long way3

We’ve Come A Long Way!

We’ve Come A Long Way! As you all know, I started this Blog as a celebration of my Retirement: A New Journey One Day at a Time.   And from time to time I receive emails from friends passing on […]

remote4

It is the simple things in life…

It is the simple things in life… Have you ever gotten all comfy in your bed…either to watch TV or read a book and realized that you needed to get up again and turn something on or off or even […]

my orchid

White Orchid!

White Orchid! I have always liked orchids, although I was never able to grow them in the Midwest. When the Captain and I moved to Florida, we soon found out that almost everyone grows orchids.  Any nursery or Home Depot […]

islamorada2

The Florida Keys….Islamorada in particular

The Florida Keys….Islamorada in particular The Captain and I celebrated his birthday down in the Florida Keys…which is always a relaxing and laid-back environment. You might ask why one would want to “get away for a few days” when one […]

Wedding cakea

She Wore Blue Velvet (Cake that is)

She Wore Blue Velvet (Cake that is)… If you are from the South…you know and love velvet cakes. Yes, I did say velvet cakes….meaning they come in just about any color you choose.  A literal rainbow of velvet cakes. My […]

 

We’ve Come A Long Way!

long way3

We’ve Come A Long Way!

As you all know, I started this Blog as a celebration of my Retirement: A New Journey One Day at a Time.

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And from time to time I receive emails from friends passing on bits and pieces of information whether it be political, technical data, inspirational in nature or simply just funny cartoons.

I really laughed at the irony at the below joke:

Harold’s kindergarten class was on a field trip to their local police station where they saw pictures tacked to a bulletin board of the 10 most wanted criminals. One of the youngsters pointed to a picture and asked if it really was the photo of a wanted person. ‘Yes,’ said the policeman. ‘The detectives want very badly to capture him. Harold asked,”Why didn’t you keep him when you took his picture ?”
And this one…..telling isn’t it?

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I recently received an e-mail that made me stop and reflect all that has transpired since I entered this world many years ago….and perhaps you can relate also.

I am not saying you are old, mind you…it is just technology that decided to have a burst of activity….and this technology is amazing!

The following are a few items that were not around 60 years ago…and that is not a long time.  Although my grandchildren might think so. ;)

  • television (which may or may not be a good thing)
  • penicillin (Doctors don’t give these shots as freely as they once did)
  • polio shots (is it recurring?)
  • frozen food (french fries and corn are about the only frozen food I like)
  • Xerox (some still don’t know how to spell it)
  • contact lenses (available in every color for you…even if your eyes are a different color)
  • credit cards (good or bad?)
  • ball point pens (have you ever needed a pen and the ink is dried up?)
  • panty hose (and now they are going out of style)
  • air conditioners (good, …but why must movie theaters and restaurants warrant jackets in July?)
  • dishwashers (well, other than me and my sisters)
  • clothes dryers (now everyone wants to hang clothes on a line … for freshness)
  • going to the moon…(literally!)

It was also brought to my attention, the following terms and the changes in their meaning over the years.

‘ “grass” was mowed

‘ “coke” was a cold drink

‘ “pot” was used to cook food  

‘ “rock music” was a lullaby while rocking in a chair

‘ “Aids” were helpers in the Principal’s office

‘ “chip” meant a piece of wood

‘ “hardware” was found in a hardware store 

‘ “software” wasn’t even a word.

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Telephone booths have come and gone….and music has been on vinyl records, 8 tracks, Cassettes and CDs..or on FM radio.

But that is progress…I think!

One more thing that brought a smile to my lips and it came from Ellen DeGeneres, the comic.

Apparently, a new product came on the market some time ago and it was from the BIC ball point pen company.

There, in a special package are two ball point pens…. one pink and one purple….and the package label says “BIC for Her”  

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Sooooo I guess we have come a long way…especially women.  We now have a pen just for us.

Or as Ellen DeGeneres said…all the other pens were obviously “Men Pens”!  

Gee, what can be next for women?  

Maybe a woman can be President….that is if she is able to handle her pink pen for women…. for taking notes of course. ;) 

Have a good day…and remember to laugh!

It is good for your health and it isn’t even fattening! ;)

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Me

It is the simple things in life…

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It is the simple things in life…

Have you ever gotten all comfy in your bed…either to watch TV or read a book and realized that you needed to get up again and turn something on or off or even to get a drink of water?

