Untapped Grilling and Other Addictions

Archive for the month “November, 2012”

Holiday Balls

Holiday Balls

Now that we have turned the corner from the Thanksgiving season of overstuffing ourselves and sleeping for two days straight, only to wake up and be pissed off to find 6 feet of dirty dishes and the smell of “Once-A- Year-Food-Odor” circumventing the house, it is now time to to reach for all the available stress of the next Holiday season…………Christmas…………..and………….Hanukkah!

It is time to forget about all those things we were so thankful for a week ago when we set aside a little bit of time to think about the people that had really shaped our lives over the past year, that had truly loved us unselfishly over the past year, that had sacrificed their lives for us this past year, and start making ourselves crazy, short-tempered, and neurotic. Oh don’t you just love this time of the year!

Well, I am going to attempt to soften this blow to our hearts and psyche, with some great food and humor. I apologize upfront if I offend anyone over the next 25 days or so. I am just trying to humor your depressive senses.

I am pretty sure most of you have watched Saturday Night Live (SNL for you younger folks) at some time of your life. My favorite times to tune in are Election years and Holidays. My favorite Holiday sketch is by far Schweedy Balls. An “NPR-LIke” Cooking Show featuring Alex Baldwin as Earthy Confectioner Pete Schweddy.

Just to jiggle your memory take a look at this!

Funny, Right?

Well, fortunately for me, I had the great fortune of tasting some of the best Holiday Balls on the entire planet during our Thanksgiving feast. These were called 

“Kate’s Balls”

Delightful Balls

“Kate’s Balls were very simple to make. These are made with Pumpkin Bread. Just take any of the wonderful Pumpkin Bread recipes you have hanging around, bake the loaf, and set it aside for cooling. After cooling, crumble the bread into a very fine texture in a bowl. Then take a pint of your favorite cream cheese and start mashing and mixing the entire mess together. Pretty soon you will have a slightly wet constancy that you can shape into your Own Balls. After your personalized Balls are shaped, refrigerate them while you start melting down chocolate. Any kind is fine, white,dark,milk…you name it. Once melted, take your Balls and coat them in the chocolate and place back on a waxed paper-covered cookie sheet and cool .

Close-Up of Kate’s Balls

Now it is your turn to get creative with your Holiday Balls. The sky is the limit. Banana Bread Balls dipped in Caramel……Zucchini Bread Balls dipped in White Chocolate. And if you really want to impress those In-Laws we recently talked about, put a stick in your Balls like Starbucks does and call them Holiday Pops.


So if you really want to truly send out some Holiday cheer to friends and love ones this Christmas or Hanukkah, get creative with your balls, or get your spouse to get creative with his Balls. You just never know.

Well Don’t That Put Some Rum In Your Fruitcake!

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The In-Laws

Somebody Get me Outta Here!

Prison Break Anyone?

Ok, lets be 100% honest with each other. Do you really enjoy spending holidays with the In-Laws? Is it the same as being with your side of the family? In order to protect my own head, I am not going to have an opinion on this one, as I have the most wonderful In-Laws in the world!!!!!!!!!! But I will share some interesting statistics and observations on this highly controversial issue.

How long is long enough for you with the In-Laws? Is it one day, three days, a week, a month??????? Or are you just one of those Angelic people who can buddy up with your Mother-In-Law 365 days a year. If you are the latter, then you probably want to wipe some of that brown stuff out of your eyes.

Look Familiar

Well, according to a recent National Poll, the answer is 3 days…..not 3 nights and 4 days. That would be 2 nights and 3 days.This represented 55% of the neurotic adults polled within one week of their return from  a visit with the In-Laws. 18 % said 1 night, and 7% said leave before the sun sets (pretty tough there).

On the other side of the coin, 11% said they thought one week was comfortable, and 7% said 2 weeks. And as we thought, there were 2% of those polled who were very busy wiping the brown out of their eyes.

