Month: March 2019

Cake For Breakfast

If I want to give my husband a treat, I cook eggs and sausage for dinner. Breakfast-for-dinner has always been a favorite for my family.

Where did the idea of certain foods for breakfast come from anyway? I remember reading the Laura Ingles Wilder books to my children. She described a breakfast of leftover squirrel stew as her family traveled by wagon across the country. On the other hand, her husband Almanzo grew up on a farm in New York. He started the day with eggs, meat, and apple pie.

As a child of the sixties, I ate boxed cereal every morning. Sugary cereals were all the rage. Remember Cookie Crisp? Click on the picture to listen to their jingle.

Cereal was originally manufactured by Ralston Purina, the dog food company.

Apparently, cereals were developed as a healthy alternative to big farm breakfasts. When people moved from the farms into urban areas, they didn’t change their eating habits right away. Eating too much in the morning gave them indigestion. Grains instead of meat and eggs solved the problem. Cereal manufacturers made them easy to prepare and touted their health benefits.

The high sugar content was added later. As a human race, we specialize in over-doing things. I don’t think anyone touts the health benefits of Cookie Crisp. But, they add vitamins, so it’s all good, right?

By the time I was a teenager, I had learned that cake or pie made a perfectly fine breakfast, especially fruit pie. These things are no worse than boxed cereal. So, why not? I once heard a comedian read the list of ingredients in chocolate cake and compare it to the ingredients in breakfast cereal. It’s all the same.

Researching for this blog, I found an article entitled, Chocolate Cake For Breakfast Helps You Lose Weight, Says Science. I can get on board with that. I’m not sure I understand their explanation, but it’s on the internet, so it must be true.

Why don’t we eat salads for breakfast? Google showed a report about how few people eat salad in the morning but provided no explanation. I’ve never seen a salad on a breakfast menu.

I tried to find out where the three meals a day originated and how breakfast ended up being breakfast. Information was fuzzy. One source said the three meals started with the industrial revolution and revolved around factory schedules. Another reported that ancient Romans ate three meals a day, at least the wealthy ones did. That’s well before the industrial revolution.

Each society ate to suit its own circumstance, which had to do with work schedules and food preparation time. Higher class people ate three meals a day, while poorer classes didn’t. Farm workers ate heavy breakfasts to fuel up for the day.

Eggs and bacon are relatively quick to prepare, which is why breakfast-for-dinner is a treat for me, too. And it leaves the morning time slot open for cake.

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I Love A Party

. . . product party, that is.

A friend from church invited me to her essential oils party.

My reply, “I don’t know anything about essential oils, but I like to hang out with friends. I’ll come, but I don’t plan to buy anything.”—Famous last words.

She seemed okay with that. Having more guests adds to the party atmosphere, right? It’s not like I’m a moocher or anything, right? So, I went to her party. I ate her food. Played her games. And, of course, bought stuff. It always goes that way. I should know better.

Sometimes I use these parties as an opportunity to shop for family birthdays and Christmas. Why not spend my gift giving budget at my friend’s party? Then I’m not cutting into money that I plan to spend on myself. Certainly, my mother, sister, or daughter will enjoy one of these items. Apparently, I’ve purchased too many products for my daughter.

Before I went to the party, she said, “Don’t buy anything for me.

If she’d seen the sales pitch, she would want something.

What is the history of product parties? How long ago did they start? Colonial America? Ladies selling items to each other at the well or washing clothes together? Middle ages? Bible times? Lydia was a “seller of purple.” She could have gathered her friends to show her wares.

Nothing so exciting as that.

I wasn’t until the 1930s. They say, “there is nothing new under the sun.” But the 1930s is pretty recent. A door-to-door salesman for the Stanley Home Products Company increased his sales by demonstrating the products to a group of housewives—a “hostess” and her invited “guests.” An idea was born. Perhaps it has to do with mass manufacturing and affluence.

Tupperware was one of the early adopters of this sales technique. Click on the picture for a fun little time-trip.

This type of marketing targets women. What about men? Are there companies that create product parties for men?

In 2009, a company appropriately named Man Cave Products entered the marketplace. They sell meat, beer, and grilling tools. They call their parties “Meatings.” I promise it’s not a joke, here’s a link to their promotional video:

YouTube also has some actual video footage of Meatings—a bunch of guys standing around someone’s garage. Not nearly as exciting as the promotional video.

I asked my husband if his friends would like to attend a meating. He said they’d rather hunt for their own meat. Perhaps if he mentioned the grilling supplies . . . Or the free beer. The company actually offers free beer for their parties. “Hold my beer while I fill out this order form.”

I don’t see him attending a Man Cave party anytime soon. Maybe parties to sell power tools would interest him more. Drill and radial saw demonstrations.

On the other hand, perhaps it’s best to have only one family member spending money at parties.

I’ll go for the food and companionship and might accidentially come home with kitchen supplies, jewelry, and health supplements.

Hope my daughter has room for some essential oils.

 

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I’ll Take The Modest Hotel

Modestly priced hotels usually include hot breakfast, free wi-fi, parking, and an onsite, coin-op washing machine. Why do the fancy hotels insist on charging extra for basic amenities? The nicer the hotel, the more add-on fees. What is a resort fee anyway? I have no interest in a fridge full of high priced mini-bar food. What I need is a place to keep restaurant leftovers and the stuff from the cooler.

I’m not referring to cheap hotels with holes on the walls, stained carpets, and tiny critters looking for a new home.

I once stayed at the Ritz on a business trip. I felt fancy just saying the name of the hotel. It’s like the song.

The room was cozy but no different than a regular one. A co-worker thought she saw a movie star in the elevator. I don’t pay attention to celebrities. Not if it means giving up a free breakfast.

On another business trip, I spent two weeks with no washing machine. Dry cleaning bags hung in the closet awaiting my business. Four dollars to wash a pair of pants. I stuffed all my clothes in that plastic bag and schlepped it across the street to the Chinese Laundry where they charged by the pound.

I’ve attended conferences at swanky hotels with opulent common areas. To save money, I shared a room with three friends at the special conference rate. They squeezed us into a tiny room with no view. I think they reserve these rooms for cheap conferees. Breakfast was not included.

My daughter learned this lesson on her honeymoon. For the wedding night, she and her husband selected an expensive, historic hotel. On arrival, they discovered it wasn’t as nice as the modest hotel that housed the wedding party. They returned to the wedding party’s hotel the next morning for the free breakfast.

Smaller hotels (and motels) can include unique amenities. The Comfort Inn in Ouray, Colorado offers a squeegee and windshield washing fluid. Good for those who have been four wheeling all day and can’t see out of the Jeep windows.

I’m willing to give up some amenities to stay in a fun historic hotel. Although, more and more of these are adding the touches I expect. Someday I’ll stay in the Wigwam Motel in Holbrook, Arizona on the historic Route 66. For that, I’m willing to find my own food and stream data on my phone.

I’ve dipped my toe into the world of Airbnb’s. The first one I stayed at was quite nice. Exactly as expected. The second one, however, taught me to pay careful attention to the pictures. It was beautiful, but one of the two bedrooms was inside the only bathroom. The toilet had a little room, but from the bed, we could see inside the shower. Awkward.

Four of us shared that bathroom, so we gave the early risers the bed with the shower. Wouldn’t have been so bad if there was another bathroom.

If I stay at more Airbnbs, I’m sure to find lots of interesting blog topics.

Meanwhile, give me the cheap—I mean modest—hotels. They have all I need.

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