Archive for February, 2010

Making Caribou

Posted in Good Times, Recipes with tags , , on February 26, 2010 by Verge

We’ve been really enjoying the Olympics the past two weeks.  I try to watch as many events as I can.  That’s pretty difficult considering we don’t have cable and so we only get NBC10 from Philadelphia and not all the fancy offshoots that everyone else probably gets.

That’s made watching hockey, for one, extremely…expensive.  Since it airs on CNBC, every hockey game I want to see (which is men’s only) I have to go to a bar to watch.  I want to see EVERY game, hence the expense.

In any case, I’ve always loved the Olympics and my family has always watched them.  It’s great to rally for your own country, and the stories are unbeatable.  It really is the most amazing reality TV show ever.  That skater who’s mother died in Vancouver…wow, what a story.  Her breaking down crying after her perfect skate was so emotional and unbeatable.  The Lindsey Vonn and Julia Mancuso story is not only fascinating but downright hot.   The bitter-sweet rivalry of head-to-head competition between countrymen is amazing.

In celebration of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic spirit, and since we both didn’t work today, we’ve honored Canada by making a drink called Caribou!  If you ever get a chance, you should visit Quebec during the Winter Festival.  It is a hell of a time when the entire town parties to the thought of being cold and snowed in.  And, if you ever go for a visit, you’ll be sure to come across copious amounts of Caribou.

The legend of it’s origins are that old-school Canadians who were out in the cold and hunting for food would kill wild Caribou.  In the interest of wasting nothing, and keeping warm, they would add whiskey to fresh Caribou blood and drink it as a celebration of a fresh kill.  There are no Caribou in Atco, trust me, I looked.  We had to make a Substitute.

For the red wine substitute-for-blood we used one of my all-time favorite local South Jersey red wines from Valenzano Winery.  It’s a perfect ingredient for this recipe because it’s a very smoky red due to it’s aging in used charred oak barrels.  It’s one of their more expensive wines at around 17 bucks a bottle, but it’s worth it in my mind and in my mouth.  It’s called Old Indian Mill Road Red.

We were planning on going to visit Kreg at his shop and help him out with the bar he’s building so I decided to make it in our industrial sized thermos.  This recipe is pretty damn simple.  Here goes!

Here’s the Official recipe

1 Bottle of dry red wine

1 -2 Cups of cheap Whiskey (to taste)  more if you like whiskey, less if you’re a lightweight

1/4 – 1/2 cup of Maple Syrup (to taste) more if you have a sweet tooth, less if you’re a real man

Shake well and get drunk outside in the snow.  Do it with some friends so if you pass out in a snow bank, they can drag your drunk ass home.  Feel free to be rowdy, yell at the tv, and say “eh” and “hoser” a lot.  Enjoy!


Buying my new website

Posted in Good Times on February 19, 2010 by Verge

info: Thank you for contacting support.   Please be prepared to answer your Security Question when we begin chatting. To enhance our security protocols, we’ll need you to provide the answer to your Security Question at the beginning of our conversation. If you have not yet set your Security Question and Answer, please log into your account now to set it up. Thank you. Please hold for the next available operator to respond.
info: You are now chatting with ‘John Sanders’
John Sanders: How can I help you today?
ryan: Yesterday I purchased a domain name. Today I would like to purchase web hosting that comes with a free domain name. Can I get a refund on the purchase I made yesterday and use that domain as my free one?
John Sanders: what is the username or domain
John Sanders: What is your favorite food?
ryan: huh, that’s the security question I answered? Have I got a different one?
John Sanders: yes that is your question
ryan: tofu?
John Sanders: Let me get the last four digits of your Credit Card on file
John Sanders: no tofu is not correct
ryan: on file for that domain should be ****
John Sanders: thats correct
John Sanders: Question: What is your favorite food?
John Sanders: Answer: gin
ryan: well, actually, it is, thanks…that’s pretty funny
John Sanders: what i can do is give you a free year
John Sanders: to make up for the lost domain
John Sanders: will that work out for you?
ryan: yes, that will work out fine. thanks
John Sanders: we are running a 66 dollar special
John Sanders: It’s for 24month of hosting
ryan: that’s the one I want
ryan: should I order through you, or just go to the main site? And, should I just ignore the free domain I get?
John Sanders: I’m handling it now
ryan: cool
John Sanders: and i’ll see about the best price i can give you
ryan: excellent. the price of gin has gone up recently!
John Sanders: I found a great deal for you… Three years of hosting I’ll add the free domain, you get a daily back up tool and some Google tools to help build Page Rank for only
John Sanders: Total Balance: $165.94
John Sanders: thats 55.31/year
John Sanders: VS the 66
ryan: not interested in all that. the $66 deal is fine for me right now
ryan: I don’t even have the site built yet
ryan: thanks for the offer though
John Sanders: the 66 dollar hosting is for 24 months
John Sanders: 132.00
ryan: yeah, that’s fine
ryan: I’m down with that deal
John Sanders: dont want the better price??
John Sanders: 132 for 2 yr … or 165.94 for 3 yrs
ryan: okay, I’ll take the better, 3 year package, but I’ll need to bill to a different card today. Also, is three years of domain name hosting included, or will I have to renew for the third year?
John Sanders: I’ll make sure you get 3 years of the domain
John Sanders: you said you want to use different billing
ryan: isn’t the free domain name for the duration of the hosting plan, then? I still have paid yesterday for a domain name only. can I get 3 years of hosting, but four years of domain name registration to make up for that?
ryan: yes, I have a different credit card
ryan: any chance I can pay you in empty bottles of gin?
John Sanders: no the domain name is not free
John Sanders: you get one free domain and thats for a year
ryan: oh, okay.
ryan: sounds like a good deal then
John Sanders: so what i was doing s adding on another for you
John Sanders: To match up the domain to the hosting
John Sanders: and I will not charge you for the domain
ryan: your certainly hooking me up then, and I appreciate that
John Sanders: what is the billing info?
ryan: one sec
John Sanders: i need the billing address
ryan: Ryan M Walsh, ***********************
John Sanders: cool
John Sanders: I’m ready for the number
ryan: *************** *** **/12
ryan: no luck on the gin deal, huh
John Sanders: what it the CVV
ryan: ***
John Sanders: thx
John Sanders: all done
John Sanders: you will get the reciept to
John Sanders: any other questions for me??
John Sanders: you will also get emailed confirmation for the domain registration too
ryan: okay. thanks. I’ll just recycle the empty bottles of gin, then. thanks for all the help. we’re good
John Sanders: no problem
John Sanders: Gave a great day!
John Sanders: and weekend!
ryan: you too. seeya…
info: Your chat transcript will be sent to at the end of your chat.


