Anger Burger

Any happy little thought

Posted by on Feb 1, 2013 at 6:01 am

In the tradition of this horrible universe, you often get good news with bad news. And vice-versa. So it goes.

Today we announce the long-anticipated, public, available on AMAZON, kindle publication of Sunday’s novel, e galactic mu.

The author.

That’s right, this is a thing. And you can read it. And goddamn it, you should. Our lovely captain put untold hours into crafting a lovely and hilarious story with memorable characters. And I put in no small effort myself, editing and winnowing and replacing dumb quote marks and fixing italic tags all that. And you helped!

Here is a quote from the book:

Now, everyone knows that the bloatshark towers had never failed around Birch Bay, and that even the pier itself had electro-static wire thatching, but no one wanted to be at the end of that pier. No one wants to be the one that sits at the very front of the plane, either: out of some optimistic fantasy that if the plane were to crash, the tail end would remain intact. The Captain Reverend seemed to think that it was all a part of his lot in life, even though he could move his boat at any time. Anyone who had been on the pier longer than a few days knew the Captain’s motto: “Better to be eaten by bloatsharks than have to socialize with you goddamn Mongoloid assholes.”

That is now my motto. I mean, my old motto was pretty similar, but I like this one better. The book is full of wisdom like this, suitable for personal enrichment and/or epitaphs. Also, flying sharks! Hello!

All that is to say, go buy the book. If you don’t have a kindle, get the app for your mammy-rammin’ iphone or itab or idesk or itampon or whatever. And/or buy it as a gift. It is not overly sexual, but does contain scenes of humping. For just $3, it’s a gift that says you’re thoughtful AND frugal AND like humping. Happy Valentines!

Part B of your mission (after you buy the book), is to write a review on Amazon. It does not have to be a long review. It does not have to be a five-star review (though, if you actually read the book, it probably will be). It does not even have to be a positive review. Reviews are gold, and our hope is that people beyond our precious circle of loyal Burgerians will get to enjoy this book. Drop us a comment here after you post a review (so we can high-five you). If you do that, you will be eligible for a possibly immoral special payola-like tribute that will confer IMMORTALITY* and/or FAME. What could be better than that?

That reminds me. I disabled DRM on the thing, so you can share it up. More than anything, we want people reading it. If they like it, maybe they’ll feel guilty and pay for a copy later (I mean, sooner is better, obviously, but later is okay). Or they’ll write a review. Either way, we’re cool like that.

And as long as I’m giving stuff away, here’s a special deal for you non-Kindleers: if you buy the Kindle version, and you require a different format, leave a comment here and I will personally email you a version for your device, in your preferred format** (almost 100% guaranteed to work). It won’t be instant, but it will provide gratification. And it will retain almost all of the typos I missed in the Kindle version. What can I say? I’m a giver.

So, in summary: buy book, write review, buy as gift, tweet, facebook, put it on your blog, tell all your friends, and most importantly, enjoy.

More updates throughout Spamuary. Thank you for your support.

MIKE the VIKING

*Of a very limited sort. Fame not guaranteed. But still, highly awesome. Come on, it’s an oblique bribe! Do I have to spell it out for you? Yes? I will, I promise.

**Not paper or audio, for Fenris’ sake. 

 

 

 

8 Posted in Novelry, True Story

It’s Neighborin’ Time

Posted by on Jan 8, 2013 at 4:09 pm

 

The captain and I have been secretly working on a tabletop card-game OF OUR OWN INVENTION for the past few months. It is called “Bad Neighbors” and is thematically centered around murderating your neighbors before they do the same to you.* It’s fun to play and easy to learn- we designed it with the idea that you should be able to pick it up and play after already having consumed adult beverages. A game between two people takes about 10 minutes; up to 5 people can play at once.

Yesterday we got the first real print of it (beta version 1.o) in the mail and it looks boss (see above: photo by the CAPTAIN).

Having already tested it in the rough stage (with the help of some enthusiastic friends), we’re moving on to test phase 2, where we answer the question: can people figure this out without us coaching them, using only the included instructions?

