This is a blog featuring my personal stories of food, gardening, yachting, photography, travel and life.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Thanksgiving 2010

We are beginning the plans for the first big holiday of the holiday season. Sorry, I don't count Halloween kiddies. Maybe when I get grandkids I''ll change my mind about that. I the meantime, make way for, drum roll please. . .Thanksgiving! This year looks like we may well be hosting a big crowd so our plans are getting pretty detailed. For an example we have a tentative menu.
Thanksgiving Dinner 2010



Sage Butter Roasted Turkey

Cider Gravy

Bacon Smashed Potatoes

Sourdough Stuffing with Sausage, Apples and Golden Raisins

Roasted Pumpkin Corn Pudding

Roasted Brussel Sprouts and Mushrooms with Bacon

Cranberry Fluff Salad


Chardonnay and Pinot Noir


Bread Pudding with Warm Whiskey Sauce

Pecan Pie with Cinnamon Ice Cream

Dessert Wine


Coffee and Tea

Sound good? Well, it isn't cast in stone quite yet and a change here and there may yet happen. But I like it! We have begun a shopping list. I won't bore you with cutting and pasting that into this document but it is significantly long. Some of it as a result of the spices that we buy each year about this time. They are on sale and the old bottles that are a year or two old should be tossed in favor of fresher product anyway.

Then there are the items that are seldom brought into the house except at special times like these. For example, real whipping cream. Not the stuff in the white tub or in the spray can. Or, the materials to make pies, cakes, cookies and other sweets that never make an appearance in this house except on very special occasions.

Finally, the turkey or I should say turkeys. They are on sale and the more you spend at the store the cheaper the birds are per pound. So, we each go in to the store and in separate carts acquire the amount of goods needed to get the price as low as it can go. We always buy enough that, the bill split in two, would get us two birds at the low low price. As a result, one goes in the freezer and one in the fridge to thaw. Oh, I hear you. Frozen birds? Why not a fresh bird or a Butterball? Frozen!? Well, I've had fresh turkey and I've had a Butterball and I can't honestly tell the difference. The frozen ones, prepared and cooked right are always moist and delicious.

As for dessert. I don't honestly know why we ever make them. Hardly anyone eats them anymore. They seem to wind up going down the disposal after sitting around for a couple of days and everyone is mostly poking at the the leftover turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes and, around our house, the cranberry salad. Wouldn't be Thanksgiving or Christmas around here without a couple of bowls full of that hot pink fluffy sweet and tart salad.

So, only a couple of weeks to go before the craziness that is the holiday season begins. I would miss it. I hope your family enjoys whatever celebrations your holiday season bring. Happy holidays to all!

How Rude!

I'm making a list and checking it twice. A list that is of my pet peeves in a world that seems to have lost a great deal of the civility I grew up with in the 50's and 60's. Saw a segment on The Today Show about this topic this morning and it got me thinking. So here is my list. So far!

1. People who use cell phones in public places and can't do it without everyone else being forced to listen in.

2. People who take or make cell phone calls while having a meal with anyone.

3. People who, while having a meal with anyone, keep checking their text messages and replying to them.

4. People who use cell phones while driving. Yeah, and you who are trying to get away with something by texting in your lap while driving so no one will see you and you know who you are.

5. People who get into line to board airplanes before their section of seats has been called.

6. While on the subject of airlines. . .the way airlines treat passengers. Period!

7. People who don't say please or thank you or no thank you or your welcome.

8. Wait staff who are too pushy and insensitive to the needs of the customer. No one should have to ask for more water or bread. It should just appear. The staff shouldn't interrupt you while you're having a conversation to ask you if you need more of anything or if there is anything else they can do for you. They need to be aware enough to wait for the right moment to ask. It isn't about them and what they need to get done. It is about you the customer and what and when you need something.

9. Wait staff who are too familiar when they say things like "how are you guys today?"

10. Pushy people in general.

I'm still thinking. . .

Monday, November 1, 2010

Vote! For Whom?

So what's going on? Where did this eclectic amalgam of humankind who would never have been heard from only a few months ago? Why has the Tea Party become so populist in nature? After all they seem to be a mess of folks that can't get much passed the single issue of lowering taxes. Ask many of them much beyond that and too often they wind up embarrassing themselves. So how can they possibly be being taken seriously by anybody? Well, in a way you can't blame the interest.

We elect a new president who excites the nation in a way no president has in a generation He is intelligent, can string and entire sentence together without tripping over his tongue AND we get the bonus of electing the first African-American to that exalted post. He also came to power with control of both the Senate and House of Representatives. What could possibly go wrong?
A young, inexperienced president with every move giving the perception of that he had no plan. No plan for health care reform, no plan for getting us out of the banking morass government had allowed the country to fall into and no plan to save the millions of jobs that were annually exiting the United States for overseas addresses where labor could be had for pennies on the dollar. The Republicans saw their opening and refused to cooperate. Period. And so the stalemate went on for months until only a greatly parred down version of health care reform was passed and only a few of the original carefully crafted regulatory oversights on the banking industry were replaced leaving us still at the mercy of an industry that cares little for average American.

So, why would the average Americ
an be at all interested in alternatives to the same old same old? Well, if you can't tell after my rant then you haven't been listening to middle America, the unemployed, the disenfranchised, those sick and tired of infighting in congress that has left their concerns unheard. It's about jobs, stupid! These people want a job, want their home back, want the American dream back. And what do the major parties have to say about it? They continue to fight while the unemployment lines grow, factories that once offered millions of Americans a good job have closed and lie empty, rusting on the horizons of dozens of small towns across our country.

So when someone comes along who says they want your vote and they represent neither of the political parties in power, that they plan to make the government live within its means and lower taxes. Well, you going to get most folks attention who are looking for someone to blame for all their woes. Right now the in office members of those two parties are wearing electoral targets on their backs.
It isn't so difficult to see. No, I can't image why anyone would vote for most of the Bozos I have seen interviewed on national TV. But I fear we are about to find out what happens when people who have taken their power for granted for too long and returned the trust given to them with too little too late. It will be interesting to see what unfolds next. Stay tuned.