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Posts Tagged ‘Food’

Dear Carnival:

It was so great to see you again. I’m sorry our three-family tribe cheated on you with Royal Caribbean.

It won’t happen again.

You have everything we want:

Comfy chairs where Edgar can nap, and Pat can play his games

Photographers willing to take unusual pics

Plans

Limited tolerance (for what, I’m not sure)

Maybe for Swedish girls throwing gang signs (?)

Places for Uno battles to break out

PLENTY of places

Places to play with children too

Even enough room to pay a push-up penalty if you are too loud while playing Uno

An unflappable wait staff

Exotic food liked smoked oysters with some kind of weird froth

Games designed to titillate while taking Edgar’s money

Elevators big enough for parties of 11

The ability to get intimate with sea life

And, most importantly, the chance for friends to get together and have fun year after year

There is only one thing we needed but couldn’t have: unlimited bacon.

Fix that, and we’ll love you forever.

Still, we’ll see you next year.

Wet, sloppy stingray kisses,
Beth

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Dear Apartment:

I’m going to miss all the quality alone time you and I had while the guys were out of town getting my mother-in-law’s house in Puerto Rico ready to rent out.

Don’t get me wrong: I do love them. But when I cleaned you the day after they left, you stayed clean.

You and I had so much fun together. I got to watch whatever I wanted to watch on TV. I could roam around in my underwear without embarrassing any teenagers. I didn’t have to worry about your front door being left unlocked or coming home to random friends of aforementioned teenagers inside you.

What’s more — and this probably made Charlotte next door very happy — you and I were peaceful together. So peaceful.

The communication styles of my family members are just so different.

The quietest one missed me. He texted me almost every day.

The medium-loud one texted me informative tidbits regarding house progress, interesting videos, and photos engineered to make me wish I had left you.

The loudest and grouchiest one did not talk to me at all until he wanted something the day before he came back to us.

It figures.

In an interesting twist, Dominic the Loud immediately stripped upon arriving back to you and charged around eating chicken wings.

I guess Eddie’s right: He and I are alike.

Anyway, I’m going to miss you, my fortress.

Love always,
Beth

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Dear IKEA:

I love you. I hate you. I love to hate you. I hate to love you.

Eddie and I entered you to get stuff to furnish an investment property. Let’s call this place a charming, evocative name — a name like “El Pozo De Dinero.

It will, we hope, be Eddie’s primary source of income this summer.

We had to get so much. But the quantity of necessary items was inversely proportional to my amount of patience.

I lost my will to live in the lighting section.

You didn’t care. You still made me trek through bath fixtures, throw pillows and plants to taste freedom.

I have so many questions:

  1. Why don’t you have the entrance on the main floor?
  2. Why don’t you have carts on the second floor where the showroom begins?
  3. Why don’t you have any staff on the floor?
  4. Why do you have to snake through the entire damn place to get from entrance to exit?
  5. Why can’t you get out of the café without going through the whole place again?
  6. Why won’t you open another register when you have 637 people in line?

Eddie contemplates death in one of only two checkout lanes open.

Even your oft-heralded meatballs are not enough to erase the memory of this torture.

We’re not done, though, so I’ll see you in a week or so.

Your best enemy,
Beth

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Dear Trish,

Hope you and Irv are doing well. I miss seeing you on a regular basis, trying new beers, playing Cranium, and complaining about Ed.

I do want to take this opportunity to say thank you for inviting me to your wedding. It turned out to be the catalyst for an important journey for me.

I didn’t realize quite how fat I was until I couldn’t squeeze into the dress I brought to Sedona for your big day. This dress had always been my go-to dress. (Full disclosure: It’s a maternity dress. It doesn’t look like a maternity dress. Nothing maternity about it except that it has an empire waist. I just like it because it’s a pretty green silk.)

But I had a rude awakening when I was getting ready for your event.

Houston, we have a problem.

The dress must have shrunk at the drycleaner, right?

My Spanx waved the white flag.

I’m sorry I ruined all your wedding photos trying desperately to either avoid the camera or hide behind my children.

Look here. Dominic is not large enough to cover me:Let’s take a closer look:

Yes, yes, I know this is counter to the whole body-positivity movement. But let’s be honest: We all know when we are not the size we should be.

No one wants to feel like their seams are screaming.

The week I got back, I went out to dinner with my friend Kim. She had dropped 30 pounds and looked great. We have the same feelings about diets and working out (i.e., hate them with a white-hot passion). She shared her secret (and I will too if anyone wants to DM me), and I was off and running immediately.

I started my program the last week of September. This week, I hit my goal weight.

I’ve lost 45 pounds. That’s like losing a first grader.

And three dress sizes for me.