Posted in Creative Writing on February 15, 2010 by Verge

where and when

I think that I know that

the place I’m in is not

the way to live life

on the verge of tears

Jackfruit Recipe (Vegan Pulled Pork)

Posted in Recipes, Vegan and Vegetarian Lifestyle with tags , , on February 15, 2010 by Verge

I came across this food while browsing some vegan sites.  I found it on and you can look at the original inspirations here

After seeing how delicious this vegan sandwich looked, I had to track this down and try it out.  First of all, “young, ripe jackfruit” isn’t nearly as easy to locate in South Jersey as ChowVegan implies.  I stopped in several Asian stores to try to locate a can or two before resorting to the be-all-and-end-all of Asian Supermarkets, Hanahreum.  Otherwise known as “H-Mart,” this chain truly is the real deal.  They have everything Asian you could possibly think of and a ton of things you never knew, nor wanted to know, exists.

Sometimes it’s difficult to navigate the foodstuff they offer because many of the labels are in Japanese only.  Nevertheless, I was pretty sure I could find a can of jackfruit there but my hunt, at first was unsuccesful.  Persistance paid off when I eventually did find “green” jackfruit in brine and tried it out.  It was delicious but then, for months, I couldn’t find the “green” jackfruit at H-Mart any longer.  Recently, Monika, Sam and I went back to H-Mart to stock up on Asian groceries (Sam wanted a cache for Ohio).  I found that they had some available, so I stocked up.

I changed the recipe a little, but nonetheless, this is a ridiculously simple recipe to follow.  You’ll need the following items.

1 Crock Pot

2 Martinis (Consume during the duration of CrockPotting, to taste)

4 – 16  oz. cans of “Young” or “Green” Jackfruit.

Some minced garlic

1 cup of White Wine

A bunch of BBQ Sauce

Open the cans of jackfruit and rinse them with cold water to get rid of the brine.

Here’s what the jackfruit looks like.  It’s kind of like the consistency of Pineapple, but not sweet, and very meaty and not juicy.

I used my potato masher to break up the Jackfruit.  It pretty much falls apart and doesn’t require too much effort.  The original ChowVegan recipe says to fry them up a bit but I didn’t feel it was necessary at all.

Add the garlic, wine and BBQ Sauce.  Stir.  Turn on Crock Pot for a few hours until it looks awesome, like this:

Cook it for a little while, maybe a total of 4 hours, and shut off the pot.  Let it cool.  Toast up some whole-grain hamburger buns, or even a torpedo roll.  If you want to make a kind of BBQ cheesesteak, you can add cheese, vegan or otherwise.

This recipe makes a bunch of jackfruit so if you want to just give it a try, halve the recipe.  We love it and it keeps well in the fridge so you can use it for a few weeks.  We use it as a topping on veggie burgers or as a substitute for bacon in a BLT on Rye, too.


Road Trip to Ohio

Posted in Good Times, Reflections with tags , , on February 9, 2010 by Verge

Two weekends ago Monika and I traveled to Ohio to help Sam move to a new life.  But, before I get to that, I’ll rewind to last Thursday.

