Big Brother

My friend Google has been talking to Amazon and they realized that I knew so-and-so, so I got an email telling me what is on his wish list. Funny – one was a book I had recommended to him a long while back. He did not complete his profile, so I can’t actually send it to him even if I wanted to. I’m sorry guy, but if our virtual friendship is going to work out, you are going to have to fill in all the blanks.

Based on my preference for campy Bollywood heist movies, cerebral documentaries and surf movies, Netflix has recommended Short Cut to Nirvana. (Ok, i did find it interesting even if it was my friend who was watching the Bollywood heist movies on my account.)

Because I’m not Catholic, it’s Monday and Amazon knows me better than my own mother, I received an email recommending that I look at their selection of political foodie books and try out the Wild Red King Salmon which could be delivered to to my door for only $18.99 a pound.

By the way, I’m sorry if I’m not friending you anymore, but when I do Facebook decides you need to be on my email distribution list for my blog. It added on an acquaintance, my high school teacher and some french guy I though was some else. And these are only the one’s I know about. I wonder who is getting my wish lists…

My question is, if this gigantic brain of humanity we are making knows so damn much about what I want, why isn’t it doing what I actually need? If it is reading my blog, perhaps it could introduce a proper agricultural bill into congress or lobby for equal marriage rights, introduce me to a nice guy or give someone I know advise on how to be brave, loving, kind and…well…that might be a bit much. Maybe it could just lull my son to sleep with a mythological bed time story. Oh yes, if it could also send over someone to do the dishes, mow the lawn, and fold the laundry that would be great. But I guess that would be more like an Auntie than a Big Brother.

Oops, I lost my internet connections again for the 15th time today. Shit…I guess I’ll have to make this myself:

Stuffed Grape Leaves (Dolmas) – from

Serves 8 people.
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 onions, minced
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 cup fresh mushrooms, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups uncooked long-grain white rice
3 tbsp. tomato paste
2 tbsp. dried currants or raisins
2 tbsp. pine nuts
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
3 tbsp. fresh chopped mint leaves
1 tbsp. dried dill weed
1 tsp. ground mace
1 tbsp. ground sumac
1 8-oz jar grape leaves

Optional additions:
Ground beef or ground lamb – cook lightly as they will be cooked more during the steaming process.
Chopped and sauteed zucchini
Chopped and sauteed eggplant
Chopped tomatoes
Chopped preserved lemons

In a saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat and add onions & garlic. Sweat the onions & garlic until tender, then add the mushrooms and saute until browned. Add the rice and enough hot water to cover. Cover the saucepan and simmer over low heat until the rice is half cooked, about 15 minutes.

While the rice is cooking, carefully remove the grape leaves from the jar without ripping them. Drain the liquid and rinse the leaves in warm water and set in a colander to drain. Trim off any stems.

When the rice is ready, stir in all the other ingredients and mix well. Allow the mixture to cool enough so that it can be handled with bare hands. Take one grape leaf and place it smooth side down, veiny sides up. Place about 1 teaspoon or 1 tablespoon (depending on how big the leaf is) of rice mix at the bottom of the leaf. Fold the sides and then roll the leaf from bottom to top. Repeat with the remaining ingredients.

Place a steaming rack in a large pot and arrange the dolmas on the steamer. It is OK to stack them. Place enough water at the bottom of the pot to almost reach the bottom layer of dolmas. Cover and simmer over low heat for 35 to 45 minutes, or until rice is totally cooked.

Remove and place on a serving plate. Drizzle with olive oil, and if desired, sprinkle with a little sumac or fresh lemon juice.


2 thoughts on “Big Brother

  1. I was on amazon the other day, looking at books and up comes the screen that says “people who bought this also bought this” and my own book popped up. Nice to see that they advertise it, but since I wrote the book, I already have a copy!

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