Christmas Cookies of Yesteryear – 1959 (Coconut Date Balls)

December 4, 2020 Leave a comment

The cookies from this series are attributed to the date the cookie was published in a cookbook, but have been made much earlier. Take for example the Danish Sugar Cookies I posted. The date listed for this is 1969 but I found the same recipe in a 1959 cookbook. It doesn’t mean that cookie was ever popular or popular for that length of time, though it is for certain regions of the country. The cookie I am writing about today is one that screams of the 60s and 70s to me. Having dates and pecans in cookies appear to have been more prevalent back then, but without a proper analysis I can only guess from memory and my memory really doesn’t go back to the 60s.

As a child, visiting relative and being at holiday parties you would see similar cookies to this. They generally had dates or another similar fruit. As I got older, these style of cookies faded away as cookies like peanut butter blossoms took over. If you visit a wedding cookie table or some Christmas carry-in you will not find the coconut date ball but you see plenty of chocolate chips cookies. Our tastes have changed over the years as we move to sweeter cookies.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 C sugar
  • 1 lb pitted dates cut in small pieces
  • 1/2 C chopped pecans
  • 3 C crisp rice cereal
  • 3 C flaked coconut

DIRECTIONS

  1. Beat the eggs well. Add the sugar and dates to the eggs.
  2. Pour this mixture into a sauce pan.
  3. Heat thoroughly at a medium heat. Turn to a low heat and cook 10 minutes; stirring constantly
  4. Cool slightly. Add pecans and rice cereal.
  5. Shape into 1 inch balls. Roll in coconut.
  6. Refrigerate. Makes about 8 dozen

NOTES: The one key thing to do with this is stir unless you want scrambled eggs, an obvious thing to do. I’ll be honest, I won’t be making this even though I have developed a taste for dates in recent years. If you enjoy dates and pecans give it a whirl. This is a very easy cookie to make. I guess you can substitute the sugar with coconut sugar or monk sugar and the dates are said to have a low glycemic index.

Tomato Sauce From The Garden

August 14, 2021 Leave a comment

When it comes to making tomato sauce I have a long history of it, though little experience. As a youth, I was tasked, if I didn’t escape the house early enough, with doing the dull tasks while my parents did what I thought was slightly more interesting but still dull. The worst task was cranking the tomato strainer nonstop, and that was my job where whining out loud was my best option to get out of it, though it seldom if ever worked. While in college I helped my brother make sauce, too, and yes, I was the cranker. His sauce wasn’t very good as he didn’t cook it down long enough. In my attempts to rid myself of jar sauce I did my own making of sauce, but my reliance on my garden was my issue. We skip to this year.

With the fear of Covid and the fight to force people to be vaccinated against their will going on, I decided to try canning tomato sauce this year. I had over 20 plants put in and I got my first batch of tomatoes in the middle of last week. They were disappointing as I wanted ripe tomatoes and not unripen ones that I have to let sit out to ripen. Oh, well. I am stuck with these, and today is the day to make them.

My last attempt to make sauce was a learning experience that went well. The biggest lesson I learned was to not add anything. Just make a tomato sauce. Why you may ask. When you add olive oil, onion, garlic, other ingredients you have just narrowed your options of what you can do with the sauce. By cooking down only the tomatoes, I will have a variety of options. I can make a marinara sauce. In fact, I have about two or three versions I do. I can make my own pizza sauce. There is chili to consider. I have various recipes where I don’t want a garlic flavor, or a basil flavor, or onions, or even olive oil. Yes, I just can’t open a jar and throw it in the pot and heat up, but that is okay with me. Had I wanted, I could have done several versions.

Now to the lessons I am learning with this current batch. First, I need to take more control over the tomato picking. They were picked too early, and I understand if you don’t pick them that early you’ll lose some as they fall off. I can live with that especially if the estimated amount that is coming is true. Speaking of volume, I realize I do not have the facility to process a lot of tomatoes. As you can see from the sauce I am working on, the pot is nearly full. I do not have enough pots to cook down the expected influx of tomatoes. Third, I do not have a tomato strainer/mill which means I am not straining out seeds even though that isn’t an issue for me. Fourth, I do not have enough burners to blanch the tomatoes, cook down the sauce, and can the sauce. This is a huge issue as it will take forever to process tomatoes. Fifth, I don’t have the help. Today’s batch is being done solely by me. When the next batch of tomatoes are ready I still may not have any help. Without the additional help, I may not be able to can, so I’ll have to freeze a lot of it.

If there is a positive to take away from this is that I recognize the limitations I have and can do something about it. I will try to enlist family help with the process. This will require that I do the bulk of the work which is fine. Now that I am older I no longer find it so dreadful as I did as a kid, but the caveat to this is that after four hours I will be tired of the task.

My current process is to blanch the tomatoes, peel the tomatoes, and put them in the Cuisinart to remove all chunks. I do not likely chunky sauce. This is followed by my cooking down the sauce which in this case will take me all day and even into the night, I suspect. The next goal is to can and freeze the sauce. If anyone wants a specific sauce then we can separate the sauce into groups and add whatever ingredients they want to a specified group.

The takeaway from this is make plain sauce. You can always add to it when you are making a specific dish. If you want you can separate the sauce into different groups and make a garlic laden sauce alongside the plain sauce. Know your capacity. You need to know how much you can process. Finally, find friends and family dumb enough to join you in this endeavor.

Categories: Food/Drink Tags: , ,

My SARS-CoV-2 Experience Part V

August 13, 2021 Leave a comment

The Covid-19 experience is ever dynamic. As I was finishing my fourth piece, I cam across new information about antibody dependent enhancement. If you desire to learn and figure things out then I feel I need supply what I discover and the following is a Journal of Infection pre-proof:

Infection-enhancing anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies recognize both the original Wuhan/D614G strain and Delta variants. A potential risk for mass vaccination ?

This is very frightening for those of us who have been vaccinated, but it is a pre-proof. The conclusion states, “In conclusion, ADE may occur in people receiving vaccines based on the original Wuhan strain spike sequence (either mRNA or viral vectors) and then exposed to a Delta variant.” “… although the results obtained so far have been rather reassuring1, to the best of our knowledge ADE of Delta variants has not been specifically assessed.”

This is why I say mandates are wrong and the vaccine is a personal choice. I have not had the time to read it, so I encourage everyone to read it and ask questions. Never encourage or demand people take a vaccine that isn’t proven. This isn’t the smallpox vaccine or the polio vaccine. My biggest fear is mandating it for our children.

If I should encounter additional information within a few days of this posting then I will update this.

UPDATE: 2021 August 14

I was going through two papers concerning antibody dependent enhancement (ADE) when I came across this. If this research is accurate then all of the scientists that the media, CDC, and other groups tried to censor and destroy reputation-wise are correct and should be the ones we trust and listen to. The article is here: BREAKING! French Study Published In Journal Of Infections Claims That ADE Or Antibody Dependent Enhancement Is Occurring In Delta Variant Infections! I don’t know much about this, so I have no comment to make on what their research says other than what is in the article. The articles I was reading was dealing with the original Wuhan/D614G strain and not the delta variant. Please refer to this to get a general idea of  Antibody Dependent Enhancement (ADE).

Part IV

My SARS-CoV-2 Experience Part IV

August 13, 2021 2 comments

Less than a week after my second Pfizer shot I encountered information that changed me. One was Ivermectin and how it was hidden from everyone. Dr. Pierre Kory had come up with a protocol to counter and defeat Covid-19 a year ago and I never knew about it. This information alone led me to intense research and to find the Darkhorse Podcast which open doors to me where I could find the missing research and experts.

The second thing to happen to me was more frightening. I began to be exhausted all of the time. I no longer had the energy to exercise. I felt like I needed to sleep and would just sit. I couldn’t focus on my work. Initially, I thought it was the outdoor work I was doing but the next thing told me it wasn’t the case. It started with a chest pain. I immediately thought I was having a heart attack. Yes, I googled the symptoms in order to pretend that would make it all go away. I didn’t need to google it as I knew it wasn’t a heart attack. The pain subsided after a few minutes but resurfaced thirty minutes later. At night the pain would awaken me. I was clutching my left side. I wasn’t feeling good when the pain hit. Immediately I understood it as myocarditis started to strike in the news. This isn’t to say I have that or even pericarditis, but I have something wrong with me that wasn’t there before the shots. I have tests to show I was in good health. Even to the day of this writing I suffer from this chronic, intermittent chest pain. My exercising is minimal at best because at times I become exhausted for no reason. I try to exercise but it isn’t consistent.

What about my general practitioner? He is fully indoctrinated with the idea of vaccination and won’t even discuss with me about alternative treatments. We had a heated discussion on studies. He is for the protocol and I don’t want to be sued side while I want a progressive forward thinking doctor who is for the patient. His idea of reading research is JAMA or the abstract and conclusion of a study while I look not just at those but the detail and the supplementary data. I see the issues while he glosses over the fluff. Why should I tell him of my situation? It will be more tests to tell me that I have an issue that is all of a sudden unrelated to the vaccine. No, I won’t waste the money.

Yes, you have probably known for a while I am not pro-vaccine and regret my vaccination. I have my reasons besides my health. I can name the number of people that have died such as the 13-year-old in Michigan who didn’t wake up after getting the vaccine. His heart was enlarged and was surrounded by fluid. His death isn’t the only one. I can mention the numerous Guillain-Barre Syndrome victims or the plenty of myocarditis and pericarditis people or even though with limited motor skills all from taking the vaccine. In fact, I can write pages of people who have suffered but no one is aware of the as they are dismissed but they are there. No, I would rather look at the data and how the CDC and medical experts have moved the goal posts from denying blood clots were related to grudgingly admitting they were and then saying they were rare. The same applies to the heart issues as well as Guillain-Barre Syndrome. I could mention the leaked CDC slide admitting to the problems or other inconsistencies by the CDC. I right now have around 50 peer-reviewed articles in my possession and websites run by doctor/scientists: FLCC Alliance or research that began after the introduction of the vaccine: Prion and women’s cycle changes. I have countless journal articles to base this off of.

All of this I discovered when I found a way around big tech’s censorship. It began with my question of “Why?” This single question has led me on a path where I never expected to be. Most of what I discovered was considered to be part of the conspiracy theories back in 2020. As I asked the question and dug further I climbed out of my own cognitive dissonance that so many are entrenched in. I awakened but too late for me. This isn’t about someone being an anti-vaxxer as that is easily disproved. Nor is it a right-wing, conservative, republican issue as a recent article explained that the more educated you are the more hesitant you are to getting the vaccine. In fact, my own interaction with people on Twitter and Youtube show they are all over the political spectrum.

What do I see? I see a large part of the population who have lost all reason due to the creation of the fear frenzy. Fauci and the CDC do not help even with their moving goal posts. People are just not seeing it. Why? The Covid-19 variant and how the media is portraying it. In fact, the government and media are driving a wedge into between those vaccinated and those unvaccinated, and this creates even more fear and now anger with the vaccinated. The vaccinated make irrational statement such as the lung doctor who is intending to get additional vaccinations and considers that to be safe. My analysis is that people are suffering from cognitive dissonance or some idea of wanting a wrong decision to be true.

This is wrong

Now a word about the media and experts that throw out their own misinformation. Research has shown that the first information you present is what everyone believes even if you issue a retraction. Now consider the story by the CDC that 5,800 children with Covid-19 were hospitalized in Texas during a seven-day period in August. The correct number is 783. This type of purposeful lying muddies the truth. What are you to believe if the media and CDC reports outrageous numbers and incidents even though they are not true? You will likely believe the first rendition of the information.

When it comes to the vaccines we were lied to and are being lied to as I write. We are told the risk-benefit is worth it but the data the science says otherwise. Our young do not need to be vaccinated. We have the research to show it. People are speaking up but their censored voices are not heard and have suffered defamation. I read the paper, Six Month Safety and Efficacy of the BNT162b2 mRNA COVID-19 Vaccine, and can say it is not only a sloppy paper but one that shows vaccines do not save lives. You have to look at the supplementary data and not pay too much attention to the abstract and results. In case your wondering, 2 unvaccinated died from Covid-19 while 1 vaccinated died from Covid-19. I wouldn’t be impressed. Also consider that the test population used is not representative of the general population as the trial population was much healthier. When you read about the Ivermectin studies and how they fail you need to look at them carefully. They are not following the FLCCC protocol on administering the vaccine. They know that the vaccinated are the cause of the variants because of the suspected leaky vaccine. Next we have Antibody Dependent Enhancement (ADE) to consider for those of us who are vaccinated. Pfizer won’t say it will never happen as they admit they don’t know. I’ll provide you a link to help explain ADE. Dr. Doug isn’t the only one to warn of this. Dr. Robert W. Malone is another and there are countless others. Is Sucharit Bhadki right or wrong with his assesment: An Urgent Message from Professor Sucharit Bhakdi or am I looking only for like minded people? I don’t believe I am as I am reviewing the papers he references.

Before you look back to the polio vaccine or smallpox vaccine you need to understand the science of vaccination. While learning about vaccines and their difficulty look up the 1976 swine flu outbreak and look at the chicken vaccine paper and you may begin to gain an insight to the variants and why the Covid-19 vaccine may be the most horrible idea. If you take anything away from this study it should be that it is very possible and in fact highly likely that it could and is happening.

If you follow the crumbs you will discover the deception and maybe people will drop their fear and begin to look at what is going on. Maybe you believe it is a conspiracy of some sort. Is it a monetary conspiracy by the likes of Facebook, Bank of NY, Presidential Election Commission, NY Univ., Citicorp, FDA, GE, MIT, #CNBC, AIG, Gates Foundation, Univ. of CA, Reuters, Goldman Sachs, etc? That is for you to decide. Here are they below for you to do your own research. I am not as interested in this. What I do see are some doctors pro-vaccine changing their observational tune but still maintaining their pro-vaccine stance. How long will that last as we go along.

Monetary Conspirators?

I can’t say whether the reader of this should or should not be vaccinated. In the end it is your choice which is why I am against mandating the vaccine. Covid-19 is a nasty virus and you could suffer complications or die, but with the vaccine you can suffer complications and die, too. In fact, your body can be more susceptible to the viral infection because of the spike protein that never stayed in your muscles but traveled throughout your body and this is what we are seeing with these variants.

