Sunday, May 31, 2009

Friday Night Pot Roast Dinner

I found a chuck roast on sale at Food Lion the other day for less than 1/2 price, which meant it needed to be cooked immediately if not sooner, as in 2 days ago.
I quartered and halved two onions and put a whole head of garlic in my crock pot.
I put in the meat on top and salted and peppered both sides.
I added in a can of beef broth - low sodium.
And a small can of tomato sauce.
About one cup of red wine. Then a glass or 5 for the cook.
After about 4 hours on low, I added carrots, celery, potatoes, and sweet potatoes. And gosh golly does this ever smell wonderful. The wine really gives it a boost.
After 4 more hours, the meat is falling off the bone, except there weren't any bones, so I'll just say it's really, really tender.
My plate with the meat, celery, carrot, onion, potato and the one leftover cornbread muffin from Thursday dinner. The sauce is particularly good - very rich and the addition of the wine takes it to another level. You could cut the incredibly tender meat with a fork and it was bursting with flavor. The potatoes had soaked up the flavors of the sauce and really didn't need any butter, but of course I added some because what's a potato without butter, I ask you. The celery was a nice light taste that was a nice addition to the rest of the meal. Cornbread is always a winner. And cooked carrots, mashed with some butter is just sublime.
You can squeeze the garlic right out of the skin and baked/cooked garlic is a wonderfully sweet puree.
The nice thing about these crock pot meals is that you can get rid of lots of leftovers in the fridge. After everything had cooked, I found a container of butter beans from the other night so I added that in. And after a meal or two of this, we'll doctor it up and make a soup by adding more tomato sauce, possibly more beef stock, more veggies (peas, squash, zucchini come to mind), and Mr. Hawthorne likes to add pasta to it. Toast some buttered slices of a nice baguette (or brickette, as Mr. Hawthorne refers to it) and you won't know you're eating leftovers. You'll have a whole new delicious meal.

Dixie And The Hawthorne Puppies.

Here's a video of Dixie being her bad-ass self. And here's more of Dixie asserting herself.
Junior likes to sit underneath my butcher block. I think he feels safe there.
Beau and Giada taking a break.
All the little Hawthornes are either at work or out partying tonight and Nana was left to read a bedtime story
to all the Hawthorne Puppies.
Giada came up to my bedroom at 6 this morning for me to let her out. And of course Beau and Junior needed to go out since certain Hawthorne children didn't come home last night.
I am really not at my peak form at 6 in the morning.
I was trying to imagine Mama Hawthorne
doing something like this,
but the mental images just would not form
and my brain started to hurt
and I got that facial tic
so I stopped thinking about it
and I'm better now.

Send Me The Money!

