Monday, October 30, 2006

When Harry met Bertha

I've always enjoyed Halloween. A time for fantasy and creative silliness. A time for everyone to confront and release the demons within! When I worked in New York doing movie make up, we always had commissions from New Yorkers to help with costumes. My speciality was fake tattoos and scars. My friend, Chuck could do dental casting and created the most perfect fangs for those wannabee vampires. I also know a few different fake blood recipes and we always made it cherry or orange flavored.
At our old house here in France, we started to grow pumpkins. One year, we ordered Atlantic Giant seeds from a company in New York State that specialized in giant vegetables. We had quite few big ones that year but one was special, it grew and grew and I even built a shelter for it so it wouldn't ripen and split before it had finished growing....eventually, it seemed to stop growing...people heard about it and came from all over to look at it. The Sud-Ouest photographed it and did 2 different articles about it. Finally we decided to let our friend Eric in Terrasson show it in the square in front of his florist shop....We named it Bertha. It weighed in at almost 500 pounds and took 6 men and a horse trailer to move it.
Right before it left to become a celebrity in Terrasson, our friends, Brian and Melinda came over with their son Harry Styx. This is a picture of Harry and Bertha.

The next year, we had seeds from some of the other Atlantic Giants we grew and I decided to try my hand at carving. Note: The Atlantic Giant pumpkins are not eating pumpkins, they are pretty bland. This was my first attempt and went on display in front of the Epicerie in Badefols d'Ans, where we live now. Everyone seemed to think they knew the guy who was my model. I named him "Dave".
Now it's become a tradition of sorts. I have good friends who have a horticultural business selling flowers and plants....palm trees, bamboos, camelias, bananas as well as chysanthemums and geraniums and I have been refining my carving technique and they display the pumkin up in town as publicity with a sign for their business.
Here is this years pumpkin, I call him Arnie! Happy Halloween!

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Treats Or Dirty Tricks?

Pretty scary picture for Halloween! BOOO! BE VERY AFRAID! Today I read that in a last minute whirlwind flurry of activity, good old Uncle Karl Rove is making nonstop campaign speeches in the many many places where Republicans are in trouble and magically, hey, as Karl said, "It just happened to be in the stars!" the floodgates are opening and long delayed money promised to Katrina victims is falling from the sky!
Meanwhile, in Florida, the early voting experiences with the Diebold machines is having its all too predictable results. There have been quite a few cases of people voting, then as the screen goes to the final display for the voter to okay, presto, abracadabra, the Democrat votes all magically change to Republican votes! "This is just the kind of thing that gets those conspiracy nuts going!" wrote the Times.......
Speaking of conspiracy nuts, not all voting machines used in America are made by Diebold, some states use machines manufactured by Sequoia Voting Systems, a division of a company called Smartmatic located in Oakland, California. These machines have been relatiely problemn free. Diebold has very proven ties with the Extreme Right wing...the owners and majhor stock holders. Sequoia, seems to be free of these kinds of influences, but there is a rumor that Hugo Chavez is a stockholder. Republican bloggers are working overtime trying to dig up some sort of connection between Chavez and Sequoia so when the election goes the wrong way for them, they can start their own campaign of propaganda to link Chavez with somehow controlling the Sequoia Machines....I can't make this stuff up!
Your Halloween assignment, if you choose to take it, is to look at the picture of George above and tell me, do you think he hates our freedom?

