Saturday, November 25, 2006

A heart-warming segment from Texas Country Reporter, with Bob Phillips.
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Thursday, November 23, 2006

We live in a world not entirely of our own creation and we’ve been forced to adjust to the reality on the ground. Along the way we've chosen to adapt, constantly striving to preserve any aspect of our uniqueness whenever and wherever we can.

But we know we are being swept along, like by the tide of a great oceanic current which ultimately cares little for our survival or our happiness. It is a feeling sometimes like being engaged in combat. A struggle not of our own choosing...again.

So we are struggling to get another grip, to gain another foothold, at every turn it seems.

This struggle is ideologically rooted in whether or not we become mired in the onslaught of our best intentions, or we become its victims; so struggle we must - for our very survival in this crazy mixed-up world.

Which is why we must constantly reexamine our definition of struggle - and what it is really are our best intentions.

And we want so much more than just to struggle, as our purpose demands more meaning.

What is it anyway that makes us so special? Why do we even have the right to feel this urge to be special?

Maybe it's because we know how to love. We know it because it has been bestowed upon us, and we bestow this feeling toward others. We know it because we really feel it. And we tend to like it. To crave it constantly.

Somehow we sense that knowing and feeling Love must begin with loving ourselves first, then allowing it to flow naturally towards others. Not too dissimilar in the way the tides ebb and flow in an unstoppable sea of change, or the sun rises and sets, the air we breathe is invisible all around us, we know Love is subject to the Natural Law which rules our existence.

But we also know Love is unevenly distributed - subject to the whims of Nature, Time and our own human failings. All the while, we carry on with our busy-ness.

When we understand the truth of our physical reality we know that Change is the one constant in our lives which knows no bounds; and Nature and Time subject us to their own grand designs.

Our paths will cross many times in this life. Perhaps not always physically, but most certainly in our thoughts and our musings about what it means to each one of us - to feel and to give of this great gift we call Love.

And it is for Love we can truly be thankful to be here...soldiering onward together.

Thank you for sharing this with us. Today, let's all give special thanks - let's give in - to Love.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

So we've got a leftover Halloween pumpkin or two, do we? Why not just eat the old jack-o-lantern? It's "yesterday's news" anyway...right?

Before you throw our treasure into the trash...or leave outside to rot away on the porch, why not consider this no-brainer from the Cookshop Alchemy receipt file?

Here's all you need to do...

1. Sharpen a big long knife

2. Wrestle the ol' gourd and saw him in half

3. Repeat Step 2 with both halves

4. Repeat Step 3 with all 4 pieces

5. Repeat Step 4 with all 8 pieces

6. Repeat Step 5 with all 16 pieces (optional)

Score yourself some points - as a genuine Cookshop Alchemy apprentice - if you're able to cleave this ol' gourd up into nice pretty even shapes.

We like nice and pretty, shapely young things...

Now, with a plain soup spoon, scrape out those seeds, leaving the rest of the innards alone.

Remove any blemishes or bruises or rottten places - trash 'em with the seeds and entrails...or remove them to the compost heap.

Score yourself more points if you've decided to save the seeds, roast 'em and salt 'em for a fun-to-eat snack. You're a natural!

Now, preheat the chamber oven to a medium temperature - about 350 degrees.

And place the pumpkin pieces on to any ol' bake sheet.

Sprinkle lightly with some natural salt, after first brushing with a bit of coconut oil or melted cow's butter., here comes the best part...

Is this getting too complicated? Well, don't stop now, for goodness' sake!

You're about to make some magic here, kiddies...

But first, pick your poison...I mean...your secret ingredients.

Choose whatever's handy from the cupboard and sprinkle your fairy dust - to taste - over your soon-to-be-cooked little babies.

Here's what is written, as you wish: orange, or any citrus peel; ground pumpkin pie spice, or any combination of cardamon berries, cloves, anise seeds, allspice berries, ginger and/or nutmeg. Fairy dust.

Add some butter: coconut, almond, cow' any or another...even all three

You're the one making the magic, so consider that you're invincible. There's no rhyme or reason to contemplate here. Remember, this is a no-brainer!

Now roast these little babies in the belly of the beast until just soft - about 35 or 40 minutes.

The spell is just about cast. Magic is about to be unleashed...

...and such are the powers...of that mischievous sorcerer's apprentice...that devious really are!

Now, about 10 or 15 minutes before removal, start waving of your hand over these little objects of our desire...some brown sugar - light or dark...or a little blackstrap molasses...or cane syrup...or brown rice syrup, or honey...or whatever your hedonistic desire conjures up.

Eat hot or cold - you'll know what to do!

We like it either/or - hot, with a spoonful of pan juices, as a side dish, dearie, or - cold, with some whipped cream on which case, a few finger cookies will do nicely!

Just don't you - or your victims - eat the skins of our little darlin's, okay?