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Vanilla Ice Cream Day – Jefferson Made A Mean French Vanilla!

Vanilla Ice Cream Day – Jefferson Made A Mean French Vanilla!

Today is Vanilla Ice Cream Day.
 
Though we may never know the exact day when ice cream was invented, many believe that today is the day, in 1904, that one of several vendors at the St. Louis World Fair was the first person to put ice cream onto a cone.

I’ll let other people fight over when the cone was invented, who put ice cream in it first, and whether they were able to finish eating it before it all melted in this super hot July weather. 
Instead, I’m gonna give you :

Thomas Jefferson’s Vanilla Ice Cream recipe:

You can also find this recipe at the Library of Congress website.
Just click on the image above to see the original.

As you are likely to not have an 18th century Ice Cream Maker lying around, It’s quite OK if you want to ignore Thomas’ instructions and use the instructions that came with your ice cream maker.  You’ll notice that there’s quite a few egg yolks in this recipe, so by today’s standards, it might be closer to a frozen custard, but certainly it is a French Vanilla.
It’s all ice cream to me! Enjoy!


Ingredients
2 bottles of good cream (I think he means 2 quarts)
6 yolks of eggs.
1/2 lb sugar. (about 1 cup)

Directions
Mix the yolks & sugar.
Put the cream on a fire in a casser-
ole, first putting in a stick of Vanilla.
When near boiling take it off &
pour it gently into the mixture
of eggs & sugar.
Stir it well.
Put it on the fire again stirring
it thoroughly with a spoon to
prevent it’s sticking to the casse-
role.
When near boiling take it off and
strain it thro a towel.
Put it in the Sabottiere (a sabottiere – aka sorbetière – is the inner canister of an ice cream maker, usually metal).
Then set it in ice an hour before
it is to be served, put into the
ice a handful of salt.
Put ice all around the Sabottiere.
 i.e. a layer of ice, a layer of salt
for three layers.
Put salt on the cover lid of the
Sabotiere & cover the whole with
ice.
Leave it still half a quarter of an hour.
Then turn the Sabottiere in the ice 10 minutes.
Open it to loosen with a spatula
the ice from the inner sides of
the Sabotiere.
Shut it & replace it in the ice.
Open it from time to time to de-
tach the ice from the sides.
When well taken (prise) stir it
well with the spatula.
Put it in moulds, justling it
well down on the knee.
Then put the mould into the
same bucket of ice.
Leave it there to the moment
of serving it.
To withdraw it, immerse the
mould in warm water,
turning it well till it
will come out & turn it
into a plate.

Posted by vcb in All, Desserts, Food, Ice Cream, Politics, Recipes, 0 comments
Burger PRIMEr – See what I did there?

Burger PRIMEr – See what I did there?

Hi. How’s it goin’? Good? Cool. Let’s get back to the burger talk, shall we?
I am not an expert on burgers, but I do have preferences and strong opinions on what makes a burger great. You are certain to have your own opinions.
 
