The whole ridiculous holiday season!


So yes I do love Thanksgiving.  In one of my recent posts I explained why.  Family avoidance can be substituted by avoidance of those people that irritate you.  So, in short, I enjoy Thanksgiving because I avoid people that irritate me.  I have a chosen family of friends to spend a fabulous feast with.  I quickly want to give three quick recipes that I added to our feast.

First was this casserole made with an unknown grain.  Actually I just had not labeled the jar it was in.  It was either barley or wheat-berry.  The conclusion was it tasted like barley.  Note to self **** in your reach for re-use dominance labeling jars is a good idea.

Anyway, I cooked up a cup and a half of barley in water. While that was cooking I caramelized half an onion with big chunks of portabella and red and yellow peppers.  When the barley was fully cooked I placed it into a covered casserole dish.  I then placed some raw broccoli pieces, stem and flowers, into the grain.  I topped with the sauteed onions peppers and portabella.  On the top of that I took two chantrel mushrooms that I sliced and chopped into penne pasta size pieces and tossed on top.  Finally I took chopped kale and added that to the bed.  I left the little bit of water from the grain as a base to keep the kale from becoming crisp.  I baked that at 325 for 35-45 minutes.  I pulled it out until half an hour before dinner was served.  Before reheating, I added some cream of mushroom soup and mixed it into the layers essentially removing layers.

I was amazed that there was only about enough left at the end of the night for me to have lunch the next day.  It was a great success.  I believe you can use any grain you have on hand and any veggies to create this dish and it was really tasty.  No salt was needed and I bet herbs could have enhanced it, but during the creative process sometimes those get missed.

I also took greek yogurt, about a cup and chopped fresh dill, actually I had fresh but left that at home so had to substitute dried dill.  This one is a to taste recipe.  Mix in a tad of apple cider vinegar salt and pepper.  Let stand for 20 minutes taste and adjust as desired.  Homemade ranch, no preservatives!

I also created this wasabi sesame dip.  Again to taste, I suggest limit wasabi and sesame and taste often through the process.  Again 1 cup of Greek yogurt.  I like this brand I found called, FAGE.  It has no hormones organic, blah blah blah.  Take the yogurt add some wasabi, either paste or powder.  Work them together add some rice wine vinegar, just enough to loosen the yogurt but not make it runny.  Add some tamari, or organic soy sauce.  Lastly add the sesame oil, the darker the better.  Mix and let stand for 20 minutes.  Add more of the 4 components as desired.

Ok enough already with the recipes.

I had to work on Friday.  I am totally ok with that, it means I will never get sucked into the insanity that is Black Friday.  Seriously what is wrong with people?  You cannot put food on the table, but you go down to the local WalMart to wait in line to buy crap you neither need or can afford.  This makes no sense at all.  In a word you people are morons.  Standing in line, pitching tents in parking lots, are you a freaking idiot, uhmm yes, yes you are.

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See how dumb this looks?   I see the potential to get mugged! Or worse raped.  What a bunch of nitwits.  Darwin awards for the year all standing in line.

Ok well sorry I just hate this crap, my mom used to do it.  The year Cabbage Patch Kids came out, my mom nearly got into a fist fight over dolls that none of us kids cared about.  I had never heard of them until I had one under the tree.  It would not have mattered to me if we had not gotten one.  I spent several years with the same premise.  I must buy tons of crap for my kids to open on xmas morning.  Oh and I must pay for the wrapping paper and bows and gift tags.  Having been unemployed for 3 years, this is total stupidity.  I even put my kids names on the giving trees a couple of years.  I was sucked into that gift frenzy.

Having escaped it, let me put it into perspective.  Your kids only care about xmas presents, because you do.  If you just want to buy their love, then by all means make sure they have everything and put yourself into debt.  If you truly want to show your children you love them, then give them the gift of yourself.

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The year I came home and announced we would not be doing xmas, my children both were very saddened.  I came home sometime in October with this announcement.  I think the year was 2005 or 2006.  My best friend and her son lived with me.  She was very broke and they were not able to have xmas either.  I had been in a WalGreens and they had xmas lights up and music going before Halloween.  I simply put my basket down and walked out not purchasing anything, but with a huge black cloud over me.

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Now my kids were probably 12 and 14, I would guess.  I told them that we were going to do something different.  I purchased season passes to the zoo for them.  We spent that xmas at the zoo.  We then went out for Chinese food and spent the day together.  I gave them the greatest gift of all. The gift of my time.  That year we went to the Aquarium and the Zoo multiple times and I went on to buy Pacific Science Center passes and EMP and Sci-Fi passes.  Over the year I probably spent more on passes than I would have on stuff.  But the time was what was most important.  That was the last year the Zoo was open on Xmas, the following year we went out to the movies.  One kid picks the movie, but has to have the ok of the other kid and the adults.  The other kid picks the restaurant.  It works out well.

I do not even put up xmas decorations, my power bill is too high as it is.  I began realizing the insanity of it all when I realized that it was all a manipulation of the people.  We buy to satisfy some unknown desire or need.  We teach our children that buying satisfies us.  We created an economy based on the eventual destruction of our World.  We cannot ever satisfy ourselves, so we continue to buy.  The saddest part is we no longer buy quality based on our essential needs.  We have blurred our needs with our wants and have come up with the ugliest credit system of all time.

A need is based on things we “need” to live.  Basics include food, water, shelter, clothing and interpersonal relationships.  Wants are everything else.  You do not need running water, you want it.  You do not need the newest sneakers out there, you want them.  When I see a homeless kid begging for money with a brand new iphone, I have lost all ability for sympathy.  Go home to your rich parents and stop pretending to be cool.

That is a symptom of buying your kids love.  Eventually you cannot buy anymore.  You lose them to the World that gives them validation as opposed to things and money.  When money becomes the root of your family connection, YOU LOSE.

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