Frankenturkey Insults My Intelligence

Today I learned that Thanksgiving leftovers can be revived after three months in the refrigerator.

Waste not, want not.  (Photo credit: Stu Spivack)

Waste not, want not. (Photo credit: Stu Spivack)

First, eliminate the odor with a few quick shots of bleach.  The bleach also replaces some of the moisture the leftovers had lost and it kills any mold that might have found a home on your bird.  Remove the dead mold with a butter knife.

After performing this basic cleaning, you must decide upon an appropriate recipient for your newly rediscovered culinary delight as well as an appropriate receptacle to ship it in.  I recommend a large Ziploc bag placed inside a cardboard box.  However, you must include something else inside the box to prevent dogs or other nearby animals from tearing open the package and stealing the loot.  I’d suggest spraying the entire box with Axe; that stuff will keep anything but teenagers away.

And now for the new, proud owner of Frankenturkey.  I do not recommend any occupant of the White House or Capitol Hill because all that Axe on the box might get you accused of trying to poison a politician.  That’s terrorism, perhaps.  Instead, I recommend your closest vegetarian friend; since the turkey no longer resembles a meat product, your friend will never know what you fed them.

If it looks like tofu and smells like tofu, it can’t be a Frankenturkey.

– Epitaph on friend’s grave

After the funeral, your refrigerator will hug you; it’s his friendship that matters most in your life.  Go out and buy your fridge some new bling.

Fancy French Phrases Insult My Intelligence

Because I’m bilingual and have a Ph.D., I usually don’t like to criticize people who use “fancy schmancy” vocabulary; after all, I happen to be one of those people.

Nevertheless, one can misuse sophisticated vocabulary and use (or mandate the use of) intelligent-sounding foreign terms when no need exists for it.

That said, I’d like to introduce you to the cooking term “mise en place.”  In English, this translates loosely as “gather all your shit before you start.”  Something so simple and helpful and obvious shouldn’t sound so daunting.

Obvious means obvious.  If you’re making tacos for your family, this means getting all of your ingredients in one place before you cook.   It also means frying the meat and grating the cheese (etc.) before you begin constructing the tacos.

On the other hand, I suppose you could grab your taco shell, then pull your meat from the refrigerator, then cook the meat, then put the meat in the taco shell, then locate and grate your cheese, then realize you forgot lettuce at the grocery store, then chop lettuce when you return from your emergency shopping trip, then find your sour cream, then smell your sour cream to make sure it isn’t expired, then realize that it is expired, then feed it to your cat, then eat the soggy lukewarm taco that has been waiting for you all this time.

"Gathering all your shit before you start" is also useful if you're hosting a party and plan to play bartender.  (Photo credit: Tannaz)

“Gathering all your shit before you start” is also useful if you’re hosting a party and plan to play bartender. (Photo credit: Tannaz)


Turkey Day Insults My Intelligence

The holiday season has arrived and people in the U.S. will be heading to the malls to shop and shop and shop for all sorts of garbage today.  With that in mind, I think we should all step back and think about what’s really important.


I would like to do my patriotic duty and wish everyone a happy Turkey Day.

This photo came from the CIA, so surely it's patriotic.

This photo came from the CIA, so it must be patriotic.

On this most Turkish of American holidays, I’d like to encourage everyone to take a moment and enjoy a nice tasty doner kebap.

Blogger’s note: If this isn’t what you mean by Turkey Day, call the holiday by its real name so you can remember the day’s real purpose.  On the other hand, I suppose we can all take a moment to be thankful for the availability of doner kebap and other ethnic foods in the US, all being sold together peacefully without obnoxious Black Friday promotions.

It’s the little things that matter.  Happy Turkey Day.

Deceptive Geography Insults My Intelligence

I was at the grocery store last week because I needed some lime juice for the “nonalcoholic beverage that can be mentioned online.”

This was on sale, so I bought it:

Let us drink, let us drink.  (Limeade, of course!)

Let us drink, let us drink. (Limeade, of course!)

I love Italy and I love Italian food.  Most people seem to love Italian food and the Mafia. We can talk about the Mafia now because this is obviously Sicilian lime juice and we all know that the Mafia runs all the businesses over there.

And as you can see, the Mafia even imports its lime juice from Peru.  Don’t get me wrong, now.  The juice was excellent and I’ve heard good things about Peru.  I just doubt that the Mafia is unethical enough to deceive consumers with a geographically inaccurate brand name.

Children’s Vegetables Insult My Intelligence

Sorry.  You came to the wrong place if you were expecting a post about Spongebob brand baby carrots.  Like Spongebob, those carrots are supposed to be presumably harmless to the at-least-semi-average human of youthful age.

Instead, I’d like to chat about other foods that children don’t usually like.  For example, chilies.  Here in the non-southwestern US, folks have a tendency to use fewer ingredients that impart a noticeably strong flavor and/or punishment to their tongues.  Needless to say, chilies are a tougher sell in this climate than in others, especially to kids who don’t want to eat anything that doesn’t contain chocolate or breast milk.