This post will hopefully help you burger aficionados at home have a little more background on the various styles and characteristics of burgers, along with some remarks on what I like and don’t like in a burger.
At some point in your life, someone you know will ask…
Who has the best burger?
This question may not have a simple answer.
What style of burger? Is one style better than the other?
Would it be fair to compare Kuma’s Corner to Paradise Pup or Five Guys?
It’s about as fair as comparing Burger King to a burger made from the best cuts of beef from a steakhouse. I’d normally use the “apples and oranges” analogy, but how often do you see either on a burger?
Now, we’re only talking about BEEF burgers here.
There is no room in this conversation for the burger’s mutant offspring, or the much maligned “veggie”. We can save that for another time. We’re also not going to talk about every burger style that exists on earth because, a) I don’t know them all, b) new burger joints keep popping up all the time, and 3) this article would never end.
I will give you examples of restaurants that make burgers in the styles listed below. I’m sure these are not the only examples of those styles, and some of these places you may not have heard of, as I am mostly familiar with national chains and the burger joints in the Chicago area. Some of these styles overlap, depending on where you’re getting your burger from, so I’ll try to do my best to place them in the proper categories.
First, I’d like to briefly mention Louis Lunch in New Haven, CT, because it’s where the hamburger sandwich was invented, and you’re going to have a hard time finding any other place that makes burgers in a vertical cast iron flame broiler and toasts white bread (not a bun) on a conveyor toaster contraption, so I won’t dare to categorize it below. It’s on my list of places to go if I ever pass through Connecticut. It should be on your list, too.
Second, I’d like to encourage you to look up the various styles on your own.
I’ll throw in a few descriptions here and there, but I’m not a freakin enyclopedia, ya know! 🙂
Fast-Food Burgers:
Fast-food burgers are typically thin burgers, sometimes fresh, but usually frozen, cooked well-done or beyond, and often sold through a drive-thru window.
Fast-food establishments, usually the national chains, often make up for variable quality of these thin brownish-grey meat slabs by offering double or triple patty burgers and covering them with American cheese slices and/or bacon, and hoping you’ll drown yours in condiments. To be fair, a fast-food burger can taste really good if done right (or after a few drinks). The main feature of the fast-food burger is that it’s fast and cheap.
This category has a few styles, and also a variety of novelty burgers.
  • Flame-broiled burger – Burger King
  • Griddled/Fried burger – McDonald’s
  • Steam/Onion-Griddled Slider
    White Castle, White Manna/Mana
    (New Jersey)
  • The Luther Burger – a bacon cheeseburger served between a split glazed Krispy Kreme donut, named for singer Luther Vandross, who may also have been it’s inventor. I could start a rant about how some restaurants make this one wrong, but I’ll save it for another post.
  • McDLMFAO/Bacon/Jalapeño/Mutant Ninja/Angus/BBQ/Chipotle/Movie-
    Promo Burger

    (I think you know what I mean)
Mid-Level Burgers:
Some burgers in this category are just a higher quality version of the fast-food burger, while others approach a happy medium between greasy spoon and gourmet. This level also has a number of novelty burgers. Some of these places even have secret menus (Five Guys, M-Burger).
Gourmet burgers:  
Often larger and thicker than a fast-food burger, gourmet burgers are custom ground fresh, locally or on-site, cooked to order and desired temperature. Some gourmet burgers, especially steakhouse burgers, are made with combinations of more expensive or more flavorful cuts of beef, like short ribs and brisket. Some burgers are served with the typical Lettuce, Tomato, Onion, Pickle, etc. , while others are topped with any number of ingredients, from fried eggs to lobster. The burger buns vary as well. Instead of the plain white “wonder” bun, you can often find a glossy egg-washed fresh baked upgrade, or the increasingly popular pretzel bun. A few of the burgers in this category make use of Kobe Beef, which I argue is an incredible waste to grind up into a burger.
Now, some of you may be thinking, “he’s just making all these categories up!”, to which my response is:
Yep. Of course I am! Just have fun with it.
When you get your own blog, you can make up your own burger categories.
Now, shut up and go get a cheeseburger!
Stimulate the economy, one burger at a time! 🙂

Looking for more info on burgers?
My friend in meat, Craig “Meathead” Goldwyn, also has a page devoted to the “taxonomy” of burgers, in which he also talks about the different regional styles, such as the “green chile cheeseburger” from New Mexico.
You can check it out at  amazingribs.com/recipes/hamburgers
More recently, he’s compiled a pretty awesome hamburger cooking page as well, if you want to try cooking your own burger at home: Amazing Ribs: The Zen of Hamburgers
 
DON’T FORGET TO PUT BACON ON IT!
Posted by vcb in All, Cheeseburger, Food, 0 comments
ObamaCare is Not Evil – A Rant

ObamaCare is Not Evil – A Rant

 

