Is It Chauvinism or Laziness?

This evening Shay and I took a little drive over to the Mercedes dealership in Cary. Russ was bringing his Smart Car in for service and I was picking him up. True to form, I was early. So I parked my Ford C-Max and got out with Shay on a leash and walked around all the lots holding many, many unsold Mercedes.

The show room was still open as it said on the door, Sales until 8pm. I could see no less than half a dozen men in logo polo shirts, some sitting inside the showroom and a few walking around the lot. I looked at the stickers on sedans, SUV’s, station wagons and sport cars. I peered inside blacked out back windows to see how much legroom there was. I practically kicked the tires on all the cars. I was the only non-employee on the whole lot and the only woman.

As I was deciding between light tan or dark tan leather interior I looked at my watch and made a mental note about how wrong I was looking. I stood back from a row of varying sized SUV’s and studied how many different models there were. I looked at my watch again. I waited. I looked at the men sitting in the all glass box of a show room. I stared their way. I even raised my hand.

I looked at my watch again. Fifteen minutes. I had been walking around looking at cars a whole fifteen minutes and not one man spoke to me, looked at me or even thought that I might want to buy a car. You would have thought they were overwhelmed with customers and work. Didn’t appear that way.

Russ drove his car into service and filled out the form and dropped his keys in the box. Service closed two hours before sales. Ha, sales was closed as far as I could tell. I walked back to my car to pick Russ up. Only then did I cross paths with one of the men in a Mercedes logo polo. He spoke to me. All he said was, “Cute dog.”

What a foolish group of men. They had no idea if I could write a check for any of those cars. I made no contact with Russ, they didn’t know I was there for him. Was it chauvinism or laziness? Doesn’t matter, it was just stupidity.

Welcome Cucciolo

The person in our family who really should work at Durham Magazine is Russ Lange because he is always first to alert me about news going on about town. He was the one who told me the sad new that Phoebe Lawless was closing both Mini Scratch and the Lakewood, both of which we loved, but maybe not often enough. He told me about his beloved Basan closing before it was even announced publicly. That is a real blow to his office mates since it was across the street from CMG.

Russ is not just the deliverer of closings, but opening too. A week or so ago he altered me that a new Italian restaurant, Cucciolo, was opening up next to the West End Wine bar and that he already found out they were going to be making carbonara. That is big new in the Russ Lange world.

So I broke my cardinal rule of not visiting a new restaurant in the first week of their opening because Russ went ahead and made a reservation for tonight, the first night they were taking reservations. Apparently the place is owned by a Korean chef and he is not making Korean Italian fusion, just Italian. According to my source of all knowledge, Russ says the guy’s cousin owns the number one Italian Restaurant in Seoul, that has a Michelin Star, so this is the Durham outpost.

The space is not large, but has good lighting. We were waited on by a very friendly guy, Antoine and he was very enthusiastic about the offerings. Russ had already decided on the carbonara, but was overwhelmed with other choices in that starter category. We finally narrowed it down to a fig and goat cheese bruschetta with prosciutto and honey and a 3 mushroom dish. Both were outstanding. I was trying to be good so I had the green salad which I would go back for and Russ had a double of carbonara so he had leftovers for breakfast.

There was much on the menu we wanted to try and Russ was asking me when I was going out of town next so he can come back without any pasta guilt. I am sorry to see restaurants we love go, but happy the new one is worth multiple visits.

How’s the Weather?

When the Weather Channel first came on the air it quickly became my father’s favorite channel. He loved to know what was going on, not just where he was at that moment, but where he might be going and where he had recently been. I used to tease him about his devotion to the weather.

When we were working in London and he was building his new house at the farm he often called Alvin, the farm caretaker to discuss the weather. Since my Dad always talked on the speaker phone I usually could hear these conversations in my office, three doors down.

Alvin was a skilled builder and tinkerer, but was not a formally educated guy. This made for the most entertaining conversations. One day when my Dad called him after seeing some big Atlantic weather systems on the news this is how the conversation went.

Dad: Alvin, how’s the weather there?

Alvin: It’s fine now, but I ‘spec we will be getting something soon. See there is a big tycoon (not a typo) down in Costa Rica.

There was a pause, as my father suppressed a laugh.

Alvin: No, No, that wrong. It’s in Puerto Rico.

Ever since I have always referred to typhoons as tycoons.

In the twenty plus years since that conversation I have come not to make as much fun of my father as I used to about his devotion to following the weather. Now I too pay close attention, although mainly to where I live. My reason is for water management. I am anti-grass watering, but I do water flowers and vegetables. I am constantly making judgement calls about my need to carry buckets of water to thirsty flowers, or if rain is actually coming to do it for me.

I have never watched the weather channel, but I do count five different weather apps on my phone, two of which transmit to my watch. I guess you can say, the apple does not fall far from the tree.

Puppy on the Payroll

Once in a while Russ calls me out of the barn for some strategy discussion for something he is working on. Russ is the professor of Agile Marketing, which is all new to me, but I am still useful in the sales department.

Russ has a few big things he is working on and asked if I would come to the office with him today and white board a plan. We could have done this all at home, but I think that Russ figured if he got me in the office I would be less distracted by some fun thing to do at home.

After dropping our friend Adam off at the airport, we were off to a Saturday at the office. Shay loves to go to the office. I think it is because she knows that is it Russ’ domain and we all know she would rather be with Russ.

When we pulled into the parking lot Shay practically dragged us from the car to the lobby door. She knows exactly where the elevator is and heads in first just so she can turn around and stand right in front of the door to be the first one out. When Carter was a little girl we used to call the elevator the magic room because you walked in one door and in a few minutes walked out the same door in a totally different place. I would love to know how Shay sees the magic room.

Once in Russ’ ballroom sized office Shay likes to run down the wood floor from one end to the other and slide on into the conference room. For the record Russ likes to do the same thing with her. Although she loves to come to the office, Shay is much less interested in actually working.

Russ and I took our seats in the all white board walled conference room and got to work. This bored Shay completely. She looked around to see if any of her other work team mates might be there for her to beg a snuggle from, but sadly, since it is Saturday we were all alone.

It did not take us long to work out a plan for Russ to follow on the projects he was working on. Perhaps he was right about doing the work at the office, but I also did have needlepoint with me since I think better while my hands are busy. As for Shay, as happy as she was to get in the office, she was just already to go back to the magic room to go home. I think she would like to be a puppy on the payroll, but only as the receptionist. Shay is just not that Agile.

