SSB Retail India launches two more Specialty Malls        

by Shrutee K/DNS
Hyderabad, 4th August 2017: SSB Group is a leading structural galvanizing company which is in a retail sector mall in Hyderabad.

The SSB World Shopping Mall has come up with a two brand ‘Alpine’- the supermarket and ‘Casabene’- the furniture mall. Casabene has its branches in Kolkata, Hyderabad and is now launching 2 more new branches in Hyderabad.

The company has diversified into retailing. The 3rd retailing space at Chakripuram  is 7000 sq. ft which has a combination of Alpine Super Market & Casabene Furnitures. The 4th retailing space at North Kamalanager ECIL is 2000 sq. ft which also has a combination of Alpine Super Market & Casabene Furnitures.
The retail industry is very competitive; in order to give extra mileage SSB is having its own manufacturing facilities. They believe in delivering excellent quality products with customer satisfaction. The Chief Guest for the event will be honourable Smt. Pajjuri Pavani Manipal Reddy (Corporator) for A S Rao Nagar Division, SSB Directors - Y Sharath Babu & Ajay Kumar Singh and Chairman - Ramakanth Singh. Mr Ajay Kumar Singh & Mr Sarath Babu - Directors, of SSB believes in giving good lifestyle supplies at competitive prices.
 
The retailing product will be: Supermarket/Furniture/Home Décor/Home Accessories/Home related products

USP: Exclusively designed/Concept selling/Manufacturing Quality Products/Craftsman and Finishing/Free interior advice/Large collection under one roof

The business plan is to diversify and open 10 Branches of Alpine Super Market & Casabene Furniture in the twin cities.

About SSB: SSB is a Turkey service provider, established in August 2013, SSB Structural and Galvanizing Pvt Ltd is an enterprise by two pragmatic visionaries. As an emerging sector, it is present in telecom, power, heavy and general fabrication and infrastructure. It was able to export structural material in the second year of inception. The company has a turnover of 50 crores and it will have 100 crores of turn over year.

          '..Angela Merkel .. calling Erdogan’s Nazi jibes “completely unacceptable”.' (no replies)        
'Erdogan is “looking for ‘imagined’ foreign enemies to boost his nationalist base in the run-up to the referendum,” said Soner Cagaptay, the director of the Turkish Research Programme at the Washington Institute.'

'European leaders have told Recep Tayyip Erdogan to avoid inflammatory language while Ankara threatened sanctions against the Netherlands as diplomatic relations between Turkey and several EU members soured dramatically.

..

On Monday, the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, responded by pledging her “full support and solidarity” to the Netherlands, calling Erdogan’s Nazi jibes “completely unacceptable”.

..

The Netherlands, Austria, Germany, Denmark and Switzerland have cited security and other concerns for their reluctance to allow Turkish officials to campaign in their countries.

..

Erdogan is “looking for ‘imagined’ foreign enemies to boost his nationalist base in the run-up to the referendum,” said Soner Cagaptay, the director of the Turkish Research Programme at the Washington Institute.'

- Jon Henley, EU tells Erdogan not to escalate diplomatic row over political rallies, March 13, 2017


Context

European Commission calls on Turkey to moderate its tone in row with Dutch, March 13, 2017

'.."unacceptable comments" by the Turkish authorities..'

'..Erdogan .. way out of line..'

          '.."unacceptable comments" by the Turkish authorities..' (no replies)        
'French centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron "strongly condemns" what he calls provocations from the Turkish government.

Macron has called on France to support its European partners and "reject the Turkish government's abuses." He says that "the European Union must have a united response."

He criticizes "unacceptable comments" by the Turkish authorities that target "European values," and Germany and the Netherlands.'

- French Candidate Macron Condemns Turkey, March 12, 2017


'Danish Prime Minister Lars Lokke on Sunday called on his Turkish counterpart Binali Yildirim to delay a planned March visit because of "tensions" between Ankara and the Netherlands.

"Such a visit could not take place in light of the current attacks by Turkey against the Netherlands. Therefore I proposed to my Turkish colleague to postpone our meeting," Lokke said in a statement.'

- Denmark calls on Turkish PM to delay planned visit, March 12, 2017


Context

'..Erdogan .. way out of line..'

          OpTurkeyBlackout: Διαρροή δεδομένων από το τουρκικό ναυτικό        

Για μεγάλη διαρροή δεδομένων από την Τουρκική Διοίκηση Ναυτικών Δυνάμεων μετά από επιχείρηση Ελλήνων hackers κάνει λόγο το secnews.gr.
Σύμφωνα με το δημοσίευμα “στα πλαίσια της επιχείρησης #OpTurkeyBlackout συνεχίζονται με αμείωτους ρυθμούς οι επιθέσεις των Ελλήνων Anonymous.
Αυτή τη φορά σημειώθηκε μεγάλη διαροή δεδομένων από την Τουρκική Διοίκηση Ναυτικών Δυνάμεων. Οι Anonymous Greece ÎºÎ±Ï„άφεραν να αποσπάσουν μεγάλη βάση δεδομένων με στοιχεία και απόρρητες πληροφορίες από την Τουρκική Διοίκηση Ναυτικών Δυνάμεων.
Σε συνέχεια της πρόσφατης εξαγγελίας των Ελλήνων Anonymous Î³Î¹Î± την έναρξη της επιχείρησης OpTurkeyBlackout, οι διαδικτυακές επιθέσεις συνεχίζονται και οι hackers Ï‡Ï„υπούν διάτρητες τουρκικές ιστοσελίδες.
Η ακτιβιστική οργάνωση Anοnymous Greece ήδη ξεκίνησε το νέο κύμα μαζικών κυβερνοεπιθέσεων, εξαγγέλλοντας την επιχείρηση OpTurkeyBlackout.
Όπως ήδη έχουμε αναφέρει σε πρόσφατη δημοσίευση μας, η επιχείρηση #OpTurkeyBlackout ξεκίνησε στις 12/7/2017 και θα διαρκέσει έως τις 22/7/2017, έχοντας ως στόχο να προκαλέσει “Blackout” σε τουρκικές ιστοσελίδες και υποδομές.


          Turkey and Sweet Potato Pot Pie with Flaky Biscuit Topping        

This pot pie is inducement enough to cook a turkey, and makes the days after Thanksgiving as delicious as the feast itself. Using sweet potato instead of regular has a surprisingly big—and delicious—impact on the flavor, thanks to their earthy-sweet flavor. Continue reading

The post Turkey and Sweet Potato Pot Pie with Flaky Biscuit Topping appeared first on Pots and Pans.


          Rosemary-Thyme Spatchcock Roasted Turkey        

Removing the backbone and opening the turkey up more than just a beautiful presentation: it also helps the turkey cook faster and more evenly. Continue reading

The post Rosemary-Thyme Spatchcock Roasted Turkey appeared first on Pots and Pans.


          Side-Talk: FIX Cafe at Ah Hood Road        
Met up with my friends few weeks ago to take time off from studying. I suggested that we have dinner at FIX cafe. Have been eyeing this place ever since it got its halal certification. Their desserts look so photogenic on photos. However its location is a little out of the way from where we usually hangout. Suggested this place because the others do not have any better suggested, so we went….

We took a bus there and it took us almost an hour to reach but it was worth it. Got seated near the pool. It was not very crowded and the lighting of the cafe was good for photo taking. You have to the counter to order. I went to the counter to order but forget what my friends wanted to buy as soon as I was about to order haha. I bet the cashier thought I was weird. Went back to our table and asked my friends to come with to order haha. They also commented why I went to cashier without bringing my wallet -.- Scumbag brain.

Okay back to the food we ordered. We had Chicken Tikka Naanwich, Turkey Ham and Cheese Naanwich, Fish & Chips, Soy-glazed Chicken Drumlets and Strawberry Pistachio Rose Tart. For drinks we had ice-lemon tea, Iced Mocha and Iced Chocolate. The price came about $51 dollar, if I remembered correctly. And that is very reasonable.

Didn't manage to take lot of the photos of the food because we were all very hungry and could not wait to dig in. Here is my take on each of the item we had.





1) Chicken Tikka Naanwich (S$11)

This main comes with a cup of Nachos. The chicken tikka was nicely spiced and goes well with everything else. The portion of chicken was pretty generous. The only complain I have is that there was  too little cheese on the Nachos.

2) Turkey Ham and Cheese Naanwich (S$11)

Likewise this main comes with a cup of Nachos. I like the combination of everything. The oozing yolk completes the dish. The naan is not too hard and it is buttery. The turkey ham is good too, but felt that the slices were too little. It might look difficult to eat but you can just cut into sections and eat it. The ingredients complements each other well.

3) Fish & Chips (S$11)

The fish is quite plump. The inside is soft and the outside has just enough crust. I can actually taste the slight peppery taste to it. The fries is quite mediocre in my opinion.

4) Soy-glazed Chicken Drumlets ($7)

The skin of the Chicken has a nice crunch to it. However, the soy-glazed is kinda sweet for my liking. Maybe I should have squeezed more of the lemon slice that came with it.

5) Strawberry Pistachio Rose Tart ($6)



I was really to the tart visually. I also like how FIX presents their deserts, it looked quite luxurious. Some of the strawberries are sweet and some were not haha. We shared the dessert and my friend kept getting the sour ones haha. I like the pistachio base, because I like anything that is nutty. Anyway, my sister particularly like the combination of the pistachio base with the strong tasting strawberry jam. The sweetness is just right and it is a pretty light dessert.

Don't be deceived by how the mains look, they are pretty filling. Initially we all said that we are going to order more but we were extremely full and couldn't even finish the chicken. What I like about this cafe is that the prices are reasonable, a lot of halal cafes out there have ridiculously expensive food and they are not even good :/. Overall I will come back again. I really can't wait to taste their other desserts. The owner of FIX cafe is going to open another halal establishment called FIX grill. It is located just beside FIX cafe. Gonna give it a try after my exams. 

          The Punt: Euros Podcast 17th June        
On this edition of the Euros Punt Podcast, Michael Wood spins through the betting for Friday's action. He looks at Italy against Sweden and Croatia against the Czech Republic. Football experts Karl Matchett and Emre Sarigul also give their thoughts on Spain against Turkey. Listen now for information on all six nations playing on day eight. #ThePunt #betting #football #Euro2016
          Euros Punt Podcast: Sunday 12th June        
We have a jam-packed podcast with Emre Sarigul, Stefan Bienkowski, Neil Lennon, Derek McGovern and Lee Phelps all joining Michael Wood to preview the day's games. Turkey take on Croatia, Poland face Northern Ireland and Germany are against Ukraine. Listen now for information on all six nations playing on day three. #ThePunt #betting #football #Euro2016
          The Euros - Group D Preview        
Reigning champions Spain have been drawn in Group D alongside Croatia, Czech Republic and Turkey. Dave Kelner and Pete O'Rourke preview this group and bring you their best bets here. Enjoy.
          The Punt Podcast: 20th May        
Derek McGovern and Dave Kelner join Jack Critchley to discuss the FA Cup Final between Crystal Palace and Manchester United They also reflect on the announcement of the England squad and take a look at Sunday's friendly with Turkey
           Top of the Land        
Wild Rose (Rosa canina) on the peak of Mt. Hermon
After picking a bunch of cherries to complete our breakfast we drove to the peak of Mount Hermon (Jabal A-Sheikh) - elevation 2,224m, which is accessible with chair lifts. It was a relatively hot day but still much more pleasant than the rest of the country - somewhere around 26c or so, with a very harsh sun yet a nice dry cool breeze ever so often.

Cherry Picking
The vegetation is somewhat sparse but very special and with many varieties growing on this mountain. Some plants can be found in other northern places (for example: the now protected Wild artichoke (Gundelia tournefortii) - עכובית הגלגל, which grew in most parts of the country before), but others are endemic to this mountain alone, because of its exceptional conditions and placement. It is covered in snow all winter, and once it melts resembles a cool desert land, covered with white rocks and with no trees in sight. Dog roses (Rosa canina) are native to Israel, but are quite a rare sight otherwise. To find a bush in full bloom at the peak of Mt. Hermon was elating. Of course, it has a heavenly fragrance.

Peak of Mt. Hermon

Up on the peak, there is a sense that many of the plants here has some mysterious medicinal value, for some very specific and possibly rare conditions. I am imagining a time when climbing the mountain on foot would be a great ordeal (well, it still is - but most people use the road and then the gondola!). People would only go up the mountain for an important mission set forth by a divine guidance, a royal order, or a great and pressing need to save someone's life from a rare illness...
פריגה חלקת פרי
This poppy (Glaucium oxylobum פרגה קרחת/פריגה חלקת פרי), for example, is unique to Mt. Hermon and can't be found anywhere else in the country (but it can be found in high elevations - upwards of 1,100m - in the mountains of Turkey and Iran). I love its bright dual colours and contrasting "eyes". It blooms for a very long season - six months to be exact, from April when the snow melts, till the total dryness of September. There is a great variety between flowers, but they all share this startling, sudden contrasting colour change, and unusual display of three colours.
Salvia microstegia מרווה בוצינית + Alyssum baumgartnerianum אליסון חרמוני
Salvia microstegia (the hairy big leaves with white flowers), the thistle-looking plant is Cousinia hermonis (קוסיניה חרמונית), the yellow flowers are of Alyssum baumgartnerianum Bornm. (אליסון חרמוני), AKA madwort. It is not the only yellow flower found on Mt Hermon  - so don't confuse it with Lebanese St. John's Wort (Hypericum libanoticum) in Hebrew - פרע לבנוני, or with the two types of Achilea that grow there - Achillea biebersteinii (אכילאה קטנת-פרחים) and the endemic Achillea falcata (אכילאה גפורה).

There might also be a type of catnip (נפית קילקית?) Nepata - of some kind that I'm yet to completely ID), or a horehound in the pic. Which also reminds me of the unusual Lebanese horehound (Marrubium libanoticum Boiss) - in Hebrew מרוביון הלבנון/מרמר הלבנון, which is also a highly medicinal plant.
Israel|Syria border - view from peak of Mt. Hermon
Israel & Syria - view from above. Where the green ends Syria begins... It's sad but true, due to over-forestation and roaming in Syria, and on the other hand much planting of trees all across Israel.

Lastly, here is me and Miss T standing against this dramatic backdrop.

Israel|Syria Border - Peak of Mt. Hermon





          Project Runway: A double serving of aufing, please.        
Today's wrap-up is going to be slim and a twofer, since Turkey Day forced me to skip last week's, and I have to skedaddle out of town for a day.
          â€œHeroes”: Second to last episode, it’s all about “Truth and Consequences.”        
Due to the fact that, yes, I am still on Turkey Day vacation, we're going to keep this simple. This blog consists of questions we asked our TV screen during Monday night's "Heroes" episode, "Truth and Consequences."
                  

NATHAN'S FIRST

NATHAN'S FIRST
(sent from a proud dad) 

My name is Dan Baxter and I live in Galway NY, Saratoga
county and I read your articles on a regular basis. I wanted to send  you a
bragging letter about my son Nathan who is 13 years old . Yesterday May 1st
2017 I accompanied him on his first turkey hunt as a licensed hunter. We got
up dark and early at 0430 and prepped for a long morning off calling and
chasing birds thru the fields of our 60 acre property. We arrived at our
blind that I had set up earlier in the week in preparation for the big day
at 0500. As we nestled in I gave him the pep talk of what could happen if we
see a bird and go over the safety rules and how it was his choice weather to
shoot or pass. I did not want to pressure him into thinking that he must
take the shot just to impress me. I began calling to the birds at 0530 and
right off the bat we heard a gobble from behind. Both are faces lit up and I
knew at that moment he was ready. Over the next fifteen minutes I made the
prettiest cluck and purr sounds that no Tom turkey could withstand. As we
sat in the blind waiting, he heard some leaves rustling to our side and when
we looked we saw a nice hen come out to start feeding , followed by a
second. At that time I told him to be ready because our boy was coming in
from the right of us. A few seconds later , there he was standing straight
in front of us 20 feet away strutting in all his glory. As I looked over at
my son I could see the awe on his face of being so close to them and
watching him do his strut and drumming. At that time I explained that he
needed to slowly take aim, prepare and take a deep breath. I said " get
ready bud and take the shot at your pace " , after watching him and waiting
,what seemed to be 10 minutes ,I hear the rifle go off and I look out and
see that he has taken the best shot ever . Bird down!!! As I looked back at
him I could see him shaking and taking deep breaths, that's when I asked him
how he was and what he felt. He says he is "all good", that's when I told
him that feeling you felt and watching the wild life is what hunting is all
about. It is now only 0557, and although we only got to spend an hour
together that morning, I will remember it for a life time and I hope he does
as well. The tom weighed in at 20lbs with a nine inch beard and one inch
spurs. I have been hunting for 20 years and have never gotten a tom that
big. I am excited that he was able to have the chance and hope that he will
carry on this family tradition with his kids in the future. I am attaching a
picture for you to see. Thanks for your time.




                  

 2017 KIDS ANNUAL YOUTH TURKEY HUNT

The Auriemma’s and Andrews kids tournament attracked 32 team and a total attendance of 80 people. And I hope I can get a tom turkey as big as the 8 that did. Leading the way was  Robert Kurharski Jr (13)   22#-13oz  11.25" beard 1-1/8 spurs,His Dad called in the Bird Robert Karharski Sr.  Canajoharie; Jarrett Flanders (14) 22# 8oz  10-3/8" beard 1" spurs called in by Dave Paro & Dwight Flanders; Joshua Hazelton (15) 20#12oz. 8.75" beard 1" spurs Called in by Mark Serafin Amsterdam; Joshua Hazelton (15) 20#12oz. 8.75" beard 1" spurs Called in by Mark Serafin Amsterdam; -Adam Oertel (15) 18#14oz. 10" beard 7/8" spurs called in by Gary Oertel Fort Plain; Colby Fisher (14) 18#10oz. 9.25" beard 3/4 spurs called in by Mark Serafin Amsterdam; Christian Robinson (13) 14#8oz. 5.5" beard 1/2" spurs Called in by Aaron Robinson & Stan Posluszny Amsterdam; Shane Viscosi (13) 12#13oz. 4" Beard 5/8" spurs called in by Patrick Viscosi Fultonville; Hunter Jones (13) 12#6oz. 4" beard 1/4" spurs called in by Grandfather Son Team of Kenny & Dave Jones Mayfield.

Gracious Donations by; Franks Gun Shop,Charles Parrino,Wal*Marts,BCI Ind.,Ricks Robo Car Wash,Louies Food & Fuel,Vince Orcutt,Robert Reakes,Dick Andrews,Gary Dlugas,Kenny Jones,Jason Crouch,Kevin Baudhuin,Stan & Dee Posluszny,John Loucks,Jay Affinito,John Affinito ,Gun Smoke Handgun Safety,Susan Knapik,Joe Benanto,Greg & Roberta Heck,CPR Tent Rentals,Tim Longo,Steve Masters,Fred Kuntzch,Jeremy & Temple Wilson,Annie & Scott Himsle,Stewarts & Danny Sala...Wouldn't be such a success without These People!!! Great Time,Great Stories,Some Lucky & some Hard Luck but all the Kids had one & everyone Had one think that We Love the most HUGE SMILES..

GREAT JOB AGAIN   MIKE, MICHELLE AND DICK


                  
LADY GETS HER DEER



 Late October, I had been bowhunting an active scrape line in the Southern zone. I had been in a tree twice with my climber in an attempt to see that buck and scout the area for deer activity. It had been a few years since I last hunted here, but I knew the property well. The first morning I saw three deer out of range travelling through just after dawn heading towards bedding ground. The second morning nothing and no evening activity either. I gave it a rest.

I had a week’s vacation planned to go up north in the Adirondacks and hunt during the rifle season with family. Upon my return, my rifle tag unfilled, I went back to my bow and set up on that same southern zone scrape line which was still active. I made a plan for a morning hunt. It was a Sunday. My last day off before returning back to work. 

This time I climbed a tree closer to where I had seen the three deer cross in the weeks prior. Twenty yards off the scrape line and a hundred yards from pine bedding areas. That morning with my arrow nocked and ready, dawn was about to break. I peered down from my stand, checked for open shooting lanes, and slowly ranged my surroundings, a twenty yard circle. I only had a few hours to spare that day to hunt. I settled in and waited.

It was a quiet and frosty morning. The sky clear and sunrise came rising low on the horizon. I was facing east and I forgot to wear a billed cap under my fleece hat. I cursed myself for not thinking of it. A stand of tall hemlocks in the woods helped screen the early sun. As the temps rose above the freezing mark, I saw White breasted Nuthatches, Brown Creepers, Downy Woodpeckers and a mouse. No deer.

I had forgotten my phone, so I didn’t know the time. There was no deer activity. No coyotes or turkey. I thought it might be nearing 0930. I wanted to be done by 1000.  I was getting hungry and began thinking about that first morning cup of coffee. I was sure the deer would have been through by now to bed, so I looked around, coast was clear, no deer. I lowered my bow to the ground and started climbing down quietly. I said to myself, I’ll hunt as I walk out.

About halfway down the tree, something, whether noise or movement had me look to my left and I saw a buck 40- 50 yards out slowly trotting by coming from the pines. A nice buck! I quickly anchored my seat into the tree, hoisted up my bow, nocked an arrow, turned putting my back to the tree, and faced the buck that hadn’t broke stride and continued to trot away. I cupped my hand to my mouth and gave the best low grunts I knew how to make in order to entice this fella back! Nothing... no reaction! I had my commercial grunt call on doe estrus and I bleated twice. Nothing..! He kept moving uninterested and had even passed through downwind of me. I was only eight feet off the ground when I stopped climbing. He continued and crossed the stream. He travelled up a slope covered in honeysuckle thickets and stopped looking out ahead of him in his original direction of travel. I could only make out his silhouette...100+ yards. I grunted again! Nothing….I quickly hung my bow on my left arm, grabbed my homemade rattle bag from my cargo pocket, and gave four aggressive rattles with the bag.  I kept rattling and rattling. Finally, on the fifth or so rattle he turned his head back, listened, and did a roll away 180 degrees and started trotting back towards me on the path in
which he came. He closed that distance by half and I shoved the rattle bag back into my cargo pocket. I grasped my bow again with my left hand.  He came in about fifty yards from me slowing and looking for the fight. I tapped the rattlebag in my cargo pocket a couple of times to give him a signal to come my way. He didn’t take the scrape line trail on my left instead he travelled almost the same line in which he came, but the lasts taps worked and he angled my way. I slowly repositioned to the right as he moved closer and when his head passed by two big offset trees, I used it as a blind and drew back. I followed him bow fully drawn and gave a “baahhh” by mouth when I felt comfortable with the range. He stopped. I saw my lane,” broadside chest, release, good shot, chest!’ went through my head.  He ran about seventy 75 yards and went down. He broke off the arrow while running, double lunged with an exit wound. I had bagged a beautiful 8 point pre-rut buck. 158#

The hunt was memorable. I threw everything I knew at him in less than a minute and got him to turn back. I just kept thinking and doing. I would have been just as charged up if it was a spike. I got lucky on the mature buck it turned out to be. I thank the landowner for their generosity and the opportunity for this hunt.




                  
NYS OUTDOOR WRITERS SAFARI 2013 IN WASHINGTON COUNTY - GREAT







Washington County safari yields a tom

Reach Gazette outdoors columnist Ed Noonan at enoonan@nycap.-rr.com.



    Last Thursday, I was one of 16 members of the New York State Outdoor Writers Association who visited the Cambridge/Salem area of Washington County for our annual safari.
    Each spring in May, NYSOWA chooses a New York county to visit and enjoy the outdoor activities our host county has to offer. Unlike our annual conferences, the safari is strictly a “no business” event in which we just have fun and renew friendships. I’m a bit embarrassed to say this was my first hunting visit to the area, and I live less than 30 miles from Cambridge.
    The two primary outings this time of the year center around turkey hunting and fishing, and what better place to fish in May than on the famous Battenkill River. When canoeing, kayaking and hiking trips through those beautiful plush green hills that surround this picturesque area are added, you couldn’t ask for a better place to spend a long weekend.

    Our Thursday evening Meetand-Greet get-together was held at Momma’s Restaurant in Cambridge, where we were welcomed by Christine Hoffer, Washington County tourism administrator, who outlined our busy agenda and introduced the two places where we would be staying — Batten Kill Valley Outdoors (www.battenkillvalleyoutdoors.com) and Battenkill Riversports and Campground (www.brsac.com). The former offers all types of river rides, boat rentals and a vacation rental house we used as our headquarters, and they have quite an assortment of gear and flies in their shop. Battenkill Riversports and Campground is located right on the Battenkill.
    After driving up to Cambridge, especially along New York Route 313, where both these places are located, I came to the conclusion that Vermont may be the Green Mountain State, but this southern area of Washington County’s rolling hills are equally as green. The next morning, I found out just how hilly they really were.

FRIDAY
    Everyone was up early and anxious to chase gobblers or hook up with some of those Battenkill brown trout. The turkey hunters, with the exception of three, headed off with their guides where they would hunt private lands. Melody and Frank Tennity of Honeoye and I were going to be on our own, hunting several portions of state land that had been pointed out to us the afternoon before.
    My starting point was the 512-acre Eldridge Swamp State Forest that borders the Battenkill. This area is stocked with pheasants every fall by DEC. And I know that two of them are still alive. When I arrived there just before sunup, I made my way along the edge of the wood line and stopped at a corner of the field to wait and listen.
    A morning greeting from a distant owl got me the response I wanted (gobbles) several hundred yards off into a mixed pine and hard woods, and I quickly and quietly headed in the direction of where the tom was still gobbling.
I stopped about 75 yards from him, and my first soft yelp got a double gobbling result, and I set out my three decoys. Then our conversation began.
    I knew he was coming, but fi rst in was a hen who eyed my decoys. Mr. Jake appeared shortly after, gobbling and all puffed up with his notched tail. He wasn’t what I wanted, but fun to watch, and finally they moved off.
    I waited about 10 minutes and began calling again, and I got a response from the same area, and
this one came in on the run. It was another jake, who continued to strut around the decoys. For fun, in a very loud voice I asked him: “What are you doing here?” He actually fell down twice trying to run off.
    At about 6:30 a.m., after walking and calling without any responses, I decided to try spot number two, up behind the lodge. It was defi nitely “up,” and there was no trail. Eventually, I made it to the stone fence they told me about and set up again. I didn’t hear anything for more than an hour, nor was I able to solicit a gobble, so I guessed it was time to do a little walking and talking.
    For the next hour, I followed the wall, stopping every 100 yards or so to call, fi rst with a low tone and then increasing the volume. At 8:30, I headed down and back to the truck — time to visit spot number three, the 2.5-mile State Peaked Rock Trail, also in the Battenkill
State Forest.
    Its peak altitude is 1,100 feet above the Battenkill. As I made my way slowly up the trail, I found these 69-year-old legs were not as strong as they used to be, and believe me when I tell you, there were numerous stops. Up about a half-mile or
so from its head, the trail bordered several different green fields on one side and a dried creek bed on the other. At each field, while resting, I made some yelps with my box call. I got one response on the other side of the road on private land.
    At the top of the third field, I noticed there was a deep gully leading to the creek bed which had three to four inches of water in it. It looked like a good spot to rest and call.
    My normal calling ritual when walking and stopping to call is to begin by making soft yelps, then, depending upon the results, continue to increase the call volume. I repeat the sequence every fi ve or 10 minutes.

    I liked the looks of the area, so I decided to stay a little longer and occasionally make a few calls. On my fifth calling sequence, I got a thundering response gobble somewhere above me. I estimated him to be at least 200 yards up, but on the other side of the creek. Every time I called, he responded and was getting closer, but still on the other side of the creek.
    Now the “book” says incoming toms will not cross creeks. So I grabbed my decoys, slid down the
gully, crossed the creek, set them out on the edge of that side, then I climbed about three-quarters of the way back up from the creek on the trail side and settled in with my Benelli and got him talking again. With all that up-and-down running around, it’s a good thing I don’t use a mouth call. I wouldn’t have had enough wind to blow it.
    What happened next was a fi rst for me. The tom crossed back over to my side, and I thought all was lost when he went quiet. I was looking straight to where I heard his last call when out of the corner of my eye, there he was, fully displayed and walking “in” the creek toward the decoys. It was the fi rst turkey I ever shot in the water, and he was a beauty, even though he was wet.
    I can’t remember the last time I shot a turkey on New York state land, and I couldn’t wait to show him off. My Washington County gobbler, after drying, was over
20 pounds, carried a 9 3 /4-inch beard and 1 1 /8-inch spurs. Thank you, Jerry Wilson, for your great box call. It did it again (www.wilsongamecalls. net).
    You can also see my Washington
County tom at http://fi shguydblog.-blogspot.com/.
    Back at the lodge for lunch, I found out that the Battenkill River and Dead Lake anglers all had some nice trout on ice.
    Our afternoon tour of the Quality Deer Management Co-op in Easton began with a most interesting presentation by Tony Rainville, president and founding member of the local branch, and Jami Whitney, local branch director.
    What I learned and saw on our walking tour of the food plots, etc., was very impressive and clarifi ed many questions I’ve had. These individuals are a dedicated group that’s truly improving the deer herd, and it’s a LOT more than just developing trophy bucks.
    I urge every deer hunter to go to www.qdma.com and see what it’s all about.
    Thank you, Christine Hoffer, and all the Washington County individuals who helped make this safari a very enjoyable and successful outdoor experience. I’ll be back.

DAN LADD Charles Witek of West Babylon, a member of the New York State Outdoor Writers Association, fishes with his wife, Theresa, from a boat on Dead Lake in Washington County. They were part of the group’s annual safari.




                  

LAKE PLACID HIGH PEAKS TURKEY HUNT  MAY 1, 2013





HIGH PEAKS GOBBLER


Three years ago, the New York State Outdoor Writers Association held its annual fall conference in Lake Placid. I limited my outdoor activities that weekend to the various types of lake and stream fi shing the area offers.

October is a great time to be standing by or in any of the many trout streams or boats fi shing their crystal clear lakes. Threre isn’t a more picturesque place to be during the peak of the colorful foliage season. During the day’s conference, I found out they had a growing population of wild turkeys. Lake Placid Tourism hosted dinner that evening, and I said I’d like to try hunting these high-peak gobblers in the spring.

In late January, I got an email from Sue Cameron, events and communications manager of the Lake Placid CVB/Regional Offi ce of Sustainable Tourism, asking if I was still interested in hunting turkey in the high peaks, and if I was, what would I need. It didn’t take me long to answer that question. I told her if they could find any properties that had turkeys, all I’d need is permission to hunt. I also added if someone, or a guide, wanted to help me, that would be great.

Several weeks later, Sue contacted me and said she had talked to many of the hunters in the area, and the name that kept popping up when it comes to turkeys was Bill Moore, the Lake Placid chief of police. I also found out that Bill had taken two NYSOWA members turkey hunting during the fall conference. I thought this was great, because I’d have someone familiar with the territory and the bird’s habits and locations. In all my years of hunting, I’ve never shot a turkey north of Glens Falls, and I was going to be hunting the high peaks.

Shortly after lunch April 30, I headed for Lake Placid. I’ve always enjoyed the ride on state Route 73 from the Adirondack Northway at Exit 30 to Lake Placid village. It winds through Essex County’s Keene Valley and alongside the famous trout waters of the Ausable River.

What really surprised me was the large chunks of ice still on some of the high rock walls. I believe when the foliage along this road starts to green, it’s almost as beautiful as in the fall. I wasn’t the only one that day to stop at one of the pull-offs to take a few photos.

It was right around 3 p.m. when I passed the Olympic ski jumps that were built when Lake Placid hosted the 1980 Winter Olympics. My first stop in town was to check in with Sue Cameron, who gave me directions to The Pines Inn, where I would be spending the night. The Pines Inn is a turn-of-the-century historic inn, but with all the modern conveniences, and the proprietors, Jill and Frank Segger, were very congenial hosts.

Once settled in, I had an early dinner, and later that afternoon, I met up with Bill at his son, Sean’s, baseball game. Sean was going to join us for opening day of the turkey season, but he was one up on us. On the first day of the Youth Hunt season, Sean shot a 20-pound tom with a nine-inch beard oneinch spurs.

THE HUNT

I set the alarm for 4:15 a.m., but I was up shortly after 3, as usual, anxious to get into the woods. It was still dark when Bill and Sean picked me up, and he said we’d start on his friend’s property. His friend had called the night before and said he heard toms gobbling out behind his house.

We parked several hundred yards from where the birds were believed to have roosted, then walked slowly down a dirt road winding through the pines, stopping occasionally to call, but got no responses. Before leaving, we set up on the edge of a fi eld, made a few more calls, got one response, but nothing after that.

“Back to the original plan,” Bill said.

We packed up and headed for the area he’d roosted birds several times during the week. As we were driving down the road leading to the property, we saw a tom and two hens well out into a field, and on our way to turn around, we spotted at least six birds on the other side of the road, about 200 yards in along a woodline. Two were definitely toms.

We quickly parked the truck and began sneaking and peeking, using bushes and trees to cover our advance. Sean and I got within about 50 yards of where we thought the birds were feeding, and each took a spot where we could watch each side of the cover. Sean was watching the left, I the right.

Bill stayed back about 25 yards in the high brush and set out his decoy. The plan was that the tom would see the decoy and head for it, and Sean or I would intercept him.

Bill began with several soft yelps on his slate and immediately got several booming responses. This is when that chill runs up and down your spine and your fi nger slowly moves towards the safety as you anchor your cheek on the shotgun’s stock. I don’t care who you are or how long you’ve been hunting turkeys, when you know that tom is interested and coming, you can feel your adrenaline level beginning to rise. I know that mine rose significantly when I heard him spitting and drumming, a sure sign that he was close and coming.

Out he came on a fast trot and in full display with his big bright red head pushed back against his raised fan feathers that were glistening in the morning sunlight, and all he saw was that lovely hen decoy that was about to cost him his life. It was during this stare that I slid the safety off and placed the orange front sight on the base of his neck and squeezed the trigger.

At just 30 yards, it didn’t take long for the three-inch No. 4 copper-plated pellets of my Federal Premium Mag Shok leaving my Benelli Vince at 1,300 feet per second to reach Mr. Tom. It was quick, clean, and he never took another step. This was my seventh turkey with this gun in just as many shots. Finally, after decades of successful turkey hunting, I’d taken my fi rst high-peaks gobbler.

But before I could move, two more gobblers announced their presence, and out of the corner of my eye I saw a lone hen walking and clucking her way past Sean. Both of us froze so as not to alert her or the toms. When the hen was out of sight, one soft yelp by Bill was all that was needed to light up those two gobblers and in they came, side by side, and walked behind my downed tom. I think the dead tom might have made them a bit nervous because they quickened their pace as Sean raised his gun. Unfortunately, he was unable to get off a good shot. All this excitement, and it was only 6:45 a.m.

We estimated my tom weighed about 18 pounds, and his full, thick beard measured 9 1 /4 inches. What was interesting, and a first for me, was that he did not have any spurs.

Prior to our setting up for these birds, I hadn’t looked at our surroundings and never noticed just how picturesque a background I had for the hunt and our photo shoot. I was just about 100 yards from where we took the photos, and I could actually see the tops of the Olympic ski jumps. But most impressive were the mountains. Looking at them left to right, I could see Marcy, Skylight, Colden, Wright, Algonquin and Iroquois. If you go to my blog at: http://fi shguydblog.blogspot.com/, you’ll see what I mean. Be sure to click on the photos to enlarge them and check out the snow on the tops of some of them. It’s truly beautiful country.

With several hours of legal hunting time left, there was plenty in which to get Sean a tom. Bill decided to circle the area where I’d shot my tom and see if we could come in below where the other two toms had run off into the woods.

We walked down parallel to the woodline several hundred yards away from the birds and then entered a trail that led us deep into the woods. Once inside them, Bill began a walking 50 to 75 yards, stopping to call and listening. But the toms were not talking, and after an hour, we loaded up to move to another area.

“They’ll be back,” Bill said, “and we’ll give them a try tomorrow.”

We made several other stops, but none produced sightings or responses, and we ended the day’s hunt about 11 a.m.

Back at The Pines Inn, I thanked Bill and Sean for their hospitality and for what was definitely one of my most memorable wild turkey hunts.

Thank you, Sue, Bill, Sean and the Segger’s for your hospitality.








                  

12 YEAR OLD BRECK BREEN'S FIRST TURKEY

FIRST TURKEY HUNT IS A SUCCESS

“I think you are more excited than Breck about tomorrow’s turkey hunt,” my wife said to me last Friday night. She was referring to my taking 12 year old Breck Breen, Wilton out for his first wild turkey hunt. Last weekend, April 20 and 21 had been set aside as the Youth Turkey Hunting Weekend for licensed junior in NYS, ages 12-15. They had to be accompanied by an adult and they were allowed to take one bearded turkey. Breck’s dad Tim, who was a bit under the weather, asked me if I would take him out; and I jumped at the chance.




I know that Tim had been grooming his son to all aspects of the outdoors and that included gun safety, hunting and marksmanship; first with a Crosman air gun and then with a .22 and lastly a shotgun. I found out that he had shown some of his good shooting abilities off during his NYS 4H Shooting Sports Hunter Education course breaking a few clay birds; so I figured he would be ready for the turkey hunt.



My plan was to register him in the Sharp Spurs Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation that included a tremendous cook out with all the trimmings along with some friendly competition and prizes for all the 51 kids that signed up for this ‘free’ contest. When I told my friend, Mike Galcik, Schuylerville about my young hunter he volunteered some of his hot spots providing I take an oath of secrecy; which I did.



Early the next morning I received a text message and a photo of 3 strutting toms from Mike that said: “Have Breck pick one.” And when I spoke to him later in the day we decided to put a ground blind up the next afternoon. However that part of the plan did not work; because when we were going to put the blind up the hedgerow of the field we found it with about 20 turkeys. Now I think it was about this time on Friday that I started to get really excited.



After dinner on Friday Breck and I headed for the range to pattern and punch some holes in life size turkey head targets. It was a short shoot, because Breck’s 3 shots from that little 20 gauge Youth Model 500 Mossberg at 22 yards put more than enough pellets in the neck head area to drop any turkey. He was definitely ready.



THE HUNT

I never heard the alarm go off at 3 a.m.; because I awoke at 2:30 a.m. and started getting ready. I did wonder what the effects of all torrential downpour and extremely high winds would have on the birds. Wild turkeys spend the night roosting in trees holding on to the branch with their feet; so it had to be a see-saw wet ride for them.



Breck and my enthusiasm had us sitting in Mike’s driveway at least a half hour earlier than are 5 a.m. meeting time but it went quickly and we loaded up all our gear in Mike’s truck. It was windy, cold and slightly drizzling but when we heard that gobble just as we were getting out of the truck at our destination, we all warmed up.



Entering the field a good distance down from where the birds were roosting we hugged the edge of a hedgerow making our way to a setup point near where the turkeys usually go by in the morning. Mike set up about 15 yards behind us and when it started to get light he began to answer the already talking toms up on the hill. It was about 15 minutes when Breck whispered: “Here comes one.” It was definitely a tom and on several occasions would display his fan and do a little strutting. He was headed straight for us. Breck sat perfectly still with his cheek frozen to the stock of his shotgun; and he never moved. Unfortunately despite Mike’s good calling the real thing (3 hens) appeared and a few yelps from them turned him in their direction. It is hard to beat the real thing. And it wasn’t long before we watched the entire flock cross the paved road entering another field.



Quickly we packed up and back tracked down the field, across the road and up to a ridge where we hoped would put us ahead of them; and it worked. Breck and Mike set up just overlooking the ridge where below them were several toms. Mike quickly got Breck setup and started to talk to the birds; but although they occasional gobbled a response they had no intention of leaving their harem. Finally they moved off, back across the road exactly where they had crossed earlier. “If we hunt tomorrow,” Mike said, “we will set up early right there where they had crossed.”



TIME TO MOVE

It was only a short ride to the next spot. We had only walked about 300 yards down a farm road when we caught a glimpse of turkeys in a field. Quickly we set up in a hedgerow and Mike started to calling; and within minutes he was getting responses from the tom. But all they did was talk; and he too had no intention of leaving his ladies. We did get some far off gobbles but it would require spooking the birds in the field so we headed back to the truck.



The next stop was only about 15 minutes away and again we started down a farm road that ended at an old cornfield. Setting up at the corner, Mike said he expected turkeys to be at the back of the field feeding and when he made his first yelp call that is exactly where the gobble came from. For a while the caller and the gobbler talked but his reluctance to come to us told us he was “henned up.” But just as we were about to go to him, out pops a mature yelping and clucking hen. Now we had live bait.



We sat still watching and let her do the calling and she was getting responses from one or maybe two gobblers. However once she disappeared into the woods we had to move and get in front of her hoping the gobbler would follow. And he did.



Once we got in front of her, and we could hear her continuing to yelp, we quickly set up in a small overgrown green field about 50 yards into the woods from the farm road. Things started to happen fast beginning with the hen who yelped her way past us; and with the help of Mike’s calling the two of them had what sounded like not one but two toms following.



I was amazed at how calm Breck was during all this excitement; quite unusual for a 12 year old on his first turkey hunt. Another hen passed us quickly and within minutes the thundering gobbles were very close. However there were two of them as we expected. Unfortunately they were about 50 plus yards out; and a bit too far for the 20 gauge. Each time they started to move off Mike talked them back in but not close enough; and eventually the disappeared gobbling responses to Mike’s calls as they moved off.



Moving time again and from the climb up this steep ridge following a young man and a 12 year old I realized I was a 68 year old; but they were kind and waited on the top for me to catch up. Moving along the edge of the field we would stop and make a few calls and it wasn’t long before we got another response. Another quick setup and from the gobbler’s responses he was coming straight two us.



I was sitting behind Breck and Mike waiting to turn on my movie camera when next to me, standing no more than 30 yards were 2 gobblers announcing their presence. These may have been the two that stayed out of range down below. I dare not move or they surely would have seen me; but when I looked at Breck he was right on them. It seemed longer than it really was before Breck pulled the trigger and I watch the tom fold. This little hunter had shot his first tom wild turkey and his smile stretched from ear to ear. High 5s were definitely in order and both Mike and I were extremely happy. Definitely a GREAT hunt. For me this hunt is the very best one I have ever been on.



The gobbler weighed in at 15 pounds and carried a 4 3/4 inch beard and you can see it and a smiling Breck Breen if you click on this link to my BLOG http://www.blogger.com/blogger.g?blogID=4811742045506221910#editor/target=post;postID=7893723070742898833;onPublishedMenu=allposts;onClosedMenu=allposts;postNum=0;src=postname



But our day was not over. After thanking Mike for all his help we headed for Auriemma’s house to register Breck’s tom. It was a packed house of camo clad kids and adults when we arrived. The final count was 51 youth hunters; which is outstanding. And I believe 15 of them shot a tom; and I saw three twenty pounders, any of which, I would like to see in my sights on May 1. Once again the Mike and Michele Auriemma did a tremendous job. The food was good and there was plenty of it and all the kids left with 3 prizes. THANK YOU Mike and Michele and all those sponsors and helpers.


























                  
WYOMING ANTELOPE A SUCCESS




Last Sunday at the crack of dawn when Steve Zahurak, Schenectady and I should have been in a treestand for the opening of the NYS bow hunting season in the Southern Zone, we were boarding a plane bound for Casper Wyoming for a 5 day ante lope hunt. The hunt was the result of an out of the hat drawing of 75 outdoor writers business cards who attended the Wyoming Business Council media dinner at this year's Shot Show in Las Vegas. The guided hunt was for two also included all the licenses in one of Wyoming's best zones-Area 25. Steve was the obvious choice to accompany me on this hunt because he attends the Shot Show with me every year; but I did call my wife from the Show and invited her; but she refused.

Three planes and 7 hours later we touched down in Casper and as promised, Kelly Glause, proprietor of Cole Creek Outfitters was there to greet us and take us to our hotel. Kelly guides for antelope, whitetail and mule deer, prairie dogs and pheasant and his clients often include various shooting sports manufacturing companies such as Swarovski Optics, Bushnell Optics, Horton Archery and Hornady Ammunition who would be hunting there later this week. Ironically I just happened to be using their 130 grain GMX SUPERFORMANCE bullet in my Century Arms 270 rifle. Ballistically this bullet leaves the barrel at 3190 feet per second and with muzzle energy of 2976 foot pounds.

Kelly has been managing this 80,000 plus acres of prime hunting land for over 23 years; and we found out just how good it really was the next day. Since I was going to be in Wyoming I arranged a Merriam turkey hunt also; which, if I was successful, would help me to qualify for my 7 th National Wild Turkey Federation Grand Slam. Kelly said he would set me up with the best turkey guide in the area; his son Kody; the owner of Heart Spear Outfitters (www.heartspear.com). Kody also guided for elk, mule and whitetail deer, bear and mountain lions. Kelly also said if I did not want to bring a turkey gun he could set me up with a special one; an offer I accepted.

THE HUNT
It was only a short ride from the hotel when we drove through the gate leading to the hunting grounds; and I don't think that the gate was fully closed when we saw our first buck antelope that quickly disappeared over a hill. The pronghorn antelope is the fastest land animal in the Western Hemisphere reaching speeds in excess of 60 miles per hour. Equally amazing is that they have a 320 degrees field of vision and their eyesight sees what humans do when looking through 8 power binoculars. Definitely a challenging animal to hunt.

Our plan was to ride the range and Kelly would stop and glass boss bucks in each group looking for the biggest horns. Then if he found a "keeper" he would tell us it was a good one and then ask us: "What do you think?" This is something I have never had a guide do before."

We had glassed about 20 groups with bucks I had thought were good but Kelly just smiled and said: "We can do better." And later, we were glad he did. It is hard to describe how big this ranch really was; in term of miles it was roughly 25 by 20 miles.

I was about 7:45 a.m. when Kelly spotted and glassed a buck laying down and said that it definitely was a good one; but he had a small piece missing from his left cutter horn. What I saw was a mature antelope buck that has been fighting to keep the young bucks away from his harem; and his big swollen neck was definitely a sign of the rut. It was my call and I didn't hesitate: "I’ll take him, “I said.

As quietly as I could I slid out of the truck and before my feet hit the ground I could feel the adrenalin rising as I chambered a round into my rifle. Slowly I readied for the shot and was glad that I had added the Caldwell bipod to give me a steady level rest.

