Re: What wine goes best with casu marzu?

1

This is like skipping the tequila and going straight for the worm...


Posted by: mike d | Link to this comment | 09-28-08 8:24 PM
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1: From the reviews section of the website:

Some lucky folks will get a bonus. Reigstad saved and froze 30 large army worms to put in bottles, similar to the worms put in some tequila bottles.

Who will get those bottles?

"Very special people," Reigstad said. "Not necessarily people I like, but they'll be special in their own way.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 09-28-08 8:28 PM
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I'll have to drive up there.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-28-08 8:32 PM
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Disturbingly, the panel of reviewers were not told what they were drinking until after they reviewed it.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 09-28-08 8:35 PM
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I've read enough about Army Wineworm in the British tabloids already. Sad.


Posted by: CN | Link to this comment | 09-28-08 8:48 PM
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This is like skipping the tequila and going straight for the worm...

In a, err, previous life, I had a friend who dumped the worm out of every bottle we drank (a couple, most days) into one bottle to save up. When the bottle was full we had a worm party that started off with shooters of worms all 'round.


Posted by: John F. Kennedy | Link to this comment | 09-28-08 8:50 PM
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Disturbingly, the panel of reviewers were not told what they were drinking until after they reviewed it.

Yes. This seems, if possible, even crueler than those ads where the diners discover their "gourmet Italian meal" was delivered by Pizza Hut.


Posted by: mrh | Link to this comment | 09-28-08 9:25 PM
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It doesn't seem any more disturbing to me than not letting on that the great chieftain you've just et was haggis, or any of the other petty deceptions people practice in the kitchen lest the diner's preconceptions about the ritual cleanliness of their food keep them from enjoying it.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 09-28-08 9:30 PM
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Nor disturbing nor cruel, even.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 09-28-08 9:30 PM
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Or waiting until after the feast to tell the guest of honor that he had eaten significant quantities of his eldest son. That's really unforgivably rude.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-28-08 9:32 PM
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But what if I was allergic to haggis? Did you think of that? No. You're content to endanger my life through your negligence.


Posted by: mrh | Link to this comment | 09-28-08 9:32 PM
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I am glad for you, Ben, that your lack of taboos allows you to hold such a freewheeling attitude toward the ingestion of unknown substances.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 09-28-08 9:35 PM
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So, this is cute. We have a Pinot Noir vine in the backyard (a descendant, incidentally, of one of the first vines planted in the Willamette Valley in the 60s). Before kids, I was planning on a tiny vineyard, but now the one vine just kind of sprawls wildly, and at the moment it's laden with gorgeous fruit. Yesterday I spotted Siobhán taking the potato masher out of the utensil drawer, and when I asked what she was doing, she said, "I'm going to make wine." An excellent child! So I helped her harvest, and she spent about an hour totally focused on de-stemming and crushing the grapes while I described the rest of the process. She's really looking forward to fermentation and pressing. I couldn't be more proud.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09-28-08 9:36 PM
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I am glad for you, Ben, that your lack of taboos allows you to hold such a freewheeling attitude toward the ingestion of unknown substances.

It would be evidence of a lack of taboos if I had a freewheeling attitude toward the ingestion of known, ie identified, substances. I myself might be one of those who'd prefer not to know what he's eaten until peristalsis sets in.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 09-28-08 9:37 PM
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And actually I have a thing about certain textures.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 09-28-08 9:38 PM
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So if you were having sex with a veiled woman, you'd rather find out afterward that she's your mom?


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 09-28-08 9:39 PM
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If I were going to make a bizarre analogy, I'd probably be less hampered in making it if I thought it were actually applicable.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 09-28-08 9:40 PM
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thought it was, rather.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 09-28-08 9:40 PM
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Anyway, 16 supports my point: Evidence of not having incest taboos would be that I have sex with someone I know to be a close blood relative.

If you're just considering pleasure in the act, then someone with those taboos would be much better off finding out only afterwards the identity of his or her partner.

