Friday, September 01, 2006

Peace On Earth

Happy Holidays Everyone

I haven't been commenting lately. I think I may have political fatigue and nothing seems to want to go from my brain through my fingers to the keyboard. I have been staying very current on reading the threads.

I think the PNW has taken all the Express out of our Pineapple because we haven't had any rain since the first storm of the season. Nice and cool here now which I am loving. I am considering closing my windows at night to stay warm.

I hope you all, your families and loved ones have a Joyous Holiday Season.

Be prepared for the New Year and a New Congress.

May Love and Reason enter the halls of power in Washington DC once again for the benefit of all who share this planet.


Richard Yarnell said...

No pineapples here and judging by the temperature, our rain (which just started again) is from Alaska.

Be safe everyone.

Judy B. said...

I also have political fatigue...
The weather seems to be the main topic of conversation here lately...

Today...I wish you a day of ordinary miracles-

A fresh pot of coffee you didn't have to make yourself.

An unexpected phone call from an old friend.

Green stoplights on your way to work or shop.

I wish you a day of little things to rejoice in...

The fastest line at the grocery store.

A good sing along song on the radio.

Your keys right where you look.

I wish you a day of happiness and perfection-little bite-size pieces of perfection that give you the funny feeling that the Lord is smiling on you, holding you so gently because you are someone special and rare.

I wish You a day of Peace, Happiness and Joy.

And may we all have that throughout the new year

dan said...

I also would like to wish all of you a very Merry Christmas. For the new year, I hope we'll all begin to witness our leaders becoming better stewards of our country and our planet.

Cheryl said...

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year to all.

Richard Yarnell said...

Bah, humbug!

Someone had to say it.

deb said...

My wish to all of my Breadcrust friends is peace. Knowing all that we know can be a burden, but we are making a difference by shouldering that burden. I wish strength and good health for all of you.

Beautiful sentiment Judy, thanks.

Enjoy the warmth of family and friends and have a wonderful holidays...yes, even you Richard;-)

deb said...

I've been traveling; first stop was Al for a warm Christmas with our kids, family and friends at Moms. This week I'm taking some R and R from house building at the beach in Southport, NC. Jeff and I drove over yesterday (he's working here) and I plan to catch up on my reading, our blog, and just walk the beach. There is a high speed connection here, but I haven't figured how to connect to it yet

I'm way behind on national and world news, but I agree with Christopher...a break is sometimes needed.

dan said...

Deb, I'm happy that you're getting a little break from log cabin building. You donated so much time and effort in 2006 to getting some good people elected that I know it must have put you behind. After some well deserved R&R, I hope the house gets completed and you get generously compensated for your sweat equity.

I just briefly scanned the other threads and I was sorry to read that your pc in for service. Good luck with that.

Richard Yarnell said...

It's my job, assigned annually, to caution one and all to be very careful over the holiday weekend.

If you must go out to find a celebration, be cautious. The roads a likely cold and slick and the nuts that will be sharing them are likely not in control of all their senses.

If you can, stay home. Find solace and inspriation with your SO. Share a special meal, lovingly crafted; a quiet cup of coffee or a glass of port before a fire, and companionship beneath a thick, goose down quilt.

I'll expect a roll call by 5PM local time on 1/1/07.

Happy New Year - may it bring some order to a chaotic world.

Anonymous said...

deb said...

Thanks for your concerns Richard...New Years Eve should be very uneventful here. Jeff's schedule is 22 days strait of at least twelve hours when he's working and he gets up around 4:30...I'll be the one keeping Dick Clark company. No complaints, though...the prospect of the coming year gives me great hope.

My pc spent yesterday in the shop and by the end of the day I found out that it needs cleaned out and completely reloaded. Due to time and the holiday, I'll wait and take it in when I'm back home. My e's from yesterday automatically downloaded to outlook when the pc was being worked on...the service guy showed me the list, but I couldn't open or respond...guess I'll see if the next service person can save them for me. I don't even have access to my address book without my pc. Computers are so awesome, but frequently remind me of just how little I know about how they work.

I spent the day roaming around "old Town" Wilmington. The southern coastal cities are full of charm. The old warves have been turned into quaint shopping areas, and the history is always exciting...pirates, colonial settlements, sunken ships, et al.

Here's to 2007, may it bring Peace and Justice!

dan said...

