Loading...

Follow The Single Dad's Guide to Life on Feedspot

Continue with Google
Continue with Facebook
or

Valid

When it comes to delicious dishes best served cold, one might argue this National Food Holiday favorite might be more popular than revenge.  It’s ice cream, of course.  A wonderful blend of sweetness, coldness, and cream tempting the most discriminating palate.  And as we are one to celebrate our favorite foods every month, we are revisiting the very basic version of food holidays we have taken on before.  While ice cream sodas and ice cream cones may be delicious, at base both are loved because of the ice cream which comprises the base of it.  (Ok, some of you may love crunching on the ice cream cone by itself . . . but we won’t discriminate against you because of it . . . too much.)   So welcome to our food holiday for the month of July as the Guide proudly celebrates National Ice Cream Day, July 21st.

When it comes to ice cream, nothing . . . I repeat . . . nothing beats the flavor, texture, and sweetness combination.  I’m betting each one of us has spent a good day with a tub of ice cream and a good movie, swearing we will have no regrets about doing so when finished.   Aside from pastry, ice cream represents the quintessential dessert.  I’d say nothing beats it on a hot summer day.  But honestly, nothing beats it on any day.  In my household the dessert championship goes to ice cream every time.

As far as my family and ice cream, my daughter and I both have experiences which will live indelibly in the memory.  Mine was of the sweet treat my mother graciously allowed me to “taste.”  She should have known she would never receive it back from me.  My grip on the ice cream became tighter than a vise. The only way to make me let go of the cone would have been to crush it between my small fingers.  It would have been like granting me heaven only to rip away from me.  What parent would be so cruel.

With my daughter, her first taste of ice cream came with a bowl and a spoon.  Yes, she was trying it from her daddy.  But, as opposed to my mother, I never expected her to relinquish control of the ice cream.  I knew, once out of my hands, I probably wouldn’t see it again.  And my daughter lived up to those expectations as she grabbed the bowl and spoon, never to relinquish it until every drop vanished.   (There might have been a couple of melted drops at the bottom of the bowl I missed.)

So, you can see, ice cream is ingrained in my family DNA.  Adenine, Thymine, Cystosine, Guanine, and Ice Cream.  Put it all together and it makes the need for ice cream self-evident.   We at the Guide remember our duty; so, we must bring you the fake history behind this most famous of desserts.  Hence, we sent our agents to the farthest reaches of the Dark Web to be able to bring you the real fake story behind some of your favorite foods.  Whether they came back with real information or only a tub of empty ice cream in their hands, you be the judge.  Without further ado, the Guide proudly presents the fake history behind ice cream.

The Fake History Of Ice Cream

When it comes to foods, many regions claim to be the originator of some dish or another by virtue of their virtue.  Because how could you question a person?  (Don’t answer the question.  Your mom did teach you what the term “rhetorical question” meant, right?)  For the most part, I try to bring to you the various versions of events to let you choose for yourself which story makes the most sense.  Or, like the game Apples to Apples, makes you laugh the hardest.  (Personally, I prefer the one which makes me laugh more.)  With ice cream, we have a different reason to argue.  What does one actually mean by the term “ice cream?”

It’s one thing to argue over who originally created this delicious dessert.  It’s another thing entirely to debate what a person means by the term ice cream.  Because, with some regions, ice cream must contain cream in the dish to be ice cream.  Whereas, other cultures think of ice cream and they just mean sweet, frozen-liquid dessert, aerated.  As you can see, depending on your definition of the term, some various forms of dessert can be debated as the originator of the term ice cream.

Persia, origin of the great Sorbet.

When it comes to frozen-liquid dessert, we must go with the Persians who began the ice cream faze.  It all started with a man whose name roughly translated into English meant Sherbet Sorbet.  But for purposes of this blog post, we will call him Sherbay for short.  Sherbet was tasked with keeping the Persain ruler happy while they were out there conquering kingdoms in the good old 500s.  B.C. not A.D.  Or for those who need to go with a more modern reading the 500s B.C.E. (Before Crazy Editing)

Sherbay wanted to make sure his king could get the fruits of his rewards, literally.  And so he had frozen fruit prepared for the king every time the king came back from war.  This specific war the king returned from had been a really brutal campaign, hence Sherbay made sure he went out and found some of the most exotic fruit to put before the king.  Unfortunately, his donkey, Clutzy, had been allowed into the kitchen and knocked over some of the fruit packed in ice.  Some of his antics crushed the ice and fruit so hard it became impossible to separate.

Sherbay feared he would lose his head before the king, but brought in the mixture Clutzy created with his bucking into the king.  The king’s eyes lit up with the first bite.  And Sherbay knew he would lose his head before long.  What happened next Sherbay remembered until the day he died.  The king ran at him.  Sherbay winced only to be greated with the biggest hug he can remember.  No king touched a commoner and yet this king gave Sherbay a hug.  It turned out the king loved this iced fruit mixture from where we get the amazing Sorbets of today, from Sherbay and his trusty donkey, Clutzy.

China, where ice and cream came together.

As for where the ice cream where cream plays an essential role in the dish we need to head over to the 200s in China where Emperor Ni Fong Cream considered himself a bit of a scientist, testing out his theories of rice and how to preserve it through the cold winters.  Many of his own religious men told him that his belief about wrapping rice in the heavy milk from cows and freezing it would be ridiculous.  The milk would go bad and eventually make the rice not last.  Although, after many threats of execution, Ni Fong’s court came around to his way of seeing things.

Hence, one winter, Cream ordered all the rice to be packed in Milk and sent to the mountains to preserve. When the rice milk arrived down the mountain it was distinctly bigger and heavier than it had been before.  The scientists laughed at the Emperor behind his back when he saw the packs of frozen rice milk.  Some thought to bring out salt to help melt the ice, but the one scientist named Gelato figured he would add sugar to it instead as he became curious about the texture of this frozen starch.  Little did he know he would have a delicious treat on his hands as he chipped away at the ice, rice, milk, and sugar.

As he chipped away he saw some rice and milk start to spill out.  Some fell into a soup bowl and when he picked it up and touched the frozen substance with his tongue, he knew he had an instant hit.  He brought his findings to the Emperor who was willing to throw out all he had frozen for the winter.  Instead, he had a great spring treat in his kingdom, which would go on to be a treat everyone might commonly know as ice cream.

My Favorite Ice Cream Recipe – Lemon Crunch Ice Cream

With Food Holiday posts, the Guide provides you with the best recipes or Southern California spots which provide the best places for the food.  As I have already done an ice cream cone post, and an ice cream soda post, squeezing another five local ice cream places seems a bit ridiculous.  Hence, we at the Guide decided to present you with our favorite ice cream recipe.  Of course, recipe with ice cream and how you make the ice cream you can have different opinions about.  I used to crank the ice cream in a churn and bucket with a bunch of ice and rock salt.  Now, they have all these new-fangled ice cream makers and even recipes which do not require churning.  (Now that I feel 105 after writing the previous sentence I may have to look myself in the mirror and wonder if I am Dorian Gray.)

As for the recipe, it was a bit of a recipe from someone else, sprinkled with a bit of my own creation and made with love many, many moons ago.  But I have loved doing it now and again ever since Lemon is one of our favorite flavors, and this Lemon Crunch ice cream really hits the spot on a warm summer day.  We hope you enjoy it as well.

Lemon Crunch Ice Cream Recipe

Ingredients – 20 oz of Lemonhead Lemon Candy 2 Cups of Heavy Whipping Cream 1 Cup of Half-And-Half 1 1/8 Cup of White Sugar 3 TBS of Ground Lemon Zest 5 egg yoks ¾ cup of Lemon Juice

Instructions –
  1. Put Lemonhead candy into a large gallon ziplock bag
  2. Crush up Lemon heads into chunk sized pieces and put aside
  3. Mix Heavy Cream, Half and Half, sugar, and lemon zest in a saucepan.
  4. Bring to a simmer over low heat.
  5. Cook and stir until the sugar is fully dissolved. Remove from heat.
  6. Cover saucepan and allow to steep for ten minutes.
  7. Uncover pan and return to a simmer over low heat. Do not boil.
  8. Beat egg yolks.
  9. Stir one cup of warm cream into the eggs putting in several TBS at a time.
  10. Stir egg mixture back into cream.
  11. Cook and stir over low heat until it coats the back of the spoon
  12. Refrigerate over night.
  13. Add crushed lemon head candy to the cold cream mixture.
  14. Stir in lemon juice.
  15. Freeze in a 4 to 5 cup ice cream maker.
  16. Transfer to a lidded container and place in freezer for 4 to 5 hours and then serve.

Wrapping Things Up

When it comes to desserts, very few beat both the comfort and delicious taste of ice cream.  With the creamy texture, sweetness and a variety of flavors it makes it one of the most versatile dessert dishes around.  Whether you like chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, cookie dough, or whatever you can imagine.  As long as it’s sweet and delicious, it can be turned into an ice cream flavor.  So we are excited to celebrate this delicious holiday and encourage you to go out to your favorite ice cream parlor and do the same yourself.  And remember the famous Persian and Chinese person who created this delicious treat we all love so much today.  Your taste buds and children will thank you.

Continue The Conversation

What is your favorite ice cream?  What dessert is your favorite?  Do you remember the first time you had ice cream?  Did you give it up once you were given a lick?

Like / Share / Follow

If you liked this post, please give a look to some of our other great food holiday posts.  Click like and leave us a comment to let us know what you thought.  In addition, follow us here at the Guide to get the latest

  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

When it comes to delicious dishes best served cold, one might argue this National Food Holiday favorite might be more popular than revenge.  It’s ice cream, of course.  A wonderful blend of sweetness, coldness, and cream tempting the most discriminating palate.  And as we are one to celebrate our favorite foods every month, we are revisiting the very basic version of food holidays we have taken on before.  While ice cream sodas and ice cream cones may be delicious, at base both are loved because of the ice cream which comprises the base of it.  (Ok, some of you may love crunching on the ice cream cone by itself . . . but we won’t discriminate against you because of it . . . too much.)   So welcome to our food holiday for the month of July as the Guide proudly celebrates National Ice Cream Day, July 21st.

When it comes to ice cream, nothing . . . I repeat . . . nothing beats the flavor, texture, and sweetness combination.  I’m betting each one of us has spent a good day with a tub of ice cream and a good movie, swearing we will have no regrets about doing so when finished.   Aside from pastry, ice cream represents the quintessential dessert.  I’d say nothing beats it on a hot summer day.  But honestly, nothing beats it on any day.  In my household the dessert championship goes to ice cream every time.

