Monday, January 31, 2011

At the Piano Recital

Richie's grand-nephew, age 5, was to play in a recital and we were invited. I didn't think it would be terribly entertaining, especially the part about not lingering over the Sunday crosswords but having to be out in the Valley at the ungodly hour of 10:30 a.m. instead.

The recitals take place in a synagogue and this one was enormous. We walked through a lengthy atrium, down another hall and finally into the auditorium.

The folding chairs were drawn up in a half-circle, facing the piano. We sat there. The kids were lined up against a wall opposite in their Sunday best and when their name was called, they got up, walked solemnly to face the audience, bowed and went to the piano.

When their piece had been played (tumultous applause) the performer would walk back to the center aisle and bow.

What made it hilarious to watch was the fact that many of them have not quite grasped the correct bow movements. Instead, they clutched their stomach with one hand and stuck out their butts.

The program listed each child's name and the title of his/her piece (all mercifullly short.) Early on, I noticed that one of the little girls was wearing what looked like a Burberry jumper. (Burberry is a plaid of red, black, brown and white which is distinctive as are their prices which are astronomical.) "Hmmm," I thought, "that parent is loaded!"

I saw it again when a little boy performed, wearing Burberry cargo pants. At last a little girl came out, wearing the same fabric. Boing! I realized that their mother (or a relative) had made all of those outfits. I was dying to see all three of the "plaid people" together, but it didn't happen.

Our Nephew performed brilliantly, not a trace of nerves. After the program, we all went to his house for brunch.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

New and Nice in Redondo

This is the recently dedicated Veteran's Memorial. The five triangles rising toward the sky represent the five branches of our military.

The memorial exists due solely to the efforts of determined vets, families and friends who raised $265,000 over a six year period.

Veteran Park is located at Torrance and Catalina. This 6.3 acre park was created back in 1930, presumably named in recognition of World War I veterans. It's a lovely park with a playground for the kids, concrete tables and benches and a terrific, panoramic view of the Pacific. Squirrels run around, tame as can be. The gulls honk at one another. It's really idyllic.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Desperate Doings in Dallas

or The Super Bowl Is Coming!

There are 60 clubs in Dallas' 30 Mile Zone. claims today that they need an additional 10,000 strippers for the game. The man quoted says he employs 50 right now and has put out word that he has need for another 100 to 150.

And yet, all men say they're going to watch the game...

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

High School Politics on the National Level

Los Angeles Times, 1/26/11, front page, below the fold: 'Date night' matchups - the bipartisan seating arrangements made for better television this time around. pg 21

When I first heard of this bipartisanship seating plan, I snorted and said aloud, "How high school can you get?!" I couldn't believe 1. they were serious and 2. they'd actually do it.

But, of course, today's headline set me nearly foaming at the mouth. "Better Television." So, the State of the Union address is nothing more than a photo opp? Is that what we're reduced to as Americans? Will the ratings for it be compared to those for the Academy Awards? Are politics now nothing more than show biz?

I can only quote the shortest newspaper headline ever: "Jesus Wept."

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Thank You, Richie! Cried the Book Addicts

At the gym this morning, Richie was pedaling away and watching one of the big screen TVs. When Rachel Ray began talking about "free books" he snapped to attention. She was promoting a site called which is basically a worldwide book exchange system.

It was John Buckman's idea and design. He does the writing and site administration and handles donations to various charities that promote reading and literature for children.

Here's what happens (from the site itself):
1. List books you want to give away
2. Make requests from others for your books
3. Mail your books and get points
4. Ask for books from others with your points.

Not only is there a comprehensive list of titles, another column lists the number of books available in those titles.

Apparently the only cost to you is postage to ship the books. If you mail them "book rate" that will save you a bit of money, too.

I am not necessarily endorsing this site, but it does seem like a good idea. If for any reason, the deal goes south, please blame Rachel Ray.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Okinawa Purple Sweet Potatoes (And Don't Call Them Yams)

When our friend "Raffish" returned from Okinawa, he brought us a box of cookies made with Okinawa purple sweet potatoes.

