Third Annual Oyster Feast Chez Moi

Still basking in the warm hug of having my friends in my home for our third annual Oyster Feast.

Took me a while, despite Christiane’s most helpful aide, to clean up my kitchen.  Frankly, I said goodnight to my guests, looked at my kitchen and walked away.  “They will be there tomorrow,” I told myself.  Knowing full-well there ain’t no such thing as fairy godmothers who come in, wave their wands and “Poof!” all is gone…

This third gathering of ours is near and dear to my heart.  These are friends that I have known for forty years (though, how that can be when I can’t really be old enough, right?) except Julie, whom I discovered when going through my “souvenirs” book one day, that I went to Kindergarten and Grade 1 with before finding ourselves again in high school.  Truth be told, neither one of us remembers each other from way back then.  But still.

Though I pick up the oysters, this is a shared evening.  Everyone brings a little something to eat and drink.

Giselle and Dany brought a fabulous plate of Italian antipasto, Christiane and Martin brought delicious popcorn shrimp.  Julie (and Michael) made these beautiful individual salads with all kinds of goodies and a large green salad – both of which I somehow have no picture of  😦  However, she also made mini crostini with goat cheese, fig and balsamic glaze. And THAT I do have a picture of!

Nibbled on these goodies, chit-chatted about everything and nothing, sipped on cocktails while I worked on my Rockefeller topping for some of the oysters.  Time to get shucking.  Dany had “conveniently” cut himself a few days earlier with his new set of knives, earning his very first stitches at the tender age of 54, so he could not shuck.  He definitely entertained us with his hundred-mile-an-hour talking and videotaping!

Deciding we have enough oysters – for now – we move to the dining room…

But first, a group picture.  Sheesh, we almost missed Christiane!  Speaking of which, check out her oh-so-cool necklace made out of egg cartons!

The first batch of oysters gobbled up, I served my spicy pumpkin soup…  As we were eating, another high school friend of ours, Marc, texteded me asking what I was up to…. so I sent him this picture below…  He said, hey! I wasn’t invited!  Sorry, Bud.

Now, this annual thing has been just us, the core four and spouses with the addition of girlfriends or boyfriends, depending, but no one else.  So after he texted, Marc called and asked if he could join us.  I put him on speaker so that we could all tell him that he was more than welcome…

But before he arrived, more horsing around…

Da Girls

Marc arrived in time for the second batch of oysters…

Time for a “Trou Normand” – where you basically take a shot of some rotgut to burn a hole and make room for more food.  Or calle it a palette cleanser.  However, Dany brought this fabulous “Amerable” – a bitter maple liqueur.  Starts off sweet and the bitterness slowly creeps in, in a rather surprisingly pleasant way… Dangerous stuff, is all I can say.

Time for dessert.  I figured we would be stuffed after all that food and I wanted to keep things light so I made orange Madeleines with Grand Marnier whipped cream and warmed figs with a drizzle of honey.  My second batch kinda sorta got forgotten in the oven, and, while not burnt, were, well, rather “tanned”… 😉

Dany, ever the comedian, likes to put blurbs on his pics occasionally.  Admittedly, they are spot on.  So, I’ve included his original in French, then did the English version 😉

Another successful evening with my peeps.  No one left hungry, that’s for sure!

And, judging by my recycling box the next morning, I’m rather surprised no one suffered!

And, lucky me, for the first time, there were actually leftover oysters!  We had some that we shucked and didn’t eat, so into a container they went and I made a soup with them… The others, I’m sure I’ll be able to treat myself to a couple more…

Until next year!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Weekend Writing Prompt #81 – Fringe

A word prompt to get your creativity flowing this weekend.  How you use the prompt is up to you.  Write a piece of flash fiction, a poem, a chapter for your novel…anything you like.  Or take the challenge below – there are no prizes – it’s not a competition but rather a fun writing exercise.  If you want to share what you come up with, please leave a link to it in the comments.  Thank you for hosting, Sammi

Word Prompt

Fringe

Challenge

The fringe framing my face charms you

The fringes lightly brushing my thigh seduce you

My fringe views, just enough, appeal to you

And yet, it is on the fringe that you hold me

Fringe – Water’s Edge

 

 

Through the Camera Lens – Friday Fictioneers

Good Hump Day my Readers! Yes, it is that time of the week where Rochelle Wisoff-Fields entices us with an image and challenges us to write a 100-word story about what we see. This week she uses her very own intriguing picture. I cannot lie. I wrote something, flushed it; tried again and well. There you have it.

