New Year – First Dinner

I was going to entitle this “Breaking in the New Kitchen” but that would be technically wrong as I did host the Christmas breakfast with my family… My sister might disagree with who should have been first for last night’s feast but hey, things don’t always they way we plan, yanno?

Anyhoo, this evening was planned after we learned of our friend’s death on December 18th (post still not finished but will follow shortly). We suddenly felt the need to see each other; the funeral home not counting.

I swear I am the queen of start and not finish. 🙄 So, before I lose the feeling of last night, here I go. I started on Friday. Lucky for me, I was “liberated” from a job I loathe on Thursday, giving me all day Friday to cook (if that was how I chose to use my time).

I started things off by making the parsley-celery oil for the soup as well as the parsnip chips, inspired by my chef friend Janet, of The Simmering Chef’s recipe. Click here to get it. I was determined to use chicken thighs (skin on, bone in) that I had in my freezer so The Google was brought into service. I found Ina Garten’s Chicken Marbella. I got all the ingredients together and placed them in a bag to marinate all afternoon and overnight. If I hadn’t had my date night that included watching the oh-so-horrible-please-don’t-waste-your-time movie “The Poison Rose” (surprising cast: John Travolta, Morgan Freeman, Famke Janssen, Brendan Fraser), I might have actually made my soup AND my cake but no…

No matter! I was up and at ’em really early so, first things first, I baked the cake. I am so mad at myself as I had been making Soeur Angèle’s version of the Sachertore for eons (though it had been ages since I last made it) and could not find my copy of the recipe. I was positive I had kept that page, but no. Sigh. So onto The Google (again) I went. No luck. Her recipe is not to be found. So I keep my search up until I found one that sorta-kinda resembled what I remember of it by Lidia Bastianich, but made a few modifications.

As the cake baked, it was onto the Parsnip soup.

The “Mise”

As the soup simmered, I went out to shovel the walkway – not that there was much, but still, I took my time. Time to purée the soup and set it aside for warming up later.

I then went on to make my cheese bowls (Raclette and Grana Padano) that would hold my mesclun salad with Raspberry-Honey Vinaigrette. Every time I make these, I am amazed at the quantity of fat I need to wipe out of the frying pan!

Cake cooled and iced it was time to do a quick sweep and mop of the floors and take my shower.

Good grief! Who was this broad who was so organized that her hair would not still be dripping wet when her guests arrived? I didn’t recognize her! She even set the table and shucked the oysters and made mignonette!

Just before Giselle and Dany, then Julie and Michael arrived, I put the chicken into the oven. An hour to cook, fifteen minutes to rest and Bob’s your uncle. The tour of the remodel was given and, as we are wont to do, stood around the island. We noshed on oysters and drank bubbles while catching up. (And, just so you know, it’s not because I still have not received my sofa that we had to. Plus, I did bring up the stools that will be getting their own makeover soon!)

There is nothing I love more than cooking for people I love. We ate, we laughed, we sang an early happy birthday for Dany (two weeks early) and then, because I had changed the Spotify from 70’s acoustic to French crooners, we ended up doing a sort of karaoke with one of Aznavour’s songs – which, as I wrote about when he passed away, is completely IMPOSSIBLE to sing along to (hell, you can’t even read the lyrics fast enough!)

The meal:

Fun times. I’ve never had all the lights on in the house at once. Bloody hell it was bright. (Note to self… use the damn dimmers!)

P.S. I started this post, officially yesterday morning (as it’s close to 1 am now) whilst enjoying my raisin bread toast (courtesy of Giselle) followed by one of her delicious almond cookies (and she claims she’s not a baker!) I pressed publish before I realised I forgot to add these!

Choosing the Light – Friday Fictioneers

Good Friday morning, my peeps.  I sure hope your neck of the woods isn’t too wet or cold or snowy.  It’s a gross morning here.  First there was snow and now it is raining and windy.  It’s gonna be a crappy drive into work.  Why do I not work from home, again?  Oh yeah. Cuz I have the knack to choose the wrong job.  Will fix that right quick in the new year, tell you what!  So… For two days now I’ve been struggling to come up with something for this photo for Friday Fictioneers.  Can’t not play, eh?  It is my photo and it would just be rude to diss the boss.  This time of year is a challenging one for me (and for many others, I do not doubt) and it’s nigh on impossible to not focus on all the happenings that have happened in December for the past thirteen years – with a new one added less than a week ago, no less.  Not very original, either, as this is pretty much autobiographical.  C’est la vie!  Should you wish to play along or read what others have come up with, just click on the frog below and add your link.  If I don’t manage to come back to blog, I shall wish you all a very Merry Christmas, a Happy Hanukkah or whatever it is you celebrate!

