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.


Friday, March 24, 2023

Waitin' for the Weekend


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Thursday, March 23, 2023

The Pork Boys Do St. Patrick's Day, 2023

 M.P. is proud of his French and Irish descent, so St. Pat's is always a festive occasion here.  We actually celebrated twice, once on Friday night and again on Sunday.

Our Irish pub dinner on Friday was memorable for M.P.'s whimsical use of paper napkins to give a subdued lighting effect to the kitchen and breakfast bar. 


In the pic above, you can see a tray of just-baked pasties on the counter; at the far left is a pan of delicious rarebit sauce (one of M.P.'s specialties) and a little pot of parsley sauce, yum.  Both were used for dipping or spreading.

Below is a platter of hot, fresh jambons, which M.P. has discovered are all the rage in Dublin these days:  they are made with pastry dough and a mixture of ham and cheese filling with bechamel sauce.  (Sort of a croque monsieur.) Scrumptious!  Of course, we each had a rare bottle of Guinness to wash it all down with.


Buttered toast points, left, and homemade French fries, right.

Some of everything.


The pub dinner was all finger foods, but Sunday dinner was rather more formal, starting with the place settings.  


M.P. likes to use the gravy boat to make a centerpiece, if it's not needed for gravy.



Irish soda bread, hot and soon to be slathered with butter.


Roses were on sale at the grocery store, and M.P.'s favorite dining-room colors are green and white, so it all worked out beautifully.  However, I must confess that these roses are actually a very pale green, which doesn't show up in the photograph.


The bamboo plates are a bone china set from the 1930s or 40s that M.P. found online years ago and snagged at a bargain price.  They do lend a bit of old-time glamour to the table, we think.


The oversized cups were for the soup course:  Dublin Coddle.  Diced potatoes, leeks, bacon, ham, and sausage.  Poor man's food but mighty tasty, and perfect on a cold night.


The entree was corned beef, of course, with some sliced potatoes and baby carrots, all cooked together in the crock pot from noon to midnight.  At top right, a bowl of homemade mustard sauce (mostly mustard and a lot of brown sugar, with a drop of Louisiana Hot Sauce™) that goes perfectly with the meat.  At bottom right, a bowl of M.P.'s famous Truckstop Cabbage, the perfect complement:  it's cabbage, carrots, red onions, and bacon cooked together till everything is tender and delicious.


M.P. says white beans and carrots are a traditional Irish dish.  Okay.


Determine the area of a quarter-section of one-quarter of a circle:  geometry at work in the kitchen.


Wish I could hand all you boys a plate of this mighty fine eatin'!



Dessert was a Guinness Cake - the body contains Guinness and cocoa, and the frosting is Guinness and cream cheese, mostly.  
Dee-licious!

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Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Poets' Corner: [In Just-]

Balloons-aj

 e. e. cummings (1894-1962)

[in Just-]

in Just-

spring          when the world is mud-

luscious the little

lame balloonman


whistles          far          and wee


and eddieandbill come

running from marbles and

piracies and it's

spring


when the world is puddle-wonderful


the queer

old balloonman whistles

far          and             wee

and bettyandisbel come dancing


from hop-scotch and jump-rope and


it's

spring

and


         the


                  goat-footed


balloonMan          whistles

far

and

wee

1920

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Sunday, March 19, 2023

Sunday Drive: Green Eyes

Bob Eberly and Helen O'Connell front the Jimmy Dorsey band in this classic rendition of their 1941 hit:


Note:  M.P. and I had a little Irish pub dinner on Friday night, but he's already up and working on a big St. Pat's Day dinner for tonight.  As soon as we get the pics back from the drugstore, I'll post them for you all to see.  The main dish will be be corned beef, which just began an all-day swim in the crock pot.
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Friday, March 17, 2023

Waitin' for the Weekend


See full photo of Paddy O'Brian here (NSWF).

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Thursday, March 16, 2023

The Night the Wall Fell Down, and Other Stories

Real magazine article, 1953, from ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives, USC.

A mix of memories of life before Stonewall.





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Tuesday, March 14, 2023

Pencil It In

Just some interesting views of pencil production I happened upon while surfing YouTube. Not a subject I have a great interest in, but the videos are strangely soothing, somehow.




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Sunday, March 12, 2023

Sunday Drive: Blue Skies

Ella swings the Irving Berlin song:


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Friday, March 10, 2023

Waitin' for the Weekend

Splicing the mainbrace at the 1960 Harvard-Yale regatta on a yacht owned by one of the Vanderbilts.  Much larger pic of this guy over at Shorpy here.  Starboard side here and tanline astern here.

