Monday, January 27, 2014

Summertime Sadness

January 27, 2014

Let me just say that I missed the ENTIRE Grammy Awards last night because I got called into work. Just as I was putting up my feet at 8PM the call came. I did get to see Beyonce and JayZ putting on a performance that would have been best performed in their bedroom, but I missed Pink, Katy Perry and Madonna. I did see a small portion of it on the very tiny TV in the PACU lounge but not on my HDTV with surround sound! So I don't know if Lana Del Rey won any awards for her song, Summertime Sadness. But what I do know is that I have severe summertime sadness.

I'm tired of hearing about the polar vortex, arctic air mass, snow or black ice. I'm also tired of hearing about the projected weather forecast for the Super Bowl. They picked an outdoor stadium on the east coast. It snows here and gets cold in the winter. Didn't anyone think of that? As a born and bred New Englander I am used to the bleak frozen winter months between January and March. Months where the only thing I can think of to do is dress warmly, throw a log on the fire and cook comfort food. Months where even going out to dinner or a movie is predicated on how close I can park my car to a warm area.

Where are you, summer? I'm waiting patiently for you. Although I can't imagine not having a winter season, (are there really people who haven't experience snow and ice?!!) I am a summer girl. So I'll just have to wait for the first signs of spring....tulips and daffodils, robins and longer days. In the meantime I'll keep the fire going and the heat turned up.

                                                         "Summertime Sadness"

Kiss me hard before you go
Summertime sadness
I just wanted you to know
That, baby, you're the best

I got my red dress on tonight
Dancing in the dark in the pale moonlight
Done my hair up real big beauty queen style
High heels off, I'm feeling alive

Oh, my God, I feel it in the air
Telephone wires above are sizzling like a snare
Honey, I'm on fire, I feel it everywhere
Nothing scares me anymore

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Babies R Us

January 22, 2014

I recently heard a news story about a high end restaurant chef tweeting about the appropriateness of taking children to expensive restaurants. I so enjoy trying new restaurants and different cuisines. It is an activity I look forward to whether here at home or when I travel. I love to read about new places and dishes. Going out to eat is one of my most favorite pastimes.

I HAD to look up the details of this story. The restaurant, Alinea, is in Chicago. It looks fabulous. Pretentious, but fabulous. If you are a foodie look it up. It's amazing. Dinners are $210 per person. AND you have to purchase tickets months in advance. You can not cancel without forfeiting the money for the dinner. Definitely not a place for children, especially 3 month olds. This particular couple had babysitter issues at the last minute so they brought the infant with them. Apparently said infant was unhappy throughout the meal and cried loudly. So loudly that the kitchen staff could hear them in the back.

I have lots of sympathy for that couple. Having kids is HARD WORK. It involves SACRIFICE. And other things I won't mention here as this is not a childrearing post. It is terrible that your big evening was going to be ruined by babysitter problems. Let me clue you into something....lots of evening will be ruined by many issues involving your new addition. And not just evenings, but days and nights as well. But to inflict this on the other diners who were out for a special night is just rude and insensitive. Not to mention stupid.

The chef did not ask this particular couple to leave but put the problem out on Twitter. I think there should be a policy in such a high end, expensive place. No children under age 12? 13? What do you think? And before you say that children should be exposed to all kinds of dining experiences, I totally agree. But the line has to be drawn somewhere. If I'm in a family restaurant a little rambunctiousness is fine. I love to talk to kids, they are great. In fact I love them a lot more now since they are not returning home with me! But if I've gotten myself all dressed up to enjoy a QUIET, adult dinner in an expensive restaurant I don't want to hear a screaming baby or put up with a toddler running around my table. Just saying.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Please Refrain From Talking

January 15, 2014

I know this is going to offend some people but the first thing I thought of when I heard someone was shot in the movies for talking and texting was "It's about time." I did feel bad when I heard the victim died but I can certainly understand the feeling of the man who shot him. Up to a point.

I have a certain ritual when I go to the movies with my kids. I try to get there early enough to sit in the very back row so no one can kick my seat and I don't have to listen to them talk or make food noises. If I have a coat I place it on the seat in front of me so no one sits there. Unless its really crowded. Lately I have been able to sit in other rows so my friends don't realize how crazy I am, but my kids know my real preference. 

And talking is simply not tolerated unless someone is having a medical emergency right in the theater. Even then, can't you go out to the lobby to have your heart attack? But seriously, I have wanted to throw hard candy at the heads of talkers and have been known to ask them to be quiet. And not in a nice way. I didn't pay $12.00 to hear someone's opinion of the plot,  dialogue or cinematography. OR to hear their phone conversations or watch their phone light up with texts. STAY THE HELL HOME. I know. My crazy is showing but I can't help it. Sometimes I have the urge to ask people as soon as they sit near me,"Are you planning to talk during this movie because I will move now if you are!"

