Hellofresh chicken over garlic parmesan spaghetti

Getting better at 1200 per day..

2023.03.29 06:35 mynameisnotsparta Getting better at 1200 per day..

Getting better at 1200 per day..
Breakfast was at 12 noon Lunch was at 4 pm Dinner at 9:35 Snack was in between Trying to get into a groove 🤗
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2023.03.29 06:15 frankylampy The easiest 50k question on the show Bullsh*t

The easiest 50k question on the show Bullsh*t submitted by frankylampy to Ohio [link] [comments]


2023.03.29 04:21 AdWeird88 AITA for being mad my fiancé wont cook for my son?

I (29F) have been with my fiancé (34M) for over a year now and together we have 3 kids. Two from his preivous relationship and one from mine. We have been learning how to coparent but it hasnt always been easy. For context, my fiancé LOVES to cook. It's his passion and he has always done majority of the cooking, espically dinner, ever since our first date. His two kids, (4 and 6) also love majority of the things he makes. My son(8), however, is a very picky eater. I know its partly my fault for not knowing how to cook and for being a single mom for so many years I just used the easy way out.
Well, when I met my fiancé and saw how bad our diets were (lots of chicken nuggets and ramen) I really wanted to make it better. However, the changes have not been easy for my son. There has been a lot of complaining and nose turning at the new foods for the last year. And Its not always anything fancy, even spaghetti he refuses to eat. This is where things got fustrating.
Tonight, my fiancé was going to cook enchalidas for dinner and my son, as ususal, didnt want it and asked for nuggets. My fiance basically threw up his hands while prepping dinner and has now said that he will no longer cook for this household because he is tired of his food be snarked and pushed away. He says I can do what I want for my son and I but he will no longer be disrespected. I am extremely upset and all I see is red. Granted, I know he doesnt have to cook for me but I have fallen in love with his food and I feel so damn fustrated. Am I the asshole or is he right?
EDIT: I dont just let me son be a complete uncontrolled brat to my fiancé. If he whines or gets bratty he is punished or grounded. Every meal, I hype my fiancés food, hoping he'll want to eat too and that sometimes works! And even if he doesnt take much, I make sure he tells my fiancé thank you for cooking. And I'll make him apologize if he says something disrespectfully. I do realize my fiancé is coming into a situation he didnt create.
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2023.03.29 04:16 this_is_me_drunk A happy accident while making broccoli fritters

I thought I would share a tip here because what started as a small disaster turned out really well.
Today my wife asked for almond flour broccoli fritters. I've made them before and they were always very fragile on the frying pan and tricky to make.
So I started with a bowl of egg and almond flour batter with parmesan and some garlic, added steamed broccoli, mixed it all up and started laying little patties on my stainless steel pan with good amount of oil in it to prevent sticking. Within a couple of minutes the fritters were really stuck and it took a lot of finagling to turn them over, while leaving plenty of stuck bits behind. They just would not stay whole.
I was ready to discard the batch and save the rest of the broccoli dough while switching to non-stick pan, when I got the idea to combine the partially cooked fritter dough along with the stuck browned bits with the remaining half of the still raw batter and broccoli. I picked off all that I could from the stainless pan and mixed it with the raw stuff and formed new patties that I then fried on the non stick.
The new fritter dough was right away firmer due to latent heat and had some remaining oil mixed with it, which caused the second batch to be just about perfect. We ended up with nicely browned and fairly solid almond flour and broccoli fritters that also had crunchy bits of fried parmesan inside. These were the best tasting and nicest looking broccoli fritters we ever had. All by accident.
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2023.03.29 02:18 blackwidowla LAX - LHR Polaris Lunch (and amenities kit)

Upsides: hot towels and nuts are back, build your own sundae cart is back!!
Downsides: salad was wilted and inedible, all the food options sucked, plate / presentation was extremely underwhelming, same old boring amenities kit. I
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2023.03.28 23:37 itbzeeen that b alotta carbs for a salad😶

that b alotta carbs for a salad😶 submitted by itbzeeen to diabetes [link] [comments]


2023.03.28 22:45 courie969 Farmer’s Market Linguine - We added our own shrimp to ours. Not bad, but I feel like it could have been so much more, even with the added shrimp. 3/5

Farmer’s Market Linguine - We added our own shrimp to ours. Not bad, but I feel like it could have been so much more, even with the added shrimp. 3/5 submitted by courie969 to everyplate [link] [comments]


2023.03.28 21:37 Glopuss Supermarket (Coles & Woolworths) specials March 29 - April 4

A selection of items “on special” this week in Coles and Woolworths that may be of interest to keto followers. Many are processed so not really suitable for “clean keto”. Victorian data, some may not be available interstate. Consider house brands may be cheaper than ‘specials’
Alcohol (except no carb beer) excluded. Drink prices exclude recycling deposits. Fruit & Veg probably vary by state, so excluded.
If you are doing an online order, I suggest you also look at the stores' ONLINE ONLY specials as I don't always include all of these, many are multibuys.
‘Locked prices’ might now be considered specials as unlocked prices have increased, but same every week til April so not included as ‘specials’.

COLES

Cole List function still stuffed

WOOLWORTHS

ALDI


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2023.03.28 20:02 angryWinds Questions about dried hominy.

I use canned hominy every so often in soups and stews and such. My usual method is to simply drain and rinse the contents of the can, then dump it straight into the stew-pot for the last 10-15 minutes of cooking.
I've got plans to use hominy in a giant batch of pozole this Saturday... but I went to a different store than normal, and couldn't find the canned stuff I'm familiar with. Instead, I got a bag of dried hominy. (2 in fact. One white hominy, and one golden).
There's directions on the package of how to soak them, prior to using, but I still have a couple of questions...
First and foremost, how much dried hominy, when soaked, would yield about the same as you'd get from a standard 14.5 oz can?
Second, since I'm making a long braising stew, could I treat it kind of like barley where it's fine to dump it in dry, so long as it cooks for a good hour or two? Or will it turn out weird and overly chewy or something, if I don't soak it first?
Third, if I AM going to soak it over-night, is it worthwhile to add any flavor to the water? Maybe some garlic / onion / cumin / citrus / whatever? Maybe soak it in chicken broth instead, for a little added punch? Or is that all kind of useless and essentially a waste of perfectly good herbs / spices / etc?
Fourth, is there any significant different between gold and white? The cans I get are usually mixed.
Finally, any other suggestions you've got related to pozole (rojo) in general, I'm all ears. I've made it a handful of times and have always been thrilled with the results... But I'm open to any other tips / tricks that I might not be aware of.
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2023.03.28 20:01 PaperbacksandCoffee [homemade] Chicken Scampi with Garlic Parmesan Rice

[homemade] Chicken Scampi with Garlic Parmesan Rice submitted by PaperbacksandCoffee to food [link] [comments]


2023.03.28 20:00 MelasD Amelia: The Level Zero Hero Chapter 86 (An OP MC Isekai LitRPG)

Synopsis:

