A Culinary Adventure

It was early Saturday evening. We had spent the entire day running around doing errands and then suddenly realized neither of us had enough energy left to cook dinner . . .

But we were STARVING!

So, we headed to a restaurant that had recently opened in our neighborhood. It would be our first visit but we’d heard great things about it. Now, trust me, we do know better than to go to a brand new restaurant – spur of the moment – on a Saturday night – without a reservation!!! We know that’s crazy but what can I say? We were delirious from hunger.

We arrived and the parking lot was packed. The hostess said it would be more than an hour before a table was available. We agreed to wait and scouted out a quiet corner in which to perch – away from the throngs of diners entering, exiting, and waiting, too.

Our stomachs growled, but Sir Beads and I smiled at each other optimistically . . .

“One hour – not too bad! We’re probably down to 55 minutes already!”

Just as we were contemplating whether or not to have a glass of wine to pass the time, someone tapped me on the shoulder from behind.

“Are you just two?” He asked. “I can seat you immediately at the pizza bar!

Huh? We wondered. What’s he talking about? This was a restaurant with a large varied menu but we had no idea there was pizza, much less a “pizza bar”. As I said before, though, we were weak from hunger so the thought of immediate seating food sounded pretty inviting. We nodded “ok” to the gentleman – but as he whisked us through the length and breadth of the dining room, we passed a series of comfortable-looking booths and I felt a pang of regret for agreeing so quickly.

“Please don’t let this be a no-room-for-elbows, sit-on-a-tiny-stool near a swinging kitchen door type of deal.”, I muttered under my breath.

We were brought to a small counter with just 4 stools – 2 of which were already occupied. The seats were actually comfortable but it was the ambiance that surprised us. We were overlooking the food prep area and behind that we could see the main kitchen with its gaggle of bustling chefs.

A waiter appeared with menus, took our order, and left us alone to make sense of the scene. We were amazed at how interesting (entertaining, even!) it was to watch the flurry of activity before us – as meals were prepared for that huge Saturday night crowd of fellow diners!

Oddly enough, located off to one side, there WAS a huge brick pizza oven, where an energetic young man prepared appetizer-size pizzas with great care.

Even more intriguing was a young woman, directly in front of us, who was putting finishing touches on entrees, creating specialty salads and appetizers, and garnishing mouthwatering desserts. She had little cupboards and small refrigerator cases all around her. There were bins with fresh vegetables, and grated cheeses and oh my goodness – dozens of little containers with all sorts of yummy things. She worked with great attention to detail – almost love – as she placed each ingredient on the dishes she made. Then, in the blink of an eye, her creation was gone – a waiter would turn up and carry it off into the crowd behind us and, without missing a beat, she would be on to her next masterpiece.

Our food arrived and it was fantastic but we were even more impressed with our bird’s eye view of the inner workings of this busy restaurant. It was fascinating to see that no matter how hectic the evening became – the focus was on preparing and presenting food with great care – it was almost art!


Moral of the story?

Well, I can say this much . . .

At the end of the evening, I was awfully glad I’d ignored my “second thoughts” and continued to follow that host – even though I wasn’t sure what I’d find at the “pizza bar”.

Sometimes a fun-filled adventure is where you least expect it!



Breakfast of Champions

You probably remember I mentioned I’m not very good about eating breakfast on Monday through Friday.

I am however a big fan of breakfast on the weekend! We usually sleep a little later then, especially on Saturdays, and are often ravenous by the time we get to the table. There’s more time to be leisurely about it so we like a hot meal – there’s no cereal on weekends (just like there’s no crying in baseball!). 😉

This Saturday, we had one of my favorite things . . . home fries!!! YUMMY!!!!

I must admit I’ve never met a potato I didn’t love. Ask me to choose between cake and potatoes and there is no contest. The spuds win hands down.

Don’t these look good???

Just potatoes, onions, salt, pepper and a little butter for cooking them. The kitchen smelled wonderful! Luckily, there are still leftovers!

What are home fries without eggs?

(Don’t worry; this is when they first hit the pan. They will be cooked longer; we like them “over easy”.)

Every once and a while, we have steak with our eggs. This was one of those days.

The little meat thermometers work like a charm.

The eggs were cooked in the steak drippings for extra flavor. And with the addition of some lovely, sweet, orange slices, this was more brunch than breakfast. It sure was delicious! 😀


What do you like to make for your weekend breakfasts?



Weekend Report

Before I get to the weekend report, I just want to mention how much fun it was for me to see all of you kids talking to each other in Friday’s comments section. Yay for coffee with friends! 🙂

It was a nice weekend.

We began Friday night by attending the 50th wedding anniversary celebration for a couple who have been our good friends for over 25 years. They’re a bit older than Sir Beads and I, and we’ve always sort of looked up to them. They’re the kind of warm, generous, and exceptionally thoughtful people that you just don’t meet very often in this world. They’ve celebrated with us through happy times and been close by during sad times. With them, we’ve created some great memories, which are now firmly woven into the tapestry of our lives. It was a delight for us to toast their 50th. 🙂

Saturday was errands/chores day – I know, not very exciting – but we did have a delicious Italian dinner that night, and earlier in the day I spruced up the front door for autumn!

Then on Sunday, we drove to Cape Cod to visit my parents. One of our daughters came along, too. It’s tough for us at this time of year because – very soon – Mum and Dad will return to Florida for the winter. I hate to see them go, but I understand that after dealing with the harsh New England winters for most of their lives, they welcome the warmer climate. Our countdown until spring (when they return) begins the minute they leave!

But how about you? What were you up to this weekend?