Good Eats: Impossible Burger

#foodiefriday entry

As a kid, I was a pretty picky eater. Didn’t like many sauces and wasn’t happy with spices or trying odd foods. As an adult, I am willing and wanting to try new foods and there are a ton of choices out there. I think it’s been a couple of years now when I first heard about a vegan burger patty that looked so much like a meat burger, people were making waiters take their food back to the kitchen because they thought the waiter got the order wrong. Turns out it just was that good of a meatless patty. I was intrigued and wanted to give it a try but just never got around to buying it in a restaurant or grocery store.

Yesterday, I was heading out to a happy hour at a wine bistro place in town. I saw that they do burger and wine deals on Thursdays and one of the choices was with the Impossible burger. I jumped for joy. (Not really, but was happy for sure seeing that). As soon as I got in the door and sat down to order, I pointed to the burger and said that was what I wanted.

If I hadn’t known that it was vegan, I would have thought it a good flavored meat burger. They had added aioli, greens, pepper jam, vegan mozzarella, crispy onions & avocado (I had it without the vegan bun). I recommend and it is definitely worth a taste, it was super yummy.

Find out more about the Impossible Foods here.  Have you tried it? 

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Crab Feeds

Do you like crab? Seems that crab season also creates a crab FEED season that are usually fundraisers for schools, churches, and non-profits. I belong to a non-profit that has been putting on a crab feed for 26 years. Volunteering to work this event got me to try crab and I realized that I enjoy the seafood. I also learned that there are people out there that LOVE going to a bunch of crab feeds each year. I had no idea that it was such a thing to do, but they are a ton of fun (and a ton of food).

I want to take a moment to promote my organization’s crab feed (tickets are still available). And I plan to write up a couple of posts about working a crab feed and also attending one for “bucket” list checks. I really encourage you to go try one out.

Have you worked or been to one? 

Step Right Up for the Active 20-30 Club of Greater Sacramento #1032’s 26th Annual Crab Feed, January 19, 2019 at our NEW VENUE: Citrus Heights Community Center!

General Admission sales ($65). For tickets, click here

Memorize the name of the play “the Persecution and Assassination of

Jean-Paul Marat as Performed by the Inmates of the Asylum at Charenton under the Direction of the Marquis de Sade”

play

photo credit: Harris Center/Three Stages at Folsom Lake College

When I saw this item, I wondered if this was truly a real play. It made sense that just memorizing the title would be quite the accomplishment and a great conversation starter. I happened to catch a post about a production of this play being performed last year (2017).

I knew I had to go see it. I didn’t really think anything about what it exactly was about until after I saw it live. The cast did a great job adding in modern elements (not sure if that is part of what the play is supposed to do). I really thought it funny they gave out “Make France Great Again” buttons.

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photo credit: Harris Center/Three Stages at Folsom Lake College

It is not your typical play, you walk in and become a part of the cast yourself. Here, I was handed a clipboard and guided by a “hospital attendant” to a chair. We became observers in a mental hospital where the warden was allowing the inmates to perform a play. It was also a kind of musical.

I’m grabbing the plot from Wikipedia:

Set in the historical Charenton Asylum, Marat/Sade is almost entirely a “play within a play”. The main story takes place on 13 July 1808, after the French Revolution; the play directed by the Marquis de Sade within the story takes place during the Revolution, in the middle of 1793, culminating in the assassination of Jean-Paul Marat (which took place on 13 July 1793), then quickly brings the audience up to date (1808). The actors are the inmates of the asylum; the nurses and supervisors occasionally step in to restore order. The bourgeois director of the hospital, Coulmier, supervises the performance, accompanied by his wife and daughter. He is a supporter of the post-revolutionary government led by Napoleon, in place at the time of the production, and believes the play he has organised to be an endorsement of his patriotic views. His patients, however, have other ideas, and they make a habit of speaking lines he had attempted to suppress, or deviating entirely into personal opinion. They, as people who came out of the revolution no better than they went in, are not entirely pleased with the course of events as they occurred.

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photo credit: Harris Center/Three Stages at Folsom Lake College

In the end, we, the audience, become the inmates and the inmates the audience. It reminded me a lot of philosophical debates and talking about socialism. I used to enjoy those ponderings and had not realized that I had forgotten about it for so long. It was a little hard to follow the dialogue at times, but the gist of it was an argument between Sade and Marat on the factors of revolution, is really good to have for changing the class system and helping human suffering or does it just change who’s at top and who is at bottom. They also discuss if it’s good to have the revolution as a movement by everyone or just work one changing yourself.

