Sunday, November 30, 2008

Kentucky Burgoo

I'm surprised I've never heard of this stew before, especially since Tennessee is contiguous to Kentucky. Apparently Burgoo is like chili, and there are a lot of variations. I shall have to make some.

Ingredients:

1 chicken, 3 to 4 pounds
1 1/2 pounds beef stew meat
3 cups chicken broth
2 cups beef broth
2 cups water
1 1/2 teaspoons coarsely ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 can (about 29 ounces) tomato puree
12 small potatoes
2 cups chopped onion
1 medium head cabbage, finely chopped
3 cans (14.5 oz each) diced tomatoes
3 cans (12 to 15 oz each) whole kernel corn, drained
1 pound carrots, sliced
1 cup fresh sliced okra
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen butterbeans or lima beans
2 green peppers, finely chopped
2 to 4 teaspoons salt, to taste
1 teaspoon pepper
1/4 to 1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce

Preparation:

Cook chicken and beef in chicken, beef broth, and water with coarsely ground pepper and cayenne pepper until chicken and meat are very tender, about 30 to 45 minutes. Remove bones, dice and shred chicken and meat and return to the liquid. Add tomato sauce, potatoes, onions, cabbage, tomatoes, carrots, corn, okra, lima beans, and green pepper. Season with a little of the salt and pepper and the Worcestershire sauce. Cook slowly for 2 to 3 hours, stirring from the bottom to keep from scorching.Taste and add salt, to taste. Add water, if necessary, to keep from sticking. Serves 10 to 12.

Galactic Core: Lord of the Ring


Hubble Space Telescope image of NGC 4261: A giant disk of cold gas and dust fuels a possible black hole at the core of the galaxy. Estimated to be 300 light-years across, the disk is tipped enough (about 60 degrees) to provide astronomers with a clear view of the bright hub, which presumably harbors the black hole.

Popular Mechanics Rips GM

There's an article on the Popular Mechanics website about ten cars the magazine says damaged the reputation of American automaker General Motors. One of the ten was the Chevrolet Chevette, pictured above. My friend Randy had one of them, and he really liked it, at least when he first got it. I took the time to look through the list, and it was a good reminder why I haven't owned a GM car since my Oldsmobile Delta 88 automobiles in the early Eighties.

Vols Beat Kentucky

In the last game of Coach Phil Fulmer's career at the University of Tennessee, his Volunteers sent him off with a 28-10 victory over the Wildcats of Kentucky. I only made it through the first half, which is a shame because the Vols apparently dominated the second half. Tennessee football will be different without him.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Sarah Kills Fairies

Sarah was playing quietly in her room just now with some fairy figurines from the movie Tinkerbell. I went in to check on her, and she had the fairies arranged in a semicircle on their backs. I asked her if they were asleep, and she nonchalently said that they were dead. I went in to tell Sherry that Sarah had just killed some fairies, and the child began to backtrack from her story. The fairies are now "asleep."

Pictured above is Galadriel from Lord of the Rings. In this scene says she, "All shall love me and despair!" In the photo below a fairy falls into Sarah's clutches.




Charlie and the Chocolate Factory at the Bijou Theater


Sherry took the kids to the Bijou Theater in Knoxville last night to see a stage production (or a "live on stage" as Sarah calls it) of Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, a story which Sarah adores. I, however, gave it a miss as Sarah's adoration for the story has quite worn it out for me.
I have never been in the Bijou, though I worked at a parking lot right across the street from it in college. I used to enjoy watching the roadies loading gear into the place on Fridays. Going to the Bijou is one of those Knoxville outings that I'm surprised I have never done. Then, I've only eaten at Regas once, and that was in 2001 when Sherry and I were courting.

Cookeville Bound

Sherry just loaded all the kids into the car to meet Mark in Cookeville so he and Joey and Jake can enjoy the end of the Thanksgiving weekend together. Sarah likes to go along for the ride so she can get as much of her brothers as possible. Although the house is full of leftovers, including a Turkey Tetrazzini I plan to bake so that it will be ready for Sherry and Sarah's return, we need a few items from the grocery store, so I plan to do our shopping and recycling while the gals are out.

