HNC Home Page
News Business Arts & Life Sports Opinion Calendar Archive About Us
ONE TWISTED SISTER: Musician Dee Snider flashes the devil's horns to the crowd at Monster Circus, a rock mecca in Vegas. Click Arts&Life or a link to story. / Photo by Ben Hansen, special contributor

Today's word on journalism

May 8, 2009

The Last WORD

The Fat Lady Sings, Off-Key, Drools

At about this time every year, like the swallows to Capistrano or the buzzards to Hinckley, Ohio, the WORD migrates to its summer musing grounds at the sanitarium —St. Mumbles Home for the Terminally Verbose.

The reason is clear, and never moreso than as this season —the WORD's 13th —peters out.

It's been a fraught year of high palaver and eye-popping transition, both good and not-so-much. An interminable presidential campaign saga finally did end, and in extraordinary and historic fashion. Meanwhile, the bottom and everything that's below the bottom fell out of the economy, with families, homes, entire industries and —of particular interest to WORDsters and the civic-minded —dozens of daily newspapers ("I don't so much mind that newspapers are dying--it's watching them commit suicide that pisses me off." --Molly Ivins). . . all evaporating. What replaces them, from the individual to the institutional to the societal? Are we looking at a future of in-depth Tweeting?

As any newsperson or firehorse knows, it's hard to turn your back on day-to-day catastrophe --we just have to look at the car wreck. But even the most deranged and driven need a rest. As philosopher Lilly Tomlin once observed, "No matter how cynical you become, it's never enough to keep up."

So this morning, as a near-frost hovered over northern Utah, the unmarked van pulled into the driveway and the gentle, soft-spoken men in the white coats rolled the WORD out of bed and into a straitjacket for the usual summer trip to St. Mumbles, where the blathering one will be assigned a hammock and fed soothing, healthy foods --like tapioca, dog biscuits and salmon --while recharging the essential muscles of cynicism, outrage, sarcasm, social engagement and high-mindedness, in preparation for the next edition.
Summer well, friends.

Speak up! Comment on the WORD at


Feedback and suggestions--printable and otherwise--always welcome. "There are no false opinions."

Egg drop soup is inexpensive, tasty and easy

By Shannon K. Johnson

March 20, 2009 | Yes, reader it is time for another recipe that has been hybridized for those who live without wheat-egg drop soup.

This tasty dish is easy to make, and very inexpensive. To make it you'll need chicken (frozen or fresh), frozen corn, two fresh green onions, cornstarch and raw eggs.

Most recipes will simply call for chicken bouillion cubes to make the broth, but anyone with wheat sensitivity beware this stock is often thickened with wheat ingredients.

Instead, it is easier to make chicken broth a fresh and spicy way to include the flavors you enjoy.

Making chicken stock is simple: frozen chicken breast thrown in a large pot with water, rosemary, garlic salt and pepper.

Boil the chicken breast until the water looks like stock-don't expect it to be golden instead taste it. When the broth is nice and flavorful take it off the heat.

Extract the chicken at this point you can chop the chicken and throw it back in the soup or save it for later. I usually add a few cups of water to the stock to make a broth but if you like really concentrated broth you don't have to dilute it.

To the broth add chopped green onions, frozen corn and then brought back up to a boil. At this time I add a second group of spices almost completely to taste: ginger powder, garlic salt, rosemary and black pepper all get thrown in.

Be careful this soup has very little strong flavors in it naturally so the spices can really change the flavor.

If you want to thicken the broth it is a good idea to add cornstarch, but many people will simply pour it directly into the soup. This method limits portion control and can often lead to a lumpy combination. Instead mix your cornstarch with warm water and add it to the soup.

The decision to thicken the soup is based on preference but many restaurants thicken the broth.

After adding the cornstarch it to continue to boiling for a few minutes.

Now it is time to add the namesake to the soup. Take three or four eggs and crack them into a separate container lightly beat the eggs I occasionally mix ginger or salt into the eggs to give the soup a bit more flavor.

Then pour a steady stream of egg into the boiling water for thinner ribbons stir the liquid more rapidly in a clockwise direction, for thicker strips stir slowly in a clockwise direction.

Though I have never stirred the soup counterclockwise I doubt it would cause great disaster. But the thin tendrils of egg make the texture of the soup very tasty.

This soup is designed to have a light flavor to emphasize the egg taste it is also intended as an appetizer so I recommend combining this dish as an appetizer with any Asian meal or as a light lunch.


Copyright 1997-2009 Utah State University Department of Journalism & Communication, Logan UT 84322, (435) 797-3292
Best viewed 800 x 600.