Monday, July 15, 2013

In Love With the Lefties

So I’ve come to appreciate my left hand. I think I’ve always appreciated it and loved it, but even more so after Easter 2012. Because that’s when I took a nice looking left thumb and sliced off the tip using a mandolin – the kitchen gadget, not the instrument. It’ll be a long time before I ever attempt scalloped potatoes again, if ever.

But I digress. Injured thumb notwithstanding, I love being left-handed. There are so many righties in this world, and the left hand is just as good and gets none of the love. I mean, look at all of the connotations between “left“ and “right“: left behind, left out, leftover, two left feet (clumsy), left field (out there, confused) as compared to right (correct), right as rain (a-ok), right minded (not crazy), in the right (justified), and so many more. But why must it be that way?

Over the years, I’ve become accustomed to living in a right-handed world. It’s not easy but lefties persevere. We’ve had to do it since kindergarten – I mean, with three or more left-handed kids and only two pairs of left-handed scissors in art class, one must learn to adapt. And that’s just one example. I bet you righties out there have never stopped to think of all of the things a lefty has to deal with, our lot in life if you will. Some might think of these things as left-handed struggles, but nay I call them opportunities…or more appropriately from my perspective, annoyances. Such as…

Childhood Struggles: 3-Ring Binders, Spiral Notebooks, and High School/College Desks
Back to school should be the happiest time of the year. New school supplies, new wardrobe, first day of school jitters. It’s a time when the only thing you’re responsible for is yourself and going to class. Ah those were the days. Except if you were a lefty. Apparently the school supplies designers cursed the left-handed of the world when they came up with 3-ring binders and spiral bound notebooks. It isn’t enough that every word we wrote in pencil or ink ended up on the back of our hands. It isn’t enough that people gawk at how we hold our hands as we write. Did they ever think the blame could be placed on these evil instruments of documentation? And the desks. Seriously? The right-handers get arm rests? Puh-lease. Let them hold their arm up the entire class and build some muscle like the lefties. Oh and yes, I suppose I should mention that most classrooms did provide at least one left-hand configured desk. Thank you for accommodating the apparently handicapped. By putting ONE desk in the room. At the front. Where none of the cool kids sat. I suppose I’ll suffer through another academic year.
Social Struggles: Dinner Table Seating
The internal mind power that goes into a lefty choosing a seat at the dinner table might surprise you, but I can vouch for every lefty out there that we never choose our seat willy-nilly. We’re thinking of seat-choosing strategies the moment the host/hostess leads us from the waiting area. The one saving grace is if we know another lefty is with us, and then we can happily sit next to each other without another thought, but you can be sure we’ve both thought about it beforehand. Ah to be a righty and just sit wherever we please, but if we did the righty would surely look to the lefty with blame in their eyes the moment the elbows bump, as if it’s our fault and we’re the ones who are backwards.

Kitchen Struggles: Measuring Cups, Soup Ladles, and Can Openers
And what is it with the chefs and cooks of the world? How is it possible that almost every kitchen gadget is inherently designed for righties? Of course lefties can use them, but if we try with our left-hand we get the metric system on the measuring cup. Perhaps if the whole world used the metric system, it’d be okay, but I learned my measuring in cups and ounces. Recipes don’t use the metric system, why should I? And soup ladles. I suppose I can’t complain about this one too much since I never eat soup, but the little lip is not designed for a lefty’s use. The one time I picked up a ladle I was sadly disappointed. And can openers…forget about it. I never even attempted to use anything but my right hand.
I’m sure my fellow left-handers could easily share other examples of the struggles and pains we’ve had to endure. But I’m also sure that every one of them is proud to be a lefty. Wouldn’t change it for the world. Enjoys that little feeling that they are special…not like everyone else. I know I do. Our challenges have turned into advantages in some cases and given us the benefit of adaptability and ambidextrousness. Which means yes, I am passionate about being a lefty. And proud of it.

So if I hesitate sitting down at a restaurant, it’s because I’m scoping the best place to sit without being harassed. If I squint at a measuring cup, it’s because I’m doing the metric system-to-ounces math in my head, unsuccessfully. If you see me using something with my right hand, it’s because the world has forced it upon me my friends. But I carry on. As many others have carried on before me and will continue to long after I’m gone.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Am I Passion-less?

Have I become passionless? This is a question I’ve recently asked myself. I started this blog to detail all of my little passions, and there are many of them. But it’s been well over a year (and almost a half) of silence on the passion front. What does this mean? Am I tired of having passions? Am I stagnant? Have I lost my passion for all the little things that excite me or make me happy? I still have a list of passions yet to be written about, so it can’t be for lack of material. 

I suppose in some ways I needed a small break. Okay a big break. I became involved in other things that required my writing skills, be they good or bad. I was taking up a lot of my time with different extra-curricular activities. These have occupied my nights and weekends to a certain degree. And I’ve enjoyed every minute of that. It’s been a great way to use my skills in a different way, and I happen to like staying busy. 

