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TL Master Chef/Cooking Crew
#1
If you're like me, you love cooking and are always looking for new ideas, so let us make a thread dedicated to our inner culinary aspirations.  




I'll start.  Tonight, I shall attempt to make my first ever cauliflower pizza.  A girl a work mentioned it earlier, so I did some investigating and am now prepping.  In addition, she introduced me to a whole world of cauliflower, which I will experiment with all weekend.  Anyway, feel free to share and suggest.




Stay tune for pics 



Smile
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#2
[Image: th?id=OIP.M511e407d42e7ea37bb25f220a102d...1&pid=15.1]


I'll be over here, settling in to watch. Big Grin

And for the record, you can do a LOT with cauliflower. It's far more versatile than most give it credit for. Pickle it, fry it, roast it, a soup, a curry, substitute it for rice or couscous, toss it through pasta with other vegetables...you can even put it in cupcakes in the same way some chocolate cakes use beetroot.
A penis lives a terrible life. His hair is a mess, his family are nuts, his neighbour is an asshole, his best friend is a pussy, someone keeps beating him...

Poor thing.
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#3
^^ I just learned all this tonight at work. I have mad plans for this weekend, and not just with cauliflower, but eggplant, zucchini, and squash. I will be incorporating these with my native, Mexican heritage cuisine. For sure this weekend, I will be making cauliflower mashed "potatoes" ^^

yum yum [Image: 7mXBLcP.jpg]

Result: It was very delicious. However, I feel I didn't drain the cauliflower enough. "Dough" was still very moist, even after I put it back in the oven for more time. That is something I will work on. I'm also not positive on how the "dough" was suppose to be. Mine was very flaky, moist, and could break easily. When I think pizza, I think I can pick it up with my hands and eat, but definitely not the case here. I had to eat it with fork but was still tasty. I will have to work on the dough part.
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#4
(07-26-2016, 08:54 PM)notoriousfavi Wrote: ^^ I just learned all this tonight at work.  I have mad plans for this weekend, and not just with cauliflower, but eggplant, zucchini, and squash.  I will be incorporating these with my native, Mexican heritage cuisine. For sure this weekend, I will be making cauliflower mashed "potatoes" ^^


yum yum [Image: 7mXBLcP.jpg]

Result: It was very delicious. However, I feel I didn't drain the cauliflower enough. "Dough" was still very moist, even after I put it back in the oven for more time. That is something I will work on. I'm also not positive on how the "dough" was suppose to be. Mine was very flaky, moist, and could break easily. When I think pizza, I think I can pick it up with my hands and eat, but definitely not the case here. I had to eat it with fork but was still tasty. I will have to work on the dough part.

Talk me through your process?

Between us I'm sure we can do some trouble-shooting.
A penis lives a terrible life. His hair is a mess, his family are nuts, his neighbour is an asshole, his best friend is a pussy, someone keeps beating him...

Poor thing.
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#5
I went to Pizza Hut last night.

It was delicious.
Just a dumb grunt.
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#6
Stir Fry has been my jam lately, because holy fuck easy and healthy.

I'm a big fan of one-pot meals, stews and soups and the like, or stuff I can make in a slow cooker. Probably one of my favorite things to make is this Portuguese stew, made from white beans, kale, chicken sausage, diced tomato, and sauteed onion.

half of the fun of being in the Air Force is watching the other branches get confused and outraged about it
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#7
I've been experimenting with smoke/cooking meat since father's day last year. Buddy of mine came over and we built flower pot smokers... mine looks like a miniature green egg.

I've done well brining pork butt in a cup of brown sugar, cup of sea salt, and 3 pressed cloves of garlic for 24 hours, then smoking at 300 F over charcoal and applewood chunks.

I've replaced my stubby thermometer with a longer probe one so when it reads 225F it's actually 225 not 300+ as before. Smoking takes longer now, but I'm not noticing an improvement in flavour. More tender, but less flavour... it might be me fucking things up though as my method for making brine was TLAR, now I'm measuring things.

