Monday, October 14, 2013

How I Spent My Summer Non-Vacation

Brisket sandwich and Disco Fries at Meat in Lansing, MI.

Well, I think I'm back!

Rosh Hashanah - the Jewish New Year - has passed, as have the 3 subsequent holidays (Yom Kippur, Sukkot, and Simchat Torah) which follow it. August and September were chaotic at my day job, filled with 6-day work weeks, some 10-hour days, a 7-day stretch at one point ... oy! Throw in my gig emcee-ing the Girl Scout Cookie Bake-Off on September 19; the reception for "American Foodways: The Jewish Contribution" - the cookbook exhibit I'd been working on since December - on September 24; and finishing work on the dessert buffet for "Gimme Shelter" - the fundraiser for Alpha House, which cares for homeless families - on September 28 ... well, you can see that my plans to be back in early September kinda got thrown off, just a bit. Only a fool would've thought it possible; but I've missed everyone, so I had high hopes!

Pumpkin Torte by Cheryl Hanewich - winner of the
2013 Girl Scouts Heart of Michigan
Cookie Bake-off that I emcee-ed.
And these little diversions don't even take into consideration writing 3 posts/week for, which has been absorbed by and has returned to being called The Ann Arbor News in print on Thursdays and Sundays ... writing 3 articles for the Washtenaw Jewish News' September issue (the one about the exhibit not only made the front page, but it was above the fold!), and my usual cookbook piece for the October issue ... my parents both being in the hospital this summer, even overlapping one day: my mother fell down the stairs, my father's congestive heart failure is increasingly creeping toward end-stage ... somehow managing to damage my left shoulder: woke up, thought I'd slept on it oddly, didn't resolve, negative x-ray, 4 sessions of physical therapy made it far worse, MRI shows rotator cuff tendinitis but symptoms indicate more, seeing an orthopedic surgeon on Thursday ... sigh. And, of course, I tried to spend time with loved ones so they wouldn't feel neglected - that was mandatory!

Why be bored and twiddle your thumbs, when you can have this much fun, right???

Rather than writing a seemingly endless post that will make everyone groan as they see the unwieldy length of it, let me give you the highlights of "How I Spent My Summer Vacation" ... or, rather, how I spent Food Floozie's vacation since I've personally been workin' my little tuckus off.

- Craig's birthday was June 15. We went thrift shopping and antiquing in Lansing, an hour away. And we ate at Meat, a barbecue restaurant that needs to open an outlet in Ann Arbor. Just a few weeks into my hiatus, and I was longing to wax rhapsodic about this place! Disco Fries - OMG!!! French fries topped with bacon gravy - yes, bacon gravy! - and then topped with cheese ... gasp! It could very possibly be one's last meal, but you'd certainly die happy. Good eater that I am, I still couldn't eat all of this; Craig happily finished the sandwich while I greedily devoured the fries. And since they don't serve dessert, they were completely endearing by cobbling together a birthday "cake" for Craig by offering a honey bun topped with a Pop Tart ... :)

- I was a judge at the Ann Arbor Civic Theatre's 1st Annual Pie Bake-Off. Is there anything better than eating pie on a summer afternoon??? Rhubarb ... peach ... cherry ... sigh.

- I found out that the world is a very small and haymish (warm, welcoming) place, when the grandson of a woman I'd mentioned in an article back in 2009 wrote to me; this turned into a story about food, family, and friendship ... and we all know that these are a few of my favorite things: Frances Maggin's Applesauce Cake and a Great Story.

- The Tigers are in the play-offs against the Red Sox. And last night's game, with that game-tying grand slam by Big Papi, is still reverberating here in Michigan! If you'd like to cheer on the Tigers in tomorrow's game, here are a couple of recent recipes to help you in your mission: Maurice Salad Subs and Greektown Sliders. We could've come back to Detroit 2-0, but now we're tied at 1-1 ... :(

- I have continued my twisted little mission to document thrift shops all trying to sell copies of In the Kitchen with Rosie. Craig at first thought it was a bit perverse, but has realized that this is a gift that keeps on giving; he now points out copies to me as we go to various stores!

- Oh, and before I forget: please vote for my Chocolate Cherry Kugl!!! I'm a finalist in the National Yiddish Book Center's contest to find the best recipes for traditional Jewish foods. A friend of Jeremy's once said it was "like eating crack" ... :)

So, I'm aiming to be back here on Mondays, and may offer some Wordless Wednesdays, too; Frugal Fridays can be found on I'll likely serve up recipes, for the most part, but every so often there needs to be a rant or an amusing anecdote ... something to liven things up a bit! I'm hoping to be able to catch up with all my friends, and just recalibrate a bit after all the nonsense of the past couple of months. Then we'll see where it goes from there!


chocoholic said...

You've been super busy!

Carla TePaske said...

Hi Mary,
You have been busy! You look good and I hope all is well.
And the Tigers are still in it! :-)
Yay, for baseball.

Robin said...

Hello! Welcome back!!! It seems like you have been gone forever.

Girl, you have been busy. Congrats for so many paying writing gigs (I hope). Keep going like this and you'll be famous:)

Caren Gittleman said...

so glad to see you!!!!!!!!!! What a summer! You had me drooling about pie lol!!!
And...don't even get me started about the Tigers!

Judee@ Gluten Free A-Z Blog said...

Welcome back! You've been missed. Looking forward to your posts..

Candace said...

Welcome back! I am so happy to see that you are posting again! I keep up with you on Facebook but still....this is way better. I won't discuss the baseball issue since we are on opposite sides of that one; but I will offer my hugs, love and prayers for your health and for your parents' health, as well. Love the photo of you and Craig! What a sweet, happy couple you are! Love you!

Cranberry Morning said...

SO glad to see you back, Mary! I am sorry to hear about your mom's fall and your dad's progressive congestive heart failure. This is a hard time for you. NOT to mention your own shoulder issues. IS it 'frozen shoulder'? I can tell you all about that. :-) :-(

I'm glad to read that you weren't just sitting around eating bonbons all summer! I'll be sure to vote for you. :-) Love the pic of you and Craig.

Chris said...

Hey, it's great to see you back. Disco fries. Freaking disco fries. must try disco fries.....

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