Monday, December 26, 2016

Christmas Dinner 2016

I know, a lot of you sat down to a real feast (and didn't invite me), but I had exactly what I want – pulled pork sandwich and pasta salad, with Favorite Son. (Actually, some of you did invite me, but I opted to stay home. Again, many thanks for the invite.)

Isn't this the cutest coffee cup ever? And the mirrored shiny wall tile is fun!
I tried a new recipe for the pulled pork (out of Emeril's Potluck cookbook) and wanted to cook it in my crock pot, vs the oven. For grins, I thought I'd check and see what the conversion was, and going to the Great Answer Machine, I asked Google. I think The Civilized Caveman was the second on the list, and the one I went to 

Not only does George Bryant, the Civilized Caveman, give conversion times and temperatures, he also gives a lot of other useful information. Did you know for every time you lift the lid of your crock pot, you need to add 30 minutes cooking time? I didn't. Nor did I know liquid is required. I knew not to put as much in as called for in non-crockpot recipes, but did not know a small amount is actually required. He even has recipes and menus. You might want to check his page out.

Anyhow, now you know what I fixed, and ate. The pulled pork, many thanks to Emeril Lagasse and his Potluck cookbook as well as the Civilized Caveman and my own pasta salad turned out perfect. Favorite Son was here and we had a great conversation, and he declared, in his best Alton Brown voice, that dinner was for sure, Good Eats. OK, that's poetic license, but he did say he enjoyed it, and took some home.
There is also a bumper snicker sized magnet that says Love People Cook them tasty food.
The spices in the jars smell, and look heavenly. And the bottle of wine, well, it looks good,
but I haven't opened it yet to see how it smells ;-)

Once he left, I brought my kitchen scale out, and weighed out 4 oz portions of the meat, packaged and froze them. I have meat for 11 meals. Not sure I want to portion and freeze the pasta salad – I'm a tad leery about how the cherry tomatoes and bok choy would freeze, and then thaw. So will probably portion it out in 11oz portions until gone (that's about the amount of pasta in Lean Cuisine type pasta dishes).

Before Favorite Son came over, I opened my presents and what wonderful delights. Wine, a wine glass, a wine glass towel, home-made salve for dry skin, a box of delightful looking and smelling Turkish spices, plus a recipe booklet, three books, and the most delightful coffee mug ever!!! And Favorite Son brought me my requested knife sharpener. Sharp knives make clean cuts!! He admitted some trepidation to giving it to me, as I've been known to test the sharpness on my hand before visiting the ER for stitches. (No, silly, not deliberately!)

Well, I made quite the haul. Marvelous and thoughtful presents, good food and excellent company for dinner, and now it's just get the house back in order. Or at least a bit back in order.
Three books to dive into relatively soon. 

I hope all of you had as good a Winter Holiday/Christmas as I did. If you didn't, perhaps you need to come here next year, and partake in my joy of the Holidays with me.

Now to get the rest of my Winter Cards addressed, stamped, and mailed ;-)

Monday, December 19, 2016

What Would You Do?

This post is prompted by a discussion on Facebook the other day. I'd like to see your reaction in the comments section, but as long as you read it, and think about it, I'm happy.

Back story: A friend was in a large store the other day, very similar to a Walmart, though it wasn't Walmart, and saw someone shoplifting. He posted about the experience and what he did/didn't do and why, on FB. Many people commented, most in favor of his action/lack of action. It got me to thinking, so here are my scenarios for your consideration and thought:

1. You are in the electronics section of your favorite department store, and see a woman who is obviously poor (you can tell by her clothing) and obviously stealing/shoplifting (you can tell because she's furtive and puts the high-end ticket items in her large bag and or inside pockets of her coat) and a couple of low-end items in her cart. Do you report her? Or do you figure it's none of your business? Or do you ignore her because maybe this is the only way she can have presents for her children?

2. You wander down to the clothing department and see another 'obviously' poor person putting high end clothing items in her large bag/inside coat pockets, and the less expensive items in her cart. What do you do? Obviously, her kids are as poor as she is, and maybe this is the only way she can get them warm clothes? She's taking clothing of various sizes so she must have a large family.

3. By the time you get to the grocery section, you know what to look for, and yep, you see someone doing the same with groceries. But, hey, she's got to feed her starving kids, doesn't she? And what the heck, the Walmart type store is part of a large chain, and they can afford it. They undoubtedly have insurance for the five-fingered discount shoppers.

OK, three scenarios, are your answers consistent? Or do you make adjustments based on what you perceive her end game is. What adjustments? What is/are your answer/s?

4. Final scenario, remember your answer/s from above. You come home, and someone (obviously poor) is in your house stealing your groceries, your electronics, and your winter clothes. Do you call the cops? What is the difference between your thought/rationale for the first three scenarios of theft and this one? Why? You pay, regardless of the scenario—higher prices in the department store, higher insurance for your home. I really would appreciate your thoughts on this topic as either a shopper or a person in retail. What if these scenarios happened in June?

And, yes, I swiped the image from the web.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Happy Holidays

I wish you all Happy Holidays. No, I am not being politically correct, nor am I intending the slightest of slights to any of you. I just happen to have many friends who are not Christian (including myself, which, by definition makes me Pagan) and who celebrate other winter holidays.

Some of my friends celebrate Kwanzaa, some Hanukkah, some Ramadan (though I'm never sure exactly when it is as it follows the lunar calendar and travels around the year, but my friends know.) I have FB friends all over the world, Diwali is a Hindu holiday, Pancha Ganapapti is celebrated for Lord Ganesha, and I know I am missing several.

Many Gods were born on the Winter Solstice. They performed miracles, were killed, and after (usually) 3 days were raised from the dead. (My understanding is the Solstice has travelled a day or two through the years, depending on the location. And accuracy of the calendar keepers, but 21-25 Dec covers it for the Northern Hemisphere.)

What Jesus possibly looked like based on current knowledge
Some of these many Gods are: Horus, Osiris, Attis, Mithra, Heracles, Dionysus, Tamuz, and Adonis. Most were born of virgins, many of whom were named Mary, in one variation or another (Maya and Myrrha among the more common).

Many old time religions celebrated the Winter Solstice as the death of winter and the beginning of spring (rebirth of longer days). The early Christians deliberately chose the most popular pagan holidays/celebrations to usurp in order to bring pagans into their fold. And many of today's Christian holidays still have vestiges of the old pagan religions within the church services to this day. (If you're a Christian, do a bit of research, and see how many you can find in your church's celebrations.)

Native Americans of both Americas often celebrated the solstice (in South America it is the end of June). For a fairly comprehensive list of holidays, both religious and secular, check out
(and if you feel so inclined, leave a donation to Wikipedia)

So, no, I shan't wish you Merry Christmas, because I don't know if you worship Christ, Lord Ganesha, or are Pagan or Buddhist. But I do wish you the absolute bestest Holiday celebration possible, according to whatever God and day you choose.

By the way, if you know any of the Gods I've left off my list that should be on it who were born in the time of the Solstice, please let me know in the Comment section below, and check back later for my response. After all, they—and the axial tilt of our planet—are the reason for the season.

Lord Ganesha

Images were blatantly stolen from the web.

This just showed up on my FB page. Wish I'd had it earlier.