December 5th, 2007

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new ways of eating -

Kim Severson in an article in the NY Times today asks:  Is the Entree Headed for Extinction?    It seems people find a steak or breast of chicken too much of a good thing.   She says:

Kim Severson:

    Why is the entree in danger of becoming the California condor of the menu?

    One theory is that people like to customize their worlds. Personalized playlists on iPods have replaced albums. TiVo has replaced channel surfing. In this quick-cut, video-on-demand universe, the entree is Walter Cronkite.

    “As a diner, the idea of me chewing 17 bites of one thing and another 17 bites of another is absolutely boring, and not how I want to eat,” said the chef Mario Batalli.   “At the lower end, people are looking for options.” Two of his New York restaurants, Otto and Casa Mono, have no main courses at all.

    Andrew Freeman, a restaurant consultant based in San Francisco, said customers who see a new ingredient on a food show or a blog want to try it without committing to an entire plateful.



I must admit that yesterday I dined on two lunches out, so being able to feast on salads rather than entrees allowed that.  Even so, I brought the second salad home for dinner.  I was already scheduled for an early lunch, and then, Frieda, Chris's fiancee emailed and said she had the day off and could we meet for lunch, so we did meet at 2, and we enjoyed sharing champagne and talk so much that it was the rest of the afternoon until the night.  She has found her dress for the wedding, which is exquisite and perfect for her and the location, so we toasted that and we toasted their engagement and all the steps of it and it was lovely and a great treat, so perhaps that is why the entree is disappearing.  We feast in a variety of bites.

She asked if I wanted to have my hair and make-up done, too, the day of the wedding.  She thinks it will be fun if her mother and I also are decorative and pampered and she said when she bought the dress, they handed her champagne in a can with a straw.  She is thinking that we can drink champagne while we get ready for the wedding.  That does sound fun.   Times have changed, and I see that the feasting goes on and on.  This wedding will begin for us on Thursday, July 3rd with the rehearsal dinner, and end on Sunday with a brunch.  They are planning a barbecue for Friday, the fourth of July, and then, the wedding late in the afternoon on the fifth.  It will be days of feasting, and, so, of course, I see the need for many small bites.

May our days be rich in new tastes, allowing each of us to imbibe and consider new ways.






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Unwrapping our gifts, the joy in our hearts.

Many grumble about the commercialization of Christmas.  There is an article in the Wall Street Journal by Gwendolyn Bounds on decking the halls and walls of stores.  I had no idea all that is involved and will appreciate holiday decorations in a whole new way after reading the article.  For one thing have you ever wondered how many elves it takes to transfer a store from plain to holiday in a night? 

At Tiffany's on Fifth Avenue, fourteen people, ten ladders and a crane worked two nights from dusk to dawn to decorate with 33,900 white lights and hundreds of blinking strobes packed in custom injection molded pine garlands.    Cartier is "wrapped in 14,000 linear feet of garland and proclaims "Happy Holiday" in 30 languages across its facade.  At the Time Warner Center overlooking Manhattan's Columbus Circle, 1000-pound LED-lit stars hang from the entranceway."   Macy's flagship store "sports enough red ribbon to stretch the length of 70 football fields."

I read all this and feel excitement course through my veins like Rudolph and the other reindeer flying through the sky on Christmas Eve.  I love the holidays, and every single day of December, and all other eleven months too.

Yesterday when Frieda asked me if I would like to have make-up and hair done for the wedding, I enthusiastically said "Yes."  The old me would have thought it was a ridiculous waste of time and money, but I realize I have changed since chemotherapy and since hearing about Mitchell's life.  Mitchell would be outside at 4:00 AM waiting for the stores to open the day after Thanksgiving.  One can and should live consciously and there is a place to bubble in joy.  Mitchell loved Costco and the displays of proffered goodies.    His favorite food was "buffet."  He ingested life fully, and gave back with his smiles.   

I see how important it is that we each find and nourish the balance that stimulates, satisfies, and soothes us, that gives to us and, in that,  to others.   What is better than a smile?

Adam Louie's speech is posted on their blog, the words that he shared on Saturday night at the celebration of his twin brother Mitchell's life.  It feels too personal to share, and yet, I feel a need to offer some of his words.  It probably seems an odd juxtaposition, the words of Mitchell through Adam, and Holiday garlands and lights, and yet, I feel the tie that binds our hearts in the celebration of love, peace, and joy.  There we rise in kindness, hold hands and hearts, and connect in seeding our dreams. 

I give you the last paragraph of his speech.

The words of Adam Louie as given on December 1st, 2007 in memory and celebration of his brother Mitchell.

In the summer time every night mom, dad, Mitchell and I, would sit down after a long day and just talk about old times. One night we decided that Mitchell should all give us words to hold onto, words to relate to, and words to live by. More like lessons or advice. I’ll share the advice that Mitchell gave to me and what they mean. The first bit of advice he said was, “BE MINDFUL OF OTHERS.” To me this means to be respectful to others that are around you, to think of other before your self, and to be careful on what you wish upon others. The second piece of advice was to, “EXPAND YOUR HORIZONS.” Which mean to open up your mind and try things you wouldn’t normally do, to look beyond your imagination, to not think about what has already happened but think about what you can do differently next time it happens, and to make choices and decisions that could change your life forever. The next advice he told me was, “GIVE YOUR SELF A CHANCE.” You can’t be too hard on your self, you have to work hard for what you want and what you believe in, you have to know you can do it for it to come true, and it’s ok to get your self a rest now and then. The last piece of advice I learned from Mitchell would be to, “OPEN YOUR EYES.” You have to see what’s in front of you and become brave enough to face it, you have to overcome your fears and fight for what you believe in, and you have to open your eyes to see how many people truly love you. Mitchell’s always looking after us, so always remember he will be in your heart forever. Thank You all for coming to celebrate the life of Mitchell Louie, and I hope I’ve touch your hearts as Mitchell has touched all our hearts. THANK YOU

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Each of us has our way -

I tried Christmas shopping today and realized it doesn't work so well for me, so I went out to the beach at Tennessee Valley.  It is cloaked in fog, and the rocks looks like jade and gold.  I saw a bunny and many quail.  It was the perfect way for me to unwrap the present I am.

May, you, too, find what unbinds your ribbons and lights the cracks.
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Madama Butterfly!!

I saw Madame Butterfly tonight with two friends and an opera house full of people.  It was magnificent.

One friend though was not happy with the behavior of anyone in the opera.  I have suggested she rewrite it and create a modern version, Ms. Butterfly.

Women's options have been limited throughout history and this opera is a good example of that.  She does the honorable thing as she sees it, and it is certainly not a "happy ending" by our standards, and it was beautifully done.

It is thrilling to be in the opera house at night, looking across at the well-lit symphony hall.  It was an active night in the city and I am well-ready for bed.