The morning after

I have not read anything by Mr. Tomlinson before. This is spot on. I wanted to make sure I could find it again and again.

Tommy Tomlinson

I spent election night alone in a Raleigh hotel. An interview didn’t turn out the way I hoped it would. The rest of the night didn’t turn out the way I hoped it would, either.

I got up this morning, checked the TV — yep, it happened. Texted my wife. Signed onto the computer and refreshed Twitter way too many times. At some point I had to get my eyes off the screens. I went for a walk. The air was cool enough for a jacket, but the breeze felt good and clean.

A few blocks away I found a diner called Big Ed’s and sat down for a late breakfast. The waitress brought coffee and I started to check my phone but instead I looked around. Nobody was weeping. Nobody was gloating, either. People were talking about the election, of course, but they were also making weekend plans and talking about…

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Walt Longmire for President!

Yeah, he is a fictional character, however character is exactly what we are missing on the ballot in 2016! Walt Longmire for President!!

Get your tee or hoodie here => https://goo.gl/ijmiz4
Available for a LIMITED TIME only.

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Ham and Swiss Quiche My Way

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The cooking establishment has, for years, made quiche sound daunting to prepare. There are many jokes out there about you girls finding a man that can cook quiche. Well, she has! So now here is my secret recipe for all to see. It is much the same as the one used on one of my local television appearances on a noon news cooking segment back in 1992 with Fred Wix, The Gabby Gourmet. So guys, learn to cook quiche and the world is your oyster!

I like a 2 piece fluted quiche pan. As you will see, the final presentation is fabulous! Also, I feel it is perfectly acceptable to use a Pillsbury pre-made pie crust. There is much debate out there about baking the crust alone first. I say no. If you do, and you are using the fluted pan, nothing will keep the crust from pulling away from the side. Also, any bubbles will cause leaks with a 2 piece pan. Lastly, the exposed pie crust around the edge will get too brown. Yes, one can protect with a foil ring or an aluminum pie crust ring, but it is just not necessary to pre-bake the crust. Trust me! Additionally, most chefs don’t sauté the vegetables first. I believe that the flavors are greatly enhanced by this “sweating” step. You decide. Here we go.

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Ingredients:
1. 1 (9 inch) pie crust pastry – room temp
2. Coconut cooking spray
3. 2 tsp olive oil
4. ¾ cup grated Swiss cheese
5. ¾ cup grated mozzarella cheese
6. 1 cup total diced sweet pepper – red, green & yellow
7. ¾ cup diced Bermuda onion
8. 1 clove garlic smashed & fine chopped
9. ¾ cup sliced mushrooms
10. 2 small carrots, diagonally thin sliced
11. ¾ cup milk & ¾ cup cream OR 1½ cups of half and half
12. 5 eggs
13. 1 cup Boar’s Head brand ham either diced or julienned
14. ¼ tsp dried California lemon peel or 1 tsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
15. ¼ tsp ground Utah Real Salt
16. Pepper to taste
17. A pinch of ground cloves

Directions:
Remove a rolled up pie crust from package and allow to warm to room temperature. Preheat oven to 375º and spray fluted pan with cooking spray. In a medium skillet, place olive oil, diced onion and garlic. Gently sauté for 2 minutes to release flavor. Add sliced carrots and soften for 2 additional minutes. Add peppers and mushrooms and cook gently for another 3 minutes. Turn off burner. Dust a counter top with a little flour and roll out the pie crust. Roll out so as to be 1½ inches bigger than the fluted pan.

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Gently place the pastry centered into the pan. Carefully use a finger to conform and push down the crust to the sides of the fluted pan. See photos. The finished presentation will depend on the time you took here. Trim the crust flush with the side of the pan with a knife. Again, see photo.

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Crack eggs into a 4 quart mixing bowl. Add milk/cream or half and half, dried lemon peel or juice, cloves, salt and pepper. Whisk together. Now start layering crust with some of the cheese, then some sautéed vegetables, then some ham. Repeat the layers again reserving a couple of tablespoons of the ham and cheese to float on the top. Pour the egg custard mix in a circular motion over the layered quiche ingredients. Place the reserved cheese and ham slices gently on the top so as to float and be visible after baking.

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Place quiche on a foil lined pan and bake in the center of the oven for 45 minutes. When it is done properly, the puffed up middle will be slightly spongy to the touch, not firm nor soggy. When cooled, plate on a nice serving dish and garnish with flowers or fresh fruit.

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Remember When Charlie Sheen Was?

