Perils of Being a Great Cook II

As a Southern Cook that has loved to cook for most of my life, I find myself still watching cooking shows, researching recipes, learning to expand my seasonings and herbs from my daughter. I wait for praises from the grandchildren when I make their favorites or invent new ones. My daughter and I even cook together over the phone, sending pics as we progress, changing and enhancing ingredients and of course, the finished plating photos. We laugh and say, take the picture and say grace before eating it. i pulled up this blog post from several years ago, but it rang truth and a few giggles when I read it again.

PERILS OF BEING A GREAT COOK is a comical look at being a Southern Cook. This morning my husband and I were having a chuckle over our weigh in. Now, it is not literally funny as we both would prefer losing some weight and the topic went to how he explains to people why he is heavier now than when they all went to school……”My wife is such a great cook and I don’t want to disappoint her.” It brings us to our blog topic.

Let’s look at the benefits of Southern Cooking or in reality any regional cooking style that puts the fluff on our bods!

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This is not a holiday meal but a good Sunday Southern meal.



WAYS TO LAUGH ABOUT A SOUTHERN COOK REASON TO COOK:

1- We cook a lot of food as if we are cooking our last meal or in case the power goes out. We fuss about all of the food in the refrigerator but that is really bragging on our part.

2- If our food receives compliments, and we have leftovers; we can hear the same compliments again. In reality everyone is thinking, “Are we eating the same thing over and over?”

3- We believed the saying “The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach” as gospel. We tell our husbands that if something happens to us, they better not be trying to find a pretty wife but one who can cook like us.

4- We want to win the competition when men gather and start talking about which one has the best cook and they try to name more good dishes we cook. We don’t want to hear about how many fish they caught but how much they bragged on our cooking.

5- We want to hear the “I ate too much” groan as they slide on the recliner with the follow up line “I need a nap to wear this off.” We worry more if they don’t eat than them gaining weight.

6- And this is probably the secret reason, we want to hear “I am not going to tell Momma, but you made this better than her.” This is a rare statement but if we ever hear that it is better than winning the Betty Crocker Award. The worst critique after they have emptied all of the bowls is to hear “Momma always made us this _________ and she could make it better than anyone. A cold shower doesn’t work as good as this line for killing romance.

7- We begin posting every meal we cook to see how many likes and shares as well as requests for the recipes. We reply that it is a family recipe, right? That means right after we copied it off Pinterest or the Food Network.

8- We will cook an occasional healthy meal just in case someone criticizes our unhealthy fattening cooking style. It is more for show and once we receive the kudos for watching our family’s eating habits, we make a pan of homemade cathead biscuits, grab the butter and syrup and redeem ourselves. Not to forget the pies and cakes we make to show our true love.

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All of this is in jest but there is some truth in how we, as Southern cooks, love cooking. It is rare for a Southern gal to not know how to cook like most of us do. When we good cooks hear that someone hates cooking or is a rare bad cook, we have to stop ourselves from saying “what’s wrong with that gal?”

All of us have our hobbies and talents but most southern ladies will proudly tell you “Cooking and Baking” if you ask what they love to do.

I didn’t learn how to bake these from a cookbook.

LIVE LIFE, LOVE LIFE, AND LIVE LIFE TO THE FULLEST BY COOKING TIL THE LAST OF THE GOODIES ARE GONE.

(C) Copyright 2012-2021 Arline Miller of Sipping Cups of Inspiration with all rights and privileges reserved. Third party material is sourced, if known to the original location for credit reference.

If You Had a Lot of Money

This morning, as a lot of mornings in the past, I felt a poem inspiration coming my way. This is just a thought for those of us who believe in God. It is meant to share my belief to others but as Jesus declared that we are to come unto Him. Have a day of reflection and if you have the joy in your life and especially your soul, you will understand my poem.

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I hear so many people talk about what they would share

If they came into a large amount of money in life.

It is easy to speculate what big amount would be fair.

Take away their worry, the drama, hurt, and the strife.

I thought to myself why wait and it seemed I should dare.

For all of us who believe, the gift we need to lovingly give.

We possess the best spiritual treasure which is so richly rare.

It is free to all those souls who receive it and how they live.

I am not talking about riches and earthly treasures my friend.

