The Times You Give Yourself A good Talking To

Ok, not a popular topic. But we’ve all been there, right? Those times you had intense dislike or disgust for yourself. Maybe even hatred. Where you give yourself a good talking to over and over and over again. Or you yelled F-bomb me at the top of your lungs. Maybe it was that walk of shame after a one night fling. Or never finishing college. Throwing up out the car window after drinking Boonesberry cheap-ass wine. Forgetting who you had a date with that night. Not attending someone’s wedding that you should have, no matter what. Getting caught with your pants down. No motivation to lose that twenty pounds. Or at least exercise. Going to the wrong ROTC class all semester (true story that may come to light later).

To help you start pondering your own list, here’s what I’ve heard from very reliable sources:

  • Drinking more than three glasses of wine (that decline in energy the next day sucks. Yea, you can crawl your way through the day but someone might step on your hands.
  • Not planning well enough for retirement. Sell shit or die!
  • Under loving someone who deserved a better quality of attention from me. Can’t rectify it with the same person so I will pay it forward.
  • Forgetting to take the kleenex out of pockets before doing the wash. I had a forest of snow-flocked clothes.
  • Leaving town with hubby’s car keys. Motorcycles are not fun in the rain.
  • Not ending a friendship when I should have (like before it started).
  • Letting my mojo come and go. Hang on to that magical, supernatural luck, charm or skill.
  • Not showing gratitude to everyone that I should. Musicians, friends, family, the dog, the cat, strangers. Too late comes too soon.
  • Valuing security in certainty. Uncertainty keeps spontaneity alive.
  • Not jumping at an opportunity. The traffic lights of life give us three colors but the crossing is up to us.
  • Picking my college major because it was easy, not because it was my passion, talent, or calling. Duh!
  • Letting someone make you feel stupid. Just because something is silly, mindless and fluffy-fun doesn’t mean it’s stupid. If you’re attracted to it, it makes you smile and maybe ponder or wonder or think–it’s valid!

Did you ever forgive yourself? If you can’t forgive yourself then you can’t forgive anyone. Terrible way to go through life, isn’t it?

What’s on your list?

Looking At Cooking

It was burned beyond recognition. She kicked open the front door and threw the dinner (with the pan) as far as she could out into the four-foot snow. The next Spring, the pan was found clean as a whistle. This old figure of speech describes the whistling sound of a sword as it swishes through the air to decapitate someone. If dinner guests were present, she might have done that. Her anger/frustration was at level red: severe risk threat level.

And then there was the time she had eighteen Thanksgiving dinner guests. She had recently moved into this house with one office chair and a double bed. The previous home was a sailboat. Not having enough silverware or dishes to pull this off was nothing compared to the dining room construction zone that hubby created one week prior to the event. Of course. That’s what guys do. A wall was knocked out with heavy, clear plastic hanging on both sides to contain the plaster radio-active fall-out. Such a nice backdrop to the feast. She was hoping the flowers would catch the attention of her guests instead. Big flowers! It gets better. The 1957 oven with a broken door hanging by one hinge was so small that only the turkey would fit. This complicated the cooking. The cook did not need complications. Figuring out the menu itself was overwhelming, much less how to cook it. But she persevered and even made homemade cheese garlic rolls. Which she placed in the cabinet above the oven to rise. All said and done, the guests were seated and passing the food around. Soon thereafter, a guest remarks that there’s something in the rolls. The hostess said yes, there is. It’s cheese. The guest responded, “No, I think it’s saran wrap.” It was. Dolly Domestic forgot to remove it prior to baking. She immediately made the rounds with the garbage can to collect any and all well-preserved rolls. Funny? Yes. Embarrassing? Double yes. She hasn’t gotten over it. Last Thanksgiving consisted of no guests, sub sandwiches (made with turkey, cranberry sauce, stuffing, and gravy) and binge TV. Delightful!

