Tag Archives: writing 101

Me – According to Social Media

Most of the time I have a pretty good grasp of myself; where I came from, where I am going, what makes me happy and what I don’t appreciate. Still, I’m open for improvement.

Recently, while looking in on my family via social media, I noticed one of my girls declared that her ideal home is in Bali. Honestly, I first thought, “I want to go too.”

The post was a self-promoting result of a quiz. Naturally, I’m curious how they come to the results based on the multiple choice answers provided – some seemingly unrelated and others just plain silly.

The next few hours became an entertaining exercise in what I can learn about me.

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What Social Media Quizzes determined about me/my selections from the provided responses:

1. What Does Your Family Name Say About You?
I am a visionary:
– I predict the future

2. What 60’s Song Describes You?
The Sounds of Silence, by Simon & Garfunkel:
_ An analytical thinker
_ A Critical eye
_ Not fooled by appearances
_ Always one step ahead of others
(I must have been working on my Budget)

3. What Age Do You Behave?
I act as though I’m 26:
_ Definitely still in touch with my inner child
_ Can also be serious when I need to be
_ Laid-back and practical all at once

4. What is Your Hippie Name?
My hippie name is Breeze
_ Like the wind, I go wherever life takes me
_ Settling down is not an option
_ People find me to be very calming and probably come to me when they need to de-stress
(I should write that down)

5. What Color Is Your Personality?
I am purple:
_ A Visionary (Again with the visionary)
_ Highly ambitious
_ A creative, free spirit
_ Individualistic, with a need to create order
_ Perfectionistic

6. What fairy Tale Character Resembles You Most?
I am my own fairy tale:
_ “You are your own person, so write your own story.”

7. What Flower Are You?
I am a rose:
_ An eternal romantic, a firm believer in the power of love
_ A thoughtful and caring friend
_ Beautiful, with a few thorns
_ Grounded and balanced
_ Able to manage the serious issues in your life with fun
_ Noble and sophisticated bearing and a healthy sense of humor

This result describes who I try to be, but don’t actually see myself there yet. So, I took this one again, still selecting honest options:

I am a daisy:
_ Cheerful and fun.
_ Bubbly personality,
_ More to me than meets the eye.

And rose it is.

8. What Spice Are You:
I am basil:
_ Value deep, authentic relationships
_ Deeply spiritual
_ Basically good with myself and the world
_ Unpretentious and natural
_ My soul shines through in the way I treat others
(Awww)

9. What Drink [cocktail] Are You? Note: water, coffee or tea were not options.
I am whiskey, on the rocks. (Oh, that kind of spiritual)
_ Tough and I know it.
_ Hard to get to know. I wouldn’t have it any other way.
_ Not overly concerned what people think about me.

10. What Color is Your Aura?
My aura is green:
_ Love all forms of life
_ Essentially benevolent
_ Love being outdoors
_ My needs are simple: warm breezes, good songs, and old friends
(And to think I was a grandmother before I heard people could have an aura)

Though mostly accurate, I am rarely bubbly. Still, I imagine exploring the questions and the responses provided and what other information determines the results. I also wonder if my response to the provided options would differ on another day, under other circumstances, conditions, etc. But then that project wouldn’t be about a list.

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My Clandestine, Subversive Mission

I write mostly because I’m a far better person in text than I am when I speak.

Of the many skills I developed that help maintain plausible sanity, I have more confidence in writing and rarely ever tire of it.

I pity the poor things who occupy space with me while my mind spins so fast that even I can’t keep up. I can’t expect anyone else to understand my feeble attempts to orate the vast, intricate thoughts spinning from the centrifuge of my brain; ones that comprehend quantum physics, string theory and Latin, yet I can’t recall if I ate today or how many steps get me to the light switch – and the freezer for ice cream – in utter darkness.

Mostly I write to sound the wee small voice within me, to be a beacon to seemingly hopeless lost souls, desperate to know someone gives a care. While I have failed time and again, forcing me underground, my clandestine, subversive mission is to help guide each lost child toward home.

Of an entire tree, if one piece of the fruit of my labor, a single sentence eventually helps somebody find reason enough to keep living, then I feel my time is not wasted.