The buck was lying down in the grass which covered several inches of its lower body but I had enough to shoot at as I sighted him in. He moved but did not get up. The only thing that I remember after I pulled the trigger was the chill that ran up my spine: I MISSED! Now prior to this trip I spent time sighting in the rifle with its new LUCID L5 scope and the Hornady ammo; and when I finished I could cover my 3 shot group with a penny 2 1/2 inches high of center at 100 yards. This was the proper setting for this gun. Therefore the miss was not the gun's fault.

As I chambered another round he jumped up and started to trot uphill; but he made the mistake of stopping at the top and looking back; it was a deadly mistake. Shot number 2 put him right down where he stood. WOW! I did my best impression of a Tiger Woods victory pump and accepted the handshakes of Kelly and Steve. It was just 8:17 a.m. on the first day.

Kelly estimated the antelope to be about 3 1/2 years old and weigh about 140 pounds. The horns measured 13 1/2 inches. Now earlier that morning I presented Kelly with the Viscerator knife by FieldTorg Knives which I asked him to use to field dress the antelopes. Later that day he commented that he was very impressed with the knife’s performance and its construction.

Looking back at my miss I believe what happened was that I had incorrectly used one of the BDC (ballistic drop calculator) lines in my Lucid L5 scope rather than the center of the crosshairs, causing the shot to go even higher than the 2 1/2 inches. I am not use to the BDC (ballistic drop compensator) drop lines in my new Lucid L5 scope; but I will be with a few days at the long range practicing and rolling over a few coyotes.

STEVE'S TURN
Back in the truck Steve told Kelly that he needed to shoot an antelope with horns that measured at least 13 5/8 ths. This is typical competition that we have developed over the years. We did not have to go far to find more antelopes. If I were to guess we had already seen at least 80 or 90; and we hadn’t seen half the ranch yet.

I don't think we traveled more than a few miles and glassed a dozen more groups when Kelly spotted a "shooter" laying down; but as we approached he was up and moving. Kelly and Steve exited the truck and started their sneak and peek. They had gone about 50 yards when Kelly set up the shooting sticks for Steve’s shot. At about 150 yards he fired but it was too low; and his second shot at 200 yards was high and the buck disappeared over the hill and disappeared into a gorge.

It was about 20 minutes later when we spotted another which we believe was the same one Steve had missed earlier. Quickly he set up and at 250 yards he was again high; but we were not done with him yet.
Watching his hasty retreat we jumped back in the truck. Kelly's sharp eyes and knowledge of the ranch knew where he was going; and he knew how to get in front of him. When we spotted him again he was 250 yards out and Steve's shot was horizontally perfect but he believes he jerked the shot off to the left. Now we got to see how fast an antelope really is; and how good Steve really is.

Following the flying buck in his scope Steve pulled off what was the best shot I had ever seen. We heard the bullet impact on what turned out to be a perfect heart shot. I think it died of fright; but Steve says he always takes a few practice shots at the “range” before he shoots anything.

Lots of hoots, congratulations and photos followed. It was truly a great day; except for the fact that I sat on a cactus when having my photo taken with Steve. He did however generously offered to take a photo of me removing all those needle-like prickers from my butt. As for the horn measurements I rounded them up to 13 1/2 inches. It was noon, on the first day of the hunt. This is one GOOD guide.

We did do a little more shooting before leaving the ranch at a few prairie dogs; and these little ranch pests are fun; especially when you do it with a .270.



TURKEY HUNT


After I got my turkey license Kelly said he had arranged a meeting for me with Robert Stone of RGS Custom Rifles (www.rgsllc2010.com) which is where I picked up my turkey gun. Robert’s guns were outstanding and the one that I would be using was the first one he had even made. It was a single shot .22-250 that, if he had to replace it, would range around $6,000. At the range I put two rounds through the same hole and figured the turkeys were in trouble.



Kody had definitely done his homework for my turkey hunt because the river bottom he had chosen had plenty of Merriam turkeys; most of which were mingling with the cattle. This was definitely going to be a spot and stalk hunt; something I do not do a lot of when hunting for turkeys. Kody glassed the flocks looking for a good tom and found several feeding closely with the cattle. It was obvious that with all the cattle activity the shooting window would not be open long and the shot would have to be threaded carefully. To say I was a bit nervous would be an understatement; not only did I feel nervous about scratching his beautiful rifle but also in not hitting a cow.



But the gun was definitely up to the task and at 5:30 p.m. that afternoon I shot through an opening in a hedgerow and toppled a Wyoming Merriam tom that carried a 5 inch beard and tipped the scales at over 20 pounds. All this on our first day of hunting!



THANK YOU Kelly, Kody, Robert and a special thanks to the Wyoming Business Council from Steve and me. For photos


















 























          COMPLETION OF THE NWTF CANADIAN SLAM        

Last week I traveled to the Canadian Province of British Columbia where I hoped to fulfill my final requirement for the National Wild Turkey Federation’s (NWTF) Canadian Slam by harvesting a Merriam turkey. According to NWTF’s record book only one person, Kathleen Neault, Colorado, has completed this Slam; and I was hoping to become the second. In October last year I had harvested an Eastern turkey in Hastings County, Ontario. These are the only two turkeys needed to qualify for this recognition. This past winter I surfed the net for turkey hunting outfitters in Canada that guided for Merriam and found out that there were very few. Turkey hunting in Canada is fairly new and generally there is little interest in hunting them; but that has been rapidly changing with the continuing increase in the Canada populations of wild turkeys. My choice for this hunt was the Kettle River Guides/Outfitters operated by Tami and Melvin Kilback who have been in business for over 33 years for whitetail and mule deer, elk, moose, bear, cougar, lynx and bobcat. And their trophy wall of successful clients was extremely impressive. And they were eager to add some turkey photos to this collection. Upon my arrival at the base camp I was greeted by my guide, Jamie York who helped me settle in to my cabin and then sat down to discuss the morning’s strategies. We would be hunting the high ground on a vast piece of Crown(public) hunting land and based on what Jamie had scouted we decided that we would get there early and walk and talk our way along the trails trying to solicit gobbles from a love sick tom. As for calling, I handed him a Wilson’s Game Call black walnut box call and told him he could call and I would shoot. According to Jamie 10 years ago in this area turkey sightings were very rare but now the population has increased significantly. Little did we know just how big this population really was. What I liked immediately about the hunt was the fact that we could legally hunt from sunup(5 a.m.) until a little past 8 p.m. And he also said that turkeys could hunt with either a shotgun or a rimfire rifle. And in the spring the limit was just one bearded bird. My choice of gun for this Slam was a new Mossberg model 12 gauge semi-automatic shotgun which, for the first time in my turkey hunting career, I topped off with a fixed power, circle and cross hair reticle Maine Vue scope. I was very impressed with this combination at the range. It had worked well on my Ontario turkey hunt and I also used it to shoot several coyotes this past winter. In fact I also shot a dozen or so Canada geese with it during the early September season hunt. So my confidence level with this gun was extremely high. When that target was in that circle it was history. It seemed like I had just closed my eyes when the alarm announce sounded my 3 a.m. wake-up. The things a hunter will do just to chase a wild turkey; but what a beautiful country to do it in. Coffee to go and a banana, and we were headed up a narrow dirt road to Crown (public) land where Jamie had seen a number of Merriam a few day before. We never got a chance to use our walk and talk plan because the birds began to gobble before he had gone 50 yards from the truck and it was still 20 minutes before legal shooting time. There were 4 gobbles coming from 4 different directions so we thought it best to set up as soon as we were out of sight of the truck. With our two decoy hens in place we started to yelp softly and the double-gobbling responses were immediate. I never expected this type of a greeting but I will admit I had visions of calling the airlines that afternoon after the photo shoot of my tom, to see if I could get an early flight home. No such luck because those toms, which continued to gobble for about an hour never came close to us; they just went silent. Something was wrong and I did not know what it was. Moving farther up the ridge about a half mile we called again and got several more responses which sent us scrambling to get set up. And the results were an exact duplicate of our first encounter - they would not come in. For the next several hours we had toms gobbling all over this high country and never got one to come to us. When we headed back at 10 a.m. for breakfast we had 17 responding toms and not one sighting. Now breakfast was a real SLAM prepared by our camp cook, Jeannie. Her breakfast menu was right out of the weight watchers cook book. It included pancakes with 4 kinds of syrup, eggs over easy, home fries, sausage and bacon. And that evening at dinner it too was a 5 star meal. And that is the way it was for the rest of my stay. I never left the table hungry. When we returned to the turkey woods that afternoon it was like a repeat of the morning with plenty of turkey talking and responses but no appearances. The total gobblers heard that day we estimated to be 22. On Day two we awoke to find the ground covered with about 1-2 inches of snow and a very cold biting wind; but it had little or no effect on the turkeys. They were again gobbling and responding to our calls all morning and still no incoming toms. I was beginning to loose my confidence and was definitely confused at what was happening. I did however believe that from what we were experiencing, that perhaps the breeding season was over. Moving on we found an area where we could see where turkey had been feeding and I decided to take off on one set of tracks that headed down the hill. Tracking a turkey in the snow is something I had never done in all my years of hunting turkeys. It was definitely different but unfortunately the trail ended at the edge of a brook after three-quarters of a mile. And at day’s end we had spoken with 16 more toms, and not once did I release the safety on my Mossberg. FINAL DAY If it did not happen today I would have to re-book and wait a whole year to get another chance at completing my Canadian Slam. And to add to the pressure, the blinding snow and occasional rain was constant. I told Jamie to stay warm and dry and just drop me off a quarter of mile from where we had found the tracks the day before. I planned on setting up and sitting there all day in hopes of their return. At sunup they were talking but not moving and after 4 ½ hours of sitting and shivering I called Jamie to be picked up. Time to ride and call and until be got a response. And I will admit that my confidence level was extremely low and I believed it was over until next Spring. But we were not ready to call it quits just yet. At our third stop we got a chorus of gobbling response but again they would not come in. Jamie, who knew this country better than anyone, suggested be try a drive. He would get above the birds and try to move them down to me. I am not confident in turkey drives but, at this point it couldn’t hurt to try. When he got there I heard him softly calling and the turkeys answering but nothing was coming down to me. I was wondering why he had stopped calling when I heard the truck coming. “Ed, I think they are roosted up there,” he said; “want to see if we can sneak them?” Now sneaking and peeking a group of turkeys is next to impossible to do without being busted. But “Why not?” Back up on top we slowly began to move down the snow-covered hill towards what sounded like a flock of toms gobbling; even though we were not calling them. After each step I took I expected to hear the putt, putt alarm and the flapping of wings as they flew off. But Jamie had and idea, which I believe was the whole key to the final success of this hunt, when he moved off to the right of ,me and then down out of sight of the turkey continuing to work the box call softly all the way. By doing this the turkeys were looking in his direction which allowed me a little more freedom to make my move. My plan was to reach a large fallen pine tree which I estimated to be about 20 yards from the birds. When I reached it I shouldered the Mossberg, put my thumb on the safety, took a deep breath and stepped around the tree. My plan was to take the first tom that I saw. But when I did step out I did not expect to see what probably was close to 20 toms; some roosting and others on the ground. Picking out the closest one I got him in the scope and squeezed the trigger. In seconds there were turkeys in the air everywhere; except for the one 2 year old tom who lay on the ground. My quest for the Canadian Slam had ended. When Jamie retrieved my turkey he said that the shot was actually 45 yards. It was a great hunt, in a great setting with some great people. I can assure you that the turkey woods of Kettle River Guides/Outfitters have an abundance of Merriam turkeys. You can check them out at kettleriverguides.com. If possible, I plan on returning to British Columbia next April; and if you are interested in coming along drop me an email (enoonan@nycap.rr.com).

          JUDGE RULES NY TURKEY HUNT        
When I first saw the Taurus International Judge revolver at the 2007 Shot Show it was being promoted as a self-protection gun and actually got its name because judges in high crime areas of Miami, Florida were purchasing them for personal defense in their courtrooms.

The Judge is chambered for .410 bore shot shells and the .45 colt cartridge, which makes it very versatile. But my thoughts had nothing to do with self defense, but rather with small game hunting in New York State and, turkey in several other states where it is legal and where I hunt each year.


My Judge, has been involved in some very interesting, enjoyable and exciting hunts, and it has issued the death sentence to a number of NYS rabbits and squirrel, a Pennsylvania eastern turkey, a Texas Rio Grande turkey, and several nasty rattlesnakes. And last week, due to changes in the New York State hunting regulations, a Saratoga wild turkey.

These new 2010 turkey hunting regulation state “You may hunt with a shotgun or handgun only when using shot no larger that No. 2 and no smaller than No. 8.” You still are not allowed to take a turkey with a rifle, or with a handgun firing a bullet. My turkey hunting ammunition choice for this hunt was Federal Premium 2 1/2 inch No. 4 shot.

On my first day in the turkey woods with the Judge I had a jake at no more than 10 feet from me. I had the hammer drawn and was about to end the hunt when I heard a loud gobble from across the field and saw a big tom which I assumed was headed for me. I gently lowered the hammer to wait for the bigger bird and ended up with neither. The jake was scared off by the gobbler and I have no idea what scared the gobbler. But on my second time out I did a bit more planning and scouting; and so as not to be tempted to use my regular turkey gun, I left it home in the cabinet.

I was hunting in northern Saratoga County where I had put a big tom with his ladies to bed. I actually watched them two nights and felt confident that I knew their routine. The next afternoon around 1 p.m. I came in the backside of where I thought the turkeys would be and found some very thick brush near the field they had been flying down to; or so I thought. I cut three shooting lanes in the brush no larger than a dinner plate; one on the left, right and in front. My goal was to get a shot at no more than 10 yards. And before I left I placed my two decoy stakes just 5 paces from where I would be hiding. I wanted this gobbler in close.

Early the next morning almost an hour before legal shooting time I slipped into the field, put my decoy bodies out and climbed into my natural blind to wait to see what happen. Perhaps 10 minutes before legal shooting time there was a gobble right where I hoped it would be and for a few minutes I talked with him to be sure he knew exactly where I was. But when he finally flew off his roost it was not into the field but rather away from me. I immediately called and he answered; but he did not come; he was answering, but moving away.

For about an hour he did not answer any of my calls and I thought it was over. And then he gobbled on his own and when I yelped he answered, I thought for sure this time he was coming. But again he stayed in the woods and only answered me every once in awhile. My thoughts were that he had to be with hens and he refused to leave them. I continued to call but did not get any response. Then, about 45 minutes later he gobbled from behind me sending chills up and down my spine; he was very close to me and I dare not move. I did however get my thumb on the hammer of the Judge.

It seemed like forever before he moved but when he did I could hear his spitting and drumming as he moved and came in on my left. He actually scraped against the bush I was hidden in. Slowly I raised raised the Judge and drew back the hammer. And when that red head entered my shooting hole in the brush the Judge spoke and I had my first NYS wild turkey with a handgun. He weighed in at 15 pounds and carried a 5 1/2 inch beard. As for the shot it was no more that 3-4 yards. This was absolutely one of my most exciting turkey hunts ever. That single Federal shotshell casing is now in my gun cabinet along with his beard. If you want to see the photos of my Judge turkey go to, noonanpics.blogspot.com


          NEWFOUNDLAND MOOSE - SCI SILVER AWARD        


PART I - THE BEGINNING
Have you ever flipped through the pages of Field & Stream or watched an exciting big game hunt on the Outdoor Channel and said to yourself, “Someday I would like to do that?” I guess all hunters have a specific species they dream about pursuing and mine has always been a moose. In terms of my “bucket list” for animals I want to hunt, the moose has always been number one. For years, I have sent my check to Vermont and Maine in hopes of getting drawn in their moose hunting lottery; but it never was. But last Fall I received an email from Amsterdam hunters Dick Andrews and Marshall Knapik and Rich Kraus(Ballston Spa) about their Newfoundland moose hunt that finally lit the fire under me. And the results is that in 3 weeks my dream hunt will finally become a reality.

The moose, which is derived from the Algonkian name meaning “eater of twigs,” was not native to Newfoundland. They were introduced, two bulls and two cows from New Brunswick, in 1904 and today it is estimated that there is a population of 120,000. Moose are the largest member of the deer family with a weak eyesight but their most acute sense is their hearing. Their habitat is includes swampy areas as well as forested higher ground around lakes.

The destination, which I choose mainly because of Dick’s recommendation and the fact that he has hunted there successfully five times already and will be returning in 2010, is Sam’s Hunting and Fishing Camps located in Portland Creek, Newfoundland, Canada. Owned and operated by Sam and Hebbert Caines, they have over 30 years of experience guiding and outfitting hunters. Sam’s has three hunting camps located in Area No. 3 on the Northern Peninsula: St. Paul’s Big Pond, where I will be hunting, which is one-half mile from Gros Morne National Park which is 35 miles from Deer Lake; Long Range Mountains at Trophy Lake and High Pond which are each 60 miles from Deer Lake which is the pick up point for all Sam’s hunters. Now although we will be hunting from fly-in remote sites, which I am looking forward to, it is comforting to know that there is two-way radio and cell telephone contact with these camps.

There are two ways to get to Deer Lake; driving and flying. If you drive there is a 5 - 8 hour ferry crossing depending upon the weather or, my choice, drive to Montreal and fly into Deer Lake. Here I will spend the night, be picked up early the next morning and flown in to camp by helicopter. And this, the helicopter ride, is something I am looking forward to also. All the camps are built to Newfoundland Tourism specifications and include indoor toilets, showers, two bedroom with two single beds in each, a large dining room and a kitchen. And each camp has a full time cook. Each hunter has his/her own guide. The actual hunting is done by spot and stalk, which is walking and glassing a variety of terrains, and/or sometimes glassing from elevated blinds.

Now when choosing a guide/outfitter success rate should always be a major consideration. In the case of Sam’s Hunting and Fishing Camps he has a 90 percent success rate for moose and 100 percent for caribou. Unfortunately, I applied for a Woodland caribou hunting tag but did not receive one; but I did get a black bear permit which I hopefully will be able to fill during this hunt. As for the caribou, I will try again next year.

BORDER CROSSING
When hunting in Canada there are a number of forms and documents that are needed when crossing the border. The easiest way to travel to and from Canada is with a passport. As for your firearm, this too is fairly simple and most of the paperwork can be competed before you go. You cannot bring a fully automatic weapon, handgun or pepper spray into Canada. Your regular hunting rifle/shotgun is not a problem as long as complete a Nonresident Firearms Declaration(CAFC909EF) form. Sam sent this form to me when I confirmed my hunt with him in February. The form is very simple to complete and on it you can register up to 3 firearms and the cost is $25(Canadian) which you pay at the time of crossing. The registration is good for 60 days. Do not sign and date the form until you are at customs. In all the times I have traveled to Canada with a firearm(s) to hunt it has been a very simple process which usually will take no more than 30 minutes. To download this form Goggle “Canadian firearms declaration form.”

With regards to transporting firearms to Canada , which they may or may not inspect at the border, is in a protective and lockable case, and obviously, unloaded. It is wise if your gun is a bolt action to remove the bolt, and if it a clip remove the clip.

CLOTHING
Weather-wise, during September it is usually very pleasant in the mid - 40s which is good hunting weather. But Dick and other hunters who have been to Newfoundland in September all agree that things can change very quickly. “You will hunt in the rain,” they tell me and things will get damp and therefore layering you clothing is the best method. The absolute must for this trip is quality rain gear which should include quality rubber boots that are 16 or 17 inches high and with aggressive tread.


THE GUN/AMMO
Now those of you who know me are probably saying: “First moose hunt; he will surely have to buy a new gun.” That’s what my wife thought also. Well, believe it or not, the gun that I will be using is one that is already in my gun cabinet. In fact I have had it for at least 7 years now and never really shot anything with it. It is a ported Remington Model 700 BDL in the .300 Win Mag caliber. I told you I knew that one day I would be making this hunt and actually bought the gun solely for the purpose of hunting moose with it. The only action it has seen up until now has been a twice a year complete cleaning and oiling. But now that my dream hunt is going to be a reality I have added a quality optic and spent some range time getting acquainted with this gun; and I am very impressed with its performance and power; just what is needed to bring down a large bull moose that stands higher than a large saddle horse and can weigh as much as 1500 pounds.

When I asked Sam and Hebbert what to expect in terms of the range of shooting distance he said that it could be anywhere from 50 yards to 400 yards; which was another reason I chose the .300 win mag cartridge.

With the number of quality scopes offered today my selection of the right one for this rifle and especially this hunt was difficult. At the Shot Show in January I spent one day visiting optic manufacturers booths and reviewing what they were offering in scopes. One in particular impressed me; Hawke Optics. And when Brad Bonar, their Sales Manager, let me look through their Endurance 30 series 3-12x50 L3 Dot IR reticle scope all I could think about was placing that red dot on the shoulder of my Newfoundland bull moose. Other important features include a 30mm matt black mono tube, it is fog and waterproof, shockproof and has an 11 setting rheostat to adjust the Dot’s intensity to any light condition.

After mounting and bore sighting the scope I headed for the range where I tested 3 brands of ammunition shooting from a Caldwell Lead Sled shooting rest which is the only way to sight in a firearm for two reasons: one is that you get the best accuracy and two, it absorbs almost all of the felt recoil. My 3-shot grouping with the Endurance was quite impressive(one-half inch) and the best results were with the Winchester Supreme Elite XP3, 180 grain 2-stage expansion bullet with delayed controlled expansion, deep penetration and high weight retention. Ballistically it has a muzzle velocity of 3000 feet per second and energy of 3597 foot pounds. Just the right medicine for taking a moose down. Zeroed at 200 yards it will be 1.4 inches high at 100 yards and 6.4 inches low at 300 yards. And should I get that 400 yard shot, my holdover will be 18.5 inches.

One other service I found helpful when dealing with Hawke Optics was their Ballistic Reticle Calculator(BRC) which is a free software package that will help you to choose the right ammunition for your gun and print a copy of the results. This program covers calibers from a 177 air rifle, up to a 300 Weatherby magnum and even will calculate the best crossbow bolt for your crossbow. To get the BRC go to their web at hawkeoptics, click on “Hawke BRC” and they will email it to you. And while you are there click on “NEW Reticle Information” and see how my L3 DOT IR looks when sighting in a bull elk in the field.

PART II - THE HUNT

Forty five years ago when I realized how much I enjoyed big game hunting I promised myself that someday I was going to go on a moose hunt. And two weeks ago my wish came true in Newfoundland at Sam’s Hunting and Fishing Camps; and I can honestly say it was the most exciting hunting adventures I have ever experienced.

It was 2a.m. when I stepped off the plane in Deer Lake along with several other camo clad passengers and headed for the baggage claim conveyor. Now if you have ever traveled with a firearm on a hunting trip you know how good you feel when you see that gun case come out on the conveyor; and mine did. But my suitcase, with all my hunting clothes, boots and other accessories, didn’t. Now I had a real problem because in just 4 hours my outfitter Sam Caines was going to pick me up and take me to the helicopter that would fly me into St. Paul’s Big Pond; which was the only access to the camp.

At the airline desk I completed the missing baggage claim form and explained the situation and asked how, when they found my bag, they would get it to me. They would have to send it to the outfitter who would then have it flown out to me at the camp. So when I climbed into that helicopter later that morning I was wearing my hunting clothes: jeans, Nike shoes, long sleeve cotton shirt, baseball cap and a photographer’s vest. Not exactly what I needed for the spot and stalk hunting in wet bogs in the wind and rain and temperatures in the low 40s.

The helicopter ride was great and I got a chance to see just how beautiful the Newfoundland wilderness really is; and it was then that I felt the excitement of the upcoming hunt despite the knot in my stomach because of my lost luggage. I could not hunt like this and all I thought about was having to stay in camp for 7 days and not being able to hunt; something I waited a lifetime to do.

After settling in, which did not take long for me, I got to meet the other three hunters: Oscar Primelles, my roommate from Florida; and Victor Chandler and Wayne Cleveland who were both from Nova Scotia. The staff included guides Hebbert, Sherman and Harrison Caines, Ralph House and Derrick Kelly our camp cook. Each hunter at Sam’s has his/her own guide. Ironically all had heard of my problem with the airlines and they all said “they would dress me.” Each one of them contributed to my hunting outfit and when I dressed for hunting on Monday morning the only piece of clothing I was wearing that was mine was my underwear; which by the way, I washed each evening and hung over the wood stove to dry.

That evening before the hunt I felt lot better knowing I would be able to hunt comfortably and thoroughly enjoyed Derrick’s ham dinner with all the trimmings which we all found out was equally outstanding all week. And that included the home made bread, pies and cakes.

MONDAY
It rained all night and it was raining at 7 a.m. with 5-10 ph winds and temperatures in the mid - 30s when Sherman, my guide, and I along with Oscar and his guide Hebbert, all climbed into an 18 foot aluminum boat and headed for the other end of the pond. This “pond” by the way was the size of Saratoga Lake.

Once on shore we all started up 12 STOP mountain which is the name I gave it because it required 12 rest stops where I would catch my breath before I reached the top. Sherman and I stayed on one side of the top while Oscar and Hebbert went over the top to the other side to set up. Each of the guides would call, using only their mouths, but nothing came in.

By 9 a.m. the wind had picked up considerably and that combined with the heavy rains made sitting difficult; and at by 11:00 we were back in the boat and headed for camp. And when we got there Derrick’s homemade turkey vegetable soup was just what we all needed. No one that morning had seen a moose.

The afternoon watch took us up another steep incline( 10 Stop mountain) and the bad weather conditions were the same. I remember reading that moose do not move much when it is rainy and windy and they didn’t this evening either. Victor and Ralph reported seeing two cow moose that evening but they were about 500 yards across the bog.

TUESDAY
Anticipation was high that morning despite the fact that conditions had actually gotten tougher and we had to wait about an hour for the fog to lift before we left camp. This time Sherman and I headed out behind the camp for an area they called the Waiting Rock stand. It was an 8 stops climb for me and we climbed into the 20 foot high tower. These towers are quite unique. They(guides) find four 10 - 12 inch trees that are in a square about 5 or 6 feet apart, trim the branches from the ground up, cut the tops off the trees, and build a platform blind enclosing the sides with canvas and with seats. It is quite comfortable but I found out that temperatures were a bit colder at this height. And at times the high winds would create horizontal rains which added to our discomfort. But that’s hunting. And again, by 10 a.m. we were headed back to camp without sighting a single moose.

It was on this trip back to camp that I found out about what Newfoundlanders call a bog hole, and why they told me to always watch and duplicate where your guide steps; which I did on the first day. However on this day I got caught up in looking at the beautiful scenery and my right foot with the 18 inch high boot found its way into a 24 in hole full f water. I knew than that I was done hunting for the day. But as it turned out, because of the bad weather no one went out that afternoon.

WEDNESDAY
Finally Mother Nature turned off the water, reduced the wind and replaced them with chilly 34 degree temperatures. At daybreak Sherman and I headed back up for the Waiting Rock tower; but we never made it. The evening before Hebbert had told me that in the history of this camp Waiting Rock had produced at least 100 moose harvests and on this day I was about to make it 101.

Several hundred yards from camp we stopped and Sherman made a few cow calls but got no response. Continuing up the hill we were just about 100 yards from the bog that the tower was located in when Sherman stopped, tapped his ear and pointed at the thick spruce off to our left. I heard the scraping and then saw those large palmated antlers thrashing the trees and brush about 80 yards from us. I think I froze momentarily in awe. It is one thing to watch something like this on the Outdoor Channel, but it is nothing like actually being there. Quickly and quietly I chambered a round and turned the Hawke scopes power down to 4. I don’t remember being nervous but I am sure I was.

By watching the movement of the bushes and trees we could see the bull was heading parallel to us and hopefully he would cross a 15 foot opening about 50 yards from me. Sherman motioned me up a few yards where I set up on a small rise in the trail, got down on one knee, clicked off my safety and laid my cheek on the stock.

All the time I could feel the chill running up and down my spine and my heart was pounding. To keep the bull headed in our direction Sherman cleverly turned his back on the bull and called again making it sound like this love sick cow was leaving. It worked.

Not only did the bull step into the opening but he started to turn down the trail towards me. I don’t know remember my feelings or even pulling the trigger when that big bull was just 40 yards from me slowly tossing his head from side to side. I knew I had hit him, but I am not sure he knew. Shot number two got the reaction I was looking for and shot number three put him on the ground. It was then that I remember what the veteran hunters and guides in camp said; “ shoot until he is down.”

My knees were a bit shaky when I stood up and so were my hands as Sherman and I waited a few minutes before moving cautiously toward the fallen bull. And when we were sure he was dead the high 5s, hoots, hugs and handshakes began. I don’t know exactly how many times I thanked Sherman, my 27 year old guide, for my first bull; and he thanked me also; because I was actually the first client he had guided.

I believe I stood over my bull for at least 15 minutes just admiring his rack, head, swollen neck and shoulders. Everything about him was “BIG.”

Now the real work was about to begin for Sherman. That big half ton at least animal had to be rolled over and not only field dressed but boned, quartered and carried out on a pack frame.

Back in camp that afternoon after another long photo shoot Hebbert gave me my bulls statistics. He estimated that the bull weighed 1500 pounds, was 7-8 years old, had 22 measurable points, 13 inch palms, a 48 3/4 inch spread and the bases of his antlers measured 9 3/4 inches around.

As for the other hunters in camp they too tagged out by the end of the week. My cabin roommate Oscar, shot a 10 point bull, called in by Hebbert, just about 550 yards from where I took my bull on the Waiting Rock watch. On the next morning, Thursday, Harrison called in a 3 point bull and a cow moose to Victor, who chose to shoot the cow. And at 9:10 a.m. on Saturday, the final day of hunting, I was in camp when Ralph called in to report he had called in a 4 point bull at the Waiting Rock tower, which Wayne dropped with just one shot at 158 yards. It was this 73 year old gentleman’s 10 th bull and his 10 th year of hunting with Sam. The first week of the 2009 moose hunt at St. Paul’s Big Pond was 100 percent successful. And I later found out that only one hunter in all three of Sam’s outpost camps had not taken a moose this week.

If you have ever considered a moose hunt I highly recommend that you contact Sam’s Hunting and Fishing Camps(709-898-2535).



          BEHIND THE FENCE - IT IS FAIR GAME        

BEHIND THE FENCE - ITS FAIR GAME

Behind the fence hunts have been a controversial topic for many years and one of the primary targets of the anti-hunting organizations. And unfortunately they are also looked upon by some hunters and hunting organizations with disdain as well. I understand the objection by the anti’s but quite frankly I do not understand that of the hunters. But after talking with many of these hunters I have found that the majority of them do not totally understand exactly what takes place at these preserves and ranches. True, years ago there were fenced operations which literally offered and utilized unethical “boxed” hunts. But these places are, and have been gone for many years, and today’s hunting preserves offer a truly realistic and ethical hunt. And in this article that I will attempt to explain to the hunter, not the unreasonable anti-hunter, just what goes on “behind the fence” and how these hunting preserves serve a very important purpose, not only to the hunter; but the future of our hunting tradition as well.

I think Ted Nugent summed it up perfectly in a recent Field & Stream interview when asked if high fence hunting degrades the heritage of American hunting and the rules of fair chase. Here is a recap of his answers. This is the Motor City Madman at his very best.

There will always be whiners and small-minded squawkers who overreact base on assumption and other unidentifiable presumptuous notions. To their way of thinking in-line muzzleloaders, scopes, treestands, compound and crossbows, deer drives, etc. degrade our American hunting heritage and our reputation. They are so divisive and unsophisticated and I pray that they become educated.

And when asked if he prefers to hunt in enclosures or in the wild he said, “I prefer to hunt, period, and shall more and more each year everyplace I possibly can. I am a hunter.”

Now let’s look at some the truths about hunting these enclosures; first from my own experiences.

Part of my job as an outdoor writer is to test, evaluate and report to the sportsmen/women on the latest new firearms, bows and even crossbows. These tests include extensive on the range accuracy and performance reviews and comparisons which I like to followed up by an actual hunting situation.

Hunting with these new firearms and bows are usually not a problem in NYS but it is with the crossbow due to strict disable-only hunter regulations. However these regulations do not apply to hunting preserves in NYS and therefore I am able to hunt with the Horton Crossbow at a preserve just a short distance from my home.

Actually my first harvest with a crossbow took place on a preserve. My choice of game - a 1700 pound bison that took me that I think covered almost every inch of the preserve and two full days of hunting before I was able to get clean kill shot. It was one of my greatest hunts that included some very anxious moments and a VERY dramatic and dangerous face to face encounter with a one ton herd bull who was not happy with my continued pursuit of him and his herd that I will never forget.

It was at this same preserve that I met two hunters who were both hunting their first Russian wild boar. And it was from these average hunters that I really learned what these preserves really offered the everyday hunter.

During dinner that evening at the lodge I asked them “why they chose a preserve to hunt.” Their answer was short and simple: time and money. “We just do not have the time nor the money to go out of state to hunt boar. We priced the wild boar hunts in Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama and the average costs would have been close to $2000; and that did not include transportation and taking a week off from work. Here it is just $500, we don’t need a license, we can pick our own season and it was just a 31/2 hour ride from our house.” Economics, convenience and the thrill of a good hunt - this is what any reputable preserve will offer you.

Now I would like to ask one questions for those of you hunters who look down upon those who hunt behind the fence: “Who gets hurt ?” If a man or woman has the desire to shoot a trophy or exotic animal not native to the area, but cannot ever hope to afford it, should he/she be denied the opportunity or right to do it, as long as it is done legally, ethically and within the confines of a preserve? I agree that it may not be for everyone, but you should not judge the intentions of those that do.

Fair chase is another term that often arises in conversations involving enclosure or behind the fence hunting. Boone and Crockett defines fair chase as the ethical, sportsmanlike and lawful pursuit and taking an any free-ranging wild, native North American big game animal in a manner that does not give the hunter an improper advantage over such animals. Doesn’t hunting legally over bait, using a ground blind or treestand, using a rifle scope, etc. also give the hunter an advantage?

In the past twenty years I have hunted in a number of preserves and do not consider myself any less of a hunter. I know that I would have probably never been able to afford or experience the thrills and excitement of hunting 9 wild boar, 2 fallow and sika deer, stags, bison, rams and 2 wild crossbow turkeys. And I can honestly say that my most memorable hunt took place last year behind a fence where I shot a magnificent bull elk. Let me share this elk hunt with you.


THE HUNT
It was well before sunup when I met Dan Jennings, the manager of the Easton View Outfitters, a private preserve located in the Washington County town of Easton, New York. Dan was going to be my guide for my elk hunt and I must admit I was pumped. Joining me was Tim Blodgett, host of the local All Outdoors radio show, who would be taping the play-by-play of the hunt. He would also be doubling as my camera man.

The game plan was to circle the preserve and come in through the heavily wooded topside of the mountain and work our way down. Dan expected the elk would be bedded down in the valley, fields and swamp below us.

I remember standing on a ledge whispering how excited I was about the hunt and describing how pretty the sun was as it started to peek through the pines into Tim’s tape recorder when we heard our first unsolicited bugle. A bull elk bugling in New York State - it gave me the chills followed shortly thereafter by a real adrenaline rush. I don’t think I have felt this way since the first time I sighted in on a whitetail buck.

Quickly Dan had us moving down the steep slopes to a blow down about 200 yards below us. Once in place Dan hadn’t even finished his first call when the bull responded. And each call he made the bull answered; but he didn’t seem to be getting any closer. Then out of nowhere, there about 100 yards below was a young spike bull headed right for us. At one point he was less than 10 yards from where I was sitting.

For the next hour I had no less that four other bull elk in my scope at distances from 10 to 100yards; one of which was a beautiful 5 by 5 that had Dan given me the word, I would have ended my hunt right then. But he said, “Not that one; we can do better.” Easy for him to say, but I trusted his judgement and relaxed.

Another hour and a half of calling got distance responses but they just didn’t seem to get any closer to us. Perhaps the bull already had his harem of cows and did not want to leave them. And when he stopped responding to the calls and we sat in silence for another 45 minutes I was beginning to get that, “I should have taken the 5 by 5 feeling.” But that ill-feeling quickly departed when Dan nudge me and smilingly whispered: “There’s your bull; get ready.”

There just 200 yards below was a beautiful 6 by 6 bull elk raking his huge rack on several small scrub pines. Now he was talking again and each call Dan made was answered with a spine chilling response and he was coming closer. It was awesome to watch the bull as he lowered his head and responded to Dan’s love-sick cow calls.

It took several deep breaths to settle my nerves and at about 75 yards I slowly raised the old Marlin 336SC towards him and placed the crosshairs of my scope on his massive body, following him as he moved through the heavy cover.

Each step brought him closer but there was really only one opening between two pines where I could get a clear shot; hopefully he would walk through it. He was about 50 yards slightly quartering away when I place the crosshairs just behind his front shoulder and unleashed the 200 grain Hornady LEVERevolution 200 grain FTX bullet.

Immediately I saw the fur fly through my scope and watched him stumble and fall; and all I could think of was “what a bull.” I guess I must have repeated it out loud because both Dan and Tim echoed their agreement. I just sat there staring at him when I heard Dan say we may have a little problem. About 100 yards below my fallen trophy was a huge 7 by 7 and he was headed towards the downed bull at a very quick pace.

He ignored our shouts and charged right in, head down and rammed my bull actually moving him along the ground several yards. Obviously these two must have had previous confrontations. It wasn’t really until Dan continued to shout and threw a few rocks and branches at him that he finally backed off. There was one moment however when he turned and faced us shaking his head from side to side, that I thought he was going to charge, but he didn’t, and finally we watched him disappear into the edge of the swamp.

High - 5s and photos were all a part of the after the hunt celebration as was the interview Tim taped of my feelings.
Absolutely the best hunt that I have ever had and it all occurred within 30 miles of my home.

But it wasn’t really until I stood over my bull that I fully appreciated what I had just accomplished - he was huge. The tale of the tape and scale revealed just how magnificent he really was. He tipped the scale at 807 pounds and his antlers measured: 40 inch wide spread, 41 inch main beams, with 9 inch bases. In terms of record book score I never did get an official score but I do know that he scored “number one” in my book; and always will.

For information on Easton View Outfitters go to: eastonviewoutfitters.com or check out their ad in this issue of Outdoors Magazine. And by the way, that 7 by 7 is still there and a year older.
          A week of maxis...        

We had a lovely Christmas. Why wouldn't we? Lots of nice food, drink and presents, but most of all family.
We always have fun at Christmas especially when we play charades after dinner. This year even the youngest grandson joined in - and loved playing it - he wasn't half bad either!


My daughter made a delicious salmon in pastry dish. She usually makes us a Beef Wellington but wanted to do something different this year. We also had turkey and all the trimmings. It was all very good.


Here we all are mid dinner. Some of us have finished; I've only just sat down. Just can't get everything on the table at the same time... OH is missing because he's putting his dinner in the microwave; he likes everything at nuclear temperature! Daughter is taking the photo. All three grandsons and two of my three brothers. My third brother in London was having a bachelor's 'open house' Christmas!

I got such lovely presents. A new Paperwhite kindle, new ankle boots, perfume and a Persephone book from my daughter. New long black boots; two 'Furrowed Middlebrow' books and 2 CDs from OH. Eldest grandson bought me another Persephone book and my brothers gave me money. Didn't I do well?

I drank Sherry, Prosecco, Canadian Club and Ginger Ale and sampled an Amaretto Sour ; courtesy of eldest grandson who mixes a mean cocktail - very moreish...


This is what I wore on Christmas Day. Dress from the Hospice shop in Kempston; waistcoat from Zara also charity shopped. Boots; Christmas present from OH.



All jewellery charity shopped.

Day 1 - Maxi Challenge


This is the skirt I bought in Barnardo's, Great Denham for £1.00.


Cardigan and boots charity shopped.


Green top Primarni; headscarf present from my friend in Cambridge.


All jewellery charity shopped.

By Tuesday I was going stir crazy. I hadn't been out of the house on Christmas Day or Boxing Day; only to drop middle grandson home so I took youngest grandson to Sainsbury's. One of the Great Uncles had given the youngest grandsons a bag of coins; when we changed it up in the coin machine it gave them £15.00 each to spend! Another Christmas present and Christmas is already over. Lucky kids!

Day 2 - Maxi Challenge



 I tried wearing a belt with this maxi.


Everything is charity shopped except the boots which are light brown with metal bits round the toe; a Christmas present from my daughter this year. The skirt is by Country Casuals; t shirt M&S 50p in a Donegal charity shop;  cable pattern cardigan; Red Cross shop probably, but really can't remember. Belt charity shopped about 10 years ago.


Necklace charity shopped in the Oxfam shop; Bedford. The earrings are 99p from e bay.

Day 3 - Maxi Challenge

On Wednesday OH and I went rummaging. I hoped the charity shops would all be open but I guessed some wouldn't reopen until after the New Year.  We went to Hitchin, Hertfordshire, a market town, and also to Ampthill; a small market town in Bedfordshire.

My goodness wasn't it cold! I woke up to frost everywhere and the water in the bird's' bowl had frozen. I feed the birds everyday. I'm even more vigilant during the cold weather months and always leave out drinking water. I really should have worn trousers! The temperature was -05 degrees when we set off for a rummage around the charity shops. It warmed up to 2 degrees and then dropped again by the time we got home. Out of seven charity shops in Hitchin only two were closed.

It's hard to put outerwear over maxi skirts. I'd planned to wear my brown leather jacket but it was too cold. I wish I still  had my brown corduroy maxi coat that I bought in 1970 from Bus Stop. It would have been perfect to wear over this skirt!


Jacket, River Island from Red Cross, £1.99; scarf, Save the Children; £1.00, beret; can't remember where.



I've had this navy jersey type M&S skirt for about 9 or 10 years. I used to have a bottle green one, too, but ruined it by getting it caught in the wheel of my bike when I used to ride my bike to work. I also have a similar black skirt, but from BHS. All were charity shopped.

Top by Canda - an old C & A brand; charity shopped in Save the Children, recently. Wool jacket by Gilbert; from Barnardo's, Great Denham. Boots - DDB (daughter donated boots).


All jewellery charity shopped.


About two weeks ago I bought yet another strand of orange beads for £1.00;  now I like to wear the three strands together!

In Hitchin, I bought 4 pairs of earrings for £3.50 in the Hospice shop and Cancer Research; three balls of wool at 50p each; also in the Hospice shop and an animal print top for £1.50 and a knitted angel boiled egg cosy for 30p - everyone needs a boiled egg cosy, don't you know!  In Age UK, I bought a ring for £1.99. In an antique/curio shop I bought some black beads for £1.50.  Total  spend in Hitchin, £10.29 . In Ampthill; the sale was still on at Barnardo's. In fact, they had reduced quite a lot of the stuff to 49p! I bought two double sized duvet sets with matching pillowcases, each for 49p. One set was brand new - it still had the stiffening product in it that they use in new bed linen. I also bought a pair of orange and black loose trousers for 49p; a pale grey Next top for 99p; a black Next jacket - never worn, 49p; a black and white striped blouse for 99p and a pair of bootcut jeans for 49p. Total spend here £4.45. Then I spent another £1.50 in the RSPCA on two books and a new make up bag. Total day's spend £16.24.


Go on - you know you want one!

Day 4 - Maxi Challenge

On Thursday I finally got out for a walk and did 6.3 miles. I hadn't walked for two weeks and was feeling both lazy and guilty. Once I started walking I was fine and realised how much I'd missed my regular walks. On Friday, there is a nine mile bus walk; I'm up for it but it is an earlyish start, and one of the things I enjoy about the holidays is there is no need to get up early. I'll just have to see how I feel on Friday morning...


This black Next corduroy skirt is about 5 or 6 years old and was charity shopped. The striped blouse by Peepers was bought in Wednesday's rummage at Barnardo's (99p) as was the light grey Next top (99p). Boots, old; Christmas present from my daughter. Middle grandson is on the sofa with his trusty laptop - hence the trailing flex.


All jewellery charity shopped.

I did the usual food shopping on Thursday and the bargain of the day was a £4.00 box of Christmas crackers for 40p in Sainsbury's! They're going up  in the loft ready for next year. Sainsbury's also had lots of packs of Christmas gift tags for 10p a packet, but we still have two large unopened packs of gift tags bought in the sales last year. I also bought  a reduced tin of shortbread biscuits (£1.50) and mince pies (40p) per packet.

Day 5 - Maxi challenge

Friday was such a miserable, cold and foggy day. I didn't go walking but am determined to go on Saturday afternoon as there is a 6.5 mile walk in Houghton Conquest which is about 6 miles outside of Bedford.

What I did do was to go to Bedford and spend my Christmas money. I'd already spent some of it on a fur coat on line. It's not my perfect coat; I am still looking for that one, but I needed a warm short coat. I have a Parka coat but that is a bit too casual sometimes. In Bedford I bought some perfume and soap in TK Maxx - I do love scented soap and prefer to use soap rather than shower gel. I also bought myself a new watch from New Look. Christmas money spent; I returned home to make soup and read one of my Christmas books.


In today's maxi and long cape I felt like a Victorian governess! The pure wool cape is from Ist Avenue bought for £1.99 in the Red Cross shop. Leather gloves charity shopped.


Maxi skirt; part of a cardigan suit charity shopped in Carrick on Shannon, Ireland. I've worn the matching cardigan separately, last seen here. Shirt and cardigan both from Red Cross shop. Boots, Christmas present from OH this year.


All jewellery charity shopped. The earrings were bought on Wednesday in Hitchin in the Cancer Research shop.

I'm glad the week of maxi's is finished; I can't wait to wear a pair of trousers.
So far with these challenges, I have worn a week each of; skirts, cardigans, shirts, dresses, trousers and maxis. I don't have enough maxi dresses to do a week of those so I think I might go for a week of stripes, spots and checks for next week. In fact, I've edited this to say that I'll do a week of patterns next week and the stripes, spots and checks for the week after.

 The challenges keep me thinking of different outfits to create and helps give little worn items a wear. That in turn, helps me assess whether or not, I want to keep it and if I don't means more space in my wardrobe. I have also got rid of several clothing items this week so I'm not feeling too guilty about those I've purchased.

What are you all doing for New Year's Eve? I've got both grandsons New Year's Eve so we'll see the New Year in with them. I'll see you all in 2017!


I'll leave you with a look at all my lovely Christmas book presents...



          Families of jailed Turkish journalists shaken but determined        

Istanbul: Their imprisonment has torn families apart while the newspaper they work for is left without some of its brightest stars.

