That Darn Fantasy Scone

English: They baked up into a wonderful tender...

English: They baked up into a wonderful tender and flaky scone! (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I finally found the scone that I had fantasized about last week,( see post ” Cranky Is As Cranky Does, I’m Hungry…”) in a Viennese Pattisserie, where I’ve been to once before. At that precious moment, I did not have any common sense. I mean after all, this was not a British Bakery.

They had delicious looking pastries, cakes, and bite size mini-desserts. Once they had a plate of samples out but we were not in luck this particular day.

I see scones and I literally squeal with joy. I asked the lovely woman who worked there what flavor the scones were (of course only the one with the baked sugar frosting) and she told me: apple. Done. I ordered it and for the rest of the evening I dreamed about having the scone to go along with my one large, white mug (out of my favorite, well-fitting mug, the right thickness for my lips) of very strong coffee in the morning.

Once out of the bakery, my husband, looked at me as if I were out of my mind. “You’re not eating that now?” he asked. I stared back at him (you know “THE LOOK” implying after 25 years of marriage don’t you know me by now?) Of course I wouldn’t eat it on the spot, I was “Saving It.” Yes, I am one of those people. It’s neither right or wrong, it’s a style. I would never say he was right or wrong (I am always right.)

Maybe it was too much anticipation but my first taste of the scone in the morning was so hard and barely “chewable”, I thought my jaw would pop out again. I tried to soften it up in the microwave which helped a little but frankly not that much.

The last time I had scones was in England with my parents when I was a child and that was the real deal, of course I remember the clotted cream, the afternoon tea, the scones and small sandwiches which were without the dreaded crusts and the fresh sweetness of the strawberry preserves.

Yes, leave it to me to associate place by food only. That’s my job (and passion.) I’m on the look out now for something “breakfasty” to either buy or make (easy only) that’s soft like a muffin but doesn’t have as many calories yet a TINY BIT firmer like a GOOD scone, raisins are a must. Vegetables are okay, but I don’t have a chopper thing, delicious factor desperately needed..Simple and easy, a must. My stomach thanks you.

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Mellow Yellow Monday – Honey/Baklava

A plate with one piece of baklava.

A plate with one piece of baklava. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Honey, from the Honey Bee Farm is so comforting.  It is eaten on toast with butter, it is swallowed with lemon to soothe a sore throat. It’s natural, it is  used instead of sugar, it reminds one of childhood and peace. Honey is a universal food, used in many countries all over the world. It is used to make sandwiches with peanut butter and bananas in the US or in Baklava, in sweet pastries from a number of countries all over the world esp. Greece and Turkey.  Honey is warm, liquid gold. It is so perfect when the nights are cold and you need comfort, honey, slowly swirled in a cup of chamomile tea.

Rebuilding Plan Bee, Hashoo Foundation, Gilgit...

Rebuilding Plan Bee, Hashoo Foundation, Gilgit, Pakistan, honey bee farming, mountain honey (Photo credit: Hashoo Foundation USA – Houston, TX)

Daytime Dreaming, Hell Yes, It’s Weird

Scones with butter, jam and clotted cream.

Scones with butter, jam and clotted cream. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’m supposed to write about oranges, sliced oranges in circles, thick peels attached and I’m not sure why. Also, sunshine hiding somewhere behind the thunderous rain clouds that have attacked us for days on end. You can’t see the sun, you don’t hear about it on the long-range, extended forecast but you have to believe it’s going to come back sometime. I don’t know when, I’ve stopped counting the days, the weeks, it will show up one day, probably when I stop waiting for it.

I see old-fashioned carriages, black with wide-spoked wheels driving crookedly on cobble stoned streets; maybe I lived here in a past life. This could be France. I see a friend, Delia, beside me laughing; I don’t know her but I guess we are experiencing the same thing together.  With Delia by my side I feel happy, we have always had adventures like this one, we have moved on and now we are in England. (in real life I think Delia is my friend Denise-before she got married.) I’m the one, of course, who is looking for a place for afternoon tea and scones with Devonshire cream. You can’t forget that creamy, sweet, delicious taste in any time period.

On some random, indoor, faded pink carpet there are small spots of dog poop stains (stains only, no poop.) Listen, I haven’t taken any drugs or smoked anything or am having any flashbacks or swallowed ANY alcoholic beverages. This is what is coming out of my weird, psychedelic mind. I don’t even know a Delia.

What does it mean? I have no idea. I just know that I’m supposed to write this gibberish down and I am doing that. Call it crazy, though the word scares me now, call it quirky, silliness, call it free-form writing. Call it what it is, commercials of junk in my mind, or artistic ramblings of a very tired woman. You never know, this could end up in a novel one day or a biography, in a junk pile, or a shredder. Who is to say?

Living in Other Countries

A 4 x 1 segment panorama of the Toledo Skyline...

Image via Wikipedia

Invite Us, Please.

If the opportunity presented itself to my husband and I we would definitely go. Where? England, Italy, Spain, The Netherlands….etc. we are really open. I always thought it would be wonderful to live in another country for a year. Maybe two….

