I *AM* Spam


A friend did a Google Image Search for Spam. The first result was a photo of me, the very face of Spam…

Foxfur is made of SPAM!

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Cooking with Foxfur: Eggs Bastardict


I couldn’t sleep the other night. Not as in “I didn’t sleep well”. I didn’t sleep a wink. I think it was due to having another class in the morning at pyrotechnician school with a live fireworks shoot. I ended up quitting my efforts to sleep and got out of bed at 3:00 AM. What to do… I settled on installing a new drive coupler in my friend’s washing machine (where I’m house sitting). 30 minutes later I was bored again. After a brief Facebook discussion about government cheese and bemoaning the fact that it’s no longer available, I was inspired to make a grilled cheese sandwich. I thought grilled cheese with Spam sounded like a fine idea.

As I began to forage the kitchen for proper ingredients I was suddenly inspired to go above and beyond what I had planned. As good and wholesome as it is, the humble grilled cheese was going to have to wait. I decided to rummage through the fridge and cabinets and come up with something blogworthy. I loves me some multi-ingredient cuisine…

I wanted a version of Eggs Benedict that didn’t involve the complexity of hollandaise. One should never attempt hollandaise while sleep deprived. Besides, I didn’t have any lemon juice for the sauce. I didn’t have any Canadian bacon but I did have Spam. I didn’t have English muffins but there were hoagie rolls, you know, the double wide buns that a polish dog is served in. What better to replace hollandaise sauce with than chili? Ready? Here we go…

Eggs Bastardict

  • A hoagie roll (or whatever)
  • 4 Slices of Spam (or bacon, lunch meat, sausage, hotdogs…)
  • 2 Eggs
  • Half a can of no beans chili
  • Seasonings to sex up the chili

The rolls wouldn’t fit in a toaster, not that I had one, so I used what I had. Toast the rolls over a low gas flame. Move them around so as not to blacken them, unless you’re into that kind of thing. I couldn’t get mine all golden brown like a newfangled piece of proper toast but they came out just fine.

If you don’t have a gas stove, use a propane torch. Don’t laugh, it works. Electric burners will work as well.

Cut your Spam in 1/4 inch thick slices and fry until brown.

I'm pretty sure this is the manna that the bible talks about

When done, place Spam on the toasted rolls.

Spam. It's what's for dinner.I almost called it quits at this point…

Next up, eggs! Scoop a bit of fat out of the top of the can and toss it into your pan.

Spamfat is the new butter...A few tips on frying eggs. Whether you use a non-stick pan or a traditional one, always use a fat or oil of some kind. It serves not only to prevent the food from sticking to the pan, which happens no matter which type of pan you use, but also as a heat transfer agent. It forms a conductive film that transfers heat to the food. If you’re concerned about fat intake, in which case you shouldn’t be looking at this recipe, use olive oil. Another tip for perfect fried eggs is to use a cover on the pan. Using one allows the heat and steam to be trapped and cook the tops of the eggs. You’ll have to test out how long to let them go until they’re done to your taste. Over medium heat I let mine go for about 3 minutes.

When the eggs are done enough for you, pile them atop the lovely Spam.

Looks like an owlNext up is the “sauce”. I use many canned foods but never allow them down my gullet without a bit of sexing up. I don’t think I’ve ever met a canned food (or any other food not prepared by me for that matter), that couldn’t use some seasoning. Prepared foods are made to appeal to the lowest common denominator. Don’t be afraid to add unconventional seasonings, just add something. I used Tabasco’s Sweet n Spicy sauce, onion powder, a teaspoon of chopped garlic, and some fresh minced ginger. The chili I found at Grocery Outlet. It’s like a garage sale for food. You never know what you’ll find there. They used to have Spam with Japanese kanji script on the cans…

Never eat something out of a can without modificationsI used half the can. Put it in a small dish or bowl, season it, and microwave it for 90 seconds. Taste and add more crap as needed. Pour the chili over the eggs, top with cheese, onions, fresh parsley, whatever, and grab a fork.

Shazzam!Oh hell yes! That’s a real breakfast. Try finding this at a restaurant…

A friend’s question about cholesterol reminded me that I’d tallied the nutrition information for this light and healthy recipe…

  • Calories: 1030, 550 from fat
  • Fat: 62.5g
  • Cholesterol: 585mg
  • Protein: 55g
  • Sodium: 3050mg

An interesting fact about the cholesterol content of this waistline whittling meal. The eggs: 430mg. The Spam: 80mg.

