Sunday, May 3, 2015

Strawberries Romanov

a.k.a. Dessert in a Pinch

Years ago, when I was in high school in Clinton, Illinois, we'd go to this phenomenal restaurant in St. Louis called Tony's. We used to take long car rides to go to great restaurants - a habit begun long before I was born I'm sure. 

Tony's was old-school Italian. Jacket and tie were required and the maitre d' would escort you up a gracefully curved staircase backwards, so as not to turn his back on you. Once at your table, the ratio of servers to diners was about 1:1. 

How does that relate to dessert in a pinch? Tony's was the first place I ever had Strawberries Romanov. We were seated at a table in the corner of the dining room with a superb view outward of everyone else and quiet behind us. My brother to my right, Dad to my left, and Mom across the table from me. We had a gorgeous dinner, the best part of which was dessert.

Strawberries Romanov is a relatively simple concoction. Sour cream, brown sugar, Brandy or vanilla, and sweetened whipped cream, folded gently together spooned over fresh strawberries. I probably ordered it for the name, which is grand and somewhat mysteriously exotic.

So, tonight, facing a fridge full of leftovers, including strawberries, a little bit of sour cream, and and some whipped cream, the dessert came back to me, floating into my head like a long lost friend. I remember sitting at that table, experiencing the sweet burst of strawberries on my tongue, tempered by the gloss and tang of the brandied cream. 

Dinner was clean-out-the-fridge leftovers: a hamburger and pasta with pesto and spinach. But dessert was sublime.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Seven Quick Takes - Florida

The Adventure Begins

We went to Universal Studios last July - first family trip with all four of us in several years - and long overdue.

1. July is a great time to go, if you're a fan of heat, humidity and rain showers.

2. The rides are awesome. They leave you alternately dizzy, soaked, jazzed, or some combination of the three.

3. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is really best seen in the evening. The plastic snow on the rooftops looks less plastic at twilight.

4. Stay at the onsite hotels, simply for the express ticket. You may feel a bit bad as you zoom past the people standing in hour-long lines for rides. But you'll get over it quickly, trust me.

5. Breakfast at the Three Broomsticks is awful. However, most folks believe all British food is awful, so perhaps they are just trying to meet expectations.

6. Butterbeer is fabulous. It is the best drink ever. Sorry, Silver Oak, it just is.

7. I know why they make you pay extra for internet at the onsite hotels. It's to get you and your kids off of it. Thanks.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Minnesota - Seven Quick Takes

Lake Vermilion

1. Cabins in Minnesota do not have air conditioning. In late July or August, when the temperature hits the 80 degree mark, they smell exactly like saunas and are just as hot. Fans are of little help.

2. The restaurants in northern Minnesota have the best blue cheese dressing. Which makes up, a bit, for the aforementioned lack of air conditioning.

3. Ice cream cones come with three scoops. If you ask for a single scoop, you get a raised eyebrow and at least two scoops. Minnesotans take their daily calcium requirements very seriously.

4. Minnesota politics is interesting. It is the land of Jesse Ventura and Al Franken.

5. One of the local restaurants served Tilapia instead of Walleye at its Friday Night Fish Fry. Won't be going there again for that. Tilapia. Really?

6. The Chocolate Moose in Ely is where it's at. Trust me on this one.

7.  Despite what the state website may say, the mosquito is Minnesota's state bird, not the loon. Vying for second place are the horse fly and the deer fly. Bring bug repellent with 100% Deet.  Spray the cabin, the boat, your clothes, your life jacket, even your fishing pole. Bring several cans. You can also spray the bugs themselves - you will come to hate them that much. Just sayin'.

Friday, March 29, 2013

More than Enough for Me

Suscipe Prayer:

Take, Lord, and receive
all my liberty, my memory,
my understanding and my entire will,
All I have and call my own.

You have given all to me.
To you, Lord, I return it.

Everything is yours;
do with it what you will.
Give me only your love and your grace.
That is enough for me.

-St. Ignatius of Loyola

Monday, February 11, 2013

Thanks, Pope Benedict XVI

The news broke early this morning that Pope Benedict XVI is resigning at the end of this month due to ill health.

As a non-card carrying member of the Cardinal Ratzinger Fan Club and an Anglican, I am sorry to see him go. It is my fervent prayer that the next pope will be cut of the same cloth, because B16's service to his Church and mine has been gratefully received, by me, if not by everyone.

May God richly bless the retirement of the Rottweiler of the Faith.

Monday, January 14, 2013

I Am Ann, A Stone

I am part of a wall. It is what I am meant to be and all that I am.

I am a living stone, oddly shaped, planned and placed by God.

I am built upon a foundation whose cornerstone is Christ, whose mortar is the Holy Spirit, and whose owner is our Father God.

I am connected to all the stones of the wall, resting on some, holding up others.

I am strong and weak, sheltering and protected.

I am uniquely created to never be complete or whole alone.

I am in love with what God has created, with my fellow stones.

I am at home in this wall, against which the gates of hell cannot prevail.

I am Ann, a stone.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

seven quick takes

One of my favorite bloggers does this thing called seven quick takes. Short, off the cuff thoughts - a snapshot of a day or an hour.

1. President Obama really, really should not have said to Gov. Romney that bit about we have these things called air craft carriers. That was utterly rude. Had I been on the fence, he'd have lost me right there.

2. I got a raise today, I need to work more! It's nice to be edging away from minimum wage, and on toward being a bigger support. And I'm doing it without getting another degree (which had been my interest). Plus I can work in my pjs. It's all good.

3. I'm going on a date with my beloved tonight. Having recently gotten over losing my voice for a week, I'll be too busy talking to eat much. Sorry, honey.

4. A boy from my niece's high school was killed in a joy ride that ended badly yesterday. It hits very close to home, and I am praying that she remains safe through her life. I cannot imagine the pain those parents are in. I'm hoping to spend some time with her this weekend. Hugging will be on the agenda. Much hugging.

5. One of my best friends is in from London for the week - I think she took my profile picture in front of the Whole Foods in Kensington, where she indulged my need to stop in at the British mothership. I'll see her for lunch tomorrow. She's a poet. She's also funny, compassionate, wise and wonderful. I'm grateful for her friendship and so looking forward to wallowing in it in person for a bit.

6. I went to the Diocese of Quincy Synod two weeks ago. The bishop ordered me to keep talking. Within a day, my voice decamped, totally gone. So if you have something you'd like me to stop, or start, email Bishop Morales and ask him to order me to do (or not do) it, and we'll do an episcopal experiment. The worship at Synod was fabulous. Let those of us who know tell those who don't. Very, very mission oriented place to be for anyone who has decided to follow Jesus.

7. And finally, I love Hot and Spicy Cheez-its. I just do. They're not vegan, or organic, or even close to being good for me. But I love them. I will not buy another box, though, because I cannot resist them. Now it's time to brush the crumbs off my shirt and go to get my girl.