William The Coroner’s Forensic Files

Monday, 11, July, 2011

Summer

Filed under: Food and Drink — williamthecoroner @ 12:36

Yep, it’s summer.

Saturday, 28, May, 2011

Greek Festival

Filed under: Cleveland,Food and Drink — williamthecoroner @ 14:47

It’s  Memorial Day Weekend, and the weekend when the Church of the Annunciation in Tremont has it’s Greek Festival.  The smell of roasting lamb drifts over the neighborhood, and many, many walnuts are wrapped in filo dough and smothered in honey.

It’s amazing how many people you meet at the Greek Festival, I’ve seen old patients, nursing staff and ancillary personnel from many hospitals, and the odd mortician there.

There is a lot of stuff at one of these dos, from the retsina raffle to the Hellenic dancers, which you might expect, to the sales of oil paintings, sheets, jewellery, and the rummage sale.  There are also tours of the sanctuary, and new ikons are added every year.   I try to remember my Greek iconography from my Art History courses, and realize I should have pulled the book out BEFORE I go.

But the major reason people go to the Greek festival is to eat.  Last night the gyro/souvlaki line went twice around the church and down the block.  And that was at 8 pm.  I bought a load of assorted baklava and decided to go to the Polish restaurant instead.  So, this morning I came back and the first slices of lamb were just hitting the grill.  That took care of lunch AND supper.

Thursday, 12, May, 2011

Well, That’s Nice to Hear

Filed under: Boomstick,Food and Drink,NRA — williamthecoroner @ 22:12

Ohio has joined the surrounding states in eliminating the provision that CCW holders can carry in Class D liquor establishments, like bars and restaurants.  This is the law in Pennsylvania (among other places) where I was recently at a 2nd Amendment function at a restaurant, with a bunch of folks who were open carrying).  It was a very tasty dinner, with a lot of admiring of holsters.

But no-one got shot, and very few of us were actually drinking.  It seems that a bunch of adult, well-mannered armed people exercised their second amendment rights and…nothing happened.  It would be nice if that could happen in my home state, I eat in a lot of bars and taverns.  Pub grub is good food.

Sunday, 20, March, 2011

Winter’s First Green Is Gold

Filed under: Circle Game,Food and Drink,Forensics — williamthecoroner @ 15:17

And now we’re within spitting distance of Spring. The first ice cream truck just came down my street, playing “It’s a Small World After All.” This beats the heck out of the ones last year, who kept playing “Turkey in the Straw” until I became homicidal. Anyone got a Barrett I could borrow?

Of course, as my Nana said, “Never take the winter sheets off the bed until June first, and don’t plant until after Memorial Day.” The weather will change. Probably it will change tomorrow. But that reminds me of a story…
A young fellow was trying to run away from the police, as the police wanted to lock him up, and he thought being locked up was no fun. I’m not sure what he was wanted for, no one ever told me, but he was driving a car, when the police stopped him and he hopped out and ran. He ran quick like a bunny, and he was near a dairy on the east side, so he ran into the dairy’s lot, and hid in an ice cream truck.

Not only did he hide in an ice cream truck, he climbed into the freezer compartment, and lay down on the blocks of dry ice, closing the door behind him. The police were unable to find him, but the driver did the next morning, when he went to stock his truck. He found that he would have to add a corpsesicle to the menu, or just call the cops. Which he did, and the decedent was taken to the coroner’s office. Dry ice, as you will recall, gives off CO2, and this guy had suffocated in the anoxic atmosphere. At least he wasn’t arrested.

Wednesday, 17, November, 2010

Stapes

Filed under: Food and Drink,Forensics — williamthecoroner @ 16:56

Rice Krispie Treats. At the anatomy potluck.

Tuesday, 16, November, 2010

Condescension

It is funny, I have become much more aware of freedoms, as I get more and more interested in second amendment issues and other civil rights. Human rights, not to put too fine a point on it. As I have become more aware, I have become more sensitive to the glee in which humans like to tell other humans what to do. I find it very grating now, and it shows up in unexpected places.

I was listening to Lynne Rosetto Kasper’s Splendid Table the other day. Now, I like food, and I like to eat food, and I like learning about food. I’ve gotten some very good ideas from Lynne. But she casually mentioned San Francisco’s ban on McDonald’s Happy Meals, and that some people thought this was an infringement on the people’s right to choose. (Not to mention doesn’t the City Council have better things to do with it’s time than being a nanny to the people of San Francisco?). But Ms. Kasper mentioned that a lot of these McDonald’s restaurants were in poor areas, and didn’t the poor have a right to be protected?

Protected? The implication that the poor were stupid, and dumb, and needed wiser heads to help them make better choices was just glaring. I’m a college professor and a supposedly educated man, yet I know I do plenty of bone-headed things over the course of a day. But I would take great umbrage at being told I have a right to be protected. Children and the feeble-minded have the right to be protected. Adults have the responsibility to make their own choices, for good or for ill.

In that one sentence, Ms. Kasper, showed her education, her elitism, and her scorn, and that has left a bad taste in my mouth. It is true that there are some hobbies that are more typical of the upper classes than the working classes. Usually the distinguishing factors are money and time. Polo is different from stock car racing. No doubt about that. To say that one is morally superior than the other, well, that is snobbery.

