Sunday, April 17, 2016

Sunday Post (and other things--Music and Cookbook Countdown #87 and weekend cooking)

This is my Sunday Post #9
The Sunday Post is a meme hosted by Kimba at Caffeinated Book Reviewer.
I am not consistent.
My last Sunday Post was on February 21st.
It's not that I don't mean to join in---I'm going to blame it on--I give up, I can't think of anything to blame it on.  I mean I'm not any more busy than the rest of y'all.
WHICH brings me to this:  The term y'all is making it's way west!  I'm hearing it more and more.
Maybe because my daughter-in-law is from Virginia?  And she uses it all the time--it's the only concession to her southern upbringing in her speech, as she doesn't have a drawl at all.
So, anyway, I was going to write "you guys" instead of "y'all" but...
....I'm meandering.  Yes. It's what I do.
I don't know how to start....
I have not been blogging much and it's hard to get started again.
What have I been reading?  What have I been doing? What have I been cooking?
Before I get to meandering off again....
only 1 thing on the  blog this past week:
That's the only bookish post/link I have in this bookish meme.
So if books are all you are about---sorry.
Off the blog?
Work is crazy-- 2 big events coming up next weekend.  Who the hell plans 2 events on one weekend?  2 different committees who didn't communicate?  Yes!  At least they are at different times and won't overlap.  It just makes it crazy for me.
Letters-- Yes, I've been writing them, because I love to.  I love getting them too. I can get  a little wordy and crazy, but whatever (that happens to be the most annoying word/phrase in the world, but ?? )
TV-- I don't watch a lot, but I just started watching THE PATH, which is a HULU original series, about a mainstream cult.  Cults intrigue me.  The show I find strangely addicting. To me.  But unlike Netflix, who dumps their whole season at once so you can binge watch, HULU puts up one show a week, so I HAVE TO WAIT!
Music-- I've been making my way thru my parents extensive record album collection.  I just wanted to listen before I gave them away, passed them on to a record store or whatever.  But there are seriously hundreds of albums.  And then when I add in what the Handyman own and what I own (from our teenage years), that's a lot of listening.  Some of it GREAT old music.  Some not so much.
I have found I love old album covers.  Look at these couples!
Conway is dead.  Love did not keep the Captain and Tenille Together, but Herb?  He's still alive and well. And yes, that's him on his cover.  (I am showing my age, but does anyone remember his Whipped cream album? Racy for the times!! )

And then I came across this set of albums, which I had forgotten I owned.  Remember the Top 40 Countdown with Casey Kasem?  Before computers, etc they used to be sent to radio stations on vinyl (complete with commercials) to be played on Saturday mornings.   My friend Laura gave me these series of albums from the week of March 29th, 1986.  Laura's family owned the radio station in the little town we lived in.
It was fun to revisit, but there certainly are a lot of songs in the bottom of the countdown that didn't make it.  Like some really bad songs I had to suffer thru.
And the NUMBER ONE HIT for the week of March 29th, 1986? (in case you're wondering)
Rock me Amadeus by Falco. (okay, so the number one song was really bad too)

 Because I'm using this post to catch up on things, I am going to leave you with some updates on my cooking club.  And end with a bunch of photos from it.
  So you can leave now if you want...
First, I just was given the best compliment by my friends--and it was behind my back!!
Some of my friends and I are  struggling with  getting a bit older, health issues or just staying healthy as we age,  aging/dying parents, adult children in crisis, and other life issues, but also at the same time knowing and feeling that this is the BEST TIME EVER in our marriages and friendships and family.
It's hard to explain.
 I guess Robert Browning said it  "Grow Old along with me, the best is yet to be"
Although, None of us want to be THOSE old people -- those cranky old people who yearn for the past and say  "what is this world coming to?"
(our parents and grandparents said it, and guess what?  Everything will be fine people--it always is)
So we don't want to turn into those old people....curmudgeons!
We refuse!
We like to dance with our grandkids, hike mountains, run marathons (well, maybe 10ks?) start new businesses!
FIRST OF ALL THO, let me make this clear---WE ARE not OLD.
It's just that it's on the horizon and we can see it---so it's
DAMN IT!  I always meander....
What was I saying?
Oh, my compliment.  Because we are 'middle aged' (OMG!!! WHATEVER)
We do have to deal with some life facts.  In 2014, I lost both my parents.  My dad in a tragic death and my mom to Alzheimer's.
We all have to deal with our own stuff--no one gets out  of life without it,  right?
We all have our issues to deal with--stuff we're going thru.
But---and I'm getting to the compliment part---in talking behind my back about their problems, two of my friends said  "Look at Debbie. She had that awful year and what did she do?  She started a Cooking Club!"
They thought that was really admirable, so
I am happy they think that nicely of me, but I find it funny too... why wouldn't anyone have a cooking club?
Food, Friends, Cocktails?
What's not to love?
(I'm sharing that story tho, because it made me love them all the more)
I have two Cooking Clubs to post about
One themed  FAMOUS CHEFS
I'm just going to add a bunch of photos of them, but first,  I did use another of my cookbooks for my countdown:
The Essential James Beard Cookbook
450 recipes that shaped the tradition of American cooking.
He was my Chef for the Famous Chef's cooking club night. 
I had the side dish and I made 2x baked potatoes.  And I only remembered to take this picture of them:
They were good tho!  You can't go wrong with a 2x baked potato!

