By the way, just want to make sure that all of you remember to vote in the contest to determine what politician said the dumbest thing in 2008 and to make your nominations for comment of the year.
Also, making a pork loin, some sauerkraut, black-eyed peas, brussel sprouts, and beets for dinner, but I just can’t decide how I want to season the pork. Any suggestions? And yes, I am aware that is an odd combination of vegetables, but when I was at the store yesterday, for some reason those veggies were the ones I wanted. Also, I have learned that a lot of people don’t like beets, which I just can’t figure out. They are good so many different ways, especially pickled. A friend’s grandfather was in a prison camp in WWII and hated beets because that was all the Germans fed them, but for the life of me I can not figure out why other people hate them.
Oh, and dessert. Does anyone know of a baked banana dish? I don’t want something super rich and fattening like Bananas Foster, but I am thinking about something involving bananas and cinnamon.
And, checking my email as I write this, I see that we are a finalist for Best Major Blog in the Weblog Awards. Since I don’t care about these things, and Tim is unmotivated because we are not running against Red State like we were last year, no one will be here to do the relentless pimping that needs to be done to get out the vote. Additionally, we are up against the Instapundit, who has a readership that probably doubles all the other contestants combined. As such, what I have decided to do is to beg each and every one who was inclined to vote for Balloon Juice to go to the Weblog Awards and vote for TBOGG or Outside the Beltway (depending on your political preference), who also has been nominated. That way, we can at least make the race somewhat competitive against the big dog in the fight.
One final thing. Not sure if any of you are watching or aware, as there seems to be so much going on over here in our own little American paradise, but things are really going to shit in Zimbabwe. It honestly looks like half the population is in jeopardy of starving to death, and it isn’t even making headlines here. I’m as guilty as everyone else, because I haven’t even mentioned it here before (and, indeed, am tacking my first mention of it on to a post discussing how I will feed my fat ass tonight), but we have to be able to help in some way- even if it is minor, every bit helps. We talked about donating to charities once we were done with the election, and now seems to be the right time. If any of you know of a charity that has a good track record and low overhead who is currently involved in the crisis over there, please let me know, and we will promote that daily and throw a widget in the sidebar (if there is one). The thought of all these people starving to death is horrifying.
Also, I have learned that a lot of people don’t like beets, which I just can’t figure out.
Nothing that colour could possibly be edible.
Beets taste like dirt to me. I will eat almost any vegetable, but beets I have tried many ways and have never like. I have joined a CSA for the spring, and one of the vegetables that will be provided is beets. I am going to try again and see if really fresh beets perhaps taste differently.
As for the pork, I like a combination of orange juice, balsamic vinegar and some dry bbq rub spices.
Just Some Fuckhead
I’m sure there’s no problem in Zimbabwe that more killing won’t solve. And starving to death is like killing without wasting bullets. So voila, problem solved!
It’s a mess.
Happy New Year John and to all the Juicers. I don’t know from pork seasoning but I think you can never use enough garlic. I would probably do garlic and rosemary since it’s hard to find summer savory this time of year.
The Zimbabwe thing is just awful. Really there’s a whole lot of awful everywhere. All I have to offer in comfort is this flamenco video with some beautiful shots of Barcelona.
United Methodist Committee on Relief – UMCOR – is a charity that has NO administrative costs (the churches pay the admin costs), so any donation goes to the cause. They have medical and other personnel on the ground in Zimbabwe, have had for quite awhile. No proselytizing, either – just there to provide humanitarian aid. One of the best charities in the world. Also a lot of lefty people are involved in UMCOR.
Did someone mention beets? It must be time for the Beat Farmers and "Happy Boy."
Pork Roast with Garlic and Rosemary, Hoppin’ John, Collards and cornbread here, John.
New Years Day proprieties must be closely addressed.
@T. Scheisskopf: My black eyed peas are in the form of Hoppin’ Johns this year as well.
Sometimes I just like to make a cold salad with them, though.
Also, I am German, so sauerkraut is mandatory. I forgot the pickled herring.
If you’re going to stoop to eating beets, why not lose all your self respect and slam down a few brussels sprouts?