I've also done some chickens brined the same way with rosemary added, over mesquite. Very good.

Did beef ribs, didn't brine, and this was when my temps were running ~100F higher than the reading, they were good, but tougher than I'd like.... need to try again, maybe with a brine and at around 175-200F.

I've also been making broth for cooking and gravy with the chicken carcasses. boiling them down , then straining the bits out. canning and storing in the fridge. My wife has a bunch of food sensitivities, so I've been using a coffee grinder to make rice flower out of minute rice, as all the flour available to me has barley in it. gravy is a little more pasty, but other than that, tastes the same. I think I should look for a flour grinder, the rice particles are too big I think.

Also ground rice treated like instant mashed potatoes is exactly the same in taste, texture and behaviour.

Oh, I also did some pork loins brined as per above with sriracha sauce added, over applewood at 300+... omg those were good.

My buddy did a turkey in his, the skin was so smoky it wasn't edible, and the meat was a little too smoky on the outer edges, but my wife took the carcass home and made broth, which she then made a creamy turkey soup/stew with the more smoky meat.... holy hell the smokiness worked so well with it, the 4 of us consumed all 4 gallons of it in a week.
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#8
Staff meal at work tonight: kibbeh (we fed all our meat scraps through the mincer and used them more or less indiscriminately), winter-vegetable tabouli, mejadra and cheater's flatbread with honey. Plus mint tea, because we had an absurd amount of mint!

Apropos of nothing, since Stresser mentioned it, would anyone be interested in learning how to make broth/stock? Making your own stock takes time, but it's not in itself very complicated, and frankly it kicks the ass of every premade stock on the market.
A penis lives a terrible life. His hair is a mess, his family are nuts, his neighbour is an asshole, his best friend is a pussy, someone keeps beating him...

Poor thing.
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#9
Yes Please!

My current method is to put the carcass into a large pot, in a heavy colander, add lightly salted water until just covered, then simmer for a couple hours.

When it falls apart I pull out the colander, and taste any of the little meat chunks left over, if they are tasteless, I know it's done and all the flavour is in the broth. left behind. I then can it in mason jars until needed.

Please tell me how my method is old/busted and how to make better stock!
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#10
(07-27-2016, 06:59 AM)stresser Wrote: Yes Please!

My current method is to put the carcass into a large pot, in a heavy colander, add lightly salted water until just covered, then simmer for a couple hours.

When it falls apart I pull out the colander, and taste any of the little meat chunks left over, if they are tasteless, I know it's done and all the flavour is in the broth. left behind. I then can it in mason jars until needed.

Please tell me how my method is old/busted and how to make better stock!

First things first, you're missing a few things. It's not only chicken that gives the flavour to chicken stock (or beef stock, or whatever you're making...the principle barely changes)!

You need

- something to base the stock off. A chicken carcass, bones from beef or lamb or pork...anything you have that you have no other use for. It's especially helpful if it's something like pig's feet, the long bone of a beef shank with a joint still attached, skin/wings/necks/feet of chicken - you want collagen and fat, to make it rich. Tough connective tissues, as much as you can get hold of. Honestly, ask your butcher for his scraps.
- Aromatics. There's a combination in the French classical canon that will never let you down when you want to lay a base to build flavour on, called mirepoix - carrot, celery, onion, in a ratio of roughly 1:1:2. You would not BELIEVE how many working cooks have mirepoix tattoos somewhere on their person!
- Herbs and spices. Nothing too powerful (no chilli, no ginger) as stock is used for a lot of different dishes and it has to work as part of all of them. You want just enough to make it interesting for the mouth. You can experiment to find what you like, but for now...let's try bay leaves, thyme, garlic and peppercorns. Possibly a touch of salt for near the very end.
- Approximately one metric shit-ton of water

Take your bones/carcass. You will get a stronger flavour if you try to crack the bones open to get at the marrow, and roasting the bones/using the remains of something that has been roasted helps too - a stock made from roasted bones is a "brown" stock, one without that step is a "white" stock. Beef stock is almost always a brown stock, chicken can be either brown or white. If you DO roast your bone base, you can also choose whether or not to roast your aromatics at the same time, and you may want to add a touch of tomato paste or the rind off a piece of good parmesan for a little more savoury umami goodness.