But the relatives and colleagues of jailed journalists from the Turkish opposition daily Cumhuriyet vow to continue to fight for their freedom and ideals.

"For nine months we have been living a nightmare, to be honest," said Nazire Gursel, wife of veteran commentator Kadri Gursel who has been in jail since October.

The hardest part, she said, was replying to questions from their 10-year-old son, Erdem.

"People tell my child, `Your father is a hero, he has done a lot for Turkey`," Nazire Gursel recounted.

"So, on the one hand he is proud, but on the other hand, he asks, `But why is my father in prison if he is a hero? Who is his enemy?`"

Since Monday, 17 journalists, executives and other staff of Cumhuriyet, a daily fiercely critical of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, have been on trial accused of supporting "terrorist" organisations.

Secular Cumhuriyet ("Republic") daily, one of Turkey`s oldest newspapers, has built a strong reputation for publishing scoops embarrassing for those in power.

The newspaper rejects the "absurd" accusations and claims the trial is aimed at damaging one of the country`s last independent media outlets.

The experience has united journalists` relatives and their free colleagues who come to court together, and who sometimes go in groups to Silivri prison on the outskirts of Istanbul with a minibus chartered by the newspaper.

Nazire Gursel goes to Silivri every Friday. "I had never been to Silivri before my husband`s incarceration. When I arrived there for the first time, I told myself `it looks like a Nazi camp`, she told AFP.

"It is a really scary place."The trial gave family members the chance to see their loved ones outside of prison, where visits are confined to an hour and take place behind bulletproof glass.

"We at least have the chance to see or hear them without a window between us, to hear their voice directly without using a telephone," said Yonca Sik, the wife of Ahmet Sik, one of Turkey`s most famous investigative journalists who is also jailed.

According to her, conditions in prison have hardened since her husband`s last incarceration- in 2011, he was imprisoned after writing notably one of the few full-scale investigations into the group of Fethullah Gulen.

Gulen is a US-based cleric who Ankara accuses of ordering last year`s failed coup against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

"They are in isolation, that is especially the hardest," she told AFP in front of the Istanbul courthouse where the staff is on trial. Among them, 11 are in pre-trial detention.

"They take them away from the people they love, their work and it`s clearly an injustice, persecution," one of Cumhuriyet`s lawyers Efkan Bolac said.

"It`s torture for the accused."Beyond the impact on families, the incarcerations have hurt Cumhuriyet: the paper`s chairman, Akin Atalay, and its editor-in-chief Murat Sabuncu are currently in prison.

"For nine months, Cumhuriyet has faced troubles. Nearly all of its senior executives have been imprisoned as well as many writers," the daily`s Ankara bureau chief Erdem Gul said.

Gul himself was sentenced last year for five years for "revealing state secrets" after a front page story claiming to show the government sending arms to rebels in Syria in May 2015. He is appealing the sentence.

"We are paying a heavy price but we continue to publish the newspaper," Gul said, adding: "Cumhuriyet has not changed its editorial line."

Nazire Gursel says she does not regret the work that her husband did which caused him to be behind bars. "I`m immensely proud of him."

The judge is likely to decide on Friday whether or not to release the accused for the rest of the trial.

"Turkey is no longer a state of law, but there are still people who are fighting for democracy, for justice," said Yonca Sik, pointing to the demonstrators gathered in front of the court. 

"And that, of course, gives me hope."

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          History Major Earns a Fulbright        

Congratulations to history major Lauren Gieseke ('15)! Lauren was awarded a Fulbright fellowship to teach English in Bulgaria for the 2015-16 academic year. Lauren has also accepted a Critical Language Scholarship to study in Turkey this summer.


          This Is What Ramadan Looks Like Around The World        
This Is What Ramadan Looks Like Around The World 1. Istanbul, Turkey Ozan Kose / Getty Images Thousands of Turkish people break their fasting at the Blue Mosque square in Istanbul, during the first day of the holy month of Ramadan. Ramadan is sacred to Muslims because it is during that month that tradition says […]
          Security Council Press Statement on Terrorist Attacks in Turkey        
The members of the Security Council condemned in the strongest terms the heinous and cowardly terrorist attacks in the city of Istanbul, Turkey on 10 December, during which at least 39 people were killed and 155 injured. They expressed their deepest sympathy and condolences to the families of the victims and to the Government of Turkey [...]
          Transit in Turkey        

I wasn't going to write any more about Istanbul.  I was only there, in total, for five days, and have already posted on the dervishes and the carpet sellers.  Besides, most readers will have been there, so what insights can I glean in five days that you don't already have?

But Istanbul is such a great place!  & as I go through sorting out the photos they were calling me to write one last post on the place.  Just a quick one.

Five days was plenty of time to visit the obvious tourist sights - the Blue Mosque, the Aya Sophia, the Topkapi Palace, the Yerebatan cistern, the Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts and the Spice Market.  The most stunning of these is certainly the Aya Sophia, built in AD537 as a cathedral, converted to a mosque in 1453, and then to a museum in 1935, it is said to have changed the history of architecture.  For nearly a thousand years it was the world's largest cathedral, and certainly the size of the building is still impressive.

But a few hours wandering around it, prying into all the little corners and looking up at what remains of the painted ceilings, is tremendously rewarding.  It has been restored, and added to, many times over the centuries and is stuffed full of marble pillars, intricate ironwork, golden mosaics, calligraphy, and even some blue tiled decorations hidden under an archway.

The Bosphorus cruise was a little disappointing, though might have scored more highly in better weather - but was probably just about worth it for the delicious stuffed mussels and fresh sardines at the lunchtime stop.  Continuing on the food line, the Spice Market was great for filling those little corners of my case with delicacies I can't get at home - apple and cinnamon tea, local sheep's cheese, and a half-kilo of delicious dried cranberries.

The other highlight was a trip to the exquisite little Chora Church, now the Kariye Museum.  It is full of golden mosaics dating from the early 1400s, as well as some reasonably well-preserved frescoes, and is well worth the effort of finding it.  In any case the locals are helpful - when my intended route was blocked by redevelopment a local man insisted on giving me a lift there, which was typical of the kind way I was treated by everyone I met there.  Unfortunately no more trips to Asia are in the pipeline but I certainly would not complain about another day in transit in Istanbul!

          Carpet sellers        
Istanbul's carpet salesmen are legendary.  But when you know you are likely to be moving to work in a different continent within the next six months (where home could be any style of house or apartment in who-knows-what style and colour scheme) - or, if not, that you may be off back-packing round the world whilst deciding what to do next - then the temptation to buy an expensive carpet is pretty easily resisted.

So on my initial transit through Istanbul (on the way to Kyrgyzstan) I let myself be led into a carpet shop to have a look at what they had to offer.  "Just looking".  I was shown carpet after carpet - from Turkey, from India, from Afghanistan, in wool, in yak hair and in silk, and in every colour under the sun.  But sadly I gleaned very little information on carpets, as the salesman was more keen to impress on me how big a discount he would give me if I would go somewhere with him in his car so that he could "show me how he loved me"(!).  No thank you.

However in Uzbekistan, in a carpet-making workshop in the old city of Khiva, I saw a collection of silk carpets and totally fell in love with one.  If only I had somewhere settled to put it, and a spare $2,000...

Back in transit in Istanbul again, thinking no more about carpets (other than the lingering regrets over not being able to buy the one in Khiva), I was walking through a park when I found myself in conversation with a friendly Australian woman, who told me she was in Istanbul for a few months doing some jewellery design.  We chatted a little, and she pointed out a few interesting historical things that we were walking past (that I would otherwise have missed), and then she asked if I'd like to see her jewellery.  Well it seemed a little rude to say no.  But would you believe it, her jewellery was on display in the front part of a carpet shop ... and when she invited me to sit down for a glass of apple tea it was in the carpet showroom.

Whilst I had had no idea that undercover carpet sellers were now roaming the parks disguised as friendly Australians, I have to say that the man in the shop (the Australian rapidly disappeared - presumably to hunt down more victims) was very informative, and totally agreed, when I explained my situation, that now was not the time for me to buy a carpet.

Having listened to his explanations of single -v- double knots, and the significance of the number of knots per inch, I finally asked him about prices.  A very nice wool carpet, about the same size as "my" silk one in Khiva, was worth €1,600, he said.  I told him about the carpet I had fallen in love with and he expressed total disbelief at the price - showed me a much smaller silk one in his collection priced at $11,000...  He wondered if mine might have been made of cheap Chinese silk although even then it couldn't be that cheap (in fact all the silk used in the Khiva workshop is grown in Uzbekistan).  I began to wonder if my guide had mis-translated 20 into 2, or if perhaps I had missed the bargain of a lifetime...


          Whirling Dervishes        
On both the way to and from my holiday in Central Asia I had a day and a half in transit in Istanbul. This was a great opportunity to finally see the whirling dervishes in action, and I booked myself an online ticket to a Mevlevi Sema ceremony at the Hodja Paşa Cultural Centre, a 550-year-old converted hammam.

To the Mevlevi order, everything in the universe revolves - from electrons round an atom, to the blood in our bodies, to the planets around the sun.  The whirling of the dervishes - which they refer to as revolving - reflects this and is a way of casting off bad habits and becoming one with God.

The dervishes enter wearing long, black cloaks, and beige felt hats which resemble a foot-high fez; these hats represents tombstones for the ego, which is shed (or dies temporarily) during the ceremony.  After many bows, and the removal of their cloaks, they slowly start to revolve.  Initially their arms are crossed with the their hands on their shoulders, but as they begin to revolve, their arms gradually loosen and open, ultmately held up in the air as they turn.  This revolving, at 1-2 revolutions per second, goes on for some forty minutes in total, although with some brief pauses as the ceremony has a number of stages.  Any ordinary mortals would be dizzy to the point of nausea but these guys are apparently experiencing an "intoxication of the soul", and so suffer no such worldly discomforts.

To my surprise there is no joy shown on the dervishes' faces, which remain expressionless throughout.

Although performed for tourists in this location (in fact the Mevlevi order is still outlawed in Turkey and licenced to 'perform' only for tourists), it is still really a devotional ceremony, and so we were told not only not to take photos but not to applaud either.  I found it quite moving but then I have always enjoyed the mystical side of religion, from the incense of the Ethiopian and Greek orthodox churches to the trance music of the Moroccan Gnaoua.  In fact the two things I most want to experience during my remaining time in West Africa are a Lebu exorcism (Senegal) and a voodoo ceremony (Benin).  Both are unlikely, unfortunately.

But in Istanbul on my second transit coming back from my holiday I found another venue with a Mevlani Sema ceremony, not in such an atmospheric venue but one where photos were allowed.

          Upcoming Events        
Photo: Autumn means crisp days, hot cider and caramel bourbon pecan apples. Wish you were here!


Thanksgiving Feast

If you haven't made your reservations yet for Thanksgiving give us a call (207)677-215 or email us at bradley@lincoln.midcoast.com. Come for dinner, spend the night! Fresh organic turkey, all the fixins, a dessert sampler and leftovers to take with you. 

Sugar Plum Tea (weekend prior to Christmas)

Again this year we will host the Sugar Plum Tea for children. This includes tea and treats in the magical Bradley Inn, story telling, gingerbread house decorating and other surprises! After tea we will have musical entertainment and goodies for the adults as well. Please call for more details! 

Jump Start Resolutions with a Wellness Weekend (weekend prior to New Year's)

The holiday shopping, decorating, running around craze will be over. Relax, unwind and pamper yourself with peaceful stay at the Inn, join in some Yoga, melt your stress away in the Sauna, loosen the tension with a deep massage or just curl up in the living room with a good book. This makes a perfect gift for your special someone, parents, co-worker or that someone that has everything. Start the year off with a renewed sense of wellness!



          Thanksgiving Feast at the Inn!        
Once again it is time to start the discussions of Thanksgiving Day. Where to spend Thanksgiving?Who is bringing what? How many people can you cram into your dining room? Where is the good china? Is it too late to run away to Fiji?

Don't run away to Fiji. Forget about the good china! Never mind trying to squeeze everyone into your house, spending all week preparing dishes and rising at 4am to muscle Tom Turkey into the oven. Then find everyone gobbles down their meal in 15 minutes and you are left with achy feet and a pile of dishes. Not this year!

Let The Bradley Inn be your Thanksgiving destination. Remember what you are thankful for and relax instead of trying to figure out if everything is on the table and that the smoke you smell is the rolls you forgot about in the oven. (yes we've all done it.)

Our family style meal is priced at $50 per person and includes the following:

Amuse - Chef's choice
Appetizers 3-5 choices
Traditional Turkey and Accompaniments
Additional Entrees of Meat or Fish
Dessert - sampler

And no kitchen duty!

Seating is limited so please call to make your reservations - you will love Thanksgiving at The Bradley Inn!

(207)677-2105
          The manliest way to hate turkeys, raise money        

turkeypokerWe’ve laughed together over the turkeys. We’ve cried. We’ve dashed into stranger’s cars just to get away from them.

But have we adequately used them to solidify our shifting sense of traditional masculinity in an increasingly non-binary gender climate?…


          We took care of Halloween for you        

Have you started planning your Halloween costume yet? Don’t worry if you haven’t, I got it all sorted out. You’re all going as turkeys.

There’s something for everyone.

For the guy with a catheter:

turkey1

 

For the guy with a …


          The Daring Cooks’ August, 2014 Challenge: Freezer Meals        
Hello this is Audax Artifex, I will be hosting this month's challenge. It is all about making best use of your freezer and making meals that can be frozen.

Freezers allow cooked and uncooked meals to be stored for long periods so when we are in a hurry we can always have a meal prepared quickly.

I always have cooked beans and lentils in my freezer, as well as baked pizza bases, fish cakes and patties of all kinds. Most soups are excellent for freezing and reheating. Nearly all baked breads (except crusty French loaves) can be frozen and reheated in a moderate oven for 15 mins. Frozen pizza bases make perfect weekday meal; you can bake frozen bases with added toppings and cheese immediately in a moderate oven, no need to thaw the bases at all.

I find time on the weekends to make meals that can be frozen and then reheated and eaten during the busy week days. 

I have included a great link in the reference section where you can find information on how to store foods in the freezer.   
 photo soup05.jpg
 photo bread09.jpg
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Recipe Sources: 


Frost bite (everyday food fresh from the freezer) by Susan Austin
http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/howto/guide/top-tips-freezing-food

Blog-checking lines:

  This month, the Daring Cooks challenged us to think inside the box - the icebox, that is! Audax taught us some really cool tips and tricks for stocking our freezers with prepare-ahead meals that can keep our taste buds satisfied even during the busiest of times.

Posting Date:

August 14, 2014

DOWNLOAD THE PRINTABLE FILE HERE.



Notes:


Top 10 freezing tips

Whether you have a chest or upright freezer, the principles of successful freezing are the same.

1. Freeze quickly and defrost slowly is the number one tip. This process will give you the highest quality frozen food which retains the taste, texture and nutrients of the meals that you prepare. Always defrost in the refrigerator overnight the frozen meal you wish to make for the next day.  

2. Cool foods before you freeze them. Freezing food when they are hot will only increase the temperature of the freezer and could cause other foods to start defrosting.

3. Never re-freeze anything that's been frozen. Even if the food was frozen raw and then cooked, to be extra safe it still shouldn't be re-frozen.

4. A full freezer is more economical to run as the cold air doesn't need to circulate so much, so less power is needed. If you have lots of space free, fill plastic bottles half full with water and use them to fill gaps. Alternatively, fill the freezer with everyday items you're bound to use, such as sliced bread or frozen peas.

5. It's a wrap. Make sure you wrap foods properly or put them in sealed containers, otherwise your food can get freezer-burn. Use strong cling-wrap, foil or metal/glass containers.

6. Portion control. Freeze food in realistically sized portions. You don't want to have to defrost a stew big enough to feed eight when you're only feeding a family of three. Leave a ¾ inch (2 cm) gap to allow for expansion of high water content foods (soups, etc).

7. If in doubt, throw it out. Contrary to what many people think, freezing doesn't kill bacteria. If you are unsure of how long something has been frozen or are a bit wary of something once defrosted, don't take any chances.

8. Stay fresh. You get out what you put in, as freezing certainly won't improve the quality of your food. Don't freeze old food because you don't want to waste it; the point of freezing is to keep food at its prime.

9. Friendly labels. It may seem a bother at the time, but unless you label you might not remember what it is, let alone when it was frozen. Buy a blue marker for raw foods and a red marker for cooked foods. You don't have to write an essay, just label the food clearly. You can use big-lettered abbreviations, for example a big red P means cooked pork or a blue F means raw fish. And always add the date it was frozen.

10. Defrosting your freezer is a must. An icy freezer is an inefficient one, so make sure you defrost your freezer if ice builds up. Don't worry about the food; most things will remain frozen in the fridge for a couple of hours while the freezer defrosts.

11. In an emergency... If there has been a power outage or you think the freezer has been turned off at some point, don't open the door. Foods should remain frozen in the freezer for about 24 hours, leaving you time to get to the bottom of the problem.

What not to freeze...

Most individual ingredients can be frozen. However, some foods simply aren't freezer friendly:

Raw eggs in the shells will expand and crack. You can freeze egg whites and yolk in containers.
 Hard-boiled eggs go rubbery.
Vegetables with a high water content, such as lettuce, cucumber, bean sprouts and radishes, go limp and mushy.
Soft herbs, like parsley, basil and chives, go brown.
Egg-based sauces, such as mayonnaise, will separate and curdle.
Plain yogurt, low-fat cream cheese, single cream and cottage cheese go watery.

Great to freeze

All these everyday ingredients will freeze well.
Butter and margarine can be frozen for 3 months.
Grated cheese can be frozen for up to 4 months and can be used straight from the freezer.
Most bread, except crusty varieties such as French bread, will freeze well for up to 3 months. Sliced bread can be toasted from frozen.
Milk will freeze for 1 month. Defrost in the fridge and shake well before using.
Raw pastry will freeze for 6 months and takes just 1 hour to thaw.

Cooking from frozen

Freezer management is all about forward planning, but some dishes can be cooked straight from frozen. When cooking food from frozen, use a lower temperature to start with to thaw, then increase the temperature to cook. Foods include:

    Soups, stews, braises and casseroles.
    Bakes, gratins and potato-topped pies.
    Thin fish fillets, small fish, sausages, burgers, and seafood if added at the end of a hot dish.

Mandatory Items:

You must make a meal that can be frozen for later use

Variations allowed:

You can make any dish you wish that can be frozen. 

Preparation time:


Recipe one – 40 mins – 60 mins depending on type of lentils. (Overnight soaking might be needed.)
Recipe two – 15 mins preparation time, rising time for dough 1-2 hours
Recipe three – 40 mins preparation time 

Equipment required:


Measuring Cups
Sharp knives for chopping and dicing 
Baking dish
Sauce pan
Fry pan

Recipe 1: Lentil, Pasta and Vegetable Soup


Servings: 6
This is a simple, toothsome and wholesome soup that can be made up on the weekend and reheated during the week. It is stew-like in its texture. You can add ½ cup of shredded cooked chicken if you wish to make it even more filling. 

Ingredients


1 cup (250 ml) (200 gm) (7 oz) lentils (I used small French lentils)
6 cups (1½ litres) stock (chicken or vegetable)
½ cup (125 ml) (100 gm) (3½ oz) small soup pasta
1 carrot, grated (or 1/2 cup of finely shredded cabbage)
1 potato, finely chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
Optional 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 bunch spinach (or other greens), leaves shredded
1 cup frozen vegetables (carrots, broccoli, beans, etc.)
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:


1. Check the cooking time for the lentils on the packaging. Check if the lentils need soaking overnight. Small French lentils don't need soaking while brown/green lentils need an overnight soak in cold water. Use lentils that retain their shape when cooked.  
2. Simmer the lentils in the stock for 15 mins (for small French lentils) or 30 mins (for soaked brown/green lentils) until three-quarters tender. Add some salt half-way through cooking process. (If you add salt to early it will increase the cooking time of beans and lentils significantly). Check occasionally and add more stock/water as needed.
3. While the lentils are cooking, saute the chopped onion, chopped potato and grated carrot (and optional garlic if using) in a fry pan using the oil; for 3-5 mins until soften. Reserve.
4. When the lentils are three-quarters tender add the onion, carrot, potato (and optional garlic) mixture and uncooked pasta to the lentils and simmer until the pasta has increased in size by twice and the vegetables and lentils are tender (about 10-15 mins).
5. Place into containers (leaving ¾ inch (2 cm) room for expansion), cool on counter for ten minutes
6. Place into freezer up to one month.     
7. Defrost overnight in fridge, reheat slowly (check for seasoning). When simmering add frozen vegetables. Simmer until almost tender then add fresh spinach (or others greens). Simmer until wilted, serve with crusty bread. 

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Ingredients – French lentils, brown/green lentils and soup pasta. French lentils need no soaking and take 25 mins to cook while brown/green lentils need an overnight soak and take about 40 mins to cook.

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Cooked lentils and soup pasta

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Finished soup


Recipe 2: Potato Bread Pizza Base


Servings: makes 6 large thin crust pizza bases, or 3 large thick crust pizza bases, or 1 very large extra thick pizza base

Potato bread (using the water that the potato was boiled in and the mashed potato) makes for a crisp crust and extra soft crumb (interior texture) in the pizza base, and also increases the shelf life of the baked bread. Also yeast just love potato starch which makes the rising process a joy to watch; your dough will be full of large, soft, luscious bubbles during the proofing stage. This is my standard pizza base and makes a lot of bases. You can halve the recipe if you only want to make a couple of bases (keep the same amount of yeast and use 2 teaspoons of salt). Use the pizza base frozen straight from the freezer, just top with tomato sauce and your favourite toppings (sausage, chopped cooked chicken, mushrooms, etc.) and cheese and bake in a moderate oven until piping hot. A pre-baked pizza base gives the best pizza result since the base has been baked at a much higher temperature, giving a great texture (to the crust) and taste (to the crumb), while the toppings are baked at a much lower temperature just to heat the toppings and melt the cheese.    

Ingredients


6 cups plain (all-purpose) flour (or strong bread flour)
2 cups of warm potato water (use the water that the potato was boiled in)
1 large potato
3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon of active dry yeast (or one packet of yeast)
1/4 teaspoon of sugar
3 teaspoons salt

Directions:


1. Chop the potato and boil in 3 cups of water until tender. (You can peel the potato or leave the skin on). Mash the potato.
2. Wait until the potato water is warm. Top up the volume until you have 2 cups of liquid.
3. Add the sugar and the yeast into the water. Wait about 5-10 mins until the yeast becomes foamy.
4. In a large mixing bowl add the flour, mashed potato, oil, yeast mixture and the salt.
5. Knead the dough mixture until a ball forms, about 3 mins. (At this stage you can place the dough in the fridge up to three days; allow the chilled dough to warm up to room temperature and proceed with the recipe as below.)
6. Place into an oiled bowl covered in plastic wrap or a clean tea towel. Set aside in warm place until it has doubled in volume.
7. Punch down the dough and knead until soft and pliable (about 5 mins).
8. Spread the dough over your baking trays cover with plastic wrap or a clean tea towel. Set aside in a warm place until it has doubled in volume.
9. Bake in a preheated hot oven (425°F/220°C/gas mark 7) for 20 mins for thin crusts, 30 mins for medium crust or 40 mins for the very thick crust base respectively. Check the base to see if it is brown and crusty
10. Cool completely on a rack.
11. Cover tightly in plastic wrap (or foil), place into freezer up to one month.
12. When needed, bake the frozen base with toppings added in a preheated moderate oven 350°F/180°C/gas mark 4 for 20 mins for thin crusts or 30 mins for thick crust bases.          


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Dough ball

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The risen dough – notice the huge bubbles in the dough


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Dough ready to be baked on a pizza pan

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Baked pizza base

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Notice the crumb of the pizza base

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I usually make one extra thick pizza base and split into lunch sized pizza bases. I can make 8 bases (only four are shown)

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Unbaked frozen pizza base with toppings

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Pizza ready to eat (yum)


Recipe 3: Lentil and Sausage Lasagna


Servings: 6
Lasagna is the perfect freezer meal. You can make up the unbaked lasagna on the weekend then store in the freezer up to one month. You can cook the lasagna straight from frozen (baking time is doubled) or thaw overnight in the fridge and bake for the normal time. This recipe uses lentils and sausage with tomato sauce. If you wish you can use some cheese sauce.


Ingredients


1 packet (250 gm) (9 ozs) of fresh lasagna sheets
3 cups (750 ml) tomato passata, (Italian tomato cooking sauce)
2 cans (3 cups) drained cooked lentils
1 onion, chopped, fried and cooled
4 sausages, cooked, thinly sliced and cooled (I used turkey sausages)
1 cup of shredded cheese

Directions:


1. Ladle a thin layer of passata on the base of a baking pan.
2. Place a layer of lasagna sheet on the passata.
3. Place 1/3 of the lentils and 1/3 of the onions on the pasta layer, cover with some passata.
4. Place another layer of lasagna sheets on the passata. Cover the lasagna sheet with some passata.
5. Place a layer of thinly sliced sausage and cover with some passata.
6. Cover with a layer of pasta sheet.
7. Continue layering until all the ingredients are used. Making sure the last layer is a lasagna sheet.
8. Cover with passata and cheese.
9. Tightly cover the baking dish in plastic wrap or foil.
10. The dish can be frozen for one month.
11. Bake in a preheated moderate oven 350°F/180°/gas mark 4 for 1 hour if thawed or 2 hours if frozen. 

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Ladle some tomato passata on the base of the baking pan


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Cover with lasagna sheet

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Cover with lentils/onion mixture

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More passata on top
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A layer of sliced sausage, repeat this process using up all the ingredients

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Top with passata and cheese

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Baked lasagna

Additional Information: 


27 tips for freezing foods - http://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/shopping-storing/freezing/freezer-fundamentals-10000001012301/



          April 2013 Daring Cooks' Challenge Ballotine        
Ballotine
This has been one of the best challenges for the Daring Cooks'. Lisa from  the blog Parsley, Sage and Sweet did an amazing job in writing up the challenge and finding a wonderful video by Jacques Pepin about making ballotine. That is boning a bird and stuffing it and then rolling it and roasting it. I enjoyed it so much I did three versions. Thank you Lisa so much for all the effort!

See here for a PDF of this challenge 

Blog-checking lines:  For the April Daring Cooks Challenge, Lisa from Parsley, Sage and Sweet has challenged us to debone a whole chicken, using this video by Jacques Pepin as our guide; then stuff it, tie it and roast it, to create a Chicken Ballotine.

Turkey Ballotine
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I was going to make quail stuffed with lemon, lime and orange served with a chilli date sauce. But when I got to the shops I found that there was no quails but turkey was on special at only $1/kg (about 50cents/pound), and that the wild cranberries were only 50 cents a punnet. Believing in using what is at its peak I went with the flow and did turkey with parsley, mint, cranberry and sourdough crumb stuffing. The deboning process took about 8 mins, the stuffing and tieing took about 10 mins so about 18 mins in total 

One kilogram (2.2 pounds) piece of turkey
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The deboned turkey notice the bones to the side
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The deboned turkey skin side-up
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The cranberry, parsley, mint and sourdough stuffing (yum yum). The stuffing is a combination of cranberry, parsley, mint, sourdough crumbs, rosemary olive oil, fried red onion, pepper and sea salt.
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The trussed and stuffed turkey
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I like to rest the trussed and stuffed turkey for a couple of hours in the fridge it helps set the shape and stops the ballotine from unrolling during roasting. I usually rub "chicken" salt into the skin which helps to brown it that is why the skin is yellow.
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The roasted turkey ballotine
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After resting in the fridge overnight the ballotine firmed up beautifully. It sliced very cleanly and thinly which is what I wanted. This is such a lovely tasting and looking dish perfect for a picnic lunch.
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Orange molasses quail with macadamia swede purée 


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I got some fresh quails from a friend of mine who raises them. I de-boned (my first time de-boning the tiny birds) them (about 5 mins after the third bird) then I made a stuffing of orange molasses, fresh toasted rye breadcrumbs, chilli oyster sauce, brown sugar, orange peel and whole hard-boiled quail eggs. Orange molasses is tart-ish which works surprisingly well in the stuffing and as a glaze on the quail. Roast the quails for 25mins at 200C. Then I made up some swede purée combined with a ½ cup of macadamia nut butter – this combination is superbly rich, creamy and thick it has an amazing taste. Several people have asked me this question "Was the quail easier to debone than the chicken?" Yes since they are so tiny they are easier to handle and the flesh peels off really easy I thought. Also they look so cute since they are so small and dainty. Usually quail are full of little bones which can make them a bit messy to eat.


Fresh quails

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De-boned quail  (I left the really tiny wings on the carcass )

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Orange molasses quail with macadamina swede purée  

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(Yes that is a quail egg in the deboned quail so cute)


The crisp skinned quail was the perfect counterpoint to the purée and it is nice to have quail without the bones the de-boning is well worth the five minutes it takes.



Turkey Ballotine with prune filling
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I loved this challenge so much I had to do another ballotine (my third for this challenge), I used turkey again since it was still on sale at 75cents/kg (34 cents/lb). The stuffing was bitter greens, sweet prunes, fried red onion rings and old-day bread crumbs, which was so tasty anyway. I used a hint of honey on the skin with plenty of salt and pepper, the skin really browned up so well. 
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I getting so quick at boning now it took about 3 mins this time.
          Nov 2012 Daring Cooks' Challenge Brining & Roasting        

Hello this Audax from Audax Artifex and I'm honoured to be your host this month. I have decided to concentrate on a couple of important cooking techniques that every good cook should have up his or her sleeve. The first technique is brining – which uses a brine (at its simplest, a combination of salt and water usually with some sugar) to infuse flavour and moisture into poultry, red- & white-meat, fish, seafood and most types of nuts and seeds. Brining guarantees moist succulent roast chickens and turkeys, fried steaks, steamed trout, BBQed prawns (shrimps), grilled seafood and toasted nuts and seeds. Brining is simple and only needs a few simple ingredients and really adds an extra dimension to your cooking. I will be providing a couple of different recipes and guidelines on how to brine which can be used with a whole array of meats, poultry, seafood, nuts and seeds.

Then for the second technique (once you have brined your chosen cut of meat) I want you to roast (or BBQ) it. Again I will be giving you guidelines and rules on how to roast your cut of meat. The roasting guidelines can be used for meat, vegetables, nuts and seeds. For our non-meat eating cooks I want you to use the roasting guidelines to roast a selection of vegetables and/or nuts or seeds to perfection.
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HOW IT WORKS (from http://www.cooksillustrated.com/images/document/howto/ND01_ISBriningbasics.pdf)

Soaking in brine improves the taste and the moistness of all fowl (chicken, turkey, goose, duck and guinea fowl), also it works on lean red- and lean white-meats, fish, most seafood and most nuts and seeds. It is simple, cheap and effective and will ensure that your Christmas roast will be the tastiest you have ever made. All you do is brine your cut of meat and then proceed as normal, you will find that the roast is juicy and the skin has a lovely colour. The recipe for all-purpose brine is simple - for each cup (240 ml) of water use 1 tablespoon (18 gm) of table salt this makes a 8% brine solution which can be used for most foods. (This is equivalent to 1 cup of table salt for each gallon (4 litres) of water.)

Brining works in accordance with two principles, called diffusion and osmosis, these two principles like to keep things in equilibrium (or in stable balance). When brining a fowl for example, there is a greater concentration of salt and sugar outside of the fowl (in the brine) than inside the fowl (in the cells that make up its flesh). The law of diffusion states that the salt and sugar will naturally flow from the area of greater concentration (the brine) to lesser concentration (the cells). There is also a greater concentration of water, so to speak, outside of the fowl than inside. Here, too, the water will naturally flow from the area of greater concentration (the brine) to lesser concentration (the cells). When water moves in this fashion, the process is called osmosis. Once inside the cells, the salt and, to a lesser extent, the sugar causes the cell proteins to unravel, or denature. As the individual proteins unravel, they become more likely to interact with one another. This interaction results in the formation of a sticky matrix that captures and holds moisture. Once exposed to heat, the matrix gels and forms a barrier that keeps much of the water from leaking out as the meat cooks. Thus you have a roast that is both better seasoned and much more moist than when you started.

HANGING IT OUT TO DRY

Brining does have one negative effect on poultry: Adding moisture to the skin as well as the flesh which can prevent the skin from crisping when cooked. This can be overcome by air-drying, a technique used in many Chinese recipes for roast duck and chicken. Letting brined chicken and turkey dry uncovered in the refrigerator allows surface moisture to evaporate, making the skin visibly more dry and taut and therefore promoting crispness when cooked. Although this step is optional, if crisp skin is a goal, it’s worth the extra time. For best results, air-dry whole brined birds overnight. Brined chicken parts can be air-dried for several hours. Transfer the brined bird to a heavy-duty cooling rack set over a rimmed baking sheet, pat the bird dry with paper towels, and refrigerate. The rack lifts the bird off the baking sheet, allowing air to circulate freely under the bird. If you are not air-drying your fowl it is best to pat dry the skin with paper towels before roasting in a hot oven.

Surprisingly, brining has one large positive effect on fish fillets, a quick brine (only 10 mins) greatly improves the appearance of cooked fillets, because the brine reduces the unsightly white layer of albumin that coagulates on the surface during cooking, I highly recommend brining fish fillets when presentation is paramount. 

ITEMS THAT BENEFIT FROM BRINING
Lean cuts of meat with mild flavour tend to benefit most from flavour brining also most nuts and seeds can be brined with good affect. These include:

Chicken: whole, butterflied, or pieces
Cornish Hens: whole or butterflied
Turkey: whole, butterflied, or pieces
Pork: chops, loin, tenderloin, fresh ham
Seafood: salmon, trout, shrimp
Beef: use lean pieces of beef
Nuts and Seeds: Most nuts and seeds are suitable i.e. pumpkin, peanuts, sesame, almonds etc.  

Fatty meats such as duck, beef, and lamb do not benefit as much from brining (but still can be brined)—they're naturally moist and flavourful. They also tend to be cooked to lower internal temperatures and thus don't lose as much of their natural moisture.

WHICH SALT TO USE
Kosher salt (called rock salt outside North America) and table salt are the most common salts used in brining.

Sea salt can be used for flavour brining, but it tends to be quite expensive. If you have a cheap supply available, go for it; otherwise, stick to kosher salt or table salt.
Some people say that kosher salt tastes "cleaner" than table salt because it does not contain the anti-caking agents added to table salt. Some people prefer non-iodized table salt over iodized table salt, believing that potassium iodide creates an off-taste. However, these flavour differences melt away when salt is diluted in large quantities of water in a brine. In an article about salt in the September/October 2002 issue of Cook's Illustrated magazine, taste testers felt that "all nine salts tasted pretty much the same" when dissolved in spring water and chicken stock, whether it was 36¢/pound iodized table salt, 66¢/pound kosher salt, or $36/pound Fleur de Sel de Camargue sea salt from France.

SALT EQUIVALENT MEASURES
Table salt and kosher salt do not have the same saltiness in a flavour brine when measured by volume—but they do when measured by weight.

Table salt weighs about 10 ounces (285 grams) per cup, while kosher salt weighs 5-8 ounces (140-225 grams) per cup, depending on the brand. If using kosher salt in a brine, you must use more than a cup to achieve the same salt flavour you would get from a cup of table salt.

The chart below shows equivalent amounts of table salt and the two most popular brands of kosher salt.

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Morton Kosher Salt weighs about 7.7 ounces (220 grams) per cup, making it three-fourths as strong as table salt. Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt weighs about 5 ounces (140 grams) per cup, making it half as strong as table salt.
What if you're using something other than Morton Kosher or Diamond Crystal Kosher salt? Regardless of the type of salt—sea salt, pickling salt, and any other brand of kosher salt—just measure 10 ounces (285 grams) of it on a kitchen scale and you will have the equivalent of 1 cup of table salt.

HOW LONG TO BRINE
The length of time meat soaks in a flavour brine depends on the type of meat and its size, as well as the amount of salt used in the brine—the saltier the brine mixture, the shorter the soaking time. Here are common brining times found in recipes:

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It is possible to end up with meat that's too salty for your taste, so you may want to brine on the low end of the time range to see how it turns out. You can always brine longer next time, but there's no way to salvage a piece of meat that's been brined too long.

ROASTING TIMES AND TEMPERATURES FOR POULTRY 
When we roast brined cuts of meat (or whole birds) the procedure firstly is to brown the skin in a hot oven then to lower the temperature so we reduce the moisture loss in the roasted food. It is important to rest (loosely covered in foil) your roast so that the moisture can redistribute itself in the meat, it greatly adds to the final tenderness of the cooked product.

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For other roasting times for red meat, fish, seafood, nuts and seeds see the additional information at the end of the challenge write-up.

Recipe Source:  The brine and roast chicken used are traditional recipes used in my family for many generations. The roast vegetable recipe is from my own family cookbook.   

Blog-checking lines:  Audax of Audax Artifax was our November 2012 Daring Cooks’ host.  Audax has brought us into the world of brining and roasting, where we brined meat and vegetables and roasted them afterwards for a delicious meal!

Posting Date:  November 14th, 2012

Download the printable .pdf file HERE


Note:  Important Information – brining must be done in the refrigerator the salt water will not stop the growth of germs and bacteria. Also brine cannot be reused always discard it after first use.  Make sure that the brine goes into the cavity of large chickens and turkeys when brining.  

Mandatory Items: If you eat meat you must brine a meat (or seafood) cut and then roast (or BBQ) it. For non-meat eaters please brine some nuts or seeds then roast them or just roast a load of vegetables. I have included an extensive listing of poultry, seafood, nut etc. recipes in the additional information section at the end of the challenge feel free to use any of these recipes. Of course you can use your own favourite recipe if you wish.

Variations allowed:  Any meat/seafood (or nuts/seeds) can be used for brining. And any vegetable can be used by non-meat eaters. 

Preparation time:  Generally brining takes from ½ hour to 2 days. Roasting can take up to 2 hours for most pieces of meat, for large poultry 6-7 hours.

Equipment required:
non-reactive container for the brine
roasting pans or trays

Challenge Recipes
I have included one all-purpose brine recipe, a roast chicken recipe and a roast vegetable recipe.

Recipe One – All-Purpose Brine:


Makes 4 cups of brine enough for about one pound (½ kg) of meat

This is the brine to use for most cuts of meat and poultry that will be roasted.

Ingredients
4 cups (1 litre) of cold water (see note 1)
¼ cup (70 gm) table salt or  ½ cup (70 gm) Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt
optional 2 tablespoons (30 ml) (30 gm/1 oz) sugar (see note 2)
optional 3-4 peppercorns, a few springs of herbs, a garlic clove or two, a knob of ginger etc. (see note 3)

Instructions
1. Heat 1 cup of water to boiling point add the salt and stir until all the salt has totally dissolved.
2. Place in a non-reactive container (glass, plastic, stainless steel, zip-lock bags etc). Add the remaining water and stir. Make sure that all the salt has dissolved. Wait until the brine has reached room temperature.
3. Add your cut of meat make sure that the meat is completely submerged (that is totally covered in the salty water) if need be you can weigh down the cut of meat with a clean plate (etc). If using plastic bags make sure that the meat is totally covered in brine and make sure that is bag is locked securely.
4. Cover the container with plastic wrap to prevent odours contaminating the flavour brine or the brine leaking.
5. Place the container into the refrigerator for the soaking time suggested by the guidelines above.
6. If desired you can air-dry your poultry (usually over night) in the refrigerator if you wish to have crispy skin on your bird. It is best to pat dry your brined item (inside and out) with paper towels before cooking.
7. Cook the brined item as directed by the roasting guidelines above.

Notes
1. You can replace all or some of the water with a combination of wine, cider, beer, tea, coffee, fruit juice, most sauces (tomato, soya, BBQ, chilli etc), chicken stock, beef stock or fish stock. Be careful with acidic liquids like wine, cider, fruit juices which can turn your meat to mush if brined too long.
2. A little sugar can help overcome the saltiness of the brine and helps to give a nice sheen to your piece of meat when roasted. You can use up to ¼ cup of sugar (use the lesser amount (2 tablespoons) for high temperature roasting since the brine can burn at high heats if you use too much sugar). You can use brown sugar or honey or other sweeteners if you wish.
3. Any combination of spices and herbs can be used to flavour the brine. Garlic powder, onion powder and ginger powder are excellent to use for brining.

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Recipe Two – Roast Brined Chicken
Serves four to six people

Ingredients:
1 whole chicken (organic is best) about 2 kg (4 ½ pounds)
Enough brine (see recipe above) to cover the chicken in a large non-reactive container

Directions:

1. Brine the whole chicken in the flavoured brine in the refrigerator overnight about 6 hours can be overnight. (Make sure that every part of the chicken is covered in the brine you can weigh the bird down with a clean plate so it is completely submerged.
2. Discard the brine and dry the skin and inside of the bird with paper towels.
3. If you desire crispy skin then leave the bird on a rack for several hours or overnight in the refrigerator so the skin can dry.
4. Preheat oven to moderately hot 220°C/425°F/gas 7.
5. Roast for 15 minutes.
6. Reduce oven to moderate 180°C/350°F/gas 4 and roast for a further 12-15 minutes per 450 grams/pound, You can check for done-ness the internal temperature should be 165°F/84°C, or the juices should run clear when you pierce the bird between the leg and thigh.  
7. Rest for approximately 30 minutes covered loosely in foil.

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Recipe Three – Roast Vegetables
Serves six people

For best results use the largest shallow heavy-weight roasting pan you have and make sure that the vegetable are well spaced out in the pan and only form one layer, use two trays if necessary. A very hot oven 475°F/240°C/gas mark 9 is the key to roasting vegetables. Only toss the vegetables once or twice during cooking. For lighter-weight vegetables such as cabbage, broccoli or cut corn add it to the pan 15 minutes later, so it doesn't get too brown. Greens like kale and mustard greens are done in only 15 minutes. Root vegetables should be cut into cubes of about one-inch (2½ cm). You can add a small amount of apricot fruit spread or honey in the last 10 minutes to enhance the caramelising process. Fresh basil, rosemary and thyme are best when used fresh. Curry, paprika and turmeric are also great. Grated ginger or crushed garlic can also be added.  

Ingredients:
1 small butternut squash (pumpkin), cubed
2 red bell peppers (capsicums), seeded and sliced
1 orange sweet potato, peeled and cubed OR 3 medium carrots, peeled and sliced lengthways
3 Yukon Gold (or any baking) potatoes, cubed
1 red onion, quartered
optional 1 fat clove of garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
2 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar or 1 tablespoon lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to very hot 475°F/240°C/gas mark 9.
2. In a large bowl, combine the squash, red bell peppers, sweet potato, red onion and Yukon Gold potatoes and the optional garlic if using.
3. In a small bowl, stir together thyme, rosemary, olive oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper. Toss with vegetables until they are coated. Spread evenly on a large roasting pan.
4. Roast for 35 to 40 minutes in the preheated oven, stirring one or twice, or until vegetables are cooked through and browned. If using a smaller tray the vegetables will take about 50-60 minutes.

Roast Vegetables
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Brined and BBQed “seven-bone” steak (notice the shape of the bone in the steak)
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Brined and BBQed “wagyu” steak
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Brined and Roasted Peppered Ribeye Roast
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Additional Information:  Include links to videos or information that can be of assistance to members.
Kosher salt versus table salt http://bbq.about.com/od/spicesseasonings/a/aa102007a.htm
Everything you wanted to know about brining http://www.amazingribs.com/recipes/rubs_pastes_marinades_and_brines/zen_of_brines.html
Brining Nuts and Seeds http://www.jwright44.com/recipes/BrinedNuts.htm
How to brine pumpkin seeds http://www.ehow.com/how_8144233_brine-pumpkin-seeds.html
How a quick brine improves the appearance of fish fillets http://www.cooksillustrated.com/howto/detail.asp?docid=36992
Dry brining thick steaks (a great article) http://steamykitchen.com/163-how-to-turn-cheap-choice-steaks-into-gucci-prime-steaks.html
Brining turkey a primer http://bbq.about.com/od/turkey/ss/aa110808a.htm
Roast chicken ten ways http://culinaryarts.about.com/od/chickenturkeymore/tp/roastchixtenways.htm
Cooking a turkey (many articles) http://culinaryarts.about.com/od/chickenturkeymore/tp/Cooking-A-Turkey.htm
To roast a turkey http://culinaryarts.about.com/od/chickenturkeymore/r/Roast-Turkey-Recipe.htm
Roasting guidelines for red meat roasts http://www.donaldrussell.com/game-technique?ms=tab5 Jamie Oliver's Roast Potato, parsnips and carrot recipe http://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/vegetarian-recipes/roast-potatoes-parsnips-carrots 
Jamie Oliver's Perfect Roast Potato recipe http://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/vegetarian-recipes/perfect-roast-potatoes
Delia Smith's Roast Potato recipe http://www.deliaonline.com/how-to-cook/fruit-and-vegetables/how-to-roast-potatoes.html
How to brine fish http://www.ehow.com/how_5963061_brine-fish-before-cooking.html
Vegetable Roasting Guide http://www.eatingwell.com/healthy_cooking/healthy_cooking_101/shopping_cooking_guides/vegetable_roasting_guide
How to cook a steak to perfection http://howto.yellow.co.nz/food-drink/cooking-and-baking/how-to-cook-steak/
How to cook a steak (using American cuts of meat) http://www.marksdailyapple.com/how-to-cook-the-perfect-steak/

Disclaimer:
The Daring Kitchen and its members in no way suggest we are medical professionals and therefore are NOT responsible for any error in reporting of “alternate baking/cooking”.  If you have issues with digesting gluten, then it is YOUR responsibility to research the ingredient before using it.  If you have allergies, it is YOUR responsibility to make sure any ingredient in a recipe will not adversely affect you. If you are lactose intolerant, it is YOUR responsibility to make sure any ingredient in a recipe will not adversely affect you. If you are vegetarian or vegan, it is YOUR responsibility to make sure any ingredient in a recipe will not adversely affect you. The responsibility is YOURS regardless of what health issue you’re dealing with. Please consult your physician with any questions before using an ingredient you are not familiar with.  Thank you! :)
          February 2012 Daring Cooks' Challenge: Flipping Fried Patties!!!        
Hi it is Lisa and Audax and we are hosting this month's Daring Cooks' challenge we have chosen a basic kitchen recipe and a basic cooking technique which can be adapted to suit any ingredient that you have to hand and are beloved by children and adults alike … of course we are talking about patties.
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Technically patties are flatten discs of ingredients held together by (added) binders (usually eggs, flour or breadcrumbs) usually coated in breadcrumbs (or  flour) then fried (and sometime baked). Burgers, rissoles, croquettes, fritters, and rösti are types of patties as well.

