Tag Archives: LBC

Can men cook daily meals?

YES!

I was once told that anyone who could read, could cook!

OK, if they follow the steps in the recipe they should be able to produce a decent meal, but it takes time and experience to learn about texture, taste, aroma and presentation!

I have male friends who confide that their wives will not allow them in their kitchens!

My late father was a typical Irish husband of his time, he never set foot in the kitchen. His head might appear round the door to enquire “What time will the dinner be ready?”, but he never offered to help.

When I got married, it was rather a shock to find Jack at my elbow when I was preparing a meal. Did he not trust my cooking skills? Did he think that I would kill him off? No!

One day while preparing a chicken for roasting, he stood silent, intently watching my every move. I asked if he was worried that I might poison him, but he assured me that he was there to learn. In his time as a widower, he had a limited number of dishes in his repertoire, but never bought a chicken. It was thirty six years ago, long before chicken portions or goujons, and he did not know what needed to be removed or left in the chicken cavity before cooking.

As I put a prepared meal in the oven one day, Jack turned and said to me, “I think I now know how to do that recipe, so next time we are having that dish, I’ll make it!”

He did. With time his culinary skills increased and he often offered to make our meals!

He had one rule: If I prepared and cooked the meal, he cleared up after it! In fact on most days he had the preparation dishes washed and away before we sat to the table! He was my dishwasher – fast, portable, no need for electricity, and his whistling was tuneful!

Some of the best cooks I know ARE MEN.

Padmini from This and That, There and Here, asked the question: Can men cook daily meals? I know all the male members of the Loose Bloggers Consortium can cook, but have yet to enjoy a meal at their tables. Now there is an idea… A tour of all the LBCer’s kitchens…. While I dream about that, why not join me on my weekly jaunt to see what delicious tidbits they have on offer for us to share this week.

Wrong fit

Fitzgerald & Stapleton Dance Theatre are performing Wage at this years Dublin Fringe Festival.

Emma and Áine are performing in the festival with WAGE, a show they made and performed in New York last year. This time round they wanted to rework the piece to include MINE with the existing choreographic score for the Dublin festival.

They wrote to me last week to ask for my permission to perform it. Why?

We would need a tardis to take us back in time… back to a blog post I wrote in my old blog in 2010. (The site is down at the moment, thought it was live last weekend, while my toyboys work on updating and moving all the old posts to the my new home).

MINE is an interactive online choreographic process involving Fitzgerald & Stapleton and four Irish women who live in different locations around Ireland and are aged between 8 and 63 years – Poppy Kane, Jenny Doyle, Kay O’Grady, and Grannymar.

Their plan was to work with each participant to create four individual choreographic scores over an 8 week period.

The work was completed and the problem of funding, loomed large. Things went quiet. The last time I heard from the girls, they were in New York (a previous visit), and there was still no sign of funding. Perhaps MINE was a ‘wrong fit’ for that time.
That did not mean it was a lost cause altogether, it was a hurdle to be jumped at another time. That time is now.

I will leave you in the good hands of the other LBC active members to check how they handle the topic Wrong fit chosen for us this week by Will Knott, while I head for the Project Arts Centre in Temple Bar, Dublin, to see Wage.

Modern addictions

“Addiction can affect anyone, regardless of age, gender, race or religion, and intervention should be considered for any person suffering from addiction to restore his or her emotional and physical health.”

So said Dr Christian Jessen in an article in the London Evening Standard  which went on to produce a list of the Top 10 addictions of modern lifestyles.

The List:

Workaholism
Very much encouraged in the modern commercial world, where every minute spent working can mean increased earnings. But all work and no play can lead to total burnout, and workaholics usually don’t realise there’s a problem until things go badly wrong.

Love Addiction
Not the same as sex addiction; the love addict can never let an infatuation go, meaning it can affect his or her health and future relationships. Research suggests feelings of love are caused by a rise in phenylethylamine, a neurological chemical that can be addictive. It has also been found that people who are infatuated share similar symptoms with cocaine abusers.

Television Addiction
We watch an average of four hours of TV a day. This means that by the age of 65 we may well have spent about nine years glued to the box. TV addicts share many clinical abuse symptoms such as helplessness in putting an end to the addiction, using their “drug of choice” to soothe their nerves, and irritability when forced to kick the habit.

Teeth-whitening Addiction
Colloquially known as “bleaching junkies”, these addicts have made teeth-whitening the top requested cosmetic dental procedure, increasing by 300 per cent over the past few years. It may seem harmless but the consequences can be as horrible as in other addictions. Excessive teeth sensitivity, bleeding gums and transparent teeth are common.

