Friday, November 19, 2010

Heaven and Hell

I went to a lecture today, given by one of my professors from Greece. He spent the last three years in Dubai teaching at the University there, and also on sabbatical. At one point he was speaking about the desert and about the gardens that are in the desert, that are like mirages. He compared the desert to hell.
His lecture got me thinking about whether Heaven and Hell are literal. The Tigris-Euphrates is often referred to as the cradle of civilization, one of the few places where life began on this earth. Some historians believe this area is where the biblical Garden of Eden was located. The area around the Tigris-Euphrates region is desert, current day Iraq.
Gardens in the desert have a paradise quality. I experienced first hand some beautiful gardens located in Alexandria, Egypt, also a desert area. They did seem to come out of nothing, and were miraculous in the fact that they could even grow in such an extreme environment.
This website gives the origin of the word "eden" as meaning luxurious or pleasure:
Essentially, the Garden of Eden was a place where a person would not suffer. In the desert a person suffers.

Saturday, November 13, 2010


I wrote a poem last Saturday while shivering in the deer stand. The Hubs and I were up before the crack of dawn to trek through the field to our deer stand. Not long after dawn there was a gun shot very close and then I caught glimpse of a hunter up the hill, running. Turned out it was Bucky's step-dad.
Anywho, the poem is only a four liner, and the first poem I've written since high school (7 years ago).

I saw another hunter
through the trees,
Hunter safety orange
against the autumn leaves.

And yes, the explanation of the poem was longer than the poem.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Crockpot Scalloped Potatoes with Ham

This is another recipe from the "Fix it and Forget it" cookbook.

Scalloped Potatoes with Ham

6 cups sliced potatoes (I used new potatoes, red and yukon gold, that I purchased from the farmer's market)
salt and pepper to taste
1 can cream of mushroom soup, mixed with 1-1/2 c. milk
1 lb ham, cooked and cubed

Layer the potatoes in the crockpot, salting and peppering each layer. Pour the soup/milk mixture over the potatoes, and place the ham on top. Cook for 3-1/2 to 4 hours on high, until potatoes are tender.

I used cured ham steak and could have cut back on the salt.
There doesn't appear to be much liquid in the crockpot, but the soup doesn't really soak in to the potatoes.
I stirred the mixture a couple times, probably at the 1 and 2 hour cooking mark.

I ate this for breakfast this morning. It would have been good paired with over medium eggs.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Bucket List

I decided it was time I wrote down my bucket list, so I could start crossing places off of it.

Requiring passport:
London (and the surrounding area: old castles)
Italy (Vatican City, Rome, Venice)
Spain (Barcelona, Grenada)
China (Beijing, Great Wall)
India (New Delhi, Taj Mahal)
Turkey (Istanbul)
Cuzco, Peru (Machu Picchu)
Australia (Great Barrier Reef)

Not requiring passport:
New York City
Colorado - skiing with the hubs
Washington DC
North Carolina (Biltmore Estate)
Grand Canyon
Sequoia National Park

I'm sure there are more places; I'll update the list as I think of them.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Tamale Pie

Another slow cooker recipe! I asked the Hubs to go through the cookbook and put sticky notes on the recipes he wants to try.

Tamale Pie

3/4 c cornmeal
1 1/2 c milk
1 egg, beaten
1 lb ground beef, browned and drained (I used ground pork since we just bought half a hog)
1 envelope dry chili seasoning (I didn't have this, so I used a mixture of chili powder, salt, cumin, garlic powder)
16 oz can diced tomatoes (I used a pint of home-canned tomatoes)
16 oz can corn, drained
1 c shredded cheddar

Spray the inside of the slow cooker with non-stick spray.
Mix together cornmeal, milk and egg in crockpot. Mix in meat, tomatoes, seasoning and corn.
Cook, covered, on high for 1 hour, then on low 3 hours. (I forgot to turn it down after an hour, so I cooked it 3 hours on high)
Sprinkle with cheese and cook about 5 minutes for cheese to melt. (I sprinkled the cheese, put the lid back on and then turned off the slow cooker.)

I doubled the cornmeal, milk, egg and meat.
I still had fresh peppers from the garden so I added about 6 diced anaheim and poblano.
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