So what’s different now? Well a very good friend of mine has recently started her own blog. She’s a wonderful writer I’ve worked with for the better part of nine years. She’s so fantastically creative, and she’s a great encourager. You can find her blog here. Well, as part of her blog, she has a day devoted to "Table Topics," and she invites others to guest blog and answer these conversation starters. It was beyond intriguing, and I – with some hesitation – dove, okay waded, right in. I have to say it’s been fun to write about these sometimes bizarre, sometimes challenging questions. I suppose my initial hesitation had more to do with "will I have time?" Work is busy, I’m busy, how can I sit around and add one more thing to my list? But it’s been a sort of release, and it did make me miss my own little passion-filled blog. 

Well, here I am. For better or worse. Writing about my passions again – or recent lack thereof these days. I guess I needed a little more encouragement, and I found it. I realize it’s been a sad, sad world without the exploration into one of my many little passions, so forgive me readers. I aim to do better and regale you with tales once again.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Cadbury Mini Eggs

It’s the most wonderful time of the year!  And no, I’m not talking about Christmas.  I’m talking about Easter, and the arrival of one of the best Easter candies of all time – Cadbury Mini Eggs.  Now, don’t get these confused with Cadbury Cream Eggs.  It’s a whole different ballgame people.  My love of Cadbury probably started with the Cream Eggs when I was little, but over time the palette has matured, and it’s Mini Eggs all the way.

It’s gotten so obsessive that I’ve developed some type of weird psychosis I think.  For the longest time they were only available once a year (twice now if you count the Christmas version, but I don’t), so I would stockpile as many bags as people would give me and hoard them, so I could have them any time of year.  There was a problem with this scheme however.  I never ate them.  I had some subconscious fear that if I ate them, I would run out.  So better not to eat and save, then eat and have none.  Therein lies the problem. 

So I have happily stashed about three to five huge bags of Cadbury Mini Eggs that go uneaten the majority of the year.  Good thing candy stays good so long.  People have stopped gifting them to me, and I never buy them for myself either.  One of these days I really will run out, but I vow to happily open a bag to enjoy during this Easter season.  It’s a must!

And for all my fans out there – a Saucy Challenge Update.  I am happy to report that I didn’t just make up this Saucy Challenge and never commit.  I actually made two out of the ten sauces so far.  Go me!

First up I tried the Balsamic Cream Sauce over chicken and pasta.  I cut and caramelized onions for the first (or maybe second) time in my life, so I consider that an accomplishment.  I used balsamic vinegar, heavy cream (yum) and a chicken bullion cube…I mean, I didn’t even know that kind of thing still existed, and I have no idea what it did.  Verdict - delicious.
Onions are'a caramelizing.
Adding the heavy cream and balsamic vinegar.
Chicken & Pasta with Balsamic Cream Sauce (sorry for all the yellow)
Second I tried the Cheddar Cheese Sauce.  Tasted delicious, but it never quite thickened up the way I think it was supposed to.  No matter, I ate it anyway with some Alexia’s Seasoned Waffle Fries.  When I reheat the rest, I’ll try mixing in some flour to get it a bit thicker.  Verdict - delicious but needs some fine-tuning.

Extra sharp cheddar grated and mixed with cornstarch.

The ingredients.
Adding the hot sauce and evaporated milk.
Whisking and melting the cheese
Looking cheesy!
I'll have some fries with that cheese sauce.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

It's in the Sauce

Sauces make the world go ‘round, at least my world.  I pretty much use sauce to dress up everything I eat – french fries, chicken, sandwiches, pizza crusts, pasta, chips.  I think food is just better when you can dip it or mop it up in some delicious, creamy concoction.

I do have my favorites – alfredo for pasta, cheese for chips and crackers, ranch for pizza and sandwiches, but I got to thinking that there’s more to life than those three glorious sauces.  So I scoured the all-knowing Pinterest, and I found ten sauces that I simply must try.  And not just “try“ in the sense of taste and see if I like it, but “try“ as in make them, from scratch.  All in the hopes of expanding the palette and learning something new in the kitchen.

I’ve decided to call this little foray the Saucy Challenge, and I shall be undertaking it over the next few months.  As a quick little disclaimer before I unveil this saucy heaven, most of you know (and some may not) that I am not a fan of red sauces.  Don’t expect any on the list, cause it ain’t happening.