If you want to add your own vision, please do! It’s fun (most times!). Just click on the blue frog below and add your link.

Get the Frog for your Blog

Through the Camera Lens

She loved walking past the old viaduct. Her friends thought it was too dangerous to walk in that area alone but she always felt a sense of peace and calm. People were so paranoid, believing they should fear every little thing.

She always carried her camera, knowing something new would catch her eye. It was her journal of sorts. Observing her surroundings, recording what was new. What secrets lay beneath the stones? How did those plants thrive?

Today, the stones moved. Curious, she leaned in, zooming her camera lens.

They found her camera but the blurred images told them nothing.

A Frank Angle’s “The She/He Challenge”

Frank over at A Frank Angle, has challenged us to play/dance with him.  The rules and regs are here.  For ease of participation, the “She” sentences are here.

 

She’s the one for the next dance.

He is headed right for me and I feel a sense of panic as I can’t dance that well.

She displays a slight smile as I approach.

He must be looking at the girl behind me.

She changes her face into a glow as I extend my hand.

He really does want to dance with me!

She graciously engages my offered frame.

He is such a good dancer that I feel like I’m floating.

She transforms my leads into beautiful motions.

He has somehow made my graceful side appear.

She glides the floor with grace and elegance.

He twirls me around like I’m the belle of the ball.

She makes me feel like the king of the ballroom.

He makes me feel like Cinderella.

She smiles in appreciation as the music ends.

He kisses my hand and bows to me.

She is the one.

He smiles as I curtsey then asks me for the next dance.

Brooklyn, Brooklyn, Take Me In

I headed south, not north; was not running away from anything but towards; not planning to never return but stay for a few days… yet I still love this song and it resonates with me, so there.

Woodstock last July was a wonderful getaway so we decided to have another. Where to meet this time? Brooklyn became the number one choice and so it was booked. There were things on our list to do:  cross Brooklyn Bridge by foot, see Bohemian Rhapsody, eat authentic New York pizza pie, go out for a nice meal.  However, we didn’t have a firm schedule. Go with the flow is how we roll…

As I mentioned to David Kanigan, a little nod to his style (my favourites of his posts) is how I’m gonna go about this…

Heading south – Toll-Free on Taconic State Parkway

I set my car GPS to my destination AND my phone one too.  Because the one that comes with the car is a programme and not necessarily up to date – I know this cos I’ve taken Autoroute 30 West and when I hit the “new” part the highway, the GPS freaks out and thinks I’m in space…

As a result, I was amused when the two “argued” over which route to take, and I sided with the phone.  All good, the car one would recalculate. It kept trying to get me to change and I kept saying:  “Yo, give it up Car”.  Then I woke up. Shit!  I’ve driven to New York twice now and I had never taken this road… I dunno how but I had the “avoid tolls” button checked on the phone.  “Sonova…..” Taconic State Parkway is a lovely scenic route.  No use in being angry with myself at this point.  So I enjoyed the fact that the trees were still mighty colourful compared to back home and at my next gas stop, I texted my partner in crime to tell him I’d be later than planned…

It started to rain and finally, around 2:00 p.m., I was on the Brooklyn Bridge.  Woot!

(Shhhh I pointed and shot, hoping I’d catch something decent…was watching where I was going, not what I was shooting…)

We could not have access to our Airbnb until 5 pm instead of 3 (seriously??) so we looked for a place to have a late lunch.  Well, not true.  We didn’t look.  Said partner had had loads of time to scope out the area and we ended up in some nameless joint for forgettable chicken empañadas and shared a sorta Cuban sandwich we didn’t order.  No matter!  Groceries, parking, schlepping and settling in and a joint effort towards nachos, salsa and brewskies were on the menu.

