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Archive for the ‘Food’ Category

1.  Avoid carrot sticks. Anyone who puts carrots on a holiday buffet table knows nothing of the Holiday spirit. In fact, if you see carrots, leave immediately… Go next door, where they’re serving rum balls.

2. Drink as much eggnog as you can. And quickly. It’s rare. You cannot find it any other time of year but now. So drink up! Who cares that it has 10,000 calories in every sip? It’s not as if you’re going to turn into an eggnog-alcoholic or something. It’s a treat… Enjoy it. Have one for me. Have two. It’s later than you think. It’s Christmas!

3. If something comes with gravy, use it. That’s the whole point of gravy. Gravy does not stand alone. Pour it on. Make a volcano out of your mashed potatoes. Fill it with gravy. Eat the volcano. Repeat.

4. As for mashed potatoes, always ask if they’re made with skim milk or whole milk. If it’s skim, pass. Why bother? It’s like buying a sports car with an automatic transmission

5. Do not have a snack before going to a party in an effort to control your eating. The whole point of going to a Holiday party is to eat other people’s food for free. Lots of it. Hello?

6. Under no circumstances should you exercise between now and New Year‘s. You can do that in January when you have nothing else to do. This is the time for long naps, which you’ll need after circling the buffet table while carrying a 10-pound plate of food and that vat of eggnog.

7. If you come across something really good at a buffet table, like frosted Christmas cookies in the shape and size of Santa, position yourself near them and don’t budge. Have as many as you can before becoming the center of attention. They’re like a beautiful pair of shoes. If you leave them behind, you’re never going to see them again.

8. Same for pies. Apple, Pumpkin, Mincemeat. Have a slice of each. Or, if you don’t like mincemeat, have two apples and one pumpkin. Always have three. When else do you get to have more than one dessert? Labor Day?

9. Did someone mention fruitcake? Granted, it’s loaded with the mandatory celebratory calories, but avoid it at all cost. I mean, have some standards.

10. One final tip: If you don’t feel terrible when you leave the party or get up from the table, you haven’t been paying attention. Re-read tips; start over, but hurry, January is just around the corner.

[author unknown]

Please Be Safe

Please Be Safe

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Okra

Image via Wikipedia

Everything you always suspected but could never get confirmed by a reputable news source….


“The Shocking Truth About Okra!”  ©1987, 2007 by Joe Hickman, editor and Doctor of Okra.

It is a well-known fact that common garden insects will NOT eat okra.  Neither will uncommon garden insects.  That should tell you something.

Some say okra is a vegetable; others say it’s a fruit.  Most people can’t recall ever having said anything at all about okra.  Except possibly, “Are those legless geckos sleeping near my mashed potatoes?”

Even people who don’t eat okra may find it useful — for example, as a green plumb-bob for a vegetarian architect.

A pod of okra on a gold chain makes an excellent conversation piece.  You can tell everyone that’s it’s an Elk’s tooth — with plaque.

Okra can be boiled, fried, steamed, or pickled.  But no matter what you do to it, it still tastes exactly like okra.

Remember, boiled okra is so slippery, you may think you’re swallowing little green oysters.

Consuming fried okra north of the Mason-Dixon line is considered gastric perversion and may lead close friends to refer to you as “magnolia breath.”

You campers will be happy to hear that dried okra makes great bio-degradable tent stakes.

Please beware of the Great Okra Swindle.  Certain unethical supermarkets are painting okra yellow and attempting to sell it as miniature Peruvian bananas.  You can sure tell the difference in a banana pudding.

[author unknown]

DQ Sign:  cheesecake lizzards

DQ Sign: cheesecake lizzards

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I admit that I am not a big breakfast fan. Mainly, it is because I’m not a “morning person.”  I would much rather watch a sunset than a sunrise any day of the week.  I’ve gone to the trouble of excising all of those passages in my personal Bible that have anything to do with referring or suggesting “early in the morning will I seek Thee.”  I am certain that these passages must be later additions by some second century monkish insomniac.

That being said, when I am camping or backpacking, I do like breakfast. Having something warm to ingest on a cool morning is a prize worth the effort.  This is especially true if the day before you have worked hard to hike in to where you are camping with 30 or 40 pounds on your back.  Because a backpacker must carry all of his or her food, the breakfast choices are limited to lightweight meals – usually some type of oatmeal concoction for me.

