Just Roll With It

“I try not to make plans. Because, even the best laid plans etc. etc.”

Author: Brent Spiner

My plan for Sunday was rather easy.  Get up (always a good way to start the day), have a coffee, eat some breakfast, have a second coffee, then get my heinie outside for a good walk.  Upon my return will deserve a nice bowl of my veggie soup, take a shower, prepare supper, pick up my mother, enjoy our meal, drive her back, relax and go to bed.

As Sundays go, it started off nice and slow.  Slept in until 9 (never mind I was awake from 2 till 5).  Stoked the fire and made myself a cup of coffee.  Got onto the Interwebs to catch up on my readings.  Ate my bowl of Raisin Bran by 10, continued reading and next thing I knew it was past noon.  Well, dang.

 

If I was going to walk for any reasonable time, I’d have to eat sooner.  Continued reading and commenting and whatnot and then around 1:30-ish, had a small bowl of soup, then dressed up to go out.

Shovelled the back porch and along the back of the house up to the side gate (must have all exits free from snow, in case). Once that was done, grabbed my camera and was off.

After the cold we had on Saturday, Sunday felt positively balmy!  Off I went in the direction of  my willow, planning to keep walking until I reached the discovered secluded walkway.  I got to the first park and decided to take a pic of the play area as this week’s theme in my photo group is “a touch of blue”, and there is blue on the monkey bars.  I slid-shuffled across the skating rink, passing by a lady who was clearing the snow off the rink.  I took a few pictures then noticed a flash of something on my camera….

“No card in camera”.

What. The. Fuck?  What an amateur move! I completely forgot that I had taken a few pics of the sky from my living room window the evening before, uploaded them into my computer. Where I left the card. Sonova–

I grumble and take out my cell phone to snap a couple pics.  Would have been a grand day with the camera as the day was beautiful, for sure.

However, there was no way in hell I was lugging my camera bag without being able to take pictures!  Get a sore back for nothing? No.  So I turned around.  As I crossed the park, I thought, hey, all is not lost, I have lots of time. I shall go home, change and go back out for a run.  Once I turned on the next street, the wind in my face determined otherwise.  The day was bust. I just wasn’t feeling it, anymore anyway.

So I took my shower then slowly started preparing my supper. It was nice to not feel rushed.  Chopping and sautéeing and browning. It’s when I feel the most zen.  Just as I was putting my coat on to leave to pick up my mother, Iain’s CAA arrived to boost his car (dead battery).  I told him that, since he had to drive his car to get his battery full, it would be a wonderful idea if he could go and get his grandmother.  He agreed.

We had a lovely and simple Sunday dinner.  To be repeated!  I made my “Chicken à la Tuscan à la Dale” – one of those recipes that I actually wrote down.  (Years and years ago, Mick asked me to please stop winging it and write things down so that I could potentially repeat the good stuff.)  Of course, I never follow it, but the fact that I wrote it down means that I potentially remake it sorta-kinda the same way (ish).  It just so happens I was looking for this recipe to share with someone else – and ended up not doing so coz I never did get around to sending out Christmas cards in which I was supposed to include a recipe on a 3″ X 5″ index card; said index cards that I actually bought for the occasion and will be potentially used next year – so it was top of my mind when I asked Mom if she wanted dinner.

Plans are great and all but hey, when they are broken, doesn’t mean all is lost!

 

 

 

 

Tending the Home Fires

This past weekend was brutally cold and I remained cocooned in my house. No way in hell was I going out to run in -30ºC (with the wind chill) no way, no how.  For the first time this year, I decided to make a fire in slow burning wood stove.  Man, the wood I have is fairly useless.  Burns just like that (snaps fingers).  My cubby holds three large loads of this wood carrier doohickey.

I burned the whole lot Saturday.  Sunday was supposed to be warmer and I thought I’d go for a run and then fill up the cubby for the next cold snap.  ‘Parently the cold snap wasn’t done.   Whilst the kids were still snoring, I lugged in the three loads, snow-covered, and got that fire going again.  Thankfully snow doesn’t make it that wet.  It was a few degrees warmer than Saturday…

I decided to make a leek and potato soup, which got me to ruminating as I chopped.  I remembered how I followed Pol Martin’s recipe for Crème de poireaux (cream of leek), having graduated from the Sel et Poivre magazines to real cookbooks.  Sel & Poivre was fine and dandy but often included ingredients such as custard powder rather than include how to make the custard.  Funny thing is, in another recipe from a later issue, there was a recipe for crème pâtissière (pastry cream/custard)!  I used to take out both copies so I could combine them.  Especially after having searched high and low for the prepackaged powder crap (and finding it lacking).

