Thinking Spring! - Life ... It's Why We Cook. Blog at - 299572

Life ... It's Why We Cook.

Thinking Spring! 
Mar. 21, 2013 9:17 am 
Updated: Mar. 25, 2013 9:50 am
I love to read and if I can apply something to my life from what I have read, I feel gratified for having spent the time reading. Recently, I donated a large number of books to the local library for their annual book sale because they were taking up so much room and I wasn’t reading them. I felt that I had betrayed them. In reality, a book is meant to be read and not to be dusted so passing them on was a better act than keeping them.

Although easier to get to get away from, magazines have nearly the same effect. Combine one of my interests with a printed publication and I’m off to the recliner to read it from cover to cover, often falling asleep because of the sedative power that accompanies a good read.

Now, AR has provided a magazine that might get me out of that recliner before I fall asleep. Instead, I might leave that recliner to check for ingredients or (perhaps) to prepare a recipe. I’ll find out in a few months.

I planted my seed trays that will start the plants in the veggie patch. It seems a week or two late but with the winter hanging on I may wind up being good for it. I bought plants last year and too many were not what they were supposed to be. That cut us short on the canning and freezing. We have two small areas that did well for us last year and we will expand into a few other areas this spring. We will have container plantings of lettuce and annual herbs on the deck and parking space that serve to be decorative, as well. The perennial herbs have their own beds and they are established. Ms. Cat Hill gave me a Stevia plant last year at the roundup and it did not like being moved inside. It died back but I kept watering it and it now has five new shoots. It will have its summer home in the perennial herb bed.

Everybody One... Everybody Two... Everybody Free!

I borrowed those words from Bodeans song, "Closer To Free". If you click on this link, you'll know why. ... … This link was sent to me by the kind lady we call "mauigirl" who has been courageously fighting with her beloved son in his struggle with colon cancer. Both found out that they had to dig deep within themselves to maintain a winning fight. Her son, to find the strength to continue when the treatments were beyond bearable, and mauigirl with her unyielding support providing him the courage to face each treatment. Recently, a post- treatment PET Scan revealed no indication of cancer.

There are other members of this site that are in their own struggle to become "Closer To Free". Cancer patients are not the only ones fighting cancer. Any person knowing a cancer patient is in the fight too, whether actively or not. In a recent blog post, Baking Nana revealed that her niece is in a terminal fight with colon cancer. Ohio Chef’s husband has received the good news that his prostate cancer is in remission. I have correspondence with two other fighters and receive updates on two others all of whom wish to remain anonymous. I see posts on The Buzz about others and if you left a supportive comment, you are a fighter, also.

Several, in a very difficult battle of their own, have willingly and unselfishly taken a time out to ask about the welfare of another cancer fighter. That's a very human side effect of cancer. When stricken, they unite. It is a mortal battle that began without a choice of field or method of warfare. Nearly always it is a surprise attack. Cancer survivors have a mutual bond that brings them together. Nothing gets in the way of that bond, not gender, not race, not economic status, not IQ … nothing!

In the spirit of the cancer fighters and survivors, a team of caregivers has formed to participate in the Liberty Missouri Relay for Life. Right now, we are four from the membership of this site. ( does not, in any manner, support this participation.) We could use more walkers in the relay so, if a trip to Liberty, Missouri is to your liking, you can enter at the Liberty Missouri Relay for Life site. Our team name is, "Friends In the AiR" and you can sign up here:;pg=team&amp;team_id=1334712<

This event is the very same weekend as The Middle Of the Midwest Roundup that our very special Cat Hill is unselfishly hosting again. Two event in the same place on the same weekend!

