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Girl, let me tell you...
• Beef oxtails, nothing but the tail, real off-brand cut of beef, for broth
• A serious sweet cut of beef, slice it fine, put it in soup, get it wet
• 2 onions, white or yellow (be colorblind), one for broth, one to get wet
• Yeah, 1 hunk of fresh ginger (for broth), and for slicing to get wet
• Spice, girl – dried cinnamon (yeah, for the sweetness), coriander seed, (I don't know what that is), fennel seed (don't know either), whole cloves (not the kind you smoke), star anise (you know I'm the star, but you're the star in your kitchen), with cheesecloth to make spice packet — girl, you got a spice packet on you
• Pho noodles, hell yeah
• Green onion, brings in the funk
• Thai (or red) basil
• Bean sprouts
• Jalapeno peppers, I know you know that's hot
When you get it on:
Rinse oxtails and cheap beef cut, and add them to a large stockpot filled at least halfway with water. Bring this to a boil, girl, it's time to get this hot, you understand? But then you gotta simmer down, you gotta simmer down for two hours. That's right. Gotta make it last. Also, skim off foam as necessary.
After two hours, add a whole, peeled onion. Just peel it. I don't want to see those tears on you, baby. Also, a large chunk of peeled ginger. Bring it up hot, then bring it back down for another hour. We could do this all night.
Prepare your spice packet. This is what's gonna tingle on your tongue. This is what's going to make you never forget the sweetness. Mix these together in a cheesecloth bag, and heat them up in a small frying pan for a few minutes, until the spices become aromatic. It's like soup perfume. Yeaaah. Then throw them in your stockpot, yeah.
Let that perfume soak into that broth like it's taking a bubble bath. Half hour? Hour? It doesn't matter. It's all about what you want right now. But then you gotta take those spices out, you've got to let the whole thing cool down. Take the broth, with meat, bones, onion and ginger still in, cover it, and put the whole thing in the fridge overnight. That's right. A gentleman waits.
Next day, put a nice cut of beef in the freezer for an hour or so to make it easier to cut into thin slices. Until it's cold like my heart until I first saw you, girl. Soak your pho noodles in cold water for at least an hour, until they're feeling like they're drowning, like I was until I first met you, girl. Warm up broth. Remove the onion, ginger and beef bones/meat from the broth — nothing between us anymore — and bring it to a boil. Season broth with salt as needed. Mmmm, salty. Damn.
Slice peppers, white onion, green onion, ginger, rinse the bean sprouts, cilantro and thai basil. Cut them just like my heart is cut every time you close those lashes and then turn away. Slice beef as thin as you can get it. Cut it as fine as you are.
After the noodles have soaked an hour, your broth is boiling, everything is on fire inside you, burning, waiting for the taste, and your accessories are ready, set a separate pan of just water to boil, for your noodles. Remove the noodles from their soak, and boil them for less than a minute! Damn. Divide the noodles into bowls, place the slices of beef on top of the noodles lay them down just like they're caressing it, and pour your pho broth over it all, pour it all over.. Yeah, add accessories as preferred.
I'm ready for you, girl. The soup is ready, girl. You'll never believe the way it's gonna make you feel. Nothing's ever going to feel this good. Believe me, girl.
Then again, everybody lies.
Fun with Moby-Dick and Jane
This Early Reader series teaches children the fundamentals of literacy through “whole whale” spotting, a technique developed by Dr. "Cap'n" Ahab. Lively illustrations of “old tars” harpooning large sea mammals will keep even ADD children enthralled.
California... the Final Frontier. These are the voyages of the Joad family. Their mission: to escape strange dust, to seek out new work and fight for the oppressed, to boldly go where no man has gone before.
Impoverished bookseller/biographer Margaret Lea is shipwrecked on Lake Windermere, en route to visit reclusive author Viola Winter, and washes up on the shores of Illyria, the Duke Orsino’s Yorkshire estate. The Duke, his brain and vision addled by absinthe, is convinced Margaret is his long-lost son, Cesario. Viola Winter, addled by senility, is equally convinced Margaret is her estranged daughter, Olivia.
With visions of inheritances dancing in her head, Margaret attempts to play both parts for both potential benefactors. The pot is sweetened even more when the Daily Mail offers her a tidy sum for revealing the secrets of her rich and famous would-be parents, but the payoff is dependent on her meeting a deadline that is just twelve days – and thirteen nights –away.
Alas poor Yorik
I doth not liken Green Eggs and Ham
I doth not liken it, Hear me man!
