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Monday, October 20, 2014

With friends like these, who needs enemies?

A hat tip to the Weekly Standard here, via Hot Air, for this lovely little tidbit. Barry apparently believed that appearing on Al Sharpton's radio show carried pretty much zero risk of anyone actually hearing what he said, even if Sharpton replayed the clip on his MSNBC TV show (which Sharpton did, and which seven people saw). There are, however, several Democrat Senate incumbents seeking re-election who really wish Barry would keep his mouth shut:

So maybe Mary Landrieu in Lousisiana, Mark Pryor in Arkansas and Mark Begich in Alaska aren't so thrilled to have Barry say they are only pretending to distance themselves from him because their states hate Barry. Try as they might to run away from The One, he won't let them. Bet they were thrilled to hear him deliver this sound bite custom made for Republican attack ads::
“Well, look, here’s the bottom line,” said Obama, “We’ve got a tough map. A lot of the states that are contested this time are states that I didn’t win. And so some of the candidates there, you know, it is difficult for them to have me in the state because the Republicans will use that to try to fan Republican turn-out. The bottom line is, though, these are all folks who vote with me. They have supported my agenda in Congress. They are on the right side of minimum wage. They are on the right side of fair pay. They are on the right side of rebuilding our infrastructure. They’re on the right side of early childhood education.
“So, this isn’t about my feelings being hurt. These are folks who are strong allies and supporters of me. And I tell them, I said, you know what, you do what you need to win. I will be responsible for making sure that our voters turn up.”
As Mary Katharine Ham put it at Hot Air:
Really, though, what is this about? Perhaps on the same day as his lackluster reception in Maryland (Maryland!), he just couldn’t let stand another suggestion that he didn’t hang the moon? There are plenty of ways for the Smartest President Evah to finesse this answer without giving Republicans the exact soundbite they need in a manner so explicit, they could have written it themselves. He can’t be bothered. Remember, this is the stuff he’s supposed to be good at.
I think that "What was he thinking?" is a fair question. He's letting voters in states where Democrats seeking re-election are understandably trying to pretend they don't ever side with him at all -- because they know their constituents oppose his policies -- that those Democrat incumbents do, indeed, side with him all the time. I think it also is interesting that, despite his oft-stated willingness to compromise and work with the other side -- when he isn't demonizing them -- Barry makes clear that his position is always "the right side." Obviously, his idea of compromise is "you agree with me." Interestingly, the constituents of the Barry-avoiding Dems he's talking about obviously don't agree that Barry is on "the right side." That's why those incumbent Dems are pretending they don't agree with the guy ever. Because their constituents don't.

Unfortunately for them, Barry just made that charade harder for the people he's supposed to be helping. Completely predictable, though, once you realize that Barry is touting his own wonderfulness and actually has no interest in helping anyone other than himself.

Food porn triple play, part III

Naturally, the finale is dessert. Nothing elaborate -- just a little apple pie to cap off a food-porn-filled day. And for me, it wasn't just pictures. I got to fix it, then eat it. I think y'all got the dirty end of that stick. Anyway, straight from The Joy of Cooking (my 30-year-old copy, a gift from my mother, is beat to shit but still good), we have apple pie. Alas, I did not make my own pie crust -- that will be a food porn post for another day. I went commercial on the crust. But enough splitting hairs. We begin with 5-6 cups of sliced apples (oddly enough, roughly 5-6 medium apples, cored and sliced). You also begin with 1/2 cup of sugar, 1/8 tsp salt, 1 tbsp corn starch, 1/4 tsp cinnamon and 1/8 tsp nutmeg:

Slice up your apples, and put them in a big mixing bowl:

Mix your dry ingredients, then pour them over your sliced apples.

Mix them up right until the apple slices are nicely coated. Then layer those slices in your pie crust:

Slap some butter on top:

Cover the pie with another pie crust, and puncture that crust to ventilate:

Preheat the oven to 450, bake your pie for 10 minutes at that setting, then reduce to 350 for another 30-35 minutes, until golden brown.

That's some good eating there, even if Mrs. Wolves gets to the pie with a spoon before I get to it with a camera. Enjoy.

Food porn triple play, part II

Today's food porn is chicken Kiev, which we had for dinner last night after the glorious Packers victory. This is a moderately difficult dish to make, mostly because of the meat-beating. But we'll get to that. First, get some white pepper, salt, tarragon leaves and chives, fresh or dried:

Mix 2 tbsps of tarragon, tbsps of chives, 1/8-tsp of white pepper and salt to taste in a bowl. Mix it up right, people. Then get a stick of butter (which happens to be 8 tbsps) and cut it into 8 equal pieces. The wrapper on the butter stick is marked in tablespoon increments for your convenience. Roll each of those hunks of butter in your seasoning mix:

When they are thoroughly coated, stick those bad boys in the refrigerator. You will want them later.

Next, take four boneless, skinless chicken breasts --at least, that is what my recipe calls for. I used eight thin-sliced boneless breasts in hopes of it being easier. Eh. Anyway, if you start with 4 full-sized breasts, cut them in half across the middle (not lengthwise). Next, get a sheet of plastic wrap and fold it over an under a breast, get your meat mallet and beat the shit out of that meat. This is the tricky part. You want to pound your meat to 1/4 inch thickness without making holes in it. Beat your meat carefully. I used thin-sliced breasts this time (not the first time I've made this dish) in hopes that it would simplify the meat-beating process. Maybe not so much. I think my meat was still too thick, which complicates things later. Anyway, wrap your meat thus and beat it:

Once your meat is beaten to the appropriate thickness -- a quarter inch, people -- take a seasoned butter pat, cut it in half so you can set it out lengthwise, like so, and roll the chicken breast tightly. This is why the breast must be thin -- too thick, and it is tough to roll. If it is properly thin, you can tuck the ends in as you roll to help with your seal. Mine was too thick, but I managed to seal it anyway:

You can secure your rolled-up breasts with toothpicks to assist in sealing the butter in.

Once the chicken is rolled, dust each breast with flour:

You will then brush each breast with beaten egg:

Then roll them in breadcrumbs:

You are going to deep fy those suckers at 360 degrees until done. If you have pounded them to the proper thickness, this should happen quickly. Basically, they float.

Drain the finished product on paper towels:

Then serve with stuff like garlic bread, scalloped potatoes, asparagus and what not:

Bon appetit.

I got all the game food porn you can handle

Of course, we had french dip and dirty diapers, as they were the poll winners. We also had stuffed potato skins, because we always do. Thought about adding a fourth element, possibly even a new game food item, but really didn't have time, mostly because we are doing a triple-play food porn post. I was busy in the kitchen from about 9 am right up until game time at 1 pm. So there's that. I'm a day late on the actual posting, but yesterday was quite a day around here. Anyway, here we are. First, of course, we had stuffed potato skins, because that's how we start at Chez Wolves on NFL Sundays:

We featured this next item last week in a first-time game food porn post, with the step-by-step instructions. The dirty diapers were so good, despite the disgusting name, that they made the menu again this week, thanks to reader votes:

We also had mini-French dip sandwiches, the other game food poll winner:

Pretty good stuff, especially coupled with the serious ass-whipping the Packers laid on the Panthers. I have a buddy at work who is a big Panthers fan. He texted me a little smack talk after each of the first three plays of the game (Packers had the ball). The texts were "BS" after a good Eddie Lacey run, "BS" after another such run, then "Hah!" after an Aaron Rodgers sack. Oddly enough, that was it for the rest of the game. I think he was busy measuring rope and practicing his knot-tying.

I expect to get a game food poll up for this week once I work out what will be on the list for folks to vote on. In the meantime, stay tuned for the other two parts of the food porn triple play.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Triple-play food porn coming up

That's right, today (tonight) we're going to have game food porn, in celebration of trouncing the Carolina Panthers, but we also will have regular food porn and dessert food porn. It's all coming soon, so stay tuned.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Is someone pushing Iran as a tourist destination? Why?

No one with any sense, sure, but Mrs. Wolves sent me an email the other day with several Iran tourism links suggesting that Cpl. Wolves could take Marrying Into Wolves on "the honeymoon of her dreams and beyond" in Iran. Mrs. Wolves was kidding, but what the fuck is wrong with these people?

First we have The Washington Post, with their recent story explaining why "Now is the perfect time for a vacation to Iran (sort of)." The Post writer is commenting on an article in The Atlantic that points out that places with high inflation make good tourist destinations, at least as regards the cost to at U.S. tourist. As The Post notes,
High inflation can allow the budget traveler to live like royalty, provided that he or she has plenty of hard currency from a stabler economy; say, for example, U.S. dollars. But that's only if you don't mind conflict tourism of the economic-warfare sort.
That's right, the only problem with a vacation to Iran that the writer for The Post could find was that it is "conflict tourism of the economic-warfare sort, " saying the trip '[c]ould make for a great vacation, if you've got the stomach for it." Wouldn't want to feel bad for exploiting Third World people by providing them with the valuable, appreciating hard currency they so desperately want.

