It’s crazy time…locked out, screamed out…but leave my car alone!
September 21, 2011

This is how my week is going.....

You know….it’s just been one of those weeks. Dry eyes….construction dust in the house…cough, cough,…trying to get sinks, shower doors, tile, etc., in on time, so everything can stay on schedule, and have workers out of the house before house guests from England come in for a week’s stay….plus job-work, and doing a presentation at  Expo East Natural Foods convention tomorrow at the Convention Center….you know, the usual.

And then last night driving home, thinking, ok, there is nothing to eat in the fridge..honey, it’s scrambled eggs-again….a big semi truck to my left, is turning left. The very end of his trailer clips my side mirror and knocks off the back of it. And kept going….probably didn’t have any idea he had hit something.

So I take off after him…he finally stops….his girlfriend leans out the window yelling at me with attitude about how” nothing happened and what am I talking about, you’re crazy, etc“…..I just start taking pictures. That cooled her jets a little. The guy gets out to talk to me…he is much nicer(hey, it’s his job in the balance here—his company’s name is on the truck, and the truck number). I explain I have no interest in getting anyone in trouble for anything, but I do want my mirror paid for…he aplogizes for the woman he called his fiance. Anyway I will get the mirror paid for…talked to the company this morning…but I so wish I had given him some life advice, which would be, “Buddy, whatever you do, DO NOT marry that woman. Can you imagine life with that screamer? Get out now.” But I didn’t.

Why won't you open?????

I get home, trudge up the front steps, and my housekey, which is in the lockbox for the contractor to come and go, is now stuck inside. I’ve opened this box several times before with the code, but tonight…it is frozen. So I sit on the steps in the fading light, waiting for the hubby to get home and let me in, so I can cook some amazing(jk)scrambled eggs, and in the meantime…I am now scrambled eggs for the mosquitos. Sigh.

Picture me right here....

So it’s been that kind of week….but tomorrow afternoon, I will depart this vale of tears for a long weekend in Maine with my son and the lovely Jennifer. It’s gonna be delicious lobster, great wine, and sitting on the dock by day and by the fire by night. Can. Not. Wait. When I get home the bathroom should be almost finished….I’ll let you know how it comes out…fingers crossed! Oh, something good did happen this week…look who came by the WBAL newsroom! Love the Calster….

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Get your Fly-Boy on…..
March 11, 2010

early morning at a Pensacola marina....

OK….as my daughter said whine-ily(not a word, I know)  to me some years back as we were on a flight to vacation that would cost us time and money…”What are we gonna DO in San Francisco??” And you may wonder why I suggest Pensacola as a vacation…”what are we gonna DO in Pensacola?” Well, my friends, beside the food, which as I have explained, is kickin’…a bit more on that today. But first…activities!!

Pensacola is home to the Blue Angels...

How about one of the world’s largest aviation museums, which  is right there…with more that 150 restored aircraft from all eras….and more than 4,000 artifacts representing Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard aviationThe National Navy Aviation Museum is simply fantastic and get this …it’s free.  This is a place where one could easily spend a whole day…or even two, touring the base and the museum. I took waaaaay too many pictures of all the restored planes in there…and don’t forget, this base is home to the flying Blue Angels…..who practice on Tuesdays and Wednesdays….what an incredible sight that would be.

Float planes, bombers, biplanes...they have it all...

Many of the planes in the museum were recovered from the bottom of Lake Michigan. You may wonder how on earth did they get there. here’s what happened….during WWII, they built the deck of a carrier on the lake, so that pilots could learn to land and take off from a aircraft carrier….always a risky proposition. Many of those planes went over the side in aborted attempts….and no effort was made to recover them, until they realized it was a goldmine of war planes for the exhibit…..none of which still existed anywhere . They were pulled up and restored by volunteers….took about 5 years a plane. Incredible.

And you can stay in Pensacola the city….like we did…or stay in Pensacola Beach, which is over the 3 mile bridge to the long slender island which is where the beachfront is…..tons of houses and condos to choose from. As you know, I like to do that instead of a hotel if I’m there for more than a few days…because you can cook, and you have a living room in which to gather the family and hang out….VRBO…remember?

And you gotta go to  …..oh, there’s too much to say today and no time left….tomorrow….I’ll wrap up this Pensacola saga….and as a teaser, I’ll tell you where you can order fresh Gulf shrimp, 9-12 size(big), heads on….for $4.50 a pound. Don’t believe me? The source for seafood ….Friday right here.

Red Beans and Rice Weekend….
March 2, 2009

Red Beans and Rice....

Red Beans and Rice....

There is something about an impending snow storm that makes one want to cook something that is soulful, hearty, hot, and stick to the ribs….know what I mean? Almost some primal survival sense that kicks in and drives you to the kitchen to cook something dense and filling. Chicken and dumplings would certainly fill the bill, as would the other famous bean dish I did recently….cassoulet.  But yesterday…yesterday just seemed like a red beans and rice day. So we called some friends and neighbors, and said come on over for some NOLA  cooking….

The ultimate red bean-Camellia...

The ultimate red bean-Camellia...

Most recipes call for soaking the red beans(preferably Camellia red beans which come from Louisiana-I know some people who won’t make red beans unless they are Camellia-I am less picky)overnight, but you really don’t have to. Just plop your beans in the pot(two packages if you’re cooking for a crowd), put in enough water(some people use chicken broth but you don’t have to) to cover, bring to the boil, cover the pot and take off the heat and let them sit for 2 hours. There’s your overnight soak.