In the meantime, we’ll be moving forward with cleaning up some errors and finalizing the art. Did I mention there are more than 69 unique pieces of art in the game, hand-drawn by SUNDAY and myself (MIKE the VIKING)? Pret-ty awe-some. The actual art is less blurry than the above photo.

 

 

Like so.

The game will be up for sale once we solve the instructions issue and decide exactly how to print it. We will either be using THE GAMECRAFTER (a kickass indie-game print-on-demand service; this is where we made the beta deck) or traditional printing (supported by a kickstarter, most likely). There are pluses and minuses to each.

We’re taking volunteers for beta testers (local is best). Drop a comment if interested. Or if you want to be on the “I will totally buy this thing as soon as you start taking moneys” list. Otherwise, stay tuned.

Until Ragnarok, I remain:

MIKE the VIKING

*using vampires, zombies, aliens, and demons. we like to keep our murderizing clean and classylike. 

 

 

 

 

Jamie Oliver’s Great Britain – Early Autumn Cornish Pasties

Posted by on Oct 12, 2012 at 5:35 am

I asked Mike the Viking what item he wanted to cook from Jamie Oliver’s Great Britain, and he spent about five seconds flipping through maybe six or seven pages before slamming his massive, grizzled, hideous finger down onto the page and snarled “PASTIES.”

I glanced over his shoulder and was all, nope.  There was something off about it, and I’ll get to that in a minute, but before I said anything to him and as I looked up at him, I realized I should just let it happen.  Let this be a lesson to you: Sunday is the one that knows how to make meatpies.  Not Jamie Oliver.  Not Mike the Viking.  Sunday.

Problem the first: I cannot find a fucking skirt steak to save my life.  I mean, I tried two stores and gave up and used a flat iron steak, which is my go-to steak.  I even researched Cornish pasties online to see what other meat works, and all of them were like “Guuurl, you have to use skirt steak.”  Whatever.  But shit!  I am trying to follow my personal rule of making the recipe exactly as printed for an accurate review, but in this instance it is not happening.

So the thing is that the filling is not cooked first.  My eyes zeroed in on this and my hands started twitching in a feeble shadow effort to saute the onions at the very goddamn least, but no.  We are not doing that this time.  We are FOLLOWING THE FUCKING RECIPE.  I make the pastry, which has no resting time and no instructions to keep cold, and here is my now second violation of the Prime Directive: I put the pastry dough into the fridge while I do other stuff.

This proportion looks terrible.  It is all watery vegetables and maybe 10% meat bits, and an entire raw onion that the Viking will almost certainly beat me for.  And that is a gargantuan pile of filling!  I laughed aloud at the epic heap and how it was supposed to become only six pasties.

I did not take photos of rolling the dough into six individual rounds, nor folding those rounds over atop the TRULY HILARIOUS AND BY HILARIOUS I MEAN GENUINELY FRUSTRATING mounds of filling.  They weigh a pound each, easy.  I crowded them onto one tray because despite loving our dear oven Vader, he is not great at baking two trays of anything at once.  I did not want to handle the pastry hardly at all since it is literally almost 50% butter, so the crimped edges are very sloppy.  I didn’t give a shit.  This was going to be a miserable failure that for some reason I found satisfying, because I don’t know why.  Because any fool can look at those and deduce that nothing good will come of it.  There aren’t even vents cut into them.

I need to let out a very long sigh here.  Or better yet, let’s get disapproving Sunday back:

Because these are fucking excellent.  The pastry is crisp and thin and flaky and shattery and salty and rich.  The filling, which simply defies all logic, is soft and so very flavorful, just a masterpiece of both satisfying comfort and understatement.  It should not taste as good as it does, but it does.

This is clearly a Master Recipe, in the sense that my mind went breakneck to the next version: curry chicken thighs with peas and cauliflower.  Lamb with parsnips, carrots and mint.

We tried another one almost an hour later, still warm but closer to room temperature, and it was doubly as good as the first one.  They’d settled and mellowed and evened out even more, and I didn’t make it out of the kitchen to eat my half, I stood over the sink and let the waterfall of pastry shards rain down.

Jamie Oliver, you bastard.

