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So basically, I am tired of pretending to be someone else.

I was the user who used to be known as Senilebiker - my choice - no complaints.

One of my strongest views were that the US 2nd Amendment was damaging and dangerous to the general health of the US population. This view has not changed. T that time there existed a very mean and aggressive group of gun advocates who went under the banner of the RBKA group. These guys were organised and would load onto people they didn't like 24 hours after a comment was published.

Thankfully, due to the work of LillithGardner, Franktheplumber and Hugh Jim Bissel, most of these folks have skulked off to sites new.

One of the most aggressive and nasty was a guy called check his profile who published under the name of Kestrel9000. This user was eventually banned for extremely graphic threats of violence to another Kossack, and behavior totally of the map.

So getting back to Senilebiker.

One day, K9K decided that he was pissed off with an anti gunner called MikeB and some number, so he did a Google search on MikeB and published some of his comments from other websites. So Senilebiker (me) decided to run K9K's moniker through the Google machine to see what came up.

On the first page of Google's response was a reference to one of his kids, including his or her mobile phone number. As a parent I thought that this was really stupid, and if it was my kid, they should be told to be more circumspect. So, even though I thought the guy was a total asshole, I PM'd him to say that he should have a word with his kid.

In the totally paranoid environment of Northern Vermont (crime rate virtually zero) this was construed as a threat, despite the fact that I live on the other side of the Atlantic, and aat best I can swim maybe 400 metres.

Apparently this led to the banning off Senilebiker. I tried to contact the admins to tell them to examine the whole PM trail but never received a reply ( In those days it seemed that only the gunnies had acces to the admins!!!!!)

So after a while of lurking, I snuck back onto the site under a new identity =peterfallow - and amazingly became a TU, and then collected 5 bars of mojo. I am a regular diarist on Morning Open Thread and have over 100 diaries under this name, around 25% have hit the rec list. I also have over 3000 comments and cannot remember the last HR.

I would also like to point out that some of the MOT regulars were members of the RKBA group, and we have had no disagreements in this format.  Other diaries we can disagree.

However this week, I made one comment in aprogun diary
and this then fell into a thread of maybe 50 comments.

Well basically, I am sick of pretending to be someone else for an offence I didn't commit, and I want to reclaim my original identity.

So Kos - it is up to you - you can reban me as a Zombie or reinstate my original identity.

UPDATE - Certain persons have stated that I outed K9K. For the record, he included his real identity in his profile, so there is no outing involved.

Secondly, there seems to be a certain amount of vitriol from the members of the RKBA gang. I will do my best to not respond in kind.

Discuss
Good Morning Kossacks and Welcome to Morning Open Thread (MOT)
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Good Morning Motlies - and I hope you are warm and protected from the treacherous weather that the Koch brothers and King Coal have inflicted upon everybody.

So, a few weeks ago I was drafted to write a food diary every so often, and I have noted  that as we head into the heart of Winter, to paraphrase Harry Nillson, everybody's talking about how cold, wet or snowy it is. And when the nights are long and the days are cold there is nothing better than a healthy stew to warm you up from the inside.

Now as a kid I was no big fan of stews, but as I moved around various countries, I found that each had its own take on the stew, using the same basic ingredients, but incorporating local ingredients for an individual taste. The most common variable is the liquid added to the basic recipe, and the second are the vegetables and spices. Thus you get the basic variations as follows.

1) Irish stew - Guiness for the liquid and root vegetables for the filler
2) Lancashire hotpot - beef stock for the liquid, potatoes and carrots
3) Boeuf Bourguinon - red wine for the liquid, lardons (pancetta) silver onions.
4) Carbonnade a la Flamande - Belgian Beer for the liquid and year round herbs (rosemary and Thyme) for the flavour.
5) Hungarian Goulash - beef stock for the liquid, but hot paprika and bell peppers for the extras.

I am sure there are many others, and there are also variations using chicken such as chicken cacciatore or coq au vin.

OK, so how do you go about making a stew in the depth of Winter. The answer is simple, and you really don't need to measure anything or follow a recipe. You just add the things that you like to the pot. Now this pot in my case is a large heavy bottomed pot, with a lid, but in the US could be a crock pot or slow cooker or whatever you call them. The simple fact is that no stew will be ready until it has simmered for a minimum of 2 1/2 hours.

Now if you were a tv chef, you would start by making a beurre blanc ( flour and butter) or a roux ( a beurre blanc cooked a little longer), but really this is not necessary. Quite simply you chop some onion and cook it in a butter/oil mix until it softens, and then add some chopped or crushed garlic.

