Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 76

On My Palin Plight
I continue to boycott Dancing with the Stars as long as Bristol Palin continues as a contestant. Nothing against Bristol, plus she’s worked hard, but she should have been gone weeks ago.

Since her mother recently launched her multi-week infomercial on TLC to promote herself under the disguise of a tribute to Alaska, I suggest a 24-hour All-Palin, All-the-Time Channel for satellite and cable viewers. Pay-be-view events could make a bundle – even a prime time mud-wrestling catfight between Mama Grizzly and Lisa the Cat Murkowski – but it would not get a dime from me.

On Wrangling a Rangel
Rep Charles Rangel (D-NY) is a long-time member of Congress. At age 80, he had a chance to walk away from Capitol Hill, but chose not to do so – thus has just been burned by the House Ethics Committee. I know Congressional Ethics is an oxymoron, but there’s no sympathy from this camp.

Meanwhile, in their respective caucuses, Congressional party reps took my advice by selecting new party leaders in both chambers. Oh … that was in a dream!

On Cincinnati Dry
Cincinnati receives an average annual rainfall of 39.9 inches – and to think that half way through November we are down 9.0 inches of rain for the year. Wednesday we receive our first widespread rain in quite some time. Although we only received about a half inch, the ground is so compact and hard that water still gathered in low spots – at least it keeps the dust down. Meanwhile, the final two months typically delivers 6.4 inches of precipitation. I hope we get some water!

On a Handbell
Last weekend we played a very glorious, majestic arrangement by Kevin McChesney of Holy, Holy, Holy. Unfortunately, I cannot find either a video or a recording of this grand piece.

On a Recipe
In 2006, Food Network featured an Iron Chef battle between Rachel Ray-Mario Batalli against Giada DeLaurentis-Bobby Flay. Rachel made an interesting spaghetti dish, for which my wife and I developed a recipe from watching the show several times. Cranberry-sausage spaghetti may seem like a strange combination, but it is good stuff – so here is the recipe. Try it!

On a Tribute to Long Ago
On October 29, 1950, 22 died on a short-after-takeoff crash of a charter plane carrying the Cal Poly football team from the Toledo airport. Ironically, earlier that day the team lost at Bowling Green, my eventual alma mater. At a recent BGSU home game, the school held a moment of silence for that fatal crash. Here are two interesting articles looking back at that event, one from Toledo and the other from San Luis Obispo.

On the Weekend Ahead
Contrary to my normal pattern, I have a special tribute post for the weekend (coming Saturday).

Local broadcasts for MLB teams can be legends, one Seattle recently lost theirs – Dave Niehaus. This clip of great Mariner moments features his calls.

Have a safe weekend!

“Battle Cranberry” Sausage Spaghetti

Back in 2006 (I believe), the Food Network used Iron Chef to pit Giada DeLaurentis and Bobby Flay against Rachael Ray and Mario Batali. Since the episode aired many times, I can assume many viewers watched. Well, last night I checked Food Network and, lo’ and behold, it’s back for another run.

Foodies know that Food Network’s site is a treasure trove of recipes for recipes shown on the air; however, Iron Chef’s creations are not there. We were so intrigued with Rachael’s Cranberry-Sausage Spaghetti, we watched the episode several times to take notes with hopes of creating a similar version. Let me simply say this is one delish dish!

In the spirit of holiday giving, A Frank Angle provides our home’s version of this unique combination of two unlikely partners.

If you eat like us, this recipe is for two-three bountiful servings. Otherwise, four small servings are possible.

Ingredients
1 link sweet Italian sausage (casing removed)
1 link hot Italian sausage (casing removed)
2 cloves garlic (chopped or sliced)
1 onion (chopped)
Nutmeg
1 bunch Swiss chard (strip from stalk, then chop leaves)
1/2 c dried cranberries
16-24 oz unsweetened cranberry juice (won’t use all)
1 tbsp butter
Salt
Feta cheese
(Optional) Parsley – chopped, enough to sprinkle on serving

Note: Organic unsweetened cranberry use is too tart, thus recommend using a “regular” unsweetened (which is sweetened by another juice instead of a sugar/sweetener).

Directions
* Time cooking the spaghetti with the end of the sauce preparation.

  1. In a large frying pan, brown the sausage, onions, & garlic. Break the sausage apart while cooking (8-10 minutes).
  2. Add the cranberries.
  3. Add enough cranberry juice (about 2 cups) to simmer. (Total simmering time 15 min.)
  4. Bring to boil and reduce. (A good time to prep the chard)
  5. Continue adding juice as fluid reduces. (Start the water for the spaghetti).
  6. Add the chard to the mixture.
  7. Sprinkle mixture with nutmeg.
  8. Salt to taste.
  9. Continue simmering (10-12 min.) and add juice when necessary.
  10. Add butter to the mixture near the end of the cooking. Stir to melt.
  11. Add cooked spaghetti into the pan. Stir to coat.
  12. Plate, then top with feta cheese & parsley.

For the holiday season, this Iron Chef episode is reaired on Thursday, December 18 at 9:00 pm.