Consumer Tipping Point

Yesterday my friend Christy and I went on a little trip to Fearrington Village for lunch and a little walk around the shops. Since the majority of her kids are at Cheerio just until Saturday she wanted to take advantage of her last few mother vacation days. We started out at one of my favorite stores, Dovecote. You know that kind of store where all the clothes are beautiful, classic and expensive and in between the clothes are really cute things you don’t need, but might buy for someone else, like books about how to live like a Parisian. I did buy a number of Christmas presents because I have five women in my immediate family to shop for.

As I was pursuing the “you really should buy this for someone else” section I was drawn to a cute blue and white note pad. It was all of eight dollars, but despite loving the original design and unique shape of the paper I walked away from it.

We went to lunch at the Belted Goat which was too yummy and followed it up with a look around McIntyre’s Books, one of the last great independent book stores. I love to read the handwritten reviews of books by the staff of the store. There were at least eight or nine reviews that made me want to buy the book. Then I thought about all the books I have sitting on or under my bedside table waiting for me to put down the needlepoint. So I just enjoyed the reviews.

After my vacation day yesterday I decided that today needed to be a work day. My original sweat shop, my office, has been greatly neglected by me since I moved most of my crafting hours to my new sweat shop sewing room. Having two rooms in my house dedicated to my hobbies seems excessive. My only defense is we thought we were going to have more children to fill those rooms.

Once I stopped consulting I really didn’t need my office for work. At first it became scrap book central and the storing place for all family files. Eventually I put a walking desk in that room so at least both Russ and I use the treadmill in there. I have taken a long pause on scrapbooking, despite still having boxes of photos that need to be cared for. But the office still has been the repository of all important family paperwork. That means that mail also goes in there to be sorted, responded to and filed. It has been a while since I had done any filing and thus the pressing need to work in my office.

As I was cleaning up the piles of paper, putting things in their rightful places, mostly the trash and recycling I came upon not one, or two or even three, but dozens of cute pads of paper, some still wrapped in cellophane with bows on them. I thought about how often I use a cute pad these days…not often since I make most notes in my phone so I can find it later. Still I do love a beautiful note pad.

I was thankful that I did not succumb to that blue and white pad at Dovecote yesterday. I decided that long go I reached the consumer tipping point. I probably have enough of everything in the non-consumable world that I will need for the rest of my life. Yes I still need to buy tooth paste and peaches, but dishes and certainly note pads, I have enough to last me for life.

It would be so great if I had been better at not buying something new until I had used up its predecessor. Perhaps then I wouldn’t have so much to clean up and care for now. So now add no new note pads to the list of things I don’t want people to give me. Just don’t give me anything, if I need it I’ve already got it.

Glamorous Life

I’m not one who ever was looking for a glamorous life. No hanging with the jet set, no designer everything. That being said I feel like my major buying decision today is polar opposite of glamorous.

I mopped the floor today with my old string mop that I have had for a number of years. When someone else helped me clean she liked this string mop, so that is what I use now that she is gone. Since my kitchen floor is black and white tile it shows every speck of dirt. I like it to be sparkling clean so that means I have to mop multiple times a week.

Mopping does not only involve the string mop, but what I call the dish towel shuffle. After the mopping with simple green and hot water I lay down four dish towels, two stacked one on top of the other under each foot. I skate around the kitchen drying water left after the string mop. It leaves the floor streak free. It also means that I wash at least a dozen dish towels every week.

Today my trusty mop broke. The metal handle just snapped right off the head that held the strings. I knew I had to buy a new mop pronto, but what kind to buy? I looked on line and it turns out there are hundreds of kinds of mops. I already own a swifter and it is not good on the kitchen floor. Then I looked at micro fiber, string, sponge, oh so many.

So I studied reviews of mops. Just as confusing. Granted this is not a major purchase, but I wish there were test mops. Russ suggested I go to our local hardware store since they usually have just the right thing. As I stood in front of the dozen or so choices for a good five minutes it hit me, this is the opposite of a glamorous life.

I chose one that was most like my old one since it worked well and took it home. Sadly, I am practically giddy with anticipation to get to try out this pristine, perfectly white and clean new mop. I am not cut out for high society in anyway.

Sharing Four Ways

Tonight I went to dinner with three of my needlepoint friends. Besides all being avid stitchers we all enjoy good food and most of us love to cook. We went to Elements in Chapel Hill, which has fantastic Asian fusion food. As I was looking at the menu one thing jumped out at me as something I had to have. It was a grilled cauliflower appetizer.

I should have gone with my gut and just eaten that for dinner, instead I offered up splitting it as an appetizer. Well, everyone jumped right on that. I should have ordered a second one as my meal, but instead I went with the walnut prawns, which are always delicious, but too much.

The cauliflower came and the four of us wasted no time enjoying it. Sadly I dropped one of my two pieces of cauliflower on the floor. One friend asked if it would be OK if she licked the bowl. No one thought it was out of the question.

After declaring it the best thing ever I decided I needed to see the menu again so I could read the list of ingredients in the hopes that I can recreate it at home. This plan was met great enthusiasm. The potential bowl licker want me to get right on that and share it with her the second I had perfected it and not make her wait for a blog entry.

It may not be cauliflower season, but I know what I will be doing this weekend as I try and perfect a soy reduction. I hope that my one bite of cauliflower will be enough to help me remember the taste to judge if my recreation is close.

Next time I go there I am going with my gut and ordering a double appetizer for my dinner and not offering to share. It’s not sharing that I mind, it’s just that I really wanted more cauliflower. Once I figure out how to make it I won’t be so selfish about it.

Tonight I went to dinner with three of my needlepoint friends. Besides all being avid stitchers we all enjoy good food and most of us love to cook. We went to Elements in Chapel Hill, which has fantastic Asian fusion food. As I was looking at the menu one thing jumped out at me as something I had to have. It was a grilled cauliflower appetizer.

I should have gone with my gut and just eaten that for dinner, instead I offered up splitting it as an appetizer. Well, everyone jumped right on that. I should have ordered a second one as my meal, but instead I went with the walnut prawns, which are always delicious, but too much.

The cauliflower came and the four of us wasted no time enjoying it. Sadly I dropped one of my two pieces of cauliflower on the floor. One friend asked if it would be OK if she licked the bowl. No one thought it was out of the question.

After declaring it the best thing ever I decided I needed to see the menu again so I could read the list of ingredients in the hopes that I can recreate it at home. This plan was met great enthusiasm. The potential bowl licker want me to get right on that and share it with her the second I had perfected it and not make her wait for a blog entry.

