Bacon, What’s a Nice Jewish Girl to Do?

So the report is out. Bacon and other processed meats have a definitive causal link to cancer of the bowel.While the risk is small, WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer says “there is enough evidence to rank processed meats as group 1 carcinogens, because of a causal link with bowel cancer.”

What’s this Jewish girl to do? Bacon has made eating out palatable for me. I know that sounds totally strange but ever since I changed my diet, my choices when eating out with friends and colleagues have been limited. Unless I want to spend a small fortune every time I eat out at lunch (I eat out mostly weekday lunches), I order burgers (another no-no — too much red meat) or chicken, and often ask for bacon. It gives a nice flavor to the otherwise unbelievably boring slab of protein on my plate.

Remember, I don’t do a bun or cheese, and I mostly eschew any dressings except for barbecue sauce (which really is a cheat food for me), and plain olive oil with some lemon juice or balsamic, and even more rarely, red wine vinegar. It is not uncommon for my lunch to be a large white plate with a lonely piece of lettuce, some onion, sometimes tomato (which I usually don’t eat), a pickle, and the aforementioned protein.

No offense to my vegetarian friends, but when you can’t eat any grains or soy or dairy, a salad is nothing more than a bowl of lettuce and is hardly an adequate meal.

So I mostly stick to burgers and grilled chicken, or fish if the place is reputable, and a vegetable, although even those are suspect when they pre-prepare them with butter or cheese or breadcrumbs. Bacon makes my protein choice taste like something other than a slab of protein. That is more because restaurants, without their signature sauces, rubs, and other toppings, have no clue what to do with a piece of protein.

Even when I went to a lovely restaurant with my dad last year, although the menu had a plethora of beautiful sounding entrees and small plate options, they could offer me only two items, a piece of salmon or a filet. The salmon was well-prepared and delicious, and I was grateful that the chef could at least make me that, but really, with a large menu there were only two items they could offer me?  I thought about some veggie options but I couldn’t eat any of them except for some grilled veggies because they were all otherwise pre-seasoned.  Delicious notwithstanding, dinner was not cheap and I was hungry after I was done. They didn’t even have plain fruit to eat for dessert.

Also notice that one of the items it offered was the filet, usually the most expensive item on the menu. I had the same experience with a local restaurant. I took a friend there for a birthday dinner (and had been there before the change in diet for mine as well) and all they could offer that was not pre-seasoned, pre-pre-prepared, was the filet.

So what’s a Jewish girl who loves bacon to do? I suppose eat it occasionally still but cut back.

I’ve been meaning to brown bag it more often anyhow since lunches out are getting too expensive.  Here’s a link to the article that got me thinking about this post: Kveller: Looks Like Your Jewish Mom Was Right About Bacon


Sunday morning politics television

I’ve spent most of the morning sitting on the couch drinking green tea and watching all of the Sunday news shows.

I watch Chris Wallace on Fox News. I watched Meet the Press. I’m watching Face the Nation as I write this.

Here’s what I have learned:

1. Benghazi: no matter what Hillary Clinton says the Republicans on the Benghazi committee will not believe what she says. I think she could have God himself/herself/itself testify on her behalf and it will not be enough.

While I am all for finding out the truth, if the truth comes out I don’t believe they will recognize it because they don’t want to know the truth unless it is what they want the truth to be.

2. Chris Christie still fascinates me although I don’t think I’d want him as a president. Maybe it’s that New York New Jersey accent but I like his plain talk even though I don’t agree with a good deal of it.

3. I just don’t like Ben Carson even though he has amazing bedside manner. If he were my surgeon he would put me at ease because of his calm demeanor. I just don’t think he has a clue as to what goes on in politics and I don’t think he will gain any traction even among his own party if he were president. Plus I really think he’s a nut and is much too far right for me.

4. Iowa: no disrespect to my friends from Iowa, but why is a state with so few people such a big deal when it comes to determining who are presidential front runners are? I was a political science major in college and for the life of me I have never grasped the concept that Iowa or New Hampshire can determine the shape of our presidential elections. It boggles my mind.

5. I am struggling with the idea that Bernie Sanders speaks to me yet I question whether he can win the presidential election. He has experience in Washington and that is a plus to me. Yet  he identifies as a democratic socialist, which is not the same as a communist or what most people in this country think of as socialism . He is originally from New York,  and he is a Jew .  None of that plays well in rural America .  I don’t know that the Republicans would work with him if he were president.