Dump everything in a pot. Bones, aromatics, herbs all go in. If you roasted the bones, deglaze the roasting tray to get all of the good stuff off the bottom and add that too. Cover the contents of the pot with water.

Simmer on a very low heat for as long as you can stand to leave it. At a MINIMUM aim for four hours, or longer (all day, potentially even overnight) if you have the option. You don't have to DO anything with it, only give it time.

Skim the fat off the surface periodically - the more frequently you do this, the clearer your stock will be, but don't worry overmuch if it's not possible. You're not a professional, you're allowed to have cloudy stock Tongue. In truth, the easiest way to do this is actually to wait until every other step completes, put it in the fridge and then peel the layer of fat and gelatin off the top after it sets. That layer is the sign you've done it right.

Strain everything out, multiple times if possible. A standard strainer, and then again through fine muslin or something similar.

Congratulations, you have made stock. You can freeze it (if I'm doing it at home I freeze mine in ice cube trays to control portions, and then have a bag full of homemade stock cubes...at work is obviously bigger) and it will keep for a couple of months. Smile

If you really want to, after you've strained it (but before you freeze it) you can put the liquid stock straight back on the stove and just keep cooking it down to make it even more intense, into a sort of simplified demi-glace. If you reduce it enough, you can use it on a plate directly as a complete sauce in its own right.
A penis lives a terrible life. His hair is a mess, his family are nuts, his neighbour is an asshole, his best friend is a pussy, someone keeps beating him...

Poor thing.
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#11
I've never made stock from fresh ingredients usually I just take the bones of whatever we have just made with the cast off cuts of vegetables I've been saving and throw ir all into a pot for at least 2 days @ a low simmer where just the water moves but doesn't actually make bubbles and then freeze it for whatever I can think of later. mostly stock to me as a matter of convenience.

So question, you mentioned roasted bones and such, should I be roasting the bones of chickens that I demeated that have already been cooked for extra flavor?
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(05-06-2016, 02:33 PM)NSFgirl Wrote: You're a terrible person, wongtastic.
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#12
So far, so good... I don't have a smoker and I gave up my grill a year ago  Sad



but my new roommate has one.  So I should have more to add this weekend
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#13
Actually I should change convenience into my being a cheap ass and trying to make flavor and food cost stretch as far as possible.
[Image: dpo8auk.gif]

(05-06-2016, 02:33 PM)NSFgirl Wrote: You're a terrible person, wongtastic.
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#14
(07-27-2016, 03:59 AM)Handicap Wrote: I went to Pizza Hut last night.

It was delicious.

gross

(07-27-2016, 04:43 AM)SSgt Corvus Wrote: Stir Fry has been my jam lately, because holy fuck easy and healthy.

I'm a big fan of one-pot meals, stews and soups and the like, or stuff I can make in a slow cooker. Probably one of my favorite things to make is this Portuguese stew, made from white beans, kale, chicken sausage, diced tomato, and sauteed onion.

Interesting.  Seems simple enough.  May try later this week.
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#15
(07-27-2016, 08:43 AM)Wongtastic Wrote: I've never made stock from fresh ingredients usually I just take the bones of whatever we have just made with the cast off cuts of vegetables I've been saving and throw ir all into a pot for at least 2 days @ a low simmer where just the water moves but doesn't actually make bubbles and then freeze it for whatever I can think of later. mostly stock to me as a matter of convenience.

