Tuesday, January 31, 2012

What Would Susan Do?

Today's stupidity is worth a political alert. Momma, don't go any further.

Who knew there were women out there who are still stuck in mean girls fifth grade?

Up until today, two powerhouses of women's interests, the Komen Foundation and Planned Parenthood, were partners. But the Komen gang got an infusion of crazy when they hired Karen Handel as their VP. Ms Handel previously ran for Governor of the great state of Georgia on an anti-abortion rights campaign and lost. She's found her niche.

Komen grants have provided breast health care for women across the country. Many have no other health care options except for Planned Parenthood. I cannot believe that Komen is doing this. From the Washington Post:
Komen said it could not continue to fund Planned Parenthood because it has adopted new guidelines that bar it from funding organizations under congressional investigation. The House oversight and investigations subcommittee announced in the fall an investigation into Planned Parenthood’s funding.
What a crock.

My grandmother and an aunt died from metastatic breast cancers. I get Komen's original mission. Well, I thought I did. No more. Done with the ribbons, done with the pledges, done with the walks and runs and all that. I am more into making sure women get the health care they need to prevent breast cancer, or catch it early.

From now on, every piece of mail that comes into my mailbox from Komen (believe me, that's plenty) will result in an extra gift to Planned Parenthood, above and beyond my monthly gift.
I will request a donation in the name of Karen Handel, and have the card sent to Komen. Here's what you need to join me. Send thank you note to:

Karen Handel
Senior VP of Fail
c/o Susan G. Komen Foundation
P.O. Box 650309
Dallas, TX 75265-0309

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Thank You Santa!

Every year my 6 siblings and I rotate who we buy a Christmas gift for. It's fun, helps all our budgets, and gives us a chance to focus on ONE person that year and make them feel special.This year my youngest sister Carol had me. I got a beautiful calendar of photos she took of Boston. It's wonderful. And she sent me a gift card for Williams Sonoma. A place I will happily window shop (or peruse online now since we live so far away from one) but rarely buy from. After much consideration, we decided on the perfect prize. It came today.

Thank you Carol, for the most wonderful Raclette Table Top Grill. Now all I need to do is get the cheese and we will amuse and amaze our friends with this fabulous and fun way to eat.

We discovered raclette on our trips to France and Switzerland, a staple at the outrageous buffets at Club Med ski clubs. We even bought a machine for our home in Lagos, but sold it there when we transferred back to the US (it was 220 so wouldn't work without a transformer). We've been raclette-less since 1997. No more. Stay tuned for adventures in table top cooking....

Saturday Night Supper

My readers from Boston will know what I'm talking about. Growing up, Saturday night meant several things. Bath night. One scoop of ice cream for dessert. Hot dogs and Baked Beans with brown bread for supper. My 84 year old mother and my brother still eat baked beans on Saturday night, though the hot dogs are often replaced with turkey burgers (a little healthier).

This is the time of year when start thinking about Saturday night supper. Mostly because, it's NFL Playoff time and my way of bringing good luck to Boston teams in ANY sport is to host a New England Comfort Food party to go with the game. How wonderful that the Pats had their first playoff game on Saturday night! Perfect! A HOME game no less.

I started preparations early, because I was working at the winery that afternoon. Found my stash of saved cans for steaming the brown bread and got that done Wednesday. B&M Brown Bread can be found sometimes in grocery stores here in the Northwest, but it's a rarity. Fortunately, it's easy to make if you have cans and a big pot to steam it in. Takes a few minutes to whip up, 3 hours to steam. This link has a recipe similar to the one I use, called Brown Bread in a Can. It's an interesting read with a couple of bean and bread recipes to choose from.

Next up, the beans. Thursday night I soaked the small white beans so they'd be ready to bake on Friday. I use a recipe from Durgin Park that tastes just like the ones my Grandma Sully used to make. I will admit to liking Julia Child's crock pot version that also includes ginger...but I digress. I was using my bean pot, so it had to be the Durgin Park recipe. With salt pork, onions, molasses, dry mustard...no ketchup, no bacon, no sugar. My house smelled awesome as they slow cooked for about 6 hours. Fortunately, the back deck was as cold as my fridge, so they stayed out there to keep cool until I needed them!

Another must have for New England Comfort Food: Clam Chowder. Made the base for this from an old RI clam cookbook I've had forever. You cook some salt pork, save the bits, add potatoes and onions, flour, clam juice then throw in the clams. Save it with those flavorful bits of salt pork until you need it. When it's time to serve, you add the milk and cream, or in my case, half and half.

And where there is New England food, there is clam dip. With Ruffles (have RRRRRidges). I have a clam dip recipe from that same RI cookbook that I could eat with a spoon, it's so good.

Throw in some steamed all angus beef Oscar Meyer weiners (on sale), Gulden's mustard, and you're all set for half time. Don't forget the Sam Adams Winter Ale...and finish up with Boston Cream Pie. It's a WINNING combination.