... 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.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Top Ten Potato Chip Varieties

1. Snyder of Berlin Bar-B-Q. Quite simply the best potato chip on earth. Sweet, spicy, salty, and perfect.

2. Herr's Old Bay. Kinda like going to the beach for seafood, but you don't have to leave home or pay for the crab cakes.

3. Wise Traditional. Burnt just enough. Great with ketchup.

4. Walkers Steak & Onion. Found mainly in Britain, but seen time to time in stateside specialty shops. It sort of tastes like the bastard child of beef jerky and tater chips.

5. Pringles Onion Blossom. They taste more like the horseradish sauce than the blooming onions, but that is the best part, anyway.

6. Tim's JalapeƱo. Super spicy, but still tasty. This Washington State snack and the fresh raw oysters at Etta's are the main reasons why I ever agree to go visit my wife's family.

7. Grandma Utz's Handcooked Barbq. Kettle-cooked in lard. 'nuff sed.

8. Mister Bee (original). Not the best in the world, but, as they are local, they are always super fresh.

9. Snyder of Berlin Hawaiian Sweet Onion. Very sweet and zesty but beware, your breath will still be stank-o three brushings later.

10. Herr's Steak & Worcestershire. Not as good as the British "crisps" listed above, but pretty darn close and not a pain in the ass to find.

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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

My 10 Most Read News Sites

Here are the top ten sites where I most commonly get my local/national/world news:

1. BBC
3. CNN
4. Huntington Herald-Dispatch
5. Politico
6. The Guardian
7. The Independent
9. CBS
10. The Times (London)

Hon mention: Charleston Gazette, The Telegraph

*I also read Huffington Post regularly enough to where it would be at about 7. on the list, but that is not so much news as it is people I sort-of agree with about 75% of the time getting overly worked up about random dumb shit (aka a blog).

So where do y'all get your online news?

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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

What's for Breakfast: Lazy Weekend Edition

Leftover roasted potatoes, freshened up in a skillet with some bacon grease, and some pepperoni, along with a side of bbq sauce for the taters.

I give it 2.5 out of 5 antacids tablets taken a couple of hours later.

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Friday, June 19, 2009

Hibernian sucks

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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Liza the Chicken

The other night PBS aired a documentary called The Natural History of the Chicken that included a wonderful short story titled "Call Me Chicken" by L. Joseph Tauer. It is the tale of how a small Japanese silky bantam chicken taught Tauer, an pastor, a lesson about ultimate love, compassion, and sacrifice. It is truly one of the best and most inspirational stories that I've heard in a long time. You can watch a re-enactment from the movie via these two video clips (it starts about 3:41 into the first video and continues in the second):

Or you can read the short story here.

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Monday, June 15, 2009

What's for Dinner: HP burger with baked beans and corn

This is what I had for dinner Wednesday:

I mixed the ground beef with a quarter of a vidalia onion, crushed garlic, Worcestershire sauce, sea salt, and fresh black pepper and fried it up in the skillet. I then topped it off with bacon, shredded mild cheddar, and HP sauce (there are also some bread 'n butter pickles under the beef). The sides are corn on the cob (duh) and Bush's Baked Beans (original variety).

The patties tasted great, but they I had to cook the hell out of them, as they were a bit too moist. Next time I would probably add less onion or less Worcestershire. I would also go for a milder cheese like American or provolone to let the flavor of the meat, bacon, and HP stand out more.

I give this dinner 4 out of 5 Likely Future British Burger King Burgers.

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Friday, June 12, 2009

Happy 35th birthday, Jay

Jason Mewes (of Jay & Silent Bob) turns 35 today. Here is one of his classic scenes from Clerks II:

Goodbye horses.

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Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Frozen Food Review: Healthy Choice Sweet Asian Potstickers

With my semi-busy schedule, I often have to eat a frozen entree of some sort for lunch. Unfortunately, many frozen dishes are chock full o' grease and leave me exhausted for the rest of the workday. Coupled with the fact that my dinners often consist of sausages, pizza, and beef, I need something light-ish for lunch.

For the longest time, that meant Lean Cuisine, which makes some pretty good stuff. After getting a little bored with their butternut squash ravioli and margherita pizza, I was ecstatic when Healthy Choice re-booted their offerings with some purportedly flavorful vegetarian grub in addition to their rubber-chicken meals.

The first item to catch my eye was the potstickers.

The most noticeable taste element has to be the brown sauce. It has a sweet, spicy zing and, although it needs just a touch of salt, has a flavor that one would expect to find at an Asian restaurant rather than in my grocer's freezer.

The red peppers and carrots are perfectly crisp, an unusual situation for frozen veggies. Furthermore, their is adequate protein from the tofu, so one does not miss the meat and fat that is often found in American lunch foods.

Perhaps the most pleasant surprise was pasta used to make the dumplings. It was just tender enough; the perfect al dente style.

Good stuff. As I mentioned earlier, it could use a little more salt and maybe another potsticker to make sure that I don't get hungry again before 5 PM, but this is still a very good option for a lunch for anyone between 16 and 116.

I give it 4 out of 5 Julia Louis-Dreyfuses.

