Posted on Leave a comment

State of Me – Happy

I was able to budget some time this weekend to work on the club house, hang a television on the wall (a project that was looong overdue), and we dug out the Christmas tree and much of the holiday decorations. I was able to participate in a Thanksgiving Day sweat lodge and came out of it absolutely renewed. And we feasted with family. This weekend has felt much less stressful than Thanksgivings past.

Posted on Leave a comment

And I thank you!

Thanksgiving Holiday

In the United States, today is a day of thanks. I believe most Americans probably do not know the roots of Thanksgiving. Wikipedia is very thorough discussing United States Thanksgiving as well as Thanksgiving in Canada, Grenada, and the Netherlands. See also History News Network’s The Truth About Thanksgiving Is that the Debunkers Are Wrong and Top 10 Myths About Thanksgiving. Note: I have not fact checked the History News Network links. From Encyclopedia Britannica Online:

[An] annual national holiday in the United States and Canada celebrating the harvest and other blessings of the past year. Americans generally believe that their Thanksgiving is modeled on a 1621 harvest feast shared by the English colonists (Pilgrims) of Plymouth and the Wampanoag Indians. The American holiday is particularly rich in legend and symbolism.

Plymouth’s Thanksgiving began with a few colonists going out "fowling," possibly for turkeys but more probably for the easier prey of geese and ducks, since they "in one day killed as much as…served the company almost a week." Next, 90 or so Wampanoag made a surprise appearance at the settlement’s gate, doubtlessly unnerving the 50 or so colonists. Nevertheless, over the next few days the two groups socialized without incident. The Wampanoag contributed venison to the feast, which included the fowl and probably fish, eels, shellfish, stews, vegetables, and beer. Since Plymouth had few buildings and manufactured goods, most people ate outside while sitting on the ground or on barrels with plates on their laps. The men fired guns, ran races, and drank liquor, struggling to speak in broken English and Wampanoag. This was a rather disorderly affair, but it sealed a treaty between the two groups that lasted until King Philip’s War (1675–76), in which hundreds of colonists and thousands of Indians lost their lives.

[Source, Encyclopedia Britannic Online, History & Society::Thanksgiving]

I am thankful!

I am thankful for my wonderful family, the joy they bring, the laughter they elicit, the challenges they give me to grow, and their support for my non-traditional career choice. I am thankful for having great clients, some who have gone out of their way to keep me in work, during these economically trying times. I am thankful for all my wonderful friends in real life and online. I am thankful for having met Jason Jarrett on Seesmic and whose podcasts, along with his wife, Karen, have really helped me move closer to sustained happiness and away from the Five Poisons (greed, anger, ignorance, arrogance, and doubt). I am particularly thankful for my wonderful wife who has supported my insanity when she would have been justified to turn tail and run screaming, who can make me laugh with just a look, who makes my heart flutter just thinking about her, and who has pushed me to be a better person than I ever thought possible. I could type the rest of the day simply about the thanks I could attribute to Cathy alone not to mention the numerous people and things I have yet to mention. So thank you all! And I give thanks for this wonderful life of mine along with all its challenges.

For laughs

Don’t forget today is the day to watch the WKRP Turkeys Away video.

Posted on 5 Comments

And they’re off!

The children only had a 2 day week of school. They are off for the next 5 days for Thanksgiving break. This is that holiday where we celebrate invading a foreign land only to survive the winter by the kindness of the indigenous people in return we trade them worthless trinkets for their land, kill them off with disease and pestilence, then lock them in casinos. We celebrate it by eating the bird that Benjamin Franklin wanted to be declared the symbol of this nation when in fact the pilgrims probably dined on lobster.

If you want to jump to the WKRP Turkeys Away aka WKRP Turkey Drop video, start the video below and skip ¾ of the way through to 16:30 and watch until 23:30.

As God as my witness..I thought turkeys could fly.

Posted on Leave a comment

Gobble Gobble!

Happy Thanksgiving! If I recall correctly, this is the holiday we celebrate that a native people showed us how to survive through the winter so that we could kill them with disease in the Spring and steal their land. Oh, and we should be eating lobster not turkey. While you prepare for your feast today, take a little under a half an hour and enjoy the full episode of the famous WKRP Thanksgiving Turkey Drop!

This morning I awoke before anyone else to enjoy the calm, quiet of the early morning. I freed the Roomba from the chairleg which had defeated it during its nightly run. It happily continued cleaning the floors which I prepared to make some dishes for today’s feast. Remarkably, the little ones slept in and when they did rise, the television seemed "broken" to them so the house remained someone quiet as they played with toys. The first item on my list is Buffet Cranberry Mold. Btw, when the recipe says "chlll for an hour and in the meantime…" meantime doesn’t mean go sit on the computer and blog. Meantime means you will use the entire hour to chop up the fruit unless you are fortunate enough to own a food processor.

