Friday, December 23, 2022

Henry Faulk's Christmas Story



December 9, 2005
The gifted storyteller and former radio broadcaster John Henry Faulk recorded his Christmas story in 1974 for the programVoices in the Wind.

Faulk was born to Methodist parents on August 21, 1913. The fourth of five children, he attended the University of Texas. For his master's thesis, he researched ten sermons in African-American churches and gained insight into the inequity of civil rights for people of color. He later taught English at the University and served as a medic in the Marines during World War II.

Before the John Henry Faulk Show debuted in 1951 on WCBS Radio, Faulk hosted numerous radio programs in New York and New Jersey.

He was blacklisted in 1957, but with (click here to read the rest on NPR) . . . 

Monday, December 5, 2022

A Covid Review?

Once Netflix removed Mad Men from it's streaming site, I decided to rewatch Grey's Anatomy. Originally we only watched the first 4-5 seasons, when F was in the recliner. So "rewatching" isn't quite the correct word, but that's what I'm watching while using the treadmill on the days I'm not video calling with one of my Washington cousins. I can't remember when I started the rewatch, but I recently began the seventeenth season.

What a surprise to begin that season!  Suddenly, it's all about the hospital employees working, living and watching people struggle and oft times die with Covid. And each episode feels like a hat tip to the medical community and all that they sacrificed. The melodrama still carries on amongst the covid stories, of course, as well as the humanity. 

Well done, Grey's Anatomy. Now I'm wondering what other series mirrored the pandemic. 

Monday, October 24, 2022

The Dining Room Table

I imagine ...

In some houses

Dining room tables may exist.

"They go with the decor"

"It's the centerpiece of the house"

Yet have never felt a plate of food nor a resting elbow.


In other houses

It's been ages since

The table has seen the sunlight

Or any light for that matter

Our hand me down 

Has witnessed generations


Dining room tables

for me

Hold Memories


Mother's letters -read and answered

Patterns pinned

Meaty trophies cut into steaks

Grandma Curly getting a perm 

(Grandma Curly getting curlier)

Hands upon hands of card games

Family meals

Cousins! Aunts! Uncles! Gather round the turkey

Homework

And doodling ... whilst eavesdropping (on adult conversations)


Thursday, August 4, 2022

A Rustic Gluten Free ... Moment

I've lost track of how many years I've been baking them, the truth is--I love me some tomato tart. Especially Joanne Weir's

After discovering the tarts/galettes, I've got into the habit of making one for dinner about four- five times during the summer. Each baked bite tastes like all the best parts of summer-- fresh tomatoes and basil with cheese. (Swoon) 

Then, a handful of months ago, we discovered that N's gut no longer tolerates gluten. The changes weren't as life shattering as I feared. The bread is okay, not great. We've found good cookies and crackers. And most importantly,-- we've had some good luck with the gf flour blends. (Yay for pancakes!) 

We've made changes to our daily diet with good results, so why oh why was I dragging my feet about making a galette? This question caused me to have a bedtime chat with myself, "you were nervous and slightly reluctant to make your first pie crust, yet when you finally made one the world did NOT end or even shudder. Find a fekking recipe and make it, ya big baby!" And so, FINALLY, I did.

The dough was crumbly--reminded me a little of shortbread. After mixing the dough together, I did the usual wrapping in plastic wrap and resting it in the refrigerator. It improved slightly. I carefully attempted to roll it out on my old Tupperware pie crust mat. (I read something about rolling the crust out between two sheets of plastic wrap, but I was concerned about it turning into a big sticky mess.)

Without the elasticity of the gluten, the dough split apart along the outer edges (3" or so). I decided to carry on and not mess with the dough too much. I carefully distributed the mixture of cheeses and basil onto the middle 8-10" of the dough and stacked the thin sliced tomatoes on top. Bringing up the edges of the dough, to hold in the filling, was like a cut and paste project, as I tried to repair and hold together the edges, but it worked.

The end result was delicious, though the crust was more chewy than flakey. Next time I'll either add more butter or use one of Bob's Red Mill GF pie crust mixes. AND there will be a next time. 
Love, K

Thursday, July 21, 2022

January 6 Hearings: Day Eight

 

Roasted Miso Chicken Thighs

Round about three weeks ago I stumbled upon the first miso recipe. Not sure if I heard a story on the radio or read an article, but I was curious and Offspring-L was saying enticing and encouraging things about its uses. 

