Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Quiche Happens

The weekend was bitterly cold, and part of it was spent waiting for the CABLE GUY. More on that later. The urge to cook came over me and I succumbed. Also, there was the fact that I was in the house and reminded of all the produce that needed to be used or be fed to our little compost pails. So, I made homemade french five-onion soup with freshly grated gruyere, then proceeded to try out a cake recipe from SmittenKitchen which entailed boiling clementines whole. It was (as you might expect) a tad bitter from the rinds, but fairly tasty nonetheless. If I make it again, I'll peel the clemmies (except for maybe one) beforehand.

and then... quiche happened. Jim is NOT fond of quiche. However, it's a great way to get rid of eggs, bits of cheese, and leftover veggies and such. Luckily, OTHER people like quiche! My culinary efforts are not wasted. This weekend's line-up included feta/spinach with tomato pin-wheels, and gorgonzola/artichoke heart.

So, the cable guy. We arrived home on Thursday to find our cable and internet were out. We called Comcast (using a cell phone since our internet phone was *naturally* out) and they told us the cable guy would be there in the morning. Of course, we had work, and couldn't be there. It turned out that the entire neighborhood was out. We returned home on Friday and found that everyone else's cable was back, but ours was not. Back to the cell phone. By this time, we were suffering severe deprivation, and had already watched both Netflix we had at home, then went on to Prince Caspian on DVD.... Comcast agreed to send someone out Saturday 3-5. When the cable guy arrived he appeared bewildered that we didn't have an amplifier - apparently they thought we had taken out 300 nodes with interference from our set-up. We believe it was a case of mistaken identity! Anyway, all's well that end's well - we have some nice new connectors and a box that is not hanging off our house anymore. The irony is, after freaking out without any television, internet or phone, there really was nothing to watch on Saturday!

We Woo at EVOO

We are very lucky to live near a number of great restaurants and of course, Savenor's and the Wine & Cheese Cask. Inman Square, with a wide variety of restaurants of every ilk, is within walking distance, as is "Culinary Corner" (the intersection of Kirkland/Washington with Beacon/Hampshire.) Dali's, the Kebab Factory, the Biscuit, The Thirsty Scholar and of course, EVOO are mere footsteps away. The Sunday after Valentine's Day, we took advantage of EVOO extending its Valentine's Day menu and had a quiet evening out - the food and wine was excellent as always.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Natural r-Evolution

Our weekend perambulations this weekend took us out in some cold, but sunny, weather. The quality of light is just a little different, signalling the gentle tilting of the earth towards the sun (at least in our hemisphere!) The trees and bushes clearly have a sense of what is happening. The sand in the volleyball court was visible, no longer under a mantle of white, the shadows are a little sharper, and Bonnie is preparing for beach volleyball again.

It appeared that at least one of the rhinos near Divinity Hall was also taking notice. At first (REALLY bad joke alert) I thought it was a RHINOvirus. Then I realized it was Darwin's 200th birthday (and the 150th anniversary of the publication of 'On the origin of species.')

Happy Birthday, Darwin! Many happy evolutions.

It's STILL Maine Shrimp Season!

Imagine my delight when we ventured into our local Whole Paycheck and discovered that "native" (aka Maine) shrimp were still on display and "in the pink."
Brown paper bag clutched in hand, we trekked home to dig out the dill pesto, some garlic, and a lovely organic lemon (courtesy Boston Organics!)
And of course, the contents of the brown paper bag. . .
To build the suspense, I shelled the shrimp slowly and lovingly, and placed them in an attractive bowl.
The pan is ready to receive the bounty of the sea. . .
What happened after that? Why aren't there any more pictures? Umm. . . mmmmm. . . maybe next time!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Long is the Winter of our Discontent

Mother Nature offered an Amuse-Bouche this past weekend that sent temperatures soaring to 40, perhaps even 50 degrees. Alas, I was not feeling up to taking advantage of it having contracted Jim's worst ever cold. Our resident canine, however, felt no such restrictions. One trip out was to our familiar haunt, Harvard Divinity School, where Bonnie tried out for the SNOW volleyball team and we discovered that one of the rhinos (Sarah) was due for a pedicure.

The day was windy, with scudding clouds alternating with flashes of sunlight, making for some interesting patterns.

