Share Your World

What do you consider is the most perfect food for you? (It can be your favorite food to something extremely healthy.)

I am gluten intolerant and stopped eating sugar for health reasons. No carbs, no sugar, what’s perfect?  My favorite go to meal is a salad with strawberries and almonds in it topped with a piece of grilled salmon.

Are you focused on today or tomorrow?

Both. I’m always looking ahead, I wouldn’t say focused, but planning ahead in terms of appointments and if something special is coming up. As I am getting older I do find I am thinking more about the tomorrows- and the lack of any guarantee of them-especially since friends have died suddenly and have lost their tomorrows, bringing it to the forefront of my mind.

If you could interview one of your great-great-great grandparents, who would it be (if you know their name) and what would you ask?

My maternal great grandmother was a seamstress and pattern maker. We do not know who came before her, it was said she was an orphan, so I would be interested in meeting her to find out. She died at the age of 54 from undiagnosed and untreated diabetes.

What inspired you or what did you appreciate this past week?  Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination.

I appreciated being off from school and seeing the sunrise instead of missing it because I needed to rush to get ready.

Share Your World

 

Share Your World

What is the most incredible natural venue that you’ve ever seen in person?

Nothing immediately came to mind when I read this question. On a trip to New Hampshire I was in awe of the mountains and waterfalls, in California the giant redwoods in Muir Woods, the ocean as the sun rises over it, which has moved me to tears at times.DSCN6381

How many siblings do you have? What’s your birth order? 

I am the oldest of 4 children. My brother came next and then two sisters. My brother died two years ago, I wrote about him here

 If you were a shoe, what kind would you be and why?

A flat shoe with some sparkle.shoeWhy? Because flat makes it comfortable and as I always say, I was built for comfort- I am not a “roughing it” kind of girl. Sparkly because I like to keep life interesting by trying new things and changing things up which add sparkle to life.

What is the strangest/weirdest thing you have ever eaten?

I am not an adventurous eater. I grew up being taught to try something once and then you can say you don’t like it, but you can’t just turn your nose up to something because of the way it looks or smells. I tried sweet breads as a child without being told what they were and liked them, but then found out what they were and was pretty turned off.

Share Your Worldshare-your-world2

Food and Friends

Daily Prompt: What’s the most elaborate, complicated meal you’ve ever cooked? Was it a triumph for the ages, or a colossal fiasco? Give us the behind-the-scenes story (pictures are welcome, of course).

It is a custom in the Jewish religion to make a “party” each night for seven nights after a couple gets married. A few years ago close friends of mine married off their son and I volunteered to make one of these parties. It was not the first time I had undertaken doing so, but it was the first time I decided to go it alone without the help of others. I found it easier to be in control of what to make, how to make it and how to set up the tables. In the past when I collaborated with two or three other women it seemed to take forever to decide on a menu, who would cook what, and one time one of the women actually forgot to make something she was supposed to.

I planned a three course meal, starting with cold poached salmon. Of course I had to serve it with dill dressing on the side, and decided to make individual servings for each plate. I cut a cucumber into thick slices, hollowed each out and put the dill dressing inside. To say this was time consuming is an understatement. But it was worth the effort. I served a shredded red cabbage and carrot salad with craisins and cole slaw with this course too.

salmon

The meal consisted of two types of chicken, ratatouille, individual mini spinach pies, acorn squash stuffed with sweet potato and pecans, two tossed salads, one sweet with strawberries and mangoes, the other with avocado and tomatoes.

tableFor dessert I made mini bundt Amaretto cakes dusted with powdered sugar and fresh blueberries, accompanied by a fruit platter.

dessert

At the end of the evening, after all the guests had left I was exhausted, but in a good way. It felt great to have brought together so many friends under my roof, and to have provided a meal. I also felt a real sense of accomplishment at managing to pull off cooking for 28 people by myself. Food and friends- what a great combination!

WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge-Cover Art

The photo challenge asks: which of your images you would like to see gracing the cover of a favorite book, music album, or magazine.

