Gr8chefmb's Blog

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The Joy of Facebook! July 31, 2009

Social networking….is that something that strikes fear into your very heart? I used to be fearful…worried about pervs trying to get to me; annoying people who think they know all; etc., etc. I grudgingly set up a MySpace page and a Facebook page…not too sure about the other social networking sites.


Since I have set up my Facebook page, I have been seriously amazed at all the old (not age old…okay, maybe so…LOL) classmates I have found…some of them going all the way back to kindergarten. It is just hysterical. I have even been brave enough and bold enough to tell several high school classmates that I had crushes in high school. Holy cow! Of course, I am not sure I would have been bold enough to do so in person…maybe, maybe not.


The thing about technology is that despite its seeming impersonalness (is that even a word?), it allows everyone to connect with everyone else, even when they are miles apart. Keeping in touch can be done at our convenience without regard to time zones, schedules, postage rates, etc. We can laugh at ourselves and our contacts, but no one is the wiser. We can share memories and lives, bad times and good, inane and important events, etc. Sure, a lot of the comments are silly, but it breaks the monotony of our existence. It also crosses the boundaries of break-ups, bad feelings, or whatever because you can choose who you want as your ‘friend’ and how much you want to stay in contact with your ‘friends.’


I have actually found people that were extremely important in my life that I thought had been lost forever. How cool is that? It is also seriously cool that I can remember certain things, all because someone made me their ‘friend.’ It may be something I hadn’t thought about for years and years, but a glimpse of a face brings it back just like it happened yesterday.


I think the jury might still be out on social networking sites, but in my humble opinion, they are a good thing. It is all about freedom of choice, and like the song says, ‘You can choose not to decide, but you still have made a choice.’ Happy Posting! 🙂


Farewell Zubie! We’ll miss you! July 30, 2009

Filed under: Hockey,Sports — Gr8ChefMB @ 11:15 pm
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Football fanatics weep when a beloved player leaves or retires. I am a hockey fanatic, and I am weeping because free agent Sergei Zubov has signed with SKA St. Petersburg of the KHL league in his native Russia. He was signed as a defenseman for the Dallas Stars for 12 seasons. Prior to that, he was a member of the New York Rangers and had a brief stint as a Pittsburgh Penguin. He helped both teams to win two Stanley Cups in 1994 and 1999. He also took home a gold medal in the 1992 Winter Olympics playing for the Commonwealth of Independent States (after the U.S.S.R. was dissolved).


The thing about Zubie is that he has always been underrated. Most of the time, you didn’t know he was around until he zinged the puck away and/or into the net. He was not afraid to get physical, either, although he preferred to play well by positioning himself to get pucks out of tight spots (like in the corners). By all acoounts, he was fairly quiet in dressing room. Unfortunately, in his last season with the Dallas Stars, he played only 10 games and recorded 4 assists. He had a hip which required surgery and a lengthy recuperation.


He was what some called the ‘stereotypical Russian’ because he did not draw attention to himself and he was a collective team player, rather than an individual. He very seldom made mention of wants or desires. Zubie was a mainstay on the penalty-killing unit, and had several high-scoring seasons. He earned three trips to the NHL All-Star game while he was a Dallas Star. Unfortunately, he flew under the radar enough that he was only nominated for an NHL award – the Norris Trophy, awarded to the top defensive player demonstating the greatest all-around ability – only once; he did not win that award.


Besides his stealth on the ice, the thing I will always remember about Zubie came from an article in our local newspaper. The reporter talked about the music the guys liked to hear in the ‘room’ while preparing for game. The responses were the typical mix of metal, hard rock, etc., except for one player who loved Toby Keith. The reporter also mentioned that when this song (I think it was Beer for My Horses) was played, everyone sang along with it, including Zubie. The mental picture of this quiet, reserved Russian singing along to a country song is funny. I would have paid good money to see that.


So, Zubov, his wife and two kids are headed back to their native Russia. I wish them the best; I am certain they will be glad to be back. On a personal level, I will miss seeing him on the ice digging out pucks from the corners. I am certain that the rest of Dallas will miss him, too. Nostrovia, Zubie!




Hello world!

Filed under: Cooking,Hello world! — Gr8ChefMB @ 2:11 pm
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Welcome to This is your first post. Edit or delete it and start blogging!


Rather ominous words, don’t you think? The greeting is a put offputting, too…I have never fancied myself to be a writer. It was an arduous chore in school, except for fifth grade. It was Mr. Sefzik’s first year, and he had yet to become jaded and apathetic to his students. He was full of promise and, perhaps, naivete. On Fridays, he assigned creative writing exercises, such as ‘what would you be like as a robot.’ He wanted specifics and descriptive imagery.


Flash forward about thirty years; it’s a brave new world out there! Practically anyone with half a brain can put their ramblings online for the entire world to see. Seriously, how cool is that???!!! Well, we will see…time will tell.


Welcome to my life, such as it is. Hopefully, you will get to know me and I will get to know the world just a little better, and perhaps, understand it a little better.


Currently, I am readying Julie Powell’s hilarious account of drifting through life at a dreary governmental job and suddenly deciding to cook her way through Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Through this period, she blogs about her experiences as her life takes turns for better and worse. (I don’t think I could deal with faulty plumbing on a continual basis.) The book is titled Julia & Julia; it has been made into a movie with Amy Adams as Julie and Meryl Streep as Julia Child….can’t wait to see the movie. I’ll let you know later how it is….


As I am reading this book, it got me to thinking…would the world care what my life is like and what my thoughts are? Who knows…


Ms. Powell’s adventures in cooking and eating are hilarious, especially since she is such a picky eater. I can honestly say that I am not a picky eater; I will try almost anything at least once. As she learns new cooking techniques and ingredients, she broadens her horizons and opens her mind. I have been cooking since I was at least 7 or 8, and reading cookbooks and recipes for almost as long. I can remember that my very first cookbook was entitled just that and Mom ordered it from Imperial Sugar after saving the required number proofs of purchase. I wish I still had that cookbook. I think I first made sugar cookies out of it.


I am now more of a cook rather than a pastry chef-type. Baking requires precision, the ability to follow exact directions/proportions and attention to detail. With actual cooking, these things are rather optional. It helps to ensure the outcome, but sometimes when not present, the outcome is still good. I think of recipes more as guidelines and suggestions. (Think about the pirate’s idea of parlay in the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie!)


I have been successful more often than not and I have learned that one shouldn’t drink alcohol whilst cooking shepherd’s pie from a recipe in one’s mind. (It was so awful, the dog wouldn’t even touch it with a ten-foot pole!) Also, don’t cook bone-in chicken and Stove Top stuffing without reading a recipe and/or instructions after inviting a new boyfriend home to dinner with your family. (Very bad idea – raw chicken and boiled stuffing! Uuugghhhh! Of course, I was still young and somewhat inexperienced in the kitchen.)


Life is kind of like cooking, I think. You are either really good at it or not so good. So many people come with excuses as to why their life just isn’t working out the way they think it should. I’m just as guilty of this as the next person. Well, guess what! You have to start out with quality ingredients and pay attention. Listen to advice you have been given (just like reading directions for a recipe) and take what you can use. If you don’t have quality ingredients to start out, work hard to get them and get what you want out of life, whatever that may be. It does help to be somewhat detail-oriented. It also really helps to use your imagination, too.


Here is a closing thought:

Continual cheerfulness is a sign of wisdom. – German proverb


Happy Cooking! 🙂