Sunday, we ventured out to Danehy Park, where a river (of melting snow) ran through it. Bonnie was game for sloshing and wading through the cold water - to a point. Jimpy of Borg and I were amazed by the streams running down the sidewalks!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Superfluous Snow

Really, we don't need anymore! Enough already!

The Flintstone flakes were nice the first few times around, but now...

Where is Human (Hadden) Nature so weak as in the bookstore?

We Haddens are renowned for our fabulous flexibility. We are also renowned for a great weakness for bookstores, and of course, books. This makes giving us (and each other) gifts very easy. I have to confess that if they made a perfume that smelled like a library I'd probably roll in it. There simply isn't anything to compare to the aroma of old paper, cloth and leather.

Thankfully, our long-suffering spouses tolerate our idiosyncracies and the incredible accumulation and constant consumption of books! Jim even enabled me by building me floor to ceiling bookcases in one room (along with a prized standalone bookcase.) I can stop anytime, really I can. Well, maybe not. Everyone knows not to come between me and my books!

Sunday, Dad, Alex and I made our way to a favorite haunt, Joseph Beth Booksellers in Hyde Park. Not only does Joseph Beth have a fabulous array of books (be still my heart), they also have a lovely cafe called Bronte. We had a delicious brunch (I had savory French toast stuffed with goat cheese and herbs with a balsamic reduction pictured below), and then indulged our one of our other appetites. Jaime gave me the Inkheart Trilogy for Christmas, and I couldn't resist getting the first two books for Dad. I hope Barbara forgives me!

The Ordering at the Phoenix

A very special dinner was experienced at The Phoenix Saturday night in downtown Cincinnati. The Phoenix used to be an exclusive men's club and is grandly appointed with grand doorways, marble staircases, elaborate fixtures including huge sideboards and a carved bar and old fashioned glass. As we made a grand entrance, the sound of piano music resonated in the foyer. Barbara asked for a special rendition, and later in the meal, one of the waiters periodically appeared to sing along. It was as if we had been transported to an earlier era, complete with period music.

We enjoyed a delicious repast, including osso buco, steak Diane, and a filet special. The Phoenix has risen, indeed!

A Heartland Cold as Ice

This past weekend I ventured forth to the city of my birth to meet my sister and visit my dad, who is recovering from recent knee replacement surgery. It was not an auspicious beginning as I did not pay attention to my pre-printed boarding pass to notice that the flight left at 5:35am instead of 5:55am as originally scheduled - it was boarding by the time I got through security, and if you've ever flown Delta out of Boston, you know what a hike it is to the gates, and the moving walkways were not working!!! Huffing and puffing I got to the gate and scooted onto the plane as they pulled the tape across the door. I settled myself into my seat and... couldn't find my cell phone. I was convinced that it was somewhere on or about my person, and I wouldn't be able to turn it off, and the homeland security police would come to take me away. Aside from this panic, I hadn't had time to tranquilize myself for the flight. It was not a good time!

I arrived at CVG (which is really in Kentucky) without having located my cell phone, which led to another quandary - how would I connect with my sister who was supposed to pick me up at the airport? Although I hadn't really thought about it, public phones seem to have gradually disappeared from the landscape. So I trusted that Alex would make some assumptions, which she did, and we met up for the short drive up to Cincinnati. To my shock, there was snow on the ground and it was colder than Boston! As we drew nearer to Cincinnati, the snow grew deeper and a glittering coat of ice appeared on all the tree branches. Beautiful, but hard on the trees.

The cellphone turned out to have fallen out of my backpack in the car on the way to the airport, so all was well, although I felt extremely naked without it. That's somewhat amusing since I rarely use the cell phone unless travelling!

We met Dad and Barbara at Sugar 'n Spice, a favorite breakfast spot. It is unmistakable with its shocking pink coat of paint! It also has wonderful, light as air pancakes and goetta. Goetta is a concoction of pin oats and meat, a little reminiscent of scrapple but a little more toothsome. One Christmas Dad gave me a dozen frozen rolls of goetta - much appreciated by all!

We spent some time at the Belvedere, preparing a laptop for Dad and hanging out with the cats and my favorite globe. The trees and bushes were all adorned with snow and glitter.

Then Dad, Alex and I indulged ourselves in another Cincinnati specialty, Skyline Chili, for lunch. You haven't lived until you've had a regular 4-way with onions....
And of course, let us not forget, a signature lamppost