It may not be cauliflower season, but I know what I will be doing this weekend as I try and perfect a soy reduction. I hope that my one bite of cauliflower will be enough to help me remember the taste to judge if my recreation is close.

Next time I go there I am going with my gut and ordering a double appetizer for my dinner and not offering to share. It’s not sharing that I mind, it’s just that I really wanted more cauliflower. Once I figure out how to make it I won’t be so selfish about it.

I Want 12 Billion Answers

I am a social liberal and a fiscal conservative. Some people consider that an oxymoron. It makes me an independent since there is no party that is that. One thing I used to agree with republicans on was free trade. I felt like the market place was the best governor, not government. Back in the old days republicans used to work for the government stayed out of the way. What happened to those republicans?

When Trump imposed tariffs on steel and aluminum it appeared no republicans took him out back of the wood shed and explained that this just was not the republican way. No one explained the laws of unintended consequences. Trump seemed to care little for American companies that canned soup whose metal can costs were going up.

Then the countries who had tariffs imposed on them reacted with their own tariffs. Suddenly American farmers were getting hit with loss of markets for their hogs and soy beans. Those farmers mostly likely voted for Trump. Laws of unintended consequences.

So what did that tariffs loving president do today? Promised the farmers $12 BILLION in aid from tax payer money for the problem he caused them with his tariffs in the first place. Whoa, whoa, this was not something republicans did, that was a democrats thing.

So what I want to know is how a president has access to $12 billion dollars for something that is not a war or a natural disaster without having to get budget approval from someone? Is he giving them $12 BILLION of his own money. No, wait, he didn’t sleep with all those farmers so he it probably won’t be his money. We don’t have any idea how much money he has anyway since he never disclosed his tax returns. That is still something we should demand of candidates. We have no idea if he has investments that benefit from all this tariff stuff, or Russian stuff.

What I do know is this is not fiscally conservative. He claims that tariffs are “great” and that everyone should just be patient for them to work. Hey republicans, he’s your guy, take him out behind the wood shed and do something! If you need suggestions…

Sad Happiness

A few weeks ago I got a letter from my beloved friend and youth pastor at our church, Taylor, letting me know of the exciting news she had been called to be head pastor at a new church in Georgia. I had long been dreading this day, knowing that she was way over qualified to stay as an assistant pastor any longer. Since I consider her my friend first, I only could be thrilled for her, but I was also sad. Sad that I would be losing the opportunity to see her smiling face often, sad for our church that we no longer would no longer get to hear her extraordinary preaching and sad for the youth of Durham we won’t benefit from her wisdom.

Since my own child is not much of a church goer, my church life with Taylor was not centered around youth. I did get to spend time with her helping to raise money, but our relationship was built on our shard love of fabric craft, especially Marimekko, and other less churchy subjects.

As quick as I read her letter, I was texting her congratulations, but with tears. I am thrilled that she will head her own church since she is more than ready to steer a ship and spread the good news. I invited her to one last farewell lunch, since lunch was how she did spiritual counseling with me. We decided to invite Lynn and Sara to join us, but sadly Sara was at the beach.

Today was our lunch. Lynn and I got to hear all the news of her new position and the small southern town, just north of Savanah, that she and her family will move to. I know that church is so lucky to be getting this Harvard educated brilliant woman. I also know that somehow I will keep up with her as Lynn and I decided that trips to Savanah are in order.

I am so sad for my church and especially our head pastor Chris who is losing Taylor at a time when we have some other retirements. But we are not a selfish place. It is time that Taylor spreads her wings and takes this next step. I think her new church sounds perfect for her. I’m just a little jealous of them, they are getting a true gem.

Marriage of Nectarine Crisp and Bread Pudding

Yesterday I made some crostini for my friend’s birthday. I had lightly toasted the french bread without any oil or butter so that what I had leftover was repurposable. I also did not toast all the bread so I had some I plain bread in the freezer. As I was discussing with Russ my options for using the toasted bead we ruled out meatloaf. I noticed that I had more ripe nectarines than Russ and I could eat so I decided to make a bread pudding topped with nectarines and fresh bread crumbs on top.

It is the best of all worlds, pudding soft bread pudding as the base with juicy warm nectarines in the middle topped with buttered bread cubes sprinkled with cinnamon sugar. Not figure friendly, so thank goodness Russ is home to eat it.

1 loaf of french bread sliced

3 eggs

2/3 cup of milk

1/3 cup of cream

1/3 cup of sugar plus 3 T. Divided

1 T. Cinnamon, divided in half

1t. Vanilla extract

2 nectarines or peach’s sliced

1 T. Butter melted

Lay 3/4 of the bread on a cookie sheet and put in a 400° oven for four minutes. Let cool. Mix the eggs, milk cream 1/3 cup of sugar, half the cinnamon and vanilla in a bowl.

Cut up the toasted bread into small cubes and add to the bowl of egg mixture and stir until bread is covered with liquid. Place the bowl in the fridge and let it soak for at least 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350°. Spray a small baking dish with Pam and add the bread pudding to it. Cover that layer with a layer of nectarine slices. Cube the remaining bread into small cubes and cover the fruit with them. Brush with melted butter. Mix the remaining cinnamon and sugar together and sprinkle it over the buttered cubes.

Place in oven and bake for 40 minutes.

Guild the Lilly by serving it with ice cream.

Memorable Days

Some days are more memorable than others. I remember exactly where I was on this day ten years ago. Russ, Carter and I were on a beautiful sail boat on Lake Charlevoix, Michigan to celebrate our friend Mick Hannan’s 40th birthday. His wife Hannah had arranged the whole trip and invited us to come alone.

Carter and I made quite an adventure out of that trip. We drove the Land Cruiser from Durham, first to Kentucky so we could visit the Kentucky World Horse Park. After two days there we drove on to Michigan where we stayed our first night with Hannah’s parents in St. Clair. Then we went on up to Harbor Springs which is the Nantucket of the Midwest. It was a lot of driving and it was then that I realized how much gas the Land Cruiser ate since it was the height of gas prices.

Russ flew in to join us in Harbor Springs in time for us to celebrate Mick’s big birthday. The remembrance of this trip and this day came back to me because today we went to Mick and Hannah’s to celebrate Mick’s fiftieth birthday. This one was a surprise and involved a lot less driving, but so many years of friendship and many good memories.

