Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Painful week

This is a painful week for me. First, we have trickling Internet connection provided by AT&T. I cannot believe how plug in we are until we have an Internet problem. I feel like there is a lack of oxygen in the house. A totally uncomfortable feeling that slows me down to a point of frustration. For those of you who follows my blog everyday, please accept my apology, I am trying my best to resolve this problem and update at least one blog a day.
Then, there is the news of Herman Cain's consideration of dropping out of the Presidential Election. Largely because of his alleged adultery. I have been a great supporter of Herman Cain and I have watched him debate many issues and impressed with the man's ability to stay focus and refreshing perspective of problem solving. I am also impressed with his history of diligence and enterprising spirit. He was a hot tea party favorite and Democrats were afraid of him. So the left resorts to all means and ways of shooting him down. Including the lame accusations of sexual harassment. The same people who found it ok for Bill Clinton to cheat and lie now stone Herman Cain to death with their double standards. And that did not bother me much. I was more concern about the issues and the debates put forth by Herman Cain.
Recently though, something happened. Poll has shown a surge for Newt and supporters of Herman Cain are now migrating over to Newt. Newt is not a clean sheet of white paper when it comes to area of emotional/romantic commitment. He has cheated on several of his wives and in fact this last wife of his is a mistress when he was married to his Second. So people are not jumping ship because Herman Cain is being accused of this or that affair. People are jumping ship because Herman Cain is unable to solve his publicity problem.
I am disappointed with Herman Cain. Not because of the accusations, but because he is unable to appoint the right staff to solve his problems. I used to defend this point on a blog stating that he is politically inexperienced and hence he probably is not able to identify good political staff too. Then again, no matter how much I detest the state of politics, a president is a part of the political system. And if Cain cannot recruit the best talent and solve his problem effectively, then perhaps, he is not the right one to lead either. If both men cheat and one is constantly fighting the media about his affairs while the other completely divorces his personal life from his public life and is able to lead the media towards his policies, it is quite obvious who has the leadership. That said, it does not mean I like Newt or supports him at this point. I understand why people jumps ship and I am personally disappointed with Cain. But there isn't one that can come close to a Ronald Reagan.




Monday, November 28, 2011

How to Run a Silent Auction - wikiHow

How to Run a Silent Auction - wikiHow

Tokyo One Sushi& Grill Houston


Situated right next to our hotel Willowbrook Residence Inn Mariott is this newly renovated Sushi & Grill Buffet. If you are looking for a Japanese & chinese feast completed with french dessert, good Sake and Hot Pot experience, this is the best place to go for only around $27 per person. Kid friendly. They loved making choices and of course, the desserts.

Hot Food Section:
Hot food section is right in front of the kitchen.  Here they make all the hot items that are cooked on the grill or fried and brought out under the heat lamps.  There were baked rockefeller Oysters, mussel and scallop on shells. Perfectly grilled beef, lamb chops and teriyaki chicken. The one end are dumplings with all its necessary condiments and the opposite end is the tempura station. Crispy, non-greasy generously big shrimps, vegetables and my favorite sweet potatoes. Start off on a cold winter's night with the soup adjacent to this section.

The Soup Section:
4 kind of soup await you here.  You can pick your noodles too.  Miso base. Japanese Pork, Thai Tom Yum and Korean Hot and Spicy. You can create your own soup by adding items such as thick fresh seaweed, quail eggs, onions, green onions, mushrooms, and other vegetables to the soup.

Cold Food Section:
FRESH FRESH FRESH. Like you are transported back to Singapore.This includes the Tuna, Salmon, Octopus, Yellow tail Sashimi. About 50 kind of American sushi and handrolls (temaki.) Includes Tiger Eye, Spicy Tuna, Rocky Roll, Spider Roll, Rainbow Roll, Spicy Roll, and Crunchy Roll etc. This place has the very special Shaggy Dog roll which I was too full to try but it is on my list of to do next trip. I was too busy munching on Dungress Crab ( entire half of it),the Alaskan King crab legs and the fresh Oysters. 

