Sole food

And before you harangue me about misspelling “soul,” understand that the pork chops sat in the skillet a minute or two longer than optimal. So the porkers were a tad leathery, not quite as tough as a shoe but, well, you get my drift.

pork'n'cheese

Still adjusting to the heat of the electric range. Different from gas, to be sure. Not a total fail; let’s call it C-.

Vermilion

'Twas an overcast day

‘Twas an overcast day

Sploosh

Sploosh

It's a shell of a thing

It’s a shell of a thing

I'd like to see this around sunrise or sunset, see what the shadows do ...

I’d like to see this around sunrise or sunset, see what the shadows do …

Schwinng!

sails

It looks menacing, but it's just a harmless Mayfly. Plentiful Mayflies are a sign of a healthy lake. The algae blooms are a problem in the western basin, but overall Lake Erie is a lot better off than it was 40 years ago.

It looks menacing, but it’s just a harmless Mayfly. Plentiful Mayflies are a sign of a healthy lake. The algae blooms are a problem in the western basin, but overall Lake Erie is a lot better off than it was 40 years ago.

houses

Kind of funny to see an old greenhouse overtaken by Mother Nature. So I wonder, did those trees start as greenhouse seedlings? Or is this just Mother Nature spontaneously doing her thing?

Kind of funny to see an old greenhouse overtaken by Mother Nature. So I wonder, did those trees start as greenhouse seedlings? Or is this just Mother Nature spontaneously doing her thing?

dead end

Canopus

Food porn: Spaghetti carbonara … drool, drool

This is based on a recipe my Myrtle Beach buddy Paul Goodrich picked up while stationed with the Navy in Italy. Slightly Americanized with el-cheapo Parmesan cheese (as opposed to the properly aged and grated real Parmesan or Romano) and regular bacon as opposed to the much more expensive Italian varieties such as guanciale or pancetta. Still damn tasty and a tad less salty. And rich. Definitely need to have your blood cholesterol monitored after this meal.

knife

Irony: For want of a knife, I can’t get this damn thing out of the package. Can’t it just cut its own way out?

Start with your basic ingredients – eggs, bacon, spaghetti or any pasta of choice, Parmesan cheese

Start with your basic ingredients – eggs, bacon, spaghetti or any pasta of choice, Parmesan cheese. Oh, and milk/cream, depending on how many calories you think you can handle. Mix eggs (five or six) and Parmesan cheese into a thick, gooey paste. Should look a little like hummus. No, this is not a compensated ad for Giant Eagle, just what happened to be convenient. 

pasta cooking

Boil your pasta. Seven to 10 minutes or so, depending on instructions. Fettuccine will take longer, angel hair much less. Just depends.

Chop bacon into smallish pieces, fry.

Chop bacon into smallish pieces, fry to  a fairly crisp state, cuz it’s about to get soaked.

Drain (most of) the grease, add milk or cream.

Drain (most of) the bacon grease, add milk or cream. Saute for a few minutes, really just enough to warm up the liquid and maybe evaporate some of the milk. 

Insert fork. Twirl. Inhale (um, consume).

After draining the pasta, stir it all in the pasta pot and let the heat of the pasta and bacon/milk/cream mixture cook the eggs and Parmesan cheese. Stir occasionally for 5-10 minutes. Insert fork. Twirl. Inhale (um, consume).

Repeat.

Repeat.

Oh, and by the way, I love my new Santoku knife, now that I’ve managed to extricate it from its nearly impenetrable packaging. Think I’ll do some sushi next …

Crime scene

I don’t find news so much as it finds me. Case in point: Yesterday my apartment complex was fairly swarming with cops, FBI, K-9 dogs.

When the first few officers showed up, in plain clothes, and I saw an obviously distraught young mom, I thought, “Hmmm, custody case, no real news here.”

I was mistaken.

When the FBI and dogs showed up, I knew this was something more. Nosy journalista that I am, I asked what’s going on. Terse response was to call Avon police.

News tip: Late Saturday evening Avon police got a call about two missing girls. A 12-year-old and the 2-year-old toddler she was baby-sitting.

So I snapped a few (mostly crappy) photos, hauled off to work and told reporter Evan Goodenow and photog Anna Norris at the Chronicle-Telegram about what was happening. Here’s the story.