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Rotisserie Chicken Soup

In our family circles my late aunt Patty was the reigning queen of up-cycling, recycling, repurposing and reusing most everything. One of my favorite stories (that I can share) was her making watermelon balls for a luncheon. Once done felling the melon, she held up the hollow half shell, examining it closely, wondering aloud what else she could make of it – aside from a bowl for the salad. That’s when another aunt swooped by, grabbed the melon shell and ran, rather than find it repurposed later.

Queen Patty (who literally was Lombard, Illinois’s 1949 Lilac Queen, the youngest queen in Village history) loved to entertain and tastefully made old things look new, long before shabby chic was popular. She was one of those lovely people one would assume comes from old money, and though she made the most of her life, our family history disproves family affluency. I think fondly of her every time I make this amazing rotisserie chicken soup recipe.

One of my tastiest finds ever, it came to me by accident. I’d been brainstorming an idea for an article that had me so fired up I had to walk away. So, I took inventory of the refrigerator, noting all the extra space days before payday. I would likely not have otherwise imagined how one of the most flavorful meals ever came about. In fact, it was so tasty I afterwards wrote every motion as best I remembered it to create it again, and again. And that it developed during a particularly difficult time when every penny and scrap mattered. It doesn’t make a lot, but it’s a good second meal from one often dry, leftover chicken.

Note: Try it. You’ll either love it or be relatively indifferent. Either way, take a photo and share it with me as I rarely remember to snap one myself 🙂 Until then, you can enjoy seeing me, Suze and the Beej back in the day.

Me, Suze and the Beej

Me, Suze and the Beej

Rotisserie Chicken Soup

One must think ahead and not serve the whole pieces of chicken. Instead, cut the meat from the bones and save the bones in the plastic container – everything un-mouthed, that is. Also keep the market packing (refrigerated, of course) without scraping or washing it.

Makes enough soup for 2 – 4 servings. Or by adding white cooking wine (and maybe a bit more stock) for a delightful reduction, tossed with rice, noodles or quinoa it will go even further with amazing flavor and considerable nutrients.

Instructions:

Put bones, skin, meat, drippings, everything left over from grocery store rotisserie chicken into a small soup pot. Pour 2 cups hot, not boiling, water to rinse and scrape drippings from container, pour into pot. Repeat with 2 more cups hot water. This gives the stock an extra pop of flavor.

Add more water if needed to just cover the chicken and bones.

Bring pot to boil, reduce heat and simmer till all meat falls from bones (nothing about this recipe is exact science – approximately 40 – 60 minutes, more or less).

Allow to cool and then pour through colander into a bowl or another pan, reserving the stock. Wearing gloves, take your time removing bones, (gently pinch between fingers to be sure no sharp pieces get through), skin and any undesirable pieces. Return meat to stock, refrigerate till separated and then skim fat from the top.

Once stock is near room temp, return it and the meat to the pot and add:

1 stalk celery, chopped (great way to use celery and onion trimmings from freezer)
1/2 small chopped onion
1 smashed clove garlic
1 chopped carrot
3 Tablespoons chopped parsley
1 rosemary branch (optional – remove before serving)

Add vegetables to stock and simmer till tender.

At this point you can either

1. Add cooked noodles, pasta, rice, couscous, quinoa or more cooked vegetables if desired. Serve with rolls or crusty bread.
or
2. To make reduction, remove meat and vegetables from stock to a bowl or platter, set aside. Add 2 cups wine to stock. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly, lower heat to a fast simmer and continue stirring till just slightly thick (it will continue to thicken as it cools). You will have a flavorful sauce that’s healthier without thickening agents like flour or cornstarch. Then return meat and vegetables to pan with noodles, rice or whatever you like, gently fold in sauce, plate and serve with crusty bread or rolls.

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Old Story; Good News

It’s a little after noon in North Texas. Birds’ songs lilting through the open windows as though they must remind me fall fell late last week. With allergies closing my inner ears, my eyes puffy, nose running and my head slightly achey so that sound sleep is elusive, I’m as aware it’s autumn as I am each spring. No worries, a spritz of saline here, a drop there and another tablespoon of raw, unfiltered, local honey and I’ll be fine again.

I miss the spectacular colorful displays I’m used to in more northern climates, California and especially the beautiful northwest. While Red Bud blossoms continue to decorate my neighborhood I remember autumn colors will come along eventually. Perhaps not as dramatic or widespread as I remember from elsewhere, but I’ll see them here and there while running errands, keeping appointments around town and and (dare I hope) visiting the kids an hour or so’s drive away now.

