Thursday, October 16, 2014

To Re-une, or not to Re-une, Not really a Question

Do you attend your high school reunions?  Have you ever attended one?  Do you have close friends from high school that you still see after 40 or 50 years?

My answers are yes, yes, and no.  And since I do not keep in touch with these folks from 50 years ago, I have decided to skip my 50th reunion on Saturday.  (I decided that before I found out I was having house guests for the week-end.)

I have attended three reunions in the past.  I went to my ten year reunion with my husband.  Many attendees were there with spouses.  I think what many of us discovered is that bringing a spouse to a reunion is like bringing an overcoat to the desert, i.e. you are dragging it around the entire day and have no use for it whatsoever.  (Unless of course you graduated together.)

At the 20 year reunion, I do not remember seeing any spouses.  It was also the reunion where everyone was ready to tell tales long hidden about fellow classmates.  That reunion was pretty well-attended and quite an eye-opener for me.

The 30th reunion was not so well-attended, but proved to be another eye-opener.  There were men wearing leisure suits (this is now 1994) and still living in the 60's when it came to lifestyle (hanging out at McDonald's?  Really?).  Some of the women still had the same 60's hairstyles and the same pink lipstick.  I felt like I had traveled in a time machine whilst wearing a designer Carmen Marc Valvo evening gown.  I realized that other than graduating with these people, we had not very much in common.

So, earlier this year when I received an email asking for my current information, I answered the questions and sent it back.  When asked if I wanted to purchase a book with info on my fellow classmates, I politely declined.

I doubt that anyone will miss me on Saturday.  I'll be having dinner with my family in a nice quite Italian restaurant.  I am sure we will be trading travel adventure stories, their's in Paris and mine in Russia.

And I am sure all of my old classmates will be spending the evening talking about who made it and who didn't, who looks young and who aged poorly, and all the same cattiness I heard in the past.  Who needs it.


My high school letter for sports.

Monday, October 13, 2014

A Mishmosh Monday

Forty-two years ago today, on a Friday the 13th, I and my husband moved into my current home.  It was a relatively new subdivision 'out in the boonies' and construction would continue for five more years.  I never, ever believed I would be here this long.  There are still two other families on my street who were the original owners of homes here.

Today is also my grandson's six-month birthday.  I am writing this while waiting for my son to drop him off for the day.

Fall, is definitely in the air here.  I've seen frost on the grass in the morning, the leaves are turning orange and red, and you definitely need a jacket if you are out and about.  We had rain last night with a forecast for rain all week.  All of this weather change means lots of fall clean-up.  I've already stowed the outdoor furniture and have started cutting down all of the perennials.  I have out of town guests next week-end and plan to barbecue on the grill, but we will definitely be eating inside.

I had also planned to serve French onion soup next week-end, but my massive kitchen foul-up nixed that idea.  Have you ever done something and just knew something wasn't right?

I make my own chicken stock and freeze it in plastic containers.  Yesterday, I grabbed a container out of the freezer for the soup.  I wondered why it was in a popular plastic container brand rather than what I normally use, but went right on using it.  It even looked a little odd when I opened it, but I still used it.

When the soup was done, I tasted it for seasoning and it tasted terrible.  I thought maybe I had added too much vinegar at the end, so I tried to neutralize it with a bit of baking soda.  It helped, but there was no way I could serve this soup to anyone.

And then it hit me.  It was in the wrong container and looked strange because it was lime juice and not chicken stock.  The label must have come off the container, but I definitely remember putting the lime juice in it and freezing it.

So now, I have no onion soup, wasted a ton of onions, and also have no lime juice for key lime pie.  Good thing it is now pumpkin season.

Today is Columbus Day.  Yesterday, the comic strip Arlo and Janis had a very cute comic about it.  You can view it here.

Enjoy your week.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Foodie Friday in Saint Petersburg, Russia

Food in Russia is not like food in America.  Apparently, they do not go for lots of green leafy vegetables and fruit.  Nevertheless, I enjoyed my chance to eat lots of meat pies, called piroshki.  We particularly enjoyed them in Saint Petersburg at a restaurant called Stolle.  They were so good at lunch that we bought some to take back to the hotel for a quick dinner before the ballet.  I may have taken a picture of them, but I cannot find it at the moment.

I also enjoyed a salad made with the creamiest feta cheese I ever tasted.  They used cabbage instead of lettuce.


A most wonderful dinner was had one night at a restaurant featuring French cuisine.  This was a stacked veal with mushrooms (best time to visit Russia is when mushrooms are in season, IMHO).


A filled plate from a Russian salad bar in a local diner does not look the same as one made here in the states.  We have cabbage, cabbage and more cabbage plus some Olivier salad, aka potato salad glammed up.


Lest one think that eating in Russia is all pelmenis and piroshkis, fear not, for American fast food can be found.  You don't even need to know the Russian alphabet to recognize a restaurant.

Craving some coffee?


Can't read the menu?


Not a problem.  They all speak English.

Need a quick lunch?  Take your pick.