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Everything posted by KungFuPanda

  1. There are a gazillion restaurants where I live and it goes beyond fast food. You can pick your price range, pick your nationality, and still have several choices within five miles of your home. I grew up eating out very rarely because we were pretty rural and a trip to any restaurant involved at least a half hour of driving. Here you have dozens of choices within five minutes and everything can be delivered now. I had to talk myself into cooking tonight because the urge to get Chipotle was strong, but I'm trying very hard not to do any unplanned dining out. Also, I'd already marinated the pork and tofu for fried rice, but I was craving cheese in a bad way this evening. I can see why some people never bother learning to cook. Even our grocery stores have food buffets and heat and eat dinners.
  2. Potlucks seem to be dying a slow, sad death. I grew up with massive church suppers and family pot lucks that were like a huge dinner buffet. Most people brought real food (main dish or sides) and there were several desserts to choose from. About 10-15 years ago, people just stopped trying. I'm not sure the Pot Luck can recover. There are always too many desserts and not enough food. Most items are purchased en route to the pot luck. There is usually an entire section of the table for all of the bags of chips and salsa that people brought in . . . it's getting that way with hummus too. Somehow there are more desserts on the table than real food. I can see where people might have become frustrated or overwhelmed. "Back in the day" there were no requirements to label every dish and supply an ingredient card. There was no allergy section or an entire group of people who had to go through the line first because of food allergies. There was no dairy free section or keto section or gluten free section. It's just gotten more complicated than ever and feeding other people feels like a greater risk than ever before. It's to the point where I'd be surprised if nuts were allowed. They've become an 'only at home" food group. Of course, you do what you need to to protect the health others, but sharing food has gotten so complicated that I'm not sure it's worth the effort to dine in a group anymore.
  3. I grew up in a landlocked state with a very local diet, so I would've been suspicious of a LOT of foods in my twenties. My tastes developed considerably as I aged and it turns out that I like MOST things. It would almost be a super power if I didn't super-taste some bitter flavors. My niece once said "I've got that thing that makes brussels sprouts taste like ear wax." Apparently this is a genetic flaw that effects a lot of my family members and some of the things I don't eat fall into this category. There are very few foods I just hate (I'm looking at YOU, blue cheese.). The point is I like a LOT of things that initially seemed strange to me because I give new foods several chances before I dismiss them. Some of my family loves eating at my house because I cook "so many interesting things" while some of them are suspicious of anything that would look out of place on a Cracker Barrel menu. Anyway . . . oyster stuffing sounds divine, but not a gross drippy one. I love cooked oysters in soup or breaded and fried. I have a friend whose family goes big on the oyster stuffing. They practically take out a loan to buy a bucket of oysters because the stuffing is what they all really care about and the turkey is incidental. It's not an unusual dish in Maryland. I keep meaning to make it because I'm sure I'll love it, but I never seem to get around to trying a recipe. If anyone wants to share one they've used that calls for LESS than a bucket of oysters, I'd be grateful.
  4. Best old tradition is my Mamaw's pumpkin pie. For a single pie, her spice mix was: 1/2 tsp nutmeg 1/2 tsp ginger 1/2 tsp ginger 1/2 tsp allspice 1/2 tsp cloves 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon Since I grew up on these pies, all other pumpkin pies taste bland to me. This mix is coveted in my family. She got it from a product label in the 50s, but nobody uses this anymore. Edited because I found the original recipe! It was on the Carnation can in 1959. My favorite new tradition is Rachel Ray's pumpkin soup. I add black walnuts to the chili cran-apple relish. This recipe was from her original Thanksgiving in 60 episode. I tried it one year when it was just the four of us for Thanksgiving. I've used the turkey breast recipe and the pumpkin soup a lot over the years.
  5. Can you set up circuits for them? A chin up bar in a door, a mini trampoline to jog on (or jog in place), and a push of or sit up area. Then send them to different stations, crank the music, and blow a whistle when it's time to switch. Or get one of those big foam dice and write different exercises on it. Have them take turns rolling the dice and they both do what it says.(jumping jacks, push ups, squat thrusts, etc . . .). Call it morning PT and do it for 15-20 minutes before they start school.
  6. What if you stayed in Alexandria, VA? It's only a few miles from the Airport, so you wouldn't need a car. You could metro from there into DC, and if you wanted to skip the metro for a day or two, you could visit Mt. Vernon or just peruse Old Town Alexandria and check out their restaurants and bookstores. There is a river cruise on the Potomac that leaves from Mt. Vernon. There's also a restaurant there. The American Indian museum has a nice restaurant too, so you can take a break from museum browsing to eat without leaving the location. Fall is a nice time in DC. The weather could be just about anything, but it's not crowded with tourists. If you have a bonus day you can check out Baltimore or Annapolis.
  7. Ugh . . . I was GONNA goof off here, but this thread has guilted me into shutting down my computer and hauling my wanna-hibernate body downstairs to my studio. I need to nail down a verse of choreography before I teach it in four hours. If I go do that now, my brain can keep chewing on it even while I do boring house stuff later.
  8. ::warm happy dance in your honor:: Congratulations! Are you gonna run around barefoot or is that just pushing it?
  9. At my house we went with the zombie episode of community. 😂
  10. My MIL made something like this once. It was good. I wouldn't have thought of this combination.
  11. I HATE Standard Time. I want to keep DST all year round.
  12. Did you win? When you DO get heat you're gonna feel so privileged! I keep thinking of you. The nights are dropping to the thirties and I'm already resorting to using my heated mattress pad.
