Archive for the ‘food’ Tag

09/01/2021 My Food Addiction   Leave a comment

Do you consider yourself a food addict? Unfortunately every human being on the planet is, like it or not. We’re obsessed with food for our entire lives and without it we would cease to exist. That’s obviously an addiction I can and have learned to live with.

As I watch TV everyday the constant stream of food-related instructional programming is enough to drive me up the wall. Never in my life did I imagine just how wrong I’ve been eating and drinking and truly enjoying myself. Actually if the experts are right, everything that I eat is unhealthy, lacking nutritional value, and will eventually kill me. Fifteen years ago eggs were the killer and a few years later, whoops, all of a sudden a couple of eggs a week is no problem. Drinking coffee is bad and then it’s good. Eating sugar is dangerous and then it’s good in moderate amounts. Drinking soda is bad, turn it into diet soda, then it’s good, closely examine the sweetener in the diet soda, and then it’s bad again.

I’ve been convinced over the years that all of these so-called experts haven’t got a clue. Every expert that I can find tells me of food products that are bad. The problem is, I can find just as many that will tell me that they aren’t. Don’t even get me started on all of the other things these alleged experts tell us. Don’t drink the water, don’t breathe the air, why not just drop over dead and get it over with.

I’m not here to try and explain their motives, their inaccuracies, or their self-righteousness. I’m just saying that even the dumbest person I know can eventually figure out how ridiculous it all is. Now I’m going to fill your head with some ridiculous food-related information that is just as educational as all of the nonsense supplied from food manufacturers and also from our friendly know-it-all government. Let’s get started.

  • 500 million Hostess Twinkies are sold every year.
  • In America, Coca-Cola out sells Pepsi. In Saudi Arabia and Quebec, the opposite is true.
  • The average ear of corn has 800 kernels.
  • Black olives contain 10 to 30% more oil than green olives.
  • Watermelon is a vegetable.
  • The national drink of Iceland is a potato schnapps called Black Death.
  • M&M’s were named after candy developers Forrest Mars and Bruce Murrie.
  • The Marquis De Sade loved chocolate so much he had it sent to him in prison.
  • The Aztecs considered avocados an aphrodisiac.

I’ll bet my information is just as factual as all of those expert’s and a helluva lot more interesting and silly.

EAT UP YOU BUNCH OF FOOD ADDICTS

08-31-2016 Journal – The Big Easy!   Leave a comment

Well, my better-half and I arrived home last night after spending 6 glorious days in the party capitol of the USA . . . New Orleans.  If I disregard our god awful experiences with Jet Blue then we had a great time.  It’s been a number of years since I visited NOLA but I was thrilled to see that it was the same old exciting place that I remembered.  The evidence of Katrina’s visit eleven years ago has been all but erased.

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I grabbed this shot from their website because mine was blurry as hell.

I booked our hotel in an off-the-beaten-path location located in the old creole section of NO on Burgundy Street, 2 blocks north of Bourbon Street. The St. Pierre hotel was once the NO Jazz Museum but has since been converted into an hotel.

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It consists of a group of 150 year old creole homes joined together with small intimate courtyards and swimming pools hidden from street view.  If you ever visit there you need to know this is not the Hilton or Weston style of hotel.  This is an old building with 150 years of character and an 1850’s atmosphere.  We loved going native for a few days and would do it again in a heartbeat.

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This pool was 30 feet from our room. This is the view looking down from the balcony.

The weather was typical NO. It was 90 plus degrees all week with never less than 80% humidity. It was feel-like temperature of over 100 degrees.  Even though the heat was brutal that pool made it bearable. We visited it twice a day to cool off and have a drink and meet people from all over the world who were also staying there. Just fabulous.

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Another view of the courtyard from our balcony.

This posting is just the start of our trip. I’ll probably continue posting on our other activities for the next week or so. There was a lot to see and maybe I can give you a little taste of how it felt to be there.

IT WAS AN INCREDIBLE WEEK BUT WE’RE GLAD TO BE HOME.