The Relay for Life is the signature event of The American Cancer Society. Usually, it will last twelve hours, from evening until dawn. Some relays operate for 24 hours. The point is to keep walking or running to inspire people to donate to the event. All donations go directly to The American Cancer Society for research, treatments and survivor education. Our AR team, so far, is four walkers and two talkers. The talkers (cheerleaders) will keep the event in front of the AR membership while the walkers are active. Because the walkers have a roundup the same weekend, we walk only until the Luminaria Ceremony is done, around 10:00 pm. Your team has already registered $390.00 dollars.
Mar. 21, 2013 9:58 am
Thanks for the updates. I had not heard of the problems for mauigirl & BN's relatives. so sad. Cancer seems to be getting more widespread. We have had 2 deaths here in my new community & a couple of others w/new diagnoses. This is just what I've heard & I only have a small circle of folks that I know here. My cancer seems to be in remission still. Just the getting older is my main problem-LOL. One day at a time is the Battle Cry!
Mar. 21, 2013 10:49 am
Cancer affects so many. It has taken my aunt, mother and mother in law. I didn't make the walk in Kearney last year but the photos from it say it all! WOW already you have money to donate to the cause! Awesome!
Mar. 21, 2013 11:22 am
I am often amazed at how my wife faced her cancer so bravely, made decisions so purposefully and continued to live so peacefully. Cancer seems to bring out the best in people. I suppose it can also bring out the worst, but my experience has shown me the best in people. Julie is always looking out for people who need comfort and advice, or just a shoulder/ear when they start down that road of dealing with cancer in their lives. Thanks for doing this Mike and the other walkers and talkers! God bless.
Mar. 21, 2013 12:00 pm
My sister fought her battle with cancer and we were with her every step of the way, until it beat her and she passed away.That was 8 years ago,and the first time I ever faced cancer,but not the last,4 friends of ours are fighting that wretched thing.So far so good.I do a walk every year also,my sisters out west walk for CIBC run for the cure and I walk on my tread mill,only because i'm not with them.I did not know about you goodeats,or Baking Nana or mauigirl,and your wife Doc.Mike you also,my heart goes out to all of you take care the best way you can and hope someday soon there will be a cure.
Mar. 21, 2013 12:19 pm
I lost my husband and father withing 6 months of each other and while my father didn't technically die of cancer, it had so weakened him he had no reserves to fight pneumonia. Thankfully people do discuss it these days. When I was a child I can remember my grandmothers whispering about it as if it were shameful. The good news is more people are having their screenings and finding it earlier, with better outcomes. Mike, you have been such a wonderful example of facing it head on and fighting for your health and educating those of us who want to be supportive but need more information to know how to be helpful.
Mar. 21, 2013 2:12 pm
Good to have you here, goodeats! I think of you often and wonder how you are doing. Glad to see you are well! ... Yup! One day at a time!
Mar. 21, 2013 2:17 pm
I've lost family and friends too, Cat. I often think I would like to be hardened to it but I owe this life too much to not be involved in the cancer programs.
Mar. 21, 2013 2:19 pm
Our mauigirl is, indeed, every bit a warrior. This country needs a few million just like her.
Mar. 21, 2013 2:35 pm
Thank you, manella! Stand with your friends. They probably need you, at least for company.
Mar. 21, 2013 2:39 pm
BSM, my BIL died from a heart attack. That's according to the coroner, even though cancer had beat him down to nearly a walking skeleton. It's reports like this that cover up the real cancer death statistics.
Mar. 21, 2013 5:52 pm
Very nicely written thank you so much for your post.
Mar. 21, 2013 6:14 pm
Thank you, Joey Joan!
Mar. 21, 2013 7:32 pm
Mike, you know I'm on your team. My sister just had a lumpectomy done the other week and will need radiation. Thankfully, no chemo required - it had not spread to the lymph nodes. My parents both had a "touch" of cancer. Seems silly to call some cancer "not that bad," but theirs did not kill them or even disrupt their lives except for minor surgeries, compared to the devastating surgeries and treatments required for others. We will walk and support the cause!
Mar. 22, 2013 3:46 am
You are right, MB! Some of us feel lucky in that our case "was nothing" when compared to so many others. Personally, I don't want to repeat it. I was fortunate that one of the post surgery symptoms was complete loss of feeling at the surgical site so pain levels were minimal. I shudder when I think of what mauigirls son went through. ... Supporting the the efforts to counter the effects of cancer and post cancer has so much importance for the future and the donations of our Relay for Life guarantee a portion of that future.
Mar. 22, 2013 11:27 pm
Mike, it is so wonderful you are so involved with this relay for life. My Mother passed from cancer 7.5 years ago and after 50 years of marriage my Dad eventually found the courage to move on. A while later he met someone else. He married her and she passed from the same disease 2.5 years ago. Last February I found out my Dad had prostate cancer. That was a week before the relay for life was held on St John, USVI. I walked the whole 18 hours straight with the help of my friends. Amazingly, on an island of only 4000 year round residents (and many generous tourists) we raised over $100,000. People really can make a difference. This terrible thing affects all of us and I applaud you with all my heart for doing so much for this cause. Thank you so much for this post. -Lara
Mar. 23, 2013 3:59 am
That is an amazing R4L, Lara! Well done! I wish your dad well during his recovery and happiness and health for his future.
Mar. 23, 2013 10:47 am
God bless you, Mike for all of this. My prayers to Maui girl and BN and their families, and to all who are battling this affliction. Cancer has been prevalent in my family as well, my dad recently passing away as did all of his family, as a result, either directly or indirectly.
Mar. 25, 2013 9:50 am
Thank you, petey! It seems when cancer gets a toehold in a family, that it will quickly make that family predisposed to its vicious attacks. You and your surviving family should be very alert with your health.
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Mike Harvey, daPITA

Living In
Battle Creek, Michigan, USA

Member Since
Dec. 2008

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Grilling & BBQ, Frying, Stir Frying, Mexican, Italian, Southern, Gourmet

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About Me
At age 16, I began cooking when my mother was injured in an accident that kept her off her feet for five weeks. At first, my repertoire was fried hot dogs with pork and beans, boiled hot dogs with macaroni and cheese or pizza from a box. After a couple weeks of this, my younger brother was the first to protest and demand variety and my dad was quick to support him. That was my first cooking challenge, learning to plan a meal. About that time, mom returned from the hospital and from her bed, began teaching me things like roast beef, fried chicken, stews and all the sides and trimmings. In 1967, I married and my wife designated herself as the cook and this continued until 1999. It was then that I (voluntarily) began cooking again. At some point, I realized that I was having fun and began searching for recipes that were more challenging and interesting. I found AR and used it's recipes for a long time before registering and later becoming an active member.
My favorite things to cook
Soups. How can I go wrong? They are a great way to use up leftovers and those veggies that are approaching the end of their usefulness. They are always an original recipe. Roasts and steaks are favored, also. Getting the right "doneness" and choosing appropriate sides for a tastey and attractive meal is a continuing and always evolving menu.
My favorite family cooking traditions
If creating impulsive menus and recipes is a tradition then, (I guess) we have a tradition. A new tradition is developing. I have a fruitcake recipe that, I believe, is near perfection. I make it just before Thanksgiving so it is aged enough for the Christmas/ New Year holidays.
My cooking triumphs
Without a doubt, my own recipe for a Reuben Sandwich. It has been a demanded item for many years and I shared it in my AR blog.
My cooking tragedies
Too many. I have been able to throw them out and have something new before my wife gets home. Most of the time, anyway.
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