[LMB] Birthday Tixie

A. Marina Fournier saffronrose at me.com
Tue Jan 26 09:24:42 GMT 2016

On Jan 24, 2016, at 11:48 AM, Kevin Kennedy <kevink45 at hotmail.com> wrote, (quoting Tixie Jean):

>Hail to Marina Fournier, who is 62 today! Marina, I hope you will have a good time (with float chair on stand by, if you like) with your tour of the main dome on Komarr (where you will be greeted by a cockatoo named Bill--we had a Cetagandan visitor who thought it would be fun to release an intelligence-enhancing virus among the flock).<<

I hope no one gets that notion for any wild urban parrot flocks (Telegraph Hill, SF CA, and Temple City CA, that I know of)! Heaven forfend any seagulls, or any of the millions of Canada Geese who've decided to forgo their nomadic ways, and hang out in the lower 48 instead, should get such a virus. I love Canada, and Canadians, but their snow-bird-no-more geese are quite the nuisance.

Thank you--depends on the pace and distance, primarily, on whether I'd need a float chair. I can walk quite a bit if the ground underneath is relatively flat, dry, not shifting, and when I am not carrying anything.

>>You will get to see all the sights, with a slight detour to a shabby little shipping shop that once sent
the ugliest vase on record from Ivan to Miles (where Tej worked), along with a breath-mask required to be worn on tours of the experimental farms, not too far outside.<< 

Ugly vases are useful in stressful marital disagreements: you don't mind losing them when they've broken, after throwing them at your spouse. That IS what they're for!

>>But of course you will also be offered fine dining and wining of the best from Komarr's own vats, and then sent home on a long, luxurious liner with the usual amenities.<<

The touring troupe offering a quaddie ballet & concert was sublime, and I'll remember that for a long time.

>>Happy Birthday!!!

Says Kevin,
>>Happy Birthday! Can I borrow the float chair sometimes? I want one at the grocery<<

Why, certainly!

Many grocery chains around here have electric scooters with a wire basket in front, but I think they need to have panniers OFF that basket for those who don't care to shop daily, but need that assist. If my sister goes grocery shopping in her manual wheelchair, even the extra large totebag from Lands End, can get overstuffed. I can push her, or I can push a shopping cart, and she doesn't think a motorized cart or chair is something she could manage, as she's hemiplegic on the right. The main problem for me is standing around while she makes her decisions: you may feel it too, that simply standing for a while hurts worse than walking uphill.

My son, Arthur, was born 4 days after my 40th birthday, so his is Thursday. He had suggested a couple of years ago that we have a joint birthday celebration. I nixed that on the 18th, 20th, and 21st birthdays, because those are milestones, whereas 58th, 59th, and 61st are not terribly momentous for me. For my 60th, my tummy had been doing the collywobble dance, and I was not going to consider a nice dinner out when I might lose it shortly thereafter. I was rather leery of food at that point, as revisits are never any fun. It ended up being Father's Day that year before health and schedules cooperated.

This year, a non-significant number for each of us, facing having pretty much the same guest list, we decided to do a single, joint celebration, on a day more convenient for our guests (not a work night) and my sister (must be back at the residence by 7.45pm), so early evening on Saturday we'll hit a steakhouse that can handle everyone's numerous dietary challenges. While in general, I prefer lobster on my birthday, unless we're going to a seafood or specifically lobster restaurant, I can pass.

Sunday night, as my husband, son, and mother-in-law had considerably fewer spoons than I did, dh went to get more frozen shrimp so that I could make scampi. Salad didn't happen, because streamed broccoli and sautéed mushrooms were deemed enough--and the table wasn't big enough for more dishes. I sautéed the equivalent of at least a head of garlic in EEVO with not that much black truffle in it, added a bit too much wine for volume, lemon thyme, chervil, fines herbes, and chives, and then added about 4 T. of butter--about the volume of garlic I used. I couldn't smell or really taste the garlic--I guess we use it in quantity and frequency. I forgot salt in the mushrooms, which got garlic, chervil & lemon thyme in its butter and EEVO. Got the fettucine in the pot, the broccoli in the microwave, and then realized the sauce for the scampi needed to be reduced. I used a slotted spoon to remove the shrimp from the sauce, and set the pan to boil. Didn't reduce enough for my taste by the time I got too tired of waiting and declared it enough.

Instead of going over the plate boundary into worse parts of the rainstorm on Saturday, to get a princess cake from Gayle's Bakery in Capitola, or up the peninsula to Draeger's to get a lemon meringue pie (the most amazing LMP I have ever had), I just stopped thinking about The Cake Issue. A local family owned grocery chain has a few good cakes that aren't chocolate. Those that aren't often come with out-of-season (unripe and tasteless) berries, especially strawberries around here. After having just-picked ripe strawberries from the grower in season, I can't look at those pallid excuses for fruit and consider eating or serving them.

Edna, my belle-mère, can't have chocolate (migraine trigger), nuts, or seeds (digestive irritant), nor alcohol, anything carbonated, or caffeine, due to GI irritation. I'd love gianduia desserts, but nuts & chocolate, nope. Poppyseed cake I adore, but seeds. There are a few other things, not tied to celebration foods, that she doesn't enjoy--or don't enjoy her--any more, and it's annoying to all of us: her, for obvious reasons, and us, for food planning issues. We wish she didn't have these issues, because we'd like to see her enjoying meals.

So her son got a Double Raspberry (more raspberries) White Chocolate frosted white genoise cake. Just barely half remains. Pretty tasty.

Everybody, even me--and I cleaned up after myself without any fuss--enjoyed dinner. My son told me twice! I used herbes he doesn't much care for as top notes, but in a blend, it didn't trigger an "ick" from him. I don't cook daily dinners, because how I ate before hooking up with my dh, is nothing like what his mother cooks--not so much of the cream sauces, sauces based on commercial mayonnaise, more grilling/baking/broiling than they prefer. I love broiled chicken: they prefer it in a creamy sauce or fried. I really don't enjoy fried foods much, and in the last six months or so, if given my druthers, it's fish & seafood, with lamb (and never enough duck!), other red meats, and turkey coming in dead last. I like bacon as a seasoning, but only manage 2 strips, if that, at any meal. An onion ring once a year is my speed, and good bread over potatoes most days.

Two notes:
If you are buying frozen broccoli, unless you like the stalks that much, get the bag that says "florets", not "cuts", 'spears", or "chopped". You'll be getting more "tree" and less of the "leaves" of that broccoli forest. I can depend on Trader Joe's to give me more of the floret part, whether frozen or ready to steam--I've given up on national & most store brands.

"Remove from sauce":  I was once trying to teach a guy how to make beef stroganoff. We had browned the beef and mushrooms and it was a smelling yummy. He read, in the mid-70's edition of Joy of Cooking: remove from sauce. He started pouring the sauce down the sink....I don't think he really paid much attention to food that he ate.

I like flavor. You'd never guess, right?

Thanks for the birthday offerings!


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