Category Archives: pain

Horse Bites: Hot Brown

In addition to The Pie, Hot Browns are another must-have on Derby weekend. Many Hostesses serve them for brunch Derby Day. It’s essentially an open-faced turkey sandwich on toast with Mornay sauce topped with bacon and tomato slices. But everyone has their own touches!

Kentucky Hot Brown (four generous portions)

6 slices bread, toasted and sliced diagonally
12 oz. thick-sliced turkey breast (this is the best I’ve found so far)
1/2 cup grated Romano cheese
8 strips half-cooked or pre-cooked bacon
1 stick butter
1/2 cup flour
2 cups chicken stock
2 cups scalded milk
salt and pepper to taste

1. Melt butter and whisk in flour (do not brown). Remove from heat and chill. (The longer you chill the better.)
2. Heat milk and broth (do not boil). Add hot mixture to chilled flour mixture, and whisk until thickened.
3. Add salt, pepper, and cheese until melted.
4. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
5. Assemble Hot Browns in a 9×13 pan in the following order: toast, turkey, sauce, and bacon.
6. Bake for 15-20 minutes until bubbly.

This also freezes well. BTW, this is super-easy and would be a great surprise to make Mom for Mother’s Day Brunch!

printable version

Now, you’ll notice I didn’t put the traditional tomato slices on top of the bacon before I cooked it. All my guys would have removed it immediately, so I didn’t bother.

Sadly, I don’t have a picture of my Horse Bites version due to some medical issues I’ve been dealing with recently – specifically, that my physicians are taking opposing views on my treatment and refuse to talk to each other, so I’ve been busy running around town to see them and treating myself since I still don’t have a diagnosis. Anyway, I have two options for this one:

If you truly want to stick to all finger-foods then use slices of baguette and a thick-sliced turkey like this one:

If you’re having a large party go ahead and cook a turkey breast a day or two before. Top it with your favorite cheese – I love Swiss, but anything that’s not too crumbly will work fine. Microwave that bacon (after cutting the slices into thirds), and while that is being patted dry by your sous chef (spouse, child, helpful friend) slice some grape or cherry tomatoes in half. This one needs a toothpick to hold it together.

Another yummy option is to make the Mornay sauce just like the original Hot Brown recipe. Then make turkey sandwiches on toast and cut them into quarters, placing 1/2 slice of cooked bacon on each quarter. Spoon the sauce into shot glasses and slide a sandwich quarter into each. Float half a cherry tomato in it if you like. Serve hot! Yes, a bit more bother, but SO clever. You can even get personalized shot glasses from bridal retailers if you want to make them even more memorable. I’d prefer plastic myself, especially if there’s alcohol involved and carpet on the floor. Have I mentioned how much I love my hardwoods and tile?

Check a few posts back for my Benedictine and Thurby Pie Horse Bites!

Pet Peeves

Anyone who knows me well knows about my pet peeves. I’m nearly as OCD as a high school band director, but without as much patience. Here are just my top ten.

