Small Business

My definition of “small business” is the means by which accumulated wealth passes from the relatively poor back into the hands of the wealthy.  Twenty percent of small businesses fail their first year, and 50% of small businesses fail by their 5th year.

I realize that all small businesses are not just goods, or just services, but my imaginings are that the new entrepreneur has finally “scrimped and saved” what he or she thinks will allow them to start a successful small business.  They purchase items for sale, or buy equipment to help provide a service…  This is where the accumulated wealth passes back to the rich, who have an inventory of items for sale, and it doesn’t matter if the small business fails or not, the rich have made their profit.

If the small business fails, the owner is now left to sell their goods or equipment at an extreme discount… liquidate.  They are now returning to their previous poor state, and can go back to work for the rich, and may even have incurred additional debt to be repaid to a bank or other lending institution.


I want a girl with a short skirt…

I was watching TV, very early morning a few weeks ago and came across this song/video.  As I watched it, I said to myself, “How could we not love you.”  It’s not that she had a great body, Diana Rigg.  She had a good face, and personality, and the writing and acting for her character was winning.   Could you think of a better role model for young girls, than the character, Emma Peel?  Strong mind,… like a diamond, judo flip you if you look at her cross-eyed… She was STEM trained before it was fashionable and an equal to John Steed.

Compare Foods – Small Onions

herdez-salsa-ranchera-mediumIt looks like Herdez is discontinuing the Hot Salsa Ranchera and only has the Medium version.  I bought a can of the medium, and haven’t tried it yet… but saw something I wrote previously that says the medium is still plenty hot.

cipollottiCompare Foods had a couple of varieties of small onions for $2.99 a pound.  There were white and copper colored pearl 2006onions and an onion that looked like Cipollini.  I mixed them together since they were all the same price.20131214-creamed-pearl-onion-recipe-1

I was frying some boneless pork chops on the stove top, with a little Agave nectar and a little mango powder.  *I had gotten the mango-powderAmchur powder at the Indian Market in Apex, NC.  The powder has a hint of citrus, although I don’t think of a mango being a citrus fruit.

I put a mixture of some of the small onions in my microwave-onion-cookermicrowave onion cooker and set it for about a minute and a half.  I took the pork chops out of the pan and natures-seasons-seasoning-blend-seven-point-five-ounce-bottleadded some sliced okra (no breading) and a little olive oil to cook them.  Natures Seasoning (Mary Ann’s & Aunt Sis’s contribution) while frying the okra.

After the okra were done, I took the onions out of the microwave and added them to the pan.  Just a few minutes to give them a little color and more flavor.

I had some Jewish Rye Bread, so I made a sandwich of some of the pork chops and some mayo.  The pork was good!  The okra were good!  The little onions were good!  *I forgot to mention that I didn’t peel the onions, which provided them with a rustic quality.  You can pull off some of the onion husk easily, but sucking the sweet onion from the husk is also a pleasure.

Brunswick Stew

scnb-bbqI think I got the hankering for Brunswick Stew because Chasson’s Grandsons offered it on their buffet last week.  I had looked online as to what went into BS, and I recall that my dad had a very good BS recipe.  I had it, but don’t know if I still do.

On Saturday, I was returning from a trip to Raleigh and coming back through Fuquay-Varina (which I normally come through on the way up, but not on the way back), and stopped to eat at the Smithfield’s Chicken & Barbecue.

succotashI ordered a Combo Dark Platter, which includes both BBQ and fried chicken (dark meat).  I didn’t intend to order the BBQ, but after I got it, I began to think that I could save the BBQ and make some Brunswick Stew when I got home.

fire roasted tomatoesI stopped at the Food Lion in Lillington and bought a can of succotash (tomatoes, corn and green lima beans).  * I ended up not being happy with the cornamount of corn and beans and now think that I will try this again but buy small individual cans of tomatoes, corn and lima beans.

green-limasThe flavor was good and I added potato, carrot and onion to the succotash and mixed in the BBQ. worcestershire-sauce-lea&perrins Surprisingly, the amount of BBQ was more than enough and I ended up with two helpings of Brunswick Stew.  *I might like chicken instead of pork better.

The recipe I used called for Worstershire Sauce, barbecue sauce and some hot sauce.  I didn’t have any barbecue sauce so I used a little catchup.



Pork Chops-n-Alfredo Sauce

bertolli-alfredo-sauce-jarI had some pork chops in the refrigerator and knew I needed to cook them before they spoiled.  I didn’t want to go the hot chipotle “Salsa Ranchera” route that I normally take, and I noted that I had an opened jar of Bertolli Alfredo Sauce.  Mary Ann gave me a couple of jars of this.