As far as my family and ice cream, my daughter and I both have experiences which will live indelibly in the memory.  Mine was of the sweet treat my mother graciously allowed me to “taste.”  She should have known she would never receive it back from me.  My grip on the ice cream became tighter than a vise. The only way to make me let go of the cone would have been to crush it between my small fingers.  It would have been like granting me heaven only to rip away from me.  What parent would be so cruel.

With my daughter, her first taste of ice cream came with a bowl and a spoon.  Yes, she was trying it from her daddy.  But, as opposed to my mother, I never expected her to relinquish control of the ice cream.  I knew, once out of my hands, I probably wouldn’t see it again.  And my daughter lived up to those expectations as she grabbed the bowl and spoon, never to relinquish it until every drop vanished.   (There might have been a couple of melted drops at the bottom of the bowl I missed.)

So, you can see, ice cream is ingrained in my family DNA.  Adenine, Thymine, Cystosine, Guanine, and Ice Cream.  Put it all together and it makes the need for ice cream self-evident.   We at the Guide remember our duty; so, we must bring you the fake history behind this most famous of desserts.  Hence, we sent our agents to the farthest reaches of the Dark Web to be able to bring you the real fake story behind some of your favorite foods.  Whether they came back with real information or only a tub of empty ice cream in their hands, you be the judge.  Without further ado, the Guide proudly presents the fake history behind ice cream.

The Fake History Of Ice Cream

When it comes to foods, many regions claim to be the originator of some dish or another by virtue of their virtue.  Because how could you question a person?  (Don’t answer the question.  Your mom did teach you what the term “rhetorical question” meant, right?)  For the most part, I try to bring to you the various versions of events to let you choose for yourself which story makes the most sense.  Or, like the game Apples to Apples, makes you laugh the hardest.  (Personally, I prefer the one which makes me laugh more.)  With ice cream, we have a different reason to argue.  What does one actually mean by the term “ice cream?”

It’s one thing to argue over who originally created this delicious dessert.  It’s another thing entirely to debate what a person means by the term ice cream.  Because, with some regions, ice cream must contain cream in the dish to be ice cream.  Whereas, other cultures think of ice cream and they just mean sweet, frozen-liquid dessert, aerated.  As you can see, depending on your definition of the term, some various forms of dessert can be debated as the originator of the term ice cream.

Persia, origin of the great Sorbet.

When it comes to frozen-liquid dessert, we must go with the Persians who began the ice cream faze.  It all started with a man whose name roughly translated into English meant Sherbet Sorbet.  But for purposes of this blog post, we will call him Sherbay for short.  Sherbet was tasked with keeping the Persain ruler happy while they were out there conquering kingdoms in the good old 500s.  B.C. not A.D.  Or for those who need to go with a more modern reading the 500s B.C.E. (Before Crazy Editing)

Sherbay wanted to make sure his king could get the fruits of his rewards, literally.  And so he had frozen fruit prepared for the king every time the king came back from war.  This specific war the king returned from had been a really brutal campaign, hence Sherbay made sure he went out and found some of the most exotic fruit to put before the king.  Unfortunately, his donkey, Clutzy, had been allowed into the kitchen and knocked over some of the fruit packed in ice.  Some of his antics crushed the ice and fruit so hard it became impossible to separate.

Sherbay feared he would lose his head before the king, but brought in the mixture Clutzy created with his bucking into the king.  The king’s eyes lit up with the first bite.  And Sherbay knew he would lose his head before long.  What happened next Sherbay remembered until the day he died.  The king ran at him.  Sherbay winced only to be greated with the biggest hug he can remember.  No king touched a commoner and yet this king gave Sherbay a hug.  It turned out the king loved this iced fruit mixture from where we get the amazing Sorbets of today, from Sherbay and his trusty donkey, Clutzy.

China, where ice and cream came together.

As for where the ice cream where cream plays an essential role in the dish we need to head over to the 200s in China where Emperor Ni Fong Cream considered himself a bit of a scientist, testing out his theories of rice and how to preserve it through the cold winters.  Many of his own religious men told him that his belief about wrapping rice in the heavy milk from cows and freezing it would be ridiculous.  The milk would go bad and eventually make the rice not last.  Although, after many threats of execution, Ni Fong’s court came around to his way of seeing things.

Hence, one winter, Cream ordered all the rice to be packed in Milk and sent to the mountains to preserve. When the rice milk arrived down the mountain it was distinctly bigger and heavier than it had been before.  The scientists laughed at the Emperor behind his back when he saw the packs of frozen rice milk.  Some thought to bring out salt to help melt the ice, but the one scientist named Gelato figured he would add sugar to it instead as he became curious about the texture of this frozen starch.  Little did he know he would have a delicious treat on his hands as he chipped away at the ice, rice, milk, and sugar.

As he chipped away he saw some rice and milk start to spill out.  Some fell into a soup bowl and when he picked it up and touched the frozen substance with his tongue, he knew he had an instant hit.  He brought his findings to the Emperor who was willing to throw out all he had frozen for the winter.  Instead, he had a great spring treat in his kingdom, which would go on to be a treat everyone might commonly know as ice cream.

My Favorite Ice Cream Recipe – Lemon Crunch Ice Cream

With Food Holiday posts, the Guide provides you with the best recipes or Southern California spots which provide the best places for the food.  As I have already done an ice cream cone post, and an ice cream soda post, squeezing another five local ice cream places seems a bit ridiculous.  Hence, we at the Guide decided to present you with our favorite ice cream recipe.  Of course, recipe with ice cream and how you make the ice cream you can have different opinions about.  I used to crank the ice cream in a churn and bucket with a bunch of ice and rock salt.  Now, they have all these new-fangled ice cream makers and even recipes which do not require churning.  (Now that I feel 105 after writing the previous sentence I may have to look myself in the mirror and wonder if I am Dorian Gray.)

As for the recipe, it was a bit of a recipe from someone else, sprinkled with a bit of my own creation and made with love many, many moons ago.  But I have loved doing it now and again ever since Lemon is one of our favorite flavors, and this Lemon Crunch ice cream really hits the spot on a warm summer day.  We hope you enjoy it as well.

Lemon Crunch Ice Cream Recipe

Ingredients – 20 oz of Lemonhead Lemon Candy 2 Cups of Heavy Whipping Cream 1 Cup of Half-And-Half 1 1/8 Cup of White Sugar 3 TBS of Ground Lemon Zest 5 egg yoks ¾ cup of Lemon Juice

Instructions –
  1. Put Lemonhead candy into a large gallon ziplock bag
  2. Crush up Lemon heads into chunk sized pieces and put aside
  3. Mix Heavy Cream, Half and Half, sugar, and lemon zest in a saucepan.
  4. Bring to a simmer over low heat.
  5. Cook and stir until the sugar is fully dissolved. Remove from heat.
  6. Cover saucepan and allow to steep for ten minutes.
  7. Uncover pan and return to a simmer over low heat. Do not boil.
  8. Beat egg yolks.
  9. Stir one cup of warm cream into the eggs putting in several TBS at a time.
  10. Stir egg mixture back into cream.
  11. Cook and stir over low heat until it coats the back of the spoon
  12. Refrigerate over night.
  13. Add crushed lemon head candy to the cold cream mixture.
  14. Stir in lemon juice.
  15. Freeze in a 4 to 5 cup ice cream maker.
  16. Transfer to a lidded container and place in freezer for 4 to 5 hours and then serve.

Wrapping Things Up

When it comes to desserts, very few beat both the comfort and delicious taste of ice cream.  With the creamy texture, sweetness and a variety of flavors it makes it one of the most versatile dessert dishes around.  Whether you like chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, cookie dough, or whatever you can imagine.  As long as it’s sweet and delicious, it can be turned into an ice cream flavor.  So we are excited to celebrate this delicious holiday and encourage you to go out to your favorite ice cream parlor and do the same yourself.  And remember the famous Persian and Chinese person who created this delicious treat we all love so much today.  Your taste buds and children will thank you.

  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 
*** The Single Dad’s Guide to Life is a Brand Ambassador for Knott’s Berry Farm.  As such, I have been given tickets, food cards, and other amenities from Knott’s Berry Farm to try out.  While I have been given these items, all the thoughts and opinions expressed herein are my own.***

Welcome to the Knott’s Berry Farm 2019 Summer Giveaway held here at the Single Dad’s Guide to Life.  We are grateful to work with Knott’s Berry Farm, promoting their park.  It’s been such an amazing place for me and my daughter to go to over the years, especially since the divorce.  As a single parent, I always look for places I can take my daughter too which will help build the connection between us.  One of the first places I thought of was the Orange County amusement park right next door to where I live.  There is not one second I regret getting the annual passes with my daughter to Knott’s Berry Farm.

I’m sure if you have read my blog, you have spent a good deal of time listening to me extoll the virtues of this amazing amusement park.  In fact, I remember the very first post I wrote about Knott’s calling it a gem in Southern California.  And it truly is.  With annual passes barely sitting at 100 (which is way cheaper than any other park you are going to find locally), it’s a steal of a deal for family entertainment in Southern California.  And if you cannot front the money upfront, they have a payment plan you can go with.  In addition, they have meal plans, multiple parks and other amenities making your stay each and every time you visit the park a memorable one.

There are some great things going on this summer during Knott’s Berry Farm.  Three things specifically come to mind about adventures you can have if you visit Knott’s Berry Farm this summer.  And each of the three things means a unique and interesting adventure to take when you go to the park.  Knott’s makes sure to keep in touch with its roots, while always updating and bringing new things to life in the park.  Here are the three things you can enjoy and explore this summer at Knott’s Berry Farm.

Three New Adventures To Take At Knott’s Berry Farm 2019

The New Calico River Rapids at Knott’s Berry Farm.

1)  Calico River Rapids

Two of the brave men who chartered new territory with Lewis And Clark have made their way to Calico this summer and they have a set up an outpost along the river to encourage more exploration and settling in the area.  They make sure to get you fully stocked along your trip.  But there will be Rapids ahead so be prepared.  I know people talk about some sort of “skunk monster” out there.  But it’s just a legend.  Right?  Right???  Find out for yourself at Knott’s Berry Farm now.

Fluke Mayfield wear cast at Ghost Town Alive at Knott’s Berry Farm.

2)  Ghost Town Alive

From the mind of Ken Parks, VP of Entertainment at Knott’s Berry Farm, Ghost Town Alive returns for another year.  Inspired by the classic 70s film Westworld (not the recent television show), Parks put together a team to provide you with the most immersive entertainment anywhere.  With gold rushes and founder’s day celebrations to be had, Calico always crackles with life each summer.  But just like Westworld, the people at Knotts are not content with the same story to throw out each and every year.  Every year becomes new again as you tackle the untamed city and its colorful inhabitants.  My personal favorite is the Mayfields.  Whichever are your favorites, Ghost Town Alive provides something for the entire family to enjoy each and every summer in the Ghost Town streets.  Take a look at a previous year’s happenings here.

