Thursday, April 18, 2013

Sepia Saturday #173:Odd Inspiration

Grim, but with just a hint of a smile in the set of his mouth,  I think this young fellow could be bracing himself to participate in an ENGASTRATION. Ugh and Odd! An engastration is, as the word suggests, a recipe method where one animal is stuffed into the gastric cavity of another. A culinary horror, the Turducken is the most widely known of these monstrosities in the U.S. Summing it up - "it's a turkey stuffed with a duck stuffed with a chicken". These plucked birds are large enough for serious stuffing with something. 


While working in the egg industry, I was frequently asked about adding a couple of eggs to the inside of the final chicken in one of these concoctions. Talk about gilding the lily!  The piece de resistance, the yolks would be like gold at the heart of the matter.  It was always male cooks posing the question; I've never heard of a woman attempting one of these. In my experience, over-the-top cooking of this ilk , is a male thing.
In the U.K. something like the Turducken is called a ballotine or a "three bird roast". Fancy French chefs from days of yore produced engastrations which included even smaller birds: turkey, duck, chicken, guinea fowl, partridge, quail, lark - the smallest bird being just large enough to hold an olive. Cute!

The people at Pepto Bismol apparently cruise culinary trends figuring out which ones are going to positively affect their business. What a job! I have a suggestion for the position title: Indigestion Opportunist? Gut Guru? The word Engastration alone probably got their attention and signaled a national stomach ache on it's way. With WalMart they ran this ad in 2011 anticipating the final result of Turducken excess. 

That was to be the end of my Odd and Ugh submission for the prompt but  I opened the paper this morning and saw this "Still Life" by the Australian sculptor Ron Mueck. The hyper-realistic piece is so like the birds in the prompt! You never know...perhaps the young boy in the photo wasn't thinking about stuffing at all, but inspiration of a more lasting kind.
Both fair and fowl - there are more odd stories over at Sepia Saturday

Sepia Saturday

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Indian Hangover Pants

I am still suffering from a very persistent hangover two days after a wine tasting. At my age I don't even have the fun of getting drunk - anything more than a glass or two of wine, even with food, and my body is ravaged. I go straight from sober to suffering.

This morning, day two of the hangover, I took a couple of Tylenol and pulled on my India pants for maximum comfort while trying to nudge my brain back up to speed solving the Los Angeles Times Sunday Crossword Puzzle.  Zuzu and I bought these loose cotton pants with elastic waists (aaaah..for sitting in a hot van all day) and elastic cuffs (roll 'em up for wading in the Arabian sea) while shopping at street stalls in India. Here I am in Goa, wearing the $5.00 per pair version.

Out of curiosity I did a quick search on-line for similar pants and found these at Bloomingdales. 

Stella McCartney $750.00 at Bloomingdales
My hangover was acquired at the wineries in Temecula Valley. We've avoided them for years but one of our relatives is building a new house in the valley and on the way to visit his masterpiece, our little party stopped for a tasting. One visit was to Monte de Oro which boasts a glass floor.

Monte de Oro - glass floor

A sign is posted warning women to watch out. Keep off the glass if you're wearing a skirt!  The half-crocked cycler guys sitting at the tables below the glass ceiling automatically raised their shaved heads for a look up as we walked overhead, stopping to peer back down at them. Seems to me that ceiling might be more trouble than it's worth! After all, not everybody participating in the wine tastings (especially if they're getting plastered riding from winery to winery in a van) behaves predictably. A few weeks ago at the Bel Vino winery, four women started fighting in the ladies (?) room and a brawl (reputedly involving 100 people). Details here. Brawl at Temecula Winery

Bloomers: The Bloomer Costume.
Although I wasn't wearing them, I thought about those Indian pants and the subject of brawls and modesty. In one fashion cycle, the pants were known as Harem pants and earlier as bloomers. Bloomers were named for Amelia Bloomer, a contemporary of Susan B. Anthony. She liberated herself from the corset and began wearing this costume (above) for bicycle riding. At first, the pants were seen as dress for trouble makers: temperance advocates and feminists. In time, as clothing changed, they became a symbol of modesty, keeping the figure waist-down completely under cover.

So here's my plan: the winery could keep a few pairs of harem pants/bloomers on hand in case of emergency - plain black ones, after all, one size fits all: the $5.00 kind from India - not the Stella McCartney version. When drunk women wearing skirts tumble out of the van looking for a fight, the winery could offer them a pair of these bloomers for the tasting session thereby reducing the risk of trouble with that glass floor.  I don't care how wild, angry, drunk and crazy you might be - once those bloomers are in place, behavior should improve. Why would you want to throw a punch when you're freed from lycra and wearing comfortable bloomers? No worries about your jiggling butt or gut - you could relax and stand around on the glass floor to your heart's content. Anyway, once word of the bloomers got around, I'm pretty sure the cycler/oglers would evacuate the basement wine cave and roar off to greener pastures.

I'm pretty sure Amelia might like this idea.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Sepia Saturday #172 Walk-A-Thons


My computer was balky, then a noise developed and the video display started to break up into digital bits with square black spots popping up here and there. I'd neglected to back up (gulp) for the past six months - laziness and sloppiness. Finally the machine bit the dust...well almost bit the dust. Fortunately, I was able to save all my information and successfully migrate from the old machine to the new one. Being informed by the Apple store geniuses/genii that my 5 year old Mac was not only critically ill but VINTAGE came as a surprise. Here are the old and new machines..the old has been converted to a passive hard drive while I migrate. Now that the old machine is vintage, I think the photo qualifies for Sepia treatment. 

This week's prompt gets a big thumbs up from me for the smiling faces. Everyone looks like they're having a wonderful time. I hadn't realized my own family was so sedentary until a search through my photos looking for walking/hiking shots yielded nothing!

Thinking about other happy walkers though reminded me of the many fund raising walks people enjoy so much, probably the most popular being those for breast cancer research.
Avon Walk for Breast Cancer. SF

Which made me wonder when and how the "walk for dollars" originated. Trusty Wikipedia coughed up this about Ramon Rivero:

     In 1953, Rivero organized the world's first known Walk-A-Thon. He walked 80 miles from the capital city of San Juan,    crossing Puerto Rico up and down the treacherous mountain roads of Cayey, known as "La Piquiña", to Ponce, on the other side of the island, to raise money for the Liga Puertorriqueña Contra el Cáncer (the Puerto Rican League Against Cancer). In that walkathon, Rivero raised the equivalent of $85,000 in 4 days. The Walk-A-Thon turned into a historical event that became part of the collective consciousness of Puerto Ricans all over the world, and has been copied several times since.[12] Rivero also defended the victims of injustice during student revolts at the University of Puerto Rico, and led the first actors' strike on the island.[4]

Ramon Rivero

I've followed in my family's footsteps (or lack of footsteps) and kept off the hiking trails. The last time I attempted an organized walk was an impromptu exploration of the lovely Cotswold Way last autumn. We did only a short part of the path but loved tramping through the fields, navigating the lover's gates and enjoying the occasional encounter with other hikers. Our foray was unplanned; we had none of the accoutrement authentic hikers employ: walking sticks, back packs, fancy hats with various specialty flaps, cell phones, GPS systems, bandanas, toilet paper, Swiss army knife, trash bags, insect repellent, sunglasses and sunscreen, first aid kit, fire starter, matches, rain gear, energy bars, water, flashlight - to name a few. We'll have to do a bit of shopping if we return to do the final 95 miles.