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Tuesday, June 09, 2009

...ASAT's Top Ten Favorite Current TV Shows

1. House-Doctors often complain about how unrealistic this show is, but I really don't care what they have to say about non-health related issues (go whine to your Lexus, I say). The show has the best plot twists and turns and is doing a pretty good job of tackling heavy concepts like depression, suicide, and drug addiction.
2. 30 Rock-Although the show is squarely aimed at folks living on the coasts, the level on comedy on the show is soooo much higher than anything else right now that the occasional pretentiousness is forgivable.
3. The Mentalist-It is basically House with detectives and more popcorn. Simon Baker and Tim Kang both deserve and Emmy noms.
4. The Simpsons-Family Guy fans can hate all that they want, but the show is still the best animated offering on TV. The writers still have everyone else beat for holding a mirror to American culture in a manner that doesn't seem dated a few years later (like South Park).
5. Dexter-Moral gray area aside, it is one of the better crime drama/mystery shows of the decade, although I hope that the fatherhood storyline doesn't get too stupid.
6. Top Chef-This is by far my favorite reality show, not so much for the contestants as for the food. Although I'm still miffed about last season's winner, I still can't wait for the next batch of shows (and for the upcoming Top Chef: Masters spin-off).
7. Friday Night Smackdown-'Cause sometimes I just gotta let the brain go into autopilot.
8. Southland-The show does a great job of how real people (LAPD cops and detectives) react in the face of a bureaucratic juggernaut. Look for Michael Cudlitz to get an Emmy nomination at some point during the show's run, assuming that it survives the Friday night death slot.
9. The Colbert Report-In comparison to The Daily Show, the student has become the master.
10. Medium- I like my large-breasted psychic shows to be at least somewhat coherent (I'm looking at you, Ghost Whisperer).

Hon. Mention-How I Met Your Mother, The Big Bang Theory, The Tudors, NCIS

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Friday, June 05, 2009

2009 Pre-Preseaon NFL Standings & Playoff Picks

AFC East:
1. New England Patriots
2. Miami Dolphins
3. Buffalo Bills
4. NY Jets

AFC North:
1. Pittsburgh Steelers
2. Baltimore Ravens
3. Cleveland Browns
4. Cincinnati Bengals

AFC South:
1. Indianapolis Colts
2. Tennessee Titans
3. Houston Texans
4. Jacksonville Jaguars

AFC West:
1. San Diego Chargers
2. Kansas City Chiefs
3. Denver Broncos
4. Oakland Raiders

NFC East:
1. Philadelphia Eagles
2. NY Giants
3. Dallas Cowboys
4. Washington Redskins

NFC North:
1. Chicago Bears
2. Minnesota Vikings
3. Green Bay Packers
4. Detroit Lions

NFC South:
1. New Orleans Saints
2. Atlanta Falcons
3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
4. Carolina Panthers

NFC West:
1. Arizona Cardinals
2. Seattle Seahawks
3. San Fransisco 49ers
4. St. Louis Rams

AFC Playoffs:
Wild Card-- Colts over Ravens, Steelers over Dolphins
Divisional--Pats over Steelers, Colts over Chargers
Championship--Pats over Colts

NFC Playoffs:
Wild Card--Giants over Cardinals, Bears over Falcons
Divisional--Eagles over Giants, Saints over Bears
Championship--Saints over Eagles

Super Bowl:
Pats over Saints

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Thursday, June 04, 2009

Total Sausage Fest

Here is an image from the archives of stuff I forgot to post from last September:

On the left is a beer-infused bratwurst w/ two kinds of mustard (Cleveland ballpark-style & beer 'n brat-style) and bread 'n butter pickles. On the right is an andouille sausage with ballpark mustard & salsa.

September was a great month, apparently.

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Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Top 10 Seafood Items

In honor of Hoyt's recent Donutbuzz Elimination Tournament relating to seafood, here is my personal ranking of my ten favorite aquatic snacks.

1. Raw oysters (but only near the coasts) w/ hot sauce.

2. Pacific Northwest wild-caught smoked salmon. Save the farm-raised and/or Atlantic stuff for a covered dish dip, give me the good stuff or nothing at all.

3. Beer batter fish & chips, soaked in malt vinegar and served with Heinz ketchup.

4. Grilled salmon, seasoned with sea salt and fresh black pepper if the fish is high-quality or some sort of sweet 'n spicy glaze if I'm eating out of a freezer or at a chain restaurant.

5. Tuna tacos. Made like regular tacos, only made with canned tuna (preferably in oil, not water). Both delicious and hilarious.

6. Shrimp (any way). If tuna is the "chicken of the sea," then shrimp is the pork of the ocean, as they are awesome no matter how you make 'em. Srlsy, short of leaving them out in the sun, you really can't screw them up too bad.

7. Sushi rolls. I prefer smoked salmon w/ avocado and raw tuna (unless said tuna is stringy) w/ cucumber.

8. Maryland blue crab. Serve 'em up as crab cakes or a soft-shell crab sam'mich. When in the Old Line State, I ain't picky.

9. West Virginia trout, breaded 'n fried w/ lemon pepper. The further upstream you go in one of the tributaries of the Gauley River, the better.

10. Lox & cream cheese on a bagel. OK, I lied. I sometimes like Atlantic salmon, but only before 10 AM.

Hon mention: oysters Rockefeller, catfish po'boys, crawfish made in crab boil, steamed mussels in cream sauce w/ linguine

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Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Gen X takes the torch

Congrats on the new gig, Conan.

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Monday, June 01, 2009

Literal Version of the video to "Total Eclipse of the Heart"

This version of Bonnie Tyler's Mary Kay Letourneau-esque video for "Total Eclipse of the Heart" is the funniest literal parody since the original send-up of a-ha's "Take on Me."

Hat tip to BuzzFeed.

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