Nobody wants the cranberries apparently.

This is not a crop everyone is crying for.

Cranberry farmers have asked the federal government for permission to destroy a quarter of their crop in response to a glut that has kept prices low and growers operating in the red. Aren’t they always operating in the “red?” Cranberry red that is.

The Boston Globe reports that after struggling with an oversupply of the berries for nearly two decades, growers around the country are asking the U.S. Department of Agriculture for authorization to sell 75 percent of the supply and discard the rest.

If the government approves their request, farmers would hold back roughly 100 million pounds of cranberries.

Jack Angley is owner of Flax Pond Farms in Carver. He says overproduction means “we’re not getting much money for our crops.” The USDA estimates the cost to produce a barrel of cranberries is $35, but the average price last year was $31.50.

My problem with this.

In case you hadn’t noticed a couple of years or more ago the cranberry cartel/terrorists/cooperative took their 16 oz. can of cranberries and reduced it to a 14 oz. can obviously to make more money and have more cans to sell. Every seven cans they would have an eighth can from the two ounces they removed to make 14 oz. cans. WTF for? So they make more cans and sell the same amount of cans with the extra going to a warehouse. So what they have done is make more of something that doesn’t sell that well so more can sit and not sell. Now does that make sense?

If they have an over abundance then why cut the size of the can? So they can sell less for the same money or more money. Now they want to destroy their crop to make more money. WTF.

Apparently they have product from last year left over. Here is a solution: Only plant half your fields for a year or two. 

I find this hard to believe that there is such an over abundance. This must be caused by climate change. The warmer earth is making the cranberries grow like crazy. 

I find it hard to believe when they have come up with Craisins and different flavors of Craisins, cranberry juice, cranapple, and more flavors. How about cranberry jelly? They make most jellies so sweet they taste almost nothing like the fruit they are made of so cranberry jelly should work.

A crop that is used ONCE a year or maybe twice a year.

Cranberries are a once a year thing for most of us and that is at Thanksgiving. Some may use it at Christmas but then who eats it all year long? I know once in a while I will cook or fry a turkey during the year and eat cranberry sauce with it. Or if I have fried chicken I eat it sometimes with that.  Other than that I forget about it like most people.

What the growers need to do is find other uses like Craisins. They could make or get someone to make cranberry candy and cookies and cakes. Add it to trail mix etc. How about cranberry applesauce? 

How about the troops or homeless or hungry?

How about sending Craisins and juice etc. to the troops and use the tax write off instead of destroying it or feeding it to animals. Will animals eat it? Then there is the homeless and hungry out there. Make cakes and cookies and again the Craisins and juice could be donated for a tax write off.

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The Power AirFryer Oven does it work?

Infomercials are bullshit.

I am sick of these informercials that make these products look so good and work perfectly. 

Years ago when my daughter was little, maybe 5 or 6 she use to love to watch these along with The Wizard of Oz. Not sure there is any correlation there but she loved them.

I even fell for a few of them. Like the power hand stick mixer that they made everything with including mayonnaise. I got suckered into buying this and used if for a time. It had a plastic stand that would allow you to stand it on the kitchen counter. I had mine in this stand and one day my wife knocked it over and the damn thing broke just from that small fall. There was an indentation where your hand fit to use it and hold it and that’s where it broke. The whole case just cracked in two at that point. 

The best part of infomercials are the warranties. 

They offer lifetime warranties or in my case with the mixer a 15 year warranty. That warranty is good IF THE DAMN COMPANY IS STILL AROUND. Mine wasn’t and so the mixer went in the trash.

“We’ll replace if free, no questions asked.” AGAIN IF THE COMPANY IS STILL AROUND.

Anyone remember the Hand Hammered Wok?

This was a good one. As usual they made it seem like it could or you could do anything with this wok and you just had to have it. This was back when woks were all the craze and you just had to have one to stir fry. The best part of this was they didn’t have some Chinese chef, no the guy was a bald British chef with a mustache. WTF?

It was supposedly hand hammered in China and not pressed by a machine. I use to think what if a machine did press it and then some guy hits it a few times to give it hammer marks? Anyway I think it is pretty much gone now. 

The Power AirFryer Oven.

Again, I was suckered into this machine. Sure it looked good. And I thought this would be great, frying with no oil. Now I realize it isn’t frying but here again they make it look perfect and the food perfect.

I belong to Sam’s Club and as luck would have it they were selling these. I say luck but in this case it was bad luck. I took the thing home and was anxious to use it. 

