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Of course you cannot see me. I am camouflaged.

Uncle B wanted to get me a snuggy, but they were all pink and frufru and really not my style. So he found me one in camo.

A butch snuggy? Bit of an oxydoodah, innit?

Thanks for putting up with a week of lame posts, y’all. I just really wanted to hold onto the Christmas spirit for as long as I could, which meant paying no attention whatever to politics for a week. Next week, I’ll get back to Photoshopping boogers onto Obama and stuff. I swears.

And have a splendid 2011, everyone. Twenty eleven. That doesn’t even sound like a year. It sounds like a stupid made-up number.

Eh. Have a good one anyway!

In the spirit of new beginnings and all that, I’m going to update my WordPress software tonight. It’s been nagging me for a while. So if things are hinky for a bit, not to worry.


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: December 31, 2010, 9:32 pm

Wow. That’s it. I hit update and it was more or less instantaneous.

Of course, I have to go back and manually upload my custom smilies.


Hm. Anybody know the standard emoticon for LOL and mad? I have two more weasels than I know how to invoke.

Comment from Nina from GCP
Time: December 31, 2010, 9:45 pm

I’m goin’ to a party with a bunch of geocaching friends, and I’m bringing my last two bottles of sparkling mead–which I expect will be fought over with a fervor not seen since the 1860s on either side of the Mason-Dixon Line. It’ll probably be the last fun I have until after the upcoming nuclear unpleasantness (even though I’m already pretty much in “sit on the couch and let people come to me” mode) so I’m making the most of it.

Comment from Mike C.
Time: December 31, 2010, 9:57 pm

I think TGoP is going to make a pizza – that’s about the height of celebration in these parts. There’s enough stuff in the house to last until all the drunks have crashed (one way or another) and all the cops gone home to sleep.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: December 31, 2010, 10:43 pm

Ugh. Good luck, Nina. I mighta knowed you were a cacher.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: December 31, 2010, 11:07 pm


Huh. For the record you put a colon on either side of lol for one, and a colon on either side of mad for the other.

Comment from SCOTTtheBADGER
Time: December 31, 2010, 11:19 pm

Happy New Year, Stoaty, Cousin Badger, and all the Weasel Waffe. Thanks for a very pleasant year of posts and comments to read, I am looking forward to another one in 2011. One of the Weasel Waffe, ExBradTC, over at Bring the Heat, Bring the Stupid has a Birthday Tommorrow, so everyone wish him a Happy Day! I already did, on his Happy New Year post.

I hope you will all have a wonderful New Years Eve. I will be out and about in a green unmarked Ford Ranger, doing the Hunt the Drunks until 0800 Saturday morning. Amatuer Night is upon us, when the amatuer drunks come out of the woodwork.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: December 31, 2010, 11:42 pm

XBradTC’s new year thread here.

Poor bastard. Birthdays that fall anywhere in the region of Christmas suck rocks.

Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: January 1, 2011, 12:26 am

Happy New Year from the Olde Worlde, fellow minions!

Comment from Dave in Texas
Time: January 1, 2011, 12:31 am

back at y’all.

from Texas, where weather is obliging an shit.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: January 1, 2011, 12:33 am

Happy New Year! We tiptoed to the end of the drive and watched all the villages around do their thang. The neighbors crept out and wished us well. I don’t remember the church bells from years past. They were lovely.

If you get a chance to watch the replay from London, do. They spent a few bob on fireworks, you betcha.

Comment from Monotone The Elderish
Time: January 1, 2011, 12:36 am

only one more year ’till Aztecian Doomnation…..

Comment from Skandia
Time: January 1, 2011, 1:07 am

Tanks Mz Wizzel for da new years wishes. Vury nice ting to post..

Comment from Can’t hark my cry
Time: January 1, 2011, 1:18 am

Happy New Year, Weasel and Badger and all the minions. Thanks for being a reliable source of thought-provoking entertainment!

Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: January 1, 2011, 1:39 am

Hey Skandia – you’re not really Nelson Mandela, are you?

