Friday, September 24, 2010

The Way Momma Did It!

It's been almost 2 weeks since I started this blog. After posting 3 times I went into a writing desert. Didn't have anything of a driving force which made me want to write. So, now here I am...thinking of my other passion....COOKING! Yes, I said that right....I love to cook! Most of us who are not chefs, or cook for a living try to get out of cooking....but I love's theraputic for me. "Sorta" like writing! Don't get me wrong...sometimes life keeps me too busy to really "cook"....that's when I revert to throwing something together. However, when I have time to get in the kitchen and dive into the ingredients...I have a good time. I find myself thinking as I cook a family recipe..."why do I do it this way?" The answer always is: "because my mother did it this way". For instance...I love to cook rump roasts and I serve them all the time when we have company. Someone asked me recently....what do you do to the roast? I replied that I season the meat, make pockets to stuff garlic and green pepper, then dredge (Mother's term) the roast with flour and sprinkle with paprika. Finally, put in a granite roasting pan, drizzle with oil and put in 450 degree oven for about 10 min. for it to brown. After 10 minutes or so...pour a little water over the roast and then cover and turn oven down to 350 degrees and cook the roast for about 30 min. per lb.
Yesterday, as I was pouring the water over the roast, I chuckled to myself when I thought of all the years I've done that for no other reason then that's the way Momma did it!
My mother has been gone for about 20 years now, but I can imagine her looking down over my shoulder and making sure I "do it right". I think of all the years I could not make the pralines (from Mother's recipe) turn out right. I struggled and struggled...most of the time coming out with a taffy-like consistency. Well one day I couldn't take it any longer and called my sister Marilyn (my second Momma) and told her of my delimma. She had me go over with her the way I was cooking the ingredients...then when I told her what I used and how much of each ingredient she solved my problem! All I had to do was decrease the amount of "Karo" syrup I was using and voila! The next batch of pralines came out pefect and have been perfect ever since! In fact, they are now my husband's favorite!!

Yes, my mother sure did like to cook. She was always in the kitchen. Ironically, she never taught me. Can you believe that....well, maybe she did teach me. I watched her cook and what's caught is sometimes more important than what's taught!
I suppose I learned by watching and subconsciously it became a part of me. Now don't get me wrong...when I was first married, I would call her and she would help me over the phone to cook stuff as easy as Red Beans and Saugsage! Man, if only we would have had Food TV back then!

That brings me to how I honed my skills...yes...watching the Food Network particularly, Paul Deen. In fact, she is what I guess you can call my kitchen hero. I have her cook books, go to her website all the time, have a subscription to her magazine..which I have every one she has done..they are collector's items. Her recipes are easy, simple ingredients and never come out bad! If one has sour cream, butter and mayo on hand you can prepare anything she has in her books!

That brings me to drop in a little political flavor
here..about..butter...please Mrs. Obama don't get your husband to ban butter. Restaurants will have to sneak it in the food if the government has their way! Paula Deen may even be in danger of sanctions or God forbid, arrest! Butter flavors everything and makes it all better, from bread to green beans and yes, even my pralines!

Monday, September 13, 2010

September 13....two special Birthday's to Celebrate

Mondays....27 years ago when I worked a J.O.B. I hated Mondays. After a busy weekend of shopping, house stuff, family stuff, more shopping, cooking, getting caught up on sleep....Church activities.....etc. etc., then...the dreaded Monday...get everyone up..dressed, out the door with lunches or lunch money...carpool rush...then make to the office on time.
Whew...are you tired yet?

Fortunately, 27 years ago I joined a cosmetics company as a beauty consultant. My life was to become my own...more time for Church activities, family, shopping, house stuff, etc. etc. This brings me to today...SEPTEMBER 13, 2010 IS THE 47TH YEAR MARY KAY COSMETICS HAS BEEN IN BUSINESS! What a journey...and I'm still on it. Happy Anniversary Mary Kay Inc. and thanks for the opportunities to live my life with more excitement, fun, more friends, and experiencing places I would probably never have gone.

September 13 is also the birthday of a special brother-in-law, Warren Bergeron, Sr. He's married to my sister Marilyn. He turned 80 years young today...and I don't say that lightly. He's a young looking 80...they have had a great retirement life...beautiful home, wonderful kids and grandkids and great and they run an awesome "bed and breakfast"...well, not commercially but whenever I need to travel to the New Orleans area and need an overnight place to stay!

Sadness entered their family 2 weeks ago when their first-born son lost his 8-year battle with cancer...leaving a wife, children and grandchildren. He was an avid hunter, fishmerman and loved life...lived it to the fullest that he possibly could with that awful disease.
Warren Jr. was special to a lot of people...and that is a testament to his parents. They raised him "right" as the saying goes!

I honor not only my company today, but also Warren Sr. on his special day and my sister as they deal with the pain of the loss. I admire their strength and how fortunate that they have each other to lean on.

We never know what life will throw us. How will we handle it? My mentor in Mary Kay, who recently lost her husband, shared..."It's not what life gives us, it's how we handle it"!

Birthdays and Anniversaries are special. Enjoy each one. Embrace life and live your dreams. On the wall of my office are three plaques which read:


Sunday, September 12, 2010

A 9/12 Attitude

Have you ever heard the phrase:  "I'm a 9/12er"?   About a year ago Glenn Beck started the 9/12 Project.  It's basis was recapturing the feeling you had on September 12, 2001...the day after the terroists attacks in New York, Washington D.C. and  Shanksville, PA  We were amazed, frightened, extremely patriotic, and most of all generous with help and love to our fellow man.  Families were drawn back together, neighbors were friendlier, churches were full again.    Do you remember? 

