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Monday, March 2, 2015

Detroit's Cooking Rennaissance



Who says you have to go to a gourmet restaurant for unique food presentation?

The world has been hearing a lot lately of all the new restaurants going up in Downtown Detroit (in cool old spaces).  And many are impressive, most need reservations, some are too fancy, ALL are too expensive.  

No need to go downtown for me though - my darling 87 year old neighbor makes me lunch/dinner twice a week – regularly.  He used to own a chain of businesses around Detroit for over 40 years and just retired two years ago (yes – at 85 and rather reluctantly I’d say).  

He’s got a little time on his hands now and I’m a beneficiary of that time.  

Of course, we were also beneficiaries when he owned his stores too, since he made ice cream and other treats – you never knew something called Pistachio Ice Cream could be so good, until handmade blocks were delivered to your house in a plain white box…. I miss his stores – oh my gosh and the rum balls – wow, yeah, without an industrial kitchen – there are no more sweet treats.

But, without his stores, he is has since became a mad chef.  

So, from sweet to savory we have made the change – and quite frankly, it’s a surprise every time.

The phone will ring and the ETA of when lunch/dinner will be ready is relayed to me.  Very important fact – don’t be late and show up when he says to.  This man did run a chain of stores; you don’t mess with the boss. 

When you get there, you may or may not be told what is on the menu, sometimes it’s a secret and he will ask when you are done if you liked it.  Last week we had Ox Tail, but he didn’t want to tell me, because then I might not like the sound of it.  What?  Like I would ever tell him I didn’t like anything – my personal lunch system might stop and who wants that?

I tried to cook for him once, all I got was criticism – lesson learned, the food only goes one way – from him to the world. Check. Got it.

So back to the surprise factor, he was feeling especially creative with the above – the presentation goes above and beyond what you would expect from a meat loaf – yes that is a sausage in the middle.  He was a creative genius whipping up sweet treats in his last life so why not transport that creativity to his new hobby?  Funny – yes.  Endearing – definitely. 

Oh and his Chicken Cacciatore – by far my favorite – next to his hand caught trout.  Hubby leans towards the ribs.  

Man, do I live in the best neighborhood or what?!?

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Duck and Cover



I was watching Graham Norton the other day and there was a great story. 

I’m not sure if everyone knows who Graham Norton is – here in America if you don’t get the BBC on your cable, you don’t get the delight of the Graham Norton Show.  Basically it’s the best talk show ever created.  It’s not a format we use here in the States, but we should! 

Once we recorded an episode that showcased Matt Damon, Bill Murray, Hugh Bonneville (Lord Granthom) and the singer Paloma – I laughed so hard I watched it three times before we deleted it (Series 14 – Episode 18).  I thought, man, if I am ever in a coma – THIS show is definitely on my list of things I want people to play for me in the background to bring me out of it.  

I have a whole list of stuff – 1940’s radio broadcasts of Sherlock Holmes, The Great Gildersleeve, Johhny Dollar, Damian Runyon and other sounds like V8 engine racing noises, car – boat – it doesn’t matter, rushing river water, just things that make me happy.  You should think about making one too and put it in your living will!

But back to Graham – he’s a transported Irish man, living in England with a show.  He has three or four guests on at a time and interviews them simultaneously.  They interject comedy as they see fit, sometimes with a cocktail in hand to loosen things up a bit – not that European Television needs any more loosening.  And at the end they have “The Red Chair”.  

The Red Chair is where a couple of audience members get a chance to tell a story they think is funny and might add to the show.  If the story is crap or starts out slow – Graham pulls a level and the chair flips over – ejecting the unfunny audience member.  If they story is good, they can “Walk”.  Not many stories are good…

But the other night they had a young blonde Northern Irish girl in the chair.  She was a complete ditz and they (Graham and guest, Jim Carrey) were razzing her before she even started her story.  But eventually she got to the story – and here it is:

While on holiday in New York, she returned to her hotel and was waiting to get on the elevator.  When the elevator opened there were already three very large, and she described “menacing” looking, men in the car that must have gotten on at a lower level.  She thought – should I get on?  She summoned up the courage and stepped on.  At that point one of the men said “hit the floor” so she immediately covered her head and crouched down to the floor.  Then she heard the voice again, it said, “no, I mean hit the button – to your floor”.  Haha, she got to walk!

