tgif 12-13-13

craftyrnDecember 13, 2013

Yipes ! Friday the 13th ! a bit busy this weekend-- the USFD ham raffle is tomorrow Doc is cooking the chili with a couple other guys --they serve free chili & hot dogs during the raffle-- money is raised by raffling hams, turkeys and donated stuff-- I made up an Irish Coffee basket ( bottle of 1608 Bushmills Irish Whiskey, 2 Irish Coffee glasses, packets of brown sugar, shelf stable cream packets, chocolate covered coffee beans & recipe) . And also sending up a small pine door swag I bought from a favorite local Garden Spot --The Produce Place-- no actual cooking this time for me,

my benefit cooking was last weekend-- did Baked Ziti for 100 for a Gastroparesis/ Colitis benefit for a friend of my youngest daughter.

Tomorrow I'm dropping off handmade toddler quilt & pillow sets, small stuffed animals & fabric snowmen for the Cayuga Co Christmas Elf program. Sunday we'll actually get the tree up & yard decorations done -- our family Christmas is the 22nt so I guess it's got to be done.

Clinking to you all with my vanilla chai-- watch the snow folks-- stay safe & warm.


Here is a link that might be useful: great garden & stuff

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Happy Friday the 13th!

Our weekend plans include meeting friends for cocktails after work, swim meet tomorrow and finishing the baking and decorating on Sunday. OF course, this is all hinging on just how much snow we get tomorrow - the boys may be shoveling instead of swimming!

I bought a new cookbook at the last cookbook club meeting - it is the one we will be cooking from in January - and I am completely in love with it! It is The Simple Art of Eating Well and I have already marked several recipes that I will be making VERY soon.

Stay safe and warm everyone! Seems like winter has really arrived :-)


Here is a link that might be useful: The Simple Art of Eating Well

    Bookmark   December 13, 2013 at 1:22PM
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This is a crazy weekend for me. My mother arrives today. My daughter has some girlfriends over tonight, then needs to work on college applications all weekend. My son is babysitting tonight. SWMBO is off in Yakima visiting her mother.

So tonight I have to feed four teenage girls, my mom, my son, and a 6 y/o. With a complete absence of culinary inspiration. I think I'll get some pre-made pizza dough and have the girls make some homemade pizzas, that should be fun, and I'll make a quick soup or something for my mom.

The rest of the weekend - arrgh, no idea. If I think of something interesting, I'll post back. Right now, it could be Top Ramen for all . . .

It has been very cold in Portland, by our standards. The low on Satruday was 12 F, most mornings I've been riding my bicycle to work at 18-22 F and riding home at 24-26 F. Unfortunately, we haven't had much snow. One day there was about an inch of snow on the roads, I loved riding in it. Fresh snow is not too hard to bike on if you are careful. Another morning we had "freezing fog" which means the roads are slick as the mist and fog freezes to everything. That was trickier on the bike, but I still rode.

Our buildings aren't really designed or maintained for cold temps. This last week, lots of homes and comemrcial buildings had frozen pipes. Heaters are running a lot, as the houses here aren't insulated like yours are in the Midwest. One of my friends who lives in a "tiny house" wasn't able to get it above 55 F for 4 days. My bike shop/tavern was in the 50s F then as well, I loaned them some fans to place in the rafters to blow warm air down and that brought the temp up by +5 F.

Still, for most of us the cold snap has been a little bit of excitement, something to talk about. We aren't suffering.

But our local homeless have been really suffering. Even on 18 F mornings I ride by the missions at 5:00 am and see people standing and sitting outside, or sleeping under tarps. A homeless man died of exposure last week. The police have been bringing street people to shelters and local volunteers are distributing blankets to those who want to stay on the streets, as many of them do fo all kinds of reasons. At this time of year, the wandering tribes of street kids have left Portland for warmer climates. The people on the streets are pretty hardcore homeless.

Since the bottom in 2009, the SP500 has rallied by +160% to all time highs, corporate profits are at record levels, by many measures the economy is doing very well, and almost all of that wealth recovery has gone to the top 10% of the country and indeed most to the top 1%. At the same time this year we've raised payroll taxes that predominantly hit the lower-income, cut food stamps, terminated many people's unemployment benefits, furloughed millions of government employees. Income inequality in the USA is at levels not seen since the 1920s.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2013 at 2:20PM
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Yes, John, you're right. (sigh) The gap between the top and bottom earners is growing at leaps and bounds and the lowest income levels are the ones who are seeing the hardest hits.

It's been a busy couple of days. I've been helping Dave keep books at the shop, doing some babysitting for Ashley's girls, doing Christmas baking and trying to keep the water tanks at the farm from freezing, it's been in the single digits at night and highs in the teens, and we've been whacked with snow pretty much continually so it's a daily battle, even with tank heaters.

Today I went to stepmothers to take her some cookies and her prescriptions, she doesn't like to get out when it's this cold and snowy. 5 hours got Dave's books current for him and I broke ice on the stock tanks. Tomorrow we'll give the cattle a new bale of hay, then take Bud and Makayla to see Santa Claus. Elery will take them home while I go to Ashley's, I'm watching the girls while she and Kevin go to the Law Enforcement Christmas Party. Sunday after the farm, I'm planning to make fudge, some more Stromboli for the freezer (my contribution to the family Christmas Eve party), maybe some Chex mix. We'll pick up the packaged beef some time this weekend too.

It'll be a whirlwind from now until after Christmas, I think.


    Bookmark   December 13, 2013 at 9:41PM
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So it is another TGIF! Bad weather predicted, so I will just be busy indoors.

Cold smoke salmon, breaking down 3 ducks for next week, fixing up a few things, winterize the cars -----------.

John, there are not too many homeless people around in NY area. They have done well ever since the 5-cent bottle return law. That law has the unanticipated benefit of eliminating most of the urban homeless problems.

Everyday when I go to a supermarket I see these homeless people cashing in with hundreds and hundreds of cans and bottles they collected.


    Bookmark   December 14, 2013 at 8:33AM
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We have a 5 cent per bottle/can return law too. I see some guys pushing shopping carts with collected containers they will return. I figure one shopping cart load is worth about $10 (about 200 containers).

People used to come through the neighborhoods scavenging containers from the household recycling buckets, on the early morning of trash day. That was when we used to separate everything - glass, metal, plastic, paper. Then the city switched to large recycling bins where all recyclables except glass are combined. This made it harder for the scavengers to get the 5 cent containers. Presumably it improved the city recycling program's revenue.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2013 at 11:55AM
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Turns out this is homemade pizza weekend. I've been making dough in my Magic Mill and the kids are having fun constructing their own pizzas. Daughter likes arugula, carmelized onions, and sliced pears on her pizza. Son is more into salami and cheese. I made a pot of pizza sauce so they have everything they need.

My mom is staying with us for a few days. I made her a vegetable soup - chicken stock, then boiled and puréed a bunch of cauliflower, onion, celery, a little garlic, herbs, salt and pepper to make it into a soup base with some thickness. Then I boiled a couple heads of broccoli, puréed most of it, and reserved some florets as garnish. It is healthy broccoli soup, and looks and tastes nice.

This is probably the first soup I ever learned to make. It was 25-ish years ago and SWMBO and I bought our first cookbook, it was a "Spa Cookbook" and had various uber healthy recipes like this one. I think you could drink unlimited quantities and not gain weight. Of course we didn't need to lose weight then but maybe we thought we did. I still have the cookbook, haven't opened it for at least ten years.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2013 at 8:07PM
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Dcarch - Sorry, but I just have to address your homeless statements. Anyone who is homeless is not doing "well" by any standard I can fathom. While it's nice that you see some HOMELESS folks make a few bucks turning in cans and bottles (a whopping $5 for every hundred) that's a far cry from doing well The bottle bill was enacted in 1982 and in 2013 homelessness is at rates not seen since the Great Depression. In fact in NYC it's soaring while the national average is slowly gone down. Exactly what homeless "problem" has been all but eliminated here? Certainly you're not talking about homelessness in and of itself.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2013 at 10:13PM
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Sunday morning - drinking tea. Time to face shovelling - again. About a foot and more coming. I made some fish chowder last night. I will make some corn bread to go with... Then I need to to do something with a huge box of kale on my porch. My fridge has one vegetable bin full. More being buried in the garden. No shopping today unless it's online.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2013 at 9:43AM
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Late to the party but with good reason. We were celebrating my son's marriage in Cancun last week.. Gorgeous 80 plus weather and here I am back in the depths of winter...-15 and 24 " of snow!!

