The Next Cocktail Component: Curcumin

Well, actually, I’m using a version of turmeric curcumin that also includes ginger and bioperine black pepper. Why?

Turmeric has been used in Asian and Indian medicine to treat arthritis since ancient times. It is not only a tasty part of most curry mixes, but the curcumin is believed to be the active ingredient in the fight against arthritis.

Turmeric has also been evaluated in treating a number of other health issues. Care is needed in dosage, as the turmeric/curcumin can act as a blood thinner.

The data, however, on the effectiveness of turmeric/curcumin is mixed. While some studies have shown strong effects, other studies don’t support those initial findings. While the data is mixed, one study showed the interesting result that it was more effective at preventing joint inflammation than prevention. Another study showed that it could help prevent cartilage inflammation.

While mixed, there is at least some data showing it could help. More than that, it could help prevent joint/cartilage inflammation — essential if I want to strengthen or rebuild irritated/damaged cartilage.

Now, why ginger? After all, ginger is a relative of turmeric and also shows anti-inflammatory properties. In fact, the studies on ginger show stronger results than those on turmeric.

Finally, there is peperine. This extract of black pepper is often sold under the trade name BioPerine. Peperine has its own anti-inflammatory properties, as well as some data that it can help with the absorption of other nutrients. The theory is that by including it with the ginger and curcumin, it aids both by helping absorb the compounds as well as adding it’s own punch to the mix.

Which makes sense. After all, for the body to absorb calcium, it takes vitamin D — which is why many calcium supplements contain some vitamin D. It is the same theory behind putting together glucosamine, chondroitin, MSM, and hyaluronic acid into a single joint supplement.

So, I chose a curcumin supplement that also included ginger and peperine. If it works, it should help with some of the cartilage issues as well as acting to block different types of inflammation (and different from the joint supplement).

Some Thoughts For A Monday

I’ve said for years, as the few of you still reading will remember, that any time the media all points at the same thing and shouts, look in the opposite direction. Anyone laboring under the idea that Journolist is dead is not paying attention.

Case in point, Hillary’s seemingly bizarre claim that Tulsi Gabbard is being groomed by the Russians to help rig the election via a third party candidacy. Nuts, right? Or, could it be Hillary killing two birds with one stone?

Hillary has a beef with Tulsi going back to 2016 when Tulsi left her post at the DNC and went to work for Bernie. Worse, she called out Hillary and the DNC for rigging the primaries. Thou shalt do nothing to thwart Hillary or to make her look bad in the press, after all. There is a reason the DNC has tried to thwart her campaign at almost every turn.

While not very well covered in the MSM, who in fact seem determined to cover the story with a pillow until it quits moving, the results of a State Department investigation into what Hillary e-mails remain (and keep in mind a lot of them officially were destroyed by her) were announced. It seems some 38 people, unnamed, were “culpable” in some 91 cases of sending classified info to Hillary’s personal e-mail that was unsecure. The same server that was sending copies of every e-mail to China…

So, you need to draw attention away from a potentially damaging report, and you have a grudge against a primary candidate who could indeed be a threat to whomever is the DNC “Chosen One” both in the primaries and as a potential third party candidate. You also have some additional constraints, including not wanting to do anything that would point towards the Ukraine where most people have missed the fact that a DNC server that was hacked is being held. What to do, what to do?

Hillary is many things, but stupid when it comes to politics is not one of them. She also still has friends and allies in the media; plus, she can trust the media to be itself. So let it rip.

Notice what is in the media? Stories about the “bizarre” allegation by Hillary. Multiple stories from multiple angles. Notice what’s not in the media? Yep.

Whenever the media all points and shouts, look around. There is always something, or even several somethings, they do not want you to see.

Disclaimers

The federally mandated disclaimer (required because I am an Amazon Affiliate) is now in place, along with my formerly annual general disclaimer. I’ve also copied over some credits and other info and have it over on the sidebar just below the tip jar and updated Amazon Wish List link. If you like what I do, or want me to do more of it, hit the tip jar or the wish list. Meantime, to be sure I’ve hit all the bureaucratic check boxes “As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.” Maybe some day I will earn enough from it to get paid…

Chili: Road Kill Grill and More

Realized recently that I have not restored a lot of recipes from the old site, and that the weather is getting right for chili. So, here are three recipes for your enjoyment.

Beanies are for Weenies, Not for the Faint of Heart, No Guts No Glory, Feel
the Fear and Eat it Anyway Road Kill Grill Chili (submitted with permission)

1/4 cup Castrol GTX 10W/40
1 pound freshly flattened opossum
1 pound aged armadillo bellies
1/2 pound squashed skunk
1/4 pound pulverized jack rabbit
1/8 pound finely ground crow
1/8 pound minced little old lady (When doubling the recipe, continue to
use 1/8 of pound; little old ladies are a little tough, stringy, and gamey.
If gamey, soak in a little Jim Beam.)

