Monday, April 15, 2019

Crock Pot Pork Tenderloin with Cranberry Sauce


I love pork loin and I found this recipe at Ashley Fehr's blog thereciperebel.com. It sounds mighty tasty and very easy! 

According to Ashley, "This Crock Pot Pork Tenderloin with Cranberry Sauce is an easy slow cooker meal or a fancy holiday dinner -- you decide! The BEST pork tenderloin recipe."  I'll take her word for it. I think I'll try it this week. Thank you, Ashley! 

Crock Pot Pork Tenderloin with Cranberry Sauce
Ingredients
  • 1 pork tenderloin (1-1.5lbs, trimmed -- see post above)
  • 1 1/2 cups whole berry cranberry sauce(1 348ml can)
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar (35g)
  • 1/3 cup low sodium chicken broth (75g)
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar (30g)
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch (10g)
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 pinch black pepper

Instructions

  • Place pork tenderloin in 2-4 quart crock pot, cutting in half lengthwise to fit flat if necessary.
  • In a large bowl or glass measuring cup, whisk together cranberry sauce, sugar, broth, vinegar, corn starch, garlic, salt and pepper. Pour over tenderloin in crock pot, lifting the pork to let the sauce seep underneath.
  • Cover and cook on high for 2 hours or low for 4 hours, or until it reaches an internal temperature of 150-165 degrees. Remove pork and place on a cutting board to rest for 3-5 minutes. 
  • If desired, add an additional tablespoon of corn starch mixed with a tablespoon of water to thicken remaining juices. 
  • Slice and serve with sauce.

Are you a fan of pork loin? Thanks for visiting and have a great week!

Monday, April 8, 2019

Writing Tips From 24

I just discovered that the television program 24 is available on Amazon Prime. I loved that show and just might be tempted to do a little binge watching since it's been off the air for a while and I can't remember all the story lines.

During its original eight seasons, I picked up quite a few tips on compelling story telling.

The cliffhanger hooks were always exciting, leaving unanswered questions, the foreshadowing of an attack, or a love dilemma.  If you've ever had trouble formulating a hook to close a chapter, 24 just might inspire you!

As writers, in any story we look for goal, motivation and conflict.  In 24, the main GMC was as follows:

Goal: To keep the country safe from terrorism

Motivation: The safety of the American people 

Conflict: The terrorists want to terrorize, the federal agents want to stop them

But look for the GMC in the characters, as well:  
  • Who has to work with whom, and why is this a problem? 
  • Who has something to prove and why?  
  • Who has lost something significant and how does this affect his/her job performance?  
  • What is the conflict within the terrorist organization that will keep it from performing effectively?  
  • What conflict keeps the government in pursuit of the wrong lead? 
  • How detrimental will a past love be to a high ranking government official?
You can't have a good story without conflict, and 24 delivers! Were you a fan of 24? Also, do you have a favorite television show that's inspired your writing technique?

Thanks for visiting and have a great week!     

Monday, April 1, 2019

Hidden History: The Other Internment Camps

I just read Lisa See's wonderful novel China Dolls, and part of the story takes place in a Japanese internment camp. It brought to mind this story that I posted back in 2013.

I think everyone is familiar with the disgraceful legacy of internment camps for Americans of Japanese descent during World War II.  However, if you're like me, you probably didn't know that internment camps existed for German and Italian Americans, as well.  

Family of Ludwig Eberhardt. Eberhardt was interred at Camp Kenedy in Texas

The World War II experience of thousands of German Americans, to most,  is an unknown.  During World War II, the U.S. government and many Americans viewed German Americans and others of "enemy ancestry" as potentially dangerous, particularly immigrants.  The government used many interrelated, constitutionally questionable methods to control persons of German ancestry, including internment, individual and group exclusion from military zones, internee exchanges, deportation, repatriation, "alien enemy" registration, travel restrictions and property confiscation.
 The human cost of these civil liberties violations was high.  Families were disrupted, if not destroyed, reputations ruined, homes and belongings lost.  By the end of the war, 11,000 persons of German ancestry, including many American-born children, were interned. 
 Pressured by the United States, Latin American governments collectively arrested at least 4,050 German Latin Americans.  Most were shipped in dark boat holds to the United States and interned.  At least 2,000 Germans, German Americans and Latin American internees were later exchanged for Americans and Latin Americans held by the Third Reich in Germany.
Apparently, this is one of those historical facts shrouded in secrecy.  To learn more, as well as read personal stories,  visit The Freedom of Information Times.

Is this a part of history you're familiar with?  If so, how did you learn about it?

Thanks for visiting and have a great week!

