Tag Archives: chili

Summer Blockbusters, Artery Blockers and the Art of Turning 50

29 Aug


Admit it. Jaws best scene comes when a great white’s guts bloody contents slosh onto the dock. We all want to see a limb or two but instead get better: car license plates, a lava lamp, and a bunch of junk that suggests this great white invented the South Beach diet, along with the Hollywood Summer blockbuster.

Some fishermen bring in a fairly large tiger shark. Hooper knows it’s not the shark they’re after, even though the mayor and the rest of the town are convinced their troubles are over.

Summer simmering down to its wet end here – or perhaps those are curt cobain’s tears falling on the Foo Fighters fest @ Wrigley 2night (Rewind: Pearl Jam’s Friendly Confines gig 2013 rain delay also awash in The God Of Grunge) or sweat maybe staged an unlikely play of thoughts starring Jaws, Junk and El Preferrido canned tamales.


The tin can tamales I wolfed down back in July. And I felt a responsibility to my loyal readers and family to wait until the test results came in. Over the span btw tamales and The Foos my biological calendar reminded me yo lived to be Fifty:


Up until now, I treated mi vida antigua as a series of pop quizzes. At the half-century mark, true standardized testing begins. The format runs from true or false to multiple choice, essay, a greasy finger slid up your butt, to basic arithmetic.


Me, I performed a modern mid-century durability self-test of sorts with said tin tamales (ahora the alchemy of the meandering metaphor madness) by first cooking up (Cobain reference) the gelatinous BP grease slick floating atop the tamales y the tamales then shot up the red hot sabrosa greasy mess into my maw igniting hallucinatory visages of a cross section of my wax paper arteries clogged up with lava lamp lard (Jaws).


We the help of some large cued cottage cheese: aces.

Of Mash-ups, Morita peppers y making out with El Marlboro Madonna Man.

14 Mar

Taylor Swift, for a moment there, seemed headed toward replacing carbon on the table of elements; as universal and seemingly necessary as air twas she. Had I held my breath another five or ten seconds for this media tsunami to pass. Had I not come up for air, me, Spotified, I might have stopped myself from listening to Taylor Swift ever since forever; death being the only escape.

Back when I stopped caring to keep up with the top of the pops the internet, always one to surprise/astonish/amaze/inform/annex all gray matter, started serving up these things called mash-ups. And sure as Instagram can make Hillary Clinton hip, saccharine ear fodder of the era suddenly became, well at least tolerable if not flat out hilarious. Until Metallica and Jay-z got sad people with madder computer skills than their own (as in none) were taking coke from the spoons of their baby-mamas, sharing these files meant fun. Then came lawyers. There went fun. So I pensared.


Mash-ups never went away, I did. Until now. Taylor Swift mashes with the best of them. I’ve seen it for myself. But because this old MacBook,  no jugar nothing streamed, I can surmise from a gander at the gifs accessorizing said mash-ups; these mash-ups are also really flippin’ awesome at partying.

The Taylor Swift colonization was all like a couple tetra-byte years ago, and now, sadly, Maddonna, after one of those unchoreographed old people falls (yeah, right?), has once again taken to flashing me in my brain pan and popping up in my inbox and adroning the hood’s back-alley walls. In an attempt to honor the grand dame of divas – ideally before Dame Judy Dench plays her in the Truth or Dare remake – I husltled up a culinary mash-up, reuniting a star-lit couple who’ve cleverly come together again via guerrila marketing:


One part Madonna UK (shepherds pie) the other Sean Penn’s lengua (Morita/steak chili), this dish kinda actually eaten prior to these posters and these ruminations needed a theme more descriptive of the flavor than the origin story I originally planned to post along with it.

Cooked up btw Taylor and Madonna, the Oscars 2015 era, at first bite, I originally thought I’d struck on a sure-fire winning recipe for another cultural cranial colonization, culinary: some kids being the next top chef Food Network fodder, my version, with the rules based more in reality than on viewer demographics.

Me, your host: “The rules are simple kids. Choose as many pre-prepared courses as you like from the cafeteria line there, take it back to your table, and mash-up all the food on your tray, just like you do at school. We’ll then have our celebrity chefs eat every last bite and not be allowed to leave their seats until they do.” Believe me you, by leaving out the chocolate milk and spit, I concocted a sure-fire winner.

