Public Service Announcement: Art of the Dutch Oven

Hello everyone. My name is Uncle Lewis and welcome to my first EVER blog post. As some of you know, I am a huge supporter of Aunt Bethany. I have known her for over 8 years and fall more and more in love with her with each day.

image

In a point of my life that is at its darkest, Aunt Bethany’s blog has been a ray of sunshine and a source of inspiration. I look forward every day to breaking away from my life just to read her thoughts and admire a woman who can do it all. This blog is another way to glance into the wonderful mind that is Aunt Bethany. I have constantly been impressed with her style of writing and her sense of humor. Reading the comments from all of you, I know I am not the only one.

We have tossed around the idea of me doing a guest post for some time, but I am NOT a writer, nor do I pretend to be. So, at the risk of having this post being horrendous, I give you a P.S.A. on the art of the “Dutch Oven”, in hopes it will make you smile and stick around while AB takes a much needed break. Don’t go far, she will return very soon, totally recharged and ready to wow us all with her intelligence and wit. For my part, I promise not to make this a habit!


P.S.A. #2:  The Art of the Dutch Oven

Where did the term “Dutch Oven” come from?

clip_image002A Dutch oven is a cast iron cooking pot with a tight-fitting lid. The heavy lid fits so well that steam cannot escape the pot while it is cooking. All the ingredients in the pot are cooked at the same time, trapping juices and aromas together while it bakes. According to Wikipedia, the Dutch were far more advanced than the English at cooking in this style. An Englishman named Abraham Darby went to the Netherlands and took this cooking style to America where it was patented.

Through the years, the term Dutch Oven has taken on a different meaning. The definition remains:  a chamber to seal in juices and aromas in an enclosed space…but the application has evolved.

The new wrinkle often appears when two people really love each other. There comes a point in a great relationship where the happy couple becomes very comfortable with each other. Walls are broken down, couples become more relaxed, and nothing can be hidden. So many wonderful things happen at this point in the relationship… and some NOT so wonderful things happen. There is one fact that seems to evade our thought process as a relationship evolves. Remember… everyone poops!clip_image004

More than that, everyone toots.

I care not who you are…at some point air must come out of your body, and there are only two exits. So, when two people get comfortable enough with one another, they share even the deepest, darkest things. They have such a desire to share everything…even their aromas. Thus, the art of the Dutch Oven was born.

Again, according to Wikipedia, a Dutch Oven (a.k.a. a “covered wagon”), is a toot chamber created by pulling a blanket over someone’s head and breaking wind, typically not to the delight to the partner.

Depending on what type of food is consumed, you can name your Dutch Oven accordingly…examples include:

  • White Castle Dutch Oven
  • McDonalds Dutch Oven
  • Bean Dip Dutch Oven
  • Beer Dutch Oven (especially bad the next morning)
  • Extra Hot Chicken Wings Dutch Oven

clip_image006

Sometimes Dutch Ovens are done on accident…sometimes they are done on purpose. The act is not only limited to just the bedroom… and it is not always at the expense of others. It is totally possible to Dutch Oven yourself!

clip_image008

Examples of places you can be sealed up in your own poison are:

  • Space suits
  • Deep sea diving suits
  • Your own car
  • In the doctor’s office while you wait for the doctor
  • A cube or office at work.

clip_image009I have heard rumors of shopping at “Bed Bath and Beyond” and being Dutched Oven by a loved one while walking down the aisles, but this is technically NOT a Dutch Oven because of the open air.

Both parties in a relationship are open game for such displays of love. In some cultures, once you Dutch Oven a loved one, you are technically considered married.

The most important thing to remember is that it is a display of love and devotion. It is a sign the relationship has taken a step in the right direction. It shows a level of comfort between two people, a level most couples strive to attain. It should be welcomed with open arms and intense cuddling afterward.

It should not be met with disdain or comments like:

“Uncle Lewis, that is just plain nasty, you should be ashamed of yourself.”

Or

“If you do that again, you are going to be sleeping on the couch.”

Or

“How can you tell me you love me then try to kill me?!?”

Remember, it’s the smell of love in the air….

I have a confession to make…

I will be writing absolutely nothing of any worth this week!

NOTHING!

image

It's neon so it's official.

Don’t expect greatness this week, dear readers.  Heck, don’t even expect mediocrity.  This week, I’m going for rock bottom!  No holds barred!  I will work my hardest to turn out absolutely nothing worth reading!

image

A round of Mad Libs would produce better writing.

I’m pushing myself extremely hard this week to produce a few short posts that will not be award-winning, tear-inducing, nor smile-evoking.  Any why am I working overtime to produce articles a 3-year-old could have written?  Well, I’m glad that you asked!