I recently hiked above of Rosalyn, Washington, around Granite Mountain. Our first destination was a short and easy hike to Hyas Lake.  We found a campsite at the far end of the lake, making the trek in a little over three miles.  The trail is over gently sloping ground and was relatively easy except for the muddy places because of previous rains.  Plus, it was raining the day we started our backpack excursion.  Our goal was a four night, five day trip, up to Tuck Lake and then further up to Robin Lake.

After getting camp set up, my hiking buddy, Dan Tourangeau, and I attempted to get a fire going with wet wood.  I always carry fire starter sticks.  It took a couple of these paraffin fire starters, but we ultimately got a fire going.  Then the rain started to really pour down out of the sky.  It was only 7:30 pm, but I decided to turn in to my tent for the night.

When I woke the next morning, it was still a bit of a drizzly rain. I pulled out a packet of oatmeal and a packet of cocoa from my backpack.  All my camping gear is stored in a trunk, including extra food.  This makes it really easy to get ready for last-minute backpacking trips such as this one.  I simply pull down my backpack, open up my truck and choose my gear, and then collect the clothes I think I will need for that trip.  Simple.

I used my Coleman Peak-1 gas stove to make hot water. Poured the contents of my flavored oatmeal pack in to my backpacking cup and enjoyed.  Dan and I talked about the plans for the day.  His breakfast choice was one of those freeze-dried meals that one simply adds hot water to and lets sit for a few minutes.  After the specified time, one can enjoy steaming eggs and sausage for breakfast!  My breakfast was a little less exciting.  I looked enviously on Dan as he enjoyed his breakfast.

After finishing my one cup of oatmeal, I opened my cocoa pack, poured its contents in my cup and added hot water. The hot, sweet cocoa was perfect for such a morning as this.  I watched as Dan took out a pack of Starbucks‘ Viva instant coffee packs and made a cup of real, hot coffee.  I have to admit that a Starbucks’ coffee would have beaten my cup of cocoa any day of the week.

It was good to be out in the woods and backpacking again. I had not been on a packing trip in some years.  In fact, my meal packs, oatmeal, and cocoa packs were showing their age from sitting in the trunk for so long.  However, they seemed to have held up just fine.  Or so I thought…

Fall Colors and Berries, Pacific Crest Trail Beneath Mt. Daniels, September 2010

Fall Colors and Berries, Pacific Crest Trail Beneath Mt. Daniels, September 2010 ©Weatherstone/Ron Almberg, Jr. (2010)

About half-way through my cup of cocoa I noticed “floaties.” This is not unusual when one uses a cup to first make oatmeal and then make cocoa without watching it in between uses.  Except that these particular floaties looked odd.  I looked closer into the cup.  There appeared to be about two dozen meal worms squirming around in the warm liquid that now filled only half my cup.  “What the…??” was my first thought.

I poured out my cocoa and checked my cup. There were a few dead meal worms still clinging to the bottom and the sides.  I went to my backpack and checked the plastic zip-lock bag that held my oatmeal and cocoa pouches.  It was full of meal worms!  There was an army of meal worms making their way around in my bag.

I reached in and took out each of the oatmeal packages. There were holes in the sides.  Meal worms crawled over them.  I took out the cocoa packages.  They did not seem to be damaged.  I surmised that this was probably because the cocoa packages were also foiled lightly.  The meal worms that ended up in my cocoa probably got there from the oatmeal.  A few probably took a ride on the cocoa package and fell off when I shook its contents into the cup.

I suddenly didn’t feel hungry at all. My stomach gurgled.  I called Dan over to see my discovery.  Dan started to dance around, shake, and jerk back and forth like a mother-hen who had just laid an egg.  I think he was trying to prevent a gag reflex from overtaking him.

I poured the contents of the oatmeal packs at the base of a tree. I also poured out and cleaned out the meal worms that were in the zip lock bag.  Hundreds of these creatures were now congregating at the base of the tree.  I did not realize that so many little creatures could be all in such a small confined space.  How did they get in there?  Where did they come from?  Have they been hibernating these many years only to come out now to ruin my breakfast?

Mealworms nestled in a bedding of bran within ...

Image via Wikipedia

We continued our backpacking trip. My breakfasts were going to be much leaner for the next few days.  But thatFall Colors and Berries, Pacific Crest Trail Beneath Mt. Daniels, September 2010 was all right.  I was not going to feel like eating breakfast for a while.  One thing is for certain, those meal worms provided the extra protein I needed to make it to Tuck Lake that day.