Salad Section:
My favorite Salad spread of all times. Baby Lotus Seaweed, Endamame, spicy squid, spicy tuna, Korean pickles, western Caesar, garden green, tomatoes and mozzarella, spanish creamy mushrooms etc.

Fruits and Dessert
Pretty much every fruit you can think of with sauces and dressing to eat them with. Delightfully small french pastries, creme brulee, mango pudding, raspberry layer cake, chocolate mousse, cheese cake.

Hot Pot
Individual Hot Pot will be set up at your table if you request for it. Load yourself at the Hotpot station with Korean sliced beef, assortment of vegetables and clams. Let the soup simmer and eat slowly throughout the evening. They provide Korean spicy sauce, sacha and sarachi chilli sauce as condiments to your hot pot.

Ice cream
When you are all set to leave, the waitress will take your last order for Ice cream. Choices are, red bean green tea, plum, peach, and mango.
It's hard to believe we ate this amount of food after a thanksgiving meal the previous day but we did.
7465 W Greens Rd
Houston, TX 77064
Neighborhood: Willowbrook
(281) 955-8898
 ( There are 2 in Dallas and 2 outlets in Houston)
P.S. Nice Restrooms, 3 smiley faces, even have a change table in the ladies. 

All Your Children Are Belong To The Nanny State

 All Your Children Are Belong To The Nanny State
 If I have to live in a society of big government, I'd rather be in Singapore or even China.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

"No one needs to tell me how to be black, I have been black all of my life" - Condi Rice

No Higher Honor: A Memoir of My Years in Washington

From one of the world’s most admired women, this is former National Security Advisor and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s compelling story of eight years serving at the highest levels of government.  In her position as America’s chief diplomat, Rice traveled almost continuously around the globe, seeking common ground among sometimes bitter enemies, forging agreement on divisive issues, and compiling a remarkable record of achievement.
read more in her book.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thankful for an enduring liberty that so many have laid their lives to Protect.

And the Fair Land-(wsj review & outlook)

'For all our social discord we yet remain the longest enduring society of free men governing themselves without benefit of kings or dictators.'

Any one whose labors take him into the far reaches of the country, as ours lately have done, is bound to mark how the years have made the land grow fruitful.
This is indeed a big country, a rich country, in a way no array of figures can measure and so in a way past belief of those who have not seen it. Even those who journey through its Northeastern complex, into the Southern lands, across the central plains and to its Western slopes can only glimpse a measure of the bounty of America.
And a traveler cannot but be struck on his journey by the thought that this country, one day, can be even greater. America, though many know it not, is one of the great underdeveloped countries of the world; what it reaches for exceeds by far what it has grasped.
So the visitor returns thankful for much of what he has seen, and, in spite of everything, an optimist about what his country might be. Yet the visitor, if he is to make an honest report, must also note the air of unease that hangs everywhere.
For the traveler, as travelers have been always, is as much questioned as questioning. And for all the abundance he sees, he finds the questions put to him ask where men may repair for succor from the troubles that beset them.
His countrymen cannot forget the savage face of war. Too often they have been asked to fight in strange and distant places, for no clear purpose they could see and for no accomplishment they can measure. Their spirits are not quieted by the thought that the good and pleasant bounty that surrounds them can be destroyed in an instant by a single bomb. Yet they find no escape, for their survival and comfort now depend on unpredictable strangers in far-off corners of the globe.
How can they turn from melancholy when at home they see young arrayed against old, black against white, neighbor against neighbor, so that they stand in peril of social discord. Or not despair when they see that the cities and countryside are in need of repair, yet find themselves threatened by scarcities of the resources that sustain their way of life. Or when, in the face of these challenges, they turn for leadership to men in high places—only to find those men as frail as any others.
So sometimes the traveler is asked whence will come their succor. What is to preserve their abundance, or even their civility? How can they pass on to their children a nation as strong and free as the one they inherited from their forefathers? How is their country to endure these cruel storms that beset it from without and from within?
Of course the stranger cannot quiet their spirits. For it is true that everywhere men turn their eyes today much of the world has a truly wild and savage hue. No man, if he be truthful, can say that the specter of war is banished. Nor can he say that when men or communities are put upon their own resources they are sure of solace; nor be sure that men of diverse kinds and diverse views can live peaceably together in a time of troubles.
But we can all remind ourselves that the richness of this country was not born in the resources of the earth, though they be plentiful, but in the men that took its measure. For that reminder is everywhere—in the cities, towns, farms, roads, factories, homes, hospitals, schools that spread everywhere over that wilderness.
We can remind ourselves that for all our social discord we yet remain the longest enduring society of free men governing themselves without benefit of kings or dictators. Being so, we are the marvel and the mystery of the world, for that enduring liberty is no less a blessing than the abundance of the earth.
And we might remind ourselves also, that if those men setting out from Delftshaven had been daunted by the troubles they saw around them, then we could not this autumn be thankful for a fair land.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Monday, November 21, 2011

