Our winter and potholes are in a word brutal

Winter and potholes are severe. I live in the Northwest. We have had snow atop the ground it seems forever; actually eighty- four days and counting. Some of the so-called potholes are minor craters. Small cars disappear and might reappear in the spring. The snow berm on my driveway is now a manageable few inches rather than feet. I have the wife of my neighbor to thank, getting her husband to shovel the snow off the driveway and sidewalk.Thank you, dear young lady. He is a young burly man. Oh, I’m capable of doing this, except my right hand is so sore afterward up to four days after the fact.So what is an old man and his faithful friend Beau the wonder pup to do?

Beau my dog, sitting in his new skybox car seat.

Beau in his new sky box so he can see the world while we travel.

Comfort foods come to mind. I make for the little guy chicken soup, actually, it’s a skinless chicken breast and a mini carrot cooked in water for about fifteen minutes or until there isn’t any pink. My soup is more substantial, garlic, onions, celery and carrot and a potato or two quartered. I’m still learning about what to feed Beau,

A chicken soup and lots of veggies.

I learned that garlic and onions are toxic to dogs and that is why he eats simply. I’ve also made him the soup and added rice or quinoa which he enjoys.

Pizza is a great comfort food which he gets none.

Pizza, with roasted eggplant slices,greek olives pitted, jalapeno pepper, basil leaves and tomato slices


I admit I’m a fan of the slow cooker, it fills the house with heady aromas culminating in a wonderful meal. Slow cooked meat and potatoes, with carrots, celery and a bottle of inexpensive wine poured over the melange of food in the crock pot a few herbs, thyme, oregano, fennel seeds cumin, bay leaves salt and pepper.Our winter is slowly losing ground to spring, we are getting more sunshine, erratic winds rain showers that are sometimes snow. Spring is my favorite season, it is filled with promises, a renewal of all things lying dormant and the reading of garden plots, riding my bike along the Centennial trail, maybe I can play golf this year. Hope does spring eternal.

I’ve been very busy finishing a novel I wrote recently. My editor and I met last week and she has several ideas that I need to complete before we get to the next level. Adding this we are redoing some work on the cookbook including a digital copy. I hope this will occur sooner rather than later.This is the reason for not being online for these past few months. Please accept my apology. I’ll be far more diligent in writing good content.

Beau my dog, sitting in his new sky-box car seat.

Beau in his new sky box so he can see the world while we travel.

Allan

A Holiday Dinner for Hanukkah and Christmas

Last Friday, on the 23rd of this month I made a fun holiday dinner. My guests included, one very young couple, both finishing their respective degrees, another older but much younger than me couple a gentleman new to one of these dinners and another young friend. The convergence of Hanukkah and Christmas holidays falling on the same day, the 25th. Hanukkah is celebrated for eight days. I decided to have a little fun with the menu. Instead of mashed or baked potatoes we had Potato Latkes.This dish has many variations, however the basic latke is shredded potatoes, shredded onion, salt, pepper and either bread crumbs or matzo meal. The patty is cooked in an eighth of an inch of oil. Use an oil with a high flashpoint,grapeseed,peanut oils. If you have a candy thermometer keep the oil at 365 degrees as the ideal for fast frying. The latkes are served traditionally with applesauce, sour cream or both.

Potato Latkes with applesauce.

I re-imagined the Tuna wraps from last month , with fresh crab The vegetable was a simple dish, steamed broccoli, Kalamata olives with Garlic and lemon zest and an easy vinegarette of lemonn juice and oil.

The main course was a New York bones in roast. I made two French breads I kept with the holiday motif by serving a rustic flaky cranberry cheesecake galette.

A flaky Rustic Cranberry Cheesecake Galette

. We had libations of Cava (Spanish sparkling wine) and several bottles of red wines comprised of blends, Cabernet, Shiraz and a combination of the Cabernet and Shiraz. I consider a meal as good if there isn’t any food left over. This meal was a success! The two people who were driving limited themselves to one drink and the other person had two glasses.

