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I Almost Forgot the Tomato (Fruit or Vegetable) Debate

I almost forgot the other interesting topic of conversation from our evening out. Is a tomato a fruit or a vegetable?

It was amazing at how much conversational mileage this worn out debate carried! I will repeat my opinion here: The tomato is a FRUIT! To the jerk with the bad hairpiece and the ugly tie, I repeat The tomato is a FRUIT!

The reason that they are classified as fruits and not veggies (no they are not sweet but that doesn't make them a veggie Mr. Philosopher Want to Be).

Their very name comes from the Latin words for "Fruit Bearer".

The reasons tomatoes are classified as fruit are as follows:

  • They grow on trees. No matter how spindly their prickly stems are, they are considered to be branches.
  • Tomatoes have seeds
  • Tomatoes have skin
  • Tomatoes have juice
  • Tomatoes contain the fruit gene (and who wants to argue with the DNA these days?)

There you go Mr. Know it All! I hope you read my blog about this burning hot topic and realize I DID GET THE LAST WORD!

BEATLES SONGS HAVE ROOTS IN THE BLUES - Not Your Usual Holiday Cocktail Party Banter

The cocktail parties are starting already. It seems as though hostesses are in a hurry to "get it over with" rather than looking forward to holiday gatherings this year. If they think that their guests are not picking up on the sentiment, or lack of, they better think again.

At the party we attended last night the hors d'oeuvres lacked the creative display and enthusiasm of past years. I am one of those people that graze their way through festivities and most of the fun is sampling new recipes and to engage in stimulating conversation. I could hardly believe my eyes when last night one of the more innovative hostesses of the past had resorted to blocks of cream cheese covered with pepper jelly surrounded by plain old Ritz crackers. I'm not being critical I just couldn't help but notice the change in style.

And the conversation was pretty stimulating, but rather combative! Not unusual because there's always somebody breaking the rules of polite chitchat, but surprisingly the arguments were not based on politics or the war in Iraq, it was whether or not Beatles songs had roots in the blues. No joke, one of the more lively conversations that I witnessed was a discussion of early Beatles music and which artists were their inspirations.

Usually, I don't allow myself to be pulled into this kind of thing. However, my mom was a huge Beatles fan and I grew up spinning her old lps (I still can't believe how casual she was about my handling of her precious vinyl records) from the early 60s.
I had to throw in my two cents worth and voice my opinion that I really don't hear much blues influence in songs like "I Saw Her Standing There" or "Twist and Shout".
Although in their next album, they did include a Chuck Berry song, "Roll Over Beethoven", but I don't classify that song as blues. Money (That's What I Want) was on that album, too but that's not really blues either. My next question is how the conversation on whether Beatles songs are blues songs got started in the first place! Now, Eric Clapton songs? There's no argument that lots of his stuff is blues...but the Beatles? That's a stretch.

If you'd like to argue this point with me, give me a shout at Oooh Baby Baby.

Brett Favre the Darling of South Mississippi's Injury

What a shame that Brett Favre was injured and had to leave the Packers game against Dallas. I saw where some of the commentators were being accused of focusing way too much on his injury to the extent that the rest of the game was virtually ignored.

Pardon me if I don't mind the extra attention that this player gets! Any and all love and bias sent in the direction of Brett Favre is just fine with me.
This shining star straight out of South Mississippi is in my opinion one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time and a good guy to boot! If I had a houseful of baby boys instead of all these girls, I would be on my knees praying each and every night that my sons would follow in his footsteps. Well, actually it would be a tossup between whether I would ask for devine guidance for them to follow the Manning boys or Brett...either would make this SEC loving mama very happy!

Some of the blog comments are that the replays of Brett's injury were overplayed and that Grant's touchdown was not given the attention that it deserved. I agree with that, but I can also see that when one of the shining stars of football is hurt a little extra coverage is bound to happen.

Personally, I would much rather have more information on Brett Favre's injury than players who involve themselves in disgusting activities like dog fighting.

If you don't agree with my opinion on this, you can always yell at me on my baby blog.



Several days of dreary rain, fog and chilly weather drained me of the energy to perform all the household duties, start shopping for Christmas and participate in Thanksgiving. Good news is that the turkey and dressing were both moist and delicious. It's never a good thing to turn out a feast that's dry and unappetizing because the lack of quality is remembered until the next time that you do turkey with all the fixings. I think I found the answer to a beautiful bird worthy of a Martha Stewart photo shoot: basting.

