Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday of the year. There. I’ve said it. 🙂
All that fun food brought by people showing off their best recipes? The outrageously delicious pies? How could it not be a foodie adventure?
But, wait, you say… remember Lola’s food puzzle dish? Unrecognizable in any food group that we could figure out? That’s why it’s an adventure. You never know what will turn up.
Last year, we were invited to dinner at a college pal’s house. (Translation – we go waaay back) Everybody brought a side dish and the butternut squash was one of the standouts. I happen to love butternut squash, but at home we usually have it whipped and buttered. Mary’s version is so much more interesting. She added chestnuts and rutabaga and now it’s the only way we serve it.
Mary told us the secret ingredients (she cooks creatively and doesn’t always make a dish the same way twice) and Sheila and I went to work on crafting a recipe that could be shared. Well…Sheila cooked and I tasted, to make sure the balance of flavors worked. I did do some wicked peeling, chopping, and scooping though. 😉
4-5 cups cooked Butternut Squash (4 pound squash yields 5-6 cups)
1 teaspoon olive oil, extra virgin, cold-pressed
1 teaspoon Sea Salt + 1 teaspoon Sea Salt
2 Tablespoons water for baking squash
2 cups cooked Rutabaga, rough mashed or pureed (1 medium rutabaga)
3 Tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon Nutmeg
2 Tablespoons heavy cream
1 dozen Chestnuts, cooked and peeled, for garnish (Gefen sells a package of recipe-ready chestnuts – already peeled and cooked)
Pepper (to taste)
Start the prep of the squash first, then after it is in the oven, start the rutabaga prep.
Add rutabaga to squash in the mixer bowl and whip on high for 3-4 minutes or until mashed potato consistency, adding salt if needed and pepper to taste.
If you are making this ahead of time, place the finished mixture into a large bowl suitable for reheating.
Garnish with chestnuts and serve.
Prep time: 40 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour 30 minutes
*Many thanks to Mary Gerrard for the delicious addition to the Thanksgiving table. 🙂
*Photo by Patti Phillips
Police Officers have as many different backgrounds as the general population these days. Depending on where they live, candidates can come from poor neighborhoods as well as better ones, arrive fresh out of high school or (increasingly) college graduates, and they have all types of ethnic backgrounds. Except for the male/female balance, the mix is becoming more representative every year of our culture as a whole.
Just as educational, economic and ethnic backgrounds differ, so do the reasons for applying to the academy. Take a look at a few of them:
Help the Community
Some of the candidates reveal in their preliminary interviews that they just want to help make their towns safer. Growing up, they may have witnessed crime in their neighborhoods and now want to protect or defend law-abiding citizens. And, it’s not uncommon for younger members of police families to want to carry on the family tradition.
By becoming a police officer, they will be able to:
Have an Exciting Job
For some, even the thought of a 9 to 5 desk job is out of the question. TV shows and movies with their inaccurate portrayals notwithstanding, the idea of being on the streets and solving crimes can be a real draw. Depending on the department or the size of the city, the level of real excitement might range from that 9 to 5 desk job they didn’t want to actual street time on the narcotics squad. The assignments may not be glamorous to most people, but to a dedicated police officer, investigations are what gets them up in the morning (or more likely, middle of the night).
Some potential candidates are looking for jobs with a bit of authority, where civilians will look to them for direction or guidance every day on the beat. In most areas, the police are treated with respect.
Many potential police officers prefer a life that resembles the military, with its department ranks and orderly chain of command. Careers in law enforcement are actually fairly easy transitions for men and women who are leaving military duty and moving into civilian life. The mental and physical training they’ve already received during military service is very helpful during the specialized training they will receive at the various law enforcement academies.
Once the initial decision is made to become a Police Officer or other Law Enforcement agent, the next step is to decide which area is the best fit.
Here are links to posts that give overviews of the requirements for a few different types of law enforcement. A smart potential candidate takes a look before he/she makes career plans.
Police Academy/State Trooper: http://bit.ly/14vISns
If somebody you know wants to become a cop, please pass this along. 🙂
*Photos by Patti Phillips with the exception of the sniper photo.
Sniper photo from Wikipedia