AKA Abraham Bacoln

Never say ‘oops’
September 28, 2006, 3:53 pm
Filed under: tidbit

This is the most exciting thing I’ve read today, which means that … I dunno, I probably need to get out more, or I have some seriously skewed priorities. Who cares if Shinzo Abe is going to be the next Japanese Prime Minister or that Condoleeza Rice is talking about deploying troops to Lebanon when you have haircuts by children.

Seriously. Think about that. Haircuts by children.

I’d do that.

I would totally 100% let a fifth-grader cut my hair. That would be one of the most interesting things ever, great conversation material. As the article states, “[f]or many it is actually less terrifying to contemplate allowing kids to vote,” and that’s strikingly true.

There’s a lot to be said about fostering trust and empowerment in children, these tiny people that will one day be leading our world. I could go on and on, but that’s really not what I’m about. I’m all about looking terrible (or maybe on a slim chance looking awesome) and telling people it’s all some kid’s fault.

Bring me a child.

And scissors.

Alfred Hitchcock’s The Beans
September 27, 2006, 1:02 am
Filed under: recipe

RBnR true version

Originally uploaded by Kevin O’Mara.

I am not sure if you are aware but every Monday if I get the chance I head to the Thomas house for some red beans n’ rice. It’s just like the New Orleans tradition of RBnR except that … um … well, we’re not in New Orleans. They do it anyway.

Actually, I always say “they” but last time I checked Matt doesn’t do anything really. He just makes biscuits occasionally, and the rest of the time he just sits around being pretty. We need to do something about that.

A while back I told the T-brothers that I was going to make them some gumbo as a show of thanks for a beautiful coffee grinder that they kindly donated to me. I couldn’t find any decent andouille around town but I had an idea – I headed over to my bank to see Mr. Vedrine who is a native not only of Louisiana but of Ville Platte, the home of the Smoked Meats Festival. I figured if that man couldn’t find me some andouille then there was no one else to whom I could turn.

Mr. Vedrine went above and beyond the call of duty and donated to me, from his personal stash not only some andouille but some tasso as well. For those of you not in the know, tasso is a smoked pork meat usually used to flavor dishes. It is also sublime. I mean, screw ham hock and salted pork … tasso will deliver you from evil.

I used all the graciously donated andouille in the batch of gumbo destined for the T-brothers – probably the best gumbo I’ve ever made (thanks in no small part to the true andouille). That left me with some tasso and I got to thinking I should make some RBnR for the T-brothers, ’cause where better to use my tasso?

Now I’ve made RBnR several times before and it’s just never turned out right. This is probably due to the missing ham hock or tasso or whatever seasoning meats I didn’t put in. I figured some sliced smoked sausage would save it, and I was wrong. This time I did it right, this time I used tasso, and this time I made the best batch of red beans I’ve ever made.

Do you see the common thread here? It’s all the beautiful meats that Mr. Vedrine gave to me. I don’t think I can thank him enough.

Anyway, I took my RBnR over to their house and it was well-received. I especially enjoyed the chance to eat it alongside Mark’s always-tasty RBnR as a comparison, or as a foray into the various authentic styles of red beans.

I suppose I should post the recipe, though it’s certainly nothing special. I do urge you to go to your bank and assault your banker until he or she admits that they are indeed a Louisiana native and they will procure for you some smoked meats.

Kevin’s Finally Correct Mostly Stolen Red Beans n Rice Recipe:

Take 1 lb. dried red beans. Either A.) soak overnight, or B.) submerge in water, bring to boil, and remove from heat and let sit for one hour.

Once beans are done prepping, drain and replace water. Bring to boil.

While beans are heating, dice:
1 white onion
1 green bell pepper
6 ribs celery
6 cloves garlic

Saute these ingredients until onions are translucent, maybe 3-5 minutes. Throw these into the pot with the beans.

Add a teaspoon or so of thyme and two bay leaves.

Slice 1 lb. smoked sausage (andouille if you can get it) and throw that in the pot.

Add 3/4 lb. tasso or other acceptible substitute.

Make sure there’s just enough water to cover everything and bring to a boil. Once it’s boiling, reduce to a simmer, let cook for 3 hours.

Serve over hot white rice.

That’s it – it’s so simple it’s stupid, or maybe it’s criminal – take your pick. Since there’s very little flavoring it’s important to get good meats – I can’t believe it took me this long to learn that.

Oh, hey, apropos of nothing – the new Tom Waits 3-CD album (albums?) ‘Orphans’ is now available for pre-order at Amazon. This is one piece of music where I am anxious to own the physical item, not just order it off of iTunes. From late November ’till some time next year you’d better not get into my car unless you’re willing to get your Waits on.

September 20, 2006, 8:21 pm
Filed under: recipe

Wow. I have totally forgotten how to go about doing this. What … what goes here? A recipe? Details? Who are you again? WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME?!