I am referring to our salvation’s testimony and God’s Love.

It isn’t stored in any bank here on earth but when life will end.

The glory is in Heaven with our loved ones and God above.

Share what God has done for you and I will do the same.

What God promises each of us in holy eternity’s reign.

It is more than money, property, and any earthly fame.

God’s Love is an eternal gift as high as we can ever attain.

Written by Arline Miller with God’s Gift of Love to All

August 18, 2021

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(C) Copyright 2012- 2021 Arline Miller of Sipping Cups of Inspiration with all rights and privileges reserved. Third party material is sourced to the original location and author if known.

Lessons from a Doggie’s Point of View

I had so many warm and receptive responses from Whisker’s post a few days ago, I thought I had one more to share that I would love to have a picture from that day, but I think if you use your imagination, you will get a visual impression when Whiskers went rogue and joined the ranks of the Oompa Loompa from the movie Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.

This was the last pictures of Whiskers along with Bandit, our rescued Yorkie. Even though Whiskers was sick, he would not give up and went along with the Christmas festivities.

Whiskers had a lot of terrier in his mixture of a schnauzer and if you know terriers, they are inherently diggers. It’s in their blood and Whiskers lived true to his heritage. Before we rescued him, he was infamous for digging out of his yard and visiting his neighbor’s Rottweiler who was huge, but that didn’t stop Whiskers. I am sure it was frustrating to his owners to have to fill in the holes only to have him dig new ones.

I think, looking back on our life with that rowdy fella, he would have made a trucker an ideal copilot as he would have jumped into any truck or car and rode. Greg and I joke about he is trying to get my Mom to take him for a ride in Heaven and if that were possible, he would tell her to speed up so his fur would blow for his “weasel” look. Or he would round up Greg’s Mom who drove like a speed demon as she definitely would get the fur blowing.

Several times in Augusta, we didn’t have a fenced in yard, we would be allowing Whiskers out to do his business in the back yard which looked like it was in the mountains with a stream flowing, Whiskers would be strolling around and it was like something came over him and off he would run. Of course, we would get all panicky and try to call him back while he so candidly looked back and seemed to laugh that he was free and off he would go. I won’t go into the many rides and tears of worry I went through only to find he had found a big girl doggie somewhere and was visiting her. One was a big Lab and one was even a chow that was chained which normally makes them unfriendly, but there was Whiskers acting the cool hand Luke and looking at us like “What?”

No matter what was going on, Whiskers had to be in the middle of the action.

When we moved to Kathleen, of course Whiskers loved the adventure of riding with Mommy and seeing places he hadn’t seen and then came that big wooden fenced in yard at our new home. All the years, we lived there, and each time he went out the doggie door, he patrolled “his” yard. Squirrels had to jump and run away from him as he was the Security Guard. We thought how nice we don’t have to worry about Whiskers running off. Right, you think? Wrong!!

On one side of the back yard, the fence had a slight opening along the bottom to keep the gate from dragging. I know that rascal probably saw that light in that opening while we were at the office working and thought why not? As it is common in Georgia where we live, we have a lot of red Georgia clay so you may begin to paint a picture. I am not sure how long he had to apply his claws to that mission, but apparently he broke through and dug out. We have no clue on where he went and how long he wandered.

At some point, and this is where the lesson came in, Whiskers had a life moment. Even as much as he loved wandering and exploring, he realized he had found humans who loved him, accepted him with his seizure condition, his scruffiness, his security, and care. We loved him when he was unwanted and we gave him a home, this home he had worked to escape to see what else was to see. When we came home, sitting at the garage door, with his famous thrown out back leg was Whiskers, totally orange from the clay covering, but wanting to go inside and never to dig out again. Whiskers had learned the lesson like Dorothy in Wizard of Oz, “There’s no place like home.”

Whiskers was one of a kind and unforgettable. We love you!

A little side note: Greg did pour concrete in the ground at the gate and that might have been more of a solution but we like to think he learned how good he had it and chose to stay home.

Home is a valuable refuge from all of the worldly noise. We have a link to our childhood home or homes even as we move away and go in different directions. Take time to make memories to share with your children and grandchildren. I try to sit with our grandchildren and share my childhood memories and their eyes show interest and yes, they ask questions and that warms my heart. Don’t let those memories get lost. Savor those Whiskers moments by sharing them.