I struggle with the idea that Hillary Clinton is a Washington insider and does know her way around the Hill. She’s tough as nails and I like that about her. She has Bill as a confidante and I love that about her because yes, despite his personal life mess, I would vote for him again. On the other hand, what I like about the fact that she’s an insider is what I don’t like about her as well.

So I am conflicted & I have no clue yet how I will vote in the primary. Because while I voted in the local Republican primary to ensure that a friend was the candidate for the Republicans in the Virginia House of Delegates, I cannot in good conscience vote in the Republican primary for president.

6. On Meet the Press  Chuck Todd  had an interesting portion of the show  in which  he showed graphically  how  Independents, considered a good indicator of what our country’s mainstream really believes, believed that Democrats understand the majority of the country’s viewpoints on abortion,  same sex marriage, and climate change. They believe Republicans understand the majority of the country’s viewpoints on guns. Independents believe that neither party understands the majority of the country’s viewpoints on immigration and economic conditions overall.

7. The difference between each of these shows is, frankly, negligible.

Chris Wallace, bless his heart, is not his dad.

I’m not that sure about Chris Todd. He is a good statistician and some of his commentary is very astute but I don’t really like his interview style.

George Stephanopoulos is a good interviewer but there’s something about him that has always annoyed me.

I miss a local DC show with Gordon Peterson that has been off the air for a few years because I thought it was the best of all the Sunday morning political shows.

Although conservatives do not like PBS I still find that it provides the most measured, astute, and equal opportunity coverage of all of the stations.

Nonetheless,  I’m very impressed with the new host of Face the Nation, John Dickerson. I miss Bob Schieffer but Dickerson is a very competent political interviewer. I like the fact that he does have a mix of people on different sides of the discussion and his demeanor is very calm and intelligent.

Some Days All You Need Is Tea


copyright Suzan Herskowitz

Some days things are just too hard. On days like this, when others look to beer, wine, or other spirits, or mood enhancers, I gravitate toward a good cup of tea.

Today I went all out and made a pot of Murchie’s No. 10 and I’m serving it formal style while I watch Indian Summers on PBS. (Murchie’s is in British Columbia and is still the best tea I’ve found.) #Murchies

I’ve got an entire pot of mood lifter to sip all day.

Stephen Colbert on The Late Show

I admit it. I’m a wuss . I can’t stay up late enough to watch this show most nights. It isn’t a matter of age. I’ve never been able to stay up this late to watch late night television.

But with on demand and DVR, I can enjoy the shows I want to watch no matter when they are.

I set the DVR for Stephen Colbert at least once a week. I have to tell you, I really like Stephen Colbert on The Late Show. I like him far better than I like David Letterman. There is something about the show that is intelligent and funny. I like it better than any of the late shows.i haven’t enjoyed late night television this much since Carson and he’s been off the air for ages and I’m not old enough to have thoroughly appreciated Carson back then.

So this was on last night and it just made me laugh. When I say laugh I mean LAUGH.

These are what he believes are the TED Talks that were not accepted. He called them RejecTED Talks. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.

Scandal and the Art of Seduction

Scandal is the television show that I believe you either love or hate. I fall into the love category.

Scandal is so over the top  it’s hard to take seriously. Yes I really do like the show and it is so hard not to watch it religiously.

Olivia is smart, cunning, sexy, and dresses really, really well.

Plus it is hard not to give kudos to a woman, fictional or otherwise, that has two powerful men, one a president no less, drooling over her and hopelessly in love with her.

I’d be ecstatic if one man but half as much as me and desired me half as much as even one of those men appear to desire her.

You go Olivia!

The Fall TV season part 2

Yesterday I blogged about the new Fall TV season and the shows that I have been DVRing to watch later and determine if I will keep watching them.

I realized after I posted, that there are a few other new shows that I have watched and wanted to talk about.

One of the shows is Fear the Walking Dead. This show is set in Los Angeles just as the zombie outbreak occurs. I’m enjoying it. It’s nice to see a different perspective on the zombie issue and how it began without the show being a prequel to the Walking Dead per se.

Another show that I’ve been watching is Quantico. I’ve watched two episodes and I will continue watching. I’m finding it very enjoyable.