The first recipe was simply to massage the miso into chicken and roast. It did lend a nice yet very subtle flavor. I wasn't convinced. Then I spotted another recipe (below). After mixing the miso with ginger paste, rice vinegar, pepper, garlic and honey, and massaging it into chicken thighs for the barbecue, I'm in total complete food love. I keep thinking of what else I could use it for and what other combinations exist. Yes, it has become a craving.

And so, I decided to find the initial set of recipe inspirations and store the links here. If I remember, I'll add more as I find them. 

Love (to eat), K ๐Ÿ’“


Went There 8 This





Friday, July 8, 2022

Panax Ginseng

   Recently I read the summary results on a small Panax Ginseng trial where participants experienced a noticeable drop in blood sugar. Enough of a drop that the group doing the study warned of the importance of diabetics keeping a close watch to be sure their blood sugar doesn't drop too low. 

   Over the past couple of years my fasting bloodwork blood sugar has been creeping up--not into the danger zone, but slowly and steadily encroaching upon it. After I read and mused over the study, I decided to give the supplement a try. I've been taking two tabs a day since mid-June. What I've noticed is my sweet tooth has been dampened considerably. 

   I'll have to wait until mid-November's doctor's appointment to see if there's a change in the blood work. Hopefully, I'll remember to come back here and share.

Love, K

Tuesday, June 14, 2022

Gluten Free Bread Mix Experimentation

Now that half of our two person household is gluten intolerant, I've been slowly finding solutions/products that will hopefully help with changing long time favorite recipes from being tossed into the bin. Recently, I did a search for Simple Mills bread mix, to see what others have created with the mix. 



I've had a box sitting in the pantry for a couple of months and realized I just needed a little community reassurance regarding what options others have discovered while experimenting with the GF mix. This blog, was the first to pop up in the search results. And, to be honest, I didn't look at other results, because I liked the idea of using a "muffin top" pan (which always makes me think of Seinfeld) to make burger buns. 

The first thing I realized (too late)-- I hadn't read the blog carefully enough, before ordering a muffin top pan. I went with a company I've had experience with, which makes a 3" muffin top as opposed to 4 1/2" muffin tops. I went ahead with the baking, because --dang it-- these making/baking moods need to be taken advantage of when they alight. 

I followed the directions on the package for "dinner rolls", portioned out the batter into the 12 muffin top indentations, baked for the required number of minutes. Not only did they turn out well, but they didn't stick to the pan I forgot to grease. They are on the smallish side, but now that I know it works well, I'll go get the larger muffin top pan for the next batches. Then the next tasty step will be using them with either pulled pork or a hamburger. Wahoo.

Love, K 

Thursday, June 9, 2022

Drooling While Reading

I've been having a problem with the current novel. Some novels are difficult to put down and others can be difficult to get into, depending on reader's expectations or mood or ?. My pen pal cousin and I are reading this book together for the month of June. So yesterday I sent cousin a text sharing my book lapse. Typing it out and reading her reply seemed to be the encouragement I needed to take that book out to the deck for an hour or more. 

During that hour, as the main character was dining alone in his hotel restaurant, he recommended a dish to a pair of young nearby diners. Along with the recommendation was his detailed delicious memory of that dish, Latvian Stew: 

“...the onions thoroughly caramelized, the pork slowly braised, and the apricots briefly stewed, the three ingredients came together in a sweet and smoky medley that simultaneously suggested the comfort of a snowed-in tavern and the jangle of a Gypsy tambourine.”

Of course my stomach insisted I had to put the book down, pick up my phone and do a quick search. That's when I discovered a blog post written by another reader who stopped mid-read to savor the tasty words. Reassuring to know I'm not as strange as I often fear. 

