Random Thoughts the Day After Thanksgiving 2020

Friday 11/27

Remember the Mantra: never get too high, never get too low. The Truth Machine this morning stared back at me with the number 179. Yes, we had a very good Thanksgiving how did you know? Too much sugar, too many calories, too much of a good time. But remember the mantra. I’m convinced my number will come down again. Maybe not today or tomorrow but the number will come back down.

A random encounter at the grocery store may have changed my Thanksgiving turkey buying habits forever. As I was mindlessly staring at the frozen birds another shopper came over, excused himself and reached for what appeared to be a very small turkey breast. He already had one in his other hand so I just had to ask,

“What is that?”

“Boneless breast. My wife doesn’t want any other type of turkey for Thanksgiving and told me to get two.”

I picked up one of these from the freezer section and examined it. I’d never seen a boneless turkey breast roast before. Bone in yes, boneless no. What the hell why not? I bought one only to be told by MY wife when I got home to go get another one so we can have leftovers. Which I did. The only picture I snapped was the pre-roasting picture. I didn’t take a picture when the turkey came out of the oven because the turkey skin didn’t brown but the veggies in the pan did.

Uncooked and not recommended to be consumed without cooking first.
  1. Defrost for two days in the fridge.
  2. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
  3. Remove the outer wrapping, pat dry with paper towels and do not remove the string webbing holding the breast meat together in a roast shape.
  4. In a roasting pan scatter chunks of onion, celery and carrots (peeled or unpeeled, up to you).
  5. Season the veggies well. I used salt, pepper, garlic powder, thyme, and parsley ( I couldn’t find any rosemary or that would have gone into the mix). Sprinkle the veggies with some olive oil.
  6. Place the roasting rack in the pan, spreading the veggies enough so that the rack sits firmly in the pan. Position your breasts so that they don’t fall through the rack.
  7. Rub olive oil (or melted butter, your choice) on the breasts. Season well. I used the same seasonings as in Step #5 with the addition of onion powder. No rosemary unfortunately.
  8. Tent the pan with aluminum foil and roast for 1.5 hours. Remove the foil at this point and continue roasting for another 30 minutes. (broil for five minutes if you want to try and get the skin brown for pictures).
  9. Remove from the oven and allow to sit for 15 minutes, foil tent back on to keep the meat warm. Using a pair of kitchen scissors carefully cut and remove the string webbing.
  10. Slice and serve.

Each boneless breast is approximately 3 pounds and will provide 4-6 servings. Since our Pandemic Inspired gathering was 4 adults and 2 Tiny Humans we had plenty of turkey for leftovers. Two of the four adults are dark meat aficionados and we sacrificed our personal preferences for ease of preparation. Everyone was quite pleased with how the boneless roasts delivered very moist and flavorful turkey.

Mmmm…good turkey!
Just avocado for me please.

Happy Thanksgiving – 2020

Look, I know 2020 has been an awful year. But no matter how bad things seem to be always remember the good in the world. Find at least one thing to be thankful for and let that one thing be your reminder to find other things you are thankful for. And if this doesn’t work imagine you are three years old running in between tall trees, well dressed for the occasion in a stylish coat, a really cool mask, Minnie tucked under your arm. Then there she is right in front of you. Dad! Pick this one!

The Pandemic Pantry – Election Week Update- 11.08.20

Sunday 11/8

To be honest I’ve not paid much attention to the Covid-19 numbers very much for quite some time. Yesterday though, the numbers caught my attention:

Holy Crap Batman!

My initial reaction was shock. But my thoughts quickly came back to food and preparing the pantry for the next lock down.  I’m using this blog to maintain my personal pandemic pantry list and it is not intended to be THE LIST to follow.  (At least I won’t forget where I put my pantry list.) IMO there are several reasons to keep your pantry well stocked:

  • government mandated lock downs.
  • self-imposed periods of sheltering in place either from direct exposure to an infected individual, becoming infected or living with an infected person, rampant uncontrolled viral spread in your community and/or social unrest.
  • Panic buying/hoarding.
  • Supply chain disruptions due to Covid-19 outbreaks at various points in the supply chain and/or panic buying behavior.

