Monthly Archives: September 2010

A Taste of Autumn: Peanuts

Happily I purchased some imported candy from Mexico the other day. The candy is peanut-flavored and has the consistency of crumbly Marzipan.

A major local cash crop here is peanuts. Peanuts are so widely grown, in fact, that annually, we celebrate with the Peanut Festival. There are rides, booths, crowds, music, and of course, PEANUTS!

Until this year, I had never realized how much I associated the flavor of peanuts with autumn. But in the peanut candy I tasted the cool air, the crunching of the leaves beneath my shoes, and the clear, azure sky above.

Boiled peanuts are especially a treat. Quite salty, they’re eaten by cracking open the weakened shell with one’s teeth and then sucking out the peanuts. The texture of the boiled nuts is much softer than regular peanuts and is typically moist.

Another reminder of autumn is apple cider. The smells of apple and cinnamon fill the fall air, and as I recently told a friend, apple cider tastes like apples and cinnamon and happiness all mixed together!

Autumn has finally arrived. Even though the actual equinox was a week ago, typically the full arrival happens with a certain kind of peaceful shift in the "energy" of a place. A certain sweetness of life hung in the air today, and the reassurence that the year was falling upon us was apparent. In those moments, when the air is clean and sweet, when the sky is clear, when the temperature is perfectly balanced and embraces one like an old friend whose familiarity you recognize immediately, one cannot help but feel gratitude beat in one’s breast to God.

Such moments may seem a simple joy to others, but the reality is that the joy is direct and immediate and beyond any useful words; it is anything but simple!

So toast with your apple cider to the gladness in your heart, and enjoy the peanuts and other harvested goodies. This autumn should be a fantastic one.


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Posted by on September 29, 2010 in food


The Shame of Slocomb, Alabama

Well, y’all, here’s a little town with some real smart folks a-runnin’ it, HEE-HAW!

Apparently the governin’ body has the authorteh and the abiliteh to tear up some sidewalks and put up some of those there real fancy light poles, but the city’s got some problems with havin’ a traffic light up at a four way stop.

Instead, the so-called powers that be have declared that we shall have not a traffic light, but a SUSPENDED STOP SIGN!

Don’t believe me? Oh, look here, you’re gonna in a second, son.

SERIOUSLY? Is this place Mayberry?

Note: I do not mean any disrespect to the laborers who are hard at work tearing up and rebuilding the sidewalk. They’re being paid to do a job and doing it; they cannot be held accountable for the rather uninformed decisions of the local powers-that-be, nor their lack of common sense.

Apparently, tearing up some of the sidewalks laid by the best men Slocomb has ever seen and replacing them with brand new sidewalks complete with street lamps that will burn from dusk until dawn 365 days a year is affordable and cost-effective. Yet a simple traffic light at a four-way stop where many cars don’t bother to even slow down and most come to a rolling stop is OUT OF THE QUESTION!

Make what you will of it. Sometimes, human stupidity just makes you want to laugh.


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Posted by on September 29, 2010 in food


Sesame Noodles

If you’ve never tried StumbleUpon, you should look it up and try out the website. I stumbled upon a great recipe for sesame noodles on my iPad a few nights ago.

Sesame noodles are pretty easy to make! All you need is soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil, and some ramen.

I don’t remember the exact proportions, because I didn’t measure, but if I had to guess, I would say three tablespoons of soy sauce, two tablespoons of sugar, and two teaspoons of sesame oil. You can adjust the amounts to taste as you experiment with the erciple.

Prepare ramen as normal, and drain the majority of the water, leaving just a little in the pot.

Add the mixture of sauces, and allow most of the water to cook out at this point. Stir the noodles fiercely.

After this, remove from heat and serve!

Additionally, you can add sesame seeds to the concoction, along with chopped veggies and shrimp.

My rendition actually turned out to be slightly potent for the amount of noodles I made. However, the truth is, this recipe will radically alter the taste of the ramen. You won’t recognize it as ramen at all if it’s done properly.

The sesame oil is especially strong and slightly bitter, but it does wonders for the flavor.

Happy eating!


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Posted by on September 28, 2010 in food


Squash Dressing

Whether it’s still a secret or not, I’m going to either reveal or remind everyone right here and now about my number one reviled food in the whole known world of cooking: squash.

Squash, when stewed or boiled and served basically plain, is absolutely disgusting. This is not up for debate with me. I have tried it multiple times and do not like the taste of it.

That being said, I’ve eaten squash in a few forms that do taste good.

The newest form is Squash Dressing.

People in the South (and likely other places) are obsessed with dressing and stuffing. Traditionally, these are foods prepared and served around the Winter holidays such as Thanksgiving and Christmas, but on occasion, people prepare them for other days in the year.

In the South, dressing is traditionally made from baked corn bread. Various kind of bread can be substituted in order to give the dressing a zing.

Today, my mother prepared Squash Dressing, a first and a very good dish. The squash isn’t overpowering and too ample in it- instead, it gives the right hint of a nutty sort of flavor. The dressing is also moist, which is a huge problem some people have- their dressing comes out way too dry.

The end result is a rich-flavored dressing with subtle vegetable notes in it. Totally magnificent!

Try it yourself. I’ll see if I can find the recipe and post it on here.


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Posted by on September 26, 2010 in food


Harvest Festival! The Autumn Equinox and Beaux’s Casserole

Sorry for not updating recently, guys! A few of the dishes I ended up making were complete flops, and that led me to be disheartened.

But fear not: I’ve sprung back in great glory for the time being!

September 23rd marked the Autumn Equinox, a date that many cultures and religions celebrate as a Harvest Festival. You can think of this as being analogous to Thanksgiving, though much earlier.

Wanting to participate in the spirit of the Harvest Festival this year, I journeyed with my friend Earle into the recesses of the unholy places known as Wal-mart. The convenience of their being open 24/7 cannot be outweighed by many other places.

I put together a terrific dish that included Morning Star Burgers, potato soup, and peas and carrots. The ultimate result was something that tasted like a chicken pot pie. In fact, you could probably use the same ingredients and chicken or chicken substitutes and come out all right.

As always, forgive the poor photo quality- and this looks awful because I had already been eating on it and didn’t realize I had no photos of it.

The recipe is pretty easy: 2 cans of cream of potato soup, 2 cans of peas and carrots, and Morning Star Burgers. Put it all in a casserole dish and bake it in the oven. Serve with Asiago Cheese Rolls or your bread of choice.

Happy eating, and let’s welcome the Autumn together!


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Posted by on September 26, 2010 in food

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