Scientists Establish Virgin Births Are Possible | DailyCristo

Scientists Establish Virgin Births Are Possible | DailyCristo
Hail Mary.......Blessed are you amongst woman, and blessed is thy womb, Jesus.


OH A KISS IS STILL A KISS IN CASABLANCA -And boy, don't we love this movie more and more each day as time goes by.

Casa Blanca - A Great Classic Movie that never gained profit only the hearts of Millions.

The thing that makes Casablanca great is the magic you experience when you watch it. From Plot to Characterization, Motivation to Conflict, Exotic setting to perfect Music, Great acting to insanely Good looks, Humor to Nobility.......I can go on and on. Yet each time you watch it, you uncover a new level of understanding. This is what makes it a Classic.

To put it simply, it has murder, romance, loyalty, friendship and adventure all wrapped in unforgettable dialogues and filming. This is what made it intriguing. We see each one of our own archtypes in each Character. And even though it was not a perfect ending, it was a satisfying one. It is hopeful and inspiring to see the characters seek redemption and do what is right ultimately. On some level, every character in the story receives the same kind of catharsis and their lives are irrevocably changed.

We learn different types of romantic love, of respect and of passion. We learn how desperate people can make desperate choices. We learn how happiness can be brought about by a change of perspective and we learn sometimes happiness is not just about self but of others above self. We also learn that when you love somebody, you don't necessarily have to own them.

Look out for the subtle nuances each time you watch it. And you will uncover deeper appreciation of the movie messages. It is an extraordinary film, entertaining, moving, romantic. And you will go to bed with music in your head and wake up with music in your hearts.

Oh a kiss is still a kiss in Casablanca
But a kiss is not a kiss without your sigh
Please come back to me in Casablanca
I love you more and more each day as time goes by

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Oreo Truffles

Oreo Truffles

Easy Thanksgiving Oreo Turkey Dessert

Easy Thanksgiving Oreo Turkey Dessert

Daily scoreboard

Daily scoreboard

8. From Hilary Chabot: “Senate hopeful and Harvard Law prof Elizabeth Warren, who has claimed she laid the ‘intellectual foundation’ for the Occupy Wall Street movement, is jilting the anti-corporate proteges in her own Ivy League yard, refusing to sign a petition in support of Occupy Harvard.”
Maybe the White House can send out a Consumer Alert about her two-facedness.
GOOD.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Thanksgiving Favors Makes Wonder-ful Place cards