When I began this journey I fell for the fear like everyone else. And just like everyone else has to do, I climbed out of my hole and began to ask questions and think. This progression of mine was over a year and continues to grow. There are days where I pray what I believe is not the case. In fact, I purposely doubt the data I have and the experts I listen to in order to catch myself falling prey to bias and to find a flaw in these experts. Some I have already discounted because their beliefs are outside of what I want to believe in, but I remind myself that a year ago I didn’t believe in the stance I hold today. If I am to be totally honest I must admit that as I stated earlier I had fallen for the fear but had never stopped internally questioning everything. It was a slow growth for me, and I took the vaccine out of arrogance. I was arrogant in my strength and the work I did to find facts. In many ways, I was showing my family that I knew better when I didn’t. When the first tidbit of knowledge hit just days after the vaccination did I fully awaken to the horror I was in. Through months of painstaking research and the sifting the chaff from the wheat I arrived at a conclusion that this vaccine is dangerous if not deadly. Each morning I wake up wondering if my fear is for naught and that I am mistaken in my findings, but I never find the evidence to say I am now wrong. On the contrary, everyday I discover more reaffirming evidence. As I look around me, I see the numerous people who have been adversely affected by the vaccine from debilitating issues to death, more so than any other vaccine I am familiar with. That should not be. When I look at the CDC’s top ten countries to not visit because of Covid-19 I ask, “why is it the highly vaccinated countries that you shouldn’t visit?” “Why is ivermectin successful but some studies say it isn’t?” It doesn’t add up until I look at the flawed study.

So, it is my opinion that SARS-CoV-2 is not as dangerous as Ebola, Spanish Flu, smallpox, and other viruses but more dangerous than the standard influenza. With the variant, it is slightly more dangerous than the original version of Covid-10 but is as transmissible as Chickenpox. The vaccines are dangerous and are not worth the risk especially for those under 40. They should not be getting vaccinated, and I hesitate to say anyone should. The natural immunity is better and is better than what the vaccine is doing. Also, I believe the vaccines are leaky vaccines and this is where you get your variants. It has been proven that the vaccinated are as susceptible as the unvaccinated thus making it unnecessary. I won’t go into about what is currently happening in the states or what we see in Israel and Iceland except to say no one is immune. The vaccine protection lasts at most 180 days and the spike protein has gone throughout the bodies of the vaccinated. The vaccinated are very susceptible to variants. Are we going to experience ADE? I believe we are beginning to experience this. I also believe that in the coming years we will have hell to pay as the sick will increase. The mRNA spike protein is all through our bodies and we, the vaccinated, are vulnerable more so than the unvaccinated. We have other mechanisms that can effectively combat Covid-19 and we’ve known about it since the beginning. There is ivermectin and this from the IppocrateOrg. There is also a study in progress to treat patients with another drug.

As for my belief in conspiracies to kill people off, I have no evidence to suggest it and nor do I think graphene or other metals are in the vaccines. As for prion disease, they’re collecting data but at this time, I cannot say it is likely. I’ll wait for the paper to judge. I do think profit plays a huge role in this, and that is why so much is hidden and censored. The pharmaceutical industry is big business and being a board member means money and if the rumors are true about people in the CDC and FDA being paid by the likes of Pfizer for some involvement then it is a slam dunk, but I really believe it is general greed for the cash cow. The vaccines are not free. Governments are paying for them.

I can continue on with all the data, documents, anecdotes, research, and experts to prove me right, but I would love to be wrong. What I am definitely not wrong in is the profit to be had with these vaccines and the deception that our own CDC has done as well as other governments. I am left with a regret of being vaccinated.

If you made it to here then know I do not tell you to not take the vaccine. That is a personal choice and one that should not be controlled by someone else’s irrational fear. Covid-19 isn’t as bad as it is portrayed but still serious. If you’re suffering from anxiety from this then I suggest you stop listening. I didn’t write this to convince you but you provide you a real life experience and one of growth. I encourage everyone to stop listening to the media, government, Fauci, and the CDC and look into all of this for yourself. Find those censored and listen to them without judgement. Ask questions and think. Come to your own conclusion based on your knowledge and not what they say or what a bias and often wrong fact-check website says.

Part I

Part II

Part III

My SARS-CoV-2 Experience Part III

August 13, 2021 2 comments

The new year, 2021, brought hope with the vaccine and what seemed to be a diminishing virus, Covid-19. The threats of surges during the fall and holidays were no where near what was predicted. We had survived and everyone was looking to the miracle vaccine. I was now regaining my senses.

When asked if I was going to receive the vaccine I stated, no. I was going to wait to see what happens and try to do a little research to make sure it was safe to take. I understood how dangerous a rushed vaccine could be and now there was a new technology. Vaccines take anywhere from ten to twenty years simply because of safety. Doing trials in parallel doesn’t make a vaccine safe. Only time can tell you of the long-term effects. I didn’t wan to be the human guinea pig.

The early information I could find about the mRNA was in hindsight poor even though it is what any of us would find. mRNA would not harm anything or change your DNA. My son and I argued over the vaccine. He, a graduate student in the sciences, was opposed to taking the vaccine until it has proven itself, which according to him would be at minimum a few years. I was in agreement but thought sooner would be enough. He also argued with me that ‘scientists’ take shortcuts and when rushed seldom get it right. I should have agreed, but I still didn’t have good data coming in. What I had was what most people were receiving.