So question, you mentioned roasted bones and such, should I be roasting the bones of chickens that I demeated that have already been cooked for extra flavor?

You don't have to. The bones of a stripped carcass from a roast or some such have already been cooked, and it would work even if they hadn't. If you're making it with scraps you've begged from the butcher (for a brief but memorable stretch of time, my younger son was slightly confused about how many parts a chicken had, because whenever I bought one it came with extra feet and necks!), the choice is yours.

Quote:So far, so good... I don't have a smoker and I gave up my grill a year ago

You can jury rig a smoker on your stove.

http://www.terminallanceforum.com/showthread.php?pid=71451#pid71451
A penis lives a terrible life. His hair is a mess, his family are nuts, his neighbour is an asshole, his best friend is a pussy, someone keeps beating him...

Poor thing.
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#16
Christian vs Jew salt;





The latter of which goes into one of my favorite comfort foods;


[Image: 8AOXfI5.jpg]
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#17
Bugger all...

I should have posted my brisket recipe over here then.
Though the other day it was basic "hot wings", only for the sake of brevity and clean-up, I broil them in the gas stove. That and with a toddler in the house, I can't make something to spicy.

It was a slow week.
Waiter? Waiter? Ah, when will I remember- Order desert first, THEN kill everyone in the restaurant.
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#18
(07-27-2016, 03:18 PM)Wombitch Wrote: You can jury rig a smoker on your stove.

http://www.terminallanceforum.com/showthread.php?pid=71451#pid71451

Thank you.  This is perfect!
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#19
(07-27-2016, 08:25 PM)notoriousfavi Wrote:
(07-27-2016, 03:18 PM)Wombitch Wrote: You can jury rig a smoker on your stove.

http://www.terminallanceforum.com/showthread.php?pid=71451#pid71451

Thank you.  This is perfect!

I live to serve. That's what that entire thread exists to do, pibe. I've spent half of my life in professional kitchens in some capacity (this is not a joke, I was fourteen turning fifteen when I started as a dishwasher) so chances are good I can figure out solutions to problems in there. If I can't do it directly, there's a whole semi-incestuous tribe of cooks and bastards and freaks who are bound to know what to do Smile

"I have a thing, and I screwed up last time I used it/don't know what to do with it/don't know what it is...HELP!"

Something like your cauliflower crust, for instance, that was almost right but needs a little trouble-shooting to make it perfect. Or how to make stock, a question of technique...I would usually put that in there, but it was asked here.

This is the foodie fan club, a happy crew of gifted amateurs. I'm the odd one out who acts as kitchen tech support for when the fan club gets stuck.
A penis lives a terrible life. His hair is a mess, his family are nuts, his neighbour is an asshole, his best friend is a pussy, someone keeps beating him...

Poor thing.
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#20
I like to throw random shit together, Favi.

Fry some rice with egg, chives, peas, tiny (I mean chop those motherfuckers into dust) carrots and some soy or teriyaki sauce. Once that's halfway done I'll throw some chicken chunks into a pan with butter, add minced garlic, more chives, big chunks of onion (for flavor, not consumption, I don't like onion texture), maybe some teriyaki sauce at the end for a splash of flavor and then dump all of that onto the rice.

Meanwhile, the shrimp that were thawing in the bowl next to the stove get thrown in with what's left of the juices in the pan, flash fried to a beautiful orange and those are spread onto the chicken. Another layer of rice and some yumyum (seafood sauce) is dribbled over the top to complete it.

Overall it 3/4 fills a 2 cup bowl once portioned out to the family. Love it. American lazy-as-fuck teriyaki chicken & shrimp.
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#21
(07-27-2016, 09:01 AM)notoriousfavi Wrote:
(07-27-2016, 03:59 AM)Handicap Wrote: I went to Pizza Hut last night.

It was delicious.

gross


(07-27-2016, 04:43 AM)SSgt Corvus Wrote: Stir Fry has been my jam lately, because holy fuck easy and healthy.

