Stocking Stuffer & Christmas Gifts

Christmas is coming, pick up a copy of my absolutely amazingly hilarious collection of Irish short stories as a stocking stuffer for yourself. Or as a gift for a friend. You can tell them you know the author!

For a Man or a Dog is available at your local Amazon site, in paperback & Kindle versions.

Okay, guilt is forcing me to back off the sales pitch a bit … being honest, I think that maybe one third of the stories are great, another third are decent & …

okay, let’s leave it at that! 😜😁

Click the Preview button below & skip through the Introduction to read the first story.

PS … Aside from the Irish shenanigans, you’ll get some interesting insights into where my dietary challenges might have originated too!

Weight Loss & Being Frugal

A nice bowl of stoup!

This isn’t about comparing the relative costs of grass-fed beef against factory-farmed meat. Nor is it comparing the merits and pricing of organic veggies to those herbicide and pesticide-laden choices we sometimes make. This is about the challenge of sticking to a diet when you’ve been endowed with the frugality gene. And I am so endowed with the frugality gene!

Being raised in a household where “clean your plate” was a dinner time mantra, I learned my lessons well. Perhaps too well. I struggle to leave that token amount on the plate. What a waste of good food, I just can’t do it! My habits are more to the contrary, and I’ll mop up whatever residue remains on the plate with just one more bread roll. Buttered, heavily, of course. Now that I mostly don’t eat bread, I have nothing to mop up my plate with. And I haven’t reached the point of licking the plate yet! But I have transferred the expression of my frugality gene to the fridge.

As we approach garbage day, I start surveying any foods that are likely to wind up in the garbage. Or that I know will not be consumed by other members of the household. I feel obliged to consume such foods. And I often do it in the form of a stoup. A dish that is too thin to be stew. Yet too thick to be soup.

My latest stoup was an Irish-German-Mexican-Thai fusion! Garlic & onion, sauteed in the bottom of a large pot starts the process. Add a liter of (organic, as it happens!) chicken broth to the pot. One large, peeled & sliced, potato as a thickener for the broth. Then I go hunting through the fridge. A full head of cabbage, excellent! A bunch of ignored cilantro. Half a dozen wieners that somehow survived a barbecue. Oh look, a little bowl of leftover mashed potato! And another chicken broth container, with a little less than half the contents remaining. A quick smell … yep, that’s good too. Good job I had that extra mashed potato to thicken up all that extra liquid! A couple of slices of cooked bacon. Wash the inside of that German mustard jar with a little broth & in that goes to the pot. Another half an onion in a container. And … wait for it … half a tub of sour cream! Season that pot with some salt, pepper, some other weird condiment mixes & then … a spoon of curry powder. Absolutely essential that.
Oops, now I’m short some liquid. Can’t spoil the pot by adding water, can I? But a can of coconut milk will do the trick!

I can tell you that this was quite delicious. And I should also admit that that one cute little bowl of stoup in the pic wasn’t all I ate!

It probably wasn’t the perfect dish to have on what should have been a low-carb day. Though I’m sure I’ve done worse. But, being frugal, I’m forced to eat all those leftover foods that others (all of them skinny!) won’t eat. It’s just not fair!

But … with all the money I’ve saved … we’re going out & I’m going to treat myself to a nice steak dinner now! 🙂

Top 10 Things to Irritate the Irish with on St. Patrick’s Day!

Top 10 Things to Irritate the Irish with on St. Patrick’s Day!
Irish Habanero

Some Irish facts for the day that’s in it …

  1. If you want to use the diminutive of the name of our patron saint, the correct version is St. Paddy’s Day, NOT NOT NOT St. Patty’s Day. I’m sure St. Patricia was a lovely woman but we don’t celebrate her on March 17th. Remember that we have Liam Neeson, with that special set of skills, for folk who get this wrong!
  2. I’d have to be under severe duress before I’d even look at green beer, never mind drink it! And no, you do not contaminate a good pint by putting green sprinkles on the top of a Guinness!
  3. Irish nachos are not corn chips with some green crap thrown all over them. Irish nachos are made from spuds! Preferable thinly sliced (to maximise grease absorption!) & fried, of course. Then you throw the bacon, sour cream & green crap all over them!
  4. While I love corned beef & cabbage too, the traditional Irish dish is bacon & cabbage. There’s no point in looking for it outside of Ireland, it doesn’t taste the same. That’s why the Irish adopted the corned beef thing when they came to America. If you’re outside Ireland, you might be forgiven for going with the corned beef & cabbage.
  5. Don’t assume we all know Bono! Though I did work with the Edge’s brother for a while! And now that I think about it, I think a lad I worked for at one time, actually worked with Bono’s brother!
  6. I don’t think I have ever said “Top o’ the mornin'” to anyone in my entire life. Nor has any Irish person ever said it to me!
  7. No, I have no idea how to spell leipreachán. Feck off & look it up yourself!
  8. A four leaf clover does not represent the Irish shamrock. If you smuggle the real thing out of Ireland to plant in your foreign garden. It will die within 24 hours. But remain green after it’s death. (You know I make some of this crap up, right!?!)
  9. We tend to overlook the fact that the lad was English. And we’d be grateful if you didn’t ask us to explain all that to you!
  10. And last, but not least, it’s just pointless me trying to adhere to a diet on St. Paddy’s weekend. So I’m off to have an Irish coffee to start off the day. And I’ll probably have a pint for my morning coffee break. NOT!

Spread the green love … Happy St. Paddy’s Day to all! 🙂