“Nice Cup Of Tea”

February 28th, 2018 § 0 comments § permalink

Yes that’s what you get in any proper English (or Canadian) home, restaurant or cafe. In the land that loves assault weapons (otherwise known as the Land of the Brave and the Free) you get a cup of hot water and a tea bag. Insipid. BSK, granddaughter of English immigrants, knows how to make “a nice cup of tea.” Scalds the teapot with boiling water. Empties the now very warm pot. Puts in tea bags (or loose tea in a metal perforated container). Refills the pot with boiling water. Covers the pot with a tea cozy (knit by her late beloved grandmother). Lets the tea steep for an appropriate amount of time. Pours the tea into cups warmed in the microwave. Adds a dash of milk. Nothing can be more comforting after a walk in the wintry air. A bit of shortbread is a pleasant accompaniment. HG’s late father, Hershele Tsvi Freimann (anglicized to “Freeman” at Ellis Island), was a Belorussian immigrant and liked his tea Russian style. Very hot. Very strong. With a heaping spoonful of cherry preserves at the bottom of the cup. Sometimes he added a squeeze of lemon to the tea, omitted the preserves but clutched a sugar cube between his teeth as he sipped.

666

February 28th, 2018 § 0 comments § permalink

So, Jared Kushner’s White House security clearance has been downgraded. Kushner, married to Der Trumperer daughter, Ivanka, has been a major figure in the White House. His functions include the possible brokering of a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians. Seems odd since the Kushner family real estate company has considerable links to Israeli financial institutions. Conflict of interest? Possibly. ┬áThe FBI has been looking into these relationships as well as his numerous global voyages to spark investment interest in 666 Fifth Avenue, the money losing New York office building that burdens the Kushner family with a billion dollar debt plus mortgage. Clock is ticking. It comes due in 2019. Well, as HG knows, 666 Fifth (located on the west side of Fifth between 52nd and 53rd Streets) has always had problems. HG”s public relations firm handled public relations for the Tishman family which managed the building. Tishman Realty and Construction built the structure in 1957 and sold it to Sumitomo Realty in 1976. The first problem HG faced was the address: 666. Those learned in biblical lore would recognize that these numerals are the sign of the devil, “The Mark of the Beast.” Companies with any sort of Bible Belt connections would be loath to lease in a building with such a scary address. HG got busy getting testimony from numerous authorities, religious and secular, that any Satanic connection was nonsense. HG’s next problem at the building was “The Businessman Mugger.” This scoundrel was an elegant (but traditional) dresser. Wore expensive shoes and hat and carried a Mark Cross attache case. Every inch a successful executive. He would enter men’s bathrooms without suspicion and mug the occupants. A gentle mugger. No injuries. Just took watches and wallets. HG publicized the building’s newly installed security system and its hiring of an experienced New York detective as security chief. The goniff was caught. Peace and safety restored. Recently, Vornado, which owns 49.5% of 666, said it wants to divest its holding and Kushner may be the buyer. So, where’s the money coming from since Kushner hasn’t made payments on its portion of the mortgage in some time? HG is not superstitious. However. Hey, Jared, is there a strange horned figure hanging around the building smelling of fire and brimstone?

Blood Orange Bitters

February 26th, 2018 § 0 comments § permalink

Blood Orange Bitters are a magical addition to cocktails produced by a company called Stirrings. HG buys it at the Kokoman wine and liquor store in Pojoaque, a few miles from HG/BSK’s residence. Kokoman has a big selection of bitters as well as an encyclopedic range of beers (domestic and foreign), fine wines, single malt Scotch, etc. Yes, there’s more to New Mexico drinking and dining than Budweiser, tacos and green chile sauce. HG uses the Blood Orange Bitters in a self invented, pre-dinner cocktail HG has dubbed “The Gerald.” It is composed of freshly squeezed lime or lemon juice, vodka, the bitters and a splash of Topo Chico sparkling water. Served on the rocks. Stimulating beverage. The Stirrings company also recommends adding the bitters to the usual whiskey and sweet vermouth for a superior Manhattan. They also suggest putting a sugar cube in a flute, soaking it in the bitters and adding chilled Champagne. Sounds nice. HG will try it with Prosecco.

