Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Thanks for the ride

I grew up in a small town. There are high schools, in the area I live in now, that have more students than the entire population of my hometown.

I work downtown Norfolk, VA and it has been an adventure. Sometimes I reflect back on my childhood and wonder how the heck I ended up here.

My drive to work is like a scene from a cityscape Jurassic park. My entrance to the city begins with a long bridge overlooking a large bay and passes by one of the shipyards. If my windows are open I can smell the sweet scent of the saltwater mixed with the industrial smell of diesel and oil.

The bridge moves right into a tunnel. It passes under the waterway and leads to the city beyond. If I am lucky a ship will be passing over as I enter the tunnel. These ships range in size from small tugboats to the huge cruise ships. It is a strange sight to watch one of those behemoths pass over your head as you enter the tunnel.

Exiting the tunnel plunges me into the tangle of roads leading to downtown. Moving from single lane, to triple, to double lane (because of construction) and into stop and go traffic. The road guides me through an industrial jungle of tall buildings. Some of these are skeletal with huge cranes and excavators working around them. Others are glorious with their shiny new windows and paint. At certain points the construction equipment is almost close enough to touch (if you reach out of the window). The Neanderthal looking construction workers discourage any thoughts of this. The roar of the mechanical monsters, the smell of the exhaust, the thumping of jackhammers is all a bit overwhelming. At the same time it is fascinating and I am glad that the traffic is slow. This allows the country boy to rubber neck to his heart’s content.

What a strange journey life has taken. It makes me look forward to the rest.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Here is one for the foodies

We tried one of those Butterball precooked/smoked turkeys the other day. It was pretty good, but a little dry. If we find them on sale again we may just cut it up cold and heat it up that way (it may not come out as dry).

On the plus side, the turkey salad it made was outstanding. I used onion, granny smith apples, sweet relish, yellow mustard, horseradish, mayonnaise, turkey salt and pepper. I diced the apple and soaked it in water with half of a lemon squeezed into it. The contrasting textures and flavors is amazing. I like it as it is, but I toyed with the idea of adding raisins and/or dried cranberries as well.

If you are interested these are the approximate measurements (sorry I eyeballed the whole thing). All I can say is if it doesn't look like enough add more.

1 small onion (diced small)
2 small granny smith apples (diced)
4 to 6 cups of diced turkey
4T yellow mustard
6T mayonnaise (enough to cover everything)
2T horseradish (two big spoonfuls is what I used)
4T sweet relish
salt and pepper(freshly ground if you have it) to taste

Dice the apple first and soak it in lemon water while you get everything ready. I squeeze half of a lemon into a small bowl of water. Add all other ingredients into a bowl. Drain the apples and add those to the rest. Mix well.

Like all salads of this nature it tastes better the next day.

If you can wait.