Comforting Cod

November 30th, 2020 § 0 comments § permalink

Snow, sleet, hail, icy winds, dark skies. B-r-r-r !!! Yes, it’s winter on Prince Edward Island (but, no Covid-19 cases). Wood stove and propane fireplace are keeping HG/BSK comfy in HG/BSK’s oceanfront home. Wildlife seems to be surviving. BSK saw a large coyote loping on a bluff this morning. Resourceful BSK continues to cook meals that are delicious and comforting in bleak weather. Last night, BSK made a stew of cod, tomatoes, onions, garlic, olives, white wine, etc. Served it over creamy polenta. Cod is one of HG’s favorite fishes. The cod in BSK’s stew was flaky, moist and not overcooked. Obviously, very fresh and tasty. Another BSK culinary triumph. The Wonder Woman knows how to chase away winter cold.

Fighting The Pandemic: Canada VS Trump’s “Reich”

November 28th, 2020 § 0 comments § permalink

Covid 19 infections and deaths continue to mount while the chief Nazi/Fascist and the pile of shit known as the GOP focus on discrediting Biden’s victory and destabilizing democracy in the United States. In what seems like an alternate universe, HG/BSK are residing in HG/BSK’s oceanfront home in Covid 19-free Prince Edward Island. The difference between how Canada’s Maritime Provinces–Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Labrador-Newfoundland and Prince Edward Island–and the USA have dealt with Covid 19 is profound. This was pointed out in a New York Times article from Halifax, Nova Scotia: “Living In Nova Scotia’s Covid Free World” by Stephanie Nolen. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia’s public health chief spelled out the province’s (and the rest of the Maritimes) Covid 19 response (totally different from the USA’s). Said Strang: “Public health and epidemiological officials, not politicians, should set Covid 19 policy and rule what should be open or closed. People (mostly) follow rules on closure, masks and gatherings. We need to do it to keep each other safe. I think there’s something about our culture, our collective ethic, if you will, that means people obey that.” Hopefully, the US will regain a collective ethic that celebrates life and rationality rather than the pro-death, Nazi/Fascist hysteria that four years of Trump ushered in.

Bowl O’ Red

November 23rd, 2020 § 0 comments § permalink

Last month, as a hurricane approached HG/BSK’s Prince Edward Island oceanfront home, BSK made a big pot of chili. It was enough for two days of dinners and lunches, helpful if electricity ceased (gas range and oven could warm the chili). BSK used a Rich Bayless mix (not as good as the Wick Fowler “Five Alarm Chili” mix). A few nights ago, with snow flurries in the future, BSK made another abundant pot of chili, a sure cure for the chills. This time, BSK had no packaged mix but used BSK’s imaginative combination of tomatoes, onions, jalapenos, cumin, masa flour, canola oil and big spoonfuls of spicy chili powder to flavor the simmering chopped beef. The chili was a blast from the past. BSK had produced an authentic “bowl o’ red”, the lusty dish (always served with chopped onions and salty oyster crackers) that was a fixture of diners and “coffee shops” in yesteryear New York. HG topped his PEI bowl with onions plus grated cheddar and sliced avocado. Bliss. Many, many decades ago when HG was a financially limited New York journalist, HG would often patronize a small chili restaurant beneath the Third Avenue Elevated train (This was before the El’s demolition and the resultant construction that made Third Avenue fashionable. When the El thundered above, the avenue was lined with tenements and the street fronts housed Irish saloons, pawn shops, antique stores and cheap restaurants). The chili eatery served its fiery chili Texas-style (without beans), or with beans. The chili could be poured over rice or spaghetti if desired. HG would opt for Texas style chili over spaghetti. A very big bowl cost 25 cents, a filling, warming, affordable culinary treasure.