Spam is healthy. Case closed.

Tips on E-Cigarette Use and Maintenance


I have discovered some things in the past few months that have allowed me to increase my enjoyment in using my E-Cigarettes.

Some people have noted that they are not getting a very good ‘throat hit’ or significant vapor from theirs. This can be obtained by adjusting the way that you draw from yours. For a satisfying draw you need to slow and extend your draw. A fast draw as on an analog cigarette does not work well on these. Draw into your mouth slowly for 3 to 5 seconds THEN inhale into your lungs. I guarantee that you will notice the difference.

The following series of tips will help with your experience and ease of use of the eGo series of tank cartridge fed vaporizers (e-cigarettes).
I have seen many comments on forums where users complain of their eGo-C’s and eGo-T’s leaking. I believe that these leaks are nothing more than the buildup of condensation in the atomizer cone (the housing that the tank cartridge is inserted into).

When I remove the tank to swap in a new one or to refill the tank, I use a folded strip of paper towel to swab out the bottom of the chamber. Below is a picture of the strip (with a matchbook from NW Sausages to give a sense of scale).

Cut or tear a 1 inch strip from a folded paper towel. I used a towel from a roll that has half-width perforations but a full width piece works just fine.

Fold the strip in thirds lengthwise and then crease one end. Crease full length to be able to use both ends when cleaning two eGo cones.

Insert the strip into the atomizer cone between the center spike and the sidewall. Blot up the condensation by dabbing up and down while rotating the cone with your fingers.

Next, stuff half of the strip into the cone and rotate the cone with your fingers. This will wipe the sidewalls free of condensation.

A shot of the condensation and a bit of coloring on the end of the swab strip.

The use of a cotton swab to do the same thing as the strip. I’ve yet to find a cotton swab that is as absorbent as paper towels but I’ll use them when I’m on the road and can’t find towels.

Be sure to swab the contacts on the bottom of the atomizer as well as the battery contact. I prefer to use a cotton swab for this. Failure to keep these contacts clean can cause a reduction of current resulting in reduced performance of the atomizer. It can also cause blackened deposits to form due to the heating of e-juice between the contacts. I swab mine each time I unscrew the cone from the battery prior to charging.

Another tip that will eliminate possible e-juice leaks is to use silicone caps instead of the standard plastic caps that come with the tanks. These caps have a plug that extends into the tank body which ensures a better seal between cap and tank. The exposed face of the silicone cap seats positively against the face of the atomizer. The silicone material on the face also provides a much better seal around the atomizer spike that pierces the cap and feeds the liquid to the atomizer. The caps are available where you purchase your tanks (esmokeronline) and are included already installed on the tanks available from Mad Vapes.

A silicone tank cap shown installed on an eGo tank (style A – 1ml, the most common size).

An accessory tank that I am fond of is known as a DCT, Dual Coil Tank. The silver tube within the clear polycarbonate tank contains two atomizer coils and wicking material surrounding the air tube in the center. The silver tube is called a cartomizer, carto for short, because it combines an atomizer in the outer cartridge casing.The wicking material is continuously replenished through a hole in the side of the carto. This model holds 3.5ml of juice and provides a little bit different flavor and vapor than does the eGo tank. It also requires less frequent filling.

When using eGo batteries, which provide a nominal 3.4 volts, you should order the 1.5 ohm model. Order 1.5 – 1.7 ohm carto’s to replace the original carto. I find that I need to replace the carto about every 10 days. Your replacement frequency will vary proportionally to how much you use it daily. I estimate a useful lifespan of 12 – 14ml of juice, or approximately 3 – 4 tank refills. You will know it is time to replace it when you notice that the vapor production has fallen off compared to when it is new. I allow it to go for a while as I’m a cheap bastard and it’s a blast when I hit on a new carto and feel the awesome throat hit of a fresh set of coils. At ~$2.50 each, you’ll spend about the same amount per month as you did on a single pack of cigarettes.