Then pick you recipe and begin….the basics you really need are onions, green peppers, ham hock, sausage(andouille or kielbasa), green onions for serving…and rice of course. The only thing you can’t do without is time. It takes a several hours for the beans to begin to thicken and release their starches and become what they are supposed to become. And the end dish is definitely worth the effort. All you need to go with it is a simple green salad, and some French Bread. Done. Friends brought some homemade peanut butter cookies, homemade pralines(how appropriate is that?), and a lovely fruit salad…..and we feasted.

I’m not gonna write out a recipe…..we just kinda make it up as we go along, but at NolaCuisine.com, you can take a look at several different recipes and then pick one, or do a combo. It’s what’s so great about RB & R…a forgiving dish if there ever was one. Love it! And best of all? We have a big dish of leftovers to heat up this week….and it was easy on the budget.

Trying to relax…..ohmmmmmmmmmm……
December 23, 2008

Do I really NEED these wine glasses??

Do I really NEED these wine glasses??

On The Today Show this morning , there was some  blonde chick saying with hands primly clasped over the perfect holiday table, all gittery and golden that don’t kid yourself,  took a stylist to put together, saying ….”And you need wine glasses like these from The Conrad Shop.” Seriously? Seriously? I need to go get some wine glasses like that? What else should I do, lady? Oh, and she just said that brocade napkins are recyclable..”wash them and use then again“. Wow, I would never have figured that out.

Relax,that’s what Monica advised me….she wrote, ” Just relax! It will all be over by this time next week. And you can start planning for next year right away! Sure you will. ” So I just say the word that the lovely Jennifer says whenever she is feeling stressed…”Breezy!” So I’m “breezy” today. My sweet daughter and I are having $20 pedis this morning….our toes look awful…and we’re gonna have a girl’s lunch in Hampden…mybe Cafe Hon? Or Golden West Cafe? So many choices there.  And then we have some last food shopping to do….my son is training in from New York this afternoon…so I debated pizza for dinner. That would have been the breezy choice, but I have decided on a less breezy but still pretty simple(ha-ha-my eye is twitching) chicken in wine with mushrooms and little onions, over creamy grits. Sounds more complicated than it is. Not breezy in all honesty, but still not too bad.

The rest of Monica’s advice? ” Now I am just going to have another drink and maybe, just maybe when I am finished everything will be purchased, wrapped, and under the tree. And all of the food will be bought and prepared. Now if only I could find my red shoes and click my heels together.”  Good one, Monica.

That reminds me….I need to stop by the wine store.  And find my red shoes.

The Dream Mother’s Day….
May 9, 2008

tvYep, there they were this morning…The Today Show with a kid-friendly Mother’s day breakfast. Wait a minute, isn’t it supposed to be  mom-friendly? It’s interesting to hear what women say they really want for Mother’s Day….some are happy with a card, others need some face time, others want a really nice (jewelry) gift, while one woman here at WBAL, who shall remain anonymous, said, “What I’d really like is for my husband to take the kids somewhere and and just leave me alone.” Now that sounds a little more harsh than she meant it, but I know exactly what she means. The one thing moms don’t get very often, is some time for themselves, by themselves, to do whatever they want. Alone time. Read, garden, listen to music, watch a movie you want to see….with no one there, fixing you what is usually a terrible breakfast and serving it to you, way too early  in bed, while they watch you eat it, and you have to ooh and aah over it, too.

What many would really like, is a morning to sleep late, in a peaceful, quiet house. Get up when you like, wander to the kitchen, where there is fresh coffee made and waiting for you, maybe a plate of croissants artfully arranged with some nice jams and some fruit, and a pretty bouquet of flowers. Some soft jazz is playing….can you hear it?  The card would read, “I have the kids at a movie/Science Center/The Harbor/a ballgame…and we won’t be back until later, and we’ll have dinner with us, so enjoy your day. Call if you get lonely, and we’ll come home, but otherwise, you do what you’dlike to do. Oh, and I picked up a couple of movies you might enjoy…they’re on the dvd player. Relax, you deserve it, sweetie!”

Have any of you ever received such a gift? I have not, and for most women it’s not likely to happen. Not sure why, except that many guys don’t really wantto host a whole day of the kids, and make your breakfast….so the first morning I spoke of , is the one that usually happens. Here’s your “breakfast”, here are your gifts, ok, now it’s business as usual. What’s for dinner, honey?

Now don’t get me wrong…there’s something beautifully sweet about the terrible breakfast served by anxious little hands….there is. And I’ve had quite a few. But every once in a while, maybe something different would be in order, something kinda decadent, so that when everyone returns from their big day with Daddy…you’re really glad to see them.  Now that both my kids are out of the house, I get plenty of alone time, so when one of them comes home for Momma’s Day (and one of them is), it’s a treat. And I won’t get breakfast in bed…but we will eat brunch at home….then my son and the lovely Jennifer will drive back to New York, and we will attend the funeral of a wonderful and much-missed neighbor that afternoon. just a reminder how quickly life goes by…and to enjoy it, whether you get burnt toast or not. Happy Momma’s Day all you  mommas out there!