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Tuesday, March 7, 2023

FDR: The First Hundred Days

The New York Times, March 5, 1933

FDR giving his first fireside chat, March 12, 1933.

I have seen nothing mentioned about this in the news media, so I'm posting for the record:  this past Saturday, March 4th, was the 90th anniversary of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's first inauguration in 1933, at the height of the Great Depression.  The first 100 days that followed were a great turning point in our history, as FDR and a newly elected Democratic majority in both houses of Congress kick-started the New Deal, providing relief and hope to the nation.  

By a strange coincidence, Adolf Hitler had come to power in Germany just a few weeks earlier; both men had a rendezvous with destiny, as yet unforeseen.

FDR's decisive actions and his compassionate, optimistic, encouraging fireside chats over the new-fangled radio system made a profound impression on many millions of Americans that was still vividly remembered by my parents and grandparents a generation later, when I came along.  As my little grandmother said, in her homely way, "If it hadn't-a been for Roosevelt, we'd have all perished to death."

His predecessor, the Republican Herbert Hoover, was a decent, highly intelligent man who had engineered food relief for starving European nations in the aftermath of World War I; but Hoover failed the test of history when it came to helping his own fellow citizens stricken by the Depression.  Then as now, upscale Republicans balked at providing any concrete help to the poor and needy, putting their own profits and pocketbooks first.  Ninety years later, we see that the more things change, the more they stay the same.

Here is Part I of a very well-made documentary shown on the History Channel in 2005, covering Roosevelt's presidency from his first inauguration down to the beginning of World War II.  I've watched it several times, and recommend it to my truckbuddies. I don't know where Part II is; I can't find it on YouTube.


 

P. S. - Since the first of the year, on sunny days I've been taking little walks around the neighborhood, which is in the older part of town.  One day I noticed an impression in the concrete sidewalk:

WORKS PROGRESS

ADMINISTRATION

1 9 3 8

That stretch of sidewalk is still in fine shape, as if it were laid out yesterday:  one of FDR's many enduring legacies to the nation.

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Sunday, March 5, 2023

Sunday Drive: It's a Lovely Day Today

Texas weather today:


Perry Como and the Fontane Sisters have just the right song for it:


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Friday, March 3, 2023

Waitin' for the Weekend

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Thursday, March 2, 2023

What We're Watching: Vermeer, Master of Light

A few nights ago, M.P. and I watched this fascinating exploration of Vermeer's techniques, and had quite an interesting conversation afterwards.  M.P. being a trained artist, he understood more of the technical aspects than I did.  Very worth watching if you care anything about painting.


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Wednesday, March 1, 2023

Poets' Corner: I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud



William Wordsworth (1770-1850)

I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud


I wandered lonely as a cloud

That floats on high o'er vales and hills,

When all at once I saw a crowd,

A host, of golden daffodils;

Beside the lake, beneath the trees,

Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.


Continuous as the stars that shine

And twinkle on the milky way,

They stretched in never-ending line

Along the margin of a bay:

Ten thousand saw I at a glance,

Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.


The waves beside them danced; but they

Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:

A poet could not but be gay,

In such a jocund company:

I gazed—and gazed—but little thought

What wealth the show to me had brought:


For oft, when on my couch I lie

In vacant or in pensive mood,

They flash upon that inward eye

Which is the bliss of solitude;

And then my heart with pleasure fills,

And dances with the daffodils.

    1804

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Sunday, February 26, 2023

Thursday, February 23, 2023

The Pork Boys Do Mardi Gras, 2023

True to his Cajun roots, M. P. naturally went all out with our Mardi Gras feast on Tuesday evening.

Le Menu

Galliano (aperitif)

Champagne

Devilled Eggs

Grits and Gumbo (chicken & sausage)

Roast Turkey Breast with Cream Gravy

Cornbread and Rice Dressing

Maque Choux (corn casserole)

Mashed Baked Potatoes

Homemade Biscuits

Kings' Cake

Coffee

M. P, found some purple silk damask and just hemmed up the edges to make this beautiful tablecloth for Mardi Gras.

Everybody knows - don't they? - that purple, green, and gold are the Mardi Gras colors.  The candles are deep purple.

M.P. has been practicing a fleur-de-lys napkin fold for some years now,
and isn't it fabulous?  You may not appreciate how fabulous it is until you try it.

Gumbo is normally served over rice, which Louisiana produces plenty of; but un vrai Acadien knows that it's mighty damn good over potato salad, too.  M. P. and I have furthermore discovered that gumbo and grits are a lip-smacking sensation.

