If you can get a nine-year-old boy to go back for third helpings, you know you’ve accomplished something. With Jordan out of town, I cooked for Jacob and Christian tonight—mostly it was a Christian-centric meal. I fixed “his” green beans—cook about four slices of bacon in a skillet and set aside to drain and crisp; sauté a few scallions in the bacon grease; drain a large can of regular cut green beans and dump into the skillet. Add cider vinegar to taste. Christian adores them! Then I fixed frozen sweet corn with butter, salt and pepper, and steamed turkey kielbasa. Father and son ate like they hadn’t eaten in a week. Our sweet and patient vegetarian friend who joined us didn’t fare so well, though she ate the green beans ad picked out the bacon pieces. Still she said she could taste the flavor—though it didn’t seem to bother her (I love flexible vegetarians). I gave her my leftover black beans from dinner at the Tavern last night and she agreed with me—they are absolutely the best black beans ever.
I’ve had a couple of great food days. Yesterday, Melinda (production manager at TCU Press) and I went to Nonna Tata. We always carry our individual small bottles of wine—red for her and white for me—and we both always order the same thing: chicken piccata for her with pasta, and braseola (the beef version of prosciutto) for me-it comes with greens and shaved grana cheese, all dressed in a light lemon vinaigrette plus a good vinegar potato salad.
I guess I was too full from lunch to appreciate dinner but it was the regular night for Betty and me to go to dinner. Linda, my longtime friend (would you believe 40 years) came in from Granbury to join us, and we had a lovely time-not catching up but just talking about the present, telling good stories, and laughing a lot. My niece and her family happened to be in the restaurant (the Tavern) and came over to our table--I got wonderful hugs from her and from her youngest daughter who doesn’t know me very well. But she studied me for a moment and then threw her arms around my neck. Talk about a special moment.
So if I haven’t gotten much work done the last couple of days, it’s been delightful. And the evening with Betty and Linda reminded me of my friend Barbara. When we got together we always talked about the past, until her husband in frustration would say, “Why can’t you talk about the present?” Indeed, he was right, and last night we did talk about the present—everything from family to politics to current fashions. Our lives are rich and full.