Can't you just taste it? Doesn't it just make you miss summer right about now?
Can't you just taste it? Doesn't it just make you miss summer right about now?
I’m sitting in my bed, with my red dog Lexi lying across my lap, I’m watching her breathing as if she was a newborn. The day is thinking about turning to-night but it is not there yet. The sky is white with gray in the background, leafless trees sway softly in the sky.
My husband is in his office working on a project. My daughter is home from college, in her room, most probably watching a series on her laptop, her door, closed and I am smiling.
There is nothing extraordinary about this day and I love that. I took the dog in the car for a long ride. She loves to stick her head out and see the world, she smiles, people smile
ather, joyful. It doesn’t take much to make her happy.We headed to the bakery, I heard that they were making mini jelly doughnuts which I must buy and one big chocolate chip cookie for my daughter. We’ll be there again Sunday too for the big, puffy
huge ones and we will buy another jelly doughnut for our son. If there is one food that brings me back to a happy childhood memory it’s a jelly doughnut. My dad and I loved them and we would have them every New Year’s Eve. I’m just carrying on the tradition…and practicing early. He would be so proud.
My son will be arriving in a couple of days, I really don’t know when. I think Saturday but you never know with him. I like not knowing so the wait does not produce anxiety at all but rather a sweet, low excitement that i can look forward to when he arrives.
It feels like Thanksgiving was half a year ago but it was only a matter of weeks. Parents everywhere are enjoying having their children home. I feel for those parents who have lost their child, I could cry with their pain even imagining it.
We are blessed. Let’s all keep those families in our hearts and prayers.
I should be folding laundry, or washing the floors or organizing the presents that Santa’s helper gave to me to wrap. I’m doing none of that right now. I’m feeling happy as the day turns into early evening.
After many years I am reading again and I am thrilled. I don’t know why couldn’t read a book for so long, I always read. For years, though, I couldn’t read anything and now I can which is a great relief. That treat fills my soul full with hundreds and hundreds of candy canes kissing.
I refuse to focus on the bad news in the world, there will always be bad people and poor judgment and horror. Sometimes I get involved and feel the pain, today I am not focusing on it. While I probably can’t do it every day, I will try to remember this calmness.
My stomach grows for dinner, plain and simple leftovers, nothing fancy here, we don’t have the money to go out. Leftover pizza, salad, eggplant parmigiana, garlic cheese bread.How can you not look forward to THOSE leftovers. And of course, after dinner, my own small, roly poly jelly doughnut, its sugary film, sitting in my delicate fingers, turning it this way and that, taking that small first bite. Happiness is real, especially today. I wish all days could be so peaceful for me and for everyone else. I’m trying to remember what it feels like, I know it feels good.
I wrote an article last year about the show “The Taste” where one contestant, I believe her name was Jacquelyn, walked off the set during the show. It was FABULOUS. I mean it, it was utterly delicious, unexpected, and simply divine. She had been on Nigella Lawson’s team. (There’s a shocker!.)
There is something about the way Nigella Lawson acts
as a “Mentor” that drives me a little crazy and it is difficult to put into word but to sum it up…
she’s awful. Sometimes she micromanages and sometimes she’s aloof and always wants to blame the people on her team instead of taking any responsibility herself. She does not know how to mentor people or nurture (I think she’s an ice queen) and frankly I don’t think she can learn. There is something innate about this.You can’t teach some people certain social skills, if they don’t have them.
It’s like asking Ludow (Ludow Lefebvre) not to shout or scream. What an amusing thought. He would have to have a lobotomy and but would he want to? That is his style. Bless him and all of the people that choose him.. Of course he wouldn’t be able to do this, it’s part of who he is. I would basically cry or want to throw objects at his head if I was on his team but I would never BE on his team. If I had my choice (not that I can cook one thing at the level they cook) I would pick Marcus or Anthony.
Speaking of Anthony, is anyone else getting sick of the slobbering one contestant is doing over him. Ms. Flirty Flirt? Sure, he’s a handsome and a very talented guy but, honey, you are making yourself look like an utter fool. What, are you 8 years old? Did you just get over
Justin Bieber? All those double entendres,the camera panniing to see your “orgasmic” look, really woth it? Everyone seems to be making fun of you. Blech, it’s not even cute, it’s practically over the top. Have your crush sweetie, but don’t flaunt it, it makes you look like an ass.
Those shots of your team mates glancing over to you (rolling their eyes?) that’s for televesion and I am sure, they are judging you too. Of course, dreamy Tony encourages it, he is Anthony Bourdain, he can get away with it, he is a sexy star and a bad ass, he can do whatever he wants. He gets paid extremely well for looking hot.
You, Crush Girl are not and it seems that you are not giving women a good name. Please don’t carry on like this. You will be great on your own, leave your crush on Bourdain at home.
The last episode I watched, Nigella’s team was down to two people (two nervous looking young women, pray for them) and a couple of people left from other teams though I know Bourdain’s team was pretty solid.
This show is pure entertainment and that is wonderful. I also watch Top Chef and frankly I think they have gone over the top showing that poor bunny rabbit, skinned. I couldn’t watch it, my husband did and I screamed like a baby. It still makes me nauseous and sad.
Yes, I know I eat meat, thank you very much, and I accept that I am a hypocrite, so let’s get that over with right now. I don’t need speeches. There are certain animals I can’t eat: rabbits, goats, frogs, ducks and any innards.) I don’t eat a lot of meat at all but when the urge for a cheeseburger comes, I don’t deny it.
I am definitely sticking with The Taste, I love watching it with my husband. It’s not like I’m learning to cook, I”m not. But, it is the most entertaining cooking show on the air, for me.
You saw it coming, I know, I know. I think I did too.But I didn’t want to believe it. Oh, hush, there are things we don’t like to see about ourselves so give me a break. I believe I have a sugar overload headache now but please don’t make me feel worse than I already do. Have I learned a lesson? I think so. Will it change my eating habits? I’m sure going to try to change them, whether it will work or not I don’t yet know.
What? That is too tentative for you? Hey, Sorry, I’m trying. I’m NOT trying? Well for me I am. Admitting that you have a problem, isn’t that the first step?
Binging on sugary items is really not good for me, especially (only) at night after dinner. (Shush!) I had a wonderful rice pudding- crème brûlée dessert
that came with our dinner last night. It was INCLUDED in the price. The heavenly part of this rice pudding was that they carmelized the sugar on top so it had that marvelous crunchy crème brûlée topping of crunchy sugar. If it was up to me or my husband they could have doubled up on that part. Oh, I forgot, there was coconut in the rice pudding too, Mmmm.
Delicious. but that to us was like a pre-dessert (yes, “pre-D”.) When we came home we still needed a small scoop of ice cream ( I had frozen yogurt,
that should count for effort) and a few tiny pieces of leftover mini Halloween candy. They were as small as the word “small” typed and printed. Really. Not even WORTH mentioning.
I did feel that sugar headache rush so I didn’t stop eating I just switched. I needed something to balance the sugar. I ended up eating a small individual sized bag of pretzels, salt definitely being the antidote to sugar. I finished the pretzels with a box of cold Yoo-Hoo to drink (love that beverage) stayed up a while and then went to sleep.
I admit, I did go a little overboard with the sweet stuff, the sugar smack, so I will be aware to stop and not continue the sugar habit all night long. Will I give it up completely? Sad to say, I really don’t think so. If someone gave me hundreds of thousands of dollars I probably would but it wouldn’t be worth it to me otherwise. Besides, I can only imagine the headaches I would get.
However, I will decrease the amount of sugar I have starting…tonight. Maybe one day I will give up sugar entirely. (Stop laughing) Maybe I will have to because I will get diabetes (heaven forbid) which my mother has. It was always my father’s greatest fear and I understand it now, he liked sugary desserts as much as I do. My mom cheats a lot, she never orders dessert but orders an extra fork and digs in to all our desserts, she gets the best deal out of all of us! (Enjoy it, mom!)