I read more about the author being a German and he wrote this during the 1960’s which authors were delving into kind of abstract, bizarre, ways to talk about class struggles and socialism. And his picking the true life people of Jean-Paul Marat and the Marquis de Sade were a good choice. They were very interesting characters.

I wouldn’t mind going to see this play again, maybe catch some things that I didn’t this first time. I might even try to get friends to come with me. They might enjoy or end up asking what the heck?

have you seen this play? Or even heard about it?

Get a Tattoo

I had thought about getting a tattoo on and off through the years. I couldn’t decide on what it would be or where I would have it. I knew it had to be something I wouldn’t regret or get tired of after a few years. I would look at tattoos of things I liked, teddy bears, turtles, ladybugs, and Celtic knot designs. Plus, there was the whole being stabbed with a needle. I get light headed just seeing a needle for blood work. Of course that could be the blood part. So, I would look at tattoos but not really plan for getting one myself.

A couple of years ago, as I was looking online, I came across this Wild Bills Tattoo place located in Roseville, California. There was information on a day that they would host a tattoo-a-thon and 100% of the cost of the tattoo would go to the UC Davis Children’s Hospital. I thought to myself, “Well if I do get a tattoo that is when I will do it and then I can say I got tattooed for the kids”. It was an awesome find. I put it in my calendar to remind myself about the tattoo-a-thon each February.

I think it took me another couple of years to work up the nerve to go for it and get that tattoo. In 2016, I decided on getting a shamrock (because I’m part Irish, and it’s for luck, and it’s cute) and started looking at different photos online to see what kind of design I wanted and where. I found a cute one where it was just an outline and the leaves also looked a bit like a heart, and it was on the wrist. I really liked that idea, then I would be able to see it. I showed my mom and told here I wanted to get this one but not to worry, it would be small. She liked it be was iffy that I would go through with it from seeing the needles and getting poked. I made my appointment for early that Saturday morning.

A friend said she would come with and check it out. She was thinking about getting a tattoo and wanted to see. We got to the place and had to wait a bit for one of the artists. When one came over, I showed him the photo of the shamrock tattoo I wanted and that it’d be a small one on the inside of my wrist. He said okay and went to sketch the design on the transfer paper. That was something I hadn’t realized they did but totally makes sense. That took a while and then he came back and we grabbed seats. Luckily it was near the waiting area and my friend could sit and watch.

The artist told me to relax my wrist and warned me that doing it there, my fingers might twitch. Whoah! What? I hadn’t thought about that, but with the nerves being right there. Something else to get nervous about. How much twitching would they do? Deep breath. He transferred the design on the wrist. It was a little larger then I was thinking, but didn’t look too bad. I had told him I wanted it in green, he suggested doing a green and black coloring. I figured he knew what he was talking about and said sure. He placed the needle over my wrist and started the process. It went up and down so fast that at times felt like it was slicing me like a knife. That is when I realized, tattooing is basically have people stab you on purpose and scar you. Usually we try not to leave scars if we get cut. hmmm.

It felt so uncomfortable, but so glad he was was fast, and that I got a simple enough design, that it was over pretty fast. My friend got a photo that perfectly summed up what I was feeling. I am glad she got it while I was getting tattooed. The artist finished up and went over the care for instructions and I was done. He told me what the cost of that size tattoo would be and I wrote a check for a little more for the donation to the hospital. Then got a sticker that said “I got tattooed for the kids”. I really wanted that sticker.

A friend that lived nearby messaged us to come over for brunch, so we did. We said there almost all day, just chatting away. Hope she didn’t mind. I waited until the tattoo was healed and took a photo to show it off while wine tasting at a winery. I think it turned out cute. Took a while to get used to the fact I have something permanent on my arm.

I don’t know if I will get anymore. I have thought about it now that it’s been some time. But then I look at that photo above of when I was getting this one and remember. I am not closing the door, but I am happy with this one.

Did it take a while for you to get a tattoo? Have you done something like this where the money is for a benefit for children?

 

Participate in a Polar Bear Plunge

I’ve been wanting to do a new year’s day polar bear plunge for a few years now. I would look for ones around the area. They all seemed a bit far away, and the ones talked about on the news that day would be too late to go to.

my first attempt in 2010
In 2010, I tried jumping into the ocean. We happened to stop at Stinston Beach in Northern California and I thought about changing into my swim suit, but there was so many signs warning about sharks that I chickened out. I did stick the lower half of my legs in the water though. Hey, it was a start!