Saturday, October 28, 2006


As America goes into it's final mad week and a half before the midterm election, I am in a state of dazed shock. It's as if the screen has been pulled back and we get to see the frenzied crazy little men working the machinery and pulling the levers just like in the Wizard of Oz. I watch the candidates debate or what passes for intellectual discussion on American Political me it's more like some sort of bizarre sports match. For the most part, the Republican men are a pretty homogenized bunch of white, nasty bo-toxed face lifted zombies. Snake oil salesmen selling a vision of an America which does not and will never exist.
That's the biscuit...selling you a fantasy that doesn't exist. An idea of Freedom that is impossible for men like them to even concieve of. A false feeling of security from fears that they have made you imagine. The bo-tox and face lifting serve to create unreal unattainable esthetic that has nothing to do with the way real people look.
It's like the stylized kabuki like extreme makeup that became the norm in pre revolutionary Frances' court society. A total denial of reality. Layers of powder to make everyone a unwrinkled manequine, lots of rouge applied heavily to mask any sign of illness or aging and of course, you were nude if you went out with out your wig.
Now with the miracle of modern cosmetic surgery and makeup, everyone can look as if they had their heads dipped in the same vat of plastic. Just look at the women anchors on CNN. No one can move thir eyebrows any more.
So an aging culture that refuses to admit aging, a morally bankrupt regime that refuses to be accountable to anyone, a population that kids itself that it is free to choose yet accepts electronically stolen elections time after time. A Press whose Freedom is now ranked 53 in the world, A health care system ranked 48th worldwide, but at least we're number one for cost.
You know, some times I feel like the character John Belushi played in Animal House, Bluto! Full of dumb mindless optimism and enthusiasm. I want to tell everyone that we can do it! Yeah, We can take these bums! C'mon, where's that spirit? LET'S GO!
.......then I rush off right into the wall...............

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

I'm Feeling Lucky........

Go now to Google Search and type the word "failure" in and hit the I'm feeling lucky button on the screen. Go now, do it, it's my gift to you!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

I'm asking you........

On October 10th, there was an attack on Forward Base Falcon in the Green Zone in Bagdahd. The munitions dump exploded when a mortar round was fired into it. The explosion rocked the city and was seen on the news all over the world.
The official US casualty list was very low. I have been seeing reports that the actual casualty count was very high and that the administration is working vry hard to cover it up and discredit any mention of it. They have released disinformation already that the base was very small when in fact it is approximately a square mile in size.
Any more info out there?
I will publish more as I am able to verify my information.


Why is George Bush smiling these days? The Oct. 23rd NY Times portrays him as being upbeat and confident that the GOP will sweep the midterm elections in a few short weeks.
He reportedly told his father to stop worrying and all the negative talk. Ken Melman seems to be talking only happy talk these days. What gives? He must get the same poll data that we all have privy to. Does he believe that Karl is going to pull some kind of mutant rabbit out of his
Maybe he knows something that we don't.........
On Oct. 20th, The Baltimore Sun broke the story of the about Cheryl Kagan, an ex Democratic legislator and long time critic of the Diebold voting system recieving an anonymous package containing the computer code that ran the voting computers in 2004 with an unsigned note criticising the election board and demonstrating that the security of the system faces grave threats.
Mike Morrel, a computer scientist from John Hopkins University tested the disks and said that they looked as if they came from Diebolds testing labs and said if it was true, they have failed in protecting the system. "If it's from Diebold, it's like Coca Cola having their secret recipe stolen and then not learning their lesson" he said.
The governor of Maryland has advised voters to ask for paper ballots if they have any doubts about the security of the system.
ABC News is running a story about the system being hacked on line and how easy it is to do.
Todays Bradblog has a very alarming piece about the Illinois Integrity Project reporting that they were aboe to go on line and hack into the Diebold data base and actually access the records of voters and the codes to change their address and eligibility status.
Here are just a few actual problems reported in the last few uses of the system all over the country:
Machines "malfunctioned" in Texas and 100,000 votes mysteriously appeared.
In California, directions for voters with vision problems were only available in Vietnamese.
In Maryland, screens repeatedly froze and memory cards went missing.

As Maryland Republican Gubernatorial Candidate and present governor, Robert Erlich put it, "I don't care if we paid a half billion dollars or one billion! If it's going to put the election at risk, there's no price tag for a phony election or fraudelent election."
Electronic voting was supposed to be the solution that made voting secure and more efficient. We were led to believe that a safe system had been developed which would have made Democracy an easy click away! Instead, billions of dollars were funneled inot a Corporation with proven right wing ties to test a system on the US Voters which in its most innocent interpretaion is FAILED TECHNOLOGY! To my mind, this represents something much more than innocent, this is an attempt to hijack the election system. If it is so easy for outside investigators to hack into the system and discover flaws, how can we trust the ones who developed it and are enriched by it to not exploit them?
What does George Bush know that we don't. One thing he never possessed was a poker face!