Another interesting result form the poll, was that most people did not see a big difference in the length of comfortable time with In-Laws or their own Family. Once again, after about three days, they all need to pack it up and head home.

Why is this? Everyone seemed to be excited to see one another for the first 6 hours. Everyone makes it through the first evening extremely civil for the most part. But somewhere between 2:00 PM and 7:00 PM on day two, those voices and questions start to raise the hair on the back of your neck. Right?????????

So what can you do? Bite the lip until it is so bloody that your stepping in your own pool, dream about massages,facials,and a good steak, and smile and waive real pretty when they hit the road.

At Last!

It’s As Easy As Herding Cats

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Happy Thanksgiving!

Gobble Gobble

I bet you woke up this morning with mixed emotions, lots of anxiety, and hopefully, a deep sense of gratefulness. From what I have been seeing the last 10 to 15 years, Thanksgiving is still a time a family gathers together for some good ole’ bonding time. Mothers and Daughters, Wives and Husbands spend hours slaving in the kitchen only to be exhausted when that last plate is washed and put away, while the rest of the family is snoring so loud on the couch, the dog is pissed off. The huge build-up to this historical day comes and goes so quickly, we have tended to loose sight of what Thanksgiving is really all about.

Thanksgiving began in this country in 1621. It was celebrated by some folks from England who escaped tyranny and sailed dangerously across the North Atlantic ocean so that they could have religious freedom, not family and friend bonding, not overstuffed stomachs and exhaustion……..Religious Freedom! They thanked God for many things that First Thanksgiving:

1. They had survived the horrendous sea voyage on the rickety old sailboat.

2. They had not been attacked and savagely killed by the inhabitants they met upon arrival. Matter of fact, they became friends.

3. They thanked God for the harvest of food that he had provided them. For the wild turkeys that ran throughout the woods. They thanked God that they were not starving to death.

4. And most of all they were thankful for their freedom to pursue their God and worship with no fear.

So sometime before the chaos starts, and just before everyone starts the long nutritional nap, take a few minutes to think back on 1621, and why this holiday started in the first place. Think of how fortunate you are, how blessed you are. You can worship who you choose to, you are most likely not going to be scalped today, and you will be full.

I wanted to share a Thanksgiving menu with y’all that is a true blend of some great cooks and chefs around the country. You will see Southern influence as well as West Coast inflection in these dishes, and everywhere else too. But if you are looking for a few different, cool, ideas to serve this year, try one out and let me know what you think.

The Turkey

 Crisp Apple-Scented Roast Turkey with Cider-Calvados Gravy

Apple Roasted Turkey With Cider Gravy

Extra-virgin olive oil
1  10–12-lb. turkey
2 lbs. mixed chicken legs and thighs
1 cup kosher salt, plus extra for seasoning
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper, plus more for seasoning
5 yellow onions
39 garlic cloves
4 carrots
4 celery ribs with leaves
1/2 cup calvados (apple brandy), plus 4 teaspoons
6 1/2 cups dry white wine
1⁄3 packed cup dark brown sugar
1⁄3 cup ground ancho chile powder
8 1/3 cups fresh apple cider
6 granny smith apples
2 lightly packed cups fresh basil leaves, plus 8 leaves for garnish
4 tbsp. softened butter
1⁄4 cup flour

1. The broth for the gravy may be made up to 3 days in advance. Lightly coat the bottom of a 12″ skillet with extra-virgin olive oil and heat over medium-high. Add the neck and giblets from the turkey and mixed chicken legs and thighs; season to taste with salt and pepper. Brown on both sides; transfer to a 6-quart pot. Pour half of the fat out of the skillet; heat over medium-high. Stir in 2 chopped yellow onions, 2 cloves crushed garlic, 2 whole cloves, 1 chopped carrot, and 1 chopped celery rib with leaves and cook until just browned, 12–14 minutes. Remove skillet from heat and add 1⁄4 cup of the calvados and 2 cups of the wine. Return to heat, bring to a boil, and scrape up the brown bits on the bottom of the skillet. Transfer the vegetable mixture to the 6-quart pot of meat. Add enough water to cover the mixture to a depth of 1″; bring to a slow simmer. Partially cover and cook, without stirring, for 4–5 hours. (Add more water as necessary to keep solids covered.) Remove from heat, let cool, strain (as shown), and refrigerate broth. You should have about 12 cups