A Scrapebook quality Menu can itself be a favor as well as placecard
This is so sweet, perfect for kids table


a lovely little matching bag

Orange Ribbon always a delight
Smart Corn idea


Even a simple Felt cut out can mean so much

A pretty little box with paper and linen cut out
This what I have made from cut out Felt & a real oak leaf

chocolate "nuts"

a small flower pot can act as a smart pilgrims' hat

a Felt Mayflower boat of Goodies

Different blessings

sweet personalized napkin



Discover the Story & Recipe Behind Mapo Tofu

The Story Behind Mapo Tofu
Mapo TofuThe name Ma Po Tofu (má pó dòu fǔ 麻婆豆腐) is roughly translated as “pockmarked grandmother beancurd,” named after an old woman who supposedly invented the dish in the Qing Dynasty. "Chen Xingsheng Fanpu" generally sell rice and vegetables. The old lady suffered smallpox as a child hence, leaving pocks all over her face, and she is known as Chen Mapo (麻婆).

Because of her disfigurement she lived the life of an outcast outside the provincial capital, Chengdu. One dark and stormy night, a wealthy businessman stopped at her home to seek shelter from the rain. Delighted at having a guest, she raided her meager pantry to put together a dish made with tofu and pork. The traveler was so amazed by her delicious creation that he sent more travelers her way for Ma Po’s Doufu.

Her business thrived as she was famous for inexpensive price yet excellent taste. After the woman died, people named her specialty "Mapo Tofu" to remember her, which literally means tofu made by the freckled woman. The name has lasted until today and the dish is an international favorite, favored by foreigners as well.

Characteristics
True Mapo doufu is powerfully spicy with both conventional "heat" spiciness and the characteristic "mala" (numbing spiciness) flavor of Sichuan cuisine. The feel of the particular dish is often described by cooks using seven specific Chinese adjectives: 麻 (numbing), 辣 (spicy hot), 烫 (hot temperature), 鲜 (fresh), 嫩 (tender and soft), 香 (aromatic), and 酥 (flaky). These seven characteristics are considered to be the most defining of authentic Mapo doufu. The authentic form of the dish is increasingly easy to find outside China today, but usually only in Sichuanese restaurants that do not adapt the dish for non-Sichuanese tastes.
The most important and necessary ingredients in the dish that give it the distinctive flavour are chili broad bean paste (salty bean paste) from Sichuan's Pixian county (郫县豆瓣酱), fermented black beans, chili oil, chili flakes of the heaven-facing pepper (朝天辣椒), Sichuan peppercorns, garlic, green onions, and rice wine. Supplementary ingredients include water or stock, sugar (depending on the saltiness of the bean paste brand used), and starch (if it is desired to thicken the sauce).

Variations
Mapo Doufu can also be found in restaurants in other Chinese provinces and in Korea, Japan and Taiwan, where the flavor is adapted to local tastes. In Japan, where the dish is called mābō tōfu (マーボー豆腐), it was introduced by Chen Kenmin who opened the first Sichuanese restaurant in Tokyo in the 1950s. Instead of using only the salty and spicy bean paste, Chen also adopted sweet bean paste in the recipe and make the dish less spicy and less oily. In Hong Kong and Taiwan, similar variations can also been found. In the west, the dish is often adulterated, with its spiciness severely toned down to widen its appeal. This happens even in Chinese restaurants, commonly those not specialising in Sichuan cuisine. In American Chinese cuisine the dish is often made without meat to appeal to vegetarians, with very little spice, a thick sweet-and-sour sauce, and added vegetables, a stark contrast from the authentic. Vegetarians can often still enjoy the powerful taste of the authentic dish, however, as it can easily be made without meat at all (and simply just tofu) while not toning down the spices; this version is technically referred to as Mala doufu although this name is not always well-known.