I'm a big fan of one-pot meals, stews and soups and the like, or stuff I can make in a slow cooker. Probably one of my favorite things to make is this Portuguese stew, made from white beans, kale, chicken sausage, diced tomato, and sauteed onion.

Interesting.  Seems simple enough.  May try later this week.


here's the recipe: http://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/browse-all-recipes/bean-sausage-stew

half of the fun of being in the Air Force is watching the other branches get confused and outraged about it
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#22
Ok, So I have about a litre of beef stock and 1.5L of chicken.

The beef was from the ribs I smoked a while back, it smells sinfully delicious, the chicken is from a pair of supermarket rotisserie chickens I boiled the carcasses of.

Based on what you posted, I should add a 1:1:2 ratio of carrot:celery:onion and simmer some more to impart additional complex flavours? so how about I oven roast a large carrot, 2 stalks of celery and a medium onion with butter basting, then mash and simmer in the beef stock with some pressed cloves of garlic, 1/2 tsp of savoury and maybe some sage? Pepper is a no go as the wife is allergic to it. We make do with sriracha, so maybe a tsp?

Will that work, or am I likely to feck it up?

I would do the same with the chicken, however, we're using it in stirfrys etc and it's already delicious. The chickens I did before this one, I made sure to cut/break all the bones, increased the flavour, but when cooled it was like jello. wasn't sure I liked that. when simmering the bones I didn't remove the fat, as I've been told that's where the flavour is, but I'll give it a go next time.

Also, I intend to brine a large pork roast tonight, with pickling salt and brown sugar. Probably some sriracha and pressed garlic.

I figure:
1) a 1.5 cups equal parts sugar and salt, with 3 cloves garlic and a tblspn of sriracha. for 48 hours.
2) then remove from the brine, stand in the fridge for 2 hours
3) Then smoke over apple wood at about 200F until internal temp of 165 is reached, turning every 45 min.

Any advice?

Should I stab the hell out of it with a needle probe to allow the brine to penetrate, or just leave it alone?
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#23
(07-28-2016, 08:51 AM)stresser Wrote: Ok, So I have about a litre of beef stock and 1.5L of chicken.

The beef was from the ribs I smoked a while back, it smells sinfully delicious, the chicken is from a pair of supermarket rotisserie chickens I boiled the carcasses of.

Based on what you posted, I should add a 1:1:2 ratio of carrot:celery:onion and simmer some more to impart additional complex flavours? so how about I oven roast a large carrot, 2 stalks of celery and a medium onion with butter basting, then mash and simmer in the beef stock with some pressed cloves of garlic, 1/2 tsp of savoury and maybe some sage? Pepper is a no go as the wife is allergic to it. We make do with sriracha, so maybe a tsp?

Will that work, or am I likely to feck it up?

I would do the same with the chicken, however, we're using it in stirfrys etc and it's already delicious. The chickens I did before this one, I made sure to cut/break all the bones, increased the flavour, but when cooled it was like jello. wasn't sure I liked that. when simmering the bones I didn't remove the fat, as I've been told that's where the flavour is, but I'll give it a go next time.

It would be more predictable if you had the vegetables in at the very beginning, but try it and see. You don't need to mash them either - roughly chopped is fine, they'll be strained out at the end in any case.

As for that gelatinous texture, that's perfect. That's what you want - the slippery, unctuous kind of feeling in the mouth, where it almost coats the tongue. If it's TOO gelatinous, you can either dilute it with water before using it, or heat it and let the gelatin melt back into liquid.

Skimming the fat is just a way to make it pretty Smile A cloudy stock tastes perfectly fine, but it doesn't look as refined, which can be important in some presentations.


Quote:Also, I intend to brine a large pork roast tonight, with pickling salt and brown sugar. Probably some sriracha and pressed garlic.