Like everyone else, I was being pressured from all over the place to be vaccinated. None of the people were experts in any way, so I could easily ignore them but the pressure continued. I don’t know when I made my decision. I can’t even say I was convinced of the efficacy of the vaccine. The blood clots for the AstraZeneca had just came out but for some reason I wrongfully dismissed them. What I do know is that all of the data I had accumulated showed no issues. In fact, most everyone would have found the same information. As I was not listening to the media, Fauci, and the CDC, I had less of a fear-based decision. I can tell you the day I got the first Pfizer shot. It was a Friday at 12:45 on a beautiful sunny day. I can also tell you that I sat in my car waiting for my appointment listening to a person in a truck rely an incident that happened where the shots were given. A person receiving the vaccine coded and they had to rush a crash cart and try to revive the person. I am not sure if they lived and know the death would not be attributed to the vaccine. Another thing I could say that I thought was my invincibility. My genetics are strong and I was in great physical shape. I was exercising about 45 to 60 minutes a day. My weight was ideal or better for a man of my age. I had recent gotten bloodwork and there were no signs to say I had issues. I can also tell you of my second shot. It, too, was a Friday at the same time and the day was nice.

Were there any reactions? After the first shot, I had a sore arm and sore joints. Nothing I would have complained about. In fact, it was like an allergy shot or a flu shot. I had no reason to be concerning except for the information that was coming into me. You see, some people were dying within days of their shot. Sure, some had comorbidities but that shouldn’t happen. People were suffering from side effects, the same side effects you can find online and are supposed to be from the conspiracy people However, my neighbors as far as they could tell never had issues or my in-laws. For me, I was safe after two days. I was a strong, healthy male who had no reason to suffer from the vaccine.

Within a week of my second shot two things would happen to make me re-think everything.

Part I

Part II

Part IV

Categories: Random Life Tags: , ,

My SARS-CoV-2 Experience Part II

August 13, 2021 3 comments

With summer approaching, we were told to expect a surge in the hospitals. The healthcare system was preparing by scheduling nurses for different hospitals if needed. I was expecting to lose more family and even my life. That was what the CDC, Fauci, the approved experts, and the media was telling me. I prepped my sons for what seemed to be the inevitable. Death happens to us all and sometimes life doesn’t go as planned. I looked for a rough period and found none.

The surge never came. In fact, things didn’t happen as predicted. Much of what was happening is what I thought to myself should happen. How do I explain the high deaths then? Call them anecdotes but too many people reported of their relative dying of Covid when it was cancer related or a heart attack or something generally unrelated. Comorbidities area fact of life and throw them together with a virus and people do die, but this was strange. I was now deviating from the accepted narrative but not far enough to discount everything.

Naturally, I discounted the nanobots, mind controlling, and other such conspiracies. My view on Covid-19 remained the same, it indeed was a dangerous virus. As we were still dealing with a second family tragedy, my research into Covid-19 slowed. I was not looking at peer-reviewed journals as much as I was, and Covid-19 became distant. My summer was one of oddities from way out there theories to the approved mainstream science telling me one thing while contradicting what should be science. As I haven’t watch the news in a long time, see this for part of the reason why, I wasn’t getting the narrative that we are supposed to be hearing, though I did see the CDC document about camps for people which frighteningly reminded me of Japanese-Americans during the Second World War. I had stopped listening to Trump’s afternoon blabbering long before the media. I had even begun to no longer pay attention to the Covid-19 numbers for the state I lived in and the surrounding states.

If there is a dark period in terms of no information then late summer into fall was it. I did try to research virus flow dynamics for outside air and there was no research. I think Japan was trying to do a study on this but I never found anything. The one certainty I knew was no masks were required outside even though there were people who continued and still do to wear them in alone in their cars.

The fear that began in March or April had amplified to an irrational frenzy. As I look back on it, the media is to blame as is our government. They have people so frightened that all cognitive processes have stopped. My neighbors were so terrified that I swear when they saw me in my yard some 300 feet away they would scurry inside. People were and still are doing illogical actions. To say it is surreal is an understatement. To say it is sad is also an understatement. As fall was in full swing, the fear was increasing exponentially. Still, I felt safe where I was at. I was working from home and having little interaction with people, something I prefer.

With the holidays fast approaching, we began to get the news of vaccine development, something of which I was supportive early on. I was all for fast tracking the vaccine simply for the fact I was ignorant of the facts. What ‘facts’ I did get was from the narrative. As we were trying to figure out the holidays because of the deaths in the family, I continued to ignore what was going on. My lapse in judgement would be painful.

Part I

Part III

Categories: Random Life Tags: , ,

My SARS-CoV-2 Experience Part I

August 13, 2021 3 comments

This is a five part series that briefly covers my Covid-19 experience. I hope to show my thoughts and growth as I have gone through this event. The final part shows my discoveries and what I believe after all that I have experienced. For over a year I have dealt with much from death to fear to an awakening. I was blind and now see but question if I am really seeing. The one thing during my journey was I never had anxiety and my fear went eventually went away when I stopped. It may be boring to the reader and the reader may even be incensed at what I discover and show. One can only hope the reader is open to seeking what is out there, the truth. I offer no pearls of wisdom other than to say ask questions and think about everything.

