Before the Wind

Before the Wind

November 8, 1998

Here’s a seasonal A&J comic from 1998. Originally, it appeared in November of 1996, and it was repeated two years later. You can tell by the copyright line in the right middle panel. I can’t remember now why this was, but I must’ve been experiencing some type of momentous personal trauma. At that time we cartoonists at United Media weren’t encouraged to submit old material unless there had been a death in the immediate family, or we had a recently shattered femur or, preferably, a severed thumb. Today, if I’m feeling particularly burnt out or perhaps one of my cats is sick, I can talk my editors into rerunning old material—if I don’t abuse the privilege. It’s much more civilized.

38 responses to “Before the Wind”

  1. I noticed the aol address before I noticed the copywright.

    On the previous post, I discovered how my mom made chipped beef on toast. I think I will try to get some dried beef this weekend. I also enjoy biscuits and sausage gravy. I learned how to make gravy only a few years ago. I never put enough milk in it before. You need a lot of milk and then render it down.

  2. My mom used to make gravy some mornings from the ham drippings by adding black coffee to the frying pan and cooking it a little longer. It was good on the ham and on biscuits. And I haven’t had any since then, because it’s not one of those things that you find on a breakfast menu.

  3. Growing up chipped beef on toast (my mom’s name for SOS) was a budget stretcher usually served toward the end of the month. I loved it as a child but when I made it a few years ago it just wasn’t the same, Mom must have used a secret seasoning in it to give it some actual flavor.

  4. I’ve had non-military creamed beef on bread (my preference over toast) a number of times, probably mostly at college. I liked it. It seemed to be made from excessively thin dried salted beef – does that seem what y’all experienced? In fact, I often bought such hermetically sealed envelopes of that kind of beef. Expensive per pound, but really tasty.
    In my father’s congregation, say, mid-40s to mid 50s, was a chap who had been a military cook. As a civilian, he got the urge to bake cakes now and then. He would never make just one cake, however; he made six or eight cakes! Then, he’d graciously gift his minister – my dad – with one or two cakes. I loved to see him coming with containers in hand….

  5. I too used to like chipped beef and cooked it. The beef came in little glass jars with a pop off lid, not unlike the jars cheese spread came in. I have made in last 20 years because I can visualize where it was located at my downtown Eufaula grocery in the canned meat department. Spam, tuna, weenies, canned chili, canned chicken and salmon, oysters.

    Just told Ghost to look for some and I’d make it. A Bechamel sauce with beef added. We ate for supper often when I needed fast meal.

    I once had a VERY upscale version for breakfast at a 5 ?????hotel which may have been Williamsburg Inn in colonial Williamsburg as eaten by our ancestors in Revolutionary War?

    Nothing changes in military chow recipes apparently?

  6. Five Star Hotel dining room we stayed for a week in a colonial slave quarters converted to a hotel guest house. Every time we opened the doors a pack of tourists rushed in.

    My girls were five and nine at time so ran in and out of the house. So did the tourists. You learned to stay dressed to avoid providing living history lessons.

  7. In case one is wondering…
    A Recipe from Ghost’s Kitchen
    Creamed Chipped Beef & Toast
    4 tablespoons butter
    1/3 cup flour
    3 cups whole milk
    1 teaspoon black pepper
    4 1/2 ounces dried beef, cut into strips
    Texas toast slices (or biscuits, if desired)


    Melt butter in a cast-iron skillet over medium heat until bubbling. Stir in flour, and then add whole milk, whisking until flour is completely incorporated. Stir constantly until the sauce has thickened.

    Add pepper and strips of dried beef to sauce mixture, stirring until pepper is incorporated and beef is evenly coated. Spoon over Texas toast or biscuit halves; serve warm and top with additional ground pepper, if desired.

  8. In the South, as well as probably other locales, there is an expression “Whatever blows up your skirt”, meaning “Whatever makes you happy”. In Janis’s case, that’s apparently Arlo.
    Btw, what is that tiny vehicle she’s driving? A Fiat?

  9. Response to comments on the end of the previous post…
    David in Granbury: Thanks, I’ll check out that service for digitizing photos.
    Wayne from Bonney Lake WA: Yes, the SOS I had in the USAF was definitely made with ground beef.

  10. Ghost & c x-p: Yeah, it’s a boid. Great Tit, Parus [or Poecile] major, widespread in the Old World, same family [Paridae] as our chickadees & titmice. There are a dozen or s two spp N of Mexico, & many others in the OW. Up here, we have mostly Black-capped Chickadees, maybe occas. Boreal C’s from Can. Down where many of you live, it’s more likely the Caroline C. They are hard to distinguish. In the UK, the BCC is known as the Willow Tit [if they are still recognized as the same sp]. Most are year-round residents [i.e., non-migratory]. Too bad this blog won’t do italics for Parus, Poecile, & major. [But not Paridae.]

  11. Last time I checked Chipped Beef cost 4 or 5 times per lb than Prime Rib.
    The cheap cuts in the old days, Tongue, Tripe, Corned Beef, Chipped Beef are now the
    most expensive. Water is more expensive than Gasoline. 🙂
    Some Cheese is more expensive than Prime Meat.

  12. Local ranchers in Utah are losing money trying to keep their herds alive. With the number of meat processors cut by COVID, they’re lucky to sell any of their cattle this year. They’re actively looking for alternatives, such as selling a single steer to anyone willing to cut and dress the meat… and I suspect some local hunters who miss their deer this year might team up and buy a few.

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