You sound just like him! πŸ˜‰

Comment from Skandia
Time: January 1, 2011, 2:54 am

Mr. Badger, sir, it’s new years eve. One is expected to be incoherent by midnight local…

Comment from Gromulin
Time: January 1, 2011, 4:00 am

Happy New Years, all. I’ll be greeting the first dawn of the new year with a rather large cigar and a cup of very strong, and most likely fortified, coffee. I’ve always felt that the first dawn of a new year was more of an event to celebrate than an arbitrary midnight. I don’t remember when I first started doing it, but it was in the 80’s, and I doubt sleep was involved beforehand in those days.

Best wishes for a prosperous new year to all.

Comment from Pupster
Time: January 1, 2011, 4:05 am


Comment from QuasiModo
Time: January 1, 2011, 5:26 am

Happy New Year!…hope 2011 is a good one.

Comment from Frit
Time: January 1, 2011, 7:49 am

Happy New Year from Down Under!

Ok, so I’m a few hours late. Deal. πŸ˜†

Comment from JuliaM
Time: January 1, 2011, 11:32 am

Happy new year all!

Comment from some vegetable
Time: January 1, 2011, 3:00 pm

If a weasel wishes you a happy new year but you can’t see her because she’s in a camo snuggie… guess I’ve had enough to drink!
Anyhow. Happy New Year ALL!

By the way, went to see The Black Swan yesterday afternoon. WOW. I don’t usually go to theaters anymore but πŸ™‚ wow πŸ™‚ just go see it and it must be in a theater. No, it’s not 3D

Comment from Elphaba
Time: January 1, 2011, 3:56 pm

Thanks for the splendid entertainment during 2010, Stoaty. For the record, while there are a lot of blogs that I enjoy and try to keep up with, with my hectic schedule there are only three sites that I manage to read every day, rain or shine: yours, Laura’s, and Day By Day Cartoon. They either keep me sane, or reinforce my insanity. You pick which. πŸ˜† (tryin’ it out to see if it works)

Much love to you and UB from all of us at Red State Witch! Happy New Year!

Comment from David Gillies
Time: January 1, 2011, 5:43 pm

Oh my word I am hungover. I necked a bottle of Moet & Chandon a few moments after midnight, to wash down the many, many other spirituous liquors with which I was infused, and now I am not sure which scares me more: the thought that I might hurl violently, or the thought that I might not. No matter how you argue the toss (of the cookies) I’m going back to bed until Jan 2.

Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: January 1, 2011, 5:51 pm

That sounds nasty, DG. Hope you recover quickly.

Quite out of character (and probably just to be perverse), Her Stoatliness and I were quite abstemious (it’s relative – we still split a bottle of fizz and inflicted major prejudice on the vodka) but we seem OK today.

I even got up a bit early and let the chickens out. As the weather has warmed-up a little, they’ve taken to exploding from the coop, when released. It’s a joy to watch the little buggers go.

Happy New Year Mapp and Lucia!

Comment from Can’t hark my cry
Time: January 1, 2011, 5:54 pm

Hopping John and cornbread for New Year’s Day dinner–good luck to me throughout the year. [Well, the food is good, anyway.]

David Gillies–Ouch! Oh to be that young again!

Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: January 1, 2011, 5:58 pm

Ummm… Can’t Hark… pray, what is ‘Hopping John’?

I asked my native guide, but even she was stumped.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: January 1, 2011, 6:00 pm

My grandfather believed in black-eyed peas on New Years for luck. He had them brought to him in the hospital. Then he died.

Luck. Heh.

Me, I really detest black-eyed peas.

Comment from Mark Matis
Time: January 1, 2011, 6:02 pm

For UB:
Fourth paragraph:


Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: January 1, 2011, 6:04 pm

Excellent! Thank you, MM. Sounds delicious.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: January 1, 2011, 6:04 pm

Makes sense. My grandfather was from New Orleans.

Comment from Can’t hark my cry
Time: January 1, 2011, 7:25 pm

Glad to see someone solved your puzzlement quickly, Uncle B. Although. . .if Sweas detests black-eyed peas, there might be some dissonance in the “sounds delicious” comment.

Oh. Right. Steak and kidney–already some food dissonance in the mustelid household.