Beau

continues to grow intellectually and at the same time entertaining me with his puppy antics. Yesterday we had some warming weather; last night, the temperature plunged. Outside a large, icicle hung right over Beau’s pathway. I knocked it off the overhang before I let Beau out to do his business. When he returned at the door and scratching his notification to me to let him inside. He brought a piece of ice for alternately chewing or sucking. He has always loved ice, and I’m not sure why. If anyone knows that eating ice is common among dogs, or unique to this little fellow, please let me know.

I had to break my promise to myself about dog clothing. My intention was subsumed by the information from friends and Internet sites regarding dog apparel and cold weather. I don’t have a good picture of him in his new coat yet. I’ve mentioned that he loves to climb up upon high walls; here he is about twenty feet above me.

My puppy thinks he is a mountain goat

Beau climbing a rock wall

He is so small that if I didn’t use the telephoto aspect of my camera, you probably not notice him.

The dining area is where I prefer entertaining my guests

While I’m on the subject of entertaining, if you would enjoy receiving a new recipe once a week, don’t forget to sign up on the form at the right. I do cover the easy, the wow factor and everyday recipes, soups, salads, appetizers, main course dishes from various cuisines around the world.

Entertaining

I recently had some young people over for dinner and served these two dishes from the overall meal. Recipe link.

sept16

Autumn

Autumn harvest is almost over in the northern climes. We begin eating heartier foods in autumn, ones that warm us. Alas it also helps add weight to our bodies. Speaking for me, I endeavor to eat responsibly during the cooler and cold months. I eat hearty soups, low in calories, rich in fiber to enhance the illusion of feel satiated. I tend to eat more chicken, turkey and fish. I’ll exercise more and what I’m trying to accomplish not making the workout harder in terms of more complicated exercises, but more reps at the level I’m at presently. I use two tools for exercise almost exclusively, TRX and TR Rip trainer. If you are interested in this wonderful medium, please look at this site at the following links.
and> this link is to a host of workouts. I also have another site altogether,it’s called TRXForallpeople.com link

Beau

My puppy thinks he is a mountain goat

Beau climbing a rock wall

My wing pup Beau and I love autumn walks. Almost daily we try to get in five miles; some of this depends how many walls he can climb or what he can scrounge from the ground to consume.Beau continues to amaze me with his temperament, love of children and people in general. Recently we were walking past some homeless people and three of them fawned over this cute dog.Beau looked at the last person, growled and quickly got behind me. I can allude to the fact this man is dangerous and I think a little deranged due to meth or heroin that is quite prevalent in this area. this little puppy understands danger and had enough sense to get behind me.

Elections

I canvassed for one of the parties, and I want to share some short stories that are, for the most part, not political. I’ll do two today. I knocked on a door of a lady well into her eighties, and when the door opened a woman who it turns out is her daughter is facing me. She looks exhausted; her face is tight and unhappy looking. I introduce myself and ask if I could speak to her mom. Her response, “my mother suffers from Alzheimer’s and is bedridden and is unable to vote.” I told her I too had traveled down that treacherous road, and then I asked her about her mother and of her own health. She told me she felt beaten emotionally and never has any rest, and she is at her wits end. I told her she had to find someone to come in once or twice a week for a few hours, ideally a professional caregiver, so you can get away and nourish your soul. We talked some more and ten minutes later I left. I do wish I hope she feels not alone and takes some of my advice.
About an hour later I again, I knocked on a door, and a very tall man answered. I asked him if the lady’s name on my sheet was home. His countenance changed. His shoulders sagged somewhat, his jaw trembled and told me his wife died three weeks ago. I told him I too had lost my beloved wife almost twenty-four years past, we talked softly, and he wanted to know how you get over the pain. My reply was simple; the pain never really leaves you have to learn how to live around the pain.
My life is richer in terms of life’s experiences, and I hope I allayed some of the fears that both people were coping with. Life is hard and rewarding.

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