Friday, October 20, 2006

Sit Down and Shut Up!

I would say that Sean Hannity very eloquently voiced the cold fist of fear that many Republican Pundits are feeling right now when he requested in his broadcast last night, that "Democrats, please, stay home! Your votes will not change anything. Please help to save America and don't vote!" I might have paraphrased him a might, but he went on to say that only Americans who are versed in the issues should vote. He meant, I think, that if you don't think as he does, just sit down and shut up!
When ever I have a discussion with a party line Republican, I can count on the discussion drifting to a set of talking points delivered with a sarcastic, superior attitude. I have had lots of practice with my two brother in laws over the years!
Nobody but they have the inside info and the intelligence to lead the rest of us. Never mind the reality, full speed ahead or where ever we are going this week.
Thank you Sean for insulting most of America! We need your swift kick in the ass to get us all motivated to charge into the voting booths and make sure you are looking for a new job in January. We assume that CNBC is going to go with the money and change the editorial slant enough to put a few of the more vocal jerks out of a job!

There is a quote of the day from wjohnson, a regular poster on this blog.

"Power doesn't corrupt. Fear corrupts...perhaps the fear of a loss of power."
John Steinbeck

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Totally Illegal Mousse of Death!

I mentioned Madame Benets Chocolate Mousse last month. I said that if I had enough requests, I would print the recipe. This is with out a doubt, the richest most chocolate mousse you will ever experience. The problem is, it violates every known food warning from the FDA. You can reveal the recipe to your guests, but only at your own risk. It's not as if you eat mousse every day! Well, most people don't.
Madame Benet was a Bourgoise house wife living in Lyon. As most people in Lyon, they were obsessed with food and Lyon is the gastronomical capital of France. Madame Benets particular obsession was chocolate. She loved it and hoarded it. The family would find stashes of it buried in the linen closet. She developed this recipe because of her utter devotion to perfecting chocolate desserts. She claimed a mousse wasn't good enough unless the spoon stood up straight in it! It really is simple, the most important thing is the chocolate. I spent a lot of time looking for good chocolate when visiting the midwest. I wanted good dark patisserie style chocolate. I went in supermarkets and chocolate the chocolate store, the woman behind the counter suggested that I take 4 dark chocolate Easter Bunnies and melt them down.
I found some good looking chocolate in a whole foods supermarket, but when I tried to cook with it, the results were down right weird! So, I'm going to endorse a brand. Lindt has started to distribute in America and they sell bars of dark patisserie chocolate in their boutiques, iit is not overpriced...I think about $2.50 for 200 grams. Lindt makes wonderful chocolate. They invented the technique of modern chocolate making....Here goes, you will need:

400 grams of dark chocolate
200 grams of sweet, unsalted butter (1 stick=125 grams)
8 large eggs or 9 or 10 little ones

Melt the chocolate in a double boiler and add the butter in little pieces. An aside, chocolate doesn't like to be stirred too too much when being melted.
Take it off the heat and when it cools a little, whip in one egg yolk at a time.

Whip the egg whites you have left from the yolks until they are stiff. Now this is the tricky part. Fold the whipped stiff egg whites carefully into the chocolate. Either carefully spoon the mousse into serving dishes or just refrigerate the entire bowl for a few hours. If you did it right, the spoon will stand straight up in the mousse and it will be as light as a, well not a feather, but light enough!
This will be the most intense chocolate experience of your life!
(Note, where's the sugar? If you use real patisserie chocolate, there is just enough sugar in it....this is about chocolate, isn't it? A serious adult chocolate dessert!)
Bon Apetit!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006


