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!

*

*

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.

Just For You – Friday Fictioneers

Wednesday and it’s Friday Fictioneers time.  Why does a scene like this look way too familiar?  Oh right. I live with two adult kids… Should you feel inspired to play along, click on the frog below and add your 100-words worth!  Till then, a thank you always goes to Rochelle for keeping us neat and tidy and this week A. Noni Mouse’s photo was rather inspiring, wasn’t it?

©A. Noni Mouse

Click me to play!

Just For You

I’m making you a feast!  All you have to do is sit back, relax, and here, take this glass of wine.  Go sit on the patio with your book and I’ll call you when it’s ready.  No wait, It’s beautiful, We’ll eat outside.  You don’t have to do a thing.  Well, maybe set the table?  I’ll do the rest.  Consider this a thank you for all you do for us.  We don’t take you for granted, Mom.  Oh, and later, I’m going out with my friends, okay? But don’t worry, I’ll do the dishes when I get back. I Promise.

Picture Perfect – Friday Fictioneers

Wednesday is here already. Is it me or is time flying? Seems like it, doesn’t it? Some days are slow as snails but somehow those days become a week gone by in a flash.  OK, enough blah, blah.  Thanks always, to Rochelle for hosting Friday Fictioneers so diligently and this week, thanks to Ted Strutz for this quirky photo.  To play along, just click on the frog below and add your link.

©Ted Strutz

Picture Perfect

Are you gonna eat that or take pictures of it all day?

My Instagram followers expect me to keep them entertained.

Pffft! Stupidest thing I ever heard.  How the hell did taking a picture of your lunch become a thing?

I dunno, now you mention it. Did you know some people make a living at it?

Seriously? Here, take a picture of mine!

There’s almost nothing left! Did you even taste it?

Yeah, I did. While it was hot. Tell your fans the proof is in the picture.

Haha.  Funny guy.

Can I have a chip?

Whatsamatter? Eat too fast?

Running Diary and Mother’s Day

I was going to do little updates on my running highs and woes as a little footnote on blog posts but then felt they didn’t belong tagged onto prompts so I resisted.  Now, I have three sessions’ worth! Enough to merit their own post. Sorta.  Though this makes it a too-long post.

I am surprising myself with my commitment to this running biz. Every two days, rain or shine, ass-freezing cold or sun. Okay, let’s be honest, the only rain I have encountered thus far is a few drops at the beginning of one run and even less at the end of another. Real rain?  We’ll see how much of a wuss I am! I did, however, run through some snowflakes so that makes me a warrior, right?  Said snowflakes didn’t even last a second once arrived at destination (ground) but still.  Right?

Wednesday’s (May 6) run was it was warm enough to do without a jacket and I found a little fanny pack for my phone, the armband still missing.  I am so very pleased to say that not once did I wonder “how many more miles” so to speak and got all the way to the other end of the secret garden. Though I was managing to breathe rather well, I was running out of gas and may have fudged the last 10-15 seconds of the run part on the last two sets.  Out of guilt, I added another 2.5 sets to make up.

Random picture taken during my walk back. Will be noting the evolution

On Friday, I had to get up early as my car was being towed to the dealership. It died and no matter what we tried, would not start. Fun stuff. Not. This also meant I had to get my run in earlier as I knew, if they were able to fix it (which they did), I’d have to pick it up before 3:00 pm.  It was damn cold.  I also joined a 30-day 15-minutes/day free workout program I found on Facebook.  Betty Rocker Challenge.  Oh boy!  This is gonna be good!  I love how she has variations on each move to match your fitness level.  I am especially glad that I lost any ego I used to have which would make me do what I shouldn’t.  I did that workout – man can a person sweat in fifteen minutes!  Put on my jacket plus my ear warmers and out the door I went.  Since I had already more than warmed up, I started to run immediately.  Surprise, surprise, this was my best day, yet! Phone in my pocket, I never once looked at it.  The first two sets are still a bitch but by the third all the way to the tenth, I was good. Because I had started right outside my door, I made it just to the entrance of the garden before turning back.  I reached the park where the above bud was pictured – and forgot to take an updated pic – and decided I would tack on three more sets again.  I even ran around the “skating rink” to give myself more room to run off the asphalt.