As we packed up our gear to head up to the next lake, Dan and I returned to the tree that I had feed the meal worms to earlier that morning before hitting the trail.  To our amazement, hundreds of meal worms were attempting to wiggle or crawl their way up the side of the tree.  We both stood watching amazed.  Dan looked at me and shook all over again.  “Hey,” I said.  “My breakfast protein was fresher than yours!”  Dan shook and did a little dance as he headed down the trail.  “Well,” I thought to myself.  “I never did like breakfast anyway.”

©Weatherstone/Ron Almberg, Jr. (2010)

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Calorie Chapel by Gayle D. Erwin

1. The Old Testament was filled with feasts:
A. They had at least one feast every month
B. Three of those feasts lasted at least a week
C. God set up the feast system
D. God commanded that the feasts be filled with joy

2. When Jesus came He was accused of being a glutton…
A. That surely meant that he had a weight problem, since no one that you know of who was skinny was ever accused of being a glutton.
B. Most of the gospel of John was written around a table.
C. The family of Jesus (in Mark chapter 3) thought he had gone crazy because he was not eating his lunch.

3. What did Jesus leave us to remember him by?
A. Food! Bread and wine.
B. Jesus became angry only a few times. One time was when he was hungry and a fig tree, though well leaved, did not yield any fruit. It made him angry enough to kill the tree.

4. After the Resurrection, every time you see Jesus, what is he doing? Eating!
A. Right after he appeared to the scared Apostles hidden in a room and told them not to fear, he asked them if they had anything to eat. Luke 24:41 And while they still did not believe it because of joy and amazement, he asked them, “Do you have anything here to eat?” Luke 24:42 They gave him a piece of broiled fish, Luke 24:43 and he took it and ate it in their presence.
B. The two men on the road to Emmaus did not even recognize Jesus until He sat down to eat. Then they said, “Now we know you.”

5. The Early Church had only a few constant habits–items that would readily identify them. Eating together was one of them. Acts 2:46 “Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts.”

6. How is Heaven going to begin? A feast–the Marriage Supper of the Lamb.

7. In Revelation 3:20 Jesus said, “Behold I stand at the door and knock. If any man hear my voice I will come in to him and sup with him and he with me.”

Could it be that these Biblical revelations form the basis on a new doctrine?

Happy with Lard

Happy with Lard

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Did you hear about the Texas Teacher who was helping one of her kindergarten students put on his cowboy boots? He asked for help and she could see why.

Even with her pulling and him pushing, the little boots still didn’t want to go on. Finally, when the second boot was on, she had worked up a sweat.

She almost cried when the little boy said, “Teacher, they’re on the wrong feet.”

She looked and sure enough, they were. It wasn’t any easier pulling the boots off than it was putting them on. She managed to keep her cool as together they worked to get the boots back on – this time on the right feet.

He then announced, “These aren’t my boots.”

She bit her tongue rather than get right in his face and scream, “Why didn’t you say so?” like she wanted to. And, once again she struggled to help him pull the ill-fitting boots off his little feet. No sooner they got the boots off and he said, “They’re my brother’s boots. My Mom made me wear ’em.”

Now she didn’t know if she should laugh or cry. But, she mustered up the grace and courage she had left to wrestle the boots on his feet again.

Helping him into his coat, she asked, “Now, where are your mittens?” He said, “I stuffed ’em in the toes of my boots.”

Her trial starts next month.

[author unknown]

Gerber Picante Sauce

Gerber Picante Sauce

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(From Yahoo! Fresh Picks by Sarah Fuss. See link below.)

My “two scoops won’t hurt and neither will these french fries” approach to eating doesn’t lend itself well to swimsuit season. Although the beach treks may have begun, there is time to make a change. So, let me have it. What’s that ice cream going to cost me in workout minutes?

To tell us is Charles Stuart Platkin, also known as the Diet Detective. He is the author of five books and and host of WE TV’s I Want To Save Your Life. Here is his report on what some of our chain-food favorites should cost us in time spent doing common exercises…

Note: Calorie content of foods are based on official website information at the time of publication. Minutes of exercise are averages based on a 155-pound person. The greater the weight of the person the more calories burned per minute.

DONUT
Dunkin Donuts Chocolate Frosted Donut (230 calories)
59 minutes of walking (3 mph).

BREAKFAST SANDWICH
McDonald’s Egg McMuffin (300 calories)
32 minutes of running (5 mph).

CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE
Panera Chocolate Chipper (440 calories)
62 minutes of biking (10-11.9 mph).

PIZZA
Pizza Hut Large Hand-Tossed Style Cheese Pizza (1 slice; 320 calories)
39 minutes of swimming (slow to moderate laps).

