Friday, May 30, 2003

Gone to Carolina Archive: Amazing Annoying Racers

I've decided to take a month-long "sabbatical" from blogging. Today will be my last post until after July 4. Click on the envelope anytime to send me emails, though, to keep me posted on your doings. If you know my personal email address, of course that would be good one to use.
I watched "Amazing Race" last night. I really like this show...rooting for people I think are most deserving.  Right now I'm leaning toward the NFL wives. They got a bum rap near the beginning, with some other teams telling a bus driver not to open the doors to let them on.  I'm not sure they made the right decision using their Fast Forward on the first day, considering they had the fat & forty couple and the bimbos on their bus in last place with them. I think they could have beat them easily.
The only thing that really bugs me about the show is how they describe each team.  "Father/Son" or "NFL Wives" are okay. But the fat & forty couple were just labeled "Married Couple" and then we had the gay couple that they labeled "Married".  Considering gay marriage isn't recognized in most states, I think the show might be making a political mistake with that one.  And besides, one would think those couples would have more about them that would be more interesting to describe.  Like the "Air Traffic Controllers" (I thought fer sure they were doomed) and the bimbos, who they labeled "Models".  The "Dating 12 Years/Virgins" title was a bit off-putting too.  Maybe they just want to make a statement to Gen X that being a virgin is cool. That could be a good thing. But to point out that they've been dating 12 years? And he's on camera saying he's afraid of marriage?  Why not just tatoo "Loser" on his forehead? Or her forehead, for that matter!  At first I was worried that maybe their parents were losers...they look like they are only 22. Do the math.  But checking out the "Amazing Race" website, I see they are 28 and 29.  She's an environmental teacher at an Aquarium. That sounds like an interesting job. They could have worked that into their label.
Still on the labels...I just looked up the "Fat & Forty" couple...they have GREAT JOBS...he's a news director for a radio station and she's a director at an ARTIST'S COLONY!  Cool!  I'm sorry to see them go. They really tried hard. I thought his crying over not taking a hotel room right away was a bit weird.  He felt he'd neglected his wifey-poo.  I turned to Mensa Boy and said "sheesh! She should just tell him to get over it!" I'm not much into name calling, never would call Mensa Boy a name, but a well-placed "idiot" might have worked in that situation.
But by far the biggest disappointment to us was the couple from SoDa. All that bleeping while she's on camera...I really wish they'd get the boot soon, if only because listening to her language and the bleeping is Sooo annnnoyyyying.  The least they could do is not "bleep". Why can't they just blank out her f-words? Just leave dead space? She talks fast enough most of us middle-agers wouldn't catch it anyway. 
So that's my review of "Amazing Race".  Click on the envelope and send me an email. I won't be posting any comments, but I'd definitely love to hear from you!
While I'm sabbaticalizing (?), I'll be reading Artemis FowlGalileo's Daughter by Dava Sobel, and my "Cooking Light" and "Fine Cooking" magazines. I'm sure there will be many other items, as these will only last me until Sunday or Monday. I've decided to listen to An Hour Before Daylight and Ghost Soldiers on CD...I've read Ghost Soldiers but Mensa Boy hasn't, so that will be a good one to listen to. I'll also be watching several Netflix. I think "Antwone Fisher" is coming and so is "Amelie" and "The Prisoner, Vol 1".
Cheers! Keep in touch via email. I'll post again in early July!

Thursday, May 29, 2003

Gone to Carolina Archive: Beef & Bok Choy

You can remove me from the running for "Dog Owner of the Year".  I pulled a real "bon-er" yesterday.  Soya wanted to go out. The neighbors cats were out, so I clipped on her tie-out and let her out the back door.  A couple minutes later the kids announced they were all greased up and ready to go to the pool.
So we went.
An hour later...I'm sitting at the pool, reading my book, drinking my ice water, thinking about how the sun was very hot and it dawned on me that I didn't remember letting her back in.  Tried to call the neighbor. No answer.  So I left the kids at the pool (yeah, you can remove me from "Mother of the Year" too) and ran home and there she was...curled up in the tiny spot of shade by the grill.
And NO! I did not do it to pay her back for eating my lambswool duster!
We had a real kickin' supper last night.  Farmer Sammy gave us a recipe for beef and bok choi that a family friend had prepared for them.  Here's the recipe:
1# ground beef
1 medium onion
1 bunch of boc choi (I used 2 bunches of baby bok choi)
garlic (as much as you can get by with)
1 or 2 teaspoons of hot sauce (Texas Pete if you live in the SE)
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire
1 beef boullion (I left this out...I'm too much of a food snob to buy boullion)
Brown the beef, onions, garlic. Add hot sauce and worcestershire (and boullion if using), salt and pepper to taste. Add boc choi and 1 cup water. Simmer until ready to serve.  Pour over rice and add more hot sauce to your liking.
It was a family hit! Made about 8 servings, too. Mensa Boy took a bunch of it for lunch today. That's always a good sign.  He would never criticize my cooking.  But I do know there are basically 3 levels of "liking it" for him:
1. This was good, but let's not have it again. (I'd probably say it really sucked)
2. This was good, we should have it again sometime. (I'd say "it was nice for a change)
3. This was good, I'll take the leftovers for lunch and we could have it every week if possible.
Today is out 21st wedding anniversary. Happy Anniversary, Kreldar!

