and all associated spices (marjoram, Frank's red hot, black pepper). Add in the pasta.

Now allow this to all steep together for about 30 minutes. The pasta will soften.

Ladle to a bowl and serve with some warm corn bread.

This keeps amazingly well, and tastes better the second or third day.

 

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8Feb/140

Kick Ass Chicken Wings

I had not tried to make chicken wings before, but the Super Bowl inspired me to do so... what resulted was so good, I have craved it ever since. I made it again this evening, and it's still a kick in the pants.... which means I should probably share the recipe.

The sauce:
Texas Pete's Buffalo Sauce - 1/8 cup
Frank's Red Hot Buffalo Sauce - 1/8 cup
A1 Steak Sauce - 3 Tablespoons
Tiger Sauce - 2 tablespoons
Honey - 3 Tablespoons
Poultry Seasoning - 1 Tablespoon

Mix all of the above in a bowl until smooth. Set Aside.

The Chicken Wings:
1 bag (5 lbs) of Chicken Wings (I used Kroger store brand)

Thaw the wings out and let them sit in the fridge, uncovered for at least 30 minutes (this will help them crisp)

PREHEAT THE OVEN to 400 degrees.

The Rub:
Garlic Salt
Celery Salt
Black Pepper
Paprika - Hungarian  Smoked

Mix with a fork until uniform.

The Rub + The Chicken:

After a minimum of 30 minutes in the fridge, place the wings on a non-stick cooking grate over an oven sheet (to catch the drippings).

Liberally cover the wings with the salt rub.

Let the Wings rest at room temperature for at least 15 to 30 minutes.

Yes, I know. It smells good, and you're getting hungry... but this takes time.

The Cooking:

Place the rested Wings, coated with the rub, in the oven preheated to 400 degrees.

Cook for 35 to 45 minutes until browned and crispy.

The Coating: 

Using a large steel bowl (or plastic, your choice)...

Place all the wings into the bowl, and pour/slather/bathe the sauce over everything.

Shake that bowl up, until all the wings are covered.

Serve IMMEDIATELY. I do not recommend serving with Ranch or Blue Cheese. Eat 'em as they sit.

 

The aftermath:

Your lips will tingle and your taste buds will salute you. Lots of napkins and a bunch of those moist finger wipes or just a towel depending on your style.... Lots of pop and beer. Lots of "ohmigosh" and licking of fingers.

The rub is IMPORTANT. The salt draws moisture from the wings. All the resting draws moisture from the wings. This results in CRISPY WINGS from the oven, and since you'll set the wings in a non-stick grate, they won't soak up the drippings. Is this health food? Heck no. But it's good food.

Want to make your wings NUCLEAR? Get some Doichan sauce... moohahahahahaha!

Filed under: Food No Comments
29Jan/140

Super Bowl

The Super Bowl is being played this weekend, and it's a huge event as normal. For me, I'm rooting for the Seahawks. For one reason: Derrick Coleman.

He has a commercial for Duracell (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u2HD57z4F8E) that may be one of the best commercials ever made (but does it really sell Duracell? No.)

In any case, it has had me thinking about how I approached my deafness, and how it was handled when I was a kid... and I am absolutely in awe of this young man's story. My story just isn't anywhere as good... when I was a kid, it was considered functionally acceptable to treat me as a cripple. And the worst thing was that I believed it.

I wanted to play football. I remember going out for the team. I remember trying out for positions, and easily being the best thrower for Quarterback in the bunch. It wasn't even close. I would have been decent at Linebacker or Fullback too. Except, the coach didn't want me to do that. I remember even taping my hearing aids to my head so I could take a hit without them being knocked out. Truth is, I couldn't hear much of anything then: I relied heavily on lip reading and the little bit of sound that came in.

But the coach? He would say "He's deaf. Put him in front of the ball. The only place he can play." I was not coached up at all. I'm convinced the Head Coach told the Defense coach not to coach me. I was just told to squat and diddle... whatever that meant. I was kept out of drills because he didn't want to make the effort to communicate. Basically, he didn't want to change his own backwards ass view of the world where a deaf kid is a useless cripple.

I was too small to be a nosetackle. I was getting crushed in practice, but finding my way. Then one day, I made a few great plays in practice. The snap was bungled, and I dove at it. I recovered the fumble. The next play, I did a nice spin move and sacked the QB. The head coach turned to the defense coach and told him to "sit his ass down" and then berated me for not knowing how to play football. "Don't touch my quarterback, deaf boy."

