Monday, November 28, 2016

Monday Musings - Turkey for Days

I've not been a big fan of turkey meat until recently.  Three years ago we began to BBQ our turkey and the results have been...well, fantastic.  We had quite a bit of leftover meat from Thursday, and at first I attempted to foist it off on folks.  No takers.  They were turkeyed out.

Lucky for us, because I've made some really yummy meals from the leftovers.  First night, I made turkey pot pie, and used the gravy I made for that.  Then, I made a giant pot of turkey broth in my pressure cooker.  45 minutes and done!  With that broth, I made a turkey tortilla soup for our dinner last night.  It was delicious, and the kicker is I made up the recipe myself.

I'm pretty good at sussing out what's in the pantry and frig and throwing meals together from that.  I had a large stack of corn tortillas that needed eating or they'd soon be ready for the compost.  So I fried up a big bunch of tortilla chips.  I cook on the fly.  Often without a recipe.

A little frozen corn, canned diced green chilies, salsa Verde, I had cheddar cheese on hand.  And all that great turkey broth with some meat shredded into it.

We're going to end up having about 5 meals from that one turkey!  And I'm freezing the left over soup in order to have it when we have guests next weekend. 

I just may end up having a Christmas turkey as well, now that I know how versatile this little gobbler is.  We buy really good fresh turkey at our local coop.  It's expensive compared to the frozen mass produced stuff, but the taste difference is remarkable.

I've been fairly blah about cooking these past few weeks, but feel re-energized.  I'm happy, also, that each dish has been a hit with the mister as well.  It's a win-win.

Do you have a favorite post-Thanksgiving recipe to share?  I'm open to any and all ideas!  Oh my, this just popped into my head:  Turkey Mole

Holy Mole!

Friday, November 25, 2016

TGIF

We did it!  We made it though Thanksgiving.  How about you?  We cooked the turkey on the grill for the third year in a row.  I've done it every which way, with a roasting pan on top of the grate, bare ass turkey on top of the grate, and turkey in ceramic pot down low next to the coals.  I think this years method was the most successful.  Down low, you get ash in the drippings.  No good gravy from that mess.  Up bare ass naked you have the same problem:  your drip pan is underneath next to the coals.  Ash issues.  On top in its own pan, perfect.  It blows my mind that a 13 lb turkey only takes 2.5 - 3 hours to cook and you don't have to baste one single time.

We took said turkey over to the kids' in Sacramento.  The usual suspects, and boy do we like them!  Fun people, smart, humorous, with several smart as a whip kids to boot.

There was the usual after dinner dance off in the living room.  We do allow for some digestion before hand, we're not crazy.

The best was the Daddy's Dance -- big strapping guys who barely moved at all.  I mean really, they need some belly dancing lessons to loosen up those hips!  I laughed until I was coughing.  I escaped participation this year.  Feeling a tad too full.

Then we stopped by my parents on our way home.  Totally different vibe.  Quiet civility around the fireplace, polite conversation, dad with his chef's coat on spinning tales we've all heard a gazillion times.  Some things never change.  And mom, well, she was just wiped out.  We didn't stay long.  Next year, with any luck, we'll have dinner with them at the retirement home.  The other house is more fun, but our time with my folks is short, and so.

We were sent home with homemade Hamantaschen and was I ever grateful.  Little triangular cookies filled with preserves, kind of like the thumbprint cookies of my youth.  Usually eaten at Purim, Gail decided what the hell, and brought them all the way from New York City.  She even made the fillings:  apricot jam, poppy seed and fig.  Oh. Yum.

Gail and I also discovered we will both be at the Women's March in DC in January.  She's only coming down for the day, so it's unlikely we'll meet up, but we exchanged cell phone numbers just in case.  She's a feisty lady, a --dare I say it? -- Nasty Woman.  Sometimes to the horror of her children.  Good job, Gail, I say.  If you can still embarrass your children when you're an elder, more power to you!

Now for a quiet weekend.  But first, I'm donating blood tomorrow morning.  Then, it's all relaxation, all the time.  I'll be in my sheepskin slippers and sweat pants.  Ah.......

Monday, November 21, 2016

Monday Musings

I visited with my parents today for the first time since the election.  I took Lucy over so mom could cuddle with her.  They both love it.

We had a nice little lunch, dad shared his new book of memoirs that is in process of being published, and shared some written reports from his school when he was there in 1947, 48, 49.  Turns out he was quite the little trouble maker, and not so great with the grades, either.  We all had a good laugh about that.  Mom smiled a lot when he was telling stories.  She didn't talk a lot, and when she did, not much made sense.  Parkinson's dementia is a bitch.  She was sporting a nice new hair cut, though, and when she said she got it 2 days ago dad corrected her, "That was yesterday!"  Five minutes later he chimed in that she was, indeed, correct and it had been 2 days.  Mom beamed.  So, sometimes her brain is quite sharp.  It's perplexing.

