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Oct 27, 2013

IF THEY CAN’T BEHAVE LEAVE THEM AT HOME OR HOW TO RUIN MY BIRTHDAY DINNER

It was my birthday yesterday. Thank you to all of you who wished me well via Facebook. It may seem impersonal but you know what…it really is nice to have so many people wish you well from afar.

I have a couple of Facebook pages and my heart swelled with all the well wishers. Some I know in person. Some I haven’t seen in many years. Some I only know through my blog or other social media connections. Every one of your greetings means something. Thank you.

My BB Guy and I went out for dinner tonight for my birthday dinner to our favourite Italian restaurant. We were lucky to get there when we did because within 5 minutes of our arrival they had people lined up waiting for tables. It is a very small place. thumb2.php

The food was delicious. Mussels appie for my BB Guy. (that is my Big Burly Guy for those who are new to my blog) I ordered Chicken Picata with vegetables and his main course was Spaghetti with Meatballs and sausage. No complaints. A lovely Italian vino to toast with and sip on. So nice. A fairly loud environment due to the small space filled with tables but that is all good. We like it. thumb.php

Then there is the table next to us. A group of women with 2 children aged about 4 and 5.

I swear that if our children ever, EVER, behaved like they did in a restaurant we would have paid our bill and left. It would have been very clear to our children why we left and why they could not come with us the next time. Not ever have we even come close to having to do so.

The 5 year old boy was less of a problem. Mainly he was making demands and ended up under the table. The 4 year old girl on the other hand screamed non stop about everything. She didn’t want to colour. She did want to colour. She didn’t want her food. She did want her food. Of course it was only a matter of time before all the waters on the table were dumped over.

There was nothing to warrant this behaviour. It wasn’t late. There was food on the table so she wasn’t hungry. She was just behaving miserably and ergo the rest of the restaurant of about 45 people were subjected to her bratty behaviour. A_Girl_Screaming_and_Frightening_Her_Cat_Royalty_Free_Clipart_Picture_110416-142433-740053

A couple that came in later with their daughter who was about 6 years old were seated close by. The little girl asked her mom why this child was crying. Mom said she just doesn’t have good manners and stroked her daughter’s head softly. Their little girl cuddled up to her mom and watched with puzzled eyes what was going on at the next table.

I think it is the adults who have terrible manners and I am disgusted that they allowed this to go on. Yes there are times that our children will not be behaving their best but you are the adult. Either make it clear that this will not be tolerated or remove the screaming child from the room.

How dare you subject the other patrons to your spoilt child. If you choose not to discipline your children then keep them at home for dinner.

Our delicious meal in a great restaurant was ruined by your obnoxious, poorly behaved children. You may be used to this sort of behaviour but we are not, nor should we be.

Don’t get me wrong I know that toddlers have a mind of their own. If that is the case you remove them from the room. You take them to the bathroom. You take them to the car. You take them anywhere else than where the action is so they see their behaviour is not welcome. How else do they learn that this kind of behaviour is not acceptable. This girl was not a toddler and this was adult laziness. Adults who spend more time emailing photos of their dinners to someone than dealing with their child. Adults who chatter amongst themselves rather than set the rules and follow up on them.

Well I feel better getting that off my chest. Did I mention how good the food was? I will have half my dinner for lunch at work tomorrow.

 

Oct 16, 2013

PINK PUMPKINS BENEFITTING BREAST CANCER RESEARCH

Time to re-post this one:

When I put my Pink Pumpkin Challenge out there I didn’t know at the time that the Pink Pumpkin growers had partnered with a great foundation.
When I went to the store to pick mine out I saw that they all had stickers on them with the link to the Pink Pumpkin Patch Foundation.
www.PinkPumpkinPatch.org
This is from their website:
The Pink Pumpkin Patch Foundation was created in 2012 to aid in the fight against breast cancer. America’s pumpkin growers have committed to giving a percentage of proceeds from every pink pumpkin sold this year to organizations involved in breast cancer research.
The foundation will oversee the donations, and ensure that the funds go directly to reputable organizations with the highest percentage of dollars spent on actual research. We aim to be transparent, with a board that volunteers its’ time, no paid employees and low administrative costs.
I was thrilled. My fun idea will also have a purpose. Breast cancer research. Won’t you please join in?
So here is my display. IMG_0092A cozy, intimate dinner for two. Not at the dining table but at the cozy couch. A relaxed meal. Time to catch up since the BB Guy had been at the cabin all weekend with our sons. IMG_0104
A little pink in the glass and pink ribbon too.IMG_0099 The pink pumpkins have a whitewashed look to them. A natural antique look. IMG_0098
I think they are so special. Deeply veined and naturally imperfect. Just like we all are. IMG_0101
So won’t you join me? Pink pumpkins or otherwise. Let’s see what wonderful pumpkin portraits you can all come up with. And please stop by the website www.PinkPumpkinPatch.org if you can help at all. 
I am linking to my own party. Come by and join in. Post a link to your own pumpkin decorations HERE

