Author Archives: Packerland

The Beach House

While in Florida, Barb and I enjoyed a visit from another close friend, Kathy.  Back in the day, the three of us taught seventh graders in rooms next to each other.  It created a lasting bond.  One night we chose to eat at The Beach House. We snagged a table right on the beach and basked in the warmth as day turned to evening.

After some serious catching up (and a margarita) I decided to try two appetizers instead of an entrée.  The first was Tots and Pearls.  It consisted of Gourmet Tater Tots wrapped with house cured Norwegian Smoked Salmon, Sturgeon Caviar, and Crème Fraiche.  Ordinarily I never would order tater tots, but I thought it sounded interesting.  And it was.  Beautifully presented, the small orbs of deliciousness, were sitting up invitingly.  The firmness of the smoked salmon blended well with the slightly salty taste of the caviar.  Velvety crème fraiche offered a contrasting texture as I bit into the smooth potato center.  This tempting delight was certainly not my usual fare. The other  appetizer I ordered was sliced Ahi tuna with pickled ginger and wasabi.  This was wonderful as well.  However, I knew I liked tuna, so it wasn’t a surprise like the Tots and Pearls.  True Nosh or Truly Nauseous?  Definitely a true nosh.DSCN1070

I Am Not A Chef

chefI am not a chef.

No surprises there. I do not even have years and years of home cooking experience under my belt. I didn’t even like cooking until I hit fifty which was about eight years ago. My husband, Mike, liked to cook and I was very happy to let him have the kitchen. I knew how to cook, but wasn’t too willing to spend much time doing so.

Mike passed on almost twelve years ago and subsequently I started my journey of making meals for myself. I certainly had no problem finding vast quantities of food. There were plenty of fast food places around and items in the grocery store that could be grabbed and eaten with minimal labor. The first few years I grudgingly prepared food, but little by little I started thinking about food in a new way. Not just what could I make quickly and devour, but I began to savor the actual physical act of taking separate ingredients and putting them together in a way that was delightful.

I found Mike’s recipes and pulled out my mom’s recipe box. There were some really cool dishes just waiting for me to try them. I soon found success. I was now able to make for myself all those specialties I had been hungry for. And it wasn’t that hard. We had all kinds of cookbooks. My head was soon buried in them on a daily basis. I knew Mike had found recipes on the internet, so I soon hit the food websites. This was fun! Initially after Mike died, I dreaded going to the grocery store. Now I started to enjoy it as I scoured the aisles for different products for my latest recipe. Some of my sadness over losing Mike started to dissipate as I found success doing an activity that he had enjoyed. My journey continues as I read cookbooks, websites, and magazines full of recipes and food information. Please join me as I share some of what I learn with you.