The thing is, Ms. Kasper seems like a lot of fun. I’ll be she’s a nice person and fun to be around. It’s much more disturbing to see unconscious meanness, because it makes you wonder about yourself.

Saturday, 10, July, 2010

Breakfast

Filed under: Cat Blogging,Cleveland,Food and Drink — williamthecoroner @ 18:00

I really enjoy going out for breakfast. I like the food–the meal is usually inexpensive, and it gives me some time vertical to get my head integrated in the morning. I had heard lots of things about “Cracker Barrel”. Now, I have a fairly strict no-chain-restaurant rule, and that has served me very, very well. When in doubt, look for a locally-owned Greek diner or Chinese restaurant, and stay far, far away from national chains, unless you need the loo.

But I’d heard about it, and I was passing and hungry. Let me tell you, if you ever get the urge to go to breakfast in Cleveland, go to the Diner on E55th St. Or Big Al’s. Or Shay’s. Or the Clifton Diner. But really, forget about the Cracker Barrel. One has to pass through a store that sells stuff that is just a terrible waste of precious natural resources, and the food is also a waste of precious natural resources. What Michael Pollan calls “Edible food-like substances” instead of, actual food.

And both the Diner on 55th and Big Al’s have cats. Save ’em a burger.

Sunday, 18, April, 2010

The Most Exciting Thing I’ve Done This Week

Filed under: Food and Drink,Life, the universe, & everything. — williamthecoroner @ 11:43

Is learn how to prepare bacon by baking in the oven.  How pathetic is that?

I also can tell you that you still can burn bacon if you bake it in the oven and you don’t take it out soon enough.  It doesn’t burn as fast as the stuff on top of the stove, but oh, well.

Sunday, 13, December, 2009

Canonical Food Redux

Filed under: Bleg,Food and Drink — williamthecoroner @ 11:37

Via Dan on Facebook, I find that Mr. Brisket is sending salamis and Stadium mustard to Clevelanders (and other hungry folks) in Kandahar.  The information is hereOr you can call them at 216-932-8620.  The goal is 100 salamis by January 2010, but I believe they’re over 200.  Corporal Klinger would approve.

Saturday, 5, December, 2009

Canonical Food

Filed under: Food and Drink — williamthecoroner @ 14:41

Inspired by This Post at the Atomic Nerds, I felt I should weigh in on the matter. It IS interesting that there are foods in America that are sects of a larger religion. They mention several, Chili, Hot Dogs, Cornbread, Biscuits, Barbecue, Burgers. They forgot, or are unaware of the Pittsburgh/Cleveland variants of these, and they missed two things, the Lobster Roll and the Italian.

As a Mainer-in-Exile I prefer the New England hot dog. Bright red, with grilled onions, served in an open-topped bun. The open SIDE buns are the worst sort of heresy. They are hard to get in Cleveland. One deals. Cleveland dogs are beef, and brown (Stadium) mustard rules. Kraut, onions, relish, we’re eclectic, but there must be Stadium mustard.

A sub-dog in Cleveland is the Polish Boy, a polish sausage-onna-bun with slaw and french fries. (A Pittsburgh influence). My Pittsburgh relatives taught me, (and other Clevelanders) to put fries on things. Sandwiches, salads, burgers. I think it started at Primanti’s in the Strip.

Cornbread in Cleveland comes out of a box by Jiffy, . Usually served with pea soup “Pea soup and Johnnycake, makes a Frenchman’s belly ache,” and butter. Some adventurous folks use jam on it.

Biscuits? Yeah, they also come from Jiffy, for a Clevelander. Though I liked using Bakewell Cream, when was in Maine. I haven’t seen a box of Bakewell Cream mix in years.(1) Now, of course, I’m a better baker, and I make beaten biscuits. However, it is true that biscuits and cornbread are not sweetened before baking. Honey, jam, apple butter, etc are applied after. Sweetening these doughs, the biscuits particularly, turns them into shortcake, or cobbler topping, not a biscuit.

Barbecue. Cleveland barbecue varies. You can get West Indian jerked meats, Korean barbecue, whole wings from Red Walters with a thin layer of hot sauce or honking great ribs cooked in a 55 gallon drum. Usually a thick, sweetish, tomato based sauce is used, but the kind depends on the origin of the chef.

Burgers. Burgers are ground meat shaped into a patty and grilled. They can be beef, ostrich, bison, chicken, (though they look funny), lamb, turkey, whatever. Toppings are varied. Cheese is recommended, if not encouraged. Indeed, I know several Clevelanders who gave up on Orthodox Judaism over cheeseburgers.  Fresh onion is good, grilled onions flavoured with paprika are popular.  The best burgers in town are the Academy burgers from the Academy Tavern or the Steakburgers from Beardens.  Beardens makes a peanut-butter burger, for reasons that I do not understand.  Down south, in Wooster, burgers are dry, and topped with cole slaw and cashews.  Again, for reasons that I do not understand.

Lobster Rolls, now, are a Maine thing.  The ones sold in McDonald’s are an abomination.  The lobster roll is a open TOPPED hot dog bun grilled in butter, a piece of lettuce, and filled with lobster meat and butter. If you don’t like lobster, use crabmeat, haddock, scallops, fried clams, whatever. It does NOT have mayonnaise.  See Brook Donjy’s New England Cookbook for a fuller description.

1.  Huh.  The New England Cupboard sells Bakewell Cream mix.  Whodathunk?

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