Depending on who you consult, cowpeas and pigeon peas are also considered to be one-half of hoppin’ john. So one could probably stretch a point and use any kind of beans one favored.

Yeah. Beans and rice. One of the great universal recipes!

Anyway–best of luck to the mustelid household in 2011, REGARDLESS of what it eats (and drinks!) this first day.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: January 1, 2011, 9:08 pm

Well, I got enough Louisiana in me to love me some red beans and rice. And to remember when you could buy a plate at the lunch counter of the drugstore for a dime.

Comment from Nina from GCP
Time: January 1, 2011, 9:10 pm

Yep, I’m a cacher, and the bulk of my circle of friends are also. πŸ™‚

I just got back from my overnight party and only a little smug that, as a non-drinker, I felt fine this morning while many of my compadres were a little delicate. Home, I’m for a nap.

Comment from Sven in Colorado
Time: January 1, 2011, 10:01 pm

Sending frigid New Year’s greetings from the frigid high plains.

Last night was slow cooked Black beans with ham hocks, a couple dashes of Hatch chili powder and coarse chopped onion. I whipped up a batch of Dad Anthony’s southern cornbread.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: January 1, 2011, 11:11 pm

A confession: I actually prefer Yankee cornbread.

That whirring sound you hear? Various ancestors, spinning in their graves.

Comment from Can’t hark my cry
Time: January 1, 2011, 11:19 pm


Actually, I have learned to like Yankee cornbread for itself. . .

My mother was undiagnosed celiac–when I was 7 she very nearly died. At that point they diagnosed her with non-tropical sprue, which seems to have been a celiac-related diagnosis; in any event, she was told she couldn’t digest gluten. She continued to serve wheat bread, but she never ate any; she never had served pasta in any form, and that didn’t change (I always thought spaghetti was really difficult to cook. . .then I went to colege!) But, one way or another–Southern-style cornbread became an untouchable in my family, which was otherwise entirely open to almost ANY culinary option. I will eat anything except organ meats and brussel sprouts, and I am open to persuasion on the latter.

So I always feel a bit guilty when I eat Yankee cornbread. Good stuff. Tasty. Just. . .not CORNBREAD. Y’know?

Comment from Allen
Time: January 1, 2011, 11:42 pm

Backcountry Cornbread:

1/2 cup pinyon ashes
1/2 cup hot water
1/2 pound cornmeal
2 cups water

Sieve the ashes and mix with the hot water, remove any rough bits. Mix the ash/water mixture with the cornmeal and add the water until a dough forms, then form into 1/2″ thick cakes. Cook in bacon fat on a hot skillet.

These really are good and make for great trail food with beef jerky. You can also add some chile for zing.

Comment from Can’t hark my cry
Time: January 2, 2011, 12:01 am

Hm. I spent this morning following up on some musings on the difference between hominy and dried corn (nixtamalisation. Yup). The point being that when Europeans arrived here, maize needed to be treated with an alkaline solution in order to be as fully digestible and nutritious as possible. Which the natives (surprise!) already knew. I THINK the pinon ashes would serve that function, although I’ll bet your cornmeal either has already been nixtamalized, or is from modern corn in which the niacin is readily available, or both. . .all the same, doesn’t hurt to be careful. Sounds good, assuming one has access to pinon boughs. . .

Comment from Allen
Time: January 2, 2011, 1:34 am

Can’t Hark, the ashes would provide an alkaline solution. The original recipe I picked up in NW New Mexico and was with blue cornmeal, which would most decidely be non-modern. I had no idea that that might be the purpose though. I thought it might be to provide a leavening agent.

Depending on local flora and altitude, juniper is also used. Next up, acorn flour. πŸ™‚

Comment from Nicole
Time: January 2, 2011, 3:11 am

Happy New Year!

Now I want a camo snuggie. I didn’t want a snuggie at all until I found out they came in camo. I bet it hides cat fur pretty well, too…

Comment from Nina
Time: January 2, 2011, 3:29 am

Okay, this California girl doesn’t know the diff between Yankee cornbread and Southern cornbread…not that I could eat either one at the moment gven their egg/dairy component, but it seems like vital info to have.

