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Apr 30, 2007

Have You Ever Seen a Grown Man...


...cry?  While doing all sorts of sex acts with his wife, son, daughter and pet Yorkshire terrior that can juggle and sing?

Above, a case of Aristocrat vodka has just fallen off the back of the Jeep which was delivering its liquor load to one of the Brightleaf block pubs. 

I was going to do try an original telling of The Aristocrats, but it seems I've gotten all proper in my old age.  For a bajillion variations, check out this repository of variations on The Aristocrats Joke.

12:04 PM in Misc.Blog 2007 | Permalink | Comments (5)

Apr 27, 2007

Yellow Pike with Ginger Soy Dressing

Above, dinner with ingredients from Grand Asia Market in Cary: yellow pike with ginger soy dressing (see inset for dressing close-up),baby Shanghai greens, and enoki mushrooms.

Steamed Yellow Pike with Ginger Soy Dressing

Prep time: 15-20 min. (includes prep for greens)
Cook time: 15-20 min. (includes cooking time for greens)
Serves: 2 to 3


    1 yellow pike, boned and split into two fillets
    coarse salt
    3 tbsp. minced ginger
    1 tbsp. soy
    2 tbsp. vegetable oil
    4 tbsp. chopped green onions


  • Place fish skin side up in a steamer.
  • Dust fillets with salt
  • Steam (with greens alongside if convenient) until done (piercing liquid runs clear or flesh just barely opaque)
  • While fish is steaming, heat ginger in vegetable oil on medium or medium low heat (just enough to soften).
  • Add soy.
  • Add any white stalky parts of the green onion, and cook until these parts are warmed through.
  • Add green parts of the green onion and stir in.
  • Remove from heat.

Plate the fish, top with a little bit of the ginger dressing and a scattering of cilantro.

Variations to consider:

  • Substitute 1/3 sesame oil for vegetable oil.
  • Make more dressing and dress fish prior to cooking, and bake instead of steaming.

I love a good steamed fish, and one of the best I ever tasted was Lantern's steamed grouper with black bean sauce, which I had only a bite of (because it was somebody else's meal).  I tried imitating the recipe with frozen tilapia and black bean sauce from the jar.  Bleah.  I mean, it was OK.  But in comparison, bleah.  I had been meaning to retry the idea but hadn't gottten around to it until recently. 

For this meal, I told the folks at Grand Asia Market what I more or less wanted to do, and they suggested both the fish and the dressing.  Did you know that Grand Asia Market and its affiliated restaurant will sell you a fish (live or on ice) and cook it up for you right there and then? Holy cats -- that's cool.

01:00 PM in Recipes | Permalink | Comments (1)

Apr 24, 2007

Rosemary, Goat Cheese and Tomato Sauce for Pasta


Above, a demonstration of why no one hires me to design cookbooks.  Sort-of-inset at upper left, the garlic and rosemary cooking in oil.  Main image, the same saucepan after all the other ingredients were added on top of the garlic and rosemary.

Rosemary, Goat Cheese and Tomato Sauce for Pasta

prep time: 10 minutes
cook time: 10 minutes
yield: 6 to 8 servings a surprisingly large number of servings.  You don't need much.


1 large (15 oz.) can tomato sauce (lower-salt, if possible)
8 oz. goat cheese
1 tbs. honey
4 dried chili peppers
12 cloves garlic
1 tbs. rosemary
3 tbs. olive oil

Prep and Cook

  1. Chop rosemary and slice garlic.  Reserve 1/3 garlic.
  2. Cook rosemary and 2/3 garlic in olive oil on medium or medium-high heat until garlic starts to brown.
  3. Crack chili peppers and add the seeds and shredded skins to the sauce pan.
  4. Add all remaining ingredients except for reserved garlic.
  5. Stir until cheese is melted into sauce.
  6. Add the reserved garlic.
  7. Serve with pasta and grated parmesan or asiago.

Pasta note:  I like serving this with penne pasta and fresh baby spinach that I wilt with the pasta water.  I put a big big pile of baby spinach into a colander that I then dump the pasta pot through.  I find that the spinach cooks exactly the right amount in the time that it takes all the water to pass through (plus the amount of time the spinach sits next to the hot pasta).  Or if you have a really nice pasta pot with a built in strainer, then just toss the spinach into the pot and give it a stir before you pull the whole thing out.

This version is a little more substantial than the version from December.  Back then I was really pushing for simple -- trying to cook without automatically reaching for the garlic.  Well, the garlic's back.  Shout out to Sam for reminding me to add some raw garlic at the end.