In another practice, I broke my finger. The coach told me to pull on my finger until it popped back into socket and then made me run the bleachers the entire day. He visibly laughed at me.

The final straw... was before our first game. I came in after school to suit up. I went to my locker to get my equipment... and found the lock has been changed.

I went to the coach and asked him for the combination. He talked to me like a baby, fake crying. I really don't know what he said. I've filled in the conversation over the years with the only part of what he said that I understood: "...and fuck off. I don't want you on my team."

I was too shocked to even cry. I could not believe an adult did that to me. I was only 13 or 14 at the time, and I was trying to do something I loved. I was so ashamed, I never spoke of this for years. I was scared to tell anyone. I don't know why, I just was. I didn't tell my parents... I just said "I quit." and then refused to discuss it further.

In retrospect, what upsets me most is not just his boorish behavior, but the fact that I accepted it. I let this one pigheaded piece of trash prevent me from doing something I loved... Would I have been any good? Who knows. What would have changed in my life if I was good? Who knows... That time is past, and I'll never know... but always wonder what would have been if I stood up for myself and not been so frightened and confused.

And that's why I think Derrick Coleman's story is amazing... he went through this. and he stood up for himself... and he's a professional football player about to start in the biggest game, on the biggest stage. On every level, that is just awesome.

Filed under: Deaf No Comments
28Jan/140

Never on one or two

I never focus on one or two
my eyes open to all the speech
welcome me as would you dare
can you believe as much as me?

You count to three or even four
my thoughts theoretical
dare you paint with hate
about what you take

stop counting start making
original or faking
stop fearing or crying
means nothing without trying

Demons come crawling
bringing the depths
with their gnarly claws
and dripping jaws

words escape without mistake
they said this world
is yours to take
now burn the stake

Focus on just one or two
all the rest zoom past you
focus on just three or four
get your ass up off the floor

sine cosine minus the tangent too
can you even count to five
or is six too much to rhyme
seven eight or even nine

Philosophy is often speech
pagans of only they who dream
differently than counting to three
I believe well beyond four

numbers and words on the dance floor
they rumble around without our thought
if never were were what language is drawn
or whatever is left to say

I never focus on one or two
always believe past three or four
even more and more and more
infinity is true a door

Filed under: Creativity No Comments
30Nov/130

Apple Cranberry Caramel Crunch Pie

This recipe will make 2 whole pies.

Your hardware includes:
2 (TWO) ready made pie crusts.
2 LARGE Honeycrisp Apples (or other SWEET red apple) or 3 Medium Red Sweet Apples
2 1/2 cups of Quick Oats (finely chop 2 1/4 cups into Oat Flour. keep 1/4 cup aside.)
2 sticks of butter (not margarine, but an olive oil butter works well.
2 cups of Truvia Baking Blend (a mix of Stevia and Sugar... 75% less calories)  blended with 1 tablespoon of Molasses (imitates brown sugar)
3/4 to 1 cup of fresh Cranberries (fresh or frozen, but not out of a can. You want them to POP while cooking!)
1 Tablespoon of Cinnamon
1 Tablespoon of Allspice

Step One:
Cut your apples into bite size chunks. Place them into the pie crusts. Put in half of your cranberries into the crust now as well.

Step Two: 
In a blender, combine the finely chopped oats with the cinnamon, allspice and your faux Truvia brown sugar. (as an alternative, you can use sugar and brown sugar in similar amounts, but the calories in this pie will explode.)

Step Three:
Add 1 3/4 sticks of melted butter to the mixture in the blender. It will loosen up. Blend until the mixture looks gritty.

Keep 1/4 stick of butter aside. You'll be using that later.

Step Four:
Spoon the mixture from the blender into the pie. Use it like mortar, and fill the nooks and crannies between the apples and the cranberries.
Add any remaining cranberries, so a few are "sticking out" of the top.

Step Five:
Mix the remaining oats with about 1/2 tablespoon of Truvia, cinammon and allspide. Sprinkle the mixture over the top of the pie and press it down into the mix a bit with a spoon.

The pie is now ready to cook.