Early Autumn Cornish Pasties
from Jamie Oliver’s Great Britain, paraphrased but otherwise unchanged by Anger Burger

pastry:
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
8oz (two sticks) cold unsalted butter, diced into 1/2 inch pieces
1 tsp. sea salt
3/4 cup ice water

filling:
12oz skirt steak (I used flat iron)
1 white onion, chopped
1 white potato, peeled and chopped
1 small zucchini, chopped
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
7oz butternut squash, peeled and chopped (probably just the neck of the squash)
1/4 fresh whole grated nutmeg
2 big springs fresh thyme
1 big sprig fresh rosemary
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
olive oil

1 beaten egg

  • Begin by making the pastry.  In a large bowl, mix the flour and salt together, and using your thumbs and forefingers, rub the cubes of butter together quickly in the flour until all the pieces are broken down.  Add the ice water and quickly mix it up and press the dough together into a big wad.  Do not overwork the dough.  Add a splash more water if there is a lot of dry flour in the bottom of the bowl still.  Transfer the dough to a large sheet of plastic wrap and use the wrap to form the dough into a compact patty.  Place in fridge.
  • Cut the steak and veggies all to 1/3 inch pieces.  In a large bowl, toss the steak and veggies with the nutmeg, herbs, salt, pepper and a few glugs of olive oil.  Set aside.
  • Heat oven to 400°.  Line one or two baking sheets with parchment.
  • Cut the pastry into six equal portions for big giant pasties, and 12 portions for smaller ones.  On a flour-dusted surface, roll the dough out to the thickness of a quarter, about 8″ for large portions and 4″ for small ones.  Heap the middle of the pastry rounds with a lot of filling – if you don’t mind dirtying a thousand dishes, it is actually helpful to pre-proportion the filling so you get an idea of how much goes in each pasty, just use measuring cups to portion it out as evenly as possible.  It will be a struggle to get the dough over the pile of filling, but you must persevere.  Seal the edges first by folding them up around the pasty, then by pressing the edges with a fork.  Transfer to the baking sheet (this is easiest done by forming the pasty on a sheet of plastic wrap, then turning the whole thing upside down in one hand, peeling the plastic wrap off the bottom and dropping the pastry onto the baking sheet) and brush with beaten egg.  Bake 30-40 minutes or until golden brown.
15 Posted in Make It So, True Story

Jamie Oliver’s Great Britain – Charming Eccles Cakes

Posted by on Oct 11, 2012 at 5:32 am

Eccles cakes.  Supposed to be currants, but we are the colony so we don’t care.  Apparently called “fly pies” or “fly graveyards” because currants look like dead flies, a little bon mot that I am sorry Mr. Oliver didn’t roll with.  CHARMING DEAD FLIES PASTRY.  You Americans may not get it.

To the Bullet List!

  • British people are obsessed with demerera sugar.
  • It seems a little fussy that there is a fresh bay leaf in this recipe, but it truly requires it.  Dry won’t work, and leaving it out is possible but sad, like going back to make the police in E.T. carrying flashlights instead of guns.
  • Jesus, this is a lot of citrus zest for only like a dozen little pastries.  And a lot of spices.  A half a damn fresh nutmeg! FUCK I SHOULD HAVE GRATED THAT BEFORE THE CITRUS. Now I am washing and drying my stupid microplane grater.  I think that rich people might own two and not have this problem.

  • Oh my god this smells too strong, I feel like my nostrils are barfing.
  • I was interrupted and went outside to do something, and walking back inside I find that the kitchen is actually delightfully pungent, like Jamie Oliver was here applying Old Spice to his underarms.
  • You are supposed to roll out the puff pastry until it is 1/8th an inch thick, but to be honest the Trader Joes puff pastry is pretty much already there.  I try to roll it a little anyway and it isn’t going great.  I decide to skip to the cutting of the circle bits part.
  • This does not go great either.  Round cutter didn’t need a handle anyway.  Except for that sharp bit around the rim, I mean, that needed a handle.

  • I am not totally on board with the description for forming these things.  “Put a tablespoon of fruit filling into the middle of each pastry circle, then stretch the pastry up and over the filling, bringing it together on top and sealing it in the middle.” Actually now that I type it out it makes sense, but at the time it wasn’t immediately apparent that you are making a bun with the seal on the bottom.  I’m not sure why this was hard for me.