Buffet Cranberry Mold

Time: early in the day or day ahead
Yield: 16 servings

  • 1 envelop unflavored gelatin
  • water
  • 2 6-ounce packages strawberry-flavor gelatin
  • 3 medium-sized oranges
  • 1 12-ounce package fresh or frozen cranberries (3 cups)
  • 1½ cups sugar
  1. In 4-quart saucepan, evenly sprink unflavored gelatin over 2 cups water; let stand 1 minute to soften slightly. Over medium heat, cooke, stirring, until gelatin dissolves and mixture boils. Remove from heat; stir in strawberry gelatin until dissolved. Stir in 3 cups cold water. Refrigerate until mixture mounds slightly when dropped from a spoon, about 1 hour.
  2. Meanwhile, remove peel and white membrane from oranges; chop oranges and place in bowl. Chop cranberries; add with sugar to bowl. Stir mixture until sugar is dissolved.
  3. Fold fruit mixture into thickened gelatin. Pour into 12-cup Bundt pan or mold. Cover and refrigerate until set, about 3 hours.
  4. To serve, unmold gelatin onto platter.

175 calories per serving. Low in sodiu,m, fat, cholesterol.

[Source, The New Good Housekeeping Cookbook, Hearst Books New York, 1986, ISBN: 0-688-03897-2, p.413]

Chopping cranberries by hand takes forever! I ended up letting my gelatin sit in the refrigerator for 1½ hours before mixing in the fruit and everything worked out fine. Next recipe is Dark Chocolate Mousse from The Food Network. I am doubling the recipe and based upon the comments using 3½ tablespoons sugar for each portion (7 tablespoons total).

The third item is Caramel-topped Rice Pudding.

  • 2 tablespoons short-grained rice
  • 1-2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2½ cups milk
  • light brown sugar

Put rice into an overproof dish. Add 1-2 tablespoons sugar to taste and milk. Stir to combine. Bake in the bottom of a preheated oven, 325° for 1 hour. Remove from oven. Top with a layer of brown sugar. Reduce over to 275° and cook for 20-25 minutes more, to allow topping to caramelize, or broil under high heat until sugar caramelizes. 2-3 servings.

[Source, The Ultimate 4 Ingrediant Cookbook, Chancellor Press, 2001, ISBN: 0-7537-0458-7, p. 308]

I doubled the recipe and left it in the oven at 325%deg; for 1 hour and 10 minutes. The extra 10 minutes was a mistake and caused the surface to bubble. When adding the light brown sugar, the bubble burst and left the center as liquid without caramelizing. Otherwise it looks good.

Posted on Leave a comment

I love me some Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving TurkeyI thought yesterday was very special. I was tickled that our inlaws chose to join us at our house. The official family Thanksgiving is Saturday at their house when some other relatives will be in town. Between yesterday and Saturday we should have enough Turkey to last until Christmas. For half a decade or so, I have put off (ie. procrastinated) getting a meat thermometer. Yesterday, while the turkey cooked, I went to Walmart to get a meat thermometer, some ice cream, and a few essential non-essentials only to find that I wasn’t alone. I thought I would get to park right by the door but still had to park a distance before trekking around Wally World. Who needs a gym when you shop at Walmart! I did find a few things at the store for which to be thankful even if I don’t understand it. I felt sorry for the poor guy in line in front of me who had to produce his birth certificate, social security card, photo id, bring in three unrelated people to vouch for him, and give a blood sample before he could pay with a check. I sure hope there was a valid reason for the hassles. In America we should not have present papers simply because you look Hispanic. Do our schools teach any history anymore? Can people not draw the parallels between WWII Japanese and how we locked away American citizens because of their Japanese ancestry and today how we hassle American Hispanic citizens because of immigration politicism. Do people not see the risk of another race war hidden behind the word "immigrant?" Have we forgotten our Schoolhouse Rock Great American Melting Pot lyrics?

Whoops. How do these soap boxes keep getting under my feet? Yesterday was a thankful day. I brought a long standing project to a close. I was able to relax instead of spend the day in uncertainty and panic. I was with family and they laughed and played. I am thankful to have found countless friends on the Internet (I dare not make a list of links for fear of leaving someone out or having this post extend endlessly) who share such fascinating stories. I am thankful to those who have helped us in so many ways during the extremely hard times. I am thankful that I am not out shopping today. I am thankful for my children; they make me smile! And everyone knows, I am extra thankful for my wife! She is my sun which I gravitate around; she warms my soul; provides me energy; and shines on me to make my darkness go. I can think of so many things for which to be thankful that I believe I could type this post until next Thanksgiving! I hope you are thankful too.

wrestlinggrandaddyfor the little peopledessert highpirate grubhe who eats with fingers

Update: Illegal immigrant saves 9 year old boy’s life.

Posted on 1 Comment

WKRP Thanksgiving Turkey Drop

I’m sure Youtube will pull this one quickly. So enjoy this wonderful piece of history while you can.Sure pulled it. Let’s try another one. Audio is available here.

WKRP in Cincinnati: Thanksgiving Turkey Bomb! @ Yahoo! Video

As God as my witness..I thought turkeys could fly.

Other versions: Youtube, beginning and ending cut off.

Hulu brings us the full episode! Gotta love Hulu!