Playing With Food


My folks moved west from Vermont to California in the 1960s. Mom found some artichokes at the market and was intrigued. She bought two and took them home to cook them for that night’s dinner. She put them in the oven and baked them for 30 minutes, seemed long enough. She cut them in half and served them up. They chewed and chewed and chewed. She thought to herself that these damned things must be an acquired taste. “I think I overcooked them.”

When I was in the sixth grade I got all A’s and a B+ on a report card (first and last time that ever happened). Mom took me out to the steakhouse for an “Atta Boy” dinner. I ordered some wide-cut fries with my steak. I grabbed the ketchup and shook it up. I didn’t realize the cap was off… The folks to the side and in back of us got some free ketchup that night…

20 years ago we had a power outage during a big winter storm. After a few hours we began to get pretty hungry. I wrapped some sweet potatoes in foil, put some rice and broth in a pot, and pulled a canned ham from the cabinet. I placed them all on top of the wood stove to cook while we were outside pulling each other around on skis with the truck. When we were thoroughly exhausted we went back inside. Food was all over the fucking living room! I forgot to remove the lid from the damned caned ham… We asked the neighbor if we could borrow his dog to help clean up. Best dog trick ever!

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Flammable People


For some time now I’ve been playing with a phrase in my mind. Flammable People. It popped into my brain last year and I had nothing to do with it other than giggle when I think about it. I’ve decided that it will be the name of a flame effects collective that I’d like to assemble. It would consist of people who build and operate both propane and liquid fueled (gasoline, diesel, kerosene, alcohol) flame effects devices.

I was messing around with MSpaint and came up with some concept graphics to use for the collective. I pulled an image of a DOT flammable placard from a safety supply website. In the second version I added a pedestrian icon from iconpedia.com. I’d like to find someone with the capability to print some prototype (small run, 5 – 10 pieces) placards and / or vinyl decals.

Flammable People Rev 1

 

Flammable People Rev 3

I’ve also thought of using Flammable People as a Burning Man camp name. It wouldn’t necessarily mean that everyone who would be part of it would have to build or operate flame effects. Fire admirers, junkies, and groupies would be 100% welcome. The next graphic might just become a gift sticker at the burn in 2012. Depending on the length of the name of 2012’s theme, it may be included as well.

Flammable People Rev 3 Burning Man 2012 Gift Sticker

 

Big Love with an Old Flame


It seems like only yesterday, but I fell in love with her many years ago. Our relationship has been on and off over the years. It wasn’t her, it was me. You know how it is, sometimes life gets in the way. My priorities got confused and at times I even forgot her. When I first discovered her she was hot, real hot. As with many relationships it mellowed as I got used to her initially overpowering presence. I began to see her as more sweet than hot, not that she minded. She’s always had good taste but the nature of it changes, always for the better though. And I absolutely love her body! Silky, smooth, salty, fragrant, and with a reddish complexion that truly defines her.

I met another saucy individual in the last twelve months, Frank. Initially he appeared hot, I’m talking red hot. But you know the old saw about books and covers, eh? Yeah, I’m subject to falling for it, building something up and being disappointed by the end result. Frank appeared to be red hot, I mean he had it written all over him, really. My first experience with him was lukewarm at best. Not too hot. He just didn’t taste like I thought he would. He’s really sweet but I was expecting more character from him. It was my own fault. At least I didn’t have much invested in him. He was pretty cheap, all things considered, but his sweet and salty taste is appealing nevertheless. I still keep him on the side as he can provide me with pleasures that my old flame cannot. Their bodies are totally different. I cannot realistically expect him to deliver the satisfaction to me that she does and vice versa.

I am thankful that the person that I am is able to love blindly. I do not discriminate by appearances and if I fall in love it’s just that, love. Love allows one to challenge assumptions, to open their mind, to accept differences, and to follow their heart no matter what others opinions are. If someone disapproves of my idea of love or how I choose to express it, it’s on them, not me. My love is fluid. It doesn’t matter where it comes from as long as it’s hot. I know it turns some folks off completely, but hey, you don’t have to engage in my kind of love if it makes you uncomfortable. Some cannot believe the ease with which I practice my love. Others believe it takes great bravery. A few even see it as masochistic, exposing myself to pain unnecessarily. They just don’t get it. They could easily do it if they simply let go of prejudicial notions that they’ve grown up with.

Back to my old flame. I’ve been seeing her pretty regularly for the past few years. Quality is said to be better than quantity but I beg to differ. I really needed to see more of her. That has proved difficult. She is, how do I say this, rather expensive. Yeah, I pay for it. There’s no shame in it. Neither of us feel cheapened by it. It is a mutually consenting business transaction after all. I pay for her and she satisfies me and my needs. She is totally unique in the world. I’ve been around the country many times and have yet to find another so satisfying to me. If you want the best you’re going to have to pay for it.

Last week I told my wife that I had to see more of this old flame. She rolled her eyes and asked why I needed more of her than I already had. I told her that I need what I need and that it’s difficult for me to articulate those needs. Sweetpea doesn’t care for her but she doesn’t mind if I have her in the house. I also spend quite a bit of time with the old flame out in the travel trailer where things can get really hot without bringing tears to Sweetpea’s eyes. So I decided to head into town to see if I could get a bigger helping of her. I should state here that I’m a honorable man. Sometimes I’ll pick her up in a restaurant and use her but I always leave her there. Others love her and I don’t feel right in taking her home in situations like that. It’s just not right. But in this case I was going to find her in a new location and I was prepared to lay down good money to take her home. Again, with my wife’s understanding and support.

