Excerpt from The Butter Pecan Diaries
NO – the photo is not my holiday table – blame Martha!
For those of you that know me – okay, everyone on this list – I’ve decided a Welcome January/Let’s Celebrate 1st Quarter/New Year Note is what I can handle at the moment. At least I’m not writing from St. Elizabeth’s Hospital for the Neglected Menopausal Boomer – on the other hand – can you be sure! Really, they promised my November release was permanent this time.
Yup, yup, yup we ended the year with Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, New Year’s, Ramadan, Winter Solstice, Boxing Day, Epiphany, St. Lucia Day (watch “The Ref” for info on this little recognized holiday – it is priceless) and my particular favorite Penguin Awareness Day celebrated on January 20th. Whichever you celebrate(d) hope it was good, you received lots of presents, food out the yang and a major gain in your 401(k).
Thankfully we have a year till the Mayan calendar warns we will be hit by an asteroid of such monumental proportions that our tiny earth bottoms will explode into dust particles. Just my destiny – I’ll be Bronx dandruff on the rings of Saturn. Earth will be obliterated and life will end all because the Mayans got writer’s cramp and didn’t finish the calendar. How can we be sure it wasn’t a big joke by some Medicine Man with a warped sense of humor and one too many puffs on magic leaves? Maybe Mayan specters are loitering around the clouds laughing their interim wings off because we give this any sort of credence.
You were thinking what – in 2012 your kids would be out of college and out of your house, you might be retired, the cars and home paid for, no worries – right? In the immortal words of Tony Soprano . . . ahhhh, you know what those words are! Work with me – take a hard look at your Outlook calendar – if Microsoft & Bill Gates say 2012 and beyond will be here – bank on it.
Christmas was quiet. Jerry and I were alone. Okay, maybe it could have been better. However, company did come. Peggy and Jimmy arrived two days prior to New Years; Rosie and Casey followed. I love company because I like to feed them. I love to cook. I yearn for visitor’s hips to rival my Rubenesque form. I was thinking lasagna, stuffed manicotti, turkey and dressing, cheesecake. Then I found out: Peggy was on Weight Watchers, Jimmy didn’t like onions, Rosie was diagnosed with a severe allergy to wheat, rye and barley and Casey was a Vegan.
My menu choices spiraled downward. I stocked up on: skim milk, soy milk, 2% milk, yogurt butter, spray butter (it is approved by FDA), cucumbers, spinach, yogurt with live cultures, yogurt with semi-something cultures, spelt bread and anything raw in the veggie case. On the plus side of the universe I only required a case of wine and my faithful butter pecan.
I queried the Food Network on a variety of creative, tasteful and appropriate menus – broiled place mats, filet of substance found on road, crème de la (oh, I can’t share that one!) My heart pounded for three days trying to determine menus. I did an Excel spreadsheet. I purchased every bit of fresh fruit in my zip code, hoarded seltzer, bottled water and real juice. I made fresh vinaigrette(s), salads, and salsa. I made two kinds of stew – one veggie – one with beef, but no gravy thickener or onions. I had rolls at one end of the table and spelt bread at the other, real butter, yogurt butter, spray butter, juice, milk, water, seltzer, beer, wine, soda, coffee, tea (hot and cold.)
I did dishes non-stop and ran out of pans to cook with (and you know how many I own!)
All went off without a major hitch and by New Year’s Eve all had gone and Jerry and I were left with a major decision – watch the ball drop or go to bed. Bed won out. I guess I am getting older.
Rosie is doing very well. She left her Chef duties because of her wheat allergy (imagine being a Chef and cannot be near flour?) and enrolled in Smith College working toward a Masters in Economics and Math. I have continued gainful employment and Jerry is still in the closet business. We bought a house in August and are quite content and truly thankful with our new space on the planet.
Wynonna We all continue to miss very deeply. We know she is with God and knows how much we love and miss her.
Our best to each of you for a peaceful, quiet and blessed New Year.
Love ya, Scarlett