2. A day before serving, brine the turkey, calculating 1 hour of brining for each pound. In a large plastic brining bag or stockpot, combine 1 cup of the salt, brown sugar, and chile powder. Put 2 cups of the cider, 35 cloves garlic, and 4 unpeeled, cored, and coarsely chopped granny smith apples into a food processor and purée. Add purée to the brining bag along with 6 cups of the cider and 4 quarts cold water. Whisk to dissolve the salt and sugar.

3. Put turkey into brining bag. The turkey must be kept cold (brine should be 33°), so refrigerate it or bury the bag in ice in an oversize cooler, adding ice as necessary. Before cooking, bring the turkey close to

4. Remove the oven’s center rack and arrange the remaining rack as low as possible. Heat oven to 450°. Choose a large shallow roasting pan, ideally 2″ deep; if the pan is too deep, the turkey will steam instead of roasting. In the pan, cluster together remaining celery ribs halved crosswise, leaves removed; remaining 3 carrots halved crosswise, and remainign 3 onions cut into thick rounds so that the vegetables become a sturdy rack for the turkey. Scatter 1 unpeeled, cored, and coarsely chopped granny smith apple and 1 1⁄2 cups basil leaves over the top. Add 4 cups of the wine to cover the bottom of the pan with 1⁄2″ of liquid.

5. Remove the turkey from the brine and pat it dry with paper towels. Set the turkey on the vegetables breast down (a technique that draws juices down into the breast while also protecting the meat from the heat) and tuck remaining unpeeled, cored, and coarsely chopped granny smith apple and remaining 1⁄2 cup basil leaves into the cavity. Dot the turkey with butter and dust all over with 1⁄2 tsp. pepper. Begin roasting.

6. As the bird cooks, baste it with the pan juices every 20 minutes using a spoon. After the first hour, remove the roasting pan from oven and, using two pot holders, carefully turn the turkey breast side up. Baste it with the pan juices and continue roasting. (Cover the turkey loosely with foil if it threatens to burn.) When an instant-read thermometer inserted in a thigh (without touching bone) reaches 165°–170° (after about 2 hours), move the turkey to a platter and let it rest in a warm place for 20 minutes.

7. Meanwhile, set the roasting pan over 2 burners to make the gravy. Skim off excess fat from pan juices and remove two-thirds of the vegetables from the pan. Cut the rest of the vegetables into small pieces. Add remaining 1⁄3 cup calvados, remaining 1⁄2 cup wine, and remaining 1⁄3 cup cider. Bring to a boil over high heat and, using a wooden spatula to scrape up all the caramelized bits, cook the liquid down to a syrup, 6–8 minutes.

8. Remove broth from refrigerator; skim off fat. Reheat all but 1 cup. Add two-thirds of the heated broth to the pan. Boil, stirring constantly, until reduced by half, about 15 minutes. Stir the remainder of the heated broth into the pan and bring to a boil. To thicken the gravy, add flour to a tall glass. Stir the 1 cup of reserved, chilled broth into the flour until there are no lumps. You’ve made a slurry. Whisk it into the bubbling gravy. Keep simmering and whisking until gravy is smooth and thick enough to lightly coat the back of a spoon, about 20 minutes. Now taste it. If you taste raw flour, simmer the gravy for another minute.

9. Stir 8 torn basil leaves into the gravy and season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, if necessary. Pour the gravy into a bowl or another serving vessel. Carve the turkey and arrange on a large platter. Serve with the gravy passed separately.