The Band Haitus during Knott’s Summer Nights.

3)  Knott’s Summer Nights

You should definitely check out my post about the best things going on when it turns night time at Knott’s Berry Farm this summer.  They have added summer nights, a playtime area for kids and adults alike with live music, DJ’s, games, delicious food, and sweet libations to tempt any person.  I’d spend more time on it, but I know you want to get to the giveaway.  Definitely check out what they have here though, if you haven’t already seen.

You can see firsthand all of the great things going on at Knott’s here:

Knott's Summer 2019 - YouTube
The Knott’s Summertime Giveaway

With all of this in mind, you will not want to miss the opportunity to make your way out to Knott’s Berry Farm this summer if you haven’t already.  We are giving you two excellent opportunities to spend some time at the Knott’s Berry Farm parks.  One is for Soak City, Knott’s relaxing getaway with winding waterways, exciting slides, and amazing places to relax and enjoy the atmosphere.  (Cabanas not included.  I know you are frowning but it’s still a good time.)  The other prize package is for tickets to Knott’s Berry Farm including front of the line passes, and food tasting cards for four.  (An approximately $800 value) Both prize winners will receive parking passes as well.

The following includes all the rules and restrictions for those interested in winning this prize.  Make sure to read carefully before you sign up as the information you provide will be available to both myself and Rafflecopter. (The program I use to run my giveaway.)

Knott’s Berry Farm Giveaways  (Tickets Good Until September 2nd 2019) Giveaway #1 (1)    Knott’s Berry Farm Family 4 Pack Including:
  • 4 pack of general admission tickets (value: $84 each)
  • 1 Parking Pass (Value: $20)
  • 4 pack of single day Fast Lane wristbands (value: $85 each)
  • 4 pack of  Summer Nights Tasting Cards(value $35 each)
Giveaway #2 (1)    Knott’s Soak City Waterpark Family 4 Pack Including:
  • 4 pack of general admission to Knott’s Soak City Water Park (value: $53 each)
  • 4 pack of Single Meal Deal vouchers (value: $14.49 each)
  • 1 parking pass (value: $20)
Rules for Entry Go As Follows: 1)  Grand Prize (Two Prizes Available) – (1) Knott’s Berry Farm Family 4 Pack and (1) Knott’s Soak City Waterpark Family 4 Pack  2)  Who can enter? – Any legal resident of the United States who is 18 years of age or older. Only four entries per person permissible for the giveaway. 3) Contest Duration – Contest begins 12:00 AM PST July 13th, 2019 and ends on July 22nd, 2019 12:00 A.M. PST.  Winners will be notified within two business days after the contest ends. 4)  How To Enter – You must follow @toastycritic on your twitter feed to enter.  You can receive more entries for following all of the social media accounts listed.  These include but are not limited to Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and my blog. 5) How Winner Is Chosen – The winner for the giveaway is chosen randomly through Rafflecopter within two business days after the end of the sweepstakes.  You cannot win both prizes.  There will be one winning prize to two different individuals, not in the same household. 6) Should You Have Any Issues – Please contact me at toastycritic@gmail.com if you have any issues with entry.  You cannot get multiple entries from multiple twitter accounts.  If you are already connected to me through twitter or any other platform, you may subscribe to my blog as a replacement for following me on Twitter or Instagram. 7) Applying to this contest will give both myself and Rafflecopter access to your information.  By signing up for this sweepstakes you agree to both The Single Dad’s Guide to Life and Rafflecopter using your information and agree to the Privacy Policy posted on this blog.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wrapping Things Up

I cannot say enough about Knott’s Berry Farm and the amazing place they are.  Which you might get an inkling of given my effuse praise of them.  But they really do amazing things.  And if you do not win, you definitely should check out the annual pass options.  It’s such an inexpensive and amazing way to bond with your whole family.  Click here to check out the latest deals of annual passes.

Continue The Conversation

What is the best giveaway you have seen?  Have you won one before? What was it and what was the best thing about it?  Have you been to Knott’s Berry Farm before?  If so, what was your favorite part?  If you’ve never been, what is the favorite amusement park you have been to and why?

Like / Share / Follow

If you liked this post, please click the like link.  We will try to do a couple more giveaways for Knott’s Merchandise before the end of the year.  It should be a lot of fun.  And definitely share this with your friends who would be interested in going to Knott’s Berry Farm.  Putting smiles on peoples faces is always a good thing.  And don’t forget to follow us here at the Guide to get the latest giveaways, Knott’s Berry Farm updates, parenting advice, fake news comedy, fitness, movie review, and lifestyle information.  Thank you so much for being a part of what we do.

Until next time, this is me signing off.

David Elliott, The Single Dad’s Guide to Life

The post One Amazing Summer: A Knott’s Summertime Giveaway appeared first on The Single Dad's Guide to Life.

  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Things change out lives every day.  When we think about it, the world is filled with choices each and every day which impact the rest of our lives.  Sometimes we think about whether turning right or turning left will make all the difference.  In truth, it does.  Whether we turn right or left inexorably alters our paths and changes the adventure we are about to have.  What’s crazier is we pretend like every second isn’t a part of the journey.  Somehow, we ignore the fact every second of the day represents another decision you have about your life.  Even “not making a choice” is effectively its own choice.  Then there are the choices which really move the needle.  Choices which have an immediate impact, and reward or craziness.  For me, the choice to blog turned my life upside-down.

The Shy Boy

To understand this about me, one has to go back to me as a child.  Probably one of the shyest and reserved kids you ever met, I did have moments of exhibitionism.  They just occurred in controlled spaces.  For instance, I would be a wild crazy dancer to music . . . in front of my baby sitter.  I would dress up in adult clothes from my parents’ closet . . . in my room.  I could bravely recite the craziest poetry, to the mirror of the bathroom.  And I was the greatest karaoke singer in the world, in the shower.  One might argue a blogger existed in me.  But I would never have seen it.  I was too reserved.

Growing up as a child, I frequently asked my brother to knock on the door of my friends’ houses because I was too shy to be there when the person answered the door.  I wasn’t agoraphobic.  I just wasn’t going to put myself out there either.  In addition, I have vivid memories of shirking out of my responsibility during the church play because I was too embarrassed to be up there on stage while people were looking at me.  I think I might have only had two lines to say the whole time.  But it didn’t matter.  I didn’t want to put myself out there. 

Comfortable With Wooing From Afar

When I started noticing the opposite sex, I was a disaster waiting to happen.  I couldn’t find myself speaking to them in public.  I felt more at ease being Cyrano, either helping the friend get the girl, or wooing them from afar rather than face rejection.  Cowardice marked my path.

But as I aged, I did start to become more assured of myself.  I put myself out there to be liked or not liked and didn’t worry about what the world thought of me as much.  That being said, I still preferred hiding behind the written word.  At parties, I enjoyed the company but would never have considered myself the out-front type.

My Writing Journey Kicks Off

As far as my writing journey was concerned, it began in poetry, expressed to try to earn a chocolate bar in a study hall class.  It would move on to the creative word as I had a teacher give us a creative writing assignment in high school where I found myself never short of things to write about.  I found myself loving to tell stories, but more the written variety.  Later in college, another creative writing assignment inspired me to further storytelling in a journal.  I appreciated the freedom to tell things my way and the ability to tell any story.

But I never thought about doing anything with it other than for an assignment.  I did take to writing some short stories while I was married, which pressed the boundaries of what I was capable of.  Drawing from inspirations like Kate Chopin and Ernest Hemingway, I enjoyed the creative expression I created by expressing intense emotion in a few pages.  These were for me and a select few friends who could appreciate my creative madness. 

First Opportunity Blogging.  First Fail.

Getting into grad school I encountered my first opportunity learning how to blog.  Although the blog posts we discussed and got involved in were very Library Science Niche.  Of course, any good blogger knows catering to a niche is mostly what your blog is about.  People should know what they are going to your blog for if you want them to keep coming back.  Of course, the Library blog didn’t interest me much.  But the idea of blogging began to percolate in my mind.  So, I started writing some.

It began with generic blogs about me, politics, life, the universe, and everything.  I would write a few posts and then quit because I was never sure what to write next.  Later, it turned into a movie blog as I attempted to write about movies.  (Yes, I write about movies now, but with much larger themes in mind.)  After doing that for a month or so, I quit because I saw so many people flustered with trying to make it work.  Many of the people ranked as great quit.  Whether they needed to quit is a whole other question.  But quit they did.  How could I do well somewhere that successful people quit despite their success?  This irked me.

Dad Leads To A Single Dad Which Lead To A Singular Blog

Then I met a blogger.  Wholly by accident.  Or by looking for a date.  One of those silly things single parents do because they crave connection in their lives.  She was a blogger.  A highly successful blogger.  At this point, I had heard those people existed but put them on the level of unicorns.  Even if one existed in the world, I was unlikely to find one.  Or they had to have some larger connection which got them involved in the first place.  (Networking is a beautiful thing no doubt.)  I was a man of no connection or even means of getting a connection.

But this woman wasn’t like that.  She was a single mom, doing whatever she could to make a success out of the broken pieces of her life.  And when I mean broken pieces, I do not mean she was a broken person any more than all of us are broken people.  She just had things come apart at the seems and blogging had enabled her to keep things together.  I marveled at how she made everything work.  She had a rich life, and the opportunity to enjoy it.  I’m not saying she turned into a millionaire.  But she did become successful with tons of things to do, and experiences to give her children.  I wanted that for me and my daughter.

Could I Be A Mom Blog?  Nah!

This sent me back to the drawing board looking at all her compilation of work and wondering what I could do to translate what I did into that kind of success.  Obviously, each finds our paths differently.  And my path wouldn’t be like hers.  The Mom blog path (aside from my lack of feminine qualities) would not be something I could be successful at.  I could review a movie, amusement park, museum, vacation spot, or food recipe. But I couldn’t be a mom. And as much as single dads have to wear the mom hat at times, it’s never something we are completely comfortable with.  Our kinds understand that, and they forgive us for our shortcomings there.  But they recognize it. 

One thought leads to another and then I recognized I needed to be who I was, and write about that experience.I needed to be a single dad with all of the foibles, craziness, and self-deprecating humor I could muster.  So I scoured the internet for who was out there and what I liked.  In fact, how many dad bloggers are there out there, and would I run into the struggles of the supersaturated movie and mom-blogging markets.  When I got there, I saw the opening. Not only because the market wasn’t saturated but because it would be something I would enjoy writing about.  All the struggles, heartbreak, and humor which comes into our lives. 

Make ‘Em Laugh!

