Wednesday, December 27, 2006


Mmm... potatoes! I've come up with a new way of preparing these little critters that is deeeelishus. Start by peeling about seven potatoes. Half them, and then quarter the halves. Boil until well done, then drain. In a large skillet, heat 1 tbsp of oil and 1 tbsp of butter (or so). Throw in the potatoes, and start frying. Toss them in the pan every few minutes until they are flaky golden brown. This will take a long time - maybe 20 minutes - because they will not start turning golden until most of the water is evaporated.

If the potatoes were not boiled long enough, they just end up like home fries, but slightly softer, creamier, on the inside. However, if you get it right, they get rounded like river stones while you toss them because they're so soft from boiling, and the golden skins are very flaky and delicate because they are broken and recreated by the tossing action.

I serve them with a parsley sauce that I have not mastered yet. I'm open to suggestions. The best I've done so far was to make a light roux with unsalted butter and flour, then add milk and let thicken, then remove from heat and stir in kosher salt and parsley. I can't remember how I did it the first time, but it was bland both times. I think some good vegetable stock is needed...

Sure would be great if I had a digital camera, I could photograph the golden flakey goodness for y'all. Maybe later this year I'll get one... the good ones have to come down in price some time!

Monday, December 11, 2006

Coach Rod is Staying!

YES!!! Thank you, Rich Rodriguez. You've truly proven that this old world still has some light left in it. You've made the right decision. I could not be more proud that you are our head coach. The Mountaineers will continue to build and impress, and we will lead this conference to a national championship.

Believe it or not, the news only gets better! Greg Schiano also turned down Miami to stay at Rutgers, and Jim Leavitt says he's happy at South Florida. Earlier this year, Bobby Petrino decided to stay at Louisville after the Oakland Raiders made him an offer. I feel like we all got a huge early Christmas present this year! We have some really great coaches comfortably entrenched now. Rodriguez, Petrino, Schiano, Leavitt. Let's face it: we are one lucky conference right now.

What a great time for the Big East. We have the most desired coaches in college football, and they most desire to be right where they are. Thank you to all.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Climatologist: Alps warmest in 1,300 years

That's right, everyone. Better enjoy what little snow we have, because it's getting more and more difficult for ski resorts to produce a viable hill. We're actually doing pretty well in the rockies, but the Alps are not. So far this year, the FIS has had to cancel several races in Europe due to a lack of snow. Val Gardena is getting a weak green for next weekend, presuming they can keep the hill covered.

FIS men's tour director, Guenter Hujara talked about how it sneaks up on you. "... all of a sudden the World Cup starts and you need the white stuff. And to produce it, you need the cold temperature and the water."

How much human migration will take place over the next 20 years? Will people be driven by the heat to move towards the poles? Will old resorts have to close down, and new ones emerge in once-frozen regions?

Here is a striking example of just how much our planet has warmed up over the past 60 years. It's a pair of pictures of Muir glacier, in Alaska. One was taken in 1941, and the other in 2004.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

A PB&J for the Holidays

I've been perfecting a Christmas sandwich recipe. It's basically a fancy-schmancy PB&J. Try it, change it, enjoy it, and let me know what you think...

Couple slices of French bread
Some peanut butter
Some raisins
Orange marmalade
Ground nutmeg
Ground cinnamon
Ground coriander
Butter or margarine

Slice some French bread, and very lightly toast it. On one side, apply peanut butter, and sprinkle on some cinnamon, nutmeg, and coriander. Pour on a minor amount of honey. Toast in toaster oven until spices are activated, but before the honey melts too much. You may want to put some aluminum foil down to prevent honey from dripping into the oven. Remove from toaster, and then place the raisins on top. On the other side of bread, put on a very light layer of butter or margarine, and a decent portion of orange marmalade. Put it all together, and enjoy!

I used coriander because to me it has a kind of bright, lemon-like smell that adds to the spiced citrus theme. Some lemon zest would be a good substitute, maybe. A very delicate treatment with ground cloves and/or ginger would probobly add to the Christmas-iness of it. Also some toasted almonds would be a welcome addition, if you have them. I used a dark honey from Gibbons Bee Farm here in Missouri. I think the rich flavor works better than a light honey would. I also use light margarine instead of butter, but I'm not really convinced that that part of the recipe is even necessary. You could probobly omit it altogether. I've been using the jumbo raisin mix from Sunmaid. I'm thinking I like the flavor variations in the sandwich, but if you only have the regular dark kind of raisins, I'm sure it would still be pretty good.

This sandwich is great w/a glass of milk!