Firefly Jar Solar Frog with Encased Fireflies Statue

How does she do it, you think?

Do what?

Always find the light, the silver lining, the positive.  It’s annoying, actually.

You’re just jealous because you’re an old crabby-ass.

Am not!

Okay, you’re not. Always.

Hmph!  Still.  With all the shit she has been through, you’d think she would be sad.

Maybe that’s why she focuses on the light.  Because she knows the dark. Sounds cliché, but truth, don’t you think?

True.  She probably does have sad moments but keeps them to herself.

Exactly.

What say we drop by and say hello? The light’s on.

I think she’d love it.

 

Weekend Writing Prompt #289 – Engrave

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.

This was supposed to go out yesterday but one thing lead to another and before I knew it, it was bedtime!  It seems that this time of year, a certain someone takes over my muse.  Yesterday was the eight-year anniversary of Mick’s heart attack and well, hell if this prompt didn’t apply.  So, thank you, Sammi, for once again, bringing forth a word that I can use…

 

wk 289 engrave

 

There’s nothing quite like

that person

who’s joie de vivre

is so infectious

They remain engraved

in your memories

long after they’re gone

 

Proof of how much Mick left his mark on any and everyone who met him, his (our) friend Leonard Yelle wrote this on his FB page yesterday:

“About 7-8 years ago I was misbehaving at my company’s Christmas party telling the band that it was a coworkers birthday. . As the band in the restaurant played happy birthday to my confused colleague my phone rang. It was my buddies wife Dale informing me that her husband had suffered a terrible heart attack. I left the party trying to understand it all. I went to see him the next day but he never came out of the coma.

I had met Mick about 10 years earlier on a fishing trip. We had loads in common and became great friends. He’d drop into the shop and as the press ran I’d hear the familiar cheerful sound of Mick’s voice shouting “Buddy” over the running machine , I’d turn and there would be standing Mick with his shit eating grin and mischief dancing in his eyes greeting me. He’d always try to include me into his adventures. Concerts, football tailgating , carting… whatever the outing might be laughter flowed like a tsunami,. His annual Christmas outings with the boys where he’d manage to siphon some money from the company he worked for and pay a few rounds of drinks instead of spending it on his clients and suppliers were an annual highlight. He was a force of nature and a gem of a man, son, father, husband and great friend. I got a chance to speak at his funeral and all I remember was starting off in a room of mostly strangers saying… Hello my name is Leonard and I’m a Mickaholic.
I loved him the minute I met him and I’ll love my dear friend to the day I die. His energy and outlook was infectious.
I hope you’re behaving with my brother buddy and I’ll be see you on the other side down the road.”

Every year, at this time, Leonard changes his profile pic or cover image to the following:

 

One Day… Soon – Friday Fictioneers

It’s Wednesday.  That means Friday Fictioneers and this week I almost had to play as there were more than a few requests for a follow up to my previous story.  I had not officially planned to but when I saw this image, well… how could I resist?  Should you desire, the first part can be found here.   This week our illustrious (or is it illustrated?) leader, Rochelle, has chosen an image from Roger Bultot.  Thank you to both of you!

©Roger Bultot

25+ Best Kermit Looking Out Window Memes |

Click to play!

Her chin rested on her palm, elbow on the table, daydreaming. She occasionally took a sip of her coffee as she watched passersby on the other side of the window.  It had become her Friday morning ritual; a time to dream, breathe, read, write. It gave her a sense of grace and gratitude. Her gaze fell on him standing there, looking in. Again. Was he stalking her? Somehow, it didn’t feel menacing. What was he waiting for?  He took a step, stopped, shook his head, squared his shoulders and, with a determined step, made for the door.  Soon was now

One Day – Friday Fictioneers

Well, well, well… would you look at that?  Rochelle really is sneaky!  She must have missed my participation coz why else would she lift ask me to “John Hancock” my photo.  Not to subtle, my friend!  But that’s okay coz it HAS been a good long while and maybe my mojo is slowly coming back, just like my remodel is coming together… not quite there yet but almost functional!  Should you want to place, just click on Rochelle’s name to be brought to her site for the how-to’s and once you see how easy-peasy it is, add your link to your 100-word story by clicking on my frog below. G’head, you know you want to!