Angry HG

February 25th, 2018 § 0 comments § permalink

The usual bullshit. That’s what we’re getting from the Republicanazis, their mouths firmly locked on the NRA money tit. None of them will admit that the AR-15, the weapon of choice in school killings, is an attack weapon, a military weapon. It is designed to kill people as rapidly and efficiently as possible. Easy to buy. Easy (sadly) to use. They should be banned. They are not used for hunting or self protection. HG assumes they are flying off gun shop shelves as crazy copycats dream of murder.

The Party Of Lincoln?

February 22nd, 2018 § 0 comments § permalink

The Republicanazis, devout followers of Der Trumperer, are a slimy bunch. HG, rarely surprised by their nasty conduct, was shocked while watching two Republicanazis comment (on CNN) about the Florida school massacre. The male said the fault was Hollywood’s so don’t attack the NRA. He said Hollywood makes violent movies and that’s the basic cause of school shootings. Well, Canadians watch violent movies, have the usual drug problems, broken homes, etc. Very few mass shootings because they have strict gun laws. Japan, where there are are plenty of violent movies, comic books, etc., has a Samurai tradition and powerful skills at warfare. No mass shootings (police shot a total of six bullets last year). Very, very strict gun laws and annual gun surveillance. The female blamed the Florida attack on the FBI. Called for investigation of FBI plus resignations. No mention of gun laws or the NRA. One would think FBI agents shot those Florida kids.

Crazy Amerika

February 21st, 2018 § 0 comments § permalink

Well, HG can be wrong about the stock market. In a recent post, HG presumed that the stock market would continue its plunge. HG reasoned that Trumponics, with its huge tax giveaways to corporations and the wealthy plus vast military spending, would create gargantuan deficits. HG believed that the resulting high interest rates and inflation would torpedo stocks. It seems investors don’t care. The market continues to gain. Misguided euphoria?? In the meantime, the cost estimate for Der Trumperer’s military parade is thirty million dollars. Der Trumperer is generous with taxpayer money except when it comes to Medicare and aid to the poor. And, in Florida, some 17 are killed in a high school massacre. The weapon? An AR-15 rifle. It is the preferred weapon for school shootings. Why are they sold (In Florida, they are easier to buy than a handgun)? Because our disgusting Republican congressmen, champion hypocrites, intone prayers while wallowing in NRA campaign dollars. And, the “war on drugs” and the war in Afghanistan continue. Both expensive and futile. Der Trumperer wants billions to build his Mexico Wall in order to stem drug trafficking and and keep out “bad hombres.” The “Wall” won’t stop the flow of drugs. Since Americans want forbidden drugs it is all a simple matter of demand and supply. When will there be legalization of narcotics and the acknowledgment that addiction is a medical problem and not a criminal problem?

Super Soups

February 19th, 2018 § 0 comments § permalink

“A trip to the moon on gossamer wings” (Cole Porter). No, HG’s delight in BSK’s inventive soups is not so aesthetic but robustly earthy. There is no better lunch on a cold day. Turns winter into spring. BSK rummages in the refrigerator and combines aging vegetables and greens with herbs, spices and stock. They go into a pot and after cooking are pureed with BSK’s immersion blender. Sometimes the bowls of soup are topped with Greek yogurt (and a sprinkle of cayenne or Spanish smoked paprika). This week BSK did a variation of Melissa Clark’s (NY Times) recipe for spinach and mushroom soup. Aged mushrooms, baby spinach and leeks plus fresh thyme and basil went into the pot with Swanson’s chicken broth and a host of spices including cumin, cardamon, coriander, etc. The result was an explosion of flavor. BSK calls her creation “green soup” or “garbage soup.” HG calls it “wonder soup.”

