For years I’ve heard that eating chocolate releases a chemical in the bloodstream that gives the consumer the same “rush” that they get when they are in love. Maybe that is why giving a woman birthday chocolates or Valentine’s day chocolates is such a popular gift. I’ve read that eating dark chocolate is actually supposed to be healthy for you, but to be honest I don’t care for the bitterness of dark chocolate. My favorite chocolate is white chocolate, which I understand isn’t really chocolate at all, but is almond paste.
Whenever I make a batch of brownies from a mix I like to add some semi-sweet chocolate chips in the batter. If I have some white chips I’ll add them too. I think that it just makes the brownies a little bit extra special. You should try it too sometime; your family will love you for it!
I always spend Thanksgiving Dinner with my grandmother, mostly because we both love to cook. She usually puts the turkey in the night before Thanksgiving and then we spend the rest of the night making bread and other baked goodies. My grandmother taught me to cook when I was a little girl, so I always love going back to her home to cook with her.
We usually have our dinner around 2 pm, so we wake early in the morning to prepare side dishes and serve a home cooked breakfast to the family. We have all of the general side dishes as well as garden fresh vegetables that she freezes in the summer months.
My grandfather carves the turkey as we place dishes and fresh bread on the big table in the dinning room. This is pretty standard every year. We tend to sit at the table eating for a few hours and talking about the years past. Many times we will hear stories from the Great Depression and Wars, which is great for a history buff like me.
When we are done with Thanksgiving dinner we clean up and settle down in front of the television for an old movie and some pie. The laughter usually laughs well into the night, when the turkey sandwiches are served.
With tomorrow the first day of September, our summer is about over. Actually, Labor Day weekend is the unofficial end of summer for this area.
I decided to buy some planters and try to extend the vegetable growing season. By putting the vegetables into containers, I can move them inside the garage at night to protect the plants from frost, then move them back outside in the morning to take advantage of the sun.
Last year I tried this using one planter and it worked very well. I had two different crop cycles of tomatoes. By planting some of the tomatoes in the containers, I was enjoying fresh, vine ripened tomatoes well into October.
I have also had great success with my window box planters and am learning about raising geraniums. I especially love the bright orange red geraniums and this is my second year planting and nurturing these flowers.
Growing up in my parent’s house, when presented at the dinner table with a new or unfamiliar food, the household rule was that you are expected to (at the very least) try one bite. If you don’t like it, you force yourself to swallow it without a lot of drama or facial contortions and politely say, “I’m sorry, but I don’t care for that.” You were (and still are) to always respect the fact that our mother made a huge effort to shop for, prepare, cook and serve a variety of wholesome and tasty foods, day after day after day just for our benefit and enjoyment. And our mother respected that fact that trying to please the tastebuds of seven people every night was a daunting task, especially when little sister announced out of the blue that from here forward she would be a vegetarian and refused to eat meat, poultry or fish. But I do appreciate the fact that my parents exposed us to a variety of foods at the family dinner table and it not only enriched our lives but taught us to appreciate and respect each other, as well.
Well, our country’s birthday just passed. It was not particularly spectacular for me. I guess I was disappointed in our parade down Main Street. It seemed a bit too short; there were no marching bands or baton twirlers (like there were in the fireman’s parade around Memorial Day – that parade lasted for 2 hours!) and it seemed like it was mostly for the political venue.
I remember celebrating the 4th of July back when I was a child. It seemed bigger, better somehow. But then again, things you remember from your childhood always do seem that way, at least for me. I remember the fireworks and how big and beautiful they were and how long the show seemed to go on, and then there was the big family cookout. But, as we grow up, I guess reality sets in a bit and things just aren’t the same. The wonder of childhood is gone.
But, my niece did come to visit and she is in the military and stationed about 5 hours from here. It was so good to see her and spend some time with her. This will probably be my last chance to see her before Christmas because next month she is being transferred to Florida and will not be able to just drive up to see me any time she wants to. So, that part of the holiday was great!!!!