A Few Odd Thoughts

A Few Odd Thoughts

I had an interesting response to a post from one of my newsletter readers and I thought I should clarify.

When I posted “A Cheer For Determination”, I did not intend for the focus to be only on YouTubers. My thought process was that ALL folks who work to follow their dreams, or just work, need to be recognized and acknowledged.

Not everyone has the luck to be able to make a living doing what they love, some are stuck doing jobs they literally hate.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve been in situations where the work situation was not fulfilling and there was at least one struggle just to keep going. Sometimes it was the company, sometimes it was management, sometimes it was something else. We don’t always have the option to move on.

What I do know, even having worked those Jobs from Hell, is that all work can be beneficial in ways we don’t always understand. You never know the impact you will have on a caller, a coworker, someone you cross paths with on the way to lunch or the restroom.

In any event, don’t be shy about sending a high five or a smile or a “Good Job!” every once in a while.

If you are, or are contemplating, Cord Cutting, there is a YouTuber that I’ve been keeping an eye on who provides information from the newsfeeds about various services. Cord Cutters News seems to post regularly and has some interesting information on a broad range of topics. I recommend checking him out if you are interested.

By the way, Disney+ is due to arrive in November, and from what I’m seeing, reading, etc., it looks to be a game changer for the rest of the world. Just sayin….. 🙂

Much to my surprise, Halloween Season seems to have arrived. And people were having fits over Christmas…

There are lots of interesting information about the Halloween season in Disney Parks – along with some amazing food for the Food and Wine Fest that just started.

I’m not exactly sure when “Christmas” will arrive, but I’m thinking along the lines of November 1st.

Why? You ask. Well, if you are interested in getting an early Holiday Start, now would be a good time to check merchandise, recipes and ideas for holiday festivities.

Maymay Made It has already started work on holiday gift ideas as has Pootles Papercraft. Pootles began her yearly Advent Countdown on 9/2 and the projects have been amazing.

Yeah, I know, but honestly, if you want to avoid the last minute meltdown, you need to get your rears in gear. 🙂

That’s all for now. Happy Back To School. Or Whatever!

Food. The Adversary?

Food. The Adversary?

There is a lot of propaganda out there regarding food and cooking.

From the outright lie that cooking is hard and the only way to master it is to allow someone else to do the heavy lifting for you, to the pervasive idea that food is the enemy and you are in a constant battle to survive.

Let’s look at the first one for a moment, shall we?

Cooking can be hard. But it doesn’t have to be and, most importantly, with innovation and technology, it is a lot easier than Grandma or even Great Grandma had it. Heck, even Mom had issues with equipment.

Unless you expect to be a 5 star Michelin chef doing hundreds, if not thousands, of meals every day, (and if you are that’s amazing) most household cooking is pretty straightforward and reasonably easy to do. If you know how.

If you know how.

One of the things that literally stopped me in my tracks was discovering that Home Economics classes are pretty much extinct. The idea is that you need to know how to look something up more than you need to know how to feed yourself.

What!???????

I hate to break it to you, folks, but if you can’t feed yourself, the rest is not necessary. Let alone possible.

Yeah, I get it – it is unknown. Scary. Smelly. Icky. Takes time you’d rather spend doing something else. Or…… maybe it is something you don’t know if you actually like until you find out how to do it?

Why that particular line of propaganda? Simple. Food companies needed to convince buyers to buy their products. All those cans of vegetables, boxes of mixes, packets of frozen foods needed to be purchased to make money for the companies. As time went on the advertisers got busy finding incentives, excuses, reasons, why you just couldn’t spend All That Time In The Kitchen cooking a meal when all you had to do was pull it out of the freezer, dump it in the oven and TaDa! Dinner. Not exactly cheap, but a easy.

Food as the Adversary came a long a bit later. It was a byproduct of discovering how Humans eat and what happens to their health over time.

When I was a kid mercury was a huge problem in canned fish. Saccharin was thought to cause cancer. Fat was the Biggest Bad Guy out there. Except you need a small amount of fat to make your body (a machine) work.

Thanks to a combination of intentioned advertising, misunderstanding, ignorance and the growth of the health conscious community, society took on a lot of questionable ideas about healthy eating.

Sadly, some of those ideas are still around today.

Yes, mercury is a no-no in your food. Fake foods like saccharin sound like a great idea, but the way the human body reacts could be worse than just eating the sugar. Or the salt.

Which reminds me. Thanks to the proliferation of fast food shops and basically eating out, most people have no idea what a proper portion of anything is or even looks like.

It is no wonder people have issues with food.

There’s a lot to explore here. I am not, and never claimed to be, an expert or a professional food person. What I am is a consumer who cooks and eats. And I want to learn more and share what I’m learning to make sure I can feed myself and keep my health without either going broke or driving myself crazy.

If you’d like to join me on this journey, let me know by clicking below. Send me a comment. I’d like to learn your thoughts as we work our way along this journey.

A Simple, Easy Dinner

A Simple, Easy Dinner

One of my Very Favorite dinners is so simple and easy you’ll want to make it often.

I take a pork shoulder steak, season with salt, pepper, dried sage and dried garlic. Place it on a broiler pan and roast in a 350 degree oven on the first side for 45 minutes, then flip (season as before) and continue in the oven for at least another 30 minutes, 45 if you want them more caramelized.

