Busted in the Wasteland

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by Michael Tucker

qusrter-pounder-with-cheese-300x225mike tucker glasses1Shortly after noon on Saturday, I was walking down to the car rental place on 77th Street. We were off to the country to visit some friends. I was feeling a little peckish, as the British say, so I decided to grab something quick to eat on my way. On a whim – I swear I don’t do this more than once or twice a year — I popped into McDonald’s and ordered a Quarter Pounder with Cheese to go. I unwrapped it and was happily munching away as I walked down Broadway, when I ran into a friend who also happens to be a regular follower of my blog.

“What’s for lunch?” she asked with a smile, but when I got closer and she saw what I was eating, the smile turned into a look of disbelief and disillusionment.

“McDonald’s? You?”

“Well, you know …” I blushed and tried to hide the sandwich with my other hand. Maybe, I thought, I could convince her it was a buttered baguette stuffed with imported prosciutto.

“What is that, a Quarter Pounder?” This was from another acquaintance who happened to be strolling by with his wife. The two of them are well-known Upper West Side foodies.

An Easy Meal of Wild Rice and Sprouts

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by Sue Doeden

brussels-sprouts-and-wild-rice-024Many would say the only way to prepare Brussels sprouts, the cruciferous vegetables that look like a miniature cabbage, is to roast them. I do love the ease of preparing roasted Brussels sprouts. The nutty flavor they develop in a hot oven is magnificent. But, there is another way to prepare the little green sprouts that offers wonderful flavor and crisp texture.

I’ve discovered that by slicing Brussels sprouts into thin ribbons, they can be stir-fried with other vegetables.

A little time with your chef’s knife is all it takes to prepare the sprouts for stirring up in a hot pan with onions, peppers and garlic. Add some honey and vinegar for a sweet and sour flavor. Then, just stir in some cooked wild rice. Viola!

Spring Training

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by Brenda Athanus

redsoxprogramWhen we were growing up like any kid in New England we loved baseball. The Red Sox were our focus and Ted Williams was our idol. In the middle of winter our parents excused my sister Tanya and I from school that year for a whole month to take us to Phoenix, Arizona to watch the Red Sox Spring training.

In the mid 60’s, you guessed it Ted Williams was the hitting coach. That first day at practice my sister and I showed up with our well-oiled leather mitts, hers on her left hand, mine on my right. We inched our way to the sidelines, near enough to hear Mr. Williams as he laid out his plan to the players for the day’s practice. First, he instructed them to do the mandatory pushups, jumping jacks, and an ungodly number of laps around the baseball diamond as he made notes on his clipboard.

As each player hit the ground to begin with the sit ups, the soft spoken coach turned and started talking to my sister and me. He liked the looks of our mitts, because he stared at them for several long seconds- “Do you play baseball a lot?” he said.

“We play everyday”, said my sister. “Do you want to play baseball today with the club?” We replied at same time, “are you kidding? YES!!!”

Baiting the Trap

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by Lucy Dahl

lucycrabsWhen I am at my home on Orcas Island, Washington and away from the concrete jungle of Los Angeles, I morph from a well dressed city slicker to a somewhat cave-like hunter and forager.

At this time of year, I trample around the forests, looking in the ferns with my beady eyes for the first sign of fiddleheads, I watch the crocuses peep up through the ground as the blossom bursts on the apple trees; but most of my cavewoman thoughts are towards the ocean, the icy, clear ocean filled with great big fierce Dungeness crabs.

Catching crabs is my passion. This past winter, the season opened for a few weeks in December and I was out there in my little row boat, freezing rain pelting down, hardly able to find my boeys due to the rough water; my husband watching bewildered through binoculars, from our little cottage; and as I pulled up my traps to see my haul of crabs, I was happier than a child on Christmas morning.

They Call It Puppy Love

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by Nancy Ellison

charlie-14tableMy name is Farleys D Destino Del Lago, but friends call me Charlie.

Being a puppy of a certain age has been challenging. There is this “potty outside” thing that is constantly being hammered into my being - not to mention sit, stay, off, no bark, and hearing my name, “Charlie” said as though I was in really deep trouble…(something about humping… ?)  I guess you all know the drill.

But, tonight the education came to fruition; I went to my first restaurant where I finally got it.  And, I had a date with a little cutie named Lucy, not to mention Comely Sonja - the hostess that greeted us. Wow.  She made me feel most welcome among all the ‘beautiful’ people.  Did I say we dined en plein air (Hey I am a poodle puppy…  French Poodle puppy)

Apparently, this was no everyday kinda place - this was Daniel Boulud’s famous Café Boulud at the Brazilian Court in Palm Beach and they love, LOVE dogs!  Chef Jim Leiken (who came down from New York’s Daniel) has created a dog friendly cuisine with such items as, for example, an 8oz prime beef patty (they hold the bun and onion) and little lemon Madeleine Cookies with just a hint of yummy powdered sugar).


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