Wednesday, September 19, 2012

What do salmon and Stevie Ray Vaughan have in common?

Not much, really. But bear with me. I saw Stevie Ray Vaughan in 1984 when he opened for Huey Lewis. Like most people, I was there to hear "I Want a New Drug." Not blues. It wasn't until later that I developed my appreciation.

I didn't really like salmon until later, either. But I now have an appreciation for it that runs deep, much like hearing SRV play after not hearing him for a while. I learn something new.

I did that tonight when I hot smoked some salmon on the grill. It was fantastic. You can probably do this in the oven on cedar planks. The smoke definitely brings something to the party.

Lemon herb smoked salmon

Usually, I think people get into trouble with salmon by overdoing it. The fish should be the star. That's the great thing about this marinade; it's simple, bright and flavorful, yet doesn't overpower the salmon.

Apple wood is great with salmon, so if you're into the smoke, soak some apple chips or chunks in water and get some charcoal ready: This just became my go-to recipe for salmon.


  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2 tablespoon parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 3 pounds salmon fillets

Directions for cooking

  1. With a whisk, combine olive oil, lemon juice, parsley, rosemary, thyme, salt, black pepper and garlic powder in a small bowl. Set aside 1/4 cup of the marinade. 
  2. Place salmon in a shallow dish and pour the remaining marinade over the top. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  3. Light the coals. 
  4. When the coals are ready move them to one side of the grill. Throw in your apple wood and replace the grate.
  5. Fold some aluminum foil and cover the cool side of the grill.
  6. Place the salmon skin side down.
  7. Open the vents on the top of the lid or put it cockeyed so the smoke hits the salmon
  8. Cook, basting occasionally with the reserved marinade, until the fish flakes easily with a fork, 15 to 20 minutes.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The Picture of Tolerance

U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens's body is dragged through the streets.


Obama's weakness and the attacks on 9/11/2012 

On the anniversary of the terrorist attacks of September 11, the US was attacked again. In Libya, American Ambassador Christopher Stevens was killed and his body dragged through the streets. All he was trying to do was help people not to get hurt. Stevens wasn't the only one killed during the attack.
In Egypt, the embassy in Cairo was stormed and the American flag taken down and ripped apart. It reminded me very much of when the Iranian students took over the American embassy in 1979.
Back home, President Obama made public remarks at the Pentagon to memorialize the attacks of September 11. I won't call it a "speech" because he didn't blather on and on as he usually does. It was actually a refreshing change to see him make the point and get out of the spotlight.
That being said, Obama made a remark that I found offputting. He asked for tolerance. Again. This is not the first time he has done so when speaking about the events of that day.
Spare me the tolerance crap
"The U.S. deplores any intentional effort to denigrate the religious beliefs of others," Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said. "Our commitment to religious tolerance goes back to the very beginning of our nation."
I am an agnostic who has searched for my own faith for practically all of my adult life. As a staunch defender of the First Amendment, I am all for religious freedom and acceptance, as well as freedom of speech.
The Egyptians stormed the embassy because they were offended by a movie they claim was critical of the Muslim Prophet Muhammed. If the US (predominantly Christian) got violent any time someone in a movie was critical of Christianity, not a single member of Monty Python or Saturday Night Live would still walk the Earth.
The President's world view
President Obama has done his level best to weaken the view of America in the eyes of the world by apologizing and bowing to foreign leaders. He's also stood against our only true ally in the Middle East by stating that Israel should recognize Palestinian rights to Israeli land and returning to pre-1967 borders. His policy of appeasement has allowed Iran to further develop its nuclear capabilities, North Korea to strengthen its position militarily and China threaten to surpass us as the world's superpower.
The timing of the two incidents on the anniversary of the worst attack on American soil is no accident. I think speeches made to comemmorate those lost should not include an admonishment for Americans to tolerate those who attacked us to make themselves martyrs in the name of their faith. Furthermore, I think it is reprehensible that he insults the memories of those who died on that day.
Those attacks were carried out against people people of all religions - Jews, Catholics, Baptists, Lutherans, Hindus, Buddists, Methodists and yes, even Muslims - died in those attacks. I'm sure that even some atheists and agnostics died on that day. But those people didn't die in the name of religion. They died because they were American. Or they were in America pursuing that dream we have held dear for so long. They did not die for tolerance.
President Obama would do well to understand that, stop apologizing and kick some ass when it needs kicking.

The Obama Administration continues to put forth the stance to the American public that the attacks were not coordinated and that is was spontaneous outcry over this film. The problem with their stance is that the attack in Benghazi came in two waves and involved weapons such as rocket propelled grenades and machine guns; not rocks and amateur-made molotov cocktails. Foreign media have called BS on the notion that the movie is responsible. And foreign leaders have stated publicly and formally that the protests and attacks have been coordinated.

It's time for the Obama administration to do so as well. Anything else is merely covering for Obama's foreign policy failings and Hillary Clinton's responsibility for the policy of not allowing security personnel to carry live ammo.