Friday, April 3, 2009

The Violet Show's computer's capacity, or more correctly incapacity

My Goodness, this is a GENUINE Win98 machine with a REAL Pentium Pro processor and a total RAM of 198 MB.

Isn't it nice to know that it's been optimized for performance.

Finally, the genuine "Plug and Pray" BIOS without any USB support.

HELP!! My iPod touch has more capacity than this

And now to the best part, It's BSOD'd twice already and on rebooting I get a bad partition error in one of the SEVEN partitions of this 15 Gig hard drive. AWK!!!! Someone pass me the sledge hammer please.

My state of the art computer center

I'm about to start the entries for the Long Island AVS yearly show. Note the Win98 machine with the "tiny" tower. If you hear an implosion around Rockville Centre it may be this old dinosaur giving up the ghost.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Recipe from the TWiT Army Mess Hall - Classic Chicken Soup

Here's another recipe from my Passover Dinner (Seder) coming up next Thursday night.


  • 5 - 6 lbs of bone-in, skin-on meaty chicken parts such as thighs
  • 4 qts of cold water, the quality matters here, bottled may be better than fresh if your water is very hard
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • 2 large onions, one peeled and quartered, one trimmed and quartered but left unpeeled (the peel is part of what colors the soup golden)
  • ½ lb parsnips, skinned and cut into chunks
  • Celery root about the size of a lemon cut into chunks, if you can't find celery root use 3 stalks of celery
  • 1 lb carrots, skinned and cut into chunks
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 6 sprigs of fresh parsley
  • 1 parsley root, scraped and cut into chunks
  • 1 parsnip root scraped and cut into chunks
  • 2 large leeks, washed well and white parts cut into pieces, save the green leaves for later
  • 10 peppercorns
  • 1 bay leaf

Day 1:
Roast the chicken parts in a 350 degree oven for 45 minutes, save all the pan juices. Put the chicken, pan juices and water into a large kettle along with ½ tbl. of salt. Bring heat to medium and start simmering the soup. Here's where the work starts. You really need to spend a lot of time now skimming the soup until the broth is complete clear (Important, DO NOT LET THE SOUP BOIL or it will be cloudy forever). Add all the rest of the ingredients except for the leek leaves and continue to skim until there is absolutely no more scum. Now cover with the leek leaves (if you don't have enough use some romaine leaves also). Cover with the pot and let simmer for at least 6 hours but overnight is better. Use a crock pot at this point if you're not comfortable leaving an open flame all night.

Now you can taste the soup and add salt as needed. Remove the chicken and save the meat for other uses such as chicken salad. Remove as much of the vegetables as possible and then strain the soup through cheesecloth. Squeeze the cheesecloth to get as much of the soup out as possible.
Refrigerate the soup overnight and then skim any congealed fat.

Reheat the soup before serving.

N.B. You can make this up to 3 to 4 days before using, just keep it refrigerated until ready to heat and eat

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Recipe from the TWiT Army Mess Hall - Roast Chicken with Dried Fruits and Almonds

Here's another recipe which can be used for Passover. Most can be done the day before and the just the actual roasting done on the day it's served. Serves 8, can be easily doubled.


  • 7 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 3 pounds onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 pound pitted prunes, halved
  • 12 ounces pitted dates, halved
  • 10 ounces dried apricot halves (about 2 cups)
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 (4- to 4 1/2-pound) chickens, rinsed, patted dry
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric, divided
  • 1 1/2 cups (or more) water
  • 1/2 cup blanched slivered almonds, toasted

Heat 6 tablespoons olive oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and sauté until deep golden brown, about 30 minutes; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Transfer onions to large bowl; mix in prunes, dates, apricots, sugar, and cinnamon. Do ahead Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Spread fruit mixture over bottom of large roasting pan. Tuck chicken wing tips under. Rub each chicken with 1/2 tablespoon remaining olive oil and 1/2 teaspoon turmeric. Sprinkle each with salt and pepper; place chickens, side by side, atop fruit mixture. Pour 11/2 cups water around chickens. Roast chickens 1 hour. Turn pan around; add more water to fruit mixture by 1/4 cupfuls if beginning to dry. Continue to roast chickens until brown and juices run clear when thigh is pierced, about 45 minutes.

Transfer chickens to carving board; let stand 10 minutes. Spoon fruit onto platter; top with chickens and any accumulated juices. Sprinkle with almonds and serve.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Recipe from the TWiT Army Mess Hall - Cauliflower-Leek Kugel with Almond-Herb Crust

Here's another recipe which can be used for a Passover Seder besides being good you can do most of the prep early in the morning and then just do the final baking at the last minute.


  • 8 cups cauliflower florets (from 2 medium heads of cauliflower)
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 4 cups coarsely chopped leeks (white and pale green parts; from 3 large)
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted matzo meal
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley, divided
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh dill, divided
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup almonds, toasted, chopped

Cook cauliflower in large pot of boiling salted water until tender, about 10 minutes. Drain; transfer to large bowl and mash coarsely with potato masher.

Heat 3 tablespoons oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add leeks and sauté until tender and just beginning to color, about 5 minutes. Add leek mixture to cauliflower. Mix in matzo meal. Beat eggs, 1 tablespoon parsley, 1 tablespoon dill, salt, and pepper in small bowl to blend; stir into cauliflower mixture.

Brush 11x7-inch baking dish with 1 tablespoon oil. Spread cauliflower mixture evenly in prepared dish. Mix almonds, remaining 7 tablespoons parsley, 7 tablespoons dill, and 2 tablespoons oil in medium bowl to blend. Sprinkle evenly over kugel. (Can be made 8 hours ahead. Cover and chill.)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake kugel uncovered until set in center and beginning to brown on top, about 35 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes.