Yesterday while waiting in line at the market with a half-full basket a gentlemen stepped up behind me carrying a bag of dog jerky. I was tired and somewhat in a hurry to get home, but I could not make the poor man wait for all my goodies to be rung up to purchase his one bag. I could feel my grandmother swatting my small behind even entertaining the thought. As though I’d just handed him a winning lottery ticket the man went on and on saying thank you. He thanked me when I offered, when he was paying, and before exiting the store. Maybe people have stopped doing simple acts of kindness these days, or he hadn’t been out of the house in a while. I don’t know.
Sometimes lately it absolutely amazes how rude some people are comfortable being. We were out to dinner several nights ago. The people in the next booth had two children. I love kids, but I don’t appreciate parents who allow their small children to get completely out of hand in a restaurant thus ruining everyone’s dining experience at the adjacent tables. The youngest, I would guess to be four, had a body emitting more energy than the Lake Mead power plant on its best output day. I get this, by the way. I’m not getting old and cranky, nor do I expect children to sit without movement when out in a public place. This kid though was something else. While the young parents alternated between texting on their smart phones and talking to one another both children lost their minds. They began by throwing food all over the floor. They then accelerated to pulling the hood of an older gentleman’s jacket in the next booth up over his head knocking his glasses off. The finale was spilling not one, but two, glasses of soda all over the table and then onto the floor. Discarded saltines and bits of hamburger floated on top of the sticky mess. We were spared a full on attack really except for several errant pickles covered with mustard arriving Frisbee style atop of my French fries. The parents never once apologized nor attempted to rein in their two pirates, instead leaving the entire mess for the staff to clean up. As far as I saw no tip was left in the tip jar for their trouble. I had to nail Rick’s shoes to the ground to keep him from getting up and making a comment or grabbing one of the little dust disturbers and placing him in a trash bin. Looking back maybe I should have let him off leash to do his worst.
Last week while out shopping I watched a lady clean all the garbage out of the back of her car and dump it in a grocery store shopping cart left in the parking lot. Then she took her very full ashtray and dumped it on the ground. Wow.
This morning a guy related a story of being on a plane and having a passenger in a seat across the aisle remove his socks and begin clipping his toenails. As he watched bits of nails were flying about like bacteria laden shrapnel all over the cabin. Euuuuw.
While staying with my mother I observed a lady waiting for a parking space. In San Jose where people spill forth on the landscape every day like ants out of an anthill, parking is at a premium most places you go. At any rate the lady waited patiently as the driver occupying the space maneuvered out. As soon as he did another driver, a young kid, whipped around the corner and went in front of the waiting car into the now vacant spot. In the present atmosphere on our planet, an act of aggression such as that could result in dire consequences. In this case a well recognized hand signal was all that came of it.
There are opportunities every day to perform random acts of kindness. If you see someone wheeling their cart back towards a store, offer to take it for them. Open a door if you see someone is struggling to do so, or just because you can. Pick up a piece of trash and deposit it in a trash can. Call someone who’s going through a bad time and listen for a minute. Do something unexpected for a stranger. It is amazing how good this makes you feel.
Good manners and thoughtfulness never go out of date. Respecting the space of the person next to you or simply honoring the earth by not throwing your empty styrofoam cup out your card window or dumping your butts in the middle of a parking lot, are good things and they take so little time to do.
I’ve decided in this new year to try to do something nice as often as the opportunity arises. One does not want to get arrested for chasing people around trying to carry their bags or help them across the street. Rather not miss an opportunity to do one little thing that might make somebody elses day a little better.
That’s my sugar coating for today. If you’re diabetic step away from the screen.
Truly these are just the yummiest chicken cutlets. Dip them in the sauce and wow.
Sesame Chicken Cutlets with Dipping Sauce
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pounded
3 Tbsp. olive oil
1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups panko bread crumbs
2 Tbsp. sesame seeds
Pound breasts between two pieces of plastic wrap. Cut each pounded breast in half. Set out three shallow bowls. Place the flour, garlic powder, salt, and pepper in one and mix well. In second bowl beat two eggs. In third bowl mix together Panko bread crumbs and sesame seeds.
Dredge chicken in flour, then dip in eggs, and coat with Panko.
Heat oil over high heat in large skillet. Add chicken and cook until golden brown, about 8 mins. Turn over and continue cooking another 8-10 mins until chicken is thoroughly cooked. Serve on top of cauliflower with dipping sauce.
6 Tbsp. soy sauce
2 Tbsp. seasoned rice vinegar
1 Tbsp. toasted sesame seeds.
Mix together soy sauce and vinegar and top with sesame seeds. Warm slightly if refrigerating before serving.
l large head of cauliflower
3 Tbsp. butter
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup sour cream
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh chives
Salt and pepper to taste
Break cauliflower into florets. Steam until soft. Drain. Allow to cool slightly.
Heat milk to scalding. Remove from heat. Mash cauliflower with potato masher. Add to food processor. Add butter, garlic and cream cheese and pulse 6 times until somewhat smooth. Add milk and sour cream and puree until smooth.
Scoop into bowl and stir in chives. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with additional chives on top.