10-05-2015 Journal – Fryeburg Fair Day!   Leave a comment

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The annual Fryeburg Fair began yesterday in southern Maine. It’s what amounts to a week long farm show as similarly held in many other states. My better-half and I usually visit the event mid-week in an attempt to avoid huge crowds.  We’ve never attended the opening day festivities because that would be crazy. Unfortunately this year we lost our minds and got a little crazy.

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Fryeburg is a community with an average population of approximately 3500 people.   It’s listed as the 102nd largest town in the state of Maine making it no more than a small black dot on the map.  The week of the Fair brings between 350,000-400,000 visitors to town and yesterday it felt like they all arrived at the same time. It made for a rather uncomfortable day for those of us with claustrophobia issues.

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‘Jumbo Donuts appear to be very popular.’

At 10 am the crowds were so so thick it was difficult to move around.  The entire fairgrounds was packed solid with people and the lines at almost every food vendor were unbelievably long.

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One of the most annoying problem for me was the number of people riding around on electric carts. I hate to use a broad-brush approach to people on those carts because some actually do need them but I saw quite a few that looked in a lot better shape than me cruising around, talking on their phones, and wolfing down Jumbo Donuts.  It just gives me pause.

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I avoided entering most of the buildings due to the large crowds but it was even difficult to take photographs outside.  In years past we’ve spent as much as eight hours at the fair but yesterday we left after just three and a half hours. 

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If we never learn anything else we now know that opening day should be avoided at all costs. Don’t misunderstand what I’m saying.  It was nice to get out and enjoy a beautiful sunny Fall day and the Fair food was greasy and delicious as always.  We’re actually considering a second visit later in the week when the crowds thin out a little and we can really enjoy ourselves. You can be sure of one thing, we’ll never be there again on opening day.

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‘Gridlock traffic in town as well.’

10-01-2015 Journal–My 2015 Garden Eulogy!   Leave a comment

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This week isn’t one I ever look forward to.  It’s the week every year when I begin to dismantle our garden.  It’s been a priority for my better-half and I for the last six months requiring a tremendous amount of TLC and just as much water.  It actually began last winter when we sat down at the kitchen table and planned it all out. As with all plans it never seems to workout perfectly without problems of one sort or another cropping up.

First it was the damn stunk that did everything in it’s power to destroy things. It was one lucky SOB because he survived a number of night time surveillances where I sat in the dark on the deck with a loaded rifle waiting to end his life of vandalism and mayhem.  He must have a really hardworking guardian angel because I seriously wanted to do him harm. After all of the repair jobs and the new fence we reached a mutual agreement to avoid each other for the rest of the summer. I smelled him a few times at night but never met him in person (Thank God).

The weather was for the most part cooperative but you can always use more rainfall with any garden. After a slow start things picked up rather well making the garden fairly productive. Was it the best ever? No.  It was just an average year due mostly to the skunk.

These pictures were taken this morning and as you can see most of the plants have been harvested and removed. All of the herbs we need for the winter have also been harvested, dried, and stored. Beginning next week I’ll begin  removing the garden fabric and composting all of the frames. Then it will be tilled under and left to sit for the winter to be ready for planting in June.

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Here’s the final tally for the garden and all of our efforts for 2015.  The pantry has been restocked with just about everything we need for winter.  My one last contribution will be a large pot of my favorite chicken soup which will supply us with at least ten to twelve hardy meals during the winter.

41 Pints of canned habanero hot B & B pickles
13 Pints of Habanero Dill Pickles
  3 Pints of tripleberry jam
  8 Pints of strawberry/rhubarb jam
  3 Pints of strawberry jam
  8 Pints of blueberry jam
  2 Pints of jalapeño/rhubarb jelly
13 Quarts of Four Bean/Corn chili
14 Quarts of Black Bean/Corn salsa
2 Quad Berry/Rhubarb Tarts
15 Lbs Rhubarb
5 Loaves of Chocolate/Zucchini Bread
4 Loaves of Spice/Zucchini Bread
9 Lbs of Fresh Pea Pods
16 Lbs of Cherry Tomatoes
15 Lbs of Jalapeño Peppers
7 Lbs of Assorted Hot Peppers
20 Lbs of Fresh Zucchini
13 Lbs of Assorted Lettuces
2 Lbs of dried onion chives
1 Lb dried habanero peppers 
1 Lb dried garlic chives
4 Lbs of dried and assorted mints
2 Lbs of dried oregano
1 Lb of dried parsley

This just goes to show how easy it is to supplement your food supply from a medium sized garden and a few cheap purchases from local farmers. All in all not a terrible year but next year will hopefully be even better.