Friday, November 28, 2008

A Thanksgiving Dinner That Couldn't Be Beat

We've had an enjoyable Thanksgiving here at Stately Ogle Manor. Out of respect for my stepsons' privacy, I have tried to stay out of their room, where abides my computer, so blogging has been quiet for a couple of days. I give the Thanksgiving audience Arlo Guthrie, and give thanks for family, friends and music.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Out and About

Sarah and I attended to various errands this morning, including picking up my new business suit, which fit quite well. The seamstress even put the suspender buttons in the right place, and I have had problems in the past getting them put on properly. We also went to the library, which Sarah always regards as a treat.

After our burgers we went to a local pet store and flirted with the idea of various pet rodents, including a rat. We settled for a replacement goldfish, and it is settled into its new environment. I've been thinking about buying a ten gallon aquarium to make a terrarium for Sarah, and they had them for about $12.00. The lighted tops are $20.00 to $30.00, which was more than I really wanted to spend on such a project.

The boys are out in the neighborhood skateboarding and such, and the womenfolk are down in the kitchen making sweet tater casserole for Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow. Sherry's also going to make her congealed cranberry salad today, and we have a ham and a duck to roast. My sourdough bread starter is also ready, and I would like to bake some for Joey and Jake while they are here. Our kitchen will be busy for the next couple of days.

Restaurant Review: Five Guys Burgers and Fries

At Joey's suggestion we ate lunch today at Five Guys Burgers and Fries in Alcoa, and they make a darned fine burger and fries. The small burger filled my belly nicely, and one large order of fries fed four of us. It took a little while to be served, but the food is cooked to order. I give the restaurant a thumbs up.

Master Bedroom by Andrew Wyeth

Sherry has this print hanging in our bedroom. We recently learned the name of the artist, Andrew Wyeth.

License Plate Motorcyclist Sculpture

We took this photo of a license plate scupture of a motorcyclist at the Greenbelt Park in Maryville this summer. Sarah thought it was pretty cool.

A Comanche

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Back Home from Nashville

After getting lost again in Nashville trying to find my way from the conference to Bellevue, I finally got over to Mark's house to pick up Joey and Jake. We just arrived back home in Maryville. I'm glad to be out of traffic.

Daube of Beef Provençal

I want to experiment with some French cooking, and I also want to make a beef stew. I found a recipe on Ochef that fits both bills. Ochef describes the dish as follows:

Sometimes called the mother of all stews, daube is a classic French dish of
slowly braised beef, red wine, vegetables, and seasonings. Traditionally, daube
was cooked in a daubière, a heavy casserole or pot with a concave lid. In the
days of wood fires, the lid would be filled with water to help radiate heat
around the stew. Although modern ovens make such a pot unnecessary, it is still
the sentimental favorite and widely used in Provence. Thus, most any stew cooked
in this pot is called a daube.

Baconnaise, Shrimp and Bacon Sandwich

Please, Please make them stop!

Baby Molly

Among the old photographs we recently had developed are these of our cat Molly taken when she was much smaller than she is now. She really used to love to hang out in the space under the stairs in our basement garage, where she is pictured above. The cat is much harder for Sarah to manhandle now that she's so much bigger.


Flat Tire

I neglected to post about my flat tire on Friday. Sherry and I had lunch (sushi for her and curry for me) at the Lemon Grass restaurant in Maryville Friday. She picked me up at the justice center, and as I was walking back in one of the officers at the security station told me he'd noticed that my front tire on the passenger side was flat.

One of the attorneys in our office who was in casual attire on Friday was kind enough to help me put the spare on, and I took the car to a nearby garage to see if they could plug the tire. They couldn't plug the one that was flat, and it had to be replaced. While inspecting the other tires, they discovered I had a nail in the rear tire on the passenger side. They were able to plug the back tire.

Since we were trying to get up the mountain on Friday for our Sunset Ridge trip, I found all of this very inconvenient, but I am very happy to have discovered the problems while I was still in Maryville instead of on Interstate 40 on the way to Nashville yesterday. I am reaching a point of frustration with my used car.

White Lasagne

I found this white lasagne recipe on the Al Dente blog this morning. I like the standard lasagne recipe I use a lot, but this one sounds pretty good too.

Hotelblogging

I am staying at the Sheraton Music City in Nashville while attending the Connecting for Children's Justice Conference yesterday and today. Luckily I planned an extra thirty minutes into my trip from Maryville yesterday for getting lost in Nashville, which happens every time I try to go anywhere I have never been before in this city. The hotel is nice, and I've enjoyed the seminars I've attended so far, though the first one was in a room where they packed us in like sardines, which was very uncomfortable.

