Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Fabulous Blog Ribbon

I was most surprised recently when my very dear friend Robin, of Your Daily Dose, shared an award with me.  Robin doesn't post as often as her faithful followers would like her to; but when she pops up to offer her thoughts, they are inevitably wise, witty, and wonderful.  If you haven't met her yet, you need to go visit.

Of course, being given this award then gives me actual work to do, rather than merely blathering about a batch of cookies or some pizza!  But it's also fun, because I get to divert onto different tangents, sorta - you'll see that I'm still a food obsessive, with the subject creeping in no matter what - and talk about topics beyond my cooking and eating passions.

So, here's the scoop:

1. Post the rules on your blog.
2. Name 5 of your most fabulous moments, either in real life or in the blogosphere.
3. Name 5 things you love.
4. Name 5 things you hate.
5. Pass the ribbon on to 5 other bloggers.

Alrighty, here goes:


Done (see above).

Fabulous Moments:

1. I was petrified, terrified, horrified, and every other kind of -fied before speaking at the Sisterhood's DAMES Dinner at Temple Beth Emeth this past December, as I love to write but I'm not a natural public speaker; this was my very first and, so far, only such gig.  But everyone was so wonderful and welcoming that I felt very comfortable giving my shpiel - I was clearly among friends.  (I joined the Sisterhood that night, becoming a member, because I had such a grand time with these amazing women!)  There was a fabulous meal, and they presented me with some lovely gifts - all in pink, no less.  And I was thrilled beyond my usually verbose abilities to express myself when I received a note card afterwards, saying "Thanks again for your wonderful program - people said it was the best DAMES we've had!"

2. When I went back to visit Jeremy after he'd had a medical procedure recently, the nurse offered me a seat and then asked with complete sincerity, "Are you the wife?"  Jeremy giggled, despite being groggy, so it was a good moment for both of us.  I told him "I hope you're conscious enough to remember this later on!"  Jeremy is 21; I'm pushin' 50, with dread of my birthday already looming although it's not 'til December.  Oh, yes, this was a fabulous moment!  (Jeremy was fine, by the way, and thankfully passed inspection.)

3. My less-than-15 minutes of fame presenting Special Mocha Cupcakes on The CBS Early Show after they won the grand prize in Taste of Home magazine's Cupcake Challenge. (You can watch the video here.)  Jeremy and I were dined - but not wined - in New York City, chauffeured around town, and treated like Cinderella at the ball with the Prince Consort.  (FYI: Taste of Home changed the name from Quadruple Chocolate Cupcakes ... kinda says it all, doesn't it???)

4. One of my "bubbes" ([BUH-beez] = Yiddish for "grandmother") - the older women at the synagogue who've adopted me, whom I adore - asked me a few years ago, "So, Mary, have you converted yet?"  "No, Sarah, I haven't.  I'm still thinking about it, though."  "That's okay," she responded with the sweetest, brightest smile.  "We love you anyway."

5. I received the most poignant email after my Valentine's Day post giving a recipe for "Brownie in a Mug," a one-person treat for those spending the day alone and - more importantly - for those who had suffered the loss of the one they'd have ordinarily celebrated that day with:  "Dear Mary, It's been a really hard week.  My boyfriend's mother died suddenly on Monday and the idea of Valentine's Day was repulsive.  She was her husband's whole world; they were sweethearts forever.  I started reading your article 'Brownie in a Mug' about flowers and candy ... I was really ticked off.  I hit the end of the second paragraph and took a sigh of relief.  No one ever thinks of the people that have lost the love of their life.  No one thinks about all those people that will be alone on Valentine's Day.  You thought of them!!!  Thank you so very much!"

Things I Love:

1. Jeremy (not a thing, obviously, but ...!)

2. Chocolate cake.  Carrot cake.  Oh, let's just say it - CAKE!  And cookies.  And brownies.  And pie.  And frosting.  And ice cream.  Sweets.  Let's just cut to the chase and say "sweets."

3. Learning languages.  I was once fluent in French - to the point of even thinking en français - though I'm now living proof of the adage "Use it or lose it."  I've studied Latin, Russian, and Italian.  I can also read Hebrew letters (with the vowels, anyway, which - like batteries - aren't always included), and I can sound out words even if I don't know what they mean.  I would like to learn Yiddish, which is such a colorful and expressive language!  But I really wish I could actually speak Italian rather than just pronouncing it fairly well and being an excellent menu translator.