I was born to a Viennese father and a German/French mother, it’s in my genes, I come by it honestly. That’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it. I’ll try to be better, better, yes, but I am not taking all the sugar out of my diet now. At least not yet. Not until I am forced by three medical doctors to do that. Does anyone understand? We gave up our home-made jelly doughnuts for the third time, it’s been three whole weeks. I think that is progress, great progress. They are our most favorite food. We miss them, we really do. Maybe next week?
Some people are pure chocolate lovers, some do half and half. Me? I’m a sunny vanilla fan. Yellow cake and frosting, sweetness lingering on my tongue with a glass of milk to wash it down. Heavenly.
It doesn’t have to be from a fancy bakery or take long, arduous hours to make. It could be a wonderful, store-bought Twinkie as a rare but very special treat:
I refuse to believe that in the next few days snow is in the forecast. Yes, I am in the ultimate denial stage. I’ve heard from multiple sources that the temperature is going to drop quickly and that the predicted heavy rain will fall and turn into snow. Yes, SNOW.
I am not going to believe it nor will I think about it. Instead I am going to live in my world of fantasy for a few minutes, at least, and dream or reminisce about something nice that happened in my past. Let’s see how long I last with this new coping technique…
I once went on a trip to visit my grandparents with my dad in Vienna, Austria. ( Remember we always had free airline tickets.) Do I remember the time I spent with my grandparents? Honestly, no.I remember that my Opa was grumpy but he did love me best and Oma made incredible, moist schnitzel, the best I’ve had in my entire life. Naturally, I remembered food. I also remembered the desserts that my dad and I shared. Both of us had the worst sweet addiction in the world.
I can’t remember what I had for dinner last night but I do remember desserts I have had when I was a teenager. On that trip to Vienna we had a red currant pie that when you took a bite the currants would explode in your mouth. I’ve looked, searching for something similar now for forty years. The other dessert we called “The Swan” filled with vanilla cream, a delicate white meringue, shaped into a swan, covered in aluminum to take home.
Many years later we would look at each other and just say..”remember the swan?” My father is long deceased but when I think of these moments that we shared together they make me feel close to him. I have not disappointed him in my pursuit of sweets. In fact, I have carried that trait on to my now grown-up children.
My daughter is a chocolate fan, definitely inherited from her dad’s side of the family. It’s chocolate, dark chocolate and nothing else. It could be ice cream or cake but it has to be chocolate, once in a while they will have coffee mixed in but that’s all.
Ah, but my son comes from my side of the family with the love of fruit, custard tarts, crème brûlée and all things vanilla. Sure, we won’t turn down a brownie but our main focus is definitely NOT on chocolate, just the opposite. We like pear tarts and apple crumbles, strawberry fruit tarts with vanilla custard, blueberry pies and for me, anything with coconut or lemon.
Dessert makes a sad day or a bad day happier. It doesn’t have to be big, and it doesn’t have to be a large serving but in our family it does indeed have to exist. My husband and I, since the kids are in college, have a new ritual in the evening: after dinner and cleaning up, working/writing for a while around 8:30 we start to watch television on our bed. Our dog, Lexi is always at our feet. A half hour goes by and instinctively we look at each other and smile.
We know by our stomachs, not a clock, that it is time for dessert. My husband goes down to the kitchen and prepares two small bowls of ice cream, frozen yogurt or a combination, maybe a cookie with it and a few M & M’s. I think we both get the same amount of pleasure from it, I am thrilled with the anticipation and he is thrilled that he is doing something so incredibly kind and I appreciate it. (Not to mention the fact that we are about to have “D” the nickname for dessert in our house.)
We continue watching our show, we eat our desserts slowly (well, I do) and that makes the world a little brighter. Compared to some people it’s not a big deal but for us it’s not only enough, it’s heavenly sweet.
In memory of my dad.
When our kids come home from college for a visit, suddenly our kitchen is bursting with the smell of my freshly baked banana bread with raisins and chocolate chips, soon afterwards dark chocolate brownies are left to cool waiting for me to slather on the thick, creamy dark chocolate frosting.