This is rather disanalogous because the thought regarding sex with a close relative isn't "that could never possibly be enjoyable", which is generally the thought with food. Hence if you can convince someone to give something a try, you might follow it up with "that wasn't so bad, was it?". Naturally that won't cover all cases: the no-longer-observant Jew might still be squeamish about pork and won't appreciate you slipping him some bacon without his knowledge.

A better analogy than sexual partners might be sexual practices.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 09-28-08 9:45 PM
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14: or reverse peristalsis.


Posted by: Marichiweu | Link to this comment | 09-28-08 9:45 PM
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21

Taboos have nothing to do with enjoyment-potential, Ben. Thinking "I think would dislike the taste of insects" is very different from thinking "I would be horrified and revolted to find that I have ingested large amounts of insect." If you think the former, that's not a taboo.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 09-28-08 9:49 PM
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To follow, I don't believe most people would refuse to eat human flesh because they think it would not be tasty. Telling them after the fact that they've eaten human flesh would not result, then, in a delighted "Oh my! Human flesh is pretty yummy! You got me there!"


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 09-28-08 9:51 PM
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It just has to be cooked properly, like anything else.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-28-08 9:55 PM
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I think I've said this before, but the smell of burning human flesh is part of what made me stop eating meat. I would like to eat meat, actually, as being a vegetarian is really annoying to diner-party hosts, and I think meat is lovely. But I can no more force myself to swallow a piece of animal flesh than I could of human. It's not a desire thing; it's a taboo. I am hoping it fades someday.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 09-28-08 9:59 PM
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I would think of that as more like a phobia than a taboo.

Same thing with your insect example. But not the cannibalism example.


Posted by: CN | Link to this comment | 09-28-08 10:02 PM
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To follow, I don't believe most people would refuse to eat human flesh because they think it would not be tasty.

My supposition is that many cases of food avoidance are not like this, but rather are like squeamishness, and are susceptible to "try it, you'll like it" sorts of techniques. I don't mean to belittle squeamishness, or anything; I doubt I would be overjoyed to drink something set before me as fermented bug. But, having drunk it unwittingly, I might reason that, hey, that wasn't so bad after all.

The formula in 21 actually occurred to me in the shower just now, and I can get behind that; I just don't think (as just said) it's really taboos that guide a lot of eating behavior. I mean, you'd have to do a lot of work to get me to eat a raw tomato (for serious!), but I wouldn't call it a taboo. My desire not to eat human flesh is not like my desire to avoid raw tomato, or runny, stinky cheese, or the like.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 09-28-08 10:04 PM
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Hey, "phobia", that's less dismissive-sounding than "squeamishness".


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 09-28-08 10:04 PM
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Hm. It doesn't feel like a phobia, in that there's no fear or panic involved. I just can't swallow it.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 09-28-08 10:05 PM
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I can't bring myself to eat plums whose flesh is even a little soft or, as I would call it, "mushy". No fear or panic involved there, though I do spit it out.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 09-28-08 10:07 PM
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Well—not as table fruit or whatever, anyway. Made into a sorbet, or as part of a clafoutis, or something like that, sure.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 09-28-08 10:08 PM
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to get me to eat a raw tomato (for serious!)

I would say that's weird, but I have some bizarre food-aversions myself that are more about taste/texture than about the "that's not food" feeling.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 09-28-08 10:08 PM
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32

13 is awesome, Jesus. Lucky you.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 09-28-08 10:10 PM
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33

His other daughter was swilling Thunderbird in a closet. This is what he does not share.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 09-28-08 10:13 PM
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34

So you can't eat ripe plums?

And you won't eat tomatoes? Excellent, all the more for me, then.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 09-28-08 10:13 PM
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35

Now that I've thought about it, I'm not sure what the point of this thing is. He's not making wine out of caterpillars, because the sugar content of caterpillars is presumably low; he's making wine from a sugar solution in which large quantities of caterpillars have been steeped. I could throw any number of dead animals in our wine, but that wouldn't necessarily make it dead animal wine.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09-28-08 10:13 PM
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35: Thank you. My reaction, when Ben sent me the link, was to say "fermented protein? Ew."

