Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Eating Out in OKC

This is what is known as a rant.  DO NOT take this personally if you live in or around Oklahoma City, this is my personal opinion and I stand behind it.

The cooks in the "chain restaurants" up here evidently all went to the school of "just  cook it and they will come, and it doesn't matter whether it tastes good or not".  The local restaurant cooks evidently went to the same school.

When I moved to OK my daughters told me not to find fault with anything up here and I have tried very hard to not find fault with anything up here. However, I have lived here for 9 years now and I feel like I can complain if I want to.

I love the people, they are, for the most part, very nice.  I actually love the weather. Having come from the Houston, TX area, you can appreciate the change of seasons, and all of the outdoor activities available, and the professional sports teams we have, and the good old Sooners and Cowboys!  Great college football,  and all of the amenities available for those who row and swim, etc.  Also, OKC has such far-seeing people at the helm of things, it is a great place to live, EXCEPT FOR the restaurants.

I can't speak for the very expensive restaurants because I can't afford to eat there. Take that back, I did eat at The Ranch, and if I could eat there every night I would think I had died and gone to heaven.  But, alas, my ship sunk way before it reached the shore, so I am doomed to the "food" found in the local chain restaurants and those that attempt to make it in the restaurant business.

I have eaten mainly in the NW part of OKC, and there is nothing within a 30 mile radius that qualifies as a decent place to eat.

Today was a prime example.  A friend and myself went to a tearoom in Bethany.  I have eaten there twice before.  The first time, about 2 years ago, the food was very good.  3 months ago, it was edible. Today it was plain out BAD!!   You know when you walk in a restaurant at noon on a weekday and only 4 tables have people seated, and the last time you were there the place was full, that you should leave immediately.

I have been known to send food back and have talked to lots of owners, managers, etc of eating establishments, and expressed my displeasure.  For some reason it always embarrasses my family. As I tell them, if I am paying good money for this food, it should be edible.

Anyway, I have become more disciplined as far as sending food back, so I am trying.  Today, though, we both ordered a sampler plate with tuna salad, chicken salad on croissant, green salad, and a quiche of the day.  Normally I don't eat tuna out because I can't stand the smell of what is called tuna anymore. It smells dead!

I took one bite of this tuna salad, caught a waitress going past, and had her remove all traces of it from my plate.  Then I tried to eat the rest.  The croissant was old, crumbly and cold.  The quiche was awful, as bad as the one I made last week, lol, actually I think it was worse.  There was no green salad because it had been put under the inedible tuna. The chicken salad was ok, nothing special, and the little "dessert" that had been frozen had been frozen for so long there was a ring of ice around it, lol.  The raspberry tea was good. The muffin served with apricot (I think) butter would have been good, but I think it was old also. And cold.

The waitress showed up eventually and I asked her about the green salad, and she said it had been on the plate, and she did not know I had sent it back.  Ok, she brings me a salad, I put the dressing on it, which was good,  and take a bit of it.  Wrong thing to do.

Waitress stops back by, fills up my tea, and asks if all is ok.  No, just take it away.  Not fit to eat.  And left it at that.  Did not ask to speak to anyone about the food! SO, the owner shows up and asks the problem is.

And I, having lots of tact, tell her the food is awful, you need a new cook.   She smiles and says , my husband is the cook, to which I reply, then he needs a refresher course.

Let me go taste the food....and she leaves.....

A few mintutes pass, the waitress comes by, picks up our tickets, and says you will not be paying for your food, hope you try us again sometimes.  Thank you for coming.

The owner NEVER came back.  We sat there for a while and chatted, catching up on our lives, and then we left.  I did not see anyone else come in while we were there and we left at 1:30.

If this post upsets you, that is just too bad, my opinion only, and I am entitled to that, I think.  Anymore, maybe not.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Another Bernina in The House

I seem to buy a new sewing machine every few years since I started quilting in late 1999.  When I started quilting, I had the original 830 Bernina  that I had sewed on for 30 years and it ran like a top, but was so heavy I couldn't lug it around. I had almost every extra foot for it and about 50 bobbins (seriously), the walking foot and the whole enchilada.  So, I bought a small Janome to use for classes which worked pretty good.

About a month later I could stand it no longer, so I traded in the 830 (I know, I know, and I knew it at the time, lol) and bought a Bernina 150.