Baa Baa

February 15th, 2018 § 0 comments § permalink

Looking forward to dinner tonight of New Zealand lamb chops (from Trader Joe’s) accompanied by roasted Kumatos and fingerling potatoes. HG/BSK will be drinking The Velvet Devil Merlot from the blessed state of Washington. Yes, HG loves lamb chops (called them “ompa lomps” in his childhood). HG has posted many appreciations of lamb (see HG archive). TJ’s and Sam’s Club carry excellent racks of lamb from New Zealand. Sometimes, BSK separates the rack and makes “lamb popsicles” using Vikram Vij’s recipe. Lush heaven. The only lamb stew HG ever enjoyed was Spring Lamb Stew (Navarin Printanier) prepared by the late Sandra Segal (she learned to cook in Paris). Back to lamb chops. Best ever were the triple thick beauties served at Leon Lianides’s Coach House in New York’s Greenwich Village (long closed and replaced by Mario Batali’s Babbo’s) (see HG archive for more on Coach House). Perfect meal at Coach House was starter of crab cakes or black bean soup (accompanied by corn sticks); the great chops; pecan pie with vanilla ice cream. A few times a year, Lianides made a Greek tripe stew. Alas, HG was not a tripe fan in those days and so missed the treat.

Booze

February 12th, 2018 § 0 comments § permalink

Yes, HG loves alcohol in all its delightful forms. HG’s passion probably leads to excess but so do all passions (including love). This is HG’s drinking routine: (1) Drink before dinner, but after swimming 30 to 40 laps in HG/BSK’s pool house (the 45-foot pool is heated, thankfully). (2) One half bottle of red wine or one bottle of beer with dinner (3) One or two after dinner drinks. HG is inventive with pre-dinner drinks. Glass of 1/2 tequila and 1/2 dry vermouth. Vodka (3/4) and Aperol (1/4). Bourbon (1/3, Sweet Vermouth (1/3), Campari 1/3. Vodka with splash of orange bitters. Vodka (1/2, grapefruit juice 1/2. Vodka with Boker’s Bitters. All of these beverages require plenty of ice and lemon juice. After dinner drinks are bourbon, brandy (with splash of Peychaud’s Bitters), Sambuca, icy Limoncello. Irish whiskey (Jameson’s or Bushmill’s) with a teaspoon of maple syrup. HG’s regimen does not have the Health Police Seal of Approval. But, at age 88, HG declares: WTF??

Trumpishness

February 11th, 2018 § 0 comments § permalink

So, Der Trumperer is going to get a big time military parade. The expensive show will be at taxpayer expense, of course. Dreams come true. Putin, Stalin, Hitler, Kim Jong, Mussolini all had many big parades with marching corps, missiles, tanks, guns, etc.. It is the signature move of any dictator worth his salt. Of course, Der Trumperer’s parade will be the best, the biggest, most watched extravaganza ever (as DT will loudly proclaim and tweet). Meanwhile, a Nazi is a Republican congressional candidate in Illinois. To paraphrase “The Producers”: “Don’t be a dummy, be a smarty, come and join the Republi-nazi party.” All of this made HG log into Youtube and listen to “Springtime for Hitler and Germany” from “The Producers.” (Google the lyrics, please). There’s a Yiddish saying: “lacht mit yashikehs”. It means laughing with tears. That’s what HG did. Was Mel Brooks prescient? Meanwhile, the stock market is “correcting” dramatically. Der Trumperer claims the plunge is a big mistake. His tax bill will put the United State in trillions of dollar in debt and his Mexican Wall madness will cost billions. Obviously, the oft times bankrupt Trumperer has never heard of the consequences of this: Inflation. Investors throughout the world seem to have gotten the inflation message.

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