I look at the pictures from the big Michigan trip and am so happy I had so many good trips with Carter. After our time with the Hannan’s Russ flew off to go back to working, but Carter and I continued our driving adventure. We went to Mackinaw Island and stayed at the Grand Hotel. It was very Grand! And then we started our long trek home. Making a big stop in Frankenmuth, MI at the biggest christmas store in the world.

We drove as far as we could and then just spent the night some place in Ohio. It was such a fun time and we have Mick and his big birthday to thank for that. I wonder what we will do for Mick’s 60th birthday? I know I will always remember is 40th as one of my favorite trips. Since he is so much younger than me I hope I remember it until at least his 80th!

Friendship Album 1933

Since I had run two loads of laundry while the robot vacuum took care of the floors in the upper old bedroom section of the house I decided that I could spare a couple of hours at needlepoint today. The Christmas deadline is looming large and my needlepoint ornament count is woefully low this year thanks to my quilt manufacturing. One way or the other I am sure my stitching hours are way up for the year in total, but I had set a goal to add more red and white ornaments to my garland when I noticed that I had too many blue ones last Christmas.

I have not had as much time at the stitcher’s table and I miss seeing the regulars. It has been an especially hard year since Nancy, my friend the owner of Chapel Hill Needlepoint, lost both her parents. This is not the year to spend less time around the table.

While I was frantically working on finishing a little Noah’s Ark mini stocking my friend Francis sauntered into the store. Francis had been around the corner at Fly Leaf Books teaching a young writers class. “I turned the corner and saw the Needlepoint shop and said to myself, I wonder if Dana knows about this store and here you are.” Besides being a famous author, Francis is a divine quilter. I introduced Francis to the friends at the stitching table and we caught up on what she was doing.

I asked Francis about the next meeting of the Modern Quilt Guild and that is when she told me she was giving the presentation at the next meeting. I joined the guild a few months ago, but have been unable to attend any meetings so far. Francis offered me a ride to the next meeting and I took her up on it so I won’t be so awkward as a novice quilter showing up at a meeting of a group of people who all know each other who are probably professional.

Francis reminded me about her latest book, Friendship Album 1933 which is serialized on a podcast, a historical novel where quilting plays a major role. The Podcast is aptly named the QuiltFiction Podcast. When the podcast first came out I read about it on Facebook, but like so many things, probably did it at the grocery store while I was searching my phone for my shopping list, so it just went by me.

Tonight I subscribed to her podcast and started listening to it. Francis is a writer who puts wonderful color in her writing, but not so much so as to slow the story down. The beauty of the podcast is Francis is the reader, and although I know her voice so well I find myself forgetting it is her reading as she changes voices depending on which character is speaking.

Turns out listening to Francis reading is the perfect accompaniment to needlepointing. Unlike watching TV, I can keep my eye on the canvas and be totally engrossed in the woman Milton Falls. Oh I love having such a talented friend. I can hardly wait to get to know Eula and Florence better.

Tip Top Bread Discovered

Ask the internet and you will be answered. Yesterday I wondered if anyone had the recipe for Tip Top Inn Bread. This morning, before I had even had breakfast my Aunt Janie had texted me a photo of the recipe. Seems like some people from Connecticut gathered up Miss Dingle’s recipes while Tip Top was still standing in its glory and out together a small cook book. My Aunt Janie has one signed by Miss Dingle so I know it is authentic.

It makes perfect sense that some Yankees would ask for the recipes because Tip Top cooking was pure southern. Most southerners knew how to make the standards they served at the Inn, although I’m sure few made them as well, but few self respecting southern cook would dare ask for the recipes admitting that their versions were not as good.

Since I have been binge watching the second season of Anne with an “E” of life of Anne of Green Gables I was inspired to bake the bread like they did at the turn of the century. So with Tip Top Recipe in hand I baked up two perfect loaves. When I tasted the final product it was just as I remembered Miss Dingle serving in 1968.

No wonder I liked it, it is a very rich bread, with milk and Crisco, certainly not an everyday thing, but perfect for summer special occasions. I wish I had a smell blog so you could enjoy how fabulous my kitchen smalls. You will just have to bake some up to smell it your self.

Tip Top Inn Bread

When I was a kid we went to Pawleys island every summer. We left cool Connecticut in August to go to hot South Carolina, but we loved it nonetheless. My cousins lived two doors down from Tip Top Inn. Usually only guests of Miss Dingle at the Inn would get to eat there, but my father always talked Miss Dingle into letting us come for a meal or two every summer.

Since we were not Inn guests we rarely got to eat in the second floor dinning room where the ocean breezes would come through the open windows. We usually had to eat in the little room on the first floor. It was fine with us since it was the best food on the island. Guests were expected to dress for “dinner” which was the big mid day meal. In the little room we could get away with not being quite as dressed up, although covered up bathing suits were never allowed.

I liked the deviled crab served in the little crab shaped foil pans and the homemade bread. It was easy for me to recreate the deviled crab, but I have never had bread like that Tip Top bread. It was a moist dense bread that I think was made with milk. I would love to find a recipe for it. If any of you readers have any connection to Tip Top or remember the bread send me any info you have.

I think Sis Kelly also worked there and used to give recipes, but I fear that the women who worked in the kitchen did not use recipes and I may never be able to recreate that bread again. I am not much of a baker so I definitely need a recipe. If I taste something close I might be able to tweak it.

Never Ending Ortho

I cut my trip to Nashville short when my friend Mary Jo got sick and had to cancel our Nashville tour and breakfast. It turned out to be fortuitous because Carter called and said the camp nurse suggested she she an ortho doc for her knee. Turns out Carter already had a knee ortho doc in her stable of orthos on retainer.

So she drove into Durham as I flew in and together we went to get her knee checked out. As we pulled into what used to be Triangle Ortho Carter wondered what was up with their new name Emerge, and why she had not personally been alerted. Thankfully her regular suite of exam rooms had not changed and she and I caught up while she lay on the table under a couple of Mack Aldridge diplomas.

Dr. Silver came in and checked Carter out. He told her his daughter was at her camp and asked if Carter had met her yet. Since he was well aware of the mountain terrain at camp he put Carter is a giant foam knee brace. Thankfully no surgery or anything else worse is required.

I wonder if there will ever be a year we don’t make a major visit to the ortho doc?

So much for my travels. I like spending time with Carter more and this very short visit is a bonus. Back to camp in the early afternoon for her.

Blue In a Sea of Red

This morning I met up with the wonderful Sheppy Vann for breakfast. Between seeing her in Maine and now Nashville I have been lucky to keep up with her quite a bit since she and Dick moved away from Durham. We talked about her life in Nashville. She described it as a blueberry in a red state. I got that from their political ads for the August primary. Red candidates are proudly announcing they are Trump Republicans. From what I can tell the visitors don’t know that Nashville is blue because the ones I have encountered have been of the reddest kind.

