Sunday, November 30, 2008

Thanksgiving A-Plenty!

Well, we've had our Thanksgiving holiday, and lots of it. It started last weekend when Tim Allen, Polly, Andrea and her new beau, Bill, came over for a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner. It had been a couple of years since I cooked one, so I went NUTSO! I've got a bunch of pics to prove what a nut case I am too! I thought I'd do a little show and tell. Who knows? One of you may need to reference this page to cook your own turkey one day. (Possibly even one of my children)

Okay, the first thing I did is bake my own bread especially for the purpose of staling it and using it in the cornbread stuffing the following weekend. So this rising bread here was done 7 days prior to the dinner.

This may seem a little bit much for some of you, but I want you to know that it DOES make a difference in the way the stuffing comes out. The bread has to have a lot of body so that it doesn't get soggy. I HATE soggy stuffing.

I also made a carrot cake for one of the desserts. Here my ceramic kitchen buddies look on approvingling.

So after I got the desserts taken care of, and I didn't take pics of all of them, but I did a Bavarian salad the night before as well as two pumpkin pies, I got up at 6:30 Sunday morning and began working on the turkey. The first thing to do with a turkey is to take it out of the bag and wash it. After washing it in the sink with room temperature water, you need to give it a salt bath. Check out yon pictures.

So after you've rinsed out all the simply need to pour salt into the cavity of the bird, and vigorously rub the insides. You are using this as an abrasive and thoroughly cleaning the inside of the bird that is going to become the roasting cavity for the stuffing.

Speaking of stuffing, you need to have it all ready and sitting somewhere near the turkey so you can get it all stuffed in. I use a nice serving spoon and shovel it gently into the cavity. The main cavity isn't the only place I stuff either. I also stuff the back cavity so that I don't have a turkey with that weird indentation when I get finished.

Another thing thing you need to do is to take care of the neck and giblets (the heart and liver). Put them into a sauce pan with lots of water. This is later going to become the liquid for your giblet gravy, and to moisten the stuffing that goes into the oven to cook outside of the bird.

After the turkey is stuffed in the main cavity, and the back cavity, then it's time to do a little surgical sewing on it. I had to sew the back flap closed so that it wouldn't come open and look strange. So it's a needle and thread and get to sewin!

The best way to finish, is to get the turkey on the roaster rack, dry it off with a paper towel, then oil it with olive oil. I also ground some fresh black pepper on it before it went into the oven. I cooked it at 350 for the first 1/2 hour, then turned it down to 325. You cook turkey for basically 15 minutes per pound. This was a 20 pound turkey, so we were down for 5 hours.

Here's what the turkey looked like cooking.

So after the turkey had been cooking for a few hours, and just before the kids got there, I set up the appetizers. Really wish I wasn't one of THE worst photographers ever. I'm trying, but my improvement is slow and barely perceptible.

So here's Andrea and Bill, and the little baby dog Trixie. They got there just before noon.

Here's Kris and Tim Allen basting the turkey.

Andrea and Polly snacking on stuff before dinner. There were veggies, a cheese ball, and Hickory Farms crackers and dates, and cream cheese with olives in celery. Yum!

I'm not sure if this was supposed to be a commentary on the turkey or what! lol! Actually, I know it wasn't...she's just a little turd!

And here's me....ready to cut the bird!

And so a slicin' we will go...

And here's my son trying to get across the kitchen without getting his picture taken. Tough luck!

And here is Andrea and Polly. Andrea took my camera outside to get this one.

We had a wonderful time. I didn't get any more pics because I was busy serving dinner. The Goddess let the food come out good, and everyone was personable and all was calm and wonderful.

We continued our Thanksgiving celebration by heading over to Wenatchee to Nick and Maggie's place for the real event on the real day itself. I didn't get a single picture of Nick and Maggie's Thanksgiving...I have no idea why. I never even thought about getting my camera out - AND I HAD IT WITH ME! I hope we get to go again. I'll do better. Their house was beautiful, the food was great. And OMG! Is it 3:30 in the morning? Yes. Yes it is. I'm goin' to bed. But I did manage to finally get this T-Day blog done! I still need to do an entry with Andrea's birthday pics in it. There are only a few, but they are cute, and they were taken on her 19th birthday.

Whew! Goodnight all!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Could Stress be the Next Diet Aid?

As I was sitting at work today with acid reflux riding high, I thought of how I wasn't hungry at all, and how there might be something marketable in this fact. Mind you, I feel like there's a hole burrowing its way through the lining of my breadbasket, but hey! I don't feel like I need food, and I've had like a cup of oatmeal today.

