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Can’t Stand The Heat? Get IN The Kitchen April 16, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Gratitude, Life Lessons, Travel & Leisure.
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12 comments

Dad enlisted in the Army and reported for duty on June 27, 1946, at age 18.

His enlistment, at the end of his first year at Northeastern University, coincided with the end of World War II, just before the Korean War.

During free time, he enjoyed playing cards, buying drinks at the service club, going to the movies (“to take advantage of the $.15 tickets”), and getting to know his fellow enlistees.

“Tonight I am down at the service club.  They furnish stationary, desks, etc.  They have a nice restaurant and also a soda bar here.  There is a large room with easy chairs that would equal a very nice hotel lobby. They also have pool tables and ping pong tables.  I am down with two other fellows, both from Massachusetts.  We ate in the restaurant to see what it was like to avoid the mess hall of our company.”

“Right near the service club is the post library.  It has a lot of good books and most of the latest magazines.  It really wasn’t any hardship not to get a pass this weekend.  I am going to stop now and drink some milk that we bought here at the service club.  That is one thing the army doesn’t serve much of here.  They say it would make us sick on the kind of work that we are doing.  P.S. I really do not dislike the army.  Of course there are moments that are a little disgusting.”

Dad took advantage of the post library rather than getting a weekend pass to go into town (especially after being told that “there are more soldiers there than anything else”).  In a letter to his dad at the end of July:

“I have taken a book from the library on sea navigation and have been studying it during spare time.  I’m still glad that I enlisted and think that I will be a lot farther ahead at the end of one year and a half.”

In a letter to his dad, dated July 26th, he recounted some of the challenges of basic training:

“Just a few lines tonight.  I drew my first K.P. since I hit Fort McClellan. Tomorrow, instead of getting up at 5:15 as usual, I will have to get up at 4:30.  I get off at 7:30 P.M.  I think that it will keep me from having to stand inspection.

“The training has been pretty tiring, mostly on account of the heat.  I don’t have access to a thermometer, but one of the sgts said that it was 127 degrees F yesterday noon.  After marching, standing, and running the obstacle course in that all afternoon we didn’t care much whether we had supper or not.  After I cooled off I was hungry enough though.”

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Dad ~ Top Right

A few days later, in a postcard to his step-mother, Margaret, he concluded with: “The life here is really pretty easy.”

Aah . . . that’s better!

Continued tomorrow . . . “Ready, Aim, FIRE!”

Cocktails and Crew April 9, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Fun & Games, Nature, Travel & Leisure.
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35 comments

Last week, we attended a cocktail party hosted by the Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast at the Bay Preserve on Little Sarasota Bay in Osprey.

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The Conservation Foundation’s mission ~> “protecting the bays, beaches, barrier islands and watersheds of Florida’s Gulf Coast.”

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Before the drinks started flowing, we watched local middle schoolers wading into the waters for crew practice.

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Ready . . .  Set . . . Heave Ho!

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Over it goes.

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And they’re off.

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While the kids rowed, rowed, rowed their boats . . .

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Instructors scooted around in motor boats, barking orders.

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We wandered out on the dock and found a school of friendly fish.

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Bellying up to an all-you-can-eat buffet.

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The sun made its descent before the crew teams called it a day.

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The guest of honor, Rand Wentworth, President of the Land Trust Alliance, regaled us with tales of early conservationists, including Thomas Jefferson and Teddy Roosevelt.

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At last, time for some Jack Daniels and Ginger Ale.

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 Aah . . . that’s better!

Pacific Organic Tomato Soup March 26, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Sustainable Living, Vegetarian Recipes.
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22 comments

Fresh Market’s running a special on Pacific Organic Tomato Soup this month.

We tried it.

We both loved it!  And BFF doesn’t even really like Tomato Soup.

It comes in a resealable quart container and stays fresh in the fridge for 7-10 days after opening.

It’s low fat, gluten free, soy free, kosher, vegetarian, and . . . delicious!

Other soups include: Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Soup (also yummy), Creamy Butternut Squash Soup (not my fave), and many more we haven’t tried.

Yet.

In addition to soups, they make Meals, Sides, Sauces, and Gravies ~ all of which can be filtered by dietary preferences.

To learn more Pacific and its sustainable practices ~ check out Our Story ~ Pacific Foods.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Have you tried any products by Pacific?  Are you a fan?

