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The Polack MSgt

Profile Information

Gender: Male
Hometown: Appalachia
Home country: USA
Current location: Prairie
Member since: Tue Jun 30, 2015, 08:04 AM
Number of posts: 9,165

Journal Archives

Saw a thread today. It made me sad.

I understand that there are plenty of people my age and shade that hate Hip Hop. But the ignorant dismissal of a whole genre is not a good look.

Except for Opera, yah, dismiss Opera if you want, I won't care.
The early rap tunes were just dance tracks with a DJ Yes Ya'll-ing and dropping simple rhymes but pretty soon, the lyrical content expanded and simplistic "my Name is" bullshit didn't fly. One of the early pioneers lead a group called Boogie Down Productions - an MC named KRS-ONE

I've posted about Public Enemy before but just as hard edged was another NYC Rapper named Mob Deep

Who would work with Mos Def

Who formed a Rap super group called Blackstar

Working with and MC named Talib Kweli

And out west there was Dr. DRE Snoop 2Pac Too Short, NWA and others, but I always had a soft spot for the MC with the worst haircut in Hip-hop History Xzibt

Posted by The Polack MSgt | Sun Sep 30, 2018, 03:54 PM (11 replies)

Finally cooling of here on the prairie

Took long enough - It was 94 Saturday

But Autumn is here at last and there are 2 dishes that I absolutely love to make in the fall:

Pumpkin soup and Chili.

Today I'm talking pumpkin soup.

First off, you can use any orange fleshed squash and it'll work out about the same - It won't taste exactly the same, but it cooks the same way and serves the same purpose. A warm satisfying bowl of savory soup that's creamy and filling.

Second point that needs made is this - If it looks perfect for a Jack O' Lantern it will probably suck as soup.

The flesh in field pumpkins can be stringy or mealy when cooked and since they have a lot of water content, they make a less flavorful soup.

So, choose a Sugar Pumpkin (the small greyish kind) or use what I always use - Kabocha.

They are slightly sweet, the flesh cooks out smoother and they are denser than other pumpkins.

My wife is Asian so we make the trek into the city once a month to shop at the big Asian markets, and there are Kabocha in the produce department year round.

But that doesn't matter since the local big grocery chain carries them as well.

So, good news! They aren't as common as butternut or acorn squash but they do seem to be available in most areas if ya look.


I ain't here to bitch about all the "Pumpkin Pie Spice" (PPS in my mind, I don't want to even dignify it with a proper name) flavored everything in the world.

I mean I do hate that crap, but I'm not writing this to rant about it.

This is soup. That's my point.

This is not PIE

When all you PPS addicted folks start adding roasted garlic and onions to your PPS lattes, I will allow you to put the nutmeg and whatnot into the soup.

Not a second before that though. Clear?


On to the recipe proper...

Preheat the oven to 400

While it's coming to temp, cut a medium sized Kabocha into quarters. Remove and save the seeds

On a roasting pan, oil the sections and salt and pepper them

(I lightly salt and heavily pepper the squash before roasting since I will also salt the onions and garlic as they cook down and would rather be less salty than too salty at the end - it's soup so you can hit it with a dash of salt at the end, but you can't pull it out.)

Place them skin side up on the pan and roast for at least 40 minutes after that, check every 5 minutes and pull when soft. I usually turn them flesh side up for the last 10 minutes just to get some extra color.

While the pumpkin's in the oven dice one large yellow onion and mince 4 large cloves of garlic.

In a large stock pot, sauté until translucent in whatever fat you like best. I use half butter and half bacon drippings. Olive oil is ok too and I guess plain old oil would work (if you wanna shoot for the most boring ass soup possible)

When the onions are almost see through lower the heat and add a quart of stock, home made salt free chicken or veggie stock is best, the low sodium cartons of store brand stock will work and of course the folks who sauté in canola oil can use water.

HEY! Did you pull the pumpkins out and allow to cool for 10-15 minutes yet?

You should do that while the vegies are on a slow low simmer, maybe loosely tent with foil if you have a mind to.

When the kabocha is still hot but no longer a threat to give you scars, scoop the flesh out add to the soup pot then add some more stock to cover.

Whip out that immersion blender you got for Christmas 7 years ago (and hardly ever use) turn up the flame to medium high and go to town breaking down all the veg while adding small amounts of stock as you go to keep it moving.

