Archive for the ‘Recession’ Category

Sweet Jesus.

Thursday, April 22nd, 2010

So, yeah.  As a reasonable human being, I was a little taken aback when I learned of Kentucky Fried Chicken’s Double Down. If you’re not familiar with this (what I might call an) abomination, the description reads as thus:

This one-of-a-kind sandwich features two thick and juicy boneless white meat chicken filets (Original Recipe® or Grilled), two pieces of bacon, two melted slices of Monterey Jack and pepper jack cheese and Colonel’s Sauce. This product is so meaty, there’s no room for a bun!

No room for a bun?  NO ROOM FOR A BUN?  Do you understand what this implies?  A bun itself is superfluous in most fast foodwiches, any way.  When you’re scarfing down the 700 calories, and 35 grams of fat in a Mickey D’s Steak, Egg & Cheese Bagel, is there room for anything in that sandwich equation that your body is ok with?  Is the bagel even necessary?  I say nay  nay.  It may taste good and come cheap, but it’s an exercise in masochism.  Ouch.  And no room?  If there’s no room for something, something else is wrong, kiddies.

Feel your heart flutter.  Photo from, all credits to them.  I couldn't bring myself near the thing.

Feel your heart flutter. Photo from, Broward New Times and John Linn, all credits to them. I couldn't bring myself near the thing.

The Double Down appears relatively harmless at first.  Despite the fact that it looks like a deranged prison chef pretty much just fried everything in the pantry and piled it into a sloppy, sadistic mess, KFC assures us that:

It’s 540 calories and 32 grams of fat.

It can’t be sooo bad, you may think.  What’s 540 calories?  You may say, that’s like, a little less than a third of my FDA certified recommended daily caloric intake.  Lemme skip breakfast and I’ll be golden, much like those crunchy, savory breasts holding my pig and cheddar sandwich together.

Again, I say nay nay.

City Rag checked out the Double Down and did some research of their own.  Apparently they got their hot little hands on KFC’s nutritional information and a basic calculator, and I’ll quote their math as follows:

2 fried chicken breasts at 360 calories, 21 grams of fat each, comes to – 720 calories and 42 grams…

2 x 1 oz slice of “Monterey Jack and pepper jack cheese” at 100 calories, 9 grams of fat each, comes to 200 calories and 18 grams fat…

1 squirt of sauce 100 calories and 10 grams of fat (even by KFC’s calculations) and the Double Down is hit twice as you can see in the picture, comes to 200 calories and 20 grams fat…

2 strips bacon, equals 70 calories and 6 grams of fat…

For a grand total of 1190 calories and 86 grams of fat!

(I kept all the original links because well, it’s their research and not my own.  I’m too lazy to attempt like, calculations and stuff.  I retired my TI-82 when I got to college and the batteries corroded and vomited the nasty all over my little prized machine.  I was sad.  Just not sad enough to buy a new hundred dollar calculator.)

(Can you imagine if some mathematically gifted MIT undergrad attempted to turn the nastiness in this sandwich into an equation?  I’d imagine it would look something like:


photo credit: all Gwen Feldman, baby. It's my special MIT-approved equation.

Oh, my internet friends.  Why?  What is the point?  Why do we do this to ourselves?

Image courtesy of

Image courtesy of

Okay, I get that maybe it’s tasty.  I wouldn’t know.  But here it is; I slap you in the face with a riding glove and challenge you to try fruit for a full week.  The fat in the Double Down might just appall you once you’ve acclimated to healthier living.  It scared the crap out of me.

The funny thing is that when I initially read that the sandwich wasn’t so bad, I found the vegan take on it, and figured it might be fun to attempt a PETA-friendly fry up of the thing.  I may not be a vegan myself (I’m a vegetarian who cannot live without cheese), but well, I didn’t have to do the work to come up with the recipe. explains the recipe clearly:

Start by getting your kitchen stocked with vegan substitutes.

  • Gardein Lightly Seasoned Chick’n Scallopini
  • Lightlife Smart Bacon
  • Follow Your Heart Vegenaise
  • Energ-G Egg Replacer
  • Earth Balance Natural Shortening
  • Follow Your Heart Monterey Jack

You can replace the shortening with canola oil or even Crisco, if you feel like taking your life into your hands. Before doing anything else, I fried up about six pieces of Smart Bacon, and thinly sliced the Follow Your Heart Monterey Jack using a mandolin. If you don’t have a mandolin, a cheese slicer will do the trick, or a sharp kitchen knife if you’re really patient. You should also thaw out the Gardein patties, which are usually kept frozen.

The Colonel’s Sauce
No one has any idea what’s in this stuff, so I basically went for “yellow”. 

  • 4 Tbsp Vegenaise
  • 1 tsp mustard
  • 1 tsp agave nectar
  • 1 tsp turmeric

Mix it up until it looks yellow. Adjust as needed.

KFC’s 11 Secret Herbs and Spices
The actual recipe is a closely guarded secret, but this is close enough. I adapted the recipe from with vegan substitutes where needed.