Seeing the homeless on the streets of Toronto is heartbreaking any time of the year but in these frigid temperatures is devastating to see. The city has a program to try and encourage them into shelters but so many are mentally ill or addicts and / or paranoid. It's just so darn sad.

Not much happening here for the next week or so but then things get a little hectic until the New Year.

Off to unpack and think about laundry......

    Bookmark   December 15, 2013 at 11:18AM
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FOAS' "---Dcarch - Sorry, but I just have to address your homeless statements. Anyone who is homeless is not doing "well" by any standard I can fathom.---"

I am not sure if we actually disagree.

Obvious by "doing well" I am not talking about by Donald Trump standards.

Homeless-ness is never well to do. However, in NYC, they are treated very well. With shelters, food, food stamps, welfare, ----. If they get extra tax free cash everyday to spend, they will be doing well by homeless standards.

The reason why NYC homeless-ness is higher than national average is because there are many homeless people from other states taking advantage of NYC's liberal benefits.


    Bookmark   December 15, 2013 at 12:44PM
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toolbelt68 (7)

As far as the homeless go why don't you folks ask your reps to build a camp from them. In the camp would be schools that they could attend, so they could learn a trade. If they already had a trade then they could use that to build up the camp. Even unwed mothers with 10 kids could babysit for others and earn money wile doing it. Of course the money would only be given to them when they left the camp, or some other way of teaching them to be thrifty. Skyline Drive was build that way..... might work.
Maybe Jesus was right when he said we will have the poor with us always.....

    Bookmark   December 15, 2013 at 1:07PM
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Toolbelt ( neat handle!!) I can't speak for the States but in Canada the homeless are almost always mentally ill or addicts.

They resist any type of shelter provided to them. Even temporary shelter when it is bitter cold. They are paranoid and distrustful. Another large segment are runaway children that have left incredibly abusive homes. These kids are a bit easier to get to and persuade to take the help that is available.

Many years ago the laws were changed so that no person could be held in any type of facility against their will. The hospitals for the mentally disabled were shut down with little or now support put in it's place. It's truly a tragic situation.

Part of me says these people should be sheltered for their own well being and another part says they are entitles to live as they "choose"

Anyhow, this is a real twist and turn for TGIF but perhaps a good one in that we all need to open our eyes to the unfortunate circumstances of others,

    Bookmark   December 15, 2013 at 1:16PM
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The link below is a study of the homeless population in my city, Portland OR. How many, who they are, their situation, etc.

The main missions here are on Burnside Ave just west of the Burnside bridge, which is pretty much the entry to downtown Portland from the east. I ride by the missions every day in the morning and most days in the afternoon.

In the US, every year there are about 3 million homeless people. They are families, kids, women, men. Most are not criminals nor addicts nor insane. Most live in cars, garages, and other covered places, with relatively few living on the sidewalk. Most are homeless for a temporary period. The chronic homeless are a smaller number, but the most visible.

I know this isnt the usual TGIF topic. I guess I sort of rambled into it, because it was something that was on my mind.

Here is a link that might be useful: Data on homeless in Portland

    Bookmark   December 15, 2013 at 4:44PM
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The "chronic" homeless here are only about 16% of the homeless population, most others are suddenly or temporarily homeless. Teenagers are usually homeless because of family conflict, families have experienced homelessness because of unforeseen financial crisis such as illness, loss of jobs, etc. Sadly, many of the homeless are veterans and are experiencing mental illness, disability, etc. Most homeless are able to find housing after receiving one time, short term services.

Ah, but on to happier things.

Congratulations, Sharon, on becoming a Mother In Law. Finally! I know you just love the new bride, so now you get to keep her.


    Bookmark   December 16, 2013 at 12:48AM
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Yes Annie I love her to bits. Chris already knows anything happens..she's in he's out.

I know this is best on conversations but this thread has always been a bit of an they are !

    Bookmark   December 16, 2013 at 3:38PM
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Wonderful Chase! Happy wedding and new daughter. Fantastic!

    Bookmark   December 16, 2013 at 4:39PM
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Lovely couple Sharon-- congrads on getting a new family member

    Bookmark   December 16, 2013 at 5:47PM
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Oh, they look wonderful and at least you got to spend a little time in the warmth. Here it's a balmy 17F, warmer than your place, LOL. Elery says we must live better. (grin)

Congratulations to the happy couple and to you and Clive.


    Bookmark   December 16, 2013 at 6:16PM
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