Saturday, November 19, 2011

don’t let your meatloaf

Odd that a meatloaf recipe begins with vegetables, I know.

But adding vegetables brings flavor and color and guarantees a moist meatloaf. You’ll need the white part of two leeks well cleaned, two ribs of celery, three carrots, half a large red pepper and two boxes of mushrooms. And a big bunch of fresh parsley.

Chop the vegetables and one box of the mushrooms so you can fit it into a processor, then add a bit of red wine for a processing liquid. You want the veggies diced to the size of coarse aquarium gravel.

Great. Now add two pounds of ground chuck and one pound of ground pork and begin to assemble the spices in a small bowl.

Three or four tablespoons of worcestershire, a tablespoon or two of dried herbs, an egg, a lot of fresh ground pepper and salt to taste, plus a big squeeze of your favorite hot sauce. Meatloaf is good with a kick.

Mix the spices well, then add to the meat and veggies and add about a cup of herbed breadcrumbs to lighten it all a bit.
Now mix it gently by hand but don’t overdo it. Overworked ground meat gets tough when roasting, so just mix it enough to blend the ingredients and then form it into a loaf.

A meat thermometer makes it easier to know when it’s done. Throw it into the oven at 325 and get some beef stock from your freezer for a gravy. You have been making homemade stocks all Summer, right?

While the meatloaf bakes you can prepare a simple glaze for the top.
Three tablespoons each of ketchup and a good grainy mustard, plus about 2 tablespoons of brown sugar. Mix it all together but wait until the loaf has been in for about 20 or 25 minutes.

While you are waiting, slice the rest of the mushrooms and brown them slowly in butter. This is the basis for your gravy.

Now pull the loaf out and quickly glaze it all over, then shove it back in and set a timer for another 45 minutes or so.

Melt and heat your stock, make a flour/butter roux...

...and whisk in the hot stock until it thickens, then add the whole thing to the sauteed mushrooms and stir well. Taste and adjust your seasonings. Mushroom gravy. Delicious right? Let it bubble slowly if you want the gravy thicker while you make mashed potatoes and a vegetable to finish up just as the meatloaf does.

When your meat thermometer says 155-160F, the meatloaf is done. Pull it out and let it rest for a few minutes before slicing. The temperature will actually coast up before it peaks.

But oh boy! See the little orange and green flecks? At 160F it’s well done, but still very moist and flavorful.

And if you are cooking for your honey, 
you can get creative about dessert. ;-) 

Friday, November 18, 2011

Friday night

Stop Online Piracy Act

Google, Facebook and Twitter monetize pure traffic and do not make a distinction about whether the traffic is lawful or not.

Think of a stream of people moving in and out of a retail store secretly making free copies of the products inside without purchasing the originals, while Google or FaceBook get paid per person passing by.

If you were earning fees on the stream of traffic through the shop would you care if the store owner was getting ripped off?

That’s why Google and FaceBook and Twitter are in opposition to SOPA. 

They would be required by law to care.

bearly logical

When the Bear Mountain Bridge opened in 1924 it was the longest suspension bridge in the world.

Plans for a bridge at this location predate our ClockTower by 20 years. In 1887 there were reports the bridge would be finished within two years. It was not to be so.

In fact not until 1922 when a private concern raised about $4.5 million to complete the span did the Bear Mountain Hudson River Bridge finally open. The private ownership planned to convert to New York State ownership no later than 1962. See the train tunnel on the eastern bank connecting NYC with all points upstate?

I took this photo from the train:

The transfer to the NYS Bridge Authority was actually completed in 1940 and the toll was established at fifty cents. Today it is still only a dollar and collected only from eastbound vehicles.

The bridge and tollhouse were added to the National Register of Historic places in 1982. An average of 17,695 cars cross each day.

The bronze elk was a 1935 gift from Victor H. Berman, Palisades Park Commissioner between 1935 and 1953 when the dedication plaque was placed.

But at this location? I wonder why it’s not a bronze bear.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


The Bronx Terminal Market at 149th Street and the Harlem River was first conceived in 1917 as a receiving point for the city’s fruits and vegetables. When it was built in the 1920’s a bank was added and a hotel was included on the second floor for the farmers.

Well known in Mott Haven as “The Prow Building”, the Art Moderne lettering was added in 1935 after Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia took office and expanded the market to provide a home for the city's numerous pushcart vendors.

The South Bronx demographic changed with the influx of Caribbean island immigrants and the market eventually grew to become the nation’s largest wholesale market for raw sugar cane and other Hispanic foods, with over 100 distinct vendors.

But in 2006 construction began on the GateWay Center requiring the demolition of every historic building on the 17 acre market site with the single exception of the Prow.

That half billion dollar shopping center was completed and opened in 2009, displacing fruits and vegetables forevermore to the Hunt’s Point Market.

I shop at the Gateway Center. I’ll bet you do, too.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

SoBro inflamed

you too?


By now ClockTowerTenants are familiar with the subway staircase repairs currently underway at 138th and Lincoln.
Our downtown subway entry is boarded and we are instead greeted by a sign. It won’t be reopened until a few days before Christmas.

Scaffolding is set up at the bottom of the stair, and loose tile is being removed.

They are working through the weekends but there’s no mention on the MTA webpage because service remains the same.

Now we have to walk a block farther to Alexander and enter there, or enter on Lincoln but go down the uptown staircase.

You can see if a downtown train is coming and there’s a crossover stair about midplatform, making it worthwhile bounding up one side and back down the other if you are in a hurry.