Hello, my friends.
I just wanted to share my amazing good fortune with you. I had no freakin' idea I was the next of kin to so many people who had died in tragic accidents - plane crashes, car wrecks - you name it. And all these unbeknownst to me relatives are blessing me from the grave and beyond with staggering wealth. The emails keep pouring in:
First, my urgent email from my good friend, Mr. Derra Denz, of Burkina Faso from April 24. I guess once was not enough for Mr. Denz.
Dear Friend, I'm MR.DERRA DENZ , an accountant in a financial institution here in BURKINA FASO. I have decided to contact you for a fund transfer transaction worth the sum of US$10,500,000.00 into your reliable bank account as the sole NEXT-OF-KIN to the foreign deceased customer of our bank (an International Billionaire French Businessman) who was killed with his entire family by PLANE-CRASH in Central England in the year 2003. Since his death occured, no body have show up as his next of kin for the claim because the account is untraceable.
Upon the investigation I carried out from his records, I found out that his foreign business consultant whowould have trace the account died earlier before the deceased. Therefore, this is a confidential and sealed deal. For the success of this transaction, you should apply and act as the only existing NEXT-OF-KIN to the deceased which our bank will replace the deceased account information through proper documentation in position ofyour own account. This transaction is risk-free, it will never harm your good reputation in your society because no one can trace the account, and on the instant of the transfer of the fund into your account, the chapter of this transaction will be closed entirely. Note that in a business of this nature, the bank dont want to know yourdifference between the deceased country, religion or believe because our bank inheritance law is against that. So, it is a preference for us achieve this success without any problem. Please note down that once the fund get transferred into your account, you will take 39% of the total sum for the assistance and role you are going to play in this transaction,(11%) will be used to establish a charity organization in your country with your supervision while the remaining will be for me and my other loyal colleagues here.
I need your urgent response and include your private telephone/mobile numbers for easy communication.Please reply if you can be trusted in this deal.
Mr. Denz, I'm not sure I can be trusted in this deal.
Should my circumstances change, then we'll talk.
Second, from May 5, an epistle from Mr. Buka Naam, another Burkina-Faso resident:
From Mr. Buka Naam
Attn: Dear Friend
This message might meet you in utmost surprise. However, it’s just my urgent need for foreign partner that made me to contact you for this transaction. I got your contact from internet search while I was searching for a foreign partner. I assured of your capability and reliability to champion this business opportunity when I prayed to God about you.
I am a banker by profession in Burkina-Faso, West African and currently holding the post of secretary to foreign remittance director in our bank. I need your urgent assistance in transferring the left over funds of ($7.6Million Dollars) belong to our late costomer who died along with his entire family during the Iraq crisis on october 2006. the deceased customer used his wife as the next of kin but unfortunately the wife died along side with him leaving nobody for the claim.
According to our banking law if the fund remains unclaimed for some years then the fund will be transfer into the reserve bank as unclaimed bill. I don’t want the fund to go into the bank treasury and as such let’s claim the fund now.
you can see the news on bbc and cnn regarding their death
Hence; I am inviting you for a business deal where this money can be shared between us in the ratio of 60% for me and 40% for you if you agree to handle this business with me. Further details of the transfer will be forwarded to you as soon as I receive your return mail immediately as soon as you receive this letter.Trusting to hear from you immediately
you can call me on this phone Number at any time. 00226 75 06 05 95
Thanks & Best Regards,
Mr. Buka Naam
Utmost surprise?
I don't think so.
And I'm really not that capable or reliable.
Third, from May 6,
from Mrs. Grace Asibi Polom,
Credit and Exchange Manager of the Foreign Remittance Department
of the Bank of Africa, in, yes, Ouagadougou/Burkina-Faso.

Dear My,


I am Mrs. Grace A. Polom And i know this letter will surprise you, During our auditing of the year 2008, the board of directors discovered a dormant accounts with holding balance of (USD$5,200.000.00) {Five Million Two Hudnred Thousand United State Dollars} The bank management is expecting the beneficiary next of kin to apply for the claiming of the fund.

We the board have try to get in touch with the relatives to the deceased of the dormant account but no success, and this account has not been operating for the past years, I am currently in need of a silent foreign partner who will help me provide his or her profiles information’s/Account informations to (BOA) BANK OF AFRICA Ouagadougou Burkina-Faso for the receiving the sum of USD$5,200.000.00 in his/her account as the beneficiary next of kin.

Please if this deal is acceptable by you, the fund will re-transfer to your own bank account as the beneficiary next of kin before some working banking days, and do not make undue of the trust I have bestowed in you, more details will be sending to you after receiving your call and reply with the information’s bellow:-

Your full name:-………………………………………….

Your private cell phone number:-………………………………..

Your country and City………………………..

Your age and marital status:-……………………………..

Your Occupation..............................

I have agreed to give you percentage of the total sum USD$5,200.000.00 for your assistance and rest of the money will be for my investment purposes in your country under your guidance according to the agreement reached by both parties, your percentage share will be 30% with respect to the provision of a foreign account, 10% will set aside for any expenses that might comes up for the processing of transferring the fund to your own bank account and the remaining 60% will be for me and my colleague for investment purpose under your kind control in your country. I am waiting to hear from you urgently,

Yours Sincerely.

Mrs.Grace Asibi Polom

Dear my, indeed.
Fourth, from Mr. Bako Ahmed, May 9,
another banker from the auditing and accounting section
of the Bank of Africa
of, yet again, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, West Africa.