I've seen several people I know from the Nashville Juvenile Court, but haven't had a chance to speak to any of them. I was pretty worn out yesterday evening when the day's classes ended, so I didn't attend the social hour after the programs. When today's conference events conclude, I will drive out to Bellevue, pick up Joey and Jake, and then we'll head out to our cabin in Estill Springs to spend the night before we head back to Maryville for Thanksgiving.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Martian Glaciers


Here is more interesting news from our nearest planetary neighbor. Mars has even more water than we thought. There is also a story on this in the New York Times.

The glaciers, buried under rocky debris, are said to be more than three
times the size of Los Angeles, up to half a mile thick and skirt the edges of
mountains and cliffs. Scientists believe they may be remnants of an ice
sheet that once covered the planet's mid-latitudes. Samples drilled out of
the ice could provide a record of Martian life, as have similar glaciers in
Antarctica. Large deposits of frozen water have already been found around
the Martian poles. Scientists now know that enormous reserves of water exist in
other regions of the planet.

Auntie Les and Sarah

I think this is a wonderful picture of Leslie and Sarah.

Healthier Green Bean Casserole

I found this recipe for a healthier version of green bean casserole on the Eating Well website earlier this month and scheduled this post as a reminder to myself to make a batch of it during the Thanksgiving and/or Christmas holidays.

Working Hard in Space

The crews of the International Space Station and space shuttle Endeavor have been hard at work in Earth orbit for the past week or so. A fourth space walk is scheduled for this afternoon, and the ISS is now ten years old. Here's more from NASA:

Cargo transfers aboard the shuttle and station complex are more than 76
percent complete. More troubleshooting took place on a Urine Processor Assembly
inside the station's Water Recovery System after it shut down several times
during testing. Shuttle astronauts Steve Bowen and Shane Kimbrough prepare for
the fourth STS-126 spacewalk Monday at 1:45 p.m. EST.

Connecting for Children's Justice Conference

I am driving to Nashville this morning to attend the Connecting for Children's Justice Conference, a multidisciplinary meeting focused on protecting children from abuse. It is a two-day conference sponsored by the Tennessee Chapter of Child Advocacy Centers. Several other people from Maryville are attending the conference, and I expect I will see some of my friends from the Nashville Juvenile Court community as well.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

The Loaf

Molly the calico is a kitten no more. I estimate this cat is 9 or 10 months old, and she's already as big as Emma, even if you discount her fur. Molly is also becoming more affectionate with age and size, probably because she doesn't feel as intimidated by Sarah's manhandling of her as she did when she was smaller.

Tennessee Gothic


Regular readers of this blog may have noticed that I've been posting art here from time to time recently. Sherry made the portrait of her and me pictured above last year. It is based upon Grant Wood's American Gothic, pictured below. Green Acres we are there!




Mighty Oak

Here a couple of this summer's pics from Mighty Oak on Melton Hill Lake.


A Couple of Photos from My Savannah Trip

We've had a disposable camera hanging around the house for months now, and we finally sent it off to have the film developed. Here are a couple of photographs from my trip to Savannah in August. I am enjoying a pint of Guiness Stout in an Irish pub I found on the riverfront in the photo posted above. Below I am standing on the riverfront.





Sarah the Winter Fairy

Sherry took Sarah to a local photographer who poses children in fairy costumes and scenes, and we just got the disk with the photos in the mail. They are wonderful!

At Least Vols Can Still Beat Vandy

Yesterday the University of Tennessee Volunteers defeated the Vanderbilt Commodores in Nashville 20-10. Joey attended the game with one of his friends, though I can't say I'm sure which team he was pulling for. I, for one, was happy to see that the Vols didn't make this season any more embarrassing than it already is by losing to Vandy, though I had mentally prepared myself for that possibility. Fortunately, I actually enjoyed watching the game yesterday.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Double Pounder

Some guy ordered a two pound McDonald's cheeseburger for his birthday. Whoa, dude!

Estill Springs Trip Aborted

Everyone jumped ship on the Estill Springs trip this weekend, so we elected to come up to La and Stew's Sunset Ridge cabin in Pigeon Forge instead. La and Grace were up here when Sherry and Sarah and I got up here last night, and Mom is on her way up. I wasn't aware that they had Internet access up here, so I'm taking advantage of it for some mountainblogging.