Thursday nights are my regularly scheduled gig at Manny Brown’s in Philly.  This is ideal because I don’t have to work on Fridays.  It was a decent show with Tom on drums and three long sets.  Even though most of the material was recycled, we had mixed the sets up that night, and threw in a few songs that we had just learned.

The next morning, I couldn’t sleep in for too long because Monika and I had to pick up Sam and head to the airport to pick up Tuk who had flown in from Pittsburgh.  His flight was on time and he was waiting to be picked up when we arrived, which is fantastic because I didn’t have to deal with the pick-up area Nazis that yell at you if your car is stopped for more than 20 seconds.

And so, at that moment, when Tuk threw his small suitcase and garment bag into the back of the Element, our brief vacation began.  At 11 am, we headed to Champps in Marlton.  The girls needed to go to Joyce Leslie for some last minute accouterments for that evening’s party.  Tuk and I sat down for a few beers.  Tuk ordered a Yuengling, a beer that’s not available in Ohio, for some strange reason.  I had Hop Devil and a shot of well bourbon.

Eventually we all had a drink together and toasted the weekend ahead.  Sam’s going away party was that night, and we had themed it Steampunk.  Steampunk is a strange mix of Victorianism, Turn-of-the-Century Industrialism and Futurism.  It’s hard to describe, but once you have a grasp, you can spot it when you see it.

We drove to downtown Medford to Scherzer’s Antiques in search of some accessories.  There, surprisingly, we found just what we were looking for.  I tracked down a great clip-on monocles with a gold chain that I later attached to some old keys I had laying around.  We all got ourselves an antique cap gun, and I managed to score a really old Masonic tux button.

The party that night was incredible.  I didn’t expect it to be our biggest ever, but it came close.  I think we had at least 50 people come out to see Sam off to her new life in Ohio.  There’s a ton of photos on all of our Facebooks, so you can track everything that happened that night online.  Monika and I made it all the way to 5 am because we were acting the hosts, and did so accordingly.  Tuk, among others, passed out by midnight, and missed a ton of fun.

The next morning we picked up the best we could before the next party began.  Some who had slept at our house had left, and others hung around for the second round.  I was supposed to play a show on Saturday night in Philly, but because the roads were in poor condition because of the snow, and because Tom no longer had his own transportation, we bailed, and instead, partied.  Monika and Sam made it out at some point to take care of Sam’s dog in Lindenwold, but returned shortly to the festivities.

The next morning, we woke up late, of course, and had to load the truck.  Craig and Kat helped along with Lorie, and we did a damn fine job.  Three pizzas and three hours later, we were ready to head to Ohio.  Intent on getting there by 11, we headed out.

I wasn’t sure if my car was going to make it because I had had a nail in my tire and was worried about a flat.  I was further concerned that the cat that we were toting would not make it all the way to Ohio without going to the bathroom or throwing up.  Amazingly, neither happened.

We stopped several times along the way to let Rocky, who was riding in the cab of the U-haul with Sam and Tuk, run around and go to the bathroom.  We stopped for gas and all met up at a rest stop just outside the Ohio border for dinner.

We did get to Sam’s new home just before 11 at night.  We made it safe though Tuk did score himself a nice little $160 speeding ticket.  It was obviously dark so we couldn’t unpack anything from the truck.  Instead, we improvised a kitty litter box with some torn up paper.  We needed to run out to the store at midnight to grab a padlock for the truck.

Needless to say, there wasn’t a whole lot to do except party.  This is a picture of the first shot I’ve ever drank in Ohio.  It wasn’t the last of the night.

The next morning we sent the girls out to get breakfast while me and Tuk unpacked.  They discovered a thrift store and so by the time they got back the truck was almost empty.  We put a good deal of Sam’s things in the basement where they could be sorted later, and spend the rest of the afternoon unboxing the kitchen.

Later that night we had to go to Sam’s new job for a minute so she could check in with her new boss.  I had to tell Lorie and Monika to settle down.  You can see why…

On the way home, Tuk treated us all to dinner at a Thai restaurant.  The service was poor, but the food was fantastic.  We were the last ones in the place when they closed.  They had a ton of vegetarian options and the seaweed salad was surprisingly tasty.

We spend the remainder of the night hanging out in Sam’s new living room, watching a movie, then talking over a movie, then all passing out.

The next morning, we had to leave Sam and Tuk and Rocky big-head and Akasha in Ohio.  Lorie, Monika and I made good time coming home, and no one cried when we left that morning.  Perhaps we all wanted to a little, but we think  Sam is going to do just fine in Ohio.

On the way home, we encountered the snow storm that was rolling into New Jersey last Tuesday.  We could see the back wall of the storm in the distance, and then we were inside it.  It snowed pretty heavily for an hour or two, slowing us down for a bit.  But, like Sam, with some persistence and determination, we got through it all, and drove out of the storm unscathed, and made it all the way home.

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