Dan Goodman's prediction and politics journal.

Monday, August 04, 2003

Sunday, August 3, 2003. Figured out why I've had problems sleeping. It's been warm enough that I don't need a sheet (let alone a blanket) over me. So, I hadn't been using any covering.

But I need it, to get to sleep properly.

Email: SFCrowsnest magazine http://computercrowsnest.com. European (probably English) sf newsmagazine. Reasonably good, with one glitch and one annoyance.

Glitch: In Greg Benford's interview with Kevin J. Anderson, he's quoted as beginning one sentence with "I shan't". Not something an American would be likely to say. More likely something a Brit would say. For example, an editor revising an interview.

Scottish SF author Ken MacLeod comes across an intriguing article on the influence of right-wing think tanks, and via that, the even more revelatory Cursor's Media Transparency, which tells you who's paying which pipers (and why they all play the same tune).

Which ends with: "And that's one reason why I'll carry the SSP's or even the CP's red flag, even though I don't agree with everything they stand for. It's to keep the clammy suckers off my skin."

"CP" is "Communist Party". The Hitler-Stalin pact is part of my family history. No matter how much I agreed with the CPUSA's current platform, I wouldn't carry their flag.

"SSP" is "Scottish Socialist Party". It broke off from the Socialist Worker Party, which I believe is still the largest Trotskyist party. I don't know if SSP has also broken away from the "Hey, Castro's not a Stalinist" notion and other ideological compromises which caused some people to leave the SWP. (See Defending Principles: The Political Legacy of Bill Brust, Edited by Jean Brust. Bill and Jean Brust were Steve Brust's parents.) I suspect not.

Subject: Chicken Soup (blog)
From: FitchDonS@aol.com
Date: Sun, 3 Aug 2003 23:13:30 EDT

Hi, Dan:

You wrote in your Blog (Friday, August 01, 2003):

>>Thursday July 31 2003. Rainbow had whole
>>chickens for 49 cents a pound, so I made chicken
>>soup. I fried the chicken's two livers
>>separately. (It also had two gizzards, but no
>>Two cents worth of organic celery from the Wedge
>>Coop; carrots; onion; the chicken, still whole;
>>water. Not what a really good cook would do, but
>>it works well enough for me.

What _would_ "a really good cook" do? Some things are pretty basic, and all I can think of would be to possibly add small amounts of a few herbs; this isn't something that can or should be tarted-up.

[I didn't add any spices or herbs, not even salt or pepper. I didn't cut up the chicken.]

I make chicken soup/broth fairly often -- often from 99-cents-a-pound chicken because cheaper than that is rarely found out here.

[The Wedge -- my organically correct food coop -- has organic chicken backs and necks for 49 cents a pound most of the time. They sometimes have turkey necks and backs, which are more flavorful.]

About the only difference is that I generally use two chickens -- about the same amount of fuss and cost for gas/heat, and (just barely covering the chicken with water) not resulting in more than I can use in a couple of days -- maybe two cups drunk from a mug, the rest as bases for noodles or Chinese take-out leftover (plus, currently, some added zucchini because I planted four seeds atop an old compost-pile in the back yard) soup. And actually, more often than not, I'll remove the breast meat first and zap it in the microwave, part to be eaten immediately and part to chill & slice for sandwiches. The meat of chicken used to make soup is hardly worth eating, IMHO, except maybe with dumplings, and that's cold weather comfort food much too hearty to think about right now ... with a result that delights the neighborhood cat.

But you didn't mention _how_ you cook it. I tend to violate the "soup boiled is soup spoiled" axiom, and initially bring it to a brisk boil for about five minutes, thinking about salmonella &cet, then turn the fire _very_ low and just barely simmer for about 8 hours (usually overnight). Being on a low-fat/cholesterol diet, I'm careful to remove all the fat after cooking -- but usually am in a wothell archie mood and add a tablespoonful of this schmaltz to the fried, chopped, and mashed livers (best served cold, spread on rye bread).

[I bring it to a boil first. Simmer it till the meat is tender enough; in this case, about two hours. Probably not as low as you simmer it.]

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