33/52 – Jimmy Kimmel

Standard

To be honest, I’ve never been a huge fan of Jimmy Kimmel. He’s funny and he tells intelligent jokes. He’s good at political humor, and satire. He can also be biting. I think it was a chance watching of one of his early works on Comedy Central: The Man Show. It was…not my cup of tea to put it mildly.

However, last week and the weeks previous back to when he talked about the birth of his baby son, Billy had me catching up with his monologue, at least on YouTube.

People, politicians mostly, got upset with him for moving out of his lane, comedy, forgetting that before he was a comedian he was a person. And as any parent knows, or should know, once you have kids, your parenthood comes first.

He spoke what was on his mind, made his priorities known, and most people agreed with him.

Then, they came for him.

The hypocrites.

And he did not crawl away, hurt, insulted, fearful of what his ratings might turn to, but he came back stronger, and he came back stronger because he had the truth on his side.

He spoke the truth.

He let his heart sit on his sleeve, and talked about what his family was going through, and reminded the hypocritical politicians that his isn’t the only family going through this scary time. They’re not even the only family with health insurance, but there are many more who don’t have adequate health insurance or any health insurance at all.

In fact, if you follow the news, you’ll have read, between the President’s golf game and berating the hard-working Mayor of San Juan, Puerto Rico, Congress ignored a key deadline and failed to reauthorize the CHIP, the children’s health care plan that has helped millions of children. Today, they wake up with no health insurance. What are they supposed to do?

No, Jimmy Kimmel isn’t an expert on health care, but he is an expert on what health insurance and health care provides for his family; for his children, andhe has every right in the world to speak about it, and if that shames Congress, well, they should be ashamed.

Here are some links to the CHP information in addition to more information about Jimmy Kimmel.

Jimmy Kimmel is just a person, just as we all are. There is something we can all do, but first we have to stand up.

Jimmy Kimmel
Official YouTube Channel
The Anger of Jimmy Kimmel (from The Atlantic)

The Washington Post article on the failure of Congress to reauthorize CHIP

Champ – Bringing Back Some of Ireland with Me

Standard

I had never heard of champ before asking about it in a quiet restaurant in Glenariff, Northern Ireland. It was listed as a choice of side dish alongside chips, crisps, and veggies. It turned out that it is a mashed potato dish with scallions and a few other things that I couldn’t hear her say.

Mashed potatoes?

In Ireland?

I’m there.

At first I thought it was colcannon, but champ originates in the North and is a Northern Irish dish, and it was delicious. 

It was also different than any of the country mashed I’ve gotten in the US (think Cracker Barrel with gravy) or any I’ve made myself. It wasn’t that I’d never thought of combining these ingredients together, but I was just used to the simplicity of mashed potatoes – butter, milk, salt, crushed under a masher until smooth – ish.

It wasn’t until I did a quick Google search that I saw how simple champ really is to make.

As for our masher, it is almost always at the bottom of the sink or at least it seems that way when I need to use it so I have a few alternative tools to use as mashing tricks.

Large forks are good mashers.

So are large spoons if applied with the right pressure.

And last, my most recent discovery, a copper one-cup measuring cup. This really did a great job.

For my version of champ, I washed, cut, and boiled about seven medium-sized potatoes. I did not peel them, but they can obviously be peeled if you prefer them that way. The ones we had at the restaurant were peeled. Their mash was a perfect creamy white.

After the draining and mashing, I added one stick of unsalted butter, about two tablespoons of salt, three scallions diced as finely as I could get them, and a scoop of sour cream. You could use more scallions if you like. I also didn’t use milk, but it could be added or used instead of the sour cream.

Just before the rest of dinner was ready, I added about 1/4 cup of shredded, sharp cheddar cheese. I used white to keep the color of the potatoes. The topmost photo was taken in bad lighting; I’ll have to correct that when I make them again.

Only the usual suspect (the picky eater) complained despite loving them abroad. Everyone else loved my rendition, and I’m sure they’ll make it into regular rotation.

AllRecipes has a recipe to follow if you like measurements. Usually, I do, but when I’m cooking (rather than baking) I like to gauge how it looks, feels, and tastes.

32/52 – Oatmeal Cookie Surprise

Standard

We had a few minutes before our tour began at the Titanic Experience in Belfast, Northern Ireland and made the decision to preview the gift shop. It was one of those perfect tourist attraction shops that had ranges of items from keeping the peace with the children to native Irish crafts; with prices ranging from  £1 to over £100 for woollens. We took a quick look, made our mental notes of what we definitely wanted to check out, and began our tour.
On coming back down to the shop, the first think that I noticed were the two racks of postcards. After pins, postcards are where my attention goes. Behind those racks were three long shelves that helped to form the checkout line on the opposite side. This side held all manner of small foods – cookies, candy, chocolate, Guinness infused, Bailey’s infused, mints, tins, and the like.

I passed it by about ten times in looking around, and trying to see where my kids had gone, and what they were now begging for, but I kept coming back to the cookies.

I mean, Grace’s Irish Oatmeal Biscuits, made with Irish butter, in the shape of shamrocks – you can’t get much more touristy than that. They were £3. I know I could get biscuits in any grocery, but they wouldn’t be Irish made, shamrock shaped, tourist biscuits.

And £3 wasn’t a bad price for what they were. And the tourist in me really needed to get them.

Instagram, you know.

I bought them, I packed them, I took them home with the rest of my candy.

I finally sat down on a quiet afternoon, and opened the box. Carefully pulling apart the ends, separating the plastic wrapping, I didn’t expect much.

I took a bite.

I sat there, in stunned silence, and took another, smaller bite that I could savor a bit longer than the first.

These were the BEST oatmeal cookies I have ever tasted.

No lie.

The. Best.

I still have two left because I don’t want to finish them.

They’re just the perfect amount of butter, oats, and crunch.

They are truly heavenly.

My recommendation for anyone visiting anywhere in Ireland that sells these is to buy as many as you can squeeze into your suitcase.

Seriously.