White chocolate is NOT chocolate, you know that, right?

I have, in the past, been a devoted customer of  See’s Candy. Not in the warm weather months you understand – shipping costs for chocolate goodies in warm months exceeds the cost of the goodies themselves.

Actually I’m still a devoted customer of See’s but only in the Winter. The great thing about See’s is, besides the fact that it is oh so tasty, you can choose ONLY the ones you like. That’s right kiddies, if all you want is a box of raspberry truffles, that’s what you can order. Me, I like a variety of fruit flavored truffles – raspberry, orange, lemon. And then there is rum nougat, oh heaven. Maple walnut is good too, oh, hell almost everything they offer is supah!

Even better? You can order only DARK CHOCOLATE. There is no excuse for white chocolate to exist and milk chocolate is not far behind in undesirability. Milk chocolate just makes me gag; makes me nauseous. Plus it tastes terrible, it really does. If you are a fan of milk chocolate, you need to get your taste buds checked.

Don’t know why I am on a chocolate rant other than I just got an email from See’s about their latest offerings.

I normally don’t publicly crap all over someone’s personal preferences in food but I have a real blind spot when it comes to chocolate. DARK CHOCOLATE only, seriously.

You want to hear something totally off the wall? There are actually people in the world who don’t like chocolate! Can you imagine? Flabbergasts me too. Maybe the first chocolate they were given was milk chocolate and that just put them off all chocolate, I don’t know. It is sad tho, dontcha’ think?

Here’s a kicker in my case. I am lactose intolerant and I can consume chocolate only in very small portions. Very small. *Sigh* One small piece of solid dark chocolate, and I do mean small, is all I can tolerate. A piece of solid milk chocolate? Instant barf. There is no chocolate bingeing in my life. That’s why I like to treat myself to a custom box of See’s chocolate – my favorites, in dark chocolate, in small enough pieces to be enjoyable without making me sick. There are about 16 pieces of chocolate goodies in a one pound box of See’s – so that box lasts me 16 days – one piece a day. Unless of course I decide to share with my husband, then all bets are off as to how long that box will last.

And then there are cordial cherries – the ones filled with liquor not that gooey white stuff. The best I ever had were from Teuscher’s.  A real cherry, unpitted it turned out, floating in Italian grappa, all encased in the most superb dark chocolate you have ever laid your lips around. Sadly, these are not available via their online stores.  I was lucky enough to have had these just that once when I wandered into a Teuscher’s store in search of champagne truffles and discovered them. Ah, sweet memory.  Cherries, booze, chocolate – damned near died and went to heaven.

I’ve had fun writing this and it has cheered me up – I was feeling a little down and antsy and edgy. But here I am writing about chocolate and not caring what you Dear Reader think about it.  You have different likes and preferences? More power to ya, I don’t care.

(And yes, Snickers comes in dark chocolate. Which is better than nothing but not by much.) 

 

Garlic and olive oil…

This is going to be difficult to write because on another tab I have Marty Robbins playing. When I listen to music, I LISTEN to music, it’s never background for me, so I’m sitting here singing along and jigging in my chair.

This afternoon I made fish filets and brussel sprouts for lunch. I mentioned to my husband that I could easily be a vegetarian, I do like my veggies. He said as long as he got meat sometimes that was okay with him. He said I should make two meals – one for him and one for me. I scoffed at that – me, who hates to cook even one meal, making two different meals. Meh.

We then went through a list of the veggies he does eat and the list is pretty extensive for a man who rarely ate vegetables before he met me. His brother says he will anything as long as it isn’t green! That’s my husband’s culinary background – meat, potatoes and occasionally spinach.

Before he meet me the only vegetable my husband ate was spinach, preferably in cream sauce. Now, oddly enough, spinach is one of the vegetables I don’t care for particularly. I like it well enough raw as a salad (then again I like almost anything as a salad.) but cooked, not so much. Now the man eats, and really likes, eggplant, zucchini, asparagus, brussel sprouts; the man actually likes broccoli rabe, so not one of my favorites. As I’m writing this I’m realizing he likes veggies that tend toward toward the bitter. Interesting.

On the other hand, I love broccoli any which you make it – preferably fried. Now when I say fried I do not mean deep fried, I don’t deep fry anything. “Fried” means cooked in a slick of olive oil in a frying pan. Of course broccoli is the ONE vegetable he really hates. Of course he never had broccoli with garlic and olive oil and that’s how I pretty much prepare all veggies – hot or cold. I have it in my head to make broccoli with bacon – hmm.