I wanted to write about something completely different today, but this guy, Ken Blackwell keeps stomping my dreams and forcing his ugly reality in our collective faces! Last night, Blackwell and Strickland had a televised debate in Ohio. Blackwell took it to a new level of ugliness by baselessly accusing Strickland of being friendly to Pedophiles and supporting NAMBLA.
Strickland had to deny it and later deny it agaiin because once in the art of THE BIG LIE, once it is in the publics mind, it takes on a life of it's own!
In my last post, I wrote of how Blackwell is abusing his position of Secretary of State of Ohio. He over sees the voting regulations ands has used them to bring in Diebold voting technology in spite of the fact that he has very personal connections with the Diebold Corporation. He has also used his position to purge registered Democrats from the voter rolls.
In the last postt, I wrote of how he is trying by stretching the meaning of the language of the candidate registration rules to even disqualify his opponent from the Governor race making himself the only candidate and de facto winner.
If you are a registered Democrat in any state that uses Diebold voting technology, this concerns you! You owe it to yourself to check and see if in fact you are still eligiible to vote, EVEN IF YOU VOTED IN THE LAST PRIMARY! If there is any reason that could possibly be used tto disqualify you, whether real or a technicality, it probably has been used by this time.
Please check out this post on

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Tomato Republic?"

"Who does this Strickland guy think he is? Ohio is my state and when we are done with him, he's gonna wish that he never left Dayton, or where ever the heck he came from!" Ken Blackwell was fuming and using harsh language, he almost actually uttered a real curse word. "Get my assistant! Let's look at the rules again! He has to be doing something wrong. Is it too late to write some new ones?" The assistant came running in, "Boss, I'm on the line with Diebold, they say that it's gonna be hard to spread the votes out in enough precincts to offset the latest polls. You are down by another 4 points!" Kens eyes rolled up to the ceiling, "Tell Diebold, we have a deal, gosh darn it all, and they better play by the rules or if I go down, they go with me!"
Ken Blackwell is down in the polls and the GOP is beginning to abandon ship in the Ohio elections. Campaign funds are drying up as the Republican strategists pump the money into races where there still is a chance. It's time for desparate measures and the New York Times reported today that Ken Blackwells office is actually investigating the possiblity of having his opponent Strickland declared inelligible to run, making Blackwell the de facto winner of the election due to no opponent. He is trying to use the fact that even though Strickland is a legal full time Ohio resident, he might not be able to run because he owns a number of residences in Ohio and the address he used for filing his gubernatorial campaign papers might not be his primary one.
This is technically not a violation, but the Secretary of State has already started an investigation to see if it could be intepreted as one. This is patently ridiculous and immoral!
The Secretary of State is a candidate and is also interpreting the rules in his favor, like the petty dictator of a corrupt republic which is what the State of Ohio has become.
The Tomato Republic

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Name: Hussein, Saddam

Age: 69
Former Job Experience: Dictator of Iraq from 1979 to 2003.
Skills: Leader of the Ba'ath Party since 1969
Was able to hold the fractured minorities that make up the population of Iraq in check during my tenure in office. I know how to inspire fear!

This is the first page of a resume that might be sitting on the desk of Condoleeza Rice at this very moment. Last week, we heard that the Baker Commission was formed by the administration to look at new "creative" ways to deal with the debacle in Iraq. One of their creative ideas was to carve the country into three distinct autonomous districts: Shiite, Kurd and Sunni. The Sunnis would get the part nobody else wanted. The Kurds have already effectively done this and are independantly negotiating oil contracts.
Then we heard that the Iraqi governing body has introduced legislation to do this very thing. They have started to discuss the creation of separate districts, self governing. Again, the Kurds are far ahead of everyone and are already causing waves in Turkey and Iran with the Kurdish populations there who want to secede their territories to make a nice big new Independant Kurdish State!
Now this morning I read that there is talk of a Military Junta...just floating the idea, you know, get rid of this totally redundant ineffectual democratic much praised purple fingers in the air proudly elected Iraqi government, you know, that freedom thing that Bush keeps going on about....and replacing it with a Dictatorial Council with a strong hand to keep this unruly collection of ethnics in line! A coup that takes military command of the Iraqi government couldn't take place with out the consent and the aid of the American military. Heck, we're experienced in this sort of thing. Done it plenty of times!
Now if we could only find a strong leader with experience that knows how to deal with these Iraqi rascals.................
I saw a promising resume on the desk this where did I put it?

