AKA Abraham Bacoln

November 29, 2007, 5:52 pm
Filed under: tidbit

– I finally got my TN driver’s license today. Things have changed, I tell you. Last time I was at the DMV here it probably took me an hour. The DMV in NOLA was (this is no exaggeration) the worst example of bureaucratic nightmare I’ve ever experienced. However, the DMV in OR was pleasant even if they did make me take a written exam to exchange my LA license for an OR one. But today? Man, I read the list of required documentation, brought it with, and a book as well. Not only did my book stay unread, I didn’t even have a chance to finish filling out my supplemental form (Where All You Done Been Licensed In Th’ Past 10 Years’r So?) before they called my number. It was that fast. Twelve dollars and fifty cents later I was on my way out and holding a new little plastic identifier.
– I did indeed get my photo took with my beard on.
– I also, as (in my opinion) all good citizens should, told them I’m willing to let anyone who needs ’em get my hands on my organs after death, what with me not going to be using them any more.
– Except for the beard. I’d like to keep that with me should I happen to die while wearing it.
– And you know, I’ve got this ridiculous desire to eat at a Chinese buffet tonight, or in other words I’m on a quest to harm my innards, so you may not want them anyway.

November 25, 2007, 8:45 pm
Filed under: recipe

Raw gumbo

Cargado originalmente por Brother O’Mara

I realized today as I was searching for my gumbo recipe that I had not yet posted it to kevinomara.com so here we go again. I’m lazy, so I’m copying and pasting the old entry from my last blog. Nothing’s changed, it’s still delicious.

This comes to you today because this is a great way to get rid of an entire pound of leftover turkey, especially the dark meat. If you’ve still got some turkey left then now you know what to do.


Here it is, folks, my favorite of my recipes of all time ever. Now I know I told you how much I love the sausage casserole but that’s not technically my recipe. This one is. It’s nothing special, really, just a standard gumbo, but it’s mine. The first time I went to make gumbo I couldn’t find a recipe online that I liked so I just took the best parts and directions from a couple of sources and made basically this. A bit of time and testing has perfected it, and here you have it.

I love this recipe. I share it with everyone. It is my personal signature dish and I wish the internet had Smell-o-vision so I could waft it towards you as you read.

Sometimes it’s hard to find the right kind of sausage depending on where you live. During difficult shopping trips I have fallen back on kielbasa or “Louisiana Hot Sausage” but if at all possible, man, get some andouille. It is pretty much necessary to make this dish as it should be.

Kevin O’Mara’s Gumbo Recipe:

6 cups stock – whether from chicken or bouillon, doesn’t matter. I usually do it out of the water in which I boiled the chicken plus some bouillon.

1 cup vegetable oil or shortening
1 cup flour

2 onions (diced)
2 green bell peppers (diced)
2-3 long sticks celery (diced)
2 big tomatoes or 4 small tomatoes (diced)

1/2 lb okra (sliced)
1 bunch green onions (diced)
1/2 bunch parsley (diced)
12 cloves or 1 pod garlic (diced)

1 lb andouille sausage (sliced)
1 lb chicken (boiled and hand-shredded (with fork))

1 tbsp black pepper
1 tbsp red (cayenne) pepper
1 tbsp hot sauce
2 bay leaves

Usually 2 cups (pre-cooked) is sufficient.
2 cups rice
4 cups water

In the beginning:
Create stock.

To make the roux:
Heat oil in skillet to medium high. Add a little flour, whisk until dissolved. Use s-shaped or sine-wave-shaped whisking motion, not circular. Continue adding flour bit by bit until it’s all in, whisking constantly. Continue to whisk until the roux has taken on a dark brown color. If black flecks appear you have burned the roux and must start over. Sorry. No way to save a burned roux.

Add first vegetables, stock, meat, spices:
Remove roux from heat. Add first vegetables (onion, bell pepper, celery, and tomatoes). Use the residual heat from the roux to sautee the vegetables, mixing well. Place vegetables in pot.

Note: I have stopped cooking the roux in a skillet and transferring it to a pot. Because I’m tall enough to do it comfortably I make it in the pot, but you might not be able to reach down in there and whisk the whole time without making your wrist sore. It’s up to you.

Turn to medium-high heat, add stock, andouille, chicken, and spices. Bring to boil and then lower to simmer. Cook for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

Add second vegetables:
After one hour of simmering, add second vegetables (okra, green onions, parsley, and garlic). Cook for 10 minutes or until okra is soft.

Serve over a bed of hot white rice.

That, my friends, will produce an awesome gumbo. I hope you make it and love it.

/wrings hands
November 19, 2007, 5:36 pm
Filed under: tidbit

What do I do? What do I do? I have to go get a new driver’s license involving an updated photo. Problem is that I’m at about three weeks’ worth of beard. I don’t want to cut it off just for my license, but I also don’t want this scruffy stage visually documented for the next several years. Ugh. I know I could wait ’till next week and it’d be a bit more beardy but I don’t like to leave things ’till the absolute last minute (just really close to the last minute).

Eh, it’s just a driver’s license picture, right?

November 18, 2007, 6:10 pm
Filed under: recipe

I don’t have much to say other than it’s been cold lately (or what passes for late Autumn cold in the south) and that means it’s time to dust off that old crockpot and start making something hot and hearty. Today’s recipe is a modification of one by an old family friend. I got ready to make it the usual way and while I was in the grocery store I decided to spice it up just a hair, so here you go.

Beef soup

Tasty B. Rhea Memorial Beef Soup as Modified by Kevin L. O’Mara, Esq.

