NUTTY BUDDY

NUTTY BUDDY

Nutty Buddy is an ice cream cone topped with vanilla ice cream, chocolate, and peanuts.

The “Nutty Buddy” was originally created and produced by the Seymour Ice Cream Company, located in the Port Norfolk section of Dorchester, Massachusetts and named after its owner, Buddy Seymourian. Seymour Ice Cream ceased operations in the 1980s.

The official Nutty Buddy is no longer produced commercially in large numbers across the United States. Its former manufacturer was the Sweetheart Cup Company, which was also the manufacturer of the machines that produced the cones; Sweetheart went out of business in 1998. One of the last manufacturers of the Nutty Buddy is Purity Dairies in Nashville, Tennessee.

Purity Dairies is a dairy company and ice cream manufacturer that provides products throughout Tennessee, Alabama, Kentucky, and Virginia. The company is owned by and operates as a subsidiary of Dean Foods and their products include milk, cultures, ice cream, orange juice, lemonade, tea and water, and it is one of the last distributors of the Nutty Buddy ice cream cone.

Please do not confuse the Nutty Buddy ice cream with nut butter.  Nutty Buddy Nut Butters are artisanal nut butter that is always gluten-free, vegan, dairy-free, soy-free, and free of refined sugars! Organic coconut sugar, which is unrefined and has a lower glycemic index than traditional refined sweeteners, is used to sweeten the butter. Nuts are dry roasted to emphasize their naturally sweet aroma and maintain the mineral-rich nutrients your body needs. No palm oil or artificial additives are used at all- it’s just naturally delicious!

My favorite way to enjoy nut butter is spreading it on toast with banana & cinnamon or just eating it straight out of the jar! There are endless options when it comes to nut butter: make a nut butter & jam sandwich, savory pasta, sweet cookies, and more. Anyone can make a nut butter if you can grind the nuts. I love Almond Butter and you can grind your own at the Roanoke Co-op or Fresh Market.

Nutty Buddy is also the name of a well-known athletic cup that was invented and patented by Mark Littell after he learned that nearly 50% of his athletes refused to wear athletic cups because they said that the only available cups were uncomfortable and restrictive. He created a premier athletic cup with a patented design that is anatomically shaped to conform to the male body providing unprecedented levels of comfort and protection. After all, the most important thing is to “protect the boys”. The patented Nutty Buddy has won multiple awards for its comfort, design, and protection and has become a staple for athletes all over the world. Nutty Buddy’s safety gear protects the boys while playing baseball, softball, ice hockey, field hockey, lacrosse, football, martial arts, paintball or other contact sports. Nutty Buddy is now expanding their market into the law enforcement and military fields by creating the world’s first ballistic cup!

The patented Nutty Buddy Ballistic Cup is essential protective equipment that is required when entering a hostile environment. It is designed to protect the groin against bullets, fragments, and other impacts. The Nutty Buddy Ballistic cup follows the same anatomical design as the original Nutty Buddy. This design allows the cup to shape to the body to deliver comfort, and in addition, there is a “tail” that resides between the legs to center the cup during activity and provide protection under the groin area.

I bring this to your attention for several reasons. I find it fascinating that there is such a vast array of items that use the name, Nutty Buddy.  But there should be no confusion about the product that our community is fearful is going to be rationed.

Several ladies were talking in our Grille (at my senior residential community) about the lack of Nutty Buddys in the display freezer.

Alice was sitting in her motorized chair talking to Eloise.  “I have seven of them in my basket. I’m going to put them in my freezer.”

Eloise replies, “We won’t have to use them until next week. I have five in my freezer. That’s one for you, one for Maggie, one for Janet and a fifth one if Joycelyn shows up.”

“Great! We can use mine next week on Friday.”

“Don’t give up. I was told that another box was found in the central freezer.  Since I have the last seven in the cooler, they’ll probably bring out more. We’ll need to check tomorrow and the next day.”

“Let’s just get five at a time. We don’t want to create suspicion.”

Alice gets this devious smile on her face and says, “maybe we can corner the market and have a Nutty Buddy auction.”

They smiled and departed. 

This truly happened!!

Or maybe I just imagined it!! Nope! You can’t make this stuff up.

THREE RECIPES

Three Recipes

Here are three recipes for excellent winter delights that I have prepared.  For that reason alone, they are clearly simple to fix, but they are so good.

