On Tuesday, December 17, 2019 a caterpillar dropped from vegetation to crawl across the parking lot of Sonic Drive-In, 2140 N Courtenay Pkwy, Merritt Island, FL 32953, crawl up an order station, affix its tail to the kelly green semi-gloss enamel, to form a chrysalis.
The afternoon of New Years Eve, 14 days later, we spied the Retro theme of this fast food business, finding it appealing, stopped for a hi-fat lunch of hamburgers, onion rings (“highly recommended, very delicious”) and (ha, ha) diet sodas, choosing this same order station where the emerged Brush-foot butterfly, of the family Nymphalidae, clung, drying in anticipation of flight.
Captured here with the Apple IPhone 8. I cannot identify the exact butterfly species this is. Source: wikipedia article on Nymphalidae.
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Copyright 2020 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills
You will be well-remembered for years when Pam’s salad is part of your holiday celebration. We hosted 2017 Thanksgiving and Pam’s salad was requested by her son and daughter’s families. When we went around the table to give thanks, our six year old grandson offered, “I am thankful for the jello”, meaning Pam’s salad.
My wife, Pamela Wills, perfected this recipe over the years as a nutritious and tasty dish she could make in advance.
Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas or Anytime
Holiday Cranberry-Pecan Salad travels well and is a visually appealing dish to share at parties.
Holiday Cranberry-Pecan Salad
1 12 oz. bag of raw cranberries
1 6 oz. box of raspberry gelatin
1 6 oz. box of orange gelatin
3 cups orange juice
3 cups boiling water
1 large orange
2 large apples of your choice (I use sweet/tart/firm apples)
1 tablespoon orange rind
½ cup chopped pecans
Curly leaf parsley
3-4 small bunches of green grapes. I dip the grapes in water, then in sugar and let dry. Or you can use raw cranberries.
Boil water. In large mixing bowl pour water over raspberry and orange gelatin and stir until dissolved. Wait a few minutes until the gelatin cools down (keep stirring). Add orange juice and stir again. Place in refrigerator until gelatin is the consistency of raw egg whites. This is tricky step since, if you don’t let it set up enough, the fruit will sink to the bottom. When set too much the fruit mixture won’t blend with the gelatin.
In food processor finely chopped cranberries. By hand cut orange and apples into small bit-size pieces. Combine chopped cranberries, apples and orange. Fold in grated orange rind and pecans. Set this aside while waiting for the gelatin (see above).
Fold fruit mixture into the gelatin. With a large spoon scoop up mixture and transfer it to a Bundt pan. Cover with plastic wrap and return to the refrigerator for several hours or until set.
Dip bottom of mold into a sink of a few inches of luke warm water (not too warm or the gelatin will melt). Turn upside down on a large round platter or plate and garnish around the edges with parsley and the sugar-coated grapes or raw cranberries.
This is a great dish to share at a holiday party since you can make it in advance. My family prefers it over cooked cranberry relish and it is even good enough to serve as a dessert. It is easy to make, it’s festive and has always been a big hit. Enjoy!
Note: EAT the parsley garnish. Parsely is packed with vitamins and minerals. Just 7.5 grams (a fraction of an ounce) contains 150+% of most people’s Vitamin K requirement and about 15% for Vitamin A and C.
In a previous posting we hiked through the only European Union Leprechaun Preserve on Slieve Foy above Carlingford, County Louth, Ireland.
This home was lower on the mountain, on the way to town.
You will not find Calla Lilies thriving in front yards here in Ithaca, New York (43 degrees north latitude) as they do in the Temperate Oceanic Climate of Ireland, pictured in Carlingford on a June day. At 54 degrees these Calla Lilies are growing at a latitude 800 miles north of Ithaca, in the middle of Quebec Province, Canada.
In spite of this, here in Ithaca we keep March 17th, Saint Patrick’s Day, warm. In the home of our three grandchildren (3, 4 and 6 years old) who live in Ithaca they celebrate by playing tricks on Leprechauns.
This year, we visited Saint Patrick’s Day eve and reviewed their bag of tricks with the Leprechaun in Chief, their Mom. In response, the Leprechauns leave them letters to make it clear the tricks did not work. On top of this, the children have big laughs on the tricks played in return. A favorite is finding their socks taped all over the mirror.
Mom pulled out a few of the Leprechaun letters and we read them for the children to great laughter as they remembered tricks of previous years. Afterwards, when alone with Mom, Pam and I recalled the tradition in Chicago, to color the river green (a well as green milkshakes, etc), and suggested to the Leprechaun in Chief to put green food color in the toilet. It was a winning idea.
The next morning Mom, on hearing the toilet flushed repeatedly, found her 4 year old daughter totally appalled. “The Leprechauns used our toilet (and did not flush). YUUUUKKKK.” She then ran upstairs hoping for a “clean” bathroom up there. Well, green milkshakes are off the menu.
Copyright 2018 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved.