Tag Archives: spinach salad

A Premature Passing; Pecans, Pesto, and Pizza; and the Plowman Pops In…

The past week was pronounced…no matter how I persevered, people persisted in being a pain in my patoot:

1. A Premature Passing.  On Wednesday night, I was poking into the family photo albums, looking for the prized pictures of phenom puck-passer, Wayne Gretzky, for the post I published for his prestigious birthday.  As I perused the pages, my dad was peering over my shoulder.  “Oh, was that when Anna was cremated?  You looked good there!” he proclaimed.

Taking pains to prevent the peals of laughter that would probably provoke my pop, I parried with “I think we’ll wait until after Anna dies to cremate her (my very much alive 16-year-old was standing next to me at the time).” 

Putting on a pained expression, Dad picked up on his mistake.  “You know I meant christened,” he pouted.

Anna...not quite ready to be cremated...

 

2. Pecans, Pesto, and Pizza.  Thursday, the “powers that be” proclaimed a snow day for public school pupils.  My “pets” pronounced it “Piss Off A Parent Day.”  Anna and Hope passed the day at the bookstore with me, plundering my purse for every penny.  They prevailed that they were “parched” and might “perish” if their pleas for payment were pooh-poohed.  When not pestering me, they picked at each other.  Anna proposed patronizing Pomodori for supper.  Jim and I permitted it, since I had no prior plan for our evening meal.  I ordered the Spinach Salad with Sugared Pecans, Feta, and Figs, something I’d been pumped to partake of.  The progeny both had Chicken Pesto Pizza, and Jim got Spicy Italian Sausage Pizza with hot peppers.  After paying with pre-purchased gift cards, we polished off our plates, and the girls took some pizza home in a package.

3. The Plowman Pops In.  I preach to people I know that I’ve got “the best plow guy in the world.”  He was that every other day but last Thursday.  On our way home from Pomodori, my phone rang.  My dad called to tell me he was stuck partway down the driveway…he had tried to power his way through the plentiful snowdrifts…the plow guy had not been there at all that day.  As we approached, we saw Dad shovelling behind the paused vehicle.  That was when the plow guy made his appearance, approaching from the other direction.  Jim parked by the side of the road, and the girls and I plunged through the knee-deep snow towards the house to get more shovels.  When we got there, we were exhausted.  I changed my socks and was at the door putting on my boots, when the plow guy came to the door.  He asked if I wanted to pay him!  I was more than a little peeved, thinking I’d be more inclined to pay him if he’d shown up before my dad’s car got buried up to its rims in pesky precipitation!  I wrote him a cheque (a preposterous amount, since he hadn’t asked for payment all winter!), and then waited as he plowed near the house so that I could get back out to where Dad’s car was.  I made it just in time for his car to be freed, and for Jim’s battery to die at the end of the driveway.  Dad parked his car in front of the garage, and then helped me push Jim’s car until it started again.  It was after 8 by the time we got in the house!  We plunked down on the couch.  We were all pooped!  Our pooch was pleased to see us…he parked himself on my chest and pushed his head up under my chin.  After a few minutes of “puppy love” the pains of our predicament were forgotten…

Puppy Love...(photo by Hope)

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They Call Me “Typhoid Wendy”…

It’s the story of my life…just when I get to love something, it gets taken away…I’m the kiss of death!

This weekend, one of my favourite live music venues is closing after eight years: The Blue Olive in Saint John, New Brunswick.  The owners have decided to put a new restaurant in the space.  We loved going to shows there because there are very few places for people like us in the city…when I say “people like us,” I mean folks who like to be home by 11 after enjoying a fine evening of entertainment accompanied by a couple of drinks (maximum).  I also enjoy exiting with most of my hearing, unlike other venues populated by somewhat younger patrons, where the thumping of the bass remains in your head like a piledriver until the next morning.  The entertainers who performed at Blue Olive were high-quality acts and reasonably-priced for those of us who have hungry teenagers to feed.  The Blue Olive helped fill the void left by the closures of venues such as Tapps, Melvin’s and Sessions Café, other places I used to hang out in before…it’s all my fault!

Jim and I had one of our first dates there...we saw Lenny Gallant...

Bands have broken up shortly after I’ve discovered them: Madrigal, Modabo, and Vetch…all fine regional acts from the late 90’s and early 2000’s which are now defunct, thanks to my adoration!

Oh, Modabo...Where are you now?

I’ve also been the cause of many restaurant closures in Saint John…sometimes the restaurant didn’t close…they just took my favourite thing off their menu!  Do you remember Wendy’s beautiful thick Chicken Wraps from the late ’90’s?  Gone.  I must have bounced too many chunks of chicken off of Hope’s head as she slept in her Snuggli while I ate lunch there on Saturdays!  Also gone from Wendy’s are their wonderful Spinach Salad and the Mandarin Chicken Salad…why?  I liked them…it’s all my fault!  When was the last time you saw the Mushroom Swiss Burger on their menu?  I killed that one too!  You’d think I’d get special consideration since they named the restaurant after me (sorry…that’s a lie…but Dave Thomas, the guy who started Wendy’s, is a fellow Ohioan)!  I dare not try their Natural-Cut Fries with Sea Salt…

My restaurant let me down...

Every Tuesday at the Saint John City Market, I used to go to Yogel’s for vegetable pie.  One day, they told me they didn’t make it any more…”not enough demand.”  Apparently, a customer travelling on a bus every week from the West Side to get their pie wasn’t enough.  I never ate there again, and sure enough, they closed within six months! 