Ten years ago, Amelia woke up alone and lost in a broken world where she had to fight for her survival.
Now, after reaching the pinnacle of power, defeating the Void itself, and escaping the abyss, she has finally found her way back into the real world. But instead of finding herself on Earth, she is in the land of Vacuos. A fantasy world with magic, monsters, Classes, and Levels. A world that is governed by a System like it were a video game.
And when rewarded with a Class befitting her accomplishments— to become a powerful [Hero] that will forever dedicate her life to protecting this world that is not her own— she only has one response.
“Absolutely not. I’m going to live a normal life now, thank you very much.”
After all, who needs a Class when you're already the strongest anyways?
Read Chapter 1 Here
Guardian Angel Z357 sensed it. All twelve of his eyes were fixed on his destination as he soared above the clouds. He recognized a small city as it came into view, and he knew that he was returning there again.
Again.
While the World System didn’t notice this pattern, he did. This was the same location as before. Thrice now, the area around this city had been assailed by creatures who had been touched by the Void. And the fact that it had happened three times could not be a coincidence.
There had to be a reason behind it. Guardian Angel Z357 had been too late to the scene the second time around since he had two choices to pick from, and he decided to go for the rift. But he didn’t learn anything from that encounter.
No— he never learned anything that he did not know already from any encounter he had thus far. And that was why he decided to act outside of his current objective. It wasn’t a rejection of the World System’s command. Rather, he was expanding on it.
Guardian Angel Z357 slowed to a halt as he reached the farming village, his gaze landing on his target. There, he saw it. A monster twisted by the Void’s touch. A creature that had been ripped away from the World System’s warm embrace, plunged into depravity and turned into a terrible abomination.
He saw the way the kretus boar lumbered forward, its body shifting with each step it took. A purple stain spread over its flesh, emanating a soft glow, and it let out a screech like the chirping of a thousand birds. Guardian Angel Z357 raised his lance as the Void-touched monster approached the nearby houses—
And he stopped himself.
He didn’t intervene. Instead, he waited. Invisible. Hidden by Without a Trace. He watched as a blonde girl engaged with the tainted beast. Because he realized— there was more he could learn from simply looking on.
—--
“Get back!” Noele yelled as she drew both of her blades.
Her voice could barely be heard over the screeching of the boar and the screaming of the terrified crowd— a whisper amidst the cacophonous clamor. The ground shook. The earth rumbled. The gathered crowd screamed. [Farmers] and [Traders] and [Hunters] alike scrambled for safety, fleeing the sight of the approaching dust cloud.
A kretus boar rapidly approached Wolfwater, tearing through the nearby forest and trampling the farmland. It was a large, terrible beast. It would have probably inflicted significant damage to the village on its own— maybe even destroying the surrounding villages as well before it was put down. But if it were an ordinary kretus boar, Noele wouldn’t have been concerned in the slightest.
She was an A-ranked adventurer, and it was a B-ranked monster. The Noble Spellsword knew she could bring it down with ease on her own. In fact, she had easily killed one just a day ago. All it took was a single Elegant Noble Slash, and the sturdy kretus boar was defeated.
But this kretus boar was different. Her eyes narrowed as she tightly gripped the hilts of both her blades. Even from a distance, she saw the way its oleaginous form rippled with a purple aura— its figure could hardly contain itself, twisting and turning as it continued barreling closer.
It had been touched by the Void. Maybe it might have even been blessed by the Void. She didn’t know. If it was the latter, then this was going to be a tough fight. She might not be able to take down the kretus boar without any casualties. On her own, she couldn’t prevent any collateral damage from inflicting Wolfater. Not unless she…
Her eyes flickered towards a blue screen.
[Class advancement available! Please choose one of the following Class advancements:
[Champion Spellsword] - A [Champion Spellsword] is a protector of justice—]
But Noele quickly looked past it, focusing on the situation at hand. She wasn’t going to make a decision now. She had to focus on protecting her village. The twisted kretus boar drew closer with incredible speed. The terrified crowd couldn’t evacuate in time— they were at a complete loss as to what to do. They shouted and scattered, fleeing in every direction.
The Noble Spellsword knew she couldn’t save them all amidst the chaos. They had to gather somewhere safe— a bunker, perhaps. A place where their safety was… guaranteed.
And the blonde girl’s eyes darted towards a nearby building. A relatively small building. But if everyone squeezed together, it might be able to house over a hundred people. It was Bucky’s Out of this World Restaurant, and it was the safest place in the entirety of Wolfwater.
So before the kretus boar reached the village, Noele acted.
“You!” she shouted, turning to face Lucas and his goons.
They were warily backing away as they eyed the monster. They were [Hunters]. Low-leveled ones at that. They had drawn their weapons, but none of them stood a chance of hurting the Void-touched beast.
The Noble Spellsword shook her head. “Make yourselves useful and evacuate everyone to the restaurant!”
Lucas blinked, staring at her with wide eyes. He tried to work his jaw as he glanced between her and the oncoming beast.
“B-b-but…” he started.
“Now!” she cut him off.
The C-rank [Hunter] jerked back, before finally nodding. He turned to his men and gestured for them to follow after him.
“Come on, boys!” he said as he started back.
“What can I do, Noele?” another voice said, drawing the blonde girl’s attention.
Dorien calmly stepped to her side. He was a [Druid]— his Class wasn’t known for their combat Skills, and he wasn’t even that high-leveled either. Yet, he was not panicking. He just held Noele’s gaze, waiting for her response.
“Please— can you check on my parents?” Noele asked pleadingly. “I know Garron’s with them, but you need to keep them away from the village until this is over.”
“Very well. That is the least I can do.” Dorien smiled at her before sinking into the earth. He vanished underground as the Noble Spellsword nodded to herself.
Her [Nobleflame Armor] engulfed her body, protecting her from most physical and magical attacks. She strode forward as she readied herself for battle. She took one last look back at the village. Lucas and his goons were doing a good job at bringing some semblance of order back to the unfurling pandemonium. But it was too late.
The kretus boar reached Wolfwater a moment later, letting out a terrible screech as it toppled a tree, sending it flying towards a nearby house. The large tree trunk crashed through the rooftop as the monster charged towards the closest building. And Noele leapt forward, intercepting it in an instant.
“Stay back!” she yelled as her shorter blade shone with a golden light. “I will not let you destroy my home! Glorious Noble Slash!”
The Noble Spellsword swung down at the kretus boar. It reeled as the bright flash engulfed it for a moment. She unleashed the attack with all her strength, hoping to destroy this Void-touched monstrosity in a single slash. She wasn’t sure if it would be enough. She hoped it would be quick and easy, just like her battle with the Miststorm Riders.
But as the blast of golden light faded, Noele realized… the kretus boar was gone. She stared at a cone-shaped crater, spreading out from the tip of her blade. The dust and debris dissipated, and there was nothing left before her.
She frowned. “That was… too easy—”
And there was a flash of purple light. Noele blinked as the kretus boar appeared behind her. She spun around just in time to stare at a pair of empurpled tusks swinging down at her. The Noble Spellsword cursed as she called for her own movement Skill.
“[Flash Step].”
She appeared a hundred feet to the right, panting as she gathered herself. Noele raised her head and watched as the Void-touched beast shredded the ground with its tusks. There was a small explosion that blasted upwards from the attack, but fortunately, it didn’t damage any of the nearby structures.
Noele steeled herself as she tried to process what just happened. “The kretus boar— teleported…?”
It wasn’t a question as much as it was an observation. She pursed her lips, eyeing the monster warily as it turned to face her. It beat one of its hooves on the ground as an oily purple liquid dripped out of its unhinged maw.
Her eyes narrowed. She wanted to lunge forward and attack the kretus boar once more. But instead, she waited. If it could teleport with the Void’s powers, then there was no point senselessly charging in. It would just dodge and counterattack anyway.
So she studied the monster as it slowly drew forward, opening its jaw even wider. She raised her two blades warily.
“What is it doing?” she asked.
And the kretus boar answered as a glint came from its mouth. Her eyes snapped wide. She realized what it was doing. A purple sphere shot out from the monster’s open jaw in an instant. Like a kind of roiling fireball, except far stronger.
Noele’s eyes darted back towards the fleeing crowd behind her. If she dodged this attack, she’d be endangering the lives of the nearby bystanders. She gritted her teeth and stood her ground. Her longer blade glimmered with a sharp aura, before she sliced up at the purple sphere.
“Elegant Noble Slash!”
The Noble Spellsword cleanly cut the attack in half. The two hemispheres broke off, before exploding weakly at her side. Her [Nobleflame Armor] protected her from the blast as she took a step forward. But the kretus boar was gone once again.
This time, Noele was too slow. The kretus boar appeared at her side as she spun around, raising her two blades. She couldn’t block the attack. The twisted monster crashed into her shoulder making her shout in pain.
She went flying. Noele watched as the world spun beneath her, and the kretus boar gave chase to her like she was a thrown toy. Gritting her teeth, she flipped through the air and landed before a thicket of trees. But the kretus boar was on her in an instant. And she raised a hand as a wisp of golden flame coalesced at the tip of her finger.
“[Grand Blaze],” she whispered, unleashing an inferno straight at the monster.
Noele watched as the golden flames engulfed the kretus boar. She caught it off guard— it couldn’t teleport out of the way in time. But as the flames dissipated and the Noble Spellsword straightened, the kretus boar emerged from the inferno unscathed.
Its eyes shone darkly as it slowly lumbered forward, and Noele pursed her lips. It didn’t even dodge the blast. It didn’t need to regenerate from its injuries, because it suffered none.
“Seriously? That was an A-rank Skill…” Noele murmured as the kretus boar screeched and beat its hooves on the ground.
It seemed that this fight was going to be much harder than she thought it would be. And she raised her two blades once against, readying for the next charge.
—--
The ground shook as the pot rattled. I raised my head, frowning. I heard the shouts and screams in the distance— then I heard a loud explosion. I shook my head even as a loud ruckus entered the restaurant, followed by the footsteps and worried voices of over a hundred people.
Bucky clucked, sprinting into the kitchen. She waved her wings wildly at me, but I continued cutting away at the chopping board, dicing up onions, garlic, and other vegetables.
“Bawk bawk bawk!” the chicken said in a panic.
“Noele can handle it,” I replied, waving a hand dismissively. “I’m busy— this is my first time making kebabs. I don’t want to fuck up on the grand opening of the restaurant.”
But Bucky insisted. “Bawk bawk! Bawk bawk bawk!”
I sighed, taking a step back. “Fine— I’ll check it out in a minute. Let me wash my hands first.”
The chicken just stared at me blankly as I wiped my hands on my apron, before walking up to the sink. It took me a moment to work the magical runes as Bucky clucked insistently at me to hurry up.
I rolled my eyes, nodding reassuringly at her. “You’re overreacting. I’m sure everything will be fine.”
Author's Notes:
You can read up to 15 chapters ahead on my patreon here!
Join my discord and subscribe to my subreddit!
Or follow me on twitter!
Read Previous Read Next Read Chapter 1 Here Patreon Discord Twitter AmeliaTLZHNovel
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2023.03.28 16:19 mobilepope A cautionary tale - depression and processed foods

