Tag Archives: food

Indoor snowman

Wet, cold and weary.

Tea and hot fire waiting –

He melted my heart.


Three for the price of one

My husband had an early shopping day with our daughter on Saturday, so I decided to surprise my parents and enjoy my eggs and toast at their house. It’s only a three-mile drive but my timing was off. My father had just finished his own eggs, bacon and oatmeal and my mother was already enjoying one of her favorites – an ice cream cone breakfast. While we didn’t enjoy a meal together I thought our 1×2 time could still be special.

I started to tell my mother about my journey home from work on Friday night. I explained that I sometimes take a different route home to learn the area around the new office.

My mother responded after finishing her cone:


Knowing that was just her catchphrase I continued…

I was only telling you because my GPS said there was a Goodwill in the area. I knew I had her attention now because it is one of her favorite places to thrift. It was my hook.


I didn’t even get to add the punchline that I followed the map for an extra six miles and learned the store no longer exists in that location. Feeling incomplete, I had to at least finish my sentence. I cut to the chase and told her that I found a new shop that I liked in that neighborhood anyway.


Mom. I know you’re excited for James to take you to the casino but you’re not listening here and now.

“Oh yeah?”

Yes, it’s like you can only focus on my brother. I get it though. I know you’re just excited about the trip. My comment seemed unappreciated but it registered and she snapped out of it.

“What time is it in Nashville?”

They are only an hour behind us mom. It should be around 8 AM. Why?

“I’ve been sitting here waiting to call your sister Twyla. I mailed her a package and wanted to know if it arrived.”

Well that explained more. I decided not to take her uninterested comments personally. I also realized it was my brother she was irritated with, not me. He had told them he would arrive between 9 and 10 but it was now 9:10, so she considered him late.

My mother reached for her flip cell phone. I asked what time she was going to call my sister? Her response was curt and quick.

“The hell with her. I guess I’ll have to risk waking her up.”

My sister Twyla couldn’t sleep up to or past 8 o’clock if she tried. Although she’ll wish she had when she answered the phone. The unwritten rule is that you called when a package arrived, so my mother didn’t worry that her gifted parcels were in oblivion.

The heat was off James and I and onto her but she didn’t even know it yet.

“You’re up.” was the start of my mother’s conversation.

I could only hear one side of the call but her next comment was, “well, there’s not much going on here.”

I jumped on the other extension. Really mom? I thought your other daughter was here visiting?

Knowing how sensitive I am, my mother quickly acknowledged my comment:

“Oh, shut up.”

Then to Twyla:

“What do you mean several packages have arrived and you don’t know if one of them is from me?”

My sister works so hard she probably hadn’t read any of her mail from the entire week yet. Regardless, she was now required to look through the stack while my mother was on the phone. She was going to be in trouble either way. If it was there, she hadn’t reported in to the Mom tracking system. If the package wasn’t there, it would also be her fault simply because the post office had assured my mother of a Friday delivery.

Based on my mother’s mood, I was now glad the attention was not on me.

Wrong again.

“What? I can’t hear you, Donna burnt some toast and it smells awful.”

I know noses and ears are somehow connected but I didn’t realize my carbohydrate carbon smell could impact my mother’s hearing aids.

I ignored the comment as I thought ‘Whatever’ in my head. I broke my yolk to match my heart and slopped up the bright yellow gravy, picking up the emotional pieces. I washed my dish and gathered my coat and keys.

My father came back in the room and asked why I was leaving so soon?

I just thought I’d stop in on my way to getting groceries. Twy is on the line. Have a good day with James.

“If he gets here. It’s almost 9:30.”

My morning visit was complete. We did not enjoy a meal together, the timing was off and it could have been special.

Lick it up

Even though it’s a comfort food from when I was a child, I sometimes forget how much I like pot roast. It is a Yankee culinary delight. Richie basted this one in our crockpot last Monday. The meat cooked so slowly, it quickly melted in my mouth. The carrots, Irish potatoes and onions swam alongside in the delicious gravy on my plate. Yankee me couldn’t get enough, even after several pot roast dinners last week. I am comforted as the cold weather approaches; warmed by the wood stove, a crock pot and my man.


Brimfield Flea Market is host to antiques, industrial salvage, oddities, miles of fields and food vendors as well as paintings, porters and dealer personalities. These antique dealers stage their tents awaiting sales while buyers scope the huge territory waiting for just the right item. My September visit demonstrated both sides of that vintage coin. A dealer’s display of this  little guy stopped me in my tracks. What is he waiting for?

– a glass display box?

– the next onlooker reaction?

– better eyeware fashion?

– someone to purchase him?

– his next meal?

I know, perhaps:

– sunlight?


– an undertaker? 