This all actually ties in with my main thoughts today from the mainstream media news. As cardinals and blue jays tweet away my longing for the family life I’ve missed for a couple of years now, I am thankful to be on high, dry ground – for now.

While many families and communities grieve through the shocking loss of loved ones, though I am very familiar with such pain, this year I am spared new wounds. Other local families are without power and gas, some forced to move from their homes after living without utility service for weeks with no end in sight. Floods in the deserts, on the east coast and the threat of hurricane Joaquin wreaking more damage, all paint a painful picture.

Today I am thankful as I gratefully offer up my prayers for my loved ones and so many others. Here in Tornado Alley, with my offspring – some first responders and military service persons – the peace I feel now can change in a moment. So, I’ll take in the splendor of each day as it comes, as I learned over decades. Excuse me a moment while I get another tissue…

Because of my experience I know that while I look to God first, He has provided all I need to accomplish all He created me to do. I needn’t concern myself with what may happen. Tomorrow will happen wherever I may be.

“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.” King James Version (KJV), Matthew 6:33, 34 Public Domain

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Turkey Medallions – Times of Feasting and Getting Famished

Have I mentioned how autumn is my favorite time of the year? In case the break in hot or hotter weather isn’t enough to inspire longer walks later in the morning, colorful vistas cause me to swoon. Unlike any other season, I’m actually excited about bargain shopping and exercising my mad couponing skills so that city traffic doesn’t even bother me.

Before (possibly during) the Avian Flu outbreak, discounted marinated turkey breasts reduced for quick sale became stars in our summer suppers. From the grill, oven or cut into medallions, they’ve not only delighted company served up with my From the Hip Mango Salsa (which is actually chutney **), but inspired other successful experiments.

Turkey Tenderloin Medallions

Turkey Tenderloin Medallions

One of the blessings is a taste delight I developed, first from leftovers, and then with the whole tenderloins fresh from the wrapper. Now with cooler weather coming on I’m contemplating how to make a twenty pound turkey disappear among three people. Since I alone actually like leftover turkey this is a hefty challenge.

The savvy shopper is ever watchful for clearance sales on wines that enhance many recipes with a broader flavor palette (alcohol cooks away leaving a thicker, more flavorful reduction instead of gravies). Cashing in those Catalina coupons from the grocers’ registers makes them more affordable.

With turkey one can bravely go where no cook has gone before. Worst case results, it’s still gonna taste like turkey (yet again) and can be livened up with sauce or gravy.

Back when I kept large breed dogs, my passion for good, natural food benefited the canids attached to my household as well. To make the food budget stretch, I’d roast turkeys, only I’d filet off, skins and tie together the breast, leg and thighs. I did likewise with chicken. The skins, spine, neck, giblets, etc. all went to the dogs, sometimes via the freezer. The people portions frozen raw in marinade made life simpler for delightful, quick meals.

Turkey Medallions in Chardonnay Reduction

Prepare ahead rice (steamed is good, pilaf is superb), risotto, quinoa, couscous, pasta or noodles. Enough to make a bed on platter.

Ingredients:

2# (Aldi’s) Rotissery flavor turkey breast tenderloin, sliced into 3/4″ medallions
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
1 large sweet onion chopped
3 or 4 fresh zucchini 1″ slices
1# fresh white mushrooms, sliced in 3rds
garlic (to preference)
branch of fresh rosemary (can be easily removed before serving)
1 pound, bag or 2 bunches (well cleaned) chopped spinach – preferably baby, or arugula
3 cups chardonnay (or any sweet, white wine)
1 cup water

Slice turkey in 3/4″ medallions (or slice into bite-sized strips if you prefer). Heat deep skillet, coat with evoo, stir fry turkey pieces on hi temp till browned but still raw in centers.

Reduce heat to medium-high, (remove from burner for a minute or two if necessary to prevent scorching). Add onion and saute 3 mins, till just tender. add mushrooms, saute till firm-tender, about 3 mins. Add rosemary sprig and stir another minute till aromatic.

Add 1 cup wine, and 1/2 cup water. Bring to boil again, stirring to scrape skillet bottom till smooth. Reduce heat, top with zucchini, cover, simmer gently 2 – 5 mins. Gently fold in spinach, cover, cook 3 more mins.

