Tag Archives: Cooking

Please Don’t Try This at Home

Have you ever written a short story, novel or even a grocery list? Odds are your answer would be yes.habenaro

Have you ever read a book, a bedtime story or the directions to put a bicycle together on Christmas Eve? Once again, the answer is most likely yes, although it is remotely possible that one of these may have required the use of a bail bondsman. As far as I know, most states frown upon repeatedly chucking a bicycle into on-coming traffic until there are more parts spread over the road than what you originally dumped from the box–and throwing up all over a police officer does not a good defense make.

The point I’m trying to make by using these analogies is that frequently it takes many small pieces to amass one large object which in turn is much more beneficial than the sum of its parts.

There is one possible exception, and that being the removal of vomit from a police officer’s buttons, badge and other intricate details of the soiled uniform. …Enough said about puke, less we digress.

Back to my point before we found ourselves sliding down Ralph’s road…oops, I said I wouldn’t go there again; please pardon.

When you’re writing a story, you’re bringing many bits of information, and let’s not forget characters, together to form a conclusion or bring about a startling revelation at the end of the book.

When you’re reading a story, even though you did not actually pen the words, you’re still pulling the points together to present an ending.

Now people, listen closely…I really need you to understand for if you don’t, who’s going to explain it to me?

For instance:

I’m at the grocery store picking up ingredients to make a basil pesto. Having plenty of basil in my garden at home, I continue to shop for the remaining necessities (lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, and pine nuts…I also like a touch of anchovy and a little Parmesan cheese).

As I carefully peruse my list, I notice much to my delight that all the ingredients required are already tucked safely away in my cupboards, pantry, and refrigerator at home. I toss the crumpled the list over my shoulder and skip home ready to concoct a culinary delight never before passing through the lips and across the taste buds of any human being.

I remove my food processor from the hardly ever used section of my kitchen cabinets, locate my shears, and walk out to the garden. Obviously, every herbivore on the planet has taken a nibble out of my basil leaving nothing but dead stems. Whatever shall I do? The plant beside the basil is full of pretty green leaves and loaded with a small round orange vegetable. This should do nicely. I uproot the entire plant and move back inside.

I snip off the roots and feed everything that remains into my food processor. As it grinds away, I retrieve the rest of the necessary ingredients. After a methodical search, it appears as though I may have been mistaken concerning a few items I claimed to already have in my possession. No bother, I’ll make substitutions just as I did for the basil. Instead of lemon juice, olive oil, garlic and pine nuts, I add to the light brown mixture still swirling in the processor, orange juice, shortening, horseradish and jelly beans, all perfectly acceptable substitutions.

Then in a stroke of genius, I replace the hint of anchovy and the smidge of Parmesan with a can of sardines (in olive oil, mind you) and a new product I found in the refrigerator, head cheese. I continue the blending process adding the additional ingredients. A strange word keeps popping into my head. Strange yes, but even more unusual this word seems menacingly close…like hot breath on the back of my neck.

Hob.…hobby. No, no that’s not it.….Hob-o-near….Hobanarow….I know!….Habanero…… Never heard of it. I wave my hand over my nose. Something burning…I can hardly breathe. Must be the motor in the food processor. I’ll pick up another one tomorrow.

I believe my heavenly pesto is ready. I scoop up a heaping tablespoon full.

Now do you see how simple ingredients (just as words and phrases) in the end, unite in perfect harmony.

I slide the spoon into my mouth, enjoying the silken texture. I swallow. My stomach begins to gurgle. Seconds later my head explodes. Fire shoots no less than 30 feet from my mouth. My stomach gurgles again this time signifying the ensuing geyser.

I know I promised not to say it again as I run down the hall toward the bathroom, but there’s no way around it, because here it comes.

Gravy and grits baby, gravy and grits!

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Gobble, Gobble; Cluck, Cluck; Quack, Quack. Doesn’t Matter as Long as It’s Good

A Thanksgiving survivor

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, string bean casserole, cranberry sauce, family, friends and football.  Put these together and what do you have… a 4th of July picnic, correct?

 No, of course not, it’s a super bowl party… I think I’m wrong again.

 I’ll refrain from this silliness. We all know I am speaking of Thanksgiving–that time of year when families come together to eat themselves into a class A-1 stupor.

 Needless to say, this post has nothing to do with writing other than I’m writing this post.

 More importantly, Thanksgiving is a time of reflection for the things in our lives that make us truly thankful for what we have.

 In 2006, I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis and since that time I have realized so many blessings they’re impossible to count.

 To begin, our church built a ramp and a roll-in shower at no cost to us.  I’m on a special diet and one of the ladies from the church cooks all my meals and another friend cuts our grass.

 Friends visit, call and build things that I come up with to make life easier or to assist with exercising.

 My mother and sister are down each week to help any way they can.  My son works but takes a day to spend with me so my wife can go into work; other days we are blessed that she is able to work at home.  I have an aunt that comes down to type for me and an uncle that sleeps while she does so …. and makes hot tea.  My step-daughter used to type until another little blessing began to take up too much of her time.  That little blessing would be my grandson (and I say this with no bias) he is the cutest and most adorable child in the entire known world.  My stepson works constantly but will always take time to help us out if we need him. Even my in-laws who live five hours away have made it a point to help.

 I myself have found that a person who was full of pride and thought he carried no baggage happened to turn around and notice the three mile long train full of baggage he had been pulling all these many years.  I always thought of myself as a totally self-sufficient human being. What  a rude awakening when I could no longer make it on my own.  It was then that the pride began to fall away.

 Now my wife:  What can I say about a woman who has stuck beside me when many would have run.  She treats me with unbelievable kindness and patience.   She works normally seven days a week.  Takes care of me twenty-four seven.  Sacrifices sleep and any time for relaxation and yet greets me with a smile and a kiss throughout the day.  I certainly don’t know what I did to deserve such an angel but I thank God every day for this blessing.

 What better way to summarize than to tell you where all these blessings have come from.  I am so thankful I have a God who loves me enough that He would take the time to correct me as a good father corrects his children and I am floored to think He would send His Son to die in such a horrible way so that I might spend eternity with Him.

 This makes me think of my son and I know deep within my heart that I could not sacrifice him for anything.

 So enjoy that turkey leg and especially your family but don’t forget where they all came from.

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