Friday, December 9, 2011

Poor attendance; great help!

We didn't have a whole lot of help with our tree this year! I feel like it's been years since we had "all the kids" in to decorate, even though I know we had 3 of the 4 last year.

Liz and James acquitted themselves well (tho' they at first overlooked an entire box of nonbreakable ornaments, and our favorite jellyfish one -- but I can't complain, as all I have to do now is de-decorate it on New Year's).

James also tried valiantly to get the topper to stay in place. Vic finally had to bend over several branches to accommodate it. It's a new one, and we love it. As Alexandra said (she got the pics by phone, participating at a distance), "It looks like a Dr. Seuss topper!"


I have a boot on my right foot. It's heavy, ugly, and uncomfortable. I have to wear it for six weeks!

My foot had been bothering me for months. I saw my primary care doctor in September to complain about it. He sent me for X-rays, but didn't see anything. It was getting progressively worse, so I returned last week. The PCP did some follow-up and saw that there was probably a stress fracture.

When we were on the Outer Banks in October, every walk I took down to the pier was sloooow because of my foot. When I am at work, walking up and down the stairs 6 to 9 times, and taking my client to the park and back each day, I leave limping. I was off work this week, but just got orders to go back from the ortho guy who prescribed the evil boot. Evil ortho guy.

Last week for Lobsta Land

Lobsta Land closes for the season this Sunday. Vic & I went on Monday. He had his regular: Portuguese haddock. I had the best chicken dish I have ever had in a restaurant. It was a beautifully moist, pepper crusted chicken breast in a gorgeous brandy sauce.

It's so sad each year when Lobsta Land closes. The views there are incredible (see above, on a rainy day). And the food, well, honestly. It's amazing.

Good thing we've already tried the new menu at Lat 43 and fallen in love with the short rib ravioli.

Cell for texting

Victor got me a new cell phone for our anniversary, November 30. (It was #20!) I had asked for this phone specifically. It's rated by Consumer Reports as 'best for texting.' Since I now have a maximum-text plan, it makes a lot of sense! It's also nice-looking and sturdy. I like LG products, and I like a flip-open keyboard.

I feel like the last person on earth who does NOT have a smart or 3G (or 4G) phone. But I have a 3G iPad, that counts, right?


A member of my family (OK, my younger sister, Helen) has co-written a book that was accepted by publishing houses in the UK and US. It was published here this week and is available at B&N ( and at your local bookstore.

It's a wonderful read, full of well-drawn characters and intrigue. I hope to create a bumper sticker that reads, I [heart] THE FELT. Pick up a copy -- it makes a great gift!

Another breakfast

Victor and I, remembering the great French toast that we had in Las Vegas years ago, tried to replicate it recently. This project arose out of having too much vanilla-nut butter left over after Thanksgiving. We weren't thrilled with the Thanksgiving dish the butter was made for. However, the butter itself was really good!

It's a simple vanilla French toast recipe, with cinnamon and nutmeg (2 eggs, whisked till foamy; then 1/4 cup milk, 1/4 tsp vanilla, 1/4 tsp cinnamon, and a sprinkling of nutmeg, all whisked together). The trick is, you buy an uncut bakery loaf of bread. Use fully half of it to cut 4 thick slices, about 1 1/2" to 2" thick.

Melt 2 tbs butter in a large skillet. Use the 4 slices of bread to soak up ALL the egg mixture. Cook the bread in the skillet, leaving each side undisturbed for 2 1/2 to 3 minutes, so that it gets a nice, crisp browning. Note that this makes only two guilty servings.

Serve with maple syrup and vanilla nut butter:
6 tbs unsalted butter
1 vanilla bean
1/4 cup pecan pieces
salt & pepper
(Soften the butter just slightly. Toast the pecans. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the butter and combine in small bowl. Fold in the pecans and season with salt and pepper. Refrigerate 20-30 minutes before use.)