(C) Copyright 2012-2021 Arline Miller of Sipping Cups of Inspiration with all rights and privileges reserved. Third party material is sourced to original location/author, if known, for credit reference.

Taking a Break can Break the Monotony of Life

May I say a direct hello to all of the readers of my blog. I decided a little over a week from my daily Facebook posts of many of my meals/recipes, my inspirational posts, posting every inch of blooms and growth in our flower gardens, and the many Happy Birthday, Anniversary, Congrats, etc. I have to say I miss seeing everyones’ Hoopla moments. On the whole, I thought of how many posts I create and how I love to watch the comments, likes, loves, and laugh emojis. One thing I noticed is how much more time I have to focus on some life thoughts and emotions. At the same time of this break from social media, I backed away from watching news. How refreshing this has been and I thought I would share how a break can actually break the monotony of life.

Social Media Icons

Social Media has become our social activity. To prove my point, how long has it been since any of us took the time, without having a celebration, death, tragedy, or other catastrophic event, visiting our friends and/or family and just kick back without an agenda other than companionship. Am I right?

Photo courtesy of Your Tango

I want to go back and this is a long time ago that I would get up very early and do my chores on a Saturday morning so that when my Daddy would decide to ride out to visit old friends in the country. Some were related; some were not. Most of them had fishing ponds and gardens. They were always willing to let us wet a hook and pick some vegetables. Along with these goodie gathering activities, there were lots of conversation and oh yes, the good ole day stories. Even picking peas or butterbeans and scratchy okra, there were peaks of roaring laughter. I learned a lot of their history, the hard times, the fun times, the courting stories, but through out their renditions of those stories, I heard love and survivorship. I heard how neighbors and families helped each other. When a family member passed away, how everyone pitched in to harvest crops and help each other. I learned how neighbors rebuilt barns when it burned down. I learned how bounty of gardens were shared when insects destroyed a friend or family member’s garden. I received the best lesson of how people should care about each other. I now realize I was taking a break and enjoying the lessons I learned.

Photo courtesy of Focused Collection

Let us learn how to take a break:

  • A break can be temporary without setting a time frame or setting a period to not engage in any chosen activity. A break can be simple as I won’t eat bread for a week, month, or I am giving up bread.
  • Choose what you wish to accomplish during the break. It can be giving up an activity or avoiding it for a time period. Is the goal of the break to free up time? If so, what is the desired result. Is it to relax, or speed up productivity in another activity? In other words, are you replacing one activity with another or are you looking for more free time to avoid activity?
  • Commit to the break or at least the time frame if one is selected. It is easier if a time frame is selected as we are creatures of habit but if we have agreed to a certain amount of commitment, we have a better chance to succeed.
  • Decide the outcome you desire from this break. Are you taking the break to engage in a different direction and/or activity? If so, it is advantageous to prepare for that activity with new goals.
  • Once the break is scheduled, Go For Your Break time! Kick back or get it in gear!

I want to summarize my thoughts about the pitfalls a break can produce. With social media, we have become “pawns” waiting for the players of life’s chess game to move in certain directions. We applaud, we pray, we comfort, we explain, or we just watch and allow others to make the strategic moves. A good bit of advice I can offer is STOP being a watcher and LIVE your life. Take your breaks, get moving, do something, and accomplish what you want to achieve. It is not to be determined by anyone else but BREAK away from living your lives through others. I agree encouragement can be helpful and is appreciated, but that first step has to be YOURS. Live life; Love Life; Live and Love Life to the Fullest by actually Living!

(C) Copyright 2012-2021 Arline Miller of Sipping Cups of Inspiration with all rights and privileges reserved. Third party Material is sourced to original location/author if known, for credit references.

The Lessons We Can Learn From Our Pets

This post may not be interesting to the people who don’t own pets and even don’t like pets, but for the many of us who have pets who we consider family members, will get this and probably will want to comment. All of us who love our fur babies love to mention our babies and feel welcome to post pictures and stories.

Whiskers, our wonder rescue dog, who would tolerate being dressed in costume.