Second attempt in 2011
December 2011, I was looking at the different options, and most seemed to be beach jumps down in southern California. Then I came across a flyer online for a polar bear plunge in a community pool not to far away. The part that made me happy was that it going to happen in the middle of the day, not the morning. I posted to see if anyone else was interested and right away I got comments that I was crazy. Although one of my friends decided to consider it and asked if I really planned on going. I had started to waver with the fact it might be raining and the water was going to be about 48 degrees. Then I told her, you know, I keep looking at these kind of things to do and then it’s becomes too late to do them and I end up regretting not doing it. Plus, it is a jump, not a swim or anything. So why the heck not do it. They said there would warm showers, hot chocolate, and soup to warm back up.

With that response to her inquiry, she decided, why the heck not too. A couple of others did say okay while we were talking about it at a new year’s eve party. And a couple of the guys said that they would jump if I joined in the group drinking car bombs. I thought, that’s easy enough and did drink up. Of course that seemed to be our downfall for the rest of the evening.

The next day, we woke up with headaches and seeing that ground was wet from a rain shower and more grey clouds in the sky. But my friend and I were still determined to do this adventure. We got on our swim suits and sweats and blankets and headed out to the pool. As soon as we got into the parking lot, we were wondering if we would be the only adults as we were seeing lots of kids walk by with towels. But there were lots of friendly smiles and encouragement from others and there were other adults in the pool area.

Two other friends from the night before showed up and we started getting ready to plunge in the water. Lots of joking and wondering this really was a good idea. The sun came out and the day felt a little warmer. We got out of our sweats and lined up along the pool sides. There were almost enough people to line up on 3 sides. We counted down and took a huge jump and deep breathes and under the water we went. It definitely was a shock and right away was trying to find the top of the water. Then swimming for the edge of the pool and hopping out. Actually it did seem after the initial cold shock that it wasn’t too bad, but I didn’t really feel like staying in too long. One dad had said that his daughter had to be told to get out of the pool last year, she stayed in so long. Most of the other people jumped in and out just as fast as us. The two guys that jumped with me were saying that swimming a lap wouldn’t be too bad, but they were just as fast, if not faster on getting back out of the pool.

Here we are all excited to be doing this polar bear plunge

3, 2, 1…JUMP!

Thanks again Aaron Craig, Erica Scoggins, and Marty Crossley Jr. for joining me

There was also a slide that was open for people to use. A few kids decided they had to slide down. Marty and I decided to brave the water again and go on the slide. It was a very slow slide down into the water but fun. The outside air was quite warm after being in the pool.

We changed and found out that there were buttons to get saying we survived. We definitely wanted proof, besides photos, that we did a polar bear plunge. The other nice thing about this event was that it was a fundraiser for a youth scholarship.

We couldn’t find any hot showers, but we changed as fast as our cold hands would let us and headed out for a celebratory hot lunch. As we left, the clouds came back with sprinkles. I was glad to have gone and even more glad that I had some crazy friends to join me. I’m already looking forward to doing this again with more people.

Are you a Polar Bear Plunge survivor? Pool, lake, river, or ocean?

I Sat Next to a Killer

Yup, you read that correctly. I sat next to a killer and had dinner with him at my table, and I am here to tell you about it.

A couple of my friends; “Penny” and “Lizzy” sent me a message asking if I’d like to join them for dinner on the Delta King. This is a docked steamboat located in Old Sacramento that has been turned into a hotel and restaurant. I quickly sent back a message saying, heck ya! I had dinner there as a kid, but couldn’t remember how it looked inside the boat and since it was the last Friday of the year, it’d be a treat.

I met up with the two friends and we headed to the bar for a pre-dinner cocktail. Loved the wooden ambiance. While we were deciding on a cocktail, the bartender was making a drink that caught our attention it was white and had chocolate in a martini glass. Lizzy and I decided to order that and we all split an order of fried calamari.