I doth not liken it, pray thee tell
I doth not liken it, though I knew it well
Bleak House of Sand and Fog and Seven Gables
Often considered Charles Dubus Hawthorne III’s masterpiece, Bleak House of Sand and Fog and Seven Gables blends together several literary genres—detective fiction, romance, melodrama, and satire — to create an unforgettable portrait of the decay and corruption at the heart of the legal system of our society.
This novel revolves around a court case in Salem that has dragged on for decades — the infamous Kathy Nicolo and Colonel Behrani lawsuit, in which both parties claim the rights to an old house that has been in a venerable New England family for many generations. This lawsuit is gradually devoured by legal costs.
We meet a cast of idiosyncratic characters who live in this decaying, gabled mansion, still haunted by their dead ancestors… including the beautiful Lady Dedlock who hides a terrible secret; hilarious Mrs. Jellyby who’s so generous at the cost of her own family; Hepzibah, an elderly gentlewoman fallen on hard times, her silly brother Clifford, and young Phoebe who cheerfully cares for these two doddering relations.
Can the love of these characters’ transform a bleak house of sand and fog and seven gables? And will justice prevail?
Charlotte's Web Cam
There's a big hullabaloo going on over at Zuckerman's farm. It seems that his pig Wilbur is no ordinary pig. To check this out without having to get through the throngs of people at the farm, just get on your computer and take a look at Charlotte's web cam!
Through the Pothole: Further adventures of Alice Not in Wonderland
As it had been a very bad winter, Alice had many snow days from school. Quoting from the original story with certain changes and apologies to Lewis Carroll: Alice was beginning to get very tired of sitting by her sister on the snowbank. They were done up from head to toe with hats, scarves, mittens, parkas, snowpants and boots. Alice could hardly move as she stretched to stand up.Suddenl;y a brown rat with red eyes ran close by her. Her sister was looking the other way and didn't see it. Alice thought she heard the rat say, "Oh dear! Oh dear! I shall be too late!" Burning with curiosity, Alice ran down the street after it, only to see this large rat fall down a huge pothole in the street in a polace where the snow had been plowed. In another moment, down went Alice after it. Alice never knew potholes could be so deep. She kept falling and falling and falling. At the bottom of the pothole, there was a tiny rusty key floating in a dirty puddle. Near the puddle was a tiny door that had the message: City Sewer System. Authorized Personnel Only. Alice thought, "Who could fit through a door so small?" Suddenly she noticed on the damp ground a can of soda, unopened. "Don't people know how to recycle?" exclaimed Alice. She was very thirsty and as the can was unopened, Alice decided to risk drinking it.
I will leave Alice at this point. If anyone else wants to continue this story, be my guest!
The queen of nursery rhymes takes on R.L. Stine. Here’s one example:
As I was going to St. Ives,
I met a man with seven wives.
Each wife had seven flies,
Each fly had seven eyes,
Each eye had seven warts.
Flies, eyes, warts and wives,
How many were going to St. Ives?
I thought I'd burned out on these, but this morning I woke up with several of them batting around in my head. I'm not sure how to categorize them, but I think they're still mash-ups:
Welcome to the Monkeybars: Kurt Vonnegut looks back to his school days
Now We Are Sixty: A.A. Milne rewrites his classic for the Baby Boomer generation
The Tell-tale Fart: Edgar Allen Poe takes on the Young Adult market
Cautiously Positive Expectations: Charles Dickens revamped for the 21st Century reader
A Seasonal Carol: (same as above)
Celsius 232.7777: Ray Bradbury for the metric age
Rosemary's Teenager: Ira Levin revisits the devil's spawn
IN UNDERTAKING to describe the recent and strange incidents in our industry, well known but rarely understood, I find' myself forced in absence of literary skill to begin my story rather far back, that is to say, with certain biographical details concerning that talented and highly-esteemed Madame, Mirand Priestly (nee Miriam Princhek).. I trust that these details may at least serve as an introduction, while my projected story itself will come later.
I will say at once that Mirand Priestly had always filled a particular role at Runway, that of editor and chief exorciator, so to say, and she was passionately fond of playing the part—so much so that I really believe she could not have existed without it. Not that I would put her on a level with an actor at a theatre, God forbid, for I really have a respect for her. This may all have been the effect of habit, or rather, more exactly of a dreadful propensity she had from her earliest years for indulging in a frightful but satisfying daydream in which she figured as an aristocratic and commanding public character. She fondly loved, for instance, her position as a "powerful" figure and, so to speak, a "sophisticate.” There is a sort of fabulous glamour about those two little words that fascinated her once for all and, exalting her gradually in her own opinion, raised her in the course of years to a lofty pedestal very gratifying to vanity.