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Profile Information

Gender: Male
Hometown: Ottawa, Ontario
Home country: Canada
Current location: Toronto, Ontario
Member since: Wed Oct 29, 2008, 03:34 PM
Number of posts: 3,025

Journal Archives

Split Pea Soup

Whoops! With the holiday schedule and all, I totally forgot my weekly post here. This week we did sort of a Canadian classic recipe (with recipe help from my sister, who is great in the kitchen as well!) of split pea soup. This is a very hearty and warming soup of dried split peas and vegetables. It thickens on its own as the peas cook, and the carrots help, too. Most of the other veggies just melt into the soup and you just provide flavour. The way we've done it here you could do it vegan if you use vegetable broth instead of chicken stock. Or, going the other way, you could throw in a smoked ham hock before you add the peas, and that's a more traditional Canadian split pea soup.

One of the tricks we talk about is how we use leeks. We get fresh leeks, wash them, cut them into sections, and then freeze them. This makes them a little easier to deal with on the other end. They're more tender after they've been frozen, and they're a little easier to cut when you cut them still-frozen. We freeze the whites and the green parts separately, and then we can mix and match in whatever quantities we want.

Roasted Root Veg Salad Recipe

We recently started getting delivery from a local farm collective called Fresh City Farms, and we get their produce box once a week. A couple of weeks ago they sent these amazing beets and watermelon radishes, so we decided we would roast them and make a simple and delicious salad with them. The roasted beets were so sweet after roasting, and the salad was so full of amazing colour and texture with the beets, radishes, and pumpkin seeds.

This is an easy one to customize, too. If you're using more bitter greens (like kale or arugula) you may want to boost the vinegar in the dressing a little for a bit more tartness against the bitterness. We used fresh thyme because it's what we had on hand, but you could use oregano, basil, or even dill in this.

The Big Untold Story of Impeachment? It's Incredibly Popular. - The Atlantic

From The Atlantic article here: https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2019/12/impeachment-incredibly-popular/603661/

The cynical read on the impeachment of President Donald Trump is that it hasn’t changed anything: Here we are, weeks into the process and on the eve of a House floor vote, and there’s scant movement in public and elite opinion to show for it. Notwithstanding the mountain of new evidence uncovered by the House Intelligence Committee, the battle lines remain the same: Most Democratic House members will vote to impeach the president, while acquittal in the Senate is a foregone conclusion. But maybe the most salient fact about impeachment is how little something else has changed. Impeachment is incredibly popular, especially given the polarized environment.

A Fox News poll released yesterday found that a full 50 percent of Americans support impeaching and removing Trump—one point up from October. The Fox poll has always been one of the worst for the president on impeachment, but FiveThirtyEight’s polling average finds plurality support for removal—47.7 percent for, 46.4 percent against as of this writing—a finding that tracks consistent, slim support. (The site finds even broader support for the impeachment proceedings themselves, at 52.3 to 41.9 percent.) RealClearPolitics’ average, which is noisier, shows a small plurality opposing removal at this moment, though it was the opposite yesterday. The Economist finds clear plurality support for impeachment as well.

It’s worth dwelling on this for a moment: Roughly half the country not only disapproves of Trump’s job as president, but believes he ought to be removed from office, a sanction that has never been applied before. And that support comes at a time of (mostly) peace, with the economy (mostly) strong. There’s more support for impeaching Trump now than there was at the equivalent stage in the Watergate scandal—right after articles of impeachment were approved by the House Judiciary Committee. Rather than face impeachment, Nixon resigned. (Nixon, however, had far lower approval ratings than Trump does now.)

Most Republicans in both chambers have abdicated their responsibility on impeachment. There is a coherent case to be made, as in the impeachment of Bill Clinton, that the president had made serious errors, but that those errors didn’t merit the drastic sanction of impeachment. Some Republicans, especially in the Senate, have said that Trump acted inappropriately but shouldn’t be removed. Many others, like Senator Lindsey Graham, have instead repeatedly moved the goalposts, then thrown up their hands and just defended the president unconditionally.

Homemade Yam Rosti Recipe

After we did the potato rosti last week, a couple of people asked if you could do the same with yam or sweet potato. Yes, you can! It's basically the same process, but the end result will be significantly different. You won't get quite the cripsy outside as you do with potato, and yams or sweet potatoes are a little more fibrous, so the texture will be different. We made it much thicker, and cooked it a little longer, and it was delicious and fluffy in the middle. For a little bit of extra crisp and crunch, we coated one side in chopped pepitas!

Of course you can change the flavour profile easily with this recipe. Different herbs, some red chili flakes, walnuts or pecans instead of pepitas. Lots of easy variations you could try to personalize everything.