Alas, the Post guy and the guy from The Atlantic he is citing are not alone in their stupidity. A website I've never heard of has put out an article that goes even further, putting forth the argument for "Why Every American Should Take Their Next Vacation in Iran." Not enough to advocate taking advantage of great exchange rates somewhere, now we should all take our vacation in Iran specifically. And you won't believe the first (and, as near as I can tell, primary) reason we should all take an Iranian vacation:
Let's start with its poetry. Hamid Dabashi, a professor of Iranian studies at Columbia University wrote, "If jazz is the cadence of American culture …Persian poetry is the pulse of Iranian culture, the rhyme and rhythm of its collective memory."
On the streets of Tehran, beggars hold small colored envelopes that contain poems by Hafez — the classic medieval Persian poet — fanned out like a deck of cards.
For a small price, pedestrians select one of the envelopes at random to uncover the poem hidden within, which they consider more revealing than the lines that thread a palm or the dregs of an emptied cup of coffee. The practice is called Fal-e Hafez, or "The Fortune of Hafez," and extends into the household, where families keep ornate hardbound copies of the Divan-e Hafez -- a collection of Hafez’s poetry -- alongside their copies of the Koran.
Excuse me for not being sold. This is seriously your first reason everyone should take their next vacation in Iran instead of Hawaii?

A popular travel website likewise touts trips to Iran, with pictures of nice hotels and tourist destinations in the Islamic Republic of Iran. I'm sure it's all legit and a vacation to Iran would be culturally rewarding, relatively inexpensive because of Iran's inflation and just an all-around blast.

Weird how the U.S. State Department is less encouraging in a warning that actually put at the top of its page that touts tourism to Iran:
The Department of State warns U.S. citizens to carefully consider the risks of travel to Iran. Dual national Iranian-American citizens may encounter difficulty in departing Iran. U.S. citizens should stay current with media coverage of local events and carefully consider nonessential travel. ...
Couldn't be too bad, right? I'm sure it isn't, unless you read the May 22, 2014 travel warning from the State Department:
Some elements in Iran remain hostile to the United States. As a result, U.S. citizens may be subject to harassment or arrest while traveling or residing in Iran. Since 2009, Iranian authorities have prevented the departure, in some cases for several months, of a number of Iranian-American citizens, including journalists and academics, who traveled to Iran for personal or professional reasons. Iranian authorities also have unjustly detained or imprisoned U.S. citizens on various charges, including espionage and posing a threat to national security. U.S. citizens of Iranian origin should consider the risk of being targeted by authorities before planning travel to Iran. Iranian authorities deny the U.S. Interests Section in Tehran access to imprisoned dual national Iranian-American citizens because Iranian authorities consider them to be solely Iranian citizens; access to U.S. citizens without dual nationality is often denied as well.
The Iranian government continues to repress some minority religious and ethnic groups, including Christians, Baha'i, Arabs, Kurds, Azeris, and others. Consequently, some areas within the country where these minorities reside, including the Baluchistan border area near Pakistan and Afghanistan, the Kurdish northwest of the country, and areas near the Iraqi border, remain unsafe. Iranian authorities have detained and harassed U.S. citizens of Iranian origin. Former Muslims who have converted to other religions, religious activists, and persons who encourage Muslims to convert are subject to arrest and prosecution.
So what could go wrong?  Ask this guy:
Amir Hekmati, a US citizen accused of espionage and jailed in Iran, has said his televised confession was forced and asserted that he is in fact being held hostage for use in a prisoner exchange and mistreated.
In a letter smuggled out of jail and obtained by the Guardian, the 29-year-old former US marine, who was arrested in Tehran two years ago for his alleged links to the CIA, said his confession aired on Iranian state television was made under duress and was used to implicate him in trial.
He's nowhere near the only one, and you don't have to be Iranian-American to have this kind of stuff happen to you. So why the hell would an American take a vacation to Iran? More important, why would American media outlets be promoting such trips?

Time is running out to vote in the game food poll

So, what will we eat next week when the Carolina Panthers come to Green Bay? A fine question, but not one I have to answer . That's up to the people who participate in the poll. You still have a few hours to get your vote in, so hop to it!