Patty Leon: Random Thoughts for the New Year


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If you follow me on Facebook, you will know that Mom and I received a Ninja Foodi for Christmas. At first I didn’t get the gist of it but after trying a few recipes now I understand the ADDICTION of being an air fryer, pressure cooking, Instapot FREAK.

Of course, it started innocently enough. Let’s see if we can make short ribs. The usual recipe, whether in a slow cooker or Dutch oven, takes more than three hours if you want tender ribs that don’t taste like leather. BUT with a Ninja Foodi it was ready in 55 minutes! Oh, and how about placing the ingredients for a fried rice recipe inside the pan, placing the cooking grid and adding your protein on the grid, closing the lid, cooking under pressure, change the lid to the crisp and eat Teriyaki Pork Loins with Fried Rice and Broccoli in 30 minutes!

What is this magic? Why hasn’t anyone encouraged me to join this club months ago? Why have I tried gardening, which I suck, and not immediately jump into this food craze (which I’m good at)!

I bet everything! I spent the weekend at Ollie’s (Good Stuff Cheap) sorting through stacks and stacks of cookbooks and selected 3 or 4 that featured recipes specifically for this magical new cooking method. Monday morning Mom read the books, marking the pages, so I could make shopping lists.

Our madness will be briefly interrupted while I take a little trip to Hinesville next week. But rest assured, the freezer will be stocked and the kitchen will be in full experimental mode when I return.

I will be eating new things all year round and 2022 has just started.

And knowing that I have already gained enough weight (thank you Covid and for having a job where I sit all day), I am about to add some physical activity to my daily life. It has been totally lacking for two years!

NO THIS IS NOT A WEIGHT LOSS RESOLUTION!

We talked about this madness last week. It’s just a decision to move around a bit more so I can make room for all the new foods that are coming into my life this year.

So far, I love this new kitchen technology!

And speaking of technology, are our current phone lines (what we call landlines, not your cell phone) really any better than the landlines we had when many of us were kids?

Okay, technically these new landlines are called VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol), but still.

It is connected through your Internet. I mean it’s not a real landline if your phone turns off as soon as you lose your internet connection.

At the time, we had real landlines. The entire power grid could go down (think Texas last winter) and you could still pick up a parent’s phone and complain about a power outage.

Technology has really changed, especially throughout my life.

I grew up listening to music on vinyl records, which turned into eight-track tapes and cassettes (especially for your car), then CDs. Today you can listen to music through your computer or mobile phone. I remember when Pandora was only recognized by Greek mythology and Pandora’s Box story.

When we had to type a report card, it was done on an old-fashioned manual typewriter, which then turned into an electric typewriter. It quickly evolved into a word processor, the precursor to our modern computers and now laptops and tablets. And I still remember the early days of the World Wide Web. At the time, the connection to the Internet was via your landline on a dial-up service connector.

I bet young people today have no idea where American Online (otherwise known as AOL) originated. I still have my original AOL email address! It’s the OLD SCHOOL!

There’s a whole generation unfamiliar with MySpace, founded in 2003 and the forerunner of Facebook and the first original social media site!

As Facebook has turned into a social mess filled with a lot of misinformation and people using the site purely to spit hate, MySpace has turned into the best music and cultural arts social media site I have ever seen. remember (and it still is. I don’t know MySpace still exists). I think I could take a nostalgic trip back in time and join MySpace again!

Patty Leon is editor-in-chief of The Courier.

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