I found a few bloggers which resonated with me and off I went.  I began a journey just shy of 2 and a half years ago, putting together a blog for all seasons. (Yes, I’m referencing a movie which is a forte of mine.  But it’s a movie well worth checking out if you can find it.)

Of course, blogging life has taken its interesting twists and turns over time.  I know so many people think when they start blogging everything goes smoothly.  You just write, and magically people come to your blog.  Well, it might have been true ten years ago when blogging was a new medium, and no one knew who’s information was worth a darn.  At the same time, there wasn’t the skepticism of fake news or fake information out there either.  So, these people filled an interesting void just by being real and being themselves on this new medium.  All you had to do was be authentic and you could win people over. 

Why Didn’t I Begin Sooner?!?!

Now many people failed at this test of being authentic.  So they ultimately failed.  And the list of people attempting to blog is probably in the billions at this point.  With an over 95 percent fail rate in any industry, you realize the difficulty of really succeeding.  And then you have to realize everyone develops varying levels of success.  The bloggers who last may just be OK not making this a full-time gig.  They are OK taking it to where they get a few product offers and the occasional sponsored post.  While the battle to succeed in blogging has always been an uphill climb, early on adopters had a better chance of success.

Of course, not being an early adopter meant success depending on talent, lucky, niche selection, and hard work.  You can judge for yourself how successful I have been. I did get my first paid post about 5 months in.  I was invited to my first few events shortly thereafter. (Although carrying another full-time job makes it difficult.) And by the end of the first year, I had been offered my first brand ambassadorship.  Things looked up for me, without a doubt.

Preparation SMH!

But to get to the point of even a slight bit of success, I wish I had done more preparation in advance.  I think I did somethings which were good. I took the opportunity to spend a few months on free blog services and gained an understanding of SEO, title selection, blogging themes, branding, social media marketing, and much much more. 

On the other hand, no matter how much I learned, I could not have been prepared for the learning curve I would face when it came to blogging.  To this day, I have things thrown at me every month.  It might have been better to practice and the entire year before I felt things settle down.  Instead, I took a skydive without a parachute.  I’m still praying for soft ground no matter how fast it seems to be coming at me.

This Was The Wild Life I Was Promised?

I have faced blogger envy, being burned by programs I thought would help me achieve growth, themes stop working properly, security certificates stopping working, new regulations within European Markets and stored information, conversion from HTTP to HTTPS, constantly changing algorithms for social media sites and so much more.  It’s like being told you need to learn Ancient Greek only they keep adding words every two minutes so by the time you feel accomplished learning your first 100 words, they have added 500 more.  You become Sisyphus, with no end to your rock rolling insight. 

Then comes my other favorite blogger: the helpful blogger who tells you all about their successes and how to do things right.  Don’t get me wrong.  I appreciate all of those who are honestly trying to be helpful out there.  But as a person just stepping into the blogging game, you have so many who would lie about their stats, income, etc. in order to make people feel like they are less.

Some of them just do it to be competitive and keep other people from success, which is bad enough.  Other’s do it to make a quick buck as they invite you to pay for their courses about how to become just like them.  When the truth is, everyone blogging needs to become the best version of themselves, not try to emulate the success of another person, even if they are very successful.  Can you become successful being like them?  Of course not.  You are not them.

No Quick Fixes.  Just Hard Work.

Thankfully I recognized much of this craziness early on.  And so I stayed away from the quick fix.  I knew to be successful, I would have to learn as much as I could as quickly as I could.  This doesn’t mean I ignored anyone’s advice.  Hearing about new algorithms and how they work has impacted my social media efforts some.  It just meant I would have to fail and succeed on my own.  And honestly, it’s something I wanted my whole life.  To feel like I could fail or succeed on my own merits.

There’s a bit of luck involved in everything for sure.  For those who don’t think timing and luck mean anything, they are lying to you or aren’t paying attention to how fortunate they have been.  Of course, when the opportunities come along, they grabbed at them with both hands and hung on for dear life.  And I have done a bit of that myself as my blog has been recognized in Single Dad Blog groups, for awards, for partnerships with companies, and for being on the front page of a newspaper.  (Still the strangest moment of my life.  I had no idea what I got into and still didn’t believe it would happen until I saw my picture on the front page of the paper.  I really wish my grandmother could have seen me.)

What I Learned

I did learn a few lessons along the way.  So many people think blogging comes easily and requires no sacrifice.  I have to laugh at this.  Then again, we monetize our playtime, which makes us look like the most spoiled people in the world or the luckiest.  Hard to tell which sometimes.  I know for you bloggers out there this has to resonate some.  Life in the blogging world feels like a roller coaster which you never feel secure about when the ride ends.  After all, this world of the blogger still represents a strange new world for humanity.

But for you blogging newbies, on the front end of your journey, I wish to give you some advice.  What’s great about this advice is it comes for free.  Of course, I could be lying to you, which means you can take this with a grain of salt.  (still trying to figure out what that phrase means to be honest.  There must be some history behind it.)  If you are beginning, or even thinking about getting into the game, here are five key things to think about on this crazy wildlife people call blogging.

5 Crazy Considerations To Living The Wild Blogger Lifestyle

  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 
“Yesterday All my troubles seemed so far away Now it looks as though they’re here to stay Oh, I believe in yesterday”

Music marks time in our lives, like a clock on a wall.  Songs transport us to a specific moment in space and time.  So many musical memories take me back to significant events for me.  Whether it’s Madonna marking my childhood, Huey Lewis and the News watching my first music awards, U2 is the moment I went on my first backpacking trip, and Tom Jones serenading me and my ex’s first date, music brings meaning to the moments of life.  I will admit the Beatles were from a different era than me.  In fact, I barely remember the assassination of John Lennon when I was a child.  But for many of the Baby Boom generation, the Beatles marked their transition from youth to adulthood.  Yesterday, as part of the Beatles legacy, takes many back to those old days when the promise of life lay ahead of them.

Hence, tapping into those memories of people with the movie Yesterday, dealing with the music of the Fab Four, made perfect sense.  Revisiting all the Beatles playlist, you can run the gamut of emotion as well as reaching people whose lives had been turned upside-down by those amazing musicians from Liverpool.  With songs like Let It Be, I Wanna Hold Your Hand, Something, Hey Jude, Here Comes The Sun, She Loves You, and many more, Yesterday means a trip to the past and the happy memories of youth.

Pictures courtesy of Sony © 2019

A little irony about the choice of this song to represent the Beatles is the song should just be considered a Paul McCartney song.  Released in 1965 as a single in the U.S., Yesterday only had Paul McCartney from the Beatles record the album with Tony Gilbert, Sidney Sax, Kenneth Essex, Peter Halling, Francisco Gabarro, George Martin, and Norman Smith.  Given it came from the heyday of the Beatles, record companies were chomping at the bit to release Beatles material.  While the Beatles were able to delay its release in Great Britain, they had less control over Capitol Records.  So they insisted if it were to be released, the Beatles would have to be on the album as they had no intention of splitting up. 

This fact makes the selection of the title, as well as the themes of the movie Yesterday, interesting and unique.  It’s a little magic, a lot of wonders, and a ton of love as Yesterday is a love letter to yesteryear and a world where all you needed was love.  But let’s get into the weeds with the movie with a Goodbye to the Beatles and a Hello to Lily James in a review of the film Yesterday.

Goodbye Beatles! Hello, Lily James. A Review Of The Film Yesterday *** spoiler alert ***

Written by Richard Curtis and directed by Danny Boyle, Yesterday begins with Jack Malik (Himesh Patel) attempting to get into the music industry playing his songs wherever he can get the opportunity.  Always accompanied by his trusty manager Allie Appleton (Lily James), Jack continues on day after day trying to make a name for himself.  Like many an aspiring musician, Jack trudges on day after day, hoping to hit it big but never really sure of himself.  As with most people he lives a life of hope.  He desires to make his dreams come true. 

Finally, he gets invited to play at a music festival for the first time in one of the surrounding tents.  Excited to finally get his music out there Jack comes up with a set list of his songs to play at the festival and excitedly prepares.  Only, no one shows up.  It’s his manager, his best friends and some kids who are just playing around without really listening to anyone.  He senses this.  Jack shot his only shot and knew he would never make anything of himself. 

“Suddenly I’m not half the man I used to be There’s a shadow hanging over me Oh, yesterday came suddenly”

So Jack resolved to quit his career and go back to teaching.  But life and magic intervene.  A bus strikes Jack on the way home and the power goes out throughout the globe.  When the power returns, Jack is struck by a bus and lies in the middle the road bloodied and bruised.  In a hospital and missing two teeth he is greeted by his manager, making sure he is ok. 

Pictures courtesy of Sony © 2019

After leaving the hospital they meet up with him and get him and out of the hospital gift. As the bus crash destroyed his guitar, they gave him a brand new beautiful guitar to play.  With a little bit of wistfulness and regret, Jack picks up the guitar as they encourage him to play.  Out comes Yesterday, a song of wistful remembrance and regret.  As a song for Jack, it fits perfectly.  And as a song making us remember what we lost in the Beatles as they split, its equally perfect.

Only what happens next, Malik doesn’t expect.  His manager and friends do not recognize the song whatsoever.  He thinks they are playing with him.  And yet they continue on in the charade.  The speak with the firm belief the Beatles never existed. (Unless you count the insects on Google spelled Beetles). At first, he discounts their disbelief.  But then he inspects himself.  He cannot find any mention of the Beatles anywhere.  No matter which Google search methods he uses, they no longer exist. 

Jack comes up with an idea: a wonderful and terrible idea.  Put down all the Beatles music he can remember to pen and paper and begin passing them off as his own.  Initially, this comes with minimal success.  But eventually, things begin to take off.  With some updated versions of the classic Beatles anthology, Jack gets noticed.  First by a music engineer.  Next by some locals.  And finally by Ed Sheeran himself. 

Why she had to go, I don’t know She wouldn’t say I said something wrong Now I long for yesterday

With each climb up the rung of success, Jack begins to lose a bit of control over where this lie is taking him, and leads him further away from his manager.  By the time Jack loses all control, including changing his manager, Ellie finally decries her being put in the friend zone.  Through all the years of support for Jack, she always hoped for something more.  Something he couldn’t seem to see, even though it stared him in the face.  He lost a part of who he was.  Could he gain it back?

Sony © 2019

Not wanting to get into the weeds with all the plot and resolution, it really comes down to the importance of love and one’s dreams.  Do they exist apart from one another?  Can one pursue one without the other?  And if love isn’t a part of your dreams, what means more to you?  Love or dreams.  Jack needs to take a little tour to an important person to find out what means the most to a person.  Ultimately, Jack must decide that for himself.  And in so doing he has to choose between the dream he had and the love he wants.

