Dec 3, 2011

Saturday guns, Saturday politicians

(Being a partial compendium of what's important to me today.)

Iowa Caucuses: The quick are Gingrich, Paul, and Romney. The dead are everyone else.  An Iowa Poll  to be released this evening should reflect that hunch, but it won't  say much about where Cain people are going. I judge they'll scatter, keeping the Newt-Ron-Mitt lineup intact.


Iowa guns: Thanks to the nice little Jackson loophole,  K. and I may augment the state's arsenal at the expense of Minnesota's. The small trading windfall of last weekend left a supply of mad money in the Bat Belt.  It seeks blue steel shooting things old, heavy, and slow, not unlike your author.

Christmas is a time for materialistic dreaming, so I am permitted to fantasize about finding a quality 1911 frame  or two --  a place to put those extra slides and barrels.

(Note to self: Also watch for .30 M1 Carbine bullets in honor of the new set of dies for same. Time to heat that old girl up a little.)

We're taking nothing to trade, still standing on our "never-sell-a-gun"  principles. The Model 88 was a rare exception, purchased strictly for rapid turnover.


The first measurable snow of the season is to occur today, statistically a little late. It's been a gorgeous autumn, and I am grateful for the localized global warming.

Dec 2, 2011

Survival food

I mean survival both before and after the SHTF. I mean biscuits. Home-brew biscuits as what's made back in the hollers where there ain't no bizkwik.

And I mean it a a small tool for financial survival for small households even before the politicians force us to create a Madd Max world.


Now, I'm not an aggressive food snob. I tolerate grocery-store bread just fine for toast and sandwiches.   Some are even pretty good. Around here we can get real Amana bread, excellent especially in the black and rye versions.

Unfortunately the actual cost is about double the shelf price because one person can eat about a half loaf before even the best commercial stuff begins to get that obnoxious musty odor and taste whereupon you convert it to very expensive bird feed. I like my downy woodpeckers and nuthatches just fine, but damned if I'll support them at something like a buck-fifty a pound.

So I make what grandma called scratch biscuits. And do it with minimum hassle, I make the makin's in quantity based on a typical old recipe:

2 cups flour

4 teaspoons baking powder

3/4 teaspoon salt (scant)

1/4 teaspoon baking soda (a little less if anything)

That's the dry stuff. Stir it all together in a huge bowl, then:

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons shortening, preferably lard but a nice transfatty elixer like Crisco will do

Toss the fat into the dry goods and play with your food with both hands for a little longer than seems like fun, until you produce a crumbly mix.  (This business of "cutting in" with some sort of special instrument is tedious nonsense.)

1 cup milk

You already  heated your oven to about 350, so all you have to do now is stir in the milk. (It's okay to make a hole in the flour  and quickly! pour in the milk if it makes you feel more like Emeril and Alton and them.)

Stir it all up and hope you have a very sticky product -- just this side of runny.   Add a litttle more milk or water if you don't.

Take your rolling pin and place it on the floor as a dog chewy. Then take a big spoon and drop dollops of dough on your greased pan. (Any kind of pan will do, but cast iron lends a certain down-home, coon-hound, and 12 gauge-hammer-double panache to the process.)

Pat the dollops slight flat and bake for ten minutes or so. You'll have about eight biscuits, or a little over a day's worth for one.


Now, sharp-eyed readers have been wondering why a "huge" bowl was specified. It's because no one with a life wants to do all this every day.  You are going to quadruple or quintuple the recipe so you have to do it only once a week or so. Seal the extra dry mix in a plastic bag. It keeps a long time in your cupboard without going rancid,  longer in your ice box. Face it. It's Bisquick only better and cheaper and fresher.

Leading us to the question of extended storage against the era when life has become ungridded. Just leave out the butter and lard and it should keep more or less forever, until you've developed your butter-churning and hog-fat-rendering skills.

Further annotating the SHTF considerations: Dry milk can be mixed with the other dry stuff  and the biscuits will not be too repulsive. Or you can make the dough with water, ending up with a sort of fancy bannock which you can learn to like.

Back to the present: These things are good and amenable to refinements. For instance, add sage to the dough if you intend to grace biscuits with turkey gravy. Shredded cheese is good, either mixed in the dough or melted on top. Likewise a little sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon, chili powder.  You can also substitute wheat or rye flower for part of the white. They'll just be a little chewier.

Come to think of it, it's all but impossible to screw them up which, I suppose, is why I make them.

Dec 1, 2011

Holiday Visitation

Virtually the entire GOP field, the Class of '12 , visits Camp J on Iowa Caucus Day minus 33.  Only Dr. Ron Paul was absent.

From world welfare capital

Looking for a reason to admire Herman Cain and despise Newt Gingrich?

Search no further than the land of the tall corn where our economic base grows in rows, where our corn and bean producers have, for a century and a-half, cultivated an image of sober, god-fearing, rugged individualism.

And so they endorse* for President of These United States, ta-da, conservative Newt Gingrich.

Newt Gingrich earned straight A’s on agriculture, energy, trade and other policies measured by the Iowa Corn Growers Association.

They love Newt because he promises to give them all they want of other people's stuff. And I do mean all they want. He is the agripimptorian of the GOP Class of '12.

By contrast, the Row Crop Royalty hates Herman Cain without even referring to off-field boffing. Herm gets a "D" for telling the Corn Growers' Association to put on big-boy pants and quit whining like a 16-year-old unwed mother of three on the south side of Chicago upset because she doan get enough from the welfare.

Our Ron Paul sits in the back of the room with Herman. He also earned a "D" despite not returning the questionnaire. The cornies said they evaluated such refusniks by checking their records and public statements. Paul, of course, has taken several subversive positions, including the radical notion that you should be permitted to put gasoline in your tank.

Just for shidts and grins, I suppose, the corn growers also graded His Ineptness, the sitting president.  Barry got a "B," tied with Mitt Romney.

N.B. -- To absorb the full flavor of all this, a guy should take time to click through the links in the news story and on the corn growers candidate report card where you can read the questions and candidate answers. If the corn growers implicit demands don't read like an Acorn wish list I'll kiss your arse in a crop circle and let you take aerial photos with a long lens.


“ 'This is a tool for farmers and voters, not an endorsement,'  (said) Corn Growers president Kevin Ross..."   Kevin, that's bullshit and you know it.