Sunday, June 06, 2010

Just so you know, we won ...

The popular account of America's involvement in Vietnam is "we lost."

I hate to get political here on AMGE, but the simple truth is: our troops on the ground, and in the air, kicked the shit out of Commie troops up until '73 ... and then Kissinger and the "Watergate" Congress of '74 went and threw it all away.

See The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Vietnam War and/or This Time We Win: Revisiting the Tet Offensive if'n you don't believe me.

That said, there's a scene in Stanley Kubrick's Full Metal Jacket in which a Marine colonel opines that "inside every [Vietnamese], there's an American trying to get out."

Vietnam already has multiple Golden Arches and lots o' KFCs, and it'll soon have a Carl's Jr./Hardee's -- home of the über-American Thickburger! -- in its Commie midst. Check it:

Just on the heels of the 35th anniversary of the fall of Saigon, here comes more evidence that the domino theory was bunk (or, at least, that the dominoes fall easier in the other direction): Carl's Jr. has just opened its first outpost in Vietnam -- in Ho Chi Minh City to boot.

Puttin' it in a historical context ... looks like the U.S. has finally won the battle for hearts and minds (and stomachs), n'est-ce pas?!

Thursday, June 03, 2010

At-home doughnuts? No thanks

I do love me a good doughnut -- or is it donut?

I don't love 'em like Homer Simpson loves 'em, but there ain't many things I like better in the a.m. than a maple-glazed from the local Dunkin' Donuts. (There's yer "donut" ...!)

Today's Los Angeles Times tells us that makin' doughnuts at home is easy as snap. Check it:

There's something magical about the doughnut. You don't have to be Homer Simpson to swoon when you're greeted with all those bright colors and sparkly decorations in a doughnut shop display case. But no matter how wonderful they may appear, it's hard to find a store-bought doughnut that compares with homemade.

And believe it or not, they're really not hard to make. You can whip up a batch of cake doughnuts in about an hour. Put together a batch of yeast-raised the night before, and all you have to do is fry them the next morning. Making breakfast for someone special? Try a batch of French crullers, their thin, golden crusts yielding to the most delicate, lightly flavored interiors.

Look, I'm all for home-cooking. But why in God's name would you go to all the trouble and expense to make doughnuts at home when you can just get in your car and head to the local Dunkin' Donuts or Krispy Kreme? Even if you don't live near a Dunkin' or Krispy, you probably live near a Wal-Mart. And, I can tell you, Wal-Mart's doughnuts are pretty damn good (the maple-glazed are AAA to Dunkin's Major League).

Not unlike Ms. Lucy, I'm a messy cook. I can only imagine what my kitchen would look like if'n I whipped up a batch of doughnuts ... and it wouldn't be pretty.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

1.1 miles from my house ...

Here's what I like 'bout the Homestyle Bakery:

Oh, and I like this ...

The chocolate on Homestyle's chocolate doughnuts ain't brown sugary sugar, a la Krispy Kreme, it's made o' honest-to-God chocolate.

Get thee here with your sweet tooth -- and be sure to tell 'em that Joltin' Django sent you.


Homestyle Bakery
2709 Murfreesboro Pike
Nashville, TN 37013

Bad news ...

My favorite Southeast Nashville Mexican buffet (you can read 'bout it here and here and here) has closed.

Don't know if it's 'cause of the flood, or 'cause of bad business ...

Pancho's closed, that's all I know.

It sucks.


Tuesday, June 01, 2010

J'aime ce potage, en effet!

Here's a recipe for Creole/Cajun onion soup, courtsey of one Jason Murphy (who lives at 39 Rue de Jean, N'Awlins, if'n you wanna put pen to paper and thank him for this recipe):

Onion Soup Gratinée


2 tablespoons olive oil
10 large yellow onions, thinly sliced
2 cups sodium-free chicken stock
2 cups sodium-free beef stock
2 tablespoons brandy
2 tablespoons sherry
Salt to taste
25 slices baguette, diagonally cut and toasted
25 slices Gruyére cheese


Heat a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and heat. When the pan is hot, add the onions. Stirring constantly to prevent burning, reduce the heat to medium. Keep cooking and caramelizing the onions until they begin to brown and all the natural sugars are out, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool for 10 minutes. Add the chicken stock and beef stock and bring the mixture to a boil over high heat. Add the brandy and sherry. Season to taste with salt.

To serve, preheat the oven to 400ºF. Ladle the hot soup into deep ovenproof soup bowls (or bistro bowls), leaving room for the toast and cheese. Top each with two or three toast points and two or three slices Gruyére cheese. Bake the soup in the bowls for 8 to 10 minutes or until the cheese is brown and bubbly. Serve immediately.