I’ll Get It

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Reminiscing about the ‘good old days’ seems to be a favorite pastime for many. We have a tendency to erase bad memories and instead our focus zooms in on pleasant thoughts of the way things used to be.

Long before answering machines, beepers, pagers and cell phones our homes had one black tabletop rotary dial telephone. In 1959 we were introduced to the Princess phone, otherwise referred to as the bedroom telephone. They all had built in night lights and my mom had a pink one. It was the first time homes had two telephones. Finally, in 1965 the public was offered the wall hung telephone and ours made its appearance in the kitchen, sporting the color of the day…avocado green.

No one was bothered by telemarketing calls back in those days and no such thing as caller ID was available. We called people on birthdays, holidays, anniversaries and simply to just say, “Hello.” “I’ll get it” was a common refrain heard throughout, whenever the phone would ring. The only text messages we ever received were in the form of written letters and the occasional pen pals many of us had. There was always the grumpy and impatient person on a party line call who would become enraged if we talked too long, grumble and slam the phone down. Our silent way of getting even would be to quietly listen in on their conversations and try to figure out who they were and where they lived. It was a cat and mouse guessing game, but for some strange reason, we found it mildly entertaining.

Today there are fewer landline phones and the people who still have them are inundated with annoying telemarketers and surveys. The silly intimacy of whispering into the kitchen phone to a love interest, while hoping your parents or siblings didn’t hear you are long gone.

Even though we are connected to the world via the net, I can’t help but feel a tad melancholy surrounding my nostalgic memories of closer family and friends when we communicated through that one old black telephone. These feelings of mine especially ring true when the void of a loved one not calling during the holiday season leaves a deafening silence in my heart.

Dennis L. Page

Roasted Chicken with Fennel and Vegetables

KODAK Digital Still Camera
KODAK Digital Still Camera

I guess I’m a dinosaur. You see, five to six times per week I still prepare homemade meals. I rarely use recipes and exact measuring of ingredients never enter into the dishes prepared in my kitchen.

If you have the time and love to cook then, by all means, making oven roasted chicken with fennel and vegetables will be a “winner, winner…chicken dinner” in your home. Fennel provides a subtle licorice flavor. Lemon slices and wedges add a nice citric taste.

KODAK Digital Still Camera
KODAK Digital Still Camera

Ingredients:

2 fennel bulbs

2 large lemons

3 potatoes peeled and halved

6 carrots rough chopped

3 celery stalks rough chopped

3 to 4-pound roasting chicken

poultry seasoning

fresh rosemary, sage, and thyme

32-ounce box of chicken stock/broth

1/2 stick of melted butter

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

rinse chicken, clean out the cavity and pat dry

place vegetables, fennel, and lemon slices on bottom of the roasting pan

stuff chicken’s cavity with some lemon wedges, some fennel and a few sprigs of thyme, rosemary, and sage

tie the legs

loosen the chicken’s skin and rub some butter under the skin and all over the bird

liberally season the chicken with poultry seasoning.

place the chicken on top of the vegetables and add some more thyme, rosemary, and sage to the roasting pan

pour 32 ounces of chicken broth over the bottom of the pan

bake for 1.5 hours, basting frequently until the internal temperature is 165 degrees

KODAK Digital Still Camera
KODAK Digital Still Camera

This is what the chicken looks like as it is popped into the oven.

Let the bird rest for 10 minutes before serving.

Dennis L. Page

 

 

 

It’s Official – Winter Has Arrived

KODAK Digital Still Camera
KODAK Digital Still Camera

Winter has made her appearance known.

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Winter gives us splendid scenes.

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Yes, even in winter there is a bounty of beauty.

GE DIGITAL CAMERA
GE DIGITAL CAMERA

Mother Nature’s Christmas tree.

GE DIGITAL CAMERA
GE DIGITAL CAMERA

On a positive note, I will continue to remind myself that in three more months the cold and snow should be leaving and will usher in warmer temperatures.

Dennis L. Page

Pet Peeves

GE DIGITAL CAMERA
GE DIGITAL CAMERA

Dennis L. Page

As 2016 winds down I want to make sure I wipe my slate clean for 2017. Yes, I’m fully aware of the turmoil and seriousness of the day. However, there are still those pet peeves that act as little pin pricks into our daily lives and routines.

Many of my irritants occur in the supermarket. If we want to look at a lack of social skills and courtesy then all one need do is observe the behavior of shoppers in a grocery store. From the time we pull into the parking lot until the moment we exit we are assaulted with the “I’m oblivious to you and obviously more important than you” attitude of some.

We diligently make our grocery lists, place our reusable bags in the car and off we go. Driving into the store’s parking lot we finally find the perfect spot. Lo and behold someone was too lazy to return the shopping cart to the cart return and instead left it straddling the line between two parking spots.

The Leaner:  We encounter the leaner almost immediately upon entering the store. The leaner’s arms are crossed and they have a full-body lean on the cart’s handlebar. It is nearly impossible to get around these people because their movements are slow and deliberate weaving ever so gently from left to right.

The Jogger: The jogger doesn’t have a cart. Instead, they rely on their arms or a hand basket as they dart hither and yon at lightning speed nearly knocking unsuspecting shoppers over who happen to be in their path. They offer no apologies because they are totally unaware of our existence.

The Grabber: The grabber is one of the most unapologetic shoppers. They reach above, below, and to either side of you all while acting as though you are invisible. When this happens to me I loudly respond, “EXCUSE ME!”

The Shopping Cart NASCAR Driver: There is no caution flag for these speedsters.  They attempt to set new course records and heaven help anyone who enters onto their private race track. They use their carts as deadly weapons and will crash into the back of your ankles if you stop to look at an item on the shelf.

The Talker: The talker is the person hopelessly connected to their cell phones. Apparently everything is important and nothing can wait until they exit the supermarket. Last week I actually had to ask a woman to move who had planted herself up against the milk coolers as she leisurely spoke with someone on the phone. There is also the person who has their phone on speaker and yells while talking. I’ve lost track of the number of times I have attempted to answer their questions only to realize they were speaking with someone else on the other end of their phone.

Be nice and polite to your cashier. These people are there to help you checkout quickly and effortlessly. It doesn’t cost anything to be kind and no one is any better than anyone else.

As we move into 2017 let’s all take a step back and pause. Be thoughtful of those around you and don’t race through life with blinders on acting as though you are the only important person to walk the face of this earth.

Finally, may you all have a happy holiday! You see, much to the chagrin of some, there never was a war on Christmas.