Monday, July 21, 2008

Flowers & Food...or is it Food & Flowers...a Weekend to Remember

































































This weekend we spent a lot of time cooking, eating, visiting the Farmers' Market and a stupendous private garden.



On Saturday morning, in anticipation of a tapas party that night, we went to the Pontiac Farmers' Market to acquire supplies!


July is a wonderful time at the Market. Ripe, luscious fruits and vegetables...colorful flowers...big plants...a friendly, mellow crowd.














After Mexico, US prices for fruits, vegetables and flowers are still a shock. I'm sure my Mexican friends will recoil in shock. Anyone who says that inflation isn't a reality needs to spend a morning with me at the market.














That afternoon I cooked a Spanish Tortilla (potato omelet) and marinated beets. We took them to the party that night, and most were consumed. Unfortunately, I forgot to take photos of the beautiful tapas at the party.































































































































































































































The Jenuwine family's booth!





















































At the tapas party we met an interesting couple, Paul and Mary Sue Ewing, who have an unusual passion for gardening. They live in an 1890 era farmhouse near us, on almost 5 acres. They have flowers, vegetables, herbs, trees, sculpture, pizza ovens, a pond, a playhouse, greenhouses, and more flowers. They are passionate about their gardens - they know the names of all the plants and have made choices - sometimes unusual ones - about where things should be placed. It's a magical place - pictures can't do it justice.







































































Finally (a busy, busy weekend), we took a cooking class in....what else ....Mexican cooking....Rick Bayless recipes. Not as good as being in San Miguel, but not bad. See some photos below of the class and the results.


























































Sunday, July 13, 2008

Benjamin's Bar Mitzvah and other miscellaneous thoughts from London....



Ben, the star of the weekend!

Benjamin Franklin (one of my favorites) quotes:
"There are three faithful friends - an old wife, an old dog, and ready money."
"Keep your eyes wide open before marriage, half shut afterwards."
If you haven't read Franklin or tales of his life, do so posthaste. A fascinating fellow!

A few weeks ago I was in London for the Bar Mitzvah of my youngest nephew, Benjamin Kahn. Besides being outrageously expensive, London is still relatively civilized. In five days, I took a canal cruise, a walking tour of an old village (now part of London), a jog through a lovely park, and a bicycle ride along the Thames.

As you might expect, most of the long weekend was taken up with family events. I will post some photos of the Bar Mitzvah events for family members and friends who check this blog. For others without interest in the subject, my apologies (skip to the end).


Ben, Daniel and Rachel with cousin Noa

Ben and his uncle Larry Soberman


Sally Soberman, the matriarch
of the family!


















My sibs Larry and Marcia

Marcia and Daniel
My mother Sally Soberman
and sister Marcia Fenton












Two sisters - Marcia and Reva






Reva and Robert
at Shabbat brunch












A happy time
for the family!






































For those of you that
were wondering...yes
I was there too (although
mostly on the other side
of the camera lens).









Lamb chops...yummy



Grandfather
Alfred Kahn
with Rachel







Rachel and Daniel give a speech
in honor of their brother Ben





















The elegant club where
the party took place




Sushi table




Table
centerpiece









Tea bags!



The party/dining room












Dancing into the night!








Ben made several lovely speeches, including this one.
video

My baby sister Reva (mother of the Bar Mitzvah boy) recently celebrated a "big" birthday. In her honor Linda and I made a collage of photos of her life.
Now for highlights of the rest of my short trip.

On arrival, as usual, I was tired. My mother had arrived the previous day, and had plenty of energy. So we took a bus to Camden Town, where we boarded a boat on one of the many canals in London. (Yes, we too were surprised to learn about the existence of these canals).

The canals afforded views of beautiful buildings, the zoo, and many barges where Londoners live yearround! It was a lovely, warm day, and a perfect way to enjoy London without too much stress on my arrival day.


























































































On Sunday morning I took a walking tour of Hampstead, an ancient small village which is now part of London proper. Mansions and narrow mews, pubs and gardens. A great way to spend the morning.


















































Afterwards, I had a tasty lunch (smoked salmon and mackeral pie with a pint of good English beer)
at a centuries old pub, the Holly Bush.










































My last day in London I spent with old friends Rebecca and Robert Willer. Rebecca went to college with me, and now owns a gorgeous gallery in the Kensington area (www.willer.co.uk). Check it out.







Robert is a barrister (attorney), who enjoys bicycle riding around the world. He took me on a three hour ride along the Thames River. It's unbelievable - 10 minutes outside of London is a world (and perhaps a century) away. We stopped at a nursery/restaurant for tea and cakes. We also watched a lot of Wimbleton tennis on television (over wine and fruit tart).






























































That evening, at my request, we went for Indian food at Malabar. The pictured desert (whose name escapes me), was wonderful!




















London was terrific. I packed a lot of activity in a short period of time. The only thing missing was Linda. That won't happen again.

Cheerio until my next blog posting.