Wednesday, May 28, 2003

Gone to Carolina Archive: Food Cures

Twins 30-20  Braves 35-17
Most of you know that one of my favorite topics is food. Frequently my Mom and I begin conversations with "I had the BEST (fill in the blank) last night!"
There are a lot of people who believe in home remedies to cure ills...boiling chicken heads, making tea out of grass...I think a lot of illnesses can be helped out of our lives with good, quality food.
I've been under the weather for several days. Probably just some virus thing...sore throat, headache, tired. Today I feel a lot better. I kind of think some of it has to do with food.
I got my farm share yesterday and there were beets in there, turnips, arugula, broccoli, bok choy, lotsa lettuces.  I got home with it about 12:30 and quick sliced up some beets into a little skillet and braised them in butter slowly while I washed and packaged up the rest of the stuff.  What a magnificent lunch! For supper I took the turnips and sliced them up into a saucepan and braised them in olive oil and garlic until they got all carmelized.  They were good, but would have been better if I'd used butter, I think.
Today I'm going to have arugula tossed on hot pasta for lunch. That peppery taste of arugula just chases away viruses.  And when that kind of stuff is grown without pesticides and other junk, it just packs an even more powerful punch.
I'm still pretty amazed at the stuff I get from the farm. It's MAY for pete's sake and I already have big heads of broccoli! And fully grown carrots! 
I'm also really enjoying this little strawberry pot of herbs my Mom planted while they were here.  Last Saturday, when I felt particularly yucky, I pulled out 3 chicken carcasses I had lanquishing in my freezer. Put them in a pot of water on real low. Then I made a bouquet of Sage, Thyme, Oregano and Rosemary and tied it up with dental floss. Tossed that in the water with the carcasses and simmered until all the collagen had leeched out of those bones. I'd left a bit of meat on the carcasses when I used the chickens, and so I had probably 2 cups of meat in my soup too.  Later, after I pulled the carcasses out and strained the broth, I realized I didn't have any of the usual carrots and celery I like to put in soup. I did find some carrot "chips" left from packing school lunches...they are carrots cut like ripple potato chips. I cut them into slivers and tossed in a head of baby bok choy cut up and some kale and onion. It made a nice, mild soup. Good stuff!

Tuesday, May 27, 2003

Gone to Carolina Archive: On Their Own Time

Call me crazy but I just don't think that Chicago area school has the right to expell those girls for hazing.  The event did not take place on school grounds or on school time.
One may say this would be no different than if basketball players went out drinking and carousing the night before the state basketball tournament. I disagree.  I think that would have to do with whether students agreed to refrain from drinking while on the basketball team. If so, they should be kicked off the team.  But not expelled from school.  Unless....
Say the students rode a bus from Little Falls to St. Paul for the hockey tournament. Say arrangements were made through the school for the bus ride and there were parent sponsors on the bus and they all stayed together in the same hotel for the tournament.  And students snuck out the night before to hang out in a bar.  THEN it seems to me they could be expelled.  That sounds like a school-sponsored outing.
I don't think the school has any more jurisdiction over this hazing event than an employer would have over a bunch of employees who go paint the town red on Thirsty Thursday.  Seems like the employer could only hold sway over the employees if they had difficulty showing up for work or performing their jobs adequately the next day.
And I kind of wonder if the school, deep down, recognizes that.  They are expelling the students and keeping them from attending classes, but they are going to award them their diplomas on time.  So basically, a bunch of girls go out, drink while underage, sling some poop and guts and then get to take the rest of the year off from school and still get their diplomas. 
Doesn't sound like much of a deterrent to me.

Monday, May 26, 2003

Gone to Carolina Archive: Belair Library


Thanks be to God and the Mc family for helping me get the church library done! We are now open for business.  When I ever-so-blithely offered to perhaps do a tiny bit of organizing in there, I had no idea how hard it would be to get it all done!  It wasn't really hard work, but there were illnesses and visitors and things to do and somehow it just was hard to schedule time.
But it's open now, all 180 volumes.  Thanks to Faith United Methodist in Farmington, MN and Minnehaha United Methodist in Minneapolis for their gifts of books and advice. And to Jack, Peggy, Harold, Cassie, Margaret and Laura for the time they spent gluing and labeling and alphabetizing.   

5:38:06 PM    

Sunday, May 25, 2003

Gone to Carolina Archive: Marathon Training

I didn't write yesterday because I was in training for the marathon. The Alton Brown marathon was on FoodTV today from 2-8pm. I was a bit worried that I couldn't make it that long. So yesterday I practiced by watching 5 hours of FoodTV yesterday. I'm proud to say I stayed with the pack today from start to finish.
The Nyquil helped me stay put.