Tag Archive: illinois


Dear Governor-Elect J.B. Pritzker,

You won a hard election, congratulations!

I want you to know that even though I voted for you, I did so with reservation. You are a businessman, just as our previous governor was. I have high expectations for you and I do expect you to be better than the last guy.

I was happy to see you put together a transition team quickly. I hope this means you are hitting the ground running. But there are a few things I want from you.

Do not, and I mean this, do not work your policy agenda through the budget. I understand that cuts need to be made and some taxes increased. But we also need to have good consistent budgets and consistent bureaucrats  for business people to work with. No one wants to work with a group in which no one knows what is happening.

That said, I know you have to make cuts. Please remember to not let down our neediest citizens. Those people who are medically fragile need to continue to have the care they need. Special need kids need therapies to get better, to learn how to make gains that will improve their standard of living, to be more than people ever expect.

I also know that you want to legalize pot. And there are many therapeutic reasons to do so. Pain relief would surpass that of opioides without the high rate of addiction. Unfortunately, pot is mixed with other drugs when sold on the street creating dangerous combinations. Do us all a favor when you legalize pot and make the same penalties for pot usage while in a motorized vehicle as we do for alcohol.

I know, crazy idea, right? But hear me out. We learned the hard way that taking liquor off the market made things bad. We learned that making liquor legal again caused a rise in drunk driving accidents and fatalities. Thanks to MADD, we learned how to legislate to decrease drunk driving fatalities by nearly 50%.

Do the same for pot. Tax the crap out of it like we do liquor and cigarettes. Allow medical marijuana facilities to operate so parents can get that oil that helps kids have fewer seizures, so people with chronic pain can have relief without opioides, so cancer patients can have an appetite during chemo.

I don’t doubt that there will be abuse. We have that now with alcohol. So emphasize treatment programs and support groups. Regulate those facilities for purity of product. Shut people down when they don’t live to code. Then use that tax money for crazy things like improving infrastructure, creating job training programs, and improving our schools beyond what money we get from the lottery.

I want you to succeed, to do great things for the state. I want our state to be a place people stay, despite the cold winters. But let me tell you this. If you play stupid games with policies, with budgets, with the betterment of the state, the citizens will hate you. Make sure you have this ‘being governor’ thing down or you will be kicked to the curb.

Just like the last rich ‘businessman’ guy.

Sincerely,

Karyn Bowman

Notes From Rumbly Cottage

 

No More Caramel Sauce

Do you ever find yourself getting irrationally angry about something that shouldn’t be a big deal?

I have and recently it has been about food. Let me preface that it is not about moms dealing with food allergies, even when it takes me out of my usual routines. I understand where they are coming from, that it is a life or death situation some days when a kid comes into contact with an allergen.

It is about this war on obesity. I understand the big deal about teaching people to eat right. I understand that the president’s wife wants us to move more and eat healthy, that kids need to learn that lesson as well.

But what gets me sick are these food nazis who decide we have to follow their rules. Therefore, McDonald’s Happy Meals now have both, french fries and apple slices, in them. What a waste. Little kids have space for only so much food and fries will be eaten first. Then the kid is going to say “I’m full” with the apple bag going straight to the garbage.

You want to know the worst part? Caramel is not handed out with the apple slices. This last week when the kids had a day off from school (teacher conferences), the husband made the trip for lunch. The kids received their apple slices and employees checked to see if there was any caramel packets hanging around.

Image from AmericanSweets.co.uk

You know what is going to happen. Mom is going to stop at the store, buy some caramel sauce and bring it home for the kids. The amount that will be poured out – especially by the kids – will be more than the small container we used to be able to get from McDonald’s. I am sure that is what those ‘nutritional’ experts were looking to happen.

Another thing that got me going about these food police idiots (hey, it is my blog and I get to put down people as I see fit) are the ones who have decided that they want to tax each ounce of sugared-added drinks sold in the state of Illinois. The radio interview I listened to really set me off when this woman would not answer a question about what brand of juice exactly might this tax refer. Then she talked about how diet and lite drinks would be excluded from this tax.