Celebratory Meal

November 21st, 2020 § 0 comments § permalink

Yes, Trump is doing his best to sow chaos and division in the United States. A desperate, vindictive con man willing to sacrifice Democratic ideals for his tarnished ego. Despite all of that, the Biden/Harris victory was cause for celebration. This was accented by the acknowledgment speeches by Biden and Harris. Eloquent. Healing. Civilized. Big change from the unspeakable Nazi. So, time for a happy meal. At HG’s request, BSK made omelets stuffed with spinach and feta cheese. Brown on the outside and soft and runny on the inside (the French call this texture “baveuse”). Juicy cherry tomatoes, a ciabatta, Sicilian red wine accompanied. Sighs of pleasure. Pete’s Kitchen, a rough and ready Denver/Colfax Avenue diner, would make this omelet at HG’s request. Smothered it with green chile and served it with hashbrowns and Greek yogurt. Very good. But, not as good as BSK’s savory wonder. Both versions were better than the very subtle cheese omelets served at Romaine de Lyon, long closed New York restaurant. This was a favorite of Mel Brooks and Anne Bancroft. Brooks wrote the screenplay for “The Producers” ( Zero Mostel and Gene Wilder) there.

Keeping Safe and Nourished

November 17th, 2020 § 0 comments § permalink

HG/BSK are still enjoying life (despite the craziness in the USA) in HG/BSK’s ocean front home on beautiful, democratic, gentle Prince Edward Island, Canada’s smallest province. HG/BSK are keeping warm, cozy and well nourished and not leaving until New Mexico has Covid-19 under control. PEI is safe. No Covid-19 cases as the cooperating population wear masks, observes social distancing and pays attention to health warnings. Yes, that’s what life is like in a democracy where people–liberal, conservative, green–care for one another and violence and hate are rare. Dinner is always festive. Last night the pasta shape was fiorelli. The al dente fiorelli were covered in BSK’s unique cauliflower sauce. BSK blanched florets and sauced them with a magical amalgam of blue cheese, white wine, chicken stock, capers, garlic and anchovies. Delight. Besides doing wonderful things with chicken, pork, chopped beef chili; lentil, vegetable, and chickpea soups, etc., BSK turns out the best pasta dishes. These are some of the sauces: Broccoli; zucchini with bacon and ricotta; eggplant (a la Norma); Italian jarred tuna; Portuguese sardines with raisins and garlic. There are many others and BSK (or HG) selects the appropriate pasta shape for each dish. Yes, living well is the best revenge.

Another Doubleheader

November 16th, 2020 § 0 comments § permalink

As HG explained in a post last month, a dining “doubleheader” is a dinner with enough leftovers for dinner the next night. This works for soups, curries, stews and braises. Frees BSK from cooking chores one night. And, it means one clean up of pots and pans. An Italian doubleheader brought two nights of pleasure for HG/BSK last week. Potatoes and onions were cut into quarters and red peppers and yellow peppers were sliced as well as abundant garlic. Doused with chicken broth, white wine and olive oil, this went into a Creuset baking dish and was cooked over stove top medium heat. Italian sausages (the Prince Edward Island Farmers Market has good ones) were fried into juiciness. They topped the succulent vegetables with a handful of ripe cherry tomatoes. Red pepper flakes. Parmesan. A dash of Sicilian olive oil. Much, much Spanish Tempranillo. Happiness. Another benefit was that cooking this robust dish filled HG/BSK’s oceanfront home with appetizing aromas.

There’s Still Joy

November 13th, 2020 § 0 comments § permalink

This has to be one of the worst moments in American history. Thousands of Americans are being infected with Covid-19 and hundreds are dying. The Nazi president and his goosestepping cultist lackeys (aka the GOP) don’t care. They are focused on overturning the election with nonsensical claims of fraud. The Nazi in chief and his filthy consorts have brought the government to a halt at a time when we Americans must fight against disease and death. Joe Biden’s hands are tied. Meanwhile, many cities are running out of hospital beds–and coffins–as the corpses pile up. Criminal callousness rules.

