Posted tagged ‘dinner’

“Happy Day After Christmas, Merry Rest of the Year, even when Christmas is over, The Light of the World is Still Here!”

December 26, 2017

Gracie and I are back home, and my car is in good order. It took longer than I expected as what was wrong didn’t matter, only my place in line. It is cold, 28˚, but tonight will be colder. By the middle of the week, we’ll be down to single digits. I will be hibernating.

Christmas Day was wonderful. I used the morning to prep for dinner, to get all the veggies ready for cooking. My friends arrived a little after 2:30. We drank some egg nog and then opened presents. We go in turn so we can see what we each got. Well, I’m thinking we were perfect, as good as gold, as Santa left great presents. I got a whole sackful of foot cozies which made me laugh. I love foot cozies and the ones I have left deserve retirement. I got a wrap to keep the cold at bay. I figure it will come in handy on Thursday. I also got a Christmas sweater as I didn’t have any Christmas clothes other than a t-shirt. There were earrings and so much much more. I gave my two friends each a bag of gifts, a bag Santa would be glad to carry from house to house. They loved their presents as well.

During the presents portion of the day, I was up and down finalizing dinner. We sat down later than I expected, but it is true that good things come to those who wait. The beef was scrumptious. The green bean casserole was a hit as were the potatoes. The carrots were good but were out-classed by the beef and the green beans. We sat at the table for a long while enjoying dinner and each other. Gracie was happy for her beef scraps and even Maddie enjoyed the meat.

After the dining room was cleared and the kitchen cleaned up. I turned on the dishwasher and we all sat in the living room. Gracie lost her footing on the couch and fell into the tree. She was scared but managed to calm down and get back on the couch where she fell asleep. I sat with her and patted her. Meanwhile, Clare asked about dessert. We decided we finally had enough room for the peppermint cheesecake Clare had made. It was unbelievably delicious from the crust to the peppermint cane topping. All of us yummed as we ate. The cheesecake was like tasting Christmas. It’s a good thing Clare left me some. I’ll leave it that.

Christmas Eve and Christmas Day were amazing. We honored tradition with our gingerbread houses. We laughed at some of our presents, and each of us belonged to the clean plate club even after a couple of extra helpings. Dessert was heavenly. The company couldn’t have been better. I loved Christmas this year.

“From home to home, and heart to heart, from one place to another. The warmth and joy of Christmas, brings us closer to each other.“

December 25, 2017

Merry Christmas!

I slept in this morning until ten. When I took Gracie out, the first order of the every day, it was cold but sunny with a few peeks at a blue sky. There was also a snow shower, tiny little flakes which looked like ash blowing in the wind, and what a wind. The police sent out an emergency call last night about the storm. First would come rain then a wind up to 60 MPH. It would last until noon. I got the rain last night when I took Gracie out, and this morning I got the tail end of the storm, the windy part. The electricity went out for about five minutes, long enough for me to panic about dinner. I had visions of being bundled against the predicted Arctic cold and cooking at the barbecue. Luckily the outage was short-lived.

I’ve had my coffee and newspaper. Once I finish here I’ll prep dinner. The egg nog is already made and only needs the whipped cream. I’ll sit here at the table in the den, peel potatoes and watch TV. I’m actually watching the science fiction channel. Yeti is attacking.

Last night was wonderful. My friends and I made our gingerbread houses. The concentration was palpable, and while we did speak, it was mostly asking for a decoration. Every now and then we’d hear tap, tap, tap as a hard candy, a decoration for the houses, hit the wood floor and bounced. I think I was the worst at holding on to the the small decorations with frosting crusted fingers. Our houses were beautiful. We seem to get better every year. This year I added windows with candles, actually it was a square outline of frosting with a cut piece of a yellow gumdrop. I love this Christmas Eve tradition of ours.

