Bolognese Sauce or Get a Grip!

I love to cook, well most of the time I do. I like to slice and dice. I like working with garlic and onions and tomatoes. So I guess it’s obvious I like EYE-Talian stuff.

So, I figured I’d make a Bolognese sauce, instead of the standard spittingetti sauce I usually make. I figured the main difference would be meat. I decided to use venison since we gotz a lot of it, and it is great in dishes like this.

So, I looked up a recipe in the bible, AKA Joy of Cooking. I had all the ingredients, celery, onion, carrot, white wine, beef stock, milk, tomato paste. Good to go. Didn’t have pancetta, which is just fancy bacon, but I had bacon.

Well, it’s simmering on the stove as we speak. It’s a thing you simmer a looooong time, because it tastes better when you do. And I just couldn’t get over the fact that there was no garlic in it, nor any tomatoes. And I dragged out two Italian cookbooks, one of which is the one from the famous Rao’s in NYCity. No Bolognese sauce in either. None in Martha Stewart’s either. Hmmmm.

So I jumped on the old intertubes and ran it. And landed on a message board where there was a contentious debate about when to add the wine, and when to add the milk. Some added garlic, some abhorred such a sacrilegious addition. Some added tomatoes, of every type, pureed, diced, crushed, and whole. Some added fresh herbs, Batali uses cream. An authentic La Scala recipe was a fraud, and more a plea for “what was in it that made it pink and was the carrot grated or minced?”

“Authentic” recipes abounded and they were all different. I began to wonder if this was like pesto. I had a friend who is very very Italian. Her mother raised paste tomatoes and put up sauce every year. She had never heard  of pesto. Go figure. Was this Bolognese sauce somehow a family recipe? I mean, I figured it originated in and around Bologna, Italy. I figured it was more peasanty food.

I had learned from a Latino restaurateur, that there is a local drink in Mexico that is essentially a home-brew and every family pretty much makes it a bit different. Was Bolognese sauce like this?

Anyway, it all got too much for me.  I can’t get that intense about cooking! I just want something to taste good and be a standard recipe I can “go to” knowing it will turn out without a lot of trouble. If you have an authentic Bolognese sauce, by all means let me hear it.


Speaking of the latest election, exit polling tells you why people voted the way they did. This is much more reliable than listening to politicos, most of whom say that people voted the way they did in support of whatever they want to pursue legislatively speaking. Here’s some results I uncovered about the crazy election of 2010:

  • Democrats by a healthy majority don’t like the Afghan war but Republicans do. No surprise.
  • Most people voted their party affiliation, and both sides dislike their own party more than they like it. No surprise there either.
  • Everybody agreed that “it’s the economy stupid,” but there is no clear consensus on how to fix it. That seems true of the so-called experts as well. That leaves us in a pickle I think.
  • Gays voted Republican in higher numbers than in 2006 or 2008. Go figure that one out. The war is now out in the open between social and fiscal conservative GOPers. This is likely to get ugly.
  • Latinos voted strongly Democratic except in Florida where Cuban Latinos are a whole different animal.
  • People who got money (over 100 thou) vote Republican. No surprise.
  • Democrats pick up most of the post-graduate educated and the less-than-a-high-school diploma group.
  • Catholics swung back to the GOP but narrowly so.
  • Working class stiffs went GOP, making it clear they don’t read much of anything.


I just about lost my cookies on this one. I mean, I started to laugh, and then I started to chortle, (which is different but hard to describe) and the Contrarian is asking, “What? What?”

It seems that a Wisconsin man (OKJimm was it you?) shot his TV to death after watching Bristol Pistol Palin dance on DWTS. I kid you not. A SWAT standoff followed for hours. I also discovered that indeed the voting is fixed. It seems that DWTS can’t control e-mail votes and some Palin-idolators are bragging that they voted for three straight hours building up lilBris’s vote tally. Goodbye DWTS.


It’s worth your time to stop by Lisa Golden’s blog That’s Why to get information about lobbying your Senators on the issue of extending the unemployment benefits bill. People are in need through no fault of their own. The usual GOP excuses will be coming forth, so do your bit, please.


We watch Hawaii 5-0. I didn’t expect to like it, but I kinda do. I love the scenery, because I would love to live there. The Contrarian likes it because it’s “episodal.” He thinks most of the world’s problems stem from shows becoming serial. He’s nuts, but you know that. Best line from the “Danno” character ( do not know his name) on David Letterman:

In response to the question “how you do you like living in Hawaii?”

