Friday, September 30, 2016

What's Cooking--Birthday Edition

Last Sunday was Jeff's birthday. Usually we go out to dinner. But for the few birthdays, we went out for lunch and had a a dinner by request at home.

For Jeff's day, we first went to Rowayton dog park with Lola, then Sedona Tap House for lunch: kobe beef and pulled pork sliders, and Italiano flatbread. We returned to the dog park. Later over Moscow Mules, we caught the end of the Mets game. They beat the Phillies 17-0 in their last home game of the regular season. Happy Birthday.

Jeff had requested that I make him a vodka sauce for penne alla vodka. I had made that sauce before, but decided to look for a new recipe. Some of our friends have a food blog and I found a great penna alla vodka recipe there. It was more labor intensive than the recipe I'd used in the past, but it was well worth it. Delicious.

In the same post, I found a good appetizer: steak bites with Bloody Mary dipping sauce. This was an easy recipe. I made the full amount and served the rest of the sauce over chicken later in the week. I added a mixed green salad and we ended with a chocolate mousse cake.

A great meal for a happy day.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Welcome Fall, Goodbye Summer

Today is the first day of fall, my favorite season.

But this year the change is bittersweet.

I lost the summer. It disappeared in a haze of allergies, heat, humidity, frustration and fear (for a lost Lola.)  I missed out on most of the items on my list of fun things to do this summer. 

The things I managed to do:

I made it to two arts festivals: one in Mathews Park and the second in downtown Westport. It was over 90 degrees the day I went to the Westport festival--not a pleasant time to browse. The Westport Library had its book sale the same day. Sweat poured down my face, etc. even under tents.

We took Lola to other dog parks. Lake Mohegan was a success except Jeff and I forgot that part of our usual route was over a sidewalk. Usually there's very little traffic along that street. But with our luck, it was busy that day. Lola freaked and Jeff had to carry her back to the parking lot. Last weekend we took her to the dog park by the Rowayton Library. Lola enjoyed that.

Another summer thing I did that I didn't list was to make a mojito salad. 

It's still warm enough to do some summer fun things, but it appears that cooler weather will move in this weekend. I'm sure I can find other outdoor activities to enjoy, and Lola will love fall hikes.

Welcome fall.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

9-21-01 Plus 15

Fifteen years ago Jeff, his sister Thea, my stepfather Albert and I went to Shea Stadium for the night baseball returned to New York after the World Trade Center attacks.

I'll never forget that night. The Mets did it right: a solemn, moving pre-game ceremony, a little glamour courtesy of Liza Minelli and a win over the Braves courtesy primarily of Mike Piazza. Even Mayor Rudy Guiliani was a Mets fan that night. That game helped us heal.

Unfortunately, many retrospectives of post 9-11 sports of 2001 downplay the impact of the Mets. Instead they focus on the Yankees' appearance in the World Series.

But the Mets players were the ones involved in the relief efforts.It was Shea Stadium that served as a staging area for relief efforts.

The Mets were the first to wear NYPD, FDNY, EMS and OEM caps to show their solidarity with the relief efforts. They also donated their salaries from the game to relief efforts.

I've been a Mets fan for 30 years. 9-21-01 is a big reason for that.

Saturday, September 17, 2016


Jeff and I have been married 28 years today.

Our day started out slowly--we relaxed over coffee and tea. Then we took Lola to Rowayton dog park. It's a small park, just an open field, but it's fenced in. We wanted to give Lola a chance to be off leash and see how she responded. We actually went twice, before and after lunch at Sedona Tap House. At the park Lola mostly kept close to us, but  seemed to enjoy being off leash. She came to us when we called, which was awesome. I also got to see the last of the WPA murals Packet Day at the Five Mile River by George Avison at the Rowayton Library.

Jeff and I started out in Sono for dinner. I had read that Washington Prime is famous for its Moscow Mules. We had to try them--delicious, but not as spectacular as I had hoped. (Over hyped, I guess.) We checked out several Sono restaurant menus, but Jeff said I should select the place, and none of the menus inspired me. I could have found something to eat at all of the places, but wanted to have several items to choose from.

I ended up feeling a bit stressed and picky--not how I should feel on a happy occasion. We left Sono and headed for Basso Cafe. We hadn't been there in years. It was a bit noisy, but the food was good. Jeff ordered the stuffed pork chop; I had lamb two ways (rack of lamb and leg of lamb.) Dessert was the highlight. We shared a chocolate lava cake and a sampling of  gelato and sorbets. The sampling was a choice of four served in mini vanilla cones. The ginger and almond gelatos were awesome--worth going back for.

Now we're back home with our Lola--vegging out, watching the Mets. It's been a good day.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

TV Time

In baseball season, we mostly watch the Mets. There are exceptions when the Mets play badly or when there's an especially interesting episode of another show we watch, such as Outlander or Game of Thrones.

The Mets are in the playoff hunt and are doing well, so we're tuned in.

BBC America is running a Star Trek marathon--the original series (uncut) with a few Next Generation episodes in the late night.

I remember catching the end of the first episode. My father was watching it; he told me a character could change appearance and I thought he meant Spock. D'oh. My brother Jim and I enjoyed the series. We read books about it and often talked about it.

Re-watching these shows in the past--I've felt that they haven't held up. But as Jeff said the other night, they were innovative. I've read about the conflicts Gene Roddenberry had with the network executives. They didn't believe a woman could be in charge--so Number 1 in the original pilot was lost. I shouldn't be surprised--I remember shows of the mid-sixties. In any chase scene, the woman was destined to fall down and sprain her ankle. Roddenberry also fought to have an alien in the crew--specifically Spock. Obviously, the show wouldn't have been the same without him.

I'm looking forward to watching some of my favorite episodes.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

The Summer That Got Away

I'm back.

I wish I were back from an exciting adventure or an exotic locale. Instead, I was always physically here, but mentally elsewhere. I had prioritized and was pre-occupied by other things.

It's hard to believe it's been over two months since my last post. I hadn't intended to desert the blog or go on a hiatus. I thought it was a fluke. But looking over previous posts, it's not new this year to allow a long time between posts. It just hasn't been this long.

The summer hasn't been a good one. It seems as if we've been in a heat wave for a full two months. We're in a mini-two-day heatwave now.

In the midst of one of the hottest, most humid periods, we were hunting Lola. She ran off from Jeff at Taylor Farm. Hours of efforts by five people could not dislodge her from an area of deep brush.We spent a full day at the park after she went missing. Then we went every day afterward. We posted signs all around the park, went door-to-door and posted online.

I got a phone call six days later; Someone had seen her running across the field. When he called her name, she ran into the woods. We got to the park as fast as we could. I spotted her as I stood on a boulder. She was about three yards below us. Jeff climbed down; it took about 15 minutes before she got close enough for Jeff to give her water and put a leash on her.

Lola was weak; she could hardly stand. She must have used her last bit of strength and adrenaline to run across the field. Jeff carried her to the car and we immediately took her to the vets. She checked out fine.

Since then she seems to appreciate us more. Lola's more loving and social.

I think (hope) her instinct will never be to run off again.