It is now nearing two years since I first heard of SARS-VoV-2 known as Covid-19. I remember reading about the issues in China and thinking we would have trouble in the U.S.A. if we did not stop flights from China. I was supportive of a lockdown of some type. I the horror I felt when people were isolated in China, but all of that was nothing compared to what I would see and experience.

The real fight with this disease began in December of 2019 on an unrelated event. A relative became seriously ill with a virus and was sent to the hospital. At that point in time, my entire family was focused on this relative as we prayed every day and family members went to the hospital in support. At my house. I was left as the main functionary in this time of emergency. As January moved into February, Covid-19 concerns grew in this country. Tragedy hit our family in February as a once healthy, young family member died of the virus thus devastating not just a family unit but an entire side of the family. Now we all were on support level help for the parents who were inconsolable in their grief. Lockdowns were being discussed and would eventually happen but we had more important matters at hand.

As we spent every week being supportive to mourning family, the lockdowns hit as the numbers of infected people were going to the hospital with many dying. Information began to become unreliable. Most of us were adhering to our school book science on viruses which is very incomplete and inaccurate. They never tell the whole story, but I was caught up in the fear-mongering as I observed everyone washing their goods after purchasing, washing outside areas to prevent the virus from infecting people. As I was caught in this wave, I was silently asking the question of why are we doing things that are not needed? If Covid-19 was that superior then all of humanity was doomed. I’d say by May or late May I had broken from the fear mongering and was busy looking at any and all research.

What I noticed early on during my research was the initiation of censorship by big tech. Anyone going against the Covid-19 pandemic and what the CDC was saying was being banned. What few reputable people on Youtube and Twitter were in the same situation as me – limited information. There were others who were not as knowledgeable as they led you to believe. These were your medical doctors who had limited understanding but presented everything as if they were reading bullet points. Another thing I noticed was the Trump derangement syndrome where people were not willing to listen and attacked whatever Trump presented or stated. Their blind hatred of the man took them from reason and alternative treatments were attacked. I would not learn of these treatments until much later.

My early research taught me a few things. First, there was not research on virus flow dynamics for the outside. We had no idea, but we did understand that viruses to not last long outdoors. I did read a flow dynamics paper that indicated the being indoors is risky. As this was the early period, good research was hard to come by and alternative intellectual ideas and treatments were silenced. No longer was I hearing of a hospital that was beating Covid-19.

As summer approached, I was starting to see indications of the CDC and even Fauci not on the same page as science as I was taught and understood. Covid-19 wasn’t really doing what was predicted. What we had prepared for was not happening, so what was I to think.

Part II

Categories: Random Life Tags: , ,

Fudge

When it comes to sweets there is one that I have mixed feeling and that is fudge. Late in my father’s life he began making fudge around the holidays. You can your chocolate fudge and peanut butter fudge. I have to say he made a very nice fondant as that is what it really is. As one website puts it, “fudge is a drier version of fondant.” Even though I enjoyed my father’s homemade chocolate and peanut butter fudge, I really do not like this type of sweet. I never carried on my father’s making fudge tradition if you can call it that. He did this the last twenty years of his life and likely for his grand children. One would never know that he did a lot for grand children but never broadcasted it.

I seldom if ever ate it as a child and ate a little when my father would make it. There would be occasions where someone would want to buy some and I would go along. The aroma was enticing but inevitably I regretted it. On one occasion, my wife and I were taking my mother through the local mall and we stopped at a place that made fudge. Even though she was diabetic, she wanted some which meant my wife and I would get the bulk of it. I wouldn’t allow her to eat a lot, and I couldn’t stop her from eating any, so the unspoken compromise was we would get most of it. We ended up buying four or five different flavors all of which sounded and smelled good. Then it sat for my wife to eat or one of my sons.

Now we had a trip planned several years ago to visit Fort Michilimackinac for historical purposes which means I wanted to visit the place. My oldest son’s schedule and my youngest’s schooling made it impossible to do. Last year, 2020, was canceled for obvious reasons. This year we decided to do it as everything aligned for the family. The youngest was out of school and graduate school is the fall and the oldest was able to carve out time from his graduate education. During the planning, I wanted to add Fort Mackinac which meant visiting Mackinac Island and Murdick’s Fudge. As you get to the area, this is all you see.

Our trip to the island is another story, but our experience of Murdick’s fudge is another. If you have never seen people making fudge or other candies then this is something to watch. They use huge slabs of marble. The process is similar to homemade fudge but on a larger scale and with cooler items. The pour the molten fudge onto the slab. Next they may add extra ingredients as it cools and then stir the fudge as it tries to spread out. I imagine it takes some time to get it the shape and consistency they want. Once fudge is cool enough to set up and they have shaped the fudge to the proper size they begin to cut it in portions. It is a very interesting process.