Well, it happens to me all the time.

The routine goes like this.

  • I fluff my pillows for propping myself to read
  • set my drink on the night stand
  • raise the foot of the bed… (we have one of those beds that goes up and down like a hospital bed)
  • make sure my cell phone, reading glasses and IPad are within reach
  • get on the bed (which sits high off the floor)

and then notice that the ceiling fan is not on… and of course the room seems to heat up like a sauna! 

Or it is just the opposite….the ceiling fan is on and the air conditioner is set to sub zero!

I ask you…Who can read in those conditions?

We all know that exercise is good for one’s health, but after a hard day of cooking, cleaning, shopping or whatever one has to do…it is nice to finally settle into one’s bed to read and relax.

I don’t know if it is Murphy’s Law, but once I get off the bed….I can’t seem to find that “comfy position” again. :)

One evening, I commented to the Captain that it was too bad our ceiling fan was in such good working order and did not need to be replaced.

Explaining further, I said “I would like to replace the old ceiling fan, with a new ceiling fan with a remote…. like we had in our home in Kansas City”. 

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“All you need is a universal remote”…the Captain said casually as he was intently reading his book.

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“You mean like a television universal remote”? I asked, eyes widening with excitement.

“Yes…” he nodded his head as he continued to peruse his book.

Well, that was all the information I needed.

The next morning I hopped over to Lowes…well, you know I didn’t really hop….and there, in the lighting department, were universal ceiling fan remotes of all shapes and sizes and prices. 

I didn’t pick the cheapest one…but I didn’t pick the most expensive one either.  I was emulating Goldilocks and the Three Bears. ;)  I picked the one that was 29.95!

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I brought my purchase home and laid it ceremoniously on the Captain’s desk as if it were a prize he had just won! 

He looked at me questioningly…and you know the look!

The one that says ‘what in the heck is this and what do you want me to do with it?’

I said,  “it is a ceiling fan remote!” trying to keep my excitement from bubbling out all over!

The Captain lifted the clear bubble wrap package and said “I see that”….and then he started smiling at me.

“I suppose you want me to install this on the ceiling fan in the bedroom?”

I could hardly contain myself….”yes! please?”  I smiled demurely,…batting what little eyelashes I have left these days.

(Since I have retired, I very rarely use mascara and my light colored eyelashes have all but disappeared).  :(

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Today, I am so happy and pleased with my new ceiling fan remote.

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Who knew that such a simple thing could bring me such pleasure?

You know, when I was on my mission for a remote at Lowes, I saw a new gadget called a toilet seat nightlight.  

The lid has two small blue lights…one is a night light and the other is a “task” light,…. when the lid is lifted. ;)

Hmmmmmm…….all for under $50.00!

Just sayin’

Have a great Monday….I am going to go lie down and read a book.

And turn on my ceiling fan with my new remote…or turn it off with my remote! ;)

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Me

White Orchid!

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White Orchid!

I have always liked orchids, although I was never able to grow them in the Midwest.

When the Captain and I moved to Florida, we soon found out that almost everyone grows orchids. 

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Pink Orchid

Any nursery or Home Depot or Lowes, have many colors and varieties to choose from….much like we would have tables and tables of petunias in various colors back in Kansas…orchids are second nature to some here in the Sunshine State.

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Yellow-green orchid

I have two orchids (or air plants) on my Lanai…one blooms frequently and the other…well, lets just say the other one is stubborn, but the leaves are very pretty. :)

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Blue (dyed I think) Orchid

However, there is a very rare, white orchid which lives deep in the Everglades, that is called the Ghost Orchid.

This orchid is so rare that scientists have braved the “critters” in the swamps and climbed trees as high as 50 feet off the ground just to photograph it.

The name Ghost Orchid comes from the fact that the delicate flower appears suspended from a thin vine, which gives the impression that the orchid is floating through the swampy tree canopy. 

Of course with all things rare, this orchid has been the target of poachers for it’s sweet scent and delicate nature.

The pollination is by a Sphinx moth and apparently adds to the mystery of this fascinating, alluring plant which blooms just a few short weeks in the summer.

Ghost orchids became the subject of a novel by  Susan Orleans, titled “The Orchid Thief,” which featured an Orchid Collector in South Florida who hired Seminole Indians to climb the trees to collect the plants.

