... 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.

Location: Huntington, WV, United States

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

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

How to catch a fugitive

Hire these two pimps:
The Ten Most Wanted will be in carbonite and decorating Robert Mueller's office by the end of the week.

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Friday, March 27, 2009

Ramps & Roasted Pork

The pork-flavored ramps and the ramp-flavored pork were fantastic in terms of taste.

It's just too bad the whole experiment was wasted on a tough-as-boot-leather hunk of swine from WalMart.

I give it 3 out of 5 I should have bought my meat at Julian's or Food Fair or even Krogers.

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Thursday, March 26, 2009

Veggie Barbeque Bacon Rampburger

Ugh. Last year I made the same thing, only with real beef instead of a veggie burger paddy. It was soooo much better. This disappointing burger without the beef proved to be about as dumb as those low carb pizzas a few years about (a bowl of melted cheese, pepperoni, and a dab of sauce).

I give it 2 out of 5 American remakes of Kath & Kim.

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2009 NCAA® Division I Men's Basketball Championship Sweet Sixteen Picks

Here are my picks for the third round (Sweet 16) winners in the tournament:

1. Louisville over 12. Arizona
3. Kansas over 2. Michigan St.

1. UConn over 5. Purdue
2. Memphis over 3. Mizzou

1. Pitt over 4. Xavier
3. 'Nova over 2. Duke

1. UNC over 4. Gonzaga
3. Syracuse over 2. Okl.

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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Turkey, Bacon, and Ramp Sandwich

There I was, stuck with a day-old hunk of Panera baguette that had to be eaten. I thought "hey, this is the perfect time for a rampwich!" So I dug out some deep-fried turkey breast from the deli, the leftover bacon, my stash o' ramps, and a slice of sharp cheddar (the only cheese in the house at the time). Here's the result:

Flavor-wise, the sandwich hit the mark. Bacon and turkey are a man's chocolate and peanut butter and the ramps fit into the flavor profile seamlessly. The sharp cheddar was a bit harsh for the other elements and a creamier cheese like swiss, provolone, or even pepper jack would have done the sammy a world of good (this weekend's shopping list has been duly updated).

In terms of texture, something was amiss. I had originally envisioned a panini but feared that the sammy would slide apart in my small George Foreman, so I ate it as is. The bread was a bit hard and too big for a regular sandwich, thereby leaving me with a bit of sympathy for John Holmes' costars back in the day. The flattening and steaming of the bread during a proper press cooking would have been a big plus.

Overall, this attempt gets points for meat 'n ramp flavor, but loses out on texture and cheesiness and has nuthin' on last year's ramp, bacon, egg, and cheese bagelwich. I give it 3 out of 5 lazy Appalachians who could have damn well made a panini on a skillet with a metal spatula but didn't.

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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Pan Fried Baby Ramps with Bacon

After the back-breaking labor of cleaning 3 pounds of baby ramps, I knew that I would want to cook them all at once and store what I didn't eat for future use. While some folks would toss them in a cauldron of boilin' water, I've always preferred to fry the stinkers. In addition to making them taste better and maintaining their vitamins, the thin coating of grease also acts as a natural preservative and allows for quick reheating in a dry skillet.

First up, I seasoned a fryin' pan with a good pour of bacon grease from the obligatory cup 'o lard from the back of the stove. In the interest of promoting better health among Appalachians and Huntingtonians, I added some extra virgin olive oil to the fat. Remember folks, heart health first.

I then fried the stinkers over medium heat, gently turning them over every few minutes.

When they were golden brown, I served me up a big ol' mess on one of my wife's fancy-pants square plates from Target and surrounded them with thick-cut bacon (never cheap out on bacon when making ramsons, BTW). I seasoned them with just a little bit of sea salt and allowed well-timed bites of bacon to take care of the rest of the saltiness. I then proceeded to shovel 'em down my gullet faster than a county GOP chair trying to serve Rep. Capito a Diet Coke (that said, my ambidextrious toddler beat my time, as he wasn't too shy to use both of his bare hands).

Heck, even my English Setter, Ætheldog the Everskinny, got in on the action.

This is what Appalachian cooking is all about. I give it 5 out of 5 Sid Hatfields shooting rats at the county dump with Randy Moss and Jesco White while listening to Metallica's ....And Justice for All.

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Monday, March 23, 2009

Beef Roast with Parsnips, Turnips, and Ramps

The other night, my wife crock potted an Angus beef roast with some parsnips and turnips, her two favorite root veggies. After some bargaining, I talked her into letting me add a few baby ramps (fresh from the mountains of Greater Richwood) to the pot. Here's the result:

I had the beef 'n vegetables with some sourdough bread an a little HP Sauce for dipping. The ramps gave a subtle leek flavor to the beef and the veggies which also worked well with the sweetness of the HP Sauce. I ended up going back for seconds on the beef and thirds on the turnips 'n parsnips (making sure to include at least one ramp each time).

I give this dish a perfect 5 out of 5 Ramp Hoes (a digging instrument, not the woman on Maple Street).