ETA: Don't let the soup get too cool or too hot as you process it.
Keep the burner going and work the stock in in batches.
It's not a sauce but if you cool it and reheat it too many times or over heat it, it can "break" the way any sauce or gravy made with a mixture of fat and starch can.
So no rolling boils and no rapid drops in temperature if you please

Now here is an important decision point - How thick do you want this?

You can make it the consistency of hummus or as thin as tomato soup or any where in that spectrum. Add stock until it's the soup you want, no, until it's THE SOUP YOU NEED!

Check seasoning and salt and pepper to taste.

Believe it or not you are done, or at least you can be done - many folks finish this soup in the bowl with a shot of cream or a chunk of butter. I've heard of people using sour cream too - which sounds good...

You could also sprinkle it with the seeds that you roasted, lightly salted, for 4 minutes or so (turning once halfway through) right after you turned off the oven.

When my carpal tunnel syndrome calms down from this post, I may write up the "how to make chili" novel I've always dreamed of publishing.

Posted by The Polack MSgt | Fri Sep 28, 2018, 09:51 AM (4 replies)

This is what a predatory Government looks like

This is where the rubber meets the road in a police state.

And it's depressingly common around where I live - Read the DOJ Ferguson report to learn how the local courts system around here became a Ponzi scheme targeting poor POC around St Louis:

Here is another more recent example:
Posted by The Polack MSgt | Thu Sep 27, 2018, 10:29 PM (0 replies)

Illinois 12 is a toss up on Real clear politics now

Looks like Bost is losing his grip on voters out in the corn.


In related news, a canvasser for Kelly came through my neighborhood the other day. That means in the 13 years I've lived in that house, he was the second Democratic canvasser to ever visit.

The first was just 6 weeks ago, when the district was listed as "likely Repub" - so I'm hopeful

I have a Kelly for congress sign in my yard now BTW
Posted by The Polack MSgt | Wed Sep 26, 2018, 11:02 AM (9 replies)

It's been a couple years since I posted a Danielle Nicole Schnebellen vocal track

I should post her much more frequently

Posted by The Polack MSgt | Mon Sep 24, 2018, 03:30 PM (0 replies)

6 games left for the Cards.

All of them against the 2 teams ahead of 'em in the Central.

It's tight, but they have a spot in the wildcard right now, and an extremely unlikely shot at over taking the Cubs for the Division.

Considering where we were before the All Star Break, I can't bitch but man, this chase is making my head hurt.

It feels like we've already been in the playoffs since last week - like every series is a 3 game elimination.

Brewers series starts tonight and if we survive that, 3 in Chicago against the ENEMY over the weekend.

Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit drinking
Posted by The Polack MSgt | Mon Sep 24, 2018, 10:47 AM (18 replies)

Who is this leperchaun looking old man The Polack keeps talking about?

Why am I obsessed? Well, I literally thought he had died.

No one in America reports on the health and welfare of a man who was a complete unknown. But Dr. Feelgood was a big deal I Japan in the 70s and my Japanese buddies were big Wilko Johnson fans when I was there in the 80s.

Then I saw him in 84.

If you ever get a chance to see him live you WILL be a fan.

Then I heard he had Pancreatic Cancer - so of course I thought he died.

That's what took my Dad and it took no time at all.

So I got curious one day and googled Wilko - found out he had a rare non-Metastatic strand of cancer and was still kicking - had a new record, had an older record he recorded in 8 days with Roger Daltrey back when he figured he had 10 months to live.

He told the BBC "To be honest when I thought that I was due to die any day - I lived the freest I had ever felt"

He can't sing worth shit - but his cool factor cannot be overestimated

Posted by The Polack MSgt | Sun Sep 23, 2018, 08:21 PM (2 replies)

New Grass? Nah. Mountain Music is still the description I would use

Posted by The Polack MSgt | Fri Sep 21, 2018, 02:43 PM (0 replies)

I thought we would lose him, but Wilko is too tough for cancer.

He was punk before there even was punk and he's still rocking out with his Telecaster cranked up loud.

Here's one from his newest album

Here he is with Dr Feelgood (RIP Lee, no one ever did the dirty suede suit wearing Brit playing the harmonica thing better than you)

I was lucky enough to catch the Wilko Johnson Band in Shibuya back in 84 -

He killed it was still one of the best shows I ever saw.

Posted by The Polack MSgt | Thu Sep 20, 2018, 10:35 AM (0 replies)

I got life, got life... Ladies and Gentleman, Nina Simone

Posted by The Polack MSgt | Wed Sep 12, 2018, 10:06 PM (4 replies)
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