Sunday, July 25, 2010

technically nutty

I considered an attempt at technical writing once . . . for about ten seconds. That's how long it took me to realize there are plenty of smart firefighters out there doing a superb job, and that my two cents wouldn't add much to the smorgasbord of good information already out there. Besides, I don't think I could actually nail myself down to a serious topic long enough to finish it. So I stick to ramblings about firefighting in the peripheral edge of the universe, and other topics that amuse or infuriate me. If that's what you like to read, you're in the right place.

Fortunately, it's possible to make a valid and useful point without getting all serious, and "you'd better listen because your life depends on it." And so I poke fun at politicians and bureaucrats and oil barons and terrorists (and similar species). I even throw in an
original, pencil-sketched comic once in a while.

Unfortunately, just when you think you've scratched the very tip of the iceberg called "being good at something," you find a guy that is a million times better.
Paul Combs doesn't write a lot on his blog, but he doesn't have to. The artwork says it all.

If you counted the words I've written about the plight of rural volunteer firefighters, they would number in the thousands. Paul comes along and
says it all in one masterpiece. I'd like to be jealous of talent like that, but it's more useful to cheer him on. Go Paul!

Speaking of things I'm not technically good at, here is another recipe (non-cooks, and good cooks may be excused from class now, unless you want to stick around and laugh at me). I call it Pseudo-Mexican Chicken because, like my writing, I'm not diligent enough to research a genuine Mexican recipe. It's much easier to make something up. Here goes:

Pseudo-Mexican Chicken

  1. Skip to step 8 if you live an uncomplicated life.
  2. Negotiate a deal with your wife: she paints the boat, and you cook dinner (after you help her prep the boat for painting, which is at least half the work).
  3. Note: Step 1 is optional if you already planned to cook dinner, and/or you don't have a boat to paint.
  4. Note 2: The whole recipe is optional if you'd rather paint than cook (now we're really on a rabbit trail).
  5. Realize you have nothing new and interesting to make with the 5 chicken thighs you dug from the freezer yesterday.
  6. Remember the goofy recipe for chicken and Stilton Cheese that you read in your daughter's Geronimo Stilton book. Look unsuccessfully for the book, then give up and invent your own recipe.
  7. Now you can finally get down to business. And hurry, your wife is almost finished painting the boat (I told you that half the work was already done).
  8. Take the skin and fat off the chicken. Vow to negotiate this into her side of the deal next time.
  9. Use a food processor or some kind of chopper thingy to make bread crumbs out of a heel of bread (or take the easy way and use store bought bread crumbs).
  10. Mix the crumbs with parmesan cheese (I did about a 1/3 cheese, 2/3 crumbs ratio).
  11. Note 3: You’re supposed to use Stilton cheese, but I didn’t have any.
  12. Get sidetracked Googling Stilton cheese. Here is a link to expedite your side trip (for the cheese scholars among my readers).
  13. Add chili powder, garlic, basil, and salt to taste (it takes quite a bit of chili powder to flavour the coating), and mix into the coating.
  14. Beat an egg with a small amount of milk.
  15. Roll the chicken legs in flour, dip them in the egg/milk mixture and roll in the breadcrumb mixture.
  16. Put the chicken in a lightly oiled cast iron frying pan. Oh yeah, you should have preheated the oven to 350 right after negotiating the cooking/painting deal. If you didn’t, do it now and go read a different Geronimo Stilton book until the oven gets hot.
  17. Put the whole frying pan in the oven.
  18. Note 4: If you used one of those modern, plastic-handled or Teflon things, you’re plumb out of luck. Cook it stove top or find another pan.
  19. Bake until done (I think around 30 min.). When you stab the chicken with a fork, the juices should run clear.
  20. Take out the chicken, transfer to plate, and cover to keep warm.
  21. Put the frying pan on medium heat and stir in a cup of chicken broth.
  22. Add garlic, chili powder, basil, oregano, and salt to taste.
  23. Add a few tablespoons of cream cheese and whisk into the sauce.
  24. Thicken with a little flour or cornstarch if necessary. Alternately, you could add more cream cheese. Depends on how fattening you want the sauce to be.
  25. Note 5: You probably already know how to thicken stuff, but if you’re really stuck, send me a comment and I’ll help you out.
  26. Add some chopped, cooked shrimp and stir in.
  27. Serve the sauce over quinoa, couscous, or rice (which you should have cooked while the chicken was in the oven). Don’t forget to eat the chicken too.
  28. If you don't know how to cook quinoa, couscous, or rice, Google it.

Someday I'll add a recipe blog page to list all of my pseudo recipes in logical order. Or at least list them. Logical order might be too strong a term for a pseudo cook.

1 comment:

  1. Ummm...Paul Combs is good and all that, but personally I like your drawings just as well. Better, in fact.


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