  1. Do NOT interrupt anyone else while they are speaking.  My sweet husband is bad about this, so if I’ve been interrupted three times trying to say something important I just leave the room. Someday the house may be on fire, but he won’t realize it because he interrupts me at “The house is. . .” and rambles on for a while.
  2. Poor grammar, spelling, or punctuation. This is unacceptable in this day and age. We have spell check on our PHONES! Please do not put misspelled or grammatically incorrect phrases on your marquee. I will never go there for anything. Ever. Same with emails, internet ads, and flyers.
  3. Don’t assume I’m an idiot because I’m female. I truly didn’t think this still occurred until my husband’s newly-replaced rear window in his convertible shattered the very first time I put it down. Actually, I thought it should have been replaced free of charge since it was clearly mounted too tightly. But no. I called to get an estimate for yet another replacement. The price they quoted ME was TWICE the price they quoted my husband a day or two later.
  4. Don’t give me parenting advice if you aren’t a parent. A former step-brother used to do this when my eldest was about three. He gave me constant suggestions on what I should say or do. My eldest son was in a Ninja Turtles phase and liked to bounce around pretending he was a TMNT. He’s 26 now, and that was about as wild as he ever got. Last time I saw that ex-step-brother he was on my family farm looking for UFOs. Multiple religious sects rejected him. Thankfully, he has never fathered a child.
  5. Never say, “I know how you feel” unless you are in constant pain, are no longer able to practice in your career field, and have watched all your plans, hopes, and dreams dissolve in front of you.
  6. When I’m angry or frustrated do not pat me and say, “Now, now.” One of my father-in-law’s girlfriends (while my dear mother-in-law was still alive) did this the first time I met her. There’s really no coming back from that.
  7. Don’t insult my housekeeping or my pets. One sister-in-law (after I’d kept her dog for a week for free) insisted her husband call to tell us her dog had gotten fleas while at our house. My dogs didn’t have fleas, but I keep them on their flea/tick meds year-round because we have a very large, woodsy back yard. She clearly got over it, since we ended up taking care of the sweet pup every time they left town until he passed away – all for free.  Another sister-in-law called me up the weekend after Thanksgiving to tell me that their family would be unable to attend any gatherings at my home because with my dogs (two chocolate labs at that time) and my poor housekeeping skills her children had horrible allergic reactions. I apologized, and said I hoped to see her at a family gathering somewhere else in the future. Guess what? There was a New Year’s Eve party that year she really wanted to go to, but couldn’t find a baby sitter. They asked if WE could watch their kids overnight. Hmmm, so your children’s health ranks a bit below your social schedule? Or does your need to insult me rank higher than either of those?
  8. Speakerphone. It’s great! I use it so I don’t accidentally hang up on someone because of my tremor. But DO NOT do it professionally or about sensitive family matters when you’re not alone. I can hear that other person, or other people in the background. I don’t want to speak to random people. If I called YOU I want to speak with YOU. Not everyone who happens to be in the room with you. Common courtesy demands that you announce you’re on speaker-phone at the beginning of the conversation.
  9. As a nurse, spouses or adult children speaking FOR the patient. If a doctor or nurse asks the patient a question, they want the patient’s answer first. If you have something to add wait until the patient stops speaking.  And if you’re a spouse, NEVER bring up your own health issues. Talk to your own doctor on your own time (even if you both have the same doctor).
  10. Apathetic salespeople. My nineteen-year-old son told me he appreciates people ‘being real’ while working at a fast-food place, a movie theater, or a restaurant.  I was just stunned. At the very least I expect someone to whom I’m giving my money to smile and say please and thank you. Even on the phone. I know for a fact people can tell if you’re smiling while you’re talking on the phone. Common courtesy should be extended to EVERYONE. Of course my youngest is always terribly embarrassed when I’m walking out of a store with my cane (bad pain day) and hold the door open for some 15yo hoodlum. I yell, “You’re welcome!” with a smile. Most of the time the young man or woman will be embarrassed and say ‘thank you’. But many don’t, and some even mumble obscenities. #sadworldwelivein

What are your pet peeves? Please share, so I don’t feel like such a prissy-pants!

Just When I Felt Alone. . .

I was feeling very, very isolated when a friend tagged this video “for you, Angie Ballard” on FB. I bawled by eyes out. She knows me so well.

Thank you, Julie! I’m reading You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay. I borrowed it from the library as an ebook, because I don’t really go out of the house anymore. Or spend money. We have one car that will go forward, but will not stop reliably (Michael’s). He’s been using mine, but now it will not go forward, only in reverse. I personally require a car to both go forward AND stop before I’ll drive it. And Michael drives for a living, for those of you who don’t know. After losing a close friend recently (not LOSING as in death, but losing as in she no longer considers me a friend) I was feeling that much more isolated and depressed.

Until I watched that video. I’ve certainly never been a cheerleader. I’m so clumsy there would surely have been pom-pom-related injuries, even at the junior high level. But I’m a leader, a public speaker, an over-achiever, the girl in the front row every day of class. The nurse volunteering to take the fresh heart from surgery, the MI from ER. Experimental device? Gimme!

So I’m following Nicole’s lead. No, I’m NOT the person I was before. YES, I’m in constant pain. Of course I can smile and pretend everything’s normal. I’ve had a hell of a lot of practice. Of course I wish I was the person I was before. Sadly, the amount of medication it takes to put the “sweet Southern girl” filter back in place is very close to the amount that knocks me unconscious.

My next doctor’s appointment is with my primary care physician. It’s time for him to earn his co-pay. I want my blood pressure controlled by more than a maxed-out beta-blocker that could kill a cow. I’m on enough muscle relaxers that I can hardly keep my eyes open. But usually, when I’m awake, I’m in incredible pain. One dinner out with family costs me two days in bed. It’s worth it, though. I truly don’t want to be a hermit.

Anyway, PLEASE share this video with anyone you know who has chronic pain. I need to watch all Nicole’s videos and read all Louise’s books before I can say I’m an informed source, but it sounds pretty damn good to me so far!

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