The Kindness Of Little Things

We read, all the time, about the kindness of strangers, about gratitude and blessings and I am for all of them and more. I did random acts of kindness even before people knew that expression. I started when my little boy was four years old, He is now 22, and has just been accepted into medical school, he still never wants to miss anything.

 

I took my little “farmer”

 

 

who always woke up at five am to a diner where we ate blueberry pancakes and drank tinny flavored orange juice. We noticed a very cranky, “mean looking” old woman sitting at the next table. He said she looked “mean.”  I explained to him “maybe she was just having a very bad day or was unhappy.” I asked him what we thought we should do, to cheer her up? We decided to pay her check and not tell her. We gave an extra twenty-dollar bill to the waitress

 

 

 

to pay for her bill and the next customer’s.

 

No way did we start this trend but I’m sure my son and I were way ahead of the crowd. Now, I decided to take another approach to kindness and gratitude.

I am appreciating those things I have or own that I take for granted. Like my pillow, not the saggy old one that is basically flat, but the newer one that has some bounce to it like the hop of a bunny on a lazy green lawn.

 

 

More importantly, I am thankful for my white comforter because it keeps me warm at night perched on top of three, sometimes four, other blankets. I get cold easily either from Fibromyalgia or Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis or a combination of maladies.

 

 

 

No, “she” is not a down-filled comforter, I tried that. I ordered a queen sized comforter from a very well-known and expensive store, put it into a duvet cover and within three days there were feathers flying everywhere both in and out of the duvet. About 2,000 flying feathers.

 

 

I started sneezing and I couldn’t stop. I have had down comforters before with no problem but THIS company/store was quite arrogant about the problem and turned me off so much I decided not to get a replacement for it. It was horrible, it looked like the down comforter had exploded. Not a good experience with THAT company! Be nicer to your clients please. I would have stayed with you if your service people had been kinder.

It doesn’t take much to make me happy, it could be a piece (or two) of milk chocolate or rainbow sprinkles on vanilla ice cream, it could be a new book or a gift card to Amazon. Most of all it could be an appreciative grin or the blink of an eye or my husband’s loud laughter when he thinks something I’ve said is silly and funny.

Appreciate all the small stuff, because you know what? It’s all small stuff and in the end, if you start noticing more and more of the good stuff? It will make your day-to-day life a lot happier.

Focus on the good and not on the bad. Hold the door for someone, smile at a stranger, always say “Thank you” and “You are welcome”, if someone was kind to you, thank them.  It really IS the little things that count. Life is scary, it’s unpredictable and it is short. Families can be stressful and hard and filled with tension BUT, they are still family. Appreciate the good people in your life. Get rid of the negative people who influence you.

We ALL need reminders once in a while, that’s okay. Just come back to it.

WISHING ALL OF MY FACEBOOK FRIENDS A HAPPY AND HEALTHY NEW YEAR.

 

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Food Fighters


Adam Richman, host of the new show Food Fighters on NBC has finally found himself a respectable job. Adam of Man vs Food show, the gluttonous, eating pig-out contest (see Man vs Food on my blog )

 

Man v. Food

Man v. Food (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

record-breaking, heart attack making show was in one word, disgusting. It was Adam, a lot heavier, breaking stupid records  for example if  someone had eaten  15 triple cheeseburgers in a row, Adam, of course, would have to top it and eat 16. Ugh. It was not a pretty sight.

 

Ninety-nine percent of the time, he took the title which is why his weight probably ballooned up, I guess the restaurant has to win once in a while. Apparently now a thinner, but nastier Adam is in a Twitter/Instagram (?) fight about remarks he made to some fans which were really distasteful, ugly and insensitive. Not smooth Adam, not good for Public Relations. Your manager is probably eating themselves up in cronuts right about now.

 

I love this show Food Fighters which puts together talented home chefs against professional chefs to cook a meal. Of course, if you are like me, you are always rooting for the home chef to win and to wipe the smug grins of the celebrity chefs right off their faces.

 

Tonight’s episode featured a home cook that really seemed to need the money and I was rooting for her. She beat every single professional chef that was on the show winning a total of $100,000. I had tears in my eyes when she won. She had come from a bad place, was unemployed and really needed a new start. I’m not positive but I thought she said she was living and cooking for her brother and family.  This win, gave her the opportunity to start over.

Aside from identifying too much with the contestant (which I did ) she was a woman you just wanted to cheer for. Her name was Elisha and the only thing I missed was a seat at the dinner table to taste her food and that of the celebrity chefs.

I LOVE THIS SHOW. I haven’t been this excited about a new show in a long time. Thank goodness for this, it’s the little things that make me happy, like the tiny sliver (okay big) slice of chocolate mousse cake

 

 

that I stole from my daughter’s birthday cake. Heaven. Moist, creamy, fudge-like icing, my husband was aghast with horror. “Since when have you walked over to the dark side?” What happened to Vanilla Girl?” he asked. I didn’t think it required an answer because basically I was eating the frosting and did not intend to distract myself with an answer.

