Saturday, August 27, 2011

Saturday, Part II: Toxic Friends, Hot Tamales, and The Eleventh Doctor

So I was reading the news online, and a couple of headlines grabbed my attention.  N.B.:  Not one of them has to do with Casey Anthony.

We all have them.  So-called friends who suck the joy out of life - your life, to be precise.  I have, or should say, had two of them, individuals towards whom I felt great affection and a sense of loyalty that kept me tied up in their emotional baggage for far too long.  Proof positive that loyalty is a highly overrated emotion.  Both were incredibly negative, needy persons who could be caring and charming when it suited them.  My Jewish mother's heart got sucked into the drama, but at a cost to my own emotional well being.  So, to quote my late, unlamented grandmother (another toxic personality), I "played lose me" with them.  One is so incredibly self-centered as to not realize I have withdrawn from the friendship.  The other one is well aware, and after many years, still without any insight into my decision.  The old saying goes, "You can choose your friends but not your relatives."  I am most definitely pro-choice in these matters.

I have my husband and son, my in-laws and extended family, my only cousin and his family, my beloved pets, my wonderful coworkers, and a few treasured friends from the good old days, and an even shorter list of new friends from our Florida days, all of whom fill my soul with peace.  The power of positive thinking, it's a good thing.  I feel sorry for the ones I left behind, but life is too short to drink cheap wine.

Flash Mob Alert:
And now, from the "Can you believe this #%&!" Department:  Driver courtesy be damned - Florida law enforcement has been handing out tickets to drivers who, having spotted a speed trap, flash their headlights to alert oncoming traffic.  Except there's no such law on the books, and the tickets, when challenged, have been routinely thrown out by the courts.  What if we just opened the window and shouted out, "hey, cops down the road!!" - would we get ticketed?  There is a First Amendment right at issue here.

I have the answer:  FLASH MOB!!  Yes, at a certain hour of a certain day, everyone who wants to be part of the Flash Mob should flash their car headlights, no matter where they are.  That should do it.

Yes, this is still a food blog:

Let's talk about tamales.  I love them.  Unfortunately, they are not easy to make, and even Mexican restaurants shy away from including them on their usually extensive menus.  I have made them, following Irish-American Chef Bobby Flay's recipe for shrimp tamales with a very unauthentic masa, and they are delicious.  I have had them at Mesa Grill in Las Vegas, and they were superb, but that was over five years ago.  Since I do not see a trip to either Las Vegas or New York in my immediate future, I am going to have to resolve the tamale problem right here at home.

(I also love deep-fried chile rellenos, but there is no way I can address that issue and deal with my tamale problem at the same time.  In other words, that's another blog post.)

Tonight at 9:00, if you have access to BBC America, starts the new season of "Doctor Who".  I know I pitched a fit when David Tennant morphed into Matt Smith, but I am reconciled to the change.  Loved the guy playing President Nixon.  Too bad the Doctor advised him to "record everything."  Anyway, no more spoilers.  Watch and be entertained.

Speaking of Doctor Who, I had a plan for tonight.  It involved a mess of chicken wings, barbecued nachos with all sorts of tasty toppings including homemade guacamole, and pecan-crusted catfish nuggets.  Feet up, a cold one clutched in the left hand while the right hand navigated delectable tidbits mouthward, the Doctor up there on the screen.  Damn, spit, and dirty socks, it's not going to happen that way at all.  When I got home from Publix, having happily transported my cache of great ingredients, my husband reminded me we had a dinner engagement tonight.

Quel disappointment.  I really did not want to have to prepare all the snack food and the tamales on the same day - too much work - but it looks like I will have no choice.  And no Doctor Who on Sunday.  Humbug.

That aside, I have gathered all the ingredients to prepare Family Chicken Tamales tomorrow.  This recipe is from a neat little cookbook entitled Tamales 101 by Alice Guadalupe Tapp, and there is also a link to the recipe online.  This should be even more fun than making sweet and sour stuffed cabbage.  No, really, I love to make stuffed cabbage.  Once a year.

Tamara's Tamales Family Chicken Tamales

If you are interested in making Family Chicken Tamales, click on this link, gather your ingredients and we'll do a cyber cook-a-long tomorrow.  I've already prepared my chicken, which was as easy as purchasing a rotisserie chicken from Publix (I happened to pick up the mojo flavored birdie), stripping off all the skin and pulling the meat off the bones.  It's important to do that while the chicken is still slightly warm.  Then I cut the chicken as the recipe directs, and stored it in the refrigerator until tomorrow.  One rotisserie chicken will give you almost exactly four perfect cups of diced chicken.

My husband just wandered in to tell me that when Teena snores, she sounds just like the Tardis.  We don't call her Weezie for nothing.  And gee, I wonder where she got that from?  Could it be my precious little girl is fulfilling my recently-acquired ambition to be one of the Doctor's companions?

I just discovered that August is National Catfish Month.  Awesome!


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