Jacques Inspired Meatloaf

So I knew we were having meatloaf for dinner last night.  It’s Sunday and I usually make a crock pot creation but I looked in the freezer and saw the ground beef and thought…meatloaf!

The ketchup on top is a throw back to my Mom who always put Ketchup on for the last 15 minutes of cooking time.  The larger veggies is all Jacques Pepin. He always seemed to make “Rustic” vegetables look so yummy.  So I used his technique and viola…rustic veggies.

I thought all was lost at one point because I was out of panko but I regrouped and crushed the 2/3 cup of saltines.  It worked fine as a binder and added a salt element internally.  Sometimes it’s just the outside that gets the most seasoning so this worked out nicely.

The Wife liked it and that is all that really matters 🙂

Be Kind today!

My Dream

In the next couple of weeks I want to try to make hollandaise sauce.  It might not seem like a big deal to people but it is to me.  I respect butter that much, 🙂

It is also my dream to make the classic Eggs Benedict.  If done correctly, they say the hollandaise is delightful.  I would love to be delighted by my attempt too, LOL.  Some people might find these goals stupid but you know what…they aren’t!

It’s my dream one day to cook like Julia Child and Jacques Pepin.  I never thought of myself as loving french food but after watching these two chefs create the most delectable morsels I too want to try my hand at it.  After I do the hollandaise and Eggs Benedict my lofty goal is to make Beef Bourguignon and I hope it tastes just like Jacques’.

I will post pictures of my creations.  It’s a nice distraction from current politics plaguing my life, LOL.

The FOS Project: Duke’s Edition

We were recently in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania and the restaurant Duke’s was recommended by the Hotel Concierge.  It was a very good recommendation!

They had French Onion Soup on the menu so I had to order it!  It was very flavorful.  The Cheese was nicely melted and the broth very beefy.  There were a good deal of onions cooked just al dente.  I like mine a little softer but that is just a matter of taste.

It was a very good FOS and if you are at Duke’s in Harrisburg, PA don’t forget to order it.  It comes in a cup or bowl size!!


p.s. A special shout out to our server extraordinaire Greg!  You rocked it Johnny Bravo!

I Don’t Always Complain About Stuff

I was reading some of my recent posts and boy do I complain a lot about politics.  It annoys me so, both the complaining and the politics, lol.

What do I really like in this world.  Well beside the obvious answers of my family I’m really into cooking shows.  It started with Julia Child and moved on to Jacques Pepin.  The man is a genius with food.  When I watch him I feel like I could totally make what he’s making.  Not too many ingredients and it looks so yummy.

He started one episode with “Today we will make a Tar-Tar”.  I was like…yuck…I’m totally not into raw.  Then he pulled out a home run.  Tomato Tar-Tar and it was not only genius but so tasty looking.  I thought I would totally eat that kind of Tar-Tar.  He made me rethink what I once thought about food in general.  He also taught me I’ve been sharpening my knives incorrectly.  He does all this teaching from only 1/2 hour videos.  Amazing!

I love the idea of cooking but I’m such a fussy eater that I ruin it with my lack of palate.  When I see him cooking a Dover Sole in butter I think….that looks amazing and so tasty.  But when I actually eat fish I’m like…um, no thank you.  My deaden palate exposed.  Why? Why? Why?

It’s the same with lobster.  Glistening in butter, so delicate and luscious, and it’s all lost on me.  I did learn from Chef Pepin that 1 lbs of lobster gives you .4 oz of meat.  WOW!  Mind blown officially!

It’s a secret dream to take cooking classes one day.  That will only happen if I expand my palate.  So I need to not be so stuffy and try new foods.

Happy Cooking!


And Just Like That It’s Thursday…

It’s been a beautiful couple of days in the neighborhood.  I said to a colleague, “Of course it is beautiful, we are trapped at work”, lol.  Yesterday I was able to enjoy the rest of the evening outdoors.  I had to mow the lawn first as the grass was incredibly high and I lost one of my dogs in the back forty, lol.  Let’s just say the Chihuahua was thrilled she could see beyond the grass.

My plants are coming in nicely.  The cucumbers finally sprouted and next week I will till the plot for my small victory garden.  I’m just hoping it goes better than last year.  I think it will always be a battle for me.  I love to garden but I’m exceptionally bad at it, lol.

I find the sanctuary of our deck and back lawn almost religious in a way.  It’s quiet and the air smells so sweet after the lawn is mowed.  I like to read on the deck.  Grilling is also another wonderful thing I do on the deck.  It is where life makes sense and no one wants something from me.  This is the golden time of year to just relax on it.  It’s not cold and not too hot, just perfection!

My little slice of Eden 🙂


Confronting Stupidity

There have been measles and mumps outbreaks all across America this year.  The worse in many, many years.  The reason is tied back to the Anti-Vaxers, as they are called.  The idea that Vaccinations cause Autism caused a panic years ago.  I completely understand the initial response.    Autism was not understood.  The classifications of the spectrum were mind boggling to the lay person.  The panic swelled because parents only wanted to protect their children.  This is widely understood.

