Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Wind Surfing

I love watching this.  I see it all the time on these windy days and I find what they do - dancing with the wind - just stunning.  I met someone who teaches wind surfing, and who wanted to teach me. I am too weak right now, but maybe some day.  I would love to do this, to be able to.  

For now, I can take pictures.....

Thursday, March 17, 2011

My Birthday!

On my birthday, I wanted to honor my mother - who really did all the work that day.  So, I hosted a dinner party with a menu organized around her Polish and Italian heritage.  

I made my first periogis on my own (yeah!)  Here are some pictures as proof!

First, I set the table the night before.  I was so excited about the party I woke up early and took pictures of the table before dawn.  Flowers hadn't been delivered yet!

Here is the printed menu I made up -

Okay here it is so you can read it!

Hors D’oeuvres
Ricotta & lemon filled dumplings with butter-seared onions
Fontina Crostini al Prosciutto di albicocche
Toasts with ham, apricot and cheese
Three G Cocktails (Canton Ginger, Gin and St. Germaine)

First Course
Cold Polish Cucumber Soup
Vorberg Riserva Pinot Bianco 2005

Main Course
Agnello al Rosmarino
Seared Herbed Lamb Chops with Rosemary
Risoni con Pimmaduori Siccati
Orzo with Rosemary & Sundried Tomatoes
Fagiolini alla aceto balsamico
Roasted Green Beans with a Balsamic Splash
Pane Toscana
Tuscan Bread with Olive Oil
Venezia Guilia Indicazione Geografica Tipica Rosso 2006

Torta Agli Albumi con cioccolata & la fragola
Angel Food Cake with Chocolate & Strawberries

Champagne Louis de Sacy Brut Grand Cru
Italian coffee & tea
Grand Marnier, Hennessy V.S.O.P, Cognac Courvoisier

A little later in the morning the perogis are in progress!  I confess I took much pride in these!  We used to make them every Christmas Eve morning.  They are so yummy and mine came out just as they should (after a few calls to my sister and my niece when the consistency of the dough wasn't coming out quite right.  I'd followed mom's directions in her recipe book she made for us.  Really!  But it wasn't quite right so I can to consult the experts)

My birthday cake.  Yum!  (I did NOT make this - but Blackburd Fine Cakes & Pastries did.  Thanks Samantha Burdman.)

Ready to serve!   Monica Thomas of Tailored Taste catered the rest of the meal for me and did a fabulous job, as she usually does (She comes in for me periodically and prepares meals for my freezer for days when I am too ill to cook).  The Cucumber soup was amazing and layered and just as I remembered.  

Finally pictures of the table.  Set for eight originally, but one guest cancelled on me at the last minute.  And then another potential guest, a dear old friend - the one who would have known me the longest - texted me and asked for my address.  So I kept it set for 7.  But alas, he didn't make it either.   Next year.

I had just a wonderful time with those who were there - Erik, Gabriel, George, John, Nickie, me.  Really a lot of fun.  All with people I've loved and known for 15 years at least.  Thanks all for celebrating with me, making me laugh and loving me.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

"Ages of a Day," or 5 Years

I'd just returned from FL earlier in the day yesterday, but I still managed to do this, as I have every year since she died on her birthday.  I released them with tears and prayers from the Common Book of Prayer while on the roof of my new building.  

On Valentine's Day in 1995, my dad gave my mom a book of poetry by Robert Frost and cited specifically this poem:

Flower Gathering by Robert Frost

I left you in the morning,And in the morning glow,You walked a way beside meTo make me sad to go.Do you know me in the gloaming,Gaunt and dusty grey with roaming?Are you dumb because you know me not,Or dumb because you know? 
All for me? And not a questionFor the faded flowers gayThat could take me from beside youFor the ages of a day?They are yours, and be the measureOf their worth for you to treasure,The measure of the little whileThat Ive been long away.