Chicken Soup with a Twist

INGREDIENTS

  • 1pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 4-6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 9-11 cups low sodium chicken broth, divided
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 15 oz can canneli beans, rinsed and rained
  • 1 tablespoon chicken bouillon
  • 1 tsp EACH dried parsley, dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp EACH dried oregano, dried thyme, salt, pepper
  • 2 bay leaves
  • dash- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 10 uncooked lasagna noodles broken into approx. 1-2-inch pieces
  • 2-3 cups half and half (may sub fat free evaporated milk)
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream (optional)
  • 10 oz chopped frozen baby spinach, thawed
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Garnish with shredded mozzarella cheese

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large Dutch oven/soup pot over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook until almost cooked through. Remove to a plate.
  2. Melt butter with 2 tablespoons olive oil in the now empty pot and heat over medium-high heat. Add onions and carrots and cook, while stirring, for 3 minutes. Add bell pepper and garlic and cook for 1 minute. Sprinkle in flour then cook, stirring constantly for 3 minutes (it will be thick).
  3. Turn heat to low and gradually stir in 8 cups chicken broth. Whisk 3 tablespoons cornstarch with 1 cup additional chicken broth and add to soup. Stir in chicken, beans, chicken bouillon, and all remaining herbs and spices. Stir in lasagna noodles.
  4. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer until lasagna noodles are tender, stirring occasionally so noodles don’t stick to bottom (approximately 20-30 minutes).
  5. Turn heat to low, discard bay leaf and stir in half and half, optional heavy cream and spinach and warm through. Stir in 1 cup Parmesan cheese until melted. Stir in additional half and half or broth if desired for a less “chunky” soup. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste. Garnish individual servings with the desired amount of cheese.

BEEF STEW FOR COMFORT

This beer and horseradish beef stew is the definition of pure comfort food!  Cooking it in the slow cooker makes for the most tender pieces of beef and veggies with a rich, silky sauce!

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 – 2 1/2 lbs. boneless chuck roast, trimmed and cut into 1-2-inch pieces
  • 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 12 oz dark stout beer (I usually use Guinness)
  • 3 cups beef broth
  • 3 carrots, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 2 parsnips, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 1/4 lb baby Yukon gold potatoes, halved or quartered
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp fresh sage, minced
  • 2 Tbsp beef base (better than bouillon)
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1-2 Tbsp prepared horseradish
  • 1 Tbsp softened butter
  • 1 Tbsp all-purpose flour

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Season beef pieces with 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt and 1 tsp black pepper.  Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet over MED-HIGH heat until shimmering, then add beef in a single layer (you may have to do this in batches to avoid overcrowding the pan).  Brown on all sides, about 1-2 minutes per side, then turn off heat.  Remove beef to slow cooker.
  2. Pour beer and broth into hot pan and stir to loosen any browned bits.  Let sit for a few minutes while you add other ingredients.
  3. Add carrots, parsnips, potatoes, onion, garlic, sage, beef base and tomato paste to slow cooker with the browned beef.  Pour beer/broth mixture from the skillet into the slow cooker.  Cover and cook on LOW for 7 – 7 1/2 hours.
  4. Mix together butter and flour to form a pasty ball.  Remove lid, add horseradish and butter/flour mixture, stirring well.  Cover and continue cooking another 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Taste, and add additional salt and pepper as needed.
  5. Sprinkle with fresh parsley and serve!

RECIPE NOTES

If your stew gets a lot of fat particles at the top after cooking, either skim it with a spoon or remove beef and veggies to a bowl, then pour liquid through a strainer into the bowl with the beef and veggies.

PECAN PIE

Even bad pecan pie is good!!

INGREDIENTS

  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup light corn syrup or maple syrup
  • ½ cup butter melted
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
  • pinch salt
  • 1 cup pecan halves or pieces
  • 1 unbaked pie crust

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Add granulated sugar and eggs to a large bowl. Whisk together until well-combined. Add in corn syrup, melted butter, vanilla, and salt. Stir in pecan halves and pour into unbaked pie crust.
  2. Place in oven and bake 45 minutes to 1 hour, depending on your oven. A piece of foil may be placed over the top for the last few minutes of baking to prevent the edges of the crust from becoming over brown.
  3. You’ll want to make sure that the center of the pie does not jiggle a great deal when you move the pie pan slightly. If it does, leave it in the oven for about 5 more minutes and test again, repeating every 5 minutes or so until it just barely has any movement in the middle. It will continue to firm up once removed from the oven and cools. Also, if you touch the center of the pie, it should slightly spring back to the touch. The more you make it, the more you’ll have an eye for when it is just right to remove from the oven and not overbaked or under baked. You may place a piece of foil over the top for the last few minutes of baking to prevent the edges of the crust from becoming too brown. Enjoy!

