Posted tagged ‘Butter’

“Venture out at dawn, when the world is bathed in golden-ruby light and is quiet and forgiving.”

May 12, 2017

Today is a damp, chilly day. It must have rained a bit overnight as the streets were wet. The Globe reported this morning that all parts of the state are no longer in drought -condition, not a surprise given the amount of rain we’ve had. A nor’easter is due on Sunday which will bring a deluge. The sun is only a periodic visitor.

In my memory drawers, May is always a warm month. I remember riding my bike to school. I remember wearing only a light jacket. I rode under trees filled with blossoms and on petals fallen to the sidewalk. My bike flew. Spring and a bike ride brought such joy.

I have been getting up far earlier than usual, earlier than my paper delivery. I bring Gracie to the backyard and wait for her on the deck. I take in the morning while I wait. The air smells fresh, sweet. The only sounds are birds’ songs. I am glad for my sweatshirt in the early morning chill.

Gracie gets a treat when we come inside. I get coffee. I watch the news and listen for the drop of the newspapers. First is the thud from my neighbor’s paper hitting the driveway and a few seconds later my papers are delivered. They never sit long outside. My morning always starts with the papers and coffee.

I toasted an English muffin this morning and shared it with Gracie. What she didn’t know was I had hidden two of her pills in the nooks and crannies of the muffin. She scarfed the pieces down in record time. Gracie loves anything with butter and so do I.

I saw a cardinal through my window. Its red feathers stood out against the bare branches of the oak tree right by the deck making him easy to see. I need to fill the feeders. I hate that the cardinal was disappointed.

I turned off my heat, but the house got so cold last night I turned the heat back on this morning. It is still cranking hot air. I’m comfortable and warm.

 

“I believe in red meat. I’ve often said: red meat and gin.”

September 29, 2015

It seems I get later and later but for good reasons. This morning it was a long library board meeting to choose officers. The length of the meeting had little to do with the election of unopposed officers. No, it was mimosas and pastries and conversation which kept us late.

I’m running out of adjectives to describe this gorgeous weather. It is in the mid-70’s and sunny with a breeze strong enough to swing the chimes. Tomorrow they’ll be downpours and over 3 inches of rain according to the weatherman. Not a single person is complaining. We need the rain, and we have had our share, more than our share, of beautiful fall days.

Where I grew up, we called it tonic. Down here they call it soda. By either name, we seldom had any in the house when I was a kid, ginger ale maybe for an occasional highball, my parents’ favorite drink when I was young, but nothing else. We drank milk, a combination of white milk and chocolate milk, both delivered by the milkman. My mother used to drink Tab until Diet Coke came along. My father was always a milk drinker. He loved a cold glass of milk with his Hydrox cookies or his Pilot crackers topped with butter. He’d be devastated now as both his favorites are no longer made. He’d probably start eating Saltines but never Oreos, maybe Newman-O’s which remind me of Hydrox. My dad was most particular about his snacks.

We called my mother the seagull because of what she ate. Leftovers were her favorite breakfast, and sometimes she ate them cold in a sandwich, including hot dogs cut in half and down the middle. She’d rummage in the fridge, pullout the covered dishes and build herself a sandwich. Cucumbers were a favorite topping. She was also a mayonnaise fan far more than a mustard fan. My mother liberally applied the condiment. Even with toast the butter was slathered. Grilled cheese, according to her, was best at its messiest.

I eat all sorts of foods and will try almost anything when I’m traveling. I think that’s the seagull in me.

“In seed time learn, in harvest teach, in winter enjoy.”

January 29, 2015

I am still house-bound. My factotum got stuck in high drifts yesterday and didn’t make it. He said few side roads in his town were plowed yet. I cleared off the two front steps with a broom because poor Gracie was beside herself in wanting out. When I was done, I opened the door, and she went out and squatted for what might just be a new Olympic record. Before we went to bed, she completed her business. This morning, she went right to the front door to go out. I am feeling so much better and far less guilty.

I am beside myself. For the last two days I have been reading the paper on-line, a most unsatisfying experience. I want to be turning pages. This morning I could see the papers sitting on a tall drift next to the driveway. There are two bags, one I’m supposing is filled with the two days I missed. I can’t get to them. They might as well be on the moon.

Today is bright and sunny. It is even winter warm. The icicles on my house are dripping. I can hear them when I stand by the front door. A very, long thick one was hanging off my outside light. I tried to break it, but I couldn’t though I did manage to break off the thinner lower parts.