Dear Friend, Greeting to you!!! STRICTLY CONFIDENTIAL I know that this mail will come to you as a surprise as we never met before. Iam the Director in charge of Auditing section of Bank of African(B.O.A), I Hoped that you will not expose or betray this trust and confident that I am about to repose on you for the mutual benefit of our both families. I need your urgent assistance in transferring the sum of Twenty-Two Million and Six Hundred Thousand united state dollars ($22.600 000mUSD) Immediately to your account.The fund has been dormant (in-active) for 10 years in our Bank here without any body coming for it. I want to release the fund to you as the nearest person to our deceased customer (the owner of the account) who died a long with his supposed next of kin in air crash since on February 16, 1998. I don't want the fund to go into our Bank treasury as an abandoned fund, so this is the reason why I contacted you, so that my Bank will release the fund to you as the nearest person to the deceased customer. Please I would like you to keep this proposal as a top secret and delete it if you are not interested. Upon receipt of your reply, I will send you theapplication form you will fill and send to the bank for transfer of the fund into your bank account and also note that you will have 40% of the above mentioned amount if you agree to help me execute this business. And also 10% had been mapped out for you for the expense you will make in this transaction and 50% is for me. I need you information so that I will send you the application form. YOUR FULL INFORMATIONS Your Name.. Your Home Addresses.. City.. Country..Home Telephone.. Private Telephone.. Fax No.. Marital Status..Age..Occupation.. Religion.. Waiting for your urgent call so that we will starts immediately. Best Regards, MR.Bako Ahmed +226 76 44 94 13
Greeting to you, dear friend.
Don't worry, I'll keep this proposal top secret.
Fifth, on May 11, from Mrs.Wang Xuemin of the Bank of China, Hong Kong:
Dear Friend, My name is Mrs. Wang xuemin, I work with BANK OF CHINA, HONG KONG. I brought a Business Proposal of $17.3M for you to handle with me from my bank. I need you to assist me in executing this Business Project from Hong Kong to your country. I need to know if you will be able to handle this with me before I explain to you in details. Should you be interested please send me the required information below: (1). Full Names 2).Current Residential Address 3). private phone number, I will want you to reach me on my private e-mail : ( ) Finally after that I shall provide you with more information. Regards, Mrs. Wang Xuemin

Sixth, from Mr. Boromo Williams,
Director of Auditing, of guess what -
the Bank of Africa in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso:

PLEASE READ & REPLY . I am Mr Boromo Williams . The Director incharge of Auditing section of Bank of Africa (BOA) in Ouagadougou,Burkina Faso . I need your urgent business assistance in transferring an abandoned sum of ($9 Million) dollars left by a deceased customer of my bank immediately to your account. If you are interested and ready to partake in this great business opportunity,kindly send your profiles to me including your Name,your private telephone number for easy communication. I will send you full details on how the business will be executed and also note that you will receive 40% of the above mentioned amount if you agree to help me execute this business.Thanks and God bless you. My Best Regards, Mr Boromo . Seventh, on May 20, from Wilson Dima of Spain:
I am Wilson Dima from spain. I work with banco santander Bank of
madrid.My purpose in contacting you is just for an assistance to act as
the beneficiary/business partner to one of our late client who
deposited a huge sum amount of money valued US$ 12.5 Million in our
bank.Now no body to claim the fund for the past 2001.I will be grateful
to if you can present yourself in order for us to claim the fund before
they transfer it to government account.We can invest it in any
profitable ven                                     
I'm always up for a profitable ven. Aren't you? Eighth, from Dr. Abraham Nuru, May 29, also from Bank of Africa in, you guessed it, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. Dear friend my name is Dr Abraham Nuru; I am the manager of auditing and accounting department of BANK OF AFRICA (B.O.A) here in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. In my department we discovered an abandoned sum $14 million us dollars in an account that belongs to one of our foreign customer (MR. RICHARD BURSON from Florida, U.S.A) who died along with his entire family on November 1999 in a plane crash.Since we got information about his death, we have been expecting his next of kin to come over and claim his money because we can not release it unless some body applies for it as next of kin or relation to the deceased. unfortunately i learnt that all his supposed next of kin or relation died alongside with him at the plane crash leaving nobody behind for the claim. It is therefore upon this discovery that I now decided to make this business proposal to you,so that the money can be release to you as the next of kin.upon your reply I will send you full details on how the business will be executed, send me your contact information. 1.Age.(2)Residential adress(3) occupation(4)private telephone.Waiting to hear from you,My Regards. Reply me with this email...... And Ninth, also today, from Joanie Jones:
BMW ©2009 NEW YEAR AWARD CERTIFIED WINNER NOTICE.(All Replies Winning Ticket Number: 5647600545188 Serial Number: BMWP/556543450906.
You have won £750,000,00 GBP and a New BMW 2008 X6 xDrive series 35i M Sport Saloon Car. To file your claims,Contact Mr. George Wesley with the following information's.
Name,Address,Age,Occupation,Country. Official E-mail: What, just a BMW? That sucks, Joanie. Send me the money!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Saturday Morning Breakfast - Sunny Anderson's Potato Pancakes With Bacon And Sage.

