Random Appetites: New Year’s Food Traditions

Along with watching the Rose Parade (and, I suppose, the football game afterwards), I grew up knowing that New Year’s Day meant 2 things: cabbage and black-eyed peas herunterladen.

Supposedly, the cabbage (or any greens for that matter) symbolizes wealth (get it: green–>money) and the peas were for health (some say luck, I prefer to go with health) spielmannszug noten kostenlos. As a child I recall not liking either of these foods all that much but Mom insisted we eat at least one bite of each! Things change over the years, however, and I enjoy both immensely these days pinterest instructions.

Now, the cabbage/greens are pretty obvious, but what is up with the peas (actually beans, but common terminology calls them peas) and luck/health steam kann keine spiele downloaden? The prevailing theory seems to date back to the Civil War when the crop was the only one available (since it was usually grown for animal feed) after the North marauded through the South herunterladen. Hence, black-eyed peas were an important form of sustenance for those who survived the War. The irony, of course, is their name: a black eye would be considered neither lucky or healthy to have, so maybe the above is all some apocryphal nonsense trumped up by the Black-Eye-Pea Farmers of the world tvthek sendungenen. Either way, done right, they can be very tasty.

Cabbage is easy to cook: Remove the outer leaves and thick stem from the head of cabbage. Cut in quarters or so and then separate the leaves in chunks, putting as much will fit into a large pot along with a ham hock, hambone, or some rendered bacon and a little bit of water momentum. Not too much since cabbage has a high water content and will cook down to a fraction of its former self rather quickly. If you have more cabbage than will fit in the pot to begin with, put the lid on and wait a bit and then add the rest once it’s cooked down a bit Download circus music for free. Cook until tender, add salt and pepper to taste and enjoy.

If you just can’t stand cooked cabbage, greens or green salads I see no reason why, say, coleslaw couldn’t be substituted for the same benefit apps to from music.

Black-eyed peas can be a little tougher, only because it takes a while to bring out the best of their flavor. You can start from dry and soak over night, drain and then cook until tender or you can do what I do: buy good quality canned, drain and rinse thoroughly, then cook with the de rigueur ham hock, salt pork or bacon, salt (watch it if you’ve used salt pork that you don’t overdo) and pepper movie maker für vista kostenlos downloaden. The peas should be cooked until tender but not mush and, if done right, have a slightly buttery flavor even without additional seasoning. If you’re really pressed for time or haven’t had much luck getting your peas to turn out right, the Glory brand of canned black-eyed peas is a decent substitute for home-seasoned.

In some parts of the South, Hopping John–a “salad” of black-eyed peas and rice–is the customary way of getting your peas for the year. I’ve never had a batch that wasn’t really dry and mealy and don’t much care for it, myself. I’ve also heard that you should eat 365 black-eyed peas for luck/health every day of the year but, as much as I’ve come to love them, that’s a few too many peas for one day!

No matter how you prepare them, the only other thing you need to add for your traditional (if a bit superstitious) New Year’s Meal is plenty of corn bread–not only is it tasty on it’s own (try adding whole kernel corn, ham chunks and some chopped jalepenos if you don’t like the plain sort), it’s great for soaking up that pot liquor from the cabbage and peas.

Want something sweet to round out the meal? I’ve heard that the Italians (and other wine-folk) make a habit of eating 12 grapes on New Year’s Day. Some even go so far as to use it as a bit of a divination tool: if, for instance, the fifth grape is sour you can expect May to be a sour month and so forth.

Random Appetites: DeFuniak Adventures

Last week I extolled the virtues of Chautauqua Winery, now you get the rest of the story.

Since Chautauqua doesn’t sell through retail outlets and it was only a couple of hours away, a there-and-back trip certainly wasn’t out of the question to restock skype android herunterladen kostenlos. But, if it’s only a couple hours away, why not make weekend away (or, as heard in Bridget Jones’ Diary, a mini-break–why is it the British have better names for these things?) out of it, if there’s anything to do in DeFuniak Springs, that is.

Yeah, not really.