Let’s move on to Christmas. Girlfriends flew in to do a holiday bazaar-like baking extravaganza that became bizarre. Like peanut brittle soooooo stuck to the pan that the candy makers were whacking the pans as hard as they could on the counter edge. To no avail. She suggested that we just make the pan as part of the gift. Vetoed.  How about using the pans as baseball bats (brittle ball)? Vetoed. Never again.

Let’s turn up the heat. Guys…you’re supposed to be the masters of the holy grill. Why is it that when something is burned outside, it’s acceptable? Called “blackened”. “He’s great on the grill.” Even though you can’t recognize what you’ve just been served. Granted, grilling IS harder than cooking inside. It’s that intense, conductive heat that is the challenge. But…if she burned something that bad inside, nobody would eat it. Call for pizza!

The she is me. No more dinner disasters. No more bitching in the kitchen. No more brunch crunch. No more roux without a clue. Ad infinitum. It’s all been replaced with confidence, calm,  good-looking cooking and the joy of cooking. How?  Chef Todd Mohr: passionate, hilarious, culinary school instructor whose techniques make you remember what you learned. He makes cooking fun! Lifetime Membership is the only way to go. This is the best investment I’ve ever made. You have to eat. Why not make it exceptional? And fun. I’m talking to the guys here, too. You may outnumber us in this class…

To inspire you, just a few things I learned in the very first class:

  • The only way to cook a recipe with wine is to soak the recipe in wine and burn it.
  • Method cooking versus hit or miss recipe cooking.
  • Don’t guess and gash, use a thermometer.
  • Once you learn the basic saute procedure, you can create your own recipes.
  • Recipe cooking costs more!
  • Fond is the caramelized pan drippings.
  • It’s all about heat control.  150f: gelatinization of starches

                                                  160f: coagulation of protein

        212f: evaporation of moisture

        320f: caramelization of sugars

That’s a lot of potatoes. Hungry for more? Check it out.









I Gave Myself A Good Talking To

“There’s something in me that I can’t be too good for too long. Whether it’s drinking or eating or flossing my teeth or keeping my public politics neutral (Alternative Truth?). What is it? A parasite? A viral infection? Not enough karma credits built up?”

“None of that. You CAN be good. Your goal is to drop twenty pounds, right?”

“Yes, but it’s turning into a fat fantasy. Did you know that diet stands for: did I eat that????????? I’ve just rediscovered bread. The cure for all ills. Not chocolate. Bread. Bread is my soulmate.”

“But with 1,243 calories per day, you could lose two pounds per week, twenty pounds in two and one-half months.”

“That’s only one whopper for the whole day! I can’t live like that!  Starvation, deprivation. Damnation. Put me on probation.”

“Ok, how about this? Be good 80% of the time (Monday through Saturday noon) and you get to be bad for the rest of the weekend. But ya gotta cut the carbs. You can eat sweet potatoes. And Japanese purple potatoes.”

Snack Canyon

“Well, there goes Happy hour Fat Fridays. And Saturated Saturdays. But at least I’ll still have Sin Sundays. What are those Japanese purple things? Why are they good but a good ole Idaho russet isn’t? You are talking to someone who has a yuuuuuuuge kitchen cabinet above her oven named Snack Canyon. Care must be taken when entering the canyon as you might have a “rock” slide upon you: popcorn, cookies, crackers, jelly beans, nuts, crap candy leftovers from Christmas gifts or Halloween rejects. This barrage of fat fun can be especially dangerous as the only way to really explore the canyon is to perch on a high bar stool. Like being on a cliff. Danger, danger! Then there are snaccidents: eating an entire box of cookies or bag of chips by mistake.

I suppose you want exercise too?”

“Yep. Three hours minimum per week. Do you want to be sore or sorry tomorrow? That’s the question.”