Riding the Subway Trains R and A – Eventually Make it to Brooklyn Bridge

A late breakfast of coffee, bagels and frittata we made our way to the subway.  Before leaving, we did Google Map how to get there.  Problem is, neither of us is familiar with the subway system and while we consider ourselves relatively intelligent peeps, could not figure out exactly where to go.  So we asked a teller at the station.  Thought we got it straight.   Hopped onto the R train and realised we were going the wrong way!  Buddy could have told us to go on the other side to take it, no? Got off, hopped over to the other side and then continued on.  Then got off at the stop we were told to.  Could not see any connection to the A train.  Back to a teller who told us to go back on R, do two more stops and hop onto the A train and get off after three stops.  Sheesh.  Good thing we can laugh at ourselves… I was thinking, what would DK write? 🙂

Random Subway Station

Of course, they had called for rain.  But no matter.  We were going anyway. There is something about fall colours popping when the skies are grey.

There is something special about this bridge.  You see it in pictures, in countless movies and TV shows but it was still a thrill to walk it.  And I think I’ll do it again and again!  I must admit I fell in love with the Manhattan Bridge as well and am promising myself that on my next visit to New York, I shall try to get better pictures of both bridges!

It was later than we thought so we skipped the movie and opted for a small pie at Grimaldi’s Under the Brooklyn Bridge.  It was a short walk away and boy was it worth it!  We decided to get a small plain pie as we were planning on my chicken parm for dinner.  It was rather late.  Don’t ask me why… I forgot to take a picture of the pizza!!  The waiter delivered it and – in heavy Brooklyn accent, please, said:  “Sorry, I made a mistake and you got a large instead…”  We forced ourselves NOT to eat the last two slices.  But we coulda… easily.

Leftovers packed away and most generously given to me, we made our way to the subway and back “home” like a couple of pros who knew where they were going!

A Date with Freddie and a Steak in Coney Island

Wednesday brought beautiful blue skies and warmer weather.  So, of course, we decided to go to an afternoon viewing of Bohemian Rhapsody!  A shortish drive brought us to Cobble Hill Theater to enjoy this fabulous movie.  It doesn’t matter that timelines were played with and certain events were fudged.  Rami Malek inhabited Freddie Mercury’s spirit and a shy bravado that no one else could have mastered.  Everyone has been talking about Rami looking so much like Freddie…. Did anyone not notice how Gwilym Lee is the spitting image of Brian May?  Holy smokes…  (Roger Talyor, played by Ben Hardy and John Deacon, played by Joseph Mazzello were no slouches, either…)

Dinner was a most delicious steak on Coney Island at the lovely Atlas Steakhouse.

Time to go – But First, A Walk

All good things must come to an end and we had to leave the Airbnb by noon.  After a good breakfast using up all the leftovers we had, we packed up our cars and went for one last walk.  Down 52nd Street to 1st and then right towards about 40th, give or take (I wanna say direction North but frankly, my sense of direction there was zero).   We were hoping to find access to the water’s edge for some nice pics of Manhattan.  A bunch of warehouses of all sorts and no access.  We did go down towards the “Bush Terminal Piers Park” (have no clue what they do) and was able to take these pics.

We turned around and walked past 52nd towards 58th and discovered the Sunset Park/Brooklyn Army Terminal Pier.  Score!

Walking back to our cars, I had to snap a couple of streets.  I love the look of Brooklyn.  It actually has a similar feel to our Plateau Mont Royal area with the staircases.  Not the same as ours go up to second and third floors but still.

Driving on I-87 North – Homeward Bound

Now it was truly time to say good-bye and wish each other a safe trip home.  Set that GPS for home and oh my GAWD… It took me one and a half hours to get from 52nd street to and over the Brooklyn Bridge, to and over the George Washington Bridge!

Traffic not moving. Cool church

However, as soon as I hit the I-97 North, it was relatively smooth sailing.  Must say New Yorkers like to drive fast – and I have zero problems setting my cruise control to 130 km/hr (80 mph) to keep up!

