Saturday, March 2, 2013

going Hungary

Cattle drives in the Middle Ages drove thousands of animals over great distances. One unlucky steer usually never arrived.

He was eaten along the way.

The name “goulash” originates from the Hungarian “guly√•s” which means herdsman, a beef stew made by a herdsman on a drive.

Our WesternBEEF offers very well priced stewing beef. Fry some smoked bacon fairly hard to render all the fat.

Salt and pepper the beef and then dredge it in flour.

Remove the bacon and add the floury beef to the hot bacon fat, and sear the meat on all sides. 

Cook it hard and take your time to get a good brownish-black crust all over.

Peel some carrots and onions while your meat is browning. Clean and coarsely chop some flat parsley, too, plus fresh thyme and way too much garlic. 

When the meat has browned and it’s really hot, dump in a cup or two of red wine to slow things down, scrape the bottom then add a rich stock from your freezer. 

Melt the stock down into the bubbling beef and wine.

Now we’re getting somewhere.

A true goulash calls for paprika, hot red pepper, fennel or caraway seed and lots of bayleaf.

As things soften and cook down, stir and cover with a tight fitting lid and turn the heat down to a slow simmer. Stir it every now and then. In about 3 hours it will look like this.

Top it up with more wine if the liquid cooks down and make up a batch of flat, egg noodles for the classic goulash carb.

Yum. This is a wonderful stew with European flair that fills your loft with rich aroma.

Go Hungary this winter. :-) 

Friday, March 1, 2013

and if you don’t... yer all wet

Good weather is right around the corner and what better way to celebrate Spring than an ecology tour of the Bronx River?

ACTUALLY ON the river!

When Jonas Bronck purchased the land we call home in 1639, it was bordered to the north by “Bronck’s River”. Got it?

Now comes the excellent Rocking the Boat with offerings to make an ecologist’s heart sing.

Call Chrissy Word at 718.466.5799, ext. 1219
and ask about the tours.

See you on the WATER!

it's official

Last week ClockTowerTenants posed the question: 

“Are you in favor or against the FreshDirect relocation
 to the Harlem River Yards? Why?”

That was last Friday, and a paper version was posted in the ClockTower lobby that Friday and again on Sunday. I received a few responses.

None expressed doubt.

Two noted the convenience of the delivery service since FreshDIRECT has begun servicing the Bronx. No one mentioned accepting foodstamps.

One observed that prices seem about the same, perhaps not the 10% or 15% less FreshDirect suggests. But more convenience for about the same price is still a good thing and food prices are already very low here in the Bronx.

FreshDirect will bring jobs and organize/utilize a now-empty lot. So I still think employment through industry coming to an industrial sector of the Bronx is a plus.

The compromise we make is the trucking that will go past the ClockTower along Bruckner Blvd, on the way to the ThirdAvenueBridge. But not a single respondent mentioned that.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

‘cause when I’m bad, I’m so so bad

I ♥ Donna Summer

auf wiedersehen!

and that’s saying something

It almost doesn’t matter where you look these days, poor Pope Benedict has been facing a litany of criminal behaviors over decades of secrecy and guile. 

I have no gripe with those of faith. I’ll defend your right to believe because that’s your right and I respect it.

But we’ve also reached a point of common sense in our culture where the faithful themselves are part of a bigger problem.

These three examples are all from just this week, with the Pope now suspected of resigning because of a 300 page dossier about to surface. It documents sex among Priests with corrupted Cardinals and blackmailed Bishop’s at the highest levels of the Vatican. 

It's finally more than the poor man can take.

Yes, the church does good work but good work can be funded without giving it to guys with more gold bullion than anyone else and a criminal record like this.


So if you are a Catholic and put money in the plate this Sunday, at least be honest with yourself: They are using your tithings to defend and escape and we know it. 

That’s a bigger crisis in personal integrity than 300 pages about to hit the fan. 

And today even Benedict is punting.


Wednesday, February 27, 2013

and while we're on the subject

anyone else notice the sunset light just now?

it’s raining this morning

Ever notice how light reflected in the rain adds temporary flourish to our landscape?

So cool. By day it’s like adding highlights to a painting.
See the purplish LED on the left and the more yellowish incandescent on the right?

By night it’s magic.

Charles Burchfield uses a lone, red taillight reflection in the lower left of his “Rainy Night” from 1930.

And there’s a little green reflection in the lower right of this ClockTower photo:

Magic is all around this morning. 
Don’t just look on your way to work.

Really see.