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And even this version de el origen should only be taken at face-value. Both the pie and the chili have their own origin stories.

The Shep-Pie origins, three words:


too much BBC. (Hence, the Madonna christening).

The chili, on the other mano, was a failed attempt to re-create a steak/pinto/chile chili I’d already blogged on too long about not so long ago. The ingredients remained the same but one: the chili pepper. For the uninitiated, like twas yo, moritas are smoked, dried red jalapenos. Their green cousins, the chipotle, are nothing less than smokey, juicy, god pods; one of el mundo mama’s most deliriously original and infectiously mliagros.  So you figure, morita = the second son. NSM. Moritas, at least the batch I bought (along with several other dried peppers who brought the divinity to Santa Sangre Salsa), prepped, chopped and stewed with steak, onion, garlic, pinto, salt, pepper, Mexican oregano, tasted like ash. ASH. And since for as long as we’ve known one another, Sean always has a Marlboro red dangling from his scowl, ergo this chili I deemed worthy of his namesake.

Which brings me to the third – or is it fourth – origin story: I work with several people with their own origin stories, in Mexico. It has been noted here antes how they’ve accused me of being “more Mexican” than them. Unbeknownst to me at the time of mashing up these two dishes, in addition to reuniting Seandonna/Madpenn and concocting a sure-fire “My Kid Can Out Cook Your Kid” champion, I also honored all of Mexico by not being the typical gringo/Americano and tossing out my epic chili fail. On the same night I brought my mash-up to work – a single serving – a co-worker who’d just returned from an annual family trip to Oaxaca shared a confession with me: ‘I am always reminded of how North American I am whenever I go home. This time, on the way into the cathedral in the zocalo I tried to toss out half a candy bar and missed the garbage can. The security guard came up to me and said ‘Senor, in Mexico we do not throw away food’ and so I sat there and guiltily ate it.”

I ate mine and lived to tell about it too….

Get Rico Quick Con El As Nasty As It Wants To Be Salsa Picante (Hunter var.) recipe

25 Feb

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Lovely, iddint it…and yet here we estamos otra tiempo on the Internet making crap up the Internet that will turn miraculously turn into the indisputable truth upon the clicking of ‘post’. As we know, computers don’t lie. Don’t believe me? Google it. Google computers lie too. Computers lie. Mira what I’m getting at. aqui. Powerful stuff this computing omnipotence equalamemte our impotence before them.

A couple postings back rocked this power to its logical ecclesiastical extreme, pronouncing, not unlike a computer God, how the Internet is heaven-sent eternal life in byte-sized chunks, what with these spiels surviving me and living forever. (You’re welcome Facebook for taking my annunciation doctrine and running with it.)


 And thank you too fifty shades of grey lady Ms. NY Times for running a Sunday edition, week last times two, casting online commenters, twitters and all other opinionated occupants of the unauthorized (read corporate) Internets into a kind of op-ed hell. At last count, 4-5 pieces in three separate sections addressed these demonic behaviors; condemning every last practitioner of the dark art of opining, stirring loyal readers greying anxiety embers, yet again.


What torture both social psych PhDs and J-school reporters reported to both dish out and endure upon this global electro-info communication sphere – which they neglects to remind us is free to not use, and as of this writing not one single person has died due to lackof use then again I bet it you Google this you’d get any answer you wanted – but because we pay for it I suppose we are supposed to suppose this entitles One Nation Under Google all them protections guaranteed by the Constitution and/or Bill of Rights.

Mi dos pesos: seeking virtual S&M? Why not go see, listen to or read 50SofG?

Mira: Am I the only one who smells a warning label coming on?


IMO: Yo tengo as much truck con warning labels as 2-Live Crew.


So let’s make congress to make better use of our tax dollars so the men and women of The Hill can get on to the real biz of PAC bargains by jump-starting self-censorship and designing our own warning labels, especially if like it do for 2-Live Crew = guaranteed gold.



