Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Clark's Christmas Eve 2017

The business year finished and house all a-rush

I with a chest cold sitting here on my butt
With pen on my paper and joy in my heart
Anticipation is high for a New Year to start!
Sydney is working ‘til six checking out
Patrons with meat sticks, cheese, jerky and stout
She’ll wrap up her toil and be home with us quick
To celebrate Christmas and watch for St. Nick
Sophia is here and surfing the web
To find the best music for this holiday fest
She’s scrolling and clicking and chatting with El
It’s a contemporary Christmas for this bonnie bell
Calvin is texting some girl with his phone
He’s helping when asked to as prepping gets done
The lights are all twinkling on trees and on wreaths
The tables are filling with good things to eat
Coleman is gaming between chores and light tasks
“Can we please open something” he constantly asks
“No we’ll wait ‘til the morrow” says Leslie with a grin
(when did she start speaking in old English slang?)
Ellie is surfing and shopping and filling her cart
Her online credit being used rather smart
Towards clearance, discounts, and closeouts galore
Her dollar is stretched like never before!
Now Leslie is busy like a bee to a field
Bringing dishes and platters and bowls filled with food
There’s cheeses and meats, and fruits, breads, and dips
Sauces, and fondues, pretzels and chips
Up to the windows and down through the hall
Gifts of all sizes all wrapped up with bows
It’s been a great year and we’ve spent way too much
But what better excuse can we use to indulge
Today we make merry and spread our good cheer
From hearth to table and far to near
Whether you worship the Christ Child or Santa Claus
Our own business we’ll mind and leave you to yours
Our prayers are for Peace, on Earth and Above
That it falls on your heart and lights like a dove
That you smile and you hug and you draw people close
And give ‘til it hurts to those who need most.
So lift up your Egg Nog, your wine, or Bud Light

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Jayber Crow by Wendell Berry

Just finished this quiet little interesting book. Books are like food to me. Some of them are sweet like a cupcake, some are complex mixture of taste, texture, and temperature like pickled ox tongue, and then some are like rice and fish....I cannot believe I've lived so long without reading this book even though I'd heard of Wendell Berry several years ago and remember making a mental note of picking up some of his work sometime. Sometime. Wendell Berry gives us a very good sense of how that 'sometime' doesn't need to be rushed nor should it be set aside. His Jayber Crow is a study in patience and the joy in waiting. “The mercy of the world is you don't know what's going to happen.” ― Wendell Berry, Jayber Crow: A Novel

Friday, December 24, 2010

Boots or Shoes?

Last night I was talking to a person about cross-country skiing. I mentioned something about 'boots' and this person said, "they're shoes". I said "I know they are somewhat like shoes and less like boots but they are referred to as 'boots' in the sport and in the catalogs and by most enthusiasts." The person said, "Hm, I've always called them shoes" and continued to refer to them as shoes the remainder of the conversation.

I was reminded of this conversation as I read through Excerpt from Author’s Note in Christ The Lord Out Of Egypt by Ann "I am not a Christian" Rice. I began reading it with a great deal of skepticism because I've long been convinced of two things, 1. You can't believe everything you read and 2. Someone I once respected said some derogatory things about Ann Rice when she declared she believed in Jesus but doesn't wish to be labelled a christian.

The article is a good read for atheist, agnostic, and believer alike. I don't expect it to change you forever if you insist on being wrong without entertaining sholarly investigation (shoes or boots?) or if you, like me, are a born skeptic but it is interesting and worth the read, or so I thought anyway.

Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Monday, August 02, 2010

The Best Pickle Recipe I've Ever Eaten

I promised a friend that I'd post the absolute best pickle recipe we've tried yet. So here it is. I love dill pickles but I hate soft ones. They gotta have CRUNCH! This is the only recipe that we've tried in over 10 years of trying recipes that gives the desired crunch and has all the garlic and dill flavor we like.

8# 3"-4" long pickling cucumbers
4 cups white vinegar
12 cups water
2/3 cup pickling salt
16 cloves garlic, peeld and halved
8 sprigs fresh dill weed
8 heads fresh dill weed

  1. Wash cucumbers and place in the sink (or bathtub for larger batches) [Leslie yelled in, "use big coolers, the ice doesn't melt as fast"] with cold water and lots of ice cubes. Soak in ice water for at least 2 hours but no more than 8 hours. Refresh as required. Sterilize 8 (1 quart) canning jars and lids in boiling water for at least 10 minutes.
  2. In a large pot over medium-high heat, combine the vinegar, water, and pickling salt. Bring the brine to a rapid boil.
  3. In each jar, place 2 half-cloves of garlic, one head of dill, then enough cucumbers to fill the jar (about 1 pound). Then add 2 more garlic halves, and 1 sprig of dill. Fill jars. with hot brine. Seal jars, making sure you have cleaned the jar's rims of any residue.
  4. Process sealed jars in a boiling water bath. Process quart jars for 15 minutes.
  5. Store pickles for a minimum of 8 weeks (we can never wait past 6 but they are better at 8) before eating. Refrigerate after opening. Pickles will keep for up to 2 years if stored in a cool dry place.
  6. Enjoy!