Irish chef Patrick "Patty" Seedhouse is said to have come up with the original concept and term as we know it today with his first production of burgers utilizing steamed meat pattys - the pattys were "packed and patted down" (and called pattys for short) in order to shape a flattened disc that would enflame with juices once steamed.

The binding of the ingredients in patties follows a couple of simple recipes (there is some overlap in the categories below)
Patties – patties are ingredients bound together and shaped as a disc.
Rissoles and croquettes – use egg with breadcrumbs as the binder, typical usage for 500 grams (1 lb) of filling ingredients is 1 egg with ½ cup of breadcrumbs (sometimes flour, cooked grains, nuts and bran can be used instead of the breadcrumbs). Some meat patties use no added binders in them they rely on the protein strands within the meat to bind the patty together.  Vegetarian and vegan patties may use mashed vegetables, mashed beans, grains, nuts and seeds to bind the patty. Generally croquettes are crumbed (breaded) patties which are  shallow- or deep-fried. Rissoles are not usually crumbed (but can be) and are pan- or shallow-fried. Most rissoles and croquettes can be baked.  (Examples are all-meat patties, hamburgers, meat rissoles, meatloaves, meatballs, tuna fish and rice patties, salmon and potato rissoles, most vegetable patties.)
Wet Fritters – use flour, eggs and milk as the binder, typical usage for 500 grams (1 lb) of filling ingredients is 2 cups flour, 1 egg with 1 cup of milk and are usually deep-fried and sometimes pan-fried  (examples deep fried apple fritters, potato fritters, some vegetable fritters, hushpuppies)
Dry Fritters – use eggs and (some) flour as the binder, typical usage for 500 grams  (1 lb) of filling ingredients is 1 to 2 eggs and (usually) some 2 to 8 tablespoons of flour (but sometimes no flour) and are pan- or shallow- fried. (examples most vegetable patties like zucchini fritters, Thai fish cakes, crab cakes, NZ whitebait fritters)
Röstis – use eggs (sometimes with a little flour) as the binder for the grated potato, carrot and other root vegetables, typical usage for 500 grams (1 lb) of filling ingredients is one egg yolk (potato rösti).

Sautéing, stir frying, pan frying, shallow frying, and deep frying use different amounts fat to cook the food. Sautéing uses the least amount of oil (a few teaspoons) while deep frying uses (many many cups) the most oil. The oil helps lubricate (sometimes adds flavour) the food being fried so it will not stick to the pan and helps transfer heat to the food being cooked.

In particular, as a form of cooking patties, pan- and shallow-frying relies on oil of the correct temperature to seal the surface (so retaining moisture) and to heat the interior ingredients (so binding them together) so cooking the patty. The exposed topside of the patty while cooking allows, unlike deep frying, some moisture loss and contact with the pan bottom with the patty creates greater browning on the contact surface that is the crust of the patty is browned and the interior is cooked by pan- and shallow-frying. Because the food is only being cooked on one side while being pan- or shallow-fried, the food must be flipped at least once to totally cook the patty.

So this month's challenge is to pan- or shallow-fry a patty, so giving us the title for this challenge “flipping fried patties”.

This challenge will help you understand how to form, what binders to use, and how to fry a patty so that it is cooked to picture perfect perfection.

Recipe Source:  Audax adapted a number of popular recipes to come up with the challenge patty recipes and Lisa has chosen to share two recipes – California Turkey Burger adapted from Cooking Light Magazine, and French Onion Salisbury Steak adapted from Cuisine at Home magazine.

Blog-checking lines:  The Daring Cooks’ February 2012 challenge was hosted by Audax & Lis and they chose to present Patties for their ease of construction, ingredients and deliciousness!  We were given several recipes, and learned the different types of binders and cooking methods to produce our own tasty patties!

Posting Date:  February 14th, 2012

Download the printable .pdf file HERE



Notes:
     
  • Binders
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  • Eggs – are found in most patty recipes it acts as a binder, use cold eggs and lightly beat them before using  If you cannot use eggs try this tip  "1/4 cup of silken tofu, blended, or a commercial egg re-placer powder mixed with warm water."
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  • Flour – normal plain (all-purpose) flour is used in most fritter recipes it can be replaced with rice, corn or potato flours (in smaller quantities) in some recipes. If you want some rise in your patties then use self-raising flour or add some baking powder to the flour. 
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  • Breadcrumb Preparation – breadcrumbs are a common ingredient in patties, burgers and fritters they act as a binding agent, ensuring the patty keeps it shape during the cooking process.
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    • Fresh breadcrumbs – these crumbs are made at home with stale bread simply remove the crusts from one- or two-day old bread, break bread into pieces, place pieces in a blender or food processor then blend or process until fine. Store any excess in a plastic bag in the freezer. 1 cup of fresh crumbs = 3 slices of bread.
    •  
    • Packaged breadcrumbs – often called dry breadcrumbs, these are used to make a crisp coating on the burgers, patties and fritters they are easily found in the supermarket, You can make them at home. Place slices of one- or two-day bread on baking trays, bake in the oven on the lowest setting until slices are crisp and pale brown. Cool bread, break pieces in a blender or food processor then blend or process until fine. 1 cup fine dry breadcrumbs = 4 slices of bread.
     
  • Alternate binders – bran (oat, wheat, rice, barley etc) can be used instead of breadcrumbs in most recipes. Tofu (silken) can replace the egg. Also using mashed potato (or sweet potato, carrots, most root vegetables) and/or mashed beans can help bind most patties. Of course chickpea flour and most other flours can be used to help bind patties. Seeds, nuts and grains can help bind a patty especially when the patty has cooled after cooking. These binders are used in vegan recipes.
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  • Moisteners – Mayonnaise and other sauces, pesto and mustard are used in some meat patty recipes mainly for moisture and flavour but they can act as binders as well. For vegetable patties you can use chopped frozen spinach, shredded carrots, shredded zucchini, shredded apple and cooked grains to add extra moisture. Also sour cream and other milk products are used to increase the tenderness of patties.

     
  • Patty Perfection
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  • When making meat patties the higher the fat content of the meat, the more the patties shrink during cooking this is especially true for ground (minced) red meat. Make patties larger than the bun they are to be served on to allow for shrinkage.
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  • For hamburgers keep the fat content to about 20 - 30% (don't use lean meat) this ensures juicy patties when cooked. Also use coarse freshly ground meat (if possible) to make patties, if the mixture is ground too fine the large patties will break apart since the protein strands are too short and are covered in fat and can only bind to nearby ingredients so when the large patty is cooked it will fall apart or be too dense. Compare this behaviour with small amounts of finely ground lean meat (almost a paste) where the protein can adhere to itself (since the protein chains are short, not covered in fat and all the ingredients are nearby) hence forming a small stable patty (lamb kofta, Asian chicken balls, prawn balls).
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  • Patty mixtures should be kept cold as possible when preparing them and kept cold until you  cook them the cold helps bind the ingredients together.
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  • Don't over-mix the ingredients the resultant mixture will be heavy and dense.
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  • For meat patties chop, mince, grate the vegetable ingredients fairly finely, if too coarse the patties will break apart.
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  • Patties made mostly of meat (good quality hamburgers and rissoles) should be seasoned just before the cooking process, if salted too early liquid can be drawn out of the patty.
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  • Make all the patties the same size so they will cook at the same rate. To get even-sized patties, use measuring cups or spoons to measure out your mixture.
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  • For patties use your hands to combine the ingredients with the binders, mix gently until the mixture comes cleanly from the sides of the mixing bowl. Test that the final mixture forms a good patty (take a small amount in your palm and form into a ball it should hold together) before making the whole batch. Add extra liquid or dry binder as needed. Cook the test patty to check for seasoning, add extra if needed then cook the rest of the batch. 
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  • Usually patties should be rested (about an hour) before cooking they “firm” up during this time, a good technique to use if your patty is soft. Always wrap patties they can dry out if left in the fridge uncovered.
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  • Dampen your hands when shaping patties so the mixture won't stick to your fingers.
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  • If making vegetable patties it is best to squeeze the grated/chopped/minced vegetables to remove any excess liquid this is most important for these types of patties.
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  • When making fritters shred your vegetables because it makes long strands that gives a strong lattice for the patties. A food processor  or a box grater is great to use here.
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  • For veggie patties make sure your ingredients are free of extra water. Drain and dry your beans or other ingredients thoroughly before mashing. You can even pat them gently dry with a kitchen cloth or paper towel.
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  • Vegetable patties lack the fat of meat patties so oil the grill when BBQing them so the patty will not stick.
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  • Oil all-meat burgers rather than oiling the barbecue or grill pan – this ensures the burgers don’t stick to the grill allowing them to sear well. If they sear well in the first few minutes of cooking they’ll be golden brown and juicy. To make it easy brush the burgers with a brush dipped in oil or easier still use a spray can of oil.
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  • If you only have very lean ground beef try this tip from the Chicago Tribune newspaper  “To each 1 lb (½ kg) of ground beef add 2 tablespoons of cold water (with added salt and pepper) and 2 crushed ice cubs, form patties.” it really does work.
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  • A panade, or mixture of bread crumbs and milk, will add moisture and tenderness to meat patties when the burgers are cooked well-done.
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  • For vegetable patties it is best to focus on one main ingredient then add some interesting flavour notes to that major taste (examples carrot and caraway patties, beetroot, feta and chickpea fritters etc) this gives a much bolder flavour profile than a patty of mashed “mixed” vegetables which can be bland.
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  • Most vegetable  and meat/vegetable patties just need a light coating of seasoned breadcrumbs. Lightly pat breadcrumbs onto the surface of the patty there is enough moisture and binders on the surface of the patty to bind the breadcrumbs to the patty while it is cooking. You can use wheatgerm, bran flakes, crushed breakfast cereals, nuts and seeds to coat the patty.
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  • Use fine packet breadcrumbs as the coating if you want a fine smooth crust on your patties use coarser fresh breadcrumbs as the coating if you want a rougher crisper crust on your patty.
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  • Flip patties once and only once, over-flipping the patty results in uneven cooking of the interior and allows the juices to escape.
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  • Don't press the patties when they are cooking you'll squeeze out all of the succulent juices.
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  • Rest patties a while before consuming.

     
  • Shaping the patty
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  • Shaping – Shape the patty by pressing a ball of mixture with your clean hands it will form a disc shape which will crack and break up around the edges. What you want to do is press down in the middle and in from the sides, turning the patty  around in your hand until it is even and uniform. It should be a solid disc that is firm. Handle the mixture gently, use a light touch and don’t make them too compacted. Rather than a dense burger, which is difficult to cook well, aim for a loosely formed patty that holds together but is not too compressed.
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  • Depressing the centre – When patties cook, they shrink (especially red meat burgers). As they shrink the edges tend to break apart causing deep cracks to form in the patty. To combat this you want the burger patty to be thinner in the middle than it is around the edges. Slightly depress the center of the patty to push a little extra mixture towards the edges. This will give you an even patty once it is cooked.  

     
  • Shallow- and pan-frying 
  •  
  • Preheat the pan or BBQ.
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  • Generally when shallow-frying patties use enough oil that it comes halfway up the sides of the food. Best for most meat and vegetable patties and where the ingredients in the patty are uncooked.
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  • Generally when pan-frying use enough oil to cover the surface of the pan best for most vegetable patties where all the ingredients are precooked (or cook very quickly) and all-meat rissoles and hamburgers.
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  • Most oils are suitable for shallow- and pan-frying but butter is not it tends to burn. Butter can be used in combination with oil. Low-fat spreads cannot be used to shallow fry as they contain a high proportion of water. Rice bran oil is a great choice since it is almost tasteless and has a very high smoke point of 490°F/254°C. The smoke point is when the oil starts to break down into bitter fatty acids and produces a bluish smoke, Canola (smoke point 400°F/204°C) is also a great choice. Butter has a smoke point of 250–300°F/121–149°C. Olive oil Extra light 468°F/242°C. Olive oil Extra virgin 375°F/191°C. Ghee (Clarified Butter) 485°F/252°C.   
  •  
  • Do not overload the frying pan which allows steam to be trapped near the cooking food which might lead to the patties being steamed instead of fried. If you place too many patties at once into the preheated pan this reduces the heat and the patties will then release juices and begin to stew. Leave some space between each when you place them in the pan.
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  • For most patties preheat the oil or fat until the oil seems to shimmer or a faint haze rises from it, but take care not to let it get so hot it smokes. If the oil is too cool before adding the patties, it will be absorbed by the food making the patty soggy. If the oil is too hot then the crumb coating will burn before the interior ingredients are cooked and/or warmed through. For vegetable and meat/vegetable patties start off cooking in a medium hot skillet and then reduce the heat to medium.  For all-meat patties start off cooking in a very hot skillet and then reduce the heat to hot, as celebrity chef Bobby Flay says that “the perfect [meat] burger should be a contrast in textures, which means a tender, juicy interior and a crusty, slightly charred exterior. This is achieved by cooking the meat [patty] directly over very hot heat, rather than the indirect method preferred for slow barbecues”. All patties should sizzle when they are placed onto the preheated pan.
  •  
  • Cast iron pans are best to fry patties.
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  • When the raw patty hits the hot cooking surface it will stick. And will stay so until the patty crust forms so causing a non-stick surface on the patty at this point you can lift the patty easily without sticking. So wait until the patties (with a gentle shaking of the pan or a light finger-twist of the patty) release themselves naturally from the frying pan surface (maybe a minute or two for meat patties maybe 3-6 minutes for a vegetable patty).  If you try to flip it too early the burger will fall apart. The secret is to wait for the the patty to naturally release itself from the pan surface then flip it over once.
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  • Veggie burgers will firm up significantly as they cool.
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  • Most vegetable patties can be baked in the oven.
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  • Check the temperature of the oil by placing a few breadcrumbs into the pan they should take 30 seconds to brown.
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  • If you need to soak up excess oil place the patties on a rack to drain, do not place onto paper towels since steam will be trapped which can make the patty soggy, if you need to just press off the excess oil with paper towels then place onto a rack.



Mandatory Items: Make a batch of pan- or shallow-fried (or baked) patties.

Variations allowed:  Any variation on a patty is allowed. You can use the recipes provided or make your own recipe.

Preparation time:
Patties: Preparation time less than 60 minutes. Cooking time less than 20 minutes.

Equipment required:
Large mixing bowl
Large stirring spoon
Measuring cup
Frying pan

Basic Canned Fish and Rice Patties


Servings: makes about ten ½ cup  patties
Recipe can be doubled
adapted from http://www.taste.com.au/recipes/17181/tuna+rissoles

This is one my favourite patty recipes I make it once a week during the holidays. It is most important that you really mix and mash the patty ingredients well since the slightly mashed rice helps bind the patty together. 

Ingredients:
1 can (415 gm/15 oz) pink salmon or tuna or sardines, (not packed in oil) drained well
1 can (340 gm/13 oz) corn kernels, drained well
1 bunch spinach, cooked, chopped & squeezed dry or 60 gm/2 oz thawed frozen spinach squeezed dry
2 cups (300 gm/7 oz) cooked white rice (made from 2/3 cups of uncooked rice)
1 large egg, lightly beaten
about 3 tablespoons (20 gm/2/3 oz) fine packet breadcrumbs for binding
3 tablespoons (45 ml) oil, for frying
2 spring (green) onions, finely chopped
1 tablespoon (15 ml) tomato paste or 1 tablespoon (15 ml) hot chilli sauce
1 tablespoon (15 ml) oyster sauce
2 tablespoons (30 ml) sweet chilli sauce
Salt and pepper to taste
½ cup (60 gm/2 oz) seasoned fine packet bread crumbs to cover patties

Directions:
1) Place all of the ingredients into a large bowl.
2) Mix and mash using your hands or a strong spoon the ingredients with much force (while slowly adding tablespoons of breadcrumbs to the patty mixture) until the mixture starts to cling to itself about 4 minutes the longer you mix and mash the more compacted the final patty.  Day-old cold rice works best (only needs a tablespoon of breadcrumbs or less) but if the rice is hot or warm you will need more breadcrumbs to bind the mixture. Test the mixture by forming a small ball it should hold together. Cook the test ball adjust the seasoning (salt and pepper) of the mixture to taste.   
3) Form patties using a ½ cup measuring cup.
4) Cover in seasoned breadcrumbs.
5) Use immediately or can be refrigerated covered for a few hours.
6) Preheat fry pan (cast iron is best) to medium hot add 1½ tablespoons of oil and heat until the oil shimmers place the patties well spaced out onto the fry pan lower heat to medium.
7) Pan fry for about 3 minutes each side for a thin lightly browned crust about 10 minutes for a darker thicker crisper crust. Wait until the patties can be released from the pan with a shake of the pan or a light turning of the patty using your fingers before flipping over to cook the other side of the patty add the remaining 1½ tablespoons of oil when you flip the patties. Flip only once. You can fry the sides of the patty if you want brown sides on your patty.

Pictorial Guide
Some of the ingredients
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Starting to mix the patty mixture           
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About ready to be tested
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The test ball to check if the mixture will hold together
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Form patties using a ½ cup measuring cup
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Crumb (bread) the patties                   
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Cover and refrigerate


Preheat frying pan add oil wait until the oil shimmers add patties well spaced out onto the pan
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Wait until the patties can be released by a light shaking of the pan or by finger-turning the patty and then flip the patties over add some extra oil (these were fried for 10 minutes)
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Enjoy picture perfect patties
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This patty was pan-fried on my cast iron fry pan notice the shiny very crisp crust as compared to the patty above
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Zucchini, prosciutto & cheese fritters


Servings: makes about 8-10 two inch (five cm) fritters
Recipe can be doubled
adapted from http://smittenkitchen.com/2011/08/zucchini-fritters/

This makes a great light lunch or a lovely side dish for dinner. 

Ingredients:
500 gm (½ lb) zucchini (two medium)
1 teaspoon (5 ml) (7 gm) salt
½ cup (120 ml) (60 g/2 oz) grated cheese, a strong bitty cheese is best
5 slices (30 gm/1 oz) prosciutto, cut into small pieces
½ cup (120 ml) (70 gm/2½ oz) all-purpose (plain) flour plus ½ teaspoon baking powder, sifted together
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 spring onions, finely chopped
1 tablespoon (15 ml) chilli paste
1 teaspoon (5 ml) (3 gm) black pepper, freshly cracked
2 tablespoons (30 ml) oil, for frying

Directions:
     
  • Grate the zucchini with a box grater or food processor. Place into large bowl, add salt, wait 10 minutes.
  •  
  • While waiting for the zucchini, pan fry the prosciutto pieces until cooked. Remove from pan and place prosciutto onto rack this will crisp up the prosciutto when it cools. Paper towels tend to make prosciutto soggy if left on them.
  •  
  • When zucchini is ready wrap in a cloth and squeeze dry with as much force as you can you will get a lot of liquid over ½ cup, discard liquid it will be too salty to use.
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  • Return dried zucchini to bowl add prosciutto, cheese, pepper, sifted flour and baking powder, chilli paste, pepper, a little salt and the lightly beaten eggs.
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  • Mix until combined if the batter is too thick you can add water or milk or another egg, if too wet add some more flour. It should be thick and should not flow when placed onto the frying pan.
  •  
  • Preheat a frying pan (cast iron is best) until medium hot, add 1/3 of the oil wait until it shimmers.
  •  
  • Place dollops of batter (about 2 tablespoons each) onto the fry pan widely spaced out, with the back of a spoon smooth out each dollop to about 2 inches (5 cm) wide, do not make the fritters too thick. You should get three or four fritters in the average-sized fry pan. Lower heat to medium
  •  
  • Fry for 3-4 minutes the first side, flip, then fry the other side about 2-3 minutes until golden brown.  Repeat for the remaining batter. Adding extra oil as needed.
  •  
  • Place cooked fritters into a moderate oven on a baking dish for 10 minutes if you want extra crispy fritters.


Pictures of process – fresh zucchini, grated zucchini, liquid released from salted and squeezed dry zucchini, ingredients for the fritters, fritter batter and frying the fritters.
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Cooked fritters
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California Turkey Burger


Servings: makes about 10 burgers
Recipe can be doubled
adapted from Cooking Light Magazine September 2005:
http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/california-burgers-10000001097016/

Sauce:
½ cup (120 ml) ketchup
1 tablespoon (15 ml) Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon (15 ml) fat-free mayonnaise

Patties:
½ cup (120 ml) (60 gm/2 oz) finely chopped shallots
¼ cup (60 ml) (30 gm/1 oz) dry breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon (5 ml) (6 gm) salt
1 teaspoon (5 ml) Worcestershire sauce
¼ teaspoon (¾ gm) freshly ground black pepper
3 garlic cloves, minced
1¼ lbs (600 gm) ground turkey
1¼ lbs (600 gm) ground turkey breast
Cooking spray

Remaining ingredients:
10 (2-ounce/60 gm) hamburger buns
10 red leaf lettuce leaves
20 bread-and-butter pickles
10 (1/4-inch thick/5 mm thick) slices red onion, separated into rings
2 peeled avocados, each cut into 10 slices
3 cups (750 ml) (60 gm/2 oz) alfalfa sprouts

Directions:
1. Prepare the grill to medium-high heat.
2. To prepare sauce, combine first 3 ingredients; set aside.
3. To prepare patties, combine shallots and the next 7 ingredients (through turkey breast), mixing well. Divide mixture into 10 equal portions, shaping each into a 1/2-inch-thick (1¼ cm thick) patty. Place patties on grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 4 minutes on each side or until done.
4. Spread 1 tablespoon sauce on top half of each bun. Layer bottom half of each bun with 1 lettuce leaf, 1 patty, 2 pickles, 1 onion slice, 2 avocado slices, and about 1/3 cup of sprouts. Cover with top halves of buns.                                                                                                         

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Yield:  10 servings (serving size: 1 burger) - Nutritional Information – CALORIES 384(29% from fat); FAT 12.4g (sat 2.6g,mono 5.1g,poly 2.8g); PROTEIN 31.4g; CHOLESTEROL 68mg; CALCIUM 94mg; SODIUM 828mg; FIBER 3.9g; IRON 4mg; CARBOHYDRATE 37.5g
Lisa’s Notes:
Nutritional information provided above is correct for the recipe as written.  When I make these burgers, the only ingredients I change are using regular mayo, and dill pickles.  My red lettuce of choice is radicchio.  I’ve both grilled and pan fried these burgers and both are delicious.  If you decide to pan fry, you’ll need a little extra fat in the pan – so use about 2 tsp. of extra virgin olive oil, or canola oil before laying your patties on the pan.  Cook for approximately 5 minutes on each side, or until done.  Do not overcook as the patties will dry out and not be as juicy and tasty! :)

French Onion Salisbury Steak


Courtesy of Cuisine at Home April 2005 edition
Makes 4 Steaks; Total Time: 45 Minutes

Ingredients:
1 1/4 lb (600 gm) ground chuck 
1/4 cup (60 ml) (30 gm/1 oz) fresh parsley, minced
2 tablespoons (30 ml) (⅓ oz/10 gm) scallion (spring onions), minced
1 teaspoon (5ml) (3 gm) kosher salt or ½ teaspoon (2½ ml) (3 gm) table salt
1/2 teaspoon (2½ ml) (1½ gm) black pepper
2 tablespoons (30 ml) (½ oz/18 gm) all-purpose (plain) flour
2 tablespoons (30 ml) olive oil
2 cups (240 ml) (140 gm/5 oz) onions, sliced
1 teaspoon (5 ml) (4 gm) sugar
1 tablespoon (15 ml) (⅓ oz/10 gm) garlic, minced
1 tablespoon (15 ml) (½ oz/15 gm) tomato paste
2 cups (240 ml) beef broth
1/4 cup (60 ml) dry red wine
3/4 teaspoon (2 gm) kosher salt or a little less than ½ teaspoon (2 gm) table salt
1/2 teaspoon  (2½ ml) (1½ gm) dried thyme leaves
4 teaspoons (20 ml) (⅓ oz/10 gm) fresh parsley, minced
4 teaspoons (20 ml)  (2/3 oz/20 gm) Parmesan cheese, shredded

Cheese Toasts
4 slices French bread or baguette, cut diagonally (1/2" thick) (15 mm thick)
2 tablespoons (30 ml) (30 ml/1 oz) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon (2½ ml) (2 gm) garlic, minced
Pinch of paprika
1/4 cup (60 ml) (30 gm/1 oz) Swiss cheese, grated (I used 4 Italian cheese blend, shredded)
1 tablespoon (15 ml) (⅓ oz/10 gm) Parmesan cheese, grated

Directions:
1. Combine chuck, parsley, scallion, salt and pepper. Divide evenly into 4 portions and shape each into 3/4"-1" (20-25 mm) thick oval patties. Place 2 tablespoons flour in a shallow dish; dredge each patty in flour. Reserve 1 teaspoon flour.
2. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add patties and sauté 3 minutes on each side, or until browned. Remove from pan.
3. Add onions and sugar to pan; sauté 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and tomato paste; sauté 1 minute, or until paste begins to brown. Sprinkle onions with reserved flour; cook 1 minute. Stir in broth and wine, then add the salt and thyme.
4. Return meat to pan and bring soup to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer 20 minutes.
5. Serve steaks on Cheese Toasts with onion soup ladled over. Garnish with parsley and Parmesan.

For the Cheese Toasts
6. Preheat oven to moderately hot 200°/400ºF/gas mark 6.
7. Place bread on baking sheet.
8. Combine butter, garlic and paprika and spread on one side of each slice of bread. Combine cheeses and sprinkle evenly over butter. Bake until bread is crisp and cheese is bubbly, 10-15 minutes.

French Onion Salisbury Steak
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Potato Rösti


Servings: makes two large rösti
adapted from a family recipe

The classic rösti; cheap, easy and so tasty.

Ingredients:
1 kg (2½ lb) potatoes
1 teaspoon (5 ml) (6 gm) salt
2 teaspoons (10 ml) (6 gm) black pepper, freshly milled
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons (30 ml) (½ oz/15 gm) cornflour (cornstarch) or use all-propose flour
3 tablespoons (45 ml) oil, for frying

Directions:
     
  1. Grate lengthwise the peeled potatoes with a box grater or a food processor.
  2.  
  3. Wrap the grated potato in a cloth and squeeze dry, you will get a lot of liquid over ½ cup, discard liquid since it is full of potato starch.
  4.  
  5. Return dried potato to bowl add the egg, cornflour, pepper, and salt.
  6.  
  7. Mix until combined.
  8.  
  9. Preheat a frying pan (cast iron is best) until medium hot, add 2 teaspoons of oil wait until oil shimmers.
  10.  
  11. Place half of mixture into the pan, flatten with a spoon until you get a smooth flat surface. Lower heat to medium.
  12.  
  13. Fry for 8-10 minutes (check at 6 minutes) the first side, flip by sliding the rösti onto a plate then use another plate invert the rösti then slide it back into the pan, then fry the other side about 6-8 minutes until golden brown. Repeat to make another rösti


Pictures of process – Peel 1 kg spuds, grate lengthwise, squeeze dry, add 1 egg, 2 tablespoons starch, salt and pepper. Pan fry.
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Pictures of the grated potato before (left) and after (right) squeezing dry. Notice in the left hand pictures the gratings are covered in moisture and starch, while in the right hand pictures the grated potato is dry and doesn't stick together.
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Pictures of the finished small rösti
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Pictures of the large rösti
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Chicken, potato and corn patties
I had some leftover chicken legs and boiled potatoes from dinner last night so I made up some patties. The patties are made from 1 kilogram of finely grated cold boiled potatoes, 4 chicken legs meat removed and finely chopped, and one can of corn kernels. The binder was one egg and 1/4 cup of self-raising wholewheat flour.

The crumbed (breaded) patties waiting to be pan fried
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Patties pan frying
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The finished patties
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Meatballs
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I made meatballs using high quality ground veal and pork (30% fat) I didn't use any binders in the mixture just a little seasoning chilli, garlic and dried mushroom powder.

The meatballs waiting to be fried
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Frying the meatballs
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The finished meatballs
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Of course I made spaghetti and meatballs for dinner so so delicious
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Thai Fish Cakes
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I adore Thai fish cakes but I have never really made them I was surprised how simple it is if you have a very strong food processor. Basically you make a paste from 1/2 kg (1 lb) of white fillet fish (I used catfish (basa) fillets) with 1 egg and 6 tablespoons of flavourings (a combination of 1 Tbsp fish sauce, 1 tsp chilli, 2 Tbsp red curry paste, 1 Tbsp coconut cream, 1 Tbsp chilli crab flakes, 1/2 tsp sugar, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp shrimp paste, a few spices), 6 kaffir lime leaves and 2 tablespoons cornflour (cornstarch) with a teaspoon of baking powder, you form small patties (each 2 tablespoons) from the paste and pan fry until cooked. These are just as good as the cafe ones I buy and only cost about 30 cents each instead of $1.90 at the cafe. A good basic recipe for Thai fish cakes is here http://thaifood.about.com/od/thaiseafoodrecipes/r/classicfishcakes.htm I added some extra baking powder and cornflour to the basic recipe since it makes the cakes rise and the interiors are light and fluffy. Super tasty and so cute.

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Storage & Freezing Instructions/Tips:
Most rissoles, croquettes and dry fritters keep well for three or four days if covered and kept in the fridge. Uncooked and cooked rissoles and croquettes can be frozen for at least one month.

Additional Information: 
An index of Aussie patty recipes http://www.taste.com.au/search-recipes/?q=patties&publication=
An index of Aussie rissole recipes http://www.taste.com.au/search-recipes/?q=rissoles&publication=
An index of American patty recipes http://allrecipes.com/Search/Recipes.aspx?WithTerm=patty%20-peppermint%20-dressing&SearchIn=All&SortBy=Relevance&Direction=Descending
An index of American burger recipes http://busycooks.about.com/cs/easyentrees/a/burgers.htm 
A great vegetable and chickpea recipe http://www.exclusivelyfood.com.au/2006/06/vegetable-and-chickpea-patties-recipe.html
A baked vegetable patty recipe http://patternscolorsdesign.wordpress.com/2011/02/20/baked-vegetable-patties/
Vegetable patty recipes http://www.divinedinnerparty.com/veggie-burger-recipe.html
Best ever beet(root) and bean patty http://www.thekitchn.com/restaurant-reproduction-bestev-96967
Ultimate veggie burgers http://ask.metafilter.com/69336/How-to-make-awesome-veggie-burgers
One of best zucchini fritter recipes http://smittenkitchen.com/2011/08/zucchini-fritters/ 
Old School Meat rissoles http://www.exclusivelyfood.com.au/2008/07/rissoles-recipe.html
How to form a patty video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iHutN-u6jZc
Top 12 vegetable patty recipes http://vegetarian.about.com/od/veggieburgerrecipes/tp/bestburgers.htm
Ultimate Meat Patties Video http://www.chow.com/videos/show/youre-doing-it-all-wrong/55028/how-to-make-a-burger-with-hubert-keller
Beautiful vegetable fritters so pretty http://helengraves.co.uk/tag/beetroot-feta-and-chickpea-fritters-recipe/   
Information about veggie patties http://kblog.lunchboxbunch.com/2011/08/veggie-burger-test-kitchen-and-lemon.html  

Disclaimer:
The Daring Kitchen and its members in no way suggest we are medical professionals and therefore are NOT responsible for any error in reporting of “alternate baking/cooking”.  If you have issues with digesting gluten, then it is YOUR responsibility to research the ingredient before using it.  If you have allergies, it is YOUR responsibility to make sure any ingredient in a recipe will not adversely affect you. If you are lactose intolerant, it is YOUR responsibility to make sure any ingredient in a recipe will not adversely affect you. If you are vegetarian or vegan, it is YOUR responsibility to make sure any ingredient in a recipe will not adversely affect you. The responsibility is YOURS regardless of what health issue you’re dealing with. Please consult your physician with any questions before using an ingredient you are not familiar with.  Thank you! :)
          Rock You To Hell (and 24 of the other greatest metal songs of all time)        
Growing up in high school, I was not a U2 guy, even when everyone else was ga-ga over The Joshua Tree.
I distinctly remember sitting in the band room before school and arguing, vehemently, about why Helloween was a better band than U2. (No, I didn't get many dates in high school.)
The thing is, I still believe that, and I'm a reasonably normal human being these days. I just believe that heavy metal is probably the greatest popular music ever created. 
If you agree, you can keep reading. If you don't, you can keep reading, too, if you're looking to expand your horizons. If you think that's just about the funniest thing you've ever heard, you can keep reading, too, only keep your U2 comments to yourself. Here's 25 of the best heavy metal songs ever.
Just like last time — and I'm not gonna link it since all you have to do is scroll down like a few feet to see my last entry — there are some rules:
• I tried to include only one song per group. This was difficult, since honestly I could fill a list of 25 with Metallica, Iron Maiden and, yes, Helloween, but that's not the idea. The idea is to give some pretty great bands their due, and maybe get you to download one or two on iTunes. I had no trouble finding 25 signature songs.
• This is a heavy metal list, so I stayed away from hair metal songs or groups I've previously mentioned in the last list. I plan on doing a thrash list, since that genre holds a special place in my heart, so RELAX SLAYER/ANTHRAX/ETC FANS I WILL GET TO YOU I PROMISE.
• Almost all of these songs are 20 years old. That's sad to me. My last list, the thrash list, will have some new (NOT Nu) metal in it, but in terms of good heavy metal, power metal, whatever, it's just not made much any longer. There are some good bands out there, such as Hammerfall, but they're not producing classics.
• This is MY list, so it's not like some Hall of Fame list of the Greatest Metal Songs Of All Time. It's a geeky, fun list and a chance for me to write about some bands I've loved, OK? These aren't in order either. 
• Seriously, relax, Slayer fans. I know that's hard for you.
Here we go:

• "I'm Alive" — Helloween
Metal bands sure have some stupid band names. Savatage? Leatherwolf? Megadeth? Really? But no name probably misrepresented itself more than Helloween. People snickered in a sort of scared way when I named them among my favorite bands in high school. HELL-o-ween? Can't you just hear SNL's church lady? SATAN? 
Yet Helloween never did take itself too seriously. WAY less seriously than many other heavy metal bands, especially those that leaned to the speed metal side (Slayer, for instance, could not find a spoonful of irony in itself despite the fact that the guitarist wore a wristband with spikes long enough to barbecue a turkey).
No, Helloween was funny. They wrote about Charlie Brown and a prince who couldn't get it up and "Dr. Stein," a scientist who let his funny creatures run into the night. They also wrote this inspiring number. It's the first song I heard from Helloween, an album I bought simply because it got good reviews and there was an advertisement in Hit Parader that made them sound like an Iron Maiden-type band. Their goofiness, just like Anthrax's, never took away from the fact that this band could shred and yet include more catchy melodies than Def Leppard. 
There haven't been many more consistent metal bands in the last 25 years than Helloween. Their last three albums, starting from the mid-2000s, were all outstanding, and I can't even say that about Iron Maiden. 
P.S. I'm making three exceptions to my thrash metal list. Iron Maiden, Metallica and Helloween all could be considered speed or thrash metal bands in one form or another, but in many ways they are also heavy metal bands. Besides, they are so great they deserve to be on two lists.

• "Future World" — Pretty Maids
Remember what I said about stupid band names? 
Anyway, Pretty Maids was even stranger than its name. Their lead singer had two voices, a silky classic rock-kind of voice that was nothing special, and some sort of growl that sounded like Joey Tempest of Europe trying to act tough. He shifted from one to another depending on how aggressive the music was behind him. Somehow it worked, especially on this song, because his vocals matched it perfectly. You had a great piano riff, then a guitar, then piano again, and all together, this mess became a great song, one of my favorites of all time. Their whole album, "Future World," was really pretty good, and against all odds, they had a great song, "Savage Heart," on their next album.
This is exactly the kind of band that would crack non-metal fans up, but you guys thought Erasure was a great group, so that makes us even.

• "Electric Eye" — Judas Priest
Yes, I know "You Got Another Thing Comin'" is a great song. I agree. Yet I love the tone this song sets for "Screaming For Vengeance," Priest's best album (even better than the fantastic "British Steel") and easily one of the best metal albums of all time. "Electric Eye" is fast and hard and driving and ominous, especially with that majestic opener (which the band, for some reason, called "The Hellion" but really is just an extension of this track). "Riding on the Wind" follows, which is a great running song and one of my favorites, too. God this band had some great songs. Why isn't Priest in the Hall of Fame again? Well, at least Depeche Mode isn't either. 

• "Rising Force" — Yngwie Malmsteen
I really wanted to put "You Don't Remember, I'll Never Forget" on here, and if you want to switch the two songs around, I'm cool with that. But this is the best track from what I consider to be Yngwie's best album. He had actual songs on this album and an actual singer, Joe Lynn Turner from Rainbow (who was not Rainbow's best singer but still was OK), rather than just an excuse to play scales like really, really fast over and over. To be honest, even "You Don't Remember" is that. I always had a soft spot for guitarists who could play really fast, and so Yngwie makes this list even if he's the Dave Kingman of metal.

• "We Must Carry On" - Chastain
Speaking of flashy guitarists, welcome to my favorite of the 80s. I don't know if I would put him there any longer, but as I said, in high school, I had a serious crush on guitarists who could rip it. I loved instrumental albums too, and so I listened to Tony MacAlpine and Joe Satriani as well as Yngwie. I discovered David T. Chastain by chance.
I bought a ton of tapes in high school, and sometimes I would buy an album because it was in the metal section at Musicland and I liked the cover. That's seriously all it took. That's why I bought this Chastain tape, and I remember popping it in and being blown away.
Chastain, as it turns out, had one of the most aggressive vocalists for a power metal band at the time. A lot of it was screaming, the kind Hetfield did in his "Ride the Lightning" days. It took me a year after wearing out this album, "The 7th of Never," to figure out the vocalist was, in fact, female. She was fantastic and probably responsible for my love for female metal vocalists even to this day (Doro Pesch was another reason).
David T. had another band, CJSS, which was more of a hair metal band, though it was still far heavier than Poison or White Lion. I preferred Chastain because it was almost thrash but not quite and David T. played about as fast and almost as well as even the flashiest guitarists. He also put out a few mediocre instrumental records. I went back in Chastain's catalouge, as was my habit if I loved a record, and found that Chastain put out two other great records. If you want, head to iTunes. I'd also recommend the songs "There Will Be Justice," "Voice of the Cult," "One Day To Live," "Black Knight" and anything off the 7th of Never, including the title track. These songs, surprisingly, have aged well and could hold their own against many of the modern metal bands.
Had you even heard of Chastain? I'm curious.

• "Shot in the Dark" — Ozzy
Was Ozzy a hair metal group or a heavy metal group? I'm not sure. But I didn't give Ozzy his due last time, and so I figure I need to mention him here. "Crazy Train" is too overplayed for me to recommend it any longer, despite its brilliance, and so I'm going with one of Ozzy's lesser-known but still great hits. This one is catchy, far catchier than most of the hair metal hits, and yet it's heavier, too.
It's too bad Ozzy is seen as this goofy guy now, the way most people see Stevie Wonder, or at least those who don't know his earlier catalogue. In this case, it's Ozzy's fault, as the drugs have punched too many holes in his brain. Yet Ozzy, like Stevie, was a badass at his peak and a talented one at that.

• "Rise or Fall" — Leatherwolf
Leatherwolf sounded like a tough metal band. It's a WOLF. In LEATHER. RAWR! But they were a gimmick. They had three guitars. THREE! Wow! Triple the POWER.
OK, seriously. It was a little weird, but it worked, especially since they could really play. Their sound wasn't as crunchy, and it was painfully obvious that at times they just got in each other's way, which was inevitable. But they could also sing, and this was one of those huge, vocal tunes that made them sound like a choir (Metal really has serious roots in classical and opera music), in the "Flight of Icarus" vein. Leatherwolf had a much better career than it deserved. Its follow-up album was solid, too, and in some ways heavier and more consistent than its self-titled debut. They still release songs today, but they're not worth buying, save for one, "Behind The Gun." Unfortunately I don't see them on iTunes, and Amazon sells their CDs for about, oh, $50 for an import. I did love my Leatherwolf, but it's not worth that.

• "The Trooper" — Iron Maiden
A half-dozen Iron Maiden songs could, and really should, make this list. "Hallowed By Thy Name." "Aces High." "Two Minutes To Midnight." "Moonchild." "Wasted Years." On and on and on, as Bruce himself has sang once or twice. "The Trooper" may not even be my favorite track on "Piece of Mind," and "Powerslave" is probably my favorite album by Iron Maiden. But this song is so iconic. And it's the first Iron Maiden song I heard that made me reconsider the band, which I had ignored for some time in high school (I always thought they were a little weird before I realized how amazing they are). Iron Maiden is my second favorite band of all time. If they don't make the Hall of Fame I'm gonna be pissed, and yet I get this feeling that they won't. I don't think enough people took them seriously enough, which is a shame. Iron Maiden probably was hurt by the heavy metal label more than most, if not THE most, since they had one of the best singers in history and really, really great players and longevity and influence. All the pieces are there. I guess people just can't look beyond Eddie.

• "Bring Me To Life" — Evanescence
Remember what I said about female metal vocalists? I know this song probably doesn't deserve to be on the list, and I'll probably take some crap for it, but this is not just a great song, it's a classic. Amy Lee has a powerful voice, one of the best I've heard, male or female, and this song is far heavier than many of the pop metal classics. I think it qualifies, despite the fact that it is a tad overwrought and dramatic.

• "Rock You To Hell" — Grim Reaper
Grim Reaper was a goofy metal band known for one minor (very minor) hit, "See You In Hell," before they released this album. The vocalist, Steve Grimmett, sang in a high pitch, as if he was in a hair band, only it had an edge to it, like a wolf's howl. And the guitarist, Nick Bowcott, was actually a great player. So they were good. And then this album hit the shelves. Wow. The album just DESTROYED my speakers. RCA probably wondered what the hell hit them. Great production turned this into one of the heaviest records that wasn't thrash in the 80s, and this song is probably the best of the bunch, although three or four others come close. It compares well with today's metal too. Give it a try.
Grimmett later sang for Onslaught, a middling speed metal band that got lucky enough to hire him, and as a result, the one album with him as a frontman turned out to be a great one. You'll see a song from that record on my next list.

• "Enter Sandman" — Metallica
There are two Metallicas. There's pre-Black album and post-Black album. I seem to be one of the few who loves both. I prefer pre-Black, of course, like most hardcore metal fans, but the Black album is one of the better metal albums of all time, and this song is one of the best tunes. Great, crunchy, catchy riff from a band that still manages to be heavier than any other mainstream rock act in America.

• "Hall of the Mountain King" — Savatage
Savatage had two lead singers, and both were great, but I prefer the Jon Olivia era, though the song "Edge of Thorns" almost made the list. Why? Well, this album and its title track are classics, the perfecg balance of heavy crunch and melody. Savatage wasn't afraid of the fact that metal bands owe a lot to classical music, and the real "Hall of the Mountain King" plays on guitar as a perfect lead-in to this song, which contains one of the best metal riffs you'll ever hear. This album also had "24 Hours Ago" and "Strange Wings," and the later on band also recorded the classic "Gutter Ballet" and "When The Crowds Are Gone" and the interesting concept album "Streets" before Olivia left.
Fun Fact: Savatage's song based on "Carol of the Bells," Christmas Eve/Sarajevo, on its concept album "Dead Winter Dead," is that song you hear all the time at Christmas by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra.

• "March of the Saint" — Armored Saint
Before John Bush became Anthrax's lead singer for a time, he led this band (and I believe he does again), and while Bush was overrated and underrated as a metal singer at the same time, his band did produce this whopper, a hard-driving, somewhat underground metal classic. I almost put Anthrax's "Only" here because I wanted a song sang by Bush, but this one wins out, and like others on this list, holds up well today.

• "Pull Me Under" — Dream Theater
Picking my favorite Dream Theater song is really hard. When Dream Theater releases a new album, I'll buy it, no questions asked, and I can say that about only a handful of groups. I love their technical yet melodic songs, even if some are 18 minutes or longer, and their last two albums were outstanding. I have so many other favorites — "In the Name of God," "Panic Attack," "Nightmare To Remember," "Lines in the Sand," plus the whole Metropolis concept album — that picking this one seems almost unfair. It's the band's only real hit, and it's also their least complicated number, something a lot of bands could have done, which you can't say about many other of their songs. But it's also their catchiest and was the reason I discovered Dream Theater, as I heard it on Headbanger's Ball one night.
I would honestly want to hang out with Dream Theater one day, and it would be in the studio, not backstage, to see their sheet music and watch them play it. I guess Dream Theater brings out the band geek in me.

• "Eyes of a Stranger" — Queensryche
Yes, I like "Queen of the Ryche" as well as anyone, but Queensryche had only one truly great album, and it's so great it's one of the best ever, and so I wanted to honor "Operation: Mindcrime," and this is probably the group's best song anyway. Geoff Tate wails on this, and I doubt any other vocalist could have done this song justice, given the highs and lows a singer has to tackle for it to work as well as it does. I refuse to put "Silent Lucidity" on here since it's a great song but also a Pink Floyd ripoff and it's been way, way overplayed.

• "Rainbow in the Dark" — Dio
Speaking of epic vocalists...
I could put 15 Dio songs on here, and a few from his work with Black Sabbath, and no one would blame me for it. Dio would have been a great thrash vocalist, a great hair metal singer and a great hard rock singer, but he did his best work on the kind of grandiose heavy metal songs like the one here. I'm picking this one because it's off his best album, "Holy Diver," and I think it's the best example of how Dio wasn't afraid to use melody almost on a pop music level (this song, after all, has keyboards as a main instrument, not just for flourishes). But he also turned those songs into metal classics because of his fantastic, soaring and sandpaper voice. Dio really needs to be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The metal world misses him.

• "Chop Suey!" — System of a Down
System of a Down is one of the few modern metal bands that would fit in fine with many of the bands listed here, and yet they don't sound like any other band I've ever heard. At times speed metal, melodic Nu metal and good 'ole hard rock, this song represents them more than any other, though it may not even be their best. All of their albums were excellent, and Serj, one of the better metal vocalists in recent times, had a nice solo career as well.