SERVES 8 – 10

The Appetizer

Spicy Pimento Cheese

Start The Meal Off With A Kick

It stinks.  It really stinks!  And yet, you keep leaning in to smell more.  It’s gross.  It’s really gross!  And yet, you can’t look away.  It tastes weird.  It tastes really weird!  And yet, you keep going in for another bite.

This scenario pertains to me as a kid and pimento cheese.  It scared me.  I wasn’t sure what it was.  The stuff was bright orange.  But, for some reason, I loved it.  It could have been that in my mind pimentos were some magical creatures, but it was yummy and weird, all at the same time.

I’d like to think my more mature, and delicate palate appreciates the subtle nuances that make this delicacy a staple on most Southern tables.  Or maybe, I just realized that it’s full of cheese and tiny little red things.

And to answer your question, pimentos are cherry peppers – round, red peppers with a sweet flavor and the ability to rock with some smoky cheese!

Spicy Pimento Cheese


6 ounces cream cheese, softened

8 ounces smoked cheddar cheese, shredded

8 ounces smoked Gouda, shredded

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1 4-ounce jar chopped pimentos

1 tablespoon grated onion

1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke

1/2 teaspoon paprika

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1/4 teaspoon ground Chipotle pepper


In the bowl of a large mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, beat cream cheese on medium speed, until fluffy.

Add cheddar, Gouda, mayonnaise, pimentos, onion, liquid smoke, paprika, salt, pepper and Chipotle pepper.  Beat on high for approximately 3 minutes, until ingredients are well combined.

Cover and chill for 2 hours.  Serve with crackers, veggies, or toasted baguette.

The Starch

Skinny Mashed Potatoes

Looks Mashed To Me

***Best Mock Mashed Potatoes Every Made***

What you will need:

  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • 1 tablespoon of cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon of minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 5 or so dashes of pepper
  • Chives for garnish


  1. Wash and cut cauliflower into small pieces. Boil in a pot of water for about 10-15 minutes or until soft and cooked.
  2. Drain and dry using paper towels. Immediately place in food processor or blender. You do not want the cauliflower to cool.
  3. Puree the cauliflower with the cream cheese, Parmesan cheese, garlic, salt and pepper.
  4. Sprinkle the top with chives and a few dashes of pepper. Serve!

These are seriously unbelievable!  Definitely make these for Thanksgiving. They are creamy and smooth, just like mashed potatoes should be. Such a delicious alternative… plus you don’t need to feel guilty if you go back for seconds or thirds since they are virtually carb free! This is also a great side dish to bring if you still plan on making the real thing.

The Greenery

Sesame Seed Garlic Beans

So Flavorful

Sesame Garlic Green Beans Recipe

fresh green beans, trimmed
olive oil or coconut oil for sautéing
lots of fresh minced garlic
sesame oil
lightly toasted sesame seeds
salt & pepper, to tasteDirections:
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Toss in the green beans and sauté until the beans are starting to get golden and crisp (don’t let them get to the mushy stage!) toss in the garlic and let cook for a few seconds.Remove from the heat, drizzle with a bit of sesame oil, toss with the toasted sesame seeds and season with salt & pepper if you’d like.  Serve immediately!

The Dough

Caraway Parker House Rolls

Nothing Smells Better

  • ACTIVE: 45 MIN

The Parker House Hotel in Boston claimed to have invented these famously buttery pull-apart rolls. To create their unique shape, they are formed into rounds, folded in half, and arranged in a dish and baked. Using a metal pan gives the edges of the rolls a nice crust while the inside stays puffy and moist. Bread flour makes the rolls pleasantly chewy, but all-purpose flour works well too.

