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Down The Hatch March 25, 2022

Posted by nrhatch in Animals, Food & Drink, Travel & Leisure.
18 comments

After our climb, we had dinner on the shores of the Halifax River at Down the Hatch, an iconic seafood restaurant in Ponce Inlet that has been on my radar for years . . .

The name got my attention right away.

We arrived in time for Happy Hour with 2-for-1 domestic drafts and yummy corn fritters!

While we waited for dinner and enjoyed our drinks, we soaked up the view from our table as the sun set.

The waitresses were friendly and attentive.

The only downside?  The menu was a bit heavy on the fried  for us . . . which worked to the advantage of a friendly dog, Tucker, located at the next table.

Tucker gleefully scarfed down proffered fried clams from my basket, while counting his canine blessings.  When we left, we gave a doggy bag to Tucker with the remainder of my meal.

Before leaving, we snapped one last photo op before calling it a night.

Aah . . . that’s better!

B. Cereus February 24, 2022

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Health & Wellness, Home & Garden.
24 comments

This is a public health announcement about any leftover rice and pasta you have in your fridge.

Don’t eat it without REHEATING it enough to kill any B. Cereus toxins loitering about on it.

A 19-year-old college student ate leftover lo mein and ended up having his fingers and legs amputated.

I’m serious:

The Massachusetts college student had eaten rice, chicken and lo mein from a restaurant. Soon after, he felt abdominal pain and his skin turned a shade of purple, according to a report by The New England Journal of Medicine.

The teenager was admitted to a hospital for “shock, multiple organ failure, and rash,” and his condition quickly declined. He experienced abnormal breathing, high blood pressure and vomiting. The student had been healthy overall with regular drinking and smoking habits, the report said.

Bacillus Cereus (B. Cereus) is a nasty bacterium that hangs out on dried rice and pasta.  Once it is cooked, the bacteria comes alive and starts to multiply.

The bacteria produces a toxin when heated and left out too long, according to the CDC.

For that reason, it’s important to cool rice and pasta in shallow containers.  Never in a big pot.

And to be super safe, reheat FULLY before consuming.

Your fingers and toes will thank you!

Aah . . . that’s better!

Happy Bloody Mary Day! January 1, 2022

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Happiness, Life Balance, Mindfulness.
18 comments

We enjoyed a night in last night watching two uplifting and inspiring movies ~ The Bucket and The Exception.  One set during World War I and the other set during World War II.

We’re a complicated bunch, but most of us (not Himmler, not Hitler) sparkle and shine from time to time.

We paused the second movie at midnight to tune into Times Square for the final countdown:

3 – 2 – 1 . . . Happy New Year!

We stayed up far too late and got up far too early so we won’t be crossing many things off our To Do Lists today.

Instead, we’ll enjoy coffee and croissants before heading to the beach for a walk and then on to the pier to toast the New Year with a $1 Bloody Mary (or two).  Cheers!

Here’s to 2022!

Hope your year is more UP than DOWN.

Aah . . . that’s better!

The Twelve Days of Croissants December 21, 2021

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Happiness, Life Balance, Mindfulness.
16 comments

I’ve pressed the pause button on my gluten free diet for the remainder of the year so that we can enjoy warm croissants each morning with coffee.

YUM!

We’ll celebrate Christmas (a few days post) with my sister’s family in Orlando eating ANYTHING we want.

In moderation, of course.

In sum, we shall spend the rest of 2021 feeling fat, jolly, and festive!

Just like Good St. Nick!

Hope you find all the right ways to celebrate!

Ho-Ho-Ho!

Soon It Will Be Christmas Day December 2, 2021

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Gratitude, Happiness, Home & Garden.
31 comments

I decorated for Christmas today (even though I’m feeling too nostalgic to feel truly festive).

I want Christmas to be the way Christmas was when I was NOT the oldest generation . . . or even the second oldest.

I’d like my parents and grandparents and great aunt Edie to be back in the mix, instead of being mired in memory.