Why I’m Not Writing Much This Week

(A.K.A. “Excuses, Excuses, Excuses”)

1.) I’m hyped up on Zicam, Benadryl, Ibuprofen, Robitussin, Throat Coat and Chocolate

imageimageimageimageimageimage

I’m sick!  Or rather, I’ve been sick since Thursday.  What started off as a nagging head cold turned into a monster which has kept my energy low and my medicine cabinet occupied.  I’ve been trying my best to rest and catch up on sleep, but life keeps chugging away…and my nose keeps running.

My typical writing time ranges anywhere from 10:00 PM-1:00 AM…not exactly a perfect time to be creative when you’re left nostril is plugged and your close friend Tylenol PM is urging you towards your pillow.

2.) I’m in a musical which opens this week!

image

If you’re even the tiniest familiar with theatre, you know that there are dozens of elements which go into the production of a show.  After 2 months of rehearsal, the actors, stage crew, musicians, et al enter in to what we theatre folks call “Hell Week”, a.k.a “Tech Week.”

Tech Week: (noun) the four rehearsals leading up to opening night of a show; costumes, lighting, sound, microphones and  pit musicians are all added during this week, causing anxiety, stress, nervous, breakdowns, tears, and hysterical whimpering to all involved; copious amounts of wine, beer, and/or sleep are needed during this time

So, as you can assume, my #1 Reason for not blogging a lot this week does NOT go well with my #2 Reason.  Being sick during a tech week is like having to do jury duty while you’re giving birth.  It’s ain’t pretty.

Plus, my voice has dropped nearly an octave…I sound like a drag queen after a really rough evening involving alcohol, string cheese, and a Super Soaker gun…don’t ask.  Because my part in the show requires a lot of singing, I’ve gotta rest up for opening night on Thursday.

3.) I got a substitute teaching gig!

image

Yep, that’s right!  I got dealt some pretty lucky cards, and I will be filling in as a music sub on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday of this week.  Which means that, on those days,  from 7:20 AM –2:35 PM, I will be purposely adding more stress to my body on a week where it would much rather stay in bed and eat bon bons.  Still, I’m not complaining! Work is work!

So there you have it! Three solid reasons why you may discover sub-par postings from me this week.  I’m not dead, I haven’t moved to Hawaii (although I’d like to), I’m not on some secret CIA mission, and I’m not in rehab (Charlie Sheen beat me to it).

I apologize in advance on a commenting front as well:  I’m purposely making myself take some time away from the computer in order to let my body get some decent sleep at night, which means that I won’t be reading many articles this week.  Trust me, to quote from one of my favorite movies, The Godfather, “it’s not personal, it’s business.”

So, there you have it.  Oh, and one more thing…

Leave the gun, take the cannoli…

image

What the #FF?!?: Blogger’s Choice Awards

My site was nominated for Best Humor Blog!

LOOK!

Admittedly, I did a little P.R. work for myself yesterday.  As I was reading one of my new favorite blogs, 20 Prospect, I stumbled across a badge of his:

image

Intrigued, I clicked on the link and found myself at the Blogger’s Choice Awards.I began to browse the site, and realized that the good people at the B.C.A.s host an open-voting competition to filter out the true blogging gems from the rest of the rabble.

Anyone can vote, for any blog, at any time.  You are restricted to one vote per blog, but you get an unlimited number of votes.  Like a site you see?  Send them a vote.  Like their design?  Send them a vote.  Cast as many votes as you wish!

Seeing that Oprah was not about to nominate my blog anytime soon, I did a little shameless self-promotion and entered my blog in 3 categories: Best Humor Blog, Best Pop Culture Blog , and Best Blog About Stuff. You can click on any of these categories and choose to send a little voting love my way.  And, you can also check out some other blogs in these categories as well!  It’s a great networking tool!

I’m not sure what the winners receive, but I’m sure it’s something like the Holy Grail, Tom Hanks’ toupee, and the original painting of the Mona Lisa…I think…

image

And while you’re at it, why don’t you vote for 20 Prospect in the Hottest Daddy Blogger category? I stumbled onto his site while reading one of my current subscriptions, and any guy who gives out Unicorns Humping Leg Lamp Awards is a-okay in my book.

image

I’m just discovering the in’s and out’s of his blog, but he recently published a beautifully written post on love, loss, and everything in between.  I was so moved by his writing that I absolutely had to feature him during my Friday post.  Suffice it to say, I had to break out the tissue box, AND the Swiss chocolates to recover.

So, strap on your hiking gear, dear readers!  For What the #FF?!? Friday, we’re taking a field trip over to 20 Prospect’s blog and reading his article “Bridgeport Ferry.” I hope you’ve turned in all your permission slips…last one to the bus is a moldy tub of Cool Whip!


