Word and Image

Food

Covet

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A picture tells a thousand words. My cats gather as we eat. They don’t like most of what it is. Too bad. It’s my lunch. Nonetheless, don’t turn your back. Personally, I do not favor having my sandwich licked by cats.


Grocery

It’s not always empty. There are people about. The shelves are not bare. There are. But not every aisle sold out. Things I find are spontaneous purchase. A few things are planned. Mostly it is food association. We associate food to my appetite. I have discovered the frozen food aisle. Who knew you could photograph so much appetizing food to appeal to your imagination? The picture is usually better. But I have to give a shout out to Barber raw stuffed chicken breasts. Get ‘em. They were good. We can’t find them again.


The last time…oops

It looks like I have already published this post a few days ago. We’ve been kind of distracted. I didn’t notice my error till now. Oh well, stuff happens.

The last time… we ate out, we had dinner guests, our house was clean. Well, now might be the time to look back. Ha ha! I compose posts long before published. I am trying to stick to the one/day rule Jules imposed. This is/was being written in early May. Poignant! Literally the day/same evening we ate our last meal out as DE closed all restaurants.

We only clean up when we invite dinner guests. This was the last clean up before Jen and Mike came for St Pat’s corned beef. And the very next day… no toilet paper to be had. It’s been a while. No, no, no, there’s a new normal. Little did I know. Our house will not be tidy again, for a long long time. It’s a good thing. I do so love my life and my wife. Eh? What did I say? … I can’t remember when I last saw TP on the shelves! …  and I love my wife.


Diary

Dearest. It’s a slow day on quarantine. Good? You bet. Boring is good. No disease. It’s abstract. I choose to believe so. The map is abstract. Unfortunately, no. But, we talked of reading fantasy. Everyone has gone back to comfort foods – junk, but childhood security. Campbell’s soup? It does feel like Alice n Wonderland. Cheshire anyone? Sleeping cats, ours have a routine oblivious to the chaotic world outside. Innocence! Social distance. But, of course! Beer and spirits? Yes, to that too. We finished off the last of our personally imported Scotch straight from the distillery in Scotland. How’s that for dropping names? The beer? From Belgium imported and plucked from the sale bin at the local liquor store. Good stuff! Yes, indeed! This recalls the only French drinking song I ever learned in class: Chevalier de la table ronde. Gouton voir si le vin est bon? And so it goes… Pretty amazing! Seventh grade French -Msr. Steindler.

Note: I originally composed this post nearly two months ago. Not too much changed. It’s still apropos. What’s worse, we are now embarking on the second wave. This post is as though two months passed like it was merely yesterday. Damn!


Mealtime

This is gonna skeeve out some folks. Ha! It’s an actual word. Skeevy. We are clean folk; brush teeth, bathe every day…. Mealtime, well, the cats consider us “staff.” They gather. It’s not as though I can chase them off. It depends (on what’s for eats). Don’t laugh. Colleen keeps projects going… and mail, magazines, newspapers…oh bother! Why clean? You simply clear a cat, sit, eat, and hope they don’t swipe more than 10%. Indulgent? I would say so. Me? I’m good. Somewhere it says that germs are good for you. And, cats take up the empty space allotted.


Pprep

“Prepper” Term used to describe those who store goods in anticipation of a disaster. I am a natural hoarder. I was never hungry as a child; we were solidly middle class. But, somewhere along the way from childhood, I got to feeling that I needed to have ample supplies on hand. It’s no wonder the first thing I was sure to stock was junk food. Man’s gotta eat.

 


Passing time

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What do you do in the time of corona? We took to drinking. Alcohol. I don’t drink. Didn’t. …till now. Ha ha. I had some Scotch. Good Scotch … as in 15 year old Glenlivet. The good stuff. We brought it home from the source, Scotland. Samples really, they were the taste samples from the tour we took. Colleen doesn’t like the taste of Scotch. She prefers dark beer. I don’t like either. So, we did not bring any Scotch home. I wish we had. No matter. We mixed it with eggnog. Heresy?! No, palatable for me. Cheers!

On a slow day you take what you can get for photos. I’m reaching sometimes. But you gotta keep taking pictures even if you are in self quarantine. ?? It’s mohair being prepared as a warp. (If you weave, that makes perfect sense. I don’t (weave)).


My little dumpling

Dumplings. My mother thought of this alternative. Smart lady. Biscuits. A lot of Chinese cooking adapted to what ingredients were available in the market. This is a neat trick. The biscuit will rise when steamed. Fill it. Done. And good! I don’t work with a recipe. Have I ever? You may imagine any filling. I have my own. Colleen loved them.


Borosilicate

Thermal insulated. Lightweight. This stuff is as good as “sliced bread.” What? It’s blown glass – yes, there is a “blown” mark. The air insulation keeps the glass from transmitting heat or cold. Your coffee stays hot and your lemonade ice cubes don’t melt. Too good to be true. Colleen loved them and I got them – for her (how could I deny her…). I tried one. Oh boy! Light bulb! As in all things I overdid as you can readily see our cabinet with an assortment. Hey! That’s quite an assortment of tea sitting up there too. Good stuff.


