Saturday, December 7, 2013

Of This and That...

A phrase that pretty much describes my life last week… THIS email, THAT call, THAT meeting, THOSE chores, all conspiring to prevent me getting THIS blog out.  So maybe just a few little bites for digestion

Headed this way..

Well, I’ve done everything I know how to do to deflect the arrival of Cleophus or whatever moniker the arrogant weather channel (The.. expert) has hung on the latest winter storm.  I know it has provided some hard times for some, so as I say, I have done everything short of the appropriate dance with chicken bones to keep it away from here.  I have started the generator, got gas for same, checked bottled water supply, made sure the cans of soup we’ve had for ages are still there, refreshed the amount of batteries, located the candles, and filled both cars with gas.  I even made sure that some of my friends mounted the blade on their pick-em-up.  we’ll see..  As an ancillary note, the Penn Line crews have been working our street this week, removing limbs that might fall across power lines.  Another positive sign.


Headed your way..

One of the things I enjoy doing is to provide magazine gift subscriptions to some people who I think might share my enthusiasm for food, cooking, and culture.  Although it is worthwhile, the process can drive you (me) nuts.  Sometime in maybe early July, you start getting notices from them asking if you want to renew Food News for Charlie, and if you do, you can renew your own subscription either for free or at a greatly reduced rate.  Generally I ignore these, but sometimes I figure what the heck and give the gift (and maybe renew) and send in a check.  Well, time goes by, and you keep getting the same “what about Charlie?” mails, or “Tell us what to do for Charlie”.  These generally are spaced far enough apart that you have to go back dig out the records, trace your actions, and generally find that indeed you sent them a check weeks ago.  I have even had instances where on the SAME day, you get a “Thank you for your order for Charlie”, AND a “Last chance to renew Charlie’s gift!!”  mailing.  Idiots.  And gifts aside, do you get notices for renewing at some fantastic rate, even though your subscription doesn’t run out for years?  “renew now and lock in savings”.  Usually tucked somewhere in the fine print is the expiration date like J/J 2017.  I used to keep a spread sheet of expiration dates, but it is hard to keep up..  and, as I’ve just had my 72nd birthday, spending money to extend too far in the future might be ill advised…

Headed for your Christmas

Another thing that occurs this time of year is that your mailbox gets crammed with catalogs.   At least ours does.  We generally pitch most of them, but some I do look at.  One is Williams Sonoma.  They started out years ago being mostly a source of kitchen equipment, mostly higher end stuff.  Al-Clad, Calphalon, etc.   Well, over the years, while they still have that stuff, by far the preponderance of content is made to order food.  Delivered right to your door.  Hams, beef, salmon, stuff like that.  This being the holiday season, they lean on fancy stuff. For instance, you can get a 7 pound Double R Ranch Co., prime rib for a mere $199 (about $30 a pound – plus shipping).  Or maybe that Kurobuta (pork) crown roast from Snake River Farms, where about 6 pound go for $225 (nearly 40 per pound).  Think I’ll stick with WAG meats from Leonardtown.  Then you might want some appetizers..  How about four 6 oz. lobster Wellingtons for a mere $130.  Of course crab cakes have to be dealt with.  And here, something caught my eye.  The description of “Mini Crab Cakes” reads in part:  “Handcrafted of blue crab meat in Maryland”.  Hmm….Lets think about that… does it say “Handcrafted of Maryland Blue Crab meat”? or: “Handcrafted with Blue Crab Meat FROM Maryland?”.  Nope… my bet maybe made in Maryland with crab meat from Thailand..

Had Fun

MFO and I joined a bunch of folks last night at the season’s first Madrigal dinner at Historic St. Mary’s City, in the State House.  The garden clubs did their usual innovative job of decoration, although this year’s efforts might be termed more contemporary in nature than some.  St. Maries Musica provided seasonal music for our enjoyment, as did the High Lord who commanded “All Hail Wassail!” demanding we all obediently raise our glass..  He did, and we did… often.   If you get a chance, it is a unique experience.  Dinner is provided as well.  Last night’s fare was a Cornish game hen and roasted pork.  The traditional fried oysters were served family style.  I thought they were smaller than in the past.  Anyway, it is a unique experience and something you should do..

Ganz Update

Nothing new here, although have had some reports that “their minds are made up”, which also might mean their minds are small..


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