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Happy Labor Day!

What we do is a measure of who we are.
If we imagine our work as labor, we become laborers.
If we imagine our work as art, we become artists.

~ Jeffrey Patnaude

A bonus quote this week, in honor of working. Especially apt, since both my husband and I are retired. Heh.

I did a lot of work yesterday, most of it in the kitchen. I've come to the realization that if I'm not going to lose weight on a "diet," then I might as well prepare and eat food that is somewhat entertaining. For instance, after years of eating an annual slice of pizza (if that), we're now making dough and preparing toppings for homemade pizza every Friday night, a la Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver. We've had some wonderful concoctions and we really look forward to Friday dinners.

I made pork chops – in a skillet, with breading – Saturday, along with baked potatoes and mixed vegetables. Yesterday we had an old-fashioned Southern-fried feast: biscuits with sausage gravy, fried green tomatoes, eggs (I didn't have eggs, but my husband had three!) and apple pie for dessert. (Again, my husband had pie, but I was too full to eat any. I thought I might have a slice for breakfast, but I'm still too full to eat anything!)

Because I'm turning into a food snob (oh, yes, I am), nearly everything we had for dinner this weekend was made from scratch. Doing that, my friends, is a lot of work. I'm sure the calories expended don't come close to equaling the calories eaten, but there is some effort involved that makes the meal much more satisfying.

Eating is eating, of course, and it takes about as much labor to prepare "diet" meals as it does to prepare the kinds of feasts we've enjoyed this weekend. (Although I haven't figured out how to make healthful biscuits.) Eating from the garden, as we've done all summer, is more work all the way around – you not only have to clean and prepare the vegetables after you pick them, you have to work pretty hard to get them to grow.

Last night after my husband rinsed his dessert plate, he suggested that perhaps we should go back to our old, more healthful, meal plans. It's not about weight loss for him – he's the one who retired, started taking a daily walk and lost 30 pounds, remember? It's about cholesterol and triglycerides and fat, oh my!

I'll humor him, of course, because he was nice and polite and not critical with his request. And maybe because he's right. But I gotta say that this Labor Day weekend was full of some pretty darned fun food.

P.S. I'm back to walking five miles a day, and it wasn't hard at all to start over. I ended up taking a week off, started back this past Wednesday and haven't missed a day since. Yeah, me!


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What a weekend! But first, how was yours? I hope you did some fun stuff and got some necessary stuff done, as well. It's all about balance.

Saturday was our fun day (but we had to drive, drive, drive to get there and then drive, drive, drive home again, all in one day, boy was I tired). We went to my husband's granddaughter's first birthday party. In addition to a sweet little doll, suitable for ages 0+ (meaning it has no parts that will come loose, and do you know how difficult it is to find dolls for babies when you live in the Middle of Nowhere?), I made her this:

I haven't sewn anything in a month of Sundays, so was a little apprehensive about finishing it on time, but this p…

It's all about the food

The dieting portion of this blog is temporarily suspended. Continue reading at your own risk.

If you’re going to throw a party, be sure to have good food and plenty of it. That’s my daughter’s philosophy, and I think it’s pretty good advice.

The members of the group who will be here Thursday night are middle-aged and older, so I think mostly traditional appetizers are in order. We’ll have Swedish meatballs and those little sausages cooked in a sweet-and-sour sauce, along with artichoke dip, hummus with vegetables and crackers, a bowl of cinnamon-spiced nuts and a fruit pizza.

Cupcakes are on the menu. Cupcakes sure seem to be popular these days – Google Blogsearch came up with 1,181,447 hits and is selling a boatload of cupcake cookbooks.

Mine are plain old chocolate, and will be decorated with the words “Yes We Can” on top. I think some will be iced in blue and some in white, with red lettering.

I’m also making pig candy. I first had this at one of my daughter’s Oscar parties s…