They're described like this: a dingy beige on the outside; purplish-white on the inside. When you cook them, the inside becomes a brilliant purple-blue color.

Like Graham crackers for American diabetics, these purple sweet potatoes are allowed for Asian diabetics.

They're said to contain more antioxidants than blue berries and they're grown in Okinawa, Hawaii and parts of Korea. They are believed to have arrived in Okinawa around 1605.

Interesting side note: Five times as many Okinawa residents live to be 100 than the rest of Japan.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

The Steak With Many Names

I read a food article that praised hangar steak. The article said it was also called "butcher's" steak because butchers liked it so much they took it home and never sold it to their customers.

Knowing our supermarket didn't have a meat counter per se, I went to the much bigger one on Hawthorne. We were over that way anyhow and I pranced back to their meat counter to ask about it.

The only steak that didn't look familiar was labeled "flap steak" which is not likely to get the old taste buds to sit up in excitement. The butcher explained that "flap" steak is indeed hangar or butcher's steak, remarking that it's the beef found in carne asada and added for good measure that it's called "skirt" steak on the East Coast. The cut comes from the belly of the cow.

So I bought some. Never having cooked it, and never even having seen a cut of meat like that -- thin, long strip of meat about 6 in. wide... I went online and looked it up. You can grill it on a barbecue or start it in a skillet and finish it in the oven or you can grill it on the stove which is what I did.

The information also said "only 4 minutes" per side for medium rare so I did that. It turned out beautifully! Not tough (as we'd supposed it would be) and full of a deep, beef flavor. Butchers are no dummies when it comes to their bellies -- or their flap steaks.

Thursday, January 20, 2011


"The Soul of Medicine" by Sherwin B. Nuland Kaplan Publishing 207 pages $26.95

Nuland is and always has been a thoughtful writer with a gift for dialogue. Long ago I read his first bestseller "How We Die" and found it to be level-headed and non-alarming. We are all going to die, so why not prep for it like a test?

Nuland is a clinical professor of surgery at Yale as well as a Fellow at Yale's Institute for Social and Policy Studies.

This book is a series of anecdotes from varous specialists (cardiology, dermatology, surgery, etc.) At the end of each chapter, Nuland comments on the moral or philosophical bent contained therein. Amazingly, there are still morals in medicine...

"Hoda - How I Survived War Zones, Bad Hair, Cancer, and Kathie Lee" by Hoda Kotb with Jane Lorenzini Simon & Schuster 272 pages $25

I admit the title caught my eye because I'd never heard of this woman. In fact, I was doing well to recognize Kathie Lee (Gifford.)

Hoda is of Egyptian descent and in the early chapters bemoans her differentness and all the times that strangers would brazenly ask, "What are you?" She graduated college and set off to get a job in broadcasting. Her demo tape was so bad that 27 station managers turned her down. But as always, there is one person who will give one a break and she found hers. Most notably, she did six years in New Orleans before she moved up to "Dateline" as a correspondent and then as co-host with Kathie Lee on the 4th hour of the "Today" show.

It's an amusing read. Perhapsbecause news reporters/anchors seem not to be as "Love me! Love me! Aren't I wonderful?" as most of the stars that I've read about.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

William McCall for President!

This Arcadia, California, resident should run for office. In this morning's LA Times Letters section, he wrote:

"Many of those fervently espousing their "right to bear arms" are also strict constructionists. They believe we should go back to when our Constitution was adopted and interpret it literally.

At that time "arms" meant muzzle-loading muskets. I agree. We should allow all National Rifle Assn. members and those asserting their 2nd Amendment right the right to carry muskets. With their powder horns and ramrods, they should be able to get a shot off every minute or so."