 And here’s mi warning label that’s gonna spin some mi peligroso bloggin’ salsa into gold:

Retromatic (12)

And here’s the recipe for that there salsa free for you to exploit so long as you print out and slap on the above warning label…for the children…

How “As Nasty As It Wants To Be Salsa Picante: Hunter Var.” Gets Made (and you get rico)

(Same as Kojak only fruitier and brighter; just like Hunter)

The Batch Size

2 cup = avg med hot sauce bottle

The Contents

The dry/smoked whole chile peppers: 

1 – Ancho

2 – Pasilla Negro

3 – Guajillo

3 – Pulla

3 – Japones

4 – Arbol

1 clove of minced/smushed garlic

tsp vinegar

pinch of Mexican oregano

2 cups water

salt to taste

The Directions

  1. Seed and stem peppers (I did this under running cold water. sorta works)
  2. Skillet roast at medio heat 5 minutes or so
  3. Transfer bowl, cover with hot water. Cover bowl
  4. Soak peppers for an episode of Hunter

So consider yourself as warned as London on side 1 of ITANOMTHUB y brew up a batch of ANAIWTBSPHv, douse something liberally with it

 Retromatic (12)

…crack open a cerveza, drop the needle on your nastiest vinyl, throw the munch, slurp, repeat.

“What Is Your Spirit Vegetable?

24 Sep


 Yeah, I know. WTF?


En verdad, I overheard this opening line at Trader Joe’s.  One of his gregarious stockers attempting to throw light on his virtuous palate, fishing for lunch with some Lululemon Nation matriarch tossed out:

 ‘Mine is definitely green onions.’

 I know, right? He might as well have said scrotum.


My spirit vegetable: steak.



Lucky for the Brides of Lululemon I shelved pick-up lines por de boda.


Y mi esposa lovingly sears my spirit vegetable con migo, hmmm, nearly weekly. Which is not to suggest I corralled her corazon with red meat. Quite the reverse. Fact: I baited her with a “Meat’s No Treat To Those You Eat” sticker. Mira, when we met century last my better 2/3rds suffered from vegetarianism – and so did yo.


Yeah, I know. How the what?


Let he who has never curbed an appetite to extended the company of the fairer gender throw the first t-bone.


Spending death till we part pretending side dishes (or what a biker friend of mine like to say of vegetarians, ‘They’re what food eats!’) a complete meal made, well not on my watch. No sir. Rather than take a carne-free question-popping knee I split the scene for Dancing With Chainsaws in the Rocky Mountains while said mate took a ‘sabbatical’ del Corazon in the Bahamas.



Plan A: I’m gonna lumberjack that debutante right out of my life.

 Result: Several hundred feet of lodge pole pine bark hand peeled and tamales hubeirto comido later I reanimate for her in text message form with a staus update sure to inspire envy over my Loggerman Lifestyle.


Me: ‘I’m on food stamps.’

She: ‘And I’ve been eating a lot of steak.’

Me: ‘And that’s like telling me: ‘I’ve taken up anal sex.’

 If she went on to text “And I married a matador” I’d have let the whole business go the way of my Bone Fone.

Screen Shot 2013-09-09 at 12.35.06 PM

Instead, she dropped and broke he phone in order to catch her ass before she laughed it off.

 Shrek Donkey

By now it should be obvious that if you need to win at cards, or really any game, take on me. I know not the first thing about gambling or gaming or weighing odds or restraint because while with this “anal sex” zinger I thee laid down the Royal Flush of Aces High Hilarity for the marriage hand win I won’t ever see so perfect a play again. Nothing I say, do, text, email, blog, sing, dance, or mime will ever reach the comedic heights – and magnetic me-appeal –  of “anal sex.”


 And so it is we settle for steak. Never funny. Often bloody. Forever tasty. Mi esposa’s still off all other hooved meats and doesn’t care for/with what I do with the leftovers. Muy malo for her. Mucho bueno for me. Cuz if there’s such a thing as a Spirit Chili, this be the one:

Spirit Vegetable Chile Con Carne Asada

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In a medio saucepan fry leftover

bacon (3-5 strips)

chopped onions (½ to 1)

garlic (3-5 cloves) till aromatic/soft

+ chopped up leftover grilled steak (NY Strip seasoned w/only s & p) + pinto beans in gravy (½ to 1 cup) (dried/cooked s&p only) + 1-2 roasted jalapenos (peeled and seeded) + Tsp o mysterious red chile powder purchased from the ethnic aisle at a now defunct Dominics some two years back + NM red chile powder (tbsp) + Mexican oregano also from Dominics and bought around the same time as the red chile powder – top off with beef broth + boil up then simmer, covered on low heat. Serve with sour cream, pre-shredded cheddar y cerveza.

