Rocky always looks for an “edge” in his market speculations, but rarely finds one.
In contrast, Rocky always looks for an “edge” in his brownies, and often finds one. As any brownie aficionado knows, the crispy, chewy edges are the best part of a brownie. Rocky’s technique is to cut the crispy, delicious edge from around an entire brownie pan, and leave the gooey middle bulk for lesser mortals.
This habit always drove Rocky’s daughter crazy, as she would bake a gorgeous fresh pan of brownies — and return to find all of the crust surgically removed and only mutilated innards remaining.
Rocky’s daughter gave her dad a birthday present that solved the problem: The Baker’s Edge Brownie Pan. This cleverly designed pan has a maze shape, so that every brownie has a chewy, crispy edge. Rocky thought the invention to be brilliant and dubbed it “his best birthday present ever.” (Except for the birthday when Trophy Wife rented a full-size excavator for a day, and Rocky and his friends dug some holes for fun.)
Here’s the amazon.com link to the brownie pan:
[Disclosure: The first batch of brownies was magnificent. Every brownie had two crispy/chewy edges, and some brownies had three edges!]
For Tuesday’s dinner, Rocky prepared Roasted Duck Breast; a cold diced cucumber and tomato salad; and X (see picture above.)
Rocky discovered X in an ethnic food store last weekend. The knowledgeable and friendly store owner convinced Rocky to give X a try. Things went downhill from there….
Trophy Wife pushed X to the side of her plate without even a nibble.
Rocky’s daughter said, “Dad, you gotta be kidding! This looks like a microscope slide of bacteria colonies from my biology class.”
[Disclosure: The first reader of Rocky's blog who either correctly identifies X or provides a decent recipe for X will win a Unique Prize of Dubious Monetary Value. Hint: The owner of the ethnic food store was Armenian.]
Thanksgiving traditions vary widely. In the Rocky Humbert family, the tradition includes an emergency call to the Butterball Turkey Hotline.
From the ButterBall Website: “No question is too tough for these turkey talkers, and they are ready and excited to tackle any challenge you throw at them. Give them a call at 1-800-BUTTERBALL.”
2008: While reaching inside the bird to remove the gizzards, Trophy Wife’s hand becomes stuck. She twists. She turns. And despite agility acquired during years of Pilates training, her hand remains jammed inside of the avian cavity. The Butterball Hotline Expert solution: “Cook the bird with the oven door open, and leave Trophy Wife’s hand inside. However, be sure that the internal temperature reaches 190 degrees before removing from the oven.”
2007: While eating the bird, Rocky swallows the Butterball’s plastic pop-up timer (which had not popped-up during cooking.) The Butterball Hotline Expert advice: “Butterball pop-up timers contain non-toxic ink. If you feel a poking sensation, it probably means you have a fever. Take two aspirin.”
2006: It’s always a challenge to lift a fully-cooked 25 lb turkey. Rocky was responsible for this year’s roast, and he cooks the bird with the plastic webbing intact. He thought this would make lifting easier. He was right. It made the lifting easier. It also resulted in a plastic-covered turkey. The Butterball Hotline Expert advice: “Sir, there are several hundred callers on hold with genuine emergencies. I don’t have time for a crank caller.” Click.
2005: Trophy Wife loves to make sweet potato casserole with a coating of mini-marshmellows. The challenge is to get the marshmellows perfectly brown (but not blackened.) Trophy Wife places the casserole under the broiler and walks away. Four minutes later flames are visible. Rocky doesn’t call the Butterball Hotline. He calls the fire department.
[Disclosure: Let's talk turkey. Rocky wishes his blog readers a Happy Thanksgiving. And in the words of Norman Bates, (a carving expert,) please be careful with your ccc-ccc-cutlery!]
Celebrating the 25th Anniversity of the Dairy Queen Blizzard, Rocky, Trophy Wife and the entire Humbert Clan trekked to parts unknown — and located Dairy Queen Restaurant #1. (It’s unclear why they call themselves “#1,” since the first DQ was actually in Joliet, Illinois. But DQ #1 sounds better than DQ #3904).
The evening was hot and muggy. The line was long. Men, women, children, and dogs (see top picture) waited patiently for their frozen treats.
This would be Rocky’s very first Blizzard without a down parka and snow shovel, and so he researched the history and protocol in advance. He knew that the Blizzard had originally been named “The Concrete Blizzard,” and it required the development of new high-powered mixer technology. (See: http://www.blizzardfanclub.com/behind-the-blizzard/ ) He also knew that Blizzards were traditionally served upside-down, with the counterperson using both hands.
Rocky watched with baited breath as the friendly teenage counterperson mixed the vanilla softserve with Reese’s Pieces and transferred the gelatinous creation to a bright red cup. But his anticipation turned to dismay as the counterperson handed Rocky the cup right-side- up!
“Aren’t you supposed to serve a Blizzard upside-down?” asked Rocky.
“I can do that if you’d like, Sir,” said the lad.
“Yes, please. That’s supposed to be the way it’s done,” said Rocky. “I saw it on TV.”
“Ok, then,” said the lad.
“You kids have no respect for tradition!” said Rocky gruffly.
Rocky paused — and then realized — that “times they are a-changin.” Rocky said to the lad, “”Can you please hold that Blizzard the right-way, and let me get a picture of this for my scrapbook?”
[Disclosure: Rocky owns stock in Berkshire Hathaway Corporation, the corporate parent of Dairy Queen.]
McDonalds is bringing back the boneless McRib Barbeque Sandwich in selected markets. Rocky believes that lobbying by the Boneless Pig Farmers of America for their piece of the “pork” in Obama’s $800 Billion stimulus package may explain this controversial culinary development.
From today’s Wall Street Journal:
“When you’ve got 800-plus billion dollars to spend, you’ll have an equal number of opinions on how it should be spent,” said Chris Galen, spokesman for the National Milk Producers Federation, the dairy industry’s main lobbying group.
Rocky respectfully disagrees with Mr. Galen’s comment. The world population is only 6.7 Billion, and there are far too few economists amongst that total to create 800 billion opinions.
Nonetheless, Rocky believes that much of the lobbying may be for naught. No matter what Obama tells him to drink, Rocky still prefers a Diet Coke with his McRib, rather than a pint of milk.
The Official website of the BPFAA (Boneless Pig Farmers of America): http://www.bonelesspigs.org/bonelesspigs_MMH.swf is well worth a visit.