If you’ve ever read T.H. White’s The Once and Future King, you’ll understand the “Might Makes Right” struggle highlighted in the text and how this is not a principle to be embraced other than by tyrants, dictators, and an abused palate.

“Might does not make right! Right makes right!”
― T.H. White, The Once and Future King

“Wrongs have to be redressed by reason, not by force.”
― T.H. White

In this context, I evaluate my first experience with the Campari spirit.

I had been reading glowing reports for years of all of the fantasmical cocktails to be made with this “wondrous” nectar.  By all reports, the Manhattan, the Negroni, and the Americano appear to be the masterful elixers at the pinnacle of drink science using Campari.  Many food bloggers and personalities claim that the Negroni is a drink not to be missed, ignored, or untried and claim it is their favorite cocktail by far.  So, the build up and sense that I’m missing something has been growing for years. I decided during my latest trip to the liquor store that I should splurge a bit and uncover the wonders of this reportedly magical potion.  At $30/bottle I was hoping this was going to be something I was going to enjoy.  The unknown and untried intrigues me.

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OK, the Char Siu marinated overnight and came out glowing, blood red as expected.  This next picture would look great in a horror movie.


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OK, I’ve been aching to do this again for a while; about 15 years to be exact.  I think the last time I made this was at home for our rehearsal dinner prior to my wedding. Today, it was time to stop settling for the inconsistently made stuff that the few Chinese restaurants we frequent and make some myself again.

I’m in the mood to play with a new recipe, so after a bit of a search, I found a recipe to start with that of course I planned to deviate from, who doesn’t?  Jamie Oliver’s mix of ingredients and pictures spoke to me, so that’s what I’m doing.

Jamie Oliver Char Siu Pork

The only deviation I made was to add a bit of RED food coloring just for fun.  Who doesn’t love that unnatural shade of red you can only find at an “American” Chinese restaurant?   Call it a guilty pleasure.

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I have another theory, this time regarding the the whole food blogging “industry”.  I think an industry is what it has become.  I think we’re already paying a bad price as consumers.

This industry, using a corollary to my previous theory on manufacturers chasing unsustainable profits by providing less value to their consumers, has bloggers chasing profit for themselves and watering down their content as a result.   The underlying control mechanism appears to be the same:   It’s the “more for me” by “giving less to you” principle.

I see blog topics getting thinner and thinner on valuable content.  It’s obvious that people are struggling to generate worthwhile content to keep their legions of followers coming back to their sites to generate ad revenue. This chasing attention is what caused me to stop blogging for a last few months.  I felt like an attention whore and the sad thing is that it wasn’t getting me any results.   I asked myself why I was torturing myself for attention online.  It didn’t make sense.  So I’m not posting for “attention” any more, I’m simply doing this for a creative outlet for my voice and food passions, which I hope are not irrelevant and so thin content-wise as to be a chore to read.

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unless he’s a chef that makes waffles.

Right now, as I type the title of this post, a song from the musical episode of Buffy The Vampire Slayer is running through my head.   If you don’t have it running through your head already, because you’re a geek (nothing wrong with that BTW), here it is in all its glory.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3gY8HilVZXQo

Sorry for the distraction, back to what I really wanted to talk about.    I have a theory (see above) that our current throw-away products in the market are this way because companies, especially food appliance companies (more on this in a bit) are really only trying to wring every last ounce of profit out of the market in order to reward shareholders with an unsustainable level of profit growth.   Wouldn’t it be great if companies were only concerned with sustaining their business through providing quality goods rather than making goods that fail quickly so you’ll buy them again and increase their profits.   Increase their profits, yes, but at the cost of customer satisfaction.   Whew, I need to take a breath.  This is a touchy subject with me and I wonder if we’ll see the day when companies do this again.

OK, why I am talking about this?   This all brewed in my head as I was making breakfast for my family this morning using a 50 year old waffle maker because there are no longer any good waffle makers being made in the market.  This sucks!   Not that there is anything wrong with an old one, but I’m annoyed that there are not any modern technologically improved equivalents that perform just as well.

Sigh.  The waffles out of my archaic waffle maker were wonderful this morning.   Crispy, a tiny bit sweet, and awesome covered with a  bit of butter (or butter substitute) and pure maple syrup (no flavored corn syrup substitutes, sorry Mrs. Butterworth).

Here is the waffle marker in all of its 50-year-old glory.   It’s a thing of beauty, heavy, and hot as well.  Perfect for crispy waffles.

I have decided that the quick and simple waffle recipes I had been playing with for expediency are a waste of time. They come out a bit flaccid and lacking in a pleasing texture (think defrosted and un-toasted Eggo(ick)-waffles)  The back-to-basics waffle works perfectly in my little food-kingdom.

The recipe from the Better Homes and Gardens – New Cook Book doesn’t disappoint.   Other than needing to whip a couple of egg whites, it’s not all that hard to do and satisfies that pit in your soul that can only be filled with a waffle.   And maybe a slice or three of crispy bacon.   Enjoy!