After my time with Sheppy I went to the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. When in Rome… Russ was working and I had time to kill. Don’t get me wrong, there is country music I like, but I am no fanatic and I am blue. In my Talbot whites I stuck out as I refused to be a lemming and wait in the long line of the Loretta Lynn movie. The woman in the wheel chair in front of me was still waiting in line by the time I had seen the entire Loretta Lynn exhibit and had moved on the the Taylor Swift education center.

It is very hard to have a music museum without making it a bunch of small rooms with different music playing. Looking at stage costumes and handwritten lyrics on Holiday Inn stationary and old guitars is not what I was interested in. I wish it was more music.

Surprisingly my very favorite part was a movie about the Armadillo music venue in Austin, Texas. It talked about how they got Willie Nelson there and in doing so it attracted both “Red necks and Hippies” at the same place. Something about pot and beer played a big role.

As I felt like I was really a fish out of water in this oh so red place with men wearing their “Make America Great again” hats, and 70 year old women wearing black “Alabama” t shirts and denmin cut off jeansI had some hope that maybe by some miracle we could bring hippies and rednecks together again. We can’t do it by calling each other names, but maybe pot and beer could play a role, not that I am interested in either, but I am interested in a purple place, where both red and blue feel they belong.

Bachelorettes Take Over Nashville

Everywhere Russ and I have gone in Nashville this weekend we have encountered something we have never seen before, groups of young women, like six to ten of them, all dressed alike with either matching shirts or hats or something else that ties them together as a “team.” Yet they are not athletes, instead they are bridesmaids with brides to be. Apparently Nashville is a big place to come on a “hens” weekend, as the British would say.

It started at Biscuit Love this morning where we went for breakfast. In front of us in line was a grip of twenty something women in matching baseball hats. While we enjoyed our breakfast these girls did the sorority squat for a photo in front of the Nashville sign on the wall. It wasn’t annoying enough to impact our love of the breakfast, but Russ did wish he had gotten the hot chicken like I did.

After breakfast Russ and I went to Belle Meade Plantation for a tour. It was one of the few things we could do during the church hour in Nashville that did not involve a pew. On our way there we drove through the Forest Hills and Belle Meade neighborhoods and looked at the houses. Big does not describe them, Russ was most interested in what the average number of cars are per household since so many seemed to have fleets parked outside their garages. I assumed that not everyone was having a party during the church hour.

We enjoyed the tour with our historian/docent dressed in period clothing. While we were there we met a group of women all wearing matching pastel tied dyed tank tops with bridesmaid written across the chest and one in a white tank with bride. Russ congratulated her and she thanked him. I didn’t tell him you don’t say “congratulations” to a bride, but “best wishes,” because perhaps he was congratulating her on not having to wear the same ugly shirt as her friends. Based on these bridesmaids shirts the prospects for their dresses in the wedding are not good.

We followed the plantation up with a trip to the Frist Art Museum. On the way there we saw a group of girls all dressed in black tanks and short shorts with one with a white bride sash. Although the Frist had come recommended by a number of people we were incredibly disappointed in it. The one main show that we paid $24 to see was very strange. The other exhibit, which was free, was of civil rights era photos from local Nashville newspapers. That was interesting, but as far as art museums go it has a way to go. The Art Deco post office building which it is housed in was the best part of the whole thing.

It was early afternoon at that point ad since we were still full from Biscuit Love, but were a little tired of Bachelorette parties we decided to take a break from tourist things and went to the movies. We had a early dinner reservation at City House in Germantown so e went directly there from the movies.

We had a hard time finding the building because they did not have any sign on the building near the street. We circled the block three times before we deduced where it was because it was not the other buildings that had signs. The sign that we did see was 100 feet in from the street under a tree and not lit when we got there. We parked in a paid lot run by the only company in Nashville I have come to hate, Park Happy. Yesterday we got a ticket in Franklin when our parking ran over by fifteen minutes.

Today when Russ came back to the car with the parking receipt I asked him why he had paid for six hours. He said the choice was one hour or six hours, nothing in between and the change for running over time was $75. We decided that Uber might own Park Happy to encourage people to leave their cars at home.

One last sighting of a girls weekend bridal group was peddling the bar bike, which is a giant bike with many seats all with peddles and a bartender standing in the middle giving them drinks.

Weddings are expensive if you are a bridesmaid, so the addition of this weekend party seems to have taken the whole thing to a ridiculous level. Thank goodness I never have to do that.

No photos of Bridesmaids groups were taken by us so that no Bride will ever be embarrassed by this blog, but trust me I wish I could have.

Talkin’ Tennessee

My mother is from Knoxville Tennessee and Eastern Tennessee is all I have ever known about her state. In April I flew into Nashville to get to Paducah, KY, but didn’t spend a moment in Nashville. Then Russ got invited to speak at a conference in Music City so I opted to come along.

We flew in at seven-thirty in the morning with the time change so it was just too early to get in our hotel room or do anything really. So we drove down to Franklin, TN to have breakfast and look around. We opted to go to the Frothy Monkey because we just liked the name. The breakfast was only OK, but the town was cute.

Franklin was the site of one of the worst losses for the confederates in the civil war. A one day battle caused over 10,000 casualties. We learned all about this at the Lotz House Museum, a home of a German master carpenter and his family whose house was practically destroyed in the battle. Thankfully the family survived because they hid in the basement of their neighbor’s the Carter’s brick house. I had visions of the three little pigs.

After our enthusiastic docent pointed out the many blood stains on the wood floors and places where cannon balls came through the roof and fell all the way to the basement we felt that we had attained enough knowledge about the battle.

After a few more stops we headed back to Nashville. A visit to music city could not be complete without a visit to a honey tonk. Since that is not really either Russ’ nor my scene we decided to go and get it over with first thing. We stumbled upon the new Patsy Cline Museum on the second floor of the Johnny Cash Museum. It was small and very over priced, but Patsy is my favorite country singer so I enjoyed it. We walked past the honky tonk which even in the middle of the afternoon were just too peopley for Russ and two chickeny for me.

Thanks to recommendations from Sheppard Vann we had dinner at the fabulous Adele’s, no relation to the singer. It was a terribly hot and sticky day, but nothing I didn’t expect from Nashville. Tomorrow we will probably do the even more obscure. No boot shopping for us.