Perhaps it is just another story of success leading to excess, however there are some folks in my generation who still want Charlie to win. Nobody has forgotten his spectacular 2011 meltdown departure from Two and a Half Men (on Today, Sheen attributed his behavior to “roid rage”). Most insiders believe the odds of a major network like CBS or FX casting Sheen on a scripted series, or a studio putting him into a major film, are very slim. Next came disturbing headlines highlighting sex, drugs, alcohol and HIV and his flight to Mexico for a experimental treatment regimen which failed. Of late, he is fighting both AIDS and court battles here in the US.

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My favorite Sheen movie is Cadence, a 1990 release in which both Charlie and father Martin Sheen stared. In today’s heated landscape, this film has much to offer. One of the awesome things about film is the rare discovery of a piece of music or a scene that resonates with some chapters of my life.

This song from the film is one example. It is written and preformed by an unknown artist, Harry Stewart, who’s own story is amazing if not sketchy. Yeah, Charlie Sheen is in the film, however it’s very easy to forget that Charlie was once a very talented actor.

So here is the rest of the story as told by Martin Sheen in 1991 while in Philadelphia to promote his new independent picture, Cadence. He directed and stared in the film. In 1989, Sheen, a part-time social activist, met Stewart in New York while the two were being hustled off by police after a demonstration against the Star Wars defense system.

Mr. Sheen gave this account – “There were so many arrested we ran out of police vans. They commandeered a city bus, and police put me on the bus. Harry sat down next to me; he’d been arrested just after I was. He looked down at me and said, ‘Martin, are there any jobs for me out there?’

Sheen, who was casting the movie at the time, created a role specifically for Stewart on the spot. At this juncture of Stewart’s life, he wrote and performed music with a group of New York homeless people known as the Emmaus Group. Sheen gave Stewart the role of a soldier who sings during Army church services, one of several black soldiers who befriends the character played by Martin’s son, Charlie.

“He had never seen a movie camera in his life, but he was magnificent,” Martin Sheen said. In the movie, Smith’s character (Sweetbread) Crane plays the piano at a military church service and sings “End of My Journey”. The longer rendition is at the end of the film (this clip) and is played over the credits. Harry Stewart’s singing voice is truly touching and brings a layer of emotion and heart to the film that is quite unexpected. It is a rare collectible these days selling on Amazon for over $60.00.

Harry Stewart’s life seems to have taken a turn for the worse after making this film. There are reports that he remained homeless for the most part. So many people seem to be touched by the song and Harry’s voice that it seems amazing that there has been no commercial release of it. Some people have questioned the fact that there may be some copyright issues with some of the lines being used in a Johnny Cash song. Surely there could be a percentage agreement on profits and let this mans voice reach a wider audience, It seems such a waste when so many from all walks of life have been so moved by this song. There are 3 cut outs from the movie on YouTube, and the hundreds of comments verify that this piece means so much to so many. It breaks me down when I am brave enough to go there.

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Lord, you know that I’ve been bad
So, there’s no use in lying to myself
Heavenly Father, please forgive me
I really don’t want to destroy myself

Oh, when I come to the end of my journey
Weary of life; the battle is won
Carry my staff; the cross of redemption
We’ll understand it better by and by

Lord, sometimes I feel like Samson
You know, the world has so many Delilahs
Almighty God, give me just a little more time
To right all the wrong that I have done

Oh, when I come to the end of my journey
Weary of life; the battle is won
Carry my staff; the cross of redemption
And we’ll understand it better by and by

We’ll understand it better by and by and by
We’ll understand it better by and by
We’ll understand it better by and by and by and by
We’ll understand it better by and by

Oh, when I come to the end of my journey
Weary of life; the battle is won
Carry my staff; the cross of redemption
We’ll understand it better by and by

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Glazed Corned Beef With Rotkohl

We decided to wait for our St Patrick’s Day meal until tonight since we both had to work Thursday, & I wanted to do this recipe right. My wife suggested rotkohl instead of simple steamed cabbage. Now why didn’t I ever think of that? So we had a fusion of Dublin and Frankfurt cuisines, and it was really exceptional. I have eyed this rendition of Corned Beef for a couple of years, however I had never prepared it until today. The combination worked! I submit these photos in evidence.

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CORNED BEEF WITH CHERRY PRESERVE GLAZE

3 – 4 pound corned beef
2 Tbsp canola oil
1 medium onion, peeled and quartered
8 whole cloves
4 cloves garlic, smashed
3 sprigs fresh thyme
packet of corned beef spices included in meat package

GLAZE

1/2 cup cherry preserves
2 Tbsp dijon mustard
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp. fresh ground pepper

ROASTED CARROTS & YUKON GOLD POTATOES

4 large carrots as even in girth as able
4 Yukon gold potatoes

Start crock pot on high with a quart of good spring water and packet of corned beef spices. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium high heat. Brown corned beef 2 minutes or so on each side. Traditionally, this browning is not done, however I believe the additional layer of flavor derived from some caramelization is worth the extra effort. Place beef in crock pot. add onion, cloves, garlic, & thyme. Cook for about 3 hours. The corned beef should be tender but not falling apart like shredded beef. It should slice easily and maintain it’s shape.