It’s a small town with, apparently, some rich history but not really a lot going on any given weekend. I did luck up and find The Hotel DeFuniak which was listed as a Bed & Breakfast kleiderkreisel herunterladen. Granted, the website doesn’t inspire 100% confidence and we knew going in that it could be quaint or an absolute disaster. Thankfully it was the former. The only thing that didn’t really jive with me was the idea that a “B&B” only offers Continental Breakfasts on Sundays and Mondays epson scan 2. I get Mondays since Sunday night stay-overs are probably low but Sunday mornings? Really? That’s just not right…

Anyway, that was the only real disappointment. That, and I didn’t realize one of the rooms (Room 8, the Aviary Room) was supposedly haunted because I totally would have booked that room instead farming simulator 15 kostenlos downloaden!

The lobby and small sitting area was filled with various antiques and knick-knacks that gave the place a rather charming air and even though there was an elevator to the second floor, except for check-in and -out we used the staircase because it really wasn’t that much of a trek. Our room (Room 4, the Art Deco Room) was decorated in shades of sage and peach with high ceilings, a pedestal sink to one side of the bed (odd but we got used to it soon enough) a cubby-sized bathroom with a commode and shower stall and a tiny television w/dvd player hidden in a cabinet/dresser set up township herunterladen kostenlos. And the king-sized bed was just right. Overall, the effect was charming. Oh, and they still use actual keys! How novel!

Once settled we had some time to kill before our dinner reservation (more on that in a bit). Since we were essentially in the heart of town, we thought we’d do a bit of on-foot exploring. Well, apparently almost everything browse-worthy closes at noon on Saturdays need for speed most wanted to for free full version pc! I suppose it’s quaint, in a way, but it sorta put a damper on our explorations. What was open was a charming (so much of this area is charming, really) shop called The Little Big Store. It’s a general-mercantile type of shop that is just packed floor to ceiling with all sorts of old fashioned this and that and I have to say I was just in heaven and has to be seen to be believed pdf macbook herunterladen. Totally made up for the other antique shops being closed.

The other thing we did that afternoon was make a pitiful attempt at Letterboxing. The night before we left I had gotten the sudden brainstorm to check for any boxes in the area, just for something to do, and there was one with a riddle to find it aldi talk registrierung app herunterladen. We decifered the clues ahead of time (at least the initial ones); we figured it would be best to be prepared, being in a strange city and all and were surprised to find that there was an airfield in DeFuniak Springs! Unfortunately, the box seemed to missing–either removed or so very overgrown that it was beyond our finding. Too bad, but it did make us curious to find the ones here in town spotify herunterladen playlist.

Now, dinner, that was a treat! The house restaurant at The Hotel DeFuniak is Bogey’s and features live music on Saturday nights which amounted to a tuxedo-shirted jazz singer with a keyboard but it was very nice. Several people got up and danced and we had ring-side seats to the dancefloor. We ordered the Oysters Rockefeller and the Hot Artichoke and Spinach Dip for appetizers and for dinner I had the Catch of the Day, Lorenzo (which means with crab stuffing and bernaise sauce) which was very, very good and Todd had the Veal Restauranteur, of which I had a bit of a nibble and it was very tender and tasty herunterladen. We split a dessert (something very chocolatey, I only had a couple of bites as I was way too full already) and toddled off to our room, incredibly sated.

You might be saying to yourself, wait, she didn’t mention alcohol once! I’m getting to that, lol. We had ordered the Romantic Package which came with a bottle of house wine. Instead I opted (big surprise!) for the Pinot Noir and we both ordered cocktails. What surprised me, especially considering the reason we were in town, was that their wine list featured not one local wine from the Vineyard down the road. Not a single one. Now what is up with that? The wine was certainly fine (and don’t believe that white wine with fish rule, drink what you like) and so were the cocktails. I ordered a Pomegranate Martini and Todd had the Lemon Drop. The Lemon Drop was better.

What I’ve discovered through a bit of trial and error (despite the fact that I need to read the drink descriptions more carefully) is that cocktails that are 100% alcohol are not the cocktails for me; I need mixer. You see, the Pom-tini had pomegranate liqueur and vodka, that’s it, and while tasty it was very strong. In contrast, the Lemon Drop was made up of Citron Vodka, Grand Marnier and sour mix… and it was the sour mix that made the difference. I think, had they subbed at least some if not all of the pomegranate liqueur for juice, I would have enjoyed the drink a lot more. At least there was no salt, this time!