Pizza . . . Pick Up or Delivery? March 18, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Fun & Games, Happiness, Humor.
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29 comments

Much of life is spent waiting in lines and sterile waiting rooms.

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To save waiting time, people often call ahead for pick up or delivery.  Some drive through the drive-through.

Not us.

We wait until we get to Oma’s Pizza to order a pie for take out.  Then we cross Gulf Drive and enjoy the view while “waiting” for our pizza to bake.

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Best

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Waiting

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Room

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Ever!

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Aah . . . that’s better!

Oh, Poo! March 7, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Humor, Nature.
Tags: , , , ,
39 comments

Grumpy gusLast week, I reached down to pick up one of Tigger’s treats from the carpet.

The small brown pellet did not have the expected resistance.  It felt “squishy.”

I tossed the “partially digested treat” (yes, that’s what I’m calling it) into the trash and washed my hands.

Vigorously.

I didn’t consider tasting the pellet . . . that’s just not my cup of tea.

In stark contrast, some people (perhaps those with more cents than sense) pay through the nose for coffee beans passed through the bowels of beasties:

Civet Droppings

Elephant Dung

* Panda Poo

Aha!  Now this photo makes sense!

I first heard of Kopi Luwak coffee (collected from the excrement of the civet, a catlike mammal in Southeast Asia) while watching The Bucket List.

Edward Cole (Jack Nicholson) extolled the virtues of this expensive excreted “reclaimed” brew. His traveling companion, Carter Chambers (Morgan Freeman), poo pooed the idea.

I’m firmly in the Freeman camp:

(1) Asian Palm Civets are caged captives, treated like poop for their poo.
(2) I’ve never been curious to try anything emitted from an elephant’s butt.
(3) The idea of ingesting “digested coffee beans” gives me indigestion.

People, places, and things have the value that we assign to them.

The-Pink-PantherTo some, a Picasso is just a painting, a diamond is just a pretty rock, and a piece of shit is just a piece of shit.

Count me in that crowd.

I’m not paying $200 for a cup of organic Panda Poo Tea.

Aah . . . that’s better!

One Potato . . . Two Potato January 26, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Simplify Your Life, Vegetarian Recipes.
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46 comments

IMGP3283bIn our recent effort to shift to a more whole food plant based diet (and lessen our reliance on C~H~E~E~S~E), we’ve put our Slow Cooker to good use this week ~ making Split Pea Soup, Vegetarian Chili, Vegetable Soup with Farro, and . . .

Yesterday, I realized I had 4 onions and 3 pounds of spuds screaming for attention.

I peeled and diced the potatoes and sliced the onions and tossed them in the slow cooker with diced carrot and celery.

I left the slow cooker to do its thing while I flipped through recipes to find a few to suit the spudsy base.  

I selected three ~ a veritable potage à trois!

* Potato Curry
* Tattie Soup
* Hash Browns / Home Fries

Once the potatoes and onions were cooked, I reserved 2/3 of the base for the soup and hash browns, then added a bag of peas, some cooked brown rice, 2 tbsp. of curry powder, and 2 cups of vegetable broth to the slow cooker and set it to simmer, low and slow.

I served the fragrant and hearty Potato Curry for dinner last night with a sprinkling of peanuts and raisins on top.  Yummy!

Today (a chilly day), Tattie Soup will be a hit for lunch and a breeze to fix: heat 4 cups of vegetable broth, add cooked potatoes, onions, carrots, and celery.  Bring the mixture to a simmer. Smash the tatties with a hand masher.  Done!

While the soup is heating, we’ll fry up some home fries for the side.

And we’re not the only ones groaning with delight.  Our freezer is a happy camper, stocked with assorted ready-to-go meals on its shelves ~ pea soup, baked ziti, veggie-farro soup, vegetarian chili, potato curry, and tattie soup.

Aah . . . that’s better! 

Leading Lambs To Slaughter January 20, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Animal Welfare, Food & Drink, Mindfulness, People.
Tags: , , ,
28 comments

3D-CowIn the recent post, Targeted Thinking, I included a few questions from The Book of Questions, including:

73.  Would you be willing to go to a slaughterhouse and kill a cow?

Do you eat meat?

Those questions reminded me of a blogging exchange from last September.

As summer waned, Cecilia wrote a post about sending animals from the farm to slaughter:

Are you sometimes very tired as the autumn approaches. The time for moving animals off to the abbatoir, the weight of the choices that are mine. Their eyes sit in my eyes. We blink.