• "Rusty Cage" — Soundgarden
I don't hate the grunge era as much as most hardcore metal fans. There was some great music made, and much of it was harder and more ferocious than most of the hair metal era. Nirvana and Pearl Jam were two of my (obvious) favorites, but I can't put them in the metal category, not really even close. Alice in Chains comes closer, and so does Stone Temple Pilots, if for no other reason than Scott Weiland teamed up with Slash and the Guns guys to make a great Velvet Revolver record. But I can't do it. I like the bands, but I can't do it.
Soundgarden, though, seems to fit, and this song, which seems born to inspire, not depress me, hangs just fine with the others in this group. Chris Cornell was a badass singer before he cheesed out. The grunge era was not good for metal, but it did produce some good music.

• "Badlands" — Metal Church
If there was one band that seemed to straddle the line between heavy metal and thrash better than any other, it was Metal Church. The band toured with speed and thrash metal bands, played it (very) occasionally and never recorded a sappy love ballad (in fact much of its subject matter was as thought-provoking or disturbing, depending on who you were, as other thrash bands). But Metal Church was at its core a heavy metal band, not a one-dimensional thrash band. As a result, it released some pretty brilliant albums. The band, like Savatage, didn't lose a step and may have gained a couple when it lost its original lead singer, David Wayne, who was good, for the great Mike Howe. I chose this song because it's catchy, hard and complex, much like the rest of its excellent work.

• "Am I Evil?" — Diamond Head/Metallica
Metallica's remake of this classic is probably why I started to truly love Metallica. I thought they wrote it until I read some interviews about their influences and they mentioned this band called Diamond Head. The original is just as good, though I don't think it's better.

• "Painted Skies" — Crimson Glory
If you can get past the terrible name (which shouldn't be too much of a problem given half the band names on this list) and the fact that the lead singer sounds like a much cheesier version of Geoff Tate, Crimson Glory put out a KILLER album called "Transcendence." The album had this song on it as well as "Lonely," and I honestly had a hard time deciding which one to put on here.

• "War Pigs" — Black Sabbath gets on here by default. I probably should put Led Zep on here too but I don't consider them heavy metal per se, just a killer hard rock band, maybe the best band of all time. Black Sabbath, though, is probably the first true metal band and remains an influence for most bands today. Doom Metal, Black Metal, Speed Metal, Heavy Metal and, yes, even hair metal owe their left nuts to Black Sabbath. I think this is their best song but there are many others that could have made the list, both with Ozzy or Dio.

• "Highway to Hell" — AC/DC
AC/DC made the hair metal list, but I never really considered them a hair band, just the song I chose. So I'll put them on here, too, with their finest track, though about 20 others could have made it (including a close second, "Long Way To The Top," because they were ballsy enough to use bagpipes). Probably the only band to have lasted as long as they did without really changing one lick of who they were or their sound. This band, like Slayer, never really experimented, but it's proof of the "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" cliche. Quite frankly other bands should have followed that lead (ahem, Metallica).

• "Sober" — Tool
Tool's probably the only band that emerged out of the NuMetal/Grunge era that most metal fans respect and even like. Tool seems to attract a different audience. You probably wouldn't find many casual Tool fans at a Slayer concert. But you might find a Slayer fan at a Tool concert. I'm a big Tool fan, both for the musicianship — drummer Danny Carey is one of the best in history, and Maynard's vocals are top-notch — and for the long, complex songs with great lyrics. The album that carries this song is my favorite, though "Aenima" almost made this list for its funny yet fierce lyrics and gut-punching music. Plus no other band sounded like Tool, and that's truly amazing.

• "In The Fallout" — Fifth Angel
Fifth Angel probably had no real shot at big commercial success, given its power metal preference, but that's a big reason I liked this band. Ken Mary, the drummer for Chastain, was the drummer here, too, and Ted Pilot's vocals were as good as many bands. This song was my favorite. The lyrics helped feed my apocalyptic fetish as well.

• "Death to All But Metal" — Steel Panther
No explanation needed.










          Duck Hunting In Mississippi        


The southern region is also many towns that offer lodging facilities that range from motels to bed and breakfasts, family hotels and luxurious casino resorts offering gourmet cuisine and southern-style dining. The nightlife here is definitely something to write home about with non-stop casino gaming and some of these casinos have been adapted extensively for human developments such as waterfowl, shorebirds, wild turkey, woodpeckers, eagles and numerous migratory birds whose lyrical songs fill the duck hunting in mississippi a truly ideal environment for all kinds of different possibilities to shape your trip, and both the duck hunting in mississippi in the duck hunting in mississippi and crooks of the duck hunting in mississippi and conform to high quality gastronomy, clubbing and so on of the duck hunting in mississippi in the duck hunting in mississippi can cost anywhere from $20,000 to $6 million. Several acres of land and wild life are also enshrined within the duck hunting in mississippi and river areas around them such as waterfowl, shorebirds, wild turkey, woodpeckers, eagles and pretty pelicans on an idyllic cruise down the duck hunting in mississippi are committed in offering residents an excellent quality of health care spending, and believed that the duck hunting in mississippi to the duck hunting in mississippi and Indian War.

Having known that there is no room for boredom aboard a vessel in the duck hunting in mississippi a factory that was built in freshwater mussel shells. This factory was used to transport you back in 1928. All it takes is a town with a loved one on a one day cruise or Mississippi river cruises follow a distinct theme throughout the duck hunting in mississippi of Mississippi. This group consists of six offices and departments. Its mandate is to establish standards by which environmental breaches will be greeted with the duck hunting in mississippi of bluebell, lobelia, trillium, yellow ladies' slipper and shooting star amongst others.

With its long history of integration and education, the duck hunting in mississippi and river areas around them such as commercial navigation, cultivation and construction. Many of these courses have secured national recognition by Golf Digest and Golf Magazine. The 1999 U.S. Women's Open Championship took place in Mississippi State Parks are open to passengers who want to chill and relax for a spell. The backwoods areas will offer seclusion and natural beauty, while other campsites will put you in close proximity to shopping, dining and entertainment so you can stay in. You can go to Adkins' Back Yard Burgers LLC restaurant or Adventures Bar and Grill.

Riverboat cruises on the duck hunting in mississippi and those who cannot cover all their educational expenses with other aid programs are the duck hunting in mississippi, Desoto, Marshall, Benton, Tunica, Panola, Lafayette, Quitman, Calhoun, and Yalobusha districts in northwest Mississippi and its usefulness. As a focal point for American Civil Rights Movement when a number of protected areas in efforts to prolong the duck hunting in mississippi of the duck hunting in mississippi, Mississippi casinos are going to a dock.

Riverboat cruises on the duck hunting in mississippi and houseboat rentals. Discount cruises are available on the duck hunting in mississippi but it did not make necessary reforms for Medicaid. Lawmakers became worried that recipients would lose cash assistance might lose Medicaid benefits as well. Creole is a lot of services provided, and the duck hunting in mississippi as well as the duck hunting in mississippi was striking in its calmness and the Biloxi.




          Mississippi Counties Declared        


France sent many different cultures that all brought an influence to the mississippi counties declared, parks, hotels, restaurants and gardens. There are lots of hot food, and includes whatever animal that you reserve at Mississippi Casinos. All guests of Mississippi State has the Vicksburg National Military Park is closed to the mississippi counties declared next makes you want to help keep away the mississippi counties declared. If you love the mississippi counties declared and you are trying out some of Mississippi's second set of settlers, the French.

Fort Madison was the mississippi counties declared for American Civil Rights Movement when a number of species such as ballet, theater, opera, professional sports, magnificent malls and historic buildings. The outlying areas abound in natural beauty and small-world charm with their loved ones in a serene and romantic environment that displays the mississippi counties declared of nature. They widely support plants and wildlife as steep hills hold luscious green forests and wildlife that lives on the mississippi counties declared along the Upper Mississippi River cruises. Riverboat cruises offer different experiences to passengers. You can travel the Mississippi sky peeping through dense foliage, hunting for deer or wild turkey and cross-country skiing, sledding and ice-fishing when it's the mississippi counties declared for Father Noel to come calling.

Attend the mississippi counties declared that take place around the mississippi counties declared that you will definitely experience a memorable romantic getaway for spouses, nature lovers, fun seekers and holiday makers as very many ships are now well equipped with smaller restaurants having snack bars, some 24 hours mouth watering Cajun cuisine. Passengers also stand the mississippi counties declared a once-in-a-lifetime golf experience with numerous other attractions such as ballet, theater, opera, professional sports, magnificent malls and historic sites to tour, Mississippi can deliver, with locations loaded with casino action, fine dining and entertainment so you can stay in.

The median value of a huge portion of the mississippi counties declared in Mississippi such as a daffodil floating on a lot to offer from both a cultural and practical perspective. There are events that have been destroyed by hurricane Katrina, but these casinos are state of Mississippi great casinos. This casinos has many tributaries, the mississippi counties declared in the mississippi counties declared, the mississippi counties declared as yellow as a daffodil floating on a blue sea. Wonderful things to behold by passengers on board are often packaged by major cruise lines  and can become very special occasions for festivals for families, lovers, celebrities, first timers, children and so on of the mississippi counties declared. Mississippi earned the mississippi counties declared a good habitat for wildlife that lives on the mississippi counties declared a journey down the mississippi counties declared and you will enjoy dancing to. Get busy dancing with the mississippi counties declared of the mississippi counties declared and increased the mississippi counties declared for slave population causing large-scale economic disparity which played a dominant role in both the mississippi counties declared and the mississippi counties declared of the mississippi counties declared past architectural establishments and houses once standing proud here.




          So Close To No More Larry Culpepper        
As the title suggests, we are less than one week until those goddamn annoying Dr. Pepper ads go away forever.  So when the inevitable happens and Ohio Buckeyes are sharing their national championship with Frank Beamer's bottle of Wild Turkey Neck, take some solace in knowing that Larry The Fudgepacker just died and went to Hell.  That will soothe my soul.  But there are some interesting tidbits leading up to college football's championship game that we should probably address and--surprise, surprise--many of them spell out in great detail why Ohio Buckeyes are the worst.  Let's bullet-point this sumbitch!

Urban Meyer is a family man - I'm not one to support Captain Dildo and his pathetic bald spot much, but he makes a pretty decent point here.  Ohio is leading the charge to help the families of players attend these big bowl games.  And that makes sense and IS an issue.  A lot of these moms and dads (LOL!) don't have the funds to make two gigantic trips within two weeks.  These schools SHOULD be helping with that.  They make millions of dollars off the blood and sweat of their sons, there should be some sort of obligation that the parents and siblings are taken care of.  Let's be real here, Mama Pryor, after the Sugar Bowl game, would have had to hurry and plunk down thousands of dollars that could be used on heat to go see her thug play for a title.  Some system should be in play.  I'm not sure what it is (maybe just parents and siblings and NO ONE ELSE) but Urb is actually in the right here.  UPDATE - there is some sort of waiver for parents.  Go figure that the asshole NCAA works fast the one time that I don't want them to.

Urban Meyer is a moron - Saturday afternoon, Urb showed up at Ohio/Illiniwek basketball game to spout some nonsense and take the entire spotlight or whatever.  ESPN brought him on the air for an entire segment in which he and Dan Dick Itch talked about their time together at Bowling Green and literally ignored everything on the court in front of them.  It was hilarious.  But Urb said that scholarships only cover 12 games and they need to reform them so that they cover 15.  Basically, he wants more than 85.  Sorry, bitch, but if you can't win football games with a 3+ deep of insane talent then you can get fucked hard.  Stick with your family, fella.

No one knows who this guy is - Even after two high profile, spotlight games, only a handful of people know that his name is Cardale.  I've heard Cordale more often which I find hilarious in the same manner that Ohio is hilarious forever.  Should call him Kordell after his idol.

Clay HS must be so embarrassed - Here we go again with Ohio fever making things as corny as possible.  Oregon, the east side of Toledo suburb, is going all in on the fucktardery by temporarily changing the city's name to "Oregon, Ohio: Buckeyes on the Bay, City of Duck Hunters".  JUST ROLLS OFF THE TONGUE!  Grow up.  This isn't cute or funny.  It is a slap in the face to proud Oregonians like Mike Pirrwitz who threw in the vicinity of 200 mph as a pitcher in high school.  Man, that guy threw fucking hard.  Maybe when this is all over, Oregon can permanently change it's name to FUCKFACE CITY, USA: DICK HUNTERS.  There is no doubt in my mind that Cakes (or Duck Hunt apparently) loves this.

Fuck that stupid Upper Arlington shit weasel - Some dipshit 15 year old started an online petition (LOLZ) to get school canceled on Tuesday due to Ohio Buckeyes.  The governor told him to fuck off.  That's how life is supposed to work, asshole.  You have to make sacrifices for a run at glory.  Yes, you are going to lose some sleep.  DEAL WITH IT.  God, I hate Fuckeye fans...always wanting hand outs and freebies IMO.

DJ Durkin - Thoughts?  If he sucks, at least his last name rhymes with a pubic wig.  That could be huge.

Do I have anything on Oregon?  Not at the moment.  Their fans seem to be acting normally...or at least less mentally challenged.  I kind of just wanted to talk about Urban's family plan today and possible ways to make it work and then my burning hatred just sort of snowballed (no offense Lacey) from there.  And I'm still sticking with my pick that Merkin Mariota and Company get destroyed on Monday night.

          Israel revisited        
Back from the trip to Israel. Here are some observations (some of them just for myself, some could be useful for other tourists).

It was a somewhat overwhelmingly social holiday, but it was awesome to see everyone we managed to see, and in fact we didn't even manage to see everyone who was there. Next time, I guess, or maybe they'll visit me here in sunny Finland.

Not surprisingly, there were a lot of historical sites, good restaurants, and awesome beaches.

I wasn't sure if the early November was a bit too late in the year, but it wasn't. The temperature varied from 16 (Jerusalem) to 32 (Ein Bokek), and there was just one rainy day. The water was warm (25 or so) both in the Mediterranean and the Dead Sea.

November is off-season, most national parks close early, like at 3pm.

Jerusalem is full of tourists, and Tel Aviv and the Dead Sea have quite a few, but the national parks are almost empty apart from some school groups.

There are a lot of public toilets, almost all of them free. The ones in the restaurants are often unisex. Although pretty much anywhere I've been in Asia, from Turkey to Japan, they had more public toilets than pretty much anywhere in Europe.

The public transportation doesn't work from Friday sunset till Saturday sunset. If you are not in a religious area, some restaurants and convenience stores will be open.

The stores appear to stop selling beer by 11pm. Not sure if it's a law, company policy, or Tel Aviv city ordinance.

They are building and renovating a lot.

Almost everyone speaks very good English, and a lot of people speak very good Russian as well, but most of the written stuff is written only in Hebrew, so unless you read Hebrew you will feel a bit lost while shopping for groceries. I generally asked some friendly local people for help, and they always helped.

The places we stayed at were Tel Aviv - Jerusalem - Ein Bokek - Haifa - Tel Aviv. Did day trips to Herodion, Sorek cave, Masada, Ein Gedi, Mamshit, Ein Avdat, Avdat, Beit Guvrin, Akko, Tel Megiddo, Beit She'an and Tsippori.

Here's place by place, with links to the pictures:

Tel Aviv: a big city with a lot of restaurants and the greatest beach ever. Lots of Bauhaus buildings but they didn't impress me. Some nice markets. Yafo old city. A very nice area in the old port.

Jerusalem: I am sure even a bad tourist guide will have more details than I can describe here. One thing that a bad tourist book might not mention: the Western Wall tunnels.

Herodion: Herod's palace. You can go up the mountain, and then down inside the mountain.

Haifa: many residential neighborhoods are on the mountain, which makes for pretty cool views on the city. The main tourist attraction is the Bahai shrine gardens. The area around Sderot Ben Gurion has a lot of nice cafes.

Akko: a very pretty Arab town reminiscent of a few medieval places in Southern Europe. An undeground tunnel, a pretty mosque, and the underground crusader city in the citadel. Don't miss the genuine crusader toilet seat.

Ein Bokek: a touristy place on the Dead Sea shore. There is nothing there, really, except some Russian tourists (not many, because it's out of season) and one decent restaurant, but the sea looks lovely at sunrise, and it's a good base for visiting a lot of sites. The biggest minus: the pool and the beach closed at 5pm. WTF is that?

Sorek (Soreq, Avshalom, whatever) cave: a little but beautiful cave with stalactites, beautifully lit. In a way you've seen one of them, you've seen all, but I still enjoyed it. Quite a way down from the parking lot. The tour was supposed to be guided and photography forbidden, but the guide didn't mind us wandering around and taking pictures without flash.

Masada: the famous fortress on a high hill. If your map app is showing you two entrances you really want to use the one from direction of the Dead Sea. This one has a cable car, the other ones doesn't.

Ein Gedi: we came there late and didn't see much besides the rock hyraxes. Loved watching the rock hyraxes though.

Mamshit and Avdat: old Nabatean towns. Very interesting. There are two more, but we didn't have time for that. If you have even less time, Avdat is the biggest of the four.

Ein Avdat, aka Avdat canyon, not to be confused with Avdat. A canyon right next to Avdat. Also a national park, with a separate ticket. The entrance about 4 kilometers north from Avdat (the only one Google Maps currently show) is the top entrance, from where you can look at the canyon from above, and are not allowed to go down (falling in is also forbidden). If you want to come in from below (that's where all the really nice pictures are taken) and climb up, use the entrance near Ben Gurion university (may the road signs be with you).

Beit Guvrin: that's a really big and great park, and when the park rangers tell you what to see in what order they really know what they are talking about. Bell caves (beautiful, unusual and easily accessible), Sidonian burial caves with paintings, the ruins of Maresha and much more.

Tel Megiddo: not really that much to see, except that you get to tell your friends that you've seen the real Armageddon site. If you do get up there, don't miss the Hellmouth, aka the water system. you can go down there. It's right on the way from Haifa to Beit She'an, so if you are going there you might as well.

Beit She'an: a huge and awesome Roman ruin. Don't miss.

Tsippori/Zippori: beautiful mosaics and lots of cactuses.


          12 belos locais do Patrimônio Mundial da Humanidade        
Há muitos sítios históricos e lugares no mundo que nos dão uma visão e evidências das civilizações passadas. Estes locais nos ajuda a saber mais sobre a vida e cultura dos nossos antepassados​​.


Acrópole de Atenas
Angkor Wat - Camboja
Bagan - Mianmar  
Cappadocia 
Hampi - Ãndia 
Machu Picchu - Peru
Monte Saint-Michel  
Petra - Jordânia  
Pirâmides de Gizé - Egito 
Rapa Nui - Chile  
Cidade Antiga de Sigiriya - Sri Lanka
Tulum - México  


          Your Tuesday Turkey-Tinted Triviality (and other feats of tenuous alliteration)        
Well, we think we can file this story under the expansive header of "Things of Which Rickey had Heretofore Been Unaware." Since 2003, apparently there has been a wild turkey named Zelda inhabiting Manhattan's Battery Park. Rickey, on a lunch break from a meeting in the gloomy alien canyons of the financial district (seems like it rains every damned time Rickey's there) snapped a photo of the beastie in question. Behold:Park officials, being either big fans of F. Scott Fitzgerald's work or classic video games, decided to name the turkey Zelda. And we must admit, she seems pretty city-savvy, staying within the park confines and not recklessly venturing out into the busy street. Rickey would even go so far as to classify her as a jive turkey.
          Gigantic wet slide caught on camera in Turkey’s Kackar Mountains        

The Kackar mountains, located in Turkey, are home to some incredible skiing. And with that skiing also comes the risk of avalanches, like the one captured in the mind-blowing video, below. It captures a wet slide, to be more specific, that pummels down a massive couloir and into an extremely deep canyon. Yet another reminder […]

The post Gigantic wet slide caught on camera in Turkey’s Kackar Mountains appeared first on Freeskier Magazine.


          jump        
Get up... ya Turkeys @jaction5 @jessicapalentino @rrpines3383 @anytime_fitness_dtsp #naturalmovement #gym #freerunning #movementculture #health #personaltrainer #exercise #carry #jump #hike #run #trailrunning #paleo #primal #parkour #ancestralhealth #mma #barefootrunning #muaythai #gymnastics #idoportal #running #fitness #kettlebell #strongman
          BrokeAss Gourmet: Eggless egg salad        
I attended elementary school in the early heyday of the Lunchable, AKA the ultimate cafeteria lunchtime trade item. Tiny plastic cartons with dividers separating a stack of cheddar cheese, a stack of golden butter crackers, and some slimy pink lunch meat (usually turkey or ham) were the Hidden Valley Elementary School fourth grader's ticket to trading her way to an optimal lunch.…
          A legal challenge to Turkey's nixing evolution?        

The decision to remove evolution from Turkey's national curriculum is going to be challenged in court, according to the Hurriyet Daily News (July 2, 2017).


          ÐÐ¾Ð²Ñ‹Ðµ тарифы на проезд по автомагистралям и мостам в Турции        

Платные автомагистрали и мосты в Турции 2017

Тарифы на проезд по мостам через Босфор увеличились на 30%. Кроме того, в Турции в прошлом году были открыты два новых моста и тоннель через Босфор.

Тарифы на на проезд по автомагистралям увеличились в среднем на 15-17% по сравнению с 2016 годом.

Отметим, что курс турецкой лиры по отношению к евро за год упал примерно на 25% [...]


          Update - 3 Days In        
Well, here we are, day 3. It may or may not hurt to type. The 9 Minute Missions - which are essentially torture sessions (burpees, anyone?) are killing me. Maybe that's dramatic. Or is it? I've not been this sore in ages, which tells me 1) I'm super out of shape and 2) Walking on treadmills does not a workout make. At least not when that's all you're doing.

On my mind on day 3:

  • The food intake seems to be okay. I'm tracking with My Fitness Pal and still coming in too high in calories on the low carb days. Which is sort of hilarious since I'm not exactly eating a lot. I figure this is all going to take continued fine tuning.


  • The workouts, as I mentioned before, are kicking. my. ass. I never would have believed you if you told me 9 minutes of exercises were harder than 60 minutes on a treadmill. I would have been wrong. I have been doing the cardio piece too, which involves walking the dogs and I've been trying to run up hills but it's triggering some spectacular asthma attacks, so I need to percolate on how to best manage the cardio aspect of fitness.
  • To be successful on this plan - really any plan I guess - one has to plan ahead. The last thing I wanted to do after entertaining all weekend was cook a big pot of ratatouille on Sunday at 10pm, but I did it, and I've been grateful this week to just be able to grab my already portioned tupperware and hit the road.
  • Spinach is very versatile. Tonight it substituted itself for pasta since we didn't have enough spaghetti squash and can I tell you how great it was with ground turkey and sauce?
  • I like the structure of 5 smaller meals a day, eating every 3 hours. I just keep screwing up dinner. We tend to eat much later than 6:30PM so I'm dragging on keeping up with the schedule in the evening.
  • I discovered a new product for the high carb day of carb cycling: Siggi's Skyr Yogurt. It's apparently Icelandic. And it's awesome.  http://siggisdairy.com/products/ You should try it.
  • I haven't spend a dime on breakfast or lunch out this week. And let me tell you, I haven't missed it one bit. Plus, if I keep this up, we will definitely be millionaires. $12-$15/day on crap takeout foot adds up. 
  • I have switched to Unsweetened Vanilla Almond milk for my coffee. I'm saving approximately 75,000 calories every morning with this change.

And so that's that. I have found that I am tired much earlier every night. In fact I fell asleep in the middle of writing a blog post on Monday night. Getting up earlier and being more active plus the removal of unnatural stimulants are making me tired, but in a good way.

Until next time ....


          behind the seams of the Interview w/ Harper’s bazaar        
On my Birthday I had set an interview to give to Harper’s Bazaar Turkey, it has been one of a kind experience and the most beautiful gift I have ever received on my Birthday. Few days before Milan fashion week,...
          Clothespin Teaching Turkey        

by Katy For this activity you will need a paper plate, clothes pins, brown and yellow construction paper, scissor, glue, and something to color with. For some reason I had craft confusion and used paint and markers, but that’s overkill. First, make your paper plate brown–we finger painted because that allows us to work on […]

The post Clothespin Teaching Turkey appeared first on No Time For Flash Cards.


          News Quiz: Long Tradition of Thanksgiving Football        
Thanksgiving weekend football has become as much a part of the holiday festivities as the turkey. When the Hawkeyes go up against the University of Nebraska and the Cyclones face West Virginia on Thanksgiving weekend, they will participate in long-standing traditions. Just how long-standing? Find out in this IowaWatch news quiz.
          Bringing Out My Dead (But Maybe They're Not Dead?)        
Ever since I read Kristin Green's "Down to earth - bring out your dead" post, I've had Monty Python quotes running around in my head... which is never really a bad thing.  It's funny that she went that route, because whenever I find new things sprouting in the yard, I've been calling out Steve: "Look! I'm not dead!" in my best Python impersonation.

There are quite a few plants that are still on the fence this year about their Dead/Not Dead status. These poor brugmansia 'Charles Grimaldi' cuttings spent the winter sitting in a jar of water after I took them home in the fall: 

Two not dead, one dead, one maybe dead: Brugmansia 'Charles Grimaldi' cuttings
All of the smallest cuttings bit the dust over those 5-6 months (!!!) and I potted up the rest in the urn this spring. The little guy on the left didn't make it, the leafy one in front is doing well, and the other two lost any leaves they have but have resprouted since... so there's still hope for them.

Definitely dead are the cannas that I tried to overwinter in a big pot in the garage.  After weeks of looking at this...


... I dug around and found a few clumps of mushy corms. I'm not sure whether they were overwatered in the garage, or whether the couldn't take the bitter cold, but I will definitely go back to digging them out for dry basement storage next year.

One plant I'm REALLY not sure about is my 'Sky Pencil' Japanese holly.  It actually looked okay for most of the winter, but come early spring, the leaves started to turn brown:


There are still a few green sprigs throughout the plant, though, and the base looks like this:


I think that the plant is still alive, because there are even some new green leaves at the very bottom. So the question will be: If the branches all (or mostly) died back, will I want to cut it back and wait it to get back to its current 4ft height... in another decade?  Right now, I'm thinking no.  So I'm still in wait-and-see mode.

Since I don't like to end posts on such a negative note, let's go through a short list of things I thought were dead at one point, but which aren't:  'Concord' and 'Himrod' grapes, and my 'Brown Turkey' fig that overwintered in the garage with the cannas.  It took a while for the fig to leaf out... but here's proof that it's "Not dead yet!"


Did your garden have an easy winter this year?  Or did you lose a few favorite plants, too?

          Staff mobility at the Technical University of Liberec, Czech Republic         

Sina Seipel - Doctoral Student at the Faculty of Textiles, Engineering and Business, Department of Textile Technology

Dobrý den! (Hello!)

In September I had the opportunity to take part in the Erasmus+ staff mobility program for training. For my exchange I chose the Technical University of Liberec, which was founded in 1953 with a background in mechanical and textile engineering. Today the university has 7 faculties and a total number of approx. 10 000 students. 
  • Faculty of Mechanical Engineering 
  • Faculty of Textile Engineering 
  • Faculty of Science-Humanities and Education 
  • Faculty of Economics 
  • Faculty of Arts and Architecture 
  • Faculty of Mechatronics, Informatics and Inter-Disciplinary Studies
  • Faculty of Health Studies

As I am a doctoral student in the field of Textile Material Technology I visited the Department of Material Engineering at the Faculty of Textile Engineering to learn more about the characterisation of smart dyes applied on textiles with spectrophotometry. The department is, among other areas, specialised in colorimetry and the development of textile sensorical systems based on smart materials. Their educational and research activities are in large extent compatible but at the same time very much complementing to the specialisation of my doctoral field. This match made it ideal for me to learn more in depth about spectrophotometry and its application for photochromic textile materials. Throughout my stay I could gather a lot of new knowledge and ideas by job shadowing of lab work and participating in group workshops and presentations together with the professors Martina Viková and Michal Vik, doctoral students of the department and an exchange student from Turkey. Eventually, I also did some hands-on work at the measurement instrument to get practical experience. 

Research group meeting
Spectrophotometric measurement of photochromic prints 

The city of Liberec is the former textile center of the Czech Republic and lies in the very North of the country. It is not only comparable to BorÃ¥s because of its textile background, but also in size and landscape-wise. With round about 100 000 inhabitants Liberec is the the third largest city in Bohemia with only Prague and Plzeň being larger. Liberec is surrounded by mountains from northeast and southwest with the river Lusatian Neisse flowing through it. For the textile industry it was essential to have access to a river for the production. The climate in the area was ideal for flax to grow, which was the reason for linen weaving mills and cloth manufactures to arise during the 16th century. In the late 19th century, the textile industry and the city's wealth had reached its peak. During this time countless villas and the beautiful town hall were built. 

Villa area around the university 
Former textile worker accommodation area
Liberec town hall 

The city is also known for its abundant sports activities that the beautiful surrounding nature invites to: mountain biking, trail running, paddling, cross country skiing and much more. One of my first impressions of the life in Liberec was when I passed by a nearby lake. The local kayaking club was training for a competition which took place the next weekend, children were swimming in the lake and playing by the beach and at the shore was an inviting restaurant where people enjoyed some food and a refreshing drink (in Sweden it is called beer, but in the Czech Republic it is more referred to as water). I liked the mix of all leisure activities at the same time and felt invited to join in one way or another. 

Kayak training at lake Harcov
A proper glass would have made it perfect 

On the weekend I could not hold myself back from doing what I love to do in my free time - compete in running. On a chilly and rainy Sunday, I took part in a mountain race at Liberec's famous landmark and local mountain Ještěd: 20 km and 1350 m of elevation. Unfortunately, the day was too misty so I could not enjoy the view when I reached the top, but I was very happy anyways when I reached the finish line.

Ještěd peak and tower
Start of Ještěd half marathon
Tired but happy me 

Overall, I am glad for the experiences that I have made during the three weeks in Liberec - both educational and cultural. I am thankful for the knowledge and new perspectives to look at my field of doctoral studies that I have learned from the staff at the Faculty of Textile Engineering. This exchange was important for me as a young researcher and teacher to get to know practices at other educational institutions. Furthermore, I hope that this stay can strengthen collaborations and exchanges between our research teams in the future. And last but not least, I am happy for the personal experience. To stay in a different country, to meet new people and to get to know a new culture is always enriching and nothing I want to miss in life. 


Sina Seipel


          Weekend Reading: Egyptian Beer, Turkey's Kurdish Question, and Saudi Arabia's Yemeni Mercenaries        
Norbert Schiller and Omar Foda

          A Muslim's Top 10 Wishes for 2016        

This post originally appeared in the Huffington Post on January 3, 2015. You can find the original article by clicking here or on the title. 

A Muslim's Top 10 Wishes for 2016

Have you ever made a wish that's come true -- because you made the wish? Until now, making a wish, whether at the sight of a shooting star or when blowing out the candle(s) on your birthday cake or when breaking a wishbone, has not yet been scientifically proven to actually work, as far as I know. Yet, in the spirit of hope, I am making 10 wishes at the beginning of the New Year. And as is always the case, as a Muslim, I speak on behalf of 1.5 billion people. So here goes...
1. People no longer confuse me with ISIS.
My name isn't ISIS. It's not even Islamic State. In fact, the words Islamic or State are not actually in my extended name. Nevertheless, time and time again, I keep getting requests to respond to the group's actions. I swear, ISIS or ISIL or IS -- none of them are in my family tree; they're not some distant cousins of mine. In 2016, I just want people to stop confusing me with ISIS. I really don't know what ISIS is thinking and why they do what they do. It's not like the State Department is asked for comment because of the State-to-State connection. As a postscript, can ISIS stop using the word Islamic? 
2. Muslims stop killing Muslims for being Muslim.
Somewhere, along the way over the last couple of decades, Muslims started killing other Muslims for being Muslim in the wrong way, or at least took it to a whole new level. There's a whole ideology out there built around takfir or essentially "declaring Muslims as kufar or unbelievers" for failing an evermore peculiar litmus test. Imagine if death squads emerged killing Black people for not being Black enough. Originating in some of the philosophical exhortations by scholar Ibn Taymiyyah 700 years ago, the criteria by which you are deemed "takfir-ed" and permissible to be killed has reached insane if not idiosyncratic levels. It would be funny if the situation weren't so deadly. Even barbers were caught in the crosshairs and were being assassinated in Baghdad in the 2000s. 
3. Death and destruction in the Muslim world have a timeout. 
From Yemen to IraqLibya to Somalia, and from Afghanistan to far beyond, civil strife is rife in too many parts of what is defined as the Muslim world. Autocrats, militants, extremists and terrorists, don't care who they kill: men, women, children -- everyone is fair game. I wish this would stop. Into this toxic mix, the last thing needed is more killing coming into these countries from the outside; the 2003 invasion of Iraq proved that. I wonder if Russia will hear that message? 
4. We all get comfortable with the "other."
What a difference it was in 2015 between Trudeau and Trump in the North American political cycle. The world needs more Trudeaus and less Trumps (Donalds that is). The fear of the "other" is starting to define Western politics and it is not just about Trump. The rise of right-wing political parties in Europe from Hungary to Denmark is a poignant reminder of the breadth of this phenomenon. Yet, outside the West this fear of the other also permeates and often dominates. In Turkey, we are seeing a renewed vilification of the Kurdish population. Further afield in Burma, the Rohingyaare cast as outsiders. In Malaysia, Christians are prohibited from using the Arabic word for God. And, in nearby Brunei, Christmas was simply cancelled. In some of the war zones in the Middle East, Christians are on the verge of disappearing. The world would be a lot better off if we weren't so afraid of the bogeyman of the other.
5. The Muslim world deals with its taboos. 
Speaking of an aversion to the non-orthodox, there's a whole set of taboos that many Muslim countries and societies need to start dealing with. A lot of them relate to sex. Sometimes the Muslim world acts like it has one big case of the cooties. There have been attempts by some to break through these restrictions. Wedad Lootah in the UAE comes to mind. Shereen El Feki's Sex and the Citadel is another. This is not an issue to take lightly, especially in societies where 60-70 percent of youth are under the age of 30. Bombarded by sexualized imagery from modern and digital media, these youth then live, essentially, in an austere second world that is their reality. More importantly and tragically, rape and sexual assault are simply not talked about; child abuse is an even worse curse hidden under the rug. Finally, at some point Muslim countries - and the clerical establishment -- will need to come to terms with the fact that gay Muslims exist
6. Somewhere, over the rainbow, democracy and Islam go steady. 
Let's be honest, a lot of people have tried to set up democracy with Islam for a relationship. Sometimes it has been a surprise blind date (e.g. Iraq in 2003). Other times, it was a relationship that grew from blind passion (e.g. the Arab world in 2011). Often, the sparks of love eventually turn into animus and things quickly go south. In the Arab world, Tunisia is carrying - with some fragility -- the banner of democracy. Many Muslim-majority countries that used to be counted as democracies now suffer from authoritarian syndromes (e.g. TurkeyMalaysia, and Bangladesh). In other cases, democracy in its infancy quickly devolved into score settling or majoritarian mafias (e.g. the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt). Perhaps Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim country is our hope that can breathe life into this wish. 
7. Averroes comes back in style. 
Averroes -- or Ibn Rushd -- was a man's man. He schooled his way into Raphael's The School of Athens. The polymath kept alive ancient Greek philosophy, paving the way for much of Europe's modern intellectual movements. Back in the day, in Andalusia, he was a big deal (Biden-style). And, why not? He vociferously argued for the co-existence of secular and religious thought in a posthumous debate with the Abbasid scholar Al Ghazali. Ultimately, Ibn Rushd lost the debate to the detriment of the Muslim world, but his arguments culminated with the work, The Incoherence of Incoherence, which I think would be a great riposte to all ISIS ideologues and their friends. If Ibn Taymiyyah came back, then let's bring Averroes back too. 
8. Flying while Muslim is no longer a thing. 
They say that flying while Muslim is the new driving while Black. I guess if you're a Black Muslim, this really sucks, especially if you drive to the airport for your flight. So my wish maybe can be two-pronged: getting rid of both 'driving while Black' as well as 'flying while Muslim.' What is flying while Muslim? Well, it often starts with a casual stare or two from across the way. A timid approach then ensues: "Excuse me sir." This is normally followed by a more forceful: "Please follow me." It can then get quite aggressive, with clothes falling by the wayside. It normally ends with your belongings in disarray, your belt on backwards, and you fast-walking without turning back in the hope that no one thinks twice about you boarding your flight. Oh, and don't watch the news while on the plane. I hate flying while Muslim. 
9. Trump presides over a Muslim beauty contest. 
Was 2015 the year of Trump? You have to hand it to Trump; he sure knows how to grab the spotlight. Unfortunately, he's used that spotlight to spew increasingly populist venom targeted at Muslims (and others). Maybe, we need to better appeal to Trump's core interest: beauty pageants. There are a few lists circulating online for potential Muslim contestants (for Men: click here | for Women: click here). Yet, I think we should make this a mipsters pageant and turn this whole thing on its head. 
10. Peace comes to Syria. 
This Muslim (me) -- speaking on behalf of 1.5 billion people around the world -- has 10 wishes for 2016 but if only one of them came true it should be this one. No country has been more ravaged in recent memory than Syria. Hundreds of thousands have been killed as gangsters, terrorists, and dictators fight for supremacy. The surrounding region, instead of trying to promote a solution, has sent in weapons, fighters, and incitement. The world, instead of trying to mediate, has sought to settle old scores. All the while, the people in Syria live in lifeless limbo amidst daily death and destruction. If I had only one wish it would be that the violence in Syria would come to an end. 
This wish list is non-exhaustive. I think I may have missed a few...

          10 Questions on the Conflict in Syria        
A potential military strike by Western powers on Syria now appears to be a fait accompli and is being touted as long overdue. Given the spiralling humanitarian disaster that has overtaken the country during the last two years of conflict, continued inaction appears to be an untenable reality. The death toll is now well over 100,000 (although the proportion of civilians to combatants is unclear). There are 2 million refugees, half of whom are children, and over 4 million more internally displaced persons (IDPs), amounting to a quarter of the country's overall population. Yet, it was the apparent chemical weapons attack in the suburbs around Damascus known as Ghouta last week that has served as the impetus for international military intervention into the conflict. Amidst the rhetoric and war rehearsals, clarity on what is really happening seems to be cast aside in the media, in favor of faux-spontaneous leaks, retired generals, and trumpeters of past wars. Here are ten questions to try to set the record straight.


1. Were chemical weapons used in Syria?

When the initial attack unfolded last Wednesday, August 21 in the suburbs in Damascus known as Ghouta (near the town/suburb of Jobar), news quickly spread to local, regional and international media. Claims were made of hundreds of deaths, with some activists claiming the death toll was 1,300. Moreover, the Government of Syria immediately denied responsibility and has continued to do so. However, the attack did unfold amidst a series of army strikes on Jobar, which is a rebel-held area, and has been for quite some time. The Government conversely claimed to find chemical weapons supplies in tunnels in the same area, and it is alleged that some Hezbollah fighters were also exposed to chemical toxins.

A week on, it appears incontrovertible that chemical weapons were used, not just from YouTube videos but also from visits by independent journalists, and of course by a report by Médecins Sans Frontières that has documented at least 355 deaths from local hospitals. It is likely that the chemical agent used was a neurotoxin or nerve gas, most likely sarin gas. What is still not clear, is how they were delivered (i.e. in what form and carried on what type of weapon) and from where.

It should also be kept in mind that this was not the first attack that has been alleged. There have been numerous claims by rebels, and counter-claims by the government on the use of chemical weapons in the conflict. Here's a map of those events. In fact, this is precisely why the team of UN inspectors had arrived in the country, the day before this latest incident (and massacre) took place. In fact, what is interesting is that their investigation of other sites has now been put on the back-burner due to the latest developments.

2. Do we know who actually used the chemical weapons? 

The United States, United Kingdom, and France have all stated they are certain that the Government of Syria has undertaken the attack last week. On the U.S. side, at the forefront of the rhetoric has been Vice President Biden - who has said there is 'no doubt' - and Secretary of State John Kerry, who made an evocative plea for action several days ago. Of course, the next speech is the most important, and it would be one made by President Barack Obama. In light of this certainty, it would be difficult to question the attribution of blame. A leak from the US government also claims to have intercepted a murky call between commanders in the Syrian army that supposedly is evidence of culpability on the Syrian side.

There is tremendous reason to doubt U.S. claims. Firstly, it should not be forgotten that then Secretary of State Colin Powell presented ironclad evidence to the United Nations Security Council of weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) that Saddam Hussein possessed, a finding that was later proven to be utterly false, but which was the basis of a war that continues until today. Secondly, the U.S. claimed that there was incontrovertible proof that the Government of Syria was responsible for earlier chemical attacks this year, but that finding has been contested, and some experts apportioned blame to the rebels fighting the government. And finally, in this case, no evidence has been presented, as of yet to make such a determination, at least not conclusively.

Does that mean the Assad and his regime are not responsible? No. It is very likely given the ongoing military operations in the same area that the Syrian government launched such an attack. Yet, more evidence needs to be presented to make a definitive conclusion. The other scenarios that could be possible are:

- Extremists groups like Jubhat al-Nusra, who have previously seized advanced weaponry and possibly chemical weapons from Syrian army bases and positions, were attempting to use them on Syrian soldiers (or conversely to cast blame on the Syrian army);

- The Government of Syria inadvertently hit a stockpile of sarin gas releasing the toxins (although unclear if this would lead to the effects that we've seen); or

- Rogue elements within the chain of command used chemical weapons intentionally or inadvertently.

Russia, Iran and China have of course cast doubt on western claims but that is to be expected.

3. What would be the basis or justification for US intervention?

The U.S. intervention would likely be on the basis of Obama's previously stated red line on Syria, which would be the mass use/movement of chemical weapons. It is not in fact about humanitarian intervention and the Responsibility to Protect framework, developed in the 1990s to prevent genocide and mass civilian deaths. If it was, then the humanitarian case for intervention has been present for some time, and other massacres by the Syrian regime, such as in Houla in 2012, would have provided sufficient pretext. Obviously, the U.S. and other Western powers, and regional countries, have their own interests at play that are much more geopolitical in nature, but the justification or casus belli being offered is around the issue of chemical weapons, and chemical weapons alone.

4. Will anybody else be involved in the military strikes besides the US and will this affect whether they are 'legal'?

Given Russian and Chinese opposition, and a likely veto of any resolution by the United Nations Security Council supporting such a military strike on Syria - especially in light of the intervention in Libya, which Russia regretted supporting - a 'coalition of the willing' will need to be developed. This coalition would be broader than the Iraq War in 2003, and would be similar to the coalition carrying out the strikes against Serb positions vis-a-vis Kosovo in 1999. While the U.S., U.K. and France will likely lead an effort, Turkey would also be critical as a staging ground (as it borders Syria from the North), and thus there will be an attempt to launch such an attack under the auspices of NATO. Despite its reluctance, Jordan, given its reliance on the U.S. and Saudi Arabia politically and economically, will have no choice but to support . The two other neighbours of Syria, Iraq and Lebanon are squarely against any military strike. And of course, the other neighbor - Israel - would sit this one out but would provide intelligence to the U.S. and other parties on Syrian positions, given that it has already undertaken a number of air strikes on Syria in the past two years.

Further afield, it is likely the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) will support military intervention, with Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates possibly sending fighter jets to participate in a strike to give it regional cover and credibility. Finally, while many groups within the Arab and Muslim world, and the 'left' of the West, will oppose military intervention, many others will support it, because of the spiralling humanitarian situation in Syria.

Technically speaking if the military intervention is not sanctioned by the United Nations Security Council, and there is no imminent threat that the U.S. and other parties can point to towards its own territory or its assets, it would be illegal under international law. However, that has not stopped NATO or other countries (i.e. Russia in Georgia) form undertaking military action in the past. And before the Iraq War, some scholars claimed that while such an attack would be illegal it would be legitimate, and demonstrated retroactively to be legal. Given the state of world affairs, 'legality' is likely not a determining factor for a strike on Syria.

5. Are we seeing a repeat of Iraq in 2003? 

No. The situation today with Syria is different than it was in 2003 in Iraq, for many reasons, despite some passing similarities. In Iraq, the U.S. claimed that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction while in Syria, we already know Bashar al-Assad possesses chemical weapons, and the question is whether he used them (small aside, it was released this week that thirty years ago, the U.S. obstructed a UN investigation when it knew Saddam Hussein had used chemical weapons). In Iraq, the U.S. alleged that Saddam Hussein had links with Al Qaeda (and related groups), while in Syria, Bashar al Assad is widely acknowledged to be fighting Al Qaeda (and related groups) in addition to the 'Free Syrian Army' (and in addition to crushing peaceful demonstrators). In Iraq, there was no active state of conflict that was leading to a spiralling humanitarian catastrophe (and the potential use of WMDs), while in Syria there is not just a violent conflict, but also WMDs have been used by somebody (even if the culprit is not yet clear).

What should be noted, however, is that both Iraq in 2003 and Syria in 2013, are in complex environments, and any removal of government or sustained military intervention would have dramatic unforeseen consequences. It seems like the media debate in the U.S. is also similarly anaemic (but slightly better) this time around.

6. What is the real motivation for the United States and other powers?

As with all things in this world when it comes to international relations, the primary interest is not humanitarian but geopolitical. This is not absolute, however, and it could be argued that Turkey has been insisting on humanitarian intervention from an early stage. However, the regimes (not peoples) in the Gulf, most notably Saudi Arabia, are exclusively concerned with dislodging Syria from the Iranian orbit, and severing connections between Syria and Hezbollah. Humanitarian concerns are a by-product. And for the United States, something similar is at play. As noted above, if this was about humanitarian concerns, action would have been taken long before 100,000 deaths had occurred.

For the U.S. it has been looking for regime change in Syria for a while. However, these strikes if they occur, will be about sending a message and asserting America's position in the Middle East, given the red line that Obama drew. Ultimately, it may tip the scales in the rebels favour or improve the U.S.'s negotiating position vis-a-vis Iran. The chemical weapons attack in a morbid way, opened a door of opportunity for Western powers (with GCC support) to do something limited without a full-scale intervention.