We did not talk politics.  At all.  It won't take much to send me screaming and pulling out my hair.  I think perhaps they know this.  My husband and I are struggling with our feelings about them, since they voted for der Drumpf.  Going over there today felt a bit like sleeping with the enemy.  I say this in all seriousness.  What good little Germans they are.

I wish I could just take pity on them and love them anyway, but their choice has me grieving at a deep level.  Of course I still love them, but I wish their hearts weren't so black.  Nothing I can do about it.  No point in saying anything at all to them.  Every time I read about another school spray painted with swastikas, or a Muslim woman getting her scarf ripped off her head, or our VP Elect who has stated he will roll back marriage equality, well, I just think of my parents and say, "Thanks a lot, assholes."  

It's oddly disconcerting to be in the room with them and that big giant elephant lurking in the corner, tapping her toe with impatience.  I know a blow up is going to come, I just don't know when.  Funny story: the lady who lives in the apartment across the hall from their new place has a Hillary for President sign on her door side table!  They are moving to the People's Republic of Davis, one of the most progressive towns in the county.  On one trip over to the apartment, dad actually turned the sign over and I promptly righted it.  Asshole.

F A M I L Y
There are all kinds of memes and cartoons right now about how awkward this Thanksgiving will be for many families.  Duh.  We're lucky, though, and instead of going to my parent's home, we're going to my husband's family who are a bunch of freakin' Jewish lefties, with a few from NYC visiting, and a gorgeous man from Senegal who has married into the family.  And everyone is incredibly lovely: causal, smart, funny.  They are an exuberant bunch and dancing contests have been known to break out in the living room.   My people!

They are the ones who will cheer me on in Washington, DC come January.  I'm not even sure I'm going to tell my parents I'm going.  It might just cause mom too much stress.  Our trip to Cuba in 2015 had them extremely nervous (guess they thought we'd be murdered in the streets by those filthy communists) and our 2016 trip to Paris soon after the bombings had them climbing the walls (guess they thought we'd be murdered in the streets by those filthy Muslims).

So, to all of you who may have to spend Thanksgiving with the enemy, I'm sorry.  Just eat fast and 
S C R A M, is all I can say.




Friday, November 18, 2016

TGIF

Another week kicked in the guts.  Speaking of guts, mine are causing me a lot of pain and nausea.  I've got a doc appointment this afternoon to get a referral to GI specialist.  Could this all be stress induced, or is something physically amiss?  Hell if I know.  I just can't stomach must of anything.  Literally and figuratively.  

I've been watching the serial show, American Horror Story, which has been around for awhile and -- to my mind back then -- was too grotesque to watch.  However, needing some diversion (not Disney films) I tried it and it is actually quite good watching.  Populated with accomplished actors, it explores the sick psyche of our human race.  It also has redemptive value, of course, which is why we endure the horror part.  What made me turn to this series?  Was it a desire to connect with my darker side?  A need to see the true inhumanity of man?  Or just a good ol' fashioned scary flick to disappear into for respite?  Could be all of the above.  Or I just enjoy watching Kathy Bates paint her face with blood with obvious relish.  The standout star, for me, is Jessica Lange.  Now a mature woman, the various roles she plays require an actor with depth.  I really do believe her various characters, and Jessica disappears completely.  Now, that's acting.

Keeping track of the Drumpf transition, via the NY Times.  He really is doing things he said he would do, as evidenced by the people he is appointing to his cabinet.  No folks, he was not fooling around.  But I knew that.  Every time a supporter brushed off his most horrific rhetoric, I knew he was serious.  It's that old saying, "when someone tells you who they are, listen."  He's told us.  My sister just returned from a business trip to D.C. and she says it is a very subdued town.  Murmured conversations of "we're fucked" can be widely overheard.

I had great fun creating a new profile pic on Facebook.  Pretty much sums things up for me.


I would be most gratified if others did a similar picture.  I am going to RESIST and be a bad ass Nasty Woman for at least the next four years.  His Presidency is not going to be normalized by this gal.  No way.  We're in for a bumpy ride.

On the home front, a fall cold snap is finally here.  Indian summer has waved good-bye and I couldn't be happier.  Fires in the fireplace, 12  hours of sleep each night.  I am mimicking nature and going dormant.  It's a relief.  I am enjoying hearing from friends, both on their blogs and Facebook.  Great guffawing laughs at the funnier side to this sick national scenario.  I haven't seen my parents since the election, and I'm a little afraid to.  Given that they voted for Drumpf.  We aren't usually on the same side politically, and if it had been another Republican candidate, I could at least understand since that is their party.  But Drumpf?  That's beyond the pale.