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Worrying, Lamb Souvlaki And Pollyanna

Pollyanna (1960 film)

Image via Wikipedia

I’ve had way too many changes in my life in a short period of time and I feel unsettled. Anxiety attacks have crept up on me like the sting of bees approaching quickly, out of nowhere.  I feel anxious, on and off, and I am not too proud to admit it. A lot of people have feelings of anxiety, that’s why there’s medication and breathing, writing and music, and today, cleaning and keeping busy. Usually there are friends to talk to but my dear friend is in England having a great vacation and others don’t really make the effort or are just too busy with their own lives. My worry and I are together, we’re holding hands.

My mom has been sick and I am worried about her; her anxiety is fueling mine. My mother who was always seemed so strong and energetic seems  more vulnerable now, she’s had a horrible year and she’s scared, we both are. I’m “meeting worry half -way” as my old friend, ex-nun, lesbian and former boss used to say. That’s not doing anyone any good. I am scared for my mom and for me,  I think she is too.  My sister is usually the Pollyanna type in the family so I just wrote her and asked how she felt, maybe she can comfort me. I know she is not a worrier, and even though she is extremely positive about these sorts of medical situations I’m not sure it will rub off on me though I hope it does.

I have a wonderful husband, two great kids, a lovable, sweet dog; I have a home to live in and food on the table. So, why am I so unhappy? Better yet, why am I feeling so anxious lately?  I know I am worried about my mom but things have also been changing quickly.  My son graduated High School and is at his second home in Connecticut being a Counselor at his old sleep away camp. I’m told he’s very happy, we haven’t heard from him. I wonder if it will be the same way when he starts college in September but I am not ready to go there mentally yet.

When did fun flee from my life, like people racing out of the water at the mere hint of a shark sighting? What is happening? Last night was different and I was thrilled.  My husband and I went to an old, small, family -owned Greek restaurant, I ate Avgolemono soup (Greek chicken, rice and lemon soup) and pita bread, he ate lamb souvlaki, big, fat, french fries and a salad. Afterwards, we saw the new Woody Allen movie and ran into friends. Throughout the movie I did not worry, I was entertained and charmed by Midnight In Paris. Welcome back, Woody Allen.

Xanax is a prescription medicine that just takes the edge off of being worried, it doesn’t fix things, it smooths the sharp edges like green and blue sea glass. My feet ache, I think I have a broken bone in my left foot, it is hard to walk up stairs, it is hard to walk, it is hard to breathe. There is no way I can hobble around in the city, as planned, I will postpone it until after the X-ray next week and the results of my mother’s tests. More importantly,  I will  “talk” to my deceased father, sending messages and prayers into the dark sky like shiny, silver helium balloons. I hope you are right Pollyanna, I really, truly do.

The Joy Of A Lovely Cup Of Tea

It's Teatime!

Image by The Infatuated via Flickr

I’ve always been an avid coffee drinker, super Starbucks strength. I have a cup of strong coffee every morning, without fail, made the same exact way, with Fat Free Half and Half and one packet of Truvia. I’m hooked on coffee in the morning but only drink that one cup a day, which I am sure is equivalent to 3 cups of coffee if made by anyone else.

Why is that you can have a “good” cup of coffee but a “nice” cup of tea?  The only time I used to drink tea was when I had a stomach ache and then I would begrudgingly drag out the tea tin. Stomach ache = peppermint tea. A cold= Lipton tea with lemon juice and sugar or honey. That was it. I never enjoyed it, it was like a prescription for an illness or ache.

Just recently my son received a goody box from England filled with all types of delicious Cadbury chocolate and a small plastic bag with tea. He offered me the te so I decided to try it and made myself a cup. It was strong, earthy, bold. I didn’t use milk, or honey or sugar. I sipped it with delight. After that, I dove in the cupboard and reached all the way in to the back shelf to get the old container of tea which housed my own collection. I was pleased to find that I had an assortment of tea:  Lipton, Peppermint, Lemon, Orange Pekoe, Chai, Chamomile, Green and Black tea, Sleepytime tea and my new personal favorite, Jasmine tea. The scent alone of Jasmine tea is enough to ensure a great, big, smile of relaxation and a deep, soothing breath.

I find coffee drinking a sociable act but a cup of tea for me in the afternoon is quite solitary yet peaceful. It has become my new afternoon ritual. It gives me the opportunity to gather the day’s events together and gives me time to rethink and relax before  making dinner.

I still  use the one of the same mugs I use for coffee  but it doesn’t feel right. Tea requires a more dainty,  pretty cup. I need to buy one, a pristine, flowery tea-cup, perhaps one found in a thrift shop where I can imagine it was owned by a gracious older lady.  I drink tea differently too. While I happily slurp my morning cup of coffee, I sip tea, gently, lovingly and with more respect.

Now I have two things to look forward to each day, one in the morning when I am barely awake and one in the afternoon when I could use a break.  I sniff the scent of the tea container smelling rose, fruit,  nuttiness, a soothing peppermint. It can match my mood, it can comfort my soul.

In this world, that is scary and unpredictable, it’s comforting to have a new routine that gives me pleasure. We all need to make nice things happen for ourselves and appreciate them. I put my troubles aside, I sit down in a comfortable chair and I quietly sip my tea. It’s like sipping a little piece of meditation.

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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