Garlic, salt, pepper, and caraway seeds. Cook the pork roast with the sauerkraut.
@weezer: Brussel Sprouts are on the list.
Do people hate them, too? I love em. Slit the bottoms with an x, soak em in kosher salt and water overnight, steam ’em, and a little salt and pepper is all they take.
You all are nuts.
Glass half-full: Zimbabwe gets you a ton of points in Scrabble
Btw, I like beets. Not so much pickled, but baby beets with butter an fresh ground black pepper, peeled and steamed whole with the greens still on, straight from the garden, is the best way to eat them.
Brussells sprouts are my favorite winter food. Don’t understand how anyone can hate them. They’re on my menu today, along with yams and fresh baked rolls.
UMCOR — let’s try this again. I really think this is one of the best charities in the world because of the quality of people they have on ground- nonjudgmental, caring – and because they have absolutely no administrative costs since all United Methodist churches pay for that.
Oh, and I like beets, but they scare the bejeezus out of you the next day, you think you have colon cancer or something else. And eating black eyed peas brings good luck for the next year.
Just Some Fuckhead
John, throw a piece of bacon in with your brussell sprouts when yer cooking ’em.
Oh, I like brussel sprouts, especially the baby ones. Cooked and then served with a bit of sundried tomato vinaigrette. Wonderful.
I am trying to get over my beet dislike. I think it goes back to childhood and how the pickled beets would run all over and change the color of my mashed potatoes pink.
Tom Kelly's Greyhound
Banana Bread Pudding
Also try a little lemon vinaigrette with black pepper after you cook the pork loin.
That is all.
rub pork with crushed fennel seeds, pressed garlic, salt and pepper.
chop and saute in butter 2 fennel bulbs and 2 yellow onions until translucent, put in a baking dish, add milk to cover, put pork on top.
bake at 375 until done
pour fennel, onions and cooking juices in a blender to make a sauce, season sauce with salt/pepper, slice pork and serve with sauce
(stolen from Mario Batali – sort of a bastardization of a sauce soubise)
(also – won’t work with pork tenderloin because the meat will cook too fast, use only with pork loin)
Brussel sprouts are fabulous. Wash, trim, cut in half, throw in a bowl with a little water ( couple tablespoons), garlic, salt and pepper and butter and cover and microwave for 3.5 mins. Unbelievably good. Get em fresh so they are tender and sweet. From grocery bag to eatin’ in about six mins, and epic delicious.
I’ve been on a mission to re-try foods that I disliked as a kid, and it’s had varying success. Brussels sprouts were a win, as were lima beans. Beets and pickles I can take or leave alone. And I still do not enjoy liver, no matter how much bacon you put on it.
As far as the pork goes, you’ll want something that will stand up to the stronger flavours of your vegetables, without clashing. You could do something simple like garlic and Herbes de Provence.
This is my favourite pork recipe. I’m not sure it would work with those veggies, but it is really delicious. The recipe is for tenderloins, but it would work with a loin roast as well.
Tried to vote for McCain’s saying Fundamentals are Sound, but my computer got jammed and wouldn’t let go until I got out altogether, so that vote wasn’t liked by your local NSA chapter, I guess.
The UN’s World Food Program is always a good place to give.
Some good ideas for the pork above.
Crushed allspice, black pepper, red pepper flakes, garlic, thyme, and of course generous salt, massaged on with some oil to keep it from moving around. This is sort of like a Jamaican jerk seasoning, but dialed back from eleven to something like two.
Take it out of the oven at 140 degrees — you do have a digital probe thermometer, right? — cover it with foil outside of the oven for fifteen minutes before slicing, and it will be juicy.
Bananas — you can do either stove top or in the oven. Put some butter in the pan (as much or as little as you want), Slice bananas and roll in the butter. Sprinkle with brown or white sugar, some cinnamon. Bake or saute until sugar is bubbly. Add some rum or brandy at the end, if you like, flambe if you like. Squeeze of lemon or lime juice at the end is nice, too. Delish as is, great with cream or ice cream.