Though *perhaps* given that they eat a lot of leaves very quickly, you're making the wine out of the contents of their intestines, or whatever caterpillars have that passes as intestines.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 09-28-08 10:14 PM
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33: No, Ben, she's making meth with her junior chemistry set. Next up, I'll set them up with a cute little still. And poppy seeds and pot plants.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09-28-08 10:17 PM
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35: I did note that he added sugar. So what if you just left out all the bugs or fruit or flowers. Rum?


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 09-28-08 10:19 PM
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39

There isn't much sugar in dandelions, either.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 09-28-08 10:21 PM
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36: I assume that vegetable matter in the digestive tract contributes flavor, but strictly speaking, you're not making wine out of it, just as you don't make dandelion wine out of dandelions; you make wine out of something that ferments. I'd still be interested in tasting it, though, even if it meant going to Duluth.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09-28-08 10:23 PM
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41

Also, the free market cries out for this dude to infuse or whatever that jam with wormwood.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 09-28-08 10:29 PM
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42

41: Speaking of which, I had a couple different kinds of absinthe the other night, Pernod's and St. George, IIRC. I can see why a person could easily become an absinthaholic.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09-28-08 10:39 PM
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43

I've heard that Pernod's new absinthe blows and is a disgrace to the company's name, or something.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 09-28-08 10:40 PM
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44

And this is where I heard it.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 09-28-08 10:41 PM
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45

44: I don't know about that. It didn't suck, but it was clearly inferior to the St. George, which was very nice. And American, no less.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09-28-08 10:45 PM
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46

The people at St. George do things up right, IME.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 09-28-08 10:47 PM
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47

Based on my one glass, the reviews in the link in 44 sound about right.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09-28-08 10:48 PM
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48

strictly speaking, you're not making wine out of it, just as you don't make dandelion wine out of dandelions; you make wine out of something that ferments

I wondered about this, too. Praise Jesus!


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 09-28-08 11:02 PM
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I guess it depends on what you think making wine "out of" something involves.

If this is accurate, the wine is made out of dandelions in the same way that apple jelly is made out of apples. Of the relevant plant matter, much remains, but also, much was given.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 09-28-08 11:07 PM
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50

Of those whom much is given, much is required.


Posted by: pdf23ds | Link to this comment | 09-28-08 11:27 PM
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51

I guess it depends on what you think making wine "out of" something involves.

It involves juice fermenting. That includes reconstituted juice (as in second wine) but not infusions based on things, such as dandelions, which themselves have no juice to speak of.

Dandelion wine is delightful. One wonders what a distillate of dandelion wine would taste like. Perhaps one will have to find out.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09-28-08 11:56 PM
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52

Jesus, that's a delightful story. I can't wait until my little lad speaks and wants to do some calculus or some other that I enjoy.


Posted by: TJ | Link to this comment | 09-29-08 12:28 AM
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53

to whom.


Posted by: pdf23ds | Link to this comment | 09-29-08 12:38 AM
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54

re: 11

Come one, people allergic to haggis don't deserve to live!


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09-29-08 12:51 AM
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55

one.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09-29-08 12:56 AM
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56

Bugger. Strikethrough didn't work.

I give up.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09-29-08 12:56 AM
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57

||
My life is so fuckin' weird.
|>


Posted by: Hamilton-Lovecraft | Link to this comment | 09-29-08 1:00 AM
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No, it worked it was just too hard to see. I feel your pain, ttaM.


Posted by: pdf23ds | Link to this comment | 09-29-08 1:09 AM
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57: Don't leave us hanging, H-L.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 09-29-08 2:17 AM
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Most reports on Duluth are good. It's a place of its own, off the beaten path, not far from wilderness. Especially good for bird watching.

A mixed report:

Most Duluthians are tall, stoic Scandinavian folk. Passive-agressive is the modus operandi for these quiet northern settlers. In fact, this is the only place I've ever been where all the brunettes have blond roots and the Irish people are considered "ethnic."


