... A Sour Apple Tree

Your source for fast and/or frozen food reviews, Huntington and/or West Virginia commentary, rasslin' (not wrestling) nostalgia, bad parody, dumb satire, rejected slogans, pointless lists, unreliable sports predictions, and funny local pictures.

Name:
Location: Huntington, WV, United States

I'm a 37 year-old guy from Huntington, WV.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

I'm Voting for Joe DeLong's Mom

I don't know if you have seen them yet, but Joe DeLong, House of Delegates Majority Leader and candidate for the Democratic nomination for Secretary of State, seems to be in search of the GILF-hunter vote by running two TV adverts that heavily feature his mother.

The first one is relatively tame, as he reads rather safe and vanilla pro-senior citizens soundbite:





OK, fair enough. But the next one is a bit, hmm, well...it might indicate some mommy issues:





If he doesn't do a good job, she is going to beat him with a wooden spoon. As a child, one of my friends was beaten by an unbalanced mother with wooden spoons on a regular basis. They messed him up real good. If I was DeLong, I'd be terrified of her, too.

To heck with Joe, I want his mom to take the job. She could scare the bejesus out of anyone trying to commit electoral fraud or, um, whatever else the Keeper of the State Seal does.
I don't know, though. The whole thing reminds me of a certain movie from a few decades back:

A WVSoS's best friend is his mother.

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Monday, April 28, 2008

Knowin' where their bread is buttered at the H-D

The Herald-Dispatch editorial board has, this morning, taken the bold step of endorsing Doug Reynolds, son of the paper's owner, Marshall Reynolds, for House of Delegates. (end sarcasm)

While I am inclined to agree with the paper that Reynolds is indeed one of the three best candidates out of the five seeking nomination, they should have at least put a small disclaimer in the op-ed that mentions the familial connection, much like MSNBC does when they cover GE or CNN when they do a write-up on a Warner Bros. movie.

Furthermore, they gave a really limp endorsement to Spike Maynard in Sunday's paper. After speaking of Menis Ketchum as if he is a cross between John Marshall, Hammurabi, and God himself, they sorta snuck in a nod to vote for Don Blaneknship's BFF. My guess is that Reynolds and Maynard have to sit next to each other at the Necronomicon Committee of the Rich White Guys Club and Reynolds wants to avoid the awkward silence that would come from throwing the man who is arguably West Virginia's least-popular politician (at least among lawyers, journalists, and bloggers, anyway) under the bus.

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Friday, April 25, 2008

Spaghetti Bolognese with Ramps

In many parts of West Virginia, a bastardized version of Bolognese meat sauce is the default spaghetti sauce. Hell, I thought that beef sauce was "spaghetti sauce" until I lived in England and found out that its proper name indicated that it was just the sauce in the style of Bologna, not the entire world.

I kinda figured that West Virginia's official state pasta sauce would be a good match with our state spring veggie, ramps.

I started out with a pound of ground beef and some chopped young ramps:


I mixed them in a saucepan:



and browned the beef:



I then drained the beef and chose a spicy sauce that could stand alongside the pungent ramp flavor:




I heated the sauce a bit and then added the beef-ramp combo:



Simmered for a bit:




and served over spaghetti with some shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano, garlic Texas toast, and a Löwenbräu:



While this turned out to be a great American-style Bolognese (and tasted even better the next day), it failed to capture the ramp flavor I had hoped to taste in this dish. As a meat sauce, I give it 4 out of 5 Towers of Asinellis. For lacking a certain ramp-tasticness, though, I only give it 2 out of 5 Lumberjacks.

Next time, I will use more ramps and perhaps make a simple tomato sauce with some crushed tomatoes and garlic to go with the beef and ramps.

Up next: what happens when ramps meet salmon?

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Thursday, April 24, 2008

Arby's pwns Wendy's

Literally.

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Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Vote early (if not often)

Remember, you can vote starting tomorrow at your county's courthouse during normal business hours (and Saturday, too) if you have already registered to vote.

If you haven't registered yet, TS. Today was the last day.

Get out there, folks, there's no excuse anymore.

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Monday, April 21, 2008

BBQ Bacon Rampburger

With three pounds of baby/early Spring ramps to eat, I had to get creative with my menu. I love 'em served as a side, but they sometimes make for great toppin,' too.

This time, I was jonesin' a burger and thought that a rampburger (or ramp burger, dependin' on how you spell it) might make for some good grub. I know that they serve them in a few places like Craigsville and Elkins, but there wasn't too much on the web for how to build a great hamburger with ramps, so I kinda had to wing it.

