Ordinary act of an ordinary man

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These two young porters were passing by Imja Valley, Everest Region, Nepal at an altitude of above 5,000 meters with carrying goods for a trekking/climbing group. In Nepal, such porters can earn only a minimal sum of money despite their hard … Continue reading

Brunch for one: Sweet and Savory

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Food. I need food and there’s hardly any food in my fridge. What can I possibly eat the day after our family Christmas party? I did not bring any “to go” even though I supplied all kinds of cheeses, fruits, … Continue reading

So far NOT good.

I am having cravings.
I am thinking of crispy bacon.
It must be the thought of abstinence.
So, in preparation for Fat Tuesday,
I will definitely eat bacon.bacon (1)
Yummers, this looks so delicious.
A cardiac delight.
I might just die happy eating this TONS of bacon.
I did eat this last year and
TA DA, I’m still hear.

Cooking Turkey: Call 1-800-Turkey

HuntMode posted an article about “Worried re Your First Turkey Ever? made me think it’s time to cook turkey and there is a turkey in my freezer.

A turkey sat in the freezer with a due date Jan 2, 2013.  Brand name: “Butterball”. That is almost a year!  I need a wing and prayer how to cook a turkey.  Never cooked a turkey before and ambition took a hold of me to learn how to cook one item a year.  Turkey it is.

My family loves to cook turkey all year round.  One look at turkey makes me gag and the only thing that I eat from a fresh-baked turkey is the Pope’s nose. My fondness for turkey is the carcass only to make turkey soup.

Butterball turkey

Back to frozen turkey.  Butterball is a good brand, so they say.  As it turned out, this company has a 1-800 talk-line for people having turkey trouble.  Being a turkey that I am, I did not call the help line instead sent them an e-mail message asking whether it’s safe to cook a turkey pass due date.  And I did receive a response!

Thank you for contacting the Butterball Turkey Talk-Line!
Solidly frozen Butterball turkeys do not spoil in the freezer. However, eating quality will diminish over time. For maximum eating quality we recommend using frozen Butterball® turkeys, which have been stored in home freezers at zero degrees F or below in original wrapper, within six to seven months. Butterball turkeys held up to two years in home freezers from date of processing are still of good quality and safe to eat.
After two years home freezer storage eating quality will likely be less, not a safety problem. Suggest using the cooked turkey meat for making casseroles or soup. Also, while stored in the freezer, any tears in the plastic wrapper will expose the turkey to air and lead to freezer burn (light-colored and dry-looking areas on the surface) and accelerate flavor deterioration. Although safe to eat, these exposed areas may be dry or tough after roasting.

So folks, if you want to talk turkey, contact turkeytalkline@butterball.com.

As much as I would like to join the Turkey Club in my family, this is not my calling. The question is when will I cook the turkey?  You can find the answer here.

December 26 is the time when my family cooks the carcass of the turkey to make soup.  Everybody, I mean every body, looks forward to this famous soup.  Luckily, no turkey for me on Christmas dinners due to a self-imposed quarantine, sick as a dog with colds.  Unfortunately, I will miss out on the turkey soup.  Boo hoo.

Feed me, please…

I am lost and really famished.  
Where am I?  I don’t see a soul on the street and the heat is sweltering.  My mouth is so dry.  I know there is a community centre somewhere but which way is it?  North? South? East? West?  My sense of direction is out of kilter because all I can think is food.  Stomach is giving me the signs and symptoms of emptiness.    
Feeling weaker by the minute, finally I found a path that looks familiar.  Trout Lake and the centre are just around the bend.  I picked up my pace and made a bee line to the centre.  The centre is CLOSED! 
Now what?  One more place to check out is the food stand by the lake and this is my last hope. 
Praying and hoping that the food stand is open, I headed toward the lake.  In an open field, behind the centre, a gentle breeze blew and a whiff of barbeques cooking is in the air penetrated my nose.  Food!  Excitedly, I followed my nose and I could see a big group having a picnic. 
As I approached closer, the group is within the confines of a rope encircling the picnic.  A table manned with two people is at the entrance, a good way to make sure that there are no gate crashers or intruders.  I will be crashing and I am an intruder because I intended to ask for food and pay for it.  Surely they will feed me because I have money to pay for and besides they seem to be a church congregation because of the hymns they sang.  Surely they will feed me for the Church is familiar with Jesus’ teaching ~ Feed my sheep. 
When I approached these guards, I told them my predicament and show them I have money to pay for the food. Feed me, please.
One of the guards said, of course I may eat only when I can say the Lord’s Prayer.  Delighted, I sang and danced the Lord’s Prayer from what I learnt at the Ashram.  Then the guards welcomed me in, introduced me to a few people, and feed me for free. 
Here I found myself at the other end of the stick and as I ate my fill, I was thinking of the intruded at the ashram. 
Related Article:

