Political Posturing

I wrote an opinion  piece last night, in response to the Amazon Sales Tax debacle that hit the news late yesterday in California. As I sat here it occurred to me that grandma never got riled up much, unless it was after her bedtime beer, when she would get a little silly.

Grandma knew that things have a way of working themselves out. She would say things like, “It will all come out in the wash.” and one of my personal favorites, “Necessity is the mother of invention.”

Vegetable garden

Image by Downing Street via Flickr

Look around you at friends and neighbors. The folks who  are doing well right now, have found a need and they are filling it. People are switching careers, starting new businesses and it is because of,  the true pioneering spirit that built this nation.

More people are growing their own fruits and vegetables than ever before. Cooks are sharing recipes on their blogs and Facebook, along with money-saving  tips and financial strategies that work in these uncertain times.

As politicians continue to line their own pockets,  squeezing every dime possible from  the collective taxpayer  wallet, taxpayers invent new ways to cope and fight back. The skills possessed by our ancestors has not been lost. There are still plenty of us old-timers around who know how to cook (from scratch) and how to can food, sew and mend clothing, raise livestock, hunt, farm and many other things.  Many families will even prosper, in spite of facing fear and trepidation due to our failing economy.

I can still hear my dad taunting me with, “No guts, no glory!”

I mentioned in my previous piece that Amazon closed our account and California thinks that driving business out of the state will boost their sales tax revenues. Well, I want California to tighten its belt.  I want illegal immigrants sent home, where they belong instead of draining my social security benefits. (You know the ones I’ve paid my entire life but will never collect.)

My husband had a terrific idea, which I fully support. We’ve moved our amazon account to our kids, who live in Michigan — a state that was hit early and hard when the depression steam rolled this county. We frequently bought items for the grandchildren on Amazon with our affiliate revenue, the only difference is now their parents will receive the money directly and they can pay the taxes on it.

It’s a win, win situation and everyone’s happy — well almost everyone. I can’t image that the Governor of California or the California Franchise Tax Board will be too thrilled with my solution but I really don’t care what they like.

If you ask me… No one did but, in my opinion we should all stay home more, buy more things online. It will help cut our dependence on fossil fuels, it will help people lead happier more productive lives. Let’s face it, traffic is a nightmare these days. Instead of building more freeways and buying more cars, let’s stay home a little more. Many people already work a 4-day week. I think that is terrific. It saves you money, it’s good for the environment and the employer benefits by having a happier employee.

Wouldn’t it be terrific if everyone could condense their work-week or even work from home one or two days a week? There are many things we can to cut back.

Oh, and Amazon, pst. I have a secret, you aren’t the only online game in town. I happen to know of other online stores with terrific deals and free shipping. So, you’ll be seeing a little less of me right away and my business could disappear completely and we send a great deal of business your way.

Until next time…

Happy Fourth of July!

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We need a hero!

Have you noticed the rising prices at the grocery store? The gas gouging that is going on right now is shameful. If the feds were truly interested in helping to keep gas prices down, they would ease up on some of those taxes.

Just like Halliburton is getting filthy stinking rich off the war in Afghanistan, these oil companies are raking in the profits. Take a look at their bottom lines. It makes me sick to even think about it. The last time I checked was a couple years ago and they make even more profits now.

The way I see it, we are in a class war, “the haves” against “the have-nots”. Those who have mega-bucks are stealing the land through “foreclosure” laws — the redistribution of wealth — the money is simply shifting hands on a major scale. Everywhere you turn, people are talking about it.

We saw the same thing happen back in the 70’s, when  Jimmy Carter was in office,  coincidentally another Democrat. What is it with these Democrats? Until now, I’ve always said Jimmy Carter was the worst president we’ve ever had and yes, I understand we’ve had some horrible presidents in the past. As far as I’m concerned, Obama is hands-down the worst president in our nation’s  235-year  history.

I hang my head in shame because I loathed the behavior exhibited by President Clinton, but it pales in comparison to the loathsome and despicable displays by the current White House squatter.

