Stop Touching Things

"Miss! you can't touch the artwork..."
"He means you, too, G-ma"

Monday, March 30, 2009

Howktown Approves

Dateline: Yesterday

My parents celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary. Kylie and I went Old School and decided to do what we did when we were 13 and 15 years old and make my parents a gourmet meal.

Now, when I say Old School, this what usually happened 15-17 years ago. We would declare that we were going to fix a fancy meal for my parents. My mother would go out and buy what ever we said we were going to make (usually this was steak) and we would take the meat hammer and beat the ever living shit out of that piece of meat. Why? Because it was a)a fun kitchen tool that chefs use b) needed to be done - a steak must be tender and we were tenderizing it and c) fun. Then we would bake some potatoes and maybe over steam some other "fancy" vegetable like broccoli or asparagus and we were done... with the meal, but by no means was this end of the evening. No, no. We were going all out here. This was The Howk House after all. A 5 star family run bistro of the highest caliber. We had the chefs waiting on the guests, complete with white dish towel draped over our arm. Pouring the wine, asking if we could refill their water glasses. The works.

Some kids put on plays for their parents... we put on "fancy" restaurants. While other children aspired to be signers, comedians, and actresses, we aspired to be Maitre D's and Executive Chefs. We had a long way to go in skills, but we had the spirit.

As I have become more sophisticated (remember: that is what we say instead of 'old') both Kylie and I's culinary skills have bloomed. Rigorous televised classes of Top Chef, Good Eats, and America's Test Kitchens, along with required reading of cookbooks, food blogs, and magazines have helped tremendously. Not to mention my personal field trips to various establishments in the cities I visit.

This year was a return of the Howk House Anniversary Special. Which was on a 15 year hiatus. Guest chef from Chez Saari (my sister) joined me in the prep and presentation of the meal. Kylie donned the tea towel on her arm and escorted the guest to the lounge (the living room) and served the wine and cheese while I prepared the soup in the kitchen. It was a fire roasted tomato soup... that was not made from scratch. It was a last minute choice, as our original plan did not make it to the plate. It worked out fine with our Honey Glazed Wild Salmon and Pea and Fennel Salad. The dessert was a Double Chocolate Brandy Cake, that I broke from my wheat restrictions to eat... because it was damn delicious. The headache and wheezing were totally worth it.

Needless to say, we redeemed ourselves from the days of pulverized steak. My sister has pictures that maybe I'll get from her to put on here. I have yet to replace the camera I lost nearly a year ago. My phone has been filling in for me since then, but alas I forgot to take the pictures.

Favorite Quote From Howktown: "Don't forget, it was my generation that invented these boots" My mother after asking to borrow my knee high boots to wear out on a date with my dad.

I've decided to keep a list of all the things that Howktown approves of a the side of this blog (for you fackbook/rss readers you'll have to visit the actual page to see it).

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Ice Cream and Wine

If you watched me sometimes, you would never know that I can cook, or in fact that I love to do it.  

Yesterday I spent a good hour or so reading about how to correctly frost a cake and perusing different recipies from everthing from choclate cake to pita bread. 

For dinner tonight I had a bowl of vanilla ice cream and three glasses of wine.  I did adorn the ice cream with whatever toppings I could find in the corners of my freezer and cupboards... which didn't amount to much today. There were some choclate chips, vanilla chips, and choclate sauce. I tried for honey, but it had crystalized in the corner of the cuboard where I left it after making my famous pumpkin pies at Thanksgiving.  

What I wouldn't have given for some super chunk peanut butter to slather gluttonously upon the the ice cream, but alas we are in a nut free household these days. 

I spent a good amount of time searching for toppings for my ice cream, but I couldn't be bothered to search for an appropriate dinner. 

Any guilt I felt was assauged by the left over wine from last nights dinner... which I made for my parents. Potato and leek soup to  warm us against the resurgance of icy winds from the wintery depths. 

I do plan on redeeming myself tomorrow when I make my parents their anniversary dinner with my sister, Kylie. I have found a couple of recipes that sound delicious and can't wait to sample them. 

News from Howktown:
In case you hadn't heard from the underground, live music does not occur in Howktown unless it is from fake bands.  The house band of course is my own fake band: The Fluer De LISAs.  Stay tuned for appearences from the Holy Hells and the Damn Yous. 

Thursday, March 26, 2009

I'm a Twit

I decided that I should take advantage of my down time to explore this little thing called the internet. I hear there is good stuff on it. There are things like the Blog-o-sphere, the Interwebs, "social networking", online auctions, and shoe shopping which seems to be all the rage.

It's true. I knew about all these things a long time ago. In fact (looks both ways and then whispers) I used to help design websites when I worked in the junk mail racket!! GASP! shhh shhh! Then, as now, I didn't really care about all those things on the internet.

Mostly because I like to talk to people and read actual books. Then it occurred to me as I was getting my hair colored to cover way too many grey hairs, that I'd better be careful, otherwise I wouldn't know how to program my VCR in the years to come.

I've accepted the fact that I'm too "sophisticated" (that's code for too old) to wear mini skirts and platform boots and value my knees and back enough not to try and wear 4-5 inch heels anymore... but I don't want to be totally oblivious to what the kids are talking about these days.

So I participate in Facebook, and blogging, and watch the video links that my friends send me. I kept hearing about this tweet, twitter, twit silliness and broke down and signed up. Why? Cause the only part of face book that keeps me entertained is the status update. There is some sort of draw to trying to be clever in 160 characters or less.

Now I just have become more advanced in my text messaging skills... which at least aren't beginner anymore.

This explains it all.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Oh! My back!

You'd think working in a Chiropractors office, I wouldn't have screaming back pain all the time. Well, truth is... I don't have it all the time, and I do get adjusted regularly... but I am a bad patient.

I have a horrible mattress. It was awesome when I bought it... 10 years ago. And it has been through 4 moves and various pets, and frankly it is getting pretty ugly. I want a new mattress.

I am such cheap-skate though. I don't want to pay for the good mattresses. They are expensive! I also don't want to waste money on something that is not going to last me a while. Really I have just got to stop cruising ebay and amazon for iPods and digital cameras and buy a damn bed.

It's hard not roll your eyes sometimes when we have patients come in holding their top of the line pda/phone/dvd player/microwave that they pay $1000 a month to have and then can't pay their doctor's bill. It's all about priorities.

God, I'm getting old. Wait. no, that's not true. Look at this pic. This proves I'm not old. See, look. A kissy-face amongst balloons. Phew, scared me for a second there. News From Howktown: Parents will be married 40 years this Sunday. Will be enjoying a fabulous dinner prepared by the executive chef of "howk house" and executive chef from "Chez Saari".

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


It's true. I am self editing.

I compose the various other blogs I write with the audience in mind. Frankly it causes me writer's block. This blog is for me. It's the stuff that makes me laugh, because I have one demented sense of humor, but it cracks my shit up.

I also liked to think that was better than the self grandization of personal pats on the back... but I'm not. I want people to think I'm awesome for my stories, and humor, and general view on life. It really is that sad that we have all this techonogy designed to bring us closer together, when in reality it only amplifies how far apart we really are.

Here's a tweet for you. I hugged my dad and told him I loved him on Friday... in person. I meant it too.

Here's the haps in Howktown:

Howktown approves of Peppered Bacon, but thinks Applewood bacon is just a fad.