Sort of reminds me of the movie “Medicine Man” with Sean Connery, one of my favorite movies!

 

 

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The movie is set deep in the Amazon rain forest and Sean Connery plays an eccentric scientist.  

The scientist is working on a cancer research project which involves collecting a derivative of a species of flower from which a “formula” can be synthesized.

In the movie, he  swings on vines, high in the tops of the trees, to collect this special serum.

This is all set to beautiful music, making it appear to be a ballet in the tall trees of the jungle.

(For those who have seen this movie….you know what I am talking about.) :)

Sorry, but I digress from the Ghost Orchid. :) See pic below.

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This white elusive orchid is called a ghost orchid because it’s delicate “lobes” resemble a fragile ghost. The bloom is about the size of a tennis ball and the root system latches on and blends with the cypress trees making it more difficult to see.

Some say, the ghost orchid  first bloomed more than 80 million years ago!

Since I was not around in that period of time…contrary to a few opinions from those who shall remain nameless. (OK…My children), I have to take their word for the orchid’s beginnings.

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The blooming orchid on my Lanai

 

As I stated above….I do like orchids and the above shows one of my blooming orchids.

It keeps producing waxy ivory colored lobes with a touch of fushia and I think it is very pretty….

I better think it is pretty as the Captain gave it to me! :)

I will never have one of the Ghost Orchids …I am just not good at wading through snake and alligator infested swamps or swinging through the trees! ;(

Do you like Orchids?

Have a great week-end!

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Me

The Florida Keys….Islamorada in particular

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The Florida Keys….Islamorada in particular

The Captain and I celebrated his birthday down in the Florida Keys…which is always a relaxing and laid-back environment.

You might ask why one would want to “get away for a few days” when one is already living in paradise….and rightly so. ;0

BUT leave it we did and drove the 4 hours down to one of the islands in the Florida Keys!

 

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Islamorada to be exact!

 

 

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The Captain in our cottage….

We stayed at a little cottage right on the beach….very private!

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No phones, computers etc!  Just the sound of the surf, an occasional seagull calling overhead and sand in our toes! 

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The Captain and I enjoyed the quiet evening walks along the beaches….just the two of us…:)

 

 

 

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View from our cottage….

 

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We ate at wonderful little restaurants by the water! (There was a little kitchenette in our cottage…but we didn’t use it except for morning coffees and hot teas)

 

 

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 On one of the many docks we visited…this brown pelican was right at my feet, just waiting to dip into the water for fish.

 

 

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Then he swooped down and in his beak…he has his breakfast!

 

 

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I love walking on beaches and sand in my toes…..I know…..I am weird! :)

 

 

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The large sea turtles are a protected species and when “spotters” find a nest buried in the sand…they stake it out and surround it with yellow tape.  The date the nest was found is on the stake…July 2nd and the hatching should take place around August 21. 

 

 

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The hatching data is on the stake.  Last year we were walking along a beach in Sarasota and actually saw the tracks or markings in the sand as the sea turtle made her nest!  It was awesome!

 

 

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We saw many Royal Poinciana Trees…..(and if I would have remembered my camera…this photo would have been beautiful!) :) There’s an intensity to the red that I’m not able to capture with an IPhone! ;(  We have these same trees in Cape Coral…though not quite as abundant.

 

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I love to watch fish in action in and around docks…as they are constantly swimming….these are tarpon.

 

 

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Sting rays joined the tarpon under the dock….I call them small tarpon, they are about 20-30 inches long here….however, they can grow to be about 4–8 ft long and weigh 60–280 lbs.  (Females can lay up to 12 million eggs at once) Those little ladies are quite productive, I would say! :)

 

 

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 The heavens open up in the early mornings at sunrise! Spectacular!

 

 

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The ocean never ceases to amaze me with all it’s beauty….especially when looking at sunrises and sunsets….glistening on the waves!

 

 

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Footprints in the sand…and my big toe! :)

 

 

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  A bright green Iguana…about a foot long from head to tail….they eat vegetation..but they are really pretty! ;)

 

 

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The early morning results of a fisherman as he prepares the restaurants’ catch of the day…the Mangrove fish. 