To learn more about the Blogger’s Choice Awards, click here.

To read 20 Prospect’s blog, click here.

Prompter’s Roulette: Ode to a Stale Cookie

Welcome back to another Plinky Prompts Thursday! I am your host, Aunt Bethany, and I’ll be—

What?!? We’ve re-named our traditional Thursday posts?  Why didn’t anyone tell me? God, this is embarrassing…of all the stupid, inconsiderate mistakes…

image

Forgive me for the error, but it appears that we here at Miracle on 32nd Street will be labeling our Thursday prompt-centered posts as Prompter’s Roulette posts, a change from our usual Plinky Prompt Thursday posts.

As of late, I’ve been taking prompts from several different websites (not just Plinky), and it seemed erroneous to label my Thursday prompts as Plinky.  I’ll still be drawing from that website, but now I have the option to pick and choose between the prompts that land at my feet…kind of like Roulette.  I don’t know what I’m getting, but I’ll write on just about anything!

So, without further ado-ring Justin Bieber fans, I present to you my prompt for the week, straight from Mama Kat’s Pretty Much World Famous Writer’s Workshop:

2.) Write a love poem to a favorite food.


Ode to a Stale Cookie

IMG_0898

I remember life, flavor, zest

A presence of spirit, an offering of comfort

You, with your ruby red gems and your bittersweet memories,

You…you…gave up on me too soon


Life was a bowlful of cherries

(and eggs and sugar and flour and butter)

From humble beginnings, you molded yourself into a raw, doughy being,

not strong enough yet to stand


Decorating yourself with the darkest of chocolates and the richest of berries,

you separated yourself from the rest of the pack,

whittling and rounding your rough edges

into a sphere of endless possibility


You sat patiently, enduring heat and strife,

growing harder to the world as each minute passed

And, at 12 minutes old, you emerged from the fire

in a blaze of triumph and glory


You were volatile and hot, and scalded my hands

I waited for you with excitement and love

And when finally, you cooled to my sensitive touch,

you caressed my lips, and my joy became real


I was smitten with you, as you were with me

Every morning I indulged in some of your clones

But, as our courtship progressed, you grew distant and cold

And quickly our love began to fade


Your touch was so hard, your spirit was mute

Extra effort was needing to enjoy every bite

I gave you my all, I dunked you in milk,

until one day, you broke me, and chipped my front teeth


Now, I’m left with the memory of our love affair

I’ll never be whole, my heart is now changed

I’ll cry over you as you sit in the trash,

lamenting our—wait, is that cake?!?

Mama's Losin' It

I Let the Light In

IMG_1040

I let the light in today

Tossed aside the shades and drew the windows wide,

to glimpse upon a beam of golden hope,

a ray of brilliance amidst the dark winter cold


I never had dared let the light in before

For fear that it wouldn’t be mine to keep

A well-guarded window kept safe all I guarded,

a shade to protect against all I held dear


Yet, a small, quiet voice urged me onward today

Steeling my courage, making me bold

And I stepped out from darkness to look at the sky

A sight I had dreamed of, but never pursued


The light was dazzling, although small

peaking through the clouds, daring to shine

It flickered with uncertainty, almost disappearing

A glimmer of promise…but, the light was there


My eyes rebelled at the glorious sight,

for no light had ever shone like this before

So, I silenced my mind, and opened my heart

And took every ounce of it in


I gazed at the light, embracing its warmth,

and the joy that I felt grew inside

I let myself dream, and I let my heart dance

and my soul felt complete and whole


And my spirit knew true happiness

as I dared to indulge in this dream

But I knew, how I knew, that the light could not stay,

and the clouds gently took it away


A sigh of resignation escaped my lips.

I knew I had stolen a moment or two

with a light that inspired me, thrilled me, warmed me

A moment of hope amidst a season of gray


I let myself take just a minute or two

to delight in the thoughts of all that could be

I let the light in for a second today

to imagine what joy and bliss true love could bring.


Welcome to my second addition of poetry to the site!  Here’s a poem that actually was part of a larger work, but I decided to ultimately cut that down and make two different poems.  It’s counterpart will focus around a meadow scene, so be sure to look for that one in the upcoming weeks.  Ideally, I’d love to edit this one and adapt it to fit a solid rhyming scheme.  I just had to get these thoughts down last night, and I knew that if I became too concerned with rhyming, I wouldn’t be as articulate and truthful with my words.

The picture above is also mine.  It was taken around sunset, in a moving car, while riding to Cleveland, Ohio…the sun was a lovely winter gold that afternoon.