  • My first several attempts are pretty sloppy.  Ultimitely, I don’t really like this technique because it makes a small lump of unpuffed puff pastry in the bottom of the cake, but this is me being a whiny butt. Folding over and crimping the edges would make for nice crisp, chewy edges.
  • I feel like a jerk toward these things.  I don’t like how they look.  I don’t like the way they smell. I catch myself wanting them to fail.

  • They do not fail. They are, as a point of fact, charming. Somehow the great odiferousness has receded to a homey, complex perfume of fall and weekends. The bay leaf is remarkable – a woody cologne, a sort of savory partner that I was not aware pumpkin pie spice needed.  I am now considering bay leaf in pumpkin pie.
  • Son of a bitch, these things are actually delicious.  Mike the Viking and I can’t stop eating them.  I burn the roof of my mouth, and later literally cut the inside of my lip on a shard of melted sugar, and still it doesn’t stop me.  Mike says: “These are what I want cinnamon rolls to be!” to which I respond, we do not have similar memories of cinnamon rolls at all, I think.  He argues: “They are spicy and have raisins in them.”  He is not wrong but HE IS ALSO NOT RIGHT.

Charming Eccles Cakes
from Jamie Oliver’s Great Britain, summarized lightly by Anger Burger for laziness’ sake.

filling:
1 large fresh bay leaf
zest of 1 whole lemon
zest of 1 whole orange
1/2 grated fresh nutmeg
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1/2 cup demerara sugar*
5oz. mixed dried fruits, chopped fine (I used apricots, cherries and golden raisins)**
2 balls preserved ginger, chopped + tsp. syrup (I used chopped candied ginger + 1 tsp. honey)
2 1/2 oz. apple, diced small (about 3/4 an apple)

pastry:
17oz package of puff pastry, thawed according to package directions
1 egg
demerara sugar for sprinkling

*Turbinado sugar is more commonly found in the US, and is the same thing.
** The recipe also suggests sour bilberries (which people in Skyrim eat), and cranberries as options.

  • With a mortar and pestle, bash up the bay leaf to release the oils.  Add the lemon and orange zest, the nutmeg and pumpkin pie spice and as much of the sugar as will comfortably fit into the mortar.  Give the whole thing a couple seconds of vigorous stir-grinding, then turn out into another bowl with the rest of the sugar.  Mr. Oliver does not say anything about what to do with the leaf, which got very tatty and broke down pretty far, so I just picked out the big stringy bits and left the ground up leaves.  Add the dried fruit, the diced apple and the ginger (and honey, if you don’t have the ginger jarred in syrup, which you probably don’t because presumably you don’t live in the UK, but I realize a few of you do so congrats).  Set aside.
  • If your puff pastry is really thick, roll it on a lightly floured board until 1/8 inch thick.  Otherwise continue with cutting out 4-inch circles. If you have a 3-inch biscuit cutter, as is more common, that is OK – just take each circle and gently stretch it out with your fingers until it is bigger.
  • Line two baking sheets with parchment and heat oven to 400°.  Put a tablespoon of filling into each circle of puff pastry and pull the sides of the pastry up around it, sealing at the top like a balloon.  Turn over and press down pretty firmly to flatten from a ball-shape to a fat-patty-shape, without breaking the pastry.  Make a few cuts in the top of each one, and then brush with egg and sprinkle with sugar.  Bake 15-18 minutes or until golden brown.

Outtake

Posted by on Oct 7, 2012 at 11:23 am

When we were deciding whether or not to rent this house, one of the very first things I asked the landlord was “There aren’t any bands that practice nearby, are there?”  He pointed out each house and the names of the owners, and their careers and his guesses at their ages.  No one was the house band type.

Which means that of course the grown-ass, professional career guy neighbor directly next door to us hosts a band practice in his basement at least once a week.