Well, when in Rome you try the fudge. With four of us, we purchased four different varieties of their fudge. It is difficult for me to be honest about fudge let alone Murdick’s fudge, but my wife and I agreed that my father’s tasted better. I still am not a fan of fudge and won’t be eating it any time in the near future if ever again. To fudge lovers, Murdick’s fudge is probably excellent. I do not want to besmirch their reputation as fudge is not my thing, but I would never go out of my way to buy it again.

What is in fudge? Generally speaking, it has a lot of sugar, butter, chocolate and cream. There are plenty of other types of ingredients people use and it may not use all of the ingredients I listed. Here are a few recipes for you to try.

Eagle Brand Fudge

  • 3 C (18 oz) semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 (14 oz) can of sweetened condensed milk
  • dash of salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract

Instructions

Line a 8 or 9-inch pan with waxed paper leaving some of the paper to extend beyond the edges of the pan. Melt chocolate chips with sweetened condensed milk and salt in a heavy saucepan. Remove from the heat; stir in vanilla. Spread this evenly in the prepared pan. Now, chill two hours or until firm. You remove the fudge from the pan by lifted the edges of the waxed paper.

The previous fudge recipe is a simple one that requires little work. This next recipe has a few more ingredients and steps.

Fudge

  • 1 1/4 C granulated sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2/3 C evaporated milk
  • 4 T salted butter, softened
  • 1 C (3.5 oz) marshmallow cream
  • 10 oz chocolate chips
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Line an 8×8 baking pan with either plastic wrap or waxed paper with a little of it extending beyond the edges.
  2. Melt the sugar, salt, and evaporated milk in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring this mixture to a full boil and then lower the heat to medium-low and continuously stir the mixture for five minutes while on medium-low heat. Remove from the heat, stir in the marshmallow cream, chocolate, butter, and the vanilla. Stir until all of it melts and combines.
  3. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and smooth it out. Cover the fudge with plastic wrap and refrigerate this for 3 to 4 hours or until it is firm. Lift the fudge out, place it on a cutting board, and cut it into the desired pieces.

At some point, I will have to see if I have my father’s fudge recipe. My wife may have received a copy years ago when she asked for it. If we make it then my wife will have to do the honors. I don’t have the motivation to make the fudge. Also, I try not to eat sweets except on very special occasions.

I want to be healthy, again.

One of the most obvious statements is, life is not fair. It is a simple fact no matter how much you try to change it. No government, law, or so-called inherent right is going to make it fair. The best you can do is to take charge of yourself and work towards making life easy and enjoyable for you. Ignore fairness and you’ve taken a step towards happiness and satisfaction. Sometimes no matter what you do the odds are against you. Accept it and roll with it.

When I took charge of my health some years ago it was the attempt to not have to see a doctor after I retire. My awakening was when I was in to see a cardiologist and saw the patients sitting in the room with me. Yes, I saw elderly overweight patients but the one that struck home was the man who was obviously in his seventies and could barely walk. His granddaughter was nearby playing. That was my observation until I learned he was around my age and that was his daughter. I don’t know what caused his heart condition though I suspect smoking and other poor habits were at fault. Did I want this life that he was leading?

My heart was excellent compared to what the cardiologist was encountering, so that was my good news. Now I knew I had to lose weight, change my diet, and exercise more or just exercise. If you looked at my diet you would think it was relatively healthy. In terms of meat, I ate mostly chicken with beef every so often. In fact, I would go days without beef. I was eating low-fat. I enjoyed my pasta, bread, and would eat sweets. Though we didn’t drink large quantities of soda, I had my share. I ate vegetables and love fruit. The worst you could say is I should cut back on the sweets. There was something wrong with my diet. Even if I reduced the red meat and sweets, I wouldn’t gain much. This is where I took the next step in being healthy.

I started researching medicine. Diabetes was lurking in the background, so I had to deal with that. It lead me to another thought. How could people on low fat diets be still dying? I found some obscure research about fasting and watched a fasting documentary. Did a little more research and saw correlations. I developed a fasting regime much to the chagrin of my doctor who is as progressive as repressed religious elders. Carbohydrates were another issue to deal with, so I reduced my intake. I knew full well I couldn’t eliminate them as the substitutes for the most part are horrible and difficult to make. What happened was I lost a lot of weight and felt better. The removal of carbohydrates from my diet awakened me as I became less exhausted and more alert. I felt better and exercising was much easier. I had conquered everything! I was thin and feeling fine. My exercising was easy to do, and I was happy. My wife copied me and also noticed changes in her health, some of it more drastic than mine.

When you take charge you move to the top. At what I thought was my pinnacle of health, I suffered what was my greatest setback, liver issues unrelated to alcohol. This has crashed me as I am unaware of what is causing this. Everything that could affect the liver has been eliminated but the doctors still have no idea what my issue is. After six months of testing, I have no answer. What is causing my liver problems? Now is where I must take charge again. I have been doing research about my condition, and this is nearly impossible as it can be anything. There are a few things I discovered that I can discuss with my doctor. They could be the cause or not. What can be ruled out are the obvious causes.

