Category Archives: Food


I’ve just had one of my favorite kinds of weekends. No social engagements, no particular errands, no particular chores. Started out with snowblowing early Saturday morning so that YA could get to work; although it’s technically a chore and it was cold, I had fun using my new snowblower (well, new to me anyway) even though it was a little hard to get it started the first time it was still dark and I had to kinda figure out by touch where the choke and throttle were. Did my Saturday morning chores (change sheets, water plants) and by then it was all of 7:30. So except for taking breaks to throw more laundry in and have meals, I spent the entire day in my studio! I’ve had a pile of stuff that I wanted to use up for a few weeks and I managed to get through it all.

Yesterday I had to snowblow out the bottom of my driveway again and when I lent the snowblower to my neighbor for a bit, I got to learn about cotter pins. Glad he broke it and not me – I would never have known what had happened and would probably have spent a lot of bucks having somebody diagnose and fix it. YA convinced me we should out for breakfast – The Lowbrow – her favorite breakfast spot. When we got home I made a big pot of broccoli cheese soup and then headed back to my studio. Overall I made 41 cards this weekend and got the studio spruced up as well.

My friend Pat calls this kind of behavior “burrowing” and I have to admit I did feel like I had hunkered down in my sweatpants and fat socks. I do enjoy my busier weekends as well, but it did feel rather nice to tune out the world for a couple of days.

What do you like to do when you’re “burrowing”?

Weddings and Rice

As I was walking out of the co-op the other day, I looked down to see a large splotch of rice in the parking lot. The kind of splotch that can only be achieved by having your bag of rice break open while you’re carrying it to the car (you can guess why I know this).  My first thought was that the local birds would be happy but then I remembered that supposedly uncooked rice is bad for birds, which is why they throw birdseed now at weddings.

Then when I got home, I discovered that YA had received TWO “save-the-date” cards.

Wedding reminder #3 was when I was watching Cake Boss that night and one of the bakers (sorry I don’t watch this enough to know any of their names) was celebrating a milestone anniversary with a big party and a wedding cake. When the couple began to cut the cake and feed each other, I cringed, hoping they wouldn’t smash the cake into each other’s faces.  I detest that.

So all these wedding reminders in one day made me think about weddings how the traditions have changed over the years. My first wedding, which was completely orchestrated by my mother, was fairly traditional.  Church, gown, reception, cake (unsmashed), lots of people I didn’t know.  My second wedding was the exact opposite, we met the judge at  Good Earth restaurant and were married at the table with our server, Philip and the server from the next section, Sarah, as our witnesses.  Honeymoon at Day tons that afternoon.  I am much more fond of my Good Earth wedding memories than my traditional ones so it makes me wonder why so many brides and bridegrooms adhere so stickily to all the “musts” when getting married.  Why not do something different, stretch their boundaries, find things that are meaningful instead of just traditional. Those of you with psychology degrees, any ideas?

If you were planning your wedding today, how would you like it to go? (Like all good fantasies, money is no object.)

Good Fortune

Fortune cookies, while a fun novelty, don’t always register for me. Most of the time that YA and I have Chinese food, it is at home, delivered by our favorite place, Fresh Wok.   YA loves cream cheese wontons, which I consider dessert; this combined with the fact that the fortune cookies are always at the bottom of the bag, they are usually overlooked until after we’re full.

I have some good friends who are moving this week, so this past weekend, I took Chinese take-out over to them so they would have one night when they didn’t have to cook. I decided to make it an early Chinese New Year party so brought lucky money envelopes, red paper plates/cups, the works.  When I was setting things out, the fortune cookies were actually on the top of the bag so I put them each of our place settings.

Here is what mine said:

“Because of your melodic nature, the moonlight never misses an appointment.”

Lovely, although in terms of it being a fortune, all I can figure is I’d better keep being melodic or the moonlight will miss an appointment?

What fortune would YOU like to crack open?