Well, today being 9/12/10, I decided to spend most of the day researching and studying all that I could about the craziness we have been seeing on the TV news reports, namely, the never-ending Ground Zero Mosque controversy.   What have we become in 9 years from that all-encompasing day of September 12, 200l?  Why are race relations seemingly at their worst?  Why is political correctness the order of our day...causing us to be labeled as  "fobic" behind the name of any group we go up against. 

I am not violent, not racist, just not silent anymore.  I fear for our country.  I fear for my grandchildren and what kind of country they may have to live in.  In researching the building of the so-called Cordova Community Center I came up with something interesting.  It's named after Cardova, Spain where a huge mosque was errected where once a battle raged and the Muslims were victorious.  Don't you think that naming the "ground zero" mosque...Cordova is a little suspect as to what might be the purpose of that mosque? 

I also found several authors and commentators who I had seen on different TV appearances and read more about them today, i.e., Brigette Gabriel, and Pam Geller.  They are both outspoken passionate women fighting for our American ideals  to be preserved.  Have you heard the term:  Islaminization of America?  Yes, that's what I said....could we ever have thought such a thing 9 years ago?   I'm sure you have heard the term "Sharia" law.  Actually, I learned today that one should say simply Sharia because the name means law.  Islamic Law.  The Iman Rauf, leader of the "ground zero" mosque has said in interviews that America should be Sharia complient! 

I won't bore (or should I say scare you) with what Sharia is, however, I will ask you to google it.  Read all you can about it.  I really don't think you'd want that to be imposed here in America.  Oh, I bet you are thinking right now....that could NEVER happen in our country.  Well, I also found out that Sharia is in 5 areas in Great Britian.  Yes, in the Muslim communities which are growing in England....they have imposed Sharia.  Look up Pam Geller....she has researched this and speaks of it in her book.

We have a President who says, just yesterday, we are not at war with Islam.  However, Islamic Law...Sharia, demands its followers to destroy infidells (that's me and you if you are a Christian, a Jew or any other religion other than Muslim).  An American Muslim-convert was on the streets of New York yesterday in the counter protest shouting out that very news report did show him!

Brigitte Gabriel, a Lebanon-born American writes and speaks passionately about growing up as a Christian in Lebanon.  She and her family experienced the terror of Sharia from Muslims who came to her country as refugees and the government there insisted that they be accepted,therefore,infiltrated the Christian sectors of Lebanon.  Terroists destroyed her home and the world she knew....she escaped to the United States and lives to tell about it today. 

I know that God is in control.     I pray every day for His hand on our country, our leaders, and His guidance to them as to how they should govern.  We don't want to think this could ever happen in America, but if we don't watch and be aware and speak could. 

Saturday, September 11, 2010

What were you doing 9 years ago today?

I have wanted to start a blog for a few weeks now.  The one thing holding me back was I could not come up with a name.  I've researched how to name a blog.  I've asked family and friends for their ideas.  Nothing came to mind so I put it away...out of my mind.  Yesterday, I was driving home from running errands, I noticed a sign on what I think was a restaurant....POTLUCK.  That's it!!  That's a great name for my blog.  For you see, I wanted this to be a mixture of my passions, my rants, the loves in my life, and of course it would have to be a little political.  However, I didn't want only my political rants....I wanted, however, to be able to express my love of cooking, my family....just whatever stirs the passions within me for a particular day....hence POTLUCK.  With that discovery, I came home, opened my Facebook page to find a post by a long-time friend, Debbie, who commented after one of my "political status updates", "Mel, do you have a blog"?  That was the affirmation that I needed to go back and complete the start of this blogspot.  You see, one of my daughters had asked me, "why do you want to do this....why would you want people to read what you have to say"....that had put a doubt in my mind....I pushed the desire down thinking, I'm not that important that anyone would want to read my rants.   However, writing down thoughts, dreams, desires, exasperations, is therapy for the least for me.  If I'm upset and I write about's calming...with a feeling of..."there, I've got it out....I feel better" and I can go on with my day.    Hence, the reason I'm putting these words on cyperspace feel share (I love to share ideas) to give opionions (we all have them) whether anyone reads this or not....I feel renewed!

It's 8:54 AM CST on 9/11/10.....9 years after the first plane went into the 1st tower of the World Trade Center in New York City.    I watched the FNC Special about that day last night.    Yes, it was a repeat of the special they had put together a few years still made me cry.  I still get emotional when I see the events unfold.  Thank you FOX for being the only news outlet that still shows the people jumping out of the top of the WTC to their certain death.  We should all watch that every year as a rememberence of what we are fighting.  I know that some think it's not respectful of the families of those who jumped...however, I think it's that one image among all of the others that brings the emotions to where they should be.  WE MUST NEVER FORGET..who did this horrible act that day.  Why they did it.  And, why they continue to scheme and plan for another one just as horrendous. 

That brings me to today, well, the news events of the last few weeks.  Would anyone, 9 years ago, be thinking that we'd be in the discussions that we find ourselves in with mosque building, Koran burning...or that we'd even have a President with a Muslim name?

Americans forget.  Americans have a forgiving spirit, along with a generous spirit.  We give more than any other country in the world to foreign aid, even to our enemies....that one is for another blog on another day!
But, we should NEVER forget what happened to our country  and our people 9 years ago.  We should never forget the soldiers of our military who have died trying to fight our enemy with one hand tied behind their back. 

The news media should turn off the cameras on that loon in Gainsville, FL and that Iman in N.Y. and focus on the men and women who died that day in N.Y. at the Pentagon, in Shanksville...on the planes ....and on the battlefield for the last years since we were attacked.    Those are who we honor today and remember.   They are the heros in my mind.