Sunday, March 04, 2012

christmas in march!

Regis went up to Tom and Betty's house yesterday morning to do some computer work. I was lying in bed reading when I saw him pull up and emerge from the car carrying a fur coat. I bolted right up out of bed and met him at the door like a kid on Christmas morning. I put it right on and paraded around the house..a gorgeous mink cape over top of pajamas. It belonged to Tom's mom, Patty, and he's had it since she passed away some years ago. I feel honored to own it now.

I got dressed later and had Regis tote me downtown. It was a sunny day, although quite cold and windy, and I wanted to walk through a few shops before meeting Amber for a late lunch at Cedar's Grill. I went into Cooks and Company to get some of that sterno stuff for our table-top grill. Of course, I was distracted by this and that and bought other things, but not that.

I went into Swedish Kontur but there were other customers and they were boisterous and annoying so I left and went to Contents. I bought some signs of spring: a little bird nest that I will send to Mom, some Easter egg napkins, and a lilac scented candle. Nothing evokes spring quite like the smell of lilacs.

One thing about shopping in St. Peter is that everywhere you go, you run into people you know. And you know the shop keepers and the employees. Everyone wants to visit. It takes a lot longer than it otherwise would. It's nice though...I ran into a woman who was a nurse for my kids when they were little who I hadn't seen in more than twenty years.

I was dressed in my typical flamboyant fashion and a woman commented to me that she liked my get-up. I thanked her and said that was exactly the look I was trying to achieve. Ha!

We had a lovely lunch and a couple glasses of wine. Tony made me crab cakes even though it was mid-afternoon and I had a tabbouleh salad.

I have crab cakes on the menu this week. They're one of my favorite foods. With a nice chipotle aioli. Also on the menu this week: grilled steak on Tuesday when it gets to be 60 degrees! This is how I make it: 
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped chives
  • 2 minced garlic cloves
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle chile powder or chipotle hot sauce
  • Salt and pepper
Note added later: Sorry for the ragged segue. This is the recipe for aioli not the recipe for steak. Jeez. What a mutton head. 

We have grilled at least once in every month through this winter which is unusual for us since we use charcoal. It's too hard to keep the grill at the right temperature when it's twenty below.

I've been thinking about growing vegetables this summer. We belong to a CSA and get a share box every week, but I would still like to grow a few things. I think my options are to put some things in pots or to tear up the front of my flower garden on the west side which is the only place we get any sun. Well, there is a piece in the back but I'm not sure it would be possible to keep the dog out of a garden in the back. He thinks that's his race track.

We're taking a trip to Mankato later to drop some things off at the accountant's office for work. While we're there, we'll stop at Famous Dave's for a beer and some take-out ribs. I know it's a chain but I love that bar. The waitress is always friendly, they play great blues, and the smell of barbecue is enough to make you swoon. We like to eat the ribs right out of the take-out box with a cold beer. It reminds us of the poem Half-Rack at the Rendevouz.

Half-Rack at the Rendezvouz  by William Notter  

She had a truck, red hair,
and freckled knees and took me all the way
to Memphis after work for barbecue.
We moaned and grunted over plates of ribs
and sweet iced tea, even in a room of strangers,
gnawing the hickory char, the slow
smoked meat peeling off the bones,
and finally the bones. We slurped
grease and dry-rub spice from our fingers,
then finished with blackberry cobbler
that stained her lips and tongue.

All the trees were throwing fireworks
of blossom, the air was thick
with pollen and the brand-new smell of leaves.
We drove back roads in the watermelon dusk,
then tangled around each other, delirious
as honeybees working wisteria.
I could blame it all on cinnamon hair,
or the sap rising, the overflow of spring,
but it was those ribs that started everything.

Well, I've gone on long enough this morning. I'll get some pictures up later...the mink cape, the half-rack, the St. Patrick's Day tree.

Me in my St. Pat's Get-Up

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