Memorial Day, 2015!

May 25, 2015

Memorial Day, a day to commemorate those who have died serving our country. Whatever you are doing today, please take time to participate in the National Moment of Remembrance at 3 PM local time to observe a moment of silence.

Spicy Sausage Pasta

May 24, 2015

Here’s a recipe that I found that sounds delicious, and it even seems easy to prepare.

Spicy Sausage Pasta

Ingredients
1 Tablespoon of olive oil
1 pound smoked sausage, sliced (kielbasa/smoked Polish sausage)
1-1/2 cups diced onion (2 medium)
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 cups of chicken broth
1 can (10 ounce) mild Ro-Tel diced tomatoes with green chiles (I’d use hot/spicy)
1/2 cup of heavy cream
8 ounces uncookd penne pasta
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of pepper
1 cup of shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1/3 cup thinly slice green onions

Directions
In an oven-safe skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat until very hot.  Add the sausage and onions and cook until lightly browned, about four (4) minutes, stirring regularly.  Add the garlic and cook about thirty (30) seconds.  Add the broth, Ro-Tel, cream, pasta, salt, and pepper.  Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat to medium-low.  Simmer until the pasta is tender and most liquid is absorbed, about fifteen (15) minutes.  Remove from the heat and stir in half of the cheese.  Top with the remaining cheese and sprinkle with the green onions.  Place under the broiler for a few minutes until the cheese is melted, browned, and bubbly.

Yum!

Trivia in the Kitchen, Number Forty!

May 23, 2015

Did you know that foods and new dishes are often named for either their creators or for popular stars of the day?

  • Peach Melba was invented by a French chef to honor Australian soprano Dame Nellie Melba in 1892.
  • Chicken Tetrazzinin is said to have been named after the San Francisco opera singer Luisa Tetrazzini (1910).
  • Fettucinne Alfredo was created for his wife by Alfredo di Lelio, an early-20th-century Italian chef.
  • Earl Grey tea named after Charles Grey, 2nd Earl Grey, Viscount Howick, and British Prime Minister 1830–1834.
  • Marechal Foch, a hybrid grape variety, named after the French Field Marshal Ferdinand Foch.

Is there anyone that you would like to invent a special dish for?  What would it be?

Here’s a link to a more extensive list of these types of foods (and the origins of their names).

Let Us Ponder . . . Laws!

May 22, 2015

Hmm, it would appear that somethings never change.  Below is a quotation that I ran across this week from Solon (Athenian statesman, lawmaker, and poet, circa 630-555 B.C.) regarding laws.

“Laws are like spider’s webs: if some poor weak creature come up against them, it is caught; but a bigger one can  break through and get away.”

A Collector’s Portfolio, Part 2!

May 21, 2015

IMG_0748Here it is the end of May and I am just now posting the second (in a series of eight) signed and numbered, limited edition (250) giclee print from “The Art of Charles R. Murphy: a Collector’s Portfolio” that I acquired last summer, while vacationing in the Traverse City, Michigan area.  I actually got to meet the artist, Charles R. Murphy over drinks in my brother’s home.  In addition to the giclee prints, the portfolio included a variety of information about the artist as well as information about the giclee print process itself.   I was certainly no stranger to Charles  Murphy’s work (I had purchased one of his original watercolor paintings, Granite Valley,a few years ago) and was delighted for the opportunity to add these giclee prints to my collection.  This piece is a bit more on the abstract side, but is wonderful nonetheless.  Title: Saturday Morning, artist: Charles R. Murphy, medium: giclee print, enjoyment: on-going!

Not Your Ordinary Book!

May 20, 2015

Many rare and fragile documents must be carefully stored, often in a solander box, to prevent light and other environmental factors from affecting them adversely.  I’ve even seen these types of boxes used to hide valuables in plain sight.

solander

\ suhlan-der \, noun;

a case for maps, plates, etc., made to resemble a book and having the front cover and fore edge hinged.

A Much More Soothing Version!

May 19, 2015

I have long been a fan of, and enamored of, Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody (by Freddie Mercury).  And while the loud and brash sound that goes with the vocal arrangements are what make the song particularly enjoyable, here is a version for harp (performed by Julia Kay Jamieson) that is just unique enough to be most enjoyable in its own right.  Brava!

The Chaplain, Part Two!

May 18, 2015

Here is part two.  Enjoy!

The Chaplain, Part Two

Sir Ralph was sparing of his flesh,
And seldom did his spouse refresh;
Who finding that her aged knight,
Dozed all the day, slept all the night,
Behaved her like a prudent dame,
And looked about for younger game.

Sir Ralph, a churchman true and keen,
Still loved Sacheverel and the Queen:
And though they were both dead and rotten,
Thought they should never be forgotten;
And piously each day in stealth,
Drank to the Queen and Doctor’s health;
For though he knew they were in glory,
He sighing said, “He should be sorry,
“They were forgot by any Tory.”

His chaplains all from Oxford came,
Men orthodox, whose hearts did flame,
With holy zeal for mother church,
The followers of Doctor Birch.

His present chaplain, doctor Speed,
Is of the true Dodwellian breed,
Denies the privilege of damnation,
To all dissenters in the nation;
Since wanting souls, they could not go
To heaven above or hell below;
“Yet other wise, he is, by nature,
A kind, obliging, loving creature,
He pities women in distress,
And makes their husbands labor less.

for wives, as I am told, may want
What an old husband scarce can grant;
And therefore, when in greatest need,
Apply themselves to Doctor Speed,
Who never their request denies,
But kindly with their wish complies;
For he is handsome, young, and strong,
Smug-faced, and meat; nor was it long
Before her ladyship began
To view with love the pious man;
But though she meant him for a lover,
She did not any thing discover,
But only made a few advances,
By little hints and wanton glances.

