Tag Archives: Postaweek2011

Pork… it makes me smile

Yesterday was our local farmer’s market.

I love the farmer’s market. I love that people are so in love with the food they bring. I love that there has been labour involved, labour from their hands.   Some of it comes from the dirt and some is created in the kitchen with sifting, stirring and boiling pots. All of it is presented with such generosity.

Rose Bianca Eggplant. It’s an italian heirloom eggplant. I’ve never had one but I think it’s purdy. I’m gonna have to try one next weekend. Or buy some just to put on the table so my eyes can feast open all that gorgeous color.

Our take home: apples, Kale, butternut squash, yellow zucchini, muscadine grapes and shiitake mushrooms. I am dreaming of something with pasta, zucchini, muscadines and shiitake.

And the extra special good part……The fine folks at Jonbayla BBQ come every weekend towing a trailer with ginormous grills full of meat. You can smell them coming. In a good way. And today they did not disappoint. Today they unveiled the pinnacle of palate pleasing pork perfection. Today, they unveiled the Pork Parfait. That’s right. PORK. PARFAIT.

Yogurt parfait is for wusses. You can’t handle the pork!

(I still have DMV fingernails. I must remember to buy nail polish remover)

A layer of baked beans for a good foundation. Dry rubbed barbecue so tender its just held together with little meat hugs. Tangy, spicy barbecue sauce. Sharp cheddar. And the cherry on top, BBQ style, baaaaacon.

I got one. I ate it.  I tried to stick my face in the cup to lick it clean. And then I took a pork induced nap.

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Big Fat Leaf

I walked outside this morning early, cause the Rocky dog does not have a built-in snooze button, and found this:

 A big fat leaf had fallen off my hydrangea bush. All rusty red.

Then I realized I was cold. And it wasn’t 900 million degrees outside at 5:30 a.m.

And I wasn’t sweating buckets and see mirages of silky blue ponds surrounded by shimmering palm trees while using my bare hands to dig for water to have the will power to finish walking the dog around the yard.

And I wanted to crawl back under my covers and drink hot stuff and slurp soup and wear fuzzy socks. Not that I would ever slurp soup in bed. Cause I never slurp.

I think fall has finally fantastically fallen. That’s alliteration.

I like alliteration. I like fall.

Fall is good. Fall means you can wear big sweaters and eat more butter. Fall means no shaving if you don’t feel like bending over or worrying if you forgot to put on deodorant as you were flying out the door. Is that gross? I can’t just be only me. Please say its not just me.

What’s falls in with fall for you?

xo

Franny B

 

 

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City Picnic

A Beee-you-ti-ful day in the neighborhood.  Mr. Smith, my built in entertainment at work, and I rode the bus for a downtown picnica (as my Nana used to call it).

A stroll on city streets. Lunch from Phillips Deli. Some southern chicken salad, perfect potato salad and a big fat pickle. I could eat a meal of pickles. Would that be wrong?  I think the fact that I ordered 2 things with the word salad cancels out all the mayo and renders this a healthy picnic. At least that’s what I’m telling myself

Outdoor sitting in the city. We met an old friend. We reminisced. We laughed. Mr. Smith has mad skills so he whisked himself away into the DoubleTree hotel and scored us some warm welcome cookies. Did you know they give away free cookies to their guests?  Mr. Smith has begged and pleaded for free cookies many a time. I’m sure they are not fooled. I’m sure they are just really nice people and prolly want the crazy man out of their lobby.

Please ignore the alien finger and DMV fingernail shot. They really are warm. And nothing says welcome better than oatmeal cookies. All good picnics must come to an and picnic goers must return to work.

Here is the fabulous Mr. Smith. He was talking most animatedly about sheep shearing I believe. . Because nothing brings the picnic mood to a close faster than a good sheep shearing discussion.  Apparently Mr. Smith had been to the State fair and I”m worried that he’s gonna quit his job and go shear sheep full-time. Not a bad way to spend lunch time.

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Cookies and Carrots

Saturday was Fireman Appreciation Day. I appreciate fireman. I appreciate them for their rubber yellow boots and big red trucks. And sirens. I appreciate a man with sirens. I also appreciate cookies. I love making them. I love eating them. But I can’t eat all the cookies I make and still wear my pants. And I can’t go without my pants. At least not in public. Or when I’m hanging out with Girl Wonder.

So.. it was a win win. I made cookies and I took them to fireman. And they ate them. And they were all wearing pants. At least when I delivered the cookies.

And before we delivered cookies I dug up my carrots. I think I had dirt on my forehead when I delivered cookies. But I was wearing pants.

 Lots and lots of carrots. We are gonna have really good eyesight around here. I did a crappy job of thinning out my carrots so they are skinny weird looking carrots. But my carrots just the same. They are carrots that had to struggle. I like a carrot with a little life experience.

 And now I have to figger out what to with all these carrots.