 

INSTRUCTIONS FOR THE CRUST

  1. Butter a 9-inch pie plate or skillet and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine flour and salt. Cut in shortening and butter with a pastry blender or two forks until the mixture resembles a coarse meal.
  3. Gradually add enough ice water to the mixture while mixing with a wooden spoon until a ball of dough is formed.
  4. Pour the dough onto a lightly floured sheet of plastic wrap and form into a disc. 
  5. Lightly flour the top of the pie dough and place another sheet of plastic wrap on top. Rolling from the center, roll until the dough is about a 1/8-inch thickness. Remove the top piece of plastic wrap, fold the dough over and lay across the pie plate and remove the bottom piece of plastic wrap. Press the pie dough lightly into the bottom and sides of the pie plate. Cover the pie plate with a piece of the plastic wrap and place in the freezer for at least 30 minutes to overnight.
  6. If pre-baking, use a fork and lightly prick the bottom and sides of the pie dough. Then preheat the oven to 425º F and bake the pie crust for about 8 minutes.
  7. If not pre-baking, simply fill the pie crust with pie filling and bake according to instructions for the pie recipe.

OR

  1. Buy a nice pre-made pie crust at the grocery store.

THE VALUE OF A BUSINESS

I am part of a microcosm that supports big business. I utilize Facebook as a convenient communication apparatus to keep up with friends and family both near and in distant places. Amazon is for stuff ranging from cat food to books and is a source of entertainment with the Fire Stick and Alexa. I have an iPhone, although it is a 5s.  I use Netflix for TV watching and Google plus Google Chrome for surfing the net.  I feel I should be using local businesses and I truly felt good about buying Virginia Diner peanuts at Northwest Hardware. BUT when the guy behind me got upset because the cashier was taking too long, I insisted he go ahead of me.  He was a bit embarrassed but moved ahead of me anyway. It was aggravating. This doesn’t happen at Amazon.

Which takes me to Christmas and the Hallmark Channel.  The town of Hollyvale, North Dakota is very typical of a Hallmark location and the Christmas Spirit in the digital age is a moving topic. What strikes me about this program and others is how business-centric they seem to be.  Though there are other types of plots, a common theme is that there is some business, or a town filled with businesses that revolves around Christmas and is enjoyable for the townsfolk but relatively unprofitable.  The characters have to find a way to make the business viable, in this case by helping Kate Harper, a national news reporter, find her Christmas spirit and draw people to the town. You can’t turn this plotline over to a soulless corporate operator who will lay everyone off and destroy the essential character of the town.  Typically, this involves teaching someone the true meaning of Christmas and the special value added to a company by longtime employees who put their hearts into their work.

A FAANG company would maximize profits by automating the bakery and relocating production to a central facility in Illinois. The ski lodge would be renovated, and new management would be brought in.  Of course, the toy store would close.

But the characters in this movie find a way to generate some minimum profit that’s enough to keep things running while providing steady jobs for devoted employees and special memories for customers. Plus, they find the Christmas Spirit for Kate Harper by reuniting her with Jack Brewster, her special friend, and her estranged father.  And that’s the happy ending. I cried a little.

The goal is to create a sustainable business that meets the needs of the various constituents without making anyone wealthy, just happy.  Too me, this is a noble goal.

I asked myself a question—what does this storyline mean? One possibility is that the Hallmark movies are a “true” reflection of our culture and of natural human values. We know that capitalism drives resources to their best use and this does not benefit everyone. Is Shareholder driven capitalism bad for people, even unnatural.? The role of business schools, as well as CPA, CFA and CFP training programs, are to indoctrinate young people in this unnatural value system just as the role of military boot camp is to get young people to overcome their natural instincts and run toward the fighting.

I suppose another possibility is that there are many folks who think about shareholder-value capitalism as synonymous with democracy and do not worry about the discriminatory aspect. I have come to believe that the role of Hallmark movies is to indoctrinate people in the unnatural part of the capitalist system. I like the idea of a small town filled with people who have a common purpose such as finding the Christmas Spirit or peace on earth or love for each other.

GRIPS, GAFFERS, &; Best BOYS

GRIP, GAFFERS, & BEST BOYS

I love movies. My beloved and I watch at least two movies a week.  We recently watched The Kominsky Method and Mr.Roberts, a movie starring Kevin Kostner playing Kevin Kostner, but using the surname Roberts.  As always, I waited for the credits to see the names of the Key Grip, the Gaffer, and the best boy.  Christine asked what these folks did on a movie set and I could not give her a coherent answer.  This happens a lot when I don’t know what I’m talking about but should.

