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February 18, 2021


We either didn't believe her or didn't care. I could still eat salami in large quantities, and sometimes do, just as a treat.

Me too.

I've eaten a lot of weird stuff, growing up and travelling in the far east (snake, sea slugs, jellyfish etc), and don't have that much of an "ugh" reflex, except the strong taboo feeling about eating cat or dog.

I love most offal, (including blood sausages etc) except overcooked liver. It has to be pink in the middle, or else in a pate. I can even enjoy some preparations of brains, although after a few delicious but rich bites, I do get a bit weirded out by the thought (no joke intended).

As far as haggis is concerned, the best thing about it is a reliably-sourced story I may have told you before, but hopefully you will bear with its repetition. Since Burns Night is celebrated all round the world by nostalgic Scots, the haggis is always piped in and greeted by the Burns poem which includes the line Great chieftain o' the puddin' race!

At a Burns Night celebration in Germany, the printed program included a German translation of the poem, with an English version translated back from the German alongside, in which this line as given as:

Mighty fuhrer of the sausage people!

This gives me great pleasure.

Mighty fuhrer of the sausage people!

Cracked me up.

If you are already headed through the South, just extend the trip far enough to make it to New Mexico for some authentic New Mexican cuisine. I've eaten all manner of regional Mexican, but I think New Mexican is the most distinctive. And New Mexican apple pie (with hatch chilis, piñon streusel, and cheese in the crust) is the pinnacle of apple pie as far as I'm concerned.

Excellent! I'm off to bed now, to dream of a road trip round the South. Good night all.

Excellent referred to Janie. But I was in New Mexico in about 1993, and ate a lot of good food in Santa Fe. I liked it (didn't stay in Santa Fe, but out in the country), despite its touristification.

I was in college in Santa Fé in the early 90s and that may have been peak tourist-y. With any luck you managed to find a couple of the local secrets, like the dearly departed Dave's Not Here (named after the Cheech & Chong skit, and for the same reasons), which had the best chili rellenos (breaded) I have ever had. Plaza Cafe is still (there, and a local mainstay with affordable food despite being right on the Plaza).

I stayed a night in Santa Fé a couple years ago on the way back from visiting family in CO - first time since college - and it seemed to be more run down and reduced than I remember it being in '91 when I first got there. Still tourist-y, but more niche in its tourism and more impoverished overall.

Food is still great, though, and the sunsets are still fantastic over the Jemez mountains.

Garbage plates! I almost forgot about them. I had a few late at night when I was working just outside of Rochester, NY. I recall them being like a bunch of stuff you’d eat at a cookout, whether hot or cold, thrown hastily into a pile on a large paper plate. Lots of food for little money, best eaten drunk.

That apple pie description is incredible nous and everyone is cordially invited to move to the anteroom for a thread about it and other recipes.

Story about Lauren Underwood; interesting throughout.

...Underwood was eventually escorted to an undisclosed location, but what should have been a safe space was anything but when she realized the room was crammed full of Republicans who refused to put on masks. It was “the most direct superspreader exposure I had ever been in,” says Underwood, 34. “After all those months of being so careful with COVID...” (She has a heart condition called supraventricular tachycardia and is sure that if she got the virus, “I'd be symptomatic, and it would be rough.”)

For four hours, Underwood and other members were told they couldn’t leave. No bathroom breaks, no food—“you just had to sit there,” she says. She had someone text her sister to say, “I’m with Lauren. She’s in an undisclosed location without her phone. She’s safe.” The sergeant at arms came in after about two hours and said, “We haven’t yet secured the Capitol. We are waiting for reinforcements to arrive.” What? How is this possible? Underwood thought....

...“I believe, even with my constituents who are the most ardent supporters of the MAGA philosophy, that they can respect and understand what it means to pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States and what it means to uphold the Constitution,” Underwood says. “While they may disagree with how I choose to exercise that oath, we have not gone so far that we cannot have a conversation.”...

...Unlike some candidates running in purple districts, she didn’t campaign on being a moderate because, well, she isn’t. She ran on an openly liberal agenda, embracing affordable and accessible health care—drawing on her experience as a registered nurse and a former senior advisor at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services—as well as public education, paid leave, and affordable child care...

...When she went door-to-door, farmers would tell her no Democrat had knocked on their doors in 10 years. And what Underwood says she heard “loud and clear,” from those ruby- red rural parts of her district to the more moderate suburbs, is that both sides felt like no one cared. “No one was showing up for them. No one understood what was going on with their families. No one understood their fears or hopes,” she says. “And so when we literally physically showed up and talked to them, listened and were responsive, and engaged them on the issues that mattered to them, we were able to earn their support.”

The conversations often had very little to do with politics or which side of the aisle she sits on. “I will show up in the smallest town. I have towns with less than 100 households, and we show up and talk to them...

...When the Black Lives Matter movement took hold this summer, Underwood was heartened by the rallies in her district. “I’ve lived in this community my whole life and growing up, I never had a Black teacher. There was only one other Black kid in my class. So to see our communities step up—I mean, every town and city had a protest, a rally, a march, something—I was so touched.”

But she didn’t dare participate...

Thanks, Nigel. I found it inspiring. We need many more Lauren Underwoods.

Yes, that is good reading. And an indication of what can be achieved if the Dems up their ground game in states where they have been MIA.

an indication of what can be achieved if the Dems up their ground game in states where they have been MIA.

When you consider how various Democratic proposals poll when not labeled by party, it seems like a lot of quite red areas could be in play with a bit of effort. A lot of that stuff, including some things where I'm personally underwhelmed by the specifics of what is proposed, directly addresses real problems for those voters. And the GOP is offering nothing of substance as an alternative. So it could be huge . . . IF Democratic candidates can up their ground game.

Still won't reach the Trump cultists, of course. But they're really less than 1/3, probable less than 1/4, of the voting population. And even some of them are more driven by the sense that he is finally someone who cares. (He doesn't, not even a little. But at least he puts up a front.) Show up in person and, who knows how many you can peel off.

Behold the Golden... Aaaaargh!

This is even more fun:

I retract my earlier comparison of this to the golden calf as unfair to the ancient Israelites. For one thing, their calf was real gold, and for another a calf is (I think--not that I have much personal experience with them) a pleasant and peaceful animal.
Not unlike the comments characterizing the previous Presideny to a cranky 3-year-old being a slur on 3-year-olds.

I love the fairy godmother wand and the flip-flops.

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