WHAT’S UP WITH THE JACK-O’LANTERN?

THIS IS A REPOST FROM 2016 but I thought it was an interesting post so I decided you might like to read it too.       WHAT’S UP WITH THE JACK-O’-LANTERN? A young man, Blake Lott posted on Facebook When and why did it become a social tradition for people to sit around a table and carve spooky vegetables together? 🎃 👻 Did you know the original jack o’ lantern was actually a turnip ”     “”

I thought, “How interesting are those questions!” I decided to do a little digging and I hope everyone enjoys this post about our pumpkin carving tradition which is really not American but is tracked back to Ireland. I found this article on the legend:

THE LEGEND OF “STINGY JACK”People have been making jack-o’-lanterns at Halloween for centuries. The practice originated from an Irish myth about a man nicknamed “Stingy Jack.” According to the story, Stingy Jack invited the Devil to have a drink with him. True to his name, Stingy Jack didn’t want to pay for his drink, so he convinced the Devil to turn himself into a coin that Jack could use to buy their drinks. Once the Devil did so, Jack decided to keep the money and put it into his pocket next to a silver cross, which prevented the Devil from changing back into his original form. Jack eventually freed the Devil, under the condition that he would not bother Jack for one year and that, should Jack die, he would not claim his soul. The next year, Jack again tricked the Devil into climbing into a tree to pick a piece of fruit. While he was up in the tree, Jack carved a sign of the cross into the tree’s bark so that the Devil could not come down until the Devil promised Jack not to bother him for ten more years.Did You Know?The original jack-o’-lanterns were carved from turnips, potatoes or beets.Soon after, Jack died. As the legend goes, God would not allow such an unsavory figure into heaven. The Devil, upset by the trick Jack had played on him and keeping his word not to claim his soul, would not allow Jack into hell. He sent Jack off into the dark night with only a burning coal to light his way. Jack put the coal into a carved-out turnip and has been roaming the Earth with ever since. The Irish began to refer to this ghostly figure as “Jack of the Lantern,” and then, simply “Jack O’Lantern.”In Ireland and Scotland, people began to make their own versions of Jack’s lanterns by carving scary faces into turnips or potatoes and placing them into windows or near doors to frighten away Stingy Jack and other wandering evil spirits. In England, large beets are used. Immigrants from these countries brought the jack o’lantern tradition with them when they came to the United States. They soon found that pumpkins, a fruit native to America, make perfect jack-o’-lanterns.

Article Details: History of the Jack O’ Lantern  

I have heard a discussion back and forth whether Christians should or should not celebrate Halloween. This is a personal decision and I leave it to individuals but I decided to do a little digging on the holiday itself. Here is a definition from Wikipedia on Halloween:  From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Halloween&oldid=745513786
This article is about the observance. For other uses, see Halloween (disambiguation).

“All Hallows’ Eve” redirects here. For other uses, see All Hallows’ Eve (disambiguation).

Halloween, or Hallowe’en (a contraction of All Hallows’ Evening),[5] also known as Allhalloween,[6] All Hallows’ Eve,[7] or All Saints’ Eve,[8] is a celebration observed in a number of countries on 31 October, the eve of the Western Christian feast of All Hallows’ Day. It begins the three-day observance of Allhallowtide,[9] the time in the liturgical year dedicated to remembering the dead, including saints (hallows), martyrs, and all the faithful departed.[10][11]
It is widely believed that many Halloween traditions originated from Celtic harvest festivals which may have pagan roots, particularly the Gaelic festival Samhain, and that this festival was Christianized as Halloween.[1][7][12][13][14][15] Some academics, however, support the view that Halloween began independently as a solely Christian holiday.[1][16][17][18][19]
Halloween activities include trick-or-treating (or the related guising), attending Halloween costume parties, decorating, carving pumpkins into jack-o’-lanterns, lighting bonfires, apple bobbing and divination games, playing pranks, visiting haunted attractions, telling scary stories and watching horror films. In many parts of the world, the Christian religious observances of All Hallows’ Eve, including attending church services and lighting candles on the graves of the dead, remain popular,[20][21][22] although elsewhere it is a more commercial and secular celebration.[23][24][25] Some Christians historically abstained from meat on All Hallows’ Eve,[26][27] a tradition reflected in the eating of certain foods on this vigil day, including apples, potato pancakes and soul cakes.[27][28][29]

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I thought it would be interesting to find out more about Trick or Treating tradition’s history too. Why not? Here is an article from Smithsonian.com (link below article)

 It’s almost that time of year when underaged kids get into costume and traipse around the neighborhood ringing doorbells and begging for treats. When you think about it, trick or treating is kind of a weird thing. Where did it come from anyway?

