Saturday, February 27, 2010

Airport 1970 Flashback

So, we spent some lovely days in Florida, Naples to be exact, visiting the parental units. Lovely and relaxing.

We ate…..a lot.

We read…..a lot.

We shopped….a lot.

And then it was time to come home. And of course, there was bad weather. That seems like the pattern when HHBL and I fly these days….bad weather. I am a seasoned flier, but bad weather still makes me crazy. Not because I am afraid physically but because it messes up my schedule.

So, we were supposed to fly through Newark and then home to Cleveland. But that so wasn’t happening because of the storm that has socked the Northeast (and us as well). Continental kindly put us on a non-stop going directly home. Well, not home to our house because that would be rather difficult. And not a little awkward explaining the 737 in the yard. You know, home to Cleveland Hopkins International Airport. That outrageously busy hub, cough, cough.

We loaded almost on time. We took off almost on time. The flight was uneventful. The captain apologized for the “turbulence” and the people behind us were talking about how bumpy the flight was and I was like,

Bumpy? This wasn’t bumpy! Why you should have been with us when we were over the Pacific. I will give you bumpy! Or that small plane ride over central Florida when we flew through a thunderstorm. Now THAT was bumpy.

But no one was listening evidently so I went back to knitting.

And then the pilot told us that we were approaching Cleveland, which was his good news. But that because of all the snow they were receiving at the airport that the runways had been closed for some snow removal. And I immediately flashed to Airport. You know, the movie with Burt Lancaster, Dean Martin and a cast of other aging stars from stage and screen who needed work. It is one of my favorites.

But I digress…

So, the pilot mentioned that the runways were closed for snow removal and I immediately thought of this part of the movie, one of my favorites.

Yes, I know it makes no sense that I would have thought of this when the pilot mentioned that the runways were closed for snow removal.

But have I ever truly made sense?

Does my brain function like other peoples?

Does anybody really know what time it is?

Oh, flashback to the 70’s and my love for the group Chicago.

And in case you were wondering, the runways were re-opened in about 10 minutes and we were cleared to land. No worries about getting stuck and having the “snow plow conga line” have to get us out.

Now wouldn’t THAT have been and interesting post.

Certainly more interesting than this bit of rambling.

Friday, February 26, 2010

7 Quick Takes (Vol 59)


Remember to click on the picture above to go and check out more Quick Takes. You won't be sorry.

I am in love with sticky notes. I cannot help it. I love them, love them, love them.

I need help

Even though I have enough stickies to last the rest of my life I still look at them longingly when I go into Wally Mart or the grocery store or the dollar store or anywhere that they might be purchased. You never know if you might find some new form or color……..

AND I also have a program that puts “stickies” on my desk top electronically. The program is free and can be found here. It is marvelous. I love it. I have stickies all over my desk top. I cannot stop.

Help me.

I have been in Florida for most of the week. To get there we had to fly. It just isn’t as much fun to fly as it used to be. Maybe because I am a more frequent flier and I have to deal with all the pain in the butt things that we have to go through. I am an impatient flier I am sorry to say. I want the plane to board quickly and efficiently and that just doesn’t usually happen, especially with so many people who are novice fliers. You can see them coming with their oversized and over stuffed bags that they attempt to jam into the overhead bins. And then they stand in the aisle and get themselves ready to sit down all the while holding up the rest of the passengers. Sorry for the rant. I will now put on my big girl panties and deal with it.

Do you know what we have been doing in Florida? We were visiting family and eating. Oh yes we have been eating. The day we arrived we went to the Rod & Gun Club and I had this:

IMG_5128 This is a fried grouper sandwich. It is delicious. Doesn’t it look delicious. I mean that piece of fish hung over the edge of the bun and was perfectly flaky and yummy.
IMG_5131It was a hardship but I managed finish is all. My mommy (who was sitting next to me and finished her sandwich too) always told me that I had to finish what I took. I do what my mother tells me.

And then, later in the week we had this. Do you know what this is?

IMG_5138A These are catfish fillets. Deep fried catfish fillets which is really the only way to have them, at least I think so. And they were accompanied by hushpuppies. If you haven’t had a hushpuppy then you certainly haven’t spent any time in the South. The meal came with white beans, corn pudding, mashed potatoes, white gravy, brown gravy and collard greens all served family style. I had a bit of all of those except the greens. Anything that requires that you put vinegar on it to make it eatable is something that I try to avoid. Greens and liver are probably evil cousins.

I wish I could tell you that the eating was done and that we went back and had small salads and dry toast. But if I told you that then I would be lying, lying, lying. Because we also had this as we people watched in Naples.IMG_5141 Oh this was really good ice cream. It was sort of their version of Moose Tracks which is my favorite.

I just couldn’t help myself. There was no one there to stop me. The waitress made me order it.

IMG_5146A Key Lime Pie, which happens to be just about my favorite pie in whole wide world, except for my Grandma Pringle’s apple pie. And this was REALLY good Key Lime Pie. I know my pie and this was good.

And then, finally, even though I wondered if it would ever happen. I was…………
IMG_5143A At least until the next time the waitress comes by and tells me that they have Key Lime Pie.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

I Never Met A Grocery Store I Didn’t Like

Have I ever mentioned to you that I love grocery stores? And that I love grocery shopping? Oh man do I love it. Ask my mom.

She and I go to the grocery store all the time when we are together. You never know what you might need you know.

And I love grocery stores in other countries. I love how they look, I love what you can buy there. In central Mexico, in a grocery store that was so clean you could eat off the floor, you could by everything from a huge bag of breads for about $1 to a bag of chicken feet to half a pig’s head. I just love it.

IMG_1824Potatoes are a BIG thing in Peru. A big thing. And I have never seen so many potatoes in any store in the US. There were all colors and sizes.

IMG_1826 There you go again with the unrefrigerated eggs. These were just some of the colors.

IMG_1828I don’t know any grocery store in the US where you can just dip out your rice or pasta yourself. If you go to a Whole Foods or Mustard Seed Market you can dish it out from those hermetically sealed bins but here, I could have just played in the stuff like it was a sand box. I didn’t but I could have……I thought about it.

Can you imagine the apoplexy that would ensue if a grocery store here in the US had this kind of set up. The manager wouldn’t be able to handle the thought I am sure.

IMG_1884 Care for some fish? These were just available for you to pick and bag your own. Same with the beef.

IMG_1886She is dishing out orange marmalade for us. This stuff was AMAZING. I can not describe to you how amazing the flavor was. Total bread spread crack. I had it on my fresh rolls every morning. Butter and marmalade oh my!

IMG_1888Yes, I know that I have an ongoing love affair with bread. We walk hand in hand into the sunset do rolls and I. This is just a tiny picture of what was available. A whole wall of different rolls and breads and…….I am drooling. And cheap!!!

IMG_1891 Mangoes. Oh how I love mangoes. They are delicious, if a tad pain in the butt to cut up. But they are so worth it. The fruit section was mind boggling.

IMG_1889You know what one of the best things about the grocery stores in Lima is? The grocery cart parking spaces. That is what these are. You go to various places in the store and you can park your cart and then go to get what you want. Your cart won’t be molested. Some low paid worker won’t assume because it is sitting there unattended that you don’t want what is in it. It will still be there when you come back. Genius!

I love grocery stores.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Farmer’s Markets Make Me Happy

Oh how I love farmer’s markets. I don’t know what it is but I just love them. There are good farmer’s markets and there are mediocre ones (which just make me sad). Ever been to the one in San Francisco that happens on Saturdays? Now that one is awesome.

Because I don’t have anything else to do today (yeah right), I thought I would give you a glimpse of the market that we went to in Lima. The in-laws frequent this one. I can’t possibly tell you how to get there so if you are going to Lima….you are out of luck. But just enjoy the memories with me.

IMG_1800This really wasn’t a very big market, just one block long. But it was colorful and really, really busy. I refrained from taking a picture of the police officers, dressed in military garb and toting rifles. I assume they were guarding the market. I don’t want to know what from. I just wanted to enjoy the experience thank you very much.

IMG_1801 What’s in these you might ask. You did want to know right? Well, actually in them were little fires because on them were being made little things that you could buy to munch on or take home for later. I have a picture of the food around here somewhere I know. What I didn’t take a picture of was the fellow that was selling home produced apple juice, and was giving out free samples. All the others, the chickens, who were with me declined to try it but I said, “Oh what the heck, why not!” I wasn’t bad actually. I was a tad concerned when he ladled it out from a crock beside him. But it was OK, a bit bland but OK.

IMG_1803 BREAD! Yum, I love bread and never met an artisan loaf that I didn’t like. These were no exception.

IMG_1806 The usual unrefrigerated eggs. Never fear, I am sure that they are OK. I long ago learned in my travels that eggs keep quite well for week unrefrigerated, IF they have not been refrigerated before. Once you refrigerate them they need to stay that way. Don’t you just love the look of brown eggs. Some much better than boring white ones.

IMG_1808 Messing with Mom’s cell phone it looked like to me. He was in total concentration mode.

IMG_1809 Oh mommy, you do know what this was. It was lovely, stinky goat cheese. It looked like they had sort of thrown it on the ground and rolled it around in the dirt. But let me tell you that this stuff was delicious. We bought some and used it later in the week to stuff figs that we bought by the side of the road. Oh yum.

IMG_1812 Everyone had different baskets and carts to hold the stuff that they were purchasing. This guy just happened to be employing his dog to pull the cart. I wonder if Max would be willing to pull something like this?

IMG_1813 A picture just can’t fully tell you how good this produce looked. The avacados on the left were just wonderful. And you should have seen some of the tomatoes. Oh my!

IMG_1819 And then, as we were leaving, we bought some goodies to take back home for lunch. These little lovelies were sort of a calzone like thing. Only they were full of veggies like peppers, onions and eggplant. Also there was some local cheese in there as well. Ella and I split one because they were gigantinormous. And oh were they good.

Tomorrow it is on to grocery shopping in Lima.

Did I mention that I love grocery stores?

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Max’s Favorite Time of Year

The dog lives for winter. He craves it. He thinks that it was invented especially for him so that he can run around like an idiot and make tracks in the snow and eat the snow.

With regards to his eating of snow…he doesn’t seem to discriminate between newly fallen and yellow. Just thought that you would want to know. Wherever he happens to stick his head in for a bit of snow is fine with him it would seem.

IMG_5087AIf you can believe it, we have had several days of warmer weather, relatively speaking. At one point the snow in the yard was almost to the level of his back. He would leap through the yard like a gazelle.

IMG_5090AThis is what Max lives for. All he wants is for you to go outside with him and throw snowballs at him. The bigger the better. And if you can actually hit him in the face with one then he will be your friend for life.

IMG_5082A   IMG_5108AOh yeah, that should be a big enough snowball. The bigger the better is Max’s motto.

IMG_5112AIf only I could be as enthusiastic about cleaning my house as Max is about having snow thown in his face.

 IMG_5118A The Alpha Male has called me and I must run to her as fast as I can. Perhaps she will throw snowballs at me as well.

Oh joy

Oh rapture

Monday, February 22, 2010

Ode to the Hot Flash

Ode To The Hot Flash
By Debbie Quigg

I sing the song of Hot Flash
the heat that no one wins
at first you’re fine
and then you’re not
you're lit up from within.

I sing the song of menopause
the ode that’s salty sweet
that fills you up
and pours you out
with overwhelming heat.

I sing the song of hot flash
that menopausal ode.
It’s winter and the North wind blows
YOU never will be cold

And when in slumber you doth rest
all tucked up in your bed.
Don’t get comfy dreaming dreams
for hot flash is ahead.

You may be dreaming lovely thoughts
of food or climbing mountains
when out your pores
there springs to life
an overflowing fountain

You inner fire is stoked and high
you throw off all your covers
and shake your fist in flaming rage
and wish this on some others.

Oh why? you ask yourself with ire
must this scourge come my way.
What have I done to earn this heat
this drenching sweat bidet (sorry I was having trouble rhyming)

Oh uterus I miss you not
you were so big and broken
but hot flash you are just as bad
I think I’ll have some bourbon.

Thank you for attending our poetry reading. We will now return you to your regularly scheduled blatherings by Debbie.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Drum Roll Please………

Oh my goodness this was just so much fun I can tell you. I really think I like giving things away and I think I might have to do it more often.

So without further ado, and having used the very scientific method of writing down everyone’s names on multiple pieces of paper and then folding said pieces of paper up into little tiny squares. And then making HHBL pick one…..

The winner of 6 delicious packages of Wolferman’s English Muffins is….

IMG_5121 Chelsea!!! from Roots and Rings

Actually that is entirely appropriate because she has a little “muffin in the oven” if you get the drift and she needs extra nourishment.

So my friend, you know my email and I know your address! Just shoot me an email to confirm which flavors that you would like and I will send them on your way.

Remember the Giveaway!! Remember to Enter!!

Just a reminder that I am having a small giveaway. Go here and follow the rules, if you haven't already done so. You might win something yummy!

I will be picking the winner after 6p.

Friday, February 19, 2010

7 Quick Takes (Vol 58)



Do you know who Amy Dacyzyn is? If you don’t then you should. I have her Tightwad Gazette books and I love, love, love them.  Ever wonder what she is doing now?

I have been overdosing on the Olympics. Have you? In this household we have differing opinions about the Winter Olympics. I love them….and HHBL…not so much. He is more of a Summer Olympics guy.

As has been my practice since 1968 I am overdosing on figure skating. Don’t you just hold your breath when they do those jumps and throws? How the heck do they land on that little,  skinny skate blade? It just amazes me every single time. Sometimes I just want to watch with my hands up to my face and looking through my fingers. I am such a chicken.

And this week, this week starts the Curling competitions. Oh I love Curling. I don’t understand why but I could watch it and watch it and watch it.

It is snowing again. Snowing and snowing and snowing. I haven’t gone out to actually measure but my best guesstimate is that we currently have 25+ inches on the ground. And we haven’t gotten this through a bunch of big snows. Oh no, it is “death by a thousand paper cuts” around here. two inches one day, three inches the next, one inch the day after that. It just keeps piling up and piling up. I have forgotten what grass looks like. And poor Max, there are certain things that the dog needs to do outside and they are difficult to do if the snow is as high as your back.

And speaking of Max the Bad Dog, as we were just doing. I am afraid that when we are gone from the house he is going to be spending his time in the laundry room. This is where we used to put him when he was younger and seemingly untrained. But for many years he has had the run of the house when we were gone.

But no more. No, he will be in the laundry room because of this….

IMG_5069A IMG_5073A He can no longer be trusted. He chewed this up when HHBL was home not even when the house was empty.

I am sure that we have all heard the adage that we have a twin somewhere in the world. I haven’t really ever seen that in action….until Wednesday night. HHBL had asked me to go to the annual meeting of a business group he is involved with. I go about once a year. It can be interesting…or not, depending on who is speaking. And the appetizers are generally good and I can get a glass of wine without forking over my youngest child’s college fund. So, I had appetizers, I was working on a glass of wine, I was sitting in a room full of other business men and investors….and I was sort of bored. What to do when you are bored? Why you text Cousin Heather (Hi Hadoo) and you Twitter of course. Especially as I hadn’t brought my knitting with me. A girl has to do what she has to do.

I had my head down, sort of listening as Hadoo and I exchanged messages. When I looked up I thought, “Hey! What is Marlborough Man doing here??? And in a suit no less!”  Any of us who read The Pioneer Woman (and who doesn’t) know who Marlborough Man is. This guy was his absolute twin. The gray hair, the goatee. I was literally about a second away from jumping up from my seat and searching for P-Dub. Thank goodness I took a moment to marshal my forces because I would have been more than a bit embarrassed had I jumped up at that moment. I realized quickly that this MM look alike was talking about measuring the cervical length of pregnant woman to determine the possibility of preterm labor. I don’t think that MM would be talking about that! Once I figured out it wasn’t MM and therefore P-Dub wasn’t there…..I went back to Tweeting.

Did you ever think that there would be a time when the costumes worn by the male Olympic skaters would have more sequins and sparkly stuff than the women. Oh how I long for the days of Brian Boitano and Scott Hamilton.

I have decided that I have “knitting ADHD”. Sometimes I just flit from one project to the next never staying with one thing for too long. I get my projects done but I switch from one to the other. Sweater to ultra alpac socks to Socks for Soldiers socks to sweater to scarf to…… Is there a knitting form of Ritalin?

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Happy Blogiversary to ME!!!

How time doth fly my friends. It flies very, very fast. How can it be that two years ago today I finally gave in to the pressure and started this crazy thing called my blog. Sometimes it seems like I have always been blogging. I can’t remember what life was like before the blog and I started going steady, when I started to tell it my deep dark secrets. Such as my fondness for The Housewives of Orange County. I hang my head in shame.

It sort of sounds like a marriage doesn’t it. Only I can’t cuddle up to the blog at night and warm my feet on it. That is what I have HHBL for.