One drink that I was intriqued by and will try if and when we return (it certainly seems likely, the hotel was so nice and nearby for a mini-break) was teh Pineapple Upside Down Martini. The description called for Vanilla Vodka, Butterscotch Schnapps, Pineapple Juice and a splash of cola. Doesn’t that sound yummy?

Random Appetites: Chautauqua Vineyards

One of those places you find just off the highway, Chautauqua Vineyards is something you don’t expect to find along I-10 in the Florida Panhandle gta 5 für computer herunterladen. I first noticed the sign several years ago on my way back home for a visit. The next trip I took was, unfortunately, for my grandfather’s funeral, but on the way back I wasn’t in a big hurry so turned off at Exit 85 purely out of curiosity herunterladen.

The Winery is a medium-sized building on a hill that you get to by a service road–it’s not hard to find. They offer both “tours” and tastings as well as a full retail shop fernsehsendungenen. The tour is actually a 3 minute video in their viewing room that overlooks the huge tanks, etc. that make up the main operations there at the winery. But don’t skip that room just because you don’t get to actually walk though the vines: it’s a good place to start your shopping apps downloaden op huawei. Lots of little wine knick-knacks interspersed between various sizes and shapes of wine racks, wine totes and picnic baskets. I was sorely tempted by one of the very cool baskets that featured real glass and stoneware (no plastic!), including 4 petite wine glasses herunterladen.

Follow the hallway around and you will end up in the tasting room. On my first visit back in the early aughts they charged for tastings but now apparently it’s free to taste as many wines as you like videos without program. Most of their wines are made from local muscadine grapes which are incredibly sweet and many don’t like the taste of. Even if you fall into the anti-muscadine camp, give their fruit wines a try–the blueberry is very good but the blackberry is absolutely outstanding lego spiel kostenlos downloaden! Even people who don’t like wine actually like the blackberry. They also have some wines that are made from Concord grapes and their Sunset Red is quite palatable fahrschule app kostenlos herunterladen. On this last visit we tasted their Vanilla Sherry and, even though it was tasty, I already had a bottle of their Chocolate Port (yes, really) at home so we passed on picking up a bottle of the fortified this time around herunterladen.

Next to the tasting room, which has it’s own trinkets to browse through, is the main retail room including the racks and racks of wine and a lot of glassware, wine accessories and other accoutrements of wine culture herunterladen. Among the items I’ve picke up there are novelty pastas, cocktail napkins with a variety of pithy sayings, bottle decorations, mugs, a “Wine Diva” ball cap, wineglass coasters, etc etc etc. Hey, it’s an hour and a half away and our last trip out there was specifically to stock up, might as well make it worth the drive!

Basically, if you ever find yourself around Exit 85 on I-10 (DeFuniak Springs, FL) during business hours with a little time to kill, stop and in and see what you think.

Random Appetites: the Hostess Gift

What’s the first thing most of us do when we receive an invitation–even a casual one–to a friend or colleague’s home for dinner or a party Sims 4 free download for pc?

“Can I bring anything?”

Don’t worry, there’s nothing wrong in asking; I do it, too. The important thing is to listen to (not just hear) the answer kostenlos spiele vollversionen deutsch. If a hostess declines your offer to contribute, by all means do not show up with a tray of something for the party. But this only counts for offers to take part in the preparations projektstrukturplan excel download kostenlos. A hostess gift–which is separate from the festivities in question–may still be appropriate.

Notice I said appropriate, not mandatory lustige bilder für whatsapp kostenlos. After all, etiquette does not exist so that we can tell others how and when to act but so that we can educate ourselves on how we should behave.

That said, when is a hostess gift a good idea herunterladen? Anytime you are invited to a dinner in someone’s home, certainly consider bringing a little something for you host(s) to enjoy later. Casual parties are less appropriate, but if you feel led and know “just the thing”, by all means (open houses fall into this category unless it’s a housewarming, in which case a gift is a definite should) netflix app.

