Archive for June 30, 2009

What’s For Brunch This Morning

I just got back from the store and decided to make a recipe from The Cracker Kitchen, a celebration of the recipes of po’ folks in the South. The book contains variations of several family favorites that show up on my table frequently, so y’all know where I come from.

One in particular struck my eyeballs last night and I decided, knowing that I had to hit the parts store first thing in the morning, that I would whip up the spinach quiche, a delicious melange featuring 4 large beaten eggs, a package of thawed and drained frozen spinach, a 16 oz. container of small curd cottage cheese, chopped green onions, and 2 cups of sharp shredded cheddar cheese baked in a piecrust at 325 for an hour. Doesn’t that sound yummy?

Since I didn’t have green onions, I substituted a handful or so (I have large hands) of chopped yellow onions. I had a leftover tomato half I was afraid would go bad in the fridge, so I chopped that up and tossed it in, too. I believe some finely chopped ham or bacon would be lovely in it as well, but the deep dish pie was overflowing (plus I didn’t have any on hand. Maybe next time.)

That bad boy is baking in the oven, so I’ll go ahead and get a blueberry pie whipped up since the oven is on. Then I’ll let y’all know how the quiche turned out.

Update: The quiche was really good. I think about 8 strips of cooked backon chopped up and mixed in would have made it perfect. On the other hand, SwampMan might have eaten the other half of the quiche as well if it had bacon in it. Gotta think about that one. SwampMan gave it his seal of approval which means that he’d like me to fix it again.

I do not know what I’ve done with my marble rolling pin. I suppose I put it somewhere out of reach so that small boys couldn’t conk themselves in the head (I usually have it on the rolling pin stand on the counter). Or did I put it in one of the outside freezers to chill it for a batch of cookies that I didn’t make? I dunno; I wasn’t able to find it and, rather than waste more time looking for it, I ended up rolling out pie dough on the marble slab under some waxed paper with a big can of Bush’s baked beans. As you can tell, I’m not exactly a stickler for using the right tool for the job. Whatever works is my philosophy.

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Beware the Chinese Counterfeit Cigarettes

Oh, please. Officials should have known THIS was coming. Chinese counterfeit cigarettes cost 20 cents per pack to make and the packaging, including tax stamps, is indistinguisable from the genuine packs. Since the cost per pack is so high now due to taxes, the profit potential is enormous. Expect taxes to fall precipitously as these cigarettes are smuggled in. The profits are as high as the drug trades but the consequences of getting caught are minimal.

Cigarette counterfeiting is immensely lucrative, with profits easily rivaling those of the narcotics trade. While a pack of fake Marlboros costs 20 cents to make in China, it can fetch up to 20 times that amount in the United States. And though a drug trafficker might land a life sentence if caught, a cigarette counterfeiter usually receives a comparative slap on the wrist—a handful of years in jail or possibly a fine.

“In the last few years, pretty much every market has been targeted,” said Andrew Robinson, who directs Philip Morris International’s efforts to protect its brand. In 2001, Chinese manufacturers were producing eight different varieties of counterfeit Marlboros. As of last year, though, Chinese counterfeiters were manufacturing separate versions of Marlboro tailored for some 60 countries—down to the specific details of tax stamps and regional health warnings. As many as 99 percent of counterfeit cigarettes in the United States come from China. Read the rest here.

I can only shake my head in sadness at the gross stupidity of the politicians whose stated aim is to drive a legal product that consumers want to buy out of business and people that make a living with that legal product into unemployment and bankruptcy. I said at the time “are these jokers crazy? The only thing they will do is handicap the people that work inside the law and enable the people that work outside the law. Expect cigarette smuggling to skyrocket.”

So, here you go, dipshits. Glad that you’ve proved that you cannot reason. Even the purported reason for the tax hike (the health of the consumers) is going to take a dive. The real reason, of course, which is extracting higher tax dollars from people that are mostly poor that have no recourse as they don’t have politicians in their pocket, is also going to dive, dive, dive.

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