Whatever the case, it would have to be better than friggin' Alli . . . I can't even BELIEVE that people would buy this product. It makes me laugh out loud when I think about the fact that the warnings include things like "may cause anal leakage and spotting." Holy Hell! You may be able to eat a few hundred calos more per day, but you have to start wearing adult diapers. How sexy is THAT? Hey baby....I'll be right out...I just have to change my pants...I seem to have shat myself.. tee hee! Riiiight....

Or maybe we could go back to a turn-of-the-last-century solution and start nom-nommin' tapeworms. Can you imagine? Tapeworms? How DISGUSTING is THAT? I can remember reading about tapeworms when I was a butterball teenager and wishing I could get one. Who knew you could by them in a box in my grandmother's day. Sheeeeet... have another doughnut...ain't no it down with a sterilized tapeworm.

It's really unbelieveable the stress we put on the physique in this country, and then don't have any support system for helping to make it happen for people. For instance, there's the whole magazine ad culture that teenagers are victims and slaves to - however, all over the country, athletic programs in schools are being cut due to lack of funding, and academics are stressed far more than physical fitness. But if you're a fat kid who sits around and reads all day long and makes straight As in school, you're automatically branded as a lazy kid. Huh? And we may want our adult work force to be lookin' good too, but do most companies have provisions for physical fitness during work hours? No.... I'm not talking about the employer actually paying you to buff up, but we are, in fact, alloted only so many waking hours, and it so happens that most of us spend the majority of them doing some kind of meaningless work. Why not encourage some physical health and fitness int he workplace by making it mandatory that employers, especially employers of office workers, who employee over 500 people, make an exercise facility available for employees who want to use it? Hell, we write every other damn nit-pickin' detail into law - why not something that actually would do us some good for a change? I'm just bitter because we have this really nice shower facility here at my work, but if you want to ride an exercise bike or walk on a treadmill, you've gotta go waaaaaay the hell down the road because all the close-by ones (okay...with the exception of the rich old men's health club across the street that costs $5,000 a year to belong to) have closed down.

I'm not sure why I went on this rant...oh yeah...heartburn as the next diet and weight loss solution. That makes about as much sense as having your stomach cut out and your intestines re-wired. Oh wait...that's bariatric surgery which is a multi-million dollar industry in this sad and confused country of ours. (I'm also probably feeling a bit militant because I'm listening to Mudvayne's new stuff). Anyway, there it is. Have a great hump day!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Alaska True Cod Toothpaste

You know...once in a while I have a great idea. Today is one of those times. As I was ingesting my 3 tablespoons of fish oil as prescribed by my chiropractor for the disks in my back - I thought "What the Hell? Everthing I eat or drink today is going to taste like this friggin' fish oil...I may as well have brushed with fish oil toothpaste."

I think that the color is about right too, huh? Well, maybe this isn't THE best idea I've ever had. Maybe my idea for a turbo salt-shaker was slightly better. However, I'm in a whimsical mood and felt like sharing it.

This morning saw another early morning back treatment, and all that space between the vertebrae when they're done leaves you feeling a little giddy sometimes. But I'm here at work, so I'd better concentrate on giving Caesar what is Caesar's. Ciao Baby! Happy Tuesday! (I love me some exclaimation points!)

Friday, November 07, 2008

Woo Hoo! A New President and Friday!

It doesn't get much better than this. I'm so happy that Obama won the election. I honestly got up the next morning and felt better about being an American. And many, many of the people that I spoke with on Wednesday felt the same way. I'm hoping that the policies that will be changed, and the actual CHANGES that will no doubt be made in the coming months and years will reveal a more modern and global America.

About the only thing that bothers me about the Obama is the fact that he smokes. I hope he's able to get that under control soon. As an ex-smoker, I know that it is hard. But I have such a hard time believing that someone as smart and talented as he is actually still lights those fuckin' things and puts them in his face.

I was thinking yesterday as I was walking on the streets of Seattle, desperately trying to regain my health so I can feel better and have a better quality of life, that the tobacco companies must be okay with him getting elected. Granted, it would have been a more direct benefit to have McCain pick up the election, but they get the soft benefit of having Obama in there with the tacit acceptance of it being okay to smoke. Both of my kids smoke, and I hate it. I really do. I cannot believe that those two kids, both of them pretty intelligent, are actually SMOKING. Now what am I gonna say, huh? Now that we have a smoking President, how much juice am I goign to lose on our Thanksgiving day when I plan to snipe at both of them for the nasty habit. Thanks, Barrack. Thanks a heap. I think the American Lung Association ought to send him a year's supply of nicotiene patches for good measure.

