• Religious Billboards Of Missouri

    Every year I drive thousands of miles on Missouri highways encountering the most bizarre religious billboards, and every time I pass one up I feel like going back and taking a photo to prove that I didn’t make it up (like the one about Jesus and porn somewhere around Columbia, I think). Some day I will drive to St.Louis and Springfield with the only purpose of documenting religious and anti-abortion billboards, but until then there are few in the Metro to keep me entertained.

  • Recession Cooking

    Videos of a 93-year-old lady cooking Great Depression-era meals are making multiple rounds on the Internet. While I liked the videos, I thought to myself: what do you people eat that makes these meals look like poor man’s food to you? I watched a few and didn’t see anything that I wouldn’t normally cook and eat on a regular non-depression day. Some of my favorite foods are simple, few-ingredient recipes that are easy to cook and hard to screw up. Low cost comes as a bonus, not a goal. Are XO Burgers or Greg’s Fried Chicken supposed to be Depression foods? Certainly not! Yet I bet they cost less than 2 dollars per serving.  Here is another recipe that doesn’t cost a lot and is easy to cook:

    Ingredients:

    • meat (beef, pork, if chicken – use dark meat)
    • potatoes
    • tomato paste
    • cabbage (optional)
    • salt,pepper,bay leaf

    Pour a little bit of oil (olive or not) into your dutch oven or a heavy pot. Cut some onions (I used 1.5 medium onions) and saute them on a medium-low heat until they are soft and brown(ish) for about 20 minutes. In the meantime, cut your meat in a bite-size chunks. You don’t want them to be too big (you may tend to overestimate your “bite-size”  and make your meat too big to fit in your mouth), nor do you want to cut it too small (you won’t be able to taste your meat). When onions are ready, move them to one side of the pot and raise the heat to medium or little higher. In the free space, brown your meat in batches, keeping an eye on the onions and not letting them burn. Do not dump all the meat at once, it will not brown properly, instead releasing unsightly liquid. When the first batch is browned, mix it with onions, move to the side and proceed with other batches as necessary. Add salt, pepper and bay leaf. You could brown your meat in a separate skillet, but remember that dishes don’t wash themselves. Now add cubed potatoes and mix it all up. Skip the next step if you were born and/or raised in America. Add about half of a medium cabbage, sliced. Americans, get back on board here. Add 1 tablespoon of tomato paste. You can also use salsa if you wish. Lower the heat, cover and cook until potatoes (and cabbage) get soft, mixing periodically. If you notice that your food is burning on the bottom, add a little water. That’s it. Delicious meal  in no time and for almost no money.

    clipboard01Remember: a pound of hot dogs costs more than a pound of chicken. You don’t need to be on food stamps to start eating delicious cheap meals. Of course when you “claim your check now” (actual advertisement from my Yahoo Messenger is on the left) you can go back to eating lobster, until then – stop eating crap.

  • Strength and technology

    Not that long ago a person’s love for technology required substantial physical strength. Nowadays anyone can show up on a date carrying a laptop or an iPod. Here is what it would have looked like about 25 years ago.

    It was so long ago that this guy

    still looked like this:

    More old cutting edge technology can be seen here (ignore the Russian text).

  • Personal Recollections Of The Terrible Kansas Blizzard of 1886

    We interrupt our tropical coverage to bring you this gripping account of the Blizzard of 1886 (or as we call it in present “Tuesday”)

  • Russian Gourmet:Chocolate Sausage

    Hello Ladies! There may be times in your life when you are craving something chocolaty and who knows why you may want it to be shaped like sausage. You are at the right place, kick back, relax and learn how in less than twenty minutes you can make your very own delicious rock-hard Russian Chocolate Sausage.

    For this recipe you will need just a few simple products:

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    4 packs of Maria’s Cookies from the Mexican Aisle in your grocery store;
    1 cup of sugar;
    4 tablespoons of milk;
    Vanilla extract;
    Cocoa;
    2 sticks of butter;
    1 egg;
    Nuts are optional but they sure taste good;

    Now that all of your ingredients are assembled you are ready to start. Mix sugar and egg, add milk, vanilla extract and cocoa. How much cocoa depends on how chocolaty you prefer your chocolate sausage; put too little and it will be unappealingly pale, put too much and you will have hard time finding it in the dark when you crave it the most. Now place the mixture on low heat and continue to mix with rhythmical circular motions until the sugar completely dissolves and it slowly starts to boil. Do not beat it with the whisk, you are not trying to whip it into cream, just mix slowly so it doesn’t burn. When the mixture starts bubbling a little, add softened butter. Do not stop mixing but remove it from the heat. It’s warm enough. When the butter melts you can finally stop.

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    Now proceed to break the cookies into small pieces. You should end up with a mix of small pieces and crumbs. Some of you will be tempted to use a food processor but restrain yourself, chocolate sausage likes manual touch.

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    Combine the chocolate mixture with broken-up cookies. If you decided to experiment with nuts, now would be the time to add them.

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    Make sure that you are doing a thorough job, I recommend using a spatula with brisk up- and down- motions. You don’t want to leave any cookies dry, it will adversely affect the chocolate sausage.

    Place a large piece of parchment paper on the table and spoon the mixture in the even layer close to the edge.

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    Starting at the near edge tightly wrap your chocolate sausage. When it’s wrapped squeeze and roll it as needed to even out the mixture distribution.

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    You are doing very good, almost done. You may want to wrap the sausage in another layer of aluminum foil just in case. Now place it in the fridge for a few hours or overnight.

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    That’s one long thick sausage you have. Doesn’t even fit on the shelf. I know you want to eat it right away but you need to wait. Leave it there for now.

    When the sausage is hard remove it from the fridge, unwrap and slice up to your liking. Let it melt in your mouth, smell the chocolate, feel the crunch. Enjoy the Russian Chocolate Sausage!

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    *God, I apologize for writing this post.