 

 

A turtle on Aligator Alley

A turtle on Alligator Alley

It was such a relaxing drive down to the Keys and back up… on the Old Alligator Alley… right through the Everglades.

We drove with the top down on the convertible, a gift from the Captain to me about 2 years ago.

We avoided the Interstate…which would have been a lot quicker, but not as enjoyable!  This way we were able to stop and see the “critters” such as this turtle…and of course the alligators!

 

 

 

 

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We were only away for a few days….Tuesday through Thursday…but it was a very relaxing time.

Do you plan a get-a-way this year and if so…where are you going?

The United States has beautiful places to see right here in our own back yard.

southernmost point in the U.S.

If you have not visited any of the islands in the Keys…or Key West, which is the Southernmost Point in the United States…please try to do so. 

Have a great week-end!

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Me

She Wore Blue Velvet (Cake that is)

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She Wore Blue Velvet (Cake that is)…

If you are from the South…you know and love velvet cakes.

Yes, I did say velvet cakes….meaning they come in just about any color you choose.  A literal rainbow of velvet cakes.

My Mother made a red velvet cake every Sunday for the longest time….(I really can’t remember when she stopped making them on a continuous basis) but because it was all about the texture and not the color for her…her cakes were more of an auburn color.  

But, it is not the color…

What makes a velvet cake different from any other cake is the texture.

And it is a bit difficult to describe.  It has a rich density and yet it is a bit fluffy…sort of like a silky sponge melting in your mouth.

Isn’t that an oxymoron?

Oh well,  I shall push on….

The reason the cake has a velvety texture is the additions of a combination of buttermilk, baking soda and vinegar as the leavening.

To be more technical and perhaps TMI (too much information)…

The buttermilk is an acid and when combined with baking soda (which is more alkaline) causes a reaction of bubbling up…forming a carbon dioxide gas which in turn leavens the cake.

This was the method used before the invention of baking powder…which pretty much does the same thing.

Are your taste buds still yearning for velvet cake? ;)

Well, I hope so because no matter what color your velvet cake is….it is still a delicious Southern cake.

The color should be tasteless…I have heard some say they can taste the food coloring, which is why I use the AmeriColor food gel pastes…they are tasteless and odorless.

When Mother made her red velvet cakes (or should I say auburn colored cakes) she used very little food coloring.  The choice is up to the baker.

The other key to a velvet cake is mixing the coloring into the cocoa powder. The brown chocolate and the food coloring make a vibrant color…no matter what your color choice is.

The recipe below is Blue Velvet Cake and whenever I hear the term blue velvet, I think of that Bobby Vinton song from many years ago…

“She wore blue velvet

Bluer than velvet was the night

Softer than satin was the light

From the stars”

Sigh!  Remember I am the romantic and I think romance when ever  I make a blue velvet cake!

I have also included a white buttercream frosting for your blue velvet cake.

When the Captain and I were looking at wedding cakes…we came across this little shop in Claycomo, MO called Nellie’s Custom Cakes.

I talked with Nellie at length on all types of frostings…and she of course gave us taste tests and a few tips on icings which I am passing on in the recipes!  

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Ultimately, the Captain and I chose fondant for our wedding cake layers…as the four layers were shaped like presents with a cluster of white roses on top and wrapped with a big bow!

Thanks Nellie…for a beautiful cake that we will remember always!

If you would like to check out Nellie’s website…the address is below.

http://www.nelliescustomcakes.com

Meanwhile, make this blue velvet cake or a red velvet cake or a white velvet cake or a orange velvet cake or a…well, you get the picture!

Enjoy the printable recipes below!

