Episode-997- Listener Calls for 10-12-12 — 20 Comments

  1. I’m trying to learn Mandarin with Fluenz, pretty neat system that can give Rosetta Stone a run for it’s money. The process is more relevant to surviving a first trip experience, starting you off in scenarios like a restaurant and running through ordering food. Check it out at

    • @ Hawaiian
      n? h?o , I am also learning Manderin. I signed up for Rosetta Stone a year ago and am still working on the basics. Looks like its going to be a long study for me. I will be checking out to see how it works.

    • Thanks, Hawaiian, for the fluenz reference. I studied Mandarin in college, then lived in China for three years and honed my skills but would like to stay in practice, which fluenz might help. Mahala.

  2. Here is a sardine recipe that I grew up with:

    This is a recipe that I grew up with and it comes from my mother who learned it from a lady in California many years ago. My mother also once served this to a lady that did not like sardines (not allergic, just did not like them). The lady thought that they were delicious.
    2 english muffins
    ~2 TBS ketchup
    1 can sardines (4 sardines / 3.75 oz can)
    4 slices cheddar cheese
    Take and split the english muffins and coat each half with a layer of ketchup. Take a sardine and split it (it will naturally spit down the back) and lay the two halves on the ketchup. Cover each with a slice of cheese and broil at 350 deg F until cheese is melted. Serves up to 4.
    Notes: The ketchup and cheese can be replaced with the sauce and cheese of your choice.
    Some cans of sardines have just two large sections that fill the can, you can just split each section as above.
    I have found that if you empty the sardines into a small bowl and mash them with the oil / juice from the can and then divide the mash into four parts, it is less messy as you do not have to handle the fish with your hands.
    Both myself and my brother have found relief from joint stiffness and pain from consuming the cold fish oils found in the sardines. My brother and I use the entire contents of the can, both fish and oil.

    Best, Duncan

  3. Learning another language is never a bad idea. In addition to the obvious benefits of being able to talk to individuals, it is worth noting that speaking another language can also open doors into entire communities, ethnic enclaves and the like, which might be otherwise closed to outsiders. Making connections in communities like this can be a great way to learn languages too, especially for those languages not commonly taught (and in some cases, it is the only way to learn them). I have found that people often respond positively when you show an interest in their language and culture.

    And these folks can have a lot to teach beyond language, despite their linguistic isolation (think, for example, of refugees from an agrarian nation who arrive with a lot of farming/gardening experience). With a little doing, you can learn a new language, meet new people, plug into a whole new social network, and maybe be taught (and teach!) some new skills. Plus in these contexts you will certainly get to tuck into some exciting new foods!

    And you also might not need to confine yourself to the dominant flavor of the region. In the caller’s case, French sounds like a great choice for New Hampshire. However, depending upon where in Maine he is planning a BOL, Somali or Spanish might also be useful for building ties to smaller communities. Poking around in the census data for your area can lead to clues to what ethnic groups might be concentrated there, as they collected data on country of origin as well as language spoken in the home.

      • It ain’t spam but an email in the future if you are concerned will do the trick. Ronnie above is a huge contributor to the show and the blog.

  4. Jack: Do country boys make blood sausage? I love that stuff!

    Sardines: You should be able to use canned sardines for anything tuna would work in. The trick is finding a brand you like, because they can vary a lot. King Oscar is widely available and fairly mild if that’s what you’re looking for.

    Fresh sardines are great on the grill of they’re large and fried if they’re small. The Portuguese also have an unusual method of preparation in which the fish spines are removed through the interior cavity — the still-connected fillets are then stuffed with bacon, garlic, herbs and hot pepper before being pan fried. (on my list to try)

    Sourdough: Really fun (and cheap) to learn, and pretty easy if you’re already a baker. I’ve made starters with just flour and water. It can take weeks to get a starter going, so this isn’t for short term emergencies. Of course, if you’re just interested in survival food, learn how to cook tortillas — no leavening and no oven needed.

