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Archive for the ‘Food’ Category

It’s time to make a difference…to make your voice heard…it’s time to do something for our EARTH!

 

 

🙂

How does your garden grow? Are you caring for it? Is it healthy? We all have a stake in the gardens of the world. Doing nothing means choosing to ignore and this inaction is actually detrimental to all of us. It is our responsibility to reach out to each other and make positive gains in taking better care of OUR Earth!!!

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Life really likes to throw us some curve balls sometimes…when we least expect it. Last month I had to make a surprise visit to the hospital for several days. I’ll get into the whys later but I am having to go off the medication I have taken for over 40 years—not an easy feat as I am trying my best to limit the withdrawals. I had an interesting little stay—the nurses were great. I felt bad that I needed so much help from them at times and tried to limit my calls to the desk.

 

The worst things were the belly shots—OH MY! I was purple by the time I left from all of the puncture wounds everywhere–either putting stuff in or taking stuff out. I have to thank my caregivers. They each give me so much and I can never repay them. I would not be here if it were not for them. Thank YOU!

 

Here are a few photos — not so beautiful but a bit entertaining–maybe. 😉

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All that was left by the time I thought to take a pic of food. I was so hungry after being in the emergency room all day. I had not eaten. Cute idea.

 

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Here is another dessert.

 

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Waiting for my CT scan. I look rather calm given the tension of not knowing what was going on both in my body and in the ER and hospital. I was trying to let people know I was ok by sending them this photo taken in X-ray.

 

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The food was actually one of the redeeming qualities of my visit. Some things were better than others but breakfast was usually very good.

 

At peace…finally…

 

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I looked awful while in the hospital but this is a rather ok photo — almost angelic if I do say so. 😀

 

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And, here is … “me and my buddy.” He went with me everywhere and cried in the middle of the night. Too bad I couldn’t go far. I didn’t even see the hallway until the day before I left.

 

If there is ever a “next time” I’ll be sure to have a photographer to stop by after I get a makeover (kidding). I am so glad I don’t have a photo of my leaving the room toward the end of my stay. To see how mobile I was, I used a walker with security strap (safety) while in my hospital nighty — not a sight for the weak. 😛

 

Finally, the night before I left, I was able to walk to the little couch by the bed and sit for a while. That was awesome. The little things in life. 😀 One of my caregivers slept on the couch all but the first night and another caregiver stayed with me for that one, too. I’m so sorry but I’m so grateful.

 

I have been a sick little human and have a ways to go but I know others who are having to go through chemo treatment again because their cancer did not go into remission. My situation is nothing to theirs. Blessings to all. 🙂

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Krispy Kreme Dreams

evilfries.com

Krispy Kreme doughnuts are my very favorite. This is what I am craving right now! I have been ill since Wednesday…spent part of Friday at the emergency room. For me to go to the ER, I must think it is serious. Since Tuesday afternoon I have had half of a sandwich (which started this whole thing–lunch Wed), part of a milkshake (which made it so much worse–supper Wed), nothing Thursday, 2 cups of broth, a few crackers, a few grapes, 2 strawberries, and some applesauce…oh, and my staple is WATER… 😦 . It is now Sunday night and I am starving but I am in a lot of pain, too.

Someone asked what my post-sickness meal would be and since I don’t know when or if I will get to a time that is POST, this is what I said — 2 boxes please!!!  I’m not serious about the two boxes–I think ONE will do 😀 . I’m having some serious colon issues, not that I want to advertise but hey, and I’m a little punchy. Thank you to all of you who have wished me well. I am a little better today and hope to continue to recover. I appreciate your thoughts and prayers. 🙂

Take care! 😀

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While I was working on my masters, I took a part time job at a pizza place working on the weekends to take up my time because I had just broken up with the love of my life, the man that had planned to marry me. From those few hours per weekend, I became a shift supervisor then assistant manager and then manager, several

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restaurants later. I wanted to work with people because I had little experience with the public. My mom thought I was crazy not continuing with my teaching or even going into something computer related but I was a very shy person and to succeed, I had to come out of my shell—no easy task and lots of hurdles were not just jumped but knocked down over and over. It was as if I was practicing failing.