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Me

She Wore Blue Velvet Cake
This cake tastes very good as does most cakes....the difference with this cake is the beautiful blue color! This color is much like the red velvet cake in it's intensity. The secret is to use the gel paste food coloring. You can achieve the blue with other food colorings...but I prefer the vibrant blue! ;) I once made a red velvet cake layer with a blue velvet cake layer and finally a white layer cake layer...while it was pretty, I prefer doing a complete blue velvet cake, red velvet cake and ok why not/ A white cake for any red, white and blue Holiday! Yep, that is a lot of cake...but for a Holiday...they are a great colorful dessert. Top with a white...(yes I did say white) buttercream frosting...and you have a beautiful cake. The secret to a white frosting is clear vanilla and using a stand mixer....The recipe is in my recipes under the category pies and cakes.
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Ingredients
  1. 1/2 cup of shortening (I like Crisco)
  2. 1 1/2 cups of sugar
  3. 2 eggs (room temperature)
  4. 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder
  5. 1 oz Royal Blue gel paste food color (I use Americolor brand)
  6. 2 drops of violet gel paste food color
  7. 2 1/4 cups of flour
  8. 1 teaspoon baking soda
  9. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  10. 1 cup of buttermilk
  11. 1 teaspoon of vanilla
  12. 1 tablespoon of vinegar
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Grease and flour 3 8-inch round cake pans.
  3. Cream together shortening and sugar
  4. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition
  5. In a small bowl, add the cocoa and the food coloring, making a paste
  6. Add to the colored paste to the creamed ingredients, blending well.
  7. Sift the flour and salt together
  8. Add the flour mixture to the creamed mixture, alternately with the buttermilk
  9. Blend in the vanilla
  10. In a small bowl combine the baking soda and the vinegar and blend gently into the cake batter.
  11. Bake the layers for about 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean from the center
  12. Frost with white buttercream frosting (see recipe) after the cake has cooled
Notes
  1. In addition to oiling and flouring the pans....I like to place a circular piece of parchment paper to fit the bottom of the pans. It just makes the bottom of the cakes smoother....easier to frost. ;)
  2. I use the gel food coloring ...you can purchase in your supermarket or hobby shop. Here in Florida, Michael's and Hobby Lobby carry the Wilton gel. I prefer the brand Americolor but whatever you prefer will do.
Me and My Captain http://www.meandmycaptain.com/
 

White Buttercream Frosting
The secret to a white buttercream frosting is to use clear vanilla and to use an electric mixer on high after each additional cup of powdered sugar. When the Captain and I were picking out wedding cakes...we went to a wonderful shop called Nellie's Custom Cakes. Nellie was kind enough to share a few of her methods on frostings...especially white frosting. However, we chose a fondant to top our layers of cake....and the result was fabulous! Thanks Nellie!
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup room temp softened butter
  2. 3 cups sifted powdered sugar (add more to the desired spreading consistency)
  3. 2 teaspoons clear vanilla (do not use regular vanilla or the white frosting will not be pure white)
  4. 2 tablespoons milk, skim milk, heavy cream, or half-and-half (or more as needed)
Instructions
  1. Cream the butter using the paddle attachment on medium speed, of your stand mixer (about 3-4 minutes, very important)
  2. Add powdered sugar, 1/2 cup at a time.
  3. After each cup has been incorporated, use the highest speed for about 10 seconds to lighten the frosting
  4. Add clear vanilla and mix until well blended
  5. Now add your liquid of choice (I use half and half) and beat until the frosting has reached the desired consistency.
Notes
  1. For a stiffer consistency, keep adding powdered sugar in 1/4 cup increments.
  2. For a more spreadable frosting add more of the half and half or your choice of liquids...one tablespoon at a time. This allows you to "test" for the desired consistency.
Me and My Captain http://www.meandmycaptain.com/

Ol’ Man River

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 Ol’ Man River…hmmmm, I don’t know why,  but I think of the hauntingly beautiful song…Ol’ Man River … every time I see a large, meandering river.

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For a little background, In the mid 1920′s….composer Jerome Kern and lyricist Oscar Hammerstein II teamed up to write about life along the Mississippi River for the soon to be famous Broadway musical …Show Boat! 

According to Murray Horwitz, Director of the American Film Institute Silver Theater and Cultural Center, Horwitz says that a strong part of the song’s appeal lies in its insistent rhythm. “The pulse is like the pulse of the river itself,” he told NPR’s Scott Simon in a 2003 interview. In fact, the character Joe sings the lyrics as an expression of both hope and despair.

For me, personally…hope comes to my mind when I hear the song sung in it’s slow deliberate cadence or rhythm. 

For those of you who do not know the lyrics…below are a couple verses.

“Ol’ Man River, That Ol’ Man River

He don’t say nothin’, he must know somethin’

Ol’ Man River, he just keeps rollin’ along

Tote that barge, lift that bale, you get a little drunk 

And you land in jail

Let me go away from the Mississippi

Let me go away from the rich man boss

Show me that stream called the River of Jordan

That’s the old stream that I long to cross

I get weary and so sick of tryin’

I’m tired of livin’, and afraid of dyin’

But Ol’ Man River,

he just keeps rollin’ along”

The Mississippi River is not the river I am going to discuss…however, it does come to mind when I see a large river!