We went out this morning to Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies. I had never been before, and it was well worth the $20.00 entrance fee. The place has plexiglass corridors through the tanks, so you walk through with sharks, sawfish and other ocean critters swimming all around you. I got a bit frustrated for the first thirty minutes or so because Sarah was practically running through the place, and I couldn't spend any time observing the sea life. Sherry sensed my frustration and watched Sarah while I went back through and enjoyed the aquarium at my own pace, which was nice.

Jake's First Deer!

Jake went on his first hunting trip with his dad this morning, and the lad shot two deer! Mark got one as well, so the Ferrelli freezer will be flush with venison this winter.

More Fairies

A Tale of Two Fairies

Friday, November 21, 2008

Sorry Charlie

Read about the whole sordid affair here.

River Barges

One of the Heartland Series episodes this week is about life on a river barge, which is something I have been curious about because we see barges going up and down the Cumberland River in Nashville when we visit Sherry's mom, who lives on a cliff overlooking the river. I discovered an excursion service where you can take a week trip on a barge decked out for passenger travel. I bet it would be fun, but an eight day excursion is over $2,000.00.

I Got You Abe: Lincoln Impersonators in Nashville

To commemorate the 145th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address, a group of Abraham Lincoln impersonators assembled at the Belcourt in Nashville on Wednesday. Here's a video clip showing one of them wandering around downtown Nashville and mingling with the tourists. He even goes into Tootsie's Lounge, where a guy suggests that he go check out the show at Ford's Theater, which seems rather rude.

Sausage Balls

We haven't made any sausage balls yet this fall, but I have the ingredients on hand. I'll put Jake and Joey up to hitting their mom up to making some when they are visiting us for fall break next week.

Cabin Trip

Sherry, Sarah and Laura are taking off early today to head to Tims Ford State Park for our cabin weekend. I won't get off work until 4:30 p.m., and I'm not inclined to drive three hours after that. Since I get up so early in the morning, I figure I'll get a good night's sleep and hit the road good and early tomorrow. I'll willing to bet I'll be there before everyone else wakes up.

Old Fogey in Bifocals

I went to an appointment with my eye doctor yesterday afternoon, and as I suspected he prescribed bifocals. I see fine close up, and have problems with distance vision, so I find myself taking my glasses off to read and putting them back on to see people's faces. I'll probably have the prescription filled next week. I really have never been entirely happy with the glasses I've been wearing for the past several years, so I'm looking forward to getting a new pair.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Bring Your Own Tiara

This is my friend and loyal Boongablogger reader Jane, who attended the birthday event we had for Les and La and Sarah last weekend. Since the theme, at Sarah's request, was a princess/fairy party, Jane came decked out in her tiara. BYOT.

Orchard in Blossom, Bordered by Cypresses


Van Gogh, April 1888

Star Spangled Banner Dedication

The Smithsonian Institution has been restoring the original Star Spangled Banner, which flew above Fort McKenry in Maryland when the British attacked it during the War of 1812. A lawyer named Francis Scott Key was on a ship in the harbor during the time the fort was under attack, and he wrote a poem that became our country's national anthem. A dedication ceremony took place yesterday at the Smithsonian Museum of American History for the opening of the exhibit featuring the restored banner, pictured below.



145th Anniversary of the Gettysburg Address

Yesterday, November 19, 2008, was the 145th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address, which was delivered by President Abraham Lincoln as part of the dedication of the battlefield cemetary. I saw a reenactment of the address on C-SPAN last night. At the time, Lincoln's address was not regarded as that big a deal. He was not the keynote speaker, and his remarks were comparatively brief.

Here is what Lincoln said:

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent,
a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all
men are created equal.
Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing
whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long
endure.

We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a
portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their
lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we
should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate -- we can not consecrate -- we
can not hallow -- this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled
here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world
will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget
what they did here.

It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished
work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather
for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from
these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave
the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead
shall not have died in vain -- that this nation, under God, shall have a new
birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the
people, shall not perish from the earth.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Lorax

La and Stew gave Sarah a copy of the Dr. Suess tale, "The Lorax," on videocassette for her birthday, and she has watched it many times since she got it last Saturday. The cartoon is on You Tube in its entirety.

CORRECTION: La says that she did not give Sarah "The Lorax." It sounded so like a Laura gift I guess I assumed it was.

