I Go To Extremes: Rollercoaster of Life

I think I’m going to call June and July The Months of Extremes.  I’ve been energized and exhausted. Happy and Heartbroken, Sane and Depressed, Sharp as a katana and numb as a cube of ice.

I started the day off elated.  got my mid-term exams results and aced them.  Twenty minutes later, anxious and sad – a call my 84 year old mother was admitted to the hospital yesterday and tons of tests being run.  She’s in Florida, I’m up here.

So I’m milling around my kitchen cooking like a crazy tornado lady – when sad/anxious/depressed/afraid – I cook.
This song came on the radio and hit the nail on the head – I Go To Extremes….don’t know what’s ahead at this point. I just know it is another round on the rollercoaster of life.



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Friday Fun – “2012″

Another video from my favorite guys, World Order.  In 2012, everyone was going on and on about the Mayan calendar and the end of the world, or the current cycle of existence.  A Japanese take on this, World Order, has as usual interesting moves, meaningful words.  They filmed this video in Mexico City and some surrounding areas.  Many of their moves have a bit of the ritualistic and archaic to them.  I have provided an English translation of their interpretation of the Mayan calendar and end times.  Nothing dreary or scary, but a message for balance, prayers, being aware of our past and moving towards peace and perfection.

As the piled-up history is signaling the end,
our memories of the cycle of civilization are returning.
While we try to recall a world unknown to us,
an unknown encounter slowly appears before us.

Perfection is when we’re here
Perfection is where we’re going to
Perfection is when we’re here
Perfection is where we’re going to

Perfection is when we’re here.
Perfection is where we’re going to.
To the end of the cycle, the beginning of evolution,
and the era of the galaxy, we open our eyes,
offer up our prayers into seven directions,
and then march towards our goal of cleansing.
Perfection is when we’re here.
Perfection is where we’re going to

Someone is shouting from the other side of the rainbow bridge.
We will entrust our sense to the power of silence,
begin weaving dreams with fibers of light,
and then open the gate to that unknown world.
Perfection is when we’re here
Perfection is where we’re going to

Perfection is when we’re here
Perfection is where we’re going toPerfection is when we’re here.
Perfection is where we’re going to.
To the beginning of the end, the beginning of cleansing,
and the origin of the galaxy, we will return.
While seeing off our three octaves,
let’s savor our perfect fifths.
Perfection is when we’re here.
Perfection is where we’re going to.

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Twofer Twosday – Karaage Chicken and Sunomono

East meets South in this Japanese version of fried chicken and a kinda sorta cole slaw – actually an easy pickled vegetable dish which is a perfect side dish.

Karaage fried chicken is a very popular food in Japan – it is served in restaurants similar to tapas restaurants, as a street food, a snack with beer in local bars, picked up and taken home for dinner – but it is an easy and different take on fried chicken. Recipes call for chicken thighs but I use similarly sized strips or chunks of chicken breast meat. it can also be made with firm fish, but usually when the term karaage is mentioned, it refers to chicken.

Tebasaki Karaage - is a variation. Disjointed chicken wings are used and are my favorite. Use the standard recipe using 10 wings and deep frying for – 10 minutes.

I have posted sunomono before. it is a wonderful cooling dish as a side, salad, accompaniement to fried foods, grilled foods, baked foods. Usually made with thinly sliced cucumbers, it can also be made with thinly sliced celery, radishes, and/or sweet onion. I feel like the more the merrier so I add different veggies to mine.

So enjoy your un-Southern Fried chicken and Japanese un-slaw. Good eating for parties, lunch, bento lunches, TV watching food. I have often been asked to bring my fried chicken to get-togethers. “Some ask for the regular and others ask for the Japanese. I always take half and half. It all disappears.

public domain picture

public domain picture

Kaarage Chicken
4 chicken thighs or equivalent of chicken breast
2 Tbsp Sake
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1-2 tsp garlic, grated
1-2 tsp ginger, grated
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup corn starch
salt and pepper
oil for deep frying (Unless you have allergies or family with allergies, peanut oil is the best oil for deep frying having a higher flash point. A pure vegetable oil such as Crisco is second best.)

Cut a chicken thigh into 3-4 pieces (or breast into more pieces/strips).  In a medium size bowl, mix Sake, soy sauce, salt, garlic and ginger with chicken.  Let it sit for 1/2-1 hour. The longer it sits, the more salty the chicken will become.
Mix flour, corn starch and some salt and pepper in another bowl.  Coat marinated chicken pieces with flour mixture.
Heat oil at medium high heat (350F).  Deep fry for 5-8 minutes depending on the size of meat. Drain on paper towels, serve while hot with a few squirts of fresh lemon juice.

public domain images

public domain images

3 Japanese or 4 Persian cucumbers *English cukes can be used. Also thinly sliced celery and/or radishes and/or sweet onion can be added
1/4 tsp salt
3 Tbsp rice vinegar
1 Tbsp sugar
1/4 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp sesame seeds

Slice cucumbers/veggies as thin as you can. Stir in salt, and let it sit for 5 minutes. Squeeze water out from cucumbers.
In a small bowl, mix rice vinegar, sugar, and soy sauce together until sugar dissolves.
Add vinegar mixture and sesame seeds to prepared cucumbers and mix well. Chill for about 1 hour for flavors to marry and veggies to chill.





