Most Romantic Thing Ever

Love, Young Love

copos de nieve / snowflake

His name was John and he was visiting from England. He had twinkling blue eyes and a slow, easy grin. He was absolutely gorgeous. I was in my mid-twenties and I was living in Boston;  I was in-between apartments and ended up staying at a local inn. One night there was a knock on my door, it was Barbara, the Manager of the Inn inviting me to dinner in her downstairs apartment. Barbara was an amazing cook and soon we became best friends. We ate huge, Italian meals by ourselves or with an expanded set of friends. We laughed, we partied; Barbara would sing for us with her rich and beautiful voice; we watched ice-skating together and ate fabulous home-cooked meals. During the day, after my work, Barbara and I clutched each other as we skated on the frozen sidewalks picking out French pastries for dessert. In a short time we all had become each others’ family.

One day she introduced me to a young man named John, from England, who was staying at the Inn. Barbara, kind of heart and spirit, always invited “orphans” for dinner. I met John and I didn’t like him, and he didn’t like me either. We fought and argued and disagreed about most everything. Apparently when the fighting was bad, Barbara asked our friend Steven (known as Stella to his close friends) if she should separate us at the dinner table. Apparently, Steven, sensing something, said “absolutely not.”

Honestly, I don’t know how, why or when the switch was flipped but soon John and I had quite a bit to talk about. We were laughing and smiling, hardly realizing there were other people in the room. When it was late and dark, John asked if he could walk me home and I said “yes.” Stella smiled smugly as we left holding hands.

We spent all our free time together, getting to know each other well in the upcoming weeks/months. On our first official date John arrived bringing a bottle of wine, flowers, a tiny stuffed bear and a T-shirt that he actually had made up for me. The T-shirt was beige with big red and black letters that read: LLBBF: 11:11 (initials for a nickname John invented and my favorite time in the world, 11:11pm.) Only Barbara, John and I knew what the nickname stood for. I had never been treated with such sweet kindness ever before.

Thirty years later I still have the tee-shirt, hidden deep in one of my closets. I haven’t thought of it in a long time but today it reminds me of a wonderful, warm and magical time in my life. Romance was blossoming, I was young and John and I walked, arms around each other, amid the glittery, sparkling snowflakes.

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Turkey Time

turkey sandwich from Thanksgiving leftovers

Image by kthread via Flickr

After Thanksgiving……Yummy!

We had Thanksgiving at our house this year so yes, I like turkey but when I am hosting Thanksgiving I find I am too busy to eat a lot.  After the guests left at around 7:30 I couldn’t wait to have my “real dinner.”  I had a mountain of turkey (c0ld), a little mayonnaise, cranberry sauce…..heavenly. Today, I am looking forward to it again, the chestnut, apple, raisin stuffing that my husband made, the leftover mashed potatoes, even the arugula salad. After Thanksgiving I love turkey leftovers and all the trimmings even more. A thick turkey sandwich with stuffing and cranberry sauce makes me drool in anticipation. No meal would be complete without dessert(s): chocolate cake with amazing fudge-like frosting, apple-pie with a super, rich flaky crust, iced poppy-seed buns, gingerbread and banana bread with chocolate chips and raisins, Florentine cookies…..and more. I can’t wait another minute!

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“Master Chef” and FOOD Shows

Gordon Ramsey

Image by jo-h via Flickr

Last night, after watching Master Chef on Hulu, I dreamt that I had sex with Gordon Ramsey (or was about to). Really, I don’t know why but he was all loving and tentative and whispering sweet things into my neck and not yelling at me at all. Let’s set the record straight, the Gordon Ramsey of Hell’s Kitchen would not be invited to my bed, lips, house, town, ever. Master Chef, Gordon Ramsey, was sweet and nurturing, tentative and very thoughtful. I was kind of disappointed when I woke up (no offense to my real life husband).

I have become more and more addicted to the Food shows on television. It started out just with the Food Network but I have branched out with Bravo, Discovery and The Cooking Channel or Food Channel, whatever it is called. I would like to star in Food 101, a show for us real people who have trouble making meatballs but we love to eat; except for odd things like goat and escargot and sushi, and rabbit.  I can still remember the time I tried a tiny piece of goat and gagged. I enjoy lobster in a restaurant but cannot kill one. The one time my husband bought lobster, I went upstairs. I refused to watch him drop the poor lobster in boiling water and I thought that if I didn’t see it I could eat it. Couldn’t do it, the kitchen smelled like the beach and I ate a cream cheese and jelly sandwich, quite happily,  upstairs in our bedroom, alone.

As many of you know, I have a love-hate relationship with Adam Richman host of Man vs. Food and some other show with Pig Out in the title. I would share a SMALL sandwich with him but he will not be in my dreams.  Top Chef, with  Padma Lakshmi and Tom Colicchio is another kind of fantasy. In this fantasy, I become Padma, I am Padma. I want to look like her, dress like her, basically I want to become her.

