Posted in Diet

The 4th of July

What a Party!

Yesterday was the 4th of July. Family and friends gathered for food drinks and just being together. We made it an all-day affair starting with lunch and then we finished with dinner later.

For lunch, we had grilled hamburgers and hot dogs, cucumber salad, and a broccoli salad my son made. It was quite good. I ate too many hot dogs, but, hot dogs are one of my favorite foods.

For dinner, my friend Diana made bbq chicken, and I made bbq ribs. Both came out quite goodly. Diana has a really nice grill. I was a little jealous. If I haven’t said so on this blog before, I am addicted to bbq grills & pits. It seems like I buy one every year.😂 Right now I currently have 4. When I’m in the store and I see one I like, if I have the money, I buy it. I can’t seem to help it.

Anyway, not here to talk about grills. I’m getting better and better at making ribs. I have them at least twice a month. I’ve got my seasoning down pat. And I’m close to perfecting my sauce/glaze, including a few store bought ones I really like. And besides the sauce/glaze being a little high in sugar and carbs, the ribs work pretty well for my diet as long as it is only a couple of times a month.

We all had a great time. There are a lot of teens in our extended family, so we didn’t have too much food left over, which is always good. We got lots of compliments on the food.

I hope you all had as nice a time as we did. Happy independence day.

Advertisements
Posted in Diet

Challenges

DSC_0058My son has been home from college for several weeks now. We haven’t figured out how to co-exist with our differing eating habits. I really can’t expect him to adapt to my diet. Nor am I blaming him for my failures. Comparatively, our two eating styles are at opposite ends of the spectrum.

In his 20’s, he is still processing sugar as the main fuel source for his body. Had I known in my 20’s or even 30’s what I know now about nutrition I might never have gained weight. Also, when I was in my 20’s and 30’s I probably wouldn’t have listened to anyone who might have known better about nutrition. And neither does my son. Compared to what I need in my diet his is less boring. Hell, my diet bores me.

IMG_0460So we need to find a way for him to have foods he likes and a way for me to be able to resist eating it. The problem is that I am truly addicted to high carb, sugary foods. So are my kids. After all, we did raise them on cereals and lots of carbs when they were younger. And I don’t mean sugary stuff. They rarely ever got McDonald’s, and the cereals they ate were hot cereals, grains; stuff we were taught were wholesome. They also got lots of fruits and vegetables. Unfortunately, we have trained them to eat in a way that will give them health problems when they are older.

Higher carb diets lead to high blood sugar levels and sometimes ultimately to diabetes and other problems.

Anyway, my son will be here for several more weeks until school starts again. I need to figure out how to stay on track. Right now I feel like a total failure. And not only that, my stomach and butt have been punishing me accordingly.😕

Posted in family stuff

Father’s Day & Softball

This past weekend I went to watch my daughter play a softball tournament. Well, the last day anyway. I drove 2 hours with her step-dad, Robert to see her play. We thought we were going to see one game. No one told us that her team was undefeated and were contending to win the over-all tournament, and that meant more than one game. We were there for 4 games, in fact.

When they finally got to the final game they lost by 1 point. However, we were treated to something we had not seen before. We have seen Kat make incredible catches, steal lots of bases, and get some great hits and bunts, even in-park home runs. This weekend though, we witnessed her first ever home run. It went right over the fence. I guess she is getting stronger. She has been lifting weights for several months now.

Even though I wanted to spend Father’s day at home on the couch watching TV, going to see Kat play was very rewarding. Soon she will be off to college. She will soon be playing with the Limestone Saints. Can’t wait to see her play.

Posted in Favorite Recipes

Double Crust Apple or Peach Pie

Who doesn’t like Apple pie with vanilla ice cream? Even better, Peach Cobbler (pie)? I learned to make both of these at The Culinary Institute of Charleston. This is a great recipe. I couldn’t believe how well it turned out the very first time we made it in class. I know you will be pleased as well.

Ingredients:

Pie dough 2 twelve oz discs, chilled
5 oz granulated sugar
0.5 oz Tapioca starch
1 oz cornstarch
2 grams salt
1 gram ground nutmeg
1 gram ground cinnamon
.5 oz fresh lemon juice
1 oz butter, melted
24 oz Apples or peaches, peeled, cored, sliced 1/8 thick

Egg wash (1 egg, tbs water, slightly beaten) as needed.