I have learned some things in the last several years of blogging

1. Persistence: I try to blog at least 5 days a week. Sometimes I don’t want to. Sometimes I am just not sure when I get up what I might say on that day. Sometimes I have blog posts lined up like planes at O’Hare airport. You just never know. But, to have any kind of returning readership I must blog routinely.
2. I have a unique “voice” which I am learning to run with and like. I have a way of putting my words and thoughts together that makes me smile and laugh at times, makes me cry at others.
3. The friends that I have made in the bloggy world are precious to me. I would never have found you all if I didn’t have a blog.
4. ANYTHING is fodder for a blog post. I even have HHBL calling me to tell me things that he thinks I should blog about. It is an addiction.
5. You never know who reads your blog on a regular basis (Hi Donna and John!).

And so, to celebrate my blogiversary I am having a little give away. I am so scared. Be nice and participate. Make me feel happy.

What am I giving away to you? Well, you know that I love food. I love it more than is good for me. More than my hips and bahookie can stand. One of my favorite things are these

What are these you are asking yourself? Well, these are Wolferman’s English Muffins and they are divine. We became addicted to these one year when my SIL send them to us for Christmas. There are 14 different flavors. You can toast them. You can top them with delicious things. You can dream about them.

I am wanting to give someone some of these. I am wanting to give away 6 packages of these to some lucky person. Please let me do it…..PLEASE!!!

So here is what we are gonna do. You have several ways to get your name in the Muffin Pot. The giveaway lasts from right now until Saturday 2/20 at 6p (EST). For each of the things that you do below you will get a “ticket” thrown in the pot. The more tickets you have the better your chances.

1. Leave a comment telling me what Wolferman’s flavors look delicious. 
2. Look to your right –> that way. “Follow” the blog, leave a comment that you have done so. If you are already a follower you get an extra ticket.
3. Follow me on Twitter and “tweet” the giveaway, leave a comment that you have done so. 
4. Link to this giveaway on your blog, leave a comment here that you have done so.

Oh, think about all those lovely English Muffins. Yummy!!! Now get commenting!  

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Estrogen Schmestrogen, Who Needs Estrogen.

So, I am closing in on the big “Five Oh” (just in case you want to send a gift or something). It arrives next month. And in celebration of that momentous day I have decided not to renew my prescription for estrogen. I actually made that decision a bunch of weeks ago but I thought I would give it a bit of time before I actually wrote anything about it.

Too much information, especially for you male readers? Well, all except for my dad, Doctor Man, who is a retired OB/GYN. Remember, we are all about being an open book around here at Chez Knit so estrogen is what you get today.

Not in the physical sense, just in the internet sense.

So, I probably should tell you that I really hate taking pills. I really hate it. And I have had to take my fair share of pills in my life. Hey Mom and Dad, you remember all those steroid pills I was supposed to be taking when I was so sick in high school, the ones that you trusted me to take…..and that you aren’t supposed to just stop taking those kinds of drugs cold turkey. Ummmm, well. I really hated them, really. And so, I just didn’t take them. I got better, I went into remission. No one knew.

And then there were the massive, and I do mean massive, number of ibuprophen that I ingested in the years before the hysterectomy. It wasn’t that I actually liked taking those things. It was just that I wanted to be able to function certain days of the month (if you get my drift) and I couldn’t do that without a large number of pain pills. I could have gone the narcotic route on those days, I had the prescription for it. But me and narcotics…..we aren’t real good friends.

And now, now I have been on estrogen for 10 months, ever since the great removal. I will say that it took a bit of time to find the right thing for me. My doc, who I just love, at first had me on a patch. Slap one of those on your body somewhere once a week or so and don’t think anything more about it….except that the cost was $40/month.

I don’t think so.

So then she put me on a pill version. Name brand. You might see commercials for it on the TV. Worked fine. No problems……..except that the cost was $40/month.

Again, I don’t think so.

And then Doctor Man, who can always be counted on for good info, suggested that I just take estradial, the generic form of estrogen…..and the cost was $4/month. I could do that. And I have been doing that……

When I remembered to take the pills that is.

One would think I could be a tad more responsible with this wouldn’t you. I was really very good for the first 6 months or so. I had a mania for remembering. And one would think that by 6 months I would have built up a habit, sort of like brushing your teeth, and that I wouldn’t forget. But that wasn’t the case.

I would go a day, two days and then I would remember that I had to take that dumb pill. It kept happening again and again. And finally I decided to do some research and think about this and I decided. I was done.

I have been doing OK so far, 4 weeks into the great estrogen drought. My moods are good (for which HHBL is VERY thankful). HHBL will tell you that before the hysterectomy I was a little on the, hmmm how should I say it, moody side. Since the hysterectomy I am fine and dandy…


The only thing is, sometimes, it just sort of feels like someone turns up my internal bunsen burner to blue flame (sorry, I flashed back to college microbiology for a second). I will be just fine one minute and then the next I will be taking off layers faster than a stripper in Las Vegas, but with less pleasing viewing. So far that is all she wrote for symptoms.

Yes, I know that estrogen helps my poor old bones. But I am taking my calcium and my Vitamin D. I am drinking milk, eating cheese and yogurt, slathering my bread with butter. I don’t drink any pop except for the once a month small Coke that I allow myself.

If you are a woman and you are drinking pop, whether regular or diet you need to stop. It is bad for your bones. This has been your PSA for the day (public service announcement not prostate specific-antigen test). We now return you to your regularly scheduled blathering by Debbie.

I am not advocating that if you are taking HRT you need to stop. This is just what I have decided is best for me. The hot flashes are great in the winter….

We will see what happens come summertime.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

In Peru the Rules of the Road Are Optional

You think I am kidding when I write that? If you do then you would be really and totally wrong on that account. So very, very wrong.

On our first trip to Lima, I think in 2005 or so, we were driving back from the store and Alberto my stepFIL was driving. He is a good and safe driver, I have been in the car many times with him, in traffic in NYC no less and I can attest to his driving prowess. So imagine my surprise when he just coasted right through a stop sign. He didn’t even pass his foot lightly over the brake to give the impression of a rolling stop. He just went right through.

Um, Alberto?

Yes, Debbie (imagine that said in a Peruvian accent)

Um, you do know that you just drove right through that stop sign don’t you?

Oh yes, but you see, if I stopped the car behind me would not be expecting it and he most likely would hit us.


I mean, what I am supposed to say to that. And so I began to observe what the other cars on the road were doing and, yes, it would seem that the commonly accepted rules of the road were often…..optional. It is like we were living in the time of Judges in the Bible. You know, “Each man did what was right in his own eyes.”

And so, with that in mind I thought I would relate a small incident that we observed from the balcony of the in-laws condo, as we were having lunch on a Saturday. The traffic on the highway was rather heavy because people were going down to the south to go to the beach. At least that was Alberto’s theory and I tend to think he was right. The sun was bright and sunny. Lunch was delicious. All was right with the world.

And then I looked down and saw this….

IMG_4683A Ummmmm, what do those cars think they are doing?

What you can’t see is that there was a back up on the highway. What you also can’t get a perspective on is the fact that the curb over which these cars are attempting to drive is at least 8 inches high. That is not good for the undercarriage of a car.

IMG_1830AEgads! Once one car made the decision that they didn’t want to wait in the backed up traffic then it was a free for all. Quickly the left hand lane was at a stand still or close to it as cars carefully turned and carefully negotiated their way over the curb, momentarily straddling the median while they waited for a break in the traffic that was zipping along going the opposite direction. And this being Peru, where the rules of the road and all common sense in driving is often absent, well often they just pulled out into the oncoming traffic and made the assumption that people would slow down.

IMG_4685A  At one point BOTH lanes of traffic had cars that were trying to make this crazy jump over the median. That meant that there were other cars that were then pulling around them, between the two lanes pulling to the left and the two lanes that were going to the right.


IMG_4687 We were so worked up over what we all interpreted as impending disaster and mayhem and slaughter that we needed Pisco Sours to calm us down and make the world seem more rosey and full of drivers who understood that this was not a good thing to do.

4360070082_a3ffebaa0a_o And then it happened. What we all figured would happen eventually. Some fellow, not too long on common sense and certainly lacking in driving skills, somehow got his car stuck on that median, two wheels on one side and two on the other. And he was going nowhere.

Pull forward, nada
Back up, nada
Get out, leaving car door open in oncoming traffic, and take a look
Scratch head (he really did that)
Look under the car as if the answer is under there
Get back in car and repeat process over and over and over

And finally a tow truck showed up, pulling across all lanes of traffic and backing everything up further as they stood around and scratched their heads and tried to decide how to get the car over the median.

Pull the tow truck up one way, attach the cables, give it a go….nada

Move the truck at another angle, attach the cables, give it a go…..nada

And where were the Policia while all this was going on? In the USA they would have been there right away directing traffic, writing tickets, drinking coffee and having donuts. But in this instance we didn’t see any Policia arrive until just about the time that they finally unstuck the car from the median. Just in time to write the guy a ticket before he pulled out into traffic.

