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Posts in "Food"
December 1, 2014
Medium Rare fried up more than 175 turkeys and spread holiday joy throughout the Barracks Row community this past holiday weekend.
Underestimating the popularity of the annual fried turkey service Medium Rare founder Mark Bucher has put together since 2008, this HOH contributor and his party quickly realized our poor planning left us needing an alternative way to cook our bird, as turnout was massive.
Bucher said the line started around 8 a.m. for the culinary assistance scheduled to take place between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.. When he opened the doors at 9 a.m., a full two hours early, he was met with enthusiastic fans. “We were greeted by an 89-year-old grandmother, who was using a walker, who took a bus 45 minutes to have her turkey deep fried. She had received a free turkey from the Marion Barry turkey giveaway, and had nowhere to cook it,” Bucher said, noting that they tended to 19 Marion Barry turkeys this year.
Many more visitors gathered to have the turkeys fried to a golden brown, including a number of wheelchair-bound veterans. Once there, they mingled with doctors, lawyers, and even some local politicians all while being filmed by a TV crew from ABC7.
Per Bucher, visitors traveled from as far as Leesburg to have their turkeys cooked for them. Once inside, patrons chatted with one another while enjoying complimentary coffee and hot cider.
There were a few mishaps. Bucher said one turkey hit the floor of the restaurant and another was picked up by someone who did not drop one off. There was no need to worry though, as Bucher had a few extras ready to go.
As always, the event was free to the public, though Bucher was accepting donations for DC’s “Ready, Willing and Working” charity. And for those wondering when they need to line up next year, Thanksgiving in 2015 is Nov. 26.
November 26, 2014
Speaker John A. Boehner has helpfully shared his favorite recipe for Thanksgiving turkey brine. Interestingly, the Ohio Republican says in his YouTube video that he cooks his “bird to about 160, max.”
We at HOH are assuming he is referring to the bird’s internal temperature. To each his own, but may we suggest the USDA’s advice? In a series of tweets, the Agriculture Department has provided some tips about safe Thanksgiving meals, including how to handle and store a turkey, as well as the temperature at which harmful bacteria is killed.
— USDA Food Safety (@USDAFoodSafety) November 25, 2014
Also of note, the speaker says he rinses off his turkey, which is apparently unnecessary, according to USDA. That’s mostly because that splashes bacteria all over the place and cooking is the only way to kill all the harmful bacteria.
Regardless of which temperature you settle on, government recommended or no, here are the basics of Boehner’s brine:
8 quarts water
6 bay leaves
2 cups Kosher salt
3 tbsp peppercorns
1 head of garlic
16 oz pure maple syrup
Bring the brine close to a boil, then let it cool. Put a bag in a five-gallon bucket. Wash the turkey and remove the insides. Put the turkey in the bucket. Pour the brine over to cover the turkey. Keep the turkey submerged. Let it stand overnight in the refrigerator or outside if it is cool enough. After 24 hours, take it out and rinse it off. At that point, it’s ready to be cooked.
The Illinois State Society is throwing down on Dec. 3 in the Capitol Visitor Center for Illinois Statehood Day. And any Land of Lincolners looking to get their Prairie State on are welcome to partake.
Illinois Republican Sen. Mark S. Kirk is expected to host the reception, which is scheduled to take place from 6 to 8 p.m. in HVC 201.
Cmdr. Jess Porter, future skipper of the USS Illinois — a nuclear submarine in the making — is slotted to be the guest of honor. Kirk is a former Naval reservist himself.
If you hail from the state, or work for someone who does, register now (via the Illinois State Society page) to enjoy free food and drink.
With Thanksgiving around the corner, Heard on the Hill takes a look at the times lawmakers simply could not get food off their minds.
November 25, 2014
Capitol Police Officer Terry Heffernan told HOH he caught the acting bug while in college.
If only the theater crowd could see him now.
While he spends most of his time keeping the congressional campus safe, Heffernan has also been actively pursuing any and every opportunity to perform since the 1990s. “Being a police officer is my favorite way to support myself being an actor,” he quipped.
