Easter 1977: The year before we blended flowers and plaid.
The year that at least one of us didn’t want his photo taken in suspender shorts.
Posted in As Pictured Below, Family, Photographs, tagged As Pictured Below, Atlanta, childhood, coins, grandparents, mississippi, Photographs, piggy bank, Smithdale, toys on February 25, 2013 | 1 Comment »
If I had a nickel for every time I deftly shook all the coins out of this little piggy bank when I was a little girl, I would need a WAY bigger bank for all my nickels.
Like the old glass measuring cup and my grandfather’s blue denim jacket, it’s one of the few items that I simply HAD to have from my grandparents’ house. I seriously played with it for hours at a time when I was younger, shaking out coins, counting them, stacking them and carefully putting them back in again.
It’s made it all the way from Smithdale, Mississippi, to Huntsville, Alabama, and then Atlanta.
It’s still doing its job beautifully, holding the coins fished out of pockets and the bottom of my purse. The only difference is that I don’t really have the urge to shake them out and sort them anymore.
Not much of an urge, that is.
Matching jumpsuits for Christmas: My family was multiple shades of awesome in 1976.
Actually, we’re still pretty awesome, even with fewer matching jumpsuits.
Posted in As Pictured Below, Eats, Photographs, Travel, tagged 40th birthday, As Pictured Below, birthday breakfast, Creme Brulee doughnut, donuts, Doughnut Plant, doughnuts, Manhattan, Manhattan doughnuts, New York City, New York doughnuts, tres leches doughnut, turning 40, Valrhona chocolate, Valrhona doughnut on June 21, 2012 | 3 Comments »
Where does one kick off an Entirely Adequate 40th birthday?
The Doughnut Plant on the Lower East Side, of course.
The Valrhona Chocolate doughnut is part of my standard Doughnut Plant order now, and the carrot cake doughnut merits repeat business, even though it’s almost too rich for breakfast (alas, I persevere). The husband and I split the strawberry and chocolate treats (it’s always a good idea to order the store’s seasonal doughnut variety), and I left the Tres Leches, also a richer-than-rich indulgence, all for him.
Bonus: Doughnut Plant founder Mark Isreal sang “Happy Birthday” to me and delivered a Creme Brulee doughnut fresh from the kitchen after my husband spotted him and revealed my secret. This doughnut was better than the best creme brulee I’ve ever eaten; it was light, filled with the perfect amount of filling and mercifully small.
Forget breakfast in bed. I’d like all my future birthdays to feature a walk through Chinatown and a couple of choice Doughnut Plant treats. Owner singing optional.
Posted in As Pictured Below, Eats, Photographs, Travel, tagged As Pictured Below, banana ice cream sandwich, Broadway, Elvis ice cream sandwich, Hester Street Fair, husband, ice cream sandwiches, Manhattan, Melt Bakery, Mighty Balls, New York City, New York foods, New Yorker, Serious Eats New York, Time Out New York, travel on June 14, 2012 | Leave a Comment »
When I tell people that I’m traveling to New York City, they inevitably ask if I’m going to see a show. Apparently I’m supposed to hit up Broadway every time.
Instead of a list of must-see shows, however, I have a list of must-eat foods. Thanks to a reading habit that includes a lot of New York-centric publications (Serious Eats New York, the New Yorker, Time Out New York and the New York Times, among other random finds), I never get to check everything off the ever-expanding list. Also, there’s only so much food that the husband and I can eat in three to four days no matter how many subway stairs we climb.
On our latest trip, my great find was Melt Bakery, which makes some fabulous ice cream sandwiches. I stumbled on the Melt stand at the Hester Street Fair, an event that I suggested we attend because it was just a few blocks from our hotel and I knew that it featured at least one culinary treasure that I simply had to try. I just couldn’t remember which one.
After we each enjoyed a meatball slider from Mighty Balls, we split an Elvis from Melt — banana ice cream on peanut butter cookies. It was the freezer attendant’s favorite flavor, and the husband has a thing for peanut butter, so it was the obvious choice.
Delicious. The folks at Melt have somehow produced a cookie that doesn’t harden into a rocky, crumbly mess in the freezer, and their homemade ice cream isn’t the frozen-solid puck that it resembles.
