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Showing posts from March, 2011

Picky Eaters

Since I devoted my last blog to how much we as a family enjoy the whole restaurant experience and you all know now that I like to cook and am pretty successful at it I thought it was time to clear up the whole misconception that may be out there that I somehow am raising adventurous eaters. 


Before the age of 3 I had a lot of trouble with my tonsils.  This being Romania in the late 60s there was a shortage of oral antibiotics and most of my bouts were treated with antibiotic shots.  The nurse would come to our house and I would hide, the needle was thick and reused (do not gasp...it happened until the end of the Ceausecu regime and led to a host of deadly infections later in the years) and often dull. It was painful and sitting afterward was difficult.  Now as you are reading this you may think I have wandered from the original topic but I have not, just taking a scenic route to the original subject.  This led to my eating very little, mostly mashed potatoes with a boiled egg mashed in…

Food Porn..

Food is our common ground, a universal experience. JAMES BEARD
In chatting during my commute a few days ago about our latest restaurant find in the Hudson Valley I was surprised to get the response from the woman I was speaking with that she felt going out to eat was not a worthwhile expense "there are better things I would spend my money on".   I tried to wrap my head around this idea but honestly don't get it.  It is not that I am daft but rather that to me going to a restaurant and finding one that has really good and interesting creations is such a source of pleasure.  The woman I was speaking with (as I pointed out to her and to which she reluctantly agreed) is not a foodie.  I on the other hand am one of those people who can relate to the term food porn.


As a child we rarely went out to restaurants and I was not an adventurous eater.  I started experimenting with different cuisines in college.  This was the 80s, spending and over the top extravagance was the norm, ta…

Beaches....

“Our memories of the ocean will linger on, long after our footprints in the sand are gone.”

When life gets stressful I usually can let it roll until I can deal well with whatever is going on. One of the places that I think about when times are chaotic is the beach.  I believe that there are mountain people and beach people. I happen to be a beach person. 

When I was a child my parents went through a familiar, particularly among immigrants, ritual with the beach. Woken up very early in the morning, packing lunch and snacks, backgammon games, drinks, beer maybe, a radio, a sheet and of course towels.  This was in the days where I and all children sat withoutbooster seatsor seat belts, often in the divide between my parents front seats. Our massive 1975 Buick LeSare, ironically almost as large as my first apartment, air conditioned with an eight track player, height of loaded for those days. These were the days when people were smoking in these cars with their kids in the back and sunblock…

People try to push us around..Talking 'bout my generation

I am a child of change, both personal and public.  I have grown up being moved from one country/continent to another, moved more times than I can keep track of (of my own free choosing) and switched careers.  All of this is actually not that unusual for my generation.

For those of us born in the 60s, itself a time of great shifts throughout the world, we have lived with the laid back 70s, the hyper/"greed for lack of a better word is good" 80s, the fall of that junk bond economy that thrust us into a work force which was beaten and lacked luster 90s, to the changing of a century, all the while adapting.  We are Generation X according to "they", you know "they" who know everything; slackers, not loyal, disbelievers in the "system" - those are the labels attached to us.   Unlike previous generations we are not loyal to employers, why should we be as they have encouraged us to manage our own growth, often while downsizing our opportunities.  For us…

Tennis anyone

After many years of watching tennis from a far and peeking through the glass at the people playing at my health club I finally decided that no matter what the outcome I was going to try and learn to play tennis. This was met with a variety of reactions.  My husband, who said this would be a great You Tube laugh a ton, told me that I may want to stick with walking. Those who do not know me well  assumed this must be one of many sports I actually am learning.  I live in an area where many people play and when I mentioned lessons they thought I was getting a refresher course.  


I avoided participating in sports as much as possible until my late 20s.   I am the girl who bought Primatene mist and told a HS gym teacher I had asthma and that I could not bring a note because my parents could not afford the doctor (that worked for about a year).  The girl who got rides around the block while smoking to complete the President's physical assessments (remember those? - do they still exist?).  …

Piano Lessons

In my parents' Romania there were two things that were seen as integral to augment school education, one was the learning of a foreign language and the other learning how to play an instrument (preferably the violin or piano).  They dutifully hired a French tutor for me when I was about 3 or 4 and I promptly disliked her and the language immediately.  I did become pretty good at hiding from her and distracting the other kids who were learning with me also.  To this day French is the one Romance language I have no interest in.  


About a year after I arrived in the States my parents met an elderly couple at a Romanian gathering.  She taught piano lessons. Since my French lessons had amounted to merde (see I did learn some of that language) my parents promptly hired her to teach me.  My parents did not have a lot, ah who am I kidding any, discretionary income for these lessons but they did it anyway.  My piano teacher was in her  70s, which to me at the time was about as ancient as a …

Mom's Night Out

The term Mom's Night Out only became part of my lexicon only since I became a Mom.  I do not recall any Mothers doing this when I was growing up, even the more risqué Mothers (you know the ones you wished you had then and are glad you did not now) went out drinking but usually not with other Moms.  These days even a quick search on Facebook results in many MNO (it has become an acronym) groups all over the U.S.  


For those men out there reading this, sorry to disappoint but there will be no Da Vinci code revelation here. No secret passwords, chants or burnings in effigy occur.  Nor do we put on white tee shirts and pillow fight, guess I killed every fantasy out there. These events, which in our group, are very much looked forward to and held almost as sacred time.  We try to do them every 2 months, on a weeknight and we do our best to support the local economy.  Dori is our dedicated organizer.  Her invitations are as funny and as anticipated as the actual events.  She has been so …

Purple Chicken

If I could have one bigger room in my house it would be the kitchen.  I would love one of those kitchens that you see in home design shows with granite counters, loads of cabinet space, an overpriced stove with a double oven and an island.   This would mean that the dining room would have to go to accomodate this our house yet I do not long for a bigger house.  The dream kitchen would be the supporting player in meals I love to cook.  I like to crank up my music and have a glass of wine while I am cooking. I love the smells and the whole transformation process.  The meals often lean toward gourmet and I get excited at the prospect of nibbling on the ingredients and a pretty presentation.

I was not always a good cook in fact I wasn't even a decent cook.  In my first apartment, the kitchen was actually decent size  and the living/dining room small.  For my first foray into entertaining I was ambitious in this 500 sq ft location. I decided to do Thanksgiving for friends the Wednesday…

Journaling....journeying through the past

"Journal writing is a voyage to the interior." Christina Baldwin

My previous blog led me to think about another favorite hand written activity.  I have kept a journal since I called it a diary.  My collection of journals spans grammar school crushes, high school dramas, college adventures, loves that flourished and flopped, a lot of moves, successes and my children's lives from pregnancy onward. They have captured the moments my friendships were made and the moments some of them ended.  I find myself transported back in time with every re-read.

In my HS we had to write in our journals at the start of every English class for all 4 years there.  These counted toward your grade and were checked, withouth being read we were assured and pretty much true since no action was ever taken to my knowledge, by our teachers. It was after all the previous century before cell phones and beepers so these were our text messages.  They were left in lockers, our own with shared combinations…