Word and Image

Food

Dance and chew gum

The very good news is that despite a very messy kitchen, we are very good cooks. And, we eat very well. Looking at the gallery: savory fruit salad (we had watermelon sitting around); stuffin’ en slow cooker; dry turkey (done too soon); roasty toasty peanuts (a non sequitur); butternut squash soup (a la Silver Palate cookbook); brown sugar and butter (what doesn’t go good with that?); and, an empty table waiting to be laden. When I opened the oven to baste the turkey, I discovered the done sensor had already popped. Darn? I guess it was the roasting pan that cooked the turkey faster. The breast was still moist despite the wings and drumsticks overly done and dry. (We don’t eat them, anyway.) The brown sugar and butter turned into candied sweet potatoes. There is always extra stuffing. The crock pot was brilliant. (Colleen’s idea!) We can not only clear space, but, we can cook! (Well!) The downside? No one else was there to enjoy the meal with us. Dinner alone with your wife, priceless! As I wrote elsewhere, she hummed the whole meal through. Mmmmmm!


Lazy

… uninspired. I have not added to the posts for a few days. After the Maine trip I have been lax. I think this is Maine too, but, I am too lazy to search the database. Another outing in a restaurant. We were searching for a suitable place and ended up in a hotel. No! We never do hotels unless absolutely pushed. But this was a restaurant hidden in a hotel posing as a stand alone joint. It was ok. But then it was a hotel. There is something about institutional food like a cafeteria is always different than a free-standing restaurant. The food was forgettable. Take no chances, get something familiar. You can’t go too wrong. On this occasion we ate and fortified ourselves for the trip back to the place we were staying.


Live to eat

Some folks eat to live. We don’t. Colleen has great fun in eating out. I got silly. Soup dumplings? The secret: they put a little frozen broth into the dumpling before they seal the wrapper. Ha ha! I was fooled this time. The dumplings came in soup broth. The joke was on me! We ate in a local “classic” diner. … just this once (never again, ever!). I’m looking for this Tibet style store. I remember the statues?! Go figure. They are Mexicali Blues who sell products from Peru. Oh! That’s why I could not find them online no matter how I searched. Ok, it’s not a real lighthouse, but, every day we see one. Hmmm… soup dumplings, I guess I’m lucky I did not get chickin’ N dumplings. No pictures were harmed in this series of non sequiturs. Do I really have chopsticks in my ears?


Rusty nails

Where do you wanna go? I dunno. Typical. We had no plan. Do you need a plan? The local – throw away – paper proclaimed, farmer’s market. Ok! We met a basket maker who carries everything on her bicycle, including finished baskets, reed, and basket making tools. Driving along we found the ultimate junk store. Rusty nails! … by the pound. If you dye (fiber) then this is a mordant to set and contribute color. (I bet you wanted to know.) Alpaca farm? They spit?! … if you get in their face. Rude! We got fleece! Of course! Not fleeced. No! If you spin and weave, this was a good day!


Break it down

Consider that I do not eat lobster. I like the taste of lobster bisque? Who doesn’t like cream? I can and did watch Lisa (a long time ago) eat lobster. I even cooked them. But, to take one apart. That is an entirely different matter. It is – squeamishly – like first year anatomy in med school. Nope. Not for me. I did it – in med school. I do it now for Colleen. This old (we are?!), and she never did her own lobster. Uh!?? How?! Ok, me. I was tapped to break it down. And then she ate it. First, you tear off its head. Ah! I can do that! The whole process is almost enough to make me a vegetarian. As for tearing off its head, well, I am a former neurosurgeon now….


Motion… close enough

Colleen is a good sport. We went back to the powwow for more… shots, and, a better vantage point (… and to roast once more). Our position on the day before was less than ideal. I got shots but… let us say that the second time around I was satisfied with our vantage (close enough to touch); it was blazingly hot. The crowd got to participate. Politicians made a cameo. Eastern war dancers (one) from Shinnecock got called out. The chief dancer has appeared in the same regalia in other pics in other years. Hoop dancers? … new to me. As I tried to absorb it, I captured some of the energy and motion. We even got a bird show. I am glad we went back.

The price? Dinner out. I got off easy. It was pizza. We were entertained (enlarge the image) with a wedding party – extra large – in the park across the way. Colleen, eagle eye, noticed the party. And, to finish? A “Bud” mug in the antique store. Priceless!