Each bite — firm but not tough, creamy but not prone to quick melting — was a delicate combination of peanut butter and banana. Neither flavor overwhelmed the other, and it was just big enough for two people post-lunch. I think Elvis would approve of this treat, despite its blatant lack of bacon.
So, don’t weep for my lack of Broadway attendance. Instead, celebrate one more delicious delicacy checked off my list.
Posted in As Pictured Below, Photographs, tagged Advance Publications, As Pictured Below, Green Pea Press, huntsville alabama, Huntsville Times, letterpress, letterpress classes, Linotype machine, Lowe Mill, Mobile Press-Register, newspaper industry, newspapers on June 3, 2012 | 4 Comments »
I began taking a short class on running a letterpress at Green Pea Press at Lowe Mill the week before Advance Publications announced it would be cutting print publication of four daily newspapers — including the paper I subscribe to now and the one I worked at for 10 years — to three days a week.
Working with such beautiful old printing machines while facing the demise of the printed newspaper was a little dizzying.
The husband’s not sure how I can possibly eat breakfast without a newspaper. I’m not either.
Although I left the newspaper industry more than five years ago because of its instability, I still feel like something huge has been yanked out of my life.
I loved that career. I loved that industry.
Most people my age will proudly admit that they don’t read a newspaper, so I will mourn this demise quietly. But in a few years, when the industry’s watchdog duties have been neglected, we will all realize what we have lost.
Posted in Home, Huntsville, Photographs, tagged As Pictured Below, decluttering, father, grandmother, heirlooms, Huntsville, Owl Sisters, piano, player pianos, refinishing furniture, refinishing player pianos on May 21, 2012 | 3 Comments »
Yesterday, we hustled this beast of a piano into a rental truck for a short trip across town to one half of The Owl Sisters, two Huntsville ladies who refinish old furniture. After they remove its incredibly heavy harp, one Owl Sister will move the piano (which will really be a former piano at that point) into her home, where she’ll probably turn it into a bar. Or, possibly, something even cooler.
I’ve learned that old pianos are essentially worthless unless they’ve been completely reconditioned, a process that can cost just a thousand dollars or two less than the newly reconditioned piano’s value. I’m not taking that wager.
In the past, I’ve called this the accidental piano. When I was helping my dad clean out his mother’s house, it seemed like a good idea to take it home, not because I had fond memories of it (or even played piano), but because I had always thought it was a groovy piece of furniture. I had no idea that nearly 10 years in Mobile’s humidity would render its delicate wheels virtually useless.
For me, it has held family photos and knickknacks, along with whatever objects happened to be attracted to a flat surface at any given moment. I will miss its unique addition to the general decor, but I won’t miss moving it to another house or worrying about it scratching/denting the new floor when we get around to ditching the carpet.
Au revoir, beastly piano. Enjoy your third life.
Posted in As Pictured Below, Cats, Family, Home, Photographs, Uncategorized, tagged Amazing Otters, animal books, Animals of the High Mountains, Animals that Build their Homes, As Pictured Below, books, Books for Young Explorers, brother, cat books, Cats: Little Tigers in Your House, childhood, children's books, kitten books, Paddy Paws, sibling rivalry, Toddly on April 23, 2012 | Leave a Comment »
On Sunday, I posted this photo to Facebook, noting that I had owned this book since I was 2 1/2 years old.
It took a friend approximately three minutes to name two of the kittens (Paddy Paws and Toddly) featured in the tale. He also quickly found a link to the series, titled Books for Young Explorers, on LibraryThing.
Looking at the inscription date — December 1974 — and considering the fact that the book was from a branch of the family with whom we did not usually exchange Christmas gifts, I can only reason that this book was offered to me as a consolation prize after my little brother was born.
A kitten would have been more appreciated.
My real question is how I didn’t manage to obtain this entire series. Because a quick look at some of the titles (Amazing Otters, Animals of the High Mountains, Animals that Build their Homes) tells me that this series was written specifically for me and my kind.
It’s made it through a lot of moves and book purges, I think because I love the title so much: Little Tigers in Your Home. I also must admit, however, that flipping through page after page of kitten photos never gets old.