Archive for August, 2011


Leftovers with Deac: Veggie Slider Edition

In the continuing evolution of my blog from religious/spiritual commentary to that plus political/social stuff to all that plus family stuff to, apparently, now being about whatever the hell random thing I feel like posting on any given day…well, I’m rolling out a new feature called “Leftovers with Deac.” It’s sort of a recipe post thing with a small dose of “There are children starving in the Appalachian Mountains right now so don’t you dare just toss out that food unless it’s gone bad.”

Yeah, I’m a gangster reduce/reuse/recycle and be-a-good-steward-of-the-Earth kinda guy that way.

First, some background.

Growing up, there is something I learned and took to heart from watching my dad and the way he approached food. First thing I embraced: The father/husband should eat the most burned/unattractive servings of food so that his family doesn’t have to. Second thing: Use your leftovers, even if you decide to mix them up in weird ways.

I’ve done this since I was a kid and a teen, and it extended into the years during college and for about 7 years thereafter when I was a lonely virginal geek freewheeling bachelor. I tended to use up my leftover food rather than keep cooking new stuff (or buying new stuff, if it was takeout or delivery or something).

So, leftover cheese pizza and leftover roast beef? Well, looks like roast beef pizza for dinner to shake things up.

In more recent years in my marriage, leftovers have gone to waste more often because Mrs. Blue isn’t as enamored of the “use it up” policy with food, and tends to be ruled more by what her tastebuds crave, whereas I’m happy to eat whatever as long as it tastes good, even if it was last night’s dinner. Lately, I’ve been able to slowly get back to my leftover-finishing days, and I’m going to share my periodic advice to you for new, simple dishes you can consider that I discovered through the fusion of various leftovers.

First on the list, in this blog post, is my spicy veggie sliders.

This recipe comes about courtesy of Son of Blue returning to college. Because he took up vegetarian eating (lacto-ovo-vegetarian) a year ago I guess now, we stock up on various fake meat products, particularly those from Morningstar Farms, which seems to be one of the best companies at making imitation meat taste good. When he heads back to college out of state, though, that stuff either needs to go in the trash or get eaten.

I choose to eat it, unless it tastes like crap.

So, among the things left behind this time were two of Morningstar’s spicy black bean veggie burgers. These bastards won’t fool your tastebuds into thinking they’re ground beef burgers, but they are damned tasty, whether put on the grill or cooked on the stovetop in an oiled or buttered skillet.

Also had three King’s Hawaiian brand Hawaiian sweet dinner rolls left over from a recent meal. Plus some deli-sliced American cheese.

Well, sliders it is then! It’s not as if I have a White Castle fast food place near me anyway.

I recommend you cook the patties up in a skillet with a little butter over medium heat until they get nice and browned.

While they’re cooking, get out your rolls and slice them in half, and get your cheese (if you’re not a milk-product-consuming vegetarian, get some soy cheese or something, or a vegetarian-friendly sandwich spread). If you are using cheese or an imitation version, tear the slices up so that you can set a piece down on the bottom part of each roll with just a little overlap on the edges.

When the patties are done, slice each one into thirds like pie chart. While the shape may not be all pretty and round at that point, it will fit the Hawaiian sweet roll nicely.

Myself, I put one nice hot piece on top of each bit of cheese, then put a bit of sliced cheese on top of that and the another third-of-a-patty on top of that to make a spicy double cheeseburger slider.



An Open Letter to Potential Alien Invaders

Dear Extraterrestrial Denizen of Technologically Advanced Capabilities:

Motion pictures throughout my life (some 43 orbits now around our star, Sol) have taught me that when you pass through our solar system, there is a good chance you will stop off at Earth (also known as Terra and situated as the third planet out from Sol) and attempt to destroy us. Or at least conquer us. Or perhaps leave after taking many of our natural resources.

I don’t fault you for this on a philosophical basis, of course, as I live inĀ  a nation that promotes wealth creation and consolidation by the few most powerful in our society. So, I understand subjugation and the quest to take from others for self-focused reasons.

All the same, I thought I should inform you of certain facts of which you might not be aware before you take the step of sending robotic troops, or covering our planet in nanotech machines that reshape it, or perhaps invading our bodies and taking them as your own:

Weather…or Not

The climate really leaves something to be desired these days. We’ve done so many things to change the course of rivers and the carbon levels in the air, just to name two, that it’s really hard to predict when we’re going to get nice days anymore. Plus, it’s increased the chances for various natural disasters. So, there really aren’t a lot of places left that are predictably and consistently nice. I suppose I won’t begrudge you taking over those few spots if you refrain from disintegrating or enslaving those of us in other locales.

Ergonomics…No Go

Look, our furniture isn’t going to fit you right, and none of our shit is going to be at all ergonomic for you. Oh, I’m sure you packed plenty of crap in those starships but certainly not enough to furnish an entire planet. Since our existing architectures and accouterments aren’t likely to work for you, maybe you should go someplace else. I hear that the fourth planet in the Rigel XII system is based on nothing but bean bag-style furnishing, which should meet the needs of any conquering race as long as it doesn’t have a spiky body. If you are spiky, you could consider settling into the various punk or Goth scenes, as you will fit in well with all the piercings and occasional mohawks.