Beets are wonderful.
I like beet salad. Especially when it is served with a strong cheese that hides the flavor of the beets.
both beets and sprouts roast nicely. and you can take the roasted beets and make a kick-ass risotto with them. hickory-smoked pork tenderloin and roasted beet risotto is one of my favorite things to make.
sauerkraut cooked all day with a few hacked-up pork chops and some black pepper corns is a classic. my grandmother would make it on holidays so we’d have something to eat while the big meal was cooking.
MercyCorps is an excellent relief aid organization & they are doing lots of work in Zimbabwe. http://www.mercycorps.org/countries/zimbabwe
Barbara Kafka has a bananas + rum (+sugar, butter, lemon juice, vanilla) recipe in her microwave cookbook. Nuke for three minutes. Eat. Rinse. Repeat.
New Year’s resolution: I will vote for Balloon Juice on the Weblog Awards.
Though does anyone actually keep their New Year’s resolutions?
Herewith my Top 10 Most Likely to Be Broken New Year’s Resolutions for Men and for Women.
Good luck with the cooking and the voting, John. Me, I like a moist banana bread/cake. Good way to use up ripe (or overripe) bananas.
Happy New Year to all…
I’ve been making this roast pork dish a lot lately. Rub the pork with olive oil. Make a paste of lots of garlic, salt, peppercorns, and juniper berries. Rosemary works good too, and I bet the fennel seeds someone mentioned is good, too. Cover the pork with this, and then put bacon strips on top – this helps because there’s usually not much fat on the pork. Baste a couple of times, after a half hour or so you can add some wine if you have some.
I used to hate beets, but have found some good ways to cook them, and now I love them. The easiest is to roast them. Peel them and put them on a piece of tinfoil. Sprinkle with olive oil and salt and pepper. Make a packet of the tinfoil and roast them until they’re soft. If you have leftovers, you can make them into a pasta dish. Dice them and saute them with olive oil, garlic and onions. Add them to some cooked pasta, add lemon juice, salt, pepper, nutmeg if you’re feeling adventurous, and grate pecorino romano cheese on top. Simple to make, great tasting. In the summer I just grate fresh beets instead of roasting them.
Bacon never hurts brussels sprouts either. :-) I grew some this year and they tasted best after the first frost – they were literally frozen on the stems. Just don’t let them get too mushy when you cook them.
My father was in the business of canned & jarred fruits and vegetables. He always used to say that one thing he’d learned from the business was that you can sell anything at the right price–except for pickled beets.
Brussels sprouts: parboil them & then dip them in a colander in ice water until they feel cool. At this point you can either put them in the fridge for a later time or proceed. Slice them in half vertically and saute them in butter or olive oil, shallots (freeze-dried are very convenient) and a little sherry.
Red State isn’t up for Best Blog?!?!?!? What is this world coming to?
No, brussel sprouts should be cooked this way:
trim, clean, and halve them. Throw good smokey bacon into a pan with lots of sliced garlic and olive oil, throw the brussel sprouts in and shake them around and let them sear, occasionally throwing some water on them to steam them at the same time. The brussell sprouts will caramalize and pick up the smoky taste of the bacon and garlic. You can salt and pepper them at the end, sometimes I throw in a little nut of butter to glaze them. Don’t let them overcook. Don’t cover them. You can add a squeeze of lemon juice, orange juice, or maple syrup if you like.
Also, best beet recipe in the world:
peel the beets and chop them. Throw them into a pot with one onion, a couple of cloves of garlic (whole), a half gallon of orange juice, and a few tbs of grated ginger. Cook until tender. throw in a blender. Serve as orange/ginger/borscht with sour cream.
Some good suggestions, but I just didn’t have the mats to make the pork rubs you all suggested.
Instead I took rosemary, sage, garlic, horseradish, salt, pepper, and olive oil, and made a paste, which I then lathered all over the pork and will let it sit until I cook a couple hours from now.
South of I-10
I put garlic and Tony Chachere’s seasoning on the pork loin and marinate in a litle olive oil and red wine. Must have some andouillie for the black eyed peas. I haven’t eaten a beet since the last time my Mom forced me to when I was a kid.