  1. 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
  2. 2 tablespoons sugar
  3. 1/4 cup warm water
  4. 1 1/2 cups milk
  5. 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened, plus more for the pan
  6. 5 1/2 cups bread flour
  7. 2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  8. 2 large eggs, beaten
  9. 1 teaspoon caraway seeds
  10. 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt, crushed
  1. In a small bowl, combine the yeast with the sugar and warm water and let stand until foamy, 5 minutes. In a medium saucepan, heat the milk with 10 tablespoons of the butter until just melted. Remove the saucepan from the heat and let cool slightly. Stir in the foamy yeast mixture.
  2. In the bowl of a standing electric mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine the flour with the kosher salt. With the machine on, gradually add the warm milk mixture and the eggs and beat at medium speed until a smooth, silky dough forms, about 10 minutes. Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
  3. Lightly butter a 9-by-13-inch metal baking pan. In a small saucepan, melt the remaining 6 tablespoons of butter over moderate heat. Punch down the dough and divide it into 24 pieces. Let the pieces rest for 5 minutes. Roll each piece of dough into a ball. Using buttered fingers, press the balls into 3-inch rounds. Brush all over with some of the melted butter and fold each one in half. Arrange the rolls in the prepared pan, seams down, in even rows. Brush any remaining melted butter over the rolls. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise until nearly doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350. Sprinkle the rolls with the caraway seeds and sea salt and bake in the center of the oven for 50 minutes, until puffy and golden. Transfer the pan to a rack and let cool for 15 minutes. Invert the rolls onto a platter, then invert them again onto the rack. Let cool slightly before serving.
MAKE AHEAD The rolls can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days at room temperature. Rewarm before serving.
The Potato
Ruth Chris Sweet Potato Casserole

3468 Calories Per Serving

Ruth’s Chris Special Sweet Potato Casserole
Recipe By :Ruth’s Chris
Serving Size : 0 Preparation Time :0:00
Categories : Try This
Amount Measure Ingredient — Preparation Method
——– ———— ——————————–
1 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup flour
1 cup chopped nuts (pecans preferred)
1/3 stick butter — melted
3 cups mashed sweet potatoes
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs — well beaten
1 stick butter — ( 1/2 cup) melted
Combine brown sugar, flour, nuts and butter in mixing bowl. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine sweet potatoes, sugar, salt, vanilla, eggs and butter in a mixing bowl in the order listed. Mix thoroughly. Pour mixture into buttered baking dish. Sprinkle the surface of the sweet potato mixture evenly with the crust mixture. Bake for 30 minutes. Allow to set at least 30 minutes before serving.

What A Top!

And Finally…The Dessert

The Apple Pie

Pretty, Right?

1 prepared pie dough, rolled out and sliced into strips
6-8 large apples (really any kind of apple will do)
1/3 cup sugar, plus more for sprinkling onto the crust
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 or 1/2 tsp cardamom, if desired
1 tsp cornstarch
Juice of a lemon or lime, mixed with 1 cup of water
1 tbsp melted butter

Preheat the oven to 375F.

Core an apple, then use a melon baller or knife to hollow out the apple more, being careful not to go all the way through the skin. Make sure you save all the apple bits! Once the apple is hollow, submerge it briefly in the citrus water to keep it from browning too quickly. Turn the apple over to drain. Repeat this process with all the apples.

Slice the apple bits into smaller bits, and then mix them with the sugars, cinnamon, cardamom (optional) and cornstarch.

Place the hollowed out apples in a muffin tin. This will keep them from tipping during the baking process. Fill each apple with the bit mixture.

Take the long strips of pie dough and cut them into 4 inch strips. Then “weave” the strips together to create the square tops. (See this photo for reference) Place one square over each apple. Brush the dough with melted butter and sprinkle sugar over the top.

Bake for 30-35 minutes (until the dough is fully baked and the apples reach the desired tenderness). Once the apples have cooled, you can use a fork or spoon to remove them from the muffin pan. Serve with ice cream or a drizzle of caramel.

Now You Can Take That Nap

So whatever your plans are for Thanksgiving this year, I pray that you are grateful for all the blessing we have had throughout our lives. Thankful for the men and women who have fought and died to give us the freedom we enjoy and many times take for granted. And if you feel like it, talk about it over the wonderful meal that I am sure you are going to prepare.

