Ginger Tonic

Ginger Tonic

Mountain Cedar got you down?  Throat sore, from your recent protest march?  Make ginger tonic concentrate to sooth your throat and add a little zip to your step this winter week-end.   It is so easy and makes your home smell amazing.


First grate, 4-5 “hands” of fresh ginger.  My ginger supply came via a friend who bought a bunch at a local Asian market and she shared with me to ease my persistent cough.

Grate the ginger using a box grater or with more efficiency the food processor using the grating disc. Put the grated ginger in a large pot, add 8 cups of water, juice of lemon and orange (you can add cut up slices to the brew), 3 T honey, star anise and cloves.  Simmer for 1 hour.

Pour the mixture through a fine mesh (I used a nut sack that I use for juicing because I don’t have an expensive juicer, yet) Big Brown Milk Sack.  Pour strained ginger juice into a glass container and store in your refrigerator.  When you are ready to use, just add the ginger tonic to water and enjoy.  The ratio of tonic to water is to your liking so try out some different ratios until you get the taste you like the best. You can also add more honey and fresh mint if you like.


Namaste.

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Woman in White

Woman in White

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Reading again, Woman in White, by Wilkie Collins.  After reading recently that books saved President Obama’s soul while serving us as President, I reflect on books that I treasure. Woman in White is one you won’t be able to put down.

This book was written in 1859, a long time ago but don’t let that put you off, and is considered by many as the first detective or mystery novel.  It was released in serial format at the time.  Remember how The Green Mile was released in 1996 by Stephen King?  Readers couldn’t wait for each installment to come out and the waiting just built on the suspense of the classic mystery.  Woman in White explores the unfair legal rights for married women to own property.  Sensational topic in its own right for the times, I am sure.

A close friend of Charles Dickens, William “Wilkie” Collins was one of the best known, best paid of Victorian fiction writers. He was born in London in 1824.  Collins studied law but never practiced and you can see his legal training influencing his writing. He wrote four major novels, The Woman in White (1860), No Name (1862), Armadale (1866) and The Moonstone (1868). With character names like Sir Percival Glyde, Count Fosco and Beautiful Laura, what’s not to like.  And the writing is fine too.

Hope you enjoy it as much as I do reading it (again).  Happy reading and to saving souls with good books…

1987

1987

In honor of Throwback Thursday I write this blog post.

I am on a planning committee for a party to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Women’s Policy Forum of Tarrant County.   We decided on a throw-back theme to the founding year, 1987. The party is open to the public on March 2nd at the Fort Worth Public Library as we wpfcelebrate Women’s History Month. Attendees are encouraged to wear 1980’s attire — you know, the big hair, puffy shoulder pads, and bangles in honor of the Bangles.  Here is the link to the schedule of events for the month:  Women’s History Month Schedule of Events

 

On the planning committee, I volunteered to prepare a song playlist for the party so over the holiday break I have been compiling a list.   This also happens to be the year that C1 was born.  Wow — 30 years ago in 2017.  Debbie Gibson made the list (double wow).  Love me some Heart and Bruce Hornsby. 

Here are the top hits with the Bangles Walk Like an Egyptian as No. #1!

Position  ▾ Artist Song Title
credit:  bobborst.com
1 Bangles Walk Like An Egyptian
2 Heart Alone
3 Gregory Abbott Shake You Down
4 Whitney Houston I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)
5 Starship Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now
6 Robbie Nevil C’est La Vie
7 Whitesnake Here I Go Again
8 Bruce Hornsby and The Range The Way It Is
9 Bob Seger Shakedown
10 Bon Jovi Livin’ On A Prayer
11 Los Lobos La Bamba
12 Wang Chung Everybody Have Fun Tonight
13 Crowded House Don’t Dream It’s Over
14 Atlantic Starr Always
15 U2 With Or Without You
16 Jody Watley Looking For A New Love
17 Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam Head To Toe
18 Tiffany I Think We’re Alone Now
19 Billy Idol Mony Mony
20 Billy Vera and The Beaters At This Moment
21 Chris De Burgh The Lady In Red
22 Whitney Houston Didn’t We Almost Have It All
23 U2 I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For
24 George Michael I Want Your Sex
25 Duran Duran Notorious
26 Debbie Gibson Only In My Dreams
27 Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes (I’ve Had) The Time Of My Life
28 Peter Cetera and Amy Grant The Next Time I Fall
29 Club Nouveau Lean On Me
30 Madonna Open Your Heart
31 Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam Lost In Emotion
32 Cutting Crew (I Just) Died In Your Arms
33 T’pau Heart And Soul
34 Kim Wilde You Keep Me Hangin’ On
35 Georgia Satellites Keep Your Hands To Yourself
36 Aretha Franklin and George Michael I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)
37 Janet Jackson Control
38 Prince U Got The Look
39 Linda Ronstadt and James Ingram Somewhere Out There
40 Genesis Land Of Confusion
41 Huey Lewis and The News Jacob’s Ladder
42 Madonna Who’s That Girl
43 Jets You Got It All
44 Samantha Fox Touch Me (I Want Your Body)
45 Michael Jackson and Siedah Garrett I Just Can’t Stop Loving You
46 Madonna Causing A Commotion
47 Genesis In Too Deep
48 Janet Jackson Let’s Wait Awhile
49 Huey Lewis and The News Hip To Be Square
50 Chicago Will You Still Love Me?
Thousand Steps Beach

