Friday, May 27, 2011

Holiday Eats

Blessings, Darlings!

I'm working on the food for the holiday weekend right now - menus and shopping lists.

Pulled pork meal: have roast, made rub, have slaw ingredients, have rolls, need to make sauce but have sauce ingredients.

Beer-can chicken: have beer, have can, have chicken, have rub.  Have taters.  Have green beans and have salad ingredients.

Brats meal: have brats, buns, more slaw ingredients, mustard, need chips.

Need one more dinner .... I guess eggs or spaghetti and sauce, since I've got all ingredients for those meals.

What's on your menu?

Frondly, Fern

Memorial Day

Blessings, Darlings!

What are your Memorial Day plans?  We'll go to a parade, and pay respects at either the Antietam graveyard or at one of the markers where a body was found from that battle closer to home.

Frondly, Fern

Taco Recipe

Blessings, Darlings!

Dining well while broke continues.  Tonight was taco night.  But since the temperature was in the 90's, I chose to NOT fry tortillas into taco shells - we did soft tacos by just pan warming corn tortillas.

The shredded cheese was a bar of cheap cheddar from Aldi's. The tortillas were from a big package bought cheap somewhere else (Aldi's hasn't had corn tortillas at all this year!). No sour cream, but the Chubby Hubby could have used plain yogurt in its place. Tomatoes, well, I wasn't paying $2 per pound for fresh, so I used ones I had canned last year.

Taco filling was a mix of ground beef (sale priced) and black beans.

Taco Filling

1 large onion, chopped
2 green or red or yellow or orange bell peppers, chopped (I used ones I dried last year) 
2 or more cloves garlic, chopped 
1 lb ground beef
1 can black beans, rinsed
1 8 oz can tomato sauce 
1 tsp chili powder
4 tsp cumin
2 1/2 tsp paprika
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp salt 1 tsp pepper
1 - 2 tsp ground coriander seed

Add a bit of oil to pan. Saute onion and pepper until onion is translucent.  Add garlic, cook about 30 seconds more.  Add and brown meat.  Drain excess fat.

Add the dry spices.  Cook them for about a minute.  Add the tomato sauce, beans, and maybe up to 1/2 cup water.  Simmer 1/2 hour.  Done!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Today's Oracle

Blessings, Darlings!

As I added cream to my coffee today, it took the shape of a whale.  Could be that there will be a Twitter problem today ("Fail Whale").

Or not.

Frondly, Fern

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


Blessings, Darings!

I read a lot of what is posted at .  It covers all sorts of religions and religious topics (even if some of the folks there, in my NEVER humble opinion, post on politics and NOT on religion).

Well.  Today there was this post.  I responded to it on Facebook, and I'm sharing my response right here, right now.

My Reply:

How odd. If 'fat' was no longer an issue, I'd think that people would have to listen to their body and their taste buds, and see what actually tastes good and works best for their bodies. "Fat" is not a medical diagnosis of illness. Diabetes, high blood pressure, etc are.

So let's try THIS analogy instead:

What if all food was 'free' - that is, you didn't have to pay cash for it, and any ingredient you wanted was available in any amount you wanted ... and close to your home. No more food deserts in the cities. Fruit, vegetables, all cuts of all meats/fish/tofu just down the block from you. No one would starve again.

Would people eat only Twinkies? Or, no longer having to fill up on inexpensive refined flour/rice/sugar based foods (and having less pressure on their wallets), would they now select food for flavor, texture, nutrition? Would they, now that they were no longer choosing food on a basis of scarcity, select food on how it worked with THEIR particular body's needs? Without commercials pushing unhealthy food by this food lobby or that one, would they really pick the 48 oz cola that makes their blood sugar funky and their brain wired as their drink with lunch, or would they have one chilled beer? Having a bowl of organic fruit on the table, would they go out to track down gummy bears?

Or, to use another analogy - now that they have lean, grass fed, incredibly flavorful steaks (and garlic, pepper, salt, and steak sauce) at home, would they go out for greasy unflavored hamburgers?

Yes, I said steaks. Multiples. Maybe not all at one meal, because being overfull is not comfortable and your body TELLS you that. Just like it TELLS you if you listen and you feed it only junk food, even if the junk food is free.

Some people would still choose to be vegan - and it would be easier for them. Some would choose to be omnivores. Some bodies would still do best on Atkins diet, or Dr. Weil's anti-inflamatory diet. But, wit food free .... they would be able to follow the diet best for them, and listen to their bodies, without the pressure of a for-profit (or for-prophet) sales system.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


Blessings, Darlings!

