Monday, February 28, 2011

Ditching The Kids

Mardi Gras...30 Beads.

This is the text message I received from Mom. Mardi Gras? She was supposed to be somewhere in Alabama. What the heck was she doing in New Orleans? The thought of her walking down Bourbon Street, accepting beads from total strangers, strangely enough, made me laugh out loud from the joy of it.

Mom took her second trip of a lifetime in 2008, since then, she's only gone places with us kids. I know she enjoys hanging out with us, but sometimes, it would nice for her to be with folks closer to her age, or decade, which is the 50s.

Mom is travelling with her brother and sister-in-law and their friends. I'm heading South in a week or so to rendezvous with them so they can hand Mom back to me. (Mom has to be home sooner so she won't miss her monthly tap-dancing lesson.)

I'm sure we'll have an adventure or two on the way home; we usually do find something to get into.

Mardi Gras...30 beads...a message I never expected to receive. Mom has always wanted to go to New Orleans, she just had to ditch the kids to get there.

(Let's just hope she doesn't end up on one of those Girls Gone Wild videos.)

Friday, February 25, 2011

National Chili Day...Again

I love chili, and if I don't pop a couple of Rolaids and a few Pepcids it will keep loving me back, for days. Can you say peat, and repeat? Anyhow, today, February 25, is National Chili Day.

There are different kinds of chili, and your tastes are usually decided by where you're from. I know Texas has dozens of different recipes for chili but the main thing about Texas chili is that they don't like beans in their chili.

Other areas like to use different kinds of meat such as beef, sausage, and even chicken mixed in different quantities, and with or without beans. (Me, I prefer beans, because, well, beans, beans, the magical fruit, the more you eat...I think you know the rest.)

Some folks even like white chili, whatever that is, I tried it once at Panera Bread or somewhere, but I wanted to keep putting ketchup in it. (That's just me.) I think chili should be tomato based, but that's just one MA Fat Woman's opinion.

Another thing I get confused about is using the word chili so loosely. What exactly is the definition of chili? What about the stuff you put on hot dogs? Chili, coney or hot dog sauce? What about the stuff you put on spaghetti? Chili or spaghetti sauce? Beans or no beans? Three-way, four-way or five-way?

(Whoa, MA Fat Woman! What are you talking about?)


(Get your minds out of the gutter.)

All of this has been leading up to what I feel is the best chili going: Cincinnati style chili.

I like both Goldstar and Skyline chili. Mom and I have driven up to Kentucky before to have our Cincy style chili. You can check that story out here. What makes this chili different is that cinnamon is used to give it a different taste and kick. It's really good!

The below photo shows a three-way which is spaghetti noodles, chili and shredded cheese. A four-way is achieved by adding onions and a five-way by adding beans. I prefer the three-way spaghetti. Did I say it's really good?

Three-way chili spaghetti

You can purchase Goldstar or Skyline directly from the companies and it comes in canned and powdered forms. You can also purchase Skyline at Krogritz in the canned form, and in some locations, buy it frozen. It's good, but it isn't quite the same as tasting it yourself in person. I can never get the cheese right...

Enjoy National Chili Day and have or make yourself some chili, however you prefer it. Me, I think it's time for another road trip!

Friday, February 18, 2011

My 500th Post!

animated fireworks Pictures, Images and Photos

Whoopie! Yay! Cool Beans! Holy Crap! Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious! Awesome! Happy Birthday! (That one doesn't quite fit.)

This is my 500th post on Reflections On A Middle-Aged Fat Woman. I've tried to think of something exceptionally clever or outrageously funny to tell you about so this could be the best post...ever!


*Thinking some more...

*Thinking way too much now...

Well, I tried. Nothing seemed to pop into my head at that moment so I guess you'll have to put up with Plan B.

Plan B is a look back through the archives at my top five favorite posts. The one great thing about blogging is that there is a written record of seemingly ordinary happenings that could have easily been forgotten. The five that I have chosen reflect that sentiment. I hope you enjoy the walk down memory lane and thanks for reading Reflections On A Middle-Aged Fat Woman.

5. Fire on Cherry Fork Road

4. Mi Costinita

3. A Democrat, A Republican and An Independent...A Conversation on Health Care

2. Shakespeare...A Midsummer Night's Mare

1. What I Did For Brown

Now, it's time to announce the winner of the gift-card guessing contest. The winner is Dana who correctly guessed the five gift cards that I received for Christmas. Dana will receive the lovely, handcrafted burlap tote that Mom and I made; we hope you like it!