Love, K



Wednesday, June 8, 2022

Streaming from 2021-Present

Kinhorn

Only Murders in the Building

Jon Stewart

Mr. Roosevelt

Captain Fantastic

Maid

Home Before Dark

Water for Elephants

The Good Lie

On Our Feet

Dune (new)

African Elephant

Colin Kapernik

Begin Again

Bonus Family

Finch

Dopesick

Pursuit of Love

The King

The Shrink Nextdoor (limited series)

Trapped

Electrical Life of Louis Wain

Tick Tick Boom

Robin Robin

The Song of Lunch

Annette

Power of the Dog

Ride the Eagle

Outside In

The 2nd Exotic Marigold Hotel

The Rewrite

Steady Habits

Red Joan

Swan Song

Crooked House

Cinderella Man

Little Shop of Horrors

Premonition

Being the Ricardos

Don't Look Up

Lost Daughter

Henri

The Courier

Pig

Hunderby (UK series)

Separate Tables

Monarch of the Glen (Scottish series)

A Tender Bar

Star Struck

Together Together

On Chesil Beach

Falling for Figaro

Limbo

Anxious People

My Father's Violin

Mainstreet

Something Borrowed

My Dog Stupid

Railway Man

Beguiled

Someone Somewhere

Landscapers

Woman in the Window (series)

Fisherman's Friends

The Miniaturist

Inventing Anna (limited series)

Westside Story

Drive My Car

Bright Star

Everything Must Go

The Guilty

Adam Project

Life and Beth

Thing About Pam (series)

The Half of It

Phantom Thread

Ben Franklin: Ken Burns

Julia (HBO series)

When We Die

Righteous Gemstones (HBO series)

Old Enough (Japanese series)

Guilt

Closer (2004)

Worth

Mr. Harry Lights a Candle

The House

Friday Night Dinner (UK series)

Staircase (NF series)

Stardust

Last Tango

Michael Clayton

Love & Marriage (BBC series)

Made for Love

Troop Zero

The Last Duel

White Lies (New Zealand indie)

Friday, May 20, 2022

Search for Old Recipe Uncovers New Take

 Way back in the 80s, we used to enjoy a recipe for pork chops baked with sour cream and breadcrumbs on top. I don't know if it was the bread crumbs, the low fat sour cream or a change in cuts of pork, but the recipe eventually stopped pleasing. I began to crave it recently and set out to see if there were any variations. Yay! There are! Here's the one I found and enjoyed ... TWICE. 




Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Carolyn Hax: Defining One's Best Self

Defining One's Best Self 


Dear Carolyn: You often talk about a “best self” and the ways people should either live that themselves or permit others to do so. I can guess what a best self might be, but I wonder what your workaday definition is?— Best Self

Best Self: It’s when you like yourself. Or, when you’re getting the most out of your strengths and succumbing the least to your weaknesses. It’s highly personal, but here are some ideas for cultivating strength:

Are you doing things that are meaningful to you; well-suited to your interests, skills and talents; and challenging enough to keep you humble?

Are you with people to whom you want to be kind; who reinforce your good choices; and who don’t inspire persistent doubts about whether they’re dependable, genuinely fond of you, free of ulterior motives, honest with you?

Are you that person to those you love?

Do you take responsibility for your choices and their consequences?

Do you honor your promises and commitments, to yourself and others?

When you are impressed by, grateful to or concerned about someone, do you show it?

Do you forgive?

Are you representing yourself honestly, to yourself and others, creating no facades to maintain?

Do you take care of yourself — in small ways like flossing and in big ways like thinking through potential consequences before you act? And do you put yourself first in ways that sustain you, to minimize your burdening of others?

As for taming weaknesses:

Do you realize your needs have the same status as everyone else’s? And you’re not the hero in every encounter with others?

Are you mindful of your flaws and demons?

Do you make choices that put distance between you and your temptations?

Do you resist the impulse to blame others when things go wrong?

Do you understand the boundary between your and others’ business, and stay on your side?

When you’re unsure, do you admit that and seek help?

When you’re about to express negativity or a criticism, do you ask yourself whether it needs expressing? And imagine how its target will feel?

When you fall short, do you admit that? To those who most need to hear it?

Since all of these questions hinge on solid self-awareness, I’d call Step 1 a brutally honest assessment of what you bring to the party — and how you’re most likely to wreck it.

Monday, May 9, 2022

This Resonates ...

