Tag Archives: food

Bearing and Receiving Gifts

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. James 1:17

Last week hubby and I drove up to MI to celebrate my b-day watching the big screen 30th anniversary presentation of The Princess Bride with our middle daughter and son-in-law. Because it was showing on my real birthday date, it was like having a mini-family feast of words (we all know this movie by heart), laughter as well as food and table-talk.

The audience was an eclectic mix of elders (us), current parents of young children, 30-somethings (our kids gen), and college students…along with smatterings of other categorical diversity.

princess bride quote

The favorite scenes for hubby & our kiddos always begin thusly.

I was a bit concerned we as a family would be disruptive to those around us during certain favorite scenes…where we’d play act and/or get lost in wild guffaws.

For myself, I cracked up at the usual places: “Bye, bye, boys!” -  Mawage…a dweem within a dweem…”

Oh, don’t even get me started!

Thankfully this eclectic audience also had certain specific scenes that caused the same type of potentially disruptive explosive laughter. In that respect, we truly were in it together for the fun of it all.

Mother/Daughter Quilt - Our Quilt

Finally handing off our Mother/Daughter Quilt project! (started 2003, finished 2017)

Now we also went up to MI bearing gifts. We filled our Camry’s trunk with some special items gleaned from Dad’s estate and the finally finished Mother/Daughter Quilt Project.

My Michelle’s favorite color is no longer pink.  She has grown up, become a confident, professional woman and married a fine young man.  But our Mother-Daughter Quilt still speaks of the ties that bind: times past, present and future; the good times and the bad; what it means to love and be loved; forever and always…Amen.

Our Quilt Label - start 2003 finish 2017

Our Quilt Label (start 2003 – 2017 finish)

Boneless Country Style Ribs Aren’t Really Ribs & Pork Butt is Really Pork Shoulder

I love it when I find meat newly reduced in the ‘Manager’s Special’ bin, especially when the ‘sell by’ date is that very day.

This weekend at Bi-Lo, there was a 1.7 lb pack of Boneless Country Style Ribs on sale with an added $2.00 off sticker attached that called out to me: cook me, I’m yours!

So I did.

The funny thing is, each time I pick up Boneless Country Style Ribs (which isn’t all that often) I have to remind myself how to cook ‘em.  They’re boneless, so do I still do the slow & low technique on them? (Yes) And what kind of ribs are Country Ribs anyway, they don’t look like ribs? (They aren’t)

Even more interesting is to discover they are cut from the Pork Butt. Okay, but (!) Pork Butt is really Pork Shoulder…why the identity confusion over a piece of meat? Who knows the answer to that one. Continue reading

My Son – The Sharp Dressed Man

please, enjoy the music while you read the following, I promise it is related to the main thrust of this blog post…and since there are several guitar solos, well, you don’t really need to watch the lyrics up on the screen

Okay, so I’ve been starting and stopping in the writing of several blog posts.

I need to feed the blog, yes, but I gotta say my focus has been a bit wonky since returning from my five weeks visiting Dad.  I started to write about that in a post entitled “Spider Webs, Jacob’s Ladder and Losing the Strand” but could only get so far when I’d lose the strand…(to be finished and posted at a later date).

Then on to a relatively easy Shoutout about the great Maestro Ricardo (and my friend) receiving a prestigious award at the annual GFA Convention in Denver, held just one week after I left. I wanted to attend, but those plans got trumped (don’t know if I like that term anymore…) with the Dad-card. No regrets at all, but it does leave the “Shoutout: In Honor of the Maestro Ricardo” in the queue to be sent sometime whenever I can do a final edit on it…again, the focus thing is the limiting factor here. It may never get finished and sent out since it’s more (out)dated news.

I discovered early on that I didn’t have the energy required to return to my current Swimming with Swans projects. This of course lead to frustration because I needed something to do in the realm of creating while navigating this new pattern of four weeks here and two weeks there; along with the emotional stuff that goes along with end-of-life and long distance elder care.

So I picked up the needle…that phrase is loaded, eh? I first mentioned this phrase in my post “The Rusty Quilter” that describes my history and re-introduction to quilting and fiber art.

Whole-cloth quilt top basted and ready for straight stitch machine-quilting

Whole-cloth quilt top basted and ready for straight stitch machine-quilting

That said, I began in earnest my new ‘now’ project totally unrelated to anything other than as a pleasurable creative outlet: the whole-cloth quilted throw; which will be discussed in greater depth in yet another WIP blog post, as yet unnamed.

During today’s immersion in some straight line machine quilting, I listened to an Amazon Prime Classic Rock Song List.

When ZZ Tops’ tune, The Sharped Dressed Man came on full blast in my earphones and into my brain, I remembered my Jo-Jo and his new obsession with dressing snappy for work.

Joe Lilly is the Sharp Dressed Man

Joe Lilly is the Sharp Dressed Man

Here’s Joe in his Tuesday morning duds, posing in the dining room of my folks’ house, with the telltale cleaning supplies and messiness in the background. One of the fantastic things I got to do while visiting Dad was to make dinner for our kids. Some of Ma’s cooking stuff is still in the kitchen and so I was able to throw together some makeshift family favorites.

Since Joe still lives in the Denver area, he purposely carved out time to stop by after work and/or pick me up for doing fun stuff together during ‘down times’.

