Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Friday Night Escape!

Don't get me wrong here, I am very happy that my parents are here in Ohio with me (even though Mom is still in rehab), but cooking at home twice a day, seven days a week is getting to be a bore.  This surprises me a bit since I do love to cook, but the issue is that since it's just Dad at the house currently, he doesn't much care what's on the plate, he just eats whats there.  What he DOES expect is that SOMETHING is there at lunch and dinner times. 

Since I haven't quite yet gotten into the swing of this cooking thing twice a day, I spend a lot of time running to the grocery for missing items or forgetting things like vegetables once the main course is ready for the table.  Also, my pantry and freezer are packed and arranged for meals for one person, not two, so my stash is diminishing faster than planned.  Let's face it, I simply wasn't prepared for more people in the house.  Oh well......

My Grandmother Dessie.
Always in an apron and no
wonder - breakfast, lunch and
dinner for a farm family took up
most of her day.
This sort of coping gives me a whole new perspective on how families deal with mealtimes day in and day out, especially in the days before fast food was available to fill in when Mom might have accidentally forgotten to fix dinner one night.   How many of us grew up in a house where Monday was beef night, Tuesday was pasta, Friday was fish, etc, etc?  Now I understand more fully why my own childhood was a simple rotation of meals and not given over to creativity very often, at least not until Mom retired and began spending time reading cookbooks. 

I'm happy to report that after four weeks of this, I'm finally getting into the groove.  Lunches have become soup warmed in the small slow cooker all morning so it's ready to go when I walk in the door and we can be fed and out the door in 15 minutes to get Dad over to the nursing home and me back to work in an hour (whew!).  I'm learning to spend an evening or two each week in the kitchen prepping ingredients for both soup making and for weeknight dinners in order to have dinner over before 7pm.  It's a whole new set of dynamics for this old biddy to learn.

But I'm happy to report that I'm catching on and with any luck at all will have this ironed out by the time Mom is sprung and able to be home with us - at which time we'll be working out another new routine!

FRIDAY NIGHT ESCAPE
Thanks to in invitation from my friend Nancy, I left Dad a dinner of a pot pie piping hot from the oven on Friday, put my work clothes back on and headed up to Cuyahoga Falls for a wonderful dinner at Samira on the river.  Samira has been on the Old Biddy list of places to visit for quite a while but this was my first time here. 

It's a lovely building that formerly held LaFever's.  Exposed bricks and open beams lend a nice bit of nostalgia to the former mill site.  White linens and sufficiently unobtrusive wait staff make this a very pleasant place to wile away an hour or two with a glass of wine and dinner and friends. 

Sorry I didn't get any photos of my dinner (I'm remembering to CARRY my camera these days, just forgetting to actually USE it) and it was beautiful as well as delicious.  I ordered the Honey Bourbon Cured Center Cut Pork Chop served with Roasted Corn Mashed Potatoes and an Apple Onion Marmalade.  The chop was huge and perfectly cooked with a slight pinkness to the center.  I've never been served mashed potatoes with corn mixed together (on purpose) before, but it was very good with the corn lending just a hint of texture and sweetness.  The dinner went very well with the Diseno Malbec from Argentina I ordered from the short wine list.

Nancy ordered the Rock Fish special and it must have been very good because, contrary to her usual custom, she actually had the remainder of her meal boxed up to take home.  My chop was large enough to be cut up and made into a nice fried rice for dinner for Dad and I last evening and the dog enjoyed the bone.  One chop....four meals...well done Samira!

WHAT ELSE TO DO ON A COLD WINTER EVENING?
If you live in Cuyhaoga Falls and can skate, or even if you're just visiting the Front Street mall and like to watch people skate, you need to head out to see the rink on the Broad Blvd end of the mall.  Even with no snow on the ground yet this winter and temperatures still hovering in the mid- to upper-thirties, the skating rink is open and people are enjoying the brisk air. 

Skating is free for Cuyahoga Falls residents or $3 for the rest of us.  Bring your own skates or rent a pair for $3.  Everyone seemed to be having a great time and there were folks there of all skill levels. 

The rink will be open through the middle of February so come out and enjoy it whether you skate or just like to watch those that do.

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