Nov 3, 2008

Hi All You Luna/tics.
______________________________________________ is the first day of November: cold and rainy (well, it is 68 degrees in my house and I am cold because I am sitting here typing in a t-shirt, shorts and flip-flops realizing it is probably the time to be wearing socks, shoes, long pants and a sweater during these winter-ish days....oh the dilemma of the seasonal flucuations...just a couple of days into it and already bemoaning the fact my choices are being taken away.....)

and it is my mom's 77 birthday today.

My mother Betty is one phemominal lady - great physical and mental shape, very happy and content and who re-connected with her junior-year high-school sweetheart about ten years ago at her 50th class reunion and has been in love ever since. Mom has always been an engaged-in-life woman, who has taught me the good lessons in my life that never go away, which lessons have the tendency to be biting me in the back of the head when a moral decision must be made (daily, hourly, and by the minute it seems....), especially the ones that I know won't be going the way I wish they would....

As a kid, Mom was a LECTURER when it was time to be repremanded for stupid kid stuff. Those words from her seemed to go on for hours and hours and hours while we just sat there and listened, and I know my sister Diane and I often thought it would be so much easier to have just gotten a swat on the butt rather than having to endure the LECTURE as her way to be corrected......

And, yes, as a kid, I did get into trouble....hard to believe as an adult....but the horns on my head were developed way back then. The love of mischieveousness came about when I realized I wanted nothing more in life than to torment my poor sister, one year younger then myself. I would hide in her closet (no comments please....) waiting long minutes and hours for her to just open her door so I could spring out and scare her!... and then run away holding my stomach because I would be laughing so hard....while she was shreiking and probably swearing at me at the top of her lungs....(Diane was a red-headed girl in the full sense of the meaning.....).

Then of course, my Mom, who was a house-wife and always home, would listen to both sides of the story, and the LECTURE would begin (I usually lost the debate as to why I NEEDED to be scaring and tormenting my sister.....big-time did I lose these debates.....) :

"Don't you know you could have given your poor little sister a heart-attack (I thought: Really? what would that be like? How much harder would I have to scare her for that to happen?)

"What if your sister had had a knife in her hand and stabbed you in self defense? ( A knife? I thought we were never allowed to play with knives? How come she can have a knife and I can't? Because she's a girl right?)

What would you have done if that had been me and I had fainted? What would you have done then? (Well, I remember that on the Dr. Kildare show, they would hook electrodes to your brain and wake you up. I would just have to find the electrodes and plug them into a socket and save you Mom. See how easy that would have been....I really did think this out you know....)

What if that had been the President opening the door and you did that to him and his Secret Service men had to pull their guns out and shoot you? (Really? do you think we could bring the President and drag him to Show-and-Tell at school with the Secret Service guys waving their guns around telling my classmates that I scared the President?)

My mom would tell me the importance of being the "good" older brother, and how I must set an example to her at all times (she did not know that my "little" sister Diane was as diabolical as I was, but she was less apt to get caught at her diabolicalness BECAUSE... SHE... WAS... A... GIRL....).

It was the 50's and little girls would always be in dresses and boys would always have to watch out for them, and NEVER-EVER-NO-MATTER-WHAT hit a girl much less your sister. Gawd....I do believe that little boys wanted to explain to their Mom's and Dad's that "really, she can be really, really mean" and sometimes she just needs to be taken care of...and how come you never catch her doing the mean stuff to me? ....just once, so she will stop pestering me all the time.....

but - it never happened....

So as the older brother, I endured her antics, her sly smiles while I was getting the LECTURES, and kept on my guard at all times for what a little sister could do to make my life miserable....

And yet through all of that, my mom's one constant belief was we take care of each other.

And that is the lesson I remember the most. Possibly a lesson I might take too far with friends and family sometimes, but the one that nags me the most....

It seems to have manifested itself in my adult years with food.

"Poor thing...your car went over the side of the cliff with your passport, I.D., and bank account information? Here, have some soup, that should help"
"That rat bastard you married got caught cross-dressing at the election polls?....have some Paella".

I know that looking back, I soothed most things (or possibly medicated) with food. But it was the one aspect that I could do and make a difference, even if it was for just the moment.

Because the older and mellower I get, MOMENTS MATTER.

The moments around a table when the world might be going to hell outside, but your little nephew (insert son, daughter, aunt, uncle, mother, dad, etc.) wants to recite the "Alphabet Song" while missing his two front teeth and making all the "s's, c's, and t's" come out like a swishing noise with a sudden Boston accent (again-insert moms, dad, aunts and uncles, grandma's, grandpa's....not quite as cute this time, and your eyes may be really wide while listening and your mouth frozen in a weird zombie-like smile and the whole time you keep thinking about your gene pool and your future as an aged person...but again you keep damn cute they are....and how nice to have them have those lucid moments again...but why do they insist on taking their teeth out when they sit at the table? Note to self: look into Super PolyGrip mixed with Super-Glue if ever needed).

And then we have dinner and the world and its problems float away, because all of a sudden, you want to just hear all the other songs they have memorized.

And that is enough.

And what stays with you is the warmth of the moment frozen in time with the rememberance that you were sharing bread together and it is comforting. Through all of this craziness in our current history, we are comforted and we are nourished with food.

And that is why I love owning a restaurant and cooking food for people that I love.

(Note to self: make a dentist appointment...and look into long term care insurance.)

We voted today, and I can only hope that it goes MY WAY. And the world will return to a state of less chaos. Maybe. And all of our friends who are watching their savings and their portfolios going down the tubes will find a bit of relief from the outcome.

But regardless of its outcome, I am a married man. And will remain one in the eyes of the California court system. And that is a good, really good thing.
This months menu is attached following this current railings....You can go to the bottom of the page to find previously posted recipes and other things.

You will find two recipes for these coming cold days, one very quick and wonderful for an 'on the fly' dinner (Pork Tenderloin with Dried Cranberries), and the other, a long simmering, smells-so-good-you-can't-stand-it stew (Hungarian Pork Goulash with Sweet Peppers)that will warm you for many family hours while listening to your grandmother recite the alphabet song.

Your comments and inclusions are highly looked forward to and sometimes become the highlight of my day.

Take Care.

David at Cafe Luna


Anonymous said...

As always David, wonderfuly written and evocative, tender and funny.


Chris Shampo

Anonymous said...

David, as always beautifully written, evocative and funny.

Chris Shampo.