Monday, October 29, 2012

Some things make me smile

Putting his 14 teeth to good use

Little Black Boots

 After purchasing five pairs of nearly identical black mary janes with a heel on-line (you might ask why someone with hard to fit feet would purchase shoes on-line, but then you might not fully fathom how very few size 11 narrow shoes one can find in a small town in rural Oklahoma), I ended up taking a pair of black suede ankle boots I've owned for years with me to New York.  My taller black boots with heels would have looked better, but then I would have had no room to bring home the jar of granola from Eleven Madison Park in my carry-on luggage.
Purple socks and steel grey tights with just a bit of shimmer
 I wore my flow-y bias cut dress to the opera and loved it.  If I looked terribly 1999 I didn't know it because 1) I don't exactly recall this sort of dress ever being really in and 2) it was the opera in New York City.  The opera is full of rich people, artsy-types and tourists; if they could agree as to what is in style, they certainly all wouldn't want to wear it.  After trying on several wrap and jacket options, I went with the terribly expensive piece of two-toned silk I bought to wear with this dress years ago.  Definitely not following any trend, but it makes me feel opulent.  The Mister looked dashing on the quintessential autumn evening.
Yes, that is Curious George tie.
 The next day I wore black pants, a drape-y gray top and black lace-ups to the four hour lunch. I wore a long black skirt and a black silk top to the theater, while the Mister lost the tie, but looked largely the same.
"Enough about what you wore, what did you see?"  you may be thinking.  Well, we saw Carmen at the Metropolitan Opera House at Lincoln Center, which was fabulous (and I only fell asleep for a little while in the third act).  The puppet show was War Horse, which was also fabulous, and the puppetry really amazing.  The skill it takes for three (completely visible) people to work together to so convincingly animate a horse puppet is quite something to behold.  And we saw the prairie turnips at the American Museum of Natural History, of course.

Major tourist site checked off!

 As to what we ate, well I will leave you in a cloud of suspense until I have time to blog again.

Friday, October 26, 2012

For Goodness Snakes

This is not going to be one of those blogs inundating you with the cute things my kids say.  (How could it be?  At once a week, it could never be inundation.)  I even resisted summer 2011 when Dianthus, fascinated by trucks and having a hard time with first syllables and consonant blends, shouted "-UCK" every time he saw a truck.  Firetrucks were especially amusing (Fer-UCK!) and the one time he ran to the window shouting "Mu-her frUCK" I was baffled until I saw the trucks with the lawn mowers parked across the street.
But this week, at dinner, he's been determined, with an exasperated sigh, to chastise us repeatedly, "For goodness snakes, Mommy,"  and I find it even more worth sharing than, "Dora's fascist."

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Good Enough for Centennial in 1989, Good Enough for NYC

So the Mister and I are headed to NYC next week to eat and attend the opera and a puppet show in celebration of his birthday.  After lots of reading message boards and asking for advice on Chowhounds, (and spending a long time on hold exactly 28 days in advance) we have reservations at Eleven Madison Park for lunch on Friday and reservations at a newly re-opened Picholine for great cheese (and more) before seeing Carmen at the Metropolitan Opera on Thursday and I have a pretty good idea of how were going to fill our time.
Now I need to figure out what to wear.
We're only going to be there 50 hours, so we're carrying on our luggage.  I need to wear comfortable shoes; we'll be walking and taking public transportation.  The Mister will probably wear a jacket on the plane.

But what am I wearing?  Advise please!  There is some temptation to just wear black pants the whole time and be done with it, except that it's the opera at the Met.  I'm thinking Cher in Moonstruck.  I want a dress.  And while The Mister fondly looks at me as we trade food at what will certainly be the first, and may likely be the only, 3 star Michelin lunch of our lives, I want to look seductive and beautiful, but not in the opera-going-dress way, and in a way that involves footwear in-which I can whisk through an art museum.

Suggestions?  What would you take?  How many pairs of shoes do you travel with?

By the way, I'm not buying anything new for this trip, so things must be found in my closet.  One thought was a turquise rayon trapeze shirt with giant buttons which looks fabulous on me, and could go with my long straight black skirt, my swishy knee-length black skirt or black pants.  As it happens, I took out the shoulder pads and 1989 is so long ago that nobody thinks that I really wore it on my first date with my college boyfriend.

Sunday Sundae

Is this weekend.  Let me know if you'll be in Western Oklahoma and I'll reserve a banana split glass for you.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Why My Sweet Acidic Pie is Better than Yours*

The Mister turned 40 last week and, having no baking time to attempt a Lord Baltimore follow up to last year's Lady Baltimore Cake (pictured here), I baked him a key lime pie.
The Mister's parents were in town to enjoy the key lime pie with us and MiL commented that I bake a really good key lime pie.
I do.  (False modesty is not my thing).
Which started me wondering, "Why is my key lime pie better than many others, when I follow the very basic egg yolks, lime juice, sweetened condensed milk in a graham cracker crust recipe?"
Since this is acid year and since we did not go into "the city" for ceviche as planned, so I can't write about that, I'll share my key lime thoughts here.
  1.  I don't add anything to lighten or stabilize. Key lime pie is not chiffon pie.
  2. I squeeze real limes (and, in this case, 14 itty-bitty key limes)
  3. I don't add anything to make it green.  Key Lime pie should be a pale yellow.
  4. This year I used good local eggs.
  5. I make my own graham cracker crust and use real butter in it.
  6. I pay close attention to the directions and whip the yolks until the color change happens before adding other ingredients.
  7. I whip cream for the topping and let eaters choose how much they want to add (although my whipped cream needed a bit more sugar and vanilla this year-- I experimented with a little coconut rum in the whipped cream and the result was inferior to the classic).
Hmm, maybe there is something to that mantra from the cooking shows I watch:  simple recipes require good ingredients and attention to detail.
And acid balances sweet and crunchy balances creamy.

*Probably not yours, because you probably don't make key lime pie or you follow the same recipe that I do.  But mine is definitely better than somebody's is.