That sufficed until I fell in love withe a Pfaff 2044 because of the integrated dual feed and sewed on it for a while, then traded that up for the 2056, which I upgraded to a 2058 last year.

Sold the Bernina 150 because I had stitched through my finger with it and it took me forever to get my finger out and I had to go get a tetanus shot and I was very leery of that machine after that.  There was nothing wrong with it, just me.

A couple of years ago I sold the little Janome to my hairdresser for her daughter so she would have a sewing machine to learn to quilt on.  She was 10 at the time and is really a good little seamstress.

Then I decided I should have kept the Janome so I bought another one to use for classes, lol.  I still have that one.

Four years ago I bought a BabyLock that only sews with a straight stitch and has a large interior space and a grace sewing frame so I could quilt my own quilts.  Changed my mind on that real quick but kept the machine and I still have that one too, only I have never used it.  One of these days I am going to use it with the Flynn frame that I have had for a few years.  Must be prepared for all possibilities you know.

Then I decided I wanted a small Bernina to use for piecing , satin stitching and blanket stitching.  So last year I bought a Bernina 220.

Well, a couple of weeks ago, I got hungry for the larger Bernina because I wanted the controlled tension and that way I could have a Bernina in each of my sewing areas,  so I bought a 440.  I really, really llike this machine.  It is wonderful to sew on.

Now I am going to bid adieu to the Pfaff as I need to get rid of at least one of these machines, and it really is too good of a sewing machine to not be used.  Anybody interested?

Monday, October 25, 2010

Design Wall Monday

I actually have something to show this week.   Here is a picture of it, and
Here is a link to others that participate in this event each week.  Thanks Judy for hosting this each week. It is one of the reasons we just love you!

Aud Tales

Dinner conversation:

I just hurt all over, and my back is really bothering me and and I need a brace
Ok, I will take you to the doctor.  You really need to see a bone specialist
No, no bone doctors.  It will be better by the time we see Dr. Berner in 3 weeks.
By then you will have forgotten what is wrong with you now.

Well, my body is shrinking...
What do you mean, your body is shrinking?
Well, my bones are falling down, and so my body is falling down and my skin is sagging.  It needs something to hold it up

laugh....did it occur to you that maybe if you quit eating ice cream you might not have sagging?
No, I just need something to hold up the skin until it shrinks like my bones are doing.

laughing harder now.....ok, Aud,  how about if I get the exercise stretchy thing and we tie it around your ribcage to hold up the extra skin?  Then you would have a bumper pad to keep you from breaking bones when you are wobbling down the hall from side to side

both of us are now laughing hysterically.......yeah, let's try that, maybe it will knock some of it off....

are you ready for ice cream now?     :)

Sunday, October 24, 2010

A Little Quilting Going On

Design Wall 
I have actually gotten some quilting done this week.  Dug out another quilt that I started a couple of years ago, and started putting the borders on it.  

I am so pleased with the way this looks.  It is from a pattern called Diamond in the Rough by Debby Caffrey (I think that is the name) and I took a class from a local teacher a couple of years ago to learn how to do this quilt.  Of course I didn't do mine like everyone else did, lol.

I am going to add 4 inch squares of the patterned fabric on the long sides to make the width better.  This fabric is all Thimbleberries, and I have so much of it that I am going to piece something for the backing.  That will use up another 10 yards  about.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Aud Tales

Background...Miss Aud and I have lived in the same house for the last 20 years except for the first year I lived in Oklahoma.  Up until the middle of last year Aud did the cooking.  I occasionally cooked but the way the kitchen was set up was for a right handed person who should have been left handed, if that makes sense.  Plus everytime I cooked I had someone looking over my shoulder, so it was just easier to clean up the kitchen after we ate and forget about it unless she needed help, which did happen occasionally.

So now I am cooking.  That is one reason we have a new kitchen, couldn't stand the old one..there was no room and I spread out when I cook.  Mom says I make the biggest mess in the world other than one of her older sisters when she was alive.  I don't agree, but what do I know.

Our "supper/dinner" tonight was green salad and quiche.  I don't particularly like the recipe she uses for quiche, so I got out the Cotton Country cookbook from Monroe LA, which is wonderful!... and found 3 quiche recipes in it.  I wanted onions, bacon, and gruyere cheese in it and by combining all three recipes I figured it would work out ok.