Right up front, I'm offering my experiences and opinions. If something is working for you, great! Feel free to ignore me.
I'm a 44yo guy. More than ten years ago I hit 320lbs. I did keto and got down to 200lbs in a little more than a year. I felt great and kept it off for years.
Then the pandemic and a bunch of personal issues hit me hard. While I had learned to eat better on keto all those years, I still found comfort in food during periods of high stress. Last January (2022), I weighed in at 304lbs; pretty much all of my work undone.
So, I went back to what I knew; keto, intermittent fasting and my old friend MyFitnessPal. Kept strict macros, counted my calories and nailed it day after day. Keto was different now though, there were so many awesome keto products! Coke Zero, Arnold's keto bread, tons of snacks from Atkins and others. I loved it and I tracked them all carefully! I stuck with my macros and calories.
The available food wasn't the only thing that was different though. Even a month in I had lost maybe ten pounds and I was starving all the time. The change in how I felt physically and the mental clarity that I remembered from ten years prior weren't there. I was tired, depressed and hungry all the time. I think I made it another month, feeling the same, before I gave up on keto assuming I was just too old now.
I stewed on this all year but didn't do anything and everything just kept getting worse. I was in a bad place mentally and I really felt the worst physically I've ever felt.
At the beginning of March I said "fuck it, I'm doing old school keto, the keto I remember." I figured it worked for me before, let me give it one last shot. At this point nothing had crystalized in my mind around the new products, just that I would eat the foods that I was successful with all those years ago.
I've made a lot of casseroles (still love the caveman keto "mexican" casserole) and have been eating those. I've focused on drinking black coffee, tea and water. No artificial sweeteners because I didn't use them way back when.
Then I realized my casseroles are all whole foods, nothing processed. I've since very carefully cut out anything even slightly processed (including cured and smoked meats which I LOVE). All of those new keto products are non-existent to me.
You know what? I haven't been hungry in weeks. I'm having to force myself to eat to hit my macros. I feel 1000% better now than I did even a month ago. Mentally it's night and day, I can't believe how good I feel. Having that crushing depression let up is definitely making this all much, much easier.
I'm down about twenty pounds and doing meditation and exercise twice a day.
tldr; eat only whole foods, feel better and make keto easy

EDIT - since a couple people have asked, this is the casserole recipe I mentioned.
First, this is the original source of the recipe https://cavemanketo.com/mexican-spinach-casserole/ I've probably done a million variations on this over the years; mostly making it lower carb; the main changes are 2lbs of fresh steamed spinach, no green pepper, half of an onion, only one can of rotel and I use my own spices, mainly chili powder and cayenne.
Here's the exact list of ingredient from last week:
I'm making a new one tonight and planning on replacing the ground beef with diced chicken thighs.


submitted by mobilepope to keto [link] [comments]


2023.03.28 14:58 crossbuck Who wants to play “pair wine with wildly non-traditional tasting menus”?

Last Saturday we had a guest chef collaborate on a tasting menu at my restaurant, and I found the menu challenging to create pairings for, so I thought I’d throw it out and see what /wine would’ve done. I priced my pairing at $100/person, fwiw.
1st Course Trio of snacks - Kumamoto oysters with grilled pineapple juice and fermented chilis; wood-fire-cooked garlic sourdough with duck fat lentil hummus and Bengali spiced yogurt; pani puri filled with chicken liver mousse.
2nd course Hamachi ceviche with Aji sauce and a shitload of herbs served on paratha like a tostada.
3rd course Lamb tartare (onion, garlic, mayo, 48 spice blend leaning heavily on South Asian flavors) with lettuce, shiso and basil to make wraps.
4th course Seafood kofta - whitefish and tiger shrimp, grilled kabob style. Served over picked cucumber with a chaat masala spiced sweet and sour sauce and langostine.
5th course Beef cheek dumpling, Kashmiri chili oil, garam masala spiced sweet soy sauce.
6th course Duck breast (dry aged, brined, sous vide, finished on grill), duck stock and fat rice pilaf, duck stock braised lotus root, duck curry gravy, ginger scallion sauce.
7th course Torched marshmallow, malted turmeric ice cream, funnel cake.
submitted by crossbuck to wine [link] [comments]


2023.03.28 13:55 canadianmenus More from the Food Guide Kitchen

This curry recipe is versatile! You can easily substitute carrots or squash for the sweet potato. Serve with whole grain flatbread and yogurt for a quick, easy meal.https://canadianmenus.com/milestones-menu-canada/https://canadianmenus.com/edo-japan-menu-canada/https://canadianmenus.com/st-louis-menu-canada/https://canadianmenus.com/allo-mon-coco-menu-canada/https://canadianmenus.com/wok-box-menu-canada/https://canadianmenus.com/lone-star-canada-menu/https://canadianmenus.com/casa-grecque-menu-canada/https://canadianmenus.com/triple-os-menu-canada/https://canadianmenus.com/stratos-canada-menu/https://canadianmenus.com/poulet-rouge-menu-canada/https://canadianmenus.com/dominos-pizza-menu-canada/https://canadianmenus.com/cheesecake-factory-menu-canada/
  1. In a high-sided sauté pan, heat oil over high heat. Add mustard seeds, chilies, and curry leaves and sauté for 30 seconds to release flavours.
  2. Add onions and sauté for 2 minutes or until just lightly browned. Add garlic and stir to combine. Sauté for another 3 minutes or until onions soften.
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Preparing foods at home allows you to make healthier meals and snacks. By choosing ingredients that have little to no added sodium, sugars or saturated fat, you can decrease the amount of these nutrients you eat.
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  1. Add sweet potatoes and stir to combine and coat well. Reduce heat to medium and cook for 20 to 30 minutes or until tender.
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Preparing meals and snacks using healthy ingredients can be a way to limit highly processed foods.
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2023.03.28 13:51 Bee-Stop Homemade Grilled Chicken Alfredo Pasta

Homemade Grilled Chicken Alfredo Pasta
Recipe Ingredients: 8 oz fettuccine pasta 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts Salt and pepper to taste 2 tablespoons olive oil 2 tablespoons unsalted butter 2 cloves garlic, minced 1 cup heavy cream 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese Optional: chopped fresh parsley or basil for garnish
Instructions: Cook the fettuccine pasta according to package instructions, until al dente. Drain and set aside. Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper on both sides. Heat a grill pan or outdoor grill over medium-high heat. Brush the chicken breasts with olive oil and grill for 6-7 minutes per side, or until cooked through. Let the chicken rest for a few minutes before slicing into strips. In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the minced garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes, or until fragrant. Pour the heavy cream into the pan and bring to a simmer. Cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens slightly. Add the grated Parmesan cheese to the sauce and whisk until smooth and melted. Add the cooked fettuccine pasta and sliced grilled chicken to the pan and toss to coat in the Alfredo sauce. Serve the Grilled Chicken Alfredo Pasta hot, garnished with chopped fresh parsley or basil if desired.
You can also customize it by adding your favorite veggies or substituting shrimp for the chicken. Enjoy!
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2023.03.28 13:26 SirUlrichVonLichten How A Spider Catches A Fly (Part 1)