It seems the taxidermist left him in the dark and feeling a little stuffed.
Photo challenge


Raspberry vinaigrette:

2 T olive oil

1 T balsamic vinegar

1 T raspberry jam

1 t mustard

Sprinkle of garlic powder

Sprinkle of white pepper

Dash of salt

Whisk until oil is visibly blended

Salad: Romaine, walnuts, dried cranberry, feta cheese (and chicken, if desired).

Our girls are finally settled in their new apartments as of today. It’s been a lot of hard work and I am excited for them. However, tonight my husband and I got back to some 1×1 cooking. The above vinegraitte recipe is the result of  a sadly quieter house at the same time it is a renewed sense of being together. I was the sous chef but didn’t mind, since I learn the family recipes and food secrets my husband has tucked away in his Cordon Bleu brain.  The last time Richie made this recipe, he whisked it up in moments and kept the ingredient list to himself.  I historically just eat the fruits of his labor! I love working side-by-side in the kitchen again but why am I still writing at this hour? Perhaps some other 1×1 cooking is in order…

Gone but not forgotten

Our daughter has been in Philadelphia for several weeks. I miss her terribly just knowing she’s further away than usual. When I opened the refrigerator this morning, I saw her face. Maple syrup from the restaurant she likes. Dunkers that she  usually buys at Trader Joe’s for her dad. The bottle of Coke I had to buy yesterday because it showcased her name. Tomorrow I’ll buy some cream cheese and have a loaded steak and whiz sub for lunch. Somehow the visuals and city references bring her closer to home. It’s been a Rocky road for me. Ah, yes, that too will shorten the distance. A mom has to do what a mom has to do.

Welcome to their World World

I took my elderly, but physically and mentally capable, parents on a grocery trip today. As we approached the supermarket, Ma reminds, “Don’t forget to take a basket this time.”

“OK, I know.” my father obeys.

Wondering why an 85-year-old man has to carry a week’s worth of groceries, I bite.

“Why does Dad need a basket? Don’t you guys push a carriage?”

My ‘what will the neighbors say’ Mom explains that they sometimes split up in the grocery store. Evidently, Dad meets back with his haul for a couple of aisles. When he unloads his arms, he also takes items out of his pant pockets. To him, those pockets are a practical and smart way to transport his personal selections. To my mother, it’s a criminal and front page police news article that will transport him to the slammer.

We arrive at our destination and even though I’m driving, we all agree on a space.

I was ready for my walk around the store.

My mother starts off by heading to aisle 4 and my father stops in dairy. He looks at all the butter and selects nothing. We find my mother looking at oils. She asks why he wrote canola on the list? They’ve been buying vegetable for  60 years?

I think my jailbait father was trying to justify his culinary spontaneity as I went back to the dairy aisle to find some yogurt.

A few minutes later, I find my father doing time at the deli and my Mom cutting down aisle 12. I think the efficiencies are now kicking in.


She zig-bags back for half-and-half while he takes his basket toward 12 for hard crust bread.

I decide to use the time to pick up candy for the office. I tell them I’ll meet them in produce.

When I find them, they are discussing the lasagna. He already looked. She looks too. His favorite pre-prepared lasagna splurge is nowhere to be found.

Or so I thought.

There is plenty of lasagna, just none packaged with his expected two meatballs. My mother moves into management mode and pulls someone from behind the counter. I lean on a paper towel display to absorb the situation. It is explained for the third time.

The counter help thinks she’s helping when she points out the lasagna.

“There aren’t any meatballs my mother explains.”

“Oh! I can put that combination together for you in just a moment.”

She moves back behind the counter as my father says, “Thank you. I love that spinach lasagna.”

“Ahhh, spinach lasagna. That’s a different story. I can show you where that is.”


So, with that over and us no longer near produce, my father states he’ll be right back with celery and a green pepper.

My mother goes to the back of the store to pick out a pork loin.

I hang out with the turkeys and pumpkins. They too are waiting for their big moment to leave.

Feeling like a lost child, I remained in the spot where I last saw my parents. They both come back. My mother references her short grocery list for the fifteenth time. I think we are all set.

“Do we need anything else?” she asks.

Sounding like a lost child, I hear my father whisper: “I’d like some apple cider.”

“I looked for it earlier. I even asked. It’s down the first aisle with the milk. They only have it in gallons.” She is very matter-of-fact.

My adult father is back and explains there are probably half gallons near the apples.

I tell my mom I’ll circle back with my dad and we’ll be right back. We walk arm-in-arm to produce. I feel like I’ve been there before.

We quickly find the cider, put it in his basket and head back to meet my mother at the carriage.

The carriage is where we left it. My mother is not.

We stay where we are and wait.My father unloads his basket. We wait. We wait. We wait.

Here she comes…and she too has found a HALF gallon of cider!

One culinary equation is solved twice.

I announce that I’m checked out, I mean, checking out.

The errands with my parents had become a chore.  I was trippin’ and felt like a basket case.