  13. i don't know . . .I'm not sure I'd expect an excellent HS English teacher to remember enough Algebra 2 or AP History to ace a test without brushing up a bit. It can be hard to remember something from 20+ years ago that's not relevant to your field. Unless this test is very basic knowledge and you're not expected to spit out specific dates or do speed math, this might be an odd metric for judging someone who specializes in one subject.
  14. This is why I have a very strong opinion that we should treat teachers like professionals and the admin workers like their assistants. Teacher's shouldn't have to move to admin to advance in their careers. It should work the other way around. Put teacher pay at the top of the pecking order and let them have a secretary and a class assistant. Can you imagine a doctor's office where the office manager makes more money than the doctor? There is so little respect for teachers that I'm not surprised there is a shortage. You pay just as much for school as anyone else but end up making minimum wage once you factor in all the extra hours and responsibilities. Sure, you'll still need a principal, but a bloated central office staff and an army of administrative assistants for people not connected to a classroom doesn't really help kids learn. Meanwhile in my town there is nothing but obsessive whining about upcoming redistricting. People are terrified that their kid will be sent to the "bad schools." The "bad schools" still have an over 90% graduation rate and the EXACT SAME curriculum and teacher quality as the rest of the county. But, you know, can't have your kid sitting next to a kid who is poorer, browner, and might have lower test scores because Property Values. People here are nuts.
  15. For 12 pies, I wonder if you could roll out the dough most of the way, stack it with parchment between the disks and store it that way? Maybe in a pizza pan and well wrapped? Rolling out all of those pies will take some time and it would be really convenient to have them a few rolls away from dropping them in the pans.
  16. Get the truck. It's so much kinder to your volunteers, doesn't cost that much, and will make the move go much faster. I like to put parts in baggies and duct tape them to the object they belong to. That way you don't have to track down all of the little screws and bolts. Yes, get rid of any books you won't actually read again. The rest have served their purpose. Do not let fear of having to buy something again keep you from effectively purging. Yes, you might have to repurchase one or two things over the next five years, but if you've gotten rid of a thousand things that's valuable real estate and worth more than that gizmo you bought twice. For each room, have a single box with the essentials you'll need that night and the next day. In your bedroom, it's bedding, toiletries, pajamas, and tomorrow's clothes. In the kitchen it's a very basic set of dishes, utensils, cups, cookware, towels, dish soap and a sponge . . . don't hide the can opener or coffee pot from yourself.
  17. If the kid is so indiscreet that parents know about him, I wouldn't be surprised if he isn't already on the police's radar while they try to find the supplier.
  18. We're a bunch of amateurs here. We can only eat maybe half a cake and the rest goes bad. I plan to freeze the second layer for another day when we want cake. I'll be left with a half tub of icing. Do I freeze it in the tub, in a bag, on the cake, or just plan on making/acquiring all new icing later? What would you do in an imaginary world where a family can't finish a cake in a week's time?
  19. I spend way too much time with performers. I was reading your story and waiting for the weird part. My radar must be way off. I would just assume there was some community rehearsal space in the building and maybe a scuba certification class or something. Isn't there a flipper dance in Mama Mia? 🤣
  20. Sour dough is a labor of love. I encourage it wholeheartedly, but even with a well-fed starter it takes a lot longer to make a loaf of bread without commercial yeast. I tend to do it when I know I'll be home or get snowed in. Sometimes I break the steps into two days. Often, I use my starter for flavor and active dry yeast to guarantee a reasonable timeline if I want it by a certain time. When I let it rise in it's own time, the bread does last longer and has a deeper flavor. I only make it every other month or so, but I've been keeping this starter like a pet for about 15 years. 😂
  21. I forgot about tampons. Convincing people that these are not flushable is a HARD sell. People just don't care.
  22. Apparently I come here to talk about what I should do then never ever do it. I get enough sleep. That's my super power. I've been doing the Plant Nanny app for a few weeks so I'm finally FINALLY drinking enough water for the first time in my adult life. (I don't want my plants to be sad!) Even though I'm in the dance studio several hours a week, it is no longer enough to keep me in shape. I've hit middle age and need to add some cardio and strength training or resign myself to wearing bigger clothes. It could go either way at this point. I have a home studio, so I have no excuses as far as indoor space is concerned. I just need to find a way to form some new habits. Adding some power walks and push-ups to my life would probably go a long way. I'm bad at unsupervised exercise. Garden chores are winding way down and I like to hibernate when the days are short. I need to acquire a power walking buddy.
  23. You're not really supposed to put all the things into a city septic system. Fats, oils, and greases are a no no. If you have a garden or landscaping, I'd consider composting vegetable scraps. For soups, you should strain the solids out and put those in the trash. Also, flushable wipes aren't really flushable, so don't do that anywhere either. The rules are basically the same for all systems. People just care more when they have to pay directly to fix problems.
  24. We have a bike guy. He used to wear a spartan-looking helmet, but he uses a regular bike helmet now. He's been out biking for the almost 20 years I've lived here. Sometimes he tidies up the library books. When my daughter was little she'd watch to make sure he shelved them properly. He absolutely does. We consider a Columbia Bike Guy sighting good luck. Sometimes it's scary if he's going the wrong way in traffic. You do NOT want to be the person who finally hits him. You'd have to move.
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