The haze of old dust hanging in the air. The sound of floorboards creaking under my feet. The quiet rhythm of pages being turned and the clacking of wooden chairs being pulled and pushed back in. When I think of my time in Sunny Creek Library these are sounds and smells I think of. But there other sounds and smells there too. The sound of insane laughter and horrible sobbing. The fleshy sound of too many legs tapping up the walls. And underneath it all, the smell of something rotten, like black mold.
This is the story of my time at Sunny Creek Library, the most haunted place I ever stepped foot in. You might not believe what I tell you here, but it's a story I need to tell, once and for all. But the story doesn't start at Sunny Creek. It starts with my love of reading. I was a voracious reader as a kid. I would spend hours every day consuming book after book. My mother once joked that I didn't like to play with rattles as a baby, but that if she gave me an old paperback, I would play with it for hours.
Naturally my love for reading lead to me libraries. There were two libraries in my town that I knew of and they became like churches to me. There was something almost therapeutic about walking down the rows of shelves, picking one random book out, and seeing what I would find inside. Even just holding the book in my hand felt good, the weight of it, the feel of the binding and dust jacket. It was reassuring in a way. Comforting. Books are a form of escape and libraries are like cathedrals to other worlds. And every bookshelf contained dozens of portals that allowed me to step into those worlds. I never thought I would be afraid of a library. How could I be? Libraries were awe inspiring places of wisdom and fantasy. I carried my library card the same way a sheriff in an old western would carry his badge.
I found Sunny Creek the way a lot of kids find things; by running scared for my life. The bullies at my middle school were a particularly vicious group of kids, led by a blonde 8th grader named Travis. Every day after school they would pick out one kid to harass and chase after him. They almost always went after the 6th and 7th graders. If you were lucky, you got away. But if you were unlucky, and Travis was in a particularly foul mood, then you were in for a world of hurt. The teachers at my school never did anything. They weren't allowed to, according to the new rules. A couple of years ago one teacher at another school tried to intervene in a fight and got stabbed. Ever since then if a teacher saw a fight, they would simply look the other way.
I had been lucky to avoid the ire of Travis and his friends, but one day my luck just ran out. I was heading out after the final bell, when I heard the sound no 7th grader wants to hear. It was the sound of Travis and his lackeys snickering. When I turned, I saw them glaring at me, huge grins on all their faces.
"I'll give you a 10 second head start," Travis said, pushing aside a lock of hair from his face. This was met with a chorus of laughter from his friends, as if he had just said the funniest thing in the world.
So I ran. Travis kept his word and gave me 10 seconds. He made sure to count them out loud. Then he and his hyenas were after me. I could hear them laughing behind me. Knew the moment one of them got their hands on me, the jig was up. I was going to cut through the park, but I noticed there was another kid at the other end, standing right in the direction of where I was heading. I thought he looked like one of Travis' friends, and if I went that way they could sandwich me right in the open field. I wouldn't put it past Travis to set a trap like this. I suddenly felt like those animals you see on the national geographic channel. Like some poor gazelle that gets run down by a pack of lions.
The park was a no-go. So I decided to cut through the suburb that surrounded my school. I made my way through various back yards and side yards, hopping over fences and turned over tricycles, all the while I could hear them behind me. Their laughter getting more and more vicious as the chase ensued.
I don't know how long I ran, but at some point I ended up on a street I didn't recognize. The street was deserted of people and cars, and there was only one building, a square yellow one with a sign outside that read:
Sunny Creek Library.
Strange, I thought. I had never heard of this library before. I heard laughter coming from behind me and realized I didn't have more time to think on it. I rushed into the yellow building, slamming the door behind me. I stood at the door and looked out the glass, hoping that they wouldn't follow me inside. Travis and his pals were awful, but even they wouldn't be so brazen as to come into a library and harass me. Outside the world belonged to children. You could catch and bully someone at school and you could bully them outside. But the inside world belonged to adults. Travis wouldn't dare break that unspoken rule.
Or so I hoped.
The pack of lions were standing outside the library, just before the front steps. For a moment it looked as if Travis was going to take that first step, but fortunately he held his ground. So it appeared not all of my luck had run out. Then he cupped his hands over his mouth.
"Come on out you fucking dweeb!" He yelled. Again this was met with laughter from his lackeys. Then they too began to shout similar profanities.
"Friends of yours?" A voice behind me said. The voice was so soft I didn't think I heard it at first. It was a paper thin voice. I turned around to see a man standing at the front desk of the library. I didn't acknowledge him. The fear running through my veins wouldn't let me. I turned back towards the window.
"Awww, you're no fun," Travis said. "Chicken shit!"
Then he and his lackeys began to walk away. As their voices and laughter faded, I heard one of them say "I didn't even know there was a library here." Then they were gone.
------
I let out a small cry and fell against the door. I began to take in deep gulps of air, like a fish that was just pulled out of water.
"I take it those are not your friends then," the soft spoken man said.
"No, not my friends," I said getting up from the door, regaining my breath and some of my composure. I suddenly felt embarrassed for my intrusion into the building. "Sorry, I didn't mean to cause any trouble."
"It's alright," the man said kindly. "No trouble. I remember those days. Not very fondly. Kids can be very cruel, can't they?"
"You got that right," I said. Then my eyes began to take in my surroundings. The building's large windows let in pools of sunlight and I could see the dust floating in there. And beyond those dust motes, all across the building, were rows of bookshelves.
"This really is a library," I said wide-eyed. It was hard to keep the shock out my voice. "I thought Dutchville only had two. Is this place new?"
"Oh, we've been here a while. Are you fond of libraries?"
I took out my library card and displayed it proudly, like an FBI agent showing his credentials to a rookie small town cop; letting the rookie know that this was now his jurisdiction.
"But you don't have one for here." It wasn't a question.
I shook my head.
"Well, we can fix that," the man said taking out a white sheet of paper. "Just fill out this form."
"Thanks, uhhh-"
The man pointed a slender finger to his name tag. It read: Thomas Spinner.
"Thanks, Mr. Spinner."
Thomas Spinner looked as if he was in his mid 20's or maybe early 30s at most. He had blonde hair, but unlike Travis whose hair was what you would call piss-yellow, Thomas Spinner had hair that so blond it might have been white. He had dark blue eyes that matched his dark turtle neck and chinos, and the outfit was all tied together by an fine looking golden brown blazer. The other two librarians in town were elderly woman, and they dressed just like my grandma. They were nice people, don't get me wrong, but they weren't exactly what you'd call fashionable. Thomas Spinner on the other hand dressed nicely.
He had a face that was somehow completely remarkable, yet also entirely forgettable. What I mean by that is if I were to close my eyes and try to picture Thomas Spinner right now, I could do it with no problem. I could picture him so perfectly it would be as if he were standing right in front of me. But if I were asked to pick him out of a line up of people that were actually in front of me, I wouldn't be able to do it. He was like those people you see in your dreams. The ones that walk past you like back ground extras in a film. The ones that hang on the edges of your periphery.
There was an quiet elegance to the way Thomas Spinner carried himself. But there was something underneath all the elegance too. Something I would come to notice over my many trips to Sunny Creek. He was like a beautiful frozen lake. The kind you think you can walk on because the ice is thick.
Only the ice isn't thick. It's thin. Very thin. But you don't realize it until it's too late. Until you've walked out too far over the ice. You hear the ice began to break and then-
"All done?" Thomas Spinner asked as I handed him back the form. He looked it over. Near the bottom of the form there was short survey and one of the questions it asked was: "Who is your favorite author?" I had written J.R.R. Tolkien, the author of The Lord of the Rings. When Thomas Spinner read what I had written, a huge smile broke over his face. It was a crooked smile. Seeing him smile was like watching stain glass crack right in front of you.
"I want to show you something."
He lead me towards a bookshelf and as he did I took in more of the library. It was a medium sized building, perhaps only slightly smaller then the largest of the two other libraries in town. Only that wasn't true at all. It only appeared that way. Sunny Creek would turn out to be larger then any other building I would ever step into. And unlike those other libraries, there were no posters of celebrities telling you to read or drink milk or any other slogans of motivation. Instead the library walls were covered with what looked like renaissance oil paintings. There were tables and desks to read at, but there were also fine red leather chairs you could sink into. There was a kind of sophistication to Sunny Creek that wasn't present at the other two libraries.
As we walked I noticed there were other people in the building. All of them had there heads down in a book. Most of them seemed preoccupied with their reading, but I did notice that some of them would give me quick sharp glances, before looking back down at whatever book they were holding. The kind of glance a person at a country club might give a group of kids that happen to stroll across their golf course. The kind of look that says, *"You aren't suppose to be here."*
We stopped in front of a bookcase and when I saw what was there my mouth went slack-jawed in a cartoony expression. It was a display dedicated entirely to the works J.R.R. Tolkien. There were multiple editions of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, as well as other works I had not read from Tolkien. The other two libraries I visited only had a couple of copies of The Lord of the Rings and they were almost always rented out. When Mr. Spinner saw my expression he chuckled softly.
"I love Tolkien as well. And the all other great fantasy authors. Carrol. Lewis. Pratchett. You name it, I've read it. You can get lost in their worlds. For hours. Days. Weeks. Months. Years. Centuries. Do you know what it's like to get lost in a book?"
I nodded.
"It's an incredible feeling isn't it?" Thomas Spinner continued. "To discover a world you never knew existed. Filled with characters that feel so real, you feel as if you really know them."
"I feel sad when I finish a good book," I said. "It feels like I'm saying goodbye."
"Yes, that's exactly right. Like you're saying goodbye. Well said."
"I can really check these out?" I asked pointing to a copy of The Fellowship of the Ring. It had a gorgeous cover I had never seen before and the binding was clearly a cut above the beaten paperbacks at the other two libraries. It looked incredibly expensive. The kind of book you'd see behind a locked glass cabinet at a book store, with a little sign that says: Deluxe edition - $200. See employee for products behind glass.
"Of course you can. You're now an official member of Sunny Creek Library. You can check out any book here for up to three weeks and renew it again, as long as no one else is waiting for that specific book. If you don't want to check it out and take it home, you can always just read it here. We've got plenty of reading rooms and the like."
"How many books can I check out at a time?"
"Three."
"No exceptions?"
"No exceptions. Here at Sunny Creek we do everything by the book."
"What are your hours?"
"We don't close."
"You - huh? You don't close?"
"Sunny Creek runs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week."
"Really?"
"Really."
"This is the coolest library I've ever been to." I reached out to grab the copy of Fellowship when a black spider crawled out from the shadows of the book case. I pulled my hand back and gave out a short cry.
"Spider!" I exclaimed. "I hate spiders." I watched as the spider crawled quietly up the shelf. It seemed to regard me for a moment, then when it realized I was of no interest, it continued it's way up.
"Oh," Mr. Spinner said softly. "We got some of these around here."
"It's big," I said, not being able to hold the fear out of my voice. It was a big spider. Not like something out of a movie, but definitely larger than the spindly daddy-long legs I was use to seeing around my house. It was as black as oil and I could see thick hairs protruding from it's body.
Then Thomas Spinner did something that shocked me. He reached his hand out to it. The spider regarded him and then crawled onto his palm. He brought his palm up to his eyes, so he and the spider were staring at each other. It looked as if they were having the world's most surreal eye-staring contest. Two eyes vs eight eyes, who would blink first?
"Spiders aren't so bad. Once you get use to them." Then he clenched his fist, crushing the spider. One it's legs was sticking through the crevice between his fingers. It's long dark leg jerked madly for a few seconds and then stopped. He turned towards me. That smile that was like stain glass cracking was back on his face. "I'm going to go finish processing your membership form. Feel free to keep looking around."
"Oh, Okay," was all I could say. My voice was a chalky whisper.
He began to walk away and then turned his head back towards me. "If you get lost. Just call my name for help. I'll find you. It's easy to get lost in here."
------
As I began to walk through the rows of books, that moment with Thomas Spinner and the black spider began to fade from my mind like a bad dream; because Sunny Creek really was an extraordinary library. So extraordinary in fact that even a creepy moment like the one I had just witnessed could quickly be forgotten. I found myself getting lost in the world of books as I normally do. Slipping back into that comfortable trance of browsing. I began to take books off the shelves, opening them up, and reading a few bits before moving on to another selection. The selection in Sunny Creek was full of variety. The library had all kinds of books. Horror, fantasy, crime, non-fiction, war, you name it. Not all the books were in perfect condition like the Tolkien display, some of them were incredibly dusty and worn out, but I liked that just as much if not more than the newer editions. There was something admirable about an old beaten up book. It had character. When you touch an old book, you can almost feel the journey it's been on, and all the different hands it's passed through.
I was so lost in my trance that it didn't even occur to me at that moment that I didn't even know where I was technically. I had never seen the street Sunny Creek was on before. I was in a strange building on a strange road. But none of that mattered to me during that moment. All I cared about were the books.
