Fire Rooster


Happy Chinese New Year to all!

Remember last year when I was so super excited about the Year of the Monkey?

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Well 2016 lived up to all the hype. Like a monkey it was full of energy, erratic and sometimes scary and full of surprises.

But Rooster. I have high hopes for Rooster. I know I don’t have to capitalize the word Rooster – put your red pens away. But I’m just trying to give it the respect it deserves.


Last year I went to a flea market and found a little monkey holding a banana. I brough him home and put in my kitchen and prayed that he’d bring me luck. And he did.  The monkey may have caused havoc in the world but for my little world – it was a good year.

When I think of 2016 I’ll think of  Kera and all her friends graduating. I’ll think of all the beautiful weddings we were lucky enough to be a part of – Keith and Danielle, Herb and Larry, Marcello and Lorraine, Sweta and Wendall.

I’ll think of my friend Sarah who welcomed little Charlie. I’ll think of my baby boy becoming a teen and celebrating 20 years of marriage with my guy.

That’s what I’ll think about.

So Rooster – Fire Rooster. Sign of dawn and awakening. Sign of hard work and justice. Sign of logic and reason.

I’ve always loved roosters. I know you’re going to think I’m crazy – but I have them all over the house. In fact this past Christmas, my secret Santa even gave me a rooster cookie cutter (Thank you Ty!). I’m not sure I ever thought about why I loved them. But I’ll take some logic, reason and justice. I’ll take being more grounded.

So let’s go people. Time to wake up. Time to get to work. Fire Rooster is here.

 

 

 

Phyllo, fancy parties…and medical marijuana?

Thursday night my husband and I decided to go out on the town! Have dinner, see a late show, like other people do. But a few too many of these went down.

And then, long story short,  I went down too. For 34 hours post night out I was out for the count. Coffee didn’t help. Two disco naps didn’t help. I even tried the hair-of-dog…. it didn’t help.

But last night was our book club – and I was not going to miss it. We had a real, live author coming in. We’re hot like that. The book was the wonderful Smiles and Ductape written by my dear friend April’s sister-in-law, Jesse Torrey (did you follow that?). 

The book is about the family’s journey after their son Jack develops ALD. It’s sad, happy and full of love. We were having a good discussion by the time Jesse started talking about the latest part of Jack’s story. It involves using medical marijuana. And then our little book club lit up…not literally, just conversationally. We had questions, lots and lots of questions. We became Charlie Rose level interviewers. I’ve never seen us come alive like that.  It was hysterical. 

And speaking of getting the munchies (just kidding)…

Usually when I go to someone’s home I like to bring a little bite to eat or some wine or both. My mama brought me up right. But did I mention I was exhausted? And old? Luckily for me my girl is home from college and had plans to meet friends for a “fancy dinner”. She had googled an appetizer she wanted to make and like any good mother I offered to buy her all of the ingredients… and then made her to make some for me to take too. I knew having kids would pay off eventually.

Now I love entertaining. I have for a long time. But in all those years I’ve never used Phyllo. Or is it just phyllo with a lower case p? In any case I’ve never used it/bought it/thought about it.

It was a revelation. Easy. Light. Tasty. How come more people don’t talk about Phyllo/phyllo?? 

Here’s what she made and I stole..

You need: Phyllo/phyllo cups, 2 tablespoons of heavy cream, 4 oz of goat cheese, 1 block of cream cheese, thyme, honey, red seedless grapes and black pepper. 


Fillo!! Wtf?? Which is it?



Combine the room temp cheese and heavy cream and whip


Bake Phyllo/phyllo/fillo shells to crisp up (this is optional because they are already fully cooked but remember she was going for “fancy”)


Fill each with the cheese mix – drizzle with honey, sprinkle in the thyme and black pepper, and finish with half a grape. Or one whole grape if you’re a Rockefeller.


Use fancy Ziploc bag as pastry bag….


And here’s my girl and her crew at their dinner. And then me with half the bookclub with the author (lower right) below. 

I’m sure that’s juice punch in that bowl… ahem.

Dear 50’s housewife, it gets better

I read this article someone reposted from an old lifestyle magazine.

Then for laughs I rewrote it. Let me know if there’s any other advice that should be in there. Click link below.

tips-to-look-after-your-husband

PSA 2016

I use a lot of products. Too many I think. A few months ago I got rid of one of my routines. I no longer buy make-up remover. I’m done. No more wipes, lotions or pads. About 6 months ago I bought thisThis little vat of goodness does it all. It was bought to help me get my feet ready for flip flops. But in the end I started using it for my knees, elbows, lips, you get the picture. Then I read a small line on the back that read,”removes make-up.” So I tried it. 

