Monday Mood [DOT 23/8/21]

I’m back after a super fun weekend out of town. Missed you guys and I’m sure I’ll catch up here, here, and here eventually.

In the meantime, let’s see what’s going on today…

This week in “fucked around and found out”:

Phil Valentine, a Nashville-based conservative radio talk show host who had questioned whether it was necessary for all people to get Covid-19 vaccines, died on Saturday, his employer, WWTN Radio, announced on Twitter. Valentine was 61 years old.

Trump booed at Alabama rally after telling supporters to get vaccinated


Thanks I love her.


Stock futures are flat in overnight trading after a losing week


Don Everly obituary

Have a great day!



  1. This has nothing to do with anything but I would like to report that I have now made it through three recipes from the Sinatra Celebrity Cookbook (Elizabeth Taylor’s Spicy Chicken, Kenny G’s Teruyaki Salmon, and Brooks Robinson’s Crab Cakes) and all were fine but none have sparked joy. 

    Better Half is getting a little tired of my culinary experiment already, so tonight I’m going to make stuffed burgers. Have you ever done this? You make two very thin hamburger patties and those are what bread is to sandwiches. You put a dollop of filling in the center of one (I’m going to make a blend of cheddar and onions), top with another, and then press the edges of the burgers together. Then you grill them or, if you’re me, don’t bother setting up the stovetop grill and just make them in a skillet.

    We are still feeling the effects of Henri here and it’s relatively cool (in the 70s, but dark and rainy) so I was going to use the beef to make Anthony Newley’s Shepherd’s Pie, but BH put his foot down and threatened to order Domino’s if I did.

      • I live in something of a restaurant desert and I constantly see Domino’s delivery people on e-bikes (often on the sidewalks, that’s why I notice them) so they must be thriving. There’s a Popeye’s I can practically see from my apartment whose food I like but they don’t deliver, and that outlet is not for the faint of heart. It’s always mobbed and if I could do a poll and get honest answers I’d bet that half the clientele and the workers, men and women alike, have done time in a correctional facility. 

        Then there are the sit-down restaurants, and I’ve been to many that were open before the pandemic. On a scale of 1 to 10 their prices are a 12, and the food they serve hovers around a 2 or 3. My old neighborhood downtown used to be this way; you were always disappointed by the above-average prices and the below-average quality of what you ordered. It has since become something of a food mecca and maybe my neighborhood will eventually follow suit.

    • …never done stuffed burgers that way…but if making them from scratch I’ve been known to mold them around a core of cheese (brie works well if you remove the skin) so they basically bleed molten cheese when they’re done?

      …helps not to use too much cheese though…otherwise they’re hard to eat without making a mess

      • I’ve made stuffed meatballs with brie (and with camembert, which is very close to brie) but I never thought to make burgers out of them. Maybe I’ll try your way, but I can be a little clumsy in the molding department, which is why I go the “sandwich” route. I won’t use the onions, though, because those you sauté. 

        • Cousin Matty, re those onions…. 
          If you’ve never made/had hamburgers with “green onions,” go get yourself a bunch/bundle of scallions (green onions), clean them & slice ’em up finely, from the greens down to the root end…
          You’ll want around 1/8″-1/4″ thick slices of scallion (ideally more toward the narrow end, especially in a Juicy Lucy!), an egg or two–depending on how many lbs of hamburger you’re using, and either a little bit of breadcrumbs or a few finely crushed neutral-flavored crackers***
          Season your meat, add in all those sliced green onions, and your binders…
          Then, MIX it with your hands, until a chunk can hold a “ball” shape.
          YES, we ARE working against*every* rule of “making a good hamburger”!😉 
          The reason you DO want to “slightly overwork” the meat and add in those binders, is because the onion is raw, and the patties are thin (1/2″ thick).
          If you don’t get the meat “sticky” enough, EVERYTHING is gonna crumble apart when you go to flip the burgers💖 (Been there, DONE that!😖)
          Once you have the meat all seasoned & the onions are evenly mixed in, you can start making your patties.
          Use a couple of clean plates if you need to, to press out your patties–you’ll want a big enough ball that you can press it to about/just under 1/2″ thick, and about 5-6″ across (so probably around 1/4lb-1/3lb per patty).  As you know, this gives you plenty of “middle” to put the cheese, while still allowing half an inch all around the edge, to seal it together.
          Because I’m a purist and like my “fancy” burgers simple, I use two slices of this–corners broken off and put on the middle of the cheese–use whatever you like…
          Remember though, that because these are green onions, their flavor will be sweet & light/subtle, so a mild cheese like American really DOES balance well & let all the flavors play together, rather than compete!😉💖
          Once you have the burgers assembled, cook them on the grill/in a pan, until they’re browned to your taste & the onions start to caramelize on the outsides of the patty.
          After they’re cooked, let them sit–just like steak, before you try to eat them!!!!
          If you bite too soon, not only will they make a terrible  mess, you’ll be scalded by the cheese–which will be somewhere near the temp at the core of a nuclear reactor (SERIOUSLY-it *WILL* blister  your mouth!!!)
          Once they rest that little bit, assemble with your favorite toppings & eat💞
          Hamburgers with green onions” was something I grew up with…
          My dad’s side of the family has made them for generations now, but I’ve never met anyone else who’s heard of them yet…(to make them “regular”-style, like in the pics, they should be about 3/4″ thick and still that 5-6″ diameter, if you want them to fit a hamburger bun well after cooking!)
          They’re TASTY, and once you try them this way, the ones with chopped “regular” white/yellow onions are often just a bit “flat” in comparison, flavor-wise😉💖
          ***YES, “like a meatloaf!😱🤣  but TRUST me, you don’t need MUCH of the binders–just 1/4c or less in 2# of hamburger… 
          But with those green onions *in* the meat, you’ll NEED it, i PROMISE!
          It’s NOT going to be noticeable, like in a meatloaf, but it WILL help keep the structural integrity of the patties!