Their dad and I have both gone to the supermarket to stock up on their favorite foods, they could stay four weeks, even though they are only here for four days or is it one day? It doesn’t matter. We pack the leftovers so the kids can take them to share with their friends.
I stood in the freezer section getting frost bite while choosing six quarts of ice cream, all different flavors. We have Ben and Jerry’s Coffee, Coffee Buzz, Graeter’s Black Cherry Chip,
Black Raspberry Chip, and Chocolate, Chocolate Chip. We also have Mango Sorbet, Blood Orange Sorbet and Haagen Daas’ Pistachio ice cream (which to me, is a great disappointment, vanilla with a couple of shelled pistachio nuts in it. I won’t buy it again.) Any suggestions of another brand of pistachio ice cream?
We have rainbow cookies, molasses cookies.
amaretto cookies, and of course, Double Stuffed “Oreos.”(Thank you, Nabisco)
We don’t live like this all the time, believe me, we only stock up when our college kids come home to visit. Our daughter’s description of the ideal break is: “watching, (streaming episodes) of her favorite television shows on her computer and eating her home-cooked favorite foods and I quote.” Isn’t that what coming home is all about?”
My husband made a delicious eggplant parmegian/ parmesan, I made guacamole, and a tomato, mozzarella, olive oil, basil salad, we had
chips, pizza, huge salads, creative salads with lettuce and arugula, cranberries, goat cheese, string beans, grapes, and cucumbers (and anything else I found) with no meat (for our daughter “the vegetarian.”) Yes, she DOES get plenty of protein, she never liked meat and never ate it as a baby. I’m anticipating the questions that will follow…
BOTH of my grown-up children came home a day early as a surprise and I consider myself deeply blessed. I am truly grateful to be able to have one night together with my whole family, where we eat will be up to them, with our approval, and bound by price range and affordability.
Tonight, we will eat leftovers with no complaints and if there are complaints, that’s okay, the only other option is…no other option. I do regret how lenient we were with our children when they were small. I felt like a short order cook, a grilled cheese for one, spaghetti with meatballs for the other….the things you learn in hindsight.
We all make mistakes as parents but if that’s the worst mistake we made then I think we did pretty well. We have super nice, polite kind, kids, independent, loving, street smart and compassionate. What more could a mother and a father want? NOTHING.
Are they perfect? No. Are we? Heck no. Do we wish they would change certain things? Sometimes. No, I am NOT going to argue with you about this!! (you- know -who) I know that they wish the same for us. We’re a family, we all need to work together. Every single one of us needs to learn how to compromise and accept not always being right. Accepting someone’s difference is harder than deciding to disagree. Respect another person’s position without judgment. Try.
What would you rather be, a very old friend asked me thirty years ago, right or at peace?
My answer thirty years ago was” right,” I changed my answer in the years to come. The kids will learn that, in time. Or, they won’t. That is entirely up to them. It took me a long time to see it, peace wins for me now, every single time.
We all grow-up, we make mistakes, we fall down, we get up and we fall down again. Children, like adults, learn, from their mistakes. Let them make them.
When our kids went back to school a few days ago my husband and I went right back to eating very simple meals. Scrambled eggs with cheese and toast, pasta with meat sauce, home-made pea soup, chunky with carrots, ham, spices and a salad and french bread. A roasted chicken, rice and freshly cut vegetables with a yogurt dill sauce. After dinner, we often go upstairs, lie on our bed, watch our television set with a small (ok, medium) bowl of ice cream in our hands (with rainbow-colored sprinkles for me) to watch the Jimmy Fallon show from the night before. A simpler life, quieter, we accept what we have, what we can’t change and that’s okay. Love what you have today, understand and accept that you will see your children less, yesterday is gone and we don’t know what the future will bring.
Enjoy the moment. Be Thankful. Breat
Shhhh. Quiet. My fantasy is about to come true.
I’m lifting the triangular tip of my slice of pizza right up near my mouth, slowly. It’s always the anticipation that makes it so exciting. The savory smell of the tomato sauce and oregano, garlic,starts wafting in the air, that smell that draws you in, the one you’ve longed for. You breathe in the luxurious scent with one long breath, you moan with happiness and then, finally, you pick it up and feel the rough, grainy texture in your hands that you stroke with pleasure.