Sometimes You’re the Windshield……..And Sometimes You Are the Bug

So Be Thankful When You Are The Windshield

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Marketing 101

Marketing 101

It is amazing how gullible our society has become. We will buy anything, believe anything, eat anything, and go anywhere, advertising tells us to if it is really done well. But for the most part we just have to sit and watch or read ads that are boring, poorly made, and really don’t get their message across. But I have found some that truly do (at least for me).

Looking for the perfect color of fingernail polish for that big night out.

Nailed It!

Spaghetti tonight anyone? Magnifico!


Lookin’ to style your Fro for the big Prom?

Cuttin’ Up Will Do It For You

Why do people get hit by cars in the cross walk? I don’t get it. Somebody is not paying attention. Well this should help.

Finding work these days is tough. But if you really want a job, it is out there!

Fill ‘er Up

And what about our hygiene. Hundreds of ads every hour, telling us how to shower, shave, wipe,smell. How about good teeth. We all want nice, white, strong teeth, don’t we?


And last but not least, I am going to pick on all of those cat lovers again. Sorry, but it’s real funny. So do you know what you need if you have a large, white, furry, kitty roaming around your humble abode?

Sticky Kitty

I don’t know about you, but these ads should become Marketing 101 for all of those marketing majors out there. They convinced me!

Live and Learn, or Die and Know It All

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Clever Ideas

I woke up this morning and just felt like it was time to take a short break from Gardening, Cooking, and Barbecue. One thing I love is people who not only think Outside of the Box, but these folks don’t even think a Box exist. So if you have a minute, take a look at some of the latest Clever Ideas I have stumbled-upon.

I bet you love cats don’t you. I do not care for them very much. They make my eyes water, my nose run, and their pee really stinks. But if you do really love them, I have the perfect cat house for your adorable ball of allergies. And the heating is free!

Nice, Warm, Cozy Kitty. Hangs on your heat vent!

Now for all of you romantic lovers that just can’t seem to keep your hands off of each other, I have found the perfect solution. The Lap Lovin’ Chair. It may cause some viewing problems for the guys watching Monday Night Football, but close you will be, and smooching becomes so much easier.

The Hug Chair

If you are like me, the economic recession has forced me to start bringing my lunch to work again. And I am here to tell you, things are getting bad. Folks are stealing my sandwich out of the fridge! And they aren’t even leaving theirs. But I think I have found the fix to this……..

Ha Ha Ha….You Don’t Want It Now, do you?

Ok, is there anyone that does not need Lemon Juice at least 4 times a week. Think of the mess, the waste, the acid burn on your cut finger, seeds everywhere, each time you have to cut one little lemon. Them after one squeeze you just throw it away when there was still another half, and juice left in the first one. Well, stress no more. This one solves it all.

Got The Squirts?

We all know things are tough out there. And for some of us, we are definitely looking to lower our overhead and reduce our living cost. Many of us are empty-nesters and do not need that big house anymore. Well. look no further, your dream home awaits.

So Efficient!

And lastly, something for us lazy sorts. What if you could cut your monthly nut and get some great wight-reducing exercise at the same time. I bet you would run out and pick this up. Especially for your chubby bunny.

Clever Idea…Right?

That’s about it for some Clever Ideas today. I hope you have been energized and motivated to innovate. Email me any of your Clever Ideas when you have them so we can all get smarter together.

The Engine’s Still Running,But Ain’t Nobody Driving

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Lettuce Poop

When we think of Lettuce, we think of that leafy green stuff we mix into our salads that sticks between our teeth. It’s the stuff that we are told will make us healthy and stronger if we eat it alot. But there are many other types of Lettuce and other uses for lettuce.

1.Lettuce is a very fashionable type of apparel.

Fits Perfect..Doesn’t it.

