Sunday, October 23, 2011

Cornhuskers Football and Red Velvet Cookies

Dateline Yesterday.

Danny Klecko is sitting in the back of the Joe Sensors sport bar in Roseville.

If you are not from my native land, or follow NFL football, I guess it wouldn't kill me to let you know that back in the day.....Joe played football for our home town Vikings squad.

I took my family here because every time the Nebraska Cornhuskers play, marching band members from their alumni bring their instruments down to the pub and play fight songs, or standards from decades past.

Marching band people all have that same look, have you ever noticed it? These people are always nice, they have a happy demeanor, and most of the time they go to work to pay their bills.....but deep down, I think they are only content when they play twisted metallic instruments.

O-M-G- I must confess, and even at the risk of losing street cred points,I never knew how bad a** the piccolo was.

I saw bandage dude playing it a lot in the pictures during the Bicentennial, but I'm pretty sure I never saw a piccolo sole live.

During a cover of Neil Diamonds "Sweet Caroline" two women cut loose during that part when the crowd screamed "Bah-Bah-Bah....So Good - So Good" and even my son in law - J.R. looked at me and commented how cool the mini flute looking thing was.

I've always thought it was cool when strangers in a strange land form their own pocket. I've heard about Bars supporting concepts that weren't indigenous, but I had never been to one.

Ever since my daughter has left us, and her home state to go to Nebraska, I have noticed that sometimes she fights hard to keep her identity.

That's OK, I get that, but Big Papi has had to remind her on a couple occasions....

"When in Rome....."

The bottom line is there is absolutely no shame in converting, or switching teams when the new people you are with love you.

This is the fortune of KiKi, the family that she married into are wonderful, I think they might be weirder than us LOL.

So even though its only 10:38 a.m., all the peeps start drinking "Red Beer" a tradition that all Huskers that aren't on a 12 step system will adhere to.

"When in Rome........"

So I topple a couple and as Kiki, J.R. and me are sitting around the table, KiKi declares........

"I like being in your Blog dad, you can actually write huh?"

The thought of this somewhat surprise her.

"Make sure on your next post you talk about the time Adam & Gordy threw that snow ball at Beanie."

One thing I have learned over the years is that sometimes daughters speak directly with their fathers. Often times when they pass their mid 20's they have too.

They realize that their intelligence has surpassed that of the barbarian that has brought them into this world.

I could be wrong, and I didn't ask.....but I think part of the reason she wanted me to repeat this story to you and her husband (who was now downing a Monster Bomb) was because she wanted him to hear how I prioritized her (my daughter) above my own safety or freedom.

The story happened when she was in Kindergarten, I picked her and her best friend Beanie up from school on a cold winter afternoon. Beanie was in her class and often joined us on our daily walks back to the Kleckocastle.

Then...out of nowhere, Adam and Gordy, the notorious 4th grade twin brothers jumped from their position of stealth and drilled Beanie point blank in the face with an ice ball.

Beanie shrieked.

Adam and Gordy had a father who was a middle and played drums in a band that had their better years behind them.

The mom use to stop me on the street to bum a smoke and assure me that her husband wasn't "Doing It" with the tons of groupies that she assured me followed him.

And not just at gigs either.

They wanted to "Do It" at the grocery store, the Library, anywhere that infidelity would allow itself.

But....and get this....."Garth would have nothing to do with it....Garth - LOL"

So while these parents were doing the things that they did, Adam and Gordy had grown quite a reputation for burning down garages, taking items out of cars at night, tagging homes and garages.

All the annoying things punks do that will put them in trouble, but w/o getting incarcerated.

So Beanies shrieking, blood sprays out of her nose....."BOOM"

So does Klecko bother to check on my shame,no.

I chased those little turds, and I must admit looking back, they were wily opponents.

But I ended up steering Adam into a fenced yard, much like you would do with cattle.

When he realized he was trapped, he actually dropped to his knees like a professional wrestler does on television, you've seen it....they plead for mercy that they haven't earned.

I showed no mercy however. Instead I picked the kid up by the the neck and marched him down the street to his house.

His brother vanished, but KiKi and the bleeding Beanie did their best to stay up with me, I guess I was kinda pissed and moving with purpose.

So when I got to the house, and I'm not proud of this....bulls***, actually I am.

I didn't ring the doorbell, or bother to knock....I kicked the door in. Off the hinges. One Kick.

And as I did this, the little drummer boy and his wife were sitting on the couch.

They didn't have time to be frightened, they were still in shock from their door laying on the mudroom floor.

So I marched in and said something like.......

"Listen A-Holes, ask your kid how comfortable it is getting toted around by the neck. If I see either of your kids within 50 yards of my house or my daughter...I'm coming back and taking it out on both of you."

The wife let gravity pull her jaw down, I'm pretty sure she was going to talk smack, but Garth wisely told her to stop.

As the years went by, both of their kids got sent away, but never once did they approach my daughter or any of her friends.

If I've said it once, I've said it a billion times.

"Klecko is not his children's friend......he is their father."

Now the Cornhusker Alumni bus pulls up, and as we headed crosstown to watch their squad toy with the hometown Gophers......

I just kinda shook my head at some of the stuff I did back when I was raising my kids.

I'll admit I was certifiably insane, but now when I look at how wonderful my daughter has turned out....I gotta think that the Polish Angels are pleased with me.

I guess I'll find out for sure one day.

In tribute to the Cornhuskers....GO BIG RED, we're going to talk about red velvet, and red velvet cookies.

In the last couple of year red velvet is topping the charts again.

Throughout the years, executing this recipe was quite standard. Now days people whine because the people making it will use large volumes of red dye.

It didn't use to be like that.

Back in the day we used to use beets, but now days when people try to do this, they have a tough time obtaining the sharp red color.

So whats changed over the years?

Well, often times you'd get your red "shade" from the cocoa mixing with your leavening agent, but guess what?

The cocoa you get today is processed. Usually when you see "Dutch - or processed" it is going to act strange around B-Powder or B-Soda.

When you go with the natural (non processed which is sold at every CO OP and on line) you should get a nice shade of red.

I', going to give you a "lead Pipe" recipe that is certain to work, I know some of you L.A.B. Rats will feel inclined to play with the fat and convert it to 100% butter (sigh).....OK, but just try it Big Papi's way once.

And one other tip.....

I agree that a buttload of dye is gross, but even though my recipe can give you great color.....I wouldn't mind if you tricked a couple red dye drops in when I wasn't looking...but that's up to you.

1 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup butter unsalted
1/4 cup shortening
1/2 cup cooked beet puree
1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup honey
2 1/2 cups All Purpose flour
1 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1 Tbsp B-Powder
1 tsp salt

1 8 oz cream cheese
1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups powdered sugar
a few drops red food coloring (c'mon....don't be so uptight)

Cream your Sugar, Butter and Shortening.

Then add your Beets, Honey and V-Extract.

Next Flour, B-Powder and Salt.

Then make a divot in the Flour and slowly place your Cocoa in. If you dump it too hard or will have a brown cloud.

As you stir this together, it may not be your final color, remember the cocoa and B-Powder will affect that as the chemicals interact.

Then when it's mixed, do the old preheat your oven to 350 degrees and bake these guys on cookie sheets w/o side walls until they are done.

Standard size is about 10 minutes.

If you want to add that frosting....I like to do mine when they have cooled. If you put it on while the cookie is still warm, there is simply too much wet mass.

The cookie can get gooey, oh yeah.....keep a 2 inch gap between cookies. These guys spread pretty good.

I'll want a full report.

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