I had been exploring the library for a while, when a strange thing occurred. I turned the corner and thought I was going to meet the place where the library ended. Only it didn't. When I turned the corner, there were more rows of books and the library appeared to go on. I continued exploring, turning more corners, walking aisle after aisle and every time I thought I was getting near the end of the library, it simply continued.
It didn't make any sense. I had seen Sunny Creek from the outside. It wasn't that large of a building, and yet inside it never stopped. And as I continued through the library, I noticed the books in this section were started to look older and older. Dust was building up on the shelves, and there were even cobwebs hanging off the walls. And as I kept walking those cobwebs began to turn into thicker webs, like something you see as a Halloween decoration. But there was nothing decorative about these webs. I tried not to stare at the webs for very long, but for the brief moments that I did, I saw glimpses of black things moving in them.
Spiders aren't so bad. Once you get use to them
I started to walk faster.
I tried to find my way back to the main entrance, but had gotten completely turned around, and in every direction I turned the library simply continued on. I soon noticed something that should of reassured me, but instead terrified me: There were other people in this section of the library. They seemed to peek at me from behind the corner of the bookshelves or from the other side of the aisle through the gaps in the books. Any time I chanced to see one of them, they would quickly turn and run. Sometimes I would chase after them, asking them to help me find my way back. And just when I thought I would catch them, I would find myself in an empty aisle. I'd hear them laughing from some rows down. It was a harsh laughter, that cut through me like wind on a cold winters day. Laughter that seemed to say "oohhh, you almost caught me there!"
Some times these people wouldn't say anything. Sometimes they would just stare.
My fast walk turned into an all out run.
I turned another corner and was of course met with more rows of books. More aisles. More library. I came across a woman hunched on the floor. Her skin was gray. All the people in this section had gray, damp looking skin. She was crying. Rocking herself back and forth.
"I just want to go home," the woman was muttering through her sobs. "I just want to go home."
I ran from her, doing my best to ignore all the other gray faces I saw peeking out at me. I was completely lost in the heart of the library. I felt as if the rows were getting thinner the more I walked on. More narrow as if the shelves were getting pushed in closer together. I started to feel claustrophobic as I made my way through the narrow rows. I could feel a scream rising through my chest and up my throat, but before it could come out, I heard something that calmed me in all the terror.
It was the sound of a guitar playing. It was a warm sound. Inviting. A stark contrast to the bitter laughs and the choking sobs I heard from the gray people all around me. I followed the music and it lead me to a small reading area. There was a table. Sitting at the table was a person playing a guitar.
--------
Eddie Burnsfield wasn't the nerdiest kid in my school. Far from it. But his thick square glasses and plaid shirts never did him any favors with the cool kids. Neither did the black guitar case he carried around with him everywhere he went. A guitar case that had cut outs of comic book characters taped all over it. Along with stickers of Bugs Bunny, Stephen Hawking, and Abraham Lincoln. Running through through Sunny Creek, lost and terrified for my life, the last person I thought I'd ever see was Eddie Burnsfield and his guitar.
But there he was in Sunny Creek. Playing his classical guitar, and he was always very adamant that he played classical guitar. Once a girl in school had asked Eddie to play a famous pop song that was a big hit on the radio.
"This guitar isn't meant for that," Eddie said snidely. "It's meant for Tárrega, for Sor, and Barrios. Do any of those name ring a bell to you?"
"Here's your bell," the girl said giving Eddie the bird.
Now in Sunny Creek, Eddie stopped playing when he saw me. There was an awkward moment of silence, and then both our eyes went wide with recognition.
"Eddie is that you?" I asked, not sure if I could believe what I was seeing.
"Oh hey," Eddie said flatly. "I didn't know anyone else from our school knew about this place."
"You got to help me! I'm lost! There's something wrong with this place!" I began to shriek at Eddie, letting out all my stress and fear, screaming about everything that I had just witnessed. Before I could even finish, Eddie put up a silencing hand.
"Chill out, amigo," Eddie said calmly. "Just chill out."
"Didn't you hear what I said?"
"Yes. You're lost."
"These people here. My god Eddie they're -"
"Don't worry about them. They can't do anything to you."
"We've got to get out of here!"
"You're not going to tell anyone about this place are you?" Eddie said looking me over. He sounded agitated. Annoyed. But not afraid.
"Didn't you hear what I said? We got to get the hell out of here!" Now I was the one getting annoyed. The lack of fear in Eddie bothered me. He looked as if I had just barged into his bedroom. Through my periphery I could see there were a few gray people looking at us. The way they peeked at us through the shelves sent a shiver up my spine.
"You're afraid, right?" Eddie said.
I nodded.
"Just take a seat," Eddie said gesturing towards one of the empty chairs at the table. I sat down. It took all my effort. I wanted to run away. I couldn't stand being in the library any longer. But there was something calming about Eddie's lack of fear. And even though it had not been said out loud, I understood a simple truth: the more I ran, the most lost I would become.
"I hate playing at home," Eddie said strumming his guitar. "Well, I guess I should say my dad hates when I play at home. He thinks I'm wasting my time with this "guitar bullshit". His words, not mine. He'd rather I play baseball. Could you imagine that? I'd be on the same team with Travis and his asshole friends. The idea lone makes my skin crawl more than anything I've seen here at Sunny Creek."
"Eddie, what does this have to do with -"
"Just listen, okay? About 4 months ago I couldn't take my dad's scolding anymore. At one point I was even thinking of bashing my guitar over his head. Completely serious. I really wanted to do it. But as happy as that would make me, it'd mean breaking ol' Delilah here." Eddie patted his guitar. "So I ran. I didn't have any place in mind, I just needed to get out of there. I ran and ran and kept running until my feet were sore. I ended up here at Sunny Creek. I was scared at first, just like you. I mean of course I was. Sunny Creek is a lot bigger than it looks, isn't ol' chap? I don't understand how or why and I gave up trying to. All that matters is that Sunny Creek is the perfect place for me to play my guitar. When I walk down into this section, I can play as long as I want. No one can hear me. I even asked Mr. Spinner to make sure, and he said he can't hear me when I'm this far into the library.
"You really come here on purpose?" I asked in a chalky voice. Eddie nodded. "But what about all the-"
I gestured toward the people peeking from behind the bookshelves. The idea of venturing this far into the library everyday terrified me.
"I told you they can't hurt you. I don't even really notice them anymore."
"But *who* are they?"
Now for the first time a look of fear did come over Eddie. He quickly blinked it away.
"I don't know," Eddie said. I didn't believe him. I had the feeling he wasn't telling me everything he knew about Sunny Creek. "The point is you don't have to worry about them."
To make his point, Eddie stood on top of the table, spread his arms out wide, and shouted "Helloooo, are there any scary things here that want to hurt me?!"
Some of the gray people scurried off, the way rabbits and squirrels do when you get too close. Some of them giggled. Others simply stared. But none of them came out from behind the shelves.
"See?" Eddie said jumping off the table. "Completely harmless. They won't do anything to you."
"But how do we get back? I kept trying to find my way back to the front entrance and I just got more lost."
"Didn't Mr. Spinner tell you what do to do if you get lost?"
I looked at Eddie confused, and then it came to me. In all my time running through the library, I had asked the gray people for help. Had even screamed for god to help me. But I had never called for Him. Had forgotten his instructions, because at the time when he told me, I didn't realize that they were literal instructions.
If you get lost. Just call my name for help. I'll find you. It's easy to get lost in here.
I cupped my hands over mouth and yelled, "Mr. Spinner I'm lost! Please help me!"
Any sounds of laughter or sobbing that were wading from the other side of the bookshelves stopped immediately. The library went quiet the way a forest goes quiet when a predator is nearby.
"I'd be happy to help," a soft paper thin voice said. I turned around to see Thomas Spinner stepping out of the shadows. Above his head was a white web and I saw several black spiders crawling away.
"Hey Mr. Spinner," Eddie said cheerily.
"Hello Edward. Play anything good today?"
"Eh, not really. Would you mind helping my friend and I out here? We're lost."
"Follow me."
We followed Mr. Spinner like two boy scouts following there scout leader through a dark forest. Even though they were right in front of me, I was terrified of losing sight of Mr. Spinner and Eddie, afraid of being lost in the library forever. I kept my eyes glued to them and I don't think I ever blinked once on that first walk back. I assumed it was going to be a long walk. After all I spent what felt like hours getting lost in the library. But we only walked through a couple aisles when we were suddenly back by the front desk.
I looked around both startled and amazed. The library looked as it had when I walked in. A completely normal, medium-sized library. The normal non gray patrons were still here, still nose deep in their books. None of them gave me any side glances now. Later I asked Eddie who these people were and he explained they were no different from me or him. They were just people that found Sunny Creek and treated it as a normal library.
But I knew there was nothing normal about Sunny Creek now. I looked back at the area we had just emerged from. I saw normal looking rows of bookshelves. But I knew that beyond those rows of shelves were even more rows that seemed to stretch on forever. Shelves that held books that looked as if they hadn't been opened in ages. And hiding around those rows were gray people and black spiders and who knew what else.
"This is for you." I turned around at the sound of the soft voice. Thomas Spinner was standing behind the front desk, just as he had been when I first came into the building. He was holding something out to me. I reached out and took it.
It was a library card with my name on it.
"Thanks for coming to Sunny Creek Library," Thomas Spinner said. "Hope to see you again soon."
Outside of Sunny Creek the wind was chilly and the trees stood stark against the sky. A cold wind was howling and brown leaves began to whirl around us. Eddie was explaining how I could get back home. The street we stood on was not on any map according to Eddie, but it was easy enough to follow back into town. It shocked me to realize how close Sunny Creek was to my home. Closer than the other two libraries in town. It had been hidden here the whole time.
"Please don't tell anyone about Sunny Creek," Eddie said. His voice sounded as dry as the leaves the whirled around us. Inside Eddie had seemed so calm and assuring. Now there was a desperate pleading in his voice that I did not like. "I know it's scary, okay? I know it's not natural. But it's not a bad place. I swear it's not as bad as it seems. It's the only place I can play in peace. If more people find out, they won't understand. They'll try to tear it down. Promise you won't tell anyone."
I didn't respond right away. I thought deeply about what Eddie was asking me and about what I had just experienced. All the while the brown leaves continued to whirl around us like fighter jets that had lost course and were now hurdling towards their destruction. At last I spoke, "I'll promise if you tell me one thing."
"What's that?"
"Who were those people, really? The gray ones. The ones peeking at us." Just thinking about them sent a shiver up my spine.
"I think that...." Eddie started but then stopped. His voice sounded hoarse now. He looked down as if he really didn't want to say what he was going to say; like a child who just got caught stealing from the cookie jar, but didn't want to admit it. "I think they're people that got lost in the library. And now it's too late for Mr. Spinner to bring them back. I think they're stuck in there."
"Jesus Eddie you can't be serious."
"You promised you wouldn't tell," Eddie said pointing a stern finger at me.
"There were so many of them. You really think that's who they are? And what if that happens to you?"
"It wont. Those people didn't follow the rules or maybe they just didn't know them. They didn't call for Mr. Spinner when they got lost. He always comes for you if you call him. Always."
"But if you don't call him?"
Eddie simply looked down.
I thought of the spider webs I saw in Sunny Creek. Of the thick bulbous spiders that laid waiting in those webs. Waiting for flies to catch. Maybe Sunny Creek was it's own kind of web, and it had caught plenty of flies in it's tendrils.
"Eddie, I don't know. This all seems-"
"You. Promised." Eddie held his guitar case in a tight grip. A thought came into my head. Something Eddie had said earlier.
I wanted to bash my guitar over his head...
"Okay, I promise. I won't tell," I said in a weak voice. Guilt and shame came over me. When I was younger I had once seen a film about a group of kids that discover a dead body. I had always wondered what I would have done in a situation like that. Would I call the police? Run home to my mom and dad? Or would I say nothing at all?
Eddie's shoulders relaxed and small smile broke across his face.
"Thanks, amigo. You're the best"
The wind ceased abruptly and the leaves fell to the ground.
A strange thing occurred as I started walking home that day. I suppose it's only the kind of thing that can happen when you are still a kid. Had I been an adult the day I discovered Sunny Creek, I most likely would have ran away screaming in terror. I would have told the authorities everything I had witness. To hell with Eddie and his promise. But when you're a kid, things just sort of....wash off of you. Or should I say, you learn to move on, pretty quickly.
You scrape your knee. You put a band-aid on it. You move on.
There's a monster hiding under your bed. You wake up the next day for breakfast. You move on.
You get bullied by your classmates. You run and hide as well as you can. You move on.
You discover a strange and horrifying library....and you move on.
By the time I made it home, the events of the day had washed off of me in a similar sense. I didn't tell either of my parents what I had experienced. I simply sat down for dinner and ate my spaghetti. And as I went to sleep that night a thought began to crystalize in my head. Who knows where our thoughts truly come from. This one simply advanced out of the darkest crevices of my mind, no different then how that spider had crawled out of the Tolkien display. It was a simple, yet dangerous thought.
I'm going to visit Sunny Creek again.
------------------
submitted by SirUlrichVonLichten to nosleep [link] [comments]