The picture below shows the preferred refilling method. Simply remove the tip that extends from the top of the carto and gently push up on the tank by the bottom plug until the carto tube is just below the bottom of the top plug. Place the nozzle of your juice bottle against the inside of the top plug and gently squeeze the bottle until the liquid is right below the top of the carto tube. Next, press the tank back down being sure to center the carto so as not to damage the o-ring inside the top cap. At this point I reccomend dripping 15 – 20 drops of juice into the wicking material in the carto tube. DO NOT drip the liquid directly into the center of the carto tube! Instead, hold the tube at a 45 degree angle and drip the liquid on the side of the inside of the tube allowing it to run down to the wicking material. Drip 1 – 2 drops and rotate the tube a third of a turn before dripping more. Allow it to absorb a bit before dropping more. Once the wicking is wet it will absorb the liquid more readily. If you happen to get liquid down the center tube, all is not lost. Grab a paper towel and blow through the tube until no more liquid comes out the bottom. I suggest cupping the paper towel around the bottom to catch the liquid that will come out of the side vents just above the threaded portion at the bottom of the carto. Once the carto has been primed, reinstall the mouthpiece (tip) and draw rather hard to draw liquid into the wicking. Look at the feedhole through the tank and you will see a bubble or bubbles emerge from the tiny feedhole. Once no more bubbles emerge, the carto is primed. Allow the tank to sit for 10 – 15 minutes so the liquid is evenly distributed throughout the wicking.

Preferred filling position for a dual coil tank.

A top view of a carto (cartridge atomizer). The white material is the wicking. You can see the air tube at the center. The black wire is the wire leading to the top heating coil. The wires to the lower coil and to the center of the coils are buried in the wicking. The mouthpiece is inserted in the top of this tube.

The left vaporizer is an eGo-C cone on an eGo style 650mAh battery. The middle unit is a 3.5ml DCT on an eGo style 1100mAh battery. The unit on the right is a DCT on an eGo style 900mAh pass-through battery. A pass-through has a USB port on the bottom to facilitate charging as well as usage without battery depletion when plugged into a USB port on your computer or wall mount power supply.

An eGo style 900mAh pass-through battery plugged into the USB port of my laptop. Anne calls this my Robot Cigarette…

If you choose to shop at Northwest Vapors (I love them!) be sure to use the redemption code FOXFUR and receive a 10% discount on your entire order. You can use this on your first and every order after that. I told them I blog about E-Cigs (it is the most frequently accessed topic on this blog) and would like to be able to offer my readers a discount. They immediately created the Foxfur code. I am not paid or compensated by them for traffic directed over there. I simply want y’all to save some money and your health.

Pyro School: Finally Blowing Sh*t Up!


I went to the second session of pyro school today. When I signed in, the secretary asked who I was. I said Fox. “Oh! You’re the funny one!” Evidently I made an impression last time…

Today we practiced matching and not the OK Cupid kind. Match, also known as quick match, is an insanely fast burning type of fuse that burns at up to 300 feet per second. It is used to ignite multiple fireworks simultaneously or nearly so. Typically used for finales or large set pieces, it can be spliced and branched almost like wire.

Quick match linking multiple shells in mortars.

Info and diagrams of match and fuse connection methods are here

The segment on matching ended early, about 15 minutes before lunch. Larry, our instructor, was wondering aloud what we should do until then. I waved my hands in the air and yelled “Tell us some stories!” much to the amusement of the class. He gave me that sideways glance of his and said “Okay….”

He proceeded to regale us with tales from his 54 years of professional fireworks experience. Among them were the time he created a mushroom cloud for a show on the Hanford Nuclear Reservation using artillery powder, flash powder, and gallons of gasoline. Another involved Boy Scouts, a bonfire, and flashpowder, and I can’t remember the last one but it sure was great. After finishing, he looks at me and says “Satisfied?” I wanted to say “YAY! Thanks uncle Larry!” but settled for a simple yay instead.

During lunch, I showed a few people pics of the pyrotechnics and flame effects at Burning Man. Drug fueled hippie orgy music festival my hot ass…

After lunch we learned just what a pain in the ass it is to transport fireworks. It was taught by a different instructor that talked like a fucking sailor, salty motherfucker…

Then we got to the good part. The Live Shoot! We were able to shoot a 1.75 inch and a 2.5 inch shell. Because I’m somewhat of a teacher’s pet, I got to shoot 5 or so… I brought my hardhat, which has a nomex hood built in, and a pair of safety glasses, both of which make me look dead sexy as you shall see…

So get this. They call me forward, place a big splodey shell in my hand, and tell me to walk downrange and light it with a road flare. Didn’t have to ask me twice! The folks on the mortar line were friendly and very helpful. They went over the sequence of loading, ignition, and protective posture. Basically, you lower the shell into the tube by the attached match, assume the proper firing stance, remove the fire-retardant match cover from the end of the match, wait for the firing cue, light the sucker up, and lean away with your back to the mortar until it blows the shell into the sky. Y’all know me. I love me some explosions! Standing next to a 2.5 inch shell launching is a hell of a bang that you feel with your whole body. I loved it!