OR 3 pounds sirloin or top round, diced into 1/4 inch cubes
3 large onions
5 cloves garlic
2 freshly chopped jalapenos
1 tablespoon paprika
6 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon extract of sweaty gym socks (cumin)
1 teaspoon oregano
15 ounces tomato sauce
1 cup rainwater
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cayenne
4 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
Freshly crushed black pepper
Tabasco™ to taste

Brown meat. Add rest of
ingredients and simmer for at least 3 hours.

Laughing Wolf Road Kill Grill
2 pounds sirloin, in cubes
2 pounds pork, in cubes
3 large onions, chopped small
8 cloves garlic, crushed and chopped
2 freshly chopped jalapeno peppers
1 freshly chopped habanero pepper
2 chipotle peppers, chopped
1 T smoked paprika (use regular hot if no smoked)
6 T chili powder
1T cumin
1 t mexican oregano
15 ounces tomato sauce
1 t chipotle powder
sea or kosher salt to taste (start with 1t, go from there)
fresh ground black pepper to taste
pinch cinnamon (use up to 1t)
1 cup water
5 T Worcestershire sauce
Tabasco™ to taste

Brown meat. Add rest of
ingredients and simmer for at least 3 hours. To increase heat, increase fresh peppers.


Carne Adobava
Hardware:
LARGE mixing bowl
Food processor or blender
Large spoon
Knife
Oven, preheat to 375 degrees

Ingredients:
1 lb dried hot NM red chili pods
1 lb dried mild NM red chili pods
20-40 peeled cloves of garlic (Go High)
2 large onions, cut into wedges
4T Mexican oregano
2t Kosher salt
Water

Working in batches, place dried pods on a half-sheet pan or cookie sheet and warm for a couple of minutes in the oven to make them pliable. Remove stems and place in food processor or blender along with a small amount of water, some garlic and onion, and a bit of the spices. Pulse until smooth, adding water as necessary to get a slurry the consistency of heavy cream. Combine all batches in a very large mixing bowl and divide into thirds for freezing. Sauce should keep for six or so months frozen. This should make 1-2 gallons of sauce.

Take one third of the sauce and place in a pot/crockpot. Add in 3-4 lbs. cubed pork, recommend loin, about .5 inch to 1 inch. Simmer for 3-8 hours.


There you go. 🙂 Enjoy!

Questions To Ponder

There is a lot going on, but rather than add my two cents to all that is out there, I would rather toss out some food for thought.

Posit: The government that governs best, governs least. What, therefore, is the ideal amount and type of government? What is essential to providing the guarantee of contracts (which is a/the core function of government) between individuals?

Posit: Key to the Libertarian view is the idea that the ultimate property right is control of one’s own body and life. Two questions for the day. What are the reasonable limits, if any, on this right in regards governance and society? What limits, if any, are there on defense of that life and those rights if threatened physically or politically?

Your thoughts?

The First Cocktail Element, A Cocktail Of Its Own

The first element in the supplement cocktail I’m taking in my experiment is a joint compound. These compounds are sold under a variety of names, but all contain glucosamine, chondroitin, MSM, and hyaluronic acid at a minimum.

Glucosamine is a supplement used to reduce inflammation. By itself, the compound has, by some studies, no statistically significant effect.

Chondroitin sulfate is a complex carbohydrate that helps cartilage retain water. As noted in the previous link, a study found that chondroitin did result in a reduction of the same inflammatory markers as glucosamine for a bit over a third of the study participants.

Combining the two ingredients has had mixed results, though one of the latest studies showed that for people with moderate to severe joint pain there was statistically valid reduction in that pain. An overview of studies can be found here. Note that at least one study raised the possibility use of the supplement could hurt some people.

MSM is shorthand for methylsulfanylmethane. Frankly, there is very little data on the effectiveness of MSM, how it works, and the long-term benefits or safety of the compound. The one clinical trial I’ve found did see “significant” decreases in pain and impairment, while also showing benefits for daily living activities.

Hyaluronic acid plays a diverse and apparently important role in our health. It is a anionic polysaccharide found in a variety of tissues, as well as in the liquid of the eye and in the skin. Within our joints, it is both a cushion and a lubricant. Studies have shown that it does have proven effectiveness in arthritis of the knee. That said, there are those who believe that while oral administration works, better results can come from injection.

Supplement makers now combine all of these into one compound. The theory appears to be that you get all the items the body needs in one package; and, maybe they work better together as does glucosmaine/chondroitin.

If you are allergic to shellfish, you need to be extremely careful about the joint supplement you use. Many source elements (glucosamine/chondroitin) from shellfish. The first brand I tried I bought online, and in examining the box it indicated it was not from shellfish. The box that arrived was sourced from shellfish. Yes, I took it anyway, and did not react. However, I’m now switching brands to one I bought in person that is shellfish free.

I am also looking at changing the methodology. The original brand recommended all three at once at breakfast. I’m now looking at spacing it out to three times a day.

I’m only a couple of weeks in on my experiment, so have no real data to report yet. More soon.

