Monday, November 27, 2017
I was just wondering how many people have been the victims of culinary experimentation at the hands of their mothers? Mine was a doozie! She had a subscription to Sunset magazine!
My wife had a perpetual subscription to Sunset - a Christmas gift from my mom. I couldn't get away from it! Oh, and let's not forget Better Homes and Gardens!
There was one time Claudette whomped up what was billed as a really tasty dinner in her latest magazine. She labored over it for what seemed like hours! When time came to sit down to this fine repast, I took a fork-full, yummed it up, looked at her across the table and said, "Would you like me to go get a few McDonald's hamburgers?" She replied, " Great idea. I don't like it either."
Claudette and I will have been married 56 years next January 13th. She's a wonderful cook and prides herself with her culinary prowess after many years of learning from the Betty Crocker and Boston Cooking School Cookbooks. She's suffering some of the elderly's vicissitudes of late so I've taken on the mantle of Chef du jour. Meanwhile, she has become versed at directing the assembly of the assorted materials that go into a proper meal. Being the dutiful husband that I have learned to be over the last 50-some-odd years, I follow her directives with appropriate gusto. With her at the helm, I make some pretty good chow!
I can make Lipton Chicken-Noodle soup with toasted cheese sandwiches without burning the toast! And I make bang-up Indian Fry-Bread (using a tortilla instead) with refried beans, chorizo, shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, shredded cheddar and salsa. Lose the lettuce and tomatoes, throw a couple of fried eggs on top and you've got Huevos Rancheros. I have also taken the skill of fetching to some kind of high art: Guayo's and The Burger House are not so far that I can't launch a culinary expedition for grub. (It's the hunter-gatherer in me!)
Claudette's mom used to make stuffed bell-peppers when she was a kid during the war years. It was a very inexpensive meal because you could grow the peppers, rice was cheap and Bob (the man of the family) was a hunter and could hunt for elk, deer or whatever back in the day. And the family raised chickens, ducks and rabbits, so there was always meat.
What I'm leading up to here is the story about my sister-in-law's dad, Morton Glueck. Mort was a principal employee of Matson Lines. Matson's role in the economic development of Hawaii was significant. Its famed passenger liners and Waikiki Hotels were instrumental in the development of tourism in the beginning of the last century. In the '50s, Matson revolutionized shipping services to Hawaii when it introduced containerization in the Pacific. My brother Bill and MaryEllen met in Hawaii. He was a DJ at KPOI. They married and ended up in Tucson, where he was a radio personality.
Mort and his wife Rita loved to splurge on their vacations. They would fly in to Phoenix, rent a car and enjoy the drive to Tucson to visit with Bill and MaryEllen. (You need to understand what a drive though the desert was like to people who spent most of their time near the ocean and in places that had lots of water and green stuff!)
So, for no particular reason other than Mort and Rita were in town, Claudette invited MaryEllen, Bill, Rita and Mort to come over and have dinner with us of a Saturday evening. They were all delighted and accepted the invite. Claudette decided to do stuffed bell-peppers because it was something she knew how to make. Hey, all it takes is a bell-pepper, some fluffy rice, ground beef, some spices and stuff, some cheese and a little tomato sauce. (Ok, so I'm just a husband ... what do I know?)
Well, my bride put out a fantastic spread of chipables, dipables and hors d'oeuvres for the preliminaries. There were mixed drinks, beer and sodas for those who wanted them. After a while she brought out the big deal - stuffed bell-peppers. Well, mister Glueck just went bananas about them. He gobbled his up and when Claudette asked if anybody would like another one he replied in the affirmative. There were plenty because Claudette always made enough to freeze for later. All three of us men went for the offer of seconds. When had he finished his second serving, Mort asked if there were any more, allowing as how they were so delicious. Rita, being the very proper lady, glared at him, jabbed him in the ribs with her elbow and huffed "Mort" under her breath! Claudette replied, "Of course ..." and got him another one. Later, on their way out, Mort was like a puppy, gushing what a wonderful meal Claudette had presented. We made small talk on the porch for a while, watching the stars in the Tucson skies. Both he and Rita were gracious guests and it was a memorable evening.
I cannot cook anything like those bell-peppers as well as Claudette ... so I've settled on Stouffer's brand frozen stuffed bell-peppers. Just pop 'em in the microwave. Oh! Yummy!
Improvise - Adapt - Overcome. Semper Fi.
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Monday, November 13, 2017
Win the Korean Konflikt
There has to be a way to get Kim Jong-un to knock off the nonsense with missiles and nuclear tests and such. I may have hit upon an answer, much by accident, while playing around on YouTube.
Here was this goofy looking Korean guy, prancing around in a video made before Kim Jong-il had died. Actually, it may have been the reason he died! It was a world-wide phenomenon that did him in! Jong-il spoke just enough English to understand the words and it made him crazy! Heyyyyy, sexy lady!