I have been getting better about asking other people to take a photo so I can make sure I am in some. What I now need to work on is asking; “Can you take a photo of us?” NOT “Can you take a photo?” Otherwise I’ll end up with more of these kind of photos

 

Then we ventured down to the restaurant and sat down. The tables were set up like they would be on a cruise ship, so the three of us were at a table with 8 other people. There was one older couple with the wife celebrating her birthday, two pairs of couples out enjoying the dinner together, and another couple. This was also a pre-fixed dinner with a salad, main entree, and a dessert. The guy from the couple was seated to my left and he leaned over to us before dinner started saying that he was going to propose to his girlfriend and would like us to video tape it. We all thought that such a sweet thing and said yes, of course.

Dinner was good, and we had entertainment provided by the Delta King staff. The host that seated us came over a few times to make sure we were enjoying ourselves and he was quite the character, always had a joke and made us crack up. During the main course (I had the pasta, and Penny and Lizzy had the beef). The guy to my left got up and got a microphone and proposed. She said yes and we all clapped for them.

But it was while we were enjoying our cheesecake desert that a cop came in to announce there was a killer in our mist and we were all suspects. He asked the guy to my left to stand up and started grilling him, the guy was darting his eyes around, and getting very anxious when he suddenly pulled a gun on the cop. His new fiance ran and got the cop’s gun. The guy had been drinking redbull all night, he said it was his favorite drink, so his hands were shaky and he ended up killing the host and his finance. It was terrible.

We all just clapped and they got up, went to the front and took a bow. Yup, I just experienced my first murder mystery dinner. Did I have you going?

It was so much fun and I highly recommend going to a dinner performance like that. Who knows, you might be sitting next to the killer.

The host

The actors

We made up names for the evening “Penny, Lizzy, & Shelly Lane”

 

Help Christmas Promise Fulfill Wishes

During Christmas time, lots of people turn out to help make sure others get to celebrate some during the holiday season. People that truly need a break from their problems and struggles and have a moment to cherish.

The Active 20-30 club of Greater Sacramento #1032 I am a member, raises money to help different charities throughout the year. One organization we had set aside money for is called Christmas Promise. 2010 was the first year I was able to sign up to help wrap gifts as well as shop for presents for a family that probably would not have a Christmas if not for this organization. What is Christmas Promise?

Here is a little bit I found that explains it very well: “Christmas Promise is an organization that sends “Santa Claus” to approximately 250 families. Each year teachers, church organizations, and social workers forward “letters to Santa” from disadvantaged children. Christmas Promise fulfills the wishes of these children by sending Santa to the home of the children on Christmas Eve.”

They have been doing this for over 70 years! On the first day of December you can go to their wall where they post these letters sent in and “adopt” a family to shop for. My Active 20-30 club was able to “adopt” and shop for about 38 people. We also volunteered one day/evening to help wrap gifts and other essentials for these families.

Even though I won’t see the family I shopped or wrapped up presents for, open their gifts, it really was touching to read these letters and see how much people did donate toward these families and to help make sure they have a reason to be able to celebrate on Christmas Day.

I would encourage you to do something similar next Christmas.

***They had to shut this down for a couple of years, but it’s being reorganized and hopefully can get up and running again next year (2018)****

Thank a Veteran

In November 1919, President Wilson proclaimed November 11 as the first commemoration of Armistice Day with the following words: “To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations…”(click here to read more on the history about Veteran’s Day)

I marked this item off the list last year, but I feel like it should have it’s own post stating that I do thank veteran’s from all the military branches that protect and defend the country I live in from harm. I would also like to extend thanks to all those that put their life on the line (police, firefighters, …..) This is one item we should definitely repeat, each and every day as well as really acknowledging it on the official holidays.

I’m including photos of those veterans in my family from the civil war to World War II.

Soak in a Hot Tub

My parents had a hot tub at the house while I grew up. We were very close to a family that shared our back fence. We even made a doorway so we could come and go in each other’s yard and house. They installed a pool. It became fun for us kids to go back and forth, jumping in the pool and then into the hot tub.

Another memory of “soaking” in the hot tub was when I was swimming at the junior college. One of the things swim teams do is shave down before a big race day (like championships). We get together and have a carbed out dinner, and shave our legs so they are nice and smooth and less resistance to go through the water. Some of the guys shaved their heads. I had one of these shave down parties at my house and we crammed a lot of the girls into the tub at one point.

Here’s a fun photo of us showing off our shaved legs.Often times it is nice to just relax and soak in hot tubs. Don’t you think?

See A Ghost

The Sacramento Old City Cemetery hosts a few lantern tours in the month of October. They sell out spaces quickly, and so last year, I marked on my calendar the end of August to be on the lookout for tickets. I bought one as soon as possible and couldn’t wait until the night came. I really wasn’t sure what to expect other then seeing gravestones at night. Would I get to see a ghost?