 Carolyn Hax:

"Rule No. 2: Don't rely solely on your own explanations for other people's behavior when they are available to explain it themselves."

Saturday, April 23, 2022

I Held Out Until I Couldn't

I'd managed to avoid a pandemic video doctor's appointment, until this week. We attended our usual check-ups and tried our best not to need anything more from the health folks --they had enough to do. But, since my home test confirmed what I felt (yes you, Omicron), I decided to ask what the clinic preferred. 

It doesn't matter how well I try to prepare, I still get all fretty and sweaty about new experiences. At first, I thought the kitchen would be the best place to do the call (yes, over thinking is my thing), but when N suggested the dining room table I realized it was the better location. It was either a chair or a stool in the kitchen and neither was a good height. 

The first call rang out. It was Doc's nurse, to help talk me through the set-up. Of course, I accidently hung up on her ... trying to navigate between websites on my phone while fretty and sweaty is not the best of situations. And then, once I had the official website up and waiting for Doc to join, I began to wonder if there was another button to push ... why was it taking so long ... did I screw something up? Yeah, that was me for a good 15 minutes. 

Then he answered. Whew! He asked, I answered, we shared, he suggested and then it was over. Whew! Now I'm curious as to how many calories I shed in that time period. Hmmm, not a sustainable weightloss program, K. Okay then ... nevermind. 

Love, K 

Monday, April 18, 2022

Sunday, April 17, 2022

Her Favorites

     My apologies to the author of "His Favorites", that I finished reading today (4/14), but ... that's what popped into my head. And also -- good intense, yet quick read.
    We all have our favorites brands, for a myriad of reasons. Whether it's how a company tends to its employees or pays heed to their affect on the environment, it matters in how we "feel" about their products. Or is that just me? I doubt it.
    I've been a long time fan of Paula's Choice, a Seattle company I first learned about while watching AM Northwest in the eighties. I used to order more products from PC, but now it's mainly the shampoo and conditioner. Unscented products can be difficult to find, but when you're sensitive to some scents, it's imperative. 
    Apologies to Paula's Choice, but I've recently begun switching over to Cerave's moisturizers and cleansers. I like how they make my skin feel and I appreciate the price.
    When it comes to jeans, the past 4ish years, I discovered LLBean's True Shape. I love the fit and the pockets hold what I need. Pockets --they're where it's at, baby. 
    Years ago, I used to find some interesting and well loved tops at Sierra Trading Post, until those searches no longer satisfied. My most recent enjoyed tops are from Orvis --love those sales. 
    Now that we've gone gluten free, thanks to N's gut issues, I've discovered Simple Mills as a tasty resource for cookies and crackers. Banza chickpea pasta has been another lifesaver, as well as Bob's Redmill gluten free flour and granola.
    About 4 years back, I found a pair of tennis shoes that pleased--mainly because of the color (love that dark red!). The fit was okay, but my right baby toe kept working its way through the shoe's edge. Tossing shoes after only a year, is not a goal I aspire to, so I was very glad when our Fran suggested Altras. After doing some review reading, I decided to give their last year's version of Lone Peak a try. After wearing them for a day, I began to feel a hot spot under the ball of my foot. I decided to put my orthotics in to see if that would improve the problem. It did. And now ... I love these shoes. Many thanks for the tip, Fran. 
    I'm sure there's more favorites. If I remember, I'll add them here. 
Love, K

Update #1:  Just remembered one of my latest favorites. I've had a rough bumpy nail, ever since I slammed my thumb in the car door as a child. Always trying to grow out all of the layers, but always failing. The wee folk were very interested the moment they'd discover it as we held hands walking in line. Then ... about two months ago, I was reading a scientific study about two ingredients used on cracking, splitting nails and how there was noticeable improvement. I traced down the name of the manufacturer and bought Isdin Si-Nails. It's not cheap --$32 a tube, BUT after over 3 weeks, I can tell ya'll that it works. The ingredients work together to moisturize the nails, which seems to be exactly what mine needed. In my circumstance, it felt like a miracle. 

