Wednesday, November 28, 2012
Tuesday, November 27, 2012
I've written about Thanksgiving before. Remember the post about John Theobalds and Sister Marie Charlotte? As I re-read it today, I realize I had forgotten to add that Sister and I made the waiting time pass more quickly with a bottle of sweet sherry.
Today I spent way too much time looking for photographs of other Thanksgivings past, so let me just say a word or two to remind me of this year's festivities. One of these days I will conquer the photos, but until then . . .
We were expecting one of the families from Washington and they arrived around lunch time (having spent the night in Breezewood), just in time for them all to go to the dentist. Why they should have a dentist who lives over 500 miles away eludes me. As we were preparing for dinner, I committed two more of the culinary stupidities which have made me persona non grata at holiday meals—see my last post on the turkey fiasco. For Wednesday dinner I was making chili, while at the same time I was making pumpkin and pecan pies for Thanksgiving. I put one of the pumpkin pies on top of the stove where the air could circulate to cool it and then turned up the burner to get the chili to the right temperature. You guessed it. Fortunately my daughter in law asked if I really meant to have a flame under the pie and it was saved. No charred smell, cracked pie dish etc. Then I realized that the corn bread muffins I was making to eat with the chili should have been mixed with milk—not vegetable oil. Thank heaven for packages of crackers. More family members dropped by in the evening, but we got everybody to bed—and they stayed there until they smelled sausages next morning. We packed up and were all over at Liz's in time for pre-dinner activities. It was a lovely day, so the traditional game of football took place. By the way, Jason Gay did a marvelous number on Thanksgiving football this year.
Food, wine, more food, more wine and pretty soon we were all home in bed, only to start all over again the next day with the same cast of characters at the Grosse Pointe Parade. This is where it got interesting. We had various cars and I was walking with Kate to her car when all of a sudden—I felt the ground coming up to meet me. I suspect it was a good thing that I did not put out my arms to break my fall. I have done that before and the resulting Colles' fracture would have been marginally worse that the jolted ribs and painful and spectacular bruising of my one of my lady parts. It still hurts and I cannot cough or sneeze (I now have a cold) without bracing myself.
So you can see why I stayed home while the kids went to see Lincoln that afternoon. They were most impressed. How wonderful it was that although the 14 grandchildren were home with me, they needed no supervision thanks to Emmanuel (15) and Patrick (14.)
Saturday was more of the same, this time with a trip to the Henry Ford Museum to see the Lego exhibit and some of the memorabilia of American history. Dinner at Kate and Ron's, then on Sunday the D.C. crew departed. We'd had all kinds of sleepovers and fun, but it was time for everybody to get back to school and work. It is almost a tradition that the first snow of the year falls after Thanksgiving, and this year was no exception, but the snow was light and did not extend across the route to Washington. The travelers reached home after ten hours. We were both tired, the laundry filled the chute from the basement to the second floor and not a scrap of food was left.
Can't wait for next year.
Posted by Beryl Ament at 7:43 AM
Sunday, November 18, 2012
Sunday is the only day we have a Detroit paper delivered. It is a good way to find out about the jail sentences of our former mayor, read articles like"Why Detroit's top lawyer can't stop fighting" and explore the Lions' habit of overcoming slow starts (they didn't overcome anything today.) Then there's Mitch Albom. But today the features were a re-hash of last year's columns—and the year before. It is Thanksgiving, we we have our annual guide to surviving the holiday and hosting "this monumental meal." There are recipes for fool-proof mashed potatoes and make ahead turkey gravy and —well, you get the idea.
Things get worse when we move on to the magazine section of the paper. We find a recipe for Moistest-ever Pumpkin Pie Muffins. Forget it. Pumpkin is eaten once a year, in a pie, and when you think about it, pumpkin is only palatable when gussied up with large amounts of ginger, cloves, cinnamon etc. Don't even give me one of the much touted pumpkin lattes that Starbucks makes us think we need to feel festive.
Rachael Ray tells us she loves Brussel Sprouts with Pancetta and Apple-Celery-Onion Stuffing, but doesn't give us any recipes.
Finally we have Dr. Phil with his "tough, touching plan for holiday harmony." Ten rules to make our Thanksgiving perfect. I need to pay attention to #2: Grandparents, know your limited role. I must know my boundaries and not contradict mom and dad (and yes, I have been known to do that.) He goes on to say, "You don't negotiate when little Johnny is setting the cat on fire." Faygo, you're on your own.
Finally, Dr. Phil attempts to endear himself to us with rule #9, Don't set the bird on fire—like I did. Come on, Dr. Phil, not that old business of leaving the sack of gizzards in the turkey. I don't think you have ever been it a kitchen.
How do you think I got out of hosting this monumental meal? I dropped the turkey on the floor (and the five second rule worked quite nicely.) And guess what? In a few weeks we can read the whole business all over again. Just substitute "Christmas" for "Thanksgiving."
Posted by Beryl Ament at 6:53 PM
Tuesday, November 13, 2012
|Mary Flo Whalen, September 3, 1925-June 9, 2012|
Posted by Beryl Ament at 6:49 PM
Wednesday, November 07, 2012
This will be the third time that we launch a daughter down the aisle. I should be an expert by now, except that is seventeen years since the last wedding and this one is being organized on short notice. I'll give it my full-time attention after we take care of another family situation this weekend.
It is not so much the flowers or the cake or the hotels or the "mother of the bride" stuff that scares me, it is the fact that before every wedding he who shares the house decides that the wedding cannot take place without some domestic upheaval. He was convinced that the last wedding would not be valid unless he unearthed some of the countless photographs of his ancestors we have in boxes, got them perfectly and appropriately framed and hung them in just the right spot. Woe to any bit of household repair I needed done. The wedding before—well, I forget his plan, but I do remember I was up on a ladder painting our bedroom cream with terra cotta moldings. I was working then, so I am sure I had better things to do and I didn't plan on doing any entertaining in my bedroom anyway.
This time around we needed a "sprightly back entrance". This entailed stripping off some wallpaper and re-painting walls and woodwork and cubby holes. But this was the problem. You can't see it very well, but it is the door leading down to the basement. Many years ago I had painted it a nasty browny/beige and over the years we had used it to record the heights of our grandchildren and a few nephews and nieces and what have you. But it needed painting in a slightly off-white color to match the background of the wall paper which is going up top. Not just any off white—the man who mixed the colors called the sprightly green Ariel and the white Caliban. The darker green on the outside of the door is Prospero. Personally I don't think Caliban should be white, but . . .
Anyway, my job was to record the names, dates and heights so they can be transferred to our newly painted door where the tradition will continue.
We actually got a painter to do this and I must say, it looks pretty sprightly.
Posted by Beryl Ament at 5:58 PM
Saturday, November 03, 2012
Individually they are good for my daughter Lucy. Two together are better. Three in combination are best. Put them together with the role of a glamorous actress in a 1930s play noire and she is over the moon.
Posted by Beryl Ament at 7:14 PM
Thursday, November 01, 2012
Posted by Beryl Ament at 6:11 PM