Rain and thunder are happening as I type this.  Which is  typical for this spring.  Which means my garden is FAR FAR FAR from in.

The soil here, being clay, really is sticky and heavy when wet.  And rock hard when dry.  We're trying to turn it, then add compost, but it's been really slow going.  The guy who the landlord hired to mow the lawn is willing to till it, but his tiller needs welding so that hasn't happened yet, either.

So my seedlings wait, rather root bound and impatient.  And I never got the greens and turnips and such in.  I'll try for a fall crop of those. 

How does your garden grow?

Monday, May 23, 2011

Wicca 101 - Class 1

I'm kind of noodling about how I'd teach Wicca 101.  I'd love some feedback!  I've got ideas for the first three classes (I expect that there would be 10 to 13 classes in the series.  

Class 1 – nature, not nurture.

       In this class everyone is outside for the entire class.  Summer is the best time for it.  Tick, and maybe mosquito repellent is recommended.  Go out looking at wild flowers.  See that sex is everywhere in nature.  See that all the sex isn’t hetero – much of it is a 3-way of one male flower part, one female flower part, and it doesn’t work without a female bee in the mix (or wasps or flies of any gender, for that matter).  Note that some flowers are male only (easiest to see in spring, when mulberries and pine are spewing semen/pollen all over the place), some are female only, some are hermaphrodites.  

      Actually, with the mulberries, I suppose Wind/Air takes the place of Spirit.  I'll have to ponder the implications of that, besides the obvious connection of air/east/beginnings.
     Also note that sex is, sometimes, NO WHERE in nature.  Ferns – a topic dear to MY heart – are asexual, with a whole different type of reproduction that includes not just spores but a haploid version. 

     Note the yews, with sexed plants PLUS asexual spreading/survival.

     Meet some chickens, where the female are XY and the males are XX.  And where XY females have been known to become fully functioning males if the flock needs it.  Thus, transexuality is build into nature, too.

     From here, the discussion goes into how polarity is not duality, it is subtle, shifting, mutable.  Much of Wicca’s theology and magic is based on the dance of polarity.  Remember this when talking of The God and The Goddess.  Mutable. Dance. Subtle.

First World Wicca

Blessings, Darlings!

I know, the title of this is redundant. 

But I keep getting amazed at the Wiccans I run into on-line who approach Wicca as something to be purchased.  Yes, I ranted about this before, which is why I put forth the "don't buy ANYTHING MORE" challenge. 

Alas, it seems that not everyone on the planet has read my blog.  [Darlings, aren't you re-tweeting the link?]  I keep running into new Wiccans who aren't DOING a thing, their entire focus is on BUYING things.  Not buying one book, but buying every tool, everything they might want for their altar, etc. 

This idea that you BUY Wicca is, to me, abhorant.  Okay, to me the idea you can buy ANY religion, any connection to the God/dess/es, is.  But to say that you don't DO any Wicca until you have all the bling?  Screw that!  It's just an excuse to keep consumerism as your religion, to continue to build a relationship with what you own (and owe) rather than the Gods.

Seriously - you don't need to 'buy all your supplies' before you can build a relationship with the Gods.  Unless in truth it's all about shopping therapy, and not truly the Gods.

Instead of spending hours online deciding what to purchase - and asking fucking strangers online if "this is the right thing to buy for my BOS" - START TALKING TO THE GODS.  And, more than that - LISTEN TO THEIR REPLIES.

THAT is what Wicca is about.  Not buying altar clothes.  Not buying overpriced 'Charmed-style' notebooks for your Book of Shadows - use a spiral notebook.  Or, often better, a 3 ring binder and loose leaf paper.  I get my 3 ring binders from garage sales. and re-use the blank back side of printouts of our office computer programming printouts for the pages.

Stop confusing affectation with content.

Do the WORK

All you need is yourself and the Gods.  All else is optional, but, in fact, you already have them. Incense? Cut an orange or a lemon.  Athame? Grab a kitchen knife. Chalice? A sippy cup would do, let alone a water glass. Wand? I've used a stick from outside my apartment or chopsticks. Candle? Does not the fire of life run thru' you? 

Doing the work makes you Wiccan, not owning shit.

Frondly (or not), Fern

Monday, May 9, 2011

Could it be .... Satan?

Blessings, Darlings!

I've said most of what I'm about to blog before, not so much here in the blog but in oral discussions, old Prodigy bulletin boards, and in various chat rooms.  The impetus for putting it together here came from the following exchange on Facebook (in a discussion of the movie Thor):

Lucy Castellon Goffan I love to know when they are going to GET THAT WE DON'T WOSHIP SATAN !!!!!!!!!!!!!
Kristi A Gilleland Lucy - probably when their preachers decide to quit telling them that. 