The Beauty Of Bags

As the amount of stuff you can take on planes gets tighter my packing organization gets more amped up. Back in the day when I was a consultant flying around the world I brought big bags with lots of stuff. I needed coats and shoes for different weather and if I was going to be working with one client for two weeks in a row I brought 14 different outfits.

Boy have I changed when it comes to packing and traveling. I could care less if I wear the same thing multiple times, even if I am with the same people. If you mix up the tops from the bottoms, no one really knows they are the same. As an woman on the upper end of middle aged no one even cares or notices what you are wearing anyway.

The real prime space is that of the “personal item” which used to be my purse. Back in the olden days your purse did not count as one of your carry on items as long as it was not the size of a small duffel bag. I could take a roll-a-board suitcase, a brief case and a purse. Long gone are those days, or supposedly. Every once in a while I see a woman carrying on five or six small bags which she should put in one bag, but she does not called out for it.

I am not that woman. I fear they will make me check something I absolutely do not want to put in the bottom of a plane. So I have perfected the packing of my personal item. It is a Scout bag with a zipper that I put a small purse in, and three bags each dedicated to a different subject; a needlepoint bag, an electronics bag and an art/journal bag. Inside my purse are also even smaller specialized bags. Nothing is lose, not even a pen.

This bag system means I can put my hands on any item I am carrying in a snap. I never have to dig around the bottom to find a small item and the best part is if, I mean when, my bag turns upside down in the airport, or falls off the seat in a cab nothing is dislodged, or lost. I love my bag system.

I just wish I were this organized in all the other parts of my life. The idea of only taking exactly what will fit in a small bag is a very freeing experience.

You Gotta Pay The Help

Today was the last day of Mah Jongg at the beach lessons, it it was the most jam packed. It started early with the advanced class. Thankfully Christy came up from Beaufort to help at all classes today. Before class started I discovered my car battery was dead, so I called AAA who I knew would show up in the middle of my teaching class. With Christy here I was able to run out and give the guy my keys while he jumped my battery.

I love teaching advanced classes. How advanced is always the question before I start with a new group, but it never fails there is plenty to share with players that helps improve their game. This group was fun and interactive in their learning. They want to continue with more “advanced” lessons. This adds to my need to return to the beach to give lessons.

Everyone here has been so nice and has made teaching them a pleasure. Joan, who is in my beginner class, knowing that Christy and I would only have a few minutes break between the advanced and beginner classes made lunch for us. The advanced class went over by a half an hour so we ran up to Reba’s Condo and Joan had our lunch set on the table all ready to go.

We ate a quick bite and went back to the pool house where many of the beginners already were there, raring to go. The third day of Mah Jongg is the most fun because they are “getting it.” Christy and Reba helped out with helping students figure out which hand to play. The time flew by. Happily, everyone graduated.

Now that the classes were over I want to properly thank Reba for hosting me and setting everything up and feeding me and Christy for aiding me in teaching. I took them to Beaufort Grocery for dinner. We has delicious squash blossoms, which were a first for Reba and then fabulous seafood. Mostly we had a good time together.

Christy and I decided we could teach 19 different levels of Mah Jongg. I am yet to get people to the strategy level which would be levels 17, 18 & 19. I am just happy that I am helping people stave off Alzheimer’s and exercise their minds while having a lot of fun.

I am looking forward to my next Mah Jongg at the beach class sessions. Thanks to my trusty helpers.

Reba’s A Good Agent

Day two of teaching Mah Jongg in Morehead and I am feeling very pampered. My friend Reba who is hosting me, has lavished wonderful meals on me. She did admit this morning that some Durham friends were worried that she was cooking for me and wondered if she was intimidated by doing that. P’shaw! Reba has made the most delicious things, especially her crab cakes and shrimp salad.

This morning since we did not have class until one, Reba toured me and her friend Joan Teer around Morehead. We visited Garner farms where they have the most beautiful produce. Russ Lange, I will be bringing some perfect tiny okra home on a Friday. We went to Friendly Market where they make prepared foods and pantry goods. Russ you are getting hot chow chow and Vidalia onion mustard. Then she took us to a very cute cooking store. Russ, you will be happy to know I did not see one cooking utensil I really needed.

While in that store a college aged boy who was with his mother held up a cannoli form and TOLD her she needed to buy that so she could learn to make him cannoli. Before I could stop myself I said out loud, “You could learn to make them for yourself.” His mother agreed with me. I think at that moment I was either not southern enough, or Uber southern.

After our shopping was over Reba drove us through “the Promise Land” section of Morehead where houses from Shakleford Banks had been floated over to Morehead after the hurricanes of 1897-99 made the island uninhabitable. Imagine floating your entire house and it’s contents intact across the waterway to a new location in the early 1900’s.

After lunch my best Mah Jongg assistant teacher Christy arrived before our dozen students. We started class by my asking who felt like they understood this game? No one raised their hands. I told them that was perfectly normal and today would be the day it would start to click.

I was thrilled as different people at each table won a game and the ones who did not win were close to winning. I know that tomorrow will be an even more successful day for these novice players.

After class Reba took me and Joan to the Coral Bay club where we heard a talk from a darling young southern writer named Kristy Woodson Harvey. After the talk we ate dinner on the terrace and then got some steps on the beach. While at a Coral Bay many woman came up to Reba and asked her when her next Mah Jongg Class was going to be because they “had to learn this game.” Reba has her work set out for her as my Morehead Mah Jongg agent.

It has been a very full day, and I need to get my rest because tomorrow I am teaching an advanced Mah Jongg Class in the morning and the last beginner class in the afternoon. Now that I have a waiting list for my next class here I need to make sure these people feel like they really learned a lot or else my beach Mah Jongg career is over.

Beach Mah Jongg

My most enthusiastic Mah Jongg student in the last few years has got to be Reba Huckabee. She took class in the winter and became addicted to the game. Before her last lesson was done she said, “You have got to come down to the beach and teach this class there.”

It was a nice thought, but I didn’t think much about it. Then as summer approached Reba brought it up again. “You can stay with me, I will get you students and a place to hold the class.” That is all the work, so I said yes as long as we had 12 students. “I can do it.”

True to her word, not only did Reba recruit the students, got them to pay, she had a waiting list of 12 more who want lessons and she got another group for an advanced class.

I drove down to Morehead this morning and met Reba at her lovely condo. One of her dear friends, Joan from Wilmington, came up to take the class and stay with Reba too. Reba made lunch and we went to her pool house where she had set up snacks and drinks. The room was perfect for the group to assemble. Reba greeted everyone with me and then went off to do other things, which turned out to be making dinner for us for later.