I use my broiler pan to catch any fat that melts and drips off. If there is room on the pan – often times not – I put the potatoes there. Otherwise, they are on a separate rack in the oven. Depending on the size of the spuds, you may need to put them in the oven earlier than the pork.

You can add a green vegetable or a side salad with a simple dessert and there you go!

Food, Glorious Food!

Food, Glorious Food!

Food is our common ground, a universal experience.     

James Beard

I am a Foodie who enjoys cooking.

I love the variety of flavors, colors, textures, and smells. I love the possibilities.

I recently became acquainted with a group of folks who are embarking – or continuing to embark – on a health/weight adventure. Some have been on this road for a long time, while others are relatively new to it.

Health and weight concerns are serious issues and there are tons of things to consider. One is how you feed yourself and not make yourself ill.

I have friends who are gluten intolerant, have various food allergies and sensitivities that make eating out not only questionable, but in some cases downright dangerous.

For those folks who have little or no real knowledge about cooking, feeding yourself out of a microwave or a drive through can be counter productive. And expensive.

As I thought about all these things, and looked at my experience of them, I started to wonder if there might be a way to share information that would help folks get more comfortable in the kitchen and find ways to create satisfying meals without a lot of stress.

Now, I know that the Internet is up to its’ figurative eyeballs in food blogs, but most people have no idea where to begin.

I’m thinking about this in relation to this blog. Would you be interested in joining me on a new food adventure? Leave me a comment below. Thanks!

The Unsung Hero of the Kitchen

The Unsung Hero of the Kitchen

The Slow Cooker

Yep, you read that right. The slow cooker is the unsung hero of the kitchen.

While the Instapots and the Air Fryers of the culinary world are selling like hotcakes, the real workhorse in the kitchen is that simple, handy, dependable piece of electronic crockery that sits on your counter producing flavorful, healthy meals day after day, week after week, year after year.

What? You don’t own one? Or, you do, but you never use it? You don’t really know how to use it and what you have tried has been a bit…eh.

Oh my…

Slow cooking can be dump and go, but there are a few things you need to know to get the results you want.

You can roast in them, but you do need to remember to NOT add any liquid. Why? Slow cookers don’t reduce liquids in the pot unless you leave the lid off or open on a side. That means all the moisture in your food stays in the pot.

One of my favorite things to use the slow cooker for is to roast a turkey breast. I put it in the pot, no seasoning or water, put the lid on and set it for LOW for 8 hours. When I come home at the end of the day, I have a perfectly cooked, tender and juicy roast turkey breast – and the skin is usually browned and a bit crispy, too.

Pot roast is a great option, but you do need to put the vegetables on the bottom of the pan. That way they get the benefit of all the juices in the meat and cook properly. Don’t add a lot of liquid! I’d keep it down to a half a cup. Any more than that and the meat isn’t roasting it is swimming.

Applesauce can be a great on the back burner kind of project, too. I’ve even seen homemade ketchup made in a slow cooker and heard of people making apple, peach or pumpkin butters in the pots.

Looking for some great resources to use your slow cooker? America’s Test Kitchen has done some serious research and put together some great recipes. They have some sound advice for various types of food.

FoodTV has done a couple of articles on Slow Cooker Recipes. The Most Popular Slow Cooker Recipe on Pinterest was great reading – and sounds good, too!

You can make side dishes for those busy holiday meals, set up the cooker to keep ciders and other drinks hot and ready, use the cooker to melt chocolates for homemade candies.

I’ve been know to get large family sized flats of chicken and cook them all in the cooker ready for packaging for freezing. Quick, easy, simple. And I don’t have to keep an eye on it. 🙂

Don’t forget to get a box of liners for use with your slow cooker. They make cleanup a breeze!

There is a reason this simple appliance has been around for such a long time. Get yours out and give it a go. You just might find it has become your favorite kitchen tool!

Can You Spare a Dime?

Can You Spare a Dime?

I’m posting today because, frankly, I need your help and support.

I’m a self supporting household – there is no second income anywhere. I am almost at the point of being able to request my Social Security benefits. Almost, but not quite. As you can see in my fundraiser information, things have deteriorated and I need help.

This site is free – which is why you see ads. I don’t make one penny off it and, thankfully, don’t spend one, either. If I had to, it would have to be taken down.

If you can help, fantastic! If you can’t, please share this with anyone you think might be able to. Actually, please share anyway. 🙂

I know times are hard, but the truth is, they are hard for most of us. Can you spare the price of a cup of coffee to help someone?

Thank you in advance.

Is It New Season Yet?

Is It New Season Yet?

It seems to be that time of year that is the In Between Time. That place where it is not quite Fall and not quite still Summer. We can’t move to warmer clothes or turn the a/c off or sit on the deck and enjoy a cool evening.

I got out to run errands today and was glad I could still have the windows open. For a few minutes there was debate about turning on the a/c.

I’m one of those folk who love 4 seasons, but really love being able to live with windows open and the a/c off.

My TV viewing is also in between. I’ve caught up with my summer shows, binged the streamed stuff I have been looking forward to for longer than I care to admit, and am now stuck waiting for the New Season to start in late September.

Part of me feels like that pre-teen kid that mopes around the house bored out of her gourd. At my age that is quite a … yeah, well, you know. 🙂

The past few months have been very stressful and, frankly, I would like to hope for some serious updates. Soon.

In the meantime, I’m taking my time, getting used to the onset of Fall and thinking positive.

One day at a time, right?