Patty and I will be attending a New Years Eve party in our new community. None of us will be more than a few blocks from our homes and I suspect the wildest things going on will be *name that tune*, some very bad karaoke, and clumsy line dancing. My proposal to have the party hours from 8:00 to 11:00 got defeated, so it will be running into 2007 by about 1/2 hour.

We've been especially busy with out-of-town company this holiday season, but I did manage to squeeze in a little time for reflecting on 2006.

I wanted to be sure to share my feelings about Bread Crusts. It's been wonderful refuge, where I can always find opinions that are based on knowledge, compassion, logic, morality and vision. You're a wonderful group and I just wanted you to know that I appreciate every one of you.

I wish all of you good health and good fortune in 2007.

dan said...

Deb, along with the above sentiments, I also want to wish your PC the very best of health in 2007.

Christopher C. in Hawaii said...

Ok Dad

"If you can, stay home." No problem, I like the solitude.

"Find solace and inspriation with your SO." That would be my computer.

"Share a special meal, lovingly crafted;" Does frozen pizza count? Actually I will try to do better.

Dan you are right Bread Crusts is a refuge of reason and thoughtfulness. When I have wandered into the comments section of places like Unclaimed Territory or Americablog they are filled with a lot of sniping lunatics.

You folks here are a treat.

2007 is sure to be another eventful year and I hope we can all land on our feet.

christin m p in massachusetts said...

I have to work tonight, but I don't mind, because we get double-time pay for holidays. The overnight shift is considered to be on the next day's date even if it starts before midnight.

If I didn't have to work, I'd probably just stay home and have frozen pizza too.

I usually get invited to go to First Night -- which I appreciate -- but I don't like to be out in the cold weather any longer than I have to.

Somehow I know that if I were to go with a SO -- I wouldn't feel the cold, though. A SO makes it feel warm when it's cold and makes life seem fun even when it's really the same old thing... It's magic.

I know I'm way too mushy, but I can't repress it all the time...

Anyway, Happy New Year everyone!

Judy B. said...

Let me be the first to check in this New Year..
To all of you I wish you the best, most fulfuling year ever...
For our country I wish for leadership that unites and follows the mandates of the people...
For the World, I wish for Peace...

Christopher C. in Hawaii said...

I woke up again this morning.

dan said...

I'm checking in also.

dan said...

I was very brief in the last post because I was busy fixing Patty a little dinner. Since she's now napping on the sofa, I turned the stove on low and returned to the PC. No particular sentiment popped into my head, so I'll just pass along this quote from Benjamin Franklin, "Be always at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let each New Year find you a better man."

I hope the new year brings you all great satisfaction with your lives.

Richard Yarnell said...

Guess I'd better follow my own instruction:

Tuna salad for dinner - a big thick slab of fresh tuna served on a bed of noodles that was, in turn, on a bed of mixed fresh greens. A fleur de lys of sliced avocado emerged from a single huge scallop while a trio of lightly grilled shrimp populated the bottom of the plate.

Dessert was steamed persimmon pudding with a wicked, brandy laced hard sauce.

Verrrry late breakfast this AM (probably brunch) was a savory dish Susan does: thin, rich pancakes with thin sliced scallions in them, topped with wilted fresh spinach, very thin slices of bacon, and topped with a butter sauce containing parsely, thin scliced scallions, and lemon juice.

I've put away the syrup forever.

Happy new year, survivors.

Cheryl said...

I'm still here. We traveled for Thanksgiving and Christmas, so New Year's was our turn to stay home. I finally had a chance to make shrimp and mirliton dressing. The holidays aren't complete without it. We also had the traditional black eyed peas & cabbage. Hate to think how bad the year would be without them.

Anonymous said...

deb said:

Hi all. My pc had to be sent off and I don't expect it back for 2 weeks. I'm using the local internet cafe to check my e's. I'll catch up in a couple of weeks. Happy New Year!!!

christin m p in massachusetts said...

Is there such a term as culinarily challenged?

When I got out of work yesterday morning, I had a little four-ounce container of cole slaw I had bought at the supermarket deli -- that, and a 14 oz. plastic bottle of Tropicana lemonade.

Earlier at work, my "dinner" was microwaved White Castle burgers (two mini-cheeseburgers in a cellophane package) that I bought out of one of the vending machines. Oh yeah -- and a 16 oz. bottle of Pepsi to wash it down. At my shorter break, I had a 1 oz. bag of Nacho Cheese Doritos and a can of V-8 juice (also from the vending machines).

First thing I'm going to get if I win the lottery: a personal chef.