I figure:
1) a 1.5 cups equal parts sugar and salt, with 3 cloves garlic and a tblspn of sriracha. for 48 hours.
2) then remove from the brine, stand in the fridge for 2 hours
3) Then smoke over apple wood at about 200F until internal temp of 165 is reached, turning every 45 min.

Any advice?

Should I stab the hell out of it with a needle probe to allow the brine to penetrate, or just leave it alone?

How much does the pork weigh? You're going to do some maths Smile

I prefer to calculate cures and brines by weight rather than volume - volume can be imprecise, since a cup isn't always a consistent quantity between ingredients; one cup of fine grained sugar is going to be a much more powerful flavour than a cup of coarse salt, purely because there's more of it. Do it by weight, and you find that it's a much more predictable incremental progression.

http://www.terminallanceforum.com/showthread.php?tid=47&pid=44764#pid44764

I did the basic maths here with a cure for preservation, aiming for around 3-4% brine solution. You're doing it purely for flavour, and thus need a 1-2% brine that's not so strong.

The good news is that the underlying principles remain the same regardless of whether you want to flavour or preserve; it's just a matter of intensity.

Can you follow that linked explanation using 10-15g of salt per kilo of total weight (water and meat combined, subtracting bone weight if necessary) instead of 30-35? Scale everything down, and you'll have it.
A penis lives a terrible life. His hair is a mess, his family are nuts, his neighbour is an asshole, his best friend is a pussy, someone keeps beating him...

Poor thing.
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#24
Ok, so it's a 2.3Kg Pork loin center and rib roast, boneless. Adding 75% water brings it to just over 4Kg, So if I'm aiming for a 2% brine I'd use ~60g Salt and 60g Sugar which is about 1/5th what I'd normally use...

The difficulty is that in the linked post, you're talking about brining to cure for 7-10 days... I'm definitely going to try a pork belly like in the post, but for this roast I've got 48 hours before it needs to go on the smoker... 

I'm thinking my normal measurements of aprox 250-300g for 24-36 hrs should be ok as I'm leaving it in the brine for about 1/5 as long... I understand it's not quite that simple, but it would explain why I'm getting fairly decent results from my amateur hack method of TLAR (That Looks About Right)

Thoughts?
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#25
(07-28-2016, 11:11 AM)stresser Wrote: Ok, so it's a 2.3Kg Pork loin center and rib roast, boneless. Adding 75% water brings it to just over 4Kg, So if I'm aiming for a 2% brine I'd use ~60g Salt and 60g Sugar which is about 1/5th what I'd normally use...

The difficulty is that in the linked post, you're talking about brining to cure for 7-10 days... I'm definitely going to try a pork belly like in the post, but for this roast I've got 48 hours before it needs to go on the smoker... 

I'm thinking my normal measurements of aprox 250-300g for 24-36 hrs should be ok as I'm leaving it in the brine for about 1/5 as long... I understand it's not quite that simple, but it would explain why I'm getting fairly decent results from my amateur hack method of TLAR (That Looks About Right)

Thoughts?

Trust me on this one. You need less than you think you do.

The reason I do it in the way I showed you is that this way, the timing does not matter. You can leave it for six hours or six days, and the end result is always reliable, always the same.

You've been using a technique called a gradient brine; a set quantity of brine regardless of what you're cooking, but you vary the time, so that a chicken breast might get fifteen minutes but a pork roast gets a day. This is valid but can be a little imprecise because there's guesswork involved in the timing. If you're gradient brining and you leave it for too long, you can overdo it...leaving chicken for a day like you do with pork would leave it as a salt lick with wings!

I'm using something called equilibrium brine. It takes a little more work with a pencil and paper to figure out, but it's precise enough that you will never have to guess or accidentally oversalt anything again. Timing stops being a factor.
A penis lives a terrible life. His hair is a mess, his family are nuts, his neighbour is an asshole, his best friend is a pussy, someone keeps beating him...

Poor thing.
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