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And now, why not? In the spirit of spirit vegetables and anal sex, Spirit’s Ode To Both:

How The Chili Cook-Off Invented Hip Hop aka Manifest Destiny’s Child

10 Mar

I for once am at a complete loss for completely random themes/narratives to diving into this blog to hopefully come up for air in a bowl of gnarly green-go bride’s maid/red ribbon/silver medal posole.

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I’ve mulled over subjects ranging from performance enhancing drugs to the opening scene in Apocalypse Now to Paczki (Pooch-keys) to texting in movie theaters to Zumbani gravy to daily affirmations for documentaries about sociopathic enlightened despots to fantasy baseball draft fantasies to glamping with Ernest Hemmingway and Campell McGrath to the death croak of a Florida Keys grouper to second helpings of ponch-keys to Kate Moss Single Malt Scotch to National Chili Day to Jon Wayne: Rap Album One to red to salt on ice cream to Colorado the state not the color because it’s blue and confusing but not nearly as baffling as the state “dish’ that goes by the name of Green Chili which is actually a clear soup the consistency of stomach flu bi-products made from John Denver’s sweat. I am not a fan, per se, of this Rocky Mountain version and so over the course of a few years holed up in Eagle County Colorado I mastered – so said my reflection in the mirror – a Varsity vat of a Colorado green chile pork stew soup thing.

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A-ha! That’s it, the chili cook-off as Wild West Shoot out.


Vaya! But of course!!!! Calling all social anthropologists and cultural studies majors. This here is a landmark discovery in the field. If we trace the origins of hip hop….


Okay so I lost most of you at the mention of ‘studies”. Oye oye, hear me out. Why doesn’t it make sense outside of Norte del Mexico where even the arrest of El Chapo sadly means only a short term cease fire in the otherwise wily, wild, outlaw ‘culture” in the CONCBPS (Country of Old Narco Capos with Bad Plastic Surgery)


and I don’t mean for this to read like a Margaret Mead treatise but smash me in the face with a cast iron skillet if my brain didn’t just fart up the origins of not just the chili cook-off but how one can actually draw a meandering line from let’s say for the sake of argument, Reno to The Bronx.


Damn it feels good to be a meanderer….

Once upon a time the Westwardly moving white Europeans, mostly bitter Civil War veterans on the losing team, taking notes watching John Ford and Clint Eastwood movies, having fulfilled “Manifest Destiny” these pioneers met with a vast nothingness that is Pacific Ocean and/or California. Having slaughtered their way across this great Nation their government and employers claimed as theirs, and because this was a time before PTSD – when Men were Men and so were children and women – again, according my notes once the land and narcotics ran out, these frontier people devoid of war, spirit, country, education, television, harmony, teeth, tolerance – ergo a meaningful existence – well, they simply seethed with fight. And as y’all know, you can take the rebel out of Dixie but take his right to bear arms (read: shoot people) and he may very well take you out.

Again, this according to Time-Life, John Ford, Clint, Skynrd. without bison and/or Indians to slaughter – and ignoring for the moment – just like Mr. Ford, Clint, and text books – all surrounding land and culture was recently Mexican/co – and their autonomic nervous systems basically cooking up a freebase of “fight” hormones atop their cerebral cortexes everyone naturally turned on one another: Outlaws vs Posses. Nobody served “the law”  or even the lord anymore. All answered to a higher order called “Justice”. They brought it on each other day in and day out. Sound familiar? Yep, The West Coast and gang violence go together like Ice Cube and Coors Light.

What throws this hypothesis for a loop though is that, well, the whole hip-hop anti-violence connection happened years before gangsta rap invented itself and yes, it wasn’t in the Wild West but up in the Bronx where the Zulu Warriors brought the peace by having kids remix all those “fight” hormones into “funk’, giving birth to break dancing/beats/tag throw downs and everyone really needs to read all about it in the flyiest, hypest, phattest comic book since Luke Cage: Power Man.