The turkey breast was melt-in-your-mouth tender and juicy.  There's a whole 'nother half not shown here.  Most will be frozen for later use in sandwiches, soups, casseroles, etc.

Cornbread-and-rice dressing, left; maque choux, right.

Mashed baked potatoes, a new invention of M. P.'s.

Luscious cream gravy made from the turkey drippings.

The soup course was chicken-and-sausage gumbo, one of my favorite things.

The Pork Boys love devilled eggs.  But with the high prices these days,
we can't afford to make a full dozen.


From the noon position:  baked mashed potatoes, maque choux, devilled egg, turkey and gravy, dressing, biscuit and butter..

M. P.'s third attempt at making a Kings' Cake (a coffee cake) succeeded nicely, and he had big fun decorating it.

Here's my piece - and guess what?  I got the fève!
(It's partly sticking out at bottom.)

M.P. ordered this little glass angel some time back just for our Mardi Gras cake.  In olden times, it might have been a bean or a pecan.  The one who gets it in his cake is the king of the party.  An amusing custom.

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Sunday, February 19, 2023

Sunday Drive: Bacharach Medley, The Carpenters

Karen and Richard Carpenter perform live on the Ed Sullivan Show from Bethesda Naval Hospital in Maryland, where they were giving a concert for wounded Vietnam veterans, November 8, 1970.  The Carpenters' first big single, "Close to You," had been a smash hit nationwide in the summer of that year.

I vaguely recollect that this medley of Burt Bacharach tunes was included on one of their albums that I used to have.


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Friday, February 17, 2023

Waitin' for the Weekend


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Wednesday, February 15, 2023

The Pork Boys Do Valentine's Day, 2023

 Le Menu

Pink Champagne

Vichyssoise

Boeuf Bourguignon

Parsleyed Noodles

Chips de Navet

Haricots de Lima with Tomatoes and Sausage Bits

Homemade Croissants with Sesame Seeds

Chocolate Mousse

Coffee

M.P. outdid himself again, working all day long in the kitchen to whip up a little feast of our favorite foods.  Certainly it was a dinner to remember:  tres delicieux et tout a fait fabuleux!  I tell you what, boys.

M.P. printed and cut out the Victorian valentine cards for decoration, using artist's pinking shears - a charming touch.



Our new red-and-white china from the dollar store 
was perfect for the occasion.  Clockwise from noon:
turnip chips, lima beans, boeuf bourguignon and noodles, 
croissant slathered with butter.  Not pictured:
a bowl of scrumptious chilled vichyssoise.

Mousse au chocolat --
alas, we forgot the whipped cream!


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Tuesday, February 14, 2023

Valentine

Pianist Jim Brickman and country music star Martina McBride teamed up on this lovely song in 1996.  Here's wishing love, joy, and peace to all my truckbuddies.


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Sunday, February 12, 2023

Sunday Drive: Up, Up, and Away

Balloons are trending this season, so this song by the fabulous 5th Dimension seems appropriate just now. I remember hearing this on the radio in the summer of '67, and it's been a favorite ever since. I took my mom to see them in concert about ten years later; they put on a fun show. 


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Saturday, February 11, 2023

The Pork Boys Do the Holidays

This is just for our reference: pics of our All-Holiday meal on January 8th, making up for having missed Christmas, New Year's, and Kings' Day dinners on account of M.P. being sick in bed for two weeks with a dreadful cold.

 
New 7-foot Christmas tree with rotating star.
Three Cajun Red Ducks stuffed with jambalaya - this was for our Yule dinner with all the kids and grandkids on December 18th, before M.P. got sick.
The ducks cut up and placed on a platter for serving.
Our All-Holiday table setting on January 8th.
Appetizer:  chicken livers wrapped in bacon, en brochette. 
A favorite tradition of ours.
M.P.'s fabulous Cream of Green soup, with homemade croutons.
Ingredients per M.P.:
green onions, potatoes (just one thinly sliced), sauteed in margarine a short time,
then chicken bouillon, and green beans cooked for a bit. puree all and add a bit
of sour cream while pureeing. rewarm in pot adding a lot of dill, S&P, and more sour cream to taste.
Dinner:  from 5 o'clock, a piece of spinach-stuffed porkchop; buttered schoolhouse roll; piece of sugared butternut squash; and very cheesy potatoes au gratin.
Almost forgot:  a helping of pistachio fluff topped with maraschino cherries.
Our grand Christmas and New Year's dessert every year:
Chocolate mousse cake topped with raspberry sauce.

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