After I left my friends, I went next door to my neighbors’ house. I brought champagne for mimosas. First we sang happy birthday to their oldest son, now twenty-one. Singing the Portuguese happy birthday was first. I clapped then we all sang it in English. Their custom is a huge dinner then they all open their presents at midnight. They wanted me to stay for dinner, and I hated giving up eating all those Brazilian dishes, but I was exhausted.

I went to bed early for me, by 11. Gracie woke me up once, at 5:00, so she could go out. I had no trouble getting back to sleep.

I have presents to open and food to prepare. I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas. Mine has started already.

Merry Christmas to all my Coffee family!!

” It’s Christmas. Nothing bad is going to happen on Christmas!”

December 21, 2017

Today is the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year and the first day of winter. The days will start getting longer but we’ll hardly notice. It will still be dark early. I guess it’s a psychological thing, the idea that winter is very slowly losing its grip. Today is cold. Gracie and I were out early as she had another acupuncture treatment. She did well. When we got home, we both went to back to sleep. I just woke up. She’s still sleeping.

I’m going to make some cookies today. I did all my Christmas food shopping yesterday. I also made two other stops for dog food and Christmas candy. For Christmas dinner, the menu is set. We’re having bone-in rib roast. I have to pick the meat up on Christmas Eve. The rest of the menu will give our plates some color, in keeping with the season: white, green and orange, better known as potatoes, carrots and green beans.

My whole house feels like Christmas. The aroma of my Christmas tree fills the rooms. It makes me smile, and I tell the air how wonderful it is. I don’t even pretend I’m talking to Gracie.

I’m watching a Christmas movie, and it isn’t very good. The elves are tall and have names like George and Mindy. Their acting is over the top, hammy. The main characters are a family of a mother and two kids. The father passed away. One kid loves Christmas while the other is obnoxious and angry. She needs a slap. The mother is sweet and does her best only to be rebuffed by her daughter. The only parts of this movie I really enjoy are the scenes of the town and the snow. It looks like an old town with lots of brick buildings. Snow is everywhere. I don’t know why I’m still watching. I know how this horrible movie ends. It’s a Christmas movie so the ending will be happy and even the rude, obnoxious daughter will love Christmas again. Maybe I should watch Krampus again though even that has a happy ending.

“The true essentials of a feast are only fun and feed.”

December 18, 2017

Today is cloudy but it’s warm, in the 40’s. Last night was freezing.

In the dark last night Gracie went out and wandered down the hill by the side of my house. I went to check on her in the front yard and found her gone. I got my flashlight and looked but didn’t see her. I called my friends in panic, and despite the time of night and the cold, they came, one walking using his flashlight and the other driving. By then I had found Gracie at the bottom of the hill. She couldn’t get back up. I went down the hill to her and grabbed her, but I couldn’t get us back up the hill either. I kept sliding. Finally I found a route which got me and her to the front yard. We both went inside. She had a treat. I had an asthma attack.

Today I’m planning my cookies and the Christmas Day dinner. I have a method. I write down the name of the recipe, its source and the ingredients by aisle. I’m thinking 3 kinds of cookies. For dinner I’m leaning toward pork of some sort, but that’s just a maybe.

Yesterday’s Patriot’s game still has my heart atwitter. The last minute was amazing. My friends and I cheered, stood up, moaned and screamed. The final play was unbelievable. After a Steelers touchdown was called back as an incomplete pass, the Steelers decided to pass for the touchdown instead of spiking for a chance at a tie and overtime. The pass was batted away, it flew into the air and was caught by a Pat for an interception. End of game!

I saw a Facebook picture taken in the Tongo hills outside of Bolga. The caption mentioned the harmattan, the hot dry season with sand blowing in from the desert which is happening now. During my first harmattan, the back of the soles of my feet cracked from the dryness. I had to tip-toe. I started getting ballerina muscles. Finally the soles heeled (sorry-a written pun looks like a misspelling) into the ugliest thick callouses. I didn’t care. My feet felt fine.