‘Er Indoors has been on a mission to get me loving the humble brussel sprout since I foolishly admitted to hating them as a kid.
So you put a gridle pan on with some nicely cubed bacon to get crisped up while you slice your sprouts quite thinly. Roughly chop up some chestnuts and pop the lot into the hot pan with butter, salt and pepper. Fry them until crispy, then crunch on down.
It’s tough to think about food with the Zimbabwe atrocity in the background. I dream of a world where the bounty of the earth can be shared without interference from Greedy Controllers. Since we’re virtually powerless to make changes on a political level, I’m sending positive waves around the planet in hopes that all can have food and water which exist in abundance around the world. Good god. Talk about basic Human Rights.
I love, love, love Nouveau Flamenco and took delight in the linked music. Ottmar Liebert gives great Nouveau Flamenco. Oscar Lopez’s "Heat" is also a great CD. It carries me around the house with it’s acoustic guitar and lively beat.
Speaking of beats…
My favorite beet is pickled beet salad with cukes, green onion, EVOO , White vinegar and salt and pepper, but, since it’s winter, that butter w/ s/p sounds yummy.
I’ve never tried fresh brussell sprouts but I think I’ll give it a go with the x-cut/kosher salt soak method.
WRT the banana cinnamon dessert, since banana’s foster is out, I love to make banana nut bread and I just discovered a recipe using bisquick which makes it easier. So if you’ve got bisquick around the house, google bisquick banana nut bread, the nuts are optional, and maybe serve it under banana foster sauce? Too rich?
Whenever I have a hankerin’ for a particular ingredient I go to Epicurious.com and type that into the search function. There are thousands of recipes on the site, and many of them have been rated, with comments, by lots of other folks. Often the comments sections have useful tips about which seasonings work best, or ways to change or elaborate.
As for bananas – go for banana bread. Here is a good recipe:
As for Zimbabwe: Doctors without borders (Medecines sans frontieres) http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org/
is by far my favorite charity. They treat malnutrition as well as medical needs. I have a monthly contribution with them. Low overhead, very effective use of money and a willingness to work in the very worst and most difficult places.
@dewberry: Heh. You sound like me. We’ve belonged to a CSA for a couple of years now — and the rest of the household has discovered it likes beets as a result.
To me? Yes, exactly, they taste like dirt. I understand the sweetness people taste, and agree that it’s there, but, seriously, have you ever tasted dirt? Healthy dirt from a garden is also sweet. (Why taste dirt? If it’s sour, it need to be sweetened by adding something alkaline. Just don’t swallow or chew, of course, and…well, do it before you add any manure. Well rotted manure won’t make you sick, but most people find the thought of tasting well fertilized soil disgusting.) Beets taste like good soil…after it’s been fertilized.
@brian: I thought that MSF wasn’t able to get into Zimbabwe? I was under the impression that Mugabe had basically sealed the borders to all comers.
By the way, anything given to support Zimbabwe is directly supporting Mugabe. He steals aid, and redirects it to his supporters. Your charity will feed someone who’s not getting enough to eat, so it’s considerably better than nothing, but it’s not going to the ones who need it most.
I’ve got Hoppin’ John on the stove, too. With tons of garlic, onions, peppers and andouille.
I continue to admire your understanding of the fine qualities of root vegetables. So few people accord them the respect they deserve. In fact, I think it was reading that you were cooking turnips that sealed the deal for me.
Zimbabwe has always been near to my heart, as the end of their independence struggle is one of my earliest political memories. That and the fact that they were one of Africa’s more successful states make me particularly sad about the recent crises. And Zimbabwe seems to share with Somalia the odd trait of basically breaking itself. Other states, especially in Africa, break under the weight of much worse poverty, or ethnic divisions. Zimbabwe had neither of these problems, but now has the former & after Mugabe’s death will probably be subject to the latter.
They’re lucky they don’t have oil.