Now, for me, it doesn't get much better than the taste of warm barbeque sauce and bacon on a cheeseburger. Therefore, I fried me up some bacon, a mess of ramps, and a hamburger patty. I dropped the burger on a fresh Heiner's bun:

I then piled on the ramps:

Next came some finely shredded mild cheddar cheese:

Then I built a tee pee of four bacon strips on the burger:

I finally topped in off with some warm (always heat your bottled sauce at home in the nuker for 15-30 sec. to maximize flavor) Cattleman's BBQ Sauce:

Wow, this burger was good. The ramps performed a roll similar to that of a grilled onion and gave the burger a wonderfully strong savoriness that complimented the smokey sweetness of the barbeque sauce and the bacon.

If you have a bunch of ramps and aren't sure what to do with them all, I cannot recommend a BBQ Bacon Rampburger strongly enough.

I give it 4.5 out of 5 ramps.

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Friday, April 18, 2008

...ASAT May 2008 Primary Election Endorsements: Huntington and Cabell County

For ...ASAT's endorsements, I have taken into account several factors including but not limited to comments made to the media and at forums, campaign platforms, past performance in and out of public office, friends/allies/cronies/campaign supporters, electability in November, and, most importantly, great hair (just kidding on the last one).

Note that ...ASAT is only making endorsements in contested primary races. An endorsement for the primary election does not neccesarily equate to ...ASAT's support carrying over to the general election in November, as I might be merely selecting the lesser of a number of evils for the primary.

Huntington

Huntington Mayor
Dem-David Felinton
GOP-Not contested, one candidate running


City Council At-Large (2 seats)
Dem-Rebecca Thacker and Steve Williams
GOP-Not contested, 2 candidates running

City Council District 1
Not contested, one Dem candidate running, no one for GOP.

City Council District 2
Dem-Clinton Bowen
GOP-Not contested, one candidate running

City Council District 3
Dem-Frances Jackson
GOP-No candidates running

City Council District 4
Dem-Not contested, one candidate running
GOP-Not contested, one candidate running

City Council District 5
Dem-Osagie Ayanru
GOP-No candidates running

City Council District 6
Dem-Not contested, one candidate running
GOP-Mark Bates

City Council District 7
Not contested, one Dem candidate running, no one for GOP.

City Council District 8
Dem-Not contested, one candidate running
GOP-Not contested, one candidate running

City Council District 9
Dem-Rick Simmons
GOP-No candidates running

Cabell County

Cabell County Sheriff
Dem-Tom McComas
GOP-Not contested, one candidate running

Cabell County Commissioner
Dem-Susan Hubbard
GOP-Not contested, one candidate running.

Cabell County Prosecuting Attorney
Not contested, one Dem candidate running, no one for GOP.

Cabell County Assessor
Not contested, one Dem candidate running, no one for GOP.

Cabell County Surveyor
Not contested, one Dem candidate running, no one for GOP.

Cabell County Board of Education (2 seats)
Nancy Newfeld, George Watson

Cabell County Magistrate (7 seats)
Dem-Brandee McCoy, Laura Beckett-White, Ralph Hensley, Mike Woelfel, Betty Wolford, Danne Vance, Johnny McCallister
GOP-Not contested, three candidates running.

Circuit Judge District 6, Div 1
Not contested, one Dem candidate running, no one for GOP.

Circuit Judge District 6, Div 2
Not contested, one GOP candidate running, no one for Dems.

Circuit Judge District 6, Div 3
Dem-Paul Farrell
GOP-No candidates running.

Circuit Judge District 6, Div 4
Not contested, one Dem candidate running, no one for GOP.

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Thursday, April 17, 2008

Let's get stinnky

(The extra "n" is for added emphasis, just like with that "Dirrty" song by Christina Aguilera).

The annual Feast of the Ramson (aka Ramp Feed) will be in Richwood (props to all my honkeys the 8-4-6) on Saturday, April 19.

This event is one of those you-gotta-go-once-in-your-life events for any real West Virginian.

For more information, click here.

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Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Mick Foley put my butt in this seat

During the Monday Night Wars between WCW Monday Nitro and WWF Raw, WCW ran live shows every week while the WWF-lacking "Billionaire Ted" Turner's deep pockets, had to tape every other episode. To keep folks from checking in on a pre-taped Raw, WCW would read Raw results in the air.

Well, one night in 1999, WCW announcer Tony Schiavone announced that Mankind was set to win the WWF World Title on the other channel and smirked "that'll sure put some butts in the seats."

Almost instantly, 600,000 Americans (including moi) turned to see Mick Foley live his lifelong dream of winning the big one:



So what did we miss on Nitro? Yup, the fingerpoke of doom:



What a night. Before WCW could give fans "the finger," we gave it to them.

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Tuesday, April 15, 2008

My muffin top is all that...

