C I V I L    M A R R I A G E    I S    A    C I V I L    R I G H T.

A N D N O W I T ' S T H E L A W O F T H E L A N D.


Sunday, September 29, 2019

Sunday Drive: Boccherini, Minuetto

Just the thing for a calm, contented Sunday afternoon.




Saturday, September 28, 2019

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

The Pork Boys Do the Autumnal Equinox

Rainbow plates, rainbow napkins, rainbow-striped candle holders, and a new rainbowesque table runner that I gave M.P. for his recent birthday.  
Now, can you guess what our default dinner theme is?

Actually, it was just a regular, though extra-scrumptious, Sunday dinner for us - we didn't realize it was the autumnal equinox until we were on the dessert course.

As is our weekly custom, I cooked a little dinner on Saturday night, and M.P. cooked a big dinner on Sunday, far more than the two of us could eat - however, he takes leftovers from the weekend for his work lunch the other five days, and I nibble on them too, so it mostly all gets eaten, eventually.

As is also our custom, we sat down to dinner about midnight, and rose from the table about three hours later.  M.P. always does a bang-up job of cookery, but this week he turned out a memorably toothsome feast, so good that I wanted to share it with my truckbuddies.  In the picture below of my plate, starting at the 6 o'clock position, you will see:
  • Aloha Pork - boneless pork ribs and pineapple slices slow-cooked with Ro-tel and other seasonings in a homemade pineapple barbecue sauce.  Boy howdy, talk about good!
  • Fried Red Tomatoes - the grocer had no green ones on hand, alas, but we happily discovered that red ones, blanched, peeled, and battered, are a scrumptious substitute.  Do try this at home, with some ranch dip on the side.  Luscious.
  • Creamed Spinach - the classic recipe, amplified with Swiss cheese and bechamel sauce.  If only our mothers had known how to make spinach taste this good when we were kids, we would have gobbled it up.
  • Candied Yams - out of a can, always delightful with any kind of pork; M.P. added butter and a pinch of this 'n' that for extra yammy goodness.
  • Cheese Grits - sadly unknown in my childhood, this creamy-cheesy delight has become a staple of modern Southern cuisine, and rightly so.
  • 7-Up Biscuits - M.P. happened to come across this unusual recipe and decided to give it a try.  We were glad he did.  They refused to brown, but OMG what a light, delicious treat - we also dubbed them "bis-cakes," for their snow-white, foamy texture and yumminess.  Also perfect for making sausage biscuits at breakfast time - they don't crumble when you bite into them.
  • Dutch Apple Pie - M.P. has a humdinger of a recipe for this classic treat, with a real wow of sweet, spicy apple flavor.  Topped with streusel, not strudel, as M. le Chef was quick to inform me - yes, there is a difference.  Luxurious when served warm with vanilla ice cream topped with caramel sauce.
Of course, we had our usual White Zin to wash it all down.  We drink the wine strictly for its medicinal property, of course - aids the digestion.  Well, it's a scientific fact, as everyone knows.  You can look it up.

And that's all there is to this little story of gustatory delight.  It more than compensates for the lack of other pastimes and pleasures in this old man's life.  I tell you what.  I hope all my truckbuddies have some such compensation, of whatever kind, as need may be.



P. S., 9/27/19 -- I am so embarrassed. It was of course the autumnal, not the vernal equinox. I have made the necessary corrections here, and will now go strap an unabridged dictionary to my head as penance.


Sunday, September 22, 2019

Sunday Drive: Liszt, Liebestraum

As performed by pianist Lang Lang at Carnegie Hall Hall in 2003:




Friday, September 20, 2019

Friday, September 13, 2019

Sunday, September 8, 2019

Sunday Drive: Delicado

This delightful tune, a favorite of your Head Trucker's, was a chart-topper for Percy Faith and his Orchestra in 1952.




Friday, September 6, 2019

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

"How was your month, Dear?"

The very exclusive beach at Marbella beside the blue Mediterranean, 
playground of the rich and famous.

A guest post by my truckbuddy Tim from England, now resident in Spain, where he spends his golden years lolling about on the Costa del Sol, counting the mega-yachts in the harbor, and sipping champagne with oil sheiks and oligarchs:


"How was your month, Dear?"

You probably haven't noticed, but I've been absent from the pages of the Blue Truck for some time this year, but I do have a good excuse:  several, in fact.

We all know the old gag - a man comes home from work to find his wife frazzled and drinking, and he asks, unthinkingly, "How was your day, Dear?" Well, for 2019 I've dispensed with having days. I'm having months.

Just since late spring, I've had three bouts of surgery, two of them for prostate cancer. And to put the icing on the cake, my beloved Labrador, Lulu, died at the end of June. I'm not seeking sympathy here, rather I'm trying to make light of life and all the terrible trials and tribulations it throws at you from time to time. Putting it all down on paper seems to help. I don't know how exactly, but I've found it to be a form of closure. A means of bringing order to the chaos perhaps? Sometimes in life, if you don't laugh, you'll cry. And laughter, as the old saying goes, is the best medicine. And so, for me, is writing.

This tale also helps to debunk the mythical notion held by my Editor; namely that my retired life here in Spain is some sort of hedonistic paradise, akin to living in Palm Springs, say, or Palm Beach. Sure, there are some nice meals, sunshine and blue skies, but there's tears and tantrums too. Whatever our own personal desires, Life marches blithely on . . . and on. But there's always hope. If you're patient, and you keep faith, there will be light at the end of any tunnel. Just don't expect Life to give you an easy ride along the way!

So, how was my month? Read on.

Continued after the jump . . .

Sunday, September 1, 2019

Sunday Drive: Time Is Tight

Time flows on endlessly like a mighty river, and we small, frangible human beings mostly find ourselves drifting with the current, sometimes languorously over a broad stretch of placid water, and other times dashing and crashing through fearsome rapids that lead to who knows what on the other side.  All we can be sure of is that if we survive the rocks and shocks, we shall certainly be changed, for good or ill.

How short a span does fifty years seem in retrospect!  One can almost turn around and touch the past, it seems so near in memory.  The year 1969 was a turning point in American history in some ways, and certainly it was in my personal history:  the last golden, carefree summer before the hammer blows of life began to fall, forging childhood into adulthood in the years that followed.  There is a persistent myth that one's teenage years are the happiest of one's life.  I can testify that in my own case, they were anything but.

Nevertheless, for me this simple, lively tune by Booker T. and the M. G.'s from the spring of that watershed year perfectly expresses the exuberance of youthful, untroubled happiness.  I thought so then, and I think so now.  It always makes me smile.




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