Prepare your favorite recipe of rotkohl after beef is in the crock pot. It takes a couple of hours including prep and slow cooking on stove top. Or just quarter a head of cabbage and put it into the crock pot after 2 1/4 hours.

After 2 hours of cooking the beef, peel carrots and potatoes. Cut carrots into 3 inch lengths. Cut potatoes into chunks about 1″ by 2″. Place all in a steamer for about 20 minutes or until tender but not falling apart. Alternatively, boil them if you wish. Just don’t over cook. Remove them from steamer and into a 9 by 9 baking dish, or my favorite, an disposable aluminum cooking tray. Butter the veggies lightly if you wish, and season with fresh ground Real Salt and pepper. Set aside while corned beef is finishing.

Place all glaze ingredients in medium Pyrex measuring cup. Blend with spoon. Microwave for 1 1/2 minutes. Observe closely so as not to boil over. Set aside. Start broiler.

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Remove corned beef from crock pot and place on serving dish. Spoon on glaze. Now place vegetables under broiler for about 5 minutes or until some color appears. Remove from broiler and set up on stove top, burner off. Now place glazed corned beef under broiler. This will only take about 3 minutes before it starts to bubble. Broil for only another half minute so as not to burn. Remove corned beef and turn broiler off. Place vegetables in warm oven while letting corned beef stand for 5 minutes. Slice, plate and eat.

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Who Will Save Our Once Great Republic?

Who will rise up and save our once great Republic? Is that comment treading on sacrilegious ground because of the widely accepted belief that this is a land God has chosen and set apart? So America is already saved, right? Well it is a work in progress at best. So back to the question . . . . who will take the reins and steer us away from the fall? It is no longer about political parties. They have been folded into each other so many times that a puffed up pastry dough is the result, with one carefully cut square no different than another!

So I lie awake in the middle of the night wondering what it could be like if Condoleezza Rice were to be the one to rise up and revisit the Oval Office . . . . this time from the POTUS side of the desk. Yeah, I know that she has stated many times that she is a happy Stanford professor and intends to remain as such. So many I talk to are huge fans of Ms. Rice. I also believe Ms Clinton’s party is scared spitless of a Condi Rice ticket. I found this assessment:

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“The Democratic Campaign Committee and a host of left-wing special interests will pump tens of millions into holding on to the White House — by demonizing any Republican who dares to run.”

“That holds especially true for a tough, accomplished African American woman like Condi Rice — it’s their worst nightmare!””

“And the Black Conservative Fund’s e-mail blast, according to The Hill, says that ‘Obama Democrats’ would call her an ‘Uncle Tom’ if she enters the race. That’s hardly a line designed to make Rice want to run.”

“Obviously, lots of these groups that have nothing to do with actual candidates are really only in business for themselves. And Rice, who remains a rarity as one of the most high-profile black Republicans in the country, will always be good for business–even though her every move suggests that she would rather spend time on the links and in the classroom rather than glad-handing for votes. A pile of signatures and web site won’t convince her otherwise.”

I am just a tired old veteran with but one dream left in life, really. I want the Beltway gang along the Potomac to care about US again. Little Israel is the model here. Come to think of it, they occupy a “chosen” land too. Lets not negotiate with terrorists. Lets require 2 years of either armed or public service from every 18 year old. NO deferments due to 4 years of Spring Break. Plenty of time for university, and there will likely be some credits earned along the way by serving anyway. Exactly why does POTUS Obama not like Israel anyway?

Perhaps one or two of the 7 folks who read this will say “Shoot, if you like Israel so much, why don’t you just relocate?” Gravlax for thought right there!

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STEVE McQUEEN | HOLLYWOOD’S ANTI-HERO & TRUE SON OF LIBERTY

I am not one for celebrity stalking, however Mr McQueen is as cool as the underside of a pillow. He left us too soon.

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Steve McQueen– ironically displaying his signature, perfect balance of allegiance and rebellion.

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“I live for myself and I answer to nobody.”

–Steve McQueen

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Steve McQueen personified the “anti-hero” in Hollywood at a time when the emerging counterculture in America was challenging the very definition of what a true “hero” is.  Maybe a better way to look at it is– heroism is an act.  To live an idealistic, heroic life without fault is ultimately impossible.  We all struggle with aligning our beliefs and goals in life with what is truly right.  The fact is there are grey areas that we have to be honest about.  We saw the good and bad in McQueen, and loved him anyway– in fact, we loved him for it.  He was honest about who he was.

We all know McQueen raced cars and motorcycles, but his story goes a lot deeper than that.  His…

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