Remove meat & veggies from pan. Turn heat to high, stir in remaining wine. Cover meat and veggie platter with another plate and pour into pan the juices that have now collected at bottom of platter. Continue slowly stirring to prevent scorching until mixture begins to thicken* and reduction is thick enough to cling and cover spoon. If mixture reduces too much, add a little more wine until slightly thinner than desired consistency. Cover and remove mixture from heat. Let sit 3 – 5 minutes.

Cover a deep platter with a bed of noodles, pasta or grain (or plate individually). Arrange meat and veggies on top. With rubber spatula stir reduction, scraping bottom and sides. Ladle sauce over meat and veggies on platter. Serve with crusty, warm bread or rolls. Bon appetit!

Also delicious topped with a dollop of Greek style yogurt and sprinkled with chopped, fresh parsley.

* One can substitute turkey or chicken broth instead of (or in addition to) wine. Reducing broth or stock takes longer, so be patient and careful to stir often to prevent scorching.

** God willing, I will also share that recipe.

Copyright © 2015 Roo’s Ruse. All Rights Reserved. roosruse.wordpress.com mailto:ashalowm53@gmail.com

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Wonderful Legumes – Lentil, Kale and Sausage Stew

LENTIL, SAUSAGE AND KALE STEW

Food is not my first passion. That would be relationships. I spent many of the happiest hours of my lifespan in kitchens, around campfires, grocery stores and farmer’s markets, mostly exploring great new foods. All typicaly within a very restrictive budget.

Recently a friend from Chicago-land shared a recipe from Eating Well *1 for a Lentil, Sausage and Kale Stew.

She had me at Lentils. Dietary restrictions during the course of overcoming diverticulitis (without medication), sent my cholesterol counts crazy. After recovery, still unwilling to pollute my body with cholesterol medication, I researched and targeted my diet and exercise habits toward changing those numbers – and that right soon. #

Legumes, especially lentils, and oats are nature’s blood scrubbers, so every day I eat at least one portion of one, the other or both and power walk (breathing too hard to sing) for a minimum half hour to an hour every day, rain or shine. Also, since I also recetly discovered I was not lactose intollerant, a portion of yogurt and cheese also became a mainstay to keeping diverticulosis under control.

This wasn’t easy at first. My body and subconscious screamed in rebellion while I refused to return to my nice, comfy bed and pull the covers over my head. But within 2 weeks the routine became second nature.

I search constantly for variety, keeping a portion of oats or legumes part of my daily diet. Within four months both cholesterol counts returned to very healthy, normal levels. Two years later, keeping this as a base line, I can also eat pretty much whatever else I want in moderation without pain or upset.

Photo courtesy Eating Well.com

Photo courtesy Eating Well.com

Lentil, Sausage and Kale Stew – my variation, of course, of the Eating Well Recipe *1

Ingredients:

3 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
At least a pound of chicken or turkey sausage, casings pierced several times with a toothpick (the more the better when official taste samplers lurk nearby)
1 large onion, thickly sliced
2 Tablespoons minced garlic (or more per your taste)
pinch of crushed red pepper, (or more to taste) *
2 ½ cups water (have more on hand in case needed)
1 ½ cups red wine (or 1/2 cup wine and 1 cup chicken or turkey stock. have extra on hand in case needed)
1 cup green lentils, washed
8 cups finely chopped kale leaves, tough stems removed **
2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage
¼ teaspoon salt
freshly ground pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS:
Prepare by thoroughly washing kale, cutting away tough stems, and chopping (set aside separately), onion, mince garlic, and sage (also keep sage separate). Wash lentils. Measure wine (and broth if desired) & water.

1. Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a large, deep skillet over medium heat. Add sausages and cook until browned on all sides. Remove, set aside.

2. Add the remaining oil and onion to the pan and cook until clear, 4 to 5 minutes. Add garlic and crushed red pepper *and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about a minute.

3. Add water and wine, bring to a boil, stirring constantly with wooden spoon to loosen any browned bits from the sides and bottom of skillet. Add lentils, stir in and reduce heat to maintain a simmer. Cook, partially covered, for approximately 60 minutes until lentils are cooked through (some altitudes may require more time). Check occasionally for sufficient liquid for stew to be saturated, but not covered over. Add more warm wine, water, broth as needed.

4. Add kale, sage and salt, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the lentils and kale are tender, about 20 minutes more.

5. Cut the cooked sausage into 1/2 inch slices and stir into the pan along with ground pepper. Cover and cook until heated through, about 2 minutes.