I was just in the kitchen getting coffee and toast. I love the smells of both. My bread is scali bread or, as I just found out, scala bread for a single loaf. It makes the best toast. My friends from New Jersey had never heard of scali bread. I looked it up and found out, “Scali bread is an Italian style of bread made predominantly in the Boston, Massachusetts area. It is a braided loaf that is covered in sesame seeds.” That hardly describes the taste of scali, and how when it is toasted, the bread turns a delightful brown and the butter melts lovingly into the bread. Definitions seldom do reality justice. Snow is precipitation in the form of crystalline water ice that falls from the clouds. How boring that sounds.

My doorbell just rang. Gracie barked, and I wondered who it could be. It was my neighbor, and she had my newspapers in hand. I am delighted. I am done here as I am itching to get my hands on those papers.

“One of the very nicest things about life is the way we must regularly stop whatever it is we are doing and devote our attention to eating.”

August 16, 2014

The sun is in and out of the clouds. The day goes from strikingly sunny and beautiful to cloudy and dark. The weather in the paper said partly sunny. I guess I didn’t think about the other part.

On Saturday, the day before I left for the Peace Corps, my mother asked me what I’d like for our last family dinner together for a long while. I answered right away: roast beef, mashed potatoes, peas and gravy, all my favorites, and that’s what we had. It is still one of my favorite meals. Mashed potatoes are the height of comfort food for me. My mother’s mashed potatoes were always fluffy and lump less. She used a hand masher, one of those metal ones with a flat grill bottom. I sometimes watched her. She wielded that masher as if it were a weapon in the hands of a master swordsman. She’d add butter and milk and keep mashing. I even remember the bowl she always used to serve the potatoes. It was a wide, not tall, bowl. She’d add the potatoes and put a few pats on butter on top. It was a thing of beauty.

My favorite ice cream changes. When I was a kid, we didn’t have all the choices and exotic flavors we have now. Back then my favorite was a dish of plain old chocolate made exquisite by adding Hersey’s syrup. When I was in high school, it was mint chocolate chip in a sugar cone with jimmies all over the ice cream. I used to buy it at Brigham’s. Mocha chip was my favorite for a while, and I still sometimes buy it, but lately I have been into coconut topped with dark chocolate sea salt caramel sauce. It tastes as superb as it sounds.

I like vegetables, quite a change from when I was growing up. Back then I ate potatoes, peas, corn and French green beans, all of which came from cans. I also ate carrots but they were disguised and hidden in the mashed potatoes. In Ghana I couldn’t get many vegetables. I ate garden eggs which are small egg plants, okra, tomatoes, yam, onions and one year I had green peppers grown from seeds I got from home. I really missed vegetables which I wouldn’t ever have imagined when I was a kid. My favorites are still peas, but corn on the cob and summer tomatoes are on my list of favorites. Just no beans ever!

Traveling gave me the chance to try new foods, and I tried all sorts. I didn’t even know the names of some of them. The food didn’t have to look good as I had grown out of the stage of judging foods by its appearances. I think maybe it was Ghana which taught me that.

“You need not rest your reputation on the dinners you give.”

November 4, 2011

Dreary days have come to be the norm. Today is overcast and dark. When I woke up, the bedroom clock was out, but the bedroom light worked. The bathroom light didn’t. I left the light switch in the bathroom on so I could see without climbing the stairs if I had solved the problem then went to the cellar to the circuit box and turned the general lights back and forth. I walked back up to the bottom of the third floor stairs and lo and behold the lights were back on.

Nothing is on the agenda today or tomorrow or the day after tomorrow. It seems I am settling into my winter doldrums. Life gets slower, and I am generally content to read and do little or nothing. For the whole month, I have 2 meetings, both of which are on the same day, and a doctor’s appointment at the end of the month. The excitement is nearly overwhelming.

When I was a kid, we didn’t do much all winter during the week. We went to school, came home, put on our play clothes, and, if we wouldn’t freeze, we’d go out for a while before it got dark, but darkness came early, around 4 or 4:30. We’d come in and plunk ourselves in front of the TV. Back then there was no guilt about kids and TV time. My mother would make dinner, and she was glad we were otherwise occupied.

Monday to Thursday dinners seldom varied from a meat, mashed potatoes and a vegetable, but on Fridays, when we couldn’t eat meat, my mother got more creative. Fish sticks were sometimes meatless offerings, and my mother usually served them with frozen French fries baked in the oven. I can still see her opening the packages and pulling the single French fries and fish sticks apart from the frozen piles.

The best Friday dinners were when we had English muffin pizzas or fried dough slattered with butter and a sprinkle of salt. The fried dough dinner was our favorite of them all. My mother just couldn’t keep up with the demand. We’d all hang around waiting our turn for that brown, beautiful dough hot from the frying pan. Puddles of  butter filled each crevice, and we had to be careful or it would drip on our hands and follow gravity down to our arms. The salt glinted in the light.

I can’t imagine anything unhealthier, but I know, to us, that a fried dough dinner deserved a celebration with a band and a small parade.