So I unpackaged it and started to cook with it. The first thing is it had a handle on the front and when you pulled this handle out there was a drawer where you put the food to cook it. I think this was made in China. I say that because the damn drawer wouldn’t go back in the machine. It didn’t fit. It came out of the machine but wouldn’t go back in. This particular model was the one that looked like a large black egg.

Now comes the new improved model?

This model is more square and has 6 and 8 quart models. They have two 6 quart models, why I don’t know and an 8 quart model. These have doors like the oven in your kitchen. Here is my problem. The Power AirFryer Elite, the first model has all these features that the other 6 quart model doesn’t have as well as the 8 quart model which doesn’t have the features either. WHY THE HELL NOT? Two out of three don’t have all the features. 

These are advertised by some schmuck that calls himself a chef. His name is Eric Theiss whom I had never heard of before infomercials. 

Here is my issue with this machine. The Power AirFryer Elite 6 quart model has measurements of 13.2 inches high X 12.6 inches wide X 13.4 inches deep. 

The Power AirFryer Oven, the other 6 quart model, which isn’t Elite for some reason has bigger measurements of 15 inches high X 13.4 inches wide X 14.6 inches deep. So it is 1.8 inches higher, .8 inches wider (that’s less than an inch) and is 1.2 inches deeper. But is still 6 quarts. WTF. Again it is bigger but has less features. Huh? 

Then there is the Power AirFryer Oven Family Size. Again WTF. 

So this model has measurements of 16.25 inches high X 14 inches wide X 15 inches deep. So it is 1.25 inches higher than the 6 quart model (not the Elite) and .6 inches wider than the 6 quart model (again not the Elite) and .4 inches deeper than the 6 quart model (not Elite). So it is 1.25 X .6 X .4 inches bigger than the 6 quart model (not the Elite). So how the hell did they get 2 more quarts out of this Family Model? 

So why does the Elite model have more features the others do not have? Why is the other 6 quart model have bigger measurements than the Elite model? It all makes no sense to me. I must be missing something?

So does it work? Who knows? It probably works in some capacity but probably not like they make it look. I assume they do some kind of testing for the recipes etc. But how many times do they cook the food to make it look good for the infomercial, then splice the segments together. 

To prove they splice segments together look at the part where Theiss takes a piece of Kentucky Fried Chicken and puts it on a paper towel to show the grease content. He folds it in half then presses down on it. When he goes to unfold it the paper towel has been folded twice over the chicken not just in half. So he placed it in the middle and folded both ends over the chicken. 

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The perfect peanut butter and jelly sandwich for lunch

I am a sandwich nut.

I will put almost anything between two slices of bread and I mean almost anything. Below you will find some of my creations.

The perfect PB&J for the kids lunch.Your kids will love it.

I was just watching a movie and they were making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for their kids lunches. I remember taking these and by lunch the jelly has pretty much soaked the one side of the sandwich.

So I tried this secret and my daughter who is now 44 still talks about this sandwich. AND she still makes it that way just to eat it.

My secret.

I am not sure someone else hasn’t figured this out but here is what I did. I spread a thin coating of peanut butter on both slices of bread. It is up to you how thick the peanut butter is spread. If they like a lot of peanut butter spread it a little thicker but remember it is on both sides. Then spread the jelly on one slice of the peanut butter covered bread right over the peanut butter, put it together and your kids will be amazed. Unless of course they don’t like peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

The “science” behind this is the peanut butter won’t soak the bread AND it has oil which will repel the jelly and keep it from soaking into the bread and making a mess.

As I said my daughter still talks about this sandwich after all these years.

Lunch meat sandwiches.

This is not a big deal but a hint in case you haven’t thought of this too. When doing a lunch meat sandwich with mayo or mustard put the condiment on one slice of meat and then top with the other slice or slices of meat to keep it from soaking into the bread.

Fried potato sandwiches or potato chip sandwiches.

Fry some hash browns or regular potatoes and season as you like, salt and pepper etc. Then put on bread, top with mustard and the other slice of bread. Lots of carbs but it is good.

You can do the same thing with potato chips. Use the plain thin potato chips that aren’t flavored. Put them on a slice of bread with mustard and another slice of bread and press slightly. These are both good unless you hate potatoes

How about a radish sandwich?

Slice radishes, I like them thin. Then place as many slices as you like on one slice of bread and salt the radishes. Then put mayo on the other slice and place on top of the radishes. I love these.

Banana, peanut butter and mayonnaise. Yes I said mayonnaise.