Housebound

I guess it would be appropriate to post one more today. We’ve been housebound since mid-March. And for the first time I have gotten over the hump. Our refrigerator magnet display has nary an inch of empty space. So too was our fridge. A lot of leftovers went in order to make room. I admit to conspicuous consumption. Or, have I finally realized that there is a new normal and that I have way too many unopened packages of TP? Look! There’s space in the fridge. (Don’t judge what we eat please.) There’s plenty of food lying about. Still, this is the first time our fridge has space. Did I (it’s on me) turn the corner on anxiety? …just as the beaches open/opened. Punchline: I just made (gluten free) lasagna in bulk. Six more containers went in. Comfort food. Two – count ‘em – two big containers of popcorn sit to the side. A guilty pleasure, almost nightly consumed, I still buy like there’s no tomorrow. I think I am less worse. Crazy? … define nuts?

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Cooking in place

… a riff on sheltering in place. St Pat’s, we cooked. What else? Corned beef and cabbage. No green cabbage – there was a run in the grocery – red will do. It turned my carrots and potatoes purple. Purple was the color of the day. Gluten free cake with pecan coconut icing, are you hungry yet? Corn meal biscuits, yum! Colleen likes canned corn beef – cold. Oh well, the rest of us ate the good stuff. And, we were all virus free and hoped to stay that way.


Way back…

…when. Not that many years ago, in a simpler time, who knew how the world would change? We haven’t been back in many a year. But, at the time, in that place, it was the highlight of our world. We had been recommended and found this restaurant that served deep fried kale. Unhealthy! You bet. Good? Unparalleled! It was mere months from this point that someone tried to detonate (bomb vest) in the parking lot across from the US Embassy. My life changed and I was soon home for good. I don’t remember when we ate there again. Unhealthy! Good? You bet!


Giovanni

I followed a recipe. Colleen got a hankering for jar peppers – on a hamburger. Not just any, but a “Giovanni?” That’s what she called it. Butter toasted bun, large juicy burger, cheese, onions, and these jar peppers. It’s obviously too high to get in single bite. Heaven! Pardon the mess. The look of bliss… priceless! I guess I’m good to follow some instructions…and very happy to make someone happy.


Slow day

We’re home. Not much doing, so what to do? Cook. Oh, we got TP! Gotta have the essentials. Biscuits, from a Red Lobster gluten free mix, imagine that. We got that stuff in Walmart. It was an unlikely place (to find it). The real surprise was that the biscuits were really good, as in, I would buy a mix again (if I come across it). Asparagus, it’s a little early for the big thick ones. So, I peeled the tough skin with a potato peeler. Add vinaigrette and it’s pretty near to perfect without too much effort. Bacon anyone? Yeah, unhealthy. This was two pounds (fresh cut) on sale – ½ price. Wow! I just hit it, lucky. Yup, it cooks down to practically nothing. But good! And, crab cakes, fresh made and delicious. No picture. Colleen ate it before I could … yes! A good time was had by all. If they had told me, “Make a post about bacon…”


To market

I’ve done this before. Sad. Everything “tastes like chicken” doesn’t seem so humorous. There were stacks of crates on a truck headed to? Meat or eggs? Either way it’s an awful way to be treated. Point A to Point B, maximize space and profit. Humanitarian treatment doesn’t apply to non-humans? Oh boy! I would almost be a vegetarian. Mostly, you go along happily until it’s in your face. Blissful ignorance. We do that a lot. It’s sad for me to say. Today, I’m thinking about it again.


Behind the scenes (pics)

The only difference between your iPhone and my camera is that my inconsequential pics have a higher technical quality. My daily diary is not particularly interesting. I have shots of the cats, where we’ve been, and the food we consumed. Mundane. Boring, no doubt. The stories behind the picture(s)? It’s all an experience/experiment. Does the picture come first or does the narrative come as I take the picture? Both, all of the above, a gorgeous sunset is easy. But I experiment. There are few new pictures. It’s mostly reworking previous subjects in a new situation. Repeat? You bet. New? Some, too. By now I should know what I’m doing and never miss. I should not have to repeat my mistakes. I know what to do. But… most of my stuff (images) is mundane and not worthy of more than a glance. Throw stuff away? A friend told me recently that he dumps all his bad images. Clutter! No clutter! No, no, no. I have faithfully cataloged all of my clutter with a database. Database? Why not? And images are stored on hard drives. There’s no space taken up there. …except if you have too many redundant drives. Anyway, today was mundane. Anything but…  Coffee in the antique store, antique store (another), ghost church/cemetery, dinner/anniversary with the cousins, and food! There’s a fine line. But, every day is a gift! Really!! You gotta be smiling by now, YTIMA spelled backwards is llits AMITY.