Exercise Addiction
Possibly something I should recognise in myself. Exercise addiction statistics are hard to find because it usually co-exists with eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa. Treadmill abusers may sacrifice their health and social life for their addiction. A study published by Behavioural Neuroscience in August 2009 found similarities between excessive running and drug-abuse behaviour.

Oniomania
Otherwise known as shopping addiction, it’s not just celebrities who are afflicted. There are oniomaniacs or compulsive shoppers in almost every neighbourhood and family. Studies suggest that compulsive buying affects more than one in 20 adults. The mania has been linked to depression and has brought many shopaholics to the brink of bankruptcy.

Tanorexia
A silly word adopted by the press, it refers to tanning addiction. Doctors are concerned about tanning and advise against the use of tanning beds, as they have been proven to be carcinogenic — but tanorexia continues to be a problem, especially among young women. A 2006 study found that the UV rays of tanning beds produce feel-good endorphins, falling levels of which, post-tanning, can trigger withdrawal symptoms similar to those caused by alcohol and drug withdrawal.

Sex Addiction
The craving for sexual gratification is as old as human history. But modern dysfunctional families are often blamed for turning a human urge into sexually compulsive behaviour and some feel that easy access to internet porn has only reinforced it. Not all psychiatrists recognise this addiction, but growing numbers of self-help groups and sex recovery centres have been set up to help treat what they see as a real problem.

Internet Addiction
Constant, unstoppable, obsessive internet browsing that becomes a daily routine, and where any interruption causes irritability, may well indicate the presence of an Internet Addiction Disorder. Psychiatrists are now acknowledging the mood-altering effects of online pornography, gambling, gaming, networking and blogging — in some countries, internet addiction has become such a serious social problem that recovery programmes have been put in place.

Plastic Surgery Addiction
Negative body image is driving hordes of people under the surgeon’s knife. In 2006, the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons warned its members about patients with a body dysmorphic disorder or “imagined ugly syndrome” for whom cosmetic surgery is an unending journey due to these addicts’ dissatisfaction with the results. The organisation reported an alarming study that found 40 per cent of Botox users admitting to being lured to it by the attraction of continued treatment.

Do you see yourself in any of the descriptions? You may not even be aware of it, but an addiction might well be lurking under the surface…..

Some folk might think that I am afflicted with a few addictions…..

Am I addicted?

Am I addicted?

No. No way, you got it wrong!

I am not surgically attached to my laptop & cell phone and you know I only see Buffy in short bursts, every few months.

I was writing an LBC Post. Honest! The phone in my hand was to try and capture a photo of the young madam on my knee, before George obliged.

The topic Modern addictions was chosen for us this week by Ramana and I can tell you he is totally addicted to his new daughter in law, Manjiree, you can tell – it is written in his eyes!

My best friend

I did have a ‘best friend’ but unfortunately illness and age took my Anam Cara from me.

A friend is: A PERSON WHOM ONE KNOWS, LIKES, AND TRUSTS. There are many in my life who fit this description.

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines a friend as:

1 a : one attached to another by affection or esteem
   b : acquaintance

2 a : one that is not hostile
   b : one that is of the same nation, party, or group

3 : one that favors or promotes something (as a charity)

4 : a favored companion

5 capitalized : a member of a Christian sect that stresses Inner Light, rejects sacraments and an ordained ministry, and opposes war —called also Quaker

I wonder which of the above you think fits our particular friendship

I wonder if Delores, from Life on a Limb was checking up to see if we actually had a friend, never mind ‘My Best Friend‘, by suggesting this topic? 😉 You know I am teasing her, we are all good friends in the LBC, even those who are sleeping! For sleeping read busy, working, distracted or on holiday. The names are all listed over in the sidebar.

Five songs

If you could only hear 5 more songs what would they be and why? – the question posed by Shackman this week for our LBC group.

Why?

You might well ask. I want to.

  • Am I being dispatched to a desert island with only a comb and piece of tissue from a cigarette packet a shoe box my underwear drawer, with which to make a tune?
  • Will I go deaf as soon as this post goes live and have to depend on the tunes in my memory box?
  • Is it time for me to float on a cloud with my wings spread like an elegant butterfly?

Well here goes… In for a penny, in for a pound, my five penny worth:

I began early by trying to Catch A Falling Star

Then a fella put his hand on my shoulder and I was like a Pussycat, happily purring away

We were like Islands In the Stream

Pledging – Forever and Ever

He promised to Dance me to the end of love, and he did!

Dance me to your beauty with a burning violin
Dance me through the panic ’til I’m gathered safely in
Lift me like an olive branch and be my homeward dove
Dance me to the end of love
Dance me to the end of love
Oh let me see your beauty when the witnesses are gone
Let me feel you moving like they do in Babylon
Show me slowly what I only know the limits of
Dance me to the end of love
Dance me to the end of love…….