And so some brilliant nomenclaturist discovered the world’s hottest chili.  It is around 250 times hotter than a jalapeno, which puts it a lot closer to pepper spray than to anything you normally put in your mouth on purpose.

Seriously, I’m not joking.

Red means stop.  (Photo credit: Thaumaturgist)

Red means stop. (Photo credit: Thaumaturgist)

Food heat is measured in scoville units.  Jalapenos range from 2,500 to 5,000 Scoville units.  Pepper spray is two million Scoville units.  This chili weighs in at one million.

And they decided to call it a “ghost chili.”  Does that sound like something your child would pick up in the store and bite into because it sounds cool?

I thought so.  On the other hand, maybe that will teach them a very important lesson.  For example, they can learn to avoid vegetables.

With apologies for the bad pun, the resulting tongue damage is why the younger generation has such bad taste.  It’s not Bieber’s fault for once.

Les Miserables Insults My Intelligence

Once upon a time, a wicked criminal stole a loaf of bread to fill his family’s stomachs.

Is this worth going to jail and besmirching your honor for?  (Photo credit: David Monniaux)

Is this worth going to jail and besmirching your honor for? (Photo credit: David Monniaux)

The arrogant and self-centered thief failed to look beyond his own desires.  The shop owner needed to sell that bread for a profit to feed his own family.  Unfortunately, no one feels sad for a capitalist.

Moreover, the shop in question was Le Subway Cafe.  Therefore, our thief deserves even less sympathy.  Ask not what the restaurant chain puts in its bread or whether our thief might not also be guilty of attempting to poison his family.

Baskin Robbins Insults My Intelligence

Lime, thyme, beef, beet, corn,
Yam, spam, clam, ham, hen, horse, tripe,
Squash, dill, snail, quail, kale,
Cat, cod, pho, gin, worms, wine, wurst,
Chive, cloves, squid, duck, lox, frog, flan.

You know something's wrong when chocolate chip cookie dough is an exciting flavor.  (Photo credit: pamramsey)

You know something’s wrong when chocolate chip cookie dough is an exciting flavor. (Photo credit: pamramsey)

31 potentially interesting flavors, and we only get chocolate, vanilla, and all sorts of stuff mixed into chocolate and vanilla. Assert your culinary rights today.  Demand better flavors.

Tropical Mishaps Insult My Intelligence

My long time followers may remember that I enjoy unusual culinary treats.  Today I’d like to share the inedible remnants of a favorite exploration:

Fruit doesn't scream as loudly as meat when you cut it open.

Fruit doesn’t scream as loudly as meat when you cut it open.


This is Rambutan.  You can see the sizable interior and exterior of the husks as well as the almond-sized pits.  I hope that this will serve as an important reminder of several things:

1- If you bite into an unfamiliar fruit without removing the not-so-tasty bits, you probably won’t have an pleasant experience.  I bet this stuff makes a mouth full of lemon peel look pleasant.

2- If you would like to keep your teeth, don’t bite willy-nilly into a fruit.  Those pits ain’t soft.

3- If someone tells you that they’ve designed a bra or jockstrap based on some unknown tropical fruit, it will probably turn out worse than the ever popular banana hammock.  Just say no.

4- Tropical fruit may look expensive, but it’s worse than you think.  There’s a reason the grocery store doesn’t clue you in to all of these inedible components.  The fruit part of a rambutan probably takes up only half to a third of the weight you’re paying for.

Dead Food Insults My Intelligence

Old and dusty foodstuffs are mummifying in my pantry.

Come on, admit it.

Admit it.  Your pantry needs cleaning too.  (Photo credit: slworking2)

We all go through phases where we eat a lot of one thing and then change to something else for one reason or another. After that, cans and bottles and jars and boxes just sit and sit and sit and sit until we have to make a decision on whether to throw them away.

The environmentalist in us wants to say that the 10-year-old can of tomatoes is still good because the tomatoes aren’t moldy and they don’t smell bad.  We shouldn’t waste so much food.

The hypochondriac in us wonders why we allowed ourselves to inhale the vapors of those 10-year-old-tomatoes.

The biologist in us wants to put those tomatoes under a microscope because there’s probably some pretty nifty stuff growing on there.

The chemist in us realizes that the can had probably released enough carcinogens into those tomatoes to make them poisonous to whatever interesting microorganisms we may have found.

Our ER doctor realizes that those chemicals can also be toxic to us not-so-micro organisms.

Our local mortician is grateful for the proliferation of mummified foodstuffs. You’d think that the availability of cost-free mummification would hurt a mortician’s business, but…

Junk Food Insults My Intelligence

Photo Credit: Elana's Pantry

Photo Credit: Elana’s Pantry

My greatest
Junk food weakness
Is salad.

Luscious lettuce,
Tantalizing tomatoes,
Crunchy cucumbers.
Poetic Pomegranate dressing
(lowfat, luckily)

But no croutons.
They’re too fattening.

Celery will suffice.

I eat this
to indulge,
to send my soul swooning,
to beckon my inner Bugs Bunny.

But not too often,
or else…
I’ll have to call doc.

Therefore, I suffer
under a restrictive diet
of ice cream,
fried chicken,
and liverwurst.