2. There is a very Famous music group named Lettuce

Real Good Funk Music

3. Lettuce can also be a therapeutic cure for depression and sadness….even loneliness.

My reason for growing Lettuce is simple……………I want to eat it cause it taste good and makes me Poop real good. Let’s be honest for a second. If you are over 40 this issue has got to concern you. And there is no better cure for constipation than homegrown lettuce!

Winter Lettuce

As you can see I have quite the diverse crop growing this year and it is doing it’s job.

Crazy Mixed Variety


Some Type of Arugula I Think

This stuff grows like crazy. Every other day I am taking off bags of lettuce. And it taste so good. But I am having trouble getting anything else done. Cause I just can’t seem to get off my throne.

Don’t Let the Door Hit Ya, Where the Good Lord Split Ya!

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Winter Is Here…..As In Vegetables

The Sabbath is over. My last garden post was a couple days ago but in reality my garden has been resting for almost two months now. I have fed it well with 25 bags of Turkey Poop, 15 bags of Top Soil, soaked it with Beneficial Nematodes, and watered it daily. It is now ready to go and so am I.

All Rested and Full of Nutrients

For my Winter Garden, I have selected 6 different varieties of Lettuce, 4 different Squashes, 3 unusual types of Onions, 3 types of Cauliflower, and two types of Broccoli. After learning from my summer mistakes, I have provided each vegetable ample room to grow.

The Planted Winter Garden

Proper Spacing for Squash

So, keep your fingers crossed. I have failed a couple of times before with Lettuce. Too much heat in the summer and bunnies! Already off to a stinky start as you would know, 2 days after I planted the Winter Garden, the heat hit 90 degrees again. So say a little prayer for my garden this week. With my brown thumb it will definitely need it. And with a little luck and a big blessing, This little patch might bring us some  Winter delight.

Day One

The Dream

Weedin’ a Pretty Wide Row

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Is It A Girl Or A Boy???

When my daughter and son-in-law came to visit us from Nashville this summer, they started the visit with the best kind of news someone can get. She was pregnant. It was their first child and we were all so excited.

This will be my second Grandchild. I have already been blessed with a sweetheart of a granddaughter from my Oldest Child. She is really something!

Pretty Cute!

My son-in law said he really wanted a boy. He just had to keep the family lineage going. My daughter just wanted a healthy whatever. Of course, selfishly I would love a Grandson to compliment my existing Jewel. What would it be???????

This week my daughter told me she was sending us something. When I went out the front door to get the mail, I almost stepped in a box of the most beautiful cupcakes I have ever seen.

Yum Yum

There was a card attached to the box. This is what it said…………

The Key To What?????

So I sat back and stared at that beautiful box of cupcakes wondering what I was supposed to do. I pondered all the different designs and icing looking for a clue. I stepped away for a few minutes and took another look but nothing was ringing a bell. Then suddenly it dawned on me. I had to eat them to find the clue. They must have put something like a Chinese Fortune Cookie piece of paper in them. Suddenly I thought, “What if they are messing with me and only one of the Six cupcakeds has a clue. And what if I have to eat all six to find out.” Now I love cupcakes, chocolate, sweets of all kind. But I know I am going to puke all over the place if I have to eat all six.

So, here goes. I grab the one that looks like Red Velvet Cake and Cream cheese Icing…………..and shove it in my mouth…………..and chomped down on the middle…………and there was no fricking paper! Just as I started to get a tiny bit upset, I looked down and what did I see………….


There was blue filling in the center. It’s a Boy!

And it is on it’s way. Wahoo! Congrats to the Mama and Pappa. Great work!


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The Sabbath

The Sabbath

The Sabbath at Church

When most of us hear the word, “Sabbath“, we cringe. “Oh no, it’s Sunday again. I am so pooped! Please Mom, let me sleep in today. I will go to church next Sunday. I promise.” But actually the Sabbath has many meanings.

