Posts Tagged With: sweets

GREEK CHRISTMAS WAS POPULAR.

DSC07440 (Copy)The first thing to great me at my daughter-in-law’s house, was the table full of sweets and a savory cheese cake. It seemed full until others arrived and added even more good things to the table. Laurie collects elephants- you may have noticed her elephant table cloth.

DSC07441 (Copy)I once did an inventory of her elephant collection and I counted about 700 elephant items, from ashtrays, jewelry to swizzle sticks.  Collecting is fun and appealing and I zeroed in on elephant ornaments that never made it into her inventory.

DSC07442 (Copy)The elephant is barely visible in this photo,but no matter, I was having fun.

DSC07443 (Copy).

DSC07444 (Copy)I would have given this elephant a bigger eye.

DSC07447 (Copy)Laurie is the youngest of two sisters. Michele on the right with her daugher-in-law is her middle sister. Her oldest sister lives in North CarolinaDSC07493 (Copy)Laurie’s brother, Mike and sister-in-law Ramona. At the last minute, we decided to have a wine exchange. Ramona kept everyone in stitches as she examined each person’s choice with two pairs of glasses and a magnifying glass, before she decided which bottle to steal.

DSC07495 (Copy)My oldest and youngest brothers, Bill at 78 and Clark at 60. Michele in the background with her husband Wayne who smoked the lamb roast. Clark was the other clown of the wine exchange, threatening to open and try them out. He got stolen from four times. I guess the threat worked.

DSC07449 (Copy)A good game of liar’s dice was entertaining most of the “kids” the youngest two age 13.

DSC07496 (Copy)My oldest, Ken and youngest Virginia.  I guess men like to grow beards when they have vacation. They vacation from shaving.

DSC07498 (Copy)But the Greek feast was on. Roast lamb, tzatziki, a famous Greek yoghurt dip, with condiments. Greek meatballs with rice, feta and mint, with zucchini feta pancakes and lemon sauce.

DSC07499 (Copy)Roasted potatoes with a Greek dressing…a spicy lasagna with special cheeses…seasoned chicken kababs. DSC07500 (Copy)Spinach filled spanakopitas, a Greek fruit salad and a Greek rice salad. The food, with a bunch of good cooks in the house?  Stellar. Everyone agreed that enough turkey and ham at Thanksgiving should be bypassed for ethnic foods at Christmas. The only thing missing was the famous Greek circle dance and music.

We decided on Mexican food next year, because Virginia just learned how to make home-made tamales, heavy on the filling and light on the masa. Cha, cha, cha.

 

 

 

 

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SEIZE THE DAY

Yesterday, I had lunch at Panera Bread in Lodi. I asked this family what they thought of the restaurant? While they liked it they didn’t express any overwhelming enthusiasm. I had to take my car in to the Toyota dealership for a recall fix, a simple nut, in the power steering mechanism. I always like to “seize the day” when I’m off-tracked. The dealership shuttle delivered me to a shopping center of my choice and I managed to buy some needed socks and underwear. Then I walked across Kettleman Lane to Panera Bread.

  I thought it was a bakery, and it is a bakery-with a restaurant.

The major appeal here is the many types of sweets. Since they don’t tempt me, I opted for a half sandwich and salad. Nothing exceptional. For almost eight dollars, (no drink) I had to  pick up  my food at a counter and bus my own fancy plastic dishes, not paper.  It’s just a fancy fast food restaurant, only higher priced. Their stock is sizzling so I wanted to see for myself what all the sizzle is about. I wasn’t impressed.

I went next door to El Maguey Mexican Grill and had a couple of pollo tacos. Customers here were more enthusiastic about their food, but my flash suddenly refused to work and I couldn’t get a picture. The prices were better as well and my food was delivered to me by a waitress.  Cost? Just under $3. Chili Verde is 7.99, and pronounced delicious by two customers. The downside to any Mexican restaurant is they only serve Mexican beer.

I called the shuttle driver and he took me to Lodi Beer Company, a craft brewer. Ah, more like it. Their porter was good, but doesn’t compare to Black Butte Porter by Deshutes Brewery, or Brown Sugah, by La Gunitas. They serve food here as well and I would have liked to try it but the dealership called me and said my car was finished. Besides, I was surfeit by then.  The interior is cool and beautiful. (No flash.)

The best find of the day, was visiting a small, side-of-the-road fruit and vegetable stand, the first on the right on Victor Rd. toward San Andreas from 99. Gail Meltzer was selling “my dad’s awesome white peaches”. Oh, my. Tree ripened, luscious peach perfume filled my car.  Peach heaven.  I bought squash and her homemade chocolate covered cashews, as well. Cheaper than rocky road, she claims by writing on a piece of paper.  (Gail cannot speak.) Better tasting, too.  Gail showed me this giant summer squash. Around Labor Day, or sooner, she is going to take bets as to how big it gets. If you want to guess, call her at 209-200-660. (I don’t know who answers the phone.)

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