One such outing was going to his gig at the Oriental Theatre. Actually, my sorella-amica Lisa and I went to see our sons* at this wonderful venue. Like most musicians, he’s in several bands/ensembles. This one, Heavy Medicine**, added a horn section recently, of which Joe is their main sax-guy.

The Sharp Dressed Man with his Heavy Medicine Bandmates playing the Oriental Theatre, Denver, CO 6/2016

The Sharp Dressed Man with his Heavy Medicine Bandmates playing the Oriental Theatre, Denver, CO 6/2016

Me and my son - the sharp dressed man

Me and my son – the sharp dressed man

Lots more of this mother-son stuff is in the future with each trip back to visit Dad.

Oh and on the marquee behind us is the name Leon Russell, significant in that another blog post in the queue needing to be finished is called, “The Buena Vista Social Club, Leon Russell and Dad”.

Just sayin’.

 

‘Tis a blessing to be loved…

 

 

*Lisa’s son, Ted, is fourth from the left
**The track ‘Dangerous’ includes horns
acknowledgement note: last two photos taken by Lisa K.

Fish Taco Dinner

I have to admit, back in the late ‘90’s the idea of ‘fish tacos’ made me gag. Thinking it was a dish of fish spiced up in the traditional cumin-oregano-chile-garlic manner slathered with cheese and tomato salsa, well, it didn’t entice my appetite; besides, why bother?

It wasn’t until middle daughter and newly-inducted-into-the-family-son-in-law prepared fish tacos for us one visit to Nashville in 2013 that it dawned on me: fish tacos are their own beast! Continue reading

Simply Asparagus

Simply Asparagus: Easy, Yummy, and Healthy

½ bundle fresh asparagus, rinsed and snapped
3 or more large garlic cloves, peeled
~ 1T butter, cut into thirds

Place all in small glass microwave container, cover.  Zap on high for ~ 1-2 minutes.  Remove from microwave while still slightly crisp. Enjoy fresh, lightly buttered, steamed asparagus with garlic tidbits.

Serves ~ 2-3

La Crema ChardonnayNOTE: It’s hard to find a wine that goes well with asparagus, but Sonoma Coast’s La Crema Chardonnay fits the bill!

It’s Beginning to Smell A Lot Like Christmas

Holiday prep has been fun.  Just the fact of being able to search out Christmas gifts for loved ones is a blessing not taken lightly.  Ever frugal, this quest has held plenty of intrigue, mystery and excitement.  Except for that, though, one would never suspect we were getting ready for the holidays with mucho-gusto. Continue reading

All is not as it seems …

Observe the fine crumb of this loaf.  The inviting chew of its crust.  Such a gorgeously perfect specimen of my ‘true sourdough’ … or is it?

All is not as it seems ... my 'true sourdough' bread

All is not as it seems … my ‘true sourdough’ bread

The aroma emitted during its time of baking signal salivary glands to sweat in anticipation of a heavenly tasting loaf … or is it?

Finally ready for slicing, the crunch of the knife sounds divine. The slithering of slathered butter slides into warm nooks and crannies of perfectly baked bread … or is it?

Raising the staff-of-life slice to consume, first bite is a bit salty.

Could it be a ‘salt pocket’ … some vestige of incomplete integration of all dry ingredients before adding to wet ingredients? Continue reading

Pink Flamingos, Giardiniera and Dinner Guests

pink flamingo on our lawn

A ‘good morning’ surprise

Here’s what greeted hubby and I when we stepped out through the front door to go to work this morning.

Well actually, what first caught my eye was this potted mum placed strategically next to my planter of waning herbs.GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA

Notice the concealed grocery bag filled with jugs of water?  That’s the kind of day we had yesterday…

Let me explain.

Getting ready for company is fun for me.  It’s part of my heritage.  Not that I don’t get stressed, but I truly enjoy prepping for ‘parties.’  Yesterday morning began the final leg into that realm.  Already having fielded a week of impromptu clearing out of the laundry closet space that we’d been using as extra storage in our little rental house in readiness for its intended use,  I was ready to focus on the task at hand.  That being:  the routine of last minute fixes and major cooking for a greatly anticipated time of dining and gabbing with our guests for that evening.

Things went along like clockwork:

  • Get dough ready for rising-check
  • Wash salad greens and place in crisper-check
  • Put leaf in table-check
  • Tidy up living room and hide extra storage stuff from emptied laundry closet-check
  • Take shower before lunch-check
  • Start sauce to simmer-check

It wasn’t until close to the end of the prep that I noticed something strange. Continue reading

My Love Affair with Cilantro

CilantrobannerIt’s been said that there are two types of people in this world: those that love cilantro and those that hate it.  This division of stances on the merits of cilantro has in fact been debated for centuries. The 16th century herbalist John Gerard described it as a ‘very stinking herbe.’  While the Chinese continue to refer to it as the ‘fragrant plant.’

I think the title of this blog post shows which side of the debate I stand on…however I will concede that those who ‘hate’ cilantro might have a biological basis for disliking its taste. Continue reading

One Year Later: Happy Blogiversary!

first blogiversary truffle

Enjoy a virtual treat and a colorful quote in celebration of my First Blogiversary!

 balloon bunch“who knows if the moon’s a balloon, coming out of a keen city in the sky–filled with pretty people?”  ee cummings

blogiversary balloon