07-25-2015 Journal– Is Betty Boop Really Catholic?   Leave a comment

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It’s a Saturday morning in Maine in July. It’s rained through the night and everything is wet and bright green as you’d might expect.  The downside is that it’s 6:00 am and my better-half has awakened me because of our planned trip to a nearby church festival. I was informed that it’s critically important that we arrive before 8:00 am before all of the good stuff is gone at the Flea Market.  Just as a point of information the “Flea Market” is nothing more than the basement of the church filled to the rafters with crap.  If I chose to be politically correct it could be called antique, vintage or  preowned but that would be stretching the meaning of those words to the limit. Imagine thousands and thousands of objects discarded by hundreds and hundreds of people scattered across forty of fifty tables, in side rooms, and even outside in tents. The great majority of the items are priced at a dollar or less and even then it’s a rip-off (in my humble opinion). I understand it’s money raised for a church charity so overcharging for crap is accepted and expected.

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It was so crowded with crazy people I could barely move around.  I felt pressured and obligated to buy something because this flea market was being run by a friend and former co-worker.  I dug down deep into my moth infested pocket where I found two one dollar bills.  I decided on a purchase which I would present to my better-half on her birthday.  I imagine every women in the world wants, needs, and desires a beautiful yet tacky Betty Boop toilet paper roller.

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After that purchase I fled the scene and returned to the fair for some greasy and unhealthy fair food.  There was plenty to go around.

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‘Salted, greasy, unhealthy, and almost delicious.’

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‘Hot sausage sandwich, peppers, onions, and a butt load of cholesterol.’ 

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‘Chicken anyone?’

With my belly full I made a bee line for the tent where the books were being sold.  I try to buy a sufficient number to carry me through the upcoming winter but the selection wasn’t as good as in previous years.  I purchased a few but disappointed there weren’t more.

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No real fair or festival fails to have the obligatory Disney presence with Mickey and Minnie posing for pictures with the kids.  I asked cute little Minnie to sit on my lap for a picture but she adamantly refused.  Nobody likes a prudish and fake mouse and she was  really mean too!

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My better-half made a number of trips to the car with her arms loaded with just about everything.  She bought food, toys, raffle tickets, and enough other crap to fill my trunk and backseat.  I was more than a little happy to see that church in my rear view mirror as we pulled away. 

Another three and a half hours of my life I’ll never get back.

06-02-2015 Journal- Neat Freaks & Germaphobes!   2 comments

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Using all of my past years of people watching as reference material I’ve come to the conclusion there must be one helluva lot of people in this world who are neat-freaks and germaphobes. There must be hundreds of thousands of us out there because we seem to be mentioned in every TV show and movie there is.  Someone’s always mentioned as being "so anal" or “too anal”.  It irritates me only because I’m one of them.  I’m a certifiable neat-freak and proud of it and have been for years. I’m also reasonably sure that we neat-freaks aren’t nearly as crazy as those damn germaphobes.

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If you aren’t either a neat-freak or germaphobe you may become one after reading the following tidbits of information.  More useless and somewhat disgusting information you probably don’t really want to know. Enjoy it anyway.

  • Bottled water is rarely tested for purity. An Environmental Working Group study found that ten popular brands were riddled with chemicals and pollutants, some as high as regular tap water.
  • About 99% of imported food is never inspected by the FDA or USDA, the two agencies responsible for protecting Americans from tainted products.

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  • One pound of peanut butter can contain up to 150 bug fragments and five rodent hairs.
  • One in five coffee mugs contains fecal bacteria and E.coli, which can cause diarrhea, food poisoning, and infections.