Man, but do I love to digress. If I didn’t lose you at “studies” or “hypothesis” or “Coors Light” then…anyway, just as knife fights and gunplay and brass knuckles in The Bronx went the way of the 8-track tape as rap contests supplanted violence.


I mean, I think it is safe, and culturally insensitive to say that the smoke the world saw during game whatever of the World Series which inspired Cosell to spout, “Ladies and Gentlemen, The Bronx is buring”

and for many marked the birth of hip hop can be read as a Wild West tale with a Hollywood ending, though most Hollywood Westerns wipe out all the bad guys (and Indians) instead of teaching them to dance/rap/tag or make chili. Anyway, again, take Dr. Who’s phone booth time-travel fetish back to the late 1800s when both chili became a staple dish and the violence in the Wild West went the way of the bison and/or most Indians probably because the pioneers killed each other off, ran out of bullets or became Mormons but what if that twernt the case as all?


Why? What? Where? Who cares? Don’t ask me to answer anything but How for now. What I propose, and it’s yet to be documented or maybe I just haven’t bothered Googling it yet, that the Chili Cooking Contest were the Rapper’s Delight of the Wild West. The proof, my friends is blowing in the lyrics:

Have you ever went over a friend’s house to eat
And the food just ain’t no good
I mean the macaroni’s soggy the peas are mushed
And the chicken tastes like wood
So you try to play it off like you think you can
By saying that you’re full
And then your friend says momma he’s just being polite
He ain’t finished uh uh that’s bull
So your heart starts pumping and you think of a lie
And you say that you already ate
And your friend says man there’s plenty of food
So you pile some more on your plate
While the stinky food’s steaming your mind starts to dreaming
Of the moment that it’s time to leave
And then you look at your plate and your chickens slowly rotting
Into something that looks like cheese
Oh so you say that’s it I got to leave this place
I don’t care what these people think
I’m just sitting here making myself nauseous
With this ugly food that stinks
So you bust out the door while its still closed
Still sick from the food you ate
And then you run to the store for quick relief
From a bottle of kaopectate
And then you call your friend two weeks later
To see how he has been
And he says I understand about the food
Baby bubbah but we’re still friends
With a hip hop the hippie to the hippie
The hip hip a hop a you don’t stop the rocking

If this isn’t an ironic post-modern wink to Chili Cook-offs then it’s probably just some classic food lyrics forever funny as shit.

Any any any…via


What is it about Chili Cook-offs that ended Random acts of Wild West Violence?

a. Slaughtering the meat = slaughtering the innocents

b. Beating someone over a burbling vat of chili  =  beating them with your stump

c. Brining on the chili pepper mouth heat = rabbit punch

d. Weapons of Mass Diareha  = Weapons of Mass Destruction

e Quality farts = quality farts

f. All of the above kept me from hauling off and kicking some little shit’s ass for not just beating me in a chili contest in Colorado circa 2008 but also taunting me by referring to me as “Jack Ass” (for the popular film and television star of the era, whom I purportedly resembled) during the awards ceremony (..still).

Answer: f

That blogged, here’s my losing recipe for Gnarly Green-Go-Stop-The-Violence Chile Posole (alias: Bride’s Maid Green Manna Leashy With The Three Pronged Claw, Stiffed by the Soviets Silver Medal Stew, Blue Ribbon Burgoo et al)

Gnarly Green-Go-Stop-The-Violence Chile Posole



1 PORK (Shoulder or Roast; so long as it’s nice and fatty)

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1 cup o’ NM Green Chile (seeded and stemmed)

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1 Yellow Onion

1 garlic head (oven roasted in olive oil/salt/pepper @ 400 degrees for 45 min)

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Tomatillos (boiled)

Stock (chicken)

Flour (white)

Butter (yum)

Cilantro (fresh)

Mexican Oregano (old)

Salt & Pepper (to taste)

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Brown one inch chunks of pork in oil and butter (roll in flour or don’t) – place in crock pot/stew pot

Brown onion in left over pork oil, add to pork – add salt/pepper/oregano

Blend tomatillos, green chile and garlic with a splash stock until smooth and pour over pork and onions. Add chicken stock, if needed, to completely cover pork.