I am tired of cupcakes, I can’t stand the sight of another one so Cupcake Wars, which was a slight favorite at one point in my life is gone from my viewing schedule. All those 9,ooo pretty, silly cupcakes; I know I’m exaggerating but it’s getting annoying. The trend is really just about over, stop the cupcakes, turn off the oven, man up and eat a damn slice of cake or two.

The other show that I have turned people on to is Cake Boss. I want to BE a part of their family. No, seriously, I mean it. I love Buddy, his mother, his sisters, his wife, his guys in the kitchen, his bakery. Not only do I want to go there and buy one of everything but I would like to be invited to dinner every Sunday. Seriously. What a lovely man and a great family, sigh. I would NEVER fantasize about Buddy, because he would be like a brother to me, the brother I always wanted.

I was addicted to The Ace of Cakes but as much as I wanted to party at their place (because it always looks like a lot of fun at Duff’s bakery) I got bored with the introduction to the show, the cackling laugh, the same ‘ol, same ‘ol (just my opinion, ladies and gentlemen) and basically tired of the same, fantasy cakes: an airplane, a dog, baseball stadium, fire-crackers and way too much celebrity time. I think I really liked this show when it first started. Would I hang out with Duff and Mary Ellen? Anytime. Watch the show again? Not so much.

Some of you may be thinking that I watch too much television. You’re probably right although most are DVD’d. I spend a good amount of time in bed with a chronic illness so these shows, to me, are upbeat and entertaining, not to mention I love to eat. I’m a foodie, I am just not a great cook (okay, not even a good cook). I make a mean Banana Bread though, but make sure you don’t tell Bobby Flay.

Cheeseburger On The Lam (aka Dear Teenagers)

Dear Teenagers,

Today was such a stressful day from 6:30 am until 6pm that Dad and I wrote a note to you while you were still gone this afternoon and snuck out for a burger. Together. On our own.  An unexpected date night which we haven’t done for months. Nothing fancy either and with a 20% coupon in hand the stresses of our day seemed to melt like the cheese in the barely warm potato-leek soup that we shared.

We were all in foul moods: it’s that time,  you know that school is ALMOST over but there’s still a lot of stress, tests and finals etc. to get through first. We really do understand, truly, but both of you have been amping up your obnoxious quotient with your pre-camp attitudes and it’s being to wear really, really thin. Mostly, because it’s constant and in stereo, both of you, on, all the time. Supporting one another is great but we really are not the enemy.  We KNOW you can’t wait to get out of here to go to camp…..ever wonder what we think or how we feel or how that MAKES us feel?

Couple that with Dad and I being alone during the day 24/7 because of unemployment and you can hear the rumblings of claustrophobia, desperation, depression and anxiety. Not fun. With the economy the way it is, Dad has been home trying to find a job now for more than 8 months. Kids, we want you to have a good life, a happy life and you are both in High School, one a Junior, the other a Sophomore. College is hurtling itself towards us like a tsunami. We have given you both the parameters of what we can afford to pay, the rest is up to you. I wish we could do more but we can’t, that’s called reality. Times are hard, times have changed, times are actually really bad. We’re doing the very best we can.

I don’t know if you realize that you both are pushing the limits, testing boundaries and talking with utter disrespect (and yes, I do mean all the unnecessary curse words) that you both use with wild abandonment. Enough already.  We are “parents “and we are tired, really tired and we try to hide the stress from you as much as humanly possible but let’s face it at 16 and almost 18 you know that stress exists. Please try to deal with it the best way you know how.  Apparently, “parents”  are not allowed to experience stress or be tense and upset, this disturbs the teenage sensibility of “all me, all the time.” We’re sorry. Life does not work that way.

Call us lousy parents but we just needed, desperately needed a burger break. It lasted less than an hour and we didn’t even finish the crisp, salty, thin french fries between us. We did call you and ask if you wanted us to pick up ice cream for you from your favorite ice-cream store. We got one order for a cake batter milk shake for you, son, nothing for our daughter. Just being in the ice cream store and looking at new flavors and new chocolate with a twenty dollar bill made us happy. Don’t tell me food doesn’t help sometimes. Dad got coffee ice cream and I, the child-like one in the family also got cake batter ice cream with vanilla cake and chocolate Kit Kat candy added. How can you not be happy for us? An evening of American Idol and  possibly Glee, good times…

Soon you both will be away at camp for the entire summer and there is no doubt in mind that you will be considerably missed. Not a day will go by without me thinking of you and missing you. The great paradox of life, it will be too quiet when you are gone, but at least after the summer, we will be so bored with the silence and the silent hush that we will leap with great JOY and excitement for when you get back. We love you both very, very much. Don’t forget to write (yeah, right) and we can’t wait to see you on Visiting Day. Have a great time!!  Much love, Mom and Dad xoxo