Cooking Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Place the pies on a cookie sheet and let cook for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the sugar mixture in the pie begins to bubble. Don't take it out immediately. The sugar bubbling is GOOD. That's the "Caramel" part of the recipe.

Serve with some whip cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Voila!

Filed under: Food No Comments
12Nov/130

Internets

"Hi there, I'd like to check out the Internet."

Me: "Well, we have public internet computers downstairs"

"No, you don't get it. I want to check OUT the Internet."

Me <scratches beard in deep thought>

Me: "Alright, follow me."

<leads patron to door>

Me: "There's the Internet. It's everything. It's everywhere. It's not a book. It's not a DVD. It's everything in the world, but in electronic format."

<person looks confused.>

Me: "You connect to the Internet with a computer that has a network connection."

"But... they told me I could get the Internets at the Library!"

Me: "You can. Let me show you..."

Filed under: General Stuff No Comments
2Nov/130

Burning Intent of Madness contained

Not everyone is given the gift
of functionality and insight to see
Not everyone is given the time
to learn of the how and why

Some are driven to madness
by dreams unachieved
and some are driven to say
the world isn't made for me

And some stand on the molehill
and praise it as a mountain
but only a few can tell the truth
of a sterling breeze and darkening

Distance is a fallacy when
tenuous so may it seem
when the heart is strong and true
Never unmoored will be these strings

Some say it's madness to continue
your course is broken
unto doubt cast your token
and dare to find anew

Some say it's madness contained
to hold your course true
some say it's romantic
to hold you course true

Some say it's fantastic
to deny reality
some say it's s racket
to dare true love ain't true

 

Filed under: Creativity No Comments
13Oct/130

A simple statement

I search deep in my soul for the former demon or angel that made me believe I was a creative genius.

I beg that sweet bastard to come out and play. I stare inward, only the whites of my eyes visible to the crowd around me. I barely hear the rumble of
their collective discontent. Stray words from the outside world stumble unto the implant on the right side of my head.
"Drugs?" "Dead?" "Asshole?" "Ambulance?"

I rise from my stupor, hands raise in a V... and I speak loudly, with a firm vibrance to my tenor.

"I.am. Fine."

"To see you, I do not. To hear you, I do not. To understand you, I do not. What use is a man's understanding, if he cannot understand himself? These are not the droids you're looking for. Move along, citizen... move along..."

The rumbling continues. Hands grab me. The sweeter tone of the fairer sex echoes loudly.

"You poor man! Let us help you!"

I shrug my shoulders, and gyrate wildly about. A dervish of escapist whim. Flailing untowards the night, with my eyes closed, and my ears turned off...

I'm more aware of who I am the government that seeks to control me.

Even as I fail in my creativity, this aborted fetus of a rant... I am more capable in this broken ability of mine than the government is in itself.

Filed under: General Stuff No Comments
7Oct/130

What’s the matter?

Basically the words you see
are all they'll find of me
an anatomy
of life so funny
no one cared to be

What's the matter
in the end we're
all dead anyways

No matter what we do
with all the passing days
the shiny bits and bobs
the lovely ways to say

What's the matter
in the end we're
all dead anyways

Loneliness is your own damn fault
cause you're stupid enough to think
you can't do anything
cause you're all alone today
but tomorrow is always the same

What's the matter
in the end we're
all dead anyways

Can't deny that this life of mine
is more pleasant when you're near
can't deny the state of my life
when I droop my eyes
cause I can't gaze to yours

What's the matter
in the end we're
all dead anyways

Don't feel afraid for me
this is just an epiphany
I realize I realize I realize
I can't give the happiness of my life
to just you, lady

 

Filed under: Creativity No Comments
2Oct/130

Dark and Stormy till the morning light

Another dark and stormy night
I watch the cloud threaten their fight

the wind whips down heaven sent
bearing hell and anger within

Down comes the rain to drown
the ever lasting thoughts of mine

Even as the seas do rise
my thoughts turn to you with a smile

WIldfire burns through the thicket
and all the people scream

save me save me save me save me
I'm not meant to go this way

The tornado twists around my knickers
and yet my feet remain planted

like Dorothy hitched her ride
so far away they cried

yet still they remain
ever so sadly they pray

behold one day
she'll return to be

The sun that shines through
on a dark and stormy day

part the clouds and sweep the
warm summer breeze over me

and finally I can move my feet
and walk right along with you

Filed under: Creativity No Comments