I realised in the last few running days that I catch my breath faster so starting Sunday, I was going to reduce the walk time to 1.5 minutes, keeping the running at 2.

While walking Zeke, I got a call at 1:30 saying car was ready so had to cut the walk short.

Bye-bye car!

And that brings us to yesterday. Mother’s Day. Does that mean I slacked off? No siree!  This chick is on a mission!

Iain got up early (any time before 3:00 pm is early 😉 ) and made me his fabulous cheffy scrambled eggs.

I then putzed around on the computer, giving myself time to digest before hitting the 15-minute workout followed by my run. Oh. Em. Gee!  Betty! Can’t the Full-Body Explosion happen on a non-running day? Sweat and cursed my out-of-shapedness.  Bundled up and out the door I went.  Again, the run started outside my door. Jesus, Mary and Joseph!  It was fucking cold! And the wind… good gawd, the wind!  How was I supposed to turn the inner dialogue off and not give up right away? The litany of “keep going”, “don’t give up”, “around the corner, it will be better” just went on like a broken record.  Again, first two sets – murder.  Wait! Shit!  I forgot to change my walk time to 1.5.  Damnation.   I changed it.  Now I know I could have easily set it to 8 sets, having done two, but thought, no… let’s just start over.  My steps were short, my pace was slow but it was in a forward direction, so there’s that, right? Right.  Though I am fairly certain I saw a turtle pass me, look back with a snort and said “slowpoke”.

Pretend those clouds are the wind…

I did not make it as far as I had on Friday but I did manage to refrain from looking at my timer all the way. Why is this so hard?  Oh yeah, that little thirty seconds less of recup time made quite the difference.  Plus, like the proverbial camper who changes seats only to have the smoke blow in my face, so did the wind shift. Ugh. Once I made it to the park that tells me I am almost home, I decided to add that one extra set as the last three runs included three extra.  Why not? Besides, look at that path. Isn’t it lovely and inviting?

Stretch and shower and off to visit Mom.  I had her yeast to deliver and brought a case of beer for Yvon.  We took all the necessary precautions. I opened the case, had her take a couple beers out and then put the case aside to “air out and release the virus” so to speak. We washed our hands, sat at either end of the table and toasted motherhood with glasses of wine for us and a beer for him.

Got home around 7 pm and Iain prepared his feast of homemade linguine with seafood in a creamy sauce. He was so displeased with his efforts, he is planning on a do-over.  I, frankly, love all the effort he made for me.  We then had the most delicious coffee and brandy crème brûlée for dessert (my picture sucks, the angle was wrong, but trust me, that caramel was burnt to perfection).  I then sat on the couch and thought I would die from over eating.

Thanks for staying till the end… I promise to ramble less, next time.  Well, I will try not to, anyway.

 

 

I’m Sorry, But, We’re Done

That’s right, Sourdough.  You and me? We’re done. Finito. Kaput.  No matter how much love I give you, you refuse to do your thing.  I had to bring in Janet into the situation for one-on-one consultations and STILL, you gave me grief.  Janet asked me what I had named you and I apologise; I had no idea.  So I gave you my favourite name:  Charlotte.  And what did you do? NOTHING.

But let me go to the beginning.  When I first decided to try my hand at sourdough – yeast having become more impossible to get than toilet paper – (and like every other Tom, Dick and Harry during the great Sit-In – so unoriginal and such a follower, am I) I followed Janet’s instructions to the letter. 50g flour, 50 g water (filtered), mix, set aside, covered, room temp. Days 5, 7, 9, I did the 50g sour, 50g flour, 50g water – keeping the discard for future waffles (which were rather good, I might add).