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-29-08 7:42 AM
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Michael Palin, on sampling a local delicacy consisting of roasted maggots:"Not the best maggots I've ever had, but still pretty good grub."


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 09-29-08 8:08 AM
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So only one other person here thought, "Hey neat, I'd like to try it!"

A couple of the weeds that grow in our backyard early in the summer are edible, and I've made some ok dishes out of them. I've never been together enough to harvast dandilions from the yard, because I gather you have to get them when they are young.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 09-29-08 8:10 AM
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the only place I've ever been where all the brunettes have blond roots and the Irish people are considered "ethnic."

I think I must visit Duluth sometime, so that I can enjoy the experience of being exotic. Unless they burn crosses on Irish people's lawns, or whatever would be the passive-aggressive equivalent.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 09-29-08 8:33 AM
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64

We burn the Blarney Stone in effigy.


Posted by: Chopper | Link to this comment | 09-29-08 8:40 AM
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65

Okay, that doesn't sound so bad.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 09-29-08 8:50 AM
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66

I mean, you'd have to do a lot of work to get me to eat a raw tomato

What sort of work?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-29-08 8:51 AM
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My thoughts were precisely the same as Jesus' - he is making wine from sugar and then flavoring it with the green bug juice. I have a hard time taking his opinion seriously when he reasons ""Army worms eat leaves, so essentially they're a combination of fruit and flowers."

But Duluth is a very interesting place to visit and if anyone wanted to hook up there I suggest either the Grandma's marathon weekend or my favorite, the inline skate marathon weekend in early fall which follows the same route along the north shore.

I was up there for this year's inline skate marathon and it was a blast!


Posted by: Tripp | Link to this comment | 09-29-08 8:54 AM
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68

Spiritually rewarding but unremunerative work.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 09-29-08 8:57 AM
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Jesus,

Dandelion wine is delightful. One wonders what a distillate of dandelion wine would taste like. Perhaps one will have to find out.

We seem to have a lot in common. I've tried my hand at wine making (barely so-so) and beer-making (I could never reproduce the Budweiser blandness I so crave).

I've thought of distillation, making brandy and whiskey but that has always seemed too risky, being (I think) illegal and also likely to explode if not done correctly.

One of the best home-brewed wines I have ever tasted was made from bananas by some friends. It was light and had just a hint of banana aftertaste that sort of popped and went away.


Posted by: Tripp | Link to this comment | 09-29-08 9:00 AM
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"Army worms eat leaves," he reasoned. "So essentially they're a combination of fruit and flowers."

So essentially, we are all plants. Or maybe dirt.


Posted by: Neil the Ethical Werewolf | Link to this comment | 09-29-08 9:45 AM
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71

We are all made of star stuff!


Posted by: Carl Sagan | Link to this comment | 09-29-08 10:17 AM
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72

71: star-dust.


Posted by: Joni Mitchell | Link to this comment | 09-29-08 10:29 AM
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73

OT bleg: I need to get some sort of athletic shoe and am not sure what to look for. I don't really run, but I'd want to be able to run a little. I'd like to have enough lateral support so that I could hit a tennis ball around if I needed to. Being able to play softball in a very low key rec league would also be good.

I gather that running shoes provide no lateral support, but I don't know where to get any. The only store where any of the employees actually know how to fit shoes focuses on running and walking.

Does anyone have any suggestions?

(I had a pair of Mizuno running shoes that I kind of liked, but they were stolen. They were really ratty anyway.) I'm not sure whether the person who fit me for them said that I pronated or not.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 09-29-08 12:52 PM
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70: Here in the US I think a pretty good case can be made that we are all corn. Because we are so good growing it we've become doubly good at using it in one way or another for all our food. We eat corn or the animals that eat corn or the milk from the animals . . . etc.


