Category Archives: Fiesta

Happy Cinco de Mayo!

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In a recent article, I read about someone who designed a “Pizza

Garden.” This inspired me to suggest you grow a vegetable garden

focusing on your children’s favorite foods.They will be more likely

interested in the garden’s outcome, if they enjoy the idea of what

it will end up in, in a prepared dish.

Since today we are celebrating Cinco de Mayo, I thought of some

vegetables that would be wonderful to include in a Mexican dish.

For next year’s Cinco de Mayo, grow a “Tacos Garden!”

In my son’s garden, he grew red, yellow, and green peppers, hot

red chili peppers, cucumbers, zucchini, squash, potatoes, onions,

corn, watermelons and pumpkins.

Last year, my son and his wife ‘canned’ the red, green and yellow

peppers and onions by being given small batches a quick dunk in

boiling hot water. Waiting for them to cool and then, freeze them in

large freezer quart Zip Lock bags, pressing them to remove all the

air bubbles.

I call this process, ‘flash freezing,’ but not sure if they told me this

or if it is really the correct label.

There may be a more accurate way of describing and naming this

process. My son and daughter-in-law chose to chop onions and

put them in freezer bags. They also used the method of scraping

the kernels off their ears of corn, where they could then boil them,

cool them and pack in freezer bags.

I think you may find how many seconds you boil each food item on

the internet, since they said you don’t want to boil any of the items

too much or they will be ‘mushy,’ when you defrost them.

For a Cinco de Mayo Fiesta meal, you could defrost onions, corn,

and choose your favorite peppers. While waiting to get olive oil,

in a skillet, nice and hot, finely chop up onions and the peppers.

When you have lightly browned the vegetables, set them aside.

If you use a pre-packaged taco seasoning, I recommend the

lower salt ones available.

If you already have a natural pack, or spice jar, prepared with

your favorite taco seasonings, add some of this to the skillet

with the appropriate amount of hot water.

The oil from the onions and peppers will be fine, if you don’t

get it too brown, or black. (Yikes!)

I like to use 80% lean beef, but have used cooked chicken cubes

or ground turkey.

If you are a vegan, you may find some recipes for using other

thickening agents.

On one of my last year’s comments, Celeste had added a link

which will help you out.

Some suggestions were to use tofu, eggplant, kidney beans and

other kinds of beans. If you do this, you may wish to use a soft

shell taco or tortilla.

I like to also top the meat with sliced tomatoes, but if you have

canned diced tomatoes, you may wish to use these.

Drain, of course, and add to the meat, once it has been cooked.

I usually make guacamole, purchase sour cream and low salt salsa

to add for extra spices.

You may vary this informal recipe, but the main focus I wished to

impart was,

This is the time to start planning your vegetable garden!

Having children get involved, is so much more fun and easily

done, when you call the garden, a “Pizza” or “Tacos” garden!

This idea was used in a public area by the Delaware Community

Market. There was a nifty, helpful article called,

“Growing Pizza in Delaware,” by Deena Kloss, in the July, 2013

edition of the free magazine, “Natural Awakenings.”

Here is a list of spices, that the children in the Delaware

gardening “Kids’ Club” planted last year, in the early part

of June:

1. basil

2. parsley

3. tomatoes

4. peppers

5. onions

The “Kids’ Club” was led by garden volunteers, Bob Sullivan-Neer

and Master Gardeners, Regina Grywalski and Diane Gelinas.

They also produced radishes, snap peas and arugula in raised

garden beds.

An amusing sight in the community gardens is a pink painted

step ladder, that got too ‘rickety’ to be used as a ladder. Some

purple morning glory vines were flowering last summer. They are

such a lovely sight!

Another interesting and fun way to ‘recyle’ old and no longer

useful household items included a wooden head- and footboard,

painted bright yellow. Some old wooden pallets, buried partially in

the ground, then, filled with dirt became literally a “flower bed!”

Brightly colored zinnias were popping out, making the kids happy,

last year, to pick bouquets for their parents. I like portulaca, since

you can pinch the dying seed pods and save to plant again the

following summer. They are quite hardy and colorful.

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I have added updates throughout this post about children’s

input in gardening.

I babysat my four grandchildren last Saturday night while their

parents had a much needed dinner out and a movie. The kids

were put in ‘charge’ of drawing or listing, foods that would be

ones they would like to grow in their garden.

My son had used individual art pads, using a ruler to add some

lines under the area their drawings would go.

I thought of another way of doing a garden art project, could be

to give the kids old gardening catalogs, scissors, glue sticks and

allow them to practice their cutting and gluing skills.