Thousand Steps Beach

Thousand Steps Beach is a rocky beach below homes high on the bluff  near Shoreline Park in Santa Barbara, California.  To reach the beach at low tide, requires a long hike down a stairway.  The concrete stairs, originally constructed in 1923, have what seems like 1000 steps, but is actually closer to 150. On our recent holiday to California, we enjoyed watching the sunset from Shoreline Park and searched out Thousand Steps Beach one evening but returned the next morning to discover that the tides, at high tide, cover the entire beach and come up several feet on the concrete stairs which explains the erosion of the steps on the lower half.  So pretty that I had to take a posed picture of C2 and her fiance on the steps.

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Another fun find on our journey was the largest Moreton Bay Fig Tree in the United States.  It is hidden behind a very active Amtrak Train Station near State Street and the Stearns Wharf and was planted in 1876 and is estimated to be 80 feet tall.  There are signs all over it to keep folks off but when we stopped by two young kids were climbing all over her grand branches.  Hard to resist.

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It was a beautiful day to explore all of Santa Barbara and beside finding the majestic fig, we explored the more common tourists stops of the Courthouse and Mission Santa Barbara as well as walked State Street (all shopping and restaurants) and the wharf area.  While we were visiting some foolish tourist from Chicago, drove his car off the side of the wharf. Thankfully, he had just dropped of his wife and daughter at the ice cream store before he drove his rental off the side of the dock.  Something about mistaking the brake for the gas pedal?  How do you explain that one around the water cooler?

We had lunch on the one rainy day at the Cold Spring Tavern, outside of SB, warmed by a two-sided rock fireplace and great service. This place was originally a stagecoach stop back in 1865 and has been serving good grub ever since. We sampled buffalo burgers, venison and Tri-tip sandwiches.  Tri-tip is everywhere in this part of CA as I learned it originated just up the 101 at Santa Maria as a great cut to prepare like we do brisket or pot roast in Texas.

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As an alternative to wine, which is everywhere in these parts, we enjoyed an afternoon of watching bowl games and drinking Davy Brown Ale at the Fig Brewing Company  located near our motel.  We did the wine tasting thing, driving up into the scenic Santa Ynez Valley, but I have to say after a couple of stops, all four in our party were done with commenting about how “oaky” or “spicy” we found the small sips. How many souvenir wine glasses and bottles of wine can a girl pack in her suitcase?  Three to be exact.

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New Years Eve we dined at The Lark in the Funk Zone of Santa Barbara.  We sat outside between a heater and a fireplace on a very cool night, after a day of rain. The highlights for me were the oysters on the half shell sprinkled with chilled wine granita and salmon roe along with the scallops swimming in a lobster bisque.  Our dessert and New Year toast was with a great bourbon just to warm up.  Why is it that some of the warmest places to visit often seem the chilliest when you are not expecting it?

Did you know that Santa Barbara is very proud of their tacos?  Taco Trail is how it is billed. We tried a couple different varieties at La-Super Rica.  We were hyped up for fish tacos but on the night we visited we were limited to only beef and pork.  My favorite was the hand-made tortillas made fresh for each plate, grilled just right, as well as the general vibe of the place. The prices can’t be beat at $2.50/taco for most options.

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As always, travel experiences often bring surprises, plans not quite to perfection, but always we learn something new and unexpected about ourselves, the world we live in, as we take a thousand steps and more together in 2017.  Try not to fall off the dock.