BTW, this week is "Ramp Week" at ...A Sour Apple Tree. Check back all this week for more fun with Allium tricoccum, God's own stinky weed.

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Saturday, March 21, 2009

2009 NCAA® Division I Men's Basketball Championship Second Round Picks

Here are my second round tournament picks:

1. Louisville over 9. Sienna
13. Cleveland St. over 12. Arizona
3. Kansas over 11. Dayton
2. Michigan St. over 10. USC

1. UConn over 9. Texas A&M
5. Purdue over 4. Washington
3. Mizzou over 6. Marquette
2. Memphis over 10. Maryland

1. Pitt over 8. Oklahoma St.
4. Xavier over 12. Wisconsin
3. 'Nova over 6. UCLA
2. Duke over 7. Texas

1. UNC over 8. LSU
12. W. KY over 4. Gonzaga
3. Syracuse over 6. Arizona St.
10. Michigan over 2. Oklahoma

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Thursday, March 19, 2009

What's for Dinner: St. Patrick's Day

In honor of St. Patrick's Day, my wife made quite the feast from scratch. She crock potted corned beef with some cabbage and potatoes and made Irish soda bread from an authentic recipe.

The beef was as tender as could be, the veggies were perfectly seasoned from the brined meat, and the bread was tasty and just the perfect density to sop up all of the juices. I give this meal a perfect 5 out of 5 "If you're too grand to pick coal off the road I'll put on my coat and go down the Dock Road"s.

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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Pre 2009 NCAA® Division I Men's Basketball Championship Final Four & Sleeper Picks

My picks for the 2009 NCAA Tournament:

Midwest: 1. Louisville
West: 2. Memphis
East: 5. Florida State
South: 1. UNC

Lousiville over Memphis
UNC over Florida State

Louisville over UNC for the title.

Sleeper Pick: Mississippi State makes it to the Sweet 16.

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Monday, March 16, 2009

2009 NCAA® Division I Men's Basketball Championship First Round Picks

2009 NCAA tournament first round picks:

Play-in: Morehead St. over Alabama St.
1. Louisville over 16. Morehead St.
8. Ohio St. over 9. Sienna
5. Utah over 12. Arizona
4. Wake Forest over 13. Cleveland St.
6. WVU over 11. Dayton
3. Kansas over 14. NDSU
10. USC over 7. BC
2. Michigan St. over 15. Robert Morris

1. UConn over 16. Chattanooga
8. BYU over 9. Texas A&M
5. Purdue over 12. N. Iowa
13. Mississippi St. over 4. Washington
11. Utah St. over 6. Marquette
3. Missouri over 14. Cornell
7. California over 10 . Maryland
2. Memphis over 15. UC Northridge

1. Pitt over 16. ETSU
9. Tenn over 8. Oklahoma St.
5. FSU over 12. Wisconsin
4. Xavier over 13. Portland St.
6. UCLA over 11. VCU
3. Villanova over 14. American
7. Texas over 10. Minnesota
2. Duke over 15. Binghamton

1. UNC over 16 Radford
9. Butler over 8. LSU
12. WKU over 5. Illinois
4. Gonzaga over 13. Akron
6. Arizona St. over 11. Temple
3. Syracuse over 14. Stephen F. Austin
10. Michigan over 7. Clemson
2. Oklahoma over 15. Morgan St.

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Friday, March 13, 2009

Cincinnati Chili Calzone

In my never ending quest to eat Cincy style chili in as many ways as possible before I die, I was recently rummaging through my cupboard to find a starch other that pasta or french fries with which I could eat the evidence (along with Bart Giamatti's sudden death after banning Pete Rose) that God is indeed from the Queen City. In doing so, I stumbled across some store-brand pizza dough from Kroger (a Cincinnati-based store, btw). My first thought was Cincy chili pizza, but I've made that before. I also contemplated breadsticks with a chili dipping sauce, but I really didn't feel like doing any extra dishes. I finally realized the making a calzone would be my best option.

First, I mixed the dough mix according to the insturctions, but added a bit of sea salt and cinnamon to better match the flavors of the fillings:

After letting the dough rise, I carefully spread the dough and topped it with Cincinnati style chili, sweet onions, and cheddar cheese:

I folded it over and put it on a greased pizza stone in a pre-heated oven until browned:

Then enjoyed:

Well,the thing came out uglier than a discount English brothel, but it tasted mighty good. Next time, I will use a bit less filling and be more careful about sealing up the edges. Depsite its looks, I still give this 4.5 out of 5 Chris Sabos.

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Thursday, March 12, 2009

Van Hagar

You're welcome.

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Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Ten signs that you're a 90s pro wrestling fan

You Google "Scoops Central" from time to time just in case Al has decided to get back in the wrestling news & rumors business.

You write Don McLean at least once a month requesting that he write a song about May 23, 1999.

When one of your children hits the other one in the head with a cookie sheet, you have to fight the urge to start chanting "E-C-Dub, E-C-Dub."

