Tuesday, February 28, 2006

A week ago, when Bob and I were walking down Kings Highway, someone I once loved got out of a car and walked ahead of us. He was less than ten feet away from me yet I was paralyzed and I could not speak. I have no idea what I would have done had I been alone. I guess I probably would have spoken to him. It’s been a lot of years since I saw him and he’s married now with a passel of children. There was a lot of heat and chemistry and a very real knowledge of one another and understanding between us when we were younger – in our late twenties, but he was in a serious relationship with a perfect blond ice princess and I was fairly sure that I wasn’t a part of his vision for himself, even though he found me smart and funny. Years later, after he had married the blond, one of his friends in a moment of alcohol induced truthfulness told me as much. He told me that the man I loved really contemplated throwing over the perfect girl for me but in the end couldn’t – for many reasons. I was single at the time and really unhappy and hearing that information really upset me. Of course I questioned every aspect of my personality and my looks. It’s only now that I am okay with it. I’ve seen him several times over the past years and he’s always genuinely curious about me life and slightly envious of the path I took. He’s sweet and kind and though graying a bit, devastatingly handsome. If I see him again, I’ll tell him that I am married to the man I should be married to and that I am happy. Case closed.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

We're having an extremely mellow Sunday here after a few days of running around with our pals. Thursday, a nice group of us celebrated Bill's birthday at Coriander which was fun. Friday night we went to Joanna's place along with Lynne, George, Tom and John and had some pizza and wine and deconstructed Chris' 40th birthday the previous Saturday. Yesterday, Chris and I took Henry for a nice brisk walk which felt great and later that night we joined Lisa, Mike, Kay and Matt in the city for tapas in celebration of Lisa's birthday. The food and company were both great and I laughed my ass off all night. I had about three Manhattans and was feeling no pain. Hence the very low key Sunday here at 14 Colonial.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

It's like old times being back at work with Tom. Within fifteen minutes we were yelling at each other! Actually, all kidding aside, it's nice to be back. A few clients called and were happy to hear my voice and one in particular was very effusive. So all good. I'm exhausted as hell but that's okay! even though Chris assured me that going back to work was not necessary, it feels nice to be a contributing member of our household!

Monday, February 20, 2006

Today is President's Day and I am at work for Tom trying to get things straightened out. When the gal who replaced me when I moved to Germany gave her notice, it seemed like a no brainer that I would go back to working for Tom. So I'll be working for both Bob and Tom. We've got a nice sharing arrangement worked out which should be good for all three of us. We're all good friends and we think we can make this work. The offices are next to each other which will allow me to go between them easily. The plan at the moment is to spend the mornings with Bob and the afternoons with Tom. I'll have to work my tail off to get Tom's stuff done on a part-time basis, but I feel that I am equal to the task. I can work like a demon when I put my mind to it.

Tom and I have a great working relationship, with good chemistry and understanding between us and a mutual respect. I'm happy to be back here. It feels like home.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

We had an absolute ball last night throwing Chris' fortieth birthday. It was a great group of people, all of whom we really, really enjoy spending time with. Gallons of Guinness were flowing which added to the lively atmosphere. It was freezing cold outside and everyone just wanted to be warm and cozy and suck up a bunch of booze and eat a bunch of good comfort food. I cannot remember the last time we had such a good time at home.

It makes me feel good to see all of my really good friends embrace Chris. Everyone genuinely likes him, which is easy - he's great!

Happy Fortieth Birthday to my best friend, who also happens to be my husband!

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Neither Chris nor I go in for Valentine's Day much. Maybe it's because I spent so many of them barricaded in my apartment afraid to go out for fear of running into someone and letting the world know what indeed it already knew - that I was "terminally single", but I like to think it's because I see it as the money making proposition that it is. I like a little romance every now and again, but to me it's nicer when it's spur of the moment.

I did make us a lovely meal last night which we shared over a bottle of vintage champagne. That was my nod to the Valentine's Day madness. In fairness, I would have cooked this meal in any case, but the quaffing of the great bottle of champagne would probably not have been done on a Tuesday night!

I made a beautiful roast chicken, which recipe I loosely based on one I found in Patricia Wells' Bistro Cooking. Patricia Wells is one of my favorite cookbook authors. She is the food critic for the International Herald Tribune and is based in Provence. Nice work if you can get it! She has written many cookbooks over the years. I like them because they often are based directly on classics and are fairly accessible. I don't think I have ever had a misfire with a Patricia Wells recipe and I think that's saying a lot.

The recipe which follows is based upon a recipe Patricia coaxed out of the late great Pile Ou Face Bistro in Paris.

Roast Chicken Pile Ou Face with Fabulous Pan Drippings....

1 Roasting Chicken 5-6 lbs.
2 large sprigs of fresh rosemary
1 lemon - cut into eight pieces
6 small shallots, halved
Sea Salt
Freshly Ground Pepper
1 chicken liver from gizzard package
2 egg yolks
Extra Virgin Olive Oil, as needed
A liberal handful of Herbes de Provence
1 T tarragon
A few handfuls of any fresh herbs you might have on hand, chopped finely (tarragon, parsley, sorrel, chervil, etc.) or if you only have them in a dried version, use that and reduce the quantity.
3 or 4 T Sherry Wine Vinegar, go to Moore Brothers and spend some money - it's worth it!

