Another Family Recipe

I decided to make another of Grandma Peg’s recipes for the birthday list. When Mom and Dad married, Grandma Peg gave Mom a small book of handwritten recipes of some of Dad’s favorite foods—one of which was glorified rice.

When I read about the origins of the dessert, I was kind of at a loss, since my family is neither from the Midwest nor Norway. Glorified rice wasn’t frequently on the menu, but I recall enjoying it whenever it was. What’s not to enjoy about marshmallows, cream, sugar, rice, and fruit, right?

OK, that might sound a little odd to some people.

The recipe is easy to make: you just throw together the fruit, marshmallows, rice, sugar, whipped cream, and stir it up. However, when I made it, something went wrong when I tried to whip the heavy cream, as in it didn’t whip at all.

So everything turned pink from the maraschino cherry juice and the consistency of the cream was runny instead of whipped. I won’t even show the photo of it because it is less than appetizing. I’ll show you a picture of a successful recipe instead. It was still edible, though, and I enjoyed a few servings.

Courtesy of minuterice.com

Well, that brings us to the end of the #43 birthday list, finally! 2018 was not a good year, but I did finish 43 items before the end of the year. Next week, I’ll start telling you about #44…

You Don’t Have to Take My Word for It

Happy 2019 to all. 2018 was a rough one for me, so I feel kind of shell shocked as I face a new year. Sometimes all you can do is put one foot in front of the other, and that’s what I will do for now.

To cheer myself up, I’ll tell you about seeing one of my favorite celebrities a couple of months ago. Hint: “You don’t have to take my word for it.”

Yes, LeVar Burton, for those of you who did not watch Reading Rainbow religiously. My father and I also watched him religiously in Star Trek: The Next Generation.

When I learned he was coming to Boston, I bought a ticket to his show even though I had no idea what he would be talking about or doing. I didn’t know about his popular podcast until I asked Google what the show would be about.

So what he does in his live shows is pick a local author and read the author’s short story, with musical accompaniment. Then he invites the author on stage and they do a Q & A and take questions from the audience.

For the Boston show, he read a short story by Ken Liu. It was a sci-fi/fantasy story, so at first I was unenthused because I don’t read that genre of literature. But, of course, it did not take long for me to fall under LeVar’s spell.

The Q & A was great because both LeVar and Ken were charming and witty as hell. If you are a fan of LeVar Burton or a fan of literature, I highly recommend his live show and podcast. Seeing him in person was one of the highlights of my year!

Love in New England and Berlin

After reading an article about Ali McGraw recently, I decided that I should watch the film Love Story. As the opening credits rolled with music in the background, I immediately saw myself standing in my parents’ bedroom, maybe 30 years ago, playing a music box of my mother’s that had the words “Love Story” on the bottom of it.

I loved that song. And now I knew that it was the theme of the movie by the same name. So, anyway, the movie. It was fine, a classic rich person/poor person romantic relationship. Living in New England myself, I appreciated the cliched New England-ishness. Spoiler alert:

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I found the ending too abrupt. It seemed like all of a sudden, Jenny was in a hospital bed dying. She didn’t look sick, and I believe the audience doesn’t even know what she is dying OF. And I don’t necessarily agree with their “romantic” phrase “Love means never having to say you’re sorry.”

 

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A few weeks after I watched Love Story, I was reading an article about Liza Minnelli, and I decided I should watch Cabaret. I’ve never seen it or the musical or the remakes. Now this movie has a lot more going on. It was hedonistic, romantic, sad, and dark, set in 1930s Berlin. Spoiler alert:

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The two main characters fall in love, but they realize they are too different and end up parting ways.

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These are two very different ’70s films that are worth a watch sometime.

 

A Taste of Home

I’ve lived in the same general area of Boston for 16 years and have never owned a car. That partially explains why it took me so long to check out an ice cream (well, frozen custard) shop that is not accessible by subway. As a passenger in a car, I would ride by this ice cream shop possibly two or three times a year.

Every time, I would study the sign, Abbott’s, and wonder if it could be the same Abbott’s that I grew up with in Rochester, New York. The logo looked exactly the same. Nah…

 

 

 

 

 

 

So this was the year that I found out that yes, it is the same Abbott’s! I didn’t have to ask to be sure, because this sign was hanging in the window:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The glare makes the sign difficult to read, but basically, some Rochesterians moved here and missed the frozen custard so much that they convinced the owners to let them open a franchise.

Not only was there frozen custard, there were Zweigle’s white hots for sale! And there were pennants of Rochester universities on the wall! What a treat to find a taste of home in the backyard of my second home.

 

Another New England Delicacy

I’ve lived in Boston for almost two decades and yet I’d never heard of the New England delicacy known as Richie’s Slush…until a few coworkers started raving about it in the office. Some of us hadn’t heard of Richie’s (I wasn’t the only one), so we asked what it was like.

One of the raving coworkers said something along the lines of “It’s creamy like ice cream, but it’s not ice cream.”

“Is it like a Slurpee?” I asked. Because I love Slurpees. My coworker claimed it was better than that.

She proceeded to track down the nearest retailer, a chocolate shop around the corner from the office. Within a few days, I was ordering a watermelon Richie’s Slush at the chocolate shop.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It WAS creamy…but not really. It was smooth, with no crunchy bits of ice at all. I dare say it’s even better than a Slurpee. Or maybe just different. I will always love Slurpees. But I can find room in my heart to love Richie’s as well.