As many of you know I tend to be VERY flexible when it comes to dessert. I like many different types of dessert and I will have a slice of cake over a scoop of ice cream any day. I eat ice cream, of course, but it has to be in warm weather, outside of Ben & Jerry’s, seated in their cow couch outside licking a cone with rainbow sprinkles. Rainbow sprinkles

 

 

make me incredibly happy. To me, they are what dreams are made of, my husband will only eat chocolate sprinkles or jimmies as they called them in Massachusetts.

It’s a particularly hard world out there now and very difficult for our family as well as many families that I know. We do what we can to cope with our situations but if an ice cream cone or a good cup of coffee, once in a while, makes you happy, I say, go for it. It might very well (no pun intended) perk you right up.

 

Just one blogger's thoughts. Allegedly.

Employment Application, 2013

So freaking delicious, from my favorite restau...

So freaking delicious, from my favorite restaurant Le Madeline 🙂 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Dear Hiring Manager:

Wanted: Full or Part-time Job involving food, writing or any combination of the two. Traveling with car service a must: ( I have NO sense of direction and that is an understatement)  It is NO joke. It is NOT covered by the ADA but  why isn’t it?  Mode of transportation:  Airlines: Private jet or first class preferable, business class necessary, economy, okay..if I must. Stand by: Been there, done that.

Interests: Food, Special Interest: Dessert, Food TV shows, Favorite all time dessert: Sacher Torte: Original or Fake, German or Austrian or American from Kew Gardens, Queens at the Homestead Gourmet with raspberry jam.I had it every year growing up for my birthday and I miss it. RIP Teddy.

Special Skills: Having traveled (for free) in my childhood I am extremely knowledgeable to rate hotels in addition to their restaurants and room service if you would like me to do that. I do not shy away from extra assignments, in fact, I just offered a very, informative link to the hotel industry. Can someone call ‘The Hilton’s’, please?

Proof of Expertise: Reading my blog, references, and restaurant owners in the area. I wrote a review of “The Flying Pig” for the local newspaper, it is not my fault they closed the restaurant, we still miss it, I assure you. Receipts upon request.

Good Points: Very amicable, charming, an excellent communicator, doesn’t like alcohol. Does not consider sorbet a dessert, perhaps as a palette cleanser and no weird flavors like octopus or lizard. Prefers cakes over pies, ice cream in addition to the cake never in lieu of the cake. Fresh fruit on request, ha ha ha ha ha. For a special occasion our family went out to a fancy restaurant and our daughter, the vegetarian, ordered blueberries and strawberries for $12 or $15 dollars and we said “no.” She was beyond furious even after I offered to make her some at home. Cookies: any time, all the time, but if you don’t want to make them, that’s fine, go to a bakery instead, Just sayin’…

Bad Points: I confess, favorite comfort food is still Kraft American cheese slices on soft bread (not Wonder bread. Anymore.) with light spreadable “butter and a chocolate related drink, this could include hot chocolate, Yoo-Hoo or chocolate egg creams. Diet Pepsi/Coke/Root Beer acceptable too. There are certain food items and beverages that go together well. Something salty would go with this dish, chips, pretzels, nothing special.

Additional Experience: Watching TV shows with my husband on our couch while eating our dessert not to be confused with Pre-D which immediately follows our meal but is a predecessor of the real “D” (which as you may have figured out is: Dessert. Ice Cream, pastry from French bakeries, even an occasional cupcake will do if we have nothing else. (Okay, maybe a Twinkie) and Baklava, yum, (another post on Baklava is also a blog post.)

Market Reach and Development: I need to be the first person or close enough to TRY NEW PRODUCTS, that is a natural field for me, I spy them on the shelves, I immediately buy them. Case in point: “*Candy Cotton Grapes.” I did not stop until I found them, it took 3 stores but I HAD TO HAVE THEM. I excel at wanting, finding and buying new products, my mother said I’ve been like that since I was 5, haven’t stopped. (see the entry “Cotton Candy Grapes” on my blog.

Cooking Skills: I make a mean chicken soup, I can roast a chicken with lemon and love, my baking skills are superb but limited to Banana Bread with the following options (plain, chocolate chip or chocolate chip and raisin) The latter being my son’s absolute favorite and the one thing he actually brags about (and hoards) from his friends.  I can also bake Pumpkin bread with or without raisins (without for my daughter who doesn’t like the texture of raisins and many other things) Oh, I knew I would forget something an award-winning Pea Soup. (Okay not a real award but it deserves one.) I learned how to make Chopped Chicken Liver when I was ten by a neighbor…

Excellent Writing Skills: To summarize the meals, service, attention to detail and I interact beautifully with all levels of  employees. Note:  I believe that you need to be kind to everyone and yes, it’s hard but at least try. Karma is karma, I’m not perfect, neither are you.