And thus the reason I don't have a concealed weapons permit. I'm sure there is more to this particular story than we know. I totally believe in stricter gun control, background checks, etc. And I don't REALLY believe patrons should be shot for talking... but texting a three year old? I didn't think they could read yet. And I'm sure there are issues involving anger management. I think we should probably just start with throwing talkers out of the theater. 

Monday, January 13, 2014

Corn Pudding

January 13, 2014

In keeping with my new tradition of the traveling Thanksgiving, one where you show up at friend or relative's house with a dish, I was amazed to try corn pudding. I would never have had that if I had cooked dinner. In my Italian family Jennie never even heard of corn pudding and if she did she would have labeled it as ridiculous. And if she did make it my father would not have eaten it. In fact we never had turkey because he would only eat lasagna. I went to Margo's house after my dinner for the traditional Thanksgiving feast. And I wonder why I can be model thin!

Well let me tell you, corn pudding rocks! I kept going back for seconds and took some home. I wanted to eat it as soon as I got in the door but I restrained myself. I've been thinking about it ever since. Bonnie was kind enough to email the recipe and I made it last night. I really believe it goes with everything and am pretty sure you can eat it for dessert. Just saying.

I will share the recipe with you. Try it. You will not be able to resist. Many thanks to Bonnie Pyler for the recipe.

                                                Corn Pudding

1   12 oz can whole corn
2   17 oz cans creamed corn
5  lightly beaten eggs
1/2 cup sugar
4 TBSP cornstarch
1 1/2 tsp seasoned salt
1/2 tsp dry mustard
1 tsp instant minced onion ( I used onion powder)
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup melted butter

I used slightly bigger cans of corn. This is an old recipe

Combine corn and eggs. Add mixture of sugar, cornstarch, salt, mustard and onion. Stir in milk and butter. Pour into greased 3 qt casserole. ( I used 2 1/2 qt) Bake at 400 degrees for 1 hour, stirring once.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Bridge Scandal

January 10, 2013

As if I didn't have enough bridge phobia. Now I have to worry about man made traffic jams on major bridges. Very high bridges. Oh it only the George Washington Bridge I have to be concerned about traveling over? Is it only in New Jersey that politicians are REALLY stupid? But then again...Mark Sanford WAS reelected in South Carolina. I suppose stupidity like that is universal but I hope it is tempered with some staff members that have not only a brain but a conscience.

The pictures I saw on TV of the aftermath of closing lanes on the GWB were horrifying. Mass chaos. Cars all over in what looked like a parking lot. Emergency vehicles unable to get through traffic, school busses just sitting in traffic and cars EVERYWHERE. How do you close lanes on one of the busiest bridges in America without a valid reason? Did it just take one phone call? No one questioned the validity of that decision. They just went out and put up signs? I sometimes have to make two or three calls just to get the linen carts emptied in my unit never mind CLOSING lanes in New York City!

The emails following the debacle are revealing as well. Governor Christies staff delighting in the confusion and frustration of their own constituents. Just to punish the mayor of Fort Lee, NJ who did not support the governor? Really? And I can't even use my favorite excuse, Boys Are Stupid. The deputy chief of staff was a woman, a mother of four. Shame on you. And for the governor to claim he didn't know. Please. No one believes that. No matter how long the press conference lasts.

My suggestion to Governor Christie, ( I was starting to like you. Your tough no nonsense approach) just get a ten gallon hat and a pistol. We can bring the wild, wild west back to the East Coast.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Winter Sports?

January 8, 2013

I recently spent a  few days in Vermont. I went snow shoeing (under duress.) It was fun but I don't really have to ever do it again. Many years ago I went to the Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe, Vermont where I went cross country skiing. I remember skiing up a hillside to what was billed as a restaurant. It took us most of the morning and when we got there it was a cabin in the woods that sold hummus sandwiches and sprouts. The kids were young and I recall using an outhouse in the freezing cold. You really haven't lived until you remove your garments outdoors in sub zero temperatures. On the way down I had to remove my skis because I was too scared to keep them on. I went a few more times after that, but I never really enjoyed being out in the cold.

On this trip I remembered all the reasons why I never "took" to skiing. The equipment ( boots, skis, head gear, googles), the clothes ( hats, gloves, scarves, neck warmers, ski pants and jackets), the logistics (being bussed from your car or hotel to the mountain) and the expense ( lift tickets, rentals, hotels.) After an ill fated attempt at having a drink at a near by lodge was thwarted by masses of people crowded in to the lounge I was grateful it was never a sport anyone in my life was interested in doing.

Now the sun and the sand and the ocean...that's another story altogether. I could spend a lifetime there. I thought I was going to become a California girl all those years ago when I went out there to work. Maybe there is still time. One thing I know for sure Vermont is not on my list of second homes!