Archive for July, 2015

blue mooncourtesy of kevin phillips – pixabay


Tonight is a blue moon. It only happens once in a blue moon. (Thank you, I’ll be here all week.) Apparently, a blue moon isn’t a moon that looks blue in the sky, it’s when two full moons occur within the same calendar month – and the second one is called the blue moon.

So what’s the big deal? Well, spiritually you can take advantage of this time to purge, to bring things to a close, to start fresh. If you’re pregnant, you might want to try to take a nap and make sure your hospital bag is ready to go. If you’re a werewolf … sorry, you have two transformations this month. For me, I like to think the energy of this blue moon will bring me extra luck. Or it will simply create low and high tides. Whatever.

When I was a little kid, I remember going outside and just staring at the moon. I remember hearing there was a man in the moon, and that the moon was made of cheese … but mostly I just remember looking for astronauts. I was five when man first landed on the moon. That was a big deal back then. It was all everybody talked about. I was so amazed just thinking that a rocket ship could blast astronauts into space and land them on the moon. I’d squint really hard trying to see those astronauts walking around up there. It’s weird to think back and realize we were experiencing a major part of history. Wow, I must be old.

I’ve always thought the moon was cool. When I was a kid, it was my major source of entertainment when riding in the car at night. I didn’t have a tablet, or Nintendo DS, or a Kindle, or whatever hand-held device is cool these days, so instead of fighting with my sisters in the back seat of the car, I’d just look out the window at the sky. I loved looking at the stars and the moon. That moon would always follow us. Every time we drove home from my grandparent’s house – which was almost every weekend – that moon was there. Even if we exited off the highway, made a turn, whatever … there it was. Magical. It was like my special friend, always making sure I got home safe and lighting up my room so monsters wouldn’t come out of the closet. I still watch the moon when I’m driving at night. Well, I mean I don’t actually stare at the moon when I’m driving, that’s ridiculous, but Jay is always driving so I stare at the moon. There’s just something about it. I’m excited to check out the blue moon tonight. And if it disappoints, I can always have this:

blue moon bottle

Oh yes. I know you guys (my three loyal readers) think I’m a snooty-snob who only loves fancy amber microbrews with Red in the name (like Red Hook ESB), but l found a new brewskie to love. And her name is Blue Moon. We were visiting Jay’s brother and went out that night and there was no Red Hook on the menu. Oh, the humanity. So I opted for a Blue Moon. I’d had it before, as my bro-in-law Brian likes it, but I always thought it was just your average beer. But this time, they threw a few fancy orange wedges in there. Hmm. Interesting. Quite the taste sensation. So I bought some Blue Moon at Costco cuz you can get 3,000 bottles for like $15 dollars. Blue Moon says they brew their beer with coriander and orange peel. More interesting. That’s like two of my favorite flavors; didn’t recognize them in there before. And I’ve amped it up lately. I pour fresh-squeezed orange juice in Blue Moon. (When in Fresno …) Who would’ve thought I’d like something sweet with beer. Now I add like a half-cup of orange juice or more to a beer. De-li-ci-ous. I think I’m on to something here. Well, at least I’m getting some extra vitamin C.

I just went outside and looked at the moon. It looks full already. Kinda creamy-colored, a hint of orange peel. I’m pretty sure I saw an astronaut.


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I love cooking shows. I mean, I love cooking, which is likely obvious. Hopefully it’s also obvious I never make any of the disgusting retro recipes I post on here. Except for Big Mac Casserole, which I make for Jay and my Dad. Apparently a lot of other people love Big Mac Casserole, too, cuz according to my blog stats, people are constantly searching for Big Mac Casserole recipes. Shudder.

Part of the fun of cooking is making food for the people you love. At least it is for me. My sisters and I started cooking when we could reach the stove. Not out of love, but because it was on the Chore List. We were actually making stuff like homemade spaghetti sauce at about age 10. I think the first meal we ever made was breakfast in bed for our parents on their wedding anniversary. What kid in the ’70s didn’t try that at least once? I’m sure everyone made the same thing … weak coffee and burnt toast – with the morning newspaper set on the tray to make it fancy.

When it comes to cooking, I have a basic rotation I’m comfortable with, featuring the usual suspects like enchiladas, stir-fries, soups, pastas and what-not. I certainly don’t attempt Beef Wellington or Lobster Thermidor like some Julia Child-wannabe; I just make what Jay and I like. But I do like to watch all the fancy cooking shows for inspiration. I’ve learned how to make a meal in under 30 minutes (thanks “Rachael”), chop onions with oven mitts on (thanks “Cutthroat Kitchen”) and create a delectable appetizer with a box of mystery ingredients featuring dandelion greens, jicama, pickled plums and Rocky Mountain oysters (thanks “Chopped”).

But for this bona fide germaphobe (that’s me), it’s difficult watching a bunch of frantic, perspiring pseudo-chefs on a competition cooking show trying to beat the clock. I mean, some of those people are seriously dripping with sweat. There’s nothing worse than watching a bead of sweat hanging off a chef’s nose when their head is positioned right over the food. I feel like Brian Doyle-Murray’s character during the end scene in “Caddyshack” … watching and waiting for the ball to drop in the hole – only that outcome was a good one.

And it’s not just the piles of bodily fluids pouring off their foreheads, it’s also the other disgusting things the chefs do. They’ll take a sip out of a bottle of some soda or wine or something, and then pour some in their dish. They’ll rub their ear and nose with their fingers and then grab a pinch of salt to add to their masterpiece. And hey, I never see them wash their hands. Well, sometimes I watch a chef who has their own cooking show dissect a chicken and then say, “Gotta wash my hands.” Then they’ll cut to a close-up of the faucet spout (Why??!! Who cares??!!) while the chef rubs their hands under the water for 1.5 seconds. Yes, that certainly killed off all the salmonella.

Anyway, some of these competition cooking shows are starting to get on my nerves. At least the judges are. Plus, the melodrama and music scores of some of the shows are also tough to watch and listen to. If they don’t lighten up a bit, I may have to stop watching cooking shows altogether. But I think the profusion of sweat may make me stop watching first. Then again, if the condescending judges are the only ones that have to eat that perspiration-drenched, contaminated food, I say, “Sweat away, Sweaty.”


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