Directions:

1) Roll both discs of dough into 1/8” thick circles. Line the bottom of a pie pan with one crust. Chill both crusts.

2) Combine the sugar, tapioca starch, cornstarch, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon, lemon juice, and melted butter and toss with the sliced fruit.

3) Fill the chilled, unbaked pie shell with the fruit mixture.

4) Egg wash the edge of pie shell. Top with a second rolled piece of pie dough(or lattice).

5) Crimp the edge to seal. Vent if not making a lattice top.

6) Egg wash the top crust or lattice.

7) Bake pie on a paper lined sheet pan at 375°F (non-convection) until the filling is bubbly and the crust is golden approximately 45 minutes.

8) Serve warm or cool to room temperature.

Posted in Favorite Recipes

3 – 2 – 1 Pie Crust

Here is a simple but tasty pie crust (pastry). It is worth a little effort to get a better crust than you might find at a grocery store in frozen foods.

Ingredients:

8 oz flour
4 grams salt
5.5 oz shortening
2.75 oz water

Directions:

1. Combine flour and salt.
2. Mix flour mixture and shortening together by hand until it forms pea size pieces.
3. Add water and mix just until dough comes together (should still be able to see pieces of fat in the dough)
4. Scrape out onto a floured table; knead slightly.
5. Portion out dough mix into 8 oz pieces (shape into a hockey puck)
6. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill.

 

Posted in aging, my Appearance

What The Hell is Up With mY Hair?

For nearly 25 years I have kept my hair extremely short – bald – and lately, I’ve even been shaving it. About 2 weeks ago I decided I would try and grow it out just to see if I still could. This morning I was checking it out in the mirror to see if I had begun to lose even more hair than when I first realized it was happening about 9 years ago. I AM!

What I saw in the mirror was excruciating. Does anyone remember Sanford & Son? Red Foxx was the old man (Pops) in that show. There is only one way I know of to describe what his hair looked, raggedy. I knew I was losing hair at the crown of my head, but it is not happening at an even rate. It is very spotty and it looks EXTREMELY raggedy.

I didn’t think to take a picture before I cut it all off. And it is not likely that I will let it grow out again. I refuse to be seen out in public with such a mess. Needless to say, I am even more motivated to get myself into shape. If I can’t have my hair I at least want to look better in my clothing.

I’m really starting to hate the aging process. It hurts, threatens my good looks, and is very hard on my self-esteem. That’s right ladies, it sucks for men too.

By the way, I have not gained any weight. Yet, I haven’t lost much either; maybe a pound. I am constantly fluctuating with a 1 pound loss or gain. And that is mostly because of my lack of discipline.

Anyone else out there having similar problems? What’s your deal? I told you mine.

PS, I am still waiting to see a specialist about the issues mentioned in my health update.

Posted in family stuff

My Youngest has Graduated

DSC_1635
L to R Me, K, Step-dad, and Mom

It was a busy weekend. My daughter graduated from high school on Saturday. Last week on Tuesday we were in Gaffney, SC for her orientation at Limestone College. From there we did a lot of preparation for the graduation weekend.

DSC_1607
Grandparents

We had friends and family gathered, including  K’s grandparents. She graduated with honors and she was in the top 10% of a class of nearly 400. She was awarded several scholarships, including an athletic scholarship from Limestone College. So we are all very proud of her.

After graduation, we went to a restaurant called The Bohemian Bull. There was some great food. They also had some great appetizers. I have never had fried okra the way they prepared it. It cut lengthwise instead of the usual rounds. And instead of being breaded with cornmeal, it was dipped in a tempura batter. It was quite delicious.

There was cake and ice cream afterward at a close friend’s home, a true family gathering. All of our friends here are like family. I am glad to have them in my life. We are all very proud of our K. She is soon to be off to college and she is looking forward to her new beginning.

Posted in Health

Health Update

This morning I awoke with the usual numbness in my hands. When I finally got out of bed my legs were shaky and maybe even kind of weak. I walked a lot yesterday so I expected a little soreness. But the weakness was a little different and somewhat scary.

I am afraid I may have reached a point where I need to really, and I mean, really watch my blood sugar levels. I was already insulin resistant. The next stage is diabetes. I’m afraid that the next time my doctor does my next blood test I will get the sad news that I am diabetic.

