Food, Beer & Buffoonery - Hops

It’s Spring, BBQ Time, California Style

bbq_porkSo, we’ve had a couple BBQs so far this year already.  I’ve tried some great new recipes.  A couple weeks back I hickory smoked a tri-tip that I had rubbed with a southwestern spice mixture.  It was wonderful. Today I used that same spice mix on some boneless top-loin pork chops. I topped them with fresh mango salsa.  Here is what was on tonight’s menu:

Southwestern BBQ Pork with Mango Salsa

I pounded two boneless top-loin pork chops down to 1/2″ thick with a meat hammer and rubbed them with a blend of chili powder, cumin, salt, black pepper, light brown sugar, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder. This spice blend was based on one found in The Complete Meat Cookbook by Bruce Aidells, who I had the pleasure of meeting a few weeks back.

I cheated on the mango salsa. I didn’t make it myself. But it was a freshly made salsa containing mangos, red bell peppers, red onion, vinegar, lime juice, serrano chillies, cilantro, salt, pepper and sugar.

I simple BBQ’ed the pork chops on the grill on each side and tossed on the salsa. Next time I might try putting a little salsa no the pork chops while still on the BBQ to heat the salsa up a little.

BBQ’ed Zucchini

Simple, yet never fails. Just drizzle a little olive oil over some zucchini sliced lengthwise, sprinkle with salt and coarsely ground fresh pepper, wrap in foil, and toss on the BBQ for a few minutes on each side.

Broiled Fennel, Carrots and Agretti tossed in Olive Oil and Garlic

I’ve done the fennel tossed in olive oil and garlic in the broiler before, but since I had them on hand, I added some carrots and agretti to the mix. Simply pour some olive oil into a large bowl, and add several cloves of crushed garlic. Add the sliced fennel bulb, carrots sliced lengthwise, and some chopped agretti. Tossed all ingredients, and then distribute the mix, evenly across a baking sheet. Broil on low for 10-15 minutes, or until the edges of the fennel and carrots are just turning brown.

T’was a fine meal indeed. (Unfortunately accompanied by a very so-so beer from the Half Moon Bay Brewing Company. I hope their others are better.)


I also made a plain green leaf salad. I made an experimental dressing that turned out really well. I mixed some honey, balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, water, coarsely ground fresh pepper, salt, a pinch of garlic powder, a tablespoon of mined red onion and some minced fresh mint.  The honey, vinegar/lemon, and mint combo was quite interesting and worked really well.

Some Buffoonery is a Good Thing: Morristown UFOs

Earlier this year, there were several UFO sightings in Morristown, NJ. Several red lights were seen in the sky. Then again, some days later, another set of red lights were seen. These sightings were reported by media outlets nationwide: Fox News, the History Channel (highlighted on their UFO Hunters show), Local News outlets and more.

From the get go hoax theories abounded. One astute police officer in the area even picked up some binoculars and reported that what he saw were flares tied some balloons. Was this account given much attention? Of course not. Eyewitnesses, UFO experts and Photo Analysis alike discounted the possibility of flares…

Fast forward to today. April 1st, 2009. A great day to announce a hoax!

Today, Chris Russo & Joe Rud, two New Jersey locals and avid readers of Skeptic magazine published a written and video account, via the eSkeptic Newsletter, of what shall now be known as the Morristown UFO Hoax. In the eSkeptic article they state,

“We brainstormed the idea of producing a spaceship hoax to fool people, bring the charlatans out of the woodwork to drum up controversy, and then expose it as nothing more than a prank to show everyone how unreliable eyewitness accounts are, along with investigators of UFOs.”

I’d say they suceeded.

Read their full account in eSkeptic.

And watch Chris and Joe’s videos documenting their entire hoax:
Part 1 – The Setup
Part 2 – The Launches
Part 3 – The Reactions

Of course, being April fools, there’s always the possibility that these hoaxters are hoaxing about their hoax…..  😉