And now here are some pix from my little neighborhood.

cops5

cops6

cops7

cops8

cops9

cops11

Close-up detail of photo above. That is the flier police distributed to local media as part of their search. It paid off Sunday evening when an Elyria resident spotted the girls.

Close-up detail of photo above. That is the flier police distributed to local media as part of their search. It paid off Sunday evening when an Elyria resident spotted the girls.

Some soft-core food porn

A steamy scene. Stir. Fry. Discuss.

It sautes the chicken in a blend of vegetable oil and sesame seed oil.

It sautes the chicken in a blend of vegetable oil and sesame seed oil.

Throws in some fresh onions, bell peppers, ginger root, and allows to saute a bit. Stir occasionally.

Throws in some fresh onions, bell peppers, ginger root, and allows to saute a bit. Stir occasionally.

That is steam rising off the iron skillet, not crappy focus (this time)

That is steam rising off the iron skillet, not crappy focus (this time)

Annnnd, the dish

stir-fry4

I am happy to report that it was (urp!) deelish.

In case you were wondering:

Mr. Dave’s stir-fry — I do not claim copyright to this, cuz it’s kind of open to whatever.

Your basic ingredients:

• Chicken or other fine protein source

• Bell peppers

• Onion

• Snow peas

• Fresh ginger root

• Seasonings: Here’s where you can really add to your particular, ummm, idiom: Ginger, black pepper, garlic, turmeric, cumin, coriander, cardimom (!), curry, all those exotic herbs and spices you never understood. Avoid cinnamon. Personal bias, I admit. Throw in some Szechuan spices if you like heat.

• Sesame seed oil. Secret weapon. Damn, is that stuff good! A few shakes will do (assuming you have the dripper in bottle cap). A little goes a long way.

• Rice, cooked according to package directions (or if you’re illiterate, 2 cups water per cup of dry rice, bring water to a boil, add rice, turn down heat, simmer for 20-25 minutes, fluff with a fork). Oh, wait, you’re illiterate? Nevermind.

Optional: Bean sprouts, water chestnuts, broccoli, asparagus, grapes (really!), mushrooms (if you must, ick), hot peppers, cat liver (ha-ha! Just kidding. Really), any other crap you can think of. (Try Italian sausage, even. Not bad! Chorizo, anyone?Call it MexAsian stir-fry)

Prep time: Eh, 30 minutes or so, although you want to marinate the meat for 2 hours or more. If you’re gonna bother marinating.

DIRECTIONS, if you really need them:

• Marinate chicken (beef, pork, etc., also work, with different soakings) in Italian dressing. Lots of other marinade choices. Chop into bite-size pieces. Marinating is optional if you’re in a hurry or especially hungry I GOTTA EAT RIGHT NOW DAMMIT!

• Chop onions, peppers, etc., into bite-size pieces (rinse before, of course)

• Slice off three or four slivers of fresh ginger root

• Rinse snow peas, any other veggies. Cuz, you know, salmonella. And the boogers of all the fingertips that touched those things before you did. Eeew.

• Turn on stovetop heat. Very important step.

• Have pots and pans on heat. Also very important.

• Water in rice pot (or, if you’re really fancy, rice steamer)

• Oil in skillet. This is not the time to trot out the evoo —olive oil has a very low smoke level. Get yer basic vegetable oil, corn oil, peanut oil (allergy alert!), whatever, and for an excellent Asian accent, throw in a little sesame seed oil. A little goes a long way.

• About 10-15 minutes into rice cooking, throw chicken/meat on fire (ahem, skillet). Saute/fry for 5 minutes or so.

• Add peppers, other water-dense veggies. Stir-fry for about a minute

• Add onions. Fresh garlic? Do it now. Stir-fry

• With about 5 minutes left, throw in snow peas, grapes, any other items that will cook quickly or wilt with too much heat — say, spinach or bok choi. Throw in spices and seasonings.

• Stir rice and stir-fry one last time, let sit for about 5 minutes, serve with soy sauce and your favorite condiments saved from your last takeout/delivery from your favorite neighborhood Chinese restaurant or sushi joint.

Mmm, mmm, deelish.

Oh, you probably don’t want to eat the ginger root chunks.