Grips are technicians critical to the making of a film. They have two primary functions.  They support the camera department, particularly if the camera is mounted to a dolly, a crane, or assumes an unusual position such as hanging from a helicopter on one of those James Bond sequences.  A dolly grip specializes in operating camera dollies or camera cranes so that mobility is enhanced. Grips work closely with the electrical department to create lighting set-ups for a shot or sequence under the leadership of the Director of Photography.

The key grip is the leader of the grip gang. He supervises the building and maintenance of all the equipment that supports cameras.  This includes tripods, dollies, tracks, jibs (a boom type device), cranes, and static rigs. This equipment uses heavy duty parts but is quite delicate. It requires a high level of experience to operate and move.  The assemblage of the equipment is based on meticulous specifications for virtually every scene in a movie.  These guys push, pull, mount or hang cameras and equipment from a variety of settings including a basic tripod or the mounting of a camera on a 100ft. crane.

Where did the use of the term grip come from?  In the 30s-40s, the slang for a tool bag was a grip. But the explanation I like the best is the notion that during the days of the hand-cranked camera, several guys had to hold onto the legs of the tripod to keep the camera steady. The director always wanted the fellows with the “good grip” and it stuck.

A gaffer is the head electrician on a film set. If it has to do with lighting, the gaffer oversees it. The term originally related to the movement of overhead equipment controlling lighting with a gaff, a long pole with a hook on the end. Deep-sea fishermen also use gaffs.

The gaffer must have a mastery over the vast array of lights, lighting equipment and lighting techniques required for a particular film.  In turn, this demands a knowledge of the set, script, and the inclinations of the director.  The gaffer has the responsibility for making certain that all lighting workers are up to speed on all the changes being made and are working well with other members of the crew. The lighting crew has to be constantly available even if that means working 18-hour days. The gaffer has to make sure the team meshes well by avoiding accidents and short tempers.

Best boys are responsible for the day-to-day operations of the lighting department. Their many responsibilities include the hiring, scheduling, and management of the crew; renting equipment; workplace safety and maintaining discipline within their department; completing time cards and other paperwork; planning and implementing the lighting or rigging of locations, and coordinating with the photography unit. He is the second-in-command to the key grip.  On large film crews, the gaffer also has a best boy.

The term “best boy” most likely originated as a term for a master craftsman’s most able apprentice.

The next time you are watching a movie look for the name of the key grip, the gaffer, and best boy. These are the guys that make it happen.  It will mollify your need to be totally satisfied with the two hours spent gazing at a screen. Kevin Coster just plays Kevin Costner.

THE OXFORD COMMA

OXFORD COMMA DEBATE

comma

The Oxford (or serial) comma is the final comma in a list of things. For example, I would love to have a pear, a knife, and a napkin. The Oxford comma comes right after knife.

Use of the Oxford comma is stylistic, meaning that some style guides demand its use while others don’t. AP Style—the style guide that newspaper reporters adhere to—does not require the use of the Oxford comma. Unless you’re writing for a publication or drafting an essay for school, the use of the Oxford comma is generally up to you. However, omitting it can sometimes cause some strange misunderstandings. I love my girlfriend, Meryl Streep, and Jane Fonda. 

Without the Oxford comma, the sentence above could be interpreted as stating that you love your girlfriend, and they are Meryl Streep and Jane Fonda. Here’s the same sentence with the Oxford comma: I love my girlfriend, Meryl Streep, and Jane Fonda. Those who oppose the Oxford comma argue that rephrasing an already unclear sentence can solve the same problems that using the Oxford comma does. For example, I love Meryl Streep, Jane Fonda and my girlfriend.

Opinions among writers and editors differ on whether to use the Oxford comma, and usage also differs somewhat between regional varieties of English. A majority of American style guides mandate the use of the Oxford comma, including APA Style, The Chicago Manual of Style, The MLA Style Manual, Strunk and White’s Style Manual, and the Government Printing Office Manual. In contrast, the Associated Press Style Book advises against it. In Canada, the stylebook published by Canadian Press advises against it. It is used less often in England, but a few British style guides require it, notably The Oxford Style Manual. According to The Oxford Companion to the English Language, “Commas are used to separate items in a list or sequence … Usage varies as to the inclusion of a comma before and in the last item … This practice is controversial and is known as the Oxford comma because it is part of the house style of Oxford University Press.

WAIT A MINUTE—A CASE AT LAW OVER A COMMA?