2023.03.28 13:23 sabezyessentials Recipe: Coconut Curry Chicken Sabezy

Recipe: Coconut Curry Chicken Sabezy submitted by sabezyessentials to u/sabezyessentials [link] [comments]


2023.03.28 10:08 SurroundFickle783 Which one doesn't deserve the price level?

Which one doesn't deserve the price level?
New pizza place opened up near me. Very excited. But some things seem off. Being a long timer.
submitted by SurroundFickle783 to Serverlife [link] [comments]


2023.03.28 09:51 gintonica IAH - MUC dinner, breakfast and menu

submitted by gintonica to unitedairlines [link] [comments]


2023.03.28 04:27 HollowpointPen Ramen Reviewed: An Essay

In today's society, food is not given very much thought. It’s a simple need that must be satisfied three times a day, in our frying pans at home or in the booths of a diner. Each of us has our preferences, our Thanksgiving lineups, and our hole-in-the-wall shops. But for me, there is a food that stands out, transcends being an enjoyable meal, and serves a greater purpose. It both influences and is influenced by culture, history, memory, industriousness, capitalism, health, evolution, adaptation, and our own flaws as human beings. It is easy to take our food for granted, so I find it only proper to pay homage to what might be my favorite class of dish. It also happens to be among the most forgettable. No other food is more profound to me than ramen noodles.
Ramen is old, and not necessarily novel. It isn’t technically Japanese, either. The first recorded existence of ramen was isolated to the Yokohama Chinatown, just south of Tokyo, dating back to the late 1800s. It commanded a cult-like appreciation amongst Chinese immigrants living in Japan, working to maintain what little fragments of their culture they could, but living in Japan would ultimately sever most ties to their homeland. Ramen remained prevalent, and countered the distance decay through brute strength. It was simple, based upon Chinese hand-pulled noodle soup, and derived from pork dishes like Char Siu. It was a humble pork broth with chopped wheat noodles, a few seasonings, and a pinch of salt. Ramen remained this way for half a century, until being circulated throughout Northern Japan upon the wheeled carts and stalls of food merchants, becoming a staple street-food alongside Gyoza dumplings.
My first encounter with ramen is a rather insignificant memory. It filled a mundane purpose in my young life. It was cheap, readily available, and I could prepare it for myself. As things were then, these were the only types of food I could eat. Alongside Cheerios and PB&Js, ramen was the greater part of my diet (in amount, not quality). I never gave much thought towards the noodles themselves. I popped a package into a bowl of water, nuked it for three minutes, mixed the seasoning packet in, and ate as soon as the ramen was cool enough to scald my throat. Food was never important to me then, merely fuel in the tank, the means to surpass a routine obstacle in my day to day. My meals weren’t special in any way, how could they be?
Ramen wasn’t anything special in the nineteenth century, a food in a foreign land, doing whatever it could to generate profit for Japanese lower-class merchants by providing for Japanese middle-class laborers and preserving the subjugated culture of Chinese immigrants in a harsh land. There was a consistency between every seller that was appreciated, and it performed its role as a cultural anchor as well as could be expected in the dynamic shift that hit economically expanding Japan, abandoning tradition in favor of industry. Everything changed when the US dropped the nukes.
After Japan lost World War II, it was occupied by the US military to ensure a smooth transition from an Imperial dictatorship to Nintendoland. Up until 1952, the US had complete authority (and responsibility) over the growing food crisis. You see, the Rising Sun had plunged deep into the Asian continent and had grown to rely on forcible rice exports from China and Manchuria. After relinquishing its western claims, Japan succumbed to the worst rice shortage in its entire history. Luckily, the USA was in the business of fostering capitalist “utopias” in communist neighborhoods, and America was ready to bring home the bacon and show off its bread and butter.
The Japanese market was flooded with wheat flour and pork products, subsidized by the United States' own wartime super-production. In Japan, meat and bread became incredibly prevalent, with bread consumption between the years of 1948 to 1951 increasing from 262,211 tons to 611,784 tons, meaning the Japanese diet had a need for a dish that made use of the highly imported wheat product and prevalence of pork products. One food, remaining dormant within Japanese culture, became an overnight sensation. Ramen surged in popularity, benefitting from the USA’s surplus and the rapid acculturation of Chinese immigrants within the Japanese Empire over the course of a very bloody regime
Ramen remained inert in my diet as a reliable supplement when home cooking and restaurants remained a distant fantasy. However, after a rapid transition from the crumbling sidewalk-burbs of Converse, Texas, to the bustling metropolis of Houston, Mars, my lifestyle shifted. All of the mansions and villas I walked past had two stories, a detached garage, and cultivated lawns. Some neighborhoods had gates and guards. I discovered restaurants that charged multiple dollars for tacos. To almost be run over by a clueless Tesla driver became a common occurrence. It was a major culture shock, for me at least, and my diet reflected that. I still ate cereal for breakfast, but for lunch, I enjoyed an assortment of seared slabs of meat, salads, and starches, even at school, and at restaurants I ordered sides! Moving affected every aspect of my life, but the way I ate was an immediate and dramatic change, more well-suited for the way I felt inside. Safe, happy, and free to explore. But I would be lying if I said I didn’t feel homesick– not for my old school or my old friends, but for my old food.
Ramen in a bowl, run through the microwave for three minutes, seasoned with the mysterious contents of an aluminum packet, is nostalgic. But after my introduction to a few juicy burgers and one french dish that I cannot begin to spell, it didn’t exactly feel glorious to eat something that came in a block and went in a microwave. I was afflicted by a growing love for certain foods and seasonings. I started to sprinkle salt and pepper on my eggs. I learned to turn eggs into omelets. I felt the inclination to combine some of my favorite foods and enhance my spaghetti with a basil garnish. And my Maruchan was no exception. As I longed for home, I began to explore ways in which I could make warm tap water special.
A Yatai is a cart, fitted with wheels, that moves in fleets up and down the streets of the cities of Japan, finding the strategic position to intercept the patrols of pedestrians and to capitalize on the chokepoints of the commuter, to serve a famished patron who doesn’t have the time to take a seat in a restaurant. Here, in America, food trucks pop up in parking lots. In Japan, the Yatai cook materializes on every corner of every street, gravitating towards the rumble of a pedestrian's stomach. The conveniently aggressive business model of Yatai cart cooks can be traced back to the days when they not only had to capitalize on foot traffic but also had to skillfully dodge patrols of ration-enforcing GIs of the American occupation. The Yatai embraced a food of growing popularity, with ingredients of growing availability. Take a wild guess.
Yatai cooks, in their efforts to turn a buck, became prey for Yakuza gangsters hunting for a less-than-legal front for cash. I was shocked to learn the extent to which mobile noodle vendors became prey to the black market. As historian Owen Griffiths puts it in NEED, GREED, AND PROTEST IN JAPAN'S BLACK. MARKET, 1938-1949, as “the Americans maintained Japan's wartime ban on outdoor food vending, flour was secretly diverted from commercial mills into the black markets, where nearly 90 percent of [Yatai] stalls were under the control of gangsters related to the yakuza… Thousands of ramen vendors were arrested during the occupation”
Despite the greasy tentacles of the black market, the ramen Yatai cart represented the powerful grasp of western ideals upon a wounded Japan: entrepreneurship. A Yatai was a gateway for a skilled cook to embed himself in the national economy while remaining free-lance, to serve the flow of goods and services independently. For better or worse, the Japanese were now being placed into the eternal race for economic freedom through fierce competition. This endeavor went pretty well for about five minutes, until someone had an idea… and started a new empire.
At home, I began to innovate with my ramen. I watched videos and expanded my family’s grocery list. I conducted my experiments on lonely afternoons, in between episodes of Better Call Saul, and when I really should’ve been studying for PreCalc. But to say I wasn’t productive would be an injustice. I found joy in my exploration of food. I tested different amounts of soy sauce and salt– always in combination with the familiar aluminum seasoning packet. I soon graduated away from the mystery powder, using actual pork broth, not microwaved but heated on the stove in a pot. I scavenged the occasional hard-boiled egg or strip of beef, grazed a green onion, and minced my own garlic. I grew more confident in my ability to make ramen tasty, and soon I devoted more time and energy to making it than actually eating it, although both were equally delightful.
Ramen was accessible when I was young. When I ate soup, it was seldom unpackaged. A package of Maruchan soy-flavored noodles took a few minutes to prepare and was a tasty, warm option. It was cheap and easy, so I ate it more often than any other food. It was there when I wanted it and I needed it. It was there. I ate the noodles and drank the “broth” and was full. But that’s not the only way I ate ramen. It’s just the only way I prepared it.
My relationship with my father is complicated. It is painful. Since I turned twelve, it has been nonexistent. Among my memories of him is the occasional Thursday when would pick me up, take me to his apartment, and play video games with me and my sister. For dinner, he would make strip steaks, microwave some frozen vegetables, and, somehow, serve ramen noodles as a side. They were drained of their broth and served on their own in a bowl. And I’ll admit, I loved them. I had them three times. The third time was the last time I ever saw my dad.
Ramen noodles with him and ramen noodles at home were drastically different things. The drained noodles just filled me with a feeling of bitter finality, while the bowls of soup offered an endless journey. But in spite of my experimentation in the present day, I have never tried to make them the way he would’ve. I am not sure why. I like the idea of trying something new and exciting when I mix real ingredients with cheap noodles. Yet something about draining the broth and putting them on a plate feels wrong. For me, it is not allowed.