When the research started filtering back and the verdict was vaccinations did NOT cause or increase autism in children the crazies came out in full force.  I’m looking at you Jenny McCarthy.  The research continued.  The findings were exactly the same year after year.  Then the decision not to vaccinate your children became a movement.  They were called Anti-Vaxers.  So now the Crazies had a name, a cause, and a continuing delusion.

First let me express my admiration for science.  In many cases, science has been life saving and life changing.  In other cases, science was turned into an evil tool of destruction and gruesome death (Napalm, Atomic Bomb, etc.)

In the treatment of disease across the board we’ve seen so many treatments either increase life expectancy or eradicate diseases that had long killed hundreds, thousands or even millions of people.  Take the simple research that showed if doctors sterilized (ie, washed) their hands between patients and procedures less people died.  It’s simple but it took research to determine this outcome.

Let me get back to the Anti-Vaxers.  Even in 2019 the research put out by independent doctors and researchers found no link between Autism and vaccinations.  Yet the Anti-Vaxers have made it their call that its up to them to determine if their children should be vaccinated.  It’s their constitutional right to deny their children medical care.  Yeah, I know, that sounds stupid.

Now we have an outbreak of measles and mumps plaguing these not vaccinated children (in some cases now adults).  Measles, Mumps and Chickenpox all have vaccinations that work in most of the population.  I myself had been vaccinated as a child but needed another MMR vaccination as an adult because I know longer carried the antibodies.  To get the Measles or Mumps as an adult is bad.  It can cause complications and sterility in some people.  Is a possible chance of death really an acceptable option for your family?  I went with NO.

Our local college is in the middle of a Mumps epidemic.  This is not good or acceptable.

Then I read this in my morning news that set off this diatribe against the idiots of our country.

So many stupid people. Doctors aren’t the enemy. Also, taking advice from morons isn’t helpful either. Case in point;

‘Darla Shine, wife of the White House communications chief, who tweeted that she wished her children had had measles like she did as a girl.

“Bring back our #ChildhoodDiseases they keep you healthy,” she wrote’

This is person’s husband is of Authority in our nation espousing disease as a medical option.  Go ahead, shake your head too, I’ll wait.

Ms. Shrine, what you said is careless and amazingly ignorant and stupid!  Let me put it in a scenerio from the past…

Polio is running rampant in the world and America.  Our children are being paralized and dying at an astounding rate.  Dr. Salk found a cure and a vaccination.

“Bring back our #childhooddiseases”.  Oh, what?

Small Pox is running rampant in the world and America.  Our children and populations are dying at an astounding rate.  In 1796, Dr. Jenner developed the first inoculation against the disease and saved people.
“Bring back our #childhooddiseases”.  What, wait?

On behalf of all rational thinking people I ask you to stop listening to stupid people with no medical background for their comments.  I’m sure if Ms. Shrine lost a child to a preventable disease she would be devastated and feel guilty for her stupidity.

There is data that some children will have a reaction to vaccinations.  If you are worried about this consult your doctor and develop a plan.  Doctors only want your child to be safe and healthy.  Be rational, be reasonable and for the health of everyone be smart.
Here ends my diatribe.

Weekend Adventures – The Mercer Museum

We had a fun weekend with a trip to Mercer Museum in Doylestown, PA.

This amazing building is home to one man’s vision.  It hosts an array of collections of Trades gone-by.  Tanning, cobbler, transportation and so many others.  To think of the tools on display being the “modern miracles” of the tradesman is astounding.

With every level of this amazing facility there is more and more to learn.  There are also oddities to make you smile and also to horrify you.  There is an actual hangman’s gallows on the top floor.  It’s a must see if you are passing through the Doylestown area 🙂

Weekend Adventures – In The Presence of Art

This year for Christmas my Wife gave me 52 weekend adventures.  Weekend One, we went to the Arboretum.  It’s my most favorite place to go.  I can just get lost and have adventures.  We went to see the last day of the Trains exhibit.  People who know me, know I’m goo-goo for trains.  This Christmas Season’s exhibit was amazing.  It gets better every year.

Week Two, we went to the Woodmere Art Museum.  It was too cold to do the outside exhibits.  So many amazing sculptures but we can see them in the spring.  Inside is a cornucopia of local artists.  The mediums range from performance pieces to landscapes in oil and pen & ink.

This sculpture’s facial expression left me chuckling.  Yes, it is a beautiful marble piece but the artist nailed the fine points of her being embarrassed she’s lost her clothes.  Maybe that’s just how I saw it.  The finer etchings of her toes and the tree stump behind her is amazing.

I’m a huge fan of landscapes.  It doesn’t matter if it’s paint or ink.  I’ve even seen amazing pieces done in metals.  The sculpture intrigued me because the proportions of the figure were real.  Women have curves, js.

This piece reminded me of Florence Foster Jenkins.

This is just a segment of a very large canvass.  It covered an entire wall.  It was mostly these two people in the entire piece that captivated me.  His face seems old to me and her face is intense like that of protection.

These two were from the painting that spoke most to me.  I’m obsessed with my dogs so of course I liked this one a lot, lol.  She looks sad and the dog stoic.  But when you look at the painting as a whole it appears to be different.

Art is amazing.  I love it because it is subjective.  What was the intent of the Artist may not be the read of the voyeur, amazing!  It was a great week Two!