And a large river…for me….  brings up images of the Ol’ Man River song and lazy days of either sitting or standing beside a slow, meandering river… watching the occasional piece of twig or perhaps a flower sporting a dragon fly …..slowly floating by, or as the song implies, rolling along.  

So why am I mentioning a River?

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Caloosahatchee River

Because we live close to a large river…and the other day I was sitting on a park bench watching our River, which is called the Caloosahatchee River.

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(I guess the name of the river is not a common name…Spell Check tried to change the name of the River to the Chattahoochee River!)

The Caloosahatchee River is about 70 miles long and stretches from the West coast of Florida into Lake Okeechobee, through the St. Lucie Waterway and eventually into the Atlantic Ocean.

Caloosahatchee River

As the Caloosahatchee River nears the West coast of Florida….it becomes tidal, forming an estuary along its lower 25 mi and broadens as it nears the gulf. 

On of the 5 locks on the Caloosahatchee River

One of the 5 locks on the Caloosahatchee River

There are several locks on this large river….it is that important to the estuary as the locks raise and lower and redirect the waters flow.

And then in my reverie…..the river becomes “Ol’ Man River”…..it just keeps rollin’ along!

Have you thought much about a river’s course?

Have a great Wednesday!

 New Mexico Baked Pasta Shells

 Me

New Mexico Baked Pasta Shells

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New Mexico Baked Pasta Shells…..yummy!
 
Many years ago, when I lived in Wachatchie, Texas …pronounced WOK-Sah-hat-chee…(boy, the locals get upset if you pronounce it Wax-say-hat-che)…
 
Anyway, tucked away in a little corner of a “Y” street (or as we call it, a fork in the road)…there was a tiny little hole in the wall cafe.
 
I have forgotten the name of it over the years…and sadly, it has since been removed from the Fork as part of a “progress” (widening of the roads)
 

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat

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Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat was the name of the play the Captain and I  saw at the Broadway Palm which is just over the Caloosahatchee River. 

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Since this was a matinee…all the tables were not in use…and there were no cameras allowed during the performance.

The Broadway Palm is a Dinner Theater.

The Captain and I have been there many times since moving to Florida and we have always enjoyed the experience.

What is not to love, …when the play is preceded by a lovely buffet.

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The private tables are set with stemmed water glasses and little lamps flickering above white tablecloths.  

The flatware is wrapped in linen napkins and servers are just a nod away.

Not your typical buffet.

There are matinees and evening performances…and the Captain and I have been to both. 

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The performance of this particular play, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat …did not include any dialog and the story was told completely in song.

I have to say, (with tongue in cheek) the songs, written as brilliantly as they could be written…swayed just a bit from the Biblical References.  

In that, I will have to say I was disappointed.

For instance:  the butler, who informed the pharaoh that Joseph, (who had been cast in prison)…had the ability to translate dreams, came on stage dressed like Elvis.

He looked like Elvis and sang his songs, (imitating Elvis)….therefore deviating …just a tad….from Genesis 41. ;)

And yes, I do realize this was strictly entertainment.

However, the good news is the story was clearly told of the brother’s jealousy and pitching Joseph into a large pit… and later selling him as a slave.

Also, the depiction of the twelve tribes of Israel were well understood.

So what did it matter that Joseph’s brothers were all dressed in colorful, large striped overalls…each bearing a large Alpha letter (representing the first letter of  the first name of each brother)…. blazoned or embroidered on the bib, all the while dancing jigs, pulling at their shoulder straps? ;)

Ok,…it was entertainment! :)

And Joseph did have the beautiful coat of many colors that his Father gave to him…and it certainly was colorful! ;)

(Please forgive the quality of these pictures…they were taken with my cell phone as cameras are not allowed during the performance.)

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 The Matinee can be summed up by saying…there was good food, good fellowship with our friends and an “entertaining” performance.

Do you attend Dinner Theaters?

The Captain and I have gone to them in almost every city we have lived. 

We are so glad there is a Dinner Theater close by….it makes for a great date night!