I ate a lot of goat in Ghana. The first time I had no idea what I was eating. It was during Peace Corps training, and I was at my live-in, a three week span where we lived with a Ghanaian family. I was alone at dinner and was served soup with bony meat in one dish and in another dish, a glob of I had idea what. No fork or spoon mean I had to use my fingers. I grabbed some glob and ran it through the soup then ate it. The reddish soup was spicy hot, but I managed. I had to pick up the meat, also with my fingers, to chew around the bone. When next I saw my hostess, I asked why I was eating alone and what did I eat. She said she thought I’d prefer to be by myself. I didn’t. She said I ate t-zed with red soup and goat meat. Tuon-zafe, t-zed, is best described as a porridge of boiled corn meal, a glob. The goat meat was okay which is a good thing as I ate it often. I even found it once here in a Caribbean restaurant and ordered it as a bit of food nostalgia.

I don’t know how I got on to goat. I guess it was mentioning Christmas dinner as that’s what I had my first Christmas in Ghana. It was a feast.

“Laziness is the first step towards efficiency.”

November 24, 2017

Gracie and I slept so late it was mirror to the nose time. After I finally woke up, I didn’t rush but rather took my time completing the usual morning tasks. Feeding Gracie came right after setting the coffee to brew. The papers took a while to read, and I had to do the crossword puzzles. Despite the hour being closer to lunch, I didn’t skip breakfast: toast with my second cup of coffee.

I have designated today sloth day.  I’m not even dressed. All the sales don’t even tempt to go out, but I will shop tomorrow on small business Saturday as I still need a few gifts. Last night I went through a clowder of catalogues (I choose clowder because I like the alliteration) and found a few smaller presents I’ll order on line tomorrow. My list is short. I’m getting close to the end.

Dinner yesterday was wonderful. My plate was so filled I couldn’t eat it all and had to take home a doggie bag.  There was turkey, of course, gravy, mashed and sweet potatoes, green beans, stuffing and cranberry sauce.; however, despite this groaning plate, I did find room for  dessert: creme brûlée. My logic was it is a light dessert, easily managed. I ate every bit. Now I am looking forward to tonight’s dinner: leftovers.

The restaurant was filled. The whole time we were there not a single table stayed empty for more than a couple of minutes. We sat one tier up from the windows and had a panoramic view of the ocean, close to the shore and calm with no white caps, and we watched the spectacular setting of an orange-red sun bright with light as it disappeared below the breakwater. It was a perfect ending to a lovely day with friends, dinner and leftovers.

“Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.”

November 23, 2017

Today is a beautiful day, just chilly enough. The sun is bright and sharp. The leaves flutter a bit then the limbs swing back and forth when the breeze becomes a wind. I’m watching the parade.

My sister and I spoke this morning, and we remembered our mother waking up early to get the turkey in the oven. Why it was so early neither one of us remember. While my mother was in the kitchen, we were all sitting in front of the TV watching the parade. The snacks every year were the same: M&M’s, tangerines and mixed nuts. We used a silver set to crack then pick out the nuts. Years ago I bought a set exactly the same. I fill it with nuts and put the bowl, the crackers and the picks on my dining room table. Tangerines were the best as they were so easy to peel. Only seeds marred their perfection. The M&M’s were first to go. My father always went with my grandfather to the football game. It was Stoneham versus Reading. My father had no connection to the high school. He never went there and neither did any of us. It was football which drew him.

When the parade was finished, my dad took over the TV. He watched football until my mother called him to the table. We stayed in the kitchen until we set the table. We had turkey, gravy, sage stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, green bean casserole and another vegetable or two. The cranberry sauce was always the one from the can. The sauce had can ridges which gave it a bit of a decoration. I always wondered why it was called a sauce when the cranberry was jellied. My father ate quickly, all the better to get back to his games. We lingered far more, just sitting and talking. Clean-up didn’t take long. After that were the pies: apple, my dad’s favorite always eaten with a chunk of cheese, blueberry and lemon meringue. By then it was late afternoon. Supper, if we had any room for more food, was leftovers, usually a hot turkey sandwich, the meat bathed in gravy. That meal was the official end of Thanksgiving.

