This is one of my favorite dinners. It’s a hybrid take on a Central European dish called łazanki z kapustą in Polish (I’ve also had it in Hungary as káposztás tészta).
My innovation is to add a crapton of sausage and carroway.
I fry onions and sausage (this plate has three separate kinds including Polish white sausage and sausage smoked with cherry) with a massive amount of caraway (my biggest weakness as a cook is overdoing spices or herbs, my philosophy is that if a little is nice then there’s no such thing as too much, but I’m often wrong). Anyhoo, you can add a bit of chicken broth and/or add a bay leaf or two if you like. Then add a bag of sauerkraut and some butter and let it simmer down till the flavors melt into each other and most of the sauerkraut juice has evaporated (at least 45 minutes).
Then I cook the square little pasta called łazanki (maybe related to the Italian lasagna – they used to be bigger before becoming small in the present). They have a problem of sticking together but this type has frilled edges and stays apart nicely. Bowtie pasta also works well in the dish.
It’s incredibly delicious and just as good as leftovers.
I didn’t see many movies in 2019, mostly I watched series. Of the few I did watch none made a stronger impression than Midsommar. A lot of it, especially the score and the final scenes got under my skin in a very uncomfortable way. The final scene with Dani (Florence Pugh in her best performance yet) in the flower robe in front of the temple was maybe the most unsettling thing I’d seen in a movie in…. oh let’s just say a long time.
The unbearable melancholy of flower prints.
To avoid thinking too much of why it’s so creepy I’ve decided that the movie isn’t about grief or breakups or cults or brainwashing or any of the topics most critics or the people that made it said it is.
“We’ve drugged you and are going to do unspeakable things to you, okay?”
It’s actually a critique of the Scandinavian welfare state (and the Law of Jante). The weird impassivity of the ‘commune’ members and the unshaking belief that the horrible things they do are only right and just and their patience in explaining this to the outsiders (and the way they relentlessly enforce their rules). It all echoes the frustrations of non-Scandinavians trying to deal with Danes, Norwegians and Swedes and their implacable ‘we know best’ attitudes (a topic that was once of interest to me for non-cinematic reasons).
I mentioned Hucksters in my vegan taxonomy but forgot to mention another type (again not confirmed but heavily suspected). This type of huckster has…. covert sponsorship. There is a broad campaign with obvious money behind it to promote plant exclusive foods. Part of it might be pharma (for those pricey supplements that vegans need) but that’s not all of it. The idea that it’s just a way to charge people more money for inferior food is there but I don’t have all the pieces worked out.
A fair number of prominent vegan ‘activists’ seem to spend a lot of time living in a variety of countries and/or going on extensive ‘outreach’ tours (like over a month or so in various European countries). Traveling is expensive and a vegan diet is expensive (if you want to avoid malnutrition) and with no other visible means of support beyond social media ads and/or some merch then…. yeah, they’re being sponsored.
That doesn’t mean they’re not sincere (if neurotic) and if they were open about the sponsorship it would sit a bit better. It would be nice to know just who is pushing this unappealing diet and lifestyle so hard lately.
If I thoughtthis had the slightest chance of happening I’d be very happy. There is no good that the US has done is doing or will do in Iraq. There is no good that the US can do in Iraq beyond getting out in a quick and orderly fashion.
But of course it won’t. The political establishment is not in Iraq to help Iraqi people but to steal resources from the Iraqi and American publics for various contractors, sub-contractors arms dealers etc. They don’t care how many Iraqis or American soldiers die to keep the money faucet running.
They’re not going anywhere no matter how many people in Iraq or the US want it. The American military nomenklatura (or deep state or the blob or whatever you call them) are calling that game and they’re too financially dependent to pull out now.
Some years ago when I was (even) more jaded and cynical I tried to convince some people in Poland that the Onion was real (in terms of everyday life it was the most accurate portrayal of the America I knew available anywhere).
Now it turns out that everything anyone needs to know about American political debate on US adventurism in the Middle East was said by the Onion in 2003.
Sadly the debate has not moved one inch since then. Is it hilarious or tragic? Yes, of course!
The neocons (aka ‘the worst people ever’) have long been itching for a war with Iran (a monumentally stupid idea even for a group of people known for monumentally stupid ideas). Had Hillary Clinton won in 2016 I’m sure the war would be raging. Trump has been a far far better president than Obama (or Clinton, Bush, Shrub or Reagan) so far simply because he’s been able to keep them at bay and not start a monumentally stupid war with Iran to follow their catastrophic wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
I’m not going to pretend to know what happened at the US Embassy because I don’t trust the modern journalistic establishment (because I can’t because they’re all proven liars). All I know is I don’t want war, I want the neocons out of the government. A just society would have exiled these bloodthirsty psychopathic parasites years ago.
No war with Iran! No war for the Neocon death cult!
That is all.
I decided to bug out for Christmas and spent a very pleasant week in Malta. Although this was my fourth visit it was the first time I made to the second island of Gozo (Għawdex in Maltese). This was because my hotel was within easy walking distance of the ferry terminal. Malta is tiny but traveling is a major hassle because of too many vehicles on too narrow streets (and the local people drive like maniacs).
Now Għawdex is one of my favorite places ever. While the island is small is much less densely populated than the main island and is (in December at least) pleasantly green with yellowish stone fences and cactus all over the place.
The main town Victoria (Rabat) is nicely laid out and people decorate their windows with Christmas displays (often manger scenes known as presepju in Maltese) tiny stores dot the back streets and cafes are full of locals passing the time.
Maltese manger scenes are often set in caves…. for some reason….
I really want to go back there now…