Saturday, March 31, 2012

CSI: Season 10 Cast Member

Henry Andrews is the embodiment of the "lab nerd," making even Hodges look some what edgy.  He gets full attention in season 10 as the victim of a birthday gag in Appendicitement (10.09). Although he's been a cast member since Season 5 and is the lab's toxicology expert and also had a role in tampering around with the miniatures in Grissom's office (thanks to Hodges), he really remained a kind of "invisible character" until the infamous BQ kidnap on his Dec. 3 birthday.  In season 10 he sports a crush on fellow lab rat Wendy and reveals (and this is important...) that he is allergic to eggplant.  So, since he doesn't get a lot of attention--here's a few pics of him

The Statues Of El Baúl In Guatemala

Today Is Long Count Calender
12 Men 3 Wayeb Calendar Round
264 Days To Baktun 13

Early Stele Preservation

Once a much larger archaeological city ruin, the whole southern part of the acropolis was deliberately destroyed in 1997, part of the so-called "urbanization" of the area.  In fact, it was destroyed for no particularly good reason to expand a city that did not need to expand in that direction.  The city is quite old and was founded during what is known as the Formative Period, which just precedes the important Classic era.  The this reason, a great deal of the statuary has a look that appear non-Mayan on first observance.  Further examination reveals some Mayan styles emerging that would be perfected and decimated during the Classic period and recognizable as strictly Maya in origin.  El Baúl is part of the larger Mayan archaeological "zone" known as Cotzumalhuapa; the ballcourt is still in existence and some parts of the northern acropolis has been excavated; but most of the city remains under sugar cane fields--a non-native crop from Asia.  The vast majority of what is left of the city on any kind of display for tourism are carved stele and statues.  The site is near an active volcano, and it is suspected that it was abandoned long before the dawn of a cohesive Maya civilization because of the volcano.  Here is a gallery of the unique works from this little known early Maya city.

Here is an illustrated detail of the above Stele, the engraving is easily recognized as being in the Maya style.

CSI: Appendicitement: Season 10 Spoofy Episode

Stokes, Hodges and Greg stage a mock kidnap of young lab assistant Henry for his birthday to take him to Harry's Hog Hideout for barbecue.  Unfortunately for the gang, not only do they get run off the highway and their car flipped...but by the time they reach Harry's on foot, they discover it's been closed down due to a Hep. B make matters worse, the only person that they can find is a dead man....with an equally dead raccoon on his face.

Dr. Ray's Triple Play

Dr. Raymond Langston has been gone from CSI for about a year now, but in Season 10 the character made CSI history for being the only one to move between all three of the CSI series.  The plot arch hit on a problem that is all too real in the US, and world in general:  human trafficking in the so-called "sex trade."  Fiishburne at the time acknowledged that he was still breaking in the character and thought the filming would accelerate the process.  I good article on his experience can be found here from CBS News (video interview included).  The three parter is found on the DVD release of CSI Season 10.  There is also a Wikipedia entry on the trilogy.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Theme Recipe: Hot Dogs With Onion Sauce Greasy Spoon Fare

There is a lot of talk of diner or greasy spoon fare on CSI, including the classic "I work weird hours nighttime breakfast."  Pancakes are mentioned a lot, coffee is swilled by the pot full, and hot dogs come up a great deal.  Dr. Ray is seen eating a street vendor dog in S9, Doc Robbins mentions chili dogs, a later coroner and heart disease, and, apparently, hot dogs figured in an off set disagreement between George Eads and the Jorja Fox, who is a vegetarian early in the series (but they do love each other anyway).  Not to mention the earlier episode that featured competitive eating. You can find all types of dogs in Las Vegas from other cities in the US--the Chicago Dog is popular there.  But the classic dog with onion sauce seems to be a local favorite, and it supposed to be some of the best in the country.  Though the original recipe is from New York, Vegas does it bigger and better and it is found on almost all hot dog menus there.  The sauce is a red onion sauce and can be bought jarred, Sabrett is a well known brand; but like most things, it's better if it is homemade....and it's easy.

Dog With Onion Sauce

2 large onions, sliced
2 tbsp. oil to saute
1/2 cup good tomato ketchup 
1/4 to 1/2 tsp. good chili powder
Pinch of garlic powder and cinnamon
Dash hot sauce, or to taste.
Salt (as needed and strictly optional)
1/2 cup water

Good all beef dog (or, yes, a vegetarian dog)
Warmed or toasted buns
Mayo (strictly optional)

1.  Over medium heat, saute the onions until just translucent.  Add in the spices (hold the salt for now), and fry for a minutes.  Then add the ketchup and water, let simmer for 30 minutes, until the onions turn red.  If you mixture gets dry or wants to stick, add more water--this is supposed to be relish like.  Taste for salt, add as needed

2.  Cook the dog in water (or you may fry or grill), drain.  Add mayo to bun, if using.  Add the dog and top with onion sauce.  You can add a spicy brown mustard under the onions if you like.

Alternative Version

This is from the ingredients on the Sabrett "Onions In Sauce: jar, it's a real sweetened tomato affair.

2 onions, large dice
Olive oil
Tomato Paste
Corn syrup
Crushed Pepper Flakes
Thicken with a cornstarch slurry.

Or just buy some in the jar.  Serve with Sabrett dogs.


Obviously there are variations on this.  First try using a different kind of onion from the regular yellow one.

Seasonings vary--don't like cinnamon, don't use it.  Allspice is good in this.  Celery seeds add a savory touch.  Herbs do as well.

Spice it up good!  Add as much of the spicy stuff like chili powder, hot sauce or chili flakes as you like.

Instead of ketchup or tomato paste, try using Chili Sauce (the kind that is the base for cocktail sauces).

Add a lot of fresh garlic.

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