 

It wasn’t my nature to look people in the eye or anticipate their move or wants or needs but that was what I learned to do first by knowledge and then by instinct. I loved that job no matter which position I worked. I started in the back of the house which was a cook—haha. I did more gophering than anything at first. But, I learned to run a restaurant whether it was just me and a waitress or cook or a packed house of employees making record sales. I find myself missing it more lately though I can never return to that type of job. One of the most important lessons I tried to teach in service was to anticipate what the customer needed even before the customer knew. For those who learned this technique, the wait staff made lots of money in tips there and the jobs they held later on. I was good at my job I guess because I cared about it 😀 .

 

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Traditional stand alone style

I remember that I was scared so bad when I had to learn service duties. There was a waitress that tried to eat me alive on more than one occasion. And, she had help 😦 . There were nights I would go home and just cry not wanting to continue—and her position was lower than mine. I remember deciding that I was going to succeed with her and the rest followed behind. I was talking about courage with someone tonight. I had to learn to have courage to do so much. When I was made manager, there was no one to go to for help. I was where the buck stopped and I learned so much especially thinking on my feet. It was sink or swim and I chose to swim but I floundered in the water for quite a while.

 

I never asked my employees to do anything I wasn’t willing to do or had not done including sticking my hand in a toilet on more than one occasion. Some people called me a B word because I became very matter of fact. I hated that but there were times that I had to be the bad person. In fact, I tried to always be the bad person and let my assistants and shift leaders be the good guys. It is very hard to do that day in and day out but in the end I knew I could not be friends with my employees. That was difficult, too because I had to say goodbye to some good friends. They couldn’t see that I had a job to do.

 

Why am I writing about this? Courage…along with determination are two things I started to turn away from but I wouldn’t let myself fail. They are two things that follow me. For a long time I kept them packed away in a box. Only recently have I chosen to pull them out and put them on. I do not like to take NO for an answer and I don’t like to fail but I know what failure is and lately, I am doing more failing than succeeding. I have been revisiting a lot of my past so that I might become stronger and know where I am going—to be surefooted and to have stability in order to do the things I need to do. For so long I made all of the decisions for everyone—it was my job and I did it for my life, too. Over the past few years, I have lost my surefootedness but I am trying really hard to get it back. Courage…sometimes we have to be afraid before we can succeed. 😀

 

Happy Gardening and may you have all of the courage you need to succeed in everything you do! 😀

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Tybee Nov 2011

Tybee Nov 2011

Savannah is such a beautiful city. It lies along the Savannah River–the same river that I live along now, and did when I was growing up–a stretch of less that 150 miles from here to there. Tybee Island (the beach) lies just east of the city, at the mouth of the river. There are historic landmarks all around from forts to historic homes, cemeteries to places that play a part in our nation’s history. The only thing I don’t like is that it is hot and humid—many times more so than here. I am willing to visit any day or night except March 17th 😐 . There are so many memories I have of this place. Years ago, River Street was revitalized. It is not exactly the same as it used to be 2-300 years ago, but there are telltale signs of the past. A popular tourist “trap” landmark that I actually love is the Pirates House (link) due to the food and stories as well as memories.

 

Cotton Exchange

Cotton Exchange

My father was born in Savannah and my ancestors came here on special occasions. I have a receipt where my great grand-father bought a dress suit here in 1888. Did he sell his cotton here? I’m not completely sure but cotton was sold along Factor’s Walk back in the day. Today, I enjoy eating at places that served as warehouses and offices such as the Boar’s Head Restaurant and Pub and have been going there since 1981 when a certain young man who had captured my heart asked me to prom—yeah—a long way to go for a date lol but I did say he captured my heart. There are times when I feel my blog is becoming more of romance stories than anything else but it just my remembering some of the good times of the past 🙂 .

 

The city squares are beautiful in the spring with the azaleas blooming, the birds chirping and butterflies everywhere. I remember feeding pigeons at the fountain when I was very small. Savannah has been my second home all of my life. Today, we are on our way to visit the last cousin from my dad’s family. We will eat great food and have a wonderful visit and bring home eat some great fresh fudge from River Street. You know what is even greater? It will feel like home 😀 .

 

Have a wonderful day and enjoy it to the fullest! Happy Gardening! 😀

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I have so many great memories of Christmas on the farm. We were simple and celebrated very simply. Christmas was a cedar tree cut and dragged home from somewhere on the farm, old electric lights added, precious hand-blown ornaments that had been passed down through generations, even icicles that were reused each year… Christmas was also the best food I think existed, even Black Fruitcake—YUM! 😀 , and family that would gather around the big farm table.