Wow! When I started on this little blogging adventure of mine a few years ago it was mainly an attempt to channel my creativity into something other than a chocolate donut. I've always enjoyed making people laugh and to do it in 400 or so words
(the average blog post) or less can be a challenge.

Sometimes, I succeed. Other times, I don't. But I do enjoy the process and I guess that's all that matters!

Thanks for hanging out with the MA Fat Woman; I sure do enjoy your company!

Monday, February 14, 2011

A Valentine For Mom

We've taken trips.

She's received flowers.

She's had more candy than one person should ever receive.

We've gone out to fancy dinners.

We've dined on decadent desserts.

We've gone to museums.

We've gone to concerts.

Mom and I have done almost everything that I can think of for Valentine's Day. So the question is this: What do you get the person that has had everything for Valentine's Day?

Why, a jar of pickles, of course!

Mom loves pickles! I won this jar at an auction over the weekend. I just know she will appreciate it.

...I mean not many people get a jar of pickles for Valentine's Day.

Happy Valentine's Day!

...I hope you get something as unique as Mom did. If not, give me a call....and I'll see what I can do.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Another Contest Update

The end of the contest is drawing to a close. In the beginning I gave a clue about one of the cards and mentioned that I would give other hints. I went back over the posts and noticed that I neglected to give any more clues. What about that? I totally forgot!

To move things right along, I reviewed the entries and NO ONE, I mean NOBODY has guessed correctly, thus far.

Here are a few helpful hints:

1. Walmart

2. Amazon

3. iTunes

4. Starbucks

The four mentioned above are four of the five cards. You just have to guess the last one. Visa, eBay, Kohl's or Sears are your choices for the last spot and to give you another hint--this establishment has been around the longest.

I've only used one of the cards, so far, I'm saving up for a special occasion.

So, everyone, go ahead, and guess again. You might just win something!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Contest Deadline Rapidly Approaching

I've reposted the contest post again to encourage participation. Geesh! Can you help a girl out? It's free to guess and you might just win something. On a side note, my new computer had to go visit her friends at the Geek Squad for the third time in as many months. The MA Fat Woman is beginning to get a bit annoyed--to say the least. The way things are going, I might be getting a new one. Thankfully, it's still under warranty. And on another side note; it snowed again. (Yuck!)

Well, it seems like I have stumped the readers of MA Fat Woman. Only one brave reader tried to venture a guess of what gift cards I received for Christmas. I gave you a very good clue that one of the cards was from a new place that opened up in my town last August. To give you another clue, almost every county seat in America probably has one. Easy, if you ask me.

To also encourage audience participation, I am going to remove the Longhorn and Home Depot answers so you will only have to guess 5 out of 8 which should help.

1. Amazon

2. EBay

3. Walmart

4. Kohl's

5. iTunes

6. Starbucks

7. Sears

8. Visa

Leave your guesses in the comment section and the winner will receive the handmade burlap bag that we made last fall. The contest is open to international readers and family as well so give it your best shot.

The winner will be announced soon!

Happy Guessing!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Return To Dallas

I'm beginning to wonder if television isn't running out of ideas. Back in the day, or the 80's as I refer to them, the only "Reality Show" around was On the Road With Charles Kuralt. It depicted what life was like in the small towns of America. News was designated to a certain time every day: Local news at 6:00 PM and the Evening news at 6:30 PM; everything you needed to know was delivered in that one hour time span. Nowadays, the local Fox station starts delivering the news at 4:30 AM and goes until 10:00 AM, again for an hour at noon, two hours starting at 5:00 PM and then for another hour and a half at 10:00 PM. Is there really that much going on I need to know about?

What brought on this journey down memory lane was a news blurb I saw that Larry Hagman had agreed to return to television to his iconic role of J.R. Ewing. Really? Are they having another reunion show? Later in the day, I heard that Patrick Duffy and Linda Grey had also agreed to return. It seems that it wasn't a reunion show but a remake of the original Dallas now focusing on the next generation...i.e....John Ross. According to the report, the three original cast members would only be in the pilot, or the first show.

That made me mad!

Really, really mad. Finally, network execs were going to get something right. I know I'm approaching that age (45 and up) where advertising folks don't think we matter anymore, but I think they are wrong. I think my generation, and the one ahead of me is ready for a few good television programs. I mean, How many Law and Order shows can one watch? Do I really care if the Bachelor is as fickle as a pimply-faced teenager? And finally: Will you please find a star that I actually might want to dance with? John Travolta, anyone?