We received certification of participating in a live fire shoot of which I need three to be able to take the state test to acquire my license. I have another live fire next weekend that involves many more shells.

Here’s the obligatory pics…

"But I want to go play over there!"

"Ok Foxfur, that there's the splodey end."

Assuming the proper firing stance, keeping the flare away from the bangy thing.

BLASTOFF! What's that guy behind me doing?

Thinking dirty thoughts about pretty fireworks...

Geeky, nerdy, slutty Foxfur...

The first part in the series: Blowing Sh*t Up For Fun And Profit

Cooking With Foxfur: Sweet & Sour Blue Chicken


Today I’m going to be showing y’all how to whip up a Snooseville variant of sweet and sour chicken. I was going to call it “What The Fuck Chicken” but that could easily refer to nearly any of my chicken recipes including my famous chicken fried Spam… This recipe came to me last night as I was searching for a duplicate of authentic Americanized Chinese restaurant sweet & sour sauce. I’ve made many different types of sweet and sour sauce but, being the simpleton that I am, I loves me some of that clear and simple sauce. I stumbled upon the easiest sauce you could ever hope for and one that you can make from what you have on hand. All it takes is water, sugar, vinegar, cornstarch, and red food dye. After mulling it over for a while, I rejected the idea of red, too conformist, and thought of green or blue as a way of sticking it to the man. Seeing as how I was fresh out of green, I decided on blue. Feel free to substitute green, yellow, or black. Anything but red. Red is far too unoriginal for us, right? Right! So, without further adieu (which I have plenty of), here goes nothing.

Sweet & Sour Blue Chicken

1 32 ounce bag of General Tso’s chicken or battered chicken

1 large onion

2 Sexy carrots

2 Bell peppers

2 Teaspoons minced ginger

1 Teaspoon minced garlic

Sauce:

1 Cup water

1 Cup sugar

¾ Cup white vinegar

3 Tablespoons cornstarch mixed in 3 Tablespoons of water

Peel the onion and cut into wedges. Peel the carrots and cut diagonally in thin slices. Seed peppers and cut into ½ x ¾ inch pieces. OR, get fancy and use a really small star shaped cookie cutter. I’m not joking. People love stuff like this. You can get a job cooking at the White House with this trick.

Mince ginger and garlic and place in a little dish.

Combine water, sugar, and vinegar and stir until dissolved. Look at these fucking peppers!

I’m using a West Bend electric wok so I’ll be referring to my cooking vessel as a wok. You can use a wok, frying pan, maybe even a hubcap or gold pan. Whatever. I don’t care. You’re gonna do it no matter what I say.

Drizzle a teaspoon of oil into your heated wok. Dump in ¾ of the ginger and garlic. Stir it around for 5 – 10 seconds. Launch your carrots in and slap them around like my, err, a mouthy boyfriend for 60 – 90 seconds. Next, dump the peppers and onions in and go go go for another 3 minutes or so. Stop when the veggies are as crisp or as mushy as you like. Flip them into a bowl and set aside for now.

Now, get a firm grip on your chicken. I’m using frozen battered chicken because it’s what I have to work with and I’m lazy. If you want to cut up chicken breasts and dredge them in flour, be my guest. You obviously have a large amount of time on your hands so why not knit a sweater while you’re at it, smartass?

My chicken came with a packet of General Tso’s sauce. This sealed packet of communist aggression didn’t give up easily and had to be forced to surrender at gunpoint, pinko bastard! I banished the packet of dissent to the hinterlands of the freezer in a multicultural tryst with a package of frozen burritos. Adios, bitches!

