Sunday, October 08, 2006

Another Sick Puppy

So have you ever had one of those sinus infections where you can breath but the pressure in your sinus cavity is poised to pop your eyeballs out, you think that at any moment weird alien gunk is going to start spurting out your ears, you're not hungry cus of all the post-nasal crap you've been swallowing all day, you take more than your alloted two naps, you're coughing up bloody phlegm, there's putrid green gunk leaking out of every orifice? You have? Holy shit! You'd better get in to see a doctor! Damn, mine isn't nearly that bad.

Actually, I felt like I was going to die this morning. However, a long, hot, steamy shower sure did help. 3 cups of echinacea tea and a shitload of vit C later and I'm fairly functional today --The New Dave: Fairly Functional!!

But I did take more than my share of naps this morning and afternoon; I'm been taking napping lessons from the panther so I've learned from the master.

I've been slack in my posting, but that should be over now (fingers crossed as he blows more crap outta his nose).

I've got a story for you! But before you get the story (oh the suspense dave), I've got an Alaskan/Aussie thingy do for you to peruse (that's fancy language meaning "read it, damnit").

MOSQUITOS (they're called mossie's down here --remember, aussie like to truncate and shorten words).

An Aussie Mossie:

Ah yes, the gentle, benign flying insect that might have the temerity to try to harvest your blood. Such a little thing... Hardly a buzzing sound at all, tentatively flying around you wondering if you'd be receptive to it's advances. So delicate, so little... Even the prick from it's probiscus is dainty and only itches for an hour --heck it hardly even swells up. Sigh... the harmony of nature at her finest.

KA-BOOM!!!! (dave, make sure you insert some cool music here) The heavens open up, lightning forks across the sky, thunder rolls over the serene setting... "Oh My God," exclaim nature's harmonious masses, "What is happening?"

The mighty wingbeats of The Creature cause a sonic boom on each down beat, every time a leg touches down a mountain is crushed, roos flee for their lives, cow's are drained in a single slurp... Yes, a newly hatched baby Alaskan Mosquito has arrived down under.

It's flightpath is modeled and jumbo jet-liners are routed hundreds of miles away, lest each of the 500 passengers turn into an appetizer for the Beast Insect From Hell.


Wouldn't that make for a great 1950ish sci-fi movie? Hell, I'd pay to watch.

To sum up: Aussie Mossie's are wusses, and Alaskan Mosquitos will kill you and fly away with your dehydrated carcass.

Story time with Unkie Dave:

The story of why dave's face looks like it does.

dave was maybe 4 years old at the time. Now keep in mind that back in those days kids pretty much watched themselves, no one had heard of personal injury lawsuits, and kids were kids. Also keep in mind that Alaska was your backyard (or at the foothills of the mountains you lived next to.

So, kids could BE kids growing up in Alaska a hundred years ago (give or take a few decades).

Doug --dave's older brother by 15 months-- was riding through the "neighborhood" with his friends. dave (Doug's younger brother by 15 months) did not want to get left behind AGAIN, so he was pedaling as fast as his wee little legs could go. Training wheels??? Ha, you've GOT to be joking, right?

dave was not looking where he was going (this trend continues for a loooooong time). All of a sudden, by accident, (thanks Arlo) dave's front tire hits a big ole rock in the middle of the street. dave flies through the air for a long time (I don't remember this part) and lands face first on the pavement (I don't remember that part either) and leaves a bloody big bloody streak on the street. Actually there were three as I must have tried to catch myself with my hands before my face hit (it didn't work).

Apparantly my brother or one of his friends was either looking back or (more likely) heard me screaming. Again, no recollection of this from dave either.

The next thing I remember was sobbing on the phone to my mommy that I'd hurt myself. I'm sure Doug must've dialled mom at work, but I really don't know. Was this dave's first concussion? Probably not, but we'll go with this being the first as I can remember part of it.

Next thing I remember is getting stitched up at the doctors office. How did I get there? Beats the hell out of me, but boy I was getting stitches EVERYWHERE! My chin, both cheeks (face cheeks dummy), forehead, and a big ole bandage type thing on my nose and on my hands. I must've looked like Frankenstein's monster for a while. I'm sure both eyes were black too.

Fortunately, they were the kind that dissolve on their own and little kids tend to grow fairly quickly at that age, so (believe it or not) no lasting scars! Heck, I've even had someone tell me I'm handsome now (she was drunk, or maybe I was...).

Did dave learn anything? Not a chance in HELL! Oh, wait, I do go over the handlebars a little more gracefully these days --but, yes, I do still go over the handlebars.