 

MadonnaChristmas has always been very special to me and I have tried to pass that on. My paternal grandmother who died when I was 3 was the real lover of Christmas. It was her passion that was passed on to me through my dad, my mom, and great aunt. One year when I was a young teenager, I received the precious Madonna that belonged to my grandmother. Each year, I received something of hers for Christmas but this gift has been the most special. For years, I unwrapped her along with the carolers and cherubs to display on the Welsh Dresser my dad made years ago. When Christmas was over she went back into the box…that was until I decided that she should not be hidden 330 days of the year and is now enjoyed every day.

 

Christmas is lots of things to lots of people but to me it is the memories of Christmas past coupled with the memories of Christmas present that makes it so special. My passion for Christmas is not much different than that of my paternal grandmother. And, I hope that I have passed on much of her love of Christmas and what is truly important.

 

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

😀

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It’s soup time

Earlier this week I began to feel like I was coming down with something…cold…flu…? My joints are swelling like

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arthritis flares so I have been enjoying a hot bath before bed each night–yesterday’s high was 48 and rain. As the day drug on, I knew it was going to be soup day. I wanted vegetable soup. I quit eating canned soups some years ago and like most of my cooking, the results usually depend on what I have on hand. One can tomatoes—check; frozen veggies—check. Good to go.

 

I had a boyfriend in graduate school who didn’t really teach me to cook but did allow me to experiment with all sorts of things. We had fun cooking together, something I have never shared with anyone of a love interest with such enjoyment. It has come close but not the same. I think it has to do with attitude of who is in control of the kitchen. I have always wanted to share in that. It takes a special man who is willing to SHARE. Many want to be chief chef and so many others want the woman to do it all. 😦

 

This time, my vegetable soup consisted of 1 can diced tomatoes, and frozen ingredients such as corn, peas, carrots, okra. I added a little bit of Hunt’s catsup along with some water and a just a bit of Splenda, plus some salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, thyme, and some onion flakes. Oh, and just a shake of beef bouillon for added taste. In the winter, I like to have some hot buttered cornbread with my soup but I didn’t have any. I don’t really like crackers in my soup but then I thought of pretzels. Why I haven’t thought of this before I have no idea. The soup was nice and tasty so much so that I had another bowl this morning for breakfast. 😀

 

Next, I will have to show the boo-boo I did yesterday… Happy Gardening! 😀

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In the last of the book of John, there is this picture that I can see so clearly in my mind. I have been reminded of it recently and have been studying the scripture. Here goes:

15 When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?” “Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.”

16 Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.”

17 The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my sheep.”

John 21 (NIV)

Peter was correct. Jesus did know the answer but in my opinion it was Peter who was unsure. It is said that Jesus emphasized the love Peter had for Jesus three times because Peter denied Christ three times. I can guess that this is correct–it makes sense, but what about the manner in which Jesus instructed Peter?

Some say that “Feed my lambs” refers to young children and new believers—the first ones to know Jesus. And the second instance which is sometimes referred to as “Tend my sheep” is taking care of all believers—think of a shepherd who protects his flock. Then the last reference is Jesus telling Peter to feed the older, more mature believers who would comprise the rest of the flock. This is one of several interpretations, but some take this as a literal translation of feeding, providing food to the ones in need. And, then, many believe this is the reference of pastoring the churched, period, but is only speaking to the leader of a church.

Number one, I believe Feed My Sheep is all about service and not just by the pastor. Yes, the Gospel is be a big part of it, but when you see this scripture, the descriptors in Acts, Romans, James, and more, service to others rings out to me. And, this part of John reminds me of the parable of the Sheep and Goats in Matthew…

35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’

44 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’

45 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’

46 “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life. ”

Matthew 25 (NIV)

The feeding of the sheep… As believers, we are all called to Feed the Sheep–we are all called to provide service for others. And, by the way, the goats don’t get a very good shake in this do you think? Being a sheep is rewarded. Oh, to be a sheep…a seemingly lowly animal that provides years of clothing. Hmmm… It turns out that lowly animal is essential in more than one way.

Feed My Sheep… How we answer this call is most important.

Have a great day and Happy Gardening!