I went to Southfork a few years ago and toured the ranch. Unfortunately, J.R. and Bobby weren't at home. I hope to return to Dallas one day, and if I do, I'll be sure to head back out to the ranch. That's what I hope for the original cast of Dallas, too. If enough folks complain about it, maybe J.R., Bobby and Sue Ellen will get to stick around for more than just one episode.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Butter Tubs Are Not Shatter Proof

I landed a perfect faceplant the other day after slipping and sliding on a big glob of butter. For the third time in as many months I dropped one of those large plastic butter tubs on the floor in my kitchen. Personally, I would think they should be a bit more durable, but each drop has resulted in a crater-size crack of the tub and a mountain of yellow goo on the floor.

I really don't think it matters how old you are when you slip and fall; it still hurts. First, even before you allow yourself to realize that you could be injured, you have a quick look around to see if anyone was watching. Next, you do a mental assessment from head-to-toe bending and flexing to make sure everything still works. Sometimes, it will seem everything is okay--until you wake up the next morning unable to get out of bed; stiff neck, anyone?

This trip was more a surprise than anything: One moment you're standing at the fridge with a tub of butter in your hand and the next you're face down on the floor with the cat licking butter off your nose.

I didn't injure myself, thank goodness, but at my middle-agedness, I need to be more careful; that's why I'm switching to sticks!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Confederate Bean Soup...A Paula Deen Recipe

I'm trying to use up some of the food items that I've had sitting in the back of the pantry and at the bottom of the freezer. You know the stuff, a can of smoked sardines, or maybe a package of chicken livers that you keep sidestepping every time you open the door.

In my case, it was a can of Bush's baked beans. It wasn't that I didn't want to eat it, the can had fallen on the floor and rolled behind a large pack of paper towels and I just found it. The other item was a package of smoked sausage that had been in the freezer so long that it was completely covered in ice. I could make beanie weenies; haven't had that in years.

When we went and saw Paula Deen a few weeks back, I purchased one of her cookbooks which features recipes from The Lady & Sons restaurant. I had glanced through it quickly upon purchase looking to see if the mac & cheese recipe was included (it was) and would prepare it at a later date. Today, as I was pondering what to do with the beans and sausage, I thought it might be a good idea to see if my new cookbook had a recipe for that combo, and, it turns out, it did.

The following is a recipe for Confederate Bean Soup:

This a great soup to make when you have leftover baked beans. If you don't have leftovers, you can substitute Bush's baked beans. (I had that and I also added a can of Bush's hot chili beans.)

1/2 pound of smoked sausage, slice in 1/4 in slices (I used a whole pound)
2 slices bacon, diced (I used ham lunchmeat)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 medium onion, diced (I omitted the onions, because I'm allergic to them)
1/2 green bell pepper, diced (optional) (I didn't choose this option)
2 tablespoons butter
2 cups Bush's baked beans or leftovers
1 1/2 cups half-n-half (I used 2 cups)

Saute sausage, bacon, onions, garlic and peppers in butter until bacon is cooked. Add beans and simmer for a few minutes over medium to low heat. Add half-n-half. Increase or decrease h-n-h for preferred thickness. Serve with hot corn bread. Serves three or four.

I added some black pepper to taste and about a 1/2 cup of shredded cheddar cheese. I was very surprised at how well this soup turned out. I served mine with a bit more cheese, a few saltines and dropped the cornbread on top.

I made enough so that I would have leftovers. The problem is that I forgot I was out of Beano, so I'm sure they'll hear me all the way down in Savannah, at least for a few days!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Sometimes You Feel Like A Nut

I like trail mix and when I tell somebody in my family that I like something I'll get whatever "it" is for every special occasion for the next five years. In a way, I can't blame them because I am hard to buy for. It's not that I have such peculiar and exotic tastes; in fact, I'm a Plain Jane kind of girl. But, if you've been to the store lately, there aren't many Plain Jane items available. Whether it's food (hold the onions, please) or clothes (hold the ruffles, stripes and leopard print, thank you) plain, simple, and boring, I guess are relics of the past.

I've been eating on this bag of trail mix since Christmas. I've eaten the M&Ms out of it twice and had to restock it with new candies. It's like the more I eat of it, the more full the bag seems to get. At this rate, it's going to take me until Easter to finish it off.

Don't get me wrong, I really enjoy the trail mix, but I was over at Mom's house the other day and she sent me into the back room to get something out of the closet. I couldn't find it at first and was digging through some boxes and lo and behold, guess what I found?

Yep. A complete case (minus one) of my favorite trail mix!

Don't forget to get your entry in for the gift card guessing contest going on right now.


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