Overall summary: Delightful person with excellent communication skills and a love of food (junky or refined), enthusiastic, funny, silly, and a charming dinner companion. This applicant plays no games, she can’t wear high heels because they hurt her feet, although she would try fancier flats if necessary, she is willing to adapt. She has dancing green eyes and brown curly hair and only wears lipstick which her mother has bugged her about for the last two months. She is thinking about being dragged to one of those fancy stores like Nordstrom (which I used to call Nordstrom’s before my daughter corrected me for the 19th time ( with the ever so charming and obvious eye roll to the sky) for a make-over. Plus, I need new clothing too.

This candidate, I can assure you, will never, ever be late. She will always, unless there is a natural disaster, be early because she had/has  European parents and there WAS no other option. She is honest, she can keep secrets and is always reliable.

Take a chance. At the very least, bring her in for an interview.

Pretty please with rainbow sprinkles on top?

Yours truly,

Me.

PS: If you call my friend Maureen she will tell you that at times I do eat pizza with either grape or strawberry jam on top. I do not deny this one bit. In fact, I am proud of it.

I Love Ice Cream (Food Cop)

Thursday Night Dinner

Thursday Night Dinner (Photo credit: AxsDeny)

Last night I reached into our over-crowded freezer and pulled out a pint of Ben & Jerry’s” Phish Food.” It has everything I look for in an ice cream, chocolate (but not dark chocolate) a marshmallow swirl, a caramel swirl and chunks of dark chocolate fish. What more could you possibly want? It’s my go-to flavor for comfort although I have to say it was hard to resist that new coconut flavor they had in the summer. Oh my, I wonder how Phish Food would taste with some coconut in it? In my mind it reminds of a very old flavor that I used to love at Baskin Robbins when I was a kid “German Chocolate Cake” Ben and Jerry, how about it?

If I could choose any job at all I think I would be an ice cream flavor tester. (ARE YOU HIRING BY ANY CHANCE??) For the happiness quotient alone, it makes me smile just to think about it. I’ve forgiven Ben and Jerry for selling out to a big company, let’s face it, I would have done the very same thing. They are still involved, they have every right to enjoy their wealth and scoop what they sow. I love these two guys with a vision and a dream, these are two people I can say have made the world a better place. (And I’m not sucking up because I think I’ll get free ice cream, no one does that anymore.)  I truly like these dudes and I even visited their plant many years ago in Vermont, have a cow tee-shirt to prove it.

My husband likes “Coffee Coffee Buzz Buzz,” but for me coffee is to be sipped slowly in the morning, steaming hot but not eaten with a teaspoon. I have tried his and it has a nice smooth quality but it’s not in my top ten list. See, now that I am writing about their ice cream, I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that even having gained three pounds, I know we will be at their store tonight, waiting in line, asking for a free sample and then ordering. My genius son introduced me to the BEST way to order, because in our family, (except for my husband) rainbow sprinkles reign supreme. You order whatever size you want, with rainbow sprinkles and *THIS IS KEY* tell them that you want the cone in a cup! That way, they are not cheap with the sprinkles (guys: you should know this) as I can tell you they are when you just order a cone. Do you just LOVE THIS?    I know, I do too. Thanks, to my boy Tim for that idea. Everybody? “Thanks, Tim.”

I’m looking forward to dinner, it’s our daughter’s last night home before she leaves for college and she gets to select whatever she wants to eat. She has selected pizza and a cheese calzone with marinara sauce (YES!!!!!!!!) and I am really looking forward to that. Do you get the sense that we are a foodie family? We are.

GASP!!! There’s a PEEP in that photograph, another FAVORITE of mine, (but they have to be yellow marshmallow chicks) how fortunate was I to find a photo like THAT!!  I have written entire blog posts on Peeps. Check them out!

Okay, I’ve told you my favorite ice cream flavor. What’s yours? I’m licking my lips.

Photograph courtesy of the photographer, no rights owned.

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Chocolate or Vanilla? (Be Serious!)

09 Vanilla Soft Serve Ice Cream

Chocolate or Vanilla? NO, chocolate AND vanilla, in different forms. I’m an all vanilla girl with cakes, cupcakes, frosting and soft-serve ice cream. IF I had to pick one I would go with vanilla. Is there anything better than a soft-serve vanilla ice cream cone with rainbow sprinkles? No, there isn’t, it’s the best combination. Chocolate sprinkles are not even an option, ever. However, at night when the sweet tooth fairy invades my body and soul, I reach for the snack size chocolate candies that are left from Halloween: Almond Joy, 3 Musketeers, Nestle Crunch, M & M’s. I don’t expect that I will have to eliminate one from my world of eating but if I had to eliminate one I would pick chocolate. I’d be “Vanilla Girl” as I have been called in the past, but it would hurt. Deeply.

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