Food Coma

December 28, 2013

From Janelle:

The flu hit my parents hard and we unexpectantly hosted Christmas Eve at the last minute and overcooked as usual.  I can’t help myself.  My dad had already purchased a roast, Lewis baked a turkey, my sister-in-law made green beans with bacon, my mom rallied enough to prepare her house fav gargantuan sized mac and cheese and my cousin brought her annual Guliver’s creamed corn.  She’s made that every year for as long as I can remember but only when we emailed for the first time about the menu did I discover that it was an Irvine restaurant specialty.

Mashed potatoes were a hotly contested production as my sister-in-law and I insisted that the potatoes should be started in cool water and not tossed into boiling for a more consistent product (the ladies won that battle after dumping three pots of boiling water), for some reason I thought we needed Val’s yams with marshmallows or aka crack as I called the sweet concoction when she served it at Thanksgiving but ours didn’t come out as addicting, kale sautéed with walnuts and garlic, salad, my mom’s stuffing I hadn’t made for decades but got carried away with the organic chicken stock resulting in a tasty mush, Lewis destroyed the gravy as usual (he’s a fabulous cook but gravy is not his specialty) and a lovely, tart and healthy raspberry gelatin topped with full fat whipped cream.  No wonder my pants don’t fit.

From Lewis:

Yummm, I love the taste and smell of holiday feasts but it is over until next year and is time now to cut down and get back into shape. Janelle is not allowed to buy anymore pants until she fits all the ones she already has.

From Janelle:

HA, maybe you shouldn’t make me mashed potato, stuffing and egg pancakes for breakfast!  It will be over when we finish the leftovers in the refrigerator……

What did you eat this Holiday Season that you wish you didn’t?






Snowballs Remind Me of My Grandmother

December 25, 2013

From Janelle:

During an evening of Christmas festivities in our neighborhood I saw them and instantly my heart wrenched remembering that my grandmother was gone. I’ve been thinking about her lately; it must be the holidays. I reached my hand through a bevy of bundled children at an outdoor gathering and delicately extracted one through the tops of their knitted hats and parka hoods. It didn’t quite look like hers but I popped one in my mouth anyway. It was disappointing.

Later that evening I saw them again. These were the largest I had ever seen, brought by another guest the homeowner explained. I took a bite and it was as I remembered. Butter, heaps of rich butter, powered sugar and nuts. Tears welled as thoughts of my grandmother flashed as a video in my head and I vowed that I would make them in her memory this year.

My mother always hosts Christmas Eve but she has been very sick this year so I volunteered to save her from herself. My brother and his family are in town and she had assured him that she would sit still and allow the dinner to be prepared without her input but we all know that is impossible. This entire season has been a frantic flurry of parties, late nights, cocktails and friends. It has been FUN. I’m exhausted but overflowing with Holiday Cheer.

I’ve been reminiscing about my grandmother a lot these days and dreamt about my grandfather last night. There’s a melancholy tint to the holidays but I’m surprised at the amazing intensity in which I miss them. She was a child’s dream of a grandmother, soft, warm and loving. We spent hours together as she patiently taught me to bake, knit, crochet and sew. I haven’t done any of those things in decades and have a sudden urge to do so. I miss her. Snowballs make me think of my grandmother.

From Lewis:

I wish we could have made ALL of the parties. It has been a fun holiday season and one day when it settles down I’m going to have Janelle knit me a sweater that I’ll never wear. I hope her grandma will be watching over her shoulder so she doesn’t stick herself.



Pin my grandmother made

Pin my grandmother made


Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Somewhere Else!

December 15, 2013

From Janelle:

This is the time of year I’m most grateful that we live where we live and not on the east coast where blizzards blanket everything in sight although we have had issues in central California with freezing temperatures and icicles clinging devastatingly to damaged citrus.  One grower commented that the fruit can withstand the frosty temperature although it is normally not this cold this early.  Forty-six degrees during my morning commute is BRRRRRR, COLD for us.

The week before the Mixology Party my new fabulously cozy radiant floors weren’t emanating their usual comfyness but I thought that Lewis was messing with the thermostat.  I had hoped that the new system would eliminate the turn it up turn it down turn it up turn it down battle and it has to some extent but my house is not as welcomingly warm as I had hoped when Lewis is home.



By Saturday reluctant acknowledgement that the radiant heat was indeed, not heating resulted in an emergency call to the furnace guy who was unfortunately tied up.  He did, however, volunteer to come Sunday but since the party was over by then we agreed on Monday when he reported back that someone had unplugged the unit attached to the water heater in the garage.

Mortified that he had come out for something so ridiculous but relieved that he hadn’t made a weekend visit I called Lewis and asked if he had any idea who could have done such a thing.  “Well, I think that it might have been me.  I unplugged something, wasn’t sure what the cord attached to and forgot to plug it back in.”



From Lewis:

What!!  I’m finally responsible for something I did do.  All I can say is oops shit happens.  I thought Janelle had overworked the heater system even though the temperature was only as low as the 60’s before last week but I did forget to replug the heater system when I needed an outlet the other day. Soooo  sorry.



December 4, 2013

Thanksgiving was spent with friends, an unusually small but very delightful celebration of thankfulness for the bounties that we have.  This blog is to poke fun at ourselves and each other about the conflicts that arise as two people attempt to navigate decision making with different agendas and “vent” in the process but we are aware that we have it pretty damn good.  And we really do love each other although mostly when we’re not maneuvering through remodel resolutions.

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