Today I Found Out discovered that the practice began with the Celtic tradition of celebrating the end of the year by dressing up as evil spirits. The Celts believed that, as we moved from one year to the next, the dead and the living would overlap, and demons would roam the earth again. So dressing up as demons was a defense mechanism. If you encountered a real demon roaming the Earth, they would think you were one of them.Fast forward to when the Catholic Church was stealing everybody’s holidays and trying to convert them. They turned the demon dress-up party into “All Hallows Eve,” “All Soul’s Day,” and “All Saints Day” and had people dress up as saints, angels and still a few demons. Today I Found Out writes:

As for the trick or treating, or “guising” (from “disguising”), traditions, beginning in the Middle-Ages, children and sometimes poor adults would dress up in the aforementioned costumes and go around door to door during Hallowmas begging for food or money in exchange for songs and prayers, often said on behalf of the dead.  This was called “souling” and the children were called “soulers”.You might think that this practice then simply migrated along with Europeans to the United States. But trick or treating didn’t re-emerge until the 1920s and 1930s. It paused for a bit during World War II because of sugar rations, and it’s now back in full force.The term “trick or treat” dates back to 1927. Today I Found Out explains:The earliest known reference to “trick or treat”, printed in the November 4, 1927 edition of the Blackie, Alberta Canada Herald, talks of this,Hallowe’en provided an opportunity for real strenuous fun. No real damage was done except to the temper of some who had to hunt for wagon wheels, gates, wagons, barrels, etc., much of which decorated the front street. The youthful tormentors were at back door and front demanding edible plunder by the word “trick or treat” to which the inmates gladly responded and sent the robbers away rejoicing.The British hate Halloween, apparently. In 2006, a survey found that over half of British homeowners turn off their lights and pretend not to be home on Halloween. Yet another reason by the United States is happy to be free from British rule. No funs.

          Read more: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/the-history-of-trick-or-treating-is-weirder-than-you-thought-79408373/#vWJK4Mu5ro0d2pUI.99 Give the gift of Smithsonian magazine for only $12! http://bit.ly/1cGUiGv Follow us: @SmithsonianMag on Twitter

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All in all, Halloween is on its way, whether you carve the Jack-O-Lantern, Trick or Treat. You can choose to participate or not. I find it interesting to read the history and how these traditions have come about. However you decide is fine with me. I am 67 years old and I have never felt an evil feeling about Halloween and over the years my husband and I have enjoyed the small children coming to our door with their little costumes yelling Trick or Treat. May your holidays be bright and cheery.

(C) Copyright 2012-2021 Arline L Miller with all rights and privileges reserved. All third party material sourced to original location for credit.

When We Eat With Our Minds, Our Body Thrives

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I thought I would repost this message with some great updates on my personal health. Finding out that I can use the principle of small amounts but eating a well rounded mixture of foods, I have lost over 40 pounds, lowered by A1C, my blood pressure and cholesterol in a better normalcy. It works for me, I am happier than I have ever been, and at 72 feel I am mastering my body for the first time instead of eating controlling me.

WE SHOULD EAT WITH OUR MINDS and NOT OUR MOUTHS. I will throw out a personal opinion on why our minds and not our mouths should determine what and when we should eat. Let’s think about this theory. In our lifetime, we will go on several diets or eating plans. They will be varied and when we go on most of these, if not all; we lose weight, right? My thoughts are what causes the initial weight loss and what changes over time in which the loss begins to dwindle or even disappear? I think I have discovered what is the culprit…..Our minds. When our mind becomes disgusted when our eyes show the extra weight in the mirror, it can either decide to avoid thoughts of obesity or decide to do something about it.Let me share this: It is not the diet or eating plan; it is the mind who decides if we are full or because of emotions it decides to allow us to overeat. 