And then the question becomes, what to bring? Wine and flowers seem to be the most common hostess gifts given, but consider other options, as well android kostenlos musik herunterladen. Wine, for instance, would not be appropriate for non-drinkers as they’re not likely to be able to enjoy it (which defeats the whole point!). Flowers often require work for the hostess–finding a vase, cutting and arranging the stems–that may actually add to her workload; again, defeating the purpose of the gift app where you can everything for free. Having them delivered earlier in the day or the day before is a nice alternative, though, if you really want to give a floral offering. Chocolates are an excellent alternative, if your host has a sweet tooth, but make sure to avoid those with nuts if your knowledge of the host’s allergies is spotty wie zoom herunterladen.

But if you know your hosts well, consider their tastes and maybe find something small that they enjoy from a favorite store. Keep in mind that spending a great deal is not necessary, something small and inexpensive is fine herunterladen. If you enjoy baking, a loaf of bread, coffee cake or muffins are excellent options or some festive cookies or nuts. Wrap them well and try to avoid using a dish that needs to be returned, there are lots of disposable or inexpensive plates, tins and bowls out there that you can package your gift in.

What sort of gifts are not appropriate? Anything overly extravagent, jewelry, risque items in all but the most intimate of circumstances and, of course, any food item that is half-eaten (you would think that is a no-brainer, but my research shows that this is, unfortunately, not unheard of).

A final word to the host that may be presented with any sort of gift. Say a gracious and sincere thank you, a brief word about how much you (and/or your family) will enjoy it later, and then put the gift someplace out of the way. If it is wrapped, open it if there’s time but do not feel obligated to stop your party preparations or make a show of opening it in front of your other guests later (you don’t want to make anyone who didn’t bring a gift uncomfortable). Thank you notes are not required for hostess gifts.

Random Appetites: the Holiday Open House

It seems like everyone turns into a host or hostess when the holiday’s come around which can really make a body’s schedule hectic when it has a large social circle to deal with dss player for free! That’s what makes Open Houses so wonderful whether you are the host or the guest! Here are some tips for both sides of the party-going coin:

For the Hostess:

* Create a warm, inviting environment with open doors, well-lit rooms and music playing in the background
* Make sure there’s room for your guests to move around which may include moving excess furniture into a bedroom for the duration of the party
* Food should stick to the one bite rule (two at the most) and be easy to replenish; individual items are easier for guests to manage while mingling than dip-ables, not to mention less messy
* Be careful serving alcohol to folks who are coming and going rather quickly, stick to a low-alcohol punch rather than straight cocktails if you choose to serve it at all

For the Guest:

* Pay attention to the posted times for the Open House and try not to overstay your welcome
* A hostess gift is a nice gesture, but not required in this sort of more informal gathering
* Do not monopolize your hostess when others are arriving after you, there’s only one of her to go around her several guests
* If you are among the last to leave, offer to help clean-up but do not insist if she’d rather do it herself (after such a public few hours, cleaning up alone can be a great decompression time, I’ve found)

Having a theme to your Open House–something like a Tree Trimming party, cookie decorating or maybe Carolling–or taking part in a neighborhood progressive dinner or block party can take some of the pressure off of the guests (and the host!) to make small talk on the fly but try to keep whatever activities you might plan very transitive 3utools downloaden. After all, a guest can arrive, hang an ornament or two, have some punch and a cookie and then say his good-byes with no issue but if you’re running holiday movies in the living room which people have stopped to watch, the comings and goings of others are going to be awkward and distracting free vector.

One final thought on Open Houses. It’s customary to return the favor of any accepted invitations with an invitation in kind. This is generally done by having a dinner party or barbecue or something of that nature and inviting (either all at once or in different groups based on the number of obligations you are repaying and the mix of people) your former hosts in repayment for their hospitality kostenlose ego shooter download. While a party may cover these obligations, an Open House is much too casual and come-what-may to really be reciprocal (and, as such, requires no such repayment on the guest’s part), but that’s just my Random Opinion kostenlos antivirenprogramm avast downloaden!