01:46 AM in Recipes | Permalink | Comments (3)

Apr 16, 2007

Eels at Grand Asia Market

A cooler full of live eels at Grand Asia Market in Cary.*

That place rocks so much, it's beyond eel.  Er, I mean "real".

Speaking of eels, I have always thought of them as more of a European food rather than Asian.  Maybe because neither of my families ever talked about eels, and that the first time I saw them served was from a street cart in Amsterdam.


*where kids get to open coolers and squeal like the dickens when they see the eels squirm.  Or when they look right into the eyes of a live, four-pound frog.

02:29 AM in Triangulations | Permalink | Comments (1)

Apr 13, 2007

Bull City Rising

Bcr_title New to the blogroll,  "Bull City Rising: Musings, reflections and general gossip for those more inclined to say Durham-Raleigh" by Kevin Davis, Durhamite since 2005, blogging about it since 2006.

From a recent entry, Do They Get Hazard Duty Pay for This?

So I made a bag of popcorn and turned on the tube to watch Monday night's city council meeting. The Herald-Sun covered the main brouhaha of the night, the much-ballyhooed 'cooling off' period for former city employees. Personally, I found the debate to be a rather pointless one -- and a much less concerning matter than, let's say, the brother-in-law of a Council member being selected over city staff's recommendation for a design project.

But then, maybe that's just me.

...Almost four hours later -- although you can only speak for two minutes at a time, if you've got Victoria Peterson and the Hesters in the house speaking two minutes on item after item, things run long -- it's over. Just another night at the City Council. Do councilfolks get hazard duty pay for this?


image yoinked from same

02:07 AM in Destination Durham, Links of Note | Permalink | Comments (0)

Apr 12, 2007

Cosmic Women

Women are the strangest collection of atoms to be found anywhere in the universe.

-- overheard at a shop in Raleigh

01:50 AM in Quotables | Permalink | Comments (1)

Apr 11, 2007

Bullsh@t -- Local, Snarky, and Fun


There's a new blog in town, and folks it just reeeks of "creative class".

An excerpt from their blog entry on the Jo & Joe's "Irish Pub" replacement:

I CAN NOT WAIT for the new Irish Bar that’s going into the space that used to be Jo & Joe’s!!! It’s gonna be the GREATEST! It has all the authentic charm of “Irish World” at Epcot Center in sunny Disney World…no wait, the authentic charm of Durham’s “other” downtown, Southpoint Mall!

Just peeking through the window I’m overjoyed by the EXTREME attention to detail. Even the dust on the bar looks imported from “Irish World.” The church pew booths are all the rage…it’s like going to confession—WITH A BEER!

Bullsh@t is just a few days old, and they announced their presence to a friend of Joe V.'s by leaving one of their droppings on said friend's blog.  We have no idea who they are, but if their about page (which mentions that the authors are a collective of real estate people and other locals) is accurate, I'm guessing that they're going to stay anonymous for as long as they can.  That, or quit being funny.  I wonder if they've met Esther Carp?

12:01 AM in Destination Durham, Links of Note | Permalink | Comments (7)

Apr 10, 2007

Airing of Grievances

Jerrystiller Lisa: Jerry Stiller was on The View, today.

Randy:  Like that show needs any more yelling.

12:10 AM in Quotables | Permalink | Comments (0)

Apr 09, 2007


Scrapple You can find scrapple on the breakfast menu at Bob's Grill* in Kill Devil Hills, where the pals and I had Easter breakfast before returning to Raleigh.  We had an idea what scrapple might be, but we asked the waitress, just to make sure.

Waitress:  Scrapple is made from pig scraps -- the snout and stuff and other parts that don't go into sausage.

Dave:   Not.  Good enough.  For sausage.  ?

Waitress:  [nods head]


*their slogan, "Eat and Get the Hell Out"

Image from the Jones Dairy Farm Store, where says of its scrapple:  "Hearty, unique and full of all-natural goodness.  That’s the only way you can describe our famous country-style scrapple.  Made with whole-ground wheat flour, this traditional breakfast favorite pan-fries crisp on the outside, creamy on the inside.  A perfect blend of flavor and texture for true scrapple lovers."

01:48 AM in Misc.Blog 2007 | Permalink | Comments (3)

Apr 07, 2007

Housesitter Available -- April 24 through May 30

Housesitter Hi folks -- I'm available to housesit in the Triangle from April 24 through May 30.

Happy to manage mail, plants, and cats but not dogs.