Pour ¼ cup (2 ounces) of oil into your pan. I use peanut oil because it is domestically produced and does not support terrorism (unlike them fancy ass foreign oils…). For a real treat, replace ½ ounce (2 drachms) of the oil with sesame oil. Heat and toss in the remaining ginger and garlic. Dump the chicken in and stir constantly for 15 – 20 minutes. So long as it’s not pink and raw in the center you’re good. I like mine a bit crispy and brown so I’ll go for the full 20 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a container that DOES NOT contain the veggies. DO NOT let the chicken touch the veggies!

Pour the sauce mixture into the wok. Heat to a low simmering boil and stir until everything is fine and dandy. Now is where the blue (or color X) comes in. I only had ¾ of a tube of blue food coloring gel and used it all. I didn’t end up with nearly the depth of color that I wanted. I was going for something to gross out kindergarteners but ended up with something that Alice Waters would probably be cool with instead. Next time I’ll use liquid food coloring and have shitloads on hand. When in doubt, add more. With a recipe like this, which is totally asinine, go completely nuts and err on the side of recklessness. Who the hell is going to tell you screwed it’s up, huh? Of course it’s screwed up! You’re cooking with Foxfur!

Put on a pair of safety goggles and begin adding the cornstarch / water mixture. Be very careful!!! Many inexperienced cooks have suffered catastrophic facial burns requiring hundreds of hours of reconstructive surgery only to end up looking like Sharpei puppies hesitantly emerging from a food dehydrator. Don’t let this happen to YOU! The sauce will begin to thicken upon stirring the CS water into the sauce. Bear in mind that the sauce is hot and will appear thinner now than it will be when it is cool. If you add enough CS water, you’ll end up with something approximating brick mortar when it cools off. Or toothpaste like mine did. I didn’t care. It fit into my foodhole and stayed down. I win again! You can easily test the cooled thickness of the sauce by spooning a few drops on a cool plate or piece of aluminum foil. Let it cool for a few seconds and lick at it. Undignified? Yes. Most chefs are. Look at me.

Now grab your chicken and plunge it into the sauce. Mix it around in the sauce on low heat for a few minutes so that the sauce can work in and get all flavory like with it. Add in the veggies then fold, spindle, and mutilate. Pour the mess into a serving bowl or plate and prepare to disgust your guests.

Serve it on a bed of rice which may or may not have been dyed to a horribly contrasting color. Saffron rice, yellow, would be a good choice. The blue of the sauce should mix with the rice’s yellow and result in a sick-ass green streaked mess to grace the plate of your “friends” that you’ve invited to “dinner”, wink, wink.

Some final comments:

Cooking is not a science except in the case of cooking meth. You don’t want to fuck up on that. Recipes are mere guidelines. They’re the beginning of an adventure that only you will be going on and that only you can judge the success of. You wouldn’t pack a suitcase with only what a list told you to, would you? If you want to add pineapple to this recipe, fine. If you think your kids would like gummi bears in it, who am I to disagree? That actually sounds pretty awesome and will end up in a future recipe to be featured here. The only recipes where following the ingredient list and cooking methodologies are absolutely critical is when baking cakes and cookies. Nearly everything else is fungible. Get creative and use your imagination. The best recipes are the ones you’ll never find in a cookbook. They’re the ones passed around on 3×5’s by little old ladies in the back row of bingo parlors.

It’s just like life: Nothing exciting ever comes from following all of the rules all of the time.

Update: The General Tso sauce kicks ass on my Spam and Corn Fritters

Cooking With Foxfur: Stir-Fry


Cooking! Foxfur loves it. Nothing is more satisfying to me than taking a bunch of cool parts and building something functional and beautiful from them. Of the many neat things I build, only cooking gives me the opportunity to eat what I have made. Sometimes I can combine my creations with food for tasty results. See my post on cooking Spam with a flamethrower for a tasty example ( https://foxfuramused.com/2011/09/25/flamethrower-spam-at-burning-man-2011 ).

Today I will remove the mystery of my favorite method of cooking: the stir-fry.

Stir-fry combines three main ingredients: Vegetables, meat (or alternate protein source), and a sauce. Some folks may prefer to omit the protein and sauce. Why? I have no idea. Do whatever you like but for the very best result include the sauce.

Stir-fry theory is relatively simple. Cook the vegetables, remove from wok or pan. Cook the meat, add the sauce, and throw the veggies back in. Eat.