ObamaCare Is Not Evil – A Rant

Stop it. Just stop it. You’re upset about what you perceive to be an attack on your personal freedom and you’re taking it out on ObamaCare because you decided that our President is an evil tyrant planning to steal all of the gold from the federal bank, haul it away in a few dozen dump trucks and blow it all up while taking revenge on the NY cop who dropped his (nonexistent) brother off the top of the Nakatomi building for trying to kill Harry Potter AND have a wine tasting contest while stealing millions in bearer bonds on Xmas eve.
1) Stop watching so many Alan Rickman movies.
2) Take a breath and listen:

I’m trying to dumb it down a bit, but there’s a lot of information here, and many of you have already made up your mind (or allowed newscorp to make up your mind for you) and won’t bother to read this anyway, so to those who choose to live in the dark and think ObamaCare will destroy your precious ‘Merica … go hide in your nuclear fallout shelter until the world ends and GFY with an MRE.

Look, I was one of the first to scream like a mofo when I heard the Affordable Care Act (aka ObamaCare)
wasn’t going to be a single-payer system that covered everyone. Without a public-option of any kind, an individual mandate sounded like it wouldn’t make any sense. I know you all have your own opinions on the subject.

The health industry (insurance companies and the drug industry) wasn’t going to let Single-Payer happen.
They have way too much invested in our current healthcare system in the USA, which is a profit-driven one, (Yay, Capitalism). Private insurance companies may love it, but it’s not even close to optimal for people who need healthcare. 

B..b..but America has the best healthcare in the world!

AHEM… http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Health_Organization_ranking_of_health_systems
THIRTY SEVEN. 37 is not 1. It’s 36 more than 1.
Guess who’s #1?
That’s right. Those “cheese-eatin’ surrender monkeys”, France, has the best healthcare system, which is a Multi-Payer system, combining government and private insurance.
Even if you don’t agree with all of the variables that the World Health Organization used to make these determinations, you can’t possibly conclude that the U.S. healthcare system is the best. If it was the best, why do so many people have no healthcare? How can you have the best system if everyone isn’t covered?
By the way, Groundskeeper Willie quotes notwithstanding, I think it’s time we laid off the France bashing a bit. After all, they DID help us gain our Independence from England (and possibly saved us from vampires during the Civil War, if we are to believe Abraham Lincoln’s unauthorized journals).

But don’t you worry, Freedom-Fries lovers. It’s doubtful we’d be able to convert to anything close to what France has, even though it would be better than what we have now, and better than the single-payer system in Canada that covers EVERY-FRICKING-BODY (and they’re ranked at #30). Even if the government were on-board, changing to either system would require a TOTAL OVERHAUL of our healthcare system.

The health industry makes it quite clear that they like America’s healthcare system to be rooted in the profit-driven private sector, and it doesn’t help that hordes of uninformed, misinformed, or just plain ignorant masses think “socialism” is a dirty word.
Because of this, all the corrupt politicians and healthcare lobbyists go out of their way to tell you that ObamaCare is the “crown jewel of socialism”. Never mind that the analogy makes ZERO SENSE, it’s just a stupid thing to say. If socialism had a crown jewel (it doesn’t), it would be SOCIALISM. But forget all that crown jewel stuff. ObamaCare isn’t socialism, and socialism isn’t the problem with the American healthcare system. Like some have already said before, capitalism is the problem.

Now before you all get in a huff, I didn’t say capitalism was the problem with America as a whole. Capitalism can work well if properly regulated (like it used to). I won’t get into the problems with our current version of capitalism (aka socialism for the wealthy). That’s for another post. I’ll just say this:
Some things in a society should not be left to the profit-driven whims of the free-market. Healthcare is one of those.
So yes, unless the health insurance industry can be properly regulated, capitalism will be a problem for the American healthcare system, and a drag on our economy.
Is Obamacare (ACA) a socialist healthcare system? Hardly. At the moment, the Affordable Care Act is the best our government could do under the current political climate, which sadly, has become even more dysfunctional.
The ACA is mostly a set of long overdue regulations to the American PRIVATE Healthcare System. If they had kept a public-option as part of the bill, you could have argued that it was part-capitalist/part-socialist, but even with the healthcare exchanges that they are establishing, it’s pretty much still a capitalist healthcare system. It shouldn’t matter to you if it has socialist components anyway, because…

America is already a hybrid social/capitalist society. It has been for many decades. We already do things in our country to help everyone. Our American republic has set up certain “social safety nets” to help those in need.
We have this thing called SOCIAL SECURITY and this other thing called MEDICARE (and Medicaid) that many of the aforementioned “masses” would threaten you with their 2nd amendment rights if you took them away.