Oct 8, 2013

CALM THAT COUGH

I have a cold. Not a bad cold. Feeling okay. I rarely medicate a cold. It is what it is and I will get over it.

What is not okay is that I always end up with a scratchy cough. Just a tickle in my throat that makes me cough long and hard. Not a welcome thing at the office I assure you. Also makes it hard to sleep. orange wedge

There is relief for this cough however. A non-medicinal trick to stop that cough. Don’t ask me how or why it works. IT JUST DOES!

Cut up an orange or grapefruit into wedges. Now just like when you were a kid you place it in your mouth in front of your teeth to make the giant smiley face. You remember that right?

Do not suck on the wedge or eat it. Just let it sit there and it will release its juice ever so slightly into your throat. For the most part you will stop coughing.

Seriously for real.

I even do this in bed to stop my cough in the night. You won’t choke. It is a big wedge. grapefruit wedge

I can find nothing to say why this works but it works instantly. Is it the way it opens up your airway when your mouth is stretched over the wedge of fruit? Is it the citrus vapour from the orange or grapefruit?

I don’t know. Just do it….and go look in the mirror to see how cute you look with a fruit wedge for a smile.

Oct 5, 2013

PULLED PORK FOR MY PEEPS

I was having a get together for people I work with on Friday night. The usual discussion came up about the food. Should it be a pot luck, ordering in pizza, or as one person requests over and over, my chicken fajitas which she asks me to make every time? IMG_0111

Someone suggested pulled pork and we went with that. I have cooked pork butts a few times and have come to realize that less is more. Not less pork but less fuss. It is, as usual a method and not a recipe.

Follow along. The key to tender fall apart pork is the cut of meat, cooking time and internal meat temperature. All the goodies in the world that you add to the pan will do little more than smell good as it will barely penetrate the meat.

Lets start with the cut of meat. Do not use pork loins. They are too lean and are not meant for this sort of cooking. You need pork butt which is actually pork shoulder. It has quite a lot of fat in it which is key to your long cooking time. If you only have a tiny one from your grocer it will not need to cook as long but due to the high fat content you will end up with very little meat and would be better off buying it precooked from a good vendor. IMG_0109

If you do not get your pork to an internal temperature of between 190 – 200 degrees the collagen in the meat will hold tight and you will have stringy, tough pork.

The pork butt will reach about 150 degrees at some point and then it will stop climbing in temperature for quite a while as the internal moisture makes it way out of the meat and to the surface. This is known as “the stall”. The temperature stalls for quite some time and cannot be predicted which is why you have to make sure you are cooking it long enough to get past  the stall and into the sweet spot of an internal temperature of 190 – 200 degrees.

So what do I put on my meat and in the pan? Any mixture of herbs and spices that you like can be used. I mixed together chili spice, cumin, fennel, pepper and cinnamon. Don’t put too much cinnamon though as it does tend to overpower all the other spices. It is a great ingredient for the aroma and you can smell it more than taste it in the meat. IMG_0110

Sprinkle your meat with a bit of olive oil and rub in your mix of herbs and spices on all sides. I use latex gloves for this step just because of the semi permanent aroma and reddish tinge that will follow you around all day if you don’t.

Put the meat in a big roasting pan, cover tightly with some heavy duty tin foil and put it in a 300 degree oven. Now go on vacation, or to work or back to bed. Leave this undisturbed for about 8 hours. Longer is fine if you oversleep.

You will take it out and let it rest for about half an hour and then uncover it. It will almost shred itself. Throw out all the fat and you will be left with the tender, juicy pork which you will PULL APART. Voila, you will have PULLED PORK. Who knew it was so easy.

Serve this up on soft buns with whatever kind of sauce you like. Barbeque, mustard, maybe a cider vinegar squirt. Top with a scoop of coleslaw and dig in.

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