Next you take you very cheap cut of beef (Brisket?), which has been cut into cubes about 1 inch square, dredged through seasoned flour (i.e plus salt and black pepper), and add it to the pot and turn it around until it is lightly browned. At this point you need to add your liquid - and the choice is yours, wine, beer, stock etc - and deglaze the bottom of the pan ( that it is scoop up all the bits that have stuck to the bottom). A bottle of beer is probably insufficient to cover all the meat, so you can add beef or vegetable stock until all the meat is covered.

Ok, so now you have your basic stew simmering contentedly, you need to think about your flavor enhancers and your bulking up.

As for herbs, traditional Winter herbs are Rosemary and Thyme as they are evergreen- I have them in my garden, and for a stew I always add a couple of dried Bayleaves. These days, with dried or freezedried herbs your choice is unlimited, but  I find the classics are best. For a little extra kick, you can add a squeeze of tomato concentrate, or a drizzle of soy sauce or balsamico vinegar (go very lightly here).  

To bulk up your stew, you need Winter vegetables - carrots, parsnips, potatoes or dumplings. Remember that the harder the vegetable the longer it needs to cook, so you can add carrots 1 hour before serving, but potatoes only 30 minutes before.

Basically, it sits there gently cooking. If it becomes too dry add some water, or if it is too liquid at serving time, add some corn flour. Serve with bread, potatoes, french fries, green veggies or whatever.
OK , now for some food porn - even though it isn't exactly my method

Carbonnade a la Flamande

Boeuf Bourgignonne

Poll

What is your favorite stew?

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Good Morning Kossacks and Welcome to Morning Open Thread (MOT)
We're known as the MOTley Crew and you can find us here every morning at 7:00 am Eastern (and perhaps sometimes earlier!). Feel free to volunteer to take a day - permanently or just once in awhile. With the Auto Publish feature you can set it and forget it. Sometimes the diarist du jour shows up much later: that's the beauty of Open Thread...it carries on without you! Volunteer in the comment threads.
Click on the MOT - Morning Open Thread ♥ if you'd like us to show up in your stream.
A little Joni Mitchell to start your week. I hope the Atlantic filter doesn't get in the way.
Poll

How many Joni Mitchell albums do you own

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Good Morning Kossacks and Welcome to Morning Open Thread (MOT)
We're known as the MOTley Crew and you can find us here every morning at 6.30 am Eastern (and perhaps sometimes earlier!). Feel free to volunteer to take a day - permanently or just once in awhile. With the Auto Publish feature you can set it and forget it. Sometimes the diarist du jour shows up much later: that's the beauty of Open Thread...it carries on without you! Volunteer in the comment threads.
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Good Morning Motlies.

Here is one of my favorite dishes, although I have my own variation which adds parsley and garlic to the rub. This is really a very tasty and cheap meal, and all I would add is that if you cannot get very sharp tasting apples, add a little lemon.

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Seriously, I have been watching the SOTUS  broadcast and the only thing I can focus on is Boehners reaction, which is like watching someone with a Buttplug they never wanted.

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Doner shop in Instanbul

source Wiki Commons

Good Morning Kossacks and Welcome to Morning Open Thread (MOT)
We're known as the MOTley Crew and you can find us here every morning at 6.30 am Eastern (and perhaps sometimes earlier!). Feel free to volunteer to take a day - permanently or just once in awhile. With the Auto Publish feature you can set it and forget it. Sometimes the diarist du jour shows up much later: that's the beauty of Open Thread...it carries on without you! Volunteer in the comment threads.
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Good Morning Motlies - and today we are back talking about food.

As many of you know, I live in Germany where the national dish is not schnitzel or sauerbraten but is probably Doner kebab. I was once at the 24 hours Spa Francorchamps bike race, and the local hard case biker gang said as they left "As soon as I get back I need to eat a good German doner"

Doner Kebab, also known as Shawarma in Muslim countries, or Gyros in Greece, or Durum in Belgium, is basically pressed meat mounted on a vertical spit which rotates before a heat source. Traditionally this would have been hot coals, but is now more commonly gas fired. The Doner Kebab originated in Turkey, and was originally made with lamb. Unsurprisingly it migrated to the mid East via Lebanon and Syria, and was renamed Shawarma. As emigration became more common, the doner expanded its foorprint across the world. Germany with its Turkish "Guest Workers" is probably the biggest market with sales estimated at over $3 billion per year. The UK was introduced to Doners by Turkish Cypriot immigrants.

Over time, a variation based on chicken evolved, and now most kebab shops have two spits, one with chicken the other with..........?