Guess what? It’s amazing. This and a washcloth and the make-up is gone!

Here’s proof (is this an overshare?)


I know what you’re thinking. I’m a genius! And I wear too much eyeliner. Both true. But it’s better than anything else I’ve tried. 

I’m obsessed. I may or may not carry around smaller amounts of the butter everywhere I go in little Tupperware containers. Embarrassing and yet totally useful.

Ok. Back to your Sunday. PSA over. Xoxo

The gobble gobble 

It’s the Tuesday before Thanksgiving – my absolute favorite time of year. Who would have guessed that a vegetarian Indian girl who never even really acknowledged the holiday until 1991, would be this obsessed. I hear my husband saying it’s all him. He’s the reason I love it. Maybe. 

First turkey day ever: Milford, PA circa 1991

Memory: Aunt Dee Dee (whose real name is Mary inexplicably) handing me the sausage to cut up for stuffing. First time I ever touched sausage. Good times.

For years we went to her house every year – even right after my little baby girl was born. Speaking of baby girl – she came home for the holiday. On her 18th birthday. We missed cake for breakfast so we did cake at a normal time. 

18. As in a year younger then I was when I went to my first Thanksgiving in Milford. This is some twisted time warp. But she’s home! And by home I mean she’s out with friends but in the same town as us. I’ll take it.

 We also saw some oldies but goodies. Katherine. Howard and Luigi. Santa. And Janey. The picture says it all. It’s blurry. Off center. Everyone’s smiling – even Howard – he’s the bald head floating on top of Janey. (On a side note) Katherine has her tree up. We have neighbors who have lights up. I know it’s tradition but I’m still rocking the pumpkins. I need to hold on to pumpkins people. And that is in no way a diss to Christmas-on-Thanksgiving people. You do you.

So anyway it’s the Tuesday before…Thursday  and all through the house, not a creature was stirr… that’s not true. Creatures are stirring. They’re stirring all over the place. 

Turkey #1 is in the brine! Do you brine? Do you dry rub instead? Do you do none of the above and your turkey comes out better then mine? Don’t tell me.

I brine because I’m a sheep to The Food Network. If Ina tells me to do something – by god I do it. My brine is a combo of mulling ingredients and things I’ve heard are good to dump in there.  Yes that is star anise in there. And yes, also some dried apples and pepper cloves. Citrus? Yep. Onions and garlic? Yep. Good turkey. Nice turkey. What do I care – I’m not eating it! Just kidding..  And now something that has nothing to do with anything but is just as important. I want to share a photo taken by an amazing photographer(among other things) in our town – who as fate would have it just happened to be my baby girls soccer coach in middle school. Small beautiful world. 

He took this pic of the lake in our town. I screenshot (or is it screenshotted? Is that even a word?) it a week ago and have been looking at it ever since. I was totally going to pretend that I took it – but he’s too nice a guy. Thanks Pat for sharing your talent!

 

Thanksgiving week is on – and in the words of Jim Morrison or Mandela or Bobby Flay…the only way out is through. Let’s do this.

oh hey….

Remember me? No? I don’t blame you. It’s been a few days, or weeks or maybe months (ouch).

I just haven’t been in the mood. Every form of social media that I used to love and get excited to be a part of became a vehicle for me to voice my frustrations. About what you ask? Well, you know what. Tuesday, November 8th is what. And since the middle of the year I’ve been caught up… in it…with it. Up to my neck. Who knew I was so civic-minded? Not me – my priorities (outside of my family of course – I’m not a monster) were usually my DVR rotation and what I was having for my next meal. But I got hooked. And it felt great. And I did and do and will always believe in it. But I’m exhausted. A friend texted me the night of the election and said she was gutted. That’s the perfect word for how I felt too. Gutted. Not just by the results, but by the ride.

And when I woke up the next day and hopped a train to work – I felt like a zombie. But then I started seeing friendly faces. Talking. Laughing. Commiserating. My team and I  literally broke bread (NYC bagels) together the morning after and talked about how we all spent the night before. It felt great – and it wasn’t just the sugar from the carbs hitting our system. It was hearing about plans for the next weekend. Complaining about upcoming meetings and joking about family.

Now, a few days out, I’m coming out of the fog. And it doesn’t hurt that the leaves are bursting with psychedelic color and my favorite cooking shows are all focused on Thanksgiving (I don’t even mind the Christmas commercials already airing).

So I’m going to start a cleanse. And this cleanse has nothing to do with kale or juicing. I haven’t lost my mind. I’m going to stop indulging and eating up the news. I’m going to stop soaking up opinions and articles and shows about the state of the world.