That night (which just happened on a full moon night), I walked in and had to run to join my tour group, as I got there a couple of minutes late. Luckily they had just started and had stopped at the first spot for a story. Turns out there were about 6 different grave sites that we stopped at and heard a story of the resident resting there. A narrator that dressed up and either portrayed that person or as someone that was involved in their story. Which was pretty cool, it is interesting to hear about some of the past life stories.

One of the stories was interactive, in that there were people from the group that became the “suspects” in a person’s murder and the narrator pointed to each one and gave the reason why that person might have murdered the man buried at the spot.

As we listened and walked, you could hear noises among the graves, and turn to look at what might be making them, sometimes it was a “ghost” just standing or kneeling. Other times, they were grave robbers digging up the graves. What really got us was that sometimes, a ghost or zombie like would come walking by us, going through our group, OR stopping and staring at one of us. There was one ghost that decided he like this one lady, well she decided that she didn’t like that and stepped around her husband to the other side of him. the ghost just followed. So she did a little circle walking to get away from him. It was entertaining to watch.

Midway through our tour of the cemetery, we stopped for hot chocolate, cider, and a snack. Sat down on bleachers and watched a short radio show murder story.

 

Then onto a few more graveside stories. The last one stuck with me. It was about a lady that like to dress up and rode into town on her horse. She lived a little out of town at a place called Mormon Island that was now covered by Folsom Lake. That was the first time I had heard about the island. She ended up dying by falling off her horse, but her bustle got caught in the saddle, so she was dragged along.Then this summer, with the drought being so bad, this Mormon Island became uncovered by Folsom lake and there was foundations and little bits and pieces found. It became a great fascination for other people to learn about this lost community.

It was definitely a fun little evening, and while I didn’t see a true supernatural ghost, this “ghostly” experience counts in my book. If ever I do have an encounter, you can be sure I’ll write about it.

Have you gone on any lantern / ghost tours? How about a real supernatural sighting?

Hula-Hoop

I was volunteering with my Active 20-30 club at a children’s home. We brought games to play and lunch for the kids. We also had sports stuff like kickball and hula-hoops that we donated to them. Hmm, what a perfect opportunity to borrow a hula-hoop and spin it around.

Of course I did this as a kid, but I am taking photos and videos to officially check the items from the book. So I had to do this again. I didn’t even make it 3 seconds. Apparently I don’t have the rhythm down anymore. I will have to work on that so I can make a video.hulahoopHow long can you hula-hoop? And can you hula more than one hoop?

Create a Hometown Bucket List

I saw a post on a blog (can’t recall who this was, otherwise I’d give credit here) where they made a bucket list of items to do in their own hometown. I thought this a great idea!! I mean, how often do you really look around where you live? Usually, it’s to go to places out of town to do adventures. But there are so many great events or places in town that are just as unique and “bucket” list worthy.

photo

Sacramento

Is my hometown. In just the last few years, they have worked hard to create great events throughout the year. And there are lots of places that are worth putting on a list and check off going to at least once. I think I’ll start with 50 things to go to this year.

  1. Experience Dine Downtown Week by going to one of the restaurants (occurs about the 2nd – 3rd week of January)
  2. Stroll around Old Sacramento (play tourist)
  3. Tour the Capitol (can’t recall the last time I saw the dome from the inside)
  4. Sutter’s Fort (play tourist)
  5. Go to at least one drive-in movie
  6. Experience Beer Week (February to March)
  7. Go on an underground tour
  8. Go on a Halloween Lantern Tour at the Old City Cemetery
  9. Go across the Golden Tower Bridge
  10. Go have a beer in The Trap (bar)
  11. Attend a Shakespeare play in the park
  12. Bike the whole American River trail
  13. Raft down the river (or go boating)
  14. Browse art galleys during Second Saturday
  15. Museums
  16. Specific foods/drinks special to Sacramento (come back for a few of these)
  17. Visit El Dorado and enjoy a Golden Cadillac at Poor Reds (this is just outside of Sacramento)
  18. Go on a dice walk downtown
  19. Attend concerts in the park & Pops in the Park concerts
  20. See at least one play and one musical
  21. Festivals (come back to this)

I am going to have to come back and finish creating the list. If you have ideas to help, I’d love to hear.