Yesterday Love was such an easy game to play Now I need a place to hide away Oh, I believe in yesterday

When it comes to love or fame, what would your choice be?  For Jack, it could be buried within the song Yesterday.  He has to lose something.  Ultimately, he cannot play at love.  And he cannot play at being the most amazing songwriter in the world.  He might try but he will never be successful at both.  It’s a question for everyone to answer.  Will we lose ourselves in the process of pursuing our dreams?  Or do we really have the right dreams to begin with?  The message of Yesterday hangs in the balance.

*** end of spoilers ***

Himesh Patel does a creditable job with playing the role of Jack Malick.  He is the avatar for us, discovering a world where we lose some of the most important music and memories we have.  I think he plays the role of a man dealing with a world missing some of the most important things in it.  Of course, the Beatles aren’t the only thing which would vanish from this world.  They pop up from time to time.  Sometimes they are good things.  Sometimes they are things we can do without.  Whatever the case, we can relate well to the loss Malik feels.

I think the downside is, the love connection doesn’t work quite as well.  We, the audience, maybe in love with Lily James, because who wouldn’t be?  But you never feel like Malik reached that moment.  This is sad.

Picture courtesy of Sony © 2019

Lily James, on the other hand, sells the love story quite well.  She plays the spurned love of Jack Malik who cannot go with him on his journey to stardom.  You feel both her loss and pain.  And you feel her questioning of why she found herself there in the first place.  We, the audience, don’t want Jack to miss out on this amazing woman, even if he never quite seems to get it.

Kate McKinnon does a creditable job as the soulless agent trying to get Malik to produce the things she wants to produce.  And Ed Sheeran does a kind of LeBron James turn from Trainwreck, playing himself to comedic effect.  Including wanting to create a ridiculous change to the song Hey, Jude. 

On the whole, the movie did succeed for the most part.  And for that, I definitely recommend seeing it.  I’d say you can wait to see it until video but who am I kidding?  I love Lily James and hearing Beatles music in a Dolby theater is totally worth it.  If you are longing for a little bit of yesteryear, go out and see Yesterday very soon.

Overall Rating: 3 out of 4 stars Wrapping Things Up

I have to admit, saying goodbye to the Beatles would be sad.  At the same time, if I had to choose between Lily James and the Beatles, I would struggle too.  She’s definitely the closest thing the Brits have to a Sandra Bullock or a Meg Ryan.  It’s just so difficult not to love her.  From the first time I saw her in Cinderella, I felt an instant connection.  With a beautiful voice and a sweet disposition, it would be hard for anyone not to love her.  She does so well playing that role.  I would love to see her take on some romantic comedies with someone like a Hugh Grant.  Maybe something with Domhnall Gleeson.  Someone should get that done.  Just saying.

Pictures courtesy of Sony © 2019

Continue The Conversation

What band would you hate to lose from your past?  I admit for me it would be U2.  I couldn’t imagine my life without them?  What is your biggest lifelong dream?  And would you give up your dreams for love? 

Like / Share / Follow

If you liked this post, please click the like link and leave us a message in the comment section.  We love hearing from you.  Share this with some of your friends, especially those who love movies.  And don’t forget to follow us for the latest movie review, parenting, Knott’s Berry Farm, Southern California, food holiday, satire, fitness, and lifestyle posts.  As always, thank you for being a part of what we do.

Until next time, this is me signing off.

David Elliott, The Single Dad’s Guide to Life

The post Goodbye Beatles, Hello, Lilly James.  A Yesterday Film Review appeared first on The Single Dad's Guide to Life.

  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 
“God is dead. God remains dead. And we have killed him. How shall we comfort ourselves, the murderers of all murderers? What was holiest and mightiest of all that the world has yet owned has bled to death under our knives: who will wipe this blood off us?” Frederich Nietzsche The Gay Science

When it comes to film, I don’t usually think I am entering the world of Philosophy and Religion.  Of course, the film may include religious concepts, or some kind of pop psychology (tons of examples about Freud in Film an oft-discredited psychologist), it rarely reaches the core of the message of a film.  Most films fall into the realm of pure entertainment fluff. This does not mean fluff represents a strictly bad type of film making.  I think we all can appreciate fluff from time to time.  I did not, however, expect on going into a Marvel movie expecting anything more than fluff. And I would never have complained.  Yet, somehow Spiderman: Far From Home transcended the usual Marvel flare and reached into the core of who we are as people.

Usually, when I review a film, I measure it in a very Roger Ebert fashion.  I look at the elements of a film, attempt to determine the message the story tries to convey, and rate the film based on the successfulness of the storytelling by the cast and crew.  Most films fall under the level, and it’s totally acceptable that they do.  A film does not need to astonish me to be considered a good film.  A film must fulfill its intended purpose.  I can feel a film successfully accomplishes this like with Toy Story 4, or the film might fall a little flat, as with the New Grinch.  Good films stop there.  Bad films stop there.  Exceptional films leave a little tidbit to mull over as you leave the theater.  Marvel may have leaped into this last category whether intentional or not with the latest Spiderman offering.

To discuss properly my feelings about Spiderman: Far From Home, I need to give context, which may leave a few of you out from the usual background I give to a film.  As I need to dive right in, I suggest you skip past the spoilers if you are one who wants to wait to read opinions about a movie until after the movie, I suggest you skip to the end of the spoilers from here.  If you do, I promise you coming back to read after you watched the movie will be worth your while, as I get into the thoughts of Nietzsche, the opinions of Lewis, and the notions of Marvel characters as gods.  But for now warning: spoilers ahead with a review of Spiderman: Far From Home.

Picture courtesy of Sony Pictures © 2019

Spiderman: Far From Home Film Review *** spoiler alert ***

“But when Zarathustra was alone, he spoke thus to his heart: ‘Could it be possible! This old saint has not heard in his forest that God is dead!’” – Frederich Nietzsche Thus Spoke Zarathustra

When it comes to Marvel superhero movies two things come into play. Number one, the godlike abilities they possess make them gods among men.  Even the “godliest” among them whose power seem to be natural and not chemically induced are intensely human.  (See Thor in Avengers: Endgame)  The characters would be unreliable if they didn’t have their supremely human side.  And yet we struggle to relate to them because of their abilities which separate them from among us.  The X-Men films and comics speak to that a great deal.  At the same time, by the time we get through Civil War and into Infinity War, humanity created an awkward truce Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) signed on to as Iron Man.

Tony believed working within the system one could bridge the gap between those whose god-like abilities put them above mere mortals, and those humans who far too often became casualties of the war between the “gods”.  And then he died.  The Avenger who worked the hardest to make sure the truce between humans and mortals would last vanished from this mortal coil.  What comes next represents a power vacuum. 

Into this power-vacuum steps a teenage boy, one Peter Parker (Tom Holland) whose abilities came upon him by accident and not through some other intentional or supernatural effort.  He’s been given these gifts, and at the same time, he fears being the person who must decide anyone’s fate as he struggles to deal with his own.  After all, he is in high school, dealing with a missing five years where people who were once four years younger than him, now appear a year older than him.  His vanishing threw his world into chaos.  He barely has his feet on the ground.

Tom Holland as Peter Parker and Zendaya as M.J. in Spiderman: Far From Home. Picture courtesy of Sony Pictures © 2019

Early on, we notice his struggles as society tries to put on him the mantle of Iron Man.  They eagerly want to accept a new Iron Man into their midst.  In their desperation they put pressure on Peter Parker, the very human boy despite his powers, he feels unready to fulfill.  So he abandons some duties, and the call of Nick Fury, to try to pick up the normal pieces of his life. So he goes to Europe with his best friend, and M.J. (Zendaya), along with several other classmates and teachers to attempt to have the most normal high school experience possible.

We are then introduced Quentin Beck / Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal) as he attempts to be fighting off these creatures which Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) and the Avengers Team had never seen before. Quentin will later fill in Peter Parker on the details as Nick Fury catches up with him and his class in Venice.  Quentin talks of a multiverse, to which the Avengers opened up the possibility of such with Endgame.  In his dimension, these creatures attached and invaded the earth, all but destroying it and all life on it.  Quentin resolved to take on this creature in this dimension when he saw them appear in this particular version of Earth. 

Parker has some serious questions about it all but shows his depth be engaging in a spirited conversation about the nature of the multiverse theory and all its implications.  But he resists helping further because he doesn’t want to miss his life while trying to be Spiderman.  But if you know Nick Fury at all, he wouldn’t simply quit on trying to get Peter to do the right thing.  So he makes sure to manipulate Parker’s school trip to get the assistance of Spiderman with these elementals.

To give him a bit of assistance for this road, he gives a gift to Peter from Tony Stark himself, following his death.  Inside this small present is a set of glasses from Iron Man.  Parker then uses this gift to stop a classmate from spreading a revealing picture of him to M.J.  Of course, he almost has this gift do a kill shot on the student before he stops it.  Eventually, now in Prague, Parker assists Mysterio with defeating the fire elemental which had destroyed his world.

Afterward, Parker sits with Quentin and a drink of lemonade at a bar in Prague.  He doesn’t like the pressures which seem to build on him.  All he wants to be is who he is on the inside.  So, an idea occurs to him.  Give away the power and authority to someone just as deserving.  He sees Mysterio as the person to do this and gives it away without a second guess.

Of course, things go awry from there.  And I don’t want to give away every plot twist.  But I do want to talk about the nature of what happened in the moment Parker gave away the power entrusted to him.  He had watched his father figure literally die.  And he couldn’t take the pressure of those in the world trying to force him to take over the role of Iron-Man.  So he gave it away without a thought.  He violated the one thing Tony Stark did have in him, trust. 

What Parker didn’t understand ultimately was the nature of humanity, which is ironic as his desires often feel the most human.  What Parker didn’t understand or tried not to was the nature of what happens when mans idols or “gods” have been stripped from him.  Some believe it could make someone more enlightened.  But Spider-Man grapples with this directly.  What happens when the world loses its moorings?  It continues to search for meaning.  As humans, we seem to be the most meaning-seeking, purpose-driven people ever.  We crave and desire purpose in a world full of answers but without “truth” as the philosophers would have described it.  And what happens in this world?

“When men choose not to believe in God, they do not thereafter believe in nothing, they then become capable of believing in anything.”  The quote is by unknown although ascribed to G.K. Chesterton

The villain of the piece alludes to this at the very end.  When a person loses his or her meaning and loses their “god,” they do not take solace in the fact the world now exists without a god in it.  The frequently then seek some meaning in anything in life.  And the villain believes their purpose is to step in and fill that god-shaped whole for them.  We fill in the emptiness with some new meaning and purpose cobbled together from the scape of our existence. 

The villain believes they can step in and create fulfillment.  They can supplant the purpose and vision of Tony Stark and replace it with one of their own.  While it may be a cynical ploy, it seems to be effective at moving the needle and making people believe the things they want to believe from the very beginning.

Ultimately, this deep philosophical thought blew me away that it came from a Spiderman film.  I have come to get used to the existential crisis of each of these heroes as they all grapple with who they are and what purpose they serve toward the greater good.  Sometimes the villains in the pieces even do it better than the heroes. To grapple not only with an existential crisis, on the other hand, but in addition a global crisis of a world without its god, you come away stunned and how deftly they threw this in there.  And it’s not just a tangent in the picture but touches the central themes of responsibility, purpose, and meaning.  Color me highly impressed.

*** end of spoilers ***

When it comes to Marvel movies, frequently the layers of meaning are papered over with lots of action.  And action has its purpose.  Don’t get me wrong.  When I got into a film, escape exists high on the list of things I look for.  But films sometimes transcend this as they get us to think of something deeper.  Spiderman forced us to grapple with the meaning of existence, Nietzsche’s commentary on the death of god, and what it means for a world when the god it once counted can no longer be counted to be there for them. 

Spiderman answers that with a resounding statement of personal meaning.  He needs to be the best him.  The world just needs the best version of him, not the man who far too often has the godlike complex. But you cannot shirk responsibility either.  We need something to believe in. In fact, we crave this meaning.  And without it, we seek it out from whatever dangerous charlatan crosses our path.   A scary life indeed.

With all that said, it’s a beautiful, funny, moving, action-packed, and yet somehow complex Marvel movie, all rolled into one.  I like to reserve my four starred ratings for pieces that deserve it.  This Marvel rendition of the teen boy who grapples with the responsibility he has before him definitely deserves it.

Overall rating: 4 out of 4 stars Wrapping Things Up 

When it comes to the Marvel Universe, it would be so easy to rest on one’s Laurels.   And I will admit, I still have some concerns about the nature of Carol Danvers Miss Marvel (Brie Larson), and how her character operates as we move further into phase four of the Marvel Universe.  Spiderman continues my faith in Marvel they will find ways to make things work out in the end.

Pictures courtesy of Sony Pictures © 2019

Continue the Conversation

Given the plethora of Marvel films out by now (23 and counting) which Marvel movie is by far your favorite?  Which one was your least favorite?  Do you have a Marvel Character you are still hoping comes into play in this universe soon?  What do you think of a new Black Widow (Scarlet Johansson)  movie after what transpired to her character in Endgame?

Like / Share / Follow

If you liked the post, then click the like button pretty please with sugar on top.  Not that you will try to eat the lick button mind you.  And definitely leave us a comment letting us know about what you think works best.  Then be sure to share this with some of your friends.  And don’t forget to follow us to get the best movie review, parenting, Knott’s Berry Farm, food holiday, fake news, fitness, and lifestyle posts around.  Thank you for stopping by.

Until next time, this is me signing off.

David Elliott, The Single Dad’s Guide to Life

The post A Tremendous Desire To Believe In Anything, A Spiderman: Far From Home Review appeared first on The Single Dad's Guide to Life.

  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Hi and welcome to the wildest blog in the wilderness.  From the dark jungles of Southern California where these strange neon signs must be cut down with a machete and wild creatures with rings in their ears and who speak in foreign languages like Valley Girl roam the streets.  It’s a dangerous place out there but we are dedicated to the proposition that all fake news is created equal.  Hence, we endeavor to bring it to you for this abbreviated Fourth of July Weekend Fake News extravaganza.  Welcome to the Single Dad’s Guide to Fake News: Volume 28.

Why would we celebrate Fake News on the Fourth of July Weekend?  Because what’s more American than celebrating all the ridiculous things we are informed of on a regular basis?  Or maybe . . . and it’s a big maybe . . . I think laughter cures a multitude of ills.  And what could be better than getting yourself some snort filled, pound your fist on the floor, belly laughs meant to make you have the best Fourth of July imaginable?  Just don’t be reading this with a glass of milk and a straw.  Because you never know what might happen.

Some of you are screaming right now at your computer screen or iPhone, yelling what in the world is fake news?  And why would you find it funny?  Think Jonathan Swifts a modest proposal pulled from the pages of the internet.  We take all the fake news unfit to print and bring it to your very doorstep.  In short, we go to Google Trends and find the hottest topics of the day and make sure they look nothing like the original.  Ok, maybe a little like the original but we twist them to suit our purposes, which includes a steady stream of milk shooting out your nose.  Or maybe Root beer.  Because . . . wow!

After which, we throw in a little commentary and bring it all to you with a shiny ribbon on it.  What?  You mean you don’t see any ribbon on this blog post???  I knew not paying the digital marketing team would end up with them on a pay strike.  I’d have the HR team fire them, but they aren’t getting paid either.  So I guess I will have to make do with what I got.  Which is a ton of great fake news content?  So let’s get to it.  Without further ado, the Guide proudly presents The Single Dad’s Guide to Fake News: Volume 28, The Independence Day Edition.

The Single Dad’s Guide To Fake News: Volume 28 1) Attack of the Killer Bottle Caps, Part 3.  This Time You Could Poke Your Eye Out

Watch out.  Be on the lookout for bottles with flying caps which could come and take our your eyes.  They might be hiding around any corner.  Or they could jump out at you from their perch in a local convenience store.  You may think they look like harmless bottle caps, but you’d be wrong.  They are deadly devices meant to blind you and rob you of your will to live.  So, look out!

What do you mean, I sound like I need to be in a local looney bin?  I’m just warning you with every ounce of truth I can muster.  After all, Jason Statham found it necessary to attack one to prevent it from coming after him.  And if Jason Statham attacks a bottle cap, I need to attack one too.  They must be after us after all.  They are so dangerous, even John Mayer (wedding crasher extraordinaire) got into the act of attacking those deadly caps of destruction.  So, get yourself some sunglasses or else.  Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

2) In Hollywood, They Are Just Like We Are.  Here Are 120 Million Reasons Why.

It’s always amusing to open the pages to People or US Magazine and look at the Hollywood Celebrity photos attempting to fat shame the rich and famous.  Or maybe they are shaming them for bed head.  One can never quite tell the difference.  Whatever the case, these magazines try to prove how much these people are just like us.  Now don’t get me wrong.  I believe they are human beings from the planet earth, not some species from Mars set out to take control of the universe by manipulating our minds through mindless entertainment.  Wait . . .

Ok, so they aren’t those so-called Martians, but are they like us?  Really?  Really?  I’m guessing you didn’t have to choose between your Maserati and your Rolls Royce Sweptail today.  And I’m certain you didn’t put your house on the market for 200 million dollars only to be disappointed in the sale at 120 million.  Well, that’s just what happened to the people selling the former Aaron Spellings mansion like property.  I remember visiting there with a friend once upon a time.  I was told the house was divided up, so Tori Spelling could avoid her dad all day and still live under the same roof.  Exactly like us…

3) The Walking Dead Passed Away Last Night At 193

When it comes to series which go on interminably with no conclusion, the Walking Dead must rank up there in the pantheon of the never-ending.  Its creators have finally decided, 193 comics later, the story had reached its apex and must have a conclusion.  I’m not sure how you would end a dead thing aside from nuclear annihilation and the hope that the dead do not once again spring to life afterward.  Then again, as scary as the possibilities of zombies are, if you never find an answer to what created them in the first place, how must the series end when everyone has the virus inside them?  No happy endings allowed.  Although, maybe a song and dance number would suffice.  Then again, heads might roll if that happened.

4) Flesh-Eating Bacteria In The Water.  Nothing To See Here.

It would appear there seems to be a Flesh-Eating Bacteria epidemic off the waters in Florida in South Texas as two people within the last week have either died or are under serious hospital care from this rotting flesh infection.  Both people, in their mid to late 70s were out doing something when they ended up with a cut on a body part and had the cut exposed to the warm waters of the Gulf.  You can cue the gasps here as within a day they suddenly experienced pain from the site of the cut.  The bacteria then went to work until it killed the woman and damaged the other man’s hand, which now requires plastic surgery.

But should we worry?  Nah!  Because the government (who has no vested interest whatsoever in not causing a panic) told us not to.  Evidently, these flesh-eating bacteria are common to the waters during the summer months.  But don’t sweat it as it only seems to affect a handful of people.  But who those people are, no one can say for sure.  So, don’t worry.  It’s like playing Russian Roulette when you go into the water.  What could possibly go wrong?

5) Dr. Frankenstein, meet your latest test subject:  The Humkey.

In another of those what could possibly go wrong here moments, we have the first inklings of where science will go into the future.  And it begins with what many believe to be our closing living ancestors of the animal kingdom: monkeys.   These brave souls are now being experimented on by the Darwin Award winners who brought you New Coke and Chernobyl.  Ok, maybe they aren’t those same people, but it wouldn’t surprise me if they were involved.  These genius scientists decided if they couldn’t find the missing link, why not create one?

Beginning with inserting the proteins which have been responsible for Alzheimer’s into monkeys, they intend on recreating the Alzheimer’s there to make them . . . fall apart and forget things, eventually, die?  Great job scientists.  But that’s not all.  They intend on making these animals grow organs for human harvesting and organ transplant.  Nothing bad to see here. Move along.  What’s my name you ask?  Just call me Igor.

6) And In Other Bacterial Infection News . . .

It would appear Chipotle is not the only major company on the hook for..

  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 
*** The Single Dad’s Guide to Life was provided with a HotLogic Mini in consideration for a review on this blog.  While I was provided with the HotLogic Mini all the thoughts and opinions expressed herein are my own***

When it comes to food at work, for the most part, I hate it.  This doesn’t mean I hate what I’m eating.  But basically, I hate bringing food to work because it’s always cold and never tastes good by the time I get to it.  Whatever I bring to work, needs heating in a microwave, or if I have been lucky, in a toaster oven.  Which basically means, aside from the occasional salad I bring, I eat out.  Because as one of my former girlfriends informed me, I am a leftover Nazi, running gas chambers for my leftovers until they die.

A HotLogic Mini Review

Hence, when HotLogic offered the opportunity to review the Hot-Logic Mini, the possibility of eating deliciously cooked meals at work intrigued me.  Here was something I could take to work and cook in a different way than a microwave.  Do the meal prep at home, have a pyrex dish to put it in, plug it in when I get to work and voila: instant lunch.  So I eagerly anticipated this lunchbox/oven arriving at my door to test it out.  When it comes to reheating food, so much can go wrong from the get-go.  And given my pickiness about how my food tastes when cooked, I figured it would be quite the adventure.