It is the drummer that really bothers me, the hour-after-hour repeat of the same beats and rolls.  He got one of those wooden cowbell things not long ago, of all the heinous tragedies.  We keep telling ourselves we are going to go over there to say something, but really, what can we say?  Hi, my name is Sunday, we live next door to you?  We borrowed your lawn mower the first week we moved in and you were really nice about it?  Yeah, I want to shoot myself in the face with a heroin gun because I cannot fucking stand living next to other human beings, least of all your fusion jazz ear-pocalypse.

I would like to present to you the very real face I make in response to this bullshit:

Mike happened to – just at the very moment the neighbor started up at his drums – take a test photo while we set up for the Lloyd Dobler photoshoot from yesterday’s post.  Captured at the up-cycle of the eye roll, no less.  Excellent work, Mike.

Shhhh. It’s a secret.

Posted by on Oct 3, 2012 at 4:24 pm

A while back, I talked the Captain into writing a book. Not a cookbook, a regular book. A novel. And boy, did she write the hell out of it. It is hilarious and brilliant, as you would expect. It’s an alternate earth story which includes psychedelics, flying sharks, morons, bounty hunters, italians, and a troll. And I’m not even giving away the best parts.

For much of the past year, I’ve been struggling with formatting it for the Kindle- an agonizing process, at least the way I do it. HOWEVER! Some time in the not-too-distant, I will have it into a almost-ready-for-public-release shape. I was hoping that some of you loyal Burgerians would be willing to proof it and help me spot formatting and spelling errors.

Leave a comment if you’d like to volunteer- you’ll need some free time to read, willingness to web cam live sex take notes , the ability to get stuff done in a timely manner, and a kindle (not an emulator- sorry iphoners). Tell me why you’re fit to guard the rainbow bridge.

Thank you for your support.

Bloodthirstily yours,

MIKE the VIKING

 p.s. No blood-relatives of the Captain will be accepted as volunteers. For science reasons.

 

EDIT: Thank you all! Your enthusiasm is inspiring. I took a new approach to formatting (basically started over at the HTML/CSS level) and it appears to have worked. LEVEL UP! MAYBE! I’m going to give it a couple of going overs, then it will be your turn. I will be contacting you sequentially, first-come first-served. If you don’t have the time right away, I’ll move on down the list. That way maybe ALL of Y’ALL can be reading this before the Winter Ninja comes to call.

 

 

We Couldn’t Help but Notice That You Buy a Lot of Yarn and Tea

Posted by on Apr 28, 2012 at 2:09 pm

I’d be a terrible review blogger.  I am a terrible review blogger. I used to think I should try and solicit products from companies, that it’d be fun, but I’m reasonably certain that the entire food industry knows better than to let me form a public opinion about anything.

Take for example this packet of Hot Pockets Snackers in Fiesta Nacho Bites flavor, which I purchased from the local Grocery Outlet¹. I was shopping with my pal Fraoigh, and we laughed at how utterly, totally teenage these things are, and since I still don’t have a working oven, they went into my basket.  I paid less than a dollar for them as well, which helps with that decision-making tree.

Perhaps the best part is that they don’t give instructions for heating them unless you have a microwave.  It appears that we have evolved beyond the toaster oven, sort of how a teenage friend of mine said she didn’t understand what the hell the icon for the “save” was supposed to be at the top of a document program, and I had to explain floppy disks to her.  I toasted them at 400° until they spooged their innards ala Totino’s Pizza Rolls.

Anyway, Fiesta Nacho Bites Snackers.  NOT A LOW FAT FOOD.  I stared at this warning on the label for some minutes, exhausted and hungry, before realizing that because the product boasts they are BAKED Not FRIED, the company had to clarify that they didn’t actually mean anything by this at all.  Everything is always so complicated with processed foods.  I’d forgotten that my avoidance of them wasn’t entirely dietary as much as scholarly.

They actually smelled good.  I was starving and alone in the house, so that may have been a factor, but they smelled pleasantly nacho-y, like cheesy and corn tortillas, despite having no corn in them.  Right then the dog told me she had to go outside, where of course it was pouring rain so I had to stand outside with a flashlight getting soaked while she read the Wall Street Journal and took the world’s most leisurely dump.  Upside: the Bites were not nuclear hot by the time I got back to them.

