Friday, February 22, 2013


I present a bunch of cute kitty pictures, because everyone else is doing it and I hate feeling left out.

WARNING:  Rest of blog TOTALLY NSFW.  Read at your own risk.

Here's a couple:

Thursday, February 21, 2013

An old standby

Mrs. Wraith had a bad day yesterday, so the obvious solution was comfort food.  Tuna casserole, anyone?

Wraith's High-Class Tuna Casserole

3 cups cooked macaroni (I used shells)
1 can tuna, drained(give the juice to the cats)
1 can Cream of Mushroom soup
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1 garlic clove, minced
3-4 oz. black olives
1/2 onion, diced
olive oil

Heat oil in a small pan, saute the onions and garlic for 3-4 minutes.  In a 9x13 baking dish, combine onion, garlic, olives, soup, tuna and macaroni.  Mix well, top with cheese.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

I've got a hotdog casserole in the works.  Stay tuned.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

On Whisk(e)y

Brigid waxes poetic about the greatest of all distilled spirits...

The picture was taken north of Big Bro's place in January. The moon was building, the air was quiet, the earth a motionless sphere in cooling space. We stepped outside and breathed in the cold, across which the faint scent of a fire touched our palates with smoke. Above, the night streamed in thick indigo threads, beyond which lay myriad points of crystal lights. It was a good night for a small glass of whisky.

Whiskey vs. whisky? The difference between whiskey and whisky seems simple but it's not. Whisky typically denotes Scotch or Canadian versions and whiskey denotes the Irish and American beverages. Although both spellings are of Celtic origin, there are substantial differences between the countries products, include the selection of grains, number of distillations, the maturation period and the type of still and barrels used. Each country's style has its own unique characteristics to savor and there are some further divided into sub categories like bourbon.

Irish vs. Scotch? Unlike Scotch, the malted barley in Irish whiskey is dried in enclosed kilns, not over peat fires, and lacks that distinct smokiness of Scotch whiskies. Irish whiskeys maintain the natural flavor of the barley, fragrant, with a unique roundness of body. It's an enjoyable drink indeed, but not the beverage of this cold winter evening.

A good, smooth, complex Scotch can be your saving grace on a cold, dark night.


During World War Two, Hawai'i discovered one of the most vilified meat products in history...and, having no culinary prejudices on the subject, developed a great taste for it.

Yes, fried Spam long ago became a staple of Hawai'ian cuisine, particularly in regard to breakfast.  The usual accompaniment would be straight scrambled eggs, along with a papya or grapefruit half, or a serving of pineapple.  I spent the first decade of my life on O'ahu, so, when I make a Hawai'ian breakfast, I call it a "Local Boy."

This time, however, I'm replacing the scrambled eggs with my Dirty White Eggs, so I guess this is a "Dirty Local Boy."  You'll need Spam, pineapple rings, eggs, an egg separator(or not, if you can actually do it by pouring it back and forth between the shells--I'm not that coordinated), sage, white pepper, oregano, curry powder and red pepper flakes.

I came up with Dirty White Eggs in an attempt to make things a little healthier at the breakfast table.  The ingredients vary a bit each time, as I'm always experimenting with new combinations, but this is the standard starting point.  I prefer a 4:1 ratio, so for every four eggs' worth of whites, I use the yolk of one.  After this picture, I cracked a whole egg into the bowl.

So, we have the Dirty Local Boy: 

the whites of four eggs
the yolk of one egg
1/2 tsp rubbed sage
1/2 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
dusting of white pepper(be careful--it's very fine and you can end up overdoing it)

Mix thoroughly and set aside.  Heat up a nonstick or oiled skillet on high heat.  Start cutting your Spam in 1/4" slices...

...and fry them about 2-3 minutes on each side.  They'll turn a deep crimson color and get crispy pretty quick.  Remove from pan and fry your pineapple rings...

...for about a minute each side.  Then scramble the egg mixture to desired consistency and serve.
So, if you can't be in Hawai'i, you can at least pick yourself up in these cold and dismal months with a bit of island flavor.  Shaka, brah!

Saturday, February 9, 2013


Sam and Glock are normally engaged in battle, but they both love Mom enough to call a truce once in a while:

Just a little dose of cute for ya.