Recipe For Success – Exercise #27

Greetings, and welcome to my table. My virtual table that is. Today’s exercise calls for me to relay to you my favorite Old Speckled Henrecipe. At day number twenty-seven of thirty-one we are getting towards the end, and I can’t say I am too sad. As can be seen by doing exercises like “your favorite recipe”, I think the author of this series may have run out of ideas long before the end. Kind of like running out of life before your dead. Anyway, on to the recipe.

Now, since I listed my wife’s salsa as my favorite food a few days ago you may be expecting the recipe for that. Well too bad! I am not giving it to you. And beside, it is not my recipe, it is hers. The recipe I am going to give you is actually mine. It is one I bake. I would list my recipe for carnitas, but I can’t find it. Sorry. So instead you get my recipe for beer bread – the one I have made since I was a teenager. Way back in those days this bread was about the only reason my parents would allow alcohol in the house. We would buy one can at a time specially just for making the bread.

Beer Bread
3 cups self-rising flour*
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 (12-ounce) can of beer

1. Preheat oven to 350*F
2. Lightly grease or spray a 9 x 5 x 3-inch loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray.
3. Combine all ingredients, mixing well.
4. Pour into prepared loaf pan and bake for 1 hour.

Makes 1 loaf.
*Or you may substitute with 3 cups all purpose flour, 3 teaspoons baking powder and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt.

There you have it, my recipe for beer bread. And don’t worry, the process of cooking gets rid of all the alcohol. Unless you buy lots of extra beer like I do! You can also make the bread with dark beers or ales. The type of beer you use will certainly have a large influence on the flavor of the final product. Warm it is great with just butter. Later, when it has cooled, this bread will make a fantastic sandwich too.


Favorite Foods – Exercise #21

OK, this is going to be a shorter one. Not as wordy, but very tasty. The exercise for today, number twenty-one out of thirty-one, is to list out my ten favorite foods. Anyone who knows me at all knows I love to eat. And, other than most green leafy things, I enjoy a wide variety of foods. So the only real problem I am going to have with today’s assignment is picking out just ten foods and putting them in some sort of order. But, that being said, I have no problem picking number one, so let’s start there.

Po Pigs BBQ - Edisto Island1) The top place in my favorite foods has to go to my wife’s salsa. Nancy makes the absolute best fresh salsa I have ever tasted. I like it so much that I have been known to just eat it with a spoon – no chips or other edible transport. I don’t know how she does it, because when I try to replicate her exact recipe it never tastes the same. Baffles me, but happily she doesn’t make me do the work often. I am sure she sneaks in some secret ingredient that she won’t tell me about. Oh, and by the way, she uses lots of fresh cilantro. Great stuff.

2) Second place goes to Mexican food. I am going to cheat and lump the entire category in here as a food. Yes, I know that because I am doing this that I am kind of repeating number one, but as I have said before, this is my damned blog and I will do what I want. So, number two goes to everything from carnitas to tacos, burritos to carne asada.

3) Buffalo chicken. It is a sickness with me. When I get on a spicy Buffalo chicken bender I don’t get back off for days. I will eat wraps, sandwiches, nuggets, and even put the chicken in an omelet or other breakfast food. Just take some Buffalo chicken, top it with cheese, wrap it all up tight and serve it with ranch dressing and I am a happy boy. Continue reading “Favorite Foods – Exercise #21”

What's Inside The Fridge – Exercise #12

OMG, it smells in there! Seriously, this is not happening. The exercise for today is to tell what is inside my fridge. And I will do that, at least partially, but before I do I am going to selectively edit the fridge and toss a few things out.  [Insert The Fridgestream of consciousness pause here.] And now that is done we can continue with Exercise Number 12: What’s Inside the Fridge.

We have a fairly normal sized side-by-side refrigerator. The left side is a freezer and the right side is the fridge. We can fairly safely ignore the left side. About all that is in there are some ice trays (do ice dispensers ever really work for long?), some ice cream and some English muffins my dad gave us for Christmas.

