beyond a reasonable doubt

Archive for November, 2010

Goldilocks, the Three Bears, and the Honey Tax


When Goldilocks jumped out of the cottage window and came running out of the woods in 2001, she was resolved to never again visit the Three Bears. However, during her inspection of their cottage, she had noticed a lot of paperwork scattered around that seemed to be focused on trying to avoid the “honey tax” that was going to be imposed on the honey that Mama Bear and Papa Bear had accumulated during their lives. The effect of that tax would be that Baby Bear would have to give half of his parents’ honey to the government when they passed away.

Goldilocks thought to herself, “It’s just not fair,” and she resolved to fix the situation. Goldilocks sat down, with the lessons from her visit to the Bear’s cottage still firmly in mind. She didn’t want the tax to be too big or too small; it needed to be “just right.” She decided to approach this cautiously and to lower the tax on a gradual basis, over a period of nearly 10 years, so that she could see how her plan was working. Since she didn’t know what was going to be “just right,” she decided to first make it go away completely in 2010, and then to bring it back completely in 2011, returning the tax to 2001 levels.

Meanwhile, back in the woods, the Three Bears were initially shocked to see the picture of the yellow-haired girl who had visited them in their Wall Street Journal and in The Steamboat Local on the business pages. They were pleasantly surprised to find that she had established new rules that would let them pass more honey from their estate along to Baby Bear. And, they remembered that Goldilocks always would have to see what was “too hot” or “too cold” — or “too big” or “too small” — before she could get to what was “just right.” So, the Bears waited patiently to see what Goldilocks would do next.

Goldilocks did nothing more about the honey tax. The Bears waited and they waited. They knew that Goldilocks would never let the honey tax completely expire; the government simply needed too much honey. They remembered that when Goldilocks tried a chair that was too small, it broke. They could not imagine that she would let the honey tax get too small or too big, and they planned accordingly.

Much to the Bears’ surprise, the honey tax expired at the end of 2009. The Bears were thrilled. This meant that they could pass all of their honey along to Baby Bear. But wait — that meant that they had to die during 2010 because in 2011, the government would go back to taking half of their honey. They weren’t ready to die, so it was time to take action.

The Bears decided to pay Goldilocks a visit. They found her house at the edge of the woods and saw a large tent in the yard that was filled with chairs and tables and with cups and saucers at every place. It looked like Goldilocks was going to have a tea party. At the center of each of the round tables was a pot of honey — undoubtedly from the honey tax, paid by other bears. For nearly 10 years, Goldilocks had done nothing to make the honey tax cuts permanent and the large tax was going to return. The Bears were very angry at this. When Goldilocks came out to inspect all of the party arrangements, the Bears jumped out of the woods and ate her.

Author’s note: If you think that this story has no foundation in reality, think of Goldilocks as the U. S. Congress, of the Three Bears as a family of taxpayers, and of the honey tax as the estate tax.

Originally published in The Steamboat Local

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Klauzer’s Pork Green Chili


Ingredients:

2-3 pounds of country style pork ribs, cleaned, cut into bite sized pieces  (retain the trimmed pieces), can use pork shoulder roast, pork loin, etc.

1 medium yellow onion  diced

1 medium white onion, diced

15-20 Anaheim, Big Jim, or similar large green chiles, cut to size (one large can drained and cut will substitute)

Spicier chiles to taste (red Hungarian are great, can use jalapenos)

Several cloves of garlic, crushed and diced

About 1 teaspoon of ground Mexican oregano

One heaping tablespoon of Menudo seasoning

1/3rd bottle of Spice Islands chicken stock base (not boullion)

2 cans chicken stock

White pepper to taste [about ¼ teaspoon]

Approximately ¼ cup of flour for thickening

Salt to taste

Clean and cut the pork, put trimming pieces into heavy pot and render. Remove trimmings.

Sauté onions in the pork fat until almost translucent.  Add garlic and pork.   Sauté.

Add chopped chiles, 2 cans of chicken stock, oregano, menudo seasoning, chicken stock base, and pepper.  Heat over a medium burner until hot then turn down to low temperature and simmer for about an hour.

Make a roux of flour and water, using a tablespoon of flour.  Stir into chile mixture making sure that the flour mixture blends into the liquid until desired thickness is achieved.

Add salt to taste (be careful, there  is salt in the stock base. I usually use about a teaspoon, you should salt and taste in 10 minutes.)

Let the mixture simmer for 2 more hours.  Simmering for a long time will not hurt the mix.  Try not to let it boil.

Copyright 2002 Randall Klauzer

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Diana’s Elk Recipe

Cut meat (pronghorn, deer, elk , or beef round steak) into thin cross-grain slices.  To do this, lay a piece of meat (being partially frozen works easier) flat on a cutting board and press down with the free hand, while making thin angled slices across the grain (about ¼ to 1/8 inch thick.)

Heat a cast-iron skillet to medium or medium-high heat, add some butter, and place a layer of the slices into the skillet.  Next, add a little salt and generous pepper on each side as the pieces are cooking.  As the meat browns well, flip the pieces, pepper again, and add a bit more butter.  (Warning:  If you set off the smoke detector, you are doing it right, as butter and cast iron always seem to make smoke.)

When the first layer is done, remove the slices to a warming pan, which contains just a thin layer of water.  Repeat the process with the next layer until you have cooked all the meat.

After about two rounds in the pan, turn up the heat a bit and pour in some tea (yes, just plain black tea or even coffee,) add pepper and let simmer, scraping the drippings around.  Then pour this “au jus” into the warming pan with the steak.  Turn down the heat before starting the next round of meat (if there is more to cook.)

Serve with sautéed (sherry and butter) mushrooms.  You may want to serve it in a shallow bowl/plate so that the au jus is contained.

Diana Eubank
Paralegal (and huntress)

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