Illegal Weapons

I used to have an illegal weapon. And every once in a while I used it.  Know what it was?  It was a switchblade knife.

Now mind you my switchblade knife was old and decrepit and had a blade that was maybe two inches long.  And it opened with the speed of a snoozing turtle (sh-sh-sh-sh-clunk).   And it was d-u-l-l.  I used it when I was outside in the garage cutting up boxes for recycling (“take that box!”).   I never had any nefarious designs on anyone with my switchblade. But technically it was illegal.  And if I still had it, it would still be illegal.  Even though my victims were cardboard boxes.

I have my old Boy Scout knives which are so sharp that I can shave with them.  They seem to be far more dangerous.  But a switchblade?  Outrageous.  Illinois remains one of the few states where switchblade knives are still illegal.  As I recall one North Shore community outlaws steak knives over 2-1/2 inches.  “Eeek!  A knife!”  Maybe Illinois should tax them!   Now that’s the spirit.   


Lemonade from Lemons

I made dinner on Saturday. It was two filets of flounder turbot which really can’t go wrong.  Marinate in olive oil then coat with gluten-free bread crumbs.  I sprinkled this dish with ground pepper, garlic powder and turmeric (see 1/11/15).  For the first time, I opted for roasted potatoes in an Ina Garten theme.  I used South Florida white potatoes, washed and cut into 1″ chunks.  I soaked them in olive oil, salted, peppered and turmeric’d them and laid them out on a flat pan.  Baked at 400 degrees for about 45 minutes (or until tender and browned). 

It was the vegetable dish that was the challenge.  I golfed Saturday morning and all I could think about was hitting the ball straight and pureed carrots.  Don’t say it.    I bought a batch of organic carrots and peeled them.  Then peeled and cut a fresh mango.  And melted 1/2 a stick of butter.  And slivered two cloves of garlic.  What could go wrong?  So I put the mix in the blender and – long story short – the black plastic thingee that turns the blender blade broke.  The smell of heated plastic was the clue.   So there I am with half the stuff in the glass jar mooshed and half not.  The original plan was to blend the carrot/mango into a puree, put in a glass bowl — then set that bowl in a bowl of water – in a 350 oven for perhaps 25 minutes.  But I switched on the fly to an unplanned Plan B.  I poured out the glop, diced the carrots and put the whole thing in the microwave (“vegetable” setting) and let ‘er rip. 

What could have been a real culinary downer actually turned out to be a “whew” moment.  Dinner was wonderful.  A little Decoy cab to wash things down.  And the Talenti gelato (banana chocolate swirl) for dessert didn’t hurt.  What sealed the deal as usual — I did the dishes.   

400 Posts

This is post number 400. I’ve been doing this blog thing for nearly four years. 

In number 200 (April 14, 2013), I talked about the most popular posts (esp. “The Wedding Ring“).  In number 300 (April 13, 2014), I referenced some of my favorite posts.  There are lots of ’em.   Granddaughters.  🙂  Personal experience.  Inspirational ones (like “Be a Themostat” 4/26/14).   Cooking is fun and challenging so recipes play a role.   I occasionally lapse into editorial comment and I don’t mean to step on toes but I guess I will if you disagre with me. 

The words are mine (unless otherwise indicated) and the subjects are based on whatever strikes me at any given moment.   I’m not sure how much longer this will go but for now, number 401 is in the works.



Donna and I talked about “friends” while walking around the block with Daisy. Friends. We are blessed with many.  Most of those reading this post.  We have new friends. Old friends. Best friends.  There are a few friends in whom we can confide everything.  Or just about everything.  Friends we see or talk to every ten years (and we pick up where we left off) and those we talk to every day.  Think about it.  You have such friends too.  We all want friends.  Need friends.  BFF’s and just “friends.”  Guys we golf with.  People we work with.  Guys I see walking to the train station (“Hey John, howyadoin’?”).  And of course there are spouses – and family – who are ever so special — usually a few notches above the BFF category.  

Friends are good for us according to studies.  Friends keep us healthy and happy.  Even add to longevity.  Friends make us smile, laugh and cry.  We cry especially when they leave us.  Yet many folks cry because they have no friends.  All too many people are sad, lonely or depressed.  That’s why our smiles and encouragement to all we meet can be so important.  As I’ve said before, the small things you do for others may mean nothing to you.  But it may mean everything to them. . . .   

I like the wry observation of Ralph Waldo Emerson that “It is one of the blessings of old friends that you can afford to be stupid with them.”  Donna says that I take full advantage of that saying (“Scott – would you PLEASE take the lampshade off your head. . . . “).