“I loved it the first three weeks, but then I started to miss angry people.”

Yep, I can feel the love. *whimper*


Well, enough of all this. I’ll let ya know about the Bolognese Sauce. Let me know if you have ideas about the recipe ingredients. I love ya.

Where Did Peace of Mind Go?

I’ll tell you where it goes when you think you have lost your very best ever dressing recipe! I was fussin’ and fumin’ and generally expletive deleted from one end of the house to the other.

You see, I’ve spent hours creating all these recipe folders. As I paged through every single one to no effect, I realized I hadn’t made hardly any of these things anyway.

Thankfully, I found the recipe reproduced here, under a search for turkey dressing, about the 6th blog post. Phew!

So, I’m going to rethink my whole enterprise of recipe keeping. Frankly you might be bored since I plan to do every essential recipe here where I can’t lose it!


Well, a parent can be proud. Last night, I was in my office meditating (reading old Martha Stewart mags looking for, what else–recipes) when there was a knock at the door. “Come in,” I chirped.

There stood the Contrarian, beckoning me.  “You gotta see Brandy on the front porch,” he grinned.

I looked questioning, but nothing further was coming forth. I dutifully arose and headed to the front window to look across at the porch.

There stood the girlie. Eyes bright and shiny as a pups, her tail wagging furiously. In her mouth? A rather substantial rooster pheasant. She never moved, just stood in all her pride and glory, waiting to have her pic snapped with her prize.

I opened the door, praised her efforts, and nodded sadly as her eyes asked “may I bring it in please?” Great job girlie. Enjoy your triumph.

Bear was nonchalant as he wandered about the house. “Good job in helping Brandy, Bear,” I offered. He ignored the whole thing, whether out of embarrassment or generally pissiness that it was her and not him. He went out later, but walking by with no look to her catch. She watched over it for some time, finally the cold set into her bones and she labored up the steps and went to bed.

Such is life in the meadow.


You know, we are a nation of whiners. We want everything but want to pay for none of it. It’s who we are. Today we are all supposed to line up behind a silly idiot who went ballistic at having a pat down at the airport. “Don’t touch my junk man!” Yeah, and if somebody’s crotch explodes and plane goes down, what will we be hearing then? Shaddup and go find some other way to get to Paris or Madrid you idiot. Like anybody wants to ogle or fondle your very ordinary body. Sheesh, get a life.


I did, I thought, a decent smack down of the creepy old man, McCain. But it was nothing, I mean NOTHING like the super embarrass-the-hell-out-of John Sidney, that Jon Stewart did. If you missed it, please do yourself a huge favor and watch it here. Jon and a number of his crew simply eviscerated and excoriated McCain. It was beautiful. No doubt John Sidney is buying new TV’s today, having put his foot through all he owned.


We hear that Bristol Palin keeps winning despite the fact that she is at the bottom of the judges board every week for the last six or so. I wonder if DWTS’s realizes that it has single-handedly orchestrated its own cancellation. At best it was barely a competition, but at least some good dancing occurring in the last six weeks or so. Now it’s a silly joke of Palin mama grizzly voters who keep the two-left-footed Bristol on despite her embarrassing performances. So we hear. We stopped watching week two.


It’s all over the news. Newly elected Restooplican, Andy Harris, a doctor, started right off complaining when he found out his government health care wouldn’t start until February. This after campaigning vociferously against the new health care law, vowing to repeal it, and stating again and again that government had no business in health care. Yeah, whine much? Andy, hands wringing, worries about what he will do without health care for 28 days! You poor slob.


I imagine that Mitch McConnell and John Boehner meet after hours to share a drink and sob in each other’s martini. What has gone wrong here? All the sudden they are dancing to the tune of the know-nothing teabuggers. Earmarks? Yes? Earmarks, No! It’s fun to watch ain’t it?


To me, it’s quite simple. The GOPer’s claim that we have to keep the Bush-tax-cuts in order to generate jobs. Okay.

The key word is KEEP. We have had the Bush Tax cuts for how many years now. And what happened to the economy? And what happened to the jobs?

It’s really that simple isn’t it?


Mike Taibbi has a super article (really an excerpt from his new book) at AlterNet. If the terms “moron” “grifter class” “dingbats” and Palin and Bachmann in the same sentence, make you all giddy, then do go over and read!


And we are off to dinner prep.

On the stove today: Taco casserole with fresh salsa, sour creme, and avocado. Enjoy!