My mum made it with 75% cornmeal, 25% flour, but I’ve also had it sweeter and more cakelike. Very good, both of them, but also very different.

Comment from MCPO Airdale
Time: January 2, 2011, 4:50 am

I hope I feel normal in a day or two. . .

Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: January 2, 2011, 10:38 am

I’ve been wishing that all my life πŸ™

Comment from Some vegetable
Time: January 2, 2011, 12:40 pm

this California girl doesn’t know the diff between Yankee cornbread and Southern cornbread

Yankee cornbread only requires a single rise before baking, but Southern cornbread rises again. πŸ˜†

Comment from Can’t hark my cry
Time: January 2, 2011, 2:54 pm

Some vegetable: [eyeroll]. . .snicker. . .snort. . .guffaw!

Nina: Southern is just cornmeal, salt, baking soda, buttermilk (I use yogurt, iconoclast that I am!), eggs and fat. No wheat flour, no sugar. Or, of course, there’s hoe-cake, made of just cornmeal and water–which you probably could eat, but it’s pretty much an aquired taste.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: January 2, 2011, 7:19 pm

Yankee cornbread is sweet and cake-like. Southern is almost salty and doesn’t rise as much.

Comment from Nina from GCP
Time: January 2, 2011, 9:47 pm

Ah, then I’ve had both kinds, although I do like a bit of wheat flour in the mix myself.

Why is it when you can’t have something you want it…badly?

Comment from Can’t hark my cry
Time: January 2, 2011, 10:50 pm

Food intolerances are the pits, non?

Comment from Frit
Time: January 3, 2011, 12:25 am

Hoe-cake: we called it ‘corn-pone’ – just corn meal, water, dash of salt. Baked in a cast iron skillet for nearly an hour, flipped, baked on the other side until crisp, roughly another 30 minutes or so, and then served with Tupelo honey – a pleasantly pungent honey unlike any other in flavor. And my favorite! (Unfortunately, entirely unavailable in Oz due to import restrictions. Drat it all.)

I could eat that stuff as a meal, or a snack. Nummy!

Comment from Can’t hark my cry
Time: January 3, 2011, 12:49 am

Frit–a greased iron skillet? I’ve only actually made hoe-cake/cornpone once (and actually, that was a recipe from a Russian cookbook), and an hour sounds long. . .what temperature?

Gee, sweas, did you ever dream you’d turn into the cooking channel?

Comment from David Gillies
Time: January 3, 2011, 1:32 am

Dunno from cornbread. Sounds carby and off the menu anyway. Thing I miss the most since going full-on Atkins: Yorkshire Pudding. Ooh, and cheese scones. Man I made good scones.

Comment from Nina
Time: January 3, 2011, 2:27 am


Just testing!

Comment from David Gillies
Time: January 3, 2011, 2:43 am

By the way, Cant hark: you say “oh to be that young again.” What ever makes you think I’m young? I’m not geriatric but I’m middle-aged. Forty-somethings can still tie one on you know. I am a drunken bum, but you can be one of those at any age.

Comment from Can’t hark my cry
Time: January 3, 2011, 3:08 am

David Gillies:
Apologies, although in truth I knew EXACTLY what I was doing when I said that.
Forty-something can achieve feats of endurance that fifty-something cannot. And fifty-something, when working to assist umpty-something in (URK!) assisted-living, starts to doubt even it’s own abilities.

I was truly indulging in nostalgia for the days when I could drink so indiscriminately–grape after mixed hard liquor! Yeah, was a time. . .but no more. And I regret that decline, even as I rejoice in being a more sedate person.

For what it’s worth, that is more sedate. NOT “sedate.”

“We’ve got British ammunition and a French champagne
Way hay bully in the alley.
When I get to Charleston gonna feel no pain,
I’ll be bully down in shinbone Alley!”

Cheers, and may this be a grand year for yer, Davey!

Comment from David Gillies
Time: January 3, 2011, 7:28 am

OK CHMC, I was born 30 years to the day after Hitler invaded Poland and now I’m bouncing around chez moi to my new Goldfrapp album. Yeah, I’m well into embarrassing uncle mode but good lord can Alison make me jump up and down. Seriously: “Dreaming”: if that doesn’t get you leaping about you probably have spina bifida.

Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: January 3, 2011, 12:19 pm

Now isn’t that strange? Goldfrrapp have provided my favourite gardening music for the past few years.

Dear God, if that makes DG an embarrassing uncle, WTF does it make me?

Oh… and my family dropped by in the New Year. We found a shadowy badger on the wildlife cam, taken at about 4am t’other day.

There goes the neighbourhood.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: January 3, 2011, 12:34 pm

Shadowy badgers are the only kind. It was either that or an anteater.

THE secret to cornbread is to have the skillet smoking hot (with bacon grease, if you are lucky enough to live in a country with That Kind of bacon) when you pour the batter in. Our oven doesn’t really come up to proper temperature, so I start the skillet on the big burner with the lid on until it’s properly incandescent.

Comment from Can’t hark my cry
Time: January 3, 2011, 12:57 pm

Yup–but you should probably point out that the skillet needs to be cast iron; nothing else will work.

Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: January 3, 2011, 1:32 pm

It’s like the Gone With The Wind cookery school in here.

Pingback from Cornbread « Ric's Rulez
Time: January 3, 2011, 2:18 pm

[…] Cornbread, like pie, are round. Warning: this is Southern cornbread, meaning that it has never been within six feet of the flour-barrel. If you want fluffy Northern cornbread, seek elsewhere. (Northern cornbread can be delicious. It just isn’t what’s presented here.) […]

Comment from Deborah
Time: January 3, 2011, 3:23 pm

Wow! An international discussion on Cornbread πŸ™‚

As a Texan and a Southerner, my bona fides are sterling but I gotta confess: I put flour and sugar in my cornbread. It’s as pretty and tasty as pound cake. And while I prefer to bake it a bacon-fat greased, red-hot cast iron skillet, Husband loves it best baked in the muffin tin—so there is more crust to crumble into his red beans (pinto beans—let’s be clear on that). In fact, that’s what we had for our Christmas dinner: red beans, fried potatoes, and hot buttered cornbread. The only green thing on the table was the jalapenos in the picante sauce.

But I have to ask you all—yellow corn meal, or white corn meal?

Comment from Anonymous
Time: January 3, 2011, 3:35 pm

“It’s like the Gone With The Wind cookery school in here.”

As God is my witness, as God is my witness, they’re not going to lick me! I’m going to live through this, and when it’s all over, I’ll never be hungry again – no, nor any of my folks! If I have to lie, steal, cheat, or kill, as God is my witness, I’ll never be hungry again.

Now pass me that cornbread.


Comment from Mitchell
Time: January 3, 2011, 4:50 pm

Just catching up and I must say I just can’t abide yankee corncake. It just ain’t right.

Comment from Can’t hark my cry
Time: January 3, 2011, 5:43 pm

Deborah–My family waxed belligerent when insisting on white. STONEGROUND white. Personally, I’ll use any kind of cornmeal (in fact, right now I’m using the masa harina that was among foodstuffs in my mother’s apartment when we closed it down. . .I can’t see myself making all that many tortillas).

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: January 3, 2011, 6:23 pm

I use what I can get. Here, cornmeal is in with the stuff Jamaicans eat.

This fact makes my mind wander to childhood, and I am tempted to wax lyrical on the culinary skills of persons of color, but that conversation might not sound as nice on the page as it does in my head, so I won’t.

Comment from Ric Locke
Time: January 3, 2011, 10:04 pm

Well, it’s already established that I am a thoroughgoing racist, and I’m old enough not to give a damn, so I’ll comment.

Good cooking can come from people of color or from palefaces; it’s just that blacks and Cajuns here in the U.S., being poor, had little access to modern conveniences and were forced to make do with fresh ingredients, mostly stuff they gathered themselves. Such a burden…

And don’t knock modernity, either. The custom in my boyhood, for black and white alike, was to cook vegetables to mush, because they came from the garden which was fertilized with (ahem!) byproducts, and given the ever-present threat of trichinosis and worse that was the only safe way to do it. I love broccoli and cauliflower, but I never knew that until I had clean veggies and a microwave oven.

