Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Scams and the Ultimate Compliment

I had a really nice entry written, which I lost, when I attempted to do something else. Okay, so maybe that isn't a bad thing. I will write about something else instead, and then go back to what I was doing.

1. I received a check in the mail today, and a letter saying that Bill had won $125,000 in a contest. He said he hadn't entered any contest. The address of the company was located in Toronto. Up front, they were providing us with a check to cover US taxes for $3,875. Before cashing the check, I should use Western Union to pay taxes in the amount of $2,875.

Can you hear alarm bells going off? I sure can. I called both the Illinois States' Attorney and the bank where the check was issued from in Michigan. Their reactions were the same as mine. I also looked up the company in the Yellow Pages. Nothing. When I called the place, a man with an Eastern Indian or Pakistani accent asked me if I called to insult him or to activate my prize winnings. Well, I guess I was fairly nasty.

Just the thought that someone would try to pull something like that pisses me off. What gets me is that scams like this are targeted at people who can least afford to be scammed. So beware. And be safe.

2. Now, the other things I wrote about is that we had a Super Bowl party, and I'm fairly proud of myself. Becki and I spent most of Saturday cooking. I made bar-b-q meatballs and chicken wings, and a whole bunch of sides, including open face sandwiches. Anyway, I took the meatballs from the oven and stored them in my crockpot over night. I mixed sauce and poured it over the meatballs. Sunday, a couple of hours prior to everyone coming, I plugged in the crockpot.

I spent most of the day in my bedroom, just because of the crowd. There were only about 20 of my kids' friends. In this tiny house, it is enough to fill it. When the second quarter began, I started heating food and broiling open face cheese sandwiches and garlic bread. We had everything out on the tables prior to half time.

Luis told me he tried the meatballs and couldn't wait to get back to them. Ed's friend, Ed D., got in line first, and he helped himself to about six meatballs. Matt got in line after him and helped himself to quite a few. I made sure that Bill got at least two and I took one.

Bill complained. "What did you do? Why are they so hot? What did you put in them to make them so hot?" Well, red pepper flakes for one, although it wasn't that much. My Ed told me to ignore him, that he liked them.

Anyway, I returned to the bedroom. There were so many kids that in order to get into the living room, one had to climb over bodies. There were kids sitting on the floor in the hall and a bunch watching the TV in the kitchen. It was crowded!

After it was all over, I asked my Ed how the food was. Bill continued to complain. Again, Ed said, "Don't listen to him."

"Did everyone like the food? What about the meatballs?"

"Everything is gone," Ed said. "The meatballs went first. There was leftover garlic bread. People used that to wipe the sauce out of the bottom of the crockpot." The chicken and the bread went, too. We have left over salads. Matt and Yellow brought a crockpot full of venison chili. I took a bowl of that and forgot about it. I was looking forward to it because I haven't had venison in years. They also brought dips and some deserts. Their stuff went quickly as well.

Anyway, I'm very pleased about the meatballs. There wasn't much sauce left in the crockpot when I did the dishes, so I guess everything went well. So here is the recipe:

Bar-b-q Meatballs:
3 lbs lean ground beef
minced onions to taste
6 eggs
1 cup of milk
1/2 cannister of bread crumbs
Parmessain cheese (about 1/2 the total amount of bread crumbs)
3 cloves of garlic
salt, pepper, red pepper flakes and parsley to taste.
Mix it all up. Where I'm not so big on measuring, I should point out that the texture should be about the same consistency as meatloaf. I sprayed an aluminum pan, and arranged meatballs on a single layer. I baked them at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. I placed them into the bowl of my crockpot immediately, sauced them,and stored them over night. The next day I heated the them in my crockpot, beginning about an hour before people were expected to arrive.

1 large bottle of Sweet Baby Ray's bar-b-q sauce
1 cup ketchup
1/2 cup brown sugar
Mix and pour on meatballs. Heat and serve.

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