Yes, HG is in a white-hot fury about these Nazi scum (AKA GOP.) However, HG managed to wring joy out of HG’s day on glorious Prince Edward Island. (Of course, BSK was integral). First, there was a brisk walk in the cool oceanic air. Then, a hot shower followed by vodka on the rocks enlivened with a dash of Peychaud’s Bitters. Perfect dinner. BSK glazed North Atlantic salmon filets with Korean soy paste, mirin and other Asian ingredients. Pan broiled them in a cast iron pan to a delicate, semi-rare, silky texture. Boiled Ocean Mist Farm potatoes (sprinkled with Maldon smoked sea salt and moistened with olive oil). There was also surprisingly good buttery Peruvian asparagus. Drank pinot noir. Had the usual dessert of French chestnut puree with whipped cream. Snifter of Bagaco marc after dinner. Life still has good moments.


November 10th, 2020 § 1 comment § permalink

HG was born Nov. 9, 1929, just in time for the Great Depression. So, HG is 91, just in time for a Biden/Harris win. Very surprised to be this old. Never contemplated it. This longevity is due to the continuous loving care and attention to HG’s health issues that HG receives from BSK, HG’s glorious wife for 57 years. Without BSK, HG’s cremated ashes would be in a receptacle years ago. (It was BSK’s dedication that helped HG beat throat cancer in 1992). Birthday meal last night (after opening thoughtful and generous gifts) featured HG favorites. Rack of New Zealand lamb. Mashed potatoes. Roasted, herb stuffed tomatoes. Baby spinach sauteed in olive oil and garlic. Bottle of Sicilian Nero D’Avola. Dessert was HG’s usual: A dab of French (Clement Faugier brand) chestnut puree topped with whipped cream. Vodka before dinner, Jack Daniels after. Safe, sound and joyous on Prince Edward Island where Covid-19 is not a threat (even though the cooperating population continues to wear masks).

USA Democracy Lives. But For How Long?

November 9th, 2020 § 0 comments § permalink

Yes, HG/BSK are overjoyed by the Biden/Harris victory. But, gnawing doubts about the future of American democracy remain. Trump is the internet age, twitter, social media version of Hitler. Just a Nazi without a brown shirt. But, 70,000,000 Americans voted for this pig. While the Nazi played politics with the pandemic, more than 200,000 Americans died of Covid-19. And, some 1,000 a day are perishing now. Remember: He allegedly called the pandemic a “Democratic hoax.” He wouldn’t wear a mask and encouraged his fellow citizens to do likewise. He downplayed Covid-19 relentlessly because he thought it was impeding his support among working-class Americans. Given a choice between a politics that spelled death or a politics that could save lives, the Nazi chose death (Hey, that was always Hitler’s message). Hitler demanded loyalty to himself –Der Fuhrer–not Germany. And, the Republican party has become a Trump cult just like Hitler’s Nazi party, not a traditional, rational, conservative political party. HG foresees many dark days ahead and a continuous battle to keep American democracy alive. Our democratic institutions have remained sturdy despite the Nazi attacks. For how long?

An HG Food Staple

November 7th, 2020 § 1 comment § permalink

Tofu has long been identified with vegetarians and health food addicts. In other words: Sissy food. HG resents tofu slurs. It is a staple of HG’s diet and HG believes its high protein, relatively low cal nourishment has contributed to HG’s (fingers crossed) longevity. Of course, it is BSK’s unrelenting care and devotion that has kept HG alive, alert and mobile. HG’s tofu love was kindled in Vancouver, BC., where for many years HG/BSK occupied a loft and then a townhouse. Upon arrival in that magical city, HG/BSK would lunch on plates of garlic laden spinach and silken tofu at Fortune Garden restaurant. Later, there was Ma Po Tofu at Congee Noodle House and Age Tofu at Japanese eateries. In New Mexico and Prince Edward Island, BSK makes a splendid Vietnamese chicken pho with abundant tofu and Chinese rice noodles. In Santa Fe, HG often lunches at Saigon Cafe: Tofu in beef broth tofu and tofu with chow fun noodles. At home, HG does a quick lunch of firm tofu slices heated in chicken broth and flavored with sesame oil and sriracha. A nice appetizer is sliced avocado and tofu sprinkled with soy sauce. Unlike many foods, tofu is tasty–and healthy.

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