What to Do When the Turkey Baster is Basted…

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Pan left from this view and you can see how many empty growlers are on the kitchen table…

How do you get your Thanksgiving Turkey safely from the roasting pan to the carving board? Your crispy, tender, perfectly cooked bird is at risk of taking a spectacular dive onto the kitchen floor- it’s probably twenty pounds of hot, slippery yumminess.

And what if the head Turkey Chef is cooked? And all the other family Sous Chefs are probably equally toasted by this time in the family’s day, too.

You think ahead and equip your kitchen with the equivalent of a Turkey Gaff, that’s what you do!

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This bird was perfect, by the way… way to go, Chef!

This Good Grips Poultry Lifter is a good idea, way better than the two wooden spoons that we have traditionally shoved unceremoniously into either end of the bird… ouch! We hardly knew him, after all, how rude! But seriously, anyone with grip issues (arthritis, strength, etc…) will appreciate the big, rubber, ball-shaped grip at one end and the fork-y hooks,  general physics, and gravity proved that this design is way better than two flimsy spoons.

I should thank the family for letting me throw them under the bus in the name of humor (“Artistic License,” is just another way of exaggerating for the sake of a good laugh, really).

Is It Curtains for My Parents’ GROOVY Wallpaper???

My parents have been doing a lot of remodeling, so I thought I’d feature one of their projects tonight. Because really- look at this awesome wallpaper. I said they should keep it, but instead of listening to me, I got told what I could do with my opinion…

I lobbied hard for this wallpaper to be saved because just THINK HOW DELIGHTED SOMEONE will be to purchase a home with vintage 1978 foil wallpaper when they finally sell this home eventually! Notice Mom modeling the best of two centuries-  iPhone in hand, vintage 1970’s wallpaper behind her.

This stuff is too groovy to retire, don’t get rid of it! People love vintage accessories in vintage homes!

*****Six Months Later*****

And here’s the finished room… notice how some of the wallpaper is still in the hallway:

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TA DAH!!!!! Looking good, ‘rents!

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Powder Room? More like Power Room!
But don’t worry, there’s still the bathroom! I’m sure it’s days are numbered, though…

Farewell Dinner = Sushi Win for Me!

“It is always sad when someone leaves home, unless they are simply going around the corner and will return in a few minutes with ice-cream sandwiches.”
Lemony Snicket, Horseradish

Tonight The Husband and I took The Girl out to get dinner at one of her favorite restaurants. She is leaving this week for college and is she filling up on In-N-Out? The best Mexican food this side of the border? Nope. She wanted to sit at Nakamura-san’s counter at Akai Hana, one of the best restaurants for sushi in the San Diego area.

Her farewell dinner = my win!

Tonight’s new-to-me masterpiece was salmon roe. Previously familiar to me only as bait that I once used to fish in our local lakes with my father, our Sushi Chef caught this fish on an Alaskan trip and prepared the roe with mirin (a sweet cooking wine) and other ingredients that he said way too fast for me to understand…

Salmon Roe Sushi
Salmon Roe Sushi

The flavors were so fresh and light, I could hardly believe how delicious the tender roe could be.

Adios, muchachita!
Adios, muchachita!

It was a great meal spent with wonderful people… just the three of us. “My sense of humor is packing up and leaving,” I joke about her inevitable departure. On to bigger and better things for her!

Paying Forward- Sharing Guitars and the Love of Music

ellie guitar (1)My brother once gave The Girl a guitar for Christmas. He told me that it was a beginner’s model, and that if she really like playing, that she could have one of his nicer ones. With her busy schedule, we never managed to fit in formal lessons. She used You Tube tutorials to begin, and had at least half a dozen friends giving her tips a-plenty.

Capos, tuners, more picks were all requested, but she never asked for the lessons. I’m pretty sure that she understood the impossibility of cramming in one more thing during her waking hours. In two years, I am amazed by what she can do, and she has inspired me to try to learn how to play our piano that sits lonely in our front room.

My brother held true to his promise, but took a slightly different route. It turns out that my kids have another guitar-playing uncle, The Brother-In-Law, and he brought a steel-stringed acoustic Fender for The Girl as a parting gift before she leaves for college this fall! And as for my brother? Last year, he gifted The Boy his own beginner’s guitar for Christmas, too. We managed to cram in lessons for him, and soon The Girl insisted that he needed a better guitar. The Boy received my brother’s latest gift- a lovely, Spanish, steel stringed acoustic guitar.

So what do we do with two beginner model, classical guitars? We do my brother the honor of sharing them with kids at the music store who would appreciate them! That’s what we did. We are grateful for our generous uncles… it was time to share with others.

IMG_7724Meet three-year-old Louis, and his big sister Lilian. He marched into the music shop a couple of weeks ago with his mom in tow. Upon seeing the ukuleles, he exclaimed, “Look, mommy! Little guitars!” He then picked up one, held it properly, and looked like he owned the instrument. After I asked, mom Jessie said that he would be delighted to take my son’s 3/4 sized newbie guitar. One down.

IMG_7723We also met Aaron, a student at our local high school. Although he already had an electric model, Aaron was nearby while I asked my son’s teacher if he knew who might be able to use our 7/8th sized nylon stringed classical guitar. I just asked him outright if he would like it. Aaron is not a 7/8ths sized guy, but, I’m sure he will make do (the guitar is bigger than it looks in this pic). He promised to share the guitar with his school’s music department when he is ready to move on to a different guitar. Two for two!

If I decided to learn to play, I will have to fight with The Husband for playing time on the Epiphone he won at Vidcon this summer… I’m up for that!