Originally posted 5/27/13

Monday, March 25, 2019

Ira Aldridge

Not long ago, I learned about a black Shakespearean actor named Ira Aldrige who lived back in the 1800's. His life was news to me! Here's more about him from Wikipedia:
Ira Aldridge was born in New York City to Reverend Daniel and Luranah Aldridge on July 24, 1807. At age 13, Aldridge went to the African Free School in New York City, established by the New York Manumission Society for the children of free black people and slaves. They were given a classical education, with the study of 
His early exposure to theater included viewing plays from the high balcony of the Park Theatre, New York's leading theater of the time, and seeing productions of Shakespeare's plays at the African Grove Theatre.
Aldridge's first professional acting experience was in the early 1820s with the African Company. In 1821, the group built the African Grove Theatre, the first resident African-American theatre in the United States.
Aldridge made his acting debut as Rolla, a Peruvian character in Richard Brinsley Sheridan's Pizarro. He may have also played the male lead in Romeo and Juliet, as reported later in an 1860 memoir by his schoolfellow, Dr. James McCune Smith.
Confronted with the persistent discrimination which black actors had to endure in the United States, Aldridge emigrated to Liverpool, England, in 1824 with actor James Wallack. During this time the Industrial Revolution had begun, bringing about radical economic change that helped expand the development of theatres. The British Parliament had already outlawed the slave trade and was moving toward abolishing slavery in the British colonies, which increased the prospect of black actors being able to perform.

Ira Aldridge as Mungo in The Padlock
Having limited onstage experience and lacking name recognition, Aldridge concocted a story of his African lineage, claiming to have descended from the Fulani princely line. By 1831 he had taken the name of Keene, a homonym for the then popular British actor, Edmund Kean. Aldridge observed a common theatrical practice of assuming an identical or similar nomenclature to that of a celebrity in order to garner attention.
On October 10, 1825, Aldridge made his European debut at London's Royal Coburg Theatre, the first African-American actor to establish himself professionally in a foreign country. He played the lead role of Oroonoko in The Revolt of Surinam.
An innovation Aldridge introduced early in his career was a direct address to the audience on the closing night of his engagement at a given theatre. Especially in the years leading up to the emancipation of all slaves in the British colonies in 1832, he would speak of the injustice of slavery and the passionate desire for freedom of those held in bondage.
To read more, click here.
Had you ever heard of Ira Aldridge? Thanks for visiting and have a great week!

Originally posted 2/20/17

Monday, March 18, 2019

The History of Private Investigators

I've always been fascinated by the world of private eyes, but I didn't know anything about the history of the profession. Take a look at this article from North American Investigations at pvteyes.com: 

It should come as no surprise that the history of private investigation is an intriguing and colorful tale that dates all the way back to ancient Sumerian and Egyptian civilizations.

The first mention of espionage is even recorded in the Old Testament of the Bible in the Book of Numbers, when God told Moses to send some men to spy on Canaan. These twelve spies were the leaders of their respective ancestral tribes and were sent ahead by Moses to explore Canaan during the Jews’ long trek from Egypt to the Promised Land.

The Birth of the Private Investigation Agency

As a craft, private investigation has existed for thousands of years, for as long as people have required it. The first known private detective agency, however, was founded in 1833 by a man named Eugène François Vidocq, a French soldier, privateer, and criminal. Le bureau des renseignments, or the Office of Intelligence as it was called, was staffed by men of similarly patchy backgrounds with law enforcement. Most of these men were ex-convicts and, as a result, official law enforcement attempted to shut the operation down several times,

In 1842, Vidocq was arrested on charges of unlawful imprisonment and for accepting money under false pretenses after solving an embezzlement case. He suspected a set-up but was still sentenced to 5 years imprisonment and a 3,000 franc fine. The Court of Appeals later released him.

Vidocq was the one who introduced record-keeping, criminology, and ballistics to the field of criminal investigation. He pioneered the practice of creating plaster casts of shoe prints and is also the inventor of indelible ink and unalterable bond paper.

To this day, some aspects of his method of anthropometrics – the study of the human body and its movement – is still in use by seasoned private investigators and the French police. He was also a known philanthropist who claimed to never have informed on anyone who had stolen due to a great need.
Evolution of Private Investigators

The private investigation industry came into existence as a response to a specific need: in the olden days, clients went to private investigators with the expectation that they would do work and act as the police in matters where traditional and official law enforcement were ill-equipped or simply unwilling to do.

They were mostly employed by wealthy owners who effectively utilized and deployed them to resolve labor disputes. Their primary function was to control workers and keep the peace, especially those who had been inspired by the French Revolution. They also did mercenary work, as well as acted as private security.
Private Eyes in the United States

Meanwhile, in the United States, a man named Allan Pinkerton was making a name for himself as a criminal detective. After informing on a band of counterfeiters to the local sheriff of his town, he was appointed in 1849 as the first police detective in Chicago, Cook County, Illinois.

A year after that, he partnered with a Chicago lawyer named Edward Rucker and formed the Pinkerton National Detective Agency, a company that continues to exist today under the name Pinkerton Consulting and Investigations. It is believed that the term “private eye” originated from Pinkerton’s choice of business insignia: a wide open eye with the caption “We never sleep”.

During the Civil War, Pinkerton became the head of the Union Intelligence Service – the predecessor of the United States Secret Service – and managed to successfully foil an assassination plot targeting Abraham Lincoln. He and his men often took on undercover jobs posing as members of the Confederate army and sympathizers in order to acquire military intelligence.

Today, private investigators fulfill an important role in society. Their services have become invaluable in everything from assisting crime investigations to finding missing persons. With the continuing advancement of technology, private investigation services are continually evolving to serve the public much better ways than ever.

That's your trivia for the day! Did you learn something new? Thanks for visiting an d have a great week!