I lift up the heavily anticipated slice (or 2 or 3) of pizza, blow on it gently, I want warm pizza not too hot to burn me, a little spicy, adding extra garlic salt and I open my lips and taste that first amazing bite.
This is only the first slice of pizza of the two or more I will eat tonight, my husband and I have looked forward to this night for days. We only use one pizzeria in town even though there many other options. But, this one, is our favorite and we have tried every one of four or five places, sampling each, several times.
In the past we ordered a slice of Sicilian pizza and a regular slice for each of us of us but I’m not sure which direction we will go tonight. We’ve taken chances on the Sicilian slices before, sometimes it’s a bit too doughy and the ratio is wrong.
I know what you are thinking there is no such thing as too doughy yet when it comes to Sicilian pizza there needs to be a balance and sometimes from this place, the balance has been off. It depends on our mood, we are never disappointed with their regular slices, plain or mushroom, I have a feeling I know what we will do.
I lick my lips in anticipation. They also serve (sorry if this is a bummer for pizza enthusiasts) the most amazing salad, (stick with me here) with kinds of lettuce, craisins, goat cheese and slices of avocado .Believe me I am not a salad lover but this seems like it should be outlawed it is SO good. It comes with some sort of silky raspberry dressing and we are not counting calories here.
Hello? Rhia a tall young woman with beautiful red hair, trailing down her back, was taking a walk past fields of grass through the lush green forest when she stopped short in front of the most beautiful image she had ever seen. She gasped, just staring at this magical wagon, with different colors, different textures. She said “Hello? again.” It was odd, she was sure she could hear whispers and giggling but she didn’t see anyone around. She felt incredibly safe so she climbed up the steps and peered into the wagon.
Rhia was a quiet but very strong young woman, having lived on the streets and shelters before, but as soon as she got to the top step she suddenly she felt a rush of happiness and love enveloping her. She never felt this feeling before. She walked around the carriage noticing the brilliant colors and daring to touch the lovely, embroidered, velvet and cotton and silk fabrics. She listened closely the sounds that the bells made swinging in the air.
She KNEW she had to know more about this magical place, she couldn’t leave, she would not leave for anything in the world. Her life, in the past had always been disconnected, she loved no one, no one loved her. She had never known what happiness was but she was beginning to think that a miracle had happened.
Today was the first day she felt a thrill of excitement and joy, her life was, from one minute to the next, blooming in vivid colors. She was part of a tapestry of richness and the Earth, magic, starlight, sun, moon. Immediately, her dull, tough, cold past and all that she once knew disappeared. She couldn’t remember anything that had happened before this day, but she knew by the way her heart was warming up inside her, she had just arrived home.
Rhia had been a wanderer before this, a sad, lonely young teen with fiery red hair trailing down her back. She had been born to live with nature, and as soon a she entered the wagon, she met a beautiful, mystical woman who she felt an immediate connection with, her name was Mother Ash. Ash and Rhia had been searching for each other for so many years not that they knew it, until they met that day and then they knew they would never be apart, not for a single day.
Together, they lived in the magical wagon with animals as their extended family to keep them company, to give them a home, to feed each other to sing songs together at night, to wake up together in the glorious sunshine.
A wolf was their best friend, and a furry-red haired fox that they knew must have been one of Rhia’s younger siblings, their hair was so similar.
Two large dogs stayed with them to protect them and keep them warm and two goats named Larry and Lena provided milk and home-made honey-lavender ice cream. The bees that swarmed were friendly, offering honey and among the grass precious plants grew, sweet-smelling lavender, mint and chives, dill and there was a huge vegetable garden that could keep them eating happily for months. They had eggs and cheese and of course they had no meat, how could they eat their friends?
The wagon never moved, except in their imagination. They didn’t want to hurt horses by making them pull, horses were their friends. Finally, when Rhia and Ash had lived there for three weeks and three days, the faeries and gnomes, feeling satisfied, presented themselves to Rhia and Ash. They had to be sure that these were the right people and of course they were.