So there you have it, if you are ever having a crap day, find yourself a little Graham Norton – that should do the trick!  Better yet, find that Bill Murray episode noted above - Cheers!

Monday, February 16, 2015

You Have Your Instructions


 


I had been left a pile of work to do, complete with instructions.  I hadn’t realized there were instructions, until the “boss” came over to ask me why I had not completed her request.  I thought it was simply a gift, until I inspected it further.  

The neighbor girl was utterly disappointed in me.

You see this pile of papers, with writing and drawings on them, contained details of which I must have completely missed.  And really, when you look at them – it is nearly an impossibility to miss – as they are clearly written.  There are instructions on each and every page what is to be done with them.

Firstly, I am to laminate those that say to laminate them:
The ones that aren’t marked “laminate” I am to put into two ziplock bags. 


But not before I sort those out that are clearly marked to be framed, noted on the page backs.
 When this is all done I am to return them, on Saturday.  It is Sunday now and she is wondering why she still does not have them in her possession…
Clearly I cannot follow instructions.  Not to mention the fact that we have no means of laminating…


Good thing this isn’t a requirement for being a good neighbor, because I adore my little neighbor girl and I would miss her is this meant being banished from the neighborhood.

Looks like I’m gonna have to get a laminator if I am going to stay in good with her…. Do you think Office Depot carries them?

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

No Soup for You (Unless You're Over 21)



Nothing like a good bowl of soup to keep you warm on a cold winter’s day!

Except, this one is served in a pint glass, is ice cold and you can’t share it with your kids.

Bottoms up!

Monday, February 2, 2015

Sleepercise



If an eighteen pound dog curls up on your abdomen to sleep for the entire night, does that count as seven hours of weight lifting or cardio?

Darling Rosie dog has always needed to touch or lay across some part of me (or the husband) during the night.  Mostly it’s a behind up on one person’s leg and a head and front paws on another. 

Or my favorite, when it’s girlie time of month for me – she will sprawl from hip bone to hip bone – head off one end, butt off the other – acting like a hot water bag for my alien ovaries.  She’s a girl dog, apparently she just knows…

But lately, there has been no sharing of the dog weight with the husband, just an18 pound little Doxie curled up in a ball on my belly for the night.  I can fidget and move around all I want and she just stays there, stuck like a piece of Velcro.

I was complaining that my sides hurt from a particularly rough session of yoga the other day – but I bet it’s not the yoga at all!  Because really, eighteen pounds of dead sleeping weight on any part of your body for seven straight hours is bound to use muscles you never have before. 

Yeah, yeah, yeah – you non dog owners would just tell me to move her - and we have.  After a while you just get cold and tired from sitting up all the time to drag her dead weight off you, where she then just crawls right back up before you are settled back in under the covers.  Again – another sleepercise program – midnight sit ups, with a touch of medicine ball like weight lifting – but really, you get a better night’s sleep just leaving her on your being. 

Anyone else own a Dachshund?  There’s pretty much no telling them what to do.  Yes, kind of like a cat – which oftentimes we think she is imitating.

So, does my overnight sleepercize program count?  Can I stop going to yoga? 

Oh and if I add in the vibration from her snoring – does that burn even more calories in the seven hour program I am now participating in?  Talk about a great use of time!!
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** Picture borrowed from dognotebook.com.  Not really possible to take a picture of a dog sleeping on you in the middle of the night unless someone helps – and someone is sound asleep next to me, if I woke him – he definitely would not be up for snapping cute pictures of doggies on bellies in the dead of night.