The English (and their descendants) are a special case. I forget who it was who snarked that the history of the world consisted of the French going around picking up new types of eats and opening restaurants, and the British following behind conquering those places in order to get something to eat that wasn’t “innards”.


Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: January 3, 2011, 10:34 pm

Anyone who mocks English cuisine has never visited Germany πŸ˜‰

Comment from Mark Matis
Time: January 3, 2011, 10:39 pm

Look, UB, ANYWHERE mit bier und Rhein Wein ist gut!

Comment from Ric Locke
Time: January 3, 2011, 10:43 pm

Got that right, Uncle B. The Universal Ingredient in German cookery is cabbage. Since I cannot abide cabbage in any form other than small thin slices overwhelmed by the rest of the salad, I always had trouble there.

As in any country, edible stuff is to be found by the persistent. FrΓΌstΓΌck is dependable — all those cold cuts, and the bread’s good if you carry a cigarette lighter to thaw the butter — and I’m a fan of the entire schnitzel tribe. Texan “chicken-fried steak” is Wiener schnitzel adapted for the materials available.


Comment from Frit
Time: January 4, 2011, 12:33 am

Can’t hark my cry: I was taught to use real butter for the cast iron skillet. My brain-box has short circuited on the memory of the oven temp; I can’t recall if it was 200 F or 400 F. I just recall that the corn pone started as a thick batter, and spread over the bottom of the 14″ skillet about 3/4″ thick.

We used any finely ground corn meal we could get, stone ground white being my favorite, but I had no qualms about using yellow.

I do recall it felt like it took forever for the corn pone to cook, as I’m an impatient little ferret and wanted to be eating it roughly 10 minutes before the oven was pre-heated! πŸ˜‰

The end result was a 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick, crusty on the outside and softer between, round ‘pie’ thing which we broke into pieces to dip into the Tupelo honey to eat.

Comment from Can’t hark my cry
Time: January 4, 2011, 12:51 am

Frit–well, come to think of it, without leavening you wouldn’t need the very-hot oven in the same way. Worth trying both ways.

I’d guess you don’t remember meal/water proportions, either? Not to worry: goodness knows I’ve cornmeal (of various sorts) to spare–sorry Stoaty, if I could forward some to you I would. . .along with real bacon.

Comment from Ric Locke
Time: January 4, 2011, 2:05 am

Frit, Can’t hark, if you’re using real butter you shouldn’t go much over 250F. Above that, it starts to burn. Burned butter makes great cake icing, but it wouldn’t contribute much to corn pone.

Note that even the black folks in my area could afford baking powder and kept cows and chickens, so my only experience of corn pone is while camping, something I rarely did. Until Dad built the new house in 1960 the distinction between “inside” and “outside” was less than we really liked, and none of us cared much to accentuate the “outside” part. When we asked if we could have an RV, Dad’s comment was “Humph. If you have to make the bed it ain’t a vacation.”


Comment from Can’t hark my cry
Time: January 4, 2011, 2:15 am

Right you are, Ric. Then it’s 200 degrees for the pone. . .

Comment from Nina from GCP
Time: January 4, 2011, 3:13 am

I can see that the first thing I will do when I can go off this cursed diet is fire up the flame under some cast iron, toss in some bacon grease (we save it in a jar for times just such as this), and make some cornbread. I like with eggs, though, and since they’re still verboten to me for a couple more weeks, it’ll have to wait.

I prefer yellow, only because it’s prettier to me. And regarding levening, I’ve been known to use yeast, just to be all fancy. Of course, you have to either raise it in the pan and not jostle it putting it in the oven after it rises, or add some baking powder. Either way, it’s yummy.

And yeah, I know, not official cornbread. πŸ™‚

I have two things I make it in: a regulation cast iron frypan, and a cast iron cornbread wedge-thingy. Two more weeks, and I’m a’ makin’ some.

Comment from EZnSF
Time: January 4, 2011, 2:41 pm

Happy New Year all! Yeah late as usual.

At our casa, it’s Tamales.
Homemade of course. A natural progression from Grandmas fried mush and syrup.

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