Coming soon to story time with Unkie dave: dave and the moose, dave and the wasp, dave and the hatchet, dave and the wasp, dave and the wolverine, dave and the wasp, dave and a bike, dave and a wasp, dave and another bike, dave and more moose, dave and the lynx, dave and the wasp. This list will continue indefinitely as I had a GREAT childhood, in fact some folks would say I'm still having a great childhood, wee-hoo!

Food time!

Dave's dolmades

Yeah, I know, there are probably more ways to make dolmades and more things to stuff em with than you can shake a dick --oops, I really meant stick, damned keyboard-- at. But I feel I might as well tell you the way I make mine and you could give it a go if you'd like.

Oh, dolmades are stuffed grape vine leaves.

What you need:

15-20 vine leaves (fresh is best, pick em early!)
one clove of garlic
1/2 cup (4 oz) raw rice (any long grained variety is fine, I use Basmati)
2 tbspns crushed peanuts (already salted and roasted and shelled)
1/2 to 1 teaspoon (2-5 mls) dried mint
2-5 mls (1/2 to 1 tsp) dried tarragon
1 scallion (spring onion) including the green part up top
2-4 tbspns (30-60 mls) minced onion
olive oil
2 to 3 cups of chicken stock (or veggie stock if that's your preference)
1 tbsp of couscous (or some kind of tiny, round pasta)

What you do:

I'm going to describe the whole process of preparing the vine leaves, if you only can get your hands on the canned or bottled variety then you can skip down a bit.

Pick 15 to 20 vine leaves from the vine growing over your pergola outside your kitchen window (anyone jealous?). Note, when picking, snip then right at the leaf base so there's no stem at all. Rinse them well. Lay them flat in a steamer, one on top of the other. Steam them till they just turn from bright green to olive drab.

Before the leaves dry, lightly brush each leaf with olive oil, being careful not to tear them, and stack them on a plate. You'll use a fair amount of olive oil here, be generous.

After all the leaves are oiled let them cool.

While they are cooling, prepare the stuffing.

Fry the minced onion in olive oil for 3 to 4 mins, then add the crushed peanut, the couscous, the scallion, the mint, the tarragon, and more olive oil and fry for another minute. Keep it moving (easily done with a wok, just give it a good shake and flip every 10-20 secs).

Add the raw rice and more olive oil and fry again for 3-4 mins. Keep it moving, folks. You'll know the rice is ready when it goes from translucent white to opaque white (yes, it's still crunchy and sorta raw at this point). Set the mixture aside and let it cool.

Place a vine leaf flat with the "rough" side up. Place a SMALL amount of the stuffing (we're talking barely more than a teaspoon --remember, the rice and couscous are gonna swell up) towards the base of the leaf. Fold the left and right sides over, then roll up towards the tip. The bundle should seal itself with olive oil. Place the bundle in an oiled (olive) baking dish. Continue till you run out of stuffing or vine leaves.

Oh, last night I had leftover stuffing mix, so I made a great crab sauce with it to go on top of the steamed blue whiting (it's a fish).

Once your baking dish is packed, slowly pour the chicken stock (or veggie stock, or fish stock)) over the bundles until they are just about covered. Cover and bake at 185 C (365 F) for 30 mins. You'll know they are done when the leaves are very very tender, they plumped up nicely, and there's almost no stock left.

Carefully take them out of the dish. No, don't tear em! Didn't I tell you to be careful? Put em on a plate to let cool (pack them together) and lightly brush with more olive oil. Once they are cool you can handle them without tearing so turn em over after they are cool, cover with cling wrap and let them sit overnight.

Eat and enjoy! Oh, did I mention they are very healthy?

I know it seems like a lot of work, but after a couple of go's it's pretty simple.


Karen said...

Another excellent story! I'm wondering though, about the wasp story, erm, stories, that are coming: same wasp? Or, wasps just think you're cute as hell? lol

Jill said...

Hey Australia Dave,

Sorry I haven't been back in a while. It's amazing how quickly the time passes. Sorry to hear you're sick. I always get sick at the fall/winter, winter/spring transition myself.

Entertaining post!

Alaskan Dave Down Under said...

There are a lot more wasps than you'd think there should be in Alaska. I'll have to tell how wasps survive the winter sometime.

Oh, yes, I am cute as hell.

Welcome back, I figured you were busy, no worries. Let me know if you are still needing the tires. Did you get that frame and wheelset; it sounds like a good deal.

Not sick no more! Wee-hoo!