Righteously said! You go, Mr. McCall!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Dope Dealer Fa-in-Law

A friend recommended a new site, saying she reads it every day. So I dutifully clicked and clacked my way to

This is a free site that provides an interesting "something" every day. Since the site asked only for my e-mail address (and didn't veer off into "Do you own your own home?" etc.) I gave it to them. They also swore that they would not give out my information.

This morning brought me their post on the fact that Franklin Delano Roosevelt's grandfather (on his mother's side) was one Warren Delano, who made a substantial amount of money selling opium! He started as a 24 year old in Canton and rose (through a trading company) to wealth.

His daughter Sara married James Roosevelt and after his death she became the virtual Mother-in-Law From Hell to Eleanor Roosevelt. She generously bought the young couple a Manhattan townhouse -- and then bought the one next door and cut doors into both so that she could pass freely from her house to theirs!

You can read all about FDR and the dope dealer at - without having to join.

Monday, January 17, 2011

The LA Times Is On the Warpath!

The doughty LA Times clearly feels that "the industry" (Hollywood films) was mightily insulted by comic Ricky Gervaise, host of last night's Golden Globe awards. Harumph-ing and muttering, the Times ran not one, but two articles in this morning's edition shaking their collective fingers at Gervaise. The tone was quite disapproving of such impudence on his part.

I thought Gervaise was a howl and the whole neighborhood probably heard my delighted roars at his cracks about various performers.

But let's be realistic here and look at the facts.

Charlie Sheen has had alcohol problems for some time as any of his three ex-wives would readily testify. All three marriages ended badly (restraining orders flew around like confetti.) Sheen now believes that the U.S. government was behind the 911 attacks and is quite public about this weird, twisted view.

Cher is 64 years old in a nation that says if you're 55, you're entitled to senor citizen discounts. God bless Cher and all of that, but the woman IS 64.

Robert Downey, Jr. was heavily into drugs beginning in 1987 and stayed that way for the next 14 years with numerous visits to rehabs and three drug possession arrests. To his credit, he is said to now be clean and sober. He's just not allowed to ever carry or use a gun again.

I thought Gervaise line about Bruce Willis being Ashton Kutcher's father was brilliant! Willis, ex-wife Demi Moore and her current husband Kutcher along with all three of Willis' and Moore's daughters are often photographed together; hell, they take vacations together! Sometimes Willis has a squeeze along; sometimes not.

Of course, factor in that I'm a sucker for British humor -- quick, darting and dry. That undoubtedly added to my approval rating for Gervaise.

But to pretend that any of the above are particularly outstanding as human beings and need the massive arm of the LA Times around their quivering shoulders is ridiculous. If you can't do the time, don't do the crime -- and if you did the time (which is common public knowledge) then don't be so damned thin-skinned when you're out and go into a pout.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Backstage in the Restaurant Kitchen

"Becoming a Chef with Recipes and Reflections from America's Leading Chefs" by Andrew Dornenburg and Karen Page Van Nostrand Reinhold 320 pages No price given, but I paid $4 at a book sale.

This book presents a comprehensive look at what being a chef is all about (passion!) and starts with a comparison of yesterday (Escoffier) and today, discovering a passion for food -- very often this occurs in childhood -- cooking school vs. learning in the kitchen? (as an unpaid dog's body; clean that floor, chop those vegetables, OBSERVE.) Chapter 7 discusses the business of cooking -- operating and running a restaurant which includes so many details the reader's mind swirls with visions of napkins, glasses, wait style, front of the house look, efficiency of the kitchen and its layout.

The book was published in 1995 and in just those 16 years, food tastes have changed. Farm to restaurant table (the table actually ON the farm in some instances) is the big movement now. Foams, happily, are gone. But behind the stove appears to have stayed the same. Work like a donkey for 16 to 18 hours a day; be so up after a busy night that you don't want to go home, but out instead. Alcohol and drug abuse are something of a problem in a lot of kitchens (or so I've read.) ((Just alcohol abuse in mine.))

The back of the book has a glossary of restaurant and kitchen terms; a list of selected professional cooking schools in the US and abroad; a list of the leading culinary organizations; another list of leading culinary periodicals; brief biographies of the chefs intererviewed in the book and finally (gasp) an index of everything covered in the damned book!

Many of the chefs contribubed a favorite recipe and, interestingly, it was often something an older relative used to make. This one appealed to me, probably because I'm so used to "French" onion soup.

SWISS ONION SOUP - warning -- it serves 8 to 10 people
1 stick sweet butter
3 medium onions, thinly sliced
pinch of white pepper
1/2 of a day-old baguette or 6 slices of white bread
1 teas. table sugar
1/2 gallon of milk
1 lb. Swiss or Gruyere cheese, diced

Saute the onions until soft while you cut the bread into a medium dice. Put the bread in with the onions and add the sugar. Stir so that the bread absorbs the butter. Add the milk and bring to a boil; then add the cheese and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook -- no lid -- for an hour and 15 minutes. Serve immediately. Susan Feniger's recipe

Friday, January 14, 2011

My Dentist Said What?!

My dentist's newsletter came yesterday. The headline was: Chocolate can be "good" for your oral health!

Researchers at Osaka University have discovered that the cocoa bean husk (usually discarded) has an anti-bacterial effect on the mouth. Scientists believe that a cocoa bean husk extract may soon be added to mouthwash or toothpaste.

Other studies have shown that the polyphenols in dark chocolate can cut down the growth of bacteria in the mouth.

However: chocolate products also contain sugar which is known to cause tooth decay.

I feel sure that the ADA added this: If you want to eat sweets, limit them to meal times and brush afterward.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

So, These Two Guys Come to America...

Bill Bryson actually started in America (born in Iowa) and then spent some 20 years in England before returning to our shores. Beppe Severgnini is Italian, but he has spent time in England. He came to the U.S. for a one year period.

"I'm a Stranger Here Myself, Notes on Returning to America After 20 Years Away," by Bill Bryson Broadway Books 288 pages $8.79 paperback

"Ciao, America! An Italian Discovers the U.S." by Beppe Severgnini Broadway Books 242 pages $21.95

Bryson and his English wife and their four children moved to Hanover, New Hampshire, "for no other reason except it seems to be a nice place." Beppe Severgnini and his wife moved to Georgetown, near Washington, D.C.

Both writers expound on what is different from their exited country; what they like and dislike. Bryson gets more lenience here as being native born. Both gentlemen have written warmly and charmingly of their adventures and I see no reason to expound on their works here. They get paid for them, I won't.

Richie Gets Us Both in Trouble

The end of the gym story: This morning, I had my driver's license in my hand, held it up and out to the lady and just kept walking. Richie held his up and started walking ... and she barked, "Hold it! I have to check both of you in." Sheepishly, we walked back to the desk. Richie was closer; he held out his license and she pored over it, then handed it back and told him to have a good workout. I handed her my license and while she was staring at it, she demanded bruskly, "What's your birth date?" I told her; she handed it back and I went on my way. She. was. looking. right. at. my. picture. (Gritted teeth.) Which has my birthdate printed underneath it. Minor power; major attitude, ya know?

Richie apparently made a scene at the desk on his way out yesterday; demanded the manager's phone number; she scribbled an 800 number; we got home and he called it. It rang, Verizon picked up, ran a short ad and disconnected. Richie finally talked to someone (in Jamaica) and she said that was not the corporate practice. She must have told someone in the States, because a guy called Richie. Who said she had no authority over local franchises. And, yes, we do have to show our driver's licenses.

Incidentally during check-in this morning, an entire spin class flashed their driver's licenses and trooped right on up the stairs.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Inmates Are Running the Asylum Dept.

When Richie and I joined the "Open All Day and All Night Be Fit Gym," (not its real name) of Hermosa Beach , we were given membership cards in a small plastic sleeve. They xeroxed our driver's licenses, cut them to fit and put them in the sleeve with the membership card. Thence forth, every time we used the gym, we pulled them out; the desk clerks swiped them and away we went.

Next they installed four or five do-it-yourself ID machines. You stick your index finger in a hole, tap out your phone number on the little keyboard and that gets you in. We were asked if we'd prefer to do this and we both said, "No, thank you" and that was that.

Or rather it was until this morning... on entering, I had my plastic sleeve out with the membership card and xeroxed driver's license. The clerk shook her head and said, I need to see your real driver's license, we don't swipe any more." Puzzled, I pulled out my billfold, flipped it open and showed her my "real" driver's liense. She nodded and said, "Next" to the woman behind me.

To make sure I understood, I stopped at the desk on my way out. Saying that I wanted to do it right tomorrow morning, I asked if all I had to do was show my driver's license?
"Yes," she said.
"No membership card?"
"Thanks!" and out the door I went.

Why am I blathering on about this? I'll tell you why. You, too, can now routinely use the "Open All Day and All Night Be Fit Gym" FOR FREE. All you have to do is wear appropriate gym clothing, carry a hand towel and flash your driver's license! In like Flynn, baby.

I would counsel speed though if you're going to try this. Right now the gym is packed with the New-Year's-resolution-to-loose 50 lbs.-and-get fit! crowd. The gym is so busy -- it's now routine to see 10 to 12 cars snaking around the parking lot at any time, looking for a space -- that you could probably get in even if you were a Kodiak bear. Just wear the appropriate clothing, bears, and no one will ever know...

Monday, January 10, 2011

Information and Statistics + UPDATE

"Overall, men, the young and the poor are most likely to be the victims (in a crime.)"

FBI Reports for January through June, 2010
There was a decrease of 6.2% in violent crimes (murder, forcible rape.) Property crimes decreased by 2.8%. Burglary, larceny-theft, robbery were down 10.7%

Which means it's okay to sell your gun. You're not going to need it.

UPDATE Having followed the Arizona event in some depth all day... the shooter was certifiable (but no one did -- amazing, isn't it, how many neighbors, high school friends, acquaintances show up to say how they did/didn't suspect anything wrong with the wrong doer...)

His actions have nothing to do with political rhetoric. He was crazy! The media is slyly trying to manipulate this event to Obama's advantage. (I read that 80% of the American media are registered Democrats.) So they bray Sarah Palin did it! Rush Limbaugh is responsible!

Both parties have erred ( and perhaps some Independents for all I know) in misusing rhetoric/symbols (crosshairs?) but that is hardly enough to prompt an act like this. The man was not in his right mind! End of story.

The pols are all howling because they're afraid the same thing could happen to them! It is nice to see a politician scared of something! It's just too bad it's for their own skin and not concern for their constituents re health care, taxes, etc.

Sunday, January 9, 2011


is probably not a real good day to flaunt your NRA membership.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

They're That All Right!

"Weird Rooms" by Alexander Vertigo (photos) and Mal and Sandra Sharpe (text) Pomegranite Artbooks 96 pages No price given, but I paid $1 for it at a library book sale. Well worth it, too.

This is a collection of photos of and interviews with the room owners. Since I am not learned in psychological matters, it's impossible for me to draw a line between "collectors" and "hoarders." Perhaps in this exercise if we specify that hoarders save everything and collectors are more precise in their collections, we can reach some point of agreement. See what you think...

Some have practical reasons for creating. The Monster Room has a collection of horror movie miscellania. An art director for horror films created it for his son. The boy says, "My second favorite is the severed head" and that he and his friends love to gather there and tell ghost stories.

The Shoe Room veers toward the label "art project." The female owner loves shoes (more than 500 pairs) and she created a giant snakeskin shoe" that she said is actually a tricycle. She said, "My boyfriend Ken and I pedaled the snakeskin shoe 4,012 miles across the country." Next up? Taking it across the English Channel - she said it will roll on water.