So today is Friday, but it's also Enbrel injection day. I'm happy that my insurance company okayed this drug and is paying for it. I just wish I didn't feel so jumpy about injecting it. It leaves these coronas around the injection site that make me really uncomfortable. And then there was the problem last week when, several hours after the injection, I began to feel woozy . . . dizzy and sick and feverish. I called my doc's office and the glib nurse told me that I must "have the flu" - and I really wanted to push her face in. I was standing there with my face all flush and hot. I informed her that I hadn't had the friggin' flu since 1988! And then she proceeded to pour upon me her glibbery by telling me how "Well, from the moment you took that first injection of Enbrel, your immune system was compromised..." Thanks bitch! I really needed to hear that. Anyway, turns out I didn't have the flu, and I survived the symptoms - but I was none too eager to inject myself again. I didn't yesterday because I didn't think I actually felt well enough to do it. And one thing that they did tell me when I went for "injection training" is that if you feel sick, don't shoot the stuff. So I did it again today because I didn't feel sick or sickly, but I injected it in my leg instead of my stomach. Looking forward to seeing the giant, red-ass ring around the needle hole there too. Oh! And the coronas on my previous injection sites didn't show up until yesterday, at which time they appeared like some kind of bizarre fading and returning ink. Both of them. The one from the injection several weeks ago, and the one from the most recent.

My mother is back in the hospital. She is in Baptist Memorial in Oklahoma City this time. I think they were trying to kill her in that little hokey home-town hospital in Perry, OK. My sister said that they dropped her from the lift TWICE. It caused her to lose a lot of blood by making it pool in her stomach and lungs. Greeaaatt. My sister gives me updates. I'm almost too chicken-shit to call the hospital and get them for myself. I want her to filter them for me. **sigh**

Well, the weekend is here. I hope all reading this are planning a good one.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Post-Halloween and Election Day

Well, Halloween is all done and over with for another year. It was a good one, but by the time the event itself got here, it was a quiet one for sure. By the time I got done driving home in the traffic that was out that night, it was tempting to just shut all the blinds, turn the porch light off and pretend to not be home. But instead, I got changed out of my witch costume and into some jeans and felt quite a bit better. I cooked pork chops for dinner and we had a nice, relaxing evening watching Halloween-related films and answering the door for the half-dozen or so groups of kids who braved the rain to show up. I wore my "harvest witch" outfit this year that I made in 2006. This will be the last year for that costume to come out. I don't think I'll be able to alter it sufficiently to make it fit me for another year, so it's getting retired. The picture here was taken by a co-worker. It's the only one in existence that I'm aware of. The only reason I care is that this dress was a bitch to make! I have plans for next year, but I will have to get started on it some time next summer. We'll see if anything comes of those plans.

And now, here it is, election day. Eagerly awaited for four years by those of us who have been pulling for the Democrats. Well, I guess that technically, I've been eagerly awaiting this election for the past 8 years. 2000 was such a disillusionment for me, that I thought I might have to look into moving to Canada. Of course there's really nothing I could offer Canada that would be a unique skill (never did master that thing with the ping-pong balls), so I guess I'm gonna have to stay here no matter who wins. But GOD I AM READY FOR A CHANGE AND SOME MUTHA FUCKIN' PROGRESS in this country. We are so woefully behind the rest of the competitive world when it comes to education and health care and just humanity in general that it is mind-boggling. Mind-boggling because there is enough wealth, talent and population in this country that we could and SHOULD lead the entire world....not look like a bunch of retarded school yard bullies. Oh well....I swore I would never again get too emotionally involved (after 2000, that is). I lost my voice that year from all the screaming that I did at the television the night that fuck-tard Bush "won" the election. And when he stole it again in 2004, well, I was just numb by then. Numb, and I honestly couldn't believe it. Honestly COULD NOT. I'm not sure that we won't have out-right rioting in the streets tonight if McCain wins. We'll just have to wait and see. I'm not going to even try to keep up with it this evening on television. I'm going to cook some chicken curry and jasmine rice, make an apple pie in honor of election day and hope for the best. Trust in the process and the American people to make the right decision. We'll see how that works out. Stay tuned.