A personal note: Some time ago, my husband Greg and I decided (look at the action of the mind) to not play around with eating healthy but get serious. Since we “decided” and not allowed our mouths to do the talking; we have both lost weight, our emotions are calmer, our motivation is higher and the results are a better attitude as well as feeling better. I had expressed it is not only what we eat; quantity is a big factor. Large amounts of salads or fruit or going the protein maximum will not allow us to lose what we need to eat but add portion control to these great foods aids in the satisfaction of eating without starving. Greg has dropped about 10 pounds during this time and he is now “thinking” about what he eats and how much. Even though I had already decided my health was more important, it has helped me eliminate some items and add some healthier foods. I wanted to share with everyone as too many times, we are guilty of talking the health talk but fail to walk the health walk. Just saying our intentions but not involving some serious mind changing methods; it would only be another diet tried and failed. The real reason any diet fails is the mind is not engaged; only the mouth. Try to think about this post and see if you find yourself retracing your “diet” history. When you wanted to lose; I mean when you really wanted to lose; you lost. When you only played with dieting; you might have lost a few pounds and without thinking; you stuck a cookie or candy or even pizza. Instant sabotage, but I can guarantee you; you didn’t think before you stuffed your mouth with those diet killers. I am not preaching; I am reminiscing about my diet history. When I think about what I eat, I lose. When I impulsively eat; it doesn’t work and off another great, sensational, guaranteed to lose, return to my high school figure, lose all fat non fail plan one more time. Does this ring a bell with you or at least start you thinking? I hope so as we are thinking our food through!

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The following is an excerpt from an article called Mindful Eating-Curbing Stress:

How to Put Mind Over Mouth

Jean Kristeller, Ph.D., president of the board of directors at the Center for Mindful Eating, shares tips on how to break the pattern of stress-induced munching.

By Carin GorrellSep 17, 2007

During a high-stress situation it’s natural to feel pulled toward something that distracts you and makes you feel better fast — and often that something is food, explains Jean Kristeller, Ph.D., a professor of psychology at Indiana State University and president of the board of directors at the Center for Mindful Eating. “Eating can become an automatic, unconscious response to tension and anxiety,” says Kristeller. “But learning to become more mindful in these moments can help you break that pattern of automatic reactivity.” Here’s how.

ACKNOWLEDGE THAT YOU’RE STRESSED. “We don’t always recognize when we’re on edge, and it’s hard to interrupt something if you don’t know you’re in the middle of it,” says Kristeller. Learn to recognize your stress signals, which might include headaches, rapid breathing, or munching when you’re not hungry.

ENJOY WHAT YOU’RE EATING. “If you’re just stuffing food down, you’re not enjoying its tastes, textures, and smells, which is how we derive comfort from food in the first place,” says Kristeller. The more you savor your food, the fewer bites you’ll need to get the comfort you seek.

LISTEN TO YOUR WISDOM FROM PAST EXPERIENCES. Maybe during your last stress-induced binge you devoured a half-dozen doughnuts — and the guilt you felt afterward only added to your stress. This time, take steps to maintain portion control: Pick up a single doughnut at the bakery instead of a dozen.

PAUSE. When you find yourself mindlessly diving into a bag of potato chips, stop and check in with yourself. “Think: Do I really want to eat this? Is it going to be helpful?” suggests Kristeller. Taking this moment to reflect can help interrupt the automatic urge to nosh.

DON’T IGNORE YOUR CRAVINGS. Denying that those cookies are calling your name will only strengthen your desire to have one, but acknowledging your craving creates choice: Do you want to have one cookie now, or wait until the urge is so overpowering that you inhale an entire sleeve of cookies? Recognizing that you have choices puts you in charge, not the craving.

EVALUATE YOUR HUNGER. “Often we don’t distinguish between physical hunger and emotionally driven cravings,” says Kristeller. Rate your physical hunger on a scale of 0 to 10, with 0 being not hungry at all and 10 being famished. If it’s a 0, 1, or 2, reconsider that pantry raid. If it’s a 9 or 10, eat something healthy first: “If you’re really, really hungry, you’re more vulnerable to overeating,” says Kristeller.

