Wednesday, February 16, 2011

What I Enjoy Most For Dinner

The table. When I walk into a beautifully decorated (simple) restaurant and am seated at a table that is also beautifully arranged; you could serve me anything and it would be amazing.  Perfect.  I eat with my eyes. I love the wrinkled linen table cloth in this magazine picture, the woven seated chairs, the leopard print plates, the earthenware tumblers, and the huge, linen napkins.  I would order a seasonal salad with a simple vinaigrette, crusty fresh baked bread, perhaps a cup of soup, a grilled piece of meat or seafood.

My own table has the possibility of all this.  When I serve food to company, the table is the star.  A great deal of time and effort, on my part, is spent selecting linens, plates, glasses.  I even add bowls of salt with tiny spoons, glass pitchers of ice, water and lemons and small candles in crystal tumblers.  I have enough Bonne Maman jars now to cover the length of the table (8 feet) with candles in jars.

Perhaps this is why the cluttered jumble of daily debris on my table is such an irritation for me.  Clearing this table off is often on the very top of my "cleaning to-do lists"  And it takes such a long time as there are so many diverse items on the table; returning them to their origins takes time and when I get there, I am often confronted with additional clutter.  This morning I threw away empty pill bottles.

G's "toilet phone" stopped working again.  He went to ATT to get a new one.  He wanted the $49 iPhone deal.  No.  He wanted a replacement with the same contract.  No.  Anything he asked for. No.  Finally, he asked to speak to a manager or supervisor.  He explained that he had been an ATT customer for over 15 years and had only gotten three new phones in all that time.  This was the first time he had damaged a phone in 15 years.  The others had just worn out.  All he wanted was to replace the damaged phone.  No new service contract.  No cancellation of the current contract.  No fines.  No additional charges.  He wanted to buy a phone just like the one that was no longer working.  Eventually, the manager said yes.  The original sales person refused to do it. The manager said "yes, you will.". Can you believe this?  This is what ATT thinks is "customer service" with Verizon practically giving away iPhones just to get ATT customers to move.  I may have to sell my ATT stock and buy Verizon stock.

Food prices are going up again.  China doesn't have enough food, fuel or cotton to keep their economic machine running but they have plenty of cash to buy stuff at high prices.  So, we all suffer.  I plan to shop around the outside perimeter of the grocery store and try not to go down more that a few inside aisles.  I will need canned tomatoes, dry beans, oatmeal, rice and pasta which are in the aisles.  But around the perimeter I will buy the sale specials on fruit, vegetables, meat and dairy. I did the same in 2008/09.  Filling the freezer with whatever was marked down for that week.  No prepared meals or mixtures.  No boxes of cereal.  No packaged breads. And I will start seeds for my vegetable garden.

The Furnace Report: I have all new thermostats (complimentary) and the furnace is cycling in a normal fashion.  Still noisy but I am getting used to the warmth, loving the hot water and finding comfort in the little "click, click" that signals that the zone has asked for heat.  Walking the dog today and hoping that today is the day the replacement Pilates arrives and hoping the welds are smooth, the wheels don't squeak and I can get back to my routine of exercise, dog walks and hot showers.

1 comment:

Diane N said...

I shop at a grocery store that marks down the meats that are getting close to their expiration dates on Sunday nights.

If you go there Sunday night or early Monday morning, you can really get wonderful bargains. Then into the freezer for my later use. I'm able to buy things that otherwise I would consider too expensive this way.

If you are friendly with any store employees, ask them when they marlk down certain things. Often times, it's the same day every week.

I love a beautiful table, too. The next time you do your table, please take a photo and share it with us.