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  • Vegetarians beware: many low-fat and non-fat yogurts and sweets contain gelatin, which is made from animal tendons, ligaments, and bones.
  • Peaches, apples, nectarines, and strawberries are among the top six "dirtiest" foods, according to investigations by the Environmental Working Group. More than 90 percent of samples of these fruits tested positive for detectable pesticides, even after being rinsed or peeled.

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  • Red-colored grocery items like fruit punch and strawberry yogurt are often dyed with carmine, which is made from ground up cochineal beetles. For some, carmine can cause severe allergic reactions and even lead to anaphylactic shock.
  • A diet high in processed meats like sausage, hot dogs, and luncheon meats increases the risk of pancreatic cancer. Chemical reactions that occur during the preparation of these meats yield carcinogens, which could be responsible for the association.

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  • The well know poison arsenic is approved by the FDA as an additive to poultry feed and given to at least 70 percent of chickens raised for consumption in the United States.
  • A medium fruit-and-yogurt smoothie at Dunkin’ Donuts contains four times as much sugar as a chocolate frosted cake donut.

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In 2008, a Nebraska policeman was awarded $40,000.00 after he sued Taco Bell/KFC restaurant that served his family food containing an employee’s urine and spit.

That’s about enough information for me. Ugh………. Gag me with a spoon.

12-25-2014 Journal – Have a Meaningful Christmas   Leave a comment

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It’s Christmas Eve and our visitors have come and gone.  It was a an afternoon and evening of relaxing, catching up, and snacking ourselves into submission.  We’ll be having a huge dinner of turkey and all the trimmings tomorrow so it was decided tonight to just snack.

A large plate of cheeses (habanero is my favorite, of course) crackers, a few pounds of shrimp, cookies, veggies, and drinks all around.  We all participated in an excellent X-Box bowling tournament and a few games of darts.  Then we settled in for the movie of the night, Guardians of the Galaxy, and it was a fun and entertaining movie. The grandson was mingling with everyone and watching Mickey Mouse on his mother’s cell phone.  It really is nice being around a true Santa believer for a change.

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It’s later now and they’ve all just left for home. Getting the little guy to sleep will be the real Christmas miracle tonight.  We all need to get some rest because tomorrow will be another very long day.  It’s my turn to prepare the bird and my better-half is supplying her favorite family stuffing recipe for her kids.  I should be one helluva meal. 

We’ll be exchanging gifts around midday with the dinner to follow. So I’m off to bed to read a few chapters of one of my favorite detective novel. I have a collection of those novels on my e-reader and they help me get to sleep almost every night.

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For those of you who celebrate your holiday on Christmas Eve, have a Merry Christmas.  I’ll have a few additional pictures to post of our Christmas on Saturday and then it will be on to New Years.

MERRY CHRISTMAS

10-24-2014 Journal Entry – Rain, Rain, Go Away!   Leave a comment

It’s just another rainy, crappy, and gray October day here in Maine.  It’s a great day to stay in the warm house and to catch up on a million things I’ve been putting off.  With that in mind the cat and I retired to the man-cave to relax, watch a little TV, and work on the computer.  My better-half has the day off and is  enjoying herself in the kitchen.  She’s baking cookies, talking on the phone with family members, and preparing Halloween treats for mailing to her kids.  It looked like a great day was in the making for both of us.

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Just as I was finally beginning to relax  my better-half popped into my inner sanctum for a visit.  She gave me a kiss and an even bigger hug which while appreciated also told me something was up.  She intended to take a short shopping trip and was hinting around for a traveling companion.  Before I knew it I was changing my clothes and preparing to face the outside world.

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The traffic was heavier than anticipated and people were driving badly as always seems to be the case  when the rains come.  After traveling for a few minutes she decided the trip would be shortened from three stops to just one.  I assumed it was because of the rain but it may have been due to all of my swearing and cursing at passing motorists.  We arrived at the store, parked, and began walking towards the entrance.  Almost immediately the sky opened up and the rains came.  I didn’t realize I could still run that fast but I did.  As we entered the store I was told in no uncertain terms that this was to be a short power shopping visit for just a  few essential items  . . .  Yeah right!  Forty-five minutes and a full shopping cart later we were on our way towards the door. We could see through the front windows that  the rain was coming down even harder than before.  I was convinced to bring the car around to the front door where I could pick up her majesty.  I reached the car, drove it to the entrance of the store, and we loaded the groceries into the trunk.  We were wet and uncomfortable and  I could’t wait to get home.

