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Wednesday, March 30, 2016

A Ham of a Hodgepodge

Hello, dear friends.  Happy Wednesday.  I hope you all are enjoying your week.  

If it's Wednesday, it's time for Hodgepodge.

1.  What are two or three expectations you have of yourself?

I don't have any expectations of myself.  I'm perfect.  The Mister and my girls, on the other hand, are a whole different story.

2.  In what way does your outdoor space need sprucing up this spring?

I can't wait until a month from now when I can start planting my pots and window boxes.

We had a tree removed over the winter and had this new window box made.  Sometimes I have trouble getting to sleep at night; I am so excited to fill it. 

3.  According to this site (Roadtrippers), six of North America's most wondrous waterfalls are - Webster's Falls in Ontario, Upper Whitewater Falls in North Carolina, Havasu Falls in the Grand Canyon, Multnomah Falls in Oregon, The Lower Yellowstone Falls and Niagara.  Have you seen any on the list?  Which one on the list would you most like to visit?  Prettiest waterfall not on the list that you've seen in person?

I don't think I've seen any of the waterfalls mentioned.  I've got to get out more.

4. Looking back, what's something you wish you'd done as a teenager?

I wish that I had started to lie about my age by about five years.  That way, I could have had the chance of being the smartest in the class and perhaps one of the tallest for a moment in time.  The tallest part probably wouldn't happen, and the smart part is improbable, but I can dream. 

Moi at age 18 during my Sun-In stage.
Can you say oily t-zone?  
If I were smart, I should have told everyone I was 13.

5.  Ham... yes please or no thank you?  If you said yes please which of the following do you like best - baked ham with all the trimmings, a ham and cheese sandwich, prosciutto with melon, a ham biscuit, a bowl of split pea and ham soup, or a slice of pizza topped with ham and pineapple?

This sandwich that I eyed on Pinterest from The Cozy Little Kitchen has had me salivating at first sight.

6. Are you typical of your generation?  How so?

Yes, I'm typical of my generation.  
I look just like them.

7.  April rolls in at the end of the week, and in keeping with the theme... 'act the fool,' 'nobody's fool' 'a fool's errand' 'could have fooled me' ... which foolish idiom most recently applies to you?

Could have fooled me that this guy would be a major contender for the office of President of the United States.

8.  Insert your own random thought here. 

If there are an exceptional amount of typos in today's post, it is all Kristy Woodson Harvey's fault.  I stayed up very late last night finishing her new book Lies and Other Acts of Love.  I kept telling myself that I was only going to read one more page, and yet I couldn't put this delicious book down.  I should have known better because I enjoyed Kristy's first book, Dear Carolina, tremendously.  You can read my review here.

Kristy is not only a novelist but also writes one of my favorite design blogs with her Mom, Design Chic.

Lies and Other Acts of Love is the epitome of captivating southern literature.  You can read the synopsis here.  The enchanting story is told in two voices:  Lovey, the grandmother and Annabelle, the granddaughter.  The thing that rings true in both of Kristy's novels is that the characters are so multifaceted and true to life that when I read the last pages of both books, I felt that I would miss them. I loved this book so much, I have decided that when I am blessed with grandchildren, I want to be called Lovey.

Lies and Other Acts of Love will be released on April 5th.  Treat yourself to a copy. You can thank me later. 

What's something that you wish you had done when you were a teenager?

Until next time...


Monday, March 28, 2016

Anatomy of a Dinner Party / Take 2

Hello, dear friends.  I hope you all enjoyed your weekend.  The Mister and I had a great time entertaining our #1 and Adorable Jonathon.  I took an abundance of photos that I will share with you later.  

A couple of weeks ago, the Mister and I had my two friends, Anne and Annie and their delightful spouses for dinner.  I was thrilled to introduce the two Annes to each other because they both have so much in common.  They both are avid readers and fabulous cooks.  

When we have a dinner party, the Mister and I split the tasks evenly.  Ok, not so evenly - I'll let you decide. 

I am in charge of the flowers, table, dishware and clean up.  I know - I can hear you thinking I don't know how she does it.  It ain't easy being me.

The Mister has the menial task of preparing the food.

Chili is the self-appointed sous chef.  Chowdah was relegated to overnight camp, which he loves and always has a great time.