The picture of the pork chops in the pan, with the mushrooms isn’t mine, but it looks close enough to give you the idea of what you should be working toward.

I started with some olive Pan-Fried-Pork-Chops-with-Mushroom-Gravy

oil in the pan.  I also added some “old” truffle oil that I hardly ever use.  I started frying the pork chops and then added some chopped onions.  I added a healthy portion of dried Tarragon, some garlic powder, salt and freshly ground mixed pepper.

The pork chops browned and the onion turned translucent.  I added the Alfredo Sauce and strired.

In my first pan, I added some sliced, on the bias, carrots and almost immediately cut the heat.  This left the carrots still crunchy, which was a welcome addition to the end result.

I took a couple of pork chops, leaving one in the pan, and went to watch TV.  The flavor was carrots-biasedexcellent.

I decided to cook the rest of the pork chops in the package and started the process all over again… but, I then had the idea that adding some mushrooms to the mix would probably be good.  The mushrooms were a good idea.  The second batch went into a plastic container and into the fridge.

roasted-balsamic-tomatoesThis morning I awoke a little early and thought about baking some tomatoes in balsamic vinegar.  I actually use the broil setting.  I had about six Roma tomatoes, which I halved, and a few I quartered and arranged them in a small baking dish.  I added some salt & pepper, and then drizzled some dark balsamic vinegar over the lot.  I also added a little Agave Nectar, not much, and some Splenda, for more sweetness.

The mess chars on top and the vinegar reduces to a sweet thickness.  I put these in the fridge also.


Homemade Salsa

I like to make homemade salsa using my little chopper.  *An aside… I found my stick blender attachment, hiding behind the counter door divider above my stove.  I had looked for it several months ago and wondered where I would have put it.  As I was moving something recently, it fell over from behind the divider.  It was just visually hidden.

I like the Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes from Hunts, but you can’t buy these, in any brand, that do not begin to put in a bunch of sugar.

Here are some of the things that I will put in my homemade salsa:

  • Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes
  • Vidalia Onion
  • Bell Pepper (Red, Yellow or Green)
  • Salsa Ranchera (Herdez)
  • Turmeric
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • Roasted Garlic (or garlic powder)
  • Cumin seed
  • Dry Basil (fresh if I have it)
  • Fresh cilantro
  • Lime juice
  • Splenda
  • Agave Nectar

I would prefer it to be chunky, but with this blender, it is almost smooth.

I bought a can of Herdez Salsa Ranchera Medium, but it is still pretty hot.  *Shown is the hot version.



Capricho de Cabra Goat Cheese

This has become my favorite cheese.  I bought it at Whole Foods in Raleigh several months ago, and have since bought several rounds, even giving some to relatives & friends.  I think it is best served at room temperature, on crackers.  It has a tangy flavor.

marys-gone-crackersI came across the Mary’s Gone Crackers in a Fresh Market and like the Original crackers especially.  The goat cheese and these crackers go well together!

Sclafani Balsamic Vinegar

I have not been using balsamic vinegar for a while, but I want to remember a brand that I liked.  It is “Sclafani Balsamic Vinegar of Modena.”  You can take tomatoes, that do not have that good tomato flavor, and halve them and pour some balsamic vinegar over them… Then bake them in the oven, and the vinegar reduces to a sweet syrup and the tomatoes are delicious as a side.

1971 Pontiac Lemans

I don’t have any pictures of the 1971 Pontiac Lemans that my mother bought me as a present for my Senior Year at Swansboro High School.  It was blue with a white textured vinyl top.  It had a 350 hp engine with an automatic transmission.

I drove the car my Senior year, but had to give it up my Freshman year at Carolina.

How undeserving I was.

Sometimes it is the individual pleasing components.

I was just thinking of what I might have for supper tonight, and wasn’t sure if I had any meat thawed.  I really don’t like to freeze meat, because I am always bad about planning ahead to thaw it out so that it will be ready for cooking when I come home at night.

But, then I began to run through the check list of what was already prepared:

  • One final helping of Chorizo, Chickpea & Kale soup (lots of Smoked Paprika in this one)
  • About a pint of home made salsa (fire roasted tomatoes, green bell pepper, cilantro, Vidalia onion, cumin seed, lime juice, agave nectar, Equal, turmeric, salt, ground pepper, hot sauce)
  • I’ve got some home made Thousand Island Dressing, which would go good on some cauliflower & Campari tomatoes.
  • I also bought some more Capricio de Cabra cheese and some sliced Jewish Rye bread.  This cheese is better when it is served at room temperature.