Travelogue

Why do we travel? To get away from our own everyday routine. See something new and different. And while we are gone we seek out familiar things from home. Dinner in a Chinese restaurant… in Scotland: the food looks familiar; the dinners eat with fork and spoon, or knife; the grocery carries mustard, mayo, and Spam!; a picture to match the post card. Yes, you can go to dinner wearing a genuine Harris tweed vest. Travel is about same and, not. We have not been able to travel in a couple years – Covid. The world will be upside down a bit longer. A couple years back right at this time we were here!? It seems so long ago. So much has changed. Don’t worry, my dear, we will be back.


Do you believe this

This is hilarious: Colleen posing over my head in a selfie. We bike ride a trail that gives us spectacular views. Remember? The trail, yes; the selfie, no! Nope. I do not remember taking this picture. Sure. It’s in the photo archive. Wow! The picture is right beside a house Colleen want to buy somewhere up in Milford. I passed – too much work to restore an old house. But, boy was it a beauty with lots of potential. Pie? Yes, those pics were right nearby in my catalog too. I can say for sure I made the sour cream apple walnut pie. Colleen and I had been chasing that recipe forever, in order to faithfully recreate it. Ok! I/she/we made a pumpkin pie too. But! The kiwi pie? Nope. No recollection. It’s right there next to the other pies. There is no sign this pie was store bought. So, Colleen made it! That’s my story and I’m stickin’ with it.


Oops…

The modern expression, “The road to hell is paved with good intentions”, was first published in Henry G. Bohn’s A Hand-book of Proverbs in 1855. It appeared in a newspaper in 1831. (How do they know this stuff?)

I do not recall why we were in the “city.” We met Dave for lunch. Afterward we wandered the Highline. The stairway to nowhere was under construction then. Yes, I take food pictures. And even so, I cannot tell what it was we ate. Have I told you Colleen loves to eat out? More seriously, this stairway has been a place for people to commit suicide. ??? I don’t know either. We always referred to the 6th floor as LD50:

LD stands for “Lethal Dose“. LD50 is the amount of a material, given all at once, which causes the death of 50% (one half) of a group of test animals.

Most people will not survive a fall more than 6 stories. With all the bones you break, I’m not sure you would want to – survive. Of course, on this nice pleasant day – lunch with Dave, and, a pleasant stroll – who would have thunk this would be a death trap, closed at the moment (now), while engineers try to build in some more safety measures?


Iconic

A slice and a coke. What’s more American? This is/was my childhood. It has changed. The pizza is much more “craft” than of my high school days. We could get a slice and a coke by the subway for 35 cents. Games? Yeah, who’s looking for a Democrat Republican tic tac toe set? Old typewriters? In my lifetime they are obsolete. Striking mechanical keys? How quaint! Suddenly, things look so old…


It’s late

But, it’s never too late to learn a new trick. I discovered beefsteak tomatoes. Ha ha! Everyone else knows them. I am late to the party as usual. Colleen bought one. I just about let it go bad on the counter. Then, we got mozzarella. I added olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Voila! Instant revelation! I was stunned. I don’t think I ever ate a beefsteak tomato before? Or if I did, it was not a true tomato?

An aside? I shoot macro images. Sometimes it feels as though I cannot see the details the lens captures until I start editing. The details! Water droplets? Subtle and not noticeable until I enlarge the image. Yes, I feel like some images were shot with my eyes closed.

Focus? Dead on accurate – the cat (Peas) – or, it’s not a shot. You aspire to a different standard.

And that beefsteak? A simple recipe. Good lighting. Luscious color. Mmmmm….


Hopeless

It seems a lost cause to try to limit myself to one picture and one story per day. Some days have too many – stories and pics. Sorry. How about an upside down dragonfly? ?? Really?! Yup! It flopped to the deck right in front of me with a thud. Truly! It was an act I did not realize until I did the edit. Later, it flipped and flew away. Relief!

The building – it was across the street from the restaurant – beer flight – inside on the wall was a black and white photo ala this view – for $700. Nope! I’m not kidding. Sorry, I would not pay that kind of money for that kind of shot. I have too many of my own in the discard pile. Really! Balls; ya gotta have ‘em to take that shot and price it like that.

Flight time? You can order a “flight.” This allows you to taste five beers as a sampler. Fun! Yes! Colleen loves dark beer. To me they all taste the same and are bitter. She can appreciate the nuance. I appreciate that she loves the experience. I’m still struggling to appreciate the BxW building on the wall next to me.

Still life – note the flattened peaches. I did it subtly so as not to squish out the juices. That is a large tomato for scale? – or small peaches. Watermelon in the background – I am in a watermelon eating stage right now.

The cat and sunset are throw-ins. It’s the end of the day. I keep a camera at hand all over the house. Ha ha! I have enough cameras to do this. And, sometimes you get the shot because things were there at hand and jumped onto the memory card – all by themselves. Gee, I’m lucky sometimes.