I have so many things to be thankful for a whole day is not enough. I am thankful for family, for the connections between my sisters and me. I have been blessed with the best of friends, my other family, and I am thankful for them. I am also thankful for my Coffee friends. When I started this, I never thought people I hadn’t ever met would become such close friends. Most of all, I am thankful for the joy and wonder of each new day.

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

 

“It was Sunday morning, and old people passed me like sad grey waves on their way to church.”

October 15, 2017

I’m wondering where the sun is hiding. The day is damp and cloudy. It’s a quiet day, no breeze rustles the leaves and no voices are loud enough to be heard. I have to go out and do a couple of errands later and tonight is game night. That’s like a full day for me.

When I was a kid, the expectations for Sunday were pretty much nonexistent. It was a nothing day much the same week after week. It started with church. The only unknown was which mass I’d attend. Would I go early with my dad, the usher, or later by myself or with my brother? Sunday dinner was the biggest meal of the week. It was always a roast, sometimes a roast beef and other times a whole chicken. It was the one meal all week where we all sat down to eat together though my mother sometimes stood by the counter to eat. On weekdays my dad was late getting home from work so he was never there for dinner. We were usually watching TV when he got home.

Once in a while, on a Sunday afternoon, we visited my grandparents in the city. I was amazed by the city. Houses were close together. The Italian bakeries sold pizza. A house down the street sold Italian ice through an open window. On the corner of my grandparents’ street was a private club. My uncle was a member. I remember going there once for a family party.

If we didn’t go out to visit, we’d sit around watching TV until my dad took over and turned to a football game. That sent us to the kitchen to play a board game or down the cellar to play. If I had a book, I’d go read it in my room away from the noise. My mother cooked in the kitchen. She peeled potatoes and opened cans of vegetables. We usually ate around two. Most times there was no special dessert. We’d grab cookies.

Sunday night we’d watch a bit of TV then it was early to bed because of school the next day. We always grumbled. That never got us anywhere except upstairs to bed at our regular time.

“I should say: the house shelters day-dreaming, the house protects the dreamer, the house allows one to dream in peace.”

May 15, 2017

The house was cold when I woke up this morning. I had turned off the heat so it was only 63˚. Outside is damp and cold and filled with clouds. It will rain again. Right now it is 49˚. Such is spring near the ocean.

Mother’s Day was wonderful. My friend Tony feted his wife Clare and me. The table was lovely. Beside our place settings were cards and wrapped chocolates. My candy was wintergreen patties, one of my favorite. We started with shrimp cocktail and salad followed by dinner: chicken and mashed potatoes and hot rolls. I do love my mashed potatoes. Dessert was a light, creamy lime tart. Everything was perfect except I didn’t win our game of Phase 10. Clare exalted in her victory.

I have despaired of ever seeing the sun again. I have memories which are beginning to fade over time. Gracie and I have to go out today. Three stops are on my list. She will like two of them: Agway and the dump. I’ll like the third: Ring Brothers. There I can get the few items on my shopping list and maybe lunch. I’m thinking a thin crust pizza or maybe the soup of the day.

Gracie and I have to go out today. Three stops are on my list. She will like two of them: Agway and the dump. I’ll like the third: Ring Brothers. There I can get the few things on my shopping list and maybe lunch. I’m thinking a thin crust pizza or maybe the soup of the day.

 

 

I bought my house when I was 29. It came with nightmares. The mortgage was half my monthly salary. Out of the rest of my salary, I had to pay everything else including groceries. I was penurious. Buying the house meant no more traveling every summer, no more eating out and a moratorium on new clothes. It was make-do. I had little furniture. The phone guy came in and remarked I seemed to be living primitively. My desk was also my dining room table. My couch was my bed. All the furniture was in the downstairs bedroom renamed the den. Gradually I filled every room with furniture and doo-dads. My pay went up while my mortgage remained the same. It took five years, but I was finally able to travel again. I went to Europe. I was fulfilling my childhood dream to see the world, and, for the first time, I had a house and home waiting for me. I’m thinking life doesn’t get much better than that.