By 1950 the wheat flour controls imposed by the US occupation were relaxed and, eventually, removed. By the time small-scale entrepreneurs of the ramen Yatai carts were no longer outlawed, ramen had become a staple amongst the citizens of Japan, although it hadn’t yet crossed any oceans. It settled into a niche of urban street-food, until 1958.
Momofuku Ando invented Instant Ramen, propelling an urban delicacy into the revolution of mass production and knockoffs. Despite the disingenuous imitation, the instant noodle cups spread like a wildfire, cheap as dirt and a novelty in convenience stores. It reached the US and took over by storm, and by 1980, it wasn’t just a cultural icon– it was a global phenomenon. Ramen was recognizable at this point, but not for its humble presentation hailing from a small Chinatown in a Japanese industrial district. It was now known by the styrofoam standard-issue palm bucket employed by the lunchtime employee at the blue-collar grind, passing up on a good lunch across the street to save a few bucks and suck on factory-produced gruel with a plastic fork.
Make no mistake, every customer knew instant ramen was a better supplement for a meal than an effective main course. Instant noodles were always associated with an urban worker robbed of time, money, and physical (or mental) health. But that didn’t stop anyone from buying it and pouring the boiling water into the cup, because you have to keep the gears grinding somehow.
I had begun to fantasize about Ramen. I had reached the reasonable limits of glorifying my flash-fried noodle block. I wanted the real thing. I salivated over the thoughts of bowls of authentic tonkotsu– pork broth with beef and onion and salt and egg and real, hand-cut noodles. I scoured the web for restaurants and noodle houses in the Houston area. I hunted for recipes and ingredients. It became an obsession. I broadened my horizons and honed my skills in other food groups as well. I perfected my omelets, explored baking, and started preparing intricate sandwiches and experimenting with ribs and roasts. I made a half-hearted attempt to get the grill in the backyard to function(, but alas, my motivation did not extend to building outdoor IKEA furniture). Of course, the prevalence of a certain virus limited my culinary exploration to the confines of my own home.
Despite all my best attempts, a bowl of tonkotsu remained distant. I settled for the crude imitation I had grown familiar with, along with the growing lineup of traditional American meals I was far from mastering. As my life grew increasingly complicated, cooking took a back seat, as did most of my other interests. For the rest of my sophomore year in high school, food returned to its status as a need to be fulfilled in between a daily grind. I moved once more, to another home in Houston, and in the shadow of that shift, I entered a very dark period of my life. It was a return to the days of miserable cup ramen at a lonely desk, deadlines, and projects littering my thoughts like a cluttered bedroom, spiraling downward into my pit of despair, until the Winter Break of my junior year.
Today, ramen is primarily consumed by the masses in cup form. People eat it when necessary, but few enjoy it. Considering its 200-year-long history, accepting this as ramen's final form is... dissatisfying. To have something be so universally enjoyed while in a gilded state doesn’t sit well. I grew to enjoy the ease of instant ramen. Its cheapness made cup noodles an ever-present food in my diet, but I had become far more interested in enjoying the food I ate, both in the process of eating it and preparing it. I appreciated the efforts of a cook, far more than the pump of a machine or the hum of a truck. I wanted to understand the journey that brought ramen to its current state, the road it had traveled. I wanted to understand what made it so comforting to the Chinese workers in Yokoma, and appealing to the commuters of Japan, all those years ago.
Ramen had first been a stranger in a foreign land. Unwelcome and out of place amongst the rice and soba of the era, it had sheltered itself among the poor and marginalized immigrants, searching for a reminder of home. Once a crude imitation of a long-forgotten delicacy, history would show mercy upon the noodles. Mobile sellers and individual cooks would descend upon the hungry Japanese populace, and ramen could seat itself firmly within the culture of a people in a dark time of domination, of recession. Finally, it had been stripped of its ability to provide for the individual. It became a mass-produced, styrofoam-encased, microwave-heated incarnation of not having the time to enjoy your food. Instant noodles could branch out across the modern world, but their roots were not forgotten.
I flew in a plane, by myself, as an adult last Christmas. It was not as scary as I thought it would be. I made my connection just fine and enjoyed a good book. I arrived in Hartford four days before Christmas, and spent the next three days with my older sister in New Haven, admiring the colossus that is the Yale campus, a collection of Cathedrals with a city growing into its shade like flowers beneath a tree. It shook me, to walk the cold streets in what felt like the dead of night, struggling to keep pace with my sister, anxiously watching for cars, and keeping my footing on sloping sidewalks. But this environment had a charm to it. Regardless, my sister knew me well and considered what I would care about most in New Haven. On the first day, she gave me a tour of the campus and cooked salmon for dinner. On the second day, she took me to eat at a wonderful Indian restaurant. We watched a movie afterward. We talked about her thesis, (which just so happened to pertain to the history of food from a much different context,) and her time at college, and I enjoyed her sense of humor and taste in food. On the final night of my stay, she took me to another restaurant. A noodle house.
Cup ramen, despite the impression I may have aggressively pushed upon you, is not just the food of the lowly modern desk jockey. It is also a core part of the college experience, as broke academics on their final legs often rely on fifty-cent meals. That was not the case for my sister, however, who has worked hard and often, and has a fantastic opportunity at Yale. Still, ramen had earned itself a place amongst college students, and that interest had generated a demand for the occasional bowl of authentic tonkotsu. Thus, a noodle house like Mecha Bar was packed on a Friday night. I found myself at the end of the line, there in Mecha, having progressed my entire life struggling to appreciate the food that I ate most often. I ordered a bowl of traditional tonkotsu, as the chef recommended, and soaked in the atmosphere. I was overcome with a strange sense of victory and excitement, but my view from the peak of whatever mountain I had climbed revealed something unexpected.
Across from me sat my sister, tears in her eyes. She had received what she believed to be a poor grade on a paper and was devastated. I was puzzled, having never placed much weight on the grades my teacher gave me at that point. So, as I waited for my soup, I pondered. I thought back upon the ramen that I mindlessly warmed on the days on which we had no other food to cook. I reflected on my aimless journey, drifting from pitiful attempt to pitiful attempt, in the hopes of restoring a mockery of a dish back into its original form. I would come to the conclusion that I had failed. It strikes me as fitting now, just as it did then. I lacked the passion and motivation that awarded my sister the position that brought the ramen to my table. I lacked the roots and stability that my peers enjoyed, never knowing where I would be living from one month to the next, never knowing if I would be able to afford to spice up my instant noodles. I had coasted my entire life passing as approachable, polite, and intelligent upon the surface. In truth, I was an apathetic cynic, effortlessly and ineffectively stumbling over the footsteps of my sister, of my classmates, and of my role models. I had grown out of place, in a world where I felt like I didn’t belong. In a time of crisis, I had been forcefully shoved into the role of a happy child, adapting to the environment I had been so temporarily planted in. I had rounded out my adolescence feeling cheap, sputtering across the finish line, only succeeding because I believed I would always just be “ok.” As my sister mourned her GPA, I attempted to enjoy the dish before me, the last remnant of a spiritual successor to a long-lost soup, venturing from the depths of necessity into the dark era of displacement and demand, and succumbing to the ease of the modern era, maintaining its quality only on the exception that someone was willing to seek it out and pay for it, but never being the norm.
There is something to be said about the journey I have made from Converse to Houston. There is more to be said about the journey a certain food has made from Yokohama to its styrofoam prison. There is much to be said about the cheapness of men like me compared to the outstanding quality of a tonkotsu soup, of the miserable visage of a humming microwave alongside my sister’s imposing dedication. But I don’t want to say those things. I want to instead wonder where ramen will go now, that it has occupied the dual role of a cultural delicacy and a common backbone for the rabble. I want to think of the ways in which that bowl of soup at Mecha was more akin to the bowls in Japan than the many I had prepared at home, despite the simplicity of the pork broth and wheat noodles in 1890. The similarities came from the love and care, not just in the individual bowl of soup. I had given my instant ramen oodles of attention. No, it’s the love and care put into the legacy of preservation, the tradition of survival, in spite of cultural oppression, in spite of an occupying foreign force, in spite of an exploitative underworld, in spite of a spinoff that took the world by storm for all the wrong reasons. Because even if the instant noodles were an imposter amongst heroes, without it I never would’ve found this tale of hope.
Just as ramen noodles have a rich history of transformations, I too have experienced a complex assortment of positions and identities in my life. I’ve changed dramatically. I expect both ramen noodles and myself to continue to change– not just to adapt to the environment, to survive, but to preserve what we once were. The humility of being in a strange, dark, poor land, and doing all you can to do your job as best you can, filling the stomachs and souls of the broken and beaten down. And beyond this story of hope for me, of the goal to transcend my boiling limitations, is a critique of the modern world. The way we people are flash-fried in a factory, pulled apart and slammed back together, crammed into a lonely, stuffy, cacophonous jail, spun under an oppressive bulb, ignored, used, and tossed away. Ramen has been robbed of its purpose, but maintains its duty as a cultural anchor across the world, and holds the potential to wrestle its original purpose back, at least for me.
I give ramen noodles a 4.4 out of 5.
submitted by HollowpointPen to creativewriting [link] [comments]


