Beaujolais Nouveau

Posted November 18, 2018 by joebowker
Categories: Wine

Tags: , , ,

2018-11-17 20.58.27The third Thursday in November  is Beaujolais Nouveau Day. Most people don’t know that. This is the day that the current year’s Beaujolais Nouveau wine shows up on liquor retailer’s shelves. I have it marked in my calendar on my iPhone.

So what the heck is Beaujolais Nouveau? Okay, Beaujolais Nouveau is the name of the French wine made with the first harvest of Beaujolais grapes. You’ll notice on the bottle that the vintage is listed as 2018. You won’t see an earlier vintage, because once it is sold out, that’s it. No more until next November.

Beaujolais Nouveau is a smooth, mellow, light tasting red wine. I usually serve it at Thanksgiving dinner. Thanksgiving is on the 4th Thursday and Beaujolais Nouveau is on the third. How convenient.

And Beaujolais Nouveau goes well with turkey. Also, it won’t break the bank. Usually a bottle of Beaujolais Nouveau sells for under $10. Often less. Friday we bought four bottles plus a couple of bottles of white. Albertson’s gives a 10% discount for 6 bottles which brought the price down to $9 a bottle.

If you tend to not like red wines like Cabernets or other red blends, give Beaujolais Nouveau a try.

Here are some pointers for further reading about Beaujolais Nouveau:

Enjoy!

Pea Soup

Posted November 15, 2018 by joebowker
Categories: Cooking, Recipes

Tags: , , ,

Today I am cooking pea soup in our crock pot. This is one of Mary’s favorite meals. She will usually eat a whole soup bowl without any nagging on my part. When I was a kid, my mother would make pea soup and I hated it. I guess when I came to adulthood my tastes had changed.

And it so easy to make. Prep time is about 20-30 minutes. Cook time about 4-5 hours.

Here are the ingredients:

So we have:

  • 4 Carrots
  • 2 Celery stalks
  • 1 bag of dry split peas (usually found in the grains section)
  • 1 Medium onion
  • 8 oz. Diced ham. (Our super market sells packages of 8 oz., just the right size.)
  • 48 oz. Chicken stock (We prefer the low-salt variety)

Peel and chop the carrots. Wash and chop the celery and onion. Add to the crock pot.

Then wash the split peas in a colander. Add to the crock pot.

Finally, add the diced ham. Add the chicken stock with enough fluid to cover everything in the pot.

Cover and cook on high for about 4-5 hours. Good idea to stir once or twice during the cooking. Don’t forget to plug it in. (I’ve done that once or twice.)

I use plastic crock pot liners to help in the clean up later on. Available in the plastic bag aisle of the grocery store.

Done. Take a nap.

The Tatooist of Auschwitz: A Novel

Posted November 15, 2018 by joebowker
Categories: Books, Reviews

Tags: ,

TatooistI just finished a book titled “The Tatooist of Auschwitz” about a young Slovakian man who was imprisoned at Auschwitz during World War 2.

I could hardly put the book down. This is the story of a young Slovakian man named Lale who was imprisoned in 1942 in Auschwitz. Somehow, Lale survives and manages to get a job of  “Tatooist” which was a person who inscribed inmates with their identification number on their arm.

It is a story of one man’s survival in a German prison camp. Lale manages to survive and even thrive. He manages to not only survive but meet a woman named Gita and fall in love. Then, after the war become his wife.

One of the skills that Lale had that helped him survive was that he was fluent in over four languages. He was useful to the Germans. I really enjoyed this book. I could hardly put it down. I went through it in about three days which for me is light speed.

Go ahead and download it. You won’t be disappointed.

 

Fire!

Posted November 10, 2018 by joebowker
Categories: California

Tags: ,

We are in the fire season right now. Bill Patzert (climatologist) once said that there are four seasons in California, drought, fire, rain and mudslides. Right now we are in “fire season”. The above seasons, it seems are not of the same length. It seems that we have been in “fire season” for a long time.

These seasons are a vicious cycle. First comes the fire, which burns away all of the scrub grass, then comes the rain which creates mud (and slides) and finally drought. And then, we start all over again. Rainy season is generally accepted will start some time in January.

The most recent fire is called the “Woolsey Fire” which is currently burning about 70,000 acres in an area north of Malibu in LA and Ventura counties. At our home in San Pedro, we get a small scent of burning wood when the wind is blowing out of the north. We are not in any danger right now.

You know that you live in California, when you have an app on your phone that shows the current fire “map”. By the way, the app is free. Here’s the current fire map of California. Note, the two red dots just north of LA. These are the two fires that are near us.

Here are a few pictures:

Evacuation from Malibu

1SE for October

Posted October 31, 2018 by joebowker
Categories: 1 Sec Every Day, 1SE

The Mighty Casey

Posted October 10, 2018 by joebowker
Categories: Baseball, Poetry

Tags: , ,

The Mighty Casey by Ernest Thayer

[Click here for the Wiki entry.]