The grandchildren were excited about the project, which did help

me to keep them occupied for almost an hour. The littlest one,

age 4, Makyah decided that her scribbling free form vegetable

garden was rather hard to explain. I asked her if she would like

me to write her special vegetables, fruits and flowers down on

the lines provided. I also praised (of course!) her lovely use of

colors and designs.

I asked Kyah what the yellow swirls were and she labeled them,

“Corn.”

I wondered what the big bushes of green were and she said,

“Lettuce.”

She had purple stuff, which I asked if they were purple cabbage

and I remembered, too late, a valuable lesson:

**Note:  Never, ever try to guess what children’s drawings are!!

Kyah looked quite impatient and annoyed at me, scolding me,

“No, Nana! Can’t you tell those are flowers?!”

I asked if she knew what kind they were and in a rather superior

tone she said,

“Daddy will know what kind!”

Both Lara, age 10 1/2, and Landen, age 9, drew beautiful and

elaborate gardens with details. They needed some help with

spelling, but the finished projects were awesome.

Marley, age 6 1/2, was very excited about her drawing, stayed

the longest at the table, with her hands covering some of her

drawings, too.

Children will get excited as the plants grow and change. My

older grandchildren say their very favorite ones that came out

of last year’s garden were:

Corn on the cob, watermelon, cucumbers and potatoes.

They mentioned having fried potatoes with onions and since

their mother doesn’t like onions, they told me,

“Daddy makes Mommy her own ‘batch’ of fried potatoes for her

breakfast!

Last but not least, you may remember that their garden produced

a ‘minor miracle’ last Fall!

Exactly 6 pumpkins, just in time for Halloween!

(One for each member of the family, parents included.)

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“Yo espero que tengan a muy bueno dia y hasta la luego!”

Sorry, I am not sure why the ’tilda’ on the 2 “n’s” did not appear!

I am not positive but I tried to say in my ‘rusty’ Spanish,

“I hope you had a very good day and see you when we meet again.”

Abrazos y besos.

100 Years

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Happy Centennial Celebrations for two products that go so well together!

Morton’s Salt and “Jolly Time Popcorn!” Although popcorn has been around

for many more than 100 years, the first time that it was labeled and sold was as,

“Jolly Time Popcorn.” The little girl on the Morton’s Salt is looking still young

for her 100 years representing her company!

Workers at the “Jolly Time” factory have packaged millions of pounds of non-

GMO kernels from local owned farms in Mid-West U. S. A. Popping corn was

considered a treat to be made in a pan on the stove, sometimes over a fire or in

a special popcorn ‘cooker’/popper. My grandkids probably would recognize

the air popper I have and microwave popcorn their parents pop for them.

Then, some people decided that it was not ‘good’ for us, since we tend to cover

it (smother it!) with butter or melted margarine.

Finally, as many food situations evolve or do a complete turn-around, we are

embracing popcorn once again! Yeah!  I like to use my ‘air popper’ and add

parmesan cheese or Bragg’s yeast that is cheesy tasting. You can find it in the

health food aisle, I read about it in Prevention Magazine, along with hearing

about it from my youngest daughter, who sprinkles it on broccoli or cauliflower

for added nutrients and flavor.

I sure do love movie theater popcorn, caramel corn or popcorn balls. I like

that they have now decided popcorn is “healthy for us,” with its three good

qualities:

~whole grain

~fiber

~anti-oxidants.

Let’s be jolly and jovial while celebrating 100 years of this delicious popcorn!

 

In 1914, the Morton Salt girl looked like Shirley Temple. She is so cute, in her

pictures,  as her logo still lives on their website. In this American icon blue

and white picture, she holds her umbrella in one hand and her upside down

box of salt, in its circular canister, is sprinkling salt behind her.

In 1941, the Morton Salt girl now resembles Dorothy, with her hair in braids

and yellow is now included as ‘accents’ in the design on the ‘box.’

In 1956, the Morton Salt girl has a pinafore that seems like what may look like

an apron,  with it being reminiscent of the little girl Lisle, in the “Sound of Music.”

Why an umbrella? Because. . .

“When it rains, it pours!”

Morton Salt is not supposed to clump.

Here are some of its favorable traits-

~Salt unlocks the flavor of foods.

~Salt has helped roads, sidewalks and driveways be safer. (Yes, there is a newer

kind of salt, but this is still given credit to Morton’s for its being always available

for these responsibilities.)

~Salt is in our water system, it flows into our baths, kitchens and pools.

~If you make a salt solution or sprinkle salt directly into cracks in sidewalks, you

can kill weeds and unwanted grass.

Have you ever played this ‘switch’ April Fool’s Day trick?

My brother put salt into the sugar bowl and sugar into the salt shaker. Boy, did

he get into trouble! My Dad did not want anyone to ‘mess around with his morning

coffee!’