Work went very smoothly. We had only a skeleton crew, but that was perfect, since the volume of work was light -- as would be expected on the night before a holiday.

I had to drive in freezing rain on my way home in the morning, but it wasn't my worst experience with driving in freezing rain, because -- for one thing -- there were hardly any cars on the road. And since the rain had started in the middle of the night, it gave the road crews time to make their complete rounds with the salt trucks by the time we got out there at 6:45 am. So the commute home wasn't as treacherous as it would have been on a non-holiday weekday morning during rush hour -- especially if the storm had just started and there wasn't any salt on the roads yet to melt the freezing rain.

Anyway, I already checked in here yesterday morning at one of the other threads.

Richard Yarnell said...

Don't wait to win the lottery:

Go to a used book store or on the net and try to find a pre-1975 edition of Joy of Cooking.

Even if you have to buy the latest one (this year) it remains one of the best basic books with lots of answers to "what the hell does it mean to...."

Aside from the fact that most of that stuff you're eating isn't good for you, you can have that piece of tuna I described for the cost of a mini-white castle and a litre of coke. Cooking time, about 5 minutes flat.

Cheryl said...

Black-eyed peas are both easy and cheap. Our recipe comes off the package of Camelia brand peas. Mostly just letting them simmer in water and a ham bone for a while.

It's a rule I grew up with, you have to eat at least one black-eyed pea for luck, and one leaf of cabbage for money, on New Year's Day.

dan said...

Christin, the homeless in Mi have a better diet than you do. I'm also "culinary challenged" but my worst home cooking is better than the vending machine *meals* you've been eating. Also, like Richard mentioned, you can eat well at home for far less money.

Since you don't relish cooking, here's a couple tips. Start by cooking on Sundays and Wednesdays in quantities that last 3 days. That way, you only need to cook from scratch twice a week. It's very easy to make a slight change to the leftovers so they don't get boring.

To stay on a budget, just plan your meals around the items are good buy that week and seasonal items.

One final tip that I've used on occasion. On days that I'm running very late, I take the risk of stirring up the neighborhood gossips by inviting my lady friend, Marie, into my home to help me out. She's fast and efficient and smells pretty good. Patty's ok with it since she doesn't like to cook either. Thank you Marie Callender!

Christin you and I may never be gourmet cooks like Richard and Susan, or work our magic with fresh produce from the garden like Judy, or prepare great old Southern recipes like Deb and Cheryl, but I suspect we can improve on vending machine mini burgers. Even my famous frozen pizza cooked at 400 degrees for 25 min. with the bottom cardboard still attached, was pretty good.

Cheryl said...

Just in case you misunderstood, I'm not a good cook. I can follow a recipe reasonably well. Eric taught me most of what I know about cooking.

I do most of the day to day cooking, so I like easy. This is a few of my favorite stand-bys for everyday cooking.

Microwave frozen vegetables. If I feel fancy, and the kids haven't eaten them all, I might add some baby carrots to the green beans or peas.

Baked chicken. Bread chicken breasts with Italian bread crumbs. Bake at 350 for an hour. A few minutes prep, and then I can do something else while the oven works.

Oven fried fish. Works good with catfish or tillapia. Dip fish in egg, then Italian breadcrumbs. Bake at 425 till done (about 20 minutes). It's done when you can flake it with a fork.

I would give you my red beans recipe, but it only works with Blue Runner brand red beans, made in Gonzales, La. We have never been able to beat them starting from scratch.

christin m p in massachusetts said...

I'm going to try again to cook for myself after the 19th of this month when we get back to regular 40 hour work weeks. Right now, they still have us on mandatory six-day weeks and they've been asking us to come in a few hours early some nights too. We've gotta take the overtime hours while they're available, because things could get lean again for the rest of the winter. We're lucky to have this much work guaranteed for the first few weeks into January. Usually, it drops right off to a slow trickle right after Christmas, and doesn't start to pick up again until at least April.

Richard, I'll see if I can get a pre-1975 edition of Joy of Cooking from the library. Then I'll start with whatever dishes look easiest to me.

I'm going to need to google Marie Callender -- your cooking helper, Dan. I know that sounds familiar, like I've heard it in TV commercials before -- and I knew it was cooking-related, but since I have a cooking IQ of probably 50 points, the ads barely registered.