That lifelong dream has led him to blending in with the thousands of freezing cold extras seen huddled around the National Mall in that iconic scene from “Forrest Gump.” It compelled him to take a shot in an almost Doritos ad. And it inspired him to create the demented instructional series, “Three Sheets Chef.”
“It came to me while I was ruthlessly hung over, sitting on my couch watching the Food Channel,” Heffernan said of the “a-ha!” moment that led to his satirical side-gig.
The extremely low-tech series debuted in late 2011. Since then, Heffernan and a rag tag crew — including a fellow Capitol Hill cop who handles editing duties — have cobbled together just over a dozen installments of horribly misguided culinary instruction.
“We haven’t really figured out what the purpose of the show is yet, but I’ll tell you this, we’re really hoping to get on HBO. And I have a feeling the best way to do that is for me to say ‘cocksucker’ about every three minutes,” Heffernan, channeling his perma-tipsy counterpart, explains in episode one.
Sure enough, the wheels come off each time. Full story
November 19, 2014
Square meals, schmare meals. Rep. Mark Pocan is more interested in circular arguments.
— U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan (@repmarkpocan) November 19, 2014
The Wisconsin Democrat expressed his love for kringle, an oval-shaped sweet, on social media, declaring the regional treat a “staple of any well rounded Wisconsin diet.”
A Scandinavian baking tradition that’s been carried on by Danish transplants to the Badger State, kringle features overlapping layers of flaky pastry dough historically stuffed with fruit or nut fillings. Modern versions include frosted rings run through with everything from caramel-drenched pecans (want) to peppermint-spiked chocolate cake (need).
Pocan told HOH he’s most fond of strawberry flavored kringle, though he’s open to trying new things.
“There are some good seasonal flavors like pumpkin caramel,” he said. Full story
November 17, 2014
Apart from walking the same beat, Capitol Police Officers Terry Heffernan and Brian Stevers also share a passion for acting — a creative outlet currently being fed by starring rolls in a would-be Doritos commercial.
The aspiring ad, originally conceived and shot by short film vet Antonio Souto, is just one of the current crop of fan-made entries in the chip maker’s annual “Crash the Super Bowl” contest.
Heffernan plays the smug, snack-hoarding mark terrorized by a creepy, tutu-clad Chihuahua for not sharing the famously cheesy grub with a nefarious little girl. By the end of the 30-second spot, the defeated schlub seeks to visit the same ruin on another unsuspecting stooge (Stevers) unwilling to part with a single, orange dust-covered morsel. Full story
November 13, 2014
Sen. Jerry Moran borrowed a page from a fellow Kansan Thursday to celebrate the Republican takeover of the Senate.
The outgoing National Republican Senatorial Committee chairman brought a decorated cake for the enjoyment of his fellow senators to the Republican Conference lunch in the Lyndon B. Johnson room. “Under New Management” the cake blared in frosting, along with an exterior photo of the Capitol Dome.
Congress had been gone for weeks before trickling back into town Wednesday for the latest lame-duck session. A few hundred congressional aides celebrated the triumphant return of the resurgent Republican Party by getting their fill (and then some) of food, drink and plush collectibles at the National Bison Day reception.
The annual soiree, which took place in Dirksen, attracted scores of staffers and interns but few lawmakers. Projected guest speaker Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., turned out to be a no-show, but event organizers noted that Rep. José E. Serrano, D-N.Y., managed to swing by for a bit.
By the time this roving reporter penetrated the herd, the promised bison sliders and gourmet meatballs had been devoured. The food basically gone (save for a lone bowl of broken, pathetic-looking potato chips), partygoers turned their attention to sucking dry every last bottle of Budweiser and Bud Light bartenders could fish from icy bins.
“It’s way too wobbly. It would probably only take one person to knock it over,” a visibly buzzed guest estimated while eyeballing the evening’s oversized star attraction. Full story
Apart from her immediate family — and, perhaps, the hog castrators of the world — no one appears to be prouder of Iowa Republican Joni Ernst than those she used to break bake bread with.
Hence the reason Andy Puzder, CEO of CKE Restaurants, rushed to congratulate the one-time breakfast-rush worker and senator-elect in a splashy ad in the Des Moines Register.
