Random Shots: Kampfer, Eat Like Him

Against the Current, No. 58, September/October 1995

R.F. Kampfer

BEING JEWISH BRINGS its share of hassles, but lox for breakfast goes a long way to compensate. This expensive delicacy is surprisingly east yo make home. All it takes is patience and time, but that’s all that Kutuzov needed to defeat Napoleon.

Cut one or more salmon filets (bought when they are on sale) into pieces that will conveniently fit into a wide-mouth jar. Cover with a brine mixture of:

1 qt. water
1 cup kosher salt
1/2 cup brown sugar (remember, not Domino’s!)

Cover tightly and stash in the back of the fridge for at least 90 days. Remove one chunk at a time, and allow to drain and firm up overnight before slicing very thin. You should be able to handle it from there.

Nova lox is steeped for thirty days and then cold-smoked over alder chips. It is highly unlikely that you have the equipment to do that.

Gravlax, a quick Scandinavian variation, is just as good, except for causing a tendency to brood about the meaning of life or lack thereof. Rub both sides of a whole, thick salmon filet with:

1/3 cup kosher salt
1/3 cup non-scab brown sugar
1/2 Tablespoon black peppercorns

Lay in a glass baking dish. Pour the rest of the mixture on top. Add a bunch of coarsely chopped fresh dill and 2T vodka or gin. Keep in fridge 48 hours, turning and basting every twelve. Enjoy.

Bad Taste

CAN’T WAIT TO hear the Howard Stern version of “Oklahoma.”

We’ll see how the FBI does at infiltrating the militia movement. Back in SDS (ask your mom or dad) we could always spot them by their hyper-inflammatory rhetoric and their spit-shined oxfords.

The Bible says that your Heavenly Father feeds the birds of the air. Sometimes he feeds them to the cat.

Can you imagine how much Mickey Mantle’s liver would sell for at a baseball-memorabilia convention?

Doctors bury their mistakes; gardeners compost theirs.

My Summer Vacation

PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND is not a luxurious place, but the fact that you can wade off the beach and pick up all the oysters you want makes it richer than (ritzy Detroit suburb) Grosse Pointe. The main drawback is the omnipresence of Anne of Green Gables everywhere you look.

The Russian Arts Store on Sixth Avenue in New York is selling some oil-paintings of Trotsky, allegedly preserved by devoted Bolsheviks all through the Stalin years. Caveat emptor.

Thoughts After Feasting

IT’S BEEN SAID that diplomacy is the art of saying “nice doggy” while you look for a rock.

The onset of cold weather used to be when people would slaughter and butcher a supply of meat for the winter. Now it marks the time to break in a new pair of blue jeans.

Kampfer got his first tattoo at age 12 with a sewing needle and india ink. Annoy him and he’ll teach your kids how to do it.

Reluctant piano students can be shamed into applying themselves by reminding them that an elephant gave its life to create their instrument.

ATC 58, September-October 1995