Sacred Music Friday: From Generation to Generation

From Generation to Generation, First Plymouth Church, Lincoln Nebraska, composed and directed by Tom Trenney

something more solid

4 drawer chestWhen we were getting ready to leave Gilroy one of the things we got rid of was a four-drawer dresser that was in the second bedroom. When we got here I realized that I could have used it for some of my clothes.

Trying to economize, we bought a four-drawer fabric chest. It worked, but it was wobbly. We both3 drawer chest kept our watches there at night and when opening or closing a drawer a watch would often fall off as the chest vibrated.

We finally decided that the thing was simply too much of a pain. While still needing to economize we found an attractive, solid three-drawer unit that fit very nicely into the bedroom.

Big improvement.

simpler and less expensive

I have long purchased third-party plastic rolls for my FoodSaver. The quality is better (to my mind) and prices less expensive than buying the FoodSaver name brand. I have always purchased fifty foot rolls, which is fine, except that the FoodSaver only holds a roll half that size. So I have to unroll half the roll, re-roll it and cut the roll in half.

No longer. The good folks at FoodVacBags now offer a self-contained hundred foot roll in a box with its own blade unit. I put it on the counter and pull out and cut lengths as I need them.

Simpler, easier, better.

Food Vac Bags box

doing the right thing

Everyone pretty much knows that it’s not legal to put batteries or fluorescent lights in the household trash. But municipalities don’t always make it easy to dispose of such things. In Gilroy we could put batteries in ziplock bags and place them on the top of our recycle toter. There wasn’t a good solution for fluorescent lights that I recall.

household hazardous wasteHere in Hemet the options are minimal. The waste disposal company will provide a box for household hazardous waste for some outrageous fee. Other than that there are periodic household hazardous waste disposal events at the landfill in the canyon between the San Jacinto Valley and Beaumont, at the other side of the pass.

So on a recent Saturday we packed up three years worth of household hazardous waste and headed off to the landfill. I was intimidated by the line of vehicles and all the trucks, but the staff there provided us with a shortcut and we quickly dropped off all those batteries and fluorescent lights. Easy enough.

I suppose most people just toss that stuff in the trash despite the fact that it’s not legal. Terry and I, however, do try to do the Right Thing whenever possible.

smoked paprika chicken with polenta

I don’t generally put my own recipes in my Living Cookbook database, but occasionally I do. It seems I found this one worth saving.

smoked paprika chickenMake polenta using your favorite recipe. Cut a boneless chicken breast into bite-sized pieces, season it with smoked paprika and cook in a skillet. Heat up spaghetti or marinara sauce. Put the polenta on a plate, add the sauce, put the chicken on top, cover it with a slice of Provolone and microwave it for about a minute. Good stuff!

This time I made a couple of variations. I threw in pieces of artichoke heart along with the chicken and used pepper jack cheese instead of Provolone. Even better stuff, I do believe.

Sacred Music Friday: All Creatures of Our God and King

from First Plymouth Church, Lincoln Nebraska

not for everything

I love my iPad and I use it every evening. But the iPad (or any tablet) is not good for everything.

iPad caseOne thing it’s not good for (to my mind) is magazines. As it happens I can get many magazines for my iPad free through the library. There are many quality magazines available, such as the New Yorker. But I’ve given up reading magazines that way. The iPad is too small to really enjoy them in that format. While I can increase the font size, that just becomes awkward and uncomfortable to read.

Magazines are best suited to the print format.

chili lime corn on the cob

chili lime cornTerry and I have started kicking our corn on the cob up a notch. I have collected a handful of recipes and I often pull one out when we have corn.

Recently we used a chili lime corn recipe. It was in Sunset but was by Guy Fieri, which is interesting as you usually don’t see recipes by Food Network personalities in Time, Inc. magazines.

In any case it included lime zest, chili powder, granulated garlic, and black pepper. Since I had the lime for lime zest I threw in some lime juice as well. It was excellent.

And the burger. Everyone says to use 80/20 for burgers, but Terry and I like 93/7. It gives us a nice lean burger with minimal fat.

bargain books

I read most of my books on my iPad Kindle app these days, but I was thinking recently about how much I have enjoyed bargain books in the past. Then what should show up in the mail but a catalog from Daedalus Books: one of the leading mail order sellers of bargain books.

Daedalus Books catalog coverBargain books come in three categories:

  • Remainders: where the publisher sells its stock of a title, usually but not always hardcover, to a distributor that gets the book out to retailers at a deeply discounted price.
  • Reprints: books, generally out of copyright, that are reprinted and sold in less expensive editions.
  • Imports: books imported from elsewhere and sold at a low price.

The catalog was just too tempting. I ordered three books, two for me and one for Terry: one remainder and two imports.

I love my Kindle books, but here’s to books on paper. And to bargain books.

Sunday dinner

Pressure CookerWhen I was growing up we would usually have Sunday dinner mid-afternoon. Dinner was, frequently, roast beef. It was a central part of my growing up.

Recently I got a bee under my bonnet and thought Terry and I should have our own Sunday dinner. Terry agreed. I put a spice rub on a chuck roast and cooked it in our Cuisinart CPC-6000 pressure cooker: 70 minutes plus ten minutes for natural pressure release with water and cooking port up to the level of the trivet. I boiled potatoes for mashed potatoes and Terry made the gravy.

Simple. Easy. Very tasty. Terry loved it.