Spoon into bowls or crocks, serve topped with a dollop of Greek yogurt and crusty, toasted slices of sourdough bread.

Also delightful with your favorite salsa (I especially like salsa verde), pico de gallo or pesto and sprinkles of fresh herbs (like cilantro). Be creative!

NUTRITION FACTS
Provided by: Eating Well
Per Single Serving / Serves 4 Total
Calories 500 17%
Calories from fat 99 20%
Total Fat 11gm 28%
Sodium 665mg 64%
Cholesterol 60mg 19%

Total Carbohydrates 58gm
Fiber 16gm
Protein 32gm
Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

# This may not be sufficient for some with different, more severe cholesterol counts, or other health complications. Consult with your experienced primary care physician and a licensed professional dietitian.

* Our family likes a hot/piquant palette, so I add a jalapeno and a Serrano peppers with the crushed, red pepper flakes.

** Though popular, some tastes (like my sister, Roan’s) don’t take to kale, even when well cooked. Substituting 10 cups chopped spinach provides additional folic acid with a milder flavor.

*1 http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/kale_sausage_lentil_skillet_supper.html

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2015-10-02 · 11:21

Ready to Dash: Fast Forward a Decade

walk

Despite my rebellious nature, I’ve become a slave to routine. Where my young, healthy body once took life as it happened, I now must deliberately prepare myself for whatever a day may bring. This takes me considerably longer now than ever before, even longer than when I had my four young boys in tow.

But these days, with the aging process grinding away on my physical self, that routine somehow became unforgiving and unappreciative of my mental self. One skip results in an almost immediate stumble, frustration and sometimes bruises mysteriously appear.

The new routine is actually predictable:

1. Wake up – This could take some time.
1.1. Take a thorough inventory of every vertebra, gently wake them and the numb arms.
1.2. Be sure my brain is also awake enough to rise without injuring myself or others while getting to the bathroom and then the kitchen. Prayer typically comes into play here.

Note: The waking experience can be intimidating (embarrassing when involving witnesses), frightening and occasionally surprising enough to make me occasionally wonder if I slept through the Rapture. Am I actually in heaven. Prayer while in bathroom usually works well for me. Dispel shame and guilt: Omniscient. Omnipresent.

2. Remove any carcasses from kitchen counter.
2.1. Wash and sanitize kitchen counter.

Note: We live in an older rental that is astoundingly void of a sill wall that would entirely enclose the kitchen from the outdoors. During the hot summer months, creepy crawlers trafficked in, up the wall behind the cabinets, through the gap from the missing section of back splash tiles (refer to the 2015 New Year, New Life story), and across the counters. Sometimes bugs (and even slugs – yeah, eewe) survive the insecticide for moments. Often they die on the counters. It’s all good: we’re now aware of their existence whether we see them or not – and sanitize.

3. Water and coffee
3.1. Slamming eight ounces of water before coffee seems cruel, but empirically it’s a good practice.
3.2. Immediate availability of fresh, hot coffee is largely contingent upon who in the household has already been in the kitchen, and if that someone was coming or going. This can be complicated.
3.3. We like Krups when we can afford K cups.
3.3.1. Refillable K cups require forethought and many more motions. Just saying.

4. Bathroom time. Grooming can go on for a couple of hours.
4.1. Again, prayer time and perhaps some reading.

5. Fuel – The most forgiving point, interchangeable with items 4 – 4.1. Rather than burn muscle on my power walk, I must force down food and supplements (one won’t stay down without the other).
5.1. Disregard that thought about forgiving. Do not forget fuel. (refer to Um, I’m Out of Gas – Again story (c) 1995).

6. Stretching – Pulling a hamstring, bursitis, tendinitis and joint pain taught me not to minimize the importance of stretching or give into temptations to “stretch as I go”.
6.1. There may be better ways to meet the neighbors than hollering, “Call 9-1-1!” from the ground.

7. Sun block – Something I didn’t take seriously as a youth. Melanoma will change that.
7.1. This is Texas and by now the searing sun will be up over the trees.

8. Lace up, walk toward door.
8.1. Walk through the door.
8.2. You turned off the lights. If you left the coffee pot, you need another one anyway.
8.3. Just walk away.

