I see myself as a fairly good cook. I can make something without a recipe, create my own recipes, and alter any recipes I have to fit my family’s tastes. However, for some reason I never ventured to create a “clam chowder” type recipe. This is truly strange considering every time I go to a restaurant and they offer clam chowder, I order it. I love clam or creamy seafood chowder, and often when I love a recipe I am anxious to try it. But again, for some reason I would shy away from trying this. Perhaps part of the fear came from creating the cream base or cooking with clams. I’m not really sure, but I finally overcame the fear by cheating.
I know that we always teach our children not to cheat, but I have to admit that cheating in cooking is sometimes a wonderful thing. By cheating with this recipe, I’ve created the seafood chowder I love without a lot of preparation and hassle (and added a few extra twists). Enjoy!
If you are a true wine lover and would like to truly enjoy the taste of different types, then you need to know certain basic knowledge on how to taste a wine. It is very important to taste it in a proper manner so that you will be able to differentiate between various wines and also know the one which you like the most.
For those who are adventurous and would like to rate the wines themselves, they can go to the local store and buy a bunch of bottles and head home for a tasting adventure. If you would like to play safe, then it is better you make certain basic research especially on internet in order to check out about the various wines and then you can buy which you think will be good. Either way when you are planning to taste the wine it is important that you buy wines of same variety but of different vintages. This keeps things simple and it will help you to truly identify the various differences between different wines.
Basic steps for tasting
When you want to taste, you should remember that this is not accomplished by mouth itself. Taste of wine is only one thing that makes each wine unique, various factors like color, bouquet, aftertaste, aroma all contribute to make each unique. When you decide to test them blindly you need to test for all these factors.
Fred Flintstone could have been one of the lucky ones. Had the home of the world’s original cartoon caveman been underground, it would have been perfectly suited to wine storage: a dark, dank cave ideal for allowing the liquid inside his precious bottles to age at exactly the right pace.
Experts say that after heat, the next biggest cause of damage to wine is lights. Keep wine away from any extreme light sources, such as big bay windows or halogen lamps.
But like Fred, most of us aren’t fortunate enough to to be able to keep our wine stored beneath the earth. Genuine wine cellars are rare, and while professional storage is an option, it’s inconvenient if you want to grab a couple of bottles of delicately aged 1990 Chateau Ducru-Beaucaillou when the boss unexpectedly drops in.
So what are the alternatives? Keeping ten or 15 bottles of booze in a simple wooden wine rack within spitting distance of the dining room table seems to do the job for the vast majority of us. But if you are a bit vehement about keeping your vino in good health, there are far better ways.
In fact, all too often people tend to keep expensive wine on display, gazing at it often as they wonder when to finally open it. Unfortunately, when they finally to get around to the uncorking – or unscrewing, as is often the case these days – they find it ruined.
Wine that has been sitting on top of the fridge in a wooden wine rack, vibrating and getting hot, is often not drinkable. And if you are spending $20 on a bottle or more, even $200 and up, it just doesn’t make sense not to store it properly.
Top Tips for Storing Wine Correctly
* Wine storage began in underground caves which allowed wine to age at the right pace. Today, wine should be stored at conditions that reflect those grottoes: about 11-12 degrees centigrade with 55-75% relative humidity. If wine is stored at higher temperatures, its natural development is accelerated.
* In fact, the most crucial aspect about storing wine is heat fluctuations, especially excessive heat. You need a fairly constant temperature, ideally about 11-12 degrees.
* Light can also affect wine, which optimally should be stored in the dark. Slightly damp conditions are best, as an atmosphere that is too dry can be detrimental. In fact, a very dry or humid environment can make the corks dry out.
* Avoid putting those bottles of precious vino next to pipes, radiators and any type of heating vent, and whatever you do, keep all bottles away from the sun. Think of wine as a fine painting: when left in direct sunlight, its value begins to fade.
* Experts say that after heat, the next biggest cause of damage to wine is lights. Keep wine away from any extreme light sources, such as big bay windows or halogen lamps.
Keeping Things Cool – At Home
If you have time, space, budget and energy to invest in the right wine storage system, remember that this will also depend on a number of external factors – some of which may be out of your control, such as budget and space. How many bottles you wish to store is also of paramount importance.
I can’t speak for other mothers, but I have found through thirteen years of motherhood is that I get so busy taking care of everyone else, that I forget to take care of myself. Can I get an AMEN?! Now, don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love my job as a mother and wife. Don’t we all love the cooking, cleaning, laundry, ironing, chasing babies, chauffeuring teens and everything else that comes with the mother role? Seriously, I love serving my family – it fulfills me and drives me. However, I am just one woman, and I do occasionally wear out and get down – usually crashing and burning before I realize I’ve been putting myself last; again!
Mothers are the heartbeat of the family; they truly set the pace, tone, and feel of the home. (Ever heard, “If Mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy?) If no one is seeing to Mom’s needs, then her needs will not be met. If Mom’s needs are not met – no matter how giving, loving, and genuine her spirit and intentions – the entire home will suffer. Sound vaguely familiar?! Here are three tips for taking care of yourself as a mother – single or married, one child or several – you’re a mom. It’s the best job with the least measurable reward, and yet you do it, day after day after day…now try this:
1. Find or make “alone time” happen – No, duh, right? But really making the commitment to yourself to not only find the moments, but then to take them for yourself, instead of doing the dishes, takes determination! For some moms, this could mean devotional time – just you and God. For others, it could be a short walk. I enjoy the rare moments alone in my backyard, watering my plants, enjoying the evening sky. Make sure your alone time is not in front of a screen of any kind, but moments passed in peace and free of visual stimulation!
2. Take physical care of yourself FIRST – When you are hungry, overly tired, or stressed, your brain will automatically alert the body to that “need,” and you will NOT be in top shape, physically or mentally. It’s not a weakness, it’s the body’s way of letting you know that you need food, or rest, or calm – and you’ll do well to listen to the signal! It’s just like the instructions the stewardess gives on an airplane – first, put your own mask on, then you’ll be able to survive to take care of your child. So many times, we’re running on empty, but we keep running, and soon, we’re out of gas. If you get in the habit of filling your tank up first, then you’ll always have what you need to fill up your family’s tanks.