Saturday, December 27, 2008

Wonderful Evening Meal

Another wonderful evening meal, and to think they were leftovers! Yep, we love leftovers. There is something about fixing a simple but fantastic meal, finding a fine bottle of wine for accompaniment, and as you partake in this experience, the agreement is that there is no restaurant that could substitute for this. . . it doesn't get any better than right here in our own kitchen. Savoring something wonderful and having enough remain for another meal, well, that is a dynamic duo.

For Christmas dinner we had prepared a delicious, cheesy and fresh broccoli casserole; garlic and horseradish mashed potatoes; crimini mushrooms, sauteed very quickly in just a touch of butter and a final sprinkling of kosher salt, and served over a tri-tip, having been seasoned with a dry rub I concoct, then thinly sliced.

We decided upon a '99 Keaten-Reed Cabernet Sauvignon, an Oregon wine we have stored for a number of years. Its jammy aroma and nice aged body was a final touch for the spicy and peppery exterior of the meat.

And last night we got to do it all over again, for it reheated very nicely. The mushrooms were gone, so I sauteed a few more, and since my husband had perfectly grilled the tri-tip for our Christmas dinner, seared on the outside and juicy on the inside, I sliced enough for the two of us and reheated it in the microwave, just enough time to heat through slightly and not impair the pinkness of the meat.

Add another nice Cabernet and Bon appetit! It simply doesn't get much better than this.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays

The fog embraces the silent voices which grace the landscape,
Yet I hear rejoicing, for in Christmas love is born.
A tenderness of heart, a joy in living, and peace within,

We hope and pray is yours." - - - D Strawser

As we wish you a blessed Christmas,
know you are in our thoughts and prayers
and that we love you,

- - - - - - - -

A favorite photo taken of the garden and words which come from our heart, result in this years Christmas card for family and friends, and one we would like to share with you.

Whether you observe Christmas, Hanukkah, the Winter solstice. . . or even do not believe in a celebration, we send our best wishes to you, and hope this winding down of one year and the gearing up for a new one will find yourself guided by much love, joy, and peace.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Dark Times Ahead

The unusual snow, ice and freezing temperatures this time of year are now but this photo memory as we return to rain and 45 degrees. Seldom do we consider looking forward to rain in the winter months here in the Pacific northwest, for that is what it does in the winter, but we did in fact say that.

So this early morning finds us doing what we do and that is scanning and reading various online newspapers of the world in an attempt to understand what is going on around us. Quite an interesting perspective and forthright is the following article in Pravda online, Russian internet-based newspaper, regarding U.S. politics and the current situation.

Obama Dark Times Ahead

According to this editorial in, president elect Obama is a mystery, for questions as to who he is and whether or not he is even an American citizen have not been answered.

It is, to say the least, absolutely insane that someone about whom so little is known can be elected president of the US, still the most powerful country in the world, at least in a military sense. Therefore, it is a sad but eloquent comment on the state of US democracy.

There seems to be no difference between the two political parties for one only has to look at many of his cabinet selections, a seamless continuation of his predecessor's policies.

Obama is considered a postmodern politician, one who "... may adopt whatever policy, either because he feels like it himself, but more likely because his handlers tell him what to do... ".

As for Western World politicians: This race of spineless, adaptable politicians sits on top of a pyramid that is composed of individuals like them, also lacking in character. In other words, they are not real persons, just some kind of robots, like the Stepford Wives. You just push the right button and they'll do what you tell them to...

Upon assuming office, Obama will find himself at the head of a bankrupt country. Bankrupt in many senses: financially, socially, ethically, psychologically. The US has become the victim of its own destructive policies. It is now finally being confronted with the consequences of decades of stupidity and ineptitude
. . .

Rather curious that one finds this writing in Russia as opposed to being printed here in the U.S. (the freedom of the press country), for it is what many Americans think. Does it not seem that in this country there has been a transformation from journalism once defined as investigatory reporting, fact finding and reporting the truth, to having become a press that speaks with one voice, single-minded and with orchestrated agendas?

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Early Cold and Snow

The full moon peers inside my studio window this cold morning (35 degrees F), the same as it did yesterday when we awoke and found this beautiful picture patiently awaiting our attention. Hm. . . seems someone forgot to remove some tomato cages from a few of the raised beds. . . I'll put it on my list.

Snow and cold temperatures this early in the season is most unusual. Tomorrow's low is expected to be 16 degrees! Ouch. . . for the norm is to have only about one week of freezing during the entire winter.

Day before yesterday, December 12, the moon appeared 30% brighter and 14% larger for it was at its closest perigee in its oval orbit. . . as opposed to it being at apogee (farthest away).

As I write, the snow is nearly gone and should definitely be so shortly, as I watch what seems to be rain beginning its crawl from the coastal range toward the valley. Oops. . . seems we have more snow flurries.

Time to bundle up, stay warm, and say Happy Birthday to my friend Ginny! We think it's cold here, what do you think it's like in Minnesota?

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Two Year Anniversary

We celebrated my husband's birthday this week, and following dinner as we lounged by the fire with two of our friends, my thoughts turned to another celebration. . . of course not as splendid as the one having been shared with my beloved, but a significant one I do believe.

Two years ago today marks the beginning of my writing this blog, StrasserTalk. My intention, as is still, was to write about day-to-day things, the economy and markets and as little politics as possible; family, friends and topics of interest - our travel and gardens; and hopefully bring a reasonable voice to some of the misleading articles and bias which exist, for sometimes you must speak out. . . and somebody's gotta say it.

Of late it seems we have been consumed and skewed towards politics, bailouts and crisis of markets and confidence, and as we approach the end of this year, my hope is that we will see more stability and therefore more balance in the atmosphere on these pages.

So thank you for occasionally taking time to visit, and I look forward to seeing you here as we continue to have a voice and attempt to figure out what is going on.