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
2. Wash the chicken and dry witha paper towel and salt and pepper the cavity.
3. Place the lemon, shallots, and rosemary in the cavity and truss the legs with string.
4. Beat the egg yolks and a tablespoon or two of extra virgin olive oil and add all the herbs, dried and fresh to this making a thick paste.
5. Brush the paste on the chicken
6. Shake some sea salt and fresh ground pepper on the chicken.
7. Place in the oven for 2 - 2-1/2 hours, basting frequently. Add the liver to the roasting pan in last fifteen minutes of roasting.
8. The chicken is done when the temperature in the middle of the thigh reaches 170 degrees, or when the juices run clear at the joint between where the thigh meets the leg.
9. Place the turkey on a platter to rest. Give it a good ten or fifteen minutes before you carve it.
10.Chop the liver coarsely and add to the roasting pan. Place the pan over high heat on your stove and deglaze with the sherry wine vinegar until it reduces a bit. This will be the most heavenly smell you could ever begin to imagine. Serve atop the roasted chicken. Makes a nice rustic meal. It's especially nice when served with mashed potatoes,a leafy green vegetable and a lighly dressed salad. Posted by Picasa
Some really good stuff --- Penzey's Spices and La Cosecha Sherry Wine Vinegar, available at Moore Brothers ---

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Tuesday, February 14, 2006

The best dog in the whole world

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Episcopal Church, Haddonfield
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We're having a little bash here on Saturday night for Chris' 40th birthday. It should be a good laugh and an eclectic crowd, all hand picked by Chris. It'll be most of the usuals - Jo, Tom, John, John, Steve, Catherine, Lynne, George, Gina, John, Peggy, John, Kathy, Ralph and so forth plus a few of his mates from work and football, few of the Starbucks people to whom he's taken a real shine and folks like Jason and Jen and Bob and Brenda.

He deosn't want me to kill myself prepping so it's going to be very casual, not the usual insanity! I know it will be fun!
Anne Walters is going to kill me if she doesn't get a mention in this blog so here it is! Actually, in all seriousness, Anne's an attorney I met at 2 Kings Highway West a few years ago. We hit it off immediately owing to the fact that we are both a little nuts. We really bonded when I took an immediate dislike to her boss and he to me. It was a real giggle. You had to be there. Anyway, I have been enjoying getting to know Anne again. We went to see Woody Allen's latest Match Point last week and we both thoroughly enjoyed it. Woody's best in years, this film is set in London for a change, but with the same upper crust crowd he loves to portray. It's about deceit and luck and was totally entertaining. Good looking people in beautiful settings with pithy dialogue, that's what makes a movie interesting. Check it out!

Sunday, February 12, 2006

While I walked around town snapping pictures, Henry and Chris slept in... Posted by Picasa
View from our bedroom window Posted by Picasa
View from our bedroom window

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View from our bedroom window Posted by Picasa
We've had a beautiful snowfall overnight and I cannot think of a better birthday present. It looks spectacularly beautiful. I took a walk along Kings Highway early this morning and snapped a few photos there as well as some in our yard and in front of our house. I love snow!

Munich was lovely in the snow, but you cannot beat this perfect small town in this sort of weather. It looks impossibly picturesque.
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Sunday, February 05, 2006

February 6, 2006

We had fun last night. I told Jason that I described him as quixotic and there was a bit of discussion over whether that was complimentary or not. I meant it in a nice way. I like Jason and his flights of fancy. I definitely identify with that part of his personality.

We went to a few bars in Northern Liberties which, coincidentally, had both been mentioned in the Bon Appetit I’d received in the mail that day. Standard Tap and North Third were both touted as cutting edge on the Philly gastropub scene.

It ended up being a really relaxing and fun night. We click with Jen and Jason and there was no lull in the conversation whatsoever. We had some good grub, some great beers, a few laughs. All in all – an extremely nice night.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

February 4, 2006

We had a really good time last night. Some folks came around to eat, drink and play Trivial Pursuit with us. Of course, I am cutthroat when it comes to games and was not going to be happy with anything less than a win. We played in teams and somehow Joanna and I got paired which was a good thing. At first, Chris and Tom were beating us, but then we had a great run and won. Lots of fun. I love winning.

Tonight we are going to Philly for dinner with Jen and Jason Wilson, two of my favorite Haddonfielders. I’ve got a real soft spot for Jason  and Jen’s a wonderful woman, bright, beautiful and a great mom. And seemingly able to deal with Jason’s sometimes quixotic personality! All good.

Friday, February 03, 2006

There are days when it feels like I never had that time in Europe. It’s been surreal being back in some ways, but ultimately wonderful. This morning as I sat at coffee surrounded by what amounts to half of my posse, I felt really great, happy and secure. The whole room was rocking. Horoscopes were being read, people were commenting on the size of Laurel’s pregnant stomach (she’s due any day now), my new boss was talking to my old boss while his mother looked on and everyone was talking at once. Nothing has changed. It’s good.

The same feeling came over me every day this week as Bob, Jason and I shared lunch. It’s odd. We’re still ordering the same foods, having the same conversations and ripping on each other in the same manner as we’ve always done. I feel changed by my experience in Europe, yet really happy to be back in my old life which is happier and fuller because of Chris.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

February 2, 2006

We’re thrilled to bits because some of our dear friends from Munich are coming for a nice long visit at Easter. Lise has been Chris’ friend FOREVER and she and I bonded eight years ago at Jen and Paul’s wedding and have been particularly close these past few years. Her partner Richard is an absolute love – charming, funny, good looking – a great person to be around. We adore him. Lise’s colleague, Gulsemin, a lovely French girl is also coming. We love Gus (her nickname) as well. She’s fun, nice and easy to be around. We’re so excited!!! It’ll be cooking, eating, drinking and non stop laughing – wonderful.