WND – The Naming of Cats is a Difficult Matter

July 9, 2009

potato shells

In it’s greater wisdom, or possibly as the result of a new marketing consultant – and if you’ve ever watched Slings & Arrows you’re going to be tempted to ask if they’re named Froghammer – the Sci-Fi network has rebranded itself as SyFy.  It’s pronounced the same as Sci-Fi.  It has the same line up of shows as Sci-Fi.  It makes the same mind-bogglingly bad movie-of-the-week movies as Sci-Fi.  But now, they’re called SyFy.

So far I don’t think I’ve seen any dissention on the opinion that this is a fascinating combination of pointless, annoying and stupid.  According to the Sci-Fi, sorry the SyFy Network, the rebranding is supposed to increase their market appeal by making them less obviously sci-fi and also more interesting to women.  As if somehow just because they’re called Syfy viewers won’t notice that Battlestar Galactica is set on a space ship on the run from genocidal robots?  Or that the entire Stargate universe is premised on the idea of wormholes and alien conquerors who look like they spent too much time watching Liz Taylor in “Anthony & Cleopatra”?  Also, on behalf of geeky women everywhere, I’m offended.  The only time that I find sci-fi too masculine is when they insist on telling me that I can’t like sci-fi because I’m a girl.

The way I feel about the Sci-Fi/SyFy rebranding is kind of the same way I feel about the endless succession of recipes for how to cook a juicy chicken.  Every year has a new trend in chicken cooking technique.  Do you brine it?  Do you not brine it?  Do you deep fry it?  Do you butterfly and roast it?  Do you grill it?  Do you stick a can of beer up its butt?  Do you rotisserie it (people have space to do this?)?

Seriously y’all, it’s not rocket science.  Start at 400 for 20 minutes to crisp the skin, reduce to 350 and cook for 20 min/pound until done, basting occasionally, and have done with it already.  Although, that being said, I have always wanted to see what a deep fried turkey tastes like, just not enough to go out and buy all the equipment and oil you’d need to do it.

My real issue with all the variations on how to roast a bird is they make something which is very simple into something which is very complicated.  If I want to make roast chicken for dinner it’s either because I need to make stock, or because I want something simple and easy that doesn’t require a lot of thought or effort on my part.  If I have to think about butterflying the chicken, or rubbing salt and butter under it’s skin, or finding space in my fridge to brine it over night you’ve more or less removed the simple from the equation in which case I’ll just make something else that takes up less space in my fridge.

And maybe my palate’s not sophisticated enough, but I’ve had brined turkey and grilled turkey and rotisseried chicken, and plain old roasted chicken and I honestly can’t tell the difference between any of them.  They all just taste like chicken.  Turkey has a slightly different texture, and it will dry out faster on cooking than a chicken will, but really that’s what the gravy’s for.

This week I wanted something simple, something that would result in chicken stock, and something that would go well with twice baked potatoes.  I baked the chicken and the potatoes on Tuesday night, and I think it took me all of 15 minutes to get them in the oven.  And it took under an hour on Wednesday night to get the rest of dinner together.  Simple, easy, and despite not brining, butterflying or grilling it the chicken it was perfectly moist and tasty.

Roast Chicken
Twice Baked Potatoes

Roast Chicken

Cheesy Twice Baked Potatoes

Recipe previously given:  Curried Fruit and the Internet

stuffed potatoes

I’ve always thought these would be fun to do as an hors d’oeuvres, or as a finger food at a party.  Use baby potatoes, slice the tops off and hollow out the insides and then restuff them.  I made them with cheese last night because apparently I’m having a severe dairy craving and all I want to eat is cheese, but they’d be really fun as samosa like finger foods if you made them with Indian spices.

Indian Spiced Twice Baked Potatoes

4 baking potatoes, or a number of baby potatoes

1 onion, finely chopped
2 Tbsp butter
1 tsp ginger, grated
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp coriander
¼ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp turmeric
¼ tsp cloves

½ cup sour cream
½ cup buttermilk

1 cup peas

Bake the potatoes.  Scoop out the flesh of the potatoes, leaving a 1/8-1/4” margin.  Arrange on a baking sheet and return to oven until dry and slightly crisped, about 10 minutes.

Sauté the onions in the butter until golden and tender.  Add the ginger, garlic and spices and cook until fragrant.

Mash potato flesh with a fork until smooth.  Add the sour cream, buttermilk and onion mixture.  Season to taste.  Mix in the peas.

Mound mashed potatoes into shells.  Return to oven for 15-20 minutes until brown and crisp on top.



  1. Also, just how dumb do you have to be (and thus just how dumb to they think women are?) not to notice that “SyFy”–especially when pronounced as “Sci-Fi”–is just a different way to spell “Sci-Fi”, and thus is probably a channel that features science fiction? I mean, even someone who’d never seen a television before could figure that one out.

  2. On the potato recipe, you have at the bottom–1 cup peas. What do you do with the peas? Are they an integral part of the recipe???

    • Yes. You mix them in with the mashed potato mixture. I’ve edited the recipe to correct the omission.

      • We just had them without the peas. (I was not sure if I should perhaps mount them on a nest of peas 🙂 Delicious.

  3. […] Indian Twice Baked Potatoes Recipe previously given: The Naming of Cats is a Difficult Matter […]

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