Saturday, March 31, 2012

a blossom fell




A blossom fell, from off a tree.
It settled softly on the lips you turn to me. 

The gypsies say, and I know why;
a falling blossom only touches lips that lie. 

A blossom fell, and very soon
I saw you kissing someone new beneath the moon. 

I thought you'd love me!
You said you love me.
We planned together, to dream forever. 

The dream has ended, for true love died
the day a blossom fell, and touched two lips that lied.






A BLOSSOM FELL
Lyrics by Howard Barnes, Harold Cornelius, Dominic John, 1954
Nat King Cole most famously; lyrics above on Diana Krall's ALL FOR YOU
Cherry blossom tree, Dallas Arboretum

Saturday, March 24, 2012

it's really oyster soup





When the craving hits, you've just gotta have some.  I'm talking Oyster Stew...

My mom and I shared a love for it and although she stuck with the ease and familiarity of the red-striped Campbell's can her entire life, I ventured away, experimenting, making pots more to my liking with fresh Gulf oysters. 

Mom and I agreed on some basics though; you have to have pats of butter and lots of salt and pepper.  Crackers too; cute little floating pillows or saltine squares which you break and drop in the bowl bite-by-bite so they don't get too soggy.

There were very few times either of us had Oyster Stew when we didn't call the other, just to say that the craving had struck and we'd devoured at least two bowls.

I wanted so badly to be able to call her today. 




Oyster Soup

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 finely chopped shallot
1 stalk of celery, trimmed and chopped fine
1 cup chopped button or crimini mushrooms
salt and black pepper
dash of cayenne pepper
7 cups milk
10 ounces fresh oysters, the liquor strained and reserved

Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a stockpot. 
Add the shallot and the celery, cooking until they soften. 
Add the chopped mushrooms, season with salt, black pepper,
and a dash of cayenne pepper. 
Cook over low heat for five or ten minutes.

Pour 7 cups of milk into the pot along with the oysters
and the strained liquor. 
Raise the heat until the soup is hot but do not boil. 
Reduce and cook the heck out of the oysters.*

Serve with butter, salt, black pepper,
extra dashes of cayenne pepper,
and crisp crackers.


Despite our love of this soup, neither of us ever ate the oysters! 
If you choose to, discard those which flavored the soup* and add fresh ones just before serving, cooking only until their edges curl. 

Monday, March 19, 2012

admittedly, i need therapy



It's a serious case of love-hate.

You see, I love last sets!















I love last sets because they feel like the best music of the night. 









































I love last sets because the quartet often plays one of my many favorites, like Scrapple From The Apple.


































Yet, I hate last sets!

I hate last sets because though it's late, the night is young and the joint might still be open for two more hours. 























I love watching the musicians pack up.

I hate seeing the stage empty. 

Love, hate, love, hate, love, hate, love, hate, love, hate, love, hate, love, hate, love, hate, love, hate, love, hate, love, hate, love, hate.

Call in a shrink!















The Wine Therapist 
Dallas, Skillman at La Vista
214.821.9463

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

carolina blue, through and through

















See the dark-haired man on the right?  That's Dave. 

He was one of the regular bridge players in my dad's group; sexy and handsome my sister and I thought, and he's Italian which back then, as a preteen, added to the thrill when I'd get to serve the pretzels and peanuts at the start of their card game. 

Dave sent me this photo last March, two months after my dad died and just as the 2011 ACC tournament began.  I cried then and I cried as I positioned it on the refrigerator door for this year's tournament.  I'll put it up next year too, sure to cry again.

The man farthest left was a big contributor to their university and through his generosity, the group had seats at the ACC each year.  Those weekends were packed full of basketball and beer and booze and bridge and my dad loved every minute of it all.

Tourney weekends went on for many years but at some point, a few wives began to join them.  The atmosphere must have surely changed, how could it not, and though forever grateful for the invitations, in his later years, reminiscing about those times, my dad would say their inclusion ruined it and "it all went to hell". 

That was my dad; 'Ol Ern, Dave called him. 

Do you see him?  He's the guy there in the middle with the biggest, truest laugh. 

He was the guy having the most fun. 







My gratitude to the wife who took this photo.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Friday, March 9, 2012

Sunday, March 4, 2012

i'm gonna go fishing


I'm gonna go fishing, that's what I'll do,
think about nothing, not even you.
Catch a real big one, a big speckled trout,
snapping in the water, I'll pull him on out. 


A recent conversation with a dear, old friend brought this song to mind. 

We stay in touch, usually by email but occasionally by delivered mail; tangible surprises sent to each other.  Envelopes I receive might be addressed to me, with 'writer' scrawled following a comma after my name.  I just love that. 

I love this guy too.  His name is Pat.  He lives on a lake not so far from where we grew up together during those crucial, formative years.  He's someone, as the saying goes, I know I could call on anytime, no matter what. 

In our recent exchange, my friend was casually contemplating what to do this weekend; golf or fish.  He loves golf but the bass in the lake, he said, "are starting to come off the bottom and move around looking for food and a nest site". 


Here in the water, look at him shine.
There goes a big one, that one is mine.
Cast off the reel now, I've got the feel now,
snap goes my fly rod, I've got me a trout! 


This song, I'm Gonna Go Fishin' is of course, not really about fishing. 

We've all had our heart broken.  Pat broke mine once and I broke his a few years later.  We grew up, so many years passing so quickly, and here we are, still sweet friends for over four decades now.  That's as brag worthy as the big bass Pat may have caught this weekend.


I'm Gonna Gonna Go Fishin'

Woke up this morning wanting to cry
then I remember, yes I knew why.
He's a real good one for having his cake,
I'm gonna go fishing or jump in the lake.

I'm going fishing, that's what I'll do,
think about nothing, not even you.
Catch a real big one, a big speckled trout,
snapping in the water, I'll pull him on out.

Sweet talking liar, spin me a yarn,
tell me a story, big as a barn.
Gonna stop listening, I won't hear you out,
I'm gonna go fishing and catch me a trout.

If a man is a liar, a man is a fool,
playing for keepers and breaking the rules.
He'll be the loser, yes he'll find out,
I'm gonna go fishing and catch me a trout.

Here in the water, look at him shine.
There goes a big one, that one is mine.
Cast off the reel now, I've got the feel now,
snap goes my fly rod, I've got me a trout!

Sweet talking liar, you're in for a fall.
You tell me a story, you talk to the wall.
Gonna go my way, on down the highway
I'm gonna go fishing and catch me a trout.

 I'm gonna go fishing and catch me a trout.
 I'm gonna go fishing and catch me a trout.
I'm gonna go fishing and catch me a trout.





Jeanie Bryson, Lyrics on Some Cats Know
I'm Gonna Go Fishin' written by Duke Ellington and Peggy Lee

pussy willow


Joe would bring them to Ellie. 
Now I bring them to their son. 




dried, no water necessary