Monday, January 26, 2004

What? Monday again already???? (scroll down for the "Monday Madness" quiz)

Week-ends really do fly by on wings of mercury!

It was a pretty good one in the Swanson household, except for the cold temperatures outdoors. Friday night I went to a high school basketball game with my husband, my daughter, and Ray. My musing after watching a high school dance team there: do today's dads really NOT have a problem with their daughters bumping-and-grinding in revealing clothes for everyone to whoop and whistle at? My dad wouldn't have let me out the door, much less on the gym floor. Oh well, I guess this is a different era.

Saturday night, it was dinner at Chili's, where I got my regular fix of chips and salsa. I could just about drink that salsa.

Church on Sunday, and I made beef stew. It necessitated getting up even earlier that usual in the morning to chop veggies, brown stew meat and throw everything in the crockpot, plus make a pan of cornbread. But it was sure worth it when we came home to the fragrant aroma and didn't have to wait for lunch. Get the bowls out, warm the cornbread up in the microwave, put ice in the glasses, and lunch is ON.

Here's how I make my beef stew, if you're interested (it's definitely not rocket science!) :)


1 package of stew meat pieces
Seven or eight potatoes, peeled and cut up in chunky pieces
1 package baby carrots (cut each carrot in half if you wish)
1 can mixed vegetables
1 can green beans
1 large can tomato sauce
1 and a half packets beef stew mix

Brown the stew meat in a little oil. (My mom advocates dipping the pieces in salt-n-peppered flour first, but I don't always take the time to do that.) While browning, chop up veggies and put them in the crock pot. Add tomato sauce (you can add a can of diced tomatoes if you like--my family just doesn't like to SEE tomato pieces in anything. Weird, I know.) Add canned veggies, INCLUDING the juice. (This might also be a good time to get rid of left-over veggies that may be in the fridge and are still good.) Pepper the meat and add some seasoned salt if you like, then dump in the crockpot with everything else. Add beef stew mix ( I find using half of a second envelope intensifies the flavor a bit, but that's optional.)

When making this in the crock-pot, you probably won't need to add extra liquid...but if you're making it in a big pot, you'll probably need to add at least a cup of water, maybe more. Play it by ear.

If using a crock-pot, cook on HIGH for four or five hours.

Yum. There is some left over, and you can bet that's what I'll be having for lunch today!

Another review of "The Passion of the Christ"

Kevin Young reviews The Passion of the Christ in his blog today. Like every review from a believer I've read or heard, it's overwhelmingly positive...but he does caution that "graphic" is an understatement:

"There were times when the violence was so intense that I had to turn my head away... There were times when the sounds of His beatings were so realistic that I wished I were brave enough to cover my ears...

"Mostly though, the pain from my own guilt and shame pierced deeper than any brutal image the movie offered."

Obviously, this is not the kind of movie that one "enjoys." Rather, from all accounts I've heard so far, it is one to experience and ponder. Many use the word "life-changing."

OK, I admit it...

I'm a sucker for these blog quizzes! I've jumped on board with the Friday Five and even the Tuesday, on Beverly's blog (which I really enjoy, by the way!) I find Monday Madness, which I hereby reply to:

1. The one kitchen appliance I just could not live without is: it would be my dishwasher if I had one, BUT I DON'T!!!!! :( So I will have to say, my microwave. I do use it constantly.

2. My desk always looks like: a federal disaster area. Except when I get an industrious/guilty streak and put it in perfect order...and it lasts a couple of weeks before slowly deteriorating again.

3. The clocks in my house are: some are right on time; one is about five minutes fast, and my radio alarm clock is fifteen minutes fast. Don't ask.

4. The one television program I just can't stand is: Bev said "Fear Factor," and I AGREE!!!! If I had HBO, I'm sure there would be other replies. But I see no redeeming value in people eating the live insects or animal's rectums. Eeewww.

5. The one television program I try to never miss is: Actually, there is not one that I try never to miss, although I like several.

6. When it comes to housework, I really hate: Bev said "cleaning the oven," and I'd have to agree. Cleaning out the refrigerator, especially when I've allowed left-overs to turn into mould-producing experiments, would be a close second.

7. If I could re-design my living room, the first thing I would do: Re-design? I'd have a fireplace. If I were re-modeling, the first thing I would do would be to get new carpet.

8. I wish I had a bigger_______ in my house: The size of everything is OK...I wish I had a dining room and another upstairs bathroom.

9. When someone points a camera at me and says 'Smile!' I usually: Obey, but inwardly grimace, wondering how it's going to turn out, and do I have any lip gloss on?

10. I expect I'll have my income tax done by: My husband will have it done. By midnight on April 15th. :)

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