Friday, April 07, 2017

Foodie

I love food. It's a passion, an addiction, and one of the few things I can still enjoy - albeit with a great deal of associated guilt since I need to lose weight.  This week was almost thrilling with all the culinary variety. But first, a funny story. A friend in England invited me to play a game on Facebook. I've pared down the number of games I play considerably over the last few years as it was getting way too time-consuming and nearing addictive levels. Pretty much, I was spending 10-15 minutes each day on Candy Crush (just long enough to burn through my 5 lives) and a couple other games that didn't take a great deal of time or concentration. I'd received other invitations to play different games...mostly card games or gambling type things. Meh.

Then came Margaret's invite to play Tasty Tale. I don't know what whim drove me to try it. Maybe because it was another puzzle game like Candy Crush and didn't require a significant time commitment. Maybe because it was another food themed game. Are you sensing a trend here? Yes. I breezed through the first few restaurant levels pretty quickly. Then came my job at a German restaurant. Each level is a restaurant that serves a certain type of food and each round is a recipe you need to complete. Now, I like German food...but there were recipes for dishes I'd NEVER heard of before. It got me really curious! Before I knew it, I was on Google looking up these foods and finding real recipes for things that sounded REALLY good. There is a German restaurant right around the corner from us here, and I was tempted to call and see if they made any of these dishes. In reading the recipes, it swiftly became apparent that some of the ingredients would be difficult to find and the dishes complex and hard to prepare.

Then came the Greek restaurant level. I also adore a fair number of Greek foods and was pleased when those dishes were popping up as I played. Then came recipes for things I'd never heard of, again. Google!!  One recipe was for a Greek soup that, based on the article I read along with the recipe, was sort of the Greek equivalent of Mom's chicken noodle soup or Mac n Cheese. Pure, simple comfort food. And the recipe was really easy. Fasolada! So I made it. Greek white bean soup. And it was amazing. A couple days later, Max and his Dad decided to stop and eat someplace that was new to Max after his soccer game - a Greek-run diner in Wharton. Would I like them to bring something home for me? Why, yes! Yes I would!  I swiftly ordered spanakopita (Greek spinach and feta pie.) Heaven.

Then, tonight, Max and I had the chance to eat Japanese food. Still high on my culinary adventures, I ordered crispy duck spring rolls. I also got the chance to try these little strawberry mochi cakes. My stomach is so happy, I'm giddy.  I'm so so happy to be eating things outside the rut we've been in. I don't know how it happened, but our kids are rather picky eaters. The teen is EXTREMELY picky. Max is less so, but still very particular. He has one bad experience with a restaurant and that's it. He never wants to try anything else from that place ever again. There aren't that many places around here we can talk both boys into eating from. It can get very frustrating. We get tired of making the same 2 kinds of eggs, 1 kind of pasta, fish sticks or chicken strips every single night.

So, for this moment, I am giddy. New taste sensations! I need more. I want MORE. I don't want to have to cook 4 different things to keep the peace and feed the people in this house. It's too exhausting. We eat out way more than we probably should, but oh how I want to use that opportunity more to my advantage. I wonder if I can convince the kids to try German food this weekend. The Black Forest Inn does take out! I checked! :)

Tuesday, April 04, 2017

Random thoughts...

Events of the day: a lengthy power outage, a trip to the pediatrician to confirm our suspicions that Max has a concussion (he does), trying to prep for Easter while keeping my boy resting and away from screens and/or reading (he is supposed to be resting his brain. RESTING! He doesn't know the meaning of the word.)

A scare with my left leg (chronic inflammation and a build up of scar tissue leads to a higher risk of infection and I had a large blister on my shin for over a week that I watched, swabbed with alcohol, and lightly coated in antibiotic ointment) but it seems to be ok for the moment.

And an inability to concentrate or focus my thoughts. This leads to disjointed blog entries that don't make for very entertaining reading. You'd think I was the one with the fresh traumatic brain injury. Bleh.

Oh! He got the concussion while playing with a friend after school. Got hit in the head with a swing. Yep. Just as I was getting comfortable with him hanging out on the playground after school to play with friends. I will try very hard not to turn into a smother. :)

Monday, January 30, 2017

A blast from the past...

A couple months ago, my darling husband decided it was time to REALLY clean out the garage. He was determined to get rid of at least half the junk we had stored in there to make room for our cars. (Really. Why have a garage if you can't fit your car in it, right?)  At one point during that weekend long cleaning spree, he brought me a box. "This has been in the garage since we moved here! Go through it please. I think it's gotten wet a time or two, so no telling if the contents survived..."  I held my breath and prepared for the stench of damp, rodent remains, and/or insect activity.

There was evidence of all three (plus a faint whiff of cat pee) but the contents of the box soon made me forget all that.  It was like opening a time capsule. This box had been packed in 1988 or so when I left home to move into my new apartment and hadn't been touched since.  It just moved with me every time I got my junk together to go to a new place. I probably peeked in there a time or two, saw it contained just random memories and never bother to put any of it away. Or throw any of it away.

It took me several days to sort through the contents. I posted a bunch of pictures on facebook, but here are some examples:





















These are some old, unfinished pencil sketches from my more artistic days. I used to draw all the time.

Menus from my time working at Friendly's as a waitress. (We were required to memorize the menus.)

There were cancelled checks from bank accounts I didn't even remember having, pay stubs from long forgotten jobs, misc. stationary, a pack of old photos - some from my college days that I'd all but forgotten.

The girl on the left was my first college roommate, Melissa, and the girl on the right was my last (and very best) college roommate, Jennifer. I am still in touch with Jenn. She's awesome!  Search my blog if you want to read the story I posted years ago about my first roomy. Ha! It's a good one.

The very last item in the box was a small white envelope with the address of a photography studio in Florida stamped on it. The envelope was in really rough shape, but I wish I'd taken a picture of it before throwing it out. I'm curious now about the photographer/studio.  The envelope contained fourteen 35mm slides. The first photo shoot for my modelling portfolio, from what I could see holding them up to a lamp.  Unfortunately, less than a month earlier, I'd disconnected and gotten rid of my old flatbed scanner (it had a transparency adapter.) It wasn't compatible with Windows 10 and was just collecting dust.  How was I going to scan those slides and digitize them for posterity?

I popped on to Amazon and almost immediately found a handy little device called the F2D Mighty from Wolverine. A film to digital converter. It was reasonable inexpensive and could not only handle my slides, but a bunch of other film types too. Sold!

I got it up and running this weekend and scanned all my slides in.

Hey! It's 80's me! Back when my mother was certain I'd be the next Cheryl Tiegs or Brooke Shields. Ha!  No. My modelling career never really got off the ground. I hated the entire process. I had no confidence or self-esteem at that time. I was tall, awkward, shy, and broken. One runway show and a catalog shoot and I was done. Except for the Miss Teen pageant my mother also pushed me into. Ugh. I think I already blogged about that too. Ah, 80's nostalgia. That was a great but horrible time.