“At the heel end of the day, I need my glass of wine. Christmas lights for the brain.”

November 25, 2016

Dinner was delicious yesterday, and I even brought home a doggy bag so they’ll be a dinner  of leftovers this evening. The restaurant was bustling when we arrived but quieted down as we sat and dined.

The day is cloudy as it has been seemingly forever. I don’t remember the last time I saw the sun. The temperature has been in the high 40’s, but without the sun, it seems colder. The trees are bare with only a few brown leaves clinging to the ends of branches. Winter is coming with all its starkness.

Some houses have their outside colored lights lit, and I saw a few Christmas trees through living room windows as we drove home last night. One strand of lights on my deck rail comes on every night. It is my way to beat back the darkness, but within the next week or two, all my outside Christmas lights will be put up on the fence, the gate and the deck to brighten the night. I need to buy a few wreaths, one for the door, one for the front gate and one for the fence off the deck.

Gracie and Maddie are napping. Neither of them was good company last night. They had no problem sleeping the night away. Gracie woke me up this morning by tapping the mattress near my head with her paw. That dog has no patience. I, of course, got up to let her outside. I don’t toy with a dog needing out.

I will avoid going out today because of the shopping crowd and the uninviting weather. Tomorrow I’ll do some local shopping for small stocking type gifts. Sunday will be dump day. I didn’t get to sleep until after 3:30 this morning. I have no idea why this sudden insomnia. I entertained myself by watching the new Anne of Green Gables, Star Trek Deep Space Nine and by looking through catalogues and magazines. I cut out recipes and dog-eared pages with interesting stories. I found a few neat things to order. I like shopping in my comfy clothes from my warm house.

“Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.”

November 24, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving!

My mother always got up at the crack of dawn to stuff then roast the bird. My sisters and I figure she must have the biggest bird on record to roast it for so long. She’d then be in the kitchen most of the morning peeling and then cooking potatoes and vegetables. We’d be in the living room watching the parade. That never changed even when we were adults. The turkey got smaller and we helped prepare dinner, but we still watched the parade. We added mimosas to the morning and the beginning of the celebration.

My father was glued to the TV and football games. He’d only take a break to carve the turkey and eat dinner. I can still picture him munching on his turkey leg, and I remember his plate always had a mound of mashed potatoes covered in gravy. My dad wasn’t big for a variety of vegetables but he did love his asparagus, always canned, never fresh, and creamed onions. For the rest of us, the table groaned from the number of dishes filled with vegetables. My contribution was sometimes a Waldorf salad, and I always brought date-nut bread, my grandmother’s recipe. After dinner my father returned to football. The rest of us would sit at the table and talk for a while then my mother and I would start the clean-up.

Dessert was served later. My mother usually made pumpkin and lemon meringue pies. I brought apple pie, stacked high. My dad loved dessert. He’d eat his apple pie with a slice of cheddar cheese and cover a piece of pumpkin pie with whipped cream.

The evening was quiet. If any of us got hungry, we’d have a hot turkey sandwich with stuffing and cranberry sauce on the side.

Our Thanksgiving was family, food and football.

 

NOTE: I found Tuesday’s posting. It was in drafts but it didn’t appear when I looked. It is now posted under the picture for Tuesday.

Last night I almost hit a deer. It was crossing the street and was right in front of my car. I slammed on the brakes so hard I skidded a bit sideways. It was the proverbial deer in the headlights for what seemed like forever. The deer, out of fear, lost its footing and was scrambling in front of the car. Finally, after what seemed like forever, the deer got control of its back legs, got up and ran. It took me a while to calm down.