It is a tradition here in the South to eat black eyed peas and greens on News Year’s Day, as a way of ensuring good luck and prosperity for the coming year. We hedge our bets and eat black eyed peas, rice (with some onion – also known as Hoppin’ John) and cornbread on the side on New Year’s Eve, with leftovers on the day itself, usually while watching one or more bowl games.
Cornbread – good cornbread – can’t be beat as a side. The best cornbread is made in a well seasoned cast iron skillet. Swirl some oil in the bottom of the skillet and toss it into the preheated oven for about five minutes or so. Remove it, pour off any excess oil, and in goes your batter. The trick is not to have too much oil in the skillet, or have the skillet be much too hot. This will lead to either a skin of oil on what will be the top of the cornbread (and a mushy top) or to burned cornbread. Neither of those is appetizing. Twenty minutes or so later, we have this.
When it comes out, we like to slather it with butter, top and bottom, before cutting into it.
And yet more butter on the slice you’ve taken.
And then: the rest.
My mom takes this a step further: she mixes up everything, chunks the cornbread into pieces on top of it, then eats it in one glorious mess o’ good luck.
Once again, here we are at the end of one year and the beginning of another. Once again, it will be time for people to make a list of resolutions the cynic in me says they will never keep. Ironically, although I have never really been prone to making such lists, I had started one the other day, and one of the items on that list was to be less cynical about people and their motives. Another is to be calmer in the face of abject stupidity – I suspect that these two actually go hand in hand. Years ago – and this is many years, since it was two exes ago – I had a fairly profound interest in Zen Buddhism. Not to the extent that I am a particularly spiritual person. I am not. I am also not a religious person, much to the dismay of my sister, who is, and who finally settled on Catholicism as her religion of choice. Most of my interest in this is for the human factor, and to me it’s a lot like any other stress-reducing pursuit. As I was reviewing the past couple of years and all the assorted activities that have occurred, I told myself it would be worth my while to take up that interest again, and so I have. I expect this will help immensely in dealing with the people we have to deal with every day, and also help with the anxiety that every day brings as a result of that one singular day when the biopsy came back positive and the snowball that developed from there.
I also told myself that getting back out in the yard and working around the property will help, both physically and mentally. Getting the greenhouse built – what, you didn’t know that was planned? – will enable some experimentation with growing things out of season, inasmuch as anything really is out of season down here. This is Florida, after all. Plus, I’ve decided to take up another hobby: soap and candle making. Not very complicated (or, rather, only as complicated as you make it), relaxing, and in the end, a useful product, all of which satisfies both the left and right brain requirements. Who knows, that might be another side to the business here as well, but we’ll need a snappy name for it. My lack of sleep combined with one side of that (the soapmaking) may bring about echoes of something else entirely, but I think leaving out the underground fighting and general mayhem won’t be a real issue to overcome.
With all of that, plus two additional brands to finally launch, 2008 should be very active indeed. Here’s hoping it will also be happy, prosperous, safe, and healthy for everyone.
“Where are yooooouuuuuu?” asks one of my loyal, even if slightly deranged, handful of readers.
I’ve been busy with work-related stuff, trying to get some things done for the end of the year. I’ve also been dealing with a couple of the absolutely, without a doubt, unquestionably dumbest, rudest people I have ever had the misfortune of encountering. Let’s face it, if you call me by something other than my own name, when my name is in the dozens of ticket responses you’ve received, including the very one you’re quoting, then you are indeed a rude jackass. If you also can’t read plain English and suggest that we’re lying about something, you’re just ratcheting down our already low opinion of you. By the way: if your domain expires, and you don’t notice the fact that it doesn’t go anywhere for three entire months, don’t whine to us about how important it was to you, and that you were “busy” getting married and working. I’ve been dealing with cancer-related crap for over two years now, and I’m guessing that my employees, the state, and the feds wouldn’t accept that as an excuse if I neglected to pay them or file paperwork because I was “busy”.
In any case, I finally unloaded the camera the other day, and was shocked to discover about 500 pictures on the thing. That’s a lot of review and selective editing to be done. First, though, the goal is to complete the rollout of our gift to our clients before Santa shoves his butt down the chimney (what? no chimney?) so I can move on to other things. And since it’s just me on the job today – everyone else is at the football game or off having other fun – and since it’s quiet, I’m hoping to use today to bang out quite a number of things on my todo list, if only to see if there’s any hope of shrinking that before the new year rolls around.
Hope everyone is well and enjoying their holiday. Be safe, be well, be happy.