      • “…helps not to use too much cheese though…”
        Rip, I assure you, this is NOT A THING!!!😉
        You can NEVER have too much nuclear-level-hot molten cheese inside a Juicy Lucy–mess is what’s supposed to happen!😉🤣💖
        (Yep, they’re a bit of a *thing* around here–although the lazier among us just make ’em at home sometimes!🤤)

        • I have never heard the term “Ju(i)cy Lucy” nor have I ever been to Minnesota. The closest I ever got was a few trips to Chicago. 

          My stuffed burgers were a success, as they always are. For maximum caloric intake I served them on toasted brioche, then brushed a creamy prepared horseradish on one of the brioche buns per hamburger. Sensing the onset of scurvy I sliced some tomatoes and cucumbers and poured on a little Italian vinaigrette as a side salad. For dessert I pulled out these maple cream-filled cookies that my local CVS has started carrying. If you go to my CVS because you have a few prescriptions to pick up over the course of a month and are leisurely rollating yourself down the aisle to the prescription counter you can’t miss them. 

    • I’ve stuffed burgers with bacon, cheddar, and pickles. The texture and flavor contrasts worked for me.
      Later on replaced the pickles with Vietnamese style pickled radish. Made it at a family picnic once and it triggered my Vietnam vet uncle to share stories about his off-duty visits in the country instead of the less savory memories for once.

    • I love this route with burgers — cheddar and onions (always sautéd, caramelized if I have the time/energy) between and served over a little lettuce and tomato to pretend like I’m being healthy. My wife refers to it as “stuffed burger salad.” 

      • I just wrote out a David Foster Wallace-length reply but I’ll spare you. Yes, I live in Manhattan. The gist of my reply is that restaurants deserts exist all over the island, I’ve never worked in an area (I was always in Midtown) that had decent food at reasonable prices, and now I’m living in such an area.

        • I hear you on restaurant deserts. Things have improved in Midtown for daytime options over the years (shout out to that blog, Midtown Lunch, for highlighting places during its run), but those go away in the evening and you’re often left with the touristy chains that no one wants other than tourists (Why would you take a trip to Manhattan just to eat at Chili’s or Bubba Gump? What relation do either of those places have to New York City?). 
          When I worked near Rector St. station, it was just far enough away from South St. Seaport and the main FiDi areas that the options were dismal if you wanted to spend less than 40 mins of your lunch break simply walking to and from your eventual lunch pickup spot. 
          Plus, delivery is often incredibly limited as far as radius goes, and living above 125th Street often means you’re excluded (Time Out and the Village Voice would barely even cover life above that meridian in their listings, so you’d have to work harder to seek out places in your area yourself). 

          • We have two decent Italian restaurants within walking distance of me. One is northern Italian and specializes in seafood and is $$$ and does not offer pizza. This is where I take visiting friends. The other is a bit of a hike through a somewhat wild and woolly micro-neighborhood and it is also $$$. They have eight or ten different kinds of pizzas, they don’t sell by the slice, and a plain cheese pie starts at $15 and is the size of a dinner plate. When Better Half is feeling in the mood he will order delivery from there. The usual dinner cost, including the extortionate meal tax, delivery, and tip for the delivery person, is about $50–$60 per person. We do this about twice a year. This is partly my fauult because I don’t stick with the $15 cheese pizza pie, I order more adventurous things for us that we share in the comfort of our own home.

      • This is what people say. Or, at least, that it’s good for a nationwide pizza delivery chain. I briefly lived near the one in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn and I’d always see that it was busy with pickup orders when I’d make my way to or from the nearby subway stop. Yes, there are famous dining options mere storefronts away, but I sort of understand people going for Domino’s if it meant not leaving their house, having something shareable with re-heatable leftovers, and eating something you could actually afford as opposed to waiting on the street 1.5 hours for a table to open up, paying 3x as much to eat farm-to-table at glorified picnic bench dubbed a “community table”, or paying the price of a medium pizza for your dessert alone. 
        It’s like watching trashy TV in the background or reading a dumb gossip website instead of a think piece in a book of essays. Yes, you can eat world class options, but sometimes you want to go for the cheap, easy predictable thing.