Classic Waffles
Recipe type: Breakfast
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12 4" waffle squares
A classic waffle recipe perfect for that 50 year-old waffle maker that will never let you down.
  • 1¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs (separated into whites and yolks in two bowls)
  • 1¾ cups milk (goat milk for us)
  • ½ cup canola (or any mild) oil
  1. In one 2-qt or larger mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar and mix lightly.
  2. In another bowl (or a large 4-cup measuring cup) combine egg yolks, milk, and oil. Mix until fully combined.
  3. Pour liquid mixture into flour mixture, mixing until slightly lumpy. More mixing will be coming with the egg whites.
  4. Whip egg whites in yet another bowl until soft-firm peaks form. Fold the egg whites gently into the egg/flour mixture. Streaks and small lumps of egg white are OK at this point. Don't over-mix!
  5. Pour ⅓ (or ⅙ for smaller 2-sqaure makers) of mixture into your waffle maker of choice. Depending on the size of your waffle maker, this will make three or six batches, about 12 waffle squares altogether.


I was reading my blog roll’s RSS feed list the other day and stumbled across this kickstarter project.  It solves a problem, that while not important, made me NOT a growler aficionado.  It didn’t ever make sense to buy and fill a growler that contains more beer than I want to drink in a single sitting.  It also pained me to have to throw away perfectly good beer when I’m not able to finish it quickly enough to have it be a pleasure to drink.   Being able to keep it fresh, fizzy, and drinkable filled a void that I didn’t think much about until I saw this.

It didn’t take long before I was a supporter.   When I added my support pledge I think they were already up to $300k or so.   Now they’re up to almost $600k and still have lots of time to go.  Do you think this is an under-served need in the craft beer drinking industry?   I’d say so.


They’ve got two sizes on offer, both 64oz and 128oz.   I decided that I needed one of each size.

This will allow me to get 64oz of beer for drinking at my leisure, and also use the other for self carbonating stuff I want to brew.   In the past I have made both beer and hard cider and was only kept back in my ability to proceed technically by not wanting to invest lots of space and money in a carbonator setup.

Forgive me, but I’m going to step up on my soapbox for a minute…

I’m noticing that many of my posts on my Facebook page recently call out some of the evils of our modern food world and it’s becoming harder and harder every day to trust that any commercial provider of food has our health or welfare in mind when offering their wares to us.  How can we get around this?   Sadly, there may be limited options to us, but one should always work.

It’s up to US, and only us, to COOK more food. It won’t cook itself, and quite honestly, we’re getting to the point where we can’t trust others to do it for us any longer.   Maybe if we pull this power back into our own hands the food industry may notice that people care about what they’re eating.  Maybe then they’ll think about food quality again.

So, to help promote this viewpoint, I’m going to start tagging my future posts with the trailing comment “Cook More Food.”

Take care and…..


COOK More Food.



This project only has $215 to go to get this awesome invention in production.   Anyone who uses a wok on a home gas stove NEEDS one of these.    I know I routinely struggle with getting my wok up to a high enough temperature on my 30k BTU gas stove, so something like this would make my stir fries (especially noodle dishes) even better.    To be fair, I have pledged to this campaign, so I’ve got a slight self-interest in seeing this thing shine.


Crowdzu Wokmon

When a recipe “makes your soul scream,” please don’t cook it.

Cooking Light’s “Thai Chicken in Cabbage Leaves” is one such recipe and I ignored what my brain was telling me as I read the instructions.   One portion of the instructions says to add the first three ingredients (chicken, sliced red onions, and water) and cook in a non-stick pan.  Not too bad so far, but the combination of water and a non-stick pan gave me pause.  Fond development is always a good thing that seems to have been ignored by whoever developed this recipe.   The next instruction was “cook until chicken is done and then drain”.    WHAT??!!!   My soul screamed as I could see what little flavors those ingredients might have developed, as the chicken cooked, going down the drain.   I imagine that the folks at Cooking Light thought they were doing the readers a favor by saving a few calories on the oil that would normally be used to perform the chicken cooking step.   Cooking liquids are often very full of flavor and should not be tossed without a very good reason.   I saw no such reason here.

Even after modifying the recipe, and shamefully serving it to my family anyway trying to salvage what I knew was going to be a disaster, it still sucked.   The dish was very heavily unbalanced, tasting only of fish sauce and lime.   I tried to fix it by adding some things to sweeten it, make it a bit saltier, and add some umami.   Mirin and some medium sweet soy sauce (a variant of kecap manis) were added.   While the resulting dish was edible, it was a lost cause at the start that my meager skills as a “chef” could not save.   I can only imagine what the unmodified dish would have been like.   I am still shuddering at the thought.

So, when your brain tells you that a recipe is seriously flawed, do yourself a favor, listen to it and don’t cook it.   I could have done much better creating this recipe ad hoc from the depths of some severely damaged brain cells and still have been money ahead in this race.

I hope to never post such recipes here and take credit for them as my own.   This I pledge to you.


Ahhh, fondue.  Very few dishes I make scream to me luxury, deliciousness, and indulgence as much as fondue.  This one screams it pretty loud, and justifiably so.  Maybe this is why it doesn’t get made very often in my house; I’m lazy.  Indeed, it is fatty, heavily caloric (my fancy-pants word for fattening), doesn’t seem to trigger that “I’m full” response that tells you to stop eating, and is so INSANELY difficult to make.    Wait a second, maybe that last one isn’t so true.  In fact, it’s absolutely not true at all.  Making fondue isn’t one of those rocket-sciency cooking endeavors.

As with most dishes, most of the time-sink work on this one is in ingredient prep, but even that’s not so bad here.   If you can slice, chop, grate, and stir, you’re in good shape.

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