Also, not to rub it in or anything but…
the Supreme Court said it’s constitutional for the government to pass a law requiring it’s citizens to have healthcare.

So what are you mad about now? Oh, they called it a tax, and now the anti-tax people are all mad about that?
Hate to break it to you but… TAXES are part of America, and we ARE represented by people that WE ALL ELECTED.
There are many social welfare programs that we all contribute to with this thing called TAXES.

I know, I know, the dreaded “T” word. Some of you out there think they should never pay taxes ever.
I can sympathize (who is this FICA person and why does he keep taking all my money?), but you need to get past your selfish ways and grow up. What? You’re all about personal responsibility, but then you refuse to be responsible for your role in this society? Seriously, grow the *!@% up.

BUT IT’S A MANDATE! But… the constitution… I thought this country was about FREEDOM! (see the paragraph above)
Nobody likes the government telling them what to do, but it’s hardly an attack on your freedom. Clearly your freedom of speech rights are intact (don’t get me started on “time & place” restrictions). You don’t have the constitutional right to choose which taxes you pay. Besides, you already pay into Medicare and Social Security; both are taxes.

Taxes exist to support a society. If you’d rather not have roads and bridges and social security and services that we all as a community rely on for the betterment of everyone, then by all means, stop
paying your taxes and move to a private island somewhere where you have to do all that stuff for yourself.
This is not “evil socialism”.
It’s the way America works (or at least was set up to work) –
We elect a representative government to pass laws to benefit the people as a whole. That government (that WE ALL ELECTED) decided that we have to pay taxes to support our Military and National Defense (jobs program?), Infrastructure expenses, Agriculture programs, and other things that support a healthy American republic, AND…
they decided to pass a healthcare bill that made everyone responsible in some way for their healthcare.
Without it, all those people without health coverage who end up in the emergency room… WE WOULD ALL END UP HAVING TO PAY FOR ANYWAY, and WAY MORE $$$ than we needed to because many of those emergencies could have been prevented if those people had healthcare in the first place.

Is it the best law they could have come up with? Not by a long shot. I’m not thrilled with the idea of being required to pay into a private “for-profit” healthcare system, but since there ARE a few safeguards in place to keep the health industry honest, and we don’t (yet) have the option to pay into a public system (aka Medicare-For-All), I’ll take what I can get, considering it’s better than what we have now. If you think you’re better off with things the way they were before they passed the Affordable Care Act, you’re probably wrong.

B..b..but it’s a TAX!
Really? You’re still going on about the tax penalty? That’s right… it’s a penalty.
You don’t pay it unless you don’t have health insurance, and it doesn’t take effect until 2014.
And even on the rare chance that you find you do need to pay a tax penalty for not having health insurance, do you really think the IRS is going to hunt you down looking for the money?  They’ll have a heck of a time trying to enforce it.

OK, so maybe now you’re not completely opposed to paying your fair share of taxes,
but you still don’t think you can afford healthcare,
so why are they making you pay for something you can’t afford?
THEY’RE NOT.

  • “Some people can be exempted from the insurance requirement, called an individual mandate, because of financial hardship or religious beliefs or if they are American Indians, for example.”
  •  “Depending on your income, you might be eligible for Medicaid, the state-federal program for the poor and disabled, which will be expanded sharply beginning in 2014.”
  • You might be eligible for government subsidies to help you pay for private insurance that would be sold in the new state-based insurance marketplaces, called exchanges, slated to begin operation in 2014.”


B..b..but it’s going to hurt small businesses!
More than the private insurance industry is hurting them already? Doubtful. Also…

  • Companies can get tax credits to help buy insurance if they have 25 or fewer employees and a workforce with an average wage of up to $50,000.”