You’ve heard me say that I love Facebook – or I used to. I loved seeing posts from friends and family near and far about their daily lives and what they were up to. But in the last year, the news feed that used to make me happy has either incited me or validated my opinions. I’ve felt the need to read and absorb every single good/bad/hurtful/helpful thing that comes up. And it’s depleted me. I joined a local group of supporters who felt like I feel and think like I think and I thought it would make me feel better. But it didn’t.

So I’m cleansing and purging. I deleted all my posts that were political in nature – and the comments good and bad that followed. If I thought for a second it would feel like a copout – it didn’t. It felt great. I also hid every single person on my news feed that posts constantly about their political/social views – whether I agree with them or not. I would never unfriend them – but now I only see what they post when I want to. I realized a lot of my actions were reactions to other people. That can’t happen anymore. Instead my newsfeed is full of people who post dog pics, their latest cooking ventures and what they did the night before. If you checked in to a good restaurant last night, I want to know about it. If your kid’s team won – I want to cheer him on with you.

Does that mean I don’t care anymore? No.I care a lot. None of my views have changed. Not one. I still believe in every single vote I cast. And I’d do it again (I will for sure in 4 years). But I have never been a fighter. I’m not into it. I don’t enjoy making someone feel bad. I’ve worked hard to only have people in my life that make me feel good – make my family feel good.  Passion is good, but it needs balance so it doesn’t become rage. And I value kindness above all other things. Period. I don’t always succeed, but I try.

So I’m going to focus on Cranbury sauce recipes and whether I should add buttermilk to this year’s mashed potatoes, is that a crime? I’m going to put all my brain power where it belongs – on a new brine recipe for the turkey. Furthermore! I need to start thinking about Black Friday….will I or won’t I? I’ve been ignoring these major decisions for too long.

Talk soon, xoxo

 

Till dragons and zombies do us part?

Dear Joe,

It’s been a great marriage. We laugh. We cry. Mostly I cry. We love our kids. We love our family. You’ve given me a life of joy. Joy of music. Joy of food. And most importantly, joy of TV. That’s right TV. You and I, we’ve been inseparable in our TV watching. Remember the summer we watched every Woody Allen movie ever made? How about when we discovered House of Cards together? I even watched Jaws 3 with you. Jaws 3! Nothing could sever our TV bond. You were my partner in crime. And drama. And comedy.

But something happened. I started noticing a cooling a few years ago, but tried to ignore it. We were working our way through season 1 of Game of Thrones. You and me, together. And then…the finale. Baby dragons. And just like that, you were out. You couldn’t do it. Not even Peter Dinklage’s one liners could bring you back. So I went on without you. Through the red wedding and Joffrey’s death. I was sad to be without you, but I told myself that it’s ok, it’s healthy to have independant TV lives.

The next blow was Zombies. You won’t do zombies. I tried to plead my case. It’s more than just stabbing people in the brain. It’s a love story. A story of survival and connection. But alas you left me alone with Rick, Daryl and Glen.  I missed you but I also started noticing something. Something terrible.

I realized that since I could watch those shows without waiting for you, there was no limit to my binging! 6am binge? Why not! The world was my oyster. The Wire. Preacher. Six Feet Under. I couldn’t believe how great it was to be this free. This…TV single.

But what about us? I worried this would be the end of our happy TV life together. Oh we’ve had issues in the past. Your sheer hatred for Everybody Loves Raymond  and The Pioneer Woman almost did us in. But we got through it. We found Cops together. Actually the kids started watching Cops and then we would watch together as a family. My point is….we survived. We didn’t let that break us.

But now, I’m worried again. I mean we have CBS Sunday Morning and 60 Minutes together, and we’ll always have our memories – Breaking Bad, Sopranos, and ofcourse – season 1 and 2 of Orange is the New Black. But what about the future?

Stranger Things was off to a good start but then…a monster.And you were out again. But need I remind you that ET was fantastical? And that there is no such thing as a Death Star or a final frontier?

What I’m saying to you is…I don’t want TV us to be over. I want to work it out. Last night we started The Night Of together. Let’s defy the odds and make it all the way! You promised that we’d be together in our TV watching our whole lives. Remember? Growing old together in front of the TV, with our dinner trays?  That was the dream. And it can be again.

Narcos season 2 is on its way. And Peaky Blinders …. let’s not forget Peaky Blinders.

What I’m trying to say is – I’m not going to give up on you. On TV us.

Love,

Your binge-watching-zombie-loving-dragon-believing wife.

 

 

 

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