Sunday, March 29, 2009

2009 Worcester City Meet : Women's Discus

Katie MacDowell crushes it at the Worcester City Meet.

The images say it all. Three years after last touching a discus, she's still got it!

Friday, March 20, 2009

The Absolute Best Corned Beef and Cabbage

While corned beef and cabbage, also known as NEBD, or New England Boiled Dinner, is a St. Patrick's Day staple, I generally make it several times a year. While contemplating the hash I'm going to make from the leftovers tomorrow, I thought I'd share my fool proof method for corned beef and cabbage.

*What You Need:
*4-5 pounds of flat cut ( more expensive but much leaner and easier to carve than point cut) corned beef brisket
*6 onions
*2 large celery ribs, with leaves, sliced into 2 inch chunks
*16 cloves
*1 bay leaf
*6 peppercorns
*Several springs of parsley
*1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary, or a sprig of fresh
*2 large garlic cloves, peeled
*8 potatoes
*6 carrots
*1 medium head of cabbage

*Step 1: Cook the beef with seasonings
1.Remove the meet from the package and rinse.
2.Discard the seasoning packet the manufacturer included.
3.Place the meat in a large pot.
4.Take 2 of the onions, peel them, and cut into quarters. Stud each onion quarter with 4 cloves, and add to the pot. Do not worry if they fall apart.
5.Add the celery, bay leave, peppercorns, parsley, rosemary and garlic to the pot.
6.Cover all with water, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 2 hours.
7.Remove the meat to a second large pot. Strain the liquid over the meat, and discard the vegetables and seasonings.
8.You can stop and refrigerate the meat over night at this point, or continue.

*Step 2: Add the vegetables

1. Peel the remaining 4 onions and the potatoes and add them to the pot.
2. Bring everything back to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 15 minutes.
3. Peel the carrots, cut into 2 inch chunks, and add them to the pot. Adjust the heat if needed to keep it simmering.
4. Cook for 30 minutes.
5. Core and quarter the cabbage, and add it to the pot.
6.Bring everything back to a boil, reduce the heat and cook for 10 minutes more, or until everything is tender.

*Step 3: Serve and enjoy
1.Slice the meat across the grain and place on a platter, surrounded by the vegetables.
2.Serve with brown mustard, Irish Soda bread, fresh butter, and plenty of Guinness.
3.Any leftovers should be stored in the broth, and reheated in the liquid.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Home Affordable Refinance and Modification -Not!

I think that home ownership is a good thing. I think that helping people avoid foreclosure is a good thing. I realize that sometimes life throws you curveballs, and we all should be prepared to help people out.

However, after spending several days going through the provisions of the Home Affordable Refinance and Modification Plans, I am concerned about several provisions. I am not supportive of using my tax dollars to lower interest rates to 2%. I am not in favor of forgiving debt for mortgages that are underwater.

I would have thought a better situation would be to lower rates to market, and then to extend the length of the loan to lower the payments to reach the 31% threshold that the plan seems to consider bearable. While in some cases this might produce very long term mortgages, I think its a more equitable solution in the long run. It allows people who are having trouble stay in there homes and allows people who can't refinance at lower rates because they are underwater to refinance. It does not reward people who assumed excessive amounts of debt by letting them out of their obligations.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Watchmen - Creating Dr. Manhattan

I was invited to ''Watchmen'' tonight by my son--as he needed an adult escort. We both thought that the movie didn't live up to the hype. Although the movie left me flat, the special effects used to create Dr. Manhattan were pretty amazing.

Posted via web from susan's posterous

Friday, March 6, 2009

Cute Photo of the Morning: Red Panda in Memphis, Tennessee

"Gentle, friendly, and shy, the red panda looks like a cross between a small bear and a raccoon, although it isn't actually either. Red pandas belong to their own family called Ailuridae. They live in the cool high altitude regions of southeastern Asia and survive on a main course of bamboo leaves with an occasional flower, berry or acorn on the side..." (source: