Have you ever been really looking forward to a tasty morsel that you know is in your refrigerator only to open the door and find out it is gone? And no one even asked you if it was okay to eat it? This is a matter of food property rights. When I was growing up we never ate the last little bit of anything because my father might have wanted it. Our refrigerator was crammed full of a dollop of this, a splash of that. Many of the containers were candidates for school experiments on mold. At least at the moldy point you could finally throw them out. But in my experience as an adult with a husband and kids, there is no such deference. Yum, a little ice cream, eat it up! A bit of hummus, have it with the last cracker. I have to admit there is something a little sick about feeling cheated out of the last bite. Food should never be that important.
A tad, smidgen, iota, tad, taste, sip, dollop, atom, bit, crumb, dot, fragment, grain, jot, minimum, mite, modicum, molecule, morsel, mote, ounce, particle, scintilla, scrap, shred, smidgen, or a speck, itâ€™s just a little more.
I think Iâ€™ve mentioned this before, never (unless you are really an in-control person) make more than the correct serving sizes for a meal. There are two results â€“ one, you donâ€™t overeat and two, you donâ€™t run into the trauma of someone else eating your stowed away last bite.
When I was a kid, Memorial Day, or Decoration Day, as we used to call it, was the kickoff to summer. You could wear white shoes and summer dresses. Even though school was still in session, youâ€™d listen closely to the radio for the early morning temperature. I always thought that if it was 70 in the morning, it was going to be a great beach day. I grew up on the Jersey shore, really the beach. Only New Yorkers and North Jerseyites called it the shore. On Decoration Day weekend, we would go to the beach for the first time in the season. From then on weâ€™d go as much as possible. Sometimes weâ€™d go with our mom or someone elseâ€™s mom or on special days with our grandmother. Weâ€™d check the big chalkboard for the ocean temperature and the tides. Ooh, 68 degrees, really quite swimmable when you are young. It was the season for strawberry twizzlers, yoohoos and hotdogs. And waiting an hour after lunch before you could go in the water again. It was bliss.
Later as a teenager and through college years, it was a place to get tan (or sunburned in my case), listen to your very modern portable radio and try to attract boys. The beach after dark was particularly exciting. Spreading a blanket in the dark with your boyfriend was pretty risquÃ©. Sometimes weâ€™d go down to Asbury Park and ride the circuit calling out to the kids in other cars. Then maybe weâ€™d stop for some of the best pizza in the world in Long Branch. What a great place to grow up.
I know that Memorial Day is a time to remember other young men and women who gave their lives for our country. They made idyllic days like the ones I remember possible.
Continuing on with my thoughts of May 11, I heard on the radio today that travelers can expect congestion and delays at the airports this Memorial Day weekend and throughout the summer. Although travel problems are always a bane to oneâ€™s existence, it is good to see that the American air travel psyche has recovered from the scary days after 9/11. I remember going to pick up Johnâ€™s dad at SFO a week after the attack and it was echo-y in the terminal and very eerie. We flew on Southwest yesterday and I have to say, â€œSouhwest! Couldnâ€™t you possibly find a way to give out seat assignments?!â€ Not only do you have to line up way in advance in hopes of not getting a middle seat, but since you can now print your boarding pass online after midnight on the day you are flying in hopes that you will be in the “A’ group, you are sleep deprived while standing in line. (This is made worse when you are living in Mountain Time and flying in Pacific Time so you have to stay up â€˜til 1 AM.) I figured that not that many people would be flying on a Thursday at 3:30 in the afternoon, but I was wrong. The flight was completely full, even overbooked. Thank goodness, this was only an hour flight. So get ready for a summer full of getting to know your seatmates thighs unless you are fortunate enough to fly business or first class.
These entries are all connected as youâ€™ll see when you read the â€œtravelsâ€ section.
Bellini – This drink was created in 1943 at Harry’s Bar in Venice, Italy in honor of the painter Geovani Bellini. The original recipe was made with fresh pureed white peaches with a bit of raspberry or cherry juice to give the drink a pink glow.
