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Clearing The Path February 23, 2020

Posted by nrhatch in Art & Photography, Life Balance, Mindfulness.
28 comments

Not all storms come to disrupt your life.

Some come to clear your path.

Artwork by Carole A. V. Dougherty ~ available at Island Gallery West

True for you?

Garbanzo Bean Dip February 9, 2020

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

Garbanzo Bean Dip

1 (or 2) 14 oz. cans of garbanzo beans, drained & rinsed
4 oz. can Hatch green chiles, drained (Hot or Mild)
2-4 Tbsp. vegan mayo
2-3 oz. parmesan or romano, grated
1/4 c. chopped parsley (dried is OK)
2-3 cloves crushed garlic

Smash the beans in a food processor.  Dump into a bowl and stir in the other ingredients.  Adjust as needed ~ e.g., start with less and add more if needed. Sometimes less is more.

If you want a bit more “heat” ~ add crushed red pepper flakes or cayenne. Here, too, sometimes less is more.

Time permitting, refrigerate a few hours or overnight to let the flavors meld.  (But it’s delicious even when scarfed down/ served straight away.)

To serve warm, bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes (or so).

Or microwave for 2-3 minutes.

Or serve it cold.
Or at room temperature.

Your dip/spread.  Your choice.

Serve with crackers or sturdy chips.

Aah . . . that’s yummy!

The Best & The Worst February 7, 2020

Posted by nrhatch in Home & Garden, Humor, Life Balance.
36 comments

Before we enter the “real world,” many of us join the labor force on a part-time basis to earn spending money to supplement the meagre allowances doled out by parents on Saturday mornings . . .

In our family, the four of us each got $1 a week, but only after we’d weeded the gardens, mowed the yard, and slopped the hogs.

Or scooped up dog poop from the dog’s run.  Or washed the cars.  Or emptied the dishwasher.  Or shoveled the driveway.  Or cleaned the bathrooms.  Or completed any other onerous chores dreamed up and assigned to us.

Realizing that I needed more than $1 a week in spending money caused me to look beyond the confines of my parents’ home and garden.

My first part-time gig in high school involved “babysitting” for neighbor kids.  I loved it!

They played or watched TV while I did homework. After finishing my homework, I played or watched TV with them, supervised dinner and bath time, readied them for bed, and then read to them.  Fun and easy.

Plus, I loved being in charge!

Eventually, my desire for cash caused me to look outside the neighborhood for supplemental income.  And boy did I luck out!  My 3 favorite part-time jobs included:

1.  Test Monkey at Bell Laboratories (testing phone reception).  I sat in a booth, listening.  And making notations on a sheet of paper.  No manual labor involved.  Nice!

2.  Beertender at the Hoi Polloi (college bar) ~ listening to local bands (and drinking beer) for free while serving up draft beer (for $0.50) to fellow students, including crushes.  The tips were great AND we got a meal ticket to use at the Wigwam.  Each golden ticket covered ALL the food we could fit on the tray ~ a huge club sandwich, fries, drink, dessert, etc.  Enough for me and a few friends!  The only downside of the job was mopping up the ankle-deep spilled beer at 1 am.  *YAWN*

3.  Working in a snack hut at the Garden State Arts Center ~ listening to rock concerts for free.  After intermission, we inventoried our sales, closed the snack huts, and sat on the lawn to listen to the main acts, which included Stephen Stills, Dave Mason, ELO, Chicago, the Moody Blues, Seals & Croft, Loggins & Messina, the Eagles, Hall & Oates, etc..  If we didn’t get scheduled to work on the night of a good concert, we got into the venue for free by telling the ushers (our friendly co-workers) that we were picking up our checks.  The fact that we had 2-3 friends with us never seemed to faze them.

But life is not always a bowl of cherries, ripe for the picking.  I also got hired for two part-time jobs I hated.  Both involved selling on commission.

1. Distributor of Exam Survival Kits on campus ~ the kit included candy, snacks, and a Crammer Hammer (an inflatable hammer that stressed students could smack against the side of their head to relieve stress and cram knowledge into over-stuffed brains).  My job was to distribute kits around campus during final exams, receiving a solid $0.10 for each!  After receiving $400 for distributing 4,000 kits, I resigned.  In comparison, selling Girl Scout Cookies could be viewed as a get-rich-quick scheme.

“Here! Let me hit you with my Crammer Hammer!”

2.  Still worse was my short stint as a Fire Safety Consultant ~ selling fire safety equipment door-to-door.  I made a total of two presentations.  The first to parents of my best friend who declined to order safety ladders for their bedroom windows for one good reason ~> they lived in a single-story ranch.   My second (and last) presentation, to a neighbor who had been a volunteer firefighter for years, convinced me to quit.  Half-way through my preamble, he asked to see the stats/hype I’d been “sold” by the company.  As we went over them together, he demonstrated to me that I’d been brain-washed by the “party line.”  With that, my consulting days were done.

But all’s well that ends well.

Needing something to do for the rest of the summer, I got a job as a cashier at Becker’s Hardware . . . where I met BFF.

Aah . . . that’s better!

What’s the best part-time gig you ever had?  Or the worst?  Do tell.

The Chicken or The Egg February 3, 2020

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Humor, Joke, Less IS More.
28 comments

We’ve all heard people ponder the question:  “Which came first, the chicken or the egg?”

I’ve never come up with a satisfactory resolution to that inquiry.  So, let’s table that discussion for the duration of this blog post.

Instead, I’d like to know why hard-boiled eggs are ubiquitous to Macaroni Salad, Potato Salad, Ham Salad, Tuna Salad, etc., when they are clearly NOT a necessary adjunct.

They’re just there.

Like that creep in the corner of the bar keeping silent watch.

“Stop looking at me!”

Even more perplexing than the perennial presence of hard-boiled eggs in potluck offerings is the apparent absence of eggs from chicken salad.

I’ve seen chicken salad dolled up with grapes, pineapple, raisins, apples, mandarin oranges, cranberries, celery, onion, slivered almonds, walnuts, peanuts, pecans, cashews, curry, pickles, olives, capers . . . you name it.

But I just googled “chicken salad recipes” and none of the 20 recipes at the top of the “hit list” called for hard-boiled egg.

Not that I’m complaining since I don’t eat chicken or eggs, especially hard-boiled eggs.

But why is it that the chicken and the egg are rarely “co-stars” in chicken salad?  Don’t people realize that eggs and chicken are about as closely related as two foods can get?

They’re NOT first cousins, twice removed, like ham and eggs or green eggs & ham.  They’re from the same nuclear family ~ think parent and child or siblings at different stages of development.

Green Eggs and HamSo why aren’t they considered suitable company for each other in chicken salad?

Oh, wait.

I get it.

It might seem incestuous.

Aah . . . that’s better!