Things were going great till I hit that dead zone in the Adirondacks where no radio stations come in.  Reminder again that my iPad was left on my bed!  Aaargh.  It’s 7:00 pm and I’ve got one station that is scratchy.  I press search and the numbers go all the way ’round.  Ain’t nothing coming in.  Turn off the radio.  Try again fifteen minutes later.  Same thing.  Try periodically.  Get some gospel station.  I ain’t that desperate.   Try again.  Talk, talk, talk, Trump, talk.  Ugh.  I’m not old enough to be into that stuff.  Try again.  Get some talk radio where a son and his mother are talking to the host, about the process of being transgender and how everyone deals with it.  Nope.

Signs for Whiteface Mountain but construction.  Ugh.  Down to 50 mph.  Good grief!  Spot a motorcycle ahead of me.  It’s 6 degrees Celsius! (43ºF)  The guy is wearing army-style pants, boots and a jacket.  His face is red from the cold as he has nothing protecting it and is holding the bike with one hand while the other is tucked into himself… I feel for the poor bugger.  I imagine he is riding a motorcycle at this time of the year because he has no other option.  Or he’s an idiot.

Sign says Montreal 98 miles.  Woot!  Try the radio again and I get Delilah!  Oh my goodness!   She is still on the air?  Not listening to her but now have options.  Get to the border around 8 pm-ish, sail on through and am home by 9.

Unpacked the car and was very pleased to see my gift had remained undamaged…

 

Speechless – What Pegman Saw

I hope you brought your hiking boots because this week Pegman takes us to the Grand Canyon in Arizona, United States. The Grand Canyon is one of the seven natural wonders of the world, and wonder of wonders you can actually hike into the canyon via streetview. There are also photo spheres across various locations.

The virtual hikes aren’t immediately obvious on google maps, but when you zoom in, you can hike Bright Angel Trail, South Kaibab Trail, Grandview Trail, or even visit the Phantom Ranch

Your mission is to write up to 150 words inspired by the location. Once your piece is polished, share it with others using the link up below. Reading and commenting on others’ work is part of the fun!

Thank you, Karen Rawson, for hosting this weekly challenge.  Glad I could participate this week.

Speechless

The trek to the top of Grandview Point was breathtaking — as in both were gasping for breath when they arrived.

They found a ledge for a bench and Paul immediately plopped down, elbows on knees, head in hands, trying to bring his heartbeat down to a reasonable rhythm.

“You’d be better off standing and walking slowly, Paul,” Nicole chastised, as she practiced what she preached, taking deep breaths, regaining control.

Oblivious to Paul’s struggles, she rhapsodized:  “Oh my gosh! Isn’t this just amazing?  The view!  It was so worth that workout, eh Paul?  C’m’ere!  Get up!  What the hell are you doing?”

Paul sat on his ledge, eyes unfocussed, mouth frozen.  Inside his head, his words were loud and clear: “I can’t speak! Help me, Nicole.  Look at me!”  All she could hear were guttural mutterings.

“Jesus!  Are you having a stroke?”  Trying not to panic, she looked around helplessly.

 

 

The Today They Never Got To Have

Ray V. from Mitigating Chaos shared the following quote:

“Impartiality is a pompous name for indifference, which is an elegant name for ignorance.”
G. K. Chesterton– The Speaker, Dec. 15, 1900

Marc has shown us his own loving-kindness by not only putting names to the victims but by showing us a snippet of what could have been. Too beautiful not to share.

sorryless

Shooting Victims Pic

Today we’ll go about our daily lives as if there is a tomorrow. Same as twenty three other people did. Twenty three people whose only crime was that they were living inside the age of insanity, where lives do not matter as much as rhetoric.

We like to say that tomorrow is not a guarantee, but for some, neither is today. This post is about the today they never got to have.

In Pittsburgh . . .

Irving Younger will grab an umbrella on his way out the door. He’ll leave a few minutes early so he can say how do to the regulars at his favorite coffee shop. He’ll share a funny story or two before making his way to Saturday service, where he’ll be the familiar face that greets Melvin Wax. These two early birds will boast about how they don’t feel a day over fifty, in spirit. Their…

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