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Me

Delicious Every Time Egg Drop Soup

DSCF2726 - CopyDelicious Every Time Egg Drop Soup recipe… did not come from either of my Grandmothers or my Mother.

However, it did come from “A” grandmother…just not mine.  

When we lived in Seattle, the sweetest little (and I do mean little) Chinese young woman became my nail tech.

She worked in a very upscale beauty shop in Bellevue, Washington, which is just across Lake Washington from Seattle.  

She had been in this country for about 15 years and she worked and saved her money to bring her Mother and Father from the remote recesses of China…to live with her and help her care for her two small children.

And of course, as is the usual case with Oriental cultures…Wendy’s mother brought with her many recipes gathered from her Mother and Grandmother.

Wendy fascinated me with stories about growing up in the farm country of China, living on the fruits and vegetables, harvested by her family.

And before I knew it…my nails were finished and I would long for the next installment at my next visit.

Especially the recipes. Wendy would have to translate the recipe amounts, etc and put them on paper for me because all the ingredients etc….were stored in her Mother’s memory.  

It was interesting to note, that one of the first tasks her grandfather did when he moved to Seattle, was to plant a huge garden in Wendy’s back yard, and enlist the assistance of Wendy’s two children as he weeded and tended to the vegetables.

And so it goes……;)

One more interesting thing that brought a smile to my face was that her children did not really care for McDonald’s.  

Wendy had taken them there and they didn’t like the hamburgers and fries.  They went home and had vegetables and of course…soup!  ;)

The trick with keeping the flavor of  soup, Wendy told me….was a clear broth.  

And the way to achieve the clear soup, so favored by many of us…was to cook the soup low and slow.

Especially if one had a piece of meat in the soup.

There are so many Chinese Restaurants here in our little town by the sea….and when the Captain and I go out to eat at one…you can be sure I order egg drop soup.

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 Which makes me ask myself why, because making egg drop soup is so easy and simple to make.  5 ingredients…how easy is that?

When I get a hankerin’ for a delicious cup of soup…or I am under the weather…Egg Drop Soup is 5 ingredients away…then in my pot, simmering away! :)

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So please check out this recipe for Egg Drop Soup!  It is eggcellent!  

Ok, sorry about the joke! but you know me….a bit weird! ;)

If you like egg drop soup…please try this recipe.  It is really not difficult to make and the flavor is sooooooo good!

Enjoy!

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Me

Delicious Every Time Egg Drop Soup
Yields 5
My nail tech in Seattle was a soup nut and I mean that in a kind way. She preferred soup to any other entree. She rarely went out to lunch as she always had a cup of soup waiting in the wings....This recipe is modified a bit from her recipe...but it is basically just good egg drop soup.
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Total Time
10 min
Total Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 4 cups chicken stock (make your own or buy the pre-made at your grocer)
  2. 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  3. 1 tsp. ground ginger
  4. 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  5. 4 large eggs
  6. 1/2 tsp. sesame oil
  7. 2 green scallions, sliced very thin
  8. 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  9. 1/4 teaspoon of white ground pepper
Instructions
  1. In a medium sized sauce pan heat the chicken stock to just boiling (I like to use Swanson but for this recipe I used a store brand and I didn't think it was a good as Swanson...just my opinion)
  2. Meanwhile, add the cornstarch to 2 tablespoons of cold water in a small bowl, mixing vigorously, being sure to remove all lumps
  3. Add the ginger and garlic powder to the cornstarch slurry and mix well
  4. Add the slurry mixture to the simmering chicken stock, stirring constantly until the slurry is incorporated into the chicken stock...and turn the heat up to a medium allowing the broth to boil.
  5. In a small pitcher or measuring cup, whisk the eggs together.
  6. Whisk the boiling broth as you pour the eggs slowly into the liquid, using a circular motion which will create ribbons.
  7. Your ribbons can be any size you choose, the whisking determines the size. I have used a small strainer to insure thin ribbons...it depends on how much time I have allotted for the egg drop soup that day.
  8. Once your egg ribbons are the size you like...slowly drizzle in the sesame oil and add 3/4 of the scallions, leaving the other 1/4th the green ribbons for the garnish
  9. At this point you may add salt and white pepper to taste.
Notes
  1. You may use 2 whole eggs and 2 egg whites if looking for a healthy option.
  2. I have used both grated fresh ginger and the ginger powder...it is just a matter of preference
Me and My Captain http://www.meandmycaptain.com/

Broadway Palm Pineapple Casserole

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Broadway Palm Pineapple Casserole recipe is provided by Executive Chef  Gregory Van Horn of the Broadway Dinner Theater.