Most of us are simply holding our breath, trying to tread water, until the next Reagan comes along to save the day.  The Gipper  was a man of strength and honor who I look upon as a modern day hero. He wasn’t a perfect man, but any woman who has ever been married knows without a doubt such a creature does not exist. (Husband’s note: I almost take offense to that.)

I have to tell you this: I believe in this nation. I believe from the depths of my heart that God is moving and shaking things up. God is still in control. Now is the time to pull together, to seek God’s will and pray for a wise, respectable man to lead the U.S.A. out of chaos and back to sanity. Or have we all lost our minds?

In Search of the Perfect Dinner Roll

I was born on Thanksgiving Day, so of course, it has always been my favorite holiday.  In my opinion, the rolls are the most important part of the meal.  I plan to make the dinner  rolls once again and there is a reason I do. Can you imagine your hostess forgetting the dinner rolls? That actually happened one year. Since then, I make sure we have rolls and now I don’t have to buy the rolls…

In search of the perfect dinner roll

We were invited to attend a large family gathering of just under 50 people for Thanksgiving dinner. I was asked to bring the dinner rolls. Under normal circumstances, I would have used my bread maker to whip some up but I had received my very first  KitchenAid Mixer  and I was excited about learning using it.

The search began for the perfect dinner roll recipe. I tried several interesting prospects, I had found online that were taunted as “the best dinner rolls” only to be sorely disappointed. I wanted these to be special — the rolls are an important part of the meal and they simply had to be perfect.

I had given myself four-days to learn how to make the perfect dinner roll but after several mediocre attempts, I was certain that I’d never learn the secret and be forced to go out an buy dinner rolls, something I was vehemently opposed to. In fact, if I had a dollar for everyone who told me to “just go buy them” I’d have a nice little nest egg saved up by now.

My first batch was edible but not spectacular, they were delicious with honey or jam but wouldn’t stand on their own. The second batch was a total failure because I was distracted and accidentally killed the yeast. The third batch was worse than the first and barely edible.

Discouraged and frustrated, I asked my husband to help me find the perfect recipe because I felt like a failure.

KitchenAid stand mixer. Taken by Colin Henein.

Another Use for the KitchenAid

Living in the mountains requires lots of forward thinking. We live at 4,000 feet elevation and not only do we have to plan our shopping trips more carefully because our store access is quite limited, but we have a great many other things to consider as well. For instance, I’m gradually replacing all my pans; shiny light colored baking dishes don’t perform well in the oven at these altitudes. So, I buy the darkest pans I can find.

Not all recipes work well at this elevation either. The whole cooking process can be frustrating and often requires adjustments to the way I would normally do things. I know that it takes longer for water to boil at this altitude and noodles have to cook almost twice as long as any recipe calls for. So, it’s hard to judge whether or not the recipes I tried were faulty or if I was having trouble due to the higher altitude.

After trying every search term I could think of, I asked my husband to give it a try. He used the terms “World’s Best Dinner Rolls” and found the best recipe for dinner rolls I’ve ever had the pleasure of eating (with  the exception of  a dinner roll recipe I had years ago,  from a friend — as luck would have it, I can not locate it)  and I baked them at 4,000 feet without a hitch.

I had to make several batches to have enough to feed 50 people, and as luck would have it, I thought I had messed up the last batch by adding the eggs too early. I’m pleased to report even my inability to follow the directions didn’t make a difference. These dinner rolls are fluffy, moist and unless you kill the yeast, they are hard to screw up.

I’m pleased to report that I was invited to bring the dinner rolls to Christmas dinner this year. I’ve decided to try the Honey Butter recipe as well, of course, I’ll make a couple more practice runs before the big day. You really can’t go wrong with these delicious dinner rolls.

I even surprised a few family members with rolls I had baked in round cake pans, removed and sealed in plastic. They were thrilled. You can’t go wrong with a gift of baked goods.

If you have a really good Honey Butter Recipe, please share it below.   Thank you!

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