“Thanks, Joni, for reminding us that, in this great country of ours, your job and your life are what you make of them,” the head of the Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr. chains praised in the ad, after Ernst touted her biscuit-making past in her election night victory speech.
Her ascension to Capitol Hill follows a career trajectory familiar to the growing number of lawmakers who dedicated parts of their youth to slinging burgers and fries at various grab-and-go establishments.
Other members of what we’ve dubbed the Fast-Food Caucus include:
Rep. Paul D. Ryan
An aide to the 2012 GOP vice presidential pick confirmed that the Wisconsin Republican briefly worked at McDonald’s during the summer between his sophomore and junior years of high school.
According to his office, the former grill cook — “The manager didn’t think I had the social skills to work the counter,” Ryan told the New Yorker — gleaned plenty from the experience.
“Congressman Ryan learned the value of hard work — a lesson that continues to help him in Congress today,” Team Ryan said. And before being elected to the House, Ryan further honed his hospitality skills working at Tortilla Coast. Full story
November 11, 2014
The bison lobby is storming back onto the Hill Wednesday for its annual congressional reception — a celebration of things large, lumbering and mammalian.
The National Bison Day shindig (NBD was actually on Nov. 1, but this is close enough for government work, right?) is scheduled to take place Wednesday from 5:30 to 7 p.m. in Dirksen 106. Interested parties are strongly encouraged to RSVP via Eventbrite.
One of the sponsors told HOH this year’s festivities would include complimentary bison sliders (courtesy of Western Buffalo Company), bison meatballs (a new addition to the program), bison-shaped cookies and samples of Buffalo Trace Distillery’s barrel-aged wares (everything’s coming up Kentucky!)
November 7, 2014
While the rest of us spent the week fixating on everything that is wrong with Congress, the Japanese extolled the good that federal lawmakers can do by conferring one of that country’s top honors upon Washington Democratic Rep. Jim McDermott and Wisconsin Republican Reps. Tom Petri and Jim Sensenbrenner.
The three lawmakers recently received the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star in recognition of their working relationships with the island nation.
“For a long time they have been making contributions to promoting Japan-U.S. legislative exchange, and maintaining and deepening the Japan-U.S. alliance through the promotion of enhanced understanding of Japan in the U.S. Congress,” Japanese officials stated in a release, adding, “It is unprecedented for 3 members of the U.S. Congress to simultaneously receive this honor.” Full story
The state societies for expats from Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon and Washington are once again taking over the North Hall of Eastern Market to celebrate their favorite regional export: craft beer.
The annual “Go West Beer Fest” is scheduled to take place Nov. 14 from 7 to 10 p.m. and will feature, for the very first time, signature pours from Seattle-based Elysian Brewing Company.
Non-members can get a taste of what they’ve been missing by forking over $30 — a fee which has, in past years, entitled guests to unlimited pours from participating breweries (Redhook, Big Sky and Deschutes).
According to one organizer, mobile vendors DC Slices (specializing in thin crust pies and fully loaded tater tots) and Dirty South Deli (grilled Andouille sausage and pimento cheese sammie, please) have been tasked with making sure that visiting bellies remain full.
November 5, 2014
Keeping tabs on the shifting electoral landscape is much easier to do with a drink in your hand. At least that’s what HOH took away from the spirited exchanges we encountered in D.C. on election night 2014. At a watch party in The Jefferson Hotel organized by owner Connie Milstein, guests were greeted with warm smiles and air kisses — and then immediately hustled into a faux voting booth.
“Now that you voted, you can go to the bar!” one of the evening’s bubblier hostesses informed guests who’d just finished casting their ballots for those they’d most like to see run for president during the next cycle. Full story
November 3, 2014
With just hours to go until the Election Day buzzsaw officially rips apart half the nation’s hopes and dreams, candidates are hustling to sew up every last possible vote any which way they can.
Louisiana Republican Bill Cassidy, who is hoping to unseat Sen. Mary L. Landrieu, D-La., in what’s likely to be a down-to-the-wire challenge, was pounding the pavement in search of support.
— Bill Cassidy (@BillCassidy) November 3, 2014