I think that may be the answer to how to get Kim Jong-un to chill out some. All we gotta do is send Psy to the DMZ, turn on the giant loudspeakers located there, and let him do it Gangnam Style (Open Condom Star)!
Here ... you be the judge: https://youtu.be/9bZkp7q19f0
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Thursday, November 9, 2017
The Importance of Thank You
A dear friend of mine posted a note on Facebook about a week-and-a-half ago. It's an important observation that really hits home. My dad taught me many decades ago, "If someone gives you something, tell them Thank You." An unsolicited gift always deserves a kind remark in response - at the very least. Here is her post - word for word:
"So I just have to say something that has been an issue with me for years. A friend bought up how she received a thank you card recently. People underestimate how much thank you cards mean. If a person has gone out of their way for you, a quick thank you note goes a long way. I have made tons of baby quilts. Out of the joy of my heart. However, if I don't receive a thank you note/card I won't make a second baby quilt. People give hours, love and their own hard earned money to make a gift, saying thank you is such a little thing that goes a long way. I ALWAYS remember those that do and those that don't. No offense meant. Just another thing this generation seems to have lost."
A kind word is always welcome. One delivered with a big grin is even more welcome. There is something few people understand about kindness ... it's a multiplier. There is an ancient proverb - some attribute it to scripture - Whatever you give freely will be returned ten-fold. There are many among us who can attest to the truth of that saying. This is not about the intrinsic value of a gift and certainly not about making someone feel obligated. Rather, it involves the warm feelings imparted to both the giver and the recipient. Those two little words can mean more than all the gold in Fort Knox when uttered sincerely. It helps to understand that simply thanking God for one's blessings is appreciated more than you know.
So, thank you.
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Thursday, November 2, 2017
Well, it started with Arizona's John McCain, the American war hero, when he announced he would not be running for another term. In July he revealed he had brain cancer.
Although McCain initially voted to uphold the Bill to Repeal and Replace the Affordable Healthcare Act, he later decided to vote against Partial Repeal and the "Skinny" Repeal. It was Rand Paul who teamed up with eight other Republicans to queer the original deal. Partial Repeal did not pass because of McCain, Collins, Murkowski, Heller Alexander, Capito and Portman. The "Skinny" Bill failed only because McCain, MurKowski and Collins voted Nay. Not even the Vice-President's aye vote would have helped.
Senator Bob Corker, one of the nine who voted against the Repeal and Relace bill, has announced that he, too, will not run for re-election. What's more, Arizona's other Senator, Jeff Flake has thrown in the towel ... he will not run for re-election, just like McCain. If these three guys stick together, there is no way the Republican agenda can get through the congress without being gutted by the well-organized Democrat minority. This is the election agenda that sustained a House majority and elected a Senate majority, not to mention the President of the Unites States. Yet three Republicans are willing to throw in the towel and give Senate control to the minority party (with help from a few others) because they're offended by the way politics has changed since they were first elected. Yes, Corker, Flake and McCain are American Republican icons ... but I'm afraid they will go down in history as the Republican turn-coats who turned Congress over to the entrenched elites.
Some will say that Steve Bannon is the reason they all have tossed it in. Although Senator Flake voted for all three versions of the ACA Bill, he's still one of the three never-Trumpers that Bannon and his organization have targeted for defeat in 2018. You can bet the nine who voted against the Bill will be targets for Bannon's "Remove and Replace." They include Susan Collins of Main, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Nevada's Dean Heller, Bob Corker of Tennessee, Tom Cotton of Arkansas, South Carolina's Lindsey Graham, Mike Lee of Utah and Jerry Moran of Kansas.
Over in the House of Representatives, prominent member Jason Jaffetz announced in April that he would not be seeking re-election in 2018. Tim Murphy of Pennsylvania announced on October 4th that he'd not be seeking re-election. Ohio's Patrick Tiberi announced his intent in May. He said in mid-October that he'd be resigning.
Democrats are foaming at the mouth over their prospects of re-taking the Senate. The House could be doable with the loss of the three Republicans and six other members of the GOP who will be retiring in 2019. Pundits are predicting that the Democrats could gain as many as 33 House seats in 2018. The clock is running.
Speaking of time ... we switch to Standard Time at 2:00 a.m.this Sunday, November 5th. The West goes back to three hours ahead of the East Coast. Mountain time will be two hours ahead and folks living in the Central Time Zone will be just one hour before Eastern Standard Time. For years, Salem Oregon did not subscribe to Daylight Savings. But now, everybody's clocks get set BACK one hour this Sunday except for folks in Arizona and Hawaii - who get an extra hour of sleep. Remember: "Spring Forward - Fall Back."
Improvise - Adapt - Overcome. Semper Fi.
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