Sunday, July 10, 2011

How Hot Do Fireworks Get?

That is the question I posed today to my dear husband.  He replied, "700 degrees, maybe?"  That sounded incredibly hot, but I wanted to confirm it.  (Not that I don't believe everything that comes out of the man's mouth, I do....) I got on my trusty Google Search Engine.  I was asking because even after almost a week after the 4th, my arm is still hurting where I was hit by an errant firework at our family party.  And the ugliness on my arm makes one want to avert their eyes because if you didn't know what it was, at first glance it looks like some kind of fungus or leprosy eating two holes in my skin.  
    Yep, it seems like I can never get through a summer without some kind of mishap, ruining my summer "look" with some kind of scar, bruise or scrap.  It never fails!  Last summer I sported a slow-healing red scrap on my lower leg as a result of a mishap on my bike.  It just wouldn't go away.  It has finally healed, but now this year I've got another nick on my calf from something (probably shaving) and now this!  I don't anticipate this going away for some time.  I mean, seriously, my darling nephew basically blew two holes in my arm.  We're all joking around as I scrape off the black charred skin, and I'm telling him the inevitable scars will give me something to remind me of him, dear sweet Matthew!  But inside, it's not quite as funny as I let on.  I'm using tea tree oil like crazy, hoping it won't get infected because doctors are to be avoided if possible, since I don't like going to them!  Didn't I just post about a traumatic event that happened to me one summer?  This could get old!  
    Oh, by the way, the result of my Google Search was this:
  • Black powder (gunpowder) commonly used in rockets and as a burst charge in aerial shells, burns at temperatures up to 1700oC.
  • Pyrotechnic stars used in rocket headers and shells, if fuelled by a metal powder such as magnesium, can easily burn at temperatures in excess of 2200oC.
  • Flash powders used to make a bright flash and a loud bang, can burn at temperatures above 3000oC.
Ummm....pretty sure that I got a burn from flash powder used to make a bright flash and loud bang since we were doing aerial fireworks that have just recently been made legal in the state of Utah!  "Can burn at temperatures ABOVE 3000 degrees centigrade"?  Ahh, that's why my skin turned black and there are now two holes.  Got it!  Baby, 700 degrees was quite a low ball figure!  Just saying......
     But being the quintessential optimist that I am, I am telling you that there is always a silver lining in this!  For one thing, I won't be washing my own hair for awhile.  My local hair salon will be seeing a lot more of me so I can get my hair washed, styled and blown out!  (They give great scalp massages too!)  And, I have a whole pack of cute, girly designer band-aids that are just waiting for the perfect wound. I will be injured in style!  So there you go, positive thinking at its best!
I can't wait to get the girly band-aids out.  That WILL be my summer look

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Experimentation with Chard!

   If you haven't cooked with Swiss Chard, I suggest you do it this summer!  It's delicious!  Swiss Chard was one of the offerings I picked up on my bi-monthly fruits and veggies co-op visit!  For $16.00 Bountiful Baskets fills a small laundry basket completely full of wonderful fruits and vegetables, some of which I wouldn't automatically think of purchasing at the store!  I love the element of surprise when I pick up my baskets.  I can then use my savvy at stealing recipes from the internet creativity and include it in my menus for the week.  OK, usually I just cook one dish--not in conjunction with an entire meal--and call it good. Who am I kidding?  It's the experimentation that is fun!
    I went to the pick-up spot and noticed this huge green leafy bundle, with bright red stems.  I thought it was rhubarb, but the lady told me that it was Swiss Chard. 
Two baskets for each order--One basket is fruit and the other vegetables.  We fill our own containers with both of these baskets.
I'm embarrassed to say I've never cooked Swiss Chard, but I've always intended to!  The leaves are very thick and don't look like they would taste very good in a salad. 

With a few pointers from the internet, I got started.  First I cut up an onion, 2 carrots, and some garlic.  I sauteed these in some bacon drippings until they were tender.  
 I then added some chicken broth and put in the finely chopped red stalks of the chard.  I cooked these until they were tender and lastly added the leaves and cooked them until they wilted!  I added some crumbled bacon, lemon juice and topped it with Parmesan cheese.  
 The result was amazing!  I felt like a chef indeed!  I absolutely love the subtle zingy taste of the chard.  It would be a great addition to any Italian meal!
    My next conquest is to use two huge butternut squashes in a meal!  Off to the internet I go!