2/3 cup white peach puree (use yellow peaches if white not available)
1 teaspoon raspberry puree
1 bottle chilled Italian sparkling wine such as Prosecco or Asti Spumante Brut
Place 1 1/2 tablespoons puree In the bottom of each flute and add 2 – 3 drops of the raspberry puree. Add sparkling wine and serve. (gourmetsleuth.com)
And now we have come full circle from the title of today’s blog. The Bridge of Sighs is an enclosed, elevated bridge in Venice erected in the year 1600 to connect the Doge’s prisons with the inquisitor’s rooms in the main palace. The name “Bridge of Sighs” was invented in the 19th Century, when Lord Byron helped to popularize the belief that the bridge’s name was inspired by the sighs of condemned prisoners as they were led through it to the executioner.
And while you’re in Venice, one of the items on the list of top 50 things every foodie should do, brought to my attention by the Braisinhussy, is to have a Bellini cocktail at Harryâ€™s Bar in Venice. Although I havenâ€™t had a Bellini there, I have been to Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari where Bellini painted the Virgin and Child with Saints Nicholas, Peter, Benedict and Mark in the sacristy. This stunning altarpiece has Mary wearing her usual blue cloak and Belliniâ€™s signature rosy pink dress underneath. The Bellini drink was so named because of the similar intense hue. If you have time when you are in Venice, have the drink and see the altarpiece. If you only have time for one of these, see the altarpiece.
I was watching the French Open today. It made me think about the differences between individual and team sports. A professional football team has around 40 members. Many of them are very highly paid. This is true in baseball as well. If the team loses a game, they still get paid. They also are supplied with coaches, equipment, and medical staff. Now compare this with a golfer or tennis player. If these men or women lose, they don’t make much of a paycheck. They have to pay for their own coaches and staff. Unless they are top tier players and have lots of endorsements, they pay for their own living arrangements at events and their travel. Andy Roddick, the best American tennis player has earnings of $531,000 so far this year and Roger Federer, the best player in the world, has made slightly over $2 million. Compare that with the best basketball, football or baseball players. I realize that these tennis players also get endorsements and commercials but so do the team players.
I wonder if one group is underpaid or one is overpaid?
No wonder there are few world class American tennis players .
Why is it that English, particularily American English, so readily accepts foreign words with no fuss, while the French have laws against it. They don’t want their language polluted with lots of Americanisms. But guess what, it’s an uphill fight. Things like “le weekend” or “radio” are in practical use.
Here are words from French we use all the time: malaise, chauffeur, milieu, parvenu, paramour, bon mot, montage, laissez faire and many others.
Since we are talking all things French today, I thought I’d open a new category called “travels.” Last summer we spent some time in the Burgundy area of France. We headquartered ourselves in Beaune at the Hotel de la Poste. Beaune is a lovely town with an easily accessible “old town.” A must see is the the HÃ´tel-Dieu of the Hospices de Beaune, a hospital from the Middle Ages, built in 1443 to care for sick residents of the town. The building itself is beautifully preserved with an incredible multicolored tile roof. We had a fantastic meal at Bernard Morillon where foie gras was served in a gingerbread crust.
Probably the most fun thing we did was a spur of the moment picnic. We spent part of the morning going from one little shop to the next buying cheese, sausage, bread and wine. Off we went to the countryside, found a roadside table in Puligny-Montrachet and ate our picnic. Then we went to area wineries for tasting. At Chateau Mersault we took a very expensive tour and tasting. A better tasting was in Volnay where we just happened upon a small cellar and had the owner show us around herself.
On a more practical note, we found a laundromat and had the fun of figuring out how to do French laundry (not the restaurant!) Also, at a bike shop, there was a laptop where you could access the internet. Most everyone was helpful and nice and a stay of at least two days in this area is a good investment of vacation time.