Banana Basket – A to Z Foods 2016

 photo banana_zpsh6dsgpac.png photo banana2_zpsx7vu7wat.png photo banana3_zpskip6uic0.png photo banana5_zpsassgn5t5.png

Banana – the only word I can think of that has two letters repeating one after another. The only fruit, besides grapes, that I can barely remember eating. The stereotypical food of monkeys. The most primitive and comical way to stop a criminal in his tracks (in cartoons that is).

Bananas in a basket
How delicious are they
You’ll be asking yourself
When you peel the yellow away

A to Z Challenge 2016

Angriest Whopper – A to Z Foods 2016

Welcome to the A to Z Challenge, my awesome bloggers. My theme for the challenge this year is foods. Now I have figured I’m not just going to list ordinary, everyday foods, but ones that are a little more interesting and edgy.

For the letter A I am choosing the Angriest Whopper, which was just released today at Burger King (or Hungry Jack in Australia). I will be trying this burger very soon and want to expect a mouth flaming experience but know I will probably be more disappointed than a Detroit Lions fan every year.

The makeup of the burger is as such:

Two red buns with hot sauce baked into them, fried onions, pickeled jalapenos, bacon, American cheese, lettuce, tomato, mayo and “spicy angry sauce”.

I don’t want this review at to spoil the experience for me (or you) but from what I have already read, this burger is nothing groundbreaking but a gimmicky and gross mess of ingredients that surely isn’t healthy for you when it goes in or out.

But I’m going to try it anyway just because that looks like an awesome burger (high five for manipulative product advertising), even if it packs enough calories and heart clogging cholesterol to surely kill me in one sitting.

A to Z Challenge 2016

Calling Corporate

Denny’s really did a dumb thing today and now they are in for a talking. They did something that has made me question the integrity of their operation as a whole, at least the one I was at.

For my dad’s 55th birthday today, we went to Denny’s for breakfast AND a second time for lunch, followed by Finley’s. Since he is at the double nickel age, he gets to order off of the senior menu that includes meals at a discount price. Reaching that section of the menu is quite a monumental thing because it means you are on the last leg of your life. It is the final stage of the menu, located on the back. You start off as a kid ordering tiny meals off of the kiddie menu that is provided. Once you get around 12 years old, it is time for the main, adult section that includes meals fit for any big appetite. That will go on a long time until it is time to finally graduate to senior status.

The birthday meal consisting of the four of us went very well until it was time to pay.

Getting up to pay after a hearty meal is not always easy. I feel so full that I can hardly walk, feeling my stomach bulge.

The cashier/manager asked me how my meal went. I of course said it was delicious. He then asked if I would like to leave a tip on my credit card. I simply said “No” because it would be left on the table. I had paid my bill with my credit card and received the receipt. I was getting ready to leave the restaurant with my parents when the waitress said behind my back,”Do you want to have an iced tea to take out?” Of course, I was confused at this. Why would she say that? I had had an iced tea to drink with my Biscuits and Gravy meal; one of them I finished, the other I didn’t, so maybe that was the reason behind this. Still, it was strange because she didn’t seem to realize I was walking out of the building when she asked, and it was asked in an offhand matter, with she not even looking up. She also sounded out of it.

That was just the start of the weirdness that ensued.

As we were leaving the restaurant and going to the car, the manager of the restaurant stepped outside, in the freezing cold, and said that one of us hadn’t paid their bill yet. It was eventually me he was referring to. He seemed rather nervous and panicky. We went back inside and tried to sort out this bit of confusion. It seemed as if the waitress had gotten the receipts mixed up at the table and one of us paid for the wrong thing. They accused me of walking out without paying, which was definitely false. An argument broke out among the waitress and the manager, trying to fix everything. This isn’t the first time an issue with the bill has occurred.

Anyway, my dad was going to call the corporate office and complain about this inconvenience. The manager should not have to step outside of the restaurant and demand we all come back in. That is just rude and disrespectful. He tried calling but no one was available, so he was going to try again tomorrow. I believe it is a little too much to call up the corporate headquarters in Spartanburg, South Carolina just to complain about a minor issue like this. Sure, it may be discriminating and singling someone like me out who can act a bit peculiar at times, but it is done and no one is hurt. I’m still proud that he sticks up for me like that.

Pat On the Back

Tell someone you’re proud of just how proud you are.

Fishy Fridays

Today is the first Friday of Lent, which means that anyone strictly Catholic vows to not eat meat on this day until Good Friday in March. It is a fasting. They are not obligated to do it of course, but I guess if they want to get into heaven, it is essential to be as holy as possible and follow the “rules”. I am a Catholic person but I don’t follow the religion quite as strictly as others, mostly because I want my freedom and I think the religion is so old fashioned anyway.

It has been a while since I have followed the season of Lent and practiced getting in touch with my inner faith and I have decided this year to focus on it more.

During this season, Catholics choose to give up one thing that they take for granted every day until the end of the season. It is a way of representing the abstinence from sinful deeds and resisting temptation. The forty days of Lent represent the time Jesus was in the wilderness and resisting Satan’s temptation.

What am I giving for Lent, I ask myself?

That is a difficult question.

I definitely don’t want to give up the Internet or social media because that would be ridiculous.

I wouldn’t want to give up video games either.

Porn? That would be monumental.

This is more of an internal struggle and a matter of if it really is worth giving up something and making life a little harder.

What is your state giving up for Lent?

