Bushwackers – Denver – November 26

We got a show on November 26, so bring your leftover mashed potatoes, sit down, have a beer, eat your mashed potatoes and rock out to your favorite band: SFoM at Bushwackers on THE DAY AFTER THANKSGIVING!!

Thanksgiving is great. For me, anyway. Some people have to cook. I’m no good at that. Some people like it. It’s too similar to work for me to enjoy. I just sit and eat. I’m like a scavenger…

On Thanksgiving, I watch unmemorable football. I thank my mom for allowing me do that. If it wasn’t for mom, Thanksgivings would kind of suck. I’d probably eat chicken nuggets or spaghetti or something…

I can’t think of anything exciting that has ever happened in a Thanksgiving NFL game. The only thing memorable about any of those games was watching John Madden freak out in astonishment at the turkey with six legs EVERY YEAR! They’d unveil the turkey, and John would shout, “THAT TURKEY’S GOT SIX LEGS!!”Either he forgot they had one the year before, or he’s completely astounded by the discovery of this horrible freak bird that had a drumstick for a head. “I CAN’T BELIEVE IT!!! THAT TURKEY’S GOT SIX LEGS!!”

I’m excited for Thanksgiving…and the day after.

Chili Of The Grave: A Recipe

There was a charity chili cook-off at my day job today. It’s kind of a funny story how I got involved: I was walking through the office, and a woman asks me if I’m going to make chili. I didn’t know about the cook-off, so I was like, “Uh… no…”

Later, I went to a meeting, and my boss said, “Oh! Matt can make chili!” I got that strange turny-stomach feeling, as if some kind of prophesy were playing out right before me. I had never made chili before, and these people were talking about me making it.

Well, I learned about the cook-off, and I got kind of excited, because I have a crock pot, but it just sits there and gets dusty, and I have to clean it every so often. Aristotle would say that it is unhappy because it’s not performing the task it was made to perform: cooking things really slowly.

Thursday night came around, and I boogied over to the grocery store and bought raw materials as opposed to the microwaveable stuff I usually pack into my shopping cart. On the way home, Black Sabbath’sChildren Of The Grave” came on the shuffle, and my chili’s name came to me: Chili Of The Grave.

I made my chili, and almost used a habanero pepper a lady gave to me (I thought it was an Anaheim pepper)… I brought my chili in this morning, and I WON THE EFFING CONTEST!! It was the most labor-intensive cooking project I had ever undertaken, not to mention the first time I ever made chili. With this chili, I took top place in a field of 12 or 13. I won a kick-ass apron equipped with a tethered bottle opener and a beer holder.

So, loyal readers, I decided I couldn’t keep my wondrous chili a secret, and I have decided to share my recipe here with you, right now. This is a sweet, seafood based chili. Get a pen ready… or just use your printer… or save a tree and read it off your computer screen…

Chili Of The Grave

Chili Of The Grave

Ingredients:

  • One 12 oz. can of tomato paste
  • One 12 oz. can of diced peeled tomatoes
  • One 15 oz. can of pinto beans
  • One 15 oz. can of black beans
  • 20 oz. of raw, peeled, de-veined and de-turded shrimp
  • One Anaheim pepper, cored and diced
  • Two jalapeños, cored and diced
  • One half of a white onion, diced
  • Three garlic cloves, chopped
  • One cup of brown sugar
  • One cup of apple cider vinegar
  • Two tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder
  • Three tablespoons of chili powder
  • Two tablespoons of cumin
  • One tablespoon of oregano
  • Three bay leaves
  • A teaspoon of ground black pepper
  • A Tablespoon of salt
  • A 99 cent bottle of Louisiana Hot Sauce
  • Love

Directions:
First, wash your damn hands. Use soap too. LISTEN TO ME! This is important. Washing your hands is one of the best ways to prevent the spread of infectious disease.

Are your hands washed? Good. OK, empty the shrimp into a mixing bowl, and then dump the whole bottle of hot sauce on them. Cover it with some plastic wrap, and shake it up, and then set it aside. We’ll revisit the shrimp later.

I soaked a paper towel with some vegetable oil and rubbed it on the inside of the crock to make it easier to clean later. This strategy seemed to have worked.

Next, drain out the cans of beans. I did this by partially opening the can on two sides and then setting it on the edge of the sink. I didn’t want any of that bean liquid in my chili.

Dump the tomato paste, and diced tomatoes in the crock. Then dump the vinegar, the brown sugar, the cocoa… just dump everything in there. The beans too. Don’t forget them. However, listen to this next part, because it’s important.

Don’t dump the shrimp in yet! It’s still marinating in that hot sauce. Use this time to chop things, like peppers, garlic and onions. Be careful! You don’t want to chop your finger and end up in the hospital with half-made chili sitting on your bloody counter.

