On A to Z

a-z-2013Someone declared April as A-to-Z Challenge Month. Sure, the challenge’s intent is to have a separate post for each letter, but hey – I have a streak of independence.

With 1,167 posts before this one, why not use my archives to meet the challenge? After all, even frequent readers aren’t aware of some of the posts.

Therefore, I present A Frank Angle’s A-to-Z. Visit as many as you like, because as in my tradition, there is something for all …. so hopefully you’ll visit at least one.

AFAa2zBadgeA is for Acquaintance – People that were not in my graduation class: set 1 and set 2

B is for Ballroom – … and ballroom dance delivers benefits

C is for Cruising – We like cruising, so start your trip with a click

D is for Dinner Group – … We hosted a night of Chopped

E is for Education Reform – Although the need is obvious, here are the obstacles

F is for Frank – Yep, that’s my name, but these are the All-Time Franks in baseball

G is for God and Government – I must say that this post about the separation of church and state is pretty darn good

H is for Handbells – It takes many bells to make one instrument

I is for Italian – I’m 100% Italian heritage, and Ellis Island is an important place

J is for Joys – To whatever give you joy, but for some of us, it’s reliving the cartoons of our youth, and here is where the series started, which led to the first honoree

K is for Knowledge – What do you know about supersonic kangaroos?

L is for LearnerLearning should never stop

M is for Moderate – This early post defines an independent moderate, thus shows why neither party wants me … well, except for my vote

N is for News – Staying informed is important, but there is something more biased than the media

O is for Ohio River – A story from my hometown on a river during my youth.

P is for Politics – I wrote this shortly after the 2008 election, but before the Tea Party’s emergence (which is what makes this post interesting)

Q is for Quantum – Actually, this past post was On a Quantum Thought

R is for Recipes – I’m sort of a Foodie, so try Cranberry Sausage Spaghetti or my own spaghetti sauce that offers a little crunch

S is for Science – Like sports, science has players, plays, rules, and boundaries

T is for Trieste – A beautiful city on the Adriatic Sea that is the place of my birth

U is for Universe – The universe is vast and inspiring, and this post includes one of my absolute favorite videos

V is for Victory – The raised arm created an unexpected moment in college

W is for Wonders – There are many wonders in our world, and let’s not forget Fibonacci, Pi, and Tau

X is for X-Factor – and one X-factor in life is forgiveness

Y is for Why because I can – This is the first main post about the religion-science interchange; now there are 44, plus here is the very first post

Z is for Zinfandel – I enjoy a wide spectrum of wines, especially reds, but zins were the first to capture my fancy – and cheers to the wine group at church

AAA+++ Bonus for the bloggers on my sidebar and on the More Bloggers page, for as without them and you, I wouldn’t be here, so try to visiting someone soon that you don’t know, and tell them I sent you.

Addendum: To learn more about the A Frank Angle A-to-Z Challenge, click here.

On a Chopped Dinner

Years ago, we were one of four couples assigned together as a church function to meet once in each of our homes over the course of a year. We had such a good time, we decided to keep going, and this past weekend we completed our 60-something meeting. The bottom line is the host sets the theme, provides the entrée, and assigns the other courses.

This past weekend, we hosted an evening based on Food Network’s Chopped – which also means I dressed in jeans, a bright shirt and tie, dress jacket, and tennis shoes.

It started several weeks ago when we announced the theme and asked each couple to donate one item to each of the four baskets: appetizer, soup/salad, entrée, and dessert. After receiving each list of items, we placed them in a basket, assigned the courses, and sent the electronic baskets to the participants. Of course using other ingredients are fine, but the basket items are the featured taste/ingredient.

Saturday was quite the evening as we ate well and consumed our share of good wine. Even some honey bourbon made it into the evening. Below are the list of ingredients, the description of the creation, and a picture. We are very proud of this group. Enjoy.

Appetizer
Basket: Shrimp, dried cranberries, kiwi, and pretzels

Chef DD Result: Kiwi-dried cranberry-jalapeno salad served with a shrimp conquistador dipping sauce and pretzel chips.

Comment: A little zip to start the evening.

Salad
Basket: Dairy case crescent rolls, green grapes, tomatillos, and pork rinds.

Chef DP Result: Avocado-tomato salad served on a bed of lettuce with a green grape-tomatillo dressing and two bread strips encrusted with pork rinds and asiago cheese.

Comment: The creators took much time to determine the right balance of these two diverse tastes.

Entrée
Basket: Orange juice concentrate, beer, red wine, and ham hocks

Chef FK Result: Oven-baked, beer-marinated pork chops topped with a red wine, ham hock reduction sauce and ham hock bits, served with fresh green beans topped with orange-ground coriander vinaigrette accompanied with beer bread.

Comment: Reduction sauce is time consuming, but tasty.

Dessert

Basket: Egg white, walnuts, frozen waffles, and hominy

Chef BR Result: Hominy with essence of banana ice cream topped with walnuts and served with two Eggo cookies dipped in egg whites and chocolate.

Comment: The toughest challenge of the night, and surprisingly yummy.

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 108

On Politics
I don’t care about tomorrow’s GOP Ames Straw Poll. Simply put, the presidential campaign season is too long.

Sarah Palin said her arrival in New Hampshire on the same day Gov. Romney announced his candidacy was coincidental. Tomorrow, signs point to The Nincompoop’s coincidental arrival in Ames. Oops – it appears to be the same day Gov. Perry upstages all of them.

Is Jon Huntsman getting the cold shoulder because he refuses to play crazy?

News came out this week that President Obama’s re-election campaign plans to paint Gov. Romney as weird. Wow – I would have though his Massachusetts health care model, his worker-layoff record, and his waffling and flip-flopping would have been a better suggestion. Now that’s weird.

Not to my surprise, I’m unhappy with the Super Committee selections. Besides, Sen. Jon Kyl’s (R-AZ) selection goes against my pledge of no jackwagons.

Regarding the Super Committee, would it have been more interesting if the party leaders selected members from the other party? By the way, sequester them for a long weekend away from the press and any communication with the outside world.

Meanwhile, on the House side of Capitol Hill, I remind Speaker Boehner that it is Week 31 of the Boehner-led House without a jobs bill. To quote Speaker Boehner, “Where are the jobs?”

Interesting Reads

Interesting Headlines I Saw this Week on The Onion

  • Obama Turns 50 Despite Republican Opposition
  • Dept of Labor Reports it could be nothing, but They may have Spotted a Job in an Iowa Strip Mall
  • New GOP Strategy Involves Re-electing Obama. Making his Life More Miserable
  • Silicon Valley Town Pinning Tourism Hopes on World’s Largest Website
  • Scientists Trace Heat Wave to Massive Star at Center of Solar System

On Potpourri
What has Oklahoma done to be the top-ranked college football team this season?

My shoulder passed the first golf test of hitting about 30-40 wedges at a driving range.

This week was the anniversary of President Nixon’s resignation, which came 6 years to the day of his 1968 nomination.

This weekend we our hosting our dinner group with a theme based around Food Network’s Chopped. Each couple received a basket of key ingredients to use for their course, and with the aid of their pantry, they will feed the rest of us. Here are the baskets. Should a future post report the results?

  • Appetizer: Shrimp, pretzels, dried cranberries, and kiwi
  • Soup/Salad: Dairy case crescent rolls, green grapes, tomatillos, and pork rinds
  • Entrée: Orange juice concentrate, beer, red wine, and ham hocks
  • Dessert: Egg whites, walnuts, hominy, and frozen waffles

In the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good works, and stay in touch.