Lynda’s Saucy Challenge
Apple Cider Sauce
Balsamic Cream Sauce
Bourbon BBQ Sauce
Cheese Sauce
Chipotle-Pomegrante BBQ Sauce
Gorgonzola Cream Sauce
Hot Fudge Sauce
Jalapeno Cheese Sauce
Original Olive Garden Alfredo Sauce
Salted Caramel Sauce

So there you have it.  I tried to do a nice mix of sweet and savory, cheese-based and BBQ, dessert and appetizer.  I kind of like my list, and I can’t wait to try them all.  I’ll post updates as I cross the sauces off the list.  Until then, may you make your world a little bit better with sauce.  Happy saucing everyone!

Monday, January 30, 2012

First Blog of 2012

2012.  A New Year.  It brings new expectations and new hopes for changing for the better.  Last year I made my resolutions, and for the most part I’ve stuck with them to this day.  I haven’t regretted one single minute.  My life feels fuller, it feels more blessed, and I truly recognize how lucky I am.  Leave it to the year you turn 30 to make you re-examine yourself and your life.

This year I want to continue to participate, continue to challenge myself and continue to try and be someone other people want to be around, but those technically weren't my resolutions.

In all honestly I only made one resolution this year, and I broke it on the second day, so it doesn’t say much about the resolution or my commitment level.  Coke is just too good, and I love my mid-day treat with lunch.  I need to go back to convincing myself that water tastes just as yummy.  I have a hard time with that.

And I apologize for the lack of blogging, as I’m sure everyone has been anticipating some excellent little passions.   Stay tuned for some very passionate posts (for me at least) on sauces, being left-handed, Cadbury Mini Eggs and Kraft Macaroni and Cheese.  Who wouldn’t be passionate about those things?  I guess if you love your food dry, are right-handed, hate the Easter holiday and think orange powdered cheese gives you cancer, then you might not, but let’s not dwell on your imperfections (I kid, I kid).

To sum up, this year will be great – I can feel it in my 30-something year old bones, and I go forth with the knowledge that it will be lucky, because I had my black-eyed peas on the 1st.  Yay for 2012!

Thursday, December 8, 2011


I love cinnamon, and pretty much in all its varieties.  Many people think of cinnamon as a holiday thing, but it pretty much stays en vogue all year ‘round in my house.  So in honor of my love of cinnamon and the time of year, I’ve highted some of my very favorite things.

Home Sweet Home by Yankee Candle
Pretty much the best cinnamon candle out there.

Cinnamon Brooms
Ahh that holiday classic you smell as soon as you enter your neighborhood Publix come October.  I love these things.  Of course I never buy one though.   I have a four-legged feline that would probably try and eat it.  Scratch that, would eat it.


Crest Pro-Health Clean Cinnamon
Fewer and fewer establishments are carrying this flavor of Crest toothpaste, but I still manage to find it every once in awhile, and boy, do I stock up.  I don’t want minty fresh breath people, I want cinnamon-y fresh breath if you please!

Cinnamon Disks by Brach’s
Oh yes, from the Brach’s candy dispenser in your neighborhood Publix.  My grandparents always had a little candy jar on their bureau when I was growing up, and it was filled with cinnamon disks and butterscotch candies.  Needless to say, I always went for the cinnamon disks.

Trident Cinnamon Gum
This little gem went missing from shelves a few years back, and it was impossible to find, so you had to settle for the Trident Cinnamon Whitening gum instead.  To me, it’s just not the same.  I’m thinking there was a huge outcry of disappointment and despair over its disappearance, so they brought it back.  I’m not a huge gum person in general, but you can believe I have several packs stored just in case.

Friday, November 25, 2011


Such an appropriate time of year for this blog post.  I’m passionate about stuffing.  As in the food.  That you eat with your Thanksgiving turkey.  I love it.  A lot.

I hope my numerous periods throughout that first paragraph really helped you understand the gravity of the situation.  If the only thing served at Thanksgiving was the stuffing, that would be A-OK with me.  

Even though my love for stuffing is very dear, I probably only eat it at big family dinners on Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas.  I’m not a huge fan of the box stuff – even though Stovetop makes it so accessible anytime of year.  It’s just not the same.  I love the good stuff, the stuff your grandma makes from a long held family recipe (or one she made up on the fly).  My grandma’s recipe (that she got from my grandfather’s grandmother) uses cuban bread, and I think it makes all the difference.  So in honor of my grandma’s amazing stuffing, below is her recipe.  Try it out.  I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

Grandma Ruth’s Stuffing

1 pan cornbread (crumbled)
10 inches Cuban bread (broken into small pieces)
20 saltine crackers (crumbed – can use Ritz crackers)
1 cup cornflakes (crushed) – optional
4 cups of chicken broth
1/2 stick butter (melted)
1 1/2 cup onions (chopped)
1 cup celery (chopped)
2 tbsp parsley (chopped) – optional
2 tsp poultry seasoning
1 tsp thyme
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper

Sauté onions and celery in melted butter. Combine rest of the above and mix with chicken broth. Stuff bird or put into greased baking dishes and bake at 325 degrees for 30-45 minutes.