Monthly Archives: October 2013

Winter Food 2 —Salmon Patties

Salmon Patties


  • 1 12 oz. can Salmon, deboned.
  • 1/4 cup celery, minced
  • 1 yellow onion, minced
  • 1/2 cup sweet peppers, minced
  • 1/4 mushrooms, minced
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 sleeve saltines, crushed (or the breading of your choice)
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil (ish)

Mix all ingredients except oil in a medium bowl.  Heat oil in a skillet or sauté pan to about 350-400 degrees.  Form salmon mix in patties about three inches across and half an inch thick.  Fry both sides in oil for about two to three minutes.  Pat dry.  Makes about 12 patties.

This one I came up with on my own.  My mom used to make us salmon croquettes (ball-shaped, fried salmon and vegetables) but I never got the recipe.  This is a really good one for people with crowded schedules.  The whole batch can be made in about a half hour (maybe forty-five minutes if you need to mince by hand), and the cooked croquettes reheat well and are even good cold or in a sandwich.

Winter Food 1 — Seafood Chowder

Giving up some of my hard-earned recipes.  Because–I dunno—science, I guess.

Feel free to use these recipes and even to pass them along to your friends, but please remember that everything here (with notable exceptions) is copyrighted by me (Brett Hainley) and is not in the public domain.  If you like it so much, simple courtesy demands that you at least credit me before republishing any of these elsewhere.  I understand that cooking is never done in a vacuum, and that all of my recipes started with someone else’s, but most of these were years in development after I acquired the base, and it’s simple courtesy.  Anyway, wherever I remember where I got a recipe, I plan to credit the source.

So anyway, this first one has been a staple in our house since the first time Donna and I visited her relatives in Nova Scotia, one August (or, as we in Texas call it, Winter).  Donna’s Uncle Eugene and Aunt Audrey invited us over one afternoon for lunch, and he’d prepared an amazing whitefish chowder.  He hinted at some of the ingredients, but it took a couple years of experimenting before I got something that I consider close.  As far as I know, chicken or pork can easily be substituted for the seafood with no other adjustments.

Seafood Chowder

  • 1 qt. Heavy Whipping Cream
  • 1 qt. Whole Milk
  • 1/2 lb. Butter
  • 1 lb. Seafood (I usually go with half a pound of cod or haddock and half a pound of some sort of shellfish)
  • 4-5 medium potatoes, cubed
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • salt
  • pepper

Begin heating the milk, cream, and butter together in a large stew pot on low heat.  Milk and cream get kind of pissy if exposed to too much heat too fast, so I usually start and the lowest possible setting on my stove and work my way up to medium over the course of about an hour.  Stir in the seafood, potatoes, and onion.  Keep increasing the heat incrementally until it reaches medium and begins boiling.  Boil on medium heat for about an hour.  Salt and pepper to taste and allow it to cool enough to eat.

Don’t worry if it gets a little grainy looking.  That can happen due to various oils and acids in the fish, but it doesn’t affect the taste and really doesn’t hurt the texture of the soup in your mouth.  This soup reheats well, and is both filling and satisfying, especially on the cold, wet days of early autumn and mid-spring.  Or, as we Texans call it, December.

Casual Friday—Parental Advice

So, years after this comic went up, I was doing a google search (because I am the kind of insecure egotist who googles his own name and stuff) and it had been copy/pasted to a forum under the heading of “Worst Comic Ever”.  I found it odd, because I thought this comic succeeded in what it was meant to do.

If you’ve ever been the adult child hearing “helpful advice” from both of your parents at the same time, thise comic with its crowded balloons should speak to you.  It doesn’t matter what anyone is saying, it’s the moment.

Casual Friday–It’s Funny Because It’s…Wait, That Just Makes It Creepy

We have a bizarre relationship with celebrities of both major and minor status.  Susan Lucci used to tell stories of the many people who would accost her (sometimes physically) on the street for something her character (Erica Kane) did on All My Children.  Erica was a conniving bitch for most of the show, so Ms. Lucci was often subject to the derision of her fanbase.  And, yes, these were her fans who were chiding her for the scripted actions of a soap opera character.  Mind you, Susan Lucci is an actress and had less creative control over her character than an ABC janitor (in the sense that Ms. Lucci was much less likely to walk past a late-night writers’ meeting and suggest a new twist (such as drunken cross-dressing alien competitive cyclists) to break the group writers’ block).

Anyway, my point is that people got very familiar with Erica Kane.  They saw her antics on TV every afternoon for thirty-one years.  If you remember that much of that time took place long before social media, that means they saw more of Lucci playing a character than they saw of their own parents or siblings, so, when they saw her on the street (which became increasingly rare) they felt like they knew her—not actress Susan Lucci, who was just a name to them, but Erica Kane.

I have tasted minor celebrity.  It’s weird (for me) and a little discomforting to be recognized for some of the community theater roles I’ve played, and even more so for my writing.  Luckily, it doesn’t happen often, but on the rare occasions when it does, it’s bizarre.  People have one of two reactions…they either geek out and get really shy and OMYGOD about it (I did this once at a convention when I met much more famous (and talented) comicker Jin Wicked—I’m pretty sure it creeped her out, for which I’m very sorry, because she seemed like a nice kid, and didn’t deserve to have a middle-aged fat guy being all weird at her table), or they immediately assume they’re my best friend because they happened to recognize me (or my name) from a thing I did, once.

Which brings us around to Steve.  Maritza Campos is an actual person who writes and draws the comic, CRFH (nee College Roomies from Hell!).  As I mentioned before, she announced her pregnancy at exactly the time that I was flailing around looking for some excuse to segue from the school to Scot’s house.  I took the opportunity to poke fun at people who believe that just because they know (of) somebody from the Internet, they believe they have some sort of connection.  This is one of those comics that would have been more funny had it been less true.

That being said, Ms. Campos’s comic is still around and still on its original run, so, if consistently funny drama and rapidly-improving art are your thing, you should pop over to CRFH.

Casual Friday—Steve’s Hopes, Crushed

So I was looking for some kind of segue out of school and back into the home life of Scot and Penny, when I came across a news item on Maritza Campos’ College Roomies from Hell comic that she was pregnant.  I viewed this as an opportunity for some creepy-funny internet stalking on Steve’s part.