Oh, so yeah, this recipe was recommended to me and the recommendation was spot-on. This is some seriously tasty stuff and pretty darned easy to make.

First I have to prove to you that I am indeed a firm believer in mis en place – see all ingredients listed below:

Mis en Place, or, This Is How I Roll

Okay, now that I’m done bragging on my pre-prep obsessive compulsiveness I’ll get on to the rest of it. The … uh … recipe, if you will.

This is stolen straight from Cooking Light but I’ve cut out all the words like “low fat” and “low sodium” because I think one should enjoy one’s food even if it is likely to kill one sooner.

okay, so maybe I bought the healthy versions. You’ll never know.

Spinach Fettucine with (abraham) Bacon

Spinach fettuccine

1 pound uncooked fettuccine
1 tablespoon butter
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 cup cream cheese
3/4 cup chicken broth
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3/4 cup grated fresh Pecorino Romano cheese
3/4 cup half-and-half
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained, and squeezed dry
10 center-cut bacon slices, cooked and crumbled (about 1 1/4 cups)

1.) Cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain pasta, reserving 1/2 cup pasta water.
2.) Melt butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
3.) Add garlic; sauté 30 seconds.
4.) Add reserved pasta water and cream cheese, stirring with a whisk until smooth.
5.) Combine broth and flour in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk until smooth.
6.) Add flour mixture to pan, stirring with a whisk to combine; bring to a boil. Cook 2 minutes or until mixture thickens, stirring constantly.
7.) Remove from heat; add pecorino Romano, stirring until smooth.
8.) Add half-and-half, salt, and pepper. Stir in spinach.
9.) Combine cheese mixture and pasta in a large bowl, tossing to coat.
10.) Dish it out and top it with bacon.


so … tired …
September 9, 2006, 11:05 pm
Filed under: photography, tidbit

Total number of pictures from yesterday and today: 653.

I can’t even count the number of times I walked the seven or eight blocks to Jim’s house to escape the crowd and find some air conditioning. Between that, spending hours on my feet, being at the square at 6:45 AM this morning to shoot the race, the heat, the noise, and the food … I’m wiped out.

I’ve uploaded a few more pics – five, I think – to add to my Flickr pics tagged with Cookeville Fall Fun Fest.

Why have I only uploaded eight out of 650 pictures? I dunno. Call me super picky. Chances are if you looked at ’em all you’d probably pick a different eight. I have no clue if the folks for whom I was taking all these will like them or even use them. Apparently there’s a fallfunfest.com page with galleries of last year – and each gallery has four or five shots in it. I get the feeling I pressed the shutter button WAY too often.

Today’s fun: walking up to the Cookeville Police Department Drug Awareness booth, tapping my finger on the largest bong in the ‘collected paraphernalia’ display, and asking, “How much you want for this one?”

I tell you what, man, those city cops got no sense of humor.

that thing I do
September 8, 2006, 11:41 pm
Filed under: photography, tidbit

Okay, so I should be asleep but instead for some reason I couldn’t resist looking at the 198 (!) pictures I took today at the Cookeville Fall Fun Fest. While there I also saw something on the order of 198 people that I know or recognize. Ah, small town life.

Anyway, I chose my favorite three – no reason, I was thinking four for a while but changed my mind – and I’ve uploaded them to Flickr. You can find them under my tags labeled “Cookeville Fall Fun Fest“. If you don’t get around to looking at them on Saturday then there’ll probably be a few more come Sunday.

It was fun, taking pictures in an official capacity, but tiring. I have to be there before 7:00 AM CST tomorrow morning to take pictures of the CFFF 5k race. What am I still doing up?


fresh like a can of picante
September 8, 2006, 2:18 pm
Filed under: tidbit

Well, I’m off to go hang out with Jim for a few hours and then officially proceed to my official (non-paid) job as one of two official Cookeville Fall Fun Fest official photographers. I’m gonna photograph the heck out of that thing.

If you’se in Cookeville AND you’re the type to check your friends’ blogs every hour or so AND you read this, come on down to the squayah and look for me. I’ll be the tall guy (officially) annoying all the children with barbeque sauce on their faces.

This is me
September 7, 2006, 3:52 pm
Filed under: tidbit

Art by some talented person whose name (and gender, for that matter) I do not know.

September 6, 2006, 5:36 pm
Filed under: tidbit

Oh, yeah, what? School? School’s fine. Classes alternate between boring and horrifying.

Salient points of my academic life right now:
1.) My Spanish instructor says I have excellent pronunciation. If only I had even a shred of vocabulary left to back it up.
2.) One (out of four) of my professors seems to remember how to pronounce my last name.

about half a centimeter or so, I guess
September 6, 2006, 5:13 pm
Filed under: tidbit

I am this close (picture fingers very close together) to shaving off my beard and getting a haircut. I feel like a caveman.

September 2, 2006, 10:10 am
Filed under: tidbit

Henry: “Undigested food.”

Trey: “That’s my favorite part of everyone I know.”