My husband and I have been blessed to have some “humanistic” rescued doggies since we have been together. Our first rescue was Whiskers, a schnauerrier (mix of schnauzer and terrier) and his name was perfect. We didn’t name him as we knew where he came from and he had his name. Here is Whisker’s story:

I was in insurance at the time and called on businesses for supplemental health insurance. My husband, Greg, knew of a auto repair shop, and actually set up the appointment with the owner. I drove over to the shop and the waiting room was full of customers and so I sat down to wait for the owner to discuss him offering his employees some coverage. While I sat there, I happened to notice a rough cardboard sign which read “Free puppy to a good home.” On the floor, there were two bowls, water and dry food. My curiosity was raised so I asked what the sign was about. I learned about Whiskers, who was owned by the shop owner’s neighbor. Whiskers was intrigued by his big Rottweiler, Zeus, and would dig out from his yard and visit Zeus. One day, they noticed a big moving truck in front of Whisker’s home early as he left for work and was shocked that afternoon they had completely moved out but left Whiskers in the yard with a handmade note saying “Please find Whiskers a good home.”

When I heard his story, my heart went out to Whiskers as I could only imagine him wondering where his little girl had gone as they usually played outside. I am not going to express the anger I felt from his abandonment. The guy who owned the business I was calling on brought Whiskers over to his house which seemed fine with Whiskers but Zeus, while accepting Whiskers as a visitor, was jealous of Whiskers as a potential resident. Here is where I felt a confused and almost angry response. Thinking Zeus might harm Whiskers, he decided to take Whiskers away and drove him 9 miles and put him out on the side of the road. Oh, I had to fight the inclination to be verbally loud at that moment of the story. What was incredible was Whiskers walked back the entire 9 miles to the only place he knew, he came back. This created the owner to take him to the shop and see if he could find Whiskers a good home. Now, here I enter the story. Greg and I had discussed having a dog as we are both dog lovers. What I want to interject at this time, I had not seen Whiskers and Greg was working.

As I listened to the story, my heart tugged. He, after telling me of the history, asked me would I like to see him? At the very second he asked me, he opened the door next to me and out came Whiskers. He was wagging his tail, looking around with excitement at him being let out to investigate all of us waiting. He went around the room, stopping with old people, young people, every race, every size, with the same amount of enthusiasm and friendliness. He didn’t judge or make a sound, but worked the room until he came to me. Our eyes met and he just knew. He sat down in front of me and waited. When I reached my hand down to his head, he let out a squeal, not a bark. Again, he knew he had a new owner, a new family, and he never looked back. We went out to my car after I had called Greg who didn’t have a clue what he looked like or anything else but immediately said, “Yes, bring him home.”

I am going to stop the story as we were so blessed and I have millions of stories of how smart he was and how much he meant to us. We both sigh at the memory of Whiskers who had seizures which was probably the reason he was abandoned, but not for long, as we had the blessing of the cute dog that chose us for a good life. The lesson from Whiskers is to never give up as happiness is a wag away if you keep finding your happiness.

Photo courtesy of Good Housekeeping.
  • Dogs accept their owners without any judgment of looks, wealth, personalities. If you are having a bad hair day, they are fine with it.
  • Dogs forgive easily. It may be that their memory span is shorter than humans. Maybe humans need to forget and forgive.
  • Dogs don’t need a lot of toys or entertainment sources to keep them happy and if you look around, dogs that are owned by poor families are usually as content as dogs who live in luxury.
  • Dogs will protect their families if threatened, to the death if necessary without thinking whether that is a good idea. It is a natural instinct.
  • A dog loves unconditionally and fully. A picture that breaks my heart is to see a dog that has been abandoned, with or without food or water, wait patiently or try to run after their owner’s vehicle. It doesn’t seem feasible in their mind they won’t come back for them.

I thought our love of animals who capture our hearts would be a good focus instead of all the serious and tragic events going on in our world. I will post some of the stories that make our memory bank full of the laughter filled moments and the emotional tugs. Whiskers lived 9 1/2 years which is great for a dog who had seizures since before we got him but if he could have talked, he would tell you he had a happy life full of adventure with us.

(C) Copyright 2012-2021 Arline Miller of Sipping Cups of Inspiration with all rights and privileges reserved. Third party material, if source is known, is referenced to original author/location for credit reference.