Other eatery demises I caused were Keystone Kelly’s (club sandwich with sweet potato fries), Boilerworks (California pizza), Café Soha (Flipwiches), D’Amico (spinach salad, thin crust pizza and amaretto chocolate mousse cakes), Ming’s (Chinese food), and Barton’s (chicken burger platter).  I hope nobody finds out I like the spinach salad at Urban Deli or the chicken pesto pizza at Pomodori!  Oh, no…now I’ve done it!

I love their chicken pesto pizza...I mean, it's okay...

 

It happens with TV programs too!  I’ve lost track of the number of sitcoms I’ve killed.  Jenna Elfman rebounded from the end of Dharma and Greg to star in Accidentally on Purpose (cancelled after one season).  David Hyde Pierce of Frasier was a cast member on The Powers That Be, a satire about the First Family in the early ’90’s which had only a 20-episode run.  Before he hit it big in Modern Family, Jesse Tyler Ferguson (Mitchell) was in a smart, funny sitcom called The Class, another one-season wonder.  His “sister” in Modern Family, Julie Bowen, appeared in Ed, one of my favourite defunct dramedies.  [whispering] I love Modern Family!

Jesse and Julie in a scene from "Modern Family"...re-enacting a childhood ice skating routine...

They’ve cancelled dramas I love from every setting…Cop shows: The Commish, The DistrictThird Watch  and Hill Street Blues…War shows: China Beach and Tour of Duty…Hospital shows: Chicago Hope, St. Elsewhere…School shows: The Education of Max Bickford, and Boston Public.  Even my favourite soap opera, Another World, was cancelled!  I love Kyle Chandler…he’s survived two dramas I loved: Homefront, and Early Edition.  I’m afraid to watch him in Friday Night Lights!

Kyle Chandler...I hope he doesn't strike out a third time...

So, to all the fans of the above places, bands, foods, and TV shows, I extend my humble apologies…maybe if I pretend not to care, the things I like will stick around a little longer!

DisclaimerThis is a satirical piece.  I’m pretty sure I’m not responsible for any of these things disappearing.  But I would be really happy to have some of them back!

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Still Learning in 2010…

Taking the lead from my blogging friends, Todd Pack, Izzie Darling, and Lady Justine, here’s a list of the things I learned this year…if you want to read the full story on any of these lessons, search a keyword or click the appropriate tag in the sidebar:

1. Our dog thinks porcupine poop is dessert.

2. Hope loves Jake enough to share her toothbrush with him.

3. Homemade rolls don’t have to be “pretty” to taste good.

4. Egg cartons are not good containers to start plants indoors in.

5. Dogs love to destroy egg cartons with seedlings in them.

6. Jim’s parents are our biggest supporters.

7. Bleachers are hard things to sit on for more than a couple of hours.

8. I am really out of shape.

9. Seeing a toy from your childhood 40 years later brings you right back to that time in your life.

10. If the winter is mild enough, spinach from last year can survive.

11. Maple vinaigrette makes spinach salad a beautiful thing!

12. There’s no such thing as “too many bird feeders.”

13. Squirrels can do amazing tricks to get to a bird feeder.

14. Some people keep their toilet paper in the breadbox.

15. Mothers-in-law are often right.

16. More people in Saint John knew when the new Costco was opening than were aware of the city’s 225th birthday this year.

17. Rhubarb runs amok if left to grow unchecked.

18. Orthodontists make more per hour than most of us.

19. Sometimes plants get a lot bigger than the seed package says they will…my five-foot sunflowers ended up being seven or eight feet tall!

20. I like portobello mushroom/swiss veggie burgers.

21. Our dog enjoys eating Popsicle sticks.

22. Cosmopolitan was a literary magazine back in the early 1900’s.

23. There is only one kind of hummingbird which frequents New Brunswick: the Ruby-Throated Hummingbird.

24. I love Mint Crisp M&M’s.

25. I learned what a “fisher” was, after seeing one cross the road in front of our car.

26. Before you construct a really big birdhouse, figure out where you’re going to put it and how to get it up there!

27. My dad’s a good singer, and I’m not the only one who thinks so!

28. They sell live ladybugs at Home Depot.

29. Right after you purchase twenty tomato plants, the forty you started from seed will rally.

30. Ladybugs aren’t always red with black spots…sometimes they’re brown with cream spots.

31. As long as they’re under warranty, Vogue Optical will replace glasses which have been chewed by a dog!

32. We have a cherry tree, and eight high-bush blueberries I’d never noticed before.

33. “Beaver Tails” are too expensive to buy now.

34. Hope really likes getting muddy.

35. Wallpaper is nearly impossible to find.

36. Hummingbirds are fearless.

37. The Chinese cabbage I planted is not the “head” type.

38. How to make good piecrust…the secret is lard.

39. Some people will ignore a sign that says: “Danger – Do Not Touch.”

40. Deer can be aggressive.

41. Organic broccoli often goes to seed faster than I can harvest it.

42. I love rutabaga!

43. I found out what “purslane” looks like.

44. It’s never a good idea to put a chicken burger into a toaster.

45. I don’t hate all sci-fi…I enjoy “Eureka.”

46. You can purchase a sailboat on the Internet.

47. Ripe canteloupe is not a good lunchbox food.

48. Picking things from the garden in the dark is really difficult.

49. I suck at “Musical Chairs.”

50. The blogging community is full of incredible people…I am so happy to have made their online acquaintances!

I’m looking forward to learning more in 2011!

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