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  On a light, positive note I want to post a writing from this morning to all.  This morning I rose with gratitude in my heart, humility in my soul, and joy in my entire body. God grants us the opportunity to be diligent in our faith and today is a great day to serve Him with love, forgiveness, charity, and kindness.

“When we willingly love,We receive from above.

Life is a wonderful gift.We are given such a lift.

Beauty is joy bestowed.Immense love has flowed.

From the stem of a rose.To the child’s turned up nose.

When we willingly love, God smiles from above.”

(written by Arline Miller 02/17/2016)

(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 if known for credit reference.

SHOULD I USE AIR OR PRESSURE IN MY COOKING?

From the number of views on the last post about using my InstaPot, I could tell a lot of you are interested about learning more about these convenient ways to cook. I have to say that when my husband purchased my InstaPot, I was slightly apprehensive from the stories of the old style pressure cooker and did not use it “instantly”. I want to put that worry to rest. As with any appliances, you should follow the instructions and only the methods they have approved. I love my InstaPot now and My Power Air Fryer Oven is the bomb.

Do you know you can make salmon patties easily, healthier in the Air Fryer Oven? I do.

If you want to see a sample of how many recipes you can make using your Air Fryer/Oven, please go to my Pinterest account and browse. You will find yourself even making a quick amount of biscuits in it. The link is: https://www.pinterest.com/alm06/power-air-fryer-oven-cooking/

This is one of my pinned Air Fryer Recipes on my board listed above.

What I would like to give you are some tips on using the air fryer for the handy-dandy leftover warming magician:

  • We prepare a large amount of sausage, bacon, and other meats, burgers, etc. for the convenience of having a quick put together breakfast, lunch, or snack. A few minutes and all of these foods warm up without getting the microwave softening. Easy to clean, no pots to wash, so we use ours sometimes several times a day.
  • Leftover biscuits, rolls, croissants, buns, and toast as well as pastries brown so easily and have a crispy outside crust. This has sold me on the air fryer.
  • Using the air fryer oven saves us time as we can use it, remove the grill shelf which washes great in the dishwasher, and we are done.
  • I haven’t figured out why hot dogs taste incredible in the air fryer, but it is almost like grilled hot dogs without having to crank up the grill.
  • French fries are like the fast food restaurants if you use the method they suggest. We have the turn barrel and I can’t tell the difference except for the absence of so much grease from the fast food fries.

I can go on and on about using the Power Air Fryer Oven but it will be more fun if you get on the air waves and make something yummy and so convenient. I take my door off mine, keep it clean by easy method, and it sits on my counter ready to make my life easy.

Happy Meals to You….Until We Cook Again….Arline Miller, Reinvention Queen.

(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 original location for credit references.

Reinvention Queen Sails Into Port with Shrimp Salad with Creamy Horseradish Sauce

Reinvention Queen uses the the rest of those golden shrimp as well as a few leftover delicious scallops in a quick to assemble even making the copy cat version but reinvented Arline Style Creamy Horseradish Sauce that is so good you will be tempted to drink it but save it for Roast Beef Sandwiches or other dishes like salmon. Ok, enough of my reinventing and waste not, want not theory and off to how to use leftovers along with fresh herbs from my garden, and even cucumbers and red onions from the fridge.

FRIED OR GRILLED SHRIMP SALAD

If using leftover shrimp and in this one, leftover seared scallops, warm in air fryer over or you can warm in a saute pan without any oil. I set for 3 minutes in air fryer oven and they were perfectly warm. Set aside.

4 Slices of Bacon (optional but yummy) Fried and drained on paper towel to be crunched before adding to salad.

1 pkg of super greens in bag for convenience or make two bowls of variety of salad greens. I use my kitchen shears to cut the pieces into bite size. You can adjust amounts but this made two hearty salads.

Chopped garden tomatoes or you can use cherry or grape tomatoes.

