“The Taste”

Anthony Bourdain being interviewed in the WNYC...

Anthony Bourdain being interviewed in the WNYC radio studio 2006-06-21. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“The Taste”  is a show where contestants cook their signature dish down to a taste (a spoon) to compete for a spot on the show. Then each of the four chefs: Anthony Bourdain, Nigella Lawson, Ludo Lefebvre and Marcus Samuelsson taste the ” spoons”with blindfolds on not knowing who cooked them. I like this a lot.

The whole premise is that to get on the show all you need to do, whether home chef or professional is cook an amazing bite of food. You can be 85 or 18,  any race, ethnic background, size, color of hair, wearing pajamas, or standing on your head, it doesn’t matter. It’s like “The Voice” except they are not singing, they are cooking. No rating on anything but talent, as it should be.

Last week, a contestant named Audrey,(aka “the whining blogger in our house) used the word “fans” so many times that the other contestants were mocking her. I was surprised that the other contestants didn’t throw eggs at her (sorry, Justin Bieber, didn’t want to steal your thunder) or maybe in her case, egg whites? Apparently in her blog she makes fattening recipes healthier. Good for you, Audrey, way to go. Now, shut up. Please.

Anthony Bourdain, for me, is the real deal and star of the show, (and yes, he knows it.) He deserves to know it, he owns this show.He is the dominant food dude. He is the bad boy, been around town, charming, smart and who can resist him when he is smiling and there’s a twinkle in his eye? But, contestants, LISTEN TO HIM. He is  incredibly smart and he knows his stuff. If the man specifically says HE HATES TRUFFLE OIL, do not USE truffle oil. Simple, right? You would think. One member of his group either forgot (or decided he wouldn’t notice ) used truffle oil. What were you thinking? AS IF he wouldn’t notice? Don’t be stupid and don’t cross him.

Nigella Lawson, you’ve already lost two on your team and frankly you were seconds away from losing another person the other night. Nigella, you’re scaring me. You need to be more assertive and you are giving female chefs a bad name. We see you running around, doubting yourself and everyone else.  Don’t let a contestant make eggs and bacon if that’s not what you think will win. Can’t you give some suggestions for the sweet element? You are not going to make it, again, if you don’t step up. Now.

Marcus Samuelsson seems nice but he is quiet and understated, I can’t honestly describe him or get a feeling for him, so I’m not judging. He’s no Ludow or Bourdain so he doesn’t have a strong personality.  I’m sure he is a very fine chef but I just don’t know too much about him. The only thing that stood out was that one contestant was clearly confused about the challenge all the way to the end and she should have gotten demerits, at least. He didn’t confront that at all.

Ah, Ludow, Ludow Lefebvre, we know you are French. You keep reminding us. Say no more. Sure you are conceited and competitive but look who has won so far. You shout like a maniac, you micro manage but let’s face it you win. Who can argue with a person that has won the last two times in a row. It’s not my style but apparently it has worked. Good for you Ludow and your arrogant attitude, you deserve yourself. So far, you are in the lead.

It’s a fun show to watch if you like (love) food. Check out the dynamics that go on but more importantly check out the food and the combinations. More importantly, make sure you have a big plate of snacks ready for when you are finished watching the show, my husband and I are starving when this show ends.

Be forewarned.

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Haiku Heights: Clap

Conference clapping

Conference clapping (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Tiny pink dancer

toes point, eyelids flutter, joy

clap, people, my girl

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Clappety Clap Clap

Goes the Jamaican Rhythm

Smile, dance, laugh. Our way.

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Seeking Paradise OR Grieving Does Not Have A Time Schedule

Vegetables in a grocery store, Paris, France.

Vegetables in a grocery store, Paris, France. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’m lying in my bed, still in my pajamas, it’s almost three o’clock in the afternoon. My husband and I had planned to go out to dinner tonight but there is no way in hell I’m going. He thinks I will change my mind. He tries guilt “but I’ m going to be disappointed….” Apparently he doesn’t know me as well as he thinks he does. I do not like to go out when I  feel blue.  I will not step out of my house today unless there is a fire, even then, I would find a cozy corner for me and my red dog that seemed safe enough. I would protect her.

Sometimes I get delayed reactions to things, things that I THOUGHT I had handed well, or maybe this is just a blip in the radar. I used all the right buzz words, “when one door closes another opens” I was practically playing Mother Abbess role singing out loud to “Climb Every Mountain” from “The Sound of Music.” Not now. I’m stuck in mud, not the kind that you can joyfully wade through and play in but the one you feel where you feel trapped in cement and cannot move. Yes, it will change eventually, Patience is not one of my virtues.