You gonna need:
1 lb stew beef, browned
28 oz. can peeled crushed tomatoes
1 14oz. can corn, drained
1 14oz. can green beans, drained
1 14oz. can chicken broth
1 large potato, chopped
1/2 white onion, diced
2-3 cloves garlic, finely diced
1/2 tbsp black pepper
1/2 tsp thyme
1 tsp Sriracha pepper
salt to taste

There aren’t really instructions to this, but here goes:

1.) Put the stew beef chunks in a skillet to brown with a little oil and salt and pepper.
2.) Put the tomatoes, corn, green beans, broth, and potato in the crockpot and put it on high.
3.) While the beef is still cooking use another skillet to cook the onions and garlic until the onion is translucent.
4.) When all the things that are cooking in skillets are done put them into the crockpot.
5.) The spices are really up to you – this is just a list of what I used today.
6.) Let it cook until the potatoes are soft and there you go.

Now if you’ll exCUSE me I have some soup to check on.

EDIT: Apparently I am a genius. For starters, if you don’t yet have any Sriracha in your house you have to go buy some now. Anyway, as mentioned above I used some to give the soup just a little kick. I ate one bowl just like this and it was great – BUT for my second bowl I used my diabolical fantastical idea. After filling the bowl I stirred in just a touch of heavy cream, just enough to turn the soup red-orange instead of bright red. The extra richness became a perfect counterbalance to the heat of the peppers and brought the whole thing up a level. I highly recommend going that route.

Thanks, Ben Goldacre
November 16, 2007, 1:59 pm
Filed under: tidbit

This article says everything I’ve ever wanted to say about homeopathy in ways that I never could have thought to say them.

“It’s a real toilet so be careful”
November 15, 2007, 4:36 pm
Filed under: tidbit

So this is one of those things I know nothing about but now I’m fixated on it and trying not to learn anything more than I have to before I can see it. I don’t even have any video rental store memberships but I may have to get one just for this.

It’s a movie called The American Astronaut and … I don’t know. Like I said, I’m trying not to spoil anything for myself* so I’m learning as little as possible. All I know for sure is that between the visuals (I’m really into crazy film noir b&w lighting right now, especially after having re-watched The Man Who Wasn’t There) and the song and the humor I’m dying over here.

Thanks for the heads-up, Erich.

* though I did watch some kind of silent trailer

I was kind of wondering when this would happen
November 14, 2007, 5:38 pm
Filed under: tidbit

Art house

Cargado originalmente por Brother O’Mara

In May of 2005 I was in Houston to visit my friends Matt and Morgan. While we were there we came across the crazy vision you see here. It appeared with no warning and all I can think is that it must not have been me who was driving because I would have gotten into a fantastic wreck. I was amazingly distracted by the intensity and absurdity of the installation. Research revealed it to be a project called Inversion as done by the Houston Art League (specifically, Dan Havel and Dean Ruck). Absolutely amazing work and I can’t describe sufficiently how disorienting it was to drive past it without warning.

So I took some pictures which are kind of cruddy as they’re all point-and-shoot from before I really started to understand photography BUT apparently they’re of good enough quality to get distributed across the entire internet.

As a short aside – I’ve been wondering how long it’d take before I found one of my photos in a strange place and without my permission. I know it’s happening now. Everyone who posts interesting things to Flickr gets their stuff redistributed without attribution – it’s just a matter of time. It happens and I personally don’t believe it can be stopped, and unless someone’s actively selling my stuff I’m not going to start screaming (unless, of course, they’re claiming ownership or authorship, blah blah blah).

So anyway, the other day someone posted this picture of the front of Inversion on one of the message boards I frequent. It took me a minute and then I said, “Hey! That’s my picture!” Then I posted the link to my Flickr set of the Inversion shots and someone said, “Um, Kevin, if those are yours then this site over here is kind of ripping you off.”

I went and looked and sure enough, they were using all my pictures without attribution. I said oh well and went and wrote a very nice email in which I said, “Since you appear to be using them in a noncommercial format I don’t mind but only if you will give attribution.” I got my email response this morning and the guy was quite kind, he said, “Sure thing, attribution given. I got them from over there, though … you might want to tell them.”

Turns out his source had all my pictures too, and they attributed their findings to ANOTHER site, and … once I started to search Google for ‘tunnel house’ (which is how most of the pictures are described) I truly became aware of the strange incestuous nature of the “HERE IS MY BLOG WHERE I POST THINGS I FOUND ON OTHER BLOGS LOOK AT THIS CRAZY STUFF” mindset.

I had to stop at 10. I figure that’s where most lists stop.

[1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10]

So there you have it. I’m like some sort of internet celebrity except I’m only given attribution on two of those sites (I haven’t the patience to email all of them – you go ahead, I’ll be here when you get back), and the thing is it’s not even my input that’s interesting, I’m just documenting someone else’s far more significant art.

Come on down
November 8, 2007, 9:32 am
Filed under: tidbit

Toby and I were at work in the office. M was sitting behind us playing DOOM.

M: (over the sound of gunfire and imps screeching) Hey, who wants to guess how much health I have right now?
Toby: uhh …
Kevin: No thanks.
M: Oh, come on.
M: Come on. Guess a number between 1 and 200.
Kevin: 200.
Toby: 1.
M: Very funny. Right now my health is at 174. Kevin was closest.
Toby: I win! I was the closest without going over.
Kevin: It’s true. He was the closest without going over.
M: What?
Toby: It’s like The Price Is Right.
Kevin: He did guess closest without going over.
M: (frustrated) This is not The Price Is Right, Toby. This is DOOM.

November 6, 2007, 11:01 pm
Filed under: tidbit

Perhaps the most sad thing ever.