Monthly Archives: January 2016

MidLaw’s Midwinter Supper (reprised) with Enhanced Fish Feature

Each year at this time, MidLaw reprises its hummus-inspired vision of a midwinter supper. This year an embellishment takes the vision to a new level.Supper

The MidLaw formula, famously, is: “smoked trout, hummus américaine and pita chips with a paired beverage — for supper.” Helpful directions and MidLaw commentary are provided.

Now for the embellishment: trout to the next level. Here, we consult the wisdom of legendary Florida outdoors-man, Tommy Thompson. Tommy writes the Sportsman’s Kitchen column for the Florida Sportsman magazine, and he is also the progenitor of the author of Greensboro’s Mod Meals on Mendenhall. Tommy’s wisdom is to pass along his mother’s recipe, “Helen’s Famous Smoked Fish Dip.” (Before proceeding to the fish dip, pause for a moment to appreciate this felicitous family tradition of bringing food-wisdom to the masses across the generations — from Famous Helen, to the Florida Sportsman, to Mod Meals on Mendenhall!)

Helen’s Famous Smoked Fish Dip is extraordinary and the perfect complement to MidLaw’s hummus americaine. It is presented below as lifted directly from Tommy Thompson’s contribution to the Angler’s Cookbook on smoking fish. Just as the Angler’s Cookbook offers commentary on smoking fish, you may wish to consult MidLaw’s commentary on the same topic at the Midwinter post. Anyway, the fish dip (even with store-bought smoked trout) is marvelous.

Helen’s Famous Smoked Fish Dip
2 cups smoked fish meat
½ cup mayonnaise
¼ cup chopped scallions
¼ cup chopped celery
¼ cup chopped Gherkin pickles or pickle relish
1 tbsp. Tabasco sauce
Juice of a lemon
Salt and pepper to taste

Mix the ingredients with a fork, taking care not to create a paste. Chunky is good.

So, here’s what you do: (1) go read MidLaw’s MidWinter Supper commentary, (2) then, go see what Tommy Thompson says about smoked fish in the Angler’s Cookbook. 

What the horse-and-mule business shows to lawyers, robots and others preparing for an uncertain future


Last week, John Markoff at the New York Times published a note calling attention to recent studies which conclude that technology will not replace lawyers so much as create new kinds of the work for them to do. “The End of Lawyers? Not So Fast” He points to a paper written by UNC Law professor Dana Remus and Frank Levy at MIT, “Can Robots Be Lawyers?“.

Well, let me tell you: my great-grandfather, my grandfather and my father were in the horse-and-mule business from the 19th Century forward. It was a good business and they did well. Then tractors came.

By the Mid-Twentieth Century, the horse-and-mule business was done. My family has been on the run from technology ever since. So my crowd knows a thing or two about competing with machines.

Now, here I am in the 21st Century weighing the possibility that robots may take most of the jobs that were left after the tractors came. I am being told not to worry. And, I have an attitude about that.

A rush of recent books and article has proclaimed a coming era of technology-provided abundance. Maybe, nobody will need to work. But that initial rush quickly subsided into a flow of worry — about whether there will be jobs for people to do. This will be with us, we are told – in twenty years’ time or less, they say.

Things are in flux. In the future, either the work we do will be gone, or it will will be changed. Either way, it will be different. How do we prepare for that?

Here is what the horse-and-mule bid’ness showed me.

First, the less work there is for people to do in an abundant future, the more need there will be for real educations. It will take a real education to know how to thrive in a time when jobs are not needed any more. That will require: “men and women with well-trained minds and good hearts; people who can think for themselves and not be blown about by every wind of doctrine.”

And, second, the same also looks true if jobs are still around, but the work is different from what it is now. We must be able to cope with that change. And the best way (maybe the only way) to prepare for change , is to have a real education.

A “real education” is what Jane Fernandes at Guilford College calls a “practical liberal arts” education.


Pounds and Pounds of Kale and Collards

Pete’s Produce at Westtown School .Peteartint

27,000 pounds is a lot, but I’m thinking it cooks down a lot. You don’t know what you’ll have after you cook it.

Pete’s is a great place. And Westtown School is the best.


Westtown School

For all that, I did pretty well with both kale and collards at the Greensboro Farmers Market  last week.

Greensboro Farmers Curb Market

Cahiers de Hoummous: Hummus, the path to peace — and msabbha, a fresh revelation



Brooks Pierce lawyer Eric David is expert at resolving disputes (albeit, mostly by litigation, arbitration or mediation) and he is a serious student of hummus and hummus culture. So, he was quick to see the importance of this development and call attention to it.

Newspapers around the world are reporting the opening of a new hummus place in Netanya, a small town in Israel. The place is called “The Hummus Bar,” and it advertises (on FaceBook) half-price hummus for Jewish and Arab customers who sit down to eat together.

The Bar’s owner told the Times of Israel, “If there’s anything that can bring together these peoples, it’s hummus.” (But see Church of the Chickpea.)

MidLaw knew that. The guy is a dreamer, but he is not the only one.

MidLaw’s theory is that if you are eating, then you can’t be talking. Which is a good first step. If you are not talking, then you might be listening. And, if you are listening, we are almost there. Listening is the new talking. People listening to each other is the path to peace.

This need not be just a Jewish/Arab thing. Picture, if you will, so-called American conservatives sitting down together with so-called American liberals (MidLaw is a so-called non-partisan) to share half-price hummus and pita — say, at the MidLaw Hummus Bar — and together finding a middle way.

The MidLaw Way.

At The Hummus Bar, it’s not just hummus. They’ll give half off to Jewish/Arab parties on any chickpea dish. The msabbha is recommended. Msabbaha looks like it’s worth hearing about.

After you listen, remember: the MidLaw Way is to roll your own. This is hummus after all. It’s not mayonnaise. And it takes no time at all.



The Hummus Bar