CINNAMON ROLL
Starbucks Cinnamon Roll (500 calories, varies by location)
85 minutes of dancing.

HAMBURGER
Burger King Original Whopper With Cheese (770 calories)
94 minutes of swimming (slow to moderate laps).

Ben is an overachiever!

Ben is an overachiever!

BROWNIE
Au Bon Pain Chocolate Chip Brownie (380 calories).
129 minutes of yoga (Hatha style).

FRIES
Wendy’s Large French Fries (540 calories)
77 minutes of biking (10-11.9 mph).

ICE CREAM
Häagen-Dazs Vanilla Ice Cream (0.5 cup; 270 calories)
29 minutes of running (5 mph).

BURRITO
Taco Bell Burrito Supreme, Beef (410 calories)
70 minutes of dancing.

http://food.yahoo.com/blog/yahoofreshpicks/9960/what-chain-food-favorites-cost-in-exercise/

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Imagine for a moment a day in the news that announced 20 jumbo jet liners crashed killing on board.  Or, imagine a natural disaster near you like an earthquake in which 6,000 people died.  In such a scenario, I can imagine whole communities coming together to offer assistance and aid.  I imagine people all over the world praying for victims and survivors and their families.  I imagine it would be big news and covered 24 – 7 on all the news channels.

Yet, everyday the equivalent of those very things happen.  It goes unreported and unnoticed.  Worse still, there is no rush of humanitarian aid.  There is no mobilization of communities or agencies to help.  And, still, every day 6,000 people die, mostly children, from something that is preventable.  The lack of clean water.  Shocking isn’t it?

In the Western world and in America particularly, we take for granted the easy access to water we enjoy.  We are only steps away from a cool, clean glass of fresh water.  We buy it bottled.  We take long showers and baths in it.  We play in it in our swimming pools and lakes and rivers.  We wash our cars and animals with it.  Every restaurant serves it with ice.  We are truly blessed.  The average toilet flush uses more water than the average family without access to clean water will us in a day!

Unknown Purple Flower, June 2007

Unknown Purple Flower, June 2007 ©Weatherstone/Ron Almberg, Jr. (2010)

Meanwhile, every hour 250 people die from lack of clean water.  Every minute 4 people will die from the diseases that contracted in the dirty water they drink.  Every day, a woman or child in a community without access to clean water will spend an average of four hours retrieving dirty water for their family to use.  The water retrieved will contain parasites, bacteria, and animal waste.  Americans, on the other hand, spent approximately $16 billion dollars on bottled water alone last year (2009).

Because of lack of clean water, children do not get educated.  Parents need their children to fetch clean water instead of going to school.  Malnutrition and starvation is caused by lack of access to clean water more than anything else.  Children cannot assimilate their food properly and grow when they are plagued with parasites and diarrhea.  An organization like CauseLife.org tells us that “A single drop of water can contain over one billion bacterial organisms!  Diarrhea, malaria, typhoid, cholera, worms and parasites, and trachoma just to name a few.”

The lack of awareness is the biggest problem!  The vast majority of people in the developed world are unaware of the problem.  A problem that can be solved easily with communities and individuals coming together to do something about it.  Only $15,000 will provide a deep-bore well that will provide a village of 1,000 people clean, accessible water for 20 years.  Americans alone spent 1oo thousand times that much on bottled water alone last year.  Imagine what would happen if they came together with the rest of the developing world to provide clean, accessible water to the 2 billion people who need it.

I was made aware at a Children of the World concert.  The 15 children from all over the world who sang and danced captured everyone’s heart.  More importantly, it put the face of child to needs of children in underdeveloped countries all over the world.  Some of their stories are heartbreaking.  However, by becoming aware of their needs, we can get involved and do something.  As individuals, our participation combined others makes a difference.  I highly recommend seeing about scheduling a concert with them!

Once we are made aware of a problem we can do something about, it is incumbent upon us to act.   It is not the acts of evil people that defines our humanity.  It is when good people act in coordinated compassion for others with needs that defines us.  No one person needs to attempt to do it all or all alone.  In cooperation with others we can change our world.

Jesus poignantly identifies his true followers as those who “saw me thirsty and gave me a drink.”  There is no excuse not to do something.  Anything.  Donate.  Make others aware.  Volunteer.  Every time you use the faucet, toilet or shower and sink think of those who do not have such easy access.  Then, pray to the Lord to raise up people to meet the need.  There is someone somewhere today just dying for a drink of clean water.

©Weatherstone/Ron Almberg, Jr. (2010)

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