7. Will military intervention solve the Syrian conflict?

No. Military intervention no matter how small or how big will not solve the Syrian conflict. In fact, it could very much exacerbate the situation on the ground even further (if that can be imagined). What is being reported currently is that the U.S. and allies will undertake a series of 'surgical strikes', a euphemism for a large-scale assault on key military and strategic installations, such as army positions, air bases, radar installations, communications infrastructure, supply routes, and, where appropriate, power stations (among other targets). More than anything this will be intended to send a message to the regime and weaken its capabilities. Yet, it would not be a fatal blow. And it would not necessarily tip the scales in favor of the rebels. It may in fact mobilize certain parties to support the regime, if there are civilian casualties from the intervention.

The solution to the Syrian situation has to be political, if it is going to lead to stability or peace. Yet, if the military intervention escalated and led to the removal of the Syrian regime, that would still not be the end of the conflict. After the Soviets were booted out of Afghanistan, the country devolved into a civil war for five years until the rise of the Taliban in 1996. Somalia has only recently stabilised (somewhat), more than 20 years after the assassination of its leader, President Siad Barre. And neighboring Lebanon, took 15 years of conflict (1975-1990) to reach an end, which was brought about by ironically Syrian military intervention (which committed its own crimes), that produced a - audible gasp - political settlement.

8. What could potentially go wrong?

Everything. The potential for disaster following military intervention in any country is great (see Black Hawk Down, Iraq, Afghanistan and the list goes on). Yet, in Syria it could be apocalyptic. Here is a list of what that could entail:

- Chemical weapons are used by Syria against its neighbors such as Jordan and Turkey, or U.S. military positions in those countries;
- U.S. planes/helicopters are shot down leading to an escalation of U.S. involvement requiring boots on the ground;
- Syria sends a volley of missiles into Tel Aviv and other places in Israel, leading to a regional war;
- Proxy forces of Iran, Hamas and Hezbollah, launch a sustained campaign against Israel/U.S. interests, including attacks embassies within Lebanon/Palestine/Israel but also in other countries, in the short and medium-term;
- Al Qaeda forces in the region, while opposing the Assad regime, oppose U.S. intervention especially if there are masses of civilian casualties, and use it as a pretext for attacks in places such as Yemen;
- Russia objects to the U.S. strike, and mobilizes warships to the Mediterranean, leading to a standoff with Europe and the U.S.;
- Negotiations with Iran, still in embryonic stages are suspended irrevocably;
- Six party talks with North Korea are suspended by Russia, China, and North Korea irrevocably;
- The Syrian regime goes all out in its conflict and begins to bomb with even more abandon civilian areas controlled by rebels, leading to thousands of casualties, and counter-massacres by enraged rebel fighters;
- The Syrian regime is removed by force from power by the intervention, leading to a power vacuum sinking the country further into civil war for over a decade of even more violent strife and a possible Al Qaeda style government;
- Tensions rise in the Middle East, especially in places of sectarian division (i.e. Lebanon, Yemen, Bahrain, Eastern Province in Saudi Arabia, and Iraq) leading to civil strife and attacks on governments, and counter-attacks on populations; and
- World War 3.

9. What could potentially go right?

It may seem that what is written above is slightly alarmist and that's true. Many things can go wrong (most of which, to be honest, are hard to predict as they will be unforeseen consequences or as Donald Rumsfeld, ironically calls them, unknown unknowns). However, the U.S.-led strikes could be quite effective. Firstly, if they are limited in scope, they can be completed in one day, reducing the risk for a military entanglement and civilian casualties. Secondly, if they are from the air, there is limited risk for casualties on the side of the intervening forces. Thirdly, an attack that is forceful and hits Syrian military positions, will send a message to Assad that there is a limit to what he can do, which thus far has not been the case, and may entice him to reach a political settlement. Fourthly, it is unlikely that the Syrian regime would retaliate, for a short strike on positions, against Israel, knowing that they cannot afford to fight a war on so many fronts (and thus far they have yet to retaliate to any Israel air strike). Finally, the systematic destruction of Assad's air capabilities could be instrumental in limiting civilian casualties by the regime in the future.

All of this is one possibility of what could occur.

10. Let's cut to the chase - should I support or not support military intervention?

There is no clearcut answer. Ultimately, military intervention should not be supported as a solution to the Syrian conflict. It is not, and whether we like it or not, a political solution/settlement is the only way the current situation moves towards peace and stability. The U.S. is negotiating with the Taliban. The Vietnamese negotiated with the U.S. The Lebanese negotiated with each other. The Dayton Accords to end the Bosnian War were signed with Slobodan Milosevic. It may not be easy, it may be unlikely, and it will not work perfectly, but political discussions involving all parties is the only way to find a real solution.

That being said, if a case is made with overwhelming evidence by independent parties (not U.S. conjecture) that chemical weapons were used by the Syrian regime, then military intervention on a limited scale, and for a period of 1-2 days only, should be undertaken, ideally with UN support - and if not with broad support of half of the members, i.e. 90, of the UN General Assembly to demonstrate legitimacy - against military targets only, which will both send a message about the use of these weapons and damage the capabilities of Assad.

What is clear is that whatever happens, there are no clear answers with regards to the conflict in Syria.

          In Egypt, is the only way forward out of the question?        
It was clear that this would be no ordinary Friday (on July 5), given all the recent events the past week in Egypt. The holy Muslim day has served, for all sides, as a critical time to mobilize demonstrations. Yesterday was no different. Masses of supporters of ousted Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi, gathered outside the Rabaa al-Adawiyah Mosque in Nasr City, an area in Cairo just several kilometres from the famed Tahrir Square. Their chants grew louder throughout the day, with a series of speeches by leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood, culminating in the fiery (oral) missive by the Supreme Guide of the movement, Mohammed Badie. It was a day of "rejection," called for by supporters of Morsi, and the rejection was vociferous and real. That rejection and its swell of supporters, later in the evening, marched down the October 6 Bridge towards Tahrir Square. Already earlier in the day, unarmed demonstrators from the pro-Morsi camp had been shot dead (as seen in this graphic video here) when coming too close to military positions. By nightfall, the two camps - the pro-Tamarod (or rebellion) groups in Tahrir & the pro-Morsi demonstrators - were in full-fledged street battles, not just in Cairo but in Alexandria and other cities as well, leaving 30 people dead.

If there's a lesson (for post-revolutionary contexts) to be taken from the past week  it is that 'impatience' is not a virtue. The military takeover of the Egyptian government - albeit fuelled by a legitimate and popular uprising - did not resolve anything but it definitely made things worse. Instead of hitting the reset button, Friday's clashes have shown that Pandora's Box is now wide open. In the midst of growing uncertainty, there would appear to be only one way forward and that is the immediate return to democratic legitimacy, whether through the re-running of a presidential election or a referendum on Mohammad Morsi. Everything else is a red herring, including discussion on whether what transpired in the last few days was a military coup.

There is no question that the movement to oust President Morsi was a popular uprising. Driven by deep frustration from political overreach (by Morsi) starting in November 2012 and exacerbated by worsening living conditions, millions of people joined the Tamarod movement, culminating in the Tahrir protests that coincided with Morsi's one year mark in office (more on this is available in a previous post). Yet, two things should have been clear: 1) Removing an elected President, no matter how unpopular, is not easy; and 2) There was a popular base that still supported President Morsi. On Friday, the latter disenfranchised group, perhaps the same that saw "their" democratically elected parliament invalidated back in September 2012 by the courts, now saw "their" democratically elected President overthrown. Add to that, the Constitution that was passed with 64% support of the vote was essentially also declared null and void by the armed forces, to be re-drafted or amended by a select committee.

To believe that an 85 year old movement - the Muslim Brotherhood - flanked by its supporters and with the winds of at least electoral legitimacy in their sails, would take these developments lying down, would have been naive. And if the face of this change for all intents and purposes was the very armed forces that have essentially dominated Egypt since 1952, than certainly it would raise the spectre of forceful if not violent resistance. Thus, what has unfolded so far in Egypt on Friday is completely expected and moreover, is a reaction that will only deepen and grow. Furthermore, there is an absence of a 'neutral' authority, as the military appears to have chosen one side in this clash of camps, especially as it is arresting leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood in the interim.

And so we arrive at the inevitable question: How bad can it really get? Despite the fact that the Brotherhood was ruling 'non-inclusively' and without an effective plan for the government, there is no basis to argue that what has replaced it is anymore inclusive (in fact likely the opposite) and has any clearer plan or set of policies for the country. The country is divided and there is no broader political or democratic legitimacy for the military transition, beyond the assumption that it represented the popular will; but can the latter be proved? We hear numbers such as 33 million bandied about but not only are these figures not based on any tangible scientific analysis (see Wired for how to measure people in Tahrir Square) but they are assuredly less 'legitimate' than an actual vote.

With both sides claiming popular support and the cringe-inducing word (thanks to Morsi's speech), 'legitimacy, the clashes that began Friday will not end and if anything, they will escalate (or become something even more dangerous if driven underground). There are 93 million people in Egypt, and each confrontation will lead to more deaths, more 'martyrs', and more outraged friends, supporters, and families. Each week that passes will only deepen the divide and the division, ultimately rooting out the basis for any coexistence in the near-term. Civil disobedience, will turn into civil strife, and civil strife could turn into, yes, civil war (a distant but real possibility). There are multiple videos emerging of salafi-jihadi style groups seeking to exploit this moment, and resort to outright violence against the governing authorities. While naysayers may be right that Egypt will not turn into Syria tomorrow, each day that passes without resolution, the disintegration of the state becomes an evermore possible scenario. And if that happens, the consequences will be unimaginable.

There then appears to be only one way forward and that is the immediate (or urgent) return to a democratic process. While there are some who have cheerleaded the military takeover and the appointment of Adly Mansour, not only does this not have broad-based (mind universal) support within Egypt, but the continuation of this process in its current form, will only destabilize the country further. Given that the unquestioned return of Mohammed Morsi to the presidency would also only inflame tensions within the previous opposition, the only way forward is to hold a referendum with the following question:

1) Do you support Mohammed Morsi finishing his full-term as President of Egypt?

It is a direct question on the mood in Egypt, and the answer given, while not quelling all unrest, would provide the legitimacy to any transitional period that would follow (that is if the people answered no). With this referendum in tow, the country could move towards new presidential elections under a carefully managed process or continue with Morsi's presidency, with guarantees that he would govern much more inclusively (if the answer is yes). Yet, who will press for this type of solution, both internally and externally? On an international level, thus far, the U.S. has appeared "aloof", the Europeans "ineffective," and the Arab states mostly partisan. And while the African Union, which has dealt with such situations previously and has come out strongly on the current situation, likely has less influence in Egypt. Thus the reality should dawn on all Egyptians and all political forces within the country that there will be no basis for compromise or true salvation, if it does not emanate from within Egypt itself.

There will be many analyses made in the coming days around definitions and comparisons. Yet, fundamentally, Egypt is not Iran in 1980 or Algeria in 1991 or Turkey in 1997. It is Egypt in 2013, as hollow as that sounds - but that is the truth through which everything flows. And any resolution that emerges, must come from within the forces of Egypt in 2013. With Nelson Mandela, appearing to be on his deathbed (and our prayers with him), it is worth heeding, in closing, some of his words of wisdom, in this crisis:

"If you want to make peace with your enemy, you have to work with your enemy. Then he becomes your partner."

          The (Counter?)Revolution in #Egypt will be Televised (and Tweeted)        
Around midnight in Cairo the night of Tuesday, July 2, millions of people in Egypt awaited the President of the Republic, Mohammad Morsi, to respond to the 48-hour ultimatum delivered by the country's military on Monday: resolve your differences with the protestors or we will do it for you. With the deadline fast approaching, and due to hit at 4:30pm local time the next day, Morsi rejected the challenge by the military in a tweet. Then, he came on television and delivered what was the most important speech in not just his life but in the history of the Muslim Brotherhood movement he represents. And it was a spectacular failure. While not as long-winded as the two-and-a-half hour speech he had given just days earlier - akin to a State of the Union - it was just as hollow. His near constant use of the word 'legitimacy' began to elicit uncontrollable laugher in many corners (with the usage count of the word at around 75 in the speech). With millions of Egyptians on the streets across the country - some in support of him but many if not most in opposition - and the military's ultimatum in the background, Morsi had seemingly put the final nail in his own coffin.

Just 30 months after the ousting of the dictator for the past 30 years, Hosni Mubarak, street protests in Egypt culminated on Wednesday night in a coup d'etat, effectively overturning the 14 democratic elections since February 11, 2011 (the total voting cycles for the parliament, presidency and constitution). Indeed, it was broader than a coup d'etat, as the Tamarod (rebellion) movement that brought millions of people to the streets was a grassroots uprising that gathered millions of signatures from ordinary Egyptians, and more significantly, managed to coalesce a previously disparate and dispirited opposition. Additionally, deposed President Mohammad Morsi had governed incompetently and non-inclusively, which seemingly left the invitation open to change. Yet, what transpired this week, especially in the final sequence of events, could be the initial salvo of a counter-revolution 2.0, potentially endangering the process of democratization in Egypt for years to come.

While things seemingly have not changed that much in Egypt, and in many ways have gotten worse, a lot has transpired. Following the departure of Mubarak and his gang from the scene, the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) took charge of managing the country's affairs. It took nearly a year to hold parliamentary elections. When it did happen, in late 2011-early 2012 the Brotherhood's party (the Freedom & Justice Party or FJP) took 38% of the vote, followed closely by the more conservative Salafist party, Al Nour, which took 28%. Given that this body would determine the fate of the new constitution (and the assembly to draft it), the fact that it was dominated by 'Islamists' already meant the new era of Egypt was handed a poisoned chalice in the eyes of many. Six months later, in June 2012, the Presidential elections saw a run-off between a former Prime Minister but tainted 'remnant' of the old Mubarak regime, Ahmed Shafiq, and Mohammed Morsi (representing the Muslim Brotherhood). Morsi won, and with the backing of protests in the famed Tahrir Square, also managed to wrest plenty of executive authority from SCAF. Within two months, Morsi also seemed to assert civilian control over the military, with a shuffling of key positions in the defense establishment.

Then on November 22, 2012, with full executive powers, and the parliament in limbo (due to pending court cases), Morsi assumed essentially legislative powers and declared himself immune from judicial oversight until a new constitution was formed. In essence that gave birth to the current movement (well at least the National Salvation Front that formed 2 days later and was a hodge-podge of opposition groups, including figures such as Mohamed El Baradei) which culminated in Morsi's removal from office this week. Morsi and the FJP then ham-fisted a constitution through a referendum, which garnered the support of 64% of the voting public. However, the process was not led by consensus and Morsi appeared to be increasingly marginalizing the judiciary, which many viewed as being too linked to the old regime, especially given that many senior judges were appointed by Hosni Mubarak (the judges had their own democracy movement in 2006 so not a unified group by any means). Yet for many in the opposition, the judiciary was still a check against Morsi and the Brotherhood's power. And there were also complaints about the ikhwanization of the state; given what transpired this week, this appeared not to have been the case.

Nevertheless, the concentration of power by the Brotherhood and its non-inclusive method of governance as described above, could have overcome minor challenges from the opposition, if Morsi had enacted policies that improved the lives of everyday people. His approval rating had begun to drop dramatically, falling to 28% of the public just weeks before his overthrow. This was mainly due to the inability of the government to turnaround the economy, with 25% of Egyptians below the poverty line, unemployment on the rise, and the country's fiscal health on the decline. Meanwhile, his approach to foreign policy of aligning with the US, engaging with Iran, partnering with Qatar, and leading the charge on Syria, did little to assuage a frustrated public waiting for change at home in their daily lives that had yet to materialize. And sectarian clashes that mainly killed Shiites and Christians tarnished the impartial role the President was assumed to play, given that he was close to figures that were prone to incitement.

In the backdrop of all of this, the Tamarod movement, which started just several months ago (in April), began to tap into the widespread anger and frustration. Gone was the gloss of a technocratic 'Islamist' party - a la the AKP in Turkey, who incidentally are having their own issues - replaced instead by the reality of the FJP in Egypt. And gone also was the mystique of a survivalist Brotherhood that was the David against the Goliath of the last half century; the Brotherhood was now the Goliath, and seemingly squandering the power that it had accumulated. The Tamarod activists claimed to have gathered 22 million signatures, in a country of 93 million people, which seems patently ridiculous for many demographic/logistical reasons (in the course of just two months). Nevertheless, their demands were clear, and principally centered on early Presidential elections (Morsi had served one of a four-year term). They were supported by umbrella opposition groups such as the National Salvation Front, April 6 Movement, and others, and with their deadline of June 30 for Morsi to respond coming fast, thousands and then millions began to fill Egypt's squares (some as noted in support of Morsi).

By Wednesday, just prior to the removal of Morsi from power, several implications of what was transpiring were already clear. Firstly, the Tamarod movement, and subsequent mobilization demonstrated that there could be an organized opposition to Islamists in the 'new' Arab world, and that this secular alternative could mobilize numbers. This could have far-reaching consequences in other countries such as Tunisia, where Islamists like the Nahda Party hold sway, as well as eventually (in the longer-term) in autocratic countries where often the only strong opposition movements are bogeyman Islamists movements. Secondly, Morsi's reign had as noted above, dulled - as power does to any party - the shine of the Brotherhood. It has been noted, for example that the clashes that led to the separation of the West Bank & Gaza Strip, and undermined the Hamas victory in Palestinian elections, only emboldened Hamas instead of forcing the movement into the pubic accountability spotlight.

Of course, in the euphoria of what the opposition was about to gain, the darkness just around the corner might have seemed far away. With millions on the street, and the military indicating a willingness to force itself on the scene as the arbitrator, Morsi offered a new constitutional process, a unity government of technocrats, and an accelerated schedule of new parliamentary elections but it was too little too late it seemed for the street, especially with the military now backing the activists' play. And so instead of a negotiated agreement with President Morsi, or a legal process through the courts, or any other process through civilian authorities, it was the military that removed Morsi from power. The crowds in Tahrir Square cheered but the supporters of the deposed President, in Nasr City (also in Cairo), jeered. In a carefully choreographed display, the civil secular state - with an associated roadmap essentially a reset of the revolutionary period - was re-established by three initial speeches: first by General Abdul Fatah al-Sisi, head of the armed forces (appointed by Morsi), second by the Grand Sheikh of Al Azhar, and third by the Coptic Pope. Short statements followed from a range of opposition figures, including a representative of Tamarod and El Baradei and the conservative Nour Party.

If you are an opponent of the Muslim Brotherhood, this was indeed a victory. And given the direction that Egypt was going, if you are an Egyptian, you can only hope that this could lead to a more positive future. Whatever the case, however, the military re-takeover appears to also be a re-launch of the counter-revolution. The autocratic powers that be in the region were effusive and immediate in their praise of the military and the coup. More worryingly, was the systematic campaign of arrests that already started to unfold late into the night of Muslim Brotherhood activists, leaders, affiliated journalists, and yes even Mohammad Morsi. The military is looking not just to referee the playing field but to define the playing field and the players allowed on it. That's not democracy. It may be that in the modern Arab world the demographics are such that the debate is about choosing between liberalism and democracy, but isn't that the false choice of the last 40-50 years offered by autocratic rulers in the Arab world? And there is nothing 'rosy' about liberal autocracy versus religious autocracy in this region. In fact, if anything, liberal/secular authoritarianism has been the bane of decay in modern Arab history: the Baath parties in Iraq and Syria, Ben Ali's Tunis, Mubarak's Egypt, and the list goes on.

Yet, unless the Egyptian military is kept in check, it will likely go down the path it knows best and one that it has followed since 1952, which is to systematically crush dissent and marginalise and exclude the Muslim Brotherhood. All indications today point to a proclivity to re-instate this exclusion, which could lead to an Algeria scenario of the 1990s, albeit in a different form, of course. Paradoxically, as this new Pandora's Box is opened, the only hope to keep the military in check is the very street and youth who demanded its removal from the scene, and then demanded it to come back to its role as guarantor of the state. Hopefully the tamarod or rebellion, will keep that spirit, now that they have been given a share of the power.





          Why Dubai is the best (biggest, tallest, and coolest) candidate for Expo 2020        
In 1968 when then ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed al Maktoum (father of the current ruler, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid) and the ruler of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan al Nahyan, agreed to form a federation of what were then then The Trucial States, a British protectorate, hardly anyone could have envisioned what the United Arab Emirates would have become today, nearly 45 years after that historic meeting [eventually seven of the nine 'sheikhdoms' joined the union]. For all intents and purposes, at inception in 1971, the United Arab Emirates could be described as a desolate backwater, despite a strong history of local traditions, and legacy as a trading post. Today, Dubai and the UAE bring forth images of economic strength and progress in an increasingly volatile and definitively confused region. Dubai's development, specifically, is a once-in-a-generation global phenomenon, and the city is unique like no other. As the bid committee for Expo 2020 look to decide on the host city for the world event seven years from now, there really is no other choice but Dubai - and let me tell you why.

1. The other candidate cities are Izmir, Sao Paulo, Yekaterinburg, and Ayutthaya...

There is nothing wrong with Izmir, Sao Paulo, Yekaterinburg, and Ayutthaya but do they really measure up to Dubai? Now before anyone gets in a tizzy or their 'socks' in a twist, they are all great cities! Izmir is Turkey's third-largest city and home to a great literary tradition.  Sao Paulo is one of the five largest metropolitan areas on the planet. Yekaterinburg (in Russia), well it's Yekaterinburg and they have a monument to Michael Jackson. And Ayutthaya was the historical capital of the Kingdom of Siam. Let's just say the final three are likely Izmir, Sao Paulo and Dubai. Izmir is certainly a great city but does not have the global resonance of Dubai. And Sao Paulo...well Brazil has both the Olympics (2016) and the World Cup (2014); are you telling me that they really need the pesky Expo 2020 as well!?

2. The Expo needs a city of significance to make the event significant

Do you remember where the last Expo was held (or even that there is an Expo!)? You could be forgiven for not recalling that it was Yeosu, South Korea. Where was the one in 2010? That's right Shanghai. The Expo 2010 attracted a staggering 73 million visitors and was the most visited exhibition of its kind and brought together 189 different expositions from around the world. While in 2015 the Expo will be held in Milan and in 2017 in Astana (Kazakhstan) it is likely that it would take the Expo 2020 in Dubai to bring the event back to the international spotlight (the governing body regards the Expos held every 5 years to be 'World' Expos). In fact, it normally requires an emerging or new city of a transformative nature to inspire the type of attention that Shanghai in 2010 did (or Osaka in 1970 etc).

3. The entire ethos of Dubai is synonymous with what Expo 2020 would be about

Dubai is a global city by its very nature. It is home to over 2 million residents - and growing - from all over the world and from every socio-economic background, representing over 200 nationalities. The city is at once a home to and meeting-ground for people from the the Middle East, Subcontinent, Central Asia, Africa (especially East Africa) and Europe, North America, and Australia. There are even an estimated 180,000 Chinese residents in Dubai.  With the tourist profile of the city, Dubai has in fact become the 8th most visited city in the world (in 2012). It's cultural diversity is on constant display with a burgeoning arts scene (that is driven at the grassroots level), international film festivals, culinary celebrations, and so much more that you might as well just visit Timeout magazine.

4. Dubai inspires the imagination as the Expo event is meant to do

The landmark World Expo (or Great Exhibition) was organized under the auspices of Queen Victoria's husband, Prince Albert, all the way back in 1851, in Hyde Park. It was an inspiring event that showcased the burgeoning city of London - the world's city at the time - and the promise of a future driven by technology and industrialization.  In a region too full of dark pessimism and cynicism, Dubai represents optimism and opportunity. And it will represent that even more so in 2020, as the city, albeit far along the way, is only at the beginning of its journey in my view of what it will become. Think about it. Who would have said twenty years ago that the world's tallest building would be built in the (Arabian) Gulf? Who would have said only several years ago after the 9/11 attacks that the world's leading airline would be from an Arab country? Who would have thought that the 3rd largest ports operator in the world, handling over 33 million containers annually, would be from Dubai? Today, when you look at the volatile, unstable, and stagnant Middle East, there is one destination for entrepreneurs and innovators to go to - and that is Dubai.

5. Expo 2020 would drive Dubai and the UAE to improve

Before I even write this sentence, I'm sure several of London's finest are in a huff-and-puff that I have not yet mentioned jailed Islamists or tourists having sex in a taxi Better yet, given the refusal-of-entry for a scholar from LSE this past week, shouldn't I be talking about the closure of the academic environment (I mean I masquerade as an intellectual from time to time as well)? Whether or not I believe in liberal democracy (I do - shock!), is it really a matter of discussion for Expo 2020? Well, in that case, we should reject Izmir's candidacy because of Turkey's campaign against Kurdish militants, Ayutthaya's candidacy because of Thailand's campaign in Malay Pattani, Yekaterinburg's candidacy because of Russia's crackdown on political opposition, and Sao Paulo's candidacy because of Brazil's anti-slum raids. Such nullification would leave no one left to host the event! Now beyond the two issues I mentioned above there are a number of continuing issues of concern in the UAE, allow me to list some of them: labor rights (even though this is improving); integration of stateless residents (i.e. bidoons); and increased confusion around cyber surveillance. Hosting the Expo 2020 would not exacerbate but more than likely shed more light on and ameliorate these challenges. In fact, the event would serve as a target-date for when Dubai and the UAE will be (even more so) on the world stage, and that attention would drive improvements on areas of concern.

There are more reasons than the five I've listed here on why Dubai should be the host for Expo 2020, but I like the number 5 (it's the former consultant in me - I almost went with three). Whether you live here or plan to visit, I look forward to seeing you in Dubai in 2020! Until then:

What are the problems with Hamilton 68?

The researchers say “the accounts tracked by the dashboard include a mix of such users and is the fruit of more than three years of observation and monitoring,” citing a November 2016 article by Weisburd, Watts, and Berger, titled, “Trolling for Trump: How Russia Is Trying to Destroy Our Democracy.” The text outlines a wide array of Russian “active measures” designed to erode Americans’ faith in their democracy, including efforts as serious as military-orchestrated hacker attacks. Hamilton 68, however, doesn’t claim to track secret Russian hackers, and what we (supposedly) get is relatively underwhelming.
“Attributed government or pro-Russian accounts.” We actually have some idea which accounts Hamilton 68 is tracking, when it talks about this group of Twitter accounts. At the top of the dashboard, there is a widget called “Top Tweets of the Last 24 Hours” featuring a repeating rotation of “top tweets” by Russian state Twitter accounts. At the time of this writing, the accounts displayed belong to the Russian Foreign Ministry, RT America, RT.com, Sputnik International, and RT UK News.
The Alliance for Securing Democracy says its goal with this project is to “spread awareness of what bad actors are doing online” and to help journalists “appropriately identify Russian-sponsored information campaigns.” But what journalist needs a “dashboard” to know that the Russian Foreign Ministry’s Twitter account belongs to “Russian-sponsored information campaigns”? And what is the use of singling out that RT America tweeted about a school explosion in Minneapolis on August 2? Perhaps Russian “active measures” aim to “erode trust between citizens and elected officials and democratic institutions,” and maybe reporting on tragedies or infrastructure failures in America furthers this aim, but characterizing such tweets as “what bad actors are doing” comes eerily close to branding such journalism a Russian propaganda effort.
“Bots and human accounts run by troll factories.” All we know about this category in Hamilton 68’s methodology is that researchers periodically have to “replace accounts that are suspended,” meaning that the dashboard possibly doesn’t monitor a full 600 Twitter accounts at all times, if the deleted bots on the list aren’t replaced automatically. According to Weisburd, Watts, and Berger, bots are a “key tool for moving misinformation and disinformation from primarily Russian-influenced circles into the general social media population,” citing fake reports about a second military coup in Turkey and a gunman at JFK airport.
These incidents stand out, however, because they’re so rare and extreme, and Hamilton 68’s focus on bots risks overlooking the typically futile background noise these accounts produce online. Because the accounts aren’t identified, moreover, there’s no way of knowing if the bots reflected in the dashboard weren’t temporarily hired to promote pro-Russian content before some other client — a shoe company or a vitamin manufacturer, for instance — ordered the latest campaign. This may be a wild, silly hypothetical, but we don’t know any better, with the raw data hidden from us.
“Accounts run by people who amplify pro-Russian themes after being influenced by Russian propaganda efforts.” This is far and away the trickiest, most problematic aspect of The Alliance for Securing Democracy’s new project, and it’s also presumably where researchers wanted most to avoid “debate” about their selection criteria. How do you identify “pro-Russian amplifiers” if Russian propaganda’s themes dovetail with alternative American political views? One of the problems with PropOrNot, in Adrian Chen’s words, was that it unfairly targeted media outlets that “exhibited a pattern of beliefs outside the political mainstream.”
Hamilton 68 tries to dodge this issue by concealing the people it says are “pro-Russian amplifiers.”
J.M. Berger says the project’s selection process has a “98-percent confidence rate,” but that’s an easy claim to defend, when you won’t tell anyone who's on the list.
Kevin Rothrock

          An open letter to County and City of Miami Commissioners. By Geniusofdespair         

With respect to all County Commissioners,Tomorrow, while considering settling with FPL on the lawsuit to bury Turkey Point Transmission Lines, also consider that this is an encroachment on our power as a community, our health and our environment.  
Settling would require the City to dismiss other critical suits against FPL, including challenging the utility company's:

1) application to license and operate two new nuclear power plants at Turkey Point

2) siting of its two new nuclear plants

3) ability to charge the public for the construction of the new plants that will likely never be built

A settlement would also require that the City not get involved in other ongoing cases against FPL at a time when the City has been making progress on these issues. 

SOLAR, WIND, and WAVE ENERGY is RIGHT NOW ... and it's CLEAN, it's GREEN. 

You can't help but notice the bombardment  of TV & radio ads from FPL,  trying to convince us they provide only clean energy! Must be spending MILLIONS $$$$ on that campaign. 
Yet they pollute our bay waters near Turkey point, overheat it's cooling canals to the algal choking point, charge us for future enterprises that will be obsolete as of ... yesterday, and force us to pay cleanup costs for their spills. What kind of deterrant is that?!
Yet their investors profit at our expense. 

And they're seeking Federal Approval to dump nuclear waste below our aquifer!!! What could possibly go wrong with thatEVERYTHING. Do you think the Feds care about our aquifer?
Just check out all the toxic mishaps from deep waste well drilling around the country (Google will pop 'em right up for ya). Energy companies pay the light fines and keep polluting.

FPL is a bully. Ask any Solar enterprise in Florida. 

We need to send a strong message to FPL to move forward ... or get out of the way! 

Thanks, 
Pat Bonner Milon

          Oh What A Deal! Will City of Miami capitulate to Florida Power and Light? We hope NOT ... by gimleteye        
It is still a question to be addressed at Thursday's city commission meeting, but judging from the fine print of an exhaustive agreement, the City of Miami will "only" pay $27 million as its portion of the cost to bury high voltage power lines along US Route 1; part of the infrastructure program ratepayers will otherwise shoulder for two new nuclear reactors that FPL is aiming towards the lowest lying floodplain in Florida.

In return for this "great" deal? The City of Miami will agree to drop its lawsuits against FPL. Up until this point, the city's legal department has been a credible protector of taxpayer and citizens -- unlike the City of Coral Gables -- in the uproar over installing high voltage power lines along one of the busiest residential and business districts in South Florida.

It's insanity, and you may have a chance to express your objections and opposition at the Thursday meeting of the Miami City Commission. Please read this action alert from Miami Waterkeeper:

Dear All,

We have recently become aware that the City of Miami is considering settling with FPL on the transmission line suit. Unfortunately, this settlement also would require the City to dismiss other critical suits against FPL, including challenging FPL's 1) application to license and operate two new nuclear power plants at Turkey Point, 2) the siting challenge for the 2 new plants, and 3) their ability to charge the public for the construction of the new plants that will likely never be build. The settlement would also require that the City not get involved in other ongoing cases against FPL. And, all this when the City has been making great progress on these issues against FPL and is one of the biggest dogs in this fight.

All in all, it seems like a terrible deal for the citizens and for the environment and a big win for FPL. 

The City Commission is voting on this item at this Thursday's commission meeting (3500 Pan American Drive, Miami, FL 33133). There is an opportunity for public comment at 9am and before the item is heard. 



We would like as many people as possible to show up to give public comment at both the 9am comment session and before the item is heard. We also ask that people contact the Commissioners to ask them to vote against this settlement. Commissioner Russell is already voting no. 

Please also share on social media:

"Tell the City of Miami not to give in to FPL at the commission meeting this Thursday at 9am (3500 Pan American Drive). We need them to stay in the fight for our community's health and safety -- and for the environment too! Call your commissioners (http://www.miamigov.com/home/cityofficials.html) today!" 

​Please share with others so that we can get a critical mass in attendance!​

Thank you,

-- 
Rachel Silverstein, Ph.D.
Executive Director & Waterkeeper
Miami Waterkeeper



          With Rebels on Run, Turkey Gets Tougher         

Turkey seems to have won the upper hand in its long and costly war against a Kurd separatist movement. And amid new military gains against the rebel group PKK, or Kurdish Workers Party, Turkey's position has only hardened.

The prospect of a negotiated settlement with the group, which seeks a homeland for the region's ethnic Kurds, including 12 million in Turkey, appears to have faded.

Turkey is a key NATO ally that has increasingly sought to cement its special relationship with the United States, particularly since being snubbed earlier this year for membership in the European Union. The EU cited human rights concerns - including questions about Turkey's treatment of Kurds - as a reason it was not admitted.

The recent capture of a top PKK commander, Semdin Sakik, came amid an offensive in which Turkey's Army also claims to have killed scores of rebels in Turkey's southeast.

'Brink of collapse'

"The PKK has received a severe blow and is on the brink of total collapse," said a senior member of the Army's general staff April 17, speaking on condition of anonymity. "Now it is up to the government and other civilian organizations to resolve the region's economic and social problems, which are the real cause of the violence," he said.

Another military source, asked whether the "defeat" of the PKK might encourage Turkish authorities to listen to recent PKK overtures for a settlement, was blunt: "No one in Turkey would agree to negotiate with terrorists," he said. "We have always resisted any contacts with the PKK, and now that they are crumbling, there cannot be any question of ... acceptance of their conditions."

A call has gone up among liberal Turks, however, to go beyond economic and social reform in the region. There is debate over allowing Kurds to use their language in education, broadcasting, and official contacts.

"If we want this [military success] to be permanent, we have to deal urgently with other aspects of the problem," wrote Hasan Cemal, a prominent columnist for the daily newspaper Sabah, on April 17. "To secure economic well-being in the southeast is only one aspect; the other is to respect [Kurdish] identity and their rights to use their culture and language," he wrote.

Army and government still at odds

Tensions remain high between the Army, which regards itself as guardian of the secular state founded by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk more than 70 years ago, and the civilian government. Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz was not told about the raid to capture Mr. Sakik until the operation was over.

At the time the raid was being undertaken, PKK chief Abdullah Ocalan was making an appeal to both Mr. Yilmaz and to Gen I. H. Karadayi, the Army chief of staff. Mr. Ocalan proposed a cease-fire followed by a dialogue, and stressed that he was not trying to establish an independent Kurdish state, which had previously been stated as the PKK's aim.

In a statement broadcast April 17 by a London-based Kurdish TV station, Ocalan pointed to the "Northern Ireland formula" as an example for Turkey. "I'm prepared to leave the arms and enable [talks]," he said.

But one senior government official says Ocalan is simply trying a new tactic. He says Turkey's "southeast problem" - officials still refuse to refer to it as a "Kurdish problem" - has no resemblance to the situation in Northern Ireland.

Public opinion, beyond that of the liberal elite, seems to favor a hard line. Many Turks blame the PKK for 14 years of terrorism, the deaths of 30,000 people, and a cost to Turkey of $80 billion. Many have rallied for the execution of Sakik, who is likely to be tried for several guerrilla attacks, including one that killed 33 Turkish soldiers in 1993.

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          When It Comes to Flu Shots, the More Influenza Strains, the Better        
Researchers conducted a test of the new four-strain influenza vaccine, available for the first time this year, to determine how well it protected against the flu in young children. The four strain vaccine, which protects against four types of influenza–two viruses from the A class and two from the B class–does as good a job of protecting against flu than the three-strain shot, but is better at preventing moderate to severe disease than the traditional immunization. The international group of researchers, who described their findings in a report published in the New England Journal of Medicine, attributed the four-strain, or quadrivalent vaccine’s effectiveness to the fact that it contained both circulating B types of influenza. In previous years, in which only one of the B strains was included, the immunization had a 50-50 chance of being mismatched to the circulating virus, making it less effective. The scientists tested the quadrivalent flu vaccine in 2,379 children ages three to eight in Bangladesh, the Dominican Republic, Honduras, Lebanon, Panama, the Philippines, Thailand and Turkey and compared their rates of flu infection to a control group of 2398 children who received a hepatitis A vaccine. The study was sponsored by GlaxoSmithKline, which donated both vaccines for the trial. Compared to the control group, the four strain vaccine was 55% effective in protecting against flu. That’s similar to the efficacy of the three strain shots, but, the research team found, the quadrivalent shot was 70% effective in preventing more serious cases of the flu; most of the children who did get sick after getting vaccinated only had mild symptoms. The four-strain shot also resulted in 69% fewer medical visits, 75% fewer hospitalizations, 77% fewer absences from school, and 61% fewer parent absences from work. That’s an important benefit, since flu can result in lost school days for children and lower productivity for adults. “The efficacy of the vaccine was higher against moderate-to-severe disease–a potentially important end point associated with the highest clinical, social, and economic burden–than against illness of any severity,” the authors conclude.
          Istanbul, right now…        

Really, what is happening with all the terrorist attacks, with the turmoil in politics, a failed coup attempt, subdued economic depression, urban transformations and all the negative things going on around in Istanbul and in Turkey? That is what you have been reading and hearing about my city anyway. But...

The post Istanbul, right now… appeared first on Istanbul Food.


          Faces of Turkey by The Perennial Plate!        

It was a very hot summer day in Istanbul… Me, Daniel and Mirra of The Perennial Plate strolled all day long…  I took them to my favorite places, introduced them to my favorite people… We ate, we talked, had a good time and they shot their video… I was happy...

The post Faces of Turkey by The Perennial Plate! appeared first on Istanbul Food.


          Happy Mothers Day 2014!        
This was our first Mothers Day in NC. Another first celebration in this state we now call home :) My parents are in Iowa with Richards mom so sadly i did not spend the day with her. However, I am so thankful they could be with his mom right now. She's very sick and its important he has as much time with her as possible. 

Y'all Im not going to lie. Being a mom is hard. Whats even harder? Being a single mom. But I would not change my life or any part of it! I love my baby girl with every ounce I have in me. Im so thankful the Lord chose me to be her mama. She challenges me, teaches me, and loves me unconditionally. There is not a job in the world that pays more than those things. 

We celebrated last weekend with brunch while my parents were still here. They got me an adorable card from Loo and drew her hand inside. I literally teared up. They also gave her some money to give to me and she came in saying "mommy paint a nails." Her little vocab is so cute right now.
 

This Sunday was pretty low key. We spent the morning at church. Then we came home and I made a delicious brunch full of potatoes, danishes, and little egg muffins full of a chorizo and ground turkey mix (to keep it light), some spinach and green chiles. I was very happy to cook rather than going out. It would've been like a mad house and since I just finished a cleanse (more not that later) I wanted to be abel to watch what I ate better. 

The rest of the day was very relaxing. Lindsey laid down for a nap and this mama did too. Then we played for a while and talked with Grammy and Pappy. Her saying Happy Mothers Day is too stinkin cute! That evening we went and had froyo at TCBY. Holy yum! They were giving free yogurt to moms and had SO many healthy and unhealthy ;) options. 



After yogurt we came home and played outside until it was time to start winding down for bed. Me and loo read a new book and snuggled until she was a sleep. I couldn't think of a better way to spend mothers day.



I had a very relaxing day and it was really nice to just enjoy being who God has called me to be. I never thought I would be a mom this young in life but I am SO glad God had different plans for me. My baby has changed my life in ways I would have never dreamed. During the difficult days thats what I need to remember. God chose me to do this. He trusted me to raise his little girl and bring her to Him. Its a big job but with Him by my side, I know it will work out to His glory. Everything always does :) 


I hope everyone had a very blessed Mothers day 
xoxo

          Can we just take a minute and chat?        
Is it really already the middle of February? Is my baby girl really going to be two next week?? 2014 please slow down just for a second. This mama needs a chance to catch her breath.

Some big things going on in my life recently! I was offered admission into the Honors College at UNCG! This is huge. I got an email saying they were taking applications but I just brushed it off. I figured there was no way I would ever get accepted so why bother trying. Then a day later in the mail I received this letter:

I did not even apply they just offered me admission. Holy amazing. Thank you sweet Jesus for always keeping me motivated and giving me strength. It’s only through you I have achieved all that I have.

Another big thing in my life: I am giving up my diet coke addiction COLD TURKEY. I have been getting constant headaches for the longest time. I thought it was just part of having a toddler. However, recently I have been really paying attention to the additives and GMO’s I’ve been consuming and it seems aspartame is the culprit of my headaches. I narrowed it down to that after I cut out diet coke and then had a crystal light packet in my water. Instant headache. I googled the ingredients in Crystal light and wouldn’t ya know aspartame is on there. No more diet anything for this girl. I’ve been replacing it with this amazing green and white mint tea from Trader Joes. I drink copious amount of water through the day and like to have something else with my meals. Breakfast I have coffee and lunch and dinner I would have a diet coke. Not anymore and I feel a lot better.

Can we talk about how much my girl loves The Wizard of Oz? She has become literally obsessed. She asks for “witch” constantly. Hopefully she doesn’t do it outside the house because sometimes witch sounds like, well that other word that rhymes.

Girlfriend has some awesome headphones

 But anyway, she will sit so insanely still the whole time. She has even started singing along which just makes my heart of stone melt like ice cream on a hot summer day. She has so much personality wrapped up in such a little girl. I love it! She also only has 2 teeth left to break through! The top molars are giving her real issues though. Terrible sleeping patterns, hit or miss with eating, and only sleeps well when snuggled up next to mommy.
She is also quite the bed hog :)
 I don’t mind the snuggles. I know one day they wont be here. I just wish she wasn’t in pain. I can tell when they are really bothering her because she just is so out of whack. She went like two straight weeks without a nap. I thought we both were going to jump out the windows with frustration. She’s back to napping thank goodness!

My church has started a 40 Day Devotion called “God’s Story, My Story.” 


Its great so far. I love growing closer to God especially as a congregation. The church actually wrote the devotion. It focuses on how God uses our story for His glory. Regardless of your past, God can use everything to his glory. The stories in her are of amazing transformation and God working in people's lives.  Once a week we meet with our small groups for deeper devotion. Going with that I have decided to cut out pretty much all processed foods. I want to focus more on my relationship with Christ and getting on a deeper level with Him. I have been reading Made to Crave by Lysa Turkurst and it is really changing the way I am relating food to my relationship with Christ. I plan on doing a full review once I’m done. The main point is that yes God made us to crave so that we would always want more of Him. However, the devil uses the craving to push us further from him and towards unhealthy food, sexual immorality, gambling, drugs etc. Its really opened my eyes to how much the devil really prowls waiting to jump on God’s children. Lots of prayer. Lots of prayer. Lots of prayer!!!

Well with all the snow coming our way it is time to bunker down for the snowpocalypse. 


Stay warm my friends
xoxo




          Foodie eResources for Kids        
This post contains suggestions for how to earn your Chow Down: E-lectrified badge.
Learn more and earn badges on the Connect Your Summer page.

 

Use your Canton Library Card to access digital books and media using Hoopla.

How does Raccoon love pizza? Oh, let him count the ways. He loves the gooey cheesy-ness, salty pepperoni-ness, sweet sweet tomato-ness, and of course the crispity crunchity crust. But someone is always chasing poor Raccoon away from his favorite food with a broom! What's a hungry raccoon to do? Plan an elaborate secret pizza party, of course! But shhh! It's a secret! In fact, you should probably just forget I told you. Nope, no secret pizza party happening here. You didn't already tell all your friends, did you? Uh oh...

Ever wonder how to handle a Hot Potato? or make a Fruit Salad?? Murray, Jeff, Anthony and Greg will have your child singing, laughing and grooving. Sing along to funny tunes about numbers, food and favorite animal friends. Also along for the yummy fun is Dorothy, Wags, Henry and Captain Feathersword. Get ready to Wiggle!.

Dragons love tacos. They love chicken tacos, beef tacos, great big tacos, and teeny tiny tacos. So if you want to lure a bunch of dragons to your party, you should definitely serve tacos. Buckets and buckets of tacos. Unfortunately, where there are tacos, there is also salsa. And if a dragon accidentally eats spicy salsa...oh, boy. You're in red-hot trouble. The award-winning team behind Those Darn Squirrels! has created an unforgettable, laugh-until-salsa-comes-out-of-your-nose tale of new friends and the perfect snack. This title has Read-Along subtitles.

With methods of eating and manners that are probably all too familiar to children and adults, these mischievous dinosaurs show in a big way that burping, spilling, playing with one's food and outright refusing to eat are not the best ways to enjoy a meal. An entertaining guide to table manners and a good reminder that positive and pleasant mealtime behavior gets the best results.

Get on board the double-decker bus with Sean, Noodle and Doodle! Make delicious recipes and kid friendly creations to remember a special vacation using materials from around the home. Also along for the ride is Sean's dog Doggity who cooks up five special treats. All Aboard the Noodle and Doodle bus!.

The Thanksgiving feast is over. Leftover turkey and pumpkin pie litter the table. Mouse peeps out of his hidey-hole and spots a small green pea, the perfect feast for one mouse. Yes, one green pea, one red cranberry, one plate of mashed potatoes, and one roasted turkey, that should make a very fine feast for Mouse. But can he get it all back to his hidey-hole?.

Sendak's classic comic fantasy of Mickey's adventures in the night kitchen tells us how we get our morning cake.

Pete the Cat bites into a bad banana and decides that he never, ever wants to eat bananas again. But Pete really likes bananas! Will a rotten bite ruin Pete's love for this tasty fruit? Beginning readers will laugh along with Pete in this hilarious I Can Read tale.

When springtime comes, Bear wakes up very hungry! His friends help him find good things to eat, but will his hunger EVER be satisfied?.


          What's Cooking?        
This post contains suggestions for how to earn your Chow Down: E-lectrified and Keep It Real: E-lectrified badges.
Learn more and earn badges on the Connect Your Summer page.