Happy

Happy… birthday. Happy!? I hope I have made you as happy as you have made me so. In a simple collage we have the essence of it all: cat, food, travel, spinning, beach… together. Good time?! Yup! Favorite cat? We all have a special one. Ha! Not really. If a picture is worth a thousand words… I hope you will know how my feelings are in this collage. Happy?…. as the cow jumped over the moon. Happy? … my wish to you.

Flag? Symbolism? Meaning? Interpretation? Philosophical? Deep? Poetic? … Nah! Spontaneous. It was eye catching as I edited… gestalt. Ah! And flowers….


Travel day

If you take away no other information, Colleen loves to eat out. It’s a bread stick! …but sublime. What a smile! Travel day – it’s the long ride to or from. We usually squeeze in an antique store or two. Some are high end “curated” – i.e. expensive! – and others are more practical – fun. No matter what, there’s always a lot of what you don’t need or didn’t know anyone else would ever buy – an electric cow milking machine? Shepard and sheep? Empty tin cans? Iron skillet? Oh, the things you find! Herd immunity? And the smile (eating out)… priceless!


Jane-d!

We just experienced Jane(d) again. This would be a follow up to a recent post on this very subject. Never take a photo of someone while they eat. (They look funny – ridiculous.) Jane loves to eat out. She loves to try everything on the menu – if only she could. She ordered tacos. I do not believe she has ever eaten a taco and probably misheard the waitress. She was surprised enough to ask what it was they placed before her. And she did not eat it. She took it home to die in her refrigerator until after we left. Ditto – the dessert. It was a mango parfait. The baker came from the kitchen to ask how she liked it. Jane said it would have been better with fresh mango to which the baker replied she had used a fresh mango puree. Insert foot…. Colleen and I thoroughly enjoyed dinner. I pretended Jane ate everything and was pleased as well. That would be my story and I’m sticking with it.


3%

These are random observations today. 3% is the amount of lemon juice in this container of frozen treat. Two servings at 130 cal for a total of 290 cal in the container. Yeah, do the math. And, two plus two….  Oh, 3% juice? It’s sugar water! Lemons are not naturally sweet. It’s the flower of a dill plant. Who cares? And, look at that fat ass. Sorry, not PC. The pic is to illustrate two – count ‘em – phones. Matching cheeks? Ooops! Phones? Was the daughter embarrassed? This was a random capture. So, the image left me wondering too. Sometimes things just don’t make a whole lot of sense. Tillie? Eyes torqued and tongue out? I don’t know either.


High Tea

This would be my second time. We tried it in Scotland. And, now we found a Tea Room closer to home. It was shut during the Covid crisis. Now that we are vaccinated, the shop has opened and accepted reservations. The hat is de rigueur. Afterward we wandered through the local antique store trying on more stylish chapeaus for the next occasion when we take high tea once more. Pennies on the table? Shiny. They keep away flies. Uh, ok. It worked. We did not see a fly all day.


Mealtime

I had a baguette. So, sandwich! – Chutney, whole grain mustard, garden lettuce, ham, swiss – and a hearty appetite. To drink – lemonade and root beer. Yes, it’s a weird combo, but…  And my cat? – Spice – had her own opinion about my repast. Open wide.


Opps…oops

Digital cameras allow you to make a mistake that keeps on giving. Since August 3 of last year, for nearly eight months, I have had an erroneous setting for the ISO. Ordinarily, it is set to “Auto.” Somehow it was set to ISO 800. So, a lot of pics were taken with the wrong setting. The other parameters adjusted “automatically” and I never noticed the error till now. I only picked up my mistake because the camera used a very long shutter speed one day. Aha! Corrected! Fixed! All is right again. It only took eight months to notice. Gee!! The pizza? As long as we are talking mistakes, this shot was made after I fixed the ISO. The pizza is the error. We have a pizza chain. The pizza is nearly inedible. I kid you not. I was desperate for a “slice,” any slice. I actually went home and ate something more. To protect the name of the guilty I won’t mention the name Grotto.


Bake

We have binge watched the Great British Baking Show. It’s sad to see amateur bakers criticized for mistakes they make under the pressure of an audience and the judges. But, it did teach me some things about improvising. We recently had outdated whipped cream that had been frozen. Nope, it’s butter. Toss it. And then, I was making meringue cookies. The egg whites did not whip up. What to do? Quick, add some flour and cocoa powder – sponge, jelly roll cake. Fresh whipped cream, ha ha. And there was enough cream for the Atlantic pie – a lemon curd, (saltine) cracker crust pie. A happy ending! So, I have advanced my baking skill by becoming less intimidated that everything must be precise and measured in baking. There are limits to be tested. How about that? A jelly roll cake!