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Chipotle Chiles in your spare time....

If you've been reading this blog, you are aware that I love Mexican Food and go to great extremes to get the ingredients for authentic flavors here in France. There are thigs that are next to impossible to find and I have to stockpile supples when I go to the States. I grow lots of fresh cilantro and freeze it and the last two years I have grown my own jalepenos with great success. I start them early in a hot box and then then keep going until the cold really sets in.
It's impossible to find fresh jalepenos here let alone canned pickled ones. I chop them and freeze them, then use them for salsa and guacamole.
This year when I was in NYC, I could not find dried chipotle peppers anywhere! They are essential for a few recipes I love. The earthy smoky flavor is irreplacible! I started to read about the chilies, thinking I could get seeds and grow them here. I was very happy to discover that chipotles are actually very ripe jalepenos that have been dried over a smoky hay fire!
When I finally pulled up the jalepenos, I had 3 kilos of peppers! So, an experiment....I rigged up the barbecue as a smoker. I have a lot of hay around in the barn and did a batch of 25 to start with. The hay fire smoldered all day, I added some more every few hours and after about 6 hours, I had what appeared to be perfect chipotles. Smoky, fruity and hot! I did batch after batch and now have enough to last for quite a long time.
To check them out, I made one of my favorite chipotle recipes, Duck Carnitas.
First, you make a chipotle rub.
1 tbsp of oil
3 chipotles (seeded and deveined)
2 tbsp kosher salt
1 tbsp oregano
5 cloves of garlic
Heat the oil in a small frying pan, put in the chilies and cook for a few minutes until puffy, do not burn them!
Cool them off then put them into a food processor with the rest of the ingredients. You should end with a shaggyy salt like spice rub. If it seems too wet, dry it in a warm oven. This will keep in a covered container indefinitely.
Take 6 duck legs and cover them evenly with the rub in a nonreactive pan, cover and refrigerate overnight.
The next day preheat the oven to 225 farenhiet, melt some fat and and put in 10 cloves of garlic and one white onion thickly sliced. When the fat has melted, put iin the duck legs and coat them.
Put the pan in the oven and cook slowly for 3 hours uncovered. When they are done, let them cool in the fat.
When you want to serve it, heat the duck pieces in a nonstick frying pan over medium heat until well browned and crisp on both sides...about 8 minutes.
Cut the meat from the should almost shred. You can serve this with salsa by itself or in tacos. I made enchiladas that were divinely inspired with a little ancho sauce frozen from the summer.
This rub is really good on baby back ribs! You cook them the same way and serve them with salsa. The meat falls off of the bones!
These are real Bocaditas (little bites)!

Friday, October 13, 2006

Why Is This Man Still In Congress?

Bob Ney pleaded guilty today and is a convicted felon awaiting sentencing. He has issued a statement that he will sttay in office until his term runs out next year. Why is he being allowed to do so? Why hasn't he resigned? Why is this ethics challenged body allowing him to do so?
It's as simple as this, the Republicans need every able bodied man who can still vote to hold on to their seats to weather the coming Democratic tidal wave next month.
Demand that Ney step down now!

An Inconvenient Truth

Today on the Evening News on France 2, one of the major networks here in France, Al Gore was interviewed. His Movie, An Inconvenient Truth is being released here this week. I plan to see it in our local theater in Terrasson. I am sure though, that it will end up on television here in the next 6 months.
Gore was comfortable and relaxed, the interview was conducted in French, he had an earpiece that translated the questions and answered in English with a voice over translation. The movie is being taken very seriously here as the entire issue. The interviewer expressed his amazement at the official American government position of wait and see and stonewallin the evidence with mountains of manufactured phony research.
The most interesting thing about the level of seriousness here is the fact that the movie was premiered in the French Senate!
They had a special session screening for the entire government!
The interviewer, David Puljadas seemed in disbelief when Gore stated that Bush has stated on a few occasions that he will never view it. He prefers to get his information from Michael Crichtons sensationalist science fiction that explains it all the way the he would like to hear. What planet is he living on now?
When the facts get in the way, just lie, lie and lie!!!!!