Anyway, back to my soup.  I remembered cutting the veg rather small, and never puréeing it in the end.  It never mentioned to purée it and so I didn’t.  I no longer have the book – frankly, because this was the only recipe I ever tried in the otherwise dull and lacklustre book and I now know it off by heart and have probably modified it since, anyway – so I cannot confirm that that part of the recipe was omitted.   Not so much a crème then, was it?  However, I remember really liking it and receiving no complaints.  Funny then, that was the only time I didn’t whizz it up into a smooth and creamy texture, adding a swirl of cream and a sprinkling of freshly chopped parsley.  (I have also since figured out that the veg didn’t have to be cut so finely, especially since it was going under the immersion blender, or blender, that I no longer have.)  And then Sunday’s soup.  On a whim, I chopped everything fine and left it as is.  No cream necessary. I loved it.  And guess what?  Different audience, still no complaints!

As much as I could have remained in my cocoon for yet another day, I instead checked my fire and decided that it was warm enough(ish) to go out there, well-bundled up.  By 2:30 pm, I grabbed my camera, hopped into my car and determined where I would walk.  On a whim, I parked near the “country road” and started walking.  Realising I’d have to go a good ways before seeing anything, I trudged back to my car.  Off to the bird sanctuary, instead.  Note to self, these boots, while warm, are so heavy.  Time to go shopping.

I parked on the street behind another car, having noticed the parking lot was pretty full. Ugh. I long for the days when I worked shifts and could come here on a weekday.  It’s way too people-y on the weekends.

I took a good many photos, some of which ended up on the Facebooks and the Instagrams and I shall share them here, saving more for another post… 😉

 

Tuesday Poetics – Food!

On Tuesday, Sarah from Sarah Writes Poems hosted  dVerse Tuesday Poetics – Food being the subject du jour.  Well now. Anyone who knows me, knows I do food. I love food. I love to make food to feed others. I love to share pictures of my food.  I am all over this prompt!

Funny how I knew exactly where I wanted to go and then, started writing and it went here. That muse just took over and ran roughshod over my idea!  She might have had the right idea, we’ll never know because she squashed my original words. Hope she used a quality masher, is all I can say.

My Food is Love

Chatting about food with my cousin one day

She says: What do you mean, you cook for others?

You should cook for your own pleasure

 

I retort:  What is the point to go all out

If it is just for me?

I show my love with my food

 

As did my father with his famous BBQ ribs,

His secret recipe held close to his chest

Or that one special meal made for my birthday, which I’ll never forget

 

And my mother, who can magically

Rummage in her freezer and find the ingredients

To feed a last-minute group of fifteen

 

I like to think I am a mix of both parents

Able to create something with nothing

Or to go all out with a six-course feast

 

My joy of creating fancy meals

Has caused others to fear receiving me for a meal

As if I would ever judge what they serve

 

The purpose of an invite is never to show off

Nor make others feel intimidated

It’s to gather my loved ones and share, even in the prep!

 

So, in my house, do not be surprised if on Tuesday

There is duck breast with raspberry sauce

Because Saturday it might be grilled cheese or frozen pizza

 

Creating food, simple or complex

All has the same goal, in the end

To show my love, sitting around my table

 

So, if I’ve gone through efforts, big or small

And no one comes to join me (kids? where are you?)

I guess my cousin was right, in the end

 

I best cook for my own pleasure, then
I suppose I could even convince myself it is a form of self-love

Yeah well… I’m not buying what I’m trying to sell

 

Subdued Celebration

On Monday, Lisa hosted a dVerse Haibun with the theme “Celebration”.  Like most people, Christmas and New Year’s were not the celebrations we were hoping to have.  for this prompt, I kept it to Christmas mainly because New Year’s was a whole lotta nuthin’.

The plans were set in motion. This year, we were going to retake Christmas, government be damned. It had been cancelled last year, thanks to measures to combat COVID. Not this year!  Christmas Eve at Tracy’s (all dressed up) with game gift exchanges, a potluck feast and scratching of Chinese gambling cards. This would be followed, the next morning, with brunch at my house where we all squeeze in (still pyjama-clad) my kitchen and living room while Iain makes the omelets and the rest of the breakfast goodies.  Don’t forget the “mimosies” as Mick used to call mimosas. After naps, we make our way to Lisa’s (casual) for our turkey dinner that ends with a Texas Hold ‘Em poker game.  We were so excited.

Then December 23rd happened.  COVID hit and we had to cancel.  A scramble to buy a turkey, hope it thawed out in time. Iain made us three our brunch and, later that day, while the delicious scent of Christmas permeated the house, Iain went to get my mom and we shared a perfectly roasted (if I say so myself) thirteen-pound bird with mashed potatoes, canned peas (don’t ask, traditions are what they are) and homemade gravy. I even found jars of my cranberry sauce and pickled beets, preserved previously. All was not lost.

Parties are cancelled

Celebrations now subdued

Love remains present

As Far As Delicatessens Go… – Friday Fictioneers

Good Wednesday, my peeps!  It’s Friday Fictioneer’s time and Rochelle not only hosts, she even supplies this week’s wonderful art/inspiration.  After reading her story, I felt the need to add my two cents’ worth 😉  In all fairness, I’ve not been to Katz’s – yet.  So, this is all in jest, of course.  Maybe.  If you’ve a more original idea for a story, by all means, please click on the frog below and add your 100-word story link.