I did find "The Fruit Room" tasteful and pretty. This is a huge collection of chinaware dedicated to our friends in the fruit world. The owner and his partner have built shelves that line the walls in the room to hold all of their treasures.

The Elvis Room is actually a bedroom; the mattress is neatly lined with print media (books, posters, album sleeves.) Vance Enrique has arranged his front lawn so that it resembles a giant guitar. He said, "A couple of times, a long black limo has parked right out front and somebody has rolled down the window to contemplate the yard. I really believe it's Elvis."

Jayson's Lego City led to a career. As a chld he apparently had unlimited access to Legos and built himself a city (he sleeps at eye level with it - "It makes me feel safe.") Now 21, he majored in Urban Design and plans to get his Masters in this field.

Another is a talented trompe l'oeil painter and it seems natural for him to have practiced, so to speak, on his own home.

But this guy really worries me. He built himself a command module on a space ship. "The walls and cabinets are made out of duct tape -- 4,000 rolls of grey duct tape. I used thousands of pounds of tinfoil. I have 61 televisions and 23 computers in here. One room I call my secondary command center has hundreds of plastic gloves filled with water hanging from the ceiling. This creates microsystems of bacteria. You can see the algae growing inside. Each glove is a space colony. I have six robots to protect me from invaders."

Whoa, Nellie. I don't think that's a collector or a hoarder. The category? Bat shit crazy!

Friday, January 7, 2011


It's Take Out The Trash Day

Elizabeth Edward's ashes probably haven't even settled in the bottom of her urn yet ... when
I read in today's Drudge Report that John Edwards and Rielle Hunter have announced their engagement.

Call me old-fashioned, but since when does a man "get engaged" to his longstanding mistress? Of such duration that the couple's three year old daughter could be their flower girl?

To the curb with both of them!

Sometimes Less Really Is Less

Consumer Reports has an article in their February issue about downsizing. Not people or jobs, but products we all buy at the supermarket.

Some examples - Tropicana orange juice down from 64 fl oz to 59. Reason? Tropicana research reported that "people preferred to keep the same price and get less juice to keep within their budgets." Yeah, sure!

Kraft American cheese went from 24 slices to only 22 so the buyer just lost a sandwich. Haagen-Dazs ice cream - down 2 oz. from 16 to 14 oz.

Of note: none of the companies profiled announced these losses. Consumer Reports readers noticed them.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

I Saw This On A T-Shirt...

(Thanks to what on earth - so send me a free shirt, awready!)

Looking for a few
good henchmen

Be thankful God loves you
no one else does

Don't harsh
my mellow (If you were alive and running around in the '60s... you get it.)

Baseball bat

Master of
Technology That's us, fellow DOS-asauers!

To err is human
To arrrr is pirate

Are you the people
I'll be discussing
with my therapist?

I'm not aging
I'm fermenting

Instant Human
Just Add Coffee!

If you met my family,
you'd understand

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

He Got A Whole Cookbook?

"The I (heart symbol) Trader Joe's Cookbook" by Cherie Mercer Twohy Ulysses Press 220 pages $17.95

Twohy owns the catering company Chez Cherie and clearly has an obsession with Trader Joe's. "I visit almost daily."

The first chapters on Starters/Small Plates and Salads were daunting to me because nearly all of them were simply mixing various Trader Joe products together and while you can get some great things to eat that way, that's not "cooking" in the full sense of the word to me. I tried to find a couple that weren't like that for you may not live anywhere near a Trader Joe's.

1 sweet potato cubed. drizzled in olive oil and baked until tender

1 T Dijon mustard
1 teas. honey
2 T red wine vinegar
1/3 cup olive oil
Mix together

Salad greens - your choice
1/2 cup candied pecans
handful of dried cranberries or cherries
handful of crumbled feta or blue cheese

Toss the salad greens in a little of the dressing, then arrange the sweet potato cubes with the dry in gredients on top and put it on the table for admiration before tossing it.