I taught the first class, which is the hardest one, not to teach, but to learn. I am certain this group of a dozen women wonder why they are paying money to be this confused. Thankfully they come back tomorrow so I can build on their knowledge and they can get the hang of the game.

After it was all over Reba came back and and helped clean up all the snacks and we went back to her home to enjoy cocktails. My friend Christy came up from Beaufort to join us for Reba’s yummy crab cake dinner. Christy volunteered to come help at the class for the next two days so the new players will have more advice while they are playing.

Between my drive and my teaching I hardly got any steps today, but I am exhausted nonetheless. I shouldn’t be compared to Reba who has done all the work setting this whole thing up and keeping me well fed and tended. I will never doubt Reba Huckabee if she says she is going to do something. I just hope all these new players take to the game and end up playing with Reba for years to come.

EMERGENCY at Durham Food Bank

I just got a message that the engine our the truck at the Durham Branch of the Food Bank of CENC blew out. They need to replace the engine that was very old on our big box truck. The truck is vital to the feeding of people who utilize the Durham branch from Durham, Orange and five other surrounding counties. The truck shuttles food to our branch from the headquarters in Raleigh. It picks up food from stores which are part of our retail recovery program. And it delivers food to feeding agencies who are feeding hungry people at their soup kitchens and pantries. Basically the truck in the life blood in the veins of the Food Bank.

So much of what the Food Bank gets in the way of food is donated from stores, farmers and packers, but we must pick it up to get it for free. If our truck does not pick it up perfectly good food goes to the landfill which is not good for the environment because rotting, discarded food creates green house gasses.

Summer is the worst time to lose our truck because food spoils faster in warmer weather and more food is needed to feed children who are not in school.

To replace the engine in our truck is going to cost $20,000. This is a big unplanned for hit. I have set up a virtual drive to fix the truck. It is set up like a virtual food drive so you put food in your cart and donate it, but know that instead of collards or peanut butter you will be buying an engine. Just click on this link

Thank you for considering helping out your community.


It was a glorious day here. The temperature barley got to 80° and the humidity was off on vacation. Russ and I took this rare opportunity of a Sunday in July to work in the garden. Usually by this point in the summer I have given up on my garden and let the weeds have their way with it. This summer I hardly planted any vegetables, just a few zucchini and cucumbers and my never ending arugula. Instead I put in three zinnia beds.

The zucchini provided very few off spring before they succumbed to some plant killing illness. The cucumbers, although they grew like wild fire in the vine sense, the fruit have been few and far between. I know that both the deer and bunnies have been enjoying the leaves.

On the other hand the zinnias have been spectacular. The oranges, pinks, yellows and reds of the blooms are effervescent. No two flowers are the same color in the hundreds that are blooming on the tall bright green stems. Butterflies have made my patch their personal gathering spot. This zinnia garden is becoming my inspiration for a new quilt design.

In the rare coolness of this day Russ and I weeded the garden and put in another few rows of zinnia seeds so that we can enjoy the beauty of their color into the fall. My vegetable garden may be a failure, but my flowers make up for everything and it helps that the deer don’t seem to like them.

North Carolinians, Stop Making The National News

In the last little bit North Carolinians have been making the National news for the worst behavior. Two weeks ago it was a group of parents fighting at a girls soft ball tournament. They were acting in a way that no child would dare. The video tape of the rude group going at it was shown over and over again on TV. I was embarrassed for my state, but I thought they were not representative of most of North Carolina.

Then, just when I thought it was safe to claim I was not only born in the old North State, but have lived in for 25 years, a man in Winston-Salem, my birth place, was shown on the national news not just yesterday multiple times, but again today being anything but gentile. This poor of an excuse of a North Carolinian had called the police on an African American mother with her son because he did not think she belonged in their neighborhood pool.

The pool had card access and she had a card, but the man, who is on the neighborhood pool committee wanted her to prove she lived there. There were no signs asking anyone to “prove” they lived in the neighborhood, as if having the card was not proof enough, and he singled her out, not asking anyone else the same.

The man claimed his defense was he was asked by another “neighbor” to do this and he was doing his job as pool committee person. He should have told that person that if the woman had a card she belonged. Calling the police was not only not the right thing to do, it was down right wrong.

People of North Carolina, we used to be a welcoming and inclusive state. Yes, we had some checkered past, but I thought we had moved past treating people differently. Bring back civility. Just because one person in Washington calls people names and has no manners does not mean you can act that way too.

The man who called the police lost his job for acting this way. Good for his company for not wanting people like him to represent their brand. We can’t depend on politicians to be good role models of civility, but that does not mean that we can’t demand it in our own communities.

Let’s keep North Carolina out of the National news for being rude people. The only way to do that is follow the golden rule and treat others as you wish to be treated. Go one step further and treat others as you wish your grandmother to be treated. That is the true North Carolina way.

Alibaba Chicken Stew

I’m trying to stay on track with healthy eating. It is easier to do if I cook every meal. Thankfully Russ is a rally good sport about eating whatever concoction I dream up. Tonight I was making up a dish on the fly with what I had on hand from the farmers market. I decided to go with a Lebanese/middle eastern spice profile and it turned out to be very satisfying. I had mine with some hummus as my garnish and Russ had his over rice with Harissa. Both were two thumbs up.

Five boneless skinless chicken thighs- cur into bite sized pieces

2 large sweet onions chopped

4 garlic cloves

3 red tomatoes chopped

2 zucchini chopped

2T. Ground Cumin

2T. Ground Coriander

Sprinkle of cinnamon

1t. Smoked paprika

Sprinkle of red pepper flakes

Salt and pepper

10 fresh mint and 10 fresh basil leaves minced

Heat a large non-stick frypan to hot. Sprinkle half the cumin, coriander and some salt and pepper on the chicken and put it In The hot pan. Don’t stir it for four minutes. Then add the onions and stir everything up. Add all the other spices.

Cook for two minutes, tastier again and add the garlic and tomatoes. Salt and pepper the whole thing again. Cook for two minutes and then add the zucchini. Add A little more salt and pepper and continuing cooking. Stir every minute for three minutes until done. Sprinkle mint and basil on the whole thing. Enjoy!

Hugs For Fears

I was down in my sweat shop working on a Christmas present when I heard Russ come home. Usually Shay would jump off the yellow chair in my work room and run to him, leaving me for the rest of the evening, but she did not. Instead she came and scratched my leg. Since I was in the middle of quilting the steadiness of my leg was important to the right speed of my sewing. “Shay, what’s wrong? Go see Daddy.”