9. This just in. Incorporate reminding Roan to walk also.
9.1. Remind or otherwise check Roan each step of the way.
9.1.1. Roan continues to resist all elder sibling influences as well as she always has.
9.1.2. Now that Roan is also experiencing the same gift from the gene pool and the accompanying pain and physical therapy, gilt will get the best of me if I don’t push or pull at her on my way out the door – a good two hours later.

10. Shower, deodorant, lotion and then get to work.
10.1. Since I work at home, clothes are optional.

All of this reaffirms my philosophy: Relax and enjoy the ride, no one gets out alive.

“Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day.”

2 Corinthians 4:16 (NKJV)

Go Readers. Redefine life along the way.

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Bomb Diggity Baked Spring Rolls

In our household, dietary restrictions from salt, oil, etc. aside, we can’t get enough Chinese food. Aside from pot stickers and that amazing green onioney-ginger-soy dipping sauces we also relish spring rolls. Neither are ideal on a low-fat diet. One late spring evening an on-going craving form something crispy-gooey-steamy got the best of me. I set about experimenting, pulling everything from the ‘fridge that was left over from a lumpia* party the weekend before.

As typically happens, Opal arrived home from work as I mixed and tasted. Between the two of us, we brainstormed through to some crispy, tasty satisfying rolls that are very forgiving of experimentation and well worth trying. It’s become a thing at our house.

Bomb-Baked Spring Rolls

Preheat oven to 375 degrees
Ingredients:

Grate:
1 large carrot
1 Tablespoon fresh, peeled ginger root
Finely mince:
1/2 cup Cabbage
¼ cup Red, yellow or orange sweet peppers
¼ cup Celery
1 – 2 teaspoons teriyaki sauce
Approximately 12 Egg roll wrappers
Can of canola oil or coconut oil spray**

In mixing bowl mix 1 – 2 t. teriyaki sauce and grated ginger together well. Add and mix all remaining ingredients well, being sure to distribute ginger evenly (consider using ground, dry ginger according to taste).

Liberally spray a baking sheet with oil. Lay egg roll wrapper on sheet, fill with vegetable mixture, tuck ends in first and then roll. Set aside on tray setting rolls 1 inch apart until sheet is full. Lightly spray oil over all rolls.

Place in center of preheated oven, bake 8 minutes. Turn rolls. Bake another 4 minutes until wrappers are completely golden brown. Be careful to not let bottoms scorch.

Remove from oven, serve immediately with prepared hot Chinese mustard and duck sauce. Leftover packets from previous Chinese take-outs are never wasted in our house. Consider adding more ingredients according to your personal taste, like shrimp, crab, minced leftover chicken, etc. and more wrappers, of course.

*A Filipino spin on the asian classic

**Refillable aerosol or pump cans from a restaurant supply stretch the food budget farther and are well, worth the initial expense.

 

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Kitchen Sync

2015-02-06 19.27.02

Food is necessary for life. Good food is the spice of life. And creating new, great tasting, soul-satisfying food makes the whole world seem like a better place. The very best food seems to develop when hearts gather around the home fires. To date, I haven’t studied under great culinary masters, but nobody ever complained about food that vanished from my table.

My humble means makes this particularly interesting. I’ve never had a lot of money for long, but we’ve always eaten well. I learned early on how sharing a tasty, satisfying meal in good company is more about the company than it is about the elements or any training.

It’s more about the connection, developing relationships with some experience sprinkled in and the common bond – fueling the engines.

Most recently I’ve noticed how the best culinary creations developed in lean times – making do from the remnants of recent abundance. Spontaneously providing sustenance for unexpected crowds inspired more surprisingly great suppers than I can remember. Family, friends and I most often craftily compiled them from everything in the house BUT the kitchen sink.

This Category is more about intertwining stories than blending ingredients together. It’s all about family, friends, fun and food; making the most of whatever we have.

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About Self Storage

Obsession over possessions fascinates me. I invested more than $13,200.00 in self storage over nineteen years. Except for a couple of pieces that are worthless to anyone else, everything I stored is gone and forgotten now.

Throughout that time I drove the same, cool, pickup truck I bought for $9,000. It had gone 7,000 miles when I bought it. The day I sold it, over 353,000 miles later, I was positive it had thousands more miles left on it.

Three years later, after very little work, the same old truck I sold for $400 is still running strong.

I wonder if things in self storage for more than a few months need to move on. I could have bought a nice, newer vehicle with the money I spent hanging on to stuff I couldn’t keep. But I treasure the memories from all the miles that great old truck carried me.

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