Archive for the ‘Food and Drink’ Category


In all the excitement of Christmas preparation, it may have happened that I purchased a few more food items than were strictly necessary.

Or even, MUCH MORE than a few.

Adding an impetus to the problem, many of my family found themselves unable to relish their meals due to a superabundance of truly wicked Germs, which caused non-festive behavior and led to much time spent in the smallest room of the house. So that in making a current comprehensive assessment of available viands in the house, I find I could readily entertain as many people this weekend as I did during the festival itself.

However, my children are all fled to the far corners of the earth, and I own to a longing for quiet. Lucky thing there is the FREEZER, that seemly apartment for storing food. Mine is luckily quite capacious. There is also the fact that the current COLD temperatures keep any food items carelessly tossed into the garbage from making themselves known via heinous bad stinks.

So, mostly we are back to pre-holiday status here, aside from the lavishly arrayed freezer. There was however a large container of ricotta which had to either be tossed out or used. HA! There was also a large bag of dried figs (what MADNESS descended on me as I bustled through the bursting aisles at Costco, truly, I am baffled at such wild behavior) and suddenly I thought—FIG AND RICOTTA PIE!

Nice looking, no?

Though what the hell I am going to do with it, one wonders–my powers of eating are limited– but at least I have used up the pint of ricotta!

So there’s that.


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When the painter said he couldn’t start until the 14th, I SHOULD have said, OK, we’ll have to wait until after Christmas. But instead, with that imbecilic fecklessness which is one of my (very few) flaws, I brightly bade him go ahead. Which is why instead of baking cookies, making casseroles, and wrapping gifts, I have spent the weekend dusting books and objets d’art –and they are VERY DUSTY INDEED, (for which I blame no one, least of all, myself) and putting them back on shelves. The shelves are now gleaming white and looking very well indeed, but possibly their former dilapidated and grubby aspect would not have materially depressed our holiday spirits.
SO–having not had time to do all the cooking and baking I usually task myself with, I steeled my nerves and set off for COSTCO to purchase food stuffs. And wine, of course. Getting there is slightly terrifying, a trip I could never make without Siri and her firm directions–horrifying high speed expressways intersecting in bewildering complexities. But, made it there, and as always was overwhelmed–it is a TEMPLE OF GREED–everything you could want is there, towering up to the ceiling in huge piles of luxurious amplitude. I spent quite an astonishing amount of money, filling up my little car, and am now back home and ready for lunch.

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Another winter wonderland this morning! One begins to tire of the snow so luxuriously bestowed on us by mother nature–but, but, I hasten to add that of course this is nowhere near the ghastly proportions endured by Bostonians, and our couple of inches hardly qualify as snow at all by comparison. Still, it was nasty walking out there this morning, particularly as the ice was now delicately hidden by a fluffy carpet–but, YakTrax did the trick (thanks, Lois!)–like snow tires for your feet.
While others took advantage of the weather to “work from home”, I had to go in to complete preparations for an exceptionally deadly upcoming meeting–in North Carolina,sigh. The subject of this meeting is ‘The Interplay between Environmental exposures and Obesity- NO, NOT the kind of environmental exposure that involves me sitting in front of a plate of jelly donuts, flanked by an Irish Coffee laden with whipped cream (though how nice that would be, particularly if there were samples) –but rather our unknowing defilement by a host of pernicious chemicals in the environment that MAKE US FAT IN SPITE OF OURSELVES. See, It is not–HAS NEVER BEEN–our fault that we are obese. It is those malignant chemicals strewn in our way by brutal corporations who laugh at our distress! I may not be summarizing with complete accuracy, as even reading the agenda leaves one limp with despair. Why would anyone spend one moment, let alone 2 full days listening to this sort of thing, I wondered–but It finally occurred to me that what we were really doing was establishing obesity as part of the ENVIRONMENT, and hence, under the jurisdiction of the powerful agencies that are funding this meeting.
Well, well, it pays my salary.
Image result for irish coffee and donuts

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I nipped into the pantry at work to retrieve my lunch from the fridge, and came across a young man who was just inserting a large container of water into the microwave. I remarked that it didn’t seem a very filling lunch and he responded amiably that he had already had his lunch. And now he was looking forward to a nice drink of hot water! I said I preferred hot water transformed into coffee, and he said that he used to drink coffee, but that it made him stretch his arms. Eh? Yes, after drinking coffee he had to stretch his arms. I pointed out that stretching was after all good for him, but he triumphantly replied that he exercised regularly. Ah, so no need for coffee, it stands to reason. Then he took his hot water and went off to carouse.

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Hospital Food

During my recent extremely disagreeable incarceration in the Virginia Hospital Center I was given the opportunity to renew my acquaintance with a food stuff which while repellent, is apparently considered beneficial to hospital patients: JELLO.

This loathly confection, composed equally of sugar and chemicals, has a disagreeably rubbery texture and slides down the gullet with a horribly confident elasticity. While it is true that gelatin itself has a noble and ancient heritage–and has many admirers for its sterling qualities–the brilliantly colored cubes served up by hospital kitchens have no virtue at all. And yet, there it is on the menu for the especially delicate patients, along with chicken broth, beef broth, and apple juice. You will no doubt wonder what magical quality these foods share, and I can tell you: TRANSPARENCY. You can see through them. This is apparently a health benefit.
I am very grateful to have progressed on to foods that are opaque.

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Yesterday I was in a meeting, and as it was only us 3 ladies, we allowed ourselves to touch on topics not entirely germane to the project–viz., hair dressers: perfidy of, shoe heels: difficulty of determining appropriate height. And why the sea is boiling hot, and whether pigs have wings, and I was just getting into the interesting concept of dying one’s whiskers green but always using so large a fan that they could not be seen–when a disagreeable feeling came stealing o’er my spirit–that TIME was passing by and that it was getting late. And upon announcing that I must tear myself away from felicity awhile, I discovered–to my HORROR–that it was in fact FIFTEEN minutes past my usual departure time. Fifteen minutes which you may be SURE I charged to the project (overtime!) but meanwhile, I hastened to make my departure, and later on the bus, musing on further interesting topics–do bats eat cats? do cats eat bats?–it suddenly came to me that in my haste and fecklessness, I had NEGLECTED TO BUY CAT FOOD ON THE WAY HOME. The thought of the three trusting cats waiting for me at home smote my heart. But stay! The cupboard, though bare of cat food, contained a few cans of . . . TUNA! And what do you know–it turns out that the cats are completely cool with tuna, even though it doesn’t contain all the healthful additives that make Friskies Prime Filets With Salmon and Beef in Sauce so irresistible. In fact, there was not a scrap left in any of the three little bowls. So, all’s well.

Author’s note: This is TOTALLY Allan’s Carmina Burana joke

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