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“Nothing is worse than a stupid man – leave a fool where he stands. Criminals too! And, for God’s sake, DO NOT reproduce him.” – Auntie Vanessa

How many times did I hear this growing up? From Mom, from both my Grandmas, from my other aunts, from my older cousins . . .

Of course, their definition of stupid extended beyond your basic smarts. If a man’s place is to head the home and a man is not particularly capable of leading, he’d fall into the stupid category. No questions asked.

To them, no man with any sense would even approach a woman whom he is incapable of providing for. It would be ridiculous. And I, under no circumstances, was to bother with anyone, especially a male, without any sense. Of course, as a young girl, a cute guy could catch my eye . . . which would inevitably lead to

“Cute?! You’re thinking like a man. How are his studies? What does he want to do when he grows up? Who are his parents?” – various relatives most notably Mom

Translation:

Men are visual; they seek out the most healthy women to carry and bear their children. Barring a medical questionnaire, a man assesses a woman’s health by her physical symmetry, her weight, the condition of her hair and skin, her behavior, etc.

Women, on the other hand, seek out the most capable men to provide for both her and any children they may produce. Barring an audit, a woman assesses a man’s ability from his social status, financial status, profession, intelligence, etc.

It is what it is. Nature is queen and she operates in perfect order. Her rules provide the best chances for producing stable, healthy people. Unfortunately, those same rules can create skirt chasers and gold diggers.

And therein lies the difference between being raised and simply being allowed to age into physical maturity.

Raise your children or enable them to become people whom society will never appreciate.

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Hints:

Eat to your left, drink to your right. Any small dishes to the left of your plate belong to you and any glasses to the right of your plate belong to you.

Use silverware from the outside in. Utensils are set in the same order as course service (i.e. salad or soup first, etc.) See below.

click to enlarge

Sauteed Bananas with Cardamom Praline Sauce

Recipe courtesy http://www.epicurious.com

Ingredients

1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter
4 bananas, halved lengthwise, then crosswise
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream
Pinch of ground cardamom
3/4 teaspoon fresh lime juice

Accompaniment: vanilla ice cream

Directions

Heat 1 tablespoon butter in a 10-inch heavy skillet over moderately high heat until foam subsides, then sauté half of bananas, cut sides down first, turning over once, until golden, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes total. Transfer with a slotted spatula to 2 dessert bowls. Heat 1 tablespoon butter and sauté remaining bananas in same manner, transferring to 2 more bowls.

Melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter in skillet over moderate heat, then add brown sugar, cream, cardamom, and a pinch of salt and simmer, stirring occasionally, until sauce is slightly thickened, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in lime juice.

Spoon sauce over bananas and ice cream.

Sunday is our day to really shine!

Growing up, I remember,

The ladies wore their absolute Sunday best and then topped that off with a hat!

Sunday dinner was a big deal. Sometimes we used the “good china” and fancy silverware, sometimes not. Sometimes we ate in the dining room, sometimes not. But we, the kids, always had to set the table. We also had to practice our formal table manners and be on our best behavior.  We didn’t always eat Sunday dinner at home and often, we had guests.

The meal was a “cook all day” meal . . . usually started before church and left in the oven or the slow cooker during church. Oh, and the best desserts! There was always a freshly baked cake or cobbler (I am so from the south) or a pie . . . someone’s church was bound to have a bake sale. I remember one time having homemade ice cream at my grandparent’s house. Aww, man!

After church and before dinner, I wished that I was wearing my Toughskin jeans rather than a dress and patent leather shoes. It didn’t stop me from playing though. And now that I think of it, that’s when the girls usually played hopscotch and the boys always wanted to play chase . . . hmmmmm.

Our tradition of Sunday dinner is rooted in the practice that allowed the slaves a day of rest on Sunday. Then, as now, sharing a meal is an incredibly bonding event. On Sunday, family, friends, and community take time to gossip, debate, and reconnect. It’s a wonderful thing!

Hopefully the tradition hasn’t disappeared entirely. Still, I don’t personally know of anyone who practices it. In my own best interest, I resolve to bring this back into my life.

I want a day to shine!


1. Petal Collection

Method 1: Collect the petals when the flower is fully open but before the petals turn brown. Lay each petal on a screen  and place the screen where the petals will get plenty of ventilation yet out of direct sunlight. Stir the petals occasionally so that they dry evenly. Note, the petals must be crispy-dry or they may mold.  This method may take a few weeks to complete.

Or

Method 2: Before the petals turn brown, tie the stems together and hang the entire bouquet upside down to dry. Place the bouquet in a dark ventilated dry place so it does not mildew. It may take a few weeks to a month for the roses to become dry and brittle. Gently pluck off the petals for your project or use the flowers intact.

2. Fixative

For each quart of petals you use, add 1 tablespoon fixative. Fixatives absorb and retain fragrance and without adequate fixative, the potpourri will go flat pretty quickly. Dry lavender, oak moss, sandalwood and orris root are all good choices to use as fixative. Orris root can be found in drug stores and sandalwood or dried lavender can be found in many herb shops. These items may also be found in craft or hobby shops.

3. Enhancing

Cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, dried citrus peel and vanilla beans are all complementary to the scent of rose petals.  Add some of these items along with a few drops of rose scented essential oil to enhance the look, texture, and aroma of your potpourri.
4. Setting

Seal your potpourri in a jar and shake it lightly to blend. Allow the potpourri set for 10 days so that the scents blend and settle. Shake lightly every other day in order to distribute the scent throughout the mixture.

5. Finale

When it’s ready, make small sachets by placing a small handful of the potpourri in a lace or linen handkerchief or other delicate fabric and tie the four corners with a satin bow or ribbon. Or layer the potpourri in a glass container, a ceramic jar, a basket, or a fancy dish.

Hint: Placing the potpourri near a heat source causes the perfume to expand in the warm air and fill the room with fragrance.

75% of men find this hobby most attractive in women

‘Tis certainly food for thought!

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