A Thanksgiving Memory

My mother had a classic set of nesting Pyrex bowls.

Only the blue and yellow ones survived. She used the blue one for mixing up the gravy thickening. Nowadays, it usually contains Jell-O.  The yellow one had many purposes. Most often it was for popcorn. But Thanksgiving day it had an even more delicious duty.

Thanksgiving Eve we would, as a family, lay out slices of bread. We covered the kitchen table and all the counters with bread. Then early Thanksgiving morning, we sat around the and broke the now-stale slices into small pieces and put them in the big yellow bowl while Mom chopped celery and onions.  We had to prepare the dressing (some of you may know it as stuffing, but we called it dressing) so it could cook inside the turkey.

Thanksgiving dinner was a family project. From setting a festive table, to sprinkling the paprika on the cream-cheese stuffed celery, to literally breaking the bread, we all chipped in.

What are some of your Thanksgiving memories?


Menu: Dreaming of Food

I don’t know if it’s all the take-out I’ve eaten over the past year or my vow to spend money more wisely, but I am obsessed with take-out from two separate local restaurants. The problem is the cost for Grub Hub is prohibitive. Neither restaurant is convenient for pick up.

One of the (many) local pizza chains has an antipasto I dream about. Yes. Salad. I don’t know what it is about this particular antipasto that makes it so compelling, but I’m not the only one who thinks so. My Day Job, pre-pandemic, used to bring in food for us on a really regular basis. (They still do, but presentation has changed.) When pizza, wings, and salad were brought in from this particular place, the salad was the first thing to go. Same menu from other pizzerias, there is usually salad left over. Not because the pizza and wings were bad–not at all, but because the salad–the antipasto was so good.

Another small, local chain has three items I’ve been know to order at once so I can have leftovers.  I can actually get five to seven meals from the three items.

  • A smothered brisket sandwich. The beef melts in your mouth. Provolone cheese. Caramelized onions. Barbecue sauce. On a great roll. (I’m very finicky about sandwich rolls.) The sandwich comes with fries.
  • Rough Road Pasta, which is penne, chicken, sausage, onions, roasted red peppers in a smoky tomato cream sauce and asiago cheese. I think they may have changed the recipe in the past year or so, because there seems to be less smoke and more heat. But it is still amazing.
  • Mac-&-Cheese Bonfire. It’s cavatappi pasta (kind of like rotini, but more substantial and not as tightly spiraled) in a creamy four-cheese sauce, topped with bbq pulled pork, fried onions, homemade buttermilk ranch dressing, and green onions. Heart attack on a plate.

I have been craving these four things for weeks.  I may have to get over my aversion to winter driving and do some curbside pickup.

Mommy Files: Food by the Color

When Y-Chromo was a baby, I would serve him only apple juice or Juicy Juice. There were two flavors of JJ that he loved, both colored red. At the time, it was easier to ask him if he wanted apple juice or “red” juice than to remember if we had raspberry or cherry juice open. One of my husband’s friends overhead me asking Y if he wanted red juice and commented, “Juice by the color? Like orange juice?”

I also used to make spinach fettucine with pesto sauce. Y-Chromo loved it. One time, I happened to be on the phone with my father when Y finished his serving and wanted more. He started pounding on the tray of his high chair and yelling, “New news.” Or would that be spelled Noo-noos? My dad asked, “What’s he yelling about?” I replied, “He wants more noodles.” (Noodles being easier to say than fettucine.) “Then give the boy more noodles!” Y’s favorite color has always been green, so spinach fettucine with pesto sauce became known as Green Noo-noos and eventually Green Noodles. By the time both children could say “noodles”, I had started to add tri-color cheese tortellini to the mix (the family was growing), but always and forever, in our family, pasta with pesto is known as green noodles.




Thursday Thoughts: Spammed By My Phone Apps

Phone apps are a nice idea. When they work without bothering me, I love them. But there are a couple I had to remove from my phone.

If you are a phone app, rule number one is DO NOT SPAM MY EMAIL OR MY MESSAGE BOX.

There was one app that sent me between five and ten notices a day.  I tried unsubscribing. Didn’t work. Couldn’t curate what I got and what I didn’t want. Buh-bye.

And the constant begging to upgrade. I get they need to pay their staff, but maybe they wouldn’t need as much staff if they’d quit spamming me.

MJ Monday: Manuscript

As I type this blog, New York State is still “paused,” although that is scheduled to begin easing in some parts of the state at any moment.

I shared my day job situation in an earlier blog post.  One of the things I deal with every day at the day job is despair. Some of the accounts I handle are scared they won’t survive the Pause.

My husband comes home every night and turns on the news to hear the latest on the Pause and global reactions to the pandemic. More despair.

I am in despair overload. I cannot face the despair of my characters as they struggle to overcome adversity in the story, even though none of it is real.

I reached out to my editor and my publisher and explained the situation to them. They, being the wonderful people they are, completely understand.

I hope that you, my readers, will understand, too.

This doesn’t mean Besieged by the Moon has been abandoned. It means I want it to be the best book it can be, and right now, my brain isn’t in a place where I can make that happen.