Stuffed Baked Potatoes
James Beard’s American Cookery
4 baked potatoes
4 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons grated Cheddar or Gruyere cheese
2 tablespoons cream
Grated Parmesan Cheese
Cut the baked potatoes in half and scoop out the meat into a hot bowl. Blend well with the seasonings, cheese, and cream. Heap into the potato shells, dot with butter, and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Return to the oven and bake at 375 degrees until nicely browned – about 15 minutes. Serve with any roast or grilled food. Rich as they are, they also need the company of a sharp salad.
And our famous Chefs?
Main Dish--Gina-- Beef Bourgeon by Anne Burrell and the Barefoot Contessa 
(She combined and made it her own)
It was SO GOOD!!
She served Moscow Mules as her cocktail.
Hostesses have to have a signature cocktail too.
She sets a pretty table too!
The girls (Ladies? Women?) as we wait, drinking Moscow Mules and having....

....this appetizer by Julia Child (and Debbie E, who is on the right in the picture above)
Blue Cheese balls.  And grapes.

The guys are waiting too!
Old?  Middle aged? 
We still see the as they were when we first met them.
(as they do us--THANK GOODNESS--we've all been together since high school or college.  When I see the Handyman in my mind, he has dark hair.  But LOOK, it's white. Huh, imagine that. Mine is still brown.)
(HM is on the right)

 Sally's Chef was Alice Waters, and she made a salad with homemade Green Goddess dressing.

 April made 2 desserts from 2 different Chefs.
Banana Pudding from Paula Dean
and then....
.....Red Velvet cake from (sigh) Duncan Hines.
(she's funny)

Ta Da! 
Let's Eat!

If you haven't left already, I'm impressed!
Now for Cooking Club--Meatball Madness! (or something round)
I was the Hostess this time.
I thought about spaghetti and meatballs OR Swedish meatballs but I was kind of feeing VERY casual, so I went with hamburgers.  Yes, it is the ultimate big meatball--smashed course.
I just had a hamburger bar.
And a ROUND of cocktails for everybody.
Then, I had secretly gathered everyone's birthdates, anniversaries and wedding songs, and we played "name that tune' in a weird way.
I played clips of everyone's songs (#1 on the day they were born, the day they were married, etc)  and we had to guess whose they were.
I think everyone had fun.
I had the main dish --hamburger bar (bacon and ham, some green chilies and jalapenos,   blue cheese crumble sauce, pineapple and teriyaki sauce--and then your basics, lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles etc.)
Sally had the most amazing appetizers!  Cheesy bread in a round sourdough loaf and some Brussels sprouts with pancetta. (OMG YUM!)
Debbie E brought a pea salad
April brought some new round red potatoes for a side
and Gina made a round cake for dessert.
* we had bacon in almost everything this time--salad and potatoes and appetizer!
Yay bacon!
Poor Sally had given up sweets for Lent, so she had some round slices of fruit for dessert.

This is the closest I came to taking a picture of my hamburger.
(and we are  Seahawk fans, as you can tell)

I used a recipe for the basic buger---sour cream onion burgers--it has dry onion soup and sour cream in it, and makes the burgers so moist!
This was before they went on the grill.

Sally's appetizers!
To Die for!  (and I don't say that often)
I guess you have to actually like Brussel sprouts,
Cheesy bread tho? Who can resist?

 And our meal was rounded out with  round potatoes and pea salad.

Finishing touch?
Chocolate Cake with Ganache. 
I used my glass plates which was kind of weird.
Everything looks like it is just right on the table.


Finally, yes, I'm done!
Caught up with Cooking Club.
Next month's theme?
Breakfast for dinner.
Cooking Club is the best!
Next week I have 3 book clubs all in the same week!
I'm so excited!!
I have 2 books to read-I better get busy.
Weekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book reviews (novel, nonfiction), cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, photographs, restaurant reviews, travel information, or fun food facts!



Wooly Cakes and Wooden Spoons said...

My gosh, what a feast! I love how you have your friends to decompress while oinking out and hittin' that bottoms up. Glad you had this fun with all the craziness going on. I hate it too when events are crammed together like dominos.

Beth F said...

Fun to get a look at those albums!

You guys definitely know how to throw a dinner party. Wow. Everything from drinks to dessert looks pretty darn good.

I had to laugh about the glass plates. We have a set of glass dishes, and I never thought about how funny they'd look in a photograph. Still, I like to use them.

bermudaonion said...

I well remember the Whipped Cream album - we played it a lot when I was growing up. I had no idea radio stations played records like that!!

By the way, we sell a lot of ginger beer for Moscow Mules.

(Diane) bookchickdi said...

Your cooking club looks like so much fun, and I love Name That Tune.

Tina said...

What a fun time! You have a great group of friends and I can tell you all have a blast together. Wonderful food, my mouth is watering.
Love the old albums. We still have quite a collection and buy albums at garage sales when we come across them. Doug and I listen to music about 6 nights a week as we don't have tv feed or access to streaming Internet. That's cool, it allows me to read more!

Karen said...

I read every word... and *loved* it! Fun times!

Literary Feline said...

Consistent blog posting is overrated. That's my story anyway, and I'm sticking to it. :-)

I use "ya'll" quite often and have for years. Although I probably use "You guys" more . . . Lately at work, we've been going around and seeing how everyone pronounces different words to see if where we vary. It's quite interesting.

Good luck with the big event this weekend! I hope it goes well. I have a crazy week at work next week. Trainings and meetings, and a conference mixed in with the regular work. I will be glad when it's over.

Thank you for the card, by the way!

I still have several vinyl albums. Mostly from the 1980's. How cool is that that you have the vinyls they sent to the radio stations! That is so cool!

You make me wish I liked cooking so I could join your cooking club. I hate cooking though. I could still hang out with all of you though, right? ;-) Especially if I can have some of that chocolate cake.

I hope you have a wonderful week!

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