The Doctor is a cunning youth,
And very soon found out the truth,
And meant that day to show my lady,
That for her service he was ready;
Nor did he let occasion slip,
For finding her fair ladyship
Pretending sleep upon the bed,
He to her crept, and nothing said;
First took her coats up, next her linen,
And then began to downright sinning.

At last my lady raised her eyes,
And seemed to look with great surprise, —
“Tell me, you saucy cur,” said she,
“Who gave this privilege to thee?”
“Madam,” (and there he stopped a while),
The Doctor answered with a smile;
“If I have given the least offence,
“I’ll do no more, but fly from hence.”

“You fool,” she said, “Perform your task,
“I only did the question ask.”

Note: printed on the page following the title page was the following: “from a collection of poems that have been generally ascribed to Thomas, sixth Earl of Harrington. He was the son of Charles, the fifth Earl, and Margaret Lesslie, Countess of Rothes; and fought on the Royal side at the battle of Shirreffmuir, along with his brother John Lesslie, Earl of Rothes, and his own son, Lord Binning. These poems, according to Pinkerton, were printed about 1730, and have been reprinted in 1753, 1765, 1767, and 1777. He was also the author of a treatise on forest trees, which has gone through several editions. He died in 1735.” However, if these dates are correct (and I am by no means an expert historian in such matters), these poems could only have been written by either the first or second Earl of Harrington (William Stanhope and W.S. Jr.).

The Chaplain!

May 17, 2015

Here is the next installment of poetry generally attributed to Thomas, the sixth Earl of Harrington (circa 1730).  This particular poem will be continued with the second and final part tomorrow.  Enjoy!

The Chaplain

A handsome lady, young and gay,
By nature formed for amorous play,
Forced by her mother, and by fate,
Was married to a reverend mate:
A Surrey knight of sixty-five,
And dull as any man alive.

But he who had of gold enough,
Need never want such household stuff.
The world is now so full of vice,
that if a man pays down the price,
He’ll find some mothers are not shy,
To sell what e is fond to buy;
And he may either get a wife,
Or if he hate a married life,
And only would a leman seek,
She’ll hire her daughter for a week,
Nor think the girl a pin the worse,
If he will but untie his purse.
This with Miss Jeany was the case,
She once was sold to please his grace,
Who thinking she had been a maid,
Five hundred pounds her mother paid;
But Jeany was a clever lass,
And of his honor made an ass,
Her cousin Tom, a sprightly lad,
A year fefore that jewel had;
But Jeany had reserved the case,
Which gave contentment to his grace.

The duke soon slackened in his flame,
And old Sir Ralph a -wooing came;
Who notwithstanding of his age,
In marriage trambles would engage:
But such an old and feeble brute,
Did ill with Jeany’s temper suit;
But wise mamma her daughter told,
“Sir Ralph was rich though he was old,
“And sshe should have as much a year,
:To buy her pins, as what the peer
“Had paid her for her maidenhead,
“And when the doating monster’s dead,
“Your jointure shall be such, that you
“In marrying him shall never rue;
“Besides, my dear, you cannot tell
“But you may soon begin to swell;
“Think, Jean, if that should be your fate,
“Your child would heir Sir Ralph’s estate;
“Nor think, dead child, that I expect
“You should your youth and joys neglect;
“Of love and pleasure take your fill,
“And cuckold him whenever you will.”

When Jean this sage discourse had heard,
Her former scruples all were cleared,
And cheerfully that very night,
Was married to the stupid knight,
Who was transported with the joy,
Of having got her virgin toy.

Sir Ralph, delighted with his choice,
In his dear Jeany did rejoice,
And took her to his house next day,
Where all was fine, and all was gay;
‘Tis true, the knight was not so ready,
At one amusement as my lady;
But yet she did not take it ill,
For cousin Tom was with her still.
But when her friend to London went,
“Twas then that she began her Lent:

To be continued with Part 2 tomorrow . . . 

Note: printed on the page following the title page was the following: “from a collection of poems that have been generally ascribed to Thomas, sixth Earl of Harrington. He was the son of Charles, the fifth Earl, and Margaret Lesslie, Countess of Rothes; and fought on the Royal side at the battle of Shirreffmuir, along with his brother John Lesslie, Earl of Rothes, and his own son, Lord Binning. These poems, according to Pinkerton, were printed about 1730, and have been reprinted in 1753, 1765, 1767, and 1777. He was also the author of a treatise on forest trees, which has gone through several editions. He died in 1735.” However, if these dates are correct (and I am by no means an expert historian in such matters), these poems could only have been written by either the first or second Earl of Harrington (William Stanhope and W.S. Jr.).

Still Hazardous to Your Health!

May 16, 2015

The hazards of smoking (including second-hand smoke) have been publicized regular for many years now, but the number of people who smoke still ranges from between 10 and 28 percent of the population (in the United States).  And while this represents a continuation of the downward trend, there are still quite a few smokers out there.  Here are the states with the highest and lowest percentages of adult smokers.

Highest
1.  West Virginia (27.3%)
2.  Kentucky (26.5%)
3.  Arkansas (25.9%)
4.  Mississippi (24.8%)
5.  Tennessee (24.3%)
Hmm, Oklahoma was #6 (23.7%)

Lowest
5.  New Jersey (15.7%)
4.  Connecticut (15.5%)
3.  Alaska (13.3%)
2.  California (12.5%)
1.  Utah (10.3%)

Source: AARP Bulletin, May 2015, and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Here’s a chart showing the declining number (percentage) of smokers (adult and youth), courtesy of the CDC.

trends_2011b


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