The post-Christmas roundup

Published on Friday, 5 January 2018 20:05 - Written by By Nelson Clyde,

Winter has arrived with a vengeance. If that wasn’t enough we now hold the prize for being one of the top per capita places for the flu. The good news about that is ... well there just isn’t any good news about having the flu.

One remedy around my house this year has been to steep fresh ginger and the juice of two lemons in a teapot and serve with a generous amount of honey. I think it is a hot toddy without the whiskey. Perhaps they should be dispensing those with Tamiflu and everything else flying off the shelves at every pharmacy in town.

What do you do when Santa doesn’t listen? Jump on Amazon and build a dream stocking. For years now I have fought the fight of putting up frozen bananas for shakes and needing a sous chef to hold the large Ziploc bags while I fill them full of bananas.

Of course a brief search on Amazon revealed to my surprise there is a counter top gadget that performs this essential task. It is the Jokari Hands-Free Baggy Rack Clip Food Storage Bag Holder. I never knew $6.98 could make me so happy. Of course when I showed Bubba the order and asked why he hadn’t invented the thing he replied with a photo of the one he and Jan have used (presumably) for years with something about me joining the 21st century.

It was a serendipitous find because I was actually on Amazon looking for the Vidalia onion chopper pro version. The base model I have had for years was not up to the punishment it received in my kitchen, so for another few bucks I sprung for the big boy. Now that I think about it, this may not have been so serendipitous since I needed my order to be $35 to get free shipping and found the golden ticket with the Chef'n Cob Corn Stripper. The two items were among probably thousands of suggestions unless Siri and Alexa are talking to each other without my consent. So much for serendipity.

Finally, Santa did bring me the Leonardo da Vinci biography and I’ve already encountered some wonderful stuff. The author, Walter Isaacson has a wonderful quote which will be added to my ongoing list of favorites: Vision without execution is hallucination.

A new word entered my world as well. The Sfumato technique of painting was something Leonardo incorporated into his work. It is defined as the technique of allowing tones and colors to shade gradually into one another, producing softened outlines or hazy forms.

If you pronounce every letter with a decidedly Italian accent I’m told it sounds right.

You say Sfumato, I say Sfumato.

Rest in peace aunt Marjorie. Say hello to Buddy, Gran and Papa.