Spending Thanksgiving with my husband's family, which is good news since we always have a good time and they are decidedly anti-Trump.  

How are you coping with the current state of our union?

Wishing you a peaceful and beautiful weekend.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Monday Musings

Funny how going about your usual routine can lift one's spirit.  This weekend we had the kids visiting, and between them, the grandson, and the Farmer's Market on Saturday, I got a lot of good feelings back.

There was a group holding signs of support for Muslims, Queer, the Disabled, etc.  I had a great chat with some of the sign holders and thanked them for their commitment.   Then, a woman standing near by with several small children, was handing out safety pins with an information sheet on what the safety pin symbolizes right now.

It all seems a little silly in some ways, these small acts.  I wear a safety pin so people know that can count on me to help them if they need it, whether it be a bully on a bus pulling a woman's hijab, or someone yelling at someone to 'go back to your land.'  These things are going on all over our country since the election ended. I read today a middle school in Maryland was vandalized with swastikas in the bathroom.  Middle school?  Are you kidding me?

Visions of Kristallnacht come to me.  Violence loosed upon the Jews in Germany that left at least 100 dead.

Back to the spirit lifting:  my grandson was as adorable as ever, came out with some great lines (the music the band played at the market was 'annoying'), and I loved watching him play with kids at the park in a spontaneous gathering of strangers whose only goal was to play and have fun.

We ate food in the warm autumn sun, tapped our feet to the (annoying) music, watched all the happy people.  Everything felt so...so...normal.  I needed that normalcy.  Back at the house, we soaked in the hot tub, ate more good food, fooled around with our silly boy, and talked about his little sister who will join us in March.  My daughter is looking radiant in the way that expectant mothers do.  She's doing the waddle walk, and she and her husband could not be cuter.

We always enjoy our visits.  She explained how she is working with her students in High School Civics class to deal with the blow of this election.  Her students are primarily Latino and Mexican kids and they're scared to death.  I listed intently as she talked about needing to address their emotional and mental well-being, as well as instructing them about the political system that is in place.  What struck me most is they feel the President Elect is their enemy.  And they are right.  He has said so in word and deed.  I can't imagine how scary it must be to feel you will be harassed because you are a person of color, and therefore, in some bigot's mind, an illegal immigrant.  I'm glad they have my daughter for a teacher, a person who will not white wash the situation for them, but who also gives them hope and something to reach for in their future. 

So, yes, feeling uplifted.  And staying away from the television.  And buying teeny tiny baby clothes.  

And vowing to be a part of the resistance.   I'm going to do it all.

Friday, November 11, 2016

TGIF



This is what I'd like to believe: if we all keep our heads, if we cool down, we can survive this. If we try to dialogue with the saner of the Drumpf supporters, maybe we can bridge the chasm. If the Electoral College deems him unfit and declares Clinton the winner.  I would like to believe that the enormity of the job will humble Drumpf.

I'd like to believe this whole thing is a bad dream and if I just have another cup of coffee and shake my head, a better reality will reveal itself.

We can resist.  We must resist.  The GOP was saying that if HRC won they would immediately begin impeachment proceedings.

The hate crimes have already begun and we have yet to hear der Drumpf denounce them, he only denounces the protestors.

The world has become a much more dangerous place.  And the whole world knows it.

How can I get my heart to stop banging so hard in my chest?  When will calm come back to me?

HRC lost the women's vote.  WTF?  But this is our republic.  Like it or not, this is our country and our fellow citizens have spoken.  Yes, I know HRC won the popular vote.  But the Electoral College is our system, right or wrong.

The Democratic party failed us.  As Michael Moore says, progressives are the majority of Americans.  Why do we have a President and a Congress who are antithetical to our values?

I have no answers.  We live in a Fox News world.  We can give up or we can speak out.  I'm sure there will be many public figures who will point us in different directions in the coming weeks.  I'm conflicted about listening to them at all.  My ears are bleeding.  So is my heart.  And in all this madness, Leonard Cohen's absence is acutely felt. Rest in peace, dear man.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Election Special Post


Hello my fellow Americans.  I have kept busy today.  The first I saw of any election news on the television is when I was on the treadmill at 3 o'clock.  The sound was off, I was trying to keep up with the super speedy closed caption.  The pundits were yammering on about the usual stuff, and I thought, "This is gonna be a long night."  That cardio workout was exactly what I needed: to move and to sweat.

I started the day wearing white.  White jeans and a white t-shirt.  For the suffragettes, don't you know.  Then I cleaned out the hot tub, and, well, that was the end of those clothes for the time being.

I grocery shopped in the early a.m., because I had to get my butt moving, and we needed food basics.  And I hate food shopping.  But I did it, dammit.  And now we'll have a nice dinner with wine tonight.  Yesterday I opened a couple of cans of chili, that's how bad it had become.  My enthusiasm for nightly cooking has waned of late, and I can fantasize about a personal chef all I want, but I don't think that luxury is in my future.   Although, it would make a GREAT Christmas present, wouldn't it?  WOULDN'T IT?

What else did I do today to keep busy?  Took the dog in for a badly needed nail trim, went to the hardware store for spa chemicals, and the home store for a shower curtain and bath mat.  I was mesmerized by the seasonal decorations for Thanksgiving, but I maintained some sanity and didn't purchase any of it.  (Patting myself on the back here.)

I stopped at our favorite Italian deli and picked up sandwiches for lunch.  We ate on our porch, in the glorious autumn sunshine and marveled that it is November.

I have been checking in on Face book, and have been entertained by the political cartoons, gifs and rants.  I'm also encouraged to see so many of my peeps voting today.  There is a live feed at the grave of Susan B. Anthony, and lines of people are going there to honor her today with election memorabilia and "I voted" stickers.  A woman has finally, successfully, run for President, in a time where there are still women alive who could not vote when they were younger, or who were born a couple of years after we earned that right.  Langston Hughes' lines "There has never been equality for me, nor freedom in this 'land of the free.'"  From his epic poem America.  Of course he was speaking for himself and all black Americans, but as a white woman, I can relate very much.

I have also grown to appreciate Hillary Clinton during this election cycle.  Thanks to friends like Kathleen in Baltimore, also a Wellesley graduate, who took the time to talk me off the ledge after Bernie was defeated.  I see how qualified she is, and though not perfect (and, whom, EVER was?) I think she'll work hard as President.  We've got to keep her working for us, and I don't envy the work ahead of her.

Almost time to pop the cork and drink some wine.  I am hopeful about the outcome of today's election, but I also know that the world as we know it could be turned upside down by tomorrow.  There's a guestroom in Canada that is my husband's and mine if we want it.  We just may.

Congratulations, dear reader, we are here, finally.  What a long, strange trip it's been.


Friday, November 4, 2016

TGIF

I made this a couple of days ago and they are delicious and dense nutrition. A couple of changes: I used cow milk instead of almond, because that's what I had, and dried cranberries instead of raisins.  A small one inch square is enough to thoroughly satisfy and there is no added sugar.

I made them as I was reorganizing the garage, sorting through things I haven't used since we moved in two years ago, and putting them up for sale on a local FB site for buying, selling and trading.

The one thing I'm selling which I have a hard time with is the Oneida sterling silver set that my grandmother bought in 1942.  It's an elegant and simple pattern, and I did use it for years.  But keeping the stuff polished is getting harder for me, and I don't want to do it anymore.   I  have thoroughly researched this set over the years, to understand its monetary value, and the history of it.  I'm offering it at a 50% discount over the sale price of the only outlet that still carries replacements.  The pattern has not been in production for 40 years.  And can you believe someone is interested but dickering about the price?  I wrote back:  Look, this is a FIFTY PERCENT discount already.  Not interested in going lower.

This is a pattern when selling used goods: bowl for $10.  "Will you take $6?"  Oh, for crying out loud.  Do you want the bowl or not?  I sold some dining chairs last week and one person just wanted to buy one but I didn't want to break up the set.  So I said, "no."  Later, someone bought it all.  The first person wrote back and said, "Really, you won't sell just one?"  I said, "No, because I just sold ALL of them."  (Popped another another oatmeal treat into my mouth.) 

Am I being unreasonable?  I don't know.  Do you try to negotiate a price on used items? 

I earnestly try to price items to sell, but I also want to be fair to myself.  Hell, if no one buys the silver, I'll get my daughter and son-in-law to polish it the next time they're up and I'll use it again.  Hells bells.  Other items, I would rather donate to the SPCA Thrift shop than let someone dicker me down to a ridiculous price.  Perhaps I am not cut out for this business.  I guess it is common to try and strike a bargain, but I don't like it.  It feels like getting bent over a log, if you know what I mean.

And this gal don't do logs.

Have a great weekend!

What Lies Beyond

"Grief Sucks.  Life moves on."  I recently read this.  And, yes, indeed, grief does suck, and life does move on.  Eventually, even...