And, no.  They taste like breakfast sausage and fake cheese,  anything “nacho” or “fiesta” totally evaporated.  Literally just breakfast sausage inside.  Not wretched, but off enough to make me wonder if there had been some kind of test-kitchen mix-up back at the food lab.

I guess I’m not a teenager after all.  And then!  Proof arrived:

¹I should note that in the Anger Burger household, we call the Grocery Outlet the “Used Food Store.”  I don’t remember how this started, but I now have to concentrate on using the correct name when speaking about it to other people.

11 Posted in Food Rant, True Story

EVERYTHING IS NORMAL

Posted by on Apr 8, 2012 at 9:39 am

We moved into the new house!  Haaaay!  Then I got the flu!  And then we discovered the shower doesn’t work!  I hope the Easter Bunny brought me opiates.

4 Posted in Drama!, True Story

If I Say Vote for the Drunk Lady, Maybe I’ll Get a Few Mistake Votes

Posted by on Apr 6, 2012 at 9:20 am

If I hadn’t been reading Food Junk this morning on my way to work, I wouldn’t have ever known that Anger Burger has made semifinals for Best Food Humor Blog at Saveur.

I briefly believed that Food Junk had pranked me by Photoshopping Anger Burger in with The Food in my Beard and My Drunk Kitchen, because, you know, I’m not competition for those guys.  I’ve had this conversation more than once:

someone: “Oh, Sunday has some kind of food blog.”

me: “Oh pish.”

someone else: “OH MY GOD! Have you seen My Drunk Kitchen?!”

So there it is.  After a few months of some of the worst blogging I’ve ever scraped off my shoe, Saveur decides to send a bazillion people my way.  Or ten, really.  No need for hyperbole.

*Edited to add: it appears that if you aren’t “signed in” as a free member of The Saveur, then your vote appears to count, but doesn’t actually. So, that’s neat.

24 Posted in Drama!, True Story

My Motherfucking Weeknight Treat

Posted by on Mar 27, 2012 at 9:49 pm

So, this week The Kitchn has been running a series called “My Weeknight Treat” as a part of their week-long focus on desserts, and I’m afraid I can’t let it slide.  These are the weeknight ‘treats’ showcased so far:

Not even on the same night, mind you.  I mean, come fucking on you guys.  Are you kidding me?  I get the aesthete life thing that everyone is kookookachoo over lately, the single plain flower in a thrifted vase, the appreciation of foods simple and nurturing, blah blah blah.  But do I need a blog post describing the eating of M&Ms as a reward for washing the dishes?  And then!  Following it up with this:

Plus eating a handful as a weeknight treat carries that particular joy of “I’m an adult and I eat candy if I want to.”

You don’t actually understand what being an adult and doing whatever you want means, do you?  Because the ability to eat a tiny portion of M&Ms after dinner and chores is what you are allowed to do as a child.

The oranges and dates makes a little more sense, until you encounter this:

One of my own favorite weeknight treats is a simple one that still VolumePills feels luxurious and grown-up: A plate of oranges and soft dates.

Again, I’m not sure we’re reading something written by someone with a dictionary; luxurious is not what many Americans would call an orange.  Even if eaten with a date.  And I maybe even, maybe could have let it all slide if not for:

Just one or two dates satisfy my sweet tooth, and followed by a wedge of juicy orange, I’m completely sated after a good meal.

It’s too much.  Gwyneth Paltrow hacked The Kitchn, folks.  For breakfast you’re going to feel totally full after eating half an apple and a cup of straw tea. For lunch you’re going to eat a little bit of mat lint while you’re doing your Pilates floor routine.  For dinner you’re going to wear a half a million dollars worth of diamonds to the Oscars.

You want to see how grown-ups have a luxurious treat?

Mmm, rewarding.  So rewarding, I’m not even going to wash the goddamn dishes.

In fact, let’s just stick with this all week.  I’d throw in some M&Ms too, but I’m not sure it’s safe to drive to the store now.

 

***UPDATE: Wednesday night’s ‘treat’ is elderflower cordial, which I can’t disagree with.  Though of course I recommend elderflower liquor.

26 Posted in Drama!, True Story