The Maine dairy story is a convoluted story, as most law-related stories are. Here are the basics:

  • In 2014, three truck drivers sued Oakhurst Dairy for what they said was four years’ worth of overtime pay owed to them for deliveries they’d made.
  • Oakhurst Dairy said NOPE, citing a law that lists distribution of dairy products as one of the activities ineligible for overtime pay.
  • Maine state law at the time stated that workers are not entitled to overtime pay for: “The canning, processing, preserving, freezing, drying, marketing, storing, packing for shipment or distribution of: (1) Agricultural produce; (2) Meat and fish products; and (3) Perishable foods.”
  • Aha…!the lawyer for the truck drivers said.
  • Without a comma after “shipment,” it’s the packing “for shipment or distribution” that’s not eligible for overtime—not the distribution itself. Only with a comma would “distribution” have been included as one of the series of activities ineligible for overtime.
  • So: the law does not apply to the deliveries the drivers made. Pay up, Oakhurst.
  • The court (the US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit) agreed—and took 29 pages to say as much. Oxford comma enthusiasts high-fived!
  • Oakhurst Dairy settled, agreeing to pay $5 million to the drivers.

This case was a David-and-Goliath showdown between the little guys and the corporate overlord. And it has guys driving around in trucks with copies of Strunk & White in the glove box.

Why does something as pedantic and ordinary as grammar ignite raging debate—both in Maine and in the rest of world? Even when there isn’t actual money at stake? And more broadly: Why do some of us love to correct the grammar of others? Love to sharpen our grammar chops on the soft underbelly of those unfortunates who might use literally to mean figuratively? Who misspell lose as loose?

Maybe it has something to do with that word “rules” when it’s paired with “grammar”: Grammar rules seem strict, impenetrable, and unyielding.  Some grammar rules are more like laws or statutes—breaking them quickly creates anarchy. But others are more open to interpretation: Splitting infinitives (to boldly go is a famous one). Ending a sentence with a preposition. Using “they” as a singular pronoun. And the Oxford comma.

ARE ALL GRAMMARIANS JUDGY AND HUMORLESS?
The type to correct you silently at a lunch counter when you’re ordering a sandwich.

Well, most grammar sticklers I know come at it less based in judgment than in something more generous: They want us all to be understood! “Grammar rules” stirs up in the righteous a feeling of right and wrong, of needing to put a stake in the ground, to polarize language: Black and white. Off and on. Yes and no. Smart and stupid. Occasionally it really matters (overtime or no overtime). But often it just doesn’t.

BILTMORE

Christmas at Biltmore

BILTMORE

A visit to Biltmore is a feast for the senses. Wrap yourself in the scent of fresh evergreens as you admire holiday décor featuring wreaths, garlands, and the sparkle of thousands of ornaments on more than 55 glorious Christmas trees. The celebration continues across the estate, including colorful holiday blooms in the Conservatory, commemorative Christmas wine at the Winery, special menus in restaurants, and Antler Hill Village’s must-see evening illumination display.

A short visit to the Blue Ridge Mountains with his mother immediately sparked George Vanderbilt’s imagination in 1888. He found the perfect location for his country home. Vanderbilt’s 250-room French Renaissance chateau is a true marvel, the largest undertaking in residential architecture. Over a six-year period, an entire community of craftsmen came together to create America’s premier home and the environmental wonderland that surrounds it.

On Christmas Eve 1895, the country retreat George Vanderbilt had spent so long planning was marvelously decorated and full of festivity. The finished home contains over four acres of floor space, including 35 bedrooms, 43 bathrooms, and 65 fireplaces.

George Vanderbilt married Edith Stuyvesant Dresser in Paris in 1898. Edith is a descendant of Peter Stuyvesant, the first governor of Dutch colonial New York. After honeymooning in Italy, Edith and George returned to live at Biltmore. George and Edith’s only child, Cornelia, was born on the evening of August 22, 1900, in the Louis XV Room. It was a celebrity birth, even by modern standards.

George Vanderbilt passed away at the age of 51. Vanderbilt is buried in the Vanderbilt family mausoleum on Staten Island. He left an enormous philanthropic legacy. Edith sold approximately 87,000 acres of the estate to the United States Forest Service in 1914 for less than $5 an acre.

Cornelia and her husband, John Cecil, opened Biltmore House to the public in 1930. Leaders in Asheville hoped the celebrated house would increase tourism during the Depression. During WWII, the house stored priceless works from the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC.

To avoid a faux pas, always refer to the estate as BILTMORE.  THE Biltmore is a hotel in New York.  Enjoy a trip to Biltmore and enjoy the festivities.

BLOG SITE:

http://www.weaver1888.com