We just survived the worst ice storm imaginable and several days without electricity teaches you a thing or two. So I’ve started a list of non-food pantry items which over time will consist of stuff you need to have around when the lights go out. My shopping the past several months included picking up one of this and one of that to build up and back up the pantry. So here’s what the Pandemic Pantry looks like today with the supply on hand in parenthesis. Zero = no backup.

Pandemic Pantry Items – Last Updated 11.08.20

  • Mayo (1) Mustard (0) Salsa (1) Ketchup (0)
  • Pickles (1)
  • Canned tomatoes in 14.5 and 28 ounce cans.  Diced, crushed, diced with green chilies and stewed (8)
  • Extra virgin olive oil (1)
  • Brown and white sugar (0 and 1)
  • Bay leaves, dried oregano, basil, and parsley (0)
  • Onion and garlic powders
  • Salt (1) and black pepper (0)
  • Baking powder, baking soda, corn starch (0)
  • Parmesan cheese (1)
  • Bread crumbs (plain, Panko, seasoned) (1)
  • Dried pastas (10 lbs)
  • Dried beans such as brown and green lentils, pinto, black, adzuki, mayocabo, yellow and green split peas, black eye peas and cranberry (5 lbs)
  • Canned beans such as garbanzos, black, black eye peas, pinto, great northern, navy (10)
  • Broth, vegetable, beef, chicken (3)
  • Rice – multiple varieties like basmati, brown, Texmati, arborio  and plain long grain white (6 lbs)
  • Flour and corn tortillas (0)
  • Wheat germ (1)
  • COFFEE ground (0) — K-cups (50ish)
  • COFFEE FILTERS (0) — I suggest owning a single cup drip cone.
  • Tea (120 tea bags all green decaf plus a few normal ones for me)
  • Nuts (1)
  • All purpose and whole wheat flours (or alternative flours if you’re into that sort of thing)
  • Canned tuna (6)
  • Canned green chilies (1)
  • Oats (0)
  • Cornmeal (0)
  • Dried fruits (1)
  • Whole grain and fruit/nut bars (20ish)
  • Dry cereals and granola (0)
  • Crackers (3)
  • Vinegar (red wine, white wine,Balsamic, white Balsamic, apple cider, etc.) (1)
  • Oil (besides EVO, vegetable, avocado, corn, etc.) (3)
  • Peanut butter (2)
  • Jelly and/or fruit spread (1)
  • Glenmorangie 10 and 14 Single Malt Scotch (2)

Non-food Items Paper

  • Paper towels (66 double rolls)
  • Toilet paper (56 double and MEGA rolls)
  • Tissues (16)
  • Napkins (2 small, 2 large packs)

Hopefully you’ll find this list useful. Personally while updating the list I’ve thought of items to add to this list and to my shopping list. Stay safe, stay well.

The Apology Post – 11.01.20

Before we go any further I am guilty as charged. I’m spending a lot of time with https://lifeunderwriter.net/ and even more time at my Day Job so the posts here have been somewhat sparse. I promise to be better. A lot of time has also been devoted to my Pandemic Weight Loss Program. I started the year at 192 pounds. This morning the scale was 176.2 pounds. A lot of folks have been on the Pandemic Weight Gain Plan. And for faithful readers who want to know more about my weight plan you’ll just have to buy the book (if and when I ever finish writing it). But for now, here’s the latest I’ve stumbled upon in the plant based diet craze.

CONCLUSIONS: Young adults who increased plant-centered diet quality had a lower diabetes risk and gained less weight by middle adulthood.

