Gratuitous food porn shot of the day (Xmas eve edition) — French rib rack lamb

The things you can find on sale at Dillon’s supermarket (part of the Kroger chain) in Manhattan (Kansas).

For Christmas Eve dinner, which has no special significance other than we made it home from Minnesota before the storm hit, only to get walloped in Manhattan, I decided to cook the lamb – with a rosemary, Dijon mustard glaze, to a yummy and greasy thermometer-verified 140F. Accompanied with roasted potatoes and carrots, along with microwaved asparagus in garlic, olive oil and balsamic vinegar, with whole wheat rolls and a mushroom-fat-free-lamb-stock roux. Served with a 2005 Zinfandel from Napa Valley courtesy of Amy’s Aunt Jean and Uncle Mark.

Below is Sorenne doing her best Pebbles Flintstone impersonation on a lamb lollipop.

Nothing like a hot tub in a 15F blizzard to remove the grease and mess and stuff.

Christmas Day is usually T-bone steaks, but now I have to figure out if they are meat tenderized or not (good luck). More about that later.

If you swallow the charm, it’s your fault; London diners sign Xmas pudding waiver

I have no use for Christmas pudding, fruitcake, or those stale, doughy cookies strewn with sprinkles.


Christmas pudding is apparently a steamed dessert made with dried fruit, nuts, spices and brandy.

It is common to put several charms or coins in the pudding, which are believed to bring prosperity in the New Year to the person who finds them.

The owners of High Timber, a London restaurant in the financial district, say they were advised to draw up the indemnity form by lawyers who regularly dine there.

Co-owner Neleen Strauss said,

"I thought it was going to be a pain but decided to do it to cover my backside. We’re based in the City so a lot of my customers are lawyers and they suggested it. It is a bit crazy but I decided to take their advice."

The waiver says,

"I absolve entirely High Timber from all blame or liability should I come to any harm including, but not limited to, a chipped tooth, or any injury as a result of swallowing it."

Champagne and cupcakes, Trailer Park Boys, and hand sanitizers in massage practices

Holidays are all about tradition.

And nothing says tradition more than the Canadian TV show, Trailer Park Boys.

Amy and I have a polar bear that guards the compound during the long winter nights; we have champagne and cupcakes for birthday parties, and every Christmas Day, we gather round the hearth with whoever’s left in town, and watch the Trailer Park Boys Christmas Special.

Trailer Park Boys is a popular Canadian comedic mockumentary television series that ran from 2001 – 2007 and focused on the misadventures of a group of trailer park residents — primarily Ricky, Julian and Bubbles (right) — living in a fictional trailer park located in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia.

In the 2004 Christmas Special, Ricky interrupts the midnight mass to share the true meaning of the season:

“Sorry to interrupt, but I just had one of those brain-learning things pop into my head. …  What is Christmas? I just got out of jail, which was awesome, you know, they don’t have presents and lights and tress, we just get stoned and drunk, it’s the best time. And I get out here and I’m all stressed out. … That’s not what Christmas should be, you should be getting drunk and stoned with your friends and family, people that you love. … That’s Christmas. … Getting drunk and stoned with your families and the people that you love. And if you don’t smoke or drink, just spend time with your families. It’s awesome. Merry Christmas.

My mom and daughter Courtlynn spent the weekend in Manhattan (Kansas) for a little holiday cheer and to help celebrate Sorenne’s first birthday, and while we didn’t get drunk or stoned, we did just spend time with our family and friends.

My other favorite Christmas movie, Mystery, Alaska, features Russell Crowe as a hockey-playing sheriff in the town of Mystery, Alaska. The 1999 movie has nothing to do with Christmas but oozes a Jimmy Stewart kind of sentimentality as a fictional small-town hockey team plays a game against the New York Rangers.

One of the best segments is Canadian Mike Myers (party on, Garth) as play-by-play analyst Donnie Shulzhoffer, who asks during one of the breaks, “Anyone know where a guy can get a rub and a tug in this town?”

Which raises a question: should hand sanitizers be used in a massage parlor, or by massage therapists?

The Institute for Integrative Healthcare Studies has concluded – maybe.

With the rising popularity of hand sanitizers, some therapists are opting to rub an alcohol-based gel between their hands in lieu of scrubbing with soap and water. While hand sanitizers have revolutionized how we practice infection control, it may not always be the best choice for massage therapists.

Bodyworkers’ hands function as their primary tools. Because their tools are reused on each and every client, keeping their hands free of pathogens is a prerequisite to being a responsible therapist. Bodyworkers must wash their hands:

· Before and after eating
· Before and after using the restroom
· Before and after each interaction with a client

At first thought, bodyworkers may think that hand sanitizers save them time during their requisite hand cleansing. However, further investigation shows that this assumption is not accurate. In addition, hand sanitizers may kill most types of bacteria and viruses but they are not sufficient for removing body fluids from the hands. Thus, the old-fashioned approach using water, soap and a towel remains the preferred way for massage therapists to achieve clean, hygienic hands.

Happy Birthday, Sorenne, and thanks to everyone who came by for champagne and cupcakes.