Mr. Hawthorne was watching Sunny Anderson on Food Network the other day and saw her making Bacon and Sage Potato Pancakes. We both agreed that they looked and sounded pretty good, so I printed out the recipe and held on to it until this morning, when he actually made the pancakes. (Note: I'm not holding on to the recipe anymore.) When I came back in from picking the sage, Mr. Hawthorne, being uncharacteristically cooperative, had thoughtfully created his mise en place for me to photograph, even though he can't remember the name or pronounce it. And he always bitches about it when I say, "Wait, wait, wait, lemme take a picture!" I guess I've finally worn him down. I'm good at that. Now, Sunny Anderson is not one of my favorite Food Network people. (I can't call them chefs. I refuse to call them stars. I could settle for "annoying personalities." Yeah, that works for me.) And Sunny Anderson is like a black Rachael Ray. While she's cooking/prepping/whatever, she starts telling one of those annoying, grating, and stupid stories that the suits at Food Network encourage them to do - something that has utterly nothing to do with what they're doing and just serves as filler to take up dead air time. Filler does not work in a crab cakes. And it certainly doesn't work in cooking shows. We don't want to hear your cutesy, boring-ass, contrived meanderings. I'm watching a cooking show. I'd like to learn about cooking. I don't want to hear about your Brother Bubba. I don't want to hear about your Gramma Dicey or your Gramma Lorraine. I don't want to hear about your Uncle Bill and whatever Aunt it was that cried over flowers.
(ETA:  It was Aunt PEGGY!) I don't want to hear about the time you were at whatever island in the Caribbean at your friend's parents' house and passed out in your plate at dinner. Oh wait, Sandy. I do want to hear about that. But, you get my drift. But Food Network ain't gonna deliver. No way. No how. Plus, Sunny has started making words up like Rachael does. I forget the actual word, but she was doing a Mexican based meal and she combined two words stupidly (something like tacosagna, I think) for her combo, then harped upon the cuteness of her "word," telling us the origins, and "Get it? Get it?" Yeah, we get it, Sunny. Now get off my TV.
But Kermit (Bob Tuschman) and Medusa (Suzy Fogelson) like this crap. Apparently, they think it's cutting edge entertainment. It is not. Back to breakfast.
Mr. Hawthorne was happily preparing Sunny's potato pancakes this morning, carefully adhering to the printed-out recipe, when he pointed out to me, "Did you know the difficulty level of this dish is intermediate?" Check out the recipe and see for yourself. Intermediate?!!??? You grate, you mix, you fry. Sounds damn simple to me. But then, if you're Sunny, simple things might not appear so simple at times.
He's halving the recipe, by the way. Good thinking, Mr. Hawthorne. First he grated only 2 potatoes.
Then he grated in about 1/3 of the red onion.
And he pressed two garlic cloves into the mix.
Looking good.
He fried up two slices of bacon.
And squeezed the moisture out of the potato mixture.
I like this shot of his chopping the sage leaves.
Well, actually, no.
I like this shot of ME,
shooting the picture 
and being reflected in the knife.
Salt and pepper and sage leaves went into the mix.
Two tablespoons of flour went in.
Action shot!
Mr. Hawthorne chops up the bacon.
Bacon and the egg get added.
A quick toss to mix all together.
Mr. Hawthorne used a cast iron skillet, heated his oil, and I added in some extra sage leaves because I happen to like fried sage leaves.
Then the potato patties went in. Remember, never crowd your pan when frying. Crowding will lower the temperature of the oil and whatever you're frying will not brown nicely.
Fry about two minutes on each side, or until nicely browned, then drain on paper towels.
Doesn't this look good?
Isn't this pretty?
I was really excited about these. Now for the all-important taste test. The fried sage is herby and quite tasty. The potato pancake sucked. I never thought I'd say this, but the bacon really detracted from the pancake. You'd be better served by just frying up the bacon and serving it on the side. And the pancake was not good. Too much filler. Not enough crunch. Mr. Hawthorne was disappointed. I was too. Then he said something that made us both feel a little better: "Tomorrow morning, I'll make my potato pancakes." Ah ... Tomorrow is another day. And it looks like it'll get off to a wonderful start.