For appetizers, the Mister prepared two tarts:  poached pear and gorgonzola with pistachios and peppers and buffalo mozzarella and artichoke heart tart with olive tapenade and prosciutto crackling.

Chili is supervising.

He also whipped together some roasted red peppers with extra virgin olive oil and roasted garlic and goat cheese with fresh thyme and lemon accompanied by grilled ciabatta.

Feta and black olive bread pudding accompanied our entree. This was my favorite.

For dinner, we noshed on a grilled breast of chicken with espresso rub, pancetta and smoked relish with grilled asparagus.

For dessert, we feasted on a pistachio ice gelato bar with butter caramel and freshly made warm madeleines dusted with powdered sugar.

The chef was quoted as saying that there was not one calorie in the entire dinner.  He also said that he feels guilty because his trophy wife does all the work.

It was an enchanting evening with some fabulous people that we are fortunate enough to call friends.

Until next time...

Meanwhile... back at camp.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Bunny Cake Tale - Take 4

Hello, dear friends.  It wouldn't be Eastertime in Preppy Empty Nesterville without a repost of the boring fascinating story of the Bunny Cake.

The old homestead

Once upon a time, there was a aging, single, future Preppy Empty Nester, who came back to live at home with her parents after college.  Meanwhile, her Sista was working her fingers to the bone in college striving for straight C's.  Preppy Empty Nester looked forward to college breaks when Sista would come home and relieve her of being the focus of her parents' attention.  The Sistas were not close growing up (Sista always stole poor future Preppy Empty Nester's thunder), but they were beginning to build a bond now that they didn't see each other as much.  Their union was built on the foundation of the three things they had in common: their childhood memories, making fun of their parents, and consuming empty calories.

Holy Saturday afternoon had been spent making the traditional "bunny cake" for their nuclear family of four.  Anyone who has made this classic cake knows the drill: two layer cake - one layer for the face and the second layer for the ears and bow tie.  

Their Mama was very pleased with the girls as she watched them make the cake without killing each other and she was especially proud to see very little frosting swiping in the process.

  Their Mama always watched the girls' weight and offered "helpful nutritional substitutes" when she felt either one of the girls was carrying a few extra LB's.  Whenever she caught one of them red-handed with a fork full of Pepperidge Farm cake from the freezer she would shake her head in utter disappointment, utter a few tsk, tsk, tsks, and kindly offer the girls a fist full of raw carrots.  

Sista had just turned 18 (drinking age in the stone age) and so she and future Preppy Empty Nester decided to skip the parents cross examination "what are you going to do with the rest of your life" dinner and meet some friends at one of their favorite haunts at Fairfield Beach, the Nautilus, or the "Naut" as the cool people called it. The "Naut" was your classic beach bar - no atmosphere and cheap drinks. 

Future Preppy Empty Nester and Sista had a great time catching up with old friends.  They sat with their old buddy Dude, who was working at Saks as a personal shopper and dressing Dustin Hoffman for Tootsie.  Dude was full of Hollywood scoop. 

They arrived home at around 1AM and eyed that gorgeous bunny cake.  Sista asked future Preppy Empty Nester if she thought the left ear looked bigger than the right ear.  She had not agreed with Sista on much in the past,  but on this point, she concurred.  Obviously, they had to make that left ear smaller. They owed it to their parents to present a cake that was worthy of them.  The Sistas decided to get the knife out of the drawer and trim that unsightly ear.  They took turns disposing of the remnants in their mouths. The Sistas then looked at their masterpiece and realized the right ear looked huge... practically grotesque.  How could they ever present that sloppy looking cake to their wonderful parents?  They began surgery on the right ear.

Before we they knew it, both ears were missing from their beloved bunny cake, and frosting hung from their chins when they discovered  their dear Mama was standing behind them with that "guilty as charged" tsk..tsk...sound. 

Reminiscing, this is what we they thought they looked like.

But in reality, this is probably a closer representation of that fateful evening.

Two hours later, sometime around 3:30 AM  nauseous future Preppy Empty Nester and Sista were finishing off frosting another layer of cake... soon to be known as the ears and the bow tie.

Four hours later, Mama woke her girls up for 11AM Easter Mass.  When her girls questioned why they had to get up so early, Mama responded they needed extra time in the shower to  get the frosting off their faces.

The names in this story have been changed to protect the not so innocent.

Until next time...

J. Crew

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