The Captain and I love the Dinner Theaters and have managed to attend them while living in Kansas City,  Seattle, Dallas, Albuquerque and now here in Florida. 

Granted, it is not the Broadway in New York that the Captain and I enjoy on our annual Christmas trek to New York City…..but it is close, as there are plays from Broadway that tour the country and we are fortunate to be able to see many of the plays right here in our little sunshine state. :)

More on the Plays in another post, but right now I want to tell you about a great Southern staple…Pineapple Casserole!

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Did you just frown?  I know, it doesn’t sound like a casserole does it?

Well, if you like…you can call it a pineapple souffle…that was one of the recipes suggested to me by a friend. ;)

There are many ways to make it and I am sure you might have a version in your recipe file.Some recipes include grated cheese and Ritz Crackers…and others use tidbit pineapple or the chunk pineapple.

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Some recipes use brown sugar and some recipes use a lot more white sugar and butter.

As is with most old recipes…there are many variations as cooks and bakers use the ingredients they have on hand and for the most part, they are all good…well, mostly good! :)

However, I find this particular recipe has just the right amount of ingredients…as is.

The crushed pineapple works so well with the bread crumbs. 

Plus, this is a quick dish to prepare and one usually has canned pineapple, sugar, eggs and bread on hand in their pantry.

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 Cut the crusts from the bread either with a crust cutter or a sharp knife.  Cube the bread…and tightly pack into 4 cup measure.

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Save the crusts, I like to make croutons with them….:) Or bread stuffing…or..well, you get the idea! ;)

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Cream the butter and sugar together..

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Add eggs, one at a time….beating well after each addition.

Be sure pineapple is well drained.  I like to use a colander and blot with paper towel.

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Add the lemon juice and pineapple to the mixing bowl and mix well.

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Fold in the bread cubes….

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Using a 2 quartt (I used a 2 and 1/2 quart)  lightly greased baking, transfer the mixture and bake at 350 degrees for about 40-45 minutes 

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 Simply yummy and delicious and a great addition to a baked ham or any entree.  Think Thanksgiving side dishes! ;)

One unique feature of this pineapple casserole is that it can double as a side dish or a dessert!  It is that good!

So if you have not tried this wonderful casserole…please try it!

Believe me, once you make this casserole….your family or guests will ask for the recipe.

You don’t have to be Southern to like it!  :)

Enjoy!

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Me

 

Broadway Palm Pineapple Casserole
Pineapple Casserole is an old Southern dish...always sought after at potlucks and church dinners. There are many variations of this casserole. Some like to add Ritz Crackers in place of the bread crumbs...some add a lot more butter, while others eliminate the pineapple juice and top with grated cheese or substitute the crushed pineapple for chunk pineapple.. Chef Van Horn has a great combination of ingredients which makes this particular recipe a winner. This recipe can be used as a side or a dessert! yummy!
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Cook Time
45 min
Cook Time
45 min
Ingredients
  1. ¾ cup butter
  2. 1 ¼ cups sugar
  3. 3 eggs
  4. 1 (20oz.) can crushed pineapple, well drained
  5. 1 ½ teaspoon lemon juice
  6. 4 cups firmly packed cubed white bread (crusts removed)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. In a mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar.
  3. Add eggs one at a time, making sure to mix after each addition.
  4. Stir in pineapple and lemon juice, fold in bread crumbs.
  5. Spoon mixture into a greased 2 quart baking dish
  6. Bake casserole uncovered at 350° for 40-45 minutes or until golden brown.
  7. Serve warm.
Notes
  1. Broadway Palm is a Dinner Theater which provides live Broadway Plays (and off Broadway) which the Captain and I enjoy immensely.
  2. This particular Theater provides a wonderful meal just before the curtain opens to the first act. The recipe above is Chef Greg Van Horn's version of this Southern potluck staple.
  3. It is excellent with Ham as a side dish or add it to your casserole dishes at Thanksgiving!
Me and My Captain http://www.meandmycaptain.com/
 

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