(quotes above from KaiserHealthNews: Consumers Guide To Health Reform)

B..b..but why should I have pay so someone else can have healthcare?

YOU AREN’T, REALLY. You are covering your own incidental health care and increasing the insurance pool to lower costs for everyone.
If that argument is not enough for you, try this one:

I’m not a religious person or a bible scholar, but I’m pretty darn sure none of those books had Jesus telling you “EVERY MAN FOR HIMSELF” and “SCREW EVERYONE ELSE; I’VE GOT MINE”, so if you make any claim to be a moral person and still don’t think you should look out for the welfare of others, then you might have some soul searching to do. When you come back from your mystical journey, check back in and let us know how it went.

Want more information?
If you’re not averse to learning things outside of what you heard from some random guy on the bus or from fox news,
Take a moment to learn what the Affordable Care Act ACTUALLY does.
There is posting on Reddit about the ACA that is pretty thorough and easy to understand:
Reddit: What exactly is Obamacare and what did it change? (Explained by Reddit user CaspianX2)

Here’s some highlights from that Reddit post for you lazy bastards:
(the “WHAT IT MEANS” parts were written by me)

Parts of the ACA Already in effect:

WHAT IT MEANS
Drugs will be cheaper (most of them, anyway).

  • It makes chain restaurants like McDonalds display how many calories are in all of their foods, so people can have an easier time making choices to eat healthy. ( Citation: Page 518, sec. 4205 )

WHAT IT MEANS
FREEDOM to make informed choices at restaurants.
If you don’t care about calories, you also have the freedom to ignore the label & STFU about it.

  • It forbids insurance companies from discriminating based on a disability, or because they were the victim of domestic abuse in the past (yes, insurers really did deny coverage for that) ( Citation: Page 66, sec. 2705 )
  • It says that health insurance companies can no longer tell customers that they won’t get any more coverage because they have hit a “lifetime limit”. Basically, if someone has paid for health insurance, that company can’t tell that person that he’s used that insurance too much throughout his life so they won’t cover him any more. They can’t do this for lifetime spending, and they’re limited in how much they can do this for yearly spending. ( Citation: Page 33, sec. 2711 )
  • Insurers have to tell customers what they’re spending money on. (Instead of just “administrative fee”, they have to be more specific).

WHAT IT MEANS
MORE protection for YOU so you don’t lose health coverage.

WHAT IT MEANS
MORE protection for YOUR KIDS so they don’t lose health coverage.

and all of you “invincible”, “I DON’T NEED HEALTH INSURANCE” twenty-something FREELOADERS can stay on your parents’ plan.

  • A limit is placed on just how much of a percentage of the money an insurer makes can be profit, to make sure they’re not price-gouging customers. ( Citation: Page 41, sec. 1101 )

WHAT IT MEANS
YOUR INSURANCE COMPANY MUST SPEND 85% (or more) OF YOUR PREMIUM ON HEALTHCARE.
The insurance industry hates this because it make them spend $ on ACTUAL HEALTHCARE, which cuts into their enormous profits.

  • Any new health plans must provide preventive care (mammograms, colonoscopies, etc.) without requiring any sort of co-pay or charge. ( Citation: Page 33, sec. 2713 )

WHAT IT MEANS
YOU CAN GET A CHECKUP or other preventive care without having to pre-pay.

In 2014

WHAT IT MEANS
INSURANCE COMPANIES CAN NO LONGER DENY YOU COVERAGE for any pre-existing condition.

  • Medicaid can now be used by everyone up to 133% of the poverty line (basically, a lot more poor people can get insurance) ( Citation: Page 198, sec. 2001 )
  • Small businesses get some tax credits for two years. (It looks like this is specifically for businesses with 25 or fewer employees) ( Citation: Page 157, sec. 1421 )
  • Insurers now can’t do annual spending caps. Their customers can get as much health care in a given year as they need. ( Citation: Page 33, sec. 2711 )
  • Limits how high of an annual deductible insurers can charge customers. ( Citation: Page 81, sec. 1302 )

WHAT IT MEANS
MORE REFORMS to help more people get more care and pay less for health insurance.

