September 2017


A Good Waitress Can Jump-start Your Day

A Dinner Parties and More Extra . . .      I have always had a soft spot in my heart for waitresses. I especially appreciate the ones who arrive at their work before the sun comes up.      It must be difficult at that early hour to greet everyone with a smile and some friendly banter. But that’s as important to me as the coffee and the grub. A waitress is like an angel who appears out of the fog of my waking hours. And she always seems to get my day started off on…

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Mushroom Gravy

     This easy creamy gravy, spiked with Marsala wine, can be whisked together while the main event of your meal is cooking. Start by browning mushrooms in butter to give the gravy plenty of savory flavor. Add flour to thicken, simmer in Marsala wine and beef broth, and finish with heavy cream. Serve this versatile gravy with everything from meatloaf to beef Wellington.

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Beef Wellington

Beef Wellington

     Beef Wellington. Even it’s name is a bit stuffy.  As for haughty cuisine, I place it in the same class as oysters Rockefeller, beef bourguigon, Caesar salad, and baked Alaska. We also assume it’s a dish only that only the well-heeled and well-to-do can afford. I’ve seen it described as ritzy and swank, and my personal favorite descriptors have been highfalutin and fancy-schmancy.      It’s basically a steak fillet covered with pate de foie gras, then wrapped in pastry and baked. The beef  [tenderloin] is seared, then topped with either foie…

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An Outdoor Passion – Smoking A Good Cigar

A Boston Legal Moment      “In what is now the traditional ending to each episode, Shore and Crane wander out to the spacious balcony off of Crane’s office, and Scotch and cigar in hand, rehash the high points or lessons learned of the previous 60 minutes.” From Betsy Model’s Sept/Oct 2006 Cigar Aficionado article on William Shatner. Having Your Own Moment      Summer is prime time to smoke a cigar. It’s a pleasant activity to enjoy outdoors on the patio. I can get this marvelous sense of well-being from smoking a…

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Ratatouille In A Tower – An Eggplant/Tomato/Zucchini Stack

The Sinful Choice      There’s comfort food. Everyone knows about that. It has been resigned to the category of “guilty pleasures.” We eye these dishes with a combination of food lust and the fact that we know it probably isn’t good for us. It’s loaded with calories, sugars, sodium, and who knows what else (especially if commercially prepared). I don’t think it’s a good idea to have a steady diet of such fare. But once in a while I don’t think it hurts to indulge ourselves in some decadence. The Feel-good Choice     …

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Late Summer Reading Recommendations

A Dinner Parties and More EXTRA . . .      Reading  is one of the methods you can use to gather topical material you can refer to in social situations. Being armed with information such as this will make you much more interesting as a conversationalist.      Summer is almost over, but there’s still time to read a good book. The self-help genre covering social theories and fun hobbies seems to be especially rich in choices. You might like to try one of our recommendations listed below: Hobbies “Manifold Destiny: The One! The Only! Guide to Cooking on…

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Sexy Chickens Need Not Apply

     I’ve never thought of a chicken as being sexy. I grew up around them, and the chickens of my youth were ordinary no-nonsense chickens. They were hearty, stalwart, Midwestern varieties we could fry, roast, or stew. Familiar varieties were the Plymouth Rock, the Rhode Island Red, and the Leghorn.  “We’re Not Running A Beauty Pageant Here”      The above was a quote from my father when my siblings and I asked if we could get some banty chickens. As a result, we had no exotic designer cockerels roaming our farm….

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Zucchini souffle

How About Some Respect For The Zucchini?

   I’d like to start off with a zucchini quote of my own:      “There is a noticeable odor during the late summer months and that’s the smell of zucchinis rotting in the landfills.” The Rodney Dangerfield of Vegetables     A zucchini gets no respect. It isn’t as cool as a cucumber, as colorful as a carrot, or as sexy as a tomato. It’s not as versatile as a potato. It’s also not as useful as an ochra, nor does it have a rich history like that of the noble leek. As a matter of…

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On The Road Again – Life In The Slow Lane

A Dinner Parties and More Extra . . . A Poem          Life In The Slow Lane        Yet once again I’m made aware that         It’s germane to the state of Maine         One has to wait for the southbound train.         It’s always late. It’s such a pain.         While waiting here, it begins to rain.         If it keeps up, I’ll go insane.         Next time I go, I’ll take a plane to            New York City. A poem by Robert Miller

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