I Like What I Like

In 2019 YA and her boyfriend discovered Roti, a Mediterranean fast food place that opened in late 2018 in Edina. It’s a lot like Chipotle, where you choose your base, then your protein, then your add-ons as you go down the line.  Since I rarely go out to eat for lunch (and when I do, I never go far), I didn’t even know it existed until YA suggested that I should include Roti on the list of possible giftcards that Santa could put in her stocking.

It turns out to be fairly close to my office so I went to help Santa with his list a bit before the holidays. In getting a giftcard for YA and one for BF, I qualified for a $5 off card for myself.  Since I had to run an errand yesterday that took me close to Southdale, I decided it would be a good time to try Roti and get a good deal in the bargain.  Since I hate to stand around trying to figure out how the menu works in a new place (with impatient folks behind me), I decided to look on line before heating over.  The menu described how the process works and all the options, including a yummy looking flat bread pizza with hummus, veggies and feta cheese.  Right up my alley.

Imagine my surprise when I got to Roti and the veggie flatbread pizza wasn’t listed on the menu board. When I asked about it, a couple of employees looked at me like I had frogs crawling out of my ears.  The manager piped up and said that it had been discontinued.  Obviously not in the hour since I had seen it online, but I had a feeling that sentiment wasn’t going to get me anywhere.  Instead I did what works best in these situations; I stood there looking up silently and forlornly at the menu board.  Eventually the manager said “but we can go ahead and make one for you anyway” and proceeded to confirm what I wanted on the flatbread.  (All of the ingredients were right there, but I figured that commenting on why they would discontinue something that they clearly could easily make would not help.)

While I was waiting, it occurred to me that I have a couple of favorites at other places that have been discontinued and I still ask for them.  Jamba Juice will still make me an Orange Appeal and Davanni’s will still do their Four Cheese Hot Hoagie for me if I ask.  I assume most people just let these things go and order off the menu, but I don’t always want to try something new.  I just want what I want.

Faced with new options are you adventuresome or do you like what you like?

Lefse and Weltschmerz

Our son sent me a text earlier this week along with this photo:

“This is how low I’ve had to stoop to mimic your lefse”.

“It tastes like mediocrity and sadness. As if some underappreciated Norse lady made it sacrificing quality for quantity. It causes me great Weltschmerz”.

I am sure that there are many people who gladly eat Mrs. Olson’s potato lefse and really like it.  My son is pretty spoiled. I am making lefse today and bringing several packages with me in my suitcase to Brookings on Monday.

I understand his Weltschmerz, his world weariness and melancholy, especially now that  Christmas is over and the new year looms ahead with all its uncertainty. I combat it with baking and catnaps.

Where is your Weltschmerz meter at these days? What causes your Weltschmerz? How do you  cope with the inadequacy and imperfection of this world?



Favorite Meals

Our daughter is home and is relishing being spoiled and waited on. She works hard as an intensive in-home family therapist in Tacoma  and is really burned out right now.  She doesn’t like sea food,  which is unfortunate  given how close she lives  to the sea,  and has been craving beef.  She and I are planning favorite meals for her while she is home.  Roast beef, garlic mashed potatoes, turkey chipotle chowder, and pasta with this special tomato sauce I make are her requests. It is good to have her here.

What were your favorite meals at home?  What didn’t you like?  What special meals does  your  family request?

Office Party

Yesterday  from 11:30 until 1:00 pm was my agency Christmas party. It was a potluck for staff only, with the Social Committee supplying deep fried Turkey, cheesy potatoes , and punch, paid for by agency fundraisers over the past year.  It took place in a large and shabby meeting room in the basement of our agency.  All the food was good and calorie laden. I brought cranberry salsa. We played simple games, ate, and returned  to work. What a change from the parties of 30 years ago when Husband  first started at the agency.

The director at that time was a guy who really liked a good party.  He was the first director the agency had,  and he headed our agency for many years. In his mind, a good party was held at the Elks Club or the Knights of Columbus. It was catered, and there was plenty of alcohol and fun, with late night pinochle games. Spouses and significant others were  expected to attend. He somehow managed to find money in the budget to fund it.

Well, things are different now, and I kind of like the change. There is less drama and alcohol-related poor judgement.  It is less fuss.

What are your experiences with office parties?