Now, I am what I am

A Wandering Star

I am ready to see what pulls the heart strings and sets the toes-a-tapping for my fellow LBCers. Coming with me? The links are all over there in the side bar.

Shopping/Shopping online

Findlater's delivery bicycle - courtesy of The Little Museum of Dublin

Findlater’s delivery bicycle – courtesy of The Little Museum of Dublin

Not alone do I remember Finlater’s large grocery shop on the corner of O’Connell Street with Cathal Brugha Street in Dublin, I also remember buying items of groceries to carry home with me on the bus from town! We are talking way back when I was barley into double figures.

Remove the sign and I am dipping into the memory box of another similar bike.

Eddie’s bicycle. Eddie brought an order of groceries to our house on six days of every week. That is a story for another day.

We have come a long way from small grocery shops with the grocer standing behind the counter in a brown shop coat or apron on which to wipe his hands. A pocket for a notebook and the obligatory pencil sitting on his ear.

The cooked ham and the bacon (raw) were both cut on the same hand operated slicer and cheese was cut to the size of the piece you wanted. The fact that the soil covered potatoes were added to the scales in the back store and a bail of briquettes was carried to a car with those very same hands, only added extra flavour to the bacon! Health and Safety were never heard of, and sure we were only building up our immunity. My granny would have called it clean dirt!

We paid for our shopping with REAL money, not bits of paper or plastic.

We have come a lonnnnnng way since then.

In the ‘olden days’ when I was a knee spit high, you could find small shops that claimed to sell everything from a needle to an anchor. Today we have Supermarkets and stores trying to sell us a LIFESTYLE.

Pre-packaged, shrink-wrapped, plastic bags, Big Supermarkets and BRAND NAMES.

We have gone full circle. The Eddie’s of this world may have gone to their reward, but you do not have to leave the house to have the groceries or indeed any shopping delivered to you kitchen counter, never mind front door.

A few days ago, I was returning from my adventures in Dublin, when my mobile began to chirp.

“Mum where are you, now”?

“On the bus back to the house, we are as far as the halfpenny bridge.”

“Do you fancy coming to this talk/presentation with me? I am feeding Buffy and about to head into town, if so, I’ll call and see if I can get you a ticket.”

“It might be interesting, go ahead and try.”

I stayed on the bus in case the answer was no. Elly called back with the instruction to get off at the next stop, cross the road and jump on the next bus back into town!

I did. We met,and I went along.

On entering the building I was greeted and welcomed by
Piaras Kelly, Associate Director of Edelman, although we had not actually met before, he was aware of my online presence.

The presentation was on behalf of Musgraves, SuperValu & Centra  – who are all under the same umbrella. An evening of information, discussion and suggestion gathering from foodie bloggers and users of social media, to see how they can improve their online presence.

The above group is Southern based and not available to me in Northern Ireland where my online foodie needs can be catered for with Sainsburys, Tesco or Asda

It was interesting to see things from the other side. But what struck me was the fact that I was the oldest person in the room, old enough to be the mother of everyone else there.

I was greeted with hugs and kisses by several signed up and badge holder ‘Grannymar Toyboys’!

If I was to sum up the evening in words they would be

Online presence
Value for customers
Community
Tablets and mobile phones
Apps
A bottle of wine
Meals for two
Family deals
Young Mums
Pets
Providing recipes and ideas for quick and tasty meals
Coeliacs – a long discussion on their needs

I did have the opportunity to request that recipes be included for those with other health issues such as Dairy allergies.
A request was made from the floor to remove the rolling flashy bit from the top of the site, something I was pleased to hear and they can be such a distraction.

For me the evening was geared for people already living the world of technology and actually more familiar with it than some of those presenting. This is not a complaint, only my impression.

There was no mention of the older generation, many of whom are being pushed into this world of clicks and likes. Young people forget that we oldies were brought up in a world of “DON’T Touch, you might break it!”

Many people in their seventies & eighties are using technology theses days to keep in touch with family and friends scattered across the globe. As they become more familiar they brave the waters to other areas and home shopping is one way.

The sites need to be simple with easy straightforward instructions.

MAKE IT EASY AND NOT A TREASURE HUNT.

Flashing lights are for Christmas trees and street decorations. Let us find the food and necessary items First. Let the ‘flifferty gibbet fashionatas’ dig deeper for their ‘apps’ and wide screens!

Make text large and clear enough for aging eyes. Text over jumping or moving screens can be gone before we find it.