Askance.  That is the word that accompanies your look.  You look at me askance, but you see – it is OK not to get it right all the time.  It is OK to sit down and think what am I doing. Am I doing it right. Can I do it better. Do I need to bother.  It is OK to say – what do you think? It is!

Do You Ever Think in Words?  (The Kitchen’s Garden)

In response to the questions she raised, I replied:

OK . . . here’s what I think.  I could NOT do what you do.

Raising animals for food makes no sense to me.  If your heart is heavy at the idea of taking your animals to the abbatoir . . . maybe your heart is telling you that you are “not doing it right”?

“If a man aspires towards a righteous life, his first act of abstinence is from injury to animals.” ~ Albert Einstein

“Life is life ~ whether in a cat, or dog, or man. The idea of difference is a human conception for man’s own advantage.” ~ Sri Aurobindo

 

Following the exchange, I became a less frequent visitor to Cecilia’s blog ~ it hurts my heart to get to know her animals and then see them marched off to slaughter.

Do listen to your heart if it asks you to make changes.

Consistency is over-rated.

 

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.:

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”   

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”

“Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.”

“Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.”

Aah . . . that’s better!

Related posts:  My Kind of Milkshake * What’s So Special About Baby Ducks? * Tammy’s Top 10 Reasons To Become A VegetarianForks Over Knives * Finicky Eaters * Only A Fool Would Say That * Family (BB’s Blog) * 6 Reasons Why I Eat a Whole Foods Plant Based Diet (Health Room) * What I Learned from a 1980′s Tortilla Recipe (Breathe Lighter)

Ending the Year on a Sweet Note December 30, 2013

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Happiness, Vegetarian Recipes.
Tags: , ,
33 comments

The happiest Happy Hour nibbles we enjoyed this Season ~> Mojito Fries!

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Sweet Potato Fries seasoned with Lime Salt and Fresh Mint with a Sweet and Spicy Dipping Sauce on the side.

Definitely a taste to savor and celebrate.

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Isn’t it wonderful to end the year on a Sweet Note?

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Or four?

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Aah . . . that’s better!

Taking A Holiday November 27, 2013

Posted by nrhatch in Exercise & Fitness, Food & Drink, Health & Wellness.
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31 comments

What we eat is important to health and wellness . . . but so is flexibility.

Being too rigid adds to our stress levels and creates feelings of deprivation ~ both of which can negate the benefits of healthy eating.

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When we view food choices as “all or nothing,” we’re afraid to slip up.  And, if we do, that momentary indulgence can result in an all-out binge.  Instead of enjoying a single cookie or savoring a piece of chocolate, we inhale boxes and bags of sweet and savory treats.

By swapping our “all or nothing” mentality for a 90/10 rule, we can enjoy mini-indulgences without telling ourselves that we’ve “blown it!”

What we do MOST of the time matters more than the occasional Holiday.

Here . . . have a cookie!

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Aah . . . that’s better!

Highlights From BFF’s Birthday November 20, 2013

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Special Events, Vegetarian Recipes.
Tags: , , , , ,
41 comments

Because we haven’t figured out how to turn back the hands of time or stop the clock, we keep adding rings around the middle to mark the passage of years.

Rather than shopping for STUFF that requires dusting (NOT a good use of our limited time on the planet), we now celebrate birthdays with FOOD and VIEWS.

This year, we went to the Chart House on the southern tip of Longboat Key for Happy Hour where we quaffed beverages over two shared appetizers and a decadent dessert.

First up, a trio of Hummus (plain, roasted red pepper, and edamame) with Pita and Fried Plantains:

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Next, an order of hot and cheesy Spinach & Artichoke Dip with crisp crostini:

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Dessert?

Yes, please!  Note to self: Calories don’t count during birthday celebrations.

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Molten Chocolate Lava Cake with Vanilla Ice Cream and Heath Bar bits.

On BFF’s birthday proper, we headed to the island to pick up pizza from our favorite pizzeria, located opposite the beach.

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Due to Oma’s location, we NEVER call ahead or order delivery.  Instead, we place our order and hang out on the beach to watch the waves while our pizza cooks.

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Not only are the views grand, the salty sea air perks up our appetites!  Mangia!

Aah . . . that’s better! 

What’s your favorite way/place to celebrate?  Does it involve FOOD or VIEWS?

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