IMG_4695A And did you notice. Rather than proceeding along in the lane he was supposed to be in he pulled across FOUR lanes of traffic and a warning zone before proceeding quickly away from the scene of his little “accident”.

I wonder how he explained to the little woman why he was late getting home and how the undercarriage of his car became slightly damaged.

Oh wouldn’t we like to know.

Monday, February 15, 2010

I Love Little Tavernas

OK, really the correct name wouldn’t be “taverna” because that is a word that really means a small Greek restaurant. But Greek or Peruvian I think the name fits. And besides, I don’t know what they call it in Peru.

We all know that I love to eat. No surprise there. If you could see what the scale tells me you would know it. But that is fodder for another blog post I would think. For the moment lets talk food. Let’s talk local food. Let’s talk local Lima taverna food.

I love traveling, like you didn’t already know that. And one of the things that I like the most about traveling is trying the food wherever I go. HHBL and I have a food/travel rule. This applies whether we are in the good old USA or someplace more unusual. We do not eat at chain restaurants. There have been times when we have had to break that rule but for the most part no. If we hadn’t been willing to eat where the locals eat we might have missed Hogg Brothers Cafe in Anchorage or Vietnamese food in North Sydney, Australia or Beef Stew at the Hotel Vanilla in Bundibugyo, Uganda. Old, gnarly beef with a side of attacking beetle but still beef in Uganda. Did I ever tell you about the attack of the giant beetle? Remind me some time. It was horrific and I barely escaped with my life.

IMG_1799I am sorry but there has to be only good things coming from a small place to eat that has doors like this. No sign, just doors. Oh yes.

IMG_1796This picture doesn’t convey to you how small this place was, perhaps 20 tables max with very little room to move. See the guy on the right with the green cap on? What you can’t see is that his dog is underneath the table. When the taverna owner would walk by the dog would jump up and bark. The guy is a regular visitor and he always brings his dog and the dog always barks at the taverna owner. How cool is that. 

IMG_1792 The fellow at the table to the left had been laughing so hard that he was crying. We arrived at the taverna about 1:30p and it was practically empty…because it wasn’t yet lunch time. WASN’T YET LUNCH TIME??? Nope, it didn’t start to fill up until 2p or so. Of course, dinner time in Lima is generally 8p or later. By the way, these tables were behind me so I was sort of sticking my camera over my shoulder, taking the picture and hoping for the best.

IMG_1778 Life goes at a slower pace in Lima. So that means that you start your dining experience by just sort of sitting there and having something to drink and eating these delicious little morsels of corny goodness. I don’t remember what they are called but they are like bar food crack. Deep fried, corn kernel crack. Lightly salted. Heaven help me I want some now.

IMG_1780 Then you need to order something to drink and what is more appropriate than beer that is brewed in Peru. Just as an aside, always try to drink the local brew. You won’t be sorry. This lovely stuff happened to be Cuzquena which is brewed in Cuzco. We actually ordered both light and dark and mixed them. It sort of looks like a Black and Tan and tastes delicious. And of course, it is a beer that I can’t seem to get here in the states. Oh well.

IMG_1777 What to have, what to have. I don’t read Spanish but I can pick out a word or two. It is very helpful that HHBL knows Spanish and that I had the in-laws there to interpret. We let Alberto order some appetizers and we ordered our own lunches. Cousin Ella and I ordered Tacu tacu con langostinos.

IMG_1782 Oh what is this? It is something covered with a slightly purply sauce. What could it be? Well, it is actually octopus covered with a sauce made with local olives nestled on a bed of lettuce. It sounded absolutely gag producing but tasted really quite good. You sort of put it on pieces of good local bread and munched away.

IMG_1784 And then there were these little morsels of deep friend calamari with a sort of tartar sauce. Oh these were mouth watering.

IMG_1789  And then came the main dish for me…Tacu Tacu con Langostinos. Rice and beans with shrimp covered with this absolutely delicious sauce that had a fair share of saffron in it. The portion was huge so Ella and I split one. There is no way that I could have eaten it by myself. It was yummy.

IMG_1797 And then came dessert. It was sort of a Tres Leches kind of puddingy thing and it was good. REALLY sweet but good. If I could have I would have licked the bowl clean. But I restrained myself.

But it was hard.