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Connecting Dots.....

I'm still having problems with the phone lines and ADSL here, but I am able to log on for an unpredictable amount of time. Perhaps tomorrow it will be fixed.
I actually want to float a few ideas I have poliitics in Ohio. I try not to be a conspiracy theorist or get too far out on a limb but when ever I have a wild idea, reality usually proves my imagination pretty tame.
This morning in Raw Story, I read a piece about the black Republican Secretary of State of Ohio,
Kenneth Blackwell, who is campaigning for governor. This is the same Blackwell who is regarded as the key player in fixing the 2004 presidential electionn in Ohio. This is the same Kenneth Blackwell who was found to have a lot of Diebold stock in his portfolio then excused himself because his broker handled all his transactions and he had such a diverse portfolio that he wasn't aware of all of his holdings.
The piece in Raw Story was about how he was making campaign appearances with Larry Pratt of the Gun Owners Association of America, a group far right of the NRA. Larry was an advvisor to Pat Buchanan in his presidential bid but wqas asked to leave because he was too racist and anti semitic. He is also a member of the CNP, The Committee for National Policy, a far right group that advocates among other things, the death penalty for homosexuals and is allied with neo nazi fascist groups in America..
Last month, Blackwell had his websight scrubbed of pictures and references that showed his relationship with the CNP. I find it very bizarre that an African American Politician is allied with such extreme racists.
Even more strange, the Ahmanson family are one the founding members of the CNP, they are also major stockholders in Diebold. Now we are connecting dots. The picture isn't very pretty.
Let's go even farther, last year in Toledo, Ohio, a neo nazi group from West Virginia was given permission to hold a white power march in a predominantly non white inner city neighbor hood. The rationality of this defied description. The very predictable outcome? A messy little riot that got international attention and scared the bejesus out of the white middle class voters in Ohio! Why was some outside group allowed to come into a neighborhood where their very presence would be a provocation?
I really don't know, I am connecting dots and the pictuure gets uglier and uglier, but if I was an Ohio voter, I would request a paper absentee ballot!
Any ideas?

Monday, October 09, 2006

Technical difficulties!

A brief post to let everyone who visits this page know that things are on again off again with the phone company here. After last weeks storm, we lost our phone service for a few days and it still isn't back to normal. They tell us that it will be tomorrow because of the enormous amount of damage the storm did. Right now, there is no phone, but magically. the ADSL is working.
I am using my precious internet moments to answer emails and check out what is going on in the world! I just read a few sources saying that todays Nuclear Test in North Korea was actually a dud. I also read that the USA is in position to attack Iran as of this weekend!
Of course, we wouldn't have the problems with either of these two countries if it wasn't for the ridiculous horrrific anti diplomacy of the Bush Administration. If in fact, the North Korean Test was a dud, this is the golden opportunity for the start of real talks.
As far as Iran goes, any aggressive action by the USA would be the gravest tactical error it has ever made. Pray for Peace!
I will try to post more tomorrow if the line is fixed!
A bientot!

