Saturday, March 3, 2012
I am as guilty as the next person
Well maybe not as guilty ... I did not obsess over the deaths of Whitney Houston nor Michael Jackson, and I never watch the Oscars ... but I am not immune from following the hype surrounding public figures. I have been known to scream at the television while the Magic are playing ... or snoozing on the court, as happens far too often these days. Stan, I love you, but it's time to go and take Otis with you.
See what I mean? Still, I like to think that I spend much more time paying attention to the important stories out there, about noncelebrities who quietly make a difference, despite never getting a million dollar paycheck, and about true public servants who really are in it to help people. (That leaves out all politicians, who make no sacrifices to serve the public, the very same public whose taxes are funding those extra special, exclusive lifetime benefits packages.)
Every day people continue to amaze me with their strength, their resolve, and their dignity in facing the worst that life can throw at them. I think we all need to spend less time oogling (or is it googling) Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, and more time honoring everyday heroes.
Which is why I have added this blog to my blog list found on the right hand side of this page. It is maintained by my friend and former coworker, Erin Baxter, who is doing an extraordinary job caring for her two children, one of whom was born with partial Trisomy 9. If you don't know about trisomies - and I knew very little - you should follow her story. Incidentally, if any of my Orlando peeps were aware that February 7th-14th was proclaimed as Congenital Heart Defect Week by Mayor Buddy Dyer, it was the result of Erin's intervention. Erin was a Child Protective Investigator for the Department of Children and Families for over four years, and to say she is an incredibly strong child advocate would be an understatement. This is for you, Erin, and Kaleb, Nolan, and Dennis. The Johnston family rocks!
Moving over to food ... I am testing some Irish-themed recipes this weekend, in preparation for a little catering event. Here is how that happened - our office had decided a while back that rather than try to go out to a restaurant to celebrate our birthdays - twelve, to be exact - we would pick one date every month and do a potluck lunch. Those have been extremely successful, to say the least. I think it was last month I brought in my version of shepherd's pie, which was so well-liked than one of my co-workers suggested I "cater" the lunches, so that they would fund the ingredients and I would do the cooking. I really was honored by the suggestion, and while I don't think I would want to do that every month, I told them I would like to try it for our upcoming luncheon. One of our group had earlier suggested we work each lunch around a theme - a terrific idea in my opinion - so I ran with that, and picked the quintessential March holiday of St. Patrick's Day. I'm going to throw a little Purim in there as well, but just a little. Purim is all about hamentaschen, rather than the main dishes, and the hamentaschen recipe I posted last year on the food blog is the bomb.
So there is, as we speak, an Irish soda bread in the bread machine which contains some of my favorite ingredients in the world - raisins and caraway seeds - and I am hoping it is a success so I can bake another one for my office buddies later this month. I will also be testing an Irish stew, and miniature shepherd's pies in a biscuit crust. That's not the whole menu by a long shot, as some of my selections are tried-and-true and don't need any testing. If it all works out, you know where to find the recipes.