Saturday, April 9, 2022

Capri With Me

    There was a time, during my working days, when I was known for being one of the first to don capris and sandals, once Spring had popped up on the calendar. If memory can be relied upon, I usually pulled those capris and sandals out right after Spring break. 
    Now that I'm retired, I can't imagine what our heat bill would look like if I continued putting them on on April 1. AND the justifying of it wouldn't fly -- with me especially. Ah yes, the difference between being on the run and being at home. 
    Just me musing ... Love, K 

Sunday, April 3, 2022

And Speaking of Pork Roasts . . .

    We were still thinking of that first pork roast (in a long time). So two days back I bought another and did it again. I was just short of having enough for leftovers the following evening, so went searching for leftover pork roast ideas on the innerwebs. 
    None of the recipes I was seeing in my search resonated, until I landed on TheSpruceEats.com. How did I not know about using pork in stroganoff?! Probably because I've had the long time dependable delicious recipe on hand and never had to go out and sort through the multitudes of possibilities. Yeah, that's my excuse. And also-- YAY for gluten free noodles! ๐ŸŽ‰๐Ÿฅณ
    Here it is. It's definitely a keeper! One night of dining on roast and then two more nights of stroganoff--which equals winning when you're trying to eat less meat. 
Love, K ๐Ÿ’“


Ingredients
4 ounces egg noodles
8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
Salt, to taste
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
1/2 small onion, chopped
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/2 cup wine
1/2 cup stock
12 ounces leftover roast chicken, or pork or beef, cut into strips
1/2 cup sour cream
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Prep your ingredients. 
Fill a pot of water and bring it to a boil. Salt it and, once boiling, add the egg noodles and cook per the package instructions. Drain and reserve.
Place the mushrooms in a large, dry, non-stick skillet and sprinkle them with salt.
Cook over medium-high heat until the mushrooms begin to brown and give up their liquid, or about 6 minutes.
Stir the mushrooms, add in the thyme, and add 1 tablespoon of the butter. Cook until browned, about 3 minutes. 
Scoop the mushrooms onto a plate and set aside. Using the same pan over medium heat, add the remaining butter, onion, and tomato paste and then cook until the onion is translucent, stirring frequently for about 5 minutes. 
Return the mushrooms to the skillet and add the wine. 
Increase the heat to medium-high and cook until the wine is reduced by half, approximately 5 minutes. Add the stock and cook for 5 more minutes. 
Reduce the heat to low, add the meat, and simmer for 5 minutes. 
Remove from heat and stir in the sour cream and pepper. Taste test and adjust the seasonings. Serve over the cooked noodles. 

Saturday, March 26, 2022

Tuna Avocado Tostada Toasties

 A local tweep shared an enjoyed meal and (of course) I had to look it up. Sounds like a tasty meal to me. How about you? Love, K



Tuesday, March 15, 2022

Momma's Pot Roast recipe

Recently, I've been rediscovering roasts. In February, I found a recipe for a pork roast that turned out quite nice and fed us for a couple of nights --something I seem to do more of each year. Then we bought a two pack of 2.5 lb beef roasts and the first recipe I used was a disappointment. Then two days ago, I remembered Mom's old standby pot roast recipe. And it's as good as I remembered. I did make a couple of small changes--like searing all sides of the roast in my Dutch oven, before adding the veg and liquid ingredients. So good, I decided putting the recipe here will help me remember it next time around.

Mom's Roast

3-4 lb boneless beef roast (I used 2.5)
salt and pepper
3-4 halved or quartered potatoes (depending on size)
2 carrots cut into quarter inch coins
1 onion cut into fourths
1 8 ounce can of tomato sauce
1/2 cup of soy sauce
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp flour
2 cloves minced garlic
1 tsp of dry mustard

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. 
Trim excess fat, dry off roast with clean towel. Rub entire roast with a mixture of salt and pepper. Heat Dutch oven on medium high heat. Put on your apron and lay out your sturdy tongs. Once Dutch oven is up to temperature, add oil. Sear all sides of roast for about a minute per side. Remove roast. Turn heat down to medium. Add vegetables and cook and stir for about 3 minutes. Add garlic and remove from heat. Put roast back into Dutch oven. Add tomato sauce, soy sauce, brown sugar, flour, and dry mustard to bowl, stir together and pour over roast. Stir everything in Dutch oven around to distribute mixture amongst the roast and vegetables. Cover with lid and use potholders to put Dutch Oven into preheated oven for 3 and a half hours. 
Enjoy. Love, K


Monday, March 7, 2022

Yup, It Happened Again ...

