Both Sides of the Fence

A Tosa resident since 1991, Christine walks the dog, cooks but avoids housework, writes and reads, and enjoys the company of friends and strangers. Her job takes her around the state, learning about people's health. A Quaker (no, they don't wear blue hats or sell oatmeal or motor oil), she has been known to stand on both sides of the political and philosophic fence at the same time, which is very uncomfortable when you think about it. She writes about pretty much whatever stops in to visit her busy mind at the moment. One reader described her as "incredibly opinionated but not judgmental." That sounds like a good thing to strive for!

You MUST be in harmony!!!

Food, It's not easy


After working late to catch up from the four-day holiday and making a quick "hot turkey salad," I've collapsed in front of the TV. Suzy Orman is telling me YOU MUST BE IN HARMONY!!! When I am in harmony, she says, I will CLEAN UP MY SURROUNDINGS!!! This will make me rich, not to mention HAPPY!!! and a CONFIDENT WOMAN WHO KNOWS HER OWN WORTH!! in all senses of the word, which will make me BEAUTIFUL and I forget what else.

Now, Suzy Orman is a very smart woman, and she knows a great deal about money management. But I am not entirely sure that I want to "GET IN LINE, AND NEVER GET OUT OF IT AGAIN!!! And I'm quite sure I don't want to be yelled at about it.

Financially, it's a great idea. Domestically, ditto. But so much of what's good in life, including harmony, happens when you're not in line.

This year we violated almost all of our holiday rules, aka habits. We ate Thanksgiving dinner in a restaurant. The food wasn't as good. There were chicken nuggets and baked cod in the buffet, and that was so wrong. But it saved a lot of stress and anxiety, and that was very good. There was harmony in the family.

Black Friday, we shopped for the first time ever on the day after Thanksgiving. We were heading home from Oshkosh, and the Blue Top outlet mall was right there, and it just seemed. . . prudent. We made a killing at the Gap and brought Geo's wardrobe into harmony.

Last night, we had our own small Thanksgiving dinner--turkey breast cooked in the slow cooker. There were lots of vegetables, none in Cream of Mushroom soup. The cranberry sauce was jellied and straight from the can, in violation of a three generation family taboo. It was good, with few dishes.

Later, driving past the dump, we saw a buck. A huge one, maybe 8 points. He was illuminated by the full moon, which made the moment magical. It also saved us from hitting him.

And that's harmonious. We are, indeed, HAPPY!!! But not rich.

 Harmonious Hot Turkey Salad

3 cups cooked turkey, diced

1/2 cup celery, chopped

1 can water chestnuts, diced

1/2 to 1 cup black olives, sliced

1 small red pepper, diced

1/2 cup frozen peas 

3 tablespoons grated onion 

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1/2 cup leftover gravy and 1/2 cup of mayonnaise (or 1 cup mayonnaise)

Salt and pepper to taste; 1 teaspoon or more or less curry powder if you like it 

1/2 cup sliced or slivered almonds

1 cup grated cheddar cheese or more if you prefer

Mix all ingredients except cheese. Place in a 9 X 13 inch baking dish or other large gratin dish. Cover with cheese. Then cover with topping (below). Bake ~20 minutes at 400 degrees or until crumbs are golden brown and salad is heated through.

Topping: 1/2 to 1 cup bread crumbs, 2 to 4 tablespoons melted butter, and salt to taste. 



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