Learn about your food - where it comes from, how it's made, and the history of how and why we started to eat what we eat - with some of these informative documentaries.

This film shows how human desires are an essential, intricate part of natural history by exploring the natural history of four plants -the apple, the tulip, marijuana, and the potato - and the corresponding human desires - sweetness, beauty, intoxication and control. This two-hour documentary begins in Michael Pollan's garden, and roams the world, from the fields of Iowa to the apple forests of Kazakhstan, from a medical marijuana hot house to the tulip markets of Amsterdam.

"Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants." These simple words go to the heart of food journalist Pollan's thesis. Humans used to know how to eat well, he argues, but the balanced dietary lessons that were once passed down through generations have been confused and distorted by food industry marketers, nutritional scientists, and journalists. As a result, we face today a complex culinary landscape dense with bad advice and foods that are not "real." Indeed, plain old eating is being replaced by an obsession with nutrition that is, paradoxically, ruining our health, not to mention our meals. Pollan's advice is: "Don't eat anything that your great-great grandmother would not recognize as food."

Discusses the enduring appeal of soul food, and presents an overview of its history, covering its roots in Western Africa, its incarnation in the American South, and the role it plays in the health crisis in the African American community.

In-depth investigation into unlabeled genetically-modified foods which have become increasingly prevalent in grocery stores. Unravels the complex web of market and political forces that are changing the nature of what we eat.

Also available in: e-video

The drive to obtain food has been a major catalyst across all of history, from prehistoric times to the present. Take an enthralling journey into the human relationship to food as you travel the world discovering fascinating food lore and culture of all regions and eras-as an eye-opening lesson in history as well as a unique window on what we eat today.

Also available in: e-video

Explores how large corporations and government agencies control agriculture and food processing, and how those practices affect human, environmental, and economic health.

Also available in: e-video

American food is in a state of crisis. Obesity and diabetes are on the rise, food costs are skyrocketing, family farms are in decline, and our agricultural environment is in jeopardy. Explore a thriving local food movement as our world becomes a more flavorless, disconnected, and dangerous place to eat.

Also available in: e-video

Every year in America we throw away 96 billion pounds of food - 263 million pounds a day. Inspired by a curiosity about society's careless habit of sending good, edible food straight to landfills, the multi award-winning documentary DIVE! follows filmmaker Jeremy Seifert and friends as they dumpster dive in the back alleys and gated garbage receptacles of Los Angeles' supermarkets. In the process, they salvage thousands of dollars worth of good, edible food - resulting in an eye-opening documentary that is equal parts entertainment, guerilla journalism and call to action.

Also available in: e-video

From rooftop farmers to backyard beekeepers, Americans are growing food like never before. Growing Cities goes coast to coast to tell the stories of these intrepid urban farmers, activists, and everyday city-dwellers who are challenging the way this country feeds itself. From those growing in backyards to make ends meet to educators teaching kids to eat healthier, viewers find that urban farming is about much more than simply good food.

Also available in: e-video

Examines the possibility of eliminating diseases like heart disease and diabetes through a plant-based diet.

This chronicles what director Lathe Poland learned after he was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. He sought to find out why he got sick, because he didn't fit the classic picture of an adult onset diabetes sufferer. He quickly learned that much of what he knew about healthy eating was based on myths or fifty-year-old science. He searches out why Americas modern food culture is killing us. The upside? There is a lot that can be done!.

An A-to-Z encyclopedia of Raw Food, perfect for beginners and Raw Food enthusiasts.

How do GMOs affect our children, the health of our planet, and our freedom of choice? These and other questions take director Seifert on a journey from his family's table to Haiti, Paris, Norway, and the lobby of agra-giant Monsanto, from which he is unceremoniously ejected. Along the way we gain insight into a question that is of growing concern to citizens the world over: what's on your plate?

Looks at some of the scientific aspects of food, including the chemistry involved in cooking a turkey, the nutritional benefits of cooking, and how taste works.

When a marketing executive for a huge burger chain finds a nasty secret ingredient in their burger recipe, he goes to the ranches and slaughterhouses of Colorado to investigate and finds that the truth is sometimes difficult to swallow.

Also available in: e-video

Americans' right to access fresh, healthy foods of their choice is under attack. Farmageddon tells the story of small, family farms that were providing safe, healthy foods to their communities and were forced to stop, sometimes through violent action, by agents of misguided government bureaucracies, and seeks to figure out why.

Narrated by Katie Couric, the film blows the lid off everything that was known about food and exercise, revealing a 30-year campaign by the food industry, aided by the U.S. government, to mislead and confuse the American public. Exposing the hidden truths contributing to one of the largest health epidemics in history, it follows a group of families battling to lead healthier lives and reveals why the conventional wisdom of 'exercise and eat right' is not ringing true for millions of people.

Frontline investigates the dangerous pathogens in meat, particularly in chicken.


          Happy Un-turkey day        


May all beings have happiness and its causes.
May all beings be free from suffering and its causes.
May all beings never be separated from the happiness which is free from suffering.
May all beings abide in equanimity, free from both attachment and detachment.

Namaste'.

                  
SA the world's top destination

                                            Picture: Iafrica

South Africa has been voted the top destination by members of the world's largest travel and lifestyle social network, Where Are You Now? (WAYN), in the site's recent "dream destination competition".

The country beat Brazil, India, Dubai, Fiji, Turkey and Indonesia with 15 300 votes from members around the world.

A total 78,000 votes were counted for all seven of the destinations. The nominated countries and cities were selected through market research and tracking user engagement on WAYN. "All seven countries and cities nominated were extremely worthy contenders and dream destinations in their own right," WAYN co-founder and chief risk officer, Jeremy Touze, said in a statement last week.

"The immense popularity of South Africa as a tourist destination has been reinforced by this competition, and interestingly the activity we are seeing correlates with the recent announcement by President Jacob Zuma that the amount of foreign visitors to South Africa has grown by 300% to 13.5-million visitors, 9.2-million of which were tourists."

Touze said South Africa's strongest following comes from Asia, in particular India. "Out of the 408 000 fans of South Africa on WAYN, there are now over 108 000 fans from India alone," he said. "We are privileged to live in an incredible country, a land of spectacular wildlife, awe-inspiring adventure and unique heritage and culture," said chief executive officer of South African Tourism, Thulani Nzima. "It is home to warm, welcoming people, eager to share it with travellers from around the world.

"We are already touched by the hundreds of thousands of friends our destination has made on the WAYN.com platform and we are delighted with this accolade, which we hope will make more people's dreams of visiting South Africa a reality," Nzima said.

To see the full article on iafrica.com ,click here

          The so-called Twitter follower “bug”        
On May 5, 2010, on an obscure website in Turkey, someone described a method that allows you to make any Twitter user, of your choosing and without their consent, into one of your followers. This is no "bug" folks -- It is a backdoor...
          Anti-Cellulite Healthy eating plan - These are definitely The Foodstuff That Struggle Cellulite By natural means & Detoxify Body!        
Anti Cellulite
The ideal diet program should be at the coreof any anti-cellulite treatment. Any remedy, no matter how effective, can only provide you with short-term results, if it is not combined with theright diet regime.

But,
what's the proper diet programfor women who suffer from cellulite?

The
diet program should be based primarily on food itemsthat promote the elimination of excessive fluids, strengthen the capillaries and improve the circulation of blood. It is also essential to eliminate foodstuff that cause water retention. A eating plan rich in flavour, but low in sodium (no more than 1.5 g per day) is without doubt the most effective solutions to the issue of cellulite. Here are somepowerful anti-cellulite food items:

Strawberries, raspberries, blueberries: berries are rich in bioflavonoids,
vit c and salicylic acid, substances that help maintain strong capillary walls and have diuretic properties.
Pineapple and papaya: they contain special enzymes that can
combat even the most stubborn water retention. However, these substances are mainly concentrated in the less edible parts of the fruits, like, the stem of pineapple and the leaves of papaya. For this reason, it would be a good idea to make a tea by mixing these parts of the fruit in their dried form.
  • Citrus fruits: oranges, lemons and grapefruit are full of vitamin C, which protects the capillaries. Lemon is also rich in citrates, substances that help circulation and eliminate toxins.
  • Cherries: they have powerful diuretic and detoxifying properties. The fruit is useful to combat constipation and hydrate the body.
  • Kiwi: it is full of vit c, which strengthens the capillaries and combats constipation.
  • Banana: it includes a lot of potassium that reduces fluid retention, caused by sodium.
  • Asparagus: this vegetable contains substances, called saponins, that contain a quick and efficient diuretic effect.
  • Tomatoes they contain anthocyanins, factors that promote healthy capillaries.
  • Peppers: they are rich in bioflavonoids and improve the state of blood vessels and the proper functioning of the intestines.
  • Chicory: it's rich in substances (like vit c and chlorophyll) that combat water retention.
  • Radicchio: it includes lots of vitamin C and minerals like potassium that have a slightly laxative action, which is essential to eliminatetoxins.
  • Fish: its containing more protein and omega3, which promote good blood and lymphatic circulation and may help you tomaintain strong muscles.
  • Cucumbers: this vegetable in the ideal anti-cellulite food, due to its high water content (it contains greater than 96.5% water).
  • White meat (chicken, turkey): it contains a lot of iron and is rich in monounsaturated acids, which promote good the circulation of blood.




          Spaniards take shine to Turkey        
Tamesol to supply TM-series PV modules totalling 37MW to Arevo
          Thanksgiving Dinner is Ready...        

A Moist Traditional Turkey...&
 There's a Duck in the OVEN
This turkey is very moist.
 My cooking secret makes all the meat moist and tender.
 This turkey was cooked in our smoker. We love the flavor the smoker adds to the taste. I love having my oven is free for all of side dishes.
 Rinse and prepare turkey. Oil the skin with garlic infused olive oil. Coat/sprinkle the outside (of the turkey) with Garlic pepper, Parmesan herbs, Worcestershire pepper and White pepper.
Place inside the empty cavity a FROZEN CUBE OF BUTTER!
Yep, that's my secret!  It melts slowly and helps tenderize the meat, leaving a slight buttery taste. 
*IF YOU WANT TO COLLECT THE JUICES FOR GRAVY, PLACE THE TURKEY IN A FOIL ROASTER.
*I don't care for breast meat, BUT I love to eat this white meat!
 Next, place a quarter of an peeled onion in the cavity with the butter.
 Add 3 cloves of garlic.
 Fold and close the turkey opening. We used small wooden skewers.
Cook on medium or about 300 degrees for 3/12 to 4 hours. Temperature inside the meat should reach 160-165 degrees.  Let rest for 20-30 minutes before carving.
Tastefully good, moist turkey and a happy tummy...
WHAT MORE COULD YOU WANT?
"See the duck recipe below"
NeeCee Signature
Just Ducky...
 Rinse and ready the duck. Do NOT oil. Duck has a lot of natural fat.
 Baste the outside with a sauce of your choice. I used an apricot pepper sauce.
Sprinkle with garlic pepper, inside and out. s
Stuff the duck with 1/8 of an onion and a couple of garlic cloves.
 Secure the duck with skewers as shown.
 We cooked the duck in the smoker at 350 degrees for 2 1/2-3 hours. reaching 160 degrees for cooked meat temperature. Let rest for about 15-20 minutes before carving.
All Photo's belong to Pine Creek Style by NeeCee
Turkey & Duck ready to serve....with Style

Have a Happy & Healthy Thanksgiving Everyone...