Yes, indeed there are multiple benefits to pulling that heavy roaster in and out of the hot oven for three hours every thirty minutes or so. Other than burning my knuckles on the rack during the process, I believe that to baste is indeed best. I had read that the food that is in magazine photographs is virtually inedible because it is not actually cooked to eat. The recipes are created to look sharp, not taste good. I should have invited the photographers to come and take pics of my turkey! It was baked at 325, basted as I mentioned above and the breast was a beautiful, crisp golden brown with just the right number of spicy flecks for good measure! And it tasted positively wonderful. Eat your heart out Martha! Kiss my hiney, Rachel Raye, it IS possible to have a pretty entree that you can eat!

Here's the recipe for basting a Thanksgiving turkey that everybody loves except one of my kids' but the majority of the votes are positive!

1 stick of salted butter
1 tablespoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tsp. basil leaves
1 tsp. dried thyme leaves (I didn't have any leaves so I used ground..so shoot me)
1 tsp. black pepper

I melted the butter and stirred the spices in.

I LIGHTLY sprinkled salt all over the turkey inside and out. I put the bird in the oven with a tent of foil for about 30 mins. Then every half hour I slop some of the butter mixture inside and out of the bird, replace the foil tent and back in the oven she goes for another half hour. For the last half hour of baking, I baked without the foil tent, but with lots of basting mix on the skin.

There you go! Easy as pie so long as your back doesn't go out from bending over to baste like mine did! LOL Really, it did. My lower back went wonky on me that morning and it's just now getting to the point that I can stand up straight so the rest of my holiday recipes may have to wait until Christmas!


Healing Foods for ADHD

Occasionally one of the girls or one of the cousins might drink just a little too much sweet tea. The after effects are that they will begin to chatter non-stop while displaying an inability to stop moving their feet. The adults might laugh and tell them that we didn't know ADHD come on so suddenly!

For those of us who don't suffer from it, I suppose it's easy to joke about something that is so hard for other parents to deal with on a daily basis. What brings this to mind today is that we recently got some new neighbors in the house next door. I was so thrilled when I saw that they have children similar in age to my own. Before the moving van had pulled away, I had my "Welcoming Committee Casseroles" in the oven so that I could help out with their supper that evening.

Within a few hours I was tapping on the door ready to introduce myself. The lady that answered the door looked tired, but excited with her new home and that neighbors had been so welcoming and friendly. She invited me in, but I sensed some resistance and I really didn't know what to make of it. I assured her that I didn't want to impose on such a busy day and just wanted to drop off something that she could heat up whenever she felt like it. She looked so relieved that I thought that I had indeed intruded. I was about to duck out the door, when we heard a crash from the other room.

I felt I should go with her to investigate because of the kids and sure enough one of hers was standing to the side of the scene of the accident, another in a child carrier just out of harm's way and the other was right in the middle of the carnage. Mom seemed to know which child was responsible right away and took him by the hand to walk me to the door. The little boy was pulling against her all the way and seemed distressed. She took this opportunity to explain to me that he was ADHD and that she had wanted an opportunity to talk to me about his condition before I met him as they didn't believe in medicating for it and there were times when he got pretty out of control.

People, I felt that the Lord had sent this lady into my orbit! My sister had a child with much the same symptoms as this little fellow and also has the belief that medication may not be the answer. She was determined to try natural means before resorting to meds and she has had amazing results. She has come to believe that many cases of ADHD could be helped if not completely eliminated by dietary changes! She got lots of tips from Dr. Melanie Beingessner product resources. She's the doctor who wrote the Calm Baby Cookbook. I am in no way affiliated to this lady, but have seen firsthand the benefits of following some of her suggestions!
I had real problems with my baby having severe rashes when I was breastfeeding that disappeared once I identified and eliminated trigger foods.

I told my new neighbor about this and I hope she gets some good results, because she really looks worn out and at her wits end. If anyone else has suggestions to add, I would love to forward them to her!


Other Than Starving the Pilgrims Had it Pretty Good

I'm taking a break while the cornbread for the dressing is baking in the oven. I usually take a few minutes to make a list of the things that I am thankful for each Thanksgiving but for some reason this year I'm having trouble focusing.

