Thanksgiving and Other Goofiness in Berkeley Heights

The Warm Up

Karen and I made our annual Thanksgiving pilgrimage to Berkeley Heights and the Morgan-Ortons. This year we went via Roosevelt Island in NYC to drop of exhibition prints from our October show Street Photography / Surveillance with Bojune Kwon.

Trader Joe's Coastal-Merlot

Ed went upscale on the wine for this meal

Wednesday evening dinner was cooked by Mr. Wonderful who brought back an old favorite for a re-run, meatloaf. This is the same meatloaf that was the subject of several earlier postings here. Of course all of this attention on a dish which has no recipe necessitated some head scratching. Once I got started in Meredith’s kitchen (I know that Ed makes rice and beans and other delicacies there, too, but this is Meredith’s kitchen) she hung around to kibitz. This lead to the discovery, not surprising given her penny pinching propensities, that she added oatmeal to her meatloaf too. The Wheatena I include was a novelty for her but I left out the carrots that hers included. Since my earlier jiggling of the memory banks I recalled that I also added either canned diced tomatoes or tomato juice to give some fluid for the cooking of the oatmeal and Wheetena. Spices include variably, basil, garlic, red pepper, black pepper, Worcestershire sauce, Pickapeppa, and catsup. Actually, the catsup is a required sealant for the surface of the meatloaf.

meatloaf and kasha varnishkes

Not to get carried away further with TMI (where is Nyla when I need her steadying editorial hand), I also made a dish that was a real novelty for the Morgan-Ortons, kasha varnishke. My original plan was to make a basic Russian kasha, but Karen demanded the Jewish variant familiar in the US. I followed a recipe (this happens occasionally) at yourjewishmother.wordpress.com.

Thanksgiving Day

Since Meredith has to put in an appearance at the annual football contest between her high school and the local rival New Providence HS, we arrived fashionably late half way through the second period and departed after the half time extravaganza marching band foolery. Always the opportunist, Meredith stopped to feed the fish in her classroom after filling up on the the adulation of the crowd.marching-band

 

 

Before we could get Ed to peel a few potatoes, the following goofiness broke out:

 

 

 

Andrea, Noah, and Nyla arrived. Then next door neighbors Roland and Andrea. The feast was ready to begin. Karen took this panoramic shot over dessert. (Click on the image to see it full size)

Novelty Item

We had not noticed this little bit of wit from Meredith earlier. This inspired by one of Ed’s bad habits. Strikes many that there must be many more of these hidden about and to come. Ed has a lot of bad habits.

This is just to the left of the front door.

cigar box closedcigar-box-open

Mr. Wonderful’s Meatloaf – a recipe?

My 11/11/11 note about my metal for cooking up glop brought several queries, including one from Australia, for the recipe for the meatloaf. This caused some glee here in Hudson. Move over Julia Child.

I should fess up that I have rarely used a recipe. My genius is to open the refrigerator door, look in the pantry, wait for inspiration, then make something with what is at hand. Only in my recent ventures into Indian cuisine have I used a cookbook. Even that I gave up when I discovered the wonders of manjulaskitchen.com.

I have a picture of a 2007 version of my meatloaf. I am sure it included the signature Wheateena and oatmeal, canned tomatoes, and ketchup coating. I must have had a lot of onions and green peppers hanging around This one seems less gloppy than many that Jonathan and Andrea would remember. Maybe I got distracted and it was desiccated by a bit too much time in the oven?

20111117-210915.jpg

Mr. Wonderful Wins a Medal

A week ago I ran in the Hudson Area Library Ghostly Gallop 5K race here in Hudson. First race in six years. My time of 41 minutes was hardly stellar, though my PB of 33 minutes some ten years ago hardly made me a threat even in the Clydesdale division. I am happy to be running again.

But the big news is that I received a medal! I am so excited. I don’t think I have ever gotten a medal for anything before. Not sure exactly why I am so enthralled. Every participant who finished the race, even the crawlers, received a medal. Still, I am excited.

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Reminder of Michael Pollan’s Food Rules

I found niece Maggie staring at a peak of Chef Boyardee cans at Stop & Shop. She was in some nostalgic revery of choice. I pointed out that a life mystery for me was the constituents of the the meatballs in “Spaghetti & Meatballs”. She thought the mystery lay in the raviolis.

Then, I picked up a can to look at the label. One glance reminded me of Michael Pollan’s Food Rules. One rule says something along the lines of, “if your third grader can not read the label don’t eat it.”


Case closed

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Parker Orton Graduates – June 29, 2011

Parker graduated from Montgomery Academy Wednesday June 29, 2011. Karen and I attended with Ed, Meredith, and Maggie.

It was quite personal since there are only twelve graduates. Special gifts were awarded to each with amusing commentary concerning some quirk or talent.

It was especially nice to meet some of Parker’s school friends and some of his teachers. Unfortunately, I only captured a name here or there. Apologies.

Here are a few photos.

Parker Orton walking in

The Procession

Parker listiening Gift from Cheryl Lentini

Parker listening to remarks before receiving gift

Parker with teacher Adel

Parker with his teacher Adel

Parker with diplomaParker, teacher, friendParker water color for class project

Maggie, Meredith, Ed and Parker

Maggie, Meredith, Ed and Parker

Mark, Maggie, Meredith, Ed, Parker, Karen

Mark, Maggie, Meredith, Ed, Parker, Karen