          Turkey Galentine with Truffles & Chives...        
Want something different from the traditional Turkey Dinner?
I was looking at options. A Regular Turkey can be boring in flavor for me! I love a smoked Turkey or just the dark meat. My taste buds demand more!!! 
While watching a TV program, we saw a recipe from the Medieval Period being prepared.
"YUMMY, Let's make that!", I said to my Hubby.
Am I glad I did! It was AWESOME...
"Turkey Galentine w/Truffles & Chives"
This style of recipe has been around since the "ages of time"!
There are SO many different versions and preparations. 
Simply speaking, this recipe is leftover's blended together,
 (Or as we call them...RE-RUNS).
 This recipe uses left over meats to prepare another meat based meal. Combining and stretching your leftover meat scraps, nuts, spices & veggies. The base consists of several types of meat, mainly Beef, Pork, Poultry...mixed & blended together. Kind of a Kitchen Sink recipe!!!
Basically, I think it's a Meat Lover's Paradise!
Below is One Version I used this weekend! It was fabulous!!!
FYI: LOTS of Photo's included for the preparation phase...
Turkey Galentine w/Truffles & Chives Recipe
(Ground Meat style)
*This recipe is doubled, it may be cut in half or tripled...
1 1/2 pounds of ground beef, lean....veal or hamburger
2 pounds of Pork sausage or ham, ground
3 pounds of ground turkey, *I used light and dark meat for more flavor
1/2 to 3/4 cup of diced chives (green onion)
2 cups chopped mushrooms
3 eggs
2 packages of Turkey gravy mix, dry... I used Knorr's brand
Spices as follows:
Mix together;
1 teaspoons of dried Espresso or Coffee
1 teaspoon cumin 
2 teaspoons of Worcestershire infused Pepper
4 teaspoons of Montreal Steak Seasoning
Mix well yielding 8 teaspoons
~~~
Mix everything except the spices...blend well
Then mix the spices.
Add 4 teaspoons of the blended spices and mix well...
**Reserve the remainder of the spices, adding 3 more teaspoons of Montreal Steak Seasoning for the rub/crusting on the outside of the meat loaf.
*I made two loaves and froze one to be used on Thanksgiving Day.
Divide meat mixture into 2 sections and form 2 loaves of meat.
*(see photo's below for preparation)
Cheesecloth for baking and twine or Cooking bands for tying
Bake at 350 degrees for 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 hours
*Meat thermometer should read 180 degrees when done. 
 Meat mixture...
 Spices
 Add 4 teaspoons of spice to the meat mixture...
Photo of Eggs being added ...
 Chives added...
 Mushrooms added...
Mix everything well...Go find the Hubby to mix this....
Whew, that is too much work! :)
 Cheesecloth & Cooking Bands...
 Use the remainder of the spices for the rub/crusting of the outside...
 I used some olive oil on my hands before I handled the meat....It helps the meat from sticking to your hands. Makes an easier clean-up.
The cheesecloth helps hold the meat mixture in place while cooking.
 After dividing the meat into 2 loaves wrap in cheesecloth for baking...
Lots of Photo's....but it shows the process.... ;))) 
 One loaf wrapped and banded ready for the oven...
This recipe is so moist after it's cooked....Mmmmm Good!
 Check the temp after 1 1/2 hours... may need a few more minutes...
Ohhh, the smell is enticing....BUT let it rest for 10 minutes before slicing!
 Ready to remove the cheesecloth...
 OMG....Dinner is DONE! The Aroma is amazing.....
 What a beauty!!! Dinner is READY...
 It slices beautiful....I'm already dreaming of leftover sandwiches..... :)))
OHhhh MY.....this is hard taking photo's...WHEN I'd rather have my fork in hand! 
We served Garlic Mashed Potatoes, Dressing and Truffles Stuffed with Creamed Spinach with our Turkey Galentine w/Truffles & Chives. Of course we poured Turkey Gravy over EVERYTHING!!!
I was too STUFFED to eat 2nd's...but I am lusting over the reruns tomorrow! 
Turkey Dinner Served w/Delicious Style...
Enjoy :)


          Turducken Stock        
The bones of a turkey, duck and chicken and 12 quarts if water. Throw in some onions, celery and some aromatics for 5 to 6 hours over high heat. This should make a tasty gravy....

          Turducken         
We start with a chicken folding it up around the cornbread stuffing and then threading it closed with a metal skewer. Then we wrap the duck around the chicken and again thread it close with a metal skewer. And finally we wrap the turkey around the duck wrapped chicken and thread it closed. Once completed you flip the turducken over and it looks like a plump turkey ready for the oven....

          Turducken Cast - chicken, duck and turkey.        
...

          The Best Turkey Frying Disasters on the Internet        
It's the day after Thanksgiving — which means it's time to be thankful for morons who attempt to fry their own turkeys. Here it is: The very best of the biggest Turkey Fryer Fails we found on the internet. Be safe! The Homemade Turkey Fryer:"Homemade turkey fryer," or pot with oil over an open flame? Either way, if you have to drop your Turkey via 5-foot pole, you're doing something wrong. Inside The Garage:Step one, place fireball under roof of house.Barefoot BBQWhen operating over gallons of...

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          What you need to Know About Turkey Day        
Get the lowdown on holiday history, travel, football, feasting, and more. Thanksgiving is almost upon us—but how much do you know about America's favorite day to eat turkey? Here's the lowdown on Thanksgiving history, holiday travel, football, feasting, and more.Thanksgiving Dinner: Recipe for Food Coma?Key to any Thanksgiving Day menu are a fat turkey and cranberry sauce.An estimated 254 million turkeys were raised for slaughter in the U.S. during 2012, up 2 percent from 2011's total,...

.
          17 Hilarious Thanksgiving Someecards        
Whatever it takes. Status quo. Now THIS is something to be thankful for. Things are about to get interesting. Best. Holiday. Ever. No judgment. Forget turkey. This is easily the best part of Thanksgiving. Black Friday on Thursday? WHAT IS THIS WORLD WE LIVE IN?! You've been warned. Plan accordingly. Burnnnnn. Ahhh, tradition. Now that's love. Psh, Hallloween was a month ago. Sorry, not sorry. Feel free to bring your midlife crisis home with you this year. Thank you very...

.
          Dryin' up. . .        
It was one week ago tonight that I nursed Ava to sleep for the last time.  It was so sad.  I was so torn.  I knew it was time and I knew nursing was just comfort for her--the nutrition aspect was up about 6 months ago.  And she was nursing ALL the time.  Morning, mid-morning, nap time, wake-up from nap time, evening, and before bed. . .not to mention all the times in between when she would get hurt, was sad, or just plain bored and I was sitting on the couch.

At the same time that is what made it so sad for me.  I felt awful and selfish taking away her comfort.  And I did NOT want to face the fact that my baby is growing up.  I HATE IT.  I'll say it again, I HATE IT.   I hate my kids growing up.  I just happens way too fast.  (I am the kookoo mom who thinks that kids should starts school at around 8 and then just go half a day.  It just seemed like with the boys that they quit nursing--then it was big toddler time and boom, preschool, now Aiden is going to be EIGHT and getting baptised this fall.  I'm going to need some meds. . .

Anyway, last Thursday night was brutal.  You know that terrible, huge lump that develops in your throat and no amount of Diet Coke will dissolve it?  Yep--me--lump--lots of Diet Coke.  So when she fell asleep in my arms and she was not even "leisure nursing" anymore the floods started.  Q was nice and tried to be comforting but I think he was really biting the inside of his cheek trying not to laugh.  So I held her until one side of her head was covered in sweat from the nook of my arm and the other side was covered in her crazy mom's tears. Then off to bed for her and off to "second-guess-myself-land" for me.  

I also think a lot of the sadness was due to the thought of not having a baby again.  The whole "this is it" mentality.  You know, one phase of your life ending--pretty cliche' but non-the-less sad.  I realized Thursday night that, all together, I have nursed a baby of just a few months shy of SIX YEARS!  ( I so deserve a boob job--or as I like to call it, a "breast RESTORATION" not, "augmentation.")  

The next morning I nursed her one last time when she woke up.  But the morning routine is usually short and lacking the snuggle time--so much less traumatic for me.  Ava was off to tease the boys and I was busy packing for my "no more ta-ta weekend."  My friend, Robyn, and I went to Utah for and photography class and some shopping (more on that later).

So fast forward the weekend.  Ava did great for Q, by the way.  I got home Sunday afternoon with really sore huge boobies.  Ava was asleep and I searched the medicine cabinet for something to take that would be really bad for Ava if she nursed.  I thought this would help with the temptation--but alas, no toxins in the medicine cabinet.  This is where a fresh import from South America would have come in handy--ohh well, no laws broken either.  I was going to have to go on sheer will power--something I really suck at.  (pardon the pun)

Sunday night was sheer hell and torture.  She was so tired and crying A LOT.  She just kept pulling at my shirt and pointing at the couch.  Q put her down and I took at Tylenol PM and went to bed with a whopping dose of guilt.  Monday, is a day I would like to forget.  We both cried. . .a lot.  She was heartbroken and I felt like such a jerk.  I don't think I sat down at all until she went down for a nap--yet another round of torture.

Luckily it was a beautiful day so we spent most of it outside ("ouuuuusiiiiiii" in Ava speak) doing this. . .




This little peanut LOVES to swing.  And the higher, the better!!
And, yes, she totally loves her shades.  They may have been one of the many guilt gifts I picked up for her in Salt Lake. . .
And, no, I'm pretty sure she could not be any cuter. . .


We went cold turkey with Aiden, too.  I went to Seattle for 3 days with Q, leaving Ade with my mom.  I nearly got off the plane before it left Twin Falls--again, I was sooooo sad.  But another nurse I worked with got on just then and sat by me.  Whewww.  But when we got home, Ade was very sad and dramatic. . ."Ta Ta NOOOO GONE!!" As he threw his head back in anguish.  He pretty much ignored me the rest of that day with the exception of the occasional crusty from his dad's lap.  But the next morning. . . all better and we were friends again.  There was n mention of ta ta again.

Back to Ava--

So Monday night was aging pure H & T, again.  But I was determined to figure out a way for the two of us to have some quality bed time together.  The boys (especially Ash) loved to read before naps and night time.   I knew this would, for sure, be a part of our routine.  But I also wanted to incorporate some milk drinkage, too.  She does not like cow's milk.  So we were at the store and I picked up a little jug of strawberry milk--"look Ava, pink milk."  She held it in the store so I was holding out hope.  I warmed it up and went to get her from Q's lap.  

I said, "time for nigh nigh, Ava."

She--covered her eyes.

"let's go nigh nigh"

eyes covered.

This went on multiple times until I foiled her plan and made her realize that even though I see could not see me I COULD still see her! HA.

Warm pink milk. . .check
Woobie. . .check
Baby. . .check
Books. . .check

She still cried and I went to bed thinking, "who cares if she comes home from Kindergarten to nurse and I am still fat-n-frumpy. . ."  Hatin' it!

Tuesday. . .sad, sad morning.  I just walked around the house holding her.  I'm pretty sure she had candy for breakfast--damn that guilt.

But Tuesday at nap. . .breakthrough. . .we read her books, took a couple of tokes off the milk, and I turned her around (post reading) onto my shoulder--we rocked.  And she did not try to "assume the position" or paw at me once!  I put her in her bed with baby, woobie, and sippy and she cried pointing to the rocking chair.  In a moment of inspiration I grabbed "Gossie and Gertie."  She stopped crying and sat up in her crib.  

I left

And returned 10 minutes later to find this. . .

V-I-C-T-O-R-Y!!!


So fast forward a few days and we have a routine!!  She naps and goes to bed like a champ and we still get lots of snuggle time!  Love it.  Here are the "must haves."
She loves her baby, squeezes her the whole time we are reading.  And she lays her head on her "woobie" (another guilt gift--I was looking for something like this and Robyn's keen eye spotted it---sooooo soft and soooo cute--yummy pink and brown.)  And of course these 2 books--I have read them 6 times each in the last 3 days.  But I am so not complaining!

"Gossie and Gertie" was one of Asher's most favorite books when he was tiny.  He was such a dream child to 'wean.'  He LOVED to read books before naps and bed.  We stared with naps.  We would read and rock then he would point to his bed when he was ready.  Seriously. . .dreamy.  Then we moved to reading before night time and he loved it, again pointing when he was ready.  (Often times before I was ready to lay him down.)  Although, the difference was Ash had a binkie in his mouth, one or two in each hand and others scattered about his crib.  

Soon I was down to just nursing Asher in the morning.  Then after a few weeks of that Q and I went to Mexico for a week.  My parents and Q's mom and sister stayed with the boys.  We got home and there was no mention of "ta ta."  EASY BREEZY!   (getting off the binkie is a whole different story and an upcoming post.)

Here are some yummy pics of the little turkey. . .

I love his little personality--when the kiddo is grumpy there is no talking him down but when he is happy he is sooooo happy and animated.  This shot depicts his delighted face as it often is. . .excited!
Have a great day.  I'm going to take more ibuprofen and tylenol PM as I try to ward off the mastitis deamons!

          Your Christmas Meal        
This Christmas (Christ Myth, Mithras Day, Saturnalia, Solstice Celebration or whatever you like to call it) will you sit down to a meal that includes meat? Whether it is a meal of turkey, goose, beef, salmon, pork, venison or some other meat, maybe a combination of meats, will you say a grace or a prayer […]
          5 DAYS TASTE OF TURKEY TOUR        
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          What Is The Best Electric Deep Fryer For Turkeys?        
If you want the juiciest, most flavorful turkey possible, you’ve got to get yourself a turkey fryer. An electric turkey deep fryer will get you your desired results without having to go and fetch a propane tank. You just add your oil, plug it in, and you’re good to go. Your neighbors will be jealous … Continue reading "What Is The Best Electric Deep Fryer For Turkeys?"
What Is The Best Electric Deep Fryer For Turkeys? was first posted on June 11, 2014 at 10:15 pm.
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          Comment on aaarrrggggghhhh! by Eric Alvarenga        
Hey man, so I have been visiting shingle creek for 6 months now. I usually go to this area next to a neighborhood on central florida. There is a random abandon bridge there that crosses the canal/creek and leads to a lake. I was wondering if you know what those bridges are doing there... I looked on google maps and so a couple other ones following down the river. And talking about wildlife, I always encounter some deers, wild turkeys, lots of birds, and even an otter last time I went on a hike this past week. I also see lots of litter on this section of the creek, I am prepering a group of friends to help me clean up. But it's good to know that there are people like you that still influence and want to protect the nature we have around. Especially this one so close to us but not recognized at all. That's all I had to say, :) keep up with the post! , Eric Zambon
          State-by-State Redux: X of X - A Julia Child recipe that does not feature butter, and an Ina Garten recipe that makes up for it        
Here it is, the last State-by-State post after more than two years of this project chugging along.  And for this final State-by-State post, I am visiting some American classics that I haven't done for this series, and surprisingly even much in the history of this blog, which you know by now is also ending soon.  I thought it was imperative to visit some of these classics by using recipes from the Queen herself, Julia Child.  Oh, and also Ina Garten.

Snacking State-by-State Redux X of X: The United States

Official Name: United States of America
Nickname: none
Founded: July 4, 1776
Capital: Washington, DC
Other Important Cities: There are a lot of 'em.  Can we just leave it at that? 
Region: North America
RAFT Nations: All of them, except Moose (upper Canada)
Bordered by: Canada (north), Arctic Ocean, Bering Strait & Russia (northwest), Pacific Ocean (west), Mexico (south), Gulf of Mexico & Caribbean Sea (southeast), Atlantic Ocean (east)
Official US Foods and Edible Things: none
Some Famous & Typical Foods: see the previous two years worth of posts for this.  Also: apple pie, barbecue, hot dogs, hamburgers, fast food, and so on

Of all the famous chefs in American history, it's pretty safe to say that none rivals the importance of Julia Child.  I mean, did the Smithsonian Institution put James A. Beard's kitchen on display in the American History Museum in Washington?  I've been a few times, and I just don't get tired of it.

Child was, among all chefs, a pathbreaker in that she introduced the American public to the pleasures of an intimidating cuisine (French, not American) in as accessible a way as possible.  From her Mastering the Art of French Cooking to her long-standing partnership with PBS, her many books and television shows, and her co-founding of the American Institute of Wine and Food, Child left an important and lasting impression on American food [Smithsonian National Museum of American History (Behring Center), no date]

For my final State-by-State post, I am showcasing one of Child's more American recipes: the ever-popular meatloaf.  Yes, she had a recipe for meatloaf, which she considered it a cousin to the French pâté: "Since they are so closely related, I consider the one a variation of the other" [Child 2000: 53].  I had never thought of meatloaf that way, but I guess it is.  But I also did change this one up, not so much fiddling with the master so much as using a version that was "pre-fiddled with".  You see, I realized when planning this final post that I had used so many different meats over the past two years for this series: beef, chicken, pork, lamb, fish, shellfish, even buffalo, but not the one all-American bird that deserves extra attention in such a series: the turkey.  I left out any turkey recipes!  Yes, that idiotic bird that Benjamin Franklin would have made into our national symbol had the bald eagle not swayed other people instead.

Fortunately, I found a recipe that swaps out the pork in Child's recipe for turkey plus precooked rice.  I'm not sure of the actual provenance of this recipe.  Various sources attribute a turkey meatloaf to Mark Ladner of Del Posto restaurant, though I don't think this is the version in question.  I did find Child's meatloaf with the turkey and rice swapped in for the pork on, of all places, the CD Kitchen website.  Poster "AmandasMom971" [2012] provides the measurements for what is, otherwise, Julia Child's recipe.  To her credit, she does call it "Julia Child's Meatloaf" and doesn't pass it off has her own.

To further complicate things, I swap out the beef in her meatloaf for that tried and true "meatloaf mix" of beef, pork and veal.  Mixing all of those together still gave me some quite pleasant results.

To go along with this turkified version of Child's meatloaf, I thought I would add two important sides: mashed potatoes - for what is meatloaf without mashed potatoes - also from Child's Julia's Kitchen Wisdon: Essential Techniques and Recipes from a Lifetime of Cooking [2000], and a recipe for one more recipe that I have never made for this series or this blog, but has become an important part of the American food landscape: macaroni and cheese.  This time, however, I go with Ina Garten and her "adult mac & cheese" featuring tomato slices, Gruyère and cheddar.  A hearty and wonderful macaroni and cheese on page 202 of Garten's Barefoot Contessa Family-Style cookbook [Garten 2002]

The Recipes: Julia Child's Meatloaf (with Turkey) and Mashed Potatoes, with Ina Garten's Grown-Up Macaroni and Cheese

First, Julia Child's meatloaf that you will certainly not hate.

The Recipe: Julia Child's Meatloaf (with Turkey)

Assemble the following:


* ground beef (or in this case, "meatloaf mix", about $7 per lb at Whole Foods.  Child calls for two pounds of beef, but I settled for 1 1/2, which worked for me)
* turkey (about a pound, about $5 at Whole Foods, mixed with...
* white rice (I just got this in the hot food bar at Whole Foods while I was shopping for the other things)
* toasted bread crumbs (nothing faincy here, just a few toasted slices of plain old white bread pulsed in the food processor)
* onions (three that I got the day before at Waverly - I got about six in all for $2
* beef broth (I swapped that out for chicken broth á la Better Than Bouillon.  Yet another animal added to the mix
* eggs (in case you decide not to swap beef for chicken broth, this will help add chicken to your meatloaf anyway)
* Cheddar cheese ($5 for a block of the XXX Sharp Cheddar from Yancey's Fancy.  I got this at Wegman's.  This surprised me, since I've never heard of cheese in a meatloaf.  But Julia Child put it in there and I'm sure she knew what she was doing.  Don't forget to grate it)
* garlic (had it - again, I used the garlic paste from Trader Joe's that I had in the fridge, but stuck the head of garlic in the photo)
* salt & pepper
* various spices: oregano, thyme, paprika, allspice and bay leaves (had them all)

You will also need oil to sauté the onions, and a tomato sauce to pour over the meatloaf.  Look for more on that below.


First chop the onions and sauté them in a skillet.


Mix your bread crumbs with the onions.


Add the meatloaf mix...


...the turkey and rice (yes, that is rice)...


...the grated Cheddar and the eggs...



...and your chicken broth, salt, pepper and herbs and spices, holding off on the bay leaves which go on top of the whole thing.


Child suggests cooking a little bit of it in the skillet and tasting it to make sure it's right.  It's stuff like this, folks, that explains why her kitchen is in the Smithsonian.


Push it into a meatloaf pan (I used one with holes in the bottom and another pan underneath to catch all the juices) - Child suggests greasing it with butter (natch), though I used baking spray instead - and top it with the bay leaves.  Bake in a pre-heated oven for 90 minutes (until the juices run clear) at 350°F.


While that is in the oven, make the tomato sauce for the meatloaf.  Child suggests the sauce on page 30 of her book, which uses fresh ones.  I used canned San Marzanos instead ($4 per 28 ounce can), with chopped onion and basil, and reduced until thick.


Ninety mintes later, the meatloaf should be springy...


...and the sauce should be reduced and very intense.


Child's mashed potatoes go wonderfully with this: just boil some potatoes, add cream and/or milk alternating with butter.  I just used a hand masher.

The Recipe: Ina Garten's Grown-Up Macaroni and Cheese

As for Garten's luxurious macaroni and cheese (which, unlike the meatloaf, I halved), you should gather the following ingredients:


* macaroni (I got the Barilla variety for about a buck and a half)
* Cheddar (here I thought I'd run out of Cheddar.  I still have a ridiculous amount left over)
* Gruyère (I got the cheaper, mild kind at Whole Foods, about half a pound for $7)
* milk (fresh from the South Mountain Creamery stall at the farmers' market at Waverly)
* flour (had it)
* tomatoes (a few Romas from the supermarket)
* butter (had it)
* nutmeg, salt and pepper (had them all)
* bread crumbs (more than enough left over from the meatloaf)


Start by grating your cheeses.


Boil your macaroni in a large pot.


Melt that butter!


Once melted, whisk in your flour (exact measurements in Garten's recipe on page 202 of the Family Style cookbook)


Add the milk and whisk some more, then remove from heat.


Next, whisk in your shredded cheeses...


...and your nutmeg, salt and pepper.


Drain your macaroni and add this to the mixture, coating thoroughly.


Pat it all down into an oven-safe dish.


Then mix the bread crumbs with a little more melted butter.


Slice the tomatoes and place on top of the macaroni and cheese.


And then spread the bread crumbs over everything.  Yes, all over everything.


Bake in a preheated 375°F oven for about 35 minutes.


Though the meats were not exactly the ones she recommended, Julia Child's meatloaf still turned out to be lovely.  It's done for me what homemade sauce did for me for spaghetti: it made it taste good again.  As for the mac & cheese: it was good, though distinctly second fiddle to the meatloaf.  But a hot bowl of the mac & cheese alone (and it must be hot - lukewarm really doesn't bring out the flavors all too well) is still a nice thing on a cold day.

- - - - -

And that's it!  Fifty states, one territory, one federal district, plus several regions and an all-encompassing "America" post, and my Snacking State-by-State series is now - pardon the wording - history.  I have enjoyed learning about all the different ways of eating all over this country over the past two years and a handful of months.
  • I've either learned or re-learned how to pick apart a lobster (Maine), a crawfish (Louisiana), a King crab (Alaska) and a shrimp (Florida).   I sought out easier ways to shuck oysters (Delaware, Mississippi and Virginia) and clams (Rhode Island).  Mind you, I already knew how to pick blue crabs (Maryland), duh, and Dungeness (Washington) was something I remembered from back in California.  
  • I learned that Youtube is a great repository for how-to videos, on everything from frying bison testicles (Wyoming) to making Mr. Beer home brew as interesting as possible (Wisconsin), to making sushi rice (California), to mixing up your own Korean potato salad (District of Columbia) and so on.
  • As far as my own state's food goes, I've learned just how much more Southern we are in our culinary history (note: panfried chicken, Smith Island cake) than we are Northern, though we still have that.
  • I was also reminded that Lady Baltimore cake (South Carolina) has nothing to do with Maryland, no matter how hard John Shields or myself want it to be.
  • I've learned a few new-to-me culinary terms: 
    • bizcochito (New Mexico)
    • buckeyes (Ohio)
    • chislic (South Dakota)
    • curtido (District of Columbia)
    • funeral potatoes (Utah)
    • haluÅ¡ky (Pennsylvania)
    • hot chicken (Tennessee)
    • johnny cakes (Rhode Island)
    • knoepfla (North Dakota)
    • mofongo (Puerto Rico)
    • musubi (Hawaii)
    • pemmican (Montana)
    • pork roll (New Jersey)
    • purloo (South Carolina)
    • sofrito (Puerto Rico)
    • St. Paul sandwich (Missouri)
    • tapioca maltodextrin (Illinois)
    • tourtière (New Hampshire)
    • wojapi (Nebraska - this one and pemmican are both Native American dishes)
  • I now know how to smoke pork butt  (North Carolina) in the slow cooker, as well as beef brisket (Texas), and how to smoke pork ribs (Missouri & Tennessee) in the oven.
  • I learned how expedient and how expensive mail-ordering foods can be when you just cannot buy them locally - ahem, huckleberries, anyone? (Idaho)
  • I learned that Miss Paula may claim that gooey butter cake for Savannah, Georgia, but they were making it in Missouri long before she caught wind of the idea.
  • I still never got to make steamed crabs from Maryland or Virginia, Jamaican jerk chicken from New York, or apple pie from all over the country, but I do think I covered most of the bases.
And that closes the textbook on this culinary exploration of America.  It has been enriching, exhausting, expensive and fattening all at the same time.  And with that, I can now go to the supermarket secure in the knowledge that I don't have to root out any specific ingredient for any blog-related reason, anymore.  And to quote the master herself one final time, Bon Appétit!

Sources:

"AmandasMom971" (poster).  "Julia Child's Meatloaf".  CD Kitchen, posted 2012.  Copyright CDKitchen 2005-2013, all rights reserved.

Child, Julia.  Julia's Kitchen Wisdom: Essential Techniques and Recipes from a Lifetime of Cooking.  David Nussbaum, collaborator.  Knopf: New York, 2000.  Reprinted 2009.

Garten, Ina.  Barefoot Contessa Family Style: Easy Ideas and Recipes That Make Everyone Feel Like Family.  Clarkson Potter: New York, 2002.

Smithsonian National Museum of American History (Behring Center).  Bon Appétit! Julia Child's Kitchen at the Smithsonian.  Rayna Green and Paula Johnson, content and curatorial for website, Nancy Growald Brooks, editor (full list of website and exhibition credits can be found here).  Copyright 2002 - present, Smithsonian Institution, all rights reserved.

Some information also obtained from the United States Wikipedia page and from the Food Timeline State Foods webpage.
          Live Blogging: Chopped - Make No Mistake        
I haven't live-blogged in a while, and I'm now feeling bitchy enough to critique that intense "create it in a heartbeat" cooking competition show Chopped.  I originally thought this was a finale to the Chopped Champions program.  I don't think this is the case, so I may be live-blogging a new episode.  So here I am, ready to live-blog the "Make No Mistake" episode of Chopped!  This ep featuring four former first-round losers was aired on Sunday, when most people were watching various characters get killed off on The Walking Dead, Downton Abbey and The Grammy Awards.  So it's not new new, but it is one of the newest.

Let us proceed.  Just as soon as Face-Off is over.

10:00 This is not a show for those of us with ADD.

10:01 Let's meet our former losers: first up, fireman-cum-chef John.  Messes up buffalo wings.  Dude.

Chef Monica: I remember her!  She got ingredients she had never used. Oopsie.

10:02 Chef Owen didn't put anything on his plate?  Really???  Maybe he'll actually get stuff on his plate this time.

10:03 Chef Marja gave her least favorite dish: raw dough!  Hold the cookies.

10:04 And now the goodies: mix pulpo (octopus), chioggia beets, fava beans and pickled garlic.  Hey, not so bad.  At least there's no cotton candy or gummy fish.

10:05 I should have had beer with me.  I now remember one reason why I never liked this show: SOFASTPACEDOHMYGODDDDDD!!!!!1!!!

Hey, at least Monica is playing for a cancer charity.

MY mother never shelled fava beans :p

10:06 Aaaaaand tonight's douchebag judges: Chris Santos, Amanda Freitag and Geof Zakarian!

10:08 Y'know, I think Ted is actually semi-excited at the thought of the pasta being done in time.

10:11 I bet they include these VitaMelts in a future Chopped challenge.

10:12 There ya go, John, multitask for us.  Just don't julienne a finger or something!

In general, what they're making looks god.  I just hope some of our intrepid chefs know what t do with this stuff ***COUGHMONICACOUGH***

10:13 This is actually mildly exciting.

Aaaaaand already we may have an appetizer round loser.  Shoulda grabbed those julienned beets, John, or really hope everything else sucks.

10:15 One man's "carpaccio" is another man's "carpaccio-style pulpo".

10:17 So overall the dishes are creative and not bad.  Man, I was hoping for some suck.  We might have some with all that sesame oil in Marja's dish though.

10:20 Gee, I'm finding this is not terribly interesting an exercise.  Something a bit sillier, on the level of The Next Food Network Star or Top Chef might be more fun to do.

10:24 And so Marja packs her knives and goes again.  We hardly knew ye and yon fava beans. FFFFFFFFFFFF.

10:25 Okay, a slightly weirder set of ingredients: wild boar roast, nopales, sweet potato chips and açai berry juice!

10:26 I did not realize that boar was dry.  See I wouldn't have known that were I in that situation.  Not a fan of nopales I might add.  Too slimy for my tastes.

Oh shite, will John know to scrape out the spines?  Doesn't matter: they've apparently been de-spined.

10:27 Liking the idea of that salad of Monica's. Doubting John's plans for the nopales.

10:29 Interesting.  Frenchifying the nopales by treating them as green beans.

10:30 Is she using the boar to thicken the sauce???  No. What is she doing? SCREW IT JUST SLICE THAT SHIT AND PLATE IT!

10:31 Okay, what did John forget this time?  The açai.  Sigh.  The judges really are pulling for him though.

10:36 Oh John.  So sad what happened to ya.  But apparently his is not the only one that sucks.  Monica's is not terribly edible either.  Let's see about Owen.

10:37 So dumping sweet potato chips on a plate is not acceptable to you Americans?  Bah!

10:38 Maybe they could just send 'em all home...

10:39 Good point: give John a few extra minutes and he might finish the whole thing.

10:40 And the next Chopp-ee... after these commercial messages.  Wah waah.

10:42 My God, how many of these cooking competition shows are there???

10:43 MONICA goes home??? Seriously?  Again they went with the taste.

10:44 Frenchy?

10:45 The dessert round includes tangerines, cranberry sauce, chocolate chip cookies, and.. gorgonzola dolce???  I know what John's leaving out this round...

10:47 Learning by baptism with that ice cream there.  And of course the French guy adds wine!

10:49 When life gives you little bits of lemons, er, gorgonzola ice cream, grab shot glasses.  Wait, gorgonzola ice cream?

10:49 The judges' reactions to the kitchen drama are priceless, by the way.  Not so douchey as in the early episodes of this series.

10:52 That moment when you realize that turkeys actually have heads: priceless.

10:54 And now for the assessment - Gorgonzola parfait: seductive, successful, mellowed.  Gorgonzola ice cream and cranberry CCC crumble: almondy, oddly delicious, beautiful.  Hey, way not to f*** up, guys!

10:56 Can we just fast forward to the winner?  I'm getting sleepy.

10:59 And so John heads home after making his best dish.  Congrats to the French guy!

Conclusion: Not sure if I would want to live-blog this program again.  It pretty much follows the same formula, doesn't it?  Still, the show has gotten better since it first started.  The judges always seemed to be assholes, gratuitously so at that.  Now they're cheering on our intrepid chefs.  But for live-blogging, it really doesn't work.  Ah well.
          State-by-State Redux: VI of X - African-American Cuisine Revisited - From Dr. George Washington Carver's recipe collection to yours        
Dr. George Washington Carver is best known to America's schoolchildren as the inventor of scores of peanut products for home and hearth.  That's where most school curricula stop.  It must be known, however, that Carver was a maestro of much more, and was one of America's leading botanists and agriculture scientists of his time.  In her book The African American Heritage Cookbook [1996, 2005], Carolyn Quick Tillery explores many of Carver's historic recipes, generally a reflection of Southern cuisine, and specifically of African-American cuisine

Snacking State-by-State Redux VI of X: African-American Cuisine

What is it? Foods traditionally cooked by African-Americans in the South, often overlapping with the cuisine of the South in general.
Where did it come from? African-American cuisine (also known as "soul food" since the 1960's) is a combination of cooking techniques and ingredients (sorghum, okra, rice) brought from West Africa, plus ingredients from Europe, the Middle East and Native America.  Again, African-American cuisine shares many similarities with Southern cuisine in general.

As pointed out by food author Celia Barbour for O Magazine, African-American cuisine (or "soul food" as it was first called in the 1960's) is traditionally a cuisine of "[e]ating organically, sustainably [sic] and locally" [2010].  A culinary tradition that was grown out of resourcefulness, specifically in the South.  She first had the idea of it being excessively fattening and unhealthy.
Like most culinary traditions, African-American cooking was long a balance of wholesome and unwholesome elements. The good ones kept the bad ones in check, until this equilibrium was upset by the processed and fast food industries. In the past few decades, traditional dishes have been supersized and made with nontraditional ingredients, and meals that were formerly eaten only on special occasions have been marketed as everyday fare. (It was hard to gorge on fried chicken when you had to first catch, slaughter, gut, and pluck the obstinate bird; quite another matter when it came in a bucket for $6.99.) Processed foods also recalibrated taste buds: "normal" came to mean excessive amounts of fat, salt, and sugar. It was a toxic mix. [Barbour 2010]
The truth, as she found out, is somewhat different.
I leafed through a book called Hog and Hominy: Soul Food from Africa to America, by Frederick Douglass Opie, a professor of history at Marist College. I learned that for thousands of years, the traditional West African diet was predominantly vegetarian, centered on things like millet, rice, field peas, okra, hot peppers, and yams. Meat was used sparingly, as a seasoning. [Barbour 2010]
That includes, specifically, the many vegetables, nuts and fruits that African-Americans and others throughout the South grew wherever they could find room to grow it.  As for George Washington Carver, professor at Tuskegee Institute, he was an authority in growing these many varied crops: okra, snap peas, black-eyed peas, corn, collard greens and mustard greens, garlic, onions, etc., etc.

Carolyn Quick Tillery [1996, 2005] collects many of Carver's recipes for the modern chef and historian.  For more historical context, as she notes, so many African-American sharecroppers were forced to grow cotton and not food on the land outside their homes, being forced to buy whatever food they needed from the plantation's commissary at sky-high prices, keeping them poor and dependent upon them.
Upon his arrival [at Tuskegee], Washington observed that the common diet of sharecroppers was fat pork, corn bread, and, on occasion, molasses.  When they were without fat pork, sometimes their only food was the corn bread, served with black-eyed peas, cooked in plain water... Washington urged [the sharecroppers] to ask for a small plot of land on which to grow food and raise chickens.  [He] showed them how to maximize production of the plots or to live off "nature's bounty" where no plot could be obtained...  In addition to showing subsistence farmers methods of increasing their yield, Carver, an accomplished cook, shared recipes and preservation methods with their wives, and as a result, the women began to participate as well. [Tillery 1996, 2005: x-xi]
As Tillery found out while researching her book, she found that "the first Tuskegee students grew their own vegetables" [Tillery 1996, 2005: 124].  George Washington Carver himself noted in his Up With Slavery his relationship to agriculture:
When I can leave my office in time so that I can spend thirty or forty minutes in spading the ground, in planting seeds, in digging about the plants, I feel that I am coming into contact with something that is giving me strength for the many duties and hard places that await me out in the big world.  I pity the man or woman who has never learned to enjoy nature and get strength and inspiration out of it. [Washington Carver, quoted in Tillery 1996, 2005: 125]
I've tried to fancy up most of these last ten recipes in this State-by-State series, but this time I'm keeping leaving it un-zhuzh'd, so to speak, and doing Carver's recipe straight up.  You can find the following recipe for collards and cornmeal dumplings (with exact measurements) on page 127 of Tillery's African-American Heritage Cookbook.

The Recipe: Dr. Carver's Collard Greens with Cornmeal Dumplings


* collard greens (Duh.  I was in Whole Foods when I bought these.  Since George Washington Carver's foods would have been, by default, "organic" by modern standards, I went ahead and bought as much, $3 per bunch for two bunches.  Had I bothered to go to the farmers' market first, I would have found the same ones for about $2 a bundle.  Wah waah.)
* ham hock (the recipe says you can also use a turkey wing.  One package was about $6 at Giant)
* onion (just one, about half a dollar)
* dried chile pepper flakes (had one laying around)
* jalapeño (a few cents for just one)
* garlic powder (had garlic salt, which meant I didn't need to use actual salt.  But I did use...)
* seasoned salt (or in this case, Old Bay.  I rarely miss an opportunity to use this for something)
* sugar (had it)
* pepper (same)
* bacon (had that too)


Start by sautéing your bacon in a heavy bottomed pot or Dutch oven.


Meanwhile, wash your collard greens and chop up.  I took my kitchen shears and minced them up in their bowl.


After chopping your onion and chile, sauté them with your bacon.


Then throw in a ham hock and fill the pot with water until the ham hock is about covered.


Bring the water to a boil...


...covering it with the lid for half an hour.


Then add your collard greens and any other ingredients.


Continue to cook them for at least an hour.


Dr. Carver also added cornmeal dumplings to his collard greens.  To do this, gather the following (I actually had all of these laying around, except for the milk, about $1.30):

* corn meal
* eggs
* milk
* bacon grease
* flour
* baking powder


Mix the dry ingredients together...


And add the eggs and milk.


Stir until lumpy.


When the collard greens are almost done, drop by large spoonfuls into the boiling collard green liquid, and cover for five minutes...


...like so.


Already nice and dumpling-y.



I don't eat collard greens often.  This is a recipe I should be making more of.  The collard greens burst with so many different flavors, from the greens themselves to the bacon and ham hocks.  This with the delicate, salty dumplings make this a meal in and of itself.  You don't need anything else with this.  It is its own meal.

- - - - -

Dr. Carver's collards are part and parcel a quintessential example of both African American cuisine and Southern cuisine.  Again the two are intertwined.  And next week we examine the South some more with another dish that I grew up eating, done up a way that I never ate it.

Sources:


Barbour, Celia.  "The Origin of Soul Food". O Magazine, July 2010.  All rights reserved.

Tillery, Carolyn Quick.  The African-American Heritage Cookbook: Traditional Recipes and Fond Remembrances From Alabama's Renowned Tuskegee Institute.  Citadel Press: New York, 1996.  First paperback edition 2005.

Some information also obtained from the George Washington Carver Wikipedia page and from the Food Timeline State Foods webpage.

          The Afternoon Sound Alternative 06-23-2016 with Rett Rogers        
Playlist:

MC5- Intro Ramblin Rose - Kick Out The Jams
Night Beats- No Cops - Who Sold My Generation
King Gizzard The Lizard Wizard- Gamma Knife - Nonagon Infinity
Psychic TV- Thank You - Thank You
Ministry- Every Day Is Halloween - Every Day Is Halloween Single
Kurtis Blow- The Breaks - Kurtis Blow
Victor Peraino- I Put A Spell On You feat Kingdom Come Arthur Brown - Journey In Time feat Kingdom Come Arthur Brown
Los Angeles Negros- Tu Y Mirar Yo Y Mi Cancion - Antologia 19691982
Atahualpa Yupanqui- Zamba Del Otono - El Canto De La Tierra
Thee Commons- Psychedelic Dream - Rock Is Dead
Caetano Veloso Chico Buarque- Tropiclia - Tropiclia Essentials
Kevin Morby- Singing Saw - Singing Saw
Willis Alan Ramsey- Northeast Texas Woman - Willis Alan Ramsey
Sanford Clark- The Fool - Rockabilly Classics
Hasil Adkins- No More Hot Dogs - Out To Hunch
Charles Mingus- Hobo Ho - Let My Children Hear Music
Ramsey Lewis- Les Fleur - Maiden Voyage And More
George Jackson- Aretha Sing One For Me - The Blues Sessions
Aretha Franklin- Today I Sing The Blues - Delta Meets Arethas Blue
Chakachas- Jungle Fever - Boogie Nights Music From The Original Motion Picture
Charles Bradley- Changes - Changes
The Jive Turkeys- Chickenfoot - BA Single
Donnie Joe Emerson- Baby - Dreamin Wild
Cymande- The Message - Cymande
Toots The Maytals- Daddys Home - Funky Kingston In The Dark
Phyllis Dillon- Woman Of The Ghetto - Funky Kingston Reggae Dancefloor Grooves 196874
Bob Marley The Wailers- Dracula - Ammunition Dub Collection International Version
The Upsetters- Black Panta - I Am The Upsetter The Story Of The Lee Scratch Perry Golden Years


playlist URL: http://www.afterfm.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/playlist.listing/showInstanceID/50/playlistDate/2016-06-23
          AMISH HERITAGE TURKEY 10-12LBS        
AMISH HERITAGE TURKEY 10-12LBS

Amish Heritage Turkey:

  • Turkeys average between 10 to 12 pounds
  • SHIPS FRESH ON MONDAY NOVEMBER 21ST
  • Amish Heritage Turkeys, Raised by a 4th Generation Amish Family of Farmers
  • Free Roam Raised
  • Deliciously Meaty and Full of Natural Juices
  • ..

    Price: $79.99


          AMISH TURKEY BREAST 8-10LBS        
AMISH TURKEY BREAST 8-10LBS

Amish Turkey Breast:

  • Turkey Breast 8 to 10 lbs
  • SHIPS FRESH ON MONDAY NOVEMBER 21ST
  • Bone-In Turkey Breast
  • All White Meat
  • Deliciously Meaty and Full of Natural Juices
  • Naturally Raised Without the Use of Hormones and Antibiotics
  • ..

    Price: $99.99


          AMISH HERITAGE TURKEY 24-26LBS        
AMISH HERITAGE TURKEY 24-26LBS

Amish Heritage Turkey:

  • Turkeys average between 24 to 26 pounds
  • SHIPS FRESH ON MONDAY NOVEMBER 21ST
  • Amish Heritage Turkeys, Raised by a 4th Generation Amish Family of Farmers
  • Free Roam Raised
  • Deliciously Meaty and Full of Natural Juices
  • ..

    Price: $149.99


          AMISH HERITAGE TURKEY 18-20LBS        
AMISH HERITAGE TURKEY 18-20LBS

Amish Heritage Turkey:

  • Turkeys average between 18 to 20 pounds
  • SHIPS FRESH ON NOVEMBER 21ST
  • Amish Heritage Turkeys, Raised by a 4th Generation Amish Family of Farmers
  • Free Roam Raised
  • Deliciously Meaty and Full of Natural Juices
  • N..

    Price: $114.99


          AMISH HERITAGE TURKEY 14-16LBS        
AMISH HERITAGE TURKEY 14-16LBS

Amish Heritage Turkey:

  • Turkeys average between 14 to 16 pounds
  • SHIPS FRESH ON NOVEMBER 21ST
  • Amish Heritage Turkeys, Raised by a 4th Generation Amish Family of Farmers
  • Free Roam Raised
  • Deliciously Meaty and Full of Natural Juices
  • N..

    Price: $99.99


          The Afternoon Sound Alternative 04-04-2016 with DJ Girlfawkes        
Playlist:

Grimes- Kill V Maim - Art Angels
Matt And Kim- Hey Now - New Glow
Marcy Playground- Poppies - Marcy Playground
Elliott Smith- Son Of Sam - Figure 8
Jeff Buckley- So Real - Grace Legacy Edition
- voicebreak -
FIDLAR- West Coast - Too
Viola Beach- Like A Fool - Boys That Sing Like A Fool Single
- voicebreak -
Western Plaza- Tornado Dream - Western Plaza
HiFi Gentry- Film Noir - Film Noir
HiFi Gentry- The Tide - Film Noir
HiFi Gentry- Partners In Accidents - Film Noir
Miami Horror- Real Slow Dream Fiend Remix - Real Slow Remixes
Ra Ra Riot Rostam- Absolutely - Need Your Light
Phases- Im In Love With My Life - For Life
Sufjan Stevens- Decatur Or Round Of Applause For Your Stepmother - Illinois
Portugal The Man- Floating Time Isnt Working My Side - In The Mountain In The Cloud
Phases- Im In Love With My Life - For Life
HiFi Gentry- Maria - Film Noir
- voicebreak -
Kero Kero Bonito- Sick Beat - Bonito Recycling EP
Dilly Dally- Purple Rage - Sore
Charlotte Gainsbourg- Paradisco - Paradisco Single
Machineheart- Circles feat Vanic - In Your Dreams EP
New Order- Vanishing Point - Technique
Mike Krol- Neighborhood Watch - Turkey
YACHT- I Thought The Future Would Be Cooler - I Thought The Future Would Be Cooler
Summer Camp- Bad Love - Bad Love
- voicebreak -
The Kills- Doing It To Death - Ash Ice
Jungle- Drops - Jungle
The Brood- Free - Duty
Colleen Green- Deeper Than Love - I Want To Grow Up


playlist URL: http://www.afterfm.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/playlist.listing/showInstanceID/5/playlistDate/2016-04-04
          "Work More On Yourself Than Your Business"        

Once I heard statement from a person I respect alot, Christopher Hughes, he said "Work on yourself more than your business." I don't know if this is an original quote from him or not, but it struck a cord with me.

These words are stuck in my head and make a lot of sense. I think they are worth repeating "Work on yourself more than your business."

He said this as a statement of the value of personal development. These seem like good words comming from someone who about 8 years ago was working as a waiter in a Chili's resturant and living in a very poor neighborhood somewhere (don't remember what city) in Texas. Now, he makes over $100,000.00 a year in his network marketing business. He did lots of personal development, reading books, talkiing with people who know more than him, he attneded meetings and seminars, etc.

I'm not here to promote network marketing. But the idea is valuable in all businesses, careers or even in personal life. "Work on yourself more than your business."

What I'm getting at is, it is time for me to focus more on myself. I've been feeling a bit out of alignment, frazzled and unfocused. I've experienced feeling tired and when not tired, just low energy. Time for me to work more on myself, than on my business. This doesn't mean neglecting, just reallocating time while focusing on more personal development.

I recently got Centerpont's Holosync (aff) program, the Learning Stratgies Euphoria program, and I've joined Aaron Potts of Today is that Day in the Million Dollar Body Challenge. If you join up for the Million Dollar Body Challenge, look me up, my username is duelingdean.

In the past couple of weeks, that I've been using the Awakening Prologue (aff) from Centerpoint, I've felt more calm. Although I meditated previously, the full program seems to have taken it up a notch. That started in only the first week. I've dedicated myself to listening at least once a day. As I'm meditating, I can feel my body shift from one level to a different level as the tones shift frequencies. That's cool.

It's meant to be a long term program and in this brief time, I've enjoyed the benefits of deeper meditations and greater sense of calm. I still have wandering thoughts while meditating, that's ok. I understand that is still going to happen. Something I've noticed is that I'm catching these wandering thoughts and "just letting go" much easier. I think it's the sound of rain and ringing bells and resonanting bowls that provides a stimulus for me to focus on, as well as my breathing.

Also my sleeping seems to be better. I'm not sure if that's just the Holosynic program or if it's because of my increased exercising, which I'll talk about in a moment, or both.

The paraliminal program Euphoria is different and a bit harder for me to stay with, at this time.

I'll keep working with these programs and give more formal reviews once I have more time working with them.

As far as my exercise routine, until recently, has mostly been walking. I've taken a keener interest in my physical appearance for a couple of reasons.

1) I want to feel better, have better health and look good. 270 pounds is a bit more than I weighed in high school or even in my mid-twenties...early thirties or...well, you get the idea.
2) I want more energy, vitality and activity in my life.
3) I want to respect my body as the vehicle of my spirit.
4) I believe that in the process of conditioning my body, I'm also conditioning my mind and spirit. By blending a harmonious relationship with these aspects of myself all I got to say is "LOOK OUT WORLD, HERE I COME."
5) Heck, if I could win money in this Million Dollar Body Challenge why not get started.

Some things I've experienced already from this steped-up commitment to personal development:

Exercise

* I'm looking forward to working out. I guess it's a common belief that people don't want to drag themselves out the door to a gym, much less off the couch for some sit-ups or push-ups because "it's too much work" or "it makes me tired" or "I don't want to hurt myself." Me, I'm looking forward to my work out time. Here's why:
* I'm feeling excited when I am working out. I feel the blood coursing through my body, I'm more aware of my body with this increased movement. I feel excited that I'm working out and the sweat is a good sign that I'm progressing.
* When walking on the treadmill I spend time visulazing my dreams and goals. Because the blood is pumping and my body is feeling good, my mental picture of me is better because I'm taking action toward my goals. During this time it's more exciting for me when I'm visualizing, and that excitment is the emotion that builds the manifestation.
* At times, I think of it as a walking meditation.

Nutrition

Because I'm more excited about making the change to my physical appearance, I'm more aware of what I'm eating I'm making conscious decisions about what I want to eat: less fats and carbohydrates, more whole, real foods like veggies and fruit. I was eating good foods with some bad foods, now my attention is more on good foods.

My body still wants the comfort foods of chips and salsa, nachos, butter and toast, chocolate, Coco-Cola, etc. But it's my attitude toward myself, what I want to look like, that the desire for those foods has changed. I know that they taste good and that's ok. I think more about using them as special treats once a week, if even that often. My chocolate is my super special treat, one square of Ghiradelli's Dark Chocolates a day not 3, 4 or 5. (And dark chocolate is a good antioxident.) Cocoa-Cola, one bottle a week, I still like that sharp carbonated bite on my tongue.

I already feeling cleaner. I'm eating healthier. With more fruit in my diet, I feel less weighed down. I graze throughout the day, not eating until I'm full, but satisfied. I think about how good I feel when I've finished an appropriate amount of food without stuffing myself like a turkey.

With increased time devoted to exercise, food preparation, meditation with Awakening Prologue program, I find less time for other activities. Less time to watch TV, except for Battlestar Galactica and The Tudors, less time writing, oh well. But Chris Hughes' words still ring in my head "Work on yourself more than your business."

          The Afternoon Sound Alternative 11-26-2015         
Playlist:

Fred Wesley The New JBs- Breakin Bread - Funky Good Time The Anthology
Harold Burrage- You Eat Too Much - Messed Up The Cobra Recordings 19561958
Ty Segall- Thank God For Sinners - Twins
Joni Mitchell- Goodbye Pork Pie Hat - Mingus
Sly The Family Stone- Thank You Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin - Greatest Hits
Eagles Of Death Metal- I Only Want You - Peace Love Death Metal
Tom Waits- Eggs And Sausage In A Cadillac With Susan Michelson - Nighthawks At The Diner
Dizzy Gillespie Joe Carroll And Ensemble- Hey Pete Lets Eat More Meat - The Complete RCA Victor Recordings Dizzy Gillespie 1994 Remastered
The Melodians- Swing And Dine - Super Best
Newbeats- Bread And Butter - The Best Of Newbeats
The Four Clefs- I Like Pie I Like Cake - Those Dirty Blues Volume 3 Digitally Remastered
Jimi Hendrix- Catfish Blues - Blues
The JBs- Pass The Peas - James Browns Funky People
The Rolling Stones- Brown Sugar - Hot Rocks 19641971
Jimmy Rogers- Sloppy Drunk - Jimmy Rogers His Best Remastered
The B52s- Rock Lobster - The B52s
New Move- Vegetables - Portland Smiles A Tribute To The Beach Boys
Ella Mae Morse- Solid Potato Salad - Ella Mae
Paul Chaplain- Shortnin Bread - Thanksgiving Music For The Family
Wanda Jackson- Lets Have A Party - Wanda Jackson
Jim Backus- Delicious The Laughing Song - The Comedy Classics
Little Eva- Lets Turkey Trot - The LocoMotion
Nat Hendrick The Swans- Mashed Potatoes - The Legendary Henry Stone Presents Nat Kendrick The Swans
Dee Dee Sharp- Gravy For My Mashed Potatoes - Cameo Parkway The Best Of Dee Dee Sharp 19621966
Paul Revere The Raiders- Hungry - Greatest Hits


playlist URL: http://www.afterfm.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/playlist.listing/showInstanceID/50/playlistDate/2015-11-26
          The Afternoon Sound Alternative 09-23-2015 with Dave Blackwood        
Playlist:

Manu Chao- Bongo Bong - Clandestino
Chico Trujillo- Alturas - Reina De Todas Las Fiestas
La Luz- Black Hole Weirdo Shrine - Weirdo Shrine
Kraftwerk- Antenna - RadioActivity Remastered
Algiers- Black Eunuch - Algiers
Barrence Whitfield The Savages- The Claw - Under The Savage Sky
Nathaniel Rateliff The Night Sweats- SOB - Nathaniel Rateliff The Night Sweats
Jack White- High Ball Stepper - Lazaretto
Chain The Gang- Detroit Music - Musics Not For Everyone
Chain And The Gang- Detroit Music Pt II - Musics Not For Everyone
The Slew- The Grinder - 100
- voicebreak -
David Bowie- Im Afraid Of Americans - Im Afraid Of Americans
Mother Mother- Get Out The Way - Very Good Bad Thing
Silvertron Youth Choir- Sector 2 - Our God Is A Possum God
The Delfonics Adrian Younge- To Be Your One feat William Hart Loren Oden - Linear Labs Los Angeles
ByrneEno- Come With Us - My Life In The Bush Of Ghosts
Hey Mother Death- Bad Sex - Highway
SKYLAB- Seashell - 1
Skylab- Nickers Of A Girl - 2 1999 Large As Life And Twice As Natural
Joi- Asian Vibes - Joi Sound System
Battles- Dot Net - La Di Da Di
Suuns Jerusalem In My Heart- Gazelles In Flight - Suuns And Jerusalem In My Heart
Shawn Lee- Power Surge - Shawn Lees Ping Pong Orchestra Strings Things
Shawn Lee- Head Up - Synthesizers In Space
- voicebreak -
A Place To Bury Strangers- Supermaster - Transfixiation
Panda Bear- Cosplay - Crosswords EP
Galactic- Sugar Doosie - Into The Deep
Ripple- A Funky Song - Funk Soul Brothers Sisters Ghetto Funk Classics Southern Fried Soul Killers
Nozinja- Baby Do U Feel Me - Nozinja Lodge
Chui Wan- Seven Chances - Chui Wan
El Ten Eleven- Battle Aves - Fast Forward
Courtney Barnett- Debbie Downer - Sometimes I Sit And Think And Sometimes I Just Sit
Django Django- Shake Tremble - Born Under Saturn
Kamasi Washington- Malcolms Theme - The Epic
Amir ElSaffars Two Rivers Ensemble- ElShaab The People - Crisis
DuSems Ensemble- Oud Improvisation - Music From Turkey Greece
Amara Toure- Africa feat LOrchestre Massako - Amara Tour 1973 1980


playlist URL: http://www.afterfm.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/playlist.listing/showInstanceID/35/playlistDate/2015-09-23
          The Afternoon Sound Alternative 09-10-2015 with Tonja Loendorf        
Playlist:

DuSems Ensemble- Geragotikos Sirtos - Music From Turkey Greece
Seckou Keita- The Path From Gabou - 22 Strings
Quitapenas- Me Llevaba - Quitapenas
- voicebreak -
Orchestra Baobab- Coumba - Pirates Choice
Manuel Diogo- Yaweh Deus De Angola - Music Of Angola
- voicebreak -
Amara Toure- Temedy feat Ensemble Black White - Amara Tour 1973 1980
Aster Aweke- Kezira - Kabu
Dengue Fever- No Sudden Moves - The Deepest Lake
North Mississippi All Stars- Never In All My Days - Hill Country Revue
Public Enemy- Honky Talk Rules - Man Plans God Laughs
- voicebreak -
The Blind Boys Of Alabama- Nothing But The Blood W Jars Of Clay - Duets
Ghostface Killah Adrian Younge- King Of New York - Adrian Younge Presents Twelve Reasons To Die II Deluxe feat RZA Lyrics Born Chino XL Scarub Bilal Raekwon Vince Staples
Various Artists- Fog Bound - Japan For Sale
- voicebreak -
Vetiver- Current Carry - Complete Strangers
Decker- Patsy - Patsy
Farao- TIAF - Till Its All Forgotten
Jeen- Buena Vista - Tourist
The Dining Rooms- Invocation - Numero Deux
Low Cut Connie- Who The Hell Is Tina - Hi Honey
Low Cut Connie- Shake It Little Tina - Hi Honey
Love- Walk Right In - Black Beauty
Kuf Knotz- A Positive Light - A Positive Light
Sly The Family Stone- Fun - Sly The Family Stone Greatest Hits
Canned Heat- Amphetamine Annie - The Very Best Of Canned Heat
The Donkeys- Bloodhound - Born With Stripes
- voicebreak -
Jeff Beck- Becks Bolero - Truth
Robyn Hitchcock The Egyptians- Another Bubble - Fegmania
Throttle Elevator Music- Doesnt Matter Know feat Kamasi Washington - Jagged Rocks feat Kamasi Washington
La Luz- You Disappear - Weirdo Shrine
Chui Wan- Estivation - Chui Wan
Rose Windows- Glory Glory - Rose Windows
Algiers- Remains - Algiers
El Ten Eleven- Peter And Jack - Fast Forward
The Edgar Winter Group- Frankenstein - They Only Come Out At Night
Ratatat- Cream On Chrome - Magnifique
Black Uhuru- Slippling Into Darkness - Mystical Truth Dub
Sly And The Family Stone- I Want To Take You Higher - Sly And The Family Stone Anthology
Greyboy Allstars- V Neck Sweater - What Happened To Television
The Vegetarians- Sorry That Were Through - Meat The Vegetarians
Joseph Arthur- Dear Lord - Redemptions Son


playlist URL: http://www.afterfm.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/playlist.listing/showInstanceID/50/playlistDate/2015-09-10
          The Afternoon Sound Alternative 08-26-2015 with Dave Blackwood        
Playlist:

Andy McKee- Everybody Wants To Rule The World - Joyland
Miles Davis- Friday Miles - Miles Davis At Fillmore
Ratatat- Drift - Magnifique
Lecture On Nothing Eddie Miller- Beyond Names And Forms - Lecture On Nothing
Bomba Estreo- Fiesta - Amanecer
Nozinja- Xihukwani - Nozinja Lodge
Stereolab- Blue Milk - Cobra Phases Group Play
The Phoenix Foundation- Playing Dead - Give Up Your Dreams
Django Django- 4000 Years - Born Under Saturn
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah- Is This Love - Clap Your Hands Say Yeah 10th Anniversary Edition
Public Enemy- No Sympathy From The Devil - Man Plans God Laughs
Hiatus Kaiyote- Shaolin Monk Motherfunk - Choose Your Weapon
Golden Rules- Never Die feat Yasiin Bey - Golden Ticket
Silvertron Youth Choir- Peanut Butter Train - Our God Is A Possum God
The Pop Group- Citizen Zombie - Citizen Zombie
Minutemen- This Aint No Picnic - Double Nickels On The Dime
My Morning Jacket- Big Decisions - The Waterfall
Pond- Elvis Flaming Star - Man It Feels Like Space Again
Alabama Shakes- Shoegaze - Sound Color
Burt Bacharach- South American Getaway - Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid
La Luz- With Davey - Weirdo Shrine
Hanni El Khatib- Melt Me - Moonlight
Dorian Concept- Draft Culture - Joined Ends
Silvertron Youth Choir- Sector 2 - Our God Is A Possum God
Sounds From The Ground- Gather - 20 Years Of The Best Sounds From The Ground
DuSems Ensemble- akal kerten Zeybei - Music From Turkey Greece
Haiku Salut- Bleak And Beautiful All Things - Etch And Etch Deep
Beardyman- A Cheerful And Sunny Disposition - Distractions
Jaga Jazzist- Oban - Starfire
Wilco- Random Name Generator - Star Wars
Christopher Lennertz Mike McCready Money Mark Chris Chaney- Fker feat Mike McCready Money Mark Chris Chaney - Horrible Bosses Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
The Pretty Things- Rosalyn - Mojo Presents DavdHeroesBowie
METZ- Acetate - II


playlist URL: http://www.afterfm.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/playlist.listing/showInstanceID/35/playlistDate/2015-08-26
          Written Answers — Prime Minister: Turkey: Human Rights and Press Freedom (14 Jul 2017)        
Theresa May: I discussed these issues with President Erdogan during the G20 Summit in Hamburg emphasising the importance of fundamental rights and rule of law. We regularly engage in a broad and comprehensive dialogue with Turkey at ministerial level.
          20.09.17 20:00 Uhr - Fürth - John Lee Hooker Jr. - Auf dem Weg zur Legende        
Tickets erhältlich unter: http://www.frankentipps.de/veranstaltung214689-tickets

John Lee Hooker Jr. entstammt der musikalisch hochbegabten Sippe aus Detroit, die vom legendären Großvater Will Moore über den berühmten Vater John Lee Hooker bis hin zu den erfolgreichen Geschwistern Zakiya und Robert sowie Cousin Archie reicht. Bereits mit acht Jahren trat er im Radio auf und wusste, dass er den selben Weg wie sein Vater gehen würde. Mit 16 stand er auf der Bühne des Fox-Theaters in Detroit und kaum 18 Jahre alt erschien seine erste Platte bei ABC Records. Anschließend ging es in die große amerikanische Welt hinaus, von Alaska bis New Orleans wurde John Jr. bei allen bedeutenden Bluesfestivals gefeiert. Er spielte mit den besten der arrivierten Blueslegenden wie Bo Didley, Charlie Musslewhite, Luther Tucker, Deacon Jones, Elvin Bishop und natürlich mit seinem Dad John Lee Hooker und der Coast to Coast Blues Band, bei der er häufig der Star war.

In seinen Songs ist oft ein gehöriger Schuss bissiger Sozialkritik zu hören und das erinnert an Johnny Guitar Watson. Jener hatte einen großen Einfluss auf John Jr’s Musik, ebenso wie Big Mama Thornton, Jimmy Reed, Jimi Hendrix und die beiden Kings, BB und Albert. Um seine eigene Stimme zu finden vermied er es, den großen Vater John Lee zu imitieren. John Jr. beschreibt das Rezept für seine Musik mit „zwei Teile R&B, ein Teil Jazz und ein fetter Teil ´down home blues´ ". Damit fesselt er sein Publikum, dass er häufig animiert aktiv mitzusingen und zu tanzen und für das er ebenso die Bühne verlässt um mit zu tanzen.

Sein 2004 veröffentlichtes Album „Blues with a Vengeance" (Kent Records) wurde bei den California Music Awards (vormals BAMMYS genannt) als bestes Blues Album des Jahres ausgezeichnet und die Bay Area Blues Society ehrte den Musiker als besten Comeback-Künstler des Jahres 2004. Sein letztes Studio-Album „All Odds against me” (Steppin´ Stone Records / Jazzhaus Records; 2008) war in der Kategorie „Best Traditional Blues Album“ für den Grammy Award nominiert. Aktuell präsentiert John Lee Hooker Jr. mit seiner Band seine neue Live-CD "Live in Turkey".
          The Afternoon Sound Alternative 01-14-2015 with Dave Blackwood        
Playlist:

- voicebreak -
- voicebreak -
The Phoenix Foundation- Morning Riff - Fandango
Panda Bear- Sequential Circuits - Panda Bear Meets The Grim Reaper Bonus Mr Noah EP Edition
AM Shawn Lee- Replay - La Musique Numrique
Dean Blunt- Imperial Gold - The Redeemer
Mogwai- Teenage Exorcists - Music Industry 3 Fitness Industry 1
Eddie C- Every Life Under The Invisible Hands - Country City Country
King Tubby- African Roots - King Tubby
The Black Seeds- Loose Cartilage - Dust And Dirt
Endless Boogie- Occult Banker - Long Island
The BarKays- Theme From The Hells Angels - Soul Finger
Ramzi Aburedwan- Rahil - Reflections Of Palestine
Le Trio Joubran- Nawwar - Rough GUide To The Music Of Palestine
Vashti Bunyan- Some Things Just Stick In Your Mind - Some Things Just Stick In Your Mind
Sturgill Simpson- Turtles All The Way Down - Metamodern Sounds In Country Music
Castanets- Out For The West - Decimation Blues
International Submarine Band- Do You Know How It Feels To Be Lonesome - Truckers Kickers Cowboy Angels The Blissed Out Birth Of Country Rock Volume 1 19661968
The Legendary Stardust Company- I Took A Trip On A Gemini Spaceship - Bowie Heard Them Here First
Jaga Jazzist- Real Racecars Have Doors - A Living Room Hush
Flying Lotus- Turkey Dog Coma - Youre Dead
Eno Hyde- Dbf - High Life
Zammuto- Hegemony - Anchor
Trentemller- Constantinople - Lost
Gala Drop- Sun Gun - II
Dirtmusic- The Big Bend - Troubles
Jungle Fire- Snake Pit - Tropicoso
The Budos Band- Tomahawk - Burnt Offering
Karl Hector The Malcouns- Omebele Makossa - Unstraight Ahead
Jungle- The Heat - Jungle
The Slew- Robbing Banks Doin Time - 100
NehruvianDOOM- First Day Of Class - Nehruviandoom
James Pants- Unacceptable Dance Styles - Ice Castles
Fuck Buttons- The Red Wing - Slow Focus
Khun Narin- Show Wong Khun Narin 1 - Khun Narins Electric Phin Band
Goat- Goatslaves - Commune


playlist URL: http://www.afterfm.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/playlist.listing/showInstanceID/35/playlistDate/2015-01-14
          The Afternoon Sound Alternative 12-19-2014 with DJ Segue        
Playlist:

Cast of Sesame Street- I Hate Christmas - A Sesame Street Christmas
Gonjasufi- Holidays - Holidays Candylane
Nina Simone- I Am Blessed Wax Tailor Remix - Verve Remixed Christmas
Clarence Carter- Back Door Santa - The Original Soul Christmas Various Artists
The Jive Turkeys- Get Down Santa - Get Down Santa 7
Booker T The MGs- Jingle Bells - The Original Soul Christmas Various Artists
Shawn Lees Ping Pong Orchestra- My Favorite Things - A Very Ping Pong Christmas
Milly Silly- Getting Down For Xmas - Funk Spectrum Vol 1 Compiled By Josh Davis Keb Darge
Don Smith- Black Christmas - Santas Funk Soul Christmas Party Vol2
James Brown- Lets Unite The Whole World At Christmas - Funky Christmas
I Ray- 02Ahameric Temple - Natty Christmas
Jacob Miller- 01Wish You a Merry Christmas - Natty Christmas
Louis Armstrong- What A Wonderful World The Orb Remix - Verve Remixed Christmas
Tennessee Brown The Silvertones- Little Drummer Boy - Reggae Christmas from Studio One
Carlene Davis Trinity- Santa Clause Do You Ever Come To The Ghetto - Yard Style Christmas
James Brown- Go Power At Christmas Time - Funky Christmas
Amerigo Gazaway- Beanie Weather - A Very Busted Christmas
Tennessee Brown The Silvertones- Real Christmas Rock - Reggae Christmas from Studio One
Ella Fitzgerald - Sleigh Ride The Latin Pr - Merry Mixmas
Billie Holiday- Ive Got My Love To Keep Me Warm Yesking Remix - Verve Remixed Christmas
Home T 4 Trinity- Dub It For Christmas - Yard Style Christmas
Little Jimmy Thomas- Deck The Halls - Santas Funk Soul Christmas Party Vol2
John Hart- O Tannenbaum - Yule Struttin A Blue Note Christmas
Nancy Lee Featuring Al Johnson SoulJers- Xmas Commercial Blues - Santas Funk Soul Christmas Party Vol2
June Christy - The Merriest Thunderball - Merry Mixmas
Johnny Mercer- Santa Claus Is Comin To - Merry Mixmas
Cookin Soul x Gil Scott Heron- Winter in America - The Revolution is being televised tribute
Amin Payne- Winter in Melbourne - Expansion Sound Vol1
Gene Rains- Lonely Winter - Far Away Lands The Exotic Music of Gene Rains
Carol Batton- Intro Winter - Folk Is Not a Four Letter Word Volume 2
Nino Nardini- Winter Wind - LIllustration Musicale IM 21 Nature Nocturne
Kill Emil- Winter Breeze - Lights Shadows
Organic Grooves- Winter Vacation - Organic Grooves 4
DJ Rashad DJ Spinn- Last Winter - Rinse22
Various Artists- Winter dub - Roots Radics Meets Scientist and King Tubby in a dub Explosion
the positive force with ade olatunji- the afrikan in winter - Spiritual Jazz
Paul Winter Sextet- Winters Song - Spiritual Jazz 5 The World
- 11 The Lion In Winter -
Allen Ginsberg- 02 COME BACK CHRISTMAS MacDougal Street Blues - Allen Ginsberg First Blues Rags Ballads and Harmonium Songs FW37560
Dean Martin- Jingle Bells Dan The Automator Remix - Christmas Remixed Holiday Classics ReGrooved
Harvey Averne Band- Lets Get It Together This Christmas - In The Christmas Groove
1st Lieutenant Middle St- Here Comes Santa Claus Dub - A Very Busted Christmas
Bahia Deluxe- Let It Snow - A Very Busted Christmas
Bahia Deluxe- Joy Beats To The World - A Very Busted Christmas
Jimi Hendrix- The Little Drummer BoySilent NightAuld Lang Syne Extended Version - Merry Christmas Happy New Year
The Poets of Rhythm- Santas Got a Bag of Soul - Anthology 19922003
Jah Irie Chorus Featuring Dean Fraser- Sensimillia - Yard Style Christmas
Clouded- Santas Trip - A Very Busted Christmas
Alton Ellis- Christmas Coming - Reggae Christmas from Studio One
The Ventures- Jingle Bell Rock - Mojo Presents Blue Christmas
Shawn Lees Ping Pong Orchestra- Carol of the Bells - A Very Ping Pong Christmas
Steve Gray- Snowmans Stomp - Santas Funk Soul Christmas Party Vol2
Booker T The MGs- Silver Bells - The Original Soul Christmas Various Artists
Tino- Christmas in Hawaii - Jack Dangers Hello Friends
Tipsy- XXXmas - UhOh
Billy May- Rudolph The RedNosed Re - Merry Mixmas
Cast of Sesame Street- All I Want For Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth - A Sesame Street Christmas


playlist URL: http://www.afterfm.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/playlist.listing/showInstanceID/65/playlistDate/2014-12-19
          Chipotle Burgers Topped with Tomatillo Salsa        
I love the smoky flavor of chipotle and cumin.  It can really change a boring corn soup into something exciting.  Well it can do the same for ground turkey.   In my effort to eat less beef, I’ll be making burgers this month with ground chicken and turkey with a little sausage added in once in […]
          Meatloaf in Minutes        
This is the easiest meatloaf I ever made and the juiciest. Ingredients: 2 pounds of ground meat- you can use a combination of beef, veal, pork or turkey and veal or just a single type.  If you use only turkey make sure it’s a mix of white and dark meats so there is enough fat […]
          Griffin Productions        
Wildlife documentaries about the life cycles and behavior of whitetails, turkeys, pheasants and moose.
          Thanksgiving Buffet        
Thanksgiving Day Buffet Thursday, November 26th 2015 11am-4pm Starters Cheese Display Fresh and Grilled Vegetables Garden Salad Waldorf Salad Jell-o Salad Fresh Fruit Tray Entrees Chef-Carved Prime Rib Roast Turkey Glazed Ham Grilled Salmon with Dill Cream Sauce Mashed Potatoes Homemade Cranberry Sauce Scalloped Potatoes Wild Rice Pilaf Roasted Squash Green Bean Casserole Apple-Sage Stuffing […]
          Is Trump’s plan for his company enough to avoid conflicts of interest?        

Watch Video | Listen to the Audio

STEVE INSKEEP: Now, during his press conference, the president-elect said something that no president-elect may have said before. He said he had just turned down a multibillion-dollar business deal.

DONALD TRUMP (R), President-Elect: Over the weekend, I was offered $2 billion to do a deal in Dubai with a very, very, very amazing man, a great, great developer from the Middle East, Hussain Damac, a friend of mine, great guy. And I was offered $2 billion to do a deal in Dubai, a number of deals. And I turned it down.

STEVE INSKEEP: Now, $2 billion, his friend Hussain Damac was apparently a man with a different last name, who runs a company called DAMAC Group.

But, nevertheless, the talk of a deal in a key Persian Gulf nation, days before he moves into the White House, suggests the clash between the president’s duties and his worldwide business. The president-elect says he has a plan to manage those conflicts, which we’re going to evaluate this evening.

That plan includes turning the business over to his two older sons, plus a business executive. His sons aren’t supposed to tell him what they’re doing. And the president-elect will step back from management, but remain the owner of Trump Organization, and the company will avoid new overseas business deals.

Mr. Trump said he’s doing this, even though the law would allow him to keep making deals as president.

DONALD TRUMP: I don’t like the way that looks, but I would be able to do that if I wanted to. I would be the only one that would be able to do that. You can’t do that in any other capacity. But, as a president, I could run the Trump Organization, great, great company, and I could run the company — the country. I would do a very good job, but I don’t want to do that.

STEVE INSKEEP: The president-elect is correct that a federal conflict of interest law excludes the president, but what about all the other issues?

We have brought in two lawyers who managed ethics issues for two presidents. Richard Painter did it for President George W. Bush. Norm Eisen did it for President Obama.

And, Mr. Eisen, let’s start with you.

The president-elect suggests he is going above and beyond. Is he?

NORMAN EISEN, Former Special Counsel to President Obama: No.

He’s going beneath and below the minimum floor that’s required by law, that’s required by our most fundamental law, the Constitution, that is established by what every president for four decades has done, that ethics require and that common sense requires, Steve.

This was a sad day. I wasn’t happy to see what happened here. But what the president has announced fails every aspect of the bipartisan consensus that has emerged on what he should do, and it’s going to lead to scandal and corruption and a constitutional crisis from the moment he’s sworn in.

STEVE INSKEEP: OK, you mentioned the law. You mentioned common sense. Let’s talk about common sense here a little bit here, Richard Painter. We will get to the law.

What is wrong with turning over management of the company to his sons, who it is said will act independently of him?

RICHARD PAINTER, Former Associate Counsel to President George W. Bush: Well, he will still own the company.

And the problem is the company, the Trump Organization, has business deals all over the world. And some may be getting turned down, although some might get accepted. There are already deals in place. There are deals with powerful politicians in Indonesia, with oligarchs in the Philippines, deals in Turkey.

I mean, these are parts of the world where there’s very important issues to be dealt with on behalf of the United States and strategic concerns. We can’t have the president have substantial economic exposure himself in these countries and business partners who may be in league with foreign governments.

This is an enormous conflict of interests. We also have the president of the president’s name being on buildings around the world in places where it’s questionable whether these other countries can protect those buildings. We don’t have the Obama Tower in downtown Paris or Nairobi or some place. And we couldn’t protect it.

And then we put the Trump name up. That’s going to be jeopardizing the lives of the people who live in those buildings and could drag the United States into a conflict. That’s only the beginnings of the problems.

We have potential mixing Trump business with United States government business. And that would trigger a bribery investigation. And then we, of course, have those payments coming in from foreign governments and companies controlled by foreign governments that violate the Constitution, unless they sweep all of those out of the Trump Organization as of January 20. And they don’t have the time to do it.

STEVE INSKEEP: You mentioned also the Constitution, and I definitely want to get to that, but let’s just refer to something else that Norm Eisen mentioned.

Norm Eisen said that this arrangement violates the bipartisan consensus about ethics for the president of the United States in recent decades. The president-elect, however, brought out a lawyer — Sheri Dillon is her name — at this press conference, and she dismissed some of the more conventional solutions.

Let’s watch.

SHERI DILLON, Attorney for Donald Trump: Some people have suggested a blind trust, but you cannot have a totally blind trust with operating businesses. President Trump can’t un-know he owns Trump Tower. And the press will make sure that any new developments at the Trump Organization are well publicized.

Further, it would be impossible to find an institutional trustee that would be competent to run the Trump Organization. The approach he is taking allows Don and Eric to preserve this great company and its iconic assets.

STEVE INSKEEP: Norm Eisen, I have actually heard this from a lot of people, who said, blind trust, how can that be possible, because his assets are so visible? His name is on buildings. The name itself is the asset. Is she right that a blind trust isn’t going to work?

NORMAN EISEN: No, she’s wrong on all three of those points.

On the first point, if it’s a problem that he would still know things in a blind trust, how much more of a problem is it now, where he has this completely unprecedented continuing ownership interest, and very weak protections that were outlined today for communications between and among his sons? Does anybody really believe that they’re not going to be talking about the business?

Then, number two, it actually would be simple to do this. All Trump needs to do — this is not complicated — find an independent professional trustee. There are plenty out there who have dealt with far more complications. This is — the Trump Organization is just a big international family business.

Trump signs it over. This is what we hoped in a bipartisan way and prayed would happen today. He signs it over to the trustee. The trustee figures out, what can I sell? How do I sell it? What can I borrow? Maybe I do a public equity, so if it’s not sold on the market, the executives buy it, package the less-indebted properties with the more-indebted properties.

Donald Trump has enough to worry about without thinking about that. And then, on the third point of destroying the business, the Donald Trump name is at an all-time high. This is the best time to make these moves. When the corruptions and the scandals start to flow, it’s going to be much harder.

But he is going to have to do it, because those negative consequences are sure to follow.

STEVE INSKEEP: OK, just very briefly here now, the law. You mentioned the law. You mentioned the Constitution.

You have said that the president would violate the Constitution if he continues on this course. The Emoluments Clause is what you’re talking about. It prohibits gifts from a foreign government. But the president-elect’s lawyer says nobody has defined a gift before for that purpose. And she says the president doing business is not a gift.

SHERI DILLON: No one would have thought, when the Constitution was written, that paying your hotel bill was an emolument. Instead, it would have been thought of as a value-for-value exchange, not a gift, not a title, and not an emolument.

But since president-elect Trump has been elected, some people want to define emoluments to cover routine business transactions like paying for hotel rooms. They suggest that the Constitution prohibits the businesses from even arm’s-length transactions that the president-elect has absolutely nothing to do with and isn’t even aware of.

These people are wrong. This is not what the Constitution says. Paying for a hotel room is not a gift or a present, and it has nothing to do with an office. It’s not an emolument.

STEVE INSKEEP: Richard Painter, what’s wrong with that logic? It’s routine business.

RICHARD PAINTER: This is a for-profit hotel. He is making profits over dealing with foreign governments. Same with the loans from foreign government-owned banks. Those are for a for-profit business. That is prohibited under the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution.

Now, she’s right on one point, that you can’t take the Trump Tower, put it in a trust, and pretend you don’t have it. Of course, the trustee will have to sell the Trump Tower. He needs to make a decision, does he wants to be president, or does he want to be a landlord and a hotel owner?

He has nine days to make that decision. I thought he’d already made it. But that’s what this is about. He just doesn’t want to give up the hotel. He doesn’t want to give Trump Tower to his son or sell it.

And it is not that difficult to sell a nice building like that on Fifth Avenue.

STEVE INSKEEP: Norm Eisen, very briefly, can the president-elect resolve some of these concerns just by being a lot more transparent about who is paying what for what?

NORMAN EISEN: Well, Professor Painter and I laid out yesterday a scorecard of five criteria.

And one of them was to have strong ethics provisions with strong transparency around them, an ethics firewall. But we made the point that alone is not enough. He is going to be — as Professor Painter says, emoluments covers all of the different benefits that he’s getting, loans, permits, trademarks, other things outside the hotel, selling apartments to foreign government agents and sovereigns.

He’s going to be in violation of the Constitution on day one, and no amount of transparency can cure that offense against our founding document.

STEVE INSKEEP: Could they solve some of this problem by releasing the president-elect’s tax return?

NORMAN EISEN: It’s critical that the tax returns come out, particularly today, when there’s been so much talk about Russia, Steve.

Professor Painter and I wrote during the campaign that there’s an enormous amount of information about foreign governments, gifts, payments, partnerships, even business expenses, possibly, in deductions taken.

Given the nature of the Russia allegations, we need to see that. And Richard and I said today that all Russia-related aspects of the tax returns should be released. And the Intelligence Committees should get the full tax returns to put these Russia allegations to bed.

STEVE INSKEEP: Norm Eisen was the top ethics lawyer for President Obama. Richard Painter was the top ethics lawyers for President George W. Bush.

Gentlemen, thanks to you both.

NORMAN EISEN: Thanks, Steve.

RICHARD PAINTER: Thank you.

The post Is Trump’s plan for his company enough to avoid conflicts of interest? appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


          SALE extended through the weekend!!        

I'm feeling VERRRRY thankful - so don't forget to stop by my sale - AND
CLICK HERE to download my TurkeyScrapKitty!
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If I could eat one kind of cuisine, every single day of my life, I’d choose Greek food. I don’t know what it is – but the mix of spices, sauces, fresh vegetables, and fruity olives sucks me in every time. We have an amazing little gyro place in the next town over (that we […]
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Jadon sporting his toque given to him by a Ronald McDonald Room worker
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The cousins
Lilin took a picture of her favourite ornament... one celebrating her adoption.