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New Cooking Adventures

by lizsy101 @ webshots

Our meals at home usually consist of the same “recipes.” Don’t get me wrong, they taste great and we do not get tired of them, but we seldom venture away from the usual. I wanted to try some new things, but I have to tell you that I do not cook conventionally—like following a recipe…not verbatim. I find what I like and enhance it whether it is starting from scratch or from someone else’s recipe.

My entrée recipes are named  ___(fill in the blank)___ SURPRISE, like Chicken Surprise or Beef Surprise… and surprise never means the exact same thing. Many times I start making one thing and turn it into something else. I can never pass these recipes on because I cook until I like it—whatever surprise I make. About the photo:  I could not locate my photo of the Big Chicken in Marietta but thought it looks better than chicken pieces. If you have never heard of the Big Chicken, here is info at Wikipedia – Big Chicken.

I want to tell you about the two new recipes we have recently tried (links are listed at the bottom of this post). Both were chicken. One was called Beer BBQ Chicken which is cooked in the crockpot and the other was Teriyaki Chicken which was marinated and then cooked under the broiler. In the past, I would buy Teriyaki marinade to use, so this was new for me. I really looked forward to the BBQ one, but I did not like it (is hate too much?). Before I served it, I doctored it up adding vinegar, letting it soak and then adding my BBQ sauce. The family loved it. So, if I do that recipe again, it will have to change—immensely. Notes have already been made and saved for next time.

Now, the Teriyaki Chicken was superb-just excellent, except…I did not have all of the ingredients the recipe called for. So, I improvised. Improvising can be risky but this turned out so good. Yum-my!!! It called for fresh ginger and rice vinegar—I substituted a little apple cider vinegar and orange juice and then added a bit of honey. I know that doesn’t sound right, but we loved it. I also left out the sherry, peppercorns, and sesame seeds. The family wanted to know when the next time we were having it…and that was before we finished eating. The recipe said to marinate no longer than 4 hours, but I think it needs to marinate 8 hours.

Here are the links for the chicken recipes and an alternate for the Teriyaki one just in case you want to give it a try. During the summer, we will probably grill the Teriyaki Chicken which will taste great.

Or, you can try experimenting on your own like I do…

Happy Gardening in your kitchen with whatever you try!

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Banana Rum Cake

I usually start cooking this recipe in the fall and continue through New Year’s because I love the smell not to mention the fact that I think the cake tastes good. I sometimes give these cakes as Christmas gifts or take them for get-togethers during the holidays. My oldest daughter helped make these. Aren’t they beautiful? I have been making this cake recipe for 30 years now. Has it really been that long? The pan on the right is over 30 years old and is looking its age.

The recipe begins with a boxed pound cake mix (oh, horrors 🙂). Betty Crocker’s Pound Cake mix is what I start with. Besides an egg, I add rum, sour cream, a well-ripened banana, and nutmeg (freshly grated). If I don’t have a well-ripened banana, I have been known to ‘squish’ a banana before peeling and add to mix, but it doesn’t have the same exact flavor. Here are the ingredients if you would like to make this cake-ignore the ones on the box.

Banana Rum Cake

  • 1 1-lb box of pound cake mix
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ c dark rum
  • ½ c sour cream
  • 1 very ripe banana
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg (I use freshly grated)

I first grease a loaf pan. Then I pour the mix in my bowl using a fork to break up lumps and ‘sift’ through the mix. I then add the next 3 ingredients and stir vigorously. You can use a mixer, but I never do with this recipe. Lastly, I stir in the darkened banana-not rotten-followed by the freshly grated nutmeg. I make sure the large banana lumps are broken up and mixed in well. Next, I pour the mix into my greased loaf pan and bake at 350 degrees according to the size pan you are using and the time on the box or just a little more. You may want to decrease the temperature ever so slightly if using a dark pan. When done, remove from oven and allow to cool. Remove cake from pan. This is where I take a big sniff. It should smell absolutely delightful.

You can try a piece while the cake is still warm and then compare it to one from the next day to see how you like it. I like it both ways. This recipe came from a college friend’s grandmother many years ago. It was a simple way to make an enhanced pound cake that I still enjoy making. The fresh nutmeg is so aromatic and really makes the cake come alive, so to say.

Happy Gardening and may your kitchen yield many lovely baked goods this winter!

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