Three for two or buy one get one free offers may be fine for family shopping, but do have offers for pensioners. A bag of fruit with different varieties in it – not a bag of apples that will have gone off before they reach the end of it.

A local butcher to me at home does an offer one day a week, it will have a piece of steak for frying, a pork chop, sausages , bacon, and maybe a couple of chicken breasts all for a very reasonable price. That would keep a pensioner in meat for a week.

You want to support the family, we seniors are very much part of that family. Not alone are we struggling with ageing ailing eyes and bodies, we have to battle with a very fast changing world. Do not push us into the ditch of life to linger and fade away.

We need to eat too!

Padmini the wonderful cook and author of many cookbooks, and hails from Chennai, in India, brought the topic Shopping/Shopping online to our LBC table for dissecting today. Why not pour a drink and join me on a trip round the other members all listed in the sidebar for the next course in this banquet.

Contradiction

She lived at the end of Oxford Street, you would see her many a day wandering in Queen’s park, muttering and sucking her teeth with sounds like a snort, sneeze and snuffle. She had large eyes and a muscular body although her legs were noticeably bowed which gave her a rolling gait.

Neighbours were heard to say: “It would take a patient person to deal with her, since she can be cocky stubborn and opinionated”.

If only they knew….

Inside her head at this very moment she was drooling at the thought of lunch…..
A feast of goat’s cheese and plum tomatoes baked on ciabatta bread with roasted peppers, caramelised balsamic onions, chargrilled artichoke hearts, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, marinated olives, mixed leaves and balsamic glaze.

Then there was her past.

If people only knew.

She had moved across the country, reinvented herself and changed her name. It was the only way to cope.

The sudden death of her husband of twenty five years was a devastatingly dreadful shock. Ollie was king of the gym, with the body of Adonis. A perfect couple, they made all the ‘A list’ invitations!

The funeral was large, as you would expect for such a popular figure. People came from far and wide to pay their respects.

Extended family, distant relations, directors and staff from the company, it was kind of them to close down for the day. A large party from the golf club, regulars from the gym, and a group from the yacht club who formed a guard of honour.

Ollie was a popular man. Very popular.

The funeral of a soul-mate is not exactly the place you want to discover exactly how popular he was….

All those conferences….. Golf tournaments…. Weekends for ‘boys only’ yachting trips.

Being a writer, she thrived on having time to churn out the words, so waved him off with a smile.

If only she had known…..

She had heard of strange women who turn up at funerals. Why, she and the girls had often laughed about it: Women with children in tow, who unexpectedly arrive on the scene claiming…. She could not utter the words, even silently inside her head, she wanted to scream and scream… to drown out the thoughts.

The women were real. All three of them, with five children between them.

Then there were the love letters stored in long forgotten boxes.

“It is not just the stuff of movies” she thought. It sure gave a whole new meaning to the phrase “getting your affairs in order”.

#~#~#

The topic Contradiction was chosen for the LBC group this week by Maria Gaelikaa, and I am anxious to read what angle she will take with it. All the links to members Of the Loose Blogging Consortium, are listed in the side bar, so why not make a coffee and enjoy a relaxing read of all the entries.

Puppy love

Puppy Love, was a popular song written by Paul Anka in 1960 for Annette Funicello, whom he was dating at the time. Twelve years later it was revived by Donny Osmond.

Puppy Love is often described as a young love infatuation similar to a crush. It is often one sided and not reciprocated. I was never a slushy crushy person. For a relationship to work in my book, it has to a 50/50 total respect.

I am reminded of a Robert Brault quote:

I value the friend who for me finds time on his calendar, but I cherish the friend who for me does not consult his calendar.

My real puppy love is this little scallywag:

Buffy!

The topic this week  for our LBC members (you will find their links in the sidebar) was dreamed up by Ramana  I look forward to discovering the angle on Puppy Love that they each write about.

My First kiss

It was gentle as a butterflies fluttering wing,
My heart felt like bursting I wanted to sing.

First on my forehead, then on my nose,
I wished it kept going right down to my toes.

Scattering soft kisses like petals on my face
Warm and gentle, so full of grace.

Slowly and gently your lips brushed with mine
A sensuous treat to make my eyes shine.

Tender and memorable warming my heart
Delicious sweet desire, a wonderful start.

Our travelling romantic Delores, from Life on a Limb, found the perfect way to delve into the secret past lives of LBC members by asking us to write about: My First Kiss. I hope you notice that I have finally managed to list the members over there in the side bar, so if you fancy a few more kisses, skip along with me and see how many we can collect. Maybe with all this excitement it is just as well some are late on the starting blocks – my heart might go into shock otherwise.

Just remember:

A kiss blown is a kiss wasted…the only real kind of kiss is a kiss tasted!