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It was more of the same during the drive home.  I wish I had a dollar for every horn I heard honking and every finger I saw  thrown in anger.  It’s amazing to me how people from Maine can drive normally in two feet of snow and  a blizzard but can’t deal with a moderate amount of rainfall.  I found myself wishing for snow for just a moment but then good sense prevailed.

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We arrived home and quickly pulled into the garage to get out of the rain.  Within seconds of unloading the first bag of groceries I looked outside and the rain had stopped completely.  It never fails . . .

 

 

10-03-2014 Journal Entry-Fryeburg Fair #3   Leave a comment

This third installment of Fair day will be my last lame attempt to take you there.  I  wish I had some sort of smell-a-vision to really help tell the whole story but since I don’t,  I’ll do the best I can with pictures.

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We’ve visited the animal barns in the last installment but there was so much more to see than just that.  I was extremely interested in the foods being offered since I’ve spent the last year on a rather strict eating regime.  This was a day for me to misbehave a little and the choices were numerous.  Here’s a brief collection of those possibilities.

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Here are two of my sins for the day . . . .

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“Deep fried veggies.’

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‘Funnel Cake’

I was also dragged kicking and screaming by my better-half to an endless number of exhibits of things that held no interest for me.  Just being a cooperative partner can be trying at times.  There was no end of the shopping possibilities and she wasn’t about to miss any.  Thank God we only have one grandson to buy for.  If I hear or see anything with Mickey Mouse on it any time soon I may run screaming into the night.

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“This was the only place that convinced me to spend my money.’

Now here’s a montage of photo’s of a host of other things that piqued my interest as we roamed around.

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This one last photo will further explain just how I felt after ten hours of walking, sweating, and rubbing elbows with those huge crowds of other hot, sweaty and smelly human beings.  I was totally exhausted and was just about done with Fair Day for this year.

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‘Suicide by hippo.’

But there’s always next year to do it all over again . . . . . .

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10-02-2014 Journal Entry’s-Fryeburg Fair #2   Leave a comment

In this installment we’ll continue our journey through the huge crowds of people and make our way to visit the huge crowds of animals.  I couldn’t possibly post all of the animal photos I took.  The number and variety was amazing and the better-half made sure we saw each and every one of them. Here’s a montage:

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‘Shave and a haircut.’

 

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‘Llamas, I’m not a big fan.’

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‘Clean as a whistle.’

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‘Huge !!!’

If the Fair were held a little closer to our home I suspect we’d spend multiple days just roaming around the animal barns.  Attending the many events where animals are displayed for judging would easily take an entire day.  We were a little pickier this year in what we attended but as always because of my better-half’s love of pigs we took these pictures.

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‘One happy pig.’

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‘Many happy piglets.’

It’s now approaching the noon hour and we made our way to a small grandstand to watch the skillet throwing contest.  I’m a big fan because the contest is a tongue-in-cheek throwback to the good old days of farm shows. I’ve captured a number of entrants as they tossed their skillets into the air but the last one was the big winner of the day.  She was also the returning champion from last year’s Fair and to be as kind as possible she was more than a little scary.

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‘Going . . . .’

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‘Going . . . .’

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‘ Gone !!!!, The winner and still champion.’

I took a quick picture of this guy who was either bored to death or just plain exhausted.  He was sitting on his four wheeler with hundreds of people walking by and was dead asleep. 

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I knew exactly how he felt because it was the same malady that struck me as I sat listening to this Country and Western group while my better-half wandered around on her own shopping for more Fair junk.

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My final installment from the Fair will be posted in two days and will include a variety of random shots taken throughout the day. Lots of food stops shopping kiosks, and hours of people watching.  Come back to visit.

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