Monthly Archives: December 2013

Kerrian’s Notebook, p. 93 “Kerrian’s Favorite Chestnut-Sausage Stuffing”



Did somebody say stuffing?


Sheila and I eat roasted poultry all year round, so we have a go-to stuffing recipe. We mostly alternate between turkey or Cornish game hens for the various holidays and this is our favorite, flavor-filled stuffing.


You’re going to love it! (and we promise that nobody ever died after eating one of our stuffed birds)

Kerrian's Notebook , p. 93 "Kerrian's Favorite Chestnut-Sausage Stuffing"
Recipe type: side dish
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
  • 6 Tablespoons butter
  • 2 cups celery, diced
  • 2 cups finely chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped, cooked chestnuts (available seasonally pre-packaged, already shelled & cooked)
  • 4 slices lightly toasted potato bread, cut into 1 inch cubes – about 4 cups
  • 1/2 pound mild Italian sausage – about 1 cup
  • 2 cups thinly sliced fresh Portobello mushrooms - about 2 medium caps
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon mild paprika
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • One jumbo egg, lightly beaten to moisten the stuffing
  1. In a heavy frying pan, add butter, celery and onion and sauté on medium heat until light golden brown – about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Set aside.
  2. Drain and chop chestnuts, medium fine. Set aside.
  3. Remove stems from mushroom caps, peel darkened skin from caps, then slice caps into one inch pieces. Set aside.
  4. Lightly toast bread in toaster, let stand in toaster to dry out bread for five minutes, then cube.
  5. Squeeze meat out of sausage skin and sauté in a second pan, breaking up the meat with a large spoon just until no longer raw. Do not overcook. Remove sausage and in same pan, sauté mushrooms just until colored, add paprika and garlic powder and mix with mushrooms.
  6. Lightly beat the jumbo egg in a small bowl, add sea salt and continue to mix until well blended.
  7. Combine all ingredients in large bowl and stir until well mixed.

The cooked stuffing can be stored in the refrigerator or frozen if left over.  The recipe makes enough for a 16 pound bird. We’ve also served it as a side dish (when we’re serving chicken legs) and baked it in a buttered pan, covered with a glass lid in a preheated 350 degree oven for 25-30 minutes.


Sheila says to tell you that this is the basic recipe. “It has a well-rounded flavor, ready to use with any poultry. If you’d like to add herbs to the mix in order to complement a savory chicken or Cornish hen, do so with care. Just add a teaspoon of your favorite (sage or thyme or rosemary) to the basic recipe, being careful not to overpower the other flavors on your menu.”


I told you she’s a great cook!


*Photo by Patti Phillips

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Kerrian’s Notebook, p. 92 “Why are his hands purple?”


Crooks like to think they can outsmart the cops by coming up with new ways to get rid of evidence. But law enforcement officers are getting smarter as well.

Filing down the serial numbers on a gun in order to cover up its ownership? No longer works.

A savvy tech in the evidence recovery lab can restore the numbers – not easily, but it can be done.


Let’s say this small rectangle of polished metal is the section of the firearm where the serial number is recorded. It looks totally smooth and shiny, right? We used a sander and removed the numbers before the demonstration. Doesn’t seem possible that there’s anything left to recover.

Sanded Metal

(By the way, if this had been a gun in an actual case, first the lab tech would have photographed the area where the serial # was supposed to be, and shone a flashlight on it from several oblique angles to see if a fragment of a numeral could be spotted.)


The steps to follow are:

1) polish the surface with sandpaper – very fine, 220 grade sandpaper. The idea is not to create heat, but to keep polishing until there is a mirror surface, about two minutes at a time.

2) wipe off the surface with clean cotton balls

3) apply cleaning solution

4) use a bulb pipette, apply 2% acetic acid solution, and flood the surface evenly.


The acid eats away at the metal, turns to light gray, bubbles, and gives off a bit of smoke. It is taking the destroyed surface and restoring it.


Acid Treated Metal

Once the bubbling stops, the acid is dumped into the sink and the surface is wiped dry with a clean cotton ball. It fogs and it’s necessary to keep rubbing hard, about 45 seconds. The next step is to run the piece of metal under the faucet and hold it an angle to see what is there.


In this demonstration I saw something, but couldn’t really tell what the writing said. I started the process again, beginning with the sanding at step #1. After another run through all the steps, three numerals appeared on mine.


Success! Followed by the application of an acid neutralizer to set the numerals. I just checked and months later, the numerals have not faded.


If this was an actual case, the lab tech would photograph the numerals that were restored, call the gun manufacturer and ask for a match in their database. All legit gun manufacturers employ liaisons to work with law enforcement officers. Good news? – it is also possible to restore numbers on plastic, copper, and aluminum. And, if there were 20-30 numerals to be restored, and only half appeared, it’s possible to cover the recovered numerals with duct tape, then reprocess the missing ones.


Presumptive drug tests for narcotics can be conducted right at the scene.

The drug test kits each include three ampules. A very small amount of the substance in question is added to the open bag and then the ampules are broken one at a time. After each ampule breaks, the test liquid mixes with the substance and will change to the correct color if the test is positive. Every once in a while, we see drug dealers on TV or in the movies dip a finger into a kilo of cocaine, taste it, then declare that it’s ‘good stuff.’ Not true in real life, and certainly a police officer could not do that at a drug bust. These tests are fast and accurate.


Presumptive Drug Test Results


Theft detection comes into play during bank robberies and kidnappings.

If officials know ahead of time that a bank is about to be robbed, or if kidnappers have asked for a money drop, but the identity of the suspect is unknown…what to do? Microwave the money to take out the moisture, then dust it with purple Stain Detection Powder. When the suspect picks up the cash, his hands will get the pesky  purple powder all over them.


Visible Stain Detection Powder

The stuff is annoying and spreads easily onto clothes – messy, messy. So, if the suspect acts like any other average person on the planet, he/she will try to wash it off. But, that only makes the hands turn a bright shade of purple. This stuff does not wash off, no matter how many times you scrub, not even after several hours.

There are both visible and invisible fluorescent Stain Detection products (powders, pastes, crayons, ink markers, etc.) and they are used for both tagging and tracing. Some of the crimes most likely to be solved using them? Petty theft, money laundering, illegal drug sales, illegal firearm deals, industrial espionage, arson, and loads more. Stain Detection stamps have been used for years to track people coming and going at large entertainment venues. Cheap and easy way to tell if someone has paid for the entry ticket.


The jails are filled with crooks that thought they ‘could get away with it.’  Gotcha!


*Photos taken by Patti Phillips



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