Expected

Boring. The news is redundant. What did you expect? The Afghans would make a stand – like the Alamo?

Another day, another mass shooting. This past weekend there were multiple mass shootings. I did not see any reported. There is a level of death count and heinous standard that must be met before it is in the news? Like a scorecard I scan for the “death count.” It seems the shooter also must be among the dead. And, shhhh! All the neighbors knew he would do it one day!

Food? All these recipes and nothing to eat. Boring. Not a thing is appetizing tantalizingly making me hungry. It’s a mish mash of ingredients pushed together a la Food Channel. Colorful “throw-up? Nope, not for me.

Congress, as usual, is in stalemate. Finger wagging and tut tut amounts to stagnation once more. “Filibuster” this filibuster that!

45? He’s still alive? Relevant? There was nothing on the grand jury in the NYT. Some intrepid NYT reporter was not first with the scoop, so, the WaPo runs with the story and MSNBC has hour after hour of gossip speculation on “IT!”

“We (will) know a trial is close when the courtroom sketch artist goes to Michaels and says, ‘Give me all the orange crayons you have.’” — JIMMY FALLON


Did you ever?

… eat in a restaurant called Ketchup? Would you? We did. It was in Jeddah. Why? The name, of course. It was a Middle Eastern restaurant. Of course, it was. Good? I have no recollection. So, I guess, forgettable.

… eat, deep fried kale? Preserve, Annapolis. It was a restaurant recommendation at another store. Spectacular! And messy! I tried it at home. Kale splatters oil all over the place. It is the quintessential poster child for “Don’t try this at home!” Good? Spectacular! Have we been back? No, it is, alas, (it’s) bad for you. But boy oh boy, was it good!


A year ago

3/11/21 – this year, designated the “one year anniversary”

57 million vaccinated – have had one shot or more

Vaccine – an actual one was developed in less than a year

Speech – a national address by our (real) leader on the 1st anniversary. trump???? who????

Covid relief American rescue package – it passed. Not a single republican voted for it. Traitors.

Eve of 2nd shot – I got mine the next day.

“If somebody said ‘N95’ to you one year ago, you’d think they were a bingo caller.” — JIMMY KIMMEL

They talk about a year ago. 3/11/20. Anniversary of corona. Where were you? Memorable? No, it just came and went as an ordinary day. I can note it/did note it, because I have a photo diary. The news and late night shows were full of the “anniversary.” The “event” (last year) was marked by the shutdown of Delaware by the governor. For us it was the evening/night of 3/16/20. All business was shut. A year later, the library opened for the first time. We did a little victory dance. Anniversary Day +1 is my second shot. I’m old. For most the first shot is months away. For others, they will be foolish, ignore the science, and decline the vaccine. What a world? What a time? The “former guy” is out of office. Sanity, truth, and science have returned. If you commit a crime, you do not get a free pass – see Gov Cuomo. Yeah, it’s been a hell of a f’n year!

What were/where were you? We learned to make Nantucket baskets and ate Thai as they announced all business was closed. The flowers were in bloom. (Not yet this year.) I was in my fake flowers/vases phase. Colleen made a “Giovanni” burger for me. The groceries were suddenly without TP! Toilet paper!?!? Patch was sleeping soundly through it all on our bed. It’s not an anniversary. That would impart more of a celebration. This was more like – “yeah, I was there. Ain’t it amazing when you look back?” Life, as we knew it, changed right afterward.


Apropos to nothing

I take pictures everyday. I edit infrequently. I edit to cull best shots. I edit to keep the database up to date. On January 28, three pics popped up. They are unrelated except to document the day. Blue Willow plate – English – it’s a divided plate that conjures past memory like Proust’s madeleine. Colleen recalled fond memories when none of her food was allowed to touch each other on her plate. She was indulged by Mother and served on this divided dish. Well, not this dish, but it was one similar. And I indulged her and bought one for her. Ah, the things one does for love. We were in the market and a package of sausage meat germinated the idea to make sausage cake, a British concoction. Colleen says it is akin to plum pudding. It’s a spice cake with walnuts… Good? It’s an acquired taste, I think. And on the same morning, my death-defying cat, Ray, climbed the rail and casually nipped at the planter. He jumps. He is our climbing cat (see climbing the bookcase) and he constantly scares Colleen. She would definitely miss him if he fell. Until recently I could say, “No problem, I have seven cats.” It’s no longer true and I never believed it anyway.