1/4 sweet onion grated so you don’t taste a lot of onion. By grating the onion, it allows some of the juice to blend in the salad.

Cucumbers and red onions with a little bell pepper is chopped from the prepared cucumber onion salad that is available in most delicatessens. I buy it in quart size to add to salads or as a side dish. I used about 10 of the cucumber slices cubed.

Feta cheese or even goat cheese is sprinkled into bowl of greens. Your decision as this is optional but it was a great addition.

Salt and pepper as well as some fresh herbs can be added: Dill and chives were my selection for this salad.

Mix together and dress the salad with shrimp, scallops if you included, bacon bits, and the following dressing (sauce) Add your favorite crackers or place the salad in a tortilla baked shell (one of the pictures will demonstrate the tortilla bowl).

This is my Fried Shrimp Scallop Salad with my version of Horseradish Sauce.
My Creamy Horseradish Sauce. My daughter and I created this sauce a few months ago. Delish!

 Copy Cat Creamy Horseradish Sauce

1/4 grated onion

1/2 cup Sour Cream

1/2 cup Mayo (Hellmans)

2 T. Honey

2 T. Dijon Mustard

2 T Lemon Juice

2 T. Worcestershire Sauce

1 tsp. Garlic Herb Seasoning

1tsp. Onion Powder

3 T. Horseradish Sauce

Chives and Dill weed (fresh)

Salt and Pepper to taste

Mixed dry herbs to taste 

Mix all ingredients together and refrigerate at least 30 minutes. 

Here is the salad in a tortilla shell which I turned a muffin pan upside down and placed the shells around the raised circle and placed in oven 400 degrees until toasty.
Shrimp up close for yumminess.

Grilled Shrimp can be used for this same salad.

We grill a lot of shrimp at a time and get busy reinventing ways to have a different dish each time.

It is a Shrimp Delight Salad. Endless Combo Possibilities.

Reinvention Queen Notes: As you can see, you can stretch a “Cook Once, Eat Many” task into several delicious but quick and easy by using things on hand and making wise and fresh choices. Use herbs, seasonings, sauces, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and cheeses and get creative. I would love to see how you would created dishes by reinventing what “you’ve got.”

Until We Cook Again…Happy Meals…..Reinvention Queen….Arline Miller

(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 original location/author for credit references.

Reinvention Queen reinvents Lemon Parmesan Chicken to Chicken and Stuffing

As a cook that loves to reinvent dishes into an entirely different dish without too much work, this is one of my success stories. I had reinvented two dishes from the original Lemon Parmesan Peppercorn Chicken that you will see photos below. Loving how creative the other dishes had turned out but still having some of the chicken, I created this recipe and it was a hit, Chicken and Stuffing Made Easy.

This is the Lemon Parmesan Peppercorn Chicken served.
The original Lemon Parmesan Peppercorn Chicken baking.

Third time’s a charm. Repurposed the remaining delicious Lemon Parmesan Peppercorn Chicken into bite size pieces. Oil a pan and place chicken, two cans cream of chicken soup, 1 cup of chicken broth, and 1 box of Stove Top Stuffing. Cook until blended and pour into buttered casserole. Top with a few pats of butter and sprinkle with dried onion bits. Place in oven for 20 minutes 375° and then turn to broil to toast the top until golden brown. It took 5 minutes on lower rack. If you love dressing this is about as simple as it gets. Remember I had the meal using the breasts as main course; 2nd meal I used the chopped breasts with Alfredo sauce & Parmesan and this meal completed my usage of the chicken breasts. Now this dish sits and rests until dinner. BTW, a quick tip: I don’t have cranberry sauce but I do have a jar of hot pepper jelly which will be an easy substitute.

This is the Chicken with stuffing while baking.
What a beautiful and tasty dish made quickly and easily from leftovers.

This concludes the Reinvention Queen’s Chicken Remakes and I will move on to other meals and recipes, but today is my husband’s birthday and later, we have the Nana’s Praline Pecan Cake (not my recipe but a good one which can be googled) and Homemade, yes you read it right, Vanilla Ice Cream with most of our grandchildren of Greg’s son and wife. Until We Cook Again….Happy Meals….Arline Miller.

(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.