Which is where this becomes interesting. Different countries have evolved different meats and different breads to create their Doners. Here in Germany, the standard Doner is pressed veal served in a quarter Turkish flat bread, while in the UK it would be lamb served in a pitta bread. In Mexico there is even a pork version, which would not go down well in Kuwait. Almost invariably served with a helping of salad and a sauce, it is a complete food - like for example Cornish Pasties.

Most Kebab shops offer other dishes such as grilled sausage on a skewer (cevapici), spiced with herbs, or small chunks of meat (Souvlaki in Greek )also grilled on a skewer. These will be served in the same way - either a bread pocket or on a plate. I remember travelling from Athens to Salzburg on a train in 1973, which took almost 48 hours, and surviving on Souvlaki cooked over a charcoal grill on the train - those were the days.

Souvlaki platter - source Wkik Commons

So if you feel like making your own ( and you have the equipment) here is recipe video.

Discuss
Good Morning Kossacks and Welcome to Morning Open Thread (MOT)
We're known as the MOTley Crew and you can find us here every morning at 6.30 am Eastern (and perhaps sometimes earlier!). Feel free to volunteer to take a day - permanently or just once in awhile. With the Auto Publish feature you can set it and forget it. Sometimes the diarist du jour shows up much later: that's the beauty of Open Thread...it carries on without you! Volunteer in the comment threads.
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Goooooood   Morrrrrrrrning Motlies.

Monday is here, the holiday season is over and you all should be back to work, except Joy who has special dispensation.

So, as most of you know I have been spending the Holiday season with my 93 year young Father in South Wales in a town recently visited by none other that Barack Obama for the NATO conference

Now if you look at the logo, the bottom right image is from Newport's most famous landmark, the Transporter Bridge. There are only eight remaining transporter bridges in the World, and one of the few still operating.

The bridge was built in 1906 to allow workers to go from their homes in Pillgwenly (locally referred to as Pill) to the newly constructed Orb steelworks on the other (East) side of the River Usk. The reason that this unusual form of bridge was chosen is that the Usk has a huge tidal range - 39 feet - and that at the turn of the century, the docks up stream were still receiving tall ships. Because of these reasons, both a ferry and conventional bridge were inappropriate. The solution was a transporter bridge, where a suspended gondola was hung beneath a tall structure, and was moved from one bank to the other by an overhead electric railway. Amazingly, it only required 2 X 35 hp motors to function.

Power to propel the transporter platform or gondola is provided by two 35 hp (26.1 kW) electric motors, which in turn drive a large winch, which is situated in an elevated winding house at the eastern end of the bridge. This winch is sufficient to drive the gondola through its' 196.56 m (644.9 ft) total travel at a speed of 3 metres per second (9.8 ft/s),[citation needed]. This is the oldest and largest of the three historic transporter bridges which remain in Britain, and also the largest of the eight historic transporter bridges which remain worldwide)
Source wiki.

So here is a short video of this amazing historical artefact.

And to keep PCarey happy, here is another Newport viseo by Newport's own GoldielookinChain

Discuss
Good Morning Kossacks and Welcome to Morning Open Thread (MOT)
We're known as the MOTley Crew and you can find us here every morning at 7:00 am Eastern (and perhaps sometimes earlier!). Feel free to volunteer to take a day - permanently or just once in awhile. With the Auto Publish feature you can set it and forget it. Sometimes the diarist du jour shows up much later: that's the beauty of Open Thread...it carries on without you! Volunteer in the comment threads.
Click on the MOT - Morning Open Thread ♥ if you'd like us to show up in your stream.
Good Morning Motlies.

So what do you have you have in your kitchen?

If you cook, and I mean really cook, you never buy those little packets of pre-packaged spice mixes for spaghetti bolognese  or chicken roast, but you build your own spices and herb mix for each dish.

Now you can buy the little bottles at your supermarket at 2 bucks a pop for 50 grams, or you can go to a farmers' market or Asian shop where you can get 250 gms for 5 bucks which is what I do. Similarly, Soy sauce which I use almost daily is like $3 for  150ml in the supermarket, or $8 for 1000 ml at the Asian shop same brand.

So here is my basic list of staples.

In large jars.

Black peppercorns
Sea Salt
Coriander
Cumin (ground)
Turmeric
Garam Marsala
Chilli powder
Curry powder
Hot Paprika
Oregano
Herbes de Provence

In small jars

Red peppercorns
Green peppercorns
Cumin seeds
Marjoram
Chinese 5 Spice
Garlic salt
White Pepper.

