Well, it’s Wednesday and I’m still working my way through Sunday’s list. This is not a good thing. Today I had an appointment at my dermatologist for a quick oversee of my Canadian skin. Apparently Canadian skin was not made for exposure to the sun, or at least according to Dr. A. Being Scandinavian and so pale he makes me look American Indian, most probably he knows from whence he speaks.
I am paying for years of being a sun worshiping water baby who as a kid was raised in an era where homes had silver cigarette holders on the coffee table and hard-working dads downed three martinis before one in the afternoon. In my teens a large pool shimmered in our back yard in the Southern California sun. Tanning was neither discouraged nor encouraged but rather discussed only in the vein of how dark a shade you planned to achieve before bikini season. Ach. Teens back then, unarmed with numbered bottles to deflect the sun of the present generation, instead poured iodine in bottles of baby lotion to do just the opposite.
My mother has very few lines, and thankfully (I’m in a thankful mood today) she passed that on to me, well, along with dental issues, eye problems, skin irritations and homely feet. Fortunately, insanity does not run in our family. In turn, I passed these on to my daughter, with my son only grabbing the brass ring on the eye issues, a situation which my daughter reminds me regularly was a bit uneven sharing on my part.
Dr. A. used his incredible freezing gun on my sun damaged areas, which numbered eight small spots. Uncomfortable, rather than painful, the procedure leaves you looking like a human version of a connect the dots puzzle for several days. Thankfully, (again with the thanks) makeup can be applied over the destruction to hide it until it heals.
Thanksgiving on the horizon tomorrow, I find myself reflective today. Ours will be quiet as families are scattered this year, but we will be festive. Tom T. will enjoy his moment in the sun (actually its more the oven light) as the guest of honor. This morning I opened the refrigerator door and spent a moment of silence with him thanking him for the sacrifice he has made. So touched, he said nothing in reply.
I read somewhere for most humans if asked what is deficient in their personalities will write volumes of descriptive narrative listing their faults. However, when asked to list their good traits, the pen hangs over the paper like a hovering aircraft. Perhaps being thankful for what we have falls beneath that umbrella as well. It is so easy to list what we feel we are missing or have been slighted in our lives while overlooking what we have or what is right in front of our faces.
For me I am thankful first and foremost for my other half, my family, and my friends. Gifts given to me when I slid into this world which have helped me find humor in the craziness and joy during the worst of times, would fall second on my list. Also, when I wake up in the morning and turn on the light my kitchen, I am thankful I have a kitchen to turn my lights on in, that there is coffee brewing in my coffee pot which I can see, smell, touch and taste. I can walk to my coffee pot on both legs and lift the pot with either arm. Outside, views of the lake are resplendent beyond the living room windows. It has been my privilege to awaken to this view every day for the last ten years with no sound of shelling nor any likelihood of an attack likely to ruin the moment.
If I don’t like what my government is doing I can open my mouth and express my views, within reason, and not be muzzled. Our country is not perfect, but in comparison to what is going on around the world it shines quite brightly.
Love is a big part of my life, and I’ve been given so much and try to give back as much and more if possible in return. This is a good thing. I do not anger easily because life is short and words and actions taken in that state of being often hang in the air for years resisting attempts to remove them.
So, there are many things to be thankful for on this day of thanks. I hope your list in long and your day finds you at peace.
On a last note I will be catching up on my awards this weekend of which there are two. I wasn’t planning on doing these any more, but these are special so I am going to show my appreciation for being included by including you as well. Viveka of My Guilty Pleasures has included me in her nominations for Blogger of the Year 2012 and thanking Cristi at Simple.Interesting for nominating me for the Super Sweet Blogger Award. Drop by and say hello if you get a moment.
I’m including the red-eye gravy recipe below because it’s timely and so easy and absolutely wonderful no matter the meat. For beef I use a hit of brandy or bourbon, and for pork and fowl a bit of cooking sherry. You will find this deceptively full bodied and flavorful, even if the coffee puts you off a bit.
This recipe has a lot of parts but they come together easily and in the end are amazingly rewarding. The seasoned flour will make more than you need so store in a resealable plastic bag and use for next time.
Filet Mignon With Mushrooms and Red Eye Gravy
Combine lemon pepper and black pepper. Rub on both sides of steaks and place in refrigerator for 1 hour before cooking.
2 Tbsp. butter
1 lb. mushrooms, sliced
3 green onions, white and green parts, thinly sliced
1/4 cup white wine
1/4 cup soy sauce
3 grinds black pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
Melt butter in large skillet over medium heat. Add mushrooms, green onions, white wine (dry like chardonnay), soy sauce, pepper and garlic. Reduce heat to med. low and saute until mushrooms are cooked about 8 mins. Remove from heat and set aside.
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp. garlic powder
1 Tbsp. onion powder
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. white pepper
Mix all seasoned flour ingredients together and reserve 2 Tbsp. for recipe, reserving the rest for future use (also good for dredging pork chops or fish).
Red Eye Gravy
1 cup chicken broth
3/4 cup strong coffee (I fill a measuring cup with the mornings coffee and allow it to sit during the day)
3/4 cup buttermilk (note: if out of buttermilk add 1 Tbsp. of lemon juice to 1 cup of milk and allow to sit to 10 mins.)
1/2 tsp. sugar
Salt and pepper to taste
Preparation for steaks and gravy:
Heat 2 Tbsp. of butter over med./high heat until frothy but not burned. Add seasoned steaks and sear well on both sides cooking to desired doneness. Remove from heat and keep warm.
Add brandy to deglaze pan stirring to incorporate bits on bottom. Sprinkle 2 Tbsp. of seasoned flour over pan drippings and whisk briskly to incorporate flour. Whisk in chicken broth and allow to reduce by 1/3. Meanwhile bring 3/4 cup of strong coffee to boil. Whisk into pan. Slowly whisk in 1/2 cup buttermilk until thickened, add sugar, and season with salt and pepper. Add cooked mushrooms and serve over steak. Yum.