First the vegetables are cooked. A bit of oil is heated, perhaps a teaspoon or so, garlic and / or ginger added to the oil and stirred for 5 – 10 seconds and then the vegetables are added. These are tossed around and constantly turned in order to avoid burning. Vegetables that require a longer cooking time are added first and cooked for a little bit before the more tender ones are added. Carrots, broccoli, etc. are added first. I usually cook the broccoli separately. When the veggies have been cooked for a few minutes, add a few tablespoons of water and cover. This allows them to steam a bit. I typically allow 60 – 90 seconds of steaming depending on the texture I like. If you want uber crisp veggies, omit the steaming.

Next, cook the meat or protein. Again, add the oil, a teaspoon to a tablespoon depending on the amount of meat you’re cooking. Then the garlic / ginger. Add the meat. Cook the piss out of poultry, pig, or seafood. Trust me, you don’t even want to mess around with medium rare pork. Beef is negotiable. If you wish, cook it 2/3 to 3/4 done, it will continue cooking once the sauce has been added and heated.

Then the sauce. Some like to add the sauce directly to the cooked meat. I like to remove the meat and do the sauce separately. I like to use a mix of broth and soy sauce or other liquids. A good all-purpose sauce: 1 cup broth (chicken, beef, ham, giraffe, vegetable, etc.), 2-4 tablespoons of soy sauce, 2-3 tablespoons of mirin or wine of your choice, sugar or fruit juice for a sweet sauce, vinegar for a tart sauce, fish sauce for a hearty sauce, Tabasco for a peppy sauce. Really, add anything. You can’t ruin a sauce. I guess you can if you throw in some really crappy stuff like angostura bitters or Liquid Plumr or the like. Taste the sauce and add junk as desired. If it’s awful, feed it to the sink and start over. I’ve added some bizarre stuff to mine: A1 sauce, Worcestershire, Heinz 57, orange marmalade, maple syrup, grenadine, whiskey, root beer, Pepsi, and Mad Dog 20/20. Get creative! Add the sauce to the wok or pan and heat thoroughly especially if adding reserved marinade (which I highly recommend!). If you like a thick sauce, add cornstarch dissolved in a small amount of water, stir the CS water in and stir the sauce until it’s thickened and cook for 30-60 seconds to cook the taste of starch out of it.

Finally, add the veggies (and meat if you did the sauce alone in the wok) and toss to coat. Depending on the texture, I’ll cook it a bit more to infuse the saucy goodness into the tasty bits.

Serve with rice or noodles and shovel it into your food hole.

Here’s an easy example that I make at least twice a week.

Foxfur’s Furry Tofu (contains no fur)

1lb firm or extra firm tofu dismembered into 1/2inch cubes
1 large onion hacked into wedges
1 large bell pepper (red, yellow, orange, green, or polka dotted) diced into 1/2 to 3/4inch squares or trapezoids
A couple handfuls of sliced mushrooms (white, brown, magic, whatever)
1Tbsp finely chopped ginger
1Tbsp chopped garlic
Oil (peanut, olive, vegetable, palm, motor)

Marinade:
1/4C Soy sauce
1TBSP sugar
2-3 glugs of sweet chili sauce (optional)
Other crap you like (to taste)

Sauce:
1C broth
3TBSP Soy sauce
3TBSP wine (I prefer mirin)
2Tbsp sugar

Mix the marinade ingredients well. Drop the tofu cubes into a bowl and drown with the marinade. I like to let it sit on the counter for an hour or so.

Mix the sauce ingredients together. Set aside.

Add a teaspoon of oil to the wok or pan. Get that stuff hot but not smoking hot. The only smoking hot thing here is you, dear reader, mreow! Dump in the ginger and garlic and agitate it with a stick until it’s not quite done, perhaps 7.42 seconds. You want to kidnap the flavors into the oil not deep fry the stuff. Launch the onions and peppers into the wok. Keep ’em moving, do not burn! Cook for 2 minutes and then toss the mushrooms in. Slap the stuff around for another minute or two. Add a couple tablespoons of water into the bottom of the wok and cover. Drop and give me 25 pushups. Faster! Get up, remove the cover, evacuate the veggies to a dish or other suitable detention vessel.

Drain the marinade from the tofu into something that will hold it and set that aside.