I believe that the making of my traditional, annual Thanksgiving list is being overshadowed by my “stuff that I need to do” list.

My “to do” list is filled with entries such as:

  • Try to fix the vacuum cleaner
  • Get the cat a bigger litter box
  • Check to see why the county didn’t send us our tax bill yet
  • Clean out the hatch of the car
  • Peel potatoes for my signature sweet potato pie

If I tried really hard I'm sure I can add least 10 more things to my list. I'm sure that the participants of the first Thanksgiving had a few things on their “to do” list, but somehow I picture them as being much less stressed than people today.

Think about it: they grew the food, they cooked the food, and they ate the food. Most of their immediate concerns in the New World had to do with food. No running hither and yon to pick up dry cleaning or to take the cat to the vet. I certainly don’t want to diminish the desperate circumstances is of that early time in our history that you have to admit in some ways they had it pretty darn good.



I'm really paying for messing around with my template, as I'm working with a BRIGHT rosy pink background that I'm not crazy about. The other template I was using had a much more pleasing color, but I was not crazy about it. I'm making a mental note to learn more about web design and learn how to make templates that I like. Maybe that can be my New Year's resolution that I don't keep?

On the upside, I'm sure that I got the dofollow thing going again and that was really important to me as I had tried to get the word out about that and didn't want to get branded as a storytelling blogger.


I Have Completely Screwed Up

Ok everybody! I have screwed up by playing around with my template. All my roomie, do follow attributes and blogger chicks widget and everything have been lost! That's what I get for trying to combine childcare, recipe troubleshooting and blogging! Please give me a day or so to reconstruct my blog and get it back to normal. Work with me y'all! I could use a little support if anybody could send it! Ouch.

I was trying to install an odiogo wigdet and it seemed not to work on my old timey blogger template. So, I get smart and start to monkey around with templates about the time baby was having a mini meltdown and whammo a wrong button is pushed and all is lost. I apparently pushed a "switch to" button rather than my "gimme a preview" button. Well, I like the colors ok, so I'm going to try to make the blasted thing work. Pray for me y'all!

Skipping Thanksgiving - Jumping Straight from Halloween to Christmas

I know that you all have taken note that Christmas decorations and open houses were in full swing the day after Trick or Treat. Does anyone else remember when people who started hanging lights on their gutters on first day of December were thought to be jumping the gun and pushing the holidays?

I remember the year that we got our tree on the third of December. What a year for the record books! Mother had previously said that to put decorations up any earlier diminished their importance. It was her opinion that special things should be kept, well...special. We didn't question her when she announced that we could kick off the season early and started cruising the fence lines in the pastures with enthusiasm. We found a cedar that only had to have three or four feet chopped off so that we could get it in the front door and thought we were the luckiest kids in the world that we were the first to get our tree up on our block. We were the envy of our friends and looked forward every afternoon to the moment the lights were plugged in and our living room was magically transformed into a sparkling winter wonderland.

How wonderful it was to have those extra weeks of expectation and fun. As an adult and looking back, I realize that the reason she bent the rules a bit was that money was so tight that year. I can honestly say that I never noticed that mother didn't seem to be as thrilled with the early onslaught of Christmas cheer as we kids. Maybe she thought that the joy of decorating earlier than normal would divert attention from Christmas wishes that didn't get granted in the way of gifts? Whatever her thinking might have been, it must have worked. We considered ourselves the luckiest kids in town that we got our tree up before our friends!

It makes me wonder if the need for a spiritual lift is the reason that people are putting up their Christmas pretties earlier and earlier.


Willing Your Frozen Eggs and Embryos to Your Kids?

With women of advanced maternal age having put off having their babies until late in life, I'm hearing more and more discussion about the fate of frozen eggs and embryos. I'm surprised that nobody's given the fate of these precious little bits of life some thought before now.

What happens to the frozen eggs if the mom never uses them? Are there any laws on the books for this situation? One discussion that I heard said that maybe they should be part of a person's legacy and left to their children. I can see where this might be a viable solution. What if something happened that your daughter's eggs were damaged and she couldn't have children? Having a few of mom's unfertilized eggs lying around could really simplify things (and reduce the cost of?) in case she needed to opt for in vitro fertilization. What is the shelf life of human frozen embryos anyway?