You still wear an old nWo shirt as an undershirt and, whenever you take off your sweater or button-up to reveal it, you can almost hear Tony Schiavone screaming about your betrayal and expect to get hit with soft drinks and batteries.

When someone at work is taking lunch orders and they ask "what does everybody want?," you pelt them with a styrofoam mannequin head.

You still hate Canada more than Iran.

You have ever lost a friendship over whether "Vince screwed Bret" or "Bret screwed Bret."

You can watch a Chris Benoit match and almost forget about what he would become in the future.

You can name at least 25 reasons why Sunny is waaaay better than the current crop of skanks.

You marked out for at least 90 percent of the stuff on Wrestlecrap when it happened (admit it).

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Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Canine Birthday

For my English setter's birthday (he's the one in the middle) I let my dogs lick the bacon skillet after I had poured off the excess grease:

He had the drippings all over his face for days, rendering him quite the slimey limey.

Happy birthday, Ætheldog.

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Monday, March 09, 2009

Huntington/Cabell County Area Episcopal Church Directory

As requested by an Anglican friend who will be in town next month, here is a handy guide to the Episcopal congregations in Huntington and Cabell County, West Virginia:

St. Andrew's-in-the-Village, Barboursville
St. John's, East Huntington/Beverly Hills
St. Peter's, West End
Trinity, Downtown

Keep checking back for more lists in the future.

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Saturday, March 07, 2009

Cur outsmarts hounds

Mutts pwn purebreds.

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Friday, March 06, 2009

Smashing Pumpkins' "Today" used in a bloody Visa commercial.

A little bit of me died inside yesterday when I first saw this:

I just that hope Billy Corgan uses the money to bribe James Iha into rejoining the band.

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Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Top 5 Beverages of the Moment

1. Pepsi Max. All the caffeine of Vault Zero with a kick of ginseng and the taste of a diet cola.
2. DanActive. Not that refreshing, but this little yogurt shot seems to keep me from getting sick.
3. Tap water. During this last cold spell, it has been coming out of the tap at about 5 degrees colder than my fridge and it's cheap, to boot.
4. A mix of Diet Coke and Diet Pepsi. I tried this at a banquet the other night. The old cliche about "the sum of the parts..." is true here.
5. Iced green tea from Panera. Sure, it is over-priced and they inevitably put too much ice in it. That said, it kicks any cold Starbucks drink in the nards.

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Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Classic 80s Commercial Roundup

Here are some of my favorite 1980s commercials:

"Modern Love" or "Bowie's Brown Sugar Pepsi"-- David Bowie and Tina Turner

This advert for Pepsi featured Bowie as a mad scientist trying to build the perfect woman. Instead he got Tina Turner. That said, the song features two of the great voices of the day singing one of the better pop songs of the century and manages to fly in the face of conservative social mores about interracial love.

"Won't Strike Out with Mom" or "Cosby Hawks the Pudding Pops" -- Bill Cosby

Let's face it, if you have a bad Bill Cosby impression, odds are it involves plugging Jello Pudding or Pudding Pops. Man, just seeing this ad makes me wish that I could pick some up down at Kroger and go on a sugar bender.

"Trooper vs. Cherokee" or "Um, Uhhh, Just, Uhhhhh, Wow." -- Joe Isuzu

David Leisure's slimy Joe Isuzu character is one of the funniest creations from/social satires of the 1980s. That said, "how" the fudge did they get away with this commercial. I'm only 1/64th Cherokee and, hell, I'm offended.

"Mac Tonight" or "Bobby Darin Spins in his Grave" -- Mac Tonight

Only McDonald's could turn a song about a serial killer into a kid-friendly homage to fast food, complete with an anthropomorphic singing moon who used to scare the shit out of me whenever he was at the Crossroads Mall. This would set the stage for other inappropriate uses of classic songs to sell crap, most notably Iggy Pop's "Lust for Life," a song about heroin addiction, being used to pimp cruise packages on upper middle class (remember when we had one of these before the economy went to shite?) families.

"I'm Not Herb" or "How Did Burger King Think This Would Work?" -- Herb

When you are a business gunning for the industry leader, why on earth would you want to focus on someone who thinks that your product is crap? This failed marketing campaign cost BK a metric shit-ton of cash and probably more than a few ad execs their jobs. It wouldn't be until the early 90s, when college kids started smoking weed again, that BK would gain back the ground it lost from Herb the Nerd. (Fun fact: Herb makes an appearance at cameo-laden Wrestlemania 2 as the guest time keeper).

So what 80s commercials had you desperate to part with you cash? Which ones are still haunting your nightmares?

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Monday, March 02, 2009

Jessica Ralston Pictures

Fine. This one is for Unsilent Majority and about 2% of everyone who has ever clicked on ...ASAT.

1. Head shot, from her bio at WSAZ.
2. Walking her dog, from The Charlestonian Blog.
3. Waiting for Jennifer Garner, from Charleston Newspapers.

Any more links to photos? Let me know.

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