Sunday, February 26, 2012

Oscar Night

Bacall & Bogey
It's Oscar Night.  They're all glammed up and I'm in sweats and my fluffy slippers.  I just read about a couple of actresses who said they almost fainted at the Golden Globes because their Spanx were so tight they couldn't breathe.  Better them than me.  Do you find yourself sucking in your tummy when you see Cameron Diaz and Jennifer Lopez?  I noticed that I sit up taller when they come strolling out.  If I ever get to go I already have the perfect dress.

My Oscar Night Dress

Great huh?  Black isn't my best color, but they say it takes off 5lbs.  I'm subtracting another  2lbs. because of the floor length and long sleeves.

What you can't tell from the photo is that when you wear this dress you forget you're in a dressy dress and feel like you're in your old softest pj's.  It's fitted, but not so tight it cuts off your blood or air supply.

Also, it sparkles and shimmers when you walk.

I feel elegant, sexy, and taller in it. Plus at least 7lbs. lighter.

I wear it with some strappy heels that kill my feet.  I don't think I could walk two blocks in them without the risk of foot surgery becoming a real possibility.

Next year I'm going to invite my girlfriends for an Oscar Night Party.  We'll dress up in our Red Carpet best and be interviewed while standing in completely unnatural poses and speaking without breathing so our tummies don't pooch out.

Did you see all the nominated movies?  I never seem to see all of them.  This year I've seen 6 of the 9.
Here are my top 3:  The Help, Midnight in Paris, and Moneyball.

I wrote this while I watched the show and about choked when my hubby told me he'd been invited to the Oscars once (he's an LA homeboy) and he didn't go.  I asked if he got a raincheck.  No such luck.
At least now he knows that we can rent diamonds from Harry Winston.  I was a Girl Scout and we're required by motto to always be prepared.

So by now you know that the French carried the day and Meryl still reigns supreme and obviously has a good marriage.  Like there wasn't already enough to envy.  And if you've never seen Cirque du Soleil you better get that on your Bucket List.

I like my dress better than Meryl's.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Blue Soup

Blue Soup
Script Excerpt from Bridget Jones's Diary

Bridget:  How's it look?
Mark:  Great.  It's, um. . .blue
Bridget:  Blue?
Mark:  No, but blue is good.  If you ask me there isn't enough blue food.

This is a story with a happy, even delicious, ending.
It began as part of yesterday's post:  A Robe By Any Other Name.

I told you that I spent all morning yesterday, OK, not exactly morning, but more precisely until just after lunch, in my bathrobe.  I've already chronicled my movements and just before going upstairs to "get ready for the day. . .OK, what was left of the day" I wanted to rinse the beans and start the 3.5 hrs. of simmering called for on the soup package.  The Soup Saga began Tuesday evening with the prerequisite overnight soaking of the bean mixture.  This soup recipe is a little like the shampoo instructions:  rinse and repeat.  I rinsed the beans, added fresh water and turned up the heat.  Within 3 hours the aroma of soup and ham shank infused the whole house.  I went to the stove to remove the lid and gaze at the fruit of my labors only to find the wonderful mouth watering fragrance emanating from a blue concoction filling my soup pot.  The last time I saw something that color it was the water draining out of my washing machine when I had accidentally washed a brand new pair of dark denim jeans in hot water.

I'm not a great cook.

Bobby Flay in his Star Trek uniform
Ina Garten 'The Barefoot Contessa'
Martha Stewart Herself
The one, the only, Julia Child

It's never "how easy is that?".
It's not "a good thing".
I'd never even open the door to a 'Throwdown".

And "Bon Appetit" just isn't something I'm prone to say when serving family or guests.

My friend Patty and I describe ourselves as Utility Chefs.  We get the job done, but there's not much art in it.

Think Cafeteria Ladies minus the Fish Sticks and you're closer to an accurate description.

There is always a certain amount of performance anxiety when I step into the kitchen.  My Mom is a terrific cook. My daughter is a terrific cook.  Ditto for my daughter-in-laws and my granddaughter.

I'm a genetic anomaly.

Even with the Internet availability of millions of recipes I am not a natural in the kitchen unless you're talking about cleaning it up.  Then I rock.

                                                  I felt like I was in a bad I Love Lucy episode.
                                                                     Seriously, blue soup.

I have never seen Ina, or any famous chef make blue soup.

Yellow/Orange soup, yes
Bright Green Soup, yes

Even Hot Pink soup, but never blue.

To complicate matters my husband had pulled a Jeffrey and came strolling down the hall from his office aka:  the man cave, to ask what smelled so good.  I slammed the lid back on the pot and said, "It's a surprise".

Images of old war movies flashed across my synapses.

Airplanes about to crash on the deck of aircraft carriers and someone yelling pull up! pull up!

Memories of crumbling pie crust and cardboard pot roast flooded back and I could literally feel my cortisol levels rising.

Then I remembered the shampoo bottle directions:  rinse and repeat.

I dumped it all in the colander and rinsed until the water ran clear.  I added bottled water in case it had been some weird  Municipal Water District event.  I added sautéed onions, carrots, red pepper flakes, garlic and bay leaf.  For good measure I also added a can of stewed tomatoes.

And voila, no more blue soup.  I felt positively triumphant.

Oh yeah, the soup was excellent.  Turns out beans, and there are about 10 kinds in this mix, are high in fiber, iron, and flavor.

 PS  The Ham Shank was very meaty and may have contributed to the overall yumminess.

Still no clue as to the origin of the blue.


A Robe By Any Other Name

It's winter and my love affair with my bathrobe has reached its zenith.  It's a luxury to wear and I resent having to surrender it for more suitable public apparel in order to carry on my daily life.  Today I changed the sheets, did the laundry, answered email, worked on a book, made great soup for dinner, and ate lunch in my robe.

As an all purpose wardrobe piece it has limitations.  I can't exercise in it without risk of injury or heatstroke.  I can't grocery shop or buy a new printer ink cartridge or get my hair cut in my bathrobe, so I try to consolidate those errands and minimize their effect on my wardrobe selection.  I also refuse to answer the door.  I'm sure the Jehovah's Witnesses, Solar Panel Salesmen, and the FedEx guy all must think I've joined the ranks of working women.

Most of my life I've been an at home Mom, but I have never stayed in a bathrobe past breakfast until this winter.  I have a limited window of opportunity because as Spring approaches I can't resist the lure of sunshine and the urge to plant new flowers in the garden.  I know I'll have to bust out my old khaki's and t-shirts along with the garden gloves and shovel.

My Roses & Lavender 

Then the weather gets really good and my thoughts turn to golf which requires another wardrobe change.

I'm passing on my vast knowledge to another generation.  Those who can do, those who can't. . .

 Solomon, and later the Byrds said, 'to everything there is a season, a time to every purpose under heaven'.  I haven't actually calculated how many mornings I've stayed in my bathrobe past 10AM.  I don't know how it started except that I remember being a little more burned out than usual after the Holidays.  I don't see any divine significance to it, but in my bathrobe I feel divine.  I used to read a lot of English novels and the lady of the house was gently awakened by a maid with a tea tray.
Anna can come to me if Bates goes to prison.

So no, I don't feel guilty staying in my bathrobe.
I feel lucky.