So drinks using artificial sugar are better for us than drinks with real sugar? And is she aware that apple juice has the same amount of sugar as most sodas?  This make me wonder if we should not just tax those bags of sugar they sell in the baking aisle. I mean, you can’t make unsweetened kool-aid without them and who wants to face their morning oatmeal without brown sugar.

But seriously, when is enough, quite simply, enough? When are we going to learn that we cannot – or perhaps should not – legislate food choices. It is one thing when we tax cigarettes and alcohol to the nth degree because the proof is undeniable that these two items are a direct link to death. The Marlboro Man and MADD have proven that.

There are many, many books out there telling those of us who diet that soda is liquid Satan. There are tons of articles telling us to eat our fruit, don’t drink our fruit. We have the First Lady planting a garden in the White House lawn, showing how to get your own fresh veggies in your back yard. There are the milk ads and the new dietary symbol and Dr. Oz telling us all of the good food options.

However, until a two liter soda costs much more than a 2-quart bottle of apple juice, people won’t care.  The cheap brand of soda in my store costs .79. The cheap apple juice costs $2.00. Bag of apples run between $2.99 (cheapest) to $4.99. Ore Ida frozen french fried potatoes stick around $3.19.

Price does matter but so do other factors. Such as those artificial sweeteners are not good for you either. Such as carbonation is not good on a daily basis. Such as it would be better to drink Snapple or Arizona teas any day rather than soda. That you cannot control everything that people in this world will eat or drink.

Food is such a basic visceral need. Why we eat what we eat has so many reasons behind it. Some foods are comforting, some foods bring back family memories. Some just taste good and we enjoy them. No one has an ice cream binge for the joy of it, that is always a way to chase away sadness.

Image by Clarita

When groups start to try to regulate consumption by taxation, you make people surly and angry. One of them might decide to follow you around to see what you eat and drink all day. I wonder what we would see…

Drinking a Glass of Wine

Product Thursday

When it comes to wine, I have a few hard and fast rules.

1. I do not drink anything that wants to fight with me or my food.

2. I do not drink anything that tastes like crap.

3. I do not drink anything that makes my rosecea light up like a stop light.

The last one made me draw a line in the sand and tell the husband I am no longer drinking red wine no matter how much he loves it. I have yet to find a red – merlot or pinot noir – that I enjoy drinking. I will do so occasionally with steak that is near perfection or has bleu cheese as a topper. But I want my wine and food matching to be nearly seemless, an enjoyable combination that does not make me regret my choice. I do not want to spend each swallow grimacing through the after taste.

Picture by Luis Rock 62

That is when I made the switch to white wines but not dry white wines. Chablis and chardonnay are not to my liking. Riesling and Muscato can be too sweet although they tend to pair up with cheese and crackers quite well. That leaves me with Pinot Grigio.

Luckily, I love this one. It is the right blend of fruity and dryness. Each brand can vary – some are more watery than others. But when you try something you like, you want to get more.

A few weeks ago the husband and I went to a dinner honoring people who were being inducted to our state’s outdoors hall of fame. We personally know two of the inductees and were happy to be there. There was a silent auction and a live action. We had a wonderful dinner and great conversation at our table.

The big surprise for me was a table that was set up with wine from a state winery. Pheasant Hollow Winery is located in Southern Illinois outside of the town of Whittington. It resides on the eastern shore of Rend Lake which is quite beautiful on its own.

When I tasted the Gun Creek White, I knew I had found the white I wanted to drink. It had a mellow taste that made my cheese cubes taste that much better. I noted hints of pear but according to the description there is also tones of apricot and pineapple. I even took the time to get the house pinot grigio to compare. Pheasant Hollow’s was soooo much better.

I drank this with my meal and was happy with the way the meal blended with the wine. There was never a sense that the drink was competing with the meal that had cheese and Italian herbs throughout.

Now if you want to buy some of this, you are going to have to do it the old-fashioned way and call the winery. The number can be found at the website. Their on-line store is still in the construction stage. Or you can go there in person. There are going to be a variety of events at the winery including mystery nights and a cajun festival in May.

Perhaps Pinot Grigio is not your favorite wine. Share below a brand and varietal that makes the top of your list.

Every Thursday I will review a product. If you have a suggestion or have a product you would like me to review, please send an e-mail to bowmankaryn@sbcglobal.net.