The tremendous problem with trying to help anyone in Zimbabwe is that the ONLY way to effectively help them is to FIRST somehow get rid of the klepto-pscyho tyrant Robert Mugabe. Otherwise, his security forces will only brazenly steal whatever aid your donations have financed, funneling the stolen resources first to his cronies and secondly only to those who still purport to strongly support Mugabe’s regime.
In other words, the bitter irony is that your attempts to donate aid in Zimbabwe will only wind up supporting and reinforcing the very regime that is directly responsible for the disasterous condition of that country and its people, NOT toward any meaningful relief of their suffering and deprivation. YOU WILL BE DONATING TO MUGABE, NOT THE PEOPLE OF ZIMBABWE, distasteful though that cynical but dead-on accurate analysis may strike you
The Moar You Know
The BBC has been covering this for a long time. The situation there is really bad. Starvation is actually not the most pressing problem at the moment – it’s cholera. A lot of people are going to die there, and there’s no charity organization that’s going to be able to stop it. Why?
This, from demi:
Exactly. Mugabe would have no problem whatsoever with killing half the population of Zimbabwe. He proved that a long time ago when he had the slums bulldozed – those people just didn’t take a hike and find new jobs someplace nicer, most of them just died.
RE: Roast Pork and Fennel Seed
The way I learned to make that is take a boneless loin, simply encrust the thing in garlic and then shake on the fennel seeds, pressing them into the garlic. First time I tried it, many were quite trepidatious, considering the ridiculous amounts of garlic. I explained that the roasting process of the garlic mellowed it and it would not be as intense an experience.
I was correct. There were no leftovers.
Brussel sprouts: try sauteing them in olive oil with salt, pepper, until a slight bit of caramelization takes place on the outside of them. Squeeze some lemon juice on them at the end and saute’ just a tad more. People who hate Brussel Sprouts have been known to like them that way.
Cabbage, from my mother from Ben Avon SC: Big Pot. Big. Render several slices of salt pork out in the bottom of the pot. As they are rendering, cut up one head of cabbage. Sorry, there really is no one right way to cut up the cabbage for this so have fun. Once salt pork is rendered out, throw in cabbage, followed by red pepper flakes. Stir up, put top on pot, stir occasionally. Cabbage should end up limp, clear and a little caramelization is delightful lagniappe’. Eat a bait of cabbage.
What a great world! I have people who taste dirt for me so that I don’t have to.
Also, would you mind tasting my driveway gravel? I have always been curious about it.
Sure, if you want a fried brussel sprout that is salty and greasy and tastes like bacon. The ideal thing for that would be to cook up some bacon, and eat it, and skip the brussel sprouts.
But if you want a sweet, tender and tasty brussel sprout, cook it my way.
My way is also faster and easier and has virtually no cleanup.
I’d much rather see the US trying to work with the international community working with this situation than with the current engaglements we have.
@TheHatOnMyCat: It tastes dusty, I’m sure.
What kind of a pervert are you, though, that you get off on gravel?
Hey passerby. I’m glad someone enjoyed the video. I love flamenco in all its forms but I should have mentioned this was nouveau since a lot of people don’t like the purely classic style.
Oh, and I have a late entry to dumb politicial moves. I think these have been widely overlooked.
Mac Attack. The forgotten gaffes.
@mapaghimagsik: We are — we’ve been working with the ANC in South Africa, for instance. Like Mobutu before him, though, most of the African liberation movements are very touchy about deposing dictators, either because they’ve degenerated into dictatorships themselves — cf. Mugabe — or because they have a legitimate moral discomfort with interfering in the internal affairs of sovereign states.
And, seriously, until the cholera epidemic in Zimbabwe started spilling across the borders into SA, Mozambique, Botswana, Namibia, or Zambia, what right did any of them have to intervene? Even if any of them wasn’t already burdened with terrible problems of its own, intervening in other people’s affairs is generally wrong. (c.f "Israel/Palestine, ongoing war in")
Having nothing to do with beets, pork, cabbage, sprouts or gravel…
Red State Update’s Year in Review.