I drove to the big city and went to a district where I thought I might be able to locate her. My hunch turned out to be correct! I saw her, money changed hands, I brought her to my rig, got her comfortably settled in the back seat and headed for home. Several times I looked over my shoulder to make sure I wasn’t dreaming. No sir! She was as real as real gets. She was much bigger than I’d ever seen her but that’s a turn on and very appealing.

I finally arrived home and opened the truck’s rear door. I picked her up and carried her into the house. I set her down in the kitchen and just couldn’t help myself. I started in on her right there while my wife slept just yards away. After we had some sloppy fun I decided it was time to wake Sweetpea and show her my old flame. When she walked into the kitchen she gasped. Then she giggled. She was amazed at how big my old flame was. I still hadn’t gotten over that myself. Sweetpea asked if I was happy and I sighed and agreed that I was. I didn’t really think Sweetpea would mind but with these things you just never know. Even though she said it was ok beforehand, I was still nervous that she might be upset. It was mainly the money that I thought she’d mind. Once I told her how much it cost me she was totally cool with it! She told me it was better to pay the price I had rather than to pay for it in smaller amounts for briefer encounters that never seemed to last. She was excited for me that I would not have to pay for it for some time to come. She headed back to bed and told me to have fun.

My old flame...

The Great Teddybear Massacre


A group of burners (Burning Man junkies, not pot smokers) extended an invitation to me to come to their “Cute Shoot”. This is a wholesome family event that features exploding teddy bears. These bears are unstuffed and restuffed with Tannerite (a legal impact sensitive explosive compound), 1lb propane cannisters, cans of V8, and numerous combinations of the above items. The animals are bought for about a dollar a pound at the Goodwill bins distribution centers. After stuffing, the animals are placed a safe distance downrange and engaged with high velocity rifles. Rimfire rounds and pistol rounds will not usually detonate Tannerite. One exception is my friend Anne. She detonated a bear with a Glock 17 (9mm) pistol. That’s not an easy shot with a 5.5 inch barreled handgun fired from an unsupported position at 30 meters. Nice shooting Anne!

I rigged up a portable flamethrower with a tank that you strap on like a backpack. I made it specifically to help with the cleanup of the bits of fluff generated by exploding teddy bears. It worked nicely and the land owner was pleased with how it burned up the scraps. I was originally going to drop a 20lb propane tank into an REI expedition backpack but it wouldn’t fit through the top entry! Then I figured I’d buy a smaller diameter 10lb tank that would fit into the pack. I spotted a hank of rope I had in the back of my truck and decided to use it to rig up shoulder straps and save 90 bucks by not buying a new tank. I used an 8 foot long piece of that rope, fit each end with hot melt adhesive lined heat shrink tubing, doubled the rope, looped it through the collar handle on top of the tank, passed the ends through a gardening kneeling pad, and threaded the rope through holes in the tank’s base ring. I also made a 90 degree adapter for the propane tank to ease mechanical stresses on the tank valve. An 8 foot hose leading to the Manchester Power Jet hand burner completed the rig. It’s easy and cheap and really works well. You can also use this setup for walking your driveway, logging road, or cow pasture to burn weeds and it’s a dandy and fun way to get your burn piles lit up in the fall when they’re a bit wet. I have removed the gas orifice from the top tube which is the burner gas delivery tube. This allows a longer and fuller bodied flame. If you’re only burning weeds, you can leave the orifice in place to conserve propane.

Mixing 1 pound Tannerite charges to stuff the bears with.

Mixing 1 pound Tannerite charges to stuff the bears with.

A Tannerite stuffed teddybear ready for the firing squad...

A Tannerite stuffed teddybear ready for the firing squad...

He shoots, he scores!

No more teddybear...

Teaching a panda bear to defend herself from propane crazed teddybears.

Teaching a panda bear to defend herself from habitat destroying teddybears.

Another rabid teddybear taken out of action!

Another rabid teddybear taken out of action!

I was a little heartbroken by this one...

I was a little heartbroken by this one...

Cleanup is always more fun with a flamethrower!

Cleanup is always more fun with a flamethrower!

 

Spam and Corn Pancakes


Here’s another Spam recipe that’s popular in the Foxes Den.

Spam and Corn Pancakes

1 Can Spam, chopped (12 oz.)
2 Eggs
2 (More or less…) Cups Milk
2 Cups Corn, cooked
2 c Flour

Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Heat griddle and ladle one scoop on the pre-heated surface. Turn when bubbles appear on top Yield: 12

I like to cube the Spam into 1/4 inch (7mm) cubes. I then brown them in a skillet. You may like this for your pancakes. Try it both ways. Milk: the recipe as I received it indicated 1/2 cup milk! This results in a thick biscuit type batter. Start with 1 1/2 cups milk and work up from there until you achieve a batter that is just a bit thicker than normal pancake batter. I have not measured the exact amount as I only use recipes as a guideline when I use them at all.

Serve with butter and syrup. Apple sauce, cranberry sauce, or jams / jellies are very tasty as well.

These pancakes are quite dense, denser than pancakes that you are used to. They are sort of like some european pancakes that I’ve had. I think you’ll like them!