 

The Morton Salt girl still has ‘new places to go,’

‘new friends to make,’

and ‘new stories to share.’

If you should wish to join those who are sharing, you may check out this:

http://mortonsaltgirl100.com

 

Someone told me this sweet ‘joke’ that is really just a special treat since it

goes with the little girl with the umbrella. Susie’s mother was waiting a

block away from the school. She stood on the corner and watched her

kindergartener approaching, both mother and daughter had their umbrellas

open. Every few steps, Susie’s chin would raise, her eyes looking up at the

sky, she would give a big grin, then continue walking. When she reached

her Mommy at the agreed upon location, she gave her a big hug.

Susie’s mother asked her, “Susie, why were you looking up at the sky,

then it seemed like you were smiling at the sky?”

Susie answered, “Because God was taking my picture!”

(Her mother smiled and agreed, that was such a better outlook at the

startling bursts of lightning, like a ‘flash’ going off on a camera!)

When I mentioned to this woman, Chris, at work about my celebration

post for the two ingredients, popcorn and Morton’s salt, she immediately

thought of this appropriate ‘story’ or ‘joke.’

 

I found two light-hearted quotes for this celebratory post:

 

Albert Einstein is credited for saying,

“Life is like riding a bicycle.

In order to keep your balance,

You must keep moving.”

 

Samuel Butler brings some smiles to my face with this one,

“The great pleasure of a dog is that you may make a fool

of yourself with him and not only will he not scold you,

but he will make a fool of himself, too.”

 

I could not resist reminding you of that hauntingly pretty, but

oh so meaningful song, “100 Years.”

It captures how we feel time is flying by and so fleeting…

“I’m 15 for a moment,

Caught in between 10 and 20,

And I’m just dreaming

Counting the way to where you are.

 

15, there’s still time for you,

Time to buy and time to lose,

15, there’s never a wish

Better than this

When you only got 100 years to live.”

 

(The next section has a child on the way…)

 

“I’m 45 for a moment,

The sea is high

And I’m heading into a crisis,

Chasing the years of my life.”

 

Sung by Five for Fighting, who is actually John Ondrasik, 2003.

 

 

 

 

 

Maintenance

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Happy Hump Day or Wacky Wednesday!

How do I blend a short piece on car maintenance and on growing old and

being a happy person? I will ‘wing it!’ Calling this maintenance is a bit of a

stretch…

When asked about how to take care of your car to keep it running longer

and what to do “Under the Hood,” here are several random men’s answers.

These answers were found on an Advance Auto advertising poster.

Here’s Lucky Seven pieces of Advice on Cars:

1.  Dan in Chicago says,

“Do it once right, or don’t bother.”

2.  Cory in Boston says,

“The hands show you put in a day’s work.”

3.  Alex in Tampa says,

“The fact that you’re elbow deep in grease shows your passion.”

4.  Tony in Chicago says,

“Anybody can cut their lawn, but not everyone can work on their car.”

5.  Felipe in Houston says,

“Show me your knuckles.

“That shows me something.”

6.  Matt in Chicago says,

“I like the sense of accomplishment,

knowing I did it.”

7.  Dave in Boston says,

“To clear your mind of the day,

you go to the garage.”

 

Our new slogan at the Advance Auto Distribution Center #23 is:

“Under the Hood,

On Top of the World.”

(We bought two more car repair parts chains. I like to buy the Yankee

Candle air fresheners and the cleaning products. I don’t repair my own

car, but I can certainly ‘fix it up on the inside!’ Smiles! Robin)

Here’s some funnies for the older people out there:

1.  “I’m not 40 Something

I’m $39.95 Plus

Shipping and Handling!”

2.  “I Don’t Perspire or Sweat Much,

I Just Have Short, Private

Vacations in the Tropics!”

3.  “A Balanced Diet:

Chocolate in Both Hands. (Mostly women.)

A Burger Using Both Hands. (Mostly men.)”

 

The Last Funny of the Day for “Hump Day:”

“It was a small town and the patrolman was making his evening rounds.

As he was checking a Used Car Lot, he came upon two little old ladies,

sitting in a used car.

He stopped and politely asked the ladies why they were sitting there in

the car? Were they planning on stealing it?

“Heavens no, we bought it.”

The patrolman replied,

“Then why don’t you drive it away?”

The ladies giggled,

“We can’t drive.”

The reply to this was,

“Then, for Pete’s sake, why did you buy it?”

Wait for this… (off color response, appropriate for Hump Day, coming):

“We were told that if we bought a used car here

We’d get screwed… so we’re just waiting.”

 

This is the lasting message of the day. We don’t stop laughing because

we grow old. We grow old if we stop finding humor in things around us!