A Shift Toward a Plant-Centered Diet From Young to Middle Adulthood and Subsequent Risk of Type 2 Diabetes and Weight Gain: The Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) Study — Diabetes Care 2020 Nov; 43(11): 2796-2803. https://doi.org/10.2337/dc20-1005

Small study (n=206) but still interesting.

CONCLUSIONS: Replacement of red and processed meat with cheese, yogurt, nuts, or cereals was associated with a lower rate of type 2 diabetes. Substituting red and processed meat by other protein sources may contribute to the prevention of incident type 2 diabetes in European populations.

Replacement of Red and Processed Meat With Other Food Sources of Protein and the Risk of Type 2 Diabetes in European Populations: The EPIC-InterAct Study — https://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/43/11/2660?rss=1

Another interesting study but with serious limitations as the authors themselves point out:

A limitation of the current study is that the food substitutions were inferred based on a statistical model that compared individuals with different average intakes while no one actively changed their diet.

Well, I’ve actively changed my diet the past several months. I know increased exercise did not contribute to my weight loss (I have some physical limitations and actually cancelled my gym membership due to the virus). Hopefully I’ll find the time to review and document the changes that generated the loss.

TOMC – 09.11.20

Well, it happened today. I was headed back home from picking up pizza. At the stoplight near the Edmond Wine Shop I glanced at my odometer. Cosmic Karma.

It’s gonna be hard selling this one.

Election Year – 2020 Version

I got this in the mail today from a local Congresswoman (YES, Congresswoman not Congressperson). I’m not sure what happened to Barbara. Or Eric. I’m guessing this politician is looking for same sex support.

“Up Your Game” – Pandemic Meals in Pictures

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The moment you realize your kid has leapfrogged you in the world of everyday cooking.

Is it possible to feel proud and depressed simultaneously?

I’ll revise this post when I’m less depressed. Just in case you want to know what these dishes are.

Revision 08.26.20

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Peach pie! The Colorado Kids are killing it.

Pandemic Pantry – 08.02.20

So besides protecting yourself, you should be prepared for more lock downs, supply chain disruptions, economic woes, travel restrictions, social distancing, civil unrest, and other challenges. That means keeping your supplies of critical preps — water, food, medications — topped up, and not letting them get too low.

Always keep on-hand enough supplies for a sudden two-week quarantine in your home. Really you should try for three months of supplies, but two weeks is the minimum. This stash will also insulate you against surprise supply chain disruptions.

Jon Stokes at theprepared.com

Victoria Australia has declared a State of Disaster. Some schools opened in Melbourne on July 14. In-person classroom school lasted less than one week. The school has been cleaned but remains closed. Contact tracing is still in process. Last week Victoria reported over 2,500 new coronavirus cases up from 2,200 the week prior. While I maintain pretty strong personal measures to avoid possible exposures I admit I’ve gotten complacent with shopping for the pantry. It’s a false sense of security because the majority of my recent shopping trips have been fruitful with minimal shortages noted on the store shelves. Reading about the situation in Australia and seeing pictures online of people standing in a long line on the sidewalk waiting for entry to a grocery store was a wake up call.

Like Jon Stokes says, be prepared for a sudden two week quarantine. Depending upon local conditions it could be longer. Make sure your pantry has back ups for truly essential items (coffee and single malt scotch are good examples). When you’re shopping don’t think about immediate needs. Think about being cooped up in the house again for weeks and pick up a few extras. Last week I bought four pounds of penne pasta (on sale!) and am now well stocked on dried pastas. I also have ample supplies of frequently used herbs and spices.  Bay leaves anyone?

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I also have enough oregano to last for months because I bought a back up when I already had a back up.  There’s plenty of chicken and ground meats in the freezer.  Plus there’s the turkey…

Like I’ve mentioned in the past, we seem to be in pretty good shape in Oklahoma with shortages and supply chain issues.  Disinfectant wipes though have been in very short supply and are hard to find.  But true friendship shines in the pandemic.  Our friends dropped this off a few days ago.

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True friendship is sharing your supply of disinfecting wipes.