Many years ago I started compiling family recipes and photos of family gatherings and old handwritten recipes with the idea I would crate a cookbook to be shared with my family. As many of my projects begin with he best intentions, they never actually come to fruition. Such was the case with my self-published cookbook. I was gung ho at the beginning, typing up many recipes, writing copy, getting photos together of the faces that went with the recipes, scanning in photos from Thanksgivings gone by. My folder grew and grew but then lay forgotten, until I saw the Weekly Photo Challenge prompt and remembered my idea of long ago. It is almost ten years since I had this idea, and I have forgotten what I intended to call my book. I do remember I wanted to use a set table for the cover, as the collection of recipes would also be a recollection of the family gatherings over the years, a family history with recipes to go along. Now that my memory has been jogged I may set upon it again, though I question how many family members really might be interested in it. I am always trying to capture some glimpse of the past, of the memories I have, but are not necessarily shared by others. It is the nostalgic part of me, the person who likes to look back and remember. To share the proof that those times and people existed. Maybe I will just do it for myself.

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Nothing Tastes As Good As Thin Feels

My brother in law has had a lifetime of struggling with his weight. His mother was a large woman always on a diet. She liked to eat. She liked food. She never wasted food, having fled Nazi Germany and struggling when she came to America in 1938, there was no wasting the food her husband worked hard to put on the table. My husband was also chubby as a child- when he would shop for clothes they referred to him as “husky.” I guess that was less insulting than being called chubby or fat. His weight reached an all time high when he was in college and he realized he needed to get control and really slimmed down. I do think he, like his brother, is overly obsessed with how thin people are, who is overweight and who is not. I am always amazed when watching a movie or meeting someone new the first thing he will comment on to me is how thin or heavy they are. It doesn’t even enter my mind. I can only imagine growing up in a house where there was such import surrounding eating and food it distorted both my husband’s and his brothers ability to have a healthy outlook about it.

My brother in law at one point in his life lost over 100 pounds. I was working for him at the time and the big joke when people would comment on his weight loss was that he lost all of me. He accrued a massive collection of ties because they never change size like most of the clothes in his closet over the years. He became a lifetime member of Weight Watchers and received an award for maintaining his weight loss for over a year. Not an easy feat, and as the years went by he maintained but gained and lost here and there. My brother in law is over 6 feet tall so gaining 15 pounds barely shows up on him. Stresses in life are any easy lead in to snacking, filling up the space where the stress resides. There is always that hunger for a taste of that fabulous dessert someone is serving, and slowly the pounds creep on. He began having health issues (unrelated to his weight) but his doctor insisted he drop a few pounds. So his attention to everything he put in his mouth began anew.

I saw him last week and he looks very trim, almost too thin. The older one gets and the thinner they are, the skin loses some of its elasticity. My girlfriends and I always say, “It’s your figure or your face.” Too thin can make a person of a “certain age” look gaunt and wrinkled, a little fat in the cheeks plumps up all those wrinkles hiding them. Naturally our conversation turned to eating, and he said to me, “Nothing tastes as good as thin feels.” He said he keeps that in mind before putting some forbidden treat in his mouth. He likes feeling trim and fit. That piece of cake (or in his case pieces as once he gets started he doesn’t stop at one) is just not worth it.

Each of us has our own achilles heel, something we struggle with, a challenge that may cause us to fail. Recognizing it and meeting it head on can often be the solution. My brother in law’s mantra of “nothing tastes as good as thin feels” is his reminder to think about what he eats before he eats it, and that he likes the closet full of clothes he has now-even better than the tie collection.

Weekly Word Challenge: Food

Suzie81s weekly word challenge this week is FOOD

I have wanted to put together a Family Cookbook with all of my favorite family recipes for some time now. I have copied over many recipes into word documents, found old family photos of various gatherings, and even found some of the original recipes that belonged to my mother and mother in law. I have still not found the time to actually put them into a book, but do hope to at some point.

I love to cook, though most of the things I cook are uncomplicated. Too many steps removes the creative element of cooking I so enjoy. Sometimes I just make things up as I go along, knowing that certain vegetables will go well with others. I am  fussy about presentation- the food on the plate has to be arranged nicely, and there is nothing like a garnish to finish it off!

I used to bake a lot, but after I was diagnosed with gluten intolerance I don’t bake so much anymore. I made these mini amaretto cakes with blueberries for a large party and was pleased with how they came out.

dessert

This is the recipe my father used when he made Pecan Pie

pecanp

 This is my mother in laws recipe for Nut Torte

written in German/English

erna recipe

I love the measurements

“2 handfuls chocolate bits, 1 glass sugar. “

 

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