Happy reading, all!

Public Service Announcement: Hanger Safety

As a service to the public and to the members of the Blog-O-Sphere, Miracle on 32nd Street will now regularly partake in selected Public Service Announcements.  It is an undertaking I feel will help alert the masses to hidden dangers lurking in unforeseen locations.  I have to believe that all time spent on this endeavor is no time wasted, and it is my fervent wish that you all will support me in this.


P.S.A. #1:  Hanger Safety

Mankind has long been the manufacturer of many products which have, inadvertently, become serious safety and health hazards.  Cars can swiftly transfer us from one destination to another, but traffic-related injuries are staggering.  Fires can keep us warm and prepare our meals, but our invented heat can scald as fast as it can boil.  Electricity illuminates our lamps, but can deliver a fatal shock in the blink of an eye.  And burritos, while satisfying and delicious, can wreak unfathomable havoc on our digestive systems.

Guacamole

I shouldn't have asked for that extra side of guacamole...

Photo by J-Cliff

Today’s P.S.A. highlights a lurking danger in millions of homes across America.  This danger lures many to employ it on a regular basis.  No…not Peanut M&Ms.  No…not DVDs featuring Pauley Shore.  The danger I speak of…are hangers.

Clothing

Approach with caution.

Photo by Manne-King

Nay, not airplane hangars…clothing hangers.  These seemingly harmless inventions are responsible for worldwide closet organization, but are also the harbingers of angst, frustration, and severe humiliation.  Don’t believe me?  Watch below and see for yourself:

Hangars: Man-Made Death Traps

Do you notice the fear and self-loathing in her eyes?  Do you see how she can barely look at me when I ask her questions?  And do you see the sheer humiliation in her face when she relegates herself back to her own crate?  This is madness, I say.  Utter madness.

I urge you to take special precautions when dealing with clothing hangers of any variety (yes, even the kinds that look like satin pillows…they are the most deadly):

Closet

Don't be fooled by their shimmery glow.

Photo from Only Hangars

Reckless behavior around these objects can result in gouged eyeballs, wrinkled clothes, trapped animals, and stolen vehicles.  Approach all hangers with extreme caution and do not provoke them.  Behavior specialists claim that hangers act favorably towards being hung on a suspended pole in a dark, secure area, and appreciate long, billowy layers of fabric on their beings.  Great attention to these details will ensure a safe household, and a safe America.

This has been a P.S.A., brought to you by Miracle on 32nd Street, in partnership with All Things Fnkybee and The Edmonton Tourist.  Safe living, America!

Hangars

This is an Un-Post

Nope.  No real posts here.

Nada.

Zilch.

Zip.

Zero.

If you’re looking for a real post, try Chase’s latest conversation with his two-year-old. Or Kuhlair’s blog, which features some really awesome pics of the Trevi Fountain in Rome. Or, heck…stumble on over to Clay’s site for an interesting article about Katy Perry and Kelly Clarkson (if you can survive the eye rolls and disgusted sighs that you just did….honestly…it’s a great post).

But, alas…this is not a real post…this is an un-post…the by-product of a busy weekend, filled with rehearsals, voice lessons, vomiting dogs, baked burritos, snore-inducing sermons, Wal-Mart runs, and Moulin Rouge viewings.  I had every intent to write a post today…but, life just got in the way.

So, if a blogger intends to write a post in a forest, and no one sees a post, do they still get credit, hits, and a chance to be Freshly Pressed?!?  Ehh…probably not.

image

I was going to write you poetry, dear readers.  I was going to wax nostalgic about past trips to Italy and NYC.  I was going to write another Stick Figure Movie Reviewabout the cotton candy rom-com Letters to Juliet. But, instead I:

1.) Drank two huge glasses of wine

2.) Cleaned up pet stains on my carpets with Oxy-Clean

3.) Did the Saturday Night Fever dance move 37 times at a rehearsal

4.) Indulged in a Baja Chalupa from Taco Bell

5.) Wrote a to-do list while in church, “listening” to a sermon

6.) Steamed my laundry while listening to the recording of Dreamgirls

7.) Ate Baby Back Ribs flavored potato chips for dinner

So, as you can see, I had a massively productive weekend, and that, my friends, is why I cannot offer you anything substantive or worthwhile today.  What I can offer you is this:

image

It’s funny because the cat is wearing a hat!

Or this…

image

I bet he never leaves the house.

Or even this golden nugget…

image

Kind of a convenient place for a Lost-and-Found…

But I can, and will not, be able to offer you any worthwhile post today, featuring funny images, a recap of my weekend, and light banter between author and reader…

 

Wait…

 

 

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 41 other followers