  • Congress and Congressional staff will only be offered the same insurance offered to people in the insurance exchanges, rather than Federal Insurance. Basically, we won’t be footing their health care bills any more than any other American citizen. ( Citation: Page 100, sec. 1312 )

WHAT IT MEANS
Those greedy SOBs in Congress have to use the same health insurance as the rest of us. No wonder they had such a hard time passing this.

  • The amount you can deduct from your taxes for medical expenses increases.

WHAT IT MEANS
MORE MONEY in your tax refund.

ObamaCare is not evil.

Do you want to know what is evil?

NOT LOOKING OUT FOR YOUR FELLOW MAN.

In summary:
1) Pay your taxes.
2) Not everything you hate is unconstitutional.
3) Stop being such a selfish prick.

Posted by vcb in All, Politics, Rant, 0 comments
C.P. Bacon Addresses The Elephant In The Room

C.P. Bacon Addresses The Elephant In The Room

Yesterday, news broke that presidential candidate and crispy meat slab, C.P. Bacon of Bacon4President.com

confirmed that he had sent out a support letter in favor of newly formed Bacon SuperPAC aka Americans For More Bacon Tomorrow. After much criticism over his support of a SuperPAC after having publicly denounced the Citizens United ruling on Corporate “Personhood”, he released a followup statement on his Facebook page and simultaneously on his Twitter account, @Bacon4Pres , explaining his rationale:

WHY I SUPPORT BACON SUPERPAC

OK, let me address the elephant in the room. (No, not you, Dumbo, I’m speaking metaphorically).

Citizens United is what I’m talking about.  I’m pretty sure there’s a ton of corporate interests out there using Citizens United as a way to use tons of $$$$ to mislead the masses, and I’m not entirely sure if I agree with the Supreme Court on Corporations having the same rights to free speech as people (and half-people like me). But as a patriotic Bacon-American, I can see that the Citizens United ruling hurts the American Dream more than it helps. So I would be in favor of a constitutional amendment overturning Citizens United, but as most of us realize, passing one could take years.

In the meantime, corporate interests will continue to undermine the efforts of honest hardworking Americans just trying to #BringHomeTheBacon . So I’m doing the only thing I can to stem the tide. While the ability to make independent expenditures to promote a better food industry and a better economy for everyone is still perfectly legal under the law, I’ll do what I have to in order for you to have a better tomorrow.

This is why I support BaconSuperPAC.com and why I wrote that letter of support.
Americans For More Bacon Tomorrow shares a lot of the same hopes and dreams for a better future for America, and they want to help you have every opportunity to #BringHomeTheBacon.
So I hope you can see that this is not just any SuperPAC. It’s a BACON SuperPAC.

Thanks for reading, and Lard Bless America!

C.P. Bacon – Bacon4President.com
@Bacon4Pres on twitter

p.s. – I know you’re not supposed to start sentences with “so” and “but” , but I do not care. The message is what’s important. I’ll hire a speech-writer for next election,

Bacon SuperPAC Support Letter From C.P. Bacon:

Posted by vcb in All, Bacon, Food, Humor, Money, Politics, Rant, 0 comments
Futurama Toy FAIL – Wooden Bender

Futurama Toy FAIL – Wooden Bender

I think that someone failed to watch the Futurama episode of “Obsoletely Fabulous” or just plain didn’t read the description, because FUTURAMA and kidrobot made one of the most cool, yet confusing, Futurama collectibles ever.

They got together
and made a “Wooden Bender” figure…
OUT OF PLASTIC!
OK, technically, it’s VINYL, but I think you see my point, don’t you?
Don’t you think it would have been more appropriate to have made this toy… I don’t know…
OUT OF WOOD, maybe?!?!?
This is either one of the most BRILLIANT inside jokes ever… or someone clearly didn’t really think this through.

You can get one of these abominations at the Comedy Central Online Shop
(click on the image above for the link)

I still kinda want one, though.

Posted by vcb in All, Humor, 0 comments