1. The seventh day of the week, Saturday, as the day of rest and religious observance among Jews an some Christians. EX.20:8-11

2. The first day of the week, Sunday, similarly observed by most Christians in commemoration of the Resurrection of Christ.

3. Any special day of prayer or rest resembling the Sabbath, Friday is the Muslim Saturday.

4. a period of Rest

So today I am talking about a period of rest, not for me, not for my family, but for my Garden. It has gone from this………

In the Beginning

to this………and this………..



producing this………

Zucchini and Beans

and that………….


My Garden has worked it’s butt off, and now it needs a Rest………A Sabbath. So that is just what I am doing . I have put in 35 bags of fresh Birome Gin Turkey Poop Compost and 15 bags of top notch Top Soil. Yes Siree, I take good care of my garden. Nuttin’ but the best for her…….it is a her isn’t it??? So here she is right now.

Nap Time

All peaceful and comfortable. Basking in the remnants of the last days of the California summer. Once in a while I swear I can hear her snoring. She is conked out, full of worms and other good creepy crawlers. I will let her sleep for a good 45 days before I wake her and get her back to work. Then I have big plans for the Winter months. I have decided it is a real good idea to let all things; people, animals, plants, etc., that do something good for us, to have a nice rest at our expense. So the next time your spouse does something really nice for you, or that great employee goes the extra mile, or Bubba the Dog greets you at the door after a tough day’s work, be nice to them, give them a break, let them rest. You know what they say where I’m from don’t you….“One day you’re drinking wine and the next day you’re pickin’ the grapes. Just let ’em Rest.

There ‘s a new day tomorrow, and it ain’t been touched yet!

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Election Day

Today is the day.

We as Americans, will not only decide our future’s destiny, but will also decide the destiny of our children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. Most likely you are not overwhelmed or in love with either candidate, but you have a duty as an American citizen, who has been given freedom like no other country on earth experiences, to cast your vote for whichever candidate you deem to be The Best for our country’s future.

Yes, We the people must put aside our frustrations with candidates positions and policy and search deep into our hearts for one essential characteristic that we are sure will change America for the better. And then find the candidate that exhibits and believes strongly in the same.

Thirty years ago, America faced very similiar economic doom and lacked a clear vision for the future. A mentor of mine reminded a few of us last week that avery wise and braver man gave a speech thirty years ago, and had the conviction in his heart to follow the words he spoke.

      “There are no easy answers, but there are simple answers. We must have the courage to do what we know is morally right.”

    “Within the covers of the Bible are all the answers for all the problems men face.”

    “Without God, democracy will not and cannot long endure.”

    “We don’t have a trillion-dollar debt because we haven’t taxed enough; we have a trillion-dollar debt because we spend too much”

    “If we ever forget that we are One Nation Under God, then we will be a nation gone under.”

    “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.”

    “Freedom prospers when religion is vibrant and the rule of law under God is acknowledged.”

    “Of the four wars in my lifetime, none came about because the U.S. was too strong.”

    “Entrepreneurs and their small enterprises are responsible for almost all the economic growth in the United States.”

    “I made a speech by that title – “A Time for Choosing” in 1964. I said ‘We’ve been told increasingly that we must choose between left or right.’

       But we’re still using those terms – left or right. And I’ll repeat what I said then in ’64.

‘There is no left or right. There’s only an up or down:’

       up to the ultimate in individual freedom, consistent with an orderly society – or down to the totalitarianism of the ant heap. And those today who, however good their intentions, tell us that we should trade freedom for security are on that downward path.”

“You and I have a rendezvous with destiny. We will preserve for our children this, the last best hope of man on earth, or we will sentence them to take the first step into a thousand years of darkness. If we fail, at least let our children and our children’s children say of us we justified our brief moment here. We did all that could be done.”

    “We are never defeated unless we give up on God.”

Ronald Reagan

Ronald Wilson Reagan

For me, the vote is simple. I will vote for the man who I know in my heart will never give up on God!

God Bless America

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