Aud,how much bacon do you usually use in your quiche?
12 pieces
12 pieces?  this recipe calls for 4
Well I use 12.

Ok, twelve it is. I cooked the bacon,  and then added it,  the gruyere cheese, onions I had sweated in butter, half and half, and 4 farm eggs that a friend of mine gave me a couple of days ago.  The recipe also called for a pre-baked pie shell, and I knew the filling was going to be a little more than a pie shell would hold, so I got out the deep dish pie shell, unrolled the pie crust, put it in the plate, pricked some holes in it, and stuck it in the oven for 10 minutes.  Well, duh!  The darn thing shrank.  Of course it shrank!  That is what pie shells do, right?  That is why you crimp them around the outside of pie shells.
Ok, so it will just seep over, this is a non stick pan, no problem.  Well, actually it didn't have a lot of flavor, but was a little too salty for our taste , and I didn't add any salt.

I sure will be glad when you learn to cook again....
Well, you told me 12 piece of bacon
Well, it depends on what size, these are big pieces of bacon
Well, you didn't mention that, Aud
Would you have put 12 pieces of the size I used in your recipe?
Oh, probably
I will work on this recipe some more...or find the one I used to make when I cooked 20 years ago.  I love a good quiche.

Next up was my favorite pecan pie.  The recipe for it is also in the Cotton Country cookbook.  It is called the Best Ever Pecan Pie, and it really is.  The filling is made with browned butter, and I always get it really really brown, so the flavor is very rich.

Hmm, my pecan pies don't look like this and I have used that recipe before.
Yes, but you never brown the butter as dark as I do.
Well, it sure is greasy.  Sure will be glad when you learn to cook again.
Oh, dear..... this pie is so rich you can't eat much at one time, but it is very buttery.  I think I will decrease the butter by about 2 tablespoons.

A picture of my very delicious pecan pie.

In a past life I was an excellent cook, and Aud cannot understand how in the world I have forgotten how to cook... as she says, it's like riding a bicycle.....but the last time I rode a bicycle I fell off, so I guess I haven't figured out how to get on that bike again.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Ms Aud turns 94!

Miss Aud had her 94th birthday on Monday October 11th.  I asked my daughters if they wanted to drive to Dallas with us to eat seafood at Pappadeau's on the Saturday before.

On the Friday before, we went to the oxygen place to pick up some small "on demand" oxygen canisters to take with us to Dallas so there would be oxygen available if needed.

Aud wanted some fried chicken from Popeye's, so we stopped on the way home from the oxygen place and ate some.  It didn't taste just right to me but food hasn't tasted right in a while, so I didn't think too much about it.  Well, around midnight, I did think about it, but I was ok by around 4.  Poor Aud, she wasn't,  and Saturday morning she was just not able to go with Summer and I to Dallas.  My younger daughter had previous commitments and was not able to join us.

Aud, do you want us to bring you something?  No......

We drove to Dallas and went to Pappadeau's.  We had a wonderful meal.  I ate fried crab claws and crab cakes with crawfish, and Summer had scallops.  And we had Greek Salad, and rolls and butter, and their wonderful fried onion rings, and it was scrumptious!!!!  Both of us ate "the whole thing" and it was enormous, lol.

We left OKC at 9:30 and were back in OKC by 5:30.......

....what did you bring me to eat?
...nothing, you said you didn't want anything....
...well, I started to call you, but I figured you would bring me something

So now we are going to go to Dallas "the first day I feel good enough to go"......
and she hasn't been feeling super good for the last week so we haven't gone yet, but I am ready.....

That is the only thing I really miss about Houston, other than my friends there.

A Little History

Aud turned 94 a couple of weeks ago, which makes me 71 now.  The reason I say this is because I am watching a lot of tv with her and our choice of programs is a little strange, to say the least. It got me to thinking about how much time I was wasting watching tv.

The first tv I ever saw was when I was 12 years old (1951 ?) and was staying with my "grandma" for the summer. She lived in Texas a little west of Fort Worth, and it was hotter than you know what, and she did not have an air conditioner. We went to visit her brother  (he was the town banker then) and they had a tv and ac. lol.  The screen was about 12 inches square, the picture was black and white, the program was Kukla, Fran and Ollie, and the tv cabinet was enormous!  I didn't care for that program then, I thought it was silly.  Maybe that is why tv was never very important to me growing up.