This is too familiar we’ve gone through this before. My husband got laid off from his job, I know it’s not his fault, the state of the economy is horrific. His age, doesn’t help, I’m quite sure. He is probably competing with 22-year-old youngsters, bright and bushy-tailed. that will accept less money. It’s those of us who are in-between that suffer the most.

Call us “Baby Boomers,” call us “Empty Nesters” but pretty much, call us what we are: F—ed. We’re taking care of or worrying about our remaining living parents, we have children in college, and we have no idea what to do ourselves. Where should we live? Should we stay, move twice, do nothing? Stress! I live in a town whose school systems excel, one that my kids both graduated from. The taxes are high but the thought of moving twice makes my blood curdle at the thought. I like a town that is peaeful, not divisive, where we help each other, not fight.

The only good thing for my husband and me is that we ARE open to moving, anywhere. If my husband got a job offer in California we would definitely consider it.(Sorry, kids) But, what are the chances?  Right now not very high at all. Besides, no matter where we end up, our children will ALWAYS  have a home. That’s one thing they never, EVER, have to worry about.

The days now are dreary, cold and grey. Wind is chilly and goes right through my winter jacket. I despise going out when the sun sets around four pm, even the grocery store is dull with its flat vegetables and fruit. I miss plums and peaches, cherries and magnificently bright-colored fruit that made summer so cheery. The ripe taste, juice dribbling down your chin, laughing. I’m stuck, we’re stuck and there really is nothing we can do about it.

I know, I’m procrastinating on writing my book. True. That is one thing I SHOULD do. It’s one thing I COULD do and have in my control. That, and what I eat. Food you can also control. I don’t have an eating disorder but it feels good to be able to control something. Yes, things will change, I need to be patient but it is okay to be sad. Dwelling on it, that’s a whole other story, I don’t want to go there. Tonight, I dearly miss my children, I can’t wait to see them in a few weeks, even when they make fun of me, especially when they make fun of me. At least, I will laugh.

Fibro Girl, Grey’s Anatomy And Me

Grey's Anatomy (season 1)

Grey’s Anatomy (season 1) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When I think of “Fibro Girl” I imagine a small, spunky superhero with brown hair and round black glasses and a red cape that has a big bold black F on it. I don’t know why I think of her that way but it amuses me. Maybe because it’s such a juxtaposition between her life and mine. She is trying to fight Fibromyalgia with her strength. I have NO strength. When I was FINALLY diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, seven years ago, my strength was taken away.

Our lives with this illness are question marks. It is hard for us to plan ahead. In fact for me, it’s impossible. For people who DON’T have FIBROMYALGIA OR DOUBTERS (seriously? still?)  I am physically unable to commit to a date in the future without the caveat “depends on how I’m feeling.”  People who cannot understand that are not true friends. We didn’t ask for this, we wish we didn’t have it. Believe us.

My current experience with Fibromyalgia is that I am able to do one errand per day, MAYBE two. If I push my limit I’m wiped out and pay for it later with exhaustion/ pain. At the moment I am not suffering as much physical pain as I had in the past. (see past Fibromyalgia posts) There’s always some pain but I have learned to accept and manage that pain because of a great doctor and the right combination of Fibro drugs. Now, doctors are worried about a new “balance issue” which has nothing to do with Fibromyalgia.  More tests, a pink cane….I can’t walk a straight line, two perfect CAT scans. Can we stop now? No.

Fibromyalgia takes control over us. I’m embarrassed to say that I never thought about it that way. Amazing how our lives change so quickly. If stress is indeed a factor, I’m in deep trouble. My husband got laid off 2 days ago. I can’t work even though I want to and we need the money but it’s not possible. It doesn’t seem right to punish us for something we physically cannot do. Not right at all.

We don’t live in a perfect world, although I really do know people who live a charmed life in every aspect of their lives. Lucky them, maybe they have dark secrets but I doubt it. All I want is a break in having to struggle every single day with some new illness or symptom. The umbrella of Fibromyalagia has so many illnesses underneath it I go to the doctor(s) way too much.

Right now, with the weather is getting colder. I always feel worse when it is cold outside. Then, a good time for me is staying in bed with my dog lying next to me, watching Grey’s Anatomy, Parenthood or The Voice. The television has become my life line. That and this computer connecting me to friends with Fibro and without. We do the best we can with what we have. Minute by minute, day by day. We’re in it together, holding hands, on-line and off.