On the other hand, what if you have no children and the future of your fertilized or unfertilized eggs needs to be decided as part of your estate planning? What should be done? Is it ethical to just toss them? Are there facilities that welcome donations or do people sell them? Ethics aside, what is the price of frozen human embryos? I have to admit that I'm not knowledgeable in this area but I would love to know more about it and can see where there might be some controversy because of the disagreement of when life begins.



This is not a rant about how ABC,NBC or CBS is not putting enough child friendly television programs out there. There's more than enough excellent programming out there for kids. Today I'm being a selfish mom and I'm complaining that the tv shows on the networks stink!

I'm not a chick that spends her days on the sofa eating chocolates and watching soaps. When the kids are asleep, at preschool or visiting elsewhere I tend to enjoy the company of the television while I fold the laundry, dust, and try new recipes or new crafts. Is it just me or are television shows just getting less interesting?
Where are the Raymonds and Seinfelds? If I never watch another reality or game show again it will be way too soon! I know the networks have to be marketing to some audience but who might they be?

And the cop shows, MY GOSH!!! Do people not get enough crime through the network news? And another thing, the trend of flashing from one scene to another like lightening is enough to trigger a bout of epilepsy in a person.

Do you want to know what I think? If you've stuck with me this far, you must care, right? I think that producers are resorting to guts, gore and camera tricks to get out of writing a decent storyline.

And you know what it's doing for them? It's breaking society from the tv addiction! Yep, before I made this post I made a point to ask 5 women what their favorite television show was and 4 out of 5 said, we really don't watch television like we used to! Whoa! What is Les Moonves going to say about that? Probably not that much, because 5 out of the 5 women I queried said that they try to make a point to record David Letterman and Craig Ferguson to watch the next day.

What do YOU think about the new fall television shows? Please tell me that my friends and I are not just old fashioned, out of touch fuddy duddies!



Here we are the day after Halloween! It seems like only yesterday that I was bitching about the hot weather and the drought. Just goes to show that time flies when you're having fun or not as the case has been at my house lately.

On the upside, trick-or-treating went well. There was no crying about a costume that didn't fit right, look right or that was duplicated by another kid down the street. This was our first time for trick-or-treating this far south. Southerners really make Halloween a major production! Churches have Trunk or Treat where the entire church parking lot is filled with parked cars with the hatches open or with open trunks filled with candy, baked goods and small toys for the children.

Even with all the festivities at the local churches our neighborhood was filled with little ghouls and goblins and their parents. The kids wanted to visit some of the neighbor's houses, and I went along with it. We were actually invited in for a light supper at two of the houses. The last one would not take no for an answer and treated us to a wonderful Halloween dinner of chicken chili served in hollowed out rolls. I had never a eaten any chili that was made with chicken before but I begged for the recipe!

Did anyone else feel that Halloween was so much more fun since daylight savings time had not kicked in yet? I hope that they don't turn the clocks back till after the 1st again next year!

Here's a recipe chicken chili

1 tablespoon virgin olive oil
2 cups chopped onion
4 large garlic cloves, minced
1 pound skinless boneless chicken breasts or the chicken meat of your choice that has been cut into bitesize pieces
1 large jalapeno pepper, seeded, finely chopped
1 teaspoon ground coriander
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 cans (or a 29 oz can of ) diced tomatoes including the juice
2 cans (or (a 32 oz can of )Great Northern beans that have been drained
1/4 cup lime juice or fresh juice of 1 lime
2 cups frozen corn kernels, thawed, or 2 cups of fresh or canned kernals
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup finely chopped onion (southerners swear by Vidalia onions for obvious reasons)
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Once the oil has been heated, slide your chopped onions and garlic into the oil

Stir and saute until onion is tender

Add your chicken and stir till lightly browned on all sides

Next add the chopped jalapeno pepper, coriander, cumin, tomatoes and juice and drained beans.

Turn the heat to low and let simmer for around 5 minutes

A lime juice and kernels of corn. Season with salt and pepper to your taste.

Continue to simmer the mix, stirring occasionally to avoid sticking, for 5 to 10 minutes more.

Serve with sour cream, chopped Vidalias and cilantro for guests to add to this easy recipe for chili.