Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Making dad's Irish Coffee

During our last Kroger pickup order I put a bottle of heavy whipping cream in the cart. (Step one complete).

On our last trip to Jungle Jim's I went to the liquor store and picked up a bottle of Bushmill's Irish Whiskey.  (Step two complete).

I now had everything we needed to make Irish coffee. (Because we already had coffee and sugar).

For many years our family took vacations at a cabin at Oglebay Park in Wheeling. At some point we started a tradition: Dad would make us an Irish Coffee (or two) for breakfast.

This year I decided to bring the tradition back for Christmas morning.

But before we could bring the tradition back, we had to test it out - quality control is important (when day drinking is involved).

The recipe:

First I had to make the whipping cream. I did it while Beth was getting her shower.

I did it by hand with a whisk. Never again!  

Don't do it with a whisk! I don't care if that's what's on the side of the heavy whipping cream bottle. If you have a hand mixer use that. 

Beth said "Don't you remember how your dad used to bring the hand mixer to Oglebay?" (I didn't remember that until she told me). 

Following that, the recipe was as follows:

  • One (or two) packets of sugar in the raw. You can also use brown sugar (that's what I put in mine).
  • One (or two) shots of Irish whiskey.
  • One k-cup of coffee.

Stir the coffee until the sugar is fully dissolved. Then add the whipping cream on top.

It. Was. Amazing.

Later I called mom. She told me that dad had used a whisk once - and said never again.

As far as the recipe went I was close, but she had two suggestions.

  1. After whipping the cream, add a tablespoon of refined sugar to the whipping cream.
  2. And add less about a teaspoon of vanilla (also to the whipping cream).
The above changes can only be done after the cream is fully whipped. Adding them before it's fully whipped could mess up the formation, or whip-ability, or whatever you call it.

Also, and I remember this from dad, you hand mix it until you get points in the heavy cream when you pull the mixer out.

Is the new recipe better? We will find out on Christmas Day!


Monday, December 21, 2020

Monday, December 14, 2020

Picture of the week!

This one is brought to us by my son's high school in 2017.

I hope they meant snacks... but I didn't give him money just to be safe.

Thursday, December 10, 2020

Once you seek it and see it - Save it.

One of the big things I've learned over the last few years is this:

What you dwell on becomes your reality.

That's why you need to train your brain to look for the good. Seek it out. Once you seek it you will see it. Then you'll start seeing it automatically.

Great, so then what?

It's simple: Save it.

This is another great use of the phone. When I find something that makes me laugh, makes me smile, I get a picture or a screen shot.

Like this:

1776 - when Abe Lincoln was -37 years old...

Best Uber driver ever!
Well actually the ride was a little... ruff...

It's cheaper when you buy in bulk this week...

Yeah, I'm still 12 years old...

The first step in lowering your stress is all about changing yourself. If you want to change those around you, you need to start with yourself.

What do they say on the airplane? 

“In the event of a loss of cabin air pressure, put the mask on yourself first before assisting others.”

When you look for the green the green will find you. It will happen in your every day life. You could stop there, but there’s another almost counter-intuitive way to lower your stress. It’s one I discovered on a family vacation in South Carolina, and it involves taking a single step.

Thursday, December 3, 2020

Lowering your stress management - Seek the green

 In 1957 Scientific American Magazine published a study on the brain’s reticular activation system. I’ll save you the technical details. Here’s how it works.

Close your eyes and think of the color red for five seconds. 

Open your eyes and look around your room.

What was the first thing you saw? Was it red?

Here’s what’s really interesting. If you think about red for a while longer, your brain will keep feeding you red for the rest of the day. 

This explains why, when you buy a new car, you are amazed by how many people suddenly drive that same car. And it explains why – over the next few days – you’re going to start noticing four color pens. (Show four color pen).

I love four color pens. I have since my grandma bought me one like this way back when. I still use them. I take my basic notes in black or blue. Red and green are special colors. Red notes are things that worry me, things that concern me, things that I have to address. Green notes are things that make me happy, make me laugh, bring me joy.

If I focus on the red – I’m going to have a list of concerns in my notebook and in my life, that will overwhelm me. 

If you focus on the red, you’ll get it. If you focus on the green, you’ll get that.

In March of 2016 after three months of back to normal work and plenty of red ink notes my wife reminded me “You promised the Doctor you would unplug one week out of every three months. It’s time”. We took a week of staycation – and I tried to unplug. I mean unplug from work. I still got on Facebook. And at the end of our first day of vacation, I posted something “The great things that happened today” I felt better, and I didn’t know why. 

So I did it the next day. And the day after that. I started to wonder – it’s easy when we spent the day in the zoo. But could I do this when I’m back in the office? And how long can I do this? 

The answer is “Four years and counting”

The more I looked, the more I found. Until eventually my wife said “what if you wrote a book about great things?”

So I did

Let's start seeking the green right now:

I'll go first. Here are some pictures of the great things in my life. 

What are the people places or things that are great in your life?

Take a minute right now and name them.

Let me ask you something – did you feel better just thinking about those things? And if you just felt better thinking about them, imagine how much better you’ll feel if you spend time with them.

Here's the best part:

Once you start seeking the "good" your brain will start feeding it to you all the time.

The first S for stress management is Seek the green. Once you start seeking the green the green will find you. If you seek it you will see it.

What you dwell on becomes your reality.

Next up: Once we seek it and see it - then what?