(I’ve switched to Don Williams now…who doesn’t love Don Williams…)

Enough with the food talk – Thursday is grocery shopping day and I will be buying eggplant and zucchini, plus Friday is salad with ‘grilled chicken’ day – I shall be a happy camper through the coming week. Plus, I checked, Brick’s Pizza is open on Sunday – last Sunday was just a one-off because of the holiday. Yes!

On last Saturday’s post, in the comments, I said that I pride myself on my folding abilities…

(Okay, I was away for a moment for a dance break…)

so Monday, after I had done the laundry, which included a set of king size sheets, I decided to take a picture of my nicely folded sheets – flat sheet, fitted shot, pillow cases –

Toast

I had tea and toast for dinner tonight. As I was buttering the toast I thought “Mmm – apple butter and cinnamon toast, that would hit the spot.”  as I was typing that sentence I decided to look up apple butter in case there are people who have never heard of it and what popped up but the Musselman’s web site. That is exactly the brand my parents alway bought. More memories! I just bet there is no way in 47-hells that the stores around here carry it, but since tomorrow is grocery shopping day, I’m gonna look. Who’s taking odds I’ll find it?

Apple butter and cinnamon toast brought up another memory – white bread with butter and sugar sprinkled on top, the poor people’s dessert. We didn’t toast the bread, at least I don’t remember the bread being toasted. I do have to tell you the truth, this was probably not a favorite of mine since I never really cared for butter or sugar. But I guess if you’re craving sweets and you can’t afford to buy them, it will do.

I’ve always said that if you’re going to be poor, then it’s good to be Italian – so many ways to make macaroni. There were a few years, when I was growing up, when money was tight and we didn’t see meat for months on end but there was pasta fagioli (you might know it phonetically as pasta fazool).  Google says it’s a soup, I don’t remember it as being all that soupy but it wasn’t like a thick stew either. Cannellini beans and ditalini (that was the kind of macaroni you use – all macaroni has it very own name). I don’t remember what all else went in to it, and I refuse to look at the recipes on line because I know that’s not what my parents made…

That’s why, aside from pizza, I don’t like eating in Italian restaurants – it’s not like what I grew up with. One time my IBM (Italian By Marriage) husband was in a restaurant with his family and ordered tortellini with pesto. They bring him a dish of tortellini with some white sauce on it. My husband is all – “What is this? I ordered pesto? This isn’t pesto, pesto is green, pesto is made with basil, this is just plain white sauce” and his family is all “Shush, just eat it. Don’t make a fuss, what’s the difference?” The waitress got all flustered and said “We used to make real pesto but the customers didn’t like the color.” Oy!

I’m gonna dream about apple butter and cinnamon toast tonight.

If you think about it

you probably would never eat an animal product. Or that could just be me. I do not wish to be reminded that what I’m eating used to be alive or is produced by another mammal – you know like milk, or – eggs. Think about what an egg is – eww! I can’t cook a whole chicken because even after it is de-feathered and cleaned up it still looks like a chicken.

Still –

Today I made my favorite meal for lunch (we eat our major meal at what most people would call lunch time) – boneless country pork ribs and mashed sweet potatoes.

Which brings me to the topic of BBQ. I love me some BBQ and I’m not fussy what kind, Texas BBQ, Southern BBQ, even Carolina BBQ. Without doing any Googling, and from memory and common knowledge, I can tell you: Texas BBQ is beef with a tomato based sauce, Southern BBQ is pork, also with a tomato based sauce but different spices and Carolina BBQ is usually pork with a vinegar based sauce. (OK, here’s a link to some BBQ info.) I will eat them all, no preference really, tho I tend towards pork with a tangy sauce – I don’t do sweet BBQ sauce as a general rule.

I have never cooked food outside on a portable stove ie: grill over an open flame. I don’t even like eating outside, much less cooking outside – I don’t get the attraction. I do prefer a gas stove inside but I do worry about it – fire – inside….ummm, no, scary. (Don’t even start with the cozy fireplace nonsense – why do people start fires inside their homes, isn’t that something we all try to avoid? Oh yes, there are pyromaniacs and insurance cheats, wait, I’m getting off topic here.)

So -on to my boneless country pork ribs cooked inside on a gas stove.  First you get your stainless frying pan, slick it with some olive oil, brown your ribs (having sprinkled some garlic powder on them). Add some white wine and some BBQ sauce. I like Sticky Fingers Memphis Original myself. (And yes, Memphis BBQ is top notch – top notch! Ate myself sick on it the one time I was in Memphis). Oddly enough pork is rather lean and you always need to cook it with some liquid. (Yes, you can smoke pork but that is a whole ‘nother cooking technique not available to the majority of us on a regular basis – Sheesh!) Pop that pan in a 350° oven until the internal temperature of the meat is about 150°.

Put the ribs on a plate and cover it loosely with aluminium foil. Put the frying pan with the liquid on the stove top and reduce it to a nice thick sauce – takes 4 or 5 minutes, depending on how much liquid you put in originally, also how high you have the flame – technical stuff here, if you know how to cook, you know what I’m talking about.

Now, sweet potatoes – ah! I’m a philistine – I cook mine in the microwave. Yes, they would taste even more wonderful if I baked them in the oven but that would take a lot more time than 10 minutes in the microwave – So sue me. I do the potatoes way ahead of time so they can cool off a bit before I scoop the potato out of the skin and mash it.

Fun part – I add a few pats of butter, for my husband not for myself particularly. I don’t need butter on my sweet potatoes but it does make them a little easier to mash. I add cinnamon, nutmeg and freshly ground black pepper. (Black pepper MUST be freshly ground – don’t argue with me. If you are using the already ground stuff from a can – Stop That!. You can easily find peppercorns that come in a grinder, so you don’t need to buy a special pepper grinder if you don’t want to. Me, I buy Trader Joe’s, comes in a grinder.) Then you just mash it all up with a fork or the back of a spoon. Cover the dish with some plastic wrap and set it aside.

While your sauce is cooking down, pop the dish of sweet potatoes back in the microwave for 2 or 3 minutes to warm them up and Voilà. Mashed sweet potatoes tasty like candy.

You will notice that nowhere in these descriptions is there a mention of salt. I don’t do salt. You can add some if you want but you don’t need it – not for the taste and certainly not for your health. Just sayin’

So on this most gorgeous day of perfect weather I had a most gorgeous lunch. You should all be this lucky!

Miscellaneous Mishegoss

😸 My husband’s new jeans just got here.  I ordered them May 12, they were on backorder, not expected until Mid-August and !Hurrah! here they are today, June 16.  What’s so special about these jeans? For one thing they are made in the USA. Therefore: Both pant legs are the same length. All the seams are double stitched in a straight line and best of all, both side pockets are not only the same depth but a depth at which you can actually put things in safely. Oho!

I don’t know who your buy your jeans from but if they were made in any of the countries most clothing comes from these days then you know what I’m talking about and how thrilled I am that these jeans are perfect in every way.  The company is All American Clothing Co.. If you wear just plain ole, non-fancy, non-designer jeans check them out. Two pair of mens jeans cost me, with tax, $104.93.  I had discount codes (sign up before you buy and they will probably email you a discount code plus I get discounts via my credit card and yadda yadda yadda) so that was a great discount from the normal price of $69.95 a pair. I don’t know if their regular price is too high or pretty much average, I don’t wear jeans myself, only buy them for my husband. I also don’t know about their womens jeans, never bothered to look but they do sell women’s clothes.

😸 This afternoon, after watching my husband shovel his lunch into his mouth like a 3 year old with a backhoe, we had yet another discussion about my food prejudices. Texture is everything. I do not like/have no tolerance for (but not limited to):

✔︎ Mashed white potatoes. But for some reason mashed up sweet potatoes or yams are just fine. Maybe because they have more substance, or even because they taste terrific, don’t know. White potatoes in any form are basically a waste of my time, tasting as bland as they look, and mashed potatoes make me gag.

✔︎ Needless to say oatmeal, or anything resembling oatmeal, is never going in my mouth. Talk about gagging! Plus – folks usually put milk in/on oatmeal and I’m lactose intolerant. So gag and barf times two.

✔︎ Liquid food is not food and consuming it does not count as eating. That includes soup or something I hear people talking about – smoothies? I’m not sure what those are or their purpose. It seems you take some sort of milk product (and to me all milk-like products – cows, sheeps, goats, soy, almonds etc are a huge no-no, gag and barf) and then add other solid stuff, any sort of fruit or vegetable(?), puree that shit, and then drink it. Why, god, why?

Moving on…

I’m reading Mortality by Christopher Hitchens. I have read about him but never anything by him. This book was published after his death in 2012 so I am very late to this writer. So far what struck me most was that he talks about a writer’s voice. And that the best advice he ever got was to write the way he talked.

Reading that made me feel better about myself. Whenever I despair about my writing style it’s because I, indeed, write the way I talk. Something you may all be aware of now that I have posted vlogs and audio posts.

Okay, I’m done now. Going to pop off and finish my book.