Recipe (Marc Matsumoto is a food blogger and photographer who spreads his passion for food through his websites norecipes.com and wanderingcook.com.)
Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 2 medium cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons minced ginger
  • 4 green onions white part only, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fermented black beans, roughly chopped (black bean paste will also work)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Sichuan peppercorns, black seeds removed then ground (optional)
  • 6 ounces ground pork
  • 2 teaspoons doubanjiang (chili bean paste)
  • 14 ounce block of silken tofu, drained and cut into 3/4” cubes
  • green part of green onions minced for garnish

Directions

  1. Add the chicken stock, cornstarch, soy sauce and sugar to a small bowl and stir to combine.
  2. Heat a wok or large frying pan until very hot. Add the sesame oil, garlic, ginger and green onions and stir-fry with a spatula until fragrant. Add the black beans and Sichuan pepper and continue stir-frying.
  3. Add the ground pork and use the spatula to break it up into small grains (you don’t want clumps of meat). When the pork is cooked, add the doubanjiang and stir to distribute. Add the tofu, and toss to mix (if you stir it, the tofu will lose its shape).
  4. Give the stock mixture a good stir to incorporate anything that may have settled, and then pour it over the pork and tofu. Toss to coat, then boil until the sauce thickens.
  5. Garnished with the green parts of the green onions, then serve with hot rice
Alternative Quick Method
Use House Foods Mapo Tofu Seasoning
Silken Tofu
Stirfry the seasoning

add minced pork
add tofu

add water and simmer for 15 mins

Even the Hot version is Not Hot at all. You might have to add more chilli flakes or szechuan peppercorn if you like spicy.



Thursday, November 17, 2011

We need a Ronald Reagan, but he is not available.

Ann Coulter's reasons for supporting Romney.

Mainly, he is the only one who can defeat Obama. Chris Christie's warning yesterday " we cannot under estimate the power of Obama, he cannot govern, but he can surely campaign." 

IF NOT ROMNEY, WHO? IF NOT NOW, WHEN?

No one is worried Romney will double-cross us on repealing Obamacare. We worry that Romneycare will make it harder for him to get elected.

But, again, Romney is the articulate Republican. He's already explained how mandating health insurance in one particular wealthy, liberal Northeastern state is different from inflicting it on the entire country. Our Constitution establishes a federalist system that allows experimentation with different ideas in the individual states.Read more.

Monday, November 14, 2011

My Thanksgiving Reflection

Weien loves God in a way that guides me
As a child I hardly spoke English for the first 12 years of my life. I didn't have to for the first 6 at all, then in grade school I had to learn it as a subject. My mother told me I was completely lost at school for the first 2 years and really only started to learn the english words around 9. I have only horrific memories of my early english acquisition journey, mostly consisting of scornful/sardonic remarks from my teachers and mocking and sneers from my peers who had English speaking parents. Mine were immigrants from China. Despite impressive accolades of my ancestors, it meant nothing after the the communist took over China and I to start from ground zero as a first generation Singaporean. So if someone were to tell me in those days that someday I would marry a man who could only commnicate in English, I would probably think that person was completely out of his mind.
My beloved country underwent a lot of change in the years we were growing up. When my parents were forced to move from the little colonial house to a government flat a quarter of its size, I lost my outdoor life almost instantly together with my dog and my friends. The change affected me deeply, in hindsight, I lost a profound part of my identity. Of course, life went on somehow, and I soon got really accustomed to an exciting city life. The thought of ever moving to the country never crossed my mind, in fact the thought of moving out of my country never crossed my mind. So if someone were to tell me that someday I would live in a very rural place with rather backward infrastructure, at the opposite part of the world for a long time, I would have also thought that person has lost it.
Then the tumultuous years of learning about love and giving up on it. Truly, many times, I felt Romantic Love was probably a reality for someone else. And in some ways, I could be content with that until someone I knew from high school appeared briefly, like 15 mins, in an online chat room typed these words to me " If you put in as much energy into your love life as you do in your career, it might surprise you." And that very night, I said my prayer to a God I vaguely know with a playful prayer I didn't really believe will be heard. I asked him to lead me to the right man, one I could have a family with and oh yes, if He can help it, please, not one that is boring.  In all honesty, I did not really believe anything could happen. I was traveling too much in my job and let's face it, a woman in the 30s not particularly attractive nor friendly nor exciting. I made a living out of weighing odds in deals, I was able to figure this one out. So if someone were to tell me that night that God did hear my prayer and intend to answer it with someone who was just as shit-out-of luck in love as I was, I would have, well, probably grovelled or tell him he is completely out of his mind.
This morning, after I got changed and walked into my room, I found my sweet son meditating, right next to him lay my beautiful daughter who tells me every other hour of her waking moments "I Lapitu Mommy". I opened the fridge and there are plenty of food, my perfect dog is following me around hinting he is hungry and needs to use the bathroom. My house, while small and looks like a unlicensed day care center, is warm and littered with evidences of playfulness, curiosity and wonder. My furniture while damaged, are marked with memories of my children's days and years of development. As I looked at the pictures on the wall of Thomas and Stewart, I know they are safe and happy in what they do. A parcel from Singapore lay on my dining table and in it wrapped the Love sent from my Singaporean family. In the kitchen, there are many gifts from my friends in Shreveport, and even though I don't use the phone, it has a long list of contacts of truly good people who care about me. I am surrounded by many imperfections, but they are perfect to me.
So how does a little chinese Singaporean girl who has given up on love, ended up with a larger than life husband and three beautiful children, living in a quaint little town in Louisiana? The answer is simply - By the Grace of God.
This thanksgiving I have much to thank for. And while there were many days before I could not understand God's ways or His plans, I cannot turn a blind eye and take for granted His Grace which had been generously cloaked on me. And while I cried everyday for my first year here in this house, I now understand why I was led to this part of the world, to walk with Him and get to know Him better. I am not suggesting we have to be hermits to know Him, but somehow, He had made this the way I walk closer with Him.
Just as I have emptied myself on the night I say my prayer for a family, I seek now to empty myself to be fill by the Holy Spirit. I no longer pray in a cavalier manner nor challenge Him, because all I have to do is look around me and I see His Grace. And by His Generous Grace, I pray,

