34.7º N 92.2º W. Little Rock, in Central Arkansas, in the United States
5/15/17 – 5/26/17
High Calorie Out-of-this-World One-Dish Pasta Meal
Here is a recipe that came to me from the akasha and is good eating.
If you are an experienced cook you will know the proportions you like for the ingredients. If inexperienced, be generous with everything and then adjust according to your taste. If you are watching your weight you should not even read this.
Penne Pasta, cooked and drained, but still hot
Smoked Gouda Cheese, cubed. Prep it ready to stir in and go melty in the hot drained pasta.
Fajita Chicken Strips, cooked, cubed. (If frozen, defrost.)
Tomatoes, whole medium fresh (or canned) diced. Include the juice.
Green Peas, fresh (or frozen and defrosted), uncooked or slightly cooked.
Kalamata Olives, whole, pitted, drained
Mayonnaise (be generous)
Seasoned Rice Vinegar (be generous)
Stir everything together in a big bowl.
Good Manners in Enchanted Habitat
A friend who grew up in California and moved here observes that we in Enchanted Habitat have at least three nicenesses she’s never noticed anywhere else.
One, I have named the Mandatory Entryway Compliment (MECompliment).
When we as a guest enter someone else’s home, we always, somewhere near the front door, find a way to say something that sounds admiring about the place. Such as, “Oh your yard is so nice!” or “Oh, hardwood floors are so wonderful, aren’t they!” Women usually include the exclamation points. Also, even if it is the tenth time we’ve been there we find still again something else nice to say, or at least find a new way to say a previous thing.
Only if the householder might be our mother or BFF might we exempt ourselves from the MECompliment.
Or if we want to be covertly rude.
Next, there is Making Small Talk About The Weather (MSTATWeather). My grandmother taught me how to do it and why, and this ability has served me all my life. But it only works in the company of people who also know how to do it. Unfortunately not everyone does. It would help us if more did. It takes at least two to tango here, and if you are the only one doing MSTATWeather, and the others think instead that what you are doing is really talking about the weather, then you’re going to get some odd looks if you persist.
(Never expect a Californian to MSTATWeather. California doesn’t have weather to begin with. Here, we have real grist for the mill.)
The reason for MSTATWeather is the same as one of the reasons for MECompliment: it gives people something socially safe to talk about. Further, MSTATWeather can be counted on as an inexhaustible subject if need be. The MECompliment is not meant to last as a discussion topic, and is is about five degrees toward personal, so you have to be a tad careful. But the MECompliment is the one that also has secondary purpose. When you say a MECompliment to your host/ess, you are sending a clear signal that your feeling about them is positive–without being obsequious. Is that a clever folkway, or what!
Our third niceness reported by my friend, I call Never Taking The Last Piece (NTTLPiece). No one ever taught me NTTLPiece, I just always knew it. I assume it is a genetically transmitted behavior. The last hors d’oeuvre, the last ear of corn, the last glassful of wine in the bottle, the last spoonful of the mashed potatoes. No matter how much we secretly want it, we will decline it. And then there it is, one lonely little serving that the hostess has to do something with after everyone goes. Unless someone in the party was not from here.
My Californian friend tole me this true story:
After a potluck, one little square of exquisite homemade lemon bar remained. A woman was trying to get someone, anyone, to take it. This woman genuinely didn’t want it herself, and she was not from here originally. My Californian friend said to her, “You’re not going to get anyone to take that. They’re all from here and they never take the last piece of anything.” The woman said, “Oh God, that’s why my husband does that!”
From the Creatures Gazette
Cicadas Gone ‘Til 2028
Last appearing in May/June 2015, the 13-year cicadas will not appear again for 11 years more. Although this strain is only one of the cicada types inhabiting central Arkansas, it is likely the most numerous in terms of individual insects. Until 2028 fewer children will find and shudder at and show each other empty husks left hanging on tree trunks after the nymphs dig themselves out of the ground and free themselves to be real noisy insects.
Hooray for the Home Grown Farmers’ Markets!
Copyright 2017 Ruth Byrn