At night, you could hear music that the animals played together, the sweet sound of the faeries giggling around the circle that they made, music played by the owls in their trees, the birds tweeting their flutes and the squirrels banging softly on their drums.
Rhia and Ash lived there forever, with more and more animals joining them, the sky in the morning was sunny every day, the night ended softly, phasing out with a beautiful blend of colors, a gorgeous sunset, that all the friends sat together and waved to say good-night to the sun.
Click above link.
I’m not saying that I am the most conventional cook or baker, some would say I am very odd and quirky but I do enjoy my own recipes and remedies and basically that’s all that matters to me. I’m kidding!
I haven’t done a lot of cooking lately, but I made a lovely baked ziti dinner for an elderly man in our community who is sick and needed food and at the same time I taught my college kid how to make her own ziti in the process. You can’t get easier than baked ziti.It’s just a matter of balancing the cheese, sauce and noodles. Once I made it and it was like a grilled cheese sandwich, another time I made it and there was way too much sauce. That is why bread was invented, to dunk into the sauce. No problem here. I would have liked to have added chopped meat to make it more like a sloppy lasagna but my daughter is a vegetarian so that was a strict no-no.
My husband has cooked dinner lately, I try to appreciate it every single time he cooks. But, he has a habit of sneaking ingredients in that he KNOWS I don’t like. Perhaps he thinks, that like a 5-year-old, I won’t detect them. WRONG.
He told me he was making chicken burgers which I was looking forward to, he was working and I ate by myself. The chicken burgers looked…interesting three of them looked like they had a special sweet sauce on them, one was plain. I stuck my finger into one of the burgers with sauce and licked my finger, my mouth burned with fire. The heat of the diabolical sauce filled my mouth and I ran for a tall glass of water. I can tolerate spicy food but that was over the top .I guess I assumed (wrongly) it was sweet. We had peach salsa in the refrigerator and it was up in front so I assumed he used that but it didn’t make sense, I love that stuff.
I then assumed that he must have made the plain one. I took that one over to the counter, seated myself comfortably, took my favorite beverage ( no not a glass of red wine or beer) a Yoo-Hoo and with my fork and knife and
eagerly took a large bite of my burger. Oh dear God, was it me or was my mouth burning ANEW? It wasn’t the old burn but a new source of heat. I contemplated very briefly if my husband was trying to kill me but I knew there had to be an easier way than this.
Since we live in the age of technology I texted him “What was in those burgers?” “So spicy I burned my mouth.” I got the usual male answer “Nothing special, a little salt and pepper.”There was no way that was all that was in those burgers I thought to myself. Really? I asked, are you sure, nothing else? There was a very long pause. “Oh yeah, I put some Worcester sauce in too.” BINGO!!! He snuck the ‘ol Worcester sauce in, knowing I’m not a fan.
SOME? It must have been a lot because even without the spicy salsa, it was like a flame thrower heating up the top of my mouth and throat. Not to mention he knows, to put it gently, I really don’t like (personal opinion only) Worcester sauce. I was too tired to make anything else and there really wasn’t much in the house to make so I knew I needed to remedy this situation in my own, very special way.
I opened the refrigerator and after surveying the items I took out two things. Mayonnaise and orange marmalade. Yes, you read that correctly. Thank goodness my friend Maureen was out-of-town, she still hates the fact that I put grape jelly on dry pizza. What? Oh that, if you get a pizza pie that is not cheesy enough or too dry I recommend grape jelly or jam. It works wonders. (Don’t judge)
Believe it or not, this combo of mayo and orange marmalade was a nice contrast to the burning meat. It knocked the dreaded Worcester sauce to the side and had a soothing effect.Next time, if this happens again, I might substitute plain yogurt for the mayonnaise but the jam stays for sure. Nice touch.
So next time, if you’ve over spiced your food, remember this, there are always techniques to make things less spicy. More spicy is easy. Just be creative and open-minded. Like me.