Monthly Archives: January 2012

Kerrian’s Notebook, p. 18 “The Giants are going to the Superbowl!”

(First posted in 2012, when the Giants really were on their way to the Superbowl. Alas, in 2013 and 2014, they did not even make the playoffs. The recipe still works, tho.  🙂  )


I don’t like to brag, but my team is going to the SUPERBOWL! And with a heart attack OT win! We expected a great game, but this was outstanding!


Sheila wasn’t all that happy about the Giants getting this far, but our fan rivalry is (mostly) good-natured and she took the ribbing pretty well.  At least she didn’t boo or wear her (purposely anonymous here) team’s colors during the game.


People descended on the house an hour before the playoff game against the 49ers, ready to eat. The guys from Homicide brought cheese steaks, Sheila put together subs, and I made our famous football soup. This one is a surprise favorite with our crowd, just right for the people who can’t handle my four-alarm chili and can be fixed from scratch to bowl in the time it takes to cook the rice.



Hearty Vegetable Soup
Recipe type: Soup
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
  • 32 oz. box Swanson’s no msg chicken broth
  • ¼ cup uncooked Basmati rice
  • 1 19 oz. can Progresso minestrone
  • 1 15 oz. can Progresso black beans
  • 1 15 oz. can petite cut diced tomatoes (with jalapenos if you can handle the kick)
  • 1 15 oz. can mixed veggies
  • Grated parmesan cheese
  1. Pour the chicken broth into a large pot. Add the rice. Cover and cook on medium-high until boiling, about 10 minutes.
  2. Add the minestrone, black beans, diced tomatoes and mixed veggies and return to boil. Stir frequently until the rice is tender, about 20 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat and let ‘rest’ for 20 minutes before serving. The flavors will deepen for a more savory taste.
  4. Ladle into bowls, sprinkle parmesan cheese on top, and enjoy!
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Kerrian’s Notebook, p. 16 “What time will the hurricane hit?”

After I posted the last hurricane entry (p. 13) people asked what to do if a hurricane hits while they are on vacation.


What happens if you have spent a boat load of cash upfront and a storm moves in? Do you leave? Do you stay put? And that biggie – will you get your money back?


Most hurricanes have a lead time of several days, so if you haven’t left the States, but are worried about approaching storms, call the resort yourself and find out about their bad weather policies. Didn’t get the phone number when you booked? Google it.


Questions to ask: Does the resort have its own safe area to wait it out or will the guests be evacuated to a larger, safer place? If you can juggle your plans a little, ask the manager if you can delay your arrival. Don’t risk going through the travel agency on this, because the information may not be accurate unless you deal directly with the hotel itself. As for refunds, if you paid for travel insurance when you first booked the trip, you might be able to get your money back. Don’t be shy about asking.


If you’re already onsite, don’t buck the odds by taking an excursion if the hurricane is due to hit that day. Sounds obvious, but some travelers have an adventurous (translation = reckless) mindset. The price tag of a rescue operation – several thousand dollars – being added to your checkout bill, should make you think twice. Besides, it’s more fun to stay put. If I had not been busy looking for criminals, I could have enjoyed a full-blown hurricane party, safe behind concrete walls built to withstand the ripping force of 150 mile an hour winds.


If you are off site and the storm moves in more quickly than anticipated, veers off course, you get a flat tire, you get lost, etc., getting to high ground to avoid drowning in the rising sea is the best idea. Get out of the car, find some solid cover and pray, because you will never be able to outrun a Class 4 or 5 hurricane, once the storm has reached landfall.


We learned that the hard way and we are lucky to be alive.


*Photo by Patti Phillips





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Kerrian’s Notebook, p.14 “What kind of dog is that?”

Hammett is a Setter.  A great, big, loveable Irish Setter we’ve had since he was a pup.

Hammett is a loyal dog and follows me everywhere in the house. He’s more mine than Sheila’s, because I’m the one he sleeps on top of most of the time, but Sheila and I picked him out together. Or he picked us.

Not long after I became a homicide detective, we were in the market for a dog to keep Sheila company on those long nights when I was working a case. A vet friend heard about a recently delivered litter and asked if we wanted one, so we visited the pups when they were ready to be weaned. I bust out laughing at the pile of jumping, rolling puppies in the seller’s backyard – it was hard to tell which paw belonged to which woof. Hammett came bouncing over, flopped down on my foot, and snuffled at Sheila.


I’ve been told that Setters are used for hunting, but I never hunt for animals or birds. I do enough people tracking to satisfy that search/capture urge.

Hammett doesn’t care how many holes I have in my body – he just accepts me for who I am – the guy who sneaks bits of meat to him under the table.  And, he still flops his head on my feet. I would miss it if he didn’t.


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