I had the most excellent power walk with the dawg a while ago in perfect weather. It’s gorgeous here. I had the realization when done, all endorphin high and full of hope for much change in 2009 on many fronts, that my mood would be 180 degrees different today if we were about to inaugurate McFailin’ in three weeks. Can you imagine? Shudder.
I love the charity of the month idea, or whatever John has cookin’. It’s not like we pay for all of the fun we get for free here, so I might view my contributions as some sort of B-J subscription fee. Or not. Still a great incentive for me to get off my ass and give more cash in 2009*, which I am lucky enough to be able to do this year.
(*Now that Obama doesn’t need it quite as much, I mean.)
demi, you are really in some kind of deterioration. You are saying things that sound totally lunatic.
Being curious about what gravel tastes like, and having a friend who tastes dirt and can taste the gravel for me, is not "getting off." You might want to Google that phrase to find out what it really means, and your wife might appreciate that too.
Hint: It’s a dark road and it has words in it like [email protected] which cause my piece rate here to go down, so I’d rather stay away from that.
Don’t forget to use the beet tops, they are delicious. Saute in a frying pan with salt and pepper until wilted, with splash of balsamic vinegar at the finish. Also, knowing of your fondness of root vegetables, may I suggest my new favorite vegetable, the Rutabaga. Better flavor than a potato, great in soups and stews due to the fact they can withstand longer cooking times without disintegrating. They have a wonderful earthy sweetness, with just a touch of horseradish. Give em a try I’m sure you won’t be disappointed. Happy New Year everybody.
Probably too late to add in my own pork loin rub… But I’ll do it anyways.
To an olive oil base, add garlic, thyme, sage, rock salt, peppercorns and infuse for about two hours. Filter, then brush onto the loin (Make sure to save the remaining oil for use later on.) and sprinkle with more of the dried herbs.
Oven @ 350 for 60 minutes or so.
Peel and quarter 6 potatoes and boil until soft. Drain. Toss with remaining infused oil and add to roasting pan. Cook until meat is done. Cover with foil for 15 minutes, and stand back so you don’t get run over when your friends notice that dinner is ready.
There are no leftovers. For my rule of thumb, get a half pound of loin per dinner guest and everyone goes home stuffed.
I can’t stand beats, it’s the only vegetable I won’t eat. Can’t stand it when they put beat greens in my salad too. Ruins the whole salad.
Why? They taste like overly pungent dirt.
Hey, my name is Jose from Barcelona.
And what do you want to hear?
I’d like a new bassline.
Alright. Here we go, a new bassline for Jose.
? Zimbabwe and its associated nonsense (inflation, disease, dictatorship) has been on all over the blogosphere for several years. Don’t tell us you get your daily information from the newspapers or television. Also, the evictions of white landowners from their farms by Robert Mugabe was, in fact, on the news, nine or so years ago. The UN didn’t do anything. The US didn’t do anything. And it seemed, at least to me, that the "world" liked that whitey was getting the heave-ho. That’s a good thing to liberals, isn’t it?
Mugabe couldn’t care less what Bush would say.
W said, even in 2008, "Mugabe ruined Zimbabwe." And of course the moral-equivalence crew (aka, the liberal pukes), replied with their usual, useless, cal.
Maybe you’ll get your brains back, JC, and Balloon-Juice will return to the world of the sane, after it’s discovered that all the old Bush-hatred of the last eight years should have died with Al Gore’s concession in 2001. Instead, it has been counter-productive, wrong-headed (generally), and a downright waste of time.
Zimbabwe was only ignored by folks like yourself who have allowed themselves to believe it was ignored. Shall a President Obama invade Zimbabwe for an easy victory? If so, perhaps someone will have the decency to thank W presiding over the start-up of the US’ African Command. Probably not, though, as American history will be rewritten such that slavery was legal in the US until 19 January 2009, save for an 8-year respite, 1993-2001.
@John Cole: I recently discovered the joys of roasted Brussels sprouts!
It’s real hard to go wrong with roasted veg of any kind, actually.
@Dave_No_Longer_Laughing: Projection Much?
Of course Zimbabwe has been in the news the past few years, but things are taking a decided turn for the much worse. Half the god damned county is at risk of starving to death.