Posted by: Tripp | Link to this comment | 09-29-08 4:06 PM
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75

Relevant worm-comic link.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 09-29-08 4:10 PM
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76

Sort of relevant to 75:
"Once in my childhood bed I found a tiny sceptre and a tiny crown."
Tim Eriksen, Seamonkeys


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 09-29-08 4:14 PM
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oops, I got the name wrong. A Tiny Crown.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 09-29-08 4:17 PM
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78

Ben doesn't like raw tomatoes, eh? Well, weirdo, obviously, but aside from that, it's presumably something about the seeds or the gelatinous matter between the membranes. He might say it's not, that it's just the taste or texture. A curious thing.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-29-08 5:55 PM
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Here in the US I think a pretty good case can be made that we are all corn.

But especially Garrison Keillor.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 09-29-08 5:59 PM
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80

78: Maybe Ben is just an 18th century paranoid man.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 09-29-08 6:15 PM
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81

food poisoning by some tomatoes in the can was the precipitating factor of my childhood collagen disease according to my mom, so i too couldn't eat tomatoes well into my teen ages
then i grew up some buds maybe to taste them not that revolting so now it's okay


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 09-29-08 6:22 PM
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80: Sweet article. I like the caption on the second image: "The tomato, a fleshy fruit"


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-29-08 6:31 PM
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83
Posted by: | Link to this comment | 09-29-08 6:36 PM
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83: Anonymous coward! Afraid of a little tomato? For shame.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 09-29-08 6:48 PM
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85

I did not see 83 before its demise, but many people are afraid of a little tomato. Bizarre, but there it is.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-29-08 7:00 PM
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Wow, ToSed in 83, damn kids' computer.

Nahuatl forever!


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-29-08 7:01 PM
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Oops. How could I not have realized?


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 09-29-08 7:02 PM
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88

Oh wait--that was JP? phew!


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 09-29-08 7:03 PM
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89

I've thought of distillation...(I think) illegal and also likely to explode if not done correctly.

Late answering you, but yes, illegal, and I believe I've mentioned that someone I knew died a couple of years ago in a still accident. But if a person were hypothetically interested in doing it in a well-ventilated place, s/he might find that's it's actually quite simple.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09-29-08 7:13 PM
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90

Oh hey, speaking of worms and cute things my daughters have done, Maura made a grave for a dead worm.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09-29-08 8:26 PM
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91

Someday I'll show you a picture of my nieces covered with mud, Jesus. They'd be good role models for yours. The pictures can't be posted on the internet or taken across state lines, however.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-29-08 8:31 PM
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90: That's really great.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 09-29-08 8:36 PM
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93

But if a person were hypothetically interested in doing it in a well-ventilated place, s/he might find that's it's actually quite simple.

Never done it myself, but knew a few people who ran stills. It's not all that difficult I think, though the risk is probably increased often by people trying to hide the damn things if they don't happen to have a back 40.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 09-29-08 8:39 PM
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94

Jesus, that really is quite sweet.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 09-29-08 8:43 PM
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95

93,

Just what I was thinking. I think it was the original War on Drugs here in the US of A. Intoxicated poor people are scary so let's make the booze expensive and the production illegal and then dangerous when they try it up the holler.

Or we can legalize it and regulate it and tax it and viola - the tax paying God fearing company called Jack Daniels.

Imagine if we did the same thing with pot. Oh wait, that is different. Forget it. The moonshiners weren't brown.


Posted by: Tripp | Link to this comment | 09-30-08 8:16 AM
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The moonshiners weren't brown.

Okies though --- pretty close, socially. Really, I don't know how much race had to do with it. Pot was a victim of the cotton lobby, then later a convenient target. It's use isn't strongly correlated to skin color at all, as far as I can see.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 09-30-08 8:23 AM
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Stearns County Minnesota was a major moonshining center. They even had a brand name, "Minnesota 13". They were German and Polish Catholics, and I suspect that Prohibition often had an anti-Catholic angle. The Catholic Church treated moonshining as civil disobedience and it didn't have to be confessed as sin. You can still get high proof home brew around here.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-30-08 8:27 AM
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