WalMart is now carrying a new frozen breakfast/snack product called "Mini Muffin Tops" from Eggo. They come in chocolate chip and blueberry flavor and feature "the best part of the muffin:"


One has to wonder if they are familiar with the slang term "muffin top." In contemporary vernacular, a muffin top is the roll of flesh (note: not always fat) that spills out of any overly-tight article of clothing:



I bet they haven't seen this video on youtube, either:

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Monday, April 14, 2008

Video tours of Huntington

I found these videos on YouTube the other day:

The first one comes from YouTube user MrCharlieTuna and covers 4th Ave between 7th St (the court house) and Hal Greer Blvd:



The next video, by Chad Jarrett, is of the south side of 5th Ave from Hal Greer Blvd. to 31st St. near Highlawn and Guyandotte:



Here is a slide show of pics of Huntington from back when we were "Moneyton" because of a booming manufacturing economy and not because of our fondness for crack cocaine:



Finally, here is another one from MrCharlieTuna, this time of Memorial/North Blvd. from 5th St to the playground area by the old glass plant (you can notice the nice walking path on the left of the video) and then on 11th Ave from the Memorial Arch to 8th St. On 11th, you will notice a constant clicking sound. It isn't his camera and his car doesn't need a tune-up. 11th Ave west of 5th St. is just one of the worst roads in the city. It is like the road was made of a mile of leftover ripple strip from an exit on I 64:

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Sunday, April 13, 2008

Ramp Feed in Proctorville, OH

Finally a chance for TriStaters to eat some ramps.

The VFW in Proctorville, OH will be having a ramp dinner on Saturday, April 19 from 11 AM to 3 PM.

Located on Ohio Rt. 7 in Proctorville, the menu will feature beans, corn bread, fried 'taters, ramps, dessert, and a beverage.

$5 for adults, $3 for y'ungin's 10 & under.

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Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Cross impressions

From 30 Rock:


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Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Ramps, bacon, and hush puppies

As is the case every early Spring, my relatives in and around Richwood hook me up with a metric shitload of freshly dug ramps to enjoy:


Since I was out of potatoes the other day, I decided to have ramps with bacon and hush puppies (in place of fried taters). First up, I had to clean the ramps:


After cutting off the roots and scrubbing the dirt and purple skin off of the ramps, I allowed them drain off some of the water from the wash, as they will be going into hot bacon fat in a few minutes:


I always chop my ramps into rough .75" to 1.25" strips. I try to avoid a uniform cut to maintain the rustic nature of the dish:


Meanwhile, I fried up some bacon in a skillet. When making ramps, try to use as good of a bacon as you can afford. I used to uncured bacon from the Kroger in Barboursville. The better the bacon, the better the fat, the better that ramps:


When the bacon was finished I allowed the meat to drain on a paper towel and I poured the excess fat into my obligatory back-of-stove bacon grease cup, leaving just enough in the skillet to cook the ramson:

Then it was time to cook the ramps. Note that I don't parboil them first. I find that any pre-cooking makes them turn out slimy, so they go straight into the hot fryin' pan:


They cook:

And brown:


Until they are fried to perfection:

After the ramps were finished, I tossed the bacon and the hush puppies (I had baked the frozen puppies beforehand) into the skillet to let them pick up some of the ramp essence:


I then got to eat 'em all up with a glass of Amber Bock:


It turned out quite well. The ramps were just how I like them, the bacon had just a touch of ramp flavor, and the pups proved to be a worthy substitution for the taters, especially when splashed with malt vinegar.

Check back over the next few weeks for more adventures in cooking with ramps.

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Monday, April 07, 2008

Memphis over Kansas

Gotta keep the love for the Conference USA.

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Saturday, April 05, 2008

Rasslin' needs more minstralcy

From July '98, D-X impersonating The Nation:



Yup. Billy Gunn, the Road Dogg, X-Pac, and HHH all have a touch of blackface makeup on their bodies. I wonder if they could get away with this today.

Still, it wasn't as bad as the angle a few months earlier where D-X vandalized The Nation's dressing room (pretending to be the Hart Foundation) with graffiti that said things like "Uncle Tom," "Go Home," and (I'm not making this up) "KFC:"

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Friday, April 04, 2008

When men are allowed to cry.







Thank you, Ric.

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Read this aloud.

Dixie wrecked our four...but sects.

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Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Final Four predictions

UNC over Kansas
UCLA over Memphis

UNC over UCLA

North Carolina = 6-time champs

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Tuesday, April 01, 2008

The Donation

A company called "Ghiz, Inc." has given enough to a local charity to get its name on a plaque:

One must wonder 1) is this a sperm bank and 2) what, exactly, did they donate?

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