I’ve watched one episode of Heroes Reborn and I’m going to watch the next episode as well but I have to say that so far I am not all that enthralled with it. It may be on the chopping block.

I’ve also watched the pilot of Limitless which is based upon the movie of the same name. I’ve watched one episode and I’m going to give the second episode a try. It might be worth sticking with but I’m not sure yet.

Lastly in this set of new shows I have been watching is Blunt Talk which is on Starz. It stars Patrick Stewart as you’ve never seen him before. If you are expecting Captain Jean Luc Picard, you will be sorely disappointed. However if you want smart, biting, naughty, and very funny, then you will enjoy the show. Stewart portrays a TV anchorman who drinks too much, drugs too much, sleeps around too much, has failed at four marriages, and is just a hot mess. In fact his entire newsroom staff is a hot mess. I think the show is hysterically funny. What that says about me I’m not quite sure. I really hope the show is picked up for a second season. You will not see this show on network TV – at least in my lifetime.

There are few new shows that will be starting in November, mostly on the premium TV channels. I have all of the premium channels as I drove a very hard bargain with Comcast so that I wouldn’t leave them. So for at least the next two years I have lots and lots of choices for TV and movies.

More blogging about TV as I cull through the new Fall season.

The new TV season

I DVR’d the pilots for many of the new TV shows this Fall because I wanted to see if I would like them. A few of the shows I have determined are pretty good and I will keep watching them. A few of the shows I really don’t care for. Then there are the shows I’m still watching because the jury is out and I can’t make up my mind just yet.

Here is my take on the Fall TV season.

Must watch television for now is only one show out of all of the shows that I have previewed thus far. That award belongs to The Blindspot. The show is engaging.

There are few shows for which the jury is still out. I have watched two episodes of both Rosewood and The Player. Frankly I just can’t make up my mind.

Morris Chestnut is delightful as Rosie on Rosewood. Unless the show totally falls apart in the next episode or two I will keep watching.

The Player is different. It has the makings of a good show but I just can’t wrap my head around why I like it and for that reason it may fall by the wayside. I only have so many hours a week to watch TV and unless a show really grabs me I tend to let it slide.

Then there are the comedies.

Grandfathered is almost too cute. I’m going to give it one or two more episodes because well, John Stamos.

The Grinder has two redeeming qualities, those being Rob Lowe and Fred Savage all grown up. As a lawyer what I don’t like about comedies like this is that even the judge in the pilot episode thinks it’s ok for the Rob Lowe character to give the closing argument in the case over the objection of opposing counsel (because Rob Lowe is not a lawyer). I know that it’s fiction but sometimes stuff like this is just too ridiculous for words. I’ll give it another episode because well, Rob Lowe and Fred Savage.

Life in Pieces is the media darling this year. Tom Hanks’s son is even in it. So is Josh Brolin. It has a big ensemble cast. I’ve watched two episodes and it is just not grabbing me. I’m only giving it a third try because all the critics say it’s the best show on television. Lol

Ok back to dramas. I really wanted to like The Bastard Executioner. I have watched three very long episodes and I just don’t particularly care for it enough to keep watching. Perhaps on another rainy afternoon I will watch it on demand but it is no longer going to be in rotation.

The Minority Report is based upon the movie by the same name and takes place a few years later. It’s another show that I wanted to watch. I even rewatched the Minority Report to make sure that I understood what the show was supposed to be about. I’ve watched a few episodes of this now and unless it does something really great it will fall out of rotation.

I’m sure there are a few shows that I am missing but there’s only one more then I’m going to discuss right now and that is Best Time Ever with Neil Patrick Harris. This show is so much fun. It is a modern day version of an old time variety show and I really enjoy the heck out of it. It has music. It has dancing. It has comedy. It has audience participation. It has guest stars. In 3 weeks it had Reese Witherspoon, Alec Baldwin, and Tyler Perry acting as guest announcers. It had Sister Sledge, Cee Lo Green, Bonnie Tyler, and has Nicole Scherzinger as it his (NPH) sidekick every week. I honestly can say I look forward to this show every week.

Note that many of these shows have a lot of commercials. Except for the Bastard Executioner all of them are on the major networks. So I highly recommend watching on DVR. I don’t even recommend on demand since most of the major networks do not allow you to fast forward through commercials.

Happy watching. I will probably have another post about the new Fall season in a few weeks.