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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."

Peanut sauce, easier than you might think

By Shannon K. Johnson

March 20, 2009 | Thai food is one of my favorite types of food. So, I decided to take a little bit of the Thai restaurant and bring it to my ill-equipped college kitchen.

One of my favorite recipes is chicken with coconut peanut sauce and rice.

I learned this recipe in an aisle of the supermarket from another shopper. So if your ever feeling uninspired you should wander around Smith's and you may encounter this mysterious woman.

I was looking at peanut butter and talking to myself, the fact that she talked to me while I was talking to myself shows how strange she is because I avoid people who talk to themselves.

Anyway, I was talking to the peanut butter about how much I like peanut sauce, and I was wondering aloud how to make it when our mystery shopper chimed in.

“Just get some crunchy peanut butter and melt it with the cream of coconut, but you'll have to Google it for the proportions.”

Cream of coconut can be found with the drink mixing supplies it is a common ingredient in Pina Coladas but it is a great base for the peanut sauce.

I bought some of the ingredients I thought I would need: including chicken, green onions, broccoli and chunky Jiffy peanut butter.

I went home and looked up various recipes online-and ultimately have developed the following recipe.

First take a non-stick pan and cook chopped chicken (I use breast but feel free to use your favorite) broccoli florets and chopped green onions. I usually throw a little lime juice in to enhance flavor.

Before you start the chicken the you should do is start cooking the rice because it takes a while to cook. I like white rice and the ratio is usually 1 cup of rice to 2 cups of water.

I usually rinse the rice off first by running water inside the pot I intend to cook the rice in swirling it around and then draining the water. Continue to this process of running the water over the grains until the water running off is clear.

Then follow the ratio of 1 cup of rice to 2 cups of water place both in a pot with a lid. Place on high heat to bring rice to a boil and then reduce the heat and allow to simmer until all the water is absorbed.

So back to the other side of the stove-while the chicken is cooking with the vegetables take a small pot out and warm peanut butter usually use about a 1ž4 cup of peanut butter for a serving for one and add about a 1ž4 cup for every additional person.

Use a low heat to avoid burning. After the peanut butter has melted add cream of coconut I use about 3 tablespoons for a single serving, but add to taste some prefer a more coconutty, yes I made up that word, taste. Add water(about 1ž4 cup) to soy sauce (1 tbs) and honey (to your prefence) and whisk it all together.

At this point I like to add ginger, chili powder, and rosemary, but for a change you can add curry powder instead of ginger and rosemary this will bring a different kind of heat.

Once the sauce is blended pour over the chicken and broccoli mix, allow to simmer.

The rice should have finished cooking by now, place several scoops on plate and layer the chicken over the rice and enjoy.



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