Thanksgiving Is for Family, Not Shopping

What is wrong with us as a society? Why do we fuel the retail stores encroachment on Thanksgiving? This has always been a family event, a day of rest, food, fun and football. It has been about cooking for days, getting together having time together. It has never until recently been about getting the best deal on Thanksgiving at Sports Authority or Macy’s.

When I was younger I worked for McDonalds for 14 years. When Ray Kroc was alive McDonalds was closed two days a year, Thanksgiving and Christmas. Not anymore, they are open both days, interrupting family and it makes me ashamed that I worked for them. All of this bleed through into the holiday of working and of shopping I believe shows us the reason we see a lot less caring for each other as a society. We have forgotten what it’s all about: Family


We watch football, we eat, we sit around, we take naps and eat some more. We get together with family we maybe haven’t seen in a year or maybe more. It’s about family and being part of a family. The love, the caring about each other, not going out to get a deal on a TV before Black Friday.

Think about it the next time you are cut off in traffic, someone is rude to you in a store or a help desk employee isn’t very helpful. We have forgotten about family, how to be nice to each other, how to just be with each other and c are about each other.

I hope you enjoy your Thanksgiving!


Diabetes, Stars, Media. Who Do We Trust?

I’ve been watching and tweeting about current events recently that I have a close tie to, or an opinion that I felt needed to be expressed. In the last day we’ve had “The Huffington Post” and CBS Sports report the death of Joe Paterno before the family made an announcement that he had passed away. In the past week we’ve had a Food Network Star, Paula Deen, announce that she had had Type 2 diabetes for 3 years and did not tell anyone while continuing to do her cooking shows promoting unhealthy foods. As a disclaimer I also follow the Food Network Chopped Judges, and Anthony Bourdain on Twitter because I like to see what they have to say and if they have any helpful hints.

Joe Paterno Passes Away

While on Google+ Saturday night I saw a post in my stream from the Huffington Post that said that Joe Paterno had passed away. They were also saying that CBS Sports was reporting the passing also so I immediately did a Google search with no success on his passing. I also opened a few tabs and went to all the major web sites for news and sports. All of those sites were still reporting that Paterno was in serious condition, but still alive. This made me think that this was a false report from media journalist again trying to get the jump on a news story. The Huffington Post report this news right around 9pm and retracted at 9:17pm.

Jay Paterno tweeted at 9:21pm “I appreciate the support & prayers. Joe is continuing to fight.”

At 10:13pm he then tweeted “Drove by students at the Joe statue. Just told my Dad about all the love & support–inspiring him.”

I feel that it is poor journalism to report on something just for the sake of getting a headline. There are a lot of journalist that I converse with and have a lot of respect for, but it is the blood sucking major media moguls that want the money and the scoop that give the rest of the media a bad name. The same thing is going to happen as we get into the election season with the different Networks giving their political slant on what they want you to believe.

Paula Deen Diabetic and Unaware

If you follow me on Twitter, you know that I am diabetic and have had a hard time controlling the disease until just recently when I actually put my mind to it and started eating right and exercising. I know from experience that you can control your diabetes, but you cannot eat the food that Paula Deen cooks on her Food Network shows or puts in her cookbooks.

Paula Deen announced on the Today Show this past week that she has had diabetes for 3 years, but hid that fact from the world. All that time she has still been cooking the high sugar, high carbs, high fat foods on her shows as before she was diagnosed. To me that is morally wrong and deceiving to people that watch her. She even had the nerve to say that it’s okay to eat a piece of that cake that has so much sugar and butter in it that you would raise your blood sugar to coma levels, just don’t eat the cake. I am here to tell you that it is NOT okay to eat just a piece of that cake. As a diabetic you need to control intake of sugar, carbs and fat very carefully and that 1 slice, guessing here but probably close, has 400-500 calories and 40-60 grams of sugar/carbs in it. That is multiple days worth of sugar for a diabetic. The calories in that one piece of cake can be split into much healthier foods over the course of a day that are just as tasty.

At the same time Ms. Deen has been hiding her diabetes and cooking unhealthy food, she has become a spokesperson for a diabetes drug manufacturer. Doesn’t that smack of being hypocritical? It’s not the drugs that keep your numbers in line while eating all that unhealthy food. It’s eating right, exercising and getting the proper rest that brings your diabetes under control. The medication is there as a support to what your body can’t do when you do the right things with it.

Paula Deen, you owe an apology to your fans, and all diabetics worldwide.

Final Thoughts and Kudos

I mentioned above that I follow the Food Network Judges from Chopped. I enjoy see what they have to say, the tips and recipes that they share. But, it is again the thing of sometimes sharing the decadence of a scone that is 500 calories, but never sharing a fresh healthy choice that makes me wonder if people actually understand that diabetes is one of the leading killers in the world.

I do want to give kudos to the newest Iron Chef Geoffrey Zakarian for his honest, helpful, tweets. He also gives all perspectives, including his asking his followers for suggestions for a kid friendly dish that he developed just recently. If you want to follow someone that is a chef and is willing to give you great information you should be following Chef Zakarian:

Chef Zakarian on twitter

Chef Zakarian on Facebook

Holidays Mean Downtime

Because I work in a school district, the holidays mean almost two full weeks of no school or work. That is a lot of time that I have to my family and other stuff. It also means that I am not doing a lot with education or technology. Downtime means family time and you don’t want to hear about the 50 times my son asked me to read “Dora and the Mystery of the Missing Shoes” to him, or the time that I’ve spent playing with my daughter and her new 45” tall Doll house. I could tell you about the two hour drive around Sarasota we took to look at Christmas lights or the evening we spent seeing Santa and the lights at Jungle Gardens.

But, I will share with you the homemade cranberry sauce that I made with my son for the first time. I’ve made it every year for the last 3 years with my daughter and it’s now my son’s turn. My daughter loves to cook because my wife and I have spent the time to involve her. I started cooking because of the Galloping Gourmet Graham Kerr and my Aunt Harriet when I was 10 years old. That was an extremely happy time for me and I want to give that experience to my children. Camille has moved onto baking with my wife, but I hope to get her back into cooking main course food when she is a touch older. As for Andrew, he just wanted to jump in and help me prepare everything, put everything into the saucepan and stir it together before I moved it to the stove to cook. I enjoyed watching him light up and ask to help me. It has come full circle, I now know how my Aunt Harriet felt seeing me do something that she loved and was sharing with me.

I’m glad that she is still with me in my heart and memories so that I can share her with my kids. So that I know how to share with them and enjoy it.