    I’ve kept commercial yeast in the freezer for years without it going bad — and unless you’re buying the packets, it’s really cheap (I get jars of the instant kind you just mix into the flour). And if yeast does get a bit sluggish, it’s not a big deal — just let the dough rise longer.

    And yes, try yeast waffles, they’re absolutely amazing! You don’t need sourdough — Google will lead you to recipes using just store-bought yeast, although many recipes will have you let the batter rise overnight to develop flavor.

    The key to great flavor with any yeast bread is long slow rising in the fridge (up to a couple of days rising for one loaf).

  5. Hello Jack…a couple of things. First, thank you for taking the time to answer my questions about compost. I definitely will bury the fish directly rather than try to compost it. Definitely makes more sense.

    Second, in regards to the James Kunstler interview, at one point I was trying to figure out why I was listening as the guy was really torquing me off. One of his books sounded familiar, “The World Made By Hand”, so I looked it up. I remembered that I had read it about 1-1/2 years ago and to me, in my opinion only, it was the worst, most forgettable book in regards to survival fiction that I have ever read.

    Even though I really don’t agree with this guy on most things or like his writing, I am glad that I listened to the whole interview for two very specific reasons. First, I think that he has a great idea about trains, as long as the government stays out and let’s the private sector run things. I have lived in two small towns, one in Ohio and one in Michigan, and the railroad was huge in these towns until the late 60’s. Once the railroad stopped, the economy in those two towns really dried up.

    Second, I really like the way that you interview people, especially those who have an opposite viewpoint as you. You allow the person to share their views and you share yours, but not in a confrontational manner. You counter the other person’s viewpoint without assaulting them and give hard facts. This is a skill that I need to develope and I now realize that I need to listen to interviews of people that I don’t necessarily share the same views. Thank you!

    I am also really looking to your follow-up show to that interview.

    By the way…”magical unicorn farts”…Love it!

  6. Thanks for the feedback on Sardines. Since the question I have been looking into a bit myself. Seemingly they eat a lot of canned sardines in Africa and Asia.

    Most of the African recipes I have seen involve 3 or 4 cans of sardines and spinach, tinned tomato, chilli and spices. The tomato and spinach is supposed to somehow stop it repeating on you (although I’ve not tried it yet)

    I’ve seen a figure of 25% of the diet in the Philippines contains tinned sardines. I also got this youtube of a chief in the Philippines making up a meal with canned sardines

    I also looked up “Phillapeno canned sardine recipies” and found this recipies which comes highly regarded

  7. Here’s a recipe that could be adapted to sardines, although the original uses canned sprats (swedish anchovies). I’ve made it before and it’s excellent!

    Janssons Frestelse (Jansson’s Temptation)

    This could also adapt well to being made from your food storage. Potatos and onions out of the root cellar, canned fish, and you half/half can be achieved with extra thick powdered milk and a little extra butter.

    I made this for last year’s Jul Smorgasbord (Xmas buffet) with the addition of a bit of crumbled feta on top.

  8. Johnny Max shared a favorite way to eat sardines and I liked it too. Just eat the sardines mixed with baked beans, or Ranchhouse beans, or something like that. I call it Beans ‘n ‘dines!!! I think it makes it a good flavor combination. I may be the only one in my house that thinks so, besides the dog. 😉

  9. I love your shows, Jack. Today I especially like the part about fermenting dough starters.

    About signs to discourage trespassers, I lived a few years in a remote part of the Idaho mountains, at the end of a narrow dirt road, a quarter mile off a slightly wider dirt road, and even farther from any neighbor. I was an older woman living alone and strangers made me nervous. I usually went out on my upper porch with a non-threatening stance ,my shotgun in hand. One day I got the idea to put up a sign that said “If you’re this close, you’re being recorded on video.” Then people found a place to turn around without coming closer.

    As for learning Chinese for future opportunities, I knew of cases where business people in NYC and Seattle advertised for Chinese nannies to teach their children Chinese. I had students who were preparing to do that.

  10. Check into using black soldier flies to dispose of animal remains. They will quickly devour the left overs and give you fish/chicken food in the form of grubs.