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けいう keiu : tanka



けいう Welcome Rain

shriveled summer grass
burns under hot blue sky, light
shower, sparrows dance and grass
drinks gratefully deep.




Posted in General Poetry | 18 Comments

Friday Fun: When I grow up….

I was an avid fan of the British series, The Avengers.  Every Friday night, I was in front of the tube eagerly awaiting the first notes of the opening theme.  And then….Alhough it was The Avengers, to myself, I called it, The Emma Peel Adventure Hour.

I watched in fascination, copying her moves, the way she walked, practicing for hours until I finally was able to do a passable imitation of her woodsmoke and honey voice.  I knew exactly what I wanted to be when I grew up – I wanted to be Emma Peel.

I was on the fencing team in high school and college, I took some martial arts, I practiced that walk that was like an elegant tigress.  Alas, when one is only 4’10″, wears glasses, and is the school geek, it is hard.  But in my dreams, oh in my dreams!

Many things have changed through the years.  But…I still want to be Emma Peel when I grow up!



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Twofer Tuesday: Peach Extravaganza


It is peach season – Hooray!!!! Luscious globes in variegated shades of pink,red,coral..pass by a display of them and be seduced by the sweet and unique fragrance. First they catch your eye and then as you go closer, your fingers are teased by the velvet touch of them and then finally, that lifting to the nose and inhaling the sweet smell of summer.

Cobblers, pies, ice cream, sangria, parfaits, trifles, shortcakes, coffeecakes, bread, upside down cakes, grilled, salsa-ed or just eaten as they are, peaches are one of the most versatile of the summer fruits. The standard peach and its cousin, the white fleshed peach which tastes the way an exotic flower would taste, go all too quickly into our past, to be dreamed of during cold and grey winter days. Enjoy them while they are here – become a peach glutton.

Two recipes for you with peaches: Peaches and Cream Pie – a sweet silky southern belle of a dessert. Not quite crème brulee but dancing on the edge of it; the edges caramelize and add a different layer of flavor and texture. And – from Southern Living Magazine, Governor’s Mansion Sweet Summer Peach Tea. Cooling and refreshing. An excellent drink for brunches, prissy bridal or baby showers, afternoon tea, or just for serving to friends at a cookout as something totally different and delicious.

Try both of them and I think you will be on your way to being a true Peach Hedonist!


Peaches and Cream Pie
¾ c. granulated white sugar
½ c. all purpose flour
1 unbaked 9 inch pie shell
2 c. peeled and sliced fresh peaches or, frozen peaches, defrosted and room temperature
1 c. heavy cream
Good splash of vanilla added to the cream

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Mix sugar and flour together in bowl. Sprinkle about one-third into the bottom of the pie shell. Add peaches and sprinkle with remaining sugar and flour. Slowly pour heavy cream over fillings. Gently stir peaches to cover them completely with cream. Bake until peaches are tender and crust is golden – about 45 minutes. Let cool on rack until a bit warmer than room temperature. It will slice better.

Photo: Jennifer Davick; Styling: Lydia DeGaris Pursell

Photo: Jennifer Davick; Styling: Lydia DeGaris Pursell

Governor’s Mansion Summer Peach Tea Punch
3 family-size tea bags
2 cups loosely packed fresh mint leaves
1 (33.8-oz.) bottle peach nectar
1/2 (12-oz.) can frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed
1/2 cup Simple Sugar Syrup***
1 (1-liter) bottle ginger ale, chilled
1 (1-liter) bottle club soda, chilled
Garnish: fresh peach wedges

Bring 4 cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan; add tea bags and mint leaves. Boil 1 minute; remove from heat. Cover and steep 10 minutes. Discard tea bags and mint. Pour into a 1-gal. container; add peach nectar, lemonade concentrate, and Simple Sugar Syrup. Cover and chill 8 to 24 hours.
Pour chilled tea mixture into a punch bowl or pitcher. Stir in ginger ale and club soda just before serving. Garnish, if desired.

** Simple Sugar Syrup
2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup water

Bring sugar and water to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Boil, stirring occasionally, 4 minutes or until sugar is dissolved and mixture is clear. Cool to room temperature (about 30 minutes) Syrup can be made in batches and when cooled, stored for up to two weeks in the refrigerator. I keep a batch of it all through the summer for quick drink preparation.


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Madison Rising – The Star Spangled Banner


Today, the day after the 4th of July, Let’s crank this up and one more time, shout it out like we mean it, let’s do as this group and sing with passion and from the heart!!!!!!!!!!! Oh yes. Thank you Huntie for originally posting.

Originally posted on Chasing Rabbit Holes:

I am a traditionalist and yet fell madly in love with this raucous rendition – crank up the volume!

View original

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