“Does raising a wine glass to my face count as a curl…you know…for upper body strength? I like exercise that is halfway between a lunge and a crunch. Lunch. Some days I care about my weight. Don’t want a butt the size of a double-wide. I’m ready for a fat intervention. Other days, I have no intention. I know someone who quit exercising when she went on a diet. Said it made her too hungry. My television makes me hungry. Should I kill my tv before it kills me? What do you think of that, you gym rat?”

“What a diet diatribe this is. It’s sucking my energy which is already depleted by having to pay attention to so many silly health food suggestions. I have indigestion. And when I get over that, I’m going to eat my entire kitchen. I know, I know…I am what I eat. Therefore, I’m going to eat a skinny person.

Let’s not lose our lives in pursuit of thinner thighs.”

I wonder if I listened…



Grape Expectations

When you hear the word grape, what comes to mind?

He has the personality of a grape.

What’s eating Gilbert Grape?

Grapes of Wrath

Planet of the Grapes

Heard it through the grapevine

Sour grapes

Have a grape day!

Make America grape again.

A wine hangover is called the grape depression.

The Grape Gadsby

The Dementia Diet

Ok….I know you’re grapeful for these grape puns but enough is enough. Let’s get serious here. The latest health claim, some call it the Dementia Diet, is that eating two handfuls of grapes a day will put the cork on dementia and Alzheimer’s along with boosting memory and attention. Wow. Some of us need some of this. Some of you are still puppies: too young to be concerned. But don’t X out here. I’ll get to you down the page.

As you know, there is waaaaay too much information out there in the vast sea of Google University. Fake facts? Who knows. That is to be deciphered. Rather than bore you with a tsunami of information from the medical volcanic internet eruption, I will make waves (or maybe ripples) on this page with tidbits and you decide what floats your boat.

Fisetin (I swear they drank lots of grapes to come up with this name), is the plant compound to improve your brain game. It worked on a very small test batch of mice who were genetically programmed to develop Alzheimer’s but after nine months, there was no cognitive decline. Should humans get complicit in fisetin? I’m game. Another healthy excuse to drink wine. I must live up to the name of my blog. No matter that human trials have not been done.

Love The Wine You’re With

Grapes contain powerful antioxidants known as polyphenols, which may slow or prevent many types of cancer, including esophageal, lung, mouth, pharynx, endometrial, pancreatic, prostate and colon. Indigestion, fatigue, kidney disorders, macular degeneration, cataracts, artery plaque buildup are also treated or relieved by grapes. The resveratrol found in red wine famous for heart health is a type of polyphenol found in the skins of red grapes. I’ve been taking this supplement for two years after 60 Minutes declared it the breakthrough of the century. Think about the French. They eat tons of butter and drink lots of wine. But they’re healthier than us. Yes, they do practice mindful eating, artesian foods, rest and digest, no foods that are on tv commercials, no fake foods, and no guilt. We can learn from them. I’m starting with the wine.

Gross With Grapes

Grapes are classified as a laxative food because they contain organic acid, sugar, and cellulose. They also relieve chronic constipation by toning up intestinal muscles and the stomach. Grapes are high in insoluble fiber, meaning that it remains intact as it moves through the digestive tract.

Grape Size History

This fruit was first cultivated as early as 5,000 BC. Many biblical stories refer to them as the “fruit of the vine”. Grapes grow in clusters of 6 to 300 on vines. European travelers spread them all over the world. In the 17th century, they arrived in the U.S., migrated to the central valley of California and thrived with the climate and absence of grape-preying insects. Most of the grapes we eat in the U.S. are produced by California.

The Road To Grape Benefits Without The Alcohol

A hangover is the wrath of grapes. To avoid that, try this:

  • Serve stewed grapes with meat items
  • Add grapes to rice dishes for some sweetness
  • Add to fruit salad or green salad
  • Place sliced grapes on a sandwich
  • Serve grapes with cheese and crackers
  • Drink grape juice
  • Just eat them

Don’t Choke On The Joke

Q: “What’s purple and huge and swims in the ocean?” A: “Moby Grape.”

Thank you if you read this. I’m very grapeful!