PEPE Jimmy John's Part 1 by DestinyWrites on DeviantArt

click to play

As Far As Delicatessens Go…

This week Rochelle went on and on about Katz’s Deli.  Course, ‘Muricans know nothing ’bout smoked meat.  They are all about the pastrami – which ain’t a bad thing, just not the same thing.  Not trying to shit-disturb over here y’understand, just trying to enlighten.

Lemme tell you, if ever she manages to get her butt up to Montreal, Imma take ‘er to Schwartz’s Deli so’s she can see the difference betwixt smoked meat and pastrami.  Like night and day, I tell ya.

Next thing you know, Rochelle’s gonna try to tell me that New York bagels are better than Montreal’s!

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In the spirit of sharing, here’s a little video and link for ya about Schwartz’s.

Overdue

Do you remember when we called cancer the C-word?  The pandammit changed all that so that the new C-word is Covid or Corona or Calvaire (French swear word for misery) and goddammit-all-to-hell-we’re-fed-up-of-being-locked-up-and-not-being-able-to-see-friends Crap.

That said, while I have avoided whining about it or blogging about it, I’ve made mention in passing and since we are starting to see a sort of glow at the end of the tunnel… I don’t dare say more for fear of potentially jinxing anything – right. Like I have any kind of power of that sort!  Still. Why take unnecessary chances?

This past Thursday was our St-Jean-Baptiste holiday in Quebec.  I, for one, can become quite Québécoise by indulging in the old tunes I very much enjoyed do when I was a teenager (and still).  My eldest asked if he could have friends over on the Wednesday, as everyone was off on Thursday. Always such a cool mom, I said yes 😉

The evening was perfect and the kids all ended up on our roof to watch not one, not two, but four different fireworks.

After taking this picture of the “kids”, I simply turned towards the street, walked to the curb and was able to film this:

Strawberries in June

Kim is hosting dVerse today and has asked us to write about fruit.  Having bought my very first basket of seasonal strawberries, how could I write about anything else? I thought I’d be writing about all the ways to use said fruit but the muse had other plans!

We have become spoiled

That’s what we say, anyway

Strawberries can be had year-round

From all sorts of exotic locations

But really. Tell the truth

Are they really worth it?

 

How can you compare these hard, tasteless,

not to mention oversized “berries”

with those ruby red, juicy

bursts of summer?

 

It starts in a field on a sunny day

You have to crouch to discover where

those beautiful red flavour bombs are

Pick one and bring it to your nose

inhale its distinct scent

Brush off the sand or dirt

Hold it by the stem and bite off the tip

or the whole thing, depending on size

and your level of gourmandise!

The berry is soft yet has some yield

and the tiny seeds add a special crunch

as the juices slide down your throat

 

By the time you’ve had your fill

your fingers are stained

your belly is happy

you might even have berries in a basket!

But you are convinced that

you are once again a kid and

are filled with summer’s essence

 

 

Why Bother?

It is Quadrille Monday on dVerse!  Today’s hostess is De Jackson (aka WhimsyGizmo) who has asked us to write our 44-word poem using the word bother in some way, shape or form.  De is  Being bothered seems to be second nature to many of us moms… just sayin’…

Why Bother?

“Thanks for soups, Mamz.”

“Yeah, it was great!”

And before I know it

they’ve flown off their chairs

mouths still chewing that last bite

Why do I bother?

Would it kill them to just once

offer to clean the dishes

without me hounding them?

Weekend Writing Prompt #183 – Wrangle

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.

Another trip down memory lane.  It took me almost a year-and-a-half to have my family over so I could share with them what I had learned with Cook in Tuscany in September 2016 – the full account of the soirée can be found here but these 33 words somehow triggered, though have nothing to do with at all!  Funny how the muse works.

Wrangled up the necessary ingredients

To make a Tuscan feast to be shared

Invitations sent and accepted

A fun time, expected

With great company, delicious food, divine wine

And some friendly wrangling, unavoidable

 

 

Judgment By Garlic – Friday Fictioneers

Hello my peeps!  It’s Wednesday and that means Friday Fictioneers!  This week, I’m the teacher’s pet as it’s my photo being used as inspiration.  Woot!  Thank you, Rochelle, for hosting this week after week.  Should you wish to participate, please, click on the frog below and add the link to your 100-word story!

Cute Frog Chef Vector Stock Illustration - Download Image Now - iStock

There’s something about a braid of garlic hanging in a kitchen. It’s a reassuring sign. It tells me the person who does the cooking takes it seriously and does it with love.  Call me crazy but, just like you can judge a person by their bookshelves, so can you by their kitchen. It may be small and cramped with little counter space (let’s call it cozy, not cluttered) but if there’s a garlic tress? You know they are going to create gastronomical magic that will have your tastebuds dancing to a tune they have orchestrated, using only the best ingredients.