Last night, while reading the latest novel, 
I (once again) found myself on the page.
 
It's such a strange thing. 
There I am, engaged in the story, 
inhaling each descriptive sentence 
and words exchanged amongst the characters and BOOM ...
 
the author hits me in the gut with their resonating insight. 
Of course it's not meant for me, 
it's for the main character and yet my tears flow 
and I have to close the book to process. 

Tuesday, March 1, 2022

Me and My Mum

 Oh yes, oh yes, oh yes, another lovely Mom memory floated up to the surface of my mushy gray matter the other night. Sigh. So lovely and so tactile. So filled with love.

There was a period of time, when Mom and Dad would skip the family Thanksgiving and only drive north for Christmas. They'd arrive a short time before the twenty-fifth, stopping to see us, before heading up to the hometown and my sibs. 

Mom and I, would head out to the malls with great purpose, to select gifts for the offspring. Meandering from one store and parkade to the next, hoping our stamina and limbs were up to the task. 

But ... my most favoritest part of all, was holding Mom's hand as we trod the carpeted pathways. And I was ALWAYS amused at the strange looks from passersby. What the what?! You've never seen someone hold their mother's hand while out shopping? I doubt it very much.

With Love, K

Tuesday, February 15, 2022

Our Hope

Miss you old girl. You're still here, in the corner of my eye. ๐Ÿ’“



Monday, January 24, 2022

Covid Timey Wimey Troubles

    We've had a couple of strange moments, in the past week, and they all have to do with time. The first one occurred early in the week and involved our Squeezebox internet radio that we use to wake us up to OPB every morning. On this particular morning, the radio began, and I did my usual slow waking to those familiar voices. My first thought was, "Wow! I slept great!". Then ... I got up to use the bathroom and take an early morning medication. I spotted the bathroom clock. THREE AM??!! I returned to the bedroom, turned off that radio and inserted myself back between the sheets and willed myself back to sleep.

    Two nights later, I woke up (I usually wake 2-3 times during the night). On the way to the bathroom, I did my usual checking the time on the closest lit clock face. I read 5:30AM, took my meds and went back to bed. A few hours later, I woke again, peered at the same clock, which now (apparently) read 5AM. I resisted slapping myself for the earlier misreading, but wondered what the actual time was when I took my meds. 

    And finally, this past Sunday night, as N and I, finished watching the last of three different Masterpiece Theater offerings, a promo for a Monday evening program prompted us to, "tune in tonight at 8PM for the latest episode of Finding Your Roots". We turned to each other and burst into laughter. My first thought was--it's not just us! Umm, are you completely sure, K? I have some doubts.

Love, K

Saturday, January 1, 2022

Murder Mystery (?) from Australian Outback

"Knives Outback" 

 by Mitch Moxley

A man is presumed murdered. In this town of 12, everyone is a possible suspect.

In the hours before he went missing, never to be seen again, Paddy Moriarty had beer on his mind. Each morning around 9 a.m., Paddy would hop on his red quad bike with his dog and head for the Pink Panther pub for morning chores — cleaning the toilets and showers, raking leaves. The retired 70 year old, a former ranch hand born in Ireland who sported a mustache and had a heart condition, had been paid weekly with cartons of his favorite brew. After a few hours of work, he’d settle in at the bar for his daily drinking session. Most days, he would drink eight cans of XXXX Gold, an Australian lager. Eight beers — seldom more, never less.

The path from the far end of town, where Paddy lived in a converted service station, to the door of the bar passed the homes and businesses of nearly every resident of Larrimah, a dry, dusty, and cartoonishly small hamlet in Australia’s Northern Territory, a vast swath of rugged country largely devoid of people. The Outback town was once the effective terminus of the North Australia Railway, and it thrived for a time. During World War II, the Gorrie Army Base was nearby, Australia’s largest during the war. But in 1976 the railroad shut down, and through subsequent decades, the Larrimah population dropped from 100 to 50 to 25 — finally to 13.

Read or listen to entire story here