Monday, August 18, 2014

Awesome August 2014 Meandering Monday

There is rain washing - again - the trees
Scrubbed clean, from leaves to knees,
By winds and showers, just yesterday.
Whatever capricious God or Woodland Fae
Looked out (or down) and thought,
"I see an acre with rubbish fraught"
Would that they had asked me first - 
Too much of a good thing makes it worse!

From my Facebook page on Sunday: 
I go in to work late today - 4 o'clock. I took the opportunity to make Lazy Hamburger Steaks. I took a pound of ground round and broke it into six pieces, added a sprinkle of Old Bay, browned one side and turned. I added a pint of sliced Baby Bella mushrooms, one half of a huge Vidalia onion I cut into petals, about a cup of beef gravy, and a real good shake of Lea and Perrins Bold steak sauce. Turned the heat down, put on a lid, and it is simmering. Can be eaten open-faced, on a bun, with Mashed Potatoes or rice ... Cooking on the fly, that is how this crone rolls!

I ate one portion with mashed potatoes before I went to work, very filling. I ate another ( Roger had taken care of the other four in the interim ) when I got home from work, this time with brown rice. My only comment would be I wish I had made more! Not shaping the meat into patties, squishing it any, really seemed to work well. I was careful when turning the meat, so as to not make crumbles. The irregular shaped rectangles were sort of whimsical, but as they were broken from the same package of meat they were of a common thickness so they cooked evenly. The looser texture of the portions also seemed to facilitate the gravy permeating the beef, making for a moist Hamburger Steak. I would be hesitant to try this with ground meat that had a very high fat content, as I did not drain any fat before adding the vegetables and gravy. I did not add oil to the skillet prior to cooking either, and had no issues with sticking.  

Politics and social unrest are wearing on me again. I see and read so much negativity, and it is not just on Facebook. It is on the news, be the source print, online content, or television. Online blogs, news outlets, pseudo-news outlets, views through the lens of various religions, beliefs, cultures ... too many agendas, too much division, too much posturing.

In addition to the national and global headlines and events, there are local concerns as well, including a campaign (special election is tomorrow - I am so relieved) that quickly went very south in tone - can we say enough mud has been slung to make bricks to build a good sized stadium? Yes, I think we can. The fact that I am personally acquainted with one of the candidates, and find him to be personable, engaging, and articulate makes the television ads and daily deluge of flyers all the more disheartening. One of the candidates has resurrected a particularly difficult and painful local event from the recent past in an ad, which I know has infuriated a town in the county where I live, and rightly so. It puzzles me to no end how a person endeavoring to be elected to a state office, to become a public servant, could not foresee the possible ramifications of dredging up events that were so horribly and tragically endured by the very people from whom votes are being solicited. It will be educational to see who wins those precincts come Wednesday morning. 

As I type this, Smokie the Black Cat is draped across my lap, catnapping. Mabon the Calico Cat is lying across Roger, cleaning her paws because, well, that is what cats do - endlessly - they clean themselves. And nap. Then demand food. Then clean and nap again. My life is awesome, not because I let myself become unsettled by politics and people, but because I have the cats and Roger and Little Beaver Creek to keep me mindful of balance, perspective, and blessings. Have a good week!

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