        • What part of “I’m in Illinois” said world class options to you, lolol? I just have *a lot* of options w/r/t pizza 😛
          But yes, fast + cheap certainly has its appeal. And I’m not really a food snob, i regularly break the Number One rule of living here (putting ketchup on a hot dog). 

          • Ha ha. ☺ I was mostly referring to what the other culinary options are surrounding the Boerum Hill, Brooklyn  Domino’s. I’m certainly not a deep dish pizza person, so I’m with you on IL not having the best options, albeit many. 
            NYC has great pizza, but unless you’re in a nightlife hot spot, it can be difficult to get a good slice past a certain hour without queueing hours in hopes of a table. 

            • Oh deep dish is for tourists 😛 I can’t remember the last time i had it. I just have a lot of “local” chains and mom & pops. But they all deliver, at least! I was kinda surprised Cousin Matthew has so few delivery options in his locale.

      • There’s one fairly close to our apartment and it’s the only fast food chain that delivers. There’s that Popeye’s, and then there’s a McDonald’s which is even worse clientele and worker-wise than the Popeye’s, and…that’s it. Oh, we do have two Dunkin Donuts and the people who work there are very nice and all, but the shelves are often bare and what they serve is gross, even the coffee somehow, so those are to be avoided. 

        We do have little corner bodegas and there’s one that is basically my commissary in an emergency, but you can’t really live off baconeggacheese sandwiches, Bud tall boys, and off-brand crunchy snacks. Much as you or I might want to. This one has organic milk for some reason at low, low prices so that I will buy.

    • …why with outcomes like that they seem positively…vaccinated

      …do as I say not do as I do has always been kind of pat for the course with these people, no?

      • As it has been, so it shall be. One of the right’s biggest advantages is that it simply is unbothered by hypocrisy (or they truly don’t bother to notice because only triggered libs think we were ever at war with Eurasia.)

        I don’t know if this is still true but Fox News was refusing to let people in the building who weren’t vaccinated, thus Tucker and Hannity and every other shitbag who’s “just asking questions” are fully vaxxed up.  Even Trump got booed for saying it over the weekend (which means he’ll never dare say it again).

    • It’s almost never just money. There are deeper, uglier motivations too, and money tends be catsup on the burger.
      Sometimes they’re just squeezung catsup straight out of the bottle into their mouths, but it always makes sense to look for the burger.

  2. So, to leave the world of food behind (sorry for the thread-jack) we will be getting a new Governor as of 12:01 AM tomorrow. Good riddance to Handsy Andy. The incoming Governor, Kathy Hochul (last name rhymes with “yokel,” apparently, I thought it might be pronounced “Ho-CHOOL” but I was wrong) will be our first woman Governor. She’s a little bit of a cipher but I have high hopes that she won’t be nearly as autocratic and whimsical and morally corrupt as Emperor Andreus Marcus Maximus and will not share his loathing and contempt for the Fair City of Gotham.

    • Not to say it doesn’t matter, but she faces an extremely uphill battle to win an election next year. She’s not a player in the party (huge strike one) she’s not from NYC (probably disqualifying strike two) and she faces cleanup duty as her first job, which is never glamorous. 

      But I suppose if New Jersey resident Eric Adams can be the NYC mayor, anything is possible?

      • Ah yes, Sheriff Eric. I will confess that I did not take full advantage of Ranked Choice Voting and list five candidates, and of those I listed Fort Lee-dweller Eric Adams was not one of them. However, I think he might be a good thing in the NYC vs. Albany cage match. Cuomo was so thuggish and vindictive, and de Blasio so lame and lazy, that we were essentially ruled from Albany, especially during those awful “emergency power” months. 

        Kathy Hochul seems like a reasonable person (her huge conflict-of-interest husband aside; maybe we will get that casino in Times Square or Governors Island) and Eric “Go back to Iowa! We don’t want you here!” Adams is not afraid to get down in the mud. Supposedly Giuliani and Pataki had a fractious relationship but overall guess who won? Giuliani. Pataki served for 12 years and during that time there were maybe 12 days I could remember who the Governor of New York was. 

    • Lydon said the agreement “smacks of some kind of slave labour”.

      Hot take, Country Life peddler. 
      I suspect Jones’s book had some unflattering depictions of Lydon, so I’m somewhat intrigued about watching Boyle’s adaptation. 

      • …I think I heard someone on the BBC radio saying (with some degree of relish) that the book claimed he acted like a spoiled brat (or something to that effect) so I think you’re on the money there

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