Chocolate Ecstasy Cake

A friend asked for the recipe, as she had lost her copy and couldn’t find it here. That needs to be fixed…

smile

This is a cake I do on special occasions, both because it can be a bit pricy to do and because too much of it can be deadly.   Enjoy. 

Recipe by C. Blake Powers based on version from the Death By Chocolate TV show

Items Needed:
Mixer
cake pans
wire racks
double boiler or boiler and stainless steel bowls
whisk
spatula
fork
spoons
knife

Cake Ingredients:
4T + 1t unsalted butter
1/4 cup + 1t all purpose flour
3 whole eggs
3 oz. unsweet. choc. in pieces
2T unsweet. cocoa
1 C gran. sugar
2 oz. semisweet choc. in pieces
1t baking powder
1t vanilla
1/2t salt
1/4 cup sour cream

Optional ingredients:
Chocolate Chips
nuts

Cake Directions:
Preheat oven to 325o. Coat a 9-inch cake pan (round) with unsalted butter. Measure dry ingredients (2nd column, above) together then
sift to ensure complete mixing and uniformity.

In a double boiler, melt butter over medium to medium-low heat. Add chocolate and allow to melt. If you are in a rush, dump it all in at once and let it melt. I’ve noticed no difference in texture, etc. for doing it this way. This is called a chocolate liqueur.

As the chocolate is melting, break the 3 eggs into a medium to large mixing bowl and whisk until blended. Then add 1 cup of
granulated sugar. Whisk until well blended. Then add 1 teaspoon of vanilla and whisk again. If you eyeball the vanilla and use more, it does not matter.

Mix melted butter and chocolate together, remove top part of double boiler being sure to wipe the bottom of the pot to prevent any
condensation/water from getting into the chocolate or the mix. Pour chocolate liqueur into egg mixture and whisk to blend. When well mixed, add dry ingredients – whisk slowly at first to keep from spreading dry ingredients all over kitchen. When this is mixed, add in sour cream and repeat whisking. Once all ingredients of basic recipe are blended, then add optional to your taste. I find 1/3 bag of semi-sweet chips is a very good add to the mix.

Pour final mix into greased pan. Place in oven and bake for app. 40 minutes. If additional ingredients are used, you may need to increase baking time by 10 minutes. Cool on wire rack and cut in half.

Filing:
1 cup of toasted, crushed (food processor) hazelnuts. These are best if toasted and peeled a day or two ahead of time and soaked in some brandy or Frangelica hazelnut liqueur. Use at least 2T.

Icing (Chocolate Ganache):

Icing Ingredients:
1.5 cups heavy cream
3T unsalted butter
3T granulated sugar
12 oz. semisweet chocolate in .5 oz. pieces—I find 14 is better and will make icing darker. Up to 18 ounces can be used if desired. I also recommend doubling the recipe to ensure enough for decorating and proper glazing of cake.

Icing Directions:
Place chocolate in a large mixing bowl. Bring cream, sugar, and butter to a boil in a saucepan. Keep a ladle in the pan to prevent boiling over and the creation of messes. Pour boiling cream mix over chocolate pieces. Whisk together until chocolate is melted and ensemble is completely mixed.

Reserve 1 cup of mix for decorating. I strongly suggest refrigerating it for at least 1 hour. Mix 1/2 to 1 cup of mixture with hazelnuts. Again, I strongly suggest refrigerating it for at least 1 hour until almost firm.  Reserve remainder for icing finished cake. This can be placed on top of sauce pan containing water. Said pan can be placed on low to keep icing fluid while other parts are chilling/firming.

Denouement:
Place bottom layer of cake on wire rack located over catch-pan.  Spread chocolate-hazelnut mixture on bottom layer of cake. Then place top
layer over hazelnut layer. Pour liquid ganache over the cake using ladle to direct and ensure that top and sides are completely covered. Refrigerate until ganache has set. Icing in pan can be added to that reserved for decoration. FYI, cake does not have to be decorated as glaze is what is presented in fine restaurants. If you want to decorate it, do what makes you happy.

Variations
My favorite is to bake two cakes and make the final cake either two- or four-layer depending on humor of the moment. This will require all
ingredients, especially the ganache, to be doubled.

In place of hazelnuts, use raspberries. Run a bag of frozen raspberries through the food processor. Take 1 cup of the processed raspberries and soak them in 2T to 1/4 cup (or more) of Chambord raspberry liqueur for up to 24 hours. Then mix them with 1 to 1.5 cups of the icing mixture and refrigerate until stiff. Then use in place of hazelnuts. For decorating, rinse and drain 1 pint of fresh raspberries and soak them in Chambord. Place these around the top of the cake. You can also place a few around the bottom for effect. If you want to be really decadent, place a chocolate chip in each of the firm, fresh raspberries.

The ganache can be much improved by adding additional chocolate, of the bittersweet and bitter chocolate varieties. 

Free Ice Cream Shortage

Sorry, nothing today as I didn’t sleep well (weather changes really suck these days). Not really looking forward to today, on several levels, but will get by. And, if lucky, find ways to make it a truly great day for myself and others.

Onwards.