It’s like a mood ring, but on canvas!

If you painted my mood on canvas, it would look like this:

A three ring circus, with me, bedecked in Bowler and Vest, playing The Entire Audience.  In the left ring, My Interests!  Video games, cooking, writing, and reading!  In the right ring, Household Things!  Dishes, wood cutting (we heat with wood, and live in the forest, so I do a lumberjack impression for half the year), laundry and cleaning!  In the center ring, Family!  My beautiful fiancee (ladydarnton, to you), my daughter and my menagerie of Beasts (Two cats, a poodle, a Black Lab and a Great Dane).  Each of these rings are competing loudly for the audience’s attention, and variously winning and losing.  Over all this looms a Great Monster, labeled “Bad Thoughts,” which occasionally pounces on the audience, absorbing all the attention.

 

This is a response to today’s Daily Prompt.  

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Chili Verde con Orgasmos!

When I was a kid, I said I didn’t much care for Mexican food.  To be sure, I was a fussy eater (which Carlin tells us is a euphemism for “Big pain in the ass”), but it turns out what I didn’t like was fake Mexican food.  I don’t like chimichangas, gorditas, nachos, or really anything they serve at Taco Bell.  I am a HUGE fan of actual Mexican food, though, and my favoritest thing is Chili Verde.  I’m not sure if I’m supposed to capitalize that, but I always do.  Chili Verde is a sauce of tomatillos, peppers, onions and garlic, made as hot as you like, which is usually served with pork, but you can have it with chicken, beef, or even beans, if you’re making it vegetarian.  When you order it at a restaurant, they’ll usually send it along with tortillas, rice and refried beans, but it’s delicious just by itself.  It’s not the easiest recipe, or the quickest, but it’s definitely rewarding when it comes out of the pot.  Here’s my recipe, along with some tips to help adapt the dish to your palate, and your kitchen.  Enjoy, and comment with your experiences!

Chili Verde Con Orgasmos! Prep time: 1-1.5 hours Cook time: 2 hours (At least.  The longer you cook it, the better it will be.  The kind of protein you’re serving it with also affects cook time.  More time if you’re having it with beef, less for chicken or beans) Pans & Tools needed: -Baking sheet -Aluminum foil -Chef’s knife -Blender -Large cooking pot -Frying pan Ingredients: -1 ½ pounds tomatillos (usually works out to be five or six, depending on their size) -5 cloves garlic, unpeeled -3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped -2 jalapeno peppers, with the seeds and ribs removed, then chopped -at least 2 other peppers (Here’s one place you can adapt the recipe.  If you like mild food, add Anaheim or poblano peppers, or even regular bell peppers.  For a little more heat, throw some extra jalapenos on top.  If you’re really serious, add some serranos or habaneros, leaving in the seeds.) -1 bunch fresh cilantro leaves, cleaned and chopped (this should be available at most larger grocery stores.  I’m from Michigan, so I found it easily at Meijer.  If fresh is unavailable, substitute 2 tbsp of dried cilantro) -4 lbs pork shoulder, trimmed and cubed (Another place you can adapt.  I like to use pork, but you can just as easily use chicken, beef or beans.  Even tofu, but if you do that, I’d suggest throwing it in at the very last minute) -2 yellow onions, chopped -2 tbsp fresh oregano (or 1 tbsp dried) -2.5 cups chicken stock (or vegetable, or just water.  If you use water, make sure the final sauce is salty enough for you.) -Pinch ground cloves -Cooking oil (Olive is what I like, but you can use whatever.  For stronger oils, like sesame, be sure to balance the flavors appropriately.) -Salt & pepper Procedure: Husk, rinse and halve the tomatillos. -Place the tomatillos and unpeeled garlic on a foil-lined baking sheet, then put under the broiler until lightly blackened (between 3 and 5 minutes, depending on your oven).  Set aside to cool. -Roast your other peppers, then put in plastic zipper bag to cool. (A bit of explanation here.  You want your peppers to be blackened on all sides.  The easiest way to do this is to simply hold them over the flame of a gas burner, turning them so they are blackened evenly.  If you don’t have a gas stove, put them under the broiler, turning them until they are even.  Putting them in the zipper bag steams the peppers, which makes them WAY easier to peel.) -Peel and stem the other peppers, removing seeds if desired -Put the tomatillos, peppers, roasted garlic & cilantro in blender and pulse until thoroughly mixed -Season the pork with salt & pepper -Brown the pork -Pour off the excess fat from browning the pork until you have 1 tbsp left.  Saute the onions and chopped garlic in the fat. (If you’re going vegetarian, just skip to this step and sauté the veggies in 1 tbsp of cooking oil) -Put all the ingredients in a large cooking pot, and simmer for as many hours as you have. I hope you like the recipe!  Please comment with your questions and tips!