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Back To Nature

Again a gap between posts...I got back on Sunday morning, and had a hectic Monday. As I drove through the Foret Barade on my way to Fleurac for my on going French language lessons, I noticed that the forest was alive with cars parked in every hunting lane and figures furtively sneaking through the underbrush. I immediately understood, with all the rain and warm days and cool nights, the cepes had emerged. It was a record breaking abundance! I visited friends after lunch to pick up my chainsaw and we walked in the woods in back of their house and immediately found quite a few. I had to leave and noticed cars on my lane by the forest near me. That night, there were severe weather warnings and I saw lots of lightning in the North Sky when I took J Edgar for a walk. We awoke to howling wind and lashing rain! The wind got heavier and heavier and there were a few moments when I felt it inside this 135 year old stone house! No drafts though! It blew intensely for over 4 hours and when it was over, an old dying peach tree which had supported a very nice wild rose vine had fallen, lots of branches from the willow and some of my supports for the raspberries had snapped. While the storm was at its peak, the lights flickered and died. The electricity stayed off for us and 300,000 others in the Gironde and the Dordogne until late last night. I had to borrow a generator for a few hours to power the freezer. 48 hours with out electricity was a snap for us, lots of candles, ice packs in the fridge, friends came over to play monopoly by candlelight and drink wine. I could only imagine a 48 hour black out in a big city. 6 hours is enough to inspire riots in New York! Of course we were lucky, there are huge floods in the North East of France and many big dead trees came down all over the place. After I had cleaned up the initial debris here, I took J Edgar into our forest and with in 30 minutes I had collected 4 kilos of the biggest cepes I have ever seen! There were 3 varieties, all very good including the classic cepe de bordelaise! Last night I had an omelette with a little dried ham, cepes and parsely, it was the best omelette I had ever eaten in my life! In the picture, the largest mushroom is over 7 inches across!
Here is the classic Cepe Recipe of the Dordogne: Pommes de terre sautees sarladaises aux cepes.
1 kg potatoes, peeled and cut into slices or little pyramids
500 grams of cepes roughly chopped
1 slice of bacon finely cut in dice
3 points of garlic chopped
4 or 5 branches of parsely finely chopped
4 big soup spoons of goose or duck fat
a little olive oil
salt and pepper
Rinse the potatoes in warm water after they are cut up to remove the starch and dry..
Put the olive oil in the pan and heat up and fry the cepes briefly until the get a little brown then stop and add the parsely and garlic, you can salt and pepper them. Remove them from the pan.
Then heat up the goose or duck fat and when it is hot, put in the bacon and cook for a few seconds then add the potatoes. The technique is to coat them immediiately with the hot fat which seals them and prevents them from getting soggy. Then use some patience and judgement and let them cook on one side until you feel they are getting color and crispiness and then turn them, probably every 5 tp 6 minutes in a hot fire.
When they are almost done, add the cepes and parsely and garlic, salt and pepper, lower the fire, cover and cook for a few more minutes.
Sometimes the simplest things are the very best! A garlicky salad, nice bread and a Pecharment or Bergerac...........bon apetit!

Sunday, October 01, 2006


After 11 days and untold thousands of kilos of grapes on my back, I arrived home this morning! Lots of rain and mud but it was a pretty good grape harvest in spite of the bizarre weather this year. Cold wet spring, Hot dry spell in the summer, more cold and wet, hot and dry....still the quality was good. Not as good as 2005, which will be one of the great wines of the century by all accounts.
I'm a little tired tonight and I have a French class tomorrow AM so I will be brief. I will have some photos in the near future and some interesting stories I hope!
Meanwhile, tonight, I am thanking everyone who sent me their 3 SONG HIT lists and here is the list up to now!
Flashlight by Parliament/Funkadelic
7&7 by Love
Shotgun by Jr. Walker and the All Stars

Mitch from Sheephead Bay sent:
We Can Work It Out by The Beatles
Stuck Inside of Mobile by Bob Dylan
Little Wing by Jimi Hendrix

Hello sent:
Strawberry Fields by The Beatles
To Be Over by Yes
Hey Jude by The Beatles

Terrible Swede from Erie, MI sent:
Kick Out The Jams by The MC5 (YEAH!)
One of Us by Joan Osborn
Crystal Ship by The Doors
Jazz list:
3 versions of Goodbye Pork Pie Hat by 1)Charles Mingus, 2)Jeff Beck 3)Stanley Clarke

wjohnson sent 3 albums as he thinks an artist should be judged by the quality of their total work rather than one hit wonders:
Live At The Filmore East by Frank Zappa and the Mothers
Born To Run by Bruce Springsteen
For The Faithful by The Grateful Dead

jen from Toledo sent:
Lives In The Balance by Ritchie Havens
Ghost by Indigo Girls
I Would Die 4 U by Prince

I will keep doing this and I hope that it inspires you to send me your 3 SONG HIT list. The Idea is not to think to much! I want to know what music makes it impossible for you to listen and drive a car at the same time!

A bientot!