In addition to my the weak feeling in my legs, I just didn’t feel right. I immediately thought of the pop-tarts I had for breakfast yesterday and the pizza for lunch. I was out of town with my daughter and son and their mom. We were at Limestone College where my daughter will be attending next year. I always seem to disregard my way of eating when traveling. And yesterday was an exceptional mishap in my diet.

I need to do better. I must do better. Diabetes is a killer. My mom had it. It made her life miserable. She had a real problem keeping her blood sugar under control. I had a cousin who’s blood sugar got so out of control she ended up in a coma. She died after only a few days.

It has been stressful knowing that there is a cyst on my kidney and a spot on my lung. I have received authorization to see a specialist. I just have to schedule the appointment. I guess I am stressing a little about my health. Now every time I feel the slightest abnormality my mind goes to the worst possible scenario.

So I guess I should make my appointments with my various doctors and get some updates on my health so I know where I stand. I will let you all know when I have news.

Posted in Favorite Recipes

Classic Lemon Meringue Pie

This is one of my favorite desserts. And if I have never said so, pies of all types are my favorite desserts. I don’t eat pie very often because they are also some of the most sugary desserts created. Lemon Meringue Pie was one of my Mom’s specialties. She usually made them at Christmas time. This isn’t her recipe but it is a very good one. It comes from BettyCrocker.com

Ingredients:

Pastry
1 cup Gold Medal™ all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon shortening
2 to 3 tablespoons cold water

Filling
3 egg yolks
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 1/2 cups water SAVE
3 tablespoons butter or margarine SAVE
2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
1/2 cup lemon juice
2 drops yellow food color, if desired
Meringue
3 egg whites
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
6 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Direction:

  1. In medium bowl, mix flour and salt. Cut in shortening, using pastry blender (or pulling 2 table knives through ingredients in opposite directions), until particles are size of small peas. Sprinkle with cold water, 1 tablespoon at a time, tossing with fork until all flour is moistened and pastry almost cleans side of bowl (1 to 2 teaspoons more water can be added if necessary).
  2. Gather pastry into a ball. Shape into flattened round on lightly floured surface. Wrap in plastic wrap; refrigerate about 45 minutes or until dough is firm and cold, yet pliable. This allows the shortening to become slightly firm, which helps make the baked pastry flakier. If refrigerated longer, let pastry soften slightly before rolling.
  3. Heat oven to 475°F. With floured rolling pin, roll pastry into round 2 inches larger than upside-down 9-inch glass pie plate. Fold pastry into fourths; place in pie plate. Unfold and ease into plate, pressing firmly against bottom and side. Trim overhanging edge of pastry 1 inch from rim of pie plate. Fold and roll pastry under, even with plate; flute as desired. Prick bottom and side of pastry thoroughly with fork. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until light brown; cool on cooling rack.
  4. Reduce oven temperature to 400°F. In small bowl, beat egg yolks with fork. In 2-quart saucepan, mix sugar and cornstarch; gradually stir in water. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and boils. Boil and stir 1 minute.
  5. Immediately stir at least half of hot mixture into egg yolks; stir back into hot mixture in saucepan. Boil and stir 2 minutes; remove from heat. Stir in butter, lemon peel, lemon juice and food color. Pour into pie crust.
  6. In medium bowl, beat egg whites and cream of tartar with electric mixer on high speed until foamy. Beat in sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time; continue beating until stiff and glossy. Do not underbeat. Beat in vanilla. Spoon onto hot pie filling. Spread over filling, carefully sealing meringue to edge of crust to prevent shrinking or weeping.
  7. Bake 8 to 12 minutes or until meringue is light brown. Cool away from draft 2 hours. Cover and refrigerate cooled pie until serving. Store in refrigerator.

☚Back to Recipes

Posted in Health

Today’s Doctor Visit

Well, I finally went to the doctor today. Actually, I ended up at the emergency room on this past Saturday for very a  sharp pain in my left side. They initially thought I might have a kidney stone, so they did a CT scan. There were no stones, but they found a cyst on my left kidney. And that is why I was in the doctor’s office today following up.

I think we’ve determined that I had a muscle spasm as far as the pain in my side which stemmed from an area in my lower back. However, my doctor has scheduled a full work up of my kidneys to determine if there is something serious is going on there. I think it is probably nothing and hopefully, the test will bear that out.

The CT scan on Saturday also showed something on my left lung. We will be checking this out as well. Both items are very very small. They just want to make sure nothing serious is going on.

So, I covet any prayers. But again, I’m not worried that they are going to find anything serious going on.