Cook on low heat for 6 hours and then some.

Top a bowl off with a handful of cooked hominy, a dollop of sour cream, a squeeze of lime and some chopped cilantro sprigs. (Goes good with cheese crisp.)

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Eat. Rap. Delight.

Haboobalooba-a-whomp-bam-boom: Toutin’ tootin chili. (Or “It sure don’t taste like tomato juice.”)

12 Jul

Where were you when the haboob hit? Popular question echoing about all through the weekend. Me and my better 2/3rds spent an evening with the wonderful work (and world) of Bill Cunningham: photo-documentarian of global street fashion and NYC black tie society events, gentleman, saint.  Which had me pondering, Sunday, at this awesome “black bean” event

“De donde estamos everybody?” (Or something to that effect.)

HTJCCO&SF, pretty much the only game in town – not MLB related – in Phoenix this past weekend. Pre-haboob we are the 5th most populous metropolitan area in the USA. An occasion celebrating homegrown chili, salsa, radio, business, and lemonade (with strawberries) to raise money for Gabriel’s Angels, an organization that  provides dog therapy “to abused, neglected and at-risk children, nurturing their ability to love and trust, thereby freeing them from the cycle of violence” and yet…not even the most opportunistic politician bothered to pop by.

Repeat after me: PUPPIES AND CHILDREN.

No excuses folks. Haboobs blow through, what, only once every 7 million years? We had ours. Get over it.

The draw: “Hotter Than July” was highly publicized (Google it) and the heat really wasn’t that bad…and oh, yeah PUPPIES AND CHILDREN and of equal import – to me: CHILI (con and sans carne).

We donated. We sampled. We voted. We sampled some more. We drank 50 cent lemonade (not to be confused with Curtis Jackson’s Vitamin Water). We sweat. We danced.  While lines were not of the Space Mountain variety, we raised money for PUPPIES AND CHILDREN.

Here’s all what went down – literally and figuratively – before the lovely converted filling station, Copper Star Coffee.

Chili #1

The home team’s entry: Copper Star’s multi-bean, corn, onion, tomato-esque and spice galaxy. Classic ingredients and a little sumpin sumpin.

Decent heat index. Not of the face plant into a saguaro variety. (Note to “chiliheads” a correlation btw chili heat and chili deliciousness does not exist.) But, this batch was still kickin long after the last drop.

Chili #2

Sandy’s Too Shot To Shoot Crew’s Phoenix Five Chili Bowl o’ Rojo

For my money (all of 5 bux) best presentation, aroma, warmth (of the amigable variety) and use of elk and funk. Tempted to eat both contents, spoon and pot. Gorgeous. (Got my vote)

Chili #3

All Star (and now reigning champ) from Winsdor (yes, the place with all the cassettes) and considering its elegant presentation, something of a beauty queen.

Black beans, beefs, 6  spices, onion, jalapeno, serrano, tomato, etcetero. Topped with green onions, cheese, corn bread. Quite lovely. The least spicy and roundest flavor, but perhaps too polished for these taste buds. Voted the winner. The nearby a plate of FREE COOKIES may or may not have influenced balloting, certainly inspired me to return for thirds, helpings, not votes, that is.

FREE COOKIES, saving PUPPIES and helping CHILDREN and you did what? Stayed at home to watch youtube cat videos?

Heat is no excuse. For beneath the gently misting misters a cart, no, an ark worthy of covetedness, okay, it was an adorable ice pop cart: all-natural ice pops hand-crafted from seasonal, local, sustainable, delectable, foodstuffs own and operated by FruFru Frau Korina Adkins. Her delectable FruFruPops are crackish. I inhaled 2.5: cardamon/saffron, Mexican chocolate (brilliantly picante), and some of the better 2/3rds blueberry. Seek these out at local local confabs, events, etc.

Meanwhile, inside the Copper Star, local DJ/drummer Tom Coulson spun jazz and blues CDs btw interviews with anyone within an earshot for ” his radiophoenix.org show “Full Moon Hacksaw”  to be broadcast over the www real soon. Check in with radiophoenix.org or back here for times and dates.

To y’all that missed out: Byeboobs.