Big Cook Out Plans for Labor Day

Tomorrow is the first holiday this year that I am actually looking forward to. This is one holiday that needs no travel, no expensive gift giving, and I can just relax and enjoy good food with good friends. That is what life is supposed to be about, and I intend to do more of just that!

This weekend has been just like every other weekend, but tomorrow is Labor Day, and my neighbors are throwing a min-block party with kegs of beer, everyone grilling, and people showing up with salads and covered dishes.

I am grilling corn on the cob for my part, and also bought a bunch of melons and spent almost 2 hours today carving out the watermelon, honey dew and 2 kinds of cantaloupes to make a melon salad for everyone. It takes a long time using that little half round melon ball scoop! Usually I just cut melons into chunks for eating at home, but since this is a big party, I thought I would go fancy and make them into melon balls and then put them back into a carved watermelon rind. The carving is not real fancy, but I was able to make it look somewhat like a basket. I should take a picture and post it on Facebook tomorrow after I set it all up.

Looking forward to chilling with friends and neighbors and chowing down tomorrow afternoon. Not much chance of rain, high’s in the 80’s and it should be a perfect day!

Tried a Glass of Fresh Lemonade Today

On my way home tonight I noticed some kids a few blocks down from my street had set up a lemonade stand and were trying to wave down all the people driving by on their way home. I figured I would be a good sport and stop the car to check them out.

They had a little folding table and a beach umbrella set up by the driveway and a poster board with letters too hard to read from a distance. When I crossed the street from where I pulled over and parked my car, I found that they were selling red solo cups full of fresh squeezed lemonade for $1. Of course, in my day you could get a little Dixie cup of lemonade for 10 cents, but times have changed. And to be honest, you can’t buy much of any cold drink for less than a dollar at the convenience store or fast food joints anymore.

So, I forked over the $1 and got a cup of very tart and tangy lemonade. It was not very sweet, but it was cold and wet and definitely lemon. Kinda cool that the kids were so enterprising. I hope they made a few bucks and try it again – I’d stop again if I see them out there.

Breakfast is Important

Do you eat breakfast? Or do you start your day with a cup of coffee as you make a mad dash for work?

My mother was a huge fan of breakfast. She insisted that everyone in the family sit down in the kitchen every morning and eat a proper breakfast. In fact, she believed that sending us all off with a good breakfast was one of her most important duties as a mother. She always got up early and cooked a full breakfast for the family, even when she was sick or exhausted from whatever other events were happening in our busy lives.

I also believe that breakfast is important, but I have to admit that I do not cook a full breakfast most mornings. I MUST have my cup of coffee, but I usually also eat something like an English muffin with marmalade or a couple slices of raisin bread. Some mornings I will eat a bowl of cold cereal with fruit on top. And, in the winter, a cup of hot oatmeal is really nice.

On the weekend I am most likely to actually cook a full breakfast. My go-to weekend breakfast is a couple slices of bacon – REAL bacon, not that turkey bacon stuff – and two eggs, usually scrambled but friend is OK once in a while. I like some kind of side like potato cakes, hash browns or maybe hominy. And just about any kind of bread toasted goes great with my meal. I am allergic to orange juice, so if I drink any juice it is usually grapefruit juice or tomato juice.

What is your typical breakfast?

Food Dressers and Artists

Every time I watch a commercial on TV that features close up shots of food, I appreciate how hard someone had to work to make that food look so stunningly delicious. It is very hard to photograph food and give it dimension, to put light on just the right spots, and to have it stay fresh under very hot photography lights.

Tonight I watched a commercial for IHOP and those shots of pancakes have me drooling. I wish there was a 24 hour IHOP someplace near my house, because I would seriously grab my car keys and go out for a stack of pancakes and have a late night breakfast right now. The photography is excellent, showing the pancakes light and fluffy, with a light steam rising, and them bouncing back just right when being cut with a fork. Notice that they used a fork – not a knife – because the pancakes and THAT soft. I am really craving the pancakes tonight, but that’s not going to happen. Maybe this weekend . . .

Shaming the Bad Vending Machines

photo of bad vending machine with sign

photo of bad vending machine with sign

It might be a good bet that everyone who used vending machines has lost their money in one at least once. Sometimes the machine takes your money and gives you nothing in return. Sometimes the machine takes your money and does not give any change back. And sometimes the machine drops the wrong item and you are stuck with it.

My biggest complain with vending machines is when you can see a row of the snack or candy items that you want and you know they are in there, but you put your money in and then it promptly rejects the money and you can’t buy what you want and there is nothing you can do about it. It’s not like it stole your money – it stole your hope!