Right now, I'm thinking Cheryl's baked chicken with microwaved frozen vegetables sounds like the most familiar one to me. The best thing about that dish is that I can have baked or mashed potatoes with it -- I know how to make those, because I'm very motivated -- any and all potato dishes are my favorites, but so far the only ways I've made them myself are baked then topped with butter and sour cream, mashed with butter and milk, and as home fries.

Sometimes I like chicken without breading too. Someone at work told me I can just get a basting pan (I think that's what she called it), pour in a quarter inch layer of 50-50 mixture of water and lemon juice with salt and pepper, then bake a cornish hen in it (I want to get a free range hen) following the baking directions on the package. She said to spoon the juice all over the chicken intermittently throughout the baking time.

Does that sound too bland? Should I put other spices in the juice too?

Also, I remember having heard a long time ago that chicken is supposed to be boiled for at least 25 minutes first (par-boiled?) before baking, barbecuing, or frying it -- so that it'll be cooked all the way through and won't make me sick from salmonella poisoning.

Is that so?

One more thing -- I LOVE omelets. How do I make those?

Cheryl said...

You don't need to boil the chicken first. It just needs to get cooked enough to kill any bacteria. You can use a meat thermometer if you're not sure what it should look or smell like when done. They have the doneness temperatures for different meats printed on the dial.

Bland is a matter of taste, try it and see what you think. I like Paul Prudhomme's majic line of seasonings.

dan said...

Christin, sorry that my feeble attempt at humor caused some confusion. Marie Callender is one of the better brands of frozen meals available in Mi. We keep a couple meals on hand for those rare days when we'd be otherwise tempted to order fast food.

I'm glad to hear you're going to give cooking a try. It's not too difficult to become an average cook and even basic recipes on food product packaging is better than fast food. The best thing is the health benefit, that you're in control of the ingredients. Once you stock your pantry with the basics, you'll save money also.

dan said...

Cheryl, if I can find some Blue Runner beans in a local market, I'd like to try your recipe. Is it close to this one?
Red Beans

Cheryl said...

Pretty much the same. When we lived in North Carolina, I used to order a case from every coupla months. Blue Runner wasn't taking orders then. If you want to try them, there are two types of red beans. The New Orleans style has tobasco added, the Creole style doesn't.

If you would like my variation;

-Put a little olive oil in skillet.
-Chop two celery stalks and let simmer at low heat. If the celery is very fresh, do something else for 5 or 10 minutes.
-Chop an onion and add to skillet
-Chop half a sausage. Turn heat to high & simmer till the sausage is cooked.
-Turn heat down & add a bit of water.
-Add two cans Creole red beans.
-Let simmer for around 10 minutes & serve over rice.

dan said...

Thanks Cheryl. We spent one day in N.O. a couple years ago ( before the hurricane) and I enjoyed a red bean dish at a resturant in the French Quarter. Your recipe sounds within my skill level and a perfect dish for a winter dinner in Michigan.

deb said...

I completely missed this thread. Thanks for the tip on the Blue Runner beans Cheryl, I'll see if I can't pick some up next time I'm on the Gulf Coast. I like black beans and rice, too...with extra hot sauce.

Christin, were you pulling our leg about making omlets?

christin m p in massachusetts said...


Why -- Is it that simple to make omelets? I've never made one for myself before or watched anyone make one, but I do like them a lot.

deb said...

Omelets are easy, cheap and a favorite of mine. Jeff stays gone for weeks at a time, so I usually don't prepare dinner just for myself the same as I do when he is home. I make omelets a couple of timea a week when it's just me.

I've heard all sorts of things about teflon, but I consider a teflon pan to be a "must" for egg dishes.

I saute the onions, peppers, and other filling that I am adding (not the cheese or tomatoes) and keep it hot in a different pan (doesn't have to be teflon).

Crack 2 eggs in a bowl, beat with a fork, add salt pepper and spice to taste.

Heat the teflon pan to med/low with a pat of butter. Pour in the eggs. I slightly stir the eggs for a minute so that they will set more thoroughly, but do NOT stir after they start to set. I cover the eggs and let cook a minute or 2.

When the bottom is good and set add the filling, then sprinkle on the grated cheese and diced tomatoes, just on one half of the eggs. Use a spatula to flip the plain half over on top of the filled half. I put the lid back on for maybe another minute, but don't let them burn on bottom. You can also flip the now half circle omelet to the other side if it needs a little more heat.

You could practice with just plain egg omelets as eggs are cheap (the correct temp, flippping, and time needed to set the eggs) until you get it right, then go for the real deal with the filling.

Bon appetite!