I'm not going to argue about who 'we' are here - tho' I'm thinking that they aren't Asatruar, since I've never seen any Asatruar who spend any time wondering when 'they' are going to do ANYTHING. I'll assume that they are 'generic neopagan'.

Yes, I know very well that generic neopaganism doesn't involve the Christian version of Satan.  I know that polarity is not duality.  

But, oh you who demand tolerance, nay, demand acceptance - when are y'all going to accept that in traditional/standard Christian monotheism all Gods but their own are defined as Satan (or a Satanic delusion)?  

Seriously:  demanding respect by disrespecting their beliefs is lame.

So what if their religion defines 'our' religion as Satanic?  Get over it. Maybe read my earlier post

Frondly, Fern

Unpacking. Still.

Blessings, Darlings!

You remember that I moved?  Back in November?  My computer tells me we're now into the second week of May.

We still have a whole bunch of unpacking to move.  We do not travel light. We are book people.

Actually, MY books are unpacked. I have a few boxes of papers that are not unpacked .... okay, maybe 10 or so of them.  But the husband .... he has boxes of crap in the bedroom to be unpacked, boxes of equipment to be unpacked (most of which I have just neatly stacked so I can move around the office and lab better), and over 50 boxes of books to unpack.

But yesterday one of our clients sent an e-mail, waving money and asking the Chubby Hubby to work on a new project.  For which the CH needs to get at his books on SNMP.  Which are, as we say a lot around here, "in a box, somewhere."  So the CH mentions that he wants our Spawn to find the books.  Which were last seen 'on the floor by his desk' before we moved. 

Spawn and I, after we finally cut back the pampas grass, head to the detached garage to go thru' the pile of CH's boxes of books.  Nothing is labeled "floor by CH's desk".  (Yes, I had boxes of my books labeled "floor by the couch". I found all MY books.)   I send the Spawn to drag the CH to the garage.

"Okay, there are boxes labeled 'Lab 1'.  Those are from the bookshelf unit that was by my desk. I would have packed the books by my desk in those boxes."  Ours not to ask why.  I have the spawn move all 'Lab 1' boxes to the front parlor, which has no furniture, just boxes of CH stuff, and tell the Spawn to open them there and look for the books in question.  It takes us some effort to go thru' the 50 boxes to get all the 'Lab 1' boxes identified and liberated, but we do it, Spawn schleps them, and finally finds the right box.  CH is now thrilled, as the box has a whole LOT of books he really used often.

But, had he just labeled the damn box "books from floor by my desk", we'd have put that box in the office IMMEDIATELY when we moved, and he'd have had them all along.

OTOH, CH wanted us to open EVERY ONE of the 50 boxes, rather than try to figure out which label was most likely to succeed.  So I think I scored efficiency points.

Frondly, Fern

Cream Sauce Recipe

Blessings, Darlings!

As I said, I made a quick and sleazy cream sauce yesterday - well, a cream sauce that featured no cream, nor even half and half, but was still tasty.  It was almost entirely made with storage foods.  Time to share the recipe!

3 tbs butter
2 tbs all purpose flour
1 12 oz can evaporated milk (I used evaporated skim, it would have been better with evap. whole)
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1/8 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
dash or two or three of hot sauce
a nice slug of dry sherry (I had to use extra dry vermouth, as I'm out of sherry)
1 small can mushrooms (if you want to make it a mushroom cream sauce)

Melt butter in saucepan, let the foaming come to an end.  Add flour, cook for a few minutes to cook the butter.  Slowly add the can of evaporated milk, stirring well and constantly - use a whisk if possible!  Add the other ingredients.  Simmer for a minute or two, adding more of any of the seasonings to taste. I added more salt and nutmeg this time, for the dish I was making.

That's it.  Easy peasy.

Frondly, Fern

Sunday, May 8, 2011


Blessings, Darlings!

It's Mother's Day.  I called my Mother, but can't afford to send her anything.  I don't think that the Chubby Hubby has called his mother yet.  The spawn ... well.  He got me nothing, didn't say Happy Mother's Day or anything.  Around 11 I told him I was hurt.  Around 12 I told the CH to order the Spawn out to get me a card.  So now I have a card.  CH didn't get me a card, or say anything, but he's overwhelmed by our finances so he's getting a pass this year.

So I'm cooking for me today.  I made a cream sauce, and then Eggs Florentine for breakfast.  I'm baking one of my favorite cakes right now.  I'm considering forcing the guys to eat vegetarian for dinner, but might make dol sat bi bim bop for dinner.

Le Sigh.

Frondly, Fern