When chopping the onion, you’ll probably start to cry. This is normal. It’s a very sad thing, chopping onions. I find it’s best to periodically drop to your knees, and throw your arms to the sky and scream out, “WHYYYYY!!! huuuuhhhhhh-WHYYYYYYY!!!” Because that’s how men cry. Dump all your chopped and diced things in the crock. Stir it with a wooden spoon. Throw the three bay leaves in the crock. I left them in there, and then I got yelled at because evidently they can kill people. Make sure to take them out before you serve the chili.

Now it’s time to add the shrimp. Don’t just dump them in there, because you’ll dump all the hot sauce. You can do this if you want, but I didn’t, and this recipe, mind you, is how I won an award. Stir it all up, and turn the crock pot on low. Let it cook for like eight hours. I stirred it a couple times in that period.

Serve it over Fritos, and top it with cheddar cheese, sour cream and some chopped green onions. That’s what I did. Other people just ate it. Do what you want. Once it’s in your bowl, it’s your chili anyway. Not sure how many servings it made, but Jesus could probably stretch it to 2,000 like he did with the loaves and fish.

Aged…

Today, I saw a two-liter bottle of A&W root beer that said it was flavored with “Aged Vanilla,” a term I’ve never heard before. It made me think of aged cheddar and aged beef. Food gets aged sometimes, and we as consumers accept that as a good thing. Wine, beer, whiskey, rum…all aged things, all made better by aging…or so we believe.

Few of us experience the manufacture of these items first hand. Has anyone ever questioned “Aged Vanilla,” or do we just see it and say, “Yes! Aged!” Vanilla is sort of a mystery ingredient. I think it comes from a bean or something, but I’m not sure. (Fear not, loyal readers, I will research this on Wikipedia after finishing this post.)

Maybe we accept the aging of food-items as a good thing because of the mystery of their origin. You wouldn’t eat a sandwich with aged bread. That invokes a negative image in the mind of hard and moldy bread. Many of us have empirical knowledge of the effects aging has on bread. Aged milk also sounds bad due to our experiences…

However, people in the know say that cheese gets sharper as it ages. As cheese ages, a rind forms, i.e. the outer part of the cheese dries out and hardens – even if it is coated in wax. Furthermore, many cheeses aren’t coated with wax, and are left to mold over as they age. At the end of the aging process, the mold and the rind are removed, exposing the cheese. The rind is dry cheese, and the mold cannot penetrate the cheese. Mold just grows on the surface.

I write of the aging of cheese because I read about it, and to make the next point. We as consumers don’t trust this process when we witness it first hand. If we have a piece of cheese, and it dries out on one side, we say “gross” and toss the whole thing in the trash. We may even gag if we’re eating a piece of cheese and notice mold on the other end of it. But these may be signs that the cheese is indeed getting better!

In the end, we are trusting the label makers and the marketers in regards to aging. We don’t trust that cheese that rinds and molds over in our refrigerator is just “aging.” But if it’s written on a $2 bottle of root beer in regards to the vanilla with which it’s flavored, then we somehow conclude this makes it better.

Tonight! We Rock An Australian…errrr, Irish Pub in Littleton!

Ned Kelly’s! Named after some murderous rampager who lived his whole life in Victoria, Australia. Of course it’s an Irish Pub! Well, they serve Guinness, Jameson, and things like bangers and mash. Mmm…bangers…and mash. Isn’t mash that game where you find out who you’re going to marry, and what kind of house you’re going to live in? (Mansion, Apartment, Shack, House is what it stands for). Oh well, who cares? WE’RE WINNING!! And hopefully the Broncos will be too.

Oh yeah, it’s also some sort of western festival in Littleton tonight. Come out and celebrate manifest destiny!

For more information on the infamous Australian bushranger, click here!

Ned Kelly’s Irish Pub
5686 S. Sycamore Street – Littleton

Last Night at Scruffy Murphy’s

We had a good time; we always do there. A couple guys got up and sang some tunes with us. Not sure who they were, or why they thought it was some kind of karaoke thing, but it was fun. I drank plenty of Boddington’s. Damn fine beer. I also ate the spicy turkey sandwich, made w/ Sriracha mayo. It was the bomb – Scruffy Murphy’s has good sandwiches, and they serve food until 1 am.

Some highlights from last evening:

  1. Funk #49/Why Don’t We Do It In The Road mash-up
  2. Spicy Turkey Sandwich
  3. Bret’s friends were kind enough to bum me cigarettes…so was my brother’s girlfriend. (I quit…buying them)
  4. We opened with an all-original mini-set
  5. A couple girls we never seen before, and never saw afterwards brought us shots of whiskey on stage, and then took our glasses.
  6. The crowd sang along to Add It Up

We’re fortunate enough to be able to get up and do it again tonight down in Ned Kelly’s. Rock and Roll can save the world!