“P”

Not prisoner, Patch. I marked his ear intentionally so as to be able to identify him. It was important. I can’t tell him from Willow, his twin. And Patch had just returned from the hospital for treatment of his hyperthyroidism. He needs extra food. And, we can’t be petting him too much (treatment instructions). So, I marked him. He gets extra food. The disease ravaged his metabolism and he lost more than 1/3 body weight. So, to fatten him… extra food. And his siblings like to share in his bounty. Poor Patch, he’s a work in progress. He will be better in time but for now it’s back to work. And, no one eats alone around here!

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Valentine’s

A while back we had an excellent Valentine’s Day. We are beyond cards and flowers. Heresy! I shall say, though, we had a splendid day. There was even time for a costume change.

And dinner?! It was our (Colleen’s) favorite restaurant! We have lots of restaurants we like. But there is a number one! Above all others, this was the place! An excellent stout (beer) and crab imperial. Yes!! Flowers? I did a fake bouquet at pottery barn. Hey! It’s the sentiment! And no, we did not buy that $39 bunch. Geez! Good looking and a good $$$ too. No, I followed the road to the heart via the stomach.


Options

Yes, it’s yogurt (thick)! Who invented the spoon and why? How about chopsticks? How about them?!  It (fingers) looks like fun. But, I’m a neat eater. I don’t like sauce or mess… or yogurt on my fingers. I guess it’s taught – using utensils. I can pick up a single grain of rice with chopsticks. Neat? Fun? We learn to use flush toilets too. Okay! But, isn’t it hard to look at this kid and not want to wipe her fingers and mouth?

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It’s all in the aim, ain’t it? Small implement, small target, messy result.


Cute

Here’s a technical tip. Move the camera in front of the eyes and it will look as though your granddaughter is looking directly into your eyes/lens. Cheating? Nope. It’s just good sense. Note: she’s in a waterproof jacket. It cuts down on laundry and makes clean up a bit easier. She still slings food. And, fingers are optional and definitely flavorful.


Graphic

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We were stopped in a coffee shop Colleen adores. Turmeric latte. What can I say? It’s good for you/her. I deferred. I sat and took in the ambiance. We were also here for the ambiance. A graphic image caught my attention. Drat! I almost had a great shot. It’s okay but it could have used a bit better focus.

Meanwhile, I noticed a family moving about, ordering, and eating. It took me a while longer to realize that there was a sleeping child on the table. I mistook the shoes for mittens and hats. There were two kids not one. Consider it an optical delusion.


not since…

Sometimes it’s not about the picture. I grew up in Elkins, a small town. This was before fast food, before McD. There was Dairy Queen and Tastee Freez. The later is down to 25 stores. DQ has 6400 in 25 countries. McD is between 14k and 16k. The DQ burger of my (memory) youth was akin to the White Castle “grey” disc. Nothing special, they were a treat whenever mom was feeling like a night off from feeding us real food. So, for the first time since childhood… yes, the first time in many decades, we were persuaded to stop in one while traveling through WV. It was an eyeopener. The burger was huge and greasy. It was as good as any diner burger I have had recently. And the chocolate shake was thick, like a soft serve ice cream. Good!? It was as good (burger) as I could get without making it myself. That good? Maybe I was hungry? Would I return? Maybe it won’t be decades.


Humor

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It’s complicated. ATT&T lets me add members of the family to my phone plan. They don’t even have to have the same area code. There was a promotion – get an iPhone at deep discount, add a line (Lee). Colleen got a new iPhone (upgrade). Done. Lee had a locked phone with Walmart. This created a problem! We solved it with a “work around.” Jane lost her iPhone a few days later. She was incommunicado for nearly a week. ??? there is no such thing as a long distance cell call. Just borrow a phone. I solved her problem by making her an authorized user. She could get a new phone 1,2,3. Nope, she was out of touch for a week. No friends? What?! She’s back in the fold once again. She did finally surface.

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Meanwhile, Colleen decided to make Cheerio xmas tree treats. Kids? Adults don’t eat that stuff. They didn’t. She did. So? She’s a kid, naturally.

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And our new dishwasher leaked. I had a devil of a time finding from where – which pipe? It’s dark and cramped under the sink! Among the things soaked were the garbage bags. Throw them out?! Nah! Colleen said it was against the principle of saving the earth. Remember there’s a plastic island twice the size of Texas in the ocean…. If you aren’t laughing by now, you need a better sense of humor check up.


Timing

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Mike rebuked me. I take pictures of everything. “Useless!” he intoned sarcastically.  I take pictures of plates of food. Ha! I guess we don’t see eye to eye. (I don’t think – never have seen – he owns a camera. He doesn’t run a blog and he doesn’t care to. Though we’re friends, one might question the commonality of our ways. Since, we’ve (Colleen and I) been here I have passed this joint many a time. I picture it as a fast food type place. No interest. But, finally, on a cold winter night, we looked up the menu and decided to give it a try. Boredom? Not Mike, you know who? and me. We parked and walked to the door. Locked! Lights on! Blazing in the night. Closed! Private party. Ha ha. We won’t be coming back. Sorry. Bad timing?! I was saved! And for Mike, there will be no food picture this time.