Right now, I am not healthy. Not in my definition of what is healthy. It may not be fair that I am suffering from a health issue that is unrelated to anything I have done, but I won’t complain about that as it gets me nowhere. What I can do is keep upbeat and fight by being involved in my health. This involvement has helped redirect the doctors in the past to properly diagnose me and maybe it will again. I ask questions and I research. I’m honest with myself, too. I have learned to not rely on standard views of medicine as you can be atypical.

Right now I have a possible cause that needs to be determined through tests. First, I’ll have to discuss this with my doctor and get tests done. The worst I can do is be passive. If I have to I’ll get a second opinion. I am my own best advocate of my health and can’t afford to be complacent. My goal of not requiring a doctor upon retirement is still there but is fading fast. Sometimes the best laid plans are interrupted by the unexpected. If solving this issue requires more lifestyle adjustments then I’ll have to make adjustments. That is part of life and quite unfair but something we all encounter in our life.

Categories: Health Tags: ,

Farro with Feta and Sumac

It has been a while since I last posted and not because I haven’t been preparing dishes. I’ve been very busy with other tasks that take away from this. It could be some time before I can post somewhat regularly again.

Today’s recipe is one I just came up with about fifteen minutes ago. It is an attempt to figure out what I can do with farro , and I believe I found one or at least one that I like. Why was I trying to find ways to prepare farro ? Well, it goes back to my wife making a recipe that required farro, a grain I never heard of. When I experienced the dish she made I became infatuated with farro for its taste and chewy texture. After a week had passed, I decided to work with my wife on another farro dish which was equally good. There was a catch. The two farro dishes, though different, were not far enough apart and it gets old eating the same thing… unless it is pasta. I love my Italian heritage and pasta, though I now seldom eat it. I convinced my wife to buy nearly eight pounds of farro as I was sure I could figure something out. Today’s meal is a pork dish with farro but not the dish I am writing about.

This is a simple three ingredient dish consisting of cooked Farro, Feta cheese, and Sumac spice. That is it. You add the amount of each you want and enjoy. I placed Feta in the bowl and cut it up into small chunks. Next, I added cooked farro (follow your farro package cooking directions) followed by the Sumac and stir it together. The cheese provides a creamy texture and the sumac a citrus bite to it.

If you are interested in trying something different then give farro a try and this a try. Do as I did and that was sample these in a spoon. I now have one additional dish to work with my farro. When I get mushrooms I’ll add farro to them. I am now down to near 3 pounds of farro to use.

A Hot Cup of Joe

My growth in roasting, grinding, and brewing my own coffee has pointed me in directions I never thought of doing. Well, roasting my own beans is something I never thought I would do. A year ago I was introduced to the world of coffee bean roasting. No, I do not own a roaster as I couldn’t justify making such an expensive purchase on the roasters I was looking at, and my wife wasn’t going to give the stamp of approval for a $500 coffee roaster for a hobby that I may not do for a long time. It has been a year and I am hooked.

If I am to be quite honest then I must admit I do not taste the unique flavors some “experts” say they get with their coffee. I occasionally get hints of chocolate or a hint of sweetness, but never the complexity they go on about. I will say that roasting my own beans and using the Hario pour over set has produced a better tasting coffee than what my Keurig or Mr. Coffee could make. I now dread the day I go out for breakfast and get a cup of coffee. I knew they were not good then and now expect to find them unpalatable now. But it all comes with a cost.

To make coffee in the morning, I spend about fifteen minutes making coffee that has become my morning ritual. I set up everything, start heating the water, measure out my beans, grind my beans and then go through the process of doing the pour over. This method of making coffee is enough for at most two cups if there is a second person with you and one cup is best if you’re alone. There is also one other element to my ritual that I believe was beneficial; I heat my mug beforehand.

I waste water by heating a mug full of water in order to heat the ceramic mug. There is some thermodynamics involved here, but the gist of it is to get the mug warm so it does not have the heat transfer you experience when you pour a hot liquid into a cold mug. Your coffee stays warmer longer. I considered doing an experiment on this, but others have already done this – Preheating.

I have discovered that the pour over method does make superior coffee to the standard coffee maker, but I really do not notice huge flavor differences that I hear about. What you immediately notice is it is less bitter. There is one downside that I fail to mention and that is it is not the most pleasant aroma when you are roasting beans. I have been banished to the outside for roasting my beans, so I naturally wait for my wife to go to work before I do it in the basement. Yes, I’ve been caught a few times, but it as the saying goes, it is better to ask for forgiveness than permission. This odor could prevent me from buying a nice roaster in the future.

Yes, the image is of a stein that I use for my coffee. If we review the image above we can spot the excessive amount of dust on the printer. It doesn’t look as bad in person. Also, you can see my distorted image. Going back to the stein, it may look like a mug but it is officially a 16oz ceramic stein.

Categories: Food/Drink Tags: ,