She normally would leave me. Then she sat right on my foot on the peddle. I stoped sewing and rolled my chair bag from the sewing table. Shay did a full on vertical jump from a sitting position to my lap. “What’s wrong?” And then a huge clap of thunder came. No warning from the weather channel on my phone, just my meteorologist dog Shay.

She sat on my lap with her whole shivering body pressed against mine as hard as she could. I held her tight, but her heart was beating so fast. Between yesterday’s storm, the illegal fireworks going off last night and this storm she probably lost a pound of two from serious shivering.

This fear of storms and loud bangs is something new for our seven year old dog. She never used to be afraid. Even though the inventor of the thunder shirt lived across the street from us, we never even tried one on her. I don’t know how she grew into this fear, but it is real to her.

Russ and I brought her up to our bed, which is her home base and she is still afraid, but less so. I am going to have to pay closer attention to her and not think she is interested in sewing the next time she comes and sits on my feet. Poor girl, I can’t stop the rain, only hug her.

No Burgers or Dogs for Us

In honor of Independence Day Russ suggested we have Mexican food since we aren’t too happy with everything American right now. We could have gone with English food as an anti- Independence Day, or Canadian Food as a, wish we had your leader as our leader, but we just like Mexican food better so that was the answer. Russ wanted fish tacos so I had the tacoless version.

We were going to cook corn on the grill, but just as I was getting ready for dinner the skies opened up and we had a glorious and much needed storm since it hasn’t rained in over a week of near 100° days. Russ pulled out the cast iron grill pan and I grilled the corn on the stove. I put foil on it to help keep the heat in and it worked great, just slower than the grill.

I made some fresh pico for the salmon and a little vinegar slaw. I made the pico using a pepper from a plant my friend Hannah brought me in June. It has been growing on my front porch and when we got home today from Winston Salem I noticed one of them was red. I knew it was going to be hot so I seeded it and only used the tiny flesh in the pico, but I saved the seems for Russ, who added them to his fish taco. He said they were good and hot, which makes him happy. Happy July Fourth!

Fresh pico

1 tomato chopped

1 shallot mined

1 Birdseye pepper minced

1 cloves of garlic minced

2 T cilantro chopped

1/2 t. Lime juice

Salt and pepper

Mix it together and let it sit in the fridge for at least an hour so the flavors marry.

Cheerio Independence Day

At Camp Cheerio they are celebrating the Fourth of July a day early. When Carter planned her 12 week summer here she thought she wouldn’t see us the whole time. That being the plan she invited us to come for the camp cookout, skits and fireworks since staff parents are invited. Funny, we had never been invited before.

So Russ made reservations for us at the Kimpton in Winston Salem since it is Shay’s favorite hotel. Then Carter got hit on the head and she came home for five days. Since we already made the plans we came to camp for the “4th” even though we were just here nine days ago dropping Carter off.

It turns out it was a good thing we saw her at home because so far we have hardly seen her at all. She had to man the peanut butter table at dinner and now she is getting the horse ready for Paul Revere’s ride, which is part of the show tonight. At least Shay is happy with her hotel suite.

You’ve Won

When I worked in the U.K. one of the best tasks in my job was calling winners of the big Friends and Family Reunion Contest. I got to go into a radio studio with my coworker Colin and phone the winner of the £350,000 trip. Sometimes winners would say things like, “It must be true that I have won because you are an American.” That was back when the world still liked us. In total I got to call nine winners of that contest and telling each one was a thrill for me.

After my retirement from that fun gig I have continued to get to call people when they have been chosen to receive an unexpected honor. At the Food Bank we have a big award and for the last couple of years I have been the person who makes the call to let the winner know. Each person is humble, but excited. I love the fun of telling them that, yes, they have to accept the honor, no matter how much they think someone else deserves it more.

This year I had to call a Nun. I can’t tell you who, but she is a sister. I have never had so much trouble reaching an award winner. In the U.K. I think we reached each winner on the first try. For the previous Food Bank winners I also just picked up the phone and got directly to the winner. Not the Nun.

I started calling her last week. Someone always answered the phone, but usually the sister was unavailable to come to the phone. I left messages asking her to call me back. She never did. Granted she doesn’t know me, but I did say I was calling from The Food Bank of Central and Eastern NC with some good news.

In total I called her fifteen times before I was actually able to talk with her today. Telling a Nun she has won something is an underwhelming event. She was not phased by the honor in the least. I guess when you have God’s Grace you don’t really need much more than that.

I tried to explain the importance of the honor, but she never got the least excited about it. Granted it wasn’t a trip worth £350,000, but if it was, I might think she would have to turn it down.

I like letting people know they have won something, but next year I hope the winner jumps up and down just the littlest bit. I am looking forward to meeting this Nun at the Evening of appreciation, maybe then she might understand, but I’m sure she will not jump up and down.

The Answer is Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs

What is the question? What is for dinner or lunch, brunch? I have been over this before, but if you don’t have cooked boneless skinless chicken thighs in your fridge at all times you are going to lament and complain about figuring out what to eat and then spend too much time making it.

If you have already cooked chicken thighs in your fridge you can make hundreds of different dishes in a blink of an eye. Why thighs you ask? Thighs have enough fat and flavor that you can reheat them in the microwave them and they are still yummy. That just doesn’t happen with a breast. You have to cook a breast fresh and eat it then, and even that will not have as much flavor as a reheated thigh.

I make at least ten things at a time. I sprinkle them liberally on all sides with salt and pepper and I cook them in a non-stick fry pan, about eight minutes a side. I place the hot thighs in a Rubbermaid container and out the lid on and they continue cooking. Once cooked they go in the fridge.

You can eat them in so many ways. Cut up on a Caesar salad, in a Vietnamese salad roll, reheated with a dab of barbecue sauce, in a Greek salad, in a panini, smothered with caramelized onions and a slice of Swiss cheese, in a hopped up BLT, made into chicken salad, in a rice bowl with your favorite veggies, with peanut sauce, on top of some pasta, added to a quinoa salad… you just won’t get bored with a chicken thigh. It is the perfect for any flavor palate. The only thing they are not good for is a smoothy, or in your breakfast cereal, but other than that.

If someone in your family thinks they only like breasts, just tell them the thigh is a breast. They will tell you it is the best piece of chicken they have eaten. And breasts are like twice as expensive. Skip the breast and go for the thigh.