Sunday, October 28, 2018

Random Thoughts for late October 2018!

Cool weather means it's Chili time!
Simplify, simplify simplify. Some good thoughts by Henry David Thoreau. And, like most things in culinary life, it's the simple stuff that often shines. And, while this is your typical bare bones chili, it's still damn good!

After many years of experimenting with all sorts of chili recipes (I even once bought a book on the subject), I've come up with a rather simple recipe that seems to work pretty well for me. Mind you, there is nothing fancy about the ingredients list. I've tried fancy cuts and combos of meats and while they were OK to even good, I wasn't entirely satisfied. With this simple chili, I was! So, here goes.....

1 lb hamburger meat
1 can of petite tomatoes
1 can of red beans
1 pkg Williams original Chili Seasoning
Salt and pepper to taste
Directions: Brown the meat and drain off the grease. Add the other ingredients and simmer for 40 minutes. Got a small slow cooker? Dump everything in, cover, and cook on high for 3 to 4 hours. Serves 4.

Notes: It's not human nature to ever leave good enough alone. I decided to add the smallest amount of a Scorpion pepper into this recipe. You know. Just to give it a bit of a kick.

It's the flu season, don't ya know?

The month of October is the official start of the flu season for the Northern Hemisphere and was just ending down south with Pediatric flu-related deaths reaching 172 during the 2017/18 USA influenza season. Of the sub-typed influenza A viruses which accounted for most of the severe cases of illness, 964 (76%) were influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 and 305 (24%) were influenza A(H3N2). So, that could be pretty much what we can expect up in America as we waddle into the late fall and early winter months!

In Missouri, incidents of the flu, during the 42nd week, were sporadic and that was the case across most all of the continent. That said, please note that the curve, seen in the graphic, was on the high side. I would therefore encourage everyone to go and get a flu shot post haste!

Election time draws near!

On November the 6th, millions of Americans are going to help decide on what sort of country America will be shaped into as critical seats in both Houses are currently up for grabs! And while I belong to no Party, I can already tell the direction which I intend to go at the voting booth.

The Republican Party is pretty screwed up, in my opinion. That said, they seem to have the concept of a Constitutional Representative form of government pretty well understood. Strong borders, low taxes, a good military, supporting the 2nd Amendment and no mob rule are good platforms to endorse by my way of thinking.

The Democratic Party members have a much smaller platform that seems to endorse; wide open borders, high taxes, no ICE, HLS or police. They also seem to endorse hate speech via the Media and are definitely promoting a re-birthing of the failed Obama Healthcare deal. In point of fact, they appear to openly endorse the idea of America becoming a Socialistic State like Venezuela!

Uh, no thanks. Over a million brave men and women have died to make this Republic one of the best places to live in the world. And, for me to turn my back on them now, is not an option for me to consider. I'm voting the Republican ticket across the board!

Thursday, October 18, 2018

What's the X-37B Military Space Plane doing up there?

The latest mystery mission of the U.S. Air Force's robotic X-37B space plane has now passed the 400-day mark with no clear deadline of returning home.

This mission - known as Orbital Test Vehicle (OTV-5) - was rocketed into Earth orbit on Sept. 7, 2017, atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Launch Complex 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

The un-crewed space plane is carrying out secretive duties during the X-37B program's fifth flight. A fact that has not escaped the shrewd minds of people like Chuck Schumer and Dianne Feinstein, two feisty Democrats of recent Brett Kavanaugh fame. Without any factual corroboration, they've both accused Trump of evil doings with the craft... (uh, where have I heard that before)?

One possibility that was leaked by a high ranking official indicated that the plane was equipped with hi-tech missiles that could hit any target at will. Another was that the planes had a sinister virus on board that was flu-like, but much more deadly. Upon release, only those (Republicans) who had gotten special 'flu shots' would be likely to survive the winter. Lastly, there is a chance that the plane has test 'structures' on board that are being exposed to long term periods in space. Personally, I like option two the best!

Monday, October 15, 2018

My classic meatloaf!

After tasting my neighbor's meatloaf recently, I decided to go with a classic meatloaf formulation of my own. For the recipe, I used; lean hamburger, minced onions, minced bell pepper, egg, milk, breadcrumbs, parsley flakes, ketchup, garlic powder and some pepper to taste, These were all mixed thoroughly in a bowl and then placed in a baking dish in the form of a loaf. I poured over the top, a mix of ketchup, red wine vine vinegar and brown sugar. Finally, I placed a couple of strips over the top! This was placed in a convection oven that had been preheated to 355°F for about an hour.

The result was fairly impressive, if I do say so myself! I awarded myself a score of 10. (Something that happens a lot with my cooking efforts). a couple of slices went over to my neighbors who both like it very much. So much, they asked for a copy of the recipe!

A neighborly meatloaf!

A good neighbor of mine, Carol, dropped off a couple of slices of meatloaf on a rather chilly and overcast day in October. This was very much appreciated, as I was really not in the mood to cook. (I was also curious as to how the meatloaf would taste when it was made by someone else).

5PM - It was now dinner time and one of the sliced pieces of meatloaf was sitting pretty as you please on a plate where I also paced a side of corn and potatoes with brown gravy. To me this was a real 'comfort' type of meal that I would remember with some fondness.

The verdict: I scored this meal a solid 9! The meatloaf was moist and flavorful and it got extra points for it being made by someone else! However, I was also inspired to have a go at making one myself!

Friday, October 12, 2018

A simple egg sandwich and thoughts of Thoreau!

I think it might have been Henry David Thoreau that uttered the words 'simplify, simplify'. Perhaps he was thinking that we often go through life exhausted because we tend to take on too many things, bring too much complexity to our days, and don’t have time to... simply enjoy life!

With that thought in mind, I elected one October day, to have a very simple lunch comprised of an egg sandwich on white bread with a side of coleslaw. (I was in the sort of mood wherein I'd felt exhausted, as of late, and felt that I needed to break away).

In addition to enjoying such a simple meal, I also decided to keep the TV turned of while listening to 'soft and easy listening music'. Wow! A first, I thought I'd go crazy, but then as the day wore on, I found that I'd already been driven crazy with to many thoughts cluttering up my mind. De-tune and re-a-tune my mind along more esoteric channels, that seemed to be the key!

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

DanO's All American Dawg!

After going, a couple of times to the local Sonic Drive-in and enjoying their hot dogs and fries, I decided to try and emulate that offering with one exception; I shit-canned the fries in favor of something a bit more nutritious and a lot more cheap!

The Sonic All American dog and medium fries was a bit of a nutritional nightmare as far as I was concerned:

A 700 calorie lunch might be cool for an athlete or someone in great shape, but perhaps not so much for an aging gnome such as myself. With tax, this meal deal came in at $4.31! I figure I could craft a much more nutritional dawg and coleslaw side at a much better price. This is what I came up with:

About half the calories and maybe one fourth the cost made this a sure fire winner for me at lunchtime!

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Random Thoughts for Oct 2018

Long Horn blues!
Where's my hash browns?
Forsyth MO. – OK, so everyone can have an off day, and apparently today was the day for my server at the Long Horn Family Dining establishment located in Forsyth Missouri. As had happened in the past I sat down and got a cup of coffee, but no menu. And, while I have a pretty good memory, it's far from perfect. Next the server had a difficult time understanding my order, and when the order came, it was on a tiny plate that was missing one of the sides. (It did finally show up a bit later). All in all, not a very good experience on this date.

Dark times at the Country Mart!

Not to be deterred, I finished my breakfast and went over to a local grocery store known as the Country Mart, located near the intersections of Coy Blvd and Hwy 160. As I walked it, it got somewhat surreal as the store was mostly dark inside. Sure, there were a few islands of light, but other isles and most notable #3 was pretty much black. Out of the corn of my eye, I could have sworn I glimpsed some kind of dark object flitting about near the spices and oils. And, even though vegetable oil was on my shopping list, I passed that isle by at a mild gallop!

Shadowrock Lodge!

In a strange but true series of events, After posting that I had no idea of what was going on with the Shadowrock Lodge, I got a call from the owner. She told me that due to some setbacks, they still planned to open in '6 to 8 weeks'. If things do work out, that would be great news for the area.

The Health Department!

As I was pretty much striking out on this day, I decided to stop over by the Forsyth Mo Health Department to see about getting a flu and a pneumococcal pair of arm blaster shots just to sort of top off the morning. I'd been there on numerous occasions in the years before and yet the staff there had a hard time locating my records. Yes, it was beginning to feel like a Stephan King movie for me, at that juncture. But, the files were discovered and I was given both shots. While the nurse was injecting me, she confided that I was likely going to hate her in about 24 hours! Driving home, I then almost hit a deer less than a block from my home.....