If you had a big basket of carrots shedding dirt on your kitchen table what would you do with them?   Would you wear pants?

xo

FB

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John Henry Waszkiewicz

October 17, 1949 – August 29, 2011

There  once was a boy from North Braddock, PA. John and Rose’s son.      Gene, Eddie, Raymond, Jerry and Joanne’s brother.

Jerri’s husband.    Mine and Steve’s dad.

Marilynn’s brother in law (yes my Mom went ahead and married him even after he locked her sister out of the house on the night the first man landed on the moon).

Jack’s buddy.

Maureen’s father in law. Although he loved her like one of his own.

Maggie and Trevor’s Pap-Pap.    I think out of all his names, Pap-Pap was his favorite.

He slept through school. Smoked by the railroad tracks   He pushed his brothers off of telephone poles, out of cars and they paid him back by shooting him full of arrows.  He cleaned spittoons as a part time job and drove just about every car ever made prior to 1971.

He looked like James Dean and had the heart of a cowboy.

One day that boy joined the Navy and flew the coop. He was a bronco rider in Bakersfield, CA . He went to Vietnam twice. He went to radio school and began what would be a 30 year career with the CIA.  He married Jerri on August 30, 1969, gave her a honeymoon out of a pizza box and then whisked her off to England. And their life began. First came me and then came my brother.

He gave us quite literally….. the world and he taught us so much:

We learned how to swim using the ancient “throw your kids in the lake method”.  He taught us to ride horses in the Sahara desert (with an occasional camel thrown in to make sure we were paying attention) We had bus stops by the Nile.  He grew the biggest patch of Silver Queen sweet corn in all of Lusaka, Zambia and taught us to eat tomatoes straight off of the vine. He taught us to take pride in our smallest successes. Like the time Mum sweated and slaved for weeks to cook  the largest Thanksgiving meal ever seen in Central Africa. And he made the tiniest bowl of pickles and proceeded to brag about those pickles, and only those pickles, for the next 30 years.

He broke up fights between my brother and I reminding us how we were supposed to love each other  (Did I mention how HE used to push his brother off of telephone poles and all I did was knock mine upside the head with a stuffed animal)

He cheered me on at track meets. He and my brother practiced extravagant experiments in patience doing Father / son projects.

We were raised on John Wayne, Clint Eastwood, Star Wars and Bruce Willis. And love. So so much love.

I remember him holding hands with Mum no matter where we went and he never left the house without kissing her goodbye. He created family fun time such as “ Let’s go dig a drainage ditch in the backyard in the pouring rain to keep the basement from flooding”  You haven’t seen fun till you’ve seen a group of Polish-Irish-Italian family swinging pick axes and shovels in the middle of a thunderstorm.

And the time came when he brought us  back across the pond to a sleepy little town in Virginia and home was still home because he and my Mom were there. We grew up, moved out, moved away and learned very quickly that while we were responsible for many grey hairs, our children could do absolutely no wrong.

He taught Maggie how to fish.  How to eat Oreos the right way.  He was famous for his Pap-Pap tea when sore throats needed soothing. He was an instant Mary Poppins, but with a very scratchy beard, when I had to travel out of town for work.

He and Trevor shared the same haircut. One of Trevor’s first words was “Pap-Pap” and he was the very best medicine my Dad could have had. Trevor will know his Pap-Pap through the “Trevor list” Maggie is writing for him… a list of all the important things her Pap-Pap taught her and she will teach to Trevor. We’re all waiting to see if he can master Dad’s “pull my finger” trick before he turns 2.

He was smart, gentle, tough, funny, strong, firm, giving, and oh so stubborn.

He’s still here. In this room. I see him in the gold band around my Mother’s finger. I see him in my daughter’s uncanny sense of direction (just like my Dad). I see him in my brother when he’s playing with his son. I see him when old and dear friends gather round to share good food, good stories and the kind of laughter that has you worrying you might pee your pants.

My dad lived wide and he loved big. And he left us quietly, knowing he was loved beyond measure.

Daddy,  I hope Heaven has a 24 hour John Wayne channel (please remember Heaven expects you to share the remote control) and I hope tonight, and forever, angels sleep on your pillow.

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Franny Giveaway

I bought a pint of cherry tomatoes at Woodbine Farmers Market simply because the little green box was chock full of pretty colors.  Tonight we dined upon a tomato salad.

Fresh basil from the garden and some homemade croutons (read… stale french bread rubbed with garlic and thrown in the oven for a minute). I’m gonna go eat some more.

Here’s a topic. Discuss amongst yourselves.

This is a giveaway… and I”m not giving away tips on 101 things to do with stale bread. Don’t be disappointed.

I love Target… or Tarjay as it is know in elite French circles.  It’s a magnificent store.  In one fell swoop you can buy a hot pretzels, laundry detergent, a t-shirt, fun pumps, jew’ry and office supplies you didn’t even know you needed. I love the Tarjay and I love you. So guess what? Are you guessin” ?