According to the Gospel Herald, the majority of people in my state of Michigan chose to give up alcohol, which says a lot about my culture – most of us are drunken idiots. A surprising one from that chart above is the people of Oklahoma giving up fear. Wah? So they must not be afraid of anything for over a month? I suppose this could be any one specific fear, like fear of heights (acrophobia) or fear of public speaking (glossophobia, I have that). A great way to build character and mental strength I guess. Interestingly, the only state to give up the Internet entirely, and not just social media, is Delaware.

Matthew 6:16-18: “And when you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, that your fasting may not be seen by others but by your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.”

This is the season celebrating the rebirth or Resurrection of Jesus, when he rose from the grave and ascended into heaven. When all hope for his followers (many on Twitter) was suddenly reignited. Similarly, during Lent, anyone who practices it can go through a kind of “rebirth” or reincarnation, figuring out who they are again and working to do things right this time.

I do give into the notion that we all are eventually reincarnated as another person or animal. When we die, our soul escapes from its container and rushes to find another host, and what that is depends on what happened in life. It’s kind of weird to say this, but I believe we all have a past life as someone (or something) else. We’ve all seen the world through a different set of eyes other than our own but just don’t realize it, because it all seemed to happen in an instant. It’s hard to imagine where I was before I was born, how all of a sudden I’m here, in this century, fully aware, while I could have been living in any of the previous years of human history.

Where will I go when I die? What new lifeform will I take on?

I have no slight idea, but whatever it is, I hope it’s not a stationary object like a bookshelf, because it would suck not being able to move and staring at the same room for ages. I’d rather come back as an ant or bug, just so I can live out my dream of seeing life at a miniature level. Perhaps I have done enough good things to deserve that. A bird would be awesome as well.

Karma Chameleon

You’re Doing It Wrong

 photo turkey3_zpsszuyfxqt.jpg

The best way to at least delay a Thanksgiving, in my case, is to turn off the oven when the turkey is inside, hours before the actual meal. When mom goes to check on the bird to take it out and put it on the table, she will realize it hasn’t even cooked yet and a questioning will be in order, mostly by an angry dad. All the guests that came over, eager to dive into the meal, now have to wait a little longer. It is past midnight when the eating begins, which makes the whole experience that much more satisfying. Everyone is hungrier and the hype of the day is over, football games and parades.

For some reason, I was afraid of the oven being on for too long and causing a fire or some other major disaster in the kitchen. Just taking a look at the temperature knob struck fear in me and I overreacted.

Getting the bird onto the table is an adventure itself. It requires two or more hands, some risk taking, probably a jack of some sort, hands snapping back, and a careful walk to the table with a heavy dish.

Now onto how to actually carve the turkey. Noone in my family, not even me, has been able to cut the bird the correct way, always ending up with a chaotic mess. We usually end up picking meat off the bone like cannibals.

Well, I never bothered to use the power of YouTube before to solve the ultimate holiday ritual, until now. The turkey still won’t likely end up looking like the beautiful platter in the video, but at least bad habits can die.

After eating a big holiday meal which included white slices of gobbler, and having the fullness of a restaurant meal, I could care less how the bird is cut.

In Response to the Daily Prompt: Teach Your (Bloggers) Well

We all know how to do something well — write a post that teaches readers how to do something you know and/or love to do.

Soup’s On!

Deciding, out of sheer boredom perhaps, to make a cream of potato soup today, crafting the ingredients, stirring the simmering pot, tasting and tasting (with the same spoon – against standard culinary etiquette), I busied myself with improving another one of the many budding skill sets in my arsenal – pulling together ingredients into an edible meal, refraining from just opening a can of tomato soup and not inspiring myself to think outside the box.

That’s what I was going to at first, just wanting to eat something and not make a big deal out of it, but then the little guy in my brain, the one that says “Think again!”, told me to hit the cookbooks (a website on my phone in this case) and put some thought into a meal for once. Because, after all, cooking is supposed to be an artful endeavor, right? If you put time and effort into making an innovative, delicious, and refreshing meal, you and others will enjoy it more than something from a box. Yes, it is expensive to go out and buy ingredients to make homemade meals every night, is expensive to eat healthy, well-balanced meals, is expensive to cook like the MasterChef everyone has a little bit of in their self,  but what I am saying is that food being put together in new and creative ways (or the tried and true tradition that hasn’t failed for centuries) is a worthwhile experience that expands your palette, lets you experience a new side of culinary being missed with those warm me up dinners from the frozen aisle. Just a side point – I grew so tired and sick from eating processed turkey and dry Hamburger Helper one day that my need to cook up something that was real food and a lot healthier no doubt came about. The joys of sprinkling salts, peppers, thymes, and parsleys into food to give it something more is a refined practice passed down through the generations. The joy of taking in the many different aromas of flavors combining together is what makes cooking your own food a wonderful thing.

Back to the soup –

No, not the easy way out…

Nearly finished, the recipe told me I had to pour half of the soup mixture into a blender and puree it. Well, the blender was in the shed, apparently no longer important in our little lives, cluttering up the little real estate we have in our kitchen …until now. I had to turn off the pot (so that it wouldn’t accidentally boil over while I was out), put my shoes and coat on, and make a trip out in the freezing cold, searching around for the box containing my precious. Out of the discarded hell it had been in for about three months, Mr. Blender finally got its place back in the kitchen, in between the two slot toaster and trusty old coffee maker who don’t see eye to eye. Putting a bowl over the top of the device as it combined softened potato cubes and a creamy potion together to keep the contents from creating the soup version of a murder scene all over the walls, the “cream” part of the recipe came together. Pouring that back into the other half of my creation, I then stirred the pot constantly, thickening and getting it to a bubbling point until finally, after about an hour, got to pour myself a bowl of this delicious cream of potato soup (laced with leftover peas at the last-minute).