Arnold's Sandwich Thins.

Ever since I posted about Arnold's Sandwich Thins
and my using them for hamburger buns,
I've gotten a lot of comments about them.
Some of you have had a hard time finding them,
so just to let you know,
the first ones I saw were at WalMart.
Later I found them at Harris Teeter.
My FoodLion does not carry them,
although Mama Hawthorne says
her FoodLion in Danville, Va., does.

What To Do With Leftover Chicken.

Out of the 5 chicken quarters Mr. Hawthorne grilled, we had 1 leftover and I decided to make a chicken salad with it.
I chopped the chicken very fine.
I chopped one stalk of celery, including the leaves, and one green onion.
Add in the celery and onion and a glop of mayonnaise. A glop is about 4-5 tablespoons. And mix well.
Then I added about a teaspoon of curry powder. Now just imagine if I had some red grapes to add in and maybe some pineapple chunks and a bed of lettuce to put this on.
Or you could just put it on a Ritz and you're good to go.

Thursday Night Dinner For The Hawthornes.

Here's the Hawthornes' dinner Thursday night. Grilled barbecued chicken, broccoli, and cornbread muffins.
Mr. Hawthorne once again gets the "shit detail," as he calls it, and skins the chicken.
The butchers hide a lot of the fat underneath the chicken. They could very easily chop this off, but I imagine they like having the customers pay premium prices for fat. I do not like this.
Mr. Hawthorne, I do believe you've done this before. One of the most important kitchen tools is a good pair of scissors. We like the kind of scissors that have the removable blades so you can wash raw meat off of them easier. And do not use your kitchen scissors to cut cardboard.
Mr. Hawthorne always leaves a little bit of fat on so he can get the flare ups on the grill which gives you that flame-kissed flavor.
Out of 4.87 pounds of chicken, we ended up with 1 pound 7.3 ounces of fat. This is not acceptable to me.
Next, the ingredients for my barbecue sauce: (And these measurements are not etched in stone. They are to my taste, which is impeccable, of course. But you can add more or less of whatever.) 1 cup cider vinegar 1/3 cup molasses 1/3 cup dark corn syrup 1/2 cup ketchup 1/2 cup brown sugar 4 TB Lea & Perrins 4 TB Dijon mustard 2 TB sweet hot mustard 4 cloves garlic 1-2 tsp Mr. Stubb's Hickory Liquid Smoke (Go easy on this stuff. Add just a little bit at a time and taste.) Red pepper flakes, to taste. I use about a tablespoon.
First, I minced my garlic and added in the vinegar and the rest of the ingredients.
I waited till last to add the Liquid Smoke. Mix well, taste, and adjust if necessary.
Mr. Hawthorne put the chicken quarters on the grill, turning every so often, cooking for about 25 minutes.
He brushes on the barbecue sauce about 10-15 minutes before finishing cooking.
In the meantime, I had made these pretty little cornbread muffins.
I'm liking this texture very much.
Butter makes everything better. These were quite good (as in they were all gone that night save for 1 muffin) but I'm going to tweak this recipe a bit flavor-wise. Then I'll give you the recipe measurements.
Chicken is done. And here's my plate: Grilled chicken with a bit of extra barbecue sauce, tender, moist, and juicy on the inside, crispy on the outside. Crispy-tender steamed broccoli with lemon juice and butter. And a cornbread muffin with butter and a drizzling of barbecue sauce. Simple, easy, and dare I say it ... delicious.