The Prayer for Generosity
Lord, teach me to be generous. Teach me to serve you as you deserve; to give and not to count the cost, to fight and not to heed the wounds, to toil and not to seek for rest, to labor and not to ask for reward, save that of knowing that I do your will. Amen



Sunday, November 13, 2011

Crunchy Caramel Apple Pie

A lovely blog with step by step pictures on how to construct an excellent fall pie. read more at sandandsisal.com

Smitten by Smitty's Pizza


Weien's soccer team decided to get together for a meal after the season and one of the moms recommended Smitty's. It has been in business for 20+ years and yet none of the rest of us has heard of it before. 
When you walk in, immediately, you can feel the mom and pop atmosphere. Elaborate menu awaits you and the wonderful aroma of a pizzeria. The interior decor almost resembles a little of an irish pub, dark with booth seats and wooden panels. It is incredibly neat, especially the women restroom is unbeliveably clean. Service was great and the pizza, truly the best I have tasted so far in Shreveport. I love Johnny's but it is too greasy. I like Dominos, but too salty..Smitty's pizza is cheesy, crisp, not sickly salty and the crust is thin and crunchy. The hot wings are the best I have tasted so far in this area. Juicy and not too sour, not too salty with grill marks. You must also try the very unique pizza logs, pepperoni wrap with cheese and rolled in like an egg roll, baked. Kids love it. 
The crew seem to love kids and have no problems if your kids walk around the restaurant but ours never did because our waitress was very attentive to their needs, bringing them crayons, papers etc. It was a really enjoyable place for those of us with children.
Smitty's Pizza
9375 Mansfield Road
Shreveport, LA 71118

(318) 687-3030

Photo Book

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Shutterfly photo books are the new way to preserve your memories. Create your own today.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Uninsured top 50 million under Obama

Uninsured top 50 million under Obama
Details of Obama's health Care failure. Less people are uninsured since he took office. Yeah, even his biggest baby is not working out.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Why Did the Poppy Flower Become a Symbol of Veterans Day?

