Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Random Shit

ONE:  We keep getting phone calls from "Cell Phone NY," with a number which comes up in a Google search as a scammer's.  I think we got a dozen calls from them/it on just one day.  I've read even if you actually answer your phone and immediately hang up, then scammers can get enough information to delve into more of you personal info.  There was a time, before caller ID, when you might answer your phone and some idiot friend of yours has gotten another person to call and tell you things like, "This is the phone company.  We're going to be cleaning out the phone lines, so to keep dust from blowing out of your receiver, you should cover your phone with a large towel."  Yes, I got that one years ago.  I almost went after a towel, then I said to myself, "Self, don't
be a moron.  You know that's not possible."  Dimwit.

TWO:  I need to go to the gym, and since I'm retired, I can go pretty much when I like.  There's only one, teeny weenie glitch in that plan:  I'm very self-conscious about my weight, so I want to go at a time when there aren't that many people there.  Now, apparently, half the population of the damn county doesn't need to be gainfully employed, so they show up in their designer gym clothes, all skinny and toned, at all times of the day!  Dammit!  When I was still working, I'd go at 5:30 am when they opened. There really were only a few cars in the parking lot at that time, and I felt comfortable enough.  So...  I'm going back to arriving somewhere in the neighborhood of 5:30 am.  It may be a bitch to get up that early now that I'm retired, but the upside is I will have the rest of the day to do pretty much anything I want to.  So there!

THREE:  I haven't embraced the vegan lifestyle, and probably never will, but I don't eat meat as often as I used to.  I'm frequently just as happy with a nice salad with chunks of a yummy cheese, some bread alongside, and some fruit later.  I don't think I could ever get used to not having dairy products, and my husband and I buy from local farmers as often as we can.  Not too long ago, we had a really nice vegetarian meal: pappardelle (from a farmers market) with exotic mushrooms.  

FOUR:  Here's a quote I like:  
"I don't have pet peeves; I have major psychotic fuckin' hatred." -- George Carlin.

FIVE:  Here's a poem:

Wild Geese

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about your despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting -- 
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.

-- Mary Oliver

And finally, SIX:  A nice picture.
Cheers, y'all.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Another Recipe!!

Smoky Tomato Soup

This recipe falls under my category of Made-it-By-the-Recipe-and-Then-Tweaked-it-to-Make-it-MUCH-Better.  

I don't remember what I did to it to make it better because when we loved the new-and-improved version, I tossed the old recipe.  So here 'tis:

1 tbsp unsalted butter

1 tbsp olive oil

1 yellow onion, diced

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

2 tsp smoked paprika

2 tbsp tomato paste

1 can (28 oz.) of crushed tomatoes

1 can (15 oz.) fire-roasted diced tomatoes

Beef stock (vegetable stock for non-carnivores)

Pinch of sugar

1 rosemary sprig

1 bay leaf

Salt and pepper, to taste

1. In a large pot melt the butter into the olive oil.

2. Add the onion and cook over medium-high heat until tender.

3. Add the paprika, some salt and pepper, and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute or so.

4. Add garlic and tomato paste; cook for about 30 seconds.

5. De-glaze the pan with some beef (or veggie) stock.

6. Add the tomatoes, sugar, rosemary sprig, bay leaf, and about ½ cup beef (or veggie) stock.

7. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer on low heat for about 30 minutes.

8. Remove the rosemary sprig and bay leaf.

9. Season with salt and pepper, if needed, and serve.

I made this for knit night the time Lisa reproduced -- magnificently, I might add -- my Over-The-Top Grilled Cheese Sandwiches.

Forget the white loaf bread and the Kraft American cheese slices.  Get yourself some really good bakery bread and slice it a little thick.  Find three different kinds of deli cheeses, like Havarti, Gruyere, and aged white Cheddar or use your own combination (I don't think I'd use a bleu cheese for this, but to each his own).  Stack up 2 bread slices with the 3 cheese slices; generously butter the outside of each bread slice, all the way to the edge; and cook on a seasoned cast-iron griddle or skillet, until the bread is lightly browned and the cheese is melty.  YUMM-O!

Take care, y'all!