  • 1 Tbsp sage
  • 1 tsp ginger root
  • 1 Tbsp rosemary
  • 1 Tbsp oregano
  • 1 tsp marjoram
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp chili powder or cayenne
  • 1½ tsp thyme
  • 2 Tbsp garlic salt, or mix 1 Tbsp salt + 1 Tbsp garlic granules
  • 2 Tbsp onion salt, or mix 1 Tbsp salt + 1 Tbsp onion granules
  • 3 Tbsp dried parsley
  • 3 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp powdered vegetable bullion from Rapunzel, or any vegan “chicken-flavored” bullion.
  • 1 pack of McCormick Thick & Zesty Spaghetti Sauce Mix (available at Safeway), or 1 packet of any vegan tomato powdered instant soup.

Grind into a fine powder using a food processor or blender, and set aside.

Making the batter and deep-frying it all up

  • 3 Tbsp Ener-G egg replacer
  • 4 Tbsp water
  • 1 Tbsp canola oil
  • ½ cup unsweetened, plain soy milk
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour

In a mixing bowl, beat together the egg replacer, water, canola oil, and soy milk. This is your “eggs and milk” batter.

Now is a good time to get your deep-frying apparatus into gear. If you own a deep fryer, you know what you’re doing here. For everyone else: melt the whole box of Earth Balance shortening in a wok or cast-iron pan on medium heat. Top it up with canola oil if the pool of oil isn’t deep enough.

Next, thoroughly mix together the flour with the “secret” herb and spice mix that you made earlier. Spread out the flour mix onto a long sheet of baking paper.

You basically want to coat the living hell out of the Gardein patties, then deep fry them until your kitchen smells like KFC. So: take a patty, dip it in the batter, then roll it in the flour/spices until it’s completely coated. Then take the same patty and repeat; you want to coat the coating.

Finally, drop in your patty and deep-fry it for a few minutes, until golden brown. You can test out your oil beforehand with a small glob of batter and flour. You really don’t want to cook them for too long!

Putting it all together then nomming the shit out of that
Now you’re ready to assemble your Vegan Double Down: two slabs of fried fake chicken, stuffed with fake bacon, fake cheese, and fake “Colonel’s Sauce”. Make it look pretty.

You will eat about half of this before realizing what a mistake it’s been. But until that moment, it will taste like sweet, deep-fried heaven.

(by the way, all images in the above quotations (except my equation) were ganked directly from  They get all credit.  You may have noticed this, but no image in this entry is mine.  They all come from very nice, hopefully reasonable and non-litigious sources.  Hey, I try to give credit where it’s due.  Please don’t sue me.)

Believing that a vegan version would only be a healthier incarnation of this (and I hesitate to call it a) sandwich, I was set to try it out and blog about it.

I dunno.  After reading about the gravestone-friendly stats on the amended version of the Double Down’s nutrition list, I can’t bring myself to try even a milder version with fake meat, as it’s still an exercise in yuck.  See, I’d have to eat the thing, just so I can relay how it could still taste like it was dredged out of the delicious depths of a thirty year old, lard seasoned deep fryer, and I just can’t do that.  It would hurt me, I think.  I love my readers (apparently there are many of you, though you rarely comment), but I don’t love you enough to justify a stroke at the age of thirty-five just because I choose to play a game of tennis and it’s taxing enough to kill little ‘ol me.  If the actual Double Down is that bad, then the vegan play on it couldn’t be too far behind.  Just…no.

Soooo…have any of you tried the Double Down?  What do you think of it? I won’t judge, I promise.  It ain’t my place.  Let me know.  Photos are strongly encouraged.

2010 Census Jobs: Earn Extra Money, Serve Your Community

Wednesday, December 16th, 2009

Local Census Office Accepting Applicants for Temporary Employment to Support U.S. Census Bureau’s Goal of a Complete Count

While the economy continues to create uncertainty, the U.S. Census Bureau is providing opportunities for individuals to supplement their incomes with flexible, good-paying jobs – hiring hundreds of temporary workers in the local area to ensure the 2010 Census is a success.

Census takers, also known as enumerators, are needed to conduct in-person interviews with community residents who do not return census questionnaires.  These positions need to be filled by individuals with flexible schedules as work may occur in evenings and on weekends.  Some positions may involve shift work.  Bilingual workers are needed in many areas.

2010 Census job applicants must be at least 18 years old, have a valid Social Security number, be able to pass a background check, and complete a 30-minute, multiple choice employment test that measures knowledge, skills, and abilities required to perform a variety of census jobs.  More information, including a practice test, is available at

In most cases, workers will also be required to possess a valid driver’s license and have use of a vehicle.  U.S. citizenship is required to work for the 2010 Census except in rare occasions when no qualified U.S. citizens are available.

All temporary census employees must be able to attend training, for which they will be compensated.  Most training sessions are held during the day on weekdays; occasionally, a session may be held in the evening or on the weekend.

For more information on temporary employment with the U.S. Census Bureau, or to schedule an appointment to take an employment test and submit an application, call the toll-free 2010 Census Jobs Line: 1-866-861-2010.  TTY Callers: please use the Federal Relay Service at 1-800-877-8339.

*Content provided by the U.S. Census Bureau.


Readers – I highly suggest you look into this.  With flexible hours and great pay, you won’t get another opportunity like this until 2020.  Give them a call!

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