Here I am in the wedding-attendance dress that I now need to have altered. (Dominic has changed considerably too.)

Here’s the side-by-side before-and-after image for your viewing pleasure.

And here’s one of me the day I started this journey next to how I look today.

I feel so much better about myself.

It’s not a physical thing — I could always do stairs and whatnot.

It’s a mental thing. Being about to reach deep into the back of the closet and grab pre-kid jeans? That’s some real joy right there.

This is not PC (Kate Moss even regrets saying it), but it’s true for me:

Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels.

So thanks, Trish. Inadvertently, you started me on a better path.

Congratulations on your eight-month anniversary coming up.

Your not-so-fat friend,
Beth

 

 

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How to have a great time in New Orleans around Mardi Gras without losing your money, mind or morals
By Beth, Bon Vivant

So you’re headed to The Big Easy, and you want to make sure your trip doesn’t end up going viral on social media for all the wrong reasons? I hear you. I’m here to help with a short list of DOs and DON’Ts:

DO:
• Go with a long-time friend who is very familiar with the area and has a hat you can borrow when you get cold.

Wendy, Beth and Wendy’s hat. And new bead necklaces. (More on those in a moment.)

• Fortify yourself with Char-Grilled oysters from Felix’s. (Don’t wait in the line for the inferior Acme across the street. And don’t wait in the Felix’s line on Iberville: Go around to the one on Bourbon.)

• Appreciate the wit of The Crescent City denizens.

• Take advantage of smaller parades when they pop up as you are walking down the street. People in the parade will force beads on you whether you want them or not.


• Blend in with the rest of the tourists at a packed dance place.

• Say “Oh HELL yes” when your long-time friend wants to go to the Chewbacchus parade, which features a multitude of Chewbaccas (Chewbacci?).

• Marvel at the coordination it took to get so many different groups on board — groups like the Leijorettes.

• Admire festive outfits.

• Make friends with law enforcement officials. You’ll want them feeling friendly toward you should you make any mistakes. (Not that I did. I was very well behaved. But Officer Cummings and I became chums anyway.)

• Sample season-specific cocktails.

 

DON’T:
• Sample too many season-specific cocktails. Or too many of any, really.

• Pay attention to certain calls for action. Everyone has a smartphone and social media account!

• Argue if anyone says the Saints got robbed (“Blow whistles, not games“).

Laissez les bons temps rouler, y’all!

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Dear Vegans,

God bless you, every one. How do you manage to find things to eat every day?

I’m sure things have gotten slightly easier for you (as more and more people make the choice), but it certainly is a challenge to find food that is completely free from animal products.

Eddie and I are hosting friends next month, one of whom is one of you. I’ve been road-testing recipes: shepherd’s pie, chickpea and avocado wraps, tamales, etc.

Japanese gyoza nearly was the death of me, though.

It’s one of my favorite things to make, thanks to the excellent tutelage of my friend Miwa.

However, I usually buy the pre-made skins from the Asian market down the road. It makes life so much easier.

But said skins have eggs.

Ruh roh, Raggy.

So I went to the vegan section of Whole Foods (aka Whole Paycheck). I found wonton skins, which will do in a pinch. Checked ingredients list to be safe.

So those wouldn’t work. I went to two other granola-people stores. No luck. In fact, one helpful cashier checked his supplier’s site to see if vegan wonton/gyoza/dumpling/potsticker wrappers existed. They don’t, apparently.

Back at home, I decided to make my own.

Oh yes, I did.

And that’s how I found myself up to my eyebrows in brown rice and tapioca flour yesterday afternoon.

I don’t have photos of the process because my hands were covered in flour for hours. I do have an image of the (uncooked) finished product:

As for the taste, I’d say they closely resembled my usual recipe. A little off, but not by much.

If anything, this little experiment has made me aware of just how many animal products we consume daily — even when we don’t think we are consuming any.

Wishing you all the best, and hoping you continue to have more and better options,
Beth

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Review of Isle of Hope carriage house:

As this is a new listing, I didn’t know what to expect. I shouldn’t have worried: My five-night stay with Lisa and Rob was fantastic. Even their children, Cole and Cali, made me feel welcome by inviting me to play Unicorn Magic Ring Toss and Old Maid.

Lisa and Rob are exceptional hosts. They always had red wine on tap, offered me a homemade burrito, and Lisa went with me to various Savannah hotspots including The Jinx, Barrelhouse South, Congress Street Social Club, the Georgia Tasting Room and 17Hundred90. She even paid for parking. Now that’s a great host!

The carriage house had everything I needed to make my stay perfect — including something dead.

I would recommend the Isle of Hope carriage house any time. Two thumbs up!
Beth

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