Another Birthday Pic

Roasted Duck

I volunteered to bake a ham for our family Thanksgiving meal, but this recipe for roasted duck looks tempting. I don't believe I have ever tried to cook duck. Quack!

Sarah's Birthday

Sarah had a big day yesterday for her 5th birthday. Every day at her school one of the children is designated person of the day, and if it is your birthday, you are declared ex officio person of the day. This privilege allows the child to be first in line, and is otherwise regarded as a status symbol among one's peers.

Yesterday was also her school's Thanksgiving Dinner, which I attended. I was impressed with the food, though I can say I've never had a bad meal there. (Their pizza is especially good, but I digest.) Sherry brought the class cupcakes after their naps, and then brought Sarah home early from school.

Wednesday Agenda

I begin my day at 8:00 a.m. with a Red Cross board meeting, and then I will spend the rest of my morning in another meeting at the New Hope Child Advocacy Center. I hope to be able to drop by the bean lunch over at First Baptist Church, and then I have an afternoon docket to muscle through in General Sessions Court.

Since we're going out to the cabin Saturday morning, I need to assemble all of the things we need to take back out there. Maybe I can start on that this evening.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Baby Sarah

Laura suggested I post a photo of Sarah as a baby. I don't have one of the child in the days immediately after her birth handy at the moment, but I submit these:
In utero
Sarah at 18 months in Andy Warhol fashion.

Sarah at 12 months



Birthday Cake


Here's the birthday cake from last weekend's party. We were sort of disturbed by Tinkerbell's eyes, which had no irises, and La and Les got to be five again for the day.

Birthday Girls

Happy Birthday Leslie, Sarah and Laura!

Five Years Ago Today

Parents are wont to reminisce about the birth of their children on the anniversary of the child's birth, and I suppose I am no different. Five years ago today we were piled up in a hospital room in Saint Thomas Medical Center in Nashville, having arrived at the hospital at about 11:30 the night before. Sarah made her appearance at about 4:20 the afternoon of November 18, 2003. It's hard to believe she was once so tiny.

Space Report

Here's a report from NASA on the shuttle mission currently underway:

STS-126 and Expedition 18 crew members used a robotic arm Monday to attach
the Leonardo Multi-Purpose Logistics Module onto the International Space
Station. The crews also prepared for Tuesday’s spacewalk by mission specialists
Heide Stefanyshyn-Piper and Steve Bowen.

California Wildfires

Here is an image from a NASA satellite showing smoke from the wildfires in California.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Baconnaise

I like bacon and everything, but this is just awful. Someone make them stop.

Mid Monday Report

The bread was a hit at work, and there was still pimiento cheese in the refrigerator this morning, though I sort of doubt any will be left after lunch. I've had a busy morning in Circuit Court, and will be there again this afternoon.

The suit I ordered last Tuesday arrived, and so I dropped by the clothing store to be fitted so that the suit can be altered to fit my not-fit-for-off-the-rack physique. I ordered a second suit, and both should be in by Friday. I look forward to having new business clothes for the first time in a long while.

Ceramics Class


When I was in community college in North Carolina the school offered a ceramics class. I had always wanted to work on a potter's wheel, so my roommate and I signed up and liked the class a lot. I regret to say I wasn't a very skilled potter, as the few surviving pieces I made would show.

Near the end of the first semester I found out the teacher was offering Ceramics II the next semester. I wanted to sign up for it, but if I were to make a B in the class it would bring down my precious grade point average, which I was working very hard to get as high as I could. I explained the dilemma to the teacher, and he obligingly gave me A's for both semesters, though I never was a very good potter.

Tennessee Football

The University of Tennessee's miserable football season made me happy to have a weekend without another loss. This was due to the fact that they didn't play this weekend after losing to the Wyoming Cowboys last weekend. Like most UT football fans, I'm just gritting my teeth and wishing my way to the end of the season.

I haven't really followed the Tennessee Titans very much since moving back to East Tennessee. The Titans are cranking though, and have a 10-0 record after coming back after halftime to defeat the Jacksonville Jaguars 24-14 this weekend.

Endeavor Launch


Space shuttle Endeavor launched yesterday evening, and it is now docked to the International Space Station and the hatches are open between the shuttle and the ISS. There are only a few space shuttle launches left inasmuch as the fleet is scheduled to be retired in 2010.