Autberry Frog Reading Book Statue

She sat there daydreaming, or was she reading? head resting on her hand; elbow, anchored to the table.  She took an absent-minded sip of coffee now and again.  It was a Friday morning ritual that had now become his.  His being to gaze at her through the sheer curtain of the restaurant.  No, he wasn’t stalking her – never something so creepy as that!  He just marvelled at her sense of peace.  She seemed to be at ease with herself and, while he really wanted to make her acquaintance, he was afraid to disrupt that sense quiet grace.  Maybe next week…

Crimson’s Creative Challenge #197 – Love in Sunsets

I was hesitant to participate in anything as I know I won’t have time to be a proper participant.  I leave tomorrow for a week-long getaway.  Nature: mountains, rivers, and whatever you have to offer, here I come!  That said, I figured I would use Crispina’s lovely image as an excuse to let ya’all know I’m not dissing you and will return to reading/commenting/participating in one week.

While searching for my matchy-matchy photo, I fell on the one directly below.  It sparked an idea so I’m using it and have added the “real” matchy-matchy below, just because I can.

“The first stab of love is like a sunset, a blaze of color — oranges, pearly pinks, vibrant purples…”
― Anna Godbersen, The Luxe

I’ll take a mix, please

Wild, hot, and exciting

Calm, peaceful comfort

Too much of either

Does not balance bring

 

All of one is exhausting

All of the other, dull

 

Keeping it alive require a little of both

In various combinations

Hour, days, weeks, months, years

Together and apart

Time is valuable

We must use it wisely

 

“They sit together, physically separate but utterly connected by the moment they’ve created”
― Stan Lee, A Trick of Light

Kinda-sort matchy-matchy…. right?

“Time is valuable. For all the time we’ve lost by not being together, it has made you the most valuable thing to me.”
― Courtney Peppernell, Pillow Thoughts

For Our Lovely Sorceress, Resa

Little birdies know this that month is the one when our Sensational Sorceress of Silk, our Goddess of the Graffiti, our friend and fellow blogger was brought into the world.  The exact date remains unknown so our little group made up of Gigi, from Rethinking Life, Beth from I didn’t have my glasses on…, Holly, from House of Heart and me decided that we would celebrate our friend today. Mid-month should keep us safe, right?

Resa brings nothing but joy to us all through her blogs Graffiti, Lux Art and More, as well as her impossibly beautiful gowns at Art Gowns.  She has made us all gorgeous as her AGM models and created wondrous stories to go with her wonderful drawings.

She adds sparkle to the world and I could not think of any better image to represent her than fireworks!

My dear Sorceress, from me all of us, we wish you a most wonderful and happy birthday! (Not your AGMs, but hey, this is my bouquet to you!)

Lotsa love,

Thunder

xoxoxo💞💞💞💞💞xoxoxo

Weekend Writing Prompt #267 – Return

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.  Got me all sappy this week, Sammi!

wk 267 return

 

Return to me, my love

Let us create more memories

to hold onto until our next time

 

Dreams simply cannot

replace the warmth of your touch,

the feel of your lips

 

 

 

Weekend Writing Prompt #266 – Flippant

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.  Heard tell Sammi ain’t too particular on the dates we choose to play so, there is that and I thank her for that, too 🙂

wk 266 flippant

When flippant replies are all I receive

I cannot help but feel the need

to recede

Where, in what world were you led to believe

I would not want you to succeed?

to mislead?

It is time, I say, to give me reprieve

I shall not beg for you, nor plead

to believe

I cannot help you with what you perceive

I’ve reached the end and feel the need

for you to go

Leave

Restocking – Friday Fictioneers

It’s Thursday!  Last working day of the week for us Canucks as tomorrow is Canada Day. I hemmed and hawed. I thought and pondered. I went here and then there and came up with this!  The Wisoff-Fields are in cahoots this week as hostess and supplier of photo.  Thank you Jan for your image and Rochelle for your always diligent presence on this jaunts!  Should you wish to play along, you can click on Rochelle’s name for the what’s what or go directly to the frog and link up your 100-word story.  Happy Thursday y’all!

Cartoon Frog In A Suit Holding Flowers Stock Photo, Picture And Royalty  Free Image. Image 80243595.

I thought you’d be here a week ago!  What took you so long?  New route? New Supplier?

Sorry, Linda, I got side-tracked a few towns over.  My stock had depleted and needed filling.

So, new supplier. You didn’t think you could restock here?  You’ve always been satisfied before, Norman.

Well you know, Linda, a little variety in life is not a bad thing.  I do like to scope out what’s new.

When you’re tired of the old, you mean.

Not old at all, darlin’. There’s comfort in the familiar.

Yeah, yeah.  I know. “Sigh.”

C’mere, show me what you’ve got.