Days 10, 11, 12, I left you alone.  When I uncovered you, your stink made me recoil.  “It should smell pleasantly like cheesy beer.”  Ummmm. No… this was closer to vomit.  I threw you out.  Oh wait… this would not be YOU, you.  But let’s call him/her your late cousin, who shall remain nameless as well, I didn’t know.  Plus there was an orange tint to it so, I took no chances. Of course, once I posted my failure on FB, everyone who could chimed in with a NOOO don’t chuck it!  Too late. NEXT!

We decide, Janet and I, to start fresh and do a double-feed per day for three days and then bake.  Let’s see…  You looked nice

So I did my kneading (stretch, pull over, eight “corners”) every half-hour for three hours.  Followed the video, EXACTLY, the bowls, the cloth, the flour.  I was not impressed with the rise at all. But I went with it anyhoo. My boules looked nice though not huge. (Haha! I wish!)  Used my special Dutch oven, preheated, baked and… phooey.

“Looks acidified,” says Janet.  Well hell and damnation.  The crust was nice, as you can see but the crumb?  To the bin with ya.

We start over.

We do the double feed, for three days to speed up the process with the intention of trying just one loaf.  At one point Janet said you looked cold, Charlotte,

so I gave you the oven with the light on.  Barely a bubble.  We tried all sorts of feedings. Nothing.  I left you alone for a few days, figuring you were in a mood.  All you gave me was a thin crust of hardened – something.  I think my oven lights are too hot.  Skimmed off the goo. Oh! But you did smell wonderful and guess what?  Yeah. You made FABULOUS pancakes.

Will I ever try this sourdough thing again?  Maybe. I dunno that I have the patience for this type of endeavour, to tell the truth.  Ironically, I was on Twitter when I caught Lesley Chesterman’s tweet (she was a food critic for the Montreal Gazette):  “I think I’m ready to break up with my sourdough starter. Too moody, too needy, too high-maintenance, sure to let me down in the end. And a bit stinky.”  Yep. Pretty much covers my feelings.

Nota bene (or post scriptum):  Since last Monday… I have yeast, so…

****

Running Diary

For those of you who ready my post where I shared my new “love” of running… ok, ok… I don’t love it. Yet. I thought I’d bring you up to date on the last two.

Saturday was a gorgeous day and there were way too many people out.  Some were being good, some, not so much but all of them I kept my distance from. That said, off I went, enthusiastically, for my 10 X 2/2.   I made it all the way to the park where I discovered a beautiful field of flowers last year. By the looks of it, there will be more this year – Yay! Plus I ran into a couple from the golf club – chit chatted for 30 seconds, luckily during my walk part. Soon as the bell rang, I was off.

On my way back I was feeling like there was no way in hell I would complete my ten sets.  I fudged a little on the times, cutting the run parts twice by 10-15 seconds in an attempt to catch my breath.  By the time I was just past my Willow the guilt set in so I added a rep and a half to make up.  I was glad it was over.

Today was another story. Like a recalcitrant child who doesn’t want to go to bed, I dug my heels into the entry rug.  It was cold outside with a light wind and rain was threatening. Really? Do I have to? I don’t know what force pushed me out the door but it worked.  And you are right, B… nothing more satisfactory than pushing yourself to do that thing you don’t feel like.  Not only did I do my ten sets, but after the first two, I felt I could actually control my breath.  And then, after walking for four minutes, I thought… why not? And I added three more!  Woot!  My knee felt a slight twinge just as I finished the third so I made sure my stretching session was properly done.  Extremely pleased with myself today.  Oh, and, following a discussion with Monika over at Tails Around the Ranch, about her lack of belief there is anything good about running (my former belief, as well), and did I ever notice that runners never smile?  Well, guess what Monika!  I kept thinking about you and put a smile on my face every time I heard the alarm that yet another set was completed 😀

Itty-bitty magnolia