The use of the poppy as a symbol on Veterans Day (Remembrance Day in the Commonwealth) is derived from its symbolism in the poem "In Flanders Fields" by John McCrae. These poppies bloomed across some of the worst battlefields of Flanders in World War I, their brilliant red colour an appropriate symbol for the blood spilt in the war.


Thursday, November 10, 2011

Thanksgiving Table Settings

via Countryliving.com
paint on a napkin

simple fall leaves are beautiful

utilize the outdoors

bring in the flowers

simple ribbon and card napkin holder

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

I believe Herman Cain to be innocent

Cain is innocent of sexual abuse. If he were a playboy, someone would have come out to tell stories when he ran for Senate in 2004. Just look at the pathetic woman fumbles during interviews and how she loves the limelight. You can tell she is a phony. 14 years to report a crime commited towards her in front of millions of people? You can be sure timidness is not her reason.
We have to see Cain as a normal person whose skills are in making business, generating profit, creating win-win business deals, he is not a politician. He does not have the political experience to fight public ridicule like this. Not even the experience to hire the right political strategist to deal with this mess probably. But aren’t we all tired of a politician? He can always pick the most experience politician to be his VP, what matters are his principles and his belief in the constitution.I think we can see that from his life and his success stories, if you ever run a business, you will appreciate how hard it is to turn around a food business from red. It is not easy, it takes courage, determination, foresight and hardwork. Glib is not required though.


Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Our Best Traditional Thanksgiving Menu

Our Best Traditional Thanksgiving Menu

The History of Thanksgiving

A traditional Thanksgiving Meal

via History.com

Thanksgiving

In 1621, the Plymouth colonists and Wampanoag Indians shared an autumn harvest feast that is acknowledged today as one of the first Thanksgiving celebrations in the colonies. For more than two centuries, days of thanksgiving were celebrated by individual colonies and states. It wasn't until 1863, in the midst of the Civil War, that President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national Thanksgiving Day to be held each November.

Monday, November 7, 2011

It's raining Pecans Mommy !

Just outside of Shreveport, the Pecan Research and Extension Station covers about 90 acres, 65 of which are in pecan trees. The U.S. Department of Agriculture established the facility in 1930 and transferred it to the LSU AgCenter in 1973.  It is the only university research facility in the country exclusively devoted to this nut crop. The research focus remains the same – develop management practices to make pecan growing more profitable, not only in Louisiana but all over the Southeast. On average, pecan production adds about $12 million to the Louisiana economy each year.
I had the privilege of being included on the Pecan field trip with the kindergartners. Charlotte was really unhappy to be awoken from her sleep and be wheeled around in the cold.
But the sulking did not last very long, the excitement around her soon prove to be much too contagious.
It was very cold and windy. The kids were completely bewildered by the Pecan Shaker. What? a machine that can shake an entire tree and make all the nuts fall ! A Giant Tree Pinata meets the Giant Truck Shaker, expect a massive rain of pecans that cause as much frenzy as candy would have.
Pecan tree shaker
Pecan harvester/Picker
These little workers soon learn the art of picking, green ones are not ready, black ones are too old, pretty ones with nice print are the treasure to go after. Charlotte's frown fell off her face as quickly as she jumped off her stroller,  marched straight to plea for a brown bag almost as large as she is ,and waddled along leaving no pecan nut unpicked in her way. They laboured so hard and when they could no longer carry the weight of their own harvest, they turn to me for help with completely fulfilled smiles.




There is something about the warm sun on a cold fall day, something about waggling leaves/pecans and harvesting food, something about getting together with a group of loving mothers and something about the explosive enthusiasm of highly charged children. Maybe it is the vitamin D, maybe it is the feminine energy, maybe it is the bewilderment. I feel like sponge soaked up with what is true and good. Even though my stroller was caked with mud, my back aches after the massive negotiation to get them to leave, packing up production and eventual delivery of the Sonic bribe. It is was a beautiful day and I am motivated for some pecan recipes.