Comings and Goings of March 29, 2013

It started with an early phone call from Room 203; she wanted to visit and it’s only 9 a.m.  Still in her pajamas with coffee, cheese and crackers, as well as her cat Riley, I let her in. 
This is the first time Riley is visiting my place and he is very scarred.  Have you ever heard scared cat cry?  It’s  blood curling cry.  Maurice and Lucy were scared and went into hiding.  So did Riley.  By the time they left is was close to noon. 
Next, I went next door, Room 307 to ask her to make me real coffee.  I supplied her with a Starbucks coffee grind.  Life is good with real coffee.  I took some pictures of her potted plants. 
It is now 1 pm and time to visit Mother.  She’s resting just down the road.  I picked some narcissus, fern, sage, rosemary and yellow flowering branches from my garden to bring to Mother. 

The road where Mother is resting is downhill.  Going downhill sure beats uphill.  I’ll worry about that later. 
It’s a busy day mostly for Chinese family.  They sure know how to party with their dearly departed.  I laid a few flowers for this young man, this is the first time I’ve heard of bullying, year 2000,  the same year Mother died.  Mother’s site sure looks pretty with the bouquet I placed on her gravesite. 
Then I visited the pond with a lonesome drake, a couple of turtles and plenty of fishes. 
See that building on top, I live across that.  See that 45 degree road, that’s the hill to get back home which is not a problem if only I am 13 years younger. 
I came across with a worm.  Then, I took refuge underneath a tree and scared the living daylight out of me, an evil thing lurking above.  Sakura is in full bloom and then life is a bowl of ???.   But look, I found a $10 gift certificate, my lucky day.
Finally, I’m home.  That’s the yellow flowering bush.  The baby artichokes are waiting for me to cook.  By the look of the size of the artichoke, even though I bought two dozens, I will still be hungry.  Thank goodness, Room 307 came over for tea with Polish salad. 

The salad was my dinner.  As for the artichokes, it ended up in the garbage.  
Life is grand.
 
 

What your fortune cookie tells you

“Daily Prompt: 32 Flavors.  Vanilla, chocolate, or something else entirely?”  I choose something else entirely. 
The cheapest way for my family to dine out is to go to a Chinese restaurant, New Lakeview Seafood Restaurant. The restaurant manager knows us and it’s the only restaurant, I think, that is crazy enough to accept a boisterous huge family. My family is loud and that’s why I live alone, away from the maddening crowd. Can’t really stay away from them far too long because sometimes I need to hear real voices; otherwise, I hear voices in my head. We try to meet at least once a month for a group birthday celebration; one big party for all celebrants of the month.  
After chow time, my nephew made a suggestion when it’s time to crack open our fortune cookies.
Fortune Cookie

Fortune Cookie

 “When you read your fortune cookie, make sure you add at the end of the sentence ‘in bed’  nephew said in his soft-spoken English accent. 
 “Are you talking dirty again?” the adults turned their head to nephew and exclaimed this in unison.
 “No, you guys are the one who is thinking dirty. I just want to have fun. Just play along with me. OK?” nephew retorted.
 “Sure, sure.” adults agreed.
 Just imagine all the ruckus of laughter as this is being spoken loudly.  So here are samples of the fortune in the cookies
 Sister #6: A thing of beauty shall bring you great joy … in bed (she’s happily married)
 Sister #5: You will soon be blessed with unexpected good luck … in bed (she dedicated herself in RCIA – Rites of Christian Initiation for Adults)
 Sister #4: You will be the centre of a special group’s attention … in bed (she’s one of the celebrants)
 Sister #2: Your genuine talent will find its way to success … in bed (she gave up her sewing business as a dressmaker in order to propagate the Devotion to Infant Jesus of Prague)
 Me:  Desires that are not extravagant will be granted … in bed.  OMG.  I was the laughing-stock (no comment)
 It was so much fun. Thanks to my Rocking Nephew, there is a whole meaning on fortune cookies.  Huffington Post begs to differ and wrote an article about how ridiculous the messages are.  Click on this fortune cookie to read.
 Of course, we say grace before meals even though we are in a public restaurant. The family that prays together stays together.
Prayer before meal:
We come to join in the banquet of love,
Let it open our hearts and break down the fears
That keeps us from loving each other.
            sung by Dominican Nuns at mealtime
 MORSEL: If you judge people, you have no time to love them. — Mother Teresa