Prefer week+ engagements.  Multi-week engagements best. 

Please feel free to forward!

Contact:  "phil .at. marsosudiro.com" or 919-491-4530.

11:44 AM in News | Permalink | Comments (5)

Apr 06, 2007

Europa, Europa

Above, my pal Henning on iChat back to Germany.

The first time I saw two Macs doing international iChat, I was just blown away by the clarity and speed.  (In fact, it was a video chat between pal Dave in San Francisco, where I was visiting, and Henning at home in Germany.  We're suppressing the itch to do it again while we're all together at the Outer Banks in NC). 

I want a MacBook Pro.  It's not on my priority list for any upcoming monies I might earn.  But gee, I'd sure like one.

12:48 AM in Misc.Blog 2007 | Permalink | Comments (1)

Apr 05, 2007

Jonathan Wallace, Chocolatier

Jonathan Wallace understands chocolate.  Above, a magic box with his hand-made, lightly-coated ganache squares in (from left to right): rum (with raisin), ginger, and lime.

Some colleagues and I recently sampled these pieces while Jon told us about his plans to make more on a commercial scale.  While we were tasting, we surprised to find that each of those little squares has the richness and potency to make for two or three bites.  When Jon's chocolates finally make it to market, they won't be cheap.  But they will be worth it.

For a little more on Jon and other things chocolate, check out Claire Cusick's 7 February article in the Independent Weekly.

12:58 AM in Misc.Blog 2007 | Permalink | Comments (1)

Apr 04, 2007

Trader Joe's -- Hell Yeah, Baby!!!


I visited the new Trader Joe's in Cary last week, and it was hard to quit beaming the whole time I was there.  In my right hand, a bottle of $2.99 Sauvignon Blanc (perfectly decent), and in my left hand, two ~10 oz. logs of goat cheese, ~$3.95 each.  I was pretty psyched to have a "local" Trader Joe's for my springtime in Raleigh, but wow am I excited now that one is coming this fall to Eastgate in Chapel Hill!

See below for article from the Durham Herald-Sun.

And please, if you know anything bad about Trader Joe's' buying or hiring practices, please wait a week or so before you tell me.  I'm really enjoying this happiness thing.


Trader Joe's is on the way to Eastgate
April 3, 2007   7:37 pm
by Neil Offen, Herald-Sun

CHAPEL HILL -- Trader Joe's, the eclectic, low-priced specialty grocery store, is coming to Chapel Hill.

The owner of the Eastgate shopping center, Federal Realty Investment Trust, confirmed Tuesday the long-rumored opening of the California-based chain at the former location of Earth Fare in the northeastern Chapel Hill shopping center.

Trader Joe's, known for its quirky selection of house brand products, will open a 13,000-square-foot store by the late fall, Federal Realty announced.

"Trader Joe's complements the unique merchandise mix and provides the residents of Chapel Hill more variety in their neighborhood shopping choices," said Chris Weilminster, Federal's senior vice president of leasing.

[End excerpt.  Full article here at the Herald-Sun.]

03:00 AM in News | Permalink | Comments (5)

Apr 03, 2007

Rosy-Fingered Dawn


I have always wondered if the low-angled sun at dawn gave the same red skies as it did in the evening. 

Well, now I (finally) know.

Can anybody verify my suspicion that the red part of dawn is more visible on the coast than in the piedmont?  Not that I'd know that much about sunrise in the piedmont, late riser that I am...

I caught this sunrise when allergies pushed me out of bed at 6 a.m. in search of some Claritin.  Ugh for the early, but I reckon the view was worth it.

Regarding the title of this blog -- have you read The Five Minute Iliad and Other Instant Classics: Great Books for the Short Attention SpanGrace introduced it to me a few years ago.  Hi-frickin-larious.  Especially the title piece, which gives you something new to think about when you see Brad Pitt in armor.  Rosy-fingered dawn, for real, baby.

02:11 AM in Misc.Blog 2007, Reviews | Permalink | Comments (3)

Apr 02, 2007

La Madrugada

This pic taken ~3 a.m. with a close to full moon.  No doubt the image on your computer looks different from how it looked in real life, but it was a nice cool blue with some glowing red from the neighboring house where its resident was still up and online.

02:00 AM in Misc.Blog 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Apr 01, 2007

T-family Women


L to R, Jeanette, Julie, and Barbara -- facing the Atlantic from our place on the Outer Banks.  Click here for satellite view.

07:54 PM in Misc.Blog 2007 | Permalink | Comments (3)