Don’t Go There…At Least Not Without Plenty of Lube

Look, those gray-skinned, big-headed, wide-eyed, long-armed extraterrestrials who’ve been buzzing our planet for decades now are not to be trusted. They are trying to pull a practical joke on you. Our anuses are not nearly as fun to probe as you’ve likely been led to believe.

Resources…We Ain’t Got ‘Em

We’ve used up all our fossil fuels just about. It’s likely you aren’t in need of those if you’re traveling interstellar distances, but maybe you get high off petroleum. I don’t know. But we’re running way low, so don’t bother. Also, as far as radioactive material, we’ve used so much of it for nuclear missiles and reactors over the years…not to mention a whole buttload of glow-in-the-dark crap…that I doubt we can supply enough to meet more than a few years of your need. Find a somewhat less developed planet. Oh, water? Ha! You need water? We’ve polluted so much of ours that you’re shit out of luck. We’ve even done a good job of fouling the oceans that cover most of our planet. And if you’re thinking of just grabbing what little clean water remains and going, that’s not gonna work well, now is it? You know how heavy that stuff gets. You’ll never make it out of our gravity well, and then you’ll crash and be stuck here on beaches with a bunch of fat-assed humans in too-small swimming suits on beaches that are a whole lot bigger and less interesting thanks to you trying to make off with the H20.

To Serve Man…With a Side of Mashed Grutilsnark

Finally, maybe you want to come here to eat us. Think again. Look, many of us are in famine-starved areas and thus really tough and stringy. In more developed nations, there are plenty of fattened-up humans, but you should see the things they put in their bodies. Most of us well-fed ones must be pretty toxic. If you’d seen some of the places most of us have been, you’d never want to put us in your mouth…or maw…or suck us through you proboscis or whatever. However, I am told that there is a large group of really juicy humans if you want a treat before you leave. They’re called politicians and lobbyists and most of them can be found in Washington, D.C. Trust me.


Marked for Life

So, I got a tattoo this week. Pretty big one, too. And pretty much visible to the whole world during the warm months. Like I’ve mentioned before (or at least hinted at), I’m dancing through my mid-life crisis to the tune of a very different drummer.

No stepping out on the wife with hot young thangs at the local drinkeries. No cherry-red sports car. No sudden abandonment of my family. Nope. Too standard.

Instead, I’ve decided to explore some whole new territories, like that erotica-writing thing. Like redefining my marriage (with the full input, blessing and co-planning of Mrs. Blue). Like marking my skin. Other things, too, I have done to mark my early 40s and make them my own, not all of which I’m ready and willing to share here yet.

In fact, my midlife isn’t a crisis at all. It’s a redesign. And just like a magazine that goes through the process, my underlying mission, content and character remain mostly the same. It’s the appearance and approach that are changing, to make me a better me (or so I hope).

No, no crisis here. Just realizing at around the middle (if all goes well) of my life, more or less, that this is MY life. There are others who occupy it as well, and I take them into account, but less and less do I give a rat’s ass what the world expects of me. I’m not a product. I’m a human.

The tattoo, of Quetzalcoatl, an Aztec god, is just one overt representation of that. I don’t care if the average person says, “Cool dragon” while totally missing the fact it isn’t a dragon at all. It’s not about them, though I’m happy to give them some eye candy.

No, this is a god of arts, crafts, knowledge, learning and priesthood that adorns me. It defines most of the things that define me at my core, and honors a culture long gone as well as the aspirations and directions that my Jesus-based spiritual journey entail.

More changes to come, I’m sure. But in the end, I’m still Deacon Blue. Still Jeff Bouley. Still a husband, lover, father, friend, guide and counselor. And sometimes idiot, fool and jester.

Oh, and here’s that new tattoo:


Toward a Neo-Fuedal State

I’d just like to take a moment to thank the U.S. Congress and the White House for such careful, measured and sane deliberation over the debt ceiling, debt crisis and all that.

I must say that I love seeing a group of politicians act like terrorists and hold an entire nation hostage to their increasingly ridiculous demands as they do everything possible to thwart the president from…well, thwart him from doing ANYTHING at all, good or bad, because they want the uppity Negro out of office and want to jumpstart their Christian spin on Sharia law.

I also love watching a president in whom I had decent hopes (and sometimes high ones) continue to negotiate with crazy people as if they are level-headed and help not only create a pile of dogshit masquerading as responsible legislation and budgeting but also try to spin it as a victory for progressives.

But most of all, thank you, everyone in power in Washington, D.C. for forgetting that you were elected by common people, struggling people and working people…and thank you for having the wisdom to once again steal from those most in need to give to those who keep getting more and more and paying less and less ever since Ronald Reagan convinced the nation of the myth that is trickle-down economics.

Screw all y’all…

Deacon Blue is the blogging persona of editor and writer Jeffrey Bouley. The opinions of Jeff himself on this blog, and those expressed as Deacon Blue, in NO WAY should be construed as the opinions of anyone with whom he has worked, currently works, or will work with in the future. They are personal opinions and views, and are sometimes, frankly, expressed in more outrageous terms than I truly feel most days.

Jeff Bouley


Jeff Bouley

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August 2011

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