Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Weekend Wrap-Up, Restaurant Review (The Melting Pot), Apple Dapple Cake, Way Back When... (A Little Compassion Goes a Long Way)

Good Tuesday morning!

RANDOMNESS #1- Mike gave me a Fit Bit for my birthday.

And lest you think I was offended, I asked for this gift many, many times.

Having a machine keep up with everything I do in a day was way too tempting for me... The List Maker.

So far today, I have walked 11,592 steps...

It is just 4:51 p.m.

And lest you think I'm really, really active, I will tell you I walked all over St. Vincent's twice today, AND I lost The Big Gold Van in the parking deck.

So basically, 9,592 steps were not associated with usual activities in my life.

Tomorrow will probably be a much better indicator of my "activity level."

I'm thinking 242 steps... TOTAL!

RANDOMNESS #2 - Restaurant Review - The Melting Pot - Other than a Fit Bit, all I wanted for my birthday was dinner with everyone at The Melting Pot.

I had never been before, and I wanted the "fondue dining experience" badly.

The many things I didn't understand or realize going into the restaurant are as follows:

1. I didn't know if you ordered an entree', you cooked it at your table in a boiling pot of broth.

That means they brought whatever meat you ordered raw to your table, and you skewered it and cooked it until it was done.

Our waiter was great. His name was Tyler, and he has been working at The Melting Pot for three months now.

He told us chicken would need to cook for about two minutes.

He also told us how long to cook the other meat, but since I only ordered the chicken, I kind of blocked him out after I received my pertinent information.

Melia also had chicken and she timed it to perfection using her phone timer, cut up the chunk of chicken, dunked it in one of the six delectable sauces and told us, "THREE MINUTES! THREE MINUTES! Cook the chicken THREE MINUTES!"

And I did.

And it was good.

2. Four people cooked out of our pot (Austin, Melia, Mike and me) and three people cooked out of the pot on the adjoining table (Hunter, Roxie and Josh).

3. All of the skewers are different colors. I had green skewers, so I didn't mix my chicken up with anyone else's meat.

4. There's a lot of cooking going on, but it takes a while to eat a lot because of the waiting until it isn't raw any longer, you see.

Okay. Those are the things I didn't understand about the "dinner" portion of our experience.

Here are the things I didn't grasp regarding the "dessert" portion of dinner.

1. There are at least eight different kinds of dessert fondues, but the stuff you dip into the fondue is all the same (pound cake chunks, bananas, strawberries, pineapple, Rice Krispie Treat chunks, brownie bites, marshmallows, etc.)

2. Our table picked the Flaming Turtle Fondue. I had no idea what that meant, but was pleasantly surprised when Tyler set our bowl of chocolate on fire at the table and mixed in nuts.

No cooking was necessary during the "dessert" portion of our meal.

And that was good...

And filling...

And delicious.

After talking about the meal in detail, Melia and I decided we would rather not cook when we go out to dinner.

That means the next time we go, we will order the "cheese" portion of the fondue meal. They will serve us different breads and fruits to dip into the cheese fondue of our choice.

No cooking.

And did you hear?

Cheese and bread?


As soon as we finish the cheese fondue, we will go straight to the dessert.

Also, there will be no guilt, because of the FRUIT!

And water.

We plan to drink lots and lots of water.

It was a very fun evening, and if you haven't been, I highly recommend it.

It is pricey, but you get your money's worth. We were there for a little over three hours from start to finish, and I don't think anyone ever said they were bored.

I also think it would be a fun place to go for dessert after a meal at another restaurant.

Unless you are at The Cheesecake Factory, because you would need to eat cheesecake and not chocolate fondue in that specific instance.

Hunter and Roxie before we left for The Melting Pot in The Big Gold Van.

Family cooking.

Three of the six signature dipping sauces.

Potatoes, mushrooms and broccoli were available to throw into the pot at any time during your meal.

Mikie and me. Can you tell I was a little excited. My eyes were bugging out just a little.

Very attractive look for me.

This, my friends, is a Flaming Turtle.

Austin and Melia!

Apple Dapple Cake

You will need the following:

3 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon soda
1 cup pecans, chopped
1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 cups raw apples, peeled and chopped fine
1 cup packed brown sugar (for sauce)
1/4 cup milk (for sauce)
3/4 cup margarine (for sauce)

1. Mix oil, sugar, eggs and vanilla.

2. Sift together flour, salt and soda. Add to first mixture.

3. Fold in pecans and apples.

4. Bake in tube pan at 350 for 1 hour.

5. For the sauce, mix and cook ingredients 3 minutes after it begins to gently boil, stirring constantly.

6. Pour over hot cake while cake is still in pan. Let cake cool completely before removing.

Unbelievably GOOD!

Way Back When...

This was first posted in September, 2009.

Topic of the Day - Compassion, Compassion, Compassion

I was talking to a woman I knew many, many years ago, and she told me, "I'm just not a compassionate person." She said it in a very matter-of-fact tone. Not apologetic or wistful. I've always remembered that statement, and wondered... Does that mean you're off the hook, and you never have to show compassion to people who need that particular trait at one time or another in their life?

When I looked at the definition for compassion, it said, "Literally, suffering with another." I love how the word "literally" is used here. It says to me, "I'm not kidding. Get over there and feel that person's pain. It's going to be messy. It's going to be uncomfortable. It's going to take some time. It isn't going to be easy, but get over yourself and do it."

Showing compassion may or may not be a trait you're born with, but I certainly hope it is one that can be taught to our kids. "Were you kind today?" "Did you ask the new kid to sit with you at lunch?" "Did you laugh when one of your classmates fell down?" "Did you join others when they teased someone because they weren't wearing a pretty outfit?" "Did you stick up for someone who was weaker than you when they were getting picked on?" "When you saw someone crying, did you ask them if they were okay?"

Oh. And here's the kicker! "Did you put yourself in that person's shoes for even a few minutes to imagine how they were feeling?"

Unfortunately, I have come to realize that the woman who willingly admitted that to me many years ago is not alone. Parents AND kids fail to show compassion each and every day when confronted with someone's suffering. I, too, have been very guilty of this.

So today is just a reminder and a challenge to us all. There are so many people around us hurting for so many different reasons. It would probably take all of five minutes for us to find someone to offer a little gift of compassion. I doubt the gift would be turned away.

"Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity." Colossians 3:12-14

Have a terrific Tuesday. I'll be back Friday with Weekend Happenings and so much more.

Take care, and I'll talk to you the end of the week.


The Enchanting Belinda

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