3 cups shredded green cabbage
1 cup shredded carrots
1 red bell pepper, cut in thin strips
2 green onions, shredded
2 T cilantro, coarsely chopped (she says to use 1/4 cup but that's too damned much)
Toss them all together and make the dressing.

1 T grapeseed or canola oil (I'd use olive oil)
1 T toasted sesame oil
2 T soy sauce
1 T rice vinegar
2 teas. brown sugar
1 jalapeno, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teas. crushed ginger or minced ginger
Toss and serve! Bon appetite!


Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Daddy Declasse

"Sh*t My Dad Says" by Justin Halpern HarperCollins 158 pages $15.99

I think there's an expletive at least once on all 158 pages of this book and often several. "Bad language" can be funny as hell when it's used properly, i.e., every once in awhile to wake up the reader. Endless obscenities become boring in their predictability.

That said, the Dad is funny and his observations are trenchant, but there is a very strong thread running through this book of "You're my son, I love you; now go away" which is a mixed message indeed.

Some of Dad's advice...

On Furnishing One's Home: "Pick your furniture like you pick a wife; it should make you feel comfortable and look nice, but not so nice that if someone walks past it they want to steal it."

On House Sitting: "Call me if something's on fire and don't screw in my bed."

On the Death of Our First Dog: "He was a good dog. Your brother is pretty broken up about it, so go easy on him. He had a nice last moment with Brownie before the vet tossed him in the garbage."

Monday, January 3, 2011


Among the Christmas gifts my sister gave us was a plastic container of Jess Hall's Seasonblend Seasoned Pepper, No Salt (try saying that fast.) Since there was plenty to eat over the holidays, I didn't get to it until two days ago and damn! I wish I'd opened it first!

It is the invention of a now 90 year old man named Jess Hall, of Weatherford, TX. He makes three or four other seasoning products which you can review at They're not expensive -- $4.93 a jar plus shipping -- and in a pinch you could experiment and probably make your own.

I'd start with one teaspoon each of his listed ingredients:
garlic powder
black pepper
onion powder
cayenne pepper
ground celery see
ground bay leaves
dry sweet basil
rosemary powder
dried parsley
and he adds corn starch.

For my mix I'd probably use Scotch Bonnet peppers 'cause "Too hot! is just about right" as far as I'm concerned. It's great on peas, avocado, potatoes au gratin, a grilled cheese sandwich, used as a rub for a pork loin, dusted across a deviled egg ... I recommend it!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Soggy Confetti on the Barroom Floor

Resolutions, Anyone?
I wonder how popular the old "New Year's resolution" is today? Given the instant gratification most people seem to want, it may well not even exist any more. In that spirit, all I can say is that I hope my pants button as easily a year from now -- and then work my butt off to make sure that happens.

Age Appropriate Behaviour
A friend of ours is devoting the afternoon to watching bowl games. He's a fanatic about the UCLA-USC game and his wife reports he barely goes to the bathroom during one. A neighbor, who turned 50 not too long ago is a rabid Nebraska fan. I can understand being a fan while you're actually attending that school, but ... 30, 40, 50 years later???

I saw a 30-something guy skateboarding down busy Pacific Coast Highway. I'm sorry, son, skateboards get put away when you're 16 (and can drive legally) unless you have absolutely no other means of transportation and lack bus fare. Otherwise you're just an organ donor, waiting to happen.

Black-Eyed Peas and Hoppin' John
Both are considered good luck things to eat in the South on New Year's Day. Richie and I went one earlier and (I think) better. We went to Joey's Smokin' BBQ yesterday in the Manhattan Beach mall and ate pulled pork sandwiches, baked beans and cole slaw! (Joey's Smokin' BBQ has been reviewed previously. )

"You're Fired!"
I'd love to say that to Kathy Griffin who co-anchored the Times Square ball drop last night with Anderson Cooper. She's not funny, she's mean spirited (like a bullying little kid) and really irrelevant to the event.

Note to Self:
When you're wearing Ugg boots for house slippers, it's cold in your house. #746