Burleigh County Commission vote to allow refugee resettlement in 3-2 decision

Dunno if this has quite enough national interest for Late Breaking News, but here's some information:


Burleigh County commissioners vote to allow refugee resettlement with a cap of 25 for next year after a four hour hearing.

Both sides of the issue voiced opinions and addressed the commissioners.

Commissioners include Brian Bitner, Jerry Woodcox, Mark Armstrong, Kathleen Jones and Jim Peluso.

Peluso and Bitner voted no.

The option surfaced after President Donald Trump issued an executive order allowing local governments to make their own decisions.

Cass County recently voted to accept refugees.

And a tweet from a friend of mine who was actually at the meeting:


Tempe O'Kun

Heck yes, Bismarck! So proud of you!

300 proud Americans vs. only ~10 nervous Trumpers (who mostly huddled around me because of my giant cowboy hat—uff da!) The final vote came through to thunderous applause, howls, and chants of "USA! USA!" #ndpol


What Trump has done to the courts, explained

From Vox, here: https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2019/12/9/20962980/trump-supreme-court-federal-judges

Trump hasn’t simply given lots of lifetime appointments to lots of lawyers. He’s filled the bench with some of the smartest, and some of the most ideologically reliable, men and women to be found in the conservative movement. Long after Trump leaves office, these judges will shape American law — pushing it further and further to the right even if the voters soundly reject Trumpism in 2020.

Let’s start with some raw numbers. Both Obama and Trump appointed two justices to the Supreme Court but Trump’s impact on the highest Court far exceeds Obama’s, because Trump replaced the relatively moderate conservative Justice Anthony Kennedy with the hardline conservative Brett Kavanaugh (that was after appointing conservative Neil Gorsuch to fill Antonin Scalia’s vacant seat). Obama’s appointees — Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan — largely maintained the balance of power on a conservative Court, while Trump has shoved that Court even further to the right.

On the courts of appeal, the final word in the overwhelming majority of federal cases, more than one-quarter of active judges are Trump appointees. In less than three years, Trump has named a total of 48 judges to these courts — compared to the 55 Obama appointed during his entire presidency.

It’s tempting to assume that Trump’s judicial appointees share the goonish incompetence of the man who placed them on the bench, but this assumption could not be more wrong. His picks include leading academics, Supreme Court litigators, and already prominent judges who now enjoy even more power within the judiciary.

And they’re young, too. “The average age of circuit judges appointed by President Trump is less than 50 years old,” the Trump White House bragged in early November, “a full 10 years younger than the average age of President Obama’s circuit nominees.” Trump’s nominees will serve for years or even decades after being appointed. Even if Democrats crush the 2020 elections and win majorities in both houses of Congress, these judges will have broad authority to sabotage the new president’s agenda.

McConnell and The Federalist Society have been waiting for this moment for years, and they've pounced on it. Calling them "Trump's" appointees is giving him a lot of credit. I'd call them McConnell's appointees.

Easy Homemade Potato Rosti recipe

This is a very simply recipe for a sort of Dutch-style potato pancake. This differs a little from a traditional sort of Jewish latke, which is usually bound with the addition of flour or egg. This rosti is not held together with anything other than the cooked starch of the potatoes that make it up. You can also use a mandolin for this, but it will affect the texture, it's very much whatever you prefer.

It's very easy to change the flavour profile by switching up the herbs or adding spices. You can make it hot by adding some red chili flakes or a dash of tabasco. You can add garlic or shallot. You can stir in some fresh or frozen leek or chive. There are lots of options for flavours for this one, depending on what you want to use it for or pair it with.

Breakfast oatmeal custard recipe

Going to be a short one! I'm traveling and doing this from my phone. This is a simple and hearty breakfast with oats and chia and lots of protein from the cream and eggs! Top it with whatever fresh, dried, or frozen fruit you like! You can also easily replace the honey with maple syrup.

The Impeachable Mr. Trump - SOME MORE NEWS

Beef and Beet with Barley Stew Recipe

Temperatures are dropping, so it's time for nice warm soups and stews! This is a simple beef and beet stew that only uses two pots (or a pan and a pot). Takes a while to cook, but it definitely worth it. You can use any kind of decent stewing meat for this. We happened to have some amazing beef short ribs, but anything sold as stewing meat or anything that would take a low and slow cooking method will work just fine.

This recipe is amazing left over, but don't overdo it with the barley, or else it will be all that's left on the next day! Also, you can easily replace the chicken stock with beef stock or vegetable stock. Not much to add this week, I've got a pretty bad cold. Bleh!

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