I’m giving away a $100 gift card

Please ignore the dirt under Girl Wonder’s nails. It’s Wednesday and bath day isn’t till Sunday.

To enter just answer the following question in the comments below:

What’s your favorite thing to do with ‘maters? Are you into a good mater sandwich? Do you like to knosh your maters straight off the vine?

Don’t like ‘maters….leave a comment anyway. We’ll still love ya.

Comments will close Wednesday at Midnight.  Winner will be chosen at random. The lucky Tarjay winner will be announced Thursday at noon.

AND THE WINNER IS:

#2 ANGELA URIAS : Oooooohhh, I love ‘maters, giveaways, tarjay, and especially YOU!!! I wanna get a chance at that card so here goes….Favorite thing to do with ‘maters: Eat ‘em of course, in a yummy salad, on a juicy burger, mash ‘em for a wonderfull pasta sauce, straight off the vine… etc. (of course growing ‘em is pretty satisfying too). Around here, there are two of us who love mater sandwiches, one with mayo one without, both lightly salted. I’m gettin hungry…Straight off the vine? Are you kidding? I had to keep track of the greenies ’cause little miss impatient here was stealing them as soon as they got a bit pink, I thought animals were taking them in the night and I was impressed that they waited for a hint of ripeness… Now we wait till they are good and ripe and we share while we fill the little baskets… It is a little treat as we “harvest”

Angela, you can email your address to frannybolsa@gmail.com and you Tarjay goodness will be sent on it’s way!

FYI: Tarjay has absolutely no clue who I am and no clue that I’m giving away one of their gift cards. In fact, if they knew me, they would make me go back and clean up the crumbs I left while drooling over the fancy nail polish.

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Caaaaaaaaakkkke!!!!!!

So yesterday I turned the big 4-0.  40! Did you hear me?  I said 40!

After having 24 hours of experience as a forty year old – I have to say….this ain’t a bad gig.

I have decided to totally own 40.  Its taken 4 whole decades (I’s been a slow learner) to get to a place where I proudly sashay my way through the day with a swish in my walk and a zip in my step. And if some random flying jiggly bit should put someone’s eye out… well I guess the world better start wearing goggles.

I did not spend the day reminiscing. I did not have pensive moments of deep philosophical reflection. I did not read a self help book to help me connect with my inner child (I am totally familiar with her already thank you very much. In fact she is a nice addition to the other voices in my head even though she sometimes bites). I did not clean out my closets or sweep under my bed only to interrupt the dust bunnies mid bunny coitus to start my 40th decade with pine smelling floors and neatly corraled scarves and knickers.

Nope, I did what any smart woman with a day off and no child would do. I got my nails did. With little fleurs on my toeses. Cause my SIL had fleurs on hers and she is cool. I want to be to cool too.  And then I spent the afternoon making cake.

Except you can’t just say cake. Like it’s any old ho hum drum day. You have to sing it. Caaaaaaaaaaaaakeeeeee. Cakkkkeeeee. Cake. Cake. Cake. Cake. Cuz its my birfsaday and I get cake!

Not just any ole cake. Chocolate cake.

A chocolate cake that’s not too rich.  Just a melt in your mouth, hug you from the inside out, feel those chocolate endorphins take off like jet planes kind of chocolate cake. You need one. Now.

The cake recipe came from another lovely favorite spot: Posie Gets Cozy.  Stunning pictures and most importantly … she has this cake reciepe.

So I measured and stirred and mixed and greased and baked and measured some more and simmered and beat and wisked and scraped and beat again and voila… C.A.K.E.

The cake is definately a labour of love. It has a bit of hot coffee in the batter which is an instant boost for the chocolate. It picks up that shy chocolate right out of its shell and kicks it right to center stage. The frosting requires some up front attention with lots of whisking and stirring.

You will wisk and wisk and wisk. Wipe sweat from your brow. Fan yourself with your apron. And then lick the beaters clean and coo at your own awesomeness when this frosting is all done. I could have eaten the frosting without the cake. That would have been wrong though. But good. Like it would hurt so good. Is anyone else hearing John Cougar Mellancamp?

It’s important if you make this on your birthday that you have a child handy (borrow one if you have to) so you can have her, or him, clean up all the dishes you done messed up making you a cake. It will make you feel good. But not as good as the frosting.

And of course when you’re done making the cake. And you’ve eaten your dinner. And you’ve made the child clean those dishes too. And you’ve put on your yoga pants so you won’t be looking like a Jerry Springer candidate sitting around with your pants unbuttoned….. then you got to eat you some cake.

Get up! Go now! Make cake!

xo

Franny B

P.S. Mum and Dad: Thanks for helping me get borned. I heart you as high as the sky as deep as the ocean………………….

P.S.S.  Yesterday was the official start of my 40 Project.  Come play with me. Can I send you a letter? Some cookies? Bring you dinner (if your local or if you live in Coeur d’Alene)? Bring you a pie? Got a suggestion? A book suggestion.  Just send me an email at   frannybolsa@gmail.com.


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