I want to watch mom doing all the heavy lifting, effortlessly ~ she mastered the art of balancing holiday shopping AND holiday baking, while turning out scones, stollen, Yorkshire pudding, plum pudding, miniature nut & fruit cupcakes, egg nog, and dozens of Christmas cookies.

I feel fat & jolly and roly poly just thinking about all those delicious calories and treats!

No wonder Santa needs so many reindeer to pull his sleigh . . .

And, while we’re on the subject, I want my grandfather back making whiskey sours for us to sip while we open presents galore, piled high under the fragrant (or fake) Christmas tree.

Alas! Time only moves forward.

Leaving us here, surrounded by mementos and memories and vestiges of the past.

Here’s to having a Holly Jolly Holiday, Here, Now . . . with whatever kith and kin we have left!

Aah . . . that’s better!

Does Christmas make you nostalgic for the days of yore?  What do you miss most?  And what do you love best Here & Now?

Let’s Talk Turkey November 9, 2021

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Gratitude, Happiness, Humor.
19 comments

“Each Thanksgiving, I’m thankful that I was born a parrot and not a turkey.”

“I say, I say, I say . . . being a rooster this time of year is more better than being a turkey.”

~ Foghorn Leghorn

“What?  Stop looking at me!  I’m not a turkey.  I’m a cow.  MOO!”

“I am not a turkey.  I am not a turkey.  I am not a turkey.  I am not a turkey.”

“Well, I’m a turkey and proud of it.  Of course, if I’m on your dinner table . . . it’ll be as a place holder or name tag NOT as the main course.”

~ Greta Gobbler

Aah . . . that’s better!

Wakulla Springs October 25, 2021

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Humor, Nature, Travel & Leisure.
23 comments

There’s lots to do at Edward Ball Wakulla Springs State Park.

Hiking Trails over the river and through the woods.

Watching the water for manatees, mermaids, alligators, and avian visitors.

Boat Rides down the Wakulla River for bird and gator sightings aplenty.

Dining (and lodging) in the historic Lodge.

But here’s a quick tip:  don’t plan to dive into the largest and deepest fresh water springs in the world UNLESS you’re a fan of 68 degree water temps.

After darkness descended outside, we dined inside ~> BFF opted for a French Dip and Fries while I enjoyed a grilled veggie stack (zucchini, summer squash, roasted peppers) smothered in marinara and mozzarella served with two sides.

I chose cheese grits AND smashed red skin potatoes.

Don’t judge.

Unlike our earlier hesitation about diving into the Springs, we dove into the food as soon as it arrived . . . before snapping a single shot.  My bad.

As slight consolation, here’s a view of the elegant and historic dining room.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Holy Pumpkin, Batman! October 9, 2021

Posted by nrhatch in Art & Photography, Food & Drink, Home & Garden.
22 comments

If you’re interested in enjoying some ghoulish fun with gourds, goblins, ghosts, and carving knives this Halloween, check out these Creative Pumpkin Carving Ideas from Hallmark.

Halloween Ideas, Recipes, Costumes & Crafts

My favorite:

Creative Pumpkin-Carving Ideas: Reek & Shriek Pumpkins

Or maybe this one:

Creative Pumpkin-Carving Ideas: Mowleficent Fowl

Aah . . . that’s better!

Don’t Judge A Cookie By Its Cover October 7, 2021

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

Some time ago, we tried our first Macaron ~ coffee flavored.

YUM!

I’d seen them around for ages, but they didn’t look “good enough to eat.”

Instead, they looked hard and dry and unappetizing.

I was surprised to find (at first bite) that they are soft and chewy and much better than expected.

Now I know you can’t judge a cookie by its cover!

Aah . . . that’s better!

Are you a fan of macarons?  Have you ever made a batch?

‘Tis The Season To Start Shopping! October 5, 2021

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Home & Garden, Humor, Life Balance.
16 comments

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas . . .

shop kitchen and dining

But I’m not ready to . . .

shop holiday home decor

Besides, it’s way too early to put out an Advent Calendar . . . no matter how nice or naughty.

There are only 25 doors!

Aah . . . that’s better!