While consuming my bowl of cereal topped with sliced banana this morning I read an article on the health benefits of milk. After all the hype to drink the cow’s contribution to my breakfast, some study has determined milk is not as beneficial as once thought. Before I was old enough to make my own decisions I was handed a glass of milk and told, “Drink up. Milk makes your bones grow big and strong.” As it happens I liked milk, so this was one parental instruction I easily complied with. I still drink milk. Throughout my adult years I’ve included a glass or two in my daily routine. Non-fat milk is my poison. More out of habit than taste. Also because it’s healthier and easier on the waistline than the creamier options. This began really as a chubby little girl. My grandfather, a physician, felt non-fat milk would lessen my girth. Oink. The milk article being startling enough, below it was another article titled “Six Fish You Probably Shouldn’t Eat”. I didn’t read it. We’re having cod for dinner. Really? What’s left tofu and kale? I don’t pay attention to these types of studies anymore. Puts me off my feed.
Truthfully I make the effort to eat and prepare healthy foods. Fresh fruits and vegetables are staples at our house. However, if I eliminated everything from my diet recommended by this study or that there would be nothing left on my plate but the pattern.
As is evidenced by my recipes I do like butter. Occasionally I throw in some cream, and my love affair with cheese probably shines through now and then. What can I say? Rick has type 2 diabetes. When he was first diagnosed the suggestions from the doctor were two. Lose the belly weight and fine tune your diet. Medication and a relatively well rounded diet has resulted in a less well rounded tummy and his numbers are excellent these days.
All things in moderation is where I stand. Beef is on the “got to have” list for Rick. Beef is incorporated in our menus, but it’s far down on the list of choices following poultry, fish or pasta.
Wouldn’t it be great if we could eat and enjoy without worrying about it? On pondering this, perhaps it is as it should be. Would it not upset the Yin and the Yang delicately creating balance in our world were it otherwise? Being humans and prone to immediate gratification surely some of us would continue to eat and eat until the rest were left to fight over the crumbs left behind.
I’ve often thought about what I’d choose for my last meal. Don’t ask me why. I’m not planning on going on a crime spree in the immediate future. Still it is interesting to ponder what you would order should such an occasion arise. For me there is no doubt involved. A hamburger. A fat, juicy, hamburger. I would want it drooling with 1/2 lb. melted cheddar cheese. Next to it I would have a salad bowl full of fries, a side of onion rings, and a pile of romaine ladled with Roquefort dressing topped with home-made croutons. For dessert, chocolate. A bunny the size of my living room filled with caramel would work nicely.
We cannot always have what we would like. As a matter of fact I would take this a step further and say more often than not we cannot have exactly what we would want at the moment we want it. Credit cards came into being to help us with this dilemma, and look where that led us.
When my children were growing up I used to explain to them there is a difference between “wanting” something and “needing” something. Shoes are definitely a necessity to protect your feet and keep you warm, but $150 designer running shoes are something you want, not something you need.
Credit card companies follow me around sending enticing letters offering great deals at low-interest. I have credit cards because one needs them in this world to obtain a credit rating to obtain more credit to obtain a higher credit rating, or something like that. Last week I went through my monthly ritual of paying the few credit cards still owing via the Internet. I realize I could have auto-pay (I hear your gears turning) but prefer to make my own decisions about when and how much money is to be taken out of my checking account. Old dogs are not easily retrained. Yesterday I received a notice from one of the cards I’d made a payment to saying because of my late payments they were raising my interest by a specific amount. Now, first I have never missed or been late on a payment, and secondly I wasn’t late on the one I just made. I make a practice of holding onto my credit rating and work hard at maintaining it. If I can, I transfer funds around to avoid paying any interest at all. Because of this, it irritates the life out of me to have a levy assessed when I didn’t do anything to deserve the penalty. Placing a call to the credit company’s 800 line, I finally got a representative on the line. They really don’t want to speak to customers these days. Ten options were given to me other than speaking to a real person. When I kept repeating “customer service representative” the system finally got exasperated and I could swear the digitalized voice sighed before it said, “fine, if you’re going to be an ass, customer service representative”. Explaining the situation to the man on the line, he took a moment to look over my account. In fact I had paid at 8:00 P.M. on the allotted day, but it was PST (Pacific Standard Time). The credit card company is on MST (Mountain Standard Time). So, I even though I paid on 8:00 the day it was due, technically I was late. He removed the $26 late charge and restored my original interest rate. Really?
They are a necessary evil, I suppose. For twelve years of my life I never owned a credit card and rarely missed the pleasure. However, when I went to buy a house again I discovered no credit to be more of a curse than bad credit so I began to reestablish myself credit wise. It took quite a while but with the purchase of this house here I am happily in debt once again with Christmas coming up. Cha-ching.
So, yesterday was my birthday. Normally we’d have been headed out to dinner but both Rick and I have been fighting a bug. Calls steadily came in all day and I’ve been totally spoiled in spite of this, so I shall not complain. This salad is good summer or winter. Yesterday was rainy, and a thunder storm rolled over earlier in the day. Perfect for staying inside and getting better!
Heirloom Tomato Salad with Buttermilk Blue Cheese Dressing and Basil Croutons
1 carton heirloom tomatoes, halved
1/2 red onion, halved and sliced thin
1 avocado, pitted and diced
1/2 green pepper, seeded and chopped
1/3 cup English cucumber, chopped
Salt and pepper
Place all ingredients in large bowl. Toss with dressing. Top with croutons. Serve with extra dressing.
Buttermilk Blue Cheese Dressing
1 shallot, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup buttermilk
3/4 cup sour cream
2 Tbsp. mayonnaise
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp. crumbled blue cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
Whisk together shallot, garlic, buttermilk, sour cream and mayonnaise until well blended. Fold in blue cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
1 sesame seed bagel, cubed
1/4 cup olive oil
1/8 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1 Tbsp. Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp. garlic salt
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Place croutons in resealable plastic bag or bowl with lid. Add remaining ingredients. Toss to coat.
Line cookie sheet with tin foil. Spray with cooking spray. Place coated croutons on top. Bake for 10 mins. turning once.
Turn on broiler. Cook until golden brown. Salt and pepper as desired. Store in sealed plastic bag.