The right side isn’t very well populated at the moment, mainly because I just threw out some stuff before starting this exercise. On the top shelf are a couple of bottle of beer and two growlers. The growlers of beer come from the Charleston Beer Exchange and have two different ales; New Belgium Brewing’s Ranger Imperial Pale Ale and Dogfish Head Indian Brown Ale. There are also a couple of bottles of pumpkin ale left over from the fall that I still have drunk yet.

Further down the shelves things get much more mundane – cream cheese, cheddar cheese, some tortillas, a plastic contain filled with leftover green beans and potatoes. Next shelf we get to eggs, more tortillas and the left over roast beef that was the partner of the aforementioned beans and potatoes. Note to self – we are out of bacon and sausage. No biggie for at least another week though since I am in bachelor mode and sure won’t cook those just for myself.

The vegetable bins at the bottom are empty right now. They weren’t a short while ago, but after inspecting what was in there they are now. And we won’t go into the results of what I found.

Continue reading “What's Inside The Fridge – Exercise #12”

These are a Few of My Favorite Things – Exercise #11

In honor of all my British friends, today’s exercise calls for me to list “Fifteen of Your Favourite Things”. Well one of my favorite things is alternating between British and American spellings so that it freaks out the spell-check and makes me seem mentally unstable. Yes, I am going to blame the instability on the spelling. Might as well. And since I am going to do that, it only makes sense to start my list of favorite things with …

Just British - Keep Calm and Drive On1) British cars. I have been a devotee of British cars since I was a teenager. My first car was an MG. There has barely been a year since then when I didn’t own at least one British car, and often many more. The cars do not have to be convertibles, but they are usually old. And in various states of disrepair. I love the way they drive, the way the smell, and the way they feel. I do believe Castrol runs in my blood.

2) British television. Since we are already in the Enchanted Isle for the cars, we might as well stay for the telly. I don’t know why other than the shows are better! I started out early watching Monty Python and Doctor Who (Tom Baker was my Doctor), and I am still watching them. Oh, and Top Gear. And lets not forget Sherlock.

3) Trains and Trolleys. Again, one of those loves I have had since I was a kid. Things on rails. Big and small. Real and model. If you are really board you can check some out at Michael’s Trains.

4) Soccer. I never have been a fan of baseball, basketball, hockey, American football, or any other sport. I like soccer. And by the way, Man U rules!

5) Apple products. “Finally!” you are saying. “Something closer to home,” you are saying. And you would be right. I prefer the Mac operating system. Just cleaner and more stable. I make my living, or a good portion of it, supporting Windows. That tells you something. It needs a lot of support.

Continue reading “These are a Few of My Favorite Things – Exercise #11”

Come to Your Senses – Day #6

I have come to my sense. Not, not really. That will never happen. But I have come into an awareness of my senses for this, the sixth part in my thirty-one day writing exercise. Today’s exercise is “Your five senses right now.”

MayhemSight – What do you think I see?! I see the WordPress writing interface on my computer. To be more precise, I see WordPress inside the Chrome browser on my 13-inch MacBook with the reflection of the sun getting stronger on the screen because the window to the east is behind me. And I don’t have my glasses on so the screen of the computer is about all I see. The rest of the room is a blur.

Sound – Our house’s central air-conditioning unit has gone out. Died. Toes-in-the-air croaked. So until we decide what to do, and how to pay for it, we have put in some window units. Well it just so happens that my favorite reading, writing, and napping chair is directly in front of the window unit in our bedroom. So all I hear is the sound of the ac unit fan. Constantly. And occasionally its compressor cycling on and off. I frequently turn it off because I prefer warm and quiet to cold and noisy. But other members of the family complain. So right now – I hear air-conditioning.

Taste – Nothing to thrilling here, just peanut butter. My stomach was growling after having caffeine but not food this morning, so I had half of a peanut butter sandwich. What I wil tell you though is that my taste buts were in heaven last night. Had our anniversary dinner at Husk, and the food was fantastic. As Phil would say on Duck Dynasty, I was “Happy, happy, happy!”

Continue reading “Come to Your Senses – Day #6”