I know this sounds strange and most people will eat just banana and peanut butter but this is good unless of course you don’t like mayo. Toast the bread, put peanut butter on one slice of bread top with the banana then mayo on the other slice and place the other slice of bread on top. My mother got me eating this and I have eaten them all my life. I have only found one person outside of the family that ate them too.

Old family favorites.

As I said above my mother got me eating most if not all of these back in the day when everyone appears or tries to be health conscious. I don’t go too overboard with healthy eating. Like those people in restaurants that order wheat toast when I am sure they eat white bread at home. Why? Because if you look at the store there sure isn’t empty space where the wheat bread goes they are usually out of white bread.

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Cooking hints

I hope this isn’t too far out there. I just decided to add this category to my list. Why? Because I love to eat and cook and have been cooking all my life through the single life, two wives and four kids. I started first out of survival then because I am good at it and could multi-task before they called it multi-tasking. My mother use to say I should open a restaurant but that is way too much work. It takes a lot of time to own a business, do the cooking, balance the books, hire people ya da ya da ya da.

The beginning.

I didn’t start out as a good cook and I assume most people are the same. It took thyme and seasoning (joke) to be where and what I am today. Cooking is easy and if you have a little imagination you can make anything. When I started I wasn’t too bad but not great either. I didn’t burn anything that I remember. I thought back then I was pretty good but looking back I was feeling my way along.

Make it your own.

Most recipes you can make your own. If you don’t like something substitute. Like I don’t like Thyme so most of the time I substitute basil or even oregano. Most important is garlic. I add it to most recipes even if it is not in the recipe, cookies, cakes (just kidding). A lot of recipes don’t have many spices so as I copy it I can add it to the recipe. I make changes while putting it down on paper. Now, if you aren’t that experienced don’t feel bad. You will get the feel for it the more you cook. Try to think of what tastes good in most foods like garlic etc. If you don’t like cooking that may be a problem.

Don’t be afraid.

It is food and not life or death unless you are starving, lol. Have fun with it. Like I said if you have a better idea, try it instead of what the recipe says. Like I made these lemon cookies that suggested you take lemon drop candy and put it in a food processor and grind them up. What a racket. Then when you made the cookies for some reason they went flat. They were suppose to be ball shaped. What I tried, which saved my food processor and kept the balls of cookies in ball shape was dry lemonade drink mix. It worked perfect as I said they stayed in balls and you had to roll the balls in the ground up candy, which again I replaced with the mix too. People on the recipe website said the same thing, they went flat so I left a message and hoped it helped some people.

Cooking websites.

I love these. One of my favorites is I like pictures with my recipes and this was one of the first to have pictures and decent size pictures. I use to go to different sites and would email them that I wouldn’t use their recipes if they didn’t have a picture. Now it seems most have pictures and good pictures. Almost every cooking product has a website and they include recipes to get you to use their products. The websites are usually on the package.

Your cookbooks.

I use these three ring binders that you can get a WalMart and other stores. They are the size of a half sheet of paper. I landscape my paper on the computer and make it two columns. I put the name of the recipe, the website under it, the prep time and the cooking time. Then a picture followed by the ingredients and directions. A lot of times I can edit it and get it on one side of the paper and a second recipe on the other side of the same side of the paper. Then fold it in half, punch holes and add it to your notebook. I have about 7 or 8 or these with different categories. Publix here in Florida has recipes that are that size and are on nice shiny cards and they even sell binders to hold them. They fit in my notebooks perfectly.

Cooking shows.

I use to love Food Network and kept it on my TV all day and left the TV on all day and would listen. Then they started doing reality shows, got younger “chefs”, seemed to get some what pretentious like one of my favorites Michael Chiarello with his gray salt, brown eggs etc. They got rid of Emeril, Mario Batali and others. They all seemed to use the same spices, balsamic vinegar etc. They would put everything in the recipe but the proverbial kitchen sink.  To put it bluntly it sucked.

Then I just get tired of them trying to tell you what the dish tastes like. “This is crunchy on the outside tender on the inside, I can taste the basil blah blah blah.” Once in an cooked it is sometimes hard to distinguish flavors but because they know what is in there they claim they can taste it. Just like wine tasting. When someone says it tastes “oaky.” Just what does oak taste like and they say that because they know it was in oak barrels, hello. Also I have heard it tastes earthy. Does that mean it tastes like dirt?

I really dislike Guy Fieri whose last name is Ferry. This middle aged  man with the bleached spiked hair that thinks he is so cool, he is NOT. Time to grow up Guy. To prove it he drives a ’68 or ’69 Camaro, no style. So I don’t watch anymore.

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