Bring Out the Tamales

IMG_9279What is it about holiday parties that they always seem the same? I’ve hosted hundreds of them, attended even more, and every one of them is a replica of years past. The dinner whether served buffet style or delivered to the table, is usually the same fare – the requisite ham, turkey, and green bean casserole. I know some of you love all this tradition, but I don’t. I want to bring out the chicken smothered in mole sauce with a garnish of pomegranate seeds. Or a steaming hot bowl of pho with hard boiled egg, thin slices beef and mint leaves. I know. The kids would go “Eeu!” and grandma would roll her eyes and keel over. Mention Christmas and your taste buds come scrambling into your mouth, all jostling for position to be first in line for tradition.

Did you know that smell is the strongest sense we have? We can lose our eyesight, our taste buds can go south, touch is no longer accurate, and sound, well, don’t get me started. Smell, on the other hand, can take you back to your childhood when you came running into your mother’s kitchen to snatch a slice of freshly baked bread slathered with rich butter. Or it can remind you of your first glass of pink champagne when you breathed in the bubbles and they raced up your nose and made you sneeze like crazy, or when you got a whiff of a gardenia bush on a hot summer night letting off it’s sweet, sultry fragrance.

I’d like to start some new traditions that include not only exotic culinary delights, but aromas that would provide us with a new library of memories that would lead us into the future. Like smoked, crushed chiles, Spanish saffron, spicy chocolate, and star anise.

Calvin says, “Yep, smell is my obsession. I’m intoxicated by fox droppings.” beagle

 

Stop Eating If You Want to Be Healthy

Are you reading about healthy eating lately?

I want to scream.

Corn is out, beef is in.   artichoke

Wheat is a no-no, it gives you a fat belly, but chicken is good.

Dairy is terrible, full of hormones and antibiotics, but tofu is worse, so go for quinoa.

Rice has arsenic in it. Arsenic? Yep, in the water.

Potatoes are suspicious. Why? What have they done to anybody?

Sugar, alcohol, and caffeine are poison. There go the bakeries, the beer and wine makers, and never mind the coffee growers in Central America.

Chocolate gets a bad wrap, too. (Spelling intended)

It’s utter confusion out there.

How do you shop and what do you eat?

Today I just read Valerie Comer’s blog who wrote, “I love eating chemicals and pesticides. After all, if this stuff preserves food, it will preserve me, too. Won’t it?” http://eatlocalgrown.com/article/11392-27-reasons-to-avoid-farmers-markets-satire.html

That’s a funny way to deal with it! She makes a good point.

Calvin says, “Kibble? Where did that come from? Probably some marketer’s brain fart to turn scraps into money.” beagle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

V Day

Today is Valentine’s Day and on my way to work on Market Street I passed by a flower stall spilling over with every flower imaginable – roses, tulips, orchids, daisies, baby’s breath, calla lilies, carnations, delphiniums, iris, narcissus, snapdragons, peonies and sunflowers. I took a million pictures and sent them to wish my friends and co-workers a Happy V Day. What a lovely way to start my Friday morning. When I got to the office everyone it seemed brought in candy, balloons, chocolates, donuts, and cookies. My willpower is zilch so I ended up on a sugar high within minutes. Tulips2

I’m convinced Valentine’s Day was proposed by a fiendish marketer who grew flowers and needed a reason to sell them in large quantities. Enter Cupid with his dimples and arrows who was more than willing to act the part on the stage of American business. It seems the day is as big as Christmas minus the push for toys and trips. Cupid’s done a good job.

Even Noah’s bagels got into the spirit. They made heart shaped bagels today. Unfortunately they looked like stools.

Alf handed me a bouquet of red roses yesterday when I got home. He one-upped me. I had nothing to give him except a big hug and kiss. Today I bought him a dozen oatmeal and raisin cookies from his favorite store in the city. We don’t dare go out to a restaurant tonight. The feeding frenzy at eateries is not a pretty sight, and the food tends to be mass produced in order to get people in and out quickly. We’re staying home and watching our favorite British mystery on PBS.

Calvin says, “Oh good. Are you making red popcorn?” beagle