2023.03.28 00:39 darwinsaves The wifey came home to this dinner. Spaghetti Bolognese with grated parmesan, herb and garlic butter bread, salad with peppercorn ranch. Cottage cheese with chives.

The wifey came home to this dinner. Spaghetti Bolognese with grated parmesan, herb and garlic butter bread, salad with peppercorn ranch. Cottage cheese with chives. submitted by darwinsaves to shittyfoodporn [link] [comments]


2023.03.27 19:22 Olivesplace Chicken Pasta with Butter Pan Sauce

Chicken Pasta with Butter Pan Sauce
Ingredients
2 chicken breasts, sliced in half (lengthwise) and pounded out thinly
2 Tbs. dried Italian seasoning
2 Tbs. olive oil
4 Tbs. real butter
1 shallot, minced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup dry white wine
1 cup chicken stock
A handful of oregano, chopped
12 oz egg noodles
1 lemon *
Coarse salt and black pepper
Directions
Heat oil in a medium pan over medium high heat.
Sprinkle both sides of the chicken with a pinch of coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper. Evenly rub the Italian seasoning all over the chicken, then sear in the pan, covered, for five minutes per side. Remove from the pan and let rest on a plate.
Back in the pan with the browned bits, add 1 Tbs. of butter. Once melted and foaming, add the minced garlic and shallot. Sauté the aromatics for about 30 seconds, letting them get coated in the butter. Add 2 Tbs. white wine to the pan to deglaze.
Using a wooden spoon, sauté garlic and shallots for 30 seconds while scraping up the browned bits. Then add the rest of the wine and the chicken stock. Let the sauce simmer for five minutes, before adding the remaining 3 Tbs. of butter and the chopped oregano and a pinch of salt. Let it simmer another five minutes, allowing the sauce to bubble and reduce.
Bring a pot of salted water to a boil, and cook the egg noodles until they’re just al dente. Transfer the noodles to the pan sauce and let them finish cooking, absorbing the liquid.
Add cooked chicken back in the pan, and finish with lemon juice, fresh parmesan, parsley, and another tablespoon of butter, if you wish!
tips * optional
submitted by Olivesplace to Olivesplace [link] [comments]