Because our neighbors are just the sweetest couple, and it isn't as much fun to cook for only oneself, we had another festive dinner last night. The theme this time was Indian food. Now, I don't know what region I was cooking from, or if I was serving up a gallimaufry of dishes from unspecified areas, but I think I had the spices and the music right. And to this all-American crowd it wouldn't make a difference.
Well! Six and a half years ago I sent a thank-you card to my friend Megan, and I just found out that she never got it! Because sending her one now would be lame, and because I can't just let this go, I have prepared a more public and more poetic thank-you than the original one was.
It goes like this......
Do you like your new s'mores maker?
"Yes, I do!" said Aubrey Faith-Slaker
We use it when we're mountain biking
We use it when we're going hiking!
We use it with the coolest fellows
We can't get enough of those marshmallows!
We use it with our dinner guests
Especially when we're dining out west!
We take it with us on road trips
The chocolate and crackers go straight to our hips!
We used it with our new friend Joel
It's great because we don't need coal!
We use it first thing in the morning
We even follow the safety warning!
We use it when we're out of doors
We use it whenever we really want s'mores!
Though we didn't thank you, please don't be miffed
Nah nah nah nah nah! My lunch was better than your lunch!
I had a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
What? And I have the audacity to claim that my lunch was better?
Yes, I do.
This afternoon I tried out a new restaurant in town (Colorado Springs). It is called OPB&J for Organic Peanut Butter and Jelly. And all they make are sandwiches. It is an exercise in quick decision making when you're standing there at the counter - I imagine your sandwich could turn out really awful if you tried hard enough!
First you choose your bread. They had herbed, whole wheat, white, rye, sourdough and four different gluten-free options. Then you choose your peanut butter. Dark chocolate, molasses, Thai ginger, Chunky, and more that I couldn't even rest my eyes on because the next thing to choose is your jelly! Strawberry rhubarb, raspberry, ginger pear, and here is where my mind goes blank. Apparently, there are hundreds of combos to be made from the fresh, homemade (the peanut butter is in house and the bread is from a local bakery) ingredients. Available to add to each sandwich are fresh produce options - watercress, strawberries, chopped peppers, nuts.
Anyway, I got herbed gluten-free bread topped with Thai ginger peanut butter, ginger pear jelly, and watercress.
My husband got dark chocolate peanut butter with strawberry rhubarb jelly.
Each sandwich was accompanied by a carrot and a celery stick and wrapped in brown paper.
I'm only moments in Colorado and am already looking for extravagent ways of entertaining myself and the people around me. Tonight, to the crooning of Edith Piaf, Leo Ferre and Maurice Chevalier I shared a delicious dinner with my husband and neighbors (who are cool enough to have come in costume).
We listened to classic French music, ate with gusto, and had great conversation, occasionally marked by shouts of "Vive la France!" and "I surrender!" from my husband's end of the table.
P.S. If you make this meal, save some of the mushrooms and with leftover mushrooms, arugula, and goat cheese you can make a great egg white omelet, since you'll have six egg whites leftover from the creme brulee! Delicious. .
Unfortunately, the title of my blog isn't something creative that I came up with on my own. It is the name of a book. Luckily though, it is an excellent book! I couldn't put this book down and I already want to read it again. In a typical upscale apartment building on a prosaic fashionable street in Paris amongst the vapid elite live two notably interesting people. At first glance, one wouldn't notice anything exceptional about either of these characters - and one probably wouldn't notice anything exceptional with a second glance. However, under further scrutiny, it might be noticed that these two characters are much more interesting and much less conventional than their stereotype suggests.
A concierge who understands philosophy and loves art masquerades as merely a concierge - and a little girl who is surprisingly insightful about both the importance and the triviality of much of what the adults around her are consumed with hides her concern and derision behind the fact that she is just a little girl.
However, these highly regarded characteristics are not hard to hide at all when nobody ever looks for them.
Read this book.
In other news: Bill O'Reilly doesn't like the fact that Jennifer Aniston thinks it is okay for single women to have children; Montessori School of Dentistry let's students discover their own root canal procedures (that's a lie - an Onion headline that I couldn't resist); Facebook is being urged to add "panic" buttons to all its pages by the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Center (CEOP for short); and President Obama says the biggest threat to U.S. security is the possibility of terrorists obtaining a nuclear weapon. Go figure.
Did I tell you that I got a new bike?! No?? I can't believe I forgot!
It took me a while to get around to the idea of a new bike after my last one had been stolen, and while there is great pride to be felt in walking everywhere if you can, there is a little bit of something (I'd say ease?) about getting there quicker on two wheels.
My new vintage (can those words really go next to eachother?) 3 speed cruiser came to me via Craigslist and grew up in the north suburbs with a good family.
Adele, as she is called, has opened up new worlds to me. So far I have learned:
that cruisers are for cruising - not for velocity (though two wheels are faster than two feet)
that Green street exists, and it gets you from the North 500s to the South 300s in no time!
that Karyn's on Green is open and I must go there
that dashing out to meet friends at a pub is easy when you don't have to deal with parking, sobriety or public transportation
that buses can't catch me
that everyone forgives you for what your hair looks like when you're carrying a helmet
that there is something called retro urban chic and I may have stumbled upon it
that on a bike, you have neither the safety of a walker nor of an automobile driver, but you have the freedom of both (as long as a cop isn't watching you)
playing the piano for 28 years doesn't make you coordinated enough to eat an ice cream cone and ride a bike OR text and ride a bike BUT you can go ahead and imagine that five-part fugue in your head as long as you pedal to the beat