The outlook wasn’t brilliant for the Mudville nine that day;
the score stood four to two, with but one inning more to play.
And then when Cooney died at first, and Barrows did the same,
a sickly silence fell upon the patrons of the game.

A straggling few got up to go in deep despair. The rest
clung to that hope which springs eternal in the human breast;
they thought, if only Casey could get but a whack at that –
they’d put up even money, now, with Casey at the bat.

But Flynn preceded Casey, as did also Jimmy Blake,
and the former was a lulu and the latter was a cake,
so upon that stricken multitude grim melancholy sat,
for there seemed but little chance of Casey’s getting to the bat.

But Flynn let drive a single, to the wonderment of all,
and Blake, the much despised, tore the cover off the ball;
and when the dust had lifted, and the men saw what had occurred,
there was Jimmy safe at second and Flynn a-hugging third.

Then from five thousand throats and more there rose a lusty yell;
it rumbled through the valley, it rattled in the dell;
it knocked upon the mountain and recoiled upon the flat,
for Casey, mighty Casey, was advancing to the bat.

There was ease in Casey’s manner as he stepped into his place;
there was pride in Casey’s bearing and a smile on Casey’s face.
And when, responding to the cheers, he lightly doffed his hat,
no stranger in the crowd could doubt ’twas Casey at the bat.

Ten thousand eyes were on him as he rubbed his hands with dirt;
five thousand tongues applauded when he wiped them on his shirt.
Then while the writhing pitcher ground the ball into his hip,
defiance gleamed in Casey’s eye, a sneer curled Casey’s lip.

And now the leather-covered sphere came hurtling through the air,
and Casey stood a-watching it in haughty grandeur there.
Close by the sturdy batsman the ball unheeded sped—
“That ain’t my style,” said Casey. “Strike one,” the umpire said.

From the benches, black with people, there went up a muffled roar,
like the beating of the storm-waves on a stern and distant shore.
“Kill him! Kill the umpire!” shouted someone on the stand;
and it’s likely they’d have killed him had not Casey raised his hand.

With a smile of Christian charity great Casey’s visage shone;
he stilled the rising tumult; he bade the game go on;
he signaled to the pitcher, and once more the spheroid flew;
but Casey still ignored it, and the umpire said: “Strike two.”

“Fraud!” cried the maddened thousands, and Echo answered fraud;
but one scornful look from Casey and the audience was awed.
They saw his face grow stern and cold, they saw his muscles strain,
and they knew that Casey wouldn’t let that ball go by again.

The sneer is gone from Casey’s lip, his teeth are clenched in hate;
he pounds with cruel violence his bat upon the plate.
And now the pitcher holds the ball, and now he lets it go,
and now the air is shattered by the force of Casey’s blow.

Oh, somewhere in this favored land the sun is shining bright;
the band is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light,
and somewhere men are laughing, and somewhere children shout;
but there is no joy in Mudville — mighty Casey has struck out.

Second Tuesday

Posted October 9, 2018 by joebowker
Categories: Aging, Family, Mary, San Pedro

Tags:

Okay, today is the second Tuesday of the month and that means that the ladies at the Assistance League of San Pedro/South Bay are having their monthly luncheon meeting. Go to hyperlink to learn more about the Assistance League. Both Paula and Mary are members and usually attend. Paula runs the Chapter Relations Committee and she needs to be there early. Getting there early means that she gets prime parking. This is important because Mary can’t walk too far.2018-10-09 09.04.19.jpg

So we got up bright and early, had breakfast and hit the shower. We got Mary up, fed and dressed. Mary needs help getting dressed these days (that’s Paula’s job). At 9:00 AM, I walk Mary down to the elevator and wait for Paula to drive around to pick Mary up. So I load Mary into the Prius and off they go.

One of the nice things about our condo is that it’s all on one level. No stairs. That wasn’t an issue when Mary bought the property, but it is now. There is an elevator that takes us down to the garage. Mary doesn’t handle stairs very well anymore. We need to always be keenly aware of handicap accessibility. Another fall would probably kill her.

That means that I am free for the next four hours. So I headed to Albertson’s to do some grocery shopping. First thing, I head to the Starbuck’s and order my usual venti iced coffee.  I also order a pumpkin scone. The barista tells me that they were out of “venti” cups so she had to give the larger cup. Twist my arm I tell her. I sit down at one of the small tables and sip my coffee and check the news on my iPhone. Ah, life is good.

So the first thing that the Barista asks me is “Where’s Paula?”. She’s at a meeting with her mother, I tell her.  I’m flying solo today. The butcher and checkout lady ask me the same question, “Where’s Paula?”

So, i finish my shopping and head home. I unload all the groceries and sit down for a quiet lunch. Now, I finish this blog post and it’s time for Red Sox baseball.