Christ the wanking that goes on. Put up a post to try to raise money for starving people and get flamed for… hating Bush.
@John Cole: Right. So back to the intent of your original thought about the charity drive on your site. I vote for Doctors Without Borders (Brian #41). I trust they are smart enough to put the $$ to good use without it getting grabbed by thieves.
If there is not a donation option on this site by this time tomorrow (for anybody deemed deserving), I’m giving them $50 just to propel the original idea along and contribute to the "resolute" spirit of the holiday.
I third Doctors Without Borders. Most of the mentioned charities have been great options, but DWB is always in the hotspots doing their work. And since cholera is the biggest threat right now, a medical group seems like a good choice.
A friend of mine who has worked with NGOs in several African countries speaks very highly of International Rescue Committee.
I’m not sure if they’re in Zimbabwe, though.
I’d give to Doctors w/out Borders.
I’m gonna print this page out for the roasting/bacon/beets/brussl sprouts recipes.
Beets are okay, but PICKLED beets? For the record I have to say that the combination of cider vinegar, lots of sugar, cloves and allspice or whatever it is you put in it, is one of my least favorite tastes in the whole wide world. Yet obviously there are milions of people that like it. Now that’s something I really cannot understand. But, de gustibus non disputandum. As for brussel sprouts, I love ’em. You know what’s delicious? Brussel sprouts and chestnuts. I’m not a maven on blackeyed peas, and as for pork, I don’t eat it so can’t help you there.
The restaurant where I work has beets as an option in one of the salads, and whenever I get that to eat, I get it with them. I don’t know if it’s just the way they are supposed to be cooked, or if there’s some sort of special preparation that makes them taste so great, but they are awesome. And if you go by that old principle of having a lot of color in a meat because of nutrient variation, as I do, they’re even better.
On the topic of gravel: I was reading Nixonland over the holidays and it made me quite happy to read about how Sen. Mike Gravel stayed up all night to read the Pentagon Papers into the congressional record.
As for large hunks of pork: always think about the possibility of carnitas. Mmmmmm. Beans, rice, carnitas, handmade corn tortillas, cervezas… rarely gets better than that.
Shane in Utah
Beets are kind of gross, but they are far surpassed on the disgusting scale by sauerkraut and brussel sprouts. Seriously, why would you want to stink up your house for days by cooking that crap? Of the things on your menu, I might be able to eat the black-eyed peas, if you seasoned them well.
Doctors Without Borders rock. I can’t even talk about Zimbabwe without falling deep into depression. The situation isn’t quite as bad as the eastern DRC or Darfur, perhaps, but it seems worse because it’s even more senseless and unnecessary. The DRC has mineral wealth, Darfur has water; all Zimbabwe has is rich, fertile land, which is going to waste under Mugabe’s mismanagement. Grrr…
That sounds like a seriously delicious meal, weird combination of vegetables or no.
I’ve been roasting lots of winter veggies lately: squash, parsnips, potatoes, carrots, turnips, whatever. Roasted beets are delicious but kind of a pain in the butt, since you have to roast them separately (unless you don’t mind your squash et al. being dyed a creepy brilliant pink) and then rub off the skins when they’re tender. I am incapable of waiting for the beets to cool off enough before going after their skins with a towel, and the result is inevitably burned fingers and a cross disposition. But they are so sweet and good cooked that way, especially when just quartered and tossed with olive oil/balsamic vinegar/S&P. Maybe a little orange juice, esp. if you’re using some with the accompanying pork.
Brussels sprouts: there are many haters, but even confirmed haters tend to change their mind when they try them briefly blanched (2-3 min max), quartered and sauteed with olive oil, garlic & toasted pine nuts until they are well caramelized. They are addictive, I swear… freakin’ cruciferous candy.
And g-rant: carnitas. mmmmm, carnitas. Made some in the Crock-Pot for the first time the other night and went back for thirds on the resulting tacos. That crap was delicious. Going to go check the refrigerator for leftovers now…
I am sure that Balloon Juice readers do not have to be told to go and vote so that No Quarter is entirely humiliated.