Add a bit more oil, heat, do the garlic-ginger thing and dump the tofu in. Don’t worry if there’s marinade left in the ‘fu. It will get cooked into the cubes and be oh so tastay! Stir the fu every 10-15 seconds. Ideally you want the fu to be browned on all sides but chances are you’ll never be able to do it. I can’t. Whatever. It’ll be cooked. Keep going until you achieve the nirvanaesque state of light to dark
browning, your choice. I like mine a bit on the dark and kinda dry side of the spectrum. Transfer to the container with the vegetables to reflect on their impending doom.

Add the sauce and marinade to the wok and heat until it achieves a slight boil. Taste it and add stuff you like to taste. If it’s too salty add some water. At this point you’ll thicken it up. We do this by dissolving 2Tbsp of cornstarch in 2Tbsp of COLD water. pour half of this into the simmering sauce. Stir quickly to incorporate completely. Still too thin? Add the rest of the starch water. Still too thin? make and add more. Too thick? Add some water. Simmer for a minute or so.

Finally. add the veggies and fu to the sauce. Stir everything until coated with sauce. Continue heating and stirring if you want to. If you don’t want to, you’re lazy and need a personal chef.

Serve your splendid creation with rice or alone. Drizzle with sesame oil and shake some sesame seeds over it for a real treat.

I recommend washing containers and utensils as you go so as not to be overwhelmed with a stack of crap. Done right, you will be able to gorge and pass out where you sit. On coming to you will be greeted with a clean sink and should immediately have seconds.

Stir-fry is not complicated, it just looks like it when I write the recipe. You know me and words…

Blowing Sh*t Up For Fun And Profit


For those of you who don’t know it, I like fire. All kinds of fire. Flamethrowers, road flares, Bic lighters, candles, fully engulfed oceangoing oil tankers, the sun.

Of all forms of fire, I think I love fireworks the very best. How can such small things contain such massive amounts of fiery goodness? One word. Chemicals. I love chemicals! Ok, back to fireworks. I have had a serious obsession with fireworks since I was a wee lad in short pants. My earliest memory must be from the womb when mom went to a firework show at Griffith park. I remember it like the day…

Last year a friend (who really likes espresso) suggested to me that I earn my pyrotechnician’s license. I thought this was a magnificent idea! He brought it up again last month and I went ahead and registered.

I went to my first class today and I’m going to ace this thing. We spent the day focusing on safety for the crew, crowd, and ground based flammable objects other than flammable people. We were regaled with stories of people who, for one reason or another, were made to pay the stupid tax. Some of them were good enough to pay their own while others made bystanders pay it for them (the slimy bastards!)…

Ok, enough with the words. Y’all know how much little Foxfur loves him some photos, so, let’s get on with it!

Look! It’s a buffet!

A canister shell, triple-break shell, 2 inch through 12 inch round shells, electric matches, salutes (LOUD bangs), mines, and tools.

Whoops!

Mortars are the tubes used to launch the shells and are usually buried up to their necks in the ground or in sand filled boxes. When you hear the “Thump!” and see a dim trail of sparks heading upwards, it’s a shell that came from a mortar. The cylindrical base under the ball is filled with black powder, coarse grains unlike sporting powder, and functions in the mortar tube just like a cannon launching a cannon ball. Most of the time the shell goes up, goes bang, and the crowd goes “Ooh!”, “Ahh!”, or “Wheeeeee!”. In this instance the crowd probably went “WTF???”. The shell burst prematurely in the tube and kind of blew it to hell. I say kind of because that while it is obviously trashed, 95% of the tube is still there though not where it was when manufactured. The tube is made of HDPE which does not shatter or splinter. Instead, it deforms and largely stays intact preventing the nice fireworks man from being perforated and being made terribly unhappy.

A bank of three 5 inch mortar tubes.

The Foxfur shell… Swells until it bursts in a cloud of yay!

12 inch aerial fireworks shellI’m thinking of adopting! A fine example of a 12 inch aerial shell. The pattern (burst) is a bit over 500 feet in diameter.

Oh that silly Foxfur!

The next two classes will involve live firing of shells. After that I’ll be firing a show at a major northwest sporting event and one at a firefighting training facility. I’ll give them some good practice…

I’ve been told that I’ll be given a place on a team of pyrotechnicians at Burning Man 2012 to work on some major fireworks shows this year. This would be a true honor and privilege and would be one of the highlights of my burn. As goofy as I come off, you can bet your last dollar that I’m dead serious about safety, hard work, and attention to detail. If I’m going to put my name to something, I’m gonna do it right.

Updates to come…