I think I was a junior in high school, which would have been 1956, when we first got a tv.  It was only a black and white and I don't think it was bigger than 12 inches either,  and Aud and I would sit about 2 feet in front of the screen and watch the Steve Allan show, and I Love Lucy.  That was the era of live tv and those were the funniest shows I have ever seen.  It was wonderful comedy and you had to see it to believe it because you wouldn't see it again for a long, long time.  I don't remember watching anything else during those years, and certainly didn't have a tv for several years after I got out of school.   That was also the time of the "don't sit too close to the tv, it isn't good for you, yada yada yada".

Don't remember watching tv after that.  I didn't seem to have time to watch a program all the way through, therefore didn't ever start watching one to begin with.  I do remember having one when the girls were 2 and 5, and they watched cartoons on tv, and Kookla, Fran and Ollie were still on and I still didn't like them, lol.

We took a tv to Europe when my husband was deployed to Germany after serving in Vietnam.  Not sure why, because we never had it hooked up until the winter olympics the year they were held somewhere in France, don't remember the town, but we watched them in German, lol.  The only other time we watched any tv while in Europe was sitting in a bar in Barcelona watching a bullfight while we were on vacation and it was raining and the weather was awful. And it was in Spanish.  :)

After that, things were always too busy and I still didn't watch tv because I couldn't watch any program from beginning to end for one reason or another.  The girls watched Saturday Night Live and to this day still talk about how funny that program was "back then".  I tried watching it not too long ago, and I guess I am just not into that type of humor.

Forward to the year 2000, still not watching tv, but big life changes happened.  My husband passed away after a long and difficult battle with diabetes and heart problems, I got laid off from work, took a job in OKC, and moved from the Houston area.  Ms Aud stayed behind to sell the house.

When I moved to OKC, I packed my car for what I thought was going to be 2 months at most that I would need clothes etc, before the rest of my belongings would be here. Must have known that was going to be wrong, because I packed my "stash" and sent it ahead via the mail to one of my daughter's   I  packed some of my clothes, my sewing machine, an iron, a small tv, a small ironing board, some quilting equipment (rulers, etc) and I think I bought one box with the minimum cooking stuff. All I could carry anyway.

I moved into a one bedroom apartment that was pretty large, and was furnished with a lounge chair, a long narrow tv table, and a bed that my daughter let me use.  The next day I went to the local Bernina dealer and bought a table for my Bernina, and a cutting table.  They were kind enough to deliver them, probably because I told them I couldn't buy them otherwise. And then I started my new job.

The people that I was around at work were watching ER every week and were always talking about it, and since I was living by myself and really didn't have anything to do I started watching that show on my little tv. And I could watch the whole show from beginning to end because there was nothing to disturb me.  But wait!  I didn't know what had happened to the characters before I started watching it.

So, I went to Ultimate Electronics, bought a 23" (I think that was the size) and a Tivo!  Wow!  I found the old ER shows on TNT and there were 3 hours of them a day!  So I sat that Tivo to taping them and it took me several months, but I finally got caught up on the characters.  I would rush home, grab something to eat, plop myself in front of the tv and watch George Clooney and Margolis, don't remember her first name, for 3 hours and it was fascinating!  After I finally got caught up on the characters and the old shows, I think that was about the time Clooney quit.  I lost interest, thank heavens, and got some quilting done for a while.

It took a year for our house to sell and then Ms Aud moved up here, and we moved to this house, and I am forwarding this tale to now.

Aud watches a lot of tv and one day not too long ago I wandered into her room and she was watching Orange County Choppers.  I was horrified at the language and all of the drama, but watched a couple of the shows with her, and I was hooked.  I had gotten rid of the Tivo several years ago and had a DVR on the tv in my room.  We couldn't watch these dramas in there, so I got us another DVR for the living room, and started taping the older shows so I could catch up on the characters again.  Deja vu.  For the last 3 or 4 weeks now I have been taping 4 hours of OCC a day, Monday thru Friday, lol. And now there is one hour on Thursday nights.  These all have to be watched, of course, so I am spending a lot of time in front of the tv one more time.  I will be glad when this is caught up so I can get back to some serious quilting.

Think I have an "addiction" problem?  Yes, I think I must.   It's a good thing I am retired, huh.