4. Having a free Sunday to putter around, linger over my coffee, read The New York Times and do the crossword puzzle (though I don't subscribe anymore, since I don't have time to read it), cook, bake, catch up on household stuff, and still be in my jammies in the middle of the afternoon because I've had no obligations requiring more formal wear.

5. Random moments of bliss - sitting in the sunshine when it's not too hot and a slight breeze is blowing, an unexpected compliment, finding a lucky penny, when a favorite song is played (at the Ann Arbor Art Fair one time, local station 107one was broadcasting live and played Roxy Music's "More Than This" even though the band is never in any radio station's regular rotation), when a new recipe idea works out perfectly on the first try, meeting up with friends and losing track of time because you're having so much fun, eating fresh doughnuts at the cider mill, hearing babies laugh, going to a thrift shop and finding a $5 dress that was apparently tailored just for you ....

Things I Hate:

1. People who have no ability or willingness to see beyond their own narcissistic selves and acknowledge that others have needs of their own.

2. Picky eaters - people who can't just eat whatever's put in front of them (with exceptions for health and religion, of course).  I am especially irked by those who expect others to cater to their whims as though it's an entitlement, instead of being gracious and accommodating (see item #1 - people who have no ability or willingness ...).

3. Our entire nauseating political process that is deceitful, corrupt, wasteful, unproductive, spiteful, and generally miserable and intolerable.  (Gee, do I seem a bit wishy-washy about that???)  I wish I could just wait for the election to be over in November; but the very next day, the nonsense begins again for the next primary season two years later.  It is constant and interminable.  And every time I see a postcard tucked into my door, watch an ad on television, or see confetti and balloons dropping, I wonder how many hungry children could have been fed with that money, how many homeless people could have been housed, how many uninsured patients could have received necessary medical care ....

4. Listening to NPR, because I can't endure the droning monotones that seem to be a requirement for employment there, not to mention the morning weather reports that are given seemingly every 13 seconds.  I look up the website and read the stories instead.

5. Sushi and kimchi (the former only looking good if you compare it to the latter, but neither wins a crown at my pageant).  I don't like the taste or the papery texture of nori, I prefer not to eat refined carbs (i.e.: sticky rice) unless they're in the form of dessert, and I want my fish cooked; there is nothing redeeming in sushi, such that I could even pick it apart and nibble at it.  And the stench of kimchi is so horrific that I can't even be near someone who's eating it without wanting to flee; it is truly nauseating.  In college, a fellow dorm resident used to make kimchi in his room; there are no words to adequately describe the revolting fumes produced as the cabbage fermented!  To say that the odor resembled that of sewage would be an insult to rotting garbage.

Five Fabulous Bloggers:

Women whom I'd love to sit and chat with over a cup of coffee, who put up great recipes, who give lots of excellent information and/or instruction, who share their lives and their passions, and who tell great stories:

1. Bibi of Bibi's Culinary Journey

2. Debra of Housewife Eclectic

3. Jenn of Jenn's Food Journey

4. Judee of Gluten Free A-Z Blog

5. Judy of Cranberry Morning


Jenn said...

Oooohhh... not only did I get to learn a little more about you, you named me.. I think I might be blushing!! You DO have a fabulous blog and one of these days we will get to sit down and have that cup of coffee! Thank you so much! xo

Bibi @ Bibi's Culinary Journey said...

Mary, congratulation on your award...you so deserve it. I was so enjoying reading about you and then I saw my name at the end....what a wonderful surprise....I am so honored that you passed this award onto me....thank you so much :)

Cranberry Morning said...

Congrats on the award, Mary. You totally deserve it, and believe me, you'd be a hard act to follow! I love your writing, and got such a kick out of the 'are you the wife?' experience. :-)

Thanks for including me. I'm blushing, even redder than Jenn. lol

Robin said...

First, that must have been awesome to have been mistaken for Jeremy's wife. Go you! Rockin' the 20s look. Second, I love how you mashed like seven things into the last #5 Thing You Love. LOL. Very brazen. I like it!

Chris said...

Heck, I couldn't get the link to work. The CBS site said page not found. Can you email me the link when you get a chance, I want to see the show.

Judee @ Gluten Free A-Z said...

Regardless of the post's content, I always know I am in for for a treat when I visit your blog: Your writing is interesting, sometimes humorous, and always enjoyable! Well deserved award! Now I know so much more about you too. Awe shucks! Thank you for passing it on to me..

Debra Kapellakis said...


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