Liquids

Olive oil
Sunflower oil
Pumpkin oil
Walnut Oil
Red wine Vinegar
White wine vinegar
Balsamico
SOY SAUCE (litre bottle)

I wanted to post  a photo, but Flickr is giving me a hard time, so I will give you a video instead

Sorry - aopolgies for that.

So what is on your kitchen shelves?

Discuss
Good Morning Kossacks and Welcome to Morning Open Thread (MOT)
We're known as the MOTley Crew and you can find us here every morning at 7:00 am Eastern (and perhaps sometimes earlier!). Feel free to volunteer to take a day - permanently or just once in awhile. With the Auto Publish feature you can set it and forget it. Sometimes the diarist du jour shows up much later: that's the beauty of Open Thread...it carries on without you! Volunteer in the comment threads.
Click on the MOT - Morning Open Thread ♥ if you'd like us to show up in your stream.
Good morning Motlies and greetings from a cold crisp frosty South Wales.

Seeking inspiration this morning, and having eliminated Zydeco, I thought back to the first music event I ever went to - The 1970 Bath Blues Festival - and decided what you all need on the first Monday  after Christmas is a little Carlos, so here to start your day is Black Magic Woman
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So what's on your mind today?

Discuss
Good Morning Kossacks and Welcome to Morning Open Thread (MOT)
We're known as the MOTley Crew and you can find us here every morning at 7:00 am Eastern (and perhaps sometimes earlier!). Feel free to volunteer to take a day - permanently or just once in awhile. With the Auto Publish feature you can set it and forget it. Sometimes the diarist du jour shows up much later: that's the beauty of Open Thread...it carries on without you! Volunteer in the comment threads.
Click on the MOT - Morning Open Thread ♥ if you'd like us to show up in your stream.
Well it seems a couple of days ago I got drafted by Joy of Fishes and others to write a cooking diary every so often, and whereas I wanted to complete my coal story the weather is still totally shitty with rain, rain, rain and for a change more rain, so no photos.

So, picking up on a thread a few weeks ago, I thought we could talk about Duck.

(In an aside which is totally irrelevant to this diary, I used to work in the Middle East and had contacts with Qataris, who are the most arrogant, impolite people you will ever meet. The capital of Qatar is Doha, which I renamed Ducking Foha)

So back to Ducks. I used to have a second home in the Perigord, which is the world capital of Foie Gras production. Now the livers would sell for a high price, which meant the rest of the duck was pretty cheap. So locally you could get Magret (breast) or Confit (legs preserved in fat) or just the fat at very reasonable prices.

The trick with duck is it is very fatty, so cooking it means that you want to keep it moist, but to cook away the excess fat (which should be kept for roasting potatoes). You can do this on a barbeque, but beware of frequent flame outs, or in a an oven by raising the duck onto a mesh grill in the pan.

Now duck, like most game, goes well with fruit. The most famous is Duck a L'Orange, which I have only successfully managed a couple of times, but cranberry sauce, even apple or pear will work well. Mostly the French just use Herbes de provence, which is a more savory, less sweet option.

Now, a first step is to learn how to roast a duck (it is a similar process for a goose - which just takes more time), and I always found it difficult because it was either too dry, or too greasy. But one day, I came across this video on the intertoobz, tried it a couple of days later, and it really works.

So here you go.
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By the way their website has some wonderful recipes, including Chinese crispy duck with pancakes.

Update  11.00 est. well it was abit of a lazy diary, but it has generated some lively discussion on cooking practices. Thanks all for your inputs.

Discuss
Good Morning Kossacks and Welcome to Morning Open Thread (MOT)
We're known as the MOTley Crew and you can find us here every morning at 7:00 am Eastern (and perhaps sometimes earlier!). Feel free to volunteer to take a day - permanently or just once in awhile. With the Auto Publish feature you can set it and forget it. Sometimes the diarist du jour shows up much later: that's the beauty of Open Thread...it carries on without you! Volunteer in the comment threads.
Click on the MOT - Morning Open Thread ♥ if you'd like us to show up in your stream.
Well, I had planned on continuing my coal diary from last week, but needed to take some photos. However, the last 7 days it has rained pretty much non stop, with really poor light.

So today, I am just going to leave you with a coal based video.

Discuss

So, now the official report is out, and the conclusion is that - Yes the CIA used torture - and  secondly it generated zero useful  information, so the people concerned - Cheney, Heyden, Rodriguez etc are out there saying the report is wrong. Surprised?

For example, here is Hayden on MSNBC

'Let me be very candid. We thought we were doing the nation's will. And in fact, having lived through the period and even looking back on it now. I think this was indeed about the nation's will,'

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/...
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Why am I reminded of the Nuremberg trials
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