Time to get Active & Mushroom Ratatouille

      So are you staying warm, are you enjoying the sun rises after 7am and sunsets before 5pm. Have you had that first taste of the S word and just can't wait for more? Ok so you are one of those downhill skiers or boarders that crave the white stuff. The rest of us would rather be in bathing suites with either skies or a board or hanging onto a blow up scooting across unfrozen somewhat warm water. There was a day that I used to love the cooler, ok cold weather. It was said I was a product of my mother who was referred to as a snow bunny right up to the very end. But what I am enjoying more is being able to sit in front of a warm fire place or word burner sipping on a good glass of bourbon and just relaxing. Ok so it is colder out, darker out and weather unpredictable. But for us who can not be snow birds do to resources of a myriad of other reasons we have got to find things to get us through this "off" season and into the next. Most of us can't go out to eat every day or even every week, so that is not an option. And turning the heat up to sauna levels is cost prohibitive. But there are many other things that we can do and one is accept what we can not change and look for ways to keep busy and keep active. This may include but not exclusive too: Church or House of Worship, Social Club or Group, Gym, Library or even just meeting with another group of guys or gals for coffee periodically. Find an organization you can support that does good, whether sending cards to our service men and women, reading programs in our schools, boy and girls clubs, or visiting shut ins. There is so much that needs to be done and too many still sitting home not doing it. Some of us would love one of those opportunities but we still have to put in 8 - 10 hr days and pay the mortgage, so if you are one of those, we still need to be part of something and should not live our lives like hermits. Getting to the point of this, the Cape has so much to offers, lots of things to do and we need to live it all. That means we may have to get out of the house in the winter, we may need to take on the elements but we need to and we need to be active. It's sounds funny here on the Cape having to encourage people including myself. But that is part of not being in our 20s and 30s anymore. So get out there now, check out what your options are, and be prepared. And if you can find places and things you can do outside, any time you can spend not cooped up in the homestead is always a good thing. Oh by the way this is a good thing for those not living on the Cape as well. So if you need something to do, come on out to the Cape, do a trail, find out what historic places are open and go. There are plenty of places that are open year round and just waiting for you to come and visit. Ok that's it for another week, stay warm, stay active and if possible do it all on this wonderful place we call old Cape Cod.              
      Small business report this time of year is import as we all love to support our local artisans and crafts folks. The first one has been here a while and has some fun Jewelry and Apparel. The name is Cape Hook Designs and can be found at www.capehookdesigns.com on facebook and instagram. They have taken the common hook design and have made it work in Jewelry, clothing designs, and decals. It might sound corny but they have done a great job of making this little Cape necessity into practical and fun jewelry. They are fun to own and fun to give as gifts. So check them out and either find where to purchase them from a local store or buy online. Right now they have free shipping going on just in time for your Christmas giving. 
      The second small business I would like to highlight is Little River Beeworks. Her website is still under development, but you can find her on Facebook, Yooying and on Instagram. She has local Honey ( i know Dah on this one) but candles as well. she is new to this but has a great local product and is producing a quality product. If you get the chance to find her and buy her products I think you will be very pleased. 
      The last for this week is the Cape Cod Chocolatier of Centerville. Find them at  https://www.capecodchocolatier.com and on facebook and Instagram. Folks we are so blessed here on the Cape to have several not just good but great chocolate crafters. If you have to ask what this business is all about, well, I'm not going to say it. Yes Chocolates, not half baked stuff but high quality great tasting Chocolate. You can buy online, they can do weddings, they can do corporate gifts and more. You want to check this business out and if you have a sweet tooth you are going to find a new friend to get your fix. Seriously this stuff is to die for and you need to check them out. Wow, I have to watch myself around this stuff it is so good. Hope you find them as delicious as I have.   
      Well I hope you are doing well, the weather continues to be cooler than usual this time of year up here. I feel the last couple of weeks our reporter guy has nearly abandoned me here in leiu of the Missus and her baking. Seems he does a better job at following his nose through his stomach that a reporters story? Oh well, guess I can't blame him, she does make some pretty darn good cookies. Any-who, It's been snowing out here again this week, they call this stuff ocean snow cause it's coming in off the waters from the North/Northwest, It's not be a lot but just enough to make the roads miserable, needless to say about how it is affecting our dear fishing crews. This time of year it is bad enough to have to work with the cold spray coming in your face going both ways in and out, but to then have to deal with sea snow squalls as well. We just keep them in our prayers that no one goes overboard, hyperthermia can set in faster than a bee on pollen. Anyway, so far we have not had any reports of anyone going over and I hope and pray it stays that way the rest of the season. 
      The crowds have been pretty steady for the holiday lights display. Of course this past Monday was the wrap up of Hanukkah and next up is Christmas then Kwanzaa. We have got them all covered and have enjoyed learning something new about all. The cookies have been a bit hit as they have been the past couple of the years as well as the hot chocolate and hot cider, and if anyone has wondered no we have not had roasted chestnuts yet, but who knows over the next couple weekends. Sometimes I feel I have been talking more about the events going on then the lighthouse itself. But this time of year other than the events there is not much going unless something on the high seas happens and we pray that does not as that is normally a disaster. So after the holidays we will get back to things as normal and get back into the normal swing of things. But for now, we hope you can get out and see the displays and hope you and yours has a great and wonderful holiday season especially if you can do it right here on old Cape Cod.  
      This last side dish of 2018 is using on of my favorite vegetable, fungi, Mushrooms. Now I know there are a group of you out there that just can bring yourself to putting some of this whatever we want to call it into the mouth let along swallowing this stuff. I understand that to some it is an "acquired" taste and that it is not everyones bowl goodness gold. But if you have a side of adventure, and spot of curiosity, and just like trying new things then get your apron on and get cooking. There are so many good recipes that utilize mushrooms and not just white button one, but there is a whole world waiting to be explored. For those of you who are about to check out on this one, God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen and roast yourself some tubers or roots and enjoy. For the rest of us, let's get cooking and get this show on the road.
      This week's recipe: Mushroom Ratatouille
      2      med       Green Peppers, sliced
      2      med       Zucchini, sliced
      1      Ib           Small Fresh Mushrooms
      1      med       onion, sliced
      2      cloves    garlic, shopped
      1      Lg          can tomatoes, drained and cut into chunks
1 1/2      tsp         salt: pepper to taste
   1/2      tsp         Thyme
                            peanut oil
      Saute peppers, onion and garlic until tender, about 5 minutes. Remove to bowl. Saute zucchini about 10 minutes, just until tender. Remove to bowl. Saute Mushrooms about 5 minutes. Combine, vegetables, add tomatoes and spices. Simmer cover, for another 5 minutes or until hot. May be served either warm or cold.  
   Please come and enjoy me weekday mornings at www.ccrockhopping for some fun, laughs, groans and moans and just some fun. It's rarely serious (ok for the mostpart) amd always has something for the watercooler, even in only for the weird holidays or weird food holiday. Hope to see you there to start your workday mornings. 

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