Accessories You Need For HotLogic Mini

Upon opening the packaging, I wasn’t sure what to make of it.  Initially, I found out you need something to put your food in when you turn the unit on.  According to HotLogic, it should work equally well with foil, paper (think small frozen meals), or glass.  I did some research and the people who write about it discussed having a preference for cooking things on glass.  So I made sure to go out and get myself a Pyrex I could fit into the unit, and possibly with a top for storage until I was ready to cook something.  Evidently, the HotLogic Deluxe comes with a Pyrex storage container with a lid when you purchase your unit.  So if you go out and purchase one, I might recommend this.  But if you have some good pyrex of varying sizes at home, that may be enough.

The next thing I went to do was check through the booklet and read up about the unit, storage, and recipes.  All kinds of things looked interesting in the recipe booklet.  From meatballs to chicken, to various beef dishes, and everything in between.  I didn’t realize how much they recommended cooking in one of these units.  According to HotLogic, you can cook up dishes that start in the raw.  So raw chicken is something you could get to heat up in your unit.  But, cooking from the raw may take a little extra cooking time in the unit. 

Essentially, you have to imagine slow roasting something inside there as it cooks everything at a 165-degree level until finished.  So try to envision how long you might have to plug it in and cook for the items you are looking for to reach the desired temperature.  You may want to preheat in that case.

As for the unit itself, it appears to be a perfectly apportioned size for a lunch on the go.  Lunches should be filling and yet not want to knock you out for the next few hours for a food coma.  Hence, the size of the unit is perfect for storing what you need until ready to cook.  The inner unit seems to be lined with foil and a heating plate is placed inside.  So you want your food stored in something and not directly inside the HotLock Mini.  Although they claim to be able to heat a heavy duty ziplock.  I make no promises about the ziplock, but I am curious about trying one out.

But everything comes down to testing it out.  How would the HotLogic Mini perform under actual conditions and times at work?  I went for a fairly easy, straight forward, and delicious recipe I would like: Sausage and Sauerkraut.   I took 6 Tablespoons of kraut, Hillshire Farms Sausage cut up in three decently sized pieces, put it in a pyrex dish, zipped it up and plugged it in for the next two hours and waited.  The next two hours were torture.  I had become a schoolboy all over again waiting up for Santa on Christmas Eve or so pumped up the night before a Disneyland trip I couldn’t even sleep.  It felt maddening.

The HotLogic Mini Does It’s Magic

After two hours I unzipped the HotLogic, not sure what to find.  Out popped a steaming hot dish of kraut and sausage, ready for me to devour.  But merely to see some steam come out still might not be any good if it didn’t taste right.  But it did.  Delicious, yummy sausage, melting in my mouth, with a hint of sourness from the kraut.  I felt elated at the possibility of what could be done with this marvelous unit at work.  I will definitely be trying some new dishes out in the future which might arrive on my fitness posts or something else.  It appears the HotLogic Mini represents a godsend at work, allowing me to cook delicious and healthy meals all while being at the office.  Salads and fast food jaunts won’t be the only things on my plate any more at work.  It definitely makes me happy.

What’s even better, HotLogic has a community of users on Facebook, Pinterest and elsewhere who are already posting yummy and delicious recipes for you to try.  You will be able to venture out and do more than what you find in the small pages of the User Guide.  It boggles the imagination with all the things you can try in there if you can cook things from raw state to delicious meal in but a few hours time.  You could keep all the delicious goodness to yourself.  But why?  Join or follow the community to get recipes on salmon, pork chops, sausage, pancakes, chicken and so much more.

Final Recommendation On HotLogic Mini:

Would I go out and purchase a HotLogic Mini if given the opportunity?  Let me think about that for two seconds.  Yes!  YES!  And HECK YES!  Go out there and try out this amazing little piece of technology for those who like me, hate the leftovers you try to shove into a dish and reheat in the microwave at work.  You won’t ever have to feel like you need to throw away those leftovers ever again.

Wrapping Things Up

I was grateful to the people over at HotLogic who worked with us and sent us one of their devices.  Rarely am I so impressed by something which attempts to reheat food.  For the most part, I have been scared away or run screaming from the device.  This is simples, easily stored, and makes some delicious dishes you will want to try.  You might become the envy of all of your coworkers with this little device.

Continue The Conversation

What is your view of leftovers?  How do you feel about cooking things in a microwave?  How does it work out cooking in a toaster oven?  What things do you feel like make the best leftovers, and which make the worst?

Like / Share / Follow

If you liked this post, please be sure to click the like button and leave us a comment in the comment section.  And be sure to share it with some of your friends.  Also, don’t forget to follow us here to get the latest product reviews, parenting advice, Southern California Events, Knott’s Berry Farm happenings, satire, food holiday, fitness and lifestyle blogs from the writers here.  Thank you so much for being a part of what we do here.

Until next time, this is me signing off.

David Elliott, The Single Dad’s Guide to Life

The post Piping Hot Lunch At Work: Check Out The HotLogic Mini appeared first on The Single Dad's Guide to Life.

  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Half a year is over, and another half the year about to begin.  So many things transpired the last few months, it feels like my life turned upside down with someone bouncing up and down on my head in the meantime.  Why this happened, I have no idea.  Everyone faces challenges in their life.  How we face those challenges define who we are.   So, today I wanted to step back from this year’s craziness and try to look at things from the 90,000-foot level.  Far too often when we are stuck in the middle of things, we cannot appreciate what we have.  Change turns us bitter and resentful instead of seeing all the opportunities before us.  Today, I want to look back on the first half of 2019 and remember how the year has gone.  I think of it as a love letter.  To 2019, with love.

Dear 2019 . . . You Rocked My World

When it comes to life-altering years, very few will live up to the 2019 standard in the future.  It seemed like one thing after another happened, and I have hardly had time to catch my breath.  So I wanted to tackle everything which occurred to me and my family in this first six months of 2019.  Then I wanted to recount the blessings I experienced at the same time.  It’s not so much a grievance list or even a plus-minus list.  I would say this list represents me seeing the big picture of the year and remembering how beautiful life can be, in tragedy, comedy, love, and loss.  So let’s get to it.  My challenges for 2019.

Challenges for 2019
  • Repeat Bloguary this year without the same support as last year as I was unable to work with my partner on this.
  • The second year working as brand Ambassador for Knott’s Berry Farm.  I love it, but I’m still just as nervous about doing a good job.
  • Daughter informs my mother that her mom will try to move her away at the end of eighth grade.
  • Mom breaks an ankle in three places.  Dad cannot help my mother.
  • I need to take time off work to take care of my parents as my dad cannot care for himself.
  • Brother is unable to help like I would have hoped due to a busy schedule.
  • 10 weeks as the primary caregiver for my parents.
  • Mother does not always appreciate what I have done to help out.  We butt heads several times.
  • Gained a bunch of weight as I helped them out.  Had a hard time finding the time or desire to exercise despite purchasing an elliptical to use.
  • Brother suggests I quit my job and move to blog and taking care of parents full time.

  • I go back to work anxious about my parents being able to take care of themselves.  But my brother does assist sometimes.
  • My brother starts a Ph.D. program and loses his job at the same time.  Now stressed, he cannot help my parents like he used to.
  • Brother develops shingles from stress.
  • Started the summer reading program for teens but feel ill-prepared as I have been gone so long.  Have lost many teens from being out for so long and getting them excited to do anything is difficult even in the best of times.
Blessings In 2019
  • Invited back to be Brand Ambassador at Knott’s Berry Farm.
  • Working with a bunch of amazing Women in the Berry Blogger program.  I cannot say enough about them as people, and my daughter enjoys spending time with them making it all better.

  • Inviting my daughter to work beside me on the blog, taking pictures has been a blessing in disguise.  Even if she isn’t in front of the camera, putting her behind the camera makes her part of the process.
  • Spent some time bonding with mother and father while I assisted them.  It wasn’t easy and being there all the time with them made life very difficult.  But I did get to know them a bit better in the process.
  • I had time to practice cooking all kinds of dishes for people, which means eating a ton of fresh food . . . and not so much eating out.  I’ll have a lot of fun ideas for this Thanksgiving as a result.
  • My daughter received a little lesson about what taking care of someone is like and how difficult it can be. 

  • I was able to do some events with blogging friends I might not have been able to do otherwise.
  • Made me focus on developing more relationships with companies on my blog.  Have been able to do more collaborations and sponsored posts as a result.
  • Able to learn some new skills on my blog.
  • Didn’t spend as much money as I might have otherwise.  Have been able to save up enough to where I believe my daughter and I can afford Disney World next year.
  • Made me realize my life got out of whack since my divorce 6 years ago and am ready to put it back on track.  Have gotten back to routine exercise and am losing weight heading in the right direction. Have a healthier mindset.
  • Got back to work with a clean slate.  I knew this year would be a transition year for TAB as a group and so I can work that much harder on recruiting new teens.

2019 And I Are Doing Just Fine

As you can see, I had quite a list of crazy.  But at the same time, I had many things to be thankful for.  Having my parents struggle might have been difficult, but opportunities to bond with them are precious.  And time with my daughter just had to become more inventive.  Not better.  Not worse.  Just different.  And sometimes different is what the bond between me and my daughter needs.  I’m not happy about everything which transpired.  But everything which transpired had a little blessing attached.  And for that, I can say 2019 has been an unqualified success.  Looking forward to a beautiful second half of 2019 with beautiful people, more blogging opportunities, and time planning with my daughter about a trip to Walt Disney World.  Great adventures await.  So keep in touch.

Wrapping Things Up

I know I did a grateful series a couple of years back on the blog.  It’s definitely worth checking out.  What I loved about it was how much it forced me to think about the things in life for which I could truly give thanks.  Sometimes we don’t realize our humdrum lives, someone else would kill for.  When the world is in chaos, the little petty political disputes mean really little in the scope of things.  It brings me back to the movie Life is Beautiful directed and starring Roberto Benigni.  He kept people happy and focusing on the positive, even in the midst of the abject horror of the Nazis.  If he can proclaim life beautiful, who am I to argue?

Continue The Conversation

What things have been major events to you in 2019 you would be willing to share?   How were they difficult?  What things made them opportunities for something better?  Have you been able to sit down and write out what you are grateful for this year?  What things are you grateful for?  Leave a note in the comments, I would love to hear about it.

Like / Share / Follow

If you liked this post, then please click the like button and leave a little comment about what you liked so much.  And you might want to check out the Thankfulness series I wrote in 2017.  So many things for which to be grateful!  Don’t forget to share with your friends.  And follow us here to get updates on all things lifestyle, parenting, Knott’s Berry Farm, Disney, Southern California, movie review, food holiday, fitness, and satire.  You will be glad you did.  Thank you again for being a part of us here.

Until next time, this is me signing off.

David Elliott, The Single Dad’s Guide to Life

 

The post Life Is Beautiful: To 2019, With Love appeared first on The Single Dad's Guide to Life.

  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Welcome to the wild world of food and all the craziness contained therein.  From escargot served in the snail shells in China to Rocky Mountain Oysters in Canada to the Mopane Worm in South Africa, we at the Guide dedicate ourselves to bringing you everything to tempt your palate, or make you run away screaming for your mommy.  Whatever the case, we bring you everything we know about the holidays of foods you are dying to taste . . . maybe.  If we made you salivate by the time you finish this post, we did our job.  As for this months food holiday we take on the Mexican equivalent of Sushi: Ceviche.  So let us dig into the past, sometimes our past, sometimes a fake past and bring you the history and grandeur of this amazing dish as the Guide proudly celebrates National Ceviche Day: June 28th.

I will admit, as a gringo with a bit of a taste of the exotic, ceviche always made me curious.  I had heard about it in Mexican restaurants, and been told of it by others who loved the taste.  But I didn’t get my first taste of Ceviche til later in life, which is odd living so close to Mexico.  (Not that ceviche started in Mexico but don’t rush me.)  I had to wait, for whatever bizarre reason, until after I had tried Sushi before I was daring enough to check out this delicious dish.

It wasn’t until my late thirties when I tried ceviche for the first time.  It basically comes down to some raw fish, cured in some delicious citrus juices and served straight or you can take some and put it on a tostada shell.  Of course, my first experience with it was actually on the Queen Mary putting it over some raw oysters and eating the oysters that way.  (My favorite and only way I have found to like oysters ironically.)  I just remember the taste being so smooth and delicious. And for me I loved the texture and taste all the same.  So if you are a sushi lover, you must give it a whirl yourself if you never have before.  As for my daughter, I haven’t even been able to get her to try sushi yet, so first things first.

For those of you who know how we celebrate the food holidays here at the Guide: you can skip this part.  For those not in the know, welcome to the Jungle.  Welcome to the Guide as only we can make it.  We will leave no stone unturned when it comes to discovering the true history of these delicious foods we discuss.  Or whatever we can make up along the way.  Whether we scour the deep nether regions of the dark web or go back into our really real fake WayBack machine, we bring to you the best and richest stories behind these delicious delicacies.  You won’t want to miss a single month of our rich food heritage.  So, without further ado, the Guide proudly presents the fake food history of Ceviche . . . as only we can tell it.

The Fake Food History Of Ceviche

Once upon a time, in a land so far away we can barely imagine it in our fever dreams, there existed three women of Arabic origin who resided in Granada Spain.  They practiced the Muslim faith but had been widowed early on in wars which had ravaged the country.  The three women named Cebona, Ichira, and Chemura did whatever they could to survive in those days with deceased husbands and no place to turn.  While they had known a few women to turn to prostitution in their situation, they were too proud to want to do such a thing.

So, they planted citrus fruit trees and sold them in the market to the people of Granada.  This fruit became so popular news of it reached the king.  He took to ordering it to make the freshest lemonade in the kingdom.  (Of course, back then it included a bit of alcohol because clean water was difficult to find.)  While drinking a glass of the delicious lemonade he had seafaring adventurers who had left his shores to colonize the new world.  But many who made the trek suffered from scurvy.  Recently, doctors in his kingdom discovered scurvy could be overcome with citrus fruit.  And he knew of no better citrus fruit than those produced by these three women of Granada.

At once dispatches were sent to the women, ordering them to turn over their fruit for the good of the kingdom.  Unfortunately, this would leave the women destitute, as the king conscripted the fruit.  They sent back word to the king they would obey his command, with one caveat: they would go along on the journey to the new world.  Most adventurers to the Americas were young men, looking to make fame and fortune.  Not women.  And while the king loathed to allow them this request, he pondered the trouble the other Moors might give him in Spain if he did not allow them this latitude.  So, upon reflection, and the realization he would be taking over their delicious citrus garden, he sent them to the Americas on a boat forthwith.

The three ladies were ecstatic, being able to take their produce to a new land, far from the king who could control them.  They might get land of their own, much larger than they could dream of in Spain.  Hence, they went on this journey, with the brightest of hopes for whatever the future might produce.  Unfortunately for them, the seagoing voyage was a rough journey, and much of their fruit spoiled on the way.  Thankfully, they rationed enough fruit and retained the seeds from the spoiled citrus to make it on their journey, landing off the coast of Peru.

There, after unloading what they had and meeting many of the natives, they wound up introducing themselves to a couple of Peruvians named Sevornio (a name given to him by the Spanish colonists), Ichera, and Moe.  No one knows who came up with the name Moe but he seemed to like it.  They had learned a little Spanish from the colonists and were able to speak and a somewhat broken Spanish tongue.  These three men helped the women settle in the new area and protected them from the other dangerous tribes in the area.

The three men liked the women.  They asked about whether they were available.  The women were hesitant but appreciated whatever protection they could get while they cleared out the forest and planted their own citrus crops.  So, they agreed they might marry them if they would agree to learn about their faith.  This arrangement suited everyone as the men protected the women, and the women would continue to take care of things while they went out and fished.

This arrangement went quite well for a few years and the citrus trees grew and began to provide their own fruit crop.  Unfortunately, the sea business took a sharp turn when many of the villagers grew ill from some unknown illness produced by the fish.  While salt could cure the fish for a time, the recent spate of fish left many ill, near death.  The Moche fruit crop went bad that year, and they had nothing to cure the fish with.

In rushed these Moorish ladies to the rescue.  At a tribal meeting between the Moorish women and the elders, the woman spoke up.  By now, they had learned a bit of Quecha and spoke the best they could.  The elders who originally were going to quiet them were shocked how much they had learned.  So, they let them speak.

“If you allow us, we might have another solution to your fish problem,” Cebona spoke.

Ichira continued, “We have some of our new fruit which we have used to help keep some of our food fresh on the long trip overseas.  It might work on the fish you have caught here, as well.”

Chemura added, “We can cut up some onion, and cilantro and put it together to keep things fresh longer.”

It didn’t seem to move any of the elders, despite the shock on their faces about how quickly the women learned their language.  While the village elders were going to turn down the request to help, the men who had married these Moorish women, interjected.

“Do not speak down to our wives, or think little of them,” Sevorino stated emphatically.

“We can trade our fish to the other foreigners and do better that way.  We do not come to be disrespected.  And we will not have our wives disrespected either,” Ichera added.

Silence filled the room.  Everyone’s eyes fell on Moe as he had not said anything yet.  Tension mounted.  But there in the corner was Moe, scarfing up some fish with the lime juices, onion, and cilantro.  He suddenly realized his eating was the only noise in the whole meeting.  He looked up as his two pals stood silently and resolute.  The rest of the elders looked at him.  He put down the dish and stood up silently.

When the tension still did not break he concluded, “Yeah!  What they said.  It goes double for me.”

Everyone laughed.  The whole village began to laugh.  But the person next to Moe at the meeting looked down at the plate of fish and began to eat.  And eat.  And eat.

Moe, confused by everyone’s laughter looked indignantly at everyone until he saw his friend Ceviche stuffing his mouth with the fish.  Which was generally the case for Ceviche, hence the name.  “Hey!” Moe Shouted. “Lay off, Ceviche.”

Not everyone saw who Moe was yelling at and some misunderstood what he was yelling.  They thought he had said lay off the ceviche.  Hence the delicious dish was born on the Coast of Peru from this small tribe who had been taught by these amazing women what one could do if you put your mind to it.

And Now For Something Almost Completely Different . . . 

We hope you loved the fake food history behind the great seafood dish combining South American Seafood with Spanish ingenuity.  Which brings us to the last section of our monthly food holiday celebration.  The best recipe / restaurants which serve the dish.  As much as I love sushi, I would never attempt to make it at home for fear I might do something wrong.  Likewise, with Ceviche, I wouldn’t dare make it at home.  And I wouldn’t trust another recipe to put on the blog for fear of having a ton of people end up sick making “my” ceviche. So we do the next best thing here in those circumstances.  Give you the five best restaurants which serve this delicious delicacy.  So welcome to our list of the 5 Top Places for Ceviche in Southern California.

5 Top Places To Celebrate National Ceviche Day In Southern California

5)  La Cevicheria – Los Angeles, CA

Located off of Pico in Los Angeles, La Cevicheria takes its Ceviche stylings from Central America.  And for those who are in the know, the Central American seafood of choice when it comes to ceviche is . . . “bloody clams.”  (Basically, this means the liquid inside the clam, as well as the clam itself, has a bit of a red hue. But don’t let it put you off.)  They prepare their ceviche cocktail style with mint, tomato, lime juice, Worcestershire sauce, and their own bitter liquor.  You want a knock yourself out ceviche? You must give this place a try.

4) Puesto – San Diego and Irvine CA (Multiple locations)

From a group of Mexican immigrants, this restaurant began as an ode to the delicious taco.  Then it grew.  And it grew some more.  Now they have included the ceviche in the mix.  This makes the ceviche have a distinctively Mexican flavor.  This included fish, lime juice, pepitas, cilantro and onion, topped with a sprig of cilantro and avocado.  Such a delicious and refreshing treat any time of the day.

3) Inka Mama’s – Santa Ana, CA and multiple locations throughout Orange County

We couldn’t do a ceviche without an ode to the country of origin.  Or at least one of the countries of origin.  With this delicious take on the classic Peruvian ceviche Inka Mama’s launches into our top five ceviche dishes in the region.  With a delicious seafood mixture of shrimp, squid, and white fish, combined with a chile-infused liquid and surrounded by boiled potatoes, yams, and a sprinkling of crunchy cancha (fried corn), you can go wrong with this Peruvian take on the dish.

2) Taco Maria – Costa Mesa, CA

Taco Maria comes from the mind and imagination of Chef Carlos Salgado, he wished to blend his unique style combining the flavors of Mexico and America in a style he calls Alta California.  As for the ceviche itself, ok, maybe it’s not strictly ceviche.  But Taco Maria in Costa Mesa does an amazing dish called aguachile which is just a Mexican version of ceviche.  But I digress.    With a bento box look, Salgado adds salsa, lime, cucumbers, onions, and tuber to the sweet fish he procured